Matthew 25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9 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.
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.
13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
We have mentioned many times that context is very important. Notice that the first word in our text is the word “then”. Jesus is telling us that He is continuing to teach on the same subject as chapter 24. We stated at the beginning of our study of chapter 24 that these two chapters are called the Olivet discourse. They took place on the Mount of Olives. Jesus is continuing to answer the questions that the disciples asked in chapter 24.
Based on the context, Jesus is continuing to deal with the end of the Tribulation. The kingdom of heaven is not the church. The kingdom of heaven is a reference to the Millennium. In the Millennium, the King — Jesus will be reigning.
Jesus began this chapter with the picture of a wedding. In this picture, Jesus mentioned ten virgins. It is described as the parable of the ten virgins. It is important again to note that the context is speaking of the nation of Israel. Gentile weddings are not conducted as Jesus describes here.
It is important to note that Jesus is teaching with regard to the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is talking of when Jesus Christ physically returns to this earth. Jesus has not done any teaching here yet with regard to the Rapture. As we have mentioned before, the Tribulation is a time when God will be working on the nation of Israel to get them to recognize the Lord Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Prior to Jesus’ appearance, God will give the Jews the antichrist.
Keep in mind that in the Old Testament, the nation of Israel demanded a king like the nations around them in the closing days of the prophet Samuel. The first king that God gave the nation of Israel was Saul. He was not a good king. He wasted his time and the time of his soldiers looking for one man — David. He hated David and wanted him out of the way. David is a type of Jesus Christ.
That account was a picture of the Tribulation. In the Tribulation God will give the nation of Israel a false christ because they have continuously rejected the true Christ. The antichrist will reveal his hatred for Israel and at the midpoint he will declare himself to be God and he will seek to destroy Israel.
The disciples were familiar with the Old Testament history. They were also familiar with the Jewish wedding. There were generally three stages to a Jewish wedding.
In the first stage, the parents of the bridegroom would arrange for the marriage with the parents of the bride and they would pay the dowry. This was known as the legal marriage.
The second stage would often take place a year later. It would be fulfilled when the bridegroom, accompanied by his friends, would travel to the home of the bride at midnight to claim his bride. The bride would be aware of the coming of the bridegroom. She would also have her maidens with her in preparation for the arrival of the bridegroom. The bride together with her maidens would travel with the bridegroom back to his house.
The third stage would be the marriage feast which could last for several days. It was this stage that Jesus was attending in John 2.
We know that the Bible refers to Israel as the wife of God. We also know that the Church is referred to as the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25-33; II Corinthians 11:2). At the Rapture, Jesus Christ will take His Bride, all New Testament saints who will be joined then into one body, to heaven with Him.
In our text, Jesus is dealing with the attendants at the wedding. The virgins mentioned are a picture of the nation of Israel. It is important to note that in this parable, the bride is not mentioned. Only the bridegroom is mentioned. The bride, the Church has been removed and is awaiting the wedding that is spoken of in Revelation 19.
The oil in our text would be olive oil. Olive oil was used in the lamp stand in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple. It was a pure olive oil that was required. It was a picture of the Holy Spirit Who indwells the true child of God.
In Matthew 25 verse 3 we see that the five foolish virgins took their lamps, but they took no oil with them. Jesus referred to them as foolish. It is extremely foolish to reject the Lord Jesus Christ. You cannot receive the Holy Spirit until and unless you are born again.
In verse 4 Jesus pointed out that the wise virgins took oil in their vessels with their lamps. They are a picture of saved Jews who will be prepared for the Lord’s return. They will have the Holy Spirit in them as the “earnest” of their salvation. They will have a faith that is real and they will be anticipating the Lord’s return.
Verse 5 describes the bridegroom tarrying. He is tarrying in the eyes of those on earth, but He is right on time according to God’s will. Because the hour is late, and the virgins are tired, they fell asleep.
In verse 6 we read of the cry made that the bridegroom is coming. There is a sense of excitement here. The bride and her maidens are encouraged to go out to meet the bridegroom.
In verse 7 we read of the virgins getting up and trimming their lamps. Some of those who are reading this will be familiar with the old coal-oil lamps. I did not grow up with them, but as a young married couple we used them in a place we lived for a time. I knew the wick needed to be trimmed but I did not know how to trim it. I assumed it needed to be rounded at the top but that proved to be wrong. I discovered that it required a sharp scissor to cut the wick and it needed to be cut straight across the top. That gave a very nice and clean light. In our text the virgins knew how to trim the lamps. The foolish virgins noted that their lamps had gone out. They had some residue of oil in their wicks but they had no oil in their lamps.
Any time we look at a parable, we need to understand that not every aspect has a spiritual application. We know from the bulk of Scripture that these five foolish virgins did not lose their salvation. They did not have the Holy Spirit at some point and then lose Him. The point Jesus was making in our text is that these were foolish virgins who were not prepared to meet the bridegroom. We are told that they went out to buy oil, but by the time they got back, it was too late.
Jesus is not teaching that a person can purchase salvation. The Holy Spirit indwells every true child of God at the moment of salvation. These virgins were not saved and thus could not enter the wedding feast. The foolish virgins asked the wise virgins for oil, but the wise virgins refused to give them oil.
Saved people cannot give the Holy Spirit to lost people. God gives the person the Holy Spirit at salvation. Salvation does not rub off on lost people who are in close proximity to saved people. There are reports that people that have received these shots can pass on the detrimental effects of the shot to others that are near at hand. These shots are dangerous in more ways than one. There are also reports that many of those who get the third dose, will develop AIDS. AIDS is an acronym that stands for: “auto immune deficiency syndrome.” There are reports that state that 50% of those in Israel who have received the shots have AIDS. These shots destroy the natural immune function of the body. God has designed our bodies to develop immunity to the various diseases that are in our world. That is why so many of those people ended up in the hospital when the Omicron strain was reported. The Omicron strain is much weaker than the previous strains, but due to the auto immune deficiency, they could not fight it off. In reality the Omicron strain was more like a cold that affected the upper respiratory tract. I know this is off topic, but we need to be aware of what is going on in our world. We need to be aware of the sinister plot that was developed and is now being played out by wicked people.
In verse 11 of our text, we read that the foolish virgins could not enter the wedding feast. There is a time frame that must be met for salvation. We noted in the book of Hebrews that to day is the day of salvation. The Bible is clear that it is a foolish thing to delay the important matter of salvation. Luke 16 tells us that the rich man understood the importance of salvation after he was in torment. He was not saved but at death he understood the need of salvation. He wanted someone to go back and tell his brothers not to end up where he was. What a tragedy to discover too late the importance of God’s truth and to have all eternity to regret not acting on that at the right time. There is no escaping hell. There is no escaping the lake of fire. Anyone reading this that is not saved, needs to think very soberly about the foolishness of their current choice.
In verse 12 we see that it was not the wise virgins who controlled the door. It was not the bride who controlled the door. It was the bridegroom who controlled the door. He is now called Lord. This is His house and He does not open the door to just anyone. The door to the wedding feast is restricted to those who have turned to God in repentance and been saved through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
In verse 13 Jesus once again gave the warning of watchfulness. The application can be made to any generation. The Bible gives many warnings to the need to be ready. In the immediate context, only those Jews who are saved during the time of the Tribulation will be ready for the Lord’s return at the end of the Tribulation. They are the only ones who will enter the Millennium.