A Modern Gideon and Mrs. Gideon
By Mrs. David L. Cooper
(Installment 5)

"Afterward Shall Thy Hands Be Strengthened" (Judges 7:11)

BEING Convinced that God had shown us His will, we definitely decided to establish an office in our home and continue the work on a purely faith basis.

Then one evening a few days later, a wonderful Christian gentleman and his lovely wife stepped up to Dr. Cooper in the dark and handed him a check for our personal needs, stating that they had heard of his leaving the Institute. He hastily looked at the check and thought it was for two dollars. He thanked them for it and put it in his pocket. When he returned home that evening, he awoke me, saying, "Sweetheart, wouldn't you like to get up and thank the Lord? I was given a check tonight for our personal needs. It was so very precious of the Lord to give us this, and so indicative that He is going to supply our needs, that I would like for you to join me in thanks to Him for it." I arose, and we thanked God. At five o'clock the next morning he said the same thing: "Wouldn't you like to get up before the children awake and thank the Lord for that little check which indicates that God is going to supply our needs?" Again I arose and, after Bible reading and prayer, my husband reached into his pocket and took out the check. To our utter amazement we saw that it was for two hundred dollars! We wept together and praised the Lord for His abundant kindness and the bountiful supply for our personal needs.

"For Jehovah and for Gideon" (Judges 7:18)

A few days later Dr. Cooper went to the Bible Institute to get his mail. The cashier handed him a sealed envelope which had been left there for him, and which had in it a cheek for two hundred dollars. We never knew from what source it came. Mr. William H. Steele, who was a former treasurer of the Church of the Open Door of Los Angeles, and who later became treasurer of the Biblical Research Society, gave us nearly three hundred dollars, which he had been saving, to be used in our buying an automobile. The late Mrs. A. G. Wells, whose husband was vice-president, of the Santa Fe Railroad, handed us a twenty-dollar gold piece. The lumber dealer to whom we owed the bill gave twenty-five dollars and promised to continue that monthly for a year. He, being elder of a church, also arranged for my husband to preach for a certain length of time, which service took care of the amount which we owed him. Within less than a month the Lord had sent in around twelve hundred dollars.

"Look ye out therefore ... men of good report" (Acts 6:3)

My husband said, "If the Lord is going to send in money like this, we must get a group of men together to look after the finances. I cannot be responsible for the money. Besides, I do not have the time." He talked the matter over with Dr. P. W. Philpott, who was then pastor of the Church of the Open Door of Los Angeles. And after consideration and prayer, a group of men organized themselves into a society, the purpose of which was to allay anti-Semitism, and to give God's Word to Israel first and also to the Gentiles, largely through the medium of specially prepared literature.

"He shall be called John" (Luke 1:60)

A wealthy Jew who had confessed Christ, through the reading of our first book, The Eternal God Revealing Himself said to my husband, "Dr. Cooper, let me name your new organization for you. I suggest you calling it Biblical Research Society. Every Jew is interested in research work and in Biblical matters. That which is done through a society is also of special interest to him." He said further that, if a Jew should open a book and see that it was printed by the Biblical Research Society, he would be more inclined to read it. We immediately adopted the name. (Subsequent events have proved the great wisdom of this choice.) The Board of Directors then had the Society incorporated under the laws of the State of California as Biblical Research Society.

"Not knowing whither he went" (Heb. 11:8)

About that time my husband received a letter from a lady in San Antonio, Texas, requesting that he come to speak on the subject, "How God's Word Can Be Given to the Jews." No promise of remuneration was given him. He left home by faith, to be gone two months, trusting the Lord to open doors before him, but with only this one appointment in view. The Lord marvelously answered prayer, for he spoke nearly two hundred times that summer. After he left San Antonio, a group of friends there organized themselves into a branch of the Biblical Research Society to distribute his books to the Jews through the mails. The leader of this group wrote to me requesting that they be considered as the first branch of the Biblical Research Society. A group of ladies in Memphis, Tennessee, after Dr. Cooper had spoken to them, wrote to me telling of their desire to distribute the books to the Jews of that city. And as a result of Dr. Cooper's meetings that summer, a third branch was organized to distribute the books.

"And Jehovah hearkened, and heard" (Mal. 3:16)

The following spring when Dr. Cooper started east for conference work, he had only two or three appointments, the first of which was with our little group at San Antonio. He was to leave on the eight o'clock train at night. And that morning he had no funds with which to purchase his ticket. We went to the Lord in prayer about this need; and at one o'clock in the afternoon he received in answer to prayer a pass on the railroad. On leaving he gave me ten dollars for household expenses, and he had ten dollars left for his own expenses. The following morning I found that the car battery was dead, and it took six dollars of my ten dollars to replace it. But, by God's grace, we managed. The Lord was gracious to us. At the close of my husband's meetings in San Antonio, he sent in $125 which he had received there.

"Tossed with tempest, and not comforted" (Isa. 54:11)

Then very unexpectedly to us, the city sent a notice of an assessment for sixty-four dollars that was due within fifteen days after I received it. Within the next few weeks bills to the amount of six hundred dollars came in. First, it was the assessment, then the taxes, then the fire insurance, then the automobile insurance and Dr. Cooper's own insurance; and, besides these, the bill from the printing press. I was overcome with staggering total of these bills and with no funds in sight to pay them.

"And spread it before Jehovah" (II Kings 19:14)

Again I fasted and prayed. I fell on my face, for I was too much overcome to kneel. I spread each bill out before the Lord and pleaded Matthew 6:33,34 (my life verses): "But seek ye first his kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things shall he added unto you. Be not therefore anxious for the morrow for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

I claimed the Lord's promise and said, "Lord, when we began this work, you promised to supply the needs for both the work and ourselves; and I know you are faithful and cannot fail. I had nothing to do with these bills, and I know that you will undertake. It is your responsibility, so I am committing them to you. Lord, here is this assessment, bill due at a certain time, the fire insurance at this time, the automobile insurance, and these other bills. I am asking you to help me pay them on time." The Lord was most gracious, and He marvelously answered that prayer by sending in funds from different parts of the country in which we previously had had no contacts. Each bill was paid when it was due, except the taxes. I was mistaken about the date of that bill and had asked the Lord for money to pay it three days after it was due. However, I received money for that bill at the time I had asked for it. So again I praised the Lord for His faithfulness in answering prayer and so abundantly supplying our needs.

At its first meeting, the Board of Directors of the Society decided upon what it termed a sacrificial living wage for Dr. Cooper as his compensation—provided the Lord sent it in. It has been difficult at times to make ends meet, but the Lord has always blessed and made our salary reach our needs. His special blessing has also rested upon the Society and made its funds reach to meet the needs.

For eighteen years Dr. Cooper would not permit his salary to be raised regardless of how pressing were our own needs. He and I both wanted every cent possible to go directly into giving God's Word to Israel and also to other nations. In 1948, while he was away holding Bible conferences, the Board of Directors of the Biblical Research Society raised his salary anyway, because of the high cost of living.

"Prove me now herewith, saith Jehovah" (Mal. 3:10)

One day as my husband and I knelt in prayer, he was led to say, "Lord, that we may know that you hear and answer prayer even before we ask, and that we may know definitely that it is you supplying the needs of this work, send us funds immediately from a foreign country." To our abounding joy, and greatly to the strengthening of our faith, the postman brought us a letter having a note for a pound and a shilling in it from England. Again we thanked God and took courage.

"Before they call, I will answer" (Isa. 65:24)

The winter following we formed a prayer band which fasted and prayed on the first Tuesday of each month. On one of these fast and prayer days we asked the Lord definitely to give us $500 to publish in Yiddish our God of Israel booklet, which contains the message on the Trinity. While we were on our knees, the postman came bringing an anonymous letter from Pennsylvania containing $500 and a note with the words, "Use this in your work." We could not doubt for a moment that God had marvelously answered our prayer, for does He not say, "Before they call I will answer; and while they are yet speaking I will hear"? (Isa. 65:24). Immediately we published this book in Yiddish at Bialystok, Poland. A few months later there was a demand for the same booklet to be put in the German language. We fasted, prayed, and asked the Lord to give us another $500. He, in the first mail that came, sent us another anonymous letter with $500. Again we could not doubt that God had definitely answered our prayer. Later, when we needed an extra $100 to publish the same Trinity message in Hebrew, we fasted, prayed, and asked the Lord for this amount to complete the cost of such an edition. Again He gave us an anonymous letter from an Eastern state with $100 in it. Our hearts overflowed with gratitude to Him for His abundant goodness and marvelous answer to prayer.

"... If we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us" (I John 5:14b)

When the second book of the Series, Messiah: His Nature and Person, was ready for publication, we fasted and prayed on Tuesday and asked the Lord to give us $2,000 to put it on the press. On the following Saturday we received a letter from a person of whom we had never heard. In this letter was a check for $2,080. This more than filled the measure of our prayer and, as Paul says, was exceeding abundantly above all we had asked or thought. When I opened the letter and read the check, $2,080, I could hardly believe it was for that amount, and when I looked at it again I read it $20.80, whereas in reality it was actually $2080. It was Saturday, and our secretary was at home. I immediately called her and told her to come quickly, for I thought I was seeing things. She lived only a short distance away, and she got there as soon as she could. I was so very much confused that I could not tell her the amount of the check. Upon her joyful confirmation of the true amount, we hastened to telegraph my husband that we had the money and that he should immediately rush his manuscript to the press. Again we praised the Lord for the answer and for the overflow.

When the third book,
Messiah: His Redemptive Career, was ready for the press, we did not have the full amount at hand but we felt led of God to send the manuscript on and trust Him to supply the funds to pay the printer. So it was that the Lord laid it upon the hearts of His stewards all over the country to send in gifts until there was a sufficient amount to pay the entire bill.

In 1939, when the fourth book,
Messiah: His first Coming Scheduled, was ready to be put on the press, the Lord had already sent in over $3000 with which to publish it. That book, being over 500 pages, cost much more than Dr. Cooper and the printers had estimated. My husband became very much alarmed at the increased price of the book. We again fasted and prayed, and cried out mightily to the Lord to enable us to finish paying the bill. Once again He laid it upon the hearts of the poor among His people to send in the "widow's mite" from all over the country, together with many larger gifts, until we were able to clear that bill at the press.