Comment: We use Psa 119:62 to show that the resurrection of the Ancient Worthies will occur at a crisis or turning point:
“At midnight I will rise (from the sleep of death) to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.” Therefore, “midnight” can also signify a crisis or turning point in the parable and does not have to pinpoint 1874 as the start of a new day. “Midnight” will be a crucial turning point for the feet members.
Comment: Advancing the parable makes more sense in regard to Verse 7. Otherwise, that one verse covers such a long period of time (from 1874 to a date yet still future). The advancement makes the parable move more quickly right up to the climactic action.
Reply: Yes, from the announcement “Behold, the bridegroom cometh” to the completion of the parable is a shorter period of time if the parable is advanced.
Comment: And advancing the parable gives more emphasis to the more recent explanation of “go ... to them that sell.” It puts everything later in the Harvest period and thus makes the parable very dramatic at the end of the age.
Reply: “Buy the truth, and sell it not” (Prov. 23:23). Many will sell the truth in that crisis period. They will not have made their consecration valid enough to endure the fire, the trial of that experience. The Great Company will retain their integrity but under pressure, whereas the “Little Flock” will do so voluntarily.
Comment: Advancing the parable gives more thrust to Verse 13, “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” Verse 13 is almost identical to Matt 24:42, 44, which refers to the rapture (or translation).
Reply: Yes. Consider the date October 1874. That date came and went, and nobody knew of Jesus’ secret presence beginning at that time until a few years later.
Therefore, if Jesus is saying, “Watch lest that day come upon you suddenly,” he must be referring to a later “coming.” Not until 1876 did anyone realize the presence had begun, and not until 1878 did the Pastor even begin to write, so how could there be a watching for the “coming” of the October 1874 parousia? The parousia was understood AFTER Jesus came, not before.
Note: In regards to Verse 13 the last eight words in this verse, “in which the Son of Man is coming” are not found the oldest Greek MSS, the statement to watch is in regards to the fulfillment of the parable, not in regards to the Lord’s parousia (presence). Verse 13 is telling us to watch regarding the wedding—that, that day and hour we know not.
Comment: It has been a puzzle how the “bridegroom” could come before the Harvest message had even been given. Advancing the parable gives time for the Harvest message to go forth before Jesus’ appearance as the Bridegroom. Jesus came in October 1874 to give a message. Later he “comes” as the Bridegroom.
Reply: Yes, the “virgins” would thus have more understanding before the parable takes shape. There would be more indoctrination, for which the virgins are responsible.
Question: Please explain what “selling the truth” means.
Answer: As one illustration, advice is given to the Laodicean Church: “Buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou may be rich” (Rev. 3:18). Among other things, “buying the truth” is giving our heart to the Lord and surrendering the right to life on the human plane in the next age. In that surrender we get the “gold,” the hope of immortality. We are to feed on the precious promises whereby we become partakers of the divine nature. “Selling the truth” would be changing our mind, forgetting our consecration, and going back into the world. Therefore, Prov 23:23 instructs us to “buy the truth, and sell it not.”
The feet members will have an experience based on what happened in Jesus’ day. When Judas betrayed the Master, he sold the truth. For a miserable 30 pieces of silver, Judas betrayed Jesus, thinking Jesus would escape and he could retain the money. But the betrayal did not turn out that way. When Judas saw that a just man was being condemned to die, he went out and hung himself. This indicates that, based on other Scriptures, a class will turn against the truth at the end of the age. Originally, this class is of the truth, but they will turn against it either to avoid persecution or to gain new friendships or whatever. This opposition to the truth by those who had previously consecrated will be witnessed by the Great Company, betrayal occurs (not just by going back into the world but by becoming an enemy of the truth), it is a different matter.
When the foolish virgins go back to the marketplace and see others betraying the feet members, they will be shocked into making a decision. Questions will confront them:
What are you going to do? Are you going to follow their example and likewise betray the consecrated, or are you going to revitalize your consecration and get reinvigorated?
Some will fall by the wayside, and others will become just as zealous as the Little Flock ever was. They will try to get in the door to the marriage—but too late. Because they fail to heed the admonition not to get overcharged with the cares of this life and not to let their hearts get overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, the Great Company will pay the price.
Later they will come back and rejoice. First, however, they will try to get in the door but find it is too late, for they cannot change events. After their disappointment, comfort will come from messages such as the one about the marriage supper in Rev 19:9 and Habakkuk 3:17–19.
“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.” This text shows a re-invigoration and re-dedication by the Great Company. They will get life on the spirit plane, but first, they will have to be pressurized into making their decision. They will have to go to “them that sell” in the marketplace (the world, during the great time of trouble, there to bear witness to those who would deny the Lord and his truth) in order that they might get the oil they lack (that they might be reinvigorated).
When we read the Bible, sometimes we are told what to do, and sometimes we are told what not to do. Both types of instruction are needed. And so the Bible gives the wrong course as well as the proper course for rounded-out instruction and development.
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