October 21st, 2010, 02:59 AM
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 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.
Which event does this occur, at the Rapture or the Second Coming? I heard there is much debate about this subject. I have read that the bridemaids (virgins) are not the Bride (the Church), but they represents people on earth during the Great Tribulation after the Church has gone at the Rapture before the Second Coming of Christ. Or are they represent saved people (5 wise virgins) and unsaved people (5 foolish virgins) before the Rapture? But verse 13 says that the Son of man cometh, it appears to mean Second Coming of Christ. Can anyone help with that?:hat
October 21st, 2010, 05:42 AM
Interesting article by Jack Kelley here ...
October 21st, 2010, 08:19 AM
Always better to a part of His Bride! :rolleyes
October 21st, 2010, 01:38 PM
At the giving of the Olivet Discourse, the Church had not been born yet. So that, along with the context of the discourse, I do not see the Church is in view at all in any of Matthew 24-25. The parable of the 5 wise and 5 foolish virgins are those of tribulation saints: 5 wise came to Christ, 5 foolish did not. 5 wise entered the Millennial Kingdom, 5 wise were kept out and banished to a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth. The entire discourse is about the Tribulation culminating with the Second Coming....and being that the parables in ch 25 support the direct literal teaching in 24, I do not see this applying to the Church at all.
Others disagree, however, and they have their reasons. But personally, I think it is one of the leading causes of all these other non-pretribulational rapture positions (Think: "One taken, one left" said to be at the end of the Trib. If the Church is in the OD, then it sounds like this is the Rapture)
Anywho, that's my 2 cents.
October 21st, 2010, 03:34 PM
Anddra, thanks for the link. It really helps.
JesusIsLord, you have made your point and it does make sense. Thanks!
October 21st, 2010, 05:01 PM
Anddra, thanks for the link. It really helps.
January 26th, 2011, 03:56 PM
I have read the articles about the Jewish weddings and how they seem to point to the rapture, etc. I am intrigued about this idea, but was wondering if the weddings being performed in this way was something that GOD himself commanded, or if it was just a tradition created by the Jews. Obviously, if it was by God, it would have much more credibility---I'm wanting to know for the benefit of friends and family that I tell this to. I am already convinced of the rapture being a fact, but some of them are not. I don't want to present this to them if it is just some anecdotal information--if that makes sense.
Does anyone know the origins of the wedding rituals or any other information that would be helpful? I would really appreciate it if you would share!!! :)
January 26th, 2011, 05:52 PM
From this page - http://gracethrufaith.com/?s=rapture+jewish+wedding&x=29&y=13
The Parable Of The Wedding Banquet (http://gracethrufaith.com/selah/parables/the-parable-of-the-wedding-banquet/)
Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.
“Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’
“But they paid no attention and went off–one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless.
“Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
“For many are invited, but few are chosen.” (Matt 22:1-14)
Why All The Parables?
When Jesus was asked why He spoke to the people in parables so often, He said in effect that there were two reasons: 1) to instruct His followers, and 2) to confuse everyone else. The parable of the wedding banquet is a good example. It’s either very instructive or very confusing depending on your knowledge and understanding of Jewish wedding customs during Biblical times.
Am I suggesting that ignorance of those customs disqualifies us as followers of Jesus? No, but I am convinced that acquiring a literal, historical grammatical understanding of Scripture will bring you closer to the Lord than almost anything else you can do.
Literal means we believe the bible is the inspired word of GOD to be taken at face value unless there is compelling reason to do otherwise (usually indicated in the context of the passage).
Historical means that each passage is put into its proper historical setting, and surrounded with the thoughts, attitudes and feelings prevalent at the time of writing.
Grammatical means that words are given meanings consistent with their common understanding in the original language at the time of writing.
The Wedding Planner
First century Jewish wedding customs held that the father of the groom was in charge of the event and bore all the expense associated with the wedding and reception. In case of royalty or the very wealthy this often included providing a specially made garment to be worn over a guest’s regular clothing. This wedding garment was presented to the guest upon arrival and donned immediately. Wearing it wasn’t mandatory, but was considered a great insult to the Father of the groom if refused and could get a guest ejected from the festivities. In case of large gatherings it also served as identification to discourage uninvited guests from crashing the party.
The Parables of our Lord Jesus are earthly stories meant to explain heavenly truths. Each person or object is symbolic of someone or something else. Understanding the symbolism is crucial to discovering the lesson of the Parable. This is entirely consistent with literal, historical, grammatical interpretation since the passage is clearly described as a parable, and in fact gaining the theological impact of this parable requires such an understanding.
The King is God the Father, His Son our Lord Jesus. Invited guests represent Israel and the servants He sent are the prophets. The city He destroyed when His invited guests refused to attend and killed His servants is Jerusalem.
Do You Know The Bride?
Some say those He then sent His servants out to invite represent the Church, which does contain both good and bad, but the symbolism and timing are wrong. The Church is the Bride of Christ, not a group of last minute substitute guests. Since Israel had already refused their invitation, and the Church (being the bride) would not need an invitation, who could these guests be?
They have to come from a time after the Bride is chosen and prepared, the wedding banquet ready and only the guests are lacking for the festivities to begin. Therefore, they have to be a group we call Tribulation Saints, those who come to faith after the Rapture of the Church in Revelation 4 but before the Wedding Banquet of Revelation 19. The servants He sends out to invite them are the 144,000 evangelists of Revelation 7 and the two witnesses of Revelation 11.
Here’s The Real Lesson Of The Parable
The wedding garment represents His righteousness. This is a concept explained on numerous occasions in both Old and New Testaments. Isaiah described our righteousness as filthy rags (Isa 64:6) and His as “garments of salvation” and “robes of righteousness” (Isa 61:10) where the acquisition of these qualities is likened to clothing given us at a wedding.
In Revelation 19 the church is seen prepared as a bride having been clothed in white linen, again representing righteousness. In both cases the righteousness symbolized by the clothing is given us, not purchased or earned.
The fact that one is thrown out for not wearing wedding clothes indicates these last minute guests have to be clothed in “garments of salvation” meaning they’re believers.
Many are invited, but few are chosen. He doesn’t desire that any should perish, but all would come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). But whether it’s the Bride or the wedding guests, the only righteousness that gains us admission into the presence of God is that which is given us as a gift and accepted in faith (Rom 4:5). All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ (Gal 3:27). For God made Him Who had no sin to become sin for us, that in Him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:21). Selah. 1-11-04
January 26th, 2011, 05:54 PM
Question: "What is the meaning of the Parable of the Wedding Feast?"
Answer: To begin, let’s take a look at the setting and circumstances where-in the Parable of the Wedding Feast is given: The land is being occupied by the Romans, who had permitted the Jews to keep their religion and way of life. The Pharisees, Sadducees, and Elders were still in authority over the people, but under the direction and answerable to their Roman conquerors.
These leaders wished for the Messiah to come and rid them of their Roman oppressors, but they expected a powerful warrior king to save them from Roman oppression, a king who would identify with them, and come from their ruling class. They were not expecting a lowly carpenter, who preached on loving your neighbor, and exemplified that preaching with loving acts and miraculous signs. They did not expect a Teacher who identified with tax collectors, who were considered to be traitors, and who associated with the dregs of society while accusing their ruling class of sin.
It is the last week before the crucifixion and death of our Lord. On Sunday, Christ had ridden triumphantly into Jerusalem and, while the people wanted to proclaim Him King, their leaders wanted to get rid of Him, and Christ knew He was going to His death (see Matthew 21:1-11 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Matthew%2021.1-11), Mark 11:1-10 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Mark%2011.1-10), Luke 19:29-44 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Luke%2019.29-44), John 12:12-19 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/John%2012.12-19), Matthew 16:21 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Matthew%2016.21); 20:17-19 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Matthew%2020.17-19)).
On Monday Jesus had cleansed the Temple of the Moneylenders (see Matthew 21:12-13 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Matthew%2021.12-13), and Mark 11:15-18 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Mark%2011.15-18)). It is Tuesday, and Jesus is teaching in the Temple. He is approached by the chief priest and elders of the people. These Pharisees and Sadducees, who are supposedly the religious elite of the day, but in actuality were spiritually blind and had resisted Christ from early on in His ministry, had come to trap Him into giving some evidence they could use against Him.
They question His authority and He confounds them. He gives them the parables of the Two Sons and of the Tenants, tells them that tax collectors and prostitutes will enter the Kingdom of God before them (see Matthew 21:31 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Matthew%2021.31)), and that the Kingdom of God will be taken away from them. By this time they are well aware that Jesus is describing them in the parables (see Matthew 21:45-46 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Matthew%2021.45-46)).
The basic point of the Parable of the Two Sons is that doing is more important than saying, and while the tax collectors and prostitutes were repenting of their sins, the Pharisees were not. In their pride, they thought themselves to be sinless. The Parable of the Tenants speaks to how the prophets of the Old Testament had been treated by the Jewish authorities, who murdered them (see Luke 11:37-54 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Luke%2011.37-54) which addresses both of these truths). Jesus further emphasizes all of this with the telling of the Wedding Banquet Parable, and while this Parable provides a vivid message for the Pharisees drawn from current events and Jewish history, it is also prophetic in nature.
In Jewish society, a marriage contract was generally made between the parents of the betrothed. The bride and groom would meet, perhaps for the first time, when this contract was signed by the involved parties. Although considered married at this point, they would then separate. The bride would remain with her parents and the groom would go off to prepare their home. This could take quite a while. When the home was finished and all was ready, the groom would return for his bride without notice. The marriage ceremony would then take place and the wedding banquet would follow.
The wedding banquet was one of the most important and joyous occasions in the Jewish life and could last for up to a week. Christ compares Heaven to the wedding banquet that a king had prepared for his son. Certainly a royal wedding would far surpass that of a commoner. The mention of the oxen and fattened cattle having been butchered in vs. 4b indicates it is being prepared and will be fresh, a royal feast where the best of everything is available and plentiful. Indeed Christ first public miracle was at the wedding feast of Cana in supplying an abundance of the best wine (see John 2:1-11 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/John%202.1-11)).
To the Pharisees, the sending of the first servants would have spoke of the Old Testament prophets, while the sending of the second set of servants is representative of John the Baptist, the first prophet in over four hundred years, and also Jesus’ disciples mentioned in the tenth chapter of Matthew. It is also representative of God’s long-suffering nature toward man. The invitation is an invitation to salvation, first offered to the Jews, who, for the most part ignore it, and then to the Gentiles.
Note that it is not because they could not come to the wedding feast, but that they would not come to the wedding feast, that some of the guest failed to respond to the invitation. This speaks not only the Jews, but to mankind in general who fail to seek out God. Everyone at one time or another wonders about the big questions of life. Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? Everyone at one time or another wonders about the question of God, but we become so enamored with ourselves that we fail to seek the answers to these questions where they can be found, the Bible. We become so involved with the everyday practice of life that we fail to find its meaning. We take the path of least resistance and seek comfort. We answer those questions with what will please us, only to find that after a lifetime of trying to satisfy ourselves, we are never satisfied. That is because we live in time, but were made for eternity (see Ecclesiastes 3:11 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Ecclesiastes%203.11)).
The rest of the invited guests who failed to respond to the invitation took it upon themselves to mistreat and murder the servants. While this describes the Jewish ruling class of the day, it also represents mankind at various places and times throughout history, Mankind who has made God into its own image and will not tolerate the truth. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me” (see John 14:6 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/John%2014.6)).
The Pharisees and others throughout history have wanted people to believe that they were acting for their good while trying to achieve their own agenda; more often than not, an agenda that would place them above all others, an agenda that actually sought out wealth and power while the people they governed came in a distant second. John 11:45-53 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/John%2011.45-53) is a most revealing passage pertaining to true concern of the Pharisees. It concerns the plot by the Pharisees to murder Jesus because of His popularity. Note verse forty-eight; note their primary concern; that the Romans would take away “their place.” For these type people, both then and now, murder is preferable to losing “their place.”
The city of both types’ people is destroyed. This speaks to the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jewish nation in A.D. 70 and to the destruction of the cities of the world mentioned in the book of Revelation. God is long-suffering and patient, but He will not tolerate wickedness forever. His judgment is well-earned by mankind, and it will come to those who have ignored His offer of salvation. Considering what that salvation cost Jesus, is not this judgment well deserved (see Hebrews 10:29-31 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Hebrews%2010.29-31))?
The invitation is then taken and given to everyone at the crossroads, to strangers both good and bad. This refers to the gospel being taken to the Gentiles. The Gospel message is available to everyone. This message was certainly not lost to the Jews, who considered Gentiles beneath their contempt (see Romans 9:30-33 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Romans%209.30-33)).
Now, when the king enters the wedding feast, he sees a man without a wedding garment. This would be a gross insult to the king. Considering the fact that no one invited from the street corners would have been expected to have had a wedding garment with them, it is evident that the king himself provided the garments for the guests. To refuse to put this garment on is insulting to the one who provided it.
This insult of refusing proper attire for the wedding feast would have been obvious to the Pharisees to whom Jesus was speaking, but this also refers to apostate Christianity. It speaks to those who are Christians in name only. To those who are depending on their own works, their own self-righteousness, to make them acceptable before God. This will not work (see Ephesians 2:8-10 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Ephesians%202.8-10)). Just as the king provides the wedding garments for the guest, it is God who provides salvation for mankind. To refuse this salvation is insulting to God because in this refusal you are treading on the very blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. When you strip away everything from all the religions of the world, except for its basic tenant of faith, you with either find man working his way towards God, or the cross of Christ. The cross is the only way to salvation. Our wedding garment is Jesus Christ Himself, and unless we put Him on, we will miss the wedding feast.
For his crime against the king, the improperly attired guest was thrown out into the darkness. For their crimes against God, there will be many who will be consigned to the darkness. That darkness is existence without God for eternity. Christ concludes the parable with the sad fact: “For many are invited, but few are chosen.” This deals with salvation and its offer being available to everyone, but only a few accepting it.
Put on the wedding garment that God has provided to you. That garment is the salvation found in Jesus Christ by His atoning death on the cross for your sin. We are all sinners (see Romans 3:23 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Romans%203.23)), and “the wages of sin is death” (see Romans 6:23 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Romans%206.23)). Physical death for all mankind because of the sin of Adam, which we all inherit (see Hebrews 9:27 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Hebrews%209.27)). Spiritual death which is eternal separation from God (see Revelation 20:14 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Revelation%2020.14)), and functional death for the Christian living with unconfessed sin in their life, preventing them from serving God (see Revelation 3:1 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Revelation%203.1)).
With this garment, with Christ as your Lord and Savior, you will be attending the greatest wedding feast of all time and eternity - the wedding supper of the Lamb (Christ) mentioned in Revelation 19:7-9 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Revelation%2019.7-9). The Parable of the Wedding Feast was a direct warning and pronouncement of condemnation on the Pharisees. The Parable of the Wedding Feast is also a message to us, to make sure we are relying on God’s provision of salvation, not our own good works or religious service.
Question: "What is the meaning of the Parable of the Ten Virgins?"
Answer: As we take a good look at the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Matthew%2025.1-13)), we must acknowledge up front that there has been much debate as to the meaning of these words of our Savior. At least one aspect of this parable can be known with absolute certainty. The bridegroom is Jesus Christ and this parable describes His return. Both the Old Testament (Isaiah 54:4-6 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Isaiah%2054.4-6); 62:4-5 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Isaiah%2062.4-5); Hosea 2:19 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Hosea%202.19)) and the New Testament (John 3:27-30 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/John%203.27-30); Matthew 9:15 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Matthew%209.15); Mark 2:19-20 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Mark%202.19-20)) represent the Messiah as a bridegroom. Both God’s people Israel as well as the Church are described in Scripture as the bride (Ephesians 5:25-32 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Ephesians%205.25-32)) for the Messiah.
The historical setting can also be known with a fair amount of certainty. In describing a first-century Jewish wedding, D.A. Carson in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary describes the setting this way, “Normally the bridegroom with some close friends left his home to go to the bride’s home, where there were various ceremonies, followed by a procession through the streets – after nightfall – to his home. The ten virgins may be bridesmaids who have been assisting the bride; and they expect to meet the groom as he comes from the bride’s house…Everyone in the procession was expected to carry his or her own torch. Those without a torch would be assumed to be party crashers or even brigands. The festivities, which might last several days, would formally get under way at the groom’s house.” The torch was either a lamp with a small oil tank and wick or a stick with a rag soaked in oil on the end of it which would require occasional re-soaking to maintain the flame.
Of interpretive significance is which return of Christ is this? Is it His return for the rapture of the Church, or is it His return to set up the Millennial Kingdom at the end of the Tribulation? Dispensational scholars divide over this issue and no attempt will be made to answer that question here. Regardless of which return it is, the lessons to be learned are relevant to both.
The overall and easily seen thrust of the parable is that Christ will return at an unknown hour and that His people must be ready. Being ready means preparing for whatever contingency arises in our lives and keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus at all times while we eagerly await His coming. As seen in the fact that all the virgins were sleeping when the call came indicates that it doesn’t matter what we are doing when Christ returns. We may be working, eating, sleeping, or pursuing leisure activities. Whatever it is, we must be doing it in such a way that we don’t have to “make things right” (get more oil) when He comes. This would apply to either the coming of Christ for His Church or for the Tribulation saints as they await His second coming.
Being ready for Christ’s return ultimately involves one major thing which manifests itself in several areas of our life. If we would be ready for Christ’s return, we must be born again through saving faith in Jesus Christ…His death, burial and literal resurrection from the dead (John 3:16 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/John%203.16); 14:6 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/John%2014.6); Romans 10:9 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Romans%2010.9) and 10 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Romans%2010.10); 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/1%20Corinthians%2015.1-4); Ephesians 2:1-10 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Ephesians%202.1-10)). Saving faith in Jesus Christ will manifest itself in every aspect of our lives. The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Galatians%205.22)) will begin to show. A desire for greater holiness and less sin will be apparent. And a consistent looking for His coming will mark our lives. One of the best passages articulating what saving grace and faith looks like in a believer’s life is Titus 2:11-14 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Titus%202.11-14), “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope — the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good."
The five virgins who have the extra oil represent the truly born again who are looking with eagerness to the coming of Christ. They have saving faith and have determined that whatever occurs, be it lengthy time or adverse circumstances, when Jesus returns, they will be looking with eagerness. The five virgins without the oil represent false believers who enjoy the benefits of the Christian community without true love for Christ. They are more concerned about the party than about longing to see the bridegroom. Their hope is that because they are associated with true believers (“give us some of your oil” of verse 8), that will bring them into the kingdom at the end. This of course is never the case. One person’s faith in Jesus cannot save another. The “Lord, lord” and “I do not know you” of verses 11 and 12 fit very well in with Jesus’ condemnation of the false believers of Matthew 7:21-23 (http://biblia.com/bible/niv/Matthew%207.21-23), “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”
May we not be found “going away to make the purchase” (v. 10) when Christ returns. Take the time now to fill your lamp with oil and take extra along. Keep waiting and watching with joy and anticipation.
January 26th, 2011, 10:03 PM
...was wondering if the weddings being performed in this way was something that GOD himself commanded, or if it was just a tradition created by the Jews. Obviously, if it was by God, it would have much more credibility...
Interesting question. I wonder if someone here might have the answer for this...
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