The lamp and the oil

After he spoke about the signs of the end of age and his second coming in Mt 24, Jesus speaks about the wedding banquet. In Mt 25:1-13, Jesus explains that only those who are prepared will be able to participate in the wedding banquet. What must we do to be prepared? Jesus tells us that only those who prepare the lamp and the oil will be able to will be able to meet the bridegroom. So, what are the lamp and the oil?

God granted both Moses and Jesus a vision of heaven (Ex 25; Jn 5). After seeing those visions, they both proceeded to establish God’s tabernacle and kingdom on earth according to the pattern they had seen in heaven (Mt 6:10). Moses built the tabernacle in the desert and placed seven golden lampstands inside it (Heb 9:2). Since he was assigned to tend the lampstands, it was Aaron’s job to make sure that their lights did not go out. At that time, olive oil was used to light the lamps (Lv 24:1-9). When Moses felt he could not address the Israelites directly, Aaron went before Moses and spoke to the people. In this way, Aaron played the role of the lampstand that prepared the way for people to hear Moses’ message.

According to Zec 4, the prophet Zechariah saw seven golden lamps and two olive trees. When he asked an angel what they represented, the angel explained that the seven golden lamps represent God’s seven eyes that range throughout the earth and the two olive trees that pour out golden oil are two people anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth. The seven golden lamps are the same seven eyes that Rv 5:6 calls the seven spirits of God. The seven spirits are the spirits of God’s seven golden lampstands. In Rv 4:5, John saw the same pattern in heaven that Moses saw when he built God’s tabernacle on earth. When Solomon rebuilt the tabernacle Moses made, he called the lamps lampstands (Jer 52:19-20). Just to clarify, golden lampstands and golden lamps refer to the same thing (Rv 1). It is important to note, though, that these lampstands should only burn olive oil and that the olive trees are two witnesses who stand before the Lord (Rv 11:3-4).

So, to what do the lamp and the oil mentioned in Mt 25 refer? Psalms 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to feet and a light for my path.” This means that the lamp represents the Bible. At the first coming, John the Baptist was referred to as a lamp who prepared the way. He was a light shining into a dark world. The oil (Rv 6:6) from the olive trees represents the testimony of the two witnesses. Matthew 24 describes how the sun, moon, and stars that represent the chosen people fall from heaven to earth. This means they returned to being mere flesh (Rv 6). At that time, Jesus comes with his angels to gather the true believers—the good grains—from the four corners of the earth (Mt 24:30-34; Mt 8:11-12; Lk 13:28-29). The oil that represents the testimony of the two witnesses is the same as the food at the proper time mentioned in Mt 24:45-47. This means Mt 25:1-13 is a figurative warning that only those who receive the oil from the two witnesses will be able to meet Jesus at the time of his second coming. Those who fail to receive the oil and light their lamps will not meet Jesus.

The two witnesses are testifying about what they saw and heard regarding the physical fulfillment of the second coming. Their testimony includes the fulfillment of the events prophesied in Mt 24 and 25. The testimony of these two witnesses is the olive oil we must prepare. Christians who fail to receive the testimony of the two witnesses can only live out their lives of faith in darkness without the light of a lamp. How will people living in darkness be able to meet the Lord? This means that only those who accept and believe in the testimony of the two witnesses will be able to participate in the wedding banquet of heaven.

To participate in this wedding banquet, you also must realize that there is a wedding banquet held for the Lamb in Rv 19. After the destruction of Babylon, which is a home for demons, the world is deceived and is married to Satan (Rv 18). The location of the wedding banquet must provide evidence of that fact. This evidence is the oxen and fattened beasts that are butchered (Mt 22:1-4, DARBY). The oxen and fattened beasts are the food the guests—both spirit and flesh—have gathered to eat. Eating the food at the banquet is the same as hearing the words of the testimony about the fulfillment. This means the food that acts as evidence of the location of the wedding banquet is the same as the oil believers must prepare to participate in the wedding banquet.

In summary, those who want to participate in the wedding banquet and go to heaven must prepare their lamp (i.e., the Bible) and oil (i.e., the testimony regarding the fulfillment).