From Genesis 17 onward the commandment of circumcision is given. This is important because God’s covenant with Abraham is the beginning of a walk that takes us all the way into the fullness of the kingdom of God. Abraham is called the father of faith and the father of us all (Rom. 4:16). We are to walk in the heritage of Abraham, our father.
7 ¶ “I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.
8 “I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
9 God said further to Abraham, “Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.
10 “This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised.
11 “And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you.
12 “And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants.
The covenant of circumcision is linked to our possession of our inheritance in God. Without keeping God’s covenant there can be no possession of His promises to us. At best, we can only walk in a token. Verses 10 and 11 establish God’s covenant with us. We must see this covenant in light of the new day in Christ that is opening. It’s important to note that verse seven says it’s an everlasting covenant. It does not pass away. This has nothing to do with the old covenant of the law where physical circumcision was required. This is not about keeping the law. It’s about entering into the spirit of the covenant.
It is very significant that every male was to be circumcised on the eighth day. The number eight signifies a new beginning. It represents a new order coming forth. We must see all this with the eyes of the Spirit. We must not get hung up on trying to interpret circumcision from a legalistic standpoint.
It is not until we begin to enter the eighth day, i.e. the realm of spirit, that the work of the cross can have its completion in us. All through the church age, which has been predominately the day of soul, the cross has worked in a measure in people’s lives. There HAS been the cross throughout the church age. God has dealt with His people in many ways, but all within the framework of the soul realm itself. When we come to this eighth day, the day of spirit, it’s eliminating the soul realm entirely. Thus, the true circumcision is that aspect of the cross which brings us out of the soul realm and into the realm of spirit, which is the realm of fulfillment.
In the eighth day we ALL must be circumcised. The trials and tribulations we go through are not the same thing as the cross on this level. This message does not imply we have not had the Lord’s dealings in our lives, or have not been dealt with by God. What this message is saying is that there is yet a higher realm of circumcision we must enter into. This realm does not deal with bad habits or sinful acts. It deals with the sin nature itself, not theoretically, but practically. It is the separation of soul and spirit that Heb. 4:12-13 teaches us.
12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
It is not until we come to the eighth day, i.e. the realm of spirit, that we become wholly His. God is to possess us completely. This cannot happen apart from the work of the cross, i.e. circumcision, that occurs in the eighth day. Let’s read from part of the commandments that God spoke unto Moses. Once again, let’s read with the eyes and ears of the Spirit.
29 “You shall not delay the offering from your harvest and your vintage. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me.
30 “You shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep. It shall be with its mother seven days; on the eighth day you shall give it to Me.
The above passages are the law of the firstborn. Mystically, Christ is the firstborn of all creation (Col. 1:15-18). He is also the firstborn of many brethren (Rom. 8:29). It is in the eighth day that the firstborn is given unto the Lord. The “firstborn” remains with its mother seven days. The seven days symbolize the realm of the true church, for the Jerusalem above is our mother (Gal. 4:26). All of Christianity has lived in the womb of its mother. Let’s read some passages from Isaiah 66.
7 “Before she travailed, she brought forth; Before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy.
8 “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons.
9 “Shall I bring to the point of birth and not give delivery?” says the LORD. “Or shall I who gives delivery shut the womb?” says your God.
10 “Be joyful with Jerusalem and rejoice for her, all you who love her; Be exceedingly glad with her, all you who mourn over her,
11 That you may nurse and be satisfied with her comforting breasts, That you may suck and be delighted with her bountiful bosom.”
Zion is to give birth to sons. Mystically, this happens in the eighth day. This eighth day is a realm, not a literal day. In the eighth day, the firstborn becomes wholly the Lord’s. We are to enter into the Firstborn relationship Christ has with the Father.
We only enter the eighth day through circumcision. As stated, all of God’s promises are fulfilled in the eighth day.
1 ¶ Now it came about when all the kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan to the west, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard how the LORD had dried up the waters of the Jordan before the sons of Israel until they had crossed, that their hearts melted, and there was no spirit in them any longer because of the sons of Israel.
2 At that time the LORD said to Joshua, “Make for yourself flint knives and circumcise again the sons of Israel the second time.”
3 So Joshua made himself flint knives and circumcised the sons of Israel at Gibeath-haaraloth.
4 This is the reason why Joshua circumcised them: all the people who came out of Egypt who were males, all the men of war, died in the wilderness along the way after they came out of Egypt.
5 For all the people who came out were circumcised, but all the people who were born in the wilderness along the way as they came out of Egypt had not been circumcised.
6 For the sons of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, until all the nation, that is, the men of war who came out of Egypt, perished because they did not listen to the voice of the LORD, to whom the LORD had sworn that He would not let them see the land which the LORD had sworn to their fathers to give us, a land flowing with milk and honey.
7 Their children whom He raised up in their place, Joshua circumcised; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them along the way.
8 Now when they had finished circumcising all the nation, they remained in their places in the camp until they were healed.
9 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” So the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day.
In the preceding chapter Joshua and all the sons of Israel miraculously crossed over the Jordan River. They had entered the land of Canaan. So far, so good. But then we come to the above passages. Verse two states, “At that time the LORD said to Joshua, “Make for yourself flint knives and circumcise again the sons of Israel the second time.” No one was going to actually possess their inheritance without first being circumcised.
The rest of the verses explain why there was to be a second circumcision. Many who had been born in the wilderness along the way had not been circumcised. This is indicative of how many come to the revelation of sonship and the fulfillment of God’s promises, but have yet to experience the spiritual circumcision that enables them to walk in it. Verse nine of our text says, “Then the LORD said to Joshua, ‘Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.’ So the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day.” It was the circumcision that rolled away the reproach of Egypt. Mystically, the circumcision of the eighth day is to roll away the reproach of the soulish realm of Adam from us.