“An outward profession may light a man in this world, but the damps of the valley of the shadow of death will put out such a light. Watch, therefore, attend to the business of your souls. Be in fear of the Lord all the day long.” Matthew Henry (1663 -1774)
PRE-AMBLE by Robert
As I am researching and writing this article the season for the Jews of Passover is being observed as well the season of the Resurrection of Yeshua by the different sects of Christianity is being celebrated. I was guided by the Holy Spirit to Matthew 25. Where it becomes clear why choosing Right or Left (Ecclesiastes 10:2) is so relevant to our journey as “Modern Day Disciples.” We are about to discover the significance of our choice and the role it plays in essentially obtaining and retaining oil for our lamps which Yeshua spoke of in His last sermon where he offers the Parable of the Ten Virgins. We as “Modern Day Disciples” will recognize the importance of requiring and seeking a healthy and intensely personal relationship with our Lord Yeshua. And when requested to share our oil why we should not. We are going to find out who is providing this oil and its purpose within our spiritual journey, along with what cost if there might be hypocrisy or slothfulness in our journey. All of this information must become a part of the light shining through us and the spoken part of our ministry.
OPENING PRAYER by Robert
Heavenly Father, hear our cries before your throne, recognize our petitions being placed at the foot of your throne. We ask Lord for your strength to acknowledge the depth of our walk, the brightness of our light. We pray, Father you would give us the fervour to remain vigil while waiting for your return, strength to continue our pursuit of your wisdom your love and compassion that we might draw closer to you Yeshua capturing more of your light that we might fill our vessels with your oil. Give us a strength that we may not waver as we wait for your return. Remove any sliver of doubt or fear which may appear in our walk or testimony. Fill us with overwhelming courage and the joys of heaven that we might share your love and compassion as oil to light the lamps of those preparing to be bridesmaids. We pray this in your name Yeshua. Amen and Amen.
OPENING STATEMENT by Robert Yeshua keeps no servants to be idle: they have received their all from him, and have nothing they can call their own but sin. Our receiving from Yeshua is to our working for him. The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. The day of account comes at last. We must all be reckoned with as to what good we have got to our own souls, and have done to others, by the advantages we have enjoyed. It is not meant that the improving of natural powers can entitle a man to Divine grace. It is the real Follower’s liberty and privilege to be employed as his Redeemer’s servant, in promoting his glory, and the good of his people: the love of Yeshua constrains him to live no longer to himself, but to Him, that died for him, and rose again. Those who think it impossible to please God, and in vain to serve him, will do nothing to purpose in religion. They complain that He requires of them more than they are capable of, and punishes them for what they cannot help.
Matthew Henry (1662 – 1774) brings to light in his commentary a reason: The circumstances of the parable of the ten virgins were taken from the marriage customs among the Jews, and explain the great day of Yeshua’s coming. See the nature of Christianity. As Followers, we profess to attend upon Yeshua, to honour him, also to be waiting for his arrival. Sincere Followers are the wise virgins, and hypocrites the foolish ones. Those are the truly wise or foolish that are so in the affairs of their souls. Many have a lamp of profession in their hands, but have not in their hearts, sound knowledge and settled resolution, which are needed to carry them through the services and trials of the present state. Their hearts are not stored with holy dispositions, by the new-creating Spirit of God. Our light must shine before men in good works; but this is not likely to be done unless there is a fixed, active principle in the heart, of faith in Yeshua, and love to God and our brethren.
As “Modern Day Disciples” our chief concern is to share we all need lanterns in our hands, when we attend the bridegroom, to do him honour and do him service. Followers of Yeshua are children of light. We receive the light from the gospel and those (us) who have received it must not only be enlightened by it but must shine as lights. And hold it forth (Philippians 2:15,16). Matthew Henry (1662 – 1774) explains the adopted custom of the ten bride-maids Yeshua used in the parable. “It was a custom sometimes used among the Jews on that occasion, that the bridegroom came, attended with his friends, late at night, to the house of the bride. Where she expected him; accompanied with her bride-maids who, upon notice given of the bridegroom’s approach. Were, to go out with lamps in their hands to light him into the house with ceremony and formality, to the celebrating of the nuptials with great mirth. And some think that on these occasions they had usually ten virgins for the Jews never held a synagogue, circumcised, kept the Passover, or contracted marriage, but ten persons at least were present. Boaz when he married Ruth, had ten witnesses, (Ruth 4:2).
They all slumbered and slept. The delay represents the space between the real or apparent conversion of these professors, and the coming of Yeshua, to take them away by death, or to judge the world. But though Yeshua tarries past our time, he will not wait past the due time. The wise virgins kept their lamps burning, but they did not keep themselves awake.
Too many real Followers grow negligent, and one degree of carelessness makes way for another. Those that allow themselves to become lax will scarcely keep from being slack; therefore dread the beginning of spiritual decrease. A startling summons was given. Go ye forth to meet Him, is a call to those prepared. The notice of Yeshua’s approach and the request to meet him will awaken those who give the appearance of slumbering.
Even those best prepared for death have work to do to get actually ready, 2 Peter 3:14. It will be a day of search and enquiry, and it concerns us to think how we shall then be found. Some wanted the oil to supply their lamps when going out. Those that come up short of true grace will undoubtedly see the want of it one time or another. Matthew Henry (1662 – 1774) quotes it best “An outward profession may light a man in this world, but the damps of the valley of the shadow of death will put out such a light. Watch, therefore, attend to the business of your souls. Be in fear of the Lord all the day long.“
At this point, I was shown the parable in Luke 13:6, “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.” This parable of the barren fig-tree is intended to enforce the warning: (“Be in fear of the Lord all the day long.“ ) the barren tree, except it, brings forth fruit, will be cut down. As no place or employment can secure from the stroke of death, we should consider the sudden removals of others as warnings to ourselves. On these accounts, Yeshua founded a call to repentance. The same Yeshua that bids us repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, calls us to repent, or otherwise, we shall perish. This parable in the first place refers to the nation and people of the Jews. Yet it is, without doubt, for awakening all that enjoy the means of grace, and the privileges of the visible church. When God has borne long, we may hope that he will bear with us yet a little longer, but we cannot expect that he will. We see from research the connection between the two different yet similar parables. The first showing we must be ready, diligently waiting for Yeshua’s return even up to our time of passing into Eternity. And even then realizing, we will need our lanterns and the oil to light them as we prepare to pass through the valley of the shadow of death. Now we see the importance of obtaining the oil and more so recognizing how to share this knowledge, without depleting our supply.
That meaning being diligent and not becoming complacent falling into a slumber where we have our lanterns lit however not replenishing our supply. We receive the light from the gospel and those who have received the light must not only be enlightened by it but must shine as lights. And hold it forth (Philippians 2:15,16). The second parable in Luke 13: Yeshua explains v25.) “When once the master of the house is risen up and hath shut the door. And ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us, and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: v26.) then shall ye begin to say, we have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. v27.) But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
To fully understand our Saviours earlier statement we need to recognize there were scholars in the midst of the crowd who were asking questions of Yeshua to trip him . One of the questions they asked had to do with who was going to be saved. Yeshua knew no answer would satisfy and not create a stir. The following is Matthew Henry’s commentary on Yeshua’s response: “Our Saviour came to guide men’s consciences, not to gratify their curiosity. Ask not, How many shall be saved? But, Shall I be one of them? Not, What shall become of such and such? But, What shall I do, and what will become of me? Strive to enter in at the strait gate. This is directed to each of us; it is, Strives ye. All that will be saved must enter in at the strait gate, must undergo a change of the whole man. Those that would enter must strive to enter. Here are awakening considerations, to enforce this exhortation. Oh, that we may be all awakened by them! They answer the question, Are there few that shall be saved? But let none despond either as to themselves or others, for there are last who shall be first, and first who shall be last. If we reach heaven, we shall meet many there whom we little thought to meet, and miss many whom we expected to find.” Holding our lanterns and filling them with oil going out to meet the Bridegroom to honour and serve Him now takes on a special meaning when we add the second parable. It isn’t enough to receive the blessings from heaven which is the oil for our lamps and to share that message so others would understand and prepare to do the same. As “Modern Day Disciples,” we must always be diligent never becoming complacent about deepening our personal relationship with Yeshua lest we slumber or fall asleep and fall short of the mark.
In the following commentary, I believe Matthew Henry (1662 – 1774) from the book of Matthew 13:36-43) is describing our modern-day churches. “This parable represents the present and future state of the gospel church; Christ’s care of it, the devil’s enmity against it, the mixture there is in it of good and bad in this world and the separation between them in the other world. So prone is fallen man to sin, that if the enemy sows the tares, he may go his way, they will spring up, and do hurt; whereas, when good seed is sown, it must be tended, watered, and fenced. The servants complained to their master; Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in thy field? No doubt he did; whatever is amiss in the church, we are sure it is not from Christ. Though gross transgressors, and such as openly oppose the gospel, ought to be separated from the society of the faithful, yet no human skill can make an exact separation. Those who oppose must not be cut off but instructed, and that with meekness. And though good and bad are together in this world, yet at the great day they shall be parted; then the righteous and the wicked shall be plainly known; here sometimes it is hard to distinguish between them. Let us, knowing the terrors of the Lord, not do iniquity. At death, believers shall shine forth to themselves; at the great day, they shall shine forth before all the world. They shall shine by reflection, with light borrowed from the Fountain of light. Their sanctification will be made perfect, and their justification published. May we be found of that happy number.”
Those are not Yeshua’s followers who cannot enjoy being alone with God and their own hearts. It is good, upon special occasions, and when we find our hearts enlarged, to continue long in secret prayer, and in pouring out our hearts before the Lord. It is no new thing for Yeshua’s disciples to meet with storms in the way of duty, but he thereby shows himself with more grace to them and for them.
He can take what way he pleases to save his people. But even appearances of deliverance sometimes occasion trouble and perplexity to God’s people, from mistakes about Yeshua. Nothing ought to affright those that have Yeshua near them, and know he is theirs; not death itself. Peter walked upon the water, not for diversion or to boast of it, but to go to Yeshua; and in that he was thus wonderfully borne up. Special supports are promised and are to be expected, but only in spiritual pursuits; nor can we ever come to Yeshua, unless we are upheld by his power. Yeshua called Peter to come, not only that he might walk upon the water, and so know his Lord’s power, but that he might know his own weakness. And the Lord often lets his servants have their choice, to humble and prove them, and to show the greatness of his power and grace. When we look off from Yeshua and look at the importance of opposing difficulties, we shall begin to fall; but when we call to him, he will stretch out his arm, and save us. Yeshua is the great Saviour; those who would be saved, must come to him, and cry to him, for salvation; we are never brought to this, till we find ourselves sinking: the sense of need drives us to him.
CLOSING PRAYER by Robert
Father in Heaven, hear our prayers of gratitude and praise of your greatness abounding in our souls through the knowledge thou has bestowed upon us. We humbly thank you for the courage, strength, knowledge, and patience you filled our spirit with that we might remain vigilant as we wait for your return. We thank you, Father, for building on our endurance, and determination to serve as humble, obedient servants. We thank you, Lord, for providing your oil for our lanterns through the Holy Spirit so we might come forward on your return to honour and serve you, Lord. In all things father, we thank you and pray in your name Yeshua. Amen and Amen.
CLOSING COMMENTS by Robert
Two spectacular celebrations have just finished as the Passover and Resurrection were celebrated this past weekend. Someone asked me what the difference between the two was. My, answer I see no difference as both are celebrating the presence of God and His love and compassion for His children, even though, each is recognizing and expressing their gratitude to God for something miraculous God achieved on their behalf. I see God revealing His eternal presence to each in a manner both have identified and excepted, The bottom line in God’s eyes we are a unique creation of His design.
Which, He filled with His Spirit and wisdom and in His actions showed His Love and compassion for all no matter what we identify ourselves as Jew or Christian. How we pay homage to Him is a personal choice lead by what we have been spiritually taught, the bottom line we all worship Yahewa our creator the one who loves us all. How our final judgment will play out will depend on our choices, made during our journey through this life. Each personal relationship with God and His Son brings further information for us to seek and find the truth of how to light the path to Eternity and life. As we approach either Yeshua’s return or our final days with lanterns filled with oil to light the way. For us to honour and serve God’s truth will be revealed of whether we have a role to play at the wedding. The choice is ours to make and follow as one of the five with oil and our lanterns shining bright or one of the five desiring oil as their lanterns grow dim and go out.
In all, through the Holy Spirit, we must never lose sight of what we are building within our relationship with God and Yeshua, that being always sharing the Love God holds for all. We must never spiritually slumber or sleep, or allow our lanterns to flicker and go out, always being diligent like the Lord taught us, “wise as a serpent but gentle as a dove,” as we anticipate and wait for His return or eventually pass into our Eternal Life and judgment.
Please, remember these articles are written by a humble servant of our Lord. I pray that all will find answers in them and they will assist in your journey on the narrow path to eternity and life. Blessings to all who go forward in peace sharing the Love Yeshua has blessed us with, may your lanterns shine long and bright in all parts of your journey in this life. God be with you all in your choices and decisions about your walk. God Bless and keep you safe on your lighted path.