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.
God’s Secret Has Saved The World
“I know what it is to live with humble means, and I know what it is to live in prosperity. In any and every circumstance I HAVE LEARNED THE SECRET OF CONTENTMENT—both to be filled and to go hungry, to have abundance and to suffer need. I can do all things THROUGH MESSIAH WHO STRENGTHENS ME!” (Philippians 4:12-13 TLV, Emphasis added)
Let’s consider the inexhaustible wellspring out of which the ‘secret of contentment’ that Paul learned continues to flow into the world to this day… sowing the seeds of Repentance, Redemption and Salvation to more and more people throughout the continents and generations.
Yeshua in us is The Secret. And His Spirit-empowered ability to live and operate in us and through us was the Wellspring by which God continually empowered His first century ‘apostolic rank’ disciples to begin to send the Renewed Covenant on its course… toward its eventual Final Consummating Fulfillment at the end of the age. So let’s remember what Paul said:
“When you read this, you can understand my insight into the Mystery of Messiah—which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations, as it has now been revealed by the Ruach to His holy (New Covenant) emissaries and prophets.
“This mystery is that the Gentiles are joint heirs (with the Jewish saints) and fellow members of the same Body and co-sharers of the Promise (that God made to Abraham) in Messiah Yeshua through the Good News. I became a servant of this Good News by the gift of God’s favor given to me through the exercise of His Power.
“This favor (the Holy Spirit immersion) was given to me, the very least of His kedoshim (sanctified ones), to proclaim to the Gentiles the endless riches of the Messiah and to bring to light the Plan of the MYSTERY—which for ages was hidden in God, who created all things.
“The purpose is that through Messiah’s Community (Body) the multi-faceted Wisdom of God might be made known to the (angelic Godly and demonic) rulers and authorities in the heavenly places, which is in keeping with the ETERNAL PURPOSE that He carried out in (the perfect, totally sanctified Humanity of) Messiah Yeshua our Lord. In Him we have boldness and access with confidence through trusting in Him. So I ask you not to be discouraged by my troubles on your behalf—they are your glory!” (Ephesians 3:5-13 TLV, Amplification and emphasis added)
So beloved, what was that ‘Mystery’ that had previously remained ‘hidden in God?’ What is the ongoing issue that exists between Almighty God and his demonic enemies, the Father of Lies, and the other fallen demonic spiritual entities that we call ‘The powers of Darkness?’ We can get some insight into this if we go back and consider what God revealed in the book of Job:
“One day the sons of God came to present themselves before Adonai, and the satan (the demonic entity that God calls ‘The Accuser’) also came with them. Adonai said to the satan, “Where have you come from?”
“The satan responded to Adonai and said, “From roaming the earth and from walking on it.”
“Adonai said to the satan, “Did you notice (test, or cross-examine) my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth—a blameless and upright man, who fears God and spurns evil.”
“Then the satan responded to Adonai, saying, “Does Job fear God for nothing? (that is, does he fear God for free, without any ‘pay-off’, purely out of the love for God that is in his heart?) Have You not made a hedge around him, his household, and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, (if You were to) stretch out Your hand and strike everything he has, and he will certainly curse You to Your face!”
“Then Adonai said to the satan, “Everything he has is in your hand. Only do not extend your hand against him!” So the satan departed from the presence of Adonai.” (Job 1:6-12 TLV,Emphasis added)
And we know what happened to Job after that, don’t we? All that time, Job knew nothing about what God and the accuser had been saying to each other in his absence! So suddenly, the accuser tore into Job’s children and killed them off, and destroyed Job’s extensive properties and financial holdings. And even after he came after Job personally, and afflicted him with very painful bodily maladies, this is how Job reacted to what was happening to him:
“Then Job got up, tore his robe, shaved his head, fell to the ground and worshiped. Then he said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will return there. Adonai gave and Adonai has taken away; blessed be the Name of Adonai.”
Through all this, Job did not sin, nor did he cast reproach on God.” (Job 1:20-22 TLV,Amplification and emphasis added)
And to top things off, when he was utterly miserable and at his lowest point, even Job’s wife turned on him:
“Then his wife said to him, “Are you still holding firmly to your integrity? Curse God and die!”
But Job remained true and steadfast in his Covenant love for, and trust in, God:
“He said to her, “You speak as any foolish woman would speak. Should we accept the good from God and not accept the bad?” (Job 2:9-10 TLV, Emphasis added)
So it was as if the Accuser had suddenly summoned Job into his world-wide courtroom, and brought him to the witness stand, and brutally cross-examined him. He strove, not only to try to poke holes in God’s testimony about Job, but also to poke holes in Job’s testimony concerning God!
But God sustained Job and empowered him to remain true to his Covenant with God. And He enabled Job to continue to testify that despite the counter claims of the accuser, the fact remains that God can and must be trusted. Not just by all of Creation, but especially by the human race, not for what we can get out of Him, but purely because He is who He is: He is Infinitely Perfect in every way and there is no evil or darkness in Him. He is to be loved and trusted because He intends nothing but good for all of His Creation! In addition, He is omnipotent and infinitely wise and good and nothing in Creation can succeed in defying and countermanding Him. And despite all the evil we commit and what we fail to be and to do, our God is always ready to save, bless, and restore us ! This is why He is worthy of all of our love, and faith, and hope and trust!
And then at the end of the book we see that Job persevered, overcame and proved to be true and steadfast to His Covenant God. In this sense, he allowed God’s Living Word to abide in him and honor and serve His Father through Job’s crucified flesh. And then God blessed Job and his faithfulness, and restored to him the blessed state that had previously been his.
And This Is Exactly How It Will Be In The Last Days
Last Days Disciples will be called on to give similar testimonies to God and, like Job, it will be amid great adversity despite which they too will be tested to reveal whether of not they, like Job, will remain faithful to serve and embody the Word of God, before Almighty God… to the very end! And when they do, their Eternal Reward will be cascaded upon them.
“… the twenty-four elders fall down before the One seated on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever. And they throw their crowns down before the throne, chanting,
“Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive Glory and Honor and Power, for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed and were created!” (Revelation 4:10-11 TLV,Emphasis added)
“And they are singing a new song, saying, “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals. For You (Lamb of God) were slain, and by Your blood You redeemed for God those from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” (Revelation 5:9 TLV, Amplification added)
The ‘secret’ and the ‘Mystery’ in all of this had obviously been taught to Stephen and his fellow disciples during the early post-Ascension days of their boot camp training. And we can see how well Stephen was prepared (like Job) to give ultimate testimony to the Glory of his risen Lord that he was honored and privileged to honor and serve to the very end of his earthly life. He was truly trained and prepared to know, understand, and embody His risen Lord’s eternal mindset and intent toward His Heavenly Father, no matter what it might cost him personally.
And this is also how the Living Word of God, by the Spirit’s Power, comes into all of God’s faithful obedient men and women… and reveals His own Infinitely Perfect Love, Obedience, and Loyalty to His Father through them! The Spirit prepares these disciples to faithfully pick up their crosses and follow God’s beloved Son into His Atoning death – in Spirit and in Truth!
Thus through the crucified flesh and the obedience of the faith of God’s Last Days Disciples’, God proves to His demonic enemies that there are human beings who love and trust Him for His own sake, and that they do not have to be ‘paid off’ or ‘bribed’ with special favors in order for them to serve Him. And so God’s accusers are proven to be frauds and liars, and their demonic schemes are exposed and foiled for all of Creation to see, as God is exalted, honored and glorified in a public arena by His Covenant friends and Family members.
This is how the Family of God can cooperate with the Holy Spirit to expose, discredit, and confound God’s satanic enemies and prove them to be liars and frauds. And the Eternal Covenant that God made with His faithful human ‘Blood brothers’, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the rest of the human race, continues to be honored, preserved and fulfilled… throughout human history. And more and more blessed human beings continue to be grafted into it.
The Gift of the Holy Spirit equips us to follow Yeshua into the Glory of His Resurrection… and, just as He did for Stephen, He empowers us to be eager and ready to face, endure, and overcome all of the impossible challenges, problems, and obstacles the Body of Messiah will be required to face beforehand. Nothing will stop the Spirit-empowered, Love-inflamed saints of God from obeying their risen Lord’s command to proclaim His Good News to all the world and ‘make disciples of all nations.’
“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 and make disciples 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.” (Matthew 28:18-20a TLV, Amplification and emphasis added)
But obviously, the demonic powers of Darkness are not going to sit back and passively allow us to make significant headway without coming against us and throwing as much opposition as possible against our ranks! They’ll not stop doing whatever they can to ‘get into our heads’ and try to deceive us with more lies… and get us to shut down and give up the fight. So our challenges are formidable; and we must remain ever vigilant and ready to parry and resist and overcome whatever they will try to throw against us. We are here to usher in the Fulfillment of God’s Word… and our enemies are here to make sure we fail!
So How Would Worldly Self-Life People Try to Do Our Job?
Consider what it would be like if the Lord had given the command to ‘disciple’ all the nations, to the leaders of an ordinary earthly army of this fallen world. How would natural, worldly, Self-asserting generals prepare and equip their troops to tackle the kind of tasks and sets of challenges that the Lord entrusted to His original first century disciples? What kind of training and preparation would such men tend to develop and require for those ‘boots on the ground’ troops, to whom they would entrust such a monumental task?
What would they assume it would take for their forces to deal with all the hostility of the religious Jewish establishment? How would they deal with the overpowering ‘muscle’ of the pagan Gentile idol-worshipping Roman legions and citizens of the Empire that were occupying so much of the world’s territory and sucking the life blood out of so much of the world’s population? How many millions of tons of equipment, supplies and armaments, and how many divisions of backup subsidiary forces would they have to amass to provide for their frontline troops to enable them to fulfill that enormous world-changing task successfully?
Would those generals not be thinking in terms of running all of their troops through insanely difficult and demanding regimens of self-improvement and self-development techniques so they could out-smart, out-number, out-equip and out-muscle their opposition? Would they not plan on beating their worldly opponents at their own game… since they, and their forces, would be just like their opponents in perspective, beliefs, attitudes, priorities, and customary habits?
But that would be light years removed from what the true Commander and Leader of these Last Days disciples that we are discussing, has in mind. Yeshua’s way of training, preparing and supplying His own has nothing to do with human striving and Self-life! For it is not of this world! For example, a worldly general would be thinking that at the very beginning, nothing would be prepared or ready. So he would think of everything he would have to amass and cause to happen. He would think of acquiring the money so he could purchase the masses of goods, supplies, tools, weapons and people that had not yet been assembled. And, of course, he’d have to have countless divisions of trained strongmen that would overcome all opposition and force the world to submit to the will of their new leaders!
Only after amassing all of that firepower and imposing force, and psychological warfare, would such people feel confident and ready to give the signal to start the invasion. They would do all of that because they would be totally ignorant of the fact that Almighty God has already created, paid for, and provided absolutely everything that will ever be needed to fulfill all of the objectives and requirements of His campaign!
In fact… God has already won His War… since the very beginning! He knew, from the moment He first spoke forth His Living Creative Word, how everything was going to end up even before it got started! And since He had everything already factored in and settled, and had provided everything for His Word’s disciples, we do not have to be exceptionally gifted, cagey, and highly talented people! Nor do we require rigorous, specialized military training and weaponry to overcome our enemies… since our Master has already done all of that!
So no, disciples don’t have to be trained to overcome this world and the forces that currently run it. God has already handled all of that. What the disciples must overcome is their own skepticism and recurring doubts, and the cowardice, laziness and selfishness that seeps up to the surface of their consciousness from within their own fallen flesh and that of the people around them!
“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 (RESTED) from all His work that God created for the purpose of preparing!” (Genesis 2:1-3 TLV, Amplification and emphasis added)
“As you go, proclaim, ‘The Kingdom of Heaven has come near!’ (And prove it is true, as you) heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those with tzara’at, (leprosy) drive out demons. Freely you received, freely give. Do not get gold or silver or copper for your money belts, or a bag for the journey, or two shirts, or sandals, or a walking stick; for the worker is entitled to his food.” (Matthew 10:7-10 TLV, Amplification and emphasis added)
“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,” (Hebrews 4:1-4 TLV, Emphasis added)
Throughout the future, it will be essential for us to always keep this awesome reality in mind: The work has already been done! This is a major point that the prophet Isaiah was commissioned to get across to his fellow Israelites! God was telling them that He doesn’t need any help, assistance or advice from humanity’s poor fallen flesh! He affirmed that everything had already been perfectly and completely handled by His Perfect Eternal Living Word… the Word that would later become flesh and dwell among them. So what He needs from all of us is our airtight trust in Him and our ability to rest in His Perfect Finished Work:
“Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the water, and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost! Why do you spend money for what is not bread? Your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance. Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, so that your soul may live. I WILL MAKE AN EVERLASTING COVENANT WITH YOU, THE TRUSTWORTHY LOYALTY TO (the Son of ) DAVID.
“Behold, I made Him a Witness to the peoples, a Leader and Commander for the peoples. Behold, you will summon a nation (of Gentiles) you do not know, and a nation that did not know you will run to you, because of Adonai your God and the Holy One of Israel, for He has glorified you.”
“Seek Adonai while He may be found, call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous one his thoughts, let him return to Adonai, so He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.” It is a declaration ofAdonai. For as the heavens are higher than earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and snow come down from Heaven, and do not return there without having watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to sow and bread to eat, SO MY WORD WILL BE THAT GOES OUT FROM MY MOUTH! It will not return to Me in vain, but will accomplish what I intend, and will succeed in what I sent it for.” (Isaiah 55:1-11 TLV, Amplification and emphasis added)
“When Yeshua tasted the sour wine, He said, “IT IS FINISHED!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.” (John 19:30 TLV. Emphasis added.)
Worldly men who have no faith in God idolize, and rely on, and operate from their Sin-corrupted fallen flesh. So they would think the orders our Lord gave His disciples, to go into the world and make disciples, to be impossible to accomplish! They do not heed what He said at the end of what we now call ‘The Great Commission:’
“AND REMEMBER! I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, EVEN TO THE END OF THE AGE!” (Matthew 28:20b TLV, Emphasis added)
So ask yourself this question: Would having our risen Lord, who has already routed Satan, Sin and Death, abiding always within us, and living in and through us, make any difference? If He has all Authority in Heaven and on Earth… because He has already done everything necessary, what do you think the focus of our minds should be riveted on? Should we focus on ourselves or what we think we’ll need, and the opposition we have to face? Or should we, like Stephen, remain focused on the Lord of Glory who has already accomplished everything necessary and has already won the war?
And consider this: what critical element is left for us to be anxious and worried about as we follow Him into what is still to us… the unknown future? Has God left anything up to us? Will whatever happens up ahead, be dependent upon us and how well we will be able to perform? Hasn’t He already told us that everything we’re going to need has already been supplied, paid for, and taken care of, and is ready to be supplied to us as we need it?
“Rejoice in the Lord always—again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all people. The Lord is near. DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING — but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And theShalom of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Messiah Yeshua!” (Philippians 4:4-7 TLV, Amplification and emphasis added)
Additional Articles in this series (available at www.follow-me-ministries.org website)