Repairers of the Breach

By Francis Frangipane

"And those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins;
You will raise up the age-old foundations;
And you will be called the repairer of the breach,
The restorer of the paths in which to dwell" (Isaiah 58:12).

The Gathering Together Of The Saints
Most of true Christianity shares a doctrine commonly called the "rapture" of the church (I Thess 4:16).  And while study and debate surround the timing of this event, Scripture assures us that it will occur before Jesus Himself returns. 

However, before we are "caught up" to meet the Lord, there will be a time of unusual grace in which the living church of Jesus Christ, like a bride, makes "herself ready " (Rev 19:7). In this unparalleled season of preparation, while we will not become "perfect," we shall realize a new level of holiness of the quality in which Jesus Himself walked (I Thess 3:11-13; Eph 5:26-27; Phil 1:9-10). 

The result of this new spiritual fullness will be a new level of unity. Fault-finding and gossip will disappear.  In their place will be intercession and love. Wholeness will return to the church. This also means that the ambition and division we see today between congregations will be identified as sins, which will be repented of before Jesus returns. 

The truth of this message must be made clear, for most Christians consider oneness within the body inconceivable before Jesus returns. They have not discerned nor warred against the enemy's lies, which have conditioned believers to accept strife and sectarianism in the church.  It is my passionate conviction that the church which will ultimately be raptured will be free of strife and carnal divisions - it will be a bride "without spot or wrinkle" made ready for her bridegroom.

During the rapture our bodies will be changed. But our character, that is, the essence of who we have become, will remain intact.  There will be no regrets or wondering how "those from that church" made it, for the living bride will be a church built together in love, meeting in separate buildings but serving the single Lord.  These true disciples of the Lord Jesus will be known for their intense and holy love for one another - not merely in their individual local assemblies, but within the context of a citywide church.

It is highly significant that the scriptural term for the rapture is called the"gathering together" (II Thess 2:1; Matt 24:31). What ultimately will be consummated in our gathering together physically to the Lord will be precipitated by a spiritual gathering together of His body on earth.  Concerning the era known as the "end of the age," Jesus taught that the "good fish" shall be "gathered . . . into containers" (Matt 13:48). And in the context of spiritual warfare, Jesus warned, "he who does not gather with Me, scatters" (Matt 12:30). 

This scattering, dividing process among the Lord's sheep has gone on long enough.  Jesus has set His heart to bring healing and unity to His body. In this regard, through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord spoke a somber warning.  He said, "Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!" (Jer 23:1).  The Son of God is not pleased with the carnal divisions in His body!  Indeed, the Lord promises to chasten those pastors who continue to build their kingdoms without laboring together to build His. To them He says, "I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds" (vs 2). 

In the tenth chapter of John, the Lord makes His goal clear: there shall be "one flock with one shepherd" (vs 16).  He reveals it is the wolf nature which "snatches [the sheep] and scatters them"; and it is the hireling nature which allows the scattering to occur.  But His promise to His sheep says this: "Then I Myself shall gather the remnant of My flock...and they will be fruitful and multiply.  I shall also raise up shepherds over them and they will tend them; and they will not be afraid any longer . . . nor will any be missing" (Jer 23:3-4).  The pastors of the last Christian church will be under-shepherds to the Lord Jesus; they will be anointed to gather together His remnant and under that anointing shall be "fruitful and multiply."

Indeed, right now, in the context of humbling ourselves and submitting our hearts to His will, we are participating in being "gathered together."  This process will progressively increase until the barriers between brethren are melted by the overcoming nature of Christ's love.  Before Jesus returns, we will truly be "one flock with one shepherd"  We will be a holy and blameless sheepfold, meeting in different buildings, but baptized into one body.

Do Not Criticize The Breach, Repair It!
"Thus says the Lord God, woe to the foolish prophets who are following their own spirit and have seen nothing. Oh Israel, your prophets have been like foxes among ruins. You have not gone up into the breaches, nor did you build the wall around the house of Israel to stand in the battle on the day of the Lord" (Ezek 13:3-5).

God needs people who, when they see a gap in the citywide church wall, will go up into the breaches and rebuild the wall, so that the church will stand in the day of battle.  In every city, town and village, each of us need the other churches if we are going to stand in the day of battle. 

You may be thinking, "You don't understand, I have revelation of the end-time move of God.  These churches barely believe in Jesus."  The Word tells us that "without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater" (Heb 7:7).  If you are truly "greater," without a hint of pride, you will seek ways to be a blessing to other churches. Your Christlike love will cast out fears.  You will truly have a burden to see the entire body of Christ brought forth, not just your local assembly; you will respect the diversity of ways through which Christ reveals Himself in the church.  In truth, Jesus said that the greatest among us would become the "servant of all" (Mk 9:35; Matt 23:11).

If a church in your city holds to and confesses Jesus as their Lord and Savior, then that church is needed to complete God's work in the city.  As you join one another for daily or weekly prayer, you will be blessed and surprised by God's preparation of others.  Do not come with an attitude to teach or lead, but to love and serve.  In this, God is not looking for leaders, but followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

If we do not adjust to His will, we will be unable to stand against the enemy.  Indeed, the day in which we live is not a day of peace, it is a time of war.  God is gathering us together not only to Him and each other, but also against the spiritual forces of wickedness in every region.  Therefore, the breaches between us must be filled, the walls built, and we must learn to stand together in the day of the Lord.

You Be The People
You do not have to go to college to find fault with the church.  In fact, if you remember, you could find fault with the church even before you were a Christian. You do not need skill to find fault.  But if you want to be like Christ, you have to be willing to lay your life down for people's sins.  You have to be an intercessor who "stands in the gap."  The "gap" is the distance between the way things are and the way things should be.  You stand in that space, cast down the accuser of the brethren, and intercede!  Have you seen something that is wrong? It is only because Jesus wants you to stand in the gap and pray to see it changed. 

Some of us have cried for years, "Where are those who will lead us into Christ's fullness?"  We have assumed that God had others in mind.  What the Lord is saying, however, is "You be the men and women that others are looking for." You be the peacemakers, the sons and daughters of God that bring healing and order to His church.

The responsibility is upon each of us.  There is a tremendous job ahead, but the Lord Himself has promised, "Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will raise up the age-old foundations; and you will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the paths in which to dwell" (Isaiah 58:12).

Let us lay our lives down in committed faith, that in our lifetimes, on this earth and in our communities, the corporate church of Jesus Christ will be restored, united and made ready as a bride for her Beloved!

Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book,  "The Three Battlegrounds" available at www.arrowbookstore.com.

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).

Since time began, both of these realities have always existed.  The Scriptures bear witness to numerous occasions when people have cried out to God and found the Almighty a willing ally in transforming their culture.  When Israel humbled themselves, repented and prayed, and sought again the face of God, the Lord intervened and scattered their enemies.  Consider also the ancient Ninevites.  When they, too, humbled themselves with fasting and prayer, divine mercy fell upon their culture as well.  Indeed, the transformation of their culture was so stunning that Jonah, the prophet sent by God to announce Nineveh's destruction, actually was displeased that Israel's enemies received mercy.  Jonah lamented, "I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, and one who relents concerning calamity" (Jonah 4:2).

Jonah knew the mercy of the Lord.  He also knew that, once a people humbled themselves before the living God, no enemy that stood against them could prosper.  The Lord, indeed, was standing ready to show Himself strong on behalf of those who feared Him.

As I have lived and known the Lord, He has relentlessly proven over and over again to be a God who answers prayer.  He stood with our armies in WWII; He helped bring down the atheistic Soviet Empire.  I believe He stands ready today to overthrow militant Islam as well.

However, I also know for God to answer prayers, we must pray them.  Muslim extremists are poised in many countries of the world to launch terror attacks.  Some of these might be terrible in size and devastation.  The source of many of these terror attacks are the Mullahs who preach hatred and stir up radicals in their Friday night meetings.   At the same time, Intercessors for America has set apart Fridays for prayer and fasting, specifically to counter the demonic powers that attach themselves to the words of these Mullahs.  We aggressively support this initiative and want to encourage everyone who calls upon the name of Jesus to join this prayer siege until we see the demonic power behind radical Islam broken.

We also ask that pastors and church leadership teams embrace a lifestyle of prayer, leading their congregations into intercession during all regularly scheduled services.  It was prayer that brought an end to the Soviet Empire; it will be prayer that breaks the demonic power that is fueling Muslim extremists.  No man can stop the march of time, but our intercession can bring the power of heaven to bear upon this world.   With hearts aflame with the spirit of Christ, we can rejoice together in seeing the day which the Lord has made