Dear GM,I think you ask a very good question:______________________
Who are the virgins?
If they are Christians at Christ’s return why are they all sleeping?
If five are foolish why did they all rise?
To me, applying these verses, the concept of the virgins/brides, to the rapture has some problems. Either we all have to fall asleep before He comes, or they are not “us”.
All I can give is my own view on this as follows:
I think the title virgin applies to all who have accepted Christ and are believers. (Unbelievers would not be looking for the bridegroom.) Just as Jesus gave examples such as servants who were faithful while others were unfaithful or branches in the vine (Jesus) that did not bare fruit etc, here, there are believers who are foolish along side of the wise. There is no clear way to discern between them which are wise and which are foolish until they begin trimming their lamps and the foolish are seen to be out of oil. The fact that they all ten fell asleep is what is causing you to suspect that it cannot be a type of us since we obviously are awake and watching for Jesus and therefore not asleep, correct?
Well, here is what I think is being described by this type. Remember how the Israelites were told to prepare themselves for their entrance into the promised land?
3. And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.
4. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.
5. And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the Lord will do wonders among you.
Well, it is my opinion that this is a clue to us today of our own entrance into our promised land and Joshua (Jesus, same name) is the one leading us into that land. The most significant words in this passage are the words:
Sanctify yourselves: ... the Lord will do wonders among you.
that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.
This certainly applies to every one of us as well. No matter who we feel we are, how many years we have been a Christian or how much we may have studied the Bible or feel that we are ready for this event, I believe that when the rapture actually begins to happen it will be like a shout that will awaken us all from our current state of relative sleep. We will be as one who is awakened from sleep in a strange place. Have you ever had that experience, where you are waiting for someone and you fell asleep in some strange place and then they arrive and suddenly wake you up? How are you feeling right then? A little bit disoriented, maybe? Yes, I would think so. Well, I believe that this is what is being referred to here. Not that we are not watching for we obviously are but that compared to how we will be once translated, we are mere mortals currently (this corruption must put on incorruption) who see through a glass darkly and must take things by faith. After the rapture we will see face to face and know even as we are known.
This transition is where wisdom, I believe is going to be at a premium. The wise who are able to trim their lamps at this event and see and know the way by which they must go are the ones who have been preparing for this moment by faith (sanctify yourselves) by getting to know Jesus through the Holy Spirit and will know and recognize Him as who He is when He arrives and will not fear to join Him. The foolish however will not have prepared themselves in this way and will suddenly discover to their complete dismay that they are in darkness and will begin asking for the wise to "shed some light on this for them" "Give us some of your oil!" In other words, "Fill us in for our lamps are going out and we are in darkness..." Well the wise refuse for fear that there will not be enough oil for them and the foolish both. To me this means that it will require complete attention from each one of us when the rapture begins to occur for us to really comprehend what is actually happening and we will not be able to take it in and explain it to someone else who is not able to comprehend what is happening. You have not passed this way heretofore. What an understatement! Anyone out there ever seen graves open and people rise out of them? How would you feel right now if you began seeing that along with the shout and trumpet etc? It will catch us all by surprise no matter how prepared we feel we are. That is what I think Jesus meant when He said He comes at a time when we think not. In other words, WHENEVER it is that He finally comes, our first thought is collectively going to be, REALLY? NOW?! How could it be now, what feast day is it today? Or, why didn't we see this as the time, hmmmm? Or even if we did predict the very time we still would still be shocked even if we got it right.
The above scripture also contains these words of instruction:
then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.
I think this is something we should be doing in our hearts now, as in where your treasure is there will your heart be also. For those who have not made the rapture a priority will they be ready to face Jesus when He comes?
One last thing, have you noticed that the foolish were not initially rejected by Jesus but rather when the door was opened they went away to buy more oil and while they were doing that the door was shut and then they began to want the door to be reopened to let them in also. Only then did He reject them. I believe that whoever WANTS to come in while the door is OPEN will be permitted to do so. Even if they have not got a wedding garment on because one guy entered in that way but was thrown out upon being discovered dressed wrong (not clothed in the righteousness of Christ). These are foolish because they were not prepared to meet Jesus in spite of their rising up at the shout along with the wise. They could or would not enter in but needed to light their path with the word of God first and by the time that they could see that this was indeed the rapture, it was too late and the opportunity to enter the open door is past.
That is what I think is being described in this parable.