Updated: Nov 26, 2019
We are hoping things are well with you all on this wonderful blessing called the Sabbath. It is a day in which we are without excuse for not having sustained communication with Father and Jesus. Let’s not forget others in fellowship with them as well. We are called to Their family.
Most may remember during last Sabbath’s Zoom Meeting we briefly covered the subject of Abraham and Yehovah’s relationship. For many decades Abraham followed Yehovah in all that He had asked. He was a beacon in a dark wasteland. When we read through the accounts of the relationship and the journeys taken together, we can look at ourselves and conclude how can I ever measure up to that? The beauty of it is you don’t have to. We covered some of that in the last entry into the study of the Plan of Salvation. We all have our own individual thresholds which we will be tested on. In Abrahams case it was with the request for him to sacrifice his only begotten son of promise.
Genesis 22:12 Do not lay your hand on the boy nor do anything to him. For, NOW I KNOW that you are in reverent awe of Elohim, for you have not withheld your son, your only one, from Me!
Just think, after all the struggles, trials, and accomplishments Abraham had endured with his friend and El, Yehovah/The Word/Jesus, he had not yet passed his threshold point to prove himself to the Elohim for entry into the Family. What an incredible example of patient endurance on behalf of both of them; Abraham and Yehovah. It has been written and recorded for us here at the end of the age. Abraham lived and was surrounded by immorality and sin on all sided. So, do we. As discussed, we will all have our very own: NOW I KNOW moment in our relationship with Father and Jesus. As stated earlier we all have our own threshold criteria in our relationship with Them, we don’t compare one to another. However, we look to them for strength of character to propel us onto the moment when we too will have a choice to make. The fact that They have granted us the ability to move beyond the milk of the word is an attestation to Their faith in us to make it.
As a result of our discussion we received the following question/request from one of you. It is so very welcomed and is a testament to how we as lambs chew on our cud of spiritual nourishment.
“Hi Brian! I was reflecting back on last Sabbath’s zoom meeting and was wondering what were the thoughts of those in the Abib fellowship as to the “now I know moment.” Abraham’s moment is a story we all know. I’m really interested in the thoughts of those in the fellowship as to how our individual scenarios could play out in this time line of the plan, in this day of age. The different ways it could play out for each individual in this end time.”
Personally, I was overjoyed when I read this. This subject is so dear to each and every one of us. It should occupy our thoughts from time to time so that we are not caught unaware as Paul so often reminds us about things pertinent to our calling. I sent it out to a couple of folks to get comment. Below is one response returned by Brenda H. What a wonderful thing to be able to share our thoughts and perspectives with others in the body. Each and every one of us are gifted and directed to assist in the edifying of it, the building up of it. We are hoping some of the rest of you would forward on your thoughts and perspectives on the question asked. It is a good way to exercise your part in helping to grow the body. You don’t have to have your name put to it. Only Bridget and Brenda will know who it is coming from. The names are not that important, just the thoughts and perspectives are. For that matter we will all have a new name in the resurrection and in our functions of caring for the Household of the Elohim. The Body needs your participation. Please send your responses to email@example.com and we will anonymously share your responses.
Here was Brenda Helms’s Response:
“The pattern of this "now I know" moment that we are given with Abraham shows two things to me: 1. We may be asked to give up or let go of something very special to us, something as special as a child or our own lives. Something we have been given and worked very hard for. Something that we may even believe is rightfully ours and of a promise as Isaac was. It may seem like it’s too much to ask. 2. We will be required to demonstrate faith in following his word and be willing to give up the world to follow him. We must keep a level, mature head of faith, born through study and practice and be willing to follow our Savior. These characteristics seem to have been the ultimate goal with Abraham, demonstrated by his actions. It is also the same things required of the Bride.
Another thing that stands out to me is that each of us will have different moments that are designed to prove us for the traits that They are concerned about and interested in for us. Abraham probably already had a lot of faith, otherwise They would not have even considered this type of test for him. It would be too much for most. It was individually designed for him. They must have needed this example both to forward their plan with him, and as an example for others to follow. These tests may not always be to prove something that we are weak in, but something that we may already be good at but They want to perfect in us for a future purpose. Job 23:10 "But he knows the way I take, when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold." It's interesting to me that he uses the analogy of gold and not some other precious metal that would also be good and valuable.
Don't get me wrong - the majority of our testing is probably to correct undesirable traits, keep our boasting in check, and bring about humility and repentance so we can be acceptable in his sight. Paul talked about this in II Corinthians 12:7-10 "And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure."
These tests to the new covenant body also most surely have a component more heavily related to our minds. Thus, we have verses like James 4:17 "Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin." and Matt 5:28 about committing adultery in your heart. Christ has magnified the law and most surely, he is looking to get to our hearts in a matter. Jeremiah 17:10 "I the Lord search the heart; I test the mind..." Nothing brings out our true colors like a crisis whether it be physical or in our minds. The only way we can pass these ultimate tests and be able to dispel the fiery darts of Satan are to be maturely prepared through previous trials, prayer and knowledge of the word and the willingness to lay down our lives. Enter stage left... the Tribulation! The ultimate "now I know" moment! :)”
All responses received so far are below, most recent first.
The life of Abraham is very intriguing, and we have been enjoying all of the personal thoughts and perspectives of this subject others have presented. God truly saw something in Abraham that was very special to his purpose. He was looking for just the right person to fill an important role and responsibility in the coming Kingdom of God. It is inspiring to know that He has been repeating this pattern in each of us.
As Brian had mentioned, Abraham had followed God in all that He had asked for many decades. He life was amazing! Reading about it we can catch glimpses of the process God used in refining Abraham through various circumstances & tests. The “Now I Know” moment (Gen. 22:12) in Abraham’s life was a very defining moment for him. Over his lifetime He had developed strong faith in God (Yehovah/The Word/Jesus). When God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac it must have been a real emotional moment. He knew what God has promised him. He knew whatever transpired during this test God could resurrect his son if need be. [Heb. 11:19] (All of this points to the actual time that the Father would send His only son as a sacrifice for the transgression and sins of mankind. )
It wasn’t an easy test to go through, but through all of Abrahams’s experiences during his lifetime, with progressive tests and trials, his faith and trust (which had some wavering moments in the past) had been strengthened and honed as a result. Great praise to God in all his patience and confidence in Abraham, a true friend in every sense of the word. I feel so encouraged when I read about the relationship and true friendship shared by God and Abraham. We all would like to have a closeness like what they had.
So the question is how will the “now I know” moment play out in the individual lives of brethren called out in this day and age?
I’m not sure exactly how each of us will be tested for the “now I know moment”. I think each of us will encounter differing tests and trials for that purpose, but for similar reasons.God tests us all in an incremental process of testing and refining, more testing and refining, as much as it takes. Just like metal is refined by fire and heat, so are we. It doesn’t happen all at once. It requires numerous times to get all of the impurities out of the metal. We have all heard of the expression to “test your mettle.” Originally, mettle was simply a variant spelling of the word metal (which dates to at least the 13th century), and it was used in all of the same senses as its metallic relative. Over time, however, mettle came to be used mainly in figurative senses referring to the quality of someone's character.God wants to know that we will obey his laws even when serious consequences could result. He wants to know that we won’t let anything or anyone come between us and the Elohim, that we are not ashamed of His name, that we love Him with all our heart and soul, with all the life that is in us. God gave the Israelites instructions about the importance of this.
Due 13:1 "If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder,
Deu 13:2 and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods'—which you have not known—'and let us serve them,'
Deu 13:3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deu 13:4 You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear (or reverence) Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. Discernment and understanding of the word of God is so important and strategic in our daily battles. There are many false teachers and “prophets” who come with scholarly words and smooth sayings on how we should worship God. These become tests to see whether we love God with all our heart, that we serve Him and hold fast So often in human nature we want the easy button and can fall for doctrine that would make life so much easier or make us feel wiser that others.
These kinds of tests are crucial for us to be prepared so we are not blind sided. They are preparing us for that day of the “now I know” event. There will be a great false prophet at the end who will deceive many. That could be a “now I know” test. I think about my own understanding and ponder how to be prepared more completely to answer and witness against the increasing assault against God and Truth.
At the time of Christ, He repeated to the scribes what he had told Israel in the old marriage covenant.
Mar 12:28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, "Which is the first commandment of all?"
Mar 12:29 Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: 'HEAR, O ISRAEL, THE LORD OUR GOD, THE LORD IS ONE.
Mar 12:30 AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.' This is the first commandment.
We see that God doesn’t change. Jesus emphasized how important that God should be number one to us. He tested Abraham to find this out. In this end time age we can be sure God will test us on this as well, using similar or different circumstances.Each of us is different. We all have certain gifts, strengths & abilities that God is very interested in. We know it is His intention is to bring together a variety of people who can function as a unit in oneness as the bride of Christ. People He can trust, who will be loyal to Him, who will not forsake Him…Some else also used this verse in their comments but I wanted to focus on the 2nd part of the verse.
In Jer 17:10 it says “ I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.”
Our spiritual fruits come in various variety. I Cor 12 talks about spiritual gifts and the diversity of those gifts. But God weaves them together for the benefit all.
1Co 12:4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
1Co 12:5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.
1Co 12:6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
1Co 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
1Co 12:8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,
1Co 12:9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,
1Co 12:10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
1Co 12:11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
1Co 12:12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ.
I often ask myself what I can do to better with the things God has given me according to his will for the whole body of Christ. We all have to step out more in faith to utilize what God gives us for the edification of others. It is not always easy to do this but it is important to work at it. God is a watcher. I think there are multiple facets of our lives that He looks at and tests along the way which would qualify as a niche or sub-category “Now I Know” moments. All of this is used to prepare us, refine and strengthen us for that final Abraham type “NOW I KNOW” moment.
What this may be I don’t know exactly. It seems that Abraham was tested on his faith in God’s ability to do what He promised. In James 2:22 it says that faith was working together with his works [Abraham}, and by works faith was made perfect. Whatever the “now I Know” test will be for us, it will be a test to determine that we believe & trust God, and our response/actions/works prove our faith. It was prophesied in Jeremiah 29 that God would bring back Judah from their captivity by the Babylonians. We also know that when Christ Messiah returns, he will gather all of Israel to return them to their native land. Here in Jeremiah the pattern of what God wants from us is confirmed again; repeating what has been stated all along in the old and new covenants.
LITV Jer 29:10 For so says Jehovah, When according to My mouth seventy years have been fulfilled for Babylon, I will visit you and confirm My good Word to you, to bring you back to this place.
Jer 29:11 For I know the purposes H4284 which I am planning H2803 for you, says Jehovah; purposes of peace, and not for evil; to give you posterity and a hope.
God is well aware of the purpose He has for those He calls. In the King James it says “I know the thoughts that I think toward you…” You can bet He knows us very well and has a place to weave us into. This applies toward the Bride, the firstborn of that union, Israel, the Gentiles and so on.
The word “purposes” used in vs 11 of the Literal Version or “thoughts in the King James comes from H4284 machăshâbâh machăshebeth from H2803; a contrivance, that is, (concretely) a texture, machine, or (abstractly) intention, plan cunning (work), curious work, device (-sed), imagination, invented, means, purpose, thought.
Texture and machine makes me think of a loom used to weave threads together into a beautiful fabric of fine texture and color. God has put a lot of thought into where he wants to weave us into the family fabric.
The word “planning” in vs 11 LITV or “think” in KJV is fromH2803 châshab A primitive root; properly to plait [can mean to interweave] or interpenetrate, that is, (literally) to weave or (generally) to fabricate; to think, regard, value, compute: - (make) account (of), conceive, consider, count, cunning (man, work, workman), devise, esteem, find out, forecast, hold, imagine, impute, invent, be like, mean, purpose, reckon (-ing be made), regard, think.
Jer 29:12 Then you shall call on Me, and you shall go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.