You are to be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin;
this will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.
Today I want to discuss the covenant of circumcision.
In Hebrew it is called Brit Milah.
In the first covenant God made with Abraham, Abraham didn’t have to do anything to partake of the benefits.
It was all on God.
However, the same thing does NOT apply to Abraham’s offspring.
In order to partake of the covenant promises God made to Abraham, they would HAVE TO BE circumcised.
Do you see the difference?
In other words, Abraham didn’t have to become circumcised to partake of the benefits of the covenants.
But his offspring would have to.
IT IS AN OBLIGATION for all of Abraham’s offspring.
Participation was required!
The Scripture is very clear that the punishment for refusing circumcision was being cut off from your people, both physically and spiritually.
If a parent declined to have their male child circumcised, not only were they not part of the clan but they were spiritually separated from God.
They were no longer Israelites.
The Zohar notes: “As long as Israel observes the custom of circumcision, heaven and earth will go on their appointed courses, but if Israel neglects the covenant, heaven and earth are disturbed.“
Throughout Jewish history, circumcision has been a sign of the Jewish will to survive while its discontinuance has been a sign of assimilation.
During the reign of Antiochus IV (165BC) circumcision was prohibited by royal decree.
Regardless, Jews observed the rite even at the risk of death.
Some 100 years later political conditions changed and many upper class Jews desirous of assimilation to the dominant Greco-Roman way of life began to neglect Brit Milah.
200 years later, during the Hadrianic persecution, the practice was again prohibited-as well as the study of the Torah in general.
But many Jews still chose to ignore these ungodly decrees.
During the Nazi reign in Germany, in order to identify those Jews who were trying to pass themselves off as Christians or Gentiles, an inspection was conducted to see if the suspected individual had been circumcised or not.
Later in the New Testament, Paul will go on to explain that what God really wanted was circumcised hearts, not circumcised flesh.
By accepting Yeshua as our savior, we have our hearts circumcised.
The same proposition faces us that faced Abraham’s offspring.
If we submit to having our hearts circumcised by accepting the New Covenant, which is the blood, of Yeshua, we become part of the chosen of God,
If we reject it, we are separated from God’s people and God Himself.
Notice that Genesis 17:12 says that even the foreign member of a household is to be circumcised.
This verse explodes another stereotype that before the advent of Yeshua, it was only Jews who were eligible for salvation.
The truth is any foreigner who was willing to submit him or herself to circumcision and pledge 100% allegiance to the God of Israel was given full citizenship and had all the covenantal rights of any natural born Hebrew.
This is the exact same pattern that Gentiles today rely on.
Via a circumcision of his or her heart, a Gentile is grafted into the covenants of Israel given through Abraham, Moses, and Yeshua.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
Indeed, the man who is physically uncircumcised but obeys the Torah will stand as a judgment on you who have had a b’rit-milah and have Torah written out but violate it! For the real Jew is not merely Jewish outwardly: true circumcision is not only external and physical. On the contrary, the real Jew is one inwardly; and true circumcision is of the heart, spiritual not literal; so that his praise comes not from other people but from God.-Romans 2:27-29