Mat 3:14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
Mat 3:15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
Mat 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
Mat 3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
In the month of Nissan, on the tenth day (April 18, 2016), the nation of Israel crossed over the Jordan River dry shod and entered into the land of Canaan. God publically recognized Jesus Christ as His Son AFTER He was baptized in the Jordan River. When we are baptized after our confession of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are IDENTIFYING ourselves with Jesus Christ. We are in Jesus Christ and He is in us. We are also the sons of God and we are also beloved of the Father.
Jesus was publically identified as the Son of God by the Spirit of God descending upon Him. We are publically recognized as sons of God by the Spirit of God descending upon us as evidenced by the manifestation of PRAYING IN TONGUES!
It is very interesting that on the very next day on Nissan 11 (April 19, 2016), ALL the men born in the wilderness were circumcised at GILGAL.
Jos 5:8 And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole.
Jos 5:9 And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach (disgrace, shame) of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day.
GILGAL: H1537, gilgâl, ghil-gawl'
The same as H1536 (with the article as a properly noun); Gilgal, the name of three places in Palestine: - Gilgal. See also H1019.
H1536: H1536, gilgâl, ghil-gawl'
A variation of H1534: - wheel.
When an adult man is “circumcised” they are completely helpless. We see this in a story told in the Book of Genesis.
Gen 34:24 And unto Hamor and unto Shechem his son hearkened all that went out of the gate of his city; and every male was circumcised, all that went out of the gate of his city.
Gen 34:25 And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.
Gen 34:26 And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son with the edge of the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem's house, and went out.
A Hivite prince, named Shehem, slept with Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, without Jacob’s permission and without being married to her. It appears that he raped her. This was a serious insult to Dinah, as well as Jacob, and therefore it was a serious insult to Jacob’s whole family. Shechem asked for Dinah’s hand in marriage, but the damage was already done as far as Jacob’s sons were concerned and they decided to get revenge.
They told King Hamor and Prince Shechem that if they and their people were circumcised like Jacob, his sons and his servants, Dinah could marry Shechem and they could all be one happy family. However, after all the men were circumcised, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, simply walked through the city gates and easily killed every man in the city. Then the rest of the Jacob’s sons joined them and plundered the entire city.
Therefore, does it not would seem odd that God would order all the young fighting men of Israel under forty years old to be circumcised right after they entered into enemy territory? However, it is all about being totally reliant on God, circumcision symbolizes being set free from the flesh. We no longer rely on our own strength, or our own wisdom, or our own cleverness, or our own wealth, etc. We are totally reliant ONLY on God. We no longer need to be ashamed of our past bondage to sin and the flesh. Jesus Christ has set us completely FREE!
Rom 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
Rom 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.
Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Of course Christians are no longer circumcised in the flesh, but most importantly we understand that we are circumcised inwardly.
Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
Col 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:
Col 2:12 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.
Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
We no longer try to please God by keeping the law because we do NOT trust in the flesh. We are confident that we ALWAYS please God because we believe and confess through faith that we are IN Jesus Christ and He is FOREVER the Father’s beloved Son. We are hidden in the cleft of the rock. We MUST identify ONLY with Jesus Christ. He is our only place of confidence. Thus we can boldly say, “I am God’s beloved son/daughter!”
2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
We can boldly say, “I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ!”
2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
We can boldly say, “The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me!”
Heb 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Being a Christian is ALL about IDENTIFYING with Jesus Christ! You do not need to go through years, months, or even days of struggle. We simply say, “IF GOD BE FOR US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?” Jesus, and only Jesus, is where we put ALL our confidence.
Israel then celebrated the Feast of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. These two feasts are all about IDENTIFYING OURSELVES WITH JESUS CHRIST!
In the Book of Esther, the Jews discover that Haman plans to kill them all on Nissan 13 (April 21, 2016) and they fast for three days on Nissan 14-16 (April 22-24, 2016). Then Esther approaches the King of Persia uninvited on Nissan 16 (April 24) to ask for his grace. Nissan 24 is the Feast of First fruits and we know from the New Testament that Jesus Christ is the “firstfruits” of God.
1Co 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
1Co 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
They may not have realized it, but when Esther and the Jews fasted for three days, they were identifying with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. When we fast, we are simply acknowledging that we died with Jesus Christ. We no longer rely on ourselves. Our faith should ONLY be in the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. This is what the Apostle Paul was talking about in his epistle to the Philippians.
Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Php 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Php 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Viewed from the perspective of the world, the Apostle Paul had everything going for him. He was a Pharisee of Pharisees, he had the finest religious teachers, he obeyed the law as well or better than anybody, he was so zealous that he persecuted the Church, BUT when he had a direct encounter with Jesus Christ, Paul had the revelation of how far short his righteousness was compared to God’s righteousness. Paul finally understood that he NEEDED a savior! We ALL need that revelation.
Everything Paul had worked for his whole life was completely worthless to him. He completely turned his back on his old life. He stopped seeking what the world had to offer him and he began to seek only to KNOW Jesus Christ.
1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
1Co 2:3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
We need to have the same mind set as Paul the Apostle. We must turn our backs on our past lives as completely worthless. This includes what may appear to be the good things as well as the bad things. Everything up and to the moment we believed is dead and from that moment forward our life is simply Jesus Christ. If it wasn’t so sad, it would be almost funny how people, including myself, rely so much on our own wisdom and strength and thereby disdain the wisdom and power of God almighty.
My next article will be more in depth about the Feast of Unleavened Bread on Nissan 16 through Nissan 22 (April 24-22, 2016) and how it signifies our new identity in Jesus Christ.