The Parable of the Ten Virgins


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Let me make several observations in this parable that may shed some light on several false assumptions that needs to be addressed.  Our understanding of our needful preparedness in Christ Jesus is without question, but the preparation is the question. 

Matthew 25 1Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 
Five of them were wise and five were foolish.

Note of importance: The Lord's tribulation parables, leading up to the Day of the Lord, are not separated with the ending of Matthew 24:45-51, but precedes the continuing: "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins": If we remove the chapter headings and information descriptions in the Bible then you will have a better picture of the whole of the warnings in the ending parables of the Lord Jesus Christ.  All of the parables are all linked together as one, and are not little isolated tid bits of philosophical pabulum that are being fed individually to the satisfaction of the people of the pews.  The enigma is in the assumptions.  Certainly the wise will understand this, and look fully to the Light of Life, Who Alone has the Words of Eternal Life! 

1st False Assumption: If the virgins took their lamps with them, then it must have been naturally dark already and they would have needed to light their lamps immediately so as to see in the dark.  Such is not stated by the Lord.  The scripture merely states that the 10 virgins went out to meet the bridegroom, and took their lamps with them.  The conditional assumption is false and falls through its own dark hole, for the Lord makes no conditional statement referencing the time of the day, whether it is day or night.  Simple logical fact:  If darkness had not yet fallen, then there was no need to trim and light the lamps in daylight. 

3 They that were foolishG3474 took their lamps, and took noG3756 oil with themG1438:
4 But the wise took oil in their vesselsG0030 with their lamps.

2nd False Assumption:  Reading KJV: They that were foolish took their lamps, (and but) took NO OIL with them. But note also that the foolish 5 did not take along an additional vessel with oil with them.  The false assumption is that if the 5 foolish virgins had lamps, then surely there must be at least some oil in their lamps.  The "NO oil" is definitive with an absolute negative amount of oil.  The English word "them", is perhaps another point of confusion.  In the Greek, the word "them" is specifically the pronoun "heautou",  The pronoun of "them", speaks only of the 5 foolish virgins.  Even though the 5 foolish virgins had lamps with them, these 5 virgins were declared by the Lord to be foolish, lacking that which is necessary to provide light. The foolish "them" as the case would be, had absolutely NO Oil, with "them".  So then, neither was there oil in their lamps, nor as the Word of the Lord would imply, there was NO OIL what so ever within the persons of these foolish virgins.  The foolish virgins of today will not heed the warning of the parable. The Lord of Light says: While ye have light, [then] believe in the light, that ye may be the children of Light. (See John 8 verse 12 and chapter 12 verse 36.)

Some noted theologians insist upon putting oil in the foolish virgin's lamps, but then seemingly not enough, for the lamps will go out during their assumed immediate wait for the bridegroom.  The necessary oil that fuels the light cannot be manufactured by the spirit of foolish man, but only by the Holy Spirit of the Eternal God of Light.  Again we reiterate that in the Lord's warning parable, the fact is absolute; for the foolish virgins had no oil with them to light the Way in the darkness of this world.  

But the wise took oil in their vessels, [along] with their lamps.  The wise of heart secured the needful oil within their vessels so that when the time of darkness would come upon them, they had sufficient oil to trim and light up their lamps in the darkness of this world.  Note again: None of the lamps of the ten virgins were lit at the beginning of their travel to meet the expectant groom.  If the virgins started out in the light of day to meet with the bridegroom, then there was no need to burn the oil that would have been or should have been present within their vessels.  With a little understanding, we can surmise in the end of the parable that the vessel containing the oil is not a separate cruse, but the vessel is the very soul and spiritual heart of the wise person of the Lord of Light.

5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

3rd False Assumption:  Goes back to the 1st False Assumption.  Again it is falsely presumed that the 10 virgins initially traveled in the dark and had need of the light from the burning oil in the lamps.  The assumption for the need for the immediacy of light is not warranted for it is not stated by the Lord at this time.  Consider again that all of the virgins would have risen early and traveled during the day light hours until they reached a logical point of rest before the daylight hours closed.  Then they would have waited and rested through the hours of dusk until midnight with out the need of the light from all of the oil lit lamps.  The first absolute need for light is revealed in the following verses.

6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh: Go you out to meet him.7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.8 [And But] 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 yourselves to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

4th False Assumption;  Again it has been assumed by many theologians and their pundits that before the midnight cry, all 10 of the lamps had been lit, but were now gone out and needed oil from a reserve container that they each carried with them. Remember that the foolish 5 had no such vessel with them and they were totally lacking in oil.  Scripture: "Then all "those" virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps".  [But and] the foolish said unto the wise: Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.  The question to consider first is: Which of those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps?  And secondly: When did the lamps of the foolish virgins go out?

Let me posit this for your consideration: In the transliteration from Greek to English and in the course of verse 4 and that which follows, the Lord states that the 5 wise virgins that had oil within them, and in the progression of the parable, the Lord does not mention the 5 foolish virgins in tandem with the 5 wise virgins.

 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.

5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go you out to meet him.

7 Then all "those" virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

Therefore consider that the words "all those virgins" in verse 7 would be specifically referencing the 5 wise virgins in verse 4. for they alone would be able to trim their lamps because they had the necessary oil with them.  Those 5 wise virgins were prepared for the duration and had the necessary oil to see them through until the end.  Hence, "all those virgins" is not referring to the whole of the slumbering ten.   Only those 5 wise virgins had sought after and secured within themselves the Spirit's free gift of daily oil that makes them always ready for any occasion.  When the lamps of those 5 wise virgins were trimmed and shinning with light, then the light revealed that the 5 wise virgins were vessels of honor unto the Lord.  The foolish ones were later spoken of as the other virgins that lacked the oil of the Spirit. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.  Granted, the other virgins could be considered the remainder that came late, but nevertheless these others are the 5 foolish virgins that had no oil for light.

5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

5th False Assumption:  [And But] the foolish said unto the wise: Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.  This statement by the foolish virgins is fueling the fires of confusion among the those that are wise in their own eyes.  In that the foolish virgins have stated that their lamps had gone out, has made the many prognosticators of their truth, to think that the lamps had been lit the whole time, and had just gone out in the night, having run out of fuel, while the virgins would have rested.  This is not so, for several reasons. 

First it is a contradiction to the warning that is inherent to this parable, and the rest of the parables that the Lord Jesus Christ gave concerning the signs of His coming.  See Matthew chapter 24 thru Chapter 26 Secondly, it would falsely indicate that the foolish virgins had oil in their lamps to begin with, having wisely made preparations to meet the bridegroom.  After all, it wasn't there fault that the lamps were no longer lit for the lack of oil.  The bridegroom should have come sooner.  Give us of your oilBut again, these are foolish virgins, who are wise in their own conceits, believing that they were suffient within themselves and worthy without the need of the oil; that is up until the revealing hour had come.  Behold, the bridegroom comes: Go you out to meet him.  Then the 5 foolish virgins without the least bit of humility, demanded some of the oil that was sufficient for the 5 wise virgins. 

And the Lord of the harvest said: After this manner therefore should you pray: Our Father Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive each other. Yes! Give us this day our daily sustenance; for our daily sufficiency is of God's Spirit of holiness.  None of us are sufficient within ourselves, so as to prove ourselves worthy before Holy, Holy, Holy God Almighty.  The redeeming fact of faith is that we each know that we are dependent upon the Mercy of the Holy God of the Living, and for Him to rightly supply our daily needs, so that we may enter into His Kingdom, clothed in the Light and Life within our Bridegroom Christ Jesus. 

In Him was Life; and the Life was the Light of men.  I AM the Light of the world: he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the Light of Life.  I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man comes unto the Father, but by Me.  (See John 14:1-6)

If the light that is within you is darkness; how gross is that darkness.

And [But] the foolish said unto the wise: Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. The prior period of time that the lamps of the foolish went out is not known.   It would appear that within their original baptism, that all of the 10 would have been made virgins and would have had oil within them, but the foolish 5 became slackers and were no longer seeking daily the needful oil of the Spirit of God.  True Communion in God's New Covenant with the Light of the world had ceased to be of significance in the teaching doctrines of their mentors, and the foolish became like their mentors.  The foolish ones could not trim their lamps, for the oil was depleted some time in the past.   The Essential Case is that without the Spirit of God there was no oil within the vessels of the foolish virgins enabling them to complete the journey.  With no light within them, the foolish would be stumbling in the darkness of this world.  If the mentors of the house were lacking oil, then where could the oil be secured?

10 And while they wentG0565 to buyG0059, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the DoorG2374 was shut.11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.12 But he answered and said, VerilyG0281 I say unto you, I knowG1492 you not. 11 WatchG1127 therefore; for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man comes. If the light that is within you is darkness; how gross is that darkness.

6th False Assumption:  Even though the wise virgins told the foolish virgins to go and buy oil for themselves, it is assumed that they went straight away to purchase the needful oil.  It was already dark and logically they had no oil within their lamps to light their way to find a purveyor of oil.  There are several possibilities and question marks that needs to be considered to bring us to a logical conclusion. 

  1. Without oil for their lamps, it would seem that with their back tracking, the 5 foolish persons would be stumbling over themselves in the dark of the night. 

  2. Then again, if they were close to the village they may see some light; but where would they find a purveyor of oil at that time of night?  The night comes, when no man can work. (See John 9:4.) God's gift is free to all that ask. 

  3. Matthew 24:45-51 presents the parable of the head servant of the household, which precedes the story of the Ten Virgins.  We witness that the head servant appointed by the Lord changes his colors and serves himself with his own lust, and beats His Master's servant. Consider then that merchants are in the business of selling their wares, and so it is with the merchandisers of Christianity.  They sell even their false wares for a price.  You can not serve God and mammon: No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. If the merchants were lacking oil, then where could the oil be secured?

  4. The oil of the Spirit of God can not be purchased in this world or the next.

  5. Now if the foolish had to wait for day light to see their way, then in their ignorance of the Way of the Lord, the foolish virgins might have reasoned that with day light they now had no need for the oil.  Jesus said unto him, I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man comes unto the Father, but by Me.

  6. Just a passing thought in consideration with the above: Another day light possibility may be that the 5 foolish virgins remained in close proximity to where they were, while waiting until there was natural light to see.  Someone has to make a move, before the others might follow.  If the blind lead the blind then they will all fall in the ditch. (See Matthew 15:14.)

Conclusion:  Now with the absence of the darkness of night, the foolishly unprepared virgins could see with their own natural eyes, and went to where the wedding feast would have been taking place.  But when the foolish ones came to the Door of the wedding it was far too late, for the Door was closed to them.  The foolish then cried out to the Lord to let them in.  But the Lord, being the Bridegroom, said unto them: Truly, I say unto you; I do not know you.  The True Light of Life had gone out from within the foolish virgins, and the Lord and Bridegroom of Life can not recognize the others that are dead within themselves, and have squandered away His Precious Gift of Covenant Life.  How often is the candle of the wicked put out! And how often comes their destruction upon them! God distributes sorrows in His anger (Job 21:17) At that time, it would appear that the wedding feast of the Bridegroom and Bride had already been consummated, and those who would come another way, rather than God's Way, were left to their own way.

The Lord Jesus says in the beginning of the parable that the foolish virgins had NO OIL with them.  Just in its reading of "NO OIL with them" should be cause to pause and consider the absolute negative of the statement.  It is for this reason that the Bridegroom did not know the 5 foolish virgins:  They were none of His, for there was no oil of the Spirit of Life within them. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, that is if the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, then he does not belong to Christ. (Romans 8 verse 9.)

The fire on the candle wick had long gone out.  The lack of preparations for the blessed event, revealed the unbelief of the foolish virgins that prevented them from seeking the oil of the Spirit on a daily basis.  To begin and end with, the oil of the Spirit of God "is free",  and cannot be purchased.  God has provided the ransom price for humanity's debt of sin, and now the oil of the Holy Spirit of God can be freely given to those who seek Him in their daily life.  The Spirit of God Lights the Way of the Truth and the Life for the believer in Christ, our Redeemer Bridegroom.  There is no darkness to those who dwell within Him.

This parable of the 10 virgins is a continuation of the the latter verses of the Lord's Words of warning given in Matthew 24.  In Matthew 24 verses 45 thru 51, Jesus speaks about the faithful and wise servant, who serves the proper food to the Lord's household, and of that servant's just rewards upon his masters return:  But if that servant in his unbelief changes his ways, and does not serve the members of his masters household justly, then upon his lord's return, the lord of the household will cast aside the unfaithful servant, for he/she is no more than a hypocrite who serves themselves.  Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not, the Son of Man will come

The remainder of Matthew chapter 25, as it continues in the depiction of the Kingdom of Heaven, may give further insight as to those that belong to the Lord.  The Words of the Lord of Life are hard, and not to be taken lightly.  Please note that these Words of the Lord are given at the time that was 2 days prior to the feast of the Passover lamb.  And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, He said unto His disciples, You know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified. (See Matthew 26:1-2.) The Feast with Passover and Unleavened Bread is at the full Moon on Nisan the 15th and not the 14th day of the Jewish Calendar when the Passover lambs are slain.  In the Julian or Gregorian Calendar the 14th day bleeds into the 15th day of Julian Calendar at sunset. 

The Lord Jesus/Yeshuah "The Truth" does not break the least of the Commands of the Law/Torah: For the Son of Man, the Last of Adam's kind is to be for us the Chagagah, the Presentation Offering to YHVH GOD, Who as the Son of Man, has completely satisfied the righteous Commands of Holy, Holy, Holy God Almighty.  Now, in the New Blood Covenant, the Lord our Righteousness, the Son of Man and Son of God, is interceding  for us before Holy, Holy, Holy God Almighty.

Thus says the Word of God: Truly, Truly I say unto you: Unless you eat of the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, you have no Life in you.

Robert Glenn Pratten with my beloved wife Rose Labez Pratten