The Wise and Foolish Virgins:
Steps to Obtaining Wisdom
From the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins, we can easily see how the Bride is to prepare for the Bridegroom. Let’s first make a few observations.
The ‘Wise’ Virgins were wise. They had wisdom. The Foolish virgins were not so. They did not have wisdom. Where did the Wise Virgins obtain their wisdom? And why did the Foolish Virgins lack wisdom?
Let’s look at the Biblical steps to obtaining wisdom.
What is Wisdom?
We all desire to obtain this wisdom. But what is it? And where does it originate? It is apparent that wisdom is not intelligence, but is a quality far beyond man’s own abilities. The Scriptures describe this wisdom in detail, so let’s look there to find the answers.
Scriptures show us that wisdom is both given by Yahuweh, and developed by the recipient. To have wisdom, one must develop the Scriptural characteristics of wisdom. Therefore we will first look at the characteristics of wisdom, as our goal, and then notice the steps we may take to obtain Biblical wisdom.
Some Characteristics of the Wise
Scripture reveals some of the characteristics of those who are wise:
Some Characteristics of the Wise:
- They have the Fear of Yahuweh (Proverbs 9:10; Proverbs 15:33);
- They keep [“take, seize, lay hold of”] the Bridegroom’s Commandments (Proverbs 10:8; Ecclesiastes 8:5);
- They obey the Bridegroom’s Words — the Law [Torah] (Proverbs 28:7);
- They hearken — they hear, and obey (Proverbs 1:5);
- They love those who rebuke [reprove, correct, chasten] them (Proverbs 9:8).
How can we attain these characteristics of the Wise? We might begin with the following response:
- Pray – Let us ask Father to give us wisdom. Father gives wisdom to those who ask Him for wisdom (James 1:5);
- Read – The Proverbs are a daily-dose of instruction in wisdom, which will cause us to grow in Grace (Proverbs 1:1-9; Proverbs 4:9).
After we ask Yahuweh for wisdom, let us then understand that the ‘beginning’ of having wisdom is for us to have the ‘Fear of Yahuweh’ (Proverbs 9:10). But knowing this reveals a choice that we must first make — we must ‘choose’ the Fear of Yahuweh (Proverbs 1:29).
The Fear of Yahuweh
If we desire to have the Fear of Yahuweh, we must turn from our own way, and begin to walk in Father’s ways. When we hear the Good News of Yahushua’s forgiveness of our sins, and then make up our mind to walk in Father’s way [repent], and turn to walk in His way [convert], we become Born-Again, and we begin to see spiritually (John 3:3). Being Born-Again is a one-time event, just as our natural birth. For details of the Good News, and how to receive forgiveness of sins, see How Do I Receive God’s Forgiveness for My Sins? and The Good News!.
After we become Born-Again, we are able to allow the Life of Yahushua-in-us to provide His Grace – His ability within us – to walk in obedience. Without His Grace, we are nothing, and we can do nothing. Through His ability, His Grace, and by our willingness to obey His Torah, we are then able go on to develop and nurture the Scriptural characteristics of the ‘Fear of Yahuweh.’ Let’s look at some of these characteristics.
Some of the characteristics of those who have the Fear of Yahuweh:
Some Characteristics of the Fear of Yahuweh:
- They receive the Bridegroom’s Words, and hide [treasure-up] His Commandments (Proverbs 2:1,5);
- They hear, obey, and Keep the Bridegroom’s Commandments (Deut 5:29; Deut 8:6; Psalms 34:11);
- They delight greatly in the Bridegroom’s Torah (Psalms 112:1; Rom 7:22);
- They fear their Heavenly Father — they keep HIS Sabbaths (Lev 19:3);
- The Fear of Yahuweh is their ‘Treasure’ (Isaiah 33:6).
Those who desire to have the Fear of Yahuweh will begin to read, and meditate in, His Torah day and night (Psalms 1:1-2). They begin to have a hunger and thirst after Yahushua and His Righteousness (Matthew 5:6; Matthew 6:33). They will then commit to walk in His Ways, by keeping His Commandments (Deut 8:6; Deut 11.22), and by walking in His Torah, from ‘The Beginning’ — from the Book of Genesis onward (Psalms 119:1-3; 2John 1:6). They will also come to delight in His Torah (Romans 7:22; Psalms 40:8; Psalms 119:77,92,174).
Those who truly desire the Fear of Yahuweh will begin to grow in the understanding of Yahuweh’s Word. They will come to know and love Him who is Truth. They will, out of Love for their Bridegroom, begin to abandon all the Doctrines of Men that prevent full obedience to Torah.
They will abandon man-made religious celebrations and practices. Instead, they will begin to keep Yahuweh’s Sabbath Days and Feast Days (Lev 23:2-44), just as Yahushua did 2,000 years ago, as our example. They will not allow anyone to intimidate them regarding their obedience in this matter (Colossians 2:16), but instead they will ‘overcome’ in this Eternal Covenant matter (Ex 31:16; Heb 13;20), and as a result will be granted entry into the City of the King (Rev 21:7; Rev 22:14)!
How can we acquire the Fear of Yahuweh? We might begin with the following response:
- Pray – Cry out to Father, and ask Him to give us the Fear of Yahuweh, the starting point of wisdom. Let us tell Him, out loud, ‘I choose the Fear of Yahuweh!’ As we continue to ask Father for wisdom (James 1:5), let us then begin to obey the Scriptures as the Holy Spirit opens our understanding;
- Obey – The first step to growing in the Fear of Yahuweh is for us to ‘hearken’ — to hear and obey the Scriptures. This means keeping Yahushua’s Commandments, including those He gave to Moses. For example, if we already keep 9 of the 10 commandments, let’s try something new: commit to keeping the Biblical 4th Commandment — to remember to keep HIS Sabbath Day set-apart as special! [The Biblical Sabbath Day is Saturday — as attested to by Jewish synagogues everywhere]. Let us do what Yahushua did!
As we take baby-steps of obedience, Father will then open our eyes further to the Scriptures. He then begins to give us further understanding of the Biblical Truths we are obeying. But for now, even before we fully see or understand, let us commit ourselves to keeping those things Yahushua kept! Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed (John 20:29b). We may lose friends over this, but that is another issue.
Hindrances to Obtaining the Fear of Yahuweh
There are many stumbling-blocks and hindrances that would prevent us from gaining the Fear of Yahuweh, and from gaining wisdom. These hindrances are given to Blind Pastors and spiritual Leaders by Yahuweh Himself, as a deception and a delusion to those who receive not the love of the Truth. These stumbling-blocks and hindrances are in turn given out by these spiritual Leaders to their followers, and to all who have not yet received the love of the Truth (2Thess 2:10-11; Isaiah 66:4; Jer 6:21; Eze 3:20).
We will not be able to overcome these hindrances if we remain ‘half-hearted’ Believers. The true overcomer must fight with all his might to overcome all the hindrances and opposition he will face.
Most of these hindrances are seen in the following forms:
- Doctrines and Commandments of Men – These actually turn men away from the Truth (Titus 1:14). This Doctrinal baggage, learned and accumulated perhaps over many years of church-going, is the Born-Again Believer’s greatest hindrance to gaining further Scriptural Truth. These include the many doctrines put forth by theologians who twist the words of the apostle Paul, as Peter warns us in (2Peter 3:15-16);
- Peer Pressure – This comes from friends and family, and from well-meaning but deceived Pastors and spiritual Leaders. Once a Believer determines, and sets out to grow beyond being ‘Born-Again,’ he will meet resistance from all quarters!
- Our own Eyes – Our spiritual eyes of understanding are still ‘mostly’ closed, because most of us want to figure it out, and want to ‘see’ [understand] Yahushua’s Words before we obey them. However, Father opens the eyes of our understanding to ‘see’ a Truth, only as we begin to ‘obey’ [walk in] that Truth!
How can we avoid these hindrances? How can we remove the stumbling-blocks? We might begin with the following response:
- Pray – Cry out to Father, and ask Him to give us a Love for the Truth!
- Pray – Let us ask Father to open our eyes to the Truth of Scripture. Let’s be determined to obey, and then pray out loud to Yahuweh, the prayer in (Psalms 119:18); then cry out to Yahuweh, and ask Him for what (Jeremiah 33:3) promises!
- Decide – Let us decide to no longer remain carnal, and therefore an enemy of Yahuweh. The apostle Paul tells us that one who is of a ‘carnal’ mind is an enemy of Yahuweh, because he is not subject to the Law [the ‘Torah’] (Romans 8:7). Let us then act on our decision!
- Pray – Let us ask Father to give us a Love for, and Delight in, His Torah — like King David, and like the apostle Paul! (Psalms 119:97; Romans 7:22; 1Cor 9:21).
These on-going prayers, along with the daily reading of His Word, will be daily reminders to us, and will help us to avoid the hindrances.
Yahuweh Opens our Eyes — that we may Know Him
Many have a hunger to follow Yahushua, and to walk in His way, but don’t know how. While on the road to Emmaus, Yahushua’s disciples were walking along with Yahushua. But even though they were walking with Him, their eyes were held closed, so that they did not really ‘know’ Him (Luke 24:16). It was not until later, that their eyes were opened, and they knew Him (Luke 24:31). Yahuweh holds our eyes closed, and He also opens our eyes. It is in the opening of our eyes that we ‘know’ Him.
We may be walking with Yahushua today, just as were the early Disciples of Yahushua. But our eyes will remain closed, until Yahuweh opens them. The first step in truly knowing Him comes when we begin to obey Him, and He then opens our eyes, so that we would know Him.
How can we have our eyes opened more? Our response might begin with:
- Pray – Ask Father to open our eyes, to see the wondrous things that come forth from His Torah (Psalms 119:18);
- Search the Scriptures – For the ‘Covenant’ issues that tell us how to ‘know’ Him;
- Hearken – Begin to ‘Believe’ [become a “DO-er” of] what we read in the ‘Torah’ (John 5:47).
As we become “DO-ers” of Torah, Yahuweh opens our eyes to such an extent that it is comparable to the Blind receiving sight! But there is another choice to be made. We must choose to know Him.
Choosing to Know Him
The Foolish Virgins were told, “I never knew you.” The Wise Virgins, however, must have been known by the Bridegroom, because those words were not spoken to the Wise Virgins!
Notice that Yahuweh gives us a choice. We either choose to serve Him, and to know Him — or else by default, we are choosing not to serve Him, and not to know Him (Joshua 24:15; Proverbs 1:29).
Many Believers today think they have already made the choice to know Him, but still refuse His words. Many have not yet realised that it was Messiah who accompanied the Israelites in the Wilderness (1Cor 10:1-4), and it was Messiah who gave the Commandments to Moses, and indeed, spoke all the words of Torah, the Writings, and the Prophets — the ‘Old’ Testament. Tragically many today have been taught [by blind Leaders] not to obey the ‘Old Testament’ words of Messiah, but to shun them, and avoid obedience to them.
It is in this way that the Foolish Virgins will bear witness, at Messiah’s return, that they have chosen not to know Messiah, nor to obey His Words; and it is the Foolish Virgins whom Messiah will likewise choose not know, at His return.
To those who have chosen to ‘know’ Him, Messiah has given His Everlasting Covenant sign [‘token, ensign, or banner’]. These tokens or signs can be seen in (Ex 31:13; Eze 20:12; Eze 20:20). But notice this sign is not given to everyone, but only to His People, including those who are grafted-in to the commonwealth [citizenship] of His People (Matt 2:6; Romans 11:17-22; Ephesians 2:12-13).
Again we see our choosing is a vital part of the picture. We begin to understand that choosing the Fear of Yahuweh is not only the beginning of wisdom, but is also the beginning of knowledge — of the knowledge of Yahuweh (Proverbs 1:7; Proverbs 1:29).
How can we choose to serve Yahuweh, and to know him more? Our response might begin with:
- Pray – Let us ask Father to identify all hindrances that would prevent us from truly ‘knowing’ Him in accordance with His Everlasting [New] Covenant;
- Pray – Let us ask Father for His Grace [His ability within us] to remove all those hindrances He identifies. [We may have to remove ourselves from the hindrances, if they are in the form of Doctrines of Men in a particular congregation.]
As we continue to ask Yahuweh for wisdom, and for the Fear of Yahuweh, and for open eyes, what is our next step? Yahuweh gives us the following answer:
“Come, ye children, and hearken unto me [hear and obey me] and I [Yahuweh] will teach you the Fear of Yahuweh” (Psalms 34:11).
These are the first baby-steps we may take, if we would be among the Wise Virgins, those having Biblical wisdom. If we have begun to take even these little steps of obedience, perhaps the Bridegroom may recognise us, maybe even ‘know’ us when he knocks at the door!
and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” (Rev 3:3)