The following article was birthed, just like the others in the Questions and Answers portion of our ‘Letters From Home’ website section, as a result of some email correspondence received by FMM. And, as you may recall from the Family News published thus far, John receives many invitations from people living all around the world to come and speak or teach. Recently, he received a similar 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 that how many people think spiritual growth is accomplished? Yes, that is the current understanding, but…
Follow Me has a very different understanding of the True Gospel that goes beyond the commonly held perception. The Gospel is preached and taught by disciples. But, sooner or later, after we are introduced to the Lord by one of His servants, the time must come when we enter into the Holy of holies alone…in order to become one with the Lord Himself. At that point, which is what Follow Me tries to help people advance to, each and every disciple must connect with the Person of Yeshua Himself. This connection must go beyond our interactions with other disciples. At this point, we must learn to interact with the Lord Himself, with no go-betweens and no created things intervening and distracting us.
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 Resurrection-Life which the Holy Spirit is commissioned to impart to us from deep within. So 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. In addition, my current personal circumstances also prevent me 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. So 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 actual experience of our God-given ‘Blood Covenant Ground’. That’s the Ground God has given us to learn to hold, protect and highlight. From that Ground emerge the insights and revelation and spiritual firepower through which He intends to equip us to make sure we are able to do our job amid the turmoil and horrors of the Last Days.
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 was, and remains, perfect and comprehensive. From the beginning, by His infinitely perfect Wisdom and Knowledge, God, through His Living Word and Holy Spirit, foreknew, factored in, created and paid for, every detail of every need that every creature He creates and places in the dimension of time and space will ever experience! As He repeats in various ways in Genesis 2:1-3, His work is finished, done, complete and perfectly adequate for everyone in everything! It is all contained in God’s perfect, endlessly creative, 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.” (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 been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things 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 encounter, 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 us, in time and space, by the Power of His 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. It 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 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 God has in store for us that will justify the believers undergoing such a revolutionary paradigm-shift. Our job, as I see it, is to 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 whatever we may need. We must create, develop and demonstrate…a corresponding abiding, Spirit-supplied 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 and endless rejoicing. But that territory currently lies far, far outside of and beyond, the commonly accepted, normal parameters of usual, typical Christian perspectives, mindsets, lifestyles and practices.
Remember the difference in attitude and reactions between the Lord and his disciples when in Matthew 8, we find them aboard a fishing boat that is suddenly caught up in a violent storm on the Sea of Galilee? The Lord, who was abiding in the Fullness of His Father’s Holy Spirit, continued to nap serenely at the back of the boat…while His disciples became totally enmeshed with the wild circumstances that seemed to them to be so life-threatening. That mindset that obsesses over earthly circumstances is what the Follow Me Ministry is trying to help people outgrow. We must grow past the the viewpoint and mindset in which the disciples were obviously stuck, when the Lord accused them of having such a puny, pathetic level of faith. Isn’t it clear that the Holy Spirit was given to us to take us beyond that so we can share the viewpoint and mindset our Master enjoyed and embodied throughout His Spirit-filled days on Earth? It is His mind and His Life that will have to be operating in us when we have to face the Last Days. Only the level of oneness with God that sustained Him, will be able to sustain and bring us successfully through what is yet to come.
This is why that paradigm-shift I’m discussing is 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. The Lord said to His disciples: “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” 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 reacting to and embodying their temporary worldly circumstances and current events and earthly problems, woes and challenging situations. As they focus on those things, they are reacting to and obsessing over, earthly appearances. Thus, they naturally become overly impressed and affected by them. And very subtly, people begin to ignore the Word of God, and allow those temporary created things to become their primary sources of information, perception and belief! And the resultant feelings caused by that focus, well up within them to such an extent, that they feel overcome by continuous anxiety, fear and desperation. Thus they assume that God must ‘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 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 the world! So they continue to chase after ‘a virtual carrot on a non-existent stick’!
As long as people believe in this way, they will be slaves to their circumstances and to demonic deception. They won’t be able to live and operate by faith in the Truth that God’s Word 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 them continually. That paradigm of unbelief 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, will always keep God’s people enslaved and trapped in fear, anxiety and hopeless depression. And so, we must repent of our gullibility and faithlessness and proactively, aggressively, renew our minds diligently and thoroughly, so we can finally stop being the image and likeness of whatever is around us, and transform into the image and likeness of Almighty God, instead!
We share in Eve’s natural naiveté and gullibility. And that plays right into the enemy’s hands because it drives people into an endless frustrating orbit of continual striving for ‘self-improvement’ and endless future achievements, instead of resting and rejoicing in the All-Sufficient Reality of Almighty God. Isn’t it true that there are many in modern day Christendom feel that they always need ‘more of God’? Isn’t it true that many chase after that ever-elusive, virtual ‘carrot on that non-existent stick’? But does God give of Himself in ‘pints, quarts or gallons’, or ounces, pounds and tons? Hasn’t He already given all of Himself, through His living Word and Holy Spirit? Yes, of course He has! We already have all of Him! But that ‘more of God carrot’ that so many pursue, always remains in the future, but it can never be possessed and enjoyed now, in the present!
This ‘not yet enough’ perspective, fills people with fear and a sense of emptiness and ever-recurring anxiety and dread-creating urgency. These things compel people to try to urge and coax God to stop holding back and get moving. They plead with Him to do something else, something more, that will 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. Isn’t that what the disciples were doing when they were caught in that storm?
But what message does that give? Is it not a false testimony…that God, as these people are viewing Him, is not even close to being good enough? Doesn’t this contradict God’s revelation in Genesis 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 and secret knowledge and deeper, more arcane insights? 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 strive incessantly to try to ‘meet their 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. They want to love and serve God, to the best of their ability. But as long as they labor under that false paradigm and belief system, they are giving that message. They’re proclaiming that they believe that what God has done is inadequate. And they won’t be able to stop doing what they do, as long as they continue to assume that what He has already done, is never good enough! So that paradigm prevents people from being free to rest and trust God with airtight faith. They can’t get off the ‘treadmill’ and just stop…and rest…and rejoice always… resting with and in the Lord… in the Fullness of His Perfect Presence. They can’t know Him as their infinitely Perfect, All Sufficient, Creator and Redeemer, who is here to be for us PERFECT, ETERNAL, JOY, PEACE AND REST! But notice what God commands His own to do:
“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 the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7 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 into Paul, Israel’s New Covenant Apostle to the Gentiles! And the knowledge of that ‘secret’, empowered him to embody, demonstrate and proclaim this Rest-filled state of mind and Joyful existence to the entire world!
“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 norms and practices that are so much in vogue today. And this is why I believe the Lord does not allow us to deviate from the assignment He gave us and to move about in other directions. To do so would muddle our unique message and add to the confusion that already exists. 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 things. But the truth is that people do not need more teaching and guidance about God, from people that are just as needy as they are! They need to grow and mature and develop into disciples that embody Almighty God Himself…in all of His Eternally Infinite Perfection! Almighty God is already here among us, ready to begin to abide and work from within us! All we have to do is stop everything else…and learn to abide with Him and get to know Him as He really is!
This is why people need to get in touch with His living, abiding Perfect Presence. God has already given Himself to us! 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… if we will only develop the spiritual eyes and ears that will enable us to perceive and connect with and partake of Him! As soon as we do that, we’ll begin to reflect and radiate and embody His awesome All-Sufficient Presence to the world around us!
So that’s why FMM does not travel. We do not advertise or recruit or draw attention to ourselves. We do not solicit or seek invitations to come and preach or teach anywhere. Many are already doing that. But we have been given a uniquely different assignment.
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 to be the Center and Life Source of every believer’s attention and focus and existence on the earth. Period!
The truth is that people do not need created Sin-corrupted beings like me. They need their Holy Righteous God Himself to share His Perfection with them! And He is always here with you, with me, and with all of us. And He is ready and willing to reveal His Reality through anyone that will believe and trust Him as He deserves. So why should we do anything that would siphon anyone’s attention away 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. Finally we will stop looking to alternate sources, false gods that never stop disappointing and frustrating us. And that will most definitely expose, discredit and gall the powers of Darkness like nothing else ever could!
May the day come quickly… when God’s Blood Covenant Family will begin to learn to rest and rejoice in the Lord Himself, ALWAYS! May we no longer look to anything, in addition to Him. Just as our risen Lord was with Stephen in the dire need He experienced during his last moments (Acts 7), so does He yearn to be with us and among us…to provide, protect, and fill us with whatever we lack from the Fullness of Perfection that is always in Him. This is why we must learn to give all of our focus and attention to the one, true, Creator of all things, instead of looking to all the things that He has created! It is time to shift our focus and pursuits until they can rest exclusively upon the Perfect abiding Presence of the one and only, Perfect, Eternally Resting God! (See Ezekiel 34 & John 10, 15.)
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! Only He will see us through what is yet to come. And so, through the example of the way we 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 direction. Our task is to help the people He draws to us, by giving them the living example they must have. Disciples teach new disciples on a…‘watch us…now you’…basis. So we must learn to teach by example, 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 14, 15, 16 and 17. Now we must learn to draw everything from Him and only from Him, on a full-time basis.
Only by becoming one with Him, can we be 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 look to and 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 man-made religious and philosophical 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.
“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, programs and government certified ministries, and colleges and denominational ministries and religious 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 Source we already have but have been ignoring and bypassing. Our risen Lord, coming to us by the Holy Spirit, is the only real Source there is. He alone is our Perfect Creator, Redeemer and Shepherd. And so FMM is commissioned to help people get a head start. We must know God’s Living, electrifyingly real Word, the way Abraham, Isaac and Jacob knew Him! And we’re applying ourselves now…to learn, willingly and deliberately… that very lifestyle. It is the New Covenant disciple lifestyle… the 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, lifting us out of the quicksand and depositing us safely on Ground that is undergirded by the solid, eternal Granite of God’s own All-Sufficient Perfect Nature and Presence! This has always been the truth that God’s Word has been revealing 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 that 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.)
Nothing short of the Lord Himself has the Divine Authority and Power necessary to sustain, protect and empower us to persevere and overcome the powers of Darkness. So when those painful and traumatic times finally take over this fallen world, it really won’t be a tragedy when all of the current temporary distractions and competing, empty, fruitless activities we’re so fond of, are finally wrenched from our grasp. Those things keep drawing our attention away from Him, and prevent us from learning how to be His disciples! So then, when they are gone, we will be forced to seek Him and to learn to abide with Him. And that is a very good thing. Beloved, understand that this is exactly what He has always required us to do! So, in the event that such excruciating times will overtake our generation, we will have no other choice but to abide in Him… if we desire to persevere, overcome and have what it takes to make it all the way across the finish line that God has set before us.
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. Even when we’re marooned in the most barren, forsaken, hopeless wilderness conditions… He truly is with us… to be our Perfect Source of Life and all necessary 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… NOW!
This is at the heart of the commission of the Follow Me Ministry. So, our task does not fit into the normal practices of today. We do not solicit invitations to speak in churches, or take part in conferences or any of the other events and practices considered to be normal practice. We dare not draw attention to ourselves or to others like us. We are commissioned to direct all attention to our Lord and Master… free of charge or obligation. He alone saves and redeems and forgives and sustains. The people need Him and nothing less. Nothing will ever be able to take His place. No created thing has the ability to be and do for us what He has already done to Perfection. So now is the time 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 wrong. We do not want to imply that other man-made ministries and organized functions, and movements that are organized and run by denominational churches and ministry structures should be abolished. 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 all man-controlled, created devices… will run their natural course…and then they too will disappear from the scene. That will be ultimate proof that nothing created can ever be a substitute for The Real Feast, Yeshua 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 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 evil. [For Yours is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory forever. Amen.’]” (Matthew 6:6-13)
When we allow all kinds of organized religious activities to take center stage, they quickly consume our time, attention and money. And 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, 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. The time that others devote to created things and practices, we will devote to our indwelling Lord instead. 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 are not God! They only deal with things about God. Thus they are never enough. So the question is this:
When will we actually begin to devote prime time and energy and focus to learning how to abide with the Lord Himself, and begin to enjoy the Perfection and Fullness of what He is and what He has already done on our behalf as we follow Him along God’s ‘Narrow Path’? Created things can never take the place of the living God who created and sustains us! God’s living Word, 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! He is here to abide within us all, by the Power of the Holy Spirit. We can share in His Resurrection Life through obedient, abiding faith. Only He will be able to see us through our life or death struggles when the climax of human history finally arrives.
So for the present, until we receive new orders to the contrary, we will refrain from adding to the confusion and distractions that already exist. When people are drawn by something we’ve written, some will naturally focus on us, looking to us for more – more teaching, more inspiration and more stimulation, as is their habitual practice. But if we cooperate in that, we will help them continue the practice of ignoring and bypassing the Lord Himself! And that will violate the task Father has given us to do. We are commissioned to draw everyone’s attention to His beloved Son, and not to ourselves.
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! So 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! He 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 disciple-life.
I pray that the day will arrive soon, when we will all realize that focusing on things ABOUT God is not the same as abiding and interacting WITH GOD HIMSELF! This is what the Follow Me Ministry is here to demonstrate and point out to people. If you take the time and trouble to look at all we have written for our website, (notice especially the Follow Me ‘Marching Orders’ and ‘The No. 1 Core Issue’) I think you’ll see what we keep trying to point out.
All of the things on our website can be downloaded 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 all your reading and discussions. 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 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.
We need leaders that will faithfully train their charges to focus on the indwelling Lord with great diligence. We need leaders that abide with and in 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 demonstrate to their charges how to live and interact with their risen Master, endlessly… looking only to Him…for everything!
“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 (to interact with Him) diligently to your sons 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 (as you 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 Agenda, our Motivation, and our All in all.
I pray continually…that in His Blood Covenant faithfulness…our God will show us how to focus on and feast upon…the true Reality…that He is always here to pour Himself out, upon all of His Son’s disciples and congregations…to give the Fullness of all that His Beloved Son 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 underwent on our behalf. May we all learn to live with Him and FROM Him – according to John chapters 14, 15, 16 and 17. This is what we are trying to learn to do ourselves… and this is what we encourage all others to learn to do with us. The time for all of us to learn the ways of the fulfillment of the New Covenant, is at hand!
I hope this helps you understand why I believe our task is to remain focused on what He originally told us to do. I believe this is of the utmost importance for disciples who will be required to persevere in the Last Days combat against the powers of Darkness. Those who know the Lord and abide in Him ‘under the shadow of His wings’ will be equipped and able to overcome anything Satan and his dark powers will try to do to harm or destroy God’s people. But those who only look to created things, things that are just ‘about’ the Lord, but are not the Lord Himself, will not have what they need to endure and persevere. So ponder once more what the Lord is saying to us:
“…The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the Creation of God, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,’ and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me Gold refined by Fire so that you may become rich, and White Garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and Eye Salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see.
“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 3:14b-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 us by teaching us to abide within, and continually feed upon, the eternal Perfection of His Holy Life-giving, All-Sufficient Presence!