THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A DISPUTE AMONG MANY, ABOUT WHAT TRUE SCRIPTURAL HOLINESS REALLY IS, SO REGARDLESS OF WHAT ANYONE MAY TEACH ON THE SUBJECT, ONLY THOSE WHO WILL ALLOW THE SPIRIT OF GOD TO DIRECT THEIR THINKING WILL HAVE A REVELATION ON THE SUBJECT WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE. SOME PEOPLE WHO PROFESS TO BE HOLY GHOST FILLED BELIEVERS WOULD RATHER ARGUE ABOUT WHAT HOLINESS IS THAN TO FIND OUT THE TRUTH ABOUT IT FROM THE WORD OF GOD. NATURALLY NO ONE CAN FORCE YOU TO RECEIVE A REVELATION ON ANYTHING, BUT THOSE WHO ARE SINCERELY SEEKING TO KNOW THE WILL AND PURPOSE OF GOD FOR THEIR LIVES WILL APPRECIATE WHAT WE ARE ABLE TO LEARN FROM STUDYING THE SCRIPTURES WITH THE RIGHT ATTITUDE AND MOTIVES, SO I ASK THAT YOU PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE SCRIPTURES WE WILL BE USING. THAT IS WHERE THE REVELATION COMES FROM.
This message is going to seem very strange, when you weigh it against traditional beliefs that have been handed down for centuries; and I confess to you that I feel a little nervous in going about it, but the time is right for the truth to be understood. You may not catch the point when I first start, but if you will hear it all the way through I believe you will. I have been accused of being a preacher that tells women they can cut their hair off. It is usually long haired women that accuse me of that, so I ask everyone who hears this, Please do not go get your hair cut off short like so many are doing! I have never taught anything that should cause a Spirit filled believer to do that. The only thing is, I just do not try to rule the lives of those who hear me: Every one of you are responsible before your heavenly Father for the way you present yourselves to the public. I always endeavor to present to you the scriptures that should guide you in all your decisions, but I never intend to try to force anyone to obey them: That is not what constitutes a sanctified life of holiness. For this reason, I am using three different translations of these scriptures, to try to let you know what the scriptures are really talking about and what those New Testament apostles had in mind when they wrote what they did. I ask my sisters here, to seriously think about every idea you may have about how you dress, and how you present yourselves in general. You are American women; and America is filled with all kinds of holiness movements, but most of it is outward, not based upon any revelation of the scriptures. It is very easy to dress up the outer man, but the primary message is, Let us endeavor to dress up the inner man after the image of Jesus Christ. It is the inner man that is first and foremost in God’s concern for us. Then when the inner man is robed in true holiness it will just naturally reflect on the outward man, or woman. If we cannot find out from the scriptures how we are to dress up the inner man, and we do not get our attitude and motives right, all that you may do in dressing up the outer man will wind up to no avail. You could look ever so holy outwardly and still appear in the eyes of God as naked. I am going to ask you at this time to open your Bible’s to the book of Ephesians. We are going to speak as long as necessary, on the subject of Scriptural Holiness. What is holiness? How is it identified? What does it look like to others and how do we attain it? I received a letter not long ago fro a young man who had been somewhere; and in his visiting, he had seen some sisters that he judged, had cut their hair off. He was very troubled. He asked me, Bro. Jackson, what about this? I hope this message, when he does hear it, will answer his questions in a satisfactory way. I also received a piece of literature from another man and I have to say, Many of the things stated in this literature were very true. He more or less started out by talking about the women and the plaiting of hair. He brought in different things of style and such, how that plaiting the hair is an unscriptural thing. Therefore after receiving these two sources of information and questions, I could not get away from dealing with it. I realized, sooner or later I would have to answer them. However I have to give it Biblical background, because traditional opinions are what has the world of religion so messed up on these things. I want to say to every sister, No mater how long your hair is or how short it might be, it neither proves nor disproves a life of holiness on your part. I have seen a lot of women in my lifetime, and I am not here to stand for anyone’s ideas, but I will confess that my life has been affected by a lot of people I have had an occasion to observe. I realize this is a great source of unrest among professing believers, so I am going to speak as seriously as possible on it, but only from the standpoint of what the scriptures say to us. Holiness has got to be something you have inside, and is expressed on the outside, but not something you have inside because of the way you present yourself outwardly. It has to have its roots inside of you first, before you can show it on the outward appearance. If you do not have it there first, you do not have it. You can fool a lot of people in this world, because it is natural for the eyes to see what they can see, but your heavenly Father looks at you from the inside. Mat 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” I cannot begin to tell you how many times church going people are asked, when they go into a restaurant, Where do you go to church? They can tell by how you appear to them on the outside, that you might be of a religious nature, but that is based entirely upon what they observe about you and that does not make you holy, nor does it take anything away from anyone. You may answer, I go here, or I go there, but the Bible says, (Mat 5:16) “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” He is not talking about works of the Law. He is talking about deeds of faith, behavior, manner, how you deal with people, how you talk to people, how you conduct yourself in a public place, and not just how you look. Think of how many times people will go into a restaurant, and if they are not waited on in three minutes, they are ready to blow their lid, and the pitiful thing about it is, they just came from church. That kind of display is getting to be quite frequent in this day and hour, simply because the very minute church services are ended large numbers will head out to the nearest restaurants, stand in line to get inside; and by the time they are seated their patience is worn out and they are ready to blow off some steam. Is that a proper display of scriptural holiness? You everyone know it is not. Well for this reason, as well as any other reasons we could mention, we are going to be dealing with the subject Scriptural Holiness and I will ask you again, Where does it start? What does it produce? Does hair enter into the picture? Yes. There will be hair involved, but I want you to know this, Hair is not the major item of holiness. It is a long way from being that. If you think it is, then I will have to say every Amish woman I have ever seen is going to heaven. Every Pilgrim Holiness is going to heaven. That is where this thing of long hair started, originally. You cannot sit here this morning and honestly say all of these groups of holiness looking people are going to make it to glory, because most of them are lacking the most important element of all, a genuine personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the revelation the Spirit of God will impart to those who desire to walk in truth. Of course we believe there will be some from those denominational systems that will wind up as foolish virgins. Foolish in what sense of the word? Not because they have long hair, nor because of the fact that they have no revelation to go along with their profession of faith. They have been building upon something that has no revelation as a foundation. They make Jesus Christ the Savior of lost mankind; and they will be very quick to say, Jesus Christ saved me, but many, or most, never see anything beyond that in the scriptures. That is why, when you step into a congregation like that, if you are asked to preach, you have to preach something they already believe in, or they are not going to listen to you. Basically, most of them are Trinitarian. If you start on a one God subject, regardless of how long their hair is, they are going to say, That is out of the pit of hell, that is of the devil, get out of here, we do not want to listen to that. When you find yourself being spoken to like that, you can be sure that true holiness is not included in the picture, and you know it immediately. True holiness has got to be something of the heart. From all the scriptures we have to deal with when it comes to hair, how to fix it and such like, there are mighty few compared to the other scriptures that deal with the inner man. There have been many, that just preach holiness over and over again and again. You will usually find that those congregations have been ripped to pieces because somebody has a twisted idea about whose hair is the longest, or maybe whose hair is the shortest. It is sad, to think that people could let themselves get so carried away with an abstract picture, that they cultivate things that are motivated out of lack of understanding of how to discipline themselves and keep their bodies under control. Instead of keeping their temper, their thoughts and ideas under control, they give expression and make a doctrine of their ideas. The letter to the Ephesian church is a model letter to a model church, so let us read from the 4th chapter starting with the 17th verse. Paul has been talking here, about the body, the nucleus of people that have been saved by the grace of God and brought into fellowship through faith, because of hearing the word of God. Of all the things that Paul has said here about the body coming together, acting as one, living as one, being of the same thought, mind, and so forth, he then says, “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind.” That is the ones out there in the non Christian world. “Having the understanding darkened, (They know nothing for sure.) Being alienated (cut off) from the life of God through the ignorance (ignorance is a state of mind) that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.” They never wanted anything. They never thought they needed anything, so the devil drives them on down the road, doing just anything they want to do. “Who being past feeling (The no longer have any conviction about anything.) Have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, (loose living) to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ.” Again here comes the statement, the mind, the spiritual mind. “If so be that ye have heard (spiritual ears) Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus. That ye put off (Putting off, means take something you have been wearing, and taking it off. He is using this type of speech to illustrate that there is such a thing as removing some things as we have been very comfortable with in life, that we might begin to make a way to put on something else.) concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.” Deceitful lusts can go to many things of the flesh, from smoking, gambling, cursing, you name it: it is all under that heading. “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” Meaning to cultivate a new attitude, a new outlook. “And that ye put on the new man, (Putting on again, we are going to find out, is not just an outward picture, but rather, it is something that takes place with the inner man.) Which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” It is the state of the inner man first. “Wherefore putting away lying.” I have heard of dedicated church going people being guilty of lying, because they got caught in a trap, having said something about someone they should not have said. They got caught up in telling a story because they thought it was true, because so and so told them, and so and so told him, on and on, here we go. That happens when we get backed into a corner, so we either tell the truth or we tell a lie. Sometimes church going people mean well, but they just simply get caught in a trap, so they think at the time, that it is better to tell a little story, than to face the truth, so you hear, I did not say that: I do not know where I heard that. “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: (His neighbor is not talking about the man of the world. His neighbor is his brother or sister in the body of Christ.) For we are members one of another. Be ye angry, (Paul is not talking about the man of the world who is angry: He is talking about Christians that get disturbed, and says, Be ye angry and what?) and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: (In other words, go make it right: that really is what He is talking about, go make it right. If you are neglecting these first principles of true righteousness, it doesn’t matter how long your hair is, or if I am talking about a man, how we have clothed ourselves, because God is concerned first and foremost with how our inner man, or inner self appears. When that part is dealt with script8urally, it just naturally shows up on our outward self. Most of us know what the scriptures have to say about righteousness and holiness, but the question is, What are we doing about it?) Neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication (meaning, your speech) proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying. (In other words, if it is liable to cut someone to pieces, do not even mention it. As I say this, I am aware, that yes, sometimes there can be a person or persons in the body of Christ that can misconduct themselves under certain conditions, and that can bring about a disturbance within the body, but when that disturbance has occurred, we, as Christians should begin to be wise enough to know that the way to deal with such cases is not just to begin to talk, suggest this or that, tell what ought to be done, and how it should be done, and who ought to be involved. No. There is enough scripture in the Bible to give us wisdom to know how to handle things like that. If it is handled wisely, scripturally by people that are motivated by the heart instead of their carnal minded thoughts, God will see to it, that each one of us are directed in the right way with our part. On the other hand, if the things is left for people to just talk, suggest, tell it here and there, never really caring what the end results might turn out to be, we can be guilty of causing something to be blow completely out of proportion. Therefore many times we create a wound, or a hurt, that is very hard to make amends for, so be wise Christians and let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but only that which is good to the use of edifying,) that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” To me, that is a completely clear picture, as we find the apostle Paul writing to the Ephesian church, and it should give us a clear understanding of the fact that God is first interested in the condition of our inner man, that part that has been redeemed by the blood which was shed at Calvary. Yes saints, I just have to keep saying, True holiness has to begin there first, in the inner man, in order for it to be displayed properly on the outer man. I pray you all understand this, and it causes a self examination, like, Are my convictions really based upon a revelation of God’s word? I had a woman say to me one time during our convention, (She was not from this state.) that she had been getting the Contender. She also said, I love the Lord, I have been serving the Lord, she told me how long, but she then said, I am not going to let any man tell me what to do, or how to do it, or when to do anything: I believe that I am to work out my own salvation. I thought, The way you are going about it, you will spend your whole lifetime trying to apply it and never get it done. Why do I say that? Because people with that attitude are going to spend most of the time living just the way their flesh requires them to, which is more for the world than for God. They will use the Lord as a crutch, saying, but I love Him. A person like that is absolutely flirting with danger. I have to say, Try to keep them at arms length. No, I do not mean you should throw rocks at them, but keep them at arms length. They do not deserve your devoted fellowship. They should not be allowed to pull on your obedience to God, to make themselves feel good while they are in your presence, because many times that is their motive. People like that are actually walking over the thing that Christ is helping you to represent, and they are paying no attention to any good they could gain from. They are not reading your life right. They are using it to make themselves feel good, while they themselves are under obedience to anything. That is what their words are, I am not going to let anybody tell me what I can do. When we start talking like that, that is when I have to say, Yes, and if the apostle Paul was here, you would say the same thing to him. It is a shame, that we still have people in this day and hour of learning, that want to take that kind of attitude about spiritual things.
LONG HAIR – HOW LONG SHOULD IT BE?
At this time, I am going to ask you to open your Bibles to 1st Corinthians 11. I am going to be reading from the King James version to start with. Let me say to whoever may hear this message, If you and I could have seen what Paul saw in his day, we would understand a lot more about how to read what he said. Not knowing all of that, many young preachers have stepped into the midst of a new congregation of people, and the very minute they see two or three women with short hair they proclaim, This church is full of the devil! Just look at that short hair! I have to say, Young preacher, if the devil can scare you like that with just three heads of short hair, you will be running all your life, because you do not even know what Paul was talking about. You are one that likes to step into a congregation and measure every woman’s head of hair as she comes through the front door. You do not do it outwardly, but in your mind you are passing judgment upon everyone who does not fit your preconceived mold. You do not know how to go about preaching holiness according to God’s formula: your preaching is strictly from the traditional, external viewpoint of holiness, how it looks to your eyes. It is a fact, God never made every female creature to grow hair that will all be of the same length. Naturally there will always be some who will disagree on this, but that could be because you have not been everywhere I have been; and you have not seen the things of this life that can nullify your traditional interpretation of the scriptures. I have been in the South Pacific, and I have seen those native women: They do not have enough hair on their head to make a powder puff; and could not have even if they wanted to. Some preachers might say, Well let them go to hell, but I say to you, Preacher, if that is your attitude, you have misread the Bible. You have passed judgment without know the facts. Only God can make hair grow on a woman’s head, because it is how nature, which God is the author of, would prescribe it to be. Years ago, when I first started this work, we had a precious sister with us, a retired school teacher. I was young: I too thought I would have to join the crowd of the preachers who interpret certain scriptures a certain way. Well one Sunday morning, because I heard everybody else preach about short hair on women, I thought it must be the thing to do, so that is what I did. When the service was over that morning, this Sister came to me crying and said, Bro. Jackson, I am sorry that I have offended you. I asked, What are you talking about? She said, I know you were looking at my short hair while you were preaching. She then said, Bro. Jackson, you just don’t know how I have prayed and prayed that God would cause my hair to grow long. I have done everything I know to do, but this is all I ever get. What I do have just keeps coming out. She said, I had two aunts that were both almost balk in their old age. They had to wear wigs to appear in public. She said, Bro. Jackson, if I have offended you, you will not see me back here any more That hit me just like a hammer. I said, Lord, I have opened my mouth when I should have kept it shut. I apologized to her personally. I said Sister, I am going to be honest with you: I am sorry for that, and I promise you, I will never do that again. That sister spent the rest of her life in our congregation. She has passed on to be with the Lord; and I have learned to keep mouth shut until I am sure I know what I am talking about. Since that time, and that lesson, I have traveled to various parts of the world, and it has been my privilege to meet different sisters, and you could tell that many of them were facing a situation where their hair was getting very thin. My wife has a cousin like that. That poor soul today, is almost completely bald. But Bro. Jackson, I thought only men went bald? I am sorry, but you are wrong about that. Remember though, when this body has been changed to immortality, He will give us back the head of hair we were supposed to have. Our bald heads will again be covered with hair and will not be sun burned anymore. How many heard what I said? We are dealing with scriptural holiness, not man made ideas. If the head will grow long hair, let it grow. You have to keep in mind though, that deep within, there is another being that can look much different than the outward you, if it has not been dealt with yet. That is the critter that gets you in trouble. It not only gets things in trouble with you, but sometimes with your brothers and sisters as well. That is the part that has to be renewed and made like unto our Savior that died for our redemption. That is what the apostle Paul meant when he wrote, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Now we will read some of what Paul wrote about hair and headship, so let us go to the 3rd verse of the 11th chapter of 1st Corinthians. Let us pay attention to this and learn something. “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man: and the head of Christ is God.” Now this is the order of headship. We, as Christians should have no problem with that. Have you noticed though, that since the 1960’s, the feminist movement has torn that all to pieces. They absolutely want to undo their scriptural position that is written so plainly in the scriptures: They have their own ideas about how that should be; and that does not include them being subject to any man. They have done the political headship the same way. Those women have gone into the work place and taken over the places where man is supposed to be, and politicians have given it all over to them. It is actually the devil’s way of working through apostate political systems, in order to bring this about, so a woman can take her position in the male world and get it where she is competitor. It is even worse than that, because the plain fact is, that it is easier for a woman to get a job in a factory, than it is for a man to get that same job. They have statistics; and we have to do this or that by the rule of statistics, whatever they point to. We have to have a certain percentage of this and a certain percentage of that. Well saints, they have torn the Bible all to pieces. It is no longer a book to be used as a guide. That is a fact, so here we go: The feminist movement has stood for the gay and lesbian rights. They are out front with it. Now think about this, Ever so often the News Media will swing their camera and sweep the crowd; and some of the women of the feminist movement have a pretty decent head of hair. Some of them look like they went to the barber shop and the barber forgot they were women and cut their hair just like a man, but others have a head of hair that would please just about any preacher that preaches on hair most of the time. That is the truth, but let us read on right here and notice this next verse. Verse 4, “Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: (now all along here it sounds like Paul is talking about some kind of head covering material.) for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman: but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. (Or something that shows recognition that she is showing respect to something other than her person,) Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman: but all things of God. Judge in yourselves: is it comely (is it proper, is it decent looking) that a woman pray unto God uncovered? (We are talking about the word covering.) Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, (Now he gets to specifics.) it is a shame unto him?” I have to say, Yes, it is. You see this bunch of modern day youth today and it makes you wonder, Just what are they trying to prove? I have seen these characters in an international airport, and it is a gruesome sight: They all congregate together like flies congregate where sugar has been spilled. They all look alike. Some of the men have hair longer than any of the women have. I simply fail to see what they expect to gain by looking like that. Does it put dollars in their pocket? I hardly think so, and it sure does not make them look more like a man. Nevertheless, that is the way they want to go and society in general accepts it all. It plainly says here, that it is a shame for the man to grow long hair. “But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.” Does that mean we are going to take this thing of long hair and really make it a condition of salvation? When we start doing that, we are reading the Bible the wrong way and for the wrong reason. It is easy for some people because there are women in the world that like long hair. For that reason, we ought not think that every woman walking the streets today has short hair. They do not. I grant you, the larger percentage of this modernistic society of women are like that, but there are some women of the world that appear exactly as your Pentecostal Holiness Preachers like to see the women of their congregations appear, with long hair. You will see them on TV at times, so long hair alone does not necessarily speak of holiness. Saints, I am not trying to take you down a narrow pathway: I am simply trying to get us all to look at this inner man: Our inner self is the one that speaks the loudest. This is the man that has to look at the word of God and read it right. I am simply saying, I have to see each of you in the right perspective. If I come here only looking at your dress and how long your hair is, sure, I can preach that until I am blue in the face and it might sound good to some, but if I have never said a thing that helps that inner man, which is the person you really are, trouble is up ahead, because the inner self is what gets us in trouble. If I, as your pastor, fail to get the picture right, I may never have but one opportunity to say it right. That is why I have said, Lord, help me to say this thing right and teach it right, because there are a lot of people going down the road of life looking at the wrong picture. They are looking at an external picture and it is distorted. They look at it first, then they take for granted that the inner person has to be like that. No. That is not always the case: Because true holiness does not start with the outside. There can be simultaneous effects, but true holiness has got to have a beginning inside first. If it begins inside, then when you stand before the mirror to do something pertaining to the outer person, here is where you really see yourself. What do we find written in Rom 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.” How am I going to do that if that inner man has not been crucified? Let us be honest. If that inner man is not dead to the things he likes to do, and if I am not dead to wanting to wear a pony tail, it is going to be hard for me to get myself balanced properly on God’s spiritual scales. Look at the crowds going into the charismatic congregations this morning, young men with pony tails, women with their hair cut short like a man ought to have his cut, and dressed in just any old way they choose. They think they have it all, but the point is this, We have got to work on this inner man first. This inner man is where true holiness starts from. That is why Jesus Christ died in the first place. The outer person, that which can be seen with the natural eye, is just the purchased possession for the inner man. He purchased the inner man, and the inner man has to be dealt with first, before he can properly adorn his outer self. With this in mind I just want to say, There has been people right on through the years that have looked at hair until that is all they can see. Sisters, I appreciate a woman that can wear her hair the right way and conduct herself in a godly manner. Every time you see her, she is always the same, not changing her appearance every day trying to keep up with the latest fad. When you see such a person, you cannot take anything away from her, because she knows how to present herself. She knows how to behave herself wherever she is. She knows how to talk, communicate and be friendly, and how to be hospitable. She does not always have a bunch of junk to fill your ears with, like, Did you know, have you seen, have you heard this or that? Some people think they ought to keep everyone updated on the every day occurrences. Well listen to me: Such a person can do that, whether they have hair or not. That is an undeniable fact: We can put up any kind of front we choose to and conduct ourselves any way we choose, but I ask you, What does your heavenly Father see when He looks at you?
I want us now, to think of all we have heard about women braiding their hair, and then we will go to the scriptures to see what is written about it. Let us go to 1st Peter. I have read what Paul said about hair, so we will see what Peter says about some of the other external things, as well as braiding hair. In the 3rd chapter, “Likewise, ye wives, (Listen carefully now; we know the feminist movement will not accept this scripture in any shape or form.) be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, (meaning the husband of the Christian woman) they also may without the word be won (be influenced) by the conversation (or self disciplined behavior) coupled with fear. (Meaning respect) whose adorning (meaning putting on, we are touching the outer person) let it not be that outward adorning, of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel.” Now right here, is where I am going to read from these other two translations. We are going to find out whether this is really talking about the outer man or what. Let it not be that outward plaiting of the hair. Think how many times you have heard preachers say it is wrong, and you are going to hell if you plait your hair. I have to say, Peter is only using that as a point of illustration. You spend all day long before the mirror, you spend hours trying to get yourself looking good on the outside. Woman, that is not going to be the thing that will speak to your husband to any spiritual benefit. The thing that will make a difference is going to be the attitude you have. If you pestered him last night, Are you going to church with me in the morning? You know you ought to go. Then you grumble at him at every little opportunity you have, and preach to him about the way he lives, how is that ever going to demonstrate to him that you have anything that has changed your life? Some women even go so far as to say, I am going to leave you if you do not change your way of living. That poor man married you because he thought he loved you, but you have killed his love with your attitude and grumbling. Are you listening to me? It is just exactly like the certain preacher said years ago: I read this in a tract. This preacher came to a community church. The Lord began to move. The revival lasted for three weeks and a lot of the people got saved: There was one woman that kept coming to this evangelist, pray for my husband, pray for my husband, I want him to become a Christian. Then she invited the preacher to come to their house for dinner. The preacher went. When he got to the house, everywhere he looked was a picture of Christ, or a bible verse, or a religious poem. In other words, everywhere he went, in the house, there was something biblical staring him in the face. He sat at the table. He was asked to say grace. He prayed, Lord, I pray for this home and the occupants therein, that God, you will have the right to clean this house the way you want to. The woman didn’t know what he meant by that. When she came to church that night, she asked him, What do you think about my husband? Well I think he is a nice man: He shook my hand and said he was glad to have me in his home. Was that all? Well I can’t say he is a mean man. Then he said to that lady, Sister, do you really want the Lord to get hold of your husband? Then you chance your attitude, your ideas, and the way you talk to him and about him. Now that is sometimes a pretty big thing, that takes a lot of self discipline. Some have to shelve that pride, the way they have been looking at things, the way they have been talking about things, and entirely change the way they have been trying to get things done. He then said, when I look at your house, there is no place for your husband to be recognized. He said, Take down a lot of those Bible verses and also some of the pictures, put up a few pictures that are associated with his life and you might begin to see things take a drastic change. The revival came to a close and the preacher moved on. Then one day later on he got a nice letter from this lady. She confessed to him, Brother, I have to apologize. I have to confess to you that my ideas and my approach concerning my husband were wrong. I have looked at it altogether wrong. I had pleaded, I had cried, I had begged, but it always seemed like everything I said was just no good; and then when I began to take down some of the pictures, and when I stopped preaching and saying anything to him about going to church and started calling him honey, then curiosity got hold of him. One day he asked, What have you done with all the pictures you took off the wall? Her reply was, I put them in the bottom of a drawer. Why? She said, I figured you were tired of looking at them. Why don’t you ask me to go to church any more? She said, I figured I had asked you so much that I have worn out your patience. He got up one morning and said, Honey, I am going to church with you today. That was the beginning of opening his eyes to the fact that he was married to a wonderful person. She just needed to be re-programmed. She had to have that inner person worked on so she could look differently at him, and he could see her from a different perspective. That is exactly what Peter is talking about here, so notice, “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning (notice the word adorning is mentioned twice, adorning is actually referring to that of the inner person) of plaiting of the hair, (In other words, don’t spend day in and day out dressing up the outer person and neglect the inner person that is the true you.) and of wearing of gold, (The Nazarene and Pilgrim Holiness are strong on this.) or of putting on of apparel.” What is a poor soul supposed to do, go naked? If one is literal and the next is literal, what is the third one? Is it not literal also? He is not saying, DON’T DO THESE THINGS: The emphasis is, Do not do all of this to dress up the outward until you have first made sure you are that presentable in your inner makeup. Therefore I ask you, Can you not see what Peter is talking about? He is talking about getting the inner man dressed up first, then the inner man will know from a practical, temperate way, how to dress the outer man. You preachers that are still hung up on a woman plaiting their hair, shame on you. May God have mercy on you and allow you to see the true revelation of those scriptures you use. You live in the 20th century, and you are driving and riding in cars with air conditioning, but let me take you back two thousand years, to a time when Paul and Peter walked the streets and byways ministering to believers as they preached the gospel of Christ. The Middle East was a very hot climate. Any woman, nine times out of ten, if she was going to go to Jerusalem, she was going to spend a lot of the time walking. What was Joseph and Mary doing? They were walking home from Jerusalem, back to Nazareth. Don’t’ tell me that a woman with hair as long as you want it to be, hanging way down to the waist, is going to feel comfortable walking and sweating. She is going to plait her hair and fix it up on her head, where it will not create a sweat block around her neck. Surely that is not hard to understand. I have been in the Middle East, I have seen some of the Bedouin women walking from place to place. Let us take Ruth as an example, a Moabite. She came back to the land with Naomi, her mother-in-law. Ruth was a young woman with long hair. You preachers say she should comb it out and let it hang long. I do not believe you would find very many that would be willing to work for you preacher, not gleaning your wheat field. Of course you do not preach to that kind of women today: They sit behind a desk, or look through the teller window at a bank. The point is, It is air conditioned, so you feel that you can interpret this scripture any way you want to. You must remember though, in the times when Paul and Peter wrote these things, they were looking at it and dealing with it as women had to live in that day and hour. It is one thing for a woman to plait her hair and fix it up in some kind of a bun, to get it away from her neck and shoulders when she is bent over gleaning. Yet you are saying she is constantly having to fight this long hair while she works? Are you listening to me? Tell me, How can she pick those straws of wheat up with her long hair hanging down over her shoulders, and she has to work with it, tie it into little bundles? I wish you preachers would go into the wheat fields where they gleaned and try to catch a glimpse of reality. I have seen my own mother, back into the 1930’s, when we raised strawberries, and back then most of the women did have long hair, and we had a lot of pickers. When they were down on their knees between two rows, reaching to pick berries, are you telling me that she cannot do her hair up and get it out of her way? It is right down here in her way. Common sense would tell you she has the right to plait it. She will plait it to make it convenient for her to put it up on her head ans tick some pins in it, so it will stay there all day. She needs to be as comfortable as she can in the work she is doing. Younger generations have never seen the farm women out in the hay field helping their husbands. I have seen them fix their hair up on the back of their head, then put on a sun bonnet, because they didn’t want to get sun burned. They would take a pitch fork and shock hay in the fields with their husbands. I am talking about women of the 1930’s. They didn’t have bobbed hair. I hope you are learning something this morning. Now let me get back to this basic point. We are going to take this message slow and try to deal with it in a way to help everyone. I want everyone to hear what I actually say, not what they think I said. Let me read this 2nd verse again. “While they behold your chaste conversation (behavior, discipline, conduct) coupled with fear. (Respect) Whose adorning (It is your inner adorning he is talking about first) let it not be that outward (Let us get the inward man dressed first, taking on a humble attitude, knowing we are what we are because of the grace and mercy of God and that we have nothing to be so proud of, as though we deserved to escape hell. Jesus paid our sin debt and we have imputed righteousness, so we ought to express it from within, as people who know the truth. If we dress the inner man properly, like the scriptures teach us, we will never be in trouble because of our outer man.) adorning of plaiting the hair, (Because they read that wrong, many will teach that it is wrong to plait your hair, but the apostle was dealing with excess attention to the outer man, before the inner man is as it should be. There are many ways hair can be plaited for this modern day style conscious generation. This is the day of style fashions that were designed by the world, and far too many Christians are just trotting right along with them. I have to say things this way in order to make my point clear. Some of these people are so hard headed they would think it is ridiculous for anyone to try to talk to them. I do not say that from a derogatory standpoint, but it is time we get our eyes opened and deal with that inner man, the part of your total makeup that was created in the image and likeness of the Creator; and that is certainly not pointing to your flesh. Preachers, I am talking to you too. Dress yourself up! Get your own attitude right! Then maybe you can look at the congregation and see them different, instead of full of the devil, just because you see two or three women with short hair.) And of wearing of gold, (Is that saying we should not put on a wedding ring, and that we should not put on a gold plated wrist watch? If you think it means that and you are going to interpret those scriptures literally, or I should say, exactly like it sounds, then these people you are preaching this foolishness to, according to your interpretation, would not even be able to wear clothing either. Read carefully, the rest of that verse.) or of the putting on of apparel.” Apparel is clothing, so does that mean we should come to church naked, just because the Bible says not the putting on of apparel? Is that what it says? He is talking about this expensive style of fashion, clothing designed to get attention, like some women go to Paris, to some French designer that designs some of this nonsense for women to wear. What do we find in 2nd Timothy, chapter 2, verses 9-10, where Paul is dealing with how people professing godliness should portray themselves? Notice, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; (2:10) But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” The News Media will go and sit there and watch models come down the aisle, wearing that filthy stuff and just ooh and ah and carry on as though they have witnessed something great. The worldly crowd loves all of that, but hear me, No Christian woman, no godly woman that has her inside dressed up properly, even wants to look at it, much less buy and wear any of it. Will you agree with me? Well are Christian women supposed to go to the city dump and pick something out of the garbage in order to be humble? No. There was a lady in the book of Acts named Lydia, a seller of purple material. There were no commercial cloth factories in those days. Material was home spun. She was a woman that specialized in the different types of fabric, then she put it on the loom and wove it into different types of material and dyed it. These commercial fabric places did not exist until the last two hundred years. Many of the homes in early America had their own spinning wheels. How many of you have ever seen those old spinning wheels? All of that, you can read in the book of Proverbs, what a good wife does, what she has experience to do in weaving and so forth. That is not the way it is done today. It is not done on a spinning wheel at home anymore, but when Peter and Paul referred to women not paying so much attention to the putting on of apparel for adornment, (in our day) they would be talking about a Christian woman going out to the department stores and looking for the styles that have a brand name, styles that cost an arm and a leg because they were designed by some famous designer in Paris France. Naturally I use that terminology to illustrate the two different types of material we are talking about. A Christian woman that has given attention to her inner man first, is going to go look for some kind of dress that she feels respectful and modest in. She will not be trying to catch admiring looks from every eye in the room when she goes some place. I certainly pray that every one of you understand what I am saying and why I am saying it, as I deal with this message. I have been places where I have seen the poor women of the area scouring city dumps for the remnants of a piece of rag that they can piece together to make some kind of item they can add to their wardrobe. When you see what some of them have to wear, you cannot help but feel sorry for the people in this world that have to live under those conditions. There are a lot of things I am going to say in this message that may not sit well with some, but God had a purpose in having theses scriptures written and we need to understand what they pertain to. I am not standing here trying to Americanize anyone, but rather to point you to a Christian attitude and motives in everything you do and say. It does not matter what part of the world they come from, God expects Christians to dress and conduct themselves in a scripturally acceptable way. When I see some of those native women of the South Pacific, their hair is kinky and short, but do you think I am going to find fault with them? I assure you, I am not. I have my doubt that you could get a comb through hair like that, but I have to say, The Creator knew where those people would be and He made them compatible with their environment. He put them where it was going to be hot. In Central Africa there are different tribes. Those black women do not grow long hair. Many of them would like to be able to, but they cannot. They even try to straighten their hair so it will look long, but God knows the heart of every person. That is what He looks at first. I am not standing here saying these things because I am ignorant. There are a lot of people in this world, both of the unbelieving world as well as the Christians, that wills train at a gnat and swallow a camel. I am not here to correct that type of people. I am here to stand up and correct the issues many people want to use to clobber one another over the head, when they have not first examined their own motives. When people major on a few certain scriptures, never allowing the Spirit of God to deal with their own ideas and opinions, when they are done, they have not learned one thing about the grace of God, because we learn as we allow God to reveal His ways to us, and these who live like that have no revelation.
EXAMINING A HOLY LOOK MORE CLOSELY
Every time we go into Amish territory up around Topeka, Indiana, I think how those people are really holy minded, but they are blinded by their traditions. They are so holy they will not have electric lights in their house. They think all of these modern conveniences are of the devil. They will not even use window blinds. Neither will they buy a car. They do not hesitate to come to you, If you have a van, and say, What would you charge to take my family to Florida on a vacation? Yes, they do that. They will not own any of the devil’s contraptions, but they will use them for their convenience. When they get back home, deep inside they are saying, Oh it was so good to travel down that long road to Florida in an air conditioned van, but now it is back to old Dan, the horse. The wife is sitting there with a nice head of hair and that little cap on her head. That is her covering. That is the way they interpret the scripture about a woman having her head covered. Here she is, sitting in the buggy beside her husband, seemingly as contended as anyone could be. I have talked to some of those women and they have a very nice way of communicating with you, but when it comes to the scriptures those poor women have no more revelation of the kingdom of God, and of the body of Christ, and the plan of God for the body of Christ than a bush man in the jungles of Africa. They have absolutely put on a holy look, but it in no way expresses any kind of revelation the inner man should have. The husband is wearing the broad rimmed hat like they wore back in Holland in 1450. They are the same style. His shirt cannot have but three buttons, because any more than that is sin. His trousers cannot have the front fly like ours: They have to unbutton from the side, because that is the way they wore them in 1450 A.D. Saints: Where the Bible says, Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, it means you put Him on in here; (pointing within) not out here (pointing to the outward appearance and manner.) In here, is where the scriptures must deal with, because, if you do not get Him in there, something will come down the road and hit you broadsided, and tear your revelation all to pieces. You are likely to wind up saying things you never thought you would say. How many understand what I am saying? We, especially when caught off guard, usually express what is within. (We are just getting started with this message, because we have much tradition to deal with.) I am going to do this message just like they used to back in the 1930’s when we were so poor, during the Depression days. We did not have a dime to spend going to a theater, so various other things were introduced into our lives for entertainment. I will never forget the time when the merchants in Borden and Pekin, Indiana began to get together and do things to draw attention. They wanted to bring something into the community that would cause people to come to town, so they had a man with a movie projector, who would rent movies and show them. They would bring them into the local area at times, because that was a drawing factor. Well guess what? We thought we were really moving up, when we could go to Borden, sit under a shade tree, and that man would drive in and set the projector on top of the car, put up a screen between two trees and show movies. It was like we were in the Brown Theater, in downtown Louisville. We thought life had finally come to Borden, Indiana. People of later generations have trouble imagining what things were really like back then. (Well we were dealing with tradition, so let us continue.) I am looking at something here, that has caused much controversy. When those apostles said, Not the wearing of gold, the Nazarene, the Pilgrim Holiness, and the Amish really capitalize on that. Peter is not condemning gold: He is actually saying, Let us not go to excess in the use of anything: Let us concentrate first of all on making up the inner man, making sure the inner man is putting on Christ. We do this through discipline, self control, and a genuine interest in growing in the stature of the ONE who died for us at Calvary. As we do that, we will learn about the outer man, what is right, what is sensible, what is reasonable without going to excess, or extremes. (Let me just take you on a little trip, to give you an example.) Abraham, the spiritual father of all who believe, was a man that used some common sense. In Genesis, we read where he said to his servant Eleazar, Come here: I have an errand for you. He made him agree to a covenant. I want you to go back to my homeland and choose a wife for my son Isaac. Therefore when the servant agreed to it he set out on the journey. It tells me in the Hebrew text, that he took ten camels and men to handle each one and started out. He loaded those camels with provisions, material which you make clothing from, and jewelry of gold and silver and food and water, and they were ready to go. He went right back to where Abraham came from. All along the way he kept saying to himself, What if it don’t work? What if it don’t work? Eventually though, they got to the place where there was a community well. He arrived there at the time of day that the young women were bringing the sheep herds, their cattle, camels and whatever to draw water for them. What a job. He was looking those young women over, as they came with their herds. His eyes fell on one young lady. He had said, Lord, let the woman, the young girl that you have chosen for me to take back for Isaac, when she comes into view, let me be drawn to her somehow. I will ask her, when she lets down her pitcher to draw water, will you first let me have a drink, and if she is the right one, let her say, (WE will just read it from Gen. 24.) 24:12 “And he said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and show kindness unto my master Abraham. 13 Behold, I stand here by the well of water; and the daughters of the men of the city come out to draw water: 14 And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast showed kindness unto my master. 15 And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder.” As his eyes fastened upon her, she went down into this deep well, (Such a well has steps down into where they actually dip the water. She comes up with a big pitcher of water on her shoulder. He approaches her and asks, Will you let me have a drink? She let the pitcher down and gave him to drink. Then she said, You drink as much as you want, and I will also water your camels. (This is my way of saying it.) Camels can drink a lot of water. What an undertaking she volunteered for. Ten camels. When that girl said that, he looked up and said, Thank you Lord. When she was finished watering the camels, he walked up to the young girl and said, Who is your father? What is your name? She gave him the story of her background. He linked it up with Abraham. You can read the whole account, what it says. According to the Peshitta, he took out of his treasury the things he was bringing to present to this young woman, an ear ring and two bracelets, Oh Bro. Jackson you know we cannot wear that kind of stuff. Well you just keep coming until we get this message finished and we will see what the Bible actually teaches believers. Brothers and sisters, we are going to learn, that what was called godly and modest dress for women in the Old Testament hour of time still remains so today. The Law never made them better, and Grace did not make that part any different. It is the way you interpret the scriptures, and the picture you frame in your mind, that determines what you will use to dress up your flesh, but as we have been saying, If you do not dress the inner man properly you will not be any more presentable to your heavenly Father, no matter what you dress up the outside with. Even then, Satan will try to get you to go to extremes, thinking, If a little will do good, more will be much better. Anything can be pushed to extremes, so seek the will and purpose of God in all that you do or allow. If you approach holiness from that standpoint, you can please your heavenly father anywhere and any time.
PARTAKERS OF DIVINE NATURE
I pray that sitting here together, we can learn how to be a little more in the likeness of Christ. I have some scriptures set down here that I want to read, so let us go to 2nd Peter, chapter 1, verse 1, to begin reading. This particular scripture is not read very much. Yet it was one read by Bro. William Branham, when he preached the “Stature of a Perfect Man” message. In the light of th subject we are on, the outward appearance, the outward adornment, of hair, apparel, jewelry and such, we have much to learn. Out here in the world recognized realm of Christianity, they have really gone to see on a lot of these external things. I have to say, That is not what the apostle was pointing to: he was using, or calling attention to what they do with the outer man, to show the importance of what is done, or should be done to the inner man. Let us read it. “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God: and of Jesus our Lord, (That certainly requires one to have an understanding of the Godhead, because a lot of it starts right there and can only be understood properly by those who have the Godhead question settled first. There are many things in the scriptures that can never be understood by those who believe God is three persons, in other words, a holy trinity as many like to express it.) According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue; Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, (We are going to learn from the scriptures, that it is not how long or short the hair is, that is going to determine how much divine nature you and I really have. Divine nature is not obtained just by our outward display.) Having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; (Temperance means self control, knowing when not to exceed certain things.) and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (which is love) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” Now we can take a look at the outer person. Let us deal with some scriptures that can help us find out how far this attention to the outer person should go. The church world today is filled with outward holiness, when they are seen in the right places. In fact we have multitudes of people today, that have specialized in the outward adornment of their flesh. The subject of hair has become so important to some people, that it is almost to the place that a woman who finds her hair is too short to meet their standards really feels bad. She prays about it, but she cannot get it to grow beyond a certain point. Yet those who harp on hair keep saying, If you would stop cutting it, it would grow. That is not altogether so: There are many women who, as they get older, just simply cannot grow long hair. God knows who they are, so I will ask this question, Would the Creator require something from us that is impossible for us to supply? If you were to travel the world over and see the different human beings from different races, you would look at this thing very differently. I know there are some women, and America is full of them, that just plainly do not like long hair. They will get their hair cut to make them look just like a man. If you and I could have seen the society and culture in the days of the apostles, Paul and Peter, as they had to deal with these things, I am convinced that we would all have a very different outlook toward these things. Sometimes it is very hard to speak of a certain object and be able to bring out and express exactly what you really mean. Just as sure as you reach out to bring some natural thing into perspective to illustrate your point, there will always be some who will misunderstand what you are saying and what you are talking about. Therefore I am compelled to emphasize once again, the importance of making sure our inner man is dealt with first. It is the inner man that we have to be first and foremost concerned about. Our individual nature, our ability to show forth the fruit of the Spirit is to be our first concern. The fruit of the Spirit does not dwell in hair, whether it is long or short, medium, or what. It does not exist in how you fashion your hair either, regardless of the length. All of those things are temporal. I grant you, our outward appearance and manner of conduct are all a part of the Christian life, but we have to get it all back in the Bible and speak of it the way the Bible does, having an understanding of what the Bible means. It is not my purpose, to give anyone an excuse to cut off their hair and make it as short as they might like to have it. I am not even using the kind of speech that should cause any woman to think that. I have not, and will not say anything that means I approve of an act like that. I just want the emphasis to be in the right place. We everyone know what the scriptures say about a woman’s hair and I have no intention of saying anything different than that. I will say this though, Your hair length and style will not get you into heaven, and neither will it keep you out. If you miss it, it will be your unbelief that keeps you out. You can go into almost any restaurant when some of the conventions are being held close by, and see almost any kind of hairdo imaginable, but God is looking deep within every last one of them, at what they look like on the inside. He is looking for the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit that is to be in every genuine believer, and you can find that in Galatians, chapter 5, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. When Paul spoke in 1st Corinthians 11, how that God had given to a woman long hair, and that it is her glory, Paul did not say that to give a preacher the right to measure hair and determine within his own carnal thinking who has hair that pleases God; nor who has hair that does not please God. He would have to be able to see every one of them the way God sees them, in order to know what is in their heart. Too many times, such preachers are only able to see hair: Every woman that comes through the door is appraised according to the length and style of her hair. That is what they are after: They think everything will be OK, if they can just get the external appearance and conduct lined up to their approval. Let me just call something to your remembrance: There have been people come into this congregation, that at one time sat in another congregation and believed what the preacher presented to them, which was mostly hair, hair, hair. They let it grow, but then when the preacher got to a point where he said something they disliked, they quit him and came here. Those same people began to cut their hair off; and now they do not come at all. Will somebody please look in their Bible and tell me what is right? Have you caught my point? When hair is all some people can see, what happens when the hair is gone? They are totally blind to any revelation. Of course it is not necessary to read every scripture on the subject, but there are many other scriptures that deal with this inner man. I will name them if you want to jot them down and read all of them later. You have James 3:5-18, 1st Peter 2:9-12, Galatians 2:20-21, Galatians 5:1-15. All of these speak about the discipline of the inner man. If this inner man is not disciplined, and if he is not adorned with meekness, kindness and love, and if he does not know how to speak to other people, to communicate and convey to other people a Christlike nature, then it does matter how that person looks on the outside. We might look holy and righteous, but sooner or later, out of this holy look, comes the nakedness of the man or woman that we really are, simply because we have not put on Christ: We have only put on a front to impress or please others. Many times the front can please people, but it is how we actually behave and discipline ourselves on the inside that really matters. If some of you are thinking, Bro. Jackson, why are you spending so much time on this subject, I want to ask you a question also, If it is not needed, why are so many people always in doubt, running to first one and another asking, Is it a sin to do such and such? What is your answer to that? Let us take some of these verses that deal with the external side and be honest with ourselves. First we will go to 1st Timothy. This is how the apostle Paul approached certain things. We are going to read from the King James version first, but then we are going to read it from the Hebrew text as well, and also from the Aramaic text. We will see what kind of thought we get. 1st Timothy 2:9, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel.” A person would have to be narrow minded to take that statement, modest apparel, and say it cannot have a flower on it, or it cannot have s tripe in it, or a check in it, thinking it has to be just one solid color. Furthermore it has to be a dull blue, or a dull gray to make it modest. Saints: I see hippy type young women today wearing stuff that would make them look like they are holy. In fact, when you see them in the business area of town, you wonder, Did those poor girls, when they were small, have a mother that ever put anything on them that looked neat? Whether they did or did not, when you see them now they are wearing some of the most shabby looking things they can get hold of. Some of it actually looks like it has been stored in a barn for forty or fifty years. What do they care, that is the style. You can go some places where all the young people look just alike. What they are wearing is not attractive, it is not appealing in any way. In fact, it looks very disgusting, because you know those poor souls do not have to look like that. It is one thing to look shabby like that, if what you are wearing is the best you have, but it is another thing altogether, to dress like that just to be like a certain crowd. Listen carefully to what I am saying. We have two classes of people out here in the world that draw attention: Some do not care what they look like and will wear just any old thing, and you have some that want you to see how much they can put on. They live for that. That is pride motivating them. They cannot leave home without having spent an hour and half getting ready, and many times the husband is in the car waiting, biting his fingernails and ready to go. Then, out she comes, and oh how she is adorned. She is going to town to show off what she has. Why should we even think, Which is the worse? I am allowing you to take a look at the two extremes. What do you think the Lord was actually causing those apostles to talk about? We have to learn what modesty really means. I will not use the term hitting the middle of the road, because it really comes down to learning when enough is enough, and knowing where and how to stop the nonsense. Just stop trying to fool people and really be yourself. If you really are a believer, then your attitude should first and foremost be that you are seeking to show forth the indwelling Christ in your life. Christians should certainly not be trying to show themselves to people as a spectacle to behold. Look at my apparel. Look at what I wear. I see some women that have a ring on every finger. What are they going to do with all that stuff? It sure does not make them look neat. It looks very ugly to me. What is the purpose? Some of the styles of modern women are of such an excessive nature, they should help Christian people begin to take a look at their own selves, and should help them know how to be sensible, how to use restraint, and to know when to call enough, enough. Paul is saying here, Learn how to adorn yourselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness. (Look that up in the dictionary. It sure don’t mean going around with a long face, saying, Well I wanted to put on something better, but he would not let me. It is the look of a person contended and happy. “Extremely modest or shy”) When you watch them, their actions, conduct and speech, they are not trying to put something over on you. You see them in their every day life, very simple, down to earth. When they talk to you, what they have on does not make them feel bigger and better than you. The true Christian expression is supposed to be wore on our face. When you watch the person over a period of time, you can tell whether they are putting up a front or not. Therefore the word shamefacedness, does not point to someone that is forcing an expression, or compelling themselves to do something against their will. They do it because they are content inside, and that comes from being crucified with Christ. I have been crucified to the things of this world, so many of the things I used to enjoy doing, I now despise. They have no place in my life now. I want to find myself pleasing my Lord. That does not mean should get down and rub our nose in the mud to show ourselves to be humble. Neither does it mean we have to reach into some old used clothing sack and pull out something worn and faded to wear. I never did like to wear my jeans until they had holes in the knees. Teenagers today, especially those that did not come from poor families, will pay large sums of money for jeans that have holes in the seat and knees and they tink they are really something. They will tell you that if Jesus was still here today He would look just like them. That is plain nonsense. That is a lie out of hell. Otherwise the Bible would not say that Jesus wore a seamless garment. It was a purpose robe. He did not got to some department store to buy it. Some women spun that material and made that robe for Him. Sure it was a very costly piece of material, but they saw something in Him that they wanted to honor: They wanted Him to look his best. He did not take it off and throw it in a corner somewhere either: He wore it. That was the garment those soldiers gambled over when they hung Him on the cross. This thing of outward adornment, how we present ourselves, has to include the look on our face, how we talk and communicate. Sometimes it is not how much we say, but people watch our actions. You have heard the old saying, Some people talk so loud you can’t hear a word they are saying. That is because you read them by their actions. That is so true. It is not how much you talk about the Lord making it sound like you love Him so much, it is the consistent life you live every day that people judge you by. People watch your life whether you know it or not. They hear you talk among your own family members, and if you have the genuine life of Christ being expressed they will say, That is a happy person. I like to be around a person like that. They are not all the time running off at the mouth. You know what they do and say is coming from the heart. (Let us read on) “With shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair.” Braided, broided, or plaited, all speak of one and the selfsame thing. I was asked the question once, because some preacher had said it was wearing bangs. No. That is not so. If I went to a saddle shop somewhere and ask you to plait me a whip, or for a braid, do you know what I have said? Some whips are made of many strands of fine leather. You take three and plait them together. That becomes a braid, if it is going to consist of more than one. Then, when they fix up another braid, then another, then they put these three braids together, they plait that. Keep in mind, when Paul said God gave women long hair for her glory, he did not tell them how to fix it, did he? Paul and Peter were only warning the believing women, do not go to excess with any of this. Excess is when we become so engrossed with something that we always go overboard with it. In this case, no matter what style they choose to fix themselves up, they just have to go overboard with it. There are women in the world, that live day after day doing that very thing. They do not appear outside the house until the fix up to show the very best of everything. That is not what you would call being modest. As for wearing long hair hanging loose, what about Christian women that have babies or small children to care for? Many times a little baby needs to be changed. Her hair is hanging over her shoulders almost to her waist. She lays the little one on the bed. If she nas not put her hair up some way to keep it out of her way, and out of her eyes, when she takes that dirty diaper off, she has to be careful where that hair falls to. That is why I ask you fanatical preachers, What are you trying to do, create an impossible situation for Christian women to live in? It is easy for a preacher to get up here, especially when he himself has no hair, and say, God expects you women to have long hair and He does not want it plaited. We have them in the holiness realm today that are as bald as can be. Did you ever see men comb their hair in different fashions? Most of them do. Some will part it on the left and comb it to the right. Some will part it on the right and comb it to the left. Others don’t part it at all, they comb it straight back. Others part it down the middle and pull it back. All of that is a style, isn’t it? When the man looks in the mirror, he feels this particular style is more appealing for his face structure. I have had many women ask me, Bro. Jackson, what style is proper for a woman? I am not going to tell them to choose a style from this worldly gang. I will just say to any of you, Pick a style that you feel comfortable with, something that you can live with buy a style that is practical, down to earth, sensible and stick with it. When you stand before the mirror fixing it, you do it as you would do it unto the Lord, because you are saying to Him in your heart, Lord, I want to look my best in this fleshly body, because your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost. That is what the Bible says, and that is right, but sometimes you meet up with people whose body is without a doubt a temple of the devil. Paul talked about that in the Corinthian letter. That is why he warned against fornication and things that defiled the body. Therefore what Paul is saying here, about not braiding the hair, and not plaiting the hair, is talking about going to excess with it and neglecting the inner self. There are some out there professing to be Spirit filled believers, that if you take the external presentation away from them they see nothing else; and they would not know how to go about building up the stature of the inner man. The scriptures make it very clear, that it is the inner man God is interested in first of all, because when the inner man is dressed properly, it will also show up on the outer man, our flesh. That is what the writer was dealing with in Romans 12:1, when He said, “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.” In other words, After we have done all that we can do to present ourselves to God in an acceptable way, that is what God has a right to expect out of every one of us. That is just our reasonable service. For that reason, as long as we live in this mortal flesh, there are certain things we have to keep crucified, but you will never keep it crucified until that inner man has been crucified to the world and to the things of the world. Otherwise you are putting on a front and trying to conceal something. You are trying to make it look good, when really it stinks in the sight of the Creator. We cannot afford to be careless or negligent in dressing properly our inner man, nor our outer man, but the first step is a repentant heart. When the rapture takes place, Jesus is returning for the inner man, the soul that He purchased with His own blood at Calvary, that which is robed in fine linen clean and white, without spot or wrinkle, and none of our outer garments will even be considered then. We will have made ourselves ready before then. Therefore let me say once again, When the apostles spoke about broided hair, they were not saying that braiding or plaiting is wrong; but that we ought not spend so much time on dressing up the outside at the expense of neglecting the inner man.
AN OUTWARD LOOK OF HOLINESS
There are some women in the Anglo Saxon world, that God gave a head of hair so think they can hardly get a comb through it. Others, their hair is very thin, very easy to comb, but regardless of what the thickness of the hair is, it is up to the woman herself to decide how she can best take care of it. Being a Christian woman, God expects her to present herself in a way that is modest and steadfast, without her trying to compete with the styles of the world. When you see people wearing one style today, tomorrow another and the next time another, that is what they are doing. If you ask them, Why did you stop fixing your hair that way? You hear, Well it is not in style. Does that sound like something you have heard before? That pertains not only to hair, it pertains to clothes also. Some women can buy a brand new dress this year, wear it three times, but next year they think that it is no longer in style, so they send it to the Goodwill store. I do not want to say things just to hurt anyone, but in the eyes of God, many times when we do this, we are making a fool of ourselves. We could be like a lot of people in countries where they do not have access to things like we do here in the U.S.A. We get letters begging us for our used clothing. They are not interested in the latest styles: they just want something to wear, something that will hide their nakedness. Some have said, Send us anything: we have nothing. Saints, let me say to you, Be careful about spending money on clothing and then saying, I have nothing to wear. God knows that closet is hanging full of clothes. America is full of homes with closets full of stuff that is not being used because it is out of style. It is a shame that people have become so selfish and greedy for material things. Christian people are not to be like that. Saints: Please try to understand what I am saying: I am not telling you to keep wearing garments until they are rags: I am telling you that God is not pleased with all of this style consciousness in the lives of Christian people today. There is a right way to look at things, and when you see things the right way, it will cause you to be consistent and conservative and know where to draw a line. Let me back up a little here, and read the entire verse altogether. (1st Tim 2:9) “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.” The rest of that verse gets down to the clothing side of the picture, but I want to back up to gold and pearls. Preacher! Young men, whoever and wherever you are around this world, if you have never been around the world and observed the different cultures and observed the ways of women living in those cultures, how they appear, how they adorn themselves, and know that it has been that way for centuries, then you might never learn very much about what you are talking bout, when you try to interpret one of these scriptures. First, I want to take you back to the book of Genesis. I brought this story in earlier, so we will just finish looking at it. Abraham said to Eleazar, his servant, Come here, thrust your hand in my thigh, and pledge that you will keep this to yourself; I want you to go back to where I came from, and you are going to look for a wife for my son Isaac. Eleazar said, I will do that. Abraham told him why he did not want Isaac to take any of those Canaanite women for Isaac. It was their lifestyles, their attitude, the cultures. Eleazar, on his way back, has ten camels, and he has another servant in charge of these, along with other stuff that they are taking. It is their supplies for the journey, the tents they will sleep in, the food they will eat, them and the camels. Besides that, Abraham gave Eleazar jewelry to present to the young woman that would be chosen. Now listen to me: I am paraphrasing all of this. Sarah is going to be the mother-in-law of that woman. Peter uses Sarah as a model of a woman being subject to her husband and how she called him lord, a woman who knew how to adorn herself. He said we are all her descendants. She is the mother of us all. Now imagine, seeing what Abraham is up to, what did he give his servant Eleazar, to take with him. He gave him some ear rings and some bracelets for her wrists. What were they made of? Gold, and I believe you would find some jewelry of silver. Listen. Some today would say, I will have no daughter-in-law of mine wearing such damnable stuff. That is what a lot of people are saying today, indirectly, because they are interpreting things to fit their own ideas. I have to say though, it was just as sensible for a woman of modesty back then, as anything could be. If Peter could use Sarah as a model of a woman of modesty, a woman of decency, and of godliness, what are we doing with all this other external stuff? Notice now, when Eleazar goes back there, and we get to where she gave him a drink of water, which was a token, because God had heard his prayer request. Then she said, I will water your camels also. Ten camels, having come off a dusty desert trail, can drink several gallons of water. She made several trips up those steps, from the water source to the watering trough. That servant of Abraham saw that young lady, how modest she was, how kind she was, and how willing to help she was. When he asked what household she was from, she told him, and then he knew he was in the right spot and God had heard his prayer. He took out an ear ring and fastened it on her ear. Then he took out the bracelets and put them on her wrists. That was perfectly proper to do that. Now you young girls born in America may say, oh I wished I could wear some of that. The minute you did, you would never know where to stop. American women do not know where to draw the line between modesty and excessive. How many heard what I said? When they get to the house, he meets the girls brother and mother. They are very kind. They invite him in, saying, WE have enough stuff to fed your camels, so he felt welcome. However he felt like he had to first make known his purpose in being there. Then he tells the mother and brother of the girl, Rebekah, his objective in being there. He told the pledge he had made to Abraham and of how he prayed at the well, and how God had answered his prayer. When they heard that, and heard how the young girl had responded they said, Then this is of God, who are we to stand in the way, so he stayed all night. When he knew that everything was going in his favor he gave more jewels to Rebekah and gave gifts to her mother and her brother. It does not tell us what the other jewels and gifts consisted of, but some of it was apparel, raiment. It did not come from a commercial clothing factory. It was something that had to be hand made by some individuals who made their living doing things like that. When the servant asked that they release him and his party so they could be on their way, the mother said, Well sir, won’t you let the girl stay with us for a period of a few days? At least let her stay another ten days. She was going to make a bargain. Finally the brother said, Let us ask the girl. When they asked the girl, Will you go with this man and be the wife of this boy he is talking about? She said, I will go. My point is this, I see this young girl, the next few hours she is on the back of a camel, heading out across the hot dusty trail. I do not see her with the ear rings on. Neither do I see her wearing bracelets on that journey. There was nobody out there to look at her jewelry. She made herself as comfortable and as unnoticed as possible. She was dressed for the journey, knowing there would be a lot of dust in the air. How many days that trip required them to be on the trail, I do not know. When they came into the homeland though, and Eleazar the servant began to tell her they were getting close to their destination, at a distance she soon saw a man standing and asked, Who is that? Eleazar said, That is Isaac, the man you came to be married to. She then said, Stop the camels. What for? She went into her belongings and began to select certain things: She was going to pull out some things that were given to her, things that would make her look her best. I have to say, It was not things that had been stored a hundred years. Abraham did not send a bunch of old rags for her: He sent things that would catch the eyes of this young girl. She began to change her clothes. When she got herself ready, she was wearing different pieces of the jewelry that had been given to her. She was not a woman that had to have it. There are some women in the world, it is not just a little ear ring to decorate: they have to wear something that hangs way down. Some of them look like saddle stirrups dangling. I will have to say, The Bible does not explain what all she attired herself in, but you can be sure of one thing, what Isaac saw, he liked. When finally they did reach the area where Isaac was waiting, and he could look out into the distance, Isaac recognized one of those camels first and said, That is Eleazar, I know the walk of that camel named Ben. Look at him. Yes. That is old Ben: he made the trip there and is back already. Isaac knew that somewhere on the back of one of those camels, was someone destined to be the jewel of his life. When they finally met, I have to say, Isaac met a beautiful young girl. No, she did not look like she just came out of a band box, wearing some costly material to put on a show, but it was something that made her look attractive and appealing to him. I must say to you, Any time we are looking at some of those godly women that were descendants of that hour of Abraham and Sarah and Rebekah, and on down the line, there was always a certain amount of jewelry in the picture. Some of your modern day interpreters, especially in the holiness movements, want to take the whole thing and throw it in a ditch, because they have not mind enough to know where to draw the line and balance the picture. Naturally it is actually the fault of the women of the world, women that do not care how much in excess they are with all of that. As I said earlier, If a little looks good, then more is better. That is their theory. That is why you see some women with a ring on every finger. Besides that, they have a bunch of stuff around the wrist and around the neck as well as on the ears. Some of them have jewelry excess on every part of their body. The opposite side of that, is the women that can put it on and show a conservative approach to the whole thing. That is exactly what the Lord is after, as He molds us into the image the bride of Christ is to portray. Now Bro. Jackson, Bro. William Branham never did say that. I know he didn’t: He didn’t live in 1999 and 2000: He lived in the 1950’s and 1960’s when the women’s rights movement was coming on the scene. An awful lot of women just love to cut almost all their hair off. I have been in some museums of the old world. You see some art pictures, especially in sculpture, that this spirit comes from. There was a lot of style, especially in the Grecian women, as well as the Romans, and they would cut their hair short, then pulled it up and place a wreath of flowers to decorate the top of their head. That is the picture of an elite Roman woman of style. She did not have long hair. Do you think Paul did not see that kind of sights all the time? The Greeks adorned their heads just like that also. I am going to say something else right here. In our modern female world today, just watch them when they go to the shows in Hollywood, on grammy night and so forth. Those women will come out there with so called gowns on, and it comes way down just across the top of their breasts. The modern world encourages that. If time were to last another fifty years, women in America will be living exactly like the women in Rome two thousand years ago, and those in Greece: some of which even exposed on breast. Go into the old museums, you will see statue after statue, and sculptures of women just like that. It portrayed the every day lifestyle. Keep in mind though, that was a pagan world back then, and we are fast returning back to it, back to a godless society. If they dressed and portrayed themselves like that in the godless pagan world, before Christianity began to influence such things, what do you think this godless society will do, once they have thrown out everything pertaining to God and a godly influence? There will be no restraint, no middle of the road for anything, because there will be no place where they can draw a line and say, That is enough. I have to say brothers and sisters, if you think for one minute, that Paul, here in this epistle to Timothy, or Peter, in his writings were actually speaking against a woman wearing any kind of jewelry like a wedding ring, or a wrist watch with a gold plated band, you are reading those scriptures wrong. I know the Pilgrim Holiness are like that, the Nazarene used to be like that, the Wesleyan Methodists used to be like that. I do not eve know what some of those people are teaching these days. I do know, that in the old Methodist church years ago, the common belief was, that when Paul talked about the covering of a woman, he was not only referring to long hair, she still had to have something else on her head, whether it was a hat or some kind of bonnet. That is what constituted a complete covering. Early Methodists were like that: That is the way they interpreted the scriptures. I had an aunt by marriage, that was a devout Methodist. She wore her hair long. She fixed it up in a bun. Every Sunday she would go to the Methodist Church and sit in the congregation with her little hat on. If you are just looking at the external you would have thought, Oh she is a godly woman: Just look at that beautiful hair and that beautiful hat she has on. She is well covered, and she is on her way to glory. You might think that, if you did not know the disposition she had inside that pious look. She could make that husband of hers go tot he barn shaking his head. You might hear, Emmet, you come here! My mom and dad would say, It is time to go home, when they would hear, Emmet, you know you are making me sick. She would say that, and then she would run into the bedroom and slam the door, throw herself across the bed and who knows what. Even the children would wonder, What is wrong with Mamma? She is having another one of her spells, because her husband didn’t do exactly what she thought he should have done. This kind of thing goes on day in and day out in our church world. You can fool some of the people part of the time, but you are not going to fool all of them all the time. Sooner or later as you go down this road of life, you are going to actually expose yourself and portray yourself for the real person you are inside. All that other stuff you wear, will mean nothing in the light of your true nature. That is exactly why it is a shame that people have specialized in the external, rather than hungering for the things of the Spirit of God that would dress up the inside. How to dress up the external so it looks good, is all a lot of people have ever been taught. Saints, I just have to say, We need to reverse it, so that what is seen is that which is coming from the heart, coming from that which is really dedicated to the Lord. That portrays what the apostle Paul was talking about when he wrote, “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.” We cannot do that, if all we have is just the outward look of a dedicated Christian. What is a sacrifice anyway? It is something you have not only dedicated to the Lord, but if it is something alive, it must be slain. If it is something material, you actually give it out of your own substance, and devote it to the exclusive use of the Lord, to be used however He sees fit to use it. Therefore when we come to this body of clay that we live in, and try to dress it up, we have got to come to an understanding, that what we show outside, is coming from what we are inside. Yes, we can present it where it looks like it is a sacrifice unto the Lord, but if our inner man is not properly dressed, sooner or later we are going to demonstrate the character that we really are inside. Some people, when they begin to put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Lord begins to deal with them from certain things of the external, sometimes the person will think, I just don’t know whether I am ready to get rid of this yet or not. What is taking place? Such ones are looking at themselves and asking, Am I ready for the sword of God’s Spirit to penetrate my heart and stop me from feeling like I cannot give that up? In other words, when we are like that, not yet able to die to that certain thing, we have not fully surrendered our life to the Living Christ. If we have truly been crucified with Christ, we are no longer a slave to this body of clay: We are trying t find the will of God, so we can have a mind that has been made new, a mind that is subject tot he higher standards we have subscribed to, when we come to the Lord in repentance and faith. We must put the old mind to death, that mind that always wants to control us and lead us in the ways we once walked in. I grant you, It is sometimes hard to just suddenly turn from all our old ways and present ourselves completely to the Lord to order our footsteps every day, but if we know that we have really surrendered our life unto the Lord, and He has given us of His Spirit, then God will give us grace for every situation.
A KNOW-SO SALVATION
I will never forget how I came to the Lord. I used to smoke years ago, even before I went into the army. I picked up the habit and did not think there was anything wrong with it. I smoked all the time I was in the army. I saw a lot of me going to the Methodist Church, who smoked, so I had no reason to think it was so bad. I thought to myself, As long as I don’t get any worse than they are, I can’t be too bad, so I went to the war and came home still smoking, and the Lord began to deal with me about surrendering my life to Him. Well I liked that old Camel: I would walk a mile for one. (You have heard that old commercial.) I wrestled with this whole situation. The minute I met my wife, I automatically knew, if I go with this girl, I am going to have to give up these cigarettes. I cannot begin o tell you how many times I spent fifteen cents for a pack of cigarettes, smoked one, and then threw the others away: I did not want them on me when I was around her. Talk about being a hypocrite. I could not help but notice, as we passed the old Methodist Church where I had preached a few times years ago, on our way to church this morning, there went a lady up the steps into the church with her pants on. They are really in style any more. Here is another car, the man driving was smoking a cigarette as he turned into the parking lot. When they are yong and out in the world, the end is never close. When they begin to get old and bald headed, they begin to say, Now it is time for me to start going to church. By then, they are so loaded down with habits, it is pitiful. Since the preacher has no revelation, and has nothing to feed them with, they can just go in and sit down and participate in a program, and when the little program is finished they can leave, without ever hearing anything that could bring conviction upon them. They either condemn what they have heard, or they can talk about it otherwise, but the most they ever get, might be a little something about dressing up this outer man to make it look good to people. The sad part is, that without any revelation and an understanding of the Christ that wants to be enthroned within our being, they really have nothing to live in, so eventually they are going to wind up just like the Pilgrim Holiness, the Nazarene, and the Amish. We can have a certain clothing style. We can cultivate a culture for ourselves, but if there is not a revelation and an understanding as to why we are here, and what is going on inside, how will the inner being ever be prepared to meet the Lord? I am thankful for the revelation of Jesus Christ, and that He is able to convey to us out of His word, those precious truths that bring about spiritual growth. After I was married, I still wrestled with that. The Lord had dealt with me for days, sitting on the back of a tractor, plowing, planting corn, cultivating corn, the thought was always there, You are going to reach a point when you will surrender your life to me, and those cigarettes will go. When it got to the place that I realized I had to face this situation, I really wanted deliverance. I did not want to go the rest of my life fighting and wrestling with this thing. I didn’t want to be a hypocrite either. I did not want to hide myself and make my wife believe I was some clean fellow that had never smoked a cigarette. The night I went down to that old Methodist altar, I did not go because I thought it had to be that altar: That is the way the Methodist went about it. I kneeled down and said, Lord, here I am, do something inside me and take away my burden of sin, and give me a know so salvation, so that I will know when I get up from here that you have heard my prayer. And take this old habit of cigarettes away from me, that I will never want them any more. When I got up from there that night, I told the people what brought me there and what put me there in prayer, but little did I realize the Lord had heard my prayer that night. The next morning when I got up, it was raining, so I sat down in a chair and started reading the Bible. From then on there began to be a desire in my heart to learn: I wanted to learn all I could about Jesus Christ. A few nights after that, I was handed a cigarette by a neighbor friend. Unconsciously I took it and he took out a lighter and lit it, then lit his own. I took one puff, and something flashed before me like a neon light, You know what you said, you know what you said. I rolled the window down and pitched it out. I thought, If he had seen me do that, he would say, you crazy fool, why did you do that? But he did not see me do that. I have never touched another one from that day until this. I have to thank the Lord. It is the grace of God. I realize each man’s experience can be different, but I do know this, When you become crucified with the Lord, your whole being goes with it. It is supposed to be that way. A lot of the things we see people wrestling with, are there because they have not yet learned to deal with the inner man first. If we try to dress the outer person first, we are struggling against a nature that many times is going in the opposite direction than what you want the outer person to look like. We want it to look holy, we want it to look godly, we want it to look right, but deep inside we are pulling to go another direction altogether. I am saying to you, The word of God has got to be read right. I have read to you out of Timothy, that is Paul’s writing, so let us go back to 1st Peter. This time, I am going to read it out of the Aramaic translation. It is almost word for word like the English, but to me it is the thought that the translation helps to clear up. 1st Peter 3:1 “Likewise ye wives, (Now he is talking about Christian women. He is not talking about the wives in the world. He is talking about Christian women only.) be submissive to your own husbands; so that those who obey not the word, may be won without difficulty through your good example.” That is just a little different than the King James. It is your personal way you present yourselves as the wife to a man who is somehow not interested in becoming a believer. “When they see that you conduct yourselves with respect and modesty, (Modesty is not looking like something that came out of the antique shop. It is the appearance of a person that knows where modesty turns into excessive, and knows when enough is enough. A lot of women only go to church two times a year, Easter and Christmas, and that is to show off their new outfit. Sometimes it is just a hat. When they get home they throw it in the closet. It may never be worn again. Sometimes the hat don’t make them look a bit better. It might just stick out like a sore thumb. If they wear a hat every day, that is a different thing, but for a Christian woman just to wear a hat on a certain day, because they think it is more appealing, I have to say, That is just the way the crowd goes. There is nothing attractive about it. Notice what it says,) and do not adorn yourself with outward ornaments such as the plaiting of hair or the wearing of ornaments of gold or costly apparel.” He is actually saying, Don’t spend your whole time doing those things, because he has already talked about the behavior and conduct of a person of modesty. That kind of behavior is not for the betterment of the inner man, which should be first and foremost. If the husband can’t see that kind of wife and the only thing he can see every time she steps out of the house, she is decked for the show. A lot of men would say, You spend every dollar I make on that kind of stuff, but you spend no time making yourself appealing to me: You do not even try to talk to me on my level. That is what the writer is talking about here. A self disciplined wife knows how to say, Honey, what would you like for supper? An awful lot of homes in America are being wrecked because the husband and wife are inconsistent, never cooperating, and never able to see eye to eye; therefore they can never work together on anything. The home is just a place where they take their clothes off and sleep. The next day one goes this way and another goes that way. Listen saints, The Christian life can make a different kind of person out of you, but that requires putting on the real Christ on the inner man without specializing in dressing up the outer person. What he says about costly apparel also applies to jewelry or anything else: Just make sure to keep all of that sensible. I say to the Branham following, I have seen Sis. Branham with a little string of pearls around her neck on Sunday morning. Nothing about that ever made me think she had gone off the deep end. I hope all of you understand what I am saying. A necklace, a ring, a wrist watch are all acceptable on our outer dress, but just to dress up the outer without first giving attention to our inner man is vain. That is what all these scriptures are pointing to: wearing only what is practical and sensible. You can easily recognize the person that goes to excess, because they stick out like a sore thumb, especially in America. As we read on, notice how it comes right back to the word adorn. “But adorn yourselves by the spiritual man (That is what he starts out talking about, then it goes to the natural, and then comes back to the spiritual man.) within you, with meek pride which is incorruptible and an ornament which is rich in the sight of God.” Now that sounds like common sense to me. Listen to this. “For also in the past the holy women who trusted in God, adorned their lives and were submissive to their own husbands.” He is talking about those ancient wives of the patriarchs, how they lived, walked, and conducted themselves. In verse 6 he comes to Sarah, referring to her as the mother of us all. “Even as Sarah was submissive to Abraham, and called him my Lord, her daughters you are by reason of good works, and so long as you are not confused by any kind of false value.” Real spiritual value is what we put on the inside, not what we put on the outside. How many understand what I have said today? Brothers and sisters: a lot more can be said on this subject, so I just ask that you listen carefully and learn how to apply these scriptures to your own lives. I have to say, A lot of church going people, when they come before the Lord in that day, are going to find out they are coming up short, because they put their trust in the external things. Oh yes, it was preached to them that way. Never did they realize that there was anything else of greater value. I just have to thank God, for leading us beyond that point. Every time I think back to the time when we first started going to the Branham Tabernacle, I have to say, Thank God for the day that He led me into the pathway of that man. He brought out things from the scriptures that caused Christ to stand head and shoulders taller than anything I had ever heard. Sitting there the first few times, I said, That man has something I need, and I am not going to let daylight come between me and him until I hear what all he has to say. When he began to say, You have got to be filled with the Holy Ghost, he even said, It is good for you Methodists too. I could have got up and walked out, saying, That is an insult, but I went home with that on my mind; and down in the stable I prayed, Lord, I want everything that man spoke of. Oh Lord, fill me with your Spirit. I believed it. Then when the Lord did fill me with His spirit, finally the time came when He manifested the speaking in tongues to me also. This was another thing that opened my eyes. The second time I ever spoke in tongues at the Branham Tabernacle, I was a young fellow back then, and new in the faith. I was trying my best to learn everything the proper way. Well when the preaching service was over, the opportunity was presented, and I gave a message in tongues. Immediately there was a sister that stood up and started interpreting. While she was interpreting the message of tongues, three women with beautiful heads of hair stood up and went out the side door before the interpretation was finished. When the interpretation was finished, one of the deacons went up to the Bible stand and said, See there, if this would have been of God, those sisters would not have left. I have to say, If they would have had Jesus Christ in their hearts, they would have sat still. That experience has never left my mind. That kind of thing goes on all over this world. People hide behind false fronts. Therefore whatever kind of image you get out of the scriptures, it first has to go toward clothing ourselves inside. If we do that first, we will never be found saying no to the Lord, because we do not believe this or that. Instead, we are going to say, Yes Lord. We might not understand what we see, and we might not understand what we hear, but we sit there and say, Lord, I might be ignorant in this, but I am asking that you teach me. We are going to be willing to learn, because we want to put on Jesus Christ, and not just some old carnal church program.