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Spiritual Things ( 732 )
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Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
 
Spiritual  Things
Related Phrase:   spiritual things are spiritually discerned  ( below )
Nicodemus came to the Lord, thinking to enter into a long discussion with Him concerning points of minor importance, but Jesus laid bare the first principles of truth, and showed Nicodemus that his first need was humility of heart, a teachable spirit, a new heart; that if he would enter into the kingdom of God, he must be born again. Are there not those who hold responsible positions in the Sabbath school who would be irritated and annoyed if I should testify to them that, though they are rulers in Israel, they too need to be born again? Nicodemus wondered that Christ should speak to him in the way which he did, not respecting his position as ruler in Israel, and he was not prepared to receive the truth, and he answered Christ in words full of irony. "Nicodemus saith unto Him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born?" He revealed the fact, as do many, when the cutting truth is brought home to the conscience, that the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God. There is nothing in them that responds to spiritual things; for spiritual things are spiritually discerned. But, although Nicodemus did not comprehend His words, Jesus did not become impatient or discouraged, but sought to make more plain His statement of truth. In solemn, quiet dignity, Jesus repeated His words in a manner that would convince him of their divine truth: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."  {CSW 65.1}
 
 
There needs to be a great reformation on the subject of temperance. The world is filled with self-indulgence of every kind. Because of the benumbing influence of stimulants and narcotics the minds of many are unable to discern between the sacred and the common. Their mental powers are weakened, and they cannot discern the deep spiritual things of the word of God.  {CH 432.1}
 
 
Paul's manner of life while among the Galatians was such that he could afterward say, "I beseech you, be as I am." Galatians 4:12. His lips had been touched with a live coal from off the altar, and he was enabled to rise above bodily infirmities and to present Jesus as the sinner's only hope. Those who heard him knew that he had been with Jesus. Endued with power from on high, he was able to compare spiritual things with spiritual and to tear down the strongholds of Satan. Hearts were broken by his presentation of the love of God, as revealed in the sacrifice of His only-begotten Son, and many were led to inquire, What must I do to be saved?  {AA 208.2}
 
In every age Satan has sought to impair the efforts of God's servants by introducing into the church a spirit of fanaticism. Thus it was in Paul's day, and thus it was in later centuries during the time of the Reformation.  Wycliffe, Luther, and many others who blessed the world by their influence and their faith, encountered the wiles by which the enemy seeks to lead into fanaticism overzealous, unbalanced, and unsanctified minds. Misguided souls have taught that the attainment of true holiness carries the mind above all earthly thoughts and leads men to refrain wholly from labor. Others, taking extreme views of certain texts of Scripture, have taught that it is a sin to work -- that Christians should take no thought concerning the temporal welfare of themselves or their families, but should devote their lives wholly to spiritual things. The teaching and example of the apostle Paul are a rebuke to such extreme views.  {AA 348.1}
 
The practice of story reading is one of the means employed by Satan to destroy souls. It produces a false, unhealthy excitement, fevers the imagination, unfits the mind for usefulness, and disqualifies it for any spiritual exercise. It weans the soul from prayer and from the love of spiritual things.  {AH 412.4}
 
My sisters, be entreated to spend less time over the cook-stove, wearing out the strength given you of God to be used for a better purpose, in preparing food to tempt the appetite. A plain, nourishing diet will not require so great an amount of labor. We should devote more time to humble, earnest prayer to God, for wisdom to bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The health of the mind is dependent upon the health of the body. As Christian parents we are bound to train our children in reference to the laws of life. We should instruct them, by precept and example, that we do not live to eat, but that we eat to live. We should encourage in our children a love for nobleness of mind, and a pure, virtuous character. In order to strengthen in them the moral perceptions, the love of spiritual things, we must regulate the manner of our living, dispense with animal food, and use grains, vegetables, and fruits, as articles of food.  {ApM 20.1}
 
Tobacco . . . affects the brain and benumbs the sensibilities, so that the mind cannot clearly discern spiritual things, especially those truths which would have a tendency to correct this filthy indulgence. Those who use tobacco in any form are not clear before God. In such a filthy practice it is impossible for them to glorify God in their bodies and spirits, which are His.  {CG 404.1}
 
The little children may be Christians, having an experience in accordance with their years. This is all that God expects of them. They need to be educated in spiritual things; and parents should give them every advantage that they may form characters after the similitude of the character of Christ.  - {COL 84.1}
 
A prayer meeting will always tell the true interest of the church members in spiritual and eternal things. The prayer meeting is as the pulse to the body; it denotes the true spiritual condition of the church. A lifeless, backslidden church has no relish for the prayer meetings. -- Selections from Testimonies to the Managers and Workers in our Institutions  (Ph 149, p 32).   also Pastoral Ministries, p. 183.2
 
 
Spiritual  things  are  spiritually  discerned
 
The spirit of true reform will be met in our day as in ancient times. Those who are zealous for the honor of God, and who will not countenance sin either in ministers or people, need not expect rest or pleasure in this life. Untiring vigilance must be the watchword of all who guard the interests of Christ’s church. During Nehemiah’s absence from Jerusalem, evils were introduced which threatened to pervert the nation. The same dangers exist in our time. If those who have the oversight of the church leave their charge, unconsecrated ones, claiming to believe the truth but having no connection with God, will take advantage of their absence to do much harm. The restraint being removed from these self-seeking and turbulent spirits, their peculiar traits of character are made prominent, and by their hints, insinuations, and deceptive charges, they create doubt, unbelief, and dissension among the Lord’s people. Such forget that spiritual things are spiritually discerned. They judge of the character and motives of God’s servants according to their own ignorance of truth and the ways of righteousness. Their example, words, and influence weaken the force of God’s requirements, and divide and scatter the church of Christ. { ST January 24, 1884, par. 12 }
 
 
What ought every Christian to do when brought into the trying position which tests the soundness of religious principle? With a firmness worthy of imitation he should say frankly: "I am a conscientious Christian. I believe the seventh day of the week to be the Sabbath of the Bible. Our faith and principles are such that they lead in opposite directions. We cannot be happy together, for if I follow on to gain a more perfect knowledge of the will of God, I shall become more and more unlike the world and assimilated to the likeness of Christ. If you continue to see no loveliness in Christ, no attractions in the truth, you will love the world, which I cannot love, while I shall love the things of God, which you cannot love. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. Without spiritual discernment you will be unable to see the claims of God upon me, or to realize my obligations to the Master whom I serve; therefore you will feel that I neglect you for religious duties. You will not be happy; you will be jealous on account of the affections which I give to God, and I shall be alone in my religious belief. When your views shall change, when your heart shall respond to the claims of God, and you shall learn to love my Saviour, then our relationship may be renewed."  {AH 67.4}
 
The Bible has been placed in the background, while the sayings of great men, so-called, have been taken in its stead. May the Lord forgive us the slight we have put upon his word. Though inestimable treasures are in the Bible, and it is like a mine full of precious ore, it is not valued, it is not searched, and its riches are not discovered. Mercy and truth and love are valuable beyond our power to calculate; we cannot have too great a supply of these treasures, and it is in the word of God we find out how we may become possessors of these heavenly riches, and yet why is it that the word of God is uninteresting to many professed Christians? Is it because the word of God is not spirit and is not life? Has Jesus put upon us an uninteresting task, when he commands us to "search the Scriptures"? [JOHN 5:39.] Jesus says, "The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life." [JOHN 6:63.]  But spiritual things are spiritually discerned, and the reason of your lack of interest is that you lack the Spirit of God. When the heart is brought into harmony with the word, a new life will spring up within you, a new light will shine upon every line of the word, and it will become the voice of God to your soul. In this way you will take celestial observations, and know whither you are going, and be able to make the most of your privileges today.  {CE 80.1}
 
 
The jewels of truth lie scattered over the field of revelation; but they have been buried beneath human traditions, beneath the sayings and commandments of men, and the wisdom from heaven has been practically ignored; for Satan has succeeded in making the world believe that the words and achievements of men are of great consequence. The Lord God, the Creator of the worlds, at infinite cost has given the gospel to the world. Through this divine agent, glad, refreshing springs of heavenly comfort and abiding consolation have been opened for those who will come to the fountain of life. There are veins of truth yet to be discovered; but spiritual things are spiritually discerned. Minds beclouded with evil cannot appreciate the value of the truth as it is in Jesus. When iniquity is cherished, men do not feel the necessity of making diligent effort, with prayer and reflection, to understand what they must know or lose heaven. The have so long been under the shadow of the enemy, that they view truth as men behold objects through a smoked and imperfect glass; for all things are dark and perverted in their eyes. Their spiritual vision is feeble and untrustworthy; for they look upon the shadow, and turn away from the light.  {CE 86.1}  
 
The jewels of truth lie scattered over the field of revelation; but they have been buried beneath human traditions, beneath the sayings and commandments of men, and the wisdom from heaven has been practically ignored. Satan has succeeded in making the world believe that the words and achievements of men are of great consequence. There are veins of truth yet to be discovered, but spiritual things are spiritually discerned. One passage of Scripture will prove a key to unlock other passages, and in this way light is shed upon the hidden meaning of the word. By comparing different texts treating on the same subject, viewing their bearing on every side, the true meaning of the Scriptures will be made evident.  {CT 437.2}
 
"Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes." Those who would become the educators of the youth and children must learn much, very much, both in precept and experience, in order that they may be successful laborers for God. They must grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, attaining unto the measure of the stature of Christ. Growth in grace is a testimony to the fact that you are abiding in Christ as the branch is abiding in the vine. If you abide in Him, you will have power to discern spiritual truth, for spiritual things are spiritually discerned.  {CSW 30.1}
 
 
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