The Beauty of Holiness

By John Thiel

Psalms 29:2 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

The words of Jesus to the woman at the well always resound in my ears when I worship the Lord. The women at the well was a Samaritan and she thought the right place to worship was in Samaria and the Jews thought the right place to worship was in Jerusalem. She was entering into a dialogue with Jesus on that matter and finally Jesus made it quite clear to her that salvation is of the Jews and that is where God was working. But also that the day is coming and now is that those who worship God will worship him neither in Samaria or Jerusalem but in spirit and in truth.

That is where the Lord wants to be worshipped by us – in spirit and in truth. It is our effort to understand what it means to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth as we seek to study the subject the beauty of holiness. When we come to the subject of beauty we come to a very relative word. It is nothing very concrete because beauty is only in the eyes of the beholder. I saw a very ugly baby one day and the mother said isn’t’ he beautiful and I had to conquer my natural spirit and say I’m glad you think so to myself but to her – yes, a baby is always the most beautiful to its mother. To the artist beauty is in the features of symmetry and harmony in appearances.

To the philosopher beauty is in thought and expression thereof. To a sensual beholder beauty is the form of body which provokes the senses. Each one regards beauty through different eyes. As I observe the bees they discover things different to us. They see beauty in blues and yellows and that’s all. If you look at something and think it looks beautiful but if you look at it with a magnifying glass, it can be ugly. Beauty is only a relative word. As it is a relative word the beauty of holiness must be relevant to someone who can see that beauty as not all will see it. To be a true consecrated believer there is a beauty in holiness.

Psalms 96:6 Honour and majesty [are] before him: strength and beauty [are] in his sanctuary. 7 Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength. 8 Give unto the LORD the glory [due unto] his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.  9 O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.

The true consecrated believer will see beauty in the sanctuary and will understand what it means to be worshipping “God in the beauty of holiness”. It’s interesting that the sanctuary is mentioned – beauty in the sanctuary. Besides all the things that were mentioned in the Hebrew sanctuary, one of the aspects also displayed were the garments of the priesthood. The garments of the priesthood were here identified for beauty:

Exodus 28:2 And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty.

Exodus 28:40 And for Aaron’s sons thou shalt make coats, and thou shalt make for them girdles, and bonnets shalt thou make for them, for glory and for beauty.

To the common person looking at the instruction given to Moses in the building of the temple probably the only thing beautiful was the gold and the gems. But the ordinary material on the priest, what was beautiful about that?  The common person in today’s culture will see very little beauty in the priesthood and sanctuary of the Hebrews. When we speak of the priesthood we speak of that which the priesthood symbolises.

Psalm 110:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. 2 The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. 3 Thy people [shall be] willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. 4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

Who is this talking about? This is talking about Jesus. How is it identified?

Psalm 110:3 Thy people [shall be] willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.

Jesus was born from a womb and he was called to be a priest after the order of Melchisedek. Jesus was to represent or to be the epitome of what a priest represents. Jesus was regarded as the beauty of holiness. Here is a verse speaking of the churches love for Jesus;

Song of Solomon. 5:16 His mouth [is] most sweet: yea, he [is] altogether lovely. This [is] my beloved, and this [is] my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

What does the church see in Jesus? He is absolutely beautiful. He is the most fairest, he is altogether lovely. That is the eyes of the beholder that is consecrated to him. He sees in him beauty. What was written about this Jesus when he came to this earth?

Isaiah 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him.

The bible and the church call him the most lovely and yet when we see him from the natural human perspective you see beauty is only in the eyes of the beholder. You will not see anything desirable about him when you see him with your natural human background. This should wake us up. God has caused these things to be written to draw us to the fact that natural humanity does not see beauty in holiness. It does not see it. It cannot see it because beauty can only be in the eyes of the beholder. It is a relative word. As that is the case, to see beauty in Jesus the eyes of the beholder need some attention. The sort of attention expressed in Psalms.

When you first see the Ten Commandments, are they at first sight beautiful? Every person on earth says leave the law alone I’m sick of it. It keeps on telling me how sinful I am. That is not beautiful is it? There is no beauty in the law for the beholder. Something has to happen to the eyes, to the beholder.

Psalms 119:18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

To see beauty in the law something has to happen to my eyes. Nothing to the law but my eyes. Do something God to my eyes. You have created eyes and you can create those eyes to see beauty in your law. Revelation 3:18 speaks of the well known scripture for Laodicea. What is their problem? They say we are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing. According to their eyes they say, we are wealthy, we have beauty. What does he say to them? Anoint thine eyes with eyesalve that thou mayest see. What does that mean? What is this eyesalve that affects me so I can see things from a different perspective to my natural perception. John said it when he was speaking to Nicodemus. What did he say? What must happen if you want to see the beauty of the kingdom of heaven?

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

The kingdom of God can be right in front of you and you can’t see it. This is what we have to keep in mind. All that the Spirit of Prophecy and the Bible has foretold will happen in the kingdom of heaven agenda but you can be blind and not see it. People will know something is happening but the real issues, they may not see. The recognition of Jesus birth was not seen. The priest held the little baby in his arms and saw no beauty in him as he was not born again. But the one that was born again was in a trance. Simeon wanted to get hold of that baby.

I see him now, the beauty of holiness. Can you see the difference? To see the beauty of holiness and to the see the holy kingdom of God unfolding in front of us we must be born again.  While our mind is still programmed after earthly beauty it needs to be affected according to the words of Romans. What does it say? The mind that is naturally being brought up in the appreciation of earthliness around us;

Romans 12:2 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.

Can you see it all written between the lines? If you want to see Gods beauty, kingdom and holiness and you are still conformed to this world you are not able to see it. The only way you can ever see it is to be transformed in my mind. I need to be totally reprogrammed before I can appreciate the beauty of Gods kingdom. As I ponder upon this it fills me with trembling and a determination to examine myself that when the bible says this is beautiful or that is beautiful and I can’t see what the bible is saying, that there is something wrong with me.

I quickly flee to Jesus and I pray Lord open thou mine eyes that I may see wondrous things that you call beautiful. The reality is that God has given us a clear indication that we will not be transformed dot this world although we have been accustomed in it. We see beauty in the music, clothing and lifestyles we have become used to under the babylonish influences around us. We do see beauty in that but God says I don’t see beauty in that. Your eyes need to be redirected. What is the first step we must take?

Ezekiel 14:6 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn [yourselves] from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.

The circumstance of this statement is the one that relates to proving what is Gods perfect will because it says anyone comes to me with idols in their heart that they appreciate I will give them. But be careful I will give something that will ultimately destroy you. If you don’t want me to give me what you enjoy, what you think is beautiful, turn away your face from your abominations. Those abominations that we have become so used to are not abominable to us and we think they are alright. What is the message to Laodicea? You think you are rich and increased with goods but you are wretched.

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 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.

The desires that are in the world of the eyes that we may say oh that is beautiful is not of the father. He doesn’t see it beautiful at all. Or the lust of the flesh, oh that feels beautiful but that is not the feeling of the father. The pride of life, the beauty of the philosopher, oh that is beautiful. The father says no I’m sorry, that is in your eyes, there is no beauty in that to me so turn away from it if you want to see the beauty of holiness. Take away your face from these things. Only then can you appreciate the beauty of holiness and only then you can appreciate the music of heavens beauty.

I have the greatest difficulty to communicate to people who are musicians that some of the music they play is not beautiful. Yet they sit there and want to play and entertain us. I sit there and shrivel, oh that wasn’t beautiful at all but to them it was. Once the music styles of the world have been turned away from, then only the heavenly style will be desirable. Once the beauty of the lifestyle of what people regard as enjoying themselves, once that is turned away from, a new lifestyle and society can be recognised. Once the beauty of the babylonish garments are turned from, then beauty will be seen in Gods style of clothing. Remember the story of Achan seeing a beautiful Babylonish garment and him desiring it? Today he might have said a haute couture garment from Paris. Babylonish garments were the fashionable garments of Babylon.

You should cherish that which God esteems of worth. A work must be accomplished for you both before you can meet the measurement of God  {1T 694.1}

We are going to be ushered hopefully into the earth made new one day and if I haven’t measured up to the pleasures and enjoyments of the kingdom of heaven, I will not be happy there because beauty is only the eyes of the beholder. What is in the sight of God real beauty? What really does God regard as beautiful? Is there a text in scripture so we can identify what he meant with the priestly garments, the sanctuary? God wants us to esteem what he thinks is beautiful.

1 Peter 3:3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward [adorning] of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 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.

He is talking about beauty. Is he not talking about the adornment we put on to make ourselves beautiful. He says don’t worry about that, if you want to be beautiful in the sight of God, you need to measure up to his eyes. We are now introduced to looking through the eyes of God. We are asking the Lord to open thou my eyes that I may behold wondrous things as you see it.

It is right to love beauty and to desire it; but God desires us to love and to seek first the highest beauty–that which is imperishable. The choicest productions of human skill possess no beauty that can bear comparison with that beauty of character which in His sight is of “great price.” {Ed 249.1}

Beauty is a word applied in relative terms.

Let the youth and the little children be taught to choose for themselves that royal robe woven in heaven’s loom–the “fine linen, clean and white” (Revelation 19:8), which all the holy ones of earth will wear. This robe, Christ’s own spotless character, is freely offered to every human being. But all who receive it will receive and wear it here. {Ed 249.2}

Character is a robe that that we will wear. Many people only keep it on the character concepts but they don’t realise we will wear that character. If we wear that character, what are you wearing now? What are we wearing when we wear that robe of heaven? If you have a beautiful character, if your heart is filled with the beauty of the kingdom of heaven and you have been born again then you have in your heart the beauty of Christ. What is the external of that?

The dress and its arrangement upon the person is generally found to be the index of the man or the woman. {CG 413.4}

If you are a godly person in the heart and if you have in the sight of God of great beauty and a meek and quiet spirit, how will it be reflected externally? By a meek and quiet spirit. How do you do that? Is it in the things that you practically do and the things you wear? It is the index of what is inside. Here is the connecting link with beauty of the heart and the external manifestation. This is important to be mediated on as our heart must be converted to dress according to Gods beauty. Here is what is meant with the garments of the priesthood.

They were the reflection of the internal. That is why God said make them to my instruction for beauty and glory. Every time you look at the priest hood garments, you look at what God esteems as beautiful. Look at the garment of the priest. As you study carefully what God means with the beauty of that garment, a reflection of what it is in the heart, that is what that garment is going to demonstrate. Look at the principle.

In accordance with their office, a special dress was appointed for the priests. “Thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty” (Exodus 28:2), was the divine direction to Moses. . . . Everything connected with the apparel and deportment of the priests was to be such as to impress the beholder with a sense of the holiness of God, {FLB 195.3}

Did you know that sense has to do with the comprehension of holiness? When you see someone dressed in a certain way, what sense comes upon you? When you see a Jezebel coming down the road, what senses comes on you? When you see a hobo dressed in his rags, what sense comes over you? When you look at the high priest, what sense comes over you? Are you picking this up? Garments deal with senses and Babylonish garments deals with babylonish senses. Everything you wear on this earth creates senses and unless you are a born again Christians you will not recognise senses of holiness.

The sacredness of His worship, and the purity required of those who came into His presence. {FLB 195.3}

Doesn’t this make you feel like hiding in a corner? Purity that is to be the characteristic of those who come into his presence.

Not only the sanctuary itself, but the ministration of the priests, was to “serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things.” Hebrews 8:5. {FLB 195.3}

Take God’s word and see it through his eyes in reference to our senses.

In the tabernacle service, God specified every detail concerning the garments of those who ministered before Him. {6T 96.2}

God has a preference and if you want to know his preference, you need to examine the detail that he specified to the priests.

Very specific were the directions given in regard to Aaron’s robes, for his dress was symbolic. So the dress of Christ’s followers should be symbolic. In all things we are to be representatives of Him. Our appearance in every respect should be characterized by neatness, modesty, and purity. {6T 96.2}

When we are called according to the power of the Lord and we want to be baptised, what instruction is given?

One of the points upon which those newly come to the faith will need instruction is the subject of dress. {6T 96.1}

Who? Those who newly come to the faith. Where does that leave those who have been in the faith a long time? When you became a member of true Seventh Day Adventism, were you baptised into a true understanding of what you should be doing with your dress?

Let the new converts be faithfully dealt with. Are they vain in dress? Do they cherish pride of heart? The idolatry of dress is a moral disease. It must not be taken over into the new life. In most cases, submission to the gospel requirements will demand a decided change in the dress. {6T 96.1}

The greatest and most difficult thing in my work to prepare people for baptism is to deal with people in that subject. You are touching the very personal connections for a person. How can you do it? You have no idea how I cringe inside over this subject and yet it must be done. As it must be done, I try to do it without getting too personally close so people won’t look at me as a personal scrutineer of their dress.  Before I can say this person can be baptised, I need to see a definite change. Am I speaking out of term? We are told to do that and that change becomes a revolutionary experience. Just as a revolutionary thing needs to happen with my heart and my mind my thinking, so should the dress. After having being confronted with the basic principles portrayed in the priesthoods dress get the principles yourself.  Study it deeply as it is required.

A Renewed Heart?

Your heart may be renewed but you can still get confused with the flesh. We have a responsibility when we come to God’s word to see it through his yes only and not of my flesh. If I do that, I will go by every specification written before me. If you do that yourself it saves allot of hassle. All too often we come across studies of this nature we say ok and we try to do it the way we naturally see it but we don’t stop and apply personal research on this matter.

I read this article as I was proof reading it and as I read it I could see the struggle of the author themself. Look at the careful research of bible and spirit of prophecy quotes. The detail of this article is none other than I have found in the Spirit of Prophecy. Every specification needs to be studied and I can’t disagree with what I read in that article.

“Dresses were made in such a manner that as they looked at them they were reminded of the commandments of God and encouraged to obey them. In their dress they were not to seek after their own hearts nor their own eyes. If they did, they would copy the fashions of Babylon.” Stephen Haskell Page 344 Prophetic Waymarks.

What are you to do? Follow the fashions of heaven.  Holiness has a beautify of its own, beauty seen only through the eyes of a consecrated believer. Those who wish to be consecrated totally to the Lord, if you desire this consecration to Jesus, you will turn your face from the love of the beauty of the world to the beauty of Jesus. What will you be studying? You will be studying all the beautiful things Jesus did in taking our sinful flesh. You will see him doing that for you and as you look at that detail and what he suffered to deny his natural flesh, you will love him. You will regard him as the most wonderful person in your life. You will see him as a resolver of your life. You will change your dress, music, lifestyle, speech and your social behaviour will alter dramatically as you will love him.

Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

You want to see him in all his glory? Do you want to see him in all his loveliness? I do and I want you to see you there too. I can raise no greater appeal to our minds than to put Jesus before us and to keep on lifting him up so we see him in all his beauty. I want to gaze upon him when he comes and I want to look around and see you there too. I lay this message on all your hearts in great earnestness that each one will do his own research in to what God sees as beautiful so we may enjoy the beauty of holiness without which we can’t see him when he comes.


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Posted on 16/08/2009, in Dress Reform and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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