In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit is pictured as oil. The oil made the lampstand burn in the tabernacle. The priests needed to make sure that the oil was always there.
You know that in the parable that Jesus spoke about his second coming, it was the lack of oil in the lamp that prevented some virgins from being ready. They were virgins. They were all virgins. It’s not five virgins and five harlots. All ten had a lamp that was burning. We know that all ten had lamps that were burning because when the bridegroom came at midnight what the foolish virgins said was: Our lamps are dying out. It’s not that they were never burning. External light speaks of what Jesus said: Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works (your external works) and glorify your Father in heaven. Lamp speaks about our external testimony. Here are virgins that had a good external testimony like most people in the church. But among virgins with a good external testimony, five were not ready for the coming of Christ because they lacked something.
Five of them, in their garments, maybe in a pocket in their garments, they had a hidden flask of oil. That was the only difference. They had a hidden life which the other five didn’t have. That is what ensured that their lamps would still be burning when the bridegroom came. So what the Lord was emphasizing there was their hidden life before God.
External testimony does not necessarily make us ready for the coming of the Lord.
He answered and said to those five virgins in Matthew 25:12: “I do not know you” . What does that mean? It means “I do not have that intimate, personal relationship with you”.
Knowing is used in the Old Testament for the most intimate relationship in marriage. Adam knew his wife. It speaks of that close, intimate relationship between a husband and wife. Spiritually, it speaks of a close, intimate relationship with Jesus.
In secret and private, Adam knew his wife. Others knew their wives. It is always in private and secret. It is that secret of Jesus knowing me spiritually, very intimately. Jesus could say like: You did a lot of things for me but I didn’t know you intimately. You didn’t have an intimate walk with me in secret. So Jesus said: Be on the alert.
This light is also described in Revelation 1. He said: The lampstand is the church.
The ultimate goal of the Lord and of the Holy Spirit is to bring together a whole lot of people who are gripped by the challenge of this inner life and who want to have a vessel or flask full of oil and to bring them together and make them one in a church and not just as individuals who have an inner life. There were five wise virgins and they were meant to be one. This is a picture of a church. There were a number of people who had this inner life who were together ready for the coming of the Lord and that is God’s ultimate goal.
The ultimate goal of God in this day and age is to build a church. Not a bunch of holy individuals, even if they have an inner life, who float around but holy individuals who come together, five of them or ten of them, wise virgins with flasks of oil in their hidden life, who come together and are a corporate testimony for the Lord. The main thing that the Church needs is that flow of oil that keeps it burning all the time.
**Transcript adaption of the message: The Church – The Pillar of Truth – Atlanta 2013 by Zac Poonen © Copyright – Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author. https://www.cfcindia.com/ / Photo by Burak Kebapci