The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials


Chapter 211—To C. P. Bollman


“Elmshaven,” Sanitarium, Cal.,
November 19, 1902.

Dear Brother Bollman,—

I have a deep interest in you. I recognize the fact that you have capabilities which, if sanctified, would enable you to be a laborer together with God. But at the present time you are not this kind of a laborer. 1888 1787.1

You need to realize that you can not be a complete whole. There are responsibilities that others must carry. There are others whose qualifications are fully as essential as your own to the progress of the work. Every worker needs to guard himself against thinking that he is a complete whole. My brother, you should learn that wherever you are in God's service, other minds besides yours should be brought into connection with the work. You will desire to do things that in your judgment should be done. But your will is not always to be followed. On some lines other minds may be more capable of giving wise counsel than is yours; therefore you need to counsel with your brethren. In your board-meetings let the other members fully express their minds. Do not regard your own judgment as fully sufficient to decide matters without any other voice. 1888 1787.2

There is one talent in which you are greatly deficient,—the talent of soul-saving. Of all sciences, the highest and the most essential is the science of soul-saving. It embraces very much. In your position of trust you need to learn more concerning this science; for you need to exert a molding influence over every one with whom you have anything to do. But in order to do justice to this work, you must first learn of Christ. 1888 1788.1

My dear brother, I have a message to bear to you. Less of self and more of Christ would make you much more useful. You need not keep yourself within yourself, as an entity distinct from your brethren. Their various talents are not yours; but the talent that is of greatest value with God is the talent of soul-saving, and this all need to obtain. 1888 1788.2

The Lord would have you become a much more humble man, that He may converse with you. Unless in some respects you change, there will always be difficulty. To every man God has given a work, and He requires him to do this work in the best way. My brother, your case has been opened before me, and I have been instructed to say that you need the milk of human kindness and the tender Spirit of Christ. You need to be converted through and through, else you will daily meet with great loss. 1888 1788.3

The resurrection of Christ is the life of the church. When we see a man or a woman whose heart the Saviour can not make tender and sympathetic, we all need to cherish the love of Christ in the soul, in order that through our lives He may reveal His unutterable tenderness, gentleness, and sympathy. The Lord Jesus is ever prepared to irradiate with the glory of His presence every heart that will open to let Him in. 1888 1788.4

I speak to all who have any part to act in the work of the Nashville Publishing-house: Be converted. When you are converted, your tongue and your lips will be used to the glory of God. The value of the talent of speech will be fully recognized. Those in Nashville who desire to sit in heavenly places with Christ must be soundly converted in their ministry. Brethren and sisters, sweeten up. Be bright and shining lights, whatever your position. I bear this message to all the workers in the Office. Christ's presence must be manifested in your spirit, your words, your deportment. 1888 1789.1

Where there is a heart in which the light of heaven does not radiate, there is a solitude in which Christ can not abide. By the side of every soul is an angel-presence. I have been instructed that with Christ there was given to our world all the treasures of heaven. Nothing was reserved. If man does not open the door of his heart to Christ Jesus and commune with Him, Satanic agencies will commune with him. 1888 1789.2

It is to the glory of God that cheerfulness abound. If the softening, subduing influence of the grace of Christ be present, pleasant words will always be spoken. If one makes mistakes, go to the erring one alone. Speak not words of counsel with a vim, but modulate your voice. He who occupies an influential position as God's steward should take special care not to irritate by word or act. He should speak pleasantly to every worker, and reveal no irritability or sourness of disposition. 1888 1789.3

Let all the workers in the Office remember that they are to represent Christ in word and act. There is to be no sharp speaking, no fretful scolding; for angels of God are walking up and down in every room. Christ loves to commend every faithful worker, and He will do it. Every good act is registered in the book. Little mistakes may be made, but words of censure arouse feelings of retaliation, and God is dishonored. 1888 1790.1

Let every one placed in a position of trust be as much more careful how he speaks and acts, as his position is greater in responsibility than the position of his fellow workers; for those connected with the work of God can please the Master by speaking kindly only. Any word spoken thoughtlessly or unadvisedly should be retracted on the spot. If the speaker forgets to do this, or if he does not regret his thoughtlessness, some one should in the spirit of Christ remind him of his duty to apologize; for we are to remember that as Christians professing to work in unity, we must not act like sinners, whose sinful words and works, unless repented of, will condemn them. 1888 1790.2

All the workers in the Office are under the supervision of God, and are expected to speak respectfully because they are in His presence <just as verily as if they could see him.> They are to show love and respect, cheerfulness and true courtesy, to one another, remembering that in this life they are in a school where they can learn lessons that will prepare them for promotion to the school above. It costs nothing to speak kindly, and kindness fulfills the law of Christ. By the constant practice of this virtue, habits are formed that will make beautiful characters,—characters fit for entrance into the courts above. Thus men and women may become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. My brethren and sisters, will you not set a watch upon your lips, that you may speak no unpleasant words? 1888 1790.3

Professing Christians who act like little children, speaking pettishly and showing hastiness of temper, offend God. He has paid a great price to redeem them from Satan's power, that they might become sons and daughters of God. When they act like sinners, they are counted as sinners, and must repent and do their first works of love. Christians are to love one another, as Christ has loved them. Upon the manifestation of this love hinges the world's recognition of the truth of the gospel. It was for this that Christ prayed in the last prayer He offered. Christians must not act like unruly children. Before the world those who claim to be God's children must give evidence that they have left behind them the childish ways of their unconverted life. 1888 1791.1

Every human agency connected with the Lord's work needs to appropriate the work in which he is acting a part. The work in God's institutions is to be carried on without friction, without hasty speech, without dictatorial words. The workers are to be pure, clean, and holy in thought, in word, in act. They are to be Christ's witnesses, testifying that they are born again. 1888 1791.2

“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil-speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” We should study this instruction. It is our privilege to grow “unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” We are not to be thoughtless or careless in speech, hurting one another by unkind words. 1888 1791.3

“Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief Corner-stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” 1888 1792.1

How keenly Satan is watching to see how he can gain access to the human soul! We need to inquire, as a certain lawyer inquired of Jesus while He was surrounded by a great multitude, “Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Christ required the answer from the questioner himself. “What is written in the law?” He said; “how readest thou?” This was an unexpected turn to the lawyer, yet he knew very well what answer to give. He said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” Jesus said, “Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live.” 1888 1792.2

In the answer of the lawyer the whole duty of man is presented in a few words. On these two principles, love to God and love to man, hang all the law and the prophets. The first four of the ten commandments are summed up in the one great precept, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart.” The last six are included in the other, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” 1888 1792.3

We are to walk by faith, not by sight. Through faith and obedience we obtain every advantage. Through faith “we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” I can testify that the righteousness of Christ entitles us to the blessings of the covenant of grace. In this life there is nothing of greater importance than preparation of character, that we may at last enter with joy into the saints’ abode on high. Why do we not improve our privilege of being saints here below? 1888 1793.1

Those who today believe in Christ, need more than pentecostal power, inasmuch as He has given them a large, open field in which to work. It is while living here below that we serve the Lord Jesus Christ and show His grace in our words and actions. As the representatives of His kingdom, we are to reveal His character, giving to the world an illustration of what heaven will be. We are to engage in no strife for supremacy, no bitter wrangling. We are not to manifest a selfish or contentious spirit. Our work is to reveal to the world that God's children love one another. 1888 1793.2

Let us consider the promises assuring us that we may become sons and daughters of God. Let us study Paul's prayer for his Colossian brethren. “For this cause we also,” he wrote, “since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness.” 1888 1793.3

How complete this prayer is! There is no limit to the blessings that it is our privilege to receive. We may be “filled with the knowledge of His will.” The Holy Ghost would never have inspired Paul to offer this prayer in behalf of his brethren, if it had not been possible for them to receive an answer from God in accordance with the request. Since this is so, we know that God's will is manifested to His people as they need a clearer understanding of His will. 1888 1794.1

To the church at Ephesus Paul wrote: “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.” 1888 1794.2

Here are brought to view the possibilities of the Christian life. How far short of reaching this standard falls the church of today! Strife, discord, selfish pride of opinion, self-exaltation,—self, self, self,—all this is manifest in those who claim to be followers of the meek and lowly Jesus. When shall we awake? When shall we meet the expectations of Christ? 1888 1794.3

I address those who are connected with the work at Nashville. Will you not reach a higher standard? Will you not, in heart and mind and purpose, be one with Christ and with one another, laboring in harmony because Christ is abiding in you? Should Christ appear among you today, how would you stand? How many would be found with garments spotted by sin, not having on the robe of Christ's righteousness? 1888 1795.1

I have been instructed to speak with authority to our people, to cry aloud and spare not; for there are many who are as those described in the message to the church in Sardis: “These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die; for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Remember therefore how thou hast received, and heard, and hold fast, and repent.” 1888 1795.2

Among those to whom this message to the church in Sardis was sent, there were those who had heard and been convicted by the preaching of John the Baptist, but who had forsaken the faith in which they once rejoiced. There were others who had received the truth from Christ's teaching, and who were once ardent believers, rejoicing in the faith, but who had lost their first love, and were without spiritual strength. Because they did not hold the beginning of their confidence firm unto the end, they were believing as men without faith. They quibbled about matters of no special importance which were not given by the Lord as tests, and dwelt upon their differences of opinion till these differences became as mountains, separating them from Christ and from one another, destroying unity and love. 1888 1795.3

We are in danger of falling into similar errors. Never should that which God has not given as a test be carried as was the subject of the law in Galatians. I have been instructed that the terrible experience at the Minneapolis Conference is one of the saddest chapters in the history of the believers in present truth. God forbids that the subject of the two laws should ever again be agitated as it then was. Some are not yet healed of their defection and would plunge into this subject once more. Should they do this, differences of opinion would again create division. This question must not be revived. 1888 1796.1

“These things saith He that hath the seven stars.” These words show the origin of the message. Then a plain truth is stated. “I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” With God, outward show weighs nothing. The outward form of religion, without the love of God in the soul, is worthless. 1888 1796.2

“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die.” This is our work. There are many ready to die spiritually, and the Lord calls upon us to strengthen them. God's people are to be firm to duty. They are to be bound together by the bonds of Christian fellowship, and are to be strengthened in the faith by speaking often to one another about the precious truth entrusted to them. Never are they to quarrel and condemn. They are to unite upon the importance of obedience to God's law. 1888 1796.3

“If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” There must be a waking up among our people. Those who abound in the love of God will not go into apostasy. They will not lose their faith in the truth. 1888 1797.1

“Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments, and they shall walk with Me in white; for they are worthy.” There are today on the earth a faithful few who love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves. 1888 1797.2

“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” 1888 1797.3

God sends to His church today this message: “Unto the church of the Laodiceans write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” 1888 1797.4

My brethren and sisters, think on these things, and pray over them. Do not be strengthless, but strong in the Lord, understanding what the will of the Lord is. 1888 1798.1