When we believe on Yeshua, we can be immersed (baptized) into His death, and then born again unto eternal spiritual life. Only, before we can be born again, first we must understand what we are committing to. We must also be old enough to not drown. This means that water immersion (baptism) is not appropriate for infants.
Although many churches teach infant baptism, infant baptism is not found in Scripture. Instead, what Scripture calls for is physical circumcision for all newborn males on their eighth day of life, or upon their later conversion.
Physical circumcision does not lead to salvation. Rather, it is a sign that one intends to keep Yahweh’s covenant (and submit his flesh to Elohim’s rule).
B’reisheet (Genesis) 17:9-14
9 And Elohim said to Avraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.
10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised;
11 and 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 child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant.
13 He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
14 And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”
Physically uncircumcised males may attend Sabbath services, but before the head of a house can partake of the Pesach (Passover), all his males must be physically circumcised. This applies both to native-born Israelites, and to gentile Ephraimite converts.
Shemote (Exodus) 12:48-49
48 “And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover to Yahweh, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as a native of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it.
49 One torah shall be for the native-born and for the stranger who dwells among you.”
You will probably get many questions as to why physical circumcision is still required after Yeshua’s sacrifice. The short answer is that Yeshua said not to think He came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets, but that until heaven and earth pass away, nothing at all would pass from the Torah (including the prophecies contained in the Torah).
Mattityahu (Matthew) 5:17-18
17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Torah until all is fulfilled.
Since heaven and earth are still here, the Torah of circumcision is still in effect. Further, Ezekiel 44:9 speaks of a temple which will be built after Armageddon. (For details, see Revelation and the End Times.) In this temple, the “foreigners who are among the children of Israel” (i.e., the gentile Ephraimite converts) must be physically circumcised (or they may not enter).
Yehezqel (Ezekiel) 44:9
9 Thus says Yahweh Elohim: “No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart or uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter My sanctuary, including any foreigner who is among the children of Israel.”
Ancient Non-Invasive vs. Modern Invasive
In ancient times, circumcision was undoubtedly very different than today’s procedure. Today’s procedure calls for surgically removing the entire foreskin. This is a very invasive process which requires specialized medical training, and calls for a sanitized environment. It is not something that can be done in an instant by untrained shepherds lacking surgical implements and antibiotics. It could not have been done in an instant by someone such as Moshe’s wife Tzipporah, who used a sharp stone.
Shemote (Exodus) 4:25
25 Then Tzipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it at Moshe’s feet, and said, “Surely you are a husband of blood to me!”
Further, the modern surgical procedure is so invasive that it can take weeks to heal, and the risk of infection is great, even with modern medical care and hygiene. Also, because the cut is so deep, if an adult male such as Avraham were to get an erection even while sleeping, it would probably tear open the scabs, and the wound would probably get infected (or re-infected). And let us also acknowledge that the desert is not exactly a sterile environment. For all of these reasons, it makes sense that they had to use a less invasive procedure that did not require surgically removing the entire foreskin.
Aside: English vs. Hebrew
As an aside, it seems ironic that the English of the New King James Version speaks not of removing the entire foreskin, but of being circumcised in the foreskin.
B’reisheet (Genesis) 17:11
11 “And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.”
We say it is ironic that it says this in the English, because this is not specified in the Hebrew, which says simply to “circumcise the flesh of your foreskins.”
(11) וּנְמַלְתֶּם אֵת בְּשַׂר עָרְלַתְכֶם | וְהָיָה לְאוֹת בְּרִית בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵיכֶם:
The modern invasive procedure may stem from brother Judah’s penchant for writing what are called fence laws, in which he seeks to make the fulfillment of the commandment much more stringent than what Scripture requires, so as to make sure the commandment is fulfilled. By that logic, rather than making a small circumcision in the foreskin, it is considered “safer” to take the whole foreskin away. Yet while this may be considered “safer” in rabbinic logic, it is not safer in the context of a desert environment without sterilized surgical equipment and antibiotics.
Disclaimer: Romans 13:1-7
Romans 13:1-7 tells us to obey the governments which are appointed over us while we are in our punishment in the dispersion.
Romim (Romans) 13:1-7
1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from Elohim, and the authorities that exist are appointed by Elohim.
2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of Elohim, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.
4 For he is Elohim’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is Elohim’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake.
6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are Elohim’s ministers attending continually to this very thing.
7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
That is not to say that our Babylonian governments in the nations are righteous. (They are not.) It is only to say that we are to obey them as part of our punishment, until Elohim decides that the time of our punishment is ended.
While the ancient circumcision method is not hard to do, most governments require us to have circumcision done by licensed professionals, and they will probably want to remove the whole foreskin. This does not violate the commandment, and in some cases (such as phimosis – a condition where the foreskin cannot be stretched over the head of the penis) it is better. However, ours is a faith that prefers to follow the ancient ways, so if there is no phimosis, we advise asking the professional to use the ancient method (and if he says no, do not fight it).
Preparing for the Fall of Babylon
At the time of this writing (2020), we are coming into the end times. As we look into the prophesies, we expect to see many years of civil distress and war. After trumpet 7 we expect the entire Babylonian system to collapse. The hospitals may also collapse at that time. Further, we are told that antibiotics will fail in the near future. Beyond this, Hosea 12:9 tells us that we will someday again dwell with Him in tents.
Hoshea (Hosea) 12:9
9 “But I am Yahweh your Elohim,
Ever since the land of Egypt;
I will again make you dwell in tents,
As in the days of the appointed feast.”
In all of these things, it will be your job to ensure that the people Elohim has entrusted to your care can become physically circumcised, so they can partake of the Passover. For all of these reasons and more, it makes sense to have a less invasive way to fulfill the command. It is in this context that we offer this information, but again with the advice that you have a qualified medical professional perform the procedure at least until trumpet 7.
Steps to Ancient Circumcision
For information and preparation purposes, the ancient procedure would follow these steps, if it were conducted today.
On the 8th day, have on hand:
1. Small gauze sponges
2. Large gauze sponges
3. Sterile absorbent pads
4. Sterile latex gloves
5. Antiseptic such as povidone-iodine (for external use only)
6. Healing ointment, such as Eden Salve
7. Dental floss
8. Sterilized umbilical cord scissors (curved)
9. Styptic powder (for adult males, for clotting)
Umbilical scissors should be curved. Everything should be sterilized just prior to the procedure. Metals such as scissors can be sterilized by boiling them in clean water for five minutes. Rubbing alcohol can also be used. The trained medical professional and the family should all pray, and ask Yahweh to guide you in the procedure.
1. Lay out everything for easy access
2. Make the room nice and warm for the patient
3. Having a pair of assistants is a help
4. Don sterile gloves
5. Remove the patient’s loin covering
6. Clean the patient’s groin area with iodine prior to the incision (not after)
7. Use dental floss as a kind of tourniquet to gently-but-firmly constrict the blood flow to the patient’s foreskin. It should not be super tight, but only snug enough to cause discoloration after a minute or two. The primary function is only to hold the excess skin forward of the tip of the glans, to ensure a safe and clean cut
8. Line up the curved scissor blades just outside the floss, double-checking one last time that the tip of the glans will not be cut
9. In prayer, make the cut
10. Immediately after the cut, place a new, sterile absorbent gauze pad over the cut, and gently apply pressure for a minute or two, in order to aid clotting. In an eight-day old child, the blood loss should be minimal, and should stop soon. In an adult or older male, styptic powder should not be necessary, but have it on hand, just in case. (Styptic powder is a salt, and burns, but burning is better than continued bleeding.)
11. In a young infant, the bleeding should slow to an ooze after just a minute or two. In an adult male, this might take five to fifteen minutes (or longer), but eventually it should slow.
12. For an infant, within five minutes of the incision the bleeding should stop altogether, and a healthy clot should be forming. For adult males this may take up to a half an hour. (If it goes on longer than an hour, pray about using the styptic powder. It will burn, but it will stop the bleeding.)
13. After a healthy clot has formed, remove the floss. Place some sterile healing salve on a fresh gauze pad, dress the cut, and cover the loins
For infants, apply a normal post-circumcision process. Apply fresh gauze and petroleum jelly (or similar) with each diaper change. The first few urinations will likely be painful, and the child will likely cry. This is normal, and it is far less invasive than circumcision in which the whole foreskin is removed. Adults should be able to monitor their own progress, but it is important to keep the cuts as clean as possible, and also avoid washing off the blood clots.
Monitor the situation prayerfully. For a child, ensure that he is urinating normally, and that everything is kept clean. Antibiotics should not be necessary for a healthy eight-day old infant. Eighty percent healing is normal within about three days. After three days, begin pushing the foreskin back ever-so-gently with each diaper change, so that the cut skin does not try to grow together, or seal shut. (This probably will not happen, but it is a good idea to move the tissues after a few days in any event, once it can be done without re-opening the wound.) An adult male should have no difficulty in monitoring his own progress. It is important to avoid an erection during this time, to make sure that the clots are not torn, and the wound is not re-opened.
This procedure is far less invasive than a normal modern circumcision, and heals far faster. In the below image, notice the minimal amount of foreskin removed, as compared to a penny. Notice also the relatively tiny amount of bleeding.
The medical advantages of this procedure should be obvious.
Herbal and Dietary Concerns
Some herbs boost blood flow. Normally this is very good, but they can also prevent blood from clotting. Since you want the patient’s blood to clot, you should remove them from the patient’s diet for a week prior to the procedure. These include cayenne pepper, turmeric, garlic, flax seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, ginkgo, feverfew, and bromelain.
Chinese medicine has an herb formula called Yunnan Baiyao that enhances clotting and controls bleeding. It is reportedly safe and effective. It has been issued to Asian soldiers, to take in case of gunshot wounds, and is reported to have saved many lives. If you are older or have concerns about bleeding, you might consult with a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine before using this product. (Their theology is bad, but the herbs come from Yahweh, and work.)
In an emergency you can also use powdered yarrow root as a natural version of styptic powder, but since it is plant based it is not as sterile as styptic powder (which is a salt).
Given the literally apocalyptic situation ahead of us, it is a good idea to encourage your people to learn as much about Yahweh’s herbs and natural health as they can.
The best healing is always to seek Yahweh’s face, and to pray and listen for His voice, and do what He says. Then He brings healing.
No Rote Prayers
Our Orthodox brothers typically have a special medical professional called a mohel do their circumcisions. They also typically say rote prayers. Yeshua was against rote prayers, but if your mohel wants to say rote prayers, they do not hurt anything. (Only, we do not recommend them, because prayers that do not come from the heart do not help). We always recommend saying all your prayers from the heart.