Dress Reform and Spirituality

By Dwayne Lemon, Audio: mp3

I’m fully convinced that God has a Word for each and every one of us. I’m going to ask you to pay very close attention to the information I’m going to share with you. The information I’m going to share with you, for some of us, it might be a very simple message, but I believe because of what I see in this room, the majority of us will be challenged. But nevertheless, it’s a good thing to be challenged.

One Accord

I want to spend a few moments in the book of Philippians, chapter two. I believe that it is imperative. I was asking the Lord from this morning and from last night, “Father, how do I start a message like this?” And the Lord led me to turn to the book of Philippians, chapter two. There are some things that the Lord wants us to consider in His word.

Phl 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, [being] of one accord, of one mind.

Here goes Paul. He’s expressing the sentiments of God. Remember that Paul was speaking under inspiration that’s why 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that all Scripture came by inspiration. God breathed information and knowledge in our minds that we may know the Word of God and express it to one another. So that when we hear this, it’s not just Paul’s desire, this is God’s desire. God desires for us to be likeminded. He desires for us to be of one accord. Paul understood that there was going to be some challenges, because we are flesh so he began to go in a very specific manner as he was trying to explain what this “one accord” and this “likemindedness” is like. We get specific instruction.

Phl 2:3 [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.

Again Paul is trying to encourage us to have the mind of God and he’s trying to get more specific now so he starts to talk about “when you and your brothers and your sisters get together,” he says, “Don’t let anything be done that will promote, induce, or bring up strife or vainglory.” When you and I get involved in the spirit of competition, you will notice that it typically brings up either strife or vain glory. It always brings up strife—strife is contention, a battle, somebody trying to win, and to cause somebody else to lose so that God says, “Let nothing be done in strife.” If there’s anything that the people of God participate in that will help bring up this spirit of strife, He says, “Let nothing be done in such a manner.” But then He said, also, “in vainglory.”

A lot of times, because of the flesh, when individuals begin to take that ball, and they kind of shake somebody out, and then
boom! — and then slam dunk, there’s a tendency to rise up vainglory. When an individual runs down that thing, and here goes somebody trying to pass them, and all of a sudden
boom! — they tackle them down and lay them down on the ground, there’s that tendency to rise up vainglory. You can pick the sport, I don’t care if you’re throwing a bowling ball down a bowling alley and at one minute it curves over here, and — pow! — knocks down all the pins, here comes that same spirit of vainglory. Here it is that while God is trying to cause man to die to self that he may live for Christ, we are participating in things that build up self and remove Christ.

What Paul was trying to show us; Paul understood human nature.

In Testimonies to the Church, volume four, page sixty-seven, under the subject Coworkers With Christ, the servant of the Lord says, that when we are doing Evangelism, that we are told that we ought to study two things: the human mind, and human nature. And she says on page sixty-eight, that as a result of individuals not understanding the human mind or human nature:

Where they only won one soul for Christ, they could have won twenty, had they understood the human mind and human nature. 4T page 67.

You and I have to understand the human mind. When we do certain things, it has a tendency to build up self and this is why the Lord pulls us away from these competitive sports.

Phl 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Do you notice that he’s trying, to consistently show us this selflessness, this removal of self. Just getting out of self, and focusing on others, and focusing on Christ. Do you see that? He’s constantly repeating that, do you see that coming out?

Paul saw these Philippians struggle and they’re still not getting it. Paul saw it, he said, “They’re still not getting it.” He’s trying to explain, he’s trying to give counsel, but they don’t get it, so Paul says, “I’ll tell you what, I’m not going to bring up strife, I’m not going to bring up vainglory,” he says, “What I’m going to do—” and Paul was having a little flashback. Paul remembers getting into dissertations, with individuals and bringing up all sorts of stuff but then Paul remembered in 1 Corinthians 2, where he said, “That’s it. From now on, when I meet with these individuals, I am preaching Christ, and Him crucified.” And Paul, I can imagine him having a flashback as he’s trying to reason with the brethren in the Church of Philippi, and he’s trying to explain to them and say, “Listen! Don’t let yourselves get involved with strife, vainglory, and all these empty things,” But he sees they’re not getting it, so Paul says, “Look, I’m going to tell it to you straight—”.

Phl 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus

Paul’s saying, “Look, I’ve got to summarise this thing, because for some reason I don’t think you’re getting it.” Paul says, “Listen, the point I’m trying to make to you be like Jesus, I’m trying to tell you that let the mind that Christ had, be the mind that you have.” So that there was no mistake, Paul says, “Now. Let me tell you about Jesus.”

Phl 2:6 Who, being in the form of God…

He did good. Paul wanted to make sure that the brethren understood the humility of Christ. Paul says, “Let the mind that you have, be the mind that Christ has.” Let me tell you about the mind that Christ has, he says, Who being in the form of God! and he goes on to say:

Phl 2:6 … thought it not robbery to be equal with God.

He did not make it an issue, the fact that He and the Father were equal one to another. There was no inferiority or superiority, as some people teach.

We’re hearing these things because of this false concept but here it is that the Bible clearly tells us that Jesus did not make it an issue that He was equal to the Father.

Phl 2:7 But made himself of no reputation…

Meaning that Christ emptied Himself of all of the glory, of all of the power and of all the majesty that Jesus had within Himself and surrounded by Him. Christ said, as a result of mankind falling into sin, I will remove and empty myself of these things that I may become like man, that he may be saved.

Christ was willing to subdue His God-ness. It does not mean that He was not God. He is Emmanuel, God with us. But He chose not to use His godly power, so that He could make sure not one individual in this room could ever make an excuse for sin.

Jesus understood that if He were to use His Godly power of His own will, remember Christ said “I came not to do My will but the will of My Father who sent Me,” So that Christ did not come here just so He can show that He was God and to exercise His power, because you and I can’t do that. The Scripture clearly tells us that He came in the form of God, but He emptied himself, He denied himself. All of the privileges that He could have had for the sake of mankind, Christ said, “I will empty myself.”

Phl 2:7 But made himself of no reputation and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

This is what Sister White tells us we will spend eternity seeking to understand. How is it —Paul calls it a mystery in I Timothy 3:16, he calls it a mystery! — how is it, that God would come down, manifest Himself in the flesh, on behalf of sinful mankind, and yet give His life for them? How is it that God would do such a thing? But yet the Bible declares, that this is what Jesus did for you and I. While He had everything, and had a right to stay around everything, and had a right to enjoy everything, brothers and sisters, follow me because I am going somewhere with this.

While He had the right to say, “I will not do this,” because of His love for mankind, and His desire for mankind to be saved, Jesus says, “I will step down. I will empty myself. I will withhold myself from exercising my rights and I will even be obedient unto death, yea, even on the cross, for you.” This is what Christ says.

How many of you are thankful? Be careful of your answers. Think. How many of you are thankful that Jesus chose to deny Himself of being the glorious Godhead staying in heaven and enjoying the bliss of heaven? How many of you are thankful that He was willing to sacrifice these things so that you and I could be saved? How many of you are thankful for that? Some of you are not thankful?

Did you know that the Bible teaches that there is a way that you and I can show how thankful we are? I want you to notice something. I’m going to add to what was shared earlier in reference to the sanctuary.

In Leviticus, the fourth chapter, I want you to notice something the Bible says. Now, this is imperative, brothers and sisters that you see this.

Lev 4:27 And if any one of the common people sin through ignorance, while he doeth [somewhat against] any of the commandments of the LORD [concerning things] which ought not to be done, and be guilty;

4:28 Or if his sin, which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned.

Whether it be a kid of a goat, whether it be a bullock, or whether it be a lamb — in either one of these scenarios, you see that they’re bringing an innocent little animal. Fortunately while it’s in its youth, it more than likely has not gotten itself roughed up and bruised up, so as a result of that it would have to be an animal that was without blemish. This was one of the reasons why it was chosen to be young. Now, watch this: what were we told, and what do you understand, the lamb to be that was laid on the altar to be slain? Who was that lamb? Jesus Christ, right?

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

We know that the lamb that was laid upon the altar, the goat that was laid upon the altar, or the bullock that was laid upon the altar, that this represented Jesus Christ. But, that’s not the whole story.

There’s an author by the name of Tennyson who once said, “If something is a half-truth, it’s usually the blackest of lies.” God wanted to show us that the lamb did not just represent Christ. In its primary application, it represents Jesus. But in its secondary application, it represents something else. I want you to notice what the Bible shows, I want you to see it from the Word of God.

We just looked in the sanctuary. We see where the justification takes place in this outer court, where we see ourselves in sin. We see that we’ve violated God’s commandments. As a result of that we now come to God and we bring our offering, which is the bullock or the lamb or the goat, and as we bring it we lay it upon the altar after it’s examined, and then we lay our hands on it, confess our sins, our sins transfer over to the animal, and then we have to take the animal’s life.

This is after Peter already denounced and rejected Christ and now here comes a point where Jesus is coming back and meeting up with Peter after this event and I want you to notice what Jesus says to Peter here:

John 21:15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, [son] of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

Who are the lambs that Jesus was talking about to Peter? It was you and I. It was all of us. Christ was referring to us as little lambs. That’s why in John, He talked about Himself being the good shepherd. He referred to us as what? The sheep. Jesus is referring to you and I as little lambs. But I want you to notice something else. We recognize ourselves as little lambs, but what is it that we are to do with little lambs?

I want you to see how God counsels us and He shows us that there is a way that we can say thank you to Jesus Christ. It goes so much beyond just lip service. This is why Jesus said in Matthew, He talked about individuals. He was talking about the fulfillment of Isaiah the prophet where there would be “many who would honor me with their lips but their hearts will be far from me.”

Romans 12:1 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.

God is showing us, wait a minute, not only is Jesus represented as a lamb of God, but now Jesus is saying that you too are a lamb and He also calls you to sacrifice yourself. Are you getting that? But what is it that we’re sacrificing? Are we all supposed to go ahead and kill ourselves? Are we all going to take a knife and put it to our throats? Is this what Christ is calling us to do? Let us go to the book of Romans and let’s find out what is it that Christ is calling us to do and let’s see what the Bible shows us as to what is it that Jesus wants us to do as it relates to a sacrifice. It’s really ironic when you read Romans 6:1-10 and then you get to verse 11, but we’re going to focus on verse 11. You and I are lambs. You and I are called to be a sacrifice. What is it that we are dying to?

Rom 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Bible clearly shows us that as the lamb was laid on the altar representing the lamb of God that died for our sins. We also see ourselves as lambs to be laid on the altar of sacrifice, not dying for sin, but dying to sin. That’s the tradeoff that God wants you and I to make. He says, “As I have died for your sins, I am now expecting you to live for me and die to sin,” which means you no longer live in sin.

The Lord wants to deliver us from sin, because guess what? It’s not just Jesus that represents that lamb; it’s you and I as well. We are to be laid upon that altar, and we are to die to self, and the truth of the matter is, when we study the sanctuary. There’s one gentleman by the name of Noble Alexander, who passed away a few years ago and one of the things Noble Alexander said when he spoke at my church in New York years back, he actually came to us and he said, “I don’t believe that we are living in the end times.” And when he said that, it took a lot of people aback. But he fixed it. He said, “I don’t believe we’re living in the end times,” he said, “I believe we’re living at the end of the end times.” That’s the truth and he said that in the 90’s. How much more for us in 2007? The Lord is trying to show us, we are living at the end of the end times which means that we are at the brink where Christ is getting ready to close up the sanctuary! He’s getting ready bringing everything to a close.

You and I are supposed to be with Christ in the most holy place by faith right now! If the truth be told, there are many of us who have not even yet stepped into the outer court because we are still living in sin. It’s time to do as the servant of the Lord tells us. It’s time to start stepping fast.

God Calls Us to Die To Sin

God calls you and I to die to sin which is to die to self, for the foundation of all sin is self. We are told that the greatest burden in life that we all have to bear is the burden of self. What I’m about to share with you is going to hit to the core for some of us in this room of self.

I was doing a study and I was amazed as I was doing this study because there were some things that just kind of stuck out to me. Adam was giving names to all the animals. Adam was giving names to all the animal kingdom and as Adam was giving names to all the animals, Adam realized… Mrs. Cow, Mr. Cow, Mr. Giraffe, Mrs. Giraffe and he started noticing all these pairs, but then obviously Adam started noticing Adam and Adam. Something’s wrong. So God obviously wanted to fix this scenario.

Gen 2:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

2:23 And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

I read that and I said, “Okay. Praise the Lord. Adam no longer is by himself. Adam is now married, the holy matrimony has taken place and here it is that we just looked and it talks about how they were naked but they weren’t ashamed.” But I noticed something that happens later on in Genesis three. In Genesis chapter three, we know that the serpent came to Eve and beguiled her and I want you to notice something specific that took place when Adam and Eve sinned.

Gen 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

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

3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where [art] thou?

3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I [was] naked; and I hid myself.

In Genesis 2:25 it says they were both naked and were not ashamed. Now that sin came into the picture, the Bible declared that they were naked, but this time Adam said he hid himself because he was ashamed. What happened in the interim? One minute they were naked and not ashamed. The next minute, they are naked and ashamed. What happened? What is it that they lost?

Can we let the word of God teach us what they lost? Do you think we can do that? Let’s find out from the Bible what they lost. I want to empower you that you can be teachers of the Scripture to others.

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

Man was made in whose image? God’s image. The Bible clearly tells us that man was made in God’s image. Let’s find out what was God’s image like? Let’s find out, because we need to identify what is it that Adam had lost. What is it that Eve lost? In Psalm 104, the Bible clearly tells us some things about God’s image. We know that man was made in the image of God, now we’re going to find out some things about the image of God in Psalm 104, and this is going to show us very clearly a major issue.

How is it that somebody could have a truly disciplined diet, can be out living in the country in open air, could be enjoying sunlight, drinking water all the time, getting proper rest, being tempered, they don’t eat and drink, how is it that individuals can go through all of these different things, and they still end up with cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, and so many other circulatory challenges? How is it that individuals can do that? It’s because of what we’re about to discuss. There is a missing link to the message of health, and it is hardly ever talked about.

Psa 104:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.

104:2 Who coverest [thyself] with light as [with] a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:

God covers Himself with what? He covers Himself with light. Man was made in whose image? God’s image. Therefore man was also covered with this light. But what is this light? Let’s find out, what’s the light? We don’t want to be vague. If the Bible is specific, then let us be specific because we’re people of the Book.

John 1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name [was] John.

1:7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all [men] through him might believe.

1:8 He was not that Light, but [was sent] to bear witness of that Light.

1:9 [That] was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

Who is this light that is being referred to? Jesus Christ, He is that light. When we find out that Adam and Eve were covered with light, they were covered with Christ. Is that what it’s saying? Was Jesus laying on top of them? I mean, what does it mean when it says they were covered in light and we know that Christ is that light? What does it mean? Is there a way that we can have it cleared up just a little more?

The Bible can explain all of these things for us, if we would simply subject ourselves to the teaching of God’s Word.

The Bible says man was made in God’s image and God covers Himself with light. We learned that the light is Christ and now we discover in Micah:

Mic 7:9 I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against Him, until He plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: He will bring me forth to the light, [and] I shall behold His righteousness.

The light that Adam and Eve were covered with was the righteousness of Christ. The Bible shows us clearly that Adam and Eve when they were created were covered with the righteousness of Christ and because the righteousness of Christ is a full covering, they could be naked and not ashamed. But when they lost the righteousness of Christ, make no mistake about it, sin can remove the righteousness of Christ, the Bible clearly shows us that, because when they sinned, the Bible says that they were now naked and ashamed. The problem with Adam and Eve is the problem with you and I. We unfortunately are wearing certain garments.

The False Covering

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

In Isaiah 64:6 the Bible says, “All of your righteousness is like a filthy rag.” I want you to see that when Adam and Eve was covered with the righteousness of Christ and they realized that they sinned and lost the righteousness of Christ. Instead of confessing their sins and repenting, they immediately tried to make aprons and they tried to present self-righteousness! They started to lift up self-righteousness. I want you to see what God did. When God saw Adam and Eve trying to bring on these false coverings, notice what the Bible says:

Gen 3:20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

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

This was the first sacrifice where God had to kill an animal. He had to take the skins off of an animal and make a coat. Immediately when God saw Adam and Eve’s apron, God saw that this was an insufficient covering and He decided to make a coat for them.

The same way diet and spirituality go hand in hand, dress and spirituality go hand in hand and any time you teach the health message and you do not address dress reform, you are not teaching the full health message.

I want you to notice something that I’m going to read to you. This is one of my textbooks when it relates to studying the subject of dress reform and this is a book called Thy Nakedness: Lord, What Shall I Wear?

Fashion is deteriorating the intellect and eating out the spirituality of our people. Obedience to fashion is pervading our Seventh-day Adventist churches and is doing more than any other power to separate our people from God. {4T 647.2}

There’s no way you could have heard that! Fashion! We are about to find out some amazing things over these next few moments. Fashion is deteriorating the intellect and eating out the spirituality of our people. So our fashion, the way we dress, affects our spirituality. It says, obedience to fashion is pervading our Seventh Day Adventist churches, and is doing – I’m telling you, I was shocked when I read this – and doing more than any other power to separate our people from God.

I thought that bringing in the Apostate message, that you can live in sin and still make it to heaven, was something that would have a great power to separate us. I thought that teaching people errors in some of our other books, and error only, I thought that those things were some of the greatest things that the devil was using to separate God’s people, but here it is, that we’re hearing it right from the mouth of the prophet, which in fact is the mouth of Jesus, and He said, more than any other power, fashion is separating God’s people. It’s separating us from God.

When Adam and Eve made their aprons, there was a physical application as well as a spiritual application. One of the first things that took place when sin entered into this word, one of the things that happened, was even the very climate began to change. There was a time in the Garden of Eden that the weather was steady and smooth and predictable. You never needed to go to a weather forecast because everything was always going to be at the right temperature and at the right breeze, with the right amount of sun and everything was just fine. After sin came into the world all of a sudden where you started getting all of this strange weather.

God understood when Adam and Eve put that apron on the physical. He said, “That’s inappropriate. It’s inadequate.” Because it’s not going to evenly cover their body and there’re going to be areas of the body that can become chilled, and as a result of that it can cause sickness and disease. So immediately—I want you to notice that God dealt with it immediately—when God saw their inappropriate garments, immediately God said “uh-uh” and He went and made a coat for them and he said, “Put this on.” Make no mistake about it. When God made a coat, He wasn’t doing a three-quarter thing—that’s a new fashion. When God was making these coats, He made it where it was a full long covering. It was full. Why; because, God was trying to show them a type. Does Jesus want to deliver us from some sin? Does He want to deliver us from all sin? If Christ wants to deliver us from all sin, I want you notice what the Bible shows us in Isaiah.

Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh [himself] with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth [herself] with her jewels.

Christ wanted to cover us with His righteousness and it was not a partial covering because that would mean that sin remains. Christ came to deliver us from sin.

Matthew 1:21 They shall call His name Jesus and He shall save His people from their sins.

Christ was saving from all sin. So therefore the righteousness of God had to be a full covering, which means there was no nakedness. When God gave man the coat, it was a coat that was a full covering that no nakedness would be seen. We’re seeing a transition from the physical and the spiritual. God teaches us that He wants us to truly show forth the character Christ, the righteousness of Christ.

Satan invented the fashions which leave the limbs exposed, chilling back the life current from its original course. And parents bow at the shrine of fashion and so clothe their children that the nerves and veins become contracted, and do not answer the purpose that God designed they should. The result is habitually cold feet and hands. Those parents who follow fashion instead of reason will have an account to render to God for thus robbing their children of health. Even life itself is frequently sacrificed to the god of fashion.33 {CG 427.1}

When you and I wear garments that do not clad our bodies completely, God understood something. I wonder if you’ve ever noticed this. I want to show you what God was trying to teach you and I. God understood the frailty of the human mind. God understood and said, “I’m going to put some principles in front of man, that will help him stay focused.”

This subject of dress is a serious subject and it hurts me because you know there are a lot of sisters who love Jesus Christ. Make no mistake about it but they are dressing in a way that brings shame to the name of God and God does not want us to remain silent. He needs us to speak up on this because guess what? According to Ezekiel if I as a watchman don’t blow the trumpet and give it a certain sound, not only will you die in your sins, but I too will die with you and we’re all going to go to hell together. I love you, but I don’t love you that much. By the grace of God, I want to be able to tell you the truth as it is in Jesus Christ.

Lev 19:19 Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.

Why did God say that? What was the point that God was trying to make? Don’t mix this and don’t mix that with the other. There were two full points.

God wanted to make sure that no amalgamation would take place amongst living species. There’s a lot of problems in this world in all the cloning and all these things that’s happening, all this comes as a result of amalgamation. That’s why these dinosaurs and things in nature that our children get so fascinated with, a lot of times these things have come we’re told in the Spirit of Prophecy I believe it’s volume three— or volume one, page sixty: it tells us that the sins that came into the world during the time of Noah’s day, and these dinosaurs and what have you, they came as a result of amalgamation. When you think about it, it makes sense. How in the world is it that you can have a beast that can be so big and his legs so big and wide like the Tyrannosaurusrex but it got these little arms like this? It makes no sense. It’s obviously some type of mixed-up, messed-up species.

This is one of the reasons that God saw it fit to wipe it all out. When Christ was telling us when he said, “Listen, I don’t even want you mixing these garments together, these articles of clothing.” Christ was trying to keep it before our minds that there are certain things that should not mix and go together, like holiness and wickedness.

God would use a lot of temporal examples, things that we deal with every day like clothing because the Lord understood that this was going to be a hard thing for you and I so He would present to us these various types of teachings and lessons so that we could keep it before us. Even though it was a very simple temporal process, like don’t mix your wool and your linen, God was always just trying to say that there are certain things that mix together and certain things that don’t. The Lord was trying to show us that He said, “I do not want My people clothing themselves in ways that will hurt them.”

In the summer time is when I notice it’s some of the greatest challenges.

Let the Extremities Be Properly Clothed

Special attention should be given to the extremities, that they may be as thoroughly clothed as the chest and the region over the heart, where is the greatest amount of heat. Parents who dress their children with the extremities naked, or nearly so, are sacrificing the health and lives of their children to fashion. If these parts are not so warm as the body, the circulation is not equalized. When the extremities, which are remote from the vital organs, are not properly clad, the blood is driven to the head, causing headache or nosebleed; or there is a sense of fullness about the chest, producing cough or palpitation of the heart, on account of too much blood in that locality; or the stomach has too much blood, causing indigestion. {CG 426.2}

Some of us are suffering from sickness and disease, and illness and we’re drinking water, we have very good diets and we exercise and we get the sunlight and we’re getting proper rest and we are temperate and we’re doing all these different things but we’re not properly dressing ourselves. When you look at commandment number six, “Thou shalt not kill,” and Psalm 119:96 David said
thy law, thy commandments are exceeding deep. They’re very deep, they’re very broad and this is why in Psalms 119:18 David prayed, Lord, open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

Isaiah 42:21 the Bible says the Lord shall magnify the law and make it honorable. Christ did that in Matthew 5 when he said, it’s not so much that you commit adultery but when you look upon a woman to lust after her you already have committed adultery. If God will condemn the man who looks upon a woman lustfully, God will condemn the woman who dresses in a way to cause the man to look upon her lustfully.

There are so many Adventist sisters who are professing pleasantries and at the same point leading others to temptation. Let me give you an example. Nakedness is consistently in the Bible revealed as something that is shameful and ought to be covered and it is synonymous to sin. That’s why in Revelation 3 the Bible clearly tells us when God was counseling the church of Laodicea, He said: You say, because you say, that you are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing, but God said, but I say that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.

Naked is synonymous to sin. You know what’s so good about God? The Bible declares that condemnation comes when light comes to us and we reject it. In other words, if you’ve never had this light God will not reject you. God will not condemn you. But when the light comes to you and when you and I refuse that light because of convenience of life, this is when God says, “Now, condemnation comes.” Some of us didn’t know this.

God’s Definition of Nakedness

Isa 47:1 Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: [there is] no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate.

47:2 Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers.

47:3 Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet [thee as] a man.

I want you to notice what God defines as nakedness. It said in verse two,

47:2 Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers.

If God is differentiating between the leg and the thigh, what God is saying that when the bare leg is seen, you’re showing your nakedness. This is not being said to condemn anybody but God wants us to practice that which is right that we may be informed and bring glory and honor to His name. When we have our legs showing, when we have our bare legs being seen, the Scripture declares that that is nakedness and the Bible tells us that we are to cover our nakedness.

How many of you have ever heard in Sister White’s day something called the hoop dress? Do you know why she said that that was an abomination for God’s people to wear? Because when the hoop dress was worn it was that big old dress that would kind of loop over like that and then what would happen is they would have to pull that dress up when they would have to walk up certain steps and so on and guess what people would be able to see? Their legs.

You could see why this was so offensive to God. When God was giving instruction to Moses or any of the priests, notice what God tells them. He says:

Exodus 20:26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.

The reason why Paul said, “Let this mind be in you” is because Paul understood in Romans 7 where Paul said, the law is spiritual, but I am carnal? Paul understood when we see things through our carnal minds, we have a tendency to say, “Oh, there’s nothing wrong with that. Oh, come on, God couldn’t be that serious. I mean, Uzah touched the Arc when it was about to fall and the Bible says God struck him down for that. Oh, but God couldn’t be that serious. I mean, Eve just went to a tree and all she did was take a piece of fruit! She took a bite, and she had it with her husband and now people being beheaded, people going to Virgian Tech and shooting innocent people down, bombs exploding, sickness and disease, all of it happened because somebody just took a piece of fruit off of a tree? “Oh, come on, God can’t be that serious.”

God is trying to show us that He is that serious and this is why Paul said, “Stop looking at things through your eyes and see it through the eyes of God.” We should not compare ourselves among ourselves. That’s the mistake we make and that’s why we’re told we’re not wise because what we do is we look at what other people are doing and we say, “Oh, well because they’re dressing so-and-so way, and a little bit of their legs are showing because they got the split so whatever it is in their dress, oh certainly there’s nothing wrong if I had just a little slit”. We ought to compare ourselves to no one except Christ. The Bible clearly declares unto us that our dress is a spiritual subject, the way that we dress.

There’s another counsel that God gives us. In Deuteronomy 22 God shows us again that the way that we dress is indeed a spiritual subject. It affects our health. Remember when Brother Swain was teaching that there are many reasons why individuals get sick? Sometimes it’s because of violation of natural law not properly covering the body and how leaving certain parts of the extremities exposed can cause sickness and disease. The other way that we can get sick is by violating spiritual laws and as a result of violating spiritual laws, we can be sick. What is amazing about it is that remember when he said that you can go to a doctor and the doctor’s trying to figure out what’s wrong with you and they can’t because it’s a spiritual issue? I’m going to show you another reason why many of us suffer from sickness and disease. We can’t run away from these subjects, we’ve got to talk about it.

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.

Any time an individual practices that which is an abomination unto God, we are in trouble.

Rev 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

If there is any abominable practice that we are doing. If there are any abominations that we are working in our lives, the Bible clearly tells us we will not be in the new Jerusalem. Anything that the Bible declares as an abomination is what we ought not do if we are expecting to make it into the new Jerusalem.

Paul’s Counsel

There are strange traditions that we are coming up with. I’ve talked to individuals who profess medical missionary work but they are violating this principle. They’re not true medical missionaries. They can’t be. There is no way that you and I can practice abominations and at the same point call ourselves medical missionary gospel workers. You can’t do it. You might be innocently doing it, you might be ignorantly doing it, but nevertheless you’re not representing Christ. Jesus wants to wake us up because He loves us. I want you to see what 1 Timothy 2:9 shows us. Notice how the Bible gives this description. It talks about the dress of our sisters.

1Ti 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

1Ti 2:10 But [which becometh women professing godliness] with good works.

1Ti 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

Paul says that women should dress themselves in modest apparel. Do you think that God would be foolish enough to leave it up to frail, carnal, human minds to define modest apparel? God knows we couldn’t do it. Because He knows that today—God saw it today. Today we’ve got sisters who were coming up and because their miniskirts are not— some individuals, they wear skirts that are up to here. And you say, “Hey, listen, you know, that’s very immodest,” and they say, “Oh, no, no, I could be wearing the skirts where other sisters are wearing it up to here.” So again, they’re comparing themselves amongst themselves and lacking wisdom. So that what they’re doing is they’re defining modest apparel by their own frail opinion.

But the Word of God says that the women should dress in modest apparel and I looked up the word. The Bible is written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, and I looked up the Greek word “modest apparel” and it was beautiful, what I discovered. Look it up yourself, I challenge each and every one of you.

“Modest apparel” is defined as “long, flowing dress.” So that when God was giving His instruction to His women, to His daughters, He was saying that in like manner, women also should dress themselves in long flowing dresses. Now if we followed God’s counsel specifically, we would not have the problem or the excuse.

You hear most individuals say— I know one individual that says, “Well I prefer to have my child wear pants, than some of these tight dresses that sisters wear,” and I understand the argument, but again: both are wrong. Because this text clearly shows that we are to wear “long, flowing—” so in that way it is not tight and not hugging against the body, so therefore all of these particulars are not revealed.

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:19 that you are the temple of God. You are the temple of God and as a result of being the temple of God we are told that the Holy Ghost dwells within us. We know we are a temple. We know the Holy Ghost dwells within us. In the sanctuary you had the outer court, then you have the holy place, then you have the most holy place.

Where did God say He would write His law? In our hearts right and in our minds. This body which is the temple has the law of God written within it and the Holy Spirit. What do you think our bodies represent as it relates to the sanctuary? The outer court, the holy place, or the most holy? Most holy. In Type A and Type O, in symbol versus reality, notice that if your body represents the most holy place. Do you not understand that when people would come, they were privileged to see the outer court but they were not privileged to see even the particulars of the most holy place? The Bible says that if anyone were to look into the most holy, they would be stricken dead.

Dress and Spirituality

The only individual that was allowed to see in the most holy place was the priests and who represents the priests here on this earth? Your husbands are your priests, of your home. What God was trying to say, is that the only one who has the right to know what to know the size of whatever it is of your body particulars, the only individual who has a right to know what these things look like, is the man who has been privileged to become your husband. The average common person on the street has no right to know the particulars of the most holy place. You and I have to realize that God is serious about this because there are many individuals, we contradict ourselves. You will be ready to leave a church and declare it as an Apostate church in Babylon if you see a sister come to service with pants on, officiating in church.

Some of you in this room would leave your churches if you saw somebody officiating, preaching the word of God, doing song service wearing their pants. But yet, when church is over and it’s now Saturday night, Sunday-Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday, all of a sudden it’s okay to wear it. Show me that one in the Bible where you can wear pants all throughout the week, but for some reason it’s an abominable thing when you do it on the Sabbath. Show me that in the Bible.

We’re following traditions and the Bible says, “In vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” In vain, brothers and sisters, in vain! Sin is a transgression of God’s law and when we follow traditions instead of the word of God, we are doing things in vain, and the third commandment says, Thou shall not take the word of the lord thy God in vain!

We sin against God when we do such things. I want to challenge each and every one of you, go home. Read Testimonies to the Church, volume one, under the subject Dress Reform. When you read it, I want you to notice that there is something called “the American costume.” This American costume Sister White said was a violation of Deuteronomy chapter twenty-two verse five. She said that these doctors who were wearing these outfits, called the American costume, was an abomination unto God. Do you want to see what the American costume looks like?

This is the American costume. She says that it was a pair of pants, and the dress, this is actually the ladies’ that she was referring to, that we should not imitate—their garments. Wearing the pants, wearing the dress, wearing the jacket, they were wearing the boots, and she said that this was a violation of Deuteronomy chapter twenty-two verse five. Is the testimony of Jesus a testimony about Christ or a testimony from Christ? It was a testimony from Christ. Was Sister White calling it an abomination or was it Jesus? Jesus.

This outfit that was declared an abomination, at least it had a dress around it. Today, the sisters have taken off the dress and now we even see more; a woman’s suit almost matches what my suit looks like. Have we gotten more holy over time or have we backslidden and gotten even worse? Your dress affects your spirituality.

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…. {CG 427.2}

She makes it clear that it is not so much that it is the exact garment, but it looks too much like the garment.

God designed that there should be a plain distinction between the dress of men and women, and has considered the matter of sufficient importance to give explicit directions in regard to it; for the same dress worn by both sexes would cause confusion and great increase of crime.34 {CG 427.3}

In Matthew 6 Christ said the children of the world are wiser than the children of light. I am amazed at how I can go into a room or in to a building, owned by heathens and they have enough sense to say, “We have a problem.” When individuals while Adventist Christians supposed believers in that which is called present truth, while we are fighting, saying there’s pants for women and pants for men, while we’re trying to hold on tight to those excuses— even the world is rebuking us, because the world says, “We have a problem. We have to make sure that there is a clear distinction between masculinity and femininity when individuals have to go to the bathroom.”

Here goes the heathen saying, “What is the best way—” I can just see them at the table. “What is the best way that we can let the people know the men’s room from the woman’s room?” I can just see them sketching all sorts of ideas. Here it is without probably bringing out one Bible text. They say, “Oh! We will put pants on the image on the men’s room, and we will put a dress on the image on the women’s room.” God said that we should give as clear a distinction as much as possible. Even the children of this world are wiser than the children of light, and it ought not be.

I understand sisters that we need a lot of grace to practice something like this. This is a strong message because the servant of the Lord says that the devil chose fashion for the women. The devil chose it for you. He knew that this was the way he was going to get you. But the subject of fashion is leavening our churches, it’s leavening us as individuals, and we are practicing abomination while thinking we are on our way to Zion and it’ll never happen.

God has brought light. It is up to us now what we will do with that light. Condemnation lies in front of us now. We have no excuse. When you begin making the reasons of, “I ain’t changing my garments and I’m not going to change, brother, I’m not doing this for nobody” and all this other stuff, just imagine if Jesus had said that, when He thought it not robbery to be equal with the Father.

I want you to take every excuse that you will make if you make it, of why you feel you’re going to keep wearing your pants and wear it proud. Every excuse that you bring up, Christ is going to say, “I could have used the same thing, before I took on the form of a servant.” That’s why I started this message with what Jesus did for you. And now you, little lambs, it’s time for you to lay yourself on the altar, and sacrifice self for Him. I’ve given you something specific. I didn’t give you something vague, I gave you something specific. Some of us will say, “Oh, I don’t have the money.” You know what? You got cable TV, don’t you?

It’s funny. When individuals need a house, they get a loan. When individuals need a car, they get a loan, they ask friends for money. If it’s important enough, we will find the money. But yet, when it comes to dress, “Oh, well, I don’t have enough money, so when I get that bonus cheque my boss promised me, then I’ll change my garments. Yeah.” Your dress affects your health and it affects your spirituality. This is serious. Jesus is about to come, and He’s coming for a lot of His beautiful daughters. By the way, you may not know this, but the next thing that’s on the rise, I have a whole Powerpoint presentation. The next thing that’s on the rise? Dresses for men.

I’m not talking about kilts on a bunch of people up in Scotland. I’m talking about people in New York City, in Santiago, I’m talking about people in Atlanta, Georgia, wearing long skirts and posing in their dresses. And all it takes is a P.Diddy or some other diddy or some other person out there to put it on, and guess what? We’re going to have another issue with our young people. Make no mistake about it.

If somebody can convince another brother or a sister to leave their house with their pants hanging off their backside, and half a head corn-braided and half a head in an afro, if they can convince you to come outside like that, then let me tell you, they can convince you to put on a dress.

We Need To Be Converted

It’s time to be who you say you are. Sisters, it takes a lot of grace to practice this, I’m serious. In my own home, in my own home with my wife and my children, it takes a lot of grace to practice this. I am not negating, I am not putting down the struggle. It’s a struggle. But, the Lord has given a clear command. We must obey.

God says, “Clothe yourself with humility, clothe yourself with my righteousness. Clothe yourselves in garments that are long and freeflowing, where people don’t have to be able to see all the particulars of your most holy place. They’re not worthy of it, sisters, they are not. I don’t care what this world is trying to deceive you, and make you believe that the more you show will determine how this, that or the other you are. And shame on a lot of us as husbands, who have caused and pushed our wives to dress these ways. Husbands, we need to be converted, and stop being so immoral. We need purity of mind as well that we stop having our wives dress up like little dolls out on the street so we can show off to others.

We need to be converted, and this health message, this gospel of health doesn’t just deal with your eating and your drinking. We would be remiss if we were to tell you about all about diet, sunlight, water, all these, and not talk to you about dress. You have to do it, because now it becomes more of a holistic message. If it is your desire to be fully clothed, physically, and spiritually, let’s kneel for prayer.

Amen.

Posted on June 15, 2012, in Divine Service Sermons, Dress Reform, Sermons by Dwayne Lemon and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I hearby request permission to repost this on my blog. This is awesome info

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