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)
- Take My people further in their understanding of what it is to be a temple of My Presence.
- Teach them to think along with Me, in all things.
- Teach them to listen to Me at all times, even as they are thinking!
- Develop a great tenderness and sensitivity for My Presence within them. Teach them to worship Me in the depths of their spirits and innermost minds, in all things.
- Teach them to understand clearly and thoroughly, what it means to be faithful to seek, in all things, My viewpoint and the purpose of My Kingdom, Kingship and Righteousness. If they do that, I, for My part, will add all other things for them.
- Take them further in their understanding of the depths of the Covenant relationship they have with Me. Teach them what their part is to be.
- Teach them how to respond to Me in even the tiniest matters.
- I AM with them in all things and in all ways. I want them to be with Me in the same manner!
Marching Orders for
The Stephen Generation
(Updated adaptation made in 2021)
- Take My people further in their understanding of what it is to be a temple of My Presence… So they’ll have the faith they need to remain connected to Me when I lead them through “The Valley of the Shadow of Death.”
- Teach them to think along with Me, in all things… So that they can be led by the Holy Spirit at all times, even amid desperate emergencies.
- Teach them to listen to Me at all times, even as they are thinking… So that I can guide them safely through opposition and persecution.
- Develop a great tenderness and sensitivity for My Presence within them. Teach them to worship Me in the depths of their spirits and innermost minds, in all things… So that when I return, I won’t have to say to them, “I never knew you!”
- Teach them to understand clearly and thoroughly what it means to be faithful to seek, in all things, My viewpoint and the purpose of My Kingdom, Kingship and Righteousness. If they do that, I, for My part, will add all other things for them… For I AM the Blessing Father gave to them from the very beginning… and because the Serpent never stops trying to destroy God’s beloved humans… they must cling to Me as they resist demonic attacks in the final days.
- Take them further in their understanding of the depths of the Covenant relationship they have with Me. Teach them what their part is to be… So that I can continually impart My Covenant blessings and protection to them. Teach them to abide beneath the shadow of My wings even as thousands perish all around them.
- Teach them to respond to Me in even the tiniest matters… So that they can remain connected to Me regardless of what is going on around them.
- I am with them in all things and in all ways. I want them to be with Me in the same manner… So I can continue to be everything they need, no matter how desperate the world situations become all around them.
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.
Stephen’s Awesome Secret
Let’s ponder the context in which Stephen’s final moments took place. For him, it was the grand climax, the final ‘Finish Line’ of his wonderful life on Earth. And, if you are among those who have been chosen and called to serve our Lord as one of His Last Days disciples, you too will have to be equipped with the same deep preparation that Stephen and the other marvelous, faithful First Century disciples received. Not all of them were required to glorify the Lord as martyrs, but they were all subject to the requirement to deny and forsake their former Self-life… so they could be Spirit-empowered and supernaturally equipped to make their way through the extremely trying conditions and situations they would have to face!
And the Lord desires for us to have the same Advantage they did… now that we and our generations are getting ever closer to the Final Showdown. So, after you’ve read those chapters in Acts, and pondered the other texts cited throughout these pages, your understanding of what God has in His heart to be and to do for us, throughout every moment and event of our lives, will hopefully be deeply reinforced. And that will predispose you to begin to bear the Fruit that the Lord has been sent to produce from within you!
The Ultimate Advantage
A short time before the Lord died and rose from the dead, He was in the midst of a crowd that had filled the temple to observe the Feast of Tabernacles. And all of a sudden, He startled those around Him by shouting something aloud that is of profound importance and is deeply relevant to this consideration:
“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Yeshua stood up and cried out loudly, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me (and drinks My Presence into himself), as the Scripture says, ‘out of his innermost being will flow rivers of living water!’” NOW HE SAID THIS ABOUT THE RUACH (the Spirit), whom those who trusted in Him were going to receive; for the Ruach was not yet given, since Yeshua was not yet glorified.” (John 7:37-39 TLV, Emphasis added)
And at another time, speaking of the same Holy Spirit, our Lord said:
“I CAME TO POUR OUT FIRE ON THE EARTH, and how I wish it were already ablaze! But I have an immersion to endure, and how distressed I am until it is finished!
“Do you suppose that I have come to bring Shalom on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on there will be five in one house in opposition, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” (Luke 12:47-53 TLV, Emphasis added.)
“But you will receive POWER when the Ruach ha-Kodesh (Holy Spirit) has come upon you; and (thanks to Him) you will be (equipped to serve as) My witnesses in Jerusalem, and through all Judah, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth!” (Acts 1:8 TLV, Amplification and emphasis added.)
This awesome, very essential supernatural empowerment actually causes the Reality and Perfect Presence of our resurrected Messiah to become manifest within anyone who has received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. There’s no natural way by which this can happen. It must come to us from God Himself! And notice that when the Spirit is given, He’s not here to draw attention to Himself. Nor does He prompt us to be kinder and nicer and to make peace with the evil that is in the world around us! No, God’s Spirit often causes strife and division among people who may have formerly been close relatives, friends and allies!
“Choose You This Day Whom You Will Serve…” (Joshua 24:15)
He confronts each human that God has created… and forces each one to choose between Life or Death… to choose who their God, or gods, will be… to choose whether they will embrace and follow the Living Word of the one True God, or the libelous Anti-God claims of the Father of Lies, and those trapped angels and humans who continue to serve him and his demonic agendas! And it is after people have made their choices that they automatically separate into one or the other of these two opposing groups.
So, as we who are called and chosen to be the Lord’s disciples endeavor to fulfill our God-given commissions to testify on behalf of our Messiah, we inevitably stir up the rage and opposition of the powers of Darkness that infest and dominate the people who still cling to the flesh-driven values and priorities of this rebellious fallen world. And because we’ll have to face, endure and overcome that furious enmity… we need to be fully, thoroughly trained, prepped, equipped and primed to reveal, emanate, and display Yeshua’s Glorious, Overwhelming, Authoritative Resurrection Presence as God’s Spirit empowers us to do it!
We were born into a full-fledged war to the death, Beloved! So there’s no sense downplaying it and numbing ourselves with naïve denial. We will all reap the fruits of our wartime choices! It’s no use for us to try to disconnect our minds from this reality. That won’t make the War go away! So we MUST have the risen Lord Himself living in us, and through us, sustaining us, and working from within us, and revealing His All-Conquering Glory through us! Holy Spirit must be free to empower us to remain spiritually connected to our risen Messiah in the same way Stephen was always connected to Him.
So, when it’s time for us to be summoned to appear in the Last Days ‘Arena of Testimony’… nothing short of having God’s Presence, working dynamically from within us, will see us through it! Only He can equip, cover, arm, and supply His Last Days Disciple Invasion Force to overcome the enemy and give unmistakable manifestations of His Absolute Total Victory over Sin, Death and the evil forces of Darkness that inflict that Death upon unsuspecting people! The Living Word of God Himself must be our Weapon and our Covering! Therefore He must first become our indwelling LIFE in Spirit and in Truth!
The Battle Is Not Ours
During another time of revelation and teaching, the Lord explained to His First Century disciples that when He leads us into that Arena, it is never up to us to figure out what we’re to say or do. In other words, He’ll never send us into harm’s way to fight the enemy by relying on our own devices! He will always be with us… to fight for us! None of what happens up ahead will be essentially about us. The Creator of all things needs no help or advice from any of His creations! All that we are, and have, and are able to do, first comes to us from Him! So we must always look to, and rely upon, Him for everything! The battles in this War are never ours to fight! He will lead us into those situations and will always be with us, to operate and reveal Himself from within us! So, everything that will be happening while we’re there will be all about God, confronting His demonic enemies through us. God isn’t depending on us to defend Him! But He does require us to carry His Presence into the midst of the fray. Why? So that we can be witnesses that proclaim His Glory and see Him prove again and again, in living color, that He has already won the War, in our name!
He will manifest the Perfection and All-Sufficiency of what He is in Himself and in what He has already created and provided for us. He is always our Covering, Protection, Armament, and Equipping. He empowers us to stand by Him as He cuts through the ranks of the already-defeated enemy hosts. He is here to demonstrate His Eternal Superiority, Preeminence and Victory over Evil… and take us through whatever we will be called upon to face, witness, and endure with Him. Our Awesome Lord is, and does, everything necessary. BUT… He intends to do everything in us, through us, for us… and as us… exactly as He did for Stephen! And all of this will be done by and through Holy Spirit’s Omnipotent Power! So yes… we’ll be required to ‘suit up’… and ‘show up’… and have front row seats as He proves, yet once more, that He has already overcome the world, the flesh, and all of the powers of Darkness!
This was Stephen’s Awesome Secret on that day when he was called upon to testify on behalf of His Lord. Thanks to the Holy Spirit, natural earthly eyes could not see what he was able to see. So the people around Stephen were clueless. In their blind ignorance, they had no idea that Stephen, by his obedient faith, was already abiding with God in His Eternal Glory, on the Resurrection side of the Cross! Yes, by God’s merciful Grace, Stephen’s spirit was already with Him on the other side, and the Lord and he were interacting with each other… in the midst of the din of that earthly confrontation that was raging all around Stephen’s earthly body.
So, the preparatory habits we develop as we learn how to…
- forsake and leave behind ‘the old man’
- and proactively ‘put on the New Man’ (See Ephesians 4:17-24.)
- and abide and cooperate and interact with our risen Lord (John 15:5-6.)
… in every situation and at all times, even under intense pressures, will be critical.
Our level of performance will be determined by how well we previously welcomed and cooperated with the Holy Spirit while it was time for us to prepare. To the degree that we learned to do that, and received His ‘boot camp training’, to that degree will we be able to know and interact with our indwelling risen Lord Yeshua when it’s time for Him and us to go into the Arena to engage our common enemies in actual combat!
Remember the Principle ‒ Repetition is the Mother of Mastery and Skill!
We must be just like top level actors who have diligently learned their lines and rehearsed their actions and actually transformed into the character they’re assigned to play, so must we transform into the unstoppable, overcoming, triumphant warriors the Spirit of God is here to make of us. So we must practice and rehearse thinking, acting, speaking and being ONE with our risen Lord Yeshua. This must become habitual and instinctive. And if we practice and rehearse this sufficiently, we too will be ‘ready to roll’ when it’s time for us to step forward into the Arena to fulfill our assigned parts in the battles assigned to us.
Only sufficient repetitive practice and rehearsal-like preparation can get us ready to go into action and respond at a moment’s notice when we get the cue to move into the action and allow the Holy Spirit to empower us to embody our Messiah. Habitual practice will get us ready to face and overcome everything and anything that tries to get in our way! This is Stephen’s secret. So pay close attention to the following revelation!
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and flog you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings because of Me, as a witness to them and to the Gentiles.
“But when they hand you over, DO NOT WORRY ABOUT HOW OR WHAT YOU SHOULD SAY, FOR IT SHALL BE GIVEN TO YOU IN THAT HOUR WHAT YOU SHOULD SAY FOR IT IS NOT YOU SPEAKING, BUT THE SPIRIT OF YOUR FATHER, SPEAKING THROUGH YOU!” (Matthew 10:16-20 TLV, Emphasis added)
Do you get that, Beloved? Stephen’s training and preparation were all about learning to welcome, embrace and interact with the awesome Spirit of Almighty God! And to the degree Stephen developed the skill to do that, to that degree was the Spirit able to render the risen Messiah present to him, and manifest Yeshua’s awesome Supernatural Fruitfulness in him and through him! (See John 16:13-15.) And that is how the Lord intends for it to be with all of us! So here’s the question for all contemporary disciples to ponder:
Will we be as prepared and ready to embody and reveal our risen Lord in all of our future experiences, perceptions and personal interactions at the same level of preparation that Stephen received?
God is not a respecter of persons. He doesn’t play favorites! What He made available to Yeshua, and to Peter, John, Stephen, and the others, He is here to make available to each one of us!
“Peter fairly exploded with his good news: “It’s God’s own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no favorites! It makes no difference who you are or where you’re from—if you want God and are ready to do as he says, the door is open. The Message he sent to the children of Israel—that through Jesus Christ everything is being put together again—well, he’s doing it everywhere, among everyone.” (Acts 10:34-36, The Message Bible)
The only difference in our levels of performance will come from the way each of us believes or disbelieves.
- Will we embrace, or ignore, the promises God has already made to us all?
- Will we be able to interact with our indwelling Lord so He can be and do for us and in us, whatever our situations, circumstances and individual assignments will require?
If we cooperate with Holy Spirit, we’ll be well prepared… and we will win. If we’re careless and indulge in the habit of grieving Him and going off on our own… we will not like how that kind of behavior turns out!
Our habitual response to God’s indwelling Presence within us is the critically important issue that we must ‘wrestle with’ at this time. And this is what our ‘Marching Orders’ are all about. The more we practice and rehearse according to the patterns contained in our Marching Orders, the better prepared will we be. So here are some pertinent questions for us to consider:
- Do we actually believe God’s Word, and all that He has revealed, commanded, and promised about being with us at all times?
- Do we interact with Him as if we really believe that He is actually within us at all times?
- Or are we in the habit of downplaying God’s Word, taking it lightly, continually shoving it into the background, and ignoring and forgetting about Him while we busy ourselves focusing on a vast array of other worldly created things?
Beloved, if we’re going to survive the overwhelming chaos, carnage, and devastation that the final stages of this ultimate showdown with our enemy will bring into this dying world, our answer to the Spirit’s piercing question: “Do you take your risen Lord to be your indwelling Life, in good times and in bad, for better or for worse, for the rest of your days?” Our response will have to be an authentic, wholehearted, and demonstrably provable, “I DO!”
And once we’ve made our full acceptance of His offer to become one with us… we will be called upon, by the powers of Darkness, to prove that our acceptance was genuine and wholehearted. And the only way we’ll be able to prove prove it, will be by the way we are obviously continually interacting… in total peace, joy and confidence… with the One who has pledged Himself to be one with us, and present within us, for all of eternity!
Additional Articles in this series (available at www.follow-me-ministries.org website)
- Marching Orders for the Stephen Generation Introduction
- Marching Orders for the Stephen Generation The Invincible Light – Meditation #1