A loving message from Jesus to the Laodicean Church



Dear Father in Heaven, You have lovingly warned us that Satan's attacks regarding our appearance would be more successful than anything else in separating us from You. Father, I confess that my roots of pride and perversity run deep. You desire to purge me from all love of the world, and purify me completely. I want that experience, dear Lord. Your love for me, Your sacrifice for me draws me to You. Take my heart, sanctify it according to Your perfect will. Make me willing to reflect You even in my appearance. I love you, Jesus! Amen.

I acknowledge my tendency toward vanity and pride in my appearance.

All who receive Christ in truth will believe in him. They will see the necessity of having Christ abiding in the heart by faith. They will escape from the control of their hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil,-- their pride, vanity, self-esteem, worldliness, and every sin, --and will reveal Christ in their lives. {RH, October 3, 1899 par. 8}

Pride, selfishness, vanity, worldliness --sin in all its forms--must be overcome, if we would enter into a union with Christ. {RH, December 13, 1887 par. 11}

Pride and vanity are manifested everywhere; but those who are inclined to look into the mirror to admire themselves, will have little inclination to look into the law of God, the great moral mirror. This idolatry of dress destroys all that is humble, meek, and lovely in character. No Christian can conform to the demoralizing fashions of the world without imperiling his soul's salvation. {RH, March 31, 1891 par. 7}

I confess that I have adopted some practices and fashions of the world in my appearance.

As I have seen many Sabbathkeeping Adventists becoming worldly in thought, conversation, and dress, my heart has been saddened. The people who claim to believe that they have the last message of mercy to give to the world, are attracted by worldly fashions, and make great exertions to follow them as far as they think their profession of faith allows them to go. Worldly dress among our people is so noticeable that unbelievers frequently remark, "In their dress you cannot distinguish them from the world." This we know to be true, although there are many exceptions. {3SM 243.2}

When I see those who have named the name of Christ, aping the fashions introduced by worldlings, I have the most painful reflections. Their lack of Christlikeness is apparent to all. In the outward adorning there is revealed to worldlings as well as to Christians an absence of the inward adorning, the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which in the sight of God is of great price. . . . {3SM 243.3}

I desire to be purged of all pride of appearance, and to totally die to self.

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 295.4}

Another evil which threatens to destroy the usefulness of your daughter is a love of the world, and pride of appearance. She has cherished an affectation which is death to spirituality.{DG 209.2}

I must not waste one jot or tittle of my powers in the gratification of appetite or pride of appearance. {PCP 32.1}

Let the carnal heart be changed, and it will not be such drudgery, ye cold hearted professors, to serve God; and all that love of dress, and pride of appearance will be gone. The time that you spend standing before the glass, to prepare the hair, to please the eye, should be devoted to prayer and searching of heart. There will be no place for outward adorning in the sanctified heart. But there will be an earnest, anxious seeking for the inward adorning, the Christian graces, the fruits of the Spirit of God. {1T 162.2}

The habits and customs of the world, pride of appearance, selfishness, and self-exaltation, too often intrude, and these sins of His professed followers are so offensive to God that He cannot work in power for them or through them. {4T 576.1}

How can we devote our God-given time, the hours of probation granted us here in which to prepare for a higher and immortal life, to thinking of ourselves, of our appearance , in allowing pride to take possession of our hearts when we consider the infinite price that has been paid for our redemption? {ST, January 31, 1878 par. 8}

I choose to turn away from all worldly fashions and practices in my appearance.

All matters of dress should be strictly guarded, following closely the Bible rule. Fashion has been the goddess who has ruled the outside world, and she often insinuates herself into the church. The church should make the Word of God her standard, and parents should think intelligently upon this subject. When they see their children inclined to follow worldly fashions, they should, like Abraham, resolutely command their households after them. Instead of uniting with the world, connect them with God. {CG 430.2}

As the chosen people of God, we cannot copy the habits, aims, practices, or fashions of the world. We are not left in darkness, to pattern after worldly models and to depend on outward appearance for success. {CH 274.1}

I pray that God will give me victory over the desire to wear anything that would foster pride.

And should they not be examples in point of dress, and by their simple style rebuke the pride, vanity, and extravagance of worldly, pleasure-loving professors? God requires this of His people. Pride is rebuked in His Word. {OHC 271.2}

When you have a sense of your accountability to God, you will feel your need of faithfulness in prayer, and faithfulness in watching against the temptations of Satan. You will, if you are indeed Christians, feel more like mourning over the moral darkness in the world than indulging in levity and pride of dress. You will be among those who are sighing and crying for the abominations that are done in the land. {PH013 15.2}

Those who cherish and flatter self, fostering pride and vanity, giving to dress and appearance the time and attention that ought to be given to the Master's work, are incurring a fearful loss. Many who are clothed in beautiful outward garments know nothing of the inward adorning that is in the sight of God of great price. Their fine clothing covers a heart that is sinful and diseased, full of vanity and pride. They know not what it means to "seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God" (Colossians 3:1). {1SM 79.3}

I am willing to give God complete control over my appearance.

"When they really desire an article of dress, or some ornament or convenience, do they lay the matter before the Lord in prayer to know if his Spirit would sanction this..." {RH, December 6, 1881}

It is the duty of every child of God to inquire: "Wherein am I separate from the world?" Let us suffer a little inconvenience, and be on the safe side. What crosses do God's people bear? They mingle with the world, partake of their spirit, dress, talk, and act like them. {1T 277.1}

I give God permission to convict me of things regarding my appearance that are displeasing to Him.

I have been shown that our church rules are very deficient. All exhibitions of pride in dress , which is forbidden in the word of God, should be sufficient reason for church discipline.We must arise at once and close the door against the allurements of fashion. {4T 647.2}

No Christian can conform to the demoralizing fashions of the world without imperiling his soul's salvation. {RH, March 31, 1891 par. 7}

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. {Ev 312.3}

I agree with the testimony of Jesus that following the fashions of the world separates me from God.

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}

Will every one that is in moderate circumstances consider that they are to be a people distinct and separate in their fashions of dress, their speech, their deportment, from the world? Will they see their idolatry in small as well as in large matters, and that it is separating them from God? {7BC 941.10}

Such pride should not be suffered in the church. It is these things that separate God from his people, that shuts the ark away from them. Israel has been asleep to the pride, and fashions, and conformity to the world, in their very midst. They advance every month in pride, covetousness, selfishness, and love of the world..And if any have a desire to imitate the fashions of the world, that they do not immediately subdue, just so soon God ceases to acknowledge them as his children. They are the children of the world, and darkness. They want to be as much like the world as possible, and those that profess to have put on Christ, by thus doing put him off, and show that they are strangers to grace, strangers to the meek and lowly Jesus. {4bSG 22.1}

As we see our sisters departing from simplicity in dress and cultivating a love for the fashions of the world, we feel troubled. By taking steps in this direction they are separating themselves from God and neglecting the inward adorning. {CH 596.1}

I choose to abstain from wearing anything that tends to arouse lust in the opposite sex.

A modest, godly woman will dress modestly. A refined taste, a cultivated mind, will be revealed in the choice of a simple, appropriate attire. The one who is simple and unpretending in her dress and in her manners shows that she understands that a true woman is characterized by moral worth. {CCh 180.5}

This is an age when corruption is teeming. The lust of the eye and corrupt passions are aroused by beholding and by reading. The heart is corrupted through the imagination. The mind takes pleasure in contemplating scenes which awaken the lower and baser passions. These evil images, seen through defiled imagination, corrupt the morals, and prepare the deluded, infatuated beings, to give loose rein to lustful passions, and then follow sins and crimes, dragging beings formed in the image of God down to a level with the beasts, and sinking them at last in perdition. Avoid reading and seeing things which will suggest to your imagination impure thoughts. {PH085 30.1}

It is the special work of Satan in these last days to take possession of the minds of youth, to corrupt the thoughts and inflame the passions; for he knows that by so doing he can lead to impure actions, and thus all the noble faculties of the mind will become debased, and he can control them to suit his own purposes. {CG 440.4}

I choose to abstain from wearing anything that tends to incite jealousy or covetousness in others, or cause people to feel embarrassed.

Our clothing should be plain and simple, so that when we visit the poor, they will not be embarrassed by the contrast between our appearance and their own.-- Gospel Workers, p. 189. (1915) {Ev 673.2}

The plain, neat dress of the poorer class often appears in marked contrast with the attire of their more wealthy sisters, and this difference frequently causes a feeling of embarrassment on the part of the poor. {CH 597.1}

Many will not attend the service of God upon the Sabbath, because their dress would appear so unlike that of their Christian sisters in style and adornment. Will my sisters consider these things as they are, and will they fully realize the weight of their influence upon others? By walking in a forbidden path themselves, they lead others in the same way of disobedience and backsliding. Christian simplicity is sacrificed to outward display. {CH 597.2}

I choose to abstain from any practice that draws attention and admiration to my appearance.

True refinement does not find satisfaction in the adornment and display of the body. True refinement and nobility of soul, will be seen in efforts to bless others, being useful to others, seeking to elevate others. {PH099 41.2}

We warn our Christian sisters against the tendency to make their dresses according to worldly styles, thus attracting attention. The house of God is profaned by the dress of professedly Christian women of today. A fantastic dress, a display of gold chains and gaudy laces, is a certain indication of a weak head and a proud heart. {3SM 244.1}

Do we love the Bible? Do we love the hour of prayer? Or will we neglect it in order to adorn ourselves to attract attention to self? {RH, June 2, 1891 par. 12}

Any device designed to attract attention to the wearer or to excite admiration is excluded from the modest apparel which God's Word enjoins. {CG 423.2}

I choose to be hygienic, healthful, natural and neat in my appearance.

In all things we are to be representatives of Him. Our appearance in every respect should be characterized by neatness, modesty, and purity. But the Word of God gives no sanction to the making of changes in apparel merely for the sake of fashion,--that we may appear like the world. Christians are not to decorate the person with costly array or expensive ornaments. {Ev 312.2}

While we should not conform to worldly fashions, we are not to be indifferent in regard to our outward appearance. We are to be neat and trim, though without adornment. The children of God should be pure within and without. {CG 531.2}

We who claim to be in the light, and who take prominent positions to instruct others in children's meetings, need to be severely plain, yet tidy and tasteful, in dress; we should not give a semblance of excuse to any for patterning after the worldly, changing fashions of this corrupt age. {DG 158.4}

I choose to be a godly example to others in my choice of apparel.

The example of those who follow the fashions of the world has a disastrous effect upon other members of the church. {RH, June 2, 1891 par. 8}

Our words, our actions, and our dress are daily, living preachers, gathering with Christ, or scattering abroad. This is no trivial matter, to be passed off with a jest. The subject of dress demands serious reflection and much prayer. Many unbelievers have felt that they were not doing right in permitting themselves to be slaves of fashion; but when they see some who make a high profession of godliness dressing as worldlings dress, enjoying frivolous society, they decide that there can be no wrong in such a course.-- Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 641. (1881) {Ev 673.1}

Those who claim to know the truth and understand the great work to be done for this time are to consecrate themselves to God, soul, body, and spirit. In heart, in dress, in language, in every respect they are to be separate from the fashions and practices of the world. They are to be a peculiar and holy people. It is not their dress that makes them peculiar, but because they are a peculiar and holy people, they cannot carry the marks of likeness to the world. {FE 311.1}

I choose to dress and behave in such a way that there is a clear distinction between me and the world.

The people of God should not imitate the fashions of the world. Some have done this, and are fast losing the peculiar, holy character which should distinguish them as God's people. They give the lie to their profession. They think they are not like the world, but they are so near like them in dress, in conversation, and in actions, that there is no distinction between them. {RH, September 9, 1884 par. 1}

I saw many traveling in this broad road who had the words written upon them: "Dead to the world. The end of all things is at hand. Be ye also ready." They looked just like all the vain ones around them, except a shade of sadness which I noticed upon their countenances. Their conversation was just like that of the gay, thoughtless ones around them; but they would occasionally point with great satisfaction to the letters on their garments, calling for the others to have the same upon theirs. They were in the broad way, yet they professed to be of the number who were traveling the narrow way. Those around them would say: " There is no distinction between us. We are alike; we dress, and talk, and act alike. " {CET 157.1}

The distance is widening between Christ and His people, and lessening between them and the world. The marks of distinction between Christ's professed people and the world have almost disappeared. Like ancient Israel, they follow after the abominations of the nations around them.--Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 277. {ChS 38.2}

Ambition, covetousness, the mania to follow the fashions, the customs, and practices of the world in order not to be thought singular, will soon obliterate all lines of distinction between the Christian's lines of pursuit and the practices of the world. {HP 165.2}

I choose to maintain a clear distinction between the genders in my appearance.

"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 . . . . . The foregoing was given me as a reproof to those who are inclined to adopt a style of dress resembling that worn by men; {1T 457.2}

"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.'" {1T 457.1}

"There is still another style of dress which is adopted by a class of so-called dress reformers [American Costume]. They imitate the opposite sex as nearly as possible. They wear the cap, pants, vest, coat, and boots, the last of which is the most sensible part of the costume. Those who adopt and advocate this style of dress carry the so-called dress reform to very objectionable lengths. Confusion will be the result." {1T 459.7}

I choose to shun unnatural, artificial enhancements and adornment of my body.

Let those who have been expending means and time and thought on needless decoration of themselves, face the mirror of God's law and behold their real defects. {RH, June 2, 1891 par. 11}

And the very ones that profess to be washed by the blood of Jesus, can dress up, and decorate their poor, mortal bodies , yet dare to profess to be the followers of the holy, self-denying, humble Pattern. {4bSG 21.1}

They think they are not like the world, but they are so near like them in dress, in conversation, and actions, that there is no distinction. I saw them decorating their poor mortal bodies . {MYP 127.1}

Ask them then how they feel about decorating their bodies, and if they have any sense of what it is to be prepared to appear before God, they will tell you that if they could take back and live over the past, they would correct their lives, shun the follies of the world, its vanity, its pride, and would adorn the body with modest apparel, and set an example to others around them. They would live to the glory of God. Why is it so hard to lead a self-denying, humble life? Because professed Christians are not dead to the world. It is easy living after we are dead; but they have a disposition to dress and act as much like the world as possible, and yet go to Heaven. Such seek to climb up some other way. They do not enter through the narrow way and straight gate. {4bSG 17.2}

God was not in their thoughts; but their carnal minds dwell upon themselves. They decorate their poor mortal bodies , and then look upon themselves with satisfaction and pleasure. {1SG 190.1}

I choose to dress with simplicity, shunning extravagance, jewelry and showy fashion accessories

Our sisters should dress with simplicity . They should clothe themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety. Give to the world a living illustration of the inward adorning of the grace of God. {CCh 180.6}

Before accepting the truth, she had followed the fashions of the world in her dress, and had worn costly jewelry and other ornaments; but upon deciding to obey the Word of God, she felt that its teachings required her to lay aside all extravagant and superfluous adorning . She was taught that Seventh-day Adventists did not wear jewelry, gold, silver, or precious stones, and that they did not conform to worldly fashions in their dress . When she saw among those who profess the faith such a wide departure from Bible simplicity, she felt bewildered. Had they not the same Bible which she had been studying, and to which she had endeavored to conform her life? {Ev 270.1}

Those who are truly seeking to follow Christ will have conscientious scruples in regard to the dress they wear; they will strive to meet the requirements of this injunction [1 Peter 3:3-5] so plainly given by the Lord. 262 {CCh 181.6}

Self-denial in dress is a part of our Christian duty. To dress plainly, abstaining from display of jewelry and ornaments of every kind, is in keeping with our faith. 263 {CCh 181.7}

I desire to be known for my godly convictions rather than noticed for my fashionable appearance.

There is a class of women in the world who appear very fair to the eye, but within they are full of corruption. Is this the class you are seeking to imitate? Are you neglecting the inner adornment, and devoting probationary time to the decoration of your apparel? In this way you make it manifest that you do not appreciate the inward adorning of a meek and quiet spirit, which is of great price in the sight of God. Shall not those who believe present truth, cease from idolatry? Put away your idols, and humble your hearts before God. {RH, June 2, 1891 par. 5}

The fashions of the world hold God's people in bondage. Those who have really chosen God and heaven as their portion will be peculiar. The sanctifying influence of the truth has separated them from the world, and they will have moral courage to carry out their faith, and by their simple plainness of dress and holy living condemn the idolatry and extravagance of this age. {RH, November 26, 1861 par. 6}

I choose to discourage others from following fashion by refraining from complimenting those who dress immodestly or with pride.

Parents frequently dress their children in extravagant garments, with much display of ornaments, then openly admire the effect of their apparel and compliment them on their appearance. These foolish parents would be filled with consternation if they could see how Satan seconds their efforts and urges them on to greater follies. {CG 434.4}

Compliments are not to be given to sinful, erring men [or women]. {RH, October 23, 1900 par. 13}

Let us live a life of simplicity. We are not living for the world. We are not seeking its flattery or its compliments. {2SAT 303.2}

I choose to follow the health principles that are connected with dress reform.

Many who profess to believe the Testimonies live in neglect of the light given. The dress reform is treated by some with great indifference and by others with contempt, because there is a cross attached to it. For this cross I thank God. It is just what we need to distinguish and separate God's commandment-keeping people from the world. The dress reform answers to us as did the ribbon of blue to ancient Israel. The proud, and those who have no love for sacred truth, which will separate them from the world, will show it by their works. God in His providence has given us the light upon health reform, that we may understand it in all its bearings, follow the light it brings, and by rightly relating ourselves to life have health that we may glorify God and be a blessing to others. {3T 171.1}

To protect the people of God from the corrupting influence of the world, as well as to promote physical and moral health, the dress reform was introduced among us. {CH 598.3}

I welcome godly counsel regarding my appearance, and pray that God will empower me to follow it.

Christians seek to build as worldlings build, to dress as worldlings dress--to imitate the customs and practices of those who worship only the god of this world. The instructions of God's Word, the counsels and reproofs of His servants , and even warnings sent directly from His throne, seem powerless to subdue this unworthy ambition. When the heart is estranged from God, almost any pretext is sufficient to justify a disregard of His authority. . . . {CC 147.2}

Great neglect has been shown in the matter of bringing our church-members up to the standard of the Bible in this matter. After admonition , after time for Bible study and reflection, those who are walking contrary to the Scriptures, and will not reform, should be suspended from the church. The church is weakened, her power is enfeebled, her influence is limited, because church-members fail to live in accordance with the directions of the Bible. {RH, June 2, 1891 par. 8}

When men's hearts are softened and subdued by the constraining influence of the Holy Spirit, they will give heed to counsel ; but when they turn from admonition until their hearts become hardened, the Lord permits them to be led by other influences. Refusing the truth, they accept falsehood, which becomes a snare to their own destruction. {PK 425.1}

Of special value to God's church on earth today--the keepers of His vineyard--are the messages of counsel and admonition given through the prophets who have made plain His eternal purpose in behalf of mankind. In the teachings of the prophets His love for the lost race and His plan for their salvation are clearly revealed. {ML 40.7}

The Lord is testing and proving you. He has counseled, admonished, and entreated . All these solemn admonitions will either make the church better or decidedly worse. The oftener the Lord speaks to correct or counsel, and you disregard His voice, the more disposed will you be to reject it again and again, till God says: "Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof. . . . Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me; for that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: they would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices." {BLJ 196.2}

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© The Straight Testimony 10-10-10


Revelation 3

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.