Where is the promised Land?

In the Hebrew Scriptures (commonly called “the Old Testament portion of the Bible”), you would find promises made by God to His people of a future land filled with His blessings (see Gen. 12:7, 13:15, 15:7, 18, 17:8, 26:2-5, 50:24, Exo. 6:8, Lev. 20:24, Num. 14:8, Deu. 6:10, 31:20, Jos. 5:6 and Judg. 2:1).


Now, it is very easy to assume that God was referring to a physical land. The Jews thought so and because of this fought several wars and destroyed nations to take their territories (this is majorly what the Book of Joshua is about).


They thought this land was physical i.e. the Land of Canaan, Zion, Jerusalem etc. These lands were actually taken by coercion by the Jews, thinking that was God’s promise. But in the New Testament, we see that God’s “land” cannot be political nor physical. God’s land is a spiritual reality — Israel, Zion and Jerusalem were metaphors pointing to God’s own land. Hebrews 12:18-24 explains this to us; God’s land (Mount Zion, the city of the living God and the heavenly Jerusalem) is the church of the firstborn (vs. 23)!


God’s “Israel” is not the physical descendants of Abraham but all who believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ! (Rom. 9:6-9) — THESE are the children of promise. God’s “Jew” is the one who has His Spirit in his heart (Rom. 2:25-29), His “Jerusalem” are those freed from the Law (Gal. 4:21-31). The Church of Christ is the “Israel of God” (Gal. 6:15-16).


This means that what the people of Israel forfeited by rejecting the Messiah, the Christian receives by faith in Jesus (see Rom. 10:17-21). So, physical Israel/Jerusalem/Canaan/Zion were metaphors of Christ’s Church. Hence, we must not read the prophecies concerning Israel/Jerusalem/Canaan/Zion in the Old Testament with a veil (see 2 Corinthians 3:12-18). A majority of those prophecies are actually for spiritual Israel.


Take, for example, Obadiah 1:17. This text speaks of a delivered lot on Mount Zion, and “there shall be Saints” (in the Hebrew). This is obviously a spiritual prophecy concerning deliverance from the kingdom of darkness in Christ (see Col. 1:13). Therefore, as many as have put faith in Christ have entered the Promised Land — God’s promised Land is His Church, not political territories.

© Josh Banks Ministries. 2020.


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