The Ten Virgins: A Signpost Prophecy?

Many times I have heard of a pastor or elder of a church that will not listen or give any credibility to the Signpost message. Emails from readers and phone calls from close associates have seen a brick wall when it comes to church leadership. I myself have delivered the Signpost message to the leadership of thirty churches up and down the Front Range here in Colorado; only one head pastor has accepted the message. Individual believers are reading and understanding the Signposts. Churches are not, mostly.

There may be a Scriptural reason for this. At first I dismissed this reason as too incredible. It seemed too incredible because not only did Bible prophecy tell us that the Signposts existed and were coming, but that there would also be a possible Bible prophecy telling us what will happen among the churches when the Second Signpost arrives!?! But now that I am seeing the churches’ reactions right now, this passage is supposedly being set up to be fulfilled. It is the Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. Let me explain.

The wise virgins will enter in.

The wise virgins will enter in.

Everyone who knows the Four Signposts would likely agree that the arrival of the Second Signpost will shake the world. The Iranian invasion is unexpected. When Iran invades the Middle East, its southern thrust – one of three – would take the Gulf oil fields. It could cause disruptions in world oil production and the world economy. But for the church it should be the next great Biblical sign that Christ is coming.

The Parable of the Ten Virgins should be familiar to every Christian. The common, popular interpretation is ten virgins (representing believers) are outside at night with their oil lamps, waiting for the bridegroom (representing Christ) to arrive. They all fall asleep. At midnight the call rings out that the bridegroom is here, they wake up, and prepare their lamps. The five wise virgins have enough extra oil with them to keep their lights burning.   The five foolish virgins do not, and go off looking for more oil. The bridegroom then arrives and the five wise virgins go in with Him but the five foolish virgins are left outside in the dark.

I believe there are three things wrong with this interpretation, which when corrected, make the Parable look very much like how the churches today might react to the Second Signpost when it occurs.

NOT BELIEVERS – CHURCHES

First, Bible commentators tell us the virgins are believers. Are they really? This parable could be a picture of the start of the Tribulation, where the five foolish virgins are running around looking for oil during those times, but can it be? If the Rapture is truly before the Tribulation, how can this be a picture of believers at the end time? Many today are waiting for the Rapture, wide awake, keeping themselves on the righteous path. But even the wise virgins are asleep. What factor or event would both wise and foolish believers be asleep to? The popular picture clashes with the reason the virgins are asleep. What are they asleep to watching?

Whenever the Bible speaks of virgins, wives, brides, and prostitutes, not in context with an actual person, that woman usually represents a corporate body like the Church or Israel, or false religion or a false world system. It is possible the virgins do not stand for individual believers but for churches. Ten is the number of testimony: ten spies, ten lepers, ten commandments, ten kings with the Antichrist, the ten sons of Haman – all are witnesses to the impossibility of conquering the land of Canaan, or Christ’s power, or God’s basic ways, or the end times kingdoms, or Haman’s hatred of the Jews. The ten virgins could just as easily stand for the totality of churches that contain the body of Christ, that witness the true end times.

NOT OIL LAMPS – TORCHES

What of the virgins’ lights? The Greek word used in Matthew 25 is lampas (Strong’s #2985). Is a lampas the oil lamp pictured in so many illustrations of the virgins? Is it the same oil lamp believers are to let shine in Matthew 5:15 and Luke 12:35? No, those oil lamps are in Greek, luchnos (Strong’s #3088). The lamp that stands for the Christian’s acts is the luchnos.

The lampas on the other hand is something different. The star called Wormwood shined brightly like a lampas – a torch (Rev. 8:10). The soldiers who came to the Garden of Gethsemane were carrying weapons, lanterns and lampas – torches (in John 18:3). Seriously, could you picture soldiers at night on a mission carrying little lamp bowls holding oil, or torches? There are seven lampas burning before God representing his seven spirits (Rev. 4:5). Therefore, no, I believe the virgins were holding torches, not little oil lamps!

If a believer’s light is a little oil lamp, what might the light of a church be?

NOT “HE IS HERE” – “HE IS COMING”

Here is the third problem I see with the interpretation of the Parable. Matthew 25:6 tells us that the cry went out at midnight that the Bridegroom had been sighted. Translations like the NIV, and ESV say, “Here’s the bridegroom.” But that is not what the Greek says. The NKJV and NASB get it better with, “Behold the bridegroom, come forth to meet him.” And many commentators assume the bridegroom is already there, like the NIV says. I believe however, the bridegroom has only been spotted (“behold”) and that he is near. The Second Signpost indeed is the next big sign that Christ is near. Christ would not be there yet, but He would indeed be spotted as coming!

WAKE UP CALL FOR CHURCHES

So it may very well be that the virgins with their torches are indeed the churches. Now look at the virgins in Matthew 12:5 – they all slept! If the wise virgins are churches that still have the Holy Spirit and foolish virgins are churches that do not have the Holy Spirit, why are both groups sleeping? It’s not that some are good and some are bad – it’s not that good ones are awake and spreading the Gospel and bad ones are not – it’s that they ALL have fallen asleep to the real end times. Churches today are looking for the Rapture to be next, or if Preterists the second coming itself is next, or it might be the nephilim, or a dictator from Europe, and some aren’t even watching. Very few churches as far as I know are aware of the signpost message. But individual believers are aware and growing in number all the time!

Are you encountering brick walls now with your church? When the Second Signpost strikes and the world is thrown into chaos, that is when you, the informed believer, can cry out to your church that this is the next sign called out in the Bible that Jesus is coming!! This may very well be the cry that rings out – “behold the bridegroom is coming – come out to meet him!” And it may come from you. You all might be a part of Bible prophecy personally. Isn’t that awesome?

Indeed, individual brothers and sisters are picking up on the Signpost message in Daniel Revisited. And this is why you may be having a hard time having your church leadership listen. But you dear brother or sister need to spread the message so that when the time comes the sleeping churches will hear your voice and many others crying out, “behold the bridegroom is coming – come out to meet him!”

If this is indeed the true meaning of the Parable of the Ten Virgins, then we all have a great responsibility to be ready when the time comes.



Categories: Signpost Theology, The Four Signposts, The Signpost Perspective

Tags: , , , ,

10 replies

  1. Hi Mark!

    I continue to read your blog even though I have not commented in a long while as I have been extremely busy preparing and then selling my prior property and then living in temporary quarters, and then turning right around and preparing to buy new property so life has been hectic. But I thought I would add a comment here and your interpretation of the “10 virgins” parable could very well be applicable.

    Only those who genuinely watch world events, pray for God’s understanding in this and read God’s prophetic word along with the teachings of Jesus of His return for his people can anyone spiritually understand and “see” what God is doing as He positions events to bring about the next probable obvious, big prophetic sign of Daniel 8 which is your second signpost. It is the prophetic students who are the informed believers of God’s Word who will cry out to those sleeping church pastors and congregations that Christ is near and is coming and be ready for Him! Don’t be caught unaware so that you are left behind!”

    It will be the prophetic students who are the informed believers who will be “town criers” to the sleeping virgin churches in the 10 sleeping virgins parable taught by Jesus who ring out the “midnight cry” that Christ is near!

    Amen!

    Blessings!

  2. The hypothesis of the ten virgins being the ten churches will not withstand scrutiny as a scriptural truth. First of all Jesus spoke this parable long before he delivered His Revelation to John at Patmos. His listening audience were mostly Jews. Even the despised Samaritans were Jewish. He spoke in parables so they might listen, and actually “hear” what he is saying as the Messiah. Why would he speak to them about future gentile churches? He never refers to the Jews as a church, only his people. That is also why he was kind to the Samaritans, as a demonstration of acceptance into the community. Using the gematria of the number ten as proof for the hypothesis is unsubstantiated.

    All of the Jews knew the prophecies of the promised Messiah and many felt that the time had come for his arrival. There was also the faction of the Jews who chose not to recognized the Messiah, who is standing before them and speaking to them. Those who call themselves Jews but are of the synagogue of satan are the virgins without the oil. The oil is their faith in God and hope in the prophecy of deliverance, and they ran out of gas.

    The parable of the ten virgins can also be applied to the second coming, but as an analogy, not prophecy. The virgins without the oil will be those, as you have stated, that will not be watching, looking for the signs, or keeping their faith in anticipation of His promised return. There will be those who say “why does he delay his coming”?

    Jesus said at the end, there will be those who are for him, and those who are against him. He said if you are not for me, then you are against me. The five foolish virgins are in actuality against him, even though they may all claim to be believers. The 70th week of Daniel will solve the rapture timing controversy. The foolish virgins will have followed the wrong teaching.

  3. Amen, Good4u1.
    And may your transactions bring glory to God and allow Him to put you exactly where He wants you.

  4. Kensme,
    What scrutiny? The scrutiny of some and not others perhaps. I had a major internet ministry letter tell me in a handwritten note that the idea of an Islamic Antichrist is plainly not Biblical. Hmm…
    About some of your points –
    First, there are many things written in Matthew written no where else and so it is intended for Gentiles also.
    Second, Jesus said at the start of this parable, “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like…” Of course it is an analogy, but it is also prophetic.
    Third, I’m not using “ten” as gematria, but only seeking how Scripture uses “ten” in other passages and there is a pattern. The Bible also uses “four”, “seven” and “twelve” and even “3,000” under a consistent set of circumstances for each number. Trying to apply “666” to peoples’ names is an example of gematria.
    I agree with your last paragraph.

  5. Four possible reasons for not being receptive to the Four signposts….
    1) Post Cold War paranoia of Russia and perceived prophecies about Russia
    2) Too much angst still against the Catholic Church that drives the perspective of a European antichrist
    3) Too much invested and affected by Middle East oil and policies (i.e. Iran)
    4) Too worldly in perspective, “prophecy is simply one wasting one’s time. It will all pan out anyway.”

  6. One reason for not being receptive: the first seal has not been opened (by the Lamb who is worthy and stands before the throne of God). When the first seal is opened a rider on a white horse is sent with a bow and no arrows, conquering and to conquer. The first seal triggers the 70th week of Daniel, which begins with “the strengthening of the covenant with the many”. This covenant strengthened is the Abrahamic covenant. Thereby permitting the Jews to construct a holy of holies and reinstate the sacrifice and oblations–in addition to other peaceful agreements. The AC (rider of the white horse) will be the designer and promoter of this agreement. 3.5 years later he breaks the covenant and sets himself up as god, with the abomination that makes desolate in the holy place.

    The first signpost is not a fulfillment of prophecy. It cannot be proven that Saddam is the rider of the white horse of the first seal of the scroll broken by the Lamb slain and worthy to open the seal, when no one else is worthy. By saying that Saddam is the first seal, you are saying that this is the Truth of God.

    The AC will be from the territory of ancient Assyria, this is what matters, and it is a clue to his identity. Scripture is purposeful and specific on this. The country that he comes out of may well be Islamic, and so he might call himself a muslim at the onset. But the reality will be, when he breaks the covenant and sets the abomination, that he will be the god of his own religion demanding worship. Therefore he will be lying and deceitful (as the father of lies who possesses him dictates). It really doesn’t matter if he is Islamic. He could be a christian or a Jew, but he will be an “Assyrian”, and he will be a ruthless tyrant and complete liar.

    My question to you is will the False Prophet be Islamic?

  7. Kesme,
    Your take on the horsemen is common; i.e. the first one doesn’t come out until the Tribulation starts. We will have to agree to disagree. In my new book I handle this topic and confirm with new evidence what I wrote in Daniel Revisited.
    It does matter that he is Islamic, but Scripture is clear with history as a witness that he must be Assyrian and Syrian.
    Regarding the false prophet, I believe the same as Joel Richardson – the false prophet is Islam’s Isa, supporting the Mahdi, and will claim to be Jesus. He may be Jewish or at least claim to be Jewish, but he will be Islamic.

  8. You are saying that Jesus has opened the first seal of the scroll of Revelation. This is in and of itself suspect.

    Everyone in the world knows the Jesus was a Jew. Your False Prophet theory (saying he is Jesus Christ) means that the False Prophet must convince the world that Jesus was a muslim, not a Jew. I give more credit tto the power of deception of the FP than that.

    Remember the gospel will be preached to all nations, then the end will come. All the world will have heard it but not believe it. Revelation is also the good news. Looks what happening now with the rapture controversy, calling attention to bible prophecy of the end times: Jesus himself, Revelation, and Daniel– in particular.

  9. Kesme,
    Most of what we thought we knew, based on guesses of scholars posited centuries prior to the unsealing at the end times, is suspect.

  10. Fascinating discussion. I would add a #5 to the reasons (aka excuses) posited by Gary: “The idea did not come from within this denomination.” As lame as that sounds, I am an elder from a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, and my pastor dismissed the idea without even considering it. Didn’t even want to open the subject. I have an otherwise excellent relationship with him, and I am confident future discussions will go better at the proper time. However, it has been common on lesser topics for outside ideas to be summarily dismissed.

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