A lot of bewilderment seems to arise whenever I talk about the distinction between “spiritual Israel” and “physical Israel”.
Let’s try to clear up this confusion by going back to the basics.
First, in the beginning, before the Hebrew people and the nation of Israel ever existed, the idea of Israel was just a thought in God’s mind.
Before the first Jew or Israelite ever walked the face of the earth, God’s Laws and Principles were just ABSTRACT IDEALS existing only inside the mind of the Creator in the Heavens.
Did you get that?
Think of an inventor who wants to create a chair for example.
Before the chair can become a physical reality, it must first begin as a thought in the inventor’s mind.
Once that thought becomes crystalized, only then does the inventor begin to gather the necessary materials and tools to transform his original vision into a physical reality.
I would say a similar process occurred with God and the creation of His chosen people Israel.
God had an idea or thought about what a perfect people representing His perfect ways would be like.
He had a spiritual blueprint for Israel so to speak.
Then in order to transform that spiritual blueprint into a physical reality, God began to gather the necessary ingredients starting with a man named Abraham who with his wife Sarah gave birth to Isaac.
And from the seed of Isaac the 12 tribes of Israel emerged.
Afterwards, through Moses, God introduced His Laws and Principles.
Understand that God’s Laws, His teachings, the tabernacle, the feasts of Israel, and the temple were all physical representations of that original and perfect spiritual blueprint of the ideal Israel that first had its origin in God’s mind.
Finally, in the end, the perfect physical representation of God’s spiritual ideals was manifested in a man known as Yeshua who proclaimed Himself to be the Messiah of Israel.
“Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.”
So in this sense, Yeshua was the ultimate SPIRITUAL JEW.
For if there ever was a man who so embodied and perfectly lived out God’s spiritual blueprint, His perfect Laws and Principles in Heaven, it had to be Yeshua.
Based on this understanding, I think we can now begin to formulate a proper definition of what Spiritual Israel or a Spiritual Jew really is from God’s perspective, not the perspective of man-made Christian or Jewish religious organizations.
From God’s perspective, I would say a “Spiritual Jew” is a human being who fully embodies and walks out God’s Laws, Principles and Truths as they were first established in the heavens regardless of his or her ethnicity.
Let’s see what the Apostle Paul had to say about this.
“A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a true Jew is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.”–Romans 2:28-29
I think these verses of Paul’s fit well with what I’m saying.
When Paul says “nor is circumcision merely outward and physical”, in plain English is he is not basically saying “being a Jew is not just a blood or ethnic issue”?
Notice he says a Jew is not one outwardly but one who is a Jew inwardly.
And then he goes on to say “circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code”.
Again, is Paul here not stressing that what is ultimately important to God is one who properly walks in his spiritual truths as first established in the heavens instead of relying on manmade written ordinances?
I am aware that many will mistakenly interpret this verse to mean “God has done away with the Law of Moses and now we are are just to somehow live out our lives by only paying attention to the subjective promptings of God’s Spirit that lives inside us” (whatever the heck that means).
For those who have fallen prey to this type of thinking, I remind you that the Law of Moses are the very teachings that Moses received directly from HASHEM Himself and are thus spiritual in nature.
“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.”-Romans 7:14
Anyway, this is a separate discussion that I don’t want to get into tonight or I’m not going to get any sleep.
So let’s move on by taking a look at these verses:
“Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.”-Romans 2:25-27
These verses support my theological treatise perfectly.
Let’s take a closer look.
“If you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised”.
In plain English, is not Paul basically saying, “Even if you’re a native-born full-blooded Hebrew, what good does it matter? Since God’s definition of a Jew is one who physically lives out His truths on earth as they were first established in the heavens! So if you reject God’s Torah, your Jewish ethnicity means nothing, because it is obedience to Torah in the first place that makes you a Jew.”
“If those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised?”
Again, my plain English interpretation of this verse is as follows:
“If a Gentile follows Torah, isn’t he also to be regarded as a Jew?”
“The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.”
This meaning of this verse seems pretty clear to me but here’s my plain English interpretation anyway.
“From God’s perspective, a gentile who keeps Torah is more Jewish than a native-born Jew who doesn’t keep Torah.”
Notice how this is distinctly different than modern day Israel’s definition of a Jew because they will even let an atheist Jew who totally denies his creator and doesn’t keep Torah make aliyah based solely on his ethnic heritage.
In conclusion, it seems like Paul and I are of the same mind in terms of defining what a true Jew is.
In Paul’s mind, a true Jew is a “spiritual Jew”.
And again what is a “spiritual Jew”?
A “spiritual Jew” is a human being who walks out God’s truths here on earth as they were first established in the heavens.
In other words, a Yeshua-believing, torah-keeping person, whether Jew or Gentile.
Again, don’t misunderstand me and think I’m saying that a gentile’s DNA magically transforms into the blood of a native-born Hebrew once he or she comes to faith in Yeshua.
Remember, I’m talking about things from a spiritual perspective here which is the same thing as God’s perspective because God is spirit.
I’m not talking about things from a biological or ethno-sociological perspective.
Ethnic or physical distinctions between Jew and Gentile still remain.
But if both are believers in Messiah Yeshua, from God’s perspective they are both equal in His sight.
God sees the true Israel or the heavenly ideal of Israel as a congregation of BOTH Jewish and Gentile believers in Messiah Yeshua.
Having said that, the physical nation of Israel remains central to God’s purposes and is still set apart and valuable to him.
So in a weird kind of way, I guess you could kind of say there are two kinds of “Israels” in existence today.
A “spiritual Israel” that the Apostle Paul spoke about consisting of both Jewish and Gentile believers in Messiah Yeshua.
And a “physical Israel” which is the modern Jewish state today.
Some members of “physical Israel” are also members of “spiritual Israel” and some are not.