TEXT FOR PRAYER
Judgment Belongs To God
I shall read from Christ’s Object Lessons, beginning on page 72, top of page, and then on page 73, last paragraph:
“Many who think themselves Christians will at last be found wanting. Many will be in heaven who their neighbors supposed would never enter there. Man judges from appearance, but God judges the heart. The tares and the wheat are to grow together until the harvest; and the harvest is the end of probationary time.…. Not-withstanding Christ’s warning, men have sought to uproot the tares. To punish those who were supposed to be evil-doers, the church has had recourse to the civil power. Those who differed from the established doctrines have been imprisoned, put to torture and to death, at the instigation of men who claimed to be acting under the sanction of Christ. But it is the spirit of Satan, not the Spirit of Christ, that inspires such acts. This is Satan’s own method of bringing the world under his dominion. God has been misrepresented through the church by this way of dealing with those supposed to be heretics. Not judgment and condemnation of others, but humility and distrust of self, is the teachng of Christ’s parable. Not all that is sown in the field is good grain. The fact that men are in the church does not prove them Christians.”
Now what are we to pray for? – According to this reading we should pray that we judge not others; that we as a Church deal only with open sins. Let us kneel.
Prov. 22:3, 6, 10, 15 – A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.… Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.… Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.… Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
Wise parents look ahead. They are careful to insure their children’s future. This they do by instilling in their children Heaven-born principles upon which the children can successfully build their life’s career, for upon whatsoever foundation the parents start them building, that is the only one they can ever build on. A poor foundation will forever keep them back from anything superior to what the foundation itself will permit, be it in the line of religion or a trade.
Parents should be aware that when the children reach their teens, they become more or less independent, responsible to themselves. They dance, so to speak, according to their own music. How important, then, that they beforehand possess the knowledge essential to carry them safely through those teen years.
To begin with, they should religiously be taught good morals, the value of time, how to obtain results in a given amount of time. They should be fully warned of the baleful results of wasted minutes. Indeed, they should be led to realize that the aggregate minutes and hours put to good use and the knowledge gained during their teens will shape their entire lives. They should know that the moments of the teen years are the most important moments in their whole lives, and that once wasted, they are forever gone. The children most certainly need to know these things before they enter their teens.
These fundamental principles are even more realistically seen when one takes into consideration that habits are altogether too easy to form, but practically impossible to eradicate. This is why children are what their parents made them.
Moreover, boys and girls in their teens have greater energy than at any time thereafter, and they can therefore accomplish more during those years than they can later in an equal length of time in the same field of endeavor and experience.
There is no doubt that the teen age of any child is the most critical, too. As I said before, parents should not wait until the crisis arrives, but should long before start to head it off. To do this, the parents must early in the child’s life, determine what the child’s natural aptitude is, so that they can have him on time decide what his trade or profession is to be. They should have him set his goal, and then create in him a zeal to reach it. Those who have no goal have nothing to work toward. They are floating as a raft in the ocean, and their goings are as aimless as that of a butterfly. Children that have a goal to strive toward, and who incessantly keep at it, are getting there, and they are bound to turn the time of mischief into profit.
Children should also be taught the value of the dollar. Rather than be allowed to get into the habit of spending every penny they get hold of, they should be educated to save as much as possible. Once they have had a taste of starting a savings account, even though it be less than a dollar to start with, they will anxiously continue. In this way, saving will become to them an exciting habit. Children who are not taught to earn and to save, and yet finally make something of themselves do not do it because of their parents, but in spite of them.
There are thousands of people, some in every community, who have no idea how to handle money or how to manage a home. These unfortunates, regardless how much they make, never have anything for a rainy day. They are always poor and always in debt, always expecting charity from somewhere.
Teach your children never to purchase anything for which they do not have the full price in advance, and even then only if they absolutely need the articles. Anything purchased on time payments costs more. And that, of course, means fewer things and more work and a harder time for the purchaser. In many cases part of the payments are not carried out, and as a result the articles go back to the original owners. In such an eventuation, the purchaser suffers a total loss of his entire investment. Uncalled for debts wreck hundreds of homes each year. Parents should by precept and example educate their children against such a pocket-breaking and home-wrecking habit.
Those who talk over their problems with others, often receive helpful suggestions and light on their path; thereby they avoid loss and embarrassment.
To continue our study, I shall now read from–
Deut. 11:13-28 – “And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto My commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.
“And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full. Take heed to yourselves, that your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; and then the Lord’s wrath be kindled against you, and He shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord giveth you.
“Therefore shall ye lay up these My words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.
“For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, and to cleave unto Him; then will the Lord drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves.
“Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be your’s: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be. There shall no man be able to stand before you: for the Lord your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as He hath said unto you.
“Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; a blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day: and a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.”
Now let us connect this scripture with–
Deut. 21:18-21 – “If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; and they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.”
I hardly think these words require any interpretation. They are written as explicitly as any good writer of today could write them. In fact, I believe they are written much clearer than we could ever write them.
You see, long ago,’ way back in ancient times, the Lord made known His commandments and His laws. He promised that if His people were obedient, He would make of them a great nation; that they would possess nations greater and mightier than themselves; and that all nations, would fear them. He plainly told them, though, that if they would not obey, then curses would inevitably be their lot.
He charged them to raise obedient children. The parents were commanded to bring them to the elders if they themselves could not make their children obey, and the elders were to stone them. The reason given was “That all Israel may hear and fear,” –and depart from evil. Having this punishment in view they of course were very careful how they brought up their little ones.
If we were living in the time the Lord thus commanded His people, in the days of Moses, we would not know whether the Lord actually meant business or whether he was just talking. But since centuries have passed, by the results of ancient Israel’s disobedience we can see that God meant nothing but business. Yes, ever since the Jews as a nation disobeyed, they have been kicked from pillar to post, and now in the last five years alone, millions of them have been slaughtered. Even in this day and age there is no room for them anywhere in the world. There is room for everyone but for the Jew, and it is plain to see why.
They could have been the greatest nation on earth, but now they are not a nation at all. Instead, they are but a football for every foot to try. They wanted to be like the nations around them, and the nations have ever since kicked them from one mud hole into another. We now see that the Lord was not bluffing. He meant just what He said, and what He said to the Jews then, He is saying to us today.
It is we, not the Jews, who have now a choice to make. We may choose to be like the world, and be driven into hell with it. Or we may choose to do what God commands, and thus be with Him in His kingdom. One of these choices we must now immediately make.
I do not think that we are ignorant of what is right and what is wrong. Most of us have studied the Bible all our lives and have a fairly good idea of what It teaches. What we need to do this evening, then, is to decide whether we are as a unit to do what Inspiration teaches, or whether we are to try to do so as individuals. You tell us what to do in the matter of discipline: Shall each individual do as he sees fit, or shall we have a standard by which all of us may be governed? Are we going to decide what to do, and do it, or are we to decide, and never do what we decide?
The most immediate concerns are these: How shall we run the school? And how shall we dress the children and ourselves? Shall we dress like progressive Christians or shall we dress like progressive worldlings? Shall we be quarreling about it, or shall we all see alike?
(Congregation: “We ought all to see alike.”)
Shall we then have a standard to go by?
What are we to do with the boys and the girls who may be disrespectful, disobedient, and who do not mind their parents and their teachers? Shall we leave that to the children to decide, or shall we do what the Bible demands: That the children be disciplined at home, and if that does not work, then they be brought to the elders, to be dismissed from the school and from the congregation? Or are the parents to go with them?
Anciently they actually stoned the rebellious children. This they did because the church could not possibly keep the disobedient in its midst, and the surrounding nations would not have aliens, and consequently there was nothing left to do but to stone them. Today, though, they can be dismissed, and when they come to their senses, they might return.
The parents are duty bound to see that their boys and girls are trained to obey; that they respect their parents, the elders, and everybody in the community; and that they sass no one.
How old must the children be before they are left on their own to do as they please? – As long as the children are in their parents’ house, they are to be under the control of their parents.
If we are to have a standard, we must all be together on it. And if the children know that we mean business, that they cannot get by, they will not try to put anything over on anyone. Most children, though, have really been trained to be disobedient. How can this be? – Well, from the time the children are mere babes, the parents let them have their own way. To begin with the children say “Yes,” the parents say “No.” Then the trouble starts. The children win the argument by crying, then if it does not work, they get results by stamping their feet on the floor. As they grow older, they discover new ways to demand and get what they want. By thus permitting their children to beat them in the game, parents actually train their offspring to be disobedient, disrespectful. That is why children are just what parents make them.
Never let a child have his way against yours, and you will never have trouble with him. “Whatever it is found impossible to change, the mind learns to recognize and adapt itself to.” – Education, pg. 290.
Do you boys and girls all pledge to renounce the world and to be “all out” for the Lord? Do you determine not to compromise with evil, worldly practices? Do you determine to make the home, the school, and the church a success? to influence other boys and girls in the right direction?
If not, we now warn you that you will be expelled from school and from the place. If there are any who cannot give us a whole-hearted answer, it will be better for you to pull out now and go to the city and to the public school.
We are not fooling. Today we mean business just as they meant business anciently. If you think this rule too rigid for you, say so now.
Do you, boys and girls, promise to obey your parents and your teachers? and not to talk back to anyone?
And do you adults promise to do your level best to help the young? Do you agree not to take your complaints about the children or youth to anyone but to their own parents?
(All, young and old, raised their hands in consent.)
Do you not think that Advanced Truth believers should be dressed modestly, attractively, and commendably, in harmony with the religion of Christ, so as to influence beholders to copy after them, not to turn away in disgust?
Our dress standards for women and girls, men and boys, are established from this viewpoint, and remember you have now promised to put them into practice.
It is well to observe that there is no record that anyone had occasion from the manner in which Jesus dressed, to speak either for or against Him. This shows that He was not an extremist. Besides, His garments must have been well worth having, else His enemies would not have cared to cast lots for them.
This very same principle should govern our own manner of dressing. We should so dress as to be remembered, not for wearing a trinket of some kind, trimming, color, or the like, but remembered for being well dressed, with attention called to no one thing in particular. Also, our dress ought to be such that the very poorest will not feel out of place in our presence, and that the richest will not feel ashamed in our company.
The sum of the whole matter in a nutshell is this: that we adorn ourselves with nothing for pride or display, but for respect and modesty.
Materials.–They are to be of good quality, durable, and appropriate for the climate and occupation of the individual. Nothing gaudy or extreme. Sheer materials and large, showy prints are taboo.
Colors.–Colors are to be becoming to the individual. Color combinations should harmonize, and not be showy or sporty.
Sleeves.–In public, sleeves are to be long enough to cover the elbows when arms are bent. They should be of a style that does not expose the armpits when arms are raised.
Skirt Length for Women and Adolescents.–Skirts shorter than about one-half the distance between the bend of the knee and the ankle are immodest, and hence improper for a Christian lady.
Skirt Length for Pre-adolescents.–Skirts are to cover the knees. Do not make them so long as to cause the child to be uncomfortable or unnecessarily to be a laughing stock.
The fit of the Clothes.–The clothes are to be well fitted, and not to hang in a slovenly manner. They should be comfortable and neat, but not so tight as to show the lines of the body.
Necklines.–Necklines should not be lower than 2 or 3 inches below the hollow of the neck, and should fit so as not to expose the breasts when the individual leans over.
Patterns.–Dresses are to be designed along modest lines, not sensual or extravagant.
Buttons, Belts, Trimmings.–These accessories should be conservative, neat, and trim, as well as becoming to the dress. There should be nothing put on so as to attract attention to that one thing.
Except in the case of pre-adolescents, slip-over sweaters are immodest when worn without a jacket or coat. Even jacket-type sweaters are not to be so snugly fitted as to accentuate the shape of the body.
They are not to be worn in public places or on the street, but only in such occupations as would render dresses immodest or dangerous. Even then they are to be of style designed strictly for women, not for men. Wear culottes. Little girls may wear overalls designed for them.
“Changeable Suits of Apparel”
The amount of clothes is to be governed by the individual’s occupation and the climate, not by ever-changing fickle fashions. Have only as many clothes as are necessary to keep neat and clean, no more and no less.
Corsets, Girdles, etc.
These should not be worn unless by physician’s order for some ailment. Garter belts that do not interfere with circulation, are all right.
Veils and long dresses are not to be condemned for weddings. Trains are unnecessary.
Bathing Suits, Sunsuits, etc.
Never should anything which exposes the body, be worn in the presence of men and boys. Mixed bathing groups are taboo.
Style.–Hats are to be modest and trim, not with extravagant brims, or like pill boxes. They should not be unnecessarily large or ridiculously small, but conservative and becoming.
Trimmings.–Adorn the hat with nothing that attracts undue attention to itself. Veils and other ornaments hanging for show, are out of place. The trimmings should be becoming but not showy.
Color.–The color of the hat should harmonize with the rest of the clothes, and should not be flashy or conspicuously bright.
Head coverings on Religious Occasions
The headcovering should be suitable to the particular occasion, and meant for the purpose of a headcovering rather
than be something grabbed at random. The latter is disrespectful. Little girls should be taught to wear headcoverings as soon as they are able to understand about it.
In other public places.–A hat is more modest-appearing than the bare head in public.
Style and Quality.–Shoes should be durable and conservative. Avoid toeless and heelless dress shoes. They appear immodest. On proper occasions, sandals are permissible.
Height of Heels.–For health’s sake, the heels should be under 2 inches. High heels are unhealthful.
Colors.–Wear practical colors. White shoes are not practical on farms and in villages where the streets are not paved. Black shoes look dressy longer, and are more suitable for the gospel worker than other colors of shoes.
Trimmings.–Trimmings should be suitable to the shoe, and not showy or dangling to attract attention.
Material and Weight.–Hose may be cotton, silk, rayon or nylon, whichever is the most practical for the occasion or occupation. Sheer hose are condemned.
Wear service weight.
Rolled Below Knees.–Immodest if discernible. Put no flesh on display.
Bobby Socks.–Taboo if legs are exposed. They are all right for infants in hot weather.
Stockingless.–Condemned unless barefooted.
Upswept.–All right if not extreme.
Medium length Hair Worn Hanging.–Permissible for girls if kept tidy.
Bobbed Hair.–Taboo for women and adolescents; all right for infants and little girls if necessary, but better to let the hair grow.
Naturally Wavy or Curly Hair.–Arrange it as naturally and as becoming as possible.
Straight Hair.–Do not try to make something extreme out of your hair that God did not intend. Arrange it neat and becoming.
Permanent Waves, Finger Waves with Hair Sets etc.–All such artificialities are taboo.
Rolling Hair on “Rats,” Rollers, etc.–All right if necessary.
Hair Clasps.–All right if necessary, but color of clasp should if possible blend with the color of the hair. Use nothing bright or showy to attract notice.
Ribbons.–Permissible for little girls to hold the hair in place.
Wrist Watches.–In the fullest sense, a wrist watch is a bracelet with a timepiece on it, and should not be worn on the street or in public.
Dress Pins.–All right, if they serve a purpose, and are not showy or fancy. Ornamental brooches are condemned.
Miscellaneous Jewelry.–Necklaces, neck chains, lockets, bracelets, earrings, rings, etc., are all condemned.
Face powder, bath powder, lotion, astringents, cold cream are all right if necessary, and if not purchased extravagantly. But rouge, lipstick, eyebrow pencil, mascara, perfume, fingernail polish, nail white, etc. are condemned.
Deodorants, depilatories may be permissible if absolutely necessary, and if nothing harmful is used. Antiperspirants are unhealthful.
Style.–Suits should be cut along conservative lines–nothing sporty or extreme. Especially should the suits to be worn in the pulpit be neat and conservative. See that the suit fits well and does not hang in an ill-fitting manner.
Material.–The quality of the material should be durable, and in keeping with the climate and occupation.
Colors.–Practical colors that are not flashy, should be used. If the coat must be of one color and the trousers of another color, care should be taken that the colors blend well, and do not appear sporty. On the whole, such combinations should be shunned. Never should they be worn in the pulpit.
Sport Shirts with Open Collar.–Open collar sport shirts may be used when on outings in the country or on similar occasions. In the church or on the street, though, they are out of place. Collars should never be worn open lower than the first button.
Sleeves.–For dress and pulpit wear, sleeves should be worn full length. Rolled up or short sleeves may be worn if the occasion demands them for convenience’ sake. Sleeveless shirts are taboo in public.
Shirts Worn Outside Trousers.–Shirts hanging outside the trousers mark the wearers as either being sloppy or trying to appear sporty or something–they know not what. They detract from respect.
Going Shirtless.–In public or in the presence of women or girls, the man should always wear a shirt. Teach the young boys to do likewise.
Style.–Either the bow tie or the four-in-hand may be worn–whichever is best for the suit or the occasion. Wear nothing extreme.
Colors and patterns.–The tie should not be sporty or flashy, but it should be attractive and should harmonize with the suit and be becoming to the wearer. Loud colors and showy patterns are out of consideration.
In Outside Breast Pocket.–The wearing of a handkerchief or pen and pencil in the outside breast pocket can serve no purpose but to attract attention, to bolster pride. Do not thus cheapen your character, but put them in the inside pockets where they belong.
Wrist Watches.–In the fullest sense, the wrist watch is a bracelet with a timepiece on it, and should not be worn on the street or in public. If you find it necessary to carry a timepiece, use a pocket watch.
Tie Pins and Tie Clasps.–Tie pins are taboo. If it is necessary to wear a tie clasp, use one that can be concealed within the folds of the tie. Wear nothing for show.
Watch Chains.–Watch chains on display are as much out of place as is a tie pin, ring, or bracelet. Keep it out of sight.
Rings, etc.–Rings and other jewelry are condemned.
Arm Bands to Hold up Sleeves.–Arm bands are unhealthful if they are worn so tight as to interfere with the circulation. If it is necessary to wear them, use nothing conspicuous. Better, though, to shorten your sleeves.
Scarfs.–Never wear scarfs merely for show. Choose colors that harmonize with the rest of the clothing–nothing gaudy.
Rolled Down Socks.–Socks should be properly supported, otherwise they appear immodest and untidy.
Shoes.–Select shoes of durable quality and practical style and color. White is impractical on farms and in villages where the streets are not paved. They do not appear conservative in the pulpit, and they attract undue attention to the feet. Black shoes look dressy longer, and are more suitable for the gospel worker than other colors of shoes.
Bathing Suits and Trunks.–These are all right on proper occasions, but mixed bathing groups are taboo.
Hair.–Arrange the hair as naturally and as neatly as possible, doing away with all such artificialities as permanent waves, etc. If the hair is dry, use oil that is not overly scented, something that is beneficial to the hair and not just for “smell.”
General Appearance.–Do not fall into slovenly habits: Keep the hair cut, the face shaven (if you do not wear whiskers), and the clothing tidy and as clean as the occupation permits. God requires His representatives to dress in such a way as to commend their religion both to the high and to the low, to the rich and to the poor. Dress neither extravagantly nor shabbily. Stay in the middle of the road under all circumstances.
These are the present standards of apparel, and all Davidians should pattern after them. Except it be for reasons herein unforeseen, any divergence from these standards, while they stand unequivocal, classes the offender with the hypocrites.
SIMPLICITY IN DRESS
“In his sermon on the mount, Christ exhorts his followers not to allow their minds to be absorbed in earthly things. He plainly says: ‘Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?’ ‘And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.’
“These words are full of meaning. They were applicable in the days of Christ, and they are applicable in our day. Jesus here contrasts the natural simplicity of the flowers of the field with the artificial adorning of raiment. He declares that the glory of Solomon could not bear comparison with one of the flowers in natural loveliness. Here is a lesson for all who desire to know and to do the will of God. Jesus has noticed the care and devotion given to dress, and has cautioned, yea, commanded us, not to bestow too much thought upon it. It is important that we give careful heed to his words. Solomon was so engrossed with thoughts of outward display that he failed to elevate his mind by a constant connection with the God of wisdom. Perfection and beauty of character were overlooked in his attempt to obtain outward beauty. He sold his honor and integrity of character in seeking to glorify himself before the world, and finally became a despot, supporting his extravagance by a grinding taxation upon the people. He first became corrupt at heart, then he apostatized from God, and finally became a worshiper of idols.
“As we see our sisters departing from simplicity in dress, and cultivating a love for the fashions of the world, we feel troubled. By taking steps in this direction, they are separating themselves from God and neglecting the inward adorning. They should not feel at liberty to spend their God-given time in the unnecessary ornamentation of their clothing. How much better might it be employed in searching the Scriptures, thus obtaining a thorough knowledge of the prophecies and of the practical lessons of Christ.
. . .
“Christ is our example. We must keep the Pattern continually before us, and contemplate the infinite sacrifice which has been made to redeem us from the thralldom of sin. If we find ourselves condemned as we look into the mirror, let us not venture farther in transgression, but face right about, and wash our robes of character in the blood of the Lamb, that they may be spotless. Let us cry, as did David, ‘Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.’ Those to whom God has intrusted time and means that they might be a blessing to humanity, but who have squandered these gifts needlessly upon themselves and their children, will have a fearful account to meet at the bar of God.
“Those among Sabbath-keepers who have yielded to the influence of the world, are to be tested. The perils of the last days are upon us, and a trial is before the professed people of God which many have not anticipated. The genuineness of their faith will be proved. Many have united with worldlings in pride, vanity, and pleasure-seeking, flattering themselves that they could do this and still be Christians. But it is such indulgences that separate them from God, and make them children of the world. Christ has given us no such example. Those only who deny self, and live a life of sobriety, humility, and holiness, are true followers of Jesus; and such cannot enjoy the society of the lovers of the world.” – Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 4, pp. 628, 629, 632, 633.
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