Royal Arch Degree
After the Mason travels the first 3 degrees of the Masonic Lodge known as the Blue Lodge (or the Craft Lodge) he advances to the Red Lodge. He is now qualified to be initiated into the Royal Arch degree. Here the Lodge takes Old Testament and New testament Scripture quotes and both misinterprets and misapplies them for its own mystical purposes. In doing so it makes a complete mockery of the inspired text of the Bible. The teaching of the Royal Arch is a blend of pagan oral tradition and biblical text. This results in a dangerous confusing religious mixture.
I am that I am
The Royal Arch degree catechism asks, “Are you a Royal Arch Mason?”
To which the reply is made, “I – AM – THAT – I – AM.”
Here, Masonry applies the sacred Name for Almighty God in Scripture to themselves, thus, blasphemously attacking the character and NAME of Jehovah – Who revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush.
In Exodus 3:13 we read, “Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?”
Verse 14 explains, “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”
For the Royal Arch degree to employ the name of Almighty God in such a blasphemous manner is an abomination before heaven. Such a practice breaks the third commandment, which states: “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” (Exodus 20:7)
The revival preacher Charles G. Finney in his book ‘Character and Claims of Freemasonry’ explains, whilst addressing the Royal Arch degree, ” ‘I am that I am’ is one of the peculiar names of Deity; and to use it as above, is to say the least taking the name of God in vain. How must the humble disciple of Jesus feel when constrained thus to answer the question?”
In the beginning was the Word
The Irish version of the Masonic ‘Royal Arch’ lecture introduces the candidate to the degree by reminding him of the instruction of his previous third degree travel, saying, “You will recollect that when being raised to the third degree of a Master Mason you were then informed that owing to the death of the Chief architect [Hiram Abiff], the real word of a Master Mason was lost, and that on that occasion you were given a substitute until time and circumstances would reveal the original. It is now my privilege to communicate to you the original. It is given in this peculiar way.”
Three Royal Arch lecturers (or Principles) quote the following wording from John’s Gospel chapter 1, which, as most Christians are aware, relates solely to the Lord Jesus Christ.
(1) “In the beginning was the Word.”
(2) “And the Word was with God.”
(3) “And the Word was God.”
Here the Lodge employs John’s Gospel chapter 1 verse 1, which is speaking of Jesus Christ, to support their convoluted theology.
The first lecturer then asks, “Companions, Principles, what are the great attributes of these mysterious words?”
To which he receives the response, “(1) omniscience, (2) omnipotence, (3) omnipresence.”
The Royal Arch Degree Chapter room then proceeds to take on the supposed appearance of the rebuilding of the second temple. Such is done in order to impress the deep mystical teaching of this degree upon the initiate.
From darkness to light
One of the Royal Arch Degree lecturers asks another, in a question and answer manner, “Why do you leave Babylon to go to Jerusalem?”
To which he replies, “To assist in rebuilding the second temple, and to endeavour to obtain the sacred word.”
The Masonic candidate is shown to make his journey from the darkness of Babylon to the destiny of the Temple place in order to acquire the mystical Masonic “word.” This mystical word, as we shall see in the next degree, is the central focus in secret society thinking.
WL Wilmshurst explains the spiritual significance of the journey from Babylon to Jerusalem, saying, “He has ‘gone up’ out of the Babylon of his old complex and disordered nature, and upon its ruins has built for himself an ethereal body of glory, a ‘house of the Lord’. He sees how this ecstatic condition and this new-made celestial body are the sublimated products of his former self and its temporal organism. He sees how each separate part and faculty of that old nature, or as it were each of the zodiacal divisions of his own microcosm, has contributed its purified essence to form a new organism … and how these essences … have assembled convergently and finally coalesced and become fused into a unity or new whole, ‘a city that is compact together’. And it is this ‘city’, this blessed condition, which mystically is called ‘Jerusalem’.”
He continues, “The antithesis of this ‘heavenly city’ is the confused Babylon city of this world, of which it is written to all captives therein, ‘Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and that ye receive not of her plagues !’ (Rev. xviii. 4). And, in a word, the Royal Arch Ceremony sacramentally portrays the last phase of the mystical journey of the exiled soul from Babylon to Jerusalem as it escapes from its captivity to this lower world and, ‘passing the veils’ of matter and form, breaks through the bondage of corruption into the world of the formless Spirit and realizes the glorious liberty of the children of God.”
This is a false typology, a bogus use of symbolism. Like the Royal Black Institution, Freemasonry uses Babylon and Jerusalem as important symbols representing the journey of the initiate from darkness to light, from ignorance to enlightenment. Every experience along the way is intended to open his understanding to the intensity of this spiritual expedition. But what is noticeable in this illustration is the Christless nature of the trek. Salvation and illumination are achieved without coming to the cross or surrendering one’s sinful life to the Saviour. There is no repentance or faith involved. There is no mention of grace – the undeserved favour of God to the guilty sinner. This is therefore “another gospel.” It is an alternative means of reaching God – one that does not require the seeker to take up his cross and follow Christ. It is a spurious religious invention that has no basis in God’s Word. Rather than rising to a higher spiritual plane, as these Lodges promise, the traveller is brought further away from God’s only means of redemption – Jesus Christ. It is a ritualistic gospel of works that ends in a lost and darkened eternity.
The sacred name of the Mason God is revealed
The three Royal Arch lecturers then form a human triangle. Each of them gripping the right wrist of his left-hand colleague and the left wrist of his right-hand colleague; thus forming two distinct triangles. They all then form a triangle with their feet thus creating a triple triangle.
The deep occult significance of this triplicate (3 x 3) symbolism will soon become more apparent as the initiation unfolds.
The three Royal Arch Degree lecturers then declare,
“As we three agree,
in peace, love and unity,
the sacred word to keep.
So we three do agree,
in peace, love and unity,
the sacred word to search.
Until we three,
or three such as we shall agree,
this Royal Arch Chapter to close.”
They then reveal, the original ‘sacred Omnific Word’ – ‘Jah-Bal-On.’
This is given in low breath and is performed three times by three lecturers, each taking turns to pronounce a name each:
(1) “Jah” (2) “Bal” (3) “On”
(2) “Jah” (3) “Bal” (1) “On”
(3) “Jah” (1) “Bal” (2) “On.”
The Royal Arch candidate is then told that “It is the name of Deity in three language, viz Chaldee, Hebrew and Syriac. Which is the long lost Master Mason’s Word, and has now become the Grand Omnific Royal Arch Word” (US Masonic lecture quote).
The Royal Arch Degree here, thus, blasphemously unites the God of the Bible – Jehovah – with the pagan gods of Syria – Baal – and of Egypt – On – into an ugly unscriptural mongrel composite trinity. The Irish lecture explains: “The names by which the Supreme Being was known to the three leading nations of antiquity, Chaldean, Syriac and Egyptian:
1. Jah. the Chaldean name of God, and signifies, ‘His essence in Majesty – incomprehensible.’ It is also a Hebrew word, signifying, ‘I am and shall be’ thereby expressing the actual future and eternal existence of the Most High.
2. Bal. is a Syriac word which signifies ‘Lord or Powerful’ also ‘Lord in heaven or on high.’
3. On. is an Egyptian word signifying ‘Father of all’ as is expressed in the Lord’s prayer.”
The Royal Arch lecturer then blasphemously explains, “All the significations of these words may be thus collected: I am and shall be Lord in heaven and on high, Father of all” (Irish Lecture).
The Masonic Royal Arch here attempts to bundle the true God of the Bible – Jehovah – together with other false gods into a grand all-embracing figure who can be accepted by all. This theology is known as syncrenism, i.e. “all roads lead to God.”
Freemasonry has its own inoffensive, politically correct god who is known as ‘the great architect of the universe’ (G.A.O.T.U.) or ‘the supreme being.’ Masonry boasts that every Mason can approach this god, regardless of his religion, in the “neutral” atmosphere of the Lodge-room. In doing so, the divergent brethren unite together in common worship by prayers, salutations and hymns to this innocuous being. Masonry argues that this peculiar state of inter-faith harmony reveals the unique non-sectarian brotherly nature of the Lodge.
Masonic authority, W.L. Wilmshurst states, in ‘Masonic Initiation (1924), “Life in the realm of Spirit is a unity, and for Masonic seekers the whole world over, there is but one Grand Master, but he can manifest and deputise through many channels…To the Jewish brother our science says, Take the Father of the faithful. To the Christian brother it points to Him upon whose breast lay the beloved disciple. To the Buddhist it points to the Maitreja of the universal compasssion; and to the Moslem it points to the Prophet.”
God’s infallible Word defines the true God of heaven, including His different names and attributes. It also outlines the manner by which man must draw close to Him. That is in and through the name of God’s Son the Lord Jesus Christ alone.
The Bible says, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:5-6).
Freemasonry is a man-made religion that denies Christ His rightful place as man’s sole Redeemer. They also forbid any mention of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ during their prayers, praise and worship. We must therefore ask, who is this abstract being who may be approached in such an indeterminate manner? It is certainly not the God of heaven.
Jesus said, in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
How can any Christian accept, by his active participation in Lodge worship, the adoration of false gods in Lodge prayers and hymns? How can men who profess Christ join in collective worship with unbelievers unto a variety of unspecified false gods? This is idolatry.
Choosing an inoffensive title for this union of gods in no way diminishes this blasphemy. 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.”
Anywhere the people of God are found meddling with false religion, God meets out judgement. There is a solemn warning, in Psalm 106:28-36, for those who partake and/or condone such awful secret abominations (like Masonry). God says, “They joined themselves also unto Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead. Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: and the plague brake in upon them. They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the LORD commanded them: But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.”
Scripture therefore expressly instructs Christians to shun and oppose the encroachments of inter-faith worship unto a neutral undefined mongrel god. Isaiah 45:21-22 says, “there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” This amazing revelation of the Grand Omnific Sacred Word creates an important background for the remainder of our study, as it shows us that the pursuit that the candidate engages on is a foolish devilish search for a false God. The Chapter then institutes a symbolic Masonic play in which the candidate partakes in search for the “Lost Word” among the remains of the first Jewish temple, during the supposed time period of the rebuilding of the second temple.
The searcher (or candidate) makes his first find, which is a Jewish arch below which is found a scroll.
The first Royal Arch Degree lecturer then explains, “The discovery you have made is of the greatest importance. It is no less than the long-lost book of the holy law. You now see that the world is indebted to Freemasonry for the preservation of this sacred volume. Had it not been for the Masonic wisdom and precaution of our Grand Master [Hiram Abiff], this the only remaining copy of the law, would have been lost at the destruction of the Temple.”
The Royal Arch Degree candidate later receives a jewel of the scroll (copy of the Law) which is inscribed at the bottom with the motto: ‘Nil nisi lavis deest’ or ‘nothing but the key is wanting’ which, the candidate is instructed “may be taken in its literal sense.”
This is unadulterated Cabalistic teaching i.e. the Scriptures can ONLY be fully understood by recognising the hidden key or code.
The second find the searcher makes is a second Jewish arch although this time there is said to be “nothing of consequence” below it.
The third find the searcher make is a third Jewish arch under which the most significant and crucial Masonic discovery is now made.
The searcher testifies, “We discovered a key-stone of a third arch; on removing it, the sun, having now gained its meridian height, darted its rays to the centre. It shone resplendent on a white marble pedestal, whereon was a plate of gold. On this plate was engraved a triple triangle, and within the triangles some characters which are beyond comprehension.”
The first Royal Arch Degree lecturer then explains, “These three mysterious words, in a triangle form, is the long-lost sacred word of the Master Mason, and is too incomprehensible for individual expression; but in reward for your industry and zeal, you will now be put in possession of a full explanation of this Grand Omnific Royal Arch Word.”
The first lecturer continues, “In drawing forth the third keystone, you have obtained the Grand Omnific Word.”
The Royal Arch Degree candidate is then honoured with a purple/crimson Royal Arch sash and apron. Upon the apron is the Triple Tau, which the candidate learns “is one of the most ancient of emblems; and as Masonry is the science of sciences, so this emblem may be styled the emblem of emblems, for it is the grand emblem of Royal Arch Masonry; and its depth of meaning reaches to the creation of the world, and all that is therein.”
The spiritual application and signification of the third find is then explained to the candidate in the form of a question and answer.
Q. “Can you describe the grand pedestal?”
A. “It was on a chequered pavement (black and white squares) to represent the uncertainty of life and the instability of things terrestrial. It was of perfect white marble, cut into the form of the altar of incense, being the only true double cube, and thereby, both in figure and colour, the most perfect emblem of innocence and purity. On the base of the pedestal is the letter G, which signifies Giblum, a common name for all Masons who are masters of their business.”
As one carefully analyses the incredible detail and significance of this extra-biblical teaching, one is assuredly forced to conclude that it is indisputably gross error.
Those who nonchauchantly advance to such error in the Royal Arch Degree should be reminded of the solemn biblical fact that it is a grave abomination to alter or amend the infallible teaching of God’s precious Word. Deuteronomy 4:2 solemnly says, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”
The first thing we can authoritatively establish, in this involved investigation, is that the quotation referring to “the Word” employed here by the Masonic is taken directly verbatim from John’s Gospel chapter 1. Secondly, the “Word” that is employed relates solely to God’s dear Son – the Lord Jesus Christ. The New Testament narrative, in John 1:1-5, says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”
Verse 10-14 continues, “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
This powerful narrative of itself exposes the deep heresy of the alternative Masonic Royal Arch Degree false gospel and assuredly nails the lie that “God is the Word that was lost” and “God is the Word that was found.” This passage shows, in unmistakable language, that “the Word” is Christ. It reveals the King of Glory in all His marvellous provision, purpose and power. The reading outlines His eternal pre-existence, powerfully revealing Him as the eternal Son of God; “The same was in the beginning with God” (v 2). As such, and contrary to any deceptive secret society teaching, He could never, in anyway, have been lost – NOT at Calvary nor at the building of any Jewish Temple.
Whilst, Christ was man of very man, He was also God of very God. Verse 1 succinctly says, “the Word was God.” Therefore, as the second person of the Trinity, He was the eternal Creator of this world.” Verse 10 tells us, “the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.”
Jesus declared, in His great intercessory petition to His Father, in John 17:1-5, “glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”
Here, Christ is again revealed in His Deity, authority and majesty. He is also shown in His great eternal pre-existence. The Lord outlined, in John 8:58, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”
Colossians 1:14-17 reveals, salvation is through Christ alone, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.”
As for the Old Testament account of the rebuilding of the second temple. 2 Chronicles 34:14-16 outlines an unambiguous account of the discovery of a copy of the law during the reconstruction of the building, stating, “Hilkiah the priest found a book of the law of the LORD given by Moses. And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan. And Shaphan carried the book to the king, and brought the king word back again, saying, All that was committed to thy servants, they do it.”
Removing Christ from Freemasonry
The Royal Arch candidate is later told, “Now we command you, brethren, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. For we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such, we command and exhort, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread” (US wording).
This Masonic Royal Arch degree teaching may appear familiar to many Christians as it is taken from the New Testament book of II Thessalonians 3:6-12. However, the Lodge significantly removes the most-powerful name of the Lord Jesus Christ from this reading thus rendering the Word of God of none effect (the Red Lodge forbids any mention of the name of Christ in its worship). The Lodge here takes teaching that pertains solely to the Church of Jesus Christ and applies it to its Masonic membership.
Jesus said of such teachers, in Mark 7:6-13, “Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men…Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”
II Thessalonians 3:6-12 really reads, “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.”
Here we see Masonry changing God’s Word. Freemasonry’s Royal Arch degree here tampers with the inspired words of the Apostle Paul and then selectively appropriates the promises as its own – once again omitting the all powerful, majestic name our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bible commands, however, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:5-11).
Jesus said, in Matthew 10:32-33, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my father which is in heaven.”
Paul of the Apostle under the inspiration of God warned of such an organisation nearly 2000 years. In 2 Corinthians 11:3-4, he said, “I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
Verses 13-15 goes unto to say, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”