Changing of the Guard: A Prophetic Call to Action

photo of a person carrying a burning torch

A giant of the faith has passed on to his reward, silently and without fanfair. Who will pick up the mantle that has been left behind? Why not you?

A man named Bobby Martz, a man you may have never heard of, has died. I consider Bobby part of the “old guard” of ministers who carried the flame of healing and evangelism for decades. Alongside his wife Ronda, he was a missionary, running crusades in the Philippines for many years, seeing countless thousands come to faith in Jesus and many more miraculously healed. He wasn’t alone, of course: there are many in our own movement who do the same, yet when a true elder such as Bobby leaves this earth, there is a shift. Men and women like Bobby and Ronda spend their lives like the apostle Paul did, willingly and joyously in response to the love of God. Most of them are never famous.

This article isn’t an obituary. Rather, it’s a challenge to each of us. There is something uniquely powerful about someone who spends their life in relative obscurity, staying true to Scripture, quietly obeying the leading of the Holy Spirit, remaining true to their marriage vows, not cheating on their taxes, growing in love and character. Along the way leading people to Jesus and holding fast to the belief that healing, signs, and wonders will confirm the preaching of the Gospel. Not seeking a platform, not hungry for fame or glory, but passionate to glorify the One and see the lost awakened to who He is.

This is the life to which you and I are called. This is what the earth needs in the coming season. You are, no doubt, hearing many prophetic words about what’s ahead. Know this: things will get better and worse at the same time. The Kingdom of God will relentlessly advance and those of us who love Jesus will face greater pressure from unseen forces. We know there will be greater persecution, a greater push for Jesus’ followers to make the tough decisions, yet the darker it seems, the brighter will Christ shine through us. The angrier the Enemy gets, the more we will be filled with the power and joy of the Holy Spirit.

God is raising up a generation of firebrands who will carry the torch of healing, evangelism, missionary work, purity, and love. A generation is everyone alive at a given moment, which means you are part of the new generation. If you will answer the call.

This is the challenge from the Holy Spirit today. Hear it. Feel it. Let it shake off complacency and deception. I call you to attention, saint. I challenge you in the name of Jesus to commit to radical purity, honesty, uprightness. Examine your life, ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of any place where you’re stretching the truth, any place where you’re making excuses, any place that you’re flirting with sin and temptation. This is not about guilt; it’s about allowing the goodness of God to transform every place in your life into a place of joy, peace, and satisfaction in Him. Make a fresh commitment today to believe that God will use you to lead others to Jesus and that the power of God will accompany His work through you. By faith, let the shaking that’s happening in the earth today be a shaking in your own life. Let it blow away all that is not of God.

When these women and men pass on to their reward, it’s like Elijah passing his mantle to Elisha. There is a mantle in the spirit now awaiting you, if you will reach out in faith and take it up. Or, if you prefer, a torch aflame is held aloft for each of us to grasp. But know that there is a cost! Your life, carrying this torch, will probably not look like Billy Graham’s life. Perhaps for you, it looks like raising a family that loves Jesus and knows the Bible like the back of their hand. Maybe it looks like coming up with a new business which demonstrates to the world how to take care of employees and generate wealth for the poor. Perhaps it means moving your family to a third-world country and planting churches. The model of walking in the anointing is one of dedication to the leading of the Lord, of a lifestyle of giving emotional pain to Jesus and receiving truth back from Him, of simultaneously submitting to His will and boldly taking risks. In our movement, it’s common to find people pursuing the platform, holding a dream that’s irrevocably tied to ministry fame. Resist that urge! Don’t let the glories of your exploits for the Kingdom become your calling card. Pursue, instead, whatever God puts in front of you to do.

Be not distracted by the murmurings of the world, by the political spirit of this age, nor by the fearmongers that crave your attention. Rather, hear the call of the Spirit to grow in character, to know Jesus more and to be better known by Him. To quietly and powerfully spread His love to the lost, never letting go of the truth that His power will accompany and verify the good news. In so doing, you honor the elders who have gone before, and you align yourself with the work which God has been doing since the days of Seth. “When Seth grew up, he had a son and named him Enosh. At that time people first began to worship the Lord by name.” — Genesis 4:26 That legacy, that anointing, that mantle is ready for the taking.

joseph cotten signature

P.S. You can learn a little about Bobby and his wife Ronda’s ministry at hourofharvest.org.

Joseph Cotten photographJoseph Cotten has been with us since 2014, first as our web developer and now as our Digital Marketing Manager. This means that he leads our efforts to accurately communicate our vision & values to you, our community. He is married to Jessica, who has also been a part of Global over the years. Joe is passionate about creativity, music, the prophetic, caring for animals and the earth, and remaining authentic.
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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Erin · 27 days ago
    I woke up this morning hearing changing of the guard and changing of the rear guard . I looked up their definition and then found this ! Yes , Lord and AMEN !
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Kayce Finan · 4 months ago
    This is love. This is amazing. This is what we need to focus on. I’ve always been a praying girl. Prayer for others mostly and for a husband and children. At 40 years old the year 2019 was a huge turning point in my life. I truly got to experience the closeness of my savior and it has forever changed me as a person. I want others to know that our Father in heaven will never forsake us. His mercy and His grace is sufficient for each one of us. I battled cocaine addiction and alcoholism. I’ve been clean from both eleven years. In 2017 my marraige of ten years, ( been together 20 years and dated before that when we were fourteen)(he is the one I prayed years to get back and have a family), began to fall apart. Pornography, violence, deceit and abandonment were just some of the issues I faced. Along with the issues of how to help my kids cope and put my heart and mind back together. That’s when I gave my life to Jesus several times I prayed for my life to be used to ease others who I knew hurt as much if not more. Long long story short...... I unknowingly fulfilled scripture and as I began in my bible I found my place in this amazing story of life. Jesus called, I searched back for Him at a later date and when I did it out of an honest heart ♥️, miracles and wonders and a changed woman were the results!!! Agape love. The following pic was taken in my driveway May 2, 2019. I had just attended my first Easter service ever and read the Gospel in my home. I started in Matthew. Today I’ve covered a great deal of scripture. Christian and Catholic. Haven’t been to church since I was a kid and only a few times in 2018-2019. It’s a personal church I attend with God on a daily search of the scriptures. I found myself putting it before all things and taking comments that weren’t so nice or supportive about it. But I knew that the only way to save my marraige and live for God was with God at the head of all things in my life. All to the Glory Of God ☺️
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Hannah Vairogs-Dumai · 5 months ago
    Thank you for this powerful word! Would you allow me to translate it into french and share it with my network? Blessings!!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Suzie · 5 months ago
    Thank you for a powerful challenge! I have also seen God challenging people, and people stepping up in big ways and small ways, all around me. We are all called to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it doesn’t matter what platform you speak from - it could be the line at the grocery store or a small group of friends or neighbors who have gathered to hear more about Jesus from you. God is at work in bigs ways in all of it.

  • This commment is unpublished.
    Barry Hall · 5 months ago
    Thanks! This really resonates with me, we can all be used by the Lord in many ways, in or out of the limelight. Over the years I have come across Christians doing great things for the Lord in relative obscurity. I was blessed to be discipled by someone like this.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Christopher Ross Donald · 5 months ago
    On the day that Billy Graham died, I was at a leader's meeting for Awakening Australia. During the worship time, I had a vision of a window in Heaven and King Jesus standing up to inspect the troops. It is recorded that Jesus stood up to welcome the first martyr Stephen into Heaven. Later, I found out that Billy had died around that very time (given the transfer of time zones). I had a similar experience the day that Bob Jones died while asleep in China. I saw Bob turning into gold (the glory realm). I sensed that something of both what these men carried would be imparted to me because the Lord Jesus allowed me to see these things. These mantles are there to be taken by those who are hungry. Love and Blessings.
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    Leda Hoffman · 5 months ago
    I thought it was interesting at the time and more so now. In 1990 when James Ryle, who John Wimber had referred to as a seer, was having coffee and reading his newspaper read that Billy Graham had a procedure to have a portion of his rib. removed after a fall. This led James t0 ask the Lord who Billy Grahams mantle would be given to. The Lord responded and told him, not to one but to an "army".
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Kevin B · 5 months ago
    Joseph. There is more, much more that will flow and follow the new generation of believers. Healing. Wealth. Miracles. Power. Signs and Wonders. Influence... and so much more. I KNOW because He has shown me some of what is to come. It's "above and beyond all that we can ask or even think".
    Great article! Much musings!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mary Alice Cloukey · 5 months ago
    Thank you got this word! 🔥
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    Bob Fox · 5 months ago
    Great word! Anointed truth! We knew and loved Bobby. A rare man of great passion and purity of heart.

    We always joked his wife a little about her name: Ronda without the 'H" She is a gem. I hurt for her.

    Thanks for remembering Bobby!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Norma Thomas · 5 months ago
    Such an insightful article and full of stabling truths!
    We are after all called to be servants - like our master and older brother Jesus. May we always keep his example in he forefront of our minds and hearts. No higher calling can we ever expire. If we each do our small part, we will ALL usher in His Kingdom. We r truly better together. ❤️
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    Anne Rogers · 5 months ago
    I cannot fully express what this article spoke to me...In spite of the tears which I shed in the Presence of the Holy Spirit, I began to take notes...phrases...sentences...the one which wiped me out was "a generation of firebrands" and then, encouraging to one in her eighties, a generation is defined as "everyone alive at a given moment." I accept this call!
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    One In Him ??? Mary · 5 months ago
    So talking is not doing but hearing an authentic word in due season is marrow to my bones. Blessings.🌹
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    Charleen R · 5 months ago
    Very well said Joseph ! Balanced and focused on Christ and Following HIM not another fellow follower. Even as Paul said Follow me while I Follow Christ, our eyes must SEE Jesus As the Foundation always. May the Peace of God be with Bobby’s family & friends. May the Mantle of Humility and Servanthood be what we grasp to move boldly into this new ERA of Kingdom Advancement.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Beverly Tillman · 5 months ago
    Great Word. Made me think and meditate. Blessings to you.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Arlene B. · 5 months ago
    I agree. Its time we walk in the mantles set before us.
    On another note, Joseph and Jessica Cotten, welcome and thank you for all you do!!!
    May the Lord bless you both, above and beyond all you can ever ask, hope or imagine in Christ our Lord, Amen!

    Arlene B.

  • This commment is unpublished.
    Susan Thompson · 5 months ago
    Excellent! Thanks for this word!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    G Halim · 5 months ago
    Amen amen amen!