The Book of Matthew chapters 24 and 25 are an extensive prophetic teaching on the end times by Jesus Christ. The parable of the ten virgins is a direct reference to the Rapture of the Church – the removal of all born again Christians, dead and alive from the Earth, into the clouds to meet the Lord Jesus and be taken to Heaven until the Second Coming and Armageddon. In this parable Jesus teaches an important and startling lesson: some Christians will miss the Rapture and be left behind to experience God’s wrath unleashed on Earth during the end times Day of The Lord.
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. – Matthew 25:1-13.
As explained in our article on the Red Moon Rapture, one of the purposes of the Rapture is for the spiritual wedding and union of Jesus Christ with the Church, referred to as “the Bride of Christ” in scripture. Jesus finishes describing the Rapture in Matthew 24 and continues in chapter 25 with a parable about the Rapture. This is why verse 1 of chapter 25 begins with the word “Then.” It is a continuation of the thought from the end of Chapter 24, which is the Rapture (this is critical to understanding the proper context of the parable). In Chapter 25 Jesus is addressing two factions within the church – those who are true, faithful believers, and those who call themselves Christians but are not and will be left behind at the Rapture.
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
Jesus divides the ten virgins into 2 groups: the wise – who represent faithful, born again Christians, and the foolish, who are members of the Apostate Christian church that claims the name of Christ but do not believe or in some cases, even understand the Biblical Gospel. The imagery of virgins and the bridegroom is a clear reference to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in which Jesus Christ, the bridegroom will spiritually join with His bride, the Church (this is explained in detail in our article on the Red Moon Rapture).
Jesus referred to Himself as the bridegroom earlier in Matthew:
Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not? And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast. – Matthew 9:14-15.
John The Baptist confirmed the same of Jesus in the book of John:
Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him. He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. – John 3:28-29.
The Church Is The Bride of Christ. The Apostle Paul gives this description:
For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. — 2 Corinthians 11:2.
With this Scriptural background, it can be clear that the virgins awaiting the groom are symbolic of the Church. And the groom is Jesus Christ.
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.
The midnight cry of the groomsmen that the groom has arrived is an element of the traditional Hebrew wedding in which the groom, after giving a dowry, goes to his father’s home to prepare a bridal chamber for his bride. Jesus made reference to this exact tradition in John 14:
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. – John 14:1-3.
Jesus, who at present resides in Heaven, has prepared a place for His bride, the Church. And at the Rapture, Jesus will come to the clouds and receive the raptured church, to return to Heaven and the Bridal chamber, where the church will be kept safe during the Day of The Lord (also known in Scripture as the Great Tribulation), which starts at the opening of the 6th Seal of Revelation Chapter 6.
Thus getting back to the parable, the groom returns at an hour and day his father selects. And the bride does not know when this time will be and thus has to remain prepared at any hour for the bridegroom’s arrival. This arrival is signaled by a shout at which time the bridegroom arrives and “snatches” the bride to return to the Bridal chamber in his father’s house (the astute Bible student will already notice the numerous Biblical references in this tradition). In the parable, the bridegroom has arrived but only 5 of the virgins are prepared for his arrival. The others, who are caught off guard and unprepared, try to ask the wise virgins for their oil.
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.
This passage incorporates many of the same themes in the letters to the 7 churches in Asia in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. In these letters, Jesus gives praise and reprimands but gives several warnings that those Christians who do not repent and believe will miss the rapture and be left behind for the judgments of the wrath of God during the Day of The Lord. But why do some Christians make the Rapture and some are left behind? What is the difference that makes one wise or foolish? We will start by looking at the church of Laodicea:
And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and I will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. – Revelation 3:14-19.
This church, which received no praise from Jesus, has one defining characteristic – they think they are Christians, but in fact they are not. Like the foolish virgins, this church is urged to “buy” something to help their bad situation. In the case of the five virgins they are told to buy oil, which is symbolic of the Holy Spirit that is given to all born again Christians at the moment they are believers.
The Laodicean church is told to buy “gold” from Jesus, representing eternal riches over worldly, temporal wealth. And the “white garments” are worn by the raptured church in Heaven, as seen in Revelation chapter 7 (this is discussed in detail in our article on the timing of the Rapture). In both cases these groups of pseudo-Christians do not have what is necessary to be a part of the true church – a saving faith in the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. The idea of “buying” the Spirit is of course metaphorical language that was also used in the Old Testament:
“Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.” – Proverbs 23:23.
The Word of Truth is the Gospel, from the God of Truth, proclaiming Jesus, who is The Truth (John 14:6), which people are led to by the Spirit of Truth. Thus the idea is to place a high value on the Gospel over worldly desires, riches and pursuits. And this is where the foolish virgins have erred.
For both groups of false Christians, a door – a major symbol in Rapture prophecy in Scripture, is present. The five virgin are locked out of a door. The Laodicean church are told that Jesus is knocking on their door waiting to be invited in. In either case, they are on the wrong side of the door.
Contrast this with the church of Philadelphia, who are praised for their faith by Jesus:
I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.- Revelation 3:9-10.
These faithful Christians are told that the door is open to them and “no man can shut it,” indicating that they will escape the end times judgments of God’s wrath at the Day of The Lord. This is confirmed in the very next verse when Jesus says: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” This is a reference to the wrath of God being poured out on the entire world during the Day of The Lord. This church will not experience this because they will be raptured. Thus the symbolism of the door being shut indicates that the foolish virgins will be left behind with the rest of the unbelieving world.
“I Know You Not”
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. – Matthew 25:11-12.
The foolish virgins, who were not present when the bridegroom arrived (they were out trying to buy oil), come to the door and pleaded with the groom to let them in. But they are told by Jesus “Verily I say unto you, I know you not.” This is a parallel response to another teaching Jesus gives about false Christians:
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. – The Lord Jesus Christ, speaking in Matthew 7:21-23.
In this chilling passage, Jesus again references a group of people who believe they are Christians, but they in actuality are not. Notice that like the foolish virgins they address Jesus as “Lord, Lord.” This group then proceeds to proclaim their works as the basis for their salvation, telling Jesus of the miracles and other “great things” they did in His name (showing they do not understand the Gospel – as Christians are saved by faith in Christ, not their own works and good deeds). Jesus’ reply to their plea is very similar in both instances – He does not know them. In other words, they are not a part of the true Christian church. This passage highlights the important point, that in the body of Christianity, there are many who profess and appear to be Christian but in reality Jesus Christ does not know them. They are not born again and they will be left behind at the Rapture.
In the book of Matthew Jesus provided insight into why He does not know some of those who call Him “Lord, Lord”:
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. – Matthew 10:32-33.
Christians should ask themselves: do you proclaim Jesus Christ to others? Do the people around you know you are a Christian? Do you share the Gospel and the open belief that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the only way to heaven? Are you a part of a Bible-believing church where you are readily identified as believer? Bible commentator Jonathan Gill said of this passage:
This, I say, may be included in the sense of these words; but what they chiefly relate to, is a confession of Christ by his ministers [all Christians], in the public preaching of the Gospel; who ought openly, and boldly, to acknowledge, and declare, that Christ is truly and properly God, the eternal Son of God, the only mediator between God and men, the Saviour and Redeemer of lost sinners; through whose blood alone is the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of grace; by whose righteousness only men can be justified before God; and by whose sacrifice and satisfaction sin is only expiated; that he died for, and in the room and stead of his people, rose again for their justification, ascended to heaven in their name, is set down at the right hand of God, and ever lives to make intercession for them, and will come again, and judge both quick and dead: such a free and open confession of Christ ought to be made by all his [Christians] before men, and in spite of all the rage and opposition of earth and hell; and such shall not fail of being taken notice of, and requited by Christ; (source).
Though the door is shut on the foolish virgins, they still have time to make a plea to Jesus. And Jesus responds back by saying He does not know them. Thus the punishment of the foolish virgins is not bring destroyed in hell, otherwise they would no longer have a chance to make their case. Similarly the false Christians in Matthew 7, are also given a chance to make a plea to Jesus. And the church of Laodicea, for all their faults, are told that if they repent from their wicked ways, they will be rewarded. This underscores that the punishment for those who are pseudo-Christians who are alive at the start of the end times is that they will miss the Rapture and suffer through the Day of The Lord and the reign of the Antichrist that occur after the Rapture. Although it is not mentioned in the parable of the Ten Virgins, in other parables, Jesus describes being left behind at the Rapture as being cast into “outer darkness.” Here are several examples:
For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. – Matthew 25:29-30.
And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come… And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. — Matthew 22:1-13.
Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. – Luke 13:24-28.
Many of the same themes are in this passage: the door being shut, wedding garments, pseudo-believers missing the door before it closes and knocking as they plead to be let in, tie in with Rapture symbolism. As well as Jesus again telling a group of people He does not know them. And like those cast into outer darkness in the Matthew 25 passage above, there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” This serves as another indicator that “outer darkness” is not hell or the lake of fire, but is rather being left in the world during the time of the Day of The Lord/Great Tribulation.
Looking to the Old Testament descriptions of the Day of The Lord, Jesus’ use of the phrase “outer darkness” becomes even more compelling:
Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. – Amos 5:18.
The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness,- Zephaniah 1:14-15.
Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. – Joel 2:1-2. [B&E: Note that Jesus quotes this passage in Matthew 24 describing the Day of The Lord as being a time of tribulation “such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”]
Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it? — Amos 5:20.
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. – 1 Thessalonians 5:2-5.
The language consistency of the Bible is remarkable. In passage after passage, the judgments of the Day of The Lord are described as “darkness.” In the New Testament the Apostle Paul in the passage directly above incorporates it by drawing a contrast between born again Christians who will escape the Day of The Lord being in light and those unbelievers who will suffer the wrath of God at the Day of The Lord, being overtaken by “darkness.”
Do Not Miss The Wedding
As explained in our article, the Red Moon Rapture, one of the main purposes of the Rapture is for the marital ceremony of Jesus Christ, the bridegroom and His Bride, the Church, which will start in Heaven and culminate at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb on Earth at the start of the Millennial Kingdom. Jesus uses Old Testament Hebrew idioms to make this clear in Matthew 24 and continues explaining the Rapture with the Parable of the Ten Virgins.
Many commentaries and articles say this parable has nothing to do with the Rapture, but when the Biblical context is fully understood it is clear that it is indeed a very somber and chilling warning against those who believe they are Christians but are not, and will miss the Rapture. It is critical for Christian today to make sure they believe the true Gospel. It is only through faith in Jesus Christ (the Jesus Christ that is preached in the Bible – not “another Jesus” of a pastor’s invention), and His atoning sacrifice on the cross, that one’s sins can be forgiven. Jesus made it clear that many people are in churches today who He does not know.
With numerous heresies being preached, churches changing God’s Word to suit their tastes and political leanings, pastors focusing more on worldly entertainment than the Bible and a host of money-centered, “me-focused”, prosperity doctrines running rampant, the Church is indeed raising a generation of people who call Jesus “Lord, Lord” but do not know Him through Scripture. Do not be deceived. Study the Bible in a good version. Understand that everything in Christianity is centered on Jesus Christ and what He did on the cross achieves everything before God for a Christian. There is no salvation in any other name, including your own. It is maintaining this true faith in Jesus, who died for all sins (including those acts that society today no longer believes are sin) that leads to salvation. Be mindful of the praise Jesus gave to the Church of Philadelphia, who will never have the door to Heaven closed to them:
for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name…. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” – Revelation 3:8-10.
The word of Christ’s patience is The Gospel. It is the testament of God’s love and patience with humanity. It declares the patience of Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, who endured torture, beatings, humiliation, false accusations and death of the cross, to save humanity from its sin. That same Jesus Christ is alive and now sits at the Right Hand of The Father who will make Jesus’ enemies His footstool at which point Jesus will return after patiently waiting for the coming of His kingdom on Earth. The same Gospel that all of the disciples were persecuted and murdered for (save for John so he could write the book of Revelation). The same Gospel many Christians throughout the years have been martyred for. Do not compromise the Gospel. Believe it. And live it. All blessings Christians receive are through the Gospel. The Kingdom of Jesus Christ’s Gospel is not this fallen, cursed world, but the future Millennial Kingdom where He ruled in righteousness and His believers should set their hearts on that world, not this one.
All the “prosperity” in this world and the next are through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. He has earned it, which is why it only takes “a little strength” to receive eternal rewards. Proclaim the name of Jesus Christ to the world and make sure Jesus knows you and you too can be kept safe from the coming hour of temptation.
For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee. – Isaiah 62:5.