Parable: Five Wise and Five Foolish Virgins

Oil-Lamps-5-wise-and-5-foolish-virgins

Matthew 25 Explained – The Five Wise and Five Foolish Virgins

On the DTW Facebook group Exposing False Teaching in South Africa we were asked some very excellent questions by Trevor in trying to understand the Parable of the 10 virgins: 5 wise and 5 foolish.

He said:

I am hoping that somebody might be able to clarify the parable of the ten virgins of Matthew 25 for me. I sense that it is very relevant to the hour that we live in, but I remain somewhat confused – even on what I have heard explained.

Matt 25:1-13 (KJV) 
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.

My questions are these:

a) Who do the ten virgins represent? They cannot, I reason, be the bride of Christ who is a single entity.

b) As all ten virgins had lamps that were burning as they went out to meet the bridegroom, at that stage all ten would seem to have had some oil. Is this a fair assumption?

c) If the oil is the Spirit of God as many teach why were the five with additional oil reluctant to share? This attitude seems contradictory to Christian behaviour and values.

d) How is it possible to “run out of” the Holy Spirit? Or is it something else that “runs out”?

e) Who are the sellers that they were encouraged to go to buy more oil?

f) How can one “buy more oil”?

Oil and the Holy Spirit

Many Christians are bemused when they see the word “oil” in holy writ thinking that it always refers to the Holy Spirit. They fall into this error because they do not differentiate between the Church and Israel, and especially God’s dispensational dealings with these two groups of people. Trevor is correct in saying that the oil cannot refer to the Holy Spirit in Matthew 25, simply because you cannot have some of Him at one time and then lose Him fully at another, even to such an extent that you must seek out those who are appointed to sell oil so that you may replenish the oil you have lost.

Considering the following Scripture, the meaning of “oil” and “light” in the context of Israel as a nation becomes clearer.

I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; (Isaiah 42:6).

Israel and God’s promise to them

The light in this instance is, of course, God the Son, the Messiah, whom God the Father gave to Israel for a covenant of the people (i.e. Israel), for a light to the Gentiles. “For a covenant” means that God’s Servant, the Messiah, is the only Person who can bring to fruition all God’s promises to Israel because He is God. In fact, the fulfillment of all His promises to Israel proves in every iota and tittle that He alone is the only true God and that there is none other besides Him (2 Corinthians 1:20). Note carefully that the covenantal people, Israel, to whom God promised to give the land of Canaan as their eternal Promised Land, (forever and not just temporary), were called to be the light-bearers of God’s truth, that He and He alone is the only true God and that there is none other like Him (Isaiah 49:6).

When King Louis XIV asked Voltaire to prove to him that God exists, he said, “Sire, the Jews.” If God could make a donkey speak to bring a wayward prophet (Balaam) to his senses, then surely God was able to use the tongue of a skeptic, a traditionalist, and an enemy of Christianity to prove his existence. Voltaire had more savvy between his ears than today’s professors, doctors, pastors, priests, and laypeople in theology, including Stephan Joubert, Jan van der Watt, Johan Geyser, and Gielie Jordaan, who claim that God is finished with Israel as a nation and has transferred all his promises He made to them to the church. Indeed, they are playing with fire.

Whoever throws God’s covenantal promises he made to Israel to the dogs is throwing God Himself to the dogs because it belies, belittles, and pooh-poohs God’s immaculate and magnanimous promise in Jeremiah 31:35-37, not to speak of their despicable and disrespectful proposition that God’s promises to Israel are NOT all yeah and amen in their Messiah, Christ Jesus.

One of the ways God used to remind his chosen people, Israel, of their calling to bear witness to God’s light, was the following command in Exodus 27: 20-21.

And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always. In the tabernacle of the congregation without the vail, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the LORD: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel. (Exodus 27:20-21).

Olive oil in the lamp in the tabernacle

Pure beaten olive oil was used to cause the lamp in the tabernacle and later in the temple to burn, ALWAYS. God provided the oil but they themselves were responsible to keep the lamp burning and never allow it to go out. The Tabernacle with all its holy (set apart) utensils pointed to Jesus Christ, including the light of the lamp. Sadly, Israel’s relentless idolatries caused their light-bearing witness to the Gentiles to dwindle and eventually die out, even to the point when God announced a Lo-Ammi (“not my people”) over them (Hosea 1:9-10). Yet, God in his unfathomable mercy, for His Name’s sake and his promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the number of the children of Israel increased throughout the centuries, and as verse 10 assures us, God’s lo-Ammi will be upended and changed to “the sons of the living God.” Ultimately, this is going to take place when the cry, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him” is made at the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. 

A little bit of history

One of the most significant events in their ancient history was their Messiah’s prophecy, “And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matthew 24:2) when their holy city, Jerusalem, was ransacked, their temple destroyed by the armies of the Roman General Titus in 70AD and the Jewish survivors were dispersed throughout the entire ancient world. This was the beginning of their diaspora which lasted until May 14th, 1948, when David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel.

Some may ask, “why the lesson in history” to answer a simple question on the meaning of the oil in Matthew 25’s ten virgins, five wise, and five foolish? The significance of Israel’s ancient history is to show how God has remained faithful to Himself and his promises to his chosen people, Israel, despite her spiritual adultery and whoredom. Consider for a moment the prophecy in Ezekiel 37 where God commanded the prophet to prophesy over a valley filled with very dry bones. King David thoroughly knew about parched bones having been waxed old through unforgiven sins (Psalm 32: 3-4).

Israel as a nation is in the very same position owing to her unrepentant and hardened heart, the reason being that God Himself has blinded their eyes so that they cannot see and acknowledge their sins. Nonetheless, the very dry bones have come together when a large number of Jews were back in their own land in 1948. The next part of the Ezekiel 37 prophecy, when breath will be blown into the flesh and sinews of the restored dry bones, will only be fulfilled when Christ Jesus returns with his bride (who will have been raptured before the seven-year tribulation) to judge the nations. And this, finally, brings us to the five wise and five foolish virgins in Matthew 25 which will play out before the institution of Christ’s Millennial Kingdom and reign of peace on earth.

Kingdom of Heaven

Having mentioned the Millennial Kingdom on earth, it is necessary to explain that the “Kingdom of heaven” in verse 1 is not heaven itself where God dwells in his majesty and glory. The Kingdom of heaven spoken of here will be the final accomplishment of our Lord’s prayer, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Henceforth it won’t be necessary to pray this any longer. Why pray for something that is already fulfilled? And so too God the Father’s promise to his Son that He would sit on the throne of his father, David, and rule the nations with an iron rod (Psalm 2) in Jerusalem, will be fulfilled (Luke 1: 32).

Virgin’s buying and selling of oil

To understand the concepts of “having enough oil” and “selling and buying oil” we need to research other passages in Scripture that deal with the Kingdom of heaven (Christ Jesus’ Millennial age of peace on earth). First, we need to clear up the meaning of verse 6, “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.” Many, if not most Christians, believe that the ten virgins are the church (bride of Christ) waiting for her Bridegroom to return from heaven. In short, none of them, neither wise nor foolish, are Christians in the sense of being the bride of Christ. In fact, the five foolish virgins are stalwart unbelievers. Jesus Christ will never say to his bride, or even a part of his bride, “I know you not” (Verse 12).

Israel: the friend and God’s wife

Both groups, wise and foolish, are Jews who will have survived the ordeals perpetrated by the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation (last 3 ½ years of the seven-year tribulation). One of the surest and most trusted proofs that the Jews who are going to experience the ordeals of the tribulation (Jacob’s trouble; Jeremiah 30:7) are John the Baptist’s words:

“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 3:29) [Emphasis added]

John the Baptist acknowledges that he is not part of the bride of the Bridegroom but a dear friend of the Bridegroom. Was he speaking on behalf of the entire Jewish nation who will endure the seven-year tribulation or was he merely articulating his own relationship with Jesus at that time? The answer is that he spoke on behalf of the entire Jewish remnant of believers in the tribulation. How do we know? Perhaps a rhetorical question will help us to answer this question. Is it possible that God the Father’s wife is simultaneously the Son’s bride and vice versa? If this had been so, Satan and his host, and God’s enemies would have had ample reason to accuse both of spiritual adultery, fornication, and unfaithfulness to their spouses.

The covenant God made with Israel at Mount Sinai after He had miraculously rescued them from their slavery in Egypt for more than 400 years, was really a marriage vow. The following Scriptures attest to the fact that Israel is God’s wife.

Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: (Jeremiah 3:14)
For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. (Isaiah 54:5)
And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. (Jeremiah 3:8)

Israel no longer God’s chosen people?

Many Christians see Jeremiah 3:8 as God’s final and irrevocable dismissal of Israel as his chosen people and the transference of their promised blessings to the church. Stephan Joubert, one of South Africa’s most prolific and stylish false prophets publicly and unashamedly says that the twelve tribes of Israel no longer exist, despite James’ (a brother of Jesus) explicit greeting to the twelve scattered tribes (James 1: 1).

Joubert’s denial of Israel’s existence is on par with Islam’s denial of the State of Israel in their omission of Israel on all their maps. The Jewish Virtual Library Project of AICE states, “Maps distributed by the Palestinian Authority are an important and tangible method of instilling fundamentally negative messages related to the Arab-Israeli conflict. These messages include ignoring Israel’s existence, denying the Jewish biblical bond to the Holy Land, fulfilling the obligation of the “right of return,” continuing armed struggle for the liberation of Palestine, and perpetuating hatred of the State of Israel. (Source).

Antisemitism

As you can see, Stephan Joubert and many others like him, are willfully and intentionally raising feelings of hatred against Israel. What did God say about these vagrants? “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3). Those who curse Israel by denying her existence are accursed.

God is not finished with Israel, not by a long shot, for He promised,

Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 31: 35-37).

God’s promise to Israel still stands

And with this magnanimous promise, we finally come to God’s ultimate dealing with his chosen people, Israel, during the seven-year tribulation, also known as Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7). Throughout their history, Israel never really learned to understand the true meaning of righteousness. They based their righteousness on their divine election and them being the children of Abraham (Matthew 3:9).  Paul reiterates in Romans, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; (Romans 1:18). They knew the truth but held it in unrighteousness. It simply means that they heard and understood the Gospel but failed to mix it with faith (Hebrews 4:2).

Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. (Hebrews 4:1-3).

144,000 sealed Jews

It describes to a “t” the five wise and five foolish virgins. Despite the horrendous times of persecution at the hand of the Antichrist and God’s own judgments on the entire world during the seven-year tribulation, an unprecedented evangelical outreach will take place through the preaching of the 144,000 sealed Jews, 12,000 from each tribe of Israel (Revelation 7). When Jesus Christ first announced the coming Kingdom of heaven and the need to repent to gain entrance into his kingdom of heaven, he used twelve disciples to herald his truth. In the tribulation, He is going to increase the number of 12 to 12 times 12,000 from each tribe of Israel.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God

These are the barters who will sell the pure oil (unadulterated Gospel) to fuel the faith enabling them to endure to the end of the tribulation (Remember Exodus 27: 20-21). Hebrews 4 makes it abundantly clear that some will not enter into Christ’s rest (Millennian age of peace) the reason being that, although they’ve heard and understood the Gospel, it did not benefit them because they did not respond to it in faith.

The most important ingredient of salvation was missing in their understanding of the Gospel, namely a childlike faith, and this alone prevents them from entering Christ’s Kingdom of heaven on earth. Furthermore, faith is not transferable or exchangeable. Hence the five wise virgins’ refusal to give the five foolish virgins some of their faith (oil) to keep their lamps burning at their meeting with the Bridegroom at his Second Advent with his bride (all the believers who are raptured before the seven-year tribulation).

A problem that seems to be somewhat of a sticky point is the words “sell” and “buy” in Matthew 25. Selling and buying implies the exchange of money and goods, and what, may we ask have they to do with faith, oil, and salvation? Salvation is not bought or sold. It is a free gift through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on an old, rugged cross, is it not? Of course, it is. However, the word for “sell” in this section is pōleō which means to trade or barter something for something else. The dictionary defines “barter” as follows:

“In trade, barter is a system of exchange in which participants in a transaction directly exchange goods or services for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money.”

To explain this more fully in the spiritual sense of the word, we need to go to Matthew 11 where Jesus said the following.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

Bartering of yokes

Some may want to argue to the contrary, but this is a perfect example of spiritual bartering, the exchange of goods and services between two or more parties without the use of money. The “goods” or “things” in the above passage are exact opposites – the one is heavy and burdensome and the other light and easy. The exchange of these two yokes can only occur when the one burdened with his yoke of sins and unrighteousness comes to God and calls on the name of the Lord (Acts 2: 21).

It is interesting to observe that the Holy Spirit inspired the writer not to pen down the words “on the Lord” but “on the Name of the Lord.” The one calling on Him must know who He is. His name “Jesus” tells us who He is. His Name means “the Saviour” of the lost (Luke 19: 10; Luke 1:32). Only those who, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, know and acknowledge that they are lost (on a one-way path to hell) will come to Christ for their salvation (Luke 5: 31).

5 Foolish virgins

Nowadays thousands upon thousands are being dunked underwater when baptized, fall backward (slain in the spirit) when they receive a gentle shaktipat (Hindu touch)and have an encounter; speak in tongues, have dreams and visions, etc., upholding the notion that these experiences are the evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Little do they know that they are being made children of hell far worse than the persons who orchestrate these phenomena. The five foolish virgins were under the same delusion. Like the present-day foolish ones who think they must do something (baptism and speaking in tongues) to please God and ratify their salvation, the Matthew 25 Jewish foolish virgins believed that their observance of the Law was their ticket to heaven. The oil they had in their lamps to keep their lamps burning to the end fell short of the required “mixed with a biblical childlike faith.” The faith (a biblical grounded faith) is the only thing that pleases God.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God (for salvation) must believe that he is (the only Saviour and the only dispenser of salvific grace), and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him (call upon the Name of the Lord). (Hebrews 11:6) 

Is the olive tree Jesus Christ?

In conclusion, we need to focus on the olive tree in Romans 11: 14 which is a reference to the pure olive oil in Exodus 27: 20-21, and God’s command that the pure olive oil is needed to keep the light of the lamp burning ALWAYS. Some assert that the olive tree is Jesus Christ. If it had been Him, it would mean that the loss of salvation is imminent for all those who had been broken off from the olive tree so that others, the Gentiles, may be grafted in.

Salvation is not incurred on anyone by means of the breaking off or severance of others. Indeed, as Paul so very assuredly proclaims in Romans 11: 11-24, ALL Gentiles, every single one, have been grafted into the olive tree (the sphere of God’s abundant blessings, grace, mercy, Loving-kindness, and longsuffering which is God’s salvation, 2 Peter 3:15), after God had given Israel the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, unto this day (Romans 11: 8).

However, God’s olive tree of abundant blessings has a single aim and purpose in view, and that is to give lost Gentile sinners the same opportunity Israel had in the Old Testament to repent and believe the Gospel. Hence, the stern warning in Romans 11:

“And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear.” (Romans 11:17-20).

Grace (Faith) vs. the Law

The oil of the good olive tree is the saturated fatness of the multitude of blessings that God showered on his chosen people without measure. Paul highlights these blessings in Romans 9 when he says,

“Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 9:4-5). 

They were granted all these wonderful blessings and yet it did not benefit them because it was not mixed with faith. Paul articulates their unbelief in Romans as follows,

What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Romans 9:30-33). 

Beware of the Hebrew Roots clan. They are the modern-day Pharisees who want you to keep the Law for your salvation. Listen carefully: The Door will be shut to you in the end and you will not be granted entrance into Christ’s Kingdom of heaven on earth.

Repent and believe the Gospel

Regardless of their unbelief, idolatry, and sins, God is going to grant the Jews in Jacob’s Trouble (seven-year tribulation) one last chance to repent and believe the Gospel, and not merely cling to the oil (blessings) they already had and believed would grant them access to Jesus Christ’s Kingdom of heaven on earth. The prophet Isaiah said it well when he wrote, “for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.” (Isaiah 26: 9). Indeed, many Jews and Gentiles will be saved during the seven-year tribulation when God is going to pour out his righteous judgments on all the nations. Nonetheless, many Jews and Gentiles will not be granted access to Christ’s Kingdom of heaven on earth because of their persistent unbelief. The unbelieving Jews are the foolish virgins, as we have already seen.

We learn from 2 Peter 3:15 that God is longsuffering because He has no pleasure in the death (second death) of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:32). He wants everyone to be saved. However, He cannot continue to be longsuffering for an eternity. At some time, He must close the Door as He had done in the time of Noah when only eight souls were saved and the rest who pounded on the Door to be let in when the rains (God’s judgment) came, were refused entry. This will happen again when Jesus Christ returns at his Second Coming to the earth (not the Pretribulation Rapture) when He is going to set up his glorious thousand years kingdom on earth. It will be a glorious honeymoon of a thousand years.

Amillenialism and Dominionism (Kingdom-Now theology)

Please don’t believe the vagrants who tell you that the 1000-year kingdom of Christ on earth is merely a symbolic number of Christ’s reign on earth through his church since his death, burial, and resurrection in Jerusalem, right up to the moment when he returns to earth at his Second Coming.  These are the so-called Kingdom-Now proponents who believe that Satan is already bound. They should seriously take to heart this warning in Revelation 22: 18-19.

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Revelation 22:18-19).

Please see article: Amillennialism vs Dominionism

Addenddum

Jesus Christ warned that righteousness not exceeding that of the Scribes and the Pharisees, cannot open the Kingdom of heaven’s gates (Matthew 5:20). Why would Jesus use the Scribes and the Pharisees on whom He so lavishly showered so many woes (Matthew 23: 13-16; 23, 25; 27, 29) as a yardstick to teach us how to enter his Kingdom of heaven? He never once faulted the Scribes and Pharisees on their meticulous diligence to keep the Law, which to them was their righteousness (oil of gladness instead of what Isaiah 61: 3 requires), in the very same way He did not question a certain ruler who claimed that he kept the whole of the Law (Luke 18: 18-25)? His main objective was to undergird the kind of righteousness needed to enter his Kingdom of heaven.

The word for “exceed” in Matthew 5: 20 is “perisseuō” and means to superabound in quantity or quality. It also means to have enough and to spare. An English dictionary defines “to spare” as –

  • additional to what is required for ordinary use.
  • an item kept in case another item of the same type is lost, broken, or worn out.

What exceeds the righteousness of the Scribes and the Pharisees? The righteousness that far exceeds the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees is a Person. His Name is Jesus Christ. God has imputed his perfect righteousness to everyone who believes in Him, the only One who could fulfill the Law to perfection, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (Romans 10:4).  Anything in addition to a childlike faith is not the Gospel. As soon as one says to you, “You must do this or that” to please God, for example, “You must be immersed (baptized) in water,” “You must speak in tongues,” “You must keep the Sabbath,” “You must keep the dietary laws,” etc., etc., etc. they are drawing you away from grace into full-blown legalism, a legalism akin to the “righteousness” of the Scribes and the Pharisees and away from Christ. And this is the result.

And all who depend on the Law [who are seeking to be justified by obedience to the Law of rituals] are under a curse and doomed to disappointment and destruction, for it is written in the Scriptures, Cursed (accursed, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment) be everyone who does not continue to abide (live and remain) by all the precepts and commands written in the Book of the Law and to practice them. (Galatians 3:10; AMPC).

It is my opinion that the five foolish virgins are representative of the Jewish religious hierarchy during the tribulation, an end-time reflection of the Scribes and Pharisees in Jesus’ time. They too will rely on their own righteousness (obedience to the Law) devoid of faith in Jesus Christ and his fulfillment of the Law. They too, like the five wise virgins, shall be awaiting the Kingdom of heaven to be established on earth, but fall short of entering into their promised kingdom on earth because of their unbelief. Hence the terrible but very true statement in Matthew 8.

And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom [many Jews] shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 8:11-12).

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Tom Lessing (Discerning the World)

Tom Lessing is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

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Trevor Morton

Thank you for this and the huge amount of work that has gone into it. It is radically different to what I have heard to this point but seems largely credible on first reading. I must of course take it away and prayerfully examine it in the light of Scripture. While it would not diminish your points made in the least I have come in recent years to believe that The Rapture follows on quickly at some point after the middle of The Tribulation and that the first half of the seven last years is an expression of the wrath of haSatan and of mankind against The Jews and against The Church. The last 3.5 years is the Time of Jacob’s Trouble/ The Great Tribulation when God’s wrath is poured out against the kingdom of anti-Christ and on an unbelieving world. This difference of opinion as to the time of The Rapture would not significantly affect the remainder of your case. I will get back to you again. Shalom & Baruch, Trev

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Thank you for taking the time to search the scriptures and write this article Tom.   :like: 

Tewie

Thank you Tom for the write up and Trevor for some very discerning questions that I’m sure many would profit from. This was very well written and I believe quite clear. I remember myself as a young Christian struggling with this parable as well. Rightly dividing the Word of truth is vitally important and it might just be me but I’m getting the impression that proper dispensational teaching is getting harder to find. With so many false teachings (and teachers) around we need to be vigilant and to examine the Scriptures daily like the Bereans of old. God bless!

Deborah (Discerning the World)

Natalie De Bastos said:

I very recently came out of the false NAR movement and I’ve been reading a lot and learning about the dispensation. And I’ve been wondering why I never heard about deviding God’s word correctly in either the Dutch Refomed Church I was in as a child or in any of the Charismatic churches I was in as a teen up to a few months ago. And reading this article just put it into perspective for me a little…..It’s one of the greatest deceptions, you think you are learning about Jesus Christ, the true Gospel, but it was all false. The anti-christ already has a firm grip on the so called Church and I can see how this will move in to become the “one world religion” with many people following this thinking they are in the 1000 year raign and being deceived beyond comprehension. Do you have any specific articles teaching about correctly deviding the word of God? Thank you for all the insightful articles.

[Edited by DTW – Sorry Natalie, had an error with the comments section, I’m posting your comment for you]

Mpofu

Hie Tom Lessing

I have read your article and would like to assist in shedding more light on this parable of the ten virgins which the Lord gave in Matthew 25vs1-13.

The parable of the 10 virgins points to what is going to happen on the day of judgement.

It is unfortunate because there are people or theologians who have spread a very disturbing doctrine which is not even in the scriptures: The doctrine of Rapture> The word Rapture itself is not even there in original Hebrew or Greek manuscripts or to put it simple on the first English bible translations which was interpreted word for word from original Hebrew and Greek (The king James version).

They read scriptures such as Luke 17vs31-37 and Matthew 24vs17, 40-41 and take them literally yet the word of God is spiritual and must therefore be understood spiritually.

It is folly to suppose that there will be a time when others are going to be raptured to heaven and others left when we have clear cut scriptures like Matthew 25vs31-32 which tells us clearly that the day JESUS CHRIST is going to come here on earth on his last coming on earth, ALL NATIONS SHALL BE GATHERED BEFORE HIM.

Matthew 25vs 31-32 “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
And before him shall be gathered ALL nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.

Before going further, let me just assist a brother or a sister to expound on one scripture which false preachers quote to assert the doctrine of Rapture on;

Matthew 24vs17 “Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house:

Jesus Christ the LORD of glory is the one who said these words in Matthew 24vs17. (The question is: When Jesus spoke, were his words carnal/literal or they were spiritual?)

John 6vs63 “It is the spirit that quickeneth ;the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that i speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.

In Matthew 24vs17, what house was Jesus referring to? Was he referring to brick and mortar kind of house or was he referring to something?

Hebrews 3vs6 “But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
1st Corinthians 6vs19 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have of God, and you are not your own?
2nd Corinthians 5vs1 “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

I cant exhaust scriptures to prove that in New Testament when ever you hear about the word house it refers to a body and in other scriptures they use the word temple.

So what did Jesus mean when he said “Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house in Matthew 24vs17?

Answer:

The issue is on carnality (living according to the desires of flesh) vs spirituality (living a life inspired by Holy Spirit and in accordance to God’s word)

Romans 8vs6 & 8 “For to carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Having seen that the house is the body, what are the the things that Jesus is saying he that is on top of the house must never come down to take??

Answer:

Romans 7vs23 “But i see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Which are these members referred to in Romans 7vs23?

Colossians 3vs5-6 “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of dis-obedience.

So to be on top of the house is a statement which refers to one being spiritual and not walking according to the flesh: One who is born of God, living by the dictates of the word of God, with the imputed righteousness of Christ in them which empowers them to overcome the desires of the flesh.

Galatians 5vs16 “This i say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

When the word says “Walk in the Spirit” it means one must live by the word of GOD (this is to be on top of the house- the staff which the LORD said one must never go back and take in the house are works of the flesh which one must not go back in them as they are dead in the old man of sin and now being a new creation in Christ) being empowered by the grace of GOD to live a righteous life through the faith of Jesus Christ and not through the works of the law.

This is the state which believers are to be found in on the last coming of the LORD JESUS CHRIST. (Found in a state without spot or blemish as washed by the word of God)

Revelation 19vs 8 “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints

CONCLUSION

So i hope one is helped here, Those who preach the doctrine of Rapture are swaying people and making Christ a liar but God forbid, let all men be liars and only GOD be true. According to JESUS CHRIST our LORD in Matthew 25 vs 31-32, the very day he comes, ALL nations shall be gathered before him at once and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats;

About the millennium reign of Christ, this is not an issue to cry home about because the word of God needs HOLY SPIRIT to understand it and not a human mind. If one thinks the 1000 years are absolute, they must explain 2nd Peter 3vs8 which says “But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a 1000years and a 1000 years as one day.

People must be careful about scriptures.

In Revelations 20vs1-15, a clue was given as to when the 1000years shall take place and like i have said, one must be careful with these scriptures.
A clue was given in Revelation 20vs5 when John the revelator as inspired by HOLY SPIRIT said “……This is the first resurrection”.

Meaning to say the 1000years are to happen during the era of the first resurrection.

Dont ever read the book of revelation literally without seeking due guidence from HOLY SPIRIT lest you tread on a very slippery slop of error.

I will not expound much on this i want to quickly rush to the issue of the 10 virgins, but let me give someone who wants to learn a clue as to when is this 1000years, and if i find time next time will discuss at length.

First resurrection

When the bible talks about the first resurrection it means it is the first time people are resurrected from the dead. At what point is this?

Romans 5vs12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin and so death passed upon all men, for ALL have sinned.
Romans 3vs23 “For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
Ephesians 2vs1 “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.

So we see that everyone when they are born they are born dead spiritually because of sin which was instigated by Adam the first man.

At what point then did people experience the first resurrection as we see evidently that ALL HUMANITY ARE BORN DEAD so that we can ascertain this 1000year people and not continue as a people that are tossed to and from by every wind of doctrine which seeks to lead many astray from the truth?

John 3vs3 “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily i say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Born again of what?

1st Peter 1vs23 “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

At what point was this word published?

Acts 1vs8 “But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judaea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Acts2vs36-41 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom you have crucified both Lord and Christ.
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles,Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

In verse 41 of Acts 2, we see that about 3000 souls were added unto the Apostles on the day of Pentecost. THIS IS WERE THE FIRST RESURRECTION was encountered. The first believers to be preached the word of salvation; meaning to saying a thousand years is encountered during the NEW TESTAMENT ERA where people hear the gospel of grace and truth and get born again unto life and resurrect from death which was ushered to all humanity through Adam.

Meaning to say the 1000 years of the reign of Christ is the New Testament Era where Christ is reigning over his church which he purchased with his own blood. That is why Colossians 1vs13 says “God has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son”

There is no kingdom without a king, meaning Christ is actually reigning now during this New Testament Era of grace as a king which is why Hebrews 7vs22 says “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament. That is why in Matthew 26vs27-28 he took the cup and gave thanks, and gave it to them saying Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Marthina Fourie

Excellent Article!!! Tom! 🙌🏻
I am forever grateful for the Lord when He lead me to this Website in 2015…. Most of the article’s was way above my understanding (only had spiritual milk for many years).
But I kept on following and reading both you and Debs articles…
Beginning of this year I started reading my Bible by studying it comparing Scripture with Scripture…. I asked God to help me and repenting from my ‘spiritual sleep’ and indoctrinations of traditions.
Now I have HolySpirit revelations that can only come from God!🙌🏻 I felt so lost within churchianity for so many years and now the Truth has set me free and I have an eternal Hope that is real.

Mpofu

Mr Tom

I think you did not get my contribution altogether. Diligence is needed when articulating on the things to do with the word of God. One does not need to defend a doctrine which they have embraced for a long time but be careful to stand by what the word says. I respect the platform as you are admins but as far as the word is concerned it’s a good thing to stand by the truth and also to have a learning heart. I said a lot of things before and I think you misunderstood the context altogether in your bid to give a response. To avoid populating things let me try to be constructive and let me at this point answer on the issue of rapture only and maybe with time tackle other issues. (You misunderstood the issue of the first-resurrection altogether otherwise if you understood it you would have known that if indeed Adam was the reason why humanity where subjected into the first death : which is sin, Christ as the last Adam was going to be the means by which humanity where to attain the first resurrection which is salvation, vindication and justification through the blood of Jesus Christ: being born again. I know it very much that Jesus is the resurrection but you must understand contexts through which issues are articulated)

Let me repeat again what i said maybe in simplicity.

I will quote again the scripture which I quoted to show that i don’t deviate from what I said. I said that there is nothing like rapture according to Matthew 25vs31-33 which reads as follows:

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
And he shall set the sheep on his right hand but the goats on the left.

Then I need you to answer me on the following:

At what point are people going to be snatched away, taken away by force, spoiled, or seized upon or raptured when in actual fact the position of scripture is that everyone is going to be gathered before Jesus at once on the day he comes on his last coming both the good and the evil?????????????????

I am asking this in relation to your definition of rapture which I have quoted you saying as below:

(This word was taken from the Greek verb harpazo, meaning, “to seize upon, spoil, snatch away, or take to oneself by force,” especially used of rapture.)

This is why I said those that spread this philosophy of Rapture they did not understand Luke 17vs33-37 which says”two man shall be in one bed; the one shall be taken and the other shall be left.

When I explained this i said the two men in one bed is the two-hood of a person: spirit and flesh, one taken is the spirit and the one left is the body/flesh/mortal: that is what Paul was explaining when he said in the twinkling of an eye, meaning it will not be recognisable how this human body will be done away with: but the rapture zealots took Luke 17vs33-37 literally and thought two men in one bed is Spencer and Bruce, Bruce being taken and Spencer being left in wonder as to what had happened to Bruce as he is nolonger on the bed yet a few minutes he was there. (I pray you be enlightened in this)!

When I said the word is not even there in the Bible i knew what I was saying because as far as I know the truth, no one shall be snatched, seized upon or to be taken by force, actually what is going to happen is that when Jesus is going to appear on that Day he comes to judge the world, ALL NATIONS SHALL BE GATHERED BEFORE HIM AT ONCE. Of cause i cannot force you to believe this as it is God who convicts but this is the truth. There is no rapture to happen but what is actually going to happen is that since flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doeth corruption inherit incorruption, on the Day of the Lord, and in the twinkling of an eye, mortality shall quickly be converted into immortality. This is 1st Corinthians 15vs50-54 for you. This has nothing to do with rapture but Apostle Paul was given it by Holy Spirit to clarify on the mystery of how the issue of mortality and immortality is going to be addressed since Jesus is going to come at a time when others will be alive and yet no flesh and blood can inherit the kingdom of God/heaven but spirits only.

You must be careful on these issues, that’s why 2nd Timothy 2vs15 emphasize on the issue of studying the word so that people may be workmans who will not be ashamed. When you said a thousand years happens to God and not to man you made a fatal mistake of supposing that the word of God is spirit to him but carnal to humanity: you may say you didn’t say so, but that’s what you said (yet the very word of God is spiritual according to John 6vs63 in its entirety), i hope i might have some time to share some doctrinal issues of the word of God that is if you are willing.

Rapture is philosophy my brothers or sisters and not the doctrine of Christ.

The doctrine of Christ is that when Jesus Christ comes in his glory on the day he is going to come, ALL NATIONS SHALL BE GATHERED BEFORE HIM so that he will separate the good from the tares or sheep from goats and not RAPTURED before him/by him/to him.

Rapture i repeat, its not a doctrine of Christ, but man’s philosophy.

Mpofu

This is the scripture i want to give to assist someone who has believed this rapture philosophy: its a warning to the church

Colossians 2vs8

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of man, after the rudiments of the world and not after Christ.

Take note of the words: “…and not after Christ”

Rapture, Rapture, Rapture, Rapture

This philosophy is not after Christ but man.

What did really Christ say????? Did he say people will be RAPTURED? Or he was going to come and receive believers unto himself???

John 14vs3

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.

Christ is the one coming to receive people unto himself not people raptured to heaven/anywhere. (This is the truth).

That is why after he made this statement in John 14vs3, in Matthew 25vs31-32, he then explained what is going to happen on the very day he comes in his glory;

He says in verse 32 of Matthew 25 “And before him shall be gathered All nations: and he shall separate them one from another as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

This is the truth as far as Jesus is concerned. Where will people be raptured to when it is Christ Jesus who is to come and receive people unto himself?????????

I know that this philosophy have been taught by so many people, some of which are deemed God’s generals by people of today but its better to stand by the truth than to follow falsehoods of a person who will one day be buried six feet to the ground.

Its same to the issue of the tribulation period.

Again people mis-quoted the Lord in Matthew 24vs21-22 and they didn’t notice that he spoke those words when it was still the old testament era and before the new testament was operational.

Is this true that when Jesus was alive before the cross it was still the old testament era? Let the Bible answer

Hebrews 9vs16-17
For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

What this means is that a testament is launched by the death of its testator meaning to say Jesus’ death necessitated the establishment of the New Testament which was to be operational by the coming of Holy Spirit after Jesus was ascended to heaven.

Meaning to say the tribulations that the Lord was alluding to were to happen after the church was launched or the New Testament was launched. Remember the church was not yet there when he was still alive which is why he said in Matthew 16vs18 “…..I will build my church”. (The words”I will” , are future tense, meaning he meant after the cross after the price was paid at Calvary). So the tribulations were to happen in the advent of the preaching of the word of God.

Matthew 13vs21 “Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended”

In Matthew 13vs21, Jesus told us clearly that tribulations come because of the word.

I don’t know how we read the Bible, but what I can say is that it’s not about not reading but it’s about following what has been delivered yet its diverse from the truth.

Lets see Paul’s tribulations

1st Corinthians 11vs24-27

Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
Thrice was I beated with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
In journeyings often, in perils of water, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in cold and nakedness.

Note: otherwise one should tell me if these were not tribulations which Jesus talked about that they are going to be encountered because of the word!!!!!!

Its easy to talk about something which you have not yet understood my friends, otherwise if God will grant you grace to understand his word, you will approach it with reverence and fear, there are people who have already suffered beyond measure because of the word of God, people like Paul, Steven and others. This tribulation period is already happening in the New Testament era as the word of God is being proclaimed.

Acts 12vs1-2

Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.
And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.

Revelation 6vs9-10

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the alter the souls of them that were slain because of the word of God and for the testimony which they held:

Acts 7vs59

And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

The list is endless, I can not finish to prove to you that again the tribulation period is in the New Testament era before Christ come. This tribulation comes as a result of proclaiming the testimony of Christ.

Matthew 24vs9 “Then shall they deliver you to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

This is the tribulations that the Lord was talking about, already some have gone through them, most of the early Apostles died painful deaths because of this tribulation or persecution as a result of the word of God which they proclaimed. I don’t know about those that talk about tribulation period as in some years to come where are they taking this from yet we have some of our brethren who have gone through this tribulation some years ago and we are even witnessing it in our days.

All this is because of falsehoods peddled by the anti Christ in order to shift people’s focus from the truth of the gospel, receive the truth my brothers and sisters and be saved.

I believe this will assist someone, don’t approach the word of God with a carnal mind, it’s highly spiritual to those that are spiritual. Otherwise we need Holy Spirit to assist in giving us understanding to this word. This is why people upto today they say Jesus is coming to this world for the second time yet in actual fact he is coming for the third time, this is because they missed the atonement day which he went to heaven and came back again on earth, yet its in black and white in scripture.

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