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Discerning Spiritual Things ( 12 )
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Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
 
discerning  spiritual  things
Related Phrase:   Spiritual things are spiritually discerned 
The faithful reprover that is sent of God to make known the mistakes and errors that are binding the souls of those who are deceived, is treated with contempt. They would crucify the minister simply because he has taken the course which he felt was right, and could not neglect as a faithful steward of the grace of God. Let the church-members realize that the ministers are called to do a special work, not to be men-pleasers, but to speak the truth in love, and to watch for souls as they that must give an account. A true shepherd has a very important part to act. He must reprove. He dare not keep silent when he sees souls in danger of bringing upon themselves eternal ruin. The wayward heart will take exception to his message; for the love of God has grown cold, and he is incapable of discerning spiritual things. He will misjudge, criticise, and weigh the reprover's words in his own finite human scales, and denounce the messenger, and thus grieve Jesus in person of his servant. Another minister may come along who is not as conscientious, who is not as faithful and true, who flatters the members of the church, calling that righteous and good and holy which God has pronounced unrighteous and unholy; yet this man will be highly esteemed, and enshrined in the hearts of the people. They will pass their judgment that he has a good spirit; and because he did not discern and correct their errors, they may pass on in spiritual darkness, and die in their sins.  {RH, July 25, 1893 par. 7}
 
 
If one of the children of the Lord errs, then if the men in authority are discerning spiritual things, they will understand that their position allows no betrayal of sacred trusts on their part, and they will not betray the cause of God into the enemy's hands. They will not be reticent to the very ones in whom they should have confidence, and work in silence and secrecy, and open their plans to those who have no sympathy with the chosen people of God. If any workers in our institutions for health are murmured against and accused by unbelievers or believers, let the following special directions given by our Master, Jesus Christ, be placed in mottoes all through the establishment: "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." Matthew 7: 1, 2  {TM 273.2}
 
 
Ministers preaching present truth will assent to the necessity of the influence of the Spirit of God in the conviction of sin and the conversion of souls, and this influence must attend the preaching of the Word, but they do not feel its importance sufficiently to have a deep and practical knowledge of the same. The scantiness of the grace and power of the divine influence of the truth upon their own hearts prevents them from discerning spiritual things and from presenting its positive necessity upon the church. So they go crippling along, dwarfed in religious growth, because they have in their ministry a legal religion. The power of the grace of God is not felt to be a living, effectual necessity, an abiding principle.  {3SM 189.2}
 
Cause of Spiritual Drought -- Ministers preaching present truth will assent to the necessity of the influence of the Spirit of God in the conviction of sin and the conversion of souls, and this influence must attend the preaching of the Word, but they do not feel its importance sufficiently to have a deep and practical knowledge of the same. The scantiness of the grace and power of the divine influence of the truth upon their own hearts prevents them from discerning spiritual things and from presenting its positive necessity upon the church. So they go crippling along, dwarfed in religious growth, because they have in their ministry a legal religion. The power of the grace of God is not felt to be a living, effectual necessity, an abiding principle.-- Ms 27, 1889.  {VSS 318.1}
 
While searching for the truth as for hid treasures, light from the written word breaks into the mind. The benumbed and dormant faculties are awakened to new life and energy, the limited capacities are expanded to comprehend the truth, and earnest efforts are put forth to bring others into the light. Then why is it that there is such blindness in regard to the Scriptures? Why are ideas entertained, and sometimes taught to others, that are so vague and inconsistent? It is because the heart is not in harmony with the revealed word; the conscience has been so long depraved by practices condemned by that word, that the mental and moral powers are incapable of discerning spiritual things.  {ST, November 26, 1885 par. 3}
 
The blindness of Israel in discerning spiritual things closed their senses to the mission and work of Christ. This change represented as a new birth they would have to experience before they could take in the meaning of what constituted the kingdom of God. Their whole conception had been perverted. All they could see was a temporal kingdom, established in Jerusalem, and they would not change these ideas, because they wanted this kind of a kingdom. Jesus had lessons of highest importance to give to the ruler in Israel, and the lesson which Christ gave to him is of the highest consequence to every soul. It is neither profound learning nor high positions nor professions that give character to the man. The question to be answered is, Is the man quickened into spiritual life? Is he a new man in character? In proportion as the spirit and life of Christ are in us, in that proportion is man enlightened and can discern spiritual things. There is greater indulgence in sin than many dream of, and he who commits sin will seek for all kinds of excuses to palliate sin.  {ST, September 26, 1892 par. 2}
 
Ministers preaching present truth will assent to the necessity of the influence of the Spirit of God in the conviction of sin and the conversion of souls, and this influence must attend the preaching of the Word, but they do not feel its importance sufficiently to have a deep and practical knowledge of the same. The scantiness of the grace and power of the divine influence of the truth upon their own hearts prevents them from discerning spiritual things and from presenting its positive necessity upon the church. So they go crippling along, dwarfed in religious growth, because they have in their ministry a legal religion. The power of the grace of God is not felt to be a living, effectual necessity, an abiding principle.  {8MR 277.2}
 
The Lord desires us all to be learners in the school of Christ. Young and old have precious lessons to learn from the divine Teacher, and when these lessons are learned they are to impart them to others. God is presenting to the minds of men divinely appointed precious gems of truth, appropriate for our time. God has rescued these truths from the companionship of error, and has placed them in their proper framework. When these truths are given their rightful position in God's great plan, when they are presented intelligently and earnestly, and with reverential awe, by the Lord's servants, many will conscientiously believe because of the weight of evidence, without waiting for every supposed difficulty which may suggest itself to their minds to be removed. Others, not discerning spiritual things, will keep themselves in a combative frame of mind, opposing every argument that does not meet their ideas. Shall this miserable work cease?  {1888 139.2}
 
Ministers preaching present truth will assent to the necessity of the influence of the Spirit of God in the conviction of sin and the conversion of souls, and this influence must attend the preaching of the Word, but they do not feel its importance sufficiently to have a deep and practical knowledge of the same. The scantiness of the grace and power of the divine influence of the truth upon their own hearts prevents them from discerning spiritual things and from presenting its positive necessity upon the church. So they go crippling along, dwarfed in religious growth, because they have in their ministry a legal religion. The power of the grace of God is not felt to be a living, effectual necessity, an abiding principle.  {1888 435.3}
 
discernment  of  spiritual  things
In my last vision I was shown that even this decided message of the True Witness had not accomplished the design of God. The people slumber on in their sins. They continue to declare themselves rich and having need of nothing. Many inquire: Why are all these reproofs given? Why do the Testimonies continually charge us with backsliding and with grievous sins? We love the truth; we are prospering; we are in no need of these testimonies of warning and reproof. But let these murmurers see their hearts and compare their lives with the practical teachings of the Bible, let them humble their souls before God, let the grace of God illuminate the darkness, and the scales will fall from their eyes, and they will realize their true spiritual poverty and wretchedness. They will feel the necessity of buying gold, which is pure faith and love; white raiment, which is a spotless character made pure in the blood of their dear Redeemer; and eyesalve, which is the grace of God and which will give clear discernment of discernment of spiritual things and detect sin. These attainments are more precious than the gold of Ophir.  Test. Vol. 3, page 254.2   Read entire Section
 
 
capable  of  discerning  spiritual  things
 
"Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." The Saviour came into the world, outwardly the son of David, not manifesting the full significance of his character. His spirit was subject to that discipline and experience through which humanity must in some measure pass. His divinity was veiled beneath humanity. He hid within himself those all-powerful attributes which belonged to him as one equal with God. At times his divine character flashed forth with such wonderful power that all who were capable of discerning spiritual things pronounced him the Son of God.  {3SP 259.1}
 
 
"Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." The Saviour came into the world, outwardly the son of David, not manifesting the full significance of his character. His spirit was subject to that discipline and experience through which humanity must in some measure pass. His divinity was veiled beneath humanity. He hid within himself those all-powerful attributes which belonged to him as one equal with God. At times his divine character flashed forth with such wonderful power that all who were capable of discerning spiritual things pronounced him the Son of God.  {6Red 76.1}
 
apprehension  of  spiritual  things
Kindly affections, generous impulses, and a quick apprehension of spiritual things are precious talents, and lay their possessor under a weighty responsibility. All are to be used in God's service. But here many err. Satisfied with the possession of these qualities, they fail to bring them into active service for others. They flatter themselves that if they had opportunity, if circumstances were favorable, they would do a great and good work. But they are awaiting the opportunity. They despise the narrowness of the poor niggard who grudges even a pittance to the needy. They see that he is living for self, and that he is responsible for his misused talents. With much complacency they draw the contrast between themselves and such narrow-minded ones, feeling that their own condition is much more favorable than that of their mean-souled neighbors. But they are deceiving themselves. The mere possession of unused qualities only increases their responsibility. Those who possess large affections are under obligation to God to bestow them, not merely on their friends, but on all who need their help. Social advantages are talents, and are to be used for the benefit of all within reach of our influence. Thelove that gives kindness to only a few is not love, but selfishness. It will not in any way work for the good of souls or the glory of God. Those who thus leave their Master's talents unimproved are even more guilty than are the ones for whom they feel such contempt. To them it will be said, Ye knew your Master's will, but did it not.  {COL 352.4}   Read entire Chapter 25 
 
 
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