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Phrase - Spirit of Discontent
Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
Spirit  of  Discontent
As the Israelites indulged the spirit of discontent, they were disposed to find fault even with their blessings. "And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread."  {PP 428.2}
This work of opposition to the law of God had its beginning in the courts of heaven, with Lucifer, the covering cherub. Satan determined to be first in the councils of heaven, and equal with God. He began his work of rebellion with the angels under his command, seeking to diffuse among them the spirit of discontent. And he worked in so deceptive a way that many of the angels were won to his allegiance before his purposes were fully known. Even the loyal angels could not fully discern his character, nor see to what his work was leading. When Satan had succeeded in winning many angels to his side, he took his cause to God, representing that it was the desire of the angels that he occupy the position that Christ held.  {RH, January 28, 1909 par. 5}
This manifestation of the Lord's displeasure was designed to be a warning to all Israel, to check the growing spirit of discontent and insubordination. If Miriam's envy and dissatisfaction had not been signally rebuked, it would have resulted in great evil. Envy is one of the most satanic traits that can exist in the human heart, and it is one of the most baleful in its effects. . . . It was envy that first caused discord in heaven, and its indulgence has wrought untold evil among men. "Where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work" James 3:16.  {CC 105.4}  PP 384 (1890)  {DG 33.4}
Leaving his place in the immediate presence of God, Lucifer went forth to diffuse the spirit of discontent among the angels. Working with mysterious secrecy, and for a time concealing his real purpose under an appearance of reverence for God, he endeavored to excite dissatisfaction concerning the laws that governed heavenly beings, intimating that they imposed an unnecessary restraint. Since their natures were holy, he urged that the angels should obey the dictates of their own will. He sought to create sympathy for himself by representing that God had dealt unjustly with him in bestowing supreme honor upon Christ. He claimed that in aspiring to greater power and honor he was not aiming at self-exaltation, but was seeking to secure liberty for all the inhabitants of heaven, that by this means they might attain to a higher state of existence.  {GC 495.2}
Since the days of Joshua the government had never been conducted with so great wisdom and success as under Samuel's administration. Divinely invested with the threefold office of judge, prophet, and priest, he had labored with untiring and disinterested zeal for the welfare of his people, and the nation had prospered under his wise control. Order had been restored, and godliness promoted, and the spirit of discontent was checked for the time. But with advancing years the prophet was forced to share with others the cares of government, and he appointed his two sons to act as his assistants. While Samuel continued the duties of his office at Ramah, the young men were stationed at Beersheba, to administer justice among the people near the southern border of the land.  {PP 603.4}
I was shown that you were a rough stone from the quarry, which needed much hewing, squaring, and polishing before it could fill a place in the heavenly building. Some of this work has been done for you; but, oh, there is a much greater work yet to be done! You have had a very unhappy spirit. You have seen the rough side of life. You have not had much happiness; but you were the one who stood in your own light, debarring yourself from good. In your youth you encouraged a spirit of discontent; you would not be ruled; you chose to walk in your own way, irrespective of others' judgment or counsel. You would not submit to be controlled by your stepfather, because you wanted to follow your own way. He did not understand the best way to manage you, and you were determined not to respect his authority. As soon as he would speak to you, you would place yourself upon the defensive. Your combativeness was large, and you would battle everything and everybody that crossed your plans. Even when suggestions were made of a better course to pursue in your plans and labors, you would fly in an instant. You thought you were censured, thought you were blamed, and felt grieved with those who were your true friends. Your imagination was diseased. You thought that everybody was against you and that your lot was exceedingly hard. It has been hard, but you have made it so.  {2T 422.1}
It is a sad thing to be discontented with our surroundings or with the circumstances which have placed us where our duties seem humble and unimportant. Private and humble duties are distasteful to you; you are restless, uneasy, and dissatisfied. All this springs from selfishness. You think more of yourself than others think of you. You love yourself better than you love your parents, sisters, and brother, and better than you love God. You desire more congenial labor, for which you think you will be better fitted. You are not willing to work and wait in the humble sphere of action where God has placed you, until He proves and tests you, and you demonstrate your ability and fitness for a higher position. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." The spirit of meekness is not a spirit of discontent, but it is directly the opposite.  {3T 334.2}
                                               Spirit  of  Discontent  ( in  heaven )
Leaving his place in the immediate presence of the Father, Lucifer went forth to diffuse the spirit of discontent among the angels. He worked with mysterious secrecy, and for a time concealed his real purpose under an appearance of reverence for God. He began to insinuate doubts concerning the laws that governed heavenly beings, intimating that though laws might be necessary for the inhabitants of the worlds, angels, being more exalted, needed no such restraint, for their own wisdom was a sufficient guide. They were not beings that could bring dishonor to God; all their thoughts were holy; it was no more possible for them than for God Himself to err. The exaltation of the Son of God as equal with the Father was represented as an injustice to Lucifer, who, it was claimed, was also entitled to reverence and honor. If this prince of angels could but attain to his true, exalted position, great good would accrue to the entire host of heaven; for it was his object to secure freedom for all. But now even the liberty which they had hitherto enjoyed was at an end; for an absolute Ruler had been appointed them, and to His authority all must pay homage. Such were the subtle deceptions that through the wiles of Lucifer were fast obtaining in the heavenly courts.  {PP 37.1}  similar to GC 495.2
In great mercy, according to His divine character, God bore long with Lucifer. The spirit of discontent and disaffection had never before been known in heaven. It was a new element, strange, mysterious, unaccountable. Lucifer himself had not at first been acquainted with the real nature of his feelings; for a time he had feared to express the workings and imaginings of his mind; yet he did not dismiss them. He did not see whither he was drifting. But such efforts as infinite love and wisdom only could devise, were made to convince him of his error. His disaffection was proved to be without cause, and he was made to see what would be the result of persisting in revolt. Lucifer was convinced that he was in the wrong. He saw that "the Lord is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works" (Psalm 145:17); that the divine statutes are just, and that he ought to acknowledge them as such before all heaven. Had he done this, he might have saved himself and many angels. He had not at that time fully cast off his allegiance to God. Though he had left his position as covering cherub, yet if he had been willing to return to God, acknowledging the Creator's wisdom, and satisfied to fill the place appointed him in God's great plan, he would have been reinstated in his office. The time had come for a final decision; he must fully yield to the divine sovereignty or place himself in open rebellion. He nearly reached the decision to return, but pride forbade him. It was too great a sacrifice for one who had been so highly honored to confess that he had been in error, that his imaginings were false, and to yield to the authority which he had been working to prove unjust.  {PP 39.1}
Tho all his glory was from God, Lucifer came to regard it as pertaining to himself. Not content with his position, tho honored above the heavenly host, he ventured to covet homage due alone to the Creator. Leaving his place in the immediate presence of the Father, he went forth to diffuse the spirit of discontent among the angels. He worked with mysterious secrecy, and for a time concealed his real purpose under an appearance of reverence for God. He began to insinuate doubts concerning the laws that governed heavenly beings,--laws that he declared were arbitrary, detrimental to the interests of the heavenly universe, and in need of change. Vital interests were at stake. Would Lucifer succeed in undermining confidence in God's law? Would he make so apparent these supposed defects in the law, that the inhabitants of the heavenly universe would be justified in claiming that the law could be improved?  {ST, July 23, 1902 par. 5}
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