Ekklesia at Caesarea Philippi

In Matthew 16 Jesus walked with His disciples to a place in Northern Israel called Caesarea Philippi. It was a very evil location at that time. False gods and idols were worshipped there along with animal sacrifice. The gates of hades was a reference to a large cave located there. When they arrived, Jesus asked a question, “Who do people say that I am?” The disciples answered and then He asks another question. A more personal question, “Who do you say that I am?” As if to ask who He is in light of all these false gods and idols. Peter answers, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus then goes on to tell them that no man revealed this truth. Peter heard directly from God the Father.

Jesus then tells them what He plans to build and the authority it will have on the earth. It is not church. That word was added to our Bibles and it is not the word Jesus spoke. It couldn’t be…the word church did not become a word in any language until nearly 300 years later. So, if it isn’t church, what is it?

We have been living under a false identity as church for far to long. This is Satan’s original deception in the Garden of Eden and he is still using the same tactics today; keeping people ignorant of who they are and what Jesus said He was building. Jesus was challenged, attacked and murdered for His identity…by religious people by the way.

As a man thinks within himself, so is he, Proverbs 23:7. What we believe about ourselves is who we become which also dictates what we do. Discover what Jesus said He would build.

Above is a short video that was recorded on location in Israel at Caesarea Philippi. I wrote a book that details what Jesus said He would build and how it was God’s plan from the beginning of creation. Here is a link for the book –¬†Ekklesia

Joe Nicola

Book cover

Pictures of Caesarea Philippi

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Idol Niche
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Gate of Hades
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What it may have looked like
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Caesarea Philippi, Israel
Gate of Hades
Gate of Hades

God is Love

 

God is Love, 1 John 4:8! Everything God says and everything He does is motivated by who He is…Love! Even in His wrath it is love. When He renders a judgment it is because of love. God is love and therefore Jesus is also love as His firstborn Son. Jesus is the exact representation of the Father’s nature, Hebrews 1:3. Jesus told Philip, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father”. So, everything Jesus said and everything He did was love. When He cleansed the temple with a whip knocking tables over…it was love! When He called the Pharisees names…yep, that was love too! When He cast out demons, healed the sick, forgave sin, fed the multitudes and hung on the cross…all love.

True Biblical love is not a feeling or an emotion. Yes, there are feelings that come along with it, but, they could be negative feelings. Too often we judge whether something was said or done in love by how it makes us feel. I bet when Jesus cleansed the temple with a whip knocking tables over it didn’t look like love nor feel like love, but it was. I was once rebuked by the Lord so strongly that it stopped me as I was walking. My body felt like electricity was flowing through it and God spoke some very strong words to me. I can tell you, it didn’t feel like or sound like love in the moment, but it was. God loves us so much He disciplines us and rebukes us when necessary.

I am so thankful that God doesn’t just say He loves us, He demonstrates it.¬†God demonstrated His love toward us while we were yet sinners Christ died for us, Romans 5:8. He demonstrates His love to us every day. Yes, God loves saints and sinners and He doesn’t stop loving us when we sin!

In John 3:16 it says that God so loved the world that He sang praise songs to it, right? He so loved the world that He cried over it or leaped for joy. NO! He so loved the world He GAVE! He gave His only begotten Son that whoever would entrust themselves to Him would have eternal life. Love is demonstrated. Love gives.

Jesus didn’t say that if we love Him we should sing to Him. It seems that many Christians express their love this way today. He said if we love Him then we will keep His commandments, John 14:15. Jesus also said the greatest commandment is love; love God, love our fellow man and love ourselves. We cannot give what we have not first received. We are incapable of loving God, others and self if we have not received love from Him. Love is the law of the Kingdom of God. Love does no wrong to our neighbor, therefore, love is the fulfillment of the Law, Romans 13:10. It is all about love, Biblical love, not worldly love.

God is love, Jesus is love and the Holy Spirit is also love. Walking in love is walking in the Spirit which is how the Law is fulfilled in us, Romans 8:4. Love is to be our motivation for all we do and say. Why wouldn’t be if we are sons and daughters of Love?

When Jesus said that God so loved the world that He gave a free gift of love in the person of Jesus, the problem is not with the gift, the problem is the lack of receiving the gift. When love is not the motivation for obeying Jesus then it defaults to legalistic works. It becomes heavy and a burden.

Open your heart and receive His love. His love heals and sets us free. Love is the most powerful force in the world! Love is the Law of the Kingdom of God. Every time we encounter God we encounter love.

Jesus said in the last days lawlessness would increase and the love of many would grow cold, Matthew 24:12. Lawlessness has certainly been on the increase in our country.

Beware of cold love.

Joe Nicola