Hiram Abiff – the false christ of Freemasonry

Hiram Abiff – the false christ of Freemasonry

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Freemasonry substitutes God’s perfect example and man’s only hope of salvation Jesus Christ for a spurious fantasy figure called Hiram Abiff. Instead of using Christ as its model of truth, fidelity and salvation it transfers its loyalty to this phantom figure Hiram. Freemasonry teaches: “If we possess the same painstaking fidelity as our Grand Master did in the hour of tribulation then will our final reward be that which belongs to the just and perfect man.”

Hiram here becomes Masonry’s Saviour and following in his footsteps is said to ensure a glorious “final reward.” Rather than viewing Christ as the way, the truth and the life Freemasonry looks to another – Masonry’s Hiram Abiff. The Lodge practices ultimate deception here eradicating man’s great representative and furnishing a foolish non-existence religious alternative.

Acts 4:12 says: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Jesus Christ is the sinner’s only hope! He is man’s only way.

The Lost Word

According to the teaching of the 3rd Masonic degree (the Master Mason degree) there was a mystical word which was only known to three people. These were King Solomon, Hiram, King of Tyre and a fictional Masonic character called Hiram Abiff. These three appointed fifteen craftsmen from among those working on rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem to preside over the rest of the workers. The English working of the lecture explains: “Fifteen Fellow-Crafts of that superior class appointed to preside over the rest, finding that the work was nearly completed, and that they were not in possession of the secrets of the Master’s degree … conspired together to obtain them by any means … At the moment of carrying their conspiracy into execution, twelve of the fifteen recanted” (English ritual p. 68).

The three remaining plotters (not to be confused with the three who know the mystical word) continued undeterred. The degree records how they confronted Hiram Abiff in the Temple and “demanded of our Grand Master the secrets of a Master Mason, declaring to him that his death would be the consequence of a refusal.” The degree continues, “Hiram Abiff, true to his obligation, replied that those secrets were known only to three, and could only be made known by consent of them all.” One of the scheming Craftsmen struck Hiram with “a violent blow full in the middle of the forehead” whereupon he sunk “lifeless at the foot of the murderer” (English ritual p. 69).

In this fable, the Temple in Jerusalem was a temporary resting place for Hiram’s remains after his death, Mount Moriah being his final interment. Hearing of the news, King Solomon is said to have sent out some of his most trusted craftsmen to find the body. In the English working of this Masonic degree there were 15 workmen sent out, in the American version 12 men were sent.

Whilst there is a slight divergence in the story in relation to the number of searchers, there is uniformity in the general story and the number of perpetrators involved. To gain a good panoramic view of the Masonic degree we will look at the English, American and Irish versions of it.

The Master Mason degree tells us that the searchers travelled “in the direction of Joppa, and were meditating their return to Jerusalem, when accidentally passing the mouth of a cavern, they heard sounds of deep lamenting and regret. On entering the cavern to ascertain the cause, they found three men answering the description of those missing” (English ritual p. 74). These transpire to be the three conspirators.

We take up the story in the American version. Here the three rebels are heard to exclaim:

First Jubela: “O that my throat had been cut across, from ear to ear, my tongue torn out, and my body buried in the rough sands of the sea at low water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty four hours, ere I had been accessory to the death of so good a man as our grand master Hiram Abiff.”

Second Jubelo: “O that my left breast had been torn open, and my heart and vitals taken from thence, and thrown over my left shoulder, carried into the valley of Jeshoshaphat, and there become a prey to the wild beasts of the field and the vultures of the air, ere I had conspired the death of so good a man as our grand master Hiram Abiff.”

Third Jubelum: “O that my body had been severed in two in the midst and divided to the north and the south, my bowels burnt to ashes in the centre, the ashes scattered by the four winds of heaven, that they might not the least track or trace of remembrance remain among men or Masons of so vile a wretch as I am” (p. 58).

The three men are then “bound and led to Jerusalem, where King Solomon sentenced them to that death which the perniciousness of their crimes so amply merited” (English ritual).

In the midst of discovering the assassins, the searchers notice the grave of Hiram Abiff. Here the Masonic candidate is required to mimic Hiram. The initiate is thus placed in a mock grave representing a corpse. The members try to resurrect him with the Entered Apprentice grip, with no success. They then try to raise him with the Fellow-Craft grip, again with no success. Next, all raise their hands, and exclaim, “O Lord my God, I fear the master’s word is for ever lost.” The master then announces, “As the master’s word is now lost, the first word spoken after the body is raised, shall be a substitute for the master’s word, until future generations shall find out the right” (USA ritual).

The brethren then raise the member on the five points of fellowship which proves successful. In the Master Mason degree, the candidate, in a supposed resurrected state, is given the substitute word: “Mah-hah-bone” – which signifies marrow in the bone.

Top Masonic authority Albert Pike contends: “In my opinion, the Substitute or covering Word was of three syllables, in order to hint to the Initiate that the True Word was also trilateral.” The corpse is then said to be re-interred as close to the Temple “sanctum sanctorum” (the holy of holies) as Mosaic law would permit. It should not be overlooked at this juncture that the word which these bodies are so keen to discover is a verbal word, not the written Word. This will become clearer as this degree unfolds.

After being lifted on the five points of fellowship in the third degree, the Mason learns, “It is thus all Master Masons are raised from a figurative death to a reunion with the former companions of their toils … Yet even by this feeble ray you may perceive that you stand on the very brink of the grave into which you have figuratively descended” (English ritual p. 70).

The language here is very revealing. It shows the Masonic candidate identifying with Hiram in his mythical death, burial and resurrection. Authorities within the Lodge do not try to conceal this in their writings. Renowned Masonic writer Albert Mackey states, “The Master Mason represents a man saved from the grave of iniquity, and raised to the faith of salvation” (Manual of the Lodge).

Another Masonic author WL Wilmshurst asserts that the Master Mason degree “inculcates the necessity of mystical death and dramatizes the process of such death and revival therefrom into newness of life … A Master Mason, then, in the full sense of the term, is no longer an ordinary man, but a divinized man; one in whom the Universal and the personal consciousness have come into union. Obviously the quality of life and consciousness of such an one must differ vastly from that of other men. His whole being is differently qualitated and geared upon another centre” (The Meaning of Masonry pp. 140, 146).

Professor of Scottish History at the University of St Andrews, David Stevenson in his comprehensive work The Origins of Freemasonry tells us: “A central theme in many initiation ceremonies was ritual death and rebirth, the transition celebrated being regarded as of such fundamental importance that it involved the candidate’s death in one state and his birth into another. Putting these points together, it is likely that the seventeenth-century Masonic ritual involved the candidate in some sort of ritual death, and subsequent raising from the dead or being born again into the world of masonry through being lifted from the grave in the five points of fellowship embrace” (p. 160).

Hiram usurps the place of Christ

Romans 6:3-6 says, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”

This is the only religious blueprint that God recognises and has ordained. Salvation involves our identification with Christ. Paul here uses metaphors to depict the nature and significance of salvation. Baptism relates to our spiritual burial with Christ in conversion – representing our dying to self; resurrection refers to our rising with Him into newness of life. This passage reveals Christ’s role as man’s sole Representative, and in particular outlines the victory He secured for us through His glorious resurrection over sin, death and the grave. In turn, it shows the Christian’s direct interest and spiritual involvement in this great transaction. It is showing how Christ became our Substitute in His atoning work.

Even though the Lord was sinless, He was condemned on our behalf so that we could be eternally free. He took our sin and guilt in full upon Himself. Finally, when He rose again He did it in our stead. He therefore averted our deserved destiny, which was eternal punishment. Sinners must hence appropriate their part in that central resurrection in order to overcome eternal punishment. The cross is the focal-point of the Christian faith; outside of it there is no salvation. Colossians 2:10-14 & 3:1-4 repeat the great truth we see represented in Romans chapter 6.

It is clear that while Hiram (King of Tyre) assisted King Solomon at the building of the first Temple, there is no mention whatsoever in Scripture of any “Hiram Abiff.” This character is in fact a Masonic invention. Accordingly, there is no teaching in Holy Writ relating to Hiram’s murder and discovery, as these secret societies intimate. The teaching embodied in this story is extra-biblical. Plainly the whole thing is one elaborate Masonic fabrication. This whole secret society fixation with Hiram is a problematic area for evangelicals, as they see Christ as man’s sole Redeemer and only perfect exemplar, whereas secret societies seem to be always promoting Hiram as an alternative Christ.

Jesus cautions us in John 10:1, “He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” He then goes on to explain, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture” (John 10:9). If someone wants to experience the favour of God and one day experience eternal bliss, they must come exclusively through Christ. He is the way – the only way. Christ alone is our access to God.

How true and solemn the words of Scripture are: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

Dr. Albert Barnes explains this matter, where he comments that “The word rendered fable means properly ‘speech’ or ‘discourse’, and then fable or fiction, or a mystic discourse. Such things abounded among the Greeks as well as the Jews, but it is probable that the latter here are particularly intended. These were composed of frivolous and unfounded stories, which they regarded as of great importance, and which they seem to have desired to incorporate with the teachings of Christianity … One of the most successful arts of the adversary of souls has been to mingle fable with truth; and when he cannot overthrow the truth by direct opposition, to neutralize it by mingling with it much that is false and frivolous.” He further comments, “The ‘fables’ here referred to were probably the idle and puerile superstitions and conceits of the Jewish rabbis.”

This is exactly what Freemasonry has done. It has followed the same methodology and has embraced the very same error. Now they teach it as truth. They have deviated critically from the truth and text of Scripture, inserting erroneous legends into several well-known scriptural references. They have distorted the Bible account of the lives of key Old Testament Bible characters and have attributed events to locations and time-periods that never actually happened. They have blatantly altered the Word of God and accepted teaching that is alien to Scripture. They have accepted, and secretly propagated dogma that is in total conflict with the inspired text.

Conclusion

Christians know that there is no man ever born, or any religious figure ever found, or any fictional character ever invented who can be compared to the Lord Jesus – the eternal Son of God. To equate a make-believe Masonic hero with our Lord and Saviour is worse than disturbing. It must concern every Bible believer reading this. This teaching muddies the Gospel message, dishonours our blessed Saviour and confuses the already perplexed Mason. We can only view this teaching as dangerous heresy.

How true and solemn the words of Scripture are: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

Dr. Albert Barnes explains this matter, where he comments that “The word rendered fable means properly ‘speech’ or ‘discourse’, and then fable or fiction, or a mystic discourse. Such things abounded among the Greeks as well as the Jews, but it is probable that the latter here are particularly intended. These were composed of frivolous and unfounded stories, which they regarded as of great importance, and which they seem to have desired to incorporate with the teachings of Christianity … One of the most successful arts of the adversary of souls has been to mingle fable with truth; and when he cannot overthrow the truth by direct opposition, to neutralize it by mingling with it much that is false and frivolous.” He further comments, “The ‘fables’ here referred to were probably the idle and puerile superstitions and conceits of the Jewish rabbis.”

This is exactly what Freemasonry has done. It has followed the same methodology and has embraced the very same error. Now it teaches it as truth. It has deviated critically from the truth and text of Scripture, inserting erroneous legends into several well-known scriptural references. It has distorted the Bible account of the lives of key Old Testament Bible characters and have attributed events to locations and time-periods that never actually happened. It has blatantly altered the Word of God and accepted teaching that is alien to Scripture. It has accepted, and secretly propagated dogma that is in total conflict with the inspired text.

Jude, the brother of Jesus, warns in Jude v4, “There are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The question we must ask these secret societies is: Why do you need an alternative christ? Is the Lord not satisfactory enough? Did He not fulfil every righteous demand made of Him for mankind? Was His life and ministry insufficient? Was His death not fully efficacious, or His resurrection not entirely victorious? Why do these fraternities need to invent a substitute fantasy figure? Only Satan could contrive such a deception that would have the ability to command the sympathy of hundreds of professing evangelicals.

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