Ask of Me

By Francis Frangipane

The Great Revolt
As though Jesus were reading a news summary of recent years, His prophecies of two thousand years ago clearly describe our times. Thus, we are compelled to discern accurately the significant era in which we live. Indeed, of the many prophetic fulfillments of our day, one in particular rises with undimmed candor. I am speaking of what the Bible calls the "apostasy." Recall Paul's warning:

"Let no one in any way deceive you, for [the day of the Lord] will not come unless the apostasy comes first" (2 Thess. 2:3).

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.

Your Children Will Return By Joy Marion

This message was written by Francis' daughter Joy in 1995. It has been part of our In Christ's Image Training Prayer track since 2002. We felt that this would be a special blessing to some of you right now. Currently, Joy and her husband, Steve, have two children of their own. She is a successful businesswoman who continues to be an immense blessing to her parents.

No one can tell me that fathers and daughters can't have close relationships, or even become best friends. People are almost envious of the love my dad and I share. The only time we argue is about who loves who the most. But our relationship was not always this warm. There was a time when I felt I had lost my ability to love my father. I was a teenage Christian in a public high school. My Christian background made me different. I was new, craving acceptance. My father's rules seemed to be the source of my rejections.

Fueled by my insecurities, in my eyes my dad became the root of my problems. While I set an adequate standard and struggled to live by it, he was strict. I was angry because he refused to back down from the standard he knew was right. He refused to appeal to my ignorance in order to keep my acceptance.

To Delight in Hiddenness

By Francis Frangipane

The desire to be acknowledged and appreciated by others is basic to human nature. After healing ten lepers, Jesus Himself seemed disappointed when only one returned to give thanks (see Luke 17). Yet, while the need to be occasionally appreciated is not sin, it can become sin when our goal shifts from seeking God's glory to seeking the praise of men. We must determine that our service to mankind is guided by a higher, more focused obedience to God.

Jesus lived solely for the glory of God. We, however, too often seek the praise of man. In spite of the fact that Jesus repeatedly affirmed that the Father who sees in secret will reward us openly (see Matt. 6), we remain offended if we do not receive credit for our good deeds. This quest for recognition can become a source of wrong motives and failed expectations; it can give a place to jealousy, pride and selfish ambition if we are not careful.

The Gift of Discernment

By Francis Frangipane

If we will move in true discernment, our view of life must be purged of human thoughts and reactions. We must perceive life through the eyes of Christ.

To Discern, You Cannot Judge
We will never possess true discernment until we crucify our instincts to judge. Realistically, this can take months or even years of uprooting old thought-systems that have not been planted in the divine soil of faith and love for people. To appropriate the discernment that is in the "mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:16), we must first find the heart of Christ. The heart and love of Jesus is summed up in His own words: "I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world" (John 12:47).

For Dreams to Come True

By Francis Frangipane

Just because we walk and talk does not mean we are truly awake. Zechariah was not sleeping when an angel roused him "as a man who is awakened from his sleep" (Zech. 4:1). Perhaps we too need to be shaken from our slumber to possess the promises of God!

Amazingly, in spite of all the signs, wonders, and warnings announcing that we are truly in the last days, Jesus said there will also be a mysterious drowsiness that we must discern and overcome. Indeed, immediately after highlighting the various evidences of the end (Matt. 24), He compares the church to virgins who "all got drowsy and began to sleep" (Matt. 25:5).

A Word to the Women of God

By Francis Frangipane

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.

The Utterances of God

By Francis Frangipane

Much of what we are living today we were speaking yesterday. Of course, not everything in one's future is determined by his words. However, in real ways, our words are seeds that bloom in future hopes and fears; they are the trailblazers of our future, the pioneers of our tomorrows.

Still, most of us are too casual, or ignorant, about the weightiness of our words. Recall: it was Jesus Himself who warned, "For every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment." He continued, "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matt. 12:36-37 NKJV).

When Trust is Established

By Francis Frangipane

Wounded in Pursuit of Oneness
The Bible says, "Pursue peace with all men." (Heb. 12/14). Pursue means we aggressively take the initiative to make things right. It means we act on behalf of Heaven rather than allow another's anger to serve the purpose of hell.

However, we must be realistic. When we reach out to a deeply offended person, they will likely be repulsed by our first efforts. Scripture tells us, "A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city, and contentions are like the bars of a castle" (Prov. 18:19). If a person has been hurt, they will need trust to be restored, and this process of initiating trust can actually be painful to both parties. A wounded person may lash out. You may feel like the price of restoring the offended person's trust is simply too great to pay.

The Living Fire

By Francis Frangipane

What we define doctrinally as "salvation" is, in truth, the entrance, and then expansion, of Christ's presence within us. As we accept Him, Christ unites with our spirit and begins His transformational work: He begins to influence our thoughts, giving us insight into the Scriptures, convicting us of sin, and creating godly attitudes within us. He brings healing to the wounds of our past, and even our mortal bodies are quickened by His indwelling.

Our journey in Christ is, at the same time, His journey into us. We are His promised land. We can be assured that the giants in our lives, though they have humiliated us, will not humiliate Him. He shall conquer our enemies and dwell in us forever.

In Preparation For God

By Francis Frangipane

The last, great move of the Holy Spirit will be distinguished by men and women who have been prepared by God for God.

We have given ourselves in prayer for revival; we have studied and discovered the Lord's heart for the lost. Without compromising the gospel's basic truths, grace has taught us to make Christ's message relative to our times and needs. For all our preparation, though, we have yet to prepare our hearts for God Himself.

We long to be sent by the Almighty for the sake of some great task---a miracle that turns a city to repentance or some significant act of service. However, the greatest task awaiting the church is not to be sent by God but to actually come to Him.

The Seed of Reproduction Is in Your Fruit

By Francis Frangipane

How does God expect to use us to reach people? A key is seen in the book of Genesis. In the Garden of Eden the Lord created trees with seed in the fruit. Remember this always: the power to reproduce is in the seed and the seed is in our fruit. For fruit to be edible, it cannot be bitter or hard. Indeed, fruit that is bitter is immature or worse, poison. Our fruit must be soft and sweet, and supernatural.

Thus, if you desire to see the reality of God reproduced in your loved ones and friends, set your heart to walk in the fruit of the Spirit. The power of reproduction is in the seed, and the seed is in your fruit. And should you sin or stumble, which we all do at times, repent both to God and to those you have sinned against. A sincere repentance to an unsaved person is a sure sign the presence of God is in your life.

The God Factor

By Francis Frangipane

Rarely does a night pass without my wife and I praying for the Muslim world, and increasingly so for Iran. We are praying in agreement with millions of other Christians around the world.

I'm sure everyone knows that the world is moving toward a pivotal juncture in time. Iran's leaders are aggressively pursuing nuclear weapons while simultaneously pledging to destroy Israel. Israel, on the other hand, has sworn that Iran will not get nuclear weapons. The watching world has increased crippling sanctions on Iran, but to no avail. It seems inevitable that these two nations will meet in a war that will leave few survivors.

When Average Men Follow Christ

By Francis Frangipane

Before we doubt whether we are the caliber of the first disciples, here is a fact sheet compiled from over 200 New Testament Scriptures concerning those whom Jesus first called.

THE DISCIPLES... came to Christ, believed in Him, followed Him.

dined with Him, often became hungry, often didn't have time to eat, twice fed the multitudes.

received special authority to heal and deliver, became Jesus' confidants, were often rebuked and corrected, were entrusted with the mysteries of God's Kingdom.

To Attain the Fullness of Christ

By Francis Frangipane

There is a new stirring from the Holy Spirit. The Lord's goal is for us is to abide in Jesus. John taught, "The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked" (1 John 2:6). If we truly abide in Him, we will walk even "as He walked."

The first-century saints had the words of Jesus and they had the Spirit of Jesus. In that simplicity the church enjoyed unsurpassed greatness and power. We also are becoming true disciples, seeking to walk even as Jesus walked. This is the singular essential requirement in unifying the church: we each desire for Christ's image to be established in our hearts.

This Day We Fight!

By Francis Frangipane

Scripture says that the Lord left nations in the promised land "to test Israel by them (that is, all who had not experienced any of the wars of Canaan); only in order that the generations of the sons of Israel might be taught war" (Judg. 3:1-2).

To complete our spiritual maturity, the Lord must "test" us with enemies; like Israel, we must be "taught war."

I realize that most of us prefer peace. Yes, as much as it depends on us, we should live at peace with all men (Rom. 12:18). Our fight is not against flesh and blood, but we are in a worldwide conflict with principalities and powers (see Eph. 6:12). You see, there is a "time for war" (Eccl. 3:8). As Christians, we must accept and adjust to this truth.

A Life Prepared for God

By Francis Frangipane

I love the Word of God. I have a burning passion that my words, whether written or spoken, might be filled with the substance of God. I love comparing translations, researching commentaries and then using that holy information to prepare teachings. Several years ago, however, I found myself being corrected by the Lord. I had spent too much time preparing my message for a service. Suddenly, the Holy Spirit interrupted my study to recalibrate my focus. He said, "I have called you, not just to prepare sermons, but to prepare people."

This was a subtle, but profoundly significant correction. I was reminded of John the Baptist who was sent as a "forerunner before [the Messiah]." God had called John "to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (Luke 1:17).

Army of Worshipers

By Francis Frangipane

Not only is Jesus our Savior, He is also the "author and perfecter of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2, NIV). Grab with both hands the thought that He is the "perfecter of our faith." The faith Christ started in you, He is now working to perfect.

The fact that Jesus is the "perfecter of our faith" is important because even if we seek to move in prayer and spiritual authority, even if we fearlessly continue to persevere, even if we continue forward with motives purified by love, it is the power of faith that undergirds all.

The Real Jesus

By Francis Frangipane

Not only is Jesus our Savior, He is also the "author and perfecter of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2, NIV). Grab with both hands the thought that He is the "perfecter of our faith." The faith Christ started in you, He is now working to perfect.

The fact that Jesus is the "perfecter of our faith" is important because even if we seek to move in prayer and spiritual authority, even if we fearlessly continue to persevere, even if we continue forward with motives purified by love, it is the power of faith that undergirds all.

Satan's Domain: the Realm of Darkness

By Francis Frangipane

Many Christians debate whether the devil is on the earth or in hell; can he dwell in Christians or only in the world? The fact is, the devil is in darkness. Wherever there is spiritual darkness, there the devil will be.

Preparing for Spiritual Warfare
For most, the term spiritual warfare introduces a new but not necessarily welcomed dimension in their Christian experience. The thought of facing evil spirits in battle is an unsettling concept, especially since we came to Jesus as lost sheep, not warriors. Ultimately, some of us may never actually initiate spiritual warfare, but all of us must face the fact that the devil has initiated warfare against us. Therefore, it is essential to our basic well-being that we discern the areas of our nature that are unguarded and open to satanic assault.

Introduction to Spiritual Warfare

By Francis Frangipane

I want to talk with you about spiritual warfare. Before we proceed, however, 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.

What occurred was that zeal, by itself, challenged the treachery of hell and lost. The brightness of youthful dreams dimmed under the dark cloud of relentless satanic assault. Under the weight of growing frustrations and discouragement, compromise increased, and with it came iniquity and spiritual bondage.

Prayer Changed the Mind of God

By Francis Frangipane

The visible glory of God descended, then manifested on the top of Mt. Sinai. As many as six million Israelites heard the audible voice of God speaking to them from the majestic fire. The entire nation quaked and trembled in holy fear. In response, Israel's leaders begged Moses that no further words be spoken to them by God. Moses agreed, then turned and ascended the mountaintop and entered this frightening holy blaze where He remained for forty days. (See Exodus 19:17-20:19; 24:18.)

Incredibly, when Moses delayed his return, the Israelites began to rebel, making for themselves an idol, a golden calf, similar to the idols of Egypt. They did this in full view of the glory of God, defying His glory with their outrageous idolatry. (See Exodus 31:1-8.)

The Greatest in God's Kingdom

By Francis Frangipane

Of all virtues, Jesus elevated meekness above the rest. Why humility? It is the door opener to grace, and no virtue enters our lives except that humility acknowledges our need and requests virtue to come. Without humility, we see no reason to change or appropriate future grace.

Yet, humility not only hosts the other virtues, it is also the life essence that sustains them. It is humility that recognizes when love is growing cold and humility that confesses our need for greater purity. Without humility, our virtues harden into lifeless statues; we are outwardly religious, but inwardly unable to change.

A Sword Will Pierce Your Heart

By Francis Frangipane

Surrender of the Vision Keeper, Part Two

The plans of God are full of surprises.

No matter how true a vision from God may be, it will never be fulfilled in the manner in which we have imagined. All our expectations are incomplete. In fact, our very ideas often become the most subtle obstacles standing between us and our appointed future in God. Thus, we must keep our minds open and submitted to God, for when God fulfills His Word, it is always "exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Eph. 3:20, KJV).

In our last message we talked of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and her role as Keeper of the Vision. Here, we will discuss how the Lord must shift our identity from control to complete surrender. Interestingly, during the first stage of Mary's transition, Mary finds Jesus resisting her. Before the Lord can bring any of us into a new phase of His will, He must dismantle the sense of attainment that often accompanies our old relationship with Him. It is a fact that many church movements, both in and out of denominations, began simply. Hungry souls longed for, and found, more of God. Over time as their numbers grew, success replaced hunger; people grew more satisfied with God's blessings than with His presence. There is a profound difference.

This Time I Will Praise the Lord

By Francis Frangipane

We cannot pass through life without getting hurt. Pain and disappointment in this world are inevitable. How we handle our setbacks, though, shapes our character and prepares us for eternity. Our attitude is the pivotal factor determining the level of our protection from strife.

Regardless of the hardships we have faced, and in spite of the mistakes we have made, the end of our lives can either be full of praise and thanksgiving or full of misery and complaint. In the final analysis, what we have experienced in life will be as rich as the desires we have had fulfilled or as painful as the things we regret.

The Bible tells us, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick" (Prov. 13:12). Deep disappointments in life have a way of never leaving us; they enter our hearts like fire and then harden into our nature like lava. Setbacks can leave us cautious about new ventures and suspicious of new friends.

Surrender of the Vision Keeper

By Francis Frangipane

To walk with God is to walk a path of increasing surrender and trust. Indeed, the time is at hand when the Lord Jesus shall confront our tendencies to control Him. Not only will we know doctrinally that Christ is Lord, but we will also serve Him as Lord.

If you find yourself more drawn toward prayer than promotion, more toward humility than hype, you are being prepared by the Lord for the glory of God. What He is working in you is typical of what God is establishing in thousands of other believers.

However, before the Father ultimately reveals Christ as Lord over the earth, He will first reveal Him as Lord over the church. And while we should rejoice, we must also take heed. For until we are standing face to face in glory with Jesus Himself, we are going to be in transition. To each of us, Christ's call remains, "Come, follow Me!" (Luke 18:22). If we will walk with Him in obedience, He will take us into the fullness of His presence.

"So Whaaat!"

By Francis Frangipane

For four years in high school I sat between the same two people in home room: Michelle Fochi and Tony Finn. Michelle was a very sweet, friendly girl while Tony, hmmm, how can I say this? Let me just say, Tony wasn't voted "Most Friendly" in the school yearbook.

The problem was that no matter what I said about anything, Tony responded with the same two depressing words, "So what." It wasn't a clipped, "So what"; it was a long drawn out "So Whaaat" that made me feel like apologizing for being alive.

First place I'd be when I arrived at school and settled in was homeroom next to Tony. Many days I'd be pumped up about something. For instance I'd blurt out: "Hey Tony, did you see: the Yankees made the World Series!" He'd reply, "So whaaat." Or, "Did you hear the new song Elvis put out?" He'd reply, "So whaaat."

Don't Miss the Message

By Francis Frangipane

Amazingly, there have been literally millions of conversations concerning Denver quarterback Tim Tebow and the "prophetic" statistics that accompanied his football game on January 8. The connection between John 3:16 (Tebow's favorite verse) with his 316 passing yards and 31.6 completion average has stimulated the spiritual awareness of multitudes in many nations. (See our Facebook post from 1/9/2012).

For the most part, I think people are more drawn to the phenomenon than to its deeper meaning. Regardless, I think a great many people would agree that something (or Someone) supernatural stepped into last Sunday's game and manipulated circumstances.