©2003 Homer Kizer - Revised April 23, 2015
The Reproach of Egypt
When the circumcising of the whole nation was finished, they remained in their places in the camp until they were healed. And the Lord said to Joshua, "Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you." And so the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day. (Josh 5:8–9)
The above passage would read equally well, they remained in their places until they lived — except for Joshua and Caleb, the circumcised nation that left Egypt desired to return (Num 14:3–4). This nation died in the Wilderness of Sin, because this faithless nation believed the report of the ten spies. It was sentenced to death for its unbelief (Heb 3:19) that became disobedience when it tried to enter the Promised Land on the following day.
The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23). Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4). And the natural mind of all human beings is set upon the flesh; is hostile to God, and will not submit to God’s law. This natural mind cannot keep the Commandments (Rom 8:7). Thus, to set the mind on the flesh is death (v. 6). And the unbelief that produced the wage of death through intermediary disobedience in the Israelites that left Egypt was seeing the sons in Anak with the natural minds of the ten spies.
The ten spies saw themselves with their natural minds—they were as grasshoppers to the giants they saw. They couldn’t see the Lord delivering the sons of Anak into their hands; they didn’t believe that the Lord would send swarms of hornets before them. These ten spies could only see what their eyes saw. They couldn’t see into the spiritual realm even though they had been sent to spy out the land across the Jordan, a type of glorification or godly rest. And this is why the Lord says of Caleb, ‘"But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went"’ (Num 14:24). Caleb’s mindset was different than the ten spies who could see only with their natural eyes. Because of belief or faith that had caused Caleb to initially become part of the Hebrew nation, son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite (Josh 14:6), his thoughts followed a different path than did the thoughts of the ten faithless spies.
The reproach of Egypt had rolled forward—father to son, mother to daughter—to the offspring of the generation sentenced to death: this reproach of Egypt wasn’t geographically removed from Israel when the nation was "baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (1 Cor 10:2), nor was it removed by eating manna (v. 3), nor by drinking from the Rock (v. 4) that was Christ. The Psalmist, sliding from third person to the voice of God, writes, "For forty years I loathed that generation and said, ‘They are a people who go astray in their heart and they have not known my ways’" (Ps 95:10). The reproach of Egypt was in the heart of the nation, and was revealed through that nation’s unbelief. And this reproach remained with the second nation of Israel (i.e., the offspring of the nation that left Egyptian bondage) even when this nation crossed the Jordan and was baptized in the Jordan as had been the nation that left Egypt baptized in the Sea of Reeds (Josh 4:23).
Penning this second nation of Israel on the 10th day of the first month in the Promised Land—as this nation would have penned its Passover lamb on this day—symbolically made the children of Israel the Passover Lamb of God, a lamb of the first year. To be without blemish, the taint of Egypt had to be removed. Thus, rolling away foreskins accomplished through the shedding of blood what was required to remove the reproach of Egypt, the covering of Sin with which Israel in Egypt had covered itself. This nation had to believe the Lord enough to submit, as adults, to circumcision … in the children of Israel’s belief of the Lord, the walls of Jericho fell without the use of siege engines or sappers undermining these walls.
But the reproach of Egypt didn’t roll far.
Circumcision is the removal of the natural covering of a man, this covering symbolizing the animal skin coverings or clothing the Lord made for Adam and Eve when He drove them out of Eden … Adam’s obedience was Eve’s covering for sin; was Eve’s covering for her eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. But Adam had no covering other than his obedience, which he would have put on daily by consciously or unconsciously choosing to obey the Lord through his belief of the Lord.
When obedience through belief of God functions as a garment, a covering for the nakedness of the self, then disobedience also functions as a garment, a covering. And when a person garments him or herself in disobedience, the person is a slave of the Adversary, the spiritual king that presently rules this world. The person wears as a covering the mantle of Sin, the reproach of Egypt, with Pharaoh serving as a type of the spiritual King of the South as Nebuchadnezzar served as a type of the spiritual king of Babylon, the Adversary.
Eve was a daughter of man (Gen 6:2), in that she was created from a rib taken from Adam’s side. However, Adam as a son of God, created in the likeness and image of Elohim [singular] just as Seth was born in Adam’s likeness and image (Gen 5:1–3), had no precursor, a statement about which science and religion disagree. As a son of God, Adam, like the angels who are also one-off creations, had no covering for sin but his obedience to God. Thus, when Adam ate forbidden fruit, sin entered the world (Rom 5:12). Death spread or was rolled forward to all men. And once sin entered the world, Adam realized that he was naked: he no longer had any covering for sin. And Elohim [singular] covered Adam’s nakedness with animal skins (Gen 3:21), or perhaps better, hair coats through hair covering the bodies of Adam and Eve, thus giving to Adam and Eve the appearance of wild hominids.
The question of whether wild hominids preexisted the creation of Adam can be debated, but the question’s answer is of no importance spiritually; for when God “filled” [bara] the earth on the dark portion of Day One of a seven day spiritual creation week, the light portion of this Day One [linguistically separated from the other six days] doesn’t begin until Christ Jesus enters this physical creation as the unique Son of the Logos, the Word or Spokesperson for the God … the Apostle Paul wrote, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ [from Gen 1:3] has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). Hence, the darkness of Day One extends from the creation of the heavens and earth to the coming of Christ Jesus; for the “P” creation account [Gen 1:1–2:3] is about the spiritual creation of human sons of God, not about the physical creation of the heavens and the earth.
The natural covering for a man’s nakedness (i.e., the foreskin) came to symbolically represent the skin covering or hair coat given by the Lord to Adam and Eve as a result of Adam’s sin. Males are born with this covering; it represents the natural state of humanity not in covenant with God. Thus, when Abram’s name was changed to Abraham through the insertion of the linguistic radical representing breath <ah> [in this case the Breath of God or Holy Spirit], the Lord made a covenant with Abraham, the terms of which would have Abraham walking blameless before God (Gen 17:1).
Abraham was ninety-nine years of age and had been obedient to God throughout his life; he had practiced walking without blame and by faith, and he had fairly well perfected his walk with God. Circumcision was the ratifying sign of this covenant made between God and Abraham, who was to remove his foreskin covering and to appear before God naked, except for his covering of obedience. And again, circumcision makes a man appear naked before God; circumcision requires that the man cover his nakedness with obedience to God, while walking without blame before God. Therefore, putting on the righteousness of Christ as a garment does this person no good, what Paul understood but what the Circumcision Faction in the 1st-Century never grasped.
For disciples today, grace is their covering for sin. And until the fullness of iniquity arrives and the Son of Man is revealed (Luke 17:26–30), a disciple will get up every morning and will “clothe” this son of God with the garment of Christ, His righteousness, grace. However, once the fullness of iniquity arrives—when humankind can get no farther from God—the Second Passover liberation of the second Israel will occur. Every Christian will then be filled with spirit and thereby liberated from indwelling Sin and Death. Every Christian will be figuratively returned to the Garden of Eden; will be made naked before God and only covered by his or her own obedience as Adam was when initially placed in the Garden.
Again, for emphasis, at the Second Passover liberation of Israel the garment of grace will be stripped away and every Christian’s covering will be the Christian’s obedience. At this time, the glorified Christ Jesus will be the Head of the Son of Man, and greater Christendom will be the Body of the Son of Man but the majority of greater Christendom will rebel against God as Israel in the wilderness rebelled against the Lord; so the third part of humanity (from Zech 13:9) will replace greater Christendom as the Body of Christ as the children of Israel replaced the nation of Israel that left Egypt (cf. Num chap 1, chap 26).
Yes, today’s Christians will, almost without exception, rebel against God on day 220 of the Affliction, the first 1260 days of the seven endtime years … within Islamic countries today, there are Christians martyred by the hundreds and even by the thousands. These martyred Christians refused to recant; refused to compromise what they believe. But what they believe[d] isn’t of God and isn’t of Christ Jesus, but is of a cruel hoax that the Adversary has played on them; for with the giving of the spirit, the Law moves from regulating hands and bodies to regulating thoughts of the mind and desires of the heart. A genuine Christian would not attempt to weekly enter into God’s presence—represented by the Promised Land—on the day after the Sabbath, doing what that condemned nation of Israel attempted to do:
When Moses told these words to all the people of Israel, the people mourned greatly. And they rose early in the morning and went up to the heights of the hill country, saying, "Here we are. We will go up to the place that the Lord has promised, for we have sinned." But Moses said, "Why now are you transgressing the command of the Lord, when that will not succeed? Do not go up, for the Lord is not among you, lest you be struck down before your enemies. For there the Amalekites and the Canaanites are facing you, and you shall fall by the sword. Because you have turned back from following the Lord, the Lord will not be with you." But they presumed to go up to the heights of the hill country, although neither the ark of the covenant of [YHWH] nor Moses departed out of the camp. Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and defeated them and pursued them, even to Hormah. (Num 14:39–45)
Do not Coptic Christians attempt to come before the Lord on the day after the Sabbath? Do not almost all People of the Cross attempt to enter into God’s presence on the day after the Sabbath … what makes them think that they shall succeed? That they acknowledge that they have sinned and are sinners? Is this what makes them believe they can do what ancient Israel could not do as the shadow and type of greater Christendom? So consider the reality of martyrdom: Paul wrote to the holy ones at Corinth,
Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. … For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. (1 Cor 11:27, 29–32)
If Christians truly took the Passover sacraments in a worthy manner, imitating Paul as he imitated Jesus, they would not be guilty: their sins would be covered by the blood of Christ, symbolized by the Passover Cup, poured out for many for the forgiveness of sin (Matt 26:28). But because Christian orthodoxy in its many colors does not keep the Passover, all of Christian orthodoxy is guilty, and remains condemned by their unbelief of God. They have not discerned the Body, but rather, have taken judgment upon themselves and are therefore disciplined by the Lord so that they might not be condemned along with the world … martyrdom, now, becomes a form of being disciplined by the Lord, with the orthodox Christian who dies in faith “covering” his or her unbelief with belief unto death.
But Christians shouldn’t have to be martyred as a demonstration of their belief of God. Rather, the Christian should live his or her life as a living sacrifice (Rom 12:1), imitating Jesus and thereby living as an outwardly uncircumcised Judean. And because such a Christian “kills” the outer self with its desires of the flesh, the Christian does not necessarily need to be martyred and thereby suddenly removed from the evil of this present world. The Christ who imitates Jesus “removes” him or herself from participation in this world … the Christian doesn’t begin to live as a hermit, physically withdrawn from this world, but the Christian ceases to place any importance on the things of this world: its politics, its entertainment, its wealth, its conspiracies.
Following the Second Passover, when God will take the lives of uncovered [by the blood of Christ] firstborns, every Christian’s covering will then be the Christian’s belief of God that leads to obedience. Outward circumcision will then (and until the temple is rebuilt in the Millennium) actually hinder Christian obedience … today, circumcision of the flesh negates grace. Following the stripping away of grace, the garment of Christ’s righteousness, circumcision of the flesh will take emphasis away from obedience originating in belief of God.
An uncircumcised male appears physically as the natural mind appears spiritually. The old written code wasn’t given to the world in general, but was from Sinai given to a circumcised nation. The removal of foreskins necessitated a covering of obedience to the laws of God, necessitated the giving of the living words to a nation upon whom the reproach of Egypt remained, in that this nation retained natural minds or mindsets. And since the laws of God were not written on the hearts and minds of these outwardly circumcised Israelites but always remained outside them as a schoolmaster, the nation had to inscribe God’s laws on their own hearts through practiced obedience by faith. They were to do what Abraham had done. They were to walk blameless before God until it became their habit and their desire to always walk upright even when no human being was looking.
The cutting of foreskins represented in type the circumcision of hearts through development of the habit and desire of obedience to God. Developing the desire to obey God required faith that God is, and that God rewards those who love Him. The reproach of Egypt, then, is the natural mind and heart that is not subject to God’s laws. This natural mind is hostile to God. Again, it cannot submit to God. And no number of miracles will convince this natural mind to obey God.
The logic of the above paragraph is seen by a visualization of crossing the Sea of Reeds (usually translated the Red Sea) and the flooding Jordan River. The Sea of Reeds is a tranquil body of water; it couldn’t be otherwise and not uproot the reeds. In effect, the Sea of Reeds was a large lake. And to part this body of water, God had to drive the water back by a strong east wind (Exod 14:21); God had to supply energy to move the water. It was then fear of the pursuing Egyptians that caused liberated Israel to hurry across the gap on dry land. As if livestock, they were driven across by their fear of Pharaoh’s wrath. They didn’t cross because of their desire to obey God.
The Jordan River, by comparison, is living water. It then overflowed its banks as it rushed downstream. To part the Jordan required stopping this torrent of water. Energy wasn’t required to move the water, but to hold it back, to stop the water from moving. And the second nation of liberated Israel didn’t need to be driven as cattle across the river. This nation had been dwelling in booths for forty years. Most of this nation had been born in booths, tents. They were a people without any inheritance except God. They longed to acquire cities and land. And they believed that God had given them the land to possess it: the two spies, when they returned, said to Joshua, ‘"Truly the Lord has given all the land into our hands. And also, all the inhabitants of the land melt away because of us’" (Josh 2:24).
The comparison between still and living water is used by the prophet Isaiah in a thought-couplet to represent the comparison between physical and spiritual:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; [physical]
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; [spiritual]
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, [physical]
and the flame shall not consume you. [spiritual] (Isa 43:2)
Two thought-couplets forming one squared couplet, with water being to fire as still water is to living or moving water, and as the Passover exodus of Israel from Egypt (Isa 43:3) is to the Second Passover exodus of Israel from Sin and Death (v. 4 — also Isa 11:11; Jer 16:14–15; 23:7–8).
The hornets that God sent before Israel then commanded by Moses—the hornets that drove out the two Amorite kings (cf. Josh 24:12; Num 21:21–35)—had become Amorite fear that had moved from outside the Amorites on the plains of Moab to inside the Amorites, Hittites, and other Canaanites across the Jordan. And this movement from outside to inside represents the movement from physical to spiritual. The stinging insects promised by God had become His wilting of Canaanite faith in their gods, His wilting of their belief in their own strength, in their ability to defeat Israel. When Moses sent out the twelve spies, their report was, ‘"And there we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak, who came from the Nephilim), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them’" (Num 13:33). The sons of Anak were not afraid of even Caleb, who had a different spirit about him and who believed that Israel was well able to take the land. Neither Sihon nor Og was afraid of the Israelites. So God sent hornets before Israel. It wasn’t Israel’s prowess with bow and sword that gave Israel their victories on the plains of Moab, nor was it their prowess with either that gave them cities they hadn’t built and vineyards and orchards they had not planted across the Jordan. Rather, for a nation of Israel with the reproach of Egypt still on it, God sent visible, physical hornets against their enemies. The natural mind needed something that could be seen with the eyes. But across the Jordan, God sent fear of Israel before the nation to do the same work that the hornets had done. So the Jordan becomes a dividing line between the visible and the invisible, between physical and spiritual.
The nation that left Egypt never truly believed God even though this nation prayed for divine deliverance (Exod 2:23–24). This nation remained under the reproach of Egypt, and this nation is a type or shadow of the greater Christian Church today.
Shadows are darkened images of their reality. They are lifeless even when animated, and they exist in one less dimension than their reality. Thus, the covenant mediated by Moses on the plains of Moab (Deu 29:1) promised a circumcised heart and soul or mind [naphesh] to the Israelite who, when in captivity, returns to God and begins to obey His laws and commandments—all that is written in Deuteronomy (Deu 30:1–10). This Israelite, by returning to God in a foreign land, practices the Apostle Paul’s law of faith (Rom 3:27). And Paul’s law of faith becomes for Paul the righteousness that comes from faith (Rom 10:6). The Israelite who by faith returns to God has only to confess with his (or her) mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in his (or her) heart that God raised Him from the dead to be saved (Rom 10:9 — compare Deu 30:11–14 with Rom 10:6–8). The "everyone" in the oft-cited passage, "For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Rom 10:13), references those who practice the righteousness that comes from faith. There is no longer any distinction between Greek or Jew for those who live under the law of faith. And to the Moab covenant mediated by Moses that promised physical life and good for choosing righteousness (Deu 30:15), better promises were added when the mediator changed to Christ Jesus. Now choosing righteousness produces everlasting life for the disciple of Christ. The physical Moab covenant lacked this empowering reality in the same way that the old written code was outside of the circumcised nation as opposed to the law of God being written on hearts and minds (Jer 31:33; Heb 8:10) under the spiritual New Covenant, or Second Passover Covenant. The spiritual commandment against murder reads such that even anger against a brother breaks the commandment (Matt 5:21–22). And this is the comparison between physical hornets and fear of Israel. The nation that left Egypt required a sign—seeing the hornets—before it would believe. All of this nation died in the Wilderness of Sin. Their children entered the Promised Land by faith. But before many generations passed, Israel rejected the Lord, wanted a human king, and lost faith with very few exceptions. So as promised, God sent this nation into foreign lands. A remnant returned under Ezra. But again, within a few generations Israel again required signs. The nation had lost its faith. The reproach of Egypt or Babylon had returned.
When moving from physical to spiritual, dead shadows become living realities. The Apostle Paul’s new man or creature dwells in the same tabernacle as had his old man, crucified with Christ, dwelt. This tabernacle in which the new creature dwells is a spiritually lifeless image of the incorruptible body in which this new creature will dwell when glorified. So the spiritual birth process, analogous to the creation of Adam, is two part, with the new man born-from-above in the same manner as was Adam given life (i.e., Elohim breathed the breath of life into a fully formed physical corpse). Human beings by nature are spiritual corpses: they lack spiritual life given through receipt of the Breath of God. They are born anew or born again when they receive the Holy Spirit and thereby acquire spiritual life [pneuma] while still in a tabernacle of flesh. They are now as Israel was in Egypt. Ahead of them lies their journey through the Wilderness of Sin and dwelling in booths as the new man replaces the old man, crucified but still alive on his (or her) cross. The new man, born in a temporary tabernacle, seeks a permanent abode in a promised land that he will have to struggle to occupy—this son of God’s struggle isn’t with human beings, but with wicked spirits (or spiritual wickedness) in high places. However, human beings are affected by these wicked spirits. The effect is that disciples will be betrayed and persecuted by even other disciples (Matt 24:10).
The Feast of Tabernacles stands as an annual commemoration of Israel dwelling in booths in the wilderness of Sin: ‘"You shall dwell in booths seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God’" (Lev 23:42–43). This festival, as with all seventy Sabbaths, should be kept by disciples today; for our physical bodies are the spiritual reality of the physical tents in which Israel dwelt for forty years in the Wilderness of Sin. Our old selves are the reality of the circumcised nation that could not enter the Promised Land because of unbelief; our old selves are crucified on the cross with Christ, but death by the cross doesn’t come immediately. The lawbreaker hangs around for a while, sometimes for a long while if the person was exceptionally strong. And the reality of the children of the nation that left Egypt is the Apostle Paul’s new creature, born of spirit in this tabernacle of flesh. It is this new creature that will have to fight to occupy the promised land of glorification, this fight made by faith in God and by practicing walking blameless before God. A disciple deludes him or herself if the disciple believes that the old self will be glorified.
Because one shadow doubles for two spiritual realities just as Jesus came as a human being, then became a life-giving spirit (1 Cor 15:45) when glorified, the first spiritual reality of dwelling in tabernacles is the development of the Apostle Paul’s new creature within every disciple. The second reality is the development of the Body of Christ during the Tribulation. The greater Christian Church today remains in bondage to sin just as Israel was in physical bondage to Pharaoh. The Church will be liberated from sin when the Tribulation begins—the death angels will pass through spiritual Egypt or Babylon as the death angel passed through Pharaoh’s Egypt. And the spiritual nation that leaves Babylon will rebel against God (2 Thess 2:3) just as the circumcised nation did in the wilderness of Sin. This nation will try to return to Babylon; it will then try to enter God’s rest on the following day (there remains the keeping of the Sabbath for the people of God — Heb 4:9). They will be rejected, and their spiritual children will enter the promised land of glorification behind a Joshua and a Caleb; these children will have to fight their way in by enduring to the end. The gospel that must be proclaimed to the world as a witness to all nations is that all who endure to the end shall be saved (Matt 24:13–14).
When the Holy Spirit is poured out upon all flesh (Joel 2:28), every person will become as a spiritual virgin. Jesus said the kingdom of heaven was like ten virgins, half of whom cannot enter His rest because of unbelief, because their lamps were without oil, because they retained the reproach of Egypt. They longed to return to their pre-Tribulation relationship with Jesus, a relationship in which they practiced lawlessness under the cover of Grace. They will not want to appear before God naked, with only their obedience as their covering for sin. They will take to themselves the tattoo of the Cross; they will hang on their crosses. They will not take up their crosses and follow Jesus across a flooding Jordan River and begin living as Judeans. Rather, they will all spiritually die in a wilderness of sin as they decide for themselves how and when they will worship God.
The prophet Ezekiel was given a forehead of flint so that he could deliver the words of God to the house of Israel. A forehead of flint is again needed to deliver the words of God to the spiritual house of Israel, a house of shared language, a house of neighbors. These are the people who truly desire to serve Christ, but on their terms. These are those who sing praises to Jesus, whose desire is for Jesus just as Eve’s desire would be for her husband (Gen 3:16). These are people whose teachers have them practicing iniquity or lawlessness under the guise of liberty. These are those who will protest abortions and gay marriages and every manner of civil injustice, but who will not keep the Sabbaths of God.
Repent while there is still time, while Grace still abounds, while you can practice walking blameless before God under the covering of Christ’s righteousness. The reproach of Egypt is the carnal or natural mindset. And this natural mind isn’t removed until a person crosses a figurative Jordan River and is circumcised inwardly, thereby becoming willing to fight to possess righteousness through obedience to God. You must want to walk blameless before God, and must believe that by faith you can walk blameless—or Abraham is not your spiritual ancestor. And if you are not of Abraham’s spiritual seed, you are not an heir of Christ. You are illegitimate, and you will die in a wilderness of lawlessness.
"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."