1. What are the wise virgins? What are the foolish virgins?

Bible Verses for Reference:

“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened to ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go you rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Truly I say to you, I know you not” (Mat 25:1–12).

Relevant Words of God:

In the past, some people predicted “five wise virgins and five foolish virgins.” Although this prediction is not accurate, neither is it entirely wrong—thus, I may offer you some explanation. “Five wise virgins and five foolish virgins” together represent neither a number of people nor a type of person. “Five wise virgins” refers to a number of people, and “five foolish virgins” represents one type of person, but neither refers to the firstborn sons. Rather, they represent creation. This is why they have been asked to prepare oil in the last days. (Creation does not possess My quality; if they want to be wise ones, they need to prepare oil, and thus they need to be equipped with My words.) “Five wise virgins” represent My sons and My people among the humans I created. They are called “virgins” because they are gained by Me, despite being born on earth; one might call them holy, so they are called “virgins.” The aforementioned “five” represents the number of My sons and My people that I have predestined. “Five foolish virgins” refers to the service-doers, for they do service for Me without attaching the slightest importance to life, pursuing only external things (because they do not have My quality, no matter what they do, it is an external thing), and they are unable to be My capable helpers, so they are called “foolish virgins.” The aforementioned “five” represents Satan, and the fact they are called “virgins” means they have been conquered by Me and are able to do service for Me—but such people are not holy, so they are called service-doers.

Excerpted from “Chapter 116” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Since we are searching for the footprints of God, it behooves us to search for God’s will, for the words of God, for His utterances—because wherever there are new words spoken by God, the voice of God is there, and wherever there are the footsteps of God, God’s deeds are there. Wherever there is the expression of God, there God appears, and wherever God appears, there the truth, the way, and the life exist. In seeking God’s footprints, you have ignored the words “God is the truth, the way, and the life.” And so, many people, even when they receive the truth, do not believe that they have found God’s footprints, and still less do they acknowledge the appearance of God. What a grave mistake! The appearance of God cannot be reconciled with man’s notions, still less can God appear at the behest of man. God makes His own choices and His own plans when He does His work; moreover, He has His own objectives and His own methods. Whatever work He does, He has no need to discuss it with man or seek his advice, much less to notify each and every person of His work. This is the disposition of God, which should, moreover, be recognized by everyone. If you desire to witness the appearance of God, to follow God’s footsteps, then you must first walk away from your own notions. You must not demand that God do this or that, much less should you place Him within your own confines and limit Him to your own notions. Instead, you should ask how you are to seek God’s footprints, how you are to accept God’s appearance, and how you are to submit to the new work of God: This is what man should do. Since man is not the truth, and is not possessed of the truth, he should seek, accept, and obey.

Excerpted from “The Appearance of God Has Ushered in a New Age” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Since man believes in God, he must closely follow the footsteps of God, step-by-step; he should “follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” Only these are the people who seek the true way, only they are the ones who know the work of the Holy Spirit. People who slavishly follow letters and doctrines are those who have been eliminated by the work of the Holy Spirit. In each period of time, God will begin new work, and in each period, there will be a new beginning among man. If man only abides by the truths that “Jehovah is God” and “Jesus is Christ,” which are truths that only apply to their respective ages, then man will never keep up with the work of the Holy Spirit, and will forever be incapable of gaining the work of the Holy Spirit. Regardless of how God works, man follows without the slightest doubt, and he follows closely. In this way, how could man be eliminated by the Holy Spirit? Regardless of what God does, as long as man is certain that it is the work of the Holy Spirit, and cooperates in the work of the Holy Spirit without any misgivings, and tries to meet the requirements of God, then how could he be punished? The work of God has never ceased, His footsteps have never halted, and prior to the completion of His management work, He has always been busy, and never stops. But man is different: Having gained but a modicum of the Holy Spirit’s work, he treats it as if it will never change; having gained a little knowledge, he does not go forth to follow the footsteps of God’s newer work; having seen but a little of God’s work, he immediately prescribes God as a particular wooden figure, and believes that God will always remain in this form that he sees before him, that it was like this in the past and will always be thus in the future; having gained but a superficial knowledge, man is so proud that he forgets himself and begins to wantonly proclaim a disposition and a being of God that simply do not exist; and having become certain about one stage of the Holy Spirit’s work, no matter what kind of person it is that proclaims the new work of God, man does not accept it. These are people who cannot accept the new work of the Holy Spirit; they are too conservative, and incapable of accepting new things. Such people are those who believe in God but also reject God. Man believes that the Israelites were wrong to “only believe in Jehovah and not believe in Jesus,” yet the majority of people act out a role in which they “only believe in Jehovah and reject Jesus” and “long for the return of the Messiah, but oppose the Messiah who is called Jesus.” No wonder, then, that people still live under the domain of Satan after accepting one stage of the work of the Holy Spirit, and still do not receive God’s blessings. Is this not the result of man’s rebelliousness? Christians across the world who have not kept up with the new work of today all cling to the hope that they will get lucky, assuming that God will fulfill each of their wishes. Yet they cannot say for sure why God will take them up to the third heaven, nor are they certain about how Jesus will come to receive them riding upon a white cloud, much less can they say with absolute certainty whether Jesus will truly arrive upon a white cloud on the day that they imagine. They are all anxious, and at a loss; they themselves do not even know whether God will take up each of them, the varied small handfuls of people, who hail from every denomination. The work that God does now, the present age, God’s will—they have no grasp of any of these things, and they can do nothing but count down the days on their fingers. Only those who follow the footsteps of the Lamb to the very end can gain the final blessing, whereas those “clever people,” who are unable to follow to the very end yet believe they have gained all, are incapable of witnessing the appearance of God. They each believe they are the smartest person on earth, and they cut short the continued development of God’s work for no reason at all, and seem to believe with absolute certainty that God will take them up to heaven, they who “have the utmost loyalty to God, follow God, and abide by the words of God.” Even though they have the “utmost loyalty” toward the words spoken by God, their words and actions are still so disgusting because they oppose the work of the Holy Spirit, and commit deceit and evil. Those who do not follow to the very end, who do not keep up with the work of the Holy Spirit, and who only cleave to the old work have not only failed to achieve loyalty to God, but on the contrary, have become those who oppose God, have become those who are rejected by the new age, and who will be punished. Are there any more pitiable than them?

Excerpted from “God’s Work and Man’s Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The aim of God’s appearance, free from the constraints of any form or nation, is to enable Him to complete His work as He has planned it. This is just as when God became flesh in Judea: His aim was to complete the work of the crucifixion in redeeming the entire human race. Yet the Jews believed that it was impossible for God to do this, and they thought it impossible that God could become flesh and assume the form of the Lord Jesus. Their “impossible” became the basis on which they condemned and opposed God, and ultimately led to the destruction of Israel. Today, many people have committed a similar error. They proclaim with all their might the imminent appearance of God, yet at the same time condemn His appearance; their “impossible” once more confines the appearance of God within the limits of their imagination. And so I have seen many people break into wild and raucous laughter after coming upon the words of God. But is this laughter any different from the condemnation and blasphemy of the Jews? You are not reverent in the presence of the truth, still less do you possess an attitude of yearning. All you do is study indiscriminately and wait with blithe unconcern. What can you gain from studying and waiting like this? Do you think you will receive personal guidance from God? If you cannot discern God’s utterances, in what way are you qualified to witness the appearance of God? Wherever God appears, there the truth is expressed, and there the voice of God will be. Only those who can accept the truth will be able to hear the voice of God, and only such people are qualified to witness the appearance of God.

Excerpted from “The Appearance of God Has Ushered in a New Age” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Sermon and Fellowship Excerpts for Reference:

The wise virgins’ welcoming of the Lord shows that their wisdom lay chiefly in recognizing the voice of the Lord, which was a wisdom not possessed by the foolish virgins. Is recognizing the voice of the Lord a simple matter? If people are swollen with notions and imaginings, they will be fettered and constrained when they hear the voice of the Lord, and will be likely to doubt the voice of the Lord. When wise virgins hear the voice of the Lord, they are able to put aside their notions and imaginings; they have no doubt that this is the Lord speaking, and thus they welcome the Lord. And so, those who can recognize the voice of the Lord understand spiritual things: The source of this voice is clear to them, and they can see that it is the Spirit of God talking. That is enough, and their notions and imaginings are no longer a great problem. Foolish virgins, meanwhile, regard their notions and imaginings as a basis for their decisions, and they regard them as the truth. Even though they hear the voice of the Lord, they deny it, they reject it, and so they miss the opportunity to welcome the Lord. This is where the foolish virgins fail. So what does the wise virgins’ preparing the oil refer to? It primarily refers to attentively listening to the voice of the Lord, not being constrained by notions and imaginings, and welcoming and accepting the Lord without any doubts upon ascertaining that this is the voice of the Lord—this is most important. In welcoming the Lord, many people are constrained by religious notions. It is as if they have already established and ascertained a model for the return of the Lord, and they give no consideration to anything that is at odds with their own notions and imaginings. How foolish such people are! There are many who have investigated the true way, who have read the words of Almighty God and acknowledge that they are the truth, but who do not accept that this person is the incarnation. They act exactly how the Pharisees did toward the Lord Jesus—they are the most foolish people of all. Those who, after reading the words of Almighty God, acknowledge that these words are the truth, who are certain that this is the appearance and work of God, and who accept that Almighty God is the Savior, are the wisest of all. What makes them wise? Firstly, they are able to discern all of God’s words to be the truth and the voice of God. Secondly, having determined that the words of God are the truth and the voice of God, they are able to identify what Satan says as rumors and devilish words which condemn and oppose God, and deny, in totality, all of the words that come from Satan, and trust that only God is the truth. These are the wisest things about the wise virgins. After they have welcomed the Lord, none of the lies and fabrications of Satan can deceive them; they trust only in God, and willingly put aside everything to follow God, thus entirely fulfilling the words of the Lord Jesus: The wise virgins have welcomed the Lord, that is, they have been raised before the throne of God.

Excerpted from The Fellowship from the Above

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Next: 2. What is the wise virgins’ reward? Why will the foolish virgins fall into disaster?

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