the holy city, and the virgins that go out to meet the bridegroom are a symbol of the church. In the Revelation the people of God are said to be the guests at the marriage supper. [Revelation 19:9.] If guests, they cannot be represented also as the bride. Christ, as stated by the prophet Daniel, will receive from the Ancient of days in Heaven, “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom,” he will receive the New Jerusalem, the capital of his kingdom, “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” [Daniel 7:14; Revelation 21:2.] Having received the kingdom, he will come in his glory, as King of kings, and Lord of lords, for the redemption of his people, who are to “sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob,” at his table in his kingdom, [Matthew 8:11; Luke 22:30.] to partake of the marriage supper of the Lamb.
The proclamation, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh,” in the summer of 1844, led thousands to expect the immediate advent of the Lord. At the appointed time the Bridegroom came, not to the earth, as the people expected, but to the Ancient of days in Heaven, to the marriage, the reception of his kingdom. “They that were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut.” They were not to be present in person at the marriage; for it takes place in Heaven, while they are upon the earth. The followers of Christ are to “wait for their Lord, when he will return from the wedding.” [Luke 12:36.] But they are to understand his work, and to follow him by faith as he goes in before God. It is in this sense that they are said to go in to the marriage.
In the parable it was those that had oil in their vessels with their lamps that went in to the marriage. Those who, with a knowledge of the truth from the Scriptures, had also the Spirit and grace of God, and who, in the night of their bitter trial, had patiently waited, searching the Bible for clearer light,—these saw the truth concerning the sanctuary in Heaven and the Saviour's change of ministration, and by faith they followed him in his work in the sanctuary