and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ;  Colossians 2:11  NASB

Without hands – Circumcision was a big issue in the Messianic community of the first century.  My guess is that Paul thought he put that issue to rest with his letters to the mixed congregations of Jews and Gentiles.  But apparently his words of wisdom didn’t take, because here we are two thousand years later still arguing over the place of circumcision.  This particular verse is often used as a proof text by those who wish to assert that Torah no longer applies to Christian believers.  They point to the fact that Paul says the only real circumcision that matters is the one made without hands, that is, the circumcision of the heart accomplished by Yeshua in the renewal of His followers.  Clearly Paul uses this metaphorical expression.  But what does he mean?  Does he really intend to say that Torah no longer matters?  If he does, then a lot of the claims and the behaviors of his post-Damascus life just don’t add up.  If Torah doesn’t count, then why does Paul say he is a Pharisee of the Pharisees, why does he complete the vow payment and why does he tell us that he has never deviated from the commandments or the traditions of the Jews?  It seems to me that we must understand this statement to the Colossians within the context of the rest of Paul’s life.  Maybe then we can make sense of the whole picture.

Let’s start with the context of this particular verse.  Verse 6 tells us that Paul expects the Colossian believers to “walk in” the ways of Yeshua.  That, of course, is a good Hebrew idiom for following the pathway of YHWH, a pathway that Yeshua Himself followed.  In the first century rabbinic world, “walking” is a metaphor for strict obedience to the commandments.  The culture defines the meaning of the word, and unless we can show that Paul attached a completely different meaning to this familiar Hebrew idiom, we must accept that he uses it as any other rabbi would.

Next we notice that Paul expands on the idea of “walking” with the phrase “just as you were instructed” (v. 7).  How were the Colossians instructed?  According to the determination of the Jerusalem council (which endorsed Paul’s practices), converts to Messianic Judaism were instructed in Moses.  That can only mean one thing.  They were given Torah instruction in the synagogues every Shabbat.  Do you have any indication anywhere in Paul’s letters that he no longer ascribed to this teaching?  No.  If he has broken ranks with the counsel’s approval, wouldn’t we have some indication of that separation?  But we have none.  In fact, we have Paul’s own confirmation of the priority of Torah when he pays for the vows at the request of James and Peter.

The next verse (v. 8  ) shows us why Paul makes this metaphorical remark about circumcision.  Colossae was a busy port city on the Lycus River in the Roman province that is now part of Turkey.  Its pagan population was influenced by Greek philosophy, pagan mythology, religious practices from ancient Babylon and a multi-ethnic population.  Paul addresses these influences by calling them “empty deceptions,” and the “traditions of men.”  Then he supplies us with a key phrase – “the elementary principles of the world.”  Explanations of the world in terms of basic elements (earth, air, water, fire) were popular in the pagan culture.  But Paul knows, as his converts must have surely known, that YHWH is the author and creator of all that is.  Any other explanation is outside the Tanakh.

Why does Paul mention this pagan view?  Because Paul wants his readers to see that there is no need to look for explanation and purpose beyond the revelation already communicated in Scripture and made visible in Yeshua.  Were these people searching for scientific theories about the origin of the world?  Of course not.  They were searching for answers about how to live.  We are the ones who look to science to answer the “how” question.  But people of the first century looked for answers to the “why” question, and given the cultural influence of the ancient near-East, they sought those answers in order not to offend the gods.  Their lives were ruled by fear of the divine.  Paul assures them that all they need to know is found in the fullness of Yeshua.  He has all authority.  They don’t need to fear other “gods.”  They have been “made complete” in Him.

If this is so, then why the comment about circumcision?  Now we can answer.  If circumcision is nothing more than an outward sign, it is no different than any other pagan religious practice.  As an outward sign, it accomplishes nothing.  Circumcision alone does not make a man acceptable.  This is not news to Jews.  The Tanakh clearly teaches that outward circumcision without inward transformation is useless.  But for a Gentile audience, this is an important point because most pagan religions include outward rites and rituals that have efficacy with the gods.  Therefore, it would be possible for a Gentile convert to assume that circumcision guaranteed acceptability.  Paul is quick to point out that this is not the case.  Effective circumcision is of the heart, not the hands.  Effective  circumcision has been accomplished through the work of Yeshua.  As followers, we are called to enter into this inner circumcision.  The symbolic renewal found in baptism is a statement that the old ways of living are dead and we have entered into a new way of life.  In other words, Paul is putting to rest the idea that circumcision of the flesh guarantees entrance to the Kingdom.  Circumcision does not bring salvation.

If this is so, does circumcision matter at all?  Well, Moses is taught every week.  And Moses tells us that Abraham was counted righteous before he was circumcised but he was circumcised anyway.  In fact, God commanded him to be circumcised even though he was already considered righteous.  Isn’t that precisely the same situation Paul faces?  Isn’t that exactly where we find ourselves today?  Clearly circumcision is not a ritual of acceptance.  After all, females are also citizens of the Kingdom.  The correct ritual of acceptance is God’s act in Yeshua, not our cutting the flesh.  But that act in Yeshua opens the door for us to be guiltlessly obedient – and circumcision is one of the acts of obedience.  As Paul says, Yeshua cancelled the consequences of our disobedience and removed the obstacles to obedience.  What is left is acceptance of His gift and voluntary obedience.

Topical Index: circumcision, Colossians 2:11

Comments
  • Kees Brakshoofden March 24, 2012 at 4:30 am

    So, Skip, if it is right for me to stop eating pork, is it also to ………? Why do one thing and not the other? Why am I not running to the hospital?

    • Ilze March 24, 2012 at 8:03 am

      Indeed Kees, why not?
      (Easy to say, I am a woman :-) )

      Skip, this is the first helpful answer on circumcision I have received. Thank you.

    • Cheryl Durham April 4, 2012 at 9:24 am

      So, Skip, if it is right for me to stop eating pork, is it also to ………? Why do one thing and not the other? Why am I not running to the hospital?

      I am not speaking for Skip, however, if the process is voluntary, and we are free to be part of the community by joining in, AND we are to be grafted into Israel, it would probably be appropriate to respond to the urging of the Holy Spirit, when/if that urge comes.

      It has been my experience and within my groups that G_d has a way of placing a “nudge” in the heart that one responds to. How did you stop eating pork? Did you do it because you HAD to or because you love G_d? How did G_d let you know that He wanted you to remove pork from your diet? Can you not let the “other” things come the same way? Shaul talks about this is Romans 14. Convictions are important in determining how one should practice.

      • Gabe April 4, 2012 at 11:11 am

        Have you felt “nudged” to search the Torah for direction? Should we expect a ‘nudge’ for each and every commandment also?

        The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus speaks to this:

        Luke 16:27-31 –
        Then he said , I praythee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, THEY HAVE MOSES AND THE PROPHETS; let them hear them. 30 And he said , Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, IF THEY HEAR NOT MOSES AND THE PROPHETS, NEITHER WILL THEY BE PERSUADED, THOUGH ONE ROSE FROM THE DEAD.

        My mother cooked the bested pork-chop split pee soup. My feelings, my heart, and my mind said — “Mommy’s soup was unclean?!? It can’t be!”. The ‘nudge’ was towards cheerful obedience, and sometimes I wonder how strong a ‘revelation’ I would have needed to be for that just that individual command.

        • Kees Brakshoofden April 4, 2012 at 12:37 pm

          Hi Gabe,

          I would never call your mothers soup unclean. In fact I love split pee soup, but nowadays leave out the pork-chop. My family doesn’t. My wife and children are not convinced that pork is no food for us, so they freely eat it. But I am convinced God did not give pork to us for food. I compare it with Koreans eating dogs. Thats horrible in our eyes. It must be the same for Americans seeing me eat raw herring – I just love it! But as far as I am concerned, pork is no longer food for me, because I believe God did not give it to us as food. No more, no less. I don’t feel ‘better’ or ‘more loved’ because I don’t eat – just following my conviction. But – and here is teh real question for me – am I just picking one ‘command’ disregarding others? I really don’t know! Is this circumcision-thing also for not-born Israelites? If it is something I would become proud of, it is wrong! But if I have been grafted in, isn’t it something I seriously should consider? Rabbi Chaim Eisen of Yeshivat Sharashim says I don’t have to live all the commands because only the 7 Noahide Laws apply to me. But I’m convinced being grafted in means being a real part of the believing community, in which there is neither Jew nor gentile. So what to do? It’s not that I’m loosing sleep over this, but I’m simply not sure….

        • Cheryl Durham April 4, 2012 at 6:25 pm

          A nudge is not from me, therefore, it is not my feelings, my heart, nor my mind. A ‘nudge’ is a conviction, or an impression that I get from what I learn about HaShem. I certainly use my mind to process what I am learning, and when my heart is pierced by what I “see”, I respond to the nudge that comes from what I learn. I am not judging your mother’s split “pea” soup regardless of the pork, however, split “pee” somehow does NOT seem appealing. I am sorry that I did not clarify my definition of the word “nudge” as you obviously did not get my meaning. I believe the difference between our views is that being a woman, perhaps my perception is shaped differently, and it is difficult to put in words a more dynamic or dialectic response pattern. Greek categories sometimes help, but most often get in the way. I am not describing a polar view, its more about the balance of the middle.

          • Gabe April 5, 2012 at 12:33 am

            Kees, you’re absolutely right, my mother’s soup WAS unclean. It didn’t kill me, but it contained something that G-d said to try and steer clear of. I love my mother, I love all her other recipes, but I don’t carry on that particular one. I’m not being mean. It doesn’t reduce my love for her, it’s just a piece of my past ‘culture’ that ought to be left behind.

            Cheryl, perhaps I misunderstood your original remark. I thought you were trying to say we should depend on a supernatural “nudge” for each commandment – separately. For me, ‘sentiments’ and ‘convictions’ are too easily entangled, so it would be a murky method to rely on.

            Paul himself (also through Timothy) had to teach Spirit-filled Christians. The introduction to 1st Corinthians clarifies his audience as sanctified saints, but then Paul says:

            “Therefore I urge you to imitate me. For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church.” 1 Cor. 4:16,17

            There is also some good reason to believe that what he was teaching them,… was Torah!

            If you’re interested: Paul taught Torah http://www.fogwhistle.ca/acts/follow.html

          • Cheryl April 9, 2012 at 11:25 am

            Gabe,

            I agree. And in doing my dissertation on How Christians are obligated to conform to the community “in Christ” that Sha’ul intended (Torah observant with different nuanced approaches for each ethnicity Jew and Gentile), I am certain that Torah observance is for all. The nuance part is what I was alluding to. With Jews (like my grandmother) Torah observance is commanded. With me (a Goy because my mother is not Jewish) I can be grafted in BUT I cannot approach Torah observance with the idea that I am “earning” my way in nor can I think that I MUST do it (because as Sha’ul warned, it sometimes leads to legalism). Rather, I must listen to G-d with an open heart and an eye toward hesed. When I accepted His call, I also accepted the Ketubah…just like in my marriage, when I married my husband, I accepted the exclusivity of the relationship and that my role as my husband’s Ezer Kenegdo would be a primary focus of my life from then on (notice I said a not the). When I respond to G-d, it must be from my heart, or its worthless, and for me to be Torah observant , voluntarily, as a gift to G-d is a delight to Him. That’s what He wants….parsing out the how and the why is just too Greek for me…it loses something in the translation…all the time.

  • Michael March 24, 2012 at 4:40 am

    “in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands”

    Hmmm

    Makes me think of Linda Ronstadt – First Cut is the Deepest (1973) about 40 years ago

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwNtgPsjuf8

  • Lisa March 24, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Skip, I have been wrestling this through for over a year, and had recently felt total peace about it, until your article. I have found in studying that the circumcision has become an affirmation of Judaism, which our Messiah is just as vehemently opposed to as Pagan Christianity. Titus WAS NOT COMPELLED to be circumcised, and you’ve not addressed that here. Also, this doesn’t answer all we “Gentiles” who were circumcised at birth because it’s been our practice for generations.. My sons are circumcised, but we believed it to be “healthy” and the right thing to do.. So this leaves me yet again, wondering what “circumcison?” If we were circumcised at birth, the only way I know to receive “circumcision” in the flesh, Yah’s way, right now, is to go to some Rabbi, and have some “service done” over us? And, I have understood in the context of Paul’s words that if I do that, I am responsible for the WHOLE LAW, which I have come to understand for the Jew is oral, and Written. So in so doing, that is what he says we are taking on?? There is a precedent I see in the story of Joshua, when he takes them into the land, BEFORE they can enter, they must be circumcised.. but for 38 years, no circumcision took place in the wilderness… Why would we not stand still in an apostolic command, until our JOSHUA/MESSIAH comes to take us into the land? I see that there is a “call” for the circumcision, and for the “uncircumcised” that differs. We do NOT differ in standing, but rather in Calling.. I can be wrong, and correctable, but I have spoken to Jewish brothers and sisters who have told me that UNLESS I convert to Judaism, I WILL NOT BE PART OF THE KINGDOM, and they have made this reference in regard to circumcision. I have had one tell me, and we were not talking circumcision at this point, but “they don’t care what I BELIEVE, because I’m not JEWISH”. I had been sharing Isaiah 56 about the stranger/foreigner and Eunuch talking hold of the Shabbats, and our Father giving them an inheritance greater than that of “sons and daughters.” I have much more I could share, but these are the things I want to ask you about now. Shalom and thank you.

    • Skip Moen March 24, 2012 at 10:13 am

      It will take some time to respond to your comments and at the moment I am traveling and teaching. So maybe someone else will pick up the ball until I can get to this.

    • Michael March 24, 2012 at 10:18 pm

      Hi Lisa,

      Paul was a scholar and knew all the protocols, but IMO as the first “new man” to model himsef on Jesus, he was trying to keep it simple for us gentiles. I don’t really think I’m going to get any points from God for being circumcised, because that was my mother’s idea. But I think Paul’s priorities for the gentiles would have been something like Skip’s Words to Lead By, and I can only remember the first seven:

      Day 1
      Greatness guaranteed – be a servant

      Day 2
      Total Commitment – be a slave

      Day 3
      One day at a time – give us our daily bread

      Day 4
      First things first – seek his Kingdom and his righteousness

      Day 5
      It is what you do, not what you know – do His will

      Day 6
      The essential imperative – love the lord your God with all your heart

      Day 7
      Just one condition -love one another as I have loved you

    • Rodney March 26, 2012 at 11:00 pm

      Lisa, this is a very contentious issue – it was in the days of Yeshua and Sha’ul and it is so today. It it is important to separate the instructions given in scripture (and their purpose) from the traditions of men. Some historical background will also be useful. This could be longish, so grab a cup of your favourite beverage, sit back, and relax. Come to think of it, I might need a coffee while I write this…

      Aahh. That’s better. :-)

      The first mention of circumcision in the scriptures is in Genesis 17.

      Gen 17:1-2 ESV – “[1] When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, [2] that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.””

      So, YHVH is going to make a covenant with Avram. BTW, the word “blameless” is tamiym – it means (amongst other things) completeness, wholeness, healthfulness, in unity with truth and fact, having integrity. It does not mean “perfect” in the Greek sense of perfection, nor does it come from the same root as tahor, the word for ritually clean (so what follows does not have to do with ritual cleanliness).

      Gen 17:5-8 ESV – “[5] No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. [6] I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. [7] And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. [8] And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.””

      So, now we see YHVH’s part of the covenant. First, He changes Avram’s name to Avraham. This was a standard part of ancient covenant making – the parties would “exchange” names i.e. the each party’s name would be added to the other’s, so YHVH added the “hey” to Avram to make Avraham (one of the meanings of “hey” being “behold!”, another being glory) and YHVH was known as the “Elohei Avraham” (the God of Abraham, and later of Yitzchak v’Ya’akov – Isaac and Jacob). He also promised to give them the Land of Kenan – Canaan – as an “everlasting possession”. Therefore, we see that what follows is connected to the promise of possession of the Land.

      Gen 17:9-11 ESV – “[9] And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. [10] This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. [11] You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you.

      So, circumcision is the sign of the covenant between YHVH and Avraham. Which covenant? The one with the promise of the inheritance of the land (which I shall refer to henceforth as the “Land Covenant” for the sake of brevity).

      However, there was another promise associated with the Land Covenant – the promise of many descendants to inhabit the land. So circumcision is also a sign and a reminder of that promise. There is another aspect to this as well – male readers take note. By changing Avram’s name to Avraham, not only was this part of the covenant making promise but it also signified YHVH’s authority over Avraham.

      The sign of the acceptance of YHVH’s authority was Avraham’s acceptance of the sign of circumcision. Effectively this meant that YHVH was saying, “I want you to surrender to my authority and my purposes your ability to procreate and the fruit of the act of procreation (Avraham’s “seed” in biblical terms) – from this point on the “fruit of your loins” will be dedicated to the fulfillment of my purpose”. Avraham willingly surrendered that to YHVH. (And if any man is not willing to surrender that to YHVH, is he truly fully surrendered to YHVH’s will? No, I am not necessarily speaking of physical circumcision here – that will become clearer later. Don’t jump to conclusions just yet).

      When Yitzhak was born, the seed that became Yitzhak had to pass through (pass over) the “cutting” that was the sign of the covenant, thus Yitzhak was the “child of the covenant”, or the “child of the promise”.

      Who was to be circumcised?

      Gen 17:12-14 ESV – “[12] He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, [13] both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. [14] Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.””

      Not just the natural born descendants of Avraham, but the children of foreigners living in the household of Avraham as well! More on that later.

      Now, Sarai, not being a male, could not be circumcised, so how did she partake in this covenant?

      Gen 17:15-16 ESV – “[15] And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. [16] I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.””

      Sarai’s name was changed to Sarah in the same manner as Avram’s was changed to Avraham, and the promise of a son was given. Through the act of procreation that led to the conception and birth of Yitzhak, Sarah too became part of the covenant.

      [For more background on ancient covenants, download and read these 3 pdf e-books by H. Clay Trumbull – The Blood Covenant, The Threshold Covenant and The Salt Covenant.]

      Just got called back to work (despite supposedly having a day off on sick leave) so…

      To be continued…

      • Michael and Arnella April 4, 2012 at 10:53 am

        Rodney, Thanks for your informative post-hope to see the finish of it when you have time. The link to “The Blood Covenant” does not appear to be working. Would you please re post it. All the sites I found require adding some sort of bit torrent downloader, which I did, but don’t know how to use it. Thanks again.

  • Mary March 24, 2012 at 11:27 am

    It is a good thing to wrestle with all this. Otherwise, we are unteachable and “stiff-necked”. To have “arrived in our religion” is to know it all and let’s face it, YHWH is incomprehensible and all consuming, so let’s continue to learn of Him.

    I am reminded that our obedience is not predicated upon our understanding of the call. I personally, grapple with “halting between two opinions”; not in Who YHWH is, but what I should be “doing” as a believer. However, it appears throughout the Scriptures that Abba knows our inquisitive nature and His Kindness and Compassion is what eventually leads us to repentance. Sustained willful ignorance, however, is what leads to hardness of heart and is dangerous grounds to tread on for any length of time. It is good that time is in His competent Hand and His mercy is tremendous toward us!

    The double edge of our inquisitiveness is this: do we want to know how to bypass “the system” and still be OK or, why we should obey? Even our “obedience” may be exterior fluff if the true circumcision has not taken place out of honor for YHWH. The answer lies in our motive for questioning doesn’t it, and who will we believe: our own reasoning (or that of another man) or the prophets of old?

    Thanks, Skip, for sifting through some of the stuff that has been clear as mud!

  • Dorothy March 24, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    May God give us all a heart to seek & see His face & live in simple trust.

    I read this article after reading today’s teaching. Maybe it will be helpful, or who knows, maybe it will
    deepen the confusion? I hope not the latter.
    http://www.hebrew4christians.net/Articles/Circumcision/circumcision.html

    Romans 2:28-29
    New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    ” For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. 29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God. “

    • Michael and Arnella March 24, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      Dorothy,

      It seems to me that their exposition of this topic does adds to the confusion, but nevertheless provide us with a clearer explanation of what perhaps is a typical Hebrew Roots/ Messianic understanding of the subject – which is in reality not much different from the traditional institutional church view – i.e. that everything is spiritualized and Messiah has done it all and we need do nothing expect believe and receive. What Skip presents goes deeper and is consistent with the teachings of the Tanak, Messiah and the B’rit Chadasha. Recall his recent teaching on the covenant where he explained that a covenant has two parties and involves both benefits and obligations. Once we agree to Yah’s covenant and accept those benefits we take on the corresponding obligations. The corresponding actions we must perform to “keep covenant” in this case, is an outward physical circumcision. Yes, it goes along with the inward cutting away of the flesh of the heart, but the physical act was an outward sign of the inward work – just like water baptism. (Note that both Moses and Jeremiah who spoke of a circumcision of the heart were speaking to those who were already physically circumcised, so it can’t be just a spiritual circumcision alone – it needs to be both).

      When one comes to Messiah we are to offer our whole bodies. Rom_12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”. Is the withholding of a small piece (foreskin) of our body acceptable? Could I then not argue that my right hand is very important to me and I will present everything but that one member? If, at our initial coming to Yeshua for forgiveness, we were to intentionally withhold the confession of one sin can we say we were fully forgiven?

      As we come to Pesach festival we are reminded that no one who is uncircumcised can partake of the meal. Exo_12:48 “And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the Passover to YHWH, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. ”

      One of the “benefits” of being Jewish – and Shaul reminds us they are many – is that the Brit Milah- “covenant of circumcision” is preformed on the 8th day of the infants’ life. While the Jewish parents make the choice for their son to be circumcised, we as adopted sons must make the choice to be obedient to the terms of the covenant – at whatever cost. Perhaps we male Gentiles who come into covenant relationship with YHWH as adults pay a higher cost (in pain and ego) but in reality a foreskin is just a foreskin. At least we have the benefit of a local anesthetic while a Jewish infant does not (as far as I know). Let us also consider the story in Genesis 34 of the Shechemites whose entire male population willingly underwent circumcision so they could then intermarry and gain favorable family status. I wonder if the “prosperity” teachers of today were to make circumcision a requirement to receive their promises of wealth, health and prosperity that the lines at the doctors offices wouldn’t be out the door and around the corner! But if YHWH asks us to be circumcised as a sign of obedience to His Covenant, we cry: LEGALISM and run as fast and far away as we can.

      One final thought: Some of us may someday be martyred for our faith. Isn’t it then a small matter that we allow a small piece of us to be “martyred” today?

  • Lisa March 27, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Here is the scripture I based my first question on.. 1 Cor. 7:17 Only, as the Lord hath distributed to each man, as God hath called each, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all the churches. 18 Was any man called being circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Hath any been called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; but the keeping of the commandments of God. 20 Let each man abide in that calling wherein he was called.

    There is an “abiding” here.. And calling, which I believe is so significant, as I have found that the keeping of the commandments is the thing that enrages Judah when you are “uncircumcised”. If this were not so, that we should “abide”.. then should we not seek to be free from all other things Paul mentions in this chapter? Slavery for example.. etc.. etc..?? I think I hear an Elohim forbid?? I know more people have probably spoken up? But I have not received any more notifications re: comments? Thank you!!!

  • carl roberts March 27, 2012 at 11:55 am

    download and read these 3 pdf e-books by H. Clay Trumbull – The Blood Covenant, The Threshold Covenant and The Salt Covenant.]

    add another ‘amen!’ on these life-changing books!- and remember “this is the New Covenant in My blood!” We, (you and I and those who belong to Him) are in a blood-covenant relationship with our Creator, Redeemer and Eternal Friend.. Another book to add to the list by H. Clay Trumbull is “Friendship- the Master Passion”- it will forever change what you currently believe concerning the word “friend!”

    • Lisa March 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm

      Carl Roberts were you referring to me? It seems so?? I will look! Thank you!

  • Lisa March 27, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Rodney, I got a notification and I believe it was from you directed at my comment!! I am following so far.. I know you said NOT to jump to conclusions.. but so far, I am seeing the covenant of circumcision applies to the “natural seed” and the foreigner bought with MONEY.. I hope you will address that as I know we have been purchased “without money” and also that you will address my “already circumcised at birth” questions that we Gentiles practiced!! Shalom and blessings, I am enjoying this very much!! Thanks to all!

  • Lisa March 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Oh, I’m sorry, I meant to put the scriptures: Isaiah 52:3, 1 Peter 1:18. BTW, I hope you also took note that I do see Joshua as a prefigurement of Messiah, taking the people into the land, and would you address this, as I see this is a possible correlation to not seeking to be uncircumcised, or circumcised, as He may command this during the Second Exodus?? Thanks again for your patience with me!! Shalom today!

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