Behold Your God




Fred T. Wright

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Behold Your God


Fred T. Wright




First Edition

July 1979


Second Edition

April 1999






Printed by:


2757 County Road 3490

Clarksville, AR 7830 U.S.A.




Publisher’s Comment:


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.


Introduction                                   v


      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.

The 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.

     If 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 astonishing reversal?

     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 above assertions.

     A great and significant event in His early ministry was the Sermon on the Mount. Everyone who attended came anticipating important




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 disappointed.

     “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.” ibid.

     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, 378.

     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 dreams.

     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. . .    13
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. . .   


19. The Mystery—Unfolding Cross. . . 192

20. The Way of The Cross. . . 202

21. God is Not a Criminal. . . 220

22. Rods and Serpents. . . 291

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





Chapter One


An All Important Theme


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     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 is developed.

     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 eternal.

     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.

     The 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.” John 17:3.

     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, 8:289.

     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.


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     The answer is not hidden.

     It is “the knowledge of God as revealed in Christ.”

     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 Controversy, 394.

     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 with God.

     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;


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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, 5:744.

     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 will be.

     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?


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     “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 was darkened.”

     “Professing themselves 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 became fools.”

     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.

     “Without understanding, 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


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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.

     “The meagre 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, 5:743.

     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 divine.

     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 unlearning.

     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 false representa


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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 Babylon.

     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 Education, 177.

     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.

Continue to Chapter Two

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