The Days of His Presence

The Days of His Presence
by Francis Frangipane, Arrow Publishing, third printing, 1997

On page seventeen of this book we find Frangipane’s theme summed up in one statement, “At the end of the age, the world will see the Lord Jesus Christ leading His church in ever-increasing displays of glory.” This is the same vision that is being embraced by the growing crowd that believes that the end of this age shall be characterized by revival, not apostasy, and the volume of reports is growing daily that this revival in fact is happening now. And, it is books like this that are adding fuel to the fire.

This book is written in 3 parts. In part one, the author attempts to present and prove that before the great Tribulation and before the Rapture, that there will be an overwhelming manifestation of the glory and power of God through the Church. He begins his presentation with what he sees as “evidence” of a growing unity and spiritual “success ” amongst the churches that have embraced the same vision. He continues by telling us of visions that he has received, and then he attempts to prove from the Bible that even the disciples of Jesus believed that the prophecies about His coming, His parousia, were really prophecies about the DAYS OF HIS PRESENCE, which signify His manifestation through the Church and our perfection without His actual appearance.

Part two of this book is a series of short chapters amounting to little more than exhortations to holiness and obedience, without telling us what to separate ourselves from or what in particular we ought to obey. Part three contains highly emotional pleas that we should pursue a much more intimate relationship with Jesus than we have known, which of course implies that he experiences an intimacy with our Lord that we do not. This kind of talk always offends me because he telling me about a god I have not known, and a god that can only be known by receiving some higher and hidden knowledge. This is Gnosticism. Jesus said that we love Him if we keep His commands. This is the simplicity of Christ.

My focus is on part one of this book in particular. The prophetic scenario that Frangipane presents is a favorite theme amongst many who also embrace a number of other discredited doctrines, such as, The Manifested Sons of God, Latter Rain, Kingdom Now, and Dominionism. The author’s “evidence” is terribly flawed, his scriptural “exposition” is not honest, and whenever he cannot use the rendering of the authorized Bible to support his case, he resorts to whatever translation he can find that reads the way he wants it to.

FRANGIPANE’S EVIDENCE

In the introduction, Frangipane writes,

“Several years ago, a fresh initiative came from the Holy Spirit to unite the church. . . . He simultaneously armed many prayer warriors with a new authority in spiritual warfare. In city after city, along with the proclamation of God’s Word, the ancient enemy of Christian unity, the ‘accuser of the brethren’ was confronted (see Rev.12:10-11)

“This warfare, though far from over, has been effective. For those who doubt the veracity of strategic-level spiritual warfare, in literally thousands of cities an ever-increasing number of once-divided churches are now united in prayer, friendship, and their love of Jesus Christ.”

The pragmatic results of outward unity in recent years cited as the proof that Rev.12:10-11 is being fulfilled, does not make it so.

(Rev 12:10-11) And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. {11} And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Wrong! These verses signify that the accuser of our brethren shall not be cast down until the kingdom of our God is come, and the power of his Christ. In other words, not until our Lord returns to establish the kingdom of God on earth.

Furthermore, this celebrated “unity” amongst many of the churches and denominations of Christendom is bringing no resolution whatsoever to their mutually damning doctrinal differences. No, these differences are just being ignored and doctrine is being dismissed as nonessential to our Faith and a hindrance to unity.

Frangipane sees no problem with this. He refers to the Promise Keepers and the March for Jesus as the proof that this new “unity” is of God. Concerning these two movements he writes: “Without the substructure of unity, these ventures would not have reached across the broader spectrum of Christianity. No ministry can take credit for what has come purely from the Lord’s initiative.”

The author apparently anticipates objection to this new doctrineless uniformity and writes, “The stream of renewal that is rising and flowing through the body of Christ is the result of leaders returning to the ‘simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ’ (2 Cor.11:3). Our growing unity is the consequence of obedience to Jesus Christ, not compromise.”

On the contrary, the “unity”, or rather the uniformity that is being manifested in today’s churches is being achieved by casting off the particularities of our Faith, especially those doctrines which are clearly exclusivist. It is a matter of public record that the Promise Keepers, for example, are eliminating anything and everything from their creeds that prevent the Catholics and the Protestants from embracing one another, without ever agreeing about what the Bible says on any number of issues, that were once regarded as fundamental. The author is right about one thing, however, there is no compromise on the Catholic side. And, unfortunately, there is nothing but capitulation on the Protestant side.

In support of his argument he misquotes a scripture to enlist your enthusiasm and participation (2 Cor.11:3), and ignores the next verse which qualifies it by asserting that fidelity to sound doctrine as fundamental to the simplicity that is in Christ.

(2 Cor 11:3) But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

(2 Cor 11:4) For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Does this sound like godly unity is achieved by forsaking, or ignoring sound doctrine?

He misquotes, “simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ,” as if it were a faithful quote from the Bible, but it is not. The phrase from the authorized version is, “the simplicity that is in Christ.” Whatever translation he is using here perverts the meaning to be referring to OUR sincerity instead of the simplicity and clarity of the Gospel of Christ. The author does this a lot.

FRANGIPANE’S “EXPOSITION”

One of the verses that the author uses to prove that Christ shall be manifested in glory and power through the church before the rapture is 2 Thess.1:10:

When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe . . . .

Besides ignoring the words, “When he shall come,” he ignores the context. The word translated to “come” here is “erchomai“, which is a specific reference to the second coming of Christ, His arrival on the earth.

The verse above is also distinctly qualified by the preceding verses, and which clearly contradict his premise.

(2 Th 1:6-9) Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; {7} And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, {8} In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: {9} Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

Far from being a promise of power and glory unto the Church at the end of the age and before the rapture, these verses refer directly to the rapture of the saints (rest with us) before and while the wrath of God is manifested upon the earth, and His second coming wherein He shall be glorified in His saints who return with Him.

Frangipane furthermore insists that God must reveal His glory before the rapture, or He will have been unfair to the world:

“Yes, God will again reveal His glory at the end of the age. His divine integrity requires it be so. The unsaved world will receive. . .one last, legitimate opportunity to choose. . .”

Such a statement as this impugns God’s justice, implying that this and past generations have not had a legitimate opportunity to respond to the Gospel.

Isaiah 60:1-3 are the verses that the author believes most strongly supports his proposition, and on the surface, they do. I too, once thought that I saw a promise of a pre-rapture time of glory in this world, but upon closer examination, the proposition does not hold up, and in fact, contradicts the body of Scripture that predicts that the final days of Christendom will be characterized by apostasy, not revival.

(Isa 60:1-3) Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. {2} For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. {3} And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

In the first instance, this is primarily a prophecy to the nation of Israel, not the Church. In the second instance, these verses have been manifestly fulfilled already in history, beginning with the incarnation of Christ. In the third place, the greater part of this chapter of prophecy has the millennial reign of Christ in view when all Israel shall be saved and when the entire prophecy, and not just a verse or two, shall be fulfilled literally and completely.

Although it is true that gross darkness covers the people of the earth in this age, there is nothing in these verses to suggest that the promise of God’s glory arising upon us shall be fulfilled before Christ returns, even as we do not expect that the meek shall inherit the earth, in this age.

Upon his premise, which he now calls fact, he builds his case that the time for mourning is past and that it behooves us NOW to rise and shine.

“You see, God’s plan is that here on earth, in us, the glory of the Lord will be revealed. The luminous, radiant light of His Presence, as it shone from Moses’ face and flooded Solomon’s temple at its dedication, as it radiated from Jesus and bathed His disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration – that light of God’s Presence shall arise from within us at the end of the age!”

This idea, that we shall walk around with glowing faces or haloes is nothing short of a fabrication of the author’s imagination. It is not a theme of Scripture. Not even the disciples, whom Jesus called “children of light” walked around with visible light emanating from them. The light that bathed the disciples on the mount of Transfiguration came from the Father who let them see Jesus in His glory.

Yet another prophecy that Frangipane misconstrues to present his dream is

Mal.4:1-3:

(Mal 4:1-3) For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. {2} But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. {3} And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.

The prophecies in these verses shall indeed see the beginning of their fulfillment in this age for it points to the days when the great and terrible Day of the Lord is imminent: the day cometh.

Verse two is being fulfilled now amongst those who have “Come out of her,” and gone “outside the camp bearing His reproach.” Take note that it is said of those who fear God in these dark days, that they shall grow up as calves of the stall. No, they shall not run with the herd, they shall be kept in the stall, isolated and individually cared for, until the day when they shall be spared: rescued from the world before the wrath of God is poured out.

Verse three in both passages shall not be fulfilled until the physical return of Christ to earth to reign with a rod of iron, and the saints shall reign with Him for a thousand years. This is made clear from the previous three verses at the end of the previous chapter.

(Mal 3:16-18) Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. {17} And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. {18} Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.

The message of the Bible is consistent that we shall not “tread down the wicked” or “return and discern between the righteous and the wicked” until we return with Christ, Who will then rule this world, Himself. There is nothing in these verses to suggest that we shall become supernatural spectacles in this age, as suggested by Frangipane’s vision of things:

“The church will be beautified with His glory and filled with His radiance before He physically comes for her! A time will come when our repentance and reconciliation will be complete. At that time the Scripture will be fulfilled that the bride of Christ ‘has made herself ready‘ (Rev.19:7)”

Two things are wrong with this scenario. First, the idea that the bride of Christ will NOT be “ready” until the glory of the Lord comes upon her in this age, diminishes the state and rank of all of the saints which have gone on before. Secondly, it is written: (1 John 3:2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. When shall this happen? When He appears on the day of redemption, until which day we are sealed.

(Eph 4:30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

In his continued attempt to prove that we are going to realize a great manifestation of the Presence of Christ (His manifestation without actually being here), before the rapture, he finds it necessary to again take liberties with the authorized translation of the Scriptures:

Keep on the alert at all times, praying in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36) And he comments, “Traditionally, this verse has been used to identify those who would be caught up to Christ in the rapture. But you do no need to pray to “have strength to escape” [in] the rapture, for participation in the rapture is not based upon our strength but the summons of Christ’s command.”

Most of the errors in this book could have been attributed to careless enthusiasm with an over-riding desire to establish a carnal vision of visible victory in this world. But here, we find an example of willful dishonesty. The KJV rendering of this verse reads: Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

There is a substantial difference between, “have strength to escape” and “be accounted worthy to escape “. I don’t know which translation the author is using here, and I don’t care. It is a perversion that not only changes the style of expression but the very substance of what is said. And the only reason why he wants this verse to read differently is because he must have it that the phrase,“stand before the Son of Man” means anointing and commissioning, instead of being one of the most direct promises we have of a pre-tribulation rapture. The violence that he does to this verse and the context, in order to establish his dream is dishonest and inexcusable. It is a manifestation of the mystery of iniquity, wherein the very definitions of words are changed in order to change the doctrines of our Faith.

REFUTATION OF FRANGIPANE’S PREMISE

(Heb 11:39-40) And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: {40} God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

When shall we be perfected? When he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is . The dead in Christ shall rise first, and then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the air and so we shall ever be with the Lord. When shall this happen? On the day of redemption also called the day of Christ. The dead in Christ shall not be perfected without us, and therefore we shall not be perfected without them. Neither the author nor any other of the false teachers of the “manifested Sons of God” doctrine can answer to this. To my knowledge, they have never even tried.

Frangipane’s scenario does not fit the themes of Scripture. The saints are told to look for His coming, not for the great tribulation, and not for His manifestation through the Church. And, we are told what to expect BEFORE His return.

(2 Th 2:3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

The apostasy of Christendom is evident in every place, right now. Therefore look up, for your REDEMPTION draweth nigh, not your hey day. As for those who are NOT accounted worthy to escape all of the things that are coming upon this world, they shall not find themselves in their hey day either, for it is written:

(Rev 13:7) And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

In conclusion, DON’T LISTEN TO THIS MAN, listen to the Words of our Lord Jesus Christ: “Watch and pray always, that you may be accounted worthy to escape. . . .

Despite his protest to the contrary, Frangipane would use every promise that we have of a pre-tribulation rapture and turn it into the promise of our pre-tribulation glorification, what he calls THE DAYS OF HIS PRESENCE. His evidence that this is already beginning in the churches is spurious and on the contrary, it is actually evidence of the great falling away of Christendom from the once revered doctrines of our Faith. His vision is proof of nothing, and his exposition is a dishonest exercise in proof-texting where the particularities of the language in the Bible do not matter, and context is treated as irrelevant.

Needless to say that I do not recommend this book except as an example of the modus operandi of false teachers.

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