Times of Trouble

Over a week ago I heard this; we have entered into a decade of trouble. Among other things trouble means problems, difficulties, concern and disturbance. What did Jesus say about trouble? “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me, John 14:1. And, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful”, John 14:27. He also said in Matthew 24 just prior to a time of great trouble, “See to it no one misleads you.” Notice that Jesus leaves it up to us whether we are troubled, fearful or misled. He didn’t tell us to just pray about it either. Even though there is trouble on the earth we do not have to be troubled, fearful or misled. This time of trouble can be a time of great peace, personal growth and harvest if we are following Him. 

I received a vision a few years ago that I was at the helm of a large ship. In the distance was a dark massive storm and we were headed directly for it. As I went to steer away from the storm, I felt a hand on my left shoulder. As I turned to see who it was, it was Jesus and He said, “I will tell you when to turn.” I then saw the twin towers in NY on fire and people rushing to get out of the buildings. As they were exiting the first responders were heading straight into the burning buildings. I then heard; “Do not give up, do not quit, persevere and be persistent says the Lord. I am looking for those with courage to head directly into the storm.” I believe we entered this storm and it is just ramping up. He gave us advance warning for what was coming.

Much will be accomplished this decade. Bible translators are working together on what is called Vision 2033. The goal to have a New Testament translation of the Bible in every known language on the planet. That is amazing! The Remnant is rising, the Ekklesia is being restored and the Harvest is ripe. At the same time many incredible things are happening, everything that can be shaken will continue to be shaken. Thank God, we have received a Kingdom that cannot be shaken (for those who are building their lives on His Kingdom of course). As Matthew 6:33 commands us to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and our needs will be added to us. What a promise! Through these troubled waters the Bride of Christ will be prepared and become more like Christ. We will cross over to the other side! Those who are CHINO’s (Christian in name only) will become more evident. Not all Christians are the Bride of Christ. The Bride are the ones who are preparing themselves for the Bridegroom.

On December 14 this year I received a vision of a massive shaking and shift while many were sleeping. They went to bed one night to wake the next morning to a massive change. They were completely unaware that this “shift” had already been implemented for some time. Perplexed, confused and without answers I saw them with bewildered looks on their faces asking what is this? What happened? What are we to do?  That certainly came true in three short months and it is not over. I mentioned at the beginning of Covid, if you think this is bad now, it is nothing compared to what is coming. Trouble, chaos and destruction are planned immediately following this presidential election by those who are intent on destroying this country. The riots, looting, fires and destruction we have already witnessed in several democratically controlled cities are just coming attractions for what is planned. Sadly, many Christians have aligned with this demonic cabal and are participating in the demise of this country and Christianity. They have welcomed destructive heresies of Marxism and Islamic doctrines and mixed them in with Christianity. Ignorance and outright deception is rampant.

Many are striving towards unity but missing what God is doing at this time. He is dividing. Division in the Body of Christ is the hand of God calling out to us; who is on My side? September 2018, I had a word concerning Joshua chapter 5. Here is a link to a repost of that word, https://joernicola.com/2020/04/13/i-come-now-as-2/. There are several important truths from this passage of scripture that are relevant for this hour. Jesus is manifesting Himself differently at this time and He is asking, who is on My side? Jesus didn’t come to be on our side, He calls us to His side, then we much choose to align with Him. Lines are now drawn. Decisions are being made. Who are you aligning with? You may answer, well I’m on Jesus’ side of course! Are you following Him or asking Him to follow you? Do your values align with His values? Do you care about what He cares for? Do you love what He loves and hate what He hates? Are you truly a disciple? A disciple is one who patterns their life after the one they follow, one who disciplines themselves to be like Christ Jesus and do the works He did. Jesus said, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free”, John 8:31-32.

Jesus also said, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. “For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it,” Matthew 10:34–39. This is division. This is a tough truth that goes against much of what is being taught from pulpits today. This division is the Hand of God calling out to us; who is on My side?

We are told to be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit not pursue a spirit of unity. There is a big difference. A spirit of unity can cause us to accomplish anything. It led to the building of the Tower of Babel, which is globalism, a one world government. Many Christians are participating in this ungodly unity believing it is the will of God. This ecumenicalism will lead to a one world government and one world religion. Unity is not our goal. Oneness with Christ and the Father is unity of the Spirit which must precede unity with one another. Scripture puts it this way, … I implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all, Ephesians 4:1–6. We are instructed to be diligent in preserving the unity of the Spirit not striving for a spirit of unity. 

This presidential election is not a normal election. This election is a line of demarcation. We are not choosing between two different men, but two completely different worldview and directions for our country. Your vote in this election is your prophetic voice proclaiming who you are aligning with, the spirit of life in Christ Jesus or the spirit of death. Yes, it is that serious.

For the past eight months there has been a revealing of the sons of God. The sons of God are being led by the Spirit of God, Romans 8:14. The sons of God are not led by any other spirit or voice, including their own. It has been revealed who is prophesying accurately and who has not. Check some of the prophetic words that were circulating toward the end of 2019 for the coming year and the ones at the beginning of this year as the lockdowns began. I prophesied a few months ago that some trusted voices will lose their anointing and some prophets will lose their prophetic voice. We are in a time of division in the Body of Christ. A choosing of sides. This is a serious time.

It is not too late to lay down the idol of self and turn to the Lord. Today He has set before us life and death, the blessing and the curse and He tells us to choose life, but it is our choice. Choose wisely. Get ready and stay ready. Cling to the Word. Recognize His voice and be obedient. You were born for such a time as this! It is not enough to just pray, we must also act as the Holy Spirit directs. The victory belongs to the Lord!

Interrupting the traditions of men to manifest the Kingdom.

Joe Nicola

The Days of Noah and Lot

And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed, Luke 17:26-30.

During the days leading up to Jesus’ return to earth people will be living “normal” lives and unaware of the times or spiritual significance of the day. There will also be people who will not heed the prophetic word of scripture nor the prophets the Lord sends. They, including many Christians, will be busy with life, distracted and pursuing their own desires and goals. As a result, many Christians will lack discernment and therefore be unprepared for the times as we are witnessing today. In the scripture passage above, it is obvious Jesus is telling us the last days will be similar to the days that Noah and Lot lived. However, there is also a message for us in the difference of character between Noah and Lot as men.

Noah’s story begins in Genesis 6. The name Noah means rest and comfort. Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. He was a righteous man and blameless in his time. Noah lived during a time of violence, corruption and great darkness. Instructed by God to build an ark for the salvation of mankind he endured through much trial, hardship and persecution for a period of 120 years. We are told Noah walked with God.

Lot’s story begins in Genesis 11. The name Lot means a covering, veiled or hidden. Lot was Abraham’s nephew and is called a righteous man in Scripture, 2 Peter 2:7. When Abraham offered Lot the choice of land he selfishly chose for himself what he thought was better land. He then settled near Sodom, perhaps for business reasons and financial gain. During the war of kings, Sodom and Gomorrah were ransacked and Lot was taken captive and eventually rescued by Abraham. Lot chose to live in Sodom, a city full of sexual immorality and corruption for his own personal gain. He gained influence and sat in the city gate as a judge. We have no record of Lot preaching salvation to the people or calling them to repentance. He allowed his family to be influenced and conformed to the wickedness of this city. He even offered his two daughters to be sex slaves!

Oblivious to the sign of the times and God’s impending judgment on Sodom, Lot was in need of rescue…again. Through Abraham’s intercession, the angels sent to destroy Sodom rescued Lot and his family after much persuasion. Lot’s two son in laws perished in Sodom leaving his daughters as widows. On the way, his wife turns into a pillar of salt for looking back, leaving Lot a widower. As a result of the gross sexual immorality Lot’s two daughters were influenced by growing up, they have relations with their father after getting him drunk. Both daughters become pregnant. Lot’s lifestyle and lack of character finally caught up with him. He ended up a widower, committing incest, having illegitimate sons by his own daughters, living in a cave and we hear nothing more from him again. By the way, his two illegitimate sons become fathers of two people groups; the Moabites and Ammonites who were enemies of Israel.

 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work, 2 Timothy 2:20,21.

The character of these two men are representative of Christians during these last days. Lot, out of love of this world, is conformed to its image living by the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the boastful pride of life, 1 John 2:16,17. The worship of self is manifest in selfish ambition, greed and lustful desire. Chasing the world’s definition of success in life and business took precedent in Lot’s life. At the same time, allowing his children to be influenced and shaped by evil. Not once does scripture tell us that Lot heard the voice of God or that he obeyed God. Lot lived by the natural, not by faith in God. He was led by self, not by the Spirit. Lot lived for himself and ended up destitute…the fruit of his pursuit. Sadly, this lifestyle is indicative of far too many Christians today.

Noah on the other hand was a man that put his relationship and fellowship with God first. In a time of immense wickedness and violence he remained faithful and obedient to God. For 120 years he patiently built the ark to the exact specifications that God gave him even though it had never rained before. He displayed endurance, perseverance, humility and love for God and others. As a preacher of righteousness he never gave in or gave up even though no one accepted his offer of salvation besides his own family. As a result, He and God partnered to save the world. Noah heard and recognized God’s voice and was obedient to Him. Noah lived by the Spirit and not by the natural alone. He is an example of the successful godly life in all times, especially during very hard and dark times.

God offers a choice of life to all and we choose which life we want to live. A life of death or the abundant (zoe) life. During this time of crisis and revolution in our nation we can choose to be silent and conform to the world or we can take a stand and be faithfully obedient to God. And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man. It was the same as happened in the days of Lotthe day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed, Luke 17.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for  training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work, 2 Timothy 3:16,17.

Joe Nicola

Reset and Repositioned – part 2

We left off in part one of Reset and Repositioned discussing how Gideon gave a generous offering, he worshipped, and he obeyed God by removing idolatry. Then in Judges 6:34, the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon. As a result of hearing, seeing and obeying, Gideon is now reset and repositioned to defeat the enemy of Israel. 

As Israel’s enemies gathered to attack, Gideon assembled an army of 32,000 men. Gideon asked God for confirmation of his success with a fleece and God gives him the confirmation. The Lord then tells Gideon that he has too many men in his army and directs him to send home all who are trembling and afraid, Judges 7:3. So, 22,000 men depart leaving Gideon with an army of 10,000 men! Nearly 70% of his army were too fearful and went home! Fear can be paralyzing and also contagious. Those who were trembling and afraid could very easily be a detriment to the entire army in battle. When fear is overwhelming it is very difficult to hear the voice of God and therefore to trust God. It wasn’t that Gideon and the 10,000 men weren’t afraid, throughout this passage of scripture, it is evident they were. They just overcame their fear for a greater cause. 

God is Looking for Faithful Men

After God has Gideon whittle the army down to less than a third, He tells Gideon he still has too many men. This time God’s plan to shave off more men is to give a “test” by how they drink water at the river. The word test can also be translated, “sift”. God wants to sift the 10,000 man army to a smaller number, a much smaller number. 

So, the whittling down continues. God tells Gideon to separate everyone who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps, as well as everyone who kneels to drink.” Now the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was 300 men; but all the rest of the people kneeled to drink water, 7:5-6.  The dog lappers did not get down on all fours or on their belly and stick their tongue in the water and lick it up like a dog as you might expect. Verse 6 tells us; they lapped by bringing their hands to their mouth, then apparently licked it up with their tongue like a dog. The kneelers must have done something similar, however, kneeling using their hands to the mouth to drink. God was not using this “test” or “sifting” to choose the less fearful, more watchful or best warriors. The historian Josephus believed the 300 men who passed the test were less watchful, which resulted in a greater recognition of God’s power. 

Hearing, Seeing and Obeying

What was God’s reason for reducing the number of men for this battle? He tells us back in verse two; “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give Midian into their hands, for Israel would become boastful, saying, ‘My own power has delivered me’. Pride was the reason. God wanted this victory to be obvious to all that it was Him and His power working through these men that delivered Israel, not their own power. For this particular battle, traditional weapons were not needed. Watchful men were not needed, nor talented, wise, or skilled warriors. God needed faithful men. Men who will hear and obey even when afraid, faced with overwhelming odds and no traditional weapons.

Gideon divided the 300 men into  three companies, and he put trumpets and empty pitchers into the hands of all of them, with torches inside the pitchers. He said to them, “look at me and do likewise. And behold, when I come to the outskirts of the camp, do as I do. When I and all who are with me blow the trumpet, then you also blow the trumpets all around the camp and say, for the Lord and for Gideon.” So, Gideon and the hundred men who were with him came to the outskirts of the camp…and they blew the trumpets and smashed the pitchers that were in their hands. When the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers, they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing, and cried, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!” Each stood in his place around the camp; and all the army ran, crying out as they fled. When they blew 300 trumpets, the Lord set the sword of one against another even throughout the whole army; and the army fled…, Judges 7:16-22.

The 300 men were armed with a torch and a trumpet against the Midianites, Amalekites and all the men of the east as numerous as locusts, camels without number and the sand on the seashore. These men did what they were told and said what they were told at the time they were told. The torch was a fire of light representing “seeing” what God is showing them. The blowing of the trumpet represented the voice of God, or “hearing” what God is saying. So, the torch and trumpet speak to “seeing and hearing” from the Lord so they can say what He is saying and do what He is showing them to do. Their part is to be faithful and obedient to Him and then, and only then, is victory secure.

Torch and Trumpet = Seeing and Hearing

These men followed instructions by trusting and obeying God through their leader Gideon. As it was then so it is today. God needs faithful men who will trust Him, saying what He is telling them to say and doing what He is showing them to do. This is exactly what God is looking for today. In our current climate in the United States, those who are hearing and seeing then saying and doing, faithfully trusting our Father, will cause a reset and repositioning. Not only was Gideon and his men reset and repositioned, but as a result of their faithful obedience to the Lord, the nation of Israel was also reset and repositioned! 

Gideons arise in this hour!  Ekklesia arise!  Faithful and obedient sons and daughters arise!

Joe Nicola