The Parable of the Ten Virgins: Matthew 25:1-12

1.    “Then shall the kingdom of Heaven be likened unto 10 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:” [There was oil in their lamps but they did not carry a vessel. (Strong’s # 30, flask, container) They did not have the additional oil like the wise virgins.]      

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

5.    While the bridegroom tarried, they almost slumbered and slept.”

Many who interpret this parable believe that watchfulness is the main message being presented here. However, I believe this is a distraction from understanding the true significance of the oil.  They all slumbered and were awakened. The difference was not watchfulness, but the possession of the additional oil.


What is the significance of the oil?  The Song of Solomon 1:3 offers this: “because of the savour of thy good ointments [Strong’s 8081, olive oil] thy name is poured forth, therefore do virgins love thee.”   This verse reveals oil as representative of a name.


We should focus on the two oils in the parable. The oil in the lamps is brought with them and is previously obtained.  The oil in the second container or vessel had to be acquired by separate transactions. The wise made arrangements beforehand but the unwise are forced to purchase it at a later time.  Yahweh gives his spirit freely to those obedient to his calling. (1 Cor. 2: 12)  However, the second oil represents a spirit that is not given but formed. (Gal. 4: 19)


6.    “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go 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.”


The fact that the unwise said their lamps are “gone out” indicates that there was oil in their lamps to begin with. Both the wise and unwise began with oil in their lamps.


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.”


The second oil was not easily obtained. The first oil was common to both the wise and unwise. They both began with the same oil but the process of obtaining the second oil was different.  The unwise assumed the first oil was sufficient. It was not. However, the time remaining did not allow them to obtain the second oil and enter the wedding.


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.”


How important is this door?  Messiah tells us in John 10:9: “I am the door:  by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, shall go in and out, and find pasture.” Messiah confirms that we are saved through him.  Acts 2: 21 suggests this: “and it shall come to pass, then whosoever shall call on the name of the sovereign shall be saved.”  His name is very important to salvation. The possession of the second oil was very important to entering the door to the wedding. If they had had the second oil, they would have been spared or saved from having to be left out.


To answer the door that is Messiah, we must know his name. This parable represents a time after the resurrection. The human name of Messiah was defiled in death by absorbing all the sin of mankind. His human name identifies his sin-defiled blood. He could not appear before his Father with the defiled name. He therefore had to inherit (Hebrews 1: 4) a new name, which is the name of salvation.


Paul reminds us in Romans 5:10 that: “we were reconciled to Yahweh by the death of his son [the human name] much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”  So his inherited name is the name of life. The name that he received after being resurrected is the name that we need to also be resurrected.   However, the Spirit of YahwehShua is not given but is formed.   It requires time for this to happen. The Spirit of the Father is freely given at the time of baptism and the laying on of the hands.  The name of YahwehShua is represented by the second oil. The unwise virgins had to purchase it. That took time and they didn’t have enough.


11.“Afterward, came also the other virgins, saying, Sovereign, Sovereign open to us.

12.“But he answered and said, Verily, I say unto you, I know you not.”


Why did Messiah know the wise virgins and not the unwise ones?  What was the difference?  The difference was the second oil.


We are told that the spirit of the Father is freely given. The 10 virgins began with the same oil in their lamps. They both had the freely given Spirit of the Father. The 10 were called, but only five were chosen. (Matt. 22: 14)  The wise had an additional vessel that contained necessary second oil.  Those chosen had to have the second oil or the name of the Son of Yahweh, YahwehShua. The unwise did not have the second oil, the name of life. The wise did not stop seeking with the Father’s name.  They asked, they sought and they knocked until they had the true name of life. The unwise were content with the freely given oil and name of the Father. They did not take seriously the value of the inherited name of the Son and the spirit was therefore quenched.


However, there is more to overcoming then just knowing the inherited name of Messiah, YahwehShua.  This is revealed to us in 1 John 3:23:  “And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son YahwehShua Messiah and love one another, as he gave us his commandment.” Notice that this message from John says and love one another.


Love is a very important requirement of the new covenant. The unwise virgins may have had the inherited name of Messiah revealed to them but failed to overcome by NOT manifesting the love of Messiah.  For a more extensive explanation of how important the formation of Messiah’s spirit and his commandment to love one another is to overcoming, please refer to our article, “ The Significance of Love in The New Covenant”.


Messiah did not recognize the unwise because they were not faithful. They denied the faith. (1 Tim. 5: 8) The inherited name is the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11: 1)  His inherited name is not found in the Scriptures. The human name of the Messiah is always there. Messiah’s inherited name is the name of faith and is the evidence for the unseen.


The wise were able and willing to retain their faith. The unwise were not able to hold on and endure to the end. Remember what we are told in first Timothy 5:8: “he hath denied the faith [that is, the name of faith] and it is worse than an infidel.”  Messiah would only recognize HIS, not the infidel. The door was not open to them. Peter offers this insight in 2 Peter 2:20: “For if after they have escaped the pollution of the world through the knowledge of the Sovereign and Savior, YahwehShua Messiah, they are again entangled there in, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.”


We must strive to develop the spirit of Messiah within us.  Paul tells us why in Romans 8:9: ”Now if any man have not the spirit of Messiah, he is none of his.” The Spirit of the Father is freely given upon the laying on of hands after baptism.  The spirit of Messiah requires time to develop. The unwise ran out of time to obtain the second oil. The Spirit of the Father once freely given allows the beginning of the formation of his son’s spirit. (Gal. 4:19)  Once the formation begins, it must continue to the end. If we stop growing, the spirit of Messiah can be quenched. We will then not have an open door. We will not be in the better resurrection. (Hebrews 11: 35)


It is quite possible that all 10 virgins had thought they were dedicated to Messiah. Being in the body of Messiah would give them a secure feeling. Being called and chosen is a wonderful privilege. However, we should not become comfortable.


We are told in Matthew 22:14 that:  “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Please note all chosen are called but not all called are chosen. The five unwise virgins learned this truth the hard way. They had the Father’s Spirit, but did not realize the significance of maintaining the growth and development of the Son’s spirit.


The unwise were deceived. The problem with being deceived is not knowing that you are deceived. This is why you can never stop asking, seeking and knocking. That is why Messiah included this guidance in the Master’s prayer, “give us this day our daily bread”. (Mat. 6: 11)  We must ask daily (Mat. 7: 7) so that we are nourished daily. The spiritual fetus is being formed within us and requires daily feeding. This is not optional.


The five unwise virgins were deceived. Yahweh’s spirit is given to those who obey Him. (Acts 5: 32)  Being baptized and having the laying on of hands in the name of YahwehShua is an act of obedience.   However, the continued growth of the spiritual fetus requires continuous obedience to the Father.  If you allow the Spirit to lead you into all truth (John 16: 13-15) this will help you to not quench the Spirit. 


How can you minimize being deceived?  John offers this insight in John 3:14:  “We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.”   Yes, it is all about love. Notice the new commandment Messiah gives us in John 13:34: “that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”


The five unwise were denied entry by the door, Messiah. There are many things they may have failed to do and one of those was not loving their brothers as He loved them.


It is instructive to remember what Messiah tells us in Matthew 25. Messiah informed us that what we do unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done to me. (Verse 40) He also says, “as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” That may explain why the five unwise heard him say to them, “I know you not.”


An important aspect of the forming of Messiah’s spirit within us is developing His quality of love. To learn how deep and extensive His love can be, please read first Corinthians 13.  John reminds us in 1 John 4:8 that: “Yahweh is love.”  Therefore YahwehShua is love. We have the love of YahwehShua being formed within us. As the Spirit of YahwehShua is being developed, we are able to manifest His quality of love.  The limited love of our carnal nature becomes less manifested as the love of Messiah becomes more prominent. We must ask daily for more of that special love of Messiah.


Are you a wise virgin?  Perhaps you are unwise. You need to know!  Messiah is your source of knowledge. Go to Yahweh in prayer, in the name of YahwehShua.  Ask for the love, seek the love, and when you knock, the door will be open for you.  Trust me, you do not want to hear, “I know you not.”