Government & Politics

Most Americans value their private lives; family, friends, career, entertainment, commerce, etc. As a result, public life; community, the nation, government and politics is secondary. This seems to work for us since we believe that government’s purpose is to protect us and guard our rights and freedoms as the US Constitution outlines. However, when government fails to protect our rights and freedoms, we the people must prioritize and engage to correct these failings so that we and all citizens may live our lives in freedom.

As God’s people, we are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven first. Jesus said to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, Matt. 6:33. We are ambassadors for Christ that represent Him and His Kingdom on earth 2 cor. 5:20. As Kingdom citizens, we must learn to balance the priority of our private lives and our public responsibilities in such a way that it maintains a culture of freedom that God created for all people to live within. Freedom begins with the ability to choose. God placed two trees in the Garden of Eden and He gave man a choice. Without choice, there is no freedom. In community, freedom requires responsibility and that we respect the freedoms of others.

Jesus said that He came to give us life and that life more abundantly, John 10:10. He also said that if we would continue in His word we would know the truth and the truth would set us free, John 8:32. Life and freedom are highly valued and are God’s ideas. To a large degree, the quality of life and the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of the USA is dependent on our government and politics.

Government is God’s idea, not man’s. Government is part of who we are as humans and as God’s children.  When God created man, the Bible tells us; God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”  Genesis 1:28.

God said man is blessed to be fruitful and multiply and He also said man is blessed to subdue and rule. The word subdue means to bring into bondage, to conquer. The word rule means to have dominion over, to dominate. This is part of who we are and what we are to accomplish. Government and politics are woven into our DNA by God.

What is government? Government is a person or a group of people with the power to make laws that affect the lives of others. Government is very important to God, because it affects the lives of people. The word politics has become a four letter word and used in negative connotations, but it doesn’t need to be. Politics is the practice and activities associated with governing; legislating, judging and executing power and authority. Every citizen is affected by government and politics every day. Government decides what laws we live by, taxes we pay, quality of our drinking water, food quality, road conditions, traffic laws, health care, medications, licenses, permits and countless other things.

Government and politics is very important to God and ought to be important to God’s people if we truly love and value all people. As God’s ambassadors we should take our created purpose very seriously by engaging in governing our nation and cities by being the Salt and Light we are created to be.

Jesus did not say He would build His church. The word church is not a Biblical word although it has been translated that way and has shaped our meetings and our worldview. Jesus said He would build His Ekklesia; the government of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. The Ekklesia is a ruling council of God’s sons and daughters that legislate and execute the will of God in the earth.

Joe Nicola

To discover what Jesus said He would build you can get a copy of my book here: Ekklesia; The Government of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth

Trump and Repentance

A year ago this past August I had a word from the Lord that God was going to use Donald Trump to “trumpet” certain issues to the nation. There is no doubt that he has and still is doing that. A synopsis of that word given August 2015 concerning the prophetic nature of Donald Trump specifically his last name. Trump has the courage to stand and speak. His last name means a dependable and exemplary person, a reliable and admirable person. To trump means to proclaim or announce. A decisive overriding factor or final resource. A trump is the sound a trumpet makes. A trump card is the most powerful card and defeats all others. 

It is also interesting to note the last name of Trump’s running mate is Pence, Trump-Pence or trumpets. I do not know whether Donald Trump will be president or not and that is not the point of the word I received. The point was to pay attention to the things God was using Trump to proclaim. On Friday, Oct. 7 a tape of Trump was released when he was in an Access Hollywood bus 11 years ago. His language was disgusting and cannot nor should not be defended. I believe his language and his attitude toward women was a prophetic word from the Lord to the nation, especially Christians. It is very interesting how many Christians responded to his words. Social media blew up with comments. The main stream media went crazy and played it over and over again. Many Christian leaders who supported Trump for president withdrew their support.

As I was contemplating all this several days later the Lord spoke to me and asked me a question, “Is this in you?”  The Lord was asking me if this type of immoral sexual attitude was in me personally as well as my congregation and the Body of Christ. I had to take a hard look.

63% of Christian men and 20% of Christian women are viewing pornography regularly. 53% of Promise Keepers men view porn. 50% of Christian men admit to saying they are addicted to pornography. 50% of pastors admit they have viewed porn within the past year. Staggering figures. Adultery, sex before marriage and other immoral sexual behavior are happening with to much frequency in the Body of Christ. We have a problem.

Trump’s entitlement attitude was also on display when he said that he could get away with doing things like he described because he was a “star” and when you are a star you can do anything. This is also a mindset that is in many of us as Christians especially leaders that must be dealt with.

We are in the Biblical month of Tishri (Oct. 3-Nov.1) and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (Oct. 11-12), a time to atone for the sins of the past year. Is the Lord trying to get our attention concerning this issue? I believe he is. Will we look at ourselves and clean our own house first or will we be hypocrites and point the finger at others? It remains to be seen. Jesus had the harshest language for hypocrites.

Christians all over the country have been praying 2 Chronicles 7:14 since 9-11. My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Praying this scripture is not the same thing as obeying this scripture. Praying about humbling ourselves and turning from our wicked ways is good, but it is not the same thing as doing it.

Ephesians 5:1-21,  Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;  and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.  But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;  and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.  For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.  Therefore do not be partakers with them;  for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light  (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),  trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.  Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;  for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.  But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.  For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.”  Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,  making the most of your time, because the days are evil.  So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.  And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,  speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;  always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;  and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

We may need persecution.

Joe Nicola

Christians & Government

This is an updated blog post from 10 months ago.

Government is very important and it was first created by God. God’s Kingdom is a governmental system. When we receive Christ as Lord He rescues us from the domain of darkness, (a governmental system) and transfers us to the kingdom of His beloved Son (another governmental system). The basic definition of government is this; a person or a group of people with the power to make laws that affect the lives of others. Government and the laws they create affect every citizen of a nation on a daily basis. Government is important to God because people are important to God.

When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, But when a wicked man rules, people groan.                                                                                                                                                                 Proverbs 29:2

The role and responsibility God has given to civil government is different from the responsibility God has given to Christians, however, they are complementary. Just as my hands have a different role and purpose than my feet both are part of the same body and work together. Government and Christians as well as Christians in government can and should work together, each functioning in their respective roles.

The US Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America, not the President, not the Congress and not the Supreme Court. The US Constitution defines the limits of government and each politician is required to function within it. Christians order their lives as directed by the Lord and outlined in Scripture.

The Bible gives us some insight into the purpose God has given to civil governments in Romans 13:3-4. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.

The authority of government is a “minister” of God for good to keep citizens safe from those who break the law and practice evil. This is government’s main purpose established by God. The forefathers of this nation created a government formed by the people and for the people, not all people everywhere, but those who are born here and those who immigrate lawfully. They also agreed with God and built into the Constitution that government’s main role will be to provide for the safety and security of the citizens of the United States.

A section from the Declaration of Independence of the United States says; We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

The Preamble to the US Constitution says; We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Notice the first sentence says we the people of the United States, not we the people of the world. The main responsibility of our government is to protect the citizens of this country and uphold the Constitution. As Christians, our number one commandment is to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. We accomplish this by living as Jesus did; being led by the Holy Spirit in all we do and say as directed by scripture. Government has a different role and different responsibilities than Christians do. We should not expect the government to do what we are called to do. No place in scripture does God tell civil government to turn the other cheek, love your neighbor as yourself or freely give to those who ask of you. These are things God has told His people (Christians) to do.

Jesus taught us to pray that God’s will would be done on earth as it is in Heaven. We ought to pray for our leaders that they will follow the Constitution, enact and uphold righteous laws that establishes a “more perfect union” where “justice”, “tranquility”, “a common defense” and the “blessing of liberty” exists for our people. We also need to vote and be involved in the political process to maintain the continuity between the directions we are given from Lord and the Constitution. (The English word “idiot” is derived from the Greek  word “idiotes”. In one of it’s meanings citizens that were not involved in society including the political process were called idiotes, …just saying). Our Constitution is hanging by a thread and is at the point of being destroyed. It has been trampled on by each of the three branches of government. “We the people” will elect our next President, many congressman and state politicians across the nation in just a few weeks. Our next President will appoint several Supreme Court Justices.”We the people” have the opportunity to decide if our Constitution will survive or not and which direction we want our country to go.

Concerning the current refugee crisis we are facing in the United States, the role of government is to first provide for the security of its citizens. Government should make all its decision and laws as outlined by the Constitution. Our government has a responsibility to secure our borders and make sure they know who is coming into our country and living among us. No one would just open the door to their house and allow anyone to come in and live there. No responsible parent would allow adults they do not know to sleep in the same room with their children. This would not be a demonstration of love but foolishness. We also have a severe debt crisis that our government is responsible for and they should consider the cost of transporting, housing, feeding, educating, etc. without borrowing more money. Is it charitable or a demonstration of love to put one group of people further in debt so we can pay for another group of people? The idea of globalism, a world without national borders and governed by one world power is an anti-Christ perversion of Christ’s Kingdom to come at the end of the age.

The U.S. Constitution determines the laws in this nation that should be upheld by our government officials if we truly desire for love and justice to prevail. Love makes hard choices and doesn’t always look as we may expect like when Jesus took a whip and cleansed the temple. Love has boundaries and doesn’t allow people to do whatever they like.

As Christians we are to pray for those who are suffering and displaced around the world. We can give finances and resources to ministries and agencies taking care of the physical needs of immigrants and those who are suffering. This is not the responsibility of our government nor is there a precedent in scripture for this. Love gives but it also provides and protects. Love gives but also requires wisdom.

We need to understand that God gave different roles to civil government and the Ekklesia (otherwise called church). “We the people of God”, are ambassadors of Christ. Let’s not abdicate our authority and our place in society. It is critical we understand who God has created us to be and what He has created us to do in this life. He has called us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. He blessed us to be fruitful and multiply and subdue the earth and rule over it, Genesis 1:26, 28. He has commissioned us to make disciples of all nations teaching them to observe everything that he taught, Matt. 28:18-20. We are priests and kings, not priests only. Jesus is returning for a victorious, beautiful bride that is the head and not the tail, who is above and not beneath and His Kingdom will be fully realized in the earth at the end of the age! We will rule and reign with Him forever and forever begins now!

Joe Nicola

My book, which is about what Jesus actually said He would build, can be purchased here: Ekklesia; The Government of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth 

Two Trees

   Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.    Genesis 2:9 (NASB)

    …but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”    Genesis 2:17 (NASB)

Each of us still have these two trees to choose from. Eating the fruit from each tree has a very different outcome. I am not speaking about literal food, although that is very important as well. I am speaking about the food we feed our minds and spirits on that affect the way we think and in turn affects the way we speak, the way we behave, our emotions, our relationships and our world view. Among all the other tress God put two specific trees in the Garden of Eden and told us that we would die if we ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The Tree of Life is Jesus. We find this Tree at the beginning of the Bible here in the Book of Genesis and at the end in Revelation 22. Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega the beginning and the end. He is the Word that became flesh. He is the Bread of Life. Jesus said we are to live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. When we partake of the bread during the Lord’s Supper we symbolize feeding on the Bread (Tree) of Life who is Jesus. Feeding on the Tree of Life begins by receiving Christ Jesus as Lord, this is the beginning of life the way God intended for us to experience it.

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is the only tree that God told us not to eat from. God said that we would die the day we eat from this tree. Death was not God’s original plan for man and one day it will be the last enemy conquered forever. The aging process and eventual physical death is a reminder of the affect of sin and consequence of eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

It is interesting that God did not name this tree “right” and “wrong”. God said that He sets before us life and death, not right and wrong. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, … Deuteronomy 30:19 (NASB). The Tree of Life is abundant life. Jesus said in John 10:10 that He came to give life and that life more abundant. The word for life is the Greek word zoe. Zoe is the same life that is in God and the same life that Jesus had when He walked the earth. That is the type and quality of life we can possess by feeding on the Tree of Life who is Jesus.

The consequence of eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is death which stands in contrast to zoe, the abundant life Jesus came to give us. When Adam and Eve ate from this tree they experienced immediate consequences of death. Both of their eyes were opened to their nakedness which now caused them to cover up and hide parts of their life. They lost innocence, purity and transparency. They became afraid of God. They both began playing the blame game, using excuses and not taking responsibility for their actions. Adam blamed God and Eve. Eve blamed the serpent. Blame, shame, guilt and fear were all immediate consequences of eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. There were more consequences, among them was pain in child birth for women, pain in raising children, husbands ruling over their wives, work would become much more difficult. Men would work harder and produce less. A curse was released in the earth that affected all of creation. Then there was physical death which would include sickness and disease. This and so much more all resulted from eating from the tree God said not to eat from.

The serpent deceives us by getting us to focus our attention on the “good” part of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil as he did with Eve. Eve saw that the fruit was good for food, a delight to the eyes and desirable to make one wise so she took and ate. The serpent didn’t use blatant evil to tempt her to sin but what appeared “good” and what seemed right and desirable. In the same way Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, with “good” things like food, safety and the kingdoms of the earth, (that God would give to Him at a later time). Things that appear good, right and desirable may not provide or produce life but actually cause death. Living life in a state of death is what God wants to save us from.

God sets before us life and death and He suggests we choose life and tells us what will happen if we don’t. It is our choice, He doesn’t choose for us.

What are you feeding on? Is it producing life or death? Choose life, it is so much better!

Joe Nicola

My book can be purchased here: Ekklesia; The Government of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth 

Giants

Everyone has been faced with some sort of “giant” at one time or another. Maybe an illness, an abusive relationship, habitual sin, or some sort of circumstance where it looked like you were being overcome and you just couldn’t get the victory.

There are personal giants, national giants and global giants. Giants at every level. A giant is something of superhuman size and strength. A giant is a demonic force that stands between us and what the Lord says is ours to possess. A giant will taunt us and try to get us in fear, worry, doubt and unbelief. A giant(s) simply stated is our enemy.

Our nation is facing giants at this very moment. Giants that desire to take America down, destroy our Constitution and the freedoms we enjoy. Giants that are confronting the Body of Christ to make us fear and submit to anti-Christ influences. Giants that are doing their best to destroy the image of God and man who is created in His image. There seems to be giants everywhere.

Israel was faced with many giants in her history. One of those giants was named Goliath, 1 Samuel 17. Goliath was about 9′ 9″ tall! This giant taunted the army of Israel night and day for forty days. Saul, the king of Israel and the entire army was dismayed and in fear. They were in fear because they were focused on the giant and not the Lord.

We will never overcome a giant by focusing on the giant and listening to it’s voice. 

One day David shows up with some food for his brothers. He hears the voice of the giant, Goliath, taunting the army of Israel. David says, For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?” David’s focus was not on the giant. His focus was on the Lord and what the Lord could do through him.

The only way we will overcome the giants is by focusing on the Lord.

David did not ignore the giant or act like he didn’t exist. He did not engage in a long conversation with the giant nor did he spend time learning about the giant. In reading 1 Samuel 17 we discover that David talked about the Lord, his focus was on God and His power, not the giant. David understood this giant was an enemy of the Lord and he simply had to go! For forty days the giant taunted the entire army of Israel and they coward in fear as they looked at him and heard his voice. David comes along and in a “moment” takes the giant out with a stone and a sling! This story and others like it teach us that God does not want us to tolerate, get along with, and live with giants. God brings us face to face with our giants, not to intimidate or scare us, not to overwhelm us or show us how small we are. He shows us our giants so we will take them out!

When the Hebrews left Egypt and arrived at the Promised Land they sent in twelve spies to check out the land. When they returned, ten reported what they saw saying, There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight”, Numbers 13:33. The ten spies focused on the giants and not the Lord. The other two spies, Joshua and Caleb, did not deny that the giants were in the land, they understood the Lord already said it was their land to possess. Their focus and attention was on the Lord and what He said, not the giants that they saw.

The people chose to believe the faithless report of the ten spies and not the Word of the Lord. This one decision of unbelief set them back a generation. They would not enter the Promised Land. The Land that flowed with milk and honey now had to wait for the next generation forty years later! This happened in the Biblical month of Av on the 9th day.

The month of Av has been the most destructive month in Israel’s history. On the first day of the month of Av the first high priest, Aaron, died. The 9th of Av has been the most destructive day in Israel’s history. Not only was it on the  9th of Av that the ten spies gave their negative report it was also the day each of the temples were destroyed, the first in the year 586 BC and the second in 70 AD. The 9th of Av 1290 is the day the Jews were expelled from England. And in 1492 on the 9th of Av the Jews were expelled from Spain. Germany declared war on Russia to start the First World War in 1914 which led to the Holocaust of WWII, just to name a few. We are in the Biblical month of Av now from August 5 – September 3, 2016.

This is the month that God had determined to be a blessing for Israel to enter the Promised Land. However, the people chose to believe the ten spies over God. Even though God was giving them the land and it flowed with milk and honey they determined the giants were just too much for them! Their focus was on the giants and not the Lord and therefore they saw themselves as grasshoppers!

Are we going to focus on the giants or the Lord? It is our decision. Choose life or choose death, it is our choice. God has given us land and there are giants in it. He shows us our giants so we can take them out and possess the land!

Focus on Me says the Lord, heed My voice. Giants that have hindered My people for generations shall come down in a moment as David took out the giant that caused My army to shudder in fear. Do not listen to the voice of the majority as My people did who aligned with the report of unbelief that prevented them from entering the Promised Land for a generation. Reverse the curse, release a blessing, choose wisely. 

Joe Nicola