The Rapture of the Church

Dr. David L. Cooper

(David Cooper [1886-1965], founder and president of The Biblical Research Society in the USA, made a big contribution to establish a premillennial eschatology, together with a pretribulation rapture. Below is an abridged version of some of his articles on this subject. The full text may be read here: http://www.biblicalresearch.info/page471.html).

As the days pass by, there seems to be an increasing interest in the subject of the rapture of the church. While this interest is growing, there seems to be a proportionate development of uncertainty in regard to it. The confusion is becoming greater with the discussion of the subject. The point of disagreement is not the fact of the rapture, but rather the time when it will occur. Some brethren believe that it will take place before the beginning of the Tribulation; others, in the middle of that period of judgment; and others, that it will occur at the end of the Tribulation.

As you enter into the investigation of this subject, you can understand clearly why it is that these different positions are taken by earnest, honest, conscientious truth seekers. Another point about which there is quite a bit of discussion is what is known as “a split rapture”. Some brethren believe that the entire church--every born again person--at the time of the rapture will be taken out of the world. There are, on the other hand, those who believe that only the “overcomers” will be taken out of the world; whereas all of the rest of the church who have thus not attained to such perfection in life will be left to pass through the horrors of the Tribulation, which will prove as a purging element to purify them and to prepare them for the presence of the Lord.

Promise on the Rapture

Paul says: “But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them that fall asleep; that ye sorrow not, even as the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also that are fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we that are alive, that are left unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no wise precede them that are fallen asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that aught be written unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. When they are saying, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall in no wise escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief: for ye are all sons of light, and sons of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep, as do the rest, but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that are drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, since we are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God appointed us not unto wrath, but unto the obtaining of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore exhort one another, and build each other up, even as also ye do” (I Thess. 4:13–5:11).

In this quotation we find a prediction concerning the rapture of the church. It was necessary for me to give this passage in its entirety because to quote only verses 4:13-18 would be to break the thought and to destroy its meaning. This statement is in harmony with the general principle that a text apart from its context is but a pretext.

The Apostle declared that at some future time Jesus Christ will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God. At that time the dead in Christ will be raised first. Following this glorious event will be the catching up of the saints, those that will be alive at that time. Their bodies will be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye--according to I Corinthians 15:50-58.

The believers who are alive at the time of our Lord’s coming at the conclusion of this age are assured that they are not appointed unto wrath--to enter into that period of wrath known as the day of the Lord, the Tribulation--but are to obtain salvation, deliverance from, this period of judgments. The way they are to be delivered from it is that the Lord descends from heaven to the air, miraculously transforms their bodies, and removes them from the earth. When they, with the dead in Christ who have been raised, meet the Lord in the air, He will return to glory, escorting them into the presence of God. From that time on these immortalized saints will ever be with the Lord.

Biblical prophecy is sure and trustworthy: “And we have the word of prophecy made more sure; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation” (II Peter 1:19-20). Until the Lord comes, we are admonished to give heed to “the word of prophecy made more sure” as we do to a lamp that is shining in a dark place. We are thus to study and to give heed to the prophetic word “until the day dawn, and the daystar arise in your [our] hearts ...”

Just before day there are the gray streaks of the morning painting the eastern skies. In this very early pre-dawn period the morning star arises, the herald of the coming day. With this imagery supplying the thought form, the Apostle thinks of our Lord’s appearing in that which is the pre-dawn period. He is the bright and morning Star, but not a literal one that appears in the heavens. But at that time He arises in the hearts of His people. Though this language is figurative--a very beautiful figure it is--it stands for a reality--as all figurative language does. The daystar announces that the morn is right at hand. Thus the Daystar arises in the hearts of believers just before the day comes. It is therefore quite likely that the thing to which the apostle Peter is referring is that of the Lord’s bearing witness in the souls of the believers to the fact that they who are thus regenerated and saved are acceptable to God, and that the time is at hand for them to be taken out of this world to be with Him.

The premillennial position

As I go all over the country and come in contact with thousands of people, I constantly meet this question: “Does the church of Christ go through the Tribulation?” or, “Is it to be raptured from the world before the Tribulation begins?” Often the question is asked if the church does not go to the middle of the Tribulation and then is raptured. At the office we receive hundreds of letters with inquiries concerning this most important question, which is a live issue today. It is because of these inquiries that I am writing a series of articles on this question.

In order that we may have a clear understanding, I shall first state the premillennial position as clearly as I can in order that we may have before our minds the program that is set forth in the Scriptures. Having, so to speak, a blueprint of the events of the present era with its close and introduction of the new age, we can fit in the various passages of Scripture and see where they come into this prophetic program.

Frequently we hear the expression, “I am a premillennialist without a program.” Such a statement is a contradiction, because premillennialism is essentially a program. Those making this claim evidently mean that they have reduced the details to a minimum and simply believe that Jesus will return before the thousand years of His reign mentioned in Revelation 20:1-6. Thought of in its simplest and briefest manner, premillennialism is indeed a program--it is impossible for anyone to think otherwise. I am a premillenarian with a program and am not ashamed of the fact. We should let the Bible speak where it speaks and should accept any and everything that God has said. Since truth never contradicts itself, we can be certain to find, as a rule, the place wherever any event that is described in the Scriptures fits into the general scheme of things--though there may be times when we cannot be exact and explicit in our location and identification of an event in relation to others. The Scriptures are sufficiently clear to enable us to get a definite program of future events.

God’s plan for the gospel during the present Christian era

When Jesus arose from the dead, He said that all authority in heaven and in earth was given unto Him. The disciples, therefore, were to go forth and to make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Those thus accepting Christ were to be taught to observe all things whatsoever He has commanded. This teaching program is to be continued to the end of the age. (Matt. 28:19-20)

In speaking along the line of this program, our Lord in the parable of the sower laid down the basic facts concerning the present age. The Sower, who was in the first place the Son of God himself, went forth to sow seed. Some fell on the roadside and was devoured by the birds of the heavens. Other seed fell on the rocky ground and sprang up, but was scorched by the burning heat, because it had no depth of soil. In the third place, some seed fell among thorns, which choked out the plants, so that they brought forth no fruit to perfection. Finally, certain seed fell upon good ground, yielding some thirty, some sixty, and some a hundredfold. The seed, in each instance, is the Word of God. There are, as we have seen, four types of soul upon which the seed falls. Only in the case of the good ground does the Word become effective. In the three first cases, it is unprofitable. The seed is to be sowed throughout the Christian Dispensation on all four kinds of soil, even though it is productive on only the one type of soil--the good ground.

The parable of the wheat and the tares shows that the tares sowed by the devil after God sows the good seed, will grow along with the wheat until the harvest, which is the end of the age. Thus the two grow together until the consummation of the dispensation.

The Christian Dispensation Closing in Apostasy

As we have seen above, the wheat and the tares grow together until the end of the age, until the harvest. This fact shows that there is not a converted world prior to Christ’s coming at the harvest. That the Christian Era will end in apostasy from God is seen in the following scripture:

“But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come, for men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, traitors, head-strong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof: from these also turn away.” (II Tim. 3:1-5)

This is also confirmed by the following statement: “I charge thee in the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus, who shall judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: Preach the word; be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables.” (II Tim. 4:1-4)

The tribulation period

As suggested above, the Age of Grace ends in apostasy and the prevalence of wickedness throughout the world, on account of which conditions the judgments of God will fall upon the earth for a period of seven years--as we learn from Daniel, chapter 9, and other passages. A graphic picture of the Tribulation is set forth in Isaiah 24:1-20. Another very vivid picture of this same period of judgment is seen in Matthew 24:9-28. In this last passage the first half of the seven-year period is covered in verses 9-14. The second half is covered in verses 15-28. From various scriptures we learn that God has different objectives in sending the Tribulation judgments upon the world:

·      To bring about the world-wide revival, “When thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness” (Isa. 26:9);

·      To destroy all the wicked from the face of the earth: “Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste. ... The earth is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; ... therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left” (Isa. 24:1, 5-6).

·      To break the power of the holy people (Israel) in pieces (Dan. 12:7) in order to bring them to the point that they will repudiate the national sin of rejecting the Messiah and will plead for Him to return to deliver them.

The second coming of Christ

In Revelation 19:11-21 we see a very vivid, graphic, and impressive picture of the Lord Jesus Christ’s coming in power and great glory at the end of the Tribulation Period.

Among the several pictures in the Old Testament of His coming may be mentioned the one found in Habakkuk 3:1-15. After having covered the Tribulation, as we have just seen, in Matthew 24:9-28, the Lord Jesus Christ foretold in Matthew 24:29-31 His coming at the end of the Tribulation.

The establishment of the kingdom of God in its visible form upon the earth

Having described the Tribulation in a most graphic manner in Isaiah 24:1-20, the prophet gives some very pointed statements concerning the establishment of the kingdom of God upon the earth in its visible form. First, he informs us that “the host of the high ones on high (Satan and his host of evil spirits), and the kings of the earth upon the earth” (Isa. 24:21) shall be gathered together and confined in the pit, where they will be incarcerated for “many days” (the thousand years of Revelation 20:1-4), after which period they will be “visited”--in the sense of being punished. When the host of high ones on high are incarcerated in the pit then the Lord reigns in Zion as we see in verse 23.

In Isaiah, chapter 11, we see in verses 1 and 2 the first coming of Christ; but in verses 3-5 the second advent. In this instance the entire Christian Dispensation is passed over in silence. This prophecy blends the two comings of the one Messiah into a single picture, which is followed by the prediction of the lifting of the curse from the earth as seen in verses 6-9. Thus the Lord lifts the curse from the earth, which fell upon it when Adam sinned, and establishes His reign of righteousness. In verse 10 we see Jerusalem, the place of His reign, glorified.

In Matthew 25:31-46 we see the establishment of the kingdom upon earth in its visible form. When Jesus comes in the glory of the Father with His holy angels, He will sit upon His throne of glory and before Him will be gathered all the nations that have survived the Tribulation Period. He will gather them before Him and separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, allowing those who are represented by the sheep to enter the Millennial Kingdom prepared for them before the foundation of the world. Those put on the left hand are sent off into everlasting punishment in the place prepared for the devil and his angels.

Again, in Revelation 20:1-3, we see “the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan,” bound for a thousand years--the duration of Christ's reign on the earth--in order that he might not deceive the nations upon the earth any more. Then the saints of the present age are permitted to reign with Christ for a thousand years. There is perfect harmony and congruity in all of these various representations of the setting up of the kingdom upon our Lord's return to this earth.

The reign of Christ for one-thousand years

The Old Testament speaks frequently of Christ’s reigning here upon earth in Jerusalem--Jerusalem cleansed, purged, purified, enlarged, created the joy spot of the world. Study carefully Isaiah 33:17-24; Jeremiah 3:16-18; Zephaniah 3:14-17. These Old Testament passages do not tell how long the Lord in the person of Jesus Christ will reign. They simply foretell that glorious event and touch upon certain aspects of it. It was left to the Apostle John to give the length of the reign, which is one thousand years. This thousand-year period is mentioned six times in Revelation 20:1-6. But frequently men deny the literal interpretation of this scripture because it is the only one in which the length of time of Christ’s reign is mentioned.

We are often told that we cannot interpret it literally because the passage is highly figurative. It is true that there are figures of speech occurring in the passage, which must be interpreted according to their normal meaning, but there are literal statements likewise in the passage, which must be interpreted accordingly. There is nothing to suggest that the thousand years do not mean exactly what the words connote. We must in order to be true to the text, take these statements at literally what they say, namely, that Christ will reign for a thousand years.

The Judgment of the Great White Throne

At the expiration of our Lord’s reign of a thousand years beautiful and glorified Jerusalem, “Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall come forth to deceive the nations which are in the four comers of the earth” (Rev. 20:8). He will lead a worldwide movement against Christ in an effort to intimidate Him, as we see in Revelation 20:7-9. When this force besieges Jerusalem, fire comes down out of heaven and destroys it (vs. 9).

Immediately after that event the judgment of the great white throne is set. The rest of the dead, the unsaved, are raised and are brought before this throne, upon which Christ is seated, and are judged--sentence is pronounced, and they depart into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. There they will live forever and ever (Rev. 20:11-15).

When the great white throne judgment is set, the present material order passes out of existence. This passing away will be in fulfillment of our Lord’s prediction found in Matthew 24:35, Mark 13:31, and Luke 21:33: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

The Eternal Order

After the passing away of the present material order and the completion of the judgment of the great white throne, God will put forth his creative activity, the result of which will be the eternal order consisting of the heavens and the earth, and the New Jerusalem that comes down out of the eternal heavens and rests upon the eternal earth. These are described in Revelation, chapters 21 and 22, which portion the reader is urged to study very carefully.

In the foregoing study we have a figurative blueprint of the order of events as they began at the first coming of Christ, and as they will culminate in the eternal order. There is a program, unmistakably outlined by the Lord himself. Scriptures referred to thoroughly substantiate the positions taken in this article. It will have been noticed by the careful reader that nothing was said in this study about the rapture of the church of God. In this investigation we shall study the Scriptures to see where in the scheme of events they place the rapture: whether before, in the middle of, or at the end of the Tribulation. God’s Word alone is to be the final court of appeal on all matters.

The days of Noah and Lot

Since there is such a diversity of opinions on when the rapture will take place, it is impossible for all of them to be right. Can we determine from an examination of the Word of God the exact time of the rapture of the church?

In Matthew 24:34-39, our Lord spoke of the days of the Tribulation and compared them with the days of Noah which were before the Flood. Just as in the days of Noah men were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, buying and selling, until the Flood came and took them away, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of man. But of what coming is He talking? His coming before the Tribulation, or at the end of the Tribulation? Certainly it is impossible to interpret this passage as referring to His glorious advent at the end of the Tribulation.

The reason for my making this observation is clear. Everyone who knows the predictions concerning the terrific devastation that will be wrought by the judgments of the Tribulation knows that it will be impossible for men, in the obvious sense of this passage, to be eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, at the end of the Tribulation, when Christ returns in glory (Matt. 24:29-31). But when He comes in fulfillment of this passage, men and women will be engaged in worldly pursuits, having little thought of and giving less attention to the times in which they live. This will be the time when men will be saying. “Peace and safety ...” (I Thess. 5:2-3). In view of these and other facts, it is impossible for us to see in the statement, “... so shall be the coming of the Son of man,” any advent other than the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven in the air to raise the dead in Christ and to catch up the living saints before the devastating judgments of the Tribulation period.

Without a doubt this coming is one that occurs before the Tribulation. This fact is obvious since the coming under consideration cannot be after the Tribulation. This coming is therefore before the Tribulation: “Then shall two men be in the field; one is taken, and one is left; two women shall be grinding at the mill; one is taken, and one is left. Watch therefore: for ye know not on what day your Lord cometh” (Matt. 24:40-42).

From the flow of thought of this context it is quite evident that Jesus will come before the Tribulation when the saints will be caught up. The one who is taken is the one who knows Christ and has been born again, regenerated, and is ready to go and be with the Lord. The other one, the unregenerated person, is left to pass through the Tribulation.

In Matthew 24:45-51 our Lord showed the true and a false attitude to be taken toward His return for the saints at the time of the rapture before the Tribulation. The correct attitude is shown by the faithful servant; the false one, by the unfaithful servant, who says that his Lord delays His coming.

When He comes for His saints before the Tribulation at the time of the rapture, He will take His people to Himself and will reward them according to the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30). From other passages we see clearly that the people of God, taken up at the rapture, together with those who are raised from the dead, appear before the judgment seat of Christ and receive their rewards.

His coming in glory

“But when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all the nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats ...” (Matt. 25:31-32).

The coming of the Son of man mentioned in 24:39, as we have already seen, is His coming from heaven in the air for His saints--the rapture of the church. But the coming mentioned in 25:31ff is His coming at the end of the Tribulation, when all the living nations, those surviving the Tribulation, are brought before Him and He separates them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. Then He establishes His millennial reign and rules in righteousness over this earth for one thousand years. Earth’s golden Era!

When we analyze this passage as has just been done, we are forced to see that the catching away of the saints, the believers in Christ, occurs at the coming of the Lord before the Tribulation. It is impossible for anyone to give a different interpretation of this passage, if he is willing to let it deliver its message. Of course, if we put forced constructions upon our Lord’s language, we can read into the text something that is not there; but if we follow the grammatico-historical method of interpretation--which is the only one recognized by real scholarship--we are forced to the inevitable conclusion that the rapture of the Church of God occurs before the Tribulation.

 

Biography of David L. Cooper

David L Cooper (1886-1965), was the founder and president of The Biblical Research Society (http://www.biblicalresearch.info/). He accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as His Saviour and redeemer when a young man of nineteen and, soon after, felt God was calling him into the ministry. Immediately, he applied himself to a long period of intensive study and research in preparation for the Lord’s Service.

David attended Tulane University, University of Louisville, University of Chicago and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and earning his Doctorate from Bob Jones University. He also earned and received his Master’s degree and his Doctor of Philosophy degree, majoring in the Semitic languages.

In 1923 he saw through the scriptures, God’s plan and purpose for the Jew. The thought of God’s chosen people being in a state of rejection when that nation had been destined of the Lord to be a channel for world blessing so overwhelmed his heart that he promised the Lord he would resign his teaching position to enter Jewish work, if God so desired. Meanwhile, Mrs. Cooper had also become burdened and she was praying that God would call her husband into a ministry for Israel.

David and his wife enrolled in a new Jewish Missions course at Moody Bible Institute while David also pursued special studies in the Hebrew, Aramaic and Babylonian languages at the University of Chicago. He later accepted a position at the Bible Institute of Los Angeles to become chairman of their Jewish department. He served there until the great depression when he was forced to leave because of cutbacks due to the depression. It was then that the Lord led him into his real life’s work.

While at the Institute, Dr. Cooper began writing the first of what would become a 7-volume set, called The eternal God Revealing Himself to Suffering Israel and to Lost Humanity, his vision of Israel’s need growing as he poured over the Hebrew Scriptures. This book was the first to be sent free to Jewish people from the new Society (Biblical Research Society) after it was established in 1930.

Throughout David’s ministry the words of Paul in Romans 1:15-16 remained a constant challenge and reminder to him of the particular place of the Jew in God’s heart: “As much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you also; ... for I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Gentile).”

Modern heroes of faith

The story of David and Lita Cooper’s lives, 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), David 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 college again, and learn more truth.” They were married shortly thereafter and together David and Lita 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 Arts).

Never satisfied with having to accept translations of the Scriptures done by others, he conducted advanced studies of Hebrew and Greek. David eventually became proficient in nine languages in all--English, Latin, Spanish, German and French, as well as those of Biblical times, Aramaic, Babylonian, Hebrew and Greek. He was an English professor at the university level for a time, and also taught Hebrew and Greek.

More than anything else in his life, David 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. David, 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.”

David continually referred to the following Golden Rule of Interpretation: “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 Tim. 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.”

David Cooper also emphasized the need for sanctification. Although the Scriptures do not demand sinless perfection they do, according to him, 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 Pet 1:10). David Cooper added: “The victorious life can be lived only by and through the power that is imparted by the Holy Spirit to the believer.”

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 and saying exactly what God meant for it to say.