One Message

By Francis Frangipane

"The Lord alone will be exalted in that day." --Isaiah 2:11

Normally my Sunday sermon is prepared a few days in advance, but this week was different. All week the heavens seemed like bronze. Saturday morning came and still I was at a loss. Nothing seemed alive. It was now Saturday evening and I was pacing the floor seeking God. "Lord," I asked, "What is the message for tomorrow morning? What topic should I address?"

A dozen ideas filed through my mind, loitered momentarily in my imagination, and left as unanointed as they had arrived. I went to bed praying. When I woke Sunday morning, my prayer was still on my lips.

A half-hour before I had to leave for church, I had not quit pacing the bedroom floor. For the umpteenth time, I asked, "Lord, what is the message?" when suddenly the electricity to our home clicked off, reset, and then came back on. This, in turn, caused the answering machine on my desk to also reset. Perfectly synchronized with my prayer asking for a sermon topic, the machine replied in its computerized voice: "You . . . have . . . one . . . message."

When a voice comes out of the air and says, "You have one message," if your message is not centered upon the life and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ, you have missed the purpose of Christianity! That morning I preached Jesus. People said there was more fire than ever in my sermon.

The fact is, the church has only one message. The proclamation of who Jesus is and what He has accomplished is the eternal message of the church; it is the only message the Father promises to confirm with power. To reveal Jesus through obedience to what He taught is to bring the life of His kingdom into our world. As we return to the simple "purity of devotion to Christ" (2 Cor. 11:3), we will find the most powerful manifestations of the Lord Jesus awaiting us. Indeed, at the end of the age, the church that loves Him will display Him. We will reveal His glory.

For my more traditional, evangelical friends, I should prepare you. While my primary emphasis will be strongly on the Scriptures, I also owe my views to two specific visions the Lord gave me in the beginning of my Christian experience.

Granted, I was a young disciple. Yet, so were Peter, James, and John when Jesus showed them His glory on the Mount of Transfiguration. Yes, I was unworthy and unprepared for what the Lord revealed, but what of Paul? He was not even a Christian when the glory of the Lord appeared to him. To these we can add Jacob and Joseph, David and Solomon, Isaiah and Ezekiel, Mary and Elizabeth, and a great many others -- each of whom had a life-changing encounter with the supernatural while spiritually very young. Indeed, their heavenly experiences both compelled and guided them throughout their lives.

It is scriptural for the Holy Spirit to direct young men and women to their destiny through supernatural encounters. Of course, not everyone will have such meetings, and all extra-biblical experiences should be tested against the plumb line of God's Word. Yet, we can safely say that one aspect of the Holy Spirit's work is that "young men shall see visions" (Acts 2:17). We are not saved by our visions, but we can be guided by them. Indeed, the Scriptures warn us: "Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Prov. 29:18 KJV).

When we consider that America is plagued with abortion, violence, pornography, Satanism, drugs, national debt, sexual abuse, and the breakdown of the family structure, it becomes obvious we need a vision from God!

How shall we deal with the terrors that have invaded our world? Should we move to Idaho, stockpile food, and wait for the tribulation? Perhaps we should simply close our eyes to the world and hope for the rapture? Or should we find out what God is planning to do and throw our lives into His purpose?

My prayer is that through this book you too will receive the vision of what God is planning to do before Jesus comes for His elect. Everything I present here will ultimately focus us upon the one message of the church: the exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ. We will look at what it means to be conformed to His image in the day of His power. As Jesus said, "If you believe, you will see the glory of God" (John 11:40). If you have faith in Christ, then come with me as we reach for the glory of God at the end of the age.