A Tale of Ten Virgins
Or, A Sober Warning to Those Who Look for the Pre-Tribulational
"Watch ye therefore, and pray always,
that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come
to pass, and to stand before the Son of man"
Since I eagerly anticipate the Pre-Tribulational Rapture,
I will also pay careful heed to this warning. Joy should be in our hearts as we prepare
for our LORD's coming for us. "Rejoice in the LORD alway: and again I say, Rejoice."
(Philippians 4:4). "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for
the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready" (Revelation
We are so close to our last sorrow and tear on this planet, we can hardly contain
ourselves. "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall
be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain:
for the former things are passed away" (Revelation 21:4). What love God has
for us to personally wipe away the tears from our eyes!
Be still my soul. Run with patience. "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed
about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the
sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that
is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1). Think of the good men that went before
us, who are now watching us approach the finish line. Adam desires to see as many
as possible escape from "the sin which doth so easily beset us". Enoch
desires that we, too, would finish our race doing the only thing that can possibly
please God, and that is to trust God. "By faith Enoch was translated that he
should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before
his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith
it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He
is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:5-6).
Patience and faith. We know that "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the
word of God" (Romans 10:17), but something more is required of us than simply
hearing the Bible. Since faith is trusting God about whatever He said, the only thing
we lack is various and sundry opportunities to test the veracity of what God said.
"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing
this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience" (James 1:2-3).
Aye, that's why we are still here. Our Heavenly Father is still perfecting us. "Till
we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto
a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Ephesians
4:13). Be patient, He is making us perfect. "But let patience have her perfect
work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing" (James 1:4).
The Parable of the Ten Virgins
Only days before our LORD's crucifixion, He instructed His disciples on the Mount
of Olives concerning His Second Coming (Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, and Luke 21). What
Jesus said about the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25, is what we need to study and understand
to properly prepare us for the First "Come Up Hither" (Revelation 4:1),
which is the Pre-Tribulational Rapture.
"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
"Then shall the kingdom of Heaven be likened unto ten virgins" (Matthew
25:1). Virginity is a sign of purity. "For I am jealous over you with Godly
jealousy: for I have espoused you to one Husband, that I may present you as a chaste
virgin to Christ" (2Corinthians 11:2). "These are they which were not defiled
with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever
He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and
to the Lamb" (Revelation 14:4). These ten virgins represent the body of the
Church. Certainly, they all profess to know the LORD Jesus as their personal Saviour.
Further, they have all experienced true Christian salvation. They "tasted of
the Heavenly Gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost" (Hebrews 6:4).
"Which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the Bridegroom" (Matthew
25:1). A lamp indicates the capacity to give off light. "Thy Word is a lamp
unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105). The LORD Jesus Christ
is the Bridegroom. John the Baptist called Jesus the Bridegroom. "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).
Who is the Bride of Christ? "Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's
wife" (Revelation 21:9). What did the angel show the Apostle John? "And
he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that
great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God" (21:10).
Is the Lamb of God to be married to a city? No, Jesus will be married to what the
city represents-- His people. Israel's Twelve Tribes will be represented by the City's
twelve gates. "And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the
gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve
tribes of the children of Israel" (21:12). The Old Testament Saints are identified
with Israel, just as the New Testament Saints are identified with the Church. Abraham
looked for the New Jerusalem. "For he looked for a City which hath foundations,
whose builder and maker is God" (Hebrews 11:10). The Church will be represented
by the City's twelve foundations-- one for each Apostle. "And the wall of the
City had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve Apostles of the
Lamb" (21:14). Both Israel and the Church are the Bride of Christ.
What is the most important aspect of this Post-Millennial, New Heavens and New Earth
Temple? God is the Temple in the New Jerusalem. "And I saw no temple therein:
for the LORD God Almighty and the Lamb are the Temple of it" (Revelation 21:22).
Remember when Jesus made the statement about destroying "this temple" and
He would raise it up in three days? He really meant it, when He said that He was
the Temple. "Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in
three days I will raise it up" (John 2:19). God will light up the City with
His Own Glory. "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to
shine in it: for the Glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the Light thereof"
"And five of them were wise, and five were foolish" (Matthew 25:2). One
cannot be wise without the salvation offered only through Jesus Christ. The Wise
Virgins are the Church, who walk according to the Word. "And that from a child
thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation
through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (2Timothy 3:15). Foolishness is always
the denial of God. "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God" (Psalm
14:1). The lost and the backslidden deny God by word or action. The Foolish Virgins
are the Backslidden Church. They walk as if there was no God who watched or cared.
"They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no Oil with them" (Matthew
25:3). Of what use is a lamp without fuel? "Then Samuel took the horn of Oil,
and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon
David from that day forward" (1Samuel 16:13). Oil represents the Holy Spirit.
"And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, Whom
God hath given to them that obey Him" (Acts 5:32). God's grace,
not our obedience, merits the Holy Spirit; but our obedience is necessary
for the abiding of the Holy Spirit. "Quench not [literally, extinguish not]
the Spirit" (1Thessalonians 5:19). Make no mistake, foolishness-- as used in
this context-- is not accidental, but purposely unconcerned about obedience. Foolishness,
so represented, is sin. "The thought of foolishness is sin" (Proverbs 24:9).
"But the wise took Oil in their vessels with their lamps" (Matthew 25:4).
The truly wise cannot be impressed by the multiplication of words, thoughts, or actions
devoid of the Word of God. "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge:
but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Proverbs 1:7). The Word of Truth
is the lamp of the Wise Virgins. "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light
unto my path" (Psalm 119:105). The Godly understand the treasure that the Word
of God is-- complete with Its Indwelling Author and Illuminator. "When He, the
Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth" (John 16:13).
"While the Bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept" (Matthew 25:5).
How long will our Heavenly Bridegroom tarry? Not long, because He promised, "I
come quickly" (Revelation 22:7,12). Is this sin that the Wise slumber and sleep
as do the Foolish Virgins? No. "For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that
we are dust" (Psalm 103:14). He provides appropriate rest to His loved ones.
"He giveth His beloved sleep" (Psalm 127:2). On the other hand, the Foolish
Virgins sleep the sleep of those who are at home in the world. "How long wilt
thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?" (Proverbs 6:9).
"And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the Bridegroom
cometh; go ye out to meet Him" (Matthew 25:6). Will the Pre-Tribulational Rapture
occur at midnight? It will have to be midnight for someone in the world-- probably
Israel. When the LORD Jesus comes for His Bride, a command will be given, "Go
ye out to meet Him" (25:6). Likewise, our beloved brother John records a similar
command, "Come up hither" (Revelation 4:1).
"Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps"
(Matthew 25:7). Both the Wise and the Foolish Virgins know about the Pre-Tribulational
Rapture. The Foolish Virgins have argued that their life of sacrifice is more important
than someone's opinion of walking in obedience. The LORD's response is unequivocal.
"And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and
to hearken than the fat of rams" (1Samuel 15:22).
The Wise Virgins not only render heart obedience, but
further seek how to please their LORD. "And whatsoever we ask, we receive of
Him, because we keep His Commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His
sight" (1John 3:22). The Wise Virgins, like Mary, the sister of Lazarus, will
be summoned by the Heavenly Bridegroom. "The Master is come, and calleth for
thee" (John 11:28). Only the truly obedient will render unimpaired compliance
to the Rapture Command, while the Foolish will characteristically yield a form of
obedience, but will lack "the power thereof" (2Timothy 3:5).
"And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of
your Oil; for our lamps are gone out" (Matthew 25:8). If the Foolish Virgins
knew about the Pre-Tribulational Rapture, why did they not have the required Oil
for their lamps? "Wherefore the LORD said, Forasmuch as this people draw near
Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour Me, but have removed their heart
far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the precept of men" (Isaiah
29:13). The Foolish Virgins did not possess the Oil for their lamps because they
were not, at heart, willing to prepare for it. "And they come unto thee as the
people cometh, and they sit before thee as My people, and they hear thy words, but
they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart
goeth after their covetousness" (Ezekiel 33:31).
A backslider is a Foolish Virgin because he is unstably
"double minded". "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways"
(James 1:8). Our LORD explained how unstable the ground is upon which the backslider
is attempting to stand. "No servant can serve two masters: for either he will
hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the
other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon" (Luke 16:13). The backslider at heart
knows that the LORD Jesus is coming to take the Church to Heaven at the Pre-Tribulational
Rapture, but he chooses to gratify selfish desires rather than obediently watch and
prepare. This is classic self-deception. "But be ye doers of the Word,
and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves" (James 1:22).
What then is a backslider? "The backslider in heart shall be filled with his
own ways" (Proverbs 14:14). When a Christian sins, it is as though we crucify
again the LORD Jesus. "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened,
and have tasted of the Heavenly Gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
and have tasted the Good Word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they
shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify [literally,
are crucifying] to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put [literally, putting]
Him to an open shame" (Hebrews 6:4-6). What? Is it impossible for a backslider
to repent? "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God"
(Luke 18:27). It is impossible for God to forgive the backslider-- "renew them
again unto repentance" (Hebrews 6:6)-- while they are STILL crucifying
the Son of God afresh and putting Him to an open shame. The wonder is not that the
Loving Father will not forgive an impenitent backslider, but that a Christian would
deny "the LORD that bought them" (2Peter 2:1).
Are we all doomed to return to our sinning? "For if after they have escaped
the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ,
they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with
them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way
of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the Holy Commandment
delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the True Proverb,
The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing
in the mire" (2Peter 2:20-22). "As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool
returneth to his folly" (Proverbs 26:11).
Is the Pre-Tribulational Rapture only a blissful
dream for the fortunate few who may be accidentally holy at the right moment? "God
forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" (Romans
6:2). It is unthinkable that God Only Wise (Romans 16:27) could not provide His people
with anything more than an accidental holiness. "But thanks be to God, which
giveth us the victory through our LORD Jesus Christ" (1Corinthians 15:57). Faith
is the victory that overcomes the world. "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh
the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith"
How do you prevent Wise Virgins from becoming Foolish Virgins? God is our Keeper.
"The LORD is my Shepherd" (Psalms 23:1). As the Good Shepherd, He has promised
to keep us at the hazard of giving His Own Life. "I am the Good Shepherd: the
Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep" (John 10:11). He has vouched our
safety even to entering the Eternal Dwelling of Heaven. "My sheep hear My voice,
and I know them, and they follow Me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they
shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand" (John 10:27-28).
Isn't our LORD's statement, "Neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand"
(John 10:28), a promise? Yes, Praise God, it is an exceedingly great and precious
promise! A promise assumes the veracity and ability of the one who makes the promise
to keep it. "For when God made Promise to Abraham, because He could swear by
no greater, He sware by Himself" (Hebrews 6:13). A promise assumes the willingness
of the receiver of the promise to fulfill its conditions. "If ye be willing
and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall
be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it" (Isaiah
God has not only designed His Promises to prepare
us for the Pre-Tribulational Rapture, but more importantly, to make us like His Only
Begotten Son. "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious Promises:
that by these ye might be partakers of the Divine Nature, having escaped the corruption
that is in the world through lust" (2Peter 1:4). How wise God is to make such
provision! "According as His Divine Power hath given unto us all things that
pertain unto life and Godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us
to glory and virtue" (2Peter 1:3). He is
doing all that can wisely be done to compel us to enter in ourselves as well as to
fill His House at the Pre-Tribulational Rapture. "And the LORD said unto the
servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that My
house may be filled" (Luke 14:23).
"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" (Matthew 25:9).
Wisdom dictates that we give only when we have the ability to give. "Withhold
not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do
it" (Proverbs 3:27). The Wise Virgins' refusal to give of their Oil to the Foolish,
was not unloving hardness. But as Jesus said when refusing a request by James and
John: "But to sit on My right hand and on My left hand is not Mine to give;
but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared" (Mark 10:40). He did
not give what was not His to give; likewise the Wise Virgins.
"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" (Matthew
25:10). Unprepared describes the Foolish Virgins. "Therefore be ye also
ready: for in such an hour as ye [the unprepared who would later read Jesus' Words]
think not the Son of man cometh" (Matthew 24:44). What victory the Devil must
anticipate in aiding a Backslidden Laodicean Church from leaving at the Pre-Tribulational
Rapture with the Wise Virgins! "It is impossible but that offences will come:
but woe unto him, through whom they come!" (Luke 17:1).
"Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, LORD, LORD, open to us"
(Matthew 25:11). The LORD Jesus Christ has often heard His people call Him LORD,
but the very meaning of the title LORD implies submission and obedience to His Word.
"And why call ye Me, LORD, LORD, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke
"But He answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not" (Matthew
25:12). How can the LORD Jesus tell the Backslidden Church, the Foolish Virgins,
"I know you not"? Actually, it is quite easy. The knowledge of our salvation
is not based upon an intellectual remembrance of any event, or chain of events, that
led to our profession of Jesus Christ as our LORD and Saviour. When it comes down
to it, only the testimony of the Holy Spirit counts. "And because ye are sons,
God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father"
(Galatians 4:6). But, how does the Blessed Spirit testify that sonship to us? Through
the Word of God that He inspired. "For the Prophecy came not in old time by
the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost"
(2Peter 1:21). The Holy Spirit gives us definite assurance of our salvation through
His Word. "Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath
given us of His Spirit" (1John 4:13).
But, how could God tell a backslider that He knows them not? Because knowledge of
our sonship is as distinct of an exercise as the New Birth. The Apostle John was
instructed to write an entire epistle to make clear the subject of how we can know
that we are a Christian. "These things have I written unto you that believe
on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that
ye may believe on the name of the Son of God" (1John 5:13). Here's the key.
Only those who are presently walking can have present knowledge of their salvation.
"And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His Commandments"
(1John 2:3). Those who are not walking in obedience cannot have a present knowledge
of their sonship. "He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His Commandments,
is a liar, and the Truth is not in him" (1John 2:4).
The backslider, or the Foolish Virgin, may intellectually remember his salvation
experience, but the Holy Spirit is no longer giving him the comfort of the Divine
Testimony. In fact, God is totally justified in terrifying the impenitent backslider
with certain destruction. "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received
the knowledge of the Truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but
a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour
the adversaries" (Hebrews 10:26-27). Is this inconsistent behavior on the part
of God? No. If they repent, they demonstrate that they did possess
the salvation from which they had fallen away-- and now returned. If they never do
repent, then they are not Foolish Virgins, they are wolves in sheep's clothing, "whose
damnation is just" (Romans 3:8). "Beware of false prophets, which come
to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves" (Matthew
"Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour
wherein the Son of man cometh" (Matthew 25:13). The disciples were not privileged
to know, then, what the Spirit has revealed, now, to the Church. "And he saith
unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand"
(Revelation 22:10). We have too many signs that the original disciples did not have
to indicate the exact nearness of the soon coming of the LORD Jesus Christ for His
Church at the Pre-Tribulational Rapture. "Can ye not discern the signs of the
times?" (Matthew 16:3). On May 14,1948 Israel was back in the land. On June
7,1967 Israel recaptured Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. Both of these events are
signs (Matthew 24:15 and Luke 21:24b) that we are in the Last Generation. "And
when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for
Your Redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21:28).