Purity of Heart: Open Vision

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Spiritual perception is based upon purity of heart. What we see in life and how we see it is rooted in the soil of our inner thought life. If we would experience clear and open vision concerning the kingdom of God, a pure heart is most essential.

Revelation Perception at the Throne of God
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.

Forgiveness and the Future of Your City

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

When I look at the conditions of our world -- the deep racial and political divisions, immigration problems, terror threats, national debt, wars, and lawlessness in our cities -- a deep foreboding comes over my soul. As Christians, we all believe the call of 2 Chronicles 7:14 offers hope, but what if there is no response to the call to humble ourselves and pray? Is there anything we can do to restore hope and stability?

There is a situation mentioned in the Bible that offers a solution. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, "and all his army, with all the kingdoms of the earth that were under his dominion and all the peoples, were fighting against Jerusalem" (Jer. 34:1). Because of Israel’s sin even the Lord had seemingly withdrawn. For nearly forty years, Jeremiah pleaded with God’s people to repent, but they would not. Israel was nearly apostate, and the dire and repeated warnings of Jeremiah were about to come to pass.

A Place for Him to Rest, Part 3

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Cease Striving, Know, Then Obey
To enter God's rest requires we abide in full surrender to His will, in perfect trust of His power. We learn to rest from our works "as God did from His" (Heb. 4:10). To "rest from our labors" does not mean we have stopped working; it means we have stopped the laborious work of the flesh and sin. It means we have entered the eternal works that He brings forth through us.

The turmoil caused by unbelief is brought to rest by faith. The strife rooted in unforgiveness is removed by love. Our fearful thoughts, He arrests through trust; our many questions are answered by His wisdom. Such is the mind that has entered the rest of God.

A Place for Him to Rest, Part 2

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Enveloped and Permeated with God
The Hebrew word for rest is nuach; among other things, it means "to rest, remain, be quiet." It also indicates a "complete envelopment and thus permeation," as in the spirit of Elijah "resting" on Elisha, or when wisdom "rests in the heart of him who has understanding." God is not looking for a place where He can merely cease from His labors with men. He seeks a relationship where He can "completely envelop and thus permeate" every dimension of our lives, where He can tabernacle, remain, and be quiet within us.

A Place for Him to Rest, Part 1

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

In the kingdom, there are no great men of God, just humble men whom God has chosen to use greatly. How do we know when we are humble? When God speaks, we tremble. God is looking for a man who trembles at His words. Such a man will find the Spirit of God resting upon him; he will become a dwelling place for the Almighty. 

Entering the Sabbath Rest of God
"Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest?" ---Isaiah 66:1

The Real Jesus

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

A Storm, a Ghost or Jesus?
Get used to the idea that among all the blessings you have received from God, the real Jesus is also the “author and perfecter of [our] faith” (Heb. 12:2). In that regard, sooner or later the Lord will require you to look straight in the eye of the impossible and believe God for His power.

Consider the occasion when Jesus sent His disciples ahead of Him to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Later that night, Jesus comes to them walking on water (see Matt. 14:22-33). Contrary winds are churning the sea with turbulent swells. Of course, Jesus could have waited for a calm day to walk on water. Or He simply could have arrived at the other side of the sea supernaturally. No, the Lord comes to the disciples with something in mind; He comes to them as the perfecter of their faith.

Breaking the Power of Disappointment

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

The Enemy's Work
One may argue, "But I know people who were good Christians who have fallen away." Yes, but in most cases you will find that prior to falling away they fell into deep disappointment about a failed spiritual expectation. Disappointment is not just a sad emotional state of mind; deep disappointment actually can sever our hearts from faith. It can "dis-appoint" us from our appointed destiny.

I have known many who were doing well, moving toward their destiny. The future God had for them seemed close enough to taste. Then they became disappointed in someone or something. By accepting a demonically manipulated dis-appointment into their spirits, and letting that event germinate and grow into a disappointment with God, a bitter cold winter overtook their souls and their destiny went dormant.

At the Appointed Time

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

 In spite of escalating turmoil in our world, there still remains one last, great outpouring of mercy before the time of the end (see Matt. 24:14; Acts 2:17). This supernatural season is not something for which we must beg God. No, its coming has been predetermined. It is the "appointed time" of the Lord.

As most know, an "appointed time" is an open display of the sovereignty and power of God, whether it is in calling a person or calling a nation. In it we discover with absolute certainty that nothing is impossible for God. It is a season when God fulfills the hopes and dreams of His people.

Repentance and the Way God Calls Holy

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Many are calling for prayer for our nation. To that message I would like to add a call to repentance as well. Indeed, 2 Chronicles 7:14 not only calls us to pray but to follow through by humbling ourselves and aggressively turning away from evil. In that spirit, we then seek God's face. There is far too much compromise among us. We need a breakthrough into brokenness. A move of God is coming, but it will only be as deep as our repentance prepares us.

The purpose of this message is to take us beyond simply feeling sorry we sinned. God wants to bring us into an attitude of repentance that goes deep, that persistently turns to God's grace until the fruit of righteousness comes forth in our lives.

The Stronghold of Christ's Likeness

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.

Door of Hope

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

We tend to boast in the power of faith while minimizing the value of hope. Yet "faith is the substance of the things hoped for" (Heb. 11:1 KJV). Without first having a living hope in God, our faith is meaningless. Indeed, the first stage of transformation is the awakening of hope.

Yet, even after we come to Christ, we still fail. Often a downward spiral occurs when sin opens the door to condemnation, and condemnation smothers the voice of hope. Consider the story of Israel’s conquest of Canaan. The Lord was about to prosper Israel with the wealth of the Canaanites, but only if the spoils of their first battle at Jericho were completely dedicated to God. However, one man, Achan, defied the Lord's edict. He took silver, gold, and a garment from Shinar, and then he hid the spoils in his tent. As a result of his sin, thirty-six Israelites died in their next battle -- defeated and humiliated by the tiny city of Ai.

Standing Behind Our Wall

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 will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you" (John 14:20).

Scripture tells 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.

At an Inconvenient Time

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

The Lord has multitudes who believe in Him, and when I consider that fact I am blessed. At the same time I am aware that, of those numbers, it is but a minority who actually worship Him.

True worshipers find their fulfillment in adoring God. The fragrance of their worship rises, not only during the scheduled times of church services but also during inconvenient times.

A true worshiper will rise early before work or school; they're up before the household so they can be alone with God. Instead of being frustrated by delays, they transform difficulties and setbacks into opportunities to magnify God. You might see one of these worshipers sitting in the car next to you during a traffic jam, singing along with Christian music in their car.

A true worshiper has learned the secret of worshiping God at inconvenient times.

Possessing the Mind of Christ

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

To See as Jesus Sees
"He who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:15-16).

This is one of the most staggering statements made in the New Testament. Paul says that it is actually possible to be free of our carnal, jealous, fearful, unbelieving thought-life and, in its place, possess "the mind of Christ"!

This promise is wonderfully profound. Indeed, it is one thing to be taught edifying principles and truths about the Lord, yet quite another to actually posses the very thought-life of Christ! Listen to what Paul says:

The Transcendent Life of God

By Francis Frangipane

The Gifts and Callings
It is to our shame in the West that many of our seminaries do not focus on becoming Christlike.  Instead it seems many devote themselves primarily to theology and hermeneutics. Obviously, we need correct biblical knowledge, but even more do we need conformity to Christ. Even in our churches we labor to see people released in "their gifts," and truly may we never stop! But let us not neglect the more foundational work of seeing Christ's likeness structured and then manifest into the congregational consciousness and attitude.

He Will Make a Way

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7).

The Lord doesn't want us to simply possess a generalized peace, based on having no particular problems; nor does He plan to give us a slightly spiritual, yet human-sized kind of peace. If we follow the sequence of obedience He presents, His intention is to shelter us in His very own peace: the imperturbable peace of God.

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).

Having said that, we must also acknowledge that the church has only rarely walked in such victory since the first century. Why? At least in part, the answer is this: to attain the protection of Christ, the church must embrace the intercession of Christ. We must become a house of prayer.

Even Sodom

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

"He then began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent" (Matt. 11:20).

Jesus has a word to say, not only to us as individuals, but to entire cities as well. In anger He rebuked Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum (Matt. 11:21, 23). With tears He wept over Jerusalem (Luke 13:34). If He expected cities to repent in the first century, He expects cities today to repent as well.

It was in this very context of reproving cities, however, that Jesus made a statement which, to me, unveiled the scope of God's redemptive power. Listen to His rebuke, but also to its hidden promise.

A Jealous God

By Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Have you ever sensed spiritual resistance, as though some power much greater than you was deliberately opposing your success? We often assume it is the devil who is fighting us. Allow me to suggest that, on some occasions, what is standing in your way may not be an enemy at all; it may actually be the jealousy of God.

Is the Almighty jealous for us? Yes. The Lord describes Himself often in the Bible as "a jealous God" (Ex. 20:5, 34:14; Deut. 4:24, 5:9, etc.). We should expect He would be jealous since we have actually been created for His pleasure. While His covering, nurturing love accepts us as we are, a time comes when He begins to confront the false gods, the idols, that rule in our hearts. Indeed, anything in us that denies Him full access to our souls -- anything that stands between our hearts and His -- becomes His enemy.

The Silent Harvest

By Francis Frangipane

In a dream I found myself inside the mind of a dying man. The man had been in a coma for some time; his family had been praying, but they did not know whether or not he had accepted Christ. All they were sure of is that, throughout his life, he had resisted their efforts to lead him to Christ.

As I dreamt I became so acutely aware of the man's state of mind that his thoughts, feelings and struggles almost seemed my own. Although his eyes were nearly closed and his vision clouded, he could see his loved ones at his bedside. I watched as he tried to reach toward his family, but outwardly his arm never lifted. I heard him speak their names, but no sound whispered through his lips. A loved one holding his hand asked, "If you hear me, squeeze." He heard and pressed his fingers against hers, but no movement was seen; his hand clearly remained limp. He was conscious; he could hear their prayers; he felt the warmth of their kisses on his face yet was perfectly incapable of responding.

Two Things, Two Things Only

By Francis Frangipane

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.

Standing After the Storm

By Francis Frangipane

"If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?" (Ps. 11:3)

Just as there are foundations that are dug and laid for buildings, so there are spiritual foundations upon which we can build a strong and unshakeable spiritual life. But if we compromise the standards of our foundation, to that degree we compromise our ability to stand during life's storms.

I've known many people who could prophesy or pray for the sick or sing beautifully in church, but inwardly their spiritual lives were unstable. As soon as difficulties arose, they fell. Why? Something was missing from their inner spiritual life and they crumbled during the storm.

"This Time I Will Praise the Lord"

By Francis Frangipane

Have no doubt, the Lord is concerned about fulfilling our desires, but to do so He must reset our priorities in life. In our world, the quest for personal fulfillment can become a type of idolatry. Thus, part of our salvation includes having God become first in our hearts. In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord Jesus put it this way. He said,

"Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" (Matt. 6:33-34).

God wants to satisfy us beyond our dreams, but not before He becomes first in our hearts. A wonderful example of this can be seen in the life of Leah, Jacob's first wife. Leah was unattractive, unwanted, and unloved by her husband. Jacob had served Laban, Leah's father, seven years for Rachel, who was Leah's younger sister. On their wedding night, however, Laban put Leah in the nuptial tent instead of Rachel. Although Jacob actually did marry Rachel a week later, he had to work another seven years for her. So Jacob had two wives who were sisters.