The Stronghold of Christ's Likeness

By Francis Frangipane

God's Highest Purpose
Most Christians only engage in spiritual warfare with a hope of either relieving present distresses or attaining a "normal" existence. However, the purpose of all aspects of spirituality, warfare included, is to bring us into the image of Christ. Nothing -- not worship or warfare, neither love nor deliverance -- is truly attainable if we miss the singular objective of our faith: Christlikeness.

Let us recall that when the Lord delivered the ancient Hebrews out of Egypt it was so He could bring them into the Promised Land. Likewise, we are delivered out of sin, not that we might live for ourselves, but so we might come into Christlikeness. What we call "salvation" is the first phase of being conformed to Christ. If we fail to see this we easily become entangled in the same sins that oppressed us in the first place.

Where a Desolate Soul Finds God

By Francis Frangipane

In spite of breakthroughs in several regions, many Christians have grown weary. Their love is growing cold; their passions, lukewarm. The prophet Daniel warned of a time when the enemy would "…wear down the saints of the Highest One” (Dan. 7:25). To emerge victorious in this day, we must climb into the reality given to us by God in Psalm 91. There is a place of replenishing life, a fountain of light, wherein we can abide. The Bible calls this place the shelter of the Most High.

Elijah: A Man Like Us

Elijah was a man with passions like ours, and he fought in a spiritual war similar to ours. In his battle for the soul of Israel, he stood against the wiles of Jezebel and her husband, King Ahab. Yet his most intense battle was not against visible foes but against personal discouragement.

Seeing Him Who Is Unseen

By Francis Frangipane

There are times when, to lead us on into new authority and blessings, God must liberate us from the container of our previous experiences. Consider Elijah's encounter with the Most High on Mt Horeb. Three natural signs occurred. But the Lord was not in the wind, the earthquake or the fire -- all of which were familiar symbols to Elijah. The Lord who caused these mighty manifestations was not in them.

For Elijah, mighty manifestations had been signs of God's approval. But something new was at hand that required a fresh submission to the living God. A double portion of power was coming! The distinguishing characteristic of this new anointing would not only be seen in supernatural manifestations, but also in greater wisdom and compassion.

Holiness Precedes Power

By Francis Frangipane

Many Christians look for shortcuts to the power of God. To try shortcuts is to become, at best, frustrated; at worst, a false teacher or prophet. Listen very carefully: there is tremendous power for us in God but not without holiness. Holiness precedes power.

When John Saw Jesus
Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?" But Jesus answering said to him, "Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he permitted Him. After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."   ---Matthew 3:13-17

Hastened in Its Time

By Francis Frangipane

There isn't one church leader I know who does not believe we are living in the end times. Exactly where we are along heaven's prophetic time line is debatable, yet everyone has his or her own catalog of confirming end-time signs. If it is true that we have, perhaps, less than a generation before the end of the age, we should expect is to see a divine hastening of spiritual realities.

Indeed, this ministry often quotes Isaiah 60:1-3 concerning the manifestation of the Lord's glory in the end-time church. Yet Isaiah's revelation concludes with this added encouragement: "I, the Lord, will hasten it in its time" (v. 22). Let's personalize this hastening: our maturing and transformation will be accelerated in the days ahead!

Is the United States in the Bible?

By Francis Frangipane

So, if the Lord's immediate plans are not to destroy America, then what is in God's heart for this nation? Is there anything in the Scriptures about the United States upon which our faith can rest? The Bible has a number of general promises that we can apply to our land. These, though they lack clear or specific references to the United States, still supply a foundation for our faith. Isaiah 60:1-3 is such a text. It reads:

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth, and deep darkness the peoples; but the Lord will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you. And nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.


Think of it! Nations and kings will come to the glory of Christ arising in the church! Regardless of where on earth you currently live or how dark the world is around you, this text is a living promise to all who pray for their nation!

Cease Striving and Know

By Francis Frangipane

It is time to abandon our fears and the stressful anxieties that come from not trusting in God.

One title for the Messiah is Immanuel, which means, "God with us." Jesus promised to be with us, "even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20). At some point we must accept the wonder and power of Christ's promise. He is with us always! To mistrust this promise is to reject the very character of the divine nature. It is serious sin.

"You Give Them Something to Eat"

By Francis Frangipane

What I have come to believe concerning the Lord's glory and its manifestation in the overcoming church is supported by many Scriptures. Yet it was through a night vision in 1971 that the Holy Spirit revealed to me the last hours of this age.

In this spiritual encounter, I saw a great metropolis languishing under the weight of a deep and terrible darkness. Chiseled upon the faces of those in this wretched society was the image of hopelessness. The place was desolate of real life, and the time for a recovery seemed long past.

Find God!

By Francis Frangipane

There is only one thing that keeps some churches from prospering spiritually. They have yet to find God.
Holiness Comes from Seeking the Glory of God
Jesus warned, "How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?" (John 5:44). If we are displaying our spirituality to impress men, still seeking honor from others, still living to appear righteous or special or "anointed" before people, can we honestly say we have been walking near to the living God? We know we are relating correctly to God when our hunger for His glory causes us to forsake the praise of men.

Does not all glory fade in the light of His glory? Even as Jesus challenged the genuineness of the Pharisees' faith, so He challenges us: "How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another?"

An Unguarded Heart

By Francis Frangipane

The idea that a leader whom we've known and loved should suddenly be exposed in a devastating scandal seems incomprehensible. Certainly leaders who have taught others could teach themselves. Is there not resident within all Christians biblical knowledge that would protect us from moral failure?

So what is it then that can worm into an individual's thought-life, burrow down into his heart, and then grow so compelling that a leader is willing to risk everything he's loved and attained for a fulfillment of the flesh? Is it just sin? Or is there something deeper, a lack of spiritual discernment that left the heart of that leader vulnerable to demonic manipulation? Could it be that, at least among some, their heart was unguarded to the exploitation of hell?

Fast from Judging

By Francis Frangipane

There are many types of fasts. If you have ever gone on an extended fast, you know it can be a life-changing experience. The king of Nineveh along with the nobles and all the people of his nation fasted completely from food and water. The Lord heard the sincerity in their repentance and spared their nation, making them an example of how prayer, coupled with fasting, touched the heart of God (Jonah 3; Luke 11:32).

A fast can be a powerful tool to help stimulate revival or, conversely, it can degrade into a religious exercise that has almost no spiritual significance. The Pharisees fasted twice a week but did so to be seen of men. Their fast became a thing of religious pride. It was completely without spiritual value.

Swallowed Up In Life

 By Francis Frangipane

Two forces are increasing in the world: the power of life and the power of death. The Scriptures tell us that before Christ returns, Satan will be cast down from the spirit realm to the earthly realm "having great wrath because he knows his time is short” (Rev. 12:12). Jesus warns us in Matt. 24:22 that "unless those days are cut short, no life would have been saved." Prophecy after prophecy warns of these days. Satanic darkness is on the face of the earth, and where the devil is, death and destruction are soon to follow.

At the same time, the sons of the Kingdom should expect to enter ever-increasing degrees of life. Through repentance and faith in God's word, we are seeing more of the Holy Spirit and more of Christ's actual presence restored to the church. I believe before Jesus returns, the church will be as full of life as Christ was when He walked in His earthly ministry.

Christ Our Life

By Francis Frangipane

Overcoming Resistance

Note: the Lord will allow obstacles and delays to deepen and test the character of our love. Thus the bride acknowledges, "I sought him whom my soul loves; I sought him but did not find him" (Song of Sol. 3:1).

Her first attempts at seeking her beloved proved fruitless, yet she does not terminate her quest. Augustine said it well: "God is not on the surface." There is indeed a "secret place of the Most High." Although hidden, it can be found and accessed.

One common deterrent, ironically, is the benevolent effect that comes with drawing nearer to the Lord. Inevitably the blessings of an answered prayer or a new understanding of Scripture will greet us on our way to God. However, we must guard against these signposts becoming our final destination.

Unrelenting Love

By Francis Frangipane

We simply must have more of the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives. In the face of increasing wickedness in the world, human ideas have fallen short. Those who understand the hour are seeking God. Possessing more of Christ Himself is our only hope.

Yet to seek God is to embark on a journey that will include obstacles and spiritual enemies along the way. We must not give ourselves reasons or excuses to fail.

As a pattern, therefore, we will look at the Song of Solomon 3:1-4. Here we find a bride and bridegroom, both of whom are intolerant of the distance between them. The bride in the passage symbolizes the church in her deepest longings for Jesus; the bridegroom represents the Lord.

The Intensifying Presence

By Francis Frangipane

We all know the unrepentant world is destined for the Great Tribulation, but as far as the living, praying church is concerned, if we continue to climb toward the standard of Christlikeness, prior to the rapture there will be a season of great glory for true Christians.

In support of this holy goal, let me submit to you an encounter I had with the Lord in 1973. I was pastoring a small church in Hawaii and had been in a month of intense prayer and extended fasting, a time of drawing near to God. At the end of this period, I found myself awakened during the night by a visitation of the Lord. It was not as though I saw His physical features; I saw His glory and was overwhelmed by the intense fire of His presence. Immediately I was like a dead man, unable to move so much as a finger. Spiritually, however, my consciousness was heightened beyond anything I have known since. I was like one of those "living creatures" in the book of Revelation with "eyes around and within" (Rev. 4:8).

Desperation Produces Change

By Francis Frangipane

It is significant that Jesus compared His elect to a widow harassed by an enemy. The image is actually liberating, for we tend to conceptualize the heroes of the faith as David or Joshua types -- individuals whose successes obscure their humble beginnings. But each of God's servants has, like the widow, a former life that is brimming with excuses and occasions to waver.

Look at the widow: She has legitimate reasons to quit, but instead she prevails. Indeed, she refuses to exempt herself from her high potential simply because of her low estate. She makes no apologies for her lack of finances, knowledge or charm. Giving herself no reason to fail, she unashamedly plants her case before the judge where she pleads for and receives what is hers: legal protection from her opponent.

Legal Protection

By Francis Frangipane

Approximately two thousand years ago a decree was issued at the judgment seat of Almighty God. It provided "legal" protection for the church against the devil. Indeed, when Jesus died for our sins, the "ruler of this world" was judged (John 16:11). Our debts were nailed to Christ's cross and canceled; principalities and powers were disarmed. In truth, because of Jesus, we have a legal right not only to be protected from our enemy but to triumph over him (Col. 2:13-15).

Having said that, we must also acknowledge that the church has only rarely walked in such victory since the first century. Why? At least in part, the answer is this: to attain the protection of Christ, the church must embrace the intercession of Christ. We must become a house of prayer.

Goliath Had a Brother

By Francis Frangipane

Here's the scene: You are in a battle against sickness, oppression or some similar struggle. You seek God, and in some way the grace of God touches your life. Your victory may have come through a word or prayer or some other encouragement, but you absolutely know the Lord has delivered you. Using the five smooth stones of divine grace, you defeated your Goliath.

But then, a few weeks or months or perhaps years later, all the old symptoms suddenly return with a vengeance. If you were struggling with an illness, it manifests worse than ever; if your battle was regarding a relationship or a particular sin, it seems as though all progress has been lost. You are back to square one.

Breaking the Power of Disappointment

 By Francis Frangipane

The Enemy's Work
One may argue, "But I know people who were good Christians who have fallen away." Yes, but in most cases you will find that prior to falling away they first fell into deep disappointment about a failed spiritual expectation. You see, disappointment is not just a depressed emotional state of mind; deep disappointment actually can sever our hearts from faith. It can "dis-appoint" us from our otherwise appointed destiny.

I have known many who were doing well, moving toward their destiny. The future God had for them seemed close enough to taste. Then they became disappointed in someone or something. By accepting a demonically manipulated disappointment into their spirits, and letting that event germinate and grow into a disappointment with God, a bitter cold winter overtook their souls and their destiny went dormant.

At the Appointed Time

By Francis Frangipane

Appointed Times
In spite of escalating turmoil in our world, there still remains one last, great outpouring of mercy before the time of the end (Matt. 24:14; Acts 2:17). This supernatural season is not something for which we must beg God. No, its coming has been predetermined. It is the "appointed time" of the Lord.

An "appointed" or "fixed" time is an open display of the sovereignty and power of God, whether it is in calling a person or calling a nation. In it we discover with absolute certainty that nothing is impossible for God. It is a season when God fulfills the hopes and dreams of His people.