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The Genesis Parable

Part 14

The Seal of God Part 1

In our previous study, we considered the preceding illustration. As this series has shown, there are “two great lights,” the sun and moon, which are types of the Two Covenants of God. The Old Covenant correlates with the “left hand” of God and the New Covenant the “right hand.” As we see, the “mark” of the beast is the Old Covenant Law of God which rules over our natural and carnal essence while the “seal of God” is the “mark” of the New Covenant Promise which rules over our spiritual essence. We found that both the mark of the beast and the seal of God are described in the following from 2nd Timothy 2, verses 19 through 21.


2 Timothy 2:19-21 (NKJV)
19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this SEAL: "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity." 20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.


As we found in our last study, these passages define the difference between the mark of the beast and the seal of God. Those who are “vessels of gold and silver” correlate with His “right hand” and the seal of God while those who are “wood and clay” correlate with the left and the mark of the beast. However, when we read that the “Lord knows those who are His,” we should understand that this includes BOTH. After all, both “hands” if you will, are of God. As you can see, I’ve taken the liberty to add our “vessels” to the illustration.


Our word “seal” is the Greek transliteration sphragis, defined by Strong’s as, “A signet (as fencing in or protecting from misappropriation); by implication the stamp impressed (as a mark of privacy, or genuineness), literal or figurative.” This same word is used in the following from Romans, Chapter 4, which helps to establish our understanding of the “seal” as the “mark” of God’s Covenant Promise.


Romans 4:7-12 (NKJV)
7 "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin." 9 Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. 11 And he received the SIGN of CIRCUMCISION, a SEAL of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the FATHER OF ALL THOSE WHO BELIEVE, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.


As our passages show, there are two important things to consider in Paul’s discourse; circumcision and uncircumcision, and yes, this is the circumcision with which we are all familiar. As Paul notes, Abraham is called the “father of all those who believe” and received “the SIGN of CIRCUMCISION” as a “SEAL of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still UNCIRCUMCISED.” The context of these passages agree with our perspective, showing that the “seal” of God incorporates both the “uncircumcised” and the “circumcised.” This brings us to Genesis, Chapter 17.


Genesis 17:1-14 (ESV)
1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, 2 that I may make my COVENANT between me and you, and may multiply you greatly." 3 Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, 4 "Behold, my COVENANT is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. 7 And I will establish my COVENANT between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an EVERLASTING COVENANT, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. 8 And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God." 9 And God said to Abraham, "As for you, you shall keep my COVENANT, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. 10 THIS IS MY COVENANT, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a SIGN OF THE COVENANT between me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, 13 both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my COVENANT be in your flesh an EVERLASTING COVENANT. 14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my COVENANT."


It is clear in these passages that our heavenly Father chose “circumcision” as a “SIGN of the COVENANT” which He made with Abram, and that this was done when Abram was “ninety-nine years old.” At his website,, Mark Lane cites “99” as meaning the “shekinah glory of God.” Ninety-nine is also two nines. In his book, The Biblical Meaning of Numbers from One to Forty, Dr. Stephen Jones tells us that “nine,” quote, “Speaks of God’s ‘visitation.’ This is a Hebraism that pictures God as an Investigator ‘visiting’ a person, city, or nation to expose the hearts, gather evidence, and ‘see’ firsthand as it were, the truth of a matter. It is much like a divine court case where the evidence is uncovered and presented to the judge for judgment.” Since we have two nines, then our number of “division” and “witness” also comes into focus here. As we see in our passages, it speaks of ONE covenant, but as Romans 4 makes clear, it involves BOTH uncircumcision and circumcision. Finally, when we add our two nines together, we have 18, our number of “oppression” or “bondage.” This points to the three sixes of the mark of the beast.


9 + 9 = 18; 6 + 6 + 6 = 18


Wikipedia states, “Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin from the human penis.” It’s certainly not coincidental that God implemented this as a “sign of the covenant,” for the human penis is the organ from which male sperm or “seed” issues. As scripture indicates, the spiritual equivalent of “seed” is the “word,” that is, the wisdom of this world or as Jesus taught in the Parable of the Sower, the “word” or wisdom “of God”; see Luke 8:11 and 1st Corinthians 2, verses 6 through 8.


What is interesting is that our word “circumcision” is found 36 times in the King James New Testament. Stephen Jones wrote the following about its spiritual meaning, quote, “The number thirty-six in Hebrew was written with the letters lamed (authority) and vav (a nail, peg, that which joins, or the conjunction “and”). These two letters in themselves do not tell us what is being joined with (or by) the power of divine authority. But when we see that thirty-six is the number associated with His adversaries (or enemies) and how God deals with them, the meaning becomes clearer.

“God is the creator of evil as well as of good (Isaiah 45:6). He uses both for His purposes, for what men call evil is generally the means by which God judges men and nations. So also by His sovereignty, God intends to reconcile all of creation back to Himself (Col. 1:16-20; 1 Cor. 15:27-28). Reconciliation means to make peace between enemies (Rom. 5:10), by means of the cross. Nails (vav) were used to nail Jesus to the cross, and so we might read lamed-vav to mean “the authority of the nail,” which reconciles His enemies back to Himself.


“The 36th time Abraham is mentioned is in Gen. 21:4 which says,


“Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.


“The act of circumcision signifies the cutting away of ‘the flesh,’ our great enemy, so that we might walk by the Spirit of God,” end quote.


As we have considered throughout this study and in our illustration, the number two figures prominently, however, as we have learned, every two in our illustration is in essence ONE. So I emphasize that though there are Two Covenants, they are joined together by divine authority and the Lord’s death on the cross, therefore they are ONE in purpose and intent. Remember, the New Covenant Promise of God is that He will put His laws into our minds and write them in our hearts; see Hebrews 8, verses 6 through 13.


What do we find in Genesis 17? ONE COVENANT, but it regards both those who are “uncircumcised” and those who are “circumcised.” When we consider scripture, we find that “circumcision” refers to Israel as a whole, while “uncircumcision” refers to all other nations; see Ephesians 2:11-22 and Galatians, Chapter Two. Now, let’s consider the following.


Romans 2:24-29 (NKJV)
24 For "the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you," as it is written. 25 For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? 27 And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law? 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 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.


Here we find the spiritual implications of “circumcision.” After Paul describes the physical aspects he turns to the spiritual, telling us, “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 keeping with this, consider the following.


Galatians 5:1-6 (NASB95)
1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. 2 Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. 4 You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.


Galatians 6:15-16 (NASB95)
15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.


Aside from its spiritual implications, these passages make it clear that physical circumcision and uncircumcision no longer matter, for “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” (Gal. 3:28; NKJV). However, it’s certainly to our benefit to understand that circumcision refers to Israel while uncircumcision refers to all other nations, what the King James renders as “Gentiles.” In our passages from Romans, Chapter 4, and Genesis, Chapter 17, we understand that circumcision originated as the “SEAL of the COVENANT.” For further study, see also 1st Corinthians 7:19, Galatians 2:7-21, Ephesians 2:11-22, Colossians 2:11 and 3:11.


Finally, we cannot finish this study without bringing in the fact that when God made His covenant with Abram, he changed his name to Abraham. The name “Abram” means, “High father”  while “Abraham” means, “Father of a multitude”; see Genesis 17:2. And, I cannot help but mention that we have another “two” here, that is TWO names in regard to ONE person.


Last, but certainly not least, we read in Genesis 17:12, “He who is EIGHT days old among you shall be circumcised.” In his book, Number in Scripture, here’s what E.W. Bullinger wrote concerning the spiritual meaning of eight, quote, “It is 7 plus 1. Hence it is the number specially associated with Resurrection and Regeneration, and the beginning of a new era or order. When the whole earth was covered with the flood, it was Noah ‘the eighth person’ (2 Peter 2:5) who stepped out on to a new earth to commence a new order of things. ‘Eight souls’ (1 Peter 3:20) passed through it with him to the new or regenerated world. Hence, too, circumcision was to be performed on the eighth day (Gen 17:12), because it was the foreshadowing of the true circumcision of the heart, that which was to be ‘made without hands,’ even ‘the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ’ (Col 2:11). This is connected with the new creation. The first-born was to be given to Jehovah on the eighth day (Exo 22:29, 30). But RESURRECTION is the great truth which is signified. Christ rose from the dead on ‘the first day of the week,’ that was of necessity the eighth day,” end quote. 


Beloved, it should come as no surprise to us that circumcision of the flesh is a TYPE of the true circumcision of the Spirit and that it was rendered on the “eighth” day, the number associated with resurrection and regeneration. As believers, we should all know that resurrection is the core principle of the gospel of Christ, accurately defined by our divine and universal principle of sowing and reaping; for further understanding, see 1st Corinthians, Chapter 15.

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