Manuscript Releases, vol. 20 [Nos. 1420-1500]


MR No. 1482—Appeal for Complete Consecration, Including Breaking With Secret Societies

(Written January 2, 1893, from North Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria, to N. D. Faulkhead.)

I am anxious that you shall be a free man from the slavery of all bondage. You have been binding yourself in bundles with those who are an offense to God. Your brethren, or many of them, do not know that which you yourself and the Lord know—the inward worKings of the association with which you are connected. You do not yourself know its character. You are like a man intoxicated; every advancement perverts your senses. 20MR 282.1

I have determined that I will not confess the sins of those who profess to believe the truth, but leave these things for them to confess. This I sincerely hope that you will do. You know the things which are keeping you from making progress. Will you, in the name of Jesus, be determined that you will be an overcomer? You will not grow spiritually until you do this. Jesus came to our world and fought the battles with Satan in our behalf. He overcame the wily foe, making it possible for every soul to overcome in the name and strength of Jesus on his own account and in his own behalf. [Revelation 2:7, 11, 17; 3:5, 12, 21, quoted.] 20MR 282.2

I beseech of you, my brother, to carefully consider the matter in the light of the oft-repeated promises, and decide whether these promises shall be yours. The servant is not greater than his Lord. If Christ Jesus came to our world to perfect a Christian character in behalf of the fallen race, the requirement of God to us is to practice the example of our Substitute and Surety. Let not a blot or stain be found upon you. Be open and frank as the day, knowing that every hidden thing shall be brought to light. 20MR 282.3

The Lord has given us precious probationary time in which we are to form characters that will place our names in the book of life as overcomers. One step in the forbidden path and you are on Satan's side, an easy prey to his manifold temptations. 20MR 282.4

The truth as it is revealed in the Word of God is a sanctifier, else it is of no value to us. The question is, What has the truth done for us personally? Has it transformed us into Christ's likeness of character? Have we, under its refining, ennobling influence become pure from every defiling sin? The truth is a transformer; it reinstates and subscribes the image of God upon man. 20MR 282.5

Let wisdom utter her voice, let her mark out the path. “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace” (Proverbs 3:17). “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). Whoever loves God supremely and his neighbor as himself is keeping the commandments of God. Although he has to meet the annoyances that will come from a fallen world, yet he is not discouraged, because Christ has said, “I have overcome the world.” 20MR 283.1

It remains for you, my brother, to step over the line that God has marked out. The path of implicit obedience is the only path of safety, for this is the path cast up for the Christian to travel—the path which leads him close to the side of his Redeemer. He will have a converted body. His soul is in harmony with the laws of God. He is daily receiving renovating grace and is made rich by his title to an immortal inheritance. He is walking in the path of the overcomer. He has a title that will stand the test of law. Through the righteousness of Christ he holds a claim to the priceless gift of eternal life. His heart reposes upon the promise of full and free salvation, imperishable wealth, a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 20MR 283.2

But the promises so oft repeated are not to the one who is overcome by any perverted appetite, but to him who is an overcomer. You may win a crown of life if you are marching steadily forward and the record of your life is registered, “Overcame through the blood of the Lamb and the word of his testimony.” 20MR 283.3

Let every idol be cleansed from the soul temple, for this must be if you grow up to the full stature of a man in Christ Jesus. Heaven is worth everything to us. We are to fix our eyes upon Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, and press forward toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Will you make straight paths for your feet, lest the lame be turned out of the way? Will you, by faith, grasp the hand of infinite power and say, “Jesus, I am Thine; Thou hast purchased me—my reason, which I must not dim by any indulgence; my affections, which I must not withhold from Thee who hast first loved me; my virtue, which I will not tarnish, for this would dishonor my Redeemer? Take me just as I am, weak, helpless, unworthy; bind my heart to Thy great heart of infinite love. I would stand purified, refined, ennobled, sanctified through the truth. Then shall I discern between the sacred and the common.” 20MR 283.4

The line of demarcation will be distinct between you and the world. The love of the truth will be in the heart, and you will be charmed with contemplating heavenly things. 20MR 283.5

The world has altogether too much influence over you. If the Lord has given you your work to associate with those who are worldlings and schemers, He will give you the grace which He gave to the noble statesman, Daniel, who was a bright light from heaven shining amid the moral darkness in the wicked courts of Babylon. 20MR 284.1

You have been receiving a mold of character which is not favorable to religious growth. You will need more of Jesus, less of self. You will need to guard against sharp practices in dealing with brethren and with those not of our faith. These words should be written on the tablets of the soul, “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” Look not on your own things, but upon the things of others [cf. Philippians 2:4]. It would be well in matters of deal if you would put yourself in the place of the one you are dealing with, and watch unto prayer lest a sharp spirit come in, selfishness have a controlling power over your mind, and your soul become tarnished. 20MR 284.2

There are many things in your character that are not discerned. I tell you these things because I want you to make thorough work in character building. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh unto you. 20MR 284.3

Oh, how thankful should we be because of the promises of God! As you closely examine your own heart, the Lord will reveal to you the work He wishes you to do. “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worked in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12, 13). 20MR 284.4

God works in you; cooperate with God, and you are a worker together with God in the saving of your own soul. Says Christ, “Without Me ye can do nothing.” With Christ you can come off more than conqueror through him that has given His life for you. 20MR 284.5

During the conference in Melbourne I was compelled to bear a very plain testimony to the church. I have spoken to some personally, but my work was not to single out individuals in the congregation and say, “Thou art the man.” I read some matters which I had written in my diary, expecting that the Lord would give me strength to labor through the winter and seek to correct existing wrongs. 20MR 284.6

In the providence of God I was unable to labor as I had hoped, and my mind has been again exercised in reference to the existing state of things. Some things will need to be set in order in the church and in the Echo office. In my great weakness I read to some of those connected with the office, who are bearing responsibilities, the things which the Lord had shown me should control the workers in the office, from the highest to the lowest. I hoped that these things would have an influence to make a change for the better. But the burden comes back upon me again, and I will now copy some things that have been shown me of the Lord. 20MR 284.7

I was shown that the Spirit of the Lord has been working in convicting your heart. You have been drawn by the Spirit of God to make an entire surrender to God, but while your heart has been touched by the Spirit of the Lord you have not made a complete surrender, and the light which has come from the throne of God to you has not been cherished. 20MR 285.1

One great hindrance to your clear spiritual eyesight is your connection with secret societies. If Christ were abiding in your heart by faith you would understand His will in this matter, and would not need that anyone should enlighten you. You are losing faith and confidence in, and love for, the Lord and the truth. 20MR 285.2

We are amid the perils of the last days, and trying times are before us. Everything that can be shaken will be shaken, that those things that cannot be shaken may remain. Drought, famine, pestilence, earthquakes, casualties by sea and land, will multiply. Life will be unsafe anywhere, only as the life is hid with Christ in God. Now, while the angels are holding the four winds, is our opportunity to seek the Lord most earnestly. 20MR 285.3

You do not realize your peril. Nations and people have in different ages separated from God and lost faith in truth, in duty, so that they could not discern man's eternal responsibility to his God. You are passing over the same ground. You have clung to your idols, and are becoming spiritually benumbed. Whatever it may cost you to recover your faith, you would better deny self and make any sacrifice than live without the presence and favor of God. There is something more to be dreaded by individuals who have had light and knowledge of the truth than drought, famine, or temporal inconveniences. It is a worse thing to lose faith in God, in truth, in duty. It is far worse to choose your own way, to love money, to love those things that minister to selfish gratification and indulgence. It is a terrible thing to imperil the soul's highest interest for any temporal gain or worldly advantage. 20MR 285.4

If you, my brother, lose heaven, you lose everything. You cannot afford to fail of receiving the heavenly treasures which are to be given only to those who love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves. Treasures of immortal value will be given only to the self-denying and the pure in heart. Stand before God with a heart cleansed from every idol, a conscience void of offense, and you are prepared for anything. Life or death, trials or sufferings, will not uproot your faith, but make you strong to do and to suffer. 20MR 285.5

Many have a knowledge of the truth, but it is of no saving value to them unless they practice the truth. It is the ruin of thousands that they are pleased to have close connection with those who have no love for God and for the truth. Uniting with them, binding up with them by secret cords which God and heaven have never devised, will, in the place of making one Christlike and humble, holy, pure, and undefiled, make him, after a time, of the same mind and spirit as his associates. 20MR 286.1

I have been permitted to look in upon these secret societies, their feasts, their order, their works, and my prayer has been, “Hide them from my sight forever. Let me not understand more.” One thing I do know, that those who remain in connection with them will be burned up with the bundles of tares, one with them in the last day. 20MR 286.2

Your eternal interest is hanging in the balance. The longer you associate with these men, the more will you become assimilated to their customs, their spirit, their practices. The unbelief, the infidelity, which is expressed by them will come to intrude upon your thoughts, and weaken your faith. 20MR 286.3

Can you, my brother, serve God and Baal at the same time? Can you, for a moment, associate Jesus, the world's Redeemer, with your gatherings, your councils, your feasts? If Christ is there it is as the Witness was present at the feast of Belshazzar. They who composed the number at that hilarious feast knew not that the eternal God was there. They drank wine and indulged appetite, feasting themselves. Sacred things were profaned. Money was expended freely. They deceived not the God in the midst of them—taking cognizance of every action, listening to their God-dishonoring sentiments. And when revelry was at its height, a bloodless hand came forth and wrote the words of doom upon the wall of that banqueting hall. 20MR 286.4

Could a child of God, an heir of heaven, be found in such society? The men who drink wine prepare the way for further excess. The tobacco devotee worships an idol, and the Lord speaks—listen, for He speaks to you—“Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:17, 18). All the enjoyment you can have in this riotous mirth and in the conversation of these men, unfits you for the study of the Scriptures, for the hour of devotion, for the service of God. What if you should behold Jesus, the world's Redeemer, in the midst of you—as He certainly is—would there not be a fainting of heart, even with you and your associates? 20MR 286.5

The Lord God of heaven witnessed every form of your ceremonies; His ear heard every pledge, every oath that bound you in unholy bonds to these secret societies. Every tie which you strengthen by continuing with them is binding your soul, body, and spirit in stronger unholy bonds. 20MR 287.1

The money paid in to increase their revenue is God's money, perverted to a wrong use. The tax you pay in your feasts had much better be put into the treasury of God to advance His cause. 20MR 287.2

There is nothing said or done or even thought that God does not know; nothing can escape His infinite eye. There is a Witness to every thought and word and action of our lives, and that Witness is the Holy One, a sin-hating God. The God of heaven is measuring character and weighing moral worth in the golden balances of the sanctuary. How many in these gatherings of the secret society are weighed and found wanting—wanting in the fruits of a life of piety and heart service! I speak that which I do know. To be found wanting when God, the Creator of heaven and earth, weighs character, is a terrible thing. Christ died for every individual soul of them, that He might draw them to himself. God has made every provision, bestowed every gift, even heaven itself. Having given Jesus, He withholds nothing for the benefit of man. Your mind needs to dwell upon these things. 20MR 287.3

I address myself to you, Brother Faulkhead. Your soul is in peril. You are insensible to your perils and to your responsibility to God. The price paid for your redemption has bound your individual being up with God. You are His property, whatever course you may decide to pursue. Grave decisions are being made by you. You can never cease to be responsible to him who “so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” 20MR 287.4

God has given you talents, both in faculties and in opportunities. You are to employ these entrusted capabilities in His service. Years are passing into eternity. What are you doing? Are you making returns to God in the improvement and increase of your talents for His service? You must give an account to God for every jot of your influence, for influence is a power for good or for evil. If weighted with the Spirit of truth, you can surround your soul with an atmosphere that will be to those with whom you associate a savor of life unto life. If true to God, you will be indeed a colaborer with him. You will be as a branch of the living Vine, vitalized by the nourishment which flows through the parent stock. 20MR 287.5

God has appointed you your work. You are not to make your temporal business all-absorbing. “Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” God has entrusted you with precious talents to use. You are to trade wisely with the entrusted goods of heaven. Your work is to glorify God. Watch unto prayer. But where is your devotion to God? You have almost divorced yourself from him. In the place of educating yourself by practice how to pray, you are forgetting how to approach God in sincerity and truth, forgetting how to bear your testimony for him. You have no special love for the Bible. You see not the hidden treasure there. Did you discern its value, you would sell all to buy the field. 20MR 287.6

You are now connected with the work of God, and you are constantly and strongly tempted to break this connection. You will be separated from the work eventually, because your heart takes little delight in it. 20MR 288.1

I feel an interest for your soul. Better, for your soul's sake, cast your idols out of your soul, sever the chains that bind you to secret societies, and surrender wholly to God. Your future, eternal interest demands this. Consider your associates. God is drawing you. You hear the message from the messengers God sends to you, but in the position in which you now stand you are so much absorbed you do not practice the truth, and its solemn appeals fade from your mind because it is not mixed with faith as you hear the truth. There is only one course for you to pursue—to humble your proud heart before God and become as a little child. Then He can lead you and use you in His cause and can say to you, “You are a laborer together with God.” 20MR 288.2

If you would find joy and satisfaction in everything you do, you must do everything in the order of God and with an eye single to the glory of God. The character of a Christian will be intensely practical, because the human agent bears the stamp of the divine nature. 20MR 288.3

You are to be house-band in your home. You need not be a spiritual weakling at home or in the church, but a stalwart son of God, prepared through vital connection with God for all the circumstances of actual life. In your home you are to stand as priest of your household. Your wife will walk interestedly by your side; but your indifference, your manifest want of devotion, gives no strength of spirituality to your wife and her mother. 20MR 288.4

Said Christ, “I sanctify Myself that they also may be sanctified.” This you need candidly to consider. What influence are you exerting in your home and in the business transactions in connection with His work and cause? I must tell you, your heart is not in the work. Your Christian life should sanctify the whole. It should pervade every branch of human action from the first to the last, from the highest to the lowest. “Whether ... ye eat, or drink” (1 Corinthians 10:31), or “whatsoever ye do in word, or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17). 20MR 288.5

The great and precious words of the Bible are treasures of knowledge, and its power you do not know by individual experience. God calls you to take a higher stand. You need to be transformed in character. The Lord will use you as a vessel unto honor if you will cooperate with God. 20MR 289.1

Study the Bible and then you will break with the associates in secret societies. Jesus associated with publicans and sinners and ate with them—not in words or spirit to become one of them, but by His words to sow the seeds of truth that they might be enlightened and become one with him. And His influence was not in vain. We are not to go out of the world, but we are to be as stars shining amid the moral darkness, that souls may come to the light and by seeing our good works glorify God. When thou are converted, then thou wilt have a work to do to enlighten others. 20MR 289.2

You must be divested of self. You must be meek and lowly of heart, and then the teachings of Christ will be appreciated by you. There must be in the Echo office the transforming grace of Christ. Things are not as they should be. God forbid that religion should be only a profession with you. In your family you want the subduing, sanctifying power of the grace of Christ upon your own heart. Then levity and cheap nonsense will not prevail, but there will be cheerfulness and hopefulness and courage and faith. There will be no need of cheap, forced cheerfulness but there will be peace and joy in the assurance and love of Jesus. 20MR 289.3

Cast no stumbling block in the way of others. With the Sun of Righteousness shining into your heart, there will be joy in everything. Heaven's peace may be yours, although you have lost much time and are today dwarfed in Christian growth of character. It is not too late Jesus calls you today, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink” (John 7:37). 20MR 289.4

Happiness is not dependent on the frivolities and dissipations of the world. When the door of the heart is opened to the love of Jesus, there are opened fountains of pure and never-ceasing joy in the soul. Jesus has said. “These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11). We have a precious, loving Saviour, who wants us to find our happiness in him, because the happiness He gives is not fluctuating but enduring. The religion of Jesus Christ never makes its possessor unhappy, never creates gloom or despondency. God calls on every soul to enter His way of peace and find rest in placing all their burdens upon him. 20MR 289.5

He has a work for you to do. You might have been far in advance of where you are today in a knowledge of God and Jesus Christ our Lord. The Lord has a work for you to do in His service. He accepts no divided service. The service of God and serving idols will not agree. He requires your entire cooperation. The talents He has entrusted to you are to be improved by exercising them in doing His work. The converting power of God must come to your heart. 20MR 290.1

You or I cannot be safe to defer obedience until every possibility of doubt or of mistake is removed. The human agent who demands perfect knowledge will never yield to faith. 20MR 290.2

Faith is not sight. It rests upon probability, not on demonstration, for then it would be no faith. You can, through consecration to God, with every capability and power sanctified be a colaborer with Jesus Christ. You can, in connection with the Echo office, be an efficient workman that needeth not to be ashamed. Your hands handling sacred things may be clean, your spirit pure, and you vitalized with the Spirit of God. The word of the Lord comes to you to change your course of action. The Lord will use you as His human instrument to do a good work for the Lord who gave His life for you. 20MR 290.3

My brother, the money you expend in the tax imposed in connection with your secret organizations, would supply many a want in the various branches of the cause of God. Saith God, “Them that honor Me I will honor.” There are many ways opened whereby you could be a light to the world. The work of every follower of Jesus Christ is to seek and save those who are lost. God will give His Holy Spirit to all who manifest their love for the truth in good works. He supplies [to] all providential opportunities and facilities to make them laborers together with him. All who will place themselves in the channel of light will seek and use the helps the Lord has provided. [Remainder missing.]—Letter 113, 1893. 20MR 290.4

Ellen G. White Estate

Silver Spring, Maryland,

January 11, 1990.

Entire Extant Letter.