Another New Testament symbol of the believers is virgins. Matthew 25:1 says, “Then shall the kingdom of the heavens be likened to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom.” Virgins signify the believers in the aspect of life. Believers, who are the kingdom people, are like chaste virgins, bearing the Lord’s testimony (the lamp) in the dark age and going out to meet the Lord. For this they need not only the indwelling but also the fullness of the Spirit of God.
Being a virgin is not a matter of work, service, or activity; it is a matter of life. Moreover, we are not merely virgins but chaste, pure virgins. Being a virgin is not a matter of what we do or are able to do; it is absolutely a matter of what we are.
When the Lord Jesus was on earth, He was loved much more by His female followers than by His male followers. For example, Luke 8:1-3 tells us that certain women ministered out of their possessions to the Lord and His disciples. This was an expression of their love for the Lord. Also, it was a woman, a widow, not a bachelor, who put all she had into the treasury (Mark 12:41-44). Furthermore, it was a woman who broke the alabaster flask of ointment and poured the ointment of very costly, pure nard upon the Lord Jesus (Mark 14:3). The disciples, however, were indignant and said, “Why has this waste of the ointment been made?” (v. 4). The point here is that whereas males tend to consider matters before loving, the females love blindly and pour out everything on the Lord Jesus in genuine love for Him. For this reason, in the new creation God makes all the believers females, virgins loving the Lord Jesus. Therefore, Paul could say to the believers in Corinth, “I betrothed you to one Husband, to present a pure virgin to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:2). Moreover, Revelation 21:2 describes the New Jerusalem as “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” This indicates that if we would participate in the New Jerusalem, which is an aggregate virgin, we ourselves must be virgins who love the Lord and wait for Him.
In the sight of God, all believers, brothers and sisters alike, are virgins. When the Lord Jesus comes back for the believers, He will meet only virgins; He will not meet any men. Anyone who considers himself a man and not a virgin will not be qualified to go to the air to meet the Lord. Hence, we all must regard ourselves as virgins and say, “I love the Lord Jesus. I love my Husband, although I have never seen Him. Because I love Him, I give myself to Him. I give up my future and everything for Him. Now, while I am working for Him, I am walking out of the world to meet Him.”
The virgins in Matthew 25:1 are all people of the kingdom of the heavens (Matt. 5:3, 10).
Matthew 25:1 says that the virgins took their lamps. Lamps signify the spirit of the believers (Prov. 20:27), which contains the Spirit of God as the oil (Rom. 8:16; Heb. 1:9). The believers shine with the light of the Spirit of God from within their spirit. As a result, they become the light of the world, like a lamp shining in the darkness of this age (Matt. 5:14-16; Phil. 2:15-16) to bear the testimony of the Lord for the glorification of God. Thus, as virgins we take lamps for testifying, shining, and enlightening. In our hand is a lamp shining for the Lord’s testimony.
The virgins in Matthew 25:1 “went forth.” This indicates that the believers are going out of the world to meet the coming Christ. The virgins do not linger or settle in any place. Instead, they are going out of the world. As virgins, we are not settled in this world; we are going out of the world to meet the coming Christ as our Bridegroom.
The bridegroom in 25:1 signifies Christ as the most pleasant and attractive person (John 3:29; Matt. 9:15). How good it is that here the Lord Jesus likens Himself not to a victorious general or a great commander-in-chief but to a bridegroom, a most pleasant person! Thus, we are the virgins going, and He is the Bridegroom coming.
Matthew 25:4 tells us that the prudent virgins “took oil in their vessels with their lamps.” We are vessels made for God (Rom. 9:21, 23-24), and our personality is in our soul. Hence, “vessels” in Matthew 25:4 signify the souls of the believers. The five prudent virgins not only have oil in their lamps but also take oil in their vessels. Having oil in their lamps signifies that they have the Spirit of God dwelling in their spirits, and taking oil in their vessels signifies that they have the fullness of the Spirit of God saturating their souls. If we are prudent virgins, we shall have not only the ordinary portion of oil—the Spirit in our spirits—but also the extra portion of oil—the Spirit in our souls for our transformation.
(Conclusion of the New Testament, The (Msgs. 099-113), Chapter 10, by Witness Lee)