The basic issue for Last Days’ New Covenant disciples is this:
Do you REALLY BELIEVE your Messiah rose from the dead and is here with you now, at all times?
This website will offer an ever-growing body of material to help you, as you learn to believe, trust, obey and cooperate with our risen Lord, Yeshua the Messiah. To help you understand what FMM is intended to be and to do, we offer two articles in this section for you to ponder. This first article will focus on true, living belief in the Resurrection of our Lord Yeshua. And the second article will focus on what it will take to learn to abide and interact with Him, in everyday life, in Spirit and in Truth. So here is the first article we offer for your consideration:
Abiding With the Risen Lord of Glory
Because Yeshua is God’s Living Creative Word, He is here, through the Holy Spirit, to abide within you and me and all of us. Thus we have the great privilege and opportunity to develop a most intensely personal, interactive, Master-disciple relationship with Him! This unique relationship, once it is built and established, becomes fluid; it develops and progresses… as God takes us from stage to stage of our spiritual development. But to be authentic and eternally fruitful, our relationship with God’s Word can’t be merely theoretical and theological. The risen Lord has to be electrifyingly alive and real and so obviously present within us that His Spirit-empowered Fruitfulness, appearing in our circumstances and relational interactions, can be obvious. And this must especially be true when those circumstances and relationships become excruciatingly taxing and supernaturally demanding and humanly impossible!
“But we have this Treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the Power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-11. Emphasis added.)
As you learn to behold your risen Lord and develop the habit of abiding in His Perfect Presence, He will transform you progressively… into His actual image and likeness! In our home page introduction, we discuss the Biblical revelation of how Yeshua’s first-century disciples lived with their Master, day and night, as members of his personal family. We believe that this Biblical way is the only authentic way by which true and authentic discipleship can take place. A master’s disciples must be able to know their Master intimately enough to actually live and interact personally with Him! It is no different with our risen Lord. Therefore, before we can know Him at this intensely personal disciple level, we too must be able to interact with the Holy Spirit, just as He did, when He lived in our midst in first century Israel. It was through the Holy Spirit that Yeshua was able to interact at all times with His Heavenly Father. And it is through that same Holy Spirit, that we too can be empowered and taught and trained to interact at all times with our risen and indwelling Messiah!
Constant union and interaction with God’s Perfect Presence is what it will take for us to effectively grasp, absorb, and incorporate everything He sent His Living Word, Yeshua, to teach us and to be to us. It is an observable fact that, unconsciously, many contemporary ‘believers’ think, act, react and interact, as if the Lord (if they even believe that He truly exists) lives in the farthest reaches of outer space. In other words, a long time ago, He may have lived on Earth, in an ancient, very foreign cultural setting; but then, after living, dying and being resurrected, He returned to outer space. So, they assume that we are left here on Earth… to carry on as well as we can, and do what we can to perpetuate His memory!
That’s how many think about Him. But that is the viewpoint of a deist, not that of an authentic, New Covenant Era disciple! And because of this very common, non-Biblical, Spirit-ignoring mindset, many that claim to be believers, actually assume that the only possible way people of today can ‘connect’ with God, is by ‘joining a ‘good’ synagogue, church or mosque. And some believe that by attending some special kind of school – a seminary or Bible college, or yeshiva or schools belonging to other kinds of movements and receiving specialized training from people that previously received the same training, we can somehow, someway, get to know the god we have in our imaginations, at a sufficiently deep and personal level. Others believe that if they continually read their holy books and endlessly listen to lectures and sermons and take part in discussions about the Lord, with more or less knowledgeable people, they will somehow, indirectly and by hearsay, get to know their deity, as much as is humanly possible.
And on that same basis, many try to do things ‘for god’, or, ‘like god’, since, to them, he is not really present and able to act and speak for Himself. Thus, they try to please the ‘god’ they imagine, from a long distance, hoping, somehow, to gain his or her notice and favor. In the meantime, to try to fill the gap they sense in their lives, they consult other men and women, in hopes of hearing and receiving something from them. And they go to religious meetings and mouth repetitious prayers. But, despite their efforts, they never encounter their god directly… in person! So, in effect they actually think, live and operate as if their deity is in outer space… far beyond their personal reach!
But that is a mindless, woefully inaccurate paradigm structure that ignores and subtly denies the Reality and Significance of the Resurrection and the New Covenant Gift of the Holy Spirit! I ask you to ponder as deeply as you can, what God’s living Word made flesh, said to His apostles, shortly before He was about to be crucified and executed in Atonement for the entire human race:
“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.” (John 16:12-15 Emphasis added.)
“I have come to cast Fire upon the earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on, five members in one household will be divided, 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 12:49-53)
The Lord wants to abide with us and in us so that He can prepare us to face and overcome the Serpent and his powers of Darkness as the Last Days bring this age to a close! If we are one with the Lord and interact with Him continually, there will be nothing that our demonic enemies will be able to do to stop us from accompanying our risen Lord as He invades the demonic realms of Darkness. So it is the privilege and honor of disciples to give a dynamic, interactive, Messiah-revealing kind of testimony to God’s satanic enemies, that He lives in us and we are utterly as one with Him… doing everything out from His indwelling Presence and Power. This is how we can expose and confound and discredit their lies and slanders against God and against us. Disciples confound and frustrate the dark powers by abiding in and interacting with, their risen Lord who has already overcome and routed those same demonic beings and has dismantled all of their works:
“…so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the Church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 3:10)
But if we’re not in personal touch with our Master, we’ll be uncovered and vulnerable to the deceptive traps that our demonic enemies incessantly lay before us. They are intent on destroying as many humans as they possibly can, in order to deprive God of His image and likeness. So they will have no mercy on us, especially now, when the end of this age is getting very close to engulfing all those things that are temporary. But that terrible state of vulnerability and defenselessness is the condition that so many people are in. Even though there are many that appear to be very religious, the powers of Darkness continue to manipulate and exploit them for their hidden purposes. Religious or not, the non-Biblical mentality and habitual practices of those people are not truly derived from the Holy Spirit! So other alien spirits are forcing them to ignore the Reality of Yeshua’s electrifying Resurrection Presence that the Holy Spirit is here to impart and place within true disciples. Thus because they do not know the Holy Spirit, many people are cut off from what the Living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is actually here to do with us and for us and through us!
“But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, ‘I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.’ Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. And the evil spirit answered and said to them, ‘I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?’ And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” (Acts 19:13-16 Emphasis added.)
Beloved, isn’t it obvious that if we don’t really believe that the living Word of God is actually right here within us, at all times, then there’s no real way we can live with Him as His disciples, much less introduce and embody His indwelling Presence to others, serving as His true, fruit-bearing image and likeness ‘branches’? If we truly do not believe that He’s with us, and operates from within us, then… we’re on our own, having to depend on ourselves, or on other people that are just as needy and empty as we are! In other words, we’ll create a substitute… an imaginary god… for ourselves… that will be a product of our own imagination! And in that case, we’ll navigate through life by following one vague imaginary idea or another, of what we think God must be like. And we’ll be left with nothing that is real, true and authentically based on God’s own written and Spirit-imparted Self-Revelation!
If we do not really believe in the Reality of His Resurrection Presence, that the Gift of the Holy Spirit causes to abide within us and to operate in our midst…we will not have a real, living Master to follow…will we? And, if we are not actually interacting with and following our Living Lord…then…in order to fill the vacuum that His presumed absence would create, we’ll have to settle for following other things…things that are created, temporary substitutes for God’s true Presence and world-changing Reality! Ponder what God is saying to us about the living creative Word that He has sent to us:
“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.
“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My Word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it!” (Isaiah 55:8-11 Emphasis added.)
God is saying that when we’re habitually disconnected from the Messiah-imparting Holy Spirit, the gap that exists between our perspectives and reasoning and sensations… and what is truly in Almighty God’s mind, will and plans… will be infinite! If we operate as radically independent agents in relation to our Creator, we’re Headless and spiritually dead! And in that state, compared to what God is here to do… we’re always going to be wrong, and way off base, and hopelessly caught in the Serpent’s trap!
That is why God sent His living Word to us… to cover us and to become our New Eternal indwelling Life. He came to cover our spiritual nakedness and fill us with His Holy Spirit. And beloved, when that is truly taking place it always follows that TREMENDOUS THINGS BEGIN TO HAPPEN! Changes take place, within and around repentant, obedient people and He transforms them and they move out of their state of living Death… and they are able to share in His Eternal Life! So in that text, and others like it, God is promising that when He sends His Word to work in our midst, and we recognize Him for who He really is and submit to His Authority… The Word enters into us and begins to obey His Father and carry out His plans in so far as we are concerned. In that case, there will be much more than just religious talk and religiosity and intellectual theory coming out of us. God’s Word will actually be free to operate in us and through us and that always causes stupendous, world-changing activity and results to occur!
When we submit to God’s Living Word and Holy Spirit… what is corrupt in us is purified, renewed and made fresh. And what is dying, becomes filled with God’s Holy Spirit, what is diseased and sick becomes well, and what is trapped in hopeless bondage is suddenly set free so that it can become what God intends for it to be. And peoples’ lives and circumstances transform and tangible Joy and Peace and Celebration spontaneously burst forth from within those that believe, receive and embrace God’s living Word!
“Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of Life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:35-40 Emphasis added.)
So…for these obvious manifestations and changes to happen within us and among us, we must know God’s Word in a very real, tangible, living way, that is similar to the way appliances ‘know’ the electricity that makes them come to life and do the work for which they were designed and created! It has to be real, but it can’t be real without His actual Authority and Power being actually connected to us… and present within us… working and producing actual, tangible changes within us and all around us!
The profound unbelief, concerning the Resurrection Reality, that is so common today, forces people to look to, and rely on, grossly inadequate substitute ‘replacements’ for our Master. We look to things that He created. And that means that He really isn’t the main focus of our attention. Nor can He be the Source and Center of what goes on in our heart of hearts!
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” (Revelation 3:20-22 Emphasis added.)
So, to truly be equipped and trained to face the gut-wrenching turbulence that the powers of Darkness will unleash against all believers during the Last Days, we must be trained beforehand, and able and equipped to remain personally connected to Him and to know Him intimately and abide with His Perfect, electrifying Presence, at all times! Only His Life… operating from within us… can empower us to persevere, and overcome the assaults of the powers of Darkness! We will prevail only when and if, He actually lives and acts from within us. Then, we’ll actually be covered by the ‘Full Armor of God’ and will be equipped and able to receive everything we will need…FROM His electrifying, Reality-changing Presence. The Power of God will be given to us…directly and personally…in Spirit and in Truth… by Almighty God Himself!
Therefore, our first order of business is to train ourselves to focus on and draw from our Messiah’s living Resurrection Presence as He abides within us, and operates and circulates in our midst. We must develop ever-active faith, trust, and expectations that will flow from our conviction that His abiding Presence is with us always. And we must absorb and strengthen and protect our interactive relationship with Him by drilling this Reality into ourselves, with massive repetition. We must take the initiative of practicing this abiding interaction with our Lord, in a Face to face, personally interactive level. This must be done with, great frequency, until our bond and familiarity with Him has become utterly automatic, unshakable, and second nature!
And we must realize that He is always focused on only one thing… doing whatever His Father sends Him to do… no more, and no less! So, He’s not here to do our bidding. He’s here to do His Father’s bidding! And, on that basis, He must increase within us until His Father-obeying Authority takes over in us, completely. He must become the very Life and Heartbeat of our thoughts, actions, reactions and interactions throughout each day and night. And then, we will be God’s true image and likeness… and New Covenant co-heirs with His Living Word, the Son!
So, sooner or later, we’ll have to take those first faltering ‘baby steps’ into these seldom explored supernatural spiritual ‘waters’ and wade beyond the shallows…until we’re in over our heads…immersed in the awesome depths of the Reality of the Living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the Spirit-empowered New Covenant Life-Source His Father sent His living Word and Spirit to be to us and in us.
“Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before Me, and be blameless. I will establish My Covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you exceedingly.’
“Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying, ‘As for Me, behold, My Covenant is with you, and you will be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you. I will establish My Covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting Covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you…” (Genesis 17:1-7)
Beloved, we can only walk before the Lord blamelessly, after we’ve outgrown our original, worldly status quo independent perspectives and self-centered practices. We can only be blameless in His sight if we take the initiative to repent of looking to created things for our wellbeing. We must train ourselves for this ‘blameless’ lifestyle. We must drill and practice being with our indwelling Lord…seeing Him as our one and only Source…receiving everything from Him…and Him alone. We must learn to think, act, react and interact with Him and draw everything from Him…constantly…regardless of whatever else may be going on around us. We must program our minds and rewire our brains with His Reality until it is automatic and second nature for us to be convinced He is within us, at all times, in His eternal invincible, All-Sufficient Perfection.
When He finally becomes the True Center of our hearts, we’ll finally be in position to draw everything that we are and have and are able to do, from the Perfect Presence of Almighty God. That…is what Abraham, Isaac and Jacob learned from Him. And when we can do that, God’s living Word will be our Spirit-imparted Wisdom, Righteousness, Faithfulness, Strength, Love and Obedience… even while we’re making our way through this time and space existence. Then we’ll be able to carry out and demonstrate and teach the ‘Marching Orders’, that are listed elsewhere on this website, to other disciples-in-training.
It will be hard to do this at first in a consistent manner. It will take practice…lots of repetition and drill and still more repetition before we can begin to develop and maintain a laser-like focus on His invisible, spiritual Presence. But nothing short of that will enable us to start interacting with our beloved master, in Spirit, and in Truth…continually.
This is where that ‘boot camp training’ we keep talking about comes in. No one will impose this training upon us. We must be wholehearted in our willingness to embrace, pursue and absorb it. We must allow the Holy Spirit to transmit into us, whatever our Heavenly Father sends His Word to be and to do from within us! And at that level of obedient cooperation with God’s Word, we’ll have to keep yanking our sloppy, ever-wandering minds back to an awareness of His Presence… and what He is here to do to us, in us, and through us. We’ll have to learn to steer our minds proactively and consistently in the direction of continual interaction with Him. And that is a huge challenge for us. By natural inclination, we all have an inherited tendency to veer off of God’s narrow path and to stray off into the demonic ‘minefields’ of radical independence from God, that surround that narrow path of oneness with His Word. Our Lord will require and teach us to keep our minds and wills united and aligned with Him… continually focused upon where He is taking us… always aware that His Perfect Presence and Activity are working from within us… to do His Father’s will… perfectly.
This ongoing practice will take gut-wrenching, combat-level focused discipline. It will require us to drill and practice maintaining this interactive focus upon and with our invisible Lord. And it must become second nature and automatic and instinctual to us. But to pay the price necessary to reach that point, we must become deeply motivated to go to the trouble it takes to maintain the unique Heavenly focus and awareness needed to persevere and overcome, no matter what the powers of Darkness try to do to distract, derail and overwhelm us. God has clearly warned: trial and tribulation are most certainly coming! And knowing that we’re in for that much trouble, combat and deadly struggle with the powers of Darkness, should be more than enough incentive to move us to do whatever it will take to endure and master what this training is meant to impart to us. We must become truly one with our Lord, who has already overcome and triumphed over the Father of Lies and destroyed all of his works! We won’t be required to accomplish any of that, for He has already done it to Perfection! But we must be equipped and ready to hold the supernatural Ground that He has already won for us and placed in our charge! We must be fully equipped to see through all of the demonic lies, delusions, holograms and deceptive twisting of the Truth. We must be able to stay on course… so we can continue to follow our Master all the way into His Eternal Triumph and never-ending Victory Celebration.
If we practice doing everything as one with our indwelling Lord continuously…FOR AT LEAST A MONTH…this interactive pattern will start to be hard-wired into our brains and programmed effectively into our souls. And if we’re willing to prepare the soil of our minds and hearts to receive this awesome Spirit-given ‘Seed’ with that kind of repetition, then the future crop of New Covenant disciple life will be effectively planted. It will have a great start that we’ll be able to keep adding to in the future. And if we maintain our alert vigilance in steering our minds and wills properly, we’ll abide in the ‘growth mode’ that will maintain the conditions’ necessary for the Holy Spirit to produce a rich full Harvest of God’s Manifest Presence and Activity on Earth… through our yielded crucified flesh.
As we learn to plant that ‘Messiah-in-us’ seed into ourselves… continually and consistently… and as that seed grows and begins to sink deep root systems within us, the necessary mental, neurological and emotional ‘infrastructure’ will become deeply rooted within us. And the Holy Spirit will have the means by which to work and produce the Fruit of God’s Word from within us. And once we’ve formed that infrastructure in our inner workings, we will have corresponding habits that we’ll need to abide and interact with our Master at all times. And it will be much easier for us to fortify and keep adding to that infrastructure, and cause it to spread, deepen and become profoundly fortified and established within us. Then, we will no longer forget, ignore and bypass our Master for enormously long periods of time. And the powers of Darkness will lose whatever grip they may still have on our innermost thought and reaction patterns and actions, reactions and interactions. The Lord will increase within us…and everything created within us that used to resist Him, will be overwhelmed and replaced by the incessant planting of this new Messiah-exalting seed.
This training will equip and gear us to be evermore intuitively aware of the risen Lord’s abiding presence at the deepest, most unconscious, automatic and instinctual levels of our being. Then it will be possible for us to abide in and interact with Him and allow Him to live His life, truly and authentically and fruitfully from deep within us.
We can’t achieve this union by mere religious ‘dabbling’ in superficial religious activity and ‘head games’. The Holy Spirit has to empower and motivate us to actually change the way we see and think. New thought and reaction and action and interaction patterns must be sown into us; and we must ‘garden’ and groom and protect them until they are so established that they can finally take over. We must learn to admit, accept, own and draw from the Reality of what God has already done and given to us, as it exists in eternity, in all of its Perfect and Complete Fullness! We must realize at a most profound level, as we make our way through our time and space experiences, that God’s Finished Work is Perfect and All-Sufficient! We must realize that anyone that remains apart from Him, also remains separated from the Eternal Life that He is here to be to us. In that case, the person remains part of the ‘living dead’ people that cover the Earth.
But if we learn to abide with our risen Lord, and begin to draw everything from Him, like branches that draw everything from their Vine, He will teach us to ‘hear His voice’ and cooperate with Him obediently. And we will embody Him as He begins to do what only He can do…to us, in us and through us…moment by moment. In that case, the powers of Darkness will have no power or authority over us. We will be equipped to overcome them. And we’ll be living testimonies to our risen Lord…proclaiming and demonstrating His Resurrection Presence in a manner that is right and proper and worthy of His awesome, majestic, Perfect Reality!
The process will speed up tremendously when we finally stop resisting and resenting what the Holy Spirit has to do to our radically independent, sloppy self-indulgent lifestyles and all the deeply-embedded habits and urges that naturally influence and pull at our Sin-corrupted flesh. The Holy Spirit MUST ‘crucify’ and ‘execute’ our radically independent, God-less self-life. Only when we become living branches that are completely one with our Vine, is it possible for us to receive and share in our Master’s Resurrection Presence and Life. And His living Presence, operating from within us is what will transform us into His image and likeness and fortify us until we become invincible!
As soon as we realize the enormity and magnitude of the tremendous honor and privilege God is bestowing upon us by selecting us for this awesome, world-redeeming commission, the cost won’t matter. We’ll gladly forsake our former ‘exempt civilian’ attitudes, mindsets, and habits and get down to the business of learning and absorbing all that this unique Heavenly Warrior ‘boot camp’ must impart to us. And we’ll be well on our way.
This is the heart and essence of the ‘Exodus’ and what it really means. We must forsake our original self-reliance so that we can be free to identify with and put on, the Perfection of Yeshua’s resurrected Presence. He must become our one and only Life. And until that happens, no matter how religious and theologically ‘correct’ we may outwardly seem to be, inwardly we’ll remain decapitated and dead. This is why Scripture commands true New Covenant believers to ‘pick up their crosses’ and to ‘renew their minds’. Unless they do, they will never transform into true sons of Almighty God:
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:1-3)
We must ‘disconnect’ the ‘old worldly wiring’ and erase the ‘old self-adoring programs’ that once captivated and drove our fallen, Sin-corrupted and damaged souls and brains. In order to make the necessary U-Turn, we must allow the work of the Holy Spirit to teach us to resist what used to be natural and habitual within us… and to accept and sow into ourselves the brand new, New Covenant fulfillment patterns that are compatible with our new regenerated spiritual nature and Spirit-given faculties. Bonding our conscious awareness with the indwelling Presence of our Master will equip and ‘hardwire’ us to embody and reveal and share His resurrected Glory (E.g. Jn. 15; 2 Cor. 4 and Eph. 4:17-25) The Holy Spirit is here to equip us spiritually, mentally, neurologically, and emotionally, to develop the Last Days level of faith we will need to persevere and overcome the demonic forces of Darkness. We must grow and learn to believe and obediently respond to, and imagine and own, whatever God has already given and made possible for us. We do that by willingly and deliberately changing the way we think, imagine, act, react and interact. We must aggressively develop, feed and protect our God-given faith by conscious and deliberate, repentant mind focus and acceptance and repetitive ingestion of God’s written Word that reveals to us what His Living Word is here to be and do to us, in us and through us.
If we’re willing to do that, then, like all ‘successful boot camp recruits’ we will, in a matter of a few weeks, quickly develop new habit patterns we never had before. And this is how we will transform into brand new people that are able to do brand new, amazing things that were not possible before. This level of training to abide and interact with our risen Messiah will utterly change us! Union with Him will transform us into ‘new creations’ and His Spirit will empower us to bear the supernatural fruit that Father sends His Son to produce in us, through us and for us. This New Covenant Gift has already been paid for and has been made available to all us, if we will only repent of our past perspectives, paradigms and belief systems and take this New Covenant revelation to heart. The Lord Himself is ready to abide and work within us. But we must accept and embrace and make Him our own, moment by moment, and choice by choice. The Lord Himself must become the True Center of our inner awareness and we must become completely dependent upon Him from now on.
Here are some relevant post-Resurrection texts that describe the difficulty some of the Lord’s original disciples had with this…at first:
“Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We will also come with you.’ They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing. But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.” (Jn. 21:3-4 Emphasis added.)
“…two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. And He said to them, ‘What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?’ And they stood still, looking sad.” (Lk. 24:13-17 Emphasis added.)
No one knew the Lord better than these disciples did. They had lived and traveled with Him and with others, who had witnessed everything He did, day and night, for several years! But even after eyewitnesses told them He had risen, they would not believe it. And they couldn’t even believe it…when He was standing right in front of them! So it’s no wonder that we struggle to believe and maintain a living connection with His presence…especially since His presence is now invisible! It’s hard to bore through the walls of constant static interference and the almost universal unbelief that the world keeps putting up around us. That coupled with the natural, instinctive resistant pull, that comes from the Sin-residue in our own flesh, is what the powers of Darkness keep trying to stir up, arouse and exploit and use against us. All of these things conspire to sever us from the Lord’s electric-like nearness and dynamic Spirit-empowered activity. So we must learn to stand and hold our God-given Ground… and fight to maintain the inner freedom He gave to us and fight to maintain it. We can see this from the rebuke and correction that the resurrected Lord gave to His disciples after He suddenly appeared in their midst:
“Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief (concerning His Resurrection Presence in their midst) and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed (in My Resurrection Presence) and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved (that I am risen from the dead and present in My disciples) shall be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed (that I am always present within them and am producing My Fruit in their midst): in My Name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
“So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into Heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, WHILE THE LORD WORKED WITH THEM AND CONFIRMED THE WORD BY THE SIGNS THAT FOLLOWED!]” (Mark 16:14-20 Amplification and emphasis added.)
Beloved, at first, it takes pure raw faith in His credibility to continue to walk in the fullness of His promises. That’s probably why so many in the generations of believers that went before us ‘dropped out of boot camp’ and stopped believing that He is really alive and dynamically present with us, fell by the wayside instead of completing their Exodus Journey. And so, by the time we arrived on the scene, the electrifying Reality of the Resurrection had degenerated into a mere static concept, an ancient historical relic encased in our dusty religious chronicles. And so, for most of us, this living Reality has no real bearing, no spiritual gut-punch, no supernatural, Fruit-bearing Power. The computers and vast array of technological gadgets through which people of today ‘stay connected’ with each other in this mindless vapid ‘selfie’ generation, create enormous barriers and opposition to this disciple-level of being. The world’s culture and mindset bombards and forces people into a substitute level of ‘reality’ that is much more tangible and attention-getting to us than the awesome Gift of the Holy Spirit which we can only access by faith, and not by sight or feelings. But… when we only abide in what we can see and feel with our natural, Sin-corrupted human faculties… we’re caught in the delusion-inducing trap of the Serpent. But if that’s all we have to work with, it’s very natural and easy for our fallen flesh to keep insisting that it is satisfied with that earthly level of awareness alone.
This is why the overwhelming Reality of the Lord’s Resurrection Presence has degenerated and devolved and is now such a dim and distant memory. It’s like a quaint fairy tale that has no real bearing on our everyday reality. Nevertheless, before He died, the Lord ached and yearned for the time when He could give this awesome gift to us. The Fire He was sent to cast upon the earth was the ‘Power from on High’ that He promised to give to His contemporary disciples. It is the gift of the baptism of the indwelling, Power-imparting Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is given to us, so that, by His Power, He can make God’s living Word, real to us, and actively alive in us in a variety of world-changing, fruit-bearing ways. Notice that the original disciples of Yeshua had two different post-Resurrection encounters with the Holy Spirit:
“So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and *said to them, ‘Peace be with you.” And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.’ And when He had said this, He breathed on them and *said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.’” (John 20:19-23)
But after that first impartation of the Holy Spirit, that took place when He first appeared to them and interacted with them in His unique and awesome Resurrection state, He cautioned them to wait before they did anything else. There was more that was yet to come:
“Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, ‘Which,’ He said, ‘you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’
“So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, ‘Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive Power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses (testifying to and demonstrating the chilling Reality of My Resurrection Presence in your midst) both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.’” (Acts 1:4-8 Amplification and emphasis added.)
And then, at God’s appointed time, at the Biblical Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost)…it happened:
“When the day of Pentecost (Shavuot) had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4 Amplification added.)
God’s Word has been sent to apply the fulfillment wonders of His New Covenant. This was the impartation of more of the Finished Works of Creation and Redemption that God had begun to reveal in Genesis chapters 1 and 2! Now it was time for Him to reveal more of its meaning and actually apply to them this New Covenant portion of His Eternal Finished Work, so that God’s Word could begin to abide within us and work through us, to do what His Father sent Him to do to Fulfill all of His promises. So God is in the process of revealing His promises, as given in the Torah and the Covenant of Sinai, and bringing them to complete Last Days Fulfillment, through His New Covenant with Israel. He began this in the Torah, but now He is in the process of fulfilling them completely through the last generations of human history. Now, as the Last Days loom on our horizon, He sends His Word…to us…so that He can do all of God’s will in us…and then, as He abides and works through us, He will show Himself to be The Total Consummate Blessing that all the families of the earth have been waiting for for so long, and which we all so desperately need!
Those first-century Messianic Jewish believers that our Lord had recently left behind at His Ascension were literally ‘baptized’ with the Holy Spirit for this purpose. He came as the promised New Covenant Fire that descended upon their regenerated spirits and permeated and empowered and anointed them to connect with and release the Resurrection presence of their Messiah in visible, tangible ways! God’s Spirit energized their innermost being and so, the risen Lord became manifestly present and real and fully alive and present to them, in them, and through them, to the amazement of all the Israelite people that were all around them.
As soon as the Holy Spirit took over, the disciples, and their circumstances, lit up like strobe lights! The ‘before and after’ difference in their appearance and demeanor and abilities was truly amazing (Cf. Acts 5.). And from that point in Israel’s history, the risen Messiah began to transform the people of Israel! Let’s consider once again what happened on that day:
“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together and was bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. They were amazed and astonished, saying, ‘Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.’ And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ (Acts 1:4-12)
For several years afterward, the numbers of those original Messiah-embracing Jewish believers multiplied exponentially and they began to turn Israel right side up! The piercing power of their Gospel proclamation was validated by supernatural demonstrations of the risen Messiah’s actual presence and activity in their midst. The Lord stunned even the most jaded unbelievers with the life-changing power of His presence. And then, a few years later…wonder of wonders…starting in Acts chapter 10, He began to do the same thing to, for, and in – Gentiles! That’s when the Light of the World began to spread in all directions and turn the entire planet right side up!
“‘I will vindicate the holiness of My great Name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord,’ declares the Lord God, ‘when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” (Ezekiel 36:23-27)
Like us, those original Messianic believers were surrounded by myriads of hostile, violent people. Theirs was a most brutally wicked, dangerous and idolatrous era. But even though the disciples were mostly plain, simple, lower class, uneducated people, they gave ample proof that God Almighty, the eternal one that speaks and performs, was actually abiding in them and interacting with them, individually and corporately! And that threatened and terrified the worldly powers that ruled Israel and the rest of the world of that time. And we live in a world that is no different than their world was.
“Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply. But when they had ordered them to leave the Council, they began to confer with one another, saying, ‘What shall we do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem and we cannot deny it.‘” (Acts 4:13-16 Emphasis added.)
So imagine what would happen if today’s world leaders, super stars, terrorists, street gangs, hopelessly lost addicts and vicious hard core, criminal elements that populate the world’s prisons… ran into Spirit-inflamed disciples like that! Would not our modern world begin to be overwhelmed by Yeshua’s Resurrection Presence and turned right side up too? Imagine how many of today’s seriously wounded hopeless outcasts and rejected ‘living dead’ derelicts could be filled with hope and brought into an electrifying personal knowledge of the Living God, as the Reality of our risen Lord embraced and included them into God’s Heavenly Kingdom, through the living, world-wide ‘fishnet’ of Spirit-inflamed disciples that God is using to encircle and repossess the entire fallen world!
If the Lord’s disciples that were commissioned to begin the era of the New Covenant era, needed such awesome Holy Spirit Fire Power to begin the New Covenant Era of God’s Fulfillment, how much more will those Last Days disciples need it to usher in the Complete Consummation of that Fulfillment, since they will be such a vital part of the tumultuous events that will usher in the Return of our glorious risen Messiah and His installation on Earth, as Supreme King of kings and Everlasting Lord of lords?
If Peter, John and the others had not received the Holy Spirit, they would have remained stuck in dismal defeatism, anxiety, burnout and emptiness similar to what is so common in the world of organized religion today! They too would have talked about the Lord in the past tense…the way devotees of false world religions talk about their dead founders. They would have reminisced over the ‘good old days’ when their master still walked the earth. But the first century Israelite apostles didn’t do that, did they? The Holy Spirit ignited them with the Presence and Love of their risen Master, the Messiah of Israel. His Presence was so electrifying, elating, and real and empowering that He radiated out of them in stunning ways. It was once more possible for them to live with Him day and night, even after they had seen Him ascend into Heaven! And it was even better and easier to abide with Him like this than it had been when He was with them in the flesh! No longer was their interaction with Him limited by time and space. The Eternal One was abiding in their innermost being…constantly! They were now living members of His earthly Body and were able to take His Presence with them wherever they went. No longer were they ‘God-Seekers’. His abiding Presence transformed them into ‘God-Bringers’!
So why isn’t it like that for most of us? Don’t we claim to have the Holy Spirit? Aren’t we claiming to be part of the New Covenant? Isn’t the fact that He rose from the dead stated clearly in our creeds? Yes, our creeds proclaim His resurrection…but for the most part, our hearts, lives and faces do not register and radiate His electric world-changing, interactive nearness to the people around us. Why is that? Why doesn’t His presence flood into and elate our souls, and dominate our conscious awareness and transform our faces and fill our conversations with His living Reality so that the clueless people that are all around us can know how real and present He truly is? Shouldn’t we be just as filled with outrageous confidence and joy and wisdom, thanks to obvious manifestations of His awesome nearness, as the first century disciples were? Shouldn’t we also stand out in any crowd, because of His Light coming out of us and shining upon the people around us? And shouldn’t religious people of our day that do not know Him be brought to envy by the supernatural way He overcomes evil with His Good, from within our midst… even amid our seemingly impossible and hopelessly desperate situations?
“See, I have taught you statutes and judgments just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do thus in the land where you are entering to possess it. So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the Lord our God whenever we call on Him?” (Deut. 4:5-7 Emphasis added.)
“…about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!’
“And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and after he brought them out, he said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’” (Acts 16:25-30 Emphasis added.)
Over the centuries, something vitally essential has been stolen from us. We’ve been deprived; we’ve not been taught to abide in and draw and benefit from our God-given New Covenant inheritance and birthright. We’ve been taught to believe that God’s Presence is in man-made buildings and boxes…instead of abiding within us through His living Word and Holy Spirit! So we keep looking for God by haunting synagogue and church buildings and listening to fallen men and women talk to us ABOUT God. But the distance between God, and any created ‘experts’, ‘leaders’ and ‘teachers’ that are Sin-corrupted like us, is infinite! The only one that can connect us directly to God, is His living Word, our Messiah! And by the Holy Spirit, He does it by connecting us to HIMSELF! If we’re one with the Living Word, we’re one with the Living God who sent His Word to us for that very purpose! So how could we dare to presume that we can get by with settling for less, much, much less? Without our Messiah, we can’t even exist, much less do or be anything that would matter. We must have Him! Nothing else but Him will do!
“Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you. But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power. For the Kingdom of God does not consist in words BUT IN POWER! What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?” (1 Corinthians 4:18-21 Emphasis added.)
If you watch large portions of modern day Judaism and Christendom functioning, year after year, not to mention all the other man-made religions that exist, you’d swear that Jews and Christians that claim to be believers are just two groups, among the many other organized religious man-controlled groups. Academics call them: ‘The World Religions’. But the world religions all have one thing in common: They all have dead founders! And those dead founders left behind some kind of special book that contains quaint ancient stories and platitudes and adages! And that’s all their modern-day followers have left with which to work!
But we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about the Living God, the Creator and Sustainer and Redeemer of all Creation…and those blessed human beings that are directly and intimately connected to Him, the way appliances are connected to the awesome electrical power it takes to make them come to life and productivity!
If we really believed that our Master has risen from the dead, and is truly and actively present within us and among us, His dynamic Presence should be able to speak for itself, shouldn’t it? He should be able to PROVE the Truth of His claims and teachings with supernatural, life-transforming, world-changing Power and Authority! In that case, it wouldn’t matter what creatures around us would be doing or saying. If we truly believed Almighty God is Present to us and in us, it wouldn’t even matter what our own thoughts and feelings might be suggesting for us to consider. He and His Majesty and Perfection and overwhelming Authority would over-ride everything else; wouldn’t they? And the jaded opinions and pontifications coming from the unbelieving world would not be able to withstand the Force of His Truth, would they? The risen Lord of Glory would rule over and change everything about us and about them!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
It is a fact that many, even within Christendom, do not actually believe that He’s risen and dynamically present in us and among us. So it’s no wonder that the fallen, spiritually decapitated world around us doesn’t believe that He’s real either! But beloved, isn’t it time we got on our faces before God and begged Him to restore to us what the Anti-Christ powers of Darkness have stolen from us? Isn’t it time to press into our Master so He can begin to teach, train, correct, guide and show us what true disciples really are, and how they operate, and how the New Covenant really works? Isn’t it time we allowed Him to reconfigure and reposition us so we can be moved into the our proper God-intended positions and deployments? Isn’t it time for His living ‘branches’ to finally, actually, be able to bear HIS Fruit? Isn’t it time for Him to inflame us with His Love and teach us to abide under the shadow of His Wings?
Where Your Treasure Is, There Will Your Heart Be Also!
Does your heart hunger for that kind of union with Almighty God? If so, when will you embrace and absorb what God has already given and made available to you? When will you stop denying what He told us is already ours? Just how badly do you want Him to become your overpowering, abiding living Reality? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to remove the barriers in your own mind and heart that stand between you and that New Covenant Fulfillment and Freedom? Are you willing to allow the Holy Spirit to ‘garden’ and cultivate and protect the faith He gave to you? Will we as a generation, do what it takes to pick up the torch of Resurrection Faith, and take it farther and deeper than any other generation before us has ever taken it? Will we assume the responsibility for preserving the Faith in the risen living Word and passing Him on to our children as He really is contained and revealed to us in God’s written New Covenant Word?
Our monotonous religious rituals and head knowledge and empty dead platitudes will never convince our children, and all the arrogant, controlling world rulers and the various levels of criminals and murderous drug dealers, and hyper-controlling religions, and the unbelievably cruel, self righteous jihadists and arrogant insurrectionists and obstructionists that plague our contemporary world and are tearing our societies to shreds… that Yeshua is the Living Word of God, and the true Messiah of Israel and that His claims and promises are true!
Only the Lord Himself, by His dynamic, creative Resurrection Presence…doing what only Almighty God Himself can do, as he appears in our personal lives, will have the FIREPOWER it takes to demonstrate and prove the Truth of His Resurrection and His Messianic claims. It’s going to take Holy Spirit God Power to back up and prove the Truth of our Last Days Messianic Testimony. God Himself will have to establish His own Credibility from among us. Only His Authority and Power and electrifying Presence will force the arrogant smirk on the face of the unbelieving world to turn instantly… into an expression of worshipful awe!
But do we dare trust God that much? Will we dare ask Him to forgive, cleanse and correct us so that He can be free to make His Resurrection promises real to us, in us and through us, in the sight of this jaded, demon-possessed world? Please heed this warning from the apostle Paul:
“Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain!
“Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.” (1 Cor. 15:12-19 Emphasis added.)
Mere religious mental assent to static theological tenets, and empty powerless assertions of doctrines prove nothing to the jaded, wicked unbelieving world in which we live. If our personal existence is devoid of the electrifying Reality of Christ’s Resurrection Presence, we are not operating out of authentic Biblical New Covenant faith! We must have, and demonstrate, the real world-changing Presence of God!
This is the issue that we believe the Lord commissioned the Follow Me Ministry to point out and address. Our Master required His original Jewish apostles to train the whole world to live and operate at a true, authentic disciple level. So shall we settle for offering Him something so far inferior that it has no resemblance whatsoever to what He actually ordered us to do?
If you agree with this assessment and see a need for our spiritual water level to begin to rise, then join our team. Help us by supporting and building up this ministry until it becomes an effective training matrix for the risen Lord’s New Covenant Last Days disciples. Together we can delight our Heavenly Father’s heart by helping to develop the living branches needed for His precious Vine. Only Christ can prove to the world that He’s back from the dead. And He will, if He has a Body on Earth that is really and truly His, and not somebody else’s! He must be the true Head of His Body. And His true Body must be made up of living fully-attached members that reveal and embody the Eternal Life that can only come from Him, their true Head! It will happen for this generation…as soon as it has first happened to His hand picked disciples of this generation!
“Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’
“But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (Jn. 7:37-39 Emphasis added.)
THE SECOND ARTICLE
Now we offer a second article that zeroes in even more on the No 1 Core Issue this ministry focuses upon. This article can be found elsewhere on this website. But because of its importance, for your convenience, we also present it here:
Vine and Branch Life – What It Is, and What It Is Not
A pre note from Nancy:
The following article was birthed, just like the others in this Family News section, as a result of some email correspondence received by FMM. As you may recall that John receives many invitations from people living all around the world to come and speak or teach. And he declines them. Recently he received a request asking him to teach online via Skype, which he also graciously declined. Like the previous requests, it came from a person who has been touched and encouraged by the material FMM has made available both on the website and through the booklets.
On the surface, it seems like a reasonable request – ‘if you (John) have this much depth through the written words, how much more could you impart to my congregation if they could hear from you face to face?’ Isn’t that what churches and congregations have done for centuries? Isn’t this how many people think spiritual growth is accomplished? Yes, it is the current understanding, but…
Follow Me has a very different understanding of the True Gospel which points each and every human to the Person of Yeshua Himself, never to – or through – anything or anyone else. We see in Scripture that disciple life is lived in intimate union with our indwelling Lord day and night. There can be no substitute for the Messiah and His New Covenant Resurrection-Life, which the Holy Spirit is commissioned to impart to us from deep within.
Please ponder carefully what John has written below as he describes this understanding, and how such invitations don’t ‘fit’ the focus and calling of FMM.
On the journey with you, till the end… Your sister, Nancy
The Question: Now that we have so much technology available, would you ever consider speaking to distant congregations and doing some preaching and teaching by coming to our congregation or using mediums like Skype?
John’s Answer: After receiving invitations to travel to preach and teach and to use technology like Skype mentioned above, I take time to pray and ask the Lord for His guidance on how to respond to such invitations.
So far, the original directions He gave to me, concerning FMM and what its focus and purpose are to be, continue to stand. My understanding is that at this time, He does not yet give me leave to deviate from what He told me to do in the beginning. So I feel obligated to decline those kind invitations. My personal circumstances also prevent me in many practical ways, from travelling. And so, it’s as if the Lord is making sure that my focus, attention, time and energy remain exclusively on what He told me to do from the very beginning. Let me try to explain why I believe this is so:
I believe the Lord requires those of us who are part of the FMM Family to remain focused on what He told us to do in the beginning, so that we ourselves may become deeply rooted in the ‘Blood Covenant Ground’ He told us to learn to hold, protect, highlight and teach. But we cannot teach what we do not know for ourselves. We cannot give what we ourselves do not have. Nor can we lead anyone else one centimeter beyond the point where we ourselves have refused to go! So we must become the message we preach. And if we do not become the message… we will have nothing to say or to write!
We know that the Lord told us to focus on Him… and to learn to abide in Him and draw everything we need, from Him. Period!
This is our New Covenant Ground, the Ground we must stand on and protect, no matter what! And we believe that if we can learn to do what God said… everything else will be able to fall into place, as His Holy Spirit determines. And so… we’re focused on learning and practicing how to abide on that Ground. We are learning for ourselves, to abide in the Lord’s Presence so that He may become our Wisdom and abiding Shepherd. And from our interactive union with Him, will emerge the insights and revelation and spiritual firepower through which He intends to equip us… to make sure we are ready to enter the Arena of Testimony in the Last Days and give living demonstrations and testimonies that give living proof to the Reality of our testimony to Yeshua’s Resurrection… before the eyes of the powers of Darkness… and the fallen, unbelieving world. It will have to be a testimony so compelling and heart-piercing, that all doubt will forevermore be removed. And through us, our Master’s Presence must become so obvious… that it will become utterly clear to all observers… that His claims and promises are absolutely True!
What are those insights? Well, primarily, I believe God wants us all to receive a fresh new perspective of His nature! He wants us to realize, at last, that in His nature, He is eternally, infinitely perfect, flawless and completely complete! There is no need for us to seek any other sources because He is All Sufficient for everything we will ever need! His original work of Creation and Redemption in His Eternal Mind, Will and Plan, are Perfectly Finished and completely Complete and All-Sufficient! Nothing else needs to be added. From all eternity, by His infinitely perfect Wisdom and Foreknowledge, God, through His Living Word and Holy Spirit, had already seen, anticipated, factored in, created and paid for, every detail of every need that every aspect of His Creation would ever experience or need in the dimension of time and space! As He repeats in various ways in Genesis, His work is finished, done, complete and perfectly adequate for everyone in everything! It is all contained in God’s Infinitely Perfect and Eternal Living Word!
“Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work, which God had created and made.” (Genesis 2:1-3 Emphasis added.)
“He (God’s living creative Word) is the Image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of ALL Creation. For by Him ALL things WERE created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—ALL things have (already) been created through Him and for Him. He is before ALL things, and in Him ALL things (past, present and future) hold together.” (Colossians 1:15-17 Amplification and emphasis added.)
So, despite what the Father of Lies and his powers of Darkness keep trying to do to slander God and destroy humanity’s faith and trust in Him, every event and issue that each human generation and individual will ever face, and every need they will ever experience, has already been supplied by God, and is available in His living Word, for all eternity! God has seen, and responded to, and has supplied everything… to Perfection, right from the dawn of Creation! He did all of this through His Word, His beloved Son, and it is transmitted from God’s eternity to His creatures who abide in Him and draw whatever they need from Him, in this dimension of time and space. He gives to us what we need from His Abundance, by the Power of His Word-validating Holy Spirit! God sent His living Word to become one of us to unite us to Himself and to physically demonstrate and embody the total Perfection of His finished works of Creation and Redemption that He did on our behalf. And the Perfection of God’s Word, is what His Holy Spirit endorses and validates… in Power! This Truth can’t be expressed any more clearly than what the Lamb of God said with His dying breath: “IT IS FINISHED!” (John 19:30)
And so, starting with the moment humanity fell into the state of Sin, believers like Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses have had to get to know the All-Sufficient Perfection of God’s living Word and heed what His Father sent Him to reveal. And through that revelation, they could finally learn to see through the Serpent’s demonic slanderous lies against God, and finally join God in celebrating and enjoying His eternal REST! (See Exodus 20:8-11)
So the job of FMM is to sow the seeds for a major future paradigm-shift in the minds of modern believers. But that will be a monumental task! It will require us to specialize full-time, in doing what it will take to ‘sow the seeds’ whose fruit will represent and manifest the reality of that paradigm-shift. So, we must maintain an intense, highly concentrated, laser-like focus on God’s eternal Perfection and All Sufficient Provision and Redemption, accompanied by massive repetition of the fact that His Word and Spirit are here with us at all times to be to us and transmit into us, whatever we may need. We must create, develop and demonstrate… a corresponding abiding, Spirit-led lifestyle by which we can embody, and somehow prove, in living color, the Truth of what we are proclaiming. The message we are to give must continually direct and lead people into the territory of Rest in God’s Perfection and endless rejoicing in His Perfect, Everlasting Lovingkindness. But that territory currently lies far, far outside of and beyond, the commonly accepted, normal parameters of usual, typical Christian perspectives, mindsets, attitudes, lifestyles and practices.
So why is this obviously massive paradigm-shift so necessary? It is necessary because many believers (unwittingly and unintentionally) are giving the wrong information to themselves, to their children, and to the rest of the world. What is that erroneous message? It is this: unconsciously, many are operating in ignorance of what the revelations mentioned above are saying and making possible for us – and requiring of us – in the way we are to respond.
Many do not realize or believe that all the work needed to insure our eternal wellbeing is finished and completely perfect and all sufficient. So, instead of embodying God’s Word and what He reveals and commands, they are viewing everything through the lenses of their natural worldly upbringing and conditioning, and from what their fallen physical and mental faculties allow them to see, sense and apprehend. In other words, they view the world through lenses of unbelief! But the scope of that range of perception is earth-bound and therefore it is horribly limited and grotesquely incomplete! To follow that kind of map is to be deceived by default! So God commands us to stop relying on such inadequate sources of information. We must stop reacting to and embodying our temporary worldly circumstances and current events and earthly problems, woes and challenging situations. If we only focus on those things, we’ll be reacting to and obsessing over, earthly appearances as they register on our puny little ‘viewing screens’! Thus, we’ll magnify them and make of them what they do not deserve to become to us. And we’ll be overly impressed and affected, and… deceived by them.
“Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God!” When Christ, who is our Life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in Glory.”
As that deception grabs hold of people, they instinctively look in the wrong direction, to earthly conditions, circumstances, feelings and hearsay. And that forces them to ignore and bypass the revelations and commands and promises contained in the written Word of God! Thus they allow temporary created things to become their primary sources of information, perception and belief! And that is tantamount to idolizing them and making false gods out of them! And the feelings and reactions that such things arouse within us, cause us to feel dread and fear. And we are overcome by our continuous perceptions that cause anxiety, fear and desperation to well up within us. When we fall into that trap, we begin to assume that God has to ‘do something’, He must ‘rise up’ and ‘do a new thing’ in order to add something new, something He hasn’t done yet, that will improve on and surpass and put ‘finishing touches’ on the perceived insufficiency of what He has already done!
Thus they reveal that in truth, they do not believe and trust God! They can’t trust Him because they remain convinced that what He has already done isn’t enough to counteract and reverse what the powers of Darkness apparently remain free to keep doing in and to this poor world!
So they continue to chase after ‘a carrot on a stick’. But, as long as people believe in this way, they will be slaves to their circumstances and their feelings which are caused by the demonic deception into which they continue to languish. They aren’t able to live and operate by faith in the Truth of the All-Sufficiency of the Finished Work of God’s Living Word that Scripture has clearly revealed. It will be psychologically impossible for them to rest in God’s Perfect Finished Work, as long as they continue to be driven by the anxieties that their Spiritless earthly perceptions of God keep causing them to form in the depths of their hearts! When they remain convinced that God’s Work is incomplete, imperfect, and greatly in need of further improvement, they are led by God-less world views and opinions and feelings which the powers of Darkness can use…to manipulate and crush them, continually. That paradigm forces them to seek after ‘other gods’! And that creates separation between them and the one true living God and His eternal Perfection. Obsessive fear-based feelings, caused by dwelling on fallen worldly circumstances and perceptions and feelings…plus the constant bombardment of slanderous, negative demonic suggestions against God that come at us from all directions, will always keep God’s deceived people enslaved and trapped in fear, anxiety, hopeless depression… and spiritual irrelevance and ineffectiveness.
And so, we must repent of our gullibility and faithlessness and renew our minds so that we can finally stop being the image and likeness of whatever is around us, and transform into the image and likeness of Almighty God, who actually lives and works from within us, instead! We must no longer share in the natural naiveté and gullibility that our original mother, Eve, displayed in Genesis chapter 3. That always plays right into the enemy’s purpose, because it drives people into an endless frustrating orbit of continual striving for ‘self-improvement’, instead of resting and rejoicing in the Reality of the Fullness and All-Sufficiency of our Living God. Thus many in Christendom feel that they always need ‘more of God’, so, because their paradigms prevent them from resting and being satisfied, they can’t stop chasing after that ephemeral, ever-elusive, religious ‘carrot on a stick’ !
But God doesn’t give of Himself in ‘pints, quarts, gallons, or ounces, pounds and tons!’ He has given all of Himself, through His living Word and Holy Spirit! We already have all of Him! But that ‘more of God’ paradigm ‘carrot’ that so many chase after, is always in the future, but the future never comes! So what they keep seeking can never be possessed and enjoyed in the present!
This perspective fills people with fear and emptiness and anxious urgency and it compels them to try to urge and coax God to not hold back. They plead with Him to do something else, something more, that will finally be powerful and effective and good enough, finally, to solve their problems and rescue them from their troubles and meet their needs and allay their fears.
But what message does that ‘carrot paradigm’ inject into us? Is it not a false testimony…that God, as people are viewing Him, is not even close to being good enough? Doesn’t this contradict God’s revelation in the first five books of the Bible and imply that much of what is needed is still missing? And doesn’t the chronic anxiety that comes from the fear that we’re still missing something, the reason why people keep searching for more and more… more inspiration, more guidance, more seminars, books, video presentations, services, counseling and more tips on how to achieve the secret knowledge and deeper, more arcane insights people feel they need to achieve? And is this also not why so many of the leaders who promote and reinforce this viewpoint, feel such enormous pressures to try to keep up with all of the peoples’ distress and feel compelled to prop them up by allaying their endless anxieties and try to ‘meet their incessant needs’?
And isn’t that why so many of those leaders become so exhausted…that they burn themselves out and fall by the wayside themselves? Obviously no one deliberately intends to give this faithless message. We want to love and serve God, to the best of our ability. But as long as we labor under that false paradigm and belief system, we actually do give that ‘underwhelming’ message. Our actions prove that we believe that what God has done is incomplete, and therefore, inadequate. So we can’t stop doing what we do, because we continue to assume that what God has already done, is never good enough!
But if God truly isn’t good enough, what can you or I, or any other man or woman’s poor fallen flesh be or do, in order to make things good enough? No beloved… that cannot be the Truth! Today’s prevalent paradigm prevents people from being free to rest and trust God with airtight faith. So… as long as we can’t rest in God’s Perfection… we can’t get off of our self-imposed ‘treadmills’! We’ll never be able to just stop…and enjoy God’s Eternal Sabbath Rest with Him…and rejoice in Him always. Nor will we be able to effectively counter and overcome the lies and deceptive traps of the enemy.
So we must learn a new way of seeing and thinking and reacting. We must allow the Holy Spirit to teach us how to bask in the Perfect Presence of our infinitely Perfect, All Sufficient, Creator and Redeemer, who is here to be our PERFECT, ETERNAL, JOY, PEACE AND REST!
“ALL things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls!“ (Matthew 11:27-29)
“Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. THE LORD IS NEAR! BE ANXIOUS FOR NOTHING, but IN EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication WITH THANKSGIVING let your requests be made known to God. And (if you obey these commands,) the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7 Amplification and emphasis added.)
I believe FMM is commissioned to ‘learn the secret’ that the Holy Spirit taught Saul of Tarsus. The knowledge and reassurance he received enabled him to transform from the obsessive, controlling, fire-snorting religious thug he started out to be, into…Paul, Israel’s New Covenant Apostle to the Gentiles! And the knowledge of that ‘secret’ he finally learned, empowered him to embody, demonstrate and proclaim this New Covenant Rest-filled state of mind and Joyful existence to the world, even while he was being horribly mistreated and had to undergo excruciating pain while he was confined within a brutal Roman prison!
“Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do ALL THINGS through Him who strengthens me!” (Philippians 4:11-13 Emphasis added.)
“…the disciples came and said to Him, ‘Why do You speak to them in parables?’ Jesus answered them, ‘To you (disciples who abide with Me) it has been granted to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them (who do not abide with Me) it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.
“Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing, they do not see, and while hearing, they do not hear, nor do they understand. In their case the prophecy of Isaiah (chapter 6) is being fulfilled, which says: ‘You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; for the heart of this people has become dull, with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes, otherwise they would see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and I would heal them!’ (Matthew 13:10-15 Amplification and emphasis added.)
The lifestyle and mindset that develop in those that know the Kingdom’s ‘secrets’ differ radically from the commonly accepted, Hellenistic, Westernized norms and practices that are so much in vogue today, even among many modern Jewish and Christian people!
And this is why I believe the Lord does not allow us to deviate from the assignment He gave to FMM and those that are entrusted with its care. This is why He won’t allow us to change course or move in any other direction. To do so would muddle our unique message and add to the confusion that already exists in Judaism and Christendom. People need true Redemption, Liberation and Sanctification. But they will never receive them, as long as they keep believing that they do not already have them in their indwelling Messiah. In that case they’ll continue to rely upon created religious, man-controlled things that are here today, but evaporate and disappear tomorrow. The truth is that people do not need me or anyone else like me. They do not need someone to cram more head knowledge into their heads. They don’t need more teachings and guidance concerning how to learn more and more facts ABOUT God… from people that are just as limited, empty and needy as they are! They need Almighty God Himself…in all of His Eternally Infinite Perfection! And He is already here among us, ready to begin to abide and work from within us! So… when will we begin to pay attention to Him and render to Him the loving hospitality and service He so justly deserves?
All we have to do is stop everything else…and learn to rest, rejoice and abide with Him and in Him, so that we can get to know Him as He really is! And of course, you can’t learn to do that from lectures and services and attendance at man-run schools and colleges. You learn to do that by actually living and interacting with Him… day and night… in all things and in every circumstance and issue… by the Power of the indwelling Holy Spirit!
People don’t need me because I’m just as bankrupt, needy and Sin-corrupted as they are! No… we all need to get in touch with the risen Lord’s living, abiding Perfect Presence! We live in the New Covenant Era! God has already given Himself to us completely! Perfection is already ours and through His living Word and Holy Spirit, God is in our midst, waiting for us to ‘catch on’ so that we can stop looking for Him… and finally become one with Him! We must realize that He is already right here, present in our midst… ready for us to embody Him to our surroundings… if we will only ask Him to give us the spiritual eyes and ears that will enable us to perceive and connect with and partake of His Abiding Excellence and Perfection, and rely upon Him to teach us how to use and abide with what He has already provided for us!
So this is why FMM does not accept preaching and teaching invitations that would require us to travel and spend money for such expenses. We do not advertise or recruit or draw attention to ourselves. We do not advertise or solicit donations or try to recruit more contributors, or charge for anything we do. The Lord told us to focus the attention of the people within the sphere of influence He creates for us, on the fact that our resurrected Lord’s perfect, Spirit-imparted, indwelling Presence is here with them to be the Center and Life Source of their attention and focus and activities in this fallen world. So we wait for Him to transmit the Reality of what Father has already provided, and we wait on the Holy Spirit to teach us how to connect with the Living Perfection of God that He has reveled is always more than enough! In that sense, we are still going through our own boot camp Last Days disciple training regimen.
People do not need created Sin-corrupted beings like me to draw their attention away from their Holy Righteous God Himself. He is already present and ready to share His Perfection with them! So why should we do anything that would siphon away their attention from Him? When we all begin to receive all of the Perfection from God that is already ours, and learn to feed continually from the one and only Source of Perfection, we will naturally stop fretting and scurrying about, looking for some created person or event that we assume would be better than learning to abide in God Himself. We must stop looking to alternate sources, created things that become false gods, things that always disappoint and leave people empty and frustrated. But if we learn to rest and rejoice in God and draw from His Perfection continually, the ever-growing, ever brightening awareness of our Uncreated Lord will most definitely expose, discredit and gall the powers of Darkness like nothing else that is created ever could!
Finally…God’s Blood Covenant Family will then be able to rest and rejoice in the Lord Himself, ALWAYS! We will no longer look to anything, besides Him. Just as our risen Lord was right there with Stephen in the midst of the dire need he experienced during the last moments he spent in this world (Acts 7), so is He always with us and among us…to provide, protect, and fill us with whatever we may seem to lack, from the Fullness of Perfection that is always in Him. This is why we urge our brethren to give all of their focus and attention to the one, true, Creator of all things, instead of looking to things or people He has created. They will blind us to the awesome Creator and Sustainer of all things! So it is time to shift our focus and pursuits until they rest exclusively upon the Perfect abiding Presence of the one and only, Perfect, Eternally Resting Source… the Living God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We become one with Him, when we become one with His Living Word who was made flesh in order to be one with us! (See Ezekiel 34 & John 10)
This is what I believe our Master has commissioned us to be and to do: we must first of all, learn for ourselves how to abide in and with our Lord… just the way branches abide with their Vine. That is the only reality that will prepare and equip disciples to persevere and overcome in the Last Days! We must have and know Him! And until we ourselves actually learn to abide with Him at that level, it will do no good for others to invite us to speak to them and try to teach them to do what we ourselves have still not learned to do! So, no matter which way we slice this… the Truth remains: Only our risen Messiah Himself will be able to see us through what is yet to come.
And so, through the example of the way in which we ourselves are learning to respond to Him, and through the things the Lord gives us to write and share, the Follow Me Ministry hopes and intends to be a help to those disciples that the Lord may choose to lead in this same unique direction. Our task is to help the people He draws to us, by giving them the living example they must have. So we focus their attention on the One upon whom our focus is directed. We invite them to behold Him together with us. If we do that, we will all soon realize that it doesn’t matter what our current earthly circumstances may be. Even if we have to put up with things that would crush other people… we can nevertheless learn to abide with and draw whatever we need from our indwelling risen Lord. He is Lord over all circumstances and situations. He is Lord of all of our needs, cares and concerns. He is Lord of our past, present and future. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith! And that is why we must all learn to always keep our focus of attention on Him, and on Him alone!
Disciples teach new disciples on a…‘watch us…now you’…basis. So we must learn to teach others to live and abide with our risen Lord, by allowing them to follow our example. This is what it means to look exclusively to our risen Lord alone… learning to abide with Him and feed upon Him, as He told us to do in John chapters 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17. Now we must learn to draw everything from Him and only from Him, and, in the presence of the unbelieving world around us. And this is how we can bear abundant amounts of the obvious, spectacularly supernatural fruit, that only He can produce…from within our daily situations and seemingly impossible challenges…on a full-time basis. We ‘branches’ cannot enliven or change ourselves; that’s why we must always draw Life and Strength and a future from our Life-giving, Fruit-producing Vine! What is in Him must always be coming into us, while the world around us watches it happen!
Only by being aware of and in contact with Him, can we keep drawing from His Perfect Presence and remain supernaturally equipped to persevere and endure and remain faithful to the very end. I believe Last Days disciples will be forced, by very difficult and trying world conditions, to stop looking to and relying upon created things. Just as it happened to Egypt in the book of Exodus, the false gods of today’s world system will betray those who rely upon, them. In the days of Moses, that terrible shaking that devastated Egypt only happened throughout that region. But in the Last Days, it will happen simultaneously across the entire world! Then the, ‘business as usual’, conditions and circumstances and the established methods and resources of this entire planet and its time-honored systems will be so radically and violently shaken, that they will topple and disintegrate and disappear from the grasp of those who are relying upon them. Everything that can be changed, will be profoundly changed, in the days to come. And, in those desperately dire times… the disciples will have to be thoroughly trained to remain focused upon their risen Lord… so they can hear His voice, carry out His orders, and follow Him closely, wherever His Father wants Him to lead them.
“See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from Heaven. And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, ‘Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.’ This expression, ‘Yet once more,’ denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a Kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming Fire!” (Hebrews 12:25-29)
If created things are going to be shaken and taken from us to that extent, should we not learn to stop looking to them and clinging to them and relying upon them, NOW? When that shaking begins to topple economies and entire nations, what will happen to our temporary organized religious structures and professional religious teachers, and man-devised and controlled programs and government certified organized ministries, and colleges and denominational organizations and orchestrated religious tool kits and functions? Will they not be taken from us as well? In that case, we won’t be able to rely on them any longer, the way people did in the past. We will be forced to look to another source of strength and provision and maintenance for our spirits and souls… an eternally unshakable Source… the only Source that will be left standing… the Source we already have but have been ignoring and bypassing… God’s Living Word, the risen King of kings and indwelling Lord of lords!
Our risen Messiah, abiding with us, by the Power of the Holy Spirit, is the only real Source there is for any of us! He alone is our Perfect Creator, Redeemer and Sustaining Shepherd. And so FMM is commissioned to help people get a head start. We are applying ourselves now…to learn, willingly and deliberately… the disciple lifestyle that world circumstances will force all men to wish they knew, when the time for God’s Judgment finally overtakes them.
If that shaking takes place within our hearts even now… it will not be a bad or negative thing. It will be God’s Mercy, using the work of the Cross to free us and lift us out of the quicksand of this fallen world and its systems… and depositing us safely on Ground that is undergirded by the solid, eternal Granite, which is the Eternal All-Sufficient Word of our Infinitely Perfect Living God!
This has always been the Truth that God’s Word has been revealing and unpacking and fulfilling, since the beginning. Nothing that is created can ever be an adequate substitute for the Lord Himself, abiding and living His Eternal Life from within us. It has always been true, and that is why New Covenant disciples are required to learn to allow the Holy Spirit to teach and train them to abide in the risen Lord Himself, with no go-betweens. The New Covenant clearly requires disciples to interact with their risen Messiah and draw everything they need from Him, personally and directly. So now is the time for us to learn these things:
“‘They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ FOR THEY WILL ALL KNOW ME, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34 Emphasis added.)
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, FOR APART FROM ME, YOU CAN DO NOTHING!” (John 15:4-5 Emphasis added.)
It is obvious that if something is able to insert itself between a vine and one of its branches… that branch will be severed and separated from its vine, and it will die the moment that happens. That is exactly how it is with us, in relation to our risen Master. Nothing must be allowed to get between Him and us. He truly is our Source of Life and all provision. So, to be true disciples, we must learn to abide in Him and draw everything we need from Him… directly and exclusively…and continuously! This is why I don’t dare to siphon anyone’s attention away from Him and onto anything or anyone else.
Now is the time for us to begin to rest in Him exclusively. And this is why FMM directs all the focus and attention to Him, and to nothing else. We do not say that going to hear charismatic religious personalities and gifted, well-known teachers and preachers is bad, or wrong. Those things are not bad or wrong in themselves, as long as they do not get in the way and actually prevent the people from connecting personally with their risen indwelling Lord and getting to know Him for themselves. As long as they enhance and highlight that union with Him, they are wonderful! Institutions that strive to help people connect with the Lord’s living Presence can accomplish a lot of good, beneficial results.
But, as that Last Days shaking continues and intensifies, the promises and warnings Scripture gives about temporary things being taken away, will come to pass. And every one of those created, man-controlled devices will eventually run their natural course…and they will all disappear from the scene. That will be ultimate proof that nothing created can ever be a substitute for The Real Feast, Yeshua, the Living Word of God Himself. Because these man-made, man-controlled practices are so numerous and normal and time-consuming, they become huge distractions because many people begin to equate the pursuit of these things with ‘hearing from God.’ But created things can never take the place of actually, personally, communing with the Spirit of God Himself…in personal intimacy:
“But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him! Pray, then, in this way:
“‘Our Father who is in Heaven, Hallowed be Your Name. ‘Your Kingdom come. Your will be done, On Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one… [For Yours is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever. Amen.’]” (Matthew 6:6-13)
When we allow created things to consume our time, attention and money, we have very little focus or time or energy left to give to God Himself! So we in FMM are beginning to learn to focus on and abide with Him exclusively, NOW! And we will strive to teach, train and drill people to give the Lord of lords Himself all of their focus, attention and the military-level obedient service that only Almighty God Himself deserves. In the past we too were encouraged and trained to endlessly seek after men and organized events. We too learned to look to created things as the primary source of spiritual food and drink. But these things always disappoint because they are not God! They only deal with things about God. And so we were left disappointed and feeling empty and futile.
So now we focus on following our Master along God’s ‘Narrow Path’. Yeshua our Messiah, is our all sufficient Creator, Redeemer and Shepherd. He is the one and only Source that is dynamically alive and authentic and real enough to actually be here with each one of us, simultaneously, all the time! His resurrected Presence is always with each one of the believers. And He wants each of us to be with Him, just as deeply and constantly as He is here to be with each one of us! We need Him just as much as branches need their vine!
So our assignment and our quest is to help people realize this…to realize that there will never be an adequate substitute for our risen Lord! We must have Him… NOW AND FOREVER! He is the Lord who sustains us throughout each moment of our existence! He gives us every heartbeat, every breath and every brainwave! All that we are or have or can do must first come from Him. And because He is always with us in reality, He wants us to learn to be with Him in the same manner and at the same depth…NOW! God is here to be everything to us… and we must learn to receive everything from Him. And to learn to do this is a full time occupation. It is not a part time hobby. It is the essence and heart and soul of true New Covenant disciple-life. God’s Word is Everything to all of us. And we disciples are intended to demonstrate and display that… the Lord Himself is with us… to prove that our faith in Him will never be in vain! This will be the determining Last Days factor that will separate those who will persevere and overcome, from those who will cave in under the demonic pressure and fall by the wayside.
All of the things on our website can be copied and used and shared free of charge. We share them freely and expect others to share them freely as well. Everyone is free to use our material with their families and congregations as they wish. But I urge parents and spiritual leaders to teach their families and fellow worshippers to use these teachings as tools to train themselves to abide with the Lord Himself.
Study them with Him, in His Presence! Discuss them with Him, not just with other people. Make Him the Center of your reading and even of every discussion you engage in with your fellow disciples. Expect Him to be your Teacher and Guide from now on, even while you read, ponder and discuss the FMM teachings. Always include Him; talk the material over with Him and make Him the main object of your focus and attention!
We urge you to develop this paradigm-shift by learning to live with Yeshua, and from Yeshua, day and night. Using the teachings in this faith-based way, will teach you about true disciple-life. The exercise of interacting with the Lord, as you study and learn this lifestyle together, will be similar to what His original disciples did with Him in the flesh. And practicing this continually by using the material to abide with Him, will be for disciples, what the continuous practice of ‘blocking and tackling’ is to football players, and what the continuous practice of scales and fundamental exercises is to world-class musicians.
You will never abide with the risen Lord enough, or too much! No matter how much you think you’re already abiding with Him… the Truth is, you will always need to explore His depths more and more and go deeper and deeper! There is no end to getting to know Almighty God! And He is always with you to continue to reveal all that He is, to you.
“But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained!“ (Philippians 3:7-16 Emphasis added.)
We need leaders that will faithfully train their charges to focus on the indwelling Lord with great diligence… by their personal example! We need leaders that obviously are abiding with, and in, and FROM the Lord, at all times themselves. We need leaders that are faithful to make Him, His Kingship and Righteousness and abiding Presence…The Top Priority! The Lord of the Universe is always here, in our hearts and in our midst. So we need leaders who will diligently and faithfully reflect His awesome Presence to whoever may be around them, demonstrating to their charges, how to live and interact with their risen Master, endlessly… looking only to Him…for everything, just as they always do!
“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the (living Word and Holy Spirit of the) Lord your God, with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your might. These (written) words, (that put you in touch with the living Word) which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons (that they too may learn to interact with Him) and shall talk of them (with Him) when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them (to remind you to bond with Him) as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them (as you write Him on your heart) on the doorposts of your house and on your gates!” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Amplification and emphasis added.)
The Truth is that when people have the living Word of God, who created the entire universe, they have EVERYTHING! Yeshua contains the Fullness of God within Himself. And He is the one who is here to abide with us and be our Shepherd (See Ezekiel 34 and John 10). So He – and He alone – is our LIFE and our Agenda, and our Motivation, and our ALL, in all things.
I pray that in His Blood Covenant faithfulness… Father will show us how to focus on and feast upon His Son… the true Reality. He is always here to pour Himself out, upon all of His disciples and congregations…to give the Fullness of all that He has purchased for us. May we come to see that nothing is lacking and nothing has been left undone. I pray that God alone will receive all of the Glory, and that Yeshua will receive the FULL reward of the agonizing sufferings that He so willingly and joyfully embraced and underwent on our behalf. May we all learn to live with Him and FROM Him – according to John chapters 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 & Ephesians 3:14-20
I hope this helps you understand why I believe our task is to remain focused on what He originally told us to do. Let us come to know the Lord and abide in Him ‘under the shadow of His wings’. He will equip us to overcome anything Satan and his dark powers will try to do to harm or destroy God’s people:
“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me!
“He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My Throne, as I also overcame (by abiding always in My Father’s Spirit) and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” (Revelation 3:19-22 Amplification and emphasis added.)
May God bless and keep us all in His everlasting grace. And may He be free to feed and water and strengthen each one of us, by teaching us to abide with Him from within our innermost being. May we learn to feed upon Him continuously, drawing from and feeding upon, the Eternal Perfection of His Holy, Life-giving, overwhelming… All-Sufficient Presence and Grace!