I am pleased to introduce to you this month's guest writer, Sister Darcy Abbott.She is married to the Elder David Abbott. They have 5 children and 8 grandchildren. They pastored in Scottsdale, Arizona for 29 years and are now evangelizing. Sis. Abbott is available to speak to ladies groups. They have written and recorded many songs through the years, many of which have been a blessing to me. And now, Sister Abbott...
On the day of Pentecost the Apostle Peter preached the message of salvation in Acts 2:38 & 39. The very next verse says,
And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves
from this untoward generation. Acts 2:40
Matthew Henry commentary says, “Partake not with them in their sins, that you share not in them with their plagues. To separate ourselves from wicked people is the only way to save ourselves from them.”
My preacher husband gave me the definition for the word “untoward – walking away from God…”
Gen. 1:1 says:
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Colossians 1:16 says:
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth,
visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities,
or powers: all things were created by him , and for him:
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
The fact is that IT’S ALL ABOUT GOD. Everything was made by Him and for Him. Our whole lives should be wrapped up in pleasing our Creator.
If ever we lived in an “untoward” generation it is now. This generation is walking away from God, and the Apostle Peter warned us about it the very first day that the church was born. I believe that God is not only concerned about our destination (heaven or hell), but also about our direction. Are you walking toward the Lord, or walking away from Him? This article is to strengthen us in the area of modesty. Are your necklines inching lower? Are your hemlines inching higher? Are your sleeve lengths getting shorter? Are your clothes getting tighter? Which direction are you walking? Are you getting closer to God, or getting closer to the world? The Apostle Peter said, save yourselves from this untoward generation.
We are commanded in the Word of God to be “holy.”
Lev. 19:2 says:
Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them,
Ye shall be holy: for I the LORD your God am holy.
I Peter 1:15-16 says:
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
(16) Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
There is only One who is holy and that is the Lord our God. He is the standard. He Is holy; however, he also commands us to be holy. Part of the definition of Holiness is… something set apart, consecrated or separated, for a sacred purpose. The automatic by-product of being separated from something is to be separated to something else. If a person is separated from the world, it allows them to be separated to God.
In the Garden of Eden, we see the concept of separation. Adam and Eve were told that they could eat of all of the trees of the garden except one, and that was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Notice that it was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Everything was perfect in the garden. Adam and Eve had the perfect marital relationship. Adam loved Eve and Eve loved Adam. Every emotional need was met between them. They had a beautiful garden to live in. God came and walked with them every day in the evening time. They had a perfect relationship with God. Everyone felt fulfilled, even God. Remember, we were created by him and for him.
As you know, one day Eve listened to the devil and ate the forbidden fruit, then she gave it to Adam and he ate also. Suddenly they felt brand new feelings… guilt… shame…and fear. Everything changed for them in that moment. Now they would not only know good, but they would also know evil. They now felt shame and hid from God. When God came walking later that evening, He asked them why they were hiding. Had they eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? To Eve’s horror, she hears Adam blame her before God. Adam blamed her!…he had never blamed her for anything before, but things are different now. Evil has been added to their existence. What a terrible day that was. Not only had evil been added to their existence, but because God is holy, He had to separate himself from them. Of all of the pain that they experienced that day, that had to be the worst. God’s presence had given them security… and joy…. and peace… and love. It must have felt like a scary world when God left.
When we were evangelizing many years ago, my husband overheard a visiting woman telling the pastor how much she had enjoyed the service that night. She said, “I just love coming to this church. I feel God’s presence so strong here. If you just wouldn’t preach some of the things that you preach against, I would come to church here all of the time.” My husband wanted to say, “yes, and if he quit preaching the things that you are talking about, God’s presence wouldn’t be here anymore.”
You see, holiness is not intended to restrict us, but rather free us from the things of this world that separate us from God. Holiness is what allows us to have fellowship and relationship with God. Without it, we are incompatible with the presence of God.
We cannot be good enough to save ourselves, only God is truly holy: but when we have received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and have been baptized in Jesus name, we are covered with His blood. When we are covered with His blood, His holiness is transferred to us and He considers us holy.
I love the story in the Old Testament when Balak the king tried to get Balaam to curse Israel. In Numbers 23:21 Balaam said concerning God, “He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: the shout of a king is among them. We, as onlookers, know that Israel had done plenty against God. But one thing that they had going for them, they were doing their yearly sacrifices, and because of the blood that was covering them, God could say that he could not see iniquity in Jacob. God’s blood blinded Him to their sins.
I Timothy 2:8-10 says:
I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with
Shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls,
Or costly array;
But which becometh women professing godliness with good works.
Modest apparel for women means that our clothing must cover us sufficiently so others are not tempted. A man is tempted by sight, so God requires the woman to dress so that a man is not tempted when he sees her. A woman is tempted by touch, so a man is required not to touch a woman. I Cor. 7:1. In the Bible study, “Because We are His”, Bro. Raymond Woodward says, “While a woman is commanded to APPEAR a certain way so that the man is not stimulated, the man is commanded to ACT a certain way so that the woman is not stimulated.
I have been amazed to see some Pentecostal girls and women allowing their necklines to get lower. Now that it is no longer “popular” to dress holy, how will you dress? Jesus is the standard. He is an absolute. He IS Holy. You are either moving towards His holiness or walking away from it.
There is a beautiful song written by Rodney Griffen that holds a concept that I love. The words are…
He is Loved
His heart was heavy in the garden, praying all alone
His closest friends had forsaken Him again
Then as the soldiers came and got Him, and pulled upon His robe
The sweetest smell reminded Him He had a friend
She’d made her way around the table, a few short days before
She’d poured the ointment out and spilled it on His clothes
She’d freely emptied out her bottle, as an offering to her Lord
So that even on the cross - He would know…..
That He was loved, He was loved
He could tell by the fragrance on His robe
When all others had forsaken, a sweet aroma let Him know
He was loved, He was loved.
When I live a life surrendered to Christ my risen King
When I choose what’s right, and I forsake what’s wrong
It’s an aroma to the Savior, means more than anything
The greatest gift that I could bring before the throne……To tell Him
He is loved, He is loved
He can tell by the fragrance ‘round the throne
When all others have forsaken, a sweet aroma lets Him know
He is loved, He is loved.
The second verse says that when we choose what’s right and forsake what’s wrong, it lets Him know that He is loved. Remember, He is our Creator. Everything was made by Him and for Him.
If you are struggling with holiness, tell it to Jesus. Ask Him to give you the “spirit” of holiness. He will hear you and help you.
The greatest desire of a Holy God is to have a Holy Bride to spend eternity with Him. We are not living our lives just for this life alone. If we do what’s right, we have an eternal future to look forward to. We are living in the last days and it is no time to look back. We must keep pressing forward towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.