Ribbon of Blue

By Peter D Lausevic, Audio: http://listentosermons.org/sermons.php?Series=Reformation%20Series%20I

Introduction

Our God is a God of love and never on any occasion does he tell us to do something that is not for our own benefit.Sometimes if we would only see the end from the beginning, we would really begin to understand the reasons for what God asks of us. We would begin to say praise the Lord for the rules he has laid down for our living.

2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

This verse talks about we as being the temple of the living God. God says ‘I will dwell in them.’ God wants to live with us. God wants to live in our temple. How long does God want to live in our temple?

Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

What a wonderful picture of the holy city coming down to this earth and the tabernacle dwelling with us. God wants to live with us throughout all eternity.

Come Out From Among Them

Since God wants to live with us, what does he want to do with this temple we are carrying with us?

2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

God wants us to be separate from anything that is unclean. Only under these conditions can he live with us. Only when we are separate from the unclean things of this world can he dwell with us. We are not his children until we fulfil the conditions. We may say, I am a child of God. It says, I will be a father unto you. But when? Only when we separate. First there is separation in order for this to happen.

Christ’s followers are required to come out from the world, and be separate, and touch not the unclean, and they have the promise of being the sons and daughters of the Most High, members of the royal family. But if the conditions are not complied with on their part, they will not, cannot, realize the fulfillment of the promise. A profession of Christianity is nothing in the sight of God; but true, humble, willing obedience to His requirements designates the children of His adoption, the recipients of His grace, the partakers of His great salvation. Such will be peculiar, a spectacle unto the world, to angels, and to men. Their peculiar, holy character will be discernible, and will distinctly separate them from the world, from its affections and lust. {2T 441.1}

You want to be a child of the king? You want to be a member of the family of God? There is a requirement here.  We have been eagerly waiting for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We have been eagerly waiting for the time of the latter rain to pour upon us. We want to go home to the land that God has promised to our forefathers. What is the condition of which the latter rain will come upon us. What is the condition that will give us that power? The Early Christians Let us look at an example;

The early Christians were indeed a peculiar people. Their blameless deportment and unswerving faith were a continual reproof that disturbed the sinner’s peace. Though few in numbers, without wealth, position, or honorary titles, they were a terror to evildoers wherever their character and doctrines were known. Therefore they were hated by the wicked, even as Abel was hated by the ungodly Cain. GC page 46.

Where ever their character and doctrines were known, they were a terror to evil doers. It was not character alone. It was doctrine also. Character is a result of pure doctrine. First comes a knowledge of the pure doctrine, and then comes a character. Unless you and I have this experience of doctrine coupled together with a pure character, we will not be a terror to anyone. We will not be able to share the gospel to the whole world with effectiveness. The early Christian church had it. If we want to experience the latter rain, we need to have this same experience. When we talk about separation, what type of question should we have in regard to separation?

Let the fashion change, and convenience would no longer be mentioned. It is the duty of every child of God to inquire: Wherein am I separate from the world? Let us suffer a little inconvenience, and be on the safe side. What crosses do God’s people bear? They mingle with the world, partake of their spirit, dress, talk, and act like them. {1T 277.1}

We have some examples of Jesus where we should be thinking for ourselves;

Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

It is impossible to have the world in one hand and God in the other hand. You cannot have the best of both worlds. Either you have God, or you do not have him at all.

Matthew 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

These three things are what the world is fully preoccupied with. They have no time for anything else.

Matthew 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

We find here it does not mean we do not care as the father takes care of us. It means we should not be preoccupied with these things.

In The Beginning

When we talk about dress reform to understand the principles, the best place to go back to is the beginning. In the creation, everything was created perfect. If we ever want to look at a model of perfection in this world, that is where we look back at. Ever since the garden of Eden, we have experienced a fall of morality. What was dress reform like in the garden of Eden? How did God create Adam and Eve?

Genesis 1:27. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

In the very beginning when our heavenly father created man, he created it in his own image. What is Gods image like in regard to dress? Because obviously he has an image. We are in the same likeness as God. What does God our heavenly father wear?

Psalm 104:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. 2 Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:

What does God wear? He is clothed with honour, majesty, he covers himself with light as a garment. If our first parents were created in the image of God, they also must have been created with honour, majesty and light.

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

They had dominion therefore they had majesty, they therefore had light. When often we see pictures of Adam and Eve, we often see them walking around naked with nothing on. When were they naked?

Genesis 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

They now saw they were naked. They lost something. Something was lost between Adam and Eve.

Genesis 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.  – They were not naked here Genesis 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons

God instructed our first parents in regard to the tree of knowledge, and they were fully informed relative to the fall of Satan, and the danger of listening to his suggestions. He did not deprive them of the power of eating the forbidden fruit. He left them as free moral agents to believe his word, obey his commandments and live, or believe the tempter, disobey and perish. They both ate, and the great wisdom they obtained was the knowledge of sin, and a sense of guilt. The covering of light about them soon disappeared, and under a sense of guilt, and loss of their divine covering, a shivering seized them, and they tried to cover their exposed forms. SOP 1 p40.

In the beginning we were created in the image of God. Light was around our first parents. It was only when sin came in that they lost this covering. Take a look at what was really happening.

  • God created us in his image
  • Clothing of light
  • Sin entered

The Introduction of Nakedness

What happened when our first parents realised they were naked? What did they do and why did they do it?

Genesis 3:7. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

This was the introduction of mini-skirts and shorts. What was the problem? They were about to enter in to the presence of God. As they were about to meet in the direct presence of God they realised they were un-prepared as they were naked. They did the best that humans could do. They put on fig leaves, they made themselves aprons. God did come to meet them and what did he do? He gave them a precious promise. If God did not come to them there would have been no hope for them.

Genesis 3:14. And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

This is the first promise of the coming Messiah. Our first parents with fig leaves and all were pointed forward to the future redemption. They accepted Jesus as their personal saviour. All they had on was their fig leaves. That was their only hope. Once they accepted Christ as their personal saviour.

Look at what happened;

The plan of redemption was revealed Accepted Christ while they were wearing the fig leaves.  It was while they had their fig leaves on that they gave their heart to Jesus. What happened as soon as they did this?

Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

What did God do? He gave them a coat of skins. How do you end up with coats of skins. You don’t shave the animal, you have to kill to obtain this. A death had taken place. When they accepted Christ, they had to see there was a death. An animal had to die. This animal was a representation of the plan of redemption.

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

The Death of a Lamb This coat of skins was a lamb. As this lamb was killed, as they put faith in Jesus Christ, they received something very important. They received a change of clothing. A Change in Clothing Sin came and there was a change directly in their dress. In the very beginning God gave them a certain type of clothing. As soon as they accepted the plan of redemption, there was a change. People say it doesn’t matter what you wear, it matters what is in the heart. We look at the creation, what was on the inside showed on the outside. What type of change is going to happen to you? Do you want to have this type of experience? It is time we experienced the plan of redemption.

Much unhappy feeling was created by those who were constantly urging the reform dress upon their sisters. With extremists, this reform seemed to constitute the sum and substance of their religion. It was the theme of conversation and the burden of their hearts; and their minds were thus diverted from God and the truth. They failed to cherish the spirit of Christ and manifested a great lack of true courtesy. Instead of prizing the dress for its real advantages, they seemed to be proud of its singularity. Perhaps no question has ever come up among us which has caused such development of character as has the dress reform. {4T 636.3}

What happened to our first parents when they experienced that change? They lost their light, they came before God and what happened? They realised they came before him in their own righteousness. What did they bring with them? Fig leaves. Any type of dress reform which is not accompanied with the plan of redemption is nothing more than fig leaves. True dress reform comes only as a result of accepting Christ as our personal saviour.

I saw that the outside appearance is an index to the heart. When the exterior is hung with ribbons, collars, and needless things, it plainly shows that the love for all this is in the heart; unless such persons are cleansed from their corruption, they can never see God, for only the pure in heart will see Him.  {1T 135.2}

If you want to know what’s in the heart, see the outside appearance. You may say, it’s in my heart that counts but you’re showing all kinds of signs by the outside.

Identification

Why does God give us dress reform?

I saw that the axe must be laid at the root of the tree. Such pride should not be suffered in the church. It is these things that separate God from his people that shuts the Ark away from them. Israel has been asleep to the pride, and fashions, and conformity to the world, in their very midst. They advance every month in pride, covetousness, and selfishness, and love of the world. When the truth affects the heart, it will cause a death to the world, and the ribbons, laces and collars will be laid aside, and if dead, the laugh, the jeer, and scorn of unbelievers will not move them. {RH, January 13, 1863 par. 3}

The people are the ark of God. If we are allowing wrong principles of dress reform in the church, we show that the ark is being shut away from God people. If we are truly dead to the world, what the world says will not affect us. If you come to a man in a coffin, he is dead, you look around to make sure no one is watching you and you say, you are dead, I hate you, you look ugly. What is his response? His response is nothing. Why? Because he is dead. Are we dead to the world? Have we experienced this death? Then what the world thinks does not matter.

They will feel an anxious desire to be separate from the world, like their Master. They will not imitate its pride, fashions or customs. The noble object will be ever before them, to glorify God, and gain the immortal inheritance. This prospect will swallow up all besides of an earthly nature. God will have a separate and distinct people from the world. And if any have a desire to imitate the fashions of the world, that they do not immediately subdue, just so soon God ceases to acknowledge them as his children. They are the children of the world and darkness. They hanker after the leeks and onions of Egypt, want to be as much like the world as possible; and those who profess to have put on Christ, by thus doing put him off, and show that they are strangers to grace, strangers to the meek and lowly Jesus. If they had acquainted themselves with him, they would walk worthy of him. {RH, January 13, 1863 par. 3}

God is going to have a people that are separate.  If we have feelings to draw us towards the world, the fashions of the world and we do not immediately subdue them, then we are not children of God. If you are dressing contrary to the principles that are written in the word of God, then don’t tell me you’re still a Christian because God does not recognise you as one. You must experience the plan of redemption. You must see Jesus dying for you. The creator of the universe gave everything up to die on Calvary. He gave it all and we think we have something to sacrifice. It’s shameful to even think that it’s something to sacrifice. God gave dress reform to the children of Israel. Why was it given to them?  We were talking about statutes early. Some do not apply specifically but we look at the principle behind it.

Numbers 15:37 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 38Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: 39And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: 40That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. 41I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God.

Why was dress reform given? To them most of the people/nations about them were dressed appropriately in public. Then why did God tell them to wear a ribbon of blue? So when they would look upon it they would remember the commandments of the Lord. They would immediately remember.

Here God expressly commanded a very simple arrangement of dress for the children of Israel for the purpose of distinguishing them from the idolatrous nations around them. As they looked upon their peculiarity of dress, they were to remember that they were God’s commandment-keeping people, and that He had wrought in a miraculous manner to bring them from Egyptian bondage to serve Him, to be a holy people unto Him. They were not to serve their own desires, or to imitate the idolatrous nations around them, but to remain a distinct, separate people, that all who looked upon them might say: These are they whom God brought out of the land of Egypt, who keep the law of Ten Commandments. An Israelite was known to be such as soon as seen, for God through simple means distinguished him as His. {1T 524.1}

What was the purpose? The purpose of identification. To make them distinct from the nations around them. That he brought them from Egypt. That all may say these are they.  They were immediately identified because of the ribbon of blue.

Gods People Are To Be Identified By The Way They Dress

The order given by God to the children of Israel to place a ribbon of blue in their garments was to have no direct influence on their health, only as God would bless them by obedience, and the ribbon would keep in their memory the high claims of Jehovah and prevent them from mingling with other nations, uniting in their drunken feasts, and eating swine’s flesh and luxurious food detrimental to health. God would now have His people adopt the reform dress, not only to distinguish them from the world as His peculiar people, but because a reform in dress is essential to physical and mental health. 1T 524.2

Notice here the several reasons why we have the principles of dress reform. An Israelite was known to be one as soon as seen.

1. Identification

2. Physical well being

3. Mental Health

4. Spiritual

A reform in dress is essential to physical and mental health. God gave us dress reform for these three reasons today. This is our ribbon of blue. If we wear this ribbon of blue properly, it will promote physical and mental health. Are you interested?  In the classification with identification, we can also add the spiritual health.  If you want those points, you need to adopt dress reform. If you want to be a child of the king, then you need to understand the principles of dress reform. In all of this, there will be many people who will never understand the word of God, but they will read us.

2 Corinthians 3:2. Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:

People are reading the word of God, but not only the Scriptures, many times they never will but they will read you. What type of character are we showing to the world? What are we telling them about the kingdom of God.

Specifics in Dress

Let us look at some specifics. One question over the years is – how come every time we talk about dress reform we talk about women? Unfortunately today in this modern era, we will be talking about men soon too. The reason women traditionally have been addressed far more than men is because;

Pride and extravagance in dress are sins to which woman is especially prone; hence these injunctions relate directly to her. {CTBH 93.3}

Women are more especially prone to follow after fashion than men.

Modest Apparel

1 Timothy 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

In the first place we must have modest apparel. What is modesty? What happened when Adam and Eve sinned? The more they fell into sin, the more they fell into nakedness. Likewise today, those who tend to go further away from God, tend towards nakedness. This is why when it says modest apparel it means the opposite of going down into nakedness. It says with shame facedness – reserved or bashful. If we only understand what it means to be a little more reserved, we would understand this verse clearer.

A person’s character is judged by his style of dress. A refined taste, a cultivated mind, will be revealed in the choice of simple and appropriate attire. Chaste simplicity in dress, when united with modesty of demeanor, will go far toward surrounding a young woman with that atmosphere of sacred reserve which will be to her a shield from a thousand perils. {Ed 248.5}

Women are in great danger as society is plunging deeper and deeper into sin.

Chaste simplicity in dress, when united with modesty of demeanour, will go far toward surrounding a young woman with that atmosphere of sacred reserve which will be to her a shield from a thousand perils. {CG 417.3}

Around her is an atmosphere. What type of atmosphere are you putting around yourself? Sacred territory? Or are you opening the door to temptation by saying ‘come and see what you can get?’ It depends on the way you dress and your conduct. If we understood these verses properly and carried them out in our lives, we would rarely have to bring up the subject of dress reform.

1 Peter 3:3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 5For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

What was the root here? Adorning the hidden man. Adorning the character. If you have experienced true conversion, you will never waste your time with outward adorning.

At the same time the young should be taught to recognize the lesson of nature, He hath made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:11, R.V. In dress, as in all things else, it is our privilege to honor our Creator. He desires our clothing to be not only neat and healthful, but appropriate and becoming. {Ed 248.4}

Our God is the creator of beauty. Look at what God has created. Look at the mountains, trees, rocks. It’s so beautiful. Our God is a creator of beauty but natural beauty. Often times we see people covering up the natural beauty that God has given them, to do what? To make themselves sick and deadly. They are dying because of what they put on their skin. As we talk about the sacred reserve, it doesn’t mean we dress in rags.

My sister, bind your children to your heart by affection. Give them proper care and attention in all things. Furnish them with becoming garments, that they may not be mortified by their appearance, for this would be injurious to their self-respect. You have seen that the world is devoted to fashion and dress, neglecting the mind and morals to decorate the person; but in avoiding this evil you verge upon the opposite extreme, and do not pay sufficient attention to your own dress and that of your children. It is always right to be neat and to be clad appropriately in a manner becoming to your age and station in life. {4T 142.3}

The Glory of God

If we are truly are developing self respect on the inside, our clothing on the outside will be becoming. Tasteful.  It is appropriate the way we dress – according to our age. Those things are all important as we are representing Gods character. The question we need to ask ourselves according to dress is;

1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

The way I’m dressing, does it glorify God? Think about it. Sometimes I wonder if our sisters realise how they’re dressing. If I were to comment on what I saw, they may be shocked. They don’t realise they’re doing it.

3 John 2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

The question here is health. Is it healthy?

Proverbs 31:21 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:

Here the question from the verse, is it appropriate to the weather?

1. Does it glorify God?

2. Is it healthful?

3. Appropriate to the weather?

What does Satan do? Satan spends his time inventing things;

Many of our sisters are persons of good ability, and if their talents were used to the glory of God they would be successful in winning many souls to Christ. Will they not be responsible for the souls they might have saved had not extravagance in dress and the cares of this world so crippled and dwarfed their God-given powers that they felt no burden of the work? Satan invented the fashions in order to keep the minds of women so engrossed with the subject of dress that they could think of but little else. {4T 629.2}

Satan invents the fashions to keep the minds of the sisters engrossed with fashions.

The Temple of God

1 Corinthians 3:16,17. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

It is important to be clean. It is important to have clean clothing. If you look at the perience of the priesthood we see an example.

There should be no carelessness in dress. For Christ’s sake, whose witnesses we are, we should seek to make the best of our appearance. In the tabernacle service, God specified every detail concerning the garments of those who ministered before Him. Thus we are taught that He has a preference in regard to the dress of those who serve Him. Very specific were the directions given in regard to Aaron’s robes, for his dress was symbolic. So the dress of Christ’s followers should be symbolic. In all things we are to be representatives of Him. Our appearance in every respect should be characterized by neatness, modesty, and purity. But the Word of God gives no sanction to the making of changes in apparel merely for the sake of fashion,–that we may appear like the world. Christians are not to decorate the person with costly array or expensive ornaments. {Ev 268.3}

Aarons dress was symbolic. Our dress is to be symbolic also. In all things we are to be representatives of him. What about when we appear in the sanctuary before God? How should we come? It is a tragedy when I see people coming to church.

Many need instruction as to how they should appear in the assembly for worship on the Sabbath. They are not to enter the presence of God in the common clothing worn during the week. All should have a special Sabbath suit, to be worn when attending service in God’s house. While we should not conform to worldly fashions, we are not to be indifferent in regard to our outward appearance. We are to be neat and trim, though without adornment. The children of God should be pure within and without. {6T 355.2}

We should have special clothing for the house of God.

The American Costume

Here is another important biblical principle.

Deuteronomy 22:5. The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

We are not to wear the clothing of the opposite sex. This is a big issue today. The issue of women wearing pants. The fact is we are not to wear each other’s clothing.

I saw that God’s order has been reversed, and His special directions disregarded, by those who adopt the American costume. I was referred to Deuteronomy 22:5: The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.’ God would not have His people adopt the so-called reform dress. It is immodest apparel, wholly unfitted for the modest, humble followers of Christ. {1T 457.1}

This American costume is unfit for those who follow Jesus. What was the American costume?  There is an increasing tendency to have women in their dress and appearance. I don’t care what you wear, but God calls it an abomination so therefore I call it an abomination. What about the bible? The bible verse is very plain.

Those who feel called out to join the movement in favor of woman’s rights and the so-called dress reform might as well sever all connection with the third angel’s message. The spirit which attends the one cannot be in harmony with the other. The Scriptures are plain upon the relations and rights of men and women. Spiritualists have, to quite an extent, adopted this singular mode of dress. Seventh-day Adventists, who believe in the restoration of the gifts, are often branded as spiritualists. Let them adopt this costume, and their influence is dead. The people would place them on a level with spiritualists and would refuse to listen to them. {1T 457.3}

What Was This American Costume?

The above-described dress we believe to be worthy of the name of the reform short dress. It is being adopted at the Western Health Reform Institute and by some of the sisters at Battle Creek and other places where the matter is properly set before the people. In wide contrast with this modest dress is the so-called American costume, resembling very nearly the dress worn by men. It consists of a vest, pants, and a dress resembling a coat and reaching about halfway from the hip to the knee. This dress I have opposed, from what has been shown me as in harmony with the word of God; while the other I have recommended as modest, comfortable, convenient, and healthful. {1T 465.1}

The American costume very nearly resembled clothes worn by men. This dress was opposed. What about just pants? That would definitely be opposed.  When we talk about immodest apparel in 1 Timothy, 9 it talks about women wearing pants.

There is still another style of dress which is adopted by a class of so-called dress reformers. They imitate the opposite sex as nearly as possible. They wear the cap, pants, vest, coat, and boots, the last of which is the most sensible part of the costume. Those who adopt and advocate this style of dress carry the so-called dress reform to very objectionable lengths. Confusion will be the result. Some who adopt this costume may be correct in their general views upon the health question, but they would be instrumental in accomplishing vastly more good if they did not carry the matter of dress to such extremes. {1T 459.7}

What will happen? Women wearing pants is going to cause confusion.

Those who feel called out to join the movement in favor of woman’s rights and the so-called dress reform might as well sever all connection with the third angel’s message. The spirit which attends the one cannot be in harmony with the other. The Scriptures are plain upon the relations and rights of men and women. Spiritualists have, to quite an extent, adopted this singular mode of dress. Seventh-day Adventists, who believe in the restoration of the gifts, are often branded as spiritualists. Let them adopt this costume, and their influence is dead. The people would place them on a level with spiritualists and would refuse to listen to them. {1T 457.3}

People tell me when I wear pants I can do things I can’t do with a dress. That is the very problem. Change the activity.

Pants

There is another problem.

There is an increasing tendency to have women in their dress and appearance as near like the other sex as possible, and to fashion their dress very much like that of men, but God pronounces it abomination. ‘In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety.’ 1 Timothy 2:9. {1T 457.2}

This statement mentions two specific words;

  • Dress
  • Appearance

What is this appearance that look like the opposite sex. When a woman wears pants, she is dressing like a man. Whatever shows the appearance that is opposite is an abomination.

Hair

1 Corinthians 11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

When a woman has short hair, or when a man has long hair, God calls it an abomination. Because we are Gods servants, we must call it what God calls it. When Jesus comes, he will have shoulder length hair. This means that a woman’s hair must be longer than shoulder length;

His hair was white and curly and lay on His shoulders. 1T 60.

Artificial Hair

The unnatural heat caused by artificial hair and pads about the head, induces the blood to the brain, producing congestion, and causing the natural hair to fall off.–H. R. {HL 190.3}

Corsets

Many a style of dress that was inappropriate and even ridiculous has been generally adopted because it was the fashion. Among these pernicious fashions were the large hoops, which frequently caused indecent exposure of the person. In contrast with this was presented a neat, modest, becoming dress, which would dispense with the hoops and the trailing skirts, and provide for the proper clothing of the limbs. But dress reform comprised more than shortening the dress and clothing the limbs. It included every article of dress upon the person. It lifted the weights from the hips by suspending the skirts from the shoulders. It removed the tight corsets, which compress the lungs, the stomach, and other internal organs, and induce curvature of the spine and an almost countless train of diseases. Dress reform proper provided for the protection and development of every part of the body. {4T 635.1}

Corsets induced a curvature of the spine. It’s important for us to understand principles. Today there is another fashion accessory that causes curvature of the spine – high shoes. Is that healthy? No. Many diseases are caused because your spine is bent.

Cosmetics

Many are ignorantly injuring their health and endangering their lives by using cosmetics. . . When they become heated, . . . the poison is absorbed by the pores of the skin, and is thrown into the blood. Many lives have been sacrificed by this means alone.–H. R. {HL 189.2}

It goes directly into the skin and bloodstream.

Ladies may resort to cosmetics to restore the tint of the complexion, but they cannot thus bring back the glow of healthful feelings to the heart. That which darkens and makes dingy the skin also clouds the spirits and destroys cheerfulness and peace of mind.–H. R. {HL 191.1}

Do you want cheerfulness? Don’t put on cosmetics. Let the beautiful nature of God shine out from you.

The Length of the Dress

In regard to my wearing the short dress, I would say, I have but one short dress, which is not more than a finger’s length shorter than the dresses I usually wear. I have worn this short dress occasionally. In the winter I rose early, and putting on my short dress, which did not require to be raised by my hands to keep it from draggling in the snow, I walked briskly from one to two miles before breakfast. I have worn it several times to the office, when obliged to walk through light snow, or when it was very wet or muddy. Four or five sisters of the Battle Creek church have prepared for themselves a short dress to wear while doing their washing and house cleaning. A short dress has not been worn in the streets of the city of Battle Creek, and has never been worn to meeting. My views were calculated to correct the present fashion, the extreme long dress, trailing upon the ground, and also to correct the extreme short dress, reaching about to the knees, which is worn by a certain class. I was shown that we should shun both extremes. By wearing the dress reaching about to the top of a woman’s gaiter boot we shall escape the evils of the extreme long dress, and shall also shun the evils and notoriety of the extreme short dress. {1T 464.1}

You have the two extremes, one is dragging on the ground and if it is at the knees, it’s an extreme.

In answer to letters of inquiry from many sisters relative to the proper length of the reform dress, I would say that in our part of the State of Michigan we have adopted the uniform length of about nine inches from the floor. I take this opportunity to answer these inquiries in order to save the time required to answer so many letters. I should have spoken before, but have waited to see something definite on this point in the Health Reformer. I would earnestly recommend uniformity in length, and would say that nine inches as nearly accords with my views of the matter as I am able to express it in inches. {1T 521.1}

Question.–Does not the practice of the sisters in wearing their dresses nine inches from the floor contradict Testimony No. 11, which says they should reach somewhat below the top of a lady’s gaiter boot? {3SM 277.4} Answer.–The proper distance from the bottom of the dress to the floor was not given to me in inches. But three companies of females passed before me, with their dresses as follows with respect to length: {3SM 277.5}  The first were of fashionable length, burdening the limbs, impeding the step, and sweeping the street and gathering its filth; the evil results of which I have fully stated. This class, who were slaves to fashion, appeared feeble and languid. {3SM 278.1}

The dress of the second class which passed before me was in many respects as it should be. The limbs were well clad. They were free from the burdens which the tyrant, Fashion, had imposed upon the first class; but had gone to that extreme in the short dress as to disgust and prejudice good people, and destroy in a great measure their own influence. This is the style and influence of the American Costume, taught and worn by many at Our Home, Dansville, N.Y. It does not reach to the knee. I need not say that this style of dress was shown me to be too short. {3SM 278.2}

A third class passed before me with cheerful countenances, and free, elastic step. Their dress was the length I have described as proper, modest, and healthful. It cleared the filth of the street and sidewalk a few inches under all circumstances, such as ascending and descending steps, et cetera. {3SM 278.3}

As I have before stated, the length was not given me in inches. . . . {3SM 278.4}

It was not given to her in inches.  How soon do should I adopt dress reform? These are the basic principles of dress reform. When you understand these principles, should you adopt it at once or gradually?

Some have said: After I wear out this dress, I will make the next plainer. Now, if conformity to the fashions of the world is right and pleasing to God, where is the need of making a change at all? But if it is wrong, is it best to continue in the wrong any longer than is positively necessary to make the change? Right here we would remind you of the zeal and earnestness, the skill and perseverance, you manifested in preparing your dress according to the fashion. Would it not be praiseworthy to manifest at least equal earnestness to make it conform to the Bible standard? Precious, God-given time and means were used in fashioning those garments; and now what are you willing to sacrifice to correct the wrong example you have been giving to others? {4T 640.3}

When you were following fashion, it didn’t matter how much time you spent. Now when it’s time to make the changes properly, you say, I can’t make the change immediately. But when you were zealous for fashion, you did it quickly. What is the major problem with this whole subject of fashion?

Do not, my sisters, trifle longer with your own souls and with God. I have been shown that the main cause of your backsliding is your love of dress. This leads to the neglect of grave responsibilities, and you find yourselves with scarcely a spark of the love of God in your hearts. Without delay, renounce the cause of your backsliding, because it is sin against your own soul and against God. Be not hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Fashion is deteriorating the intellect and eating out the spirituality of our people. Obedience to fashion is pervading our Seventh-day Adventist churches and is doing more than any other power to separate our people from God. {4T 647.2}

What is the major reason for spirituality? Fashion is deteriorating the intellect and eating out the spirituality of our people.

Should Dress Reform Be A Test?

I have been shown that our church rules are very deficient. All exhibitions of pride in dress, which is forbidden in the word of God, should be sufficient reason for church discipline. If there is a continuance, in face of warnings and appeals and entreaties, to still follow the perverse will, it may be regarded as proof that the heart is in no way assimilated to Christ. Self, and only self, is the object of adoration, and one such professed Christian will lead many away from God. {4T 647.2}

The test of discipleship is not brought to bear as closely as it should be upon those who present themselves for baptism. It should be understood whether those who profess to be converted are simply taking the name of Seventh-day Adventists, or whether they are taking their stand on the Lord’s side to come out from the world and be separate and touch not the unclean thing. When they give evidence that they fully understand their position, they are to be accepted. But when they show that they are following the customs and fashions and sentiments of the world, they are to be faithfully dealt with. If they feel no burden to change their course of action, they should not be retained as members of the church. The Lord wants those who compose His church to be true, faithful stewards of the grace of Christ. {TM 128.1}

If they continue in those practices, they should not continue in the church.

There is a terrible sin upon us as a people, that we have permitted our church members to dress in a manner inconsistent with their faith. We must arise at once and close the door against the allurements of fashion. Unless we do this, our churches will become demoralized. {4T 648.1}

What will be the result? Our churches will be demoralized.

Christians should not take pains to make themselves gazing-stocks by dressing differently from the world. But if, in accordance with their faith and duty in respect to their dressing modestly and healthfully, they find themselves out of fashion, they should not change their dress in order to be like the world. But they should manifest a noble independence and moral courage to be right, if all the world differs from them. If the world introduces a modest, convenient, and healthful mode of dress, which is in accordance with the Bible, it will not change our relation to God or to the world to adopt such a style of dress. Christians should follow Christ, and conform their dress to God’s word. They should shun extremes. They should humbly pursue a straight-forward course, irrespective of applause or of censure, and should cling to the right because of its own merits.–Review and Herald, January 30, 1900. {MYP 350.1}

If the world is adopting good principles, there is nothing wrong with adopting those principles.

I have frequently received letters of inquiry in regard to dress, and some have not rightly understood what I have written. The very class that have been presented before me as imitating the fashions of the world have been very slow, and the last, to be affected or reformed. Another class who lacked taste and order in dress have taken advantage of what I have written and have gone to the opposite extreme; considering that they were free from pride, they have looked upon those who dress neatly and orderly as being proud. Oddity and carelessness in dress have been considered a special virtue by some. Such take a course which destroys their influence over unbelievers. They disgust those whom they might benefit. {1T 275.1}

We find there are two extremes. God doesn’t want us to go to extremes. Satan doesn’t care as long as we pick one.

While the visions have reproved pride and imitating the fashions of the world, they have also reproved those who were careless in regard to their apparel and lacked cleanliness of person and dress. Especially have I been shown that those who profess present truth should have a special care to appear before God upon the Sabbath in a manner which would show that we respect the Creator who has sanctified and placed special honors upon that day. All who have any regard for the Sabbath should be cleanly in person, neat and orderly in dress; for they are to appear before the jealous God, who is offended at uncleanliness and disorder, and who marks every token of disrespect. Some have thought it wrong to wear anything upon their heads but a sunbonnet. Such go to great extremes. It cannot be called pride to wear a neat, plain straw or silk bonnet. Our faith, if carried out, will lead us to be so plain in dress, and zealous of good works, that we shall be marked as peculiar. But when we lose taste for order and neatness in dress we virtually leave the truth, for the truth never degrades, but elevates. Unbelievers look upon Sabbathkeepers as degraded, and when persons are neglectful of their dress, and coarse and rough in their manners, their influence strengthens unbelievers in this conclusion. {1T 275.2}

The truth never degrades, but elevates.

There is an evil among some of the poor which will certainly prove their ruin unless they overcome it. They have embraced the truth with their coarse, rough, uncultivated habits, and it takes some time for them to see and realize their coarseness, and that it is not in accordance with the character of Christ. They look upon others who are more orderly and refined as being proud, and you may hear them say: The truth brings us all down upon a level. But it is an entire mistake to think that the truth brings the receiver down. It brings him up, refines his taste, sanctifies his judgment, and, if lived out, is continually fitting him for the society of holy angels in the City of God. The truth is designed to bring us all up upon a level. {1T 274.1}

I would advise those who prepare for themselves a short dress for working purposes to manifest taste and neatness in getting it up. Have it arranged in order, to fit the form nicely. Even if it is a working dress, it should be made becoming, and should be cut after a pattern. Sisters when about their work should not put on clothing which would make them look like images to frighten the crows from the corn. It is more gratifying to their husbands and children to see them in a becoming, well-fitting attire than it can be to mere visitors or strangers. Some wives and mothers seem to think it is no matter how they look when about their work and when they are seen only by their husbands and children, but they are very particular to dress in taste for the eyes of those who have no special claims upon them. Is not the esteem and love of husband and children more to be prized than that of strangers or common friends? The happiness of husband and children should be more sacred to every wife and mother than that of all others. Christian sisters should not at any time dress extravagantly, but should at all times dress as neatly, modestly, and healthfully as their work will allow. {1T 464.2}

Before we come to our conclusion, I would like to share a particular experience.

A sister who had spent some weeks at one of our institutions in _____, said that she felt much disappointed in what she saw and heard there. . . . Before accepting the truth, she had followed the fashions of the world in her dress, and had worn costly jewelry and other ornaments; but upon deciding to obey the Word of God, she felt that its teachings required her to lay aside all extravagant and superfluous adorning. She was taught that Seventh-day Adventists did not wear jewelry, gold, silver, or precious stones, and that they did not conform to worldly fashions in their dress. When she saw among those who profess the faith such a wide departure from Bible simplicity, she felt bewildered. Had they not the same Bible which she had been studying, and to which she had endeavored to conform her life? Had her past experience been mere fanaticism? Had she misinterpreted the words of the apostle, The friendship of the world is enmity with God, for whosoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God? {Ev 270.1}

Mrs. D, a lady occupying a position in the institution, was visiting at Sr. _____’s room one day, when the latter took out of her trunk a gold necklace and chain, and said she wished to dispose of this jewelry and put the proceeds into the Lord’s treasury. Said the other, Why do you sell it? I would wear it if it was mine. Why, replied Sr. _____, when I received the truth, I was taught that all these things must be laid aside. Surely they are contrary to the teachings of God’s Word. And she cited her hearer to the words of the apostles, Paul and Peter, upon this point, In like manner, also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but, as becometh women professing godliness, with good works. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel. But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. {Ev 270.2}

In answer, the lady displayed a gold ring on her finger, given her by an unbeliever, and said she thought it no harm to wear such ornaments. We are not so particular, said she, as formerly. Our people have been overscrupulous in their opinions upon the subject of dress. The ladies of this institution wear gold watches and gold chains, and dress like other people. It is not good policy to be singular in our dress; for we cannot exert so much influence. We inquire, Is this in accordance with the teachings of Christ? Are we to follow the Word of God, or the customs of the world? Our sister decided that it was the safest to adhere to the Bible standard. Will Mrs. D and others who pursue a similar course be pleased to meet the result of their influence, in that day when every man shall receive according to his works?  God’s Word is plain. Its teachings cannot be mistaken. Shall we obey it, just as He has given it to us, or shall we seek to find how far we can digress and yet be saved? Would that all connected with our institutions would receive and follow the divine light, and thus be enabled to transmit light to those who walk in darkness. Conformity to the world is a sin which is sapping the spirituality of our people, and seriously interfering with their usefulness. It is idle to proclaim the warning message to the world, while we deny it in the transactions of daily life.–Review and Herald, March 28, 1882. {Ev 271}

Conclusion

There is going to be a judgment day. We are going to have to answer to everything we are doing. Shall we obey just as he has given it? Or shall we see how far we can be like the world and still make it to the kingdom of God? After this study, are you prepared to go to the Promised Land? Do you have on the ribbon of blue? Now is our day of opportunity.

2 Corinthians 6:2 For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Right now is your opportunity. To accept the lamb of God as your personal saviour and for him to give you not fig leaves, but his righteousness. Do you want Christ’s righteousness with this symbol? Come to the Lord now and faithfully.

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Posted on 26/01/2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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