Bible Study Guides – The Ribbon of Blue

March 17, 2013 – March 23, 2013

Key Text

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness.” Isaiah 61:10.

Study Help: Counsels on Health, 91–93; Selected Messages, Book 2, 465–472; Testimonies, vol. 4, 628–648.


“The amount of physical suffering created by unnatural and unhealthful dress cannot be estimated. Many have become lifelong invalids through their compliance with the demands of fashion. Displacements and deformities, cancers and other terrible diseases, are among the evils resulting from fashionable dress.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 634, 635.

“It was the adversary of all good who instigated the invention of the ever-changing fashions. He desires nothing so much as to bring grief and dishonor to God by working the misery and ruin of human beings. One of the means by which he most effectually accomplishes this is the devices of fashion that weaken the body, as well as enfeeble the mind and belittle the soul.” Counsels on Health, 91.

“ ‘We are,’ said the inspired apostle, ‘made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men’ (I Corinthians 4:9). All heaven is marking the daily influence which the professed followers of Christ exert upon the world. My sisters, your dress is telling either in favor of Christ and the sacred truth or in favor of the world. Which is it? Remember we must all answer to God for the influence we exert.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 641.

“The dress and its arrangement upon the person is generally found to be the index of the man or the woman.

“We judge of a person’s character by the style of dress worn. A modest, godly woman will dress modestly. A refined taste, a cultivated mind, will be revealed in the choice of a simple, appropriate attire.” Child Guidance, 413.


  • In ancient Israel, what did God prescribe so that they would be identified as His chosen people? Numbers 15:38–41.

Note: “The children of Israel, after they were brought out of Egypt, were commanded to have a simple ribbon of blue in the border of their garments, to distinguish them from the nations around them, and to signify that they were God’s peculiar people. The people of God are not now required to have a special mark placed upon their garments. But in the New Testament we are often referred to ancient Israel for examples. If God gave such definite directions to His ancient people in regard to their dress, will not the dress of His people in this age come under His notice? Should there not be in their dress a distinction from that of the world? Should not the people of God, who are His peculiar treasure, seek even in their dress to glorify God? And should they not be examples in point of dress, and by their simple style rebuke the pride, vanity, and extravagance of worldly, pleasure–loving professors? God requires this of His people. Pride is rebuked in His Word.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, 1114.

  • How do the following scriptures show that appearance demonstrates our allegiance to someone? I Timothy 2:9, 10; Revelation 17:4; Zephaniah 1:8; Matthew 22:11.

Note: “The outside appearance is frequently an index to the mind, and we should be careful what signs we hang out for the world to judge of our faith.” Messages to Young People, 346, 347.

“A plain, direct testimony is now needed, as given in the Word of God, in regard to the plainness of dress. This should be our burden.” Selected Messages, Book 3, 253.

  • What kind of raiment does Christ offer us and why? Revelation 3:18. What do many professed Christians say through their attitude? Isaiah 4:1.


  • Does our dress have anything to do with our health?

Note: “Another serious evil is the wearing of skirts so that their weight must be sustained by the hips. This heavy weight, pressing upon the internal organs, drags them downward and causes weakness of the stomach and a feeling of lassitude, inclining the wearer to stoop, which further cramps the lungs, making correct breathing more difficult. …

“It is essential to health that the chest have room to expand to its fullest extent in order that the lungs may be enabled to take full inspiration. When the lungs are restricted, the quantity of oxygen received into them is lessened. The blood is not properly vitalized, and the waste, poisonous matter which should be thrown off through the lungs, is retained.” Counsels on Health, 91, 92.

  • What is rarely practiced by women and men? I Timothy 2:9, 10.

Note: “Perfect health depends upon perfect circulation. Special attention should be given to the extremities, that they may be as thoroughly clothed as the chest and region over the heart.” My Life Today, 145.

“Satan invented the fashions which leave the limbs exposed, chilling back the life current from its original course.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 532.

  • What other counsels are necessary to guard the well-being of children and adults?

Note: “Another great cause of mortality among infants and youth, is the custom of leaving their arms and shoulders naked. This fashion cannot be too severely censured. It has cost the lives of thousands. The air, bathing the arms and limbs and circulating about the armpits, chills these sensitive portions of the body so near the vitals, hinders the healthy circulation of the blood, and induces disease, especially of the lungs and brain.” Healthful Living, 148.


  • Besides our physical well-being, what else does our clothing directly affect? Matthew 5:27, 28.

Note: “This [seventh] commandment forbids not only acts of impurity, but sensual thoughts and desires, or any practice that tends to excite them.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 308.

“When once the barriers of female modesty are removed, the basest licentiousness does not appear exceeding sinful. Alas, what terrible results of woman’s influence for evil may be witnessed in the world today!” The Adventist Home, 58, 59.

  • If we dress in a way contrary to what God has said, how does He look at our offense? Deuteronomy 22:5.

Note: “There is an increasing tendency to have women in their dress and appearance as near like the other sex as possible and to fashion their dress very much like that of men, but God pronounces it abomination. …

“God designed that there should be a plain distinction between the dress of men and women, and has considered the matter of sufficient importance to give explicit directions in regard to it; for the same dress worn by both sexes would cause confusion and great increase of crime.” Child Guidance, 427.

  • What prophecy warns us of the spiritual consequences of fostering glamour and bodily display? Isaiah 3:16–24.

Note: “The prophecy of Isaiah 3 was presented before me as applying to these last days, and the reproofs are given to the daughters of Zion who have thought only of appearance and display. Read verse 25: ‘Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.’ I was shown that this scripture will be strictly fulfilled.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 270.

  • What is the remedy for this condition? Ezekiel 36:26, 27.

Note: “Cleanse the fountain, and the streams will be pure. If the heart is right, your words, your dress, your acts, will all be right.” Testimonies, vol. 1, 158.


  • What aspect of apparel which has a significant effect upon our physical well-being is often overlooked? Luke 15:22. What kind of weather demands special care? Psalm 147:16, 17.

Note: “The feet should be protected from cold and dampness by warm stockings, and by easy-fitting, thick-soled shoes.” Life and Health, May 1, 1905.

“Our limbs and feet are suitably protected from cold and damp, to secure the circulation of the blood to them, with all its blessings. We can take exercise in the open air, in the dews of morning or evening, or after the falling storm of snow or rain, without fears of taking cold. Morning exercise, in walking in the free, invigorating air of heaven, or cultivating flowers, small fruits, and vegetables, is necessary to a healthful circulation of the blood. It is the surest safeguard against colds, coughs, congestions of the brain and lungs, inflammation of the liver, the kidneys, and the lungs, and a hundred other diseases.” The Health Reformer, May 1, 1872.

  • What are some of the heathen ways that are very hateful to the Lord? Exodus 32:25; II Kings 9:30; I John 2:15. What lesson should we learn from the angels standing before God? Isaiah 6:2, 3.

Note: “Fashion is deteriorating the intellect and eating out the spirituality of our people. Obedience to fashion is pervading our Seventh-day Adventist churches and is doing more than any other power to separate our people from God. I have been shown that our church rules are very deficient. All exhibitions of pride in dress, which is forbidden in the word of God, should be sufficient reason for church discipline. If there is a continuance, in face of warnings and appeals and entreaties, to still follow the perverse will, it may be regarded as proof that the heart is in no way assimilated to Christ. Self, and only self, is the object of adoration, and one such professed Christian will lead many away from God.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 647, 648.

  • Historically designed for the business of harlotry, high-heeled shoes create an exaggerated curvature of the spine, in turn bringing attention to certain parts of the body. Whose eyes do they attract, tempt, and provoke? II Peter 2:12–14.


  • What should we do while testing an item of clothing to see whether it is according to God’s Word? Psalm 139:23, 24.

Note: “Our words, our actions, and our dress are daily, living preachers, gathering with Christ or scattering abroad. This is no trivial matter to be passed off with a jest. The subject of dress demands serious reflection and much prayer. Many unbelievers have felt that they were not doing right in permitting themselves to be slaves of fashion; but when they see some who make a high profession of godliness dressing as worldlings dress, enjoying frivolous society, they decide that there can be no wrong in such a course.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 641.

  • What should we do if we are not sure about specific articles? James 1:5; Philippians 3:15, 16.
  • What should we remember about the character of our God? Exodus 20:5; Malachi 3:6.
  • If we would really clothe ourselves in Christ’s righteousness, what would be noticed by others? Acts 4:13.

Note: “Our clothing should be plain and simple, so that when we visit the poor, they will not be embarrassed by the contrast between our appearance and their own.” Gospel Workers, 189.

“I saw that the words, the dress, and actions should tell for God. Then a holy influence will be shed upon all, and all will take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus. Unbelievers will see that the truth we profess has a holy influence, and that faith in Christ’s coming affects the character of the man or woman. If any wish to have their influence tell in favor of the truth, let them live it out, and thus imitate the humble Pattern.” Messages to Young People, 128.


1 Of whom are my garments speaking? Is my appearance modest, pointing to Jesus or exalting self?

2 Am I dressing healthfully? Am I warm, covered, comfortable?

3 Am I wearing anything which could cause someone to stumble?

4 What about my footwear, hairstyles, face? Am I in line with God’s ways?

5 Am I willing to ask Christ to go into my closet and show me anything that is not reflecting His righteous character?

Be in Health

“In all respects the dress should be healthful. ‘Above all things,’ God desires us to ‘be in health’ (III John 1:2)—health of body and of soul. And we are to be workers together with Him for the health of both soul and body. Both are promoted by healthful dress.” Child Guidance, 398.

Perfect Circulation

“It is impossible to have health when the extremities are habitually cold; for if there is too little blood in them there will be too much in other portions of the body. Perfect health requires a perfect circulation; but this cannot be had while three or four times as much clothing is worn upon the body, where the vital organs are situated, as upon the feet and limbs.” Ibid.