Ten Virgins, Ten Talents.

The greatest trouble with modern bible translations is their effort to provide clarity by simplicity of language. Every word and turn of phrase is divinely inspired. Details are lost with the smallest changes. Since most (maybe all) bible translations nowadays are reproduced under copywrite, they must all be different. - Why, if it is made so clear can none of them agree? They should agree, but if they did, they would have to be deliberately altered. The KJV is not a copywrited work, a good thing to know.

First here's the parable of the ten virgins;

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- Matt ch25:v1-13
Mat 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
Mat 25:2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
Mat 25:3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
Mat 25:4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
Mat 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
Mat 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
Mat 25:7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
Mat 25:8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
Mat 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
Mat 25:10 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.
Mat 25:11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
Mat 25:12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
Mat 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. (KJV)

Jesus had just answered three questions from his disciples with three separate answers. These were regarding the destruction of the temple, the sign of his coming, and third, of the end of the world. The time frame for the parable of the ten virgins is in the day of the Lord. The parable follows immediately after Jesus' answer to the third question.

Again, I have been taught many many times over that the oil in the lamps of the ten virgins represents the Holy Spirit. I have heard this in church, on television, on the internet a million times, on the radio, in print, more or less everywhere. Yet I find fault with it. Jesus said that whomever he would give to drink of living water would never thirst again, and that the water they drank would well up into a fountain of everlasting life. Kind of strange for a commodity you can run out of whilst waiting patiently for the arrival of the bridegroom to his wedding. So, what tried and tested thing could Jesus' be referring to? Again I return to the central emphasis of Matthew, the word of God, or in this case it is an alternative to simply call it "sound doctrine".

The lamps were used by the virgins in the wedding procession. That is, the virgins would go in with the bridegroom to light his path so that others could see him coming and that his paths would be clearly laid out before him. This is a direct parallel to the word of God leading the believers (guests) in the path of Jesus Christ (bridegroom) to guide them safely and surely in through the judgement (gate) to eternal life in Christ (the wedding). The foolish virgins had relied on the wise to supply them with the knowledge of doctrine (God's word) so that they could finish their task of leading the guests after the bridegroom into his wedding. The wise knew exactly what was required of them, but the foolish did not.

Bear in mind that the lights beside the gate show the "correct destination" for the wedding party when it arrives with all its retinue. The lights that last long enough are the true doctrines of Christ that lead and guide the party towards the wedding supper. As representing doctrine, the lamps of the wise virgins represent correct doctrine, and the lamps that run out are those that get deprecated or lead elsewhere.

Referring to the oil as the Holy spirit is simpler since it is required for the correct study of scripture. (As the wise virgins have enough doctrine to last them, so that they do not fail in any explanation or "run out".) The foolish rely on those that can learn for themselves and they are a burden. No one ever said any one could just "coast in" to the kingdom of God. At this point I expect some of you may be thinking, "What about those who can't read, and can't hear, or who are disabled and unable?" - Well, so what? - Learn what is meant by "I desire mercy, not sacrifice". Some burdens are joyous to be borne. - Christ himself said "Come to me all ye that are heavy laden, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." On the other hand, some burdens are a continual pain in the neck.

There is a point when the wise keep enough doctrine for themselves that they may not share with those without. - This takes from them, and the foolish are no wiser for having taken from the wise. They need their own from the Holy Spirit. There is obviously some point where the lamps of the foolish will not adequately light the way of the bridegroom through which the marriage procession and all the guests, will be led to the marriage.

If a fool teaches more fools, is it the blind leading the blind? Without having confirmed an understanding of the true Gospel of Christ with the Holy Spirit in study, or by not having received by revelation upon hearing, truly, Jesus Christ "never knew you."

The parable of the ten virgins finds its place in scripture as it likens itself to the condition of the kingdom of God in the last days. The five wise virgins are those that exit the first five churches of revelation's letters to the angel, that find their place into philadelphia,.. and the five foolish ones are those that stay in the five "refining" churches that form the conglomerate of laodicea. The oil or doctrine that runs out is that which will find no fulfilment, (like for instance a false expectation of "the rapture") that when it fails to ocur will show those bearing that heresy to be left without any true doctrine to light their path into the wedding supper. In then being sent to those that buy and sell,.. they are shown as only capable of following others,.. not to be a bearer of a lamp to guide the true guests into the right and straight gate.

Moving on to the parable of the ten talents...

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- Matt ch25:v14-30
Mat 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
Mat 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Mat 25:16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
Mat 25:17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
Mat 25:18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
Mat 25:19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
Mat 25:20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
Mat 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Mat 25:22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
Mat 25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Mat 25:24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
Mat 25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
Mat 25:26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
Mat 25:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
Mat 25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
Mat 25:29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
Mat 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (KJV)

What is clear from the ten virgins were all had some measure of ability to watch for the bridegroom and light his path for the guests to follow. With the parable of the ten talents, the giving of the talents is no measure of the gift of God (eternal life), but rather the ability of the believer to multiply that which he is trusted with. Jesus gives this parable to expound upon the previous one. Once someone begins to rightly divide scripture, to apply his knowledge of doctrine and sound judgement along with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, a patient and steadfast approach starting with little does indeed open up much much more.

Elsewhere Jesus refers to much being expected from whom much is given, but that is not the emphasis here. To multiply good teaching; sound doctrine and scriptural wisdom is the calling of all who study the word of God - as we are to be a kingdom of priests. The wicked and slothful servant that is not fruitful in this regard, can not be fruitful otherwise! A fear of God, without knowing (what) God, is just as bad as knowing God, but not fearing Him. Whether the wicked servant neither knew Him or feared Him whom he claimed to serve (and falsely), any little mite of his own (in honour) he may have gleaned for himself had been taken away.

So, what may seem strange in this laise-faire country is that although in the UK we have a monarchy, we serve ourselves as does the church. When the King gives you His gold, you can exercise authority with it. The correct way to serve the King is not to earn money and then find none to return as the servant with one talent; but to go out to those that hoard gold wherever they might be and say "Return the King's gold to the King, or we will chop your head off and drive you out of His Kingdom". It helps to carry a big knife sometimes. The King's own gold is always the finest in the Kingdom, and is easily recognised - All the gold in the kingdom bears His image and is "His".

The most fruitful servants are those that bear the most authority, as we are not only a kingdom of servants but a kingdom of priests as well. Whilst the church slaves away in their unfruitful passage through time, apostles are elsewhere!

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