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Legalism includes the erecting of specific requirements of conduct beyond the teaching of Scripture and making adherence to them the means by which a person is qualified for full participation in the local family of God, the church. This is where unbiblical exclusivism arises and this is rampant within the Message.
In fact, William Branham admits that he has no Biblical support for his prohibition on makeup.
What does the Bible say about makeup?
There are many examples of jewelry being acceptable in the Old Testament. For example, Rebekah was given gold and silver jewelry by Abraham's servant:
- When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels.
- As soon as he had seen the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister’s arms, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man said to her, he went out to the man and found him standing by the camels near the spring.
- “I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ “She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milkah bore to him.’ “Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms, and I bowed down and worshiped the LORD.</ref>The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ge 24:47–48.</ref>
- Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother. 54 Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night there.
The women of Israel wore jewelry which they gave as an offering to God:
- So we have brought as an offering to the LORD the gold articles each of us acquired—armlets, bracelets, signet rings, earrings and necklaces—to make atonement for ourselves before the LORD.”
Solomon described his love as wearing jewelry:
- Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels. We will make you earrings of gold, studded with silver.
Jehovah is even described as giving jewelry to his bride, Israel:
- ‘I bathed you with water and washed the blood from you and put ointments on you. I clothed you with an embroidered dress and put sandals of fine leather on you. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with costly garments. I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms and a necklace around your neck, and I put a ring on your nose, earrings on your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. So you were adorned with gold and silver; your clothes were of fine linen and costly fabric and embroidered cloth. Your food was honey, olive oil and the finest flour. You became very beautiful and rose to be a queen. And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign LORD.
While makeup is only mentioned a few times in the Old Testament, it is not condemned:
- 2 Kings 9:30
- Then Jehu went to Jezreel. When Jezebel heard about it, she put on eye makeup, arranged her hair and looked out of a window.
- Jeremiah 4:30
- What are you doing, you devastated one? Why dress yourself in scarlet and put on jewels of gold? Why highlight your eyes with makeup? You adorn yourself in vain. Your lovers despise you; they want to kill you.
- Ezekiel 23:40
- “They even sent messengers for men who came from far away, and when they arrived you bathed yourself for them, applied eye makeup and put on your jewelry.
The New Testament
The New Testament says nothing against wearing makeup. However, women are encouraged to dress with modesty:
- I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.
It would appear that the women were dressing immodestly to the point that it was causing disruption; they were becoming preoccupied with the externals of beauty (the clothing being condemned is opulent, the jewelry excessive) and neglecting things that were truly important such as doing good deeds. Therefore, Paul says that they are to dress in a way that is in keeping with their Christian character and to concentrate on what is most important. While their dress is an issue, their attitude is Paul’s true concern.
Peter says something similar to Paul:
- Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.
The Greek text literally says, ‘Let not your adorning be the outward adorning of braiding of hair and wearing of gold or putting on of clothing.’ It is incorrect, therefore, to use this text to prohibit women from braiding their hair or wearing gold jewellery, for by the same reasoning one would have to prohibit ‘putting on of clothing’. Peter’s point is not that any of these are forbidden, but that they should not be a woman’s ‘adorning’, her source of beauty.
It is acknowledged, but not condemned, that a man might come into church with a gold ring and that should not result in favoritism:
- Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in.
The Bible encourages modesty in dress. Both men and women are to be careful not to dress in a way that flaunts their sexuality or is unnecessarily ostentatious and seductive. But we have no right to condemn others for their wearing of colorful clothing or the use of makeup or a particular hairstyle.
The question must be asked: Where does the New Testament say that wearing makeup and jewelry is sinful? Where does the New Testament teach us to measure sanctification by whether a woman wears slacks or by whether someone goes to the movies?
The answer is nowhere. These rules do not come from the Bible but are part of the “doctrine of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1–5), which Paul summarizes under the slogan, “Do not handle it! Do not taste it! Do not touch it!” (Colossians 2:21).
People like keeping rules like these because it is a whole lot easier than dealing with envy, bitterness, hatred, lust, and other real sins. Moreover, the human heart is very happy to come up with its own rules, but resists submitting to the law of Christ - love one another. We can persuade ourselves that we are holier than others if we don’t smoke or drink. But God is concerned with real holiness, not the superficial pseudo-holiness of the doctrine of demons.
Quotes of William Branham
William Branham taught that wearing makeup was ungodly, to the extent that he said it was perfectly acceptable to approach a woman wearing makeup and tell her, “Hello, Miss Dog Meat!” But he also admitted that he had no scripture to base his doctrine on!
Makeup is ungodly
You've took these precious sheep of God, these ladies, that caused them to bob off their hair, and wear makeup, and look like things that the Bible condemns.
Don't bob off your hair; don't wear makeup; don't do this; get it rugged. You'll appreciate me when I come to--to the end of the road. See?
But he admitted he just made that up
...Well, there's nothing in the Bible to say for you not to wear makeup. We just know it's wrong, 'cause it's of the world.
But when you pull out your real good teeth, because they're just not as bright as they should be, then you done wrong. If you've got red hair, and you want black, and you go down here and color it black, just because; you done wrong. Yeah, I think so. But the main thing… There's no Scripture for that.
186 And now, but cutting the hair, I—I—I—I’ll tell you this. I can’t—I—I ain’t got no—no Scripture to say that you can cut so much of it and can’t do the other. I—I haven’t got no Scripture for that, I—I couldn’t tell you that, sister, or brother, ever who it is.
Miss Dog Meat
Listen, ladies, there was only one woman in the Bible that ever painted herself to meet a man, and that was Jezebel; and God fed her to the dogs. So when you see them wear that, say, “How do you do, Miss Dog Meat?” That’s exactly what it was: God fed her to the dogs. You don’t want to be like her.
Some fellow, the other day, I was talking about some lady; I was quoting a story about some lady up playing the piano. And now you can… Now, this is your own business. That’s up to you. See? But the lady, she had on so much make-up, that woman had enough paint on to paint a barn almost. And there, he said, this man said, “Brother Branham, this is my wife.” Said, “She’s a saint.” I said, “Brother, I don’t want to hurt your feelings; she looks like a haint. She don’t look no saint to me.” That’s what… You know what a haint is? Down in the south, that’s “a spook.” All right. Let me tell you. Listen. The only woman in the Bible that ever painted her face to meet a man, was Jezebel, and God fed her to the dogs. So if you see any of these people that’s supposed to be so good, and got the Holy Ghost. You can say, “How do you do, Miss Dog Meat.” That’s what God calls her, is dog meat, for him. You see? All right.
You see a woman with a lot of paint on her face, you know what you can call her? Say, “Hello, Miss Dog Meat!” That’s what she is, like dog meat. Oh, my! Listen, brother, I just turned back from Africa. That stuff come from the strain of heathenism. The heathens paint themselves.
So if you see a woman all painted up. You just say, “Howdy do, Miss Dog-meat.” That’s what God made out of her, just an old dog-meat. So don’t you pay any attention to that; that’s of the devil; right. Where she ought to be: clean up and act like…Like Jacob said to his wife and daughter: “Make yourself like what you ought to be.” Amen.
It used to be wrong for you to wear that manicure, ever, how that’s the wrong name for it, but that stuff you put on your face, paint. There was only one woman in the Bible ever painted her face, and God fed her to the dogs. That’s right. So when you see a lady wearing that, you can say, “How do you do, Miss Dog meat.” That’s exactly what she is in the Presence of God. Now, that’s the truth. It’s wrong. There’s your example in the Bible.
Let me tell you something, ladies; I’m not making fun of you. This is no place for that; this is the place for judgment goes forth. And judgment has to go right. And judgment’s by the Word of God. Looky. There was only one woman in the entire Bible that ever painted her face (That’s right.), one woman. And she never painted her face to meet God. She painted her face to meet a man to try to vamp him (That’s right.), Jehu. Jezebel, you know what God did for her? He fed her to the dogs. That’s right. So you see a woman wearing makeup, you say that’s “Miss dog meat.” That’s exactly what it is ’fore God. He fed her to the dogs. So that’s all she stood for were dogs. He fed her to the dogs. How many knows that’s the truth, say “Amen.” That’s exactly right.
Listen. There was only one woman in the Bible ever painted her face, and that was Jezebel. God fed her to the dogs for doing it. Now, when you see a woman with a lot of paint on, say, “How do, Miss Dog-meat?” That’s exactly what it was in the Bible. God fed her to the dogs, so He just made dog-meat out of it. It’s exactly right. What we need is a Pentecostal stirring revival to clean all the way from the pulpit to the floor of the church, clean up. We need Christ, brother, sister; we do.
So you know, there is only one woman in the Bible that ever painted her face. And she never painted her face to meet God. She painted her face to meet man. That’s right. You know what God did for her? Fed her to the dogs. So when you see a woman wearing paint, you just say, “Good morning, Miss Dog-Meat.” That’s exactly what it is. That’s awful, isn’t it? But that’s what God thinks about it. She is just made common dog meat for wild dogs. That’s about what she is. Some of these wild wolves that goes around, whistling, you know; what they call wolfing, you know. That’s what it is, just dog meat again.
- The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ge 24:22.
- The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ge 24:30.
- The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ge 24:53–54.
- The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Nu 31:50.
- The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), So 1:10–11.
- The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Eze 16:9–14.
- The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 2 Ki 9:30–31.
- The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Je 4:30.
- The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ezekiel 23:40
- The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 1 Ti 2:9–10.
- William D. Mounce, Pastoral Epistles, vol. 46, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 2000), 109.
- The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 1 Pe 3:2–3.
- Wayne A. Grudem, 1 Peter: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 17, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1988), 148.
- The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Jas 2:1–2.
- Sam Storms, Tough Topics: Biblical Answers to 25 Challenging Questions (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013), 312.
- Tabletalk Magazine, September 1992: Statism: One Nation over God (Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries, 1992), 20.
- THE.MARRIAGE.OF.THE.LAMB_ PHOENIX.AZ SUNDAY_ 62-0121E
- WISDOM.VERSUS.FAITH_ JEFF.IN V-3 N-17 SUNDAY_ 62-0401
- 62-0123 FORSAKING.ALL_ TEMPE.AZ
- 62-1104M - "Blasphemous Names"
- William Branham, 64-0830M - Questions And Answers #3, para. 186
- William Branham, 50-0827A - Prodigal, para. 13
- William Branham, 52-0810A - I Am The Resurrection And The Life, para. 42
- William Branham, 52-0900 - God's Way That's Been Made For Us, para. 75
- William Branham, 55-0611 - What Is That In Thy Hand?, para. 162
- William Branham, 56-0611 - Hear Ye Him, para. 22
- William Branham, 60-0610 - The Rejected King, para. 68
- William Branham, 61-0210 - Abraham's Covenant Confirmed, para. 144
- William Branham, 63-0628M - O Lord, Just Once More, para. 15