When the Unclean Becomes Clean

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

There are unfathomable mysteries concerning the Messiah's entrance into our world, realities that are beyond our powers of comprehension: His divine conception, the manifestation of the angelic hosts, the miraculous star that led the wise men, etc. Yet one reality strikes me the most: of all places where the Son of God might have been born, His birth came in the uncleanness of a stable.

With myriads of angels at the Almighty's command, we might assume the world's Creator would have orchestrated better accommodations, perhaps the home of a rich man or more appropriately, a king. Yet the staging of Christ's birthplace was symbolic of His life and purpose. Indeed, when I contemplate the message broadcast in the birthplace of Christ, I realize that He who was born in the uncleanness of a stable is not offended or repulsed by the uncleanness in me or you.

Measure Those Who Worship

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

"Then there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, ‘Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and those who worship in it. Leave out the court which is outside the temple and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations'" (Rev. 11:1-2).

For whatever else this verse ultimately means, it tells us that the Spirit of God is measuring worshipers. He is studying those individuals whose treasure is in Heaven and who abide in the "inner court" of God's temple.

Consider: in our world of terrors, pressures and trauma, our only refuge exists in the living presence of God. We must not accept a religion about God and assume it is the same as living in the presence of God.

If we are to truly dwell in the Divine Presence, one thing perhaps above all others will take us there: we must become true worshipers of God.

The Stronghold of Christ's Likeness, Part 2

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

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.

The Stronghold of Christ's Likeness, Part 1

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Victory begins with the name of Jesus on our lips. It is consummated by the nature of Jesus in our hearts.

There is a time when the Lord will call us to confront the strongholds over our churches and our communities. There is another time, however, when to engage in much spiritual warfare is actually a distraction from your obedience to God. Jesus defeated Satan in Gethsemane and at the cross, not by directly confronting the devil but by fulfilling the destiny to which He had been called at Calvary. The greatest battle that was ever won was accomplished by the apparent death of the victor, without even a word of rebuke to His adversary. The prince of this world was judged and principalities and powers were disarmed not by confrontational warfare but by the surrender of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Beware: It Is Easy to Fake Christianity

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Our experience of Christianity must go beyond just being another interpretation of the Bible; it must expand until our faith in Jesus and our love for Him become a lightning rod for His presence.

The Power in Holiness
"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be . . . having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof" (2 Tim. 3:1-5 KJV). Holiness is powerful. Have you ever met a truly holy man or woman? There is a power in their godliness. If, however, one has never known a Christlike soul, it becomes very easy to fake Christianity. Remember this always: being false is natural to the human heart; it is with much effort that we become true. Unless we are reaching for spiritual maturity, our immaturity shapes our perceptions of God. We point to the Almighty and say, "He stopped requiring godliness," when in reality, we have compromised the standards of His kingdom. Know for certain that the moment we stop obeying God, we start faking Christianity.

At the Threshold of Glory, Part 2

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

The God of Glory
Nearly every Christian I know believes we are in the closing hours of this age. How close to the end, no one knows; and when Jesus will return, none presume a guess. If our hope has truly come from Heaven, then the praying, hungering church of Jesus Christ is about to enter a season of extraordinary manifestations of God's glory. We are about to engage in what Bible scholars call a dispensational move of God's Spirit. During such times, the Lord has always manifested Himself in glory.

It is true that no one has seen the Father's glory, but God the Son has manifested Himself in glory numerous times in the past. Abraham saw Christ's glory while he was in Mesopotamia. Isaiah beheld Him in the year King Uzziah died. Ezekiel fell before the Living One by the river Chebar. Daniel, David, Habakkuk, Solomon, Zachariah, and Haggai all saw the glory of the Lord. In truth, the Bible was written by people who had seen God's glory!

At the Threshold of Glory, Part 1

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Before Jesus comes to be glorified in the Earth, He is coming to be glorified in the church.

Our salvation grants us more than just church membership and a conservative perspective. We have, in truth, become one with Christ. The Lord Jesus is our head; we are His body. He is our husband; we are His bride. He is the true vine from which we, His branches, draw our life and virtue. These images, and many more, speak openly and passionately of our eternal union with the Son of God.

Yet on a personal scale, only in brief flashes have we glimpsed God's mighty power working with us as it did with Christ, especially in these latter years. We pray, we ask, we travail; but we give birth, as it were, "only to wind" (Isa. 26:18). Miracles manifest, but they are rare. On a national scale, only during the heights of spiritual awakenings has the church truly seen society significantly transformed.

Two Things, Two Things Only

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

There are so many things to occupy our minds: so many books, so many examples, so many good teachings that deserve our attention, that say, "Here is a truth." But as I have been serving the Lord these past years, He has led me to seek for two things and two things only: to know the heart of God in Christ and to know my own heart in Christ's light.

Knowing the Heart of God
I have been seeking God, searching to know Him and the depth of His love toward His people. I want to know Christ's heart and the compassions that motivate Him. The Scriptures are plain: Jesus loved people. Mark's gospel tells us that after Jesus taught and healed the multitudes, they became hungry. In His compassion, Christ saw them as "sheep without a shepherd" (Mark 6:34). It was not enough for Him to heal and teach them; He personally cared for each of them. Their physical well-being, even concerning food, was important to Him.

A Word to the Women of God

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Before I begin this message, let me provide a short disclaimer: although I do encourage women to move freely within the order provided by God in their local churches, my goal is to exalt and celebrate a primary grace that God has placed specifically within women, which the Lord Himself has used in past times to release revival.

The Genesis Distinctions

When the Lord created humankind, He placed unique graces in man and separate but equally unique graces in woman. He told Adam to name the species of life on earth "and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name" (Gen. 2:19). This "naming" was much more than calling the dog "Spot." Adam was created with an organizational, administrative capacity that enabled him to identify and define the world around him. By naming the living things, Adam not only brought them into his consciousness, but he introduced order and structure to the human experience. Adam did not create the world, of course, but by defining the things God brought to him, he helped establish reality.

Becoming a People of Mercy

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Throughout His life, Jesus reached to those rejected by others. He loved the outcasts, those who were despised, scorned, and excluded. Yet His practice of dining with known evildoers offended the Pharisees, and they confronted Jesus' disciples with this question: 'Why is your Teacher eating with the tax-gatherers and sinners?" (Matt. 9:11).

When Jesus heard their question, He answered, 'It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners" (Matt. 9:12-13).

The Three Battlegrounds

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Among the many things to learn about God's Kingdom, we must also learn principals of spiritual warfare: how to war and how to win. First, though, I have two concerns. The first is our need for wisdom. There is an old European proverb worth heeding. It reads: "Age and treachery will always defeat youth and zeal." Before we engage in spiritual warfare, we should know this about Satan: he is an ancient and extremely treacherous foe. On the other hand, the strength of most Christians lies primarily in idealism and untested fervor. It is not long, usually five to ten years in the ministry, and most zeal has waned. Without warning, the minister's call has deteriorated from a walk of vision to a mere job.

Righteous Judgment

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

In my various writings and public speaking, I have urged the born-again church to resist the trends of self-righteous anger and bitter cynicism that exist in our world. Instead, let us seek to possess the "higher . . . thoughts" of Christ (Isa. 55:9).

In truth, our calling is to serve God as ambassadors of Christ (Eph. 6:20). A true ambassador is not only pledged to represent his or her leader; the ambassador is one who knows what that ruler actually thinks and what he would say. He receives regular communication with that leader and is current on his leader's short-term and long-term goals. Should the ambassador be ignorant of the ruler's view, he is trained to not offer his own opinions; he is to wait until he hears from the one he represents. The world doesn't want to know what we think. There are some seven billion opinions in the world today; what the nations need is not to hear our opinion, but to hear the One we represent: our King, Jesus Christ.

Love Just One

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

The Upward Call
It is sad, but many Christians muddy along, hoping for nothing loftier than a short reprieve from sin and self-condemnation. Should the lowliness of our sinful state have veto power over the enormity of God's promises? May it never be! For Scripture assures us that our call, even as lowly as we feel sometimes, is an upward climb that relies upon faith in God's abilities and Christ's redemption. We are not harnessed to our flaws and weaknesses; rather, in spirit-to-Spirit fusion we are united to the resurrection power of Heaven! Our call is not merely to attend church but to walk with God, whose eternal goal has predestined us to be "conformed to the image of His Son" (Rom.8:29).

Yes, let us deeply repent for our sins and learn to walk humbly with our God, but let us not assume faith must depart so humility may arise. No, our adoption as sons and daughters has made us joint heirs with Christ. You see, everything concerning our salvation and the gifts of God in our lives comes to us not as something we attain by works but as an inheritance we receive by faith.

Unoffendable, Part 2

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

"Then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. . . . And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold" (Matt. 24:10-12 KJV).

The Sequence That Leads To Apostasy
In our last teaching we looked at offenses and examined the lethal effect an offended spirit could have upon our lives. We discussed how the only way to not be permanently offended was to attain the unoffendable heart of Jesus Christ.

Attaining Christ’s heart is not a minor issue. Remember, Jesus warned that in the last days "many" would be offended. A wounded spirit is not the same thing as an offended spirit -- an offense occurs when we do not process our wounds in a Christlike manner. Indeed, an offended spirit, left unattended and brooding in our minds, will soon manifest as betrayal, hatred and cold love. Jesus said offenses would be the ultimate cause that leads many to fall from faith. Listen well: in the above verse, Jesus linked the real cause of apostasy not only to wrong doctrines, but wrong reactions.

Unoffendable, Part 1

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh" (Ezek. 36:26).

God has a new heart for us that cannot be offended -- an "unoffendable" heart. Beloved, possessing an unoffendable heart is not an option or a luxury; it is not a little thing. An offended heart is in danger of becoming a "heart of stone."

Consider: Jesus warns that as we near the end of the age a majority of people will be offended to such a degree that they fall away from the faith. Listen carefully to His warning:

An Unveiled Face

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

We will not find the glory of God by copying techniques or studying books. His presence cannot be entered by following manuals, but by learning to follow Immanuel.

In our immaturity, the church has sought to be known for many things. We have sought to be known for our uniqueness and particular emphasis. Some have sought to be known for speaking in tongues; others desired recognition through their buildings or evangelistic programs. Still others have publicized unique combinations of church government or a regular agenda of special speakers.

Taking Every Thought Captive to Christ

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

While we may find comfort in being Christians, being a Christian has not made us perfect. There are still many strongholds within us. Therefore, let us identify some of these spiritual fortresses. Rare is the Christian who is not limited by at least one of the following strongholds: unbelief, cold love, fear, pride, unforgiveness, lust, greed, or any combination of these, as well as the possibility of many others.

A Better Way

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

A man might be a nominal Christian, mostly unaffected by spiritual things, until one day he reads the Bible and the Holy Spirit ignites in him a fire. If that person remains steadfast in his inspiration, he will increasingly pattern his life after Jesus Christ - that is, he will become more loving, more forgiving, and more ready to give his life for the redemption of others. Spiritual power will accompany his life as he becomes more and more like Christ. As Jesus said, "The works that I do, he will do also" (John 14:12).

Legal Protection

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

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).

Arise, Shine!

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

"It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Thess. 2:14).

The Word of God states plainly -- no, it commands those at the end of the age to be fearless in the face of darkness! Speaking through the prophet Isaiah, the Spirit of the Lord orders His people:

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.
Nations will come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.
---Isaiah 60:1-3

Prayer Warriors, Part 2

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Jesus told a parable to show that "at all times [men] ought to pray and not to lose heart" (Luke 18:1-8). In other words, if you are not praying, you will lose heart. Most of the things I pray for I have to persevere and pray through to get the answer. God desires to see something deeper come out of my prayer time than just answered prayers. He wants me to become like Jesus, so he arranges battles that are character-forming. Not only will they ultimately change the world around me, but they'll change me first. This is what all true prayer warriors have discovered.

Prayer Warriors, Part 1

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

In our rapidly changing times, people are desperate to know the future. Barely do we adjust to the last changes when totally new realities explode into our world.

In answer to the common fears spawned by change, society has been inundated by a plethora of occult and demonic sources -- fortune-tellers, astrologers, psychic hotlines -- all pretending to be able to peek into the mystery of tomorrow. Indeed, how many otherwise intelligent individuals glimpse, at least occasionally, at their "astrological signs" and try to get an edge on knowing the future!

If We Do Not Lose Heart

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

The prophet Daniel warns of a time when Satan will "wear down the saints of the Highest One" (Dan. 7:25). How this occurs in the final hours of the age remains to be seen, but this battle is already occurring today. 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 constant demonic opposition, many Christians gradually accept a quiet, but weighty, oppression on their souls.

Guarded by His Word

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Obedience to God's Word gives us more than commands to obey; the Word also creates a place to abide. Indeed, the Word guides us into the presence of the Father; it is the Father's presence that both empowers and protects us.

Jesus said,

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand" (John 10:27-29).

What the Spirit of Jezebel Hates

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Perhaps at no other time in history has the spirit of Jezebel had such access to a culture. This immoral spirit has set its goal to corrupt entire generations. Jesus Himself warned about tolerating the influence of this spirit. In fact, He promised, "He who overcomes . . . I will give authority over the nations" in the age to come (Rev. 2:26).

The spirit of Jezebel hates repentance. Her worst fear is that a congregation will begin to mourn over their sins. Though this spirit may intellectually espouse true doctrines, the person's heart will reject the embrace of true repentance.

When Passover is Fulfilled in God's Kingdom

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

"Easter" Or "Passover"?

We all know that the early church did not celebrate Easter with jelly beans, chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chickens. The children of the first century church never went on Easter egg hunts. The early Christians celebrated the New Covenant that was fulfilled by Jesus Christ on Passover.

The word Easter actually comes from the Anglo Saxon Eastre, the goddess of spring. As Christianity spread, it became church policy not to undo pagan holidays but, instead, to inject Christian meaning into the cultural paganism of the era. Obviously, colored eggs, rabbits and chickens were not biblical symbols of resurrection but were actually part of the pagan fertility rites of spring.

Manifested in Our Mortal Flesh

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

What did Jesus have in mind for His followers when His ministry began? What was His holy objective? I am absolutely convinced that Christ not only came to seek and save the lost, but at the highest levels came to replicate Himself in us. And whether we are just beginning our spiritual journey or we are seasoned servants of many years, true Christianity is nothing less than the living manifestation of Christ in and through us (Gal. 2:20). Indeed, our destiny does not find sure footing until the actual life of Christ emerges through us.

The River of God's Pleasure

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

The Clamor of Many Voices
As the days unfold toward Christ’s return, a multitude of voices will clamor for our attention. Additionally signs and wonders, judgments and upheaval will also burst into the collective consciousness of man, demanding our focus. Our world will experience the increase of sin and lawlessness, which will further deplete the love of many Christians (Matt. 24:12). If we are true seekers of the Most High, we must beware the contagious nature of an embittered heart. We cannot allow ourselves to be infected by, or conformed to, the attitudes of angry, loveless Christians.

These are the "difficult times" (2 Tim. 3:1) Paul warns about. Yes, our world is full of artificially sweetened, salt-free Christians who are trodden underfoot by men. We must not assume it cannot happen to us. Yet it is in this very environment that our Father has purposed to reveal Christ in us. Even now our destiny is courting our preparation. Let us press toward full transformation!

Swallowed Up By Life

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

The Scriptures tell us that before Christ returns Satan will be cast down from the spirit realm to the earthly realm "having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time" (Rev. 12:12). Jesus warns us in Matthew 24:22 that "unless those days had been 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, those who persist as overcomers should expect to enter ever-increasing degrees of life. Through repentance and faith in God's Word, if we stay focused on attaining Christ's likeness, through the Holy Spirit we will see more of Christ's living presence restored to the church. I believe before Jesus returns, the church will increasingly be transformed from glory to glory into the Lord's likeness (2 Cor. 3:18). Is that heresy? No. To live apart from Christ in worldliness and unbelief is heresy.

The Bright Lamp of Holiness

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

When true holiness exists in a Christian’s life, it produces a luminosity, a glow around that individual. Infants and little children, because their spirits are yet pure and undefiled and because they are so close to the actual presence of God, emanate this light as well. Their light is visible because their hearts are transparent and truthful. For us, the way to the bright lamp of holiness is this same way of transparency and truth. It is the way to the pure gold of the kingdom of God.

When Your Eye is Single
From the moment Christ enters within us, we are holy, set apart unto God. This kind of holiness is the same sanctification that made the utensils in the temple holy: holy because they were used in service to the Lord. They had no virtue in themselves; their material substance did not change. Christianity, in general, is holy in that sense. But the holiness we are seeking is the fulfillment of having been set apart. We are seeking a holiness that mirrors, through us, the presence of God in Heaven. We are seeking both His nature and His quality of life.

Pardon for an Unrepentant People

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Moses sent twelve spies to Canaan to bring back a report of the land. When they returned, ten said that, though the land was good, Israel would surely be defeated by the inhabitants. Although Joshua and Caleb argued that Israel certainly could drive out their enemies, the people moaned, complained, and rebelled, even seeking to stone Joshua and Caleb and return with new leaders to Egypt. The anger of the Lord was kindled against them and threatened to bring judgment (Num. 13-14).

Faithfully, once more Moses interceded:

"I pray, let the power of the Lord be great, just as You have declared, `The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations'" (Num. 14:17-18).

Standing Behind Our Wall, Part 2

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Finding Our Beloved
Though the Sacred Writ tells us we are one with Christ, the sense of distance between Jesus Christ and ourselves persists. You may have prayed, Lord, You said You are with us forever but I feel isolated from You.

So, the question must not be ignored: If Christ is within us, how can we find the living flame of His presence? In the Song of Solomon, this quest to find the secret place of His presence is given wonderful expression. The bride says, "Listen! My beloved! Behold, he is coming, climbing on the mountains, leaping on the hills! My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag" (Song of Sol. 2:8-9).

The Lord Whose Sword is Drawn

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Of all the names that the heavenly Father could have given His Son, it is most significant that He chose the name "Jesus," for Jesus is the Greek form of "Joshua." Joshua, you recall, was the Hebrew general who led God's people into war. To be prepared for greater victories, we need a greater revelation of Jesus Christ; we need to see Him as He will be revealed in the last moments of this age: a Holy Warrior, dressed for battle.

Will You Recognize Jesus When He Comes?

"Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you for us or for our adversaries?'" (Josh. 5:13).

Standing Behind Our Wall, Part 1

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

The sense of distance we often feel between Christ and ourselves is an illusion. As we enter the days prior to Christ's Second Coming, the Lord shall begin to remove that falsehood. Indeed, He promises, "In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you" (John 14:20).

The Scriptures tell us that Christ is the vine, we are the branches; He is the head, we are His body; He is the Lord and we are His temple. From start to finish, the Bible declares the Lord not only has a dwelling in Heaven, but that He also abides perpetually in redemptive union with His people. The ever-present focus of His activity is to guide us into oneness with Himself.

The Intensifying Presence

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

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).

The Nearness of Our God

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

In the 73rd Psalm, the psalmist Asaph expressed a struggle we all might feel at times. He questioned why the wicked seem to prosper while the righteous are chastened. The whole idea was troublesome until he entered the sanctuary of God. Once in the presence of God, Asaph realized his error. As he compared himself to the unbeliever, he saw that, apart from the influence of God, he had nothing in which to boast. He said, "When my heart was embittered and I was pierced within, then I was senseless and ignorant; I was like a beast before You" (vv. 21-22).