"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." II Chronicles 7:14;
Note: Scriptures are blue.
Does Our CREATOR Require It?
Based on a UHC a tape by Tim Williams
This is a very clear statement showing how ETERNAL 1 views circumcision. Were the ancient Israelites the only people required to be circumscised? Alternatively, is the command still binding today? Is it required for only the Jewish people? Why would a loving CREATOR require this of males in the first place? What should a male do today if he is uncircumcised? The answer to all of these questions lies within The Holy Scriptures, and the truth may surprise you.
To answer these questions on circumcision we must begin with the first mention of circumcision in The Holy Scriptures (OT).
To get the story flow we begin in Genesis with ETERNAL speaking to father Abraham:
"Go forth from your native land and from your father's house to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you and curse him that curses you; and all the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you" (Gen. 12: 1-3).
This must have been a difficult situation for Abram. He was told to uproot himself and his wife from their home and from all that they knew and loved. He was not told how far away the area was or whether danger and uncertainty waited. To compound this situation, he was told that his descendants would become a great and prosperous nation. At this time, Abram and Sarai were childless and advanced in years--not a time to move to a new location and plan a large family. What happened next is critical to the story. Did Abram argue or make excuses to CREATOR? Did he try to alter the plan or instructions? Notice:
"Abram went forth as YHWH commanded him..." (Gen. 12:4).
Abram simply obeyed the voice of ETERNAL CREATOR and went forth to the new land as he was instructed. ETERNAL reminded Abram many times that he would be a father of many people and nations. 2 A full twenty-four years later, CREATOR appeared to Abram again and reiterated His earlier promise and enlarged it, telling Abram:
"As for Me, this is My covenant with you: you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. And you shall no longer be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I make you the father of a multitude of nations" (Gen. 17:4-5).
ETERNAL changed Abram's name to Abraham, which means, "father of a multitude 3" Remember, at this time, Sara was still barren--yet from this point forward when any one called Abraham by name, they literally said, "'Father of many nations'." The name Abraham was a sign of ETERNAL's promise to Abraham and his descendants. In addition, ETERNAL stated:
"I will make you exceedingly fertile; and make nations of you; and kings shall come forth from you. I will maintain My covenant between Me and you and your offspring to come as an everlasting covenant throughout the ages, to be Deity to you and your offspring to come. I assign the land you sojourn in to you and your offspring to come, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting holding. I will be their Deity.' CREATOR further said to Abraham, 'As for you, you and your offspring to come throughout the ages shall keep My covenant. Such shall be the covenant between me and you and your offspring to follow which you shall keep: every male among you SHALL BE CIRCUMCISED. You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and that shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you" (Gen. 17:6-11).
ETERNAL now added a physical sign that Abraham and all his male descendants would carry throughout their generations. In addition, the man and his wife upon seeing the circumcision of the male would be reminded that they, as children of Abraham, are the people of ETERNAL CREATOR and He is their Deity.
And throughout the generations, every male among you shall be circumcised at the age of eight days. As for the home born slave and the one bought from an outsider who is not of your offspring, they must be circumcised, home born and purchased alike. Thus shall My covenant be marked in your flesh as an everlasting pact. And if any male who is uncircumcised fails to circumcise the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his kin; he has broken My covenant (Gen. 17:12-14).
Circumcision became a physical mark to show that one had entered the Covenant with our CREATOR. You may ask, "How long was this physical sign of the Covenant binding?" ETERNAL told Abraham, "throughout the ages." In other words, circumcision is FOREVER. It was not only required of Abraham's offspring, but also of all those who lived among Abraham and his descendants in this promised land, including slaves born in the area and those brought there from foreign lands. Anyone who was uncircumcised was "cut off from his kin" or banished as an outcast. Therefore, we see the seriousness of failing to follow this instruction from our CREATOR. Again, the faith 4 of Abraham was tested. What did Abraham do when given these instructions from his CREATOR? Notice:
"Then Abraham took his son Ishmael, and all his home born slaves and all those he had bought, every male in Abraham's household, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins ON THAT VERY DAY, as CREATOR had spoken to him. Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he circumcised the flesh of his foreskin, and his son Ishmael was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. Thus Abraham and his son were circumcised on that very day; and all his household, his home born slaves and those that had been bought from outsiders, were circumcised with him" (Gen. 17:23-27).
The faith expressed by Abraham and his total belief that our CREATOR would fulfill His promises to him is what set Abraham apart from everyone else on earth, then and now. Abraham believed what our CREATOR said and he obeyed His voice. As we are told in Genesis 15:6:
"...and he believed in YHWH, and He accounted it to him for righteousness."
We now go to Moses as he is given instructions from The Holy One of Israel on how to observe the Passover. As we pick up the story flow in Exodus 12, ETERNAL CREATOR is about to unleash the most devastating plague yet to strike Egypt. The first born of all Egypt will die because of the refusal of Pharaoh to let the children of Israel go free. Realize that this was before the law was given to Moses at Sinai by at least fifty days. Notice the warning given to Moses and Aaron concerning uncircumcised males being restricted from eating the Passover offering. Clearly, those males who are uncircumcised are not allowed to observe the Passover by eating of the Passover offering:
"YHWH said to Moses and Aaron: This is the law of the Passover offering: No foreigner shall eat of it. But any slave a man has bought may eat of it once he has been circumcised ...but no uncircumcised person may eat of it" (Ex. 12:43-44, 48).
Some fifty days later, as CREATOR gave the law to Moses at Mount Sinai, making this physical sign of the Covenant official law. At this point, circumcision ceased to be simply a physical sign or token that a person had entered the covenant with The Mighty One. It was now an ordained law given by the Almighty CREATOR of Israel. It became just as binding as the Ten Commandments or any other law given. Notice the instructions given to Moses by our CREATOR:
"When a woman at childbirth bears a male...On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised" (Lev. 12:2-3).
After the death of Moses, ETERNAL dried up the Jordan River to prepare a place for the Israelites to cross over into the Promised Land. While encamped at Gilgal, Joshua was instructed to circumcise the whole nation of Israel. The name Gilgal literally means "hill of foreskins". The males of military age, who come out of Egypt, had all died during the forty years wandering in the desert, and had been circumcised. However, none of the males born during the last forty years had been circumcised. It was these sons born during the desert wanderings, which were circumcised. Realize that our CREATOR Himself, gave these instructions himself to Joshua:
"At that time YHWH said to Joshua, 'Make flint knives and proceed with a second circumcision of the Israelites.' So Joshua had flint knives made, and the Israelites were circumcised at Gibeath-haaraloth" (Joshua 5:2-3).
Remember, the second part of the promise accompanying circumcision was that they were to be ETERNAL's people and that He would be their Deity. How would that be done? Our CREATOR planned a different kind of circumcision in The Holy Scriptures, but also extremely more important:
"Open your hearts to YHWH, remove the thickening about your hearts..." (Jer. 4:4).
This word "thickening" is "orlah" in the Hebrew 5 and means "foreskin". So now, we are also told to circumcise our hearts. What does this mean? The Scriptures interpret themselves without our aid:
Cut away, therefore, the thickening about your hearts and stiffen your necks no more (Deut. 10:16).
Then YHWH CREATOR will open up your heart and the hearts of your offspring to love YHWH CREATOR with all your heart and soul in order that you may live (Deut. 30:6).
The phrase, "stiffen your necks no more", refers to being rebellious and refusing to obey the laws of our CREATOR. Therefore, we see that physical circumcision shows that we have agreed to enter the Covenant with The Mighty One, but circumcision of the heart is actually turning from rebellious ways and focusing our whole lives on loving and obeying our CREATOR. Abraham was circumcised of the flesh as well as the heart. He completely trusted The Mighty One and obeyed Him without question. Can you see the difference in the attitudes of Abraham and those of Adam and Eve, who disobeyed and decided for themselves what direction their lives should take?
What About the Present Time?Thus far, we have examined scriptures that deal with a time and place far in the past. However, we shall see that the instructions of ETERNAL apply forever. Most students of The Holy Scriptures will tell you the majority of these prophesies are for the end time and extend into the millennial reign of the Moshiach (Messiah). Do The Holy Scriptures have anything to say about circumcision that applies for our time today or the future? You bet! Notice:
"Awake, awake, O Zion! Clothe yourself in splendor; Put on your robes of majesty, Jerusalem, Holy City! For the uncircumcised and the unclean shall never enter you again" (Is. 52:1).
"And say to the rebellious house of Israel: 'Thus said YHWH CREATOR: Too long, O House of Israel, have you committed all your abominations, admitting aliens, uncircumcised of spirit and uncircumcised of flesh, to be in My Sanctuary and profane My very Temple, when your offer up My food-the fat and the blood. You have broken My Covenant with your abominations" (Ezek. 44: 6-7).
"All who survive, of all those nations that came up against Jerusalem shall make a pilgrimage year by year to bow low to the King Lord of Hosts and to observe the Feast of Booths. Any of the earth's communities that does not make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem to bow low to the King Lord of Hosts shall receive no rain. However, if the community of Egypt does not make this pilgrimage, it shall not be visited by the same affliction with which YHWH will strike the other nations that do not come up to observe the Feast of Booths. Such shall be the punishment of Egypt and of all other nations that do not come up to observe the Feast of Booths" (Zech. 14:16-19).
What do these Scriptures tell us? In the future Davidic Kingdom, 6 those who are uncircumcised will not be allowed to enter the Temple of Jerusalem, or even into the city of Jerusalem. Zechariah tells us that all the nations and communities of the earth (including the Gentiles) 7 will be required to come into the city of Jerusalem once per year to keep the Feast of Booths. For those nations who choose not to come to Jerusalem year by year to bow low to the King of Hosts, rain will be withheld. In the case of Egypt who does not depend on rain, some other type of curse will be given. We begin to see a principle here. All nations will be required to visit Jerusalem once per year, and those who do not will be punished. You must, however, be circumcised to visit Jerusalem. This makes it plain that circumcision will be required of the Gentiles in the worldwide Davidic Kingdom as well as the descendants of Abraham.
ConclusionWe can see from The Holy Scriptures that circumcision is clearly required of all of the physical descendants of Abraham. For those of us who understand that Great Britain and America represent a portion of the lost Ten Tribes, these instructions are as timely and important for us today as they were some four thousand years ago. They were given to Abraham, again to Moses, again to Joshua, again to Ezekiel, again to Isaiah, and again to Jeremiah, and now to us.
We have seen that the prophesies of The Holy Scriptures tell us that circumcision will be required of Gentiles during the worldwide reign of the Moshiach. We know that the family of Abraham, or Israel, was the family CREATOR would deal exclusively with until the time of the Davidic Kingdom. 8 At that time, all of the earth will come to an understanding and knowledge of the ONE True CREATOR of humankind. Therefore, the instructions or laws given to Israel will one day extend to the entire world. There will be unity, understanding, and pure truth in the worship of ETERNAL. All nations will be required to keep the Sabbath, the Holy Days and obey the dietary laws. As the Gentile nations of the earth learn to worship our CREATOR in truth and pure understanding, they will be required to show an outward physical sign that they have entered into the Covenant with The Mighty One to love and obey Him with all their hearts.
This outward, physical sign has been clearly shown circumcision of the foreskin. Circumcision of the foreskin was commanded in the past. It is binding for us today, and it will be required in the future. If you are a male, the situation is very simple and straightforward. You can do it now, or you can do it later; but you will do it if you want to be a part of the Kingdom of our CREATOR. Let us not forget that what our CREATOR really wants of us all is circumcision of the heart. He desires us to strive with all of our being to turn away from sin, rebellion, and selfishness and seek to obey Him with all of our hearts and souls. He wants us to be truly happy, and true happiness can only come from obedience to His laws. So you see, circumcision is a physical act to show a spiritual relationship with The Holy One of Israel. We are circumcised physically to remind us of the covenant between Abraham and The Mighty One. Physical circumcision also reminds us to strive for spiritual circumcision of the heart. One final thought for those of you who will say that the New Testament claims that physical circumcision is no longer required:
"You, YHWH, are near, and all Your commandments are true. I know from Your decrees of old that You have established them forever" (Psalms 119:151-152).
Footnotes1. The word ETERNAL comes from the Hebrew letters YHWH [#H3068 Strong's Exhaustive Concordance] (the) self-existent or ETERNAL.
2. Compare Gen. 12:7; 13:14-17; 14:19; 15:1-21; 17:1-4
3. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance #H85, Abraham means to be populous; father of a multitude. Abraham, the later name of Abram.
4. A simple definition of faith is to just obey ETERNAL, confidant that He will bless that obedience.
5. Ibid. #H6190.
6. See our booklet New Proof of the Messiah.
7. It is not logical to assume that the entire populations of the earth will all relocate to Jerusalem for seven days, but it is likely that representatives from every community will be required to come.
8. See our article New Proof of the Messiah.