Our beloved fellow Last Days Disciples, this new series of articles is titled “Marching Orders for the Stephen Generation” and its purpose is to enhance our understanding of what we Last Days Disciples can expect in the coming days… and what our Father has already provided for us in the midst of everything and anything we may face. This series will strengthen and solidify the firm foundation of Truth that Holy Spirit has been imparting to our FMM family and will increase our resolve to fulfill the exhortation we find in Ephesians 6:10-18 (TLV):
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you are able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the worldly forces of this darkness, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist when the times are evil, and after you have done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm then! Buckle the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. Strap up your feet in readiness with the Good News of Shalom (Peace). Above all, take 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. Pray in the Ruach (Spirit) on every occasion, with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, keep alert with perseverance and supplication for all the kedoshim (saints).”
We begin with the Original Marching Orders to bring into focus the enhancements found in the Marching Orders for the Stephen Generation. And the reason for that ‘upgrade’ given to us by the Ruach HaKodesh is because we live in uncharted territory… generations before us never faced the kind of things we do. They could not have conceived civilizations slowly self- destructing after decades of demonically inspired lies and deception. Those who lived during the days of great revivals and outpourings of the Spirit would never have imagined how those fires could have died down to smoldering embers.
So knowing how much the written and Living Word has revealed about the Last Days, I exhort you to take seriously the level of equipping this series offers as we work together to advance the Kingdom of our God and prepare for the coming of His beloved Son.
Love, Mum Nancy
(First received in 1988)
Marching Orders for
The Stephen Generation
(Updated adaptation made in 2021)
The Lord gave me the original ‘Marching Orders’ in the summer of 1988. Soon afterward, He started sending the downloads for what would eventually develop into the material that the Ultimate Journey Ministry shares so successfully today with those who participate in that ministry’s support group disciple training.
But after the Lord gave me the new assignment of cooperating with Him in giving birth to this current Follow Me Ministry, the Marching Orders are just as pertinent and necessary as ever. Only now we’ve updated them to reflect the atmosphere and urgency in which the Last Days disciples of today will be required to operate.
I call these Last Days Special Forces Disciples: ‘The Stephen Generation’, because they will finish constructing the ‘Highway in the Wilderness’ that will prepare the way for the Return of our risen Messiah. (See Isa. 40). And they will do it amid some extremely difficult and often dangerous circumstances… regardless of the cost to them. So they’ll have to do their work while resisting and opposing the forces of Darkness when the age-old war between Good and Evil reaches the zenith level of its intensity.
And since they’ll have to learn to persevere in their service to the Lord in dire and apparently impossible situations, they will be very aware of the fact that only the actual Presence of the risen Lord will be able to see them through. They will have to know what the disciple Stephen (in chapters 6 and 7 of the book of Acts) knew, and do what he did when it was his time to render his unforgettable service.
The Stephen Generation will have to be prepared and equipped to maintain the supernatural martyrs’ mindset focus that the valiant, unstoppable, disciple Stephen maintained and displayed, during his final moments on Earth. Nothing could deter or stop him or the other martyrs! They follow the totally focused example of our Lord! And authentic Last Days disciples will have to do the same. So the training true disciples receive is of vital importance. And that training is what these meditations are meant to help us unpack, explore, absorb, digest, and… embody… as we go through our ‘boot camp’ preparatory stages.
Blood Brothers Forever
The relationship between the risen Lord, Messiah Yeshua, and His disciples is essentially a relationship that, in the Hebrew mentality of the Bible, would be considered to be ‘sealed in blood.’ In other words, it is a blood covenant relationship… the truest, most intimate, and most binding bond of love in existence. The Bible itself, although it has numerous books that were written at various times by various separate authors, should, in my opinion, be looked upon and regarded as ‘one, organically united, official, eternally binding, indivisible, Blood Covenant document.’
A blood covenant agreement is a perpetual, unbreakable reality. It is corporate in essence and not at all individualistic. It was present from humanity’s earliest beginnings, because it seems clear from the following text through which God introduced it to the human race:
“For I desire loyalty rather than sacrifice, and the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.BUT LIKE ADAM THEY HAVE VIOLATED THE COVENANT; there they have dealt treacherously with Me.” (Hosea 6:6-7 NASB, Emphasis added)
So the Blood Covenant Pattern existed before large urban organized structures came into being and before civilized ‘law and order’ organizations developed. Living was hard and survival was difficult to achieve, and so people naturally banded and clustered together for mutual protection and assistance in order to survive. Ancient traces of the blood covenant pattern can be found in virtually every ethnic history, set of traditions, folklore, and cultural underpinnings, thus indicating further that God had created the Covenant Pattern for the entire human race.
A blood covenant differs vastly from a legal contract, or a Last Will and Testament! So it’s very unfortunate that, in the course of Western history, organized religious non-Jewish leaders and translators in ‘Christendom’ took it upon themselves to divide the Scriptures God first entrusted to His chosen People, Israel, and chose to regard them as two completely separate entities: ‘The Old and New Testaments.’
I say this because in the sense of a ‘last will and testament’ a testament is a legal entity that can be updated and changed. In other words, the latest, newest version of a will cancels and replaces any version that came before it. And this has led to the widespread modern heresy that says Scripture works in the same way: “What God began with Israel, He has abolished; and now He has entrusted His updated version to the Christian Church.” In other words, this error states that when it comes to the Bible Revelation of God, His ‘New Testament’ supersedes, or cancels and replaces, ‘The Old Testament.’
Nothing Could Be Further From The Truth!
The apostolic writings of what is called The New Testament contain the contradiction to that idea within themselves. They do not dare to presume to replace what God’s Word said before the arrival of the apostolic era writings! To do so would be to teach that God is a Covenant-violating Adulterer! So, perish the thought! Instead, the latter apostolic writings were meant to bring what came before into a much clearer focus, and to assist our entry into their eventual fulfillment, fruition, and Consummation! (Ponder the gravity of God’s revelation in Deuteronomy 13 and 28.) And ponder also what God’s Living Word Himself asserted in response to accusations that He was violating the Torah and the teachings of Israel’s prophets.
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. Amen, I tell you, until Heaven and Earth pass away, not the smallest letter or serif shall ever pass away from the Torah until all things come to pass! Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others the same, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever keeps and teaches them, this one shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and Torah scholars, you shall never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!” (Matthew 5:17-20 TLV,Emphasis added)
You cannot fulfill and bring to completion something that has already been abolished and cancelled! And notice the context of this segment of the inspired letter that Paul wrote to his spiritual son, Timothy:
“You, however, continue in what you have learned and what you have become convinced of. For you know from whom you have learned, and that from childhood you have known the sacred (Hebrew) writings that are able to make you wise, leading to salvation through trusting in Messiah Yeshua.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for restoration, and for training in righteousness, so that the person belonging to God may be capable, fully equipped for every good deed.” (2 Timothy 3:14-17 TLV, Amplification and emphasis added)
This Pauline letter was written in the first century. And at that time, the only Scriptures that were accepted into the Canon of Scripture were those contained in the Hebrew Tanach (what many today call ‘The ‘Old Testament’). So when Paul was giving Timothy his glowing endorsement of ‘all Scripture’ he was referring only to the Hebrew Scriptures! At that time, the New Testament did not yet exist! So how could the Hebrew Scriptures have been cancelled and abolished? Paul didn’t think they were!
The same applies to the Gospel texts that quote Messiah Yeshua as He was teaching His disciples. He was saying what He said about the Torah in the Matthew reference above in response to accusations that some Jewish religious establishment types were making against Him. They were accusing Him of teaching against, or contradicting, the teachings of Moses in the Torah. And so Yeshua had to make sure His disciples understood what was really going on by responding to His accusers in this vein:
“I do not accept glory from men. But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father’s Name, and you do not receive Me. But if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another, and you do not seek the Glory that comes from God alone?
“Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father. The one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have put your hope. For if you were believing Moses, you would believe Me—BECAUSE HE WROTE ABOUT ME! (See Deuteronomy 18:14-19) But since you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:41-47 TLV, Amplification and emphasis added)
So, the roots of the revelation and understanding concerning our Messiah (God’s Living Word made flesh) and His significance to all of human history most certainly do not begin with the appearance of the Gospel of Matthew! On the contrary, the Gospels, and Acts, and the epistles and the book of Revelation are all connected to, and flow out of, the revelation that God began to give to the world, starting with Genesis 1:1 in the Torah!
So for our purposes, let’s zero in on the ancient mentality and culture of the Hebrew world that is packed into the Bible according to the Pattern of the Blood Covenants God introduced in Genesis. Let’s unfold some of the mysterious layers of meaning contained in the ancient Semitic world of Biblical Blood Covenants. Why would I do this, when I’m writing a book that deals with our FMM Marching Orders? As we know, those orders are not explicitly given in the Bible! That’s true. But they do come from something that I believe the Lord ‘downloaded’ into my heart one day in 1988!
I believe the Lord provided those Marching Orders to help us get our ‘bearings’ regarding the direction in which He intended to lead our Ultimate Journey and Follow Me Ministries as we make our way into the future. And I’m convinced that our Marching Orders coincide and dovetail with the same revelation and commands that God gave to us in Scripture.
As previously indicated, there are layers of growth, development and ever-deepening understanding contained in God’s Blood Covenant Pattern. The Biblical idea of Covenant was explained in the following ways to correspond with its various levels of understanding and growing into the progressive stages of our love for, and faithfulness to, our God as required by this unique blood bond relationship:
The Bible mentions these covenants in various places and contexts. But when you examine each of those levels in depth, you begin to realize that they are organic growth extensions that grow out from the same original ‘Seed’. The Seed is the one eternal Covenant that God made with Himself before the foundation of this world (See Hebrews 13:20-21). It helps us understand what is expected of the human participants in the Covenant that the Father made with His own Living Word, who, in the fullness of time, took on our human nature in order to legally represent the human race in this Covenant!
The Covenants God made with Noah and introduced to Abram, the moon-worshipper, and those that He made subsequently, are all different aspects, or growth and development levels, of that one eternally Perfect Covenant relationship God has always intended to have with His created human image and likeness people.
We see in Genesis that God repeatedly revealed Himself to, and interacted with, Abraham and his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. And we see in Exodus, that He intended to live in the midst of His chosen people, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He wasn’t waiting for a time when He could bring them up to Heaven. He continually came to Earth to abide and interact with them even in this time and space dimension!
So in the beginning, when Abram knew nothing of God or His ways, God approached him and wooed him into the elementary entry level of Covenant relationship. He started by introducing Abram to His blood covenant ways, at the basic entry level, which was already well recognized and understood throughout that entire Middle Eastern region.
(We have an entire sub-section under ‘Teachings’ in our FMM website www.follow-me-ministries.org devoted to explaining blood covenants and where they come from and how they work. We also offer a sub-section that lists some pertinent reference works we’ve consulted over the years.)
Here is the Genesis text in which that initial covenant bonding between God and Abram took place:
“After these things the Word of Adonai came to Abram in a vision saying,
“Do not fear, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”
But Abram said, “My Lord Adonai, what will You give me, since I am living without children, and the heir of my household is Eliezer of Damascus?” Then Abram said, “Look! You have given me no seed, so a house-born servant is my heir.”
Then behold, the Word of Adonai came to him saying, “This one will not be your heir, but in fact, one who will come from your own body will be your heir. He took him outside and said, “Look up now, at the sky, and count the stars—if you are able to count them.” Then He said to him, “So shall your seed be.”
Then he believed in Adonai, and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:1-6 TLV)
So when it comes to God’s Blood Covenant ways, we must understand that at this elemental entry level, God takes the initiative from start to finish. He proposes the idea and guides Abram every step of the way when it comes to making the necessary preparations for the blood covenant ceremony to take place. But God took 100% of the responsibility upon Himself when He made the promises of what He would do for Abram and his family. So, although Abram was well-advanced in years, God promised that he would sire a son from his wife Sarai, from whom a vast number of future descendants would emerge. And here is the critical point:
God made this promise, and others, and assumed 100% of all the responsibility for making them come true! That was God’s part of that entry level of the Covenant. So Abraham was saved by believing and receiving God’s grace, and not at all by reliance on his own works. Abraham’s part was to believe and trust and rest in the assurance that God would fulfill and make good on whatever He pledged by His Word that He would do. So Abram accepted and embraced God’s Living Word and what He revealed and promised. That constituted his part of the Covenant… to consider what God’s Word had promised to be as good as done. And after Abram believed God, God considered the obedience of Abram’s faith to be enough for God to impart to him the state of total righteousness.
In other words, Abram was saved by faith in, and reliance upon, God’s Living Word. No obligation for him to do any kind of work was required. So, at that entry point level, God pledged to do everything. And He actually had already done everything, right from the beginning! And then He RESTED from all His work that He had done (See Genesis 2:1-3; Hebrews 4:1-7). So for us, at the start, everything is done without any cost to us. No requirement or demands are placed upon us, except to trust and believe God’s Word.
“But what does it say? “The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the Word of faith that we are proclaiming: For if you confess with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart it is believed for righteousness, and with the mouth it is confessed for salvation.
“For the Scripture says, “Whoever trusts in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all—richly generous to all who call on Him. For “Everyone who calls upon the Name of Adonai shall be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13 TLV)
So at the initial entry level, God requires each prospective disciple to enter into His Rest… and share in it with Him by resting also from all of his or her personal striving. Thus The Blood Covenant bond is a pledge by God of the Perfect All-Sufficiency of His Grace, and our perfect airtight trust and reliance upon Him. At this entry level, we interact with God like totally dependent infants. Everything must be done for us because in ourselves, we are helpless.
Nothing Depends On Us Or Our Natural Devices
Before children have time to grow and develop, each one is treated like a servant or slave. Guidelines and rules and boundaries are imposed to teach them right from wrong, good from evil and appropriate from inappropriate. So is it with us: God provides what we need; and then… we begin to be trained to learn to live out what we are… by the obedient maturity that later flows out from that initial act of faith:
“But if you have a slave who is plowing or tending sheep, who among you will say to him when he comes in from the field, ‘Come right in, and recline at table’? But won’t he instead say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat! Dress yourself and wait on me while I eat and drink; and afterward, you may eat and drink’? He doesn’t thank the slave because he did what he was commanded, does he? So you too, when you’ve done everything you are commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves. We have done only what we were supposed to do.’” (Luke 17:7-10 TLV,Emphasis added)
We begin at that initial infantile level. But obviously we’re not meant to live out our lives while remaining confined to our cribs and infantile inabilities for decades! We are regenerated beings, with the Life of God operating within us. And His Life is indescribably creative and capable and Fruit-producing! And we must thus learn to allow His Life to develop and grow and do its work from within us and through us. Therefore, we must develop an understanding of the meaning and implications of who we were born to, and what we are by nature, and the ways of the Heavenly Family and Household and Kingdom to which we now belong!
So God requires us to grow and mature and rise to the other three levels of development. And at each of the higher levels, there will be things for which we will be responsible. We are responsible for allowing the new Life that is in us to do its work through us. In that case, barring any outright rebellion and alienation from God on our part, we maintain our exalted identity and position of membership in God’s Family. But if we insist on remaining stuck in our initial ‘crib stage’ of growth, we won’t receive the other rights and benefits that accompany the higher levels of growth, and interactive development and responsibility.
To grow beyond that crib level, we must deliberately choose to cooperate with God and obey His Word wholeheartedly, growing, developing, and reaching the personal faithfulness and loyalty levels that are open to us as we interact with our Covenant God throughout daily life.
“This is My commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this: that he lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.
“I am no longer calling you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing. Now I have called you friends, because everything I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I selected you so that you would go and produce fruit, and your fruit would remain. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My Name.” (John 15:12-16 TLV, Emphasis added)
“Then Peter responded and said to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?” And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms on account of My name, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.” (Matthew 19:27-30 TLV, Emphasis added)
Our Heavenly Father has no need whatever of our Sin-corrupted, Death-ridden Self-life striving. But He does require us to learn to interact with His Holy Spirit continuously, So the Spirit can impart to us all the Life-giving Love that is contained in, and pertains to, His Perfect Living Word made flesh… Messiah Yeshua… our All-Sufficient Covenant Representative and Champion Redeemer.
“And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5 NASB, Emphasis added)
Additional Articles in this series (available at www.follow-me-ministries.org website)