Facing the day when the Lord appears, every brother and sister, who have true faith in the Lord, will hope that we can be the wise virgins, and that we can welcome the bridegroom and have supper with the Lord. Some of us often read the Bible and pray, watching and preparing; some choose to work tirelessly, sacrificing and expending themselves; others regularly attend meetings, attentively waiting for the arrival of the Lord. … Everyone is spending for the Lord, preparing for and awaiting the Lord’s second coming in our own ways and is firmly convinced that we are the wise virgins and that, in this way, we can certainly welcome the return of the Lord. But is our preparing oil like this after the Lord’s heart? What are the wise virgins after all? How should the wise virgins prepare oil to welcome the Lord?
Recall the age when the Lord Jesus came to work two thousand years ago. The temples then were desolate and turned into a den of thieves, without God’s glory. When the Jewish people fell into darkness and had nowhere to turn, the Lord Jesus—the Messiah, came and did His work of redeeming mankind, bringing the way of repentance to man. As for those who sincerely sought the truth and yearned for the appearance of God, they, with a seeking heart, could pay attention to listening for God’s voice, and thus they saw that the Lord Jesus’ words and work are brimming with authority and power just like the Creator’s creation of the heavens and earth and all things. One word from the Lord Jesus was capable of bringing the dead back to life, rebuking the wind and sea to make them calm, feeding five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish, and so forth. Peter, Nathanael, Matthew and the others at the time, through the Lord Jesus’ words, recognized that the Lord Jesus was the promised Messiah, and so followed Him. When talking with the Lord Jesus, the woman of Samaria heard Him say the secrets held deep with her, and then she realized that only God can disclose our innermost secrets and that a human being can’t reveal such things. So she, from the Lord Jesus’ words, ascertained that He was the promised Messiah, and then followed Him. Such people are wise virgins. But the Jewish people who followed the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees, obstinately maintained their own conceptions and imaginings, thinking that “You are not the coming of God unless You are called the Messiah.” Therefore, no matter how authoritative and powerful the Lord’s utterances are, they didn’t seek or investigate. Consequently they treated the Lord Jesus as an ordinary person, and referred to God’s utterances as man’s words. Ultimately they joined the Jewish leaders in nailing the Lord Jesus to the cross, becoming the foolish virgins who believed in God yet opposed Him, and falling under God’s wrath and punishment. This allows us to see that the wisdom of the wise virgins lies in paying attention to listening for God’s voice and in being able to accept the truth after recognizing God’s voice. Only in this way will they welcome the appearance of God. On the contrary, the foolish virgins don’t listen for God’s voice and don’t seek even after hearing the utterances of the truth; they stubbornly hold on to various notions and imaginings of their own, and reject God’s appearance and work, thereby losing God’s salvation. This reminds me: In regard to welcoming the Lord’s second coming, if the Lord Jesus appears to us and works, what will our attitude be? Will we be able to recognize the Lord’s voice? If we can’t recognize the Lord’s voice and don’t seek the truth, we will miss the opportunity to welcome the bridegroom and have supper with the Lord. Then, won’t we be the foolish virgins?
So, how should we watch and prepare oil to welcome the Lord? The Lord Jesus said, “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Matthew 25:6). “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7). “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). From these prophecies we clearly see that when the Lord Jesus returns, He will speak to the churches and search for His sheep precisely through His words. The wise virgins, hearing someone testifying to the appearance and utterances of God, will seek and listen for God’s voice and open their hearts to welcome the Lord. A book also says, “All who are able to obey the present utterances of the Holy Spirit are blessed. It does not matter how they used to be, or how the Holy Spirit used to work within them—those who have gained the latest work are the most blessed, and those who are unable to follow the latest work today are eliminated. God wants those who are able to accept the new light, and He wants those who accept and know His latest work. Why is it said that you must be a chaste virgin? A chaste virgin is able to seek the work of the Holy Spirit and understand the new things, and moreover, able to put aside old conceptions, and obey the work of God today.” “Since we are searching for the footprints of God, it behooves us to search for God’s will, for the words of God, for His utterances—because wherever there are new words spoken by God, the voice of God is there, and wherever there are the footsteps of God, God’s deeds are there. Wherever there is the expression of God, there God appears, and wherever God appears, there the truth, the way, and the life exist.” From these words, it can be seen that the wise virgins are vigilant and prepare oil when it comes to welcoming the Lord; in other words, they can put aside their notions and imaginings, focus on listening for God’s voice, search for God’s footsteps, seek the new work of the Holy Spirit, accept and obey God’s work and word of the new age and follow the footsteps of the Lamb. Therefore, those who will seek and examine once hearing God’s voice are the wise virgins. They will be brought before God’s throne, enjoy the provision of the ever-flowing living water of life, and attend the marriage supper of the Lamb; whereas those foolish virgins, no matter how desolate and dark their churches become, firmly remain in them and stubbornly hold on to their own notions and imagining rather than seek God’s words and work, so they will forever lose God’s salvation of the last days.