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Behold the Bridegroom Cometh


This is a good message, taken from a sermon preached in 1928 by Thomas Houghton. The topic of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25, and its significance, has been like many parables (and prophecy’s) concerning the end days or coming of our Lord: there is more then one interpretation to be found. To me, it seemed simple: Its about being awake and prepared.

There is a dire warning within it as well, one which speaks not just of the 5 foolish virgins being without oil, but of how all 10 virgins (the Church as a whole) will be sleeping. Jesus’ words appear to imply that all (the Church) will indeed awaken directly prior to his return (how soon before it doesn’t say) but that only half will be prepared to enter in.

I’ve often wondered at that picture. One example I’ve thought of concerning the 5 foolish, is that of Samson:

And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him. Judges 16:20

What I’m not sure I agree with is who the author/preacher believes the 5 foolish virgins represent. Perhaps you’d care to offer an opinion..

Matthew 25:1-13Then 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.

The subject for our consideration is our Lord’s answer to the question “what shall be the sign of Thy coming and of the end of the world (age)?”

The main answer was given in Matthew 24.

In that chapter our Lord indicated what would be the general character of the present age until His return. The Lord, however, proceeded to give further instruction to His people, and so He told them what would be the condition of the world when He came. Instead of being millennial, it would be antediluvian (Matthew 24:37-41).

Further, He proceeded to teach how His coming would affect the professing Church.

This is the general topic of the three parables of Matthew 25. They all refer to His coming, and they all refer to it in relation to the professing Church.

“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins.”

Our Lord throws light on the meaning of the words “The Kingdom of Heaven” in the parable of the tares (Matthew 13). “The good seed,” He says, “are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one.” These are to continue together until the end of the age.

Then “the Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom (i.e. Christendom) all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire.”

Manifestly “the kingdom of heaven” denotes the professing Church in its mixed condition, consisting of tares and wheat, the children of the wicked one, and the children of the kingdom. In the strictest sense the kingdom of heaven, or the kingdom of God, or the kingdom of Christ and of God, or the kingdom of the Son of His love, consists only of those who are born again, but Satan has introduced tares amongst the wheat, and hence, during this dispensation, the professing Church, or the kingdom of heaven, consists of two classes. (See Matthew 18:3; John 3:3,5; Col. 1:12, 13.)

Now let us consider what our Lord teaches us in the parable of the ten virgins about the professing Church.

1. The professing Church will consist of two classes right up to the moment of His coming.

The ten virgins consist of those who are wise and those who are foolish. The professing Church consists, partly, of those who have become “wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” They have been led by the Spirit to take heed to Christ’s teachings and hence they are like a wise man who built his house upon a rock.

On the other hand, there are large numbers in the professing Church who, though they have heard Christ’s teachings, reject them. The Word of His Gospel has not taken root in their hearts. They neglect His great salvation, and in their hearts they reject the Saviour. Such are like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand.

These two classes, the wise and the foolish, the real and the nominal, the possessor and the mere professor, appear also in the parables of the tares and of the draw net, and they are present in the professing Church right on till the Lord’s return. The wise and the foolish virgins are in outward association until they are awakened by the cry, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh.”

2. From the beginning the members of the professing Church have been expecting His coming.

Both the wise and foolish virgins went forth to meet the Bridegroom. The doctrine of the Lord’s return was prominent in the teaching of the Apostles. Hence the Corinthian saints were “waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:7). So were the Thessalonian and the Philippian saints (see 1 Thess. 1:10; Phil. 3:20). The Church at large, despite its mixed state and its departure from truth, has always professedly expected the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In Romans 8:19,23, the whole creation, inanimate as well as animate, is represented as waiting for that great event.

3. There is a vital distinction between the two classes who make up the professing Church.

“The wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.” The foolish “took no oil with them.”

Oil is typical of the Holy Ghost. Our Lord was anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power (Acts 10:38, Luke 4:18).

His people are also anointed and sealed with the Spirit (2 Cor. 1:21, 22). It is by the work of the Spirit that they are washed, sanctified and justified (see 1 Cor. 6:11; Titus 3:3-7). He dwells in them. The presence of oil with the wise virgins indicated that they were regenerated, sealed and indwelt by the Spirit.

The absence of oil in the case of the foolish virgins indicated that they were destitute of the Spirit, and hence, they had no life, no light, no faith, no holiness, no power, no comfort and no hope (see Rom. 8: 9)

4. While He tarries the whole professing Church will slumber and sleep.

Note that expression “while the Bridegroom tarried.” Evidently the Lord intended to tarry or delay coming for a long time. He knew this when He told the parable. He did not teach that He might come at any moment. When the predestined moment arrives for Him to come, then “He that shall come will come, and will not tarry” (Heb. 10:37).

“They all slumbered and slept.” This is prophetic of the general condition of the professing Church, especially in the closing part of this dispensation. Compare “the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:12).

Comparative deadness, inactivity, and coldness will mark the professing Church as a result of abounding lawlessness.

Doubtless there will be exceptions to this general rule.

5. When the darkness is thickest then the cry will go forth, Behold the Bridegroom cometh.

We are not told who will utter this cry. Probably those believers who have been enabled to keep awake will utter it.

6. The whole professing Church will then wake up.

The real and the only nominal Christians will then fully realize that the Bridegroom is now coming, and they will feel the need of being ready for His approach. Then the mere professor will discover what he was never conscious of before. He will realize that he is not ready to meet the Bridegroom. He will discover that the wise have something which he has not. He lights his lamp but finds it is going out because there is no oil to feed the flame. In other words, he is destitute of the Spirit, and therefore destitute of life, and destitute of saving faith in the Blood and righteousness of Christ.

He is therefore not ready to meet the Bridegroom.

7. They that are ready will go in with Him to the marriage.

All who had oil, all His regenerated people, will go in with Him to the marriage. Their title to be welcomed to the feast will not be dependent on their having kept awake, but upon their being marked as His redeemed people by the presence of His Spirit in their hearts. All such, unworthy though they are in themselves, will go in with Him to the marriage.

Then we read the solemn words, “The door was shut.” The foolish virgins come and say Lord, Lord, open to us,” but He will answer, “Verily, I say unto you, I know you not.” These solemn words prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the foolish virgins represent merely nominal Christians. “The Lord knoweth them that are His,” but these He knows not. They are not members of His mystical body. They are not His sheep.

There are two sides to a door, the inside and the outside. On which side shall we be when the great Bridegroom cometh…

44 comments on “Behold the Bridegroom Cometh

  1. Thought this is a good self examination:

    if we read and meditate on God’s words daily and pray often, and we love to do it, it is good indication that we are ready for Christ’s return. If we have no time to read the bible and have no time to pray, we are not ready.

  2. I’ve long been of the opinion that the 5 foolish virgins – as well as the man who was invited to the wedding feast but denied entry because he had no wedding garment – are some of the many who are called but not chosen.

    • The message from our Lord of being prepared and watching has always been simple to me Manfred, but the identity of the 5 foolish, has not been, except if you accept the idea that one can have the Holy Spirit [be saved] at one time, but for whatever reason [apostasy, leaving our first love, etc] not be when our Lord returns.

      The author above states;

      Oil is typical of the Holy Ghost. Our Lord was anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power (Acts 10:38, Luke 4:18).

      His people are also anointed and sealed with the Spirit (2 Cor. 1:21, 22). It is by the work of the Spirit that they are washed, sanctified and justified (see 1 Cor. 6:11; Titus 3:3-7). He dwells in them. The presence of oil with the wise virgins indicated that they were regenerated, sealed and indwelt by the Spirit.

      The absence of oil in the case of the foolish virgins indicated that they were destitute of the Spirit, and hence, they had no life, no light, no faith, no holiness, no power, no comfort and no hope (see Rom. 8: 9)

      It doesn’t say they had no oil in their lamps [the 5 foolish], when they all 10 went out; but it seems they only had the oil in their lamps. That they didn’t prepare by taking extra.

      They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

      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.

      It appears they had some oil at one time, before slumbering, for they notice their ‘lamps are gone out’ when the call comes. Its as though their lamps had oil at first, but unlike the wise virgins who prepared by taking extra oil, the foolish did not.

      any thoughts?

    • Before slumbering, one group expected salvation by the law (fleshly/worldly fulfillment, by deeds) and the other, the faithful remnant if you will, heard the call to be expectant of salvation through the Messiah (an other worldly/spiritual fulfilment, by Gods grace).

      Just a Thought.

    • –Old Covenant Bride vs. New covenant Bride/Bridesmaids–
      ( 5 wise, 5 foolish ? )

      I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table (the wedding feast) with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, Matthew 8:11

      And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table (the wedding feast) in the kingdom of God. Luke 13:29

      This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs (the wise), members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Ephesians 3:6

      For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 1:11

  3. pj,

    I do not think having been given a lamp with oil in it is of necessity proof of having been born again. Soil which was stony received the Word with gladness but HAD NO ROOT also, in my view, represents “goats in sheep’s clothing”. Is it not clear, in verse 12 of Matthew 25 that the Lord plainly tells the foolish virgins and us that they are not His children, same as in Matthew 7?

  4. I do not think having been given a lamp with oil in it is of necessity proof of having been born again.

    Then you don’t agree that oil represents the Holy Spirit?

    • Oil may indeed represent the Holy Spirit. But having Him in hand, so to speak, is not the same as having Him indeed. Could it be that these foolish virgins are analogous to people who hear the Gospel and pray and prayer but have no repentance and no salvation? They’ve received the Word of God and appear to have His Spirit within, but may not be saved.

      The bottom line for me is that Christ tells them He knows them not; and I fervently hold to eternal security as being an attribute of Christ.

      10 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.
      11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
      12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

      This will not be spoken by the Lord to any of the elect.

  5. and I fervently hold to eternal security as being an attribute of Christ.

    Then we’ll leave it as it is Manfred. We can’t truly discuss all the possible meanings, on the topic of the 5 foolish virgins then..

    I respect your opinion though.🙂

    • PJ – Not my intention to argue, but a thought occurred to me as I was riding home this afternoon: regarding any Scripture interpretation, should not the clear things be used to interpret the less clear? Is not the explicit rebuke of the Lord in verse 12 more compelling than an implicit metaphor?

      We are brethren in Christ, sharpening one another. To Him alone be all glory and praise.

  6. One of the most brilliant interpretations of God’s vindication and wrath is this parable told by Jesus about His Bride, the 5 virgins who came prepared “did not trust in or rely upon their own wisdom or works to get into His Wedding”. All 10 virgins were invited to be a part of the wedding so it is not a matter of God “not wanting” them involved in His personal Life. No, not at all. This is one of three “last” parables or stories Jesus tells at Matthew 25. It is a parable about God’s final judgment of me, you, my final judgment, yours too.

    The 5 virgins who came “unprepared” were simply relying upon what is normal for life at a day wedding. They came prepared for nothing more than what was to be expected or another way of saying it, “their nothing faith” did not get them into what was theirs to have. They relied upon themselves and not another’s Wisdom. That is the judgment, anything that is not of “His Faith” is sin. Afterall, who caused the delay to enter into the Wedding? Not the 10 virgins, but the Bridegroom Himself. Each virgin accepted the call to be apart of this grand Wedding. He caused the crisis that came about that day. He causes the crisis in our daily life so that we do not rely upon our own strengths but God’s Wisdom to live His Life to the fullest.

    Yes, the Faith once delivered to the Saints is all we need to live His Life to the fullest. And it is such a sweet Life we “should” live!

    What God calls foolish, man calls wise. What man calls foolish, God calls “Wise”:

    Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
    Pro 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
    Pro 3:7 Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.

    I propose to say that those 5 foolish virgins did not “use” the Faith/Wisdom God gave to them all, all 10 virgins; and Jesus is giving us a warning by this parable too, describing the final “judgment” for foolish behavior.

    Consider the following verses and “see” the difference between the 5 foolish virgins and the 5 wise virgins in them:

    Pro 3:13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding,
    Pro 3:14 for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.
    Pro 3:15 She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.
    Pro 3:16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.
    Pro 3:17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
    Pro 3:18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.
    Pro 3:19 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens;
    Pro 3:20 by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew.
    Pro 3:21 My son, do not lose sight of these– keep sound wisdom and discretion,
    Pro 3:22 and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck.
    Pro 3:23 Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble.

    For me, it is my opinion, that this parable is only for those who want to be found in “Someone” else’s “Righteousness”, “Peace” and “Joy”, Someone else’s “Wisdom” and not their own each day.

    Mat 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’
    Mat 25:10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.
    Mat 25:11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’
    Mat 25:12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

    It is not a “life” lived for oneself all their lives that we are called to live and then at the “end”, things are different and all is well! No, no, life is not lived like that!! We die daily into the Life of Christ, “knowing” Him. No, we are die to self and live for Another!

    See what He said to the 5 foolish virgins? ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’.

    Now consider the definition of the “gift” of Eternal Life here:

    Joh 17:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you,
    Joh 17:2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.
    Joh 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

    Two things I will note. One is at verse 2, “God has given to Christ authority over all flesh”. Two, “knowing the Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He sent” is paramount to being prepared for your day of “the end” when, as a foolish virgin or wise one, you enter into either, a life hereafter where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, or Joy and Peace and Rejoicing with Our Bridegroom!

    Look to Him, He has all you need! Look to yourself, and, well, like the 5 foolish virgins, you will come up short at the time of your judgment and sadly you will not “hear”: well done thou Good and Faithful Servant, enter into the Joy of the Lord.

    This life is going in one direction. We have one chance to “get it right”, not two. At the end of our days when we come face to face with Eternity, we will not have another chance to “get it right”.

    So, as I quoted above so I quote anew here now again:

    Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
    Pro 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

    Mat 25:6 But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’

    Are you prepared to “hear” that Joyful sound?

    1Ch 16:31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!”
    1Ch 16:32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it!
    1Ch 16:33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.

    • Afterall, who caused the delay to enter into the Wedding? Not the 10 virgins, but the Bridegroom Himself. Each virgin accepted the call to be apart of this grand Wedding.

      Yes, that’s the way it appears to me too Michael.

      The point that they are all referred to as virgins may be of some significance also–you think so?

  7. I think that looking at this parable from a more covenantal
    basis might shed some light on it. My thoughts are far from
    complete but, I will try to throw out some ideas and maybe
    someone else can fill in the gaps.

    First, 10 virgins may represent the whole of those who
    believe only in YHVH and hold no idols within their hearts.
    (Thus covenantal virgins, not defiled with idols, pure hearts)

    Second, they all have lamps. Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet
    and a light unto my path. They all have the Word of God.
    At this point in time The Word was only the old testament.

    Third, they all had at least some oil or else the lamps
    would not have burned at all “for our lamps are gone out.”
    (I think this would imply that they were once burning.)

    Forth, Oil is generally representative of the Holy Spirit.
    It was many times used to anoint someone chosen to serve The Lord
    in a special way.

    Fifth, The five foolish represent those who remained under the
    law of sin and death (old cov) and the wise those who embraced
    the law of the spirit of life in The Messiah, Jesus (new cov).

    “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.”

    “But their minds were blinded. For until THIS DAY the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament,
    because the veil is taken away in Christ.”
    2 Corinthians 3:14

    As a starting point, the virgins represent all covenanted people.
    The lamps represent The Word.
    The Oil, The Holy Spirit.
    The difference between the two groupings 5 & 5 are the
    Two Covenents.
    One group entered into the feast (the kingdom),
    the other remained locked outside where their was weeping (hell).

    Unless you are born from above you can not enter the kingdom of
    God.

    As I said, My thoughts are far from complete but, I think looking
    at this covenantally is the better way to view the parables.
    This is a concept that The Lord seems to be showing me more and more
    these days.
    It seems that The Lord has always expressed our relationship with Him
    in these terms.

    • Interesting points justasailor..

      Fifth, The five foolish represent those who remained under the law of sin and death (old cov) and the wise those who embraced the law of the spirit of life in The Messiah, Jesus (new cov).

      Hadn’t considered that.

      I think to get the true meaning of just who the 5 foolish represent we have to begin by establishing what or who the oil represents.

      If the oil does represent [in this case] the Holy Spirit then we can’t ignore that even the foolish had ‘some oil’ at the beginning–right? At least enough to have their lamps lit for a period of time. We also know that both groups slept or slumbered. So the only obvious difference between the wise and the foolish was the extra oil the wise took with them.

      If in fact the oil represents the Holy Spirit, then how does having ‘extra’ apply to being prepared for us today?

      Or are we looking too deep, and the parable is just given as an example for being constantly prepared? LOL

    • Only The New Covenant promises the Spirit Given to All without measure.
      The Old was just the letter of the law:

      Then I will give them one heart, and I will PUT A NEW SPIRIT within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God. Ezekiel 11:19-20

      Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a NEW HEART and A NEW SPIRIT.
      For why should you die, O house of Israel? Ezekiel 18:31

      Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols (MAKE YOU VIRGINS?). I will give you a new heart and put A NEW SPIRIT within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put MY SPIRIT WITHIN YOU and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Ezekiel 36:25-27

      “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I WAS A HUSBAND (Bridegroom) to them, says the LORD. Jeremiah 31:31-32

      Pause and wonder!
      Blind yourselves and be blind!
      They are drunk, but not with wine;
      They stagger, but not with intoxicating drink.
      For the LORD has poured out on you
      THE SPIRIT OF DEEP SLEEP,
      And has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets;
      And He has covered your heads, namely, the seers.

      The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, “Read this, please.” And he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” (VEIL LIFTED ONLY IN CHRIST?) Isaiah 29:9-11

      who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter BUT OF THE SPIRIT; for THE LETTER KILLS, but THE SPIRIT GIVES LIFE. 2 Corinthians 3:6

      Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, THE HELPER WILL NOT COME to you;
      but if I depart, I WILL SEND HIM TO YOU. (ABUNDANCE OF OIL/SPIRIT) John 16:7

      –under the Old Covenant everyone had the Word and a measure of the
      Holy Spirit but under the New Covenant The Holy Spirit is poured out without measure (much extra oil).

    • Old Cov: life and death, blessing and cursing

      New Cov: I (The Messiah) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

      Only in Christ do we pass from death to life, from measured oil/spirit to extra oil/spirit that would light the Lamp/Word that will allow us to journey all the way into the feast/kingdom.

      I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren (The Messiah), and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. Deuteronomy 18:18-19

      I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life (The Messiah ?), that both you and your descendants may live; Deuteronomy 30:19

  8. should not the clear things be used to interpret the less clear? Is not the explicit rebuke of the Lord in verse 12 more compelling than an implicit metaphor?

    Its possible Manfred…

    • PJ,

      In my personal reading today, a passage in Luke 13 struck me as relevant:

      Luk 13:23 And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them,
      Luk 13:24 “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
      Luk 13:25 When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’
      Luk 13:26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’
      Luk 13:27 But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’

      These folks have much of the same experience as the foolish virgins. Seems to me the message is clear – many who we think are saved are pretenders who do not know it themselves.

  9. PJ,

    I know these words were in response to j.a.s: “….If in fact the oil represents the Holy Spirit, then how does having ‘extra’ apply to being prepared for us today?….” and further, you asked about the significance of all 10 being “virgins”, I would do a bit of a Greek Word Study below for an “answer”, plus some more Scriptures and explanations.

    There are two places in Scripture, the New Testament, that, Paul the Apostle uses a particular Greek Word to develop a particular understanding of God’s “spiritual” Wisdom, “oil”. None of the others use this word in their writings, so, in that fact alone, it seems somewhat “significant” to me to consider its place in this parable of the “Kingdom of Heaven being like” ten virgins who, dada dada dah, cf. Matthew 25.

    Here is the Greek Word:

    συζωοποιέω
    suzōopoieō
    sood-zo-op-oy-eh’-o
    From G4862 and G2227; to reanimate conjointly with (figuratively): – quicken together with.

    This word is used here and here:

    ESV: “alive together”
    Eph 2:5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ–by grace you have been saved–

    and

    ESV: “alive together”
    Col 2:13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,

    What seems to me to be significant here is “that experience”, that being “made alive together with Christ” is a “God thing”, not a man thing. In other words, just as Jesus proclaimed to Peter that he was “blessed” because he “knew” Who Jesus Is, not because flesh and blood revealed that “Truth” to him, but “because” Our Father in Heaven revealed to him Who Jesus Is. That is why in my assertion in the first comments, I emphasized the 5 virgins who “got into the Wedding” by His Faith and the other 5 virgins did not, because they were seeking to get in by their own merits, “go buy” the oil. Now let me ask you, do you have a 24 hour hardware store opened where you can go and buy this special oil at midnight anywhere in Kentucky?

    What’s so significant about that then, in relationship to the Holy Ghost? By the way, I do not believe the Holy Ghost is the “extra” oil in that parable, but rather, the extra oil is none other than God Himself, “Our Heavenly Father” and that extra oil to me then becomes that “certain” and “sure” Word of prophecy Peter points to in his epistle, here:

    2Pe 1:19 And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,

    The significance then is this that Jesus Himself said about how we come to “know” Him:

    Mat 11:27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

    I would build a bridge of thoughts back to the Holy Ghost, though, by considering this here at Genesis 1:2, which reads this way in the ESV:

    Gen 1:2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

    The “One” of “Three” Eternal Personal Beings who has been here from the beginning of creation, the whole time, is the “Holy Ghost”. There is “One” of the “Three” Eternal Personal Beings that is considered the “Bridegroom”, that is Jesus Christ. Both of them are in play here, so to speak, as also God Our Heavenly Father, too. So, for me, the only “extra” Oil needed is, God, “Our Heavenly Father”. God is a Spirit and we that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and Truth.

    Now, couple these things with these verses of Scripture here:

    1Th 5:23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    1Th 5:24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

    and here:

    2Co 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

    and here, and note the phrase [win a “full” reward] and what the outcome is or the conclusion is, [having “both” the Father and the Son]:

    2Jn 1:8 Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward.
    2Jn 1:9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

    Who sanctifies us out of the world and from the filth of the god of this world and his system, but the Holy Ghost?

    1Pe 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

    But, Who sanctifies us out of our Adamic nature and into the Divine Nature, Jesus Christ, by conjoining us together with Him? Well, consider the next few verses of 1 Peter 1 starting at verse 3:

    1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
    1Pe 1:4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
    1Pe 1:5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
    1Pe 1:6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,
    1Pe 1:7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
    1Pe 1:8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,
    1Pe 1:9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

    We see here it is none other than Our Blessed “God and Father” who causes us to be “born again” to this “Living Hope” through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an “inheritance”. Where is this “inheritance” kept? Is it kept here on earth where clearly Scripture teaches the Holy Ghost is right now with us? Or, rather, is this “inheritance” kept in Heaven for us, safe, secure, undefiled, imperishable and does not fade like our flesh is fading even now, until it is left behind to deteriorate back to dust?

    So, I would say again, the 5 foolish virgins also had His Faith given to them. Instead of relying upon God and His Word by “His Faith”, they relied upon their own self worth and merit and self understanding to get into be with the Bridegroom. Why do I say that? Well consider this fact in the story:

    Mat 25:6 But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’

    First, the word is “Here is the bridegroom”! “Come out to meet him”. What does this mean? Having been on many a walk at midnight in the pitch blackness of night, all one needs, in a group of ten is “one” lamp. Two certainly would give more “light”, but five lamps would light up the whole area just fine to come out and meet him. One lamp will light up the whole area just fine and if you just follow the one with the lamp, you will see ok what is in front of you. So this kind of lamp and this kind of oil to “light” this lamp is something different than a candle, or kerosene lamp or a flash light to “see” the bridegroom.

    Mat 25:7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.
    Mat 25:8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’

    This here is a difficult saying to be sure. So, what is Jesus pointing to here but the fact that in order for you to “see” Him, you will have to have a different kind of “lamp” to “see” Him with. Remember the q and a between the disciples and Jesus at the first telling of “Kingdom parables”? Having “eyes” they see not, having “ears” they hear not so as to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven and I would heal them! hmmmmm? I thought the whole idea was to see and hear Him so that you could be healed? See here:

    Mat 13:10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”
    Mat 13:11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
    Mat 13:12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
    Mat 13:13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
    Mat 13:14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “‘You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.
    Mat 13:15 For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’
    Mat 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.
    Mat 13:17 For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

    Ok so far? Back to the 5 foolish virgins then:

    Mat 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’

    That seems an odd thing to say “seeing” their “lamps” in the natural world we live in would be sufficient light for them all to see their way clearly to the bridegroom Who is right in front of them? I suspect Jesus is teaching here that reliance upon Him and His Word is what is missing from the 5 foolish virgins while it is not from the 5 wise ones:

    Psa 18:27 For you save a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down.
    Psa 18:28 For it is you who light my lamp; the LORD my God lightens my darkness.
    Psa 18:29 For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.
    Psa 18:30 This God–his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

    and

    Psa 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
    Psa 119:106 I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules.

    This one is a hard nut to crack. I suspect Jesus is not speaking over their heads though but speaking right at their hearts knowing Who He is having Psalms 18 and 119 in mind?

    Mat 25:10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.

    Do you see the change here? The first part of this parable is about 10 virgins going to a place where the Wedding will be. The Bridegroom delays in coming so they have a sort of slumber party somewhere else other than where the Wedding is to be held. Then after the announcement is made that the Bridegroom is now here and waiting for them, 5 of them leave instead of just remain there. The Bridegroom then takes those present and waiting for Him into the Wedding hall and they have a feast inside after shutting the door. The question I have is, where did the girls go to sleep? If they were inside the Wedding Hall, it seems odd they would leave that place as that is the place they were going too?

    Again, here we see no reliance upon the Lord for their Salvation, but reliance upon “doing” something to get into the Wedding from the other place where they had fallen asleep. Remember, all these girls were already invited to be a part of the Wedding. So it isn’t a matter of “being prepared” to receive the invite, no, as that issue was dealt with already. They were already invited to be a part of the Wedding.

    It seems to me what Jesus is teaching here is still this, Faith. It is He alone that saves us and it is He alone that will guide us and prepare us beforehand so that we also might enter into that Rest fully assured of Salvation by Faith alone and not by our self works lest anyone should boast.

    I am now reminded as I close these thoughts in response to your response to JustASailor’s response to cite one final portion of Scripture. Again, these are my educated guesses here as to the depth and meaning of this particular parable. The verses then:

    Heb 4:1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.
    Heb 4:2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.
    Heb 4:3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,'” although his works were finished from the foundation of the world.
    Heb 4:4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.”
    Heb 4:5 And again in this passage he said, “They shall not enter my rest.”
    Heb 4:6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience,
    Heb 4:7 again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
    Heb 4:8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on.
    Heb 4:9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,
    Heb 4:10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.
    Heb 4:11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.
    Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
    Heb 4:13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
    Heb 4:14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
    Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
    Heb 4:16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

    Any thoughts?

  10. Seems to me the message is clear – many who we think are saved are pretenders who do not know it themselves.

    That was basically the author’s position also Manfred:

    The ten virgins consist of those who are wise and those who are foolish. The professing Church consists, partly, of those who have become “wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” They have been led by the Spirit to take heed to Christ’s teachings and hence they are like a wise man who built his house upon a rock.

    On the other hand, there are large numbers in the professing Church who, though they have heard Christ’s teachings, reject them. The Word of His Gospel has not taken root in their hearts. They neglect His great salvation, and in their hearts they reject the Saviour. Such are like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand.

    These two classes, the wise and the foolish, the real and the nominal, the possessor and the mere professor

    Just a question or 2:

    Why did Jesus refer to all 10 as virgins? Wouldn’t that imply their connection with Christ (being of the bride) was real–at least at the time they all 10 went out?

    • PJ,

      You asked, “Why did Jesus refer to all 10 as virgins? Wouldn’t that imply their connection with Christ (being of the bride) was real–at least at the time they all 10 went out?”

      I don’t think so. If that is taken as fact, then some who are saved will cast to hell. And that, I am sure, is not so. Explicit teaching:

      John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
      36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
      37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

      trumps implicit assumptions.

      Referring to all 10 as virgins in a parable does not, IMO, confer salvation any more than calling the wicked man “servant” in Matthew 18 and 25 and Luke 19. Charles Stanley thinks these wicked servants are saved; I do not.

  11. www://bibleprophesy.org/tenvirgins.htm
    any thoughts on this. I found the parallel with Rev 3 interesting. I’m still struggling on my own views on pre/post trib (because I can’t seem to get my head around it!) so can’t comment on that aspect.

  12. @jan(2)

    The correct URL would appear to be http://bibleprophesy.org/tenvirgins.htm

    I tend to agree with that view – but do not align with nor understand why he needed to bring in his view that “outer darkness” = “Great Tribulation”. It’s obvious the author of that piece is a dispensationalist, so that explains his view and why I do not agree with him on that.

    Regarding pre/post trib – another thread, perhaps. But read Mark 13 and ponder verse 24.

  13. Manfred – thanks and will do…

  14. This parable is a part of the Olivet Discourse.
    How one understands what this discourse is referring to may color one’s view of the parable of the virgins.
    Is this discourse speaking of the end
    of the world, as in Rev 21, or is this discourse speaking of the
    end of the AGE as in the end of the Old Covenant Age that came
    with the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem and with The Son
    of Man being Seated at the Right Hand of The Father In Glory?

    Matthew 24:34
    Truly, I say to you, THIS GENERATION (a biblical generation is considered 40 years) will not pass away until all these things take place.

    Each way of viewing the answer of Our Lord will have an impact
    on how we want to interpret the parable.

    Any Thoughts??

    Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed,
    the kingdom of God is within you.”

    • I’m not sure of the time of a generation Fred–i know its commonly seen as 40 years [biblically]…

      The prophecy Jesus gave in matthew 24…

      Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.

      …and the 40 yr significance, has led many bible scholars to teach Jesus was speaking of the soon coming destruction of Jerusalem. While we know others have taught (for at least the last 50-75 yrs) this is yet to happen. My eschatological view favors the first.

      Each way of viewing the answer of Our Lord will have an impact
      on how we want to interpret the parable.

      True.

    • My eschatological view favors the first also.

      This view also brings some sense to the words of Jesus to Peter:
      “Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come,
      what is that to you? You follow me!”

      John is said to be the only apostle that was not killed but
      died of natural causes (in his old age and after the destruction
      of the Temple and Jerusalem).

      This view is also has much more of a covenantal nature
      to it.

  15. That parable, at least to me, speaks more of the difference between really saved, as God defines it, and attempting to purchase fire insurance when the house is already on fire.

    • LOL! I heard an old preacher use that fire insurance phrase many years ago mbaker– and he and you are right.

  16. I have doubts about a couple points that this sermon makes.

    First is likening the Kingdom of God to the Professing
    Church.

    Quotes:

    “Manifestly “the kingdom of heaven” denotes the professing Church
    in its mixed condition, consisting of tares and wheat, the children
    of the wicked one, and the children of the kingdom.”

    and

    “”the two classes who make up the professing Church.”

    In my understanding, you are either in Christ or Not In Christ.
    One group has the kingdom within, the other does not.
    There are No partial Christians, professing or
    non professing/non members of the visible churches.

    Simply Christian kinda nails this idea for me.

    The Church in it’s proper understanding is only the
    “ekklesia” or called out ones (out of the world unto God).
    Wheat and tares speaks of this world we are called out of
    where it is hard to tell which is which but in the parable
    the servants could tell the difference but were told not
    to remove the tares
    because they might remove/damage the wheat/wheat harvest.
    They are told to let the two grow up together until
    the grain is ripe for the harvest.

    This may indicate that the ten virgins are as different
    as wheat and tares. Think about the situation as it
    may have been back when the parable was spoken. The
    bridesmaids were told to gather together in a special
    place set apart from everything else that may have been
    going on in there lives and live together with the bride
    until the bridegroom comes. This was not a fixed period
    of time but could be long or short, day or night.
    Living closely together, all 10 knew how each other
    was preparing and the five foolish did not prepare
    in the same way as the five wise who prepared for
    any and all possibilities so that they could preform
    their duties as bridesmaids fully (night or day).

    They were all chosen to help the bride prepare and
    must have all been friends of the bride yet
    they all did not have the same diligence in their
    preparations. They all had lamps (The Word), they were
    all friends of the bride (therefore Jewish), and they
    all had knowledge of the duties they had been asked
    to undertake according to the Jewish wedding customs of
    the time.

    Did some see their preparations differently
    than the others even though they could all see how
    each other was preparing?

    Believing Jews as opposed to non believing
    in The Messiah/Bridegroom?

    Or maybe they had two different ideas of who
    the Messiah/Bridegroom should be?

    Sorry, this thought has become way too long already so,
    I will post more of my thinking, if desired, in another
    response later.

    Blessings All.

  17. THE OIL:
    (Just my two cents)

    Probably because of the popular teachings in out time,
    I have never considered that the OIL was representing
    anything other than The Most Holy Spirit but,
    in now occurs to me that
    the OIL may represent FAITH.
    (5 with much, 5 with little)

    I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily.
    Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes (The Bridegroom),
    will he find FAITH on earth?” Luke 18:8

    And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer;
    YOUR FAITH has made you well. Go in peace.” Luke 8:48

    Then Jesus answered and said,
    “O FAITHless and perverse generation,
    how long shall I be with you and bear with you?
    Bring your son here.” Luke 9:41

    But I have prayed for you,
    that your FAITH should not fail;
    and when you have RETURNED TO Me,
    strengthen your brethren.” Luke 22:32

    For in it the righteousness of God is revealed
    from FAITH to FAITH; as it is written,
    “The just shall live by FAITH.” Romans 1:17

    But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed,
    being WITHESSED by THE LAW and THE PROPHETS,
    even the righteousness of God, through FAITH in Jesus Christ,
    to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;
    for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:21-23

    Therefore it is of FAITH that it might be according to grace,
    so that the promise might be sure to all the seed,
    NOT ONLY to THOSE WHO ARE OF THE LAW,
    BUT ALSO to THOSE WHO ARE OF THE FAITH of ABRAHAM,
    who is the father of us all Romans 4:16

    For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them;
    but the word which they heard DID NOT PROFIT THEM,
    NOT BEING MIXED WITH FAITH in those who heard it. Hebrews 4:2

    But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of Little FAITH?”
    Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea,
    and there was a great calm. Matthew 8:26

    And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him,
    and said to him,
    “O you of Little FAITH, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:31

    So then,
    What is it that truly keeps one from,
    or allows one to enter into,
    The Kingdom, the Wedding Feast,
    The True Promised Land ?

    The Oil of FAITH !

    • I have to say the oil has always appeared to me as the Holy Spirit JustaSailor, not that faith isn’t part of the work of the Holy Spirit–it is.

      When you read back in the old testament oil was used to signify one being anointed for God’s service–like Aaron for instance. This would correlate with the marking, infilling, and anointing of the children of God in the new testament by the Holy Spirit. (first the natural–old covenant, then the spiritual–new covenant)

      If you think about it also the lamps the 10 virgins carried plus the oil = light. Once the oil was used up in the lamps of the 5 foolish, who had no extra, they no longer had light by which to see to walk by.

  18. Manfred – I have now pondered that verse you gave to me and also Matt 24 and it seems clear that we will go through the tribulation and indeed we can see the birth pangs at this time. I have been reading articles and been to PJ’s ologys section. Hope to do more research. Slightly puzzled now about dispensationalism and how that all fits in!! I will keep working but what do you suggest the next step now I have pondered Mark 13? Thanks.

  19. Jan(2),

    Let us each praise the Lord for any understand we may have🙂

    I highly recommend this book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080106435X

    Riddlebarger does an excellent job explaining end-time doctrines and how dispensationalism doesn’t fit.

    Since you looked at PJ’s “ologys” page – did you read the examinations of dispensationalism? Great resources.

    I am convinced that Reformed Amillennialism is the theological framework that most closely aligns with Scripture. One of my basic interpretation guidelines is to ask, “Who is honored by this interpretation – God or man?” Pre-trib appeals to the fleshly desire to avoid hard times. Does it honor the Lord for Him to snatch His people up from trials, or for Him to protect them in the midst of trouble? The flesh don’t want hard times, but God is glorified when His creatures trust Him in such times. And God’s perspective on Earthly life is not the same as ours – eternity outweighs earthly life and we should be willing to perish to bring Him glory.

  20. Manfred – thank you I will get a copy of the book – hope it’s not too difficult for me! I will try to keep in mind “who is honoured by this interpretation” too – that’s helpful advice.

  21. jan(2) – You shouldn’t have any trouble comprehending Riddlebarger’s book. It’s well written and cogent, easy to follow. About the only thing I recall from that book I do not agree with is his opinion that Lucifer in Isaiah 14:12 is an earthly king rather than Lucifer.

  22. Manfred – ok I’ll take your word for it – for now:)

  23. I want to throw some more “light” on this subject of the ten virgins. As I introduce more Scripture, imagine in your mind’s eye the “area” that the “light” is shining on is getting bigger and bigger, that is, brighter and brighter, as the small object the “lamp’s light” is shining on is becoming more and more apparent and everything that surrounds the object is becoming more and more visible to the naked eye. Quite possibly we can “see” what Jesus “sees” and understands then and what He is saying by telling us this parable of the 10 virgins going out to meet the Bridegroom?

    Here is the “first” light:::>

    Pro 20:27 The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD, searching all his innermost parts.

    Yours and my “spirit” is the “lamp” of the Lord. I see a connection between the parable already. Don’t you? Each of the virgins were faced with a sort of searching out “what” to do because of the delay in coming of the Bridegroom.

    Now if we take this verse alone it implies something. But when you add these next verses to it, you come away with an entirely different sense of meaning to verse 27 then::::>

    Pro 20:28 Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king, and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.
    Pro 20:29 The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
    Pro 20:30 Blows that wound cleanse away evil; strokes make clean the innermost parts.

    Presumably the “Bridegroom” in this parable is also a “king”? Well I would say Jesus is a “King”, won’t you? I would also say it makes little sense in thinking this “bridegroom” in the parable is someone other than Jesus?

    I have been thinking a whole lot about something Fred said above. He was quoting Ezekiel:::>

    I will put MY SPIRIT WITHIN YOU and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. Ezekiel 36:25-27

    Without dispute, at least herein, we are all in agreement that Our God is “Holy”, that is, Our Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are equally “Holy”?

    Now when you consider what Fred said, quoting Ezekiel 36, that that God is going to do for us, by “Promise”, in making us “Holy”, you come away with a sense that God intends for our “human” spirit to become as “Holy” as Their “Holy” Spirits. I believe that this parable points to the “conduct” of these ten virgins, why only the five went in. What is the reality? And what quite possibly is the issue with the virgins and “holiness” before the Lord?

    Now let me broaden and brighten the “light” of the “lamp” of that verse Proverbs 20:27-30, adding to it some more of it’s “oil” in light of verses from Hebrews and Leviticus and see if we would want to make sense of it, answering those questions about “one’s conduct and holiness”?

    First then those verses from Hebrews, adding Scripture to Scripture, or interpreting Scripture by Scripture. See if you can connect the dots, or “see” a common thread with these verses and those verses in Proverbs 20:

    Heb 12:6 – 17

    And then these “Holy” Words from Leviticus added to those above from Hebrews:::>

    Lev 19:1 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
    Lev 19:2 “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.
    Lev 19:3 Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.

    Now back to Proverbs 20, this time beginning with verse 20 to broaden and brighten the meaning even more:::>

    Pro 20:20 – 30

    What it seems to me we are looking at then, when we read Matthew’s account of the ten virgins, as told by Jesus, Who is pointing to the “end” of the age, is what we are seeing in the world today, ah, the end of the ages? What are we seeing today but the utter falling away from God’s Holiness and Grace, a rejection of His concept of “Holy Living”, “Family values” and the “Family Structure”?

    In each of the cited verses above we have a common thread, the “family”, the “family” event, the parental “discipline” and the “rejection” of it, obedience and disobedience, acceptance and rejection, holiness and unholiness.

    Now, it seems to me that everything Jesus did was to complete and fulfill “one” thing. What is that one thing then?

    Well, could it be this verse from Genesis:::>

    Gen 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

    What do we see then as the outcome of the parable but a ‘curse’ and a ‘blessing’ upon the ten virgins?

    5 of the virgins went away cursed and 5 of them came into His blessing and were blessed.

    As I have noted above in previous comments, all ten virgins were already accepted into the wedding. What it seems to me happened is easily explained in Proverbs 20, Hebrews 12 and Leviticus 19. In each case, we see the involvement of parents and the child and we see that the relationship between them is a primal issue with God when it comes to regarding one as being a “Holy” or an “unHoly” virgin before God.

    What is a wedding all about but the “forming” of a “new” “family”?

    And what is it that makes one “holy” before God? “Belief”. “Faith”.

    So the only thing that seems to keep one person holy before God is believing Him at His Word. Afterall, “Faith” is the “substance” of things “hoped” for and the “evidence” of things not seen!

    Oh well, that’s my story and I am sticking to it!

    Any more thoughts?

    **I linked to your more lengthy groups of passages Michael**

    • Some light might be shed on this parable through a
      comparison of it with the “Marriage Supper of the Lamb”
      in Revelation 19 !

      After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” Again they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!” And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!” Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!”
      And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!

      Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”

      And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
      Then he said to me, “Write:

      ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’”

      And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

      But the hour is coming, AND NOW IS, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth;
      for the Father IS SEEKING SUCH TO WORSHIP HIM. John 4:23

      the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will BE IN YOU. John 14:17

      “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. John 15:26

      For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
      Luke 17:21(b)

  24. Michael,

    You’ve put up a lot to digest. If I get your main points, though, I heartily say, “Amen!”

    The worldly attitude towards marriage and the family prevalent in many churches is a cancer. I grew more and more unsettled about how the SBC churches tend to split families on Sunday (never putting my own kids into “Children’s Church) that I ended up contending with the elders of my church on this issue (and others) for several years, before moving (later than I should have) to a family integrated, reformed and reforming Baptist church.

    My wife and I both are amazed at how wonderful it is to be humbled before almighty God by right worship, reading, and teaching. I am more conscious about “keeping my lamp filled” than I was while sitting in “people driven” dispensational Southern Baptist churches.

  25. I think this perspective might be worth some consideration:

    The Discipline of Submission, by Michael Boldea Jr.
    (excerpt)
    Some time ago I was asked to teach a Sunday morning Bible study in a friend’s church. After a time of prayer, I chose to teach on the parable of the ten virgins, five who were wise, and five who were foolish. There were about thirty people in attendance, and as the teaching progressed, I could see I was connecting with most of them.
    As I got to the part about the five wise virgins refusing to share their oil with the five foolish virgins, a lady started waving her hand and as I acknowledged her, she stood up and said, ‘I don’t think that was very nice of the five wise virgins. I don’t feel that was very loving of them.’
    I proceeded to explain that all ten virgins had the same amount of time to prepare for the groom’s arrival, and if five of them chose not to prepare adequately it was not the responsibility of the others to put themselves in danger just because the foolish virgins had been indifferent and unprepared. I then proceeded to emphasize the importance of personal accountability, and the need for individual preparation and sanctification.
    It seemed that my answer was satisfactory, because the lady didn’t have any follow up questions, and as I was coming to the end of the lesson, I emphasized the fact that the five virgins who had gone to buy oil from those who sold it, had missed out on the groom’s arrival, and as consequence were shut out of the wedding.
    The selfsame lady that interrupted earlier started waving her hand again, and after once more acknowledging her, she cleared her throat and said, ‘in my humble opinion what the groom did wasn’t right. They were all virgins after all, and that had to account for something.’
    Maybe it was just too early, or I hadn’t had coffee that morning, or perhaps I’d heard ‘in my humble opinion’ one too many times in regards to the absolute Word of God, but I looked at the lady and said in the most soothing voice I could muster, ‘when it comes to the Bible madam, your opinion or my opinion, humble or otherwise, is irrelevant.’
    ‘Well that’s just rude’, she muttered and sat back down.
    Of the estimated six billion people walking the earth today, everyone has an opinion on something, and most have an opinion on everything. Opinions have been likened to many things, and I’m sure you can think of at least one thing that opinions have been likened to.
    I don’t mind opinionated people! You can have an opinion about the weather, the color blue, whether it should be mandatory that you eat with chopsticks in a Chinese restaurant, but what we are not allowed an opinion on, are the established fundamentals of the Gospel.
    It always amazes me when people inquire what my opinion is regarding something that the Bible is very clear on. How can I have an opinion in opposition to the Word, when I am a follower of the Word?
    We have diluted ourselves into believing that we will somehow change the mind of God simply because we feel, think, or have a different opinion than what the Gospel declares as truth. As such we have transformed that which is absolute into something relative, that which is established and eternal, into something subjective and trivial.
    Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
    When it comes to the Word, expressions such as ‘I feel, or I think, or in my humble opinion’ should be stricken from our parlance. It doesn’t matter what I think, it doesn’t matter how I feel, all that matters is what the Word of God says on any given topic or subject. Either I submit myself to the Word of God, or I am in open rebellion.
    Truth remains truth regardless of what I believe, regardless of how I feel about it, or that my opinion differs from that of the Word. It is the pinnacle of pride and arrogance to assume that what we think, or how we feel takes preeminence over the written Word of God, or that He will overlook our rebellion and disobedience, simply because we weren’t on the same page as Him, and we considered His ways too extreme, and too constrictive. It amazes me and frightens me how readily men can appropriate God’s authority, and establish their own righteousness rather than submit to the righteousness of God.
    Romans 10:3, “But they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.”

    http://mikeboldea.blogspot.com/2009/05/discipline-of-submission.html

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