285 – CIRCUMCISION 2
Jehovah declares that he is the creator of man on the earth. “Thus says Jehovah, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: ‘You ask me about the things that are to come, concerning my sons, and you command me concerning the work of my hands! I have made the earth, and created man on it. I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens; and I have commanded all their army’” (Is. 45:11-12). “I have made the earth, the men and the animals that are on the surface of the earth, by my great power” (Jr. 27:5).
Jehovah declares also that the sperm of the man he created is impure. “If any man has an emission of semen, then he shall bathe all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the evening” (Lv. 15:16).Someone will say: The sperm became unclean after the fall of Adam. We counter-argument remembering that the text reveals that man becomes unclean when the seed of the copula gets out, that is, before it got out man was not unclean; therefore man was clean, but the seed was unclean. This happens once more in verse eighteen. “If a man lies with a woman and there is an emission of semen, they shall both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the evening” (Lev. 15:18). Women were clean and became unclean because of man’s sperm; therefore, the sperm is by nature unclean. It was created unclean by Jehovah. This is the reason why children are born unclean, both male and female; for the seed from where they come is unclean by nature (Lev. 12:1-8). This is also why we read in Job:“Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one” (Job 14:4). Job was not saying that the mother is unclean. The mother is clean, but the seed is unclean, and the child is going to be born unclean. Both men and women become unclean when they degenerate. “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt. They have done abominable works. There is none who does good” (Ps. 14:3). They became unclean because they went astray. There is one verse that says, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt. They have done abominable works. There is none who does good” (Ps. 14:1). We conclude that the uncleanness came from corruption. The result of the analyses is as follows: All men are clean, but they carry an unclean seed (sperm). Also man and woman became unclean by the corruption of their practices.
Jehovah took the descendants of Jacob as his people: “Yet listen now, Jacob my servant, and Israel, whom I have chosen. This is what Jehovah who made you, and formed you from the womb, who will help you” (Is. 44:1-2). He calls this people “children”: “You are the children of Jehovah your God: you shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. For you are a holy people to Yahweh your God, and Jehovah has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, above all peoples who are on the face of the earth” (Deut. 14:1-2). Before Jehovah took them for children, though, he led them to Egypt, and there the people became perverted; therefore he was unclean. The prophet Hezekiah declared: “The word of Jehovah came again to me, saying, Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother: and they played the prostitute in Egypt; they played the prostitute in their youth; there were their breasts pressed, and there was handled the bosom of their virginity. The names of them were Oholah the elder, and Oholibah her sister: and they became mine, and they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Samaria is Oholah, and Jerusalem Oholibah” (Ez. 23:1-4). It becomes very clear that Jehovah begets unclean children, for he took them to Egypt to get perverted. How can Jehovah beget and take unclean children for himself?
In the New Testament it is completely different. For someone to be a child of God the Father, they have to be born again. “As newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). This new birth is operated by the Gospel — that is, the good news of Christ — and by the Holy Spirit. Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Jesus answered, “Most certainly I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he can’t enter into the Kingdom of God! That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:5-6). This is why Paul tells us:“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). In the New Testament those children of Jehovah are not children of God.
But Jehovah planned a way to differentiate his children from the other peoples, whom he rejected. This was the circumcision. It all started with Abraham. Jehovah said to the patriarch: “This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your seed after you. Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin. It will be a token of the covenant between me and you” (Gen. 17:10-11). This covenant will be eternal (Gen. 17:13). “The uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his people. He has broken my covenant” (Gen. 17:14). To Jehovah the uncircumcised were unclean; therefore, circumcision would sanctify. “Awake, awake, put on your strength, Zion; put on your beautiful garments, Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into you the uncircumcised and the unclean” (Is. 52:1). It is obvious that the circumcised were sanctified in the flesh. Jeremiah reveals that there was flesh that was sanctified (Jer. 11:15). They were the circumcised of Jehovah.
The New Testament, though, brings to light a surprising revelation about circumcision. “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing” (1 Cor. 7:19). If circumcision is nothing, why did Jehovah value it so much? If it is nothing it has lost its value. Why did Jehovah declare that it was a perpetual covenant? Perpetual things do not cease. Paul broke Jehovah’s covenant, and had to die (Gen. 17:14).But Paul continues: “For in Christ Jesus neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation” (Gal. 6:15). The circumcision of the flesh is to the old carnal creature subject to the passions of the flesh, what Peter calls corrupt desires (2 Pet. 2:10). Paul declares that the desires of the flesh deceive the Christian, in Eph. 4:22-24, for the born again man is created in true justice and holiness.
Faith put an end to circumcision. “There is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith, and the uncircumcised through faith” (Rom. 3:30). And Paul ends by saying: “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not from men, but from God” (Rom. 2:28-29).
To the spiritual men of the faith in Christ, Paul says: “You were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ” (Cl. 2:11).
by Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira