Monday, June 11, 2012

The End Has Come

I know that people don’t like to hear doom and gloom.  They want to hear messages that comfort them.  But the Word of God contains warnings of gloom and doom for the wicked. There is only one solution – only one remedy that will bring comfort -- if we don’t want to experience the gloom and doom in those warnings, and that is to repent. So if you are afraid of these messages, then examine your heart, and repent before the Lord.  Don’t look at any sin as being small.  They are all great in God’s sight and if you continue in them, they will land you in hell.  Only the righteous will be spared.  The Lord spoke to me recently through the following verses in Ezekiel:

The end has come!
The Lord is saying, "The end has come! The end is now upon you."  Here is the passage:

“‘The end! The end has come upon the four corners of the land! The end is now upon you, and I will unleash my anger against you. I will judge you according to your conduct and repay you for all your detestable practices. I will not look on you with pity; I will not spare you. I will surely repay you for your conduct and for the detestable practices among you. Then you will know that I am the Lord."

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Disaster! Unheard-of disaster! See, it comes! The end has come! The end has come! It has roused itself against you. See, it comes! Doom has come upon you, upon you who dwell in the land. The time has come! The day is near! There is panic, not joy, on the mountains. I am about to pour out my wrath on you and spend my anger against you. I will judge you according to your conduct and repay you for all your detestable practices. I will not look on you with pity; I will not spare you. I will repay you for your conduct and for the detestable practices among you. Then you will know that it is I the Lord who strikes you.'"  (Ezekiel 7:2-9)

This was the warning given then to Israel, the people of God.  And it applies just as much today to the Church, God's people.

We need to realize that the Lord Jesus is coming back right away.  In 2009, He said to Angelica Zambrano,  "I am no longer at the door; I am beyond the door.  I will come soon; My coming is near.  My people have left Me and gone back to worldly things...Tell My people to return to the old paths."

The apostle Peter said the same thing, "The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer." (1Pe 4:7)

Silver and Gold in the Streets
People will throw silver and gold into the streets.

“‘They will throw their silver into the streets, and their gold will be treated as a thing unclean. Their silver and gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath. It will not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs, for it has caused them to stumble into sin." (Ezek 7:19)

Gold will be considered an unclean thing.  So if you're putting your trust in gold, silver, or other precious metals, you need to know which direction that's headed in. The Word makes it clear that it's not a good direction.

Wicked Abominations in the Church
The Lord showed Ezekiel some things that shocked him. There were wicked abominations committed in the temple.  The elders were guilty of these things!

He said to me, "Son of man, now dig through the wall." So I dug through the wall, and behold, an entrance. And He said to me, "Go in and see the wicked abominations that they are committing here." So I entered and looked, and behold, every form of creeping things and beasts and detestable things, with all the idols of the house of Israel, were carved on the wall all around. Standing in front of them were seventy elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan standing among them, each man with his censer in his hand and the fragrance of the cloud of incense rising. (Eze 8:8-11)

It's sad to say, but today in the Church, there are wicked abominations being committed by those who profess to be Christians, even elders and pastors! That should bother you.  If it doesn't, you're in a dangerous place.

Grieve and lament
We need to grieve and lament over the detestable things done in the church. Begin with yourself and your own sins, and then cry out to God concerning the sins of others.

Ezekiel said, "Now the glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim, where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then the Lord called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side and said to him, 'Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.' As I listened, he said to the others, 'Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, the mothers and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary.' So they began with the old men who were in front of the temple." (Ezek 9:3-6)

The "men" in this passage are angels.  One man has a writing kit with which to place a mark on the Lord's people who grieve and lament over these abominations.  And the other men have deadly weapons to kill all those who profess to be people of God, but do not have this mark.  And the Lord has instructed the angels to take no pity on the people without the mark.  They are to show no compassion.

The Lord has determined to pour out wrath.  It's coming and all who are walking in sin in the Church will be struck by it.  Judgment must first begin with the house of God (1 Pet 4:17).

Holy Fire
We need to love the fire of the Holy Spirit and desire it in our lives, so that we may be purified by it.  The Lord is sending His fire to the Church now to purge us of all that will not pass through the fire as purely from Him.

When the Lord commanded the man in linen, “Take fire from among the wheels, from among the cherubim,” the man went in and stood beside a wheel. Then one of the cherubim reached out his hand to the fire that was among them. He took up some of it and put it into the hands of the man in linen, who took it and went out. (Under the wings of the cherubim could be seen what looked like human hands.) Ezekiel 10:6-8

I encourage you to read more about the fire of the Holy Spirit in my blog on this topic (see here).

Worldly Standards
The people of God conform to worldly standards today, just as in the days of Ezekiel.

"Thus you will know that I am the LORD; for you have not walked in My statutes nor have you executed My ordinances, but have acted according to the ordinances of the nations around you."'" Ezekiel 11:12

There are still those who walk in obedience to the Lord, obeying His commandments as Jesus taught us to do.  But many in the Church today copy the behavior of the world, and conform themselves to those standards, rather than God's Word.

It will not be delayed any more
The prophet Ezekiel had to deal with an attitude among the people of God.  While they may have believed he had the word of the Lord, they thought it was for the distant future.

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, the Israelites are saying, ‘The vision he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies about the distant future.’ Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”  Ezekiel 12:26-28

The same is true today.  There are those who say that this message in this blog is not a "now" word for today.  There is still plenty of time, and the Lord is delaying His coming.  But the Lord says that none of His words will be delayed any longer.

Angelica Zambrano
A young lady from Ecuador, named Angelica Zambrano, had a visit to heaven and hell in 2009.  While in Heaven, Jesus said to her, "I will come for a holy people and I will come soon for My church."  But later, following her return to earth, the Lord told her, "Daughter, I take pleasure in what you are doing, that you are fulfilling what I have given you, but do not tell My people that I am coming soon.  Tell My people that I am coming right away." Again the Lord said, "Tell My people that I am coming right away and that I am coming for a holy people.  Tell My people that only the holy ones, only the holy ones will see Me!...And do not be silent: Keep on declaring what I have told you."

The Lord allowed her to see what the early Church was like, so she could see the stark contrast with the current state of the Church.  He pointed with His finger and said, "Daughter, look, they praise Me; they worship Me!  My people no longer do as they did before.  My people no longer praise, no longer worship Me; no longer seek Me as before.  That is why I told you, Daughter, to go and tell My people to seek Me, for I will go, I will go, I will go - for a people that seeks Me in spirit and in truth, for a people that are ready, for a holy people!" And weeping He said, “I am coming, I am coming!"  Angelica said, "Then I understand why He was weeping, because He is coming, but not for those that are half-hearted.  He will return only for a people that is seeking Him in spirit and in truth."

This is consistent with what the Lord has been saying through many other people, who have seen the Lord, had visions, been to heaven, and been to hell. This is definitely a now word, if there ever was one!

Warning to the false prophets
Just as there were false prophets in Ezekiel's day, there are such people today in the Church.

The Lord gave a warning: “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!" (Ezek 13:2-3)

The Lord is still speaking through His holy prophets on the earth today.  But many of these prophets are no-name, unheard-of, little people of no account.  And most of the big, important people in the Church are not listening to them.  Instead they listen to the big-name prophets, who are recognized and who have their own ministry, website, or television program.

Be careful, people!  If the devil wants to take out a lot of people, what is easier -- for him to go after a single sheep or a leader?  Obviously it is easier to take out a leader.  If he can compromise a well-known prophet that people trust as a reliable voice for the Lord, then he can use that person to deceive many people.  Test every prophecy.  These famous prophets with big ministries are under pressure to hold back negative words, because people don't like to hear such things.  This could affect the prophet's ministry support.  Not all prophets are affected by this financial pressure, but I'm sure some are.  They are human and subject to these common temptations, especially in a day of financial crisis.  So if they give words from their own imagination, which the Lord is not speaking, it may sound like a bright future lies ahead.  But that's not what the Lord is saying, my friend

“Peace” when there is no peace
The false prophets say, “Peace” when there is no peace. But for a few years now, the Lord has been consistently warning us of impending judgment and His soon return.

The Lord says, "My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will not belong to the council of my people or be listed in the records of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord. Because they lead my people astray, saying, 'Peace,' when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash."(Ezek 13:9-10)

The Lord goes on to say, "Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says’—when the Lord has not spoken."

A true watchman is supposed to warn the people.  If the wall is weak in a certain place, the watchman should instruct the people to fortify it, so that the enemy will not be able to break through that weak spot during a future attack.  But a false watchman will simply put a fresh coat of paint on the wall to make it look good.  This is what some prophets do today.  They give a word that makes it seem as though the Church is in good condition, and they cover over the dangerously flimsy sections of the wall.  They cover over and beautify the sins of men. And they do so as if the Lord has spoken through them, when in fact He has not spoken. Beware of those who say there will be peace and prosperity, because that's not what the Lord is saying

When a righteous person has gotten into sin, and hears the message of peace and prosperity from these false prophets, he is encouraged not to turn from his sin.  He thinks that all will be well.  When the righteous person who is living right hears such words, they discourage him from continuing to walk this way.  He may be tempted to think, "What's the use!  Why bother?  I see all the wickedness around me in the Church, but the Lord doesn't seem to care.  He is going to bless us with peace and prosperity anyway!"

Don't be led astray by these lies uttered by false prophets.  There is no peace outside of a truly righteous life in Christ.

Idols in their hearts
The Lord showed Ezekiel that the elders had set up idols in their hearts.  He said, “Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all?" (Ezek 14:3)

Brother John Mulinde

The same is true today.  There are elders, pastors, prophets, and others in places of influence in the Church, who have set up idols in their hearts.  I'm sure these people may say, "I have no idols in my life!  I have never bowed down to a statue or any kind of image.  I worship God alone."  But they have set up idols in their hearts.  This is what happened to brother John Mulinde, who was a famous pastor in Uganda with a successful ministry.  The Lord showed him that he had idols in his heart, which he didn't even realize were there.  I encourage you to listen to his whole testimony, which will surely change your life! (see here).

No Holiness
The Lord went on to tell Ezekiel, "Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things; they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean; and they shut their eyes to the keeping of my Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them." (Ezek 22:26).

Again, this is true today, not only of Christian priests, but pastors and elders in the church.  They don't distinguish between that which is holy and the common.  This is true of music, clothing, videos and various other forms of art and entertainment, just to name a few.  The Lord says there is a difference.  But when we do not act like it and we teach that there is no difference, the Holy Spirit is grieved. For more on this, please see "Holy Living in a Perverted World" and "Garments of Godliness."

And the same priests and pastors shut their eyes to keeping the Lord's Day holy.  They mix common activities in with holy ones on Sundays, including spending money, working, and playing games.  They don't teach people how to properly keep Sundays holy.  The Lord says He is profaned by this, which means He is treated with irreverence. For more on this, see "Keeping Sundays Holy."

Arrogant, Overfed, and Unconcerned
Listen to the charges God made against unfaithful Israel.

“‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen."  (Ezek 16:49-50)

Israel would never consider Sodom to be her sister, but the Lord said she was indeed related.  And the Lord named the sins of Sodom.  We all know Sodom was filled with homosexuality -- a sin which God still hates (Rom 1:24-28; 1 Cor 6:9).  But here the Lord singles out the sins of Sodom: They were arrogant, overfed, unconcerned, not helping the poor and needy.  They were haughty and did detestable things. That's why He did away with them. He said that unfaithful Israel had more corruptly in her conduct than Sodom and her daughters (Ez 16:47-48).

The same is true today in the Church.  The Lord is grieved at what He sees.  His Church is dirty. I encourage you to watch the testimony of a sister from Cameroon, named Claire Andoun.  The Lord showed her that His Church is dirty (see here).

Many professing Christians today are arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned, not helping the poor and needy. They are haughty and do detestable things. The only solution is to repent.

The righteous may perish, the wicked may be saved
I know that some people do not believe a righteous person can perish.  But it does happen when a righteous person continues in sin.  For more on this, please read my post on "Drifting Away." (see here).

Here is what the Lord told Ezekiel: "If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin, they will die for it; because of the sin they have committed they will die. But if a wicked person turns away from the wickedness they have committed and does what is just and right, they will save their life. Because they consider all the offenses they have committed and turn away from them, that person will surely live; they will not die." Ezekiel 18:26-28

The Lord told Ezekiel that he MUST warn the people.  If he did not warn them, then their blood would be upon his hands.  When the apostle Paul finished his ministry, as an old man, he said that he did not have any man's blood on his hands, since he had faithfully preached the full counsel of God. This was the same thing the Lord told Angelica Zambrano.  He allowed her to see her own relatives headed for hell, and he said, "Daughter, they are walking to this place, but go and them where they are walking, go and tell them they are walking to hell.  Go and tell them that I have chosen you as my watchman...I have chosen you as my watchman, for it means that you are to tell the truth.  You must go and tell all that I have shown you.  If you do not speak out and something happens to that person, his blood will be poured over you, but if you go and do as I have told you, then that person has an account with me.  If the person does not repent, then the responsibility resting upon you will be lifted, for the account will rest upon that person and his blood will not be poured over you. "

The Lord said, "Daughter, there are also people who know Me, that are walking to this place." I asked, "Lord, how can people who know You also come here?"  He replied, "That person who has left My ways and that person who is living a double life."

My friend, don't keep this word to yourself!  Share it with others!  You must warn them, even if they know the Lord or are a professing Christian.  If you are a pastor, don't hold back from declaring anything the Lord gives you. Warn the people.  That's why I am writing this blog, in spite of it's unpopular message.

Repent! Turn from your idols
The message the Lord gave Ezekiel for the people was simple.  “Therefore say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!" Ezekiel 14:6

He also said, “Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!" Ezekiel 18:30-32
This is the same message John the Baptist preached, and the same message Jesus preached.  The apostles also preached it.  This is a now word for today!

There are different kinds of repentance.  There is half-hearted, insincere repentance.  God sees right through that kind.  You cannot fool God.  Forgiveness can only follow true repentance, which is the true, sincere, deep, heart-felt kind.

Listen to some more of the words the Lord spoke to Angelica Zambrano:

The sin of unforgiveness --

During her visit to hell, the Lord said, "There is no other opportunity [for those in hell]; there is still opportunity for those who are alive."  I asked Him, "Lord, why is my great-grandmother here?  I don't know if she ever knew you.  Why is she here in hell, Lord?"  He replied, "Daughter, she is here because she failed to forgive...Daughter, he who does not forgive, neither will I forgive him."

I asked, "Lord, but You do forgive, and You are merciful." And He answered, "Yes, Daughter, but it is necessary to forgive, because they have not forgiven many people, and that is why many people are in this place, because they failed to forgive...Go and tell humanity that it is time to forgive, and especially My people, for many of My people have not forgiven.  Tell them to rid themselves of grudges, of resentment, of that hatred in their hearts, for it is time to forgive!  If death were to surprise that person who has failed to forgive, that person may go to hell, for no one can purchase life." When we left that place, my great grandmother was engulfed in fire and she screamed, "Aaaah," and began to blaspheme the name of God, she would curse Him; every person in hell blasphemes against God.

Fornication, idolatry, greed, and lying --
She was very surprised to see Pope John Paul II in hell, and she asked about it.  Jesus replied, "Daughter, no fornicator, no idolater, no one who is greedy and no liar will inherit My Kingdom."

Jesus said, "Look, Daughter, there are many idolaters in this place.  Idolatry will not save, Daughter.  I am the only One who saves, and outside of Me, no one saves.  I love the sinner, but I hate sin, Daughter.  Go and tell humanity that I love them and that they need to come to Me."

In heaven, she saw Mary, and Jesus told Angelica, "Daughter, she is Mary.  Mary, who gave birth to Jesus Christ, Who I am.  Daughter, I want to tell you that she has no knowledge of the things happening on Earth.  I want to tell you that you must go and tell humanity, tell idol worshipers that hell is real, and that idolaters will not inherit My kingdom, but go and tell them that if they repent, they can enter My heavenly dwelling placeGo tell them that I love them and tell them that Mary has no knowledge of anything [happening on Earth] and the only One that they must exalt is Me, because neither Mary, nor St. Gregory nor any other saint can offer salvation.  I am the only One who saves and outside of Me – nobody, nobody, nobody- saves!" He repeated it three times - that nobody could save; only He saves. 

Animated cartoons --
Jesus said, "Daughter, these animated cartoons, those movies, those soap operas that are seen daily on TV are satan's instruments to destroy humanity...

The Lord told me something that is very sad and very painful.  He said, "Daughter, there are many children in this place because of animated cartoons, because of rebellion."  I asked Him, "Lord, why are animated cartoons to blame for this?" And He explained, "Because they are demons that carry rebellion, disobedience, bitterness and hatred to children; and other demons enter these children, so that they do not do good things, but do that which is bad: whatever children see on TV, they want to do in reality." 

I encourage you to read or watch her entire testimony, and take to heart what she says.  (see here and here)

Ask the Lord to give you true contrition for your sin.  Ask Him to give you tears of repentance.  Cry out to Him with mourning and wailing for your sins.  Change your ways!  Don't just say you're sorry, but stop what you've been doing.  True repentance always produces fruit.  God is looking to find the fruit of repentance in our lives.  But we need to produce that fruit.  John the Baptist said to produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

The Rapture
I would like to share with you one final word regarding the rapture -- the moment when all the holy ones will be snatched up to meet the Lord in the air.

"For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord." (1Th 4:16-17)

I realize many do not believe in the rapture, and others think there are still many signs to be fulfilled before the Lord returns.  I am here to tell you that it may happen at any moment, so be ready.

The Lord told Angelica Zambrano, "Daughter, you have to return to Earth...Daughter, I am going to show you something: How I am coming to Earth for a holy people.  I am going to show you how the day of the Rapture will be." 

The Lord told me, "Daughter, in those days, death will flee; Daughter, in those days the Holy Spirit will no longer be on Earth." (See Rev 9:6)

He told me, "Daughter, look, this is how everything will happen."   And He showed her how terrifying it will be on that day, when many professing Christians, and even pastors, are left behind.

But sadly the Lord said, "It will be too late.  The time to repent is now...Daughter, go tell humanity to seek Me, for during that time there will no longer be opportunity.  (Isaiah 55:6)  Daughter, it will be too late for all those that stay behind." When Jesus observed how people were left behind, He began to weep and said, "Daughter, I will go to Earth as it says in 1 Thes.  4: 16-17."

Putting it All Together
I wrote this warning under the leading of the Holy Spirit on June 11, 2012.  Then on June 25, I happened to find the following prophetic warning of the exact same thing, when I wasn't even looking for it (see here).  I believe this confirms with certainty that this is a word from the Lord, so please be sure and read it!

When Jesus came the first time, it was to bear sin.  Now He’s coming again, but this time, He’s coming to save the righteous and punish the wicked.  He’s coming in anger and wrath. I'm not giving any dates.  But the day of the Lord hastens!

John the Baptist was God’s chosen vessel to prepare the way for the Lord.  He paid the price (no wine at all, no fine clothes, no social life, no comfort, no pleasant foods, constant fasting, etc).  He didn’t fear men or seek to please men in what he preached.

He could have said, “I will still preach the message, but I will have a glass of wine now and then.”  Or, “I will still obey God, but I will live in Jerusalem and live in a normal home. I will have a preaching point in the city.”  Or, “I will eat like everybody else, but preach with all my heart.”  Or he could have avoided any scathing remarks to the hypocritical religious leaders of his day, so that he could win their approval, and improve his ratings with the people.  Or he could have avoided saying anything to King Herod about his adulterous relationship with his brother’s wife.  But he made no compromise.  He delivered everything the Lord gave him to say.

Because of his faithfulness to the call of God, not just in speaking the right words, but also in his lifestyle, when he preached, people were cut to the heart.  He preached with fiery passion from the Holy Spirit.  He was full of the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit convicted his listeners.  They repented and prepared their hearts for the Lord’s coming. 

Today we need men like John the Baptist.  We need men who will prepare the way for the Lord. He is coming back immediately, and many people who profess to belong to God are not ready.  It’s just like the days of John the Baptist.  The Lord has sent the spirit of Elijah into the land once again.  He is turning the hearts of His children back to the Father.

The message is still the same: “People, get ready! Jesus is coming! Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near. Turn from your wicked ways.  Forsake the world.  Pursue righteousness.  Seek holiness.  Seek His face.  Seek the Lord while He may be found.”

Regardless of what you think of Angelica Zambrano and her experience, this message is still true.  Even if you remove from this post all excerpts from her testimony, the Word of God still warns us clearly.  But if you reject her message, there are many others to whom the Lord has been speaking the same thing.  Hers is not an isolated incident. It's one of many things the Lord is doing to deliver the final warning message to wake up the Church and call us back to holiness. So be careful what you say about Angelica and the others through whom the Lord is speaking this message.  In the same way, they treated the prophets of old.  This may be your last opportunity to turn back before it's too late.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Author's note: Another key article I discovered several days after I wrote this post is called The Most Annoying Shofar, written by Hannah Weiss and posted on Christians Together. I urge you to read that one, too. You may also want to read my other post called, "Very Few Will Hear the Trumpet".  Then check out "Grieve and Lament for the Church" and "Are You Rapture Ready?

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Garments of Godliness

Many preachers have gotten into trouble mentioning certain topics from the Bible.  One such topic is that of modesty, particularly in the way women dress.  People have contemptuously branded such men as "clothes line preachers" and will not tolerate such preaching.  But the Lord has plenty to say in His Word about how His people should dress, and we had better take heed.  He is coming back for a holy Bride, and this is part of the holiness He requires. Just look at some of these Scriptures:

Proper Clothing
The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy: "Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness." (1Ti 2:9-11)

The apostle Peter wrote: "In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external--braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear." (1Pe 3:1-6)

Both Paul and Peter were explicit about what godly women should and should not wear on their bodies, which also applies to men.  The apostles were equally as clear about how the women should wear their hair, even the types of garments to wear, and which ones to avoid.  They also gave instruction on what kind of godly attitude should adorn holy women.

A Symbol of Authority on Her Head
The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians: "But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake. Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels." (1Co 11:3-10)

There are many opinions about this.  Some believe this refers to a woman's hair.  If a man grows his hair long, that is considered a head covering, according to this passage. Certainly I think it's important for a woman to take care of the veil God gave her, and not to cut it off like a man or to shave her head.

At the time of this writing, my wife and I did not believe she needed to wear a head covering, but we were open to being adjusted by the Lord. So we prayed and asked Him to show us, and subsequently we heard some testimonies that have changed our mind. Now we believe that a woman should cover her head when she is in the presence of the Lord.  This means she should cover her head when she prays, worships, prophesies, reads the Bible, or enters the house of worship. Also see my article Is a Woman's Hair Her Head Covering? for more on this. 

Jewelry, well-set hair, headbands, veils, headdresses, fine clothes, and sweet perfume
Please look at the heart of God and what He is after here. The prophet Isaiah wrote:

Moreover, the LORD said, "Because the daughters of Zion are proud And walk with heads held high and seductive eyes, And go along with mincing steps And tinkle the bangles on their feet, Therefore the Lord will afflict the scalp of the daughters of Zion with scabs, And the LORD will make their foreheads bare." In that day the Lord will take away the beauty of their anklets, headbands, crescent ornaments, dangling earrings, bracelets, veils, headdresses, ankle chains, sashes, perfume boxes, amulets, finger rings, nose rings, festal robes, outer tunics, cloaks, money purses, hand mirrors, undergarments, turbans and veils. Now it will come about that instead of sweet perfume there will be putrefaction; Instead of a belt, a rope; Instead of well-set hair, a plucked-out scalp; Instead of fine clothes, a donning of sackcloth; And branding instead of beauty. (Isa 3:16-24)

The Lord is after every proud, vain, and seductive heart among the daughters of Zion.

The Woman Dressed Like a Whore
King Solomon warned his son of the seductress..."In the twilight, in the evening, in the middle of the night and in the darkness....behold, a woman comes to meet him, dressed as a harlot and cunning of heart. She is boisterous and rebellious, her feet do not remain at home." (Pro 7:9-11)

We know from Scripture that the Lord is not pleased with any woman dressed as a harlot.

Cross Dressing
Does God condone cross-dressing?  Certainly not! In fact it's detestable to Him.

"A woman shall not wear man's clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman's clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God." (Deu 22:5)

But hasn't cross-dressing crept into the church and doesn't it now abound in the Church?  Trousers are clothing for men, and yet many Christian women wear trousers, even during worship and prayer.  Some will say that they only wear so-called "Ladies trousers."  Well, if you do so, I encourage you to take that before the Lord to see what He says.  Just because some clothing manufacturer has changed the labeling to increase sales does not mean God has changed His mind.  We all need to let Him evaluate our wardrobe and make the necessary adjustments.

The world has fashions and trends.  But in adopting those, the Church seems to have forgotten that worldliness is a sin. Let's take the lead in showing the world what godliness looks like, rather than adopting those fashions and following the latest trends.

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. (1Jo 2:15-16)

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
(Rom 12:2)

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: "He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"? But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, "GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." (Jam 4:4-6)

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (Jam 1:27)

"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. (Mat 5:13)

Poorly Clothed
Here was the testimony of the apostle Paul: "To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless." (1Co 4:11). "I have coveted no one's silver or gold or clothes. (Act 20:33)

Does this mean we all need to be poorly clothed and homeless?  Certainly not. But if your emphasis is on outward adornment, on wearing gold jewelry and fine clothes, compare yourself to the life Paul lived and ask the Lord to correct you.

Special attention to those wearing fine clothes
For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, "You sit here in a good place," and you say to the poor man, "You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool," have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?  (Jam 2:2-4)

Do you pay special attention to those who are adorned well outwardly? Do you want to look like them? Do you treat them differently than those who are poorly clothed?   

White Garments to Cover Your Nakedness
You can be clothed in the finest clothes, and yet be naked before God.  Jesus says,

"I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see." (Rev 3:18)

Garments Polluted by the Flesh
Our garments can become polluted by the flesh that wears them, if we are carnal-minded and worldly.

And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh. (Jud 1:22-23).

We should hate the garments polluted by the flesh, and refuse to wear them.  Think of the fleshly spirit at work in those who design and produce such immodest garments.  We should be disgusted and reject such things.

What God is Saying to sister Claire Andoun
There is a woman, named sister Claire Andoun Atongo, from Cameroon, who says the Lord has been speaking to her about the dirtiness in His Church (see video testimony). He's been showing her that there is a strange power that has come into the Church, because this unclean spirit has been invited in by the women of God, and the pastors will not preach against it.  This strange power is the Queen of the Coast, who leads the sisters in the Church to dress immodestly.

She says this spirit has taken the fire out of the men of God.  I did not watch her entire Warning from God to All Women, but only the first 20 minutes or so, because someone pointed it out to me.  However, I think it's a message that every woman of God and every pastor needs to take before the Lord, seriously asking for the heart of God regarding dressing modestly with purity and holiness.

Wesley on Godly Dress
We need to go back to the old way, and preach holiness once again like John Wesley, the famous eighteenth-century holiness preacher did. He removed the ring ceremony from the Anglican wedding manual.  And in his article, 'Advice to the People Called Methodists with Regard to Dress,' Wesley wrote: “Wear no gold, no pearls, or precious stones; use no curling of hair, or costly apparel, how grave soever. I advise those who are able to receive this saying, buy no velvets, no silks, no fine linen, no superfluities, no mere ornaments, though ever so much in fashion. Wear nothing, though you have it already, which is of glaring colour, or which is in any kind gay, glistering, or showy; nothing made in the very height of the fashion, nothing apt to attract the eyes of the by-standers. I do not advise women to wear rings, ear-rings, necklaces, lace, or ruffles, which, by little and little, may easily shoot out from one to twelve inches deep. Neither do I advise men to wear coloured waistcoats, shining stockings, glittering or costly buckles or buttons, either on their coats, or in their sleeves, any more than gay, fashionable, or expensive perukes.” [1] [2]

Wesley's original advice on attire and adornment became part of the Methodist church manual, known as Doctrines and Discipline of the Methodist Church, and remained unedited until 1852. The early Methodists took their founder's admonitions seriously, and lived a plain lifestyle. They avoided gambling, dancing, makeup, and jewelry, including rings. It's high time for the Methodist people and the rest of the Church to return to the Word of holiness. Those who don't want to preach holiness will never see Jesus. Without holiness no man shall see God (Heb 12:14b). Let's Ask for the Ancient Paths once again.

Putting it All Together
So as we see, both Peter and Paul addressed this topic.  Today perhaps they would be labeled as "clothes line preachers."  Yet they were not afraid of speaking about how we dress, and exhorting us to live godly and modest lives.  There are also plenty of other Scriptures to support their positions.

If you are honest, you'll have to admit that it’s fashionable today for the women of the world in general to dress like whores. That's not to say that all women dress that way, but they are encouraged to do so. The women of God must not be worldly. We disciples of Christ are supposed to keep ourselves unstained by the world. Friendship with the world is hostility toward God. The people of God must not be conformed to this world.

This doesn't just apply to women, but men as well.  I remember watching Christian music videos in the 1980's of Christian rock bands performing on stage wearing, form-fitting, spandex body suits.  And then there's the obsession many guys have with their muscle-bound bodies and showing them off.  Somehow I don't see how that fits the standard of God's Word. Another example is men wearing expensive designer clothing, earrings and other jewelery, or expensive suits. The Lord is after every spirit of vanity, conceit, immodesty, pride, arrogance, sensuality, and seductiveness. So it's up to each of us to ask the Lord to examine our hearts and show us anything that is dishonoring Him or keeping Him away.

Footnotes: [1] What Should We Wear, Wesley Experience. [2] Cited in The Encyclopedia of World Methodism, 1977 edition, s. v. "Dress" (vol. 2, p. 717).

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

Author's note: Also see Godly Attire and Adornment -- Seven Divine Revelations, Carrying Your Cross or Cross Dressing?, Is a Woman's Hair Her Head Covering?, Claire Andoun Solomon's Encounter with JesusThe Forgotten Sin of Worldliness, The Wardrobe of the Saints, and Ten Articles on Modest Apparel by Free Grace Broadcasters. This post is a follow up on the following articles I've written recently:

Is Obedience Optional?
The Cost of Discipleship
Salvation with Fear and Trembling
Faith Works!
Pleasing the Lord
Called to be Blameless
Pleasing the Lord

Here is an excellent site where you can find attractive head coverings.   You can also find my complete collection of blogs at Writing for the Master.

Image: Photo courtesy of Garlands of Grace.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.