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Partaking in the Bridegrooms Feast

Christian conduct in the church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Our lifestyle characterizes the virture and purity of the bride, the church, in which Jesus will one day return.

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Thanksgiving

I want to thank pastor for this opportunity to minister this evening, it is an honor. Tonight, I originally wanted to speak on the “Image of Man Versus the Image of God”, but after a confirmation upon confirmation, I kept coming back to this and I feel like the Lord was impressing this upon my heart, so if you will allow me this evening, I would like to speak to you for a few moments on “Partaking in the Bridegrooms Feast”. I will be reading from the King James Version tonight, beginning at and reading down to , say amen when you have it. I’d like us to pray together as a congregation before we are seated.
Jesus is speaking here and he begins to compare the kingdom of heaven to ten virgins.
Matthew 25:1–2 KJV 1900
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
Matthew 25:1 KJV 1900
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
In v. 2, the word “wise” means they were marked by the exercise of good judgement or common sense in practical matters; they were prudent. Whereas the word “foolish” is used to describe a lack of wisdom and good sense or sound judgement.
In v. 1, the word “wise” means they were marked by the exercise of good judgement or common sense in practical matters; they were prudent. Whereas the word “foolish” is used to describe a lack of wisdom and good sense or sound judgement.
Matthew 25:3–10 KJV 1900
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 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.
Matthew 25:2–10 KJV 1900
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 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.
Matthew 25:1–13 KJV 1900
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 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. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
In v. 10, the word ready means “completely prepared or in condition for immediate action or use or progress”.
Matthew 25:11–13 KJV 1900
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
In v. 1, wise means they were marked by the exercise of good judgement or common sense in practical matters - they were prudent, whereas the word foolish is used to describe a lack of wisdom, good sense or sound judgement.

Recap the parable

Recap the parable

Most of us have heard of the parable of the 10 virgins, describing a scenario in which they wait for their bridegroom to arrive. Again, the virgins in this parable represent the church waiting on Jesus’. We read that five were wise, and five were foolish. The only difference between the wise and the foolish was their possession of oil, because all ten of them had lamps. They all had the right tools, but they lacked what was necessary to make it all the way to the marriage. In the church, it is not who does or does not have a lamp, but it will be who has the oil when the time comes. It’s not just about being prepared, but its about our behavior and our lifestyle, as represented by the oil. Jesus is explaining the condition in which the church must be while He tarries. In the passage, the ten virgins were waiting so long that they got tired and began to slumber. I believe we are living in the last days and when we’re so close to the brink of His return, we cannot afford to slumber, we cannot afford to allow our heavy burdens to weigh us down and exhaust us. When we lose the expectancy in God’s return, we become self-centered and apathetic about the things of God, and then we become complacent. Instead of fighting the good fight, we grow weary and let our guard down. We cannot afford to fail our good master while we wait for his return, and we cannot afford to fail the church.

Lifestyle

The reason the ten virgins needed oil was to burn their lamps so they could go out and meet the bridegroom. For whatever reason, the bridegroom was delayed and the ten virgins were in waiting. And when the time had come, only the five wise made it to the marriage. They needed their lamps so it could light the way as the wedding party marched from the brides house to the bridegrooms feast. The oil for the lamps in this parable, represents our good works, or godly obedience and compassion, as stated in .
Matthew 5:15–16 KJV 1900
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
We do not know the hour in which God will return, this is why it is important for us to not only be prepared, but to be equipped to answer that call, in obedience and behavior thru our lifestyle. Those five foolish virgins in search of oil, were in need of changing their behavior and lifestyle, but when the bridegroom comes, those that are ready will not have to change because their lifestyle has been characterized by readiness.
#people should see Christ reflected through us.
#we represent the church, we are the church.
#we are called to be separate from the world, and live a holy lifestyle.

Lets discuss some characteristics of the hopeful brides. The bridegroom is going to return, and when he does, he is coming back for virgins, for those (his churches) that have kept themselves pure. Now I say churches to emphasize a point in a sense that the five foolish were virgins also. So because we are identified as the bride of Christ and meet the pre-requisites, doesn’t mean we’ve been chosen. In fact, the only thing chosen up until this point is our lifestyle. Because the bible says Jesus is coming for His church means that we have yet to enter into marriage - this is obvious because we’re not in heaven.
Because the bible says Jesus is coming for His church means that we have yet to enter into marriage - this is obvious because we’re not in heaven.
Ephesians 5:27 KJV 1900
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
We are not perfect and we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory, but that’s because we were born that way - only Jesus was born without sin. But just because we were born under certain circumstances, doesn’t mean we have to stay that way - we don’t use that as an excuse to continue living in sin. But we strive for perfection and we do it by being obedient to his word and remaining faithful to the house of God.
The second coming will happen as described in .
2 Peter 3:8–13 KJV 1900
8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
This passage reminds us that God will honor his promise and return, hopeful that humanity has come to repentance, and without warning, everything will pass away, as it says in v. 11, also reminding us that our way of living honors him while v. 12 says that even the heavens and the earth will be dissolved - as if it never happened. But regardless of what happens, we are looking forward to that new heaven and earth, that new Jerusalem. However, we must remain steadfast. Again, we are to be found without spot or blemish.
#preservation of the church
#remain a virigin

The Church

The first mention of “the church” in the bible is found in . This is Jesus speaking, and Simon Bar-jona just had a revelation of who Jesus is; that He is the Christ.
Matthew 16:18 KJV 1900
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Acts 2:39–40 KJV 1900
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
Acts 2:41–47 KJV 1900
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Acts 2:38–47 KJV 1900
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
The church was yet to come, as Jesus said “I will build my church”, which was born on the day of pentecost, while 3000 were added, and the church would continually add to it daily. The church should be growing. The church is not a fraternity or man made organization because it was only established on the day of pentecost after the outpouring of the Holy Ghost. The church isn’t comprised of memberships, strobe lights, and fog machines, but it’s becoming more and more prevalent in today’s society that man is interested in creating the church in his image, rather than how God formed the church. The church is the people, only by God unifying a body of believers through His spirit. That is why pentecost is so vital to the preservation of the church. When we lose sight of God’s plan and concern ourselves with the image of man because societal trends become the selling point of the “church”, then we need to pause, look around, and examine ourselves.
The church was yet to come, as Jesus said “I will build my church”, which was born on the day of pentecost, where 3000 souls were added to the church. The church is not a fraternity or man made organization because it was only established on the day of pentecost after the outpouring of the Holy Ghost. The church isn’t comprised of memberships, strobe lights, and fog machines, but it’s becoming more and more prevalent in today’s society. It’s sad that man is more interested in creating the church in his image, rather than accept God’s design. The people in is the church, but only because God unified a body of believers through His spirit, that Holy Ghost outpouring. That is why pentecost is so vital to the preservation of the church.
When we lose sight of God’s plan and concern ourselves with the image of man because of societal trends and allow them to become the selling point of the “church”, then we need to pause, look around, and examine ourselves. When we begin to introduce something foreign to the church, we begin perverting the image of God. I’m not talking about a new program or church play, but I’m talking about something outside of how the church is supposed to operate. Allow me to read three scriptures to you this evening and see if you notice a pattern or underlying theme:
When we begin to introduce something foreign to the church, we being perverting the image of God. I’m not talking about a new program or church play, but I’m talking about something outside of how the church is supposed to operate. Allow me to read three scriptures to you this evening and see if you notice a pattern or underlying theme:
ephesians
Ephesians 1:22–23 KJV 1900
22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Colossians 1:18 KJV 1900
18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
colossians 1:
Colossians 1:24 KJV 1900
24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
These three scriptures clearly illustrates that the church is the body of Christ. Again, we must be careful in our manner and how we conduct ourselves because our words and our actions have an impact on the kingdom. In , Jesus begins another parable declaring to be the true vine and the Father is the husbandman - or the farmer or vinedresser, one who tends to the vineyard. In the Old Testament, vine imagery served as a symbol of God’s people, so Jesus uses this parable to explain the union between Himself and the church, the church being the branches.
the union between Christ and the church. In , Jesus declares
John 15:1 KJV 1900
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
John 15:1–2 KJV 1900
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
John 15:1 KJV 1900
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
John 15:1–6 KJV 1900
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
v. 2, Jesus explains that God is a skilled vinedresser and He removes unfruitful branches and prunes the fruitful ones to stimulate further growth.
He is the vine and the church are the branches.
John 15:3–5 KJV 1900
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
v. 4-5, the church is reliant upon God, just as the branch is dependent on the vine for sustenance. In the same way, the spiritual existence and continued fruitfulness of God’s people are absolutely contingent on “abiding” or “remaining” in Christ. And in v. 6, we are urged to stay connected to Jesus.
John 15:6 KJV 1900
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
The church, or God’s people, should produce fruit - this is our charge, our obligation, our Christian duty.
When we’re not connected to Jesus, we risk being separated from Him and being cast into fire like those bare branches. Now remember, I’m talking about the condition of the church while we wait for Jesus to return, likened to the five foolish virgins who missed the marriage because they weren’t ready when the bridegroom came. said:
Matthew 25:12 KJV 1900
12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
The “True Vine” parable was used to illustrate a spiritual lesson that Jesus had already preached before. After Jesus emerges victorious from being tempted in the wilderness, he begins his preaching and teaching on temptation, divorce, oaths, forgiveness, love, giving, prayer, fasting, heavenly riches, worry, and judgment, and concludes his sermon with a distinction between good fruit and evil fruit. In :
matthew 7:21-23
Matthew 7:23 KJV 1900
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
said He is the vine and we are just the branches. He went on further to say that if we fail to yield any fruit, then we will be cut off from that vine. We have spiritual authority and spiritual leadership in the church becaue God has appointed us a pastor and we’ve elected elders, but the church belongs to God. Look at .
Matthew 7:21–23 KJV 1900
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
That word “iniquity” means lawlessness, or behaving in open defiance to the law. Jesus explains that these workers will claim their worthiness, but because they refused Christ’s lordship in their life, He will not acknowledge them in judgement. I’m going to get to conduct and godliness in a minute, but its imperative we understand that just because we’ve been identified with a the body of Christ and we’ve done work in His name (v. 22), that it does not mean we’ll be admitted to His kingdom. This is important because we have to understand that while we have spiritual authority and spiritual leadership in the church (God has appointed us a pastor and we’ve elected elders), that the church ultimately belongs to God.
1 Peter 2:9 KJV 1900
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
says:
We have spiritual authority and spiritual leadership in the church because God has appointed us a pastor and we’ve elected elders, but the church belongs to God.
1 Peter 2:9 KJV 1900
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
Look at :
Acts 20:18 KJV 1900
18 And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,
Acts 20:28 KJV 1900
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
This passage is a bill of sale - He has purchased the church, us, with His blood and the bible says in that we are a peculiar people.
1 Peter 2:9 KJV 1900
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
The word peculiar comes from the greek word peripoiēsis (pe-rē-poi'-ā-sēs), meaning a “purchased possession”; we are the property of God. In , God refers to Israel a peculiar treasure and in , they are described as a kingdom of priest, and an holy nation.
Exodus 19:5–6 KJV 1900
5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
This is significant because in the septuagint (earliest Greek translation of the original Hebrew) under the law of Moses, the royalty and priesthood were separated, but Christ dissolved that separation, so now all who believe on Him can participate in this union, the “royal priesthood”, as one body of believers. So all of us, make up the church as one body, which Christ paid for with the shedding of His blood and while we all perform works in His name, we will still be held accountable for our conduct and godliness, like the five wise and five foolish virgins.

Purity

Lets bring it back to the parable of the ten virgins. Other than being characterized as wise and foolish, the only other description these hopeful brides are given is that they were virgins. The scripture doesn’t say anything about their looks, their titles or roles in society, their socioeconomic status, or even their ages for that matter. The one thing that made them eligible for marriage was the fact that they maintained their purity. Remember, these virgins represent the kingdom of heaven, or what Christ is looking for when he returns. He’s coming back for a church that has remained pure and faithful to the Word of God. Now I say “church” to emphasize a point in a sense that five of the virgins didn’t make it; being called doesn’t mean equate to being chosen. In fact, the only thing chosen up until this point is our conduct and godliness (or our lifestyle). The bible says Jesus is coming (future tense) for His church which means that we have yet to enter into marriage - this is obvious because we’re not in heaven worshiping God with the angels around the throne room. Christ is concerned with how we present ourselves. says:
Now I say “church” to emphasize a point in a sense that the five foolish were virgins also. So because we are identified as the bride of Christ and meet the pre-requisites, doesn’t mean we’ve been chosen. In fact, the only thing chosen up until this point is our lifestyle. Because the bible says Jesus is coming for His church means that we have yet to enter into marriage - this is obvious because we’re not in heaven.
Christ is concerned with how we present ourselves. says:
Ephesians 5:27 KJV 1900
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
None of us are perfect and says that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory” but that’s because we were born into sin - only Jesus was born without sin. But just because we were born under certain circumstances, doesn’t mean we have to stay that way; we don’t use that as an excuse to continue living in sin. But we strive for perfection and we do it by being obedient to his Word and remaining faithful to the house of God. I believe in the Word of God and I believe that God is not slack concerning his promise; that one day the Second Coming of Christ will happen as described in .
2 Peter 3:8–13 KJV 1900
8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
Peter begins to explain that an indicator of the arrival of the last days would be the presence of those who scoff at the ida of the Second Coming and in v. 8 says:
The second coming will happen as described in .
2 Peter 3:8–13 KJV 1900
8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
There is a lot of prophecy and written scripture that leads me to believe that we are living in the last days, and it’s my personal opinion that we live in a generation where it’s possible that we could witness His Second Coming. And this passage reminds us that God will honor His promise, and return without warning, hopeful that humanity has come to repentance. As it says in v. 11, everything will pass away, reminding us that our conduct and godliness should honor Him:
2 Peter 3:11 KJV 1900
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
2 Peter 3:11–12 KJV 1900
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
And v. 12 says that even the heavens and the earth will be dissolved - as if it never happened.
This passage reminds us that God will honor his promise and return, hopeful that humanity has come to repentance, and without warning, everything will pass away, as it says in v. 11, also reminding us that our way of living honors him while v. 12 says that even the heavens and the earth will be dissolved - as if it never happened. But regardless of what happens, we are looking forward to that new heaven and earth, that new Jerusalem. And when we realize that this world and everything in it will soon pass away, we understand the importance of holy conduct and godliness.
2 Peter 3:12 KJV 1900
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
, also reminding us that our way of living honors him while v. 12 says that even the heavens and the earth will be dissolved - as if it never happened. But regardless of what happens, we are looking forward to that new heaven and earth, that new Jerusalem. And when we realize that this world and everything in it will soon pass away, we understand the importance of holy conduct and godliness.
, also reminding us that our way of living honors him while v. 12 says that even the heavens and the earth will be dissolved - as if it never happened. But regardless of what happens, we are looking forward to that new heaven and earth, that new Jerusalem. And when we realize that this world and everything in it will soon pass away, we understand the importance of holy conduct and godliness.
But regardless of what happens, we are looking forward to that new heaven and earth, that new Jerusalem. And when we realize that this world and everything in it will soon pass away, we can begin to understand the importance of holiness and godliness. says:
Titus 2:13 KJV 1900
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Our hope, as the church, is looking for Jesus’ returns to gather His saints, rather than to dwell on what is going to be lost. And its imperative we remain firm and steadfast in our Apostolic doctrine and our beliefs. If there is any hope of remaining pure and keeping the church preserved to be found without spot or blemish, then we must adhere to the gospel. Our purity means something to God; there is value in abstaining from the pleasures of this world that last only for a moment. Now is not the time to have the careless attitude of the five foolish virgins, who only went thru the motions but never whole-heartedly invested in the significance of their conduct and behavior.
However, we must remain steadfast. Again, we are to be found without spot or blemish.
#preservation of the church
M
#remain a virigin

Lifestyle

The reason the ten virgins needed oil, was to burn their lamps so they could go out and meet the bridegroom. The scripture doesn’t say, but for whatever reason, the bridegroom was delayed and it left the ten virgins in waiting. And when the time had come, only the five wise made it to the marriage. They needed their lamps so it could light the way as the wedding party marched from the brides house to the bridegrooms feast. The oil for the lamps in this parable, represents our good works, or godly obedience and compassion, as stated in :
Matthew 5:15–16 KJV 1900
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Our works and our conduct, in everything we do, should glorify God. We don’t know the hour in which God will return; this is why it is important for us to not only be prepared but to be equipped and ready to answer that call without hesitation, in our obedience and behavior thru our lifestyle. When it was announced that the king was on his way, the five foolish were not ready and were in need of changing their behavior and lifestyle. Likewise in the church when Jesus returns, there will be no time to change our lifestyle or adjust our behaviors, and we will miss the wedding when the bridegroom comes. Those that are ready will NOT HAVE to change because their lifestyle has been characterized by readiness.
In the Army, when you get an award or commendation, the narrative almost always ends like this “the Soldier’s performance, in keeping with the finest traditions of the Army, reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army”. Likewise, our works in the kingdom should be reflective of the church and of Christ. Because we are called to be separate from the world, and live in holiness, there should be a clear distinction in our Apostolic identity, and there is nothing that we believe in that should be sacrificed for societal trends. And when we begin to compromise our values and doctrine for acceptance in society and approval from other denominations, then we begin to deteriorate the Apostolic virtue of the church; which indirectly begins to separate us from Christ.
Those five foolish virgins in search of oil, were in need of changing their behavior and lifestyle, but when the bridegroom comes, those that are ready will not have to change because their lifestyle has been characterized by readiness.
but when the bridegroom comes, those that are ready will not have to change because their lifestyle has been characterized by readiness.
#people should see Christ reflected through us.
#we represent the church, we are the church.
#we are called to be separate from the world, and live a holy lifestyle.
Th

Blemishes - imperfections

We’ve already read in , that we are to preserve the church and it’s virtue, that it should be holy (or consecrated) and without blemish.
Ephesians 5:27 KJV 1900
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
In the Old Testament, a sign or symptom of leprosy was to have spots and blemishes on your skin. And there was law governing the treatment of those suspected of leprosy. Before you could be clean, the priest would instruct you to leave the camp - to be separated from the congregation. Lepers were unclean and leprosy was extremely contagious. If there is stuff going on in our lives contrary to the Word of God and we allow those spots or blemishes to fester, then we’ve chosen to be separated from the congregation, and ultimately God. In the Old Testament, the only way to commune with God and have a relationship with Him was in the tabernacle, the centermost part of the camp, where He dwelled. I love the Old Testament because it lays a foundation for truly understanding the New Testament and our Apostolic founders only had the Old Testament to preach from. Fast forward to present day and while the church is still founded by Jesus - because He is the chief cornerstone - we rely on our spiritual leadership to separate the clean from the unclean. Just like leprosy, a bad attitude and negativity is contagious; and the results form our words and our attitude - our lifestyle - can spread through the church like a plague and we need an enforcer of Gods word and His perfect will that can sever that unyielding branch that produces no fruit. That’s why I love and appreciate our pastor and our elders that have the responsibility to keep the church healthy, to keep the church pure. And sometimes we don’t like what comes out of the preachers mouth, but he wasn’t called of you and his utmost responsibility and loyalty lies with God and in the church. This is why we need a leadership who will uphold the image of God over pleasing humanity.
Having spot or blemish in the church is cause for rejection when it comes to the bridegroom calling for his bride. When thinking about this, I couldn’t escape the thought of leprosy in the Old Testament. Leprosy:
In the Old Testament, a sign or symptom of leprosy was to have spots and blemishes on your skin. And there was law governing the treatment of those suspected of leprosy. Before you could be clean, the priest would instruct you to leave the camp - to be separated from the congregation. Lepers were unclean and leprosy was extremely contagious. If there is stuff going on in our lives contrary to the Word of God and we allow those spots or blemishes to fester, then we’ve chosen to be separated from the congregation, and ultimately God. In the Old Testament, the only way to commune with God and have a relationship with Him was in the tabernacle, the centermost part of the camp, where He dwelled. I love the Old Testament because it lays a foundation for truly understanding the New Testament and our Apostolic founders only had the Old Testament to preach from. Fast forward to present day and while the church is still founded by Jesus - because He is the chief cornerstone - we rely on our spiritual leadership to separate the clean from the unclean. Just like leprosy, a bad attitude and negativity is contagious; and the results form our words and our attitude - our lifestyle - can spread through the church like a plague and we need an enforcer of Gods word and His perfect will that can sever that unyielding branch that produces no fruit. That’s why I love and appreciate our pastor and our elders that have the responsibility to keep the church healthy, to keep the church pure. And sometimes we don’t like what comes out of the preachers mouth, but he wasn’t called of you and his utmost responsibility and loyalty lies with God and in the church. This is why we need a leadership who will uphold the image of God over pleasing humanity.

LEPROSY (צָרַעַת, tsara'ath; λέπρα, lepra). An infectious skin disease. The word often translated as “leprosy” in the Bible should actually be translated generally as “skin disease” because the exact type of skin disease is unclear; few, if any, of the cases mentioned align with the modern understanding of leprosy. These skin diseases cause uncleanness to the one bearing the disease.

A sign or symptom of leprosy was to have spots and blemishes on your skin, and there was laws and guidelines regarding the treatment of those thought to have leprosy.
Before you could be clean, the priest would instruct you to leave the camp - to be separated from the congregation. Lepers were unclean and leprosy was extremely contagious. If there is stuff going on in our lives contrary to the Word of God and we allow those spots or blemishes to fester, then we’ve chosen to be separated from the congregation, and ultimately God. In the Old Testament, the only way to commune with God and have a relationship with Him was in the tabernacle, the centermost part of the camp, where He dwelled. I love the Old Testament because it lays a foundation for truly understanding the New Testament and our Apostolic founders only had the Old Testament to preach from. Fast forward to present day and while the church is still founded by Jesus - because He is the chief cornerstone - we rely on our spiritual leadership to separate the clean from the unclean. Just like leprosy, a bad attitude and negativity is contagious; and the results form our words and our attitude - our lifestyle - can spread through the church like a plague and we need an enforcer of Gods word and His perfect will that can sever that unyielding branch that produces no fruit. That’s why I love and appreciate our pastor and our elders that have the responsibility to keep the church healthy, to keep the church pure. And sometimes we don’t like what comes out of the preachers mouth, but he wasn’t called of you and his utmost responsibility and loyalty lies with God and in the church. This is why we need a leadership who will uphold the image of God over pleasing humanity.
The Lexham Bible Dictionary Guidelines Regarding Skin Diseases According to the Bible

Guidelines Regarding Skin Diseases According to the Bible

• The skin diseases are detailed in Lev 13. If it is a new infection, the person is to be put in isolation for seven days, followed by an additional seven days if no change has occurred. If there has been no change in the infection after 14 days, the person is considered to be clean. If there has been any change, the person is considered unclean until the infection disappears (and thus indefinitely).

• Response to having a skin disease. The priest’s role is significant, as shown in Lev 13 where 11 instances of “he shall pronounce him unclean” and seven instances of “he shall pronounce him clean” occur. A mention of a person being clean or unclean without an announcement of the priest’s pronouncing it is rare. (The word translated as “leprosy” is also used for clothing, and thus may refer to some sort of mold).

• Required actions of one pronounced unclean. The diseased person must live alone outside the camp, wear torn clothes, keep his or her hair disheveled, cover his or her upper lip, and cry out “unclean, unclean” (Lev 13:45–46).

• In order to be considered clean, the person must go to a priest. The official cleanliness ceremony includes cleaning of clothes, shaving of hair, and a ritual cleansing. Additionally, at least one lamb—if the person was too poor for multiple lambs, birds could be used as a substitution—and flour and oil must be given as an offering (Lev 14).

Think about the presentation of the church as described in in relation to essentially being unclean. Jesus is returning for a church that is pure, and blemishes will result in being separated and cut off from Him. If we’re not living a holy lifestyle, separate from this world, then we’re allowing spots and blemishes to form and fester, choosing to separate ourselves from the church, and ultimately God. In the Old Testament, the only way to commune with God and have a relationship with Him was in the tabernacle, the centermost part of the camp, where He dwelled. Listen to this account of how Moses dealt with lepers in -4:
Numbers 5:1–4 KJV 1900
1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead: 3 Both male and female shall ye put out, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camps, in the midst whereof I dwell. 4 And the children of Israel did so, and put them out without the camp: as the Lord spake unto Moses, so did the children of Israel.
In the Old Testament, the only way to commune with God and have a relationship with Him was in the tabernacle, the centermost part of the camp, where He dwelled. I love the Old Testament because it lays a foundation for truly understanding the New Testament and our Apostolic founders only had the Old Testament to preach from. Fast forward to present day and while the church is still founded by Jesus - because He is the chief cornerstone - we rely on our spiritual leadership to separate the clean from the unclean. Just like leprosy, a bad attitude and negativity is contagious; and the results form our words and our attitude - our lifestyle - can spread through the church like a plague and we need an enforcer of Gods word and His perfect will that can sever that unyielding branch that produces no fruit. That’s why I love and appreciate our pastor and our elders that have the responsibility to keep the church healthy, to keep the church pure. And sometimes we don’t like what comes out of the preachers mouth, but he wasn’t called of you and his utmost responsibility and loyalty lies with God and in the church. This is why we need a leadership who will uphold the image of God over pleasing humanity.
Lepers were unclean and leprosy was extremely contagious. If there is stuff going on in our lives contrary to the Word of God and we allow those spots or blemishes to fester, then we’ve chosen to be separated from the congregation, and ultimately God. In the Old Testament, the only way to commune with God and have a relationship with Him was in the tabernacle, the centermost part of the camp, where He dwelled. I love the Old Testament because it lays a foundation for truly understanding the New Testament and our Apostolic founders only had the Old Testament to preach from. Fast forward to present day and while the church is still founded by Jesus - because He is the chief cornerstone - we rely on our spiritual leadership to separate the clean from the unclean. Just like leprosy, a bad attitude and negativity is contagious; and the results form our words and our attitude - our lifestyle - can spread through the church like a plague and we need an enforcer of Gods word and His perfect will that can sever that unyielding branch that produces no fruit. That’s why I love and appreciate our pastor and our elders that have the responsibility to keep the church healthy, to keep the church pure. And sometimes we don’t like what comes out of the preachers mouth, but he wasn’t called of you and his utmost responsibility and loyalty lies with God and in the church. This is why we need a leadership who will uphold the image of God over pleasing humanity.
I love the Old Testament because it lays a foundation for truly understanding the New Testament; and our Apostolic founders, Jesus’ chosen disciples, only had the Old Testament to preach from. Fast forward to present day and while the church is still founded by Jesus - because He is the chief cornerstone - we rely on our spiritual leadership to separate the clean from the unclean. Just like leprosy, a bad attitude and negativity is contagious; and the results form our words and our attitude - our lifestyle - can spread through the church like a plague and we need an enforcer of God’s word and His perfect will that can sever that unyielding branch that produces no fruit. That’s why I love and appreciate our pastor and our elders that have the responsibility to keep the church healthy and to keep the church pure. Sometimes we don’t like what comes out of the preachers mouth, but he wasn’t called of you and his utmost responsibility and loyalty lies with God and is responsible for “vinedressing” the church. This is why we need leadership who will uphold the image of God and His plan, over pleasing humanity.
Numbers 5:1–4 KJV 1900
1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by the dead: 3 Both male and female shall ye put out, without the camp shall ye put them; that they defile not their camps, in the midst whereof I dwell. 4 And the children of Israel did so, and put them out without the camp: as the Lord spake unto Moses, so did the children of Israel.
Numbers 5:

Closing

Regardless of our role in the church, as a unified body of believers, I want to remind each of us just how important we are. While none of us are perfect, I encourage each and every one of us to strive to uphold our Christian values and Apostolic identity in order to preserve the purity of the church by letting our light shine with good works and obedience to the Word of God. We are the branch on the vine, the church, the royal priesthood and purchased possession that has been called to be chosen for the bridegroom’s feast, and I want to see all of us enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Amen.
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