“Behold Your God” by Fred Wright review

“Behold Your God” by Fred Wright (1979)

F

I first heard about this author and book from a fake missionary in Brunei in 2005, but was not proffered the book. In 2006, while staying in India, i was told to read the book by the lady of the house where i was staying, so, to please her, i did decide to read the book.

This book has many quotes from the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy (Ellen White’s writings), and has a very attractive tone, but with a fatal conclusion — that God does not destroy. How anyone can read their Bibles or SOP and come to this conclusion is beyond me, but like i say, it sounds attractive to itching ears, ears which don’t want to hear that there will be a judge we have to meet at the last day to whom we must answer for all the deeds in this life, and who has power to “destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matt. 10:28)

Fred Wright is deceased now, but he formed a church organization claiming about 2,000 members. He claimed to be the “4th Angel’s Messenger”, similar to the way in which Mrs. White was the “3rd Angel’s Messenger”. Just this equating himself with someone who was inspired of God should give a serious pause to anyone considering whether this man is true or false.

So what is the main theme of the book? — that God does not kill. Beings who choose to rebel against God just put themselves outside of the “lifeforce” of love that is God, and they destroy themselves.

Starting in the preface to the book, we see a sentence that gives cause for pause: “He (Jesus) loved the Romans as much as he loved the Jews, neither was it his way to use force to accomplish any desired objective.” There are many places in the Bible showing that God specially chose and loved the Israelites, and did not love some other nations, even destroying them, as written in many places such as Isaiah 43:3-4 “For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.” If he loved Israel the same as the other nations, what was the whole point of separating them out from Egypt, driving out the nations from Canaan, bringing them back again from Babylon and Assyria etc.?

p.13 (Regarding Satan) “he worked at deceiving them into believing that God was a liar and destroyer”. This is just speculation on Mr. Wright’s part. We know from the 1858 Great Controversy that “Satan was insinuating against the government of God, ambitious to exalt himself, and unwilling to submit to the authority of Jesus.” There is nothing about him trying to show God as a “destroyer”.

p.15 Lucifer made progress “….until he became the brightest of all the creatures.” Pure speculation.

p.23 “… those who have made the fatal mistake will die, not because God will strike them down, but because they have placed themselves where life is impossible.” This is the heart of the false doctrine of this book. But what does inspired word say? Isaiah 14:30 “And the firstborn of the poor shall feed, and the needy shall lie down in safety: and I will kill thy root with famine, and he shall slay thy remnant. ” Some may say, “Oh, that is the Old Testament God”. OK, Revelation 2:23 “And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” The 1858 Great Controversy says regarding the final destruction of the wicked: “But fire from God out of heaven is rained upon them, and the great men, and the mighty men, and the noble, and poor and miserable men, are all consumed together”

p.28 “The real truth is that every one of the angels was affected at least in part by the delusions of the great enemy.” But the 1858gc says: “Satan and his affected ones, who were striving to reform the government of God, wished to look into his unsearchable wisdom to ascertain his purpose in exalting Jesus, and endowing him with such unlimited power and command.” Were ALL the angels driven out? – of course not. Again, this is just pure speculation, having no basis in inspired fact.

p.33 says something about “….salvation they (angels) had gained”!!!

p.42 “never to destroy” Genesis 6:13 “And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” As noted above, this is the central theme to this book, and it is clearly, without a doubt, totally against the Bible and SOP. This point about the flood will be taken up again later in the book.

p.49 “…God absolutely nothing after the fall that he did not do before…” Now i must admit, this one had me thinking, and thinking for a while. It does have a ring of truth to it, as we know that God never changes. But no, it is very clear that God DOES do new things, to direct things to the best good of everyone involved, while at the same time, giving everyone involved freedom to choose what they want to do. Saying that God does nothing new is basically saying the God is just a rock, sitting there, doing nothing. Isaiah 43:19 “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”

p.52 “….Wherever we find ourselves seeing the kingdom of God and the kingdoms of men to be the same in any respect, we can know that we have strayed from a true knowledge of God’s realm.” Here Mr. Wright is anticipating someone asking “what about the death penalty”, and is trying to head it off. This is very false, as it is God who sets up kingdoms and takes them down again. Daniel 5:18 “O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honour: ” God also told his people Israel to do capital punishment for certain grievous sins. Actually, the truth of the matter is, is that the closer earthly kingdoms resemble the heavenly, the more they are blessed by God, and the better and higher exalted they become. Of course the reverse holds true too!

p.56 “….it is not possible for Him to behave in any other way”. (thus implying that God cannot break his own law about killing). Is it good for humans to put limits on God?

p.58 “To recognize that God never destroyed before there was sin, and to accept the idea that He does destroy after its emergence, is to believe that He has changed.” This is false logic. Using the same logic, we could say that since Jesus was never on a cross before sin, he was never on a cross after sin appeared either.

p.59 “Therefore in God’s kingdom, no force is ever employed to bring about allegiance to Him or to put down rebellion.” Exactly 50% true, and 50% false. Yes, God does not employ force to bring about allegiance to Him, but he DOES use force to put down rebellion. 1858gc “But the good and true angels prevailed, and Satan, with his followers, was driven from heaven.”

p.62 “The sinner will die. The heaven and earth will be destroyed and the entire universe will be rendered clean from the stain of sin. But it will not be God Who wields the scourge of destruction to effect this….only when they reject his saving effort, will he finally leave them to perish.” Mr. Wright knows that the wicked will die, and now is starting to weave his strange theology to support his position that God doesn’t punish them to death, but just removes his presence from them, and they naturally die of themselves. He is just shunting the supposed “badness” of punishing from God to nature!

p.63 in talking about earthly governments — “No crime is considered worse than treason – disloyalty to the state. But Jesus came to deliver men from all this….” But the 1858gc says regarding Satan’s rebellion: “It was the highest sin to rebel against the order and will of God”. And then God “summoned” (a forceful word!) all the angels to appear before him, and then decided: “Satan should be expelled from heaven”.

p.66 ….”He cannot punish those who do not do what He said they could do, namely, choose another master if they wished.” Again, is telling God what he can and cannot do the prerogative of created beings?

p.69 … (governments) formulate a list of punishments which they then administer. But these things are not true of God’s laws.
p.72 “He does not pay wages in the currency of death.” A large portion of Leviticus is all about what the punishments should be for those who break God’s law. Especially Leviticus 20, which specifies the death penalty for various sins is instructive of the character of God. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

p.79 about Jesus: “He would take upon himself, not that which God would administer to the sinner, but that which the sinner had brought upon himself”. 1858gc “He told them that he had been pleading with his Father, and had offered to give his life a ransom, and take the sentence of death upon himself, that through him man might find pardon”….”Jesus told them that he would stand between the wrath of his Father and guilty man,…” In the inspired words we see that Jesus didn’t just take what “the sinner had brought upon himself”, but he took “the sentence of death”, and stood “between the wrath of his Father and guilty man”.

p.91 “Satan would later develop the teaching that it is God who destroys.” Mr. Wright is attributing God’s acts to Satan, one of the signs of the end times (putting good for evil and evil for good).

p.128 “When God destroys there is no personal administration of punishment”. In effect, Mr. Wright is saying that the sinner self-destructs.

p.135 “The Old Testament is not the place to begin searching out the character of God.” !!!!! What about the New Testament then Mr. Wright? – that is where we have the most terrible warning even given to mankind, found in the 3rd Angel’s message of Revelation 14:9-12.

p.142– Basically since Christ didn’t destroy, and since he and the Father only do the same things, then the Father doesn’t destroy either. Using the same logic — Since the Father didn’t die on the cross, then Jesus didn’t die on the cross either. Rubbish.

p.144 Those who believe God DOES destroy are “white-haired traditionalists”. Well, if you can’t convince them with the truth, do the time-honored Satanic tactic of painting those with different views an ugly color.

p.145 In regards to Jesus’ life: “Such a study will fail to bring to light a single act of destruction or the administration of any punishment.” I remember stories about a fig-tree and driving sellers out of the temple….. But the bigger problem with this statement is that it doesn’t take into account at all Jesus’ various ministries. I cannot find where Jesus physically killed any animal himself, yet he instituted the whole sacrificial system thousands of years earlier. Just because he didn’t do something at one time, that doesn’t mean that he never ever does that thing. Because he never led an angelic host while on earth, does that mean he never did before coming to earth? Because he didn’t make any stars while on earth, does that mean he never made any stars? etc.

p.161 “In human minds there is a distinction between lawful and unlawful killing”. Praise God they still do! You will also find in the Bible that God makes a distinction too, even having Israel set up cities of refuge to protect those who killed accidentally, and of course commanding them to kill those who had broken the law in certain cases.

p.259-290 There is a convoluted explanation that the flood was caused not by God directly causing it, but by Christ leaving the world, so the sun and moon went out and let down the water canopy.

p.393 (in the 7plagues) “God will not even be there” So Satan brings the 7 Plagues on himself, or it just happens “naturally”? Even you, Mr. Wright, acknowledge here that nature under God’s willful lack of control is responsible for these calamities, so you are just repositioning the “badness” for the destruction from the Creator to the created. But inspired word says that God does execute judgment. 1858gc “Said the angel, It will be more tolerable for the heathen and for papists in the day of the execution of God’s judgment than for such men.”….”The inhabitants of earth had suffered the wrath of God in the seven last plagues.” Revelation 15:6 “And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.” Notice that there is ACTIVE work by the angels to carry out the 7 last plagues.

p.410 The gist of the final destruction of the world explanation is that Jesus will withdraw himself from the sun and it will explode. He also comments that he does not know why there are varying times for the wicked burning. So why does Jesus allow the sun to explode? He made the sun didn’t he? By allowing the sun to explode when he could prevent it from happening is almost the same as causing it, yet in a kind of under-handed manner. The 1858gc explains clearly why there are varying times for the wicked to burn: “Jesus, in union with the saints, meted out to the wicked the portion they must suffer, according to their works; and it was written in the book of death, and set off against their names. Satan and his angels were also judged by Jesus and the saints. Satan’s punishment was to be far greater than that of those whom he had deceived.” That sounds plenty fair to me, and i’m glad that we will all know the reasons they must be punished, and know that God is the one doing the punishment, rather than something in nature that has somehow gone out of his control, and also that Satan is not the one controlling the punishment, because for sure he would not punish fairly. Who would YOU want to punish your mother if she does not make it to heaven? – God, or nature, or Satan? Mr. Wright gives us the latter two options, but i will stay by the inspired word truth of God being in control, the God who is not willing that any should perish, but that gave up his only begotten Son to die for us wretched pieces of dirt 🙂

The sum of the matter is, is that God DOES punish, and God DOES destroy, and God DOES kill. It is very real, and this power to destroy even the soul in hell is given as the dividing-line-reason why we should NOT fear man, but fear God instead. To ascribe to “natural” or to Satan himself the attributes of God, that is, the prerogative to destroy the wicked, is to put Satan or nature in the place of God, which is very, very dangerous.

85 thoughts on ““Behold Your God” by Fred Wright review”

  1. The following recent (i.e., June 16-17, 2011 = GWYC) 3-part series by Steven Wohlberg on this same Character of God topic is quite interesting. He actually addresses several episodes/issues (also referring to the SOP) that either were not discussed at all in the above-referenced thread or were not discussed in depth.

    Main/Key Points in each Sermon:
    Part 1:
    -Character of God = Mercy and Justice;
    -Levite executed Judgement in Exod 32:26-28 (PP 323.2-325.3);
    -PP 95.3 = ‘the [typological?] “Character of God” delusion on the antediluvian “wisemen”’.
    -The Wrath of Lamb (Rev 6:16, 17 = DA 825.4) = ‘provoked by the indifference of God’s professed people to the Spiritual and vital needs of others’

    Part 2:
    -Wrath of God(Rom 1)
    -The “Unmixed Cup” of God in Third Angel’s Message and in Gethsemane
    -Gethsemane and the Justice of God poured upon Jesus

    Part 3 – The Beast Within:
    -The “beastly” ‘Character of Satan’ taken upon by (MOB taking) men

    On top of having written a book in this topic, he had also made similar sermon series presentations in here and here.

  2. with corrected typos (sorry)

    “God does not stand toward the sinner as an excecutioner of the sentence against transgression. He leaves the rejectors of His mercy to themselves to reap that which they have sown… The Spirit of God persistently resisted, is at last withdran from the sinner and then there is left no power to control the evil passions of the soul, and no protection from the malice and enmity of Satan.” E.G. White, The Great Controversy, 36.

    “The priciples of God’s dealing with men are ever the same” (The Great Controversy,343) and the language is ever the same. In 1 Chronicles 10:14 we read that “God slew Saul and turned the kingdom over to David.” However, in verses 4&5 we read that “Saul took a sword and fell upon it. And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise on the sword and died.”

    What Fred Wright taught was that God does not kill man’s way. God kills but how? By sending light to us and if that light is disregarded, there is a partial benumbing of the spiritual perceptions, and the second revealing of light is less discerned. So the darkness increases, until it is night in the soul and God has no other choice but to withdraw His protection and the sinner finds himself with no protection from his own evil passions and with no protection from the malice and enmity of Satan and his evil angels. This is how God destroys. This is the heart and essence of the book Behold Your God by Fred Wright.

    laval

  3. I have read Behold Your God many years ago and have studied it very carefully. I have read it more than once. Some chapters I have read many times. Obviously some have not really taken the time to carefully and prayerfully weigh in on what is taught in that book. The teachings of that book are in perfect harmony with this most enlightening statement from the pen of Ellen White:

    “I was shown that the judgments of God would not come direclty out from the Lord upon them but in this way: they place themselves beyond His protection… after repeated warnings, if they chose their own way, then He does not commission His angels to prevent Satan’s decided attacks upon them.”

    This statement is just one of many that support the truths taught in the book Behold Your God by Fred Wright.

    laval

  4. Fred Wright taught heresies about God, and called people away from God’s remnant church – the Seventh-day Adventist church, and set up his own church which i know at one time had around 2,000 members. I’m upset at Wright because i know at least 2 friends in India who followed him right out of God’s true church, and one has since died and the other wants nothing to do with the SDA church. So sad. This is where deception always leads – to eternal death.
    ________________

    I am not upset with him at all. On the contrary, I thank God for that book. It is true that Fred was the leader of an independent ministry but to say that the teachings in this book leads to eternal death is stretching it way too far. On the contrary this book will help you know God aright. Please reader, read the book for yourself. Instead of leading me away from Adventism this book has magnified the truth for me as far as God’s character is concerned and I found that the book was in harmony with this statement from Ellen White: “The principles of God’s dealing with men are ever the same.” G.C.343. Even us adventists we read the Bible with a vail when so much light has been given to us in the Testimonies in regard to how God destroys or hardens the heart. This book Behold Your God will enlarge your understanding like no other book. Don’t let anyone scare you away from this book. It is the devil who does not want you to investigage this book. Don’t let him win. See D.A.bottom of page 322.

    God bless,

    laval

  5. Hello Laval,
    Regarding God “executing”, i have a whole blog post about that subject here: http://great-controversy-movie.com/blog/?p=221 You will find very clearly, even in the same book as you quoted from, that God DOES execute.
    .
    Yes, God DOES kill – sometimes by water, by fire, by hornets even, and sometimes by commanding his angels or humans to do the killing. To try and put all that on Satan, when the Bible clearly shows God as the author of it, is shifting an attribute of God to Satan. Fred Wright did that a lot in his books, which is why i’m doing my best to warn others away from that dangerous error.
    .
    May your understanding be “enlarged” to see the deadly error in that book, to come back to the straight and narrow path to our eternal home 🙂

  6. Hello Daniel. I stumbled over your blog yesterday while searching for the book Behold Your God. Months ago I came across a site that had it but now I can’t find it listed on my “favorites” anymore. So I googled it. I was very interested when your site appeared before my eyes. But I must say that I am very disappointed with your comments but I understand because our understanding has been blinded “from the fact that TRADITION and MISINTERPRETATION have OBSCURED the teaching of the Bible concerning the character of God, the natuture of His government, and the principles of His dealing with sin.” The Great Controversy,492.

    You keep saying that Fred Wright has shifted an attribute of God to Satan!! The truth is that the Lord has been presented before the people clothed in the attributes of Satan:

    “The UNDERSTANDING of the PEOPLE OF GOD has been BLINDED, for Satan has misrepresented the character of God. Our GOOD and GRACIOUS Lord has been PRESENTED before the people CLOTHED in the ATTRIBUTES of Satan, and men and women who have been seeking for truth, have so long regarded God in a FALSE LIGHT that it is difficult to dispel the cloud that obscures His glory from their view.” E.G. White, 1 S.M.355.

    Notice that in this statement she says that it is the UNDERSTANDING of the PEOPLE OF GOD that has been blinded!

    Therefore, it cannot be overemphasized that to the people of God “Tradition and misinterpretation have obscured the teaching of the bible concerning the character of God, the nature of His government, and the principles of His dealing with sin.”

    “Satan is the destroyer.” “God destroys no man.” 6 T 388; C.O.L. 84.

    The popular understanding is that the Bible teaches that God directly destroys sinners. But when the language of the Bible is properly understood, it is seen that God does not directly kill anyone. This the book Behold Your God shows clearly from the Scriptures and the SoP.

    The statements I have quoted in my posts yesterday prove this beyond any shadow of doubt. You seem to want to ignore these statements Daniel. Are you? and why?

    sky 🙂

  7. sky wrote: ” it is seen that God does not directly kill anyone. This the book Behold Your God shows clearly from the Scriptures and the SoP.”
    .
    But God said thru the Bible writers and Ellen White: Deut. 32:39 See now that I, [even] I, [am] he, and [there is] no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither [is there any] that can deliver out of my hand.

    13OM: Ananias and Sapphira wished to be regarded as giving all, and yet keep part. In order to do this, they falsified. Both of them agreed to practice deception, but they did it at the cost of their lives. God struck them both with death. Thus He passed judgment on those who, while His grace and light and power were working, dared to commit sin against the Holy Spirit. This God did to warn the believers against fraud and deception and every species of dishonesty.
    .
    There are many more examples from inspired words showing that God DOES kill sometimes.
    .
    Now who should we believe, Fred Wright, who led people away from God’s remnant church and into error about the character of God, or the Bible writers and Ellen White, who were inspired by the Holy Spirit? Let’s make the correct choice, and trust in a loving, forgiving Father when we repent and forsake our sparks of our own kindling 🙂

  8. Daniel, the question is, “How readest thou?” There is a chapter in the book Behold Your God titled, God Does Destroy–But How?” Have you read it? So the book is not about whether God destroys or not, but How?

    Yes God says, “I kill and I make alive, I wound and I heal.”

    This is true. I have never denies this and neiter did Fred Wright. The question is, How does God kill? How does He wound?

    Let me ask you a question, How does God harden the heart? We know that the Bible says that God heardened Pharaoh’s heart. But how? You and I have the privilege of having the Testimonies of the Spirit of the Lord to explain this language to us. The Lord has already explained this language to us. Are we listening? or are we going to ignore what He says and continue to be satisfied with our own private interpretations, or let prejudice get in the way?

    The answer to this question will be the answer as to how God kills and how He wounds.

    “It is not God that blinds the eyes of men or hardens their hearts. He sends them light to correct their errors, and to lead then in safe paths; it is by the rejection of this light that the eyes are blinded and the heart hardened. Often the process is gradual, and almost imperceptible… When one ray of light is disregarded, there is a partial benumbing of the spiritual perceptions, and the second revealing of light is less clearly discerned. So the darkness increases, until it is night in the soul.” Desire of Ages,322.

    “By rejecting the first warning from God, Pharaoh of old sowed the seeds of obstinacy, and he reaped obstinacy. God did not compel him to disbelieve.” C.O.L.85.

    This is how God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. Do we accept this revelation? Remember that if we reject one ray of light, the second revealing will be less clearly discerned until it is night in the soul!

    It is the same when the Bible says that God kills. The Bible says that “God slew Saul and turned the kingdom over to David.” 1 Chronicles 10:14.

    God had sent light to Saul to correct his errors and to lead him in safe paths. But Saul paid no attention to God’s warning and at last God was forced to withdraw His protection from Him and Saul instead of letting himself be killed by the Philistines he fell on his sword. 1 Chronicles 10:4. This is how the Lord killed Saul!

    And how does the Lord wound? The same way he hardens the heart or kills and the same way He sends strong delusions to those who do not have the love of the truth. (2 Thess.2:11,12) In the book The Great Controversy, p.431, you will find a direct commentary upon this verse. We read, “As they reject the teachings of His word, He withdraws His Spirit and leaves them to the deceptions which they love.” This is how God sends strong delusion! His ways are not our ways. Isaiah 55:8,9.

    So God does not direclty kill anyone or wound anyone or harden any man’s heart. He sends us light to correct our errors and to lead us in safe paths.

    It is by the rejection of that light that the heart is hardened, that eyes are blinded, that men are wounded, and finally killed, not by God Himself but by the malice and emnity of Satan.

    This is what happened to Annanias and Sapphira.

    God can say that He struck them both with death just as He says that He slew Saul but we know now what that language means, don’t we?

    God bless,

    sky 🙂

  9. I will leave you with some scripture Mal3:6, Heb 13:8, James 1:17,Joh 17:3, Jer 9:23-24, Rom 5:6,7,8,10, 1Joh 4:9-10 Titus 1:2, Num 23:19, Ps 34:21,Ps 145:17.Ask yourself this question, If God is light and in him is no darkness at all, He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked while we were is enemy he died for us, He does not change, the same yesterday, today and for evermore dont you think you should do alittle more studying with the guidance of His holy Spirit and keep in mind that your thoughts are not his thought. Rightly divide the word of truth. Precept must be upon precept, line upon line here alittle and there alittle. And if you thing that God has favorites the scripture tells us that he is no respecter of persons

  10. Satan exults when Christians debate or argue over non vital points (NVP) of doctrine, as every minute devoted to such a practise is a minute less devoted to preaching the essential truths of God’s word.

    It is true that the message of God’s character is an essential doctrine, but this can be summed up as: God is love, righteous, truthful, just, merciful; but love also demands judgment, and just how this is done hasn’t been revealed to us and therefore becomes a NVP.

    The Sabbath Rest Advent (SRA) church, of which Fred Wright was the pioneer, is full of NVPs. In fact, unless you accept every viewpoint of the late Fred Wright or the incumbent messenger, Andreas Dura, you will not be accepted by this church. This church has in fact taken their mind off present truth and made their NVPs the “message” and test of church admission.

    Why do churches go into fanaticism? It is because present truth loses its power due to the members being in sin. They then have to look for something exciting, new and original to replace present truth.

    But be warned that Ellen White disapproved of people using her writings to prove their points of doctrine, and yet most of the SRA doctrines are exactly what Ellen asked not to do. Jones, Waggoner, Smith, Butler and others proved their doctrines from the Bible. Sometimes they quoted from Ellen White, but only at the end of the sermon and only one or two quotes.

    If you want to read the book Behold Your God, first read chapter 35 entitled “Difficult Statements”. Then go to the writings of Ellen White and read in context all she has to say about whether or how God destroys. Then quietly put Fred’s book down and go and preach that God is love and is a Saviour who seeks to save, not destroy. It’s all in Ellen’s writings; where do you suppose Fred got it from? If people question you about the Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah etc., tell them there is more than enough evidence to show that God is a Saviour, not a destroyer, and just how He operates is not for us to question.

    God’s peace be with you.

  11. Wow my last post was Oct/20011

    Rob, first I will say that I do not speak as a member of that church you mentioned in your post. I read your post and it seems to me you are contradicting yourself. Do you agree with the book Behold Your God or not?

    You said, “It is true that the message of God’s character is an essential doctrine, but this can be summed up as: God is love, righteous, truthful, just, merciful; but love also demands judgment, and just how this is done hasn’t been revealed to us and therefore becomes a NVP.”

    What is an NVP?

    “Just how this is done hasn’t been revealed to us.”

    I dont agree with that and here is why. It has been revealed to us and in more than one way.
    .
    edited by webmaster—Manuscript Releases, Vol.14,3.1 and The Great Controversy,36 are quoted, but sky quoted the same ones last year. We’ve already covered this ground, sky, and to just reiterate the same quotes after you’ve been shown their true meanings is not wise. —
    .
    Now these are the principles of God’s dealing with sin and they are ever the same for the Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

    sky

  12. Sky,
    “Do you agree with the book Behold Your God or not?” I agree with the Ellen White statements, which accounts for most of it. But I don’t agree with the book’s premise that people will not come to God if they view Him as a destroyer.
    Christ came to the Earth to reveal the character of God – a character of love, forgiveness and goodness. All who desire to know God can know Him in Christ. Those who resist the Holy Spirit’s drawing to Christ will also resist any attempts to bring them to God through convincing them that God doesn’t destroy. Those who come to Christ do so because they see love and are drawn to it. They do not need to see anything else. If God destroyed the world at the flood, those who know Him know He did this through love.
    When people say: “if God killed all those people this isn’t according to His character of love”, they are really saying: “because I can’t comprehend how God could kill people and still be a God of love I therefore reject it”.
    This is to think as a man.
    They are also saying: “if God killed those people, I accuse Him of murder”. The problem seems to be in the mind of the person, i.e. “to kill is to murder”. Then when God commanded the elders to slay murderers in the camp, God became a murderer?
    Some say we need to believe that God doesn’t destroy so that we won’t destroy. But God’s character of love through turning the other cheek, going the second mile, etc. is evident enough in Christ.
    It is true that sin is a destroyer, but where there is no law there is no sin. So which kills, sin or the law? Sin can’t kill without the law, but then the law can’t convict without sin. To transgress the law is to sin, and the law condemns the sinner to death. That law is the Ten Commandments, is a good law, and is a transcript of God’s character.
    The antediluvians were offered God’s protection no less than Noah and his family, but they rejected it. For 120 years they were warned of what God will do to the world. God then commanded the elements to destroy the world, and those who had rejected God died also. God didn’t specifically aim His elements at the wicked. His purpose was to cleanse the world of evil.
    “What is an NVP?” An NVP is a non-vital point.

  13. I’m neither a Seventh Day Adventist nor a member of that church founded by Fred Wright, nor even a professed Christian. But after reading some of these comments in this long forum, I find that the author of this review, Daniel, seems so defensive and closed-minded towards others’ opinions. Could Daniel have misinterpreted and misunderstood the real point which Fred Wright was intending to bring out? I think the entire point of Fred Wright may have been that: God is the giver and originator of Life, NOT Death, and God’s character is benevolent, NOT destructive. All the “killing” acts which He does are done in mercy, to save as many as are possible to be saved. The wicked who would destroy others and who would pollute creation, perish due to His mercy and wisdom, NOT because He is a destroyer in character. The point Fred Wright may have been making may not have been as simplistic as God never participating in the action of killing. But rather, that God’s character is not that of a destroyer, but that of a life-giver. All destruction originates in deviation from God’s will, and if His will had never been defied, there would never have been death and destruction to begin with. I think Fred Wright’s writings may have been grossly misunderstood. Just like Ellen White’s writings are grossly misunderstood and misquoted by non-Seventh Day Adventists. Just like the Bible itself is grossly misunderstood, misinterpreted and misquoted by atheists, agnostics, antagonists, etc. The spirit by which you enter into a reading of any Bible or SOP materials, will determine the guide by your side.

  14. Hello puppy,
    Thank you for your input.
    .
    This is what is written in Fred Wright’s book:
    p.23 “… those who have made the fatal mistake will die, not because God will strike them down, but because they have placed themselves where life is impossible.”
    .
    This is the heart of the false doctrine of this book.
    .
    You are absolutely correct in pointing out that “All the “killing” acts which He does are done in mercy, to save as many as are possible to be saved”.
    .
    Just the fact that you say he does “killing acts” is directly opposed to what Fred Wright was saying.
    .
    Fred Wright taught a false gospel, a different God than that portrayed in the inspired words of God, so we must point out his errors to help save other people from eternal ruin 🙂

  15. Thanks Daniel. Hmmmm, but what if…. What if that sentence was actually true, but sadly misunderstood or taken out of context? Perhaps (and I’m only saying “perhaps” ‘cos I really don’t know what is true)…. But perhaps because God is Life, and the only way to continue partaking of Life is to obey and abide in God and in His will, thus deliberate deviation from God’s will inevitably precludes one from Life and therefore they reap Death. Perhaps God striking down anyone happens in this way – they withdraw from God, thus God withdraws from them. And since God is Life, Life is withdrawn from them and they die. Perhaps Fred Wright’s concept of “kill” throughout his book was not as simplistic as the meaning “to slay” or “to withdraw life” or “to put to death” or “to put to non-existence”. Perhaps Fred Wright means something broader than that definition in his so-called position that “God does not kill/ destroy”. Perhaps what he meant was that God does not “inflict evil or malicious destruction or destructive torment” upon someone. Just like the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” has a much broader meaning than our not taking the life of something else. It doesn’t say thou shalt not slay cattle or serpents, or thou shalt not slay in battle (I am not venturing on the controversial subject of bearing arms). My point is that the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” has a broader meaning than slaying (putting to physical death), it means thou shalt not damage people, afflict them, hate them, ruin them, torment them, etc. All of this is included in the “killing” mentioned in that commandment. So, perhaps Fred Wright was using that broad definition and saying that God does not do all these damaging, malicious, afflicting, tormenting actions. In line with that commandment which He expects us also to keep and to live by. However, God may slay, blot out from existence, or permit suffering, in His mercy, wisdom and omniscience. Yet this does not mean He “kills” by the definition of the “kill” used in that commandment. Maybe this controversy is due to a misunderstanding of communication (language expression and terminology definition). Maybe Fred Wright’s articulation of his position could have been rephrased to make his meaning clearer (if only he was still alive to clarify this).

  16. Your tone is very nice puppy 🙂
    .
    I like to give the benefit of the doubt too, as we are to be in harmony with people as much as we can. You can see where people’s doctrine is going by the fruit it produces. Fred Wright broke off from the SDA church, and started his own group. I’ve talked to people in that organization, i’ve discussed the teachings of Fred Wright with them. They all agree with the way i understand his writings – that God does not kill. No, Mr. Wright was not using that word in some super etheral sense that is above everybody’s head except his own. He clearly outlines in his book that he believes God cannot do anything after the fall of Satan that he did not do before the fall of Satan. That is a very false doctrine, one which leads to worship of a different God than the God fo the Bible.
    .
    We need to remember that the actual commandment is “Do not murder”, which is quite a different thing from “Do not kill”.
    .
    Have you read all of Fred Wright’s book mentioned here? Have you read the whole Bible? Have you read the 1858 Great Controversy book by Ellen White? This 1858gc book shows very succinctly and clearly that God will rain fire down from heaven on Satan and all the wicked at the end, and Satan “suffered long”.
    .
    Here are 2 paragraphs of the last chapter of that book:
    .
    Satan rushes into the midst, and tries to stir up the multitude to action. But fire from God out of heaven is rained upon them, and the great men, and the mighty men, and the noble, and poor and miserable men, are all consumed together. I saw that some were quickly destroyed, while others suffered longer. They were punished according to the deeds done in the body. Some were many days consuming, and just as long as there was a portion of them unconsumed, all the sense of suffering was there. Said the angel, The worm of life shall not die; their fire shall not be quenched as long as there is the least particle for it to prey upon.
    .
    But Satan and his angels suffered long. Satan not only bore the weight and punishment of his sins, but the sins of all the redeemed host had been placed upon him; and he must also suffer for the ruin of the souls which he had caused. Then I saw that Satan, and all the wicked host, were consumed, and the justice of God was satisfied; and all the angelic host, and all the redeemed saints, with a loud voice said, Amen!

  17. Thanks Daniel. I like your point that the actual commandment is “Do not murder”, which is different from “Do not kill”. That’s it. So maybe Fred Wright was trying to say that “God does not murder” rather than “God does not kill”.

    I agree with most of the points you made except that I’m unsure about the stand which says: Fred Wright teaches “a very false doctrine, one which leads to worship of a different God than the God of the Bible”. I don’t have confidence in the conclusion that Wright taught a different gospel or a different character of God compared to Scripture. But I’m not saying this conclusion is wrong either, in fact I don’t dare to take a stand on either side of the argument. In fact I still don’t know what to believe about God’s character, or whether to join Seventh Day Adventism or to search elsewhere for the true God and true salvation.

    I have not read the whole Bible or much of Ellen White’s writings, but I know that throughout Christiandom and Seventh Day Adventism, many well-read people who have read all of these, are at loggerheads over many pivotal doctrines, and accuse one another of teaching false doctrines because their doctrines differ. The reason why I am unsure about joining Seventh Day Adventism is because there is so much doctrinal disagreement with each side backing up their arguments with Ellen White’s writings and Bible quotes.

    I suppose, as a seeker, one has to always keep an open mind and be ready to search out everything without first concluding that it is false just because it differs from one’s current beliefs. The whole duty of man is to find the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, and to get truly converted the correct way. Justification is by God’s grace, through our faith, and not just any faith but “faith which worketh by love”. Perhaps the only way to have this “faith which worketh by love” is to know the loving God and His benevolent character. Otherwise one would not have that correct faith, but some other version of it which is not true faith at all (e.g., blind faith, blind denominational loyalty, compulsion which worketh by fear, fear which worketh by misconception, blind belief which worketh by ignorance, credit-seeking which worketh by self-righteousness, display which worketh by strife, etc). Perhaps the only thing which inspires “faith which worketh by love” is the correct understanding of God’s character which may perhaps include “God does not murder”.

    I have not read the 500-page Behold Your God, but I’ve read a much shorter article by Wright entitled “I Think as a Man”. I don’t see how it contradicts Scripture. In fact, this is the type of God I would not have trouble putting my faith in and loving. Hypothetically, if Wright teaches: “God does not kill therefore you can sin as much as you like and still be saved”, or “God does not kill therefore there is no such thing as judgment or destruction of the wicked, sin does not lead to death”, or “God does not kill therefore you will not die as your soul is immortal”, then these are gross heresies. But I don’t see how it is heresy if Wright says “God’s character is not that of a destroyer as He does not murder, therefore he offers you salvation. Turn ye, turn ye, for why shall you die?”.

    Perhaps all Wright was trying to do was to paint the offer of salvation in these terms: “Ye have sinned and are under the curse of death brought by your own sin. But God wants to be your Saviour and not your condemning destroyer. Therefore turn ye, that ye may live”. Rather than the common notion of the vindictive wrathful God: “God says repent and obey His commandments, otherwise He will destroy you with fire and brimstone where you weep and gnash your teeth”.

    I will get this “Behold Your God” and read it for myself. In so doing, I’m trying to find Jesus Christ, NOT Fred Wright, not Ellen White, not Apostle Paul or Apostle John, not Seventh Day Adventism or whatever-ism, but the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent. May God help me.

  18. Hello puppy,
    Your comment here is one of the most touching of the 1,000+ i’ve ever had on this blog.
    .
    You are exactly correct in stating that there is “much doctrinal disagreement” among Christians and Seventh-day Adventists with each side backing up their arguments with inspired quotes. That is so unfortunate, but we must remember that Satan himself quoted God when tempting Eve and when tempting Jesus. We can know God’s words forwards and backwards, but if we have not the love of the truth in us, applying the words to ourselves, Satan just laughs, knowing that we are his more useful idiots than if we never professed Christianity. We must have the Holy Spirit to rightly understand and apply the words of God.
    .
    Yes, we must have an open mind. For example, i’ve been a SDA all my life, and always believed the Law of Moses was done away with at the cross, but just last year i researched the subject again, and was amazed to find out that the Statutes of the Lord are still binding on us today! That has been a real revelation for me, and has made me abhorrent to some of my former friends. But i want to follow the Lamb wherever he leads, even thru the valley of the shadow of death 🙂
    .
    You write several examples of what, if Fred Wright teaches, would be gross heresies. “God does not kill therefore there is no such thing as judgment or destruction of the wicked, sin does not lead to death” This is getting pretty close to what he does teach. He says God does not mete out punishment on the wicked, they just kind of implode on themselves.
    .
    It is a mystery to me why you wish to defend Fred Wright so much, but now i understand you read a short article by him which you agreed with, so you believe he is probably correct in his “Behold your God” book. I’ve pointed out some obvious errors in the book in this blog post, but yes, i encourage to read for yourself to know what is truth and what is not.
    .
    However, i highly recommend that you become more firmly grounded in the truth before you study that book. First, read the WHOLE Bible. That would include the parts where God judges the world and people by destroying them when necessary. Then, read the 1858 edition of The Great Controversy by Ellen White. That book is the 2nd most important book in the whole world, and being much smaller than the Bible, can be digested much more easily. It is at my web site:
    http://www.earlysda.com
    .
    The worst doctrinal error to enter the SDA church in my lifetime is the doctrine of “unconditional love”. The end result of that doctrine is universalism. Fred Wright has not quite gone that far, but he is just one step away by saying that God does not punish, God does not destroy, God does not kill.
    .
    May the Holy Spirit be with you to guide you into all truth 🙂

  19. Thanks Daniel. I wish I had quicker reading ability to read the whole bible and all SOP writings to get my beliefs straightened out before my probation closes, but I’m still travelling at snail’s pace. Thus my priorities are to first get my salvation (the issue of conversion) worked out. Whatever which may lead me to true salvation (true conversion of my character), I will definitely try, whether it be the gospel preached by the SDA mainstream church, the SDA reformed church, or the SDA independent offshoots. I have tried the Protestant gospel, both conservative evangelical versions and the Pentecostal versions. None worked. I find myself still retaining my old sinful character. I tried the SDA mainstream church, and their doctrines seem pretty biblical, but as for the gospel itself, it didn’t work on me either.
    Yet I still find a ring of truth in the SOP writings. So now I’m checking out the SDA offshoots. My priority is to find the right gospel which will work on me. The reason why I’m not closing the door on Fred Wright yet is this: I’ve been exposed a little to his doctrine of salvation. And it certainly does not say “God does not kill therefore there is no such thing as judgment or destruction of the wicked, sin does not lead to death”, nor anything close to that.
    In a nutshell, Wright says that we sinners have the Carnal Mind, subject to the Law of Sin, which acts like a taskmaster holding us in bondage to sin. The only way we can be set free from this bondage to sin is for this Carnal Mind, Sinful Nature (or whatever else we call it) to be completely crucified with Christ, completely put to death, and be completely replaced with the New Nature, which is the Mind of Christ. Only God can do this for us but we have to completely surrender and invite Him to do it. When He does it, we are now forgiven our past sins, plus given a new nature which enables us now to live a completely sinless life. Fred Wright teaches that unless we have that new nature, and live the completely sinless life by the time our probation closes, we will not be able to enter God’s kingdom. Not one sin in our character must be found, when our cases are investigated. The Born Again experience is a complete replacement of our old nature with the new nature which only Christ can impart, with our consent. No way and nowhere does Wright teach unconditional salvation or universal acceptance with God.
    Due to my natural reticence, and the fact that I’ve only been acquainted with all this in April 2012, I have not run off to join Wright’s church neither have I done anything drastic to my spiritual life yet. But so far I have not found anything unbiblical in his teaching. Yes his teaching slightly differs from that taught by the offshoot congregation I’m currently attending without officially joining. But I cannot operate with the mentality that anything different is wrong. I have to try it myself to see if it works. I will try this way of salvation soon, but I will first check out other things just to be careful.
    My online searches brought me to the website of this church which I suppose Wright had founded. They have free PDF versions of many of their publications available for downloading. Perhaps you may like to check out their writings on the New Birth experience. Perhaps they may not be heretics after all. Their conversion-related doctrines are contained in these: “From Bondage to Freedom” and “Justified by Faith”. Online books download site: http://www.srac.de/index.php?l=en&page=literature&subpage=books&opt=search
    Yes God does promise that whoever seeks Him with the whole heart, will find Him. I will do this. I will seek the true God and the true Jesus, not seek Fred Wright, Ellen White, Wright-ism or White-ism. Yes I’m sure one day I will find true salvation, and won’t have to go around saying O wretched person that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death, for what I wish not to do I find myself doing, and what I wish to do I find myself not doing. God will be found by the true seeker. Take care.

  20. Fred Wright taught victory over all sin, which I agree with. His terminology can be misleading though. He taught complete eradication of the carnal mind at the new birth, such that it is instantaneously destroyed and doesn’t return. He called the carnal mind the slave master. What is the carnal mind? It is the mind that serves the flesh. Yet Wright conceded that the flesh must still be overcome, referring to old habits, practices, ideas and theories. But what if these are not overcome? Are they not then overcoming the sinner, and as such are the sinner’s master still? My point is, whatever overcomes us is our master, be it called the carnal mind, an old habit or anything else.

    Wright taught that we become exactly like Jesus when we’re born again, i.e. our inner nature is sinless but our flesh is mortal. But what Wright seems to have overlooked is the fact that sinners possess an inherent tendency to sin, referred to by EGW as “propensity to sin”. Jesus didn’t possess this, as He never had sin in Him. The new birth doesn’t make the sinner as Jesus was (sinless nature in mortal flesh), nor as Adam before the fall (sinless nature in immortal flesh), nor Adam after the fall (sinful nature as a master in mortal flesh), but as Adam after his new birth (subdued sinful nature in mortal flesh). A Christian is free from sin’s “dominion”, not from sin itself. The solution isn’t to eradicate the presence of sin, for sin is inherently joined to us, but to deny it of its dominion. This can only be done through abiding in Christ. EGW often refers to the terms carnal mind, carnal nature etc. when speaking of converted Christians. Wright had a tendency to take things too far. But this subject is for another thread.

  21. Coming back to the idea that God doesn’t destroy, it is clear that Wright taught that God has no involvement in destruction – yet He apparently allows His elements to do it for Him, as though He has no control over them! Then who is controlling them? The elements are under fixed laws, which in turn are under God’s control. Turning water to blood involved creative power, not the withdrawing of creative power. In fact, the existence of any element involves creative power.

    Wright’s concept of God’s character was correct in the sense that God isn’t a tyrant who threatens to kill anyone who disobeys Him but instead seeks to save, turns the other cheek, and lays down His life for sinners. However, Wright took it too far, in my opinion. But I would suggest, as a means for testing the validity of a doctrine, look at its fruits. What did Wright teach after his “God doesn’t destroy” doctrine, and what were or are the fruits in the SRA church?

    Wright’s belief that God never destroys but leaves the sinner to his own fate resulted in serious evils in church members in Wright’s local church remaining unrebuked for many years, until God finally withdrew from the church entirely by permitting the church property to be taken from Wright in 1993. This state of things was the direct result of taking the message of “God doesn’t destroy” too far. It was also the result of Wright’s “Sabbath Rest” doctrine, whereby God alone, not man, removes members from His church. Wright did not preach one word on the subject of sin in the church.

    But perhaps the fruit that demands the most attention is what took place in 1989 when Wright proclaimed himself the only messenger to the church, on the basis that God only works through one messenger on earth, just like He only works through one messenger (Christ) in heaven. This doctrine is still upheld today in the SRA church. But you won’t find it on their website, or on their Wikipedia page. This doctrine caused no small division in the church in 1989 and 1990, where upon those who rejected it were cut off from fellowship.

    Now, I ask you, if all the light came through Wright, why didn’t he preach a word on unrebuked sin in God’s church and how to deal with it? Unrebuked sin was in Wright’s local church in 1989 when he brought his one-person-messenger doctrine, and remained there until the church was taken away from him in 1993!

    “By their fruits ye shall know them”.

  22. Hi Rob, thanks so much for all that information. Where can I go to find out more about all this? And where can I find the most balanced doctrines which capture the correct way to salvation yet which does not go too far? Are there any thumbrules to use when evaluating what is balanced and what goes too far? Sorry, I’m just a newbie. And yeah I’m scared of ending up in a cult. Yet the lukewarm gospel in many mainstream SDA churches doesn’t seem to do its job.

  23. Rob, Your writing is much better than mine in explaining things – thank you.
    .
    I especially agree with: “Wright’s concept of God’s character was correct in the sense that God isn’t a tyrant who threatens to kill anyone who disobeys Him but instead seeks to save, turns the other cheek, and lays down His life for sinners.”
    .
    This is where i often fail in my explanations. From a very young age it has been super obvious to me that God loves us very much. I mean, look around. Right now i’m looking at a gorgeous blue sky, green trees with a few white cherry blossoms thrown in, and people of various sizes and genders and abilities. It is marvelous – the one who makes galaxies as if they were a spot of sand on a beach also careful enough to make all the tiniest atoms spin and attract and repulse or whatever they do – it is all too wonderful for me. Of course the greatest expression of his love was to give his Son – Jesus – to die for our sins. That was hard for him!! But the idea that he doesn’t love? That idea has never been part of me, and frankly, i can’t imagine why anyone would think so, but i do know many do, even some of my own siblings…
    .
    So thank you for explaining that well 🙂
    .
    Regarding “However, Wright took it too far, in my opinion”, to me, you are much too gracious. Wright’s doctrine has ruined quite a few people (probably a few thousand), which makes me angry. These are people who Jesus died for too, and yet, if they choose to believe a different God than the one depicted in the Bible, they will die in the Lake of Fire. And for what? Because some man twisted inspired words to come up with a theory that tickles peoples’ ears.
    .
    Your remark to puppy to look at the fruits is spot-on, exactly the same advice as Jesus gave.
    .
    puppy, i feel for you, as i don’t feel at home in the mainstream SDA churches either, but Ezekiel 9 and Revelation 3 have kept me in the church. Please forgive me if i sound combative, it is just that i’m angry that some friends/acquaintances of mine have left God’s remnant church over Fred Wright’s teachings, and are walking in the sparks of their own kindling. I’ve been studying about “God doesn’t kill” for over 30 years, and know the end result of that doctrine is not peace and love in Christ, but schism and infighting with everyone who doesn’t believe exactly the same way. Two years ago Pastor John Nixon of the Collegedale, TN church gave a sermon on “The Wrath of the Lamb” (maybe still available on the net), and got fired for it. Some nice “love” action going on there, eh?
    .
    Anyway, let’s keep our eyes on Jesus. He is the standard, the Way, the Truth, and the Life 🙂

  24. Thanks Daniel. No worries at all, there’s no offense about the combativeness. I totally see where you are coming from now. Yeah I suppose now after hearing all this I concede that Wright’s teachings may not be that worth pursuing after all. Yeah the safest path is the straight and narrow. And in seeking salvation, to go back to the Bible itself, and to read Steps to Christ, Desire of Ages, Great Controversy and the like.

    Yes I agree that looking at fruits is one of the best methods, but knowledge about the fruits of a particular teaching is not that easily accessible. Unless one is exposed to insider information concerning a church or a person, or happens to come in contact with people who could impart such knowledge, the dark secrets of a person, church, or movement, are very elusive. All one has is the internet, and such dark things are not often broadcast up there, except in blogs perhaps.

    So apart from looking at fruits, are there certain tests one could apply to the doctrines themselves which come their way? For example, thumbrules like: Every spirit which denies that Jesus is the Christ, is not of God. Or every spirit which denies that Jesus is the son of God, is not of God. Or every spirit which denies that Christ came in the flesh, is not of God (I’m yet to fully understand what this “came in the flesh” actually means ‘cos there are various differing explanations floating around, whether it means Sinful Flesh, or Fallen Weakened Flesh, or Divine nature in physical flesh). And perhaps the doctrine of the Nicolaitians which says that one can go about sinning till Christ comes back and still be saved, is not of God. I wonder if there are other tests.

    Anyway, thanks a lot for all the help. Will go and stick faithfully to the straight and narrow rather than mess around with controversial topics in controversial books written by controversial people who founded controversial movements. Take care, and God bless.

  25. Hi puppy, sorry for not replying sooner.

    “Where can I go to find out more about all this?” I think you answered this in your next post, i.e. churches tend to be very elusive when it comes to talking about their shortcomings, so it would be pointless discussing any such things with the Sabbath Rest Advent Church. To be fair to the SRA church, they now call sin by its right name, so I’m told. Whether they have repented for the “sins of their fathers” I’m not sure. Such repentance would have to come as a message through their unofficial prophet, Andreas Dura.

    “Are there any thumb rules to use when evaluating what is balanced and what goes too far?” Yes. 1. If the minister preaching a message is in sin or there is unrebuked sin in his church, reject it; there’s no light in it. 2. If a church judges a member in any way other than Matthew 18:15-20, Christ isn’t in them. Finally, you can never go wrong if you stick to the writings of Ellen White.

    I haven’t fellowshipped in an organised church since I left the SRA church in 1997. Like you, I found the SDA to be lukewarm. My personal opinion is God led me into the SRA church, but the church members turned away from God to a man. God will not lead me to another church until the SRA church rejects Him completely. This is how God always works. God blessed Fred Wright with much light. But like Jones and Waggoner, Wright exhibited doctrinal and human errors that needed to be curbed. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a living prophet to speak the final word on these matters. But as I mentioned in an earlier post, Wright’s fruits revealed the incompleteness of some, not all, of his doctrines.

    I emphasise “some”, as Wright wrote many solid books and tracts. In fact, I’m reading a book of his now entitled “The Seven Angels”. This book is solid, as it deals with the experiences of the early SDA church. The books I would be careful of are: From Bondage to Freedom – a clear and powerful presentation of the true gospel but with a unique use of the term “carnal mind”. If you can remind yourself that Wright’s use of that term is to stress and clarify that the new birth isn’t a modification or improvement of the old mind but a new mind altogether, then this book is fine. However, Ellen White makes this point plain enough without having to resort to an extreme usage of the term carnal mind. Behold Your God – I refer you to the excellent posts by Daniel and others on this thread. Entering into God’s Sabbath Rest – this book is mostly correct, but tends towards a fanatical denial of human planning under God’s guidance. But if used wisely, this book can be of great benefit. The Living and the Dead – this booklet is in the same vein as From Bondage to Freedom in that in his effort to explain the mystery of God in the flesh, his use of the term “seeds” can be confusing. Best I think to leave this mystery alone. Gospel Order 1989 – to my knowledge this isn’t available as a book but exists in periodicals through the church’s monthly magazine, called the Messenger and News Review. It’s a complete reversal of the 1972 Divine Order series of cassettes, which were ordered destroyed in the early 1990s. GO 1989 contains many solid truths, but steer clear of the Primary Order doctrine, as it teaches that God works through one man only.

    I haven’t read anything by Andreas Dura.

    I wish you well in your search for the truth; but I think you’ve already found it. Please keep us informed as to your experiences. If you’d like personal contact, I can leave my email address with Daniel. God Bless.

  26. Hi Rob, thanks so much for sharing these guidelines. So, correct me if I’m wrong, but my reading of your stance is this: Fred Wright was originally correct and the original light he received was from God, and his original writings on salvation were in fact correct. However the church he founded, plus himself, later put their trust in the arm of flesh rather than in God, and all went awry from there onwards. So the books he published, especially the earlier works, do contain safe truths and can be safely read and trusted. In other words, let us not throw the baby out with the bathwater by denouncing all Wright’s works and rejecting the salvation which Wright wrote about as a false gospel. However, due to the later deviations from straight Truth, it’s quite dangerous to read Wright’s writings unless one is already firmly grounded in sound doctrine. Thus his writings are not safe to recommend to newbies. Yeah?

    Wow it’s so good to get insider information. You mentioned: “My personal opinion is God led me into the SRA church, but the church members turned away from God to a man. God will not lead me to another church until the SRA church rejects Him completely.”
    So does this mean that the SRA church was indeed the place with most Present Truth, if not for their later deviation? And if they turn back to God, does this mean you’d go back to them? And if they don’t repent, does this mean God would raise up other churches to take their place? These have to be offshoots, I suppose, or “independent ministries”. I know a couple of good ones, but don’t know enough to say for sure. I have many curious questions about what actually went on in the SRA church and what led you to leave. But if this is outside the scope of this blog thread, or if these are not good to post in public, then here’s my email address, free to all: littlepuppy@y7mail.com

    May all of us be kept by His grace in the straight and narrow pathway. Take care. Thanks again.

  27. Hi puppy. I’ve been busy lately but will endeavour to answer your very astute observations. I’ll keep it concise, though, as I don’t want to detract from the original discussion of Behold Your God.

    “So, correct me if I’m wrong, but my reading of your stance is this: Fred Wright was originally correct and the original light he received was from God, and his original writings on salvation were in fact correct.” I believe Wright’s presentations on the gospel are clear and accurate, although I feel the term “eradication of the carnal mind” requires further investigation. But this requires a new thread for further discussion.

    “However the church he founded, plus himself, later put their trust in the arm of flesh rather than in God, and all went awry from there onwards.” Wright’s 1989 doctrine called the Primary Order is, I believe, an erroneous teaching, as it placed Wright on a level with a prophet. Again, this requires a new thread for further discussion.

    “So the books he published, especially the earlier works, do contain safe truths and can be safely read and trusted. In other words, let us not throw the baby out with the bathwater by denouncing all Wright’s works and rejecting the salvation which Wright wrote about as a false gospel.” I would trust Wright’s presentations on the gospel, but investigate the term “eradication of the carnal mind” further. Wright’s belief that God never destroys also demands further investigation.

    “However, due to the later deviations from straight Truth, it’s quite dangerous to read Wright’s writings unless one is already firmly grounded in sound doctrine.” No. The only alarming doctrine is the Primary Order, but that isn’t available to the public, as far as I’m aware. Whether or not God destroys is a non-vital point, in my opinion. What’s more important is God is love. However, in my opinion Wright’s position that God never destroys led to the SRA church adopting a “leave it with God” policy towards open sin, a policy which led to the loss of the Palmwoods, Australia church (1993), the very centre of the work at the time. This logic is as follows: God never destroys but leaves the sinner to his own choices; therefore we the church must leave open sinners to their own choices; we will not interfere.

    “Thus his writings are not safe to recommend to newbies.” I would advise a newbie to become acquainted with the writings of Ellen White first.

    “So does this mean that the SRA church was indeed the place with most Present Truth, if not for their later deviation?” I’ve never been with any other church than the SRA church, so I can’t answer that. But they did have much truth prior to 1989, apart from those question marks I’ve raised on this thread. Since then they’ve had to rely on one man. I don’t believe this is God’s ideal for His church, unless that person is a prophet.

    “And if they turn back to God, does this mean you’d go back to them?” My fellowship is with Christ, and I would certainly welcome them back if they returned to Him.

    “And if they don’t repent, does this mean God would raise up other churches to take their place?” No. God already has His church scattered throughout all the churches. Those who don’t repent will fall by the wayside, and God’s faithful will march on and finish the work.

    “I have many curious questions about what actually went on in the SRA church and what led you to leave.” I’ll get back to you privately on this point.

    I hope I’ve clarified a few things. I don’t want to hijack this thread, as I was really enjoying reading all the comments from everyone regarding Behold Your God. Perhaps another thread should be started.

    Take care, puppy.

  28. Hi Daniel. I appreciate your comments. I intend replying to your post soon. I prefer to pray and meditate on subjects before I answer.

    Talk to you soon.

  29. Thanks heaps Rob. Much appreciated. And thanks Daniel as well. Was great talking with all of you. All the best, gentlemen.

  30. Hi Daniel,

    I understand your concerns regarding people becoming fanatical over doctrines such as “God doesn’t destroy”, by separating from you if you don’t agree with them. To me that’s the very sign that they don’t have the Spirit of Christ in them. I know, as I was once like this, as ashamed I am to admit it. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for separation when people’s beliefs are so different that attempting to fellowship together is impossible. But Ellen White advises that those who are in the third angel’s message should put aside non-vital points and unite on the main points, such as justification by faith, the nature of Christ, the sanctuary, to name a few. Even the Sabbath shouldn’t be made prominent as it’s a stumbling block to many people. Diet, dress code etc. should also be kept in the background.

    I also sympathize with you regarding those friends of yours who left your church for the SRA church. All I can say is I hope they test everything by the sure word of prophecy. Since leaving the SRA church I’ve learned to do this myself. But this isn’t easy to do in the SRA church, as they have already established that all the light will come through one man and to question him is to question God. They really do have Andreas Dura in the position of a prophet. Yet the SRA church acknowledges A.T. Jones as being a primary messenger, like Dura, and Ellen White had to correct him from time to time, both for doctrinal errors and presentation errors. She also corrected E.J. Waggoner a couple of times. Then doesn’t this mean primary messengers who aren’t prophets are liable to preach errors? Assuredly! So, to put such a person in the place of a prophet is indeed dangerous.

    Coming back to the original message of this thread, I don’t think God will banish from heaven anyone who while on this earth believed He was a destroyer, so long as they believed He is love and love motivates all His actions. Christ revealed God’s character, and He made no issue over whether or not God is a destroyer.

    Take care.

  31. Mostly agreed Rob about separation. We must give the straight truth, but it must be done in love, and not in our own self-righteous, prideful way. The Sabbath is the 3rd Angel’s Message, so must be proclaimed loudly. There are many side-issues tho, that, while not to be overlooked (like the mint and rue), are not so vital, and definitely not to be made a testing issue.
    .
    In my lifetime, the most pernicious error to infiltrate the Seventh-day Adventist church is the doctrine of “unconditional love”. Many people base this on the text that “God is love”. That is great, that is wonderful, and that is true. However, “God is love” does not mean “God is only love”. In fact, it says that “our God is a consuming fire”. Now how many sermons has anyone alive today heard on God’s “unconditional fire”?! That was close to what many preachers taught around 150 years ago. Satan has gotten them now to swing entirely the other way, so now God is made to be a giant marshmallow – even if you keep poking him, he just sits there and does nothing.
    .
    One reason this doctrine of Fred Wright’s about “God does not destroy” look so dangerous to me, is that it leads directly to universalism (everyone will be saved). That has been prophesied in the 1858 Great Controversy book as being one of the errors taught by the false ministers of Christ in the last days to soothe the fears of their people. It is a doctrine that will destroy many souls, so i wish to raise my voice against it, and help all who will to not fall for the dangerous doctrine of “unconditional love”, or for “God does not destroy”.
    .
    If you would like me to start a new post on something so you can comment on it, i would be happy to do that. Just let me know. I’m very happy to have met you on this web site 🙂

  32. As seen in the most recent issue of Adventist Review magazine, in an article about icons in ancient cultures:
    .
    A good case study may be found in the image of God’s outstretched arm that is used mostly in reference to the Exodus from Egypt.2 Texts such as Deuteronomy 4:34 and others usually associate God’s outstretched arm with negative acts of judgment. This is a highly intentional gesture that appears to refer to God’s active involvement in judgment. The violent arm of God is not exactly a comfortable image of God, and we often shrink from the idea that God is directly executing judgment, be it on the “bad ones” (like Egypt) or the “good ones” (like Judah in Jeremiah 21:5). We frequently rationalize this imagery as really referring to God merely withdrawing His protection, but the biblical text is quite direct and explicit in the description of the divine action, and an outstretched arm is generally an intentional gesture. By looking at some iconographic evidence from the ancient Near East, we are able to achieve a more complete understanding of Yahweh’s outstretched arm.

  33. ‘Behold your God’ has been very helpful in helping me to be attracted to God, rather than afraid of Him, or trying to earn His favor. Even if there are theological errors found, the Lord will use this mans experience and writings to help people just like me. I have read several chapters over and over again. Also, from what I have found, F.T. Wright was disfellowshipped for believing and teaching ‘righteousness by faith’ . I believe that God wants us to serve Him out of a love motive, rather than for hope of reward, or out of fear. This book has helped me so much, to take another look at Bible passages about God’s love for us, and His extreme efforts to save.

  34. Bruce, the truth has been shown you in this book review that what Fred Wright wrote in this book is from Satan.

    Satan can come in many pleasing forms. Just because it looks or sounds or seems beautiful doesn’t mean it is safe. In fact, that makes it the more dangerous.

    In love for your soul, I ask you to please turn from this deception, and return to Jesus Christ.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *