“Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart…” (Deut. 10:16)

A message of encouragement to the non-Jewish believers in Yeshua (our brothers and sisters) who believe in Yeshua all over the world.

When we became believers in the year of 1991, one of the amazing things that happened to us was that God has given us love for non-Jewish people. This was an amazing revelation to our heart. During all of our life until then, we were influenced by Rabbis who forbade any connection with non-Jews, because according to the Rabbis they are impure…. (Unfortunately, they still think like that until today). When we came to faith we understood that the believing non-Jews are our brothers and sisters in faith, who are also chosen by God as we are, because they circumcised their heart by faith in Yeshua. They confessed their sins, repented and received forgiveness of sins from God like us.  

Unfortunately, today we hear from non-Jewish believers from abroad, who claim to feel inferior to the believing Jews. Some of them even want to be seen like Jews by using outside features like yarmulkes, prayer shawls and fringes (tzitzit). We are sure that this is not the right way and we understand that it is not acceptable to God who looks at the heart and not at the outward appearance.

In the New Testament there is a detailed description how we, Jews and non-Jews, should behave when we accept the faith. In 1 Cor. 7:17-19 it is written: “ But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches. Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters”.

Already in the Torah (the Law) God tells us about the circumcision of the foreskin of the heart. In Deuteronomy the Lord is speaking to the people of Israel and says: “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart…” Those of the non-Jews who are joining the people of Israel through faith in Yeshua, are commanded the same thing, because “The heart is deceitful above all things. And desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9), and that means the heart of all of us, all human beings, Jews and Gentiles alike.  

These scriptures in the Torah, the Prophets and also in the New Testament show us that what is really important in God’s eyes is the circumcision of the heart, because from the heart comes thoughts and from thoughts works (Matt. 15:19).

In the New Testament this subject of ‘circumcision of the heart’ is mentioned  in six places!!! That shows us how really important this subject is in God’s eyes:

– In Gal. 5:6 Paul speaks by the Holy Spirit: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.”

– In Gal. 6:15 Paul repeats this again and says: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.”

– In Rom. 2:28-29 it’s written: “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh;  but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.”

– In Col. 2:11 it’s written: “In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh (of the sins), by the circumcision of Christ..”

– In Col. 3:10-11 it’s written: ” and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,  where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.”

– In Eph. 2:11-13 it’s written:  ” Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called uncircumcision by what is called the circumcision made in the flesh by hands   (a physical covenant),  that at that time you 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.  But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (a spiritual covenant).

While the Old Covenant involved the shedding of blood by the circumcision of the flesh (as a physical covenant) of an 8-day old infant until today, which is a shadow of the spiritual covenant in the New Testament, the New Covenant is a spiritual covenant of the heart. It is the circumcision of the heart and it involved the shedding of Yeshua’s blood for us (a spiritual covenant). The believing non-Jews are called from now on Jews according to the heart, because they circumcised the foreskin of their heart through faith in Yeshua, who shed His blood for them and of course for us. Therefore, those who believe in Yeshua from among the non-Jews and us, the believing Jews, are called children of God and God is our father. Together we are partners in His blessings and in His promises according to His word.    

From now on, non-Jewish brothers don’t have to behave, to dress and to live like Jews. They don’t have to imitate the Jews, not to envy them and not admire them, because through the blood of Yeshua, God already has accepted the non-Jews. Praise God! They have been grafted into the olive tree according to Rom. 11:17: “… and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree.”   Yeshua is the root of the tree and that is the important part that all of us are connected to.

Yeshua is also the corner stone of our Building of faith. The believing Jews and the believing non-Jews all together form the building and grow and work together until it becomes a holy sanctuary for God. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit..” (Eph. 2:19-22).

Therefore, if you, the non-Jewish blievers, have been grafted into the root of olive tree (Yeshua) and also have been joined to the building, where Yeshua is the corner stone, then we are together partners in God’s plan and Yeshua is the center of our life.

He is also the root of our faith, therefore we, the Jews and the non-Jews, who are coming to believe, do not need to look for our roots in the past, because Yeshua  the Messiah is the root of our faith, He is the basis and the source of our life. Yeshua says about Himself in Rev. 22:16: “…I am the Root and the Offspring of David…”

We, the believing Jews don’t need to boast and glory in our Judaism by using external features (skullcap, tallit and fringe), so much so that the believing non-Jews will want to imitate us in order to look like Jews on the outside. This behavior could rebuild the wall of hostility and separate us, the believing Jews and non-Jews. This is against God’s Word. “For He is our peace, He making us both one, and He has broken down the middle wall of partition between us, having abolished in His flesh the enmity (the Law of commandments contained in ordinances) so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, making peace” (Eph. 2:14-15)

By the same token, non-Jewish believers should not look down on the Jews who are temporarily removed from the olive tree, because the Jewish people still are a part of God’s future plan. God’s covenant with the Jewish people is an eternal covenant and will remain forever. “And I will betroth you to Me forever. Yea, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness, and in mercies” (Hos. 2:19).

All of us are waiting for the moment when the people of Israel will proclaim to Yeshua: “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” and accept Him as their Savior and Redeemer. We understand that those who declare this will be the remnant of the people of Israel.

Meanwhile, we thank God who sent to us His son Yeshua to bring all of us to Him. We are all sons of God as it’s written in Gal. 3: 26-29: “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

So, all of us, believers in Yeshua, Jews and non-Jews, are Sons of Abraham, he is “a father of many nations” according to the Old Testament and “the father of faith” according to the New Testament. All of us together are part of the seed of Isaac, who is the son of the promise. “…But, in Isaac shall your Seed be called…the children of the promise… are counted for a seed“. (Rom. 9:7-8).

Therefore the believing non-Jews (‘Jews’ in their heart spiritually) are also children of the promise with us the believing Jews, and together we are God’s chosen people.

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for possession, so that you might speak of the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; you who then were not a people, but now the people of God, those not pitied then, but now pitied” (1 Peter 2:9-10).

Praise and Glory to our God!