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APPROACHING THE KING OF THE UNIVERSE

Introduction
   It happens daily. One is called to go to a funeral; another is invited to be present at a wedding. People around the world are attending functions and appointments they have to keep. One goes to a job interview, while another is called as a witness before the government’s court.
   Each situation is different, but there is a common thread. That thread is the clothes they wear; however, they are not common clothes, but rather uncommon. They dress with appropriate clothing, fitting for the occasion, function, activity or appointment which is kept. A proper attitude of heart and common courtesy, along with respect, is what causes us to wash and dress ourselves appropriately before we present ourselves.
   The question is, shouldn’t we do the same when coming before our heavenly Father during a worship service? Not only are we coming before Him, we’re also in the presence of the other brethren, who will, if overcoming to the end, be co-rulers with Yahshua Messiah in the coming Kingdom.


Scriptural Examples
   Though the examples are thousands of years old in the Bible, we find that they are not antiquated nor archaic, but serve as an example to future generations of the proper heart one is to have.
   Take the example of Joseph, Yahweh’s servant who was able to tell Pharaoh his dream by divine revelation.
   Genesis 41:14 says, Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.
   Just as men shave themselves today and dress up before going to an appointment, Joseph also prepared to go before the Pharaoh. Common sense tells us that he did not disrespect the ruler by haphazardly preparing.
   Another example is the priests of Elohim who did not dress any way they desired, but rather followed very specific protocol and dress codes.
   Moses was told, And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty, Exodus 28:2. You read of this also being done for all of Aaron’s sons further along in chapter 28, who were to be servants of the Most High.
   It should be noted that we, too, are striving to qualify to be priests (Rev. 5:10). This does not mean we are to wear white robes here in America. However, we are to wear the appropriate attire for the cultural setting we’re in.
   In Yahshua’s time one could be seen wearing something similar to what we consider today as a robe, and even today in other cultures, such as Arab countries, robe type clothing is considered “best dress” for men.
   Scholars believe Yahshua wore a respectable garment. He was evidently wearing acceptable clothes within His culture, hence the reason the Roman soldiers desired the clothing and cast lots, saying, “Let us not tear it…” (John 19:24), this for the seamless garment they took from Him.


Be Clean as He is Clean
   What is our example when going before others? Does our outward appearance show our inward heart? Can we be physically unclean and yet be spiritually clean? Depending on the circumstances, the answer is both “yes” and “no.”
   The children of Israel were told to wash their clothing after being sanctified, And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes, Exodus 19:14. It was Yahweh that commanded them to wash their clothes, verse 10.
   Yahweh told the priests and the people of old and tells us today, You must distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean, Leviticus 10:10 (NIV).
   Certainly, there are days to work in the garden and play in a neighborhood baseball game, but those are separate times, just as going to a job interview is a separate event.
   Are we to go to a job interview looking like we just came from working in a garden? Of course not! You’d brush your teeth, and groom yourself, not to mention taking a shower, and we’d be careful in picking out what we would wear, would we not? Or, do we hold a spirit of rebellion, being proud of one’s own individuality, essentially self-aggrandizement?
   Many times, we must purchase appropriate clothing to get that new job we desire. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just appropriate and clean. Many new or nearly new clothes can be purchased at a used clothing store. Yahweh certainly provides our needs (Matt. 6:30). During the Exodus, this was clear, even down to their clothes they wore (Deut. 29:5). He’ll provide for us too, but not necessarily in such a miraculous way. Though, sometimes it is miraculous, such as finding a rack of clothes at a department store discounted 90%, and they just happen to be your size.
   Wearing appropriate clothing may require wearing a dress, being a sister in the faith; or a tie and dress shirt with slacks, if you’re a man. There are also slacks that are made for women, which are appropriate in many cases.
   Maybe the job is at a hotel, restaurant, or just a local furniture store. Whatever the case may be, you’ll not want to go as if you’re applying to dig a ditch for a construction crew. And even with a job interview like that, you’ll most likely want to wear at least a dress shirt and a good pair of pants. Not something with holes in them from wear and tear.


Meeting Yahweh and Yahshua
   What is considered “best dress” in today’s culture? Would we wear shorts and a tank top to meet the President? If invited to a formal wedding event, would we leave our best at home and go in whatever we are wearing at the moment?
   Let’s think about attending Sabbath services. In fact, let’s consider going before the Groom since we are symbolically and literally to be the bride. Has not the bride prepared herself? What does Scripture say about the wedding feast? In the parable of Matthew 22 about the Kingdom, we can glean some insight:
   …those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, Matthew 22:10-13.
   Here there is the principle application both physically and spiritually. Physically the man came and did not wear what was appropriate even though he knew he was invited to a wedding. Spiritually we must put on Messiah (Gal. 3:27) and cannot enter into the Kingdom as Spirit beings without Him. Even though we may be called, we may not be chosen, verse 14.
   The overall thought is that we need to do what is right to be accepted, and this is but one example in the Bible that tells us this.
   If you know you’re going before the King of the universe, and are going before the very throne of Yahweh, along with the bride at your side…would it be a small matter? Could you choose the way you’d like to worship before Yahweh, with Yahshua at His side, and think it doesn’t matter?
   If we take so much thought and action going to an interview for a better job, what kind of action should we take before coming to services on a commanded Sabbath day? Certainly, we should meditate upon this and examine ourselves (2 Cor. 13:5).


Be a Light
   As ambassadors of Messiah we should strive to set an example in both conduct and action. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Master: walk as children of light, Ephesus 5:8.
   In all things we are to set the right example, both physically and spiritually. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness (decency) and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array, 1 Timothy 2:9.
   The latter is not to have the emphasis. The intent of our heart must not be to show-off as the Pharisees did with evil inclinations, but rather to show ourselves a respectable people as ambassadors of the Kingdom that will soon rule this dying world.
   The Apostle Paul explained that we are to be a people, “…without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Eph. 5:27 NIV). We clean and iron out not only the physical wrinkles and stains in our clothes, but also in our spiritual lives we wash and straighten ourselves out to be in line with Yahweh’s Word.
   We look forward to be dressed in white symbolizing righteousness (Rev. 3:4-5; 19:8). Right now, we strive to do the right things and we wear clean and appropriate clothes in His presence… not torn, wrinkled, or stained apparel.
   What kind of light are we to those who might visit at a Sabbath service if we can’t even come together wearing appropriate attire that’s clean and well fitting? These things should express and say, “Yahweh is to be respected.”
   When His people come before Him it is a special time and not a regular day or time. It is the gathering of the saints before the Most High! Even the angels (Psa. 8:4-5) are at times shown to be dressed in clean white clothing when they are seen by men (John 20:12).
   How will we go before Yahweh in the presence of other brethren who come to do the same? Will those on the outside looking in see a clean and respectable people going before Yahweh? More importantly, will Yahweh see the heart of the people is in obedient reverence toward Him? Or, will Yahweh see that the heart of the people is desiring to worship Him anyway they want, because it’s more comfortable their way?
   The latter inward heart is more important than the outside appearance. However, as an analogy, we might consider what Yahshua told the Pharisees about their perfection of tithing. While being exact as to how they did that, they neglected the weightier matters of the law by their lack of justice, mercy and faith in their lives (Matt. 23:23). He said plainly to them, these they should have done without neglecting the other. We are to be inwardly and outwardly, a clean people.
   What better time to wear our “best dress” than when we come together to worship in the presence of the King of the universe! Think about it, how real is He to us? Are we not a special people and is He not our Mighty One? Shall we come before Him with common thread?




-Elder David Brett


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