Are You Having An Identity Crisis?

By Francis Frangipane

As Christians our faith tells us that Christ died as payment for our sins.  We believe He actually rose from the grave as proof that He was, indeed, sent by God.  Yet, it is also our conviction that, upon this resurrection event, not only were the sins of  mankind atoned for but, through Christ, a second Genesis began. 

Paul explains, "The first man, Adam, became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit"  (1 Cor 15:45). The word Adam means "man" and is representative of  "mankind."  There are now two Adams or two species of man.  The first species of man is the descendant of sinful Adam. His life orbits around his carnal or "natural" desires.  He carries both the DNA of Adam"s nature and the consequences of Adam's sin.  This natural man is focused upon fulfilling the needs of his soul. He is, indeed, a "living soul," but he is controlled by fears, physical needs, intellect boundaries, cultural environment and sin. 

If We Do Not Lose Heart

By Francis Frangipane

"He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time." Daniel 7:25

The prophet Daniel warns of a time when Satan, through the Antichrist, will seek to wear down the strength of God's saints. How this occurs in the final hours of the age remains to be seen, but on one level this battle already is going on today: Satan seeks to wear us out through delays ("alterations in times") and in compromise of God's Word ("alterations in law").

The final effect of what seems like never-ending delays is that believers are worn out. Do you know anyone who is weary with his or her battle? Are you yourself weary? I know many who seem trapped in situations that should have been remedied months and even years ago but the battle continues against them. Situations and people, often empowered by demonic resistance, stand in opposition to the forward progress of God's people. As a result of satanic spiritual resistance, many Christians incrementally accept this resistance until a quiet, but weighty, oppression rests on their souls.

God's Reward

By Francis Frangipane

It seems every couple months there is a major disaster or conflict somewhere in the world. With regularity, the images of human suffering explode into our consciousness and we are confronted, not only with our frailty, but also with deeper questions about the nature of God.

Some, to be sure, file every natural disaster under the label, "wrath of God." The perception that the fist of an angry God is purposefully causing untold agony, destroying the righteous together with the wicked, is an acceptable reality to them. In my opinion, such thinking tends to keep people somewhat aloof from the calamities themselves.  Such analyses, however, are not easily assimilated by those whose hands have lifted the decaying bodies of the dead and whose ears still ring with the wail of the stricken.

Two Realities

By Francis Frangipane

At any given moment, standing before our world there are two core realities. The first is that which is the consequence of present and past events.  In this realm, wars become more destructive, immorality becomes more rampant; disease multiplies out of control, and fear strengthens and becomes immobilizing.  In part, this darkened, demonically manipulated reality is what we actually have today, yet clearly a more hellish, worse version of our present world is preparing to emerge.  It is of this diabolical world that the scripture speaks of when it warns: "the days are evil" (Eph 5:16).

Yet, there is another reality that is also available to mankind.  This second realm is the "prayed for" version of the first reality.  It, too, stands prepared to show itself.  This reality is full of miracles, divine reversals and divine intervention.  It is the world of sin confronted, conquered and redeemed by the power of heaven.  The scripture calls this reality "the day which the Lord has made" and commands us to "rejoice and be glad in it" (Ps 118:24).

The Power of a Transcendent Life, Part 2

By Francis Frangipane

In our last message, we stated that the destiny of every Christian, according to Paul, is to be conformed "to the image of [God's] Son" (Rom 8:29).  Typically when I remind people that our core destiny is Christlikeness, most people just nod, affirming the general truthfulness of my statement.  However, they really do not believe that it is true.  Indeed, when people think of their destiny, they first think of something they will do for God, something that involves the visible demonstration of  a unique gifting or ministry calling.  But neither our gifts nor a specific calling represent the core reality of our destiny. 

So, let me state it again: Our destiny is to be Christlike.  Our responsibilities and gifts may be as varied as the seasons of our lives, but our enduring destiny is that part of us that becomes Christlike in nature.  God wants us to develop our gifts and, of course, He has created us to fulfill certain tasks or ministries, but we must never lose sight of the main purpose of our existence, which is to become like Jesus in all things.

The Power of a Transcendent Life, Part 1

By Francis Frangipane

There are a great many books written today about developing our spiritual gifts or discovering our purpose, most of them are absolutely worthy of our attention. Recognizing our gifts and being trained to serve God in our individual calling is part of doing His will. Yet, there is a deeper, more essential goal -- an objective that is ultimately far more valuable both to God and ourselves. I am talking about the genuine quest to possess the likeness of Christ.

We marvel at the life of Paul. Here was a man who wrote Scriptures, who led many thousands to Christ; he founded churches and was proficient in all the spiritual gifts. Yet, what compelled him forward in life was not his calling, but his passion to be like Christ. He articulates this profoundly in Phil 3:10. He wrote,

"that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death."

When the Lord Builds His House

By Francis Frangipane

It is possible for Christ's church to be so properly aligned with heaven that the Spirit of the Lord actually displaces the powers of darkness over our cities. To the degree that the church is so joined to God, the Lord's Presence guards the city: crime and immorality proportionally decline; revival begins to spontaneously break out. But be forewarned, only if the Lord builds His house will He then guard our cities (Psalm 127:1).

The Corporate, Citywide Church
"And the house, while it was being built, was built of stone prepared at the quarry, and there was neither hammer nor axe nor any iron tool heard in the house while it was being  built" (I Kings 6:7).

The Measure of Maturity

By Francis Frangipane

It has been my experience that too many of us, as Christians, have been confused about love.  We have assumed that attaining the look of love was the same reality as actually being transformed into a loving person.  I"m not saying that we have consciously planned on being shallow or noncommittal, but that somehow we have settled on the cosmetic instead of the real. 

We have developed an "altar" ego, a look for church that lasts, at best, just a few minutes longer than the church service itself.  All we have really accomplished is to perfect the art of acting like Christians. 

I think we have yet to learn to consistently walk according to the standards of Christ's love.  I hear how quick some are to speak about the flaws of those they supposedly love, and I wonder, what kind of love demeans an individual behind their back?  When I witness unloving words from a Christian's mouth, I am reminded that we have much to learn about Jesus and what it means to follow Him.

Walking in Eternal Life

By Francis Frangipane

God's end time people will "end time."  What I mean is that, as we near the end of the age, we will increasingly learn how to walk in eternal life, abiding above the boundaries, constraints and the pressures of the realm of time.   We"ll see what's coming and either avoid it or announce it, but we won't be limited by it.

Jesus taught that those who come to Him "have everlasting life" (Jn 3:16).  Right now, we have eternal life in our spirits.  Yet, how do we access the timeless place of God's presence?  This is a serious question, for we have become more 'time conscious" than "God conscious."  Schedules, meetings, appointments and deadlines all fuel our anxieties and compel us to live horizontally, instead of vertically in the Presence of God. 

Anguish in the Heart of God

By Francis Frangipane

While the tragedy of the Asian tsunami has drawn our hearts to its widespread death and apocalyptic devastation, there has been another tragedy repeatedly striking this same region for decades.  Yet this ongoing disaster has been almost completely ignored.  What is the horror of which I write?  This part of the world is infamous because of the trafficking of slavery, especially women and children. 

The Polaris Project explains: 'trafficking in persons, also known as human trafficking, is the modern practice of slavery. It is the third largest criminal industry in the world today, after arms and drug dealing, and is the fastest growing."