Deuteronomy 6:4-9

“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Emphasis added.)

Now the Training Begins in Earnest

John 12:24-26

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me (to the Cross); and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.” (Amplification and emphasis added.)

The Lord requires His own to forsake and die to everything they once were and desired to be before He called them. Whatever they still cling to that came from this fallen world will be unceremoniously wrenched from their grasp. Our Master’s actual intent is to concentrate on cleansing us completely of Self-life and Self-adoration. He puts His own into a white-hot forge of discipline and training and reconfiguration because everything about them must transform until they actually become His own Personal image and likeness!

Revelation 5:11-13

“Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”

“And every created thing which is in Heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the Throne, and to the Lamb, be Blessing and Honor and Glory and Dominion forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:11-13 Emphasis added.)

Philippians 2:3-11

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

“For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the Name which is above every name, so that at the Name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in Heaven and on Earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father!” (Emphasis added.)

Matthew 10:24-39

“A disciple is not above his Teacher, nor a slave above his Master. It is enough for the disciple that he becomes like his Teacher, and the Slave like his master. If they have called the Head of the House Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!

“Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father, But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in Heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in Heaven.

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.

“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it. (Emphasis added.)

After we drop whatever we were doing and free ourselves to follow our Master, the training will begin in earnest. In God’s Infinite Wisdom, He provides whatever tests, challenges and situations He knows each one of us will need to draw our hidden Self-life out into the open. For one, it will be one thing; for another it will be something completely different, for we, and our backgrounds and past experiences, are all unique… and only God knows what formed and influenced us and what our myriads of unique experiences did to shape and configure us. So regardless of what each one of us needs, He will supply the very tests and experiences we need to have our major faults, sinful tendencies, and impurities that are surely lurking beneath the surface brought up to the surface. Then our weaknesses and evil tendencies will be dealt with, vigorously and thoroughly, and lovingly.

The Holy Spirit will work from within our regenerated spirits and move us from within to follow and fulfill the revelations and all of the commandments and promises that He previously embedded within God’s written Word. His purpose is to transform us into the image and likeness of God’s written and Living Word. So He will expose every weakness and impurity in our habit patterns and tendencies and character fault lines and finally, our eyes will be opened and we will become aware of them and what they have been doing to us all this time. Everything must and will be addressed, removed and replaced by what abides in and comes out of, our risen Lord.

The Holy Spirit constantly works to reform and reshape our inner workings, the way a potter breaks down and removes any hardness in his clay. He makes it very soft and pliable. And then he transforms it into something beautiful and brand new. The clay can do nothing for itself. That’s why it must yield completely to the Potter’s touch. And each disciple must learn to do the same, yield completely to the Holy Spirit. We begin to learn this from the moment we enter our wilderness boot camp! We will all experience the Holy Spirit’s stripping of our former rebellious, independent ways. Our Self-life comfort zones and will eventually be attacked and uprooted. He will completely replace those former radically independent and God-less perspectives, opinions, attitudes and agendas, with the awesome supernatural traits and qualities that are in our Messiah.

Galatians 5:19-24

“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

This purification must reach all the way down to our root system so that God can reconfigure us completely. So, those who hear the call and obey it will also never be the same! God’s Word must, and will, make brand new creations of each one of them!

2 Corinthians 4:6-18

“For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this Treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the Power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the Life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the Life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but Life in you.

“But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak, knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace, which is spreading to more and more people, may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the Glory of God.

“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of Glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (Emphasis added.)

In earthly boot camp training systems, strict attention is paid to how recruits look and behave on the outside. For example, their living quarters must remain spotless and their equipment and appearance must be proper and cared for, with everything in its proper place. Weapons and equipment must be kept clean and maintained in first class working order. Dress uniforms must be impeccable and physical acts such as marching, and deployments for battle and coordinated maneuvers involving various branches of service and diverse units must be executed with awesome precision, flawless coordination and perfect synchronized integration in order for victory in combat to be possible… and inevitable.

But in disciple boot camp training, the scrutiny and emphasis is reversed from what is external, to what is internal. Even if all seems to be in perfect order on the outside, what is going on within a person may not have essentially changed at all! There are military personnel that get everything right on the outside, who have souls and hearts that are still habitually as corrupt and putrid as they can possibly be! And that will obviously not pass the Inspection Standards of Almighty God!

1 Samuel 16:6-8

“When they entered, he looked at Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart!” Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “The Lord has not chosen this one either.” (Emphasis added.)

Matthew 23:26-28

“You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and Lawlessness.” (Emphasis added.)

John 14:16-18

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:16-18 Emphasis added.)

John 8:31-32

“So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My Word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the Truth, and the Truth will make you free.” (Emphasis added.)

So it is inevitable that our training will be more difficult and demanding than earthly arrogant and shame-based regimens could ever be. Our training will emphasize the true condition and appearance of our regenerated spirits and souls and brains! When God regards us on the inside, He must be able to see the Righteous Perfection of His own beloved firstborn Son! None of that is immediately outwardly discernible. Only after a sufficient period of interactive familiarity has elapsed, can the true character and quality of a disciple be known by other human beings. But God sees and knows what we are immediately. And this is why He requires the faculties of our souls to be rigorously and thoroughly cleansed, purified, and impeccably aligned and synchronized with – His own Holy Spirit and Living Word!

Matthew 7:15-23

Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and in Your Name cast out demons, and in Your Name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice Lawlessness.’” (Emphasis added.)

Galatians 5:16-25

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But, if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law (because, by the Holy Spirit’s Power, the obedience of the faith He imparts to you actually fulfills the Law!)

Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (Emphasis added.)

Matthew 5:27-30

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.” (Emphasis added.)

John 17:13-19

“But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My Joy made full in themselves. I have given them Your Word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the Truth; Your Word is Truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in Truth. (Emphasis added.)

Psalm 119:40-42

Behold, I long for Your precepts; revive me through Your Righteousness. May Your lovingkindnesses also come to me, O Lord, Your Salvation (Yeshua) according to Your Word; so I will have an answer for him who reproaches me, for I trust in Your Word! (Amplification and emphasis added.)

Since we’ve been chosen to join the company of New Covenant disciples in time for the very critical, turbulent Last Days, let’s ponder, realistically, what our choice to follow our Master will mean and what it will require of us. Amid the hostility and arrogance and violent humanism of this era, what will it be like to follow and abide with Israel’s Messiah, day and night, regardless of what the powers of Darkness may be stirring up and firing against us? What are we in for, now that we’ve chosen to forsake the pursuit of our former radically independent ways of thinking, acting, reacting and interacting in this world? How will the worldly-minded people we currently know and may even love and depend upon, react to us as we live out our faith and obey the Holy Spirit who will move us to go against popular trends and pop culture imperatives? What will we have to experience, now that we made that terminal choice to join our Messiah in His sufferings, and to die to our former Self-life? What happens in the midst of such a crucible of testing that continually forces us to choose between Good and Evil, will not depend on how we look and sound on the outside. It will depend entirely on who it truly is that rules, reigns and lives from within the depths of our innermost being!

Galatians 4:18-20

“But it is good always to be eagerly sought in a commendable manner, and not only when I am present with you. My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you—but I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.” (Emphasis added.)

Can you see why is God so particular and demanding about what is going on with us on the inside? Can you see why He isn’t satisfied with the socially acceptable appearances of His people? Can you see what is so important about our heart of hearts and its true condition to Him? Can you see why His Holy Spirit must have total freedom to make sure that God’s Living Word is always free to be and to do whatever Father sends Him to do to us and to be in us and through us? Each one of us was meticulously designed and created and intended to think, act, react and interact in this universe as… the image and likeness of the Living Word of our Living Almighty God! So it’s not about us; it’s all about Him!

Luke 14:26-35

“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’

“Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.

“Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned? It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

The answer to these questions asked above must always be the same. The questions are many, but the answer is always one. It has to be this:

Genesis 1:26

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. (Genesis 1:26 Emphasis added.)

1 Corinthians 6:2-3

Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life? (Emphasis added.)

Ephesians 6:10-18

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with Truth, and having put on the breastplate of Righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God! With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints…”

That’s a pretty awesome destiny that awaits us beloved, wouldn’t you agree? And our Master knows better than any of us ever could, just how unprepared the children of fallen Adam are for all of this when He first calls them into His service. He knows that we’ve never seen or experienced or even imagined what has to happen to us and in us, before He is able to abide within us and reveal Himself to the world, through us, in a way that will actually fulfill what is written in the Scriptures. We have no clue about any of that in the beginning; but He does! And that is why our training must be so demanding and stringent and relentlessly thorough, not according to our self-pampering desires, feelings and opinions, but according to His Perfect Wisdom and Knowledge, and His Infinitely Flawless Standards of Truth, Reality, Righteousness and Justice!

Matthew 5:13-16

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

If we’re to be the ‘salt of the earth’ and ‘the light of the world,’ isn’t our Lord warning us that our function will be scrutinized in public? Isn’t He saying that if we do our jobs properly, this fallen world will be deeply impacted spiritually and physically, relationally, and emotionally speaking? We are not following a Master that is Self-absorbed! He has been sent here for US! And if we’re following Him, and are commissioned to embody Him, does it not follow that when the people around us encounter and experience interactions with us, that what is in us will flow out of us and deeply penetrate and impact and bless them? And isn’t it true that what we will send out will have to be REAL… and SUBSTANTIAL… and ETERNALLY LASTING? Beloved, it is most likely that if we manage at last to have disciples of that caliber, the world’s suicide rate will decline dramatically! Instead of killing themselves, many who have lived in hopelessness and despair will see the disciples and be prompted to want to know what they know and have the One they have! And that is why our training and preparation will have to be so thorough and perfect as it examines and cleanses and transforms us on the inside!

The Lord’s manner and the intensity with which He must train and prepare us for deadly combat with the powers of Darkness is going to be unlike anything self-adoring people of this fallen world can even imagine. Worldly people crave and insist upon constant comfort, pleasure, abundance, ease and having their passions and urges sated. That worldly attitude and spirit is all around us! But we, on the contrary, must have time for being trained to soar far above and beyond that pernicious and deadly form of bondage. And the time we have to learn all of this is getting shorter and shorter. God must prepare us to persevere and overcome amid the deadliest combat with the most malevolent enemies imaginable – the powers of Darkness! The battles we’ll be part of, and all the chaos that will characterize them, will be upon us very shortly!

Our training must be intense, thorough and demanding. Our Master will not ‘soft soap’ or conceal anything from us. He owes it to His own to be utterly honest, thorough, repetitive, and focused like a laser beam. There will be no ‘easy sell’ types of emotional ‘candy’ and no soothing ‘back rubs’ or spa-like treatment that will cater to our former consumer-oriented sensibilities. When we were part of this world, we were part of the modern society that surrounded and programmed us. We assumed that we were the center of the universe and that everything and everyone around us was created to exalt and serve us! And that’s why we were so picky and self-absorbed, and arrogant and touchy and demanding. We required any commercial outlet we deigned to frequent, to cater to our whims and desires and sensibilities. With that attitude, we ‘shopped around’ and perused and searched out exactly what we wanted. We even picked over the wares of the myriads of worldly false gods and religions. We ‘shopped around’ until we found whatever best suited and pleased our fleshly standards. And we rejected anything that didn’t suit our expectations and please and satisfy our desires. To us, that was natural human living. We wallowed in our sense of ‘entitlement’ assuming it was our right to have everything our way.

But now that we’re in Almighty God’s Service, the polarity in us must be reversed, from Self… to our Messiah, Yeshua. Now that we’ve become part of God’s Kingdom, the ways of that Kingdom must become our ways. And in this Kingdom, God has everything His Way! So now, His Holy Spirit  inspects us and looks for what He requires in us, and removes whatever is unacceptable. Whatever does not conform to His Christ-exalting Agenda and God-obeying Standards, will be vigorously and thoroughly eliminated. We are now being trained to faithfully and accurately embody God’s beloved Son, the Word. From now on, everything in us must be about Him! Whatever remains in us that mars His image and likeness will be in God’s way, and it must, and will, be surgically removed until we are thoroughly sanctified and purified!

John 16:12-15

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.

“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the Truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you. (Emphasis added.)

Since God’s Holy Spirit is here to form our Messiah in us, our Master is the one who must always be increasing in our innermost being. And conversely, we must continually decrease in direct proportion to His ever-advancing Takeover. That is why God’s Spirit will not allow anything that is alien to God’s Word and His ways to remain in us. So, we have many, many things to learn for the first time, and master after a tremendous amount of repetition. And there are many old familiar and deeply embedded habits and patterns that we’ll have to forsake and many habitual patterns that we’ll have to ‘unlearn’ completely.

This is why none of us will ever fully ‘graduate’ from our personal boot camp training. Not only must we ‘unlearn’ a myriad of old comfortable habits, but we must create and install (with massive repetition) all of the totally unfamiliar new habits and identity, thought, reaction and interaction  patterns that will embody our indwelling Lord! This level of training must go on for each disciple’s entire lifetime! This is why I maintain that God’s approach in dealing with us while we’re ‘raw recruits’, is very similar to those good old ‘boot camp’ sets of attitudes and training atmospheres that we talk so much about in our FMM material. God isn’t interested in winning any earthly popularity polls, nor will He ever ‘water down’ or ‘soft soap’ His Truth and Reality to try to make it more palatable and acceptable to our fallen flesh which is riddled with the damage that believing demonic lies and delusions has caused in all of us. So rather than pleasing our fallen flesh, He crucifies it! And thus He will always tell us the Truth, and work that Truth into us, just as it really is… until we learn to love Truth just as much as He does!

In this process, He will apply tremendous heat to our affected parts and ‘melt them down’ back to the level of their original potentiality. Because He must make new creations out of us, we’ll be subjected to, and required, to pass His awesome Inspection. This is because it must be our Master, the risen Lord Himself, who must be truly living and working within us! Only He is able to meet and pass His Father’s Perfect Standards of Righteousness and Judgment and Truth! This is why the Holy Spirit will deal with any residue of our former Self-life with ‘white glove’ standards of inspection! And therefore, if we persevere and overcome, at every stage of this process, we will transform and become pleasing and acceptable even in the sight of Almighty God! Father will look at us and see… His Son… abiding as our Master. And we, on the inside, will be… what God requires. And there will be absolutely NOTHING left in us that the Serpent and his powers of Darkness will be able to access or own, or manipulate, or contaminate, in any way! So, as the Lord so clearly told His original first century disciples:

Matthew 5:43-48

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in Heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is Perfect! (Emphasis added.)

Beloved, it’s true that we begin just the way raw recruits in the world are trained in their boot camp stages. And at that stage of our development, it is very easy for us to be overwhelmed with intense feelings of outrage, resentment and self-pity. The weaning pen process we must undergo is pitiless and brutally thorough because that is the way to make the process as effective and deep as possible. And it also shortens the time needed to do the job and limit the emotional shock and sense of desolation we will naturally feel within a reasonable and temporary framework and time span.

The purpose of the Army or, Navy, or Air Force, Coast Guard or Marine Corps is to take the total strangers that enter their system at the beginning end of the training process… and transform them until each new recruit becomes part of a fully integrated combat unit. Each one of their own must be… trained, seasoned, knowledgeable and fully combat-ready! In that sense, the Marine, for example, is equipped and prepared to personally represent his country’s commander in chief, and fulfill the plans and intentions of his nation’s highest authority, as if he or she were the living physical embodiment of that highest authority! And, when they are able to serve at that level and capacity, then they will be trustworthy leaders and teachers and fit to reproduce what they have become in the minds, hearts and lives of the many others that will be following them in the days to come.

Matthew 28:18-20

“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, All Authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on Earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Emphasis added.)

John 15:15-16

“No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My Name He may give to you. (Emphasis added.)

Matthew 28:18-20

And Yeshua came up to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to Me. Go therefore (as My personal embodiment) and make disciples (just like yourselves) of all nations (Gentiles), immersing them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Ruach ha-Kodesh, teaching them to observe all I have commanded you. And remember! I AM with you, always, even to the end of the age! (TLV. Amplification and emphasis added.)

Beloved, can you even begin to imagine how awesome the purpose and lifestyle and destiny to which each disciple of Israel’s Messiah is being called, actually are? What will it take to transform disciples into our risen Lord’s human image and likeness? What will such beings that are aflame with the All-Consuming Fire of Almighty God’s Presence look and sound like… after they become full-fledged New Covenant disciples and Covenant friends of God’s Living Word? (See how He is described in Revelation chapter 1.) So… what awesome things will the Last Days disciples be doing and accomplishing, as their Lord leads them every step of the way, and deploys them in their assigned places along His Battle Lines?

You and I will never be able to achieve such perfection by our own efforts; but the Holy Spirit can, and will, do it… as long as we are obeying and cooperating and submitting with no compromise or reservation at each step of the way. So when you consider that we’re going to be prepared to embody the Living Word of God, by the time we reach the other end of our training process, it’s easy to see why the process, from start to finish, must be so rigorous and demanding and uncompromising. God is preparing us to withstand and persevere in order to outlast and overcome all of the fury of Hell itself! And He must have us ready and able to fulfill our tasks, regardless of the hell and fury and pressure-packed confusion and chaos the enemies of God may try to arouse against us! But no matter what they may try to do… if we’re properly prepared, they will not prevail. They will be doomed to utter disaster and defeat! And that’s why we’re being equipped and prepared so rigorously. Our Master will see to it that we’ll be ready and able to see through any and all demonic lies and bluffs. And then, we will continue, relentlessly, to usher in our Lord’s Overwhelming, Eternally Triumphant Presence!

Luke 9:57-62

“As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, “I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” And He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.” But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the Kingdom of God.”

“Another also said, “I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.” (Emphasis added.)

There is one thing we can know for sure as we’re comparing the mentality and manner of Scripture with the mentality and manner of the world’s modern Self-adoring Western cultures: God and His Living Word made flesh are most certainly not ‘user friendly’ and ‘politically correct!’ The Living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob never says what people want to hear. He says what He knows they MUST all hear! God is speaking to us of military matters and the necessary ingredients that constitute total Victory! He tells us what we must all take to heart if we’re truly going to be saved and restored according to God’s Perfect Standards! But the reward that follows all of that is this: If we’re emptied of ourselves… Almighty God Himself will fill us with His Holy Spirit. And the Spirit will impart God’s Living Word into our spirits! And to the Word, all Authority in Heaven and on Earth have been given! So when He truly does live in and through us, we are equipped to speak and act IN HIS NAME! And when that happens… the world around us will really and truly have to CHANGE!

John 15:16-17

“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father IN MY NAME He may give to you! This I command you, that you love one another.” (Emphasis added.)

Because God’s Love Nature is so Pure, True, Selfless and expressive of His own Infinite and Holy Righteousness, God speaks to us according to how serious and dire our selfish Sin-corrupted Death nature truly is! He pulls no punches and leaves no room for misunderstandings, because the stakes and the consequences are eternal and unspeakably important. He must make sure we have no doubt. If we’re ever going to be truly saved from slavery to ourselves, and from the eternal doom that awaits those who remain radically independent of Him, we must take His Words, and the context in which He speaks them, very seriously. God’s Living Word must be free to take over completely in our mind, will and heart of hearts! Our eternal salvation depends on us responding to God’s Word, on God’s terms, and never on the terms of any fallen man or woman! We must realize we’re being reconfigured into God’s own image and likeness! And to do that, we must die to looking and clinging to, our former radical independence from God.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates!”

Isaiah 66:1-2

“Thus says the Lord, “Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest? For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord. “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My Word!”

Isaiah 66:4-5

“So I will choose their punishments and will bring on them what they dread. Because I called, but no one answered; I spoke, but they did not listen. And they did evil in My sight and chose that in which I did not delight.”

“Hear the Word of the Lord, you who tremble at His Word: Your brothers who hate you, who exclude you for My Name’s sake, have said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified, that we may see your joy.’ But they will be put to shame!”