“For we are the circumcision who worship God in the Spirit and have no confidence in the flesh.”
The Apostle Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit devoted a great deal of time in his teachings and writings to the dispelling of the notion and conjectures of the worthiness of the flesh. The primary areas of his discourses dealt with national heritage, family lineage and accomplishments. The ceremonial ritual of circumcision was revered as a right unto the nation of Israel because they were the chosen people of God. The covenant of circumcision, however, was received by Abram before he was circumcised, before there was the manifestation of the seed and before there was a nation of Israel. Thus the token of the covenant was not by works of righteousness which Abram had done but an evidence of the faith within which was imputed for righteousness sake.
The circumcision of Abram and his sons was a token of the promise of God that He would make Abram the father of many nations and having changed his name to Abraham, God proclaimed that the act was already accomplished; “For I have made you a father of many nations” (Gen. 17:5). The mystery of this covenant was unto all the seed of Abraham as God made him fruitful, unto whom God would be God and not just the nation of Israel. Because God gave Abraham this covenant of circumcision, he circumcised Isaac who likewise did the same for Jacob and he unto his twelve sons before the handwriting of ordinances was delivered on Mt. Sinai. This token of the covenant was reiterated in the tables of stone as God made every male a subject to the ministration of condemnation. The ceremonial ritual performed on every male that opened the matrix obligated these children to complete obedience to every jot and tittle of the Law of Moses under penalty of death (Lev. 12:3). The fact that each child born unto Adam begins life dead in trespasses and sin precludes the notion of the possibility of any acceptable obedience. Compliance with the observance of the pattern given in the mount condemns the child in their inability. It also demonstrates this every present and inescapable inability of Adam to measure up to the standard of the perfect Holiness of God. And so, circumcision of the flesh profits nothing for “by the deeds of the Law no flesh shall be justified in His sight” (Rms. 3:20).
This was not to infer that the Law of God was unjust or ineffectual. The Law is perfect and the statutes of God are just and Holy. The weakness is not in the Law but in the subject who attempts to live in the Law; “for what the Law could not do, in that it was weak in the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin condemned sin in the flesh” (Rms. 8:3). The inability, attitudes and conduct of Adam are unacceptable before God and there are no works which he can do, even in the best of intentions, which may appease the standards of God. The circumcision of the flesh is nothing and the blessings associated with that covenant are temporal; “Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God” (I Cor. 7:19). Those who would brag themselves upon the works of righteousness which they have done are deceived for they believe that there are blessings which they shall receive as children of Abraham, sons of Jacob and children of the law; “but they are not all Israel who are Israel” (Rms. 9:6).
“Therefore, circumcise the foreskin of your heart and be no more stiff-necked” (Deut. 10:16).
From the beginning the nation of Israel was never expected or given the opportunity to keep the law. Moses shattered the two tablets upon the ground before any, other than Joshua, had seen them. This indicated that man could never measure up to the standard of perfection that the perfect Law demanded. The foreskin in the flesh was not a sign of preference or perfection but a sign of condemnation and corruption. The removal of part of the body of Adam, which God had created, was contrary to the proclamation of the Creator when He saw His work and called it exceedingly good (Gen. 1:31). This further demonstrates that Adam cannot change what God has made for He has created all things after the design of His purpose. The heart of the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit because that is exactly how it was made. The mind of Adam cannot find God by searching because God has filled it with the things of this world and no amount of ritualistic conduct, mindless chanting, self-deprivation or denying of the flesh shall change what God has created for His good pleasure.
The circumcision which Moses spoke of was one that could never be performed by the hands of man. Yehovah God alone can remove the veil or foreskin on the heart which He has afore prepared as the natural course of man has “made their hearts adamant from hearing the Law and the words which Yehovah of Hosts has sent through His Spirit by the former prophets” (Zech. 7:12).
Does this mean that man by the strength of the arm of the flesh can perform something that can overpower the Lord God Omnipotent? God forbid! Adam was not sensitive to the law of God in the garden because he was created devoid of the knowledge of good and evil as created by God. He was without strength and alienated from the commonwealth of the house of ‘he who has power with God’ Israel. He not only did not understand because he was incapable, he acted contrary to the demands of God by the nature that he was given. He fashioned his works of righteousness in his aprons of fig leaves, denied accountability, accused God as being culpable for the mess and was rebellious from the beginning. He, and his seed in him, cannot be changed by education, prayer or ritual as his own theological rhetoric declares him, according to the righteousness of the law, blameless.
Joshua circumcised the children of Israel as they were readied to cross the Jordan and receive their inheritance according to the covenant of Moses and the Law. These were tangible possessions which pertained to the things of this world but unto those who have a circumcision, not made with hands, there is an inheritance which is not of this world. The inheritance of the natural children of Abraham pertains to the dust of the earth, the people of the land, the fruit of the field and the kingdom of this world. The inheritance of the children of light is Yehovah God, His city Jerusalem which is His Kingdom; “for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). The covenant with Abraham was to the ‘father of the faithful’ and since ‘all men have not faith’ for faith is a gift of God and the evidence of the indwelling Spirit, therefore, the natural children of Abraham, being circumcised outwardly have no right, nor memorial nor portion in the covenant of grace.
Does this outward circumcision preclude them therefore from the covenant of grace? God forbid! For as many as have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and assigned the habitation of this dwelling in the customs and rituals of the Law of Moses can never be separated from the eternal love of God, which is the basis for the true covenant; “Yehovah has appeared unto me of old saying, Yea I have loved you with an eternal love, therefore with loving kindness have I drawn you” (Jer. 31:3).
This circumcision of the heart and the removal of the veil of Adam must then pertain to a new covenant, “not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, which covenant of Mine they broke although I was a husbandman to them” (10:32). Since therefore there is a change in the covenant there must needs therefore be a change in the blessings and the promises (although it is not a change but indeed the manifestation of that which has been from the beginning). The subjects of this new covenant are of the household of the firstborn of the covenant who is of the tribe of ‘Praise’ being Judah. Therefore they who are of the general assemble of the called out assembly of the firstborn, having that circumcision of the heart, by the hand of Yehovah God (Deut. 30:6) are indeed of the tribe of Judah; “he is a Jew who is inwardly and circumcised of the heart in Spirit not in letter, whose praise is not from men but from God” (Rms. 2:29). All of the dry bones, unto whom the Word of Yehovah speaks, are the whole house of Israel. These have been joined together in Him and having been raised up together in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah are seated together with Him in the heavenlies; “Those whom Thou hast given Me I have lost none, but the son of perdition, that the scriptures might be fulfilled” (John 17:12).
These know the power of His resurrection because they have been raised again unto newness of life. No longer are they under the week and beggarly elements of the various washings, observances of days, dietary restrictions and ceremonial rituals. These all have been nailed to the cross and crucified with The Anointed Salvation as the children are raised dead unto sin. And so, shall all Israel, ‘the circumcision’, be delivered (Rms. 11:26) who are of the Israel of God (Gal. 6:16).
“...who worship God in Spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus...”
No man can worship God aright. The mind of man is to limited to comprehend the nature and wonders of the Godhead and his hands are completely impotent to perform a deed which is acceptable in His sight. Yet if one is born from above, then the Spirit of the Most High God dwells within the inner man. This inward man delights after the law of God and being born of the incorruptible seed, he can do nothing that falls short of absolute perfection. Herein is the true worship of Yehovah God, “God is Spirit and they who worship Him must worship in Spirit and truth” (John 4:24).
All men are liars and the ways of man loves and makes the lie for only God is true. Man may be swayed in his philosophies and meditations by a spirit of euphoria or a wave of peace and serenity but Jesus Christ is the only Truth. They that have the indwelling of the Son, know the truth as the Spirit teaches. The Anointing of the oil of the olive as pertains to the old covenant has no power and the labour of the olive has failed (Hab.3:17) but the anointing of the Spirit cannot fail. Every child of grace has been sealed with the name of the Father in their forehead and the indwelling of the Spirit (Rev. 14:1).
Jesus said, “I am the Way the Truth and the Life” and since Adam knows not the ways of God, has no concept of the truth but rather loves and makes a lie and only has life by the breath of God, he is therefore not equipped or capable to worship God aright.
Jesus is the Anointed of God. He came forth to manifest the work that was finished from the foundation of the world as the Lamb of God. The eternal union of the seed in Him means that all that He has completed is completed in the seed and therefore all the sons of God sign together. Yet the child of grace, who worships God in Spirit and truth, rejoices in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah. This rejoicing cannot be based upon that which Adam has done for Adam has no power in and of himself. This rejoicing is in the deliverance from the guilt of sin in Adam, the newness of life in the first resurrection and the testimony of he Spirit within. This is the Spirit who causes the children of light to walk in the commandments and keep the statutes of God. It is He who has removed the heart of stone and given an heart of flesh and it is He who bears witness with the Spirit of the children that they are the sons of God. Herein is the confession made that the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah has come in the flesh, that He has redeemed His people from the house of the strong man and He has delivered His people from their sin.
“...and have no confidence in the flesh.”
As the Spirit of Holiness dwells with the children of hope, He teaches them all things as they grow in the grace and knowledge of His will; this has nothing to do with Adam. It is the Spirit who works in the children both to will and do His good pleasure for they are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. While it is very true that faith without works is dead yet it is blasphemy to call the labours of the polluted hands of Adam as the good works spoken of. The children do that which they have been created unto but these works cannot be evidenced in Adam. When they stood before the throne and the Father blessed them for their labours, the children were ignorant of their accomplishments as they asked; “Lord, when did we see You hungry and fed; or thirsty and gave drink? When did we see You a stranger and took in; or naked and clothed; or when did we see You sick or in prison and came to You? And the King shall answer and say to them, Truly I say unto you, Inasmuch as you did to one of the least of these My brothers, you have done to Me” (Matt. 25:37ff).
Adam takes pride in his accomplishments and by the pride of his heart he is deceived. He wants others to “come see My zeal for Yehovah” as he venerates objects, consecrates days and sets behavioral standards to walk and live by. His idols are of the earth and their beauty is appealing to the eye and flattering to the intellect of man; “The ones who make them are like them and everyone who trusts in them” (Ps. 115:8).
The Apostle Paul exemplified this in the early part of his life. He had the proper lineage being circumcised in the flesh in the obligatory 8 days. He was of the stock of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin, sat at the feet of Gamaliel, an Hebrew of Hebrews and as regarding the law a Pharisee. Concerning zeal, he persecuted the church and regarding the righteousness of the law, he was blameless. Yet all these plaudits of man were not only useless to him but they were polluted and abandoned by the power of there Spirit within for they were unprofitable; “for the Excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them dung, so that I may gain Christ”. The very same God who created him and placed him in his social, economical and religious environment, wherein he grew and flourished, took him to the place where he knew that the flesh profits nothing. The same God who gave him the persuasion that his conduct and his zeal were righteous before Him drew him to confess, by the Spirit within, that his desire was to gain Christ “and be found in Him not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but through faith in Christ, the righteousness of God by faith”
The doctrine of Adam speaks to Adam. It is identified by the praises of man, the comforts of this world and temporal blessings. The chosen vessel of God desired to know the power of the first resurrection unto newness of life and the fellowship of the sufferings of the Anointed One who endured the contradiction of sin against Himself. Without the first resurrection there can be no fellowship for if there be no first resurrection, wherein He was “declared to be the Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of Holiness” (Rms. 1:6), then all His children are dead in their sin; “and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain and you are yet in your sins” (I Cor. 15:17).
But thanks be unto the God of Israel that he has seen the travail of the soul of His Elect Servant and did not leave Him in the grave but has raised Him up; His children with Him. These are not raised up in the first Adam for he was formed of the dust of the earth and to the dust he shall return; rather they are raised up unto eternal life in the second Adam. Every child then has a room (habitation) prepared for them by the precious blood of the Lamb so that when the time of this habitation is over and the tabernacle of this dwelling is dissolved (this tabernacle is put off - II Pt. 1:14) they have a tabernacle not made with hands, eternal in the heavens (II Cor. 5:1). Herein is the confidence, not according to the flesh of Adam, but according to the faith of the Son of God who loves His people and gave His life for them; that when He shall appear, they shall be like Him. This vile body shall be changed, in a twinkling of an eye, and they shall be like Him.
This is the promise to the ‘circumcision’ not made with hands who have the perfect sacrifice for sin of he precious shed blood of the Lamb from before the foundation of the world, in the tabernacle not made with hands (Heb. 9:11) upon the altar which Adam has no right to eat “which serve the tabernacle (pattern in the wilderness)” (Heb. 13:10). Herein is the truth of the Will of the Sovereign God over all and herein is wisdom to know the number of the theology of Adam.
“Yehovah is my Rock and my fortress ad my deliverer; Yehovah is my Rock, in Him will I trust. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my high tower and my refuge, my Savior who delivered me from violence” (II Sam. 22:3).
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
November 16, 2014