Matthew 25:1-13 (NLT) “Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, 4 but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. 5 When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.6 “At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’7 “All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. 8 Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’ 9 “But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’10 “But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. 11 Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’ 12 “But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’ 13 “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.

We are looking at this point of view from God’s position of judgment. As we live our daily faith life, we must always consider God’s judgment in our mind. What is the parable of the ten virgins? We must be awakened and awaiting. This is the core of our lives. When we are awakened, we need to be prepared.

God’s judgment comes to us in the form of a crisis. If there is no impending crisis, we will never know if we are prepared or not. This is why crisis must come into our lives. The crisis within our lives, families, church, and health. We all live and experience some form of crisis although the crisis may be different. When a small crisis arises, we need to be awakened. When we properly overcome the small crisis and even if the large crisis arises, we will have the ability to properly deal with the crisis.

God is speaking regarding the future judgments. The judgments will approach us like the parable of the ten virgins. The judgments will approach as the Master had come to ask His servants whom He had entrusted five talents, two and one talents each. Our Master will demand, “Give back what I have entrusted!” Then we will have to return to Him what HE had entrusted. God will come in the form or the situation of the Talents and/or the ten virgins.

God said that His judgment will take place within the churches. God will not measure the ones that are outside the church but inside the church. He will measure as He observes the people’s inner hearts, thoughts, and selfish motives. God will observe if they have evil thoughts and if they lie. God will observe and watch repeatedly. So whenever we come to church, we must fervently repent! We need to repent of pridefulness, lying, the evil thoughts and so on.

There are many swindlers in the world but when it comes to spiritual swindlers, it is even more serious. Many so-called “prophets and prophecy” work to receive money. They are the counterfeits. These counterfeit servants need to fervently and earnestly repent! When you look at the book of Jeremiah, Micah, and Isaiah, you will be able to see that the one who falsely prophesy and the ones who had received the false prophecy were equally judged. Not every false servant or “prophet” started out false at first. Initially, people receive grace, power and spiritual gifts. But as they operate within that grace, power and spiritual gifts, they become skillful in swindling the money out of the pockets of God’s people. I minister in the areas of prophecy, holy fire, interpretation and so on. But this one particular pastor tried to use me in such a way.

When it comes to performing the power of God, it is even possible for a person to imitate the performance in the power of God for a short period of a time. But fruit is very important. At the same time, if you only insist on bearing fruit, then you can be stuck there. What is the next level or step? We must be renewed from the inside out. Then again, there will be another level or step. You cannot stay in the realm of only being healed inwardly. When we first receive the grace of God, we must bear fruit and you will go through the process of bearing fruit. After you bear fruit, you need to possess the character, personality, and nature to maintain that fruit. You need to have renewed the inner being or man. When your inner being is renewed, you need to move forward and receive the power of God. The power I am talking about is the power to transform other people 180 degree. It will be the power to grow short legs, healing the crippled man, and so forth. These people will be mightily used.

Some kind of crisis continuously comes our way. Whether it is small or large, we always need to be prepared. In today’s scripture, the ten virgins are waiting. It is like they are in the churches. They all have same outer appearance of preparedness. They all are waiting for the same Bridegroom. They all are at the same place. They all look the same. They all have their lamps and oil. But up until the Bridegroom comes, no one knew who were authentic or ready. No one knew who were to be taken and who were to be left behind. Many things were revealed when the Bridegroom had come. One may think that he/she is wheat, but in reality that may not be the case. Someone may look like chaff but in reality he/she may be the wheat. The distinction will be shown from the quantity of faith. What is the quantity of faith? It is the quality of a person’s faith and prayer. How do you get the quality of prayer? The quality of prayer will be sorted out from the quantity of prayer. Most people always talk about the quality of prayer without praying much. But the quality of prayer will be sorted out from the quantity of prayer. Therefore, whenever you can, pray!

When you plan to go to someplace to meet someone and if you know that such a place and the person you are planning to meet will cause your faith to become negative, you must not go or meet that person. But if you still went to such a place and met such a person, your faith will drop dramatically. The things you see, hear, and experience will go deep into your thoughts, heart, and soul. These things will settle within you. Once it settles without being properly handled, these negative things will grow within you. When we sin, sin will grow and destroy our soul at the end.

In the churches, there are wheat and chaff. We all need to constantly exam ourselves before the Bridegroom comes whether personally or churchwise. We need to check our lamps by constantly lighting our lamps. We need to constantly check our oil container by shaking it to see if it is more than enough.  The scariest thing is that we do not know when our Bridegroom will come for us. Many try so hard to estimate the coming of the Lord. We need to unfold the last days with the Word of God. Do not unfold or try to figure things out about the last days with the information and signs of the world from the internet or from the preaching of the false prophets. No matter how much information or knowledge you obtain from the internet, if you do not know the Word of God, it will all be in vain.

I went to visit many churches such as IHOP in Kansas City. At IHOP, I saw the spirit of drowsiness working on the people. One person had said, “I am a member of the worship team in IHOP.”

But I was thinking to myself, ‘An IHOP worship team member? But then why do you have such evil spirits dwelling inside of you?’ This IHOP worship team member began singing. He was tearing up but it was all his own emotions. I powerfully prayed over him and he manifested. I saw the evil spirit disguised in the form of an eerie looking woman. It was the evil spirit singing inside of him. Later on, this man asked me how I knew. I said, “Well, I can see through you” This worship member of IHOP even had spoken in tongue but it was not the gift of tongue granted by God. When I imparted holy fire, his eyes rolled back and the white part of the eyes came forth. We all need to be fully awakened. Do not be deceived just because a place is well known or if a person is well known. Even if certain people claim to have some kind of power, do not just believe and be deceived. We all need to discern if one works biblically.

In the last days, the wheat and chaff are mixed within the church. When it comes to the gospel, wheat can turn into chaff, and chaff can turn into wheat. All of us are within that grace time of turning into wheat. Do not guarantee for yourself that you are a wheat, then it will be very dangerous. It is better to think that you are a chaff who are in the work and process to become a wheat as you pray fervently.

What is the standard and distinction between wheat and chaff? We will know the standard with the holy fire of God.

1 Corinthians 3:13 (EXP) their work will be clearly seen [or shown for what it is], because the day of judgment [day]will make it visible [clear; obvious]. That day will appear [or reveal it; expose it] with fire, and the fire will test everyone’s work to show what sort of work it was.

1 Peter 4:17 (NLT) For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News?

God’s judgement will always begin from the house of God. All things will be sorted out from the house of God first. Then God will judge the world. When God sorts out the chaff from the churches, He will judge the world with the chaffs at simultaneously. If we cannot become wheat within the church but still chaff, it will be a great sadness. The coming of the Lord appears delayed but at the same time it feels like it will come very soon. The Word of God will always have two sides. It is like salvation. Even if one had received salvation, this person’s salvation will gradually be accomplished as well. It must be completed. Do not guarantee your salvation, then it will be out of pride. However, we need to have the assurance of salvation. We need to always repent. Moresoever, when you knowingly sin, you need to fervently and earnestly repent!

There are genuine and counterfeit grace within the churches. Why is there counterfeit grace? It is because of pride. When a place or a person is prideful, this place or person will have a hard time repenting. Why is it hard to repent? When it comes to repenting, sometimes it is very easy for us to repent but sometimes it is very hard to repent. When we are cornered into a crisis we will repent more easily. When do we have a hard time repenting? It is when we are under our own delusion and own thoughts. Many times, we think we are on the right but in reality, we are disrespectful and prideful before the Lord.

The five foolish virgins have lamps with oil and it is actually lighting and flickering. It may appear that they are all ready as the bride of Christ. The part of the lamp where oil is stored is like a place where we cannot see. It is a hidden place. It is our inside. Many christians are under delusion and their own thoughts. They would think, ‘I have light. My faith walk with God is fine, therefore I know I have enough oil. These christians are under delusion and pride. These types of christians are not responsible and many Christians are under delusion and their own thinking. When a person is prideful, they are also under delusion. These types of Christians would say, “The Lord is leading me to heaven, and I know that I am heading toward heaven!” But when we look at the content, it is not so. These types of Christians continuously collide with other people, bearing no fruit and have a hard time healing. They are living under a false grace. False grace may be hidden within us. You have no idea how many people are leaning on false grace within the churches. They would say, “We have a big church and we pray too!” Do not lean on such things. Don’t pretend like you have faith just because of the size of the church and the number of people in the church.

When you come before the Lord and pray you need to cry out and repent fervently with all your heart. You need to ask for forgiveness and confess to the Lord that you are useless without Him. You have to be in a position where you need grace like never before. The Lord loves and grant favor to such a people. If we have no desire to come in such a way, God will judge us. When we hear the Word of God, we need to start giving self sacrificing work devoting ourselves to Him and this begins with small things.

These foolish virgins who thought they were the bride of the Lord were under delusion by thinking they were actually the bride when they were only the bridesmaids. They would always think, ‘In my opinion, what I am thinking is right. Only what I have experienced is right!’ These types of Christians argue with other Christians with their own thinking and delusion. They are prideful. If you encounter such Christians, you need to step back. Do not argue. Be very careful.

There is a big difference between real preparation of the Bride and the false preparation of the Bride under their delusion. There are many people who relate God’s grace with money. They are degrading God’s grace. These servants of God did not start in such a way from the beginning. These servants of God gradually became such a way. They became the false prophets.

No one actually expects themselves to be degraded to the bridesmaid or a false bride. The problem is when we have self-centered and deluded faith. In order for us to avoid such tragedy, we need to live a lifestyle of repentance. We need to always repent whenever we come to the church.

The five foolish virgins had not fully filled their lamps. We need to draw a line and do not go over the line. For example, if I know that my faith will drop in certain place, situation or from meeting certain people, then we need to avoid such places or people. These foolish virgins do not know their boundaries or limitation. Their faith lifestyle is messed up. They are the ones spending money on Sunday, buying, selling, dining out, and doing other personal things. You will not be able to find these types of Christians in heaven. Today, pastors are doing and leading such personal ways on Sundays. Moreover, pastors and leaders are smoking and drinking. This is a great tragedy. Then these type of Christians do not understand and answer why any things in their lives are not improving. These type of christians cannot figure out why their prayer life is so difficult and weak. These type of christians are missing something and cannot come to understanding. They have things that are in their lives or within them that needs to go but in fact, such things that need be forsaken are actually piling up. In the midst of their confusion and delusion, the Bridegroom will come. “Look, the Bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!” The Bridegroom will come suddenly whether in our personal life or church life. That’s when they will know whether their oil is full or half empty. Right now, we will not know. But when the Bridegroom comes suddenly, we will know whether there is much oil left in our lamp. Therefore, if your daily faith walk is not properly carried out in terms proper prayer, belief, and faith, it will be all revealed when the Lord comes to for us.

In the parable of the talent, the person who received one talent did not understand God’s grace. This person only thought of maintaining the one talent without utilizing it. When we receive the grace of God, we must not just maintain the grace but we must put it into action. We need to utilize His grace to save souls, evangelize, and pray. But in reality, many of us have a hard time sustaining our own level of faith. This kind of elementary faith will be in vain when the Lord/Master comes to us.

In the last days, frequent tribulation will come to our lives, not only on a personal level but globally. More severe weather changes and other signs in the world will increase in the future. Tribulation prepares and adorns us into the brides of Christ. Only through test, suffering, and tribulation will we frequently come to the Lord and pray. God leads us in such a way so that we will live spiritually.

1 Peter 1:6-7 (AMP) In this you rejoice greatly, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the genuineness of your faith, which is much more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested and purified by fire, may be found to result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Sermon by Pastor Kim, Yong Doo
Head pastor of the Lord’s Church, Korea
Author of Baptize by Blazing Fire book series

Translated by Pastor Steve & Yoojin Kim
Pastors of Fire of God Church in San Francisco (Fremont)
Fire of God Church is a branch church of the Lord’s Church, Korea and is under the spiritual covering of head Pastor Kim, Yong Doo