Derek Prince - First Encounter With The Bible
This is a clip from: God's Word Your Inexhaustible Resource
Jesus uses two phrases which are an encouragement to all of us. Quoting from the book of Psalms He says: If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came and the scripture cannot be broken. So in that one verse, John 10:35 Jesus chose to use the two titles for the Bible which most of His people have used ever since: The Word of God and the Scripture. Now, those don't mean exactly the same. When Jesus calls the Bible the Word of God He means that it came from God. It's a message direct from God. It came through many different channels written by many different writers but the source of everything in the Bible, the ultimate source, is God. It's God's Word. It's God's message. It's what He wants us to know. But the word Scripture means literally: that which is written. And that's a limitation. God has spoken many, many words which are not in the Bible. But in the Bible are the words which God chose to have recorded in writing for our benefit.
And we need always to remember that everything in the Bible is for the benefit of man. It contains everything we really need to know to find the best way in life and to make a safe journey through this world to eternity with God. So I'm going to briefly unfold to you this evening various different aspects of what God's word will do. I don't want to dwell on any of them because it would take too long. I just want to try to open your minds to comprehend all that God has made available to us through this word. This is very real to me personally because of my own background. It was announced that I had held a fellowship at King's College, Cambridge in ancient and modern philosophy. And so, I was by profession a philosopher. I was a philosopher because I was looking for the answer to life's problems. I really wanted to find the meaning and the purpose of life. I don't exactly know why but I think I was born with this question inside me: What is the meaning of life? Before I was a teenager I was already looking for the answer.
Well, I attended church in Britain for ten years regularly because the schools I attended demanded that we attend chapel. And I was impressed by things that I heard from the Bible but I didn't feel that Christianity as I had seen it had the answer. So, when I went to Cambridge University and I no longer had to go to chapel everyday I decided that I'd done all my churchgoing in my early years and I was glad that it was all over with. I was going to look for the meaning of life somewhere else. And the natural place for me to look seemed to be philosophy. I became a research student and eventually a professor of philosophy. I was very successful in my academic career but I hadn't found the answer. And then World War II broke out and I realized I was going to be called up into the British Army and who knows where I would end up. In the army you can't carry a lot of baggage with you. You have to carry everything in one long, round, black bag which is called a kit bag.
So my big problem, which was not the problem of most soldiers but my problem was, what will I take with me to read? And I eventually decided there's one book in the world that's more widely read more influential in human history than any other book. And it's a sort of book of philosophy and I said to myself: I don't know much about what's in that book. Do you know the book I had in mind? The Bible. And my estimate was absolutely correct. Without any question it is the most influential book in all human history. I question whether anybody can claim to be called educated who really doesn't know anything about the Bible. So, I bought myself a nice new black Bible. I couldn't believe a Bible would be any other color but black. My picture of religion was basically black. I said how do you read the Bible? I said you start at the beginning and read it through to the end.
So my first night in the army I started at Genesis 1:1 and began to read. I created quite a stir in the barrack room. There were twenty-four other soldiers there and when they saw me reading the Bible they all began to whisper. I mean, they were kind of embarrassed. The problem was that when I was not reading the Bible I didn't live the least bit like people who regularly read the Bible! Quite the opposite, I don't need to go into all my many sins but they were very conspicuous. So there I was, reading the Bible living a real ungodly life and the Bible was the first book I came across I couldn't make head or tail of. I read all sorts of authors - Greek, Latin, Russian, French and I'd always had an idea this is what he says, this is where he's right and this is were he's wrong. But the Bible, I didn't know what it was all about. I didn't know how to classify it. Was it poetry, was it history, was it mythology, was it philosophy? It didn't seem to fit any one category.
Well, after about nine months the author of the Bible wonderfully revealed Himself to me one night in an army barrack room about midnight. The Lord Jesus Christ revealed Himself to me in such a way that from that night to this there are two things I have never doubted. One, that Jesus Christ is alive and two, that the Bible is a true, relevant, up to date book. The moment I met Jesus the Bible made total sense instantly. There wasn't a long period of struggle; it was from one day to the next. So that's my personal experience and background. That's why I esteem the Bible so highly. And in the years that have followed, nearly fifty years since that day I've had the privilege of studying the Bible and sharing the Bible and teaching the Bible with thousands of people from many different racial and religious backgrounds, different cultures. And I've found that the Bible is the only book I know that speaks to everybody in every nation, every culture. So, I'm not ashamed of the Bible.
I never apologize for believing in the Bible. I believe Christians should not apologize for their faith in the Bible. They do not need to feel intellectually inferior. After all, I was a professional philosopher. And I'd studied all sorts of theories about the origin of man and the origin of the universe, all sorts of things. But I'd have to say, in my judgment, the Bible is the most logical book I've ever studied. Its logic is perfect. If you want an example of perfect logic you should read the epistle to the Romans. In my opinion it's a masterpiece. No human pen has ever written anything that equals the logic and the perfection of Paul's epistle to the Romans. So if you are students or whatever you are don't feel inferior for saying you believe the Bible. It's not a mark of inferiority; it's a mark of good sense.