The Talmud



CIRCUMCISION = IMMERSION Question from Australia: I have a question for you, and hope you can help. Some of the new believers here are wondering about circumcision. I know that you say that it is of the heart and I agree with you. Norman Willis in his book that you recommend is teaching that it is for today. So, there is a little bit of confusion in my mind about this subject. If it is for today how does a man go about it, as surely it cannot be done just surgically; there would have to be some sort of ceremony. I know this is a difficult subject; sorry to dump this one on you.

Response: On physical circumcision, most understand the "perpetual" aspect of this covenant-sign as being the physical, man-made activity in the flesh. Norman is indeed one of those at the moment, as well as several others who come to mind. These men differ in their understanding of circumcision than I do, and both sides of this debate probably hope the other will come over to their view eventually. The writings of Shaul seem to solidify us both into our fixed opinions, just as the same sun which melts wax hardens clay. As you know, it is my view that the council of believers and elders at Acts 15 reviewed this issue concerning the Gentiles turning to Elohim. The ones who want to boast in one's flesh see the 4 "beginning" elements for Gentiles to observe at Acts 15, and assume they will hear Mosheh read in the synagogues and then have themselves circumcised eventually - in their flesh.

The condition of one's flesh is not going to count for anything, and it is not through human effort that we are called, chosen, and delivered. Our immersion into water is the "outward sign" of our circumcision of our heart. Romans 2:25-29 are verses so important to notice, since we can see that it is really the heart where our real decision must come from: "For circumcision indeed profits if you practice the Torah, but if you are a transgressor of the Torah, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. So, if an uncircumcised one watches over the righteousnesses of the Torah, shall not his uncircumci-sion be reckoned as circumcision? And the uncircumcised by nature (physically), who perfects the Torah, shall judge you, who notwithstanding letter and circumcision, are a transgressor of the Torah! For he is not a Yahudi who is so outwardly, neither is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh (see that?). But a Yahudi is he who is so inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in Spirit, not literally, whose praise is not from men, but from Elohim." (Explanation continues into Romans 3).

1 Cor. 7:19 and Col. 2:11 should give anyone pause who seeks to have their flesh circumcised, thinking YHWH will count our flesh as anything. The whole book of Galatians is about this "law", addressed to the Gentiles there who put their hope in the wrong understanding of the New Covenant. Romans 4:11,12 show clearly that our faith is our justification, and even this is not of ourselves. Notice these words: Col. 2:11-13: "In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision NOT MADE WITH HANDS, in the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, by THE CIRCUMCISION OF MESSIAH, having been buried with Him in IMMERSION, in which you also were raised with Him through the belief in the working of Elohim, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses."

This act of immersion is clearly what represents our circumcision as the outward sign or act of our faith now, indicating the circumcision of Messiah. Men boasting in one anoth-ers' flesh are missing the whole spiritual point. If we have received Yahushua's Spirit, we are His, and He has circumcised our hearts with our love for the Truth, a love for His Torah. I was circumcised as a baby, and my boys were also. It is a health decision too, but I feel it is right to obey the physical command for our new-born children as we are believers. But, if an uncircumcised adult repents and turns to Torah, I would never recommend them to be physically obliged to do this, when the writings clearly express it is nothing. Our immersion acts as the outward covenant-sign of the circumcision of our heart. Shaul declared that those who disturbed the new Gentile believers with circumcision of the flesh should emasculate themselves (completely cut off everything) (Gal. 5:12). Biting and devouring one another over these things is very wrong, so I don't involve myself in these disputes, knowing the end will be controversy and division (which YHWH hates). Those of the other opinion are working through these matters, and still have much to learn -- as do we all. As Ya'aqob says, we all stumble in many matters.

Col. 2:16 needs to be looked at in various translations; the easiest one to read the "added" words is the KJV, since they italicize the words they have added. The "Body of Mashiach" is all it should say, not "the Body (is) of Christ". Shaul (Paul) is referring to the food, drink, festivals (appointed High Sabbaths for instance), new moons, and Sabbaths as things which are "a shadow of of things to come". He is not saying they are annulled as the NIV footnotes will claim they are. For example, if you consider the book Luke wrote we call "Acts", the word "Sabbath" is used often; and this record to Theophilis was written in 28 chapters, 31 years after the resurrection and ascension of Yahushua. You'll notice situa

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