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If I Were Told the Future - Lesson 92

The Ten Virgins

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Let’s pray together:

Heavenly Father,

Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins can help us to better understand the subject of the great wedding between the Bridegroom and the bride, and to better prepare ourselves for this glorious event.

Please guide us by Your Spirit once more, as we open Your inspired Word.

In Jesus Christ we pray.


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Matthew 25:1

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened to ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.


A great wedding is coming soon.

In our last few lessons, we discovered that Jesus is the Bridegroom at this wedding, and His faithful Church is the bride.

In order to show us how we must prepare ourselves for this wonderful Day, Jesus gave us the parable of the ten virgins.

Our lesson today is a study of this important parable.

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Matthew 25:1,10

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened to ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. (...)

The bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage.


On the wedding day, the bride awaited the bridegroom in her father’s house.

When he arrived they would both return to the bridegroom’s house.

On the way back the guests, just like the virgins of the parable, joined the wedding procession, brightening it with songs and lights, up to the wedding hall where the celebration went on for several days.

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Revelation 14:1,4

And I looked, and, see, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with Him a hundred forty and four thousand. (...)

These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins.


The ten virgins of the parable, who are waiting for the coming of the bridegroom, symbolize all the sincere believers who love Jesus and are waiting for His return.

They all want to join the 144,000, that is, the group of believers who will go through the great trial of the last days and persevere until Jesus’ return, thus remaining «virgins», faithful to God.

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Matthew 25:1

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened to ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.


Psalm 119:105

Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.


The ten virgins’ lamps represent the Word of God.

By proclaiming its message of love, hope, and salvation, the believers give light to this world which is plunged into spiritual darkness, and bring men to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, the true Light of the world.

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By carrying out the work of God, we also give light to the world:

«You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light to all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.» (Matthew 5:14-16)

«Do all things without murmurings and disputings, that you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the middle of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life.» (Philippians 2:14-16)

«Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning.» (Luke 12:35)

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Matthew 25:2-4

And five of [the ten virgins] were wise, and five were foolish.

They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them.

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


At the start, each of the ten virgins could rely on a burning lamp, filled with oil.

But five of them, knowing that the bridegroom might possibly be delayed, decided to take a reserve of oil with them.

This decision alone is sufficient to distinguish the wise virgins from the foolish ones.

Now, what does the oil symbolize?

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Psalm 45:7

You love righteousness, and hate wickedness: therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your fellows.


Acts 10:38

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power.


We have already seen that, in Bible prophecy, oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit, with whom God anoints repentant man, in order to enable him to work efficiently in His harvest.

The Holy Spirit, working like oil, keeps the lamp of our heart burning continuously.

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2 Corinthians 1:21,22

Now He which establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, is God; who has also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.


Galatians 5:22,23

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.


By allowing the Holy Spirit to work within us, we become firmly established in faith, and we bear more and more good fruit for God.

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1 John 2:27,28

The anointing which you have received of Him stays in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in Him.

And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.


The anointing of the Holy Spirit progressively reveals the will of God to us.

If we put into practice what He teaches us, God will fill our «oil reserve», thus making us steadfast enough to face the coming trials.

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Matthew 25:5

While the bridegroom tarried, [the ten virgins] all slumbered and slept.


Luke 20:9

A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to farmers, and went into a far country for a long time.


Matthew 25:19

After a long time the lord of those servants comes.


The precaution of the five wise virgins was not useless.

In fact, just as they expected, the bridegroom was delayed.

Let’s note that Jesus, in His parables, often presented His return as a distant event.

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Even though the Bridegroom seems to delay, His return is certain:

«“For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in him.” But we are not of them who draw back to perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.» (Hebrews 10:37-39)

«Write the vision, and make it plain on tables, that he may run that reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.» (Habakkuk 2:2,3)

«The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.» (2 Peter 3:9)

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Matthew 25:5

While the bridegroom tarried, [the ten virgins] all slumbered and slept.


Matthew 26:40,41

[Jesus] came to the disciples, and found them asleep, and said to Peter,

«What, could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.»


Since the bridegroom was delayed, all the virgins, both wise and foolish, fell asleep.

So Jesus’ advice, «Watch and pray,» is very pertinent, because «the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.»

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1 Thessalonians 5:2,4-6,8

For yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. (...)

But you, brothers, are not in darkness, that that Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all the children of light, and the children of the day.

We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (...)

Let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation.


In these last days, let’s not allow our spiritual life to fall asleep.

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The Bridegroom is about to return. Let’s remain awake and watchful:

«And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.» (Romans 13:11,12)

«Awake you that sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.» (Ephesians 5:14)

«Watch you therefore: for you know not when the Master of the house comes, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping. And what I say to you I say to all, Watch.» (Mark 13:35-37)

«Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches.» (Revelation 16:15)

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Matthew 25:6

And at midnight there was a cry made,

«Behold, the bridegroom comes!»


Isaiah 60:1,2

Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen on you.

For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise on you, and His glory shall be seen on you.


Finally, «at midnight», the bridegroom comes.

In our lessons, we have often seen that the return of Jesus will take place at a time when this world is plunged into deep spiritual darkness.

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Luke 21:34-36

Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that Day come on you unawares.

For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.

Watch you therefore, and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.


In fact, Jesus warned us that, before His glorious return, we will have to go through a dark and very difficult period.

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Matthew 25:6-9

«Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him!»

Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

And the foolish said to the wise, «Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.»

But the wise answered, saying, «Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go you rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.»


By dipping into their personal oil reserve, the wise virgins were able to quickly light their lamps again. The foolish ones couldn’t.

The wise virgins seem to lack generosity towards the foolish. Is that so?

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Matthew 25:9

But the wise answered, saying,

«Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go you rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.»


Romans 14:12

So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.


The wise virgins did not lack charity.

Their refusal to share their oil simply expresses this fact: it is impossible, for the believer who is ready for dark times, to transfer his oil reserve, which is his faith strengthened by God’s Spirit, to the heart of the believer who hasn’t prepared himself.

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Psalm 49:7,8

None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him; for the redemption of their soul is precious.


Jeremiah 15:1

Then said the Lord to me,

«Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me, yet My mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of My sight.»


The impossibility of sharing oil with others thus reminds us of the importance, for each one of us, to develop a steadfast personal relationship with God, so that we may rely on our very own reserve of oil.

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Each one of us will have to rely on his own oil reserve, coming from God:

«“If I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out My fury on it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast: though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live,” said the Lord God, “they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.”» (Ezekiel 14:19,20)

«Ho, every one that thirsts, come you to the waters, and he that has no money; come you, buy, and eat. (...) Seek you the Lord while He may be found, call you on Him while He is near.» (Isaiah 55:1,6)

«And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let him that hears say, “Come.” And let him that is thirsty come. And whoever will, let him take the water of life freely.» (Revelation 22:17)

«(...) giving thanks to the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.» (Colossians 1:12-14)

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Isaiah 4:1

And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying,

«We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by your name.»


Just like the women described in this verse, the foolish virgins contented themselves with bearing the name of Jesus. However:

- they refused to feed on His teachings and to put them into practice («we will eat our own bread»);

- and they refused to put on His perfect justice («we will wear our own apparel») which transforms the heart of the truly repentant soul.

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Claiming to be a Christian is not enough, we must also follow God’s will:

«Not every one that said to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that Day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name? And in Your name have cast out devils? And in Your name done many wonderful works?” And then will I profess to them, “I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity.”» (Matthew 7:21-23)

«They come to you as the people comes, and they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goes after their covetousness. And, see, you are to them as a very lovely song of one that has a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear your words, but they do them not. And when this comes to pass, (see, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet has been among them.» (Ezekiel 33:31-33)

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Revelation 3:14,17,18

And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; (...)

«Because you say, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing;” and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel you to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.»


In order to avoid becoming a foolish virgin, each one of us must follow Jesus’ advice to Laodicea, which symbolizes the Church of the last days.

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Matthew 13:20,21

But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that hears the word, and immediately with joy receives it; yet has he not root in himself, but endures for a while.

For when tribulation or persecution rises because of the word, by and by he is offended.


If we follow Jesus’ advice to Laodicea (see the lesson «Letter to the Church of Laodicea»), God will provide us with a reserve of oil which will keep our lamp burning, in spite of tribulations, until the coming of the Bridegroom.

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Matthew 25:10

And while [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.


Genesis 7:15,16

And they went in to Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him.

And the Lord shut him in.


The parable goes on with the shutting of the door of the wedding hall.

This reminds us of the shutting of the door of the ark, before the Flood.

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Matthew 24:38-41

For as in the days that were before the Flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the Flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Then (...) two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.


In fact, shortly before the parable of the ten virgins, Jesus plainly compared the time of His return to that before the Flood.

Also, by saying that one woman out of two would be saved, He also introduced the parable of the ten virgins.

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Matthew 25:11,12

Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, «Lord, Lord, open to us!»

But he answered and said, «Truly I say to you, I know you not.»


Matthew 7:21

Not every one that said to Me, «Lord, Lord,» shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven.


Because they were not able to join the bridal procession and follow the bridegroom when he came, the foolish virgins arrived too late at the wedding hall, and were left outside.

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Hebrews 3:11,18

«So I swore in My wrath, “They shall not enter into My rest.”» (...)

And to whom swore He that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that believed not?


Hebrews 4:1

Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into His rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.


Let’s make sure that, when the Bridegroom comes, we may be able to follow Him into the wedding hall, rather than face a closed door.

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Luke 13:25-27

When once the Master of the house is risen up, and has shut to the door, and you begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, «Lord, Lord, open to us;» and He shall answer and say to you, «I know you not from where you are:» then shall you begin to say, «We have eaten and drunk in Your presence, and You have taught in our streets.»

But He shall say, «I tell you, I know you not from where you are; depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.»


Indeed, as we have seen in our lesson «The Close of Probation», once God has shut the door of His grace, it won’t be possible to open it again.

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Matthew 25:13

Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comes.


The parable of the ten virgins ends with this call to watchfulness.

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Luke 12:35-37,40

Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and you yourselves like to men that wait for their Lord, when He will return from the wedding; that when He comes and knocks, they may open to Him immediately.

Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when He comes shall find watching.

Truly I say to you, that He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. (...)

Be you therefore ready also: for the Son of man comes at an hour when you think not.


The Bridegroom is coming quickly!

Let’s keep our lamps burning brightly.

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Ecclesiastes 2:13

Then I saw that wisdom excels folly, as far as light excels darkness.


Proverbs 13:9

The light of the righteous rejoices: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.


Let’s follow the example of the five wise virgins, who brought a sufficient reserve of oil with them.

Then, just like them, we will able to keep our lamps burning during the time of darkness which is coming, and join the bridal procession when the Bridegroom comes.

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Revelation 19:7,9

«Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to [God]: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife has made herself ready.» (...)

«Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!»

And [the angel] said to me, «These are the true sayings of God.»


Soon, our watchfulness and perseverance in Jesus Christ will not only grant us access to the celebration of the glorious marriage of the Lamb, but also, and above all, to be the bride, the faithful Church of God!

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Let’s pray together:


It is written, «The path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more to the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.» (Proverbs 4:18,19).

Please give us a sufficient reserve of oil, so that our lamps may be still burning when the Bridegroom comes in all His glory.

In His most precious name we pray.


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