The Parable of the Ten Virgins

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

                                                                                                       By Pastor F. M. Riley
                                                                                                                   April 1, 2014

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 [going] 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.”
                                                                           Matthew 25:1-13 King James Version
                                                                          Hendrickson Heb-Greek Interlinear


     Over forty years ago I made a meticulous verse by verse and word by word study of the entire Olivet Discourse contained in Matthew 24 – 25, Mark 13, and Luke 21.  I have studied and restudied it many times since.  In the course of my study, the Lord graciously opened up to me the truths set forth in The Parable of the Ten Virgins.  Over these many years I have never had any reason to change my mind about what the Lord first revealed to me about this parable some forty plus years ago. 
     I have been repeatedly asked to put these truths in writing, but as the years passed I never found the time or felt any strong compulsion from the Lord to do so until these past few months.  Now, not only has the Lord given me the time but has also impressed upon me the urgent need to share these truths with the Lord’s people; with both New Testament believers and with those today who call themselves “Messianic Jews.” 
     My prayer in writing out this study is that the Lord Jesus Christ will be magnified, the truth of His Word proclaimed, and lost souls will be moved to seek the Lord as their own personal Savior before it is too late.  In Jesus name…..
Discerning the Context

     As in all of God’s Word, the context must be taken into consideration if the Word is to be “rightly divided.”  The context of any portion of God’s Word is the foundation upon which Biblical truth is set forth.  No one can ignore the context and ever “rightly divide the Word of truth,” 2 Timothy 2:15.  It cannot be done!  Period! 
     The context in which The Parable of the Ten Virgins occurs actually begins in Matthew 24:36 immediately following The Parable of the Fig Tree.  The parable of the “fig tree” deals with the restoration of Israel as a nation which occurred in 1948, and the national expansion of Israel [putteth forth leaves] which began during the Six Day War in 1967.  It is immediately following that parable that the Lord begins to speak of the time of His “coming” [parousia].  This Greek word, “parousia,”  occurs four times in the Olivet Discourse in Matthew’s account.  See 24:3, 24;27, 24:37, and 24:39. 
The Lord’s “parousia” refers to the Lord’s coming in the air for His church and all New Covenant believers at the time of the resurrection and rapture of God’s people, even though this truth is commonly overlooked or ignored by many “professing Christians” today.  But verses 40-44, which immediately follows the Lord’s speaking about His “parousia,” is proof enough that it is the Lord’s coming at the rapture that is under consideration in verses 36-39.  Proof?  Gladly…..
     “Then shall two be in the field; the one [saved] shall be taken, and the other [unsaved] left.  Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one [saved] shall be taken, and the other [unsaved] left,” 40-41.  Now compare these verses with Luke 17:24-37, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. 
     That these verses in Matthew 24:40-44 are speaking about the rapture of the Lord’s people is absolutely beyond question to anyone who will seriously study the Scriptures and deal honestly with them.  For instance, the Greek word translated as “taken” in verses 40-41 is the word “paralambano.”  This Greek word literally means “to take with one’s self; to join with one’s self; to take with one in order to carry away; to take one’s betrothed to his home.”  See Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, page 484, Strong’s No. 3880.  Could it have been stated more clearly by the Lord?  Glory!
     Significantly, the exact same Greek word is used in Luke 17:34-36.  Coincidence?  No!  In both Matthew 24:36-44 and Luke 17:24-37 the Lord was speaking about the rapture of His people at some point in time following the restoration of Israel as a nation.  This is the context that is under consideration all the way from Matthew 24:36 clear through Matthew 25:13. 
     This truth is reinforced in The Parable of the Ten Virgins when it is clearly stated in 25:10, “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.”  Anyone familiar with Bible prophecy knows that “the marriage” of the Lord to His espoused bride will take place in Heaven while the Tribulation period is in progress upon the earth.   It is then clear that the context in which The Parable of the Ten Virgins occurs deals with events leading up to the rapture of God’s people, just as set forth in 25:10.  Keep this context in mind as we continue to study. 
Identifying the Virgins

     Over the years I have heard all kinds of silly theories about the identity of these “ten virgins.”  Here is a sampling of some of these vain theories…..
     “They are all Christians, some “faithful” and some “unfaithful.  The “unfaithful” will be left behind at the rapture.” [The heresy of salvation by works! Titus 3:5 
     “They are all Christians, but the foolish are those who have backslid and lost their salvation.” [Did Christ lie about giving believers everlasting life?” John 3:16; 5:24].     
     “They are all Christians, but the foolish never got baptized in the Holy Ghost so they get left behind.”  Scriptural proof?  Sic!   
     “The wise are Christians who are “shining brightly” for the Lord and so will be taken in the first rapture, but the foolish are Christians who have let their lamps go out so they will have to go in the second rapture.”  Scriptural proof?  Sic!   
     “The wise are Philadelphian Christians who will be raptured, but the foolish are Laodicean Christians who will be left behind to be “ purified” during the Tribulation.”  Scriptural proof?   Sic!    
     “The wise virgins are the Gentile church which will be taken, but the foolish virgins are the unbelieving Jews who will be left behind.”  Scriptural proof?   Sic! 
     “The wise virgins are the bride, but the foolish virgins will only be guests at the wedding.”  Scriptural proof?  Sic! 
     “Yada!  Yada!  Yada!  Blah!  Blah!  Blah!” 
     And on and on and on it goes.  Every kind of cockeyed idea, opinion, theory, interpretation, and wild guess imaginable.  Folks, “…..God is not the author of confusion…,” 1 Corinthians 14:33.  Why have so many today who claim to be “Christians” abandoned any really serious STUDY of God’s Word?  No wonder so-called “Christianity” in America today is in such a state of Laodicean apostasy. The only way these “ten virgins” can be truly identified is by a careful study of God’s Word.    

Definition of a Virgin

     Before we examine the Parable of the Ten Virgins, we need to understand how the Word of God defines a “virgin.”  Following is a list of English words used in the Old Testament along with the Hebrew words and meanings from which they are translated…..
     Virgin…..This word is usually translated from the Hebrew word, “btula.”  This Hebrew word literally means, “pure and unspotted, as being separated and secluded from intercourse with men; a pure virgin; virgin; maiden; a marriageable woman who has never had sexual intercourse, and is still under the authority of her father; unmarried young woman.”  This is the only word in the Hebrew text which always refers to a virgin and only to a virgin.  This Hebrew word occurs 50 times in the Old Testament and is translated by the English words, “Virgin, virgins, maid, maids, maiden, maidens.”  See Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, page 149, Strong’s No. 1330. 
     Damsel…..This English word is translated from the Hebrew word, nara,” with only three exceptions.  These three exceptions are Strong’s No. 3207 in Genesis 34:4, No. 5959 in Psalm 68:25, and No. 7356 in Judges 5:30.  The Hebrew word, nara,” literally means, “young woman; girl; ranging in age from infancy to young adulthood.”  This word occurs 63 times in the Old Testament and is translated as, “damsel, damsels, damsel’s, maid, maids, every maid’s, maiden, maidens, young, young maidens, young woman.”  See Gesenius Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon, page 556, Strong’s No. 5291. 
     Maid…..This English word is translated from various Hebrew words, such as “btula, btulim (1331), nara (5291), alma (5959), sipha (8198).” The literal meaning of these words varies, but is generally defined as, “virgin; virgins; young woman; damsel; maid; maiden; female slave; handmaid; servant; wench; bondwoman.” 
    These definitions taken directly from the Hebrew text of the Old Testament make it quite clear that the word translated as “virgins” in this parable, refers to young women whose physical body has never been defiled by sexual intercourse with a man. However, there is also a spiritual truth involved here.  Over and over again in the Old Testament, the Lord accuses Israel of committing spiritual whoredom against Him, as Israel and the Jewish people sought out other gods to worship, rather than the God of Israel. So there definitely is a sense in which men or women can be defiled spiritually by turning away from the Lord God and embracing false gods.  In such a case, those defiled would no longer be considered as “virgins” in a spiritual sense.

Comparing Spiritual with Spiritual

    It is the Word of God which holds the answer to all of the Biblical questions of God’s people.  We do not have to leave the Word of God to find the answers.  If God’s Word has provoked a question in the minds of a reader, then it is also the Word of God that will provide the answer to the question, Proverbs 3:5-8; 1 Corinthians 2:12-13.  We do not have to go chasing after some man’s theory or opinion for answers to Biblical questions.  As the Lord said to the Jews, “Search the Scriptures…,” John 5:39. 
     So let’s do what the Scriptures say and compare spiritual truth with spiritual truth, and let’s begin by taking a look at how this word, “virgins” is used in various other Scriptures…..

Companions of the Bride

    The very first place in the Scriptures where we clearly see “virgins” accompanying the bride to her wedding is in the account of the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 24.  
    In this account Abraham had sent his servant back to Mesopotamia to obtain a bride for Isaac, his son.  Rebekah consented to accompany the servant back to the land of Canaan to marry Isaac. Notice carefully 24:61, “And Rebekah arose, and her damsels, and they rode upon the camels, and followed the man: and the servant took Rebekah, and went his way.”  Right here in this account we find Rebekah being accompanied to her wedding by “virgins.”  The “virgins” were not going to be married
to Isaac; they were only a part of the wedding party accompanying Rebekah to her wedding. How many “virgins” were there in this wedding party?  The Scriptures explicitly state that “they rode upon the camels, and followed the man.”  Is it just coincidence that the Scriptures also explicitly state in 24:10 that the man “took ten camels of the camels of his master?” Now how many “virgins” are we talking about in The Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25?  Coincidence?   These “virgins” rode on the “ten camels” as a part of the wedding party accompanying Rebekah to her marriage to Isaac. “10” is also the Bible number signifying “the Law.”  This indicates that these “virgins” accompanying Rebekah were in obedience to the Law as originally given to Abraham, Genesis 18:17-19.
    This account in Genesis 24 sets forth a wonderful type of the Holy Spirit [typified by Abraham’s servant] securing a Gentile bride [typified by Rebekah] for the Lord Jesus Christ [typified by Isaac].  Our readers should study this entire account very carefully. If we had no other account to help explain The Parable of the Ten Virgins, this account would be sufficient.  However, there are several other places in the Scriptures which set forth the same truth. The “virgins” are not the bride, but only accompany the bride to the wedding.
    Now notice the account of the marriage of Ruth and Boaz in the Book of Ruth. In this account, the “maidens” [virgins] of Boaz are mentioned four times; 2:8; 2:22-23; 3:2.  It is glaringly obvious that these “maidens” were not the bride, but were the companions of the bride.  There is little doubt that they were present at the wedding of Boaz to Ruth, who was also a Gentile bride.  . 
    A third account is the marriage of Esther as recorded in The Book of Esther.  The “maidens” [virgins] in this account are mentioned repeatedly in Esther 2:4-9.  In 4:4 and 4:16 these “maidens” are explicitly referred to as Esther’s “maidens.”  In other words, they were “virgins” who were the companions of Queen Esther.
    But let’s not miss the one place in God’s Word which prophetically describes in detail the future wedding of Christ Jesus to His Gentile bride; His church.  This account is recorded in Psalm 45. The first eight verses of this Psalm describe the Lord Himself as He will appear to His bride on their wedding day. Then 45:9-17 describe in detail the Gentile bride as she will appear to Christ on their wedding day. That this Psalm is speaking of a Gentile bride is made obvious by verses 10-11, “Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for He is thy Lord, and worship thou Him.”  This makes it obvious that the bride being described here is from a people other than the Jewish people, so she is obviously a Gentile bride.  Now notice carefully verse 14,
    “She shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto Thee.”  Is this stated clearly enough?  The “virgins” are not the bride, but are clearly stated to be the “companions” of the bride.
    Since this is a prophecy of the future wedding of Christ to His bride, then it most certainly can and does shed light on The Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1-13.  Now let’s look at the parable in Matthew 25 and see the truths that it sets forth for us…..

Matthew 25:1-13

    The Time Element…..The very first word in this parable is “Then.”  This is a “time marker” and must be kept in harmony with the context, if we are to “rightly divide the Word.” I have already pointed out that the context has to do with Christ coming [parousia] to resurrect and rapture His New Covenant church and believers to glory.  So this parable has to do with the time of the rapture of God’s people. 
    Their National Identity…..In the Olivet Discourse Christ was specifically speaking to four of His Jewish disciples, Mark 13:3.  He was speaking to these Jews about Jewish matters which concern the Jewish people. The rapture of New Covenant believers at the “parousia” of Christ most certainly does concern the Jewish people, for the rapture removes the Gentile church from the earth, and also takes “the Restrainer” out of “the way” [2 Thessalonians 2:6-7], so that the terrible Tribulation period can come upon the whole unbelieving, Christ rejecting world, including the unbelieving Jewish people who are left behind on the earth following the rapture. 
     It is obvious from the wording of this parable that some of the Jewish people would come to believe that the Lord Jesus was truly the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of mankind as the end of this present dispensation approaches. These “ten virgins” are Jews!  This is indicated by the fact that there are “ten” of them.  “10” is the Bible number repeatedly connected with Israel and the Law over and over again in the Scriptures.  Also Christ gave the Olivet Discourse to the Jews, for the Jews and it is about the Jews.  The “ten virgins” in this parable took their “lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.” In other words, they were expecting their Messiah to come [which the religious Jews are fervently expecting today], and from their own Jewish Scriptures knew that there would be a wedding shortly after His coming. Read Psalm 45, The Song of Solomon, and various other Old Testament passages which plainly indicate that Christ would marry a Gentile bride when He returns.  These “ten virgins” wanted to be a part of the wedding party, so “they took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom,” 25:1.  Compare Matthew 5:14-16. 
    We believers living today have seen this very thing happening over the past 20 years or so, as the “Messianic Jewish Movement” has sprung up because of Jews who have turned to and “professed” faith in “Yeshua” as their Messiah and Savior.  But keep in mind that the “Messianic Jewish Movement” lives today because these Jews did not want to identify with Christianity or the Lord’s churches. Rather, they wanted to remain as Jews, so they started their own “denomination” [religious movement]. The reason these Jews are called “virgins” is because they are living morally clean lives and are undefiled by the world and the flesh.  
    Their Spiritual identity…..However, the inspired Word explicitly states that “…five of them were wise, and five were foolish,” 25:2.  The Scriptures explain that the “wise” had “oil” in their lamps, but the foolish had taken “no oil with them,” 25:3-4. That the oil is a type or symbol of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit is beyond question.  There are so many Scriptures in God’s Word that set forth this truth, that the point does not need to be labored.  Any person truly saved in this present dispensation has been “born of the Spirit,” John 3:5-6.  Therefore the true believer has the indwelling presence of the Spirit of God dwelling within them, John 14:16-17. The indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit enlightens the soul of the believer, giving to true believers spiritual discernment and understanding, 1 Corinthians 2:10-16.  If one does not have the presence of the Holy Spirit of God indwelling them, then they are not saved, regardless of what they may “profess,” Romans 8:9.  Since the five “foolish virgins” have no oil in their lamps, it is obvious that they are not even saved.  Therefore the “foolish virgins” are simply lost “religionists” who have become mentally convinced that “Yeshua” is their long awaited Jewish Messiah. The “lamps” are typical of the human body in which all human beings dwell, 2 Corinthians 4:3-7; Matthew 5:16.          
    A word of warning to every Jewish reader, and others whom it may concern.  It is not enough to believe that Christ Jesus [Yeshua] is the Messiah of Israel! One must believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Savior of mankind who died in your place at Calvary to pay your sin debt, a debt which you could never pay, and Christ must be personally received as Savior.  Have our readers ever seriously studied the “must” of the Bible?  In John 3 Nicodemus, a deeply devout religious teacher of Israel, came to Christ emphatically stating his conviction, we know that Thou art a teacher come from God,” John 3:2.  What did Christ tell Nicodemus?  “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again,” 3:7.  “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved,” Acts 4:12.  Is this stated clearly enough?  Giving mental assent and verbal “profession” to the belief that Christ was the long promised Messiah of Israel is not salvation. Just becoming mentally convinced that the Lord Jesus Christ [Yeshua] was the promised Messiah of Israel will not buy you a drop of water in hell. One must receive Christ [Yeshua] as their own personal Savior if they want to escape eternal damnation, and enter into the Kingdom of God, John 3:3-5.   
     It then becomes glaringly obvious that the “five foolish virgins” did mentally acknowledge that “Yeshua” was their promised Jewish Messiah, yet they had never received Him as their Savior.  The proof of this is that they did not have any oil in their lamps. “5” is the Bible number signifying “the grace of God.” These “five foolish virgins” had obviously rejected the grace of God; Christ Jesus, as their Savior, while “professing” Him as their Messiah.   
    On the other hand, the “five wise virgins,” by the grace of God, had truly received “Yeshua,” not only as their Jewish Messiah, but as their personal Savior. Their “lamps” were burning brightly with the “oil” of God’s Holy Spirit, which will never go out in a true believer, John 14:16.  These “five wise virgins” then are Messianic Jews which have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and thereby are spiritually qualified to be a part of the wedding party when Christ comes at His “parousia,” 1 Corinthians 15:23.
     The Apostasy…..The Scriptures explicitly state that “While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept,” 25:5.  Folks, there is a great “falling away” from “the faith” that is occurring in the world today even as I write, 2 Thessalonians 2:3.  This apostasy has effected not only the whole Christian movement, but it has also affected the Messianic Jewish Movement.  At the turn of this century the religious Jews, especially in Israel, were fervently expecting the coming of their promised Messiah. Not so much anymore!  Many “professing” Christians and Jews today are spiritually “sleeping,” when they should be awake and “watching” like the Lord Himself explicitly commanded. 
    The Midnight Cry…..The inspired Word tells us that “at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him, 25:6.  
    I think it is safe to say that this entire parable, including the “midnight cry” is based on the Jewish wedding customs.  According to the ancient Jewish wedding customs, after a Jewish couple became espoused [engaged to be married], at some point the espoused Bridegroom would depart from His espoused bride to go back to His own home [His Father’s house] and there prepare a home for the two of them [John 14:1-3].  The espoused bride was not told when He would return, but only that He would come back for her.  During His absence the espoused bride would prepare her wedding garments and wait in expectancy for His return. After He had prepared their home, and it had been approved by His Father, then His Father gave Him leave to go get His bride and bring her back to the Father’s house where the wedding would take place. Just shortly before He arrived back at the home of His espoused bride, a cry would be made to warn His espoused bride of His coming, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him.”  His espoused bride, upon hearing this warning cry, would then quickly slip into her wedding garments so as to be ready when the friends of the Bridegroom came into her home and pretended to “steal” her away from her parents.  She would then be taken [harpazo] by the wedding party to meet her espoused and waiting Bridegroom.  Compare this with 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Matthew 24:42-44, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4, 2 Peter 3:9-10, Revelation 3:3, and 16:15.  How very wonderful and revealing is the Word of God for all those who will seriously study it!  Praise the Lord! 
    I have been asked many times about this “midnight cry.”  What is it?  How will we believers recognize it?  How is it different from the other “signs” that have been occurring for a number of years now, warning us that the coming of the Lord is approaching?  Dear readers, I do not know! This is an honest admission. All I am certain of is that there will be such a warning given, and I truly believe that all true believers will immediately recognize the warning when it sounds. It is possible that it may be the sound of a Heavenly Trumpet being blown?  Compare 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16.  Our readers might also want to review Numbers 10:1-10. 
    Since the different sounds emitted by the ancient trumpets of Israel were used for different purposes, then it seems “reasonable” that the very first sounds from “the trumpet of the archangel” would be the signal for “the dead in Christ to rise” from their graves.  Then as the trumpet continues to sound,  the bride would make her final preparations to meet her Heavenly Bridegroom.  Finally, as the last notes of the Trumpet are sounded, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump”…..”Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them [the dead in Christ who will have been resurrected] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord,” 1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.  Glory to God!  Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord!
    The Trimming of the Lamps…..This appears to be a reasonable sequence of events.  However, the parable clearly implies a period of time intervening between the time of “the midnight cry” and the actual arrival of “the bridegroom.”  I do not claim to know how all of these events work together in perfect harmony.  I only know that they will.  I don’t believe that any of us mortal men have all of the
answers to these questions yet.  Is this stated clearly and humbly enough?
    During this brief period of time between “the midnight cry” and the actual arrival of “the Bridegroom,” the “foolish virgins,” in attempting to “trim their lamps,” finally recognize that they do not have the oil of the Holy Spirit in their “lamps” as the “wise virgins” have.  They plead with the “wise virgins” to share their oil with them, so that their lamps will be burning and bright when the Bridegroom arrives.  The “wise virgins” refuse to do so [spiritually impossible], but rather advise the “foolish virgins” to “go ye rather to them that sell and buy for yourselves,” 25:9.   What a wonderful prophetic statement! 
    The Sellers of Oil…..For the Scriptural answer to the identity of the sellers of oil, we need to carefully study an often overlooked portion of Scripture in 2 Kings 4:1-7.  In these Scriptures we find a widow woman, the former wife of one of the sons of the prophets, whose husband was dead, and who had two sons.  She is poverty stricken and destitute, and her creditor has come to “take unto him my two sons to be bondmen,” 2 Kings 4:1.  Folks, any true believer who seriously studies Bible types can surely see the type of modern Israel portrayed right here. 
    Israel and the Jewish people today are typified by this widow.  Israel and the Jewish people were deprived of their first husband when they rejected and crucified Him.  Read it for yourself as Paul speaks to the church in Rome about the distinction in the Jewish Law and New Covenant Grace in Romans 7:1-4.  Within modern Israel are the two sons or two divisions of the kingdom of ancient Israel, gathered back today as one people exactly as the prophetic Scriptures predicted they would be, Ezekiel 37:15-28.  We also see modern Israel in dire straits, surrounded by their enemies, who are threatening Israel with imminent destruction, just as that poor widow and her two sons were destitute and facing certain death in 2 Kings 4.   
    Notice that Elisha asked the woman what she had in the house?”  “And she said, Thine handmaid hath not anything in the house, save a pot of oil,” 2 Kings 4:2.  Dear readers, the “house” of the widow woman is a type or symbol of the Jewish Temple. The Jewish Temple is referred to in the Old Testament Scriptures over and over again as God’s “house.” There are so many places where this term is used in reference to the Jewish Temple that I won’t attempt to list them all.  Look up the references in your own Concordance or Lexicon and read them for yourself.  Remember that when Solomon dedicated the Temple to the Lord God, Solomon specifically asked the Lord to place His name in that “house forever,”1 Kings 8:22-53. God answered Solomon’s prayer by explicitly telling him that the name and eyes of the Lord God would be “in that house” and “in that place” day and night “forever.”  Then it should be very obvious that “the oil of God’s Holy Spirit” will always be found in the Jewish Temple.  Now once more fast forward to modern Israel.  What are the religious Jews in Israel clamoring to do right nowThey want to rebuild the Jewish Temple, and will do so whether some “Christians” want to believe it or not, 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 11:1. When the religious Jews rebuild the Jewish Temple, they will find that the “oil” of God’s Holy Spirit is still “in the house.” 
    I am often asked if the Temple will be rebuilt before or after the rapture of New Covenant believers?  Since both Elijah and John will be involved in the building of it, I believe it will be built in a short period of time immediately after the beginning of the Tribulation, Matthew 17:11; Revelation 11:1-2.       
    Elisha then advised the widow woman to go to her neighbors and borrow every empty vessel she could borrow and start pouring out the oil into the empty vessels.  Then she was to “Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest,” 4:7.  This is a veiled reference to Israel fulfilling their commission to carry the gospel to the nations of the world, as the Lord God expected them to do when He chose them as His people, Exodus 19:5-6; Psalm 135:4.  Israel, as a nation and a people, were chosen in ancient times as a “kingdom of priests” to reveal the God of Israel to all the nations of the world, but they refused to do so, and were temporarily set aside by the Lord.  But they shall yet fulfill their commission for which they were chosen.   
     Selling the Oil…..What does this speak of?  Read Isaiah 55:1-5.  Dear readers, the advice of the “wise virgins” sets forth the swiftly approaching ministry of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists during the first half of the Tribulation period.  The “wise virgins” knew that they did not have time to evangelize the “foolish virgins” before the Lord would return at the “parousia,” but they also knew that the “two sons of the widow” [the 144,000] would be privileged to evangelize the whole Jewish nation, and the
whole world, and that millions would come and “buy, without money and without price,” Isaiah 55:1.  Read it for yourself in Matthew 24:14 and Revelation 7:1-17.
     By the way, once more I want to point out to our readers that we New Covenant believers do not preach the gospel of the kingdom,” Matthew 24:14. Either some Christians can’t read, or they don’t pay any attention to what they are reading.  Which is it?  True New Covenant believers in the Lord’s churches preach the gospel of the grace of God in Christ Jesus.  Hello! This passage in Matthew 24:14 is to be fulfilled by the 144,000 Jewish evangelists saved, sealed, and commissioned right after the beginning of the Tribulation. The 144,000 Jewish evangelists will literally preach “the gospel of the kingdom” during the first half of the Tribulation in every place on this earth where there is one soul to hear it, “and then shall the end come.”   Those who claim to be Christian preachers today need to get serious about studying and “rightly dividing the Word of truth” and quit trying to steal those blessings which are rightly reserved for Israel and the Jewish people.
    As the 144,000 saved, sealed, and commissioned Jewish evangelists go forth during the first half of the Tribulation, “borrowing vessels” from every nation, kingdom, and tribe on earth, and pouring into them the “oil” of God’s Holy Spirit, millions will be saved. [The “vessels, even as the “lamps,” are the bodies of men and women, boys and girls.....2 Corinthians 4:7]. Read the prophecy of this for yourself in Joel 2:32 and Revelation 7:1-17.  Notice in the passage in Joel, that during “the day of the Lord” the message of salvation or “deliverance” will be proclaimed from “mount Zion and Jerusalem [by God’s two witnesses]…..and in the remnant [the 144,000] whom the Lord shall call.”  The “widow” shall yet pour out her “oil” to the nations of the world, and those who are willing to receive it shall “buy, without money and without price.”  Salvation is still the free “gift of God,” Romans 6:23.  Glory to God!  Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord!


    “And while they [the foolish virgins] went to buy, the Bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with Him to the marriage: and the door was shut.” 25:10. 
    Dear readers, there is a time to be saved!  The inspired Word of God explicitly states, “For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succored thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation,” 2 Corinthians 6:2. 
    Over the many years that I have been in the Lord’s ministry, I have had a number of people who were deeply troubled by the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, tell me that they would get saved someday, but that they just weren’t ready yet.  How tragic!  Perhaps some of those people have been saved, and perhaps not!  The appointed time to be saved is when the Holy Spirit of God is troubling the heart of a person, revealing to them that they are lost in sin, and that Christ Jesus is the only way of salvation, John 14:6.  Just as the Scripture says, that means “now.”  During this present dispensation of grace.  At the very moment of conviction.  If one refuses to submit to the convicting power of God’s Holy Spirit when He is troubling your heart, don’t count on God’s mercy ever being offered to you again.  God is not obligated to offer you salvation again. He may, and He may not!
    Many years ago I preached in a meeting in a little church in Arkansas, using The Parable of the Ten Virgins as my Scripture text.  The Lord blessed with the presence and power of His Holy Spirit in the message as I went verse by verse over this parable.  My message ended suddenly when I read verse 10.  It was at that point that my own precious daughter literally jumped out of the church pew in which she was sitting, screaming at the top of her voice, “Daddy, I’m lost!  Daddy, I’m lost!  Help me! I want to be saved!”  Glory to God!  Her cries broke up the service, but I was given the privilege of leading my precious daughter to salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ in the next few minutes, and if I remember correctly there were two others saved that night. Glory to God! 
     Dear readers, right now we are on the threshold of the coming [parousia] of our Lord.  I would point out that the very last “sign” the Lord gave in the Olivet Discourse which was to precede “the beginning of sorrows” [the Tribulation] was “earthquakes in divers places,” Matthew 24:7-8.  As I write today there are reports of earthquakes coming in from all over the world.  There has been a steady increase in such earthquakes for the past several years, and this year they are occurring so fast
and in so many places around the world, that it is hard to even keep track of them all. There have been so many in California this past week that the people there are now expecting “the big one” at any minute.  Are their expectations for real, or is this just a “figure of speech?” 
    Let me assure our readers that their expectations are very real!  When Christ was resurrected the inspired Scriptures tell us that “…the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,” Matthew 27:51-52.  Folks, we true believers living today can expect a similar thing to occur when our Lord comes at the “parousia.”  Only this time the earthquake will be world wide!  The entire earth will shake violently.  Every grave of a believer buried anywhere in the world will burst open.  As the trumpet sounds, their dead bodies will come forth restored to life.  Glory to God!  Then the Lord Jesus, who Himself is “the resurrection and the life,” [John 11:25] will call to every true believer to come to Him, and every true believer will instantly “be caught up to meet the Lord in the air,” 1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

The Sequel to the Parable

    “And the door was shut,” Matthew 25:10.  There is no question that some left on the earth will come to understand what has happened, and finally began to cry out to the Lord to “open to us.”  Read it for yourself in Luke 13:23-28.  But it will be too late!  They will have waited too long to acknowledge the Lord as their Savior and escape the Tribulation.  The door to Heaven will close following the rapture, and all who are saved during the Tribulation will have to suffer a martyr’s death at the hands of the anti-christ and his wicked followers, Revelation 6:9-11; 14:13; 17:6; 20:4. 
    Again, “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation,” 2 Corinthians 6:2. 
Are You Ready? 


    [1]  The “ten virgins” in this parable are all Jews who desire to be a part of the wedding procession accompanying the bride and bridegroom to the marriage.
    [2]  The lighted “lamps” of the “virgins” qualify them to take part in the procession and have access to the place where the wedding ceremony will occur. 
    [3] Not even once is the bride, the church, or Christianity even mentioned in this parable.  The entire parable is strictly Jewish. 
    [4] The “foolish virgins” are unsaved “religious Jews” who have “professed” Yeshua, without actually receiving Him as their Savior. I suggest a careful reading of The Book of Hebrews.  In early Christianity there were many Jews who “professed” to believe that Yeshua was their Messiah, yet who refused to “go on to perfection,” Hebrews 6:1; 10:19-25.   
    [5]  The “wise virgins” are Jews today who have come to the knowledge that Yeshua is indeed their promised Messiah, and also the Savior, and have placed their personal faith in Him for salvation. 
    [6]   The “time period” involved in the parable is just before and right up to the time the Lord returns at His “parousia” to resurrect and rapture His believing people to glory.  Like right now!     

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    Permission is granted to any true believer or Bible believing Christian ministry to reproduce this study to share with others, or to quote from it in context as written
    Folks, today is the first day of Abib [Nisan] on the calendar which the Lord God Himself gave to Israel in Exodus 12.  A brand new year has begun on the Jewish calendar.  This is the year [and likely the month] that the inspired prophecies of God’s Word indicate that the Great Commission given to the
Lord’s church will have been completed on this earth. The Lord God will remove His church and people from this earth momentarily, and once again take up His ministry on earth using the nation and people of Israel, and this could happen at any minute of any day now. Therefore from my very heart, I want to express my gratitude to every person who across these past 60 years has helped with the ministry the Lord graciously called me into. Your prayers and gifts have been such a help and encouragement to me, especially in those times when things looked so dark and troublesome on every side. I can never repay you, but the Lord God knows the gratefulness and sincerity of my heart. While I have never personally met most of our readers, I am looking forward to the great reunion of all of the family of God in glory at any minute now.  Thank you so very much, and God bless you all. 
    Please address all comments, questions, and correspondence [as long as possible] to:  Pastor F. M. Riley, Last Call Gospel Ministry, 184 County Road 108, Harrisburg, Missouri 65256, or as long as we still have access to the Internet, I can be contacted at:

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