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.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 on every occasion, with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, keep alert with perseverance and supplication for all the kedoshim.”
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.
Do You See What God Sees?
Beloved friend, God has revealed what He sees when He looks at the human race. He told us that there are now two different human races that exist in this world. The first race is the one descended from the first man, fallen Sin-corrupted Adam. We were all (except for our Messiah) originally conceived from Adam’s Sin-corrupted seed and born into his mortal race. So when God views and regards that race, this is what He sees:
“… Cursed is the ground because of you—with pain will you eat of it all the days of your life. Thorns and thistles will sprout for you. You will eat the plants of the field, by the sweat of your brow will you eat food, until you return to the ground, since from it were you taken. For you are dust, and to dust will you return.” (Genesis 3:17-19 TLV, Emphasis added.)
“You were (born) dead in your trespasses and sins. At that time, you walked in the way of this world, in conformity to the ruler of the domain of the air—the ruler of the spirit who is now operating in the sons of disobedience. We too all lived among them in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind. By nature we were children of wrath, just like the others.” (Ephesians 2:1-3 TLV, Amplification and emphasis added.)
So, since we, as a race, were originally formed from a pile of the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7), and are, by nature, totally helpless and incapable of doing or achieving anything in ourselves, we are, in ourselves, as dead and as helpless as dust! In addition, we inherited Adam’s Sin-corrupted human nature, so the original bodies we inherited are in the process of dying and are, therefore, in the state of corruption and decay! So God, in His Perfect Righteousness, Holiness and Purity, cannot accept any of that Death-ridden flesh into His Eternal Kingdom! It doesn’t belong to Him; He did not create it; Rebellion and Sin created it! And for this reason, as long as we remain in our original Sin-corrupted state, God can’t accept, bless, or use what we are and what we do. And this is why we are continually dependent upon our Creator for everything! He must breathe His Life and Righteous Works into us, to equip us with all of the gifts, faculties, abilities, talents and capabilities that we now take for granted and boast about, as if we had developed them by and for ourselves.
Moreover, because of the state of Sin and our inherited enmity with, and alienation from, our Creator, we not only have dying bodies, but our spirits are also dead! And we must come to grips with the fact that whatever is dead, can only produce more death! But God is, by nature, LIFE! Therefore, when He regards us as we are in ourselves, He sees us as being utterly dead, bankrupt and helpless in ourselves. And we can see this thanks to this interaction between God’s Word and His prophet Ezekiel:
“The hand (Living Word) of Adonai was upon me. The Ruach Adonai carried me out and set me down in the middle of the valley. It was full of bones. He led me all around them. Behold, there were very many on the floor of the valley. Behold, they were very dry. Then He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:1-3 TLV, Amplification and emphasis added.)
So, since in God’s sight, we are dead, helpless, bankrupt and totally unable to do anything for ourselves, He expects nothing from us in return for the love and grace He showers upon us. He knows better than anyone just how dead, helpless and spiritually bankrupt we all are! He also knows that, if anything good and living is to come out of us, He is the one that must first provide it. He must put it into us and empower us to use it and manifest it in our daily existence. So whatever we can ever hope to be, or to have, or to be able to do that will truly be of value, must come to us from God’s Living, Creative Word and Holy Spirit.
A New Redeemed and Restored Human Race
But, since the days of Abraham, God has been intent on creating and developing a brand new, second race of humans out from the children of Adam. This race will receive regeneration and new life from God’s Last Adam, His Perfect, Eternal, Living Word made flesh! And this second race will consist of those children of Adam who have repented of their original state of Sin and enmity with God. And once they submit to God’s Living Word, and believe Him, and submit themselves to what He has done to redeem and restore them, God breathes His Life-giving redemptive, regenerating Breath (Spirit) into them. And after that, since they’re still in their mortal state physically, it follows that they need to focus on their Creator… and receive everything they’ll ever be, or do, or have, from Him… moment by moment… at all times! And this will be the case until it is time for God to also endow them with glorified resurrection bodies that will be compatible with their regenerated eternal Spirit-filled spirits!
So in the present, before our redemption is totally completed, in our mundane everyday existence, we need God’s Word to abide in us as our New Life and Covenant Champion, because the powers of Darkness are enraged over how God’s Living Word was able to break the deadly hold they had on us and set us free from their clutches. Now they do whatever they can to regain their former hold and bring us back under their merciless domination by duping us, using every deceitful ruse and lie they can think of to lure us back into their traps.
So now, we’re required to resist and oppose them. And very often, when they come after us, we must stare those dark powers in the face and hold fast to the Covenant Ground that God has given us to enjoy and protect!
“Abide in Me, and I will abide in you. The branch cannot itself produce fruit, unless it abides on the vine. Likewise, you cannot produce fruit unless you abide in Me. I am The Vine; you are the branches. The one who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; FOR APART FROM ME, YOU CAN DO NOTHING! If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away like a branch and is dried up. Such branches are picked up and thrown into the fire and burned.” (John 15:4-6 TLV, Emphasis added.)
Because He loves us, God commissioned His Living Creative Word to serve as our Blood Covenant Representative and Champion Redeemer. To do that, God’s Word had to lay aside His Divine Nature, and live and operate on Earth as one of us, on our level… except for Sin. Acting in that capacity, He served as our Atoning Covenant Representative Sacrifice and Redeeming Champion. He took upon Himself all of the guilt, condemnation and punishment that our entire race has coming, according to the Perfect Standards of God’s Perfect Righteousness, Truth and Justice. And, for those who believe and repent, and receive to themselves what He has done to atone for us and redeem us, He has paid their penalty in full, by pouring out His human life’s blood in atonement before God’s Tribunal of Justice. And by doing that, He now has the Authorization to set those of us who are His, entirely free from Satan, Sin, and Death! In other words, He can now serve as our Life, Righteousness, Wisdom, Sanctification, and Redemption (i.e. our Guarantee Pledge of our eventual Resurrection! (See 1 Corinthians 1:30).
Our risen Lord is what we could never be, or earn, or achieve for ourselves. So He gives Himself to us and delivers those of us who truly repent of our Self-life. He can give Himself to us in exchange for our former life of alienation from God. And this is why God can fill those repentant ones with His own Spirit and transform them into temples of His Living Word’s Holy Presence. Then He empowers us to contain and embody and reveal His Living Word from within our yielded flesh. And now… this is what God sees when He regards those of us who have truly repented:
“However, you are not (any longer) in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of Righteousness!
“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies (a share in the Messiah’s Resurrection Eternal Life) through His Spirit who dwells in you!” (Romans 8:9-11 NASB, Emphasis added.)
So beloved, as far as God is concerned, when he regards this reborn second race, the race that descends from Yeshua, the Last Adam, He sees people who have all become as one with His beloved Living Word, and therefore, we are also one with the Father who spoke His Word into us! And because we are one with God, we share in His Word’s total Triumph and overwhelming Victory over ‘The Evil One’ and his demonic minions!
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall again into fear; rather, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Ruach Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. And if children, also heirs—heirs of God and joint-heirs with Messiah—if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.” (Romans 8:15-17 TLV, Emphasis added.)
So this is how Father regarded Stephen… and this is how Stephen learned to regard himself and the other saints that were serving the Lord with him. And this is why the Father of Lies no longer has power, authority or influence over disciples like Stephen. No matter what Satan tried to do to get Stephen to cave in and fall apart, he failed. Stephen prevailed, thanks to the Treasure that God Himself became within him, through the obedience of his totally accepting faith.
So, in the eternal dimension of God’s Heavenly Kingdom, the fact is that those who believe and repented of their Self-life, and have received Messiah Yeshua, truly know their God. And therefore, they have already won the War that, in Earth’s time and space dimension, is still in the process of running its course. It appears to natural earthly eyes as if everything is still ‘up in the air’ and undecided, and unfinished, and not good enough. But God views all of it from His Eternal Perspective, and in His Eternal Reality, everything is finished, complete, All-Sufficient… and Perfect!
The Obedience of Faith – Our Firm Foundation
Therefore, by the obedience of our faith in His Word, we have the right to join God in His Eternal Sabbath Rest and Satisfaction… as His regenerated sons and heirs. And we can enjoy the Infinitely Perfect Blessings and Fruit that flow endlessly out from His Word’s Perfect Finished works of Creation, Redemption, and Restoration! All of this Perfection is already present and finished and completely All-Sufficient in God’s Word, and in His Eternal Realm, which is now our True Home. And so He has made us to be partakers of all of that… even now. Our bodies must still finish their earthly sojourn in this demon-oppressed time and space dimension. But our regenerated spirits abide with our risen Messiah in the Presence of the Father! So by faith in our Perfect All-Sufficient Creator and Redeemer, we can confidently serve as members of our Messiah’s earthly Body, revealing, manifesting, and expressing His Awesome Resurrection Presence! But also by faith in God’s Word, we can, even now, abide and interact with Him…personally and intimately, by the Power of the Spirit of God! And this is why Scripture tells us:
“Therefore, if you have been raised up with Messiah, keep seeking the things above—where Messiah is, sitting at the right hand of God. Focus your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you have died, and YOUR LIFE IS HIDDEN WITH MESSIAH, IN GOD! When Messiah, who is your Life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him, IN GLORY!” (Colossians 3:1-4 TLV, Emphasis added.)
Beloved, this was Stephen’s ‘inside information’ in chapters 6 and 7 of Acts. It was the ‘secret knowledge’ that filled him with unspeakable joy and outrageous confidence… even while he was going through his darkest earthly moments! He had already mastered the wonderful art and skill of keeping his eyes on his Target, His indwelling Life and Eternal Inheritance IN GOD’S LIVING WORD. Regardless of what the powers of Darkness were trying to do to distract or derail or deter him here on Earth, he maintained a laser-like focus of attention upon His Glorious, Eternal, Utterly Perfect, Risen Lord of Glory… Stephen continued to drink deeply from the Eternal Heavenly Wellsprings of God’s All-Sufficient Grace… the Complete Finished Triumph and Victory of his risen Lord. He knew, thanks to what he had learned from the Lord’s original apostles, that Yeshua’s Victory was also already his Victory too! And although it seemed on the surface as if his earthly body was losing the battle… God’s indwelling Spirit was filling and sustaining Stephen’s spirit. And so this beloved disciple was already enjoying His Eternal Triumph with Yeshua at the side of their Heavenly Father, on the Resurrection side of the Cross, even as his mortal enemies were raging at him with murderous intent!
“So the heavens and the earth were completed along with their entire array. God completed—on the seventh day—His work that He made, and He ceased—on the seventh day—from all His work that He made. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, for on it He ceased from all His work that God created for the purpose of preparing.” (Genesis 2:1-3 TLV.)
“Let us fear then! Though a promise of entering His Rest is left open, some of you would seem to have fallen short. For we also have had Good News proclaimed to us, just as they did. But the Word they heard did not help them, because they were not unified with those who listened in faith. For we who have trusted are entering into that Rest. It is just as God has said, “So in My wrath I swore, ‘They shall never enter My Rest,’ even though His works were finished since the foundation of the world!
“For somewhere He has spoken about the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works,” and again in this passage: “They shall never enter My Rest.”
“So then it remains for some to enter into it; yet those who formerly had Good News proclaimed to them did not enter because of disobedience. Again, God appoints a certain day—Today—saying through David after so long a time, just as it has been said before, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts!” (Hebrews 4:1-7 TLV.)
Stephen had learned, by training his mind and heart to be as one with His risen Lord in all things, and at all times, that when His Messiah triumphed over all Evil, Destruction, and Death… so did he, and all of the other believing obeying disciples that were in His service. And so despite all the threats, curses, condemnation and rejection that those who remained spiritually blind and empty were heaping upon his mortal flesh… Stephen’s spirit and soul remained focused on the realization of God’s Perfect Rest… as they abided together… on the Resurrection side of the Cross!
“We have already WON! Everything has already been finished and settled in the Mind and Will and Eternal Plan of God! There are no ‘loose ends’ or ‘unfinished business’ to worry about. Everything is Perfect, Complete, and ‘in the books’… forevermore! We’ve won… the War is over… and the Powers of Darkness are Eternal Losers! There’s nothing our enemies can do to change that!”
“The grass withers, the flower fades. For the breath of Adonai blows on it. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades. BUT THE WORD OF OUR GOD STANDS FOREVER!” (Isaiah 40:8 Emphasis added.)
Additional Articles in this series (available at www.follow-me-ministries.org website)