Ten Virgins part 2-2 of 3– sermon video audio notes – (There will be 3 videos with the same notes. This is part 2 of part 2.) Our lights are our good works. Relating this to the ten virgins, five gave light from their good works. The five foolish virgins began giving light, but allowed their oil to run out. Their good works stopped. The Lord expects good works. It’s our good works giving light. They should never run out.
PARABLES OF JESUS
By Pastor Delbert Young
The Ten Virgins part 2-2 of 2-3
Ten Virgins part 2-2 of 2-3
Scriptures: Matthew 25:1-4, Matthew 5:14-16, Ephesians 2:8-10, Revelation 20:11-15, Exodus 29:7, Isaiah 16:13, Luke 4:18, Matthew 25:11-13
Last time we noted it was most important to interpret the parable of the Ten Virgins in context and in manners and customs of Bible times. This parable is in the midst of six other parables (the fig tree blossoming, as it was in the days of Noah, the thief in the night, the faithful and wise servant, the giving of talents, and the sheep and the goats). These parables were intended to teach the disciples how it would be when the temple was destroyed during the time of their generation (Mat 23:36; 24:34). If we do not use context and customs, the parable will make no sense. For example, why would the Lord marry ten virgins? Why would he ask ten virgins to marry him, and then say he did not know five of them? If these virgins represent the church and Christianity, why would the five wise not share their oil with the five foolish? Why does Jesus refer to himself as the “Son of man” in this parable? Why does the Lord say, Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto . . . in this parable, but in other parables he says, the kingdom of heaven is likened to . . . (Mat 13:24; 18:23)?
The custom of the times was the bride gave her maids of honor an oil lamp. This is symbolic and similar to brides in our time giving her bride maids a bouquet. The bouquet is symbolic of the freshness and sweetness of the bride. The oil lamp was symbolic of the light the woman would be for the man. She would make him look good. She would help him in his walk. When the groom came at night, their job was to go out and meet the groom and bring him to the bride. The five wise virgins made certain their lamps would not go out. This is an important part of the interpretation.
So we see the Lord was not marrying the ten virgins, or even five of them. They were the bridesmaids. Who would the bride be if not these ten? The bride is the church (Eph 5:25) the New and Holy Jerusalem (Rev 21:9-10). These are the people of the church. They represent the church, the bride. In the parable, they become the people of the bride, or the people of the church. We can also expand the thought somewhat into the ten could represent ten churches. The Son of man stands in the midst of seven golden candlesticks (lampstands) in Revelation 1:13 which are the seven churches of Asia (Rev 1:20).
These were virgins. We find 144,000 virgins with the Lord in Revelation 14:4. There is a link. The ten had been sent by the bride to meet him and light his way back to her. In 1 Thessalonians 4:17the same word is used as the resurrected and alive saints meet the Lord. There is a link there.
What we have is ten people or ten churches. Five will get the job done and five will not. Five will enter and five will not enter.
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.
Matthew 25:2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
Matthew 25:3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
Matthew 25:4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
the kingdom of heaven
The Lord said Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto . . . As noted previously, this would have been an event yet to happen when this was spoken. However, in the context, it happened to the generation to which Jesus came. It happened in A.D. 70. Still, this is the way the kingdom of heaven operates. This is the state of things under the gospel. The point is we cannot cast the parable into a total Prederistic perspective. Why is this? There remain wise and foolish believers.
Properly interpreting parables requires we understand some symbolisms. For example, leaven is yeast. Jesus said to Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees (Mat 16:6). Jesus also said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened (Mat 13:33). Unless we understand what he meant by leaven we can become confused. The symbolism of leaven is doctrine or teachings. Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees (Mat 16:12). Jesus was warning of the doctrine of the Pharisees. He was also likening the good doctrine or teachings to the kingdom affecting every area of life.
In this parable of the ten virgins, we have the symbolisms of the lamp or light and oil. When these two symbolisms are grasped, the parable becomes simple.
The parable is about ten virgins. The number ten can be important in it represents a whole of anything. The tithe (tenth) represents the whole. There are Ten Commandments. There were ten plagues upon Egypt. The great red dragon has ten horns. The word ten is symbolic of, or represents the total of something. The ten virgins represent the total church who is the bride, the wife of the Lamb (Rev 21:9).
This could become scary in half go into the marriage feast and half are told, Verily I say unto you, I know you not (Mat 25:12). What we have is ten people or ten churches. Five will get the job done and five will not. Five will enter and five will not enter.
wise and foolish
The ten virgins went forth to meet the bridegroom. Five were wise and five were foolish. What determined if they were wise or foolish? It was the foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
The picture is an oil lamp flamed using a wick. The five foolish had a lamp. The problem was they did not have enough oil. We note in verse eight the five foolish said, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. At one time they had oil. They did not have enough oil. The five wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps (25:4). Because of this, their lights went out.
When the scriptures speak of light, they are not speaking of electrical lighting as we think. This is obvious in this passage. The scriptures are speaking of oil lamp lighting. This becomes first meaningful when the Lord gave Moses instructions to build a tabernacle in the wilderness. One of the elements of furniture within the tabernacle was the lampstand called the candlestick in the King James’ version (Exo 25:31-40). This lampstand was to burn always (Exo 27:20; Lev 24:2). In the outer court there was light at times and the light was natural light. In this dimension the light is of the Spirit (oil) and is constant. We are told of an event when the lamp went out. Eli was the high priest when the tabernacle was at Shiloh. The Bible says Eli was heavy of flesh and going blind (1Sa 4:15, 18). He allowed the lamp to go out (1Sa 3:3). In the next verse the Lord called Samuel to replace Eli. Looking at this from the spiritual dimension, we see Eli the believer had become interested in the things of the flesh. He had lost his spiritual insight and vision. As this happened, the light went out.
Jesus said we are the light of the world (Mat 5:14).
Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
The next verse warns us not to hide our light. We cannot become heavy of flesh and lose our vision.
Matthew 5:15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
All this is good, but what is our light according to the Lord? How do we shine? If we can see this, then we should be able to understand the parable. Each of the ten virgins had a lamp. However, only five gave lasting light. What is the light? The next verse in Matthew 5 tells us.
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Our lights are our good works. Relating this to the virgins, five gave light from their good works. The five foolish virgins began giving light, but allowed their oil to run out. Their good works stopped. The Lord expects good works. It’s our good works giving light.
When we talk about works, I always need to do a short teaching on what the Bible actually says about works. Someone has read, or heard somewhere, we are saved by grace and not saved by works. This is exactly correct, but most often stated and projected out of proper context. Let’s look at the scripture saying this and the context.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Sure enough, this is what it says. However, in its proper context, it is saying there is nothing we can do, no works, can obtain our salvation. We do not receive salvation (saved) through works. However, we cannot stop with verse nine. The next verse gives us clear understanding.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
We experienced salvation and are created in Christ Jesus unto good works. The reason we were actually saved or created in Christ was to do something. The something we were created in Christ to do is our good work and that saves us. God hath before ordained that we should walk in those works.
I often attempt to say it this way. There is a B.C. and an A.D. aspect to our salvation. Before Christ (before we come the Christ), there is no work capable of gaining us salvation. There is nothing we can do to work our way into the kingdom of heaven. We are drawn by the Father and come through Jesus by faith. It is a gift of God. However, once in the kingdom, we are expected to do our good works. This is the A.D. aspect.
What the parable is saying to me is all ten virgins had lamps, but only five did what they were called to do and maintained the light of their lamps.
Allow me to take it one step deeper. In the book of Revelation, we are told of an event referred to as the Great White Throne (Rev 20:11-15). It is a time when all the books are opened to search for the names who receive salvation. To say I understand all this would be unsound on my part, but I do notice one important point. Everyone is judged according to their works. Let’s read the passage and see if this is true.
Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Revelation 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Revelation 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Works become extremely important. We are each saved unto good works. The good works become our lights. Without the light, we cannot enter.
As we look at the possessing of the oil, which made five virgins wise and five virgins foolish, we see the oil is the anointing by the Spirit of the Lord. Oil speaks of the anointing.
Exodus 29:7 Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him.
However, the anointing is for good works. We are anointed to do something. David was anointed to become king over Israel.
1 Samuel 16:13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward.
Jesus was anointed to do good works.
Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
The parable is easily understood when looked at in context and symbolic meaning. In all seven parables in this section, the Lord is warning his disciples of his coming as the Son of man. He tells them they should be able to recognize it just as they recognize summer is close when a fig tree blossoms. There will be people eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage just as it was in the days of Noah. These are oblivious to what is happening in the realm of the Spirit and knew not until the flood came. His people needed to be watching as a man would watch if he knew a thief in the night was coming. The Lord wanted them to be faithful and good servants watching over his kingdom until he came again. It was at this point the parable of the Ten Virgins was told. Immediately following the parable, Jesus tells the parable of the talents. One man was given five talents, one two, and one was given one. All but the person who received the one reproduced the talents through good works. The nations will be judged as sheep and goats because they fed the hungry, took in the homeless, clothed the naked, and visited those in prison. Again we see the good works. The Lord is looking for good works causing us to be lights bringing the Father glory.
Now we must come to the place of asking, “What are we each doing to bring light.” I want to ask it this way. If you knew for certain Jesus would come tomorrow, what would you do today? Would you pray more? Would you read more? Would you witness more? Would you fast? Would you go to church if it was Sunday? Would you sing in the choir or praise with all your might or move in your gift? What would you do differently than you are doing right now? The truth of the matter is if there is anything you would do differently, then you would be in trouble. You would be one of those who went to buy oil.
I know most of those who teach and say they believe in an eminent coming and rapture really do not believe in it. I know this because they do not live their lives as though Jesus will come tomorrow.
When we come to the Lord through our salvation, we receive a grace, an anointing. If we light the light and begin drawing upon our individual anointing, we give off a light bringing glory to the Father.
The foolish had a lamp, but did not maintain their oil. Therefore, they could not light the lamp. The wise recognized the necessity of good works and the anointing oil. When the groom came, the foolish asked for the oil (anointing) of the wise. This cannot happen. Your anointing is your anointing. Your good works are your good works. I cannot get in with your light or with your oil. I must have my own.
Matthew 25:11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
Matthew 25:12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
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