The Garment Spotted By the Flesh

By John Thiel, Audio: The Garment Spotted by the Flesh

The scripture says we are to be washed by the water and the word. To wash ourselves means we are going to take Gods word and let it cleanse away the wrong ideas, spots and wrinkles of our character.

Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

We now seek Gods word to gain the understanding.

Jude 1:17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;  18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who sho uld walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.  20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,  21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:  23 And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

These words have been very much the imprint upon my mind ever since the Lord has called me into his work. This scripture has often affected my labours.

Verily, the Lord has need of armies of workers, and some of the most precious souls will be found in the pit of degradation. God calls upon us to work for this class. Do not lose your purity because you are among the impure. {ST, June 21, 1899 par. 11}

The members of the church are people who are workers for God and those who are not yet members, I hope are holding onto this desire that we are to be a team of workers that are to be at work to reach out for precious souls in the pit of degradation.

As we are amongst them doing this work, do not lose your purity because you are among the impure. Applicable to these words are the words of Isaiah when he saw God in his purity. After he saw God in his purity in vision in heaven, after he said this;

Isaiah 6:5 Then said I, Woe [is] me! for I am undone; because I [am] a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.

He was overwhelmed and he cries like this and then notice what God does.

Isaiah 6:6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, [which] he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:  7 And he laid [it] upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.  8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here [am] I; send me.

When was Isaiah ready to be sent? When he realized his true condition and when he saw God in his purity and he realized he was undone and iniquitous. Why? Because he dwelt among a people with unclean lips. When he was cleansed then he could respond to the call to go.

You and I are being called to be the witnesses for God. We dwell in a time of earths history where corruption is rampant and we have grown up in that and regard what we see around us as okay but it’s bad and we’re getting a bit accustomed to it.

Not only accustomed to it but as we have grown up in it we have been drawn in from the gutter. When you look at God’s purity and holiness you discover that. When you look at King David he was a man of pride. You know so well his story about his terrible sin with Bathsheba. Why did he do that?

It was the spirit of self-confidence and self-exaltation that prepared the way for David’s fall. Flattery and the subtle allurements of power and luxury were not without effect upon him. Intercourse with surrounding nations also exerted an influence for evil. It begins in apparently small things–the neglect to be true to God and to rely upon Him wholly, the disposition to follow the customs and practices of the world. {PP 717.2}

Why did he commit this terrible sin? Because his mind had been conditioned that he was the king like other kings and sin didn’t look quite so serious and to desire a woman was within his rights and to do what a king does in those times. Are we surrounded by customs and practices that make us unaware of the seriousness of sin and we fall for the ploy?

There is seen a spirit of opposition to the plain word of God, of idolatrous exaltation of human wisdom above divine revelation. Men have allowed their minds to become so darkened and confused by conformity to worldly customs and influences that they seem to have lost all power to discriminate between light and darkness, truth and error. So far have they departed from the right way that they hold the opinions of a few philosophers, so-called, to be more trustworthy than the truths of the Bible. The entreaties and promises of God’s word, its threatenings against disobedience and idolatry–these seem powerless to melt their hearts. A faith such as actuated Paul, Peter, and John they regard as old-fashioned, mystical, and unworthy of the intelligence of modern thinkers. {PK 178.1}

This is what we are surrounded by customs that become a norm to our sense and like King David we slip and our perceptions are not sharp any more. Have we not been drawn from just such circumstances in our life? Where do reformers dwell in relation to this subject?

2 Timothy 3:1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,  4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;  5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Traveling along the south coast of the south island in New Zealand, look at the trees they are all on a slant. What are we to be spiritually speaking? Trees of righteousness and if the prevailing forces of society keep on pushing us what will we be? We will be bent over like the Makrakarpra trees. Incontinent people are those who cannot hold their spiritual passion and they have to let go. This is the prevailing atmosphere of today. In verse 5 it says they even have a form of godliness. This needs to be studied to understand the pressure that is upon us to be very clear to the peril that we are surrounded by. We are surrounded by this conformity and if you look different you are regarded as a freak.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.

How serious are these words. Is it easy to be conformed to this world? We know it was as easy as David slipping into the king’s world around with. Therefore, with some making a difference and pulling them out of the fire, we are being pulled out of the fire today but as we reach these precious souls in the pit of degradation do not lose your purity because you are among the impure. What should you do? Hate event the garments of the flesh.

It is my purpose to study the garment spotted by the flesh. By dealing with this subject we will understand the meaning of this entire scripture because in Jude we are separated by a people who have separated themselves form the apostles.

Jude 1:17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who sho uld walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

What does that mean? And what is the garment spotted by the flesh? Let’s look at the scriptures that deal with garments sported by the flesh. Here we have the prevailing circumstance.

Isaiah 3:16 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:

What does this describe? Young women mincing. Having you seen them walking on the cat walk with their high heels? Do you now know what he bible is talking about?

Isaiah 3:18 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,

Isaiah 3:22The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins,

As you read this with an open mind, let the Holy Spirit show you. What is the garment spotted by the flesh? It is garments that deal with this kind of mincing, lustful display of human bodies. What are the prevailing customs revealing of the flesh to do that? This is where it stated to keep yourselves in the love of God what we read in Jude here it now is in John the prevailing circumstance crowding in on the people of God.

1 John 2:16For 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 flesh is made to feel comfortable, to have sensual satisfaction.

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.

Keep yourself in the love of God. As we come out of degradation and as we are drawn out of the fire hate even the garments of the flesh let alone the flesh and its lusts. What is non-conformity to his spirit in real terms as men and woman love the desires of the flesh? What is the contrast that we can say Oh that is what they mean by the world?

It is right to love beauty and to desire it; but God desires us to love and seek first the highest beauty, that which is imperishable. No outward adorning can compare in value or loveliness with that “meek and quiet spirit,” the “fine linen, white and clean,” which all the holy ones of earth will wear. This apparel will make them beautiful and beloved here, and will hereafter be their badge of admission to the palace of the King. {FLB 243.8}

I want to have a place in the palace of the king. Then love not the world and the desire for beauty and the sensation for beauty and what it pursues. I am to be preoccupied with the highest beauty. My dress is my spirit. My spirit is to be revealed through my dress.

It is very clear then that apparel equals character. Dress in the white garments of Christ’s righteousness. And character is what? A thought and a feeling often repeated becomes an action often repeated which becomes a habit and habit becomes character. Where are my thoughts? Do they dwell with sense and feeling? And if I dwell with sense and feeling will that be manifested in my clothing? Does the world manifest their thoughts and feelings in their clothing? And the way it is arranged in their body? It expresses the thoughts and feelings. Sr White says the clothing is the index to the heart.

“Through dress the mind may be read, as through the delicate tissues of the lettered page. A modest woman will dress modestly; a really refined and intellectual woman will bear the marks of careful selection and faultless taste.” {RH, October 31, 1871 par. 16}

A person may dress in the way that he thinks and is and you can tell him that when you come to such and such a place that you can’t dress a certain way but he says I can dress the way I like. It is of no use to tell anyone what they will wear because they will wear what they are in character. If my thoughts are upon my flesh and the feelings of my flesh, when I stand there getting dressed I will wear what my flesh feels good about. I still remember the first day I got a pair of trousers for church as a youngster in Germany. Walking with pleated trousers and I had this tremendous feeling but then I wore some tight jeans one day and my feelings dwelt with my clothes.

God calls His church to be more separate from the world in their dress than you have thought. God is constantly instructing His people to flee from pride of appearance, from love of self, but you are working directly against the Spirit of God in this matter, hence you are walking in darkness and place yourself upon the battlefield of the enemy. {TDG 295.3}

Have you ever spoken the words – when are we going to stop talking about dress? Why do we hear from the pulpit about dress? Because Gods instruction to his people is to flee from pride because there is an influence of the world God is trying to counteract. If anyone is a messenger of God he will have to speak just as God declares.

If we are Christians, we shall follow Christ, even though the path in which we are to walk cuts right across our natural inclinations. There is no use in telling you that you must not wear this or that, for if the love of these vain things is in your heart, your laying off your adornments will only be like cutting the foliage off a tree. The inclinations of the natural heart would again assert themselves. You must have a conscience of your own. {TDG 139.2}

People in the message for a long time change back to their old ways because they do not have a change of heart. We need to ask Lord what is your instruction and I am willing to submit even though my feelings are contrary. It is difficult for souls to hear this and it makes them gristle but I must share it. God has a preference in relation to dress because it is a reflection of their character. He displays to us what we must do.

In the tabernacle service, God specified every detail concerning the garments of those who ministered before Him. Thus we are taught that He has a preference in regard to the dress of those who serve Him. Very specific were the directions given in regard to Aaron’s robes, for his dress was symbolic. So the dress of Christ’s followers should be symbolic. In all things we are to be representatives of Him. Our appearance in every respect should be characterized by neatness, modesty, and purity. But the word of God gives no sanction to the making of changes in apparel merely for the sake of fashion, that we may appear like the world. Christians are not to decorate the person with costly array or expensive ornaments. {6T 96.2}

Instead of dealing with what dress I am supposed to be wearing, I look at the experience of God’s beauty. Our experience in every respect should be characterized by neatness modesty and purity. Modesty and purity is repeated with neatness as one aspect which has to do with the nature of our characters. People in the world may be neat but are they modest and pure? They can’t be because the world is the lust of the flesh and the pride of life and the lust of the eyes. The lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes.

The words of Scripture in regard to dress should be carefully considered. We need to understand that which the Lord of heaven appreciates in even the dressing of the body. All who are in earnest in seeking for the grace of Christ will heed the precious words of instruction inspired by God. Even the style of the apparel will express the truth of the gospel. {6T 96.3}

What God appreciates, not what you and I appreciate. We don’t have our own opinion. They will heed. Even the style of the apparel will express the truth of the gospel. Hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. So it has a style, a spirit of the flesh and we are to hate that and even our style of dress is to demonstrate a purity of the gospel to cover our sin. Isn’t that what the gospel is? The sense of our body the sensual feelings of our body is what the world palliates and dresses to appease. The question for God’s people is – is my sense holy or sensual? The priestly garment symbolized something.

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

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

Everything was thought of to impress the beholder with a sense and what is the full sense? It is the exact opposite to the sense of the flesh. As we have been redeemed out of the degradation of the garment of our sinful desires, and we pull the people out of the sin, we will be affected like David so we must hate the garments spotted by the flesh. Otherwise will be affected. It doesn’t happen overnight, its infusion is very slow.

If we caress it and let it caress my body, I am right in Satan’s track. It is to impress the beholder with a sense of holiness and purity required of those that come into his presence and to be following the example of the priest. They are symbolic of character and of our sensuality whether my sense is holy or whether my sense is the flesh.

Let us spell out very carefully the Spirit of God in this world and His application to the senses. We are understand what it means to come out and touch not the unclean thing. What are worldlings preoccupied with in regards their body? They go to the salon, they get their nails done, beautify themselves, wax their legs, what for? Because women think that hairs are ugly on the legs. That is devilish, that is worldly and they don’t even know it. (See article).

A great amount of time and money is squandered upon needless adornments. Many inventions have been sought out in extra puffings, tucks, and trimmings, which have a direct tendency to lessen vitality and shorten life. {RH, October 31, 1871 par. 17}

How much have we been conditioned today? To regard that as normal? What is a sheer stocking? A garment spotted by the flesh. What does scripture reveal about all this now?  Sr White has much to write about this all because of worldly lust spotted clothing.

It is a common thing to see the dress raised one-half of a yard, exposing an almost unclad ankle to the sight of gentlemen, but no one seems to blush at this immodest exposure. No one’s sensitive modesty seems shocked for the reason that this is customary. It is fashion, and for this reason it is endured. No outcry of immodesty is heard, although it is so in the fullest sense. {HR, May 1, 1872 par. 18}

What does scripture reveal of this right now? What are we to put on?

Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.

Why are their tucks in the dress of men and women? Women that have naturally small waists but rather than regard such forms as beautiful they should be regarded as defective. I have learned through nursing to breathe properly, but if you tuck your stomach in you won’t be able to breathe properly.

Women have a battle to overcome in the way they dress.  It is a pall of Satan that affects the women gender to cause sensuality in men.  That is what it is all about in the fabric production in the world around us.  It is the babylonish garment spotted by the flesh.

Make no provision for the flesh. When we deal with our clothing and we are trying to reach others to pull them out of the fire, what must we do? We must dress ourselves that show that we hate the garment spotted by the flesh. We are to make no provision for it. We live in the days today of the judgment which means what is Jesus the king doing right now? In the story of the hour of God’s judgment as the feast is prepared and this king comes in?

Matthew 22:11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:  12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.  13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast [him] into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  14 For many are called, but few [are] chosen. 

When the king comes in to see the guests he saw a man that did not have on the wedding garment. He did not have on the character and the character was revealed by a garment.

How is it? Are we confessing Christ in our daily life? Do we confess Him in our dress, adorning ourselves with plain and modest apparel? Is our adorning that of the meek and quiet spirit which is of so great price in the sight of God? Are we seeking to advance the cause of the Master? Is the line of demarcation between you and the world distinct, or are you seeking to follow the fashions of this degenerate age? Is there no difference between you and the worldling? Does the same spirit work in you that works in the children of disobedience? {TDG 139.1}

Our calling is to reflect Jesus in our garments.


Posted on September 1, 2009, in Dress Reform and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I’m glad you are sharing council from our muslim brothers and sisters. This is a pleasing step towards a world where we all get along.

  2. My wife dresses very modestly, but usually wears lady’s slacks – these are custom made and are very modest — not tight in the least. I think she has only 3 or so pairs of commercial women’s slacks — the rest are all hand made. The church we attend, the people there say the Bible declares pants to be condemned by God if worn by a woman. The one and only scripture they can provide is Deuteronomy 22:5 “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.”

    There seems to be no other scripture they can produce. It makes no mention of Pants, Trousers, Slacks or Breeches. So, where do people come up with pants, etc must not be worn by females??? In ‘Bible’ times what was the difference between a man’s robe and a woman’s robe?? Was it common for a man or woman to dress in the robe of their spouse?

    I know for a fact that these same women, wives of the leaders, are quite liberal in wearing men’s shoes, boots, socks, hats, gloves, shirts, coats and long underwear, but pants, etc, even if they’re made for a woman and are modest, are a sin.

    I’m not trying to be critical at all. I really want to understand this issue.

    • They are simply still men’s clothing. Are you Seventh Day Adventist? If so, do you not believe in the counsel of the Spirit of Prophecy and what is written in regards to Deut 22:5?

      I saw that God’s order has been reversed, and His special directions disregarded, by those who adopt the American costume. I was referred to Deuteronomy 22:5: “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.” God would not have His people adopt the so-called reform dress. It is immodest apparel, wholly unfitted for the modest, humble followers of Christ. {1T 421.2}
      There is an increasing tendency to have women in their dress and appearance as near like the other sex as possible, and to fashion their dress very much like that of men, but God pronounces it abomination. “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety.” 1 Timothy 2:9. {1T 421.3}
      Those who feel called out to join the movement in favor of woman’s rights and the so-called dress reform might as well sever all connection with the third angel’s message. The spirit which attends the one cannot be in harmony with the other. The Scriptures are plain upon the relations and rights of men and women. Spiritualists have, to quite an extent, adopted this singular mode of dress. Seventh-day Adventists, who believe in the restoration of the gifts, are often branded as spiritualists. Let them adopt this costume, and their influence is dead. The people would place them on a level with spiritualists and would refuse to listen to them. {1T 421.4}
      With the so-called dress reform there goes a spirit of levity and boldness just in keeping with the dress. Modesty and reserve seem to depart from many as they adopt that style of dress. I was shown that God would have us take a course consistent and explainable. Let the sisters adopt the American costume and they would destroy their own influence and that of their husbands. They would become a byword and a derision. Our Saviour says: “Ye are the light of the world.” “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” There is a great work for us to do in the world, and God would not have us take a course to lessen or destroy our influence with the world. {1T 422.1}

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