Guten Tag Saints! I hope that everyone is enjoying warmer temperatures. Spring in Southern Germany is reminding me of the Whack-A-Mole game we use to play at Chuck E. Cheese's as children. Just when you think you can break out the shorts, that mole (i.e. the sun) goes back in the hole..... and then it starts snowing like it did this morning. Get what I'm saying? No? Well, let's just say that Father is teaching lessons to this sun loving Southerner and that is to rejoice in all things; even while grey skies and low temperatures dominate. This may seem like a small thing to some, but I have noticed that I've grown a bit grumpy depending on the weather. I even said to a friend a few weeks ago that, "I don't do well in weather like this. I'm from the South and I need the sun!" Ok, so maybe I can blame that speech on a meteorologically induced Vitamin D deficiency. And while yes, I need to take my supplements, there's something else going on here and I think it goes well with the series on circumcision.
So Brother Marcus continued the teaching on circumcision and it reminded me of Matthew 22:36-38. According to Yeshua, the first and greatest commandment is to love YeHoVaH with all of our heart, soul, and mind. This essentially IS circumcision of the heart and further explained in Deuteronomy 10:12-13 to include keeping His commandments. This appears to have been the case from the very beginning - the necessity of a circumcised heart to please God. The special placement of Adam and Eve in Eden's garden and the short account of their time there illustrates that YeHoVaH desired to be their total provision. The Bible states in Genesis 3:8 that He even walked among them! All they had to do to continue their beautiful existence in His presence was to be obedient to Him. They needed to put His desires for them above their own desires. That, is a circumcised heart and that will always be the case for us all and like the series explains, it is not a new concept when Yeshua arrives in flesh and blood.
Leviticus 26:41 seems to be the first reference to an uncircumcised heart and there He calls for those that have one to humble or subject themselves to Him. Remember that this is all voluntary. If they didn't want to do that, then they were free to leave. If they didn't get out of town before they violated one of the laws that required death, then they were put to death and we have to remember that this is the righteous judgment of the Almighty.
So what are we to do with these verses that religion tells us discounts physical circumcision? Well we must remember who we are. Like in the recent lessons, we are grafted into the Commonwealth of Israel as Paul explains in Romans 11 and as illustrated throughout the entirety of Scripture concerning aliens coming into covenant with YeHoVaH. When you can identify your nationality, then you know what governs that nation. We know that we are now heirs to the promises given to Abraham and redeemed through the blood of Messiah. We identify with HIS holy nation, not a religion. So knowing that, we understand that the commandments are for us that desire to love and serve Him. If He instructed a physical circumcision, then anyone speaking otherwise should be tested against scripture. If we are reading in the New Testament and getting an understanding that differs from that everlasting commandment, then we have to ask ourselves what is going on. What changed and who changed it? As I came into the understanding of the religions of Christianity and Judaism things began to make more since to me. I learned about the perversion of the sign of circumcision as an initiation into a religious system masquerading as what YeHoVaH disseminated to His people. People were boasting in one commandment as if they were righteous and their hearts were covered in foreskin. They were taking their religious perversion of a holy commandment and imposing that on people. That's why James told the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15 that they gave the people no such commandment. It sounds like THE commandment that YeHoVaH gave to His people, but it's a perversion of that commandment. It has absolutely no bearing on keeping the valid commandment to circumcise. So in a nutshell, this is what the New Testament writers are speaking against when they address circumcision. What good is it to be circumcised in the flesh and leave your heart untouched? Leave those men alone that don't yet have their flesh circumcised - if they remain in the Way, they will fulfill the commandment. We can't learn everything in one day, it takes time and we certainly don't have to circumcise our flesh as a requirement to BEGIN following the Almighty. If anything, a circumcised heart precedes everything that we do with our hands. We can keep commandments all day long with an unloving and impure heart. Do you think YeHoVaH wants that? What He desires is that we keep His commandments from our heart because we love Him. Those with a circumcised heart WILL BE driven by the Spirit of YeHoVaH to keep His commandments. Give them time and let the Word that Yeshua walked out perfectly bring light to their path. That is why Titus, who saw through the perversion being hoisted upon him was not compelled to be circumcised by that doctrine. No, what should compel a disciple of Yeshua to be circumcised in flesh and heart is the very Word of the YeHoVaH. No update is given on Titus' circumcision status, but if He stayed true to the Word, I can make my own conclusions about what happened.
Ok, so back to the beginning of this post. What does my ranting about the weather have to do with circumcision? Well, circumcision of the heart allows Father the good ground to plant whatever He needs to plant in us. So by me allowing my circumstances to affect my mood, I am essentially saying that until I get temperatures in the 70s and blue sunny skies, I won't be happy. It's a small thing, yet in the grand scheme of things, it's very important. I have to learn to rejoice no matter what and not allow my flesh to take me out of line with Yeshua. Now I'm focusing on the wrong things and not allowing Him to be my provision for peace and a sound mind. It's just one of those little lessons that add up overtime and I want to be faithful in the little things so that I am ready when He calls me for something greater.