RAPTURE! TEN VIRGINS!
An edited Study by Amy Van Gerpen
My words in [Brackets].
…let's take a look at the first parable to see if it can shed some light on the event of "the day or hour no one knows":
Matthew 25:1-13 "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. "And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!' Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps.
And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise answered, saying, 'No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.' And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. "Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us!' But he answered and said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.' "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
In this parable of the 10 virgins, oil was needed to go to the wedding with the Bridegroom. It is apparent that this isn't about how much oil [amount in possession] the virgins had. Only the foolish virgins, who had no oil, were shut out of the wedding. We are not told how much oil the wise virgins had. Apparently, any amount of oil was enough.
Oil is widely used in Scripture as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Wisdom comes from the Holy Spirit (Exodus 31:3, Isaiah 11:2, Daniel 5:14, 1 Corinthians 12:8). Therefore, we see that the wise virgins had the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and the foolish did not.
Unlike the second parable in Matthew 25, we are not told that the foolish virgins are condemned for eternity. Notice that the foolish virgins went to get oil, but by the time they got the oil and came back, they were already shut out of the wedding. In other words, the five foolish virgins eventually do buy the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, but they were too late for the wedding and had to go through the Tribulation.
The foolish virgins would then be people that are not saved at the time of the rapture but then find salvation during the Tribulation.
The following proverb supports that the foolish virgins bought wisdom which comes from the Holy Spirit, which suggests they later gain salvation through truth and understanding:
Proverbs 23:23 “Buy the truth, and do not sell it, Also wisdom and instruction and understanding.”
In the Jewish wedding tradition, after the wedding chamber is built and the father decides when it is time, the son would go fetch his bride. The bride and wedding party would go back to the father's house, where the bride and bridegroom would go inside the wedding chamber for a week to consummate the marriage. The wedding party would celebrate outside the wedding chamber during this week.
After the couple emerged from the chamber when the week was over, the celebration would continue with a reception and feast to honor the new couple. We see this pattern being followed in a few places in Scripture (Genesis 29:27-28, Judges 14:17, John 2:1-12).
So you can see, in light of the Jewish wedding tradition, "the day no one knows" may be talking about the rapture of the Church. The Church will be whisked away to heaven to be married to Christ where they will spend seven years in the New Jerusalem or the "Father's house" (John 14:2-3). After the seven year Tribulation is over, they will return to Earth where there will be a celebration of the marriage of Christ and the Church at the "Marriage Supper of the Lamb" (Revelation 19:9) with the Tribulation Saints invited to join in (Luke 12:35-37).
1 Corinthians 2:6-10 “However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”
As shown in 1 Corinthians 2 above it is the Holy Spirit who gives us wisdom to understand the mysteries and deep things of God that are in His Word. This is why I believe it is possible that the parable of the ten virgins may represent the Church.
[Yes! So many times I hear speakers and believers quote verse 9 but not 10. I hear – “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” I DO NOT HEAR, as Paul Harvey would say, THE REST OF THE STORY – “But God has revealed them to us through his Spirit.” Praise God! We can get a hold of what God is trying to say to us in these closing moments of this age! Just study His Word and known, credible experts in this field and pray and you’ll be fine.]
The foolish virgins would be those that believe there is only one true God, but do not have a true repentant heart; being Christian "in name only", yet they don't worship other gods. The wise virgins would be those that genuinely accepted Christ before the rapture. In other words, the wise virgins would be the true body of Christ and the foolish virgins would just be "church goers".
Unbelievers will definitely be taken unaware at Christ's Coming, as He is coming to them as a thief (Matthew 24:43-44; Mark 13:33; Luke 12:37-40).
It seems more fitting that the Church would be sleeping in the time leading up to the rapture as we are told:
2 Peter 3:3-4 ...scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation."
[Also in Revelation 3:14-22, a “lukewarm” or possibly sleeping or indifferent church is depicted as being present on the earth at the Rapture – the Laodicean Church Age.]
In other words, in the time approaching the rapture, people would question His return because they see everything as "business as usual" or for whatever reason they don't want to think about Him returning in their lifetime. On several occasions I have been a witness to this attitude described by Peter, and sadly it has been mostly from Christians who cite this very passage about not knowing the day or the hour as an excuse for not watching.
It is evident to me that the vast majority of the Church is not watching and doesn't seem to have any desire to. It wouldn't surprise me if the percentage of believers not watching would be enough to round up to consider them ALL asleep like in the parable. The sleeping Church has no idea how near Christ's return really is. When the rapture does happen, it will take them by surprise. The parable of the 10 virgins seems to illustrate this perfectly.
[Evidently, whatever the “oil” represents, be it – the Holy Spirit, wisdom from the Holy Spirit, Salvation, or Salvation that comes as a result of the wisdom of the Holy Spirit – five of the virgins do not have IT because the other five are not able and/or willing to give it to them and by the time the five lacking virgins do receive what they are missing, the Lord has closed the door. We who have the oil and are watching with expectation NEED to tell the church themselves about Salvation and the Holy Spirit, as well as unbelievers, before Christ comes and closes the door on them, making them have to journey through the Tribulation Period as far as they can go.]