INSTRUCTION FROM HEAVEN
Rings and Jewelry
DATE OF PUBLICATION: MARCH 2003
Let your jewels be your hearts given to God. Let your gems be unselfish efforts to help those around you. Let your pearls and gold be faith and love, and praise to God. Let your ornaments be a meek and quiet spirit.
With such precious things, God is well-pleased. For Christ paid the greatest price of all. He gathered together all the treasures of heaven and laid them down to redeem your soul.
In view of such wealth, which has been poured out on your behalf, you can better understand how to relate to the jewelry of earth which people so highly value. vf
"Multitudes are vainly seeking happiness in worldly amusements. They crave something which they do not have. They are spending their money for that which is not bread, and their labor for that which satisfieth not. The hungering, thirsting soul will continue to hunger and thirst as long as it partakes of these unsatisfying pleasures. O that every such one would listen to the voice of Jesus, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. Those who drink of the living water will thirst no more for frivolous, exciting amusements. Christ, the wellspring of life, is the fountain of peace and happiness." Youths Instructor, November 6, 1902; Evangelism, 266.
"How infinitely superior to the fleeting joys and pleasures of the world is the imperishable glory of heaven." Manuscript 12, 1901; Evangelism, 267.
"The principles of the Christian life should be made plain to those who have newly come to the truth. Faithful, Christian men and women should have an intense interest to bring the convicted soul to a correct knowledge of righteousness in Christ Jesus. If any have allowed the desire for pleasure or the love of dress to become supreme, so that any portion of their mind, soul, and strength is devoted to selfish indulgences, the faithful believers should watch for these souls as they that must give an account. They must not neglect the faithful, tender, loving instruction so essential to the young converts, that there may be no half-hearted work." Manuscript 56, 1900; Evangelism, 268.
"All who study the life of Christ and practice His teachings will become like Christ. Their influence will be like His. They will reveal soundness of character. As they walk in the humble path of obedience, doing the will of God, they exert an influence that tells for the advancement of the cause of God and the healthful purity of His work. In these thoroughly converted souls the world is to have a witness to the sanctifying power of truth upon the human character."6 Testimonies, 96-97.
"Self-denial in dress is a part of our Christian duty. To dress plainly, abstaining from display of jewelry and ornaments of every kind is in keeping with our faith. Are we of the number who see the folly of worldlings in indulging in extravagance of dress as well as in love of amusements? If so, we should be of that class who shun everything that gives sanction to this spirit which takes possession of the minds and hearts of those who live for this world only, and who have no thought or care for the next."3 Testimonies, 366.
"Christians are not to decorate the person with costly array or expensive ornaments." Evangelism, 269.
"Conformity to the world is a sin which is sapping the spirituality of our people, and seriously interfering with their usefulness. It is idle to proclaim the warning message to the world, while we deny it in the transactions of daily life." Review, March 28, 1882; Evangelism, 271-172.
"Cleanse the fountain, and the streams will be pure. If the heart is right, your words, your dress, your acts, will all be right." 1 Testimonies, 158.
"Let us follow closely the example of our Saviour . . We must come to the work with our hearts imbued with the spirit of Christ. Then we shall realize that our work must be carried forward in a humble way. Our ministers and their wives should be an example in plainness of dress; they should dress neatly, comfortably, wearing good material, but avoiding anything like extravagance and trimmings, even if not expensive; for these things tell to our disadvantage. We should educate the youth to simplicity of dress, plainness with neatness. Let the extra trimmings be left out, even though the cost be but a trifle.
"Some have had a burden in regard to the wearing of a marriage ring, feeling that the wives of our ministers should conform to this custom. All this is unnecessary. Let the ministers wives have the golden link which binds their souls to Jesus Christ, a pure and holy character, the true love and meekness and godliness that are the fruit borne upon the Christian tree, and their influence will be secure anywhere. The fact that a disregard of the custom occasions remark is no good reason for adopting it. Americans can make their position understood by plainly stating that the custom is not regarded as obligatory in our country. We need not wear the sign, for we are not untrue to our marriage vow, and the wearing of the ring would be no evidence that we were true.
"I feel deeply over this leavening process which seems to be going on among us, in the conformity to custom and fashion. Not one penny should be spent for a circlet of gold to testify that we are married.
"In countries where the custom is imperative, we have no burden to condemn those who have their marriage ring; let them wear it if they can do so conscientiously; but let not our missionaries feel that the wearing of the ring will increase their influence one jot or tittle. If they are Christians, it will be manifest in their Christlikeness of character, in their words, in their works, in the home, in association with others; it will be evinced by their patience and long-suffering and kindliness. They will manifest the spirit of the Master, they will possess His beauty of character, His loveliness of disposition, His sympathetic heart." Testimonies to Ministers, 180-181.
"Have not our sisters sufficient zeal and moral courage to place themselves without excuse upon the Bible platform? The apostle has given most explicit directions on this point: I will therefore . . that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Here the Lord, through His apostle, speaks expressly against the wearing of gold. Let those who have had experience see to it that they do not lead others astray on this point by their example. That ring encircling your finger may be very plain, but it is useless, and the wearing of it has a wrong influence upon others." 4 Testimonies, 630.
"There are some who are seeking, always seeking, for the goodly pearl. But they do not make an entire surrender of their wrong habits. They do not die to self that Christ may live in them. Therefore they do not find the precious pearl. They have not overcome unholy ambition and their love for worldly attractions. They do not lift the cross, and follow Christ in the path of self-denial and self-sacrifice. They never know what it is to have peace and harmony in the soul; for without entire surrender there is no rest, no joy. Almost Christians, yet not fully Christians, they seem near the kingdom of heaven, but they do not enter therein. Almost but not wholly saved means to be not almost but wholly lost.
"A daily consecration to God brings peace and rest. The merchant sold all that he had to possess the pearl . .
"They do not realize the value of the pearl offered to them, and cast it away, rendering to their Redeemer only insult and mockery. Many a woman decks herself with rings and bracelets, thinking to gain admiration, but she refuses to accept the pearl of great price, which would secure for her sanctification, honor, and eternal riches. What an infatuation is upon the minds of many! They are more charmed with earthly baubles, which glitter and shine, than with the crown of immortal life, Gods reward for loyalty. Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet My people have forgotten Me days without number (Jer. 2:32)."1 Selected Messages, 399-400.
"The same day [that I was baptized] in the afternoon I was received into the church in full membership. A young woman stood by my side who was also a candidate for admission to the church. My mind was peaceful and happy till I noticed the gold rings glittering upon this sisters fingers, and the large, showy earrings in her ears. I then observed that her bonnet was adorned with artificial flowers, and trimmed with costly ribbons arranged in bows and puffs. My joy was dampened by this display of vanity in one who professed to be a follower of the meek and lowly Jesus.
"I expected that the minister would give some whispered reproof or advice to this sister; but he was apparently regardless of her showy apparel, and no rebuke was administered. We both received the right hand of fellowship. The hand decorated with jewels was clasped by the representative of Christ, and both our names were registered upon the church book.
"This circumstance caused me no little perplexity and trial as I remembered the apostles words [1 Timothy 2:9-10, quoted]. The teaching of this scripture seemed to be openly disregarded by those whom I looked upon as devoted Christians, and who were much older in experience than myself." 1 Testimonies, 20-21.
"In the professed Christian world there is enough expended in extravagant display, for jewels and ornaments, to supply the wants of all the hungry and clothe the naked in our towns and cities; and yet these professed followers of the meek and lowly Jesus need not deprive themselves of suitable food or comfortable clothing. What will these church members say when confronted in the day of God by the worthy poor, the afflicted, the widows and fatherless, who have known pinching want for the meager necessities of life, while there was expended by these professed followers of Christ, for superfluous clothing and needless ornaments expressly forbidden in the Word of God, enough to supply all their wants?" Review, November 21, 1878; Welfare Ministry, 216-217.
"There are many whose hearts have been so hardened by prosperity that they forget God, and forget the wants of their fellow man. Professed Christians adorn themselves with jewelry, laces, costly apparel, while the Lords poor suffer for the necessaries of life. Men and women who claim redemption through a Saviors' blood will squander the means intrusted to them for the saving of other souls, and then grudgingly dole out their offerings for religion, giving liberally only when it will bring honor to themselves. These are idolaters." Signs, January 26, 1882; 2 Bible Commentary, 1012.
WEARING OF GOLD
"Dear youth, a disposition in you to dress according to the fashion, and to wear lace and gold and artificials for display, will not recommend to others your religion or the truth that you profess. People of discernment will look upon your attempts to beautify the external as proof of weak minds and proud hearts. Simple, plain, unpretending dress will be a recommendation to my youthful sisters. In no better way can you let your light shine to others than in your simplicity of dress and deportment. You may show to all that, in comparison with eternal things, you place a proper estimate upon the things of this life.
"Now is your golden opportunity to form pure and holy characters for heaven. You cannot afford to devote these precious moments to trimming and ruffling and beautifying the external to the neglect of the inward adorning. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
"God, who created everything lovely and beautiful that the eye rests upon, is a lover of the beautiful. He shows you how He estimates true beauty. The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit is in His sight of great price. Shall we not seek earnestly to gain that which God estimates as more valuable than costly dress or pearls or gold? The inward adorning, the grace of meekness, a spirit in harmony with the heavenly angels, will not lessen true dignity of character or make us less lovely here in this world." 3 Testimonies, 376-377.
"While at Brother Harris's I had an interview with a sister who wore gold, and yet professed to be looking for Christ's coming. We spoke of the express declarations of Scripture against the wearing of gold. But she referred to where Solomon was commanded to beautify the temple, and to the statement that the streets of the city of God were pure gold. She said that if we could improve our appearance by wearing gold, so as to have influence in the world, it was right. I replied that we were poor fallen mortals, and instead of decorating these bodies because Solomon's temple was gloriously adorned, we should remember our fallen condition, and that it cost the suffering and death of the Son of God to redeem us. This thought should cause in us self-abasement. Jesus is our pattern. If He would lay aside His humiliation and sufferings, and cry, If any man will come after Me, let him please himself, and enjoy the world, and he shall be My disciple, the multitude would believe and follow Him. But Jesus will come to us in no other character than that of the meek, crucified One. If we would be with Him in Heaven, we must be like Him on earth. The world will claim its own; and whoever will overcome, must leave what belongs to it."Life Sketches, 113-114.
"Many who profess to be children of God feel no scruples against conforming to the customs of the world in the wearing of gold and pearls and costly array. Those who are too conscientious to wear these things are regarded as narrow-minded, superstitious, and even fanatical. But it is God who condescends to give us these instructions; they are the declarations of Infinite Wisdom, and those who disregard them do so at their own peril and loss. Those who cling to the ornaments forbidden in Gods Word cherish pride and vanity in the heart. They desire to attract attention. Their dress says: Look at me; admire me. Thus the vanity inherent in human nature is steadily increasing by indulgence. When the mind is fixed upon pleasing God alone, all the needless embellishments of the person disappear.
"The apostle places the outward adorning in direct contrast with a meek and quiet spirit and then testifies of the comparative value of the latter: In the sight of God of great price. There is a decided contradiction between the love of outward adorning and the grace of meekness, the quiet spirit. It is only when we seek in all things to conform to the will of God that peace and joy will reign in the soul.
"The love of dress endangers the morals and makes woman the opposite of the Christian lady characterized by modesty and sobriety. Showy, extravagant dress too often encourages lust in the heart of the wearer and awakens base passions in the heart of the beholder. God sees that the ruin of the character is frequently preceded by the indulgence of pride and vanity in dress. He sees that the costly apparel stifles the desire to do good.
"The more means persons expend in dress, the less they can have to feed the hungry and clothe the naked; and the streams of beneficence, which should be constantly flowing, are dried up. Every dollar saved by denying ones self of useless ornaments may be given to the needy or may be placed in the Lords treasury to sustain the gospel, to send missionaries to foreign countries, to multiply publications to carry rays of light to souls in the darkness of error. Every dollar used unnecessarily deprives the spender of a precious opportunity to do good." 4 Testimonies, 645-646.
"To dress plainly, abstaining from display of jewelry and ornaments of every kind, is in keeping with our faith." 3 Testimonies, 366.
"Many who profess to be Christians spend so much on dress that they have nothing to spare for the needs of others. Costly ornaments and expensive clothing they think they must have, regardless of the needs of those who can with difficulty provide themselves with even the plainest clothing." Ministry of Healing, 207.
"A sister who had spent some weeks at one of our institutions, said that she felt much disappointed in what she saw and heard there . . Before accepting the truth, she had followed the fashions of the world in her dress, and had worn costly jewelry and other ornaments; but upon deciding to obey the Word of God, she felt that its teachings required her to lay aside all extravagant and superfluous adorning. She was taught that Seventh-day Adventists did not wear jewelry, gold, silver, or precious stones, and that they did not conform to worldly fashions in their dress. When she saw among those who profess the faith such a wide departure from Bible simplicity, she felt bewildered. Had they not the same Bible which she had been studying, and to which she had endeavored to conform her life? Had her past experience been mere fanaticism? Had she misinterpreted the words of the apostle, The friendship of the world is enmity with God, for whosoever will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God?
"Mrs. D, a lady occupying a position in the institution, was visiting at Sr. __s room one day, when the latter took out of her trunk a gold necklace and chain, and said she wished to dispose of this jewelry and put the proceeds into the Lords treasury. Said the other, Why do you sell it? I would wear it if it was mine. Why, replied Sr. __, when I received the truth, I was taught that all these things must be laid aside. Surely they are contrary to the teachings of Gods Word. And she cited her hearer to the words of the apostles, Paul and Peter, upon this point [1 Timothy 2:9-10; 1 Peter 3:3-4, quoted].
"In answer, the lady displayed a gold ring on her finger, given her by an unbeliever, and said she thought it no harm to wear such ornaments. We are not so particular, said she, as formerly. Our people have been over scrupulous in their opinions upon the subject of dress. The ladies of this institution wear gold watches and gold chains, and dress like other people. It is not good policy to be singular in our dress; for we cannot exert so much influence.
"We inquire, Is this in accordance with the teachings of Christ? Are we to follow the Word of God or the customs of the world? Our sister decided that it was the safest to adhere to the Bible standard. Will Mrs. D and others who pursue a similar course be pleased to meet the result of their influence, in that day when every man shall receive according to his works?
"Gods Word is plain. Its teachings cannot be mistaken. Shall we obey it, just as He has given it to us, or shall we seek to find how far we can digress and yet be saved?" Evangelism, 270-271.
"In like manner, also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but, which becometh women professing godliness, with good works."
1 Timothy 2:9-10
"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel. But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit."
1 Peter 3:3-4
from Modest and Healthful Clothing Part 3 [RS7]