Lesson #618

TEXTCol. 2:8

INTRODUCTION:

A.      WHY STUDY MASONS?

          1.       Church Members are involved.  Friends and family involved.

          2.       Must evaluate anything according to the Bible( 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 1 John 4:6 ).

B.      IN THIS STUDY WE WANT TO DISCUSS WHY ONE CAN'T BE A MASON AND A

          FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN AT THE SAME TIME.

I.      ORIGIN OF THE LODGE.

A.      MASONIC LEGEND.

          1.       Solomon employed a Master Mason, Hiram Abiff, to be the overseer in

                   constructing the Temple. Hiram was given the oversight because he was the

                   only Master Mason in the world.

          2.       There were 15 other Masons who wanted to learn the secrets of the Master so     when

                    the Temple was completed, they could go to other countries and receive Master

                    Mason wages.  They entered a conspiracy to get Hiram's secrets out of him.  12 of

                    the 15 backed out of the conspiracy, but three continued with their plot. Jubela,

                    Jubelo, Jubelum, tried to get his secrets but he would not reveal them. They ended

                    up killing him. Solomon discovered the murder and had them executed.

"There is no character in the annals of Freemasonry whose life is so dependent on tradition as the celebrated architect of King Solomon's Temple. Profane history is entirely silent in respect to his career, and the sacred records supply us with only very unimportant items.  To fill up the space between his life and his death, we are necessarily compelled to resort to those oral legends which have been handed down from the ancient Masons to their successors.

Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, pg. 386 by Albert Mackey (33 degree)

B.      THE ACTUAL BEGINNING PROBABLY REMAIN OBSCURE.

          1.       As early as 1686, Robert Plot wrote against them in his Natural History of

                    Staffordshire.  He was objecting to the claims by the Masons that they existed from

                    ancient times and that they had come to England in 926 A.D.

          2.       They may have begun in the 1600's with some kind of association of stone masons in

                    England who were influenced by different Lodges in Scotland during this time.

          3.       In 1717, the first Grand Lodge was organized in London.

          4.       By 1750, lodges had formed in Paris, Madrid, Gibraltar, Florence, Lisbon,

                    Stockholm, Hamburg, Vienna, Copenhagen, Moscow and Bengal as well as

                   most of the North American cities.

II.     THE NATURE OF THE ARGUMENT.

A.      PRINCIPLES OF MASONRY INCLUDE:

          1.       Universal brotherhood.

          2.       Tolerance of different religious beliefs.

          3.       Loyalty to local government and avoidance of political controversy.

          4.       Mutual assistance among Masons.

          5.       Promotion of Education. (Masons have been some of the strongest supporters

                   of the public education system in America)

          6.       Involvement in Charity.

                   a.       Shriners are an auxiliary of the Masons. They are known for the help

                             they provide for children. There are at least 19 Shriner's hospitals where

                             free care is available for crippled children upon the recommendation by

                             a member of a Masonic Lodge.

                   b.       They also sponsor three institutions dedicated to the care of severely

                             burned children.

B.      WHAT COULD BE WRONG WITH AN ORGANIZATION LIKE THIS?

          1.       Many look at it as a social club like Kiwanis or Lions club.

          2.       Masonry is more than a social club. It is a religious organization that is contrary to

                    the Word of God. Many of its doctrines and practices are in direct violation of God's

                    Word.

          3.       No one who is striving to follow Jesus can have fellowship( Eph. 5:11 )

          4.       Many believe that since the Lodge is a secret organization no one can find out

                    anything about them unless they become a Mason themselves. Many Masons

                    themselves believe this.

          5.       The charge is made that if someone is against Masonry, they simply don't

                   understand.   No one but Masons really understand what it is all about.

III.    HOW DO WE KNOWCONSIDER THESE THINGS.

A.      A CLAIM MASONRY MAKES FOR ITSELF:

          1.       "Masonry is one of the most sublime and perfect institutions that ever was formed for

                    the advancement of the happiness and general good of mankind... It teaches us those

                    useful, wise, and instructive doctrines upon which alone true happiness is founded;

                    and at the same time affords those easy paths by which we attain the rewards of

                    virtue."     Masonry Defined, pg. 26, 27

          2.       What about the Lord's institution, the Church? What about the teachings ofGod's

                    Word?( John 14:6;  John 16:13;  John 17:17 ).

B.      IF MASONRY IS SO UPLIFTING, WHY KEEP IT A SECRET?

          1.       "Masonry, like all the religions, all the Mysteries, Hermeticism and Alchemy,

                    conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false

                    explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve

                    only to be misled; to conceal the Truth which it calls Light, from them and to draw

                    them away from it."

Morals and Dogma, pg. 104-105 by Albert Pike (33 degree)

          2.       What secrets would Jesus have us keep?( John 18:20;  1 Pet. 3:15 ).

          3.       What kind of person would it take to believe they have truth that will improve the

                    lives of anyone who accepts it, and then intentionally conceal it from others?

          4.       One appeal Masonry has to many is its supposed secrecy.  A Mason is not to tell

                    what the grips are, the sign of the east, or signs of the different degrees, the password

                    of the Master Mason to anyone, not even his wife!  (Passwords for first three

                    degrees: Boaz, Shibboleth, Mah-hah-bone)

C.      MOST MASONS DON'T KNOW WHAT MASONRY'S ALL ABOUT.

          1.       "The Blue Degrees [1st 3 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 shall understand them; but it is

                    intended that he shall imagine he understands them.  Their true explication is

                    reserved for Adepts, the Princes of Masonry... It is well enough for the mass of those

                    called Masons, to imagine that all is contained in the Blue Degrees... Masonry is the

                    veritable Sphinx, buried to the head in the sands heaped round it by the ages."

Morals and Dogma, pg. 819  by Albert Pike (33 degree)

          2.       "The average Mason, after taking his degrees in Masonry, immediately asks himself

                    what it all means.  Few Masons have or will take the time to make an exhaustive

                    study in Masonry... There are thousands of Masons who can repeat the ritual, but

                    who have no conception of what it all means... Taking the secret work and learning

                    the ritual does not make a Mason any more than learning the ABC's makes a child a

                    scholar. It is merely the cornerstone; the building is yet to be erected."

Masonry Defined, pg. 5-6  by E.R. Johnston (32 degree)

          3.       The material is available for anyone who wants to learn what Masonry is all about. 

                    Any Mason get can hold of these books, but very few ever do.  Once one understands

                    the truth, they will either have to quit Masons or quit serving God.  Cannot serve two

                    masters( Matt. 6:24 )..

IV.   WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF MASONRY?

A.      IT IS NOT POLITICS.

          "Politics are entirely prohibited from a Free-mason's lodge, and no brother dare attempt to

          propagate his views upon politics by means of the Order, this being in direct opposition to

          the ancient statutes."

Masonry Defined, pg. 411 by E.R. Johnston (32 degree)

B.      IT IS NOT FOR FAMILY.  FAMILY IS EXCLUDED.

C.      IT IS NOT FOR SOCIAL OR ECONOMIC REASONS.

          1.       Before one leaves the room of preparation to be initiated as a Entered Apprentice, he

                    must affirm:

                   "You have sincerely declared, upon your honor, that unbiased by friends and

                    uninfluenced by mercenary motives, you freely and voluntarily offer yourself as a

                    candidate for the Mysteries of Masonry."        Lightfoot's Manual  pg. 7

          2.       If someone claims he entered the Masons because of economic motives or friendship,

                    he is either lying or he was lying when he entered the lodge.

D.      IF THE PURPOSE IS NOT ONE OF THESE, WHAT IS IT?

E.      ONE CATEGORY LEFT - RELIGIOUS.

          1.       "The tendency of all true Masonry is towards religion. If it makes any progress, its

                    progress is to that holy end.  Look at its ancient landmarks, its sublime ceremonies,

                    its profound symbols and allegories - all inculcating religious doctrines, commanding

                    religious observance... Masonry, then, is indeed, a religious institution; and on this

                    ground mainly, if not alone, should the religious Mason defend it."

Encyclopedia of Masonry, pg. 728-729  by Albert Mackey

          2.       "Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instruction in

                    religion... Here we meet as brethren, to learn to know and love each other."

Morals and Dogma, pg. 213

                         Compare this to 1 John 3:16, 19

          3.       "Masonry, around whose altars the Christian, the Hebrew, the Moslem, the Brahmin,

                    the followers of Confucius and Zoroaster, can assemble as brethren and unite in

                    prayer to the one God..."    Morals and Dogma, pg. 226

                   All men are united in the Church( Eph. 2:11-16;  3:10-11,  20-21 ).

                   What does the Bible say about other religions( Eph. 1:3;  John 14:6;  10:1 ).

F.      WHAT CAN BE WRONG WITH BEING RELIGIOUS?

          1.       Religion with no knowledge?( Acts 17:22-23;  Rom. 10:1-2 ).

          2.       They believed in a divine or super-human power and expressed this belief in conduct

                    and ritual. They were involved in worship, whether they were right or not.

          3.       True religion consists of worshipping the true God the right way

                   ( John 4:24;  Matt. 15:7-9, 13-14 ).

V.    IS MASONRY FROM MAN OR GOD?

A.      ACCORDING TO MASONIC WRITERS, MASONRY IS A DIVINE RELIGIOUS

          INSTITUTION.

          "It is to this institution, born of heaven in the gray of the world's morning, before poets

          sang or historians wrote, that I am privileged to accord you a Craftsman's greeting"

Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Volume I, pg. 194

B.      ONLY RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION BORN OF HEAVEN IS THE CHURCH.

          1.       Matt. 3:2;  Matt. 4:17.  The nearness of the kingdom.

          2.       The Lodge's actual and claimed beginnings were not at hand.

          3.       Matt. 16:18.  Jesus promised the church, the fulness of him( Eph. 1:22-23 ).

          4.       How could a Christian be a part of a "religious institution" that is claimed to be "born

                    in heaven" when it clearly is not, and a member of the Lord's church at the same

                    time? ( Matt. 21:25 ).

VI.   MASONS ARE INVOLVED IN WORSHIP.

A.      QUOTES THAT DEMONSTRATE THIS FACT:

          1.       Masonry is a worship; but one in which all civilized men can unite.

Morals and Dogmas, pg. 526

          2.       That Rite [Scottish Rite, 29th degree] raises a corner of the veil, even in the Degree

                    of Apprentice; for it there declares that Masonry is a worship.

Morals and Dogmas, pg. 219

          3.       The highest duty of a Freemason is expressed by these words. The expression of

                    veneration for the Supreme Being, of submission to his will, and of thankfulness for

                    his goodness... Freemasonry, through all its degrees, and in every part of its ritual,

                    earnest inculcates this duty of worship.

Masonry Defined pg. 566

B.      APOSTASY OF ISRAEL WAS A DEPARTURE FROM TRUE WORSHIP

          (Matt. 15:7-9).

C.      WHAT DOES GOD WANT FROM US?( John 4:23-24 ).

D.      THE LODGE PRE-EMPTS THE BIBLE AND THE CHURCH IN WORSHIP.

          1.       Prayer.

                   a.       Prayer is an essential part of our ceremonies.

Morals and Dogma pg. 6.

                   b.       What gives us the right to pray?( John 14:13-14;  Heb. 10:19-22)

          2.       Communion.

                   a.       Consecrated bread and wine, that is to say, bread and wine used not

                              simply for food, but made sacred by the purpose of symbolism a

                              bond of brotherhood, and the eating and drinking of which are sometimes

                              called the 'Communion of the Brethren' is found in some of the higher degrees.

                                                                                          Encyclopedia of Masonry  pg. 149.

                   b.       "Qu:. What is to us the chief symbol of man's ultimate redemption and

                              regeneration?

                             Ans:. The Fraternal supper, of bread which nourishes and wine which refreshes

                              and exhilarates, symbolic of the time which is to come, when all mankind shall

                              be one great harmonious brotherhood;... And thus in the bread we eat and in

                              the wine we drink tonight, may enter into and form part of us the identical

                              particles of matter which once formed parts of the material bodies called

                              Moses, Confucius, Plato, Socrates, or Jesus of Nazareth. In the truest sense, we

                              eat and drink the bodies of the dead... To our Jewish brethren, this supper is

                              symbolical of the Passover; to the Christian Mason, of that eaten by Christ and

                              His disciples when celebrating the Passover... thus symbolizing the perfect

                              harmony and union between Himself and the faithful; and His death upon the

                              cross for the salvation of men"

Morals and Dogmas, pg. 539, 540

                   c.       Can a Christian partake in this?

                   d.       It is to remember the blood, body of Christ, not Moses, Confucius, Plato, etc. 

                              It is to be done till HE comes( 1 Cor. 11:23-26 ).

                   e.       Even if some argue they are remembering Christ, what did Christ say about this

                              supper?( Matt. 26:29 )." ...in My Father's kingdom."

VII.  MASONS PRACTICE BAPTISM.

A.      THIS IS NOT PRACTICED IN THE LOWER BLUE LODGE, BUT IS FOUND IN THE

          HIGHER DEGREES AS ONE BECOMES MORE "ENLIGHTENED."

B.      SOURCE OF THEIR BAPTISM IS GIVEN IN MORALS AND DOGMA IN THE

          CHAPTER ON 23rd DEGREE(CHIEF of the TABERNACLE, pg. 360-362 ).  THIS

          SECTION DESCRIBES HOW MASONRY HAD SOME OF IT'S ORIGINS FROM THE

          MYSTERY RELIGIONS OF ANCIENT INDIA.  IN DESCRIBING THE CEREMONIES

          OF THE INDIANS, THE SOURCE OF THEIR BAPTISM   IS GIVEN.

          "The candidate, thus taught the first great primitive truth, was called upon to make a formal

          declaration, that he would be tractable and obedient to his superiors; that he would keep his

          body pure, govern his tongue, and observe the firmest secrecy in        maintaining inviolable

          its hidden and abstruse mysteries. Then he was sprinkled with water (whence our

          baptism)."       Morals and Dogma  pg. 362

C.      COMMENTING ON THE PRACTICE OF THE ANCIENTS AS THEY WERE SET

          APART FOR RELIGIOUS SERVIECES, ALBERT MACKEY GIVES THE MEANING

          OF LUSTRATION:

          "Lustration: A religious rite practiced by the ancients, and which was performed before any

          act of devotion. It consisted in washing the hands and sometimes the whole body, in lustral

          or consecrated water. It was intended as a symbol of the internal purification of the heart. It

          was a ceremony preparatory in initiation in all the Ancient Mysteries.  The ceremony is

          practiced with the same symbolic import in some of the high degrees of Masonry." 

                                                                                     Encyclopedia of Freemasonry,  pg. 541

D.      WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF MASONIC BAPTISM?

          "Question: What are the symbols of the purification necessary to make us perfect Masons?

          Answer: Lavation with pure water or baptism; because to cleanse the body is emblematical

          of purifying the soul"    Morals and Dogmas, pg. 538

E.      ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, BAPTISM?( Eph. 4:5 ).

          1.       For the Remission of sins( Acts 2:38 ).

          2.       Into the Church, the body of Christ( 1 Cor. 12:13;  Rom. 6:3-4 ).

          3.       Immersion( Vines. ).

VIII. THE MASONIC LODGE AND REDEMPTION.

A.      MASONRY HAS A REDEEMER.

          1.       "Let me admonish you, in the most serious manner, in reference to the close of life,

                    that when the cold winter of death shall have passed, and the bright summer morn of

                    the resurrection appears, the Sun of Righteousness shall descend and send forth His

                    angels to collect our ransomed dead; then; if we are found worthy, by the benefit

                    of his [Hiram Abiff] 'pass' we shall gain a ready admission into that

                    celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides,

                    where we shall see the King in the beauty of holiness, and with him enter into an

                    endless eternity."

Duncan's Masonic Ritual and Monitor, pg. 131

          2.       "Khurum, therefore, improperly called Hiram, is... the Mediator, Redeemer

                   and Savior."        Morals and Dogma, pg. 79

          3.       Our Redeemer( Isa. 47:4Rev. 5:91 Pet. 1:18-19 ).

B.      MASONS CLAIM ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH MASONRY.

          1.       "The doctrine of a resurrection to a future and eternal life constitutes an

                   indispensable portion of the religious faith of Freemasonry"

Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Volume II, pg. 851

          2.       "Let him who toils complain not, nor feel humiliated! Let him look up, and see

                   his fellow-workmen there, in God's Eternity; they alone surviving there".

Morals and Dogmas, pg. 343

          3.       "but we, as Free and Accepted Masons, are taught to make use of it for the more

                    noble and glorious purpose of divesting our minds and consciences of all the vice

                    and superfluities of life, thereby fitting ourselves as living stones, for the spiritual

                    building, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."

Lightfoot's Manual of the Lodge, pg. 17 (cp. 1 Peter 2:4-5)

          4.       John 5:24;  Rom. 5:21;  6:23;  1 John 5:11;  5:20.

C.      IGNORES THE BLOOD OF CHRIST, HIS SACRIFICE AND HIS BODY.

          1.       Only in Jesus( Acts 4:12; Eph. 1:7;  1 Thess. 5:9;  John 6:67-68 ).

          2.       If one tries to be a Christian and a Mason at the same time:

                   a.       He has two religions( Matt. 6:24 ).

                   b.       He belongs to two institutions (one human and one divine).

                   c.       He is involved in two kinds of worship, has two avenues of prayer, two

                             Communions.

                   d.       He has two baptisms.

                   e.       He has two Redeemers.

          3.       2 Corinthians 6:14-15, 17;  Eph. 5:11;  2 John 9-11..

IX.   ATTITUDE OF MASONS TOWARD ERROR.

A.      TWO QUOTES TO CONSIDER:

          1.       "It does not meddle with sectarian creeds or doctrines but teaches

                   fundamental religious truth"  Masonry Defined, pg. 354.

          2.       "Instructions given to those who hold the 20th degree(Master of the Symbolic

                   Lodge):  "To respect all forms of worship, to tolerate all political and religious

                   opinions; not to blame, and still less to condemn the religion of others: not to

                   seek to make converts; but to be content if they have the religion of

                   Socrates"  Morals and Dogma, pg. 333

B.      WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS.

          1.       A Mason could not follow Jude 3 or Matt. 28:19-20.

          2.       A Mason would not have stood with Paul as he had "no small contention"

                   with the Judaizers in Acts 15:1-2.

          3.       Would have "walked no more" with Jesus after Matt. 23.

C.      MASONS HAVE THEIR OWN 10 COMMANDMENTS.

          1.       "Masonry has its decalogue, which is a law to its Initiates. These are its Ten

                   Commandments...  VII. ...Thou shalt be indulgent to error!"

Morals and Dogma, pg. 18

          2.       Indulge:  "1a. to give free reign to,  b: to take unrestrained pleasure in

                                      2a. to yield to the desire of   b: to treat with excessive leniency

Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary

          3.       Ephesians 5:11.

X.    THE BIBLE, THE CHURCH AND THE TRUTH.

A.      ATTITUDE OF MASONS TOWARD THE BIBLE.

          1.       The doctrines of the Bible are often not clothed in the language of strict truth, but in

                    that which was fittest to convey to a rude and ignorant people the practical essentials

                    of the doctrine.(Examples given in context: Adam and Eve, Fall into sin, Flood,

                    Jonah, Jericho)  Morals and Dogma, pg. 224.

          2.       The Holy Bible, Square, and Compasses, are not only styled the Great Lights

                   in Masonry, but they are also technically called the Furniture of the Lodge...

                   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 in a Hebrew Lodge, and the Koran in a Mohammedan one, belong

                   on the Altar; and one of these, and the Square and Compass, properly

                   understood, are the Great Lights by which a Mason must walk and work.

Morals and Dogma, pg. 11

          3.       The best gift we can bestow on man is manhood.  It is that which Masonry is

                    ordained of God to bestow on its votaries: not sectarianism and religious dogma; not

                    a rudimental morality, that may be found in the writings of Confucius,

                    Zoroaster, Seneca and the Rabbis, in the Proverbs and Ecclesiastes; not a

                    little and cheap common-school knowledge; but manhood        and science and

                    philosophy.

Morals and Dogma, pg. 25

 

          4.       It [Masonry] revives the Academy of Plato, and the wise teachings of

                   Socrates.  It reiterates the maxims of Pythagoras, Confucius, and Zoroaster,

                   and reverentially enforces the sublime lessons of Him who died upon the Cross.

Morals and Dogma, pg. 221

 

          5.       The obligations of our Ancient Brethren of the Rose (18th degree) were to fulfill all

                    the duties of friendship, ...They took their philosophy from the old Theology of the

                    Egyptians, as Moses and Solomon had done...

Morals and Dogma, pg. 289

          6.       John 14:6.

B.      ATTITUDE OF MASONS TOWARD THE CHURCH.

          (result of their attitude toward the Bible)

          1.       If a man yields himself to it [Masonry], he will need neither churches nor

                   ordinances, except for the expression of his religious homage and gratitude.

Morals and Dogma, pg. 212

          2.       For the Mason, church membership is for outward motions only! He doesn't

                   need to be part of the church to be reconciled to God, but to just express his

                   religious homage( Eph. 1:22-23;  2:16;  3:10-11;  3:20-21 )..

C.      ATTITUDE OF MASONRY TOWARD TRUTH.

          1.       Whatever one firmly and conscientiously believes, is truth, to him. No true Mason

                    scoffs at honest convictions and an ardent zeal in the cause of what one believes to

                    be truth and justice. But he does absolutely deny the right of any man to assume the

                    prerogative of Deity, and condemn another's faith and opinions as deserving to by

                    punished because heretical.

Morals and Dogma, pg. 160-161    (Cp. Romans 10:1-3)

          2.       No man truly obeys the Masonic law who merely tolerates those whose religious

                    opinions are opposed to his own... The Mason's creed goes further than that.  No

                    man, it holds, has any right in any way to interfere with the religious belief of

                    another.      Morals and Dogma, pg. 167

          3.       What is truth to me is not truth to another.  The same arguments and evidences that

                    convince one mind make no impression on another. This difference is in men at their

                    birth.  No man is entitled positively to assert that he is right, where other men,

                    equally intelligent and equally well-informed hold directly the opposite opinion.

                                                                                                           Morals and Dogma, pg. 165

          4.       We know not what is truth... No man is responsible for the rightness of his faith; but

                    only for the uprightness of it.      Morals and Dogma, pg. 166

          5.       Masons are sharers in Pilate's dilemma( John 18:37-38;  Eph. 4:17-19 ).

          6.       Mysteries of the ages revealed in the gospel( Eph. 3:3-5 ).

          5.       God's will fully made known( 2 Tim. 3:16-17 ).

          6.       John 8:31-32;  Eph. 5:17;  1 Cor. 2:16.

          7.       Masons teach that truth is not available.  Even if you do find it, you cannot be

                   certain.  Even if it is true to you, it may not be true to someone else.

D.      UNCERTAINTY OF MASONRY COMPARED TO THE BIBLE.

          1.       The Degree of the Rose teaches three things; the unity, immutability and goodness of

                    God; the immortality of the Soul; and the ultimate defeat and extinction of evil and

                    wrong and sorrow, by a Redeemer or Messiah, yet to come, if he has not already

                    appeared.

                                                                                                         Morals and Dogma, pg. 287

          2.       Job 19:25.  "For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on

                    the earth."

CONCLUSION:

A.      IN THE CHURCH, NOT THE LODGE, GOD IS GLORIFIED( Eph. 3:20-21 ).

B.      CAN'T SERVE TWO MASTERS( Matt. 6:24;  Rom. 7:1-6;  Col. 2:8 ).

C.      GOD WILL ROOT UP THE LODGE( Matt. 15:13-14 ).