“Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall
live by his faith.”
The just – those who’ve become justified in God’s eye’s – will live by their
faith. Old Testament or New, the just lived and do live by their faith. The Old
Testament believers looked forward to and believed in the coming of their
Messiah, the New Testament saints look back to the cross and the death, burial,
and resurrection of their God and Savior, our Messiah, our coming King, Jesus
the Christ, and believe. Three categories of believers are in view here, and
they are all saved by faith through the grace of God, yet there remains a
distinct difference as we view the salvation imparted to the Old Testament
saints, the salvation of the New Testament Church age saints, and New Testament
tribulation saints who will be saved while occupying the most horrible period of
time known to mankind. Let me explain.
Distinct Events” – a commentary I wrote – was posted to the internet about three
weeks ago. Afterwards I was bombarded with letters from readers who requested
further explanations, especially concerning the role of the Holy Spirit during
the 70th week of Daniel. I was accused of all sorts of errors
concerning the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. A few even accused me of becoming
a convert to another faith. Though I thought I had explained the role of the
Holy Spirit in the last seven years leading up to Christ’s return, as I looked
back on that commentary I realized it needed a more thorough explanation.
Spirit will certainly play a very significant role during the last seven year
period of time on earth prior to Jesus setting up His millennial Kingdom, and
this period of time is spoken of as Daniels 70th week. During that
space of time the Holy Spirit will be hard at work pointing people to Jesus
Christ for salvation. That has always been His job. He never points to Himself,
always to Jesus. But the Church age, having passed at this point, was a very
distinct period in God’s economy. The Church, the body of Christ, consisted of
individuals who were
indwelt with the Holy Spirit. “…in whom also
after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which
is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased
possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
Fact: The Holy Spirit
is sealed inside of every born again believer in Christ today. Once the Church
has been Raptured, this gift will be gone. Anyone who comes to believe in Christ
for salvation after the Rapture will not be sealed with the Holy Spirit, but
will be responsible for keeping themselves saved. The Holy Spirit will still be
working, but not indwelling.
In the Old
Testament the believers were led by the Holy Spirit to believe, to have faith in
the coming of the Messiah, but were not indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The
tribulation saints will be similarly led. But they, as the Old Testament
believers, will not be sealed
with the Holy Spirit of promise.
They must be prepared to endure all sorts of battles, and one such battle will
be the waiting as it will seem as though their Master’s return is far off. Hence
the parable of the ten virgins and the bridegroom of Matthew 25.
ends with Jesus’ parable of the wise servant vs. the foolish servant. The wise
servant diligently waited for His master’s return
“But he that shall endure unto the end, the
same shall be saved.” Matthew
24:13. Matthew 25 is simply a continuation of that same thought.
These onetime Christ rejecters must now endure through that horrible period to
be saved. Many will be martyred for their faith, which will be the same as
enduring to the end.
“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their
lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.”
Matthew 25:1. Here begins Jesus’
parable of the ten virgins and this one is going to shock many of my readers.
Jesus begins this parable by referring to the traditions of a Jewish wedding;
his audience must be Jewish since they would be the only ones to recognize the
significance of these ten virgins (bridesmaids) and especially their lamps.
“There were three stages to a Jewish
wedding in that day. The first was engagement - a formal agreement made by the
fathers. The second was betrothal - the ceremony where mutual promises are made.
The third was marriage - approximately one year later when the bridegroom came
at an unexpected time for his bride.
In this parable, the first two stages
have already taken place. Now the wedding party (the ten virgins) await the
coming of the bridegroom for his bride.
Why does Jesus describe ten virgins?
Talmudic authorities affirm that there were usually ten lamps in a bridal
procession” – David Guzik
“And five of them 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.”
Matthew 25:2-4. Here Jesus explains
the foolishness of the virgins who had no oil in their lamp. We find that five
of the virgins awaiting the bridegroom had their lamps trimmed sufficiently with
oil; the other five took no oil for their lamps as they waited for the
bridegroom. Oil is seen here as an idiom referring to the Holy Spirit. Almost
from the beginning of this parable we can see something horrible is about to
“While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.”
Matthew 25:5. In other words, the
wise as well as the foolish virgins were equally complacent and as they waited
on the bridegroom they each fell asleep. The wise could legitimately slumber as
they were secure in what they possessed (their lamps were full of oil). The
foolish virgins slumbered unaware of the peril they faced (possessing lamps with
“And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out
to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the
foolish said unto 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 ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.”
Matthew 25:6-9. The five foolish
virgins, hearing the bridegroom was on His way, scrambled to get prepared. The
bridegroom is Jesus Christ, and the five wise virgins are those who’ve became
saved during the last seven year period leading up to Christ’s return. The five
foolish virgins were never saved.
remain after the rapture of the Church and become born again will face very
strong opposition to their faith, but they will need to endure to the end to be
saved. They must keep the word of God, keep His precepts, keep the faith, and
keep the Holy Spirit close. “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. Afterward came also the other virgins,
saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you,
I know you not.” Matthew 25:10-12.
When Jesus returns, some of those who think they are saved will be surprised at
His response just as the foolish virgins were surprised at the response from the
bridegroom. Jesus, being the bridegroom, says that He knew them not, which means
He never knew them. They were never a part of His family of born again
believers. They had all the signs of being saved except the main ingredient.
They had no oil in their lamps. The Holy Spirit was not present in their lives.
They had neglected the Holy Spirit’s message and lived without faith in the
“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of
Matthew 25:13. Obviously Jesus is
speaking about His Second Advent as He’s addressing the folks that are living
during those last seven years. Everyone who places their faith and trust in
Jesus Christ during the 70th week of Daniel will need to keep
themselves ready – they all need to be as the 5 wise virgins who keep their oil
(the Holy Spirit). In other words they are saved by faith just as the Church is
today, but they must keep that faith – and not turn away because of the horrible
events that are about to unfold before them. The five foolish virgins never had
the faith as the five wise virgins and that’s why they wanted some of their oil.
They neglected the oil (the Holy Spirit) to trim their lamps. They very
foolishly allowed the tribulations of that time to suck any faith they might
have had right out of them, hence the bridegroom never new them.
“For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called
his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five
talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his
several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the
five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had
received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.”
This parable is somewhat similar to our Lord’s parable of the ten
virgins in that there were two groups of people, the wise and the foolish. In
this case He’s addressing servants belonging to the Master (Jesus is the
Master). The wise servants – well what can we say? They kept the faith, they
endured till the end, and they never lost their hold on the Holy Spirit.
Jesus rewards the wise servants He turns His attention to the foolish servant
who had a real heart problem. There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth
by the foolish servant - the third servant demonstrated that he was not a true
servant of his master (he was not saved). Is it not fitting then that he (and
those who show the same heart) is cast forever out of the master’s presence into
part of chapter 25gives us a great view of our Lords heart.
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right
hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from
the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was
thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and
ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto
me.” Matthew 25:34-36.
Jesus tells them that the true believer is not at all self-centered, but others
centered. The righteous were doing what they did for those mentioned by the King
out of love. Their helpfulness came naturally as children of the King, and as
they saw a person’s needs they reacted in a Godly way, and for no other reason
“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed,
into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”
Matthew 25:41. Then there are the
self-centered, the ungodly, who wouldn’t lift a finger to help someone in need.
They are the unrighteous and Jesus lets them know in no uncertain terms that by
not helping those in need they turned their backs on Him.
“Then shall he say also unto them on the left
hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil
and his angels:” Matthew 25:46.
Jesus clearly points out that Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels.
Men only go to Hell because they have willingly cast their lot with the devil
and his angels.
all we’ve learned here, there is one thing we must keep in mind. Jesus is still
addressing the folks of the last seven year period – what many refer to as the
tribulation week. As Jesus finishes the last of His parables of this chapter He
concludes with two distinct categories of people. He arranges them in groups,
His sheep on the right and those who rejected Him (the goats) on His left. The
sheep were those who endured until the end; as they were keeping the faith they
also helped others no matter what hardship it caused them. The goats were those
who had no love for their fellow man, they lived completely contrary to what
Jesus taught and expected from His followers; they did not endure until the end.
The sheep inherited the Kingdom and the goats were cast into Hell.
there are seemingly numerous parallels to that which can be seen in the Church
population of today, and it’s a fact that many even in the Church are not really
saved (have no oil). But even though there are similarities to the Church age in
these parables, the fact is we who are truly born again cannot lose what’s
sealed within us, and therein we see the difference.
comment. I hope I’ve made it plain that Jesus is addressing those who are
occupying that last seven year period of time. He has returned at this point to
set everything right, and to set up His millennial Kingdom on earth. And guess
who returns with Him? You guessed it, His Church. We are at His side.
“To the end he may stablish your hearts
unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord
Jesus Christ with all his saints.”
1 Thessalonians 3:13. Therefore Jesus
the Christ, Creator of the universe can’t be addressing His Church in either
this chapter or in the previous one.
All scripture is from the KJV and God breathed
96 County Road 5480 Salem, MO 65560
My past commentaries are archived at the following link
If you’d like to be on my
mailing list to receive the commentaries just drop me a email and let me know