Derek Prince - Israel Is Not Cast Away
This is the fourth and final session in this four part series of teaching on Romans chapters 9, 10 and 11. At the end of the third session we had just got somewhere into the beginning of chapter 11. And Paul had pointed out that there is amongst the Jewish people a remnant of believers according to the election of grace. There always has been a remnant, there’s never been a time when there haven't been Jewish people who believed in Jesus as their Messiah from the first century until this time. Sometimes it’s been a small remnant, at this time it’s increasing rapidly. And quite soon it’s no longer going to be just a remnant.
I want to speak for a moment tonight about the word grace. I was preaching once in a church which happened to call itself, Grace Church. And I had forgotten that fact and I made this statement. I said, Generally speaking, the people who talk the most about grace, know the least about it. Of course, I had to apologize afterwards. But that is so often true. What we would call Fundamentalists or Evangelicals or Pentecostals talk so much about grace and sometimes they know very little about it. They say, We’re not under the law, but they’re under their own little laws. Each group has its own set of rules which you’ve got to keep to be whatever it is that you want to be, without going into details. Grace is very different from that. And in this 11th chapter, speaking about this remnant that’s there by grace, Paul says in verse 6: But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.
That’s extremely important. If you can earn it, it’s not grace. If you deserve it, it’s not grace. Grace is not earned and it’s no deserved, it’s received only by one way, by what in one word? Faith, that’s right. Paul said by grace you have been saved through faith. And then he said and that’s not of yourselves. You can’t even boast about the fact that you have faith, because God gave you the faith by which to receive His grace. And so, grace begins where human ability ends. And God is continually thrusting us out beyond the level of our own ability that we may move out into His grace. Now If I knew this evening exactly how to preach this message, I wouldn’t need God’s grace. But I don’t and so I’m depending on God’s grace.
One of the hardest things for humanity is to be dependent on God because the very essence of the fall in the garden was the desire to be independent of God. And that has been borne into every descendant of Adam. And it’s the hardest thing for us to overcome, it’s the hardest thing for God to deal with in us, is to bring us to the place where we’re willing to be dependent on God and on His grace. Ruth was recently in a Catholic hospital as she was telling you earlier and one time just after surgery when she was feeling a little bit down and wanted to read the Bible but didn’t have the strength, the nun in charge of the ministry of the hospital, a woman about my age if you can guess what that is came around and saw Ruth reading the Bible or put the bible and offered to read it to her. They entered into a beautiful time of fellowship and in the end this nun shared with Ruth the lesson that she’d received from a recent retreat that she’d attended, conducted by a Trappist monk.
You know, the Trappists aren’t allowed to speak but they are allowed to go out and share what they’ve learned when they weren’t speaking inside the monastery. And this nun shared with Ruth three questions which have just preoccupied both her and me ever since. I mean, they go so much to the root of things, they deal with this desire to be independent. The three questions i have to think in get them right: Are you willing not to be secure? Are you willing not to be esteemed? And, are you willing not to be in control? I think I got it in the wrong order. Are you willing not to be in control? Are you willing not to be esteemed. And, are you willing not to be secure. I tell you, that third one, that’s not easy. I think I’ve come to the place where I’m willing not to be esteemed but not to be in control and not to be secure but that’s the essence of being dependent.
You aren’t in control, your security doesn’t depend on you. You have to depend moment by moment on the grace of God. Do you see? That’s grace. It’s supernatural. Grace doesn’t operate on a natural plane. If you can do it on the natural plane by your own natural ability, you don’t need grace. So, I put this question to you. Are you willing to accept God’s grace on God’s condition? Are you willing to move out beyond the level of what you can handle, of what you know how to do? You’ll notice basically that all the people that were truly called of God in the Bible immediately said, I can’t do it. Moses, Jeremiah, doesn't matter who it was.
I tell you this, if you ever meet anybody who says, I was called by God and I knew I could do it, they weren’t called by God. Because, God only calls people who don’t know how to do it and who know they don’t know. And that’s how He gets them depending on His grace. And what has generally happened to the church is new movements have begun depending on the grace of God and then they become so clever and so efficient but they can do it without His grace. And if you can do it without God’s grace, I’ll tell you something, you’ll do it without His grace. He doesn’t force His grace on anybody. It’s received freely by faith or not at all.
In Hebrews 4:16: I’m not going to turn there but it says: Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Bear in mind when you are seeking God in your need, you’re coming to a throne, the throne of the one who rules the universe. Bear that in mind. But it’s a throne of grace. It’s a throne that makes God’s grace available to you. And the writer says let us come boldly that we main obtain two things: Mercy and grace to help in time of need. I am personally convinced that everybody who comes to obtain mercy and grace receives it. The only reason people don’t receive mercy and grace is they don’t come. Because, God has made it available to every one of us.
The first thing we need is mercy to cover up all our failures and transgressions, and then we need grace to enable us to move out in the will of God beyond the level of our own ability. God doesn’t ever force us to do things but He knows what we’re going to do because He knows us from inside out. I want to direct your attention to just one passage in Genesis 18 verse 19 in regard to Abraham. This is what God says: I have chosen him but the Hebrew says literally I have known him in order that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, in order that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.
You see, God never forced Abraham to do anything, but He chose him because He knew He could trust him to do what He called him to do. I’ve known him that he’ll do it. What did He ask of Abraham? That he would teach his children and his household to keep the ways of the Lord, that God might bring upon Abraham the promise that He’d made. So, God made the promise freely, He didn’t compel Abraham, but He knew Abraham that he would do the things that would entitle him to the promise. Do you see what I’m saying? So when God makes a commitment to you, He never compels you to do anything. But, He knows you, He knows that He can trust you to do the very thing that He’s called you to do.
I think God’s trust in humanity is astonishing. When I think what God entrusted to me, to a certain extent, God has entrusted to me the ability to equip thousands of workers for the Lord around the earth. What a responsibility! My constant prayer is that I may be faithful. But when I think about the virgin Mary, this young girl in a little village, probably not more than 15 years old. And God sent an angel and said, You’re going to become the mother of the Son of God. Suppose Mary had been afraid, the whole plan of salvation would have failed. Think of what rested on one young woman of 15 in an obscure village in an obscure land! And then think what is resting on me? What has God trusted me with? Because, God has never trusted you with something that He doesn’t know that you can do by His grace.
That’s what He said about Abraham. I’ve known him, he’ll do it. What has God said about each one of you? I’ve known him or I’ve known her. He or she will do it. You know, that motivates me much more than a set of rules. The fact that God has got something for me to do and He’s trusting me to do it. I can easily be tempted to break rules but I really don’t want to fail Gods trust in me. I’m overwhelmed by the trust that God puts in us that He knows our frame, He knows we’re dust and ashes, and yet He’s chosen us. That’s all part of this wonderful teaching about God’s grace. And then let’s move on. Maybe we better turn to 2 Timothy 2:19, because it’s in the outline and if we don’t turn there you’ll wonder why it was in the outline.
So, it’s just a good Scripture, 2 Timothy 2:19: Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal. Now, there’s a double seal on God’s foundation. The first seal is: The Lord knows those who are His. The second is let Everyone who names the name of the Lord obstain from wickedness. The second one is easy to understand, if you claim to belong to Jesus Christ, you've got abstain from ungodly evil behaviour. But the second one is a secret seal, the Lord knows those who are His. We don’t. I don't know everybody who is God’s chosen, nor do you. But God knows. And that’s what keeps us is the fact that God knows us, He’s set His seal upon us.
All right, let’s turn back to Romans 11 and just look at verses 7–8 for a moment. Now he’s still dealing with this problem of why Israel didn’t believe. If you have followed with me, I think you’ll see that Paul was continually wrestling with this issue, Why didn’t my Jewish brothers and sisters believe in their own Messiah? And so he says in verse 7: What then? That which Israel is seeking for, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened Those who were chosen in the literal Greek is the election, those whom God foreknew and chose, they have obtained it. And the rest, he says, were hardened.
And then he quotes First of all well from Isaiah in verse 8: God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes to see not and ears to hear not, down to this very day. And then he quotes from the Psalm of David, Psalm 69. David says: let their table become a snare and a trap, and a stumbling block and retribution to them. Let their eyes be darkened to see not, and bend their backs forever That’s because they hardened their hearts against God. They rejected the truth of God. And this is one of the most frightening facts of the spiritual life, that if we persistently and obstinately reject the truth that God has brought to us God will withdraw from us the ability to understand the truth. And God will open up to us some kind of spirit that will take in that’s the spirit of error and deception.
I think that’s one of the most terrible judgments that can come upon those who deliberately reject God’s revealed truth. There are two examples of it which are given here in the outline. In 1 Samuel 16 verse 14, this is the story of Saul, the King of Israel who rejected God’s revealed purpose, turned against it. And it says about him in 1 Samuel 16 verse 18 verse 14. I´m sorry Now the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and an evil spirit from the Lord terrified him. Can you absorb that? God permitted an evil spirit to have access to Saul because he had rejected the truth. That frightens me. I continually ask myself am I hardening myself against the truth? I don’t want God to take His Spirit from me and release an evil spirit instead.
See, Satan doesn’t have any power to do anything that God doesn’t permit him to do. But God can permit Satan to release an evil spirit against us if we persistently reject the truth. And then there’s a warning in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 of what is going to happen, and is already happening, I believe, at the close of this age. 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 verses 10–12. This whole chapter is really about the coming of the antichrist and how the way is being prepared and what he’s going to do. And it says in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 verse 10 and following: He will come with all the deception and wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
Isn’t that frightening? If we don’t receive the love of the truth then God is going to deal with us. And we’re going to come under deception. And then it says: And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. I believe that is already happening. I believe God is permitting a deluding spirit to come upon various sections of the church which have deliberately rejected the revealed truth of God. Especially upon ministers and leaders who are responsible for these errors. And when that deluding spirit comes upon any person, that person can no longer see the truth, they lose the ability.
But Paul is dealing with his own Jewish brothers and he says that’s what happened to my brothers and sisters, because they had all the prophets century after century, then they had John the Baptist, finally they had the Messiah himself, then they had the apostles. And having rejected that, God permitted them to come under a spirit of blindness and stupor and they were not any longer able to see. To me, that’s not just an historical experience for Israel, that’s a frightening fact about God’s dealings. And then if we go back to Romans 11, in the quotation from the Psalm of David it says, Let their table become a snare and a trap.
And I just want to point out to you from the history of Josephus, the war of the Romans against the Jews, that it so happened that when the Jewish armies besieged and invested Jerusalem, it was the Passover season and therefore, Jews from all over the land had gathered in Jerusalem and were trapped there. And so what should have been their table, God’s provision for them, became their trap. Just to see the reality of this, and of course, Paul wrote these words before the event actually happened. So, going back now to Romans 11 and going on from verse 11, we’ll just read through that rather quickly. I say then, they did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! You remember what we say for that? Perish the thought. That’s right. But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles, to make them jealous.
So Paul says had they fallen irretrievably? And the answer is Perish the thought. May it never be! Their fall is temporary, not permanent. But it’s been lasted a long while nevertheless. Then Paul goes on Through their transgressions salvation has come to the Gentiles That’s one of those amazing mysteries of God that the rejection of the Messiah and His crucifixion opened the way for salvation to come to the entire Gentile world. And we see this illustrated in two passages of Matthew. Matthew chapter 10 is where Jesus sent out his first apostles and He told them only to go to their own people. Matthew 10 verse 5 and following: These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them, saying, Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any cities of Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
So the first apostolic sending forth in the ministry of Jesus, they received specific instruction only go to the Jews. Because, God had ordained the Jewish people were to receive the first offer of the gospel. But after the death and resurrection of Jesus, right at the end of Matthew’s gospel, in Matthew chapter 28, Jesus revised those orders and He said right at the end of Matthew chapter 28 verse 18 and 19 Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of al the nations [all the Gentiles] So Israel had the first offer, they refused; because of their refusal and their rejection of the Messiah the opportunity for salvation was extended to all other nations. They refused, they lost the kingdom because they rejected the king. They wanted the kingdom, they believed the kingdom was for them but they rejected the king.
And see, that is a lesson for the church. If we reject the king we lose the kingdom, the kingdom is taken from us. Just reading Matthew 21, the parable of the vinedresser, Matthew 21:43, Jesus said this to the Jewish people: Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it. You see, the qualification for the kingdom is fruit. Any group that does not produce the fruit forfeits the kingdom. What was the nation to which the kingdom was offered? It was not America nor Britain nor Russian, but it was the church, a new nation, a holy nation. But, the church only qualifies to be the custodian to the kingdom as long as what? We bring forth the fruit.
Once we fail to bring forth the fruit we don’t qualify any longer for the kingdom and the kingdom can be taken away and restored to the Jewish people. If you turn to Acts chapter 1 just for a moment, right at the beginning of the book of Acts after the resurrection of Jesus, one of the final questions that His disciples asked Him, one that was obviously right at the front of their minds, in Acts 1 verse 6 And so when they had come together they were asking Jesus, saying, Lord, is it at this time you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?
Some people say the kingdom will never be restored to Israel, but I believe if that were true, Jesus would have said it will never be restored. But what he said was something else has got to happen first. What was the something else? He said to them, It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed in His own authority, but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. So once the offer of the kingdom had been extended to all nations, it had to reach all nations, it had to reach every part of the earth before the age could close.
And if you’d like to look at one of my favorite verses with me, Matthew 24 verse 14, Jesus explained. Matthew 24:14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come. So once Israel forfeited the kingdom and the message was sent to all other nations, then the age cannot close until all other nations have received the message. So that’s what Paul means when he says through the fall of the Jewish people salvation has come to other nations. Turning back now to Romans 11, reading verse 11 again: And did they stumble so as to fall [irretrievably] ? May it never be! But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles to the other nations to make them jealous. And this is something that Paul emphasizes.
The way that the other nations receive and embrace the gospel should make the Jews jealous. And I have to say frankly I think we’ve done a very poor job of making the Jews jealous. I don’t want to go into that, I talked about it in a previous session. Then verse 12: Now if their transgressions be riches for the world, and their failure be riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be! If all these blessings have come to the other nations through their transgressions, what will come when they’re restored? That’s what Paul is asking.
You see, how completely we’re missing the purposes of God if we don’t align ourselves with His plan for the restoration of Israel, because the fullness of God’s blessing will not come to other nations until Israel is restored. And then it says: I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if somehow I might move to jealousy my fellow country men and save some of them. See again, Paul wants to bring forth a Gentile church that will so enjoy the blessings of God and demonstrate the presence of God that the Jews will say We want what they have.
And I’ve seen a few situations like that. We had a meeting in our own city, Fort Lauderdale, in our local church there which we invited the local Jewish community to attend. And they sent, I think, one rabbi and I think about 100 came. Later on we had some meetings in a large theater where about eight or nine hundred Jewish people came. But I think of this particular situation, I got on the platform and I was dancing to praise the Lord and the rabbi danced with me. See? Once he saw something worth having, he wanted it. And I thought to myself, You see, he’s the natural branch. It really belongs to him and he smells oil and he says this is what we ought to have had I don’t say the rabbi became a believer but at least he got a little scent of something.
But how often, honestly, how often has the church really done anything to make the Jews jealous? And let me tell you, basically the Jewish people believe in enjoying themselves. And I think I tell people, If a Jew gets happy, he has to dance. I mean, there’s no way Jewish people can be really happy without dancing. If you go to Israel, they’re the most dancing people anywhere. And so, don’t restrain yourself in order to please the Jews. Turn loose and let them see you’re really happy and it will speak to them. Anyhow, that’s just a little by the way, we won’t get into that now.