Monday, April 16, 2012

Deciphering the Parable of the Ten Virgins

By Helena Lehman of the
Pillar of Enoch Ministry

http://pillar-of-enoch.com

Published in April 2012,
Revised on Nov. 11th, 2012; June 7, 2013


Painting by William Blake - Wise Virgins in White
Click Here To Enlarge

The Parable of the Ten Virgins appears in Chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew. The following translation is taken from the New King James Version of the Bible:
~*~ Matthew 25:1-13 ~*~
“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”
This Parable is deceptively simple in its subject matter, but surprisingly hard for many to understand because the Wise and Foolish Virgins must be viewed both literally and allegorically to derive the full meaning of the text. Yet it is crucial to understand this Parable from both points of view in order to make correct deductions concerning the timing and nature of upcoming events in the Last Days - especially since the End Time Signs that our Messiah Yahshua told us to watch for have been speeding up at a frantic rate. This article explores the deeper meaning of this parable in relation to the Great Tribulation, which is fast approaching.

In this Parable, it is obvious that Yahshua is literally describing the fate of ten virgin attendants to an expectant bride awaiting the arrival of the Bridegroom, Who is none other than Yahshua Himself. Though the Bride of Christ is not directly referred to in the parable, her presence is inferred by the appearance of her handmaidens, who are waiting with her for the Bridegroom to arrive. It is the Bride who is anxiously awaiting His arrival, and anticipating the joyous wedding and mystery of the wedding chamber that will follow. Unfortunately, however, five of the ten virgin attendants are not taking their job to help the Bride prepare for the wedding very seriously. As a result, they are lacking enough oil in their lamps to light their way in the bridal procession to the Groom’s Father’s house, which is to begin at midnight on an undetermined day. Subsequently, all of the handmaidens fall asleep, since the Bridegroom takes much longer than expected to arrive.

Utilizing spiritual discernment from the Ruach Ha Kodesh or Holy Spirit, we can go beyond the literal aspects of this parable to see that the wedding being referred to is the Wedding of Yahshua, the Lamb of God, to His grafted-in Gentile Bride in Heaven, which is the location of His Father’s House and the “Many Mansions” that Yahshua has built to house His Bride (John 14:2). It should also be obvious that the Wise and Foolish Virgins and the Bride of Christ allegorically represent different factions of the grafted-in Gentile Church. The major difference between the Bride and her virgin attendants is in their level of love and commitment to Christ.

Regarding our commitment to Yahshua, there is Great Deception in the Church today about who will be taken in the Rapture. As Yahshua warned, the path to Heaven and the Rapture are very narrow, and very few will find it! This is why the Parable of the Ten Virgins makes it clear that a large portion of the Church will be left behind after the Rapture, which is symbolized by the door being shut on the Five Foolish Virgins in the parable. The Five Foolish Virgins represent Five of the Seven Churches of Revelation that Christ finds fault with, and which are not given any promise of deliverance. Of the two others, one Church is made up mostly of martyrs, while the other is the Church of Philadelphia, and this is the only Church that is given the promise of being delivered from the worst half of the Tribulation:
Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name” (Revelation 3:10-12). 
The Church of Philadelphia represents the Bride of Christ,  and also alludes to the Five Wise Virgins, since many of the members of the Church of Philadelphia are the devoted followers of Christ that come OUT of the five problematic churches that Yahshua praises, but also finds some fault with in the Book of Revelation, Chapter 2 and Chapter 3. Note how, in the portion of Revelation, Chapter 3 quoted above, that only the members of the Church of Philadelphia are connected to the New Jerusalem, which is described as a Bride adorned for her husband in verse 2 of Revelation, Chapter 21.

The Ten Virgin Attendants of the Bride also represent the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, as well as Messianic Jews from the Ten Tribes. Since the Ten Lost Tribes are part Israelite and part Gentile, and are partly loyal to God and partly Apostate, they are allegorically like the Mixed Multitude mentioned in Scripture that caused a great deal of problems for the full-blooded Israelites by leading them into sin (See Numbers 11:1-11). This Mixed Multitude lusted after things that God had not given to the Israelites in order to discipline them. One of the things He withheld was meat, giving them manna instead. But the mixed multitude grew tired of manna, and cried out for meat to Moses. God’s reaction to this was to give the Israelites and the Mixed Multitude the meat that they craved in the form of quail. But because they were not thankful for manna, were lustful for flesh, and still did not thank God when given the meat they craved, but gathered the quail in excess, God judged them with a great plague that killed many of them (See Numbers 11:31-34). This was done because they gave in to their craving for meat without giving thanks or showing restraint.

Unfortunately, this lack of restraint and carelessness is also true among some of the part Israelite and part Gentile believers who are being counted as the Ten Virgins, which are representative of the believers that can be found among the Seven Churches, or major Christian denominations, that Yahshua addresses in the Book of Revelation. As the Five Foolish Virgins convey, about half of them are not exhibiting the spiritual gifts of the Ruach Ha Kodesh or Holy Spirit, which is the oil that lights their lamps so that they can be a light of the world like Christ. Instead, the Five Foolish Virgins are unrestrained in their excesses, and are unashamed and unrepentant of their backslidden, Apostate ways.

In contrast, those who form the Bride of Christ are a special class of redeemed believers that live unswervingly righteous lives, and truly long to be with Yahshua every day because they love Him so much. They may live in this world, but they are truly not of it! Instead of partaking of worldly enjoyments, these faithful witnesses shun all forms of ungodly pleasure, including sexual sin and material lusts in all their forms. This has earned them the right to be closer to Yahshua than all others, and held in higher regard by Him. Though Yahshua loves all the saints that are redeemed by His blood, He loves some more than others, just as He loved Lazarus, the Beloved Disciple, more than any of His other disciples or apostles (John 11:34-43, John 21:20). As the following illustration conveys, Yahshua calls His Beloved Bride to Come Away with Him in the Rapture:

Click Here To Enlarge

Please don’t misunderstand! Yahshua loves everyone in His Kingdom, and after the Bema Seat Judgment of all believers - when some believers will be sad for a short time - there will be no more sadness or envy in His Kingdom. Yahshua’s love will satisfy all of us beyond anything else we can imagine. We will all be ONE through Yahshua, and we will all love each other as Yahshua loves us. There will be no more rivalry, tears or sadness for us in His Kingdom. We will be perfectly loved and in love with each other, and perfectly suited for, and happy with our roles in His Kingdom. So even though Yahshua will love, appreciate and reward some of us more than others based on our service to and love for Him, everyone in the Body of Christ will not be sad but joyful about it.

Now, just as the Patriarch Joseph had a Gentile Bride that was grafted into Israel through Marriage, Yahshua’s Bride has representatives that have come out of all the Gentile nations of the Earth. However, the Bride of Christ is a special class of believers from among these grafted-in Gentiles that are more devoted to Yahshua than others, and are virtually above reproach. They live exemplary lives as followers of the Way of Yahweh - not as Jewish clones, but as redeemed sinners that live by their faith in God like the patriarch Abraham did before he entered the Covenant of Circumcision based on works.

The truth is that the Bride and her Virgin Attendants have all entered a New Covenant with Yahweh God that is better than the one Abraham entered into - one that is based on faith and Grace rather than works (Jeremiah 31:30-32; Matthew 26:27-29). But the level of commitment among the Ten Virgins is less serious than that of the Bride. Though they are saved in the same way by the Blood of Yahshua, the Virgin Attendants of the Bride are not as faithful in teaching others about Yahshua and His Gospel of Redemption and Grace in the Kingdom of God, and do not long to be with Yahshua to the same intense degree as the Bride.

Though the Ten Virgins have been given the responsibility of nurturing the Bride of Christ and ensuring that her work for Yahshua is carried out, the Parable of the Ten Virgins tells us that only half of them are truly faithful to this cause! Having less oil of the Holy Spirit than the Five Wise Virgins who prophesy, teach, lead, heal, and love others, the Five Foolish Virgins are not exhibiting spiritual gifts, are woefully at odds with the work of the Bride, and may even be openly antagonistic to it. As a result, though all Ten Virgins are saved from the torment of Hell, the Five Foolish Virgins that come out of Five Churches in the Book of Revelation are not going to be protected from suffering through the Great Tribulation.

The Bride’s Virgin handmaidens represent the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, who mingled with the Gentiles of Europe and other nations. Thus, the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel are not only represented by the people of Europe and the Americas, but by Gentiles from every nation and race. Though Christianity once reigned supreme in Europe, England and America, and the missionaries that preached the Gospel to the rest of the world originally came from those countries, the people of Africa and Asia that believe in Yahshua are now also part of the Bride of Christ as grafted-in Israelites, and the Bridesmaids or Virgin attendants of the Bride of Christ are also from every people group on Earth.

Strasbourg Cathedral, France - Wise Virgins with Christ
Click for Larger Image

Though this is often overlooked, the modern-day Jews are signified by the Jewish Bridegroom Yahshua to some extent as His attendants, even if they claim to be from a different tribe other than Judah today. But only those Jews who come to believe that Yahshua is the Messiah can be the Bridegroom’s attendants. Likewise, the Five Wise Virgins are Gentile believers that have been grafted into Israel because of their faithfulness in following Yahshua and sharing the Gospel of the Kingdom of God with everyone, including the Jews. They also serve the Gentile Bride by delivering the Gospel to her and tending to all of her spiritual and physical needs, as the Holy Spirit leads.

The five Foolish Virgins are those among the Ten Tribes who have heard the Gospel, but have not taken it to heart or shared it. They do not pray or study the Word of God in the Bible, and are not baptized with the Holy Spirit. They are without the Holy Spirit’s inner guidance because they never desired this baptism or sought it in prayer and supplication to God the Father. Instead, they have buried their lamps under a bushel, not sharing their knowledge of the light of the Gospel with others, and not caring to be set apart from sin in order to dedicate their lives to Yahweh God’s service.

Painting by Hieronymus Francken the Younger Circa 1616 -
Foolish Virgins On Right Engaging In Sinful Excess

Click for Larger Image

This is why the five Foolish Virgins are to be left behind when the Bridegroom arrives. Yahshua will say “I do not know you” to them because He never knew them in fellowship, worship and prayer (Matthew 25:12). These foolish ones are apostate believers who are in love with the world and its pleasures rather than in Christ and His Gospel. They are chasing after worldly power, prestige and pleasure such as vacations, secular entertainment, cultural events rather than caring for the poor  and needy among them, or seeking to save lost souls from the pit of Hell.Their lamps will therefore not have enough oil that represents the Holy Spirit, and their knowledge of the Word of God will be very poor. As a result, they will not have a place reserved for them at the Wedding of the Lamb (i.e. the Wedding of Yahshua), and they will have to live through the horrors of the Great Tribulation instead. These poor believers are saved and will serve Yahshua in His Millennial kingdom, but only after being purified in the fire of severe persecution, deprivation, suffering and potential martyrdom.

On a deeper level, the Parable of the Ten Virgins ties into the Song of Solomon and the idea that weddings in all cultures are traditionally celebrated in the late spring and early summertime, when the weather is at its nicest. This connects the Parable of the Ten Virgins to the Jewish Feast of Shavuot or Pentecost in the late spring, and to the joyous Festival of Tu B’Av (or the 15th of Av) in the early summer. Tu B’Av is a time of celebration that follows the time of mourning over the destruction of the First and Second Temples to Yahweh on Tisha B’Av or the 9th of Av, and it is the Jewish equivalent of Valentine’s Day in Israel today. As such, it is a favorite time of year among Jews to announce betrothals, have weddings, and give gifts to sweethearts and loved ones. This ties Tu B’Av to the Wedding of the Lamb in Heaven after the Rapture of the Wise Virgins, and by extension, to the Rapture or Harpazo itself.

Though the Rapture is tied to the summer, Pentecost and Tu B’Av through the Song of Solomon, it may not occur on or near to Pentecost, Tu B’Av, or the Summer Solstice, but at any time. Intriguingly, the causeway of the Great Pyramid at Giza, which signifies the Church as the Body of Christ, points to the Summer Solstice. As such, it is like a beacon pointing to the Rapture of the Saints that will make up the Bride of Christ and her Wedding party. However, since what we call winter in the Northern Hemisphere is actually summer on the Southern Hemisphere, the months of December through February are also tied to the summer months, and are associated with harvests in that region. For this reason, the Rapture is also connected to the Jewish Festival of Light called Chanukah, as well as to the Winter Solstice.

Because the Solstices are being targeted by the two biggest Giza Pyramids, and the Equinoxes are being targeted by the Great Sphinx representing Yahshua as the First and the Last at Giza, the timing of the Rapture is truly open to the entire year. Nonetheless, the Summer does hold a stronger emphasis in that the largest pyramid at Giza representing the Bride of Christ and the New Jerusalem is targeting the Summer Solstice, which falls in Mid-June every year. So that’s something to keep in mind. Incidentally, I have amassed hundreds of pages of well documented research  proving that the Giza Pyramids were part of a sacred site that was built by the righteous Sethite followers of our Most High God Yahweh before the Great Flood of Noah. This information can currently be found in two books that I authored that are part of the Language of God Book Series: “The Language of God in History”, and “The Language of God in Prophecy”. 

Intriguingly, the causeway of the Middle Pyramid at Giza points directly toward the Winter Solstice at dawn on the eastern horizon. This is the same causeway that leads to the base of the Great Sphinx, which signifies Yahshua as the First and the Last and the Beginning and the End by its connection to Virgo and Leo, the first and last signs of the ancient Mazzaroth or Zodiac. Though the Rapture may not occur then either - since no one knows the day or hour - the Mayan End Date connected to the Winter Solstice in 2012 is allegorically tied to the Rapture by its association with the summer months south of the equator - and the time for crops and harvests there.

The Great Commission to the Two House Church of Judah (the Jews) and Ephraim (the Ten Lost Tribes and the Gentiles as a whole) during the Age of Grace and at its close is thus being referred to in this amazing Parable. Its message is therefore directed to all believers in Yahshua today. Please heed its message, and get your lamps filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit NOW - before it’s too late!

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FOR FURTHER STUDY:

Please read my complimentary, newer revised article about the truth of the Rapture, and the fact that there may be not one, but two Rapture events - one at the beginning, and one at the end of the Great Tribulation. This article can be found posted at my Pillar of Enoch Ministry web site. Here is a description of it, and a link to the HTML and PDF versions of it now available online:

REVISED 2013 Edition: 
“Come Up Here and Come Away!” -
Clues Concerning Two Rapture Events In Scripture:
This article was originally written in March 2010, and was revised in 2011, 2012, and 2013, ending with this newest revision of June 13th, 2013. This resulting version contains many improved insights over the original in regard to the possibility of Two Raptures during the Great Tribulation, and their possible timing. The Signs in the Heavens and other prophetic information have figured into this speculative prophetic scenario, showing that the First Rapture is thematically tied to the Jewish Spring Feasts, especially Pentecost or Shavuot in the early Summer, and the Second Rapture is tied to the end of the Tribulation that is thematically tied to the three Jewish Fall Feasts and two minor Winter Feasts.


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I pray that these articles will bless you and help you to grow in spiritual understanding as we await the Rapture. In the meantime, remember that...

Yahshua is coming SOON! Maranatha!

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ARTICLE IMAGE CREDITS:
First 3 Images Courtesy of Wikipedia under "Parable of the Ten Virgins", 
which contains an interesting review of the Parable:


1 comment:

  1. You helped me understand to a much greater degree what this parable means. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete

Shalom! Feel free to comment, but please be respectful. God bless!