Possessing the Fullness of Christ

By Francis Frangipane
(En EspaƱol)

We have instructed the Church in nearly everything but becoming disciples of Jesus Christ. We have filled the people with doctrines instead of Deity; we have given them manuals instead of Emmanuel. It is not difficult to recognize someone from Pentecostal, Baptist, Charismatic or other traditional church backgrounds. Nearly every congregation seems to develop a particular slant or system of traditions, some of which ultimately obscures the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. We can honor our traditions, but we must not be limited by them. For us, they will never be enough. We are seeking to be like Jesus, not men. We want the kingdom of God, not typical American Christianity.

Thus, as a man of God, I must be vigilant to submit myself, above all things, to the Spirit and words of the Lord Jesus, incessantly reaching for the holy standards of the kingdom of God. I consider that any focus or goal other than Christ Himself in fullness will become a source of deception in the days ahead.

Look at what Jesus did with common people. In just three and a half years average men and women were transformed into fearless disciples, literally filled with the Spirit of God. They did not wince at suffering; they did not withdraw from sacrifice. These once ordinary people were equipped with spiritual authority over demons and exercised power over illnesses. They were the living proof that Christ transforms people.

Three and a half years of undiluted Jesus will produce in us what it did in them: the kingdom of God!

The first disciples were as average and human as we are. The difference between them and us is Jesus. He is the only difference.

One may argue that this occurred two thousand years ago. True, but "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever" (Heb. 13:8). You may say, "But they actually heard Jesus speak; they saw His miracles!" The same Spirit that worked through Jesus in the first century is poured out upon us today. The Holy Spirit has not grown old and feeble; He is still being poured out today. The words Jesus uttered in the first century are still "living and active" today (Heb. 4:12), even to the "end of the age" (Matt. 28:20). You see, we have no excuses.

The eternal One who established His kingdom in men two millennia ago is fully capable of producing it in us today. All we need is undiluted, uninhibited Jesus. All we need are hearts that will not be satisfied with something or someone other than Him.

Let me make it plain: God is not raising up "ministries"; He is raising up bondslaves. After we recognize that the goal is not ministry but joyful slavery, we will begin to see the power of Christ restored to the Church.

Thus the pattern for leadership in the years ahead is simple: leaders must be individuals whose burning passion is conformity to Jesus Christ. Therefore, pray for your leaders; pray with grace.

Is this not the highest passion of your heart, to possess the likeness of Christ? From Heaven’s view, the issue with our congregations is not merely one procedure over another; the concern is, will we become people who are seeking hard after Christ?

Don't Argue About Church Government

God can use practically any church structure if the people in that congregation are genuinely seeking Him. On the day before Pentecost the Lord had a small church of one hundred twenty people in an upper room, but they had been earnestly seeking God. In Antioch there were prophets and teachers who were together in one heart seeking God (Acts 13:1). Through the last two millennia, the Lord had people who were passionate about seeking God, and God used common men and women to bring revival and awakening.

The outward form is not the issue with the Almighty; the true issue is the posture of the human heart before Him. Do we want Christianity or Christlikeness? Are we passionate about possessing the fullness of Christ?


Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, When the Many Are One available at www.arrowbookstore.com.

6 comments:

  1. Agreeing with a true Amen. Thank you, Pastor Francis.

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  2. Amen. The Lord has been speaking this to me lately. Just forget all the peripheral stuff and follow hard after Him. Surrender, surrender, surrender. Daily. Several times a day if needed.The Word and prayer and worship. And fellowship. Jesus. He's the One. Love the humans; don't argue; embrace the good and overlook the imperfections. All of that does not matter at all. Follow hard after Jesus, and His Life will shine through us earthen vessels. God bless you, dear sir.

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  3. Thank you dear friends. The big question to me is whether we will possess Christ or simply have a religion about Him.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I have spoken to that below.

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  4. Francis I have benefited greatly and grown wonderfully under hearing and reading some of your books and messages. I am eternally grateful.

    Regarding the above, may I respectfully add that our focus is not to be necessarily focused on Christ as a Person outside of ourselves as in "trying" to be more Christlike. But rather I am learning that it is focusing our spirit in union with His Spirit Who now lives "IN" me. It is no longer I who live but Christ Who lives IN me and He has no problem nor lacks any power to DO the will of the Father. It is learning to "yield" to Him (His Spirit) and allowing Him to live His perfectly designed life through me for His purposes. My purposes or perceived purposes no longer matter. I beat my body into submission by learning and agreeing with Holy Spirit more and more as I am being transformed by the renewing of my mind. My mind doesn't just need to know what godly living looks like and "try" to imitate it, but rather understand that I was crucified with Christ and resurrected with Him as well. I IN Him and He IN me. When we walk by our own understanding--even about Him and Who He is--I am trying to imitate Him instead my portion of His Kingdom to earth as it is in heaven.

    I don't mean to double-talk or split hairs. I believe this distinction is incredibly important as it has set me free from the treadmill of performance and "trying/striving" to BE what only Christ can be IN and Through my yielded spirit AND body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the LORD?

    All of the distinctions between the various denominations (which I have sat under the teaching of Many), are really distinctions that disunify rather than unify the Body of Christ. Jesus is not a split personality (double-minded--my mind or Christ's jumping back and forth), therefore, all those who walk "by the Spirit" will be in perfect harmony regardless of personalities or histories. We need to submit out traditions to the microscope of God's perspective and if Christ IN us, living His life Through us is not concerned to become separate in some way, we must yield to Him.

    The only difference between believers should be maturity and understanding as revealed by Christ the Holy Spirit to our spirit and leave the personal preference as a side note. We must be sensitive to help those less mature to learn foundational truth that they can also mature. Kingdom foundations--Christ IN me, the hope of glory. I have no hope (just like Peter) of being faithful to His teaching or His ways except to allow His Spirit to lead as I decrease.

    Because of this revelation, I can now attend any meeting (Christ centered) and any worship style and my spirit IN union with Christ's Spirit can overrule my soulish self and soar in the heavenlies where I belong. I can enter into the presence of God and worship with styles I might not prefer in my soul. I can understand and hear a message from God through godly preachers, teachers who err or add their opinion to God's written word, and a stranger on the street speaking a word. My spirit knows the truth because Holy Spirit is united with me and I am either quenching Him or yielding to Him and He knows ALL TRUTH. He is Truth. I then can lay aside or ignore error or opinion and address it properly if Holy Spirit prompts me for the good of the Body of Christ. We American's give ourselves far too much room for our "individual" likes and dislikes because we have a smorgasboard of teaching to choose from and we like to live out of our souls (preferences). Some tickle our soul and others do not. We are not to live out of our soul (personality, mind, will and emotions) but by the spirit/Spirit (ours united with Christ).

    I hope I have delivered this comment with the right spirit of sisterly love that I intended.

    Thank you again for your spirit-filled teaching. Always pointing us to Christ-centeredness.

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  5. Auntie Tammy Tammy <>March 30, 2015 at 2:46 PM

    "After we recognize that the goal is not ministry but joyful slavery, we will begin to see the power of Christ restored to the Church."

    I've been interceding for the unity of the Body for sometime now. I know that the unity will come and I anticipate the oneness on pure Love and Truth.

    But, looking into your statement, no doubt this unity will come by yielding and relinquishing self to the exact cause of the Father's love for the living soul. Without interpreting anything, (because I wait on the Lord), what do you believe should be our prayer in specifics to this very thing- the coming of unity in the Church... ??

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