TRUTH About MAKEUP
by Herbert W. Armstrong
1964, 1968 edition
Should women wear makeup?
Is it a SIN?
Here are the eye-opening FACTS
-- where, when, by whom, and why the use of makeup originated --
its history, and what the BIBLE says about it!
EVEN TO SO much as ask the question, "Is it wrong -- is it a sin to wear makeup on the face?" might seem a little ridiculous to the modern woman.
Your great-grandmother would not have thought the question silly. But the modern woman lives in a different world. Making up the female face has become as common as putting on clothes or arranging the hair.
WHO Decides What IS Sin?
But before dismissing the question as being laughable and absurd, it would be real smart to ask -- and answer -- WHO decides what is sin, and just what difference does it make, anyway? Few indeed know the answer!
Most people do not know what sin is. It is generally assumed that sin is doing what one thinks or feels is wrong -- or what is viewed as wrong by society generally.
But that is IGNORANCE!
And it could be very costly ignorance! The first thing we need to get settled in our minds is this: The living GOD of ALL POWER does not allow us to decide WHAT is sin! He forces us to decide WHETHER to sin! And the PENALTY of sin is DEATH for all eternity! That penalty is REAL! It is an Awful -- a FRIGHTFUL fate!
Do I hear someone expressing resentment at that stern fact? It is natural -- it is human nature to resent the AUTHORITY of the Almighty God. Rebellion against any authority is a natural human trait. But that attitude is wrong, and it is based on ignorance of the true facts.
It's HUMAN to like to do what one pleases -- and to want to avoid paying the penalty. But there is a REASON for God's Laws and their penalties -- a reason few seem to really understand.
SIN IS doing what is -- in ways the sinner seldom realizes -- exceedingly HARMFUL to the doer, and often to others also. God is not a hating monster, desiring to see humans suffer, but precisely the very opposite! The Eternal GOD is LOVE. The Creator never forbids one thing that is good. His commands against SIN merely exemplify His love for the sinner. The real difficulty is that humans are prone to have a wrong sense of values. Humans do not always know what is good for them -- and what is harmful.
Humans want to belong. They want to follow the crowd -- do as others do. They want to be accepted by other people whom they can SEE, rather than by the God they cannot see. And the very fact of acceptance by society of a custom or practice leads the average person to assume that it is right. Some things may appear very harmless, or even beneficial, and still be extremely injurious.
God is deeply concerned for your welfare. Sin is your enemy, seeking to destroy you. It is often very deceptive -- but God sees the danger to you, even if you don't. Sin is mighty serious business. Its penalties are absolutely SURE -- and terrible beyond realization! It is no light or casual matter. People customarily take this matter of sin lightly, little realizing the ENORMITY of the consequences!
God's Laws Are Real
God Almighty is our Maker. He created every force, energy, and power. He RULES His entire creation. For our good He created and set in living motion inexorable LAWS to bring us peace, happiness, prosperity, good health, every enjoyment to make life abundant and thrillingly rewarding. These laws are THE WAY to everything we could want.
They are just as real as the laws of gravity and inertia. We know that those laws are real -- they are constant. Jump off the ledge of a high building, and in the one or two seconds of consciousness left you, you'll instantly realize the law of gravity is working -- and with great and irresistible force drawing you rapidly downward. In a second or two the law of inertia will stop your downward plunge so suddenly it will instantaneously blot out your consciousness, and in all probability, your life!
We may take God's Laws lightly, or argue they are "done away," but they are frightfully REAL! Break them, and they'll break you! But obey them and live by them, and they make possible every benefit one can desire!
The difficulty is, people today have a mixed-up and wrong sense of values!
You can PROVE the existence of these Laws -- the spiritual, as well as the physical laws. You can easily PROVE the reality and existence of the God who created and sustains them. You can PROVE that the Bible is His infallible and authoritative revelation to mankind!
And in the Bible God reveals to us WHAT SIN IS. Sin is the transgression of GOD'S LAW (I John 3:4). Some of God's Laws are physical -- some are spiritual. The penalty of spiritual transgression is heavier than for breaking physical laws. It is ETERNAL death! All God's Laws are in living, inexorable MOTION.
Sin Is Against God
The NEXT vital point we need to fix clearly in mind is this: SIN IS AGAINST GOD, not man! What people approve or disapprove -- what society establishes as its code or its ethics -- has nothing to do with it. It is GOD ALMIGHTY, and HIS LAW, that is going to judge YOU in the final judgment -- and every living person is going to be so judged! That is the only judgment that really counts -- not your crowd, your group, your family, your friends -- not society as a whole.
I repeat -- sin is against GOD, not man! (Psalm 51:4) You do not sin against people. You may harm, or injure people. You cannot harm or injure God. But your SIN is against God!
Of these realities, society today is in stupid IGNORANCE! People take sin lightly. But GOD does not take your sins lightly! To Him, they are so SERIOUS that the penalty is eternal DEATH -- eternal punishment!
Again, sin is so SERIOUS, that God, being a loving God, actually GAVE His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who paid the death penalty in your stead! But it can apply, and erase the penalty from YOU, only if you REPENT of transgressing God's Laws.
So it becomes IMPORTANT that we BE SURE whether, in GOD'S SIGHT, it is a SIN to wear lipstick or other makeup on the face. It becomes a life-and-death matter -- for ETERNITY!
I repeat: GOD DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO DECIDE WHAT IS SIN -- but only WHETHER you will sin. Many centuries ago, God set before mankind the choice of right ways of obedience to His laws, with BLESSINGS, on the one hand; and transgressions, with CURSES, on the other, and He commanded: "CHOOSE!" But He also commanded people to choose the RIGHT, and receive the blessings and eternal life as His gift.
Whatever we sow, we must reap!
Nothing GOOD Forbidden
God is LOVE. God is more concerned about YOUR welfare and happiness than you are. God devised His Laws as THE WAY to happiness, joy, peace, good health, prosperity, abundance -- everything GOOD for us.
God forbids NOTHING that is GOOD. God's Laws forbid only what is harmful to us or to others.
God forbids "worldliness" but most people do not know what GOD means by "worldliness." Some things many religious people regard as "worldly" are actually good, and are not condemned by God's Laws. We cannot say that every custom or practice of this world is wrong, or "worldly." On the other hand there are things the world regards as GOOD, which God brands as SIN!
The basic scripture on "worldliness" is I John 2:15-16: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." But what is meant by "the world" in this scripture? The next verse makes it plain: "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
Lust, coveting -- inordinate desire to have, to take, to acquire -- and pride or VANITY -- that is what God here labels as SIN, transgressing the PRINCIPLE of His Law. More on this spirit of vanity later.
Spirit, Not Letter of Law
"But," some might exclaim, "I never thought of any connection between lipstick and the Ten Commandments! Surely the Ten Commandments do not say anything about painting the lips or the face."
Perhaps you have a surprise coming. Just read on, and you shall see that God's Law is all-inclusive. It covers the WHOLE DUTY of man. It covers, in principle, everything that can be sin!
So what we need to find out, in order to know whether the use of lipstick and makeup is wrong, is just as simple as that! The only question is whether it transgresses GOD'S LAW! Whoever continues in sin, willfully, after receiving the knowledge of the Truth is doomed to eternal DEATH!
It is not enough to say, as one woman wrote me: "I am willing to obey God in all things I THINK are His will." We must obey what GOD SAYS is His will, and cease doing what GOD SAYS is sin.
Lipstick Not Mentioned by Name
The English word "lipstick" is not used anywhere in any English translation or version of the Bible. Nor do we find the modern words "makeup" or "cosmetics." Most people have believed that the right or wrong of using makeup is not directly or specifically mentioned in the Scriptures.
Actually, God's Word does reveal directly and specifically whether this alteration of the appearance of the face is sin! This will come as quite a surprise to nearly all who read this.
How is it possible that painting the lips, cheeks, or eyes could be either forbidden or approved by God's LAW? It's time we realize that the Spiritual Law covers every act of right or wrong.
God's Law is a great inexorable overall Law of SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLES! It is not merely ten literal commands. It must be obeyed according to all the scope of its SPIRIT, as well as its literal letter.
The Principle of the Law
All the spiritual Law may be summed up in one word -- LOVE. Love is a spiritual principle. As the principle of the law is applied, it enlarges into the two great laws -- LOVE toward God and LOVE toward human neighbors. Love toward God, in turn, is enlarged into the first four of the Ten Commandments. And Love toward neighbor is enlarged into the last six of the Ten Commandments.
But Jesus showed us, in His earthly ministry, how He magnifies the law further, according to the application of its principle. To merely look upon a woman lustfully is to violate the spirit of the law against adultery. To merely hate a brother breaks the law against murder.
A Surprise Scripture
And so we come directly to a definite and positive declaration of Scripture. We shall then show how this direct teaching reflects the principle of God's spiritual LAW.
The church is founded upon the Prophets, as well as the Apostles, with Jesus Christ the chief cornerstone (Eph. 2:20). One of those foundation Prophets is Isaiah. His message is for us today.
He begins by saying: "HEAR, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for THE ETERNAL HATH SPOKEN!" (Isa. 1:2.) He is speaking of our people, even today -- ISRAEL! An ox knows his owner, but Israel does not seem to know or obey their GOD! We are a sinful nation -- we have forsaken the Eternal (verses 3 and 4). God pleads with us: "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Eternal; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow ... IF ye be willing and obedient." Here is the promise of remission of sins through Christ. This refers to NEW Testament Israel -- TODAY!
In the second chapter God's Word to us through Isaiah comes to the last days (verse 2). These first four verses refer to the Millennium. Then the message returns to our present time, just prior to the coming of Christ. The House of Jacob -- our people -- are replenished from the east -- pagan beliefs and customs (verse 6). One of these, we shall see later, is facial makeup! Our land also is full of silver and gold, neither is there any end of our treasures (verse 7). Yes, we are the wealthiest nation that ever existed. This was NOT true of ancient Israel.
But our land is also full of IDOLS -- worshipping the things our own hands have manufactured and made! (verse 8.) It is the very present, when the DAY OF THE LORD is near (verse 12). God is soon going to abolish our idols, our pride and vanity, our sins (verses 17-18). It continues into chapter three.
Children will begin to boss parents and rule over them (verse 4). That is happening right now! Children are their oppressors, and WOMEN "wear the pants" (verse 12). They cause us to SIN, and lead us in WRONG PATHS.
Now verse 16: "Moreover the ETERNAL saith, Because the daughters of Zion [U. S. and Britain] are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes ... Therefore the ETERNAL will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion ...." and dire punishments for SIN follow.
Now what are "wanton eyes"? As this is translated into the English language you don't catch the real meaning inspired by God into the original Hebrew words at all!
Actually, when the meaning of the inspired Hebrew is examined, there is no one word in the English language to convey the intended meaning. And rather than use a whole sentence or two to express the inspired meaning, the translators have chosen this one word "wanton."
The English word they did use, "wanton," is defined by Webster as unchaste, lewd, licentious, immoral, etc. This expresses the spirit and character back of the act described, but not the method by which such lewdness and licentiousness is manifested. It seems to be about as near as the translators could get in rendering the Hebrew.
But let's understand the full and complete meaning of the Hebrew word. One thing the commentaries do give us accurately is the technical meaning of Hebrew and Greek words.
Clarke Makes It Clear
First, notice the rendering of the Adam Clarke Commentary: "Verse 16. And wanton eyes -- 'And falsely setting off their eyes with paint! Hebrew, falsifying their eyes."
Ah, NOW we begin to see the real intended, inspired meaning!
REMEMBER -- the custom of using PAINT to color and to change the looks of the face, to make it appear "prettier," originated in harlotry, as I will prove later. It was always used to seduce and lure men into LUST. In Bible times women painted their eyes primarily -- at least the emphasis was then on the eyes, though they also used some paint, frequently, on the cheeks and the lips. Some 40 years ago the emphasis was on the cheeks, though some painted the eyes and the lips to a lesser degree. Then the emphasis was on the lips, though to some extent women still painted, in lesser degree, the cheeks, and many the eyes. Today the emphasis is on painting the eyes.
Whether the painting emphasis is on the eyes, cheeks, or lips, it is all the same so far as the principle of SIN IS concerned.
Clarke further explains that this Hebrew word is closely associated with the noun "sikra" which the rabbis used for "stibium," the mineral which was commonly used in coloring the eyes ... the Chaldee paraphrase explains it: stibio linitis oculis, 'with eyes dressed with stibium.' This fashion seems to have prevailed very generally among the Eastern people in ancient times; and they retain the very same to this day."
Actually, we saw a great deal of this on our visit to the Middle East.
From the Critical and Experimental Commentary: "16. and wanton eyes -- Hebrew (mesha-ququeroth, from shaquar, to deceive.) 'deceiving with their eyes.' ... Lowth, after the Chaldaic, 'falsely setting off the eyes with paint.' Women's eyelids in the East are often colored with stibium, or powder of lead."
These critical explanations make it plain that painting the face has, since ancient days, been intended to falsify the appearance of the face -- to deceive! Women today may not like to admit it, but there can be no purpose in applying lipstick or any kind of paint except to change the appearance of the face -- and that very act means to FALSIFY the face -- to DECEIVE those who see them as to what their real appearance actually is! To falsify and to deceive is not righteous or godly, but sinful.
Now from Lange's Commentary:
"The order of thought is as follows: The luxurious pride of women, too, shall be humbled (ver. 16, 17). In ver. 16 sqq. -- "The prophet here resumes the thread which had been dropped or broken at the close of ver. 12, and recurs to the undue predominance of female influence, but particularly to the prevalent excess of female luxury, not only as SINFUL in itself but as a chief cause of the violence and social disorder previously mentioned, and therefore to be PUNISHED by disease, widowhood, and shameful exposure."
And so there, properly translated, is a PLAIN SCRIPTURE showing that the act of painting the face (whether eyes, cheeks, or lips) is falsifying, intended to DECEIVE, an expression of VANITY which is the very basis of all sin, and therefore it becomes, with a plain "THUS SAITH THE LORD," a SIN!
This, and the scriptures that shall immediately follow, shows that this almost universal custom, stimulated and kept alive in the interest of multimillion-dollar profits by the big cosmetic manufacturers, is condemned by God Almighty as being a SIN!
How, and WHY it is a sin -- HOW it violates the SPIRIT OF THE LAW -- Will be explained later in this booklet.
Where Makeup Originated
Do you know where the use of makeup originated?
Actually the first "painted hussy" was Semiramis, the original mother of harlots, human author and founder of the world's religions and of abominations of the world.
Nationally, it came out of ancient Egypt. Nearly everything evil and sinful came out of Egypt. Egypt is used as the very TYPE of sin in the Scriptures.
When we were in Egypt we saw many of the statues and idols of ancient Egypt. Two things were most prominent in the statues of their ancient queens and the goddesses: the painting on their faces, which changed their natural appearance, and the thin-veiled gowns which exposed nudity underneath. They had changed themselves from a modest and virtuous appearance into one of sensuality.
Changing facial appearance by painting the face originated in harlotry. It was used originally only as a device of harlots to attract men in a manner designed to break the 7th Commandment.
Its modern, popular and almost universal use today originated with the harlots of Paris. From there it traveled to the old redlight districts of San Francisco, Denver, New Orleans, Chicago, New York and other American cities. Then it was used by the streetwalker prostitutes to attract and seduce men.
My wife remembered an incident that occurred when she was a little girl nine years old. Her father ran a small town general store. In the store she found two small packages of face powder, one white, the other red. She began to apply some of the colored powder to her face. Her mother saw her, and quickly took the powder away from her.
"No, no! Loma," said her mother. "You mustn't ever put that on your face. Only the bad women use that!"
My mother -- before she died -- remembered that she used to apply a little powder on her cheeks but didn't seem to remember at what time this custom started. But she did distinctly remember that her mother never once applied powder, paint, or any kind of cosmetics whatsoever to her face. She was a very virtuous and religious woman, and in her time "only the bad women" put paint or powder on their faces. My own mother very emphatically declared that no lipstick ever touched her lips -- a fact in which she took great satisfaction.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica says: "It is quite probable that cosmetics had their origin in the East, but it is necessary to turn to Egypt for the earliest records of these substances and their application."
In the British Museum we found complete and elaborate "makeup" kits, beautifully carved unguent boxes in alabaster, ivory, or carved wood, dated, according to inscriptions, back to 3500 B.C. There were tiny ivory and wooden sticks and eyelash brushes, combs, mirrors. Also materials for dyeing the finger nails! Even that custom came out of EGYPT!
According to the Britannica, the practice of facial subterfuge and deception by painting and makeup reached its zenith in the time of Cleopatra. The Britannica also states that the early inhabitants of Britain imported toilet articles from the East. In the passages from Isaiah cited above, chapter two and verse 6 says God is forsaking and punishing the House of Jacob "because they be replenished from the east!" Yes, that's where they got the makeup idea and materials!
Paint on the face in America was first used by the Indians, as "WAR PAINT." We regarded it as a heathen, savage custom! Yet our women have taken up the custom, copying from the harlots of Paris. The practice certainly did not originate from GOD, but from harlotry and heathenism. In 1770 the State of Pennsylvania passed a law that a marriage could be nullified if the wife had, in courtship, deceived and misled her prospective husband by having changed her appearance with makeup!
It Is BIG Business
The cosmetic industry has become one of America's greatest industries. By the postwar year of 1919 it had risen to a volume of 82 million dollars. By 1925 it had mounted to $147,000,000. But by 1955, the cosmetic industry spent in advertising to tempt the women into buying cosmetics ONE MILLION more dollars than their entire sales volume had been in 1925. Not including soap, but just face-changing cosmetics, the industry spent for advertising $148,675,000! And according to the March 28, New York Times, American women in 1955 spent to change the appearance of their faces (including perfumes), $1,192,200,000!! That's one BILLION, one hundred ninety-two MILLION, two hundred thousand dollars!
But in 1967 the American public spent $7,000,000,000 -- SEVEN BILLION dollars -- equally divided between beauty parlors and the makers of toiletries and cosmetics -- a quest for beauty that is false!
Perhaps most women do not realize, or won't admit, the extent of their VANITY in wanting to make themselves artificially pretty, but the cosmetic manufacturers and their shrewd advertising men know! The average American business cannot profitably spend more than 1/2 of 1% up to a maximum of 4% of sales volume in advertising. But apparently the cosmetic industry, due to female vanity, is able to spend 12 1/2%, and make it pay! When male GREED cashes in on female VANITY, the result is fabulous profits for shrewd commercial interests!
A recent Washington date lined news story in the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post said American women are so desperate to appear more beautiful than nature made them that they paint on cosmetic concoctions containing DANGEROUS AND HARMFUL MATERIALS.
Freely, women try new facial creams containing such additives as pig skin extract, horse blood serum, shark oil, and turtle oil. These ingredients are actually featured in advertisements and commercials.
But, says the article, you can't tell from the labels what else these glamour bottles contain. Although cosmetic sales have multiplied 300 times since 1940, Consumer Report says that under present federal laws minimum protection is afforded our painted ladies. Purchasers have no assurance whatever of safety in the normal use of such products. Cosmetic manufacturers are not required by law to divulge all the contents of their products, even to the Food and Drug Administration.
What is more important, they are not, as are food and drug manufacturers, even required to pre-test new preparations for safety before marketing a cosmetic.
Consumer Report states further, that in the event of harm to users, it is only after a sufficient number of women have been seriously harmed and reported the injury, that the FDA may step in.
Yet, of course, the fact that cosmetics are injurious to health will not reduce sales, any more than the authentic reports of the Cancer Society, and the United States Government in regard to lung cancer have hurt the sales of cigarettes. The tobacco industry merely stepped up the intensity of their advertising.
Jesus said we must live by every word of God. God's Holy Word teaches us with all authority HOW TO LIVE! We find this teaching in direct commands, admonitions, and in recorded living examples.
God says: "Now all these things happened unto them [Old Testament experiences] for ensamples" -- or, as better expressed in the Revised Standard Version: "as a warning, ... they were written down for our instruction, upon whom the end of the age has come" (I Cor. 10: 11) .
God gives examples in the Bible of women who were righteous, meek, humble and obedient, and He also gives examples of women who were prostitutes -- who were seductive and satanic influences on others.
In every single case where painting the face is mentioned in your Bible, GOD LABELS THE WOMAN A WHORE! Is that shocking? Yes, but TRUE! Painting the face is never once mentioned in connection with a virtuous woman! How does God label You? Every woman should ask herself that question.
Perhaps I have seen the oldest historic record of putting makeup on the face, on our visit to ancient Egypt. God uses Egypt as a TYPE of sin, especially in the lesson of Israel's deliverance from Egyptian bondage. Most of the pagan and sinful practices that befoul our western civilization today came out of Egypt.
In Egypt we saw many statues and paintings of ancient Egyptian women, and of their goddesses. Always their faces were painted.
But perhaps the oldest written records are found in the Bible. First is the case of the Gentile daughter of a Zidonian king, Jezebel. King Ahab of Israel married her. God condemned this evil woman to a horrible death because of her great WHOREDOMS. Jezebel applied the "art" of makeup to her face to make herself sexually attractive in order to deceive and seduce men. God uses this vile woman as a type of the great false church (Rev. 2:20), who also is labeled in your Bible as a whore! Just as this original Jezebel painted her face to seduce men, so does this great collective woman deck herself out seductively, and attempt to change her appearance from her actual EVIL look, by deceiving the world into believing that she "looks" virtuous and pure and holy.
But notice the high points of the story as it is in the Bible.
"In the thirty and eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel ... And Ahab ... did evil in the sight of the Eternal above all that were before him. And it came to pass, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam ... that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians [king of Sidon], and went and served Baal, and worshipped him" (I Kings 16:29-31).
Later, Joram, son of Ahab and Jezebel, was reigning as king of Israel. With the king of Judah he went out against Jehu, whom God had appointed to succeed Joram as king.
"And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he [Jehu] answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witch crafts are so many?" (II Kings 9:22.) As Joram turned to flee, Jehu slew him.
Is It a "Light Thing"?
"And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window" (II Kings 9:30). She was now making a desperate effort to seduce Jehu, lest he kill her. She resorted to all her wiles of harlotry, and lewdness.
WHY do women who profess to be GOOD women resort to this same trick of deception to attract men today? WHY have modern women, as if it were a light thing to walk in the sins of Jezebel, made this an almost universal custom today?
Will GOD'S women, "the LIGHT of the world," -- the only light remaining in this evil world -- yield themselves "to be LIKE worldly women around them"?
From the very first historic records, painting the face has been an integral part of HARLOTRY, used to attract and seduce men! It was always part of the equipment of a harlot. This is a simple statement of FACT. It cannot be denied. The harlots of Paris used it. The whores of the Old United States "red-light" districts all used it. The street-walking prostitutes all used it before the professing "decent" women copied after these daughters of Jezebel.
Some women may say that "we don't use it for seductive purposes or as a device of harlotry today!" Of course not! But, in like manner I've heard preachers try to justify the pagan practices of observing Christmas by arguing, "But we don't use it for the purpose they did -- for worshipping Baal. We have adopted their custom for the purpose of worshipping CHRIST."
But God says: "Inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt NOT do so unto the Eternal thy God: for every abomination to the Eternal, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; ... What thing so ever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it" (Deut. 12:30-32).
GOD COMMANDS US NOT TO FOLLOW THESE ABOMINABLE PRACTICES AND CUSTOMS USED IN PAGAN IDOLATRY AND HARLOTRY! Facial makeup is one of them! A woman may think she looks nice in the sight of the world with makeup. But how does she look in God's sight?
Abomination In God's Sight
It's true, we have been born in such a world, and grownup taking such things for granted as much as we take any article of normal clothing for granted, accepting it as a normal custom with never so much as a thought that there could be anything sinful about it.
I grew up, and so did most of you, taking for granted many customs I supposed all good CHRISTIANS accepted and followed. I grew up accepting this world as GOD'S world. It came as a shock and a bewildering disillusionment to finally realize that so MANY of these generally accepted customs are EVIL, and plain ABOMINATIONS in the sight of GOD! It was difficult to be weaned from them.
But NOW I can see these things as through the eyes of GOD. We simply have to come to the knowledge that "there is a way that seemeth RIGHT unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of DEATH."
The way YOU look at such a matter as this does not determine whether it is right. GOD determines WHAT is SIN. You are free to decide only WHETHER to obey. If you disobey, you SIN, and you shall be PUNISHED by eternal DEATH in the Lake of FIRE!
It may be difficult, at first, for many women to realize that makeup on the face is actually one of those things that is AN ABOMINATION in the sight of God -- that its use is a SIN -- a violation of GOD'S LAW, as I shall presently show! It may be difficult for one who has always taken these worldly customs for granted to realize that a woman who "looks NICE" to the world actually looks like a painted prostitute in the sight of GOD!
Do YOU Have False Fears?
Some fear embarrassment without makeup. A few years ago when we boarded the Queen Mary for Europe, actually, when we looked around to observe, we were surprised to notice that perhaps a third of the women in the Queen Mary dining room, although in evening dress, were not wearing lipstick! Our son Garner Ted and his wife Shirley joined us in Europe later. Shirley had the same experience on shipboard. The younger women suffer no more embarrassment than their mothers!
Pasadena is one of the most cultural cities in America. Many wealthy families, socially prominent, live here. And, surprising though it is, we have noticed, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium during a concert, that perhaps one-third or more of these well-to-do women, dressed in expensive clothes and mink furs, do not wear makeup!
Many other women have had the same experience. Once they are weaned from it, they have discovered that their former FEARS of what people in the world would think of them were without foundation. Not one of them, so far as I know, would now even think of using "just a little," "modestly," on certain occasions. God's yielded and converted women, themselves, have come to see that what is sinful is never necessary in any slight amount.
But if the women of the world would cause embarrassment, that would not condone use of makeup in God's sight!
Is Sinning Moderately OK?
If this thing is sin, IT IS SIN -- and God does not condone "sinning moderately." There are some things which, in moderation, are NOT sin -- where it is only the excessive use that becomes sin -- such as wine. The very PURPOSE of drinking a "little wine for thy stomach's sake," is good, not evil. But, as will be brought out later, the very purpose of painting and changing the appearance of the face is EVIL, and a little evil is still EVIL!
And so now it is time and the duty of God's ministers to "cry aloud and spare not" -- to lift up our voices, and show God's people their scenes! As God reveals these things, GOD'S PEOPLE MUST BE CLEANED UP! Those who know that the ETERNAL is God must now get over on GOD'S side, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight, and those who are HOSTILE and of this world may continue on the world's side, and do those things that are pleasing in the sight of the world.
This thing of painting the face is now labeled by Jesus Christ as a SIN! It is a transgression of GOD'S LAW, as I shall presently show.
REMEMBER that God says: "Whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight!" (I John 3:22). This is strong talk, but the Plagues God soon is going to pour on the rebellious are going to be MUCH STRONGER -- poured out without mixture of mercy!
As the harlot Jezebel was a type of the great MOTHER of harlots and ABOMINATIONS of the earth, so both Israel and Judah, the CHURCH of the Old Testament, played the whore, and symbolically "painted their faces."
Listen to THE WORD OF GOD!
"This word from the Eternal came to me: " -- quoting from Ezekiel 23, Moffatt translation. " 'Son of man, there were two women ... when they were young, they played the harlot in Egypt, where men pressed their breasts and handled their virgin nipples. Their names were Oholah, the elder, and Oholibah, the younger. They became my wives, and bore sons and daughters (as for their names, Oholah is Samaria, Oholibah Jerusalem).
"'But Oholah played the harlot, though she was my wife ... and befouled herself with the idols of every man on whom she doted; she never ceased her harlotry since in Egypt men lay with her as a girl and handled her virgin nipples and had intercourse with her freely. So I handed her over to her lovers, to the Assyrians ... they exposed her nakedness ... and they slew her with the sword; so punishment was inflicted on her, till she became a WARNING TO WOMEN.
"'Her sister Oholibah saw this, but she went further in depravity, in her lust and harlotry ... I saw that she was befouling herself ... But she carried her harlotry further; she saw men pictured upon walls, figures of Chaldeans drawn in vermilion ... and when she saw them she doted upon them ... Therefore, Oholibah -- here is the Lord the Eternal's sentence -- I will rouse your lovers against you ... I will mass them all around you, the Babylonians, all the Chaldeans ... they shall attack you ... with a host of nations' " (type of the punishment yet to come on MODERN Israel for the SAME sins and abominations!) "' ... and they shall sentence you; I will vent my jealous fury upon you, and let them deal with you fiercely ....
"'Since you forgot ME and flung ME aside, then suffer for your sensual harlot ways!' 'Son of man,' said the Eternal, 'arraign Oholah and Oholibah, and show them their detestable impieties .... They did this to me also; they polluted my sanctuary and desecrated my sabbath ... And this is how they behaved within my temple; they actually sent for men who came from abroad, sent messengers to them! And for them you bathed yourself, you PAINTED YOUR EYES, you put on your ornaments, you sat on a handsome divan, with a table spread in front of it ... and sounds of revelry arose!' " (Ezek. 23).
NOTICE THAT! Here God pictures Israel and Judah as harlot women. They have sent for men. In order to seduce these men, and lead them into adultery, they PAINTED THEIR Faces! This has always been the main equipment of harlots! It is the very instrument of harlotry. God CONDEMNS the ACT as SIN -- and shows plainly that this paint was applied FOR THE PURPOSE of seduction.
Now complete this blistering message from God to modern women today!
"'This therefore is the Lord the ETERNAL'S sentence: Bring a host of folk against them, and hand them over to be maltreated and robbed! Let them be stoned and put to the sword ... that all women may TAKE WARNING and avoid YOUR sensual ways ... and so learn that I am the Lord the ETERNAL!'"
How about it? Do you want to argue that God doesn't mean YOU -- or that this does NOT apply to using makeup today? YOUR body is God's temple today, and if you defile it, God says He will destroy You!
IN EVERY CASE where makeup is mentioned in the Bible, God labels the woman who uses it a WHORE!
Always, its use is an attempt to change the appearance of the face! It is an attempt to make the face appear to be (a DECEPTION!) more beautiful than it is. Always in one way or another it is vanity! It is also an instinctive pull of human nature to conform to the ways of this world -- perhaps without realizing that this is in direct disobedience to God's command: "BE NOT conformed to this world: but be ye TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, WILL OF GOD!" (Rom. 12:2).
In the fourth chapter of Jeremiah, God reveals the destruction to be poured out on Judah, as a result of her whoredoms.
God cries out to these unfaithful Jews: "O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved ... For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sweetish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge ....For thus hath the Eternal said, The whole land shall be desolate ... And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though THOU RENTEST [distort] THY FACE WITH PAINTING, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life" (Jer. 4: 14, 22, 27, 30) .
Here adulteress Judah is pictured as the ETERNAL'S wife, painting her face to seduce lovers into adultery.
And WHAT WAS THE ADULTERY OF ISRAEL AND JUDAH?
Why, precisely the very thing that causes women to use lipstick and other makeup today! They wanted to be like the other nations around them! God said to Israel: "When thou ... shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me ..." (Deut. 17:14).
Again, "When thou art come into the land which the Eternal thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the ABOMINATIONS of those nations ... For all that do these things are AN ABOMINATION unto the Eternal" (Deut. 18:9, 12).
WHY Women Wear It
If other nations around them had not practiced these abominations, the Israelites would never have wanted to do them.
LIKEWISE, if the women of the world around you had never worn lipstick or eye makeup, not a single decent and virtuous woman would ever have wanted to wear it!
THINK THAT OVER! No person can dispute that!
IF the women of the world never wore it -- IF they frowned on it and considered it bad taste NO SELF-RESPECTING WOMAN WOULD WEAR IT!
It is put on the face for one or both of two general reasons:
1) to be like the world around you -- to be CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD, in direct DISOBEDIENCE to God's command; or else,
2) "to look nice," as women express it, which means simply, to CHANGE the appearance so as to make the face prettier than it naturally is -- WHICH IS VANITY! Either is a violation of God's Law, and A SIN! Actually, the only reason a woman wishes to conform to the world is VANITY -- fearing what the world will think, more than fearing GOD -- CARING more for the world and what it thinks than for GOD and what looks right IN HIS SIGHT!
A woman may try to REASON and ARGUE around it, but every woman knows in her heart this is THE TRUTH. Every woman who has been CONQUERED by the Eternal God -- who is yielded to HIM -- who has repented and is converted who HAS AND IS LED BY GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT -- will admit this, and TURN FROM THIS SIN!
Back, now, to Isaiah 3.
"Don't Feel Dressed Without It"
"As for my people," says God, "children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy THE WAY of thy paths" (verse 12). Women, in other words, "wear the trousers." Women have become haughty, full of VANITY, trying to put themselves above men.
And how? "Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks [holding their heads high as they walk -- Moffatt], and wanton eyes [falsely setting off their eyes with PAINT]" (Isa. 3:12, 16).
The Adam Clarke Commentary says, further, on this verse: "Her eyelashes, which are long, and, according to the custom of the East, dressed with stibium (as we often read in the Holy Scriptures of the Hebrew women of old, Jer. 4:30; Ezek. 23:40) ... 'But none of these ladies,' says Dr. Shaw, Travels, p. 294, 'take themselves to be completely dressed, till they have tinged their hair and edges of their eyelids with alcohol, the powder of lead ore ... ' Ezekiel 23: 40, uses the same word in the form of a verb, cachalt eynayik, 'thou didst dress thine eyes with alcohol'; which the Septuagint renders 'thou didst dress thine eyes with stibium'; ... compare II Kings 9:30; Jer. 4:30."
"Thus Saith the LORD"
And so critical examination of the original languages show that ALL these Biblical passages, referring to Jezebel; to whoring Israel and Judah as Aholah and Aholibah; and to Judah, refer to the same identical PAINTING OF THE FACE that is definitely, specifically, literally condemned as a SIN in Isaiah 3:16-17. Thus, when these scriptures are considered together, we have FOUR scriptures definitely and positively condemning makeup on the face!
This is a plain "THUS SAITH THE LORD!"
And did you notice that these pagan women of the East, condemned by God, do not feel completely dressed without their makeup on? How many of our own modern women have said the same thing? It's high time for such women to REPENT, and with God's help wean themselves from that kind of heathen feeling!
Other scriptures, however, do indicate God's approval of certain ornamentation of dress, or even earrings, especially on what might be called a royal or regal occasion.
In Ezekiel 16 God symbolizes Israel, prior to her adulteries, as His bride -- His queen. GOD is KING of all the universe. The Old Covenant is represented as a marriage agreement. Of Queen Israel, God says: "I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk. I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head. Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver ... and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord Eternal" (Ezek. 16:10-14).
Of course, this is figurative, not literal, and represents qualities of character, not physical decoration. But it mentions approvingly just about everything except falsifying the face with paint! NEVER is this facial deception mentioned in connection with a virtuous woman in the Bible.
Keep in mind, however, that this figurative description is that of God's QUEEN in royal and stately attire. This is not to be construed as God's approval of over-ornamentation under ordinary circumstances. God's teaching is modesty -- the meek and quiet spirit!
But when Israel and Judah played the harlot and went after other "lovers" they are represented, then, as painting the face as a device of harlotry to seduce "lovers" into adulterous relationship.
But if God's Word labels these painted women of the world as ABOMINATIONS and WHORES, it also gives us descriptions of righteous, humble and virtuous women.
God's PRINCIPLE is that real beauty comes from WITHIN! Remember, GOD LOOKS ON THE HEART! Paint on the face will NEVER recommend you to God!
LISTEN! "Likewise, you wives, be submissive to your husbands ... Let not yours be the outward adorning with braiding of hair, decoration of gold, and wearing of robes, but let it be the hidden person [INWARD ADORNING] of the heart with the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight [but not in the sight of the world] is very precious. So once the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves and were submissive to their husbands" (I Peter 3:1, 3-5, Revised Standard Version).
Ask yourself: Do you want to "look nice" in the sight of GOD, or in the sight of the world -- WHICH?
Actually this scripture does not say it is wrong to wear proper outward decoration on clothing, or such decoration as a necklace, earrings, or a bracelet. It says these things are not to be the true ADORNING. A virtuous woman's ADORNING comes from within. But certainly it implies that when a woman does not radiate from within this sparkle of righteousness and intelligent spiritual character, but instead uses overdone showy and gaudy jewelry or other ornamentation to attract attention, she is using the wrong kind of adorning.
Never Paint Over the Jewel
Now this scripture in I Peter 3 is expressing a PRINCIPLE, rather than specific details. Actually there are other scriptures showing that it is not wrong, under proper conditions, for a woman to wear ornaments modestly on her clothes, or even in her hair, or even to wear earrings. These, however, should be modest, never gaudy, or over large, to attract undue attention.
The principle is that the REAL BEAUTY IS IN THE HEART, and shines out from the INSIDE! If that is thereof the woman is meek, modest, humble, then to be dressed becomingly, and even with proper decoration in good taste, when the occasion warrants it, is right and proper in God's sight. This merely puts a becoming and modest outward and pleasing setting around the REAL JEWEL, which is a humble spirit and contrite heart and virtuous character.
A jeweler does not paint over a diamond, but he does enhance its pure sparkle with appropriate setting!
But if it is done to show off the person in a spirit of vanity, then the motive of the heart is evil, and the very same outward decoration, which might be approved when worn from chaste and righteous intentions, is put to a SINFUL use.
Modern Slang Shows WHY
On the other hand, applying paint to the face changes and falsifies the appearance, DECEIVES those who see it, and is ALWAYS pictured in connection with HARLOTRY in the Bible!
Today women in public places are heard excusing themselves thus: "I think I'll go into the powder room and improve on Mother Nature." "Mother Nature," of course, in reality is GOD!
Or, a common expression among girls today: "Let's fix our faces!" Or, "Wait till I put on my face, and I'll be right there!" Yes, they KNOW it means putting on a FALSE face! Sometimes women use the expression "repair my face."
These slang expressions in common use show where their minds are -- and what is the intent of the heart!
The very words "makeup" mean "not my real face, but my MADE-UP face." To MAKE is to re-CREATE. God says: "Who art thou that repliest against GOD? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, WHY hast thou made me thus?" (Rom. 9:20). Yet that is what women are replying AGAINST GOD when they change and falsify their faces!
Do you know the definition of the word "cosmetics"? It is from the Greek word "cosmos," which is the Greek word representing THIS WORLD and its ways, which God condemns!
Painting the face is condemned and labeled SIN in the Bible. It is used ONLY in VANITY or desire to be like the world, or to conform to the world, or to look "prettier" to the world.
NOWHERE did God tell men or women to cover up, or put paint on, their faces -- but He does tell us to put clothes on our bodies! Proper and modest ornamentation on the clothing that covers the body is approved in many scriptures, and can be done with humility of heart and purity of mind. This applies alike to men's neckties and women's scarves, handkerchiefs, or ornamental decorations on dresses.
GOD'S PRINCIPLE is that we must not put our trust in outward appearance, as opposed to meekness of a subdued mind that is subject to God in everything!
After an article appeared in The PLAIN TRUTH some years ago on lipstick, three or four letters were received from women who did not yet fully understand, trying to present scriptures approving lipstick.
One woman felt she had found a scripture approving facial makeup, in the Song of Solomon. She read chapter 3, verse 6, and jumped to the conclusion that this pictured the bridegroom putting face powder on his face.
Now in the first place, what is wrong is falsifying the face, in a manner to change the appearance as a deception, by painting. Of course powder could be plastered on so thick as to change the appearance of the face, but unless so excessively used that it shows, there is no prohibition of a little powder, used to dispel an oily or soapy shine on the face.
I quote from the Lange Commentary: "The contents place it beyond doubt that ch. 3:6-11 describes a bridal procession." It is not the "bridegroom."
Next, the Hebrew word for "powders" -- "powders of the merchant" -- is "abawkaw" which means, according to the Hebrew-English lexicon, aromatic powder, very fine powder, dust-like and volatile. It is not face powder at all! It is a vaporizable incense powder.
It is allegorically referring to the Church coming up to the Marriage with Christ. Solomon, in this instance, was the type of Christ. Typically it refers also to ancient Israel coming up out of the wilderness to the Old Testament marriage that made Israel a nation.
The verse reads: "Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?"
The Critical & Experimental Commentary says: "The 'who is this?' in Hebrew is feminine, and must refer to the Bride riding in the Bridegroom's palanquin. Pillars of smoke: from the perfumes burned round His bride. Image from Israel ... marching through the desert with the pillar of smoke by day and fire by night, and the pillars of smoke ascending from the altars of incense and of atonement: so Jesus Christ's righteousness, atonement, and ever-living intercession."
From the Lange Commentary: "Perfumed with myrrh and incense: The bride coming to her wedding or more particularly her sedan and her DRESS are filled with refreshing perfumes (Prov. 27:9)," (where ointments and perfumes are approved). The "powders of the merchants" were the source of the perfumes and the smoke. The perfumes were on the DRESS, not the face!
Lange explains further that, "She came perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, because myrrh was one of the principle ingredients in her HOLY OINTMENT (EX. 30:32), and incense was offered constantly on the Golan altar before the veil ... and because frankincense is the type of prayer offered by Him as our priest and offered to Him as God. And she is perfumed with all the powders or spices of the merchant because all the glories of the ancient ritual are spiritualized in the Gospel."
This powder and perfume, then, is connected with the holy ointments, which, under severe penalty, the PEOPLE were forbidden to have or use. It was only for special sacred and holy occasion and use.
IN NO MANNER does this scripture approve falsifying the face with makeup or lipstick!
Perfume is not condemned in the Bible, but good taste decrees that it should be used very sparingly. A person saturated with strong perfume simply STINKS, and becomes offensive to others. The law of love to neighbors demands that IF used, it should be very lightly used. Many women cheapen themselves by vulgarly violating this rule.
Next, this woman jumped willingly to the erroneous conclusion that she had found lipstick approved in the Song of Solomon 4:1-3. It reads: "Behold, thou art fair, my love ... thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and they speech is comely."
But if you read the WHOLE context, it becomes most plain that the speaker is referring to the NATURAL perfection of the "bride" -- typical of the Bride of Christ as she shall be presented to HIM, as shown in Ephesians 5:25-27: "Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it [NOT DEFILE IT WITH FACE-PAINTING LIKE A HARLOT] ... That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
For example, this Bride is spoken of in verse 2 thus: "Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing." It is referring to natural, and perfectly formed, and even teeth, NOT to artificial or altered teeth. It was custom in the days this was written for the pagan nations of the Middle East to file off and sharpen their teeth in an effort to beautify them. But this Bride is pictured as natural, not artificial.
Her lips were naturally "like a thread of scarlet" -- not painted!
IF these scriptures in Song of Solomon did mean what this woman erroneously assumed, then it would be in direct contradiction to the other scriptures I have already given.
Holding a Job
Another objection voiced by two or three women was expressed in the same letter, as follows:
"I was very much upset by the teaching against makeup, since this puts me in rather an embarrassing position. I am holding a position ... that places me constantly before the public ... It is as necessary that I keep smart in appearance as it is that I think smart."
Some women are afraid of losing their jobs!
Yes, let's THINK SMART!
Sure, God gives us TESTS of FAITH! Perhaps some of you women are going to have some TESTS OF FAITH! How about it -- can you TRUST God to make it possible to OBEY Him? That's part of the conditions to SALVATION!
GOD WILL NOT COMPROMISE ONE IOTA!
Rather than compromise with SIN, God sent His own SON to pay the full penalty for us!
Experience Proves It!
I happen to know the experiences of a few women who have ceased to use makeup on jobs meeting the public. One was a dentist's assistant. It was necessary that she look smart! She stopped wearing all makeup. The dentist did speak to her about it. She explained to him why she had removed it. He didn't know how to answer, so he asked his wife what to do.
"Tell her to keep her makeup at the office, and put it on after arrival mornings, and wash it off before leaving in the evening," said the wife. "Her church people won't see it on her that way."
"I can't do that," said this women firmly. " GOD would certainly see the makeup on my face, and since I know it is wrong, and displeasing to God, I shall not wear it."
Her employer was silenced by that. He never said any more about it.
Another wrote me that she was a ready-to-wear saleslady. She, too, had to "look smart." She, too, had to meet the public. She wore no lipstick -- used no makeup of any kind. Her boss did not fire her -- because her sales continued to be the highest in the department, though all the other salesladies wore plenty of makeup.
I say to you women: "GOD sees you! Banish both fear and makeup, and TRUST GOD!"
The SPIRIT of the Law
Now let's understand WHY the scriptures expounded in this booklet brand the use of lipstick or other makeup as a SIN.
Sin is the transgression of the spiritual LAW. How can that law, summed up in the Ten Commandments, cover every possible act that is sin? The Law does not say, "Thou shalt not smoke." The Ten Commandments do not say, "Thou shalt not be a drunkard." They do not say, "It is a SIN for a man to become effeminate."
But YOUR BIBLE does say: "Be not deceived: neither ... effeminate, nor ... drunkards ... shall inherit the kingdom of God" (I Cor. 6:9-10). These things do not violate the letter, but the SPIRIT of the Law.
Paul speaks of God, "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the SPIRIT giveth life" (II Cor. 3:6).
What is the SPIRIT of the Law? What is the SPIRIT OF GOD? It is, first of all, LOVE! Love is the fulfilling of the Law. All the law is fulfilled by one word -- LOVE!
Love is selflessness. Love is giving, and sharing. Love is toward God and neighbor --AWAY from self. That is, its underlying principle of RIGHTEOUSNESS.
What, then, is the underlying PRINCIPLE of SIN? It is the opposite of true love.
Sin is VANITY, first of all. The very root and core of human nature is vanity! Vanity is self! Vanity expresses itself in many ways, and in different ways in different people.
Vanity expresses itself in lust, in greed, in resentment, and in hatred.
I used to wonder if Solomon really was the wisest man who ever lived, after all, when he said: "Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; ALL is vanity" (Eccl. 1:2). But when I came to understand the nature of vanity, and the many ways in which it expresses itself, I realized that Solomon was right, and those words were inspired by GOD!
Yes, "ALL Is Vanity"
Vanity is a sort of unrealized, undefined craving for the ADORATION of other people -- an adoration that belongs to GOD. Vanity springs from an inherent feeling of inferiority, perhaps unrealized, and asserts itself in a natural effort to rise above that unpleasant inferior feeling by elevating the self above others, or by at least desiring to be "well thought of" by others.
This instinctive reaching out for adoration violates the first commandment, by making the self another god before -- that is, prior to -- higher than -- the true GOD.
People do not, of course, stop to analyze this feeling and tendency in their natures. Yet, VANITY is in our natures. VANITY is one of those things the Christian must CRUSH -- must keep seceded. If any man or woman says, "I am not vain. I have no vanity," that person just doesn't know himself or the nature that was born in him.
It is VANITY that makes people want to BELONG -- to be ACCEPTED by a clique, group, or club. It is the basis of "party spirit," and of competition. One of the fruits of the FLESH (violations of God's Law), as translated by Moffatt, is party spirit. This is the ingredient in human nature -- the SINFUL ingredient -- that makes people want to be like the people of the world around them -- to be CONFORMED to this world.
God commands, "Be NOT conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind" to the will of GOD! (Rom. 12:2).
VANITY in the male, if the man has ambition, expresses itself often in the desire to appear important to other men. I knew a multimillionaire who always managed to get the best of a bargainer else he didn't do business. At first I thought the dominating motivation of his life was GREED. But I learned that it was just plain vanity! This man worked and schemed to amass millions to impress others -- to exalt himself above others -- to put himself in place of GOD. Actually he was sick with inferiority. He devoted a lifetime to money-making, injuring others, in a vain effort to escape his inner sense of inferiority -- an effort to "kid himself" out of it. Poor man! He was most unhappy!
Vanity in women may express itself in many ways, but the most common is the innate desire to be pretty. One woman, who probably would deny that her use of makeup is an expression of this very vanity, said that she would rather be pretty than to have "brains and intelligence."
Why Women Use Makeup
The very principle of SIN -- the SPIRIT of sin -- then, is VANITY and its manifestations are self-desire, haughtiness, party spirit, wanting to be like the people of the world around us, wanting to conform to the world and its customs, the desire to be admired, the desire to attract the opposite sex, the desire to make others jealous, the fear of being thought inferior or out of date or a nonconformist, and, of course, greed, lust, selfishness, envy, jealousy, and the thousand-and-one ways in which this SELF-nature expresses itself.
Now what is SIN? The expression of the innate, natural SELF, in any or several of these many ways IS SIN! The violation of the letter of any of the Ten Commandments is merely the expression of this natural SELF in one or more of these many ways.
LOVE is the principle of obedience to the LAW. These manifold expressions of VANITY, or SELF, constitute the SPIRIT of transgression, or SIN.
Remember, a THING is not sin. Lipstick, of itself, is not sin. Money is not, of itself, evil -- but the love of it (which is actually LUST) is a root of all evil! The use of lipstick in expressing vanity or conformity to the world IS SIN!
Most women, when asked WHY they use lipstick, will, of course, not confess: "I use it as an expression of vanity," or "I use it to express an urge to be like the world."
No, most women will say: "I wear it to look nice" -- or "to avoid offense." They SAY it in words that sound harmless. But GOD KNOWS YOUR HEARTS better than you do -- and HE knows that the heart of women, as well as men, is "Deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." And He asks: "Who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9.) Yes, the inner intents of the heart often deceive its owner. TO WHOM does this woman wish to "look nice"? -- to GOD? NO, for to GOD she looks like a painted artificial PROSTITUTE!
TO WHOM do you wish to "look nice"?
"Well," the average woman might reply, "to other people."
Yes, but to what other people? To the people of GOD? NO, because they are obedient to God -- they have stopped using it -- they have the mind of Christ and see you as HE does!
You see, when we pin it down, the woman who wears it "to look nice" is trying to look nice to THE WORLD! She is trying to conform to this world -- to be LIKE the world -- and God brands this as a SIN!--(Rom. 12:2.)
Women do NOT have to be like the world in ways that transgress the spirit of God's Law! They do NOT have to wear lipstick or other makeup.
Worldliness is conforming to the world in ways that transgress the letter or the spirit of God's Law. Wearing makeup is worldliness -- and THE BIBLE brands worldliness as SIN!
Yes, it is either VANITY, or it is conforming to the world! It is SIN!
And God's people must put away their sins.
CHRIST had to shed HIS precious BLOOD -- give HIS wonderful, perfect LIFE -- because many of you women have been guilty of committing this SIN! That's the price HE paid to CLEANSE YOU of this habit!
There is so much more that could be said on this subject that I could go on and on and fill 100 pages! But I think this is enough! Every woman who wants that deceitfulness and wickedness removed from her heart is going to remove that physical colored dirt from her face once and for all!
Those yielded to the CHRIST who paid such a PRICE for this very cleansing will need no more. Those not so yielded would not repent and let the precious blood of Christ cleanse them, and their faces, though I write ten thousand pages! God lays down the LAW. God tells us WHAT IS SIN, and He tells us that this vain use of facial makeup is SIN!
But God leaves it to YOU to decide whether to sin! And never forget the PENALTY for this sin is DEATH for eternity in a Lake of FIRE! It is truly, an AWFUL -- a FRIGHTFUL FATE. YOU are WARNED! You are a free moral agent. That decision is now YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!
What are you going to do with it?