Isa. 8:16 -- "Bind up the testimony, seal the law among My disciples."
A "disciple" is one who follows Christ on and on in Divinely-revealed Truth which he accepts not because others do, or do not, but because the Father which is in Heaven has through His Spirit personally convinced him of it (Matt. 16:17) -- because independent of what others do or say he is personally persuaded by the Spirit. And the "testimony" is His living Word passed on by His chosen and Spirit-filled messengers -- "the Spirit of Prophecy" at work (Rev. 19:10). Hence to bind up the testimony among His disciples is to confirm "the Spirit of Prophecy" among them and them only. And to seal the law
among them is to have the law authorized and fortified by Truth, to have them see the necessity of keeping it, and to have them calmly say--
Isa. 8:17 -- "And I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth His face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for Him."
Isa. 8:18 -- "Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in Mount Zion."
Soon it will be seen that those who take a firm stand on the side of Truth will be for signs and wonders.
Isa. 8:19 -- "And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?"
Here the world is shown to give greater attention to Spiritualism than to a "thus saith the Lord."
Isa. 8:20 -- "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them."
God's people will know that those who take a stand other than the one which Truth here sets forth, are so doing because the Spirit of Truth is not dwelling in their hearts. And let us remember that to make flesh your arm, to consult man when God should be consulted, is every bit as bad as to consult the spirits of Darkness.
"Therefore also now, saith the Lord, turn ye even to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth Him of the evil." Joel 2:12, 13.
Isa. 3:16 -- "Moreover the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet."
In this particular verse, therefore, God is especially addressing the daughters of the highest officials in the Denomination, the ministry, those that are at the head of the work. Accordingly, He is about to do something because the daughters of Zion are "haughty," proud. Their pride is made manifest in the fact that they walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes; they are unrestrained, licentious, vain. Then, too, while walking, they mince and tinkle with their feet, -- they do not walk naturally, they perform as it were, to attract public attention. As God sees them they are on the streets, not to get where they have started for, not to get their work done, but they are there to be seen. This is the way God sees the state of affairs that exists among the daughters of Zion. He sees them as ringleaders in licentiousness in the church.
Isa. 3:17 -- "Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts."
Because the daughters of Zion are on the one hand at the expense of the poor making fools of themselves, and on the other hand professing to represent Heaven, the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of their heads. No, they are not getting away either with the spoil of the poor, or with their own foolish, wicked, vain fiddle-faddle.
"The Lord will discover their secret parts" if they do not now repent. They are proudly misusing their heads and their necks, their wrists and their feet. They are proud to make a display of their wares. For this reason the Lord will put on display those parts which they do not wish to have exposed. He will make them naked. He will make a public example of them.
Isa. 3:18-23 -- "In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, the chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, the bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, the rings, and nose jewels, the changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, the glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails."
"In that day," the day in which these conditions prevail among God's professed people, He will take away their bravery, take away the boldness with which they make fools of themselves. He will remove the wicked ornaments of their feet, legs, and necks. These daughters of Zion, right at the head of the work, are challenging the Lord, and misleading His people at the expense of His Truth, of His vineyard, and of the sweat of the poor. But now He will turn the tables. He will challenge them.
What can round tires like the moon be? -- Well, they may be the high heels under their feet, the heels that make their necks long and their backs weak, but most likely, the round tires like the moon may be the fancy things which they put on their heads, and which they call hats probably only because they are put where the hat ought to be.
To so extremely follow the fashions of the world is perfectly proper for unbelievers, but it is certainly all wrong for those whose religious profession condemns their practice.
This catalogue of ornaments takes in everything imaginable, everything useless one may put on for display. Why not now, Brother, Sister, remove from your bodies the vanities that degrade your professed reputation, and that make God's message of no effect? Why not now dress neat, clean, decent, modest -- in harmony with your profession? Why wait until the Lord smites you with some curse from which you can never recover? Why not work out your welfare of life with God, the One Who is your only true Friend, your only Deliverer, the only One Who knows all your problems, the only One Who can blot out your sins?
Why not take the advice of the all-wise God? Why let hypocrisy bring you down to the level of the wicked, the indecent, and the disrespectful, -- hypocrisy that leads down to the valley of indecision, of uncertainty, of calamity, of disgrace? Why should you in the name of the Lord spin devilish webs for unwary feet to be entangled in? Why should you serve your Enemy while professing to be Christ's representative?
Do you suppose that we can convert the heathen to Christ's high and exalted way of living when we dress no better than they, especially when they know that our dress is not in harmony with our own profession? So far, it looks as though the heathen are heathenizing the church, rather than the church Christianizing them.
Had God wanted you to be different from what you already are, He could have made you different. Had He wanted you to be like a turkey bird, He would have as easily given you a nose jewel, ear rings, and a brooch. Had He wanted you to be like a peacock, He would have given you a peacock tail and a peacock crown. Had He wanted you to have a stretched-out neck, He would have given you a giraffe neck. Had He wanted you to tinkle as you go, He would have given you a rattler's tail. He could have made you any way He wanted to. But are you not glad that He has made you just what you are?
Not many years ago if one of the daughters of Zion should have appeared on the streets attired in the kind of dress they wear today she would have been rushed into jail. But if one of them in a dress of that day should appear on the streets of today, no one would bother her. What does that mean to you? Does it not mean that the dress of today is indecent? that the world's fashions are growing worse?
Are you (PRESENT TRUTH BELIEVERS), too, going to fall after the manner of the haughty daughters of Zion? Have you come into this world to gratify the eyes of the street idlers? or are you here to do the world good, and to please the Lord? Which one of you brethren wants to have your wife or your daughter on exhibition to please the wanton eyes that fill the streets?
Why is God to strip the daughters of Zion of their vanities? -- Let us hear Him answer: "...Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet."
The fashionable way of dressing makes them haughty, proud; makes them stretch forth their necks, and makes them tinkle with their feet; makes them do anything to attract attention -- yes, everything with which to make themselves appear indecent, hypocritical, and of questionable characters. Is it any wonder that there is so much wickedness in the church? One must as it were, carry a gun to protect his wife on the streets. How can it be otherwise when the women's way of dressing in itself invites trouble?
Moreover, if you sisters do not dress in harmony with the Lord's will, in harmony with His advanced Truth, even the world, if it knows anything of your profession, will not think much of you. They are looking for hypocrites anyway, and if you are not faithful to your religion, you will in their eyes appear to be the best of hypocrites.