A Study of Luke 21:23

When the word “woman” or the word “child” is found in Holy Scripture some immediately think of literal people when often the truth is something far more relevant to the Gospel message.

A good example of this is found in Revelation chapter twelve. There are many (believe it or not) who actually think that the woman who gives birth to the man-child there is Mary, the actual earthly mother of the Messiah.

Others think that it is the representation of a literal nation in the Middle East.

They are often predisposed to believe this, not because it is logical or Biblical (considering the given context), but because of there preconceived ideas about birth, Israel or the Church. Thus their interpretations have more to do with carelessness because of spiritual discernment being truly unsaved. God always speaks in the spiritual realm in His Holy Word with the use of literal past events, His nature, and often His Word is demonstrated parabolically, allegorically, symbolically, or figuratively in types and foreshadows.

It is only by the Almighty power and grace of God to open eyes and a person’s mind to perceive in the spiritual realm of His Holy Word. As His Elect, we are commanded by God to read and study daily to shew ourselves approved unto Him, a workman that need not be ashamed rightly dividing the Word of truth, John 5:39, II Timothy 2:15.

To interpret Holy Scripture in the physical realm is walking in the broadways that leadeth in the pathway of eternal damnation. The phrase “sucking child of a woman” does not refer in the least bit to a prophesy of literal nursing babies as some theologians suppose. It is symbolic or spiritual language describing those who are of the Church.

It is we who are spiritually the nursing children. And the “woman” who is nursing us, is a symbolic figure of the blessed Messiah’s Church. It illustrates our spiritual rebirth from our mother above. But please do not take my word for it (because you shouldn’t), be a faithful servant of the LORD and search it out in the Scriptures to see if these things are so, Acts 17:11.

Luke 23:28
But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, Weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.

Superficial study (as much of the “church” does today) of this verse would lead one to believe that Jesus was talking about a time when the literal women of Israel would be happy that they don’t have any children. But by the Holy Spirit only, the chosen Elect should know this is not what the LORD was truly illustrating.

The Messiah is speaking of Jerusalem as the Mother, and the people as “her” daughters.

This is the woman in reference. Jesus is really illustrating Old Jerusalem, and the New Jerusalem, as representing the Old Testament Congregation, and the New Testament Congregation.

The Old Jerusalem, whose children (in part) have been cut off, and the New Jerusalem represented by the spiritual Jerusalem. The congregation in the Messiah’s day (those who give suck) was in trouble, in apostasy, and on the verge of their great fall.

That is why the blessed Lamb said to them, “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” – Matthew 23:38, Luke 13:35.

Isaiah 54:1
Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.

This is what Jesus was referring to, and it has nothing to do with literal barren women. The truth is, this prophesy is explained further in Galatians 4:22-28. There it plainly tells us that this was an “allegory” or symbolism demonstrated in Sarah (the free Woman or the elect Congregation of the inner courts, Revelation 11:1), verses Hagar (the bondwoman or the unsaved Congregation of the outer courts, Revelation 11:2).

Galatians 4:22
For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.

Galatians 4:23
But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.

Galatians 4:24
Which things are an ALLEGORY: for these are the TWO COVENANTS; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

Galatians 4:25
For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

Galatians 4:26
But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Galatians 4:27
For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.

Galatians 4:28
Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

(The Children of promise are the Elect in the Seed, which is Christ, Galatians 3:16. In these Scriptures there is seen clearly who these two women signify if one truly has the Holy Spirit. One is in bondage with her children, i.e. Israel of the flesh being the unsaved tares within the church, Romans 9:6-9.)

Now we can better understand Isaiah 54:1, and what Jesus meant when He said, “Blessed are the Barren”.

Who is the desolate woman (who doesn’t give suck) in that verse, which now is blessed and can rejoice because she has many more children?

She is the very same blessed woman Christ talked about in His prophecy. This verse explains who the desolate (barren) are that have more children than Israel, she that was married to God (her husband). They are not literal barren mothers of Jerusalem who now are blessed with children. It is an allegory or “spiritual signification” of the chosen elect of the Gentile world brought into the glorious eternal kingdom and they being more fruitful, while Old Jerusalem (spiritually typifying the unsaved tares within the church) is barren.

Isaiah 66:10
Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her:

Isaiah 60:11
That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.

Isaiah 60:15
Whereas thou has been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.

Isaiah 60:16
Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. (This is a prophecy of the New Testament Age.)

Isaiah 66:12
For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees.

Isaiah 66:13
As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. (This is a prophecy of the New Testament Church Age.)

1 Peter 2:2
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

Now we can understand more plainly by the sweet grace and mercy of the LORD the verse of Matthew 24:19 as it is written:

“And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!” (Matthew 24:19)

This verse is speaking of the very end of the latter days (not to be confused with the Last Days which are the entire New Testament period) when iniquity will increase. Satan is loosed and wickedness abound as false gospels arise like never before to assault the congregations.

Those who suck or nurse at the breasts are the chosen believers (aswell as those professing) of the New Testament congregations of Israel as like the Old, which has now became barren, i.e., the children who suck of the New Testament woman.

When unsaved man as Satan’s ambassador has taken his seat (becomes the ruler) within the Temple (the New Testament congregations) as the abomination of desolation, than God will remove His Holy Spirit out of the way (midst) because there will be no longer that great chain, which is God the Holy Spirit mentioned in Revelation 20:1-2, to restrain Satan and His ministers of unrighteousness from taking the Word of God however faithful the Word is being preached out of the listeners’ hearts.

During those final days of Great Tribulation, only the chosen elect who have the seal of the Holy Spirit will be safe from the wrath of God’s anger as He fearfully judges His unfaithful church body giving them strong delusions in their minds that they shall believe a lie. This is horrible news for the majority who makes a profession of faith calling themselves saints of God despite not truly being saved by His grace alone.

The children in Lamentations 2:12 ask, “Where is the corn and wine?” Corn and wine are words pointing to the pure Gospel of Jesus the Christ. Jesus is the bread of life. He has poured out His righteous blood (the wine) for our eternal salvation. But now there is no corn and no wine, meaning no eternal salvation within the harlot “worship services” at the very end of time. It’s woe unto them because at this (appointed) time, there is Great Tribulation and much distress as they depart from the faith, and apostasy rules in the worship services of all denominations.

There is great deception, just as the Old Testament church was in a great apostate state when Jesus came the first time and threw the buyers and sellers out of the literal Temple because they had made it a den of thieves and robbers. Likewise, God will judge those who buy and sell (who are marked of the beast) in the New Testament Temple being the body of believers who make an profession of faith. It’s woe unto them.

Woe unto the congregation of those days. This woman signifies being from above, and her children who give suck are all those who make a profession of faith being of the New Testament Church. And as it was a blessing in the early centuries of the New Testament Age, it will be woe to them in the great tribulation period towards the end as the children faint and wander to and fro outside the Temple in hopes of their thirsty souls finding the pure Gospel waters of Christ Jesus.

I am well aware of the great numbers of professing believers who assume that this refers to literal babies and literal mothers in distress in 70 A.D., but that cannot be biblically validated.

Christ’s words are Spirit (John 6:63), and the elect worships Him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). This woe of Matthew 24 is far greater than any physical hardships of A.D. 70. This refers to the desolation of the congregations of God by false gospels, i.e., gross apostasy in spiritual idolatry.

Lamentations 4:4
The tongue of the sucking child cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst: the young children ask bread [the pure and true Gospel of Christ], and no man breaketh it unto them.

Those who give suck represents the congregation commissioned to bring the nourishment of the pure Gospel to the children. Those who suck the breasts are those members of the Church, young and old. It’s woe unto the Church because there will be such a great delusion within that it would even deceive the very elect (the chosen), if. that were possible. Praise God and His Grace that it is not possible!

It’s woe to the woman because the children go without milk, corn, and wine.

Ezekiel 3:26
And I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover: for they are a rebellious house.

Psalm 137:6
If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.

During the time of the season of the abomination of desolation/Great Tribulation, the candlestick will be completely removed from all corporate church bodies because of spiritual harlotry and idol worshipping within all denominations in general. As a result, there will be a severe famine of hearing the Word of God and there will be running to and fro trying to find a place that has the pure Gospel waters of eternal Salvation preached, but sadly they “shall not find it”. For the LORD gives us a horrifying prophecy about the final days of the last great “spiritual” tribulation in the abomination of desolation through the mouth of the prophet Amos.

In Amos 8:11-12 it was written;

Amos 8:11
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

Amos 8:12
And they shall wander from sea to sea [throughout the world], and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.”

The chosen believers saved by grace alone will have been already guided and lead to come out of the great whore that sits on many waters (Revelation 17:1, Revelation 17:15) by the Holy Spirit that lives within their hearts. The Holy Spirit is no longer working within the midst of these harlot and apostate congregations in these final days of time. The true Gospel may be faithfully preached by the chosen elect, but it might possibly be too late or not effective in saving the lost as the Word of God solemnly declares that “no man buyeth their merchandise any more” during this time. Those of us who are saved shall still experience spiritual blessings, as we continue to grow in the faith because of severe tribulation and affliction by close family members and working associates.

Luke 21:16
And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.

Luke 21:17
And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name’s sake.

Luke 21:18
But there shall not an hair of your head perish.

Luke 21:19
In your patience possess ye your souls.

Lamentations 4:5
They that did feed delicately are desolate in the streets: they that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills.

The word “delicately” means dainties or delight. Those who feed delicately must be the chosen born-again believers.

However, in Lamentations 4:5 they are desolate in the streets, why?

The pure Gospel waters has been desecrated or cut off as a result of the abomination of desolation. The chosen believers are desolate and are in the streets. They have been forced out of the harlot congregational settings because of the silencing and poisoning within of the true Gospel. They are the true merchants standing afar off from these abominable congregations at the very end of times (Revelation 18:10-11).

The Abomination of desolation spoken of from the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Daniel speaks of complete desolation of the New Testament visible Church (the Temple – Please note here that we are not speaking of Christ’s bride – His eternal Church who’s names are written in heaven – Hebrews 12:23) by the spirit of Antichrist, through false gospels.

The man of sin (lawless man) ruling in the Temple as if he was God, silences the true Gospel of eternal salvation. The faithful word of God (bread) is hard to be found (famine) as those in the Church teach the error of false gospels, which cannot save.

There is a famine of bread and water (Amos 8:11), and the deadly poison of wormwood (Revelation 8:10-11) is there. Gone are the spiritual bread/manna and the living waters of life.

The children of the woman who give suck have their tongues cleave or stick to the roof of their mouth, being an illustration of this thirst. The man of sin has taken a seat in the temple replacing the man of God. He is under rule and authority of Satan, and this abomination before God will leave the Temple of God desolate, which is truly all denominations that call upon the name of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

That’s why we are commanded to flee to the mountains when we see this, which are the spiritual mountains of Zion and not the physical mountains of Israel. We are to flee to the pure Word of God and where the pure Word of God is faithfully preached as scarce as it is in these days of vengenance.

This fifth verse goes on to say “they that were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills.” Those that were brought up in scarlet are God’s chosen elect. God uses the figure or symbol of scarlet to depict His Word of truth. God’s elect will be forced out of the worship services, leaving those who remain within spiritual babylon to embrace dunghills.

When we research the Strong’s Hebrew translation word and definition for “embrace” and “dunghill.” we find the following information as to their meaning:

(embrace) H2263 chabaq khaw-bak’ a primitive root; to clasp (the hands or in embrace):–embrace, fold.

(dunghill) H830 ‘ashpoth ash-pohth’ or uashpowth {ash-pohth’}; or (contraction) shphoth {shef-ohth’}; plural of a noun of the same form as 827, from8192 (in the sense of scraping); a heap of rubbish or filth:–dung (hill).

To clasp means a firm grip or a tight embrace, i.e., in a loving embrace. So the verse of Lamentations 4:5(b) in reference to the corporate bodies who call upon the name of Christ as Lord and Saviour that used to be somewhat faithful in preaching the Word of God (brought up in scarlet in times past), have now became a great spiritual harlot in these final days on earth preaching false words and false doctrines (embracing dunghills/heaps of filth and waste).

The word “dunghill” depicts man’s poor and sorrowful spiritual condition.

A great reference verse in dealing with the context of the word “dunghill” depicting man’s poor and sorrowful spiritual condition is in I Samuel 2:8 as it is written:

“He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and he hath set the world upon them.”

Luke 21:20
And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.

Luke 21:21
Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them
which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.

Luke 21:22
For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

Luke 21:23
But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.

Luke 21:24
And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles (Revelation 11:2), until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

Woe because of the false gospels and false Messiahs deceiving them. We must be ready to come out of her that we are not snared by Satan’s deception.

But it is impossible for any elect soul to be judged because they are in a congregation that is not truthful to the Word of God.

However, we are warned in Scripture to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, and so when unbelievers take a seat to rule in the LORD’s house, we are led to come out of her by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We come out of the harlot church that has forsaken God, so that we are not partakers with her plagues and sins.

The harlot church will be judged. Woe unto the woman that give suck in those days, because her children hunger and thirst and there will be no water, milk, or bread (word of God) in that house. God is the same today, yesterday, and forever. The sucking child is symbolic of those of the Church. Those who “give suck” are symbolic of the Church itself, from the slightly different perspective of those leaders in care of the children. In Matthew chapter 21 when all the children were crying in the Temple, saying “Hosanna to the Son of David,” the chief priests and scribes were not happy, and Jesus declared to them:

Matthew 21:16 states, “…Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?”

Is Jesus saying, those who suck the breasts began to talk and say blessed is the Son of David?

No, Jesus is “equating” those who praise Him to babies those who suck the breasts. And make no mistake because that Greek word translated “sucklings” is the exact same word [thelazo] that is translated “those who suck the Breasts.”

Again, Scripture interprets Scripture.

Psalms 8:2
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

Is God saying that literally out of those who suck the breasts we will hear words of strength, or is the LORD saying spiritually out of the sucking children’s mouths (the saints), are the words of ordained strength, that the enemy is stilled?

This is the real question. God’s Word has deeper spiritual meaning than just a literal superficial application. No enemy is stilled by a literal sucking baby’s gooings or babblings. However, they have been stilled by those sucklings, which are the children of God.

Moving on to Lamentations chapter 4. Looking at verse 12 of the very same chapter it is written:

“The kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of the world, would not have believed that the adversary [Satan, the antichrist] and the enemy should have entered into the gates of Jerusalem.” (Lamentations 4:12)

The “gates of Jerusalem” is parabolic language signifying the spiritual gates of heaven. That is to say that the blessed Messiah is the door and the gate to the kingdom of God. He is the head and the cornerstone of the spiritual Temple of all chosen believers. His Church is the earthly gate that leads to heaven.

This 12th verse spiritually is referring to the king of Babylon (Satan) entering and ruling within the corporate worship services of Jesus the blessed Messiah. The LORD’S judgment upon the once faithful house of God takes place directly within the worldwide church body that has now transcended into the great harlot dominated by today’s continual pagan world, which is symbolized by the Old Testament world of Babylon. The fallen church is now called the Mystery Babylon of Holy Scripture in Revelation Chapter Seventeen and Eighteen and as such she has certainly opened wide her doors and alters (the gates of Jerusalem) and has embraced the sinful world of Babylon. We as the chosen believers stand afar off outside the harlot worship services in awe and in great fear for the awful judgment of the LORD against this great spiritual harlot deceiving all nations worldwide (Revelation 18:23).

Lamentations chapter 4 seems to be portraying the end time abomination of desolation in similar language/fashion as the book of Revelation chapters nine, eleven, thirteen, seventeen, and eighteen describes.

Lamentations 4:13
For the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, that have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her,

Lamentations 4:14
They have wandered as blind men in the streets, they have polluted themselves with blood [their own menstrual cloth righteousness], so that men could not touch their garments.

Lamentations 4:15
They cried unto them, Depart ye; it is unclean; depart, depart, touch not: when they fled away and wandered, they said among the heathen, They shall no more sojourn there.

Lamentations 4:16
The anger of the LORD hath divided them; he will no more regard them: they respected not the persons of the priests, they favoured not the elders.

Jeremiah was in great affliction [tribulation] during the whole time of his ministry. Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had ravished his beloved Temple, which was located in Jerusalem as well as the surrounding cities of Judah. God commanded all of these horrible actions to take place because of the high places in the hills and mountains where the inhabitants were worshipping false idols and gods. Jeremiah and his brethren were taken forth as captives into Babylon where God would eventually take great care of them despite the terrible feelings and conditions of leaving Jerusalem and the Temple, which was the place of the ceremonial worship. The Israelites studied the Law of God in the synagogues located throughout the whole land of Judah.

Spiritually speaking, this is the final Judgment against the worldwide harlot church bodies by the LORD God. “They shall no more sojourn there” as verse fifteen states because God “will no more regard them” for the iniquities of the church priests and leaders. This was the physical Judgment of the Old Testament state church of Jerusalem and of the places of worship within the cities of Judah. And this is also a prophecy that shall come to pass of the spiritual Judgment of the organized congregations at the very end of time during the abomination of desolation of the great “spiritual” tribulation period.

This is the ONE HOUR of New Testament eschatology. The Strong’s Greek word and definition that is translated as “hour” in this given context actually means a short season:

G5610 hōra ho’-rah apparently a primary word; an “hour” (literally or figuratively):–day, hour, instant, season, X short, (even-)tide, (high) time.

This “hour” of the LORD’S Judgment is, I truly believe, the “little season” of the abomination of desolation/Great Tribulation, Revelation 6:11.

Revelation 14:7
Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

Revelation 17:12
And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

Revelation 18:10
Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

Revelation 18:17
For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,

Revelation 18:19
And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. [The end-time Abomination of Desolation of Satan’s short reign].

Scripture tells us that Satan, having been cast down to earth at the cross (Revelation 12:10) will be released for a “little season” at the conclusion of the New Testament Era:

Revelation 20:3
And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

(Keep in mind that this “Little Season” is indeed the time of judgment for the unfaithful corporate church bodies worldwide. This is the purpose for the LORD releasing Satan at the end of time, to allow him to deceive the nations of the world with his counterfeit Christianity, which is the “Abomination of Desolation”.)

By J. Delbridge

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