Derek Prince - Promises For Israel
Going back to Romans 11, this is now an exciting verse, verse 15: For if their rejection be the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? Through the rejection of the Jewish people the Gentiles had the opportunity to be reconciled with God. When the Jews are reconciled themselves, what will it be but life from the dead? That’s a profound statement. I tell you what I see, you may not agree. I see a Gentile civilization committing suicide. I see the civilization that we’re in today committing suicide. Destroying the earth, destroying ourselves, building armaments that can wipe out the human race 250 times over.
What’s going to change it? I believe the restoration of Israel to their Messiah. I believe that’s going to produce cosmic changes. I believe that’s the hope of the earth. If I’m right, and I mean, I don’t ask you to believe I’m right. But if I’m right you’ll see how important this message is, how desperately necessary it is for Gentile Christians to see what’s involved in the restoration of the Jewish people, because it’s in our best interests. We are never going to get what God intended the whole world to have until the Jews are back in their place and back in a right relationship with the Lord. I believe there’s a kind of principle that every nation has its right place and only when nations are in their right place will things go right with the earth. And the first nation that God begins with is always Israel.
When Israel are back in their right place and in a right relationship with God, then everything else on the earth will get sorted out. Until then there’s going to be confusion. That’s my understanding of this Scripture. We’ll move on. Then it says in verse 16: If the first piece of dough be holy, the lump is also; and if the root be holy, the branches are too. That’s taken from the ceremonies of the law of Moses. If you dedicate something to the Lord, by offering a little piece of it to the Lord, the whole thing is holy. So, if a little first fruits of the Jewish people have been offered to the Lord, that means the whole nation is holy. It may have lost its holiness but it’s potentially there.
And then Paul goes in verse 17: If some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. That’s so important at this time. Paul is writing now specifically to believers from a Gentile background. And he says, remember it’s not your olive tree. The olive tree is God’s people from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob upwards. You didn’t belong in that olive tree but some of the branches were unbelieving and got broken off. You’ve been grafted in among them. But bear in mind you don’t support the tree. The tree supports you. Don’t be arrogant toward the Jewish people.
If you look at the history of the church, especially in Europe, you’d have to say that instruction just got left out. Because, the attitude of the church and primarily in Europe but not exclusively, has been one of almost unbridled arrogance toward the Jewish people from about the 5th century onward. It’s a pity that they didn’t read the letter to the Romans. And, I’d have to say it’s a particular pity that the Roman church didn’t read the letter to the Romans. Because, history would have been very different. All right. Going on, verse 19: You will say then, Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in. They fell, they were unbelieving, and here am I, I’m a believer, I’m in the tree. Paul says that’s true. Quite right. They were broken off for their unbelief and you stand [only] by your faith.
Do not be conceited, but fear I wonder if the church has got that message, Do not be conceited, but fear. Why? For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you. You remember what the requirement for the kingdom is? what is it? Fruit. No fruit, you forfeit the kingdom. God is not a respecter of persons. Israel forfeited the kingdom because they didn’t bring forth the fruit. Any group on earth that does not bring forth the fruit will forfeit the kingdom. Is that a real danger for some sections of the church? I would have to say it’s a very real imminent danger. Then we come to verse 22: Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you Gentile believer God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. It’s very plain language.
You stand by faith as long as you bring the fruit. But if you cease to live in faith and if you fail to bring forth the fruit, you will be cut off just as much as the Jewish branches were cut off. And then he comes back to – I want to save it more as: Behold or consider the kindness and severity of God. There is a great deal of preaching today which speaks only about the kindness of God and doesn’t deal at all with the severity of God. It’s like a coin which has two sides. One side is kindness, the other side is severity. But you know that if you deface one side of a coin, the coin becomes valueless. And if we present the message of God that speaks only of His kindness and not of His severity, it’s a valueless coin, it has no more value. We’ve got to be faithful to God.
I was in a meeting in Southeast Asia with Ruth two or three years ago. And the message was basically on healing. An American preacher, a man I know, a man I respect, and a man I love it was an excellent message on how to be healed for people that knew the Bible and believed in Jesus. But at the end, to this large group of mainly Chinese people, he said, Now, if you want all these blessings, come forward and we’ll pray for you. Not one word was spoken about repentance. Most of them were involved in idol worship, they had all sorts of charms and talismans on them. Nothing was said about that. And then Ruth and I, being amongst the people on the platform, got turned loose to pray for them.
Well, I tell you, it was confusion because, first of all, we couldn’t communicate with them in their own language; and secondly, they hadn’t met the conditions. So simply to say come forward and get blessed, even if it’s said with the best intention and the kindest heart, is to create confusion. Because, you cannot keep one foot in Satan’s kingdom and one foot in the kingdom of God and be blessed. You become a split personality. Is that negative preaching? I’ve heard that kind of preaching dismissed as negative. It’s not negative; it’s just the other side of the coin. Remember, there are two sides to the coin: God’s kindness and His severity.
All right, going on. Verse 23: And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief [Now this is Jewish people] will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again. So that’s a very positive statement. They are not excluded forever. And then it goes on, now addressing the Gentile and please bear in mind that I’m a Gentile. For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more shall these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree? You see, that gives us pause for thought. I am not by any means an expert in horticulture, there may be somebody here who is. But the principle of grafting, as I understand it is you take an uncultivated stalk and you graft in a fruitful branch. And so the life of the uncultivated stock then flows through the fruitful branch and brings forth fruit.
But Paul says what God has done in getting the Gentiles in is contrary to nature. Because He’s taken an unfruitful branch and grafted it into a fruitful stock which is contrary to all principles of grafting. Is that right? Somebody who knows something about grafting, am I speaking correctly? yeah. So, we were unfruitful branches and contrary to nature, God grafted us in to the fruitful olive tree which is God’s historic people going back to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. What Paul is saying is if God could do that for uncultivated branches, it’s much easier for Him to graft the cultivated branches back again. Do you see what he’s saying?
That should encourage us, those of us who are praying for Israel, because it’s much more of a miracle that Gentiles get saved than the Jews get saved. Jews are just getting back into their own tree; Gentiles are being put into a tree that they never belonged to. Can you accept that? It’s true whether you can accept it or not. I’m aware that in a way it’s rather different from the usual emphasis. I have a background, a long background in various sections of the church. And I was part of a movement I still am in a sort of way where we were taught We’ve got it all. I am so tired of that phrase, please don’t use that to me again.
I remember I was in a little Pentecostal church in Denmark and this dear precious widow who was poor and sick and really depressed said in Danish, she said, We’ve got it all. And I looked at her and I said, Dear Lord, if that is all, it isn’t much I really was concerned for the woman but I thought, Lord, if that’s all, I’m really not excited. Brothers and sisters, we don’t have more than a small fraction of what God has for us. We’re just paddling in the margin of a vast ocean. Let’s not deceive ourselves by telling us we’ve got it all. We’ve got the full gospel. Well, what are we doing with it? I tell people every now and then when they say to me, I got it all when I was born again. I say, Well, if you got it all, where is it all, let’s see it. Just don’t tell us, show us.
That’s a very dangerous attitude. I’ve had to kind of preach myself out of it because I was brought up in that particular section of ministry, We’ve got it all. We’ve got the full gospel. Dear Lord. Now we’re coming to something exciting which is God’s program to close the age. There are various different passages in Scripture which deal with this but here in the end of the 11th chapter of Romans from verse 25 onwards, Paul outlines very briefly certain things that must take place as the age comes to a close. And he says, first of all, in verse 25: I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed The old King James Version said ignorant. Some people have read it, I do not want you to be ignorant brethren. But anyhow, God sets no premium on ignorance.
It’s interesting if you read the writings of the apostles, how many times they were struggling with ignorance. And I don’t think I ever realized the power of ignorance until I went to Pakistan and preached there with 80 percent of women illiterate, sixty some percent of men illiterate, without any background in western knowledge or truth or science or the Bible. And preaching to them it was like there was a great vast wall of ignorance. And it seemed so hopeless to break through that wall. The power of God did break through.
I think we had in about one week we had about 8,000 people that stood and prayed the sinner’s prayer. I’m not saying they all got saved but they all stood to pray the prayer. And one third of them were probably Moslems. But I never had appreciated the awful darkness of ignorance until I’d been there. And then I came back and I saw how many times the apostles were fighting against ignorance, ignorance, ignorance. God sets no premium on ignorance. I’m not talking about education. Education is a two edged sword. It’s partly good and partly not. But ignorance is a terrible evil. And you don’t have to attend a university to be set free from ignorance, let me tell you that.
All right. Going back to verse 25: For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery Now a mystery in the New Testament is something that has been kept secret by God but is now opened up. So, a mystery needs no longer to be mysterious, you understand? A mystery is one of God’s secrets which He’s seen fit to reveal to us in the church age. I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery. Now, here’s the mystery, but first of all lest you be wise in your own estimation Work through this chapter on your own and see how many times Paul warns against arrogance and conceit. It’s very interesting. that now here is the mystery, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel It’s never been a total hardening.
As I said, there have always been Jews in every generation who have acknowledged Jesus as their Messiah. It’s always been only partial. A partial hardening has happened to Israel. And then we get to the word until. And wherever the Bible speaks about God’s rejection of Israel, it always follows with a phrase like until. In other words, it is not permanent. until the fullness I prefer to say the full number of the Gentiles has come in So, the full restoration of Israel will not take place until every single Gentile whom God has foreknown and chosen has heard and responded to the gospel. You see, it’s the last are first and the first are last. Israel were the first but they lost their place. So, the message was sent out to all other nations and Israel are last. Only when all other nations have responded will Israel come back in their fullness.
Ruth and I were talking to a married couple a few years ago. The husband was a Presbyterian, the wife was Jewish and was not a believer in Jesus but very sympathetic. And they had heard some of my teaching on this theme and they had a meal with us and they said: Now, is this what you believe? So I explained to them basically I felt that the gospel had to be proclaimed to every nation, every people, tribe and tongue have got to hear the gospel before the full restoration of Israel can take place. And this Jewish lady looked at me and she said, Well, I wish you’d get on with the job! She got the message. Unfortunately, at that time at least she didn’t receive the full message of the Messiah.
So, see, our ministry, as Ruth was describing it earlier, we’ve got a foot in both camps. Because we are to the best of our ability doing everything we can to proclaim the good news of the kingdom to every nation on earth, to every language group, to every tribal group. We can’t do it but we can equip those who can do it. But, at the same time we have a home in Jerusalem which is our faith statement that Israel is going to be restored. So, here we are. I believe both. I believe the full gospel, I mean, I really mean the full gospel has got to come to every nation on earth. And I believe at the same time the Holy Spirit is preparing the hearts of the Jewish people as never before for 19 centuries to turn back to their Messiah.
When I was in Israel in l948 when the nation was born, if you talked to some Jewish people about Jesus they would turn around and spit. That was their reaction. But since the 6 day war in l967, basically there has been a dramatic change in the attitude of the Jewish people to Jesus. Somebody told me more books proportionately are written about Jesus in Israel than in any other nation today. And we have friends in this sort of upper level of Jerusalem society: a lawyer, an architect, an engineer. And when they come to us and we give them a cup of coffee or whatever it may be, they’ll sit around and sit and sit and we say to ourselves, Why don’t they go? And do you know why? Because they’re waiting for us to tell them about miracles, how God answers our prayers.
And as long as you want to talk to Jewish people about the supernatural, they will listen. The Jews require a sign, a supernatural sign. But that wouldn’t have been true 40 years ago. There’s a change. For many many centuries, you know the Hebrew word for Jesus is Yeshua, and the last letter is that a, which is called an I in Hebrew. Well, they would never write that letter, they would call him Yeshu. He’s the Gentile Messiah, He doesn’t belong to us. Today the name Yeshua is being used widely again amongst the Jewish people. You can’t realize what a revolution that is until you know how many centuries it’s not been happening. So let me say this, the gospel of the kingdom is going to be proclaimed to every nation.
Jesus said it would. He said: this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed to every nation on earth. If He said it will, it will. No matter what the devil does, no matter what the politicians say, no matter how the experts pontificate; it will be proclaimed to every nation on earth. And, at the same time, God is preparing the heart of the Jewish people. And I personally believe that when they turn, ultimately it will be in one day. Just like the nation politically was born in one day, the nation will be reborn in one day. I also personally believe that Jesus will have a personal interview with His Jewish people. If you listen to the testimonies of Jewish people who have found the Messiah, most of them have come to Him by a direct personal revelation.
Jesus is a little jealous of them. He says, I want the privilege of revealing myself to my brothers. And I personally am inclined to believe from prophecies in Ezekiel and Hosea that there’s going to be a rendezvous between Jesus and the Jewish remnant somewhere maybe in the Negev, who knows. And He’s going to reveal Himself to them. Just as Joseph revealed himself to his brothers. There’s the most beautiful parallel in the story of Joseph. I don’t know whether you think about it. Joseph was alienated from his brothers, abandoned, they thought he died. He was in Egypt and he became totally Egyptianized. He dressed like an Egyptian, he spoke Egyptian, there was no evidence that he was still Jewish. But in the hour of their need, his brothers had to come to him and fulfill the dream which had made them so angry years before, they bowed down before him. And they were talking Hebrew to one another.
They didn’t know that Joseph understood. But he understood everything that they said. And he put them through all sorts of things to bring them to the place of total dependence on him. And then it says he could restrain himself no longer and he sent all the Egyptians out of the house and then he revealed himself. He said, I’m Joseph. See, that’s what happened to Jesus. As far as the Jewish people are concerned, He’s become totally Gentilized. They don’t see Him as a Jew at all. For most Jewish people, Jesus is a statue that Christians worship in a church. And they don’t like it. But that’s changing. God is softening their hardened hearts, preparing them. A gentle rain of the Holy Spirit is beginning to fall and it’s softening that hard soil that’s been unresponsive for centuries.
If you want to be excited, get excited about that. I’ll tell you something that happened to me just recently when we were recently this summer in Jerusalem. I was awake about 2 A.M. in the morning, I wasn’t troubled about anything, I was just awake. And I suddenly got the impression that I was experiencing what Jesus was experiencing. There was a sense of excitement. and I felt Jesus is excited. And because Jesus was excited, all heaven was excited. It only lasted a few seconds. And the reason Jesus was excited was because He was about to be reconciled with His brothers after 19 centuries of alienation. See, it’s a good thing to empathize with the Lord. So much of our motivation is carnal, we’ve got to do it, God said to do it and I’m going to do it.
Well, praise God, that’s good. But there’s a much better motivation which is you have His motivation in your heart. The Jewish people are not easy to love. I hope you’ll forgive me for saying that. I remember once when I was still in the British army a Catholic sergeant said to a Jewish woman sergeant in my presence, he said I love the Jews. And she said to him, You love them at a distance. When you get close they’re not always easy to love. But you know what I love? I love loving them when they’re not easy to love. When they’re really awkward and ornery, that’s when I enjoy loving them. We have a little meeting with two Jewish couples in Jerusalem, we meet weekly to pray, it’s one of the best meetings we’ve ever had in all our ministry. Six of us get together and we pray like one person.
And One day we were sitting there and discussing the ultra Orthodox. And I mean, they are not easy to love. And we were kind of pulling them to pieces and the Spirit fell on one of these young Jewish women. She got a little prophetic message from Jesus. And she said, I know they’re funny but I love them. And what a warning that was. I know they’re funny but I love them. So bear that in mind. They may be funny but Jesus loves them. So going on with this, verse 26 and all Israel will be saved Did you hear that? I pointed out before all Israel is the chosen remnant; it’s not all Israel that’s now in being. as it is written, The deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. This is my covenant with Him, when i take away their sins. So God has made a covenant commitment that the Redeemer will come to Israel and take away their sins and the whole nation will be saved. From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
I’ve heard that message quoted so many times about spiritual gifts and ministries. It’s true, but bear in mind that it’s said initially about God’s gift and calling to the Jewish people. They are irrevocable. Nothing is ever going to cancel them. And then Paul goes on: For just as you were once disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, so these also now have been disobedient, in order that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy. So the mercy we receive is to bring mercy to Israel. And then he says: For God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all.
Isn’t that an astonishing statement? God has got us all penned in the prison of disobedience, Jews or Gentiles, no matter whether we’re Russians or American or Chinese, we’re all disobedient. God has got us shut up, but He’s shut us up there in order that He might show mercy. Isn’t that just like God? And then we come to this what is a kind of doxology with which I want to close this series of four teachings. Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
Don’t deceive yourself; you cannot understand all the judgments of God. You don’t know all the ways that God works. Just accept that fact and trust Him. Trust Him; He knows what He’s doing even if you don’t. For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became his counselor? or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again? And then we close with this glorious statement: For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen. And in Revelation 21: 6 He says: I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. And when we receive this revelation, there’s only one thing that’s appropriate, just to worship Him. To give Him the glory that’s due to His name.