"Having The Eyes Of Your Heart Enlightened …" (Eph. 1:18a)
WE PROVIDENTIALLY CAME IN TOUCH with a dear old Jewish man by the name of Rosenberg, who was president and treasurer of an orthodox synagogue. Frequently we went for a social visit to see him and his wife and had long talks with him. On one occasion when we visited him, Mr. Rosenberg and my husband went over to a table and began talking on biblical subjects. Mrs. Rosenberg and I moved to another part of the room and were looking at her beautiful paintings. After opening the Hebrew Bible and studying several passages in the five Books of Moses, Dr. Cooper asked Mr. Rosenberg to turn to Psalm 110. He did so and read the first verse in the original text. When he was asked to translate it, he rendered, it "God said unto my God.""We who have believed do enter into that rest" (Heb. 4:3)
"There are two personalities called God," Dr. Cooper replied, "according to your translation."
"Let me see my Yiddish Bible," Mr. Rosenberg requested. He read the text and translated it exactly as he had done with the Hebrew. "It is the same here as it is in Hebrew," be exclaimed and then said in amazement, "King David said there are two Gods, whereas Moses says that there is but one. This cannot be right."
When he was reminded that the Psalmist was equally inspired with the law-giver, he finally confessed that the word of God in this passage teaches that there are two personalities who are recognized as divine. Following my husband's suggestion, he called the speaker in this verse "God the First Person" and the one addressed "God the Second Person." When asked, "Where is God the First Person?" he replied, "In heaven." "Where is God the Second Person?" With a shrug of his shoulders and a look of astonishment, he confessed that he had no idea. When his attention was called to the fact that in this passage He is "in the midst of enemies," Mr. Rosenberg, glancing at verse two, said that evidently God the Second Person appears in Jerusalem and that the Jews are hostile to Him.
"Right you are," my husband replied. He then showed Mr. Rosenberg that according to this passage God the Second Person, the Messiah, appears in Zion and its leaders are hostile to Him. When they assume this attitude, God the First Person, or the Father, in heaven invites Him to leave this earth, to ascend to heaven, and to remain at the right hand of God the Father until He put these enemies under Messiah's feet. To query regarding the personality of God the Second Person, Mr. Rosenberg replied that evidently He was Jesus of Nazareth who came to the earth nineteen hundred years ago and was crucified by the Jewish people and the Romans.
My husband agreed. When this statement opened up the way for further investigation they turned in the Hebrew Bible to Psalm 2.
As I rejoined them, Mr. Rosenberg turned to me and said, "Look at the second verse of Psalm 2. That anointed one was Jesus of Nazareth whom the Jewish people and Romans crucified in the first century." I was thrilled to see the light had broken through to his heart.
About two months later we received word that Mr. Rosenberg had died suddenly that morning about five o'clock. As soon as we could, we went to his home. There we met his niece who, in speaking of him, whom she admired greatly, said that a great change had come into his life during the last two months. "Prior to that time," she said, "he had been very irritable, but since then he had an unexplainable joy and peace in his soul that he had never known before." Being unsaved, she could not understand, of course, what had produced this change in his heart and life; but we readily comprehended."... Able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think ..." (Eph. 3:20)
I could relate many such experiences resulting from both our personal contacts and our literature distribution, but I shall tell only one.
One day we saw in a Jewish magazine a picture that we immediately desired to use in the Biblical Research Monthly. We prayed earnestly that the Jewish artist might give his consent. When we wrote him for permission and inquired what we would have to pay for the privilege, he answered us from Canada, stating that he would call us when he was next in Los Angeles. A few weeks later he telephoned our son, David, and requested that we come to see him. At that time I was in Texas with my mother, in her last illness, and Dr. Cooper was away holding conferences. So David and the office editor took some of our magazines and one or two of the books and went to see him. He was very cordial to them, but told them at once that they were there strictly on business and were not to try to "missionize" or "Christianize" him. He then explained that in Chicago a missionary approached him and led him against his will into a mission and that he did not want a repetition of such an experience.
Our son immediately assured him that they were there strictly on business, and then the artist asked what picture we desired and what we wanted to use it for. David showed him a copy of our magazine and told him that we wanted to use the picture in it, we would pay him for its use. He took the magazine, looked inside, inspected the masthead page, and seeing the name of David L. Cooper, exclaimed, "Is the Dr. Cooper whose books I have been reading the editor of this magazine?"
"Yes," was the reply.
"Well," he said, "I do not commercialize on my friends," and loaned us two cuts and about a dozen lovely stone etchings 12 x 14 inches in size, which he sold for ten dollars each. This visit was a memorable experience for our son and the office editor. God had again answered prayer above all that we had asked or even thought.
When I returned home David told me about the visit to the artist. "Mother," he said, "I want you to go with me to return these lovely pictures to him." He told me that the artist was a very orthodox Jew and would be opposed to my saying anything about Christianity. I replied, "Well, I know enough not to run ahead of the Spirit, and I shall not say a word."
After cordially welcoming us, the artist immediately said, "Mrs. Cooper, you understand you are here strictly on business and that I do not want to be missionized or Christianized in any way." He took about thirty minutes to give me this warning. I assured him that we had come merely to return his beautiful pictures and to thank him for his great kindness in letting us use them free of cost. When he was assured that we were not going to try to Christianize him, he began to ask us questions.
"Young man, what did you say your name is?"
"David L. Cooper."
"But you are much too young to be the author of the very scholarly books I have been reading by Dr. David L. Cooper. I get them out of the Rabbi's library."
"They are written by my father. I am David L., Jr."
"Oh, then you are not Jewish, for no Jew would name his son for himself." (It was evident that he had thought Dr. Cooper was an ex-rabbi.)
"No, we are not Jews," David said.
"My father is a Christian minister."
"Well, Mrs. Cooper," he said, "there is a question I would like to ask you."
"All right," I answered.
"No one makes himself such a learned scholar as Dr. Cooper has without a motive back of his desire for learning and great scholarship. I want to know the motive back of all this learning."
"There is a motive," I replied. "When my husband was a young man, just prior to our marriage, he was a minister. One night he was in a pulpit preaching. Like a flash God showed him what he was preaching was not the truth at all. He was so overcome with the thought that he had been teaching the people error that he nearly gave up preaching entirely. He said that if he could not preach truth he would quit the ministry. I said to him, 'If God called you to preach, as you told me the first time that I met you, He did not call you to get discouraged and quit. The thing for you to do is to preach what you know absolutely beyond all doubt is the truth and then go to school and learn more truth.' He went to school ten years after we married, and also taught four years in college."
The artist listened attentively. "What schools did he attend?" he inquired.
"Tulane University, New Orleans; University of Louisville and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, and the University of Chicago, where he did his seminar work."
"Little wonder, that he is such a learned scholar! You did well, Mrs. Cooper, when you told him, 'You must go on to school.' I admire his scholarship very much indeed. He is my friend. I know him quite well through his writings. One day I hope to meet him personally."
Patting David on the shoulder, he said "Young man, I think your father married an angelshe told your father to go to school and learn. You have a very great and a very learned father." He reached to a table, picked up a book, and said, "Young man, you take this book, of mine home with you. It is The Philosophy of Life According to the Rabbis."
David said, "Oh, no! I am not a student like my father." But the artist insisted, "Oh, yes, you take the book. Then you promise me faithfully that you will send it back by your father when he returns home."
Realizing that the artist was seeking a way to meet Dr. Cooper, David at once took the book and thanked him. Then we left.
When Dr. Cooper returned to Los Angeles, he and I took the book, as well as the fourth book in the Messianic Series, entitled Messiah: His First Coming Scheduled, and called on our interesting and cultured artist friend. I had warned my husband that he must not try to discuss the Bible or mention Christianity unless he had very definite leadings from the Lord. To our amazement the artist did not even once tell my husband that he was there on business and was not to "missionize" or try to "Christianize" him. No, he was in the presence of his long admired and looked-for friend. He would in no wise hinder any word he had to say to himquite to the contrary. He asked Dr. Cooper many questions.
I wish I had space to tell the whole story. He seemed very appreciative of the large clothbound book that we gave him. He said, "I will read it very carefully. No, I will study it very carefully." When we left, he invited us to return and seemed extremely delighted that at last he had met the author of the books in which he was deeply interested. We were quite content to leave him with the books, feeling that, if he wanted us to keep silent, we would do so. We knew that he could get the truth of the redemptive work of God from the books; and, if he preferred to get it in that quiet, unseen way, we were more than glad to let the Spirit, through the books, show him the truth, knowing that God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform.