Derek Prince - Being Confused About Israel Is Being Confused About The Bible
This is an excerpt from: Why Israel?
Now we are going to try something ambitious this evening. We are going to give you a scripture quotation, which is the whole of Psalm 124. Unless the LORD had been on our side, let Israel now say... unless the LORD had been on our side when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us alive, when their wrath was kindled against us; then the waters would have overwhelmed us, the stream would have swept over our soul; then the swollen waters would have swept over our soul. Blessed be the LORD, who has not given us as prey to their teeth. Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; The snare is broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. Amen!
Now, with due respect to the people who say "Don't confuse me with the facts", I want to give you a series of facts about Israel. First of all, Israel is the name for the nation descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And later on they were called Jews. So really Jews and Israel today are more or less synonymous. They were not always. The name Israel or Israelite occurs in the Old Testament more than two thousand five hundred times. Now if the name England or Scotland or Wales or Ireland had occurred that many times in the Bible, we would all be quite sure that you really couldn't fully understand the Bible unless you knew something about England or Scotland or Wales or Ireland. The same applies to Israel. You cannot fully understand the Bible unless you know something about Israel.
And if you're confused about Israel, you're confused about the Bible. In the New Testament it occurs 79 times. My book lists 77, but somebody went through it with a computer and one of those things you scan it and found two more that I'd missed. But it doesn't change the conclusion, and it never, never describes the Church. Let me say that again. The name Israel occurs 79 times in the New Testament and never once is it a description of the Church. The word Jew occurs 84 times in the Old Testament and one 192 times in the New Testament. On the other hand the word Christian occurs only three times in the New Testament.
Now I want to emphasize that Israel is a unique people. There is no one else like Israel. Let me add that I am not Jewish so far as I know. If I were it wouldn't embarrass me, but I don't believe I am. I want to point out first of all the uniqueness of Israel stated by David in 1 Chronicles 17:21. David is praying to the Lord, and he says: "Who is like Your people Israel, the one nation on the earth whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people, to make for Yourself a name by great and awesome deeds, by driving out nations from before Your people whom You redeemed from Egypt"? David is saying there is no other nation whom God set out to redeem as a nation from other nations. This is an unchallengeable fact. It's there. It's unique.
Then in Exodus 19 we have the promise that God gave to Israel while they were gathered at the foot of Mt. Sinai before He had given them the law and the commandments. And He says to Moses, tell them this: Exodus 19:6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. There's no other nation to whom God has ever spoken those words. And then in Romans 9:4-5, Paul lists a number of distinctive features which apply only to Israel and to the Jews. Romans 9:4-5, he's speaking about his kinsmen whom he says are Israelites and then he says:
To whom pertain the adoption: God adopted them as a nation as His people the glory. That is the manifest supernatural presence of God which was with Israel as long they walked in obedience. The covenants: All the covenants in the Bible are made with Israel except the ones made before Israel was a nation. The giving of the law: The law was given only to Israel. The priestly service of God, was given only to Israel. And the promises; only to Israel. And then He says, of whom are the fathers And remember all the patriarchs are from that stock, not from any other stock but that. And finally: of whom, according to the flesh, Messiah [Christ] came. That again is the most distinctive of all the distinctive features, it was through the Jewish people, through Israel that the Savior, the Messiah, Jesus Christ came to the world. Not through any other people.
And then there's a remarkable word in Revelation 5:5, which in a way is so exciting that I... It almost takes my breath away, if you can understand why I'm excited. This is a scene in heaven when John is there and a scroll is presented and it's sealed with seven seals. And no one is able to take the scroll and open the seals and John, the Revelator, began to weep bitterly because he so longed to know what was inside that sealed scroll. And then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals". I don't want to go into the details of the scroll, but I just want to point out to you that title. Who was the Lion of the tribe of Judah? Jesus.
Now this was many years after His death and resurrection. And He's still called the Lion of the tribe of Judah. It is from Judah that the word Jew comes. I want to point out to you that the identification of Jesus with the Jewish people was not temporary. It was not just for the few years of His earthly life and ministry. But it was eternal. Many years later in heaven after His resurrection and ascension, He's still called the Lion of the tribe of Judah! Not only was He a Jew, He still is a Jew. To me that's breathtaking. That's astounding. And you see we need to remember there is a Lion up there, and He's a Jew. And one day that Lion is going to roar, and woe to the enemies of the Jewish people when the Lion of the tribe of Judah roars. I wouldn't want to be against Him for anything at that time.
And one final, and I think perhaps the most important statement made about the Jewish people is in John chapter 4:22, where Jesus is speaking to a Samaritan woman and He says to this Samaritan woman: "You [Samaritans] worship what you do not know; We know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews". That's five words isn't it? Salvation is of the Jews. Five breathtaking words. Where did salvation come from? From the Jews. No Jews, no salvation. Now I am Gentile, but I want to tell you that my whole spiritual inheritance, every spiritual blessing I've ever enjoyed, I owe to one people, the Jewish people. Without them no patriarchs, no prophets, no apostles, no Bible, and no Savior.
How much salvation would you or I have without those five things? Salvation is of the Jews. We better remember that, dear brothers and sisters. We'd better conduct ourselves accordingly. very one of us who's blessed in Jesus Christ owes all our spiritual blessings to one nation, the Jewish people. And the terrible fact of history is that for many, many centuries, seventeen centuries maybe, rather than humbling ourselves and acknowledging our debt to the Jewish people basically the Christian Church, I wouldn't say true Christians, but the Christian Church has opposed, persecuted, made ridicule of the Jewish people, the people through whom our salvation came. It is monstrous. There's hardly any words that I can find to describe how awful that situation is. We owe our whole salvation.
We British and let me say if anybody here is British, I'm British, as British as the flag, and we British tend to be rather proud. Did you ever discover that? I think some of us have forgotten we don't have an empire any longer. I was an Empire builder. Believe me. Every male member of my family that I've ever known was an empire builder. An officer in the British Army serving in India. And we need to humble ourselves, we British. We need to say to the Jews, "Sorry. We haven't appreciated you". We haven't all been openly anti-Semitic, but there's been an under current of Antisemitism in this nation. And there have been periods in the history of this nation when it was openly anti-Semitic. And there are cities in this nation, York, Bristol, others where there were open violent persecutions of the Jewish people, and many lost their lives. We need to humble ourselves. We need to repent. We need to take a fresh view of history and see what really happened.