In Introduction to ‘Follow Me’ Ministries
The Ministry & Its Purpose
By John Marquez
Follow Me Ministries’ was birthed from January through March, 2011. Its purpose is: to enhance the training that the risen Lord Jesus Christ gives to His personal disciples. It will serve people that have received the Lord’s call to discipleship by providing Bible-based instruction and training material geared to expedite and protect their ongoing, interactive relationship with Him.
We’ll strive to contribute to the wellbeing of believers in Christ by addressing urgent needs that exist among modern day Christians. The perilous times we live in will challenge and shake the faith of many. So believers need training that will deepen their spiritual maturity and nourish and strengthen the roots of their faith. The training will highlight the living relationship with God that we all have the opportunity to pursue and engage in, should we choose to do it. The turbulent times we live in are going to tax our spiritual strength and test our resolve to persevere. And we will need to develop a military-level focus, discipline and set of skills to be able to overcome doubt and fear amid excruciating circumstances. These are the matters we will strive to address in hopes of making a positive, effective, eternally beneficial contribution.
No doubt you’ve noticed how extremely unstable and dangerous our world has become. What seemed like a granite-solid foundation sustaining the world system is being mercilessly exposed. Now we see; it is a crumbling façade. And more of mankind’s false gods have shown their true colors. Instead of leading their believers to abundant life, their deceptive claims have dragged billions into abysmal poverty, destruction, pain and death! Terror and greed and maniacal treachery and short-sighted, destructive selfishness are their legacy. And because virulent opposition to God’s Word is rapidly increasing; so also is violent persecution against those that love God and seek to obey and proclaim His Word. It is for such a time as this that modern day disciples must be trained.
“See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, ‘Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.’
“This expression, ‘Yet once more,’ denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a Kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire!” (Heb. 12:25-29)
While all this shaking takes place, what about the multiple millions of ‘believers’? As the world gets darker, should not the Lord’s Light in us be getting brighter and more penetrating? Should we not be changing supernaturally in correspondingly positive, productive ways? Should we not be emerging into ‘City on a hill’ prominence? Do you see much of that happening? If not, is it because God is failing? Or is it because something in us keeps getting in His way? Can we assume that we’ve ‘arrived’, that we know everything and have no further need to learn and grow beyond our present status quo level? Or do we need to be stimulated into increased spiritual growth, depth and skill in interacting with the Spirit of Truth? Do we not need more of God’s authority and power to back our claims, since most of the cynical, terrified world’s attention and hopes are now pointing in other directions? Do we not need to be trained and equipped to fulfill this God-given command?
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good!” (Rom. 12:21)
Who can actually usher in ‘The Light of the World’? It takes disciples to do that…disciples worthy of the name. But for centuries, Christendom has lost its sense of direction regarding the training and development of disciples. We do not seem to understand what the Lord meant when He gave disciple-making orders to His original Jewish apostles before ascending into Heaven:
“…All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations (disciple the gentiles), 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.” (Mt. 28:18-20)
We interpret this in many ways and call it, ‘The Great Commission’. But do we really grasp what He said and take it to heart? Most people immediately think He was speaking of evangelism. Yes, the Lord wants evangelism to be sure. But He had much more than that in mind when He told His Jewish apostles to teach the Gentile World. He wanted them to teach Gentiles to serve Him and interact with Him the way He had taught them to serve and interact with Him! He was saying: “Teach the rest of Israel and the entire Gentile world to live and interact with Me (the Living Word of God) the way I taught you to live and interact with Me. Teach them to obey Father the way you saw Me obey Him. Teach them to obey Father exactly as I taught you to do it!”
If the Lord were actually here today…revealing His ways and explaining Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation…would His words ‘bulldoze’ the myriads of conflicting theologies, traditions and practices we’ve made up for ourselves over the centuries? Yes, His words would stab and expose many of us with God’s chilling Truth…and He would utterly stun us all!
(And by the way, we actually do have the privilege of being able to sit at His feet so that He can explain everything to us…only most of us don’t know or believe it yet.)
The Disciple ‘Job Description’
Modern disciples have the same job description the original Jewish disciples had as it is revealed in the Gospels. This is what the originals did:
- They lived with our Master day and night and knew Him intimately.
- They lived with each other as His personal family members.
- They memorized our Lord’s words and embodied His teachings.
- They followed His understanding and interpretation of the Scriptures.
- They learned to reproduce His Spirit-led actions and lifestyle.
- They transformed into His living image and likeness.
- They allowed apprentice disciples to watch them interact with our Lord so they could learn to be and do with our Lord what they saw the veterans being and doing with Him.
- After His Ascension and their reception of the gift of the Holy Spirit, He became their indwelling Life. And because they denied their lives, so that He could live His Life from within them, they served as His embodiment on the Earth. And He produced His fruit through their obedient faith.
The disciple job description never changes. The Lord Himself teaches them on a ‘Watch Me…now you’ basis. After the Lord’s Ascension, the originals had to learn to do the same thing with Him…but in a radically new way…the New Covenant way. Before, they lived with Him in the flesh, by sight, sound and feelings. They watched Him do everything and noted closely all of His ways. But later, they had to learn to abide with Him by faith…in the Holy Spirit! First they watched what He did from a few feet away. But now they had to learn to allow Him to continue to do what His Father was telling Him to do…to them…in them…and through them!
And that’s how we too can and must learn to live and interact with our Master. Yes, we can live and interact with Him! We’re not at a disadvantage; we have a most wonderful improvement that serves as a tremendous advantage! The Lord Himself said:
“…I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.” (Jn. 16:7)
Yes, the Holy Spirit is our wonderful Advantage…we don’t have to be in any certain place, doing certain things, or consult with certain special gurus or leaders in order to connect with our Master. We can know Him directly, personally and at an incredible level of intimacy, anytime, anywhere – by the power of the Holy Spirit and the supernaturally obedient faith He is here to give us. No longer are we bogged down by the limitations of space, time, religion or any other natural human weakness. Now none of that matters. We can be one with Him wherever we are, no matter what we’re doing or what our circumstances are or how we may be feeling…HE IS WITH US ALWAYS! He never changes…He’s always infinite, eternal, present and All-Sufficient!
But it requires a unique, specialized training to equip us to live this way authentically and effectively. Christendom lost sight of that over the centuries. But that is precisely what the Follow Me Ministry will focus on – assisting those that are called to discipleship…to abide in Him…so He can teach us Himself…and restore this tremendous New Covenant treasure to His people…and prepare us to meet the challenges and requirements the End Times will force upon us. This ministry will strive to help you to cooperate with the Lord so that He can ‘garden’ your faith and deepen your understanding and teach you to interact with Him. We won’t try to lead you into placing your expectations on yet another man-made ministry, or another collection of material, or get you to chase after still more charismatic personalities. No…everything will be geared to connect your focus and attention and energy to – living with and from…the risen Lord of Glory Himself, as He shows us how to do it, through Scripture…in Person!
Try to imagine the wonder of having this awesome living Word that proceeds from the mouth of God, coming to men and women that God pre-selects. His infinite Word pierces, penetrates and impregnates their innermost being. Remember who He is! He creates and holds every galaxy together and sustains every amoeba in existence – and He is the one that says to each of these blessed people:
What an awesome summons! What a mind-shattering invasion! The one that is ALL in all, to the entire universe, initiates a relationship too deep, vast and loving for any created mind to comprehend. The Creator of all things invites an insignificant, tiny human into an eternal love-union with Him! And what an enormous, gut-wrenching reality-shift that will cause in anyone that chooses to obey His call! Try to imagine being eternally linked – Spirit to spirit – with the living Word of the Living God! What would that lead to? What explosive changes would that make in your former, radically independent, self-adoring existence? If God would call you to be His own, would you ever be able to forget about it and go back to what you were before He pierced, penetrated and impregnated you with His proposal? And even if you tried, would you not be a marked man or woman forever? Yes indeed! You will never be the same. That call, once you hear it, burns Jesus Christ’s white-hot ‘brand’ deep into your soul and you’re marked and set apart forever as one of those that Almighty God has chosen to be – HIS! And after you hear it, nothing short of being His will ever be able to satisfy or fulfill you from that point on!
Since Creation began, God’s Word has been summoning humans in this way. If they respond and obey, He interacts with them at intensely personal, intimate levels. He reveals Himself to them in progressively overwhelming stages. But more than that, as their relationship with Him deepens, He begins to reveal Himself to others, through the crucified flesh and the circumstances and situations of His disciples! And He radiates out from within their spirits, souls and bodies! Each one serves as one of His ‘entry points’ into this world. Once they enthrone Him as Lord and Master in their hearts, His Authority and Power begin radiate form them and He touches the people and situations around them. Thus God reveals Himself all across the earth, through His Word’s enormously privileged, honored and very wise disciples!
“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!” (Isa. 66:1-2)
“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work, for His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:12-13)
Who Trains Christ’s Disciples?
No one can make a disciple for the Lord Jesus. Nothing can substitute for His living, interactive Presence. He promised to be with us always. And He made it possible for us to abide with Him continuously. But we need adequate training to avail ourselves of this tremendous privilege and treasure. The world doesn’t need us…it needs Him! Nothing short of Him will do. So if He doesn’t train us Himself, our lives as disciples will not be Biblically authentic or fruit-producing.
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” (Jn. 15:4-8)
True disciples prove they’re the authentic embodiment of the Resurrection Presence of their Master. They do it by bearing the supernatural ‘fruit’ that only He is able to produce in and through them. That’s why they MUST learn to abide with Him through Spirit-empowered faith…even in naturally impossible circumstances! This is the target at which the Follow Me Ministry will aim its efforts. It will make training tools available for those that desire to deepen their understanding of this utterly essential, irreplaceable, ‘Vine and branches’ lifestyle. But the essential ‘tool’ is not a human creation. The essential tool is the loving, personal, interactive relationship in everyday life situations that the disciples must learn to develop with their risen Master. He is the Disciple Trainer. He is what we need. And He is here to do whatever is needed…as soon as we wake up and begin to believe, acknowledge and demonstrate the Reality of His Presence within us! That is the real ‘tool’, the utterly essential tool we must grab hold of and begin to use in order to become disciples.
Why Should This Matter to Us?
Do you see any need for God to reveal the Glory of His loving, Life-giving Word to this poor agonizing world? Do you see any need for true, authentic, Spirit-filled disciples that can actually share the Divine Presence that God has entrusted to their care? Do you see any need to overcome demonic evil with the awesome GOOD that God’s Living indwelling Word is here to be to us, for us and through us? Do you know any people that are hurting and hopelessly desperate and totally stuck? Are there people around you that have no awareness of the Living God? Do they need to know how much He loves and cherishes them and how passionately He desires to get their attention, draw them to Himself and bring them back to life from among the living dead? If you see a need for Him to be able to reach out to them – then you see a need for trained disciples. They’re the ones through whom God does what must be done for this lost, grief-stricken world.
Who Could Possibly Live Like This?
God doesn’t choose and train disciples because they’re so gifted and exceptionally superior to everyone else. He chooses them precisely because they are so ordinary, typical and equal to all the others. God’s ways are contrary to the world’s ways. Worldly religious people think they have what it takes to do everything for God and to be like God. But in the Kingdom of Heaven, God works through crucified disciples that have no other option but to depend on God to do everything on man’s behalf. And so when supernatural things begin to happen through these ordinary, simple, weak disciples, everyone around them can see that what is happening before their eyes is not about them nor does it originate with them. They can see that the marvels taking place are coming from the Living God …whose Word is present and creating astounding things…through these trusting, obedient little people. When that can be seen…it gets the attention of the rest of the world like nothing else could!
“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are…” (1 Cor. 1:26-28)
“For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God!”(1 Cor. 2:2-5)
God gives some awesome revelation throughout the entire Bible. Here it is:
Every command He gives to the human race – is totally supernatural and utterly beyond anyone’s ability or power, to fulfill!
Many don’t understand that God’s standards are absolutely impossible for us to satisfy. That’s because the fallen flesh of people in need of salvation and spiritual regeneration is humanistic. It can only think in selfish, self-centered, self-adoring and self-improving terms. Humanistic people assume everything has to be about them and how well they can perform. That causes them to ignore their Creator and how utterly dependent every creature is on its Creator. But consider this: in the very first gospel account given in the New Covenant apostolic section of the Bible, when the Lord first begins His public ministry, this is the very first thing He says:
“Blessed are the poor (bankrupt) in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven!” (Mt. 5:3)
The most wonderfully liberating truth is this: once we hear God’s Word and obey His command to exchange our unreal, radically independent life, for the risen Life of His living Word made flesh, and actually do it, God’s living Word is then free to live and operate from within us, by the Power of God’s Holy Spirit. When we obey and allow the Living Word of God to become our new, eternal Life…He then begins to obey His Father from within us…in our name. God Himself obeys His own commands and meets His own perfect standards from within our surrendered flesh! He will do everything necessary…in and through the Authority of His Word and the Power of His Holy Spirit. And true disciples of God’s Word, embody this glorious reality! This is the Heavenly, other-worldly lifestyle of New Covenant disciples. And that’s what the Follow Me material will help you focus on and begin to practice…so that everything can be about God’s Living Word in you. He will increase; everything else will decrease…until He is ALL…in all of us! And when we acknowledge Him and give Him the true place only He deserves to occupy, He will be our infinite, eternal Blessing. And that Blessing will contain our God-given Salvation, Ability, Perfection, Value, Protection, Authority and Triumph!
More pertinent material will be added to this website in the days to come. If you visit regularly, you’ll find more things that pertain to disciple life to consider and pray over. In the meantime, I’ll be working on the training material that is currently ‘under construction’. When it is completed, it will be placed at the disposal of the Body of Christ in hopes that it will enhance your interactive relationship with the Lord of Glory.
Extraordinary times and challenges require extraordinary disciples that require extraordinary training, preparation and equipping. So if any of this appeals to you, and you know you’ve received the Lord’s call to be His disciple, then the first ministry I founded, the Christ-Life Ministry, and this Follow Me Ministry and their combined materials and tools, are probably for you!
The Follow Me ministry is a sister ministry to Christ-Life. The two will work together, like a ‘one-two punch’, for the same disciple-training purpose. If you are not yet familiar with Christ-Life and the sterling reputation it has been earning since 1991, visit the website: www.christlifesolution.org. The staff will answer your questions and help you get started.
Follow Me Ministries is part of a non-profit, tax exempt organization that believes in and supports the Follow Me Ministry. The parent organization is, The Hope of Zion Congregation (Adat HaTikvah Tzion). For your information and convenience, this Follow Me website offers a link to the ‘Adat’ congregation’s website.
If you think this work is worthwhile and something that is needed for the building up of the Body of Christ at this time, and you want to benefit from it yourself, then consider joining our team. It will take a determined group effort to develop Follow Me into a disciple training academy.
You can begin by sending contributions each month, according to your means. That will enable us to go all the way and finish the job that is before us. Use the donations link provided on this website, or if you prefer, mail your gifts and correspondence to:
Follow Me Ministries, Inc.
P.O. Box 540826
Omaha, NE 68154-0826
If you are already a member of the Christ-Life Family, visit the section on this website entitled: “For My Christ-Life Family”. There I will ‘talk shop’ and explain what we’re doing in greater depth.
In His service, and yours,