This study can be acquired in book form (English or Spanish) for a missions offering of $5.00 or more from
Commission Inc. P. O. Box 90, Anderson MO, 64831
THE VISIBLE CHRISTIAN
CULTURES IN CONFLICT
Every nation has its own peculiar culture. It’s easy for the modern man to understand what a culture is, especially in this day when there is so much traveling between the nations. A culture is a nation or society distinguished by its geographical location, its own language, its own architecture and national dress; by its own distinctive music and its own foods and customs; it has its own unique government, its own religion and its own history that fashioned it. These are the things that distinguish one culture from another culture.
There are many cultures on this planet earth. There are even different cultures within a nation. But all cultures have this one thing in common, they possess a depraved and sinful nature. This distinguishes the cultures of man from the culture of heaven. Or, we might say this is what separates the culture of man from the culture of heaven.
Righteousness and holiness characterize the culture of the kingdom of heaven. Sin marks the human race and separates man from God. Sin is what thrust the culture of paradise down into the pits of a sub-culture existence. But then Jesus came! . . . and when He invaded this world He brought the culture of heaven with Him, providing a way for man to be restored to the heavenly culture and receive the holy nature of God.
The Kingdom of God represents the higher, nobler culture.
Sin represents the lower nature of man and produces a sub-culture.
Holiness is the culture of heaven brought to man by Christ and taught to man by the Holy Spirit, and revealed to man in the Word of God. The Bible is the revelation of the Holy culture. To become a part of it we must receive a new nature through spiritual birth and then commit ourselves to learning the new culture and conforming to it. How glorious these wondrous disciplines that perfect us morally and commend us to God!
There are two basic cultures: The heavenly and the Earthly. In heaven there is no sin to corrupt the culture. Where God reigns as sovereign, sin (selfishness and rebellion against divine law) is not tolerated in that culture. That includes the church. Romans 6:19, 2 Timothy 2:19
This book is about the holiness culture and what the Word of God teaches about this highest of all cultures known to man.
The Kingdom of Heaven is a culture.
It has its own location in the universe.
It has its own language.
It has its own clothing and attire.
It has its own architecture.
It has its own government, its own laws, and its own great sovereign.
HEAVEN IS THE ORIGINAL CULTURE FROM
WHICH THE HUMAN CULTURE WAS FASHIONED
Man did not come from a cave as intellectuals want us to believe. (Romans 1:18-22.) Man may have had a primitive existence at one time and in certain places but only after he had left his first ideal state as God created him. (Genesis 1-2.) Man was created in the image and likeness of God, the King of the heavenly culture, and set in a paradise which was patterned after the heavenly world.
True Christianity is a culture reflecting and representing the holy culture of the kingdom of God.
The church is an extension of the Kingdom of God and represents the heavenly culture.
Christians represent the citizenship of the kingdom of God of which they belong once they are born again of the Holy Spirit and have their new natures. That new nature is the Spirit of Christ dwelling within bearing the nature of the inhabitants of heaven.
God’s kingdom has one supreme characteristic: it is a holy kingdom sovereignly ruled by a holy God. The work of the Holy Spirit is to impart the nature of that holy culture into everyone who comes to God through Christ. That new nature is a divine nature that seeks to perfect holiness (supernatural character) while remaining in the world culture. Christians are in, but not a part of, the worldly culture.
The term “worldliness” used by preachers is a reference to the depraved culture of man.
God has given us an inner presence of His Spirit for the very purpose of withstanding the cultural influences of the outside world that are contrary to the culture of holiness. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world [culture]. 1 John 4:4.
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation [culture], a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9.
The purpose of the church is to establish that heavenly culture on the earth until Christ returns to catch away those who have come out of the earthly culture of man. God’s Grace is teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly [cultural] lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world [culture].
HOLINESS IS THE CULTURE OF HEAVEN AND
THE TRUE CHURCH
The church of Acts has its own culture because it is an extension of the Kingdom of God on Earth. The church bears the likeness of the culture of the kingdom of God. The church is not to take on the culture of the world around it or whatever nation it finds itself in. The church is to represent the values, the laws, the morals of the kingdom of God and come out from the depraved world cultures.
And be not conformed to this world [culture]: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2.
The Biblical teaching of separation has to do with the conflict between the culture of heaven and the depraved and human cultures of this world.
The Bible reveals two cultures in conflict. An overcomer is one who does not conform to this world culture, and refuses to be corrupted by it.
We have tried to avoid disagreement with the world by conforming to their life-style and moral weaknesses. But Jesus makes it clear that when we are consecrated to Him and discipled by His teaching that we will be in cultural conflict with the world’s mentality, way of thinking. I have given them thy word; and the world [culture] hath hated them, because they are not of the world [culture], even as I am not of the world [culture] John 17:14.
WHEN WE ARE ALIGNED WITH THE CULTURE OF HEAVEN
WE WILL BE MALIGNED BY THE CULTURE OF THIS WORLD
We will never understand the real meaning of worldliness until we understand that it is the evil and depraved culture and that it is a system of values opposed to the importance of cultivating moral disciplines that produce a divine kind of character.
There has been a character collapse crisis because we have abandoned the holiness culture teaching of the Scriptures.
There is a warfare between these two cultures. They represent two conflicting value systems. A Christian cannot belong to both or be a partaker of both. The cultures of man differ in language and lifestyle, but the cultures of heaven and earth differ on the basis of holiness and sinfulness. Man promotes immorality in the public school classroom and encourages fornication; God does not tolerate fornication and has declared it a sin unto death! Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
Separation of the cultures is the meaning of the doctrine of separation. It is at this very point we come to understand the reasons behind the apostles placing supreme importance on the doctrine of separation in the New Testament writings. We will be mentioning many of these references in this study.
You read of this in many places in the Bible but there are three Scriptures in the New Testament that declare this in plain easily understood language.
1. 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 [the holy culture] and mammon [the sinful culture]. Matthew 6:24. Read also Romans 12.T-2 and 2 Corinthians 6.T4-7.1.
2. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to SALVATION THROUGH SANCTIFICATION of the Spirit and belief of the truth. 2Thessalonians2:13.
3. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1 John 2:16.
HOLINESS IS THE POSITIVE PURSUIT OF THE HEAVENLY CULTURE
SEPARATION IS THE NEGATIVE REJECTION OF THIS WORLD’S CULTURE
Worldliness is the counter-culture to the heavenly culture. Worldliness is a sub-culture that lives below the standards and preferences of those bom into the culture of God’s Kingdom.
Some Things That Bring The World’s Culture Into The Church:
1. YOUTHFUL LUSTS
Modem gospel churches and leaders are making the mistake of being more concerned with meeting the demands of autonomous youthful dynamism than they are with meeting the demands of the loving authority of an omniscient God. The demands of energetic and vocal youth have intimidated the wisdom of modern church leaders. Popular philosophical doctrines about our young people being “the most valuable spiritual asset of the church” has caused us to become diverted from our commitment to righteousness. The most valuable asset of the church is godly saints steeped in the culture of holiness. Truth that was delivered unto the saints in the beginning – these are our most valuable assets!
This intimidation of church leaders by the popular theory that “We must do everything possible to keep our young people” has resulted in a whole wave of compromise that has turned three generations of the church away from the serious pursuits of prayer and perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Our youth had no desire for these things so we changed God’s curriculum for a curriculum of compromise.
We let them bring the rock sound into their meetings and now it’s in our meetings! We have churches so unorthodox that they don’t even know what a hymn is. I preached for a church with a rock group doing the music and when I gave the altar call and asked them to play “Coming Home,” they frowned and plucked around on their guitars and couldn’t even play real music. What we gave our youth to keep them is what the church has become—lightness, entertainment and a dislike for the serious teaching of God’s Word. We have now a generation that is not only doctrinally illiterate, including Bible College graduates, but openly assails doctrine as an evil thing that separates, and characterizes a backward kind of yesteryear Christianity. The Laodicean church is satisfied with fun, laughter, parties and games, and constant “gospel” entertainment. Even the personal witnessing and church ministries are tainted with a whole new way of “sharing” the gospel that bears no resemblance to anointed preaching of truth.
Paul the apostle addressed the “youthful lusts” phenomena as something to “flee from” and not something the church leaders should cater to. It’s going to take the same life for your kids to make it to heaven as it’s going to take Mom and Dad. (2 Timothy 2:22.)
IN AN EFFORT TO KEEP THE YOUNG PEOPLE,
THE CHURCH IS LOSING GOD
Pragmatism is simply the obsession with what brings results. The danger of this craze is that we soon find ourselves abandoning God’s moral principles to affect results in crowd response and church growth.
Separation is one of the first godly principles we sacrifice on the altars of pragmatism. “After all, we can’t be too different than the people of the world, they won’t feel comfortable around us, or be attracted to the church.” We have adopted all kinds of these pragmatic little idioms. Do we not realize that when we conform to the world we are being intimidated by it? When we compromise to accommodate the pressure of the world culture we are allowing them to dictate to us what we must do to be accepted by them. No, no, dear child of God, it is not they who dictate to me as a Christian but God Who dictates to me, and to them, what is acceptable.
Artificial Beauty Diametric To Natural Beauty
Separation begins with the disciplines of the body. God’s Word commands, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Have you done this?
A Key To Discerning What Is Pure
The natural beauty of purity is destroyed by artificial beauty. What is natural is spiritual and what is unnatural is sinful. What is natural? What God created was natural. Changing the natural appearance of your person is opposed in the writings of the apostles and the church Fathers through the recorded history of the church.
A Vast Difference Between Sensual And Natural Beauty – Natural beauty is the beauty God gave to the human race. Sensual beauty is the artificial beauty devised by man to increase the attention we pay to the sensual appearance of each other, creating inordinate attraction between a man and a woman or a boy and a girl.
What Is Not Natural Is Not Pure. Sin is not natural because it was not a part of the original creation of God. What is pure and good and of God will issue from God. What is not good and pure issues from the imagination of the carnal mind. Cosmetology and fashion design is the art of the ungodly world culture that deifies the flesh. It originates in the world and is perpetuated by the world culture. All false teachings and evil practices known as “worldliness” by the historical Bible Church bear this mark of having its origin in the world and not in the Word of God. All of the effort of unregenerate men to enhance the flesh will be suddenly wiped out at the judgment of God. Christians who imitate or defend these cultural inventions of the unregenerate world are not wise. A gospel that tolerates these things is not a pure gospel.
EXTERNALISM IS A FACT OF LIFE
Sanctification consists of two major doctrines:
1. DEDICATION TO GOD: A PERFECT LOVE FOR GOD.
Dedication is a positive work of the Holy Spirit that brings the spirit of man closer to the Spirit of God.
2. SEPARATION FROM THE WORLD: A PERFECT HATRED OF SIN. Separation from the world value system is a negative work of the Holy Spirit that inhibits and controls the body appetites from selfish indulgences in the world.
The Laodicean Christian places all of the emphasis on a love for God, but completely ignores the other vital part of the salvation message that God’s Grace teaches: that to love God with a perfect love is to hate sin with a perfect hatred.
The Laodicean liberals stress emotional praise, high sounding music that glorifies God and then remain perfectly silent about the other part of the salvation message. You will never hear an apostate speak on separation from the world unless he is speaking against those who do teach this vital doctrine. They never speak of hating sin, worldliness, sanctification or any other subject that stresses separation from the world. This is lopsided liberalism.
Positive teaching inspires the spiritual man to devotion, allegiance, commitment, affection, reverence, veneration, respect and honor to God.
Negative teaching constrains the carnal nature from walking in sin (rebellion against divine government, the moral law and commandments of God). Titus 2:12.
This message of mortification is the negative instruction of the Bible directed at the rebellious flesh. The flesh nature obstructs the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has come in Jesus’ Name to teach us the way of Grace. This involves the bringing of divine government to bear upon the lives of the redeemed. The very terms kingdom of God, Lord, church, advocate, righteousness, commandments, found in the New Testament tell us of this governing presence. BUT—the flesh cannot be governed and will not come under government. It is this desire to be governed by God’s moral laws and willingly comply with all moral teaching of the Word of God that is the final and absolute proof of regeneration by the Holy Spirit.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Romans 8:7.
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1. Can you say before God that you are “perfecting holiness in the fear of God”?
Positivism, Praise And Promises Without Purity? – To minister life to the spiritual man and not liberate him from the hold the carnal nature has on his flesh is like teaching someone to swim with lead shoes! What good is it to know how to praise the Lord if you are praising Him on your way down to the bottom?
What good is it to build massive temples thronged with thousands if the gospel preached in it is not the authentic gospel, if it’s another gospel? This is how you tell them—do they preach the love of God and encourage the worship of God but do not teach sanctification; do not teach separation from the world culture?
The separated Christian life produces a spiritual externalism the same way those who love the world conform to the externalism dictated by the world system. The carnal Christian philosophy produces sensual externalism.
Spiritual externalism is taught in the Word.
Sensual externalism is taught in the world.
God seeks (1) the fellowship and eternal union of the believer and (2) the extinction of all sin and all who promote rebellion against His moral laws. These will both be achieved by an act of divine intervention in the end time. Get on board now! DEVOTION TO GOD IS NOT ENOUGH. We must love Him enough to hate (love not) the world! One of the evidences of our hatred of sin is separation from all those “things” in the world that represent or have any alliance with the sin culture. (1 John 2:15.)
When will men of the faith wake up to the fact that externals do have moral impact on social behavior and must be treated as a moral subject in the presentation of the gospel, and especially in the discipling of the new converts. Extemalism cannot be eliminated from the gospel message without there being a negative effect on the character of the church!
The holiness culture of the Kingdom as taught in God’s Word is simplistic and peaceful in nature. Worldliness is complex and intense in nature. Some men reject the simplicity of holiness because human pride prefers the sophistication of the world. When the church departs from the simple message of character and takes on the ways of the ungodly, we soon discover the destructive nature of worldliness . . .“The way of the transgressors [unfaithful] is hard.” Proverbs 13:15b.
There is a message of spiritual externalism that runs through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible gives a clear message of God’s wishes in this regard, of both the externalism of the world, and the externalism of the church. We shall now consider 8 facts regarding what Scripture really has to say about this matter that scares so many modern preachers.
1. THE GENESIS OF EXTERNALISM Adam and Eve’s concept of modesty and of a proper covering of nakedness, and God’s concept of a covering are different! Two different Hebrew words are used to describe the two coverings. The first covering they made for themselves was no more than an apron or skirt (chagowr). God replaced their aprons with coats (kethoneth) which in the Hebrew means a covering or coat. The difference in these two coverings is easy to see. God’s idea of a covering is kethoneth, while Adam and Eve’s idea of a covering was chagowr. The depraved man’s concept of a proper covering for nakedness was much different than the divine concept of a proper covering. Genesis 3:7 and 21.
Nakedness Condemned – Nakedness is the first externalism mentioned in Scripture. An important fact concerning Biblical externalism is that Scripture always condemns the exposure of the human body. The first guilt experienced by the human conscience was the guilt of nakedness. The depravity of man began with nakedness! Genesis 3:7,10-11. The first sin of Israel after their exodus from Egypt was nakedness! Leviticus 18:7-17; 20:11,17,19-2.
Nakedness Lewd And. Evil – Nakedness in Scripture is always associated with defeat and shame (Isaiah 20:4), with lewdness and immorality (Isaiah 3:17; Habakkuk 2:16) and demonic activity (Luke 8:27; Acts 19:16). The Holy Spirit nor Scripture teaches God’s people to strip down on public beaches with vile sinners feasting their eyes on your body. The Bible teaches us to be modest and abhor nakedness.
God Forbids Nakedness – The Bible’s condemnation of bodily exposure covers a range of conduct from immodesty to nakedness.
God’s Word clearly condemns all forms of nakedness and immodesty and commands external modesty. (See The Fteter Principle below.)
Sociologists Link Rape and Adultery to the immodesty of modern behavior. In the January 5, 1993 issue of WOMAN’S WORLD magazine a feature article entitled How Not To Be Raped warned against wearing tight provocative clothing. Immodesty is not only the lack of cbthing but wearing clothes that may cover the body but reveal the body by being so tight and suggestive that wicked men who know no restraint may be tempted to follow you with the intent to sexually attack you. A modest Christian lady will not wear anything that is provocative to men’s lower nature.
2. GOD DESIGNS THE PRIESTLY CLOTHING – The living God designed the clothing that was to be worn by the priests who would minister in His presence. There were many details regarding the construction of the tabernacle that God left to the artificers and builders to work out themselves. But the garments of the priests who were to officiate in the tabernacle ministry and enter God’s presence in the holy place wore clothing that God personally designed. The external appearance of the priest was not even left up to godly men such as Moses or Aaron. God Himself designed these holy garments.
A Divine Precedent Set – When God designed the priestly garments He made known His preferences in regard to external standards of appearance. There are at least three sets of clothing in Scripture which God designed Himself. (1) The clothing of angels, (2) the clothing of Adam and Eve after the fall and (3) the clothing of the priests under the Levitical system given to Moses. All of these garments covered the body completely. The garments God designed reveal a standard of modesty most definitely held in the mind of God. We have a precedent for modesty. Those who truly love God will mind these precedents and follow the rule of modesty which God reveals to us. All nakedness and exposure of the human body is Satanic and inspired by the god of this world!
3. JEZEBELISM -1 Kings chapters 16 through 22 and Revelation 2:20. Jezebel has become the symbol of vanity as a user of the sensual arts. A person who has inner beauty will manifest a natural beauty externally. When discussing externals we too often mention the fact that “What’s on the inside shows outside.” But it is just as true that “What is on the outside reveals what is really inside of a person.” To the degree a person is sophisticated and artificial on the outside reveals the secrets of the inner self. A proud and phony person is going to be phony and self displaying on the outside.
Jezebel was without character and practiced externalism. Commentaries don’t seem to have a lot to say about the doctrine of Jezebel as she is mentioned in Revelation 2:20. But we hardly need any more than is said in Scripture about this woman.
This false prophetess Jesus mentions was corrupting the church at Thyatira. He says enough about her to easily identify this same spirit in the church today.
1. She was an evil influence on people. 1 Kings 16:31.
2. She hated and slew the prophets of God. 1 Kings 18:4.
3. She was reactionary and hateful. 1 Kings 19:2.
4. She sympathized with the selfish and greedy. 1 Kings 21:5.
5. She conspired against the innocent. 1 Kings 21:7.
6. She had no respect for the rights of others. 1 Kings 21:7.
7. She consorted with evil people. 1 Kings 21:11,14.
8. She rejoiced in iniquity. 1 Kings 21:15.
9. She stirred (enticed) others to do evil. 1 Kings 21:25.
10. She practiced immorality, adultery, idolatry. 2 Kings 9:22.
11. She practiced witchcraft and sorcery. 2 Kings 9:22.
12. She had a high tolerance for sin. 2 Kings 9:22.
13. She used facial cosmetics to seduce a man. 2 Kings 9:30.
14. She was very tactful, winsome and pleasant. 2 Kings 9:30.
15. She brought God’s judgment on her followers. 2 Kings 9:7.
16. She is severely judged of God. 1 Kings 21:23.
17. She met a terrible fate! 2 Kings 9:10.
18. She is self acclaimed as inspired of God. Revelation 2:20.
19. She teaches false doctrine. Revelation 2:20.
20. She corrupts God’s servants to be immoral. Revelation 2:20.
21. She induces idolatry (covetousness). Revelation 2:20.
With these facts known about Jezebel, she is hardly what we would call “a person we know so little about.” But there is one characteristic that both the Old Testament and New Testament accounts cite clearly: Her tendency toward being sensual and her practice of sensual externalism.
Jezebel painted her face to greet Jehu from the window. (1 Kings 9:30.) She hoped to greet him pleasantly (the meaning of the English word “tire,” to affect someone positively by pleasantry and cheerful words), and thus win his favor. The use of the word “paint” is an allusion to painting the eyes with stibium powder or paste. Literally, she painted her face with fair colors and then went to the window and made pleasant and cheerful gestures to Jehu from the window. She put on a charming front to impress Jehu but it did not succeed in seducing him or distracting him from his mission to destroy her.
Jezebel Was Teacher In The Church – Revelation 2:20 tells us she teaches and seduces God’s servants to “commit fornication.” A closer look at that word is descriptive of a condition in the church today. “Committeth fornication” is one word in the Greek (PORNEUO), to indulge in unlawful lust!
Jezebel was a seducer loaded with charisma causing those who listened to her teaching to wander from the truth into a lustful and sensual lifestyle. According to Jesus, the doctrine of Jezebel corrupted the church of Thyatira with unlawful lusts because ministers tolerated her teaching. It will be held against you, preacher, for tolerating the sensual influences in the church. Jesus said, I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest (to let be) that woman Jezebel… to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication (unlawful lusts).
Jezebel is the Bible’s symbol of sensual externalism.
4. A LADY CALLED WISDOM – Enter, Lady Wisdom. The first nine chapters of the book of Proverbs is a call to wisdom. Nine chapters of the Bible are dedicated to a woman we shall call Lady Wisdom, Nine chapters teach us all about the vital subject of holy wisdom! In these chapters wisdom is described as a fine lady.
The Virtues Of A Godly Lady – Instruction, perception, justice, equity, knowledge, discretion, learning, understanding, the fear of the Lord, uprightness, truth, righteousness, excellence are some of the qualities Lady Wisdom imparts to those who listen to her wise counsel.
The Blessings Of A Virtuous Lady – Happiness, treasures, gain, gold and rubies are some of the rewards described in store for those who regard Lady Wisdom’s commandments. Proverbs 2:1; 3:1; 4:4; 7:1-2.
Enter, Sensuous Woman – In chapters 2, 5, 6, 7, and 9 of Proverbs another woman is introduced in opposition to Lady Wisdom … the adulteress! Notice how the Holy Spirit describes her externally: And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtle of heart. Proverbs 7:10.
Two Women From Two Worlds – The book of Proverbs in nine chapters of treatment leave us with the clear impression that the nature of Lady Wisdom is opposite the vain and sensuous mentality. Lady Wisdom has nothing . . . that is . . . NOTHING in common with the sensual woman! She who is wise is not sensuous and infatuated with cosmetic beauty. Wisdom flees vanity and sensualism. Proverbs 7:4.
Then there is human holiness – Holiness Christians are not guiltless. It is possible to be conforming to external standards being taught and not be inwardly convinced of them. Then when these people move and change churches, they change their standards. That is not holiness. There are “holiness” churches loaded with standards that don’t have an ounce of holiness! There is a big difference between standards and holiness!
EXTERNAL STANDARDS CAN BE LIVED
WITHOUT HOLINESS BUT HOLINESS CANNOT
BE LIVED APART FROM STANDARDS
Holiness people without compassion and carnal Christians loaded with generosity have created a lot of confusion in the thinking of many Christians today. They see goodness in both. Which is right? Both of them without the other are unbiblical monstrosities! The carnal church has compassion without obedience while many holiness churches have obedience without compassion. Obedience with compassion, “Truth in love” and an uncompromising strictness blended with sweetness marks the true holiness that is of God. Obedience and compassion joined together are divine and indicate the hue work of grace.
5. THE PROPHETS ASSOCIATE ADORNMENT WITH IMMORALITY
Isaiah’s Scathing Denunciation Of Sensual Extemalism – 16. Moreover the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: (17) Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts. (18) In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, (19) The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, (20) The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, (21) The rings, and nose jewels, (22) The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, (23) The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails. (24) And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty. Isaiah 3:16-24.
After reading what Isaiah says about the vain and showy externals God pronounces judgment upon, let no Christian ever say that externalism is of no concern to God or that it is of no moral consequence.
Adornments in the Old Testament – Many modern Christians point to Scriptures of the Old Testament where there is mention of Israel possessing jewelry. There are at least three facts to be considered about jewelry as it’s mentioned in the Old Testament:
(a) Nomadic peoples who possessed precious metals such as gold made it into jewelry and wore it in the form of necklaces, bracelets and other ornaments because it was the safest way to keep them. There were no safety deposit boxes on the back side of the desert.
(b) God denounced the jewelry of the daughters of Zion in the Old Testament as being boastful and a sign of pride and moral corruption. It is cited by the prophets as a cause for divine judgment. Isaiah 3:16-24. Adornments were the invention of the human mind and never mentioned in any of the three instances where He designed clothing. Outward adornment is a practice of man and not God.
(c) While jewelry was not expressly forbidden in the moral law under the Old Covenant, it became expressly forbidden under the disciplines of the New Covenant which includes the all important mortification experience of the flesh nature (unknown to Mosaic revelation). Mortification was not a part of the redemptive plan until Christ came to dwell within man. His inner presence brings a new and higher level of moral life to the new covenant believer. Under the doctrines of the cross and the death of self (mortification), adorning of the flesh and self attraction through the sensual arts, shows that a person may have accepted the death of Christ’s atonement but has not accepted the death of self and the disciplines of sanctification.
MANY CHRISTIANS TODAY HAVE ACCEPTED
THE FACT OF CHRIST’S DEATH BUT THEY
HAVE NOT ACCEPTED THE FACT OF THE
God Mocks The Vain Women Of Israel – Through the prophet Jeremiah God mocks the women for their sensual vanity.
And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life. Jeremiah 4:30.
(40) And furthermore, that ye have sent for men to come from far, unto whom a messenger was sent; and, to, they came: for whom thou didst wash thyself, paintedst thy eyes, and deckedst thyself with ornaments, (41) And satest upon a stately bed, and a table prepared before it, whereupon thou hast set mine incense and mine oil. (42) And a voice of a multitude being at ease was with her: and with the men of the common sort were brought Sabeans from the wilderness, which put bracelets upon their hands, and beautiful crowns upon their heads. (43) Then said I unto her that was old in adulteries, Will they now commit whoredoms with her, and she with them? (44) Yet they went in unto her, as they go in unto a woman that playeth the harlot: so went they in unto Aholah and unto Aholibah, the lewd women. Ezekiel 23:40-44.
God Tolerated But Did Not Approve Or Encourage Adornments – The prophets mentioned the vain women of Israel in connection with luxury and God’s judgment, with ease and carnal indulgence.
Never has the Lord Himself endorsed or encouraged the use of cosmetics or the use of adornments. He tolerated them (like the bill of divorcement) and used them as types of prosperity and material betterment but never approved them as being morally right for His children in the Old Testament or the New Testament.
6. HISTORY REVEALS SUPERFICIAL APPEARANCE AS PAGAN
Cosmetics And Vain Adornments Are Pagan Traditions! Charismatics and liberals are constantly making reference to the standards of separation holiness people observe from the teachings of Scripture as being “tradition.” This is blind hypocrisy. Cosmetics is a tradition of the world! While these people are censuring Biblical traditions handed down by the Fathers they are observing many heathen traditions handed down to them from the devil. What kind of spirit is it that resents Biblical standards based on apostolic teaching and at the same time is obsessed with traditions that have pagan origin?
In his Historia Naturalis, Pliny the Elder (AD 23-79) described many of the cosmetic preparations used by the Romans. “Egypt and the MidEast had introduced into Rome so many exotic unguents, creams, ointments, bleaches, lash colors, depilatories, and hair dyes, that the Roman Senate curtailed their import to check the outflow of money. ‘At the lowest reckoning’ grumbled Pliny, ’India, China (silk), and the Arabian peninsula drain our Empire of 100,000,000 sesterces, ($8,000,000) annually. That is what our luxuries and women folk cost us.’”
The various cosmetics which have come into vogue in recent years are by no means new nor are they modern inventions. The Encyclopedia Britannica reveals that: These practices reached their zenith in the time of Cleopatra. It seems probable from discoveries in Egyptian tombs, that the highest degree of cosmetic art was attained in the embellishment of the eyes. This effect was produced by painting the underside of the eye green, and the lid, lashes and eyebrows black by the application of kohol – the product being made from antimony (sulphide?) and applied with an ivory or wooden stick. (Cosmetics, 1956 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica, volume IV, page 495)
As history records, cosmetics is at least as old as the pagan civilization of Egypt. Savage tribes of Africa also practiced their own kind of “beauty” by painting the face. A great emphasis was placed on the painting of the face to create fearful impressions to ward off evil spirits. These pagan practices have come down through the history of the human race as a tradition that has only become more sophisticated and psychologically perfected with the development of western societies.
7. THE CHURCH FATHERS SPOKE OUT AGAINST EXTERNALS
Worldly Externalism Was A Concern Of The Early Church Fathers. During the reign of Nero cosmetics played an important role in his court. Egyptian kohol for the eyelids and lashes; fucus, a sort of rouge, for the cheeks and lips; and the ultra-fashionable ladies of the Roman Court devised a method for bleaching their hair by means of a kind of soap which came from Gaul. (Ibid., pp. 495, 495) In the first century of the church the fathers were faced with this sensual adornment trend and apparently concerned Raul and Peter enough to write on the subject in their pastoral instructions. (See The Peter Principle, below.)
Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 150 – 220) in his theological apologetic entitled “The Instructor” states that the women in his day were “imitating the Egyptians in order to attract their infatuated lovers.” He said they were “engaged in wearing gold, anointing their cheeks, painting their eyes, dyeing their hair, and practicing other pernicious arts of luxury, so they dishonor the creator of men as if the beauty given by Him were nothing worth. As you might expect, they become lazy in housekeeping, sitting like painted things to be looked at, not as if made for domestic economy….”
Tertullian (A.D. 160-230) from his sermon entitled “On Female Dress” made this observation: “… we are not attracted by the same charms as the Gentiles. An unbeliever on the other hand will regard your beauty with suspicion owing to the infamous scandals which the Gentiles attribute to us. For whom is it, then, that you nurse your beauty? If it is for a believer, he does not exact [require] it: if for an unbeliever, he does not believe in it, lest it be simple. Why are you eager to please either one who is suspicious or else one who does not want such pleasure? ” “You must not overstep the line to which simple and sufficient elegance limits its desires, the line which is pleasing to God. Against Him those women sin who torment their skin with potions, stain their cheeks with rouge, and extend the line of their eyes with black coloring. Doubtless, they are dissatisfied with God’s plastic skill.”
CYPRIAN, A CHURCH FATHER WRITES:
Cyprian, a church Father from the third century wrote to the early church: “Chastity is the dignity of the body, the ornament of morality, the sacredness of the sexes; the bond of modesty, the source of purity, the peacefulness of home and the crown of concord.”
“It is the mother of innocency and the adornment of beauty. Unchastity is the prostitution of beauty. Chastity adds to you the discipline of good morals. It is the principle of service and the service to principles. It is not careful whom it pleases but itself, always modest, the mother of innocency, ever adorned with modesty alone, only conscious of being conspicuous when in the presence of the wicked, seeks nothing in the way of adornments, commends us to God and unites us with Christ, drives from our bodies all illicit conflicts of desire and instills into our bodies, Peace. Chastity is a virtuous mind watching over the body.”
“Unpossessors cannot accuse it as they admire it much but are unable to capture it because it is venerable to its enemies. Unchastity damages by attraction and is the foe of contingency, the madness of lust, the destruction of good conscience.”
“The anxiety of beauty is the mother of impenitence.”
“Anxiety about beauty is the wisdom of an evil mind.”
“She is not a modest woman who strives to stir up the fancy of another.”
“The wearing of gold shows the extravagance of a boastful soul. It is not the woman who is adorned but her vices are made manifest.”
“Moreover, to chastity brethren, are suited and are known divine modesty, and the sacred meditation of divine precepts, and a soul inclined to faith, a mind attuned to the sacredness of Christianity, then carefulness that nothing be elaborated beyond measure or extended beyond propriety, nothing should be made a show of, nothing artfully colored.” 2 Corinthians 11:2; Titus 2:4-5.
By Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage (AD 200-258). Anti-Nicenne Fathers, Vol. V, page 587. He was beheaded under the Roman persecution of the church in AD. 258.
8. BIBLICAL EXTERNALISM AND THE ORDINANCE OF HAIR
This teaching on the church ordinance of the hair, (1 Corinthians 11:15,) is peculiar to the New Testament and is not from the Old Testament as some have said. The length of hair on men and women of the church is indeed specified in this ordinance chapter. Another visible trait of the obedient Christian life. Short hair on a woman is forbidden while long hair on a man is forbidden. Scripture teaches on the subject of hair in the New Testament on several occasions but many Christians who profess to love Christ and “have great faith” despise these teachings of the Word that in their opinion, interfere with their personal preferences to conform to the styles of the world. The culture of the world defies God’s Word in this matter also. The culture of the world has such a strong grip on the thinking of the church that while it professes to love God, it refuses to be governed of God in these “small matters.” The Christian’s hairstyle is defined by God. This is part of the visible Christian’s lifestyle.
It is indeed strange to angels and godly men how young people professing to be holiness so quickly learn from the punks and rock stars how to kink, shingle, style and grease the hair but ignore the plain commandment to NOT conform to this present world culture. Sometimes we ask ourselves: “Where is the Holy Ghost?”
When a professing Christian denounces the Biblical style and then conforms to the styles being dictated by human culture it simply reveals which master he or she is listening to, which culture they really belong to and identify with. John 14:15.
Liberals have been trying to destroy the Biblical meaning of separation and thus the credibility of the holiness life and the importance of the visible Christian lifestyle. But the Bible is on the side of visible purity and conclusively against the sensual and worldly spirit entrenched in the fundamental church of today.
The Spirit of God is calling His dear children to cease from the world’s sensual externalism and take on the image of the visible Christian explained in the Word of God. Oh, God, teach us to weep our worldliness away and return to the purity and simplicity of godliness!
TO RETURN TO THE POWER AND PURITY
OF THE EARLY CHURCH WE WILL
HAVE TO RETURN TO THE
SCRUPLES OF THE EARLY CHURCH
SOME POPULAR AND WRONG INTERPRETATIONS OF THE BIBLE REGARDING STANDARDS OF THE HOLINESS CULTURE:
1. “It’s not what is on the outside that matters, but what’s on the inside.” This little proverb has been repeated by worldly Christians for decades wrongly. It is taken from a terrible interpretation of an incident in the life of the prophet Samuel when he went to Jesse’s house to anoint a king over Israel. Let’s see what this Scripture really says without “interpreting” it.
SAMUEL ANOINTS DAVID – But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7.
This is often quoted to imply that there is no merit to the visible virtues of modesty and chastity as it may affect our appearance as Christian men and women. It is also said to imply that there is an “inside” and “outside” holiness, and that one is of no consequence or of lesser importance than the other.
When God mentioned the outside of Eliab, He definitely was not making any reference to how Eliab was dressed. He was dressed as any other man of that day. “Countenance” is the Hebrew word mareh meaning handsome or beautiful. The word “stature” is the word qowmah in the Hebrew meaning height. These were the words used as the visible marks of Eliab’s appearance that deceived the prophet. Literally, he was tall and handsome. It had nothing to do with the way he dressed, but rather his charismatic appearance physically. Samuel was about to anoint the wrong man for the same reason we “anoint” the wrong men today – an impressive charismatic appearance.
God did indeed say two things which have equal importance: First He said, “For man looketh on the outward appearance.” This is a fact. Man does look on the outward appearance and is affected in his behavior by how others appear visibly to him. God knows that, and considers that to be a moral factor! This is one of the strongest statements of the Bible to support the reason why under the new covenant of Grace God requires a death to self and the utter discipline of the body unto death. (Read Romans 6 through 8; 13:14; 1 Corinthians 9:27.) The strongest influence on the behavior of our children and even grown adults is the influence of those around us and what we see in them. God was stating a dynamic moral fact here, Samuel had been deceived and influenced wrongly by what he saw in Eliab. People still try to impress others by their outward appearance, but God sees the true person inside.
Secondly He said, But the Lord looketh on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7. Both the “outside” and the “heart” are important. God was not saying that the outside appearance was not important, He was saying that He sees things in the heart of man that the prophet was not seeing. The liberal misinterpretation says, “It’s not what’s on the outside that counts, God looks on the inside. “
It is impossible to say that a man is more holy in his spirit than in his flesh. The statement is true that God sees the inner man’s motives, while man can only see the outward mannerisms.
In this text there is nothing to support an “inner holiness” doctrine that excludes the effects of inner holiness on the outward Christian!
Samuel was impressed with this tall and handsome Eliab. Eliab probably put on his best behavior as he appeared before this venerated man of God. He kept himself in line and probably tried to impress Samuel with his pleasant mannerisms. The inner graces can be imitated and are as liable to sham as any of the graces that regulate the visible appearance. We have all been the victims of deceptive smiles and graceful words that later proved to be a devil and a hypocrite.
Eliab later showed his true colors when David visited the battlefield. He was nice enough when he tried to impress the prophet, but Eliab could be so nasty to the members of his own family.
The test of true inner grace is not how one acts to celebrities and superiors, but the real test is how one reacts to subordinates and inferiors.
Proponents of “inside” or “outside” holiness are both Scripturally wrong! God’s holiness affects both parts of man equally. (Principles of Purify, pages 42 A3.)
2. Peter was not giving us a commandment against the profile of a Christian’s visible appearance.
THE PETER PRINCIPLE 1 Peter 3:3-4
A very frivolous interpretation of I Peter 3:3-4 is floating around in Bible College and seminary classrooms. I call it the “idiomatic” (rhymes with idiotic) interpretation. It is one of the very good examples of the terrible exegesis that liberals are guilty of in their struggle to justify worldliness in their churches and in their wives.
The verses they mutilate: 1 Peter 3:3-4: 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, which is in the sight of God of great price.
The liberal idiomatic interpretation goes like this; “That Peter was using a common idiomatic form of speech when he gave this instruction to the women of the church; ‘Idiom’ meaning a peculiar wax; of speaking, peculiar to a certain culture of people such as the Hebrews. “
Let’s look at a few facts now that this interpretation ignores:
(a) Peter’s epistles were written not to Jews but “to strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,” and to God’s “elect.” Peter was not speaking an idiom peculiar to Jews. He was speaking in plain language to all of God’s people everywhere in language they understood and which I understand clearly.
(b) Adding Words To The Word Of God – This very bad interpretation concludes that what Peter was really saying was “Let not a woman’s adorning be [only] that outward adorning. . . but [also] rather let it be that inward adorning.” These added words not only change the meaning of what Peter said, but implies he was saying just the opposite of what he said!
(c) Another brash conclusion – He further states, “If the words about plaiting the hair, wearing gold, and putting on apparel meant a woman could not fix her hair and could not wear any jewelry, then it would also mean she could NOT WEAR ANY APPAREL!”
This is why we call such interpretations idiotic!
The subject is not “clothing” but “adorning.”
Apparel is only one of the three items Peter mentions being used as adornment. He mentions several items not to be worn by godly Christian ladies, i.e, plaited hair, gold, costly apparel. These are all items having to do with adornments and not with being clothed. Peter is speaking of and prohibiting apparel that is costly and of an adorning nature (as Paul confirms in 1 Timothy 2:9).
Peter’s subject is “ADORNING” and not wearing clothes. The conclusion that “SHE COULD NOT WEAR ANY APPAREL” is a good example of the depraved human rationale attempting to interpret the Word of God. (Horrible exegesis!) To repeat, Peter’s subject is not “apparel,” but “adorning.” (See 1 Peter 3:3a.)
(d) In verse 2 Peter tells us the subject he is on: wives winning their husbands by chaste (innocent, modest, clean, pure) conversation (conduct).
Is Peter telling Christian wives to adorn themselves with elaborate hairstyles, gold and expensive clothing in the context of chastity?!? Chastity has always meant decency, modesty, free of all sensual impurities. Noah Webster said it is the purity of the body. (See Cyprian’s treatise on chastity above.)
The word chastity in the original language is from the Greek word hagnos meaning to be free of any impurities. A woman cannot be pure if she is practicing the worldly arts. The very word cosmetic means artificial, false or make believe. She is not pure if there is vanity, extravagance or any other forms of worldliness in the heart.
Peter is not telling Christian ladies that they should adorn themselves with the beauty of the world, but the very opposite!e) “LET IT NOT BE” IS NOT AN IDIOM, IT IS AN ULTIMATUM! 1 Peter 3:3.
(f) The Three Things Peter Scorns – 1. Outward adorning – The word adorning here is the Greek word kosmos used to refer to the world system. Figuratively, as Peter uses it here, it means worldly adornment or decoration. 2. Plaiting of hair – Greek (plaiting), emploke; literally meaning an elaborate braiding of the hair. His mention of broidered hair is not a prohibition against braiding hair, but it is a prohibition against the worldly practice of broidering the hair with brightly colored materials that was the custom of that day. 3. Wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel – The word wearing Peter uses here is perithesis; To decorate one’s self.
(g) These verses of Scripture are moral instruction consistent with the entire tenor of Biblical doctrine in regard to modesty and holiness of life. Peter was giving clear instruction against the worldly obsession with bodily adornments. She who is given to artificial beauty, to fashion and the sensual arts is not separated from the world as commanded. (2 Corinthians 6:14 – 7:1) It is neither spiritual or Biblical. Christians employed in the sensual arts are contributing to the moral corruption of the church and society. For the world this is to be expected; for the church it is a moral tragedy and the most apparent indication of spiritual decay. The exploitation of the body is tantamount to the deification of the flesh.
(h) PAUL CONFIRMS PETER’S INSTRUCTION in 1 Timothy 2:9. Paul gives us the mind of the Spirit on the very same subject Peter dealt with in 1 Peter 3:3, and leaves no room for any such
idiomatic interpretation of Peter’s instruction.
By inspiration of the Holy Spirit Paul says, In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, withshamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair; or gold, or pearls, or costly array; (10) But (which becometh women professing godliness) with godd works. Peter’s instruction was tied to the words chaste conversation [conduct] while Paul’s instruction here (1 Timothy 2:9) is on the subject of godliness. The idiomatic (idiotic) interpretation is completely destroyed! Both of these apostles are saying the same thing about the same subject.
The word modesty used by Paul is aidos. Vine notes that itmeans bashfulness toward men and awe toward God. Reinecker and Rogers says of aidos, “The word denotes feminine reserve in matters of sex. In the word is involved an innate moral repugnance to the doing of the dishonorable. It is ’shamefastness’ which shrinks from overpassing the limits of womanly reserve and modesty.” The word sobriety from sophrosune: “It stands basically for perfect selfmastery in the physical appetites and as applied to women it too had a spiritual nuance. It is that habitual inner self government with its constant reign on all the passions and desires (Kelly; Trench, synonyms, 12; s. also TDNT).” PLEGMA (Broidered) according to R and R: “Here it refers to ‘hair styles’; i.e., ‘plaited hair. ’ Both Jewish and Gentile women were noted for their elaborate hairstyles” (s. SB HI, 428ff.; DGRA, 328-330). “In Philo’s description of pleasure coming in the guise of a prostitute, he describes such a woman as having her hair dressed in curious and elaborate plaits, her eyes with pencil lines, her eyebrows smothered with paint and her costly raiment broidered lavishly with flowers, and with bracelets, necklaces with gold and jewels hanging around her. ” (Philo, ‘The Sacrifices of Abel and Cain,’ 21). Paul’s reference to costly array uses the word poluteles which simply means “very expensive clothing.”
False Teachers: Arrogant or proud? It is sometimes very difficult to discern between boldness and arrogance. But here is the difference: Boldness defends truth but arrogance defends itself.
False prophets abound – We have an abundance of teaching on the deeper life, but very few of these deeper life ministries mention sanctification and the separation aspect of this extremely important doctrine of the New Testament. The term “deeper life” has become a clever substitute term for Biblical sanctification. We think to teach an intimacy with God without the necessity of deliverance from our affections for the world culture. Most of the modem deeper life teachers avoid any mention of Biblical separation from the world culture as being vital to “deeper life” in Christ. Like so many other terms being coined by the liberal fundamentalists today, they sound good and what they say seems to honor Christ but contains the subtle “elimination” of negative truth. Most heresy has somewhere in it the error of omission.
Modern apostate fundamentalism has omitted the supremely essential need of corrective preaching from their liberal agenda to attract more people to their gospel. But what good is a promiscuous crowd here if all is lost at the judgment seat? That, sir, is the bottom line. The elimination of the negative from the gospel is to render it non-redemptive—it becomes “another” gospel and in the end, you are eliminated. And why is the negative truth of Scripture so important?
The apostate gospel eliminates certain Bible truths that conflict with their teaching on “freedom.” The liberal gospel is more palatable to the crowd. It is not merely a matter of omission but rather intentional elimination that is being practiced by many positive artists. The apostate preacher is characterized by this elimination of certain Biblical truths which may be directed at the behavior of the carnal nature. Their claim is that personal instruction and the perfection of the believer is not an “up to date approach to winning people to God.” But their real reason is that Biblical teaching advocating the holy culture of the Kingdom of God interferes with their “success” philosophy. To teach Biblical holiness would destroy their following and the religious empires they are building.
They eliminate holiness because it interferes with the freedoms of the carnal nature to be worldly.
They eliminate the fear of God because it interferes with their distorted teaching on grace and the love of God.
They eliminate any doctrine which they are unable to reconcile with the Bible passages which support their emphasis on self esteem and their materialistic success theories.
They eliminate negative commandments directed at the flesh nature because they practice and teach an indulgent and materialistic lifestyle.
The Snake, the Author of the Positive Gospel – As far back as the scenes of Eden we see the Satanic effort to popularize the gospel with positivism. The snake gave Eve all positive reasons why she should disregard God’s negative commandment to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He told her:
(1) “Ye shall not die;”
(2) “Your eyes shall be opened;”
(3) “Ye shall be as gods,”
(4) “knowing good and evil.”
Eve bought the positive doctrine of the snake and the church is still “biting” on the forbidden fruit of positivism!
God Placed A Condition With The Commandment – Satan attempted to eliminate the whole concept of conditional obedience to the Word of God and replace it with a high sounding conditionless positivism. This has been the Satanic tactic since the fall of Adam and Eve. Positivism is the Devil’s sugary placebo for God’s truth.
Exempting The Flesh From Scriptural Discipline – Apostates emphasize the positive aspects of praise and worship in the spirit but exempt the flesh from Scriptural constraints and disciplines. The proud sinful nature of the flesh has been let off the hook scott free wherever you find fleshpot religion.
Mortification Peculiar To The New Covenant – Not like the old covenant, the new covenant dispensation calls for a spiritual new birth and the mortification (death) of the flesh nature which is the basic cause of all human sin and disorder. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. Galatians 5:24. This is the peculiar doctrine of the new covenant. That is the premise of New Testament grace . . . not the adornment of flesh, but an obedience in the spirit that brings death to the flesh and all affinities with the world. Ours is a very high and holy calling to fellowship with God through a death to self that corresponds with His death experience. Romans chapter 6; See Romans 13:4-5,14; Galatians 5:24; Philippians3:10; 1 Peter 4:1.
THE EXTERNALISM OF THE WORLD
There Are Hundreds Of External Images – There is the classical corporate image of the socially elite; there is the casual image; there is the policeman’s image; the punk image and the rock star image; there is a subculture image and the nurse’s image as well as cultured images such as the visible difference between an Eskimo and a Mongolian. There is genetic externalism, geographical externalism, cultural externalism, Religious externalism, Biblical externalism and occupational externalism. Externalism is a universal fact of life! We are concerned with Biblical externalism as opposed to sensual externalism and their profound moral effects. Let us consider three of these external images before getting into the Christian’s image as treated in the Scripture:
1. THERE IS THE CORPORATE OR CLASSICAL IMAGE – The corporate image is usually the same as the classical image. It is the conservative style that changes the least in the fashion world over the years. Fad fashions come and go but the classical image remains stable the longest and considered to be the ideal image for salesman by large corporations. It is also the preferred profile of government officials. The corporate business world has rigid dress standards. Human rights movements have forced the corporate dress codes into unwritten form, but the business world still believes in externalism.
The World And The Word Place Value On Externals – John T. Molloy, advisor to large corporations in America has made externalism a science that proves the effect dress and appearance has on productivity, sales and credibility. In his book DRESS FOR SUCCESS, Mr. Molloy proves how proper dress improves the efficiency of the work place. His standard of dress all but parallels the Biblical emphasis God places on externals. In his book he discusses such things as “The Case For Dress Codes;” “How 100 Executives Described Successful Dress;” “Never Underestimate The Power Of A Haircut;” “Dress Rules That Always Pay Off” and many other subjects. The corporate world pays this man handsome fees to lecture their executives staffs on externals.
2. THERE IS THE CASUAL IMAGE – “casual” clothing is considered to be clothing worn for any unimportant occasion. The word casual embraces such meanings as careless, apathetic, unconcerned, carefree, fun-loving, loose, artless, relaxed, flexible, indifferent or undistinguished. Beautiful women and celebrities often wear baggy casual clothes to escape being noticed or recognized. Young girls belonging to rich families can be seen in almost any mall wearing the baggy casual clothing with sunglasses and no facial makeup to avoid being noticeable.
No Audience With God Is casual – Casual clothing is appropriate for a hike or mowing the grass but on the occasion of the church gathering to enter God’s presence a concern to be properly dressed to enter into the presence of the King of Kings reflects a proper reverence (high esteem) for God that is appropriate for God’s children. A casual, slouchy appearance is not spiritual and it is not “in” in the Kingdom. When Paul said in Ephesians 3:12 that we should come into His presence with confidence that word (pepoithesis) means that we can rely, trust, count on God. Confidence in God does not mean that reverence toward God’s holiness and majesty is to be held in contempt and that a casual “buddy, buddy” attitude is the more enlightened and personal relationship God wants us to have.
It is this “casual philosophy” that thinks nothing of women wearing pants, teenagers sprawled over the floor in “rap sessions” and rock sound replacing majestic hymns and songs of worship in the church, and the indiscriminate embracing between men and women. It is this casual attitude that has produced an amoral church standard that has scandalized the church in recent years. We have replaced the fear of God with a new casual kind of Christianity that destroys reverence.
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. 2 Corinthians 7:1. [Note previous 4 verses.]
As the church loses the fear of God it becomes casual and trifling in its attitude about the holiness of God and loses its constraint to conform to the world. The God of consuming fire described in Scripture has become “the man upstairs” to the apostate. The casual spirit of the world has cast off the doctrine of the fear of God, reverence, and good manners.
Our obsession with creature comforts has not only made us soft, it has made us insensitive to God’s feelings. Our quest to be casual has overwhelmed our sense of His Holiness. It was a sad day when the church came by the “casual” approach to a holy God.
3. THERE IS THE SENSUAL IMAGE – Any practice that has its origin in the world and practiced by the unregenerate of the world to change their personal image from natural to unnatural is conforming to the world. Changing what is natural to unnatural is the behavior of savages and the sensual, but never the behavior of the godly.
The Art Of The Infamous – It is a puzzle how professing Christians who claim to be “filled” with the Spirit of God so eagerly embrace the lewd and indecent practices of prostitutes and the sex-obsessed entertainment lifestyle. The cosmetic industry is not a work of the Holy Spirit but the work of this world and its ungodly tendencies. No preacher can defend cosmetology as being spiritual. It is purely a carnal pursuit as we shall see from Scripture and history.
Why Man Exploits Beauty
The Natural Power Of Attraction – Behind all artificial cosmetic beauty of the flesh is the idea of how it will affect others in the way of attraction. Attraction to self can be the only motive for artificial beauty. Cleanliness and a neat plain appearance, on the other hand, is much less liable to possess this vice. (1 Corinthians 13; Love vaunteth not itself.) The painted crowd is much more given to pride and sophistication than the simple and plain ladies living quiet lives in rural churches. But maybe we need to go to the world’s experts on this matter and hear what they have to say on the subject of artificial attraction. We are about to see that there is nothing in common between sensual beauty and spiritual beauty. It will help us understand the difference between natural and artificial beauty and the human preoccupation with externals.
MAN CORRUPTS WHAT GOD MAKES PURE
The Unnatural Sensual Look Increases Physical Attraction – The sensual look sends a message to the male instincts that is purely sensual. God gave all the feminine charm to a woman that she needs to find a mate and be happy. The sensual arts (cosmetology, fashion, style, beauty trends, fads) are a part of the worldly science known as “body language.” Any Christian with the brains of a turnip should know that any conduct that embellishes the image of, or exploits the “body,” is not the work of the Holy Spirit. Proverbs 6:12-14; Romans 7:25.
Perverting The Selection Process – A woman is the attractor while the man is the attractee in the process of biological selection.
In The World as Will and Idea, Schopenhauer, the 19-century German philosopher “equates the ecstasy that seizes a man at the sight of a woman whose beauty appeals to him with a desire to perpetuate the human species. “
Charles Darwin, in his Descent of Man states in an outline on his theory of selection that “beauty is related to sexuality.”
When a materialistic society becomes morally corrupted it becomes preoccupied with the body and its sensual powers perverting the purity of natural selection and the proper function of the libido, and extends erotic behavior beyond propriety, and beyond the marriage bond.
Charismatic worship is characterized by touching, embracing and other kinds of physical contact that are sensually gratifying. Physical contact as practiced in apostate Pentecostalism today has nothing to do whatsoever with the holy kiss (among the brothers) mentioned by Raul in his epistles. Physical contact in worship as it is being practiced today in Charismatic circles is a kind of religious sensitivity training. Fondling another man’s wife in the name of Christian love is a doctrine of the devil.
To Be Holy Is To Be Natural – When the natural and pure process of attraction between one man selecting one woman to be his wife becomes a game of attraction carried on after and beyond marriage, in the form of sensual and provocative external adornment, it is unclean and licentious! Natural attraction as God created it, is contained within marriage as He ordained it… not beyond!
Cosmetic externalism is sensual attraction that affects men outside the marriage bond. That, sir, is not natural and godly behavior! It may be perfectly acceptable to the world’s value system but it is an abomination to a holy God. Isaiah 3:16.
Moral Decline Increases In Ratio To Sensual Externalism – As externalism increases in the church and the world, so does social immorality. Increase in the use of sensual cosmetics always brings a society to moral decline. As the sensual arts increase the morals of society decrease. Moral problems such as fallen preachers, teen promiscuity and divorce are directly linked to a society’s obsession with sensual leniency.
Man’s natural and God-given desires have been carried beyond propriety. The natural appearance which God has given us has been perverted by the reasoning that artificial beauty is decent and good. But the origin of this art and who uses it today tell us the real truth of its purpose.
There are three basic appetites that make up the human nature of man and have everything to do with his behavior. They are, in the order of their strength, Sex, hunger and greed (ambition). Cosmetology and the lust for artificial beauty is closely linked to the sexual desires whether we will admit it or not. The obsession with self-enhancement is a carnal urge and only reveals unspoken inner fantasies. Honest women, entertainers and the immoral have admitted this to be true. For example:
What Master Cosmetologists Say about their art: The human emphasis on embellishment of the natural beauty has always been related to sexual desire according to the world’s authorities on cosmetics. A prominent modern cosmetologist and expert on beauty and glamour, Luygi Giacometti states, “Beauty plays a crucial role in sexual selection. It would seem, then, that unless the senses are first aroused by beauty, attraction between the sexes cannot become operative. The eye must be fascinated and the ear charmed by the person who is to be pursued.” “Hence both sexes develop a constellation of physical attributes harmoniously interspersed with the secondary sexual characteristics. It is these attributes… that provide the initial stimulus to sexual passion and the guide to sexual selection.”
So a master cosmetologist tells us the reason why cosmetics are used: to arouse the sensual desires of the opposite sex.
Note: In his discourse Mr. Giacometti mentions “sexual attraction;” “sexual selection;” “sexual characteristics;” “sexual passion;” “sexual response;” “sexual desire” and “sexual prologue.” Here is one of the world’s experts telling the truth as to the motives behind the use of cosmetics – “sexual attraction.” How can a Christian say that cosmetics are “spiritual” or that they are harmless? To wear cosmetics and change one’s natural appearance also influences young people toward sensualism.
Cosmetics have become fashionable but that does not make them harmless to the moral good of society, nor does it change God’s mind about the fact that no good thing dwells in the flesh. Romans 7:18.
Artificial Beauty—A Form Of Dishonesty – Cosmetology is an art of the world that enhances the flesh with an unwholesome erotic beauty. The practice of changing the natural appearance for an artificial painted on beauty is a basic form of dishonesty. It is to make yourself look to be something you are not.
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20.
Cosmetology is the art of the immoral – The purpose of the sensual arts has always been for the purpose of accentuating the feminine features to attract the male instinct. As mentioned above, it is presently used by the most infamous and morally bankrupt elements of modern society.
Many modern Christians are allowing their visible lives to be more influenced by the dictates of depraved society than by the instruction of God’s Word. We must ask, Where is the real “Spirit filled,” “Spirit led,” “Spirit walk” and “Spirit life?” Acts 2:4; Romans 8:1,4; Galatians 5:18, 25; Ephesians 5:18.
Modern Christians talk the truth better than they walk it. The modern worldly image now accepted by the great majority of professing Bible believing Christians is a conspicuous violation of what Jesus and the Apostle Paul teaches us about death to self. Water baptism, which we entered into to signify our death to the self and the world is shamelessly violated.
WORLDLINESS MUST TASTE OF EVERY FORBIDDEN APPLE IT SEES WITHOUT
CONSULTING GOD. WORLDLINESS IS AN AFFECTION FOR THE
THINGS THAT HAVE THEIR ORIGIN IN THE WORLD OVER THE THINGS THAT HAVE
THEIR ORIGIN IN THE WORD.
WORLDLINESS IS AN ATTITUDE THAT DOES NOT TAKE GOD’S WORD SERIOUSLY!
THE CONSCIOUS ACT
Analyzing The Conscious Act – C. B. Eavey in his excellent double volume work entitled Christian Ethics made a brilliant observation regarding externalism. He observed that “every conscious act has moral implications.” Everything we do will have reason or personal motive behind it. The reason you do anything always has a good or evil purpose motivating it. And then there are always moral consequences in how it affects others morally. Everything I do will have a moral effect on me and those around me. Cosmetology is sensual in purpose and in practice as the world declares them to be. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 1 John 4:5.
1. EVERY CONSCIOUS ACT HAS MORAL IMPLICATIONS. Every act we commit, everything we permit and practice in the visible life has a conscious motive behind it. As a rational and moral creature I am fully aware of the right or wrong I am doing.
To knowingly tolerate a germ of impurity to exist when it is in my power to eliminate it, is in conflict with the perfecting work of the Holy Spirit and the perfecting of holiness which all true Christians are to be achieving by Grace. 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Corinthians 5:6-8; Galatians 5:9. To consciously tolerate evil and coexist with it is the mentality of a sinner, not a saint and can lead us into serious consequences. 1 Timothy 6:9.
2. EVERY CONSCIOUS ACT AFFECTS OTHERS. Not only is there a moral reason behind every conscious act, but there is also a moral effect it is having on others. That is what God is concerned with! For none of us liveth to himself. Romans 14:7.
Many modem Christians have the same taste for the world as swingers, whores and punks and then insist they are living victorious holy lives. I think of Raul’s words, God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar. When a Christian drives a car he does it for the same reason a thief does, to convey him from one point to the next. There is a basic reason both saints and sinners change their natural countenance and they are both for the same reason, and will have the same effect on others around them. The only difference is that in the Christian environment immoral behavior is suppressed. But where there is freedom to be worldly there will also be hidden and secret fantasies. Sooner or later that condition erupts into immorality and scandal, bringing reproach to the church.
A medical doctor writes: “Man’s love of female beauty surpasses all other love, and whatever artificial means are used to beautify, to a certain extent, are falsehoods that lead to distrust or dislike. Artificial beauty is always an imitation, and can never compete with the genuine. No art can successfully imitate nature,” The terrible increase in divorce rates in both society and the church, the popular social approval of fornication, sex education, homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle, the popularizing of adultery and situation ethics supports the doctor’s statement.
Conscious Acts And Personal Preference – Conscious acts are based on personal preferences. This makes them very dangerous for the following reasons: 1. Carnal preferences conflict with Scripture and the principles of the spiritual life in Christ. (Romans 6:12) When there is a conflict, do I refuse to admit the fact and choose a carnal preference over a spiritual precept? Galatians 5:17. 2. My personal preferences tend to be self centered. 3. Self centeredness is inconsiderate of others. When I do what I want to without considering how it affects others, I have corrupted the environment for evil. Every conscious act we commit is with the secret desire to affect others by what we do.
The obsession with worldly culture’s fashions today reveals how important the appearance of self is and our intent to affect others with our visible appearance. 4. Sensual appearance in a person is for the purpose of creating sensual response in other persons. We each create our outward image by our own personal choices. Those preferences reflect what we admire, which in turn reveals our true character. Romans 14:7. There is no such thing as an act committed without personal secret intent to cause effect in others. Sensual habit and practices create sensual response in others. It is the wisdom of the demented, it is to be spiritually deranged. All sensual acts are committed to enhance the visible person. The very part of me that Paul calls “the body of sin” the carnal man attempts to deify with artificial beauty.
Worldliness in the Christian’s life is all the while affecting the minds and morals of all those around them for either good or for evil. The holiness culture taught by the apostles releases a wholesome and morally constructive influence on those around them. You may be criticized by some but it is only because immodesty is always uncomfortable in the presence of purity.
The Admiration Sin-drome – It is common knowledge that the human nature is attracted to what is beautiful and then that attraction turns to admiration. Once admiration sets in, that person consciously and unconsciously begins to conform to or imitate the thing he or she admires. 1 John 2:15-17.
3. EVERY CONSCIOUS ACT SHOULD BE EXAMINED. The Psalmist wrote about these careless little things we allow into our lives without evaluating their true influence on life. He said, Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Psalm 19:13. This word presumptuous is zed in the Hebrew, meaning arrogance or to be vain, insolent and haughty. The Psalmist actually said, “Keep back thy servant from arrogant sins.” It is tragic but true that we are unconcerned about some things that are directly linked to and the cause of THE GREAT TRANSGRESSION. Worldliness is not a small matter. It destroys holiness and with that our chances of seeing God. Hebrews 12:14.
Sensualism: The protected Sin Of The Church – There is no spiritual voice explaining the wrongness and filthiness of sensualism. Charismatics who once lived the holiness culture and then turned in to a liberal church environment where the worldly culture was being taught, and once they abandon the moral teaching of the Kingdom culture, claim they have “found their freedom.” It is freedom indeed, the freedom to be worldly and sensual. They seem to lose all shame for their disobedience. Scripture explains this condition: it is called “the seared conscience.” What we now believe to be “small” and “innocent” practices have led us into the quagmires of apostasy. Each worldly and degenerate act leads to the next degenerate act until we have become shameless swaggering boasters of our worldliness not seeming to realize that worldliness breaks our communion with God. James 4:4.
Christ is a character model! Character means nothing to the cosmetic mentality. When we allow our children to admire the world’s personalities and to imitate them, they are being conditioned to “imaging” or copying immoral (personality) model figures. The role models of the world are personality models, not character models.
Personality Craze Corrupting The Church and Society. Personality role models more and more dominate the life of our children through their forming years in the educational system (then home to the TV). Personality and not character has become the focus of our new humanized fundamentalism. I recently saw a Sunday School manual which featured studies of characters of the Bible, under the heading “Personalities of the Bible.” Now we have even distorted our Bible study material and perverted the true meaning of character, distorting the difference between personality and character, running them together. A very clever trick of the Devil. Surely these people know the difference between personality and character!
It is fast becoming impossible to teach children Biblical morals because the personalities they admire have no character. Even our government has become more secular and aloof from the religious heritage of our country. The world’s culture is a personality oriented culture, while the Kingdom of God is a character oriented culture. Personalities are admired for their external qualities and not for their character qualities. These personality oriented youth will harden in the mold of personality worship and become the leaders of the church tomorrow with no appreciation for morals or moral resolution.
It is already happening. We have become so twisted in our values and so confused in our making a distinction between character and personality that the externalism of the world is being preferred over the externalism of holiness. Our craving for worldliness and our angry defense of it combined with our attacks and harassment on holiness people, proves pretty well the hopeless state of our spiritual degeneracy.
When worldly personalities become the admired images of ourselves and our children, we will conform to the same value system of our admired models … not to the teaching of Scripture! The new externalism (morality) that has been hailed as “freedom” by the new gospel preachers has corrupted an entire generation of the church and there is only one thing now that will awaken us—the judgment of God on a haughty and proud and pompous church. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: Revelation 3:17.
The more obsessed we become with personality, the more possessed we become with externals. Church leaders don’t seem to realize the subtle effects that worldliness and sensual externalism will ultimately have on the character of not only the church but society as a whole. It may not happen overnight but from generation to generation until there is a degenerate generation completely ignorant of the power of authentic Christianity. Proverbs 30:11-14.
THE COSMETIC APPEAL TO CHILDREN
The Latest Thing: Cosmetic Children – The cosmetic industry has launched an advertising campaign to make cosmetics available to children. Making cosmetics available to children is to pass an adult perversion onto a generation of youth not emotionally capable of coping with adult sensualism. Just another move by a depraved culture without the wisdom of God. Child cosmetics will be welcomed with open arms by the modern fundamentalists parents. Things they consider to be “innocent” and of “little or no consequence” are the taproots of social sin. These people are so given to the erotic arts that their thinking has been turned away from the spiritual wisdom of God’s Word that warns again and again against such behavior.
Cosmetology Is Egocentric And Erotic – Accentuating the feminine feature of the face and body is loaded with moral and psychological dangers. It introduces young people into the world of promiscuity and fornication. Are we now going to stand by and let Satan take away from us the beauty and innocence of a child’s face?
Child cosmetics is an insidious scheme to sensualize our children. The cosmetic industry stops at nothing to create another market, another source of profit, even if it means corrupting innocent children. Cosmetics in the hands of children and youth prematurely conditions them to a sensual art that will alter their personalities and rob them of pure character.
Children Who Miss Adolescence – Many children today never experience an adolescent life. Most young people are hurled from childhood into a world of adult behavior with their child life cut short. They have missed a most important part of life. It is common in recent years to see young, undeveloped girls with pierced ears, wearing lipstick and eye shadow. The government has made in-school sex clinics teaching prevention available to “children with active” lives. Now the cosmetic industry wants to add the erotic look to their already troubled lives.
Cosmetics to the very young – Church leaders and psychologists are out of touch with reality! They will not put their attention on the real problem with youth and society. It should be illegal for young people to practice any of the erotic habits. But what does the secular world do about pregnancies? Do they go to the erotic source, to the character distortions and real causes of promiscuity? No! The humanists are teaching our kids how to fornicate and then prevent conception or abort the life they conceive.
Will we not learn that what we call just little innocent things are the very things conditioning us and our children to do the very things that launch us into the big things that destroy us.
Parents Lacking Wisdom – Parents who lead their children into the cosmetic world will reap the tearful consequences of their misjudgment regarding this “innocent” practice. Cosmetics have one primary effect biologically; it is a sensual and seductive art. To place this freedom on children will ultimately produce emotional hardships on them. Sensualism produces an array of emotional conditions that children (and teenagers) are incapable of coping with.
It is a logical conclusion that parents who do not have the wisdom to keep evil influences out of the lives of their children will not have the compassion or wisdom to help them out of the problems they sink into. Teen suicide, which is of epidemic proportions today attests to this fact. Even the professionals are wringing their hands hopelessly.
Erotic worldliness is one of the most subtle of all forms of social corruption! How? By placing importance on external sensual beauty instead of moral simplicity, naturalness and humility. These qualities will not exist in their pure form with sensual externalism. Where carnality reigns, virtue will play second fiddle to sensual externalism. One makes the other a slave to it. Galatians 5:17.
Sensualism Contributes To Self Destruction – Sensual externalism is an adult invention of the depraved libido to stimulate the biological urge between the sexes. It is not a respectable practice for Christians. Only apostates, prayerless liberals and the innocent ones they mislead with false teaching, endorse sensual externalism. If the present adult church is so consumed with this great importance of the external appearance, what will their children be?
We are thrusting our children into adult behavior patterns they are incapable of coping with or even know what they are affecting by the use of sensual cosmetics. Add to that dilemma the terrible lack of character teaching, personal holiness and the habit of secret prayer and you have a powder keg laying at the door of the church. And then we wonder why their lives are being wrecked by impulsive decisions, premarital pregnancies, divorce, drugs, adultery and suicide.
Pride has become a virtue, worldliness has become fashionable and the sensual cosmetic look respectable. Once the church has cast off its serious pursuit of personal purity (sanctification), the spirit of the world soon becomes a greater influence on the Christian lifestyle than the Word of God.
The departure of Pentecostal leaders from the pure doctrines of our holiness heritage is to leave the first love. Our children are the ultimate victims.
The Affinity Between The World And Flesh – It is not the spirit or the soul of man, but the flesh nature that is the medium and instrument of sin according to the Bible. Romans 7:18,20; Galatians 5:19-21.
Scruples – Intelligence combined with conscience reveals to man the truth. Add to these natural powers the Spirit of Truth which we have received from Christ at the new birth, and faith that comes from reading the Word of God, and you have all the means needed to produce a life of supernatural character. We can only conclude that Christians who persist in sensual externalism with good exposure to the Word of God have a spiritual screw loose somewhere.
Carnal Christians Plead Innocence – Carnal Christians become indignant when their lust is exposed. They quickly deny any wrong doing as to the effect their sensual appearance has on the people around them, and especially women upon men. When a woman makes herself sensual by altering the face and the cut of her clothing, she is very aware of what she is doing! To pretend she is not aware of her provocative appearance only adds sin to sin.
The World Thrives On Physical Attraction: Scripture Opposes It! – The world’s authorities on erotica promote the art of sensual attraction between men and women. Why would rational Christian people professedly “born again and filled with the Holy Ghost” use or practice any form of erotica handed down from principalities and powers of this world which promote unclean and lustful practices in the church?
Vain people try to defend their spiritual weakness insisting that “evil is in the eye of the beholder,” but fail to see that “ego and vanity are in the heart and mind of the user of adornments and cosmetics.”
The recent emphasis on self esteem supports the whole idea of enhancing the self. God knows how much these careless teachings have infected the churches which embrace it. The vice of egotism has replaced the virtue of humility.
EGO IS A DICTATOR OVER THE BODY
Effects of Ego – Recently when the mayor of a major city in America was arrested for allegedly being in possession of narcotics, an influential supporter of the mayor was asked in an interview, “But why would he even fool around with drugs?” Her answer was, “His ego simply consumed his reasoning.” Ego, pride and lust all have one thing in common: they all destroy the rational and moral powers of the soul. The noblest use of intelligence is the achieving of good morals.
The Ego Is Aligned With The World – Ego dictates to the body how it wants to impress others. Worldliness appeals to the ego. Everyone has an ego (self consciousness, self love).
BUT WHEN WE HAVE A GENUINE ENCOUNTER WITH GOD and are born again, the depraved ego is replaced by the Christ ego in regeneration. The transformed ego is the miracle of the new birth.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20.
Everyone who claims to be “born again” has not had this transformation of the ego. The transformed ego is selfless and altruistic, that is, it seeks the welfare of others before itself.
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12. The right use of self love is translating what I like and what I like others to do for me and to me into what I can do for them that makes them happy. By knowing what makes me happy, I know what makes others happy. In fact, every moral commandment of God has this principle woven into it as Jesus taught. (Matthew 7:12)
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, 2 Corinthians 5:17-18a.
It is this transition of concern from self to others that proves regeneration and in turn makes us good pastors, good missionaries, soul winners and lovers of the truth. The transformed ego of the Christian is proof of the genuineness and completeness of the professing Christian’s conversion. The transformed Christ ego seeks the well-being of others, first. The obsession with self and the modern emphasis on self esteem is a devilish contradiction of Jesus’ teaching on the death of self. Luke 9:23.
The visible person is the product of the ego. One’s appearance and how he or she wants others to see them is called a “profile.”
Profiles – This connection between profile and character is so consistent that law enforcement agents and customs officials are trained to read “profiles.” This enables officers to recognize people who may be engaged in illegal activities.
The Holiness Profile – The Christian who is indwelt of the Holy Spirit will have a holy profile that is visible and corresponds to the inner presence of a holy God. John 14:17; Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:14; 1 John 3:24. The Christian profile resulting from conforming to the Word of God is distinguishable and singular. There is none other like it. A Christian walking in the Spirit of the Word and living in loving obedience to the Lord will show forth a very visible Biblical profile that is easily distinguishable from that of the world.
Every visible feature displayed on our external person is a manifestation of either the vice or the virtue of the inner person. What a man believes, he consciously and unconsciously lives out for others to see. Some of our external behavior is intentional, some is not. What a Christian is inwardly must display itself in the visible life.
Carnal Pride Behind Cosmetic Industry – Ego is at the heart of fleshly pride. The tendency of humans to be showy and noticed is proven by the importance they place on externals and the multi-billion dollar cosmetic and fashion industries.
Cosmetics And The Whore – Cosmetics are used by whores to arouse the erotic appetites in their men customers. While a respectable woman may not have immoral motives as primary objective for using cosmetics it does not cancel the fact that both are using a sensual art that has the same erotic effects. Cosmetics are used by women of the world to arouse evil men with evil minds. What is affecting evil men affects all men to some degree, including men who are holy and constrained by the Spirit of Christ. It is a shame for a woman professing Christ to practice any form of provocative behavior that corresponds to the vices of the whore.
Christians and ministers who defend the practice of cosmetology and the extravagance of showy adornments contradicts the teaching of the apostles, denies a true knowledge of Scripture and pleads ignorance as to the efficacy of the cross.
TO LOVE THE WORD IS SYNONYMOUS WITH
LOVING THE AUTHOR!
To not regard the moral instruction of the Word is a show of contempt for its author.
It Is A Plain Fact – To do anything that draws attention to the body or person of one’s self opposes the whole idea of holy character through the death of self. We are to attract the attention of others by the peculiar work of grace in our lives, not by the sensual externalism the world teaches! The externalism which grace teaches is holy and priestly, it is plain and simple and modest, not sensual and physical. Titus 2:11-14.
Worldliness undefendable – When a belief cannot be Biblically defended the transgressors become defensive and sarcastic. Christians who prefer to remain plain and untouched by different worldly practices should not be attacked for following what the Scriptures literally teach on the subject of the visible Christian. There are frequent such abusive remarks directed at holiness Christians. Following are a few of the more popular and oft used remarks:
A well known radio preacher and author referred to Christian ladies who choose not to wear cosmetics as having faces that “look like unmade beds.” Such sarcasm directed at holy living is unbecoming to a minister of the gospel and an ugly intrusion of another Christian’s personal convictions. Romans 14:4, 16-17, 20. Remarks directed at Christians who hold to the plain and natural appearance as a matter of personal conviction is a violation of Plaul’s teaching in Romans 14:14-16, where he admonishes us not to offend a brother with a conviction which you may not hold.
On several occasions Pentecostal church officials have made the remark that Christians who still keep the plain and separated lifestyle “are still living in the 1940’s.” I would much prefer belonging to the church of the forties as regards to the spiritual condition of the church.
Other very thoughtless remarks are:
“That is nothing but tradition.”
“All they preach out there is a bunch of do’s and don’ts’s.”
“They are still under law.”
“I couldn’t live under such bondage.”
Yet this generation of the church has not come close to the spiritual feats and miracles of that church which did teach the disciplines of the crucified life. Godliness is gone as a message and as a reality in the lives of most modern Christians.
“But,” someone may ask, “Is it any different for holiness brethren to be critical of the liberals if it’s wrong for liberals to be cynical toward holiness people”? The answer is very simple; worldliness is evil and holiness is divine, pure and Biblical. Was it wrong for Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel to denounce the evil of their day? No, but it is a sin against the Word to be critical of holiness. Only good men will criticize evil and only evil men attack Biblical truth and doctrine.
Some very sweet people who happen to think and live a lot lower off the hog than do these wealthy high profile preachers, live higher in the spirit than these angry mockers of the holy.
Sarcasm and satire cure proper toward evil influences, false doctrine and wolves in sheep’s clothing who corrupt the Biblical teaching, but not proper when directed toward those who espouse authentic Biblical faith.
Apostates Intimidating – Such remarks do not reflect any depth of spiritual understanding, any compassion or propriety. Assaulting sincere and godly people with godly motives shows how much some of these men have spent broken in God’s presence.
Holiness Is Evil In The Eyes Of The Apostates – Agape love does not lash out against a brother who is conscientiously pursuing godliness.
Holiness is the sacred pursuit of every Christian. Ministers who attack other Christians for their separation life-style reveal a vicious, insidious spirit that is not of God. Like Calvin, they are persecutors of those who dare disagree with their pernicious ways. 2 Peter 2:1-3.
It is indeed an evil time for the church when its ministers hold the godly life in contempt and speak of adulterous marriages, public bathing and the practice of the seductive arts (cosmetology) as perfectly acceptable. It is a well-known fact to the open mind that Scripture does not endorse this conduct but to the contrary, condemns it. For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things. Philippians 3:18-19.
THREE COSMETIC MENTALITIES:
1. Social: Usually used in moderation. Classical worldliness:
A moderate use of cosmetics and adornments as a status symbol; considered appropriate because it is accepted and considered to be fashionable by the socially posh and heads of state. While this is the more moderate attitude toward the use of the sensual arts, nevertheless, it is not without creating undue attraction to self and the accentuating of the personal features and conforming to the world value system dictated by men and not God. To condone the moderate use of any vice is to say we believe in moderate worldliness. James said, Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this … to keep himself UNSPOTTED from the world. James 1:27.
Any departure from Biblical lifestyle teaching is sensualism. There are many very respectable ladies who profess Christ and yet ignore what the Kingdom laws teach in Scripture about Christian grooming.
2. Theatrics: Eroticism is at the very heart of the television and entertainment industry. The world (and the church) sit spellbound daily watching a constellation of sparkling personalities promoting the make-believe happiness of sensual role models parading past the television screen. Millions sit watching their idols whom they adore and imitate. This massive exposure coming into every home, hamlet and remote outpost makes television the most powerful behavioral influence ever known to man! Theatrical sensualism has been the main force in popularizing the many evil influences that curse our society, fill our prisons and mental institutions and drain the nations of billions in taxes. Mr. President, social programs will never stabilize a society—only a return to personal morals will restore a nation and save it from ultimate anarchy. Let history teach us that we live in a world community of nations that are has-been empires who lost their greatness when their people lost their morals. No nation who lost their virtue ever ascended to greatness again— you only lose it once.
Sensualism, eroticism and entertainment lead the nations into the Hedonism of immorality, revelry and national decline.
WORLDLINESS IS A SPIRIT THAT BELIEVES IN
SENSUALISM OVER SANCTIFICATION
The Church Has Been Corrupted And Manipulated By Deadly Influence Of Television – Television has been a chief means of making the sensual image popular with Pentecostals. Through television’s bright world of sin in full color, millions of Christians have been deceived into admiring the vices of sensualism over virtues of sanctification. Dazzled by the prospects of immediate pleasure and sparkling beauty, people become obsessed with sensual externalism and this has played a major role in the increase of broken homes. The influence of television upon society has replaced the church as the chief influence on society. The entertainment world is a cosmetic world! Television presents fornication, adultery and homosexuality as an “alternative” lifestyle. The “sexy” mentality that dominates theatrics has become the accepted mentality of society in general. The church has become dazzled and mesmerized by the glimmering artificial beauty portrayed in the make-believe world of entertainment. We have become spiritually stupid and morally neutralized by admiring the TV world’s role models featured in professional sports and the immoral entertainment crowd.
Television Promotes Depraved Human Nature, the Cult Of Externalism – Modem secular television displays the moral conscience of a wild goose! It is man’s direct eye contact with the snake. Genesis 3:1. If there is one word that best describes the world of TV entertainment it is the word COSMETIC! The cosmetic world of TV entertainment has distorted reality, promotes selfishness and personal ego and the new morality. The foolish apostate church is quick conforming to the immoral television mentality! If you watch it and expose your mind to its sounds and sights, it is unconsciously affecting your morals negatively, and your relationship to God unconsciously. You don’t “control” poisonous snakes, you kill them! Television promotes the evil culture of this world.
Kill The Snake! – Christians by the millions have become the willing slaves of the immoral television czars! When you put television out of your home you have killed a rattlesnake. Kill it! Then rededicate your home and your family to Jesus.
The Cosmetic Mentality Destroys Morals – As the cosmetic world of make believe gains a stronger hold on the minds of people, the more superficial real life becomes. Thousands of pastors do not seem to realize the connection between the cosmetic mentality of the church and immoral trends and problematic conditions they are struggling against in their churches. There is a connection!
3. Prostitution: – Sensual art has always been the tool of the street whore and the homosexual. Long before the church became cosmetic the prostitute was using this art. There was a time in the history of the church, just a few years ago, that whores and the respectable society did not have cosmetics in common. Not only has respectable society become taken up with this sensual art but now there is little difference between the street prostitutes on Saturday night and the shouting Pentecostals in church on Sunday night! How is it that respectable elements of society and the evangelical church have this sensual practice in common?
The Charm Of The Snake Has Replaced The Holiness Of God – How the world would accept erotica in any form is understandable, but how God’s Spirit-filled children could fall into this trap has only one explanation: The charm of the snake has triumphed once again by captivating the Ego of man! Whether you are a whore, a respected member of society or a professed “born again” Christian, the basic motive for sensual beauty indicates the importance placed on the body.
The Cosmetic Christian Is An Externalist – Worldliness is externalism. No form of worldliness can be defended with Scripture, and because liberals see this, they revert to intimidation and insinuation to shame holiness people. Some preachers intimidated by this tactic, fell in with the enemies of holiness, by either silence or by playing the traitor to truth and like Balaam ended up in the wrong camp awaiting God’s judgment.
The very people who say “It’s NOT what’s on the outside that counts,” are the very people who place the most importance on their external appearance. If externalism is not important then why adorn the face and body?
Externals are important enough that cosmetics and fashion are multi-billion dollar industries.
Externals are important enough that cosmetology and jewelry have become social status symbols.
It’s important enough that carnal Christians defend it.
It’s important enough that God personally designed the priest’s clothing.
It’s important enough that God mentions the vanity of women as being one of the conditions that brought judgment upon a nation. Isaiah 3:16-24.
It’s important enough that Christ, the prophets and apostles have made scores of direct and indirect allusions to the sinfulness of external forms of worldliness. Jesus openly condemned the religious externalism of the Pharisees taught from the talmudic traditions rather than from the Word of God! Matthew 15:2-9; Luke 20:46.
It is important enough that the whole theatrics world is plastered with mascara.
It’s important enough that carnal Christians which practice the sensual art of cosmetics have developed a contempt for the pure doctrine of holiness and pour contempt on their holiness brethren who choose to remain separated and plain.
It’s important enough that carnal media ministries take their precious time to scourge the holiness people about their convictions over the radio and television and in their literature constantly.
It’s important enough that whole doctrines of the Bible express concern for the worldliness of the believer, i.e., separation, mortification, sanctification and worldliness.
Worldly Externalism Not Important! – Holiness people have known for centuries that externals are not important. God’s true people know that. It’s the people who deck and adorn the external person that must be convinced of the wrongness of it. Any Christian who professes to be walking in the Spirit is never taught by Him to adorn the visible person with cosmetics. It is not taught of the Holy Spirit.
Worldly Liberalism Denies Reality – Liberals continually assure their followers that externals such as clothing, style of hair, jewelry and cosmetics are mere incidentals, and that “only legalistic Christians follow the teaching of the apostles in abstaining from such worldly practices.” Liberals have long been trying to void or revoke the Biblical doctrine of the visible Christian with every kind of misinterpretation and semantic juggling. But when the heavenly culture of the divine nature is imparted, there are immediate visible effects that distinguish the heavenly from the earthly nature. This fact is so deeply imbedded in the gospel that apostates will never succeed in voiding it!
For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit. 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8.
At this point let us say a few words as to what is meant by the term, “liberal.” A liberal mind in politics and religion is the opposite of what we call ’’conservative.” In religion a conservative is one who remains faithful to the literal and original intent of what is written in the Bible. Liberals change with the mood of the modem man and changing times. They feel more inclined to modify the meaning of the Bible to the preferences of modem thinking and lifestyle. In short, a conservative Christian believes that Biblical principles once established are not changed by popular social trends but that trends must be subject to unchanging principles. The liberal thinks just the opposite. He feels that anyone who applies Biblical principles of lifestyle to the modem life is “Living in the past,” or “Living in the forties,” or is “Old fashioned.” He will be heard saying, “You’re living in the twentieth century, man!” “Catch up with the modern world!” These are all expressions that prove one’s liberalism. The Christian who lives by the teaching of Scripture today and follows the clear teaching of Jesus and the apostles will be out of step with both the liberal church teaching and the world culture. Liberals believe in change even if that change means contradicting the immutable moral principles historically imbedded in the teaching of the church from the apostles to the present. Liberalism is conformity to the modem world environment. It believes that Christians must be like the world to some degree if they are to win the world. This philosophy always ends up corrupting the church, destroying the mentality of the new creation, and reverting back to the culture of the world. It is expressly forbidden in Scripture! And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2.
Changing limes Do Not Change The Word Of God! – Carnal Christians also insist that sensual adornment is socially acceptable inthe world and that changing times demand a change in the church’s message and a reinterpretation of the Word of God. So now that the world allows it, they’re not going to “let any preacher tell them that it’s wrong . , , and besides, a little lipstick won’t send anybody to hell.” When a thing is socially acceptable in the world it is the first indication it is not of God!
Thank God, He put it all in writing and these false prophets can’t do a thing about it! The most they can do is multiply the translations and try and confuse the church and undermine the faith of some with their fleshy and pragmatic interpretation of Scripture. How they like to twist the Word and interpret it to their liking, but there are 19 centuries of church Fathers behind us that all held the same Biblical teaching. They might as well surrender now because it’s going to happen at the judgment bars anyway.
Christians who read their Bible and believe everything it says, know that the sensual cosmetic image of the world is not the culture of Biblical holiness.
The redemptive work of the cross calls for the death of the flesh and constraints upon the sense pleasure appetites. This is the Biblical religion of the Spirit. Galatians 5:17.
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. Romans 13:14.
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? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Matthew 6:25, 28-29.
The beauty and fragrance of the lily is natural. Holiness is the beauty of the divine culture that is natural and pure. That purity is the love and the lifestyle of THE VISIBLE