“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 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. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” (Matthew 25:1-14 KJV)
At first glance one might conclude this parable is talking about the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of believers in Christ. However after closer inspection we can see clearly that this parable is given to the Nation of Israel left behind at the Rapture; those living in what the Bible calls The Tribulation Period. A 7 year period of time in the end times between the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ with His Bride (the church, believers in Christ).
We must remember that God made covenants and promises to the Jewish people. He will deliver these promises to Israel. God is handling the people of Israel (Jewish peoples) differently than the Christian believers in Christ. Believers in Christ’s act of atonement on the cross as the only means of receiving salvation will be Raptured 7 years prior to the end of the Tribulation period of the last days. The Tribulation period starts with the Antichrist making a covenant with many nations and not necessarily right at the Rapture.
Because the Jewish people are still looking for their Messiah (that is they do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah yet) they will be left behind at the Rapture just as any person that has not accepted the pardon for sin that Christ offers each of us. God will raise 144,000 Jewish believers in Christ during the Tribulation Period who will start evangelizing those left behind.
It is to the end of the Tribulation Period that this parable is referring to. Now, I know many people thought this parable was all about the church and the soon coming Rapture event. Maybe you were taught that? However, it is not talking about that event. It is talking about a time AFTER the Rapture and at the end of the Tribulation Period. It is talking about those from the Tribulation Period that will be permitted (or not be permitted) to enter the Kingdom Age (the 1000 year Millennial reign of Christ on Earth starting at the Second Coming.)
Reasons Why This Event is NOT the Rapture
⇒ First, the parable is talking about “virgins” not the “Bride of Christ”.
Jesus Himself makes it very clear that believers in Christ are the BRIDE of Christ. Believers are married to Christ in a very intimate way. The Holy Spirit resides within a believer and you can’t get much closer.
Many Scriptures in the Bible show the relationship between believers and Christ as a marriage relationship:
“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” (Ephesians 5:23 KJV)
And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.” (Matthew 9:15)
“He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.” (John 3:29)
“And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” (Revelation 21:2)
“Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.” (Revelation 19:9)
Paul speaking about how believers in Christ are liberated from the curse of the Law says this,
“Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye SHOULD BE MARRIED TO ANOTHER, EVEN TO HIM (Jesus) who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” (Romans 7:1-4 KJV, “(Jesus)” added for clarity)
In Matthew 22 Jesus in another parable talks of a king (God) which made a marriage (with believers, the Bride of Christ), for His son (Jesus):
“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding:… ” (Matthew 22:3 KJV)
After the Tribulation period and at the Second Coming of Christ there will be a”Marriage Supper” Of The Lamb (Christ is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world). In Revelation 21 believers Raptured are called the Bride and Lambs wife.
“And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” (Revelation 21:9 KJV)
There are many more examples in the Scriptures making it clear that our relationship with Jesus is that of a Bride and the Bridegroom being Jesus Christ.
⇒ Second, Believers Are Already Married to Christ at the moment of Salvation.
The parable of the Ten Virgins references “Virgins” and “Bridesmaids” but not “The Bride of Christ”. This is a key point to understanding that this parable of Jesus is not intended for the church age of grace but for the Tribulation Period of time in the last days AFTER the Rapture has already occurred.
Believers become married to Christ at the moment of Salvation when the two, become one.
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” (John 14:16-20 KJV)
Seeing that believers are married to Christ, they are NOT virgins nor Bridesmaids. Throughout the Bible, Believers are called the Bride of Christ and not the Virgins of Christ. [Read my other article The Godly Proposal]
Who Are The Virgins Then?
The interesting fact is that while the believers in Christ, the saved, are called The Bride Of Christ throughout Scriptures, Virgins talk about being Israel, the Jewish peoples.
In fact, in Jeremiah 31 is a prophecy about the rebirth of Israel as a nation in the end times. Israel was reborn as a nation on May 15, 1948 in our present day and age and is a fulfillment and big sign that we are living in the last days of the age of grace RIGHT NOW!
“Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O VIRGIN OF ISRAEL: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry. Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and shall eat them as common things. For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God. For thus saith the Lord; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O Lord, save thy people, the remnant of Israel. Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither. They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.
(Verse 13=>) Then shall THE VIRGIN rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.” (Jeremiah 31: 1-13 KJV)
You can see in the 13th verse it says “THEN SHALL THE VIRGIN REJOICE…”. That is all inhabitants of the end time reborn Nation of Israel are called “virgins”. The Virgins are clearly people left behind at the Rapture. This includes, the Jewish peoples and proclaiming Christians, (went to church, did good works but never accepted Christ’s atonement by faith).
During The Tribulation Period (after the Rapture event has occurred) the Bible describes how the Antichrist will take control of the world with a worldwide government and will eventually proclaim himself to be God. He will deceive the world into believing He is the Messiah come as prophesied. There will be Jewish and Christian (in profession only) peoples that will be deceived into believing this. Bible prophecy gives us a very clear timetable of when the Second Coming of Christ will happen to the precise day from the signing of the Antichrist’s covenant with many. So why is this event taking them by surprise?
God will be setting up 144,000 Jews, who become believers in Christ and Two high profile Witnesses, with great signs and wonders, who are sent to proclaim the truth about Christ and His soon Second Coming. So to this group of believers during the Tribulation Period, it will not come as a surprise when Christ returns to the Earth.
However, for those who were deceived by the Antichrist and turned not to Christ in belief, His Second Coming will come as a complete SHOCK. They won’t be looking for Christ because they believe the Antichrist is the God-man, already come. They will in fact be shocked and later when Christ “closes the door” to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb they will realize the truth and in desperation knock on the door to enter. But it is too late and they hear instead the words of Christ “I never KNEW you”
Lamps, Oil and Extra Oil..Oh My
To understand the parable you need t understand that the LAMP is the WORD OF GOD, or to the Jewish peoples called the “Torah”. Again for real understanding in God’s word, we must look at other Scriptures to see what is meant by the word LAMP.
Here is two verses telling us what the LAMP represents from the Old Testament (Torah):
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105 KJV)
“For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness.” (2 Samuel 22:29 KJV)
A lamp is a LIGHT. The word of God is the lamp that shows us the truth in the darkness of the world. So the lamp is the Word of God, the Torah for the Jewish people.
The Holy Spirit within believers leaves Earth at the Rapture. After that the Holy Spirit works with men as in the days of the Old Testament. So the lamp is likely the Torah (Old Testament).
What does the oil reference then? Throughout Scripture oil symbolizes The Holy Spirit.
You can see in Matthew 25:3 that the “foolish virgins” took their lamps. That is they believe in the Torah. These are Jewish people. They have the oil. That is, they were presented with the Gospel of Christ and His soon coming kingdom and believed on Christ as Lord and Savior. They first believed on Christ but then during the extreme hardship of the Tribulation events, they started wavering in that faith. They did NOT take the EXTRA oil with them. That is they did not believe until the end when Christ actually returns at the Second Coming event.
When Christ returns at the Second Coming after the great Tribulation period the foolish virgins have run out of the required oil of enduring in their faith in Christ.
Today, here in the age of grace, before the Rapture, a person who comes to believe on Christ is eternally saved by the Grace of God. Such a person is from the very moment of belief on Christ, SEALED until the day of the Rapture. That is we have an “earnest” which is a ‘guaranteed down payment’ until our bodily Resurrection (see Ephesians 1:13-14 KJV). But during the Tribulation period, those left behind at the Rapture have no such guarantee and must endure in their faith through all the hardships of the Tribulation Period (Revelation 14:12, 16:15).
The wise virgins are those in the Tribulation Period that have the Torah (lamp). They are Jewish people who are the remnant of Israel; true believers in Christ who have endured to the end. They have the oil (heard the Gospel Of Christ and His soon coming kingdom and believed) and have the one extra required item that permits them access to the Kingdom of God… extra oil. The Extra oil is the enduring belief and trust in the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ until the end when the Second Coming event actually happens. These wise virgins are the people that received the teaching of the 144,000 Jewish Jewish believers and the Two Witnesses that will be clearly seen by the whole world. They are believers in Christ who have enough oil, who endured until the end and kept the faith in Christ despite all that has happened to the world and them personally.
The foolish Virgins who did not endure and keep their belief on Christ alone for Salvation will see that Christ is coming but it is too late. They ask the true remnant believers for their oil. The remnant believers refuse because it is theirs and their Salvation is at hand. The foolish virgins go to get more oil but by the time they try to come back to belief it is too late.
Just as God has an appointed specific date for the Rapture of believers, beyond which anyone who has not put their faith on Christ alone for Salvation will be left behind to endure the Tribulation Period, God has also set an appointed specific date for the Second Coming Of Christ Event, beyond which a person who did not endure in believing on Christ alone for Salvation, will not be permitted to enter the Kingdom age.
The End Game. Time IS Very Short!
The Parable of the Ten Virgins spoken by Jesus is NOT about the Rapture, although the Rapture must happen before the event described actually occurs. Matthew 24 is about the Second coming and addresses the Nation of Israel and this parable in Matthew 25 is continuing on that truth. Jesus spoke this to the Jewish people of Israel and it applies to them in the end times. The Bible talks about the 10 lost tribes of Israel. The 10 virgins are being regathered into modern day Israel right now from all four corners of the world into which they were dispersed. A Bible Prophesy that is the number one sign that the time period called the “End Times” and “Last Days” is the time in which you and I are living in.
The Five Wise Virgins is speaking about the remnant of Israel who will believe on Christ.
Given the Rapture could happen at any moment, we can see just how close it actually is.