Jezebel

Part One

Jesus instructed the Apostle John to write seven letters to seven city ekklesias (churches) in the book of Revelation. Jesus mentions some things He hates or has against the ekklesia; the synagogue of Satan (those who say they are Jews and are not), the teaching of Balaam, the deeds of the Nicolatians and Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess. A lot has been said, written and taught about Jezebel over the years. Jezebel was a real person in Scripture that also represents an evil spirit. To understand this evil spirit we need to understand the nature and character of the real person. Why is Jezebel or the spirit of Jezebel important for us to understand? Because Jesus mentioned her as something the ekklesia should not tolerate. If we are not to tolerate it we need to know what it is. We are also admonished in 2 Corinthians 2:11 to not be ignorant of Satan’s schemes. The power behind an evil spirit is in its ability to stay hidden, appear as something good and then accepted.

In Revelation 2:20 Jesus said; ‘But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.

The first thing Jesus said about Jezebel is that the ekklesia is “tolerating” this spirit. In our culture much has been said about tolerance. Tolerance is now defined as acceptance. In other words, you must not only tolerate evil, you must accept it or we are going to harass you and call you a racist and a hater and if you say anything negative we will call it hate speech.

Several years ago a group of pastors and I were gathered to pray and one came in troubled. He said the wife of a couple in his church was stirring up trouble and it has been going on a long time and he was asking us for prayer. I spoke up and asked him why he is putting up with it. An older pastor rebuked me saying I haven’t been pastoring long enough and basically that I didn’t know what I was talking about. Well, you can tolerate it and accept it if you want, but I am not going to. Jezebel gets emboldened when it is tolerated.

Jesus then says Jezebel; “calls herself a prophetess”. She is a self-appointed prophet. A false prophet. Scripture gives us plenty of warnings about false prophets and teachers. Too many so-called leaders in the Body of Christ are “self appointed” and this invites Jezebel to influence the person, a congregation, city or nation.

Next Jesus said, “she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray.”  The purpose of its leadership and teaching is to “lead astray”. Notice who Jesus specifically says is led astray; His bond-servants. Jesus is talking about those who are deeply committed to Him. A bond-servant is not just a church goer or one who calls themselves a Christian. A bond-servant is a son, one who receives Christ, is born again and chooses to be a slave of Christ. He is not forced or coerced into bondage but is free by being yoked with Christ and serving Him with his life. The Jezebel spirit is so seductive, crafty and deceptive that it is leading bondservants astray when it is tolerated. We must not be ignorant of this spirit.

Jesus then mentions two specific areas that bondservants are led astray; sexual immorality and eating things sacrificed to idols. Our culture is infected with sexual immorality and it is a cancer in the Body of Christ. Premarital sex is so common it is hardly looked at as sin anymore. Men with men and women with women is not only tolerated but celebrated in some Christian circles. Some churches and whole denominations are under the seductive, deceptive witchcraft of Jezebel calling evil good and good evil. Pornography is a multi-billion dollar business that has its grips on millions of men and women and even some behind pulpits. Sex trafficking is a horrendous nightmare in our nation and around the world. Abortion, the killing of babies in the womb and now even outside the womb, is accepted by many and protected by law. All proof the influence of Jezebel and its witchcraft is being tolerated and celebrated not only by our nation but also by many so-called Christians.

Ephesians 5:3-5; (sexual) 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 (sexually) immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. (emphasis added)

Next, She leads My bondservants to eat things sacrificed to idols. Dining at the table of idols. An idol is anything or any person that is exalted above the Lordship of Christ Jesus. Yes, we have idols in modern day America. Every form of idolatry has “self” at its core. Whether it be materialism, entertainment, success, career, money, fame, glory, etc. Idolatry has three lusts found in 1 John 2:16, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life. The Jezebel spirit “teaches” us that worshipping at the altar of the god of self is not only to be tolerated but acceptable in the eyes of God. Those who dine at the table of idols (of self) are feeding on the lies and deceptions of Jezebel and its deluding influence. We must understand that lies from Jezebel are so seductive and deceptive they seem like truth and many are convinced the lies are truth. The influence of Jezebel causes a deceptive smoke screen, a veil, to blind from the truth to cause confusion, oppression and depression as happened to both Elijah and John the Baptist.

Psalm 115 says this about idols; Those who make them will become like them. We become like what we behold. You cannot become like Jesus beholding idols or the idol of self. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit, 2 Cor 3:17-18.

Yes, Jezebel is on the loose and spreading its deluding influence! But, there is great news! An Elijah generation is also here!

Joe Nicola

“Now Who Are You?”

Part 6 – The Man Jesus

Image: (Greek word eikon, English word icon), “the very substance or essential embodiment of something or someone.”

To help us understand our new identity when we are born again, we must first understand who Jesus is and how He lived on the earth. We will only understand who and what we are in light of who Jesus truly is and how He lived. Specifically, did Jesus live as God or did He live as man? Did Jesus preach, perform miracles and die on the cross as God? Or did He do all those things as a man empowered by God? These are very important questions that we must clearly understand if we are going to understand our own identity. Let’s consider the following scriptures.

By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.  1 John 4:2-3

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. 2 John 1:7

According to these passages, it is possible to know the difference between the Spirit of God and the antichrist spirit (the spirit that is not from God). Continuing from 1 John 4 verse 6, “By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” How are we going to know the difference? The answer is above in verses 2 and 3: “every spirit that confesses that Jesus came in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.” It is important to understand the phrase “confesses that Jesus came in the flesh.” 

 Every major religion believes that Jesus was a man who lived on earth. There is too much historical proof to believe otherwise. The issue, however, is who they believe He was. Some will say He was a good man, and others even say He was a prophet. However, not all believe He was the Messiah, Son of the living God. Heck, not even the Jewish leaders believed it when Jesus was standing right in front of them! Then there are different beliefs within the Christian community. Many Christians believe Jesus was actually God in the flesh. Some say Jesus was fully God and fully man at the same time. Others have no idea how to answer.

Therefore, for someone to confess that Jesus came in the flesh as a man on earth cannot be enough to distinguish between truth and error. However, there is more to the phrase, “Jesus came in the flesh,” than just believing that Jesus was a man. The word “flesh” means to be human with all of the limitations and weaknesses that are associated with being human. Which means Jesus was susceptible to all the same challenges, temptations, confusion, loss, fears, inadequacies, cuts, bruises, hunger, tiredness, sickness, diseases, etc. as we are. 1 John 4:17 says, “As He is, so also are we in this world.” In other words, Jesus came to earth fully human with all human weaknesses and limitations just as we are, even though He is the Son of God. And, just like us, He was completely dependent upon God for everything. Philippians explains it this way;

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Philippians 2:5-8 

Jesus willingly laid aside His privileges and power as Deity to become a man limited by human weakness, dependent on His Father. It was required that Jesus come to earth as a man since God gave delegated authority over the earth to man (ref. Genesis 1:28, Psalms 115:16). Jesus could not even command angels directly. He needed to ask His Father. “Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53). 

Everything Jesus did, whether miraculous or not, was done as a man filled with the Holy Spirit in complete obedience to His Father. That is why we can do what He did!

Joe

Excerpt from my latest book; “Now Who Are You?”

“Now Who Are You?”

Part 5 ~ “Identification”

I·den·ti·fi·ca·tion, (īˌden tə fəˈkā shen) – A process whereby an individual relates to a person or group with feelings of close emotional association.

Every person identifies with something or someone, to see ourselves as closely related or identical. There are many ways we identify ourselves: by gender, family name, ethnicity, occupation, sports, school, music, talents, politics, clothes, money, religion and many other ways.

One of our first associations is with our family. When we are asked by someone who we are, we typically answer with our name. I would answer, “Joe Nicola.” In most families, our first name is unique and our last name, which comes from our father is shared among family members. Sometimes we are identified by our last name only; that identifies us with a particular family group as well as being more unique than a first name. When I was in the military, I was called by my last name the majority of the time. Another way we identify ourselves is by our occupation. Earlier in my life, I would say I was a motorcycle mechanic. Then later I would say I am a youth pastor. Now I typically say I am a son of God. Notice how we usually say, “I am” this or that. When we say, “I am”, we are making a statement that identifies us.

It is interesting how we automatically identify certain people when we hear their name. For instance; if I said “Elvis,” what would come to mind? We probably would think of Elvis Presley and would say he was a great entertainer, singer, musician or maybe an actor (for those of us who remember Jail House Rock). 

How about the name George Washington? I think of a great leader, general and the first president of the United States. When you hear the name Tiger Woods or John Wayne, what do you associate their names with? Tiger Woods is a championship golfer and John Wayne was a movie star. 

See what I mean? We associate people with something they are known for. There are many people in different realms of society we remember in this way. This is natural and normal. It is also interesting that typically we associate people’s names with something they do or have accomplished, not necessarily for who they are as an individual person. One reason for this is that we really do not know famous people. We only know them for what they are known for.

Obviously, everyone has a mother and a father even if they never knew one or both parents. Our mothers and fathers have certain ethnic genes that are passed along to us. In my case, my father is Lebanese and my mother has an ethnic mix. So, I have more Lebanese in me than the other ethnicities my mother has. Many people, even children of God, identify with their ethnicity more than their new identity in Christ. They associate more with being Caucasian, African American, Asian, Chinese, Native American or Hispanic, etc., than they do with being God’s son or daughter. 

As a note; I resist using the word “race” to differentiate between ethnicities because scientists have concluded that all humans belong to one race, the human race. Therefore, it is incorrect to delineate the different ethnicities as separate races even though it is very common to do so. Regardless of the color of our skin, the origin of our birth, rich or poor, or whether we have disabilities, every human being has been created in the image of God according to His likeness. Therefore, every human being has value and worth! If we constantly focus on our differences, we will always see ourselves as different and separate from others. This does not create unity but disunity. It also leads to thinking we are better than some and worse than others. How often did Jesus identify Himself as a Jew? Not once! Jesus never identified Himself by His natural ethnicity. His identity was tied to His Father, not to His earthly stepfather Joseph. Jesus never self-identified with being a step son. I am not saying we should ignore our ethnicity or ignore our family heritage. Rather, as followers of Christ, we are exhorted in scripture NOT to recognize one another by the flesh (natural) any longer. This would also include ourselves. 

Therefore, from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh (natural); even though we have known Christ according to the flesh (natural), yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 

 2 Corinthians 5:16 (emphasis added)

A major area of identification for many Christians is with Adam. The name Adam means man or mankind, which is fitting since he was the first human created by God. Adam and his wife, Eve, disobeyed God by eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God told Adam beforehand that if he ate from that tree, he would surely die. Death is a perversion of life, a corruption of God’s creation. Because of their disobedience, a curse was released that caused this corruption called death that affects all of God’s creation on earth. The curse of death is now an existence separated from the life of God (zoe is the Greek word meaning the life of God. It is the same quality of life that Jesus experienced). Jesus referred to this as the abundant life (zoe) in John 10:10. Therefore, all men must be born from above (born again) to escape this curse of death and receive the zoe, life of God. This gives us a new identity recreated in God’s image. 

We associate Adam with a fallen, sinful nature. We tend to identify with sin and disobedience—conditions we associate with Adam—more than we do with the righteousness and wholeness that our new Christ-like nature represents. This is because of some popular teachings in the Body of Christ that have led us to develop an incorrect belief system, making us more sin conscious than God or righteousness conscious. The new birth in Christ severs us from the grip that the corruption of this world has on us and restores to us the life of God! This is a very powerful effect that the new birth in Christ has on us when we understand it, renew our mind and begin to walk in its truth and reality. 2 Peter 1:4 tells us that we partake of the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world. Wow!  

For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

2 Peter 1:4  

Excerpt from my latest book; “Now Who Are You?”

“Now Who Are You?”

Part 4 ~ What is Man?

What is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him?  Psalm 8:4  

In the beginning,everything that God createdbesides man was spoken into existence using the third person, which reflected God’s separation and distinctness from the created order. He said, “Let there be… (light, sky, water, stars, plants and animals)” and there was. The creation account is also careful to describe everything that God created as being brought forth “after their (or its) kind.” However, when God created man, the language shifts from third person to first person. “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness,” (Genesis 1:26). This implies personal attention and intimacy. 

God used the words, “in Our image, according to Our likeness” instead of “after their kind” as He did when creating the other living beings. Genesis 2:7 says, “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” God was hands-on when making and fashioning man. He breathed His own breath of life into man. Think of it: All that is on the inside of God the Father was breathed into man. God breathed His Spirit, nature and life into man, and man became a living being! Wow! His very breath became our breath that brought us life! In just these two images alone, the Lord shows us that from the very beginning, man was completely different and more superior to any other created being. Man was created for relationship. He alone was set apart and blessed with an intimacy not experienced by another creature.

Man is not merely different from any other created being; he is also like his Creator. To be made in His own image, as God said: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:27), is to be a representation of the Father, a copy or counterpart that reflects His original likeness. The Hebrew word selem, which means “image” in this passage, also means a model or statue, even an idol. “According to Our likeness” suggests a concrete model or resemblance of Him. The word demût, which means likeness in this passage, means a pattern, shape and form taken directly from the original.

Jesus illustrated this point in Matthew 22:19-21 when He was questioned about paying the poll-tax.

“Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax.” And they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, “Whose likeness (eikon)and inscription is this?” They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” Then He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.”  Matthew 22:19-21 (parenthesis added)

An eikon is an image or sign that by its very form suggests its meaning. The image or eikonthat was imprinted on the coin was that of Caesar. God obviously doesn’t have a coin. He has us, humanity, and His image is imprinted on us. The Pharisees knew the creation account of Genesis 1 and how man is made in God’s image. What bears His image belongs to Him. So, man is the only created being to model God in form as well as function. Think about that!

  No other creature was made this way except man. We see similar language used of Jesus in Colossians 1:15 where Jesus is said to be in “the image of God” and “the firstborn of all creation.” Interestingly, the same Greek word eikon is used in both the Genesis and the Colossians passages. This Greek word, eikon, is where we get the word icon or image, which we know is an exact replica of the thing it represents. Jesus is the eikon of God and so is man—you and I. Hmm…, when we learn that we are made in God, the Creator of the universe’s image, it adds to our understanding of the high place we have in His eyes compared to the rest of creation.

Joe

Excerpt from my latest book; “Now Who Are You?”

“Now Who Are You?”

Part 3

Jesus was once asked to name the greatest commandment. Listen to His answer.

And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Matthew 22:37-39

We can read scriptures dozens of times, but it only takes that one time, when the Holy Spirit highlights something and the words leap off the page, to open our eyes to something we haven’t seen before. I was reading this passage several years ago and the words caught my attention like never before. Jesus said the second commandment was like the first, that we should love our neighbor as our self. In other words, the amazing measuring stick of loving our neighbor is our own self-love! A healthy love of self is the necessary precondition to loving others. We may not realize it but how we view ourselves is superimposed onto others and our relationships. This understanding explains many of our relationship issues. It is interesting that the traits we dislike in others are often the same ones we have ourselves but are too blind to see.

For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. Romans 12:3

This verse tells us not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought. But notice that it does not forbid us thinking highly of ourselves, only thinking morehighly than we should. There is a healthy balance. 

The Lord does not instruct us to think poorly of our self, only to avoid thinking more highly than we ought. It is a common teaching in some Christian circles that we should see ourselves as some lowly, rotten, worthless, worm-like creature. 

This is not how the Lord views us at all, neither before nor after we become His children by being born again. We need to have a balanced, scriptural perception of ourselves. Some falsely believe that thinking highly of themselves or loving themselves is pride. Sure, it is possible to go overboard and my ego be blown out of proportion. I can love myself so much that life becomes all about me. However, not thinking as highly as God does about ourselves is, in fact, a false, perverted humility, a deadly hidden pride that fails to accept oneself as God declares.

Here is the difference: We can never think too highly of ourselves as long as we see ourselves as we truly are: a part of the Creator and in a living relationship with Him. How can I think too highly of His creation? Of His handiwork? “I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” (Psalm 139:14). It is when we view ourselves as our own work, apart from Creator God, that our view becomes pride. We can never think too highly with God. We are His. Anything less is false humility.

It is popular in Christian circles to say that we are “sinners saved by grace.” In other words, to call ourselves sinners and say things like: “We are all sinners.” This sounds humble but it is a partial truth. It is true that we are saved by grace but after we are born again, we are not called sinners in scripture. It may be surprising to learn that nowhere in scripture does God say that His children are “sinners saved by grace.” You can’t find it in the New Testament except in the case of one who falls away from God and reverts to a lifestyle prior to his born-again experience.

My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” James 5:19-20

 We may still sin but that doesn’t make us sinners. I can bark but that doesn’t make me a dog. I love to swim but that doesn’t make me a fish. To call someone a sinner is to describe a person’s state of being, their nature, their identity. The difference is this: A sinner lives a lifestyle of sin. It is their way of life even though they may do acts of righteousness at times.

True children of  God  love and practice a lifestyle of righteousness even though they may sin at times. This transformation is only possible because our identity has changed. We have received a new Christ-like nature and the love of God has been shed abroad in our heart. The basic source of our behavior, whether sinful or righteous, flows out of our perception of God and ourselves. What we believe about ourselves is what we tend to become. If we believe we are sinners or failures, our incorrect thoughts construct a false identification and affect the way we speak and behave.

The reverse is also true. If we believe the truth about ourselves, based on what God says about us, that will also affect the way we speak, how we behave and the direction of our lives. It is the natural outcome of our perceived identity. Proverbs 23:7 says: For as he [a man] thinks within himself, so he is. What we think about ourselves is what we tend to become. 

Joe

Excerpt from my latest book; “Now Who Are You?”

“Now Who Are You?”

Part 2

I started my own business in the Spring of 1986—Vision Cycles, a motorcycle parts and repair shop. I was now a motorcycle mechanic and business owner, and I took great pride in that. I didn’t realize it at the time that I was finding my self-worth in my occupation. I felt valued and that made me feel good about myself. 

At the age of 31, the Lord began a change in me, and I knew I had to answer a call to sell my business and go into full-time youth ministry. At the time, I didn’t realize how hard it would be to sell my business—partly because it didn’t sell! I had one buyer but that fell through. So I was forced to liquidate my tools and equipment piece by piece. Looking back on it, I realize that God was taking me on a journey to do a deep work in my heart. At the time, however, it hurt beyond words. With every piece of equipment sold, there was a story of how God provided the money for it or created the deal through which I purchased it. Oh, the memories…so many memories. Every item that was sold and left the building was one more repair I wouldn’t be able to accomplish on a motorcycle. Piece by piece my heart was being torn to pieces. Letting faithful employees go was difficult as well. 

I felt lost and insecure. So many thoughts raced through my mind. Now what am I going to do? The only way I knew how to make a living was gone. Fear gripped me time after time. My mind raced. How was I going to make a decent living? How was I going to provide for my wife, pay the house payment and utilities, put food on the table? Questions…many questions. Ok, near panic!

 In July of 1994, with little left in my motorcycle shop, I heard the voice of God within me ask a question I will never forget,“Now who are you?” 

Who am I?

That question rocked me! Who am I? I didn’t even know what I was doing, where I was going or what I was going to do next, much less who I was. Who am I? I don’t know! 

I obviously didn’t know how to answer that question. I certainly wasn’t who I thought I was. I was a business owner and a motorcycle mechanic, and that was being torn from me. Sure, I was still a husband with a great wife. I was even a part-time youth pastor. But my career! My business! What I invested so much time, sweat, money and effort to build…was gone! Gone!

I didn’t realize at the time that I was receiving something deep within me from my business. I was getting a need met and didn’t even know it. I didn’t know this was happening until it was gone. Boy, did I know something was missing then! Through the Lord’s question, I discovered that I found my identity in my title and my occupation. I was receiving value and self-worth from these temporary things. I had no idea I was doing this! Even if I did know it, I wouldn’t have thought it was wrong. When I was discharged from the Navy in 1990, it didn’t have the same effect on me as my business did. The same with being a youth pastor when I left that position in the summer of 1999. The reason for that is I wasn’t finding my identity from the Navy or from being a youth pastor, but I was from being a motorcycle mechanic and business owner. 

Who Am I? 

This set me on a journey of discovery. It took a while—years even. I learned that properly framing a question leads to the answer. Here are a few questions I wrestled with during the journey.

  • When we no longer can do what we are doing, who are we? 
  • When we no longer possess what we had, who are we? 
  • When we no longer have the title before our name, who are we? 
  • When all our children have grown and moved out of the house, who are we? 
  • When we age and grow older and we literally cannot do what we did before, who are we? 
  • When all is stripped away and we are standing there alone, who are we? 

We must understand one fundamental thing: We are not what we do. Our value and worth do not come from our bank accounts. We are not the sum total of our possessions. Sure, we can enjoy all these things but our identity, and therefore our value and worth, must come from something much deeper.

On this journey to discover who I am, I found something that I didn’t expect—something deep and life-changing. I came to understand the love that Father God has for me in a deeper way than I had encountered before. I became a “beloved son.” Not from God’s perspective—He already loved me like that. No, the change was in my perspective. Now I knew it! I knew how He loved me, that I was truly His son, that His love was profound, abiding and eternal. I became His beloved son in my heart. 

I believe the same will happen for you as well if you allow this revelation to become your revelation.

I will ask you the same question God asked me: 

“Now who are you?”

Excerpt from my latest book; “Now Who Are You?”

“Now Who Are You?”

Identity Revealed

The crisis of identity theft has led to the existence of companies that promise some level of identity theft protection. There are others promising that you can discover “who” you are through historical records and DNA testing. More than ever people are wanting to know who they are and where they came from. On social media platforms you can portray an identity of your choosing. It has become acceptable in society to choose a different gender then you born with. Not only do we have an identity theft problem we have a serious identity confusion problem. This is a prophetic message we should not ignore.

Jesus was challenged concerning His identity more than any other area of His life. Satan tempted Him in the wilderness with His identity when he said, “if” you are the Son of God then command these stones to become bread. Again, he taunted, “if” you are the Son of God throw yourself down from the pinnacle of the temple. Jesus was challenged and mocked throughout His life by His family, people of His hometown, the religious sect and eventually He was killed because of His identity. Pontius Pilate placed a placard above His head on the cross reading; “The King of the Jews”, declaring the reason for His death sentence. We must know that we also will be challenged concerning our identity.

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life! All truth begins and ends with Him. If we decide for ourselves what is truth we will be lost and confused. After closing down my business in the mid 1990’s, the Lord asked me a question,”Now who are you?” I admitted that I did not know who I was. I didn’t realize that I found my identity in my career and now it was gone. I felt lost and confused. This propelled me on a journey to discover the answer to that question.

Do you know who and what you really are? You are not what you do for a living or ministry. You are not the sum total of your possessions. Your true worth is not determined by your bank account. You are not even what you have done or what has been done to you in the past. In Matthew 16 Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do the people say that I am?” Then He directed the question to them. Peter answered, “You are the Messiah Son of the living God.” When that correct answer was given, then and only then, did Jesus go on to say what He would build…and it wasn’t “church”. We will only know who and what we are in light of who Jesus truly was as a man.

It is critical we know who and what we are so we can function effectively in what Jesus said He would build, the Ekklesia. In my new book, “Now Who Are You?”; I reveal what the scripture says about the creation of mankind, who Jesus is, who and what we become at the new birth, what adoption really means, how much God really does love us and much more!

Joe Nicola