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BIBLE STUDY: The Wedding Guests, And The Ten Virgins

Jesus showed us in His Word, that He is eventually going to offer eternal life to every human being who has ever lived. Some God invites as brides (virgins), others as wedding guests; yet despite God’s personal invitation, some reject His offer and miss the ceremony completely, while others are killed and burned? What did Jesus intend to teach us with these stories? Can you prove from Scripture where YOU fit in? Let’s open up our Bibles and see!

Bible Study Instructions: One Nation Under God Ministries (www.onug.us) publishes and distributes weekly Bible Studies, worldwide – free of charge, to anyone who requests them, in both printed and electronic formats. Our Studies are intended to be a simple and fun way to learn the Scriptures, and are very easy to follow! We adhere to Jesus Christ’s Biblical instructions to teach and feed the flock of God portions of meat in due season, on weekly Sabbaths, and on the seven annual Holy Days throughout each calendar year (Luke 12:42 / Isaiah 28:9-10 / Matthew 13:52). Using both the Old and New Testaments, our Bible Studies are designed to present a premise, make a statement, or ask a question – followed by one or more Scriptural references. Just look up and read from your Bible the Scriptures listed. Comments following questions elaborate on the Scriptures you just read. Pray always before beginning any study of God’s Word, asking God to open both your eyes and your mind to His Truth; then Prove everything you read, is in fact the Truth, by comparing it to The Word of God (1 Thessalonians 5:21 / 2 Timothy 3:15-17). Then use the Biblical System of Checks and Balances, and SEE if both Jesus Christ, and the First Century Church of God Apostles – also Did, Said, and Taught these SAME THINGS (Galatians 1:1-12, 5:25 / 1 Peter 2:21, 25 / 1 John 2:3-6)! That’s all there is to it! Our Bible Studies are based on the King James Version, unless otherwise stated. We will be praying for your eyes to “see” (Matthew 13:11-17); and we are always available to answer any of your questions! Be Blessed, in Jesus’ Name! - One Nation Under God Ministries (www.onug.us).

Jesus’ Teachings On The Kingdom of God:

Jesus told us that He was going to bring His Father’s Kingdom back to this earth, and He instructed us to pray for this to happen too (Matthew 6:9-10)!

But instead, many churches today teach an “abandonment theology”, or that “believers” will be whisked off to heaven, to escape the coming great tribulation that will come upon the earth (John 3:13). A pastor’s wife was recently heard telling a group of women at a local Bible Study, “We don’t have to worry about how bad things are getting in the world; because we all are going to be raptured up to heaven any day now!” This group of women followed the pastor’s wife, by hoping and by praying that they could soon leave this earth and go to heaven where Jesus is. But is that really what Jesus told us to pray for?

The Real Jesus, described in your Bible, tells us that the meek (humble, modest; those who possess controlled strength) shall inherit this very earth under the Rulership of Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:5 / Daniel 7:13-14). Some will perish in burning flame when the King returns (Daniel 7:11 / John 15:6); while others will become spirit beings, and help establish God’s Government among the flesh and blood people still dwelling upon this very earth. Jesus Christ taught us that those whom He raises up at His return, they will rule with Him forever, and ever, and ever upon this very earth (Daniel 7:18, 22, 26-27)!!! As we shall see, some who are destined to be Saints of the Most High God at Jesus’ return will need to lose their lives in the Great Tribulation (Revelation 12:11-13, 17); others will be spared death, being taken to a place of safety on this very earth to await the First Resurrection (Revelation 12:14-16 / Psalm 91:1-16).

The parables of the Wedding Feast, and of The Ten Virgins, was given to us By God, through Jesus, so you and I can know and understand essential subjects, or elements of The Kingdom of God! The Father wants us to know who is involved in bringing His Kingdom and establishing it upon the earth – and who is not! We must know who the bride is – and who the bride is not! We must know who the wedding guests are – and who those are which are thrown out! We must know how to dress for this wedding ceremony; and above all, we should know how to prepare NOW, and ready ourselves to attend this Feast of Feasts!

The Parable Of The Wedding Feast:

Let’s first read the account in Matthew 22:1-14. We see here many roles: A King who arranges a marriage for His Son, there is obviously a bride – but she is not mentioned here. There are the servants who extend the King’s invitation, and there are those whom the King has invited to the wedding as guests; but the guest would not come! Then we see the King sending forth other servants to invite even more guests, to attend the wedding; this time the pot is sweetened with the inclusion of dinner, steaks – a banquet and a true feast! All the second group of guests has to do is just sit down and eat; but they too do not come. This second group actually makes fun of the servants who extend the King’s invitation! The second group is too busy with the cares of their own lives to attend the marriage ceremony and wedding feast of the King’s Son! Unbelievably, the last few people who are still left to invite (the remnant), treat the King’s servants viciously and with cruelty; finally killing them, simply for extending the King’s very gracious offer!

When the King hears what has happened, He becomes enraged, and sends His armies to punish the murderers of His servants by slaying them with the sword and burning down their cities!

The King finally sends His servants to fill the empty seats rejected by the unworthy guests. He commands that His servants search the lands, far and wide, and invite both the bad and the good. This final group, distinct from the bride, sits down at the Wedding Feast; but before the ceremony begins, the King notices one of the invited guests not wearing the appropriate attire to attend such a prestigious event, and asks that guest why they are attired so inappropriately. The guest is speechless! So the King has His servants bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness – where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth! Many were invited to the feast, but few were chosen by the King to attend!

A Wedding Ceremony Analogy:

If you envision what our society considers to be a fairly typical wedding ceremony, and separate out all of the modern embellishments such as Father of the Bride, Maid of Honor, Best Man, Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, Flower Girl, and Page Boy; you are left with just two people – the Bride and Groom – standing before the Minister. Let’s consider God the Father being represented as the Minister (He is the One who originally Married people – before ministers and the State stole that job from Him); or The King who arranges a marriage for His Son. The Groom is Jesus Christ, and The Bride is The Body of Christ, or the Saints of the Most High God – those who are joined to Christ at His Second Coming, at the First Resurrection. The wedding guests are those who witness this ceremony, and those who will eventually become subjects of the Prince and His Bride when the Prince takes over the rule of His Father’s Kingdom (Revelation 21:24-26 / Matthew 5:18-20).

Throughout History, God has invited humans to become part of His Kingdom. Each time, and in each era, the prophets of God have invited mankind to part take of God’s Feasts; and each time the world has rejected those God has sent to them! Even at the close of this age, when only possibly twenty five percent of the world’s population is left alive (the remnant); God will send two witnesses into the world in the last days, to yet again invite humanity to become part of His Kingdom (wedding guests) – and yet again, the remnant of humanity will slay the two witnesses and send gifts to each other in celebration (Revelation 11:3-12)! The Anger of God will be kindled HOT! Only those hand-picked by The Father can and do become the Body, and the Bride of Christ, down through the ages, most of those invited down through history were never intended by God to be the Bride at Christ’s return. However, eleven hundred years after the First Resurrection most have chosen God’s Way and have become spirit beings in the Kingdom, joined with their elder brother Jesus and the First Resurrected Saints (Luke 16:22 / Revelation 20:14-15). Now the stage is set for the Father to come down and dwell upon this earth forever (Revelation 21:1-8). www.onug.us

The Lake of Fire:

God destroys (meaning: they burn up, die, and becomes ashes) human flesh and blood people in physically hot – regular fire, at four distinct times throughout history:

1) The Beast and the False Prophet are cast into the Lake of Fire ten days after Christ’s return (Revelation 19:19-21 / Daniel 7:11),

2) After the Thousand years are through, Satan is released from the bottomless pit and causes Gog and Magog to be consumed by fire rained down from the Father (Revelation 20:3, 7-10),

3) When Satan and his demons (immortal beings) are thrown into the Lake of Fire (also a spiritual dimension – designed to torment rebellious angels of God; but can also burn up and destroy mortal human beings. See Matthew 25:40-42), the stage is set for the rest of the dead (everyone who did not come up in the First Resurrection) to come back to life. This includes those who partook of God’s Holy Spirit in the previous world, and rejected it (Hebrews 6:4-8 / John 15:2, 6 / Matthew 22:11-14), including the wedding guest – represented by a single guest – a very small percentage of people. Those who could have been part of the Bride of Christ, and reject God’s Spirit, will also come up in the Second Resurrection. They will be among the wedding guests, and they will look Very Foolish (the whole world will know the opportunity they were presented with – and had rejected! Hebrews 6:1-12); their fate is to be burned up as the third group consumed by the Fire of God. They will be a tremendous lesson for those wedding guests, good and bad, of the Righteous Judgment of God!!!

4) Amazingly, there will be the last group to be burned up in the Lake of Fire! These are those few individuals who after a hundred years of living in the White Throne Judgment (Isaiah 65:20), simply reject Christ as their Savior (Luke 16:22-31/ Revelation 20:11-15). They choose NOT to enter into Life and are destroyed – are killed with the Second Death (Hebrews 11:5, 13). This is the death Enoch escaped, actually dying at the age of 365 years old (Genesis 5:18-24).

See our Bible Study: Solving The Mystery Of What Really Happened To Enoch and Elijah (at www.onug.us) to learn more about the first and second deaths of the Bible!   

The Bride of Christ:

Some teach that the Bride, the first fruits or first harvest of God’s people consists only of 144,000 individuals - Period. Certainly, Revelation 14:1-5 helps to make this argument hold strength. But consider what verse one says, “...a Lamb (Christ) stood on the mount Sion, and with Him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.” Do these 144,000 have more than one father, besides God the Father? Let’s look at Revelation 7:1-8. Here we also see that there are 144,000 of the children of Israel. If they are Children of Israel, then Israel, or Jacob is their Father too! And if Jacob is their father, so is Abraham (Malachi 3:6-7 / Luke 16:23-31)! Is God offering salvation only to those in the tribe of Judah? Of course not (Romans 1:16, 2:10-16 / Acts 11:7-18)! God has, to the Gentiles, also granted repentance unto life! Let’s read Paul’s very clear words on the matter (Romans 8:7-23). If we have the Spirit of God inside us, we are the children of God, and then must be glorified together with Christ at the First Resurrection (Romans 8:16-18 / Hebrews 11:13, 35,39-40)! Jew or Gentile, pagan or Christian, we are the Sons of God - the moment we receive the Spirit of our Father at baptism; and if we are the Sons of God, we will become like God at the First Resurrection (1 John 3:1-2), inheriting His Promise of Eternal Life (1 John 2:25)!

Now we have proven from Scripture, that throughout history, up until now; many who were not of the seed of Abraham have received God’s Holy Spirit and qualified to come up in the first Resurrection. So then, how do we reconcile Revelation 14 and Revelation 7’s Biblical 144,000 thousand Hebrews or Israelites, with converted pagans and Greeks who must also come up in the First Resurrection? Are there Scriptures that show us that others besides the 144,000 will also come up in the First Resurrection? Yes there are!!!

Knowing How many God will raise up in the First Resurrection is related to knowing WHY God is raising them up in the first place (Revelation 5:9-10). God wants to make us Kings and Priests to rule in a world that could potentially have over two hundred Billion people living on it! These Kings and Priests have to come from EVERY kindred, tongue, people, and nation that has ever existed on the earth throughout history; and there has to be enough to effectively govern and rule all these people! How many would that be? Well, let’s consider that in the year 2016 the world has an estimated 2,469,501 cities and towns – each actually filled with people. Even if we only had one mayor (think “King or Priest”) for each city in the world today, and God kept that same ratio in the World Tomorrow; we would need a lot more than 144,000 to come up in the First Resurrection! For 2,469,501 cities, minus 144,000 Kings and Priests; we would still need 2,325,501 more resurrected Saints so that each city could have one. Let’s say God averages it out to 10 cities per Saint; that would mean God would still need 246,950 more Saints to come up in that First Resurrection!

Now the world today is 70% ocean as a result of a curse in the days of Noah. But Jesus will come again and restore all things (Acts 3:19-21 / Revelation 21:1). Imagine how many more people, and how many more cities could fit on an earth that wasn’t three-fourths water! God told Abraham that He would Bless his descendants innumerably (Genesis 22:17-18, 26:3-5 / Exodus 32:13). With say a 200 Billion person earth population (or the number 200 with nine zeroes after it: 200,000,000,000); one would need a lot of Kings and Priests! If we divided 200 Billion by 1,000 or assumed that each King and Priest would rule over a city of a thousand people; that would require 200 million Kings and Priests. If God gave each Saint 10,000 to rule over, we would still need 2 million Kings and Priests to come up in that First Resurrection!

God says that the World Tomorrow will be agriculturally based. The giant megacities of today will no longer exist (Micah 4:1-5 / Zechariah 3:10). With smaller population towns, but with each owning much more land; I believe the need for 200 million or more Saints to come up in the First Resurrection, to govern a world of 200 Billion or more – is much more Biblical. Now let’s see if we can find that in Scripture! Let’s go back to Revelation 7. Remember Revelation 7:1-8 reinforces the 144,000. But let’s continue reading (Revelation 7:9-12). Here we have a great multitude of all nations, kindreds, peoples, and tongues. They are clothed with white robes (they are Saints and have eternal life). They can’t be angels because they come from human nations, and an elder (an angel) verifies this in verses 13-17. The key to WHO this multitude is (that no man can number- millions and millions) is that they came out of the great tribulation (they were killed for their faith during the last three and one half years of Satan’s rule upon the earth), and washed their robes in the Lamb’s Blood! Now they become pillars of the temple (Revelation 3:12) as do ALL the Saints that come up in the First Resurrection. These may not have had Abraham or Jacob as their father, but they do have God as their Father! Yes, pagan and Greek converts to Christianity, and people from ALL nations, will have representation in the First Fruits of God, at the First Resurrection of God! Revelation 3:12, 7:13-17 show us God will have millions who make it to Salvation as Kings and Priests at the return of Christ! We know that at least 144,000 will not taste of death before Christ returns (Matthew 16:28 / Luke 9:27 / 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 / 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 / Luke 21:36); but that number could be higher, since we are not counting those who are not the descendants of Jacob!

The Bride of Christ (continued):

Anyone who reads the New Testament with any comprehension at all, probably desires to be part of the bride of Christ. But most who are called, will reject God’s Feasts, Holy Days, or Sabbaths. They are not willing to be Obedient to God and are deceived by Satan into trying to follow God along the wide path (Revelation 22:14, 12:9). The Bride of Christ is the First Fruits, pictured by the Feast of Pentecost (1 Corinthians 15:23 / Revelation 20:6), and is followed by a second, much bigger harvest, after the thousand year rule of Christ on this earth (Revelation 20:5 / Ezekiel 37:1-14).

Since these first fruits are the bride, as Revelation 21 shows, what room is there for additional "guests"?

The Context:

To understand the marriage parable in Matthew 22, we need to understand Christ's perspective in the parables of the Kingdom in Matthew chapters 19-22. In them, Christ addresses both His disciples and the leaders of Judah, particularly the chief priests and Pharisees that were sitting in Moses’ seat (Matthew 23:2). At that time, the Pharisees still carried Moses’ authority, but Christ was in the process of deposing them. Soon, they would no longer sit in Moses’ seat! There are two themes that recur through these parables: "So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen" (Matthew 20:16).

In Matthew 19:16-22 we see the rich young ruler, who "went away sorrowful" because Christ commanded him to give up his money – which he trusted in more than God! Praise God, for His Wisdom in teaching us about first, second, and third tithes; right along with free will offerings on Holy Days! God teaches His Kids the proper perspective to have about a simple tool which we today call “money”!     

Afterwards, when Jesus tells the disciples that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom; the disciples are perplexed, wondering if anyone can be saved. We see that those who appear to be successful on earth, are not necessarily the first in the Kingdom!!! In fact, they may be considered to be last with God (Matthew 19:30)!!!

The disciples, who had given up everything to follow Christ, then ask what their reward would be. Jesus replies that they will rule in His Kingdom over the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28), which includes spiritual Israel (Galatians 6:16). These fishermen, tax collectors, and what we would call “blue-collar workers” today, who were considered to be "last" by the Pharisees; would soon exceed in stature, the very leadership of Israel – then, and forever into the future!

Jesus was explaining what part the Disciples would play in the future Government of God, and in the order of Resurrections! Ancient Israel which had the "first shot" at marrying Christ and being successful, would now become last, coming up in the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:5, 12-13). The disciples who came later, would be in the First Resurrection and then rule on earth in the Kingdom of God! Jesus designed these parables to show physical Israel they had "missed the boat" for the first resurrection; and also to assure the disciples that they would be a part of it!

In Matthew 20:1-16, we see the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard being delivered to the disciples, and NOT to the Jews! It continues Christ's main thought - putting the two recurring themes together into one parable. All of Israel had the opportunity to obey God; but most had rejected Christ. Jesus shows us that He can offer His reward to anyone He wishes, whenever He wishes! Having an Israelite genealogy, wealth, status, or a special date of birth is not relevant; Jesus can and will do as He pleases; even putting those who come last, first!!!

In Matthew 20:20-28, the disciples show Jesus that they understood what He was doing; but they immediately let the idea of such awesome power go to their heads, by vying for the very top positions. Jesus explains that His disciples must use their authority in a Godly fashion; NOT for self-aggrandizement as the Gentiles had.

Then we get to Matthew 21:28-32, which is a parable, not to the disciples; but to the chief priests and elders of the people – those whose heritage, and human credentials alone, would not give them the right to continue to rule. Jesus tells the story of a son who says he will work, and then does not. This opposed to a son who says he will not work, but then repents and does as his father's wishes. The former son represents the leadership of Israel - who initially agreed to the covenant, but then rejected it. The latter son represents the publicans and harlots - whose lives were sinful, but who were eventually willing to repent.

Paul also tells us that Jesus will build His church through the weak and base; NOT through the people men think should be first (1 Corinthians 1:26-31 / Matthew 11:25-26)!

Matthew 21:33-44 contains yet another parable to the leaders of the Jews. Here Jesus uses the example of a householder leaving his vineyard with a husbandman or manager. God had left these leaders of physical Israel in Moses' seat, but they beat His true servants and even rejected His Son. In response, God would reject these husbandmen (verses 41-45)! The chief priests and Pharisees perceived He was talking of them (verse 45). He was removing them from office! They would no longer mean anything as physical leaders of Israel, for Christ would give their authority to others (Hosea 4:4-7)! In 70 A.D., Jesus Christ allowed the Romans to absolutely destroy the Temple and the remnant of the Nation of Israel!

Christ’s spoken Truth enraged the temple leaders to the point of them trying to kill Christ on the spot (Matthew 21:46)! Those who had been in charge and seemed to be first in importance would be last in order of both resurrection and influence (Matthew 5:17-20)! Those who had been in the first marriage with Christ and rejected Him were no longer of any spiritual value until the second resurrection! They were being supplanted by a New Testament church whose leaders would now be in charge. Yes, God would offer them salvation later on, but not in the time and order they expected! They are the wedding guests and not the Bride!

The Wedding Feast:

Now the Parable of the Wedding Feast in Matthew 22 should be much, much clearer to you! This parable was not directed at the apostles with the intent to show them their opportunity at salvation. Jesus addressed it specifically to the chief priests and Pharisees, continuing the theme of their removal from authority!

The King being God the Father and the Son being Christ. Servants refer to God's servants (prophets, apostles, evangelists, disciples) from both Old and New Testament eras. God has had servants in every age to explain to humanity who God is, and of their need to obey Him. Only a few have ever listened, throughout time; but that is going to change!!!

This parable is not just about the last generation of people who might be offered salvation right before Christ returns! Jesus gave it to the Chief Priests and to the Pharisees, who along with their forebears, had been rejecting God all along! Had the Israelites kept the Old Testament marriage covenant with Christ, God would have offered them salvation at some point. But they rejected it, and He divorced Israel. They consistently killed God's prophets and others He sent them, as the citizens do in this parable. The King sends His armies to destroy them (physical like Assyria and Babylon; and spiritual – angels in the last days). God will soon, once again, unleash His armies on physical Israel, because they continued to reject Him!

One Nation Under God Ministries - Mission Statement (www.onug.us): "To promote rediscovery of American history, and to renew in current generations, the Vision and Covenant of the Founding Fathers."

Israel has continually rejected the true Son of God. The Pharisees and chief priests had rarely, if ever, represented the "servants" of the Father. The Old Testament prophets had; and the New Testament prophets and apostles would shortly thereafter also!!!

The parable of the wedding guests shows God's invitation being withdrawn from Israel and her leaders as a whole and put in the hands of a new set of servants, the New Testament church, to whom He would offer salvation by invitation only (John 6:44). The REAL Commission to the apostles (Matthew 28:19-20) is to go into all nations and invite them to discipleship! The invitation goes to whomever will respond, the "bad and the good", the wheat and the tares. It is an evangelistic type of effort!

Ancient Israel did not respond, except for a few, so now God would open it to Jew and Gentile alike - anyone who would respond! They did not have to be the mighty, the noble, the recognized in society. They were the weak, base, murderers, harlots and publicans. God had called them to put on wedding garments of righteousness (Isaiah 52:1 / Revelation 3:18). We will all have an opportunity to buy gold from God, and to put on white raiment, and hide our shame in God’s Truth. When you accept, and how you accept, and if you accept, determines whether you become a Bride (1 Peter 4:17), a wedding guest, or are thrown out for not being properly dressed, and ultimately destroyed (Revelation 11:18)!!!

Once a true Christian dies, his judgment is complete. He will either be in the First Resurrection and his sins never mentioned to him again, or he will await the Second Resurrection and death in the Lake of Fire. God does not resurrect him, make him find his way to the wedding supper and then reject him because he does not have a wedding garment on! If he is qualified for the first resurrection, his salvation is accomplished, and he is automatically part of the bride (Revelation 3:11-13)!!! Everyone else will have a chance to be wedding guests, and live forever on a new earth with God the FATHER, Jesus the Christ, and His Saints ruling over them – forever (Revelation 21:1-7)!!!

The Parable of The Ten Virgins:

Jesus showed us in His Word, that He is eventually going to offer eternal life to every human being who has ever lived. Some God invites as brides (virgins), others as wedding guests; yet despite God’s personal invitation, some reject His offer and miss the ceremony completely, while others are killed and burned? What did Jesus intend to teach us with these stories? Can you prove from Scripture where YOU fit in? Let’s open up our Bibles and see!

Jesus’ Teachings On The Kingdom of God:

Jesus told us that He was going to bring His Father’s Kingdom back to this earth, and He instructed us to pray for this to happen too (Matthew 6:9-10)!

But instead, many churches today teach an “abandonment theology”, or that “believers” will be whisked off to heaven, to escape the coming great tribulation that will come upon the earth (John 3:13). A pastor’s wife was recently heard telling a group of women at a local Bible Study, “We don’t have to worry about how bad things are getting in the world; because we all are going to be raptured up to heaven any day now!” This group of women followed the pastor’s wife, by hoping and by praying that they could soon leave this earth and go to heaven where Jesus is. But is that really what Jesus told us to pray for (Matthew 25:5-10 / Luke 21:36)?

It should be crystal clear to you by now, that Jesus is coming HERE again; we are NOT going anywhere to meet Him! But we are going to have to WAIT… and we are going to have to wait LONGER than we expect to!!!

Knowing that human nature loses heart over time without the help of the Holy Spirit of God, Jesus understood that His church would need encouragement to be watchful while awaiting His Second Coming. For this reason, He gave us the parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13).

Jesus gave this parable to His Flock just days before His crucifixion. The parable pictures ten virgins waiting for the Bridegroom's return. However, half of the virgins are unprepared because they lose heart in the face of their uncertainty, and as a result, they do not prepare and persevere to the end.

Jesus gives ample warning in His teaching concerning the last days and the need for spiritual preparation for them. But He also realizes that His church would need spiritual focus while waiting for His return. Therefore, He warns that lack of adequate preparation for His coming can be eternally devastating. Jesus makes the purpose of this parable clear in its last verse. "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming" (Matthew 25:13). God has given us His Holy Feast Days to teach us the Plan of God (Leviticus 23:1-44). Jesus has taught those who can hear how to “Watch”!!!

Who are the Ten Virgins?

The characters of the Bridegroom refers to Jesus Christ; and the ten virgins represent those God is calling NOW (Matthew 22:14 / Ephesians 4:1-6 / 1 Peter 1:15 / Revelation 17:14). The Bride is not mentioned because she represents the entire church, and the church is not presented here in its entirety. By implication, the Bride is represented in this parable more personally in its individual members (Psalm 45:14). But since the wedding feast could not be held without the Bride, and since five virgins miss the feast, all ten virgins cannot make up the Bride. These ten virgins, then, represent those individuals called into the church at the end time. The daughters of Judah are treated similarly in the Old Testament (Lamentations 2:13).

When Jesus gave us this parable, the mystery of the church was not yet fully known (Ephesians 3:3-5). In it, the called are seen individually as "virgins" expecting the Bridegroom to come. In this way, the parable illustrates "many are called, but few are chosen" (Matthew 20:16, 22:14). The Apostle Paul also refers to the church at Corinth in its virgin character (2 Corinthians 11:2). Virgin character refers to the whole church, but virgins (plural) describes individual members of the body. Jesus makes this parable very personal to highlight the need for each individual's personal spiritual preparedness!!!

What are the similarities between the two types of virgins (Matthew 25:1-5)?

We can see important characteristics about the two groups that describe two different types of attitudes. These traits make the two groups' approaches to the wedding celebration predictable, summarized by the contrasting behaviors of sincerity and superficiality. The two have also interesting similarities that cause them to appear the same outwardly to the casual observer!

Both groups were in the same place going to meet the bridegroom (verse 1). The spiritually unprepared Christian may sit right beside the spiritually prepared Christian at Sabbath Study, similar to the state of the tares and wheat (Matthew 13:24-30). They both seem interested in the same things and seem to have the same character. Both may diligently give tithes and offerings and serve their brethren. It may only be in a crisis that the real differences show up, and then attendance may begin to wane, and their monetary support of the church may slow, or even stop. Both groups were carrying lamps (verse 1), so these vessels are cannot be a sign of who has prepared. Similarly, a person carrying a Bible to church does not show that that person has prepared by study and prayer during the previous week - to overcome sin and produce spiritual fruit. Neither does it show that the Holy Spirit exists within a person!!!

Both groups slumbered and slept (verse 5). Even the most dedicated and sincere saints may temporarily become spiritually lethargic. The fact that the Bridegroom delayed His coming is one of Jesus' many hints that His return may be much later than expected. From the perspective of the first-century church, Christ has delayed for almost 2,000 years! Nevertheless, we should not allow ourselves to become lethargic about His eventual return (Habakkuk 2:3)!

The word "slumbered" means to nod; it is a transient act, whereas "slept" should be sleeping, a continuous act. We see the progression of lethargy. First, the virgins nodded their heads as if napping, and later, they all slept continuously and deeply. Initial weariness is the first step to further spiritual decay. It is vital to catch temporary apathy early to prevent permanent disillusionment. The ten virgins' service and reverence to God is done routinely. It is more of a habit than a sincere zeal, and this can be seen in a Christians' routine attendance at Sabbath services. They obey God almost mindlessly, developing it into a routine over time. Their lack of emotional maturity and forethought carries them through life in lightheaded bliss, and so they remain with the church, just filling a seat or attending only occasionally.

Those who follow the Lamb are called virgins (Revelation 14:4), symbolizing their spiritual purity, but it appears only half of the virgins are presented as the Bride to Christ! We have looked at the ten virgins and analyzed their similarities; now let’s look at their decisive differences!

The members of God’s Church are pictured as virgins waiting for the bridegroom's return. They all carry oil-filled lamps to light their way while waiting through the darkness of night. However, half of them are unprepared; these foolish virgins have no reserve oil to refill their flickering lamps. While they are gone buying new oil, the bridegroom comes and the door to the wedding is shut. This pictures some losing heart during the bridegroom's delay and not persevering to the end (Matthew 24:23)!

Jesus points out two main differences between the two types of virgins: One deals with the description of the groups, and the other with their diligence!

How do the descriptions of the two groups differ (Matthew 25:2)?

Jesus describes one of the groups as wise and the other as foolish. The wise virgins are intelligent, practical, and careful, but the foolish are dull-minded, unrealistic, and careless. "Foolish" is translated from the Greek word moros, from which derives the English word "moron"!!! Five of the virgins are Morons, so says God! :o)

Their conduct warrants this very uncomplimentary description; after all, are we not known by our fruit or the lack of it (Matthew 7:17-20)? The major difference between the wise and the foolish is found in their attitudes! The moronic attitude is spiritually poor, blind, and naked because it has no true vision of the future (Revelation 3:14-22); even though God and His Son have plainly set into motion Their wonderful Plan of Salvation!!! The foolish virgins do not recognize the presence of any real sin in their lives. They are spiritually lukewarm!

How does the diligence of the two groups differ (Matthew 25:3-4)?

There is a strong contrast in the diligence of the two groups. One takes sufficient oil with it, but the other does not. Since the procession is at night, and the lamps have only a small oil reservoir, they have to replenish the oil periodically. The wise virgins prepare by carrying extra oil for when the lamps run low. This pictures readiness for future needs, which requires forethought, planning, and dedication. The foolish virgins do not prepare, content to carry only enough to appear wise. They carry out God's instructions with the least amount of effort they think they can get away with (Ecclesiastes 9:10)! The foolish are not spiritually concerned about their future, but the wise are; even though they have to carry the extra weight of an oil container (The seven P’s)!!! This extra preparation gives them the Hope and Faith they need to meet the bridegroom successfully and enter the marriage feast!!!

Why do the wise virgins refuse to share with the foolish (Matthew 25:8-9)?

It was midnight, and the lamps were needed for the procession and the rest of the night. The reserve oil supply was only enough to supply oil for the lamps of the five wise virgins. So the inability of the wise to provide oil for the foolish illustrates that no one can give to another what he has done to add works to his faith (James 2:14, 17-22, 24, 26). Our faith must be our own through Jesus Christ! It cannot be borrowed (52/7 Sanctification! Exodus 31:13 / Daniel 12:12-13 / Hebrews 11:13, 39-40)!!!

Moral character or spiritual gifts cannot be transferred from one person to another. To delay submission and obedience to Christ is to risk eternal death!!! Therefore, to delay preparation for His return is nothing short of spiritual negligence!!!

Was the closing of the door to the wedding feast fair (Matthew 25:10-12)?

The door is shut by Christ, with finality!!! Don’t forget this!!! You may not have another opportunity! The verb tense says the door is shut to stay shut. Therefore, at that point, no one's repentance, prayers, or pleading can change that fact! Noah's ark having its door sealed shut is a similar vivid illustration of this finality (Genesis 7:16)!!! It was shut to stay shut - throughout the Flood. All the pleading in the world would not, could not, open the ark's door to others after it was shut!!! Once Christ has come or we have died, our opportunity to be among the First Fruits of the Kingdom will have been decided – PERMANENTLY!!!

The door's closing is fair because everyone had ample time to prepare for the bridegroom's coming. It was the same in the days of Noah (Genesis 6:13, 7:1, 13-16He does not come early in the evening but late. He is even delayed (verse 5), giving extra time to be ready. We have our whole lives, all the years of Christ's longsuffering and patience working with us to prepare! Therefore, it is just and fair that the door is shut when our last hour comes!

Isaiah recognizes man's tendency to procrastinate in his warning, "Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near" (Isaiah 55:6)!!! We should take heed!!! This will also be true for those who come up in the Second Resurrection (Luke 16:26)!!!

The foolish Laodicean attitude dictates that one needs nothing else spiritually, but such a one will be rudely awakened to realize his terrible unpreparedness. But this attitude is bankrupt of vision and foresight – both of which Christ wants us to have! It sees no need to prepare for the eventualities of life either physically or, more importantly, spiritually. Opportunities come and go through life, and no opportunity is so greatly lost than that of the foolish virgins. They fail to realize that the bridegroom would probably come later than expected. They lack faithful perseverance in thought and action!!!

The lesson Christ emphasizes in this parable is to be prepared for the future, namely, the coming of Christ. The prophet Amos expresses this powerfully: "Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!" (Amos 4:12). Human beings have little trouble preparing for everything, except meeting God!!! The last verse of the parable (Matthew 25:13) makes its purpose ring in our ears: "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming"!!!

May you and I prepare now, and ready ourselves now, for our soon coming King! By the time most Christians even begin to figure out God’s True Plan for Salvation, it will be too late for them to become the very Bride of Christ – a King, a Priest, a Pillar in God’s Holy Temple – ruling with Christ for ALL ETERNITY!

It is not too late for you to marry The KING!!! Be Wise (Psalm 111:10)!!!

May we all Fear an uncompromising and Holy God’s soon-coming Judgment and Wrath on all sin and evil, may we all learn to Love God enough to Obey Him in all things, so that we may grow in knowledge and wisdom! May we all never forget, that only those who fear God, those who love and obey God enough to keep all His Commandments The Way (John 14:6) Jesus showed us to; it will be ONLY those who learn how to Praise God, The Way Jesus did – and ONLY they will be called to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb – as the Wise Virgins!!! www.onug.us

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent! Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches!!!” (Revelation 3:19-22).

Christ is calling us to repent of our ways, open the door, and begin a courtship with Him!!! If we accept His offer of courtship, and become Baptized, and receive His Holy Spirit inside us; then we are “begotten” (soon to be born again at the First Resurrection), or are engaged to Christ as a “Virgin” – soon to become His Bride at the Marriage Supper of The Lamb. Passover is a wedding rehearsal, each year; a practice session – if you will, until the day The Father chooses to send His Son back to marry us (Ephesians 5:22-33)!!! The REAL Reason that Marriage is an institution ORDAINED by God; is to teach us humans that Jesus Christ is coming back to redeem The First Fruits as His Bride! Then she – The Church of God, as His Bride, will Rule with Christ, over the wedding guests – or members of that Kingdom; and also over ALL nations and kindreds, and people, and tongues – both the living, and those who from ALL of history and humanity – now dead – who will come back to life in the Great Second Resurrection (Ezekiel 37:1-14 / Revelation 20:5, 11-15)!!!

Sadly, some who have been given the Spirit of God, will reject a Most Holy, and Loving God’s offer of Eternal Fellowship with Him. God will simply burn them up, and end their torment and their lives – permanently and eternally!

But then our Eternal future will begin, as Spirit beings upon a spirit earth; God The Father will become our New KING (1 Corinthians 15:24-28), and we will dwell will Our Father and His Son – forever and ever (Revelation 21:1-8)!!! May all that hear or read these words today, strive to BECOME THE BRIDE OF CHRIST!!! Amen!

We are honored that you joined us today, in the Study of God’s Word! We hope that you will join us again next week, and that you will continue to share what you have learned here, with others – at home, at work, and in your neighborhood (Matthew 28:18-20 / Mark 16:15-20)! May our Great God, Bless you and keep you, until then – in Jesus’ Name!!!

  •                                                                                                        Submitted by R.C. Brown III

One Nation Under God Ministries                                                             www.onug.us

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God is calling YOU to be a follower of Jesus Christ, and the first century church, can you hear His Voice (1 John 2:6 / Matthew 11:29)? The Sabbath and Holy Days show us God’s Plan. When we keep these Holy Days we become the very Voice of God to this fallen world; we are in effect saying, by our actions on each Feast Day, “Come LORD Jesus, Come” (Revelation 22:12, 17, 20-21)!!! We are actually confessing Christ before men (Matthew 10:32-33)!

The faithful and obedient in Christ will always keep God’s True Holy Days and Sabbath; and will reject the pagan lies and substitutions of God’s TRUTH (Revelation 22:11-15)! God’s Holy Days are meant for Christians to ENJOY! They truly are FEAST DAYS, meant to be enjoyed by God’s elect everywhere, throughout time, FOREVER!!!

If you have never faithfully kept God’s seventh day Sabbath holy or God’s Holy Days, the way Jesus Christ did – in the flesh, and in the fellowship of other followers of the Son of Man; we invite you to obediently enter into God’s rest today, and to keep the Feasts of the LORD (Hebrews 4:1-11 / Leviticus 23:1-44)! Contact us to find out where we fellowship and worship God, in your area, on His Sabbath Days (Exodus 31:12-18). We would love to hear from you and help get you started! :o)

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Christians must learn to read the Bible, interpret the scriptures according to Biblical principles (Isaiah 28:9-10, / Matthew 13:52), and begin to apply the precepts they learn in their walk with God. Individual study is essential; coupled with fellowship times of group study, worship, and discussions of personal insights and observations.

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One Nation Under God U.S.A. Ministries (www.onug.us)

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Bible Study The Wedding Guests, And The Ten Virgins 10 September 2016.pdf1.07 MB