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Post  Admin on Sat 08 Jan 2011, 4:54 pm

Pursuing the Stature Of Christ
by Francis Frangipane

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 Christ, 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!
Having received the expanse of Christ's love, we are now called to reveal it in its full redemptive power. Indeed, whatever we see in Jesus is what God has purposed to reveal in us. It is this vision of attaining Christlikeness that centers us firmly upon the path to doctrinal purity. Once we clearly grasp the vision of Christlikeness, an amazing change occurs: "we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine" (Eph. 4:14).
Let us also note, Paul did not specify whether these "winds of doctrine" were simply false teachings. Indeed, dogma does not have to be false to be misleading; even a true doctrine with an overly exaggerated emphasis can sidetrack us from Christlikeness.
It is here, where we boast in our doctrines and spiritual gifts that many of us are being led astray. For what compels us forward into new religious activity is not always the leading of God. If we do not see conformity to Christ as central to our future, what may be guiding us is a wind of doctrine.
In the church today there are a number of doctrines which have grown bigger than their scriptural proportions and, thus, tend to obscure our vision of Christlikeness. Teachings concerning personal prosperity or the timing of the rapture have become, for some, unbalanced precepts, which easily distract us from the ultimate truth which is in Jesus.
Some churches overemphasize the doctrine of "speaking in tongues." I firmly believe that all the gifts are for today, but gifts, too, can become winds of doctrine for many. Again, we are not talking about false teachings, but true beliefs that have become caricatures of the Gospel. Correct and balanced doctrinal understanding is fundamental to our spiritual well-being. But when our energies are absorbed more with a particular doctrine than attaining the character and power of Christ, we are probably being misled.
Paul also said our pursuit of Christlikeness would keep us from being "tossed here and there by waves." A wave is a spiritual phenomenon that sweeps over a church or a city. It is a spiritual "high tide," where we can be washed and healed. A true spiritual wave can release wonderful joy and bring healing to areas within us otherwise untouched by God. Yet, if we are following after waves, we should consider: the tide that comes in with manifestations and blessings also goes out. When the wave is over, it does not mean that God has abandoned us or that His ultimate purpose has changed.
A genuine stirring of God's Spirit, either through a fresh doctrinal understanding or through unique spiritual manifestations, is given by God to empower us toward conformity to Christ. The fact is, whether we are in a time of preparation or in the glory of a visitation, whether we are carrying the cross or soaring in resurrection power, our focused, passionate goal must still be Christlikeness.
If you are confused about what is happening in the church at large, or even in your own personal life, remember: God does not want you tossed by waves or carried by doctrines. The issue is not whether we are following a doctrine or falling under a wave. The real question is whether we will rise to the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Comments and Questions
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Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations
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Post  Admin on Thu 30 Dec 2010, 1:35 pm

Dear Christ-follower,

Pastor Francis is returning from Minnesota where plans have been initiated to expand our ongoing training and spiritual development ministry. In the near future, graduates from ICIT will be able to be credentialed as ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This credentialing will include ordaining, licensing or commissioning (depending upon the individual candidate's training, ministerial experience, and recommendations from other church and spiritual leaders).
Over the next four months or so we hope to have this expanded association in place. To be eligible, one must successfully complete Level I and Level II of In Christ's Image Training.
If you are interested in taking this next step in ministry, and you haven't taken ICIT Level I, you should consider this email your invitation to enroll.
Due to the short timing of this announcement, we are extending the registration deadline to Monday, January 3, 5:00 pm, EST.
Remember also, we are currently introducing the complete text for Level I In Christ's Image Training for free. While this material will not make you eligible for ministerial certification, its revelatory truths have the power to revolutionize your life.
Those who enroll in the free program will have an opportunity during the first six weeks to upgrade their training level to the full course making them eligible for certification, should they so desire.
Friends, we are on the threshold of great change; now is the time to get ready.

To enroll in Level I training, please follow these steps:
Step one: Start at www.icitc.org and the Level I page to review and understand what ICIT is about.
Step two: Review the Tuition page to pick your enrollment plan.
Step three: Complete the Level I Registration form.

Yours in Christ,
Therese Beck
ICIT Senior Administrator
www.icitc.org

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Post  Admin on Mon 20 Dec 2010, 5:55 pm

Dear Christ-follower,

Many of you have emailed with questions on how to sign up for the new enrollment plans for In Christ Image Training.



To enroll, please follow these steps:

Step one: Start at www.icitc.org and the Level I page to review and understand what ICIT is about.

Step two: Review the Tuition page to pick your plan.

Step three: Complete the Level I Registration form.



Please note that these new plans are only for new students who enroll in the class beginning
January 7, 2011.


Blessings,
Therese Beck
ICIT Senior Administrator
www.icitc.org




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Copyright (c) 2010
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Please visit our website for additional messages and resources.
If you wish to contact us with comments or questions about this email, you may do so by writing us at comments@frangipane.org.










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Post  Admin on Sat 18 Dec 2010, 2:55 pm

Dear Christ-follower,

Greetings!

As you probably know, the undimming vision of this ministry is to possess the nature of Christ. Yet, even as we've sought to provide resources as inexpensively as possible, we still felt that there were some who would not pursue the course due to being temporarily low on finances. Yet, the Holy Spirit has burdened my heart that Christ has many whom He desires to train and empower, people who currently are going through a wilderness of sorts.


Then today I had an idea. What if we offered the text version of our training for free to those who couldn't afford the added material? In fact, we have added two more plans to our variety of choices. The first of these plans will provide the entire text of In Christ's Image Training for free. While it will not include testing or certification, it will put the powerful core training of ICIT right there into your hands.

If you have had a desire to take your Christian walk to the next level, here is your opportunity. You will receive 44 unique chapters sent over a 24-week period. These are some of the most powerful teachings from my heart -- truths that I believe are at the foundation of a transformed life.

Additionally, we have lowered the prices on our other plans. Our prayer is that hundreds of thousands of Christians would be envisioned and empowered to become more like Christ. For more information on all our training programs, click here.

We pray you have a most blessed Christmas,


Francis Frangipane and staff




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Post  Admin on Thu 16 Dec 2010, 1:55 am

The Afflictions of Love
by Francis Frangipane
(En Español)

Wounding is inevitable if we are following Christ. Jesus was both "marred" (Isa. 52:14) and "wounded" (Zech. 13:6), and if we are sincere in our pursuit of His nature, we will suffer as well. How else can love be perfected?

Yet, let us beware. We either become Christlike and forgive, or we enter a spiritual time warp where we abide continually in the memory of our wounding. Like a systemic disease, the hurtful memories destroy every aspect of our reality. In truth, apart from God, the wounding that life inflicts is incurable. God has decreed that only Christ in us can survive.
Intercessors live on the frontier of change. We are positioned to stand between the needs of man and the provision of God. Because we are the agents of redemption, Satan will always seek the means to offend, discourage, silence, or otherwise steal the strength of our prayers. The wounding we receive must be interpreted in light of God's promise to reverse the effects of evil and make them work for our good (Rom. 8:28). Since spiritual assaults are inevitable, we must discover how God uses our wounds as the means to greater power. This was exactly how Christ brought redemption to the world.
Jesus knew that maintaining love and forgiveness in the midst of suffering was the key that unlocked the power of redemption. Isaiah 53:11 tells us, "By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, as He will bear their iniquities."
Jesus possessed "revelation knowledge" into the mystery of God. He knew that the secret to unleashing world-transforming power was found at the cross. The terrible offense of the cross became the place of redemption for the world. Yet, remember, Jesus calls us to a cross as well. (See Matthew 16:24.) Wounding is simply an altar upon which our sacrifice to God is prepared.
Listen again to Isaiah's prophetic description of Jesus' life. His words, at first, seem startling, but as we read, we discover a most profound truth concerning the power of woundedness. He wrote,
"But the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, and the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand" (Isa. 53:10).
How did Jesus obtain the power of God's pleasure and have it prosper in His hands? During His times of crushing, woundedness, and devastation, instead of retaliating, He rendered Himself "as a guilt offering."
The crushing is not a disaster; it is an opportunity. You see, our purposeful love may or may not touch the sinner's heart, but it always touches the heart of God. We are crushed by people, but we need to allow the crushing to ascend as an offering to God. The far greater benefit is the effect our mercy has on the Father. If we truly want to be instruments of God's good pleasure, then it is redemption, not wrath, that must prosper in our hands.
So, when Christ encounters conflict, even though He is the Lion of Judah, He comes as the Lamb of God. Even when He is outwardly stern, His loving heart is always mindful that He is the "guilt offering." Thus, Jesus not only asks the Father to forgive those who have wounded Him, but also numbers Himself with the transgressors and intercedes for them (Isa. 53:12). He does this because the Father takes "no pleasure in the death of the wicked" (Ezek. 33:11), and it is the pleasure of God that Jesus seeks.
Is this not the wonder and mystery, yes, and the power, of Christ's cross? In anguish and sorrow, wounded in heart and soul, still He offered Himself for His executioners' sins. Without visible evidence of success, deemed a sinner and a failure before man, He courageously held true to mercy. In the depth of terrible crushing, He let love attain its most glorious perfection. He uttered the immortal words, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing" (Luke 23:34).
Christ could have escaped. As the Romans came to arrest Him, He told Peter, "Do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matt. 26:53). In less than a heartbeat, the skies would have been flooded with thousands of warring angels. Yes, Jesus could have escaped, but mankind would have perished. Christ chose to go to hell for us rather than return to heaven without us. Instead of condemning mankind, He rendered "Himself as a guilt offering" (Isa. 53:10, emphasis added). He prayed the mercy prayer, "Father, forgive them" (Luke 23:34).
Jesus said, "He who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also" (John 14:12). We assume He meant that we would work His miracles, but Jesus did not limit His definition of "works" to the miraculous. The works He did—the redemptive life, the mercy cry, the identification with sinners, rendering Himself a guilt offering—all the works He did, we will "do also."
Thus, because He lives within us, we see that Isaiah 53 does not apply exclusively to Jesus; it also becomes the blueprint for Christ in us. Indeed, was this not part of His reward, that He would see His offspring (Isa. 53:10)? Beloved, we are the progeny of Christ.
Read these words from Paul's heart:
"Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions" (Col. 1:24).
What did the apostle mean? Did not Christ fully pay mankind's debts once and for all? Did Paul imply that we now take Jesus' place? No, we will never take Jesus' place. It means that Jesus has come to take our place. The Son of God manifests all the aspects of His redemptive, sacrificial life through us. Indeed, "as He is, so also are we in this world" (1 John 4:17).
Paul not only identified with Christ in his personal salvation, but he was also consumed with Christ's purpose. He wrote, "That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death" (Phil. 3:10).
What a wondrous reality is the "fellowship of His sufferings." Here, in choosing to yoke our existence with Christ's purpose, we find true friendship with Jesus. This is intimacy with Christ. The sufferings of Christ are not the sorrows typically endured by mankind. They are the afflictions of love. They bring us closer to Jesus. United with Him, we increase the pleasure of God.
Father, I see You have had no higher purpose for me but to manifest through my life the nature of Your Son. I surrender to Christ, rendering myself not merely as a judge or critic, but as an offering for those who have brought wounding to my soul. May the fragrance of my worship remind You of Jesus, and may You forgive and cleanse the world around me.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

FRANCIS FRANGIPANE  MINISTRIES - Page 25 Book_powerchristlike

The preceding message originally came from Pastor Frangipane's book, The Power of One Christlike Life (Whitaker House). It is also taken from a principle chapter in pastor's online school In Christ's Image Training. Next term begins
January 7, 2011.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Reawaken your passions for Christ!
Accepting registrations for the January 2011 ICIT class
January term discounts available
No one will be refused for lack of funds. We have several options to consider for those who are unable to submit full tuition for the Level I.
We are available to discuss these options with you -
email us at training@inchristsimage.org


Watch this short video of Francis
introducing the training

FRANCIS FRANGIPANE  MINISTRIES - Page 25 Icit_termlogo_red
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Post  Admin on Sat 04 Dec 2010, 2:02 pm

The First Miracle
by Francis Frangipane
Life. It is the most unique commodity in the universe and inconceivably rare. As far as we can verify, in a cosmic sea of vast, immeasurable emptiness, earth alone is blessed with life.
But what is life? The answer I seek is more profound than a mere catalog of what life contains; it is more fundamental than identifying the joys and sorrows of earthly existence. I am asking, what is the substance we call life? We are so completely ingested into life itself that we cannot appreciate its actual substance; we do not esteem the singular glory found in this teardrop from the eye of God.
Some will argue that life is plentiful on planets throughout the universe.
I ask you, what planets?
For all the interesting possibilities science fiction has put before us, these imaginative writers have done us a disservice. They have convinced us we are just one of many civilizations in a universe brimming with alien societies. Yes, their speculations widen our imaginations, but they have also caused us to devalue the spectacular rarity of life in our own world.
And life is rare.
We imagined it could be found on Venus. But, according to NASA, the temperature of Venus is over 800 decrees, hot enough to melt lead. The equatorial winds on Venus blow a constant 220 mph and its atmospheric pressure is 90 times that of earth. We expected to find life on Mars. But Mars has almost no atmosphere. Its temperature drops to a frigid minus 130 degrees at night. It is a barren, lifeless planet.
Of the one thousand stars nearest earth, not one has an orbiting planet, much less life itself! In the farther reaches of space, NASA has found 421 stars with a combined total of 500 planets. Yet earthlike planets, zero. http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov
Astronomers have scrutinized the celestial heavens, peering at stars thousands of light years away. A light year is the distance light travels in a year speeding at 186,000 miles per second (or 6 trillion miles a year). They’ve searched from points above and beneath the equator in every direction, but no planet with the capacity to support life has been found.
My point is that this substance we call life, while plentiful on Earth, is utterly rare in the cosmos. By way of perspective, imagine Planet Earth at the center of a huge circular orb tens of trillions miles in diameter. The area inside the orb represents the reach of scientific exploration through the use of satellites, optical and radio telescopes. The only place of verifiable life within that immense realm is the Earth. From the planet outward in every direction all that exists is the incomprehensibly vastness of blazing stars and lifeless space.
There may indeed be extraterrestrials, but to reach us they will have had to discover a different means of space travel, one that is not linear. Otherwise, they will have had to travel thousands of years through space to find our tiny world.
The fact is, at least within the sphere of our explored universe, we remain starkly alone, one tiny bluish dot of life in a vacuum of deep darkness and unfathomable emptiness.
A View From Space
In 1968 a unique opportunity was granted humanity. For the first time we were given a chance to step outside our world and look at life from the universe. The day was Christmas Eve. It was the first lunar voyage of the Apollo 8 crew. From the surface of the moon they gazed upon the earth. The following is NASA's account.
“First, they showed the half Earth across a stark lunar landscape. Then, from the other unfogged window, they tracked the bleak surface of the Moon. "The vast loneliness is awe-inspiring and it makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth," said Lovell. The pictures aroused great wonder, with an estimated half billion people vicariously exploring what no man had ever seen before.
"For all the people on Earth," said Anders, "the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you." He paused a moment and then began reading: "In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth."
After four verses of Genesis, Lovell took up the reading: "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night."
At the end of the eighth verse Borman picked up the familiar words: "And God said, Let the waters under the Heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear; and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good."
So here we are on the good Earth, each summoned to the most exquisite adventure: we are alive! How shall we spend our precious days? Watching television? Or living in fear or anger? Let us not squander our wondrous opportunity!
Finally, allow me to answer my initial question: What is Life? To all on Planet Earth it is a gift from God to be cherished and protected; it is the first of His many miracles.
What we make of it is our gift to Him.
* * *
We pray that each of you would know the greatest gift of God,
His Son Jesus Christ!
Merry and Blessed Christmas to All
From our family to yours
Francis & Denise Franigpane and staff
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Comments and Questions
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Post  Admin on Tue 23 Nov 2010, 11:34 pm


[size=18]He Will Make a Way
by Francis Frangipane
Taxes, threat of terror attacks, illness and aging, finances, political conflicts, family relationships, church struggles, fears, insurance issues, air travel impositions, job loss, gasoline prices, war, injustice, death – these are just a few of the enemies most of us face daily. Yet, let me also tell you what the Lord has spoken to my soul:


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.
The peace of God is the deep calm that envelops the thought processes of the Almighty. He is never anxious, always in command, never without a remedy. He sees the end from the beginning and views the needs of man from the position of unlimited resources and capabilities. He perceives the needs of His children with both compassion and confidence, for all things are possible for Him.
The peace He gives is not only from Him, it is an extension of Him – it is the very substance of His peace. It is God-sized peace. It is this divine fabric that He says will "guard [our] hearts and . . . minds in Christ Jesus."
Amazing.
Many Verses Same Promise
Some may challenge my interpretation, but remember the Savior's promise:
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful" (John 14:27).
Again, Paul says, "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful" (Col 3:15).
These Scriptures and others reveal that there exists a place of refuge for us, a dimension guarded by God's very peace, where we can abide. As we enter this realm of trust, the God of peace promises to actually crush Satan beneath our feet (Rom. 16:20).
Give Peace A Chance
Of course, we must decide what realm shall preside over us. Thus, the Scripture says, "Let the peace of Christ rule," and "Do not let your heart be troubled," and "let your requests be known to God." The word let speaks of choices we can make with realities that are at hand. Remember, even as circumstances begin to trouble your heart, you can retreat from fear. For the peace of God is also accessible. Take authority over your fretting, worrying attitude, for "it leads only to evildoing" (Ps. 37:8). Stand, instead, in faith upon the promises of God.
Peace is our shield and the Word of God our weapon. Therefore, capture negative, unbelieving thoughts that would magnify problems rather than magnify the Lord. Our Father knows what we have need of before we ask Him (Matt. 6:8).
Cease striving and know that He is God! If you are weary, come to Him and take His yoke upon you. You will find rest for your soul. Finally, recall Paul's words to make our requests "with thanksgiving." Many have been thinking too much and thanking too little. Therefore, let us cast our burdens upon the Lord, for He indeed cares for us. He will make a way.
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