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. (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 (Holy Spirit) 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. I say that because, in my mind, I see the second Follow Me Ministry as being another level of the very same disciple-training initiative that began as The Ultimate Journey ministry. They are two ends of the same ‘staff’. But now, because of the unique time and state of worldly affairs in which we find ourselves, I’ve updated our Marching Orders to reflect and respond to the urgent atmosphere and dire conditions in which, the disciples the Lord chose for His Last Days service, are going to have 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.
Power From On High
So now let’s take an honest look at some dire warnings that God has given to the human race. What did He say about the way it will be when He returns to Earth, and the time for all flesh to be judged approaches? Well, one thing He told us is to make sure our ‘lamps’ would always be filled with the ‘oil’ of the Holy Spirit. He warned that we must make sure we have all the oil we’re going to need as we reach the most critical point of human history.
The Lord continued to use the Biblical traditional Jewish wedding customs in His teaching parables because they were so familiar to the people of His day. He use the union between a husband and wife to explain the depth of the relationship that God Himself desires to have with those of us who are His Covenant people. One example the Lord used was centered around the behavior of some bridal attendants… five wise and five foolish maidens that were assigned to help the bride prepare herself so she and her entourage would be ready to greet and accompany the bridegroom when he would suddenly appear to begin the proceedings that would lead up to the wedding. I see this as prefiguring what Last Days disciples will be required to do as they usher in the long-awaited Return to Earth, of their risen Lord. He will be coming for us… to take us to the Eternal Quarters in His Father’s Heavenly House… to be with Him forever.
“Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish ones took their lamps, they took no oil with them. But the wise ones took oil in jars along with their lamps.
“Now while the bridegroom was taking a long time, they all got drowsy and started falling asleep. But in the middle of the night there was a shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. Now the foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, since our lamps are going out.’ But the wise ones replied, ‘No, there won’t be enough for us and for you. Instead, go to those who sell, and buy some for yourselves.’
“But while they were going off to buy, the bridegroom came. And those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut. Now later, the other virgins came, saying, ‘Sir, Sir, open up for us!’
“But he replied, ‘Amen, I tell you, I do not know you!’ Therefore stay alert, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:1-13 TLV, Emphasis added)
Beloved, in this parable, the Lord was referring to the vast difference between those who will be found believing, trusting, and interacting with their indwelling Lord, as opposed to those who are found to be ‘out to lunch’ when it comes to that sort of thing. The first group is the one with those who were filling themselves continually with the ‘Oil’ of the Holy Spirit. If we’re continually filling ourselves with the Holy Spirit, by welcoming and submitting to His teaching, guidance, discipline and correction, He will continually cause the Perfect Resurrection Presence of our Messiah to be present, active, and fruitful within us.
But those who neglect to keep themselves filled with the Spirit, and who do not cooperate with Him, will fail to protect and enhance their Covenant relationship with God and His Word. They will be like the young bridal attendants whose negligence allowed their lamps to run out of oil. So instead of lighting the way for the bridegroom’s entourage, they allow the darkness to prevail.
When the Bridegroom finally returns to claim His Bride, and become one with her at the end of this age, because those ‘oilless’ people will not be filled with the Light of the world, they’ll be unable to fulfill their assigned tasks of welcoming and accompanying the Bridegroom and the wedding party. Thus when it’s time for God to completely fulfill His Covenant Promises to Israel… and, through her, to the rest of the world, they will not be included in the celebration.
All of this ties in with the Last Days Jewish and non-Jewish disciples who God has called, and will be calling, into His service as we get closer to the End. They will be required and equipped to transform into what I call ‘The Stephen Generation.’ These disciples will have the task of preparing a ‘highway in the wilderness’ for the Return of our Lord.
“A voice cries out in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of Adonai, Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley will be lifted up, every mountain and hill made low, the rough ground will be a plain and the rugged terrain smooth. The glory of Adonai will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together.’ For the mouth of Adonai has spoken.” (Isaiah 40:3 TLV)
Their task will be to help with that awesome end times construction project in the same way that Ezra and Nehemiah had to learn to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem when Israel’s Babylonian exile was at an end. Because of the incessant opposition they were receiving from foreign and domestic enemies, they had to learn to build with their construction tools in one hand, and their ready-to-use weapons in the other. In this way they were able to do their work, while at the same time remaining ready to resist and repel any attackers that would appear:
“Now when our enemies heard that their plan was known to us, and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his work. From that day on, half of my men were doing the work, while half of them took hold of the spears, shields, bows and breastplates, and the leaders were behind the entire house of Judah. Those building the wall and those bearing heavy burdens kept one hand on the work and the other holding a weapon. So each of the builders had his sword strapped to his side while they were building, and the shofar blower was beside me.” (Nehemiah 4:9-12 TLV, Emphasis added)
Just as it was in those days when the city of David was being rebuilt, so will it be in the days when disciples will be constructing the Highway in the wilderness for the Lord’s Return. They will be required to be ever-alert and combat-ready. In other words, they’ll have to be sure to ‘keep their lamps filled with oil.’ By that time, they will have had to be formed into a single, fully integrated and coordinated and synchronized combat battle unit… an excellently organized Spirit-led and empowered Invasion Force… acting as One New Man in Messiah.
We Are Living Stones Being Built Into a New Covenant Temple
The Holy Spirit will be building and assembling and deploying us to transform into God’s New Covenant Temple. This awesome Temple will be fully alive… having been built entirely of living Jewish and non-Jewish human ‘stones’ and filled, energized and equipped by the Holy Spirit for God’s Last Days Service! These ‘living stones’ will also constitute the Royal Priesthood of the Renewed Covenant that will be commissioned to abide with, and live in and interact with, God’s Presence, at all times. And this is why we must always be filled by, and interact with, God’s Holy Spirit. And by His omnipotent Power, these living stones will be empowered to carry, reveal, and display the awesome Presence of the Living God to the rest of the world.
Last Days disciples will not be ‘God Seekers’ ‒ they will be full-fledged, Spirit-filled GOD BRINGERS! That’s how they, just like Stephen, will be closely joined to their indwelling risen Lord! And because they will always be consciously in His Presence, interacting with Him in every situation, they will never be caught off guard. Never will they be caught in the state of separation from Him. Thus their enemies will never be able to sneak past them in order to fulfill their malevolent schemes and wreak the damage and destruction they so desperately want to inflict on our Heavenly Father’s Plan and purposes.
“But when the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the Truth. He will not speak on His own; but whatever He hears, He will tell you. And He will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify Me, because HE WILL TAKE FROM WHAT IS MINE AND DECLARE IT TO YOU!” (John 16:13-14 TLV, Emphasis added)
Stephen was obviously a God Bringer. That is, he was in the habit of always abiding in the Presence of His risen Lord. Being in an interactive mode with His resurrected Lord had become his ‘default’ mode of being. Therefore, he was able to operate in what I call, ‘Resurrection Mode’. He was able to bring His Lord’s Living Presence with him wherever he went! But none of that would have been possible had Stephen not been in the habit of always filling himself with the Yeshua-revealing Holy Spirit!
For it is only by the Spirit that the Truth and Reality of the Living Word of God can be rendered real, present and dynamically active and fruitful in the mind, heart, life and surroundings of a post-Ascension disciple! So because of the eternal stakes that will be involved in the battle between God’s Light and the accuser’s Darkness, the Stephen Generation of disciples will have to be ready and equipped to serve their Lord, and their generation, as authentically empowered and perpetually electrified, Spirit-empowered, God Bringers! This is what I believe it means to have ‘oil-filled lamps.’
“But when the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the Truth. He will not speak on His own; but whatever He hears, He will tell you. And He will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you.Everything that the Father has is Mine. For this reason I said the Ruach will take from what is Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:13-15 TLV, Emphasis added)
For the Word of God to be free to stand and prevail here on Earth, in the flesh, throughout this the New Covenant Era, His disciples must continually be filled with the Life-Giving Breath of God. That is, they will have to be consciously receiving everything they will need from the Holy Spirit, so that they may continue to follow and embody their Master with excellence, faithfulness, and unstoppable Fire Power! As long as they remain Spirit-filled, they will be able to contain and embody and reveal the resurrected Presence of their Master at any time, in any situation, regardless of what may or may not be happening.
The days are evil, beloved friends, and Darkness is closing in all around us. And it is for the preparation of these Last Days disciples, who will be serving the Lord at this most critical time of Salvation history, that the Follow Me Ministry and its training material have been brought into being. If you’ve been chosen to be one of those blessed disciples, this book, and all of our other FMM materials are for you!
I believe the Lord gave me the assignment of living and writing and experiencing life’s ‘ins and outs’ and ‘ups and downs’ in the Light of God’s written Word, and His New Covenant ways. But it wasn’t just for me that He did this. It was for all of us… for the enhancement of our preparation to be in His Last Days Service and to serve our beloved Lord with excellence and invincible effectiveness.
So it’s my privilege to share with you the nuggets the Lord put in my heart and entrusted to my care over the years. They do not belong to me! They belong to all who are destined to ‘contend for the faith’ and to proclaim the excellencies of our risen Lord and Master in the midst of the hostile, stony-hearted generations of God-resisting people we will surely encounter. So try to get hold of what was in the heart of Almighty God for the beloved humans that He intended to fashion after His own image and likeness when He said this:
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness! Let them rule over the fish of the sea, over the flying creatures of the sky, over the livestock, over the whole earth, and over every crawling creature that crawls on the land.” God created humankind in His image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them. God blessed them and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the land, and conquer it. Rule over the fish of the sea, the flying creatures of the sky, and over every animal that crawls on the land.” (Genesis 1:26-28 TLV, Emphasis added)
Wow! What a job description God has in mind for us weak, helpless, tiny creatures that He fashioned out of the dust of the earth! Rule over all the creatures of the Earth? Fill the land and conquer it? Have you ever seen a man or woman, or a group of men and women that came close to being capable of fulfilling such an awesome task? It would take God Himself to do all of that, wouldn’t it?
“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.
“If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. In this My Father is glorified, THAT YOU BEAR MUCH FRUIT and so PROVE to be My disciples.” (John 15:4-8 TLV, Emphasis added)
What was the state of the nation of Israel at the time our Messiah said these words to His First Century disciples? Was she still embracing and maintaining her ‘Wall of Separation’ lifestyle that kept her perpetually separated from the rest of the world? Yes, she was! Their attitudes and lifestyle at that time gave clear evidence that Israel had forgotten something that is of eternal importance. What was it that they had forgotten? They forgot what God told her He wanted to do through her in the very beginning:
“My desire is to bless those who bless you, but whoever curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed!” (Genesis 12:3 TLV, Emphasis added)
By this we can see that God didn’t choose Abram simply because He wanted to set him and his family apart and elevate them over and above all the rest of mankind. No! He was planning to form this family into a highly effective world-wide ‘Fishnet’ by which He could catch, and serve, and include all the other humans in existence in the Eternal Blood Covenant! He started by grafting Abram and his descendants into that Love Bond, but He intended to work through these first entrants in order to eventually include all of the rest.
The Whole Bible Is For The Whole World – For All Who Choose To Receive The Truth!
So, despite her very religious mindset and traditions, Israel was not fully living out what the Torah was requiring of her! She was, for the most part, self-absorbed and not proactively and aggressively seeking ways to reach out to the Gentiles in order to be the Light-giving Blessing for them that God said He intended her to be. And given the animosity that has always been heaped upon Israel, it’s easy to understand why Israel pulled back.
So, here’s another question to consider: Was the non-Jewish first century world favorably disposed toward the Jewish people? How many of them truly knew or believed that Israel was put on this earth to serve as a ‘Light to the Gentiles?’ How many of them revered and pored over the Scriptures that God had commissioned His chosen people to share with the world? Do you see what I mean? The situation at that time appeared to be impossible in terms of ever seeing God’s original desire being fulfilled. The time for the ‘Big Outreach’ of the Last Days to begin had not yet come. Nevertheless, notice what the Lord said to His disciples the night before He died on the Cross!
“IF YOU ABIDE IN ME AND MY WORDS ABIDE IN YOU, ASK WHATEVER YOU WISH AND IT SHALL BE DONE FOR YOU! In this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples!” (John 15:7-8 TLV, Emphasis added)
Dear ones… that Day has finally arrived! We now live in the era during which everything that God said He wanted and everything he promised is to be fulfilled! His Living Word is in the process of making it come to pass! It’s time for our Heavenly Father to commission His Spirit, who is here to make God’s Word livingly Present and Real within us, to bring about the complete Fulfillment of everything that He shared with us in His written Word! So that tells me that the text above from John about glorifying our Father by bearing much Fruit and PROVING that we are His Word’s disciples… is about to be fulfilled… most likely in and through people who are alive today!
We’ve discussed the fact that disciples in the Biblical sense are expected to transform into the image and likeness of their Master. Our Master is Yeshua, the Living Word of God, to whom all authority has been given, and who is here to fulfill every jot and tittle contained in His Father’s written Word! And we’ve been talking about Him living and working and revealing Himself from within us! So doesn’t it follow that since He is about to fulfill everything His Father revealed, commanded and promised in the written Word that His Authority will propel the Fruit of that Fulfillment to begin to be seen coming out of us? Consider what our Master said about how He lives and what He does:
“Therefore Yeshua answered them, “Amen, amen I tell you, the Son cannot do anything by Himself. He can do only what He sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.” (John 5:19 TLV, Emphasis added)
These words were spoken by God’s Word made flesh… who was, and always will be, the Perfect Image and Likeness of His Father. He embodies His Father’s Authority! And we are commissioned to become the image and likeness of the Father’s Word! So no wonder God said that when we’re living as one with His Word, we could ask for whatever we wished and it would be provided! In this case, when we ask God for something, it’s also His Son who is asking for it through us! So how could Father not respond?
Shouldn’t the Fulfillment of all that is in the written Word be seen coming out of those who are commissioned to serve as His Body on Earth today, just as it was seen coming out of His original body when He was actually in our midst in the first century? The same Lord who lived in that body is the same one who has promised to be living and working from with us… His New Covenant Body!
We Last Days Disciples Are Messiah’s Covenant Body On Earth
So the people of these Last Days should be able to start seeing a complete change of mind and heart in those of us who are believing, Messiah-embracing, Jews and Gentiles! We’re commissioned to be our Messiah’s Body! We are the Royal Priesthood assigned to stand before Him and minister to His commands and wishes 24/7/365! So should we not begin to experience and manifest enormous, radically different heart changes that cause us to see and think and react and interact with each other in marvelously new and different ways? How can the Lord reach out to the rest of the world and make such a diverse Self-adoring mob into One New Man under His Headship if that hasn’t even begun to happen among His own disciples?
“Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely andbrings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you.’ (Philippians 4:8-9 AMP)
But just imagine what it would be like if we disciples would begin to undergo a radically revolutionary heart change and corresponding paradigm-shift that would enable us to view and think about each other the way our Heavenly Father views and thinks about us! Prayerfully consider these questions:
“My desire is to bless those who bless you, but whoever curses you I will curse, AND IN YOU, ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH WILL BE BLESSED!” (Genesis 12:3 TLV, Emphasis added)
“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, immersing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Ruach ha-Kodesh, TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THAT I HAVE COMMANDED YOU. And remember! I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 TLV, Emphasis added)
So now we’re beginning to get in touch with the seemingly impossible task the Lord gave to His disciples. And we’re also learning more about ‘The Secret’ He imparted to them about how the Holy Spirit would transform them into the image and likeness of God’s Living Word! They learned that:
Just as the Word is always one with the Father by the Holy Spirit, so must disciples always be one with God’s Word by the Holy Spirit. If we do that, the Spirit will form God’s Living Word in us! And through that awesome Spirit-created Union, THE WORD’S SUPERNATURAL WORLD-CHANGING FRUIT WILL APPEAR AS IT IS MULTIPLIED AND SHARED AMONG US. AND THEN IT WILL OVERFLOW AND SPREAD TO ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH!
So, for us to become the true, full, human image and likeness of God, we will have to learn to live and operate as one with our Master Yeshua. And now that the Holy Spirit makes it possible for Him to abide within us in His Resurrection state, we are equipped to abide in Him exactly the way a branch abides in its vine… continuously! The life of the Vine can now actually flow into us and operate and produce His fruit from within us! Branches MUST remain fully attached to, and dependent upon, their Vine! And we disciples MUST remain fully connected to, and interactive with, the Holy Spirit! Do you see it? It is impossible for us to have an independent life of our own! Only God Himself, who is The Uncreated, is like that!
Everything else must depend on Him, moment by moment, for its continued existence! And that’s why He must be breathing His Life into us continuously… moment-by-moment-by-moment-by moment! So we must become proactively RECEPTIVE to God’s Word so He can be our Life… continuously! We need His Fruit to supply us with everything we need. There is never such a thing as a period of time when we can make it on our own, without Him! He must always be IN AND ON OUR MINDS AND HEARTS AND EXPECTATIONS AND EXPERIENCES… HE MUST BE EVERYTHING to us!
Notice also that it is only through His branches that the Vine can produce and provide His fruit! In this sense the branches need their Vine, and the Vine needs His branches! God put this requirement into His Plan. He refuses to work on Earth apart from His image and likeness people! And so our Messiah cannot fulfill His God-intended purpose without living in union with those He represents in the Eternal Covenant! The Head must have a Body and the Body must have its Head. They must remain forever one, in order to live and function properly.
And this is why I believe God has chosen to use the human bond of marriage as a symbol for the depths of relationship He intends for His Jewish and non-Jewish chosen people to have with Him. He considers a husband and his bride to be ‘one flesh’ after they consummate their covenant vows by their sexual union. By this analogy we can see the absolute necessity for all of us to be united to our Head and for Him to be able to reveal and express Himself through us! This is what the Holy Spirit is here to do. And this is why our lamps must always be continually filled with ‘oil.’
By the awesome Gift of the Holy Spirit, God causes His Living Word to abide within our spirits as our New Eternal Life. Thus, we actually become one with Almighty God… to serve as His image and likeness! This is the tremendous spiritual Marriage Consummation that God offers to us through His written Word. The Living Word is the Bridegroom that has come to claim His chosen ones to be one with Him… FOREVER!
Additional Articles in this series (available at www.follow-me-ministries.org website)