By Francis Frangipane
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.
Suddenly, a great multitude began to leave the city and grope toward us -- thousands of people. Soon all were calling on the name of the Lord. As we laid our hands upon them and prayed for them, they also received the light.
The vision passed, and though I continued to lie in bed, I did not return to sleep. As dawn broke, I opened my Bible to the book of Isaiah. As a new Christian, this was the first time I was reading through the Bible. I turned the page from the previous day's reading and there, for the first time, I read Isaiah 60. The words bolted into my mind like lightning, then shook my insides like thunder.
Arise, shine; for your light has come,
And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness will cover the earth
And deep darkness the peoples;
But the Lord will rise upon you
And His glory will appear upon you.
Nations will come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.
It says, "Darkness will cover the earth." This was exactly what I saw in the vision! It proclaimed, "The Lord will rise upon you, and His glory will appear upon you," precisely describing what I had seen in the vision! It was as though I had actually stepped into the future and experienced a fulfillment of this prophecy. The Holy Spirit and the Word, working in divine symmetry, revealed that, in spite of the advance of hell and the increase of judgments, the glory of the Lord would be unveiled through His people. The result of this last outpouring would be that multitudes languishing in darkness would come to Christ.
As important as the harvest is, however, the primary focus of the vision was not winning the lost; it was on the ascendancy of Christ's presence in the church. The Father's priority is that the Lord Jesus be lifted up: the great harvest will be the result of Christ's presence! It will not be our programs or methods that bring this harvest in; it will be the manifest glory of the Lord Jesus.
A Third Witness
The vision of Christ's manifest glory in the overcoming church inspired great hope in me for the future, especially as the Word of God confirmed the vision. Still, one more witness was to come. After I read Isaiah, my next reading in my daily study took me to Matthew, chapter 14. As I read, I paused after verse 15, which reads,
"The disciples came to Him and said, ‘This place is desolate, and the time is already past; so send the multitudes away.'"
This Scripture tells the account of when Jesus miraculously fed the five thousand. As I read, I noticed similarities between the night vision of the multitudes coming out of darkness and this scene from the Gospels. Both depicted a place of desolation. Since apparently the "time was already past," the logical remedy was to "send the multitudes away."
Of course, not even the most imaginative Christian would ever reference Matthew 14:13-21 with Isaiah 60:1-3. Yet the Lord was speaking something that has affected me for the rest of my life. The Lord answered:
"They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!"
They said to Him, "We have here only five loaves and two fish."
And He said, "Bring them here to Me."
The result was that "He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward Heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave to the multitudes" (Matt. 14:16-19).
Jesus had taken bread, blessed it, and then broken it. Again I paused. This time it was because of a peculiarity concerning my last name: in Italian, Frangipane actually means "to break bread." Was the Lord using the meaning of my name in some way?
Later that morning, I related the vision and the Lord's promise from Isaiah to my wife, Denise. I then told her about the feeding of the five thousand. I mentioned how I felt that during the time of the end, when the world would seem utterly desolate and lost, the Lord would use us like He used the loaves to feed the multitudes. Then, in an effort to underscore the significance of this moment, I explained to her that my last name, Frangipane, actually meant "to break bread." It was at that point my wife told me the meaning of her maiden name, Piscitelli. Incredibly, her name meant "little fishes."
Little Is Much With Jesus
Between the vision, the text in Isaiah, and the meaning of our names, I am convinced that a period of great glory and harvest awaits the church. I am not saying this harvest and glory will appear instead of the rapture or after the tribulation. I'm saying that between now and whatever you believe concerning the Second Coming of Christ, there will be a time of glory and harvest.
Thus, when Christians complain the harvest "is already past," or that society has become too "desolate," it would be an error to say we must "send the multitudes away." The Lord has made it plain: it will not be too late or desolate for Him.
The Lord has proven many times that as Christians we do not need to stockpile resources before we attempt the "impossible." As long as we remain blessed and broken in the hands of the Master, our few loaves and fish are enough. What we have learned is that Jesus does not need a lot to work His miracles; He just requires all we have.
Yes, the hour is late; true, our cities are desolate and in darkness. Yet Jesus still speaks powerfully to my spirit. As little qualified as we may be, if we truly give our all to Christ, He will bless us and break us, and then fill us with glory to reach multitudes.
Indeed, what He said to His disciples, He says to all: The multitudes do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.
Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, The Days of His Presence, available at www.arrowbookstore.com.