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Wake Up

“And at midnight a cry was heard…” Matthew 25:6 says a cry went out, but what was the cry and who was the one crying out? The verse continues to say, “Behold, the bridegroom is coming, go out to meet him!” Clearly a wedding was getting ready to take place, and those who were supposed to be ready didn’t know the time had come. Why didn’t they know it was time for the bridegroom to come? If you were getting married or were part of a wedding celebration, wouldn’t you be expected to know what time the event was taking place? 

In Matthew 25, Jesus was speaking a parable about the kingdom of heaven. He likened the kingdom to ten virgins who went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of the virgins were foolish (thoughtless, without forethought) and five were wise (sensible, intelligent, prudent). The five foolish took oil in their lamps but no extra, while the five wise took oil in their lamps and took extra for the journey. While they waited for the bridegroom, who was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. When they heard the cry to go out and meet Him, the wise were able to go because they had extra oil, but the foolish realized they didn’t have enough oil for the journey, (Ref Matt 25:3-7). The foolish virgins weren’t prepared to go on their journey to meet the groom.

Imagine receiving a call that a distant relative has passed and left you, the only surviving kin, in charge of their wealthy estate. In order to receive it, you must be at the attorney’s office by 9am the next morning to sign the papers, or the estate is turned over to someone else. You would be set for life. A number of houses, cars, and a large bank account willed to you, and all you have to do is show up to sign your name. Now imagine you wake up only to realize you never heard the alarm and you’ve overslept. There’s barely time to get ready for the appointment, so you have to frantically rush around thinking of the quickest route to the attorney’s office. You jump into your vehicle and remember your fuel light is on empty. Instead of filling up after work last night, you just figured you would make time in the morning and stop for gas. Now it’s too late. You don’t have time to get gas and make it to the appointment. You weren’t prepared and now you’ve lost the inheritance.

Why do you think God chose this parable to explain the kingdom? This might seem like another biblical story with a simple meaning, but it is a sobering and prophetic word for the church at the end times.

Why do you think God chose this parable to explain the kingdom? This might seem like another biblical story with a simple meaning, but it is a sobering and prophetic word for the church at the end times. It is a picture of those in the church who are not awake, nor are they prepared to go and meet the groom. The church is supposed to be the bride of Christ, as read in Eph 5:25, Rev 19:7, and Rev 21:2. However, this parable is speaking of virgins, and virgins are those who are not married. The Greek word for virgin is Parthenos, and it means a marriageable maiden, a woman who has never had sexual intercourse. [1]

In Hebrew thought, the true marriage happens when the man and woman consummate the union. Luke 8:11 says the seed is the Word of God. The true marriage happens when we receive God’s seed through His revelatory Word. How can the church be the bride if they didn’t make it to the wedding? If there isn’t a release of God’s seed, the marriage hasn’t taken place. Therefore, the church has not become the bride but are still virgins. 

Unfortunately, most of the church doesn’t realize they are on the verge of missing the greatest event that will ever happen. We’ve probably all been taught that we want to be the wise virgins. It seems natural — we certainly don’t want to be foolish ones. The truth is we don’t want to be either. The Word says they all slumbered and slept. Both of these groups were supposed to be keeping watch for the bridegroom’s appearance but they got tired while waiting. The word slept is Katheudo in the Greek; metaphorically it speaks of yielding to sin and sloth, being indifferent to one’s salvation. [2] The ones who were supposed to be going out to meet the bridegroom (Christ) were slothful and indifferent to their salvation. They fell into the trap that says no one knows the hour, and they allowed themselves to be lulled into a state of sleep waiting for the return of the Messiah. 

Does today’s church look like it is prepared for the second coming of Christ? Do Christians today look like they are ready for eternity?

Does today’s church look like it is prepared for the second coming of Christ? Do Christians today look like they are ready for eternity? Most of the church is sitting at home, content with watching services online while the government keeps the doors closed to protect everyone from COVID-19. When they are meeting in person, they only have time for an hour of worship with a 45-minute message. Sunday service is a quick pick me up to tackle the week. What happened to the fire and passion for the true Word of God? How does a feel good service prepare the body of Christ for these end times?

The Lord knew this would happen. He knew there would be a falling away from His truth and the church wouldn’t be ready for His coming. In His mercy, God sent a watchman to cry, “Wake up!” You may be wondering how the watchman knew the time of the bridegroom’s arrival yet everyone else was asleep? Perhaps it was on his invitation and the virgins missed it. In reality, he knew because he was a servant of God. He was a messenger sent to rouse the sleeping bride. The watchman is being sent to cry out to the church today.

Malachi prophesied about the coming of the Spirit of Elijah, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord,” (Mal 4:5). Jesus also spoke about Elijah coming and restoring all things before His return (Ref Matt 17:11). As we look at what’s happening today, all the chaos in the world and the sleepy response from the church, it’s obvious the restoration of all things hasn’t happened yet. The Spirit of Elijah is here sounding a warning. It is time to wake up the church who has become like the foolish virgins. 

When you study the Greek word for foolish, it’s Moros, meaning impious or Godless. It stems from the word Musterion, which means hidden thing, secret or mystery, the secret counsels which govern God in dealing with the righteous. [3] The foolish virgins are those who don’t understand the mysteries and secrets of the kingdom and are veiled to the deeper things of God. Jesus said, their hearts had grown dull; their ears were hard of hearing and their eyes were closed (Ref Matt 13:15). 

The foolish ones, after realizing their mistake, demanded the oil from the wise. However, the wise ones knew there wasn’t enough for them both. The oil can only be purchased from the oil merchants. The wise were able to go with the bridegroom into the wedding but the foolish had to go back and try to buy oil. When they returned and knocked at the door to be let it in, it was too late (Ref Matt 25:8-11). The marriage was over and they had lost their chance because they didn’t recognize the need for preparation. Imagine missing the biggest event of your life because you weren’t ready when you should have been. 

What is the significance of the oil that is needed to go out to meet the bridegroom? Obviously it wasn’t something that one can grab from a gas station. The oil was used by the high priests to anoint the priests, prophets, and kings. This anointing oil speaks of Christ or Messiah. [4] The high priests or apostles have been anointed by the Holy Spirit to teach the mysteries of the kingdom; therefore, they are the oil merchants. The foolish virgins are a picture of those in the church who don’t want to understand the mysteries of God’s Word in order to get prepared. It’s a picture of those who want into the wedding without a sacrifice. 

The oil isn’t free though. That is why the wise virgins didn’t hand it over. There is a cost to buy the anointing oil. While it isn’t physical money, the oil of revelation is valuable to those who understand the meaning. There is a dedication and sacrifice to dig out the hidden things of the Word (Ref Pro 25:2). However, there is also the discovery of God’s true nature that is imparted into us once we gain that revelation and walk it out. It is the discovery of the pearl of great price as spoken of in Matthew 13:45-46. 

Why would God accept anything less from His church than a passion to discover who He is through His Word. The foolish were locked out of the marriage celebration because they didn’t see the value in having extra oil or revelation. They thought the little bit they had in their vessels was enough to get them through. It’s those in the body who think a grace message and confessional prayer are all that’s needed. When they realized their lack, they wanted the oil given to them but didn’t want to pay the price. God’s not looking for those who aren’t willing to sacrifice to learn and understand His truth. 

If we want to be considered the true bride of Christ we must be ready as it says in Revelation 19:7, “The marriage of the lamb has come and His wife has made herself ready.” The bride (the church) has gotten herself prepared by studying out the Word of God. Without apostles and prophets to reveal the mysteries, no one will hear the wake up call nor be prepared. The bridegroom is here. The marriage supper is ready. It is time to wake up, trim the wicks, and go. “Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thes 5:6). 

1. Thayer’s Bible Dictionary
2. Thayer’s Bible Dictionary
3. Strong’s Bible Dictionary
4. Brown Driver Briggs Bible Dictionary

Wake up
Parable of the virgins
Parable of the ten virgins
Bride of Christ

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