A Word about Dr. David L. Cooper
The story of Dr. and Mrs. Cooper's life, like the heroes of the faith listed in Hebrews 11, is the story of long struggles and many difficulties met and overcome; of privations endured by the entire family; of long hours of physical and mental work daily. And it is the story of God moving in mysterious ways to prepare them for His service in the work He called them to do. They simply ignored personal fatigue, inconveniences and hardships in order to be true to the trust the Lord had given them.
After five years of Bible school financed by part-time work and summer evangelistic services in country churches and tents in out-of-the-way places (which paid very small remuneration), he discovered one morning while preaching on prophecy that what he was propounding was in error. It so petrified him that he was ready to leave the ministry, but when he wrote his fiancée about it she responded that “the callings of God are not repented of, and God's commands are His enablings... go to school again, and learn more truth.” They were married shortly thereafter and together David and Lita Cooper moved to Louisville, Kentucky, to continue his education.
His desire for truth led him to work his way through several universities and a seminary for another eight years. While straining to support not only himself but a growing family — four children in all and a wife whose health was most precarious, David Cooper earned, besides the usual college degrees, two Master's degrees (a Master of Arts and a Master of Theology) and a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) degree. During his lifetime he was also honored with a D.D. (Doctor of Divinity) and a Litt.D. (Doctor of Letters).
Never satisfied with having to accept translations of the Scriptures done by others, he majored in Hebrew and Greek, taking both at the same time-seven and a half years of each. His Greek professor was Dr. A.T. Robertson, still considered by many as the greatest Greek grammarian who ever lived.
Dr. Cooper became proficient in nine languages in all — English, Latin, Spanish, German and French, as well as those of Biblical times, Aramaic, Babylonian (cuneiform), Hebrew and Greek. He was an English professor at the university level for a time, and also taught Hebrew and Greek.
God permitted Dr. Cooper to visit the Holy Land three times, spending a total of seven months there in the first two trips before Israel became a State. “I got an accurate idea of the country and its development then,” he explained, so that when he was able to go again shortly after Israel became a State, he could evaluate the difference. “Lo and behold!” he wrote, “I found that everything, practically, had changed. That part of Palestine that now is incorporated in the State of Israel is different in every way from what it was when I was there on my two former visits.” He felt that God took him there to “see the present situation upon the background of the past.” He said, “Now I can understand how to approach His own people under the changed conditions.” Spending seventy more days there, “with an open Bible and with an open heart,” he was able to grasp the situation as it really was.
The Biblical Research Society made many claims upon his time. There was the Biblical Research Monthly and its many articles to be written and its outreach to be overseen; the many speaking engagements; the books of the Messianic Series which were sent (and still are being sent) free of charge to Jews not yet convinced as to the Messiahship of Jesus. There seemed always to be one more book to be written; letters to be answered. Then there was the building program that was forced upon him. Under his son's managership many of these things could be handled by the staff, but it was Dr. Cooper's pen and eye that kept things moving. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, he spent many hours each day in Bible study and prayer. More than anything else in his life, Dr. Cooper wanted to do God's will. This was the motto of his life, which he often quoted: “God's will-nothing less, nothing more, nothing else.” To accomplish that, he realized he would have to know God's truth. For twenty years he would arise at 4 A.M. to study God's Word. In the latter years of his life Mrs. Cooper insisted that he preserve his strength by not rising until 6 A.M. for his Bible study. Nevertheless, around four hours a day were given to studying God's Word. Before looking at any other book he preferred to study the Bible. Then, when thoroughly convinced of the meaning and interpretation of a certain passage, he would see what truth God had given others on the subject.
Dr. Cooper was always willing to share his knowledge with young ministers. These young men were his “Timothy's” about whom he cared deeply, feeling compelled to ground them in the Word with the same sense of responsibility that he felt about the 144,000 Jewish evangelists who will preach the Gospel all over the world during the Tribulation (Revelation 7). He was convinced that we are in the last days, and that the books of the Messianic Series would not only be used to bring today's honest-hearted Jewish readers to a decision for Christ, but that they would be used of God to indoctrinate the 144,000 Jewish evangelists that will preach the Gospel after the Church has been taken up in the Rapture.
Dr. Cooper, in having studied the Old Testament so thoroughly to prepare himself for writing the books of the Messianic Series, had unusual insight into the prophetic plan of God for the ages. The recurring subject of his articles in the Biblical Research Monthly was prophecy. He felt that there was a great need for a proper understanding of this subject. “We have had entirely too much guessing and speculation in the field of prophecy,” he wrote. “It is time that we are studying the text accurately and finding out exactly what it says, and then interpreting it in the light of all other Scriptural facts and knowledge.”
He continually referred to The Golden Rule of Interpretation, quoted below:
When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise.
“By following this rule we avoid the many pitfalls of attempting to read into the text something that is not there, and of failing to see what is actually expressed in the Sacred Word,” he would explain to his Bible classes. “Though there are those who do not realize the value of the study of prophecy, let me call attention to the fact that the Lord gave us the prophetic portions of His Word for our enlightenment and enrichment. 'Every scripture [is*] inspired of God, is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work' (2 Timothy 3:16,17). Without the proper knowledge of the prophetic Word no one can be adequately fitted or completed unto all the good works which God desires of His children.”
For a number of decades now, many well-known, conservative scholars have accepted and relied upon Dr. Cooper's expositions of Scriptural truths. They have appreciated his intense study of the Old Testament and his unusual fluency in the old Biblical languages, coupled with his unwavering conviction that the Bible is God's Word, inerrant in its original languages a saying exactly what God meant for it to say.
*A.S.V. alternate, footnote. See also K.J.V., N.A.S.V.
¹ Forward. Future Events Revealed (pp. xiv-xviii).
A Modern Gideon and Mrs. Gideon
- Chapter 01: “I Press on Toward the Goal...” (Philippians 3:14a)
- Chapter 02: “He Called Them... and They Straightway Left and Followed Him” (Matthew 4:21b, 22)
- Chapter 03: “And Took Joyfully the Spoiling of Your Possessions” (Hebrews 10:34)
- Chapter 04: “For We Walk by Faith, Not by Sight” (II Corinthians 5:7)
- Chapter 05: “Afterward Shall your Hands be Strengthened” (Judges 7:10)
- Chapter 06: “The Work Whereunto I Have Called Them” (Acts 13:2)
- Chapter 07: “They Weighed Anchor and Sailed” (Acts 27:13b)
- Chapter 08: Again “They Weighed Anchor and Sailed” (Acts 27:13b)
- Chapter 09: “Stand Still and See the Salvation of the LORD” (Exodus 4:13)
- Chapter 10: “What is Man, that You are Mindful of Him? And the Son of Man, that You Visit Him?” (Psalm 8:4)
- Chapter 11: “Call unto Me, and I Will Answer You” (Jeremiah 33:3a)
- Chapter 12: “Having the Eyes of Your Heart Enlightened...” (Ephesians 1:18a)
- Chapter 13: “You Meant Evil Against Me; but God Meant it for Good...” (Genesis 50:20)
- Chapter 14: “And We Know that to Them that Love God All Things Work Together for Good...” (Romans 8:28)
- Chapter 15: “A Man of Macedonia... saying, Come Over into Macedonia, and Help Us” (Acts 16:9)
- Chapter 16: Waiting Upon God — “Give Ye Them To Eat ...” (Luke 9:13)
- Chapter 17: “Oh, Sing to the LORD a New Song: for He has Done Marvelous Things...” (Psalm 98:1)
- Chapter 18: “...Every Man Whose Heart Makes Him Willing” (Exodus 25:2)
- Chapter 19: “Cast Your Bread upon the Waters; for You Will Find It After Many Days” (Ecclesiastes 11:1)
- Chapter 20: “Your Adversary ...Walks about as a Roaring Lion, Seeking Whom He May Devour” (I Peter 5:8-9)
- Chapter 21: “For They Perceived that this Work was Wrought of Our God” (Nehemiah 6:16b)
The World's Greatest Library
- The Word of the Eternal God
- The Impregnable Rock of Holy Scripture
- The Ministry of the Word
- Some Basic Laws of Interpretation
- Conditions of Understanding the Word
- A Panorama of the Old Testament
- Eternity, or the Plan of the Ages
- Satan's Five Abodes and his Activities
- The Record of Man's Earthly Pilgrimage
- Pivotal Dates in Biblical History
- Genesis Introduction
- The Holy Trinity
- Genesis Chapter One
- The Sin Doctrine
- Israel the Hub of the Nations
- In the Days of Moses
- The History of Israel in Prophecy
- In The Days of the Judges of Israel
- The Days of the Kings of Israel
- The Kings of Israel
- In the Days of the Restoration from Babylon
- The Poets of Israel
- Messiah's Redemptive Career according to Psalm 110
- The Prophets of Israel
- How to Interpret Prophecy
- The Four Types of Messianic Prophecy
- An Analysis of Isaiah
- The History of Israel Under the Symbolism of a Vine
- An Analysis of the Great Servant Oracle Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12
- Messianic Times According to Isaiah 42:1 - 43:7
- The Divine Personalities Working Out Man's Redemption
- Messianic Times according to Isaiah 61:1-3
- Israel The Nation of Destiny
- The Redemptive Career of Messiah according to Isaiah 65
- God's Providential Care of Israel and Her Final Deliverance
- God's Light Bearers
- A Panorama of the New Testament
- The Life of Jesus the Messiah, The Servant of Jehovah according to Mark
- The Life of Jesus the Messiah, The King of the Jews according to Matthew
- The Life of Jesus the Messiah, The Son of Man according to Luke
- The Life of Jesus the Messiah, The Son of God according to John
- A Harmony of the Gospels
- The Olivet Discourse according to Matthew 24 and 25
- Messiah's Redemptive Career according to the Lord Jesus
- The Four Judgments
- An Analysis of Acts
- God's Eight-Point Program in relation to Israel and the World according to Acts Three
- Analysis of Romans
- The Epistle to the Hebrews, God's Final Call to Israel of the First Century
- Epistles and Letters
- The Message of Revelation
- The Seven Great Revivals in Israel
- Jewish Evangelism Commanded
- The Culmination of Apostasies and Revivals
- God's Love Message to the World
- EXPOUNDING THE WORD:
- Commentary on Isaiah
- Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew
- A Study in the Book of Hebrews
- An Exposition of the Book of Revelation
- The Prophecy of Habakkuk
- An Exposition of the Book of Luke
- An Exposition of Zechariah
- Paul's Letter to the Romans
- The Book of Job
- Studies in the Book of Daniel
- The Visions and Oracles of the Prophet Ezekiel
- RULES OF INTERPRETATION:
- Necessity for the Laws of Interpretation
- The Basis for a Clear Understanding of the Word
- The Use of Language
- Rule 01: Discover the Author, the People addressed and their Life and Times
- Rule 02: Discover the Facts and Truths presented in a Given Passage and Note the Exact Wording of the Text
- Rule 03: The Golden Rule of Interpretation
- Rule 04: The Law of First Mention
- Rule 05: The Law of Double Reference
- Rule 06: The Law of Recurrence
- Rule 07: The Law of Paronomasia
- The Law of the Context of Quotations (examination of Matthew 1:23, Messiah birth related passages)
- The Law of Comparing Scripture with Scripture
- The Prophetic Point of View
- Figures of Speech Analysis: Symbolic Language, Parable, Allegory, Simile, Metaphor, Metonymy
- ISRAEL'S HYMNAL (Exposition of Selected Psalms):
- Psalm 02 (from “Eternal God Revealing Himself to Suffering Israel”)
- Psalm 03
- Psalm 04
- Psalm 05
- Psalm 06
- Psalm 07
- Psalm 17
- Psalm 20
- Psalm 24
- Psalm 33
- Psalm 37
- Psalm 45
- Psalm 46
- Psalm 47
- Psalm 49
- Psalm 62
- Psalm 66
- Psalm 68
- Psalm 69
- Psalm 74
- Psalm 77
- Psalm 80
- Psalm 85
- Psalm 87
- Psalm 89
- Psalm 90
- Psalm 91
- Psalm 92
- Psalm 93
- Psalm 94
- Psalm 95
- Psalm 98
- Psalm 99
- Psalm 104
- Psalm 110 (from “Eternal God Revealing Himself to Suffering Israel”)
- Psalm 113
- Psalm 117 and 118
- Psalm 145
- Psalm 146
- Psalm 147
- Psalm 148
- Psalm 149
- Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120 thru 134):
- Psalm 120
- Psalm 121
- Psalm 122
- Psalm 123
- Psalm 124
- Psalm 125
- Psalm 126
- Psalm 127
- Psalm 128
- Psalm 129
- Psalm 130
- Psalm 131, 133 and 134
- SELECTED MONTHLY ARTICLES:
- The Unseen World of God
- Divided Views Regarding Prophecy
- Establishing Young Converts
- A Thanksgiving Day Meditation
- God Wants 144,000 Jews for a Special Work
- Christmas Message: Good News for all Men
- Jabez an Example of a Faithful Servant
- Personal Work Among the Jews
- Please Teach Prophecy
- The 144,000: Who are they? When will they appear?
- The Entrance of thy Words giveth Light (Psalm 119:130)
- The Importance of Prophecy
- The Message of Psalm 84:11
- The Message of Psalm 86:11
- Present and the Immediate Future in the Light of the Word
- The Privilege of Seeing the Unveiled Glory of God the Father
- The Ritualism of the Great Day of Atonement — Yom Kippur
- Tolerance Toward those Differing from Us
- Are You Going to Allow Satan to Rob You?
- The Christmas Message
- Three Prophetic Studies Outlining Jewish History as presented by Amos, Daniel, and Acts 15
- The Last Three Days of the Tribulation
- When will the Rapture take place? or, Does the Church go through the Tribulation?
- When and How will the Jewish Nation come to God?
- They That Sow In Tears: An Exposition of Psalm 126
- David's Prayer
- But I Say Unto You
- Giving According to the Scriptures
- The Trinity
- Jonah's Prophecy and the Resurrection
- Indifference to the Cross
- The Enemies of Israel — Their Ultimate End
- The Purpose of the Church of God
- God's Recipe for a Fruitful Life
- Jehovah is My Shephard
- Three Modern Miracles
- The Close of this Age and the Coming of the Lord
- Two Phases of the Rapture of the Saints of God
- Is the Rapture of the Church, which is before the Tribulation, a Secret Event?
- A Sane Practical View of Life as set forth in Psalm 39
- JR. MESSIANIC SERIES:
- The God of Israel
- Messiah: His Nature and Person
- Messiah: His Redemptive Career
- Messiah: His First Coming Scheduled
- Messiah: His Historical Appearance
- Messiah: His Glorious Appearance Imminent
- Messiah: His Final Call to Israel
- TRACTS AND BOOKLETS
- God's Providence and Covenant
- The Land of Israel and the Jewish People
- The Hope of Israel
- How May One Become Wise?
- King Messiah
- May the Lord Delay His Return for a Thousand Years?
- Normal Christian Growth
- Rules for Guidance
- Salvation and Rewards
- Salvation by Works or by Grace of God?
- What Does the Bible say about Satan's Role in Death?
- What Does the Bible say about the Book of Life?
- The Triumph of David's Greater Son
- The Triune Nature of the God of Israel
- This is a Day
- Israel's Three Must's and Jehovah's Seven I Will's
- Three Things Christians Should Pray for Daily
- Where to find Peace and Joy
- Wishful Thinking
- Jewish Evangelization Series
- The New Sanhedrin
- Preparing for the World-Wide Revival (1938)
- The God Of Israel
- Messiah: His Nature and Person
- Messiah: His Redemptive Career
- Messiah: His First Coming Scheduled
- Messiah: His Historical Appearance
- Messiah: His Glorious Appearance Imminent
- Messiah: His Final Call To Israel
- What Men Must Believe
- The Eternal God Revealing Himself to Suffering Israel and to Lost Humanity
- The 70 Weeks of Daniel — The Sands are Almost Run...
- Time of Jacob's Trouble Approaching Israel — God's Timepiece by Burl Haynie
- When Gog's Armies Meet the Almighty in the Land of Israel
- Man — His Creation, Fall, Redemption and Glorification
- Future Events Revealed — An Exposition of the Olivet Discourse
What We Believe
Biblical Research Society
David l. Cooper, Th.M., Ph.D., Litt.D., President
Biblical Research Monthly
May, June, July 1951
Having been requested by a number of people to write a short statement concerning the fundamentals of the faith, I have finally yielded to this request and present the following as a very condensed outline of some of the most outstanding doctrines set forth in the Scriptures. If one has a clear-cut idea concerning these fundamentals, he will have the proper perspective from which to view the Word of God. This discussion could be extended to incorporate many other things, but for lack of time these must suffice. Let it be understood, however, that no statement of faith by anyone is adequate. The sum of God's Word is truth (Psalm 119:160).
From natural theology we can see and understand to a certain extent the existence of a Supreme Being who is controlling all the material universe. Since it is He in whom we live, move, and have our being, and since He is providing us with all necessary things, we are logical in concluding that He will meet the demands of our spiritual nature. Hence we start this investigation by calling attention to the Scriptures as the revelation of God.
The Inspiration of the Scriptures
The Scriptures claim to be a revelation from God to man, given through Moses, the prophets, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Apostles. The Scriptures do not record man's thoughts in his quest for God. On the contrary, they faithfully record the message that was given by the infallible inspiration of the Spirit of God to servants of His who have left this message and revelation in a permanent form, which we call the Scriptures. The Bible therefore does not contain the Word of God, but it is the Word of God. It consists of the sixty-six books bound in the volume usually called the Holy Bible.
The Existence, Personality, and Sovereignty of God
“The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament showeth his handiwork” (Psalm 119:1).
“... that which is known of God is manifest in them [men]; for God manifested it unto them” (Romans 1:19).
From observing nature we see that there must of necessity be a Supreme Being who is the Creator and Controller of all things, and upon whom all things depend absolutely. Such is the revelation of the Scriptures also. The world gives evidence of being controlled by intelligence, hence we believe in the personality of the Supreme God. He is sovereign, the King of the universe. He likewise is transcendent above nature and also immanent in nature (Isaiah 57:15; Psalm 139).
The Triune Nature of the Divine Being
Deuteronomy 6:4 is possibly one of the most important, if not the most important verse in the Scriptures. When properly translated it reads as follows: “Hear, 0 Israel: Jehovah our Gods is Jehovah, a unity,” Thus the plurality and the unity of the Divine Being is asserted in this statement. From many passages we learn that there are three divine personalities, but at the same time they are one in a different sense. They are therefore three, looked at from the standpoint of personality; but one, when looked at from the standpoint of nature, essence, cooperation. Moses' statement (Deuteronomy 6:4) leads us to this conclusion. Sometimes the Father is called Jehovah; at other times the Son is spoken of as Jehovah; in still other passages the Holy Spirit is given that name; and still in other connections the Holy Trinity is referred to by the name Jehovah.
The Existence, Personality, and Hostility of Satan and His Kingdom
The Scriptures are unanimous and clear on the point that there is an evil, malign spirit that is known in the Hebrew Scriptures as Satan, the adversary, and in the New Testament Scriptures as the Devil, the one who sets individuals and groups at variance, one against the other, by throwing something in between which causes confusion. He is a mighty, powerful being; in fact, he was the highest creature God could in His omniscience and omnipotence create (Ezekiel 28:11-18). Unrighteousness entered his heart and he led a revolt against God and fell. He is now the leader of those fallen spirits who constitute the kingdom of darkness. They are pitted against God and all who take their stand for the Lord. He is very subtle, and powerful, but he can never do anything without first obtaining the Lord's permission (Job, chapters, 1, 2; I Corinthians 10:13).
The Fallen Nature of Man
Man was created in the image of God and was given the power of free choice, which he exercised against God and thus brought about what is called the Fall, the fall of man. When man transgressed, a force in the spiritual world to man's nature entered into the human realm, corrupted man's nature and perverted his case. This evil force, or power, is the force that drives men to do things that they otherwise would not do and keeps them from doing those things that they, in their sober moments, realize that they should do and want to do (Romans 7:7-25). Thus man is the bondservant of sin.
The Deity and the Virgin Birth or the Messiah, the Saviour of the World
According to prophetic predictions one of the persons constituting the Triune God would enter the world by miraculous conception and virgin birth (Genesis 3:15,16; Isaiah 7:14).
Atonement for Sin by the Blood of Christ
The death penalty, expressed in the phrase, “the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4), is pronounced against every man. But the “Strong Son of God” who loved us, came to this earth as described above and let the stroke that was due to fall upon each of us fall upon Him. Thus He became the substitutionary sacrifice for us. By His stripes life and healing are brought unto us. Thus our Lord, in His death and subsequent descent into Hades where He completed the battle against Satan, dealt with the sin question and propitiated the sins of the people (Hebrews 2:17). Now, since the atonement has been made, the sins of the believer no longer prove God to be otherwise than gracious and forgiving, since He pardons all who accept His atoning blood and sacrifice.
Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Christ
Upon the cross the Lord Jesus bore our sins and was put to death “by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23). He was buried, but His body was preserved from being touched by corruption. His spirit instantly went to Hades and made certain pronouncements to the wicked spirits “... that aforetime were disobedient when the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah ...” (I Peter 3:17-21). At the same time He completed His conquest over Satan, seized the keys of death and Hades, and liberated all the righteous spirits who had been confined in Hades and brought them forth. He led them on back with Himself.
He bodily arose from the dead and was seen by different ones at various times. At one time He appeared to above five hundred brethren at once. The resurrection of Christ is the best-attested fact in all history (I Corinthians, chapter 15).
The Need of Regeneration by the Holy Spirit
Man's nature was corrupted by sin. His will has been perverted. He is dead in trespasses and sin. He needs to be cleansed, purified, regenerated. Moreover, he needs a new life — divine life that will prepare him for immortal glory. This cleansing of the soul and impartation of life is, according to the Scriptures, accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit. Thus a mere making of profession to salvation avails nothing unless there has been the work of the regeneration of the Spirit of God.
The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
The prophets foretold that God would cleanse the heart of His ancient people and would cause His Spirit to dwell in them (Ezekiel 36:26,27). In the New Testament the promise is repeated often that the Spirit would dwell in the heart of the believer. By the indwelling Spirit the fruit of the Spirit is produced in the life (Galatians 5:22, 23). In His abiding in the heart of the believer, the Holy Spirit is the one who brings comfort and multiplies peace to the heart of the child of God.
The Life of Separation
God's call is always to a life of separation — separation from relatives, friends, community (if need be). See the case of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3). Repeatedly in the New Testament will a person, find exhortations to Christians to separate themselves from the world and to live a life of consecration and devotion to the Lord. As an example: “Wherefore Come ye out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, And touch no unclean thing; And I will receive you; And will be to you a Father, And ye shall be to me sons and daughters” (II Corinthians 6:17, 18). “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (I John 2:15).
Frequently the question arises as to whether or not one should engage in a given pastime or certain social functions. Of course, the Scriptures should be consulted first to see whether or not God has spoken with reference to the thing in question. If He has, the question for the child of God has been settled once for all. But there are many things which seem to be borderline affairs and concerning which there seems to be no special revelation. In such cases, what is the one who wants to do only the will of God to do? One should ask himself, when he contemplates such a difficult problem regarding a borderline case, this question: Would I be willing to be found doing this thing, or engaging in this practice, or be in association with certain company, or group, if the Lord Jesus should appear personally? Or the case aught be stated differently, something like this: would I be willing to invite the Lord Jesus Christ, if he were here on earth personally, to go with me to a certain place and to engage in certain definite activities? If I could honestly and conscientiously invite Him to accompany me to any given place, or to participate with me in certain things, I feel that I could soon settle the question as to whether or not I should participate in a given thing. This principle will help us in our life of separation.
The Victorious Life
The Scriptures do not teach that a person can reach a certain point, or have a definite experience and reach a certain place, where he cannot sin. The Gnostics, whom John opposed in I John, claimed that very thing. John says that the one who says that he has no sin is deceived, and the truth is not in him (I John 1:8). At the same time the Scriptures do teach the possibility of the victorious life. This is set forth in many passages of Scripture. For instance, Paul, in Romans 12:1,2, urged the Christians not to be conformed to the things of this world, but be “transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” In speaking of the difficulties and trials and troubles that one who would live godly in Christ Jesus has, this same Apostle in Romans 8:37 declared: “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” In 1 Thessalonians 2:10 Paul declared: “Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and righteously and unblamably we behaved ourselves toward you that believe ...” Peter, in urging the Christians to supply certain Christian graces in their faith, concluded by saying: “For if ye do these things ye shall never stumble ...” (II Peter 1:10).
The victorious life can be lived only by and through the power that is imparted by the Holy Spirit to the believer.
The Prayer Life of the Believer
Jesus, though He was sinless, lived, the life of faith and of prayer. A perusal of the Gospels shows that He spent much time in prayer to God. The Apostle Paul did the same thing. It is evident from his writings that he had a long prayer list. He believed that prayer changes things and that prayer brings victory. He assured the believers that he was constantly praying for them and urged them to pray likewise for him and his associates.
Jesus admonished us: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7). James declared: “... ye have not, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your own pleasures” (James 4:2,3). We do not have, because we do not ask God in faith and unselfishness. On the other hand, we ask selfishly and do not receive, because we wish to consume the things requested upon our own desires and appetites. We must be instant in prayer for the work of God everywhere and for the children of God.
The Church God's Agency for Carrying On His Work
During the Mosaic economy the Lord used Israel. The kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of God were coextensive (I Chronicles 28:4,5). Thus Israel became the corporate body through whom God worked during the Law Dispensation in carrying out His plans and purposes. But now God is calling out from among the Gentiles, the nations, a people for His name (Acts 15:13,14). This body is known as the body of Christ, or the church. During the present dispensation God's plan is “to make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery which for ages hath been hid in God who created all things; 10 to the intent that now unto the principalities and the powers in the heavenly places might be made known through the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord ...” (Ephesians 3:9-11)
Thus the church of the Lord Jesus is His body through whom He is working in His effort to get the truth to all men now. The church is, so to speak, God's missionary society. Every member of the church should have the missionary vision and should do his utmost in his power to get the truth out to all nations now. Every born-again person is a member of this body and should endeavor to find his place where he can serve the Lord in the most efficient manner in the great missionary program of the age.
The Evangelization of All Nations the Work of the Church
The work of the church is the evangelization of the world. When Andrew learned of the Christ, his first impulse was to tell his brother and to bring him to the Messiah. When Philip learned that Jesus was the Messiah his first step was to find Nathaniel and to bring him to a saving knowledge of Jesus. Our Lord, in giving the Great Commission, instructed them: “Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing, them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: 20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world (Matthew 28:19,20).
The first generation of Christians evangelized the world, as we see in Romans 10:18: “But I say Did they not hear? Yea, verily, Their sound went out into all the earth, And their words unto the ends of the world.” In the Colossian Letter Paul declared that the gospel was bearing fruit in “all the world” (1:6), and that the gospel had been “preached in all creation under heaven ...” (1:23).
Unfortunately, the church has not, since the Apostolic Age, evangelized the world — although some very notable work has been done by individual missionaries and groups of people.
The gospel must be given to the whole world before the end of the Tribulation comes (Matthew 24:14).
But the church will be removed from the earth before the Tribulation. Who, then, will give the truth to the world in the Tribulation? There can be but one answer, namely, the 144,000 Jews of whom we read in Revelation, chapter 7, and who are sealed to be protected against the judgments of the Tribulation. They proclaim the Word of God to the four corners of the globe and bring about the world-wide revival in which countless hundreds of millions of people will be saved from every nation, tribe, and tongue, and language during the Tribulation, for we are told that this innumerable host washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation, chap. 7). But it is the business of the church to give the gospel to Israel now. She can do it by sowing the seed, the Word of God, in all Israel at the present time, before the rapture. After that glorious event occurs, the judgments of the Tribulation begin to fall upon the world, which will serve to moisten the seed already sowed in the hearts of Israel, and which will cause this seed to germinate and to spring forth in the form of the 144,000 future Jewish world evangelists.
Every phase of the work of the church is important. Nothing is to be despised. But on account of the lateness of the hour and the position which the 144,000 Jewish evangelists are to fill, it becomes absolutely essential and of paramount importance that the church, as a group, give the gospel to all Israel now and thus prepare for the coming of the world-wide revival.
May every true minister of the gospel and all churches that are standing for the faith once for all delivered to the saints arise and do their utmost in giving the gospel to Israel now, in accordance with the plan of God in blessing all nations in and through Abraham and his descendants, the Jews.
Thus by evangelizing Israel the church will give the truth to all nations in accordance with the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19,20)
Israel's Place in the Plan of God
The Lord announced to Abraham that it was His intention to bless all nations in and through him and his seed. Abraham's literal seed are the people whom we know as Jews, or children of Israel. The modern idea that the term Jew, applies only to the descendants of the tribe of Judah and that the ten northern tribes of Israel emerged from seclusion in modern times and are now recognized as the British and American people, is a pure figment of the imagination — without one centile of evidence from the Scriptures. The names, Judah and Israel, are used synonymously during the latter days of the Monarchial Period, during the restoration from Babylon, throughout the Inter-Biblical Period, and also throughout the New Testament Era. They have likewise been used interchangeably throughout the Christian Dispensation. It is therefore an illogical exposition of biblical phraseology to make a distinction between the Jews and Israel. Hence, by the term Israel we mean the Jewish people, the literal descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The Jewish people are, according to the original plan of God, to be the channel through which the blessing of God will flow out to the world. Israel is yet to be the head of the nations, instead of being the tail as she has been for the last nineteen hundred years.
Not only will those of the house of Israel be used in bringing about the world-wide revival in the Tribulation, but they are to be the priests and ministers of the Word of God throughout the great millennial reign of our Lord (Isaiah 61:4-6).
The Rapture of Believers
Enoch, the seventh from Adam, walked with God by faith. One day he was snatched away from the earth, translated so that he did not taste of death. Elijah likewise was removed from earth to heaven without seeing death. These two Old Testament examples constitute a graphic picture of what will occur before the judgments of the Tribulation begin to fall upon the earth. The reason for my saying this is the following: God has not appointed His people unto wrath, but rather to the obtaining of salvation — that is, deliverance from the wrath to come (I Thessalonians 1:9,10; 5:9-11). When the proper moment comes, the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God. Then He will raise the dead in Christ. That is, immortalize their bodies, and catch up the living saints by transforming their bodies into the glorious state (I Thessalonians 5:13-18).
The Great Tribulation
The prophets are unanimous in foretelling that the present Age of Grace will be followed by the period of the great Tribulation, which will be of seven years duration. This is what is known by prophetic students as the seventieth week of Daniel's prophecy (Daniel, chapter 9).
During this time God will be pouring out His wrath upon the world (Zephaniah 1:14-18). The chronological order of the events that occur during the Tribulation is set forth, in symbolic form, in Revelation, chapters 6, 8, 9, and 16. These strokes of judgment increase in their intensity and destructiveness as the period advances.
The World-Wide Revival
God foretold that He would bless all nations in and through Abraham's seed, his literal seed. The seed par excellence is without doubt the Messiah, but the term seed, being a collective noun, refers to Abraham's literal descendants. Everything that we Christians have today has come from God through Israel to us, that is, those things of a spiritual nature.
Thus far Israel has never yielded herself to God and let Him use her in the fullest way possible — contemplated by the promises of God. But, according to the sure Word of prophecy, Israel will yet yield herself to Him. When she does — having renounced her national sin of rejecting Messiah — she will plead for Him to return. At Israel's cry of penitence, the long rejected Messiah will come in glory and power with all His holy angels. Then He will champion the cause of downtrodden Israel and, figuratively speaking, lift her out of the dust of defeat. Then she, in the language of Isaiah the prophet will — having shaken the dust from her garments — array herself in glorious fashion and sit upon the throne and reign with King Messiah over the nations of the earth.
But before she does this, in the very beginning of the Tribulation there will arise a mighty army of 144,000 Jewish evangelists who will proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ and the gospel to all of the nations of earth. The result of their preaching will be the conversion of multiplied hundreds of millions of people from every nation, tribe, tongue, and language. These Multitudes will hear the message of these future Jewish evangelists — Pauls, if you please — will accept Christ, and will wash their robes and make them white in the blood of the Lamb. That these multitudes are Tribulation saints, that is, those who turn to the Lord in the Tribulation, is clear from the statements of Revelation, chapter 7, which states that they are come “out of the great tribulation.” This language does not refer to troubles, sorrows, and disappointments such as are incident to Christians now. But the term, “the great tribulation,” indicates that period of seven years which follows the rapture of the church. Hence there will come the world-wide revival in the Tribulation for, as Isaiah declared, “... when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness” (Isaiah 26:8).
The Second Coming of Christ
As has been noted above, when Israel, having been evangelized and having been convicted of the sinfulness of her national sin of rejecting the Messiah, repudiates the same and pleads for Him to return, He will do so. The penitential confession which the remnant of Israel will make at the end of the Tribulation is set forth in Isaiah 53:1-9. An examination of this passage shows that this is the national confession of the penitent remnant. When it is studied carefully, it is seen that the people of Israel will confess how they were led astray in rejecting Messiah at His first coming by the leaders of the nation. Great masses of the people, following their leaders, are led astray like sheep. But the generation making the confession, having learned the facts and the significance of the crucifixion of Messiah, acknowledge the correctness, or truthfulness, of what they are shown. Then they confess their part in the execution of Messiah. Their fathers rejected Him, but they, having concurred with them in the crime, feel guilty and express themselves to that effect.
In view of all these facts it becomes apparent that those who have the message concerning redemption through the Lord Jesus Christ will have given it to the nation in such a way that they can see the truthfulness and correctness of the message. Then they confess and repent of their share in the national crime and plead for Him to return. When they take this attitude, He comes and delivers them (Hosea 5:14-6:3).
The Reward of the Saints
God is a good paymaster. He never allows Himself to be in debt to anyone. He saves men by His boundless grace and agrees to reward them for all the work which they render in His service. There will be many people who are saved by the grace of God, but who have not labored for the Master — have not laid up treasures in heaven. These will be saved eternally, but will have little or no reward.
It is just as essential that we, figuratively speaking, change our money into that which is current in the eternal world as it is for a traveler to exchange his money for the coin of the country in which he is visiting. The American money is not good in foreign countries as a medium of exchange. Thus the currency of the country visited must be purchased by the traveler. If we wish any treasures in heaven, we shall have to transmute our wealth, or whatever the Lord has entrusted us with here, into the “currency” that is used in heaven.
My dear Christian friend, are you squandering your time, your talents, and the Lord's goods entrusted to you, upon your own lusts and pleasures? Or are you investing His funds and His goods in His cause? Blessed are you, if you are doing the latter. On the other hand, if you are not doing this, when you come before the judgment seat of Christ (II Corinthains 5:10) there will be no reward for you. This is a most serious thing. Many of God's people, to whom He has entrusted this world's goods and talents, are living in mansions and are enjoying the luxuries of our modern civilization. At the same time they are not depositing their wealth in the bank of heaven. Hence, when they come before the judgment seat of Christ to receive the things done in the body, they will have no bank account in heaven. Figuratively speaking, then, they will have to live in a hovel there throughout all eternity — in comparison with those who lay up their treasures in heaven and who will live in a glorious mansion in the eternal world.
The Millennial Reign of Christ
Moses and the prophets are unanimous in their testimony concerning the reign of King Messiah — who is God in human form, having entered the world by miraculous conception and virgin birth — over the earth for a thousand years. While they do not mention the duration of His reign, they are constantly describing the conditions that will exist upon the earth at that time. Jerusalem will be the center of the earth. She will be the lodestone, drawing nations thither to worship Jehovah the Great King. At that time the curse will be lifted, and the glory of God will encircle the earth as the waters cover the sea. The knowledge of Jehovah will be universal, for all will know Him — from the least even unto the greatest — and righteousness will be the order of the day. All things will be viewed from the proper perspective — not as now, from a partial, materialistic, physical point of view. Though the spiritual world is invisible to human eyes, yet it is most intimately connected with the physical world which we do see, and it cannot be divorced, in our thinking, from it. Thus all physical phenomena must be interpreted from the standpoint of the predominance of the spiritual. It was left to the Apostle John, in Revelation, chapter 20, to tell us the length of Christ's reign on earth, namely, one thousand years.
The curse having been lifted, the earth will bring forth its full increase. All vegetables and grains will have the proper vitamins and the various other elements that are necessary to provide a balanced ration for the body. Thus there will be no deficiencies in the food which the people will eat at that time, and therefore there will be no disease.
Christ will be King over all the earth. The church will judge the world at that time, being under Christ, and of course will view things from the divine angle and will therefore administer a righteous and just government of the people.
The people over whom Christ and the church will reign will be the descendants of those who will be put on the right hand at the judgment of the nations, as seen in Matthew 25:31-46. These people will be here in the flesh, and they who are put on the right hand of Christ in this judgment of the nations will propagate their species, and they will be normal human beings. They still will have their old nature; but Satan and the demons at that time will be incarcerated in the pit of the abyss and will not be able to deceive the nations during the thousand years of our Lord's reign (read Isaiah 2:1-4; Micah 4:1-8; Psalm 48; and Isaiah 65:17-26).
The Millennium, with the Lord Jesus Christ himself ruling and reigning, will be the earth's real golden, era, concerning which the poets have written and the prophets of God have spoken. The “vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be” of which the poet Tennyson dreamed will be a reality — “And many peoples shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem ... and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Isaiah 2:3,4) — “Earth at last a warless world”!
Satan, who will be bound at the beginning of the thousand-year reign of our Lord, will be released at the expiration of that time, for a little season. He will go forth and deceive the rising generation that will not, at that time, have accepted Christ and His salvation. Thus there will be a huge movement that will arise, at the instigation of Satan, against Christ and His government. These unregenerated people will defiantly make a march against Jerusalem from the four quarters of the globe, in an attempt to intimidate Christ and embarrass His government. When they make this march on the capitol of the Holy City, fire will come down out of heaven, consume them, and blot them from the face of the globe.
Immediately after this the judgment of the great white throne (Revelation 20:11-15) will be set, before which all of the wicked, who will be raised, will be brought for judgment. The “book of life” will be there together with the records of each individual.
Every person who is born is written into the book of life; but only those who accept the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation have their names inscribed in the Lamb's book of life. Whenever a man passes out of this life, without having accepted Christ, without having been born again, his name is erased from the book of life. It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this comes judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Thus all who come before the judgment of the great white throne will realize that their names were blotted out of the book of life because they did not accept the salvation provided by the Lord Jesus Christ. There will also be recorded in the books the record of the lives of all who are thus arraigned. After the judgment of the great white throne the wicked will all be banished from the presence of God and the glory of His might. They will walk in the darkness of the everlasting punishment prepared for the Devil and his angels.
The Eternal Order
At the judgment of the great white throne the present material, physical universe, which will have been repaired and patched up in order that there might be a Millennium, will pass away (Revelation 20:11). God, who created a world out of nothing, can reverse the process and make it return to a state of nothingness.
Then will be ushered in the eternal order — the eternal heavens and the eternal earth — which will follow the Millennial Era, and which will last throughout the ages of the ages. The eternal Jerusalem will come down out of the eternal heavens and will rest upon the eternal earth.
The new Jerusalem, spoken of in Revelation, chapters 21 and 22, is an enormous affair, and is in violent contrast with the millennial Jerusalem. This latter Jerusalem will, with its suburbs, according to Ezekiel's prophecy (Ezekiel, chapters 47,48), be a city ten miles wide and ten miles long. It will therefore cover one hundred square miles. But the Jerusalem of the eternal order (Revelation, chapters 21, 22) will be a city fifteen hundred miles long, fifteen hundred miles wide and fifteen hundred miles high. This indeed will be an enormous affair.
Since God has a sense of proportion, we may judge that the eternal earth upon which the eternal Jerusalem will rest will have a vastness far beyond our powers of imagination to conceive. The present earth is nothing at all — only an infinitesimally small particle — in comparison with that eternal earth of which the eternal Jerusalem will be the capital. In this eternal Jerusalem the saved from this earth will be forever and ever with God.
It will be here that we shall live in the mansions which our Lord has gone to prepare for us (John 14:2).
We shall be rewarded according to our works, not only in the Millennium, but throughout all eternity. Those who take their talents and pounds and use them to the glory of God will reign over the cities in the Millennium. They will likewise reign over cities in the eternal order. Great are the rewards and the bliss awaiting the faithful, true children God!
What are we doing in laying up our treasures in heaven? Jesus said, “Stop laying up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal; but keep on laying up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal ...” (Matthew 6:19,20, literal translation).