Behold Your God
Fred T. Wright
2757 County Road 3490
Clarksville, AR 7830
This book is an exact
duplication of the author’s original. There have been no changes made to the
text. Only the indexes have been added.
It is safe to say that three facts are
common to us all.
The first is
that we have, either consciously or subconsciously, a definite opinion about
the character of God. Even though little direct thought or specific
expression may have been given to the topic, it is true nonetheless.
The second is
that our attitude toward God, our treatment of others, and our receptivity of
truth are determined by these opinions.
third is that all of us were born predispositioned
to possess a false concept of God
which in turn has been confirmed and extended by environmental educational
influences. Unless delivered from this and initiated into a true knowledge of
God, it will be impossible to enter into a full and perfect Christian
experience, and the prospects of eternal life will be endangered.
this seems to be saying too much, consider the proof of these words as
provided in the history of the Jews of Christ’s day.
When Christ first appeared working
amazing miracles, proclaiming the kingdom, and proving that He came at
exactly the time specified in Daniel 9, He quickly became a very popular
figure. Thousands followed Him, confident that He would re-establish the lost
glory of Israel. The Jewish leaders studied the movement with increasing
apprehension seeing in it the threat to their prestige and power. His
following continued to swell until the feeding of the five thousand with the
loaves and fishes. Then, when the enthusiasm of the people had reached its
height and they were determined to crown Him king, the tide suddenly turned,
the enthusiasm died away, and the crowds walked with Him no more. From that
time every step led to the cross when those who had so ardently called for
His crowning, screamed for His crucifixion.
What was the factor which caused this
The answer is not difficult to find.
They had a very definite but false
concept of God’s character, shaped by the educational processes in their
environment. This factor was so fixed and powerful that it influenced them to
reject the Saviour because He did not perform as
their concept of God’s character led them to expect and desire of Him. Thus
the question of God’s character became the most critical element in the mission of Jesus and the fate of the
Jews. Had they correctly understood this, the history of His work on earth
would have been very different.
Any careful study of the mounting
conflict between Christ and the people leaves no doubt of the veracity of the
A great and significant event in His
early ministry was the Sermon on the Mount. Everyone who attended came
announcements about the coming kingdom. The Pharisees “looked forward
to the day when they should have dominion over the hated Romans, and possess
the riches and splendour of the world’s great
empire. The poor peasants and fishermen hoped to hear the assurance that
their wretched hovels, the scanty food, the life of toil, and fear of want
were to be exchanged for mansions of plenty and days of ease. In place of the
one coarse garment which was their covering by day,
and their blanket by night, they hoped that Christ would give them the rich
and costly robes of their conquerors. All hearts thrilled with the proud hope
that Israel was soon to be honored before the nations as the chosen of the
Lord, and Jerusalem exalted as the head of a universal kingdom.” The Desire of Ages, 299.
Because the devil had done his work
well, the people believed not only that the Messiah would exalt them in this
way but that He would do it by the use of the sword. They saw God as the
vengeful, destroying One of the Old Testament. Their concept of the God of the Old Testament led them to believe
that the God of the New would behave in the same way. But because of their
understanding of God’s character was wrong, their expectations were to be
“Christ disappointed the hope of worldly
greatness. In the Sermon on the Mount He sought to undo the work that had
been wrought by false education, and to give His hearers a right conception of
His kingdom and of His own character.”
The people did not hear what they had
come to hear in the sermon on the mount, but they did not reject the Saviour just then. He did not directly attack their
errors, and they were left with the vague hope that somehow He would yet
assert His power and use it according to their ideas of God’s character.
Their servitude to the Romans had placed
that proud people in a desperate plight. They needed great help, and they
knew it. Their understanding of the prophecies had led them to pin their
entire hopes on the Messiah as the answer to this predicament. If He should
fail them, they would have nowhere else to turn.
Christ had not come to fail them. He
knew exactly what their true needs were, and He had fully purposed to supply
those needs. But the answer did not lie in the use of the weapons of force.
It lay in the changing of their character into the likeness of His own. But so intent
were they on their long cherished ambitions that there was no room to
consider the alternative He offered.
The climax came at the feeding of the
five thousand. Throughout the long day, He had thrilled their hearts with the
wonder of His teachings. The sick had been healed and the multitude fed. As the
day wore on “. . . they said one to another, ‘This is of a truth that Prophet
that should come into the world.’
“All day the conviction had
strengthened. That crowning act is assurance that the long-looked-for
Deliverer is among them. The hopes of
the people rise higher and higher. This is He who will make
Judea an earthly paradise, a land flowing with milk and honey. He can satisfy
every desire. He can break the power of the hated Romans. He can deliver
Judah and Jerusalem. He can heal the soldiers who are wounded in battle. He
can supply whole armies with food. He can conquer the nations, and give to
Israel the long-sought dominion.
“In their enthusiasm the people are
ready at once to crown Him king. They see that He makes no effort to attract
attention or secure honor to Himself. In this He is essentially different
from the priests and rulers, and they fear that He will never urge His claim
to David’s throne. Consulting together, they agree to take Him by force, and
proclaim Him the king of Israel. The disciples unite with the multitude in
declaring the throne of David the rightful inheritance of their Master. It is
the modesty of Christ, they say, that causes Him to refuse such honor. Let
the people exalt their Deliverer. Let the arrogant priests and rulers be
forced to honor Him who comes clothed with the authority of God.” ibid., 377,
They could see that Jesus loved them and
that He had all the power necessary to give them all that they could desire.
The only kind of character they knew and understood was the kind which used
the possession of mighty power to achieve their selfish ambitions. They could
not see and were unwilling to be taught that Christ did not have this kind of
character. He loved the Romans as much as He loved the Jews, neither was it
His way to use force to accomplish any desired objective. Therefore, in
harmony with His character, He would not permit Himself to be made king by
them, nor would He use His mighty powers to advantage one class of those whom
He loved, above another. With an authority which none could disobey, He
dismissed disciples and multitude alike.
The bitter complaint of the apostles
against Him then was, “Why did not He who possessed such power reveal Himself
in His true character, and make their way less painful?” ibid., 380.
The truth was that Christ was living out
His character to perfection. It was because of what He was,
that He did what He did. In their failure to understand His real character,
they expected an altogether different line of behavior. When He did not do
what they believed that He should do, they felt cheated and betrayed.
So it was with the multitude. The next
day after closely questioning Him, they came to see that He would never use
His power as they expected Him to. For this reason they left Him forever. “If
He would not devote His power and influence to obtaining their freedom from
the Romans, they would have nothing to do with Him.” ibid., 391.
Thus it was that their misunderstanding
of the character of God in Christ led them to expect from Him a complete
deliverance from the Romans and their exaltation to the height of material
grandeur. He was a Jew like they were. He was sent as the Messiah to the
chosen and favored
people. He had the power. Therefore, they reasoned, it was His
duty to use that power to favor them. If He refused to do it, then He was
nothing short of a traitor to His own. They found Him guilty of treason and
determined to be revenged. Because they possessed the character which they
believed He had, they did to Him with the power at their command, what they
believed He should have done to the Romans. To accomplish this, they accused
Him before the Romans of seeking to make Himself to be what they had actually
tried to make Him—the king of the world. This was a totally false accusation
which, though it enabled them to wreak vengeance on Him whom they believed
had betrayed them, opened the floodgates of woe on the nation. Few people, if
any, have suffered as the Jews have since that terrible time. Theirs is a
fate which none would care to share.
If only they had understood the
character of God so perfectly revealed in Christ, or at least been willing to
be taught it, they would not have expected of Him what they did, nor would
they have rejected and vengefully crucified Him. Thus the question of the
character of God and Christ was the
most critical element in the
fate of the Jews.
Contained in their history is a sober
warning which none can treat lightly. The character of God is still the most critical issue in
the mission of Christ. As were the Jews, so too have all of us been subjected
to an erroneous education in respect to God’s character. But God will not
leave us in this darkness without the opportunity to escape from it. When
that light is presented to us, there is the terrible danger that we will
repeat their history by rejecting the message because it does not conform to
our already established ideas and does not suit our personal ambitions and
Let none repeat the fearful history of
the Jews by rejecting God’s truth on this basis. The outworking of such
decisions have implications too terrible, final, and
eternal to contemplate. Rather let there be an earnest, prayerful pleading
with the Lord to open the eyes of our spiritual understanding to see God as
He really is.
May the message of this book be a mighty
aid in knowing God, whom to know is life eternal.
Proof read thru Chapter 12
1. An All
Important Theme. . . 1
2. Avoid Speculative Theories. . . 7
3. The Character of God in Relation To The Great Controversy. . .
4. The Character of God And The Ending Of The Great Controversy. . . 26
5. Isaiah’s Wonderful Prophecy. . . 41
6. Approaching The Study Of God. . . 48
7. The Constitution of the Government of God. . . 53
8. A Perfect Law
9. God’s Principles Under Test. . . 87
10. A Summary. . . 93
11. Contrasting Statements. . . 96
12. Statements and Principles. . . 106
13. God Does Destroy—But How?. . . 119
14. The Supreme Revelation. . . 134
15. Urged to Destroy. . . 147
16. Magnifying the Law. . . 158
17. Go the Second Mile. . . 169
18. The Mystery of Iniquity—Satan’s Masterpiece of
Deception. . .
Mystery—Unfolding Cross. . . 192
20. The Way of The Cross. . . 202
21. God is Not a Criminal. . . 220
22. Rods and Serpents. .
23. The Upraised Rod. . . 240
24. The Showing of God’s Power. . . 248
25. The Flood. . . 259
26. Great Changes. . . 275
27. Concepts Revised. . . 281
28. Sodom and Gomorrah. . . 291
29. An Execution. . . 315
30. The Ever-Loving, Saving Father. . . 328
31. God Goes the Second Mile. . . 345
32. The Consistency of God. . . 346
33. The Wars of Israel. . . 364
34. An Eye for an Eye. . . 373
35. Difficult Statements. . . 378
36. The Seven Last Plagues. . . 391
37. The Brightness of His Coming. . . 396
38. The Final Showdown. . . 401
39. In Conclusion. . . 413
All Important Theme
The study pursued throughout this book
is not merely one of great importance. It is of the highest consequence
involving issues of eternal life and death. It is very much the author’s burden
that this be realized from the outset and perceived increasingly as the theme
Jesus said, “And this is life eternal,
that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom Thou hast sent.” John 17:3.
The full, forceful significance of this
Scripture cannot be grasped by reading it in isolation. Other inspired
statements must be read along with it so that the meaning becomes powerfully
clear. When such comparisons are extensively and carefully made, it will be
seen that the truth expressed in this verse is an equation. It is saying that
life eternal is the knowledge of God; therefore the knowledge of God is life
The converse of this, then, is that the
lack of a true knowledge of God is death eternal and, therefore, death
eternal is the lack of true knowledge of God.
Amplified Bible renders this verse thus: “And this is eternal life: [it
means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with and
understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him,
Jesus [as the] Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah, Whom You have sent.”
This version presents a clearer
rendition of the verse. It states that life eternal means a
knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, so without that knowledge, we
can only know eternal death. This is confirmed by the following statements.
“The knowledge of God as revealed in Christ is the knowledge
that all who are saved must have. It is the knowledge that works transformation of character.
This knowledge, received, will re-create the soul in the image of God. It
will impart to the whole being a spiritual power that is divine.” Testimonies,
Knowing God is life eternal, and life
eternal is knowing God.
This statement does not merely say that
all who are saved would be well advised to have the knowledge of God. They must have it. It is essential, indispensible. Yet, the statement does more than
emphasize the truth of this. It proceeds to reveal the reasons for its being
so. In order to attain to eternal life, the character must be transformed and
recreated into the image of God, while to the whole being must be imparted a
power that is divine. Knowing that to come into possession of eternal life
necessitates the acquisition of these blessings, it
becomes the seeker’s prime interest to know by what means it can be received.
The answer is not hidden.
It is “the knowledge of God as revealed
Therefore, it is truly spoken that the
knowledge of God is life eternal, and life eternal is the knowledge of God.
The full force of these verses will not
be appreciated unless there is a correct understanding of what the grace and
peace of God are. Let each now be considered in turn.
God’s grace is not merely an attitude
maintained on His part toward the undeserving sinner. Rather, it is “the
regenerating, enlightening power of
the Holy Spirit . . .” The Great
Therefore, the grace of God is God’s
power working to regenerate and enlighten the willing and obedient. Defining
the grace of God as being the power of God, sets it apart as the supreme
force in the universe. It is the one element emanating from a creating and
re-creating God which lifts the lost from damnation to glorification, and
without which there would be no hope. Understandably then, the Holy Spirit
spoke through the inspired Peter the desire that such grace should be
multiplied to the believers. Assuredly, those who received such multiplied supplies
of grace would be blessed with eternal life. Observe the media through which
it would come to them. It would be theirs through
the knowledge of God.
Likewise, the peace of God is much more
than merely a mental persuasion on God’s part whereby He maintains a kindly
or even indulgent attitude toward those who believe in Him. A careful
comparison of Romans 8:7 and 5:1, considerably expands the concept of what
the peace of God is. The former tells us that the carnal mind is enmity
against God, while the latter confirms that to be justified is to have peace
Therefore, both enmity against God, and
peace with God are states of being. The presence of the carnal mind does not
merely produce enmity, for it is enmity. By contrast, it is the presence of
the very life of God within the person which is the peace of God. These two
cannot coexist. The former must be removed in order to make room for the
latter. Only the mighty power of God can accomplish such splendid results.
The Holy Spirit through Peter, was concerned that the believers be filled with
this peace for its presence in them was that of eternal life. As with the
grace or power of God, it came to them through the knowledge of God. How
earnestly and lovingly the Lord seeks to impress upon the dull, slow, human
mind that it is through the revelation of the character of God that eternal
life is made available to the needy.
To know what God will do for us is very
important. But it will still not bring to us eternal life unless we understand
how we can receive these blessings. Consequently, the following statement
stresses the question and supplies the answer.
“By sin the image of God in man has been
marred and well-nigh obliterated; it is the work of the gospel to restore
that which has been lost;
and we are to cooperate with the divine agency in this work.
And how can we come into harmony with God, how shall we receive His likeness,
unless we obtain a knowledge of Him? It
is this knowledge that Christ came into the world to reveal unto us.” Testimonies 5:743.
Let careful note be taken of the
question raised in this statement. “How can we come into harmony with God,
how shall we receive His likeness, unless we obtain a knowledge of Him?”
No direct answer is provided for none is
needed. The question admits only one answer. Search for an alternative as he
might, the reader will find none; the conviction being thus strengthened that
it is impossible to come into harmony with God and receive His likeness
without obtaining a knowledge of Him.
To come into harmony with God and to
receive His likeness is to be justified, because “being justified by faith,
we have peace (or harmony) with God.” Romans 5:1. To be justified is to have
life eternal. But to achieve this is impossible without a true knowledge of
God. He must be known as He is. The more fully, intimately, and accurately He
is known, the richer and more glorious will be the
transformation into His likeness.
“Brethren and sisters, it is by
beholding that we become changed. By dwelling upon the love of God and our Saviour, by contemplating the perfection of the divine
character and claiming the righteousness of Christ as ours by faith, we are
to be transformed into the same image.” Testimonies,
This chapter could be greatly extended by
gathering and presenting all the evidences available beyond those already
given that emphasize the vital importance of having a true knowledge of the
character of God and Christ, but what has been given is evidence enough to
make this point.
To know God is life eternal. Life
eternal is to know God.
From this we must rightly conclude that
there is a direct relationship between the extent of our knowledge of God,
and the level, warmth, and power of our personal Christian experience. The
better we know God, the more vital and effective our experience will be,
while the more poorly and inaccurately we know Him, the feebler our witness
Paul, in Romans 1:18-32, described the
incredible depth of iniquity to which the unbelieving world had sunk and
more. He traced the situation back to the reason for this condition.
To those people, adequate revelations of
God had been provided, as Paul wrote:
“Because that which may be known of God
is manifest in them.”
“For the invisible things of Him from
the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things
that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without
excuse.” Romans 1:19, 20.
In the face of such a revelation of
truth, what did these people do?
“Because that, when they knew God, they
glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their
imaginations, and their foolish heart
to be wise, they became fools.”
Verses 21, 22.
For men to glorify God as God, His
character must be in them and be reflected from them. Men think that they
glorify God today when they sing hymns and thank Him for the blessings which
they want Him to give them. But they glorify God as if He were a man like
themselves, not as God. There was a time when original man was blessed with a
true knowledge of the character of God but he elected not to glorify God
according to what He was. He substituted another view of God, a view
according to his own vain imaginations. That constituted a first downward
step toward ultimate ruin. Inevitably, worse was to follow. “Professing themselves to be wise, they
Next, they “changed the glory
[character] of the uncorruptible God into an image
made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and
creeping things.” Verse 23.
Thus, the true revelation of God’s
character was replaced by a false one, whereupon the deterioration in
morality became most pronounced.
“Wherefore God also gave them up to
uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour
their own bodies between themselves:
“Who changed the truth of God into a
lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, Who is
blessed forever. Amen.
“For this cause God gave them up unto
vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that
which is against nature:
“And likewise also the men, leaving the
natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another
men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in
themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
“And even as they did not like to retain
God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those
things which are not convenient.
“Being filled with all unrighteousness,
fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder,
debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
“Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful,
proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents.
covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
“Who knowing the judgment of God, that
they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but
have pleasure in them that do them.” Verses 24-32.
Human beings cannot enter into a worse
state of wickedness than that described here. Let it be remembered that Paul
by inspiration declares that
all this is the outworking of the rejection of the knowledge
of God. That rejection was the root. The
unbelievable wickedness was the sure and certain fruit.
Thus it will ever be. Exactly to
whatever degree a wrong or poor concept of God’s character is held, will the
level of morality be. What was true in their experience is true in every age.
Effect follows cause with predictable certainty.
views which so many have had of the exalted character and office of Christ have narrowed their religious experience,
and have greatly hindered their
progress in the divine life. Personal religion among us as a people is at
a low ebb. There is much form, much machinery, much tongue religion; but
something deeper and more solid must be brought into our religious
experience. With all our facilities, our publishing houses, our schools, our
sanitariums, and many, many other advantages, we ought to be far in advance
of our present position.” Testimonies,
The narrowed religious experience and
seriously retarded progress in the divine life which was the sad lot of the
Advent believers in the nineteenth century was directly attributable to “the meagre views which so many” had “of the exalted character
and office of Christ.” Problems are only solved by firstly determining the
cause and then correcting that. Therefore, the adherents to the Advent faith
of the last century could not possibly come into a rich and fulfilling
religious experience without greatly enlarged and corrected views of the
character and office of Christ.
Such a relating of cause and effect
should instantly command the interested attention of all today who are aware
that their experience is far from what it should be and who long for
spiritual enrichment. At present, apart from those who are miserable, poor,
blind, naked, self-satisfied Laodiceans, happy to
believe that their experience is rich when it is poor, are there any true
Christians who are truly satisfied with their character attainment and fellowship
with God? While on the one hand there is a deep thankfulness for what God has
done, there is a consciousness that much is yet to be achieved so that the
Christian’s continual quest is for that character excellence which will bring
him into communion with God and present his life as a telling witness for the
How can this be?
It can only be by coming into a much clearer and
deeper understanding of the character of God and Christ.
Such a knowledge
is not acquired in a moment or by feeble intermittent efforts. Nor is the
work all of a positive nature. It is a matter both of learning and
Not only have the concepts of God’s
character been meagre, dim, and uncertain, but in
many respects, quite inaccurate. The inaccuracies have been so serious as to
be exactly opposite from what God
really is. More than we realize, the devil has clouded our minds with his
tions. Never was he more
successful than just before the first coming of Christ, and again during the
Dark Ages. We have not yet fully escaped the effect of that midnight period. We have not yet come all the way out of
So serious were the misrepresentations
of God’s character which dominated the minds of men, that
Jesus had to give a revelation of God exactly opposite from that which they
had. “He presented to men that which was exactly
contrary to the representations of the enemy in regard to the character
of God . . .” Fundamentals of Christian
As we again approach the midnight
darkness of the last days, the same misrepresentations of God are held by
mankind throughout the world. Tragically, they are shared to some extent even
by God’s people.
What is needed, and must be given again
for the final time, is a presentation to men which will be “exactly contrary to the
representations of the enemy in regard to the character of God.”
Therefore, there is much unlearning to
be done as well as learning. This book is designed to assist in both
directions. Old concepts will be challenged. Many things will be presented
about God which will be exactly
opposite from what has been believed in the past. For some there will
possibly be severe struggles. Old concepts will strive for the mastery. In
too many cases they will win, and darkness will settle upon the defeated.
For those who patiently and prayerfully
examine the evidences, there will come such a revelation of God’s character
as will clear away the fog of the past, recreate the soul in the image of
God, transform the believer into the likeness of God, and provide the fitness
for a place in eternity.
All such will know that to know God is
life eternal and life eternal is to know God.
Therefore, a clear, accurate, and
comprehensive knowledge of the character of God is essential to those who
would be saved. Never was this more needful than at this time when darkness
is covering the earth and gross darkness the people.
Let this great theme of God’s character
become the chief, and all-absorbing subject of our attention, our meditation,
our conversation, our witness, for this
is life eternal.
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