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 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 followed the totally focused example of our Lord! And authentic Last Days disciples will have to do the same. So the quality and depth level of training that these true disciples must receive is of vital importance. And the various aspects of 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.
The Disciples’ Secret
Beloved, it’s time for us to learn how to ‘breath in’ and ‘abide with’ and allow the Spirit of God to make us able to embody our risen Lord. When Yeshua tells us to follow Him, He really means FOLLOW! But we will only be able to follow Him if we’re actually living exactly as He lived. He died to the radically independent ways of the fallen children of the first Adam. It was His task to make full Atonement for all of that rebellious radical independence! So He submitted Himself entirely to His Father’s Spirit. And only if we too are willing to live that way, will it be possible for us to ‘follow Him.’ The Spirit makes Yeshua’s Resurrection Presence real and alive and fully active within us… and that is why we can live and interact with Him the way true disciples must do.
“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; FOR IT IS GOD who is at work in you, both to desire and to work for His good pleasure!” (Philippians 2:12-13 TLV, Emphasis added)
God’s Spirit is here to form Yeshua within us! So only when God actually lives in our spirit, can we actually live and interact with our Master! Unless this is actually taking place within us, we can’t be Yeshua’s disciples in the authentic Biblical, New Covenant sense of the word! Disciples always live and interact with their Master day and night! They drop everything; and leave their former homes, occupations, and sets of priorities and agendas, to be free to abide with Him, wherever He goes. This makes it possible for them to closely observe Him and His ways… and to learn Him! They must get to know Him so well, and so intimately, that they actually transform into his human image and likeness! But now, in this Last Days Era, if, for some reason God’s Living Word isn’t present within us, in this awesome, mysterious Spirit-empowered New Covenant way, there’s no real, substantial way we can live with our Master here on Earth, and follow Him through space and time. And therefore, there’s no way we can be His authentic Fruit-bearing disciples!
By His Spirit-filled and empowered Life, Yeshua was always able to abide with and interact with His Heavenly Father. That’s what He was doing in the presence of His disciples! He was demonstrating the Spirit-led lifestyle of the Renewed Abrahamic Covenant before their eyes! He was their living Example, living as His Father’s ‘Disciple.’ So just as He had to forsake His place with His Father in Heaven to come to Earth for our sake, to be able to live with us, He learned to continue to be one with His Father, through the Holy Spirit! And so we disciples must also forsake our former lives, for His sake, to be able to live with Father and His Living Word by the very same Spirit! And so the Spirit makes it possible for Him to actually become our New and Eternal Life! His Omnipotent Love Power causes this marvelous Messiah-Life to abide in us while we live here on Earth. And that Love is able to spread from one person to another, and from one generation to another.
“These words, which I am commanding you today, are to be on your heart. You are to teach them diligently to your children, and speak of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7 TLV, Emphasis added)
Yeshua was the first Human, since Adam fell into Sin, to actually remain completely empty of all Self-Life. That is, He never indulged in that radically independent, Self-asserting, rogue, ‘I can be as God’, kind of human existence that is the natural legacy of the Adamic ‘sons of Disobedience’. Yeshua refused to allow even one speck of that Sin-corruption to abide in Him. He always deferred to the Spirit of His Heavenly Father, and allowed Him to reveal to Him, and through Him, everything the Father wanted to do and say through His Living Word. So Yeshua was the first human to ‘deny himself, pick up His Cross, and follow’ the Spirit of His Father. He limited His Humanity to only be able to do what He saw His Father saying and doing, through the Agency of His Spirit! Thus He truly was the Perfect Image and Likeness of God!
“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)
“I can do nothing on My own. Just as I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, for I do not seek My own will, but the will of the One who sent Me” (John 5:30 TLV, Emphasis added)
Thus the Word made flesh fulfilled to Perfection, the requirement God had placed upon all of humanity… to serve God as His Perfect Personal Image and Likeness. And in this sense, before He came into our midst, there wasn’t another human being to be found anywhere on Earth that was like Yeshua. He was the Prototype Human Being of the New (Renewed) Covenant, who was filled and fueled by the Spirit of God. And He was therefore, the only One in whom the Father was well pleased, and the only Human that was, and is, totally acceptable in His sight.
Learning To Live As One In Messiah
But since He is our Eternal Blood Covenant Representative, and He is one with us and we are one with Him, whatever happened to Him, happened to us; and whatever happens to us; happens to Him! And whatever He accomplished, we also accomplished… not in ourselves, but in Him. So, by living in us and through us, He continues to be and do what is only possible for the Living Word of God. But He does it in our name, from within our yielded crucified fallen flesh! And we are credited for having done it.
“After being immersed, Yeshua rose up out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Ruach Elohim descending like a dove and coming upon Him. And behold, a voice from the heavens said, “THIS IS MY SON (and those who are IN Him), WHOM I LOVE; WITH HIM (and them,) I AM WELL PLEASED!” (Matthew 3:16-17 TLV,Amplification and emphasis added)
Our Master intends to equip and endow us with His Self-less Perfectly Righteous level of ‘Messiah-Life’! He intends to lead us into the operation and exercise of the very same Spirit-empowered and led lifestyle that He was demonstrating for His original disciples when they were able to live and interact with Him. He does it by actually living that Life in us and through us, to make sure we learn to do it in ways that please and glorify His Heavenly Father!
So, when you read about Him in the Gospels, you’re seeing how the Holy Spirit had complete control and dominion over every bit of His Sinless Humanity! The reason why His Humanity was so blessed and authoritative over Evil, was that He was always abiding in, and operating from, the FULLNESS of His Father’s Spirit. He was always completely empty of all radically independent human Self-life, always deferring to His Father and what Father desired to do through His flesh! So when Satan confronted Yeshua, He was actually confronting Father! And this is what God’s Word intends to continue to do in and through us, if we will submit and cooperate and allow Him to show us how to do it! Imagine what this will mean to you in the midst of combat with demonic beings, if when they confront you, they will be confronting Almighty God who has already routed them through His Word!
Instead of operating the way all children of the first Adam do, instinctively thinking and operating in God-less Self-centered, Self-asserting, radical independence as if they were God, Yeshua, in His Humanity, as our Covenant Representative, always did and said what God’s Perfect Standards of Righteousness, Truth and Justice require of us! We are the Sin-corrupted sons of Adam’s disobedience, but our Messiah was not a descendant of the first Adam! He came directly from His Father, by the Power of the Holy Spirit. And He was commissioned by His Father to lead the way in doing what is required of those of us who did descend from the first Adam, and who must repent of what we have become!
Thus He died to all Self-life in our name, and lived only from God, and to God… by the Holy Spirit. He demonstrated the new Renewed Covenant disciple lifestyle, and revealed what He would be able to be and to do from within the rest of us who would believe, obey and cooperate with His Spirit, after He ascended physically back to His Father in Heaven.
“Thomas said to Him, “Master, we don’t know where You are going. How can we know the way?”
“Yeshua said to him, “I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE! No one comes to the Father except through Me! If you have come to know Me, you will know My Father also. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him!”
Philip said to Him, “Master, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”
Yeshua said to him, “Have I been with you for so long a time, and you haven’t come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I say to you, I do not speak on My own; but the Father dwelling in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me—or at least believe because of the works themselves!
“Amen, amen I tell you, he who puts his trust in Me, the works that I do he will do; and greater than these he will do, because I am going to the Father. And whatever you ask IN MY NAME, that I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything IN MY NAME (that is, while, by the Holy Spirit, you live as one with Me), I WILL (be the One living within you to) DO IT!” (John 14:5-14 TLV, Amplification and emphasis added)
So, serving as our Covenant Representative and Champion, Yeshua went first in our name… doing what we would have to do, to Perfection! This caused and enabled the rest of us, to follow Him and learn for ourselves how to be united and join Him in His oneness with His Father and the Spirit. Because He was commissioned through the Eternal Covenant to act as us, God’s Eternal Uncreated Living Word, became flesh and lived in our name. Thus God’s Word lowered Himself to our level. And in that position… He became The Way for all the rest of us to follow! He joins us to Himself and then walks before His Father as our Perfect Atonement! Because He IS the Way, if we live as one with Him under the Guidance of His Spirit, then we can serve as the image and likeness of God’s Word, who is the Image and Likeness of the Father!
“I affirm, brothers and sisters, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, that I die daily!” (1 Corinthians 15:31 NASB, Emphasis added)
“I die every day—yes, as surely as the boast in you, brothers and sisters, which I have in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:31 TLV, Emphasis added)
No Sin-corrupted child of Adam is able to ‘be like Jesus’ in his or her own strength. So, apart from the Spirit of our Messiah working within us, we have no hope of being restored to righteousness and salvation. Our Spirit-imparted Messiah is the only Way for the rest of us to be able to approach the Father and become righteous and acceptable in His sight! And it is only by the Power of the Spirit that God’s Living Word can become really, dynamically, present to us, and in us, and through us. And most people in this fallen world fail to comprehend this:
Our Messiah Himself is ‘The Secret!’ And only by our immersion into the Holy Spirit, can ‘The Secret’ live and operate within us! Yeshua Himself is The Mark… The Eternal Standard of Righteousness. He is the God-sent Example that none of us will ever be able to equal or duplicate! But if we embrace Him and become one with Him by faith, He becomes the Full Armor of God that serves as our Perfect Righteousness ,Covering, and our Invincible Defense against the powers of Darkness (See Psalms 18, 23, & 91)
“In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were made through Him, and apart from Him nothing was made that has come into being. In Him was LIFE, and the LIFE was the LIGHT of men. The LIGHT shines in the Darkness, and the Darkness has not overpowered it.
“There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that through him everyone might believe. He was not the light, but he came to bear witness concerning the Light. THE TRUE LIGHT, coming into the world, gives Light to every man.
“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him; but the world did not know Him. He came to His own, but His own did not receive Him. But whoever did receive Him, those trusting in His Name, to these He gave the right to become children of God. They were born not of a bloodline, nor of human desire, nor of man’s will, but of God. AND THE WORD BECAME FLESH AND TABERNACLED AMONG US. WE LOOKED UPON HIS GLORY, THE GLORY OF THE ONE AND ONLY FROM THE FATHER, FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH!” (John 1:1-14 TLV, Emphasis added)
We must learn to follow the lead of our Commander and Lord, IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH! We must allow the Spirit of God to BE our Connection to Yeshua! This is what makes us to be one with the ‘Power from on high’ that Yeshua promised to impart to His disciples of the New Covenant Era!
So it’s our task to embrace and become one with this sacred ‘Connection’ and abide by its ways, so we can render the wholehearted hospitality of our being and earthly existence to Him, that He so justly deserves! We can’t imitate or duplicate in any way, the Eternal Life and Infinitely Perfect Example of our Messiah! … BUT… we can choose to get out of His way and allow Him to enter into us and take us over completely, so He can be for us, what only He can be… and do what only He can do… in our name!
“After six days, Yeshua takes with Him Peter and Jacob and John his brother, and brings them up a high mountain by themselves. Now He was transfigured before them; His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Yeshua. Peter responded to Yeshua, “Master, it’s good for us to be here! If You wish, I will make three sukkot (temporary Exodus Journey dwellings) here—one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
“While He was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold, a voice from out of the cloud, saying, “THIS IS MY SON, WHOM I LOVE; WITH HIM I AM WELL PLEASED. LISTEN TO HIM!”
“When the disciples heard this, they fell face down, terrified. But Yeshua came and touched them. “Get up,” He said. “Stop being afraid.” And lifting their eyes, they saw no one exceptYESHUA ALONE!” (Matthew 17:1-8 TLV, Emphasis added)
We must first recognize and acknowledge and submit to our risen Lord, just as God chooses to reveal Him to us. And, when He summons us to follow Him, we must realize that nothing in us, and nothing we can do, will serve as a replacement for Him. This is why we must forsake our radically independent Self-life and its false gods, and pick up our crosses (that will be used to deal continually with the Self-life impulses that are always emerging from our fallen flesh). And we must follow and depend on Him every step along the narrow path for the rest of our days… until the moment of our own personal Resurrection!
The True Disciple Lifestyle Depends Entirely On Yeshua,
Our Indwelling Life And Sufficiency
This… is the awesome Word of God-embodying disciple lifestyle! This… is how we receive and benefit from this inexpressibly Perfect God-given Personal Connection. It is through this Renewed Covenant Spirit-empowered Messiah-Life that God gives to us that we are able to follow our Master! Now God can be God… to us… in us… for us… through us… and as us… while we abide and rest as His All-Sufficient Perfection enfolds us!
Yeshua did not act out from His Original Uncreated Divine Life. In other words, He wasn’t acting as ‘God in disguise.’ In order to legally represent us in the Eternal Covenant, He truly had to be one of us! This is why He limited Himself to act solely out of His Humanity. And, in that capacity, He made full Atonement for our fallen Self-adoring, Self-asserting earthly mindset and lifestyle that is universally present in all fallen Sin-corrupted human flesh. By finding ways to access and arouse that flesh, the demonic powers of Darkness are able to capture and totally delude and dominate unsuspecting people! And so, by keeping Himself completely emptied of that, our Messiah was able to be constantly filled to overflowing with the Indwelling Empowerment that comes from the Omnipotent Holy Spirit of His Heavenly Father! And because He did that… A HUMAN… our Representative… overcame the Evil One!
So at first, there was no one else who could be like Him. But now, He has routed our demonic enemies while living in this way, in our name, and He has made His awesome Messiah-Life available to all the rest of us! The Humanity of Yeshua didn’t strive to improve itself so that it could be LIKE God, or to act FOR God. No, Yeshua emptied Himself of all the created human Self-life initiative that was available to Him. He did that so God could be God… in Him… for Him… and through Him! He didn’t need anything else but to be and to work as one with the Spirit of His Father! And so He kept His Humanity perfectly Self-less, Sin-less, and out of God’s way. And that is exactly what is required of us.
Yeshua’s Humanity was Perfect and Sin-less… nevertheless it was Humanity… something created, and therefore limited. So our Messiah didn’t rely on it; He only relied upon what Almighty God had done from all of Eternity, in and by and through His Living Infinitely Perfect, Uncreated Eternal Word! This is why even Yeshua, had to keep His Perfect, Sin-less Humanity empty. He had to make room for the Uncreated Perfection of His Father to be free to work from within Him. And this was the purpose for which the Spirit continually filled and united the Son to His Father, while the Son lived and served Him here on Earth.
This is the example and pattern the Lord placed before all of His true disciples that, like Stephen, are filled with the Holy Spirit. And the Spirit equips them to follow their Master into His Eternal Resurrection Glory! Now the Son once again contains within Himself all the Fullness of God… both Divine and Human! So, in order for any other human life to be perfect and totally righteous, holy and acceptable before the Perfect Standards of God… God’s Living Word has to live and operate within that person, to make sure that everything is done properly, according to His Father’s Perfect Requirements! And, according to what is revealed in Genesis, He has already done everything necessary!
“Yet God chose (us) the foolish things of the world so He might put to shame the (Self-life humans who consider themselves to be) wise; and God chose the weak things of the world so He might put to shame the strong; and God chose the lowly and despised things of the world, the things that are as nothing, so He might bring to nothing the things (of this world) that are—so that no human might boast before God. But because of Him you are in Messiah Yeshua, WHO BECAME TO US WISDOM FROM GOD AND RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HOLINESS AND REDEMPTION—so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN ADONAI!” (1 Corinthians 1:27-31 TLV, Amplification and emphasis added)
Additional Articles in this series (available at www.follow-me-ministries.org website)