Spirit of Prophecy Day / Heritage Sabbath Program
October 21, 2006
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Two Secret Signs
As told by Arthur L. White
No matter what secret things we decide on, God knows all about it. There are no secrets hidden from God. One time the Lord led Sister White to use two secret signs to help to keep a publishing house worker from giving up the truth.
Early in our work in Australia, a business man, Mr. Faulkhead, heard the preaching of the message and became a Seventh-day Adventist. We needed a treasurer in our publishing house and Mr. Faulkhead seemed to be just the man for this position. He accepted the invitation and joined the publishing house staff. He did good work. Everyone liked Brother Faulkhead.
Mr. Faulkhead, however, was a member of several secret societies. He belonged to these societies before he was an Adventist. When he became a member of the church, he should easily have seen in the Bible those counsels which make it plain that a believer must not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. He should have understood the words of Jesus that a man cannot serve two masters. Mr. Faulkhead enjoyed his association in these secret societies and he thought he could be a good Seventh-day Adventist and a good member of these secret societies, too.
As time went on, he became more and more wrapped up in the work of these secret societies and became the manager of one of them. His fellow-workers at the publishing house could see that as he became more and more involved in the work of the secret societies, he was not so much interested in the work of the church and in spiritual things. Some of our men talked with him, but he said, “I won’t give up my connection with these secret societies no matter what any minister says.” He said he knew what he was doing and he was not going to be taught by the preachers.
It was just at this time that Sister White went to Australia. She made the journey by ocean liner from California and stopped at New Zealand on the way. As the journey was nearly finished, and they were traveling between New Zealand and Australia, a vision was given to Mrs. White one night, in which she was shown that when she reached Australia there were three men in particular that she would meet. The history of their lives and their experience was revealed to her. When she arrived at Melbourne, the city where our publishing house was located, she met the treasurer, Brother Faulkhead, and she recognized that he was one of the men that had been shown to her in the vision.
Carefully she wrote out what the Lord had revealed to her concerning Mr. Faulkhead’s dangers and the influence that his connection with these secret societies had on his experience. As she prepared to send this message to Brother Faulkhead, she was instructed by the Lord that she should not send it yet. She laid it aside, and then two or three months later, as she was going through some of her papers, she ran across this message and she thought, “I must send it to Brother Faulkhead.” And again the Spirit of the Lord instructed her that she should not send it.
A whole year went by and the testimony was not sent. During this time, Mr. Faulkhead became more and more involved in these secret societies.
On the day of the closing exercises of our school in Melbourne, a board meeting was held in the afternoon and Mr. Faulkhead, a member of the school board, was present. Sister White was not at the board meeting, but she was there at the school, and she sent word that she wanted to see Brother Faulkhead. After the board meeting, Brother Faulkhead walked down the hall to Sister White’s room. He knocked at the door and she came to the door and greeted him and she said, “Brother Faulkhead, the burden of your case is on my mind. I have a message for you and for your wife. Several times I have thought to send it to you, but each time I have been forbidden by the Spirit of God to do so.”
Then Brother Faulkhead asked, “Can you not give it to me now?”
Sister White said “Yes.” And she went to the stand and opened the drawer, took out some typewritten sheets and then sat down to talk to Brother Faulkhead and to read to him what she had written.
She told him of how his experience had been opened up to her in vision, where she had seen his early experience, his loyalty to the church, and his earnest work in the publishing house. Then she told him that she had been shown about his connection with the secret societies. She pointed out that the believer must not link himself up with unbelievers. She pointed out that no man can serve two masters. She told Brother Faulkhead of what took place in the secret meetings. She told him just where she saw him sitting in the lodge hall, and of what he said in his conversation with his associates.
Then she said, “I saw some of the men come and speak to you and they addressed you as ‘Worshipful Master.’” When she used these words, Brother Faulkhead shuddered. These were secret words used in a secret meeting. It made him feel very strange.
Then Sister White told of how in vision she saw him in the church service and they were taking up the offering. He picked out the little coins from his purse and put them into the offering on Sabbath morning. Then in vision she had seen him in the lodge hall and she had seen him take out the larger pieces of money from his purse and put them into the work of the lodge.
This told quite a story, didn’t it? Where was his heart? What was he interested in? Where did he place his money?
Then Sister White talked with him, pointing out that a follower of Jesus must give himself whole-heartedly to God. His interests cannot be divided. Then she said, “I cannot relate all that was given to me,” and as she said this, she moved her hand in a certain way. Mr. Faulkhead was startled. He turned pale. He touched Sister White on the shoulder and he asked, “Do you know what you have done?”
“I have not done anything,” she said.
“Oh, yes you have!” he said. “You have made the secret sign of the secret society which I manage!”
They talked on, Sister White urging that Brother Faulkhead cut off his connection with these secret societies. Then she moved her hand another way. Then Brother Faulkhead turned pale again, and he trembled all over. He said, “Sister White, you have done it again! But this time you have made the secret sign of the highest order of the secret society to which I belong!”
Sister White replied, “My attending angel made it to me.” This secret sign which the angel gave to Sister White and which she gave to Brother Faulkhead was known to only six people in all of Australia. Mr. Faulkhead himself did not know what that sign was ten days before. He said no woman could know that sign because it was held very secret, and when they met in their meetings, the door was guarded outside and inside against strangers.
When Sister White made the two secret signs, Brother Faulkhead said, “That really put the fear of God into my heart, to see how the Lord is working to arrest me from these things.”
This convinced him that the message was from God. Sister White continued speaking to him, urging him to give his heart wholly to the Lord, and as she talked to him, tears came to his eyes and he answered Sister White, “I accept every word. All of it belongs to me. I accept the light the Lord has sent me through you. I will act upon it. I am a member of five lodges. Three other lodges are under my control. I transact all of their business. Now I shall attend no more of their meetings. I shall close my business relations with them as fast as possible.”
As Mr. Faulkhead told the story later, he said that he had always enjoyed hearing Sister White preach. He had enjoyed visiting with Sister White, but when it came to the testimonies, well, he just didn’t have any use for those things. Now how differently things looked; God sent a message just for him, pointing out dangers which he didn’t see. Oh, how he loved the Lord! He was determined in his heart to bring his life into harmony with God’s will for him.
Mr. Faulkhead pointed out also that Sister White did not bring any attack upon the lodge. She didn’t criticize the secret societies. That was not her work. If she had done so, he would have tried to defend them and it would have been very difficult for Brother Faulkhead to receive the message. But Sister White just pointed out that a Christian cannot serve two masters.
It was late in the evening when Brother Faulkhead left Sister White’s room. As he walked home, he looked up at the stars and he thought, “God, who created these planets and these suns and guides them in their course through boundless space, looked down to this little world and to Australia, and He saw me here in Melbourne, and He sent a message just for me, to point out dangers which I didn’t see.” How he did resolve in his heart to serve God fully!
The next morning he sent in his resignation to all of the secret societies. It took him a little time to sever his connections with them because he was involved in their business management, but he was determined to follow the light which God had given to him through Sister White, and he gave himself whole-heartedly to the Lord’s work. He was connected with our publishing house in Australia for many, many years, and he died an earnest, loyal Seventh-day Adventist. His children were in our work after him.
There are no secrets hidden from God, and to save Brother Faulkhead and to encourage others who may be tempted to belong to these secret societies, God revealed the secret signs to Sister White, and she in turn gave them to Brother Faulkhead. Everyone knew that the message came from God.
From Campfire Junior Stories from the Days of the S.D.A. Pioneers (Ellen G. White Estate, 1963), pp. 18-20. Based on fuller documented account in Review and Herald, March 31, 1955.
For Ellen G. White’s counsels written to Mr. Faulkhead, see Selected Messages, Bk. 2, pages 121-140.