THE LORD APPEARED
Genesis 17:1 ¶ And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. 2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. 3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, 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.
Genesis 17:7 ¶ 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. 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. 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.
Genesis 17:15 ¶ And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. 16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. 26 In the selfsame day was Abraham circumcised, and Ishmael his son. 27 And all the men of his house, born in the house, and bought with money of the stranger, were circumcised with him.
A New Name – This is the last time that the LORD God will speak and appear to “Abram.” For here, at the time of the supernatural birthing of the long awaited and spiritual seed, there is a new name given! For in verse five of our context “Abram” (high father), is changed to “Abraham” (father of many nations). And so it is with the supernatural birth of the Holy Spirit within the heart of the elect sinner! 2 Corinthians 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. Revelation 2:17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
That Hebrew word translated into English in verses five and fifteen of our context as “name,” is the same word translated, “renown” in Numbers 16:2. In other words, the name represents how one is known of others. It is assigned to give recognition of the inner character. And so Christ revealed the inner identity of Peter. John 1:40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.
For as the first Adam was involved in naming all the animals (See Genesis 2:18-23), when he was given his bride, so the last Adam (the Lord Jesus Christ) in bringing his Bride, the church, to himself, bestows upon them a name corresponding to their spiritual identity. 1 Corinthians 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
But take notice of the origin of both Abram and Sarai being given new names in verse one of Genesis seventeen. The origin of the believer’s new name is the revelation of God in a new and higher manifestation than heretofore known! For in Genesis 15:7 he presents himself in the phrase, I am the LORD. That is, “I am Jehovah,” – the self-existing God. But in our verse one he reveals himself in a higher degree of power and glory. For here he says, I am the Almighty God! That is, I am El Shaddai – the almighty God! For as the Lord God was now going to make effectual the promised to Abraham of having a son by Sarah, though their bodies were both dead as far as procreation was concerned (See Romans 4:19), so he presents himself not just as the God who made the promise, but as the God who has power to cause the promise to be a reality!
How one deals with the revelation of God determines their spiritual condition. Receiving the revelation of Himself by faith is eternal life. John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. Refusal to receive him brings death to the soul! Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
A New Walk – And it is the continued knowledge of Him within the heart that maintains a proper spiritual walk before him! For immediately after he states, I am the Almighty God, he states, walk before me, and be thou perfect. Because God consciousness is the essential cause of a holy walk.
Listen to Joseph as he lives far from home in the strange land of Egypt as how he dealt with the temptation from his master’s wife. Genesis 39:9 …neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? He was conscious of God being sinned against, and thereby refused her advances.
And how did Cain do so wickedly? Genesis 4:16 And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, One cannot possibly go out from God’s presence, for there is no place where he is excluded! But one can refuse to acknowledge God in their lives and thus be said, like Cain, to go out from his presence. Psalm 73:11 And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High? Isaiah 40:27 Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God?
A New Token – In verses ten and eleven of our text we read of the token of the covenant. Sarah’s barren womb must also be “dead.” And Abraham must not only also be dead as far as the ability to sire children, but he is never allowed to enter into Sarah again as he entered into Hagar. Even that “member” must be circumcised (Latin – “To cut around”), in order to show that flesh has nothing do with the supernatural birth! 1 Corinthians 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Abraham, in bringing in Isaac, must reflect the supernatural birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
And because the Word became flesh (John 1:14), he had to be circumcised as well! In fact, the Lord Jesus, like Abraham, received his new name and was circumcised on the same day. For the very day in which Abram received his new name – “Abraham,” he was circumcised. Genesis 17:23 And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him. Luke 2:21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
And the Lord’s new name, upon his Incarnation, meant that he was God – the Savior! Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. JE – Jehovah. SUS – Savior!
And the first drops of blood shed from the Savior’s little body were essential to our redemption! For that circumcision was his pledge to fulfill God’s law to the Father’s satisfaction! Galatians 5:3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied:
He was born under the law in order that he might fulfill it for our complete salvation! Galatians 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
But circumcision is not just for males, as it is not just physical! Deuteronomy 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked. 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.
Romans 2:29 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. 4:11 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: 8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
Jeremiah 9:25 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised; 26 Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.
Physical circumcision means nothing to God in being righteousness any more! 1 Corinthians 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
In fact, it is now called a “mutation!” Philippians 3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. (That word, “concision,” means “mutation!”) 3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
The “circumcision of Christ” is the invisible ‘surgery’ of the Holy Spirit, applying the character and spiritual nature of the last Adam – Christ – in the place of the character and nature of the first Adam – that which was born of the natural birth! Colossians 2:11 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: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 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; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
That which supersedes the physical circumcision of the old economy is the gift of faith in the perfect and finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, forming the elect sinner into a new creation in Him! Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
For even Moses, the law giver, and Jeremiah, one of the foremost prophets, knew that circumcision of the flesh made nothing different without the supernatural work of God within the soul of the professing believer!
Exodus 6:30 And Moses said before the LORD, Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh hearken unto me?
Jeremiah 6:10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.
Pastor Gene Breed
December 16, 2015