So sat thru yet another "new light" session this past Sunday. As you may already know, it is a continuation of the previous study. You know the speech... no more type/anti-type. No more looking for meaning where there is none. Is so obvious that no one is paying attention. I was falling asleep and yet I was able to catch this.... bolds mine
3 We noted in the preceding article that over recent decades, the faithful slave has gradually come to explain the Scriptures with less emphasis on sym- bolic prophetic pictures and more on practical application. In the past, our lit- erature at times assigned specific sym- bolic meanings even to small details of Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins, includ- ing the lamps, the oil, the flasks, and so forth. Is it possible, though, that we were allowing the spotlight to shift from the parable’s simple, urgent message? As we will see, the answer is of vital im- portance. (No more idiotic meaning to parables?)
“The bridegroom came.” (Matt. 25:10) As was discussed in the July 15, 2013, issue of this journal, Jesus’ prophecy record- ed in Matthew chapters 24 and 25 con- tains eight references to his “coming”; in each case, a form of the same Greek word is used. In every instance, Jesus was referring to the time during the great tribulation when he will come to carry out the judging work and then the destruction of this world system of things. Evidently, then, this parable ap- plies during the last days, but its climax comes during the great tribulation. (So is it a parable or a prophecy?)
The second quality that helps those virgins to be ready is 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 be- came drowsy and fell asleep” during the apparent delay of the bridegroom. 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. (Matt. 25:5, 6; 26:41) What about faithful anointed ones today? Through- out 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. However, the climax of the parable fo- cuses on a more specific period of time. How so? (So if they all were drowsy, how did the discrete half remained vigilant?)
Side note: In the parable, there is a distinct interval be- tween the shout, “Here is the bridegroom!” (verse 6) and the actual coming, or arrival, of the bridegroom (verse 10). Throughout the last days, vigilant anoint- ed ones have discerned the sign of Jesus’ presence. They thus know that he is “here”—ruling in Kingdom power. They face the challenge of enduring until his coming, or arrival. (Thought we were done putting meaning were there is none)
So, all and all, provided that things are supposed to be turning simpler, this is the most confusing study I've seen. What struck me the most was the language of the elder directing the study. When speaking on regards of the new understanding he would ask questions like "What could have happened if we tried to append too much meaning to the parable?" Speaking in that past tense tells me (and excuse me, second hand english speaker here) that he was speaking as if this has never happened. In my perspective, the practical lesson was somewhat highlighted, but they still failed at the temptation of putting meaning where there is nothing. Even without considering the side note, to say the discreet virgins remained vigilant until the end (despite the fact that the fell asleep just like the other ones) is not wha the lesson is. The lesson has more to do with preparedness than vigilance. Just like a survivalist that stocks up food despite not knowing when a disaster is going to hit. He does not have to worry himself with watching out for everything. He knows he will be ready not matter what comes or when.