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Satan Hasn’t Given Up On Make-Up
Pastor General’s Report – July 1, 1983
Satan Hasn’t Given Up On Make-Up

by Herbert W. Armstrong

In November, 1981 – a year and a half ago – I wrote an article with the heading: “How Subtly Satan Used MAKE-UP to Start the Church Off the Track.” Ministers preached on it from pulpits over the world. Most women in the Church did “come out from among them” of the world, and cease painting colored dirt on their faces.

But not all. Some youths at summer camps have told us their mothers wear cosmetics during the week, when seen by the world, but take it off on Sabbaths when they attend Church services.

In this article I intend to make it PLAIN once for all!

Brethren, WHAT IS the Church? WHY is it? Do we not understand that we are the “Called-out Ones”? This world is NOT God’s world. It is SATAN’S world started by the first man, Adam. But the one true Church is the embryo of GOD’S world, started by the second Adam, Jesus Christ.

Jesus did not come to reform, change, or convert Satan’s world. He said “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him” (John 6:44). He said to those of us God has called, “Come out from among them [of the world], and be ye separate” (II Cor. 6:17).

This world started in SIN. Sin is the transgression of the law, and the law is God’s spiritual Law. It is summed up in the one word, “LOVE.” It is expanded into the great commandment, Love to GOD, and love to neighbor. That in turn was expanded into the Ten Commandments – the first four expressing the principle of love toward God, the last six the principle of love toward neighbor.

Jesus magnified the law – expanded it further, in principle. Under the Old Testament, a man had not committed adultery until the actual literal act. But in the New, Jesus said a man who even lusted after a woman had committed adultery in his heart!

In II Corinthians 3:6, it is written that we must obey the law according to the SPIRIT – that is, the principle or intent of the law – not according to the specific letter.

Today, I’m afraid, some look at SIN through Old Testament eyes. Unless there is a literal, specific, “Thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt NOT,” then they say, “Isn’t it OK?” If you look at it that way, you really mean that you want to do Satan’s way, and follow the world – that you only want to follow God’s way so far as you are compelled.

WHY does God’s true Church regard smoking tobacco as a SIN? No specific scripture says “Thou shalt not smoke.” When I was converted and baptized, and first received God’s Holy Spirit, I asked myself, “Is smoking wrong?” The Bible says nothing about it. But I knew the law of God is the PRINCIPLE of LOVE. I asked myself, “WHY do I smoke?” Does it express love to God? Definitely it is not “a sweet-smelling savour” in His nostrils. Did smoking express love toward neighbor? Perhaps someone might enjoy breathing it second handed, but many would find it objectionable and obnoxious. And I knew it was harmful to my health in my lungs, even though no one knew as yet it caused lung cancer. Therefore it violated God’s law of LOVE toward God and toward man. Therefore it is SIN! I stopped what little smoking I had been doing.

That same PRINCIPLE applies to make-up. WHY do women do it?

When I applied this principle of God’s law to myself in 1927 few women indeed smoked – except harlots. Today cosmetics and make-up apply to women rather than men – but the PRINCIPLE is the same.

Do women “change” (make up) their faces to please God? On the contrary God’s Word shows it is DISpleasing to Him! Does make-up show LOVE toward other people? Or do they paint it on to be like the world – to be one with the world? They do it because of VANITY, the root of all sin. They do it to AVOID appearing to have “come out of the world, and being separate.” They do it to avoid criticism by the world.

How did SIN start?

The cherub Lucifer was set by God on the throne of the earth. He is still there. He was perfect in his ways until iniquity was found in him (Ezek. 28:15). WHY did sin start in him? God said of him, “Thine heart was lifted up BECAUSE OF THY BEAUTY, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness” (verse 17). How many women professing to be God’s women in His Church are corrupting their wisdom by allowing vanity, the root of sin, to lead them into perverted REASONING to try to justify SIN?

How did SIN start among the human race? It was when the first woman strayed away from her husband’s subjection and listened to Satan that she “saw that the [forbidden] tree was… pleasant to the eyes” (Gen. 3:6), that she led her husband and all humanity into SIN! Did mother Eve put on makeup? I think she would have, if she had possessed a mirror. IF THERE WERE NO LOOKING GLASSES NO WOMEN WOULD PUT ON MAKE-UP!

GOD designed and formed mother Eve’s face, and I for one believe it was BEAUTIFUL without make-up – and so would be women’s faces today if they would quit trying to CHANGE the way God designed them!

This alone ought to be all any truly converted woman, led by the Holy Spirit, should need to show her she is SINNING when she changes her face with changed eyebrows and cosmetics. And you women who have been trying to deceive the Church by taking it off for Church services while you wear it weekdays before the world of Satan, are only adding to your sin!

The Church is not going to police you. But YOU ARE BEING JUDGED, N O W! The women of the world are not being judged as yet. Judgment has begun with the house of God, the Church. We in the Church are deciding OUR ETERNITY NOW. We are the FIRSTFRUITS. We are the embryo of the KINGDOM OF GOD! We are to be DIFFERENT from the world! It is GOD through Christ who is judging us right now, once for all eternity!

Before examining specific texts on the subject of make-up, let me summarize the PRINCIPLE involved – not only on make-up but on any or all subjects of what is right and what is wrong.

God’s law defines the WAY of human conduct – first of all, in relation to God, and secondly to human neighbor. LAW simply means the rules of conduct. The RULES of a basketball, baseball or football game might be called the LAWS of those games – the rules that regulate performance.

God’s LAW is stated in the one word, LOVE. The word LOVE is a PRINCIPLE, and in principle it is opposite to the word LUST. It is LOVE toward others. First of all, LOVE toward GOD, in love, worship, and obedience. Secondly it is love toward other humans. It cannot be vanity, because vanity is toward self and puts SELF before God. Love toward and worship of God in itself is the PRINCIPLE of humility, not self-glory or vanity or coveting. It is love toward neighbor in the spirit of outgoing CONCERN for neighbor’s welfare and good – of cooperation, serving, helping, sharing. It also may be love toward self in the sense or principle of concern for the physical and mental and spiritual welfare of the body and mind, which is the temple of God’s Holy Spirit.


As I write, and THINK on this subject, I am convinced that few understand – even in God’s true Church – the TRUTH on this SIN question.

A great deal of Protestantism has rubbed off on our people in God’s Church. Neither the Catholics nor Protestants teach God’s Commandments. Rather, they teach that the law was abolished. If there is no law, then there is no sin, “for where no law is, there is no transgression” (Rom. 4:15), and “sin is not imputed when there is no law” (Rom. 5:13) and “sin IS the transgression of the law” (I John 3:4). But the law of God is SPIRITUAL (Rom. 7:14).

God looks on the heart. But “the heart” as used in the Biblical sense, refers to the attitude, the intent or purpose. Sin results from a wrong attitude, intent, desire, which is an attitude of mind. Yet sin is also an act. It is the act of yielding to an attitude, desire or purpose contrary to LOVE toward God or toward humans. Vanity violates “love toward and worship of GOD.” It is desire or intent, or attitude of SELF glorification. SELF wants to glorify itself, not God. VANITY is the root of SIN.

Brethren, this month I shall enter the 92nd year of my life in this age. I have to realize that I am only a heartbeat away from the end of this life. For your sake, and the Work’s sake, I hope God will allow me continued heartbeats. But I have to look at the state of God’s Church realistically. I think I see these things more soberly than formerly – perhaps more soberly than many of you.

Ask yourselves, “Do I really hunger and thirst after God’s righteousness?” or after being like the world, whose god is Satan?

How many are like the woman who had been baptized only a few months and came to me, saying, “I’ve just inherited some money. Tell me, how much of it do I have to tithe to God? I don’t want to tithe any more than I have to, but I want to get into God’s Kingdom.”

Do YOU hunger and thirst after God’s righteousness, or after the ways of this world? Are you concerned with what GOD thinks of you, or what the world thinks – WHICH?

And, after all, a woman who is not a Church member said to me a few years ago, in England: “Mrs. Hunting is not pretty, Mr. Armstrong – SHE’S BEAUTIFUL!” Mrs. Hunting didn’t wear make-up. The one who spoke did! She saw the inward beauty of the HEART in Mrs. Hunting. Through Paul, God asks, “Do ye look on things after the outward appearance?” (II Cor. 10:7.) God shows that real beauty is inward, of the heart – that is a right and godly spirit or attitude of mind.

God warns us all: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves” (II Cor. 13:5).

The Specific Texts

A few years ago, liberals who no longer are in God’s Church attacked certain specific scriptures mentioned in our booklet on make-up, published in 1964. They attempted to show by their reasoning that these texts at least allowed the use of make-up.

The attitude was, “We want to be like the world and if there is no specific ‘Thou shalt not,’ isn’t it OK?”

Following is a brief comment on each of these passages.

Isaiah 3:16:

King James Version “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.”

Moffatt Translation “The Eternal also said: Since they are so haughty, the daughters of Sion, holding their heads high as they walk, and ogling with their eyes, walking with their mincing steps, their anklets jingling.

Revised Standard Version “The Lord said: Because the daughters of Zion are haughty and walk with outstretched necks, glancing wantonly with their eyes, mincing along as they go, tinkling with their feet.”

New International Version “The Lord says, ‘The women of Zion are haughty, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles.’”

Two different commentaries, Adam Clarke, and the Critical and Experimental Commentary, say the Hebrew original indicates “setting off the eyes with paint” as quoted from the latter. Some former liberal ministers, in an effort to allow cosmetics, disagreed with the commentaries. However, behavior does accompany use of make-up and eye make-up does draw attention to the eyes. And all translations show this passage to be using the eyes wantonly, oglingly, or flirting with the eyes. Wanton means unchaste, lewd, licentious, immoral (see dictionary). The passage in Isaiah definitely shows a modern use of the eyes in such a manner, not in the “meek and quiet spirit” of New Testament teaching. It shows the spirit, or attitude which transgresses the principle of God’s spiritual Law.

Therefore God’s Church must rule that, even as cigarette smoking is sin, so is use of cosmetics.

Women have written me about “good grooming.” The Church surely teaches good grooming, but that does not mean following the world’s life style. Good grooming does not require changing the appearance of the face from the way God designed it. It would include proper arranging of the hair, and clothing, but not painting faces.

Next passage, Ezekiel 23:40: “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.”

The liberals tried to say that bathing and certain ornaments of dress are all OK, therefore they claimed the painting was OK. True, whether a woman was going to receive even Jesus Christ in His lifetime, or, on the other hand a paramour, she would bathe and even possibly wear some jewelry, but she would not paint her face. In this passage God is speaking of ancient Israel as His adulterous wife, preparing for false licentious lovers. She is here pictured in the role of a harlot attracting men as a harlot. Even though a virtuous woman would bathe herself and wear jewelry, this is picturing a harlot woman luring a licentious lover.

Jeremiah 4:30: Again speaking of adulterous Israel: “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 thy face with painting,” etc. Nowhere does the Bible show face painting except on a harlot or evil woman, even though it does show gold and jewelry on virtuous women.

II Kings 9:30: “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.” Here, again, Jezebel was one of the evil women of the Bible, and she was acting in the spirit of a harlot to attract a man. Such scriptures certainly do NOT say virtuous women of God ought to follow harlots and paint their faces.

Job 42:14: Job named one of his daughters “Keren-happuch” (Revised Standard Translation). The King James has it the same. But liberals on the temporary “doctrinal committee” tried to translate that Hebrew word into the English “eye make-up.” They were in error.

The same Hebrew word “happuch” is used in Isaiah 54:11 in the sentence “I will build you with stones of turquoise…” (New International Version). A footnote on this Hebrew word says: “The meaning of the Hebrew for this word [turquoise] is uncertain.” Also the Hebrew word appears in I Chronicles 29:2: “turquoise, stones of various colors” – speaking of materials for building Solomon’s Temple. The Revised Standard Version has it (Isa. 54:11) “set your stones in antimony.” “Antimony, colored stones” in I Chronicles 29:2.

The King James has it, for Isaiah 54:11: “I will lay thy stones with fair colours,” and in I Chronicles 29:2, “glistering stones, and of divers colours.”

The Hebrew word used in Job cannot be translated “eye-paint,” as liberals tried to do to justify the use of make-up.

There is NO scripture which in any manner shows make-up or face-changing – whether by paint or plucking and changing eyebrows – to be approved or such example by a virtuous woman. Every reference is connected with evil women and with evil purpose.

After all, SIN is not the thing but the ATTITUDE and the USE of the thing in response to a wrong attitude.

SIN is violation of God’s spiritual LAW. And that violation always is an ATTITUDE and intention contrary to LOVE toward God and neighbor, and/or the acting upon such attitude or intention.

We live in a world swayed and influenced completely by Satan, the god of this world. The world has its “life styles.” They are basically contrary to God’s WAY of life – which is LOVE toward God and toward neighbor, and toward self only in the sense of preserving health of mind and body as the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Some women have mistakenly used the term “good grooming” to include and to justify painting colored dirt on the face and plucking eyebrows and painting in false ones. That is no part of “good grooming.”

Let me explain “good grooming” from GOD’S point of view. In my book “The Missing Dimension in Sex,” on page 30, is an example of God’s “good grooming.”

Notice the expression, “The ETERNAL God… clothed them.” The Hebrew word God inspired Moses to write here, for “clothed,” is labash. It does not mean to cover shamefulness – to hide nakedness – or any such meaning.

The Hebrew word meaning to conceal nakedness is kasah. But the word Moses was inspired to write, labash, means, rather, the donning of apparel, raiment. It refers rather to outer garments than underclothing. It implies the idea of adorning, or decorating, or displaying, rather than concealing or covering over, or hiding.

This adorning by God did not cover the face. Good grooming is a term that does not refer to face-changing, but to a clean face, modestly but well-arranged hair, and proper attire, or clothing. Webster’s Dictionary defines “groom” as “to make neat or attractive. An impeccably groomed woman.” This, of course, is from the world’s concept of grooming. However, “to make neat” might apply to hair or clothing, but not to the face. And God’s teaching on grooming is modesty and meekness, not worldly show or vanity.

The human face expresses human character and attitude. God intended it to be beautiful, but a beauty that comes from within, especially the eyes. God made the human face so designed that, if the inner attitude is godly, it will be beautiful. Of David, a man after God’s own heart, He says he was “of a fair countenance.” Of Abigail, “she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance.” There was no make-up. The Bible speaks of other virtuous women with beautiful faces, but no make-up. It speaks of harlots and evil women using make-up for evil and seductive motives.

God has called those in His Church OUT of the world, out of its life styles, into GOD’S WAYS to please HIM, not to please or be like the world.

Each must look down deeply into his or her heart – the inner attitude, desire and motive. Do we hunger and thirst for GOD’S righteousness, or to follow the world’s life styles?

IF we are in truth a member of God’s Church, we have come out from among those of the world, hungering and thirsting for GOD’S WAY OF LIFE.

God’s Church can come to no other decision than that changing the face God designed and gave and following the world in make-up is SIN, and will certainly lead to DEATH in the LAKE OF FIRE!

I am personally grateful to God that all but a very few of those we regard as members have “come out from among” the artificial ways of this world. I thank God for you!