We look tonight at 'Freemasonry'. One writer has defined Freemasonry as being, generally speaking, 'a centuries-old fraternal and secret society deeply entrenched in symbolism, secret oaths and secret rituals'. Its key themes being the universal fatherhood of God, and the brotherhood of man. Of course, most of us are familiar, at least, even in a jocular sense, with some of the symbolism and secret oaths and rituals that we know as caricatures of Freemasonry. People join Freemasonry for a variety of reasons. I think as you talk to Freemasons, even some who may be here tonight, you'll find a variety of reasons why they belong to this particular fraternal. Some like the idea of belonging to a secret society, and the privilege of learning some secret mysteries therein. Some other people are simply fascinated with the symbolism and the representation and the mysticism of Freemasonry. Some join it because they appreciate the emphasis that there is on the brotherhood of man, and the humanitarian philosophy that is behind Freemasonry attracts them. Other people simply join it to make business contacts, and I think we're familiar with those who do that as well.
What you may not know is that there are many famous Masons in our world in history, and even presently in our contemporary environment. You may or may not know that three kings in our last century were all Masons, including our present Queen Elizabeth II's father, George VI. In fact, today the Queen's cousin, the Duke of Kent, presently is the Worshipful Grand Master of Freemasonry in the United Kingdom. Added to these famous names in royalty there is Amadeus Mozart, Voltaire, Hayden, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde and even Sir Winston Churchill. If we were to cross the Atlantic, we would find that no less than fourteen United States Presidents, including the great George Washington, were all Freemasons, indeed eighteen Vice Presidents were Masons also. Among Masons in America were Benjamin Franklin, General MacArthur, J. Edgar Hoover, Mark Twain, Henry Ford, Harry Houdini, Cecil B. DeMille, John Wayne, Clark Gable, Roy Rogers and Norman Vincent Peele. So there is an illustrious list of personalities from our history, and indeed the history of many nations, that count themselves among this fraternal called Freemasonry.
I think it must be acknowledged, before I go on any further this evening, how much Masons have added in general to our society and the societies in which they are found. They are characteristically a very generous group of people, and before we critique them tonight in the mirror of God's word, we have to say that they have made a commendable contribution to charity and the care of orphans and widows of their own fellow Masons. I know even folk in our own Assembly here in the Iron Hall that can testify of the benevolence of the Freemasons. I would have to also add, as a preface to my remarks this evening, that for many Masons who are in the first three Degrees of Freemasonry - and I'll explain what that is a little bit later - for many of them it is no more than a moral and charitable fraternal. In fact, many of them resent the accusation of it being anything else, especially when Christians of the evangelical type accuse them of being perhaps another religion or another spiritual organisation or faith. This can be seen in the many churchgoers that are members of Freemasonry, even to the extent of office bearers in churches and denominations in our land, and even Protestant clergy both in Presbyterianism, in the Methodist church, in the Church of Ireland, and most recently in the Roman Catholic system.
What we have to consider this evening, in the light of the word of God many considerations will be ours, but chiefly: if the principles of Freemasonry are compatible with the claims of Christianity and what is revealed within the word of God. Is it compatible with historic Biblical Christianity? So to do that, we need to ask the question: what is Freemasonry? Now, again I give you a warning, because if you talk to different Freemasons you'll probably get different answers and different understandings of what it really is - especially if they themselves are found in different Degrees of Freemasonry. If you get past the first three Degrees, which we'll look at a little bit later, in the more advanced degrees the Masons will admit that the symbolism, and the philosophies behind the symbolism, takes a greater significance than it has within the first three Degrees. In fact some Masons, and I think this is a correct belief, believe that you cannot really understand Freemasonry outside of the higher orders, over and above the first three Degrees. If you like, an illustration would be that the first three Degrees are like the cover of the book of Freemasonry, and in order to understand the mysteries, the depths of the philosophy and the theology of it, you have to go higher - and that is like opening the book, as you move on into the fourth Degree right up to the 33rd.
So this is the progression of light of the Masons supposedly: you're in darkness before you become a Mason, and then you're moving towards the light in stages until you get to the 33 Degrees and you know everything that there is to be revealed as a Mason. Now let me explain this through this slide, and it's based on American Freemasonry but there's not an awful lot of difference, and if you're familiar with Freemasonry you'll notice that as you look at that. It might be hard to read it, but just to simply show you the first three stages and Degrees are: first, Entered Apprentice; second, Fellow Craft; third, Master Mason. Then you either take the York Rite route or the Scottish Rite. The top Scottish Rite is the 33 Degree Grand Sovereign Inspector General, and the equivalent of that really in the York Rite is the Order of the Knights of Templar. So basically those are the different Degrees of Freemasonry, and as you climb them you get revealed to you mysteries that had not been revealed hitherto.
Now although only men can be Freemasons in the strictest sense, men of course over the age of 21, unless if your father is one you can be a Mason, I think, at the age of 18; there are other related organisations available for family and relatives. There is the Order of the Eastern Star which can include both men and women, then there is DeMolay for young men, and Rainbow Girls and Job's Daughters for young girls. So you can see that this is quite a fraternal, that does not exclude women except in the strict sense of being a Mason, but can affect whole families - and we have seen even its effect on nations such as our own, with royalty and government and so on involved in it.
So I want to ask the question: what are the origins of Freemasonry? Again this is not completely clear, and you may get several answers depending who you speak to, but really the origins of Freemasonry are shrouded in deep mystery and legend. The Masons themselves claim that Freemasonry dates back to the time of King Solomon, and indeed they claim that Solomon utilised the skills of stonemasons in building the Temple in Jerusalem, Solomon's Temple in his day. In fact, the legend of Freemasonry goes like this: that their Grand Master Mason was a man called Hiram Abif, and he alone had the knowledge of the true name of God, but sadly some of his Mason friends ganged up on him and killed him - and so the name of God was lost. So Masonry claims to be the seeking after the rediscovering of the lost name of God.
So that's the legend behind Freemasonry, but even Masonic historians themselves admit that the origins of Freemasonry, as we know it to be historically speaking, are found in London, England in 1717. Now it may have originally begun as the Masons claim, as a group of Gothic mediaeval English stonemasons who built churches and cathedrals in their day, and in order to safeguard the trade secrets of their craft they met together in Lodges and had secret ways of communicating the skills that they passed down from generations to one another. But Freemasonism today, that we have existing with us in the 21st century, is much more than just a simple craft fraternal of stone tradesmen. In fact, what we have today, that has been the final evolution of Freemasonry, is effectively a philosophical belief system, spiritually speaking. Now maybe right away you're a Mason and you're objecting in your heart to such an accusation, and you're saying: 'No, that's not what it is, and certainly that's not what it is for me'. Well, I ask you the question: if that is not all that it is, why is it that the Masons sing at times when they get together? Why is it that they pray? Why do they swear oaths on the sacred law, upon the Old Testament, God's word? Why is it that Masons have Temples, and why is it that they have altars, if all that it is is a social charitable fraternal? It is clearly more than that.
Ultimately we find its origins in a group of men who were so appalled, and I believe rightly so, by the corruption in the government and church of their day in the 1500s. They were essentially humanists who had read Plato's Republic and believed that the only answer to the decline and degeneration of society in church and state was to create a New World Order that would change the political and religious scene completely. So if you think of the Masons originally as this group of stonemasons together, protecting their own craft, and then in the 1500s these philosophical humanistic thinkers, they start to think of a New World Order that needs to be put in place. We read in history that some of those thinkers infiltrated the Trade Union Craft of the stonemasons, and they became, historically speaking, known as 'Speculative Masons'. They weren't the practical Masons using the tools to craft the stone, they were speculative Masons philosophically and theologically. What they did was, the tools that the practical Masons used for their stonemasonry, they took them and used them as symbols, and upon those symbols they taught moral and philosophical lessons.
Now some present Freemasons today find this still difficult to accept, though it is historically documented. More so in the fact that Freemasonry, though it is a secret society, as an historical movement has produced a large body of its own literature. There are acknowledged leaders among Freemasons whose writings are recognised as representative and authoritative of what the movement believes, and I intend to show you tonight from their writings - not my caricature or my invention, but their writings - to prove that Freemasonry is indeed an anti-Christian religion. Now if you're a Mason, don't let me lose you there - wait with me and follow me through every statement, every verse of Scripture, and let the weight of the evidence bring your conclusion.
Now if you're 'on the square' tonight, as the saying goes, and you're in the Masons, the first question I want to ask you is: what are the foundations of Freemasonry? What are the foundations of being on the square? Christianity, along with Judaism and Islam, are monotheistic religions. Hinduism that we looked at a couple of weeks ago is a polytheistic religion. Monotheism means that you believe in one God, polytheism means that you believe in many gods, but of course we believe that the true and living God is one God, Jehovah, revealed in three Persons as we looked at last week - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - but it is the pagans who claim to have the most ancient religion of all. Paganism, traditionally, was the worship of the moon god and the sun god, and they were given various different names in cultures in our global society. Ultimately the moon god and sun god worship emerged from ancient Babylon, and later we see in the history of the world that the ideas of this paganistic worship found great expression in Egyptian paganism.
Let me take you back to the history of Freemasonry: these speculative Freemasons essentially were what is called 'Rosicrucians'. Now don't let me lose you saying that: a 'Rosicrucian' is simply a person who has doctrine that believes that religion, ultimately and in its perfect form, is a mixture of pagan philosophy, mysticism, mythology of Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism all combined - a pantheistic religion, a syncretism that brings together many world religions and worships nature in a paganistic fashion. Now we can actually see this very clearly within Freemasonry, and I'll show you how. Indeed the ritual blood oaths that are sworn in initiation - I'm not going to go into all the details of it, but if you're involved you'll know what I'm talking about: swearing that you'll lose your life if you reveal the secrets of the society - the ritual blood oath is a pagan thing. That is very clear, and as we go through and look into Freemasonry we'll see that many other of their secrets are pagan also. In fact, it has been said by ex-Freemasons, and I believe it's documented to prove it, that as you go through the 33 Degrees the Masons give various worship to different pagan deities that are in existence in our world today. Now that is concealed, it is not revealed to those Masons who are worshipping in that way, they don't know what they're doing. Now don't take it from my testimony, but take it from a man who was a 32nd Degree Freemason, and I'm going to show you this clip of a video - just a minute, if it is that - to show you that he testifies that that is the case:
[Begin Video Transcript]
Narrator: "...Greek gods, and they go through a series of rituals. Now much of this is covered up by symbols and allegories, so that Masons, as they go through it, don't fully understand what they're doing".
Ex-Mason: "In the Blue Degrees an initiate is initiated into the Egyptian Trinity of the ancient mysteries of Egypt. This Egyptian Trinity is hidden from the initiate, he does not know at all what he is being initiated into, it's not even mentioned".
Narrator: "But if they would read their authoritative books which explain the symbols and the allegories, it becomes very obvious what they're involved in: there involved in pagan idolatrous worship, much of it based upon the Qabalah, which is the ancient Jewish book of the occult".
Ex-Mason: "It is based on Egyptian paganism and the worship of nature, that's really what it is: it is based on the worship of the male regenerative power, the female regenerative power...ok... and the product".
[End Video Transcript]
The 32nd Degree ex-Mason claims that it is based on paganism. It is based, he says, on ancient Egyptian worship. It is based on something called the Qabalah, which is basically the Jewish book of the occult. As I was browsing on the Internet myself, I found a book 'Freemasonry of the Ancient Egyptians' - so this is something, obviously, in practice in symbolism that goes back a lot further than 1717. On the right you can see 'The Mystical Qabalah', a book of Jewish mythology and mysticism. This is also graphically seen in the famous Freemasonry symbol, the square and compasses with the 'G' in the middle. I don't know whether you understand what this actually means, maybe Masons don't even understand themselves, but often the question is asked: what does the 'G' stand for? The answer can be given 'It means God', or 'It simply means geometry, which was used by the stonemasons', but actually what it does mean is the 'generating principle of life'. In total parallel with their paganistic roots, it is the generating principle of life, because paganism worships the regenerative powers - and you heard that 32nd Degree Mason claiming that. That, in fact, is why women can't be fully fledged Masons, because they do not have that regenerating, fertilising power.
Indeed, the square and compasses represent the male upon the female in the act of copulation. That is why Masons wear an apron around their loins, over the sexual organs, the reproductive organs, in honour of it because they worship the regenerative power. Many of them don't even know this, and we'll see why that is as we go on. Another well-known Masonic symbol is the obelisk which is simply a phallic symbol, a symbol of the male regenerative organ - because this is a pagan based faith, although it is concealed and often veiled in Christian clothes. Now I did say at the beginning that I'm not going to expect you to take my word for this, I want to first of all quote a man called Albert Mackey in regard to the paganistic roots of Freemasonry. He was a past Grand Master of the movement, and in his book 'The Manual of the Lodge', on page 56 he says: 'The phallus was an imitation of the male generative organ. It was represented usually by a column, which was surrounded by a circle at the base. The point with a circle was intended by the ancients as a type of the prolific powers of nature which they worshipped under the united forms of the active or male principle, and the passive or female principle'. So he quite clearly states the paganistic origins of the worship of the regenerative power.
Then another quote by a man called Albert Pike in his book 'Morals and Dogma', pages 13-14. He was a Grand Master, of course, and Commander of the Scottish Rite in the 1800s, he says: 'The sun and moon represent the two grand principles of all generations; the active and passive, the male and female. Both shed their light upon their offspring, the Blazing Star or Horus'. Now from the mouth of the Masons, and Masons held in high esteem, there you have the declaration that Masonic Freemasonry is based originally on this ancient paganistic worship that goes right back to Egypt and even before in Babylon. It is derived in its origins from paganism.
I want you to note something else which you will perhaps find very shocking, but nevertheless I have to weigh up what is truth tonight and where the evidence lies. The fact of the matter is, the more I read about white witchcraft, it also claims to be very - in a modern sense today - no longer a black, dark thing, but white witchcraft claims to be the religion of paganism. This is the way they are repackaging it today on daytime television, it is the religion of nature and worshipping and using the forces that are spiritual round about us in nature - pantheism. This form of paganism, white witchcraft, is the worship of the sun god and the moon god in various forms. What is staggering, if you know anything about the initiation rites of Masonry, is the similarities between the initiatory rites of the Masonic movement and that of white witchcraft. You might think that's a bit of a tall order, but watch this video clip which compares Masons who have gone through the initiation rite with ex-white witches who have gone through a similar thing. I think that you'll be dumbfounded:
[Begin Video Transcript]
Narrator: "...religion of paganism. It's the worship of the sun god and the moon goddess in various forms".
Steve Warr: "I was involved in the occult for about 12 years..."
Narrator: "Steve Warr was a practising member of a coven of witches"
Steve Warr: "...that is, I was constantly on a day-to-day basis reading, searching, as well as practising arts such as divination, getting in contact with the dead through mediums, tarot cards, crystal balls. Everything that we would consider occult, I was involved in".
Speaker: "There's a great deal of symbolism in witchcraft itself, many of the implements used have significance in terms of natural elements such as the wand representing air; the Athame, a sword representing fire; a chalice with water; and a pentagram representing earth. These would be combined in various manners in order to take advantage of the spiritual forces that were felt to be in operation at that particular time".
Steve Warr: "It was heavily ritualistic, with the wearing of robes, the drawing of magic circles, the invoking of gods to aid the practitioner, as well as...just anything you would do, even if it was not in a formal ritual, always had something to do with ritual - even if it was casting a spell, you would always light the candles, bring out the elements, set up your altar".
Narrator: "Some of the parallels between Freemasonry and Witchcraft show such a similarity that it cannot possibly be coincidental. Similarities in ritual, wording and symbolism are so close in several instances that it clearly suggests a common origin. To examine this possibility I spoke with a number of former Masons and compared their Blue Lodge initiations with the experiences of former occultists".
Ex-Freemason: "In the initiation in Freemasonry we had to be recommended by another Mason".
Steve Warr: "Well, in order to join witchcraft you have to be first screened, you have to be recommended by somebody currently in witchcraft".
Ex-Freemason: "When I was initiated I was blindfolded and bound by a rope, and on your bare chest was thrust the point of a spear".
Steve Warr: "In witchcraft we were initiated through a very involved ritual, an initiation ceremony, wherein the candidate was led blindfolded, bound by a rope, to the edge of the magic circle".
Ex-Freemason: "The rope is around your neck, and you're led forward. Up front, in the eastern end of the building, is a person who is the Worshipful Master. You kneel down before him as if he were a god".
Steve Warr: "You were met by the high priest or high priestess at that time, usually with a sword to your chest".
Ex-Freemason: "When I went to enter the Lodge, a sharp object was put to my left breast. I was warned that should I reveal any of the secrets of Freemasonry, to know what to expect".
Steve Warr: "When you're presented before the high priest, a sword is held against your chest and you actually take a blood oath, promising to remain faithful to the secrets of witchcraft".
Ex-Freemason: "When you're in the room this blindfold is taken away from you, and this is a time when they say that you're coming from darkness into light".
Steve Warr: "During the initiation ceremony, the initiate is led by the Lieutenant of the high priest, and is challenged at the edge of the circle by someone saying: 'Who goes there?'. The answer is: 'One from the world of darkness''.
Ex-Freemason: "In Masonry the prayers are ended with 'So Mote it Be''.
Steve Warr: "Oh and one of the other distinctives of the craft was that we would always end any spell or ritual, where we release the power, this is where the power was released, with the words 'So Mote it Be''.
[End Video Transcript]
Now perhaps you're sitting there thinking: 'Well, that's fairytale stuff, that's not the way I have known Masonry'. But I tell you: if you're only in the first three Degrees of Freemasonry, that's why you don't know any of this. Many don't find it out until they climb the Degrees. In fact, one of the differences that there are with white witchcraft and Freemasonry, is that white witchcraft actually dismisses the idea of a personal devil called 'Lucifer'. But Freemasonry goes as far, in its high echelons, as actually calling Lucifer 'God'. Let me prove it to you. Here is Albert Pike again, and he says in his writing 'Instructions in the 23rd Supreme Council of the World', July 14th 1889: 'Yes, Lucifer is God, and unfortunately Adonay', which is a Hebrew name for God, 'is also God. The true and pure philosophical religion is the belief in Lucifer, the equal of Adonay. But Lucifer, god of light and god of good, is struggling for humanity against Adonay, the god of darkness and evil'. Manly Hall, and this is his book 'The Lost Keys of Freemasonry', who himself was a 33rd Degree Freemason up there at the top, says: 'When the Mason learns that the key to the warrior on the block is the proper application of the dynamo of living power, he has learned the mystery of his craft. The seething energies of Lucifer are in his hands, and before he may step onward and upward he must prove his ability to properly apply this energy'.
Now if you never venture any higher than the third Degree of Freemasonry, you'll never find out the significance of much of the symbolism. Maybe there's even a Christian veneer that is put upon it. I believe, for no other reason than that the likes of Pike and Hall and others claim themselves, that Freemasons in these early first three Degrees are deliberately deceived regarding the symbolism and the significance of it. Here's Pike again in his book 'Morals and Dogma', page 819: 'The Blue Degrees', that's the first three Degrees, 'are but the outer court or portico of the Temple. Part of the symbols are displayed there to the initiate, but he is intentionally misled by false interpretations. It is not intended that he should understand them; but it is intended that he shall imagine he understands them'. That is why many Masons feel that they are in a Christian organisation. Now if you don't believe what I'm saying, get the tape, listen to the references, the books, search the Masonic libraries that you can get to, turn the pages, and see for yourself. The foundation of Freemasonry is paganism, and ultimately the higher you go you find the mystery that it actually follows Lucifer himself.
The second question I want to ask is: where is the Christ in Freemasonry? This is a staggering thing for anyone who counts themselves a Christian, when you realise that Christ is nowhere to be found - at least the Christ of the Bible, the Saviour, the Lord. Manly Hall, whose book I showed you 'The Lost Keys of Freemasonry', on pages 64 and 65 says: 'The true Mason is not creed-bound. He realises with the divine illumination of his Lodge that, as a Mason, his religion must be universal. Christ, Buddha or Mohammed, the name means little; for he recognises only the light and not the bearer. He worships at every shrine, bows before every altar whether in temple, mosque, pagoda, cathedral - and realises with his true understanding the oneness of all spiritual truths. No true Mason can be narrow, for his Lodge is the divine expression of all broadness'. Now can I remind you, if you need reminding, of what our Lord Jesus Christ said in Matthew 7:13-14, He said: 'Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it'. Yet Manly Hall says no true Mason can be narrow, for his Lodge is the divine expression of all broadness.
It's alright adhering to the name of Christ, but you must also follow the teaching of Christ, and the teaching of Christ as the way to be saved is the narrow way, it is an exclusive way, and in John 14:6 Jesus says: 'I am the only way, no man cometh unto the Father but by me'. The Christ of the Bible is nowhere to be found in Freemasonry. In John 5:23 the Lord Jesus said: 'He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him'. Though you claim you worship the true and living God, as the Jews and Christians do, if you do not worship that God through Jesus Christ His Son you fail to acknowledge, and you fail to honour God by honouring His Son. First Timothy 2:5 says very clearly: 'For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus'. Where is the Christ of the Bible in Freemasonry? He is not there!
Out of that comes the question: who is the God of Freemasonry? If the Christ of the Bible isn't found in this movement, who is the God of Freemasonry? A Church of England minister called the Rev Peter Moore, the Dean of St Albans, in the Times newspaper on the 25/10/84, was quoted as saying this: 'The God we worship in the Lodge is the same God that Jews and Muslims worship'. Now maybe he hasn't watched the news for a while, but in Palestine they might disagree with that a little bit, that they worship the same God. But nevertheless: if this is the god of Freemasonry, the god that is the god of every religion, as if all roads lead to God from every faith - that is not the God of the Bible. The God of the Bible is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, worshipped as God, Jehovah, in Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one substance, three persons. You might say: 'Well, I know Freemasonry, and the Bible is there, it's used, it's quoted from'. But friend, this evening, what I want you to realise is that the Bible in Freemasonry is only a symbol, and in fact it's not unique. It is seen not as sufficient as a revelation to man from God, and although Christian Lodges in our land of course only use the Bible, the Koran or the Vedas or any holy book of any other religion is legitimate in Masonic use if a person of that religion wishes to be initiated.
Here it is from Pike, not from me, 'Morals and Dogma' page 11: 'The Bible is an indispensable part of the furniture of a Christian Lodge only because it is the sacred book of the Christian religion. The Hebrew Pentateuch', that's the first five books from Genesis to Deuteronomy, 'in a Hebrew Lodge, and the Koran in a Mohammedan one, belong on the altar. One of these and the square and compass, properly understood, are the Great Lights by which a Mason must walk and work'. Whereas Jesus said to Simon Peter to follow Him, and would he leave Him to go and follow and serve another? Simon Peter's reply was: 'Lord, to whom shall we go, for Thou hast the words of eternal life'. There was no one else to go to in any religion, whoever the founder may have been: Christ alone had the words of the eternal life. Of course, in His great prayer, He said to His Father: 'Thy word is truth', exclusively.
Well, in the initiation into the first Degree of Freemasonry, the Freemason is introduced to the name of God, as they understand it first of all, as the Grand Architect of the universe. That may be an explanation that some of them will give for the letter 'G' in between the compasses and the square. That is how they understand Him, as the Grand Architect of the universe - but a little bit later they will also learn the divine name as being the letters 'JHVH', which is just a representation of 'Yahweh', the name Jehovah, the Hebrew name for God. But remember the legend behind all of Freemasonry: Hiram Abif was murdered as he was building Solomon's Temple, and he was the only one who knew God's name, and so with him the name of God was lost, and legend has it that Freemasonry is trying to rediscover that name of God that was lost. That name of God is eventually discovered at the Royal Arch, written across it at that Degree, it is said to be the sacred and mysterious name of the true and living God most high, and it is revealed by three Masons to the one who has reached the Degree as a threefold name: 'Jah-Bul-On'.
Now of course you probably don't recognise that if you're not a Mason, certainly at that Degree, but that is a composition of three names of three gods. First of all the name of Yahweh, Jehovah, our Old Testament and New Testament God. Then put together with it is the Assyrian deity 'Baal', that we find mentioned in the Old Testament and indeed the Old Testament Israelites were cursed and punished by God severely for following the worship of that particular god. Then the 'On' at the end is used in ancient Egyptian mysticism and mystery religion, in offering prayers to the Egyptian god 'Osiris'. So 'Jah-Bul-On' is put together to be declared as the missing name of God that died with Hiram Abif. Therefore Freemasonry actually claims to have the secrets concerning the lost name of God. You'll not find that name in any other religion or any other philosophical or theological spiritual system than Freemasonry.
Now this is staggering, because our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew chapter 11 verse 27 said: 'All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him'. All things were delivered onto Christ, except this name that was lost with Hiram Abif - can that be? In John 1:18 the writer is recorded as saying: 'No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him'. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, and He has declared the knowledge of God. We have the record of it in His word, and we don't need anyone else to reveal God to us, His name was not lost!
But the fourth question that I want to answer tonight is: how is salvation found in Freemasonry? Well, the reason why Christ does not figure in Freemasonry is because you are your own saviour in this system. They acknowledge Christ as a great reformer, along with the other leaders and founders of faiths in our world, but the reason why they don't need Him as supreme Saviour and Lord is because they're saving themselves by their own moral deeds. As you read the literature, sin is hardly mentioned - it is mentioned at times in comparison, but it's not thought of as something that we as humans suffer from, that we are depraved and we need to be saved if we are to live in eternity with a holy God. In fact, when you go to the 19th Degree of Scottish Masonry, those Masons are told, I quote: 'Masons who have given proof of their attachment to the statutes and rules of the Order, which in the end will make them deserving of entering the celestial Jerusalem', heaven. Can I repeat that? 'Deserving to enter the celestial Jerusalem'. It's something that you deserve through your morality. In the 28th Degree of the Scottish Rite it states, I quote: 'The true Mason raises himself by degrees until he reaches heaven'.
Salvation in Freemasonry is if God's all-seeing eye looks upon you and sees enough morality and charity in your life to reward you according to your merits and to give you heaven. You're not saved by grace, which is God's unmerited favour because we are sinners, that's the Christian gospel. You're saved by merits - yet the Bible teaches the opposite, Ephesians 2:8 and 9: 'For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: lest any man should boast'. God has given it freely by His grace, we must embrace it by faith! Titus 3:4-5 bears out the same truth: 'But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit'.
My friends this evening, I don't know what your circumstances are, but surely in a land like Ulster this is not a revelation to you: that the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross and shed His blood, and bore your shame and your punishment and the judgment that you deserved, because you have fallen short of God's glory, that you might be delivered from sin, and that you might go to heaven - not by your works, but by the grace of God that allowed Christ to be your sacrifice, rose Him again to be your Saviour and Lord, and offers Him to you in the Gospel if you will only embrace Him by faith. What was the point of Him dying on Calvary's tree if you could earn your salvation by Freemasonry, or any religion, whatever you care to call it?
These are fundamental problems in the light of the Bible that Freemasonry has, and add to this the fact that it is a secret society. You say: 'Well, what's the problem with that?'. Well, the Lord Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:26-27: 'Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops'. God's word says that if God has revealed something to you, and He has revealed to the Christian the Gospel, it is not our job to keep it secret. It is our job to declare it unto all men! So right away we see that this characteristic of being secretive - and I don't care whether it's Freemasonry, whether it's Orange, whether it is Black or Purple - secret societies by their very nature are not Christian. John 18:20, listen to what the Saviour says: 'I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing'. That is the example of our Lord, should we not follow it?
Add to this the fact that a candidate being initiated must make rash promises to this secrecy, as one writer has said: 'To secrecy and faithfulness in matters of which nothing is revealed to him previously. The man has got to sell his conscience to the Worshipful Master before he can proceed - but what right has any man to make another the custodian of his conscience?'. I know that none believe that the blood oath will be taken seriously, or your life will be in danger or anything like that, maybe you'll tell me to the contrary, but I know that much of it is only legendary and symbolism - but nevertheless, for the Christian this is a problem, or at least it ought to be.
For that reason one of the great preachers two centuries ago in the 1800s, D. L. Moody, made this pronouncement against Freemasonry - and I believe every Christian minister should do so - he said, I quote: 'I do not see how any Christian, most of all a Christian minister, can go into these secret lodges with unbelievers. They are', as our text said at the very beginning, 'unequally yoked with unbelievers'. You see it was obvious to him, not through prejudice, and I know that the Freemasons have been persecuted in the past and I do not desire to persecute any, but the facts spoke for themselves to that man of God, and should to every Christian child of God. Freemasonry has more in common with paganism and witchcraft and even Mormonism, and I haven't got time to go into that, than it has with Biblical Christianity historically and theologically.
If you've gone through it you'll know that in the initiation ceremony the candidate rolls up his left trouser leg up to his knee, and then he removes his jacket and tie and opens his shirt. He replaces his right shoe with a slipper, he empties his pockets of money as a symbol of his poverty, and all of this is to symbolise that he, coming in, is in the state of darkness. To symbolise that very graphically he is blindfolded, and he acknowledges that while he is in that darkness he needs to be moved towards the light, which is found in degrees, supremely and only through Freemasonry. Now that is a lie of the devil! For Jesus Himself said in John 8:12: 'I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life'. He is that light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He is not to be set alongside Buddha, or Mohammed, or any other leader. Acts 4:12 says there is one name that we can be saved by: 'Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved'.
How can you be saved through Freemasonry if Christ isn't in it? Do you know how to be saved? Do you know where the light is? First John 1 tells us: 'This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ God's Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness'.
Are you on the square this evening? Do you know the foundation of what you're standing on? Where is the Christ of the Bible in Freemasonry? Where is the God of the Bible? Where is the salvation of grace that is revealed in Christ and His word in the Bible? 'Other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ'. On Christ the solid Rock we stand, all other ground is sinking sand. What are you standing on this evening? Will you come out of the darkness, be delivered from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear Son? May God bless His word to all our hearts this evening.
Don't miss the rest of the "Strongholds Shaken" series...
Preach The Word.