Righteous Discernment

Pharisee and sinner

Have you ever known or heard of some people who have the uncanny ability to “read” people? They can size them up in a short period of time. There perception is keen and acutely accurate. The Inspired writings says that those who are “filled” with His Spirit can do  a “spiritual reading”, they can know the condition of the soul of another,  much like a physician can determine the condition of the physical body. And that is not all, we are told they will know sin , in all it’s traps.

One of the most important aspects of our Christian walk is –discernment. This is so important that if we do not have it,  His word says we can fall into many snares and traps.

In Revelation 3:18 we are counselled to anoint our eyes with “eye slave”, that we may see. We as SDA know that the Lord was specifically talking to us as the Laodicean church.

In explaining Rev. 3:18, our prophetess said, “The eye salve is that vision and grace which enables us to discern between the evil and the good, and to detect sin under any guise” (Testimonies, vol.4, p.88).

“”..the eye salve is that spiritual discernment which will enable you to see the wiles of Satan and shun them, to detect sin and abhor it, to see truth and obey it” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.441).

Wow, now who wouldn’t want that eye  salve? We have ability to distinguish good from evil, see Satan’s tricks, detect sin , and to see truth! That to me seems like the “whole armor of God”!

Unfortunately we as SDA do not possess this eye salve to a large degree. The truth is waiting for us yet many do not pursue it. In the same chapter of Revelation, He tells us why we don’t.

“Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ –“ (Rev.3:17).

Here we see that we cannot expect the healing eye salve as long as we continue to think we do not need — more truth.

Recently I came upon a quote from the Elijah prophet that really was powerful. It registered fully and motivated me to do this post.

 “For  only a true Christian, one who has a personal experience with God, a perfect knowledge of His Word, and who is filled with His Spirit, can discriminate saint from sinner.  He, only, can recognize who has the seal and who does not have it, when the latter is cloaked in a counterfeit robe of righteousness.” ( Tract 5, p.63)

The above makes us think. You mean some has the ability to know whether a “Christian” has the seal of God? Yes. This is ground shaking!

We can see that only those who walk daily under obedience are qualified to have this discernment. What a blessing to know that God gives such 20/20 vision.

But if we are blessed with this ability we must be very careful not to “cross the line” into judging a brother or sister. This is an opposite purpose of this gift.

As with any gift from God, it comes with responsibility. Unfortunately some have assumed that they have this gift, yet if they profess judgment upon others, it’s a sure sign they don’t!

“Satan works side by side with professed Christians; yet they are so destitute of spiritual discernment that they do not detect him. (Testimonies for the Church, vol.2, p. 441) 

The King gave us specific advice in helping others and discerning sin in another. “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Luke 6:42)

Let look at some ways that those who have felt this gift can help others with it.

1) Reach out to those who the Lord has guided you to.

We do not walk  haphazardly  when we are serving the Lord. People are placed in our path for a reason. We should understand that because they are there, we should reach out by letting them know God’s will for them. And what is that?

Ellen Whites explains. ” There are many precious truths contained in the Word of God, but it is ‘present truth’ that the flock needs now.” (Early Writings, p.63)

If there is one thing that most of our beloved SDA brethren need right now it is –present truth. We are, for the most part unfortunately stuck on past truth. As we have studied many times, truth is advancing.

Recently I bumped into a fellow SDA church member  and as we were discussing church affairs, we both agreed that most if not all sermons given are really sad lullaby affairs. The emphasis is on “let’s not rock the boat, let’s give the people good ol fluffy easy smooth teachings.”

2) Be ready to warn and admonish when necessary.

Scripture gives us the straight testimony. “Cry aloud; do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins. (Isaiah 58:1)

Love is telling them the truth. Fluffy peace and safety is securing them in their wrong way. And where will that lead them?

Of course we are told to be, “..be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.(Matt. 10:16)

But sometimes we need to adjust to those who we are dealing. Recently I was having an email exchange with a brother who , to be quite frank, had reached a point where a stern warning was in order. In discerning the matter, I could see that no small talk or light language would awake him. He needed tough medicine.

3. Desire to take the lead.

As those of us who have studied and accepted the Lord’s Elijah message know, time is very short and His last pleading message is going out throughout the SDA church worldwide.

With so many of our brethren in the dark about His final message, we should initiate Bible studies, phone calls, emails, Facebook chats, and other communications.

The Lord says, “Why stand idle here all day long?..You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.”(Matt 20:6-7)

In closing, the Lord has given a most precious gift–righteous discernment. Let those who have it, use it, to help our brethren see that the kingdom is just about ready to appear. Will you or I be a part of it?

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