In this message title, I have used two words which are metaphors. A metaphor is a word used as a figure of speech in which the word or phrase that ordinarily designates one thing is used to designate another. When metaphors are used to tell a story or teach a lesson, it is called an allegory or parable. God has chosen to hide many spiritual truths by using divine allegories and parables. These spiritual truths are revealed to the children of God and hidden from the children of the world (sinners). In this last statement, the word “world” is used as a metaphor for sinners.
The New Testament repeatedly confirms that God gives understanding to the disciples of Jesus Christ, but hides certain knowledge and understanding from sinners. Let us read and understand these three witnesses.
He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
God is merciful and will, at some time in a person's life, give them an opportunity to be saved and have fellowship with the Father and Jesus Christ. People ought to realize that when they ignore the voice of God and refuse to obey His words and His commandments, God is not obligated to continue to call them. He is not unjust when He quits dealing with rebellious people.
And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
When God has something repeated in the Holy Scriptures, it is for the purpose of emphasis and to cause people to pay attention and do what He commands.
And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
This is the third time this is recorded in the gospels. Do you think that Jesus meant what the Word says? How many times does God need to say something? He is a just God and when judgment and punishment come, He is still a God of mercy and justice.
19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
An angel is a messenger of God. The angels of the seven churches in Asia to whom the Revelation is addressed are the pastors of those congregations. The seven candlesticks are the seven congregations to whom the Revelation book was addressed. These words and phrases are symbols which tell an important truth which God wants His people to understand.
Let us study a parable and define the symbols which Jesus used.
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins [pure, clean and undefiled individuals, i.e. saints], which took their lamps [the light of true salvation, the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ], and went forth to meet the bridegroom [Jesus Christ, the Husband and the Head of the church].
2 And five of them were wise [possessed the full knowledge of the complete plan of salvation], and five were foolish [these did not have the experience of full salvation or entire sanctification, they were therefore weak and faulty].
3 They that were foolish took their lamps [the light of truth], and took no oil with them [they had oil in the lamp, but did not have a second measure of oil in their vessel with their lamp]:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels [an additional or second measure/source of oil] with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered [half asleep] and slept [fully unconscious].
6 And at midnight [end of time] 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 [Jesus] 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 [whose light had gone out, i.e. backslidden], saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not [you workers of iniquity who have allowed your light to go out].
13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
A woman or women are often used as a symbol in the Bible to represent a religious organization. There is the virgin woman which represents the true church of God and then there are other women who are portrayed as whores and harlots who represent false religious organizations.
And in that day seven women [religious people who claim to be of God] shall take hold of one man [Jesus Christ, the Husband of the Church], saying, We will eat our own bread [doctrine], and wear our own apparel [religious conduct]: only let us be called by thy name [church of God], to take away our reproach.
This verse speaks of the Protestant and Catholic churches of our day who claim to be Christian, but will not obey the doctrines of Jesus Christ and act like disciples of Christ ought to act. They want to believe that they are Christians. They want other people to accept them as Christians. However, they will not submit to sound teaching, modesty and holiness.
1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.
False religion is any religion which would teach false doctrine which causes people to remain in their sins and still claim to be in fellowship with Jesus Christ. Their false doctrine is the “wine” which makes them drunk with the conviction that they can go to heaven without ceasing from their sins. They are drunk with the wine of her fornication. To be joined to a false religion is to commit spiritual fornication against Jesus Christ.
1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:
2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
If any person becomes one with or in fellowship with these Babylonian organizations then they will be judged with the corrupt system. To join them in their false worship is to become partakers of the sin of Babylon.
8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
You can not effectively witness to someone who is drunk on alcohol; neither can you effectively witness to someone who is drunk on Babylon's doctrines.
Many religious people are drunk on the following doctrines:
1. Eternal security – sin you will, sin you must every day in thought, word or deed.
2. The millennial reign of Christ in Jerusalem at His second advent.