In Matthew 25 we read of the five foolish virgins and the ten wise virgins. Here is what I think they signify:
The five foolish virgins represent Christians who seek anointing to prosper. They gather anointing that enables them to have victory in provision, in their relationships with family, friends, co–workers, etc., victory in ministry, victory in their health, all good stuff that God wants us to have. Yehoshua won this for us on the cross and He doesn't want any of His suffering on our behalf to go to waste.
But there is one type of anointing that is missing because the foolish virgins have not asked for it. It is the anointing to suffer. This is the extra oil that is necessary to endure what occurs in the darkest hour of our lives.
The wise virgins represent Christians who know that suffering will come. It will come to everyone on the Earth, whether they are Christians or not. The ungodly will suffer God's judgments. The righteous will suffer persecution as the ungodly rage against the Almighty. The difference is that the ungodly will suffer pointlessly, and then they will go to Hell and suffer endlessly, but the righteous will suffer with purpose and receive rewards in Heaven.
So, since suffering is coming, doesn't it make sense to have an anointing to suffer that will enable us to remain faithful to the Lord Yehoshua unto death? The Bible says that we overcome all evil through the Blood of the Lamb, and the word of our testimony, and through not loving our lives unto the death. Don't forget that last part.
Yehoshua came to set us free from the fear of death that has held people in bondage all their lives. Some Christians fear death because they are clinging to the pleasures of this life. Okay, so they know that in Heaven, there are pleasures for evermore, but there is one pleasure missing. There is no sex. Husbands and wives live like brothers and sisters up there. Trust God that what He has for us in Heaven is better than sex. Even if you are on the verge of getting married and God calls you to martyrdom, just trust Him that what He has in store for you there is way better than what you were looking forward to here.
Okay, so that concern is out of the way. What else? Oh, you think you will miss out on other good stuff that happens here? Your daughter is getting married and you want to be here for the wedding? You'll get to see the wedding, every aspect of it. You will get to hear everybody's conversations and even know what they are really thinking and feeling. You will be at the wedding in spirit. You will see all your grandchildren born and grow up and your greatchildren, and so on. You won't miss out on anything. You will be part of that great cloud of Heavenly witnesses.
You are worried about how your loved ones will cope with your death? And about who will raise your children or help your grandchildren? Trust God that if your time has come, then He will take care of your loved ones without needing your help. If you stick around any longer after you're supposed to be out of the picture, you will just mess things up.
There is so much grief on this Earth that it is a relief for a Christian to be out of the mess and view it only from Heaven, where they can watch with perfect peace in their heart because there is nothing in Heaven to hinder one's faith that God is in control or doubt His wisdom in permitting suffering.
Death is the least part of suffering. I mean, once you're dead, you're home free! It's how a person dies that gives me concern. Pain, ew! A quick bullet in the head is a mercy. What if you get tortured? What if you are put into prison for years and years and suffer freezing cold, hunger, lack of sleep, interrogations, etc? Seriously, death is not the big deal here, if Yehoshua truly is your Saviour. You get to go to Heaven when you die. The gruelling part of the race is not denying Yehoshua when satan is trying to tear your soul to pieces.
A lot of Christians don't want to think about suffering. They just want the good stuff. Maybe they really aren't even saved. Maybe they just attached themselves to the Lord so that they could get benefits from Him, but in time of persecution, they will turn their backs and run. They will run straight into satan's clutches and succumb to evil. Any relief they get will be very brief, and then they will go to a place where suffering is beyond anything they could have imagined, and it will never end.
The world is being herded towards a global government and complete slavery. Some will abandon their faith and take the mark of the Beast. What good will it do them? Sure, they will be entitled to buy food in the marketplace, but what will they do when the food runs out? God is not limited to marketplaces in order to provide for His people. He made manna fall from the sky to feed Israel in the wilderness. He made flour and oil multiply to feed Elijah and a widow and her son. Yehoshua blessed bread and fish and fed multitudes. He sent an angel to make some cakes for Elijah and it gave him strength for forty days. He sent ravens to Elijah with food.
But even if God doesn't provide food, it is better to starve to death and not deny Him, rather than do something evil to get food, and then go to Hell where you will feel ferociously hungry forever. That is what the widow of Zaraphath must have thought. Lots of women have sold their bodies to get money to feed themselves and their children. There was probably plenty of opportunity to do that in the wicked society in which that widow lived, but somehow this woman had come to place her faith in the God of Israel, whom she knew did not approve of fornication. She was preparing a last meal for herself and her son, and then she expected they would die, until Elijah came along.
People won't be able to buy medicine if they don't take the mark of the Beast. In some places, Christians can't obtain medicine even now. Faith has to be cranked up to a higher level to meet that need, but it is better to die of sickness and go to Heaven, than to be sick and in pain in Hell forever. The Bible tells us that everyone who takes the mark of the Beast will get boils. I doubt that they will find anything that can cure it or relieve their pain.
Not only that, once a person takes the mark of the Beast, they will have lost all opportunity of salvation forever. They will become dry, hollow husks of humanity. Perhaps a person will be able to emulate emotion when they have taken the mark, in order to lure others into receiving it as well, but I suspect that they will actually feel inside like zombies, which is a living death. Their soul will already be in Hell, even if their body is still walking about on the Earth. It's just not worth it to cave in to fear and turn one's back on God.
If our time on Earth ends before the prophecies of Revelation come to pass, it doesn't mean that we won't meet other extreme challenges to our faith. There are a lot of people who have died in concentration camps before now, many who are suffering in camps and prisons right now, and many more who will be sent to such places day after day. Even in countries where it is not against the law to spread the Gospel, there are pockets of persecution. In every country, servants of the devil kidnap Christians and torture and murder them as sacrifices to gain more satanic power. It's just crazy to not seek the Lord for that extra oil that enables us to forgive our persecutors and be faithful to Yehoshua until death.
But, but, but the Bible says that the Bridegroom came. Doesn't that mean that a joyful celebration was about to occur? Why are you talking about all this nasty stuff?
Read Revelation 6:9 – 11, "And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, do you not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled." The Bridegroom will not come until the cup of the martyrs is full.
How do we get the extra oil? First of all, come to God with an empty flask. Humble yourself and admit to Him that you are not strong–willed and courageous enough to stand firm for Him to the end. In my case, I have to admit that I am a very weak person. Never mind an interrogation. I would probably fall away in a dead faint on the sidewalk if a police car stopped and officers said, "We hear that you have been praying to Jehovah and have been telling people that Yehoshua can save their souls. You know that is forbidden. Come with us." I am not a brave person and outside of the Anointed Lord Yehoshua, I am not a good person. I need Yehoshua like I need air. He is all that keeps me going. The sooner a person recognizes the utter depravity of their flesh and their inability to do anything good, unless they have God's help, the sooner His oil can start to pour into their soul.
Get all of the anointing to suffer that you can get. If a preacher says, "Hey, there's an anointing here to scrub toilets! Who wants it? Come and get it!" Don't sit there and think to yourself, "I don't want to scrub toilets. I think I will leave that one for someone else."
No, sir. Get out of your seat and run to the altar. You might need that anointing more than you suppose. First of all, what if the only job you can get is that of a janitor, because employers have begun to discriminate against Christians? Wouldn't it be a good thing to enjoy your job, rather than resent it?
Beyond that, what if you end up in a prison camp where you are set to work shovelling out latrine pits? Do you want to be throwing up your guts? I read the testimony of a man who was imprisoned for his faith and given that task. He had a great time because it was the only place where he was ever left alone and could sing praises to the Lord without anyone discovering it. He gained strength from singing praises to God and had wonderful times of fellowship with the Lord.
If God offers an anointing for doing nasty stuff, you will have an opportunity to use it if you take it. But if you don't take that anointing, you still might be confronted with those very same challenges, but you won't have joy and peace to help you get through them, and you might not get through them.
Additionally, extra oil is gathered through being consistently OBEDIENT to Yehoshua. He said that obeying Him is like building one's house upon the rock, so that when the storm comes, the house will stand. Certainly, Yehoshua has imputed His righteousness to us. Through the washing away of our sins by His Blood, He has reduced our debts to zero and credited His righteousness to our account. We can receive His blessings of health and prosperity without being absolutely perfect in our behaviour, BUT when the storm comes, will we be faithful unto death, to hold fast the confession of our faith, if we have not developed a habit of obedience to him prior to that time of testing?
Don't go into denial and refuse to think about these things. You can't gather the extra oil if you refuse to even think about the possibility that God might call you to martyrdom, or your loved ones to martyrdom. Foolish, silly, in–name–only Christians turn away from unpleasant realities, instead of pressing deeper into God to help them to deal with the possibility of extreme persecution.
Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Copyright © 2010, Lanny Townsend
Page modified by Lanny Townsend on March 15, 2014
Scripture references on this website are closely paraphrased from e–Sword's King James Bible.