“Behold Your God” by Fred Wright (1979)
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.