Spiritual Jews

COPYRIGHT ©2019 - James M. Frye


All scripture quotations are taken from the Authorized King James Bible. Any deviations are not intentional. All underlines, bold and words within brackets are the author's.


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Types and Shadows

There are many types and shadows in the Old Testament (OT) which represented spiritual realities which have now been fulfilled under the New Testament (NT). Here are few with which the reader may already be familiar.

1. The animal sacrifices of the OT were fulfilled by Christ’s one-time sacrifice as the “lamb of God” upon the cross (John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

2. Christ fulfilled the symbolism of the OT high priest. He is now our NT high priest (Heb. 4:14; 8:1).

3. The rest of the Levitical priesthood in the OT symbolized and is now fulfilled by NT believers who are now spiritual priests (1 Peter 2:5, 9).

4. The symbolism of the OT temple is now fulfilled in the church (believers), God's NT temple (2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:19-22).

5. The symbolism of Jerusalem under in the OT is now fulfilled by new, heavenly Jerusalem, the church, the bride of Christ under the NT (Heb. 12:22-24; Gal. 4:24-26; Rev. 21:2, 9-10).

6. The symbolism of OT circumcision is now fulfilled by the NT spiritual circumcision (regeneration) – Col. 2:11; Phil. 3:3; Gal. 6:15.

For more on these things, and to see these things proven from scripture, please visit the link below.



Another of these symbolisms is that of being a Jew. In the OT, a “Jew” was an ethnic Israelite, a descendant of Jacob whom God had renamed Israel. But in the NT, being a Jew also takes on a spiritual meaning.


Jews in the New Testament

Consider the following verse.

Romans 2:28-29 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

The above passage is clearly speaking of being a Jew spiritually and inwardly as opposed to just being a Jew physically and outwardly. According to these verses, an inward, spiritual Jew is one who has been circumcised in their heart. This is clearly talking about believers who have experienced spiritual circumcision as described in point 6 above.

Colossians 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:

Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

Since this circumcision is made “without hands” it is clearly not a reference to physical circumcision but unto spiritual circumcision. This circumcision is said to involve the removing of a person’s sins and them becoming a new creature in Christ (regeneration). As a matter of fact NT believers, having been born again, are now referred to as being “the circumcision”

Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

The term "the circumcision" is another name for Jews - Gal. 2:7, but Paul wrote this to the Philippians (a gentile church). Gentile believers who have experienced the spiritual circumcision of regeneration are now Jews spiritually. Physical circumcision in the OT was just a type and a shadow, and so was being a Jew. Being a physical, ethnic Jew does not make one a child of God, being a spiritual Jew does. Jesus had a lengthy discussion regarding these matters with a group of Jews in John chapter 8. Let’s look at a few of the things he told these ethnic, physical Jews.

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews

John 8:33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed...

John 8:37 I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

Jesus acknowledges that they are Abraham’s “physical” descendants, but then begins to talk about their “spiritual” father.

John 8:38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.

John 8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

John 8:40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

Physically, they may have been Abraham’s descendants, but spiritually they are NOT Abraham’s children.

John 8:41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

John 8:42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil

God was NOT their father, the devil was. Spiritually, they were the children of Satan. These people were physical Jews, but they were not spiritual Jews. Paul wrote regarding these matters as well.

Romans 9:6-8 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Galatians 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

Paul says that the children of God which are the true Israelites are, “the children of promise”. He then tells the Galatians (believers in gentile churches) that they are the children of promise. In other words, gentile believers are now, under the NT, the children of promise, spiritual Israelites, the true children of God. Being a literal, physical Jew under in the OT was only a type and shadow which is now fulfilled by the spiritual reality of being a spiritual Jew in the NT. All believers, regardless of their ethnicity are now “spiritual Jews”. This is what scripture teaches.

This truth that believers are now Jews spiritually is taught throughout the NT.

Matthew 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

God took away the kingdom of God from literal, physical Israel and gave it to another nation. What is that nation?

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Peter says that believers are that nation. And don't fall for the false teaching that Peter was writing to the Jews. Peter was writing to gentiles believers and describing them in Jewish terms. Look at the very next verse.

1 Peter 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

This is clearly a reference to gentiles. Who is the HOLY NATION (Israel/Jews)? It is the gentile believers who were in times past were not the PEOPLE OF GOD, but now are THE PEOPLE OF GOD. According to scripture, this is the ONE true people of God, the church, spiritual Israel, the fulfillment of the type and shadow of being a Jew under the OT. 

How can we keep Israel and the church separate as Dispensationalism teaches, when the Bible says that THE CHURCH IS SPIRITUAL ISRAEL and the fulfillment of the type and shadow of being a Jew under the OT? We cannot, for scripture links the two together. After all, the book of Hebrews tells us that the New Covenant is made with Israel. If believers are not spiritual Israelites then we have no part in the New Covenant.

Hebrews 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 

All Christians profess to be believers under the New Covenant, yet the New Covenant is made with Israel. If the church is not spiritual Israel, then we have no part in the covenant. The words "covenant" and "testament" translate the same Greek word and therefore mean the same thing. The two terms are used interchangeably in scripture. 

Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

1 Corinthians 11:25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

 Hebrews 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

If we are not Jews (Israel) then we are NOT partakers of the New Covenant/New Testament and Jesus' blood is NOT shed for our sins. This truth that the church is Israel and that believers are Jews spiritually is all over the NT. To teach contrary to these things is to misinterpret the NT on a massive scale.

There are:

1) Physical Jews – Ethnic Jews

2) Physical Gentiles – Ethnic gentiles

3) Spiritual Jews - Believers

4) Spiritual Gentiles - Unbelievers

Before I was saved, I was both a physical and spiritual gentile. Now that I am saved, although I am still a gentile physically, I am no longer a gentile spiritually.

1 Corinthians 12:2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

Ephesians 2:11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;

Paul said that ethnic gentiles who had become believers WERE gentiles, meaning that they are no longer gentiles spiritually. Spiritually, I am a Jew.

Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Romans 2:28-29 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

In Galatians, we read the following...

Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

Galatians 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

Paul says that physical circumcision does not “avail” (profit/benefit) anything. It is only becoming a new creature (via spiritual circumcision/regeneration) that has value. In other words, the type and shadow of physical circumcision is of no benefit. It is the spiritual reality which was symbolized (spiritual circumcision) which has true value.

Ethic Jews = physically circumcised.

Spiritual Jews = spiritually circumcised.

Paul says that these ethnic gentile believers, having been spiritually circumcised, are new creatures in Christ and pronounces a blessing upon THEM as the "Israel of God". The church is THE ISRAEL OF GOD. Those who have been born again (regenerated) are now spiritual Jews.

If there is one thing that is clear from the New Testament, it is this. Being a Jew spiritually has fulfilled and replaced the type and shadow of being a Jew physically/ethnically. Understanding this is absolutely essential to understanding end-times prophecy and the book of Revelation. And to deny this is to deny scripture and call God a liar (Rom. 3:4; 1 John 5:10).

For more on believers being spiritual Jews, please see our article on “Jews in the Book of Revelation”. It may be read at the link below.