THE COVENANT OF
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In Genesis chapter 17, God calls out a man named Abram, changes his
name to Abraham and made a covenant with him. This is the time when
God separated people upon the earth into 2 classes: circumcision and
uncircumcision. In verse 7 it says,
"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 they seed after thee."
Notice the words that it says, "TO BE A GOD UNTO THEE." This
covenant pertains to God being a God unto Abraham and his seed. In order
for God to be a God unto him, Abraham has to be circumcised. Notice
in verse 10 & 11,
"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
11 And ye shall circumcise the FLESH of your foreskin; and it
shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you."
Notice that this is not a spiritual circumcision. Abraham had to cut
off the FLESH of his foreskin. It also says that this was the token
of the covenant between God and Abraham. Now on to verse 13,
"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."
I capitalized three things in this scripture that I would like to emphasize.
First of all the Lord says "MUST" needs be circumcised. This
means that you “HAVE TO” in order to be a partaker with
the rest of the circumcision. Once again it says in your FLESH. And
finally it is an EVERLASTING covenant. Question: How long is the covenant
going to last? I have had some people tell me that when the new covenant
kicks in, It will override this one. Please remember that Jesus said
that the scripture cannot be broken. How long is your everlasting life
going to last? Till the new covenant comes? Now let's get back to reality.
Everlasting means that it is going to last forever. Now verse 14,
"14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his
foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people;
he hath broken my covenant."
Notice that it says an uncircumcised man has broken the covenant with
God and cannot be partaker with God's people, the circumcision.
God means what he said. The Lord told Abraham that he would be a God
unto him and his seed if they keep the covenant. Question: Would God
be a God unto someone that broke the covenant? Not according to these
scriptures. Could an uncircumcised man be partaker with the circumcision?
Not according to these scriptures. Let's go on to Exodus chapter 12.
In this chapter the Lord gives Moses the ordinance of the passover:
Let's cover verses 43-49
"43 And the Lord said unto Moses and Aaron, This is the
ordinance of the passover: There shall no stranger eat thereof:
44 But every man's servant that is bought for money, when thou
hast circumcised him, then shall he eat thereof:
45 A foreigner and an hired servant shall not eat thereof.
46 In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth
ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a
47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.
48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep
the passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised, and then
let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in
the land: for no UNCIRCUMCISED person shall eat thereof.
49 One law shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger
that sojourneth among you."
Now according to these scriptures an uncircumcised man could not be
partaker of the passover. Please remember that the passover, represents
Christ, as Paul says in 1st Corinthians 5:7 "... for even Christ
our passover is sacrificed for us."
So what we have so far is that an uncircumcised man cannot be partaker
with Israel, the Lord would not be a God unto him, and he cannot be
a partaker of the passover, which represents Christ. Now let's go on
to Ezekiel chapter 44. Starting in verse 5 it says,
"5 And the Lord said unto me, Son of man, mark well, and
behold with thine eyes, and hear with thine ears all that I say unto
thee concerning all the ordinances of the house of the Lord, and all
the laws thereof; and mark well the entering in of the house, with every
going forth of the sanctuary.
6 And thou shalt say to the rebellious, even to the house of
Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; O ye house of Israel, let it suffice
you of all your abominations,
7 In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised
in HEART, and uncircumcised in FLESH, to be in my sanctuary, to pollute
it, even my house, when ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and
they have broken my covenant because of all your abominations.
8 And ye have not kept the charge of mine holy things: but ye have set
keepers of my charge in my sanctuary for yourselves.
9 thus saith the Lord God; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, NOR
UNCIRCUMCISED IN FLESH, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger
that is among the children of Israel."
So what we have here is God saying that no uncircumcised man could enter
into the temple. Notice he says neither, a person who was uncircumcised
in heart, nor a person uncircumcised in flesh. Even in Acts chapter
21 as Paul went to Jerusalem, and the unbelieving Jews there, (which
knew nothing about the grace of God,) thought Paul brought Trophimus,
an uncircumcised Gentile, into the temple. They knew what the old testament
scriptures said about uncircumcised Gentiles being in the temple, as
they cried out, in verse 28,
"28 Crying out, Men of Israel help: This is the man, that
teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this
place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted
this holy place.
29 (For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian,
whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)"
We people that live under Grace today forget about how strict this covenant
is. Under the dispensation of Grace and the church the Body of Christ,
there is no need to be circumcised of the flesh anymore so we tend to
forget about what God has said in the old testament scriptures about
We have discussed in Genesis 17, that and uncircumcised man cannot be
partaker with Israel. We also discussed that in Exodus 12 it says that
an uncircumcised Gentile cannot be partaker of the passover. Now we
see that an uncircumcised Gentile cannot go into the temple to offer
sacrifice. These guys had a problem. But in the book of Isaiah the Lord
said that if the stranger kept the covenant he would let them in and
that their sacrifices would be accepted. In Isaiah chapter 56, let's
read verses 1-7.
"Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice:
for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.
2 Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth
hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth
his hand from doing any evil.
3 Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the
Lord, speak saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people:
neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.
4 For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and
choose the things that please me, AND TAKE HOLD OF MY COVENANT;
5 Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place
and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an
everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.
6 Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to
serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, everyone
that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, AND TAKETH HOLD OF MY COVENANT;
7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in
my house of prayer: THEIR BURNT OFFERINGS AND THEIR SACRIFICES SHALL
BE ACCEPTED upon mine alter; for mine house shall be called an house
of prayer for all people."
You see in order for God to keep his end of the bargain of this covenant,
to be a God unto you, you had to keep yours: by getting circumcised.
Then God would deal with you.
Now you already know that during the dispensation of Grace that there
is no need for fleshly circumcision: this we will talk about later.
In Genesis it says that this would be an everlasting covenant.
Now let's look at scripture that will pertain to after the dispensation
of grace is over. When the Lord Jesus Christ comes back to the Earth,
he will set up his kingdom, and rule over the entire planet. But there
will be a part of the kingdom that will be set aside for his people
Israel. It will be the land promised to them in the old testament scriptures.
This is theirs, God promised it to them, and they are going to get it.
It WILL NOT, I repeat, WILL NOT belong to the Gentiles anymore. It will
belong to Israel. The Gentiles that make it through the tribulation
by blessing Israel will have to leave. It was promised to the circumcision,
not the uncircumcision. As you know in Zechariah chapter 14 it talks
about the Lord coming back to set up his kingdom. In Matthew chapter
25, at the end of the chapter, Jesus talks about sitting on the throne
of his glory, and separating the sheep from the goats. The sheep are
the ones that blessed Israel and the goats are the ones that did not.
The sheep will be allowed unto the kingdom, but the goats shall be destroyed.
So what we have is the uncircumcised Gentile nations that blessed Israel
will be allowed into the kingdom, but they WILL NOT, I repeat WILL NOT
be partakers with Israel. The uncircumcised Gentiles nations that blessed
Israel will not be partakers of the land promised to Israel. During
the Lord's reign it says in 1st Peter chapter 1 verse 13 that grace
will be brought to Israel when the Lord comes, but the Bible says that
he will rule over the nations with a rod of iron. There will still be
a separation between circumcision and uncircumcision! To prove this
point, in Zechariah chapter 14 it talks about the Gentiles having to
come to worship the King. In verse 17 it says,
"17 And it shall be, that who so will not come up of all
families of the earth UNTO Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of
hosts, even upon them shall be no rain."
Notice the word unto. The Gentiles will have to come unto Jerusalem
to worship the King, but they will not be able to go into Jerusalem.
Notice in Isaiah chapter 52. The context is about the Lord coming back,
verse 1 says,
"Awake, awake; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem,
the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come INTO thee the
uncircumcised and the unclean."
Jesus said in Luke 21 that Jerusalem would be trodden down of the Gentiles,
until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. When Jesus comes back
to Jerusalem the uncircumcised Gentiles, even though they blessed Israel,
will not be partakers with Israel, or be able to go into the city. Also,
in Joel chapter 3 verse 17 it says,
"17 So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God dwelling
in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, AND THERE SHALL
NO STRANGERS PASS THROUGH HER ANY MORE."
Once again in Psalm 10, verse 16,
"16 The Lord is King for ever and ever: THE HEATHEN ARE
PERISHED OUT OF HIS LAND."
And again in Zechariah 14:21,
"21 Yea every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness
into the Lord of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take
of them, and seethe therein: AND IN THAT DAY THERE SHALL BE NO MORE
THE CANAANITE IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD OF HOSTS."
When the Lord said in Genesis chapter 17, "For an everlasting covenant,"
he meant it. In fact when the Lord comes back, the Gentiles that made
it through the tribulation, and go up to worship the King from year
to year, will not refer to the Lord as "Our God", but will
refer to him as, "The God of Jacob" or Israel's God. In Isaiah
2:3 it says,
"3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us
go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of THE GOD OF JACOB;
and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for
out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."
The Bible says at this time, "I will be their God and they shall
be my people." The nation Israel shall be exalted in this day,
but the Lord shall rule over the Gentiles with a rod of iron.
Through these scriptures I realize that God's covenant with Abraham
is everlasting. As we have already stated before, during this dispensation
of grace we do not need to be circumcised of the flesh to be partakers
with Israel, but only have to be partaker of Christ's body to be partaker
with Israel. Before the dispensation of grace started, uncircumcised
Gentiles that dwelt among Israel had a very big problem. I say this
because that the uncircumcised Gentiles that did not dwell among Israel,
were not under the law or things that pertained to the law. For instance
let's say that during the time of the law that there were some uncircumcised
Gentiles that lived in the area of Japan or China. The law had no effect
upon these people because they were not given the law, it was given
to Israel. In Romans chapter 2 verse 14 it says, "For when the
Gentiles which have not the law..." But there were some uncircumcised
Gentiles which were under the law. These were the Gentiles which dwelt
among Israel. We already stated in Exodus 12 verse 49 that it says,
"49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto
the stranger that sojourneth among you."
The Bible says that if a Gentile dwelt among the nation Israel, he put
himself under the law. In Leviticus chapter 18 verse 26 it says,
"26 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments,
and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your
own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:"
And again in 24:22,
"22 Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger,
as for one of your country: for I am the Lord your God."
If a Gentile dwelt among Israel he had to follow the same law that Israel
had, there was not a separate law for the Gentile. A Gentile that did
not dwell among Israel, was not under the law. Even though the law came
after the covenant of circumcision was made, circumcision was inserted
into the law, as was the Sabbath day which God ordained in Genesis.
In John chapter 7, (to show that circumcision was inserted into the
law) Jesus said in verse 23,
"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?"
Circumcision was a part of the law, and it was a big deal. You had to
be circumcised before you could become partakers of the promises of
Israel. When and if you did get circumcised you could become partaker
of the promises of Israel, including inheriting the land. So an uncircumcised
man that dwelt among Israel had 2 main problems, his sin and the uncircumcision
of his flesh.
In the book of Ephesians, Paul writes to them, telling them of their
condition before the dispensation of Grace started, stressing to them
that they were dead in trespasses and sins. Their trespasses being the
uncircumcision of their flesh and their sins being the transgression
of the law. Notice starting in verse 11 of chapter 2,
"11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles
in the flesh, who are called uncircumcision by that which is called
circumcision in the flesh made by hands;"
( Please notice that the context of the scripture here is circumcision
"12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens
from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of
promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who were far off are made nigh by the
blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down
the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandment's
contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain ONE NEW MAN,
so making peace;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in ONE BODY by the cross,
having slain the enmity there by:
17 And came and preached peace unto you which were afar off, and to
them that were nigh.
18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow
citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;"
In verse 12 it says "having no hope, and without God in the world,"
this matches up with Genesis 17 when God said that he would be a God
to the circumcision, not to the uncircumcision. As you can see God joined
circumcision and uncircumcision in one body, so that the uncircumcised
Gentiles could be partakers of the promises of the nation Israel, including
the salvation that was promised to Israel which we have discussed earlier.
Now if we were to put this on a time chart it would look something like
The dotted line through grace represents being circumcised with the
circumcision made without hands, as it says in Colossians chapter 2.
When you trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour during this dispensation
of grace, you become dead with Christ, therefore dead to the law and
circumcision of the flesh. You become a member of his body. Jesus Christ's
body was circumcised as it says in Luke chapter 2. In Ephesians chapter
5 verse 30,
"30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of
If Jesus Christ was circumcised, and you became part of his body, this
makes you circumcised also.
As I had stated before Paul writes to the Ephesians, and tells them
of their condition before the body started. He also wrote to the Colossians
and this is what he told them in 2:13,
"13 And you, being dead in your sins AND THE UNCIRCUMCISION
OF YOUR FLESH, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven
you all trespasses,"
Please notice that the 2 things which made them dead were their sins,
and the uncircumcision of their flesh. This matches up with Ephesians
chapter 2 verse 1 which says:
“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses
In the Bible, God uses the word "trespass" and the word "sins",
to mean basically the same thing. But here he puts them in the same
sentence together, saying, "dead in trespasses and sins",
which gives the indication that they are not the same in this passage.
If they meant the same thing here you could say, "dead in trespasses
and trespasses", or "sins and sins", which somehow does
not sound right. But to show that they are different here, the Bible
says that sin is the transgression of the law. Now if the law was given
with Moses, and the covenant of circumcision came before the law, what
was it if you broke the covenant of circumcision? How about a trespass?
I see that by braking the covenant of circumcision this would be a trespass,
and that by transgressing the law, this would be sin.
This is why Paul said that they were dead in trespasses and sins in
Ephesians, and dead in sins and the uncircumcision of flesh in Colossians.
So our conclusion is that a man had to be circumcised in order to be
partakers with the promises of the circumcision. In Genesis chapter
12, the Lord told Abraham, "I will bless them which bless thee,
and curse them which curse thee." Just because a man blessed Israel,
this did not make him a partaker with Israel, neither did it promise
him eternal life. Just because a man became circumcised, this did not
promise him eternal life either. Please don't get the impression that
I am saying that there won't be any uncircumcised people with eternal
life, because there will be many. What I am trying to say is that the
scriptures point out that you had to be circumcised of the flesh in
order to be partakers of the promises of Israel.
So here is the big question: Could an uncircumcised Gentile, which could
not be partaker with Israel, could not be partaker of the passover which
represents Christ, could not go into the temple to offer up sacrifice
for his sin, could this uncircumcised Gentile be partaker of a new covenant
that was not promised to him to start out with? NO WAY! But God gave
the ONE NEW MAN so that he could save the uncircumcised Gentiles.