Who is Israel? What is a Jew? Where is Jerusalem?: A Biblical Mandate for Prophetic Reformation (Paperback)
Obviously, the terms most important to our discussion are "Israel," "Jew," and "Jerusalem." But perhaps not so obvious, especially to the contemporary church, is that each of these terms has two definitions, one physical and the other spiritual. Physically, the term "Israel," ethnically defined, refers to that nation which has been in existence, at least as an ethnic entity, since God chose Abraham and his physical offspring to populate the ancient land of Palestine; the term "Jew," physically expressed, indicates the religious and cultural heritage of that nation; and "Jerusalem," the earthly city, indicates the sacred capital of ethnic Israel and cultural Jews. But "Israel," "Jew," and "Jerusalem" have spiritual meanings as well and, as we shall demonstrate in this book, not only are the spiritual definitions of these terms grossly neglected, abused, and overlooked by contemporary Christianity, they are in fact the ultimate definitions of those terms according to the New Testament and therefore the only definitions that really matter.In the New Testament, Paul assigns a spiritual definition to all Christians as "the Israel of God" and "Abraham's seed." Paul also describes each individual Christian as a spiritual "Jew" whose "circumcision is that of the heart by the Spirit." Moreover, Paul uses the term "Jerusalem" in a spiritual sense to refer to the "state of grace" which believers experience through their relationship to Jesus Christ; "Jerusalem which is above," Paul declares, "is the mother of us all." Echoing Paul's language, the writer of Hebrews even asserts that believers have already "come to the heavenly Jerusalem." These separate and distinct physical and spiritual definitions of "Israel," "Jew," and "Jerusalem" are critical to our reader's understanding of this book and will, of course, be discussed at length in the following chapters. Other key terms are also critical to our understanding, some of which sound quite daunting, such as "eschatology," "millennium," "premillennial," "postmillennial," "ecclesiology," and "hermeneutics." But we encourage our reader not to be intimidated by these terms, and to bear with us as we endeavor to make these terms easily accessible, simply explained, and thus profitable for further study of the spiritual definitions of "Israel," "Jew," and "Jerusalem.
About the Author
Hal Brunson has served the Christian community for over four decades as pastor, consultant, and educator. He has taught at the graduate, undergraduate, and college-preparatory levels. An interdisciplinarian, he writes in the academic fields of theology, aesthetics, and poetry. He resides in Whitefish, Montana, with his wife Nancy. Hal holds the Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies, the Master of Divinity, the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, and the Ph.D. in Humanities (UT Dallas). He is the recipient of numerous teaching awards and post-doctoral grants. His books are available world wide, and his sermons can be heard at sermonaudio.com.