Beloved Family… Let’s consider two negative situations in the lives of Yeshua’s first century generation of disciples that Holy Spirit recorded for us in the book of Acts. When people see the accounts of these situations, many skim past and move to more pleasant portions of the text. But for us Last Days disciples-in-training, that would be a huge blunder! These texts contain critically important intel of which we must be aware! So ponder them as if your future survival depends on what Holy Spirit wants to teach us through them! Here’s the first one:

as the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint developed on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native (Judean) Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the Word of God in order to serve tables. Instead, BROTHERS AND SISTERS, SELECT FROM AMONG YOU SEVEN MEN OF GOOD REPUTATION, FULL OF THE SPIRIT AND WISDOM, WHOM WE MAY PUT IN CHARGE OF THE TASK. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.” (Acts 6:1-4 NASB, Amplification and emphasis added.)

Beloved, here we see the beginning of what I call ‘The Stephen Generation. And after this text, we’ll ponder another often-ignored incident: the story of Ananias and Saphira. Why? Well, of all the incidents and situations Holy Spirit could have put into the book of Acts (but didn’t), He made sure these two would be included. So obviously there’s something in them that God wants us to notice so our insight, wisdom and combat readiness may increase and deepen!

“It is the Glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.” (Proverbs:25:2 NASB)

So consider this: One of the most daunting challenges for disciples is to learn to ‘put up with’ and ‘accommodate to’ each other’s quirks and foibles. We mix into the fold different cultures, people groups, languages and backgrounds. We’re all enormously different, and at times, our deepest habits and preferences clash! That makes for the Mother of all boot camp training challenges! Our knee jerk reactions make us want to fight, argue, reject, avoid, and even want to excommunicate each other because, naturally speaking, we find characteristics in each other we consider to be inappropriate and unacceptable. I don’t necessarily mean blatant sin, heresy, or blasphemy! No, I mean personality clashes, contrary habit patterns, and the inability of many among us to be patient, civil, courageous, understanding, adaptable, deferring, polite, considerate, forbearing, giving, and self-sacrificing!

On one hand, the murderously selfish world surrounds, badgers, persecutes, and bombards us with its propaganda and dirty tricks. So to survive, we disciples must come together and live and work in extremely close proximity. But that barracks-style, ‘watch each others’ backs’ lifestyle naturally arouses and exposes our selfish, self-assertive, materialistic and comfort-craving hearts! But because we’re in this deadly ongoing War between the Word of God and the powers of Darkness, there’s no escaping it. We simply cannot afford to try to pursue our individual lives, and personal liberty and happiness. We must learn to die to self, and live with, and love, other disciples that suddenly become vitally important and necessary for our survival and wellbeing… even if we find them to be grating, irritating and obnoxious! So this arouses deep natural emotions that tempt us to give into our feelings of discord, discomfort, outrage, resentment and animosity toward our very own God-chosen comrades, Blood brothers, and fellow warriors!

So don’t be shocked when this happens. We and our brethren may have been saved, forgiven, regenerated and baptized into God’s Holy Spirit, but the reality is that we all came out of the same fallen world and so we are wired and programmed for whatever we learned in it before the Lord called us! And this is where our boot camp training and discipline become so necessary. To transform into battle-ready warriors, we must learn to forsake and crucify our own personal radically independent ways and die to our former identities, comfort zones, personal empires, and Self-adoring ways of thinking, choosing acting, reacting, and interacting! All former things will be taken from us, especially our former ‘exempt civilian’ Self-life mindsets and ways. Boot camp forces us to rewire, reprogram, update,and upgrade our brains, souls, attitudes, and lifestyle systems in order to make us into authentic new creations that are fully combat ready!


Our God-Given Template for Disciple Life

The book of Acts is a great template for us to follow in these Last Days. Serious Bible teachers affirm that the books of Genesis, Exodus, and Acts are God-given Patterns that God will bring to Perfection in our days! The New Covenant ‘seeds’ that were sown from the beginning will reach full Harvest maturity during our watch! So our generation will have to reap that awesome Harvest, and put it into our Father’s ‘Barn.’

So, consider what the original apostles and disciples had to deal with in the beginning. The Jewish and non-Jewish people of their day were not expecting this ‘new wine’ vintage that the Lord’s atoning death and Resurrection had recently made possible. Very few actually welcomed it! But before the Lord was crucified, He had been training and grooming His future apostles by living, and demonstrating for them, this mysterious unprecedented Spirit-empowered way of living. So as they learned to adjust to it, they had to make enormous personal internal and lifestyle changes. And what they learned in that process, is what they began to teach to the Stephen Generation that came after them.

So our spiritual forbearers were caught up in a whirlwind. Their fallen, Sin-corrupted, flesh-driven souls were overwhelmed,confused, and yes, devastated! They couldn’t control or avoid what was happening so they had to endure Holy Spirit’s relentless training, discipline and correction. And now it’s our turn to share in that experience! We too will be required to learn what they knew because we’ll have to help bring the entire New Covenant process to its Final Perfect Consummation! So our portion of this process will be ‘on steroids!We’ll receive the most intense levels of demonic malice, opposition and pushback of all! And the Lord warned and told us what to expect:


We cant know the Lord in the flesh like the original pre-crucifixion disciples did. We must learn to be led, fed, fueled,protected and trained by God’s Invisible Spirit. We can’t see, hear, or touch our Master. We’ll have to master the art of knowing, feeding upon and obeying Him purely through our faith in His promise to be with us all the time from now on! So we really need appropriate ‘boot camp training! The presence of so many ‘wolves’ forces us to learn to stick together… and look out for each other… and share whatever resources and provisions we may happen to have on hand. And… WE’LL HAVE TO LEARN TO LIVE IN EXCRUCIATINGLY UNCOMFORTABLE, CLOSE QUARTERS WITH EACH OTHER IN LIFE-OR-DEATH SITUATIONS! So Holy Spirit will have to empower us to become utterly convinced that we contain within ourselves the Perfect Presence of our resurrected Lord and rely on Him to live His Life from within us and do the work that for us is absolutely impossible!

THE LORD IS A WARRIOR; The LORD is His Name!” (Exodus 15:3 NASB, Emphasis added)

Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, he raised his eyes and looked, and behold,a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” He said, “No; rather I HAVE COME NOW AS CAPTAIN OF THE ARMY OF THE LORD! And Joshua fell on his face to the ground, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” And the captain of the Lords army said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. (Joshua 5:13-15 NASB, Emphasis added)

So can you see why I say that we Last Days disciples need the Mother of all boot camp training regimens? The Lord called us to serve as His combat-ready warriors for His final Ultimate D-Day Invasion! He has already done the work necessary to completely FULFILL and PERFECT everything that God’s Word revealed and promised. But the Fullness of all that He already has for us exists with His Father in His Eternal Kingdom. It can’t be seen on Earth UNTIL Holy Spirit transmits it to us from Heaven… THROUGH THE OBEDIENCE OF OUR FAITH! (See Matthew 6:9-11)

So, as His Royal Priesthood, our job is to receive everything we’ll need from Holy Spirit by the obedience derived from our faith in our Perfect, Ever-Faithful, and All-Sufficient God! And by that faith, our job will be to release the Reality-changing Presence of our risen Lord into this fallen world as we operate by airtight faith in our Commander’s Perfect indwelling Presence! (See also Deuteronomy 10:8-9 & 1 Peter 2:1-5.) We must be trained to receive Christ’s Wisdom, Skill, Courage and Strength that will empower us to operate effectively in this time and space dimension. We’ll have to be able to rest in and rely upon Holy Spirit to sanctify us and work God’s Perfect Will into all of our relationships, situations, problems and personal interactions (See also Romans 5:3-5). Thus we’ll be living as one with and FROM our Lord, day and night, so He may bring about the ETERNAL FULFILLMENT OF ALL HIS CREATION. And we must rely on Him for everything! (Romans 1:5; 16:26)

For us, things will be much more intense than they ever were in times past! We’ll have to learn to put up with the unbelieving world and also with each other. And we’ll have to be more forbearing and considerate of each other than any of our predecessors had to be! We must master the art of working together to create, develop, protect, and maintain the ultimate New Covenant Corporate Community lifestyle. So because everything in human society is going to be shaken until it crumbles and blows away, we’ll need to be able to operate in Selfless, highly disciplined Messiah-embodying excellence at the highest levels ever seen! Only then will we be able to endure, persevere, and totally overcome the powers of Darkness! So in light of the atmosphere of urgency in which they had to live, let’s consider what we’ll be up against as we ponder one of the two texts I mentioned above:

“But a man named Ananias, with his wife Saphira, sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the proceeds for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, WHY HAS SATAN FILLED YOUR HEART TO LIE TO THE HOLY SPIRIT and to keep back some of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? YOU HAVE NOT LIED TO MEN, BUT TO GOD! And as he heard these words, Ananias collapsed and died; AND GREAT FEAR CAME OVER ALL WHO HEARD ABOUT IT! The young men got up and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him.


Now an interval of about three hours elapsed, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter responded to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for this price?” And she said, “Yes, for that price.” Then Peter said to her, “WHY IS IT THAT YOU HAVE AGREED TOGETHER TO PUT THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD TO THE TEST? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well.” And immediately she collapsed at his feet and died; and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. AND GREAT FEAR CAME OVER THE WHOLE CHURCH, and over all who heard about these things.” (Acts 5:1-11 NASB, Emphasis added)

Notice what Peter said to Ananias: “You have not lied to men, but to God!” Beloved… what did that mean? Well, I believe Holy Spirit is revealing something about the Body of Christ and how seriously God takes our professed commitment to Him. So if our generation understands, and is willing to allow Holy Spirit and our risen Lord to change our hearts and apply the discipline we need, we will be fit, ready, and able to do our job. And then the human race and its history will display the Fullness of its God-given Redemption and Perfect Restoration!

Yeshua must be free to display His Eternal Glory in, and through, the sanctified flesh of New Covenant disciples who have been baptized into God’s Holy Spirit! The Spirit must be free to transform us until we are truly ONE with our risen Lord, AND… ONE with each other! We must be able and ready to appreciate and defer to each other at much deeper levels of Selfless love, and common worship, adoration, reverence and respect for God than any past generation of disciples ever thought could be possible! Notice what the Lord announced to His apostles-in-training just before He ascended to be with His Father. In Acts 1:8 He said:

But you will receive Power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and (then after youre empowered to be one with Me and embody Me to the world around you,) you shall be My witnesses (My living embodiments that are commissioned to reveal My Resurrection Presence)both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and as far as the remotest part of the earth.” (Amplification and emphasis added)

So, Beloved, let’s consider Ananias and Saphira. Ostensibly, they had already been baptized into the Spirit of God and made to be members of the Lord’s Body on Earth. They were equipped and commissioned to serve as His embodiment! But the demonic plot they came up with clearly exposed the gross rebellion and betrayal they were actually harboring in their hearts. AND THAT WAS A VERY BIG DEAL! It was betrayal of the highest level… TREASON! By that time, they should not have been allowing anything like their nefarious scheme to remain in them… especially in the perilous atmosphere the disciples now had to live in. What they did was to create an opening through which the powers of Darkness could enter into them for the purpose of infiltrating other members of Messiah’s Body!  And just as rottenness in one apple spreads to the others in a barrel, what these two dared to bring into the midst of their unsuspecting brethren to whom they were united, was unconscionable! It was like deliberately injecting a deadly virus into the Lord’s Body that could have quickly spread to corrupt and destroy all of His members!


Maintaining the Purity of Messiah’s Earthly Body

Once we’re temples of God’s Spirit, we must be completely closed off to anything evil, wicked, demonic and repugnant, not only for our sake, but for the sake of our brethren! So because Ananias and Saphira allowed evil to infect their hearts, they allowed the Father of Lies to infest the New Covenant Temple of God’s Holy Spirit! So the Spirit exposed their abysmal deceit… to be faithful to the Body of Messiah. So what these two did to God’s Blood brothers, they did to God! And this is also what the Lord had to reveal to Saul of Tarsus who was doing something similar:

Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting! Acts 9:4-5 NASB, Emphasis added)

Do you see it? The difference between New Covenant Spirit-filled disciples and worldly Sin-adoring people, who do not repent of their original Self-life, is incalculable! And Holy Spirit must get this across to disciples of all eras, but especially now, at this most critical time, when the New Covenant is about to be Perfectly Purified and Fulfilled! So if we’re ever going to become fit New Covenant models for the rest of the world, our natural faculties must be subjected to the most rigorous, thorough, deep-reaching boot camp discipline and training imaginable! We’ll have to be able to PROVE that we are the genuine article by the way we embody our risen Lord! His love for our neighbors must be free to flow out of us so His Presence can be deeply experienced by those around us! Only if we embody Him and display His Presence within us can we exercise the authority and power that will prove to unbelievers that we have truly been commissioned and sent by God to speak and deliver His Message to them!

This is My commandment, that you love one another, JUST AS I HAVE LOVED YOU! Greater love has no one than this, THAT A PERSON WILL LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS (because I will be in you to keep doing what only I can do). You are My friends IF YOU DO WHAT I COMMAND YOU. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, because all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear (My) fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My Name He may give to you. THIS I COMMAND YOU, THAT YOU LOVE ONE ANOTHER. (John 15:12-17 NASB, Amplification and emphasis added)

“I am not asking on behalf of these alone, but also for those who believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one; just as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, SO THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE THAT YOU SENT ME! (John 17:20-21 NASB, Emphasis added)

The quirks, flaws and repulsive traits of each disciple become glaringly obvious and obnoxious to the others who live in close proximity. Yet their common danger keeps forcing them to stick together! So imagine our desperation and alarm when we can’t stop feeling or inflicting intense pangs of anger, frustration, irritation, and resentment… proving that we’re still not able to embody our Master through our flesh. Our nakedness, defenselessness, ineptitude, and bankruptcy become glaringly exposed for all to see! Only then are we forced to KNOW how desperately we need the actual Reality of the Holy Spirit New Covenant Provision that God promised to provide for us!

It’s not enough for us to know God abstractly through Bible study and well-crafted theological dogmas. No… we will have to know our God the way someone holding a hot cable KNOWS ELECTRICITY! And this is precisely why God sends His Spirit and fuses Him into our spirits! God is really in us, and He must be allowed to work to change absolutely EVERYTHING that pertains to us! This is why we must truly identify with God’s Living Word and Holy Spirit and identify totally with His promises! Being of one mind with God changes how we think, act and react. If we are truly one with God, then we’re able to be as one with our brethren. What He said He would do to us, for us, and in us, can actually shine within us and radiate out of us. But our minds and hearts must truly be one with His mind!

“But a natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. But the one who is spiritual (of one mind with our risen Lord) discerns all things, yet he himself is discerned by no one. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? BUT WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST! (1 Corinthians 2:14-16 NASB, Amplification and emphasis added)

Beloved, we REALLY need adequate boot camp training! We have The Gift of Holy Spirit; but our old wiring and programming will remain intact and operative until we deliberately disconnect and replace them with new up-to-date Christ-Life-compatible input. Our hostile uncontrollable circumstances in this world will exert tremendous pressure on us and expose whatever Self-life residue we’ve allowed to remain in us. So we MUST learn to identify with the ‘Power from on high’ that God said He’d give to those who believe.

What lies ahead of us will be light years removed from the space, comfort, sense of individual freedom and ‘elbow room’ each one of us got so used to expecting in former days. Now we’ll be like prisoners thrown together into common areas of confinement and forced to endure common misery, discomfort, resentments, and the overwhelming frustration and uncertainty that will soon sweep over the entire world, as more and more total strangers keep getting saved and continue to join our ranks! So we’ll have to share dangers and crowded conditions and learn the survival techniques amid the chaos… regardless of the inconvenience it will impose on us. Disciple life entails great personal upheaval and presents us with monumental challenges. Everyone experiences personal loss, disorientation, and bewilderment. But that’s exactly what will effectively break apart our Self-adoring ways as we allow Holy Spirit to update and upgrade our outlooks, perspectives,opinions, and habit patterns until we’re actually one mind and one heart with our risen Lord!

Now large crowds were going along with Him, and He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate (be willing to be placed at a distance from) his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.


For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who are watching it will begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This person began to build, and was not able to finish!’ Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to face the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Otherwise, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and requests terms of peace. So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. (Luke 14:25-33 NASB, Amplification and emphasis added)

So the precious, uprooted, disoriented and confused group of Last Days disciples will suffer the agonies of having to learn to know, put up with, endure, and accommodate to, and look after each other, amid a flood of strangeness and disorientation. The Self-life of one will be like an abrasive rasp that will grate against the Self-life of the others, and vice versa. And as this ‘iron sharpens iron process continues, we’ll all be forced to learn to defer to, and wholeheartedly care for, our highly irritating neighbors as much as we used to care about ourselves! We’ll have to learn to share everything at a supernatural level. And at first, that will feel as if the flame of a blow torch is being applied directly to our fallen, Sin-corrupted Self-asserting flesh! Naturally speaking, it will be excruciating, taxing, and totally unwanted! Only Holy Spirit will be able to give us what we’ll need to keep on forgiving, loving, moving beyond and expending ourselves. And this will drive in this utterly essential lesson: 

Nothing can be about me! From now on IT MUST BE ALL ABOUT GOD


So we must practice this, over and over. Yes, we’ll make blunders and suffer offense, as we learn to forgive and to be forgiven. But gradually we’ll master the art of receiving absolutely everything we need from Holy Spirit. We’ll learn that He really IS PRESENT in us to transmit and reveal the indwelling Life, Love and continual Fruitfulness of our risen Lord as He keeps working in and through us. We must endure these painful lessons because if we don’t, we’ll never learn to forsake our love of Self. And this is why EVERYTHING WILL ALWAYS HAVE TO BE CENTERED AROUND OUR INDWELLING LORD… SO THAT HE MAY LIVE HIS LIFE IN US AND SHARE HIS HEAVENLY FRUITFULNESS THROUGH US!

This is a very hard lesson: None of us has what it takes to actually embody the risen Lord, as long as we try to do it in our own strength and rely on natural abilities and resources! Disciple life forces us to see our absolute need to crucify and abandon our old Self-life ways and forces us to learn to keep drawing from the depths of Grace that can only come to us from our indwelling Teacher and Comforter Holy Spirit! We must keep filling ourselves with Him, so He can continually pour the Life,Presence, and Dynamic Fruit-producing Reality of Christ into and through us. He must be free to live and work in the world and reveal Himself through us! He must actually be our Lifeleading and empowering, equipping and teaching us to follow our Commander. into any demon-oppressed place, situation, or to any demon-afflicted humans He may choose to reach out to and love and transform... THROUGH US!

So the terrible, agonizing circumstances that come with our boot camp training will be the tools He’ll use to reconfigure us to depend upon Holy Spirit at all times, for all things! And then He’ll fill us with the Life and Love-giving Authority, Power and problem-solving Presence of our risen Lord! From now on, it must be God who lives, acts, reacts, and interacts with whatever and whoever we encounter at any given moment of our existence on Earth. We have no other choice, no other options! We must develop a military-level focus. on our indwelling God who, like a Hot Cable, is here to burn His Electrifying Reality into our hearts, souls, and daily lives… just as He has already burned Himself into our regenerated spirits.


Discipleship Responsibility Math = 100% Yeshua Life and 0% Us

“Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. LOVE ADONAI YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH! (Deuteronomy 6:4 TLV, Emphasis added)




So do you see how far beyond our poor fallen natural abilities God’s Perfect Standards and Battle Plans actually are? Only God can meet His own Standards to Perfection! Only He routs our enemies. What was happening in the book of Acts in the midst of the brutal Roman Empire made the disciples realize all of this. They had to learn to allow God to live and act and reveal Himself from within their crucified flesh. He had to be free to live, act, and reveal Himself from within each one of them! If that hadn’t happened, they would have had no way of PROVING that our Lord really and truly did rise from the dead! He had to be living in them, and they had to learn to defer to Him… and stay out of His way! And through those who did this… HE WAS ABLE TO COME THROUGH, LOUD AND CLEAR!

“Therefore, my loved ones, just as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence—WORK OUT YOUR SALVATION WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING. FOR THE ONE WORKING IN YOU IS GOD—BOTH TO WILL AND TO WORK FOR HIS GOOD PLEASURE!(Philippians 2:12-13 TLV, Emphasis added)

This is our awesome New Covenant Secret beloved: We never work FOR God, or strive to be, or act LIKE Him. He’s here to do it Himself, through Holy Spirit who abides in us. We must die to all Self-life striving, religious or otherwise! This is what the Lord had to teach that hyper-religious controlling thug named Saul of Tarsus! He was an expert in living from his carefully crafted religious, pious-looking Self-life while hiding beneath his ‘Pharisee of Pharisees’ disguise. In his blindness, he couldn’t see the wonder that was operating in and through Stephen. So the Lord exposed Saul for what he really was, and vigorously stripped away his every delusion! And years later, this is how Paul expressed what he had learned as a result of Stephen’s awesome supernatural testimony and example:

But we have this Treasure in earthen containers, so that the Extraordinary 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 abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying around in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the Life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who live are constantly being handed over to death because of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our mortal flesh. (2 Corinthians 4:7-11 NASB, Amplification and emphasis added)

“Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things that are 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.(Colossians 3:1-4 NASB, Emphasis added)

Beloved, what good is it if we preach, teach and try to attract and change the world, but remain just as selfish and carnally self-assertive as the world around us is? How can we prove we’re for real if we don’t even know the ABC’s of loving each other, even to the point of dying for one another? Isn’t that what our Lord did for all of us? And are we not here to embody and reveal Him as He lives and loves from within us? This is why we must learn to live, work, and learn together, and be able to put up with each other! And once we’re trained and drilled in doing that… THEN… we will have earned the trust, right, and authority to PROVE to the world, by the way we live and interact with each other, that God really does live and act from within us, and that He really is authorizing us to speak for Him!


So let’s go back to the text we considered in Acts 6, where there was dissension among the early believers:

The announcement (made by the apostles) found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. And they brought these men before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them. (Acts 6:5-6 NASB,Amplification and emphasis added)

More and more people were joining them. Many were total strangers to each other Jews from other regions with different cultural matrix’s, languages and backgrounds, were being added to their number. And now the numbers were too much for the apostles to handle. They had to reproduce themselves and make way for future leaders, teachers, and demonstrators of New Covenant Spirit-empowered disciple life to emerge, be promoted, and operate at higher levels of authority and responsibility. And here’s where ‘The Stephen Generation’ came into the picture. Those seven men had been learning from the original apostles. The ‘Watch Me, now you’ pattern the Lord had demonstrated before His death, was now what the apostles began to teach to these New Covenant disciple recruits. And now the first batch of those who were ready for promotion was spotted by the other brethren and placed before the apostles.

So the apostolic reproduction process began to take place in their lives. And beloved, this is our template. If God’s indwelling Presence and Activity can truly be seen in us, the very irritating fellow disciples we’re learning to endure are going to see it! The disciples recognize when someone among them is ready for promotion. And so these seven were picked to learn to minister to the pressing practical needs of the Lord’s Body at higher levels of authority and responsibility. This had to happen because, in the near future, God would be bringing an endless overwhelming flood of Spirit-filled Gentiles into their midst! And many more leaders would be needed! And this is the pattern we must all follow. It will prepare us to establish the Highway in the wilderness for the Return of our risen Lord to Earth! And, as we’re learning to embody our Messiah, our demonic enemies will continue to prepare the way for the coming of the Antichrist… and the time for the Final inevitable Showdown will eventually arrive!

“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ALL AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH HAS BEEN GIVEN TO ME. GO THEREFORE, AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; AND BEHOLD, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, EVEN TO THE END OF THE AGE!(Matthew 28:18-20 NASB, Emphasis added.)