Ms 144, 1898


Ms 144, 1898

The Ten Virgins


October 19, 1898

Previously unpublished.

The parable of the ten virgins is given to represent the church, those who are watching for their Lord’s appearing, those who are seeking most earnestly to be among that number who will be acknowledged as the Lamb’s wife. Ms144-1898.1

All the ten virgins are apparently happy, full of joyous hope and anticipation. Apparently there is no difference between the five who are wise and the five who are foolish. To outward appearance all are prepared, robed in white, and carrying their lighted lamps, which represent the oil of truth. But the virgins did not expect to have to wait so long, and while the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. They all made efforts to keep awake, but they ceased to speak often to each other, and when the call came, “Behold the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him,” it was unexpected. [Matthew 25:6.] Ms144-1898.2

At the call, all the virgins arose, and looked to their lamps. Five of the number commenced to set their lamps in order. These lamps were small, and held but a small quantity of oil, and the wise virgins had provided themselves vessels containing oil. Thus five lamps were burning brightly to relieve the darkness of midnight. Ms144-1898.3

But five of them were standing surprised and alarmed. They had become aware of the fact that they had no oil in their vessels with which to replenish their lamps. They had no light, and stood in the darkness desolate and despairing. Then they sent forth the cry, “Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.” [Verse 8.] This terrible situation they now see to be the consequence of their own carelessness, and they plead with the five wise virgins for a supply of oil. But the waiting five with their freshly trimmed lamps have emptied their vessels. They have none to spare. “And the wise answered saying, Not so, lest there be not enough for us and for you; but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage and the door was shut.” [Verses 9, 10.] Ms144-1898.4

This is not a representation of open sinners, but of those who profess Christ, of the members of the church. They have no oil in their vessels with which to replenish their lamps. They have not been faithful but indifferent. They have made a pretense of waiting for their Lord. They have not watched and prayed, seeking for and securing that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. They have lived a life of carelessness. They have heard the truth, assented to the truth, but they have never brought it into their daily life. God has not one word of encouragement for those who, while favored with every opportunity and privilege for obtaining light and knowledge, are not doers of the Word, who do not keep the commandments of God. Ms144-1898.5

When the truth is enthroned in the heart, it will awaken in the believer a train of thought that will arouse the conscience to decided action. It will adorn the character. The whole nature will be renewed because the oil of grace is there. Great harm can be done by the open sinner who makes no profession of loving God and keeping His commandments. Ms144-1898.6

But this is not the class the parable represents. It represents those who claim to be children of God, but who do not practice it. These have not a burden for souls. They do not deny self. They do not lift the cross of Christ. They are seeking to have an enjoyable time with the world while claiming to be Christians. These souls wear a mask and do great harm to others. They refuse to yield to any authority, and by their worldly principles, while claiming to be church members and children of God, they seduce many. Christians who are such in deed and in truth will live and work to restore the moral image of God in man. They will labor on Christ’s side to convince men of every class that a consecrated life is a power for good, while sin results only in weakness and eternal ruin. Ms144-1898.7

The men of the world do not want the light of truth, and the class of religionists represented by the foolish virgins suit them. They are one in spirit with those who never let their light shine in words of truth and deeds of holiness. Men who are truly serving God will reveal their progression heavenward. Those who are serving God they will help to serve Him with the whole mind, heart, soul, and strength. Their vessels will be well filled with oil. Ms144-1898.8

The unconverted members of the church remain in character the same as before they claimed to believe the truth. In the place of seeking to save the souls that are ready to perish, they live for self. Their vessels are empty, and therefore they cannot keep their lamps replenished. To these Christ says, I know you not. You have not taken Me as your Counsellor. You have not walked in the light of My Word; you have worked your own way. You have not come under My yoke. Your light has been darkness, for you have walked in the light of the sparks of your own kindling. You have not used the sacred fire which comes from God. Ms144-1898.9

Those who have oil in their vessels with their lamps will let their light so shine before men that they may see their good works and glorify their Father which is in heaven. Unconverted men who profess to be Christians and do not shine in good works, only encourage the sinner to continue in his sin; and Christ says to them, “I know you not, depart from me ye that work iniquity.” [Matthew 25:12; 7:23.] The only safety for any soul is in living in constant communion with God. This is represented by Zechariah in the symbol of the two anointed ones that stand by the Lord of the whole earth. That which is good in our world should be stronger for our words and our presence, and the evil should be made to appear as it is. There is no virtue in calling good evil, and evil good. Every one should feel that there should flow forth from him an influence for life, courage, hopefulness, and true healing. Ms144-1898.10