|The Parable of
the Ten Virgins
or The Ten Lamps
Jesus likened the kingdom of heaven, the church, to ten virgins who went to a wedding. Five
were wise. Five were foolish. The wise virgins took extra oil for their lamps, so they would be
prepared whenever the bridegroom came. The foolish virgins only took the oil in their lamps.
While they waited, they fell asleep. While they slept, their lamps burnt out. When they were
awakened by the cry that the bridegroom was coming, they prepared to relight their lamps.
However, the foolish virgins realized they were also out of oil. They asked the wise virgins to
borrow some of theirs. The wise virgins turned them down. If they provided oil for the foolish
virgins, they would have none for themselves. The foolish virgins then went out to buy some
more oil. While they were gone, the door was closed and locked. They knocked on the door to
get in, crying, Lord, open to us. But they were told: Verily I say unto you, I know you not. They
were not allowed to enter.
What is there about the church which is represented in this parable?
Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
The church, the saved, is represented by the ten virgins. John uses the same imagery for
those who are the redeemed, the saved, in the vision on Patmos.
And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the
elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand,
which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women;
for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These
were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in
their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
(Revelation 14:3-5 KJV)
We await the marriage of the Lamb.
And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and
as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come,
and his wife hath made herself ready. 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. And he saith
unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.
And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. (Revelation 19:6-9 KJV)
However, it is possible for us to be wise or foolish. If we are wise, we will await in holiness,
continuing in that holiness until He comes. If we are wise, we will wait, but we will run out of
patience, and be lost in the cares and affairs of this world. It is a strong lesson of the ability of
the saints to fall from grace, and to be shut out of heaven.
And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet
now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and
unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and
settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and
which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a
minister; Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the
afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: Whereof I am
made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil
the word of God; (Colossians 1:21-25 KJV)
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is
to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not
fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which
hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written,
Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1 Peter 1:13-16 KJV)