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.
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.