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 which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from YAH. Romans 2:28-29

Throughout scripture, we are shown physical foreshadows that are later revealed as spiritual real substances. The spiritual is mirrored here on earth by physical representations, or “shadows,” to put it as the apostle Paul did (Colossians 2:16-17). To list all the physical foreshadows and spiritual real substances in scripture would take several volumes, but the one we're going to focus on right now is circumcision.

It is important to understand that, with foreshadows and real substances, they are often called by the same name in scripture—but the spiritual is the real substance, the physical is only a picture of that. For example, the term “Jew” in scripture applies both to the physical descendants of Abraham (the ethnic Jews), and his spiritual descendants (those who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit). Romans 2:29 reveals who the real Jews are in Yah's eyes, and it has nothing to do with anything physical. Galatians 3:28-29 is clear about who the spiritual descendants of Abraham are, and remember, the spiritual is the real substance.

The name “Israel” has both a physical meaning and a spiritual one. Physically, it was the ancient nation of physical Jews on the earth--it was a foreshadow, not the real substance. Spiritually, it is the name of Messiah's bride—those who receive the Covenant (Holy Spirit) between the fulfillment of the Feast of Weeks (Acts 2) and the Feast of Trumpets (rapture of the bride). The name “Y'isra'el” means “rules as God,” and that is what Messiah's bride will do in eternity, as the wife of the King of heaven and earth. So, the true Jews (spiritual) comprise the true Y'isra-el (spiritual). In Romans 11, Paul explains that the physical Jews who rejected Messiah Yahoshua were CUT OFF from Y'isra-el, and anyone of any race who is given the covenant is grafted into Y'isra-el.

Baptism is another term that has both a physical meaning (foreshadow) and a spiritual one (real substance). Water baptism was a symbol of cleansing under the law of Moses, while the real substance is the cleansing (righteousness) that comes from the indwelling Holy Spirit. Water baptism is not a necessary component of salvation, but spiritual baptism IS salvation. To be baptized in water now can be an invitation to the Holy Spirit (as the foreshadow always precedes the real substance), but after one is baptized by the Holy Spirit, water baptism is wholly unnecessary.

And, that brings us to the physical covenant Yah made with Abraham—circumcision. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Y'isra-el) are foreshadows, or physical representations, of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As we see in Genesis 22, Abraham was willing to give his son Isaac to be killed, and Jacob was renamed “Y'isra'el,” which is the name of Messiah's bride, as she is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who is the New Covenant of marriage.

But, in Genesis 17, we see the physical covenant of circumcision being made between Yah and Abraham, and with that covenant was the promise of many descendants who would be given the promised land (a foreshadow of heaven). When the law was given to Moses, circumcision was the first requirement for anyone who would be part of the community, as the Jews were not allowed to “keep company” with anyone who was not circumcised. After Jewish boys were born, they were circumcised on the eighth day. But, an uncircumcised male could be circumcised at any time as a sign of obedience to the physical law, and, as already explained, it was required of any male who would dwell in the community of Jews.

The physical removal of the male foreskin being the foreshadow, what is the spiritual real substance? Just as physical circumcision was the requirement to be a member of the “called-out assembly,” or “qahal” in Hebrew, so spiritual circumcision is the requirement to be a member of Messiah's bride, who, spiritually, is Israel. The bride is also of the “called-out assembly,” or “ekklesia” in Greek. But, as 1 Corinthians 7:19 tells us, physical circumcision is nothing, just as uncircumcision is nothing—because physical circumcision is a foreshadow, a picture.

But, what is spiritual circumcision? The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 2:28-29: 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 which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from Yah. So, just as with the other foreshadow/real substance constructs, Paul is saying that physical circumcision isn't the real substance, but the foreshadow, and the spiritual real substance is circumcision of the heart.

We're also shown in Hebrews 10:15-17: And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will make with them , after those days, says Yah: I will put My laws upon their heart, And on their mind I will write them,” He then says, “And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

The physical covenant that was given to the physical Jews at Mt. Sinai (Ten Commandments) was a foreshadow of the spiritual real substance, who is the Holy Spirit, being given to the bride. The Feast of Weeks commemorated that event at Mt. Sinai, and the fulfillment of that feast occurred on the first Feast of Weeks following Yahoshua's resurrection, which is what we see in Acts 2—the giving of the Holy Spirit as the spiritual real substance of the law.

In 2 Corinthians 3:3, Paul says of the believers in Corinth, “being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

So, in Hebrews 10:15-17, when we're told that Yah's covenant with Israel (the real substance, who is the bride) is the placing of the fulfillment of the physical covenant, which was the Ten Commandments, upon their heart and mind, He is speaking of placing His Holy Spirit into believers as the New Covenant, which is the covenant of marriage to His Son, Yahoshua the Messiah. THAT is what makes the believer a member of Messiah's bride.

Romans 8:9 couldn't be any clearer about who Messiah's bride is: However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of Yah dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. Only those who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, the New Covenant, are Messiah's bride.

But what does spiritual circumcision have to do with spiritual reproduction?

As already stated, physical circumcision—Abraham's covenant—was a foreshadow, and often, a foreshadow presents great detail, physically, for us to better understand the spiritual real substance. So, as a foreshadow—and this is key—where, on the physical body, does circumcision occur? It is performed on the part of a man's body from where human life flows. Without that part of the body on a man, human reproduction does not happen.

So, where that bit of biology is concerned, what does Paul tell us about those who are born again, or, literally, “born from above”? We need only examine how physical reproduction occurs—how one is physically born. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed (offspring), heirs according to promise. Galatians 3:29

Now, we've already seen in Romans 8:9 that those who belong to Christ are those who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit. So, being indwelt by the Holy Spirit makes one a descendant of Abraham, by virtue of his “seed.” Of course, this has nothing to do with anything physical, as the previous verse explains that the physical distinction between Jews and Gentiles no longer exists. It was a foreshadow—a picture of the bride and the world.

While we know what man's physical “seed” is, what is Paul saying here? What is the seed that makes believers descendants of Abraham?

No one who is born of Yah practices sin (this is speaking specifically of the sin of unbelief), because His SEED abides in him; and he cannot sin (unbelief), because he is born of Yah. 1 John 3:9

Going back to Romans 8:9, what is it within a person that makes Him Christ's? It is the Holy Spirit. What is the Holy Spirit to the bride? He is the real substance of the written law (Ten Commandments), which was a foreshadow of the Holy Spirit that was revealed in Acts 2. The Holy Spirit is the spiritual seed that is spiritual life. Without that seed, one is spiritually dead; with that seed, one is spiritually alive—eternally.

Just as physical life depends on the presence of physical seed, so too does spiritual life. One is not born again unless that spiritual seed is placed within him. But, how does that seed get placed into the bride? In Romans 10, Paul explains HOW the seed (Holy Spirit) is placed within the bride.

How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” Romans 10:14-15

The seed is passed on by those who possess it—as we see with man's seed, it is passed on physically by those who possess it. But, is it actually necessary for one who possesses the seed to be involved in the placing of that seed in another believer—which is the basis of spiritual life in a person?

We see in Acts 8 a group of Samaritans who had heard the truths of the Holy Spirit and believed those truths—to the point of choosing to be baptized in water (which was a symbol of cleansing under the law of Moses) in the name of Yahoshua the Messiah, which was the baptism of John the Baptist. When the apostles heard that the Samaritans had believed the Spirit's truths about Messiah, they sent Peter and John to them. But why?

Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of Yah, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Messiah Yahoshua. Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:14-17

The Samaritans had received the Word of Yah—the “Word” there is the Greek LOGOS, which, to the bride, is the Holy Spirit. They received the message of the Holy Spirit that they had heard, but, the actual process of being “born from above” had not yet occurred—the seed was not yet placed within them. Enter Peter and John (both indwelt by the seed), and they placed their hands on them and prayed that they would receive the seed, which they did. Those with the seed were necessary for the spiritual process of birth to be accomplished.

What the LOGOS in Acts 8:14 is NOT is the “bible,” for the only scriptures they had at that point were what we call the Old Testament. It is also clear from this, and what we're told in Romans 10:12-15, that the process of spiritual reproduction does not happen by reading anything, but by HEARING the truths of the Holy Spirit (the LOGOS). It is the contact with one who has the Spirit of Yah (the seed) that produces spiritual life—spiritual reproduction. That is why Peter and John were necessary in Acts 8. They were the ones who spiritually reproduced the Samaritan believers.

1 John 5:10 also shows us who the Father sees as “believers.” They are the ones in whom He has placed the “witness.” But, the Greek there for “witness” is a word that means “evidence.” What is that evidence? He is the seed—He is in those who are Abraham's descendants. And, those who are given the evidence are TOLD the evidence is in them. Romans 8:16 tells us that the Holy Spirit Himself (the seed) testifies to Yah's children that they are His. How He does that is explained further HERE.

But can't someone just read the bible and get saved from that?

This exposes a fatal flaw in a popular christian teaching—that reading the “bible” can result in a person's salvation (which is just as false as the notion that one is saved because of what scripture states, or “the-Bible-tells-me-so” false evidence of salvation). The Pharisees believed that they had salvation because they were the teachers of the scriptures (the law and the prophets)—they thought their salvation was IN THE SCRIPTURES. But, Yahoshua the Messiah rebuked them for that false belief in John 5:39 when He told them “You search the Scriptures because you THINK that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me.”

He pointed out that they falsely thought their eternal life was in the scriptures, but the scriptures merely tell about Him. One is not saved by the scriptures, but by the Author of them. Salvation is foreshadowed in physical reproduction—the act of man placing his seed within his bride, creating a new life. Therefore if anyone is in Christ (has the Holy Spirit, according to Romans 8:9), he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

The scriptures are given to Yah's children, not to those who are unbelievers. All Scripture is inspired by Yah and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the MAN OF YAH may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “Training in righteousness” is key there, as only those who have the Holy Spirit are righteous in Yah's eyes. The training that comes from the scriptures are for those who are righteous (the “man of Yah”). Additionally, when 2 Timothy was written, the only scriptures they had were those in the Old Testament (the “Tanakh,” which is the Torah and the prophets).

Spiritual life is transmitted by those living who have the spiritual seed. It is not transmitted by an unbeliever reading the scriptures.

So, spiritual reproduction is foreshadowed in Abraham's covenant, because spiritual life flows from the circumcised heart (the indwelling of the Holy Spirit) just as physical life flows from what was physically circumcised. And, for that spiritual reproduction to happen, it requires contact, just as it is with physical reproduction.

The scriptures teach the doctrines of salvation, which are necessary for those with the Spirit to understand, so they know HOW one is born again—it teaches those with the Spirit HOW to spiritually reproduce. We have the same thing that teaches physical reproduction; it's called a biology book.

Those who falsely believe that one can be saved by reading the scriptures would also have to believe that reading a biology book can get a girl pregnant.

Abraham's covenant, or circumcision, is the physical foreshadow of the means by which one is made part of the bride—the indwelling of the seed, who is the Holy Spirit. That is spiritual circumcision, which is the spiritual real substance of that physical foreshadow.

Written by Dean Haskins for Way of the Tabernacle. Reproductions with proper attribution are allowed and encouraged.









But now in Yahoshua the Messiah you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to Yah through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. Ephesians 2:13-16