Riddle Me This!!!


Whom do men say that I am…no wait… whom do YOU say that I am?

Mt 16:13 “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” The original Greek is more specific, and means, “Who do the common people say that I am”? He does not ask for the opinion of the religious people, but of the everyday people.

Of course, there was a reply to that question. “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah (a strong man, a great prophet) and others say Jeremiah (someone who lifted himself up, or an appointed prophet) or one of the other prophets.” Curiously though all of these responses from the common people still reduced Jesus to being just a man. There is nothing really special about Him, in their mind, when you come to the finality of their response. Yes, He is strong, exalted an appointed prophet, like Jeremiah and Elijah, but there was already a Elijah and Jeremiah so they saw Him being in the same category. Their opinion cannot be faulted, that is the conclusion they came to because of the lack of relationship and closeness. He is a good man, He is a prophet who is a good speaker and seems to have a good heart. Some one who came from impoverished beginnings and lifted Himself to some notoriety in society. What other answer could He expected. I am one who is imaginary in my thoughts so hang with me. I imagine Jesus saying with a smile saying, “that’s cool, but tell me guys, since you have been with me for about three years, whom do YOU say that I am”.

I can see the disciple’s faces now as they hear His question. Can you see John, the youngest follower, slightly turning his head to Thomas saying “oh snap, dude…say something”. Thomas might have responded “no man, you answer Him, beside you, Peter and James are always taking those side trips with Him. If anyone should answer it should be one of you three”. John’s head, I imagine, is spinning to give an answer to Jesus’s question, but then John hears Simon (Peter) answering, and I am sure a sigh of relief came upon him. “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”. What? What did you say Simon? I can see the other disciples whispering to each other, “did you hear that?” What hat did he pull that rabbit from?” I can see them looking at Jesus, then looking at Peter, then looking back at Jesus, waiting for a response to that blasphemes answer. OMG, Jesus is getting out of His seat and walking towards Simon Peter, it is about to get interesting now. “Matthew leans towards Andrew and says “See that is why I was not going to say anything”.

They watch as Jesus slowly approach Simon and (in my imagination) put His hands on Simon’s shoulders and says “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And upon that solid truth, that rock I will build my church…” Not upon you Peter, but upon the Truth you uttered without really understanding what you just said.

Ok, that is when I, Douglas, asked the Father what are you talking about? This is what He said to my spirit. “The Father, through His Holy Spirit will INSTILL the truth to you, but it is your life’s walks that REVEAL the Truth of what you proclaim.” Ok… explain. He then said many have accepted me as their Lord and Savior… They “say” I am the Christ, the Son of the living God and I AM, know that. But what do their life choices; decisions, motives, words, and attitude say about who I AM. It is in hard times, under pressure in the work place, in finances, in relationships, in their society where they reveal their embracing of that truth. Look at Peter after that spot on answer, he soon followed up by denying me 3 times. He lied, he cursed, reneged and recanted the instilled Truth. That is why I built my church on the TRUTH of the revelation not the one who uttered the revelation.

Today, many who have the instilled truth of Jesus, when asked the question of whom do you say that I am, are strangely answering, You are prejudice, You are heavy on homophobia but not overly concerned about lying, adultery, fornication, greed, envy, lust and a multiple of other “lower class” sins, as if. You are only for one race, one creed, one denomination. They say, through their life, that You are impatient with those who do not measured up to their standards. You are judgmental, you are intolerant and you are vindictive. You are disrespectful to those whom you, through your divine decision, given to rule over us. However, on the other hand we expect you to be patient, tolerant and delay judgment on our obvious sins. We say you will treat us differently for the same faults we condemn our fellow men. We say You are not the God of the second, let alone the two hundredth chance.

Who do YOU say that He is? Peter later through his life revealed that he embraced and yes cherished the Truth of his statement. What true answer will your life reveal? I am reminded and confronted by the life’s revealing Truth of those who have recently been beheaded in the Middle East because they would not recant of their revealed Truth. He is the Son of the living God. Even as recently as a few days of this blog there were university student in Africa who would not denounce “the Christ” but were brutally murdered because they chose to stand on that Truth. But sadly today we see others who so easily abandon against much lesser challenges and opportunities turn their proverbial backs on the instilled Truth, which they espouse. Who do you say that I am? No not the readers, Douglas… you!!!

Do Faith, It Pleases


“How many of you think God is really pleased with you?” In the natural a person can choose to love you because of his or her own goodness, but to be pleased with you, they actually have to like your performance. Right?

With God, no one could ever be pleasing to Him based on performance. His standard is perfection, and no goodness on our part can ever compensate for our sins. We may please man with our actions, but “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

Once one becomes more thoroughly aware of the exceeding sinfulness of sin within himself it calls up the question, “What must one do?” Notice the word “do.” Does this not indicate activity of some kind? In other words, are we willing to expend some measure of energy—work—to begin stopping actions of sin in our lives?
The way we receive the forgiveness that’s available through Jesus’ blood is by faith (Rom. 10:9-17). When we put our faith in Jesus as our Savior, we are pleasing God. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him.”

Faith comes from the heart (Rom. 10:10), and God looks on the heart — not the actions.

It’s our hearts that really concern God, and faith in Him (trust, reliance) is what He is searching the heart for.

A person whose actions are not right but who trusts the Lord is more pleasing to God than an individual who is doing the right things but has no faith in God. It’s not a case of those who act the best will get accepted, and those who act the worst get rejected. That would put some of the followers of other religions ahead of many Christians, but that is not what the Bible teaches.

This is exactly the point Paul is making in Romans 11:6: “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” The amplified says it this way “6But if it is by grace (His unmerited favor and graciousness), it is no longer conditioned on works or anything men have done. Otherwise, grace would no longer be grace [it would be meaningless].” It’s one way or the other but it cannot be a combination of the two. We’re either saved by God’s grace through what Jesus did for us, or we’re saved by what we do without Jesus, but not a combination of the two.
If God used performance as the basis of whether or not He was pleased with us, no one would ever pass the test. “If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” (Ps. 130:3).

Satan used to accuse me and say, “What makes you think God will use you?” The truth is that none of us are perfect. We don’t deserve the blessings of God. We must put our faith in Jesus. It’s hard for some people to accept this. It has been ingrained in us that if we aren’t holy, God won’t bless us. When God looks at you, He doesn’t see your goodness — He sees Jesus. If he saw us we would all be doomed.

If you’re walking in faith, God is pleased with you even though your actions don’t measure up. The worst sin is self-righteousness. The attitude that God owes it to you because you’ve been good is erroneous. When it comes to God, your performance can’t earn you anything. Because you have, do and will sin, you need a savior. It is your faith in the FINISHED work of Jesus that will grant you access to God.

I’m not advocating sin. Your actions are important. Your holiness is important because it changes your heart toward God but it does not change God’s heart toward you.

The actions and consequences of sin will hurt you. Even though God will love you just as much, you won’t love God as much. It will harden your heart toward God. If you constantly live in sin and never feed yourself spiritually, it will kill you. I am not saying you should ignore your actions. You will never do everything perfectly, but don’t let it keep you from receiving the blessings of God.

Look at Peter during the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. He denied the Lord three times. He cursed and blasphemed God, and yet Jesus prayed that his faith wouldn’t fail. Jesus’ prayers were always answered. Peter’s actions failed, but not his faith. He was restored to God and went on to become a pillar of the church.

Some of you may be thinking, this is great — I can live like the devil and still get what I want from God.” If you think that, I would ask are you truly born again, because a True Believer wants to please God. This word is for Believer’s who have a desire to serve God and live by FAITH in His completed work.

Reeling and Rocking, Rocking and Rolling


Division, separation, disunity, disease and destruction seem to be the order of today. Probably in our history of mankind have we not seen such a state of chaos, especially here in America. Not to say this is new, because history will support the treacherous actions of mankind, however in this age of “enlightenment” we are amazed at how these atrocities still exist in such a great percentage. And it is happening all over the world. Your nation is not excluded.

Jesus says a “truth” that is not religiously based, because you must remember He was not a “religious” man. Here is what Matthew 12:25 state. “And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:” Every kingdom? Every city? Every house? Yes, every, every!

When we look at the word “divide” there are 2 meanings. The first definition can be a good thing meaning to bestow or impart as in bestow money to a charity or imparting wisdom to the next generation of life students. The second meaning is to split into factions, separate into parts or parties, or to cut into pieces. Let’s look at it this way. When healthy cells divide and reproduce they can impart positive traits and genes and cause growth and life. The dividing of the egg cell produces life. However a cell can also be divided and produce a cancerous result. This is the meaning Jesus was inferring.

It is a simple yet profound truth that somehow we do not grasp or at least tend to forget. In America, we have a government who for the last 6 years would rather be consciously impotent than productive. This has nothing to do with political parties or biases. It has nothing to do with the race of one or the creed of another. It has nothing to do with the old order versus the new reality. It has to do with the entity, in this case government being productive able to stand for the good of its citizens. Stand means to be upright and in a place of balance. It means to be firmly established and have the ability to be mobile. Standing illustrates strength and unity between parts needed to be progressive.

There are so many examples today of division:

Nations (Civil wars)

Religion (Denominations and factions)

Politics (Government)

Families

Human Race (Nationality, creeds, race, sexes)

These are kingdoms that cannot and will not stand. They might exist and appear strong and right in its ability to separate, but it is still impotent and crippled in it reality. The only final result that occurs is death, in its many forms. The first biblically recorded separation was recorded in in Genesis when Adam became impotent when Adam broke from his source of life, God the Father. The result was even forewarned, “the day you eat, you will experience a death, a separation. Even when our human house becomes ultimately divided, our spirit will depart, separate from the physical body leaving and empty shell unable to stand.

So the question is where is the kingdom, the house divided in your sphere of life? Oh and do not go to far down this road of searching because it might be good to look in the mirror first. I know, I know, impossible, but just maybe, just maybe there might be a potential division to inspect. The Bible speaks of a double minded man in James 1:8 stating that man is unstable or divided in his own interest, in all of his way.

At the time of this writing is the 25th anniversary of the taking down of the Berlin wall. This wall symbolized division that separated friends, families, father and sons. The wall not only kept people out but kept people prisoners or confined…on BOTH the east and west side. Oh if we could know true unity and live it out, especially those who label ourselves as believers. I rephrase President Reagan’s request to the Russian President at the time, Mr. Gorbachev. Believers…encompassing all nations, creeds and colors, tear down this wall. John 17:20-21 says it better through the words of Christ, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”

I can understand why the world does not really believe in the Jesus they see every day illustrated by us. I can almost understand the dissolution of our young people that they search for the answers of life through drugs, cults or false religions. They turn to gangs and other demonic promises that say join us and feel free. They say believe in our human ideology because the one you have been shown is falling short on what is being preached. Love for ALL mankind? Yeah right! What Christ are we illustrating? One of bigotry, racism, sexism and preference? To do so would make our Father the same. We see that in our churches where we label churches, music and ministry. We have the Hispanic church, the black church, the oriental church, and the Protestant church, the Catholic Church. There will be no white, black, brown, yellow or red church in Heaven. There will be no favoritism of music of praise being sung. This leads to the labeling of music. Gospel music, which is different then southern gospel, which is different, then hymns which is different then sacred liturgy. How dare we!!! Each really is all the same to the Father because there is only ONE CHURCH and your INDIVIDUAL preference of style of song does not indicate HIS preference. Yet we continue for the MOST part I want to believe unconsciously divide the representation of even HIS Kingdom so thus the church is impotent. Father I hear you… and thanks for already forgiving me BEFORE I came to this realization and my need for repenting, turning, doing a 180, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”

EXCUSE ME BUT DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?


2 Timothy 3:1-4… “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy; Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good; traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.”

 Does this sound familiar to you? What is your local news reporting this week? What time is it? Do you know? Are you aware?

We are constantly hearing of “perilous times” in the Middle East, the Ukraine, the west, third world countries and other various parts of the earth. To be honest “perilous times” encompasses the entire earth. Yes, even in your country, province, city and town. “Perilous times” resides in your family, your home, and even your mind. It is of different variances and intensity but it is still “perilous times”, a struggling, and a conflict. This “time” is impacting everyone, every class, every race, and every culture. Sometimes I think mankind is not at peace unless mankind is at war. What is that? Why do we seem to have the urge to usurp someone else? Where is this attitude, this brokenness, this rage, and this reaction coming from? What is the weapon of attack?

One attack strategy of the perpetrator in this time is to use seducing spirits, spirits not only highlighting lust and sex. We see and hear that constantly. It is attacking every culture. Look at the videos; listen to the music that is prevalent in our culture, especially the American culture. You cannot see a show or listen to music today without sexual suggestive dancing and lyrics being presented. This attack from seducing spirits is not just about lust but more importantly it this spirit is to lure us from our true lover, our true husbandman, our true strength and help. It is to draw us from Truth and to bond us to a lie. Its assignment is to make people question Truth and seek another. What is Truth?

Another attack strategy is spiritual deception. The only way that the enemy can gain a foothold in this world is to pervert and twist truth. So he uses men to espouse religion and tradition and superstition to bring about chaos in the name of God. He is not ignorant of God, but mankind has allowed himself to be ignorant. So he tells mankind to reach out to God. He says find him in your own way. He says there is no right or wrong way. He also empowers men to lead astray, lead from the virtuous way those who have not entrenched themselves in the Truth. What is Truth?

This can only be done through false teachers. They take the lead in engineering a path to lead people to a false, dangerous and fruitless destination. They excel in the atmosphere of fear and phobia. The pathway to false ideology becomes wide and bright when the sheep mentality of the fearful uninformed is revealed. Trust is placed on the most flimsy of support. Add to that the need to sensationalize any event through the phenomenon of real time access from anywhere in the world, we are a people open to anything good or bad.

But it is the time that we should be most concern. Nothing is by happenstance. All is by plan and purpose.

2 Peter 3:3 – Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts…

In this time some men, using the guise of politics, religion and morality are REALLY walking after their own perverted lust. They mock the sanctity of life and freedom that every human being has if their will only is to be done. They are seeking to fulfill the lust of control, money, position, sex, murder and power. They follow their own evil desire. That is their NOBLE cause. It is not only here in the United States but it is in every country in the world. It is in every religion and those who would be the head of such. History has consistently shown the hearts of men.

Sooooo, how do we overcome this? What is the winning strategy?

2 Corinthians 2:14 – Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ,

The winning strategy is not the problem. We as believers just need to NOT be afraid and be BOLD in the HIM because we are ALREADY victorious. Read it again He CAUSES us to triumph to be victorious. This is a concluded result. He will make us victorious because in Him dwells NO defeat. We just need to be willing to stand up and fight.

But a prerequisite must be that we are aligned in agreement as believers. Not as a denomination, race, culture or creed, but as believers.

Lev 26:8 – And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.

The Greek word for agreement is “symphaneo” – this is where we get the English word symphony. A symphony is a collaboration of different instruments playing together in harmony. Whether you enjoy that style of music or not, there is one thing you must admit. When you hear it, there is harmony and each instrument is playing the same song in the same key on the same tempo together. but have you ever heard the orchestra musicians before the presentation doing warm up? Every section, every musician is doing his own thing. They are all playing different notes in different keys, different scale patterns and rhythms. It sounds like total chaos. But once they are united and give their total attention to the conductor, the one who knows the plan, chaos becomes collaboration, headache becomes harmony, individual limits becomes collective actuality But only when we agree. We as Believers need to have “symphaneo” in our prayer, worship, and resolve of following our “conductor” who knows the plan to victory. If God be for us, who can be against us? We should not be a people paralyzed by fear of terrorist, disease, and mayhem or any other. He CAUSES us to triumph, even in “perilous time”.

Breaking News! Escape Plot Foiled….


It ALMOST happened just this week. One of the world’s most heinous prisoners almost escaped again. If this prisoner is ever let loose or escapes imprisonment he causes irrevocable harm to individuals and societies as a whole. What is the name of the prisoner? Last name- Quit, first name, Just! His power is immeasurable and his lasting effect is unknown, but we must continually, steadfastly and with diligent relentlessness guard this villain in order to achieve our potential and calling.

When we think of “guard” we immediately think to protect from harm, keep watch over: as in to guard a bank or guard the President.  But in this case I am applying the second definition of the word “guard”. That is to prevent escape or violence as in guarding a prisoner, or in other words, to surround, enclose, and to keep watch.

I was thinking on this passage the other day and I thought how true these words are.

Psalm 27:3 – “I had fainted, (I would let “Just Quit” free) unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”

We have all been there and yes sometimes we revisit this place periodically. This place is the mindset of wanting to quit. It’s funny. You see other day “Just Quit” was talking to me from his cell, whispering set me free. I was thinking why am I writing a blog? Are there people really interested in reading my thoughts? Why am I persevering through this change and why am I putting up with this environment? Open your eyes, nothing is happening. Yes I almost abandoned my duty and set “just Quit” free, but I remembered one of my loyal friends named “Just Believe” and thought I may not see it with my natural eye at this moment but I will guard my “quit”.

I grew up in the generation where cowboy shows on American television was big in the 1960s. Sometimes there would be an episode where a man was arrested and put into the jail and the sheriff or deputy would have to guard the prisoner. He would be assigned to make sure he did not escape but on top of that he would have to deal with external influences. Those influences were prisoner’s relatives that would issue threats and ultimatums. They would shout out warnings and demand that their relative be set free from the prison cell. That is the same scenario we go through today. The enemy of our goals speaks to our mind words of discouragement. This is mainly a blog on Christian thoughts but the scenario is not limited to Christian or religious experiences. It is relevant in all scenarios. You see there are many areas we are tempted to “just quit”. There are areas of relationships, personal disciplines, educational and career pursuits, eating and health habits, exercise and we are tempted to throw in the towel and let “Just Quit” out of jail. We get tired of the struggle, we get tired of the amount of time and effort it takes to achieve our goal that seems to move further away despite our pursuit of it. We get discouraged when we see others who have seemingly succeeded and everything for them has turned out right. But yet even more, we should guard against our “just quit”. Possibly, just possibly those who have achieved stayed on their post and guarded their “just quit”.

It is during the roughest, darkest times that we are tempted to abandon our position and to let “just quit” out of jail. We hear the voices of the external influences in the midnight hour demanding a choice of surrender and release. Understand this is not a religious issue. It’s a human issue that we all face. It does not the matter the religion, the denomination, the culture, creed or race. We all continually are tempted to give up and set free, “Just Quit”. No one is exempt. In guarding “just quit” do not submit to the relatives that are trying to get you to let him go free. I had fainted unless I believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. I would have quit, I would do something else, I would try it my own way when being a follower of Jesus Christ seems to be a slow unproductive journey at times had not I believed to see. I would have  “just quit” pursuing my Bachelors degree after starting college at the tender age of 50 had I not believed. I would have pursued unethical business practices had I not believed. I would not chase entrepreneurism had I not believed.

Let me state this, failure is not related in any way to “just quit”. Failure at least shows attempt. When you fail at attempting something it rules out one formula and makes clearer the right formula. Many whom we most admire in the world have failed in their pursuit before grasping success but they did not give up and “just quit”.  No, do not shy from failure, but stay away from “just quit’s” best friend, the FEAR of failure. Their DNA is almost identical.

The Bible says Galatians 6:9 – “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (If we do not fail to guard our “Just Quit”)

So if you’re doing well and your intentions, motives and heart is to do well, guard your “just quit” however if you’re not doing well and in your heart you know it is not your objective to do well, set the prisoner free and “Just Quit” it.