Updated: Jan 29
THE CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST
In order to understand what the Lord is about to teach there are two laws of God that we must come to know.
For the wages of sin is death...;
The soul that sinneth, it shall die....
The scriptures let us know that the wages of sin is death. If there is any soul that sinned he must die. However consider this, every soul was born in sin and shapen in iniquity. The body of man itself was sinful and also the soul sinned because it was in a body. The destiny of both the body and soul would be death, because they were sinful. It is important for us to note that God exalts His word higher than His own name.
Therefore in order for us to be saved, we had to first die.
In the Old Testament, God established a covenant with Abraham called circumcision.
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.
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.
The foreskin is considered as an unclean part. It was a covenant made unto the Lord that the unclean part of the flesh be cut off as a form of sanctification of the man. This however was a type of Christ.
Consider the following
27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
The scriptures above lets us know that there exist a circumcision which is totally distinct from the circumcision done with hands (cutting away of the foreskin). This circumcision is done inwardly, in the spirit. Remember circumcision was the cutting away of the unclean part? Well let us take a look at the image of the fallen man once more.
We had learnt how the devil had entered the flesh and created a law of sin in our bodies. Our bodies therefore became unclean. Paul gave us a peak at this circumcision when he asked the question. Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? The soul needed to be delivered from the body of sin/death. The body became the unclean part of man because the devil dwelt in it. So just as the foreskin was cut off in the Old Testament, likewise the body of sin must be removed from the soul in order for the soul to be saved. This is called the circumcision of the heart. CIRCUMCISION OF THE HEART - The removal of the soul from the body of sins. Col 2:10-11 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
So at salvation the first thing God does is to remove the soul from the body. Let us not forget that the soul was alive because it was in the body and likewise the body was alive because it had a soul in it. Therefore when God removes the soul from the flesh both the soul and body dies, satisfying the law - the wages of sin is death.
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Romans causes us to understand what happens to the flesh when it dies. The body of sin which is also called the old man, is crucified with Jesus. This brings us back to the fact that our sins were upon Jesus' body. Considering the fact that the sins were not his own, when he had taken the sins of the world in his flesh his body became all human bodies in one.
I pray you understand this concept.
Sin was in our flesh, not His, so by way of the atonement when he took on our sin, His body became all the bodies of sin in the entire world, in one. Then that body was what was crucified on the cross. It is because Jesus paid the price for our bodies that he can remove our souls from the flesh in the operation of salvation. Because he now has the power over all flesh and intends to enter the flesh of the person he is about to save.
This is how we are crucified with Him. When the soul is removed from the flesh, the body of sin is destroyed, or it dies. Sin no longer has any strength because he that is dead is freed from sin.
Therefore our souls are freed from sin, when the Lord takes them from our bodies at salvation.
Therefore what we are left with is a soul that is freed from sin and a body that is dead.
CIRCUMCISION OF THE FLESH - The removal of the devil from the body of sins
The dead body then has to be sanctified by Jesus Christ.
28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
Jesus desires to spoil the house of the strongman. The house is the body and the strongman is the devil. If Jesus intends to take over the body, he must first bind the devil and evict him from the flesh, then the body will be free for His habitation.
Seeing that the body is dead, it can also be free from him, so Jesus by the circumcision of Christ sanctifies the body of sins. The body is therefore made clean and holy. It is simply a vessel once more, exactly the same as it was before the devil entered it.
This is what God did to Jesus' atoned body in the tomb. He circumcised it, meaning he cut the sin out of the flesh, and it was made pure again.
So now on this timeline of salvation we have: a dead body, which is now cleaned and we have cleaned soul, it is still however dead (because it has no means of expression). Both have been circumcised.
Many do not know that there is a literal death at salvation. Jam 2:26 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. The body without the spirit is dead. When the soul and spirit are removed during salvation, the body dies, it is as a lump of clay, the same as we put in a casket. This will help us understand the church terms we commonly use, for eg. The old man is dead. Rom 6:6-7 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. The old man is the body we had before salvation, i.e. the body of sins. It died at salvation that both the body and soul may be freed from sin. Following the timeline so far we have been through: 1. The sinner asks for the Holy Ghost 2. God takes the soul out of the body. The soul is sanctified by this, because the unclean part (the body of sins) is removed. The body dies and the soul dies. The body dies because it has no soul in it, and the soul dies because it is not in a body. 3. God circumcises the flesh, by cutting out all the sin from out of the flesh. This sanctifies the flesh, the body is now pure and sinless even as Adam's was in the garden before his fall. 1Co 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Col 3:2-3 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. Rom 8:8-9 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: I hope you see where I am going with this. The Lord gave us a peak at what happens next in part 6 with this scripture. Rom 14:9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. Parallel that scripture with this one. Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church:who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. Jesus is the firstborn from the dead, so that he would have preeminence in all things. The scripture in Romans, tells us that he died, rose and revived that He might be Lord of dead and the living. Seeing that Jesus has preeminence in all things, it means that the Sons of God also must die, rise and revive. In part 6 we learnt that while Jesus was in hell, after he had suffered 3 days and nights, God went for Jesus and placed His (Jesus') soul in Himself (God). It was at that point that Jesus rose from the dead because God is a Spirit of Life. Well likewise in salvation, after our souls are taken out of the flesh, then God puts our souls in Christ Jesus. It is at that moment that our souls are made alive. We are changed from a living soul, to being a quickening spirit. We are now joint to the Lord and therefore we are one Spirit. The soul inside of the Holy Ghost is called the New Creature. 2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. This gives the soul a divine nature. The Holy Ghost is sinless and therefore the soul is preserved in the Holy Ghost for safe keeping. This is the salvation of our souls, we are placed in the Holy Ghost. The soul now receives a sinless nature, because it is literally in Jesus Christ. This is a gross distinction as compared to the devil. He was the spirit of sin that held us captive but now when we are placed in Jesus Christ we are made the righteousness of God. Our souls are made to sit in the Holy Ghost, which is a heavenly place. This is the ascension that Jesus spoke of when He spoke to Nicodemus (Jn 3:13). We are no longer of the earth earthy, but now we are spiritual beings. It is because our souls are placed in God that we are now the children of God. Rom 8:15-17 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint- heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. We did not receive the spirit of bondage, who is the devil, we received God's spirit. He has taken us from the Kingdom of darkness and placed us inside of His Son Jesus Christ. Col 1:12-13 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: Jesus is the Kingdom we are in, He is where our souls live. We are New Creatures because we are inside of the Holy Ghost. Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
PUTTING ON THE NEW MAN
We are on the final aspect of this series, and personally my favourite part. So far we have been through:
1. The sinner asks for the Holy Ghost
2. Jesus takes the soul out of the body. The soul is sanctified by this, because the unclean part (the body of sins) is removed. The body dies and the soul dies. The body dies because it has no soul in it, and the soul dies because it is not in a body.
3. Jesus circumcises the flesh, by cutting out all the sin from out of the flesh. This sanctifies the flesh, the body is now pure and sinless even as Adam's was in the garden before his fall.
4. Jesus places the soul in Himself. The soul is brought alive, and is now a new creature. The flesh however remains dead.
For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
So far we see how we have died, and rose, the final thing to be done here is for us to be revived. After all this is done, the Holy Ghost, Himself enters the flesh. He however carries our souls with Him. It is when the Holy Ghost enters the flesh that we (our bodies) are quickened (made alive) in a new life.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
This is what it means to be born again, you must first die and be born from the dead. You are however not born the same person but you are now born of the Spirit.
The scripture says that the Sons of God are not in the flesh, they are in the Spirit. It is however the Spirit that is in the flesh, and the flesh is raised from the dead just as how Jesus' was raised from the dead when he resurrected.
Lets us look into these scriptures.
22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
The scripture says that we have put off the old man. We know the old man to be the body of sins that our souls put off, when we died at salvation. The old man died with all its sins and lusts. It however says that we put on the new man which is righteous and holy. Well if the old man is a body, then the new man is a body too!
OLD MAN - Body with sin/devil in it. A body of sins
NEW MAN - Body with the Holy Ghost in it.
The new man is made. It is made when the Holy Ghost enters our flesh, we (our souls) are however in the Holy Ghost. Therefore in this case it is not we that are in the flesh, but the Holy Ghost is. Now we are in Christ and Christ is in us.
CHRIST IN YOU - Jesus is in your body
YOU IN CHRIST - Your soul is in Jesus.
Now we have the same make up as Jesus Christ. He was in God and God was in Him. That is how he is consider to us a brother - meaning he is of the same kind/specie.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Jesus was simply the firstborn, but it was God's intention to have a whole race of persons who would be just like Jesus.
Jesus is now in our flesh and he remains there so that the devil will never get a chance to come in. Consider this scripture:
43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there:and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.
The house Jesus speaks of here is the body. If when Jesus evicted the devil at salvation he placed only the soul back into the flesh, then the devil would have an opportunity to re-enter the flesh. However, this was not the intent of God for salvation. This is why He entered the flesh, with Him in the flesh the devil cannot re-enter the flesh.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
We did not receive the Spirit of the devil again, so we dont have to be afraid of sinning against the Father. We don't have to fear that the devil can re-enter us and produce the law of sin and death in our flesh. Rather, God stays in the flesh and produces the law of the Spirit of Life, and that law keeps us in righteousness. However, a perspective must be set in place.
8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him:and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
This is a scripture that has brought much confusion to the Body of Christ. But let us apply what we have learnt.
Remember when the scripture speaks of us being in Christ it is speaking to the fact that our souls are in the Holy Ghost, however when it speaks to Christ being in us, it is referring to Christ being in the flesh. The scripture above said that whosoever is born of God cannot sin because the seed remaineth IN HIM. This means that the seed remains in the flesh.
What does this mean?
Well the answer is simple. When the devil was in the flesh he changed the nature of the body itself. The body became sinful and a body of sin. In the body itself was the law of sin, and evil concupiscence - which is an insatiable craving for sin. However, this scripture is letting us know that if you are born of God your body is not sinful, in fact it cannot sin. The seed of God remains in the flesh to prevent it from sinning. Let us remember that the body is also born again. So it is born of God and it cannot sin.
The Son of God is made just as Jesus was. In fact he is in Jesus Christ. He is therefore able to live a sinless life even as Jesus did. All he has to do is choose to.
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God:for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
The Sons have the ability to create our own lusts. Even though at salvation we died, God did not take our memory from us. So we remember sin and how to sin. It is now our choice not to sin even though we know how to. James establishes a principle here. He lets us know that God cannot sin, and he doesn't tempt any man to sin. We cannot blame our flesh as being sinful, because God is in the flesh and he cannot sin. Remember we learnt in part 1 that the body has no power of its own. The flesh can do nothing of itself, but the Spirit that is in it has the power and/or control over it. Well Jesus said in John 17 that he would have the power over our flesh. He remains in the flesh that it would not ever sin against us again, but that it would remain holy and blameless. WE CANNOT THEREFORE BLAME OUR FLESH/BODY FOR SIN, IF WE SIN IT IS THE SOUL THAT CREATES THE LUST AND DECIDES TO FULFILL SIN THROUGH THE BODY. THE BODY IS INNOCENT, IN FACT IT IS BLAMELESS
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God sanctified us wholly (entirely), he did not leave out the body when He sanctified us. God makes all things new, perfect, and sinless. He made us new creatures and gave us a new man. The body is therefore blameless, and Jesus remains in the flesh that it may be preserved in its blameless (sinless) state till He returns.
THE REALITY OF THE MYSTERY
Here is where the root of the mystery is really seen.
Jesus is the Word, who is God, who is the Holy Ghost. When he enters our flesh at salvation (we put on the new man) he raises it alive. Therefore the Ghost of Christ has received a body to live in once more. The Word is made flesh again!
Where am I going with this.
Compare these scriptures.
And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
THE NEW MAN IS JESUS CHRIST
When Jesus enters the flesh, His Spirit is given expression through the flesh. The scripture says we have put on the new man, but other scriptures say we have put on Christ. It is because Jesus Christ is in our bodies. He is the one that raises them alive. He is the one that has use for our bodies, he however carries us with him. These bodies are his not ours. When we handle these bodies we are literally handling Jesus Christ.
The new man is Christ in the flesh.
And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.
15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. 16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price:therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
This body is now Jesus'. These are literally his body parts.
Our souls are in the new man. This therefore means that our souls are in the man Jesus Christ. Jesus has taken on flesh again, through us.
THIS IS THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST UNVEILED
Christ is alive in our fleshy bodies.
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us:that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
Jesus prayed that we be made exactly like Him so that the world will know that He was sent. We had to be in God and God had to be in us. Jesus' prayer was answered.
Here is the gospel summed up in one verse.
I am crucified with Christ:nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
May the eyes of your understanding be enlightened, May God grant unto you the spirit of Wisdom, that you may understand the mystery of Christ.
- The Lord's Servant, Apostle Kareem Flowers
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Written on: November 2015