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We are faced with calamitous world circumstances and an uncertain future.  We have watched the collapse of the Soviet Union, a rise is radical Islamic Fundamentalism, a realignment of national alliances, global political power shifts, a dramatic rise in worldwide terrorism, and a reemergence of Socialist-communism and Marxism, among other national and global concerns. There are wars and rumors of wars, nations are rising against nations, new diseases, worldwide pandemics, social unrest and anarchy, and in various places there are famines and earthquakes.  Perversity and evil are on the rise.

The Bible says all these things are merely the beginning of the “birth pangs” but it is not yet the end. (Matthew chapter 24).


31 Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

36 “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”


Knowing the Truth is not enough, according to Jesus.  He says, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” If you continue in or DO His words.

James also says, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves” James 1:22.


Please follow me over the next weeks and let’s see what the Bible really says about how we are to prepare and how we should respond, using Jesus as our model.

Many times we see a circumstance from our own personal mindset or worldview.  This can cause us to misread or misinterpret what is really going on, how to understand what we are actually seeing and how we should respond. 

We, as Christians,

  1. must know what the Bible really says

  2. in the context of how it was said,

  3. why it was said and

  4. we must know how to apply it.

And Jesus is the only place we can find The Truth of these matters.

One example I’ll give is about a pastor and friend of mine liked to say, “Remember to be kind and gentle like Jesus”.  And, yes, that is right.  But keeping Jesus’ behavior and words in context of the situations He found Himself, you will find that there were times when Jesus would respond to evil and say things you may not have expected.  For example,

Did Jesus really,,,

  1. Call people hypocrites?!

  2. Say His Father will put your enemies under your feet?

  3. Tell religious people they do not understand the power of God?

  4. Hit people with whips of cords!?

  5. Call people “Satan” and Stumbling Blocks!?

  6. Refer to people as perverts?

  7. Tell people not to call their Priest, “Father”?

  8. Tell Jews not to call their teachers, “Rabbi”?

  9. Tell people not to call those who serve in the church, “Leaders”?


Jesus was constantly being “setup” by the Pharisees, the Sadduces and scribes of His day.  Let me review a few of these instances and see how Jesus responded.

1.  The “Setup”

Matthew 22:15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted together how they might trap Him in what He said. 16And they sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any. 17“Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?”

Jesus responds

18 But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? 

The result

22 And hearing this, they were amazed, and leaving Him, they went away.


2.  The “Setup”

Matthew 22:23 On that day some Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to Jesus and questioned Him, 24asking, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘IF A MAN DIES HAVING NO CHILDREN, HIS BROTHER AS NEXT OF KIN SHALL MARRY HIS WIFE, AND RAISE UP CHILDREN FOR HIS BROTHER.’ 25“Now there were seven brothers with us; and the first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother; 26so also the second, and the third, down to the seventh. 27“Last of all, the woman died. 28“In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.”

Jesus responds

29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God. 

The Result

33 When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.

34 But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together.


3.  The “Setup”

Matthew 22:41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question: 42 “What do you think about the Christ, whose son is He?” They said to Him, “The son of David.”

Jesus responds

43 He said to them, “Then how does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying,  44 ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND UNTIL I PUT YOUR ENEMIES BENEATH YOUR FEET”’?  45“If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his son?”

The result

46 No one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question.

((Jesus, God incarnate, Lord and Master, sets the example for all to follow, including the Pastors, Preachers, Teachers, Rabbis, Priests and Evangelists))


4.  The “Setup”

John 2:13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables.

Jesus responds

15 And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; 16and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business

The result

17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME.” 


5.  The “Setup”

Matthew 16:21 From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. 22Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” 

Jesus responds

23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

The Result

24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.


6.  The “Setup”

Matthew 17:15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.16“I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.” 

Jesus responds

17 And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.” 

The result

18 And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” 20 And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith;7. 


7.  Jesus recaps

Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, 2saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; 3therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. 4“They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. 5“But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. 6“They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. 8“But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9“Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10“Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 11“But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12“Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

THE EIGHT WOES to the Pharisees and Scribes and those like them

The point here is (at least) THREE-fold.

1. The religious leaders of Jesus day were following the traditions of men and not the Commands and Teaching of God. Are we doing the same?

2.  It appears we are being “Setup”, also, and the consequences can be as dire as they were for Jesus.  Certainly, our mission is the same.  We need a LEADER, and TEACHER to tell and show us how to navigate this “SETUP” which is underway, and His Name is Jesus.

3.  Jesus knew what was people were planning and He responded accordingly. We do not always know what is coming, so we must rely on Jesus and He has always been teaching us HOW TO GET READY, HOW TO RESPOND and HOW TO STAY READY for what is coming.

Let’s take a look at a Biblical Summary of

  1. What is coming to planet earth and all of humanity.

  2. Where the world is on God’s Timetable (His Eschatological Clock).

  3. How we are to respond to unfolding events.

  4. What we are to be doing in response to Jesus Teachings.

  5. How we can successfully endure the trials which beset us.

  6. How we overcome what we face.

Your Brother and Friend, Mike Young

NEXT:  IS THE WORLD SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL?  A Summary view of what is coming from the Book of Daniel.

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