Spiritual perception (41)

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

                S p I r i t u a l     p e r c e p t i o N                (  4  RELATED  PHRASES )                      

               The  phrase  'spiritual perception '  appears  41  times in the published writings of EGW                          See page on Original website                                                   Related Phrase:   lack of spiritual perception  ( below )  - -   spiritual perceptions  ( 40 )  - -  spiritual discernment (  )

   There is no room for sloth or selfishness; but those who exercise the Christian graces will grow. They will have spiritual muscle, and will be strong to work for God. They will have clear spiritual perception, growing faith, and increased power in prayer. Those who are watching for souls, those who devote themselves most fully to labor for the salvation of the erring, are most surely working out their own salvation {SW, September 29, 1908 par. 8}

 

 
  We need to search the Scriptures daily, that we may know the way of the Lord, and that we be not deceived by religious fallacies. The world is full of false theories and seductive spiritualistic ideas, which tend to destroy clear spiritual perception, and to lead away from truth and holiness. Especially at this time do we need to heed the warning, "Let no man deceive you with vain words" (Eph. 5:6).  {1SM 170.1}  {UL 316.5}

 

  Some who have labored in the ministry have failed of attaining success because they have not given their undivided interest to the Lord’s work. Ministers should have no engrossing interests aside from the great work of leading souls to the Saviour. The fishermen whom Christ called, straightway left their nets and followed Him. Ministers cannot do acceptable work for God and at the same time carry the burden of large personal business enterprises. Such a division of interest dims their spiritual perception. The mind and heart are occupied with earthly things, and the service of Christ takes a second place. They seek to shape their work for God by their circumstances, instead of shaping circumstances to meet the demands of God. { AA 365.2}  Read entire Chapter 34

 
  During the long hours when Saul was shut in with God alone, he recalled many of the passages of Scripture referring to the first advent of Christ. Carefully he traced down the prophecies, with a memory sharpened by the conviction that had taken possession of his mind. As he reflected on the meaning of these prophecies he was astonished at his former blindness of understanding and at the blindness of the Jews in general, which had led to the rejection of Jesus as the promised Messiah. To his enlightened vision all now seemed plain. He knew that his former prejudice and unbelief had clouded his spiritual perception and had prevented him from discerning in Jesus of Nazareth the Messiah of prophecy.  { AA 119.1} and { RH March 16, 1911, Art. A, par. 23 }

 

  The downtrodden law of God is to be exalted before the people; as soon as they turn with earnestness and reverence to the Holy Scriptures, light from heaven will reveal to them wondrous things out of God's law. Great truths that have long been obscured by superstition and false doctrine will blaze forth from the illuminated pages of the Sacred Word. The living oracles pour forth their treasures new and old, bringing light and joy to all who will receive them. Many are roused from their slumber. They rise as it were from the dead and receive the light and life which Christ alone can give. Truths which have proved an overmatch for giant intellects are understood by babes in Christ. To these is plainly revealed that which has clouded the spiritual perception of the most learned expositors of the word, because, like the Sadducees of old, they were ignorant of the Scriptures and of the power of God.  {5T 388.3}  also  { RH July 10, 1883, par. 14 }
 
  Who are there among us that with spiritual perception can discern the stirring conflict that is going on in the world between the forces of good and evil? Do you understand the nature of the great controversy between Christ, the Prince of life, and Satan, the prince of darkness? Does the conflict appear the same to you as it appears to the heavenly intelligences? { BLJ 284.4} 

 

   I have been given a presentation of how the food work, if conducted as a commercial enterprise, will spread and become a dangerous element in our work. I am bidden to say to men and women, Keep your conscience clear before God. Do not place yourselves where you will be tempted and tried by the sight of your eyes and the hearing of your ears, so that you will lose your spiritual perception of what it means to be a Christian. Hold the standard firmly, and raise it high. Let no one talk you into engaging in work that will hinder you from making the preparation that you must make in order to meet Christ in peace.  {HFM 64.1}
 
  When many of the disciples left Christ and walked no more with Him, because He had claimed to be that bread which came down from heaven, He had declared: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth Me, even shall live by Me.” And what did His own disciples say to His words?—“This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” The spiritual perception of His hearers could not grasp Christ’s words, and “from that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him.” { ST May 12, 1898, par. 4 }

 

  Ministers cannot do acceptable work for God, and at the same time carry the burden of large personal business enterprises. Such a division of interest dims their spiritual perception. The mind and heart are occupied with earthly things, and the service of Christ takes a second place. They seek to shape their work for God by their circumstances, instead of shaping circumstances to meet the demands of God. { GW 339.1} 
 
  We are in danger of spreading over more territory and starting more enterprises than we can possibly attend to properly, and they will become a wearing burden in absorbing means. There is danger to be guarded against of overdoing some branches of the work and leaving some important parts of the Lord’s vineyard to be neglected. To undertake and plan a large amount of work and do nothing perfectly, would be a bad plan. We are to move forward, but only in the counsel of God. We must not get so far above the simplicity of the work we lose our spiritual perception and it will be impossible to look after the many accumulated lines of work and enterprises entered into without sacrificing our best helpers to keep things in order. Life and health must be regarded. { Evangelism, 79.5} 

 

  There is danger that managers whose spiritual perception is perverted will enter into contracts to publish questionable matter merely for the sake of gain. As the result of taking in this work, the purpose for which the offices of publication were established is lost sight of, and the institutions are regarded very much as any other commercial enterprise would be. In this God is dishonored. { 7T 162.2} 
 
  God has ordained that in order to grow in grace and in a knowledge of Christ, men must follow his example, and work as he worked. It will often require a struggle to control our own feelings and refrain from speaking in a manner to discourage those who are laboring under temptation. A life of daily prayer and praise, a life which will shed light upon the path of others, cannot be maintained without earnest effort. But such effort will yield precious fruit, blessing not only the receiver but the giver. The spirit of unselfish labor for others gives depth, stability, and Christ-like loveliness to the character, and brings peace and happiness to its possessor. The aspirations are elevated.  There is no room for sloth or selfishness. Those who exercise the Christian graces will grow. They will have spiritual sinew and muscle, and will be strong to work for God. They will have clear spiritual perception, a steady, growing faith, and increased power in prayer. Those who are watching for souls, those who devote themselves most fully to labor for the salvation of the erring, are most surely working out their own salvation. { RH November 30, 1886, par. 10 }

 

  If ever a people needed spiritual perception, vigor, and steadfast faith and power in prayer, it is the people who claim to be keeping the commandments of God and looking for the Lord Jesus Christ to come in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. . . .  {UL 296.3}

 

  Let those who would be the children of God take heed to the command, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing.” Association with worldly-minded men and women dims the spiritual perception; for it is in direct disobedience to the plain injunctions of the word of God. In worldly society an earthly influence is at work, an atmosphere of poisonous miasma is there which is disastrous to personal piety. Those who truly love God will not cultivate the society of those who do not love Jesus. They will have some realization of their own individual weakness, and they will study prayerfully the word of God, that they may feed upon the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God, and they will find that Christian society and conversation is food to the soul, that in the society of those who love God, they breathe in the atmosphere of heaven. Christians will exercise love and sympathy one for another. The encouragement given one to another, the esteem manifested one for another, the helps, the instruction, the reproofs, warnings, the Christian counsel that should be found among the followers of Christ, will further them in the spiritual life; for Christian fellowship is according to God’s plan. Christians are to cultivate self-restraint, love, forbearance, and unity one to another by the cords of brotherly love. Thus they will together exercise faith, hope, and love toward God; they will have tender consideration for all of like precious faith, and will draw toward those who love God. There will be fellowship such as the world knows not of. “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” { RH November 27, 1894, par. 4 }
 
  All that men were able to witness of God had been revealed to them in Christ, and had their spiritual perception been what it should have been they would have discerned in him the Father. Jesus, now about to remove his powerful presence from his disciples, promised that they should do greater works even than he had done. He was soon to stand by his Father’s side as the Advocate of men, to plead in their behalf, and he promised to do whatsoever they should ask in his name, that the Father might be glorified in the Son. “If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it.” Precious promise to the needy and sorrowful. When the Spirit was afterward poured out upon the disciples wonderful results followed through the gifts which Christ had just promised them. He continued: “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me. Because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” { ST January 17, 1878, par. 7 }

 

  Let not self be fostered. Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, else moral feeling will be blunted, and the sense of duty clouded, the response of conscience more feeble, and unsanctified self-reliance will dictate and control. May God help you to secure a clear title to an inheritance among the sanctified. Do not wait for a more favorable time. Whose time are you using? It is God’s. He gave it to you to use for this very purpose. You are not to put business first and your soul’s interest second; but you are to be doers of the words of Christ. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all necessary things shall be added.” See that your life is hid with Christ in God before you enter into any business. Pray, believe, take Jesus with you, and he will guide your efforts; and if success attends them, do not become puffed up and think it is yourself that should receive the praise. It was God who worked in you to will and to do his good pleasure. You are not to take one atom of the glory; but you are to glorify God, and try to help everyone engaged in his work to understand that the secret of success is in Christ Jesus. Shall we become just such workers as he would have us become? Shall we have a firm hold from above? Shall we be true to God in every place, to co-operate with him? God help us is my earnest prayer. Satan will throw around us his influence to inspire us with ideas, to supply our motives, and lead us to have increased attachment to the world, by blunting our moral sensibilities, and by confirming us in selfishness and self-esteem. We need a great increase of spiritual perception, in order that we may not be ignorant of Satan’s devices. { ST May 19, 1887, Art. B, par. 3 }
 
  On one occasion Christ had declared to his hearers: “Verily, verily I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that heareth me, even he shall live by me.” These words were spoken to test them; and when they heard them, many of his disciples said among themselves, “This is an hard saying, who can hear it?” The spiritual perception of these followers could not grasp Christ’s words, and “from that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” Turning to the twelve, Jesus said, “Will ye also go away?” But Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” { ST November 4, 1897, par. 8 }

                    lack  of  spiritual  perception   

   All pride of opinion, all dependence upon the wisdom of this world, are unprofitable and vain. When men, instead of humbly receiving the truth of God in whatever way it may be sent to them, begin to criticize the words and manners of the messenger, they are manifesting their lack of spiritual perception,  and their want of appreciation for the truth of God, which is of vastly more importance than the most cultured and pleasing discourse. One critical speech, disparaging the messenger of God, may start a train of unbelief in some mind that will result in making of none effect the word of truth. Those who have a constant struggle to cherish humility and faith, are far from being benefited by this course. Anything like pride in learning, and dependence upon scientific knowledge, which you place between your soul and the word of the Bible, will most effectually close the door of your heart to the sweet, humble religion of the meek and lowly Jesus.  {RH, August 3, 1911 par. 5}  and  { RH April 17, 1888, par. 5 }

 

  We are in nowise to be deterred from fulfilling our commission by the listlessness, the dullness, the lack of spiritual perception, in those upon whom the word of God is brought to bear. We are to preach the word of life to those whom we may judge to be as hopeless subjects as though they were in their graves. Though they may seem to be unwilling to hear or to receive the light of truth, without questioning or wavering we are to do our part. — Review and Herald, January 17, 1893. { PM 306.1} 
 
  A Vision of Our Work — The souls of those whom we desire to save are like the representation which Ezekiel saw in vision,—a valley of dry bones. They are dead in trespasses and sins, but God would have us deal with them as though they were living. Were the question put to us, “Son of man, can these bones live?” our answer would be only the confession of ignorance, “O Lord, Thou knowest.” To all appearance there is nothing to lead us to hope for their restoration. Yet nevertheless the word of the prophecy must be spoken even to those who are like the dry bones in the valley. We are in no wise to be deterred from fulfilling our commission by the listlessness, the dullness, the lack of spiritual perception, in those upon whom the Word of God is brought to bear. We are to preach the word of life to those whom we may judge to be as hopeless subjects as though they were in their graves. { 4BC 1165.3 }  and  { RH January 17, 1893, par. 6 }

 

  We are in no wise to be deterred from fulfilling our commission by the listlessness, the dullness, the lack of spiritual perception in those upon whom the word of God is brought to bear. We are to preach the word of life to those whom we may judge to be as hopeless subjects as though they were in their graves. Though they may seem to be unwilling to hear or to receive the light of truth, without questioning or wavering, we are to do our part. — Manuscript 152, 1897. { PH005 6.4 } 

 
  We are in nowise to be deterred from fulfilling our commission by the listlessness, the dullness, the lack of spiritual perception in those upon whom the word of God is brought to bear. We are to preach the word of light to those whom we may judge to be as hopeless subjects as though they were in their graves. Though they may seem to be unwilling to hear or to receive the light of truth, without questioning or wavering we are to do our part. { PH007 22.3 } 

 

              S p I r i t u a l    p e r c e p t i o N s                                      

                       The  phrase  'spiritual perceptions '  appears  40  times in the published writings of EGW

   Ministers of the gospel sometimes do great harm by allowing their forbearance toward the erring to degenerate into toleration of sins and even participation in them. Thus they are led to excuse and palliate that which God condemns, and after a time they become so blinded as to commend the very ones whom God commands them to reprove. He who has blunted his spiritual perceptions by sinful leniency toward those whom God condemns, will erelong commit a greater sin by severity and harshness toward those whom God approves.  {AA 504.1}  Read entire Chapter 49   Similar quotation: PaM 211.1 

 

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