The True Foundation

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Christ Himself is the eternal blueprint for our lives. Only in studying Him, in measuring ourselves by Him, do we grow securely upon the foundation of God.

Beloved, we were created to become like Christ. God's plan has not faded or become obsolete! Even as Christ has not changed, so neither has the plan of God for the church. Our transformation will burn in God's heart "until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13).

You see, the focus of both leadership and congregations should be upon attaining Christlike transformation and His love for people. This has been the Father's purpose from the beginning of time and it remains His unchanging goal at the end of the age. (See Gen. 1:26-27 and Rom. 8:29.)

The problem is that, too often, as Christians we define ourselves by what we do for God rather than what we become to Him. What pleases the Father most is not what proceeds from our hands but what rises from our hearts. He is seeking the revelation of His Son in us. There is nothing on earth that so pleases the Father's heart as when Jesus Christ is revealed through us. As Paul wrote, we become a “fragrance of Christ to God” (2 Cor. 2:15).

A Thankful Man Is a Humble Man

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

If you think you know God but do not live your life in gratitude before Him, it is doubtful that you really knew Him in the first place. A thankful heart honors God. Too often when we say we "know God," what we actually mean is we know facts about God. But we should ask ourselves, "Do I truly know Him?"

Paul warns that just knowing doctrines about God is not enough to enter eternal life. He said,

"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened" (Rom. 1:20-21).

A Thankful Heart

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

The very quality of your life, whether you love it or hate it, is based upon how thankful you are toward God. It is one's attitude that determines whether life unfolds into a place of blessedness or wretchedness. Indeed, looking at the same rose bush, some people complain that the roses have thorns while others rejoice that some thorns come with roses. It all depends on your perspective.

This is the only life you will have before you enter eternity. If you want to find joy, you must first find thankfulness. Indeed, the one who is thankful for even a little enjoys much. But the unappreciative soul is always miserable, always complaining. He lives outside the shelter of the Most High God.

The Converting Power of True Holiness

By Francis Frangipane

One of the most common verses in the New Testament reads, "And great multitudes followed Jesus." The Gospel of Matthew alone mentions over twenty distinct instances when vast numbers of people traveled great distances to be with Christ. People saw in Jesus meekness, unlimited power, and perfect love. If we would win souls, people must see in us this same Jesus. 

When People Saw Jesus
"And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, 'I feel compassion for the multitude, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat’" (Matt. 15:32). 

There were two occasions when Jesus fed the multitudes. The first event occurred in a desolate region of the Judean wilderness, and it lasted one day. During the second event, the multitudes had been with Jesus for three days without food on a hillside near the Sea of Galilee.

"One Message"

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

"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.

The Morning Star

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

The day of the Lord, like the dawning of any calendar day, does not burst forth abruptly. It is not pitch black at 5:59 a.m. and then, suddenly, bright morning the next minute. The night sky gradually recedes, retreating from the approaching rays of light. Even before the dawn breaks, the morning star faithfully heralds the coming day, announcing to the world still in darkness that light is at hand.

Some may ask, doesn't the Bible warn that the day of the Lord would come as a "thief in the night"? Yes, but His coming as a thief is only to the backslidden and sinner. Paul says, "But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness" (1 Thess 5:4-5).

The Coming Baptism of Light

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

As Christians we tend to come from unique schools of thought concerning the end times. Some believe the Rapture could occur at any moment; others see the church going through some if not all of the tribulation. Still others are trusting that, whenever the Rapture occurs, they will be prepared.

The Bible itself focuses on dark and foreboding events occurring during the last hours of the age. I do not want to minimize that focus, for it is real. Yet there is more on God's calendar that the Rapture or tribulation. I believe there will be a baptism of light for those who truly follow Christ.

Removing the Burden of Regret

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

"Why did I disobey the Lord?"

"If only I had kept my mouth shut."

"If only such and such hadn't happened, my life would be so much better."

Regret. Nothing so chains us to our past failures like regret. I know too many Christians who were running well yet at some point fell into sin. The worst thing is they knew better. They were not ignorant of Satan's devices yet they fell. The outcome of their failure was that in the very place where their joy once shone brightly now a wearisome oppression exists. This oppression looks like an aspect of repentance, but it is not. It is demonic. It is a vision-stealer forged in the fires of hell.

On Earth as It Is in Heaven!

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

We recite it in private and pray it in unison; we have even sung it in reverence on select Sunday mornings. It's been a familiar prayer at somber cultural events. Yet I wonder if we really grasp what was in Jesus' heart when He taught His disciples the Lord's Prayer.

The disciples asked Him, "Lord, teach us to pray" (Luke 11:1). In response, the Lord gave them a prayer, not just to help them cope but something that was militant in nature. This was more than a prayer -- it was a proclamation.

For centuries the holy realities of the Lord's Prayer have been obscured by traditions of religious unbelief, as though ritualistic repetition of this prayer would accumulate a special blessing in the afterlife. The deception was that all Jesus was speaking of existed off in eternity, as though this prayer was disbarred from affecting conditions on earth now. In recent years, however, truth is again filling the words of this heavenly anthem, so that "Thy kingdom come! Thy will be done" is freighted with meaning and action.

Unwavering Perseverance

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

If we are to succeed spiritually, among all the other necessary virtues we especially will need perseverance. We will need to learn not only how to fight but how to keep going in the fight until God brings the breakthrough. I am not talking about becoming carnal in our warfare or fleshly in our aggression. I am speaking about a combination of discernment, authority and unwavering faith that needs to live within us, even while other virtues and gifts develop.

It is not enough, you see, to know about God's Kingdom -- we are called to possess it. Yes, when we are born again, we are born into God's Kingdom. But the reality of being born of the Spirit means that a whole new realm of possibilities, challenges and obstacles now unfolds before us. In other words, we must overcome many things in order to function as sons and daughters of God. The idea that the only relationship we have with Heaven is the one we experience at death is simply contrary to the Word of God.

Love: God's Preservative

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

There will be a time when each of us will stand before Jesus Christ, and He will open a door called "reality past." There we shall gaze into the days of our earthly existence. Jesus will not only commend our lives in a general way, but He will point to specific things we did. Rejoicing together with us, He will say, "Well done!" Perhaps there was a special act of kindness that turned a bitter person back toward God, or perhaps you overcame your fears and led a person to Christ whom God then used to win thousands.

In the Latin translation of the Bible, the phrase "well done" is rendered "Bravo!" How would you like Jesus to say that to you? Imagine Him with His arm around your shoulder, saying, "Bravo! You were just an average person, but you trusted Me; you learned to love without fear. Look how many hearts we touched together!" To be so pleasing to Christ that He rejoices over the life we give Him should be our highest goal.

The Un-envisioned Place

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

If we look at the heroes of faith in the Scriptures, we will find people that, without fail, were people of vision. Yet, upon deeper study, we also discover that, even as people of vision, they often found themselves in circumstances that were unlike anything they expected. Yet, it was in this "un-envisioned place" that God established character in His servant. It was here where the Lord released power that fulfilled destiny.

Consider Paul's letter to the Thessalonians. He wrote of his "great desire" to travel to the church in Thessalonica more than once. Yet, he said, "Satan hindered us" (1Thess. 2:17-18).

Pursuing the Stature of Christ

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

In a most profound verse the apostle Paul unveils God's supreme plan for the church. He tells us we are called to nothing less than "the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13). The Father's glorious intention is to exhibit through us all the attributes and power of Jesus Christ. He has purposed that, not only in eternity but here in the midst of our battles and temptations, we are to grow "in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ" (v. 15).

We have put such limitations upon our call in God! The Almighty's goal for us is not that we merely become nice, but become Christlike, literally partakers of His nature (1 Cor. 12:12; 2 Pet. 1:3; Heb. 3:14; Gal. 2:20). There is a difference between hallowed doctrine and hollow doctrine. Let us quickly abandon the boundaries of spiritually empty religious traditions: God has invited us to partake of the fullness of Christ! The depth of His grace has rendered us capable of climbing the heights of His holiness. Through the Holy Spirit, the responsibility of wielding Christ's very authority has been delegated to us!

The War Over Reality

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

The Principle of Displacement
"Then war broke out in heaven, Michael and his angels going forth to battle with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no room found for them in heaven any longer" (Rev. 12:7-8 AMP). Notice the phrase, "there was no room . . . for them in heaven." The war against principalities involves displacement: Christ filling the spiritual territories once held by Satan.

This war in Heaven is difficult for us to comprehend. How do angels and demons, beings who do not die from wounds, wage war? With what do they do battle? And how do they conquer one another? Without exceeding the bounds of our knowledge, we can safely say this: All spiritual warfare is waged over one essential question: Who will control reality on earth, Heaven or hell?

Everyone Who Seeks Finds

By Pastor Francis
(En Español)

It is not hard to recognize one who has spent extended time at a newsstand: his conversation overflows with the drama of current affairs. And it is not hard to discern a person who has come from a sporting event, as their face reveals the outcome of the game. Likewise, people can tell when an individual has spent extended time seeking God. An imperturbable calm guards their heart, and their countenance is radiant with light, as with the morning dew of Heaven.

Beloved, to seek and find God is everything.

The Lord of Armies, Part 2

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

We have been discussing the nature of Christ. From our study, we understand that the compound name that represents Christ’s nature most frequently referenced in the Bible is "Lord of Hosts." This name appears nearly ten times the sum of all the other compound names revealed in the Word.

Hosts, by the way, are not people who invite you to a party; hosts are armies. The Lord is Lord of armies, units that come against the gates of hell, and the gates of hell cannot withstand them. Every church is an outpost on assignment in a war. Of course, there is love and grace in each church, but there should also be a war mode -- and strategies that have come from Heaven to advance against the darkness of its time and place.

The Lord of Armies, Part 1

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

This book is called This Day We Fight! for a reason. Our nation has been under spiritual and physical attack. God has called His Church to step up, grow up, take up the sword of the Spirit and fight for the future. Beloved, we can see our nation turned away from sin and aggressively turned toward Heaven. Do not Doubt!

It is no secret that today America is the most influential nation in the world. Yet consider how God could use our land if Hollywood experienced a revival or if our government became a model of integrity and justice.

You might be thinking that I'm dreaming, that it will never happen. Again I say, "Do not doubt." For Jesus says, "All things are possible." You may have been a prayer warrior at one time, but you've suffered a setback. Okay, round one is over -- now it is time for round two. God is calling us back to vision and prayer. It is time to reload! It is time to pick up the sword of the Holy Spirit and join the ranks of the overcoming Church. Resist that cloud of oppression and pray.

The Real Jesus

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Not only is Jesus our Savior, He is also the "author and perfecter of our faith" (Heb. 12:2, NIV). We should pause and contemplate that reality, that Christ is the "perfecter of our faith." In other words, the faith Christ inspired in us He now seeks to perfect.

The idea that Christ seeks to perfect our faith makes a fine doctrine, but in the practical outworking of our lives, many unconsciously resist the idea. We are uncomfortable because we know, at least subconsciously, that for our faith to be perfected it must inevitably be tested.

Now, when I speak of faith, I do not mean just amassing facts about the Bible. We do, indeed, need study and accurate knowledge of the Bible, but to amass biblical knowledge primarily takes time; to possess true saving faith, often requires overcoming events and difficulties in the context of our lives -- some of which take courage to companion our faith.

Revelation Perception at the Throne of God

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

In the book of Revelation there is a marvel: ". . . in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind . . . around and within" (Rev. 4:6, 8). Our purpose here is not to spend ourselves in speculations about these creatures. Our goal is to possess that purity of heart that comes from living in the awareness of God. We're seeking the open vision that is manifested at His throne.

Though these "living creatures" may represent many things, one thing is certain: John was not seeing a nightmarish vision of six-winged beasts with dozens of eyes covering their bodies. What John saw was a symbol of a deeper truth. The many "eyes" represent the open, all-inclusive vision that is the result of being in God's presence.

An Israelite Indeed

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Jesus spoke concerning Nathanael, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!" (John 1:47). What kind of man was this young disciple, that Jesus should praise him? There was no guile, no deceit in this young man's heart. Oh, how we should desire this purity for ourselves! Nathanael had "eyes . . . within." He kept himself free from self-deception. When you cleave to the truth inwardly, you will perceive the truth outwardly. Nathanael looked at Jesus and declared, "You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel" (v. 49).

Jesus said to Nathanael, "You will see greater things than these. . . . I say to you, you will see the heavens opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man" (vv. 50-51). Because of Nathanael's honest heart, Jesus knew open vision was inevitable. Open vision is the consequence of a pure heart. To those who fight against sin, who hate falsehood, who diligently pursue walking in holiness, your struggle is a preparation for seeing God. You shall see the heavens opened.

Find God!

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

There is only one thing that keeps most churches from prospering spiritually. They have yet to find God.

Holiness Comes From Seeking the Glory of God
"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?"

The Upward Call

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

It is sad, but many Christians muddle along, hoping for nothing loftier than a short reprieve from sin, guilt 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 trust in our Lord's redemption. We aren't harnessed to our flaws and weaknesses. Rather in spirit-to-Spirit fusion we are united to the resurrection power of the Son of God! 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).

The True Pattern

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

It is one thing to be able to discern what is false, but it is of much greater value to know the pattern of the true. Thus the apostle Paul uses chapter 3 of Philippians to reveal his attitude of heart. In so doing, he gives us the pattern of what we should look for in a leader.

After presenting his remarkable pedigree in versus 5 and 6 -- an Israelite by birth; as to the Law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness defined in the Law, found blameless -- Paul then renounces the very things he attained, saying: "But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ" (v. 7). For the mature man or woman, no position or esteem among men can replace the "surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus [our] Lord." Even the most amazing of achievements are reduced to "rubbish in order that [we] may gain Christ" (v. 8).

Follow Those Who Follow Christ

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

"Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us." - Philippians 3:17

Paul faced a major problem in the first century. False teachers had slipped into the church. The apostle warned the Philippians, and us by extension, to recognize the differences between a true man or woman of God and a deceptive teacher or prophet. Without any sense of false humility, Paul declared that both his vision and his spiritual attitude were examples for us to follow. He instructs us in our powers of discernment to look for and "observe" leaders who exemplify the centerpiece of God's purpose, which is to possess the likeness of Christ.

The context in which Paul wrote describes both his self-righteousness before he found Christ and his utter abandonment of fleshly confidence afterward. We will study these verses carefully. For in an age of increasing deception, not everyone who cries "truth, truth" is speaking in defense of conformity to Jesus.

"You Give Them Something to Eat"

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

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.

I was with a group outside the city. We were not part of the darkness but had been "baptized" in a radiant, powerful light. I actually experienced the power of this light surging up from my inner being. It coursed out through our hands like lasers; a visible splendor shone from our bodies, especially our faces.

The Unshakable Kingdom

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

When the Earth ShakesOver the past 15 years it has become hard to be unaffected by the massive earthquakes that have rocked our planet. In December 2004, the great South Asian tsunami roared along the Indian Ocean, striking the coastlines of nine nations. More than 250,000 people died, and millions more were left grieving and homeless. Scientists tell us that not only did this great disaster change the landscape of Asia, but it also actually caused the planet to wobble on its axis. Nine and a half months later, in October 2005, another devastating quake struck, this time in the Kashmir region of Pakistan. It killed nearly 80,000 people. Millions again were left without homes or shelter. Then, along with quakes in Chile and New Zealand, the horrific Haitian earthquake struck and another quarter million lives were lost. Lastly, a huge 9.0 quake and subsequent tsunami struck the northeast coast of Japan, raising the specter of a nuclear meltdown and the widespread poisoning caused by radioactive contamination.

There is something happening in the earth. Massive earthquakes. Huge death tolls. Unprecedented storms. It may all be a coincidence, but I cannot help but call to mind the Lord's word, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven" (Heb. 12:26). There is certainly a great shaking occurring in the nations.

When Christ Is Formed in Us

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

The intercessory prayer of the Apostle Paul was not just a prayer for protection or for a few blessings to rest upon the saints. He said, "My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you" (Gal. 4:19). Paul was "in labor" to bring forth the actual spirit of Christ within the church. Let me say it again: his goal was Christ, not merely Christianity!

Any mother can relate to the focused intensity of labor pains. This was how the apostle prayed for the church, as though he were giving spiritual birth and would continue to be in labor until the person, power and nature of Christ Jesus Himself was functionally formed in the disciples.

We know "theologically" that Jesus is within us. But has He taken over our form? It is one thing to accept Him as our source of help in time of need; quite another dimension to have Him dwell in us as God in His earthly temple.

Their Mission: Eliminate the Cross

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

If there ever was a reason to pray for America, you can see it in this excerpt of a recent CNN news article. The report concerns a video that has been published on radical Islamic websites of a large gathering of al Qaeda fighters in Yemen. Of particular interest to me is what they described as their expressed mission and their description of America.

[Excerpt]

In the middle of the clip, the man known as al Qaeda's crown prince, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, appears brazenly out in the open, greeting followers in Yemen. Al-Wuhayshi, the No. 2 leader of al Qaeda globally and the head of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has said he wants to attack the United States. But in the video, he looks unconcerned that he could be hit by an American drone.

The Earth Is Full of God's Glory, Part 3

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

I Was Always Beholding the Lord
David revealed a profound truth concerning his relationship with the Lord. He said, "I saw the Lord before me {continually}, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken" (Acts 2:25 LEB). There was something in David's heart -- call it a spiritual radar -- that caused him to continually perceive the Lord. This inner awareness caused the king to see the Lord outwardly in all phases of life. In spite of conflicts, death threats, betrayal and fear, David was always beholding the Lord.

At another time, perhaps while he was watching a sunset with brilliant rays of light exploding from behind clouds, David had a revelation: The sky wasn't just a canopy of light and color covering the earth. It was, in fact, a declaration of the very glory of God (Ps. 19:1).

The Earth Is Full of God's Glory, Part 2

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Lord, Show Me Thy glory!
Some teach that as long as we are living on this side of eternity, seeing the glory of God is a false hope, even a heresy. I say, beware of any teacher who promotes doctrines of unbelief! Such people would have you accept a religion about Christ without access to Christ, as though to see God's glory was sin.

Yet the Bible was written by individuals who beheld the glory of God. Did not Moses endure "as seeing him who is invisible" (Heb. 11:27 KJV)? Did not Jesus Himself say, "If you believe, you will see the glory of God" (John 11:40)? To see the glory of God is our call as well. Our spiritual vision is not an imaginary device but that which comes from the living union of the Holy Spirit with our hearts. Did not our Lord promise that the "pure in heart … shall see God" (Matt. 5:8)? Is it not reasonable to expect that, if Christ truly dwells within us, we ought to perceive life with unveiled minds? Just as it is written: "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit" (2 Cor. 3:18).

The Earth Is Full of God's Glory

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

There are many legitimate reasons to seek God, and the Lord graciously receives them all. Yet it is only because we do not truly know Him that our motivation is primarily crisis-driven. Let us, therefore, boldly bring our needs to Him, but let us also lift our eyes higher and behold the One who helps us. For if we will truly seek the Lord's glory, we will discover, in hindsight, that all our needs are met as well.

It is not enough to know God exists. If we will live in the awareness of the heavenly, we must be freed from the boundaries of the earthly. To awaken faith, the Holy Spirit will take us through times when the presence of God cannot be clearly discerned. The Lord's goal during these times is to bring to maturity our spiritual senses.

Unrelenting Love

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

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.

Two Sets of Books

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

It was not a dream. It was simply a thought in the middle of the night that roused me from my sleep. It said, "He keeps two sets of books: one is exact and the other forgiving."

I barely had time to wonder "who" kept the two sets of books when Jesus' story of the rich man and his wasteful steward surfaced in my mind. The parable, which comes from Luke, chapter 16, tells of a manager who was soon to be dismissed for squandering his employer's wealth. "What shall I do," the steward pondered, "since my master is taking the management away from me?" (v. 3).

To secure his future, he shrewdly contacted his employer's debtors. To the one who owed 100 measures of oil he said, "Write fifty" (v.6). He reduced another's debt from 100 measures of wheat to eighty. So clever was his plan that even the steward's master praised him for his wisdom and prudence (v. 8).

The Gathering Together of the Saints

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

True Christians from all backgrounds share an expectation commonly known as the Rapture of the church (see 1 Thess. 4:16-17). Although debate surrounds the timing of this event, Scripture assures us that at the last trumpet we will be caught up to "meet the Lord in the air" (v.17). So, while critics will say that Francis does not believe in the Rapture, the truth is that I do. However, it is plain that, according to many Scriptures, there will also be a time of unusual grace prior to the Rapture in which the living church of Jesus Christ, like a bride, makes "herself ready" (Rev. 19:7).

During this unparalleled season of preparation, those who are alive in Christ shall realize a level of holiness and purity that will be the overflow of the presence of Jesus Himself manifested through the church (1 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. Faultfinding and gossip will disappear. In their place will be intercession and love. Wholeness will return to the citywide evangelical church. This also means that the ambition and division we see today between congregations will be identified as sin, which will be repented of before Jesus returns.

Loving the Truth

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

"No lie was found in their mouth; they are blameless" (Rev. 14:5). To become blameless is to be free from falsehood; it is to be delivered from sin and the deception that protects sin.

Yet this process of deliverance is not attained if we are only casually committed to the Lord Jesus. We must be dedicated to the way of truth. Indeed, each of us has been conditioned by decades of unbelief, fear, and an unbridled thought-life, which has reinforced deception.

Christians who tend to automatically assume they are the "chosen of God," have reassured themselves that they could not possibly be deceived. The very thought, "I cannot be deceived" is itself a deception! Let us stay humble and not presume that the calling of God and the choosing of God are alike. "Many are called," Jesus taught, "but few are chosen" (Matt. 22:14). Many tests await the called before they are equipped by God and become His chosen; not the least of these tests is becoming free from deception.

Shout Grace!

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

We sing "Amazing Grace," but I don't think we realize how amazing grace actually is. Grace is God's power, motivated by His mercy, working to fulfill His compassion. What culminates in a "day of salvation" experience is actually months and even years of divine grace quietly, yet powerfully, working in our hearts.

Recall, Jesus said, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him" (John 6:44a). Do you remember that drawing power? Before we knew God, His power was drawing us to Christ. Yet let me take the miracle of grace further. For after Jesus spoke of the Father's drawing power, He then said, "and I will raise him up on the last day" (John 6:44b). This is the power and commitment of our Father's love: from our utterly helpless beginnings to our utterly helpless end, from being dead in sin to being dead in the grave, grace carries us to the arms of God.

Identified with Sinners

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Throughout His life, Jesus reached to people who were rejected by others. He loved all people, but especially those who were despised, scorned, and excluded. However, 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 collectors and sinners?" (Matt. 9:11). When Jesus heard the 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 Holy Obsession

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

To be in love is to be obsessed with one's beloved; it is "to think continually about the same thing." In this sense, the Father is obsessed with love for His Son, Jesus Christ. Indeed, beginning with eternity past, revealing the Firstborn in the womb of time, and then continuing with the transformation of the church, the Father's ultimate goal is for all creation to be summed up in Christ (Eph. 1:10). Our goal is to participate in this "summing up" until all that we are -- our loves, our passions, our dreams and our character -- is conformed to Christ.

Now, if the Father is obsessed with His Son, let us also surrender to this divine obsession. For such is the prayer of Christ Himself for His followers. He prayed,

"I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them" (John 17:26).

Remember Job

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

There is much to say about the book of Job. Many scholars believe it is the oldest book of the Bible; all agree that it predates the wisdom books (Proverbs, Psalms, etc.). Another interesting insight is this: Job was not an Israelite. So the antiquity of this book combined with its Gentile hero makes it unique among all Old Testament Scriptures.

Yet there is another narrative that is actually my main point of interest. The story of Job is not only about an innocent man suffering unjustly from a satanic attack; the bulk of the story concerns the suffering Job endured from his three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar (and later Elihu). These men, probably religious scholars of their day, were friends of Job. Yet during his distress they falsely judged him; they became his accusers.

A Society of Redeemers

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Before we discuss a number of ways we can develop our powers of discernment, let us acknowledge that our world is under a great, multidimensional assault. Hell is advancing and its goal is to swallow civilizations in darkness. I've seen the demonic legions, strident in their rebellion, shaking their fists toward Heaven as they lay claim to our open and foolishly naive cultures.

I have even known, on a rare occasion or two, the intimidation of the Prince of Darkness. I've felt the weight of his confidence as he gloats at how unprepared the church is -- how divided and carnal. Satan does not doubt he will fulfill his intention to rule this world.

Freedom to Prisoners

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Even in the day of His wrath, the hand of God is ever guided by His redemptive mercy. What I mean is that many who have failed the Lord during these past years are, even now, discovering Christ has come to free them from the burden of defeat and condemnation.

Indeed, when Jesus began His ministry, He opened the book of the prophet Isaiah to where the nature of His mission was described:

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord . . ." (Isa. 61:1-2).