ARE CHRISTIANS OBLIGATED TO PERFORM RITE OF CIRCUMCISION? IS THAT A PART OF HALAKHAH MASIACH?

In these days and age, I found out that the “Back to Hebrew Roots” movements cause a lot of confusion among the “Wannabes Jews” especially Indonesian believers since there is no, what we can consider, someone who is well founded in this “new kid on the block dogma!” So every John, Pete and Harry, who knows  bit of the Hebrew alphabet, tries to teach unsuspecting souls WHAT THEY THINK  Christians should do, among others, participating in all Jewish ceremonies, celebrations, and whatever smells Jewish as part of salvation process!  Please note, this understanding is no difference from the Roman Catholics pope establishing Mary as Co-Redeemer with the Lord Jesus Christ!

A question came across from someone whether believer in Jesus Christ need to go through the rite of circumcision?

This is what a certain young man  put forth;  “circumcision should be exercised as a visible sign of belonging to God, because this rite of passage is not only reserved for a specific race or tribe. And since we are followers of Christ (Masiach); followers of HALAKHAH MASIACH, so it follows that we should also be circumcised.”

Since I have never learned the Hebrew alphabet and language, so I have to look up the word HALAKHAH from Judaism 101.

Beginning of quote:

What is HALAKHAH?

Judaism is not just a set of beliefs about G-d, man and the universe. Judaism is a comprehensive way of life, filled with rules and practices that affect every aspect of life: WHAT YOU DO WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING, what you can and cannot eat, WHAT YOU CAN AND CANNOT WEAR, HOW TO GROOM YOURSELF, HOW TO CONDUCT BUSINESS, WHO YOU CAN MARRY, how to observe the holidays and Shabbat, and perhaps most important, how to treat G-d, other people, and animals. This set of rules and practices is known as halakhah.

The word “halakhah” is usually translated as “Jewish Law,” although a more literal (and more appropriate) translation might be “the path that one walks.” The word is derived from the Hebrew root Hei-Lamed-Kaf, meaning to go, to walk or to travel.

End of quote.

So it is a comprehensive Jewish Law, customs and traditions which regulate all aspect of Jews’ daily living!

And if we are to adhere to all of these, none of which we know how for sure, I am truly in BIG TROUBLE! May be I should not be married to my wife of over 50 years of blessed life? May be I wake up from the wrong side of the bed, literally speaking? Am I supposed to wear kifah, tzit-tzit and talid everyday? How about mustache and beard? Just look at some of the profile pictures in the Facebook!

The most important word is Judaism and the phrase “the path that one walks”!  Did the Lord Jesus Christ taught us HALAKHAH MASIACH; if He did, what is it and where can we read it?

And this young man further shared:

“Because in Christ, we goyim have been grafted together with Jews who have also been redeemed by Messiah so that we become ONE NEW MAN in Christ.”

The Problem With Lay-Teachers, They Don’t Even Know What They Are Saying. By his own statement ONE NEW MAN,  he admitted that in Yeshua ha Masaich, the distinction between Jews and Gentiles (goyim) no longer exists. 1Corinthians 7:18 confirms this truth: “IS ANY MAN CALLED BEING CIRCUMCISED? LET HIM NOT BECOME UNCIRCUMCISED. IS ANY CALLED IN UNCIRCUMCISION? LET HIM NOT BE CIRCUMCISED.” What part of this verse that is hard to understand? This truth should be adhered to in its entirety! Therefore, if a circumcised Jew or even a Muslim is converted or redeemed or become believer in Yeshua ha Masiach, HE DOES NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT HIS CIRCUMCISION; IT CANNOT BE UNDONE!  Conversely speaking, and this is a true statement,  when I was called to redemption as an uncircumcised gentile or goyim or non-Jew, I DON’T HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE RITE OF CIRCUMCISION.

Going through the circumcision rite following after the Torah of Moses, FOR BELIEVERS in Yeshua ha Masiach, the Bible have very strong words to say:

Galatians  5:1  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. [2]  Behold, I Paul say unto you, THAT IF YE BE CIRCUMCISED, CHRIST SHALL PROFIT YOU NOTHING. [3] For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. [4] CHRIST IS BECOME OF NO EFFECT UNTO YOU, whosoever of you are justified by the law; YE ARE FALLEN FROM GRACE.

It is all in the Bible; why go to Facebook to seek about this very important subject?  The Bible said: Hosea 4:6 “MY PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee…” What  we want to know about faith and way of salvation are available in the Bible which is the Word of God!

And let us read what apostle Paul taught us in this matter: Romans 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. [9] COMETH THIS BLESSEDNESS THEN UPON THE CIRCUMCISION ONLY, OR UPON THE UNCIRCUMCISION ALSO? for we say that FAITH WAS RECKONED TO ABRAHAM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS. [10] How was it then reckoned? WHEN HE WAS IN CIRCUMCISION, OR IN UNCIRCUMCISION? NOT IN CIRCUMCISION, BUT IN UNCIRCUMCISION. [11] AND HE RECEIVED THE SIGN OF CIRCUMCISION, A SEAL OF THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE FAITH WHICH HE HAD YET BEING UNCIRCUMCISED: THAT HE MIGHT BE THE FATHER OF ALL THEM THAT BELIEVE, THOUGH THEY BE NOT CIRCUMCISED; THAT RIGHTEOUSNESS MIGHT BE IMPUTED UNTO THEM ALSO…” That talks about us, the uncircumcised believers in Yeshua ha Masiach. Teaching people with our un-Biblical understanding is dangerous for both who teach and those being taught.

To say Christians should be circumcised had happened before. Apostle Paul, Elders James and Peter of the Jerusalem Council came across this destructive teaching in the early stages of the Church Age.

Let me say “right of the bat” that these upstanding, outstanding spiritual leaders, refuted the following contention put forth by what the layman tried to convince less knowledgeable souls:

Act 15:1  And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, EXCEPT YE BE CIRCUMCISED AFTER THE MANNER OF MOSES, YE CANNOT BE SAVED.

In the young man version, “YOU DO NOT BELONG TO GOD!”

He based his teaching (???) from the following passage of scriptures:

Genesis 17:4  As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. [5] Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. [6] And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. [7] AND I WILL ESTABLISH MY COVENANT BETWEEN ME AND THEE AND THY SEED AFTER THEE IN THEIR GENERATIONS FOR AN EVERLASTING COVENANT, TO BE A GOD UNTO THEE, AND TO THY SEED AFTER THEE. [8] AND I WILL GIVE UNTO THEE, AND TO THY SEED AFTER THEE, THE LAND WHEREIN THOU ART A STRANGER, ALL THE LAND OF CANAAN, FOR AN EVERLASTING POSSESSION; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD.

Note: First of all let us establish the fact that this whole passage of scripture was specifically made “BETWEEN ME [GOD] AND THEE [Abraham] AND THY SEED [his children] AFTER THEE IN THEIR GENERATIONS FOR AN EVERLASTING COVENANT.” Who are the seed of Abraham? Among the true progeny of Abraham, we find Ishmael (illegitimate son) and Isaac (the son of promised).

This covenant is for a LAND GRANT. The circumcised seeds of Abraham are identifiable by tribes (12 tribes) to settle in specific allocated area apportioned by Joshua. Which tribe will we be fitted in and what part of the land Israel the circumcised goyim inherited?

Genesis 17:9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. [10] THIS IS MY COVENANT, WHICH YE SHALL KEEP, BETWEEN ME AND YOU AND THY SEED AFTER THEE; EVERY MAN CHILD AMONG YOU SHALL BE CIRCUMCISED. [11] And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. [12] AND HE THAT IS EIGHT DAYS OLD SHALL BE CIRCUMCISED AMONG YOU, EVERY MAN CHILD IN YOUR GENERATIONS, HE THAT IS BORN IN THE HOUSE, OR BOUGHT WITH MONEY OF ANY STRANGER, WHICH IS NOT OF THY SEED. [13] HE THAT IS BORN IN THY HOUSE, AND HE THAT IS BOUGHT WITH THY MONEY, MUST NEEDS BE CIRCUMCISED: AND MY COVENANT SHALL BE IN YOUR FLESH FOR AN EVERLASTING COVENANT.

Note: The obligatory aspect of the rite of circumcision, at first, extended BUT LIMITED to those man-child born in the house (and knowing Abraham’s faithfulness [Isaac was almost sacrificed] including [???] male children born to him by his second wife Keturah: Genesis 25:1  Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.[2] And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah), as well as strangers whom Abraham ‘BOUGHT” with his money (owned by Abraham). There is no record that these latter descendants of Abraham were circumcised.

So this particular rite of passage relates only to the male descendants of Abraham regardless of their legitimacy status since it even extended to slaves bought and thus owned by Abraham and beyond!

Now here is the clincher: Can we include non-Jews since the Bible say Abraham became the Father of many nations which would include Chinese, Indonesian, Malays, Caucasians, Indians, etc. etc.? If there was no defining words “THY SEED” starting with Ishmael and Isaac, yes, we would think that we, goyim, should be circumcised as well. We, goyim or gentiles can in no way be considered as a part of the “SEED” NOR HAVE WE BEEN BOUGHT BY ABRAHAM or his seed!

Then, came the “Exodus from Egypt” event, led by Moses. The freed masses were not made up of Jews only. There were others as well who came to Egypt may be to buy grains in Joseph’s time and enslaved themselves to the Egyptians for grains.  So naturally they were given similar jobs of “making bricks” with the Jews and accommodated together. When Moses led the Jews away, they went along to freedom. Since, they were so to speak displaced persons, they had nowhere to go and wanted to go where Moses led the Jews. In other words, they wanted to be assimilated with the Jews! Then the following revision or addendum were declared to include stranger “that sojourned” (joining and sticking to the Jews):

“Exodus 12:49  One law shall be to him that is home born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

Leviticus 7:7  As the sin offering is, so is the trespass offering: there is one law for them: the priest that maketh atonement therewith shall have it. [24:22] Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.

Numbers 15:16  One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you.

[29] Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them.”

The key word is “sojourned”!

Did they participated in land apportionment? Not at all defined, but we can assume, in the course of their time living among the Jews, they might have developed strong bonds with their neighbors, who will share untitled land with them.

Fast forward to the present…Jews are still embracing Judaism and reject the Messiah-ship and His sacrificial death, even much more, the Lord Jesus’ Son-ship. As a believer in Yeshua ha Masiach, Are We Sojourning With The Jews Who Very Loudly Reject Our Lord And Savior? No! No matter whichever way you want to stretch it, we are two distinct groups of people: “the Elect” and the “Chosen” as my previous posting explained:

Gunawan A. Halim@aharonelim Mar 6 MESSIANIC THEOLOGY IN 15 MINUTES – DANIEL JUSTER http://wp.me/p3jyMk-1H9

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We have been bought by the precious blood of the Lord Jesus and therefore we are only to emulate and obey what our Redeemer tells us to do.

Let us pay attention to what the Lord Jesus said we have to do to fulfill the Grand Commission:

Matthew 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. [19] GO YE THEREFORE, AND TEACH ALL NATIONS, BAPTIZING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY GHOST: [20]  TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU: AND, LO, I AM WITH YOU ALWAY, EVEN UNTO THE END OF THE WORLD. AMEN.

What do we have to do? Baptize All Nations And Teaching Them To Observe All Things Whatsoever He Had Commanded!

Baptize Not Circumcised! Could It Be Buried In “Observe All Things?”

What Is The Yeast Of The Lord Jesus’ Command?

Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. [31] And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Matthew 5:43  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.[44] But I say unto you, Love Your Enemies, Bless Them That Curse You, Do Good To Them That Hate You, And Pray For Them Which Despitefully Use You, And Persecute You;

John 15:12  THIS IS MY COMMANDMENT, THAT YE LOVE ONE ANOTHER, AS I HAVE LOVED YOU.

In essence, we are being guided into (borrowing the term used by the young man mentioned above) the real HALAKHAH MASIACH.

Let us search circumcised, circumcision if taught or mentioned by the Lord Jesus Christ.

There were two instances where the Lord mentioned circumcision:  John 7:22  MOSES THEREFORE GAVE UNTO YOU CIRCUMCISION; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. [23] If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?

The Lord Jesus only mentioned circumcision in the context of trying to straightened out the Jews’ misconception of the holiness of Sabbath, which put Sabbath rest over the Lord’s healing the sick work!

Even though the Lord Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day, it was only because He was born a Jew and from the SEED of Abraham.

Did Peter teach or instructed a Roman centurion who came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to be circumcised? No!

ACT 10:45  AND THEY OF THE CIRCUMCISION WHICH BELIEVED WERE ASTONISHED, AS MANY AS CAME WITH PETER, BECAUSE THAT ON THE GENTILES ALSO WAS POURED OUT THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST. [46] For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, [47] CAN ANY MAN FORBID WATER, THAT THESE SHOULD NOT BE BAPTIZED, WHICH HAVE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST AS WELL AS WE? [48] AND HE COMMANDED THEM TO BE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD. THEN PRAYED THEY HIM TO TARRY CERTAIN DAYS.

So there was no command or instruction for circumcision to be made for non-Jews. Even to the Jews the LORD our GOD, through Moses and Jeremiah, pleaded as follows:

Deuteronomy 10:16  CIRCUMCISE THEREFORE THE FORESKIN OF YOUR HEART, and be no more stiff-necked… [30:6]  And the LORD thy God WILL CIRCUMCISE THINE HEART, AND THE HEART OF THY SEED, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

Jeremiah 4:4  Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

Let us check my two cents worth above with other Bible scholar on this subject:

Why Christians practise Baptism and not circumcision? See Jerusalem Council of 55AD

Hebrew 3:12  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, IN DEPARTING FROM THE LIVING GOD. [13] But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

[14] FOR WE ARE MADE PARTAKERS OF CHRIST, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

Then Peter said unto them, REPENT, AND BE BAPTIZED EVERY ONE OF YOU IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS, AND YE SHALL RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST. [Acts 2:38]

Aaron Halim

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