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The Bridegroom is Coming!
    "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. "Now five of them were wise and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them," but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps." "But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. "And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!' "Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. "And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' "But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those that sell, and buy for yourselves.' "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut."
Matthew 25:1-10
 
    The parable of the ten virgins is a prophetic story of the return of Christ coming for His bride. In ancient times the betrothal or engagement was a binding commitment that could last up to two years according to Jewish custom. The bride, once engaged would have to wait for her beloved to return, not knowing the exact time of his arrival. This caused her to be in a state of readiness anticipating her bridegroom's return. When the bridegroom would arrive there would be a shout or a trumpet blast to announce his return for his beloved bride.
 
    So it is today, the Bride of Christ is awaiting her Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus, to return and carry her into their eternal home. The parable of the virgins speaks of a people awaiting the coming of the Lord and their preparations for His return. The main difference between the wise and the foolish virgins was that the wise took extra vessels of oil and the foolish did not. While the bridegroom tarried they all fell asleep.
 
    Today we live in a time of great economic uncertainty and personal stress. Many people live in constant fear and dread and their life is in a continual state of upheaval, not knowing what the future may bring. It is no different for the Christian also being in this time of tribulation. As the end of time approaches many have begun to fall asleep, even those that once burned brightly for the Lord. Weariness, burnout and boredom can be blamed for this time of apathy and corporate slumber.
 
    There is much revelation in the parable of the virgins but the main point of the message is: are you ready!  The story speaks of trimming ones lamp and carrying extra oil to be able to meet he Bridegroom when He comes. The lamp represents the spirit of a man and the oil signifies the Holy Spirit lighting the lamp with His fire of spiritual revelation and power. The question is: if we are anointed with the oil of the Holy Spirit, how do we have the ability to carry extra oil?
 
    The making of olive oil is a process that requires the olives to be ground into a paste and then the oil is pressed out under great pressure. "Extra Virgin" is a term for oil that has been cold pressed without the use of any external agents or chemicals, in other words it is the purest of oil. Those that carry extra oil seem to have been the ones that have been crushed by fiery trials and affliction and know that their only source is God.
 
    We are entering what I believe is a time of waiting upon the Lord to return and it seems that all hell is breaking out in the earth. There are many distractions and trials to deal with and there is a tendency to be drawn away and even fall asleep spiritually. Many are so concerned for their welfare and whats going on in the stock market that they have taken their eyes off the Lord only to trust in their own devices.
 
    The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart. Proverbs 20:27
 
    We are the very lamp of God, chosen to light this darkened world and burn brightly for Him. The light not only illuminates the darkness outside but also exposes the darkness within us. Receiving God's oil requires spending time in prayer, communion with Him, and meditating on His word that will ultimately begin to fill us with His presence. The more time we spend with Him, the more oil we will receive, and the more of us will die to the things of the world.
 
    I have always marveled at this parable because all the virgins fell asleep, all of them heard the cry of His return, they all trimmed their lamps and the only difference was the foolish had no extra oil for their lamps. The wise virgins instructed them to go to those that sell and buy more oil. Today everyone is running to and fro trying to obtain an impartation or filling from a man and not from the source from which the oil of Holy Spirit flows. There are literally hundreds of meetings, revivals and conferences going on around the world for you to receive from a man the things that only God can give by spending intimate time with Him.
 
    The wise virgins didn't leave their post, they only drew closer to their Beloved and by faith received enough oil to maintain their vigilant stand while waiting for their Lord's return. The foolish virgins were out trying to purchase oil and the Bridegroom returned and closed the door so that they could not enter, so it will be at the end of this age, many will be shut out of His presence because they trusted in man's ability to give them something that only intimacy with God can give.
 
    "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went in with Him to the wedding; and the door was shut. "Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' "But He answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.' Matthew 25:10-12
 
    Paul stated in Philippians Chapter Three that to know Jesus intimately was the most important thing in his life, and everything else was counted as garbage in comparison. To know Jesus intimately as one would know their spouse is the most important thing one can do, not just knowing about Him, but truly knowing Him and being known by Him. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-27, "Many will say to Me in that day, Lord we have done all these wonderful things in Your name, and then I will declare to them, "I never knew you!"
 
    Imagine standing before the Lord at the end of time telling him all the great things you did, how many church services you attended, and all the checks you wrote for ministries around the world and then He says, depart from Me, I never knew you! There is a difference in knowing about someone and really knowing them. Everyone in America knows who the President is, but few really know him and are known by him, its the same with Jesus. You can tell who knows Him and who doesn't, usually by the way they speak of Him.
 
    "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me, and I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand." John 10:27,28
 
    I receive hundreds of emails from good people from all over this nation and around the world. Most of the messages are simple stories and prayers that you forward to ten people and you get a blessing, but the main thing I see is that most people don't trust or seem to know God. Fear seems to dominate the requests and as we approach the presidential election everyone is scared to death that their candidate won't win. I don't care, because my citizenship is in heaven and I serve a King who provides my needs and takes good care of me.
 
    We are living in a time when it is possible that when you wake up in the morning there will be a "One World Government", a "One World Money" and a "One World Religion" and unless you receive their mark you can't buy or sell. If that happens, then what will you do? Who do you trust, where do you turn, do you receive the mark, or trust God and take Him at His word? This is a real decision that I believe we will shortly have to make. The question is: who will you give your allegiance to, will you follow Jesus or the beast, will you die for you country or for the Lord Jesus Christ?
 
    Now is the time to examine our hearts and take a hard look at our lives and who we truly know and love. Are you washed in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, or are you just a church member going through the motions of religion, do you really know Jesus, or is He a distant apparition that every one seems to know but in actuality He is only a figure of speech? Your eternal destination is at stake and repenting of your sins and making Jesus the Lord of your life is the only way! Will He say, 'depart from Me, or well done good and faithful servant?' The choice is yours.
 
    "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming." Matthew 25:13
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