A change of topics
Now that Jesus has answered the two questions posed to Him by the apostles. Jesus continues the discourse into a deeper teaching that He wanted the disciples to hear before He could not teach them. Here again He starts this teaching with a parable.
The parable of the ten virgins
Matthew 25:1 – “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.
This parable deals with the Rapture. Within it is a very complex imagery of belief and preparedness, as well as Christ stating He may be delayed. Let’s try and look at the imagery presented here.
First off we have the bridesmaids. The word “bridesmaids” is in itself extremely important to understand for within it is referring to salvation itself. In other books within the Bible Jesus Christ is referred to as the “bridegroom” and the Christian peoples are the “bridesmaids.” Just as the Jewish people are called the bride to God Himself.
Now note how wording is done in the first verse of this chapter. In the KJV it is this way:
“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.”
“Went forth to meet.” This is humanity using their free-will to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and journeying forth to learn more about Him through pray and reading of the Bible. This is signified with the statement “which took their lamps.” The lamps are lit, which again points to acceptance of Christ and salvation.
“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.”
For the lamps to stay lit it shows we must be prepared. This is accomplished through reading the Bible and seeking to understand it. Since we do not know when the groom will appear we must stay within the Word of God and live our lives accordingly. We must live our lives in accordance with the Bible every day for we do not know when Jesus will come.
However as is shown in the parable there are those that do not. They live their lives in and of the world and so are not prepared for His return. These are the foolish. However note this next verse:
“While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.”
Jesus makes it clear that in our eyes, the bridegroom, Jesus, will tarry, will delay.
We also see that those that all that accepted Christ will fall asleep. We all wonder and become distracted.
“And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.”
The “cry” is the warning signs that we are taught to look for, which at this very time are being seen and heard throughout the entire world. So the virgins, the bridesmaids, are instructed to go to meet the bridegroom. We are instructed to fix our lives and get back on track and to return to our path of faith and obedience to the Word of God.
“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.”
Those that did not see the signs and did not prepare or “trimmed their lamps” soon enough find they are not prepared. So they turn to those that are prepare for the return of Christ. So they tell those not ready to go and read the Bible and learn the truth and get their lives in order.
Then Christ returns and the rapture occurs and those not prepared are left on the earth. They scream up to the heavens and say “Here we are Lord we are ready for you!” and per the Bible Christ reply will be:
“Verily I say unto you, I know you not.”
They are left here to suffer the torments that are to follow for the next three and a half years. They must now accept Christ and preach His Word. They must suffer insult and injury as well as persecution. They will be offered the mark of the beast and many will accept the mark. While those that do not will accept their fate and suffer pain and agony as they are beheaded. They will become the martyrs of the Tribulation and will number in the billions.
Revelation 7: 9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, 12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. 13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
The Olivet Discourse (Part fourteen)
A change of topics