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Spiritual Discernment ( 258 )
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Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
 
spiritual  discernment
Related Phrase:  discerning spiritual things (  )
According to the light that God has given me in vision, wickedness and deception are increasing among God’s people who profess to keep His commandments. Spiritual discernment to see sin as it exists, and then to put it out of the camp, is decreasing among God’s people; and spiritual blindness is fast coming upon them. The straight testimony must be revived, and it will separate those from Israel who have ever been at war with the means that God has ordained to keep corruptions out of the church. Wrongs must be called wrongs. Grievous sins must be called by their right name. All of God’s people should come nearer to Him and wash their robes of character in the blood of the Lamb. Then will they see sin in the true light and will realize how offensive it is in the sight of God.  { 3T 324.1} 
 
 
Man cannot read the heart of man. His judgment is formed from appearances, and these are often deceptive. God reads the intent and purposes of the heart. Do nothing in an underhanded manner; be open as the day, true to your brethren and sisters, dealing with them as you wish Christ to deal with you. If you had the Spirit of Christ, you would not notice slights and make much of fancied injuries. Your mind would be occupied in contemplating the love of Jesus, and devising methods by which souls might be won to Jesus. Ordained elders and ministers need spiritual discernment, in order that they may not be the sport of Satan's temptations. They would not then be continually seeing things of which to complain. If the instruction which Christ has given were followed out in a true Christian spirit, if each one, when aggrieved, would go to the offending member as Christ has enjoined him to do, and seek in kindness to correct the wrong, many a grievous trial would be averted, and souls that are lost to the cause would be saved. But how many resort to every other expedient rather than fall on the Rock Christ Jesus and be broken. All such expedients must fail.  {RH, May 14, 1895 par. 4}
 
I felt grieved and heartsick as I looked at the representation on the first page of the Signs to which I have referred. I asked myself, "What do these things mean?" I was so distressed in mind that I became sick in body. I went to bed at eight o'clock, and slept for a short time, about an hour, I think. Then I seemed to be standing before those in responsible positions in the Pacific Press, bearing them a message. The Spirit of God came upon me, and I could not forbear speaking. I cannot now write all that I said. I asked, "Where is your spiritual discernment or your good judgment, that you should thus sow tares among the wheat? Nothing is to appear in our literature that does not represent truth and righteousness."  {CW 173.3}
 
 
Satan has summoned the hosts of darkness to war against the saints. We cannot afford to be indifferent to his attacks. He comes in many ways, and we must have clear spiritual discernment, that we may be able to discern when he is seeking to gain possession of our minds. God calls on those on whom the light of truth is shining to take their stand in His army. He calls upon them to show their loyalty by walking in the light He has given.  {OHC 19.4}
 
But more important than magnificent scenery and beautiful buildings and spacious grounds is the close proximity of these institutions to densely populated districts, and the opportunity thus afforded of communicating to many, many people a knowledge of the third angel's message. We are to have clear spiritual discernment, else we shall fail of understanding the opening providences of God that are preparing the way for us to enlighten the world. The great crisis is just before us. Now is the time for us to sound the warning message, by the agencies that God has given us for this purpose. Let us remember that one most important agency is our medical missionary work. Never are we to lose sight of the great object for which our sanitariums are established--the advancement of God's closing work in the earth.  {CH 554.2}
 
The love of the truth as it is in Jesus means the love of all that is comprised in the truth Christ taught. Let our teachers strive to follow His example, to cherish His spirit of tender sympathy. Let none leave the love of Christ out of their labors, but let each ask himself the questions, Is my life a consistent life? Am I guided by the Holy Spirit? It is the privilege of every teacher to reveal the power of a pure, consistent, Christ-loving workman. The spiritual-minded teacher will never have an uncertain religion. If he truly loves the service of Christ, he will have spiritual discernment and spiritual life.  {CT 362.2}
 
  Many are tempted in regard to our work and are calling it in question. Some, in their tempted condition, charge the difficulties and perplexities of the people of God to the testimonies of reproof that we have given them. They think the trouble is with the ones who bear the message of warning, who point out the sins of the people and correct their errors. Many are deceived by the adversary of souls. They think that the labors of Brother and Sister White would be acceptable if they were not continually condemning wrong and reproving sin. I was shown that God has laid this work upon us, and when we are hindered from meeting with His people and from bearing our testimony and counteracting the surmisings and jealousies of the unconsecrated, then Satan presses in his temptations very strongly. Those who have been ever on the questioning, doubting side feel at liberty to suggest their doubts and to insinuate their unbelief. Some have sanctimonious and apparently conscientious and very pious doubts, which they cautiously drop, but which have tenfold more power to strengthen those who are wrong, and to lessen our influence and weaken the confidence of God's people in our work, than if they came out more frankly. These poor souls, I saw, were deceived by Satan. They flatter themselves that they are all right, that they are in favor with God and are rich in spiritual discernment, when they are poor, blind, and wretched. They are doing the work of Satan, but think they have a zeal for God.  {3T 258.4}
 
The duty we owe to these persons has been referred to again and again, but no decided action has been taken in reference to it.  As a people we should feel our responsibility in this matter.  Every church member should feel an interest in all that concerns the human brotherhood and the brotherhood in Christ.  We are members one of another; if one member suffers, all the members suffer with him.  Something must be done, and the conference should have spiritual discernment, that they may understand the privileges and comforts that these worn-out workers need and deserve.  -- 7T 290-292.  {RY 65.3}
 
What condescension it was on the part of Christ, through His messenger, to work this miracle to satisfy hunger! Again and again since that time, though not always in so marked and perceptible a manner, has the Lord Jesus worked to supply human need. If we had clearer spiritual discernment we would recognize more readily than we do God’s compassionate dealing with the children of men.  Prophets and Kings, page 241.2  Read entire chapter 19
 
My brethren, the recent productions in the papers reveal a blindness of spiritual discernment. When the eyes have been enlightened with the spiritual eyesight, then we shall see altogether clearly. The things of time and sense that now attract attention will lose their value, for there will be disclosed to men eternal interests. As God made known His will to the Hebrew captives, to those who were most separate from the customs and practices of a world lying in wickedness, so will the Lord communicate light from heaven to all who will appreciate a "Thus saith the Lord." To them He will express His mind. Those who are least bound up with worldly ideas, are the most separate from display, and vanity, and pride, and love of promotion, who stand forth as His peculiar people, zealous of good works,--to these He will reveal the meaning of His word. The very first exhibition of God's power to the Hebrew captives was in showing the defective wisdom of the great ones of the earth. The wisdom of men is foolishness with God. The magicians revealed their ignorance of the light before the Lord revealed His wisdom as supreme. The wisdom of human agents who had misappropriated their God-given talents, God showed to be foolishness.  {CW 101.2}
 
Lovesick sentimentalism prevails. Married men receive attention from married or unmarried women; women also appear to be charmed and lose reason and spiritual discernment and good common sense; they do the very things that the word of God condemns, the very things that the testimonies of the Spirit of God condemn. Warnings and reproofs are before them in clear lines, yet they go over the same path that others have traveled before them. It is like an infatuating game at which they are playing. Satan leads them on to ruin themselves, to imperil the cause of God, to crucify the Son of God afresh and put Him to an open shame.  {AH 328.2}
 
true spiritual discernment
The rich man though surrounded with all the luxuries of life was so ignorant that he put Abraham where God should have been. If he had appreciated his exalted privileges and had allowed God's Spirit to mold his mind and heart, he would have had an altogether different position. So with the nation he represented. If they had responded to the divine call, their future would have been wholly different. They would have shown true spiritual discernment. They had means which God would have increased, making it sufficient to bless and enlighten the whole world. But they had so far separated from the Lord's arrangement that their whole life was perverted. They failed to use their gifts as God's stewards in accordance with truth and righteousness. Eternity was not brought into their reckoning, and the result of their unfaithfulness was ruin to the whole nation.  {COL 269.1}
 
 
without  spiritual  discernment
 
 We have unseen foes to meet, evil men are agents for the powers of darkness to work through, and without spiritual discernment the soul will be ignorant of Satan's devices, and be ensnared and stumble and fall. He who would overcome must hold fast to Christ. He must not look back, but keep the eye ever upward. Mount up by the Mediator, keeping hold of the Mediator, reaching upward to one line of work after another, making no provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.  {6BC 1094.3}
 
 
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}
 
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."  {4T 506.2}
 
"Those employed in any department of the work whereby the world may be transformed, must not enter into alliance with those who know not the truth. The world know not the Father or the son, and they have no spiritual discernment as to the character of our work, as to what we shall do or shall not do. We must obey the orders that come from above. We are not to hear the counsel or follow the plans suggested by unbelievers. Suggestions made by those who know not the work that God is doing for this time, will be such as to weaken the power of the instrumentalities of God. By accepting such suggestions, the counsel of Christ is set at naught. . . .  {LS 322.2}
 
 
Like ancient Israel the church has dishonored her God by departing from the light, neglecting her duties, and abusing her high and exalted privilege of being peculiar and holy in character. Her members have violated their covenant to live for God and Him only. They have joined with the selfish and world-loving. Pride, the love of pleasure, and sin have been cherished, and Christ has departed. His Spirit has been quenched in the church. Satan works side by side with professed Christians; yet they are so destitute of spiritual discernment that they do not detect him. They have not the burden of the work. The solemn truths they profess to believe are not a reality to them. They have not genuine faith. Men and women will act out all the faith which they in reality possess. By their fruits ye shall know them. Not their profession, but the fruit they bear, shows the character of the tree. Many have a form of godliness, their names are upon the church records; but they have a spotted record in heaven. The recording angel has faithfully written their deeds. Every selfish act, every wrong word, every unfulfilled duty, and every secret sin, with every artful dissembling, is faithfully chronicled in the book of records kept by the recording angel.  {2T 441.3} {RH, May 5, 1885 par. 4}‚Äč
 
It was impossible for the apostle to reprove wrongdoing without some who claimed to believe the truth becoming offended. The inspired testimony could do these no good; for they had lost their spiritual discernment. Jealousy, evil surmising, and accusing closed the door to the working of the Holy Spirit. Paul would gladly have dwelt upon higher and more difficult truths, truths which were rich in nourishment, but his instruction would have cut directly across their tendencies to jealousy, and would not have been received. The divine mysteries of godliness, which would have enabled them to grasp the truths necessary for that time, could not be spoken. The apostle must select lessons, which, like milk, could be taken without irritating the digestive organs. Truths of the deepest interest could not be spoken, because the hearers would misapply and misappropriate them, presenting them to young converts who needed only the more simple truths of the Word. . . .  {Ev 370.1}
 
The churches that have not life in themselves, that have lost their spiritual discernment, call for ministers to come to their help, to bring them the breath of life. But the ministers have other work to do. They must carry the message of truth to those who know it not. Those ministers who hover about the churches, who have not a clear cut message, which, like a sharp, two-edged sword, cuts both ways, will do the churches harm. They will not work for the salvation of souls that are in great peril because they know not the truth, and they will die spiritually themselves, and trouble and discourage those who try to help them. 6MR 65. {PaM 121.3} 
 
 
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