Do You Have Oil In Your Lamp?
After the very first time I read the parable of the “Ten Virgins” found in Matthew chapter 25 spoken by our Messiah I deeply desired to know what the “oil” represented since this is what allowed the “wise” virgins to go into the wedding feast of the Bridegroom, and the lack of oil is what kept the “unwise” virgins out and caused the Bridegroom to deny that He even knew them! I was able to understand enough of this parable even as a new believer to know that the oil is the key to being the acceptable bride for our Bridegroom, for Yeshua (Jesus)! I hope to share in this message what I believe to be what the oil represents in this parable and what it represents in the life of a follower of Christ. The oil in this parable can and most likely represents more than just one thing but I will share what I now understand to be true and may you test it to His Word and take it to prayer so that Father may reveal what is true. If truth is confirmed may you faithfully walk in it to bring Him honor and glory. May we all have eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart to follow! May it be so!
Let’s read the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1-13, “1“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. 6 But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
If one does not have enough oil for their lamp to keep it lit then it will burn out on the journey through the darkness of the world and there will no longer be light to guide them onto the right path to meet the Bridegroom upon His return. The Bridegroom will not see (recognize) them whom are unwise and do not prepare themselves before His return by making sure they have enough oil for their lamps to be “seen” by Him as His bride. Yeshua is giving a parable that contains disturbing prophetic implications for those that claim to be His bride yet are unwise and unprepared for His return. The Bridegroom will return one day to claim His bride and enter into the wedding feast as the final act of consummating the marriage to His bride and to begin their life together. May we be wise and have much oil when He returns! Note: The oil used in Israel to fill the lamps to give light during the time of Yeshua was olive oil, olive oil was a very abundant resource.
We read in Exodus 27:20-21, “You shall command the people of Israel that they bring to you pure beaten (“crushed” by being beaten) olive oil for the light (menorah), that a lamp may regularly be set up to burn (to burn continually, never go out). 21 In the tent of meeting, outside the veil that is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening to morning before the Lord. It shall be a statute forever to be observed throughout their generations by the people of Israel.”
This “pure”, oil meaning without impurities of the flesh of the olives is also known as “virgin” oil, it is made by beating/pressing the flesh of the olives to bring forth this pure oil to be used to keep the menorah (7 branch lampstand) lit continually so that the light would never go out. This lampstand (menorah) was to be tended by the acting High Priest to make sure it remained lit at all times but the oil to keep the light going was the responsibility of the Children of Israel.
God named His people Israel “green olive tree” in Jeremiah 11:15-17 and according to Romans chapter 11, all who are of faith are part of the olive tree, whether grafted-in or of the natural branches. Just as the “flesh” of the olive needs to be beaten/pressed to bring forth pure oil for the lampstand so does the flesh of His people in order for them to bring forth oil for their spiritual lamps.
We read in Matthew 7:13-14, “13“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14“For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
To better understand the words of Yeshua here we need to understand what He meant when He said the “way is narrow” that leads to life. The word in the Greek that is translated as “narrow” into the English is the word “thlibo” which literally means “to press (as grapes), to press hard upon, and afflict” according to the Thayer Greek Lexicon. I will suggest Yeshua is revealing that the way that leads to life will press and afflict our flesh just like the beating & pressing of the olives that bring forth the pure virgin oil!
What does Scripture reveal about our flesh and what we are to do with it?
We read in Matthew 16:24, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”
We are to deny the desires of our flesh and crucify our flesh on our own cross and follow after Yeshua!
We read in Romans 12:1-3, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies (flesh) as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned”
We see here that we are to offer up our flesh (our will and the desires of our flesh) as a sacrifice, an acceptable offering to God, this is the worship He desires. We are to seek to know His will and desire for our life by learning to see things as He sees them and not as the world sees them.
Romans 8:13, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body (flesh), you will live.”
We have to learn to live according to His Word and not according to our fleshly desires which will only lead to death if we continue to serve our flesh over God but if we submit to the leading of His Spirit it will lead to life.
We also read in Romans 8:3-8, “3 For God has done what the law, WEAKENED BY THE FLESH, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, FOR IT DOES NOT SUBMIT TO GOD’S LAW; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
The flesh is an enemy to God and will not obey His law.
What is the purpose or function of the Holy Spirit as it relates to our flesh and our walk with God?
We read in John 16:13, “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the TRUTH”.
Psalm 119:142, “Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your LAW IS TRUTH.”
The Holy Spirit will lead us to do what the flesh refuses to do, to obey God’s law.
We can see that the Holy Spirit will lead us into truth and that God’s law is truth but why is the law of God so important in regards to being a virgin that has oil in her lamp? What is the purpose or function of a lamp?
We read in Proverbs 6:23, “For the commandment is a lamp; and the LAW IS LIGHT; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life”
The purpose and function of a lamp is to bring forth light! If one does not walk in the law of God they are not able to be a light or to show God love (1 John 5:3)!
Our flesh will always lead us contrary to the law of God for it will not submit to God’s law nor is it able so our flesh must be beaten, pressed and put to death with the help of the Holy Spirit which will lead us into all truth, to walk in the law of God and testify of Yeshua which will bring forth oil that fuels the light. The more we die to our flesh, the more oil is produced and the more we will walk in God’s law by the leading of the Holy Spirit and shine His light greater in this dark world.
We read in Daniel 12:1-3, “At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. 2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 And THOSE WHO ARE WISE SHALL SHINE like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”
Sounds a lot like the wise virgins who have plenty of oil in their lamps, they will shine the light of God, just as the Light of the World (Yeshua) did as He is our perfect example to follow after.
The following section of Scripture that I am about to read is commonly referred to as the “Sermon on the Mount” which I believe gives us a precise picture of what a virgin with oil in her lamp looks, thinks and acts like. We read in Matthew 5:1-16, “Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. 17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”
Yeshua goes on to say in verse 17 to not think that He came to destroy the law or the Prophets but instead He came to fulfill, to give the perfect example of how to walk it out! If He was saying we no longer need to obey God’s law He would be instructing His followers to no longer be a light in the darkness which He clearly didn’t instruct when we read verse 18 for all has yet to be fulfilled and we still await His return!
The oil in the parable of the ten virgins is a heart that God has always sought for from His people, a pure heart that has been crushed, made humble & meek, without the impurities of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21), that mourns it’s sinful nature and loves not the things of this world, but loves and rejoices in the truth (Yeshua and the law of God), which causes it to hunger and thirst for righteousness and to be willing to suffer persecution for the namesake of the Bridegroom and endures until the end. This pure heart leads one to do good works which is the fulfillment of the law of God and the only acceptable offering of obedience that loves God in return (1 John 5:3) for the love He first gave us! This pure heart is what fuels the light, it is the oil in the lamps of His beloved bride that Yeshua (Jesus) our High Priest tends to daily and keeps lit as we bring it to Him. This is the oil in the lamps of the bride that the Bridegroom is seeking for and that He will take to dwell with Him forever! This pure heart brings forth pure acts of love that beats, presses and puts to death the desires of the flesh in order to show the Bridegroom love (John 14:15) and to remain faithful. This kind of heart condition moves one to willingly lay down their life more and more for the Bridegroom bringing forth more oil.
This oil (heart condition) is brought forth and purified through walking in right relationship with our Heavenly Father by and through Yeshua, our Lord and Savior. It is a process that begins with just enough faith & love to be willing to submit and follow after Him seeking to draw closer to Him, to know Him more intimately. The oil increases as we draw closer to Him allowing Him to cleanse our heart and to write more of His Word upon it leading us to die more to our flesh and to walk more in His Spirit which will leads us to walk more in His truth, causing us to shine His light even brighter to bring Him all the glory and the honor! This is what fulfills the greatest 2 commandments (Matthew 22:36-40) and what allows God to write His law on our hearts which will be the fulfillment of the New Covenant through the blood of Yeshua. (Jeremiah 31:31-34/Hebrews 10:15-17)! Praise God for His love and mercy, for providing us a way that leads to life!
If you have been trying to better understand the parable of the ten virgins you may still be left with the following questions:
1.) Why did the 5 wise virgins with oil not give some of their oil to the 5 unwise virgins that needed more oil?
We can never produce enough oil to be able to give to others nor will Yeshua accept someone who did not purchase/produce their own oil as a faithful bride will do!
2.) Why did the 5 wise virgins tell the 5 unwise virgins to go and purchase their own oil?
In order for us to bring forth the needed oil for our lamp it is by means of purchasing it. Just as we were bought and paid for by Yeshua’s willing and loving sacrifice of Himself for us, our oil is purchased through the willing sacrifice of ourselves, our will and our flesh because of our love for Him!
May we bring our High Priest our battered and lowly hearts daily that are full of gratitude, thankfulness and love because of the love that He gave for us by taking the full punishment and wrath of God that we deserved since we all have gone and played the harlot. Now through Him and in Him we are covered by Him to be seen by our Heavenly Father as virgins fit to be a worthy bride for His Son. May we bring Him pure oil daily and remain faithful to our coming Bridegroom! Amen! Amen! And Amen!
Until next time, the Lord bless you and guard you.
“15“What right has My beloved in My house when she has done many vile deeds? Can the sacrificial flesh take away from you your disaster, so that you can rejoice?” 16The LORD called your name, “A green olive tree, beautiful in fruit and form”; With the noise of a great tumult He has kindled fire on it, And its branches are worthless. 17The LORD of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced evil against you because of the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done to provoke Me by offering up sacrifices to Baal.” (Jeremiah 11:15-17)
“17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. 23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree. 25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; 27 “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”’ (Romans 11:17-27)
“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” (1 John 5:3)
“19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21)
‘“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”’ (John 14:15)
‘36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”’ (Matthew 22:36-40)
“31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”’ (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
“15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” 17 then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” (Hebrews 10:15-17)