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Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
1 Peter 3:3,4
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
1 Timothy 2:9,10




The Groom's & Bride's Garment

- Reflecting God's Image

by Scott Kilpatrick Burgess



WHAT has the groom's & bride's garment got to do with Christian standards?

Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Rom 13:14 Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Is 61:10 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.

Note: In Scripture, the garment represents Christ & His character. The garment he offers us is His own character. Hence, the standards we adhere to demonstrate whose character we wear – Christ's, or one of our own devising.

DO we have a say in which garment we wear?

Is 4:1-4 1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel : only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. 2 In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel. 3 And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy , even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: 4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.

Mt 22:11-12 11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment : 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.

Note: Yes. There is only one right garment, however.

WHAT does God require (command, but does not demand) of us?

John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

Note: Christ is our husband, therefore He is due reverent submission to His will. He loves us, and never forces His will, so He patiently tolerates our self-exaltation.

WHAT principle determines correct standards of Christian conduct?

2Cor 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Phil 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think [meditate] on these things.

Ps 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.

2Cor 3:18 We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2Pt 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Note: Everything comes down to our mind being transformed to desire to do His will. The more we dwell on God and His perfect goodness, the more we become partakers of the divine nature.

HOW can this happen - I don't want to do God's will!

Rom 8:7 The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

John 15:5 I am the vine , ye are the branches: He that abideth in me , and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Note: It is impossible to do God's will without Christ abiding in you. Without Christ, self is in charge, and self is at enmity with God. The secret is to choose to submit to God, and He will take up residence in you, and He will take charge of you, and direct your path.

HOW does God symbolize the mind that yields to God?

Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Rom 13:14 Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ , and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Is 61:10 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.

Note: In Scripture, the garment represents Christ & His character. The garment he offers us is His own character. Hence, the standards we adhere to demonstrate whose character we wear – Christ's, or one of our own devising.

OKAY - what is mankind's role, as designed by God?

Gen 1:27 God created man in his own image,

in the image of God created he him;

male and female created he them.

Note: Mankind was made in God's image. Looking at the above verse, it is evident that God's image is revealed in two genders.

WHY did God make mankind in two genders?

Mt 22:30 In the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

Note: Sin broke out in heaven when Lucifer rebelled, and took one-third of the angels with him. As Mt 22:30 informs us, the angels are not reproductive beings, and every appearance of angels in the Bible refers to them as male. Hence, angels are either a one gender, or gender-neutral, class of beings.

As a result of the rebellion, questions arose regarding God's justice and government. To put an end to doubt, and to sin as well, God deemed it necessary to create a new class of beings that would more fully represent His character before the universe – and this class of beings must be of two genders in order to make such a full representation.

Everything comes down to understanding and realizing God's character. Hence, male and female identity is vitally important in God's plan of salvation, for it is this gender distinction which manifests His character so clearly!

HOW does Rev 19 portray Jesus' bride?

Rev 19:7-8 7 The marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

Note: The bride is arrayed in pure white linen, which corresponds to her spotless character. This spotless character was developed with entire submission to her husband's will.

HOW does Rev 19 portray the heavenly angels?

Rev 19:14 The armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Note: The heavenly angels, who never rebelled (i.e., always remained submitted to God's will), are dressed in identical garb. Hence, pure white linen is the garment of those with wills surrendered to God's will.

HOW does Lev 16 portray Jesus during Yom Kippur, before He returns?

Lev 16:4 [The high priest] shall put on the holy linen coat , and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments ; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on.

Note: During the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur, beginning in 1844), the high priest wore white like all the other priests. Hence, Jesus, the true high priest, is attired right now the way He enables His surrendered believers to be attired. In other words, He is identifying with them fully – after all, if we are to be wed with Him, we are to become one flesh, hence, our character (symbolized as a garment) will be identical with His, a character fully surrendered to His Father's will.

WHAT about when Jesus returns - how is He attired then?

Lev 16:23-24 “And Aaron shall come into the tabernacle of the congregation, and shall put off the linen garments, which he put on when he went into the holy place, and shall leave them there: 24 And he shall wash his flesh with water in the holy place, and put on his garments.”

Is 59:17 “He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.”

Note: Jesus no longer needs to intercede; His role changes from intercessory high priest to victorious, conquering king! With the change in office comes a change in garment.

HOW does Rev 19 portray Jesus?

Rev 19:11-16 11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood : and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword , that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall [shepherd] them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Note: Jesus' garb is entirely different – everything about it bespeaks His authority. As husband, He is head of the heavenly household.

WHAT do we learn from Adam & Eve in Genesis 3?

Gen 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Gen 17- 19 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Note: Adam & Eve received curses, but they were distinct. They were created in distinct genders to represent God's character. The bride Jesus comes to receive in Rev 19 is represented in garments distinct from Jesus. The curses Adam & Eve receive after the fall are specific to their genders, as God has to restore all of His character which was marred by the fall, both male and female.

WHAT happened next in Gen 3?

Gen 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened and they knew that they were naked.

Gen 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

Note: The very next thing was that God provided them garments to cover the shame of their nakedness. Prior to the fall they were not ashamed of their nakedness (Gen 2:25), but after their fall, they were ashamed, and so they tried covering themselves.

Since God reproduced His image perfectly in them to begin with, it was necessary after the fall to restore that image. God's image was first reflected in their gender distinction (Gen 1:27), and garments were necessary to cover their distinct forms after the fall. It follows that God's garments must harmonize with their forms to preserve the gender distinction; hence, we rest assured that they were gender distinct.

OKAY - is there a connection between the spiritual & physical truths presented?

Rev 14:4 [The 144,000] are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.

Note: In Rev 14:4, the 144,000 have a purity symbolized by virginity. It is this spiritual truth that is the main idea. Obviously, though, virginity is only a fit symbol of purity if virginity is itself endorsed by the Bible.

Likewise with garments – they are a fit symbol of Christ and His character only if physical garments are themselves of vital importance.

WHAT does this mean for me in a physical sense?

Dt 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.


Note: Anything that departs from God's plain design is against Him, and hence an abomination. All such abominations are part of the anti-God system called Babylon, which we will discuss in another study.

The Bible is plain here. God's design is for clothing to preserve the gender distinction with which mankind was originally created. After all, clothing already masks us to a degree, so it must be designed in such a way as to distinguish the genders as sharply as possible.

This may be done differently in different cultures, but never can one use culture to justify gender-neutral clothing. If popular fashion changes in that direction, God's people are to rely on God's grace to emphatically say “No,” and wear as distinct clothing as possible.

One may counter that “my job requires that I dress in this [gender-neutral] way,” or “I find it more convenient,” or “times have changed, so just go with the flow.” Times and circumstances may change, but Jesus Christ is “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Heb 13:8). It is interesting that these are the very same arguments put forth for resisting Sabbath observance in favor of Sunday. Hence, 7th-day Adventists are in a unique position to answer these objections with the assurance that God will bless His followers' faithful obedience to His direction.

WHAT is the point of all this?

The point is that everything comes down to Jesus restoring His image in us, His character. The Bible uses “garment” to symbolize His character, hence this study on how garment symbolizes His character. This is not a study simply on gender-distinct clothing – this is merely a tool to forcefully present the greater truth of character restoration.

INVITATION to the marriage supper of the Lamb

Mt 22:3, 10 “Call them that were bidden to the wedding. 10 The wedding was furnished with guests.”

Rev 19:9 “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.”

INVITATION to the supper of the great God

Mt 22:12 “How camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?”

Rev 19:17 “To all the fowls … gather yourselves unto the supper of the great God.”


God is coming for a faithful bride surrendered to his lordship.

Will you respond to his universal invitation? ______________________________________

Do you desire your own garment, or the robe Christ has prepared for you? _____________

Do you will to be clothed with Christ's robe of righteousness? ________________________

Will you let Him put on your wedding garment? ___________________________________

Will you come to the marriage supper he has prepared just for you? ___________________