Thursday, August 18
The virgins who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast.
A quality that helped those virgins to be ready was vigilance. Would it be possible for individual anointed Christians to get sleepy during a long nighttime vigil? Indeed. Note that Jesus says of the ten virgins that “they all became drowsy and fell asleep.” Jesus knew well that even a willing, eager spirit may be hampered by the weakness of the flesh. Faithful anointed ones have heeded that implied warning and have worked ever harder to remain vigilant, watchful. In the parable, all the virgins responded to the nighttime shout: “Here is the bridegroom!” But only the vigilant ones endured to the end. What about faithful anointed ones today? Throughout the last days, they have responded to strong evidence that, in effect, cries out, “Here is the bridegroom”—just about to come. They have also endured, keeping ever ready for the Bridegroom to arrive.
There is one over-riding, persistent error that permeates everything the Watchtower teaches. It is the insidious lie that Christ has already come, that his rule has begun. No matter what trivial adjustments are made, the lie will always remain —at least until Christ comes.
No matter how absurd the explanations, Watchtower loyalists will believe it. They will not only believe it, elders will persecute any congregant who may have the spiritual wherewithal to raise legitimate questions concerning Bethel’s teachings.
Consider how the deeply embedded lie is apparent in today’s text. Prior to 2013 the Watchtower taught that the wise and foolish virgins parted ways back in 1918. Supposedly the wise virgins made their way to the wedding feast back then and the door was closed.
Perhaps in response to the exposé published in the original edition of Jehovah Himself Has Become King, which was distributed among the Watchtower’s leadership, Bethel made an “adjustment” in their understanding; or rather, in the understanding imposed upon Jehovah’s Witnesses.
No doubt keenly aware of the absurdity of the notion that the door of the heavenly calling was closed almost a century ago, Bethel was compelled to do something. The new teaching states that the call —“here is the bridegroom. Go out to meet him” —rang out in 1914; however, it has been resounding over and over and over again ever since then over successive generations, while the virgins are still waiting for the bridegroom to come. Here is what was written in an article in the WT review regarding this topic:
In the Watchtower’s scenario the original “virgins” who heard the proclamation that “the bridegroom is here!” responded and went out to meet him, but he never showed up. In fact, all those symbolic virgins associated with the Bible Students died off waiting for the bridegroom after they were supposedly roused from slumber by the shout in the middle of the night. It didn’t matter if they were wise or foolish, or if they had an inexhaustible supply of oil in their spiritual lamps – they still died waiting for the bridegroom, after they had been told he was here! True, they may have endured to the end, but it was not the end of the system as Jesus used the expression, but the end of their lives.
Another generation of wise and foolish virgins follows and they presumably hear the reverberating announcement that “the bridegroom is here! Go out to meet him.” They also responsively go out into the darkness to meet him with their lamps aglow. Again, he doesn’t show. Like their predecessors, they all die off wandering in the gloom waiting for the bridegroom to meet them – both the wise and the foolish, there is no distinction.
Now, yet another generation of presumptive wise and foolish virgins comes on the world stage. They too are told, ad nauseam, ‘the bridegroom is here and has been here for 100 years!’ No wonder they all nod off from sheer fatigue.
Obviously, the bridegroom is not here. That is why all those who have figuratively gone out to meet him have been repeatedly disappointed. Ironically, that makes the Watchtower’s question all the more pertinent: Will you keep on the watch?
Contrary to the comment in today’s text the faithful virgins have not responded to the announcement the the bridegroom is here. How could they, since in reality the bridegroom is not here?
Rather than promoting wakefulness, the Watchtower’s phony proclamation that the bridegroom is here (and also “just about to come”) is instrumental in causing complacency.
Because the Watchtower stands as the sole source of truth for Jehovah’s Witnesses no doubt the reason the foolish virgins will find themselves in the dark with no more “oil” for their lamps is because they have unwisely depended on Bethel to tell them what is true and have not really gotten the sense of things.
When the bridegroom finally arrives, heralded by the outbreak of global war, chaos, and all the rest, the five virgins with no reserve will foolishly return to the Watchtower’s sellers of illuminating oil one last time. But their delay will cost them dearly. Making their way to the feast they will find they have been locked out. Knocking and requesting entry, the bridegroom will respond: “I tell you the truth, I do not know you.”