an excerpt from
Creation Gospel Workbook Five Volume 2
Adonai's army is comprised of those who carry out His commandments in the holiness of the Spirit, not the carnal flesh. The obedience of Israel will free the families of the Earth from Egyptian burdens and eventually bring Pharaoh's sheep who develop deafness to Pharaoh's voice and sensitivity to Yeshua's. They will travel back to the Land as a possession with the sheep of Israel.
Moses, however, did not want to confront Pharaoh with the commandment and the vision of the 3rd heaven as explained later by Paul, "because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations." (2 Cor 12:7-9; Ga 2:1-2) Moses used the excuse twice that he had uncircumcised lips, that neither Israel nor Pharaoh would listen to him.
There are all kinds of translations of what "uncircumcised lips" means, but use Scripture to define Scripture. Circumcision is milah, but uncircumcision is not the negative form of milah. It has a meaning and word all its own: arel. Run a word search throughout the Scriptures on arel or its Greek cognate, and it is either the equivalent of, or associated with, all of the following listed in order of frequency with the least-used first, ending with the most-used associations of uncircumcised:
- Resistant to the Holy Spirit; without a seal; separated from Adonai's people; dying of thirst; mocking or taunting the people or armies of Adonai, such as Goliath; unclean, naked of good deeds from Adonai's Word; and as Jeremiah defined it, having NO DELIGHT in the Word of Adonai.
- Breaking covenant; an enemy of the armies or commandments of Adonai; one who abuses a corpse
- Pride and sin; a Philistine
- The grave or the unrighteous dead; shame and disgrace; a foreigner, or ger. A ger is a man who is in the process of ripening, like a green fruit or a field of green wheat, and his gur, or sojourn, is the process of ripening. This is evident when the patriarchs are referred to as sojourners, or living in the Land as a process of ripening Adonai's plan to gather the families of the Earth.
- Terrorism/terrorist/one who makes others afraid
- A non-Jew, someone from the families of the earth not born in covenant
- Those slain by the sword.
Sojourning suggests that the ripening of Israel was necessary to precede a later ripening of the sojourner Gentiles. Much of Paul's teaching is devoted to detailing how the Gentiles should be allowed to ripen in the covenant as Abraham's children, not necessarily as Judah's. As in Timothy's case, some would ripen earlier in the covenant of circumcision (and all that it means) than others. Luke writes in Acts 16:1-5:
Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. And a disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek, and he was well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium. Paul wanted this man to go with him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. Now while they were passing through the cities, they were delivering the decrees which had been decided upon by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem, for them to observe. So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily.
This passage in Acts lends some insight into matters of dispute within the Body of Messiah in the First Century. First, decisions had been made by elders and apostles in Jerusalem concerning "decrees" for the believing community comprised of both Jews and Gentiles. The Greek word for decrees is dogma. Dogma (Strong's 1378) includes:
- doctrine, decree, ordinance
- of rulers
- the rules and requirements of the law of Moses; carrying a suggestion of severity and of threatened judgment
- of certain decrees of the apostles relative to right living
Even with a large number of Jewish believers influencing the Gentiles turning to Yeshua in the First Century, it is clear that mass Gentile ripening into the covenant was creating questions that had never before been uniformly negotiated within the Messianic Jewish community.
Due to the questions, the apostles made decisions concerning how certain commandments would be kept by Gentiles and dispatched messengers to deliver and explain those decisions. Paul's writings to the Gentiles are brilliant in communicating to them the mercy of the Torah and its commandments concerning them as sojourners and ripening fruit.
Paul did not want Gentiles to keep the commandments and dogma as mere expressions of the flesh that would benefit only human flesh, but as volunteers for the spiritual commandments. These commandments would unfold in their lives just like the Creation week and just like the commandments unfolded all the way from Abraham their father to Moses. Abraham learned to walk in covenant for many, many years before his circumcision "sealed the deal" of the great vision. The seal of the covenant does not imply a brand new work in a person, but a visionary, prophetic work finished and sealed in completion.
Timothy, on the other hand, was circumcised because of two interesting reasons: His father was Greek, but his mother was Jewish; the Jewish believers knew this. Was Paul so hypocritical as to circumcise Timothy when he was at the same time delivering the message that Gentiles did not have to be circumcised to be saved? Is the text implying that the Jewish believers insisted upon it?
If they had insisted upon Timothy's physical circumcision, their own spiritual circumcision may have been in question, but the clue about the Jewish community's response to Timothy is found elsewhere when Paul writes to Timothy:
For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.
Both Lois and Eunice were Jewish believers, and they would have taught Timothy the Torah from his childhood.
The commandments of the Torah were not new information for Timothy, but once the Ruach of Yeshua breathed over the Torah, Timothy's walk was sealed. He had both the commandments of Yeshua as well as the testimony of Yeshua, for he knew the one to whom every one of those commandments pointed. In terms of his fruit, though young in age, Timothy was ripe! It was time. He was circumcised of Spirit, and though Spirit is unseen, the lamp of the body eventually releases its light.
Both the Jewish believers and Paul understood this, just as they understood that although the Israelites quit circumcising in the Egyptian captivity, they had to do so again at an appointed time in order to become the army their Father desired. Moses realized this when Tzipporah had to circumcise Gershom in order to preserve his life. As with the reproof of his Hebrew brothers for striking one another, how could Moses preach "circumcision" to Pharaoh and Israel when he was not practicing what he preached?
When you enter the land and plant all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as forbidden.
Three years it shall be counted as uncircumcised; it shall not be eaten. But
in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to the LORD. In the fifth year you are to eat of its fruit, that its yield may increase for you; I am the LORD your God. (
Although Israel also did not circumcise in the wilderness journey, they had to do so in order to cross into the Land. The journey and sojourning is part of the growth process, but eventually Israel must become a circumcised fruit ready to be shared with the nations. The forty years in the wilderness is significant, for in that 40th year, Israel became "holy to the LORD" and an army with a volunteer ruach for the commandments of her King and Commander. In their first three decades in the wilderness, they were counted as uncircumcised. Moses was teaching, and they were learning.
This was not the same as their circumcision in Egypt, which preceded any works on their part. The Egyptian circumcision was their first circumcision, and although it was physical, it represented that circumcision made without a man's hand, for Tzipporah's circumcision set the precedent for the nation. When she gives birth to Gershom, Moses hints to the process of ripening that is taking place in his own life:
"Then she gave birth to a son, and he named him Gershom, for he said, 'I have been a sojourner (ger) in a foreign land.'"
Moses' lips were not circumcised when he rebuked his Israelite brothers for striking one another even though it is technically hard to fault the words of his reprimand. Moses had struck down an Egyptian the day before, which indicated he was not practicing what he preached. Moses needed a thorn in his flesh for forty years to realize the uncircumcision of his rebuke to his Israelite brothers. The words of high-minded rebuke uttered so naturally forty years before were replaced with the thick speech of humility.
The irony Moses demonstrates is that those who believe they are qualified to reprove, rebuke, and exhort the Body often aren't. They can say the right things with uncircumcised lips, but their words are resisted by those who are guilty of both real or imagined infractions, for they recognize the hypocrisy or immaturity of the self-appointed judge and deliverer.
On the other hand, those who do not believe that they are qualified to reprove, rebuke, and exhort the Body often are the very ones who should. They are humble and aware of their own insufficiencies. They've not resisted the circumcision of the Ruach, and it shows in their visible behavior. This sounds like the type of problem Paul had encountered among some of the Jewish believers in Galatia who were telling the Gentiles they had to be circumcised in order to be saved. They were law-giving, but they weren't keeping the Torah themselves!
Israel's second circumcision, the one before they entered the Land, was one not simply of deliverance and salvation, but of being and of possession. The seven-point plan had unfolded, and the circumcision declared the end from the beginning: from deliverance from burdens of sin to possession of a Land in which to rest in wholeness. The Gentiles, like the Israelites, were complete in Messiah Yeshua; all they had to do was to begin walking in the path he set before them with the love of a volunteer's heart.
This plan appears to be what the Jerusalem Council was pondering when they sent their instructions to the Gentiles. In summary, they gave four instructions concerning holiness from Leviticus (Acts 15) and reminded them where to learn Moses, which was taught in the synagogue. As the Israelites were instructed by Moses in how to walk in their covenant, so the Gentiles would be guided by the same Moses. The beauty of the plan for the Gentiles was that they would be able to see Messiah Yeshua in the Torah every step of their journey. What a gift! And what an ultimate circumcision they could experience, just like Timothy.
It was normally the mother's privilege to name the child; instead, Moses names the child based on his own experiences, much like Leah named her children based on her own travails; even in the despair of their children's naming, however, spiritual vision foresees a good potential of the names.