Matt 25 1-13 The Ten Virgins CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
This parable of ten virgins is a picture of the coming of the Lord Jesus at the tribulation rapture. Notice:
Verse 1 – virgins – these cannot represent the church because the church is a virgin [singular] 2 Cor 11:2. These virgins represent tribulation saints like the 144,000 Jews in Rev 14:4.
Lamps – these are connected with the 2nd Advent of Jesus. In the vision that Abraham saw in Gen 15:17, the smoking furnace represented the Exodus from Egypt (Deut 4:20) which was the beginning of the nation of Israel as God’s son and inheritance. The burning lamp represented the Second Coming of Jesus at which time the nation of Israel will have it’s national rebirth (Rev 12:5; Is 66:7-8) and receive its inheritance (the land promised in Gen 15) with the Lord. Look at the 2nd Advent reference in Is 62:1.
Jews would know from studying the Old Testament that they would need to keep their lamps burning all night (Lev 24:2-3; 1 Sam 3:3). So, the foolish virgins who took insufficient fuel for the whole night were not prepared for a delayed arrival since they didn’t have enough oil.
Bridegroom – this is unquestionably Jesus Christ (Matt 9:15; Jn 3:29; Eph 5:25-32; Rev 19:7).
Verse 2 – the wise virgins are found in Matt 24:44 and the foolish are found in Matt 24:50.
Verse 3 – The foolish virgins came with full lamps but no oil in their vessels. The oil represents the Holy Spirit (1 Sam 16:13) and so they represent tribulation saints who don’t endure to the end (Matt 24:13) since their oil ran out before the Lord’s coming.
Verse 4 – the wise virgins had enough oil for the whole night so they represent saints who endure to the end.
Verse 5 – the Bridegroom tarried – the Lord typically spoke of tarrying (Matt 26:38; Jn 21:22). It is the delay that causes some saints to turn from the Lord (Matt 24:48; 2 Pet 3:3-4)
They slumbered and slept – as in Matt 26:40, and this is what church age saints are warned not to do (1 Thes 5:6).
Verse 6 – Midnight – the Lord’s coming is in the night time (1 Thes 5:2) right before the break of day (Mal 4:1-2; 2 Pet 1:19) in what Mark calls the morning watch (Mk 13:35). So this midnight appearance is actually before his final arrival. This appearance is to get his tribulation saints at their rapture. This still leaves him time for the wedding in heaven to be followed by his return and wedding supper down here (Lk 12:35-38).
Bridegroom cometh – notice the wedding in Rev 19:7-9 is before the Second Coming in Rev 19:11
Go out to meet him – the virgins don’t go out to marry him (the church does that) they go out to meet him so that his wedding will be furnished with guests (Ps 45:8-14, particularly verse 14).
Verse 7 – trimmed their lamps – this is simply a matter of trimming the wick, refilling the lamp and cleaning the chimney
Verse 8 – give us – salvation in the tribulation is not a free gift (Rev 12:17; 14:12).
Your oil – the wise virgins had enough oil for all night but not enough oil for anyone else; each virgin had to have his own
Lamps gone out – this is a picture of lost salvation for those who couldn’t trim their lamps and keep them burning
Verse 9 – not enough – in the church age there is always enough to give (Matt 10:8; Jn 7:38-39).
Buy for you – salvation in the tribulation requires an element of works (compare the church age saints who were washed in Rev 1:5 and Rev 5:9 with the tribulation saints who did the washing in Rev 7:14). A tribulation saint must endure to the end (Matt 24:13) and must watch (Matt 24:44).
Verse 10 – went in – tribulation rapture.
The door was shut – this matches the door in Rev 4:1, that stays shut once it is shut after the tribulation rapture (Lk 13:24-28)
Verse 11 – Lord open to us – in the tribulation it works the other way around Rev 3:20
Verse 12 – I know you not – this matches Matt 7:21-23
Verse 13 – watch therefore – includes lamps and oil enough for the “night.”