Arizona – The Character of God
There were two camps in America in 1974: one in Arkansas, and a large one in Arizona. The meetings were held in Prescott, in northern Arizona, from September 13 to 22. Fred wrote about this camp:
Only those who were actually there to witness it for themselves will ever know the wonderful way in which the meetings were blessed of the Lord. The first theme to be studied, as in Arkansas, was on the character of God. When I left Australia I had no intention particularly of presenting this theme, but in the meantime the light on it has grown so much the brighter, and the significance of it so much more apparent, that it is evident that this is the meat in due season which the Lord has brought to His people at this very time and for this very time…
The studies began with the presentation of the truth that the last work of the people of the Lord is to bring such a revelation of the glory–the character of God–that the whole earth shall be lightened with that revelation.
As the studies progressed it was made very clear that the character of God is as One who renders only good for evil. These studies resulted in a deep and solemn responsibility resting upon the hearts of all present.
….As I think back on this camp meeting it is the truth to say that I cannot find words to convey just what those meetings were like and what they did for us as a people. We can say with the deepest joy and confidence that the Lord is at work to prepare a people for the last and finishing work and that that work will soon end.
This camp was one of the first public presentations of the theme on God’s character, which would eventually be written up into the book, Behold Your God. The first appearance of this theme in the Messenger magazine, was May 1973, in a series entitled, “Does God Destroy?”. It continued monthly in twelve parts, until May 1974.
- In Study 6 above (from 17:50 on), Fred relates a history as to how the character of God message developed, which is of great interest. I have transcribed it, and you can download it below.
- In a News Review of August 1974, just prior to this camp, Fred explained how the message on God’s character was received by the church, and how the difficult questions were answered. That also can be downloaded below.
Does God Destroy? – editorial (Aug. 1974 – News Review): PDF or ODT.
Arizona – Divine Order
These studies were given during the second half of the camp in Prescott, Arizona, from Tuesday to Thursday, September 17th to 19th, 1974. Although Fred’s report of the camp (see above) does not mention this theme, it was covered nonetheless. (Please note that the first two studies, and the last one, are not part of the Divine Order series. The ones involved are clearly marked with the words: “Divine Order”).
The occasion for this series of studies was a crisis that took place in the work in Australia.
Back in 1966, the church had become established on the principle that divine appointment, and not human election, is the proper principle to guide the filling of positions in the work of the church. This history is covered in the last two chapters of the book, A Brief History of the Early Years, and in studies 16 to 19 in the 1969 California audio series.
But in 1974, another challenge was raised to this system of organization, which called forth a deeper presentation of the principles of Divine organization.
Note: There are a few studies missing from this collection, which will be included in the forthcoming PDF transcription.
- In Study 3 above (the first study on Divine Order), Fred makes reference to some reports in the News Review of the events in Australia. I have included the two reports below, from the News Review of June and July 1974.