Bestselling author John Eckhardt's latest book, The Good Land, describes a place abundant with blessing, favor and restoration. The good land flows with milk and honey. It's where your steps are safe, blessed and, most importantly, established in the Lord. It's where all of the promises of God are yes and amen.
But as Eckhardt reveals, the good land is not a physical place. It's a spiritual reality found in God's presence. It's about putting on "the new nature" (Eph. 4:22–24). It's coming out of your Egypt (your bondage). It's being able to come to Christ with a repentant heart and receive forgiveness because of the cross.
For Eckhardt, this is what it means to dwell in the good land. So why, the author posits, do so many Christians focus on the physical more than the spiritual?
"So many people today, especially Christians, are focused on the Middle East, a physical piece of land—what happens in Israel, the Gaza Strip and Palestine—as if that is to be the focus of the kingdom," Eckhardt writes.
Christians have concerned themselves with Middle Eastern nations since long before Israel became an independent state. Eckhardt sees this as a problem today with too many believers fixating on what Old Testament passages refer to literally, rather than symbolically. He challenges readers:
"Could it be that the land the Israelites were told to possess was a picture of something much greater, something we now possess in Christ?"
In his book, Eckhardt makes the case that to understand the Bible, one needs to understand the symbols, or "types," that are ultimately fulfilled by Christ. In teaching about the law, Jesus said, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish, but to fulfill" (Matt. 5:17).
Eckhardt says, "All the old types and symbols: Israel, the land, the mountain, the feasts—Passover, Pentecost, Tabernacles, the priesthood, the sacrifices ... All these things were types and shadows of a greater reality in which the fulfillment is Christ."
He uses the example of Psalm 37:29, which says "the righteous will inherit the land, and dwell on it forever." As Eckhardt points out, the book of Psalms was written almost 1,000 years after Joshua led the Israelites into the promised land. Why would the Spirit-filled psalmist write about inheriting the land after so much time had passed? And in future tense too?
Eckhardt posits that the Spirit of God was referring to something greater than the physical land. Perhaps He was referring to the righteousness that could only be attained through faith in Him.
Another example Eckhardt uses is Deuteronomy 8:7, which says, "for the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs that flow out of valleys and hills." In the Bible, water often represents the living water, or the Holy Spirit. Eckhardt writes on how living in the good land means living with the Holy Spirit:
"The good land is a picture of living a Spirit-filled life—worship, prophecy, words of knowledge and wisdom, discernment, tongues, interpretation, miracles, the gifts of the Spirit, life in the Spirit. This is the good land."
It doesn't matter where you are geographically, whether the Holy Land or Chicago, USA. Anyone can dwell in the place of blessings and redemption when they put their faith in Jesus.
In his writing, Eckhardt never allies with Zionism, anti-Zionism or any other movements. Nevertheless, he encourages Christians to keep in mind the main idea: True fulfillment is found in Christ.
He writes, "When Christ says, 'Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth' (Matt. 5:5), He is not referring to something physical; He is referring to something much greater than the physical. He is referring to kingdom living, living in Christ, salvation, redemption, deliverance, healing, abundance, worship, glory, joy, peace and shalom. This is the good land."
About John Eckhardt: John Eckhardt is overseer of Crusaders Ministries, located in Chicago. His book The Good Land: Grow and Flourish in God's Presence released on Nov. 5, 2019. Gifted with a strong apostolic call, he has ministered throughout the United States and overseas in more than 80 nations. He is a sought-after international conference speaker, produces a weekly television program called Perfecting the Saints and has authored more than 20 books, including Prayers That Rout Demons and Deliverance and Spiritual Warfare Manual.
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