Month 6:07, Week 1:6 (Sheshi/Kippur), Year 5935:149 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Monday 5 September 2011
What is the Holy & Promised Land?
Continined from Part 1
Everyone has heard of the 'Holy Land'. Whether in your mind it is 'Palestine' or 'Israel' amounts to much the same thing in terms of identifying it geographicaly. It's also known as the 'Promised Land' because Yahweh promised it to Abraham and his descendants of the 'Promised Seed', namely, the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
If holiness in an individual is to be set-apart to the character attributes of Yahweh-Elohim, as we saw yesterday, then what are we to understand the 'Holy' Land to mean?
There is only one Scripture in the Bible that actually calls the Promised Land the "holy land":
The word rendered 'land' here is 'adamah which is specifically the soil, unlike the more general term eretz which means the land and everything in it. Where the 'promised land' is referenced, the word eretz is used - hence the expression, Eretz Yisra'el or the Land of Israel.
"And Yahweh will take possession of Judah as His inheritance in the qodesh 'adamah (Holy/Set-Apart Land/Soil), and will again choose Jerusalem" (Zech.2:12, NKJV).
The word for 'promise' here is davar which literally means 'Word' - in other words, the Set-Apart or Holy land is the 'Word-Land', and specifically, the 'Yahweh-Word-Land'. Whatever davar or word that Yahweh gives is always emet (truth) and therefore certain and holy. The land being "promised" is therefroe rooted in Yahweh's Character and Integrity, in the same way that holiness is the existential manifestation of His attributes. One could argue, then, that holiness and the Davar (Word), which is also Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), are interchangeable. Every word that Yahweh speaks it holy and therefore immutable.
"It will come to pass when you come to the eretz (land) which Yahweh will give you, just as He promised..." (Ex.12:25, NKJV).
It is interesting that 'holiness', as far as the land of Israel is concerned, is tied specifically to the soil which is also the name of the first man, Adam, who was made of soil before ruach (breath) was breathed into him by Yahweh. Adam is made of 'adamah. I real connection is made, therefore, between the soil and our earthly bodies of flesh and bone when the two are in spiritual alignment. The latter is derived from the former - from the physical elements. The soil which comprised the Holy and Promised Land is in some way special. It is a piece of real estate like no other on the face of this globe. Little wonder, then, it has been so fiercely contested over the millennia, and little wodner that it is fiercely contested today. It's Yahweh's own special plot, just as the Garden of Eden was, both being expressions of the Eternal Kingdom of Heaven.
Fallen, fleshy, carnal man does, however, tend to get things upside down spiritually-speaking. He sees earth or dirt before he sees spirit. Jewish Israelis and Palestinian Arabs are spilling each other's blood over this piece of heavenly real estate even as I speak, each thinking that it has a 'right' to own it. To the outward eye, it looks like any other piece of real estate on the earth, and indeed has been treated as such by multiple nations and peoples. But it does actually, in Yahweh's eyes, only belong to one people as a stewardship only (since it's actually Yahweh's), not several, and it has nothing to do with their race or professed religion. This territory - from Dan in the north to Beersheva in the south - was set apart for those who share in the Creator's Character, which He has given a name - Yisra'el or Israel. To qualify as a legitimate, heaven-sanctioned resident on this set-apart 'adamah (soil) requires that you be an overcomer, like Jacob. To be an overcomer means to walk daily with Yahweh-Elohim, accepting and clinging to His Son Yah'shua the Messiah (Jesus Christ) as the Sovererein, King, Lord, Deliverer, Saviour and Master of the Eretz (Land), and faithfully obeying the mitzvot (commandments) of New Covenant Torah. The evidence that this is the lifestyle being lived is, as we saw yesterday, to acquire the character of Messiah. The Holy & Promised Land is for Holy and Promise- and Covenant-Keeping People of Yahweh.
Who, then, has a right to be in this Holy & Promised Land? The easiest way to answer this question is by asking why the original covenanted inhabitants were expelled from it. These are the reasons Yahweh gives in the Bible:
Since then, many people have occupied the Holy & Promised land, including Arabs (Nabateans), Crusaders (European Catholics), Seleucid Arabs, Ottoman Turks, the British (Messiah-accepting but Torah-rejecting Ephraim), and the Messiah-rejecting Jews who eventually declared a Jewish state in 1948, calling themselves 'Israel', and sharing (initially) the land with Muslim and Christian Palestinian Arabs in a United Nations-mandated partition. Which, of any of these people, accept Messiah Yah'shua (Jesus) as the King of Israel and obey the Torah? Only those who do these two things, in emet (truth), displaying the character of Yahweh, have a right to be resident in the promised eretz (land) and on the set-apart, holy 'adamah (soil)! Those who do not are defiling the land and bringing curses upon themselves. Finally, they were not gathered to the Holy & Promised Land by Yahweh in the manner in which Moses and Joshua brought them, nor have all Twelve Tribes returned as identifiable units as Scripture prophesies. This is a large subject and you can read more about this in my series of sermons, Jacob's Trouble.
- 1. Northern Ten Tribes (Israel) - expelled for breaking the Covenant, taken into captivity by Assyria, and spread across the globe;
- 2. Southern Two Tribes (Judah) - expelled for breaking the Covenant, taken into captivity by Babylon, with some returning to fulfill Messianic prophesies; and
- 2. Judea-Edom (Esau) combined - expelled by Rome for rejecting King Messiah, spread across the Roman Empire and the world.
The land promised to the descendants of Israel, the Overcomer, is set-apart or holy to those who have the character-stamp of El Elyon, the Most High. It is not for anyone else, whether for Jews, Arabs or anyone else. These people are properly called 'Messianic Israelites' of all Twelve Tribes who have yet to be properly identified, even though individuals here and there are already discovering what tribe they belong to whether by descent or by adoption. The important thing, though, is not your genes but your righteousness for that is what defines true Israelites and xseparates them from both secular and religious unbelievers. Your ancestry, ultimately, means nothing. It's whether you are right with Messiah that means everything and are therefore a part of His Body, the Body of the Davar (Word). These people, and the land they inhabit, are known as 'Zion' (nothing to do with the modern political movement called 'Zionism' which is basicaly Jewish secular socialism with some zealous Orthodox Jewish and Evangelical Christian sympathisers). What is Zion? Zion is "the perfection of beauty" out of which "Elohim (God) will shine forth" in His people resident in the Holy & Promised Land (Ps.50:2, NKJV).
The perfection of spiritual beauty is the standard that qualifies a person to be in the Holy & Promised Land, that is, one who is IN Messiah and who is obedient to His Torah. Such a one is an Israelite. Such a one will be called home both to heaven and, just before the Millennium, to the Eretz Yisra'el - the Land of Israel. The rest who are not after Yahweh's lev (heart) will be gone.