RESURRECTIONS, RAPTURE, & THE KINGDOM
The Parable of the Ten Virgins
Matthew 25:1-13 NET “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. (2) Five of the virgins were foolish, and five were wise. (3) When the foolish ones took their lamps, they did not take extra olive oil with them. (4) But the wise ones took flasks of olive oil with their lamps. (5) When the bridegroom was delayed a long time, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. (6) But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is here! Come out to meet him.’ (7) Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. (8) The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ (9) ‘No,’ they replied. ‘There won’t be enough for you and for us. Go instead to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ (10) But while they had gone to buy it, the bridegroom arrived, and those who were ready went inside with him to the wedding banquet. Then the door was shut. (11) Later, the other virgins came too, saying, ‘Lord, lord! Let us in!’ (12) But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I do not know you!’ (13) Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour.
1) “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Note that the first verse identifies the background of this parable by stating that it concerns the Kingdom of Heaven, which is Matthew’s version of saying “the Kingdom of God” which appears in the Gospel of Luke. This parable will give us information concerning where the Kingdom of Heaven (or God) will reside and what group of people will be allowed at the wedding banquet of the Kingdom.
Prophetically speaking, the bridegroom is Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, and the bride will be those included within the first resurrection. The future bride is symbolized in this parable as the prepared maidens with adequate oil for their lamps.
Revelation 19:7 NET Let us rejoice and exult and give him glory, because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
The word translated as “virgin” is defined as a maiden or as an unmarried daughter in the Strong’s dictionary.
2) (2) Five of the virgins were foolish, and five were wise. (3) When the foolish ones took their lamps, they did not take extra olive oil with them. (4) But the wise ones took flasks of olive oil with their lamps.
The ten maidens are divided into two groups: the foolish and the wise. All ten had a lamp but the foolish maidens did not bring extra oil. The wise maidens had predetermined that extra oil might be necessary and they had it in their possession. The oil, the lamps, and particularly the extra oil are figurative elements of spiritual preparation. The wise represent spiritually prepared believers and the foolish maidens represent believers with inadequate afterthought for the things of God and the teachings of Jesus Christ.
The Two Resurrections
3) (10) But while they had gone to buy it, the bridegroom arrived, and those who were ready went inside with him to the wedding banquet. Then the door was shut. (11) Later, the other virgins came too, saying, ‘Lord, lord! Let us in!’ (12) But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I do not know you!’ (13) Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour.
All the maidens dozed off and were awakened when the announcement came that the bridegroom was at a short distance. The lamps of the foolish had run out of oil and they asked for oil from the wise which was denied them because the wise only had enough for the event. The foolish left to get more oil but when they returned the door was shut and would not be reopened.
These two groups of maidens (i.e. wedding banquet guests) symbolize the two resurrections and the believers who will participate in those two resurrections.
Qualifications of an Overcomer
The virgins or maidens with an ample supply of spiritual preparedness will experience the first resurrection as the elect; overcomers; or saints of the most High God as named in Daniel 7. As noted in previous posts an overcomer is a forgiver who agrees with God in all matters. They are as obedient as possible to the laws of God and the teachings of Jesus Christ by submitting to the will of God, and agreeing with His will. They are not haters but display unconditional love for everyone, and they are in complete and total agreement with the ways, the will, and the love of God.
The nations of today desire peace and justice. They have had enough bloodshed and injustice. They long for leaders that rule by love, rather than by fear. Agreement with God is not a lesson that can be learned as it is a state of being in which we walk by nature.
The believing Christians with a short supply of spiritual attributes will not experience the first resurrection but will be required to wait until the White Throne Judgment at the second resurrection which will occur at the end of the Millennial Kingdom of God (or Heaven). If they are relatively young and alive at the beginning of the Millennial, they will live a pleasant life with many advanced medical benefits and advanced scientific mechanisms but they will not be “gathered up” (i.e. raptured) to rule with Christ as will those selected for the first resurrection.
The phrase, “I tell you the truth, I do not know you”, may sound somewhat harsh but it can be interpreted as “You don’t qualify as one of the elect but in time you will sanctified and inherit a glorified body.”
In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus issued the same statement concerning the future fulfilled Kingdom.
Matthew 7:21-23 NET “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven — only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. (22) On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?’ (23) Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’
Similar to the five virgins with insufficient oil, Jesus will metaphorically say to those questioning their lack of inclusion in the first resurrection, “I never knew you”. Although the questioning group were somewhat spiritual according to their claims of prophesying, casting out demons, and other deeds, they apparently lacked some of the qualifications to be considered an elect overcomer.
The Location of the Kingdom
By creating a man separate from a woman, God also created the need for marriage in order to bring the two back into a new type of unity.
Genesis 2:22-24 then shows us HOW this unity was to be accomplished:
22 And the LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 And the man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” 24 For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh
Note especially that it is the man who is to leave his father and mother. This is a prophetic statement, specifically applicable to the Last Adam as He comes to claim His bride. The bride does not return to heaven with the bridegroom. Christ must leave His Father (Yahweh) and Mother (El Shaddai) and come to earth to be united to His wife (i.e. the elect Church). (This is not to imply that Yahweh and El Shaddai are separate gods; they are simply male and female manifestations of one God. The distinction has to do with the way we relate to God, rather than a personal difference.)
In the parable, it is evident the bridegroom came to the wedding feast of his future wife. The maidens (and others) came out to meet the bridegroom and escort him to the feast. They did not follow the bridegroom back to his starting location. Therefore, Jesus Christ will leave the heavenly realm and come to earth to the home of the bride. It is NOT the case that the bride must leave her father and mother and go to heaven to the home of her Husband.
When Paul speaks of Christ’s coming, He speaks of believers meeting Him in the air to escort Him to earth, but not of the believers going to heaven as their final home. The major purpose of creation and of history is for heaven to come to earth, for Christ to manifest Himself in earth, and for the glory of God to fill the earth. It is to establish the Kingdom of God upon the earth, not to destroy the earth and set up a kingdom in heaven even though Matthew calls it “the Kingdom of Heaven”. The final result is for earth to be the kingdom in a heavenly manner, or a “heaven on earth”. His purpose is to bring forth spiritual flesh that manifests the glory of God, of which Moses was a type and Jesus our example.
The disciples saw Jesus walking upon the water in their direction. Peter asked if he could walk out to Him and was given permission. Peter’s slight tinge of doubt caused him to begin to sink but Jesus reached for him and pulled him up. They then both went to the boat, not back to the original point from which Jesus had come.
Matthew 14:31-32 NET Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” (32) When they went up into the boat, the wind ceased.
The apostle John adds some interesting information. When Jesus entered the boat it was instantly transported to Capernaum.
John 6:21 KJV Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.
This method of instant transfer is similar to that of Phillip after baptizing the Ethiopian eunuch. These two examples should not be considered a type of rapture but as a description of the type of relocating ability that overcomers will possess as they reign during the age of the Kingdom of God. The overcomers, like the boatload of disciples, will have the permanent ability to translate from place to place at will, even as Jesus could do after His resurrection.
Acts 8:39 NET Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away…..
They will be able to travel at the speed of thought from one part of the earth to another or between heaven and earth (i.e., between the spiritual dimension and this physical universe).
The story itself has allegorical meaning. Jesus ascended the “mountain” to pray, or to make intercession for us (Heb. 7:25). Meanwhile, He sent the disciples ahead of Him into the coming storm. In other words, the disciples were sent into the world, where they would experience tribulation and persecution at the hand of the political and religious systems of the world. Then Jesus came to them in the middle of the lake, walking on the water. This signifies His position of authority over all the nations, for Revelation 17:15 says that the waters represent “peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.“
Overcomers are Christian believers who do not fear the wind and waves and are willing to walk through it and, like Peter, walk upon it.
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