Flatter themselves

     Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .

                F L A T T E R    t h e m s e l v e s                   (  3  RELATED  PHRASES )                               

                     The  phrase  'Flatter themselves'  appears  219  times in the published writings of EGW               See page on Original site                                                          Related Phrases:       Not flatter  themselves  ( 219 )  - -  Flatter  ( 503 )

Oh, how many flatter themselves that they have goodness and righteousness, when the true light of God reveals that all their lives they have only lived to please themselves! Their whole conduct is abhorred of God. How many are alive without the law! In their gross darkness they view themselves with complacency; but let the law of God be revealed to their consciences, as it was to Paul, and they would see that they are sold under sin and must die to the carnal mind. Self must be slain.  {3T 475.1}
 How sad and fearful the mistakes that many are making! They are building on the sand, but flatter themselves that they are riveted to the eternal Rock. Many who profess godliness are rushing on as recklessly, and are as insensible of their danger, as though there were no future judgment. A fearful retribution awaits them, and yet they are controlled by impulse and gross passion; they are filling out a dark life record for the judgment. I lift my voice of warning to all who name the name of Christ to depart from all iniquity. Purify your souls by obeying the truth. Cleanse yourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. You to whom this applies know what I mean. Even you who have corrupted your ways before the Lord, partaken of the iniquity that abounds, and blackened your souls with sin, Jesus still invites you to turn from your course, take hold of His strength, and find in Him that peace, power, and grace that will make you more than conquerors in His name.  {3T 475.2}  State of the Church

 

 

But never should it be forgotten that influence is no less a power for evil. To lose one's own soul is a terrible thing; but to cause the loss of other souls is still more terrible. That our influence should be a savor of death unto death is a fearful thought; yet this is possible. Many who profess to gather with Christ are scattering from Him. This is why the church is so weak. Many indulge freely in criticism and accusing. By giving expression to suspicion, jealousy, and discontent, they yield themselves as instruments to Satan. Before they realize what they are doing, the adversary has through them accomplished his purpose. The impression of evil has been made, the shadow has been cast, the arrows of Satan have found their mark. Distrust, unbelief, and downright infidelity have fastened upon those who otherwise might have accepted Christ. Meanwhile the workers for Satan look complacently upon those whom they have driven to skepticism, and who are now hardened against reproof and entreaty. They flatter themselves that in comparison with these souls they are virtuous and righteous. They do not realize that these sad wrecks of character are the work of their own unbridled tongues and rebellious hearts. It is through their influence that these tempted ones have fallen. Christ's Object Lessons, page 340.3

 

The sin of covetousness, which God declares to be idolatry, had made him a timeserver, and through this one fault Satan gained entire control of him. It was this that caused his ruin. The tempter is ever presenting worldly gain and honor to entice men from the service of God. He tells them it is their overconscientiousness that keeps them from prosperity. Thus many are induced to venture out of the path of strict integrity. One wrong step makes the next easier, and they become more and more presumptuous. They will do and dare most terrible things when once they have given themselves to the control of avarice and a desire of power. Many flatter themselves that they can depart from strict integrity for a time, . . . and that having gained their object, they can change their course when they please. Such are entangling themselves in the snare of Satan, and it is seldom that they escape.  {CC 112.3}
 
The reason many in this age of the world make no greater advancement in the divine life is because they interpret the will of God to be just what they will to do. While following their own desires, they flatter themselves that they are conforming to God's will. These have no conflicts with self. There are others who for a time are successful in the struggle against their selfish desire for pleasure and ease. They are sincere and earnest, but grow weary of protracted effort, of daily death, of ceaseless turmoil. Indolence seems inviting, death to self repulsive; and they close their drowsy eyes and fall under the power of temptation instead of resisting it.  Acts of the Apostles, page 565.2

 

We never needed close connection with God more than we need it today. One of the greatest dangers that besets God's people has ever been from conformity to worldly maxims and customs. The youth especially are in constant peril. Fathers and mothers should be on their guard against the wiles of Satan. While he is seeking to accomplish the ruin of their children, let not parents flatter themselves that there is no particular danger. Let them not give thought and care to the things of this world, while the higher, eternal interests of their children are neglected.  {CG 471.2}
 
And let none flatter themselves that sins cherished for a time can easily be given up by and by. This is not so. Every sin cherished weakens the character and strengthens habit; and physical, mental, and moral depravity is the result. You may repent of the wrong you have done, and set your feet in right paths; but the mold of your mind and your familiarity with evil will make it difficult for you to distinguish between right and wrong. Through the wrong habits formed, Satan will assail you again and again.  Christ's Object Lessons, page 281.1

 

It is a perilous step to slight the reproofs and warnings of God's word or of His Spirit. Many, like Saul, yield to temptation until they become blind to the true character of sin.They flatter themselves that they have had some good object in view, and have done no wrong in departing from the Lord's requirements. Thus they do despite to the Spirit of grace, until its voice is no longer heard, and they are left to the delusions which they have chosen.  Patriarchs and Prophets, page 635.4
 
Parents, inaction is the greatest curse that ever came upon youth. Your daughters should not be allowed to lie late in bed in the morning, sleeping away the precious hours lent them of God to be used for the best purpose, and for which they will have to give an account to God. The mother is doing her daughters great injury in bearing the burdens the daughters should share with her for their own present good and future benefit. The course many parents pursue in allowing their children to be indolent and to gratify a desire for reading romance, is unfitting them for real life. Novel and story-book reading is the greatest evil that youth can indulge in. Novel and love-story readers always fail to make good practical mothers. They live in an unreal world. They are air-castle builders, living in an imaginary world. They become sentimental, and have sick fancies. Their artificial life spoils them for anything useful. They are dwarfed in intellect, although they flatter themselves that they are superior in mind and manners. Exercise in household labor will be of the greatest advantage to young girls. {CE 16.4}

 

The same danger exists today among the people who profess to be the depositaries of God's law. They are too apt to flatter themselves that the regard in which they hold the commandments will preserve them from the power of divine justice. They refuse to be reproved for evil, and charge God's servants with being too zealous in putting sin out of the camp. A sin-hating God calls upon those who profess to keep His law to depart from all iniquity. Neglect to repent and obey His word will bring as serious consequences upon God's people today as did the same sin upon ancient Israel. There is a limit beyond which He will no longer delay His judgments.-- Testimonies, vol. 4, pp. 166, 167.  {ChS 44.1}
 
The true Christian will love to wait and watch for the teachings of God and the leadings of His Spirit. But with many, religion is merely a form. Vital godliness is lacking. Many dare to say, I will do this, or that, or I will not do this; and the fear of offending God is scarcely thought of. Those thus described, I saw, could not enter heaven as they are. They may flatter themselves that they will be saved, but God has no pleasure in them. Their lives do not please Him. Their prayers are an offense to Him.  {1T 152.4}

 

Some flatter themselves that the Lord will give them another opportunity, that there will be a second probation. Fatal delusion! Just now, day by day, hour by hour, we are building for the last great day. We are trading on our Lord's money, and at His coming He will reckon with us, and we shall have to give an account of what we have done with His goods. As responsible beings we are working for time and for eternity, making our records in the books of heaven, and preparing our reward or punishment. Our reward will be proportionate to our work. "My reward is with Me," Christ declares, "to give every man according as his work shall be." Rev. 22: 12. He will expect results from every one.  {MC 70.2}
 

 

                                                              not  flatter  themselves                                                                          

 

Next to Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu had stood highest in Israel. They had been especially honored by the Lord, having been permitted with the seventy elders to behold His glory in the mount. But their transgression was not therefore to be excused or lightly regarded. All this rendered their sin more grievous. Because men have received great light, because they have, like the princes of Israel, ascended to the mount, and been privileged to have communion with God, and to dwell in the light of His glory, let them not flatter themselves that they can afterward sin with impunity, that because they have been thus honored, God will not be strict to punish their iniquity. This is a fatal deception. The great light and privileges bestowed require returns of virtue and holiness corresponding to the light given. Anything short of this, God cannot accept. Great blessings or privileges should never lull to security or carelessness. They should never give license to sin or cause the recipients to feel that God will not be exact with them. All the advantages which God has given are His means to throw ardor into the spirit, zeal into effort, and vigor into the carrying out of His holy will.  {PP 359.3}

 

 
Next to Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu had stood highest in Israel. They had been especially honored by the Lord, having been permitted with the seventy elders to behold His glory in the mount. But their transgression was not therefore to be excused or lightly regarded. All this rendered their sin more grievous. Because men have received great light, because they have, like the princes of Israel, ascended to the mount, and been privileged to have communion with God, and to dwell in the light of His glory, let them not flatter themselves that they can afterward sin with impunity, that because they have been thus honored, God will not be strict to punish their iniquity. This is a fatal deception. The great light and privileges bestowed require returns of virtue and holiness corresponding to the light given. Anything short of this, God cannot accept. Great blessings or privileges should never lull to security or carelessness. They should never give license to sin or cause the recipients to feel that God will not be exact with them. . . .  {CC 100.2}

 

The only safety for the young is in unceasing watchfulness and humble prayer. They need not flatter themselves that they can be Christians without these. Satan conceals his temptations and his devices under a cover of light, as when he approached Christ in the wilderness. He was then in appearance as one of the heavenly angels. The adversary of our souls will approach us as a heavenly guest, and the apostle recommends sobriety and vigilance as our only safety. The young who indulge in carelessness and levity, and who neglect Christian duties, are continually falling under the temptations of the enemy, instead of overcoming as Christ overcame.  {3T 374.1}  {PH013 21.3}
 
You will find men who talk of a second probation, comforting themselves with the thought that if they are not overcomers in this probationary time, they will in a future probation secure a preparation for heaven. But the Lord has no future probation for any soul that lives. Those who do not appreciate this present probation will have no second trial. Those who in this life pursue a course which will close against them the gates of the city of God, need not flatter themselves that the Lord will give them another opportunity to prepare to meet Him. No, no, no!  {21MR 398.2}

 

                                                            flattered  themselves                                                                       

 

They now began to see the true character of their sin. Adam reproached his companion for her folly in leaving his side and permitting herself to be deceived by the serpent; but they both flattered themselves that He who had given them so many evidences of His love, would pardon thos one transgression. of that they would not be subjected to so dire a punishment as they had feared.  Patriarchs and Prophets, page 57.2    Chapter 3

 

 
 

 

 

 

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