If you’ve ever been in a legalistic church, such as UPCI/Pentecostal churches, you’ve no doubt heard two things about wearing Jewelry and Makeup: Jezebel, and 1 Timothy 2:9 which says, “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;”

That is to say, don’t make yourself ‘flashy’, wearing metal, gold, pearls, gaudy and rich decorations, etc. Ignore all those ostentatious hair dews, purses, and shoes though…those don’t apply. Right?

So in reality, the Bible never once condemns wearing makeup, or jewelry, and the two places in the New Testament that could be misconstrued, apply directly to women and wives.

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. – 1 Timothy 2:9-10, KJV

Likewise, ye wives…Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; – 1 Peter 3:1a, 3, KJV

Like the consumption of anything alcoholic, some have taken warnings about the potential dangers and turned it into a doctrine of abstinence. Now, if abstinence is your personal choice, and knowing your own weaknesses, the right choice, then God will bless it. Yet, to make your personal choice a doctrine of salvation, or a dogma of the body of Christ with no biblical standing is pharisaical.

And before you jump my bones about alcohol, read Deuteronomy 14 where the Jews purchased wine and strong drink by Moses’ command and drank it at the Temple as part of worshiping God in the Tithe of Feasts.

For instance, there are many places in the Bible where jewelry was considered to be a blessing, from God or man. In Genesis 24 we see a servant blessing Rebekah with earrings and bracelets and then worships God.

In Genesis 41, Pharoah arrays Joseph with jewelry’s, and God used Joseph to save His people.

David, the man after God’s own heart, in Psalms 25:12 compares earrings decorating the ear to an ear that receives wisdom.

Isaiah 61 exemplifies being robed in righteousness (to please God) the way a bride would adorn herself with fine jewels to look beautiful for the bridegroom.

The great story of the Prodigal son, which every church loves to use as an illustration of the restoral of a wayward soul, displays the father placing his ring on the hand of the returning son.

If the wearing of jewelry (or makeup) was a great sin before the eyes of God, why in the Old and New Testament was it such a normal thing, for God’s people and, expressed by God as part of human society and living?

The answer is that it is not a sin. And to the question of Why do some forbid it, it is because they either love controlling others, or they have misinterpreted Scripture. I know some people who truly and humbly believe it is just

What is a sin is your purpose or intent with what you do. Paul says in Romans 14:23b “for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”

In my Pentecostal background, they always tried to reason that the only purpose for wearing jewelry, and makeup is to fulfill your own pride. Using the infamous scripture 1 John 2:16 as their jury.

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. – 1 John 2:16, KJV

So, if the real sin is ‘looking good’, which is then tantamount to pride, then why do we take the time to make our hair perfect? Or to polish our shoes? Purchase expensive suits, purses, shoes, ties, cars, tires, rims, paint, decorations in the house, area rugs, mats, chandeliers, etc?

I know Pentecostal women who purchase all of their clothes at only designer stores, like Nordstroms, and Sacks 5th, etc. If they were living 1 Timothy 2, and 1 Peter 3 literally, they would not be wearing costly array. But legalists pick and choose Scriptures to fit their agenda, and drop the rest. At great peril.

Coming to that realization must then make us see that God illustrates pride to us in many ways, none of which is He condemning the things the carnal man abuses in his pride. God is condemning the pride and carnal abuse itself. He shows the good and bad of alcohol in the Word and then lets His children learn wisdom.

So Why do Legalists forbid these things?

The simple answer is it is a works based method of trying to cover up the man inside, with the pride of being aloof, holy, and self-righteous. They call it, Holiness.

Interesting that the people who attempt to be Holy by restricting the use of outward trappings put on their own garments of pride and find different ways to do the same thing.

I know men and women that will spend a lot of money to splash and flash with designer shoes, Armani suits, buy $1,000+ purses, and then stand aloof and say, ‘I’m Pentecostal, I won’t wear pride on my body, like rings and earrings, or get a lustful tan, or wear harlots makeup like Jezebel, etc’.

But the legalist forgot one thing.

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV

You can’t do anything and boast about it and incur God’s favor. Jesus said in Mark 7:7 that using the commandments of men as doctrine was vainful worship and he wouldn’t accept it. What makes us thing what trappings we put on our bodies, or remove will impact our salvation?

You can be prideful with your jewelry, and you can be prideful without your jewelry. Your heart condition is what God is after, not your skin.

God bless, and go forth knowing God is a discerner of the HEART!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by dividinghisword

I am the father of two, husband of one, and lover of Christ! I simply seek to spread the Word of God unadulterated, not filtered by denominational interpretation. I have a degree in Theology from Texas Bible College but more so I have His Word!

17 Comments

  1. Absolutely spot-on observations, my brother. Seriously. But as to the makeup on women, I once heard a preacher say it’s a sin for some women to come to church without it 😉

    Grace is amazing, isn’t it?

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    1. Now that’s funny! 🙂 Grace is an amazing thing that was hidden from me for so long, but I believe the Spirit leads us into all truths.

      God bless,

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  2. Curious… you’ve pointed out scripture that says jewelry is not an evil thing. I see that. But what about makeup? You lump it in with jewelry, but there is not one positive thing said about makeup in the bible. It is always used to be lustful like Jezebel. It is worn by harlots.. is there anything proving that makeup isn’t sinful?

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    1. Hi Tracey!

      I hope you are doing well and I appreciate you stopping by.

      The Bible actually makes several (15+) references to makeup/cosmetics and not all of them are in a negative light as we were taught to believe. Beauty was not the mark of a harlot, though a harlot wore makeup. Harlots also wore jewelry, and clothing, or little clothing. We cannot say that because a harlot did something, that anyone doing that thing is also a harlot or that it was condemned.

      Consider Esther 2:9, “Now the young lady pleased him and found favor with him. So he quickly provided her with her cosmetics and food, gave her seven choice maids from the king’s palace and transferred her and her maids to the best place in the harem.” (Note that a harem was normal in those palygomous times.)

      And Ezekiel 23:40 “”Furthermore, they have even sent for men who come from afar, to whom a messenger was sent; and lo, they came–for whom you bathed, painted your eyes and decorated yourselves with ornaments;”

      I do not believe cosmetics or makeup to be the mark of a harlot anymore than jewelry does. Her behavior, motivation, game, goal and lifestyle is that. The harlot is one who seeks to seduce another for sexual pleasure and more importantly, financial gain for that pleasure. There are millions of women who wear makeup and I would venture to say, their motivation is not to seduce another for sexual pleasure and financial gain.

      Jeremiah 17:10 “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. ”

      Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. ”

      1 Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. “

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      1. Hey there! Thanks for your response!

        Esther 2:9 in the kjv which I use doesn’t even come close to referring to makeup. Many years and translations later, “cosmetics” was slipped in there. I use other versions too, but I believe King James to be the best for final say.

        Ezekiel 23:40 is referring to harlots, not any woman of God if read in context. There are also commentaries I found on biblestudytools.com that support this.

        Also, 1 samuel 16:7 does say that God looks at the heart, the intent of the heart, etc.. but the other half which talks about man looking on the outside is just as important. So you can’t really use this scripture to support the heart only. We are set apart.. a peculiar people.. not just in actions and intents, but also in our appearance.

        Also, makeup absolutely was created in Egypt. And Egypt is a reference to sin in the bible. So, harlots, immodest, Egypt-derived makeup is definitely frowned upon I believe.

        I have this one picture of me with makeup on. This particular day I was attempting to wear it without feeling convicted and I took a selfie. Upon looking at that selfie I wanted to throw up. The feeling on the inside came out for sure. Did I mean to look seductive? Absolutely not. But that spirit sat on me and that picture freaks me out. Are all my pictures with makeup like that? No. But the inner feeling is the same as that selfie.

        And when it comes to makeup, I think about what the bible says about us. We are fearfully and wonderfully made.. we are created in His image. It’s like God created this masterpiece and we think we can improve upon it. That would make me sad. I picture one of my kids coming home from school with a picture they created for me and I say “wait a minute I can improve it” and take markers and “fix” it. That would break their hearts and so I’m sure it breaks God’s.

        I really didn’t learn this from some book or preaching, but with an amazing encounter with the Lord. He spoke to me. Is that just for me? I’m not so sure since it is a part of my testimony and we are to share out testimony to help others come to the fulness of truth..

        Anyway, that’s my take on makeup..

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      2. Tracey,

        For me, I’m not willing to make the assumptive leap that if something like cosmetics was used in the same sentence as ‘harlot’ that it must then be bad. Alcohol is spoken of in negative light, but it was also recommended to be consumed in both the Old Testament and New Testament. We see examples (Genesis) of Noah getting drunk and bad things happened because of it. Do we take that example that all alcohol consumption is therefore, wicked? That would be an assumptive leap.

        The good thing however, is that you exerted the exact teaching Paul expressed, in Romans 14, specifically verse 22, that your convictions should be between you and God. If you feel for yourself that cosmetics is not for you, then it is a thing between you and God. I cannot take the stance that any woman who wears makeup has the ‘harlot’ Spirit. That isn’t Biblical in my experience but I don’t have the same personal opinion as you do, or conviction.

        As to your point, is your conviction just for you? It absolutely is, not that you cannot share it, but you cannot hold other people accountable to a personal conviction. That would be setting a doctrine in place and over the Word of God. If God intended for his people to never wear make up, he would have said so, just as he did for other things.

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      3. I get it. I really do.. I am still struggling is all.. I was looking at pictures of apostolic women tonight. Right before I read this actually.. and as I see tight pencil skirts, elaborate sometimes crazy hairstyles, and “hooker heels”, I wonder how we can even call that modest even without makeup and jewelry. I was talking with my friend about jewelry and makeup and I do see that it is the heart behind it. And the jewelry is a no brainer bc it’s right in scripture that when the Lord speaks of His bride, He decks her out.. I like your analogy of the alcohol. Makes total sense. I dont know what I’m afraid of. Like if I dont wear skirts I’m not modest. Well Kari Jobe (who I love) was talking about her modesty (I think she is VERY modest even in pants) and she said it would NOT be modest for her to wear skirts bc on stage people would see up her skirt! That makes total sense and just smashes the “holiness” and modesty of skirts only. Anyway, I know I’m going on and on. You know, when I first entered the UPC, I believed everything that was preached and I clung to the doctrine. Now I find myself in this in between place. My husband wants to go to this nondenominational church permanently. We’ve been twice and it is just so weird to NOT hear all the loudness of tongues and the screaming preacher who expects a “breakthrough” every service.. I just pray that God will open my mind and my heart to just follow my husband’s lead.. anyway.. keep doing what you are doing. There are unfortunately alot of us out here needing help.. thanks.. I find it simply awesome that you are responding and helping me.. can’t thank you enough..

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      4. It is a journey Tracey, my prayers are for your peace and comfort in Christ Jesus.

        I think of the words of Paul in Galatians regarding these topics and have realized, all the fruitless rules and regulations are simply nothing more than bondage. We are to be Free in Christ. Not free to sin, but Free in Him and if Christ didn’t call these things Sin, then I’m not willing to either.

        Blessings to you,

        Gal_2:4  And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:

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  3. Yes, Amen!!!! Excellent article. I love that verse: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9

    That is our aim! Salvation through faith in Christ, not our own worthless works! What arrogance to think that we bring anything to the table of a holy God but our sinful little selves. As if not wearing certain things could put us in league with his Holiness. Some groups have redefined “holiness” an reduced it to foolishness! Restricting makeup, jewelry, and certain clothing serve no purpose other than to control others (mostly women), and certainly do NOT make us holy. You’re so right, it’s legalism plain and simple.

    Thanks for doing this blog. A resource like this would have been such a blessing to me several years ago when I left the UPC. God Bless you in what you are doing Ralph. Hopefully we can strip all this foolishness away and get things back to the beautiful simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

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  4. We cannot take just 1 Bible Verse and “run away with it.” We must read the ENTIRE meaning.
    They decked their Faces with Paint (Make-up), and put on Ornament (Jewelry) also. Does that not sound like Jezebel to you?

    Ezekiel 23:40-43 King James Version (KJV)

    40 And furthermore, that ye have sent for men to come from far, unto whom a messenger was sent; and, lo, they came: for whom thou didst wash thyself, paintedst thy eyes, and deckedst thyself with ornaments,

    41 And satest upon a stately bed, and a table prepared before it, whereupon thou hast set mine incense and mine oil.

    42 And a voice of a multitude being at ease was with her: and with the men of the common sort were brought Sabeans from the wilderness, which put bracelets upon their hands, and beautiful crowns upon their heads.

    43 Then said I unto her that was old in adulteries, Will they now commit whoredoms with her, and she with them?

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    1. Rose,

      Thank you for swinging by and most importantly for taking the time to comment. I don’t respond to all comments but this one is most worthy of a reply.

      First, and foremost, there is a great value to be captured from the narrative of Jezebel but I fear it has been twisted and misused by the Holiness movement, most notably the Oneness Pentecostal and prior Anabaptist communities in an attempt to pour a foundation on the house of cards for their standards.

      From the introduction of King Ahab (1 Kings 16) to the culmination in her death, being fed to the dogs and her absolute hatred for the things of the One True God, a lesson is learned. The failure was Ahabs, as Scripture says, he followed in the sins of Jeroboam (1 Kings 16:31) and married Jezebel who was of a foreign land and served a foreign God (Baal). Ahab turned to Baal worship and that was the thrust of the story.

      And, it is easy to take a verse or passage such as you have done in good faith, but to do the same thing you mentioned, which was to build a case without the entirety of Scripture. Reading the article published provides many passages of positive affirmation of jewelry and make-up. I would ask how you can justify claiming it was a “Jezebel” thing when God included so much of that in a positive light in Scripture. Taking the entirety of Scripture was the point of the article, and with all due respect Sister, it seems as if you are saying not to do just that, by building a case on a single passage.

      The story of Jezebel has absolutely nothing to do with the painting of the face, and/or the wearing of Jewelry as being the cause for her adulteress ways, and neither does it include a command, anywhere in Holy Writ, that to do such things were a disgrace. There is a grave danger in taking a descriptive narrative in history and making it a prescription (commandment) for the people of God. That is a fulfillment of the words of our Lord Jesus in Mark 7:7.

      With love,

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  5. […] fact, the inspiration to this writing is a comment I received on my article Why do some legalists forbid wearing Jewelry and Makeup?  that again used the ‘Jezebel’ reference. And I don’t mean to disparage the […]

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  6. […] Dividetheword – Why Do Some Legalist Churches Forbid the Wearing of Jewelry and Makeup? – “If you’ve ever been in a legalistic church, such as UPCI/Pentecostal churches, you’ve no doubt heard two things about wearing Jewelry and Makeup: Jezebel, and 1 Timothy 2:9 which says, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;” That is to say, don’t make yourself ‘flashy’, wearing metal, gold, pearls, gaudy and rich decorations, etc. Ignore all those ostentatious hair dews, purses, and shoes though…those don’t apply. Right? So in reality, the Bible never once condemns wearing makeup, or jewelry, and the two places in the New Testament that could be misconstrued, apply directly to women and wives.” […]

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  7. I think so many people interpret the Bible in different ways and makes Christianity more complicated. I think if we are searching for a true and pure Christian, we have to get into people’s hearts which is absolutely impossible . I have read 1Timothy2:9 and 1peter3:3-4; I understand that wearing jewelry, makeup,braided hair or costly attire is not actually the problem. Beautifying and purifying your inside(heart)is the main issue.
    You see,when you understand the word of God and Holy Spirit becomes your teacher,there’re certain things you will not like to do or a life style that you just don’t want to live. No one is suppose to tell you what not to do or what to do. You become a judge to yourself.The Holy Spirit helps you to be gentle always. If someone has to remind you all the time to live or behave like a Christian, then you still lack the Holy Spirit. Peter and Timothy said these because they were led by the holy spirit. God works with our hearts not our bodies or physical appearance. I use to wear many jewelries and desire to have more when I was still getting to Christianity. But now that I am fully inside,I just love to wear few on my body.I wear dresses that make me few good and happy no matter the cost.
    The purest and holiest person is that person whose faith is in God alone through Christ Jesus.

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    1. My reply I think got lost.. so I’m gonna redo it. Forgive me if there are two comments.

      I am also reading the Bible with the Holy Spirit and my own research. It’s so hard to take the UPC glasses off so sometimes I have to stop and pray for it to be read through th<e Holy Spirit, not man.

      I am so glad to be in a different place than I was in 2019. This website and conversations I’ve had help me so much. I’m not going to say that I don’t feel drawn back to the UPC. I have been drawn to return even recently. It is difficult for me sometimes because the UPC is a comfort zone. In there I know for a fact what is true when I’m in that place. Not knowing and walking differently than I’ve been taught is scary. I don’t understand why but I try to give myself grace. I know God gives me grace too.

      As for the original article, I see things so differently now. In the scripture about Jezebel it also says that she did her hair up nice as well. Is it wrong then to do so ourselves? It is cherry picking to pick 1/2 a scripture and not apply the rest. Can’t remember the place in the Word right now, but in the scriptures about how to adorn yourself, it also mentions not wearing red. Why isn’t that wrong as well? Again, taking 1/2 a scripture and ignoring the other 1/2. It’s a regular occurrence in the Apostolic church.

      There was this lady in my old church that was wearing a charm bracelet that was called out. She showed one of her charms was a watch which we can wear. Such hypocrisy and pushing the standards to the limit. Also, isn’t a broach a piece of jewelry? Alot of people wear those too.

      Now, if it is their conviction so be it. It’s not for us to push on people.

      I’m grateful for the progress in my heart and mind. GOD will lead you to the Truth. I ask Him every day to open my eyes so I can see..

      Anyway, peace to all of yall.. You’ll be in my prayers. Please put me in yours.

      BTW, they will know us by our FRUIT, not by our skirts. Lol

      Tracey

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  8. Hi. I came across this article because obviously I have the same concerns. I have been in the UPC church for most of my Christian journey and I thought it was OK. Never worn pants or anything like that since I have been saved. But lately, I found myself deeply questioning the rules that govern the organization, almost cultish. I was reading your interaction with Tracey and a lot of points struck a nerve for me. Like how “holiness” is defined in this group. I once had an encounter where after I was baptized, but not yet filled, I was wearing a pair of jeans and this church sister asked me if I was a Christian to which I answered yes. She flat out said NO because Christians don’t do this or that. I mean, I didn’t even get to develop my own convictions yet and this lady is bombarding me with that of the church.
    So this year, I decided to read and study the Bible for myself, with assistance from just the Holy Spirit and my own research. Reason being is that I wanted to get an unbiased understanding of the word. I’m afraid if I go to my Pastor of to Bible school, then I am just going to be taught to understand the word based on THEIR interpretations. Honestly, although I want to have my own Spirit-led convictions, I’m kinda scared of doing something that might sow discord. Know what I mean? Keep me in your prayers.

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    1. Thank you for commenting and blessings to your journey of discovery.

      It is sad to see sects proposing themselves to be Christians who would literally judge someone based on their physical appearance and dress. This is quite literally opposite to Scripture and the example of Christ, His Apostles and the testimony of Early Christian Writings.

      Blessings on this journey and my prayers are with you –

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