4th Apron and Royal Blue Degree The Discovery of Hiram

The Discovery of Hiram

Hiram's death
LECTURE

The Black degrees of Apron & Royal Blue and Royal Mark are closely linked together. Essentially, where one leaves off the other takes over. The candidate for initiation into the 4th Black degree – the Apron & Royal Blue – is told at the start of the ceremony:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God, and God is the Word.
Where was it found?
Deep buried in the ruins of King Solomon’s household.
How was it found?
By a mystery.
What kind of mystery?
By digging in a certain place where the sun shone once each day coming to a marble slab, underneath the marble slab a Jewish arch, underneath the Jewish arch a roll of fine linen whereon was written the Word G – O – D.
God is the Word that was lost, God is the Word that was found and God is the Word.”

The Bible student will immediately recognise the introductory allusion to the gospel of John chapter 1 in this Institution quote, although it is doubtful whether he will readily decipher the other esoteric teaching that accompanies it. It is more likely that the Christian will struggle to comprehend the bizarre wording and general thrust of this unusual address. In fact, if he has any understanding of John chapter 1 he will probably be totally bewildered by this catechism. The only slight comfort he may take from his puzzlement is that he is not alone. The vast bulk of Blackmen can no more make sense of this teaching than the uninitiated reader of this book. Indeed, it would be fair to say that the reader will be more advantaged, as the Black candidate receives this teaching in an anxious state in the midst of a pressurised initiation where he is blindfolded and overloaded with an abundance of unfamiliar instruction.

The Black does not enlarge upon this teaching nor explain its origins. It simply presents this lesson as we are reading it. Notwithstanding, and understandably, this leaves the Blackman with more questions than answers. At least the reader of this book can carefully examine the text of this degree in a relaxed manner and then quietly reflect upon it in the light of Scripture. The Blackman is not allowed that opportunity, since this oral teaching is not written down for his perusal.

During the induction, he is not allowed to interrupt the lesson or question the content of the lecture. It is a rigid discourse that has been in place for over two hundred years. The new candidate is simply required to receive and accept it. Failure to do so would immediately terminate his advance in the Order. Even if he was inquisitive, there is no facility for him to further examine this address. It is an oral tradition. Those who have been through these degrees will readily admit that it is uncommon for men to discuss the substance of the teaching outside of official gatherings.

These rituals are first and foremost trials designed to establish whether the candidate is worthy to advance to the next level of the Institution. Anyone who has experienced these secret rites will testify to the awkward and unnerving way one feels whilst undergoing initiation. Some of the ceremonies are shocking, others humiliating, others boring and mundane. There is little doubt that it is not a conducive environment to retain the detail being articulated or to grasp the finer theological points of the teaching being presented. The distractions are many.

It is very difficult to take in these wordy addresses when you are in a state of apprehension, not knowing what is coming next. Once again, what makes it even harder is the peculiar style of teaching and the unusual content being expressed. Keep in mind that this is doctrine which the initiate has never heard before. Most men tend to remember the experience and the paraphernalia more than the exact particulars of the instruction being presented. They are just glad to get through it.

The initiate obtains the teaching of the degree in the midst of a play in which he is the main actor; a play of which he has had no prior script, rehearsal, understanding or coaching. He must make his every move and utter his every word on the direction of the members leading him. Just like a blind man is led by a guide dog, the initiate is escorted by these specially chosen guides. In his blindfolded state he is totally unaware what is coming next or who is even watching this drama. It is not difficult to see why he feels vulnerable, nervous, and unsettled. He is totally at the mercy of his two aides. Although these conductors are supposed to assist him in his travel, in reality they are accessories to his degradation. In the circumstances, it is virtually impossible for the Blackman to grasp the teaching. Blackmen learn more from watching others navigate these rituals than they do from their own initiation.

The newcomer is strictly prohibited from taking notes during these lectures. Blackmen are oath-bound not to in any way “write, indite, cut, carve, stain, paint, emboss, or engrave upon anything moveable or immovable any of the signs, secrets or passwords of this Royal Black Institution whereby or whereon the same might become legible or intelligible to any person under the whole canopy of Heaven.” The institution does everything within its power to conceal this teaching from the outside world, an endeavour in which it has been highly successful over the years. In the light of some of the activities we have already observed in our study, it is not difficult to see why they are so keen to keep these beliefs and practices from the public gaze.

Read a detailed exposure:

Before looking into this instruction deeper it would be beneficial to sound a word of caution to the reader at this juncture. We have come to a part of our examination which is fundamental to the whole ethos of secret society theology. It is the very epicentre of secret doctrine. Not surprisingly, it just so happens that this is some of the most bizarre and difficult-to-dissect teaching found in the underworld of fraternal brotherhoods. The reader should therefore navigate this section of our investigation slowly, and with the utmost diligence, in order to fully grasp what is being conveyed. Hastily speeding through this subject could potentially cause the onlooker to be overwhelmed with a mountain of unfamiliar rhetoric and incomprehensible instruction and miss the meaning.

This teaching might appear to be a strange collection of miscellaneous, unintelligible and unrelated fables. It may seem hard-going and even surreal. However, in order to grasp the philosophy of these orders one needs to persevere. Most of the core dogma of the Black and other similar bodies is multi-layered, mysterious and enigmatic. A true revelation of the meaning is only meant to be acquired gradually, and through ritualistic initiation. This is the standard mode of instruction by all the ancient mysteries of the past and also by all the different modern-day Occult bodies. Experience rather than head-knowledge is the essential design.

Removed Text

One does not need to be a theologian to discern the error of this Black catechism. One will search in vain to find this teaching in Holy Writ. The fact is, it is not scriptural. For a Christian organisation even to suggest that “God is the Word that was lost” is enough to set the warning bells ringing. Such teaching is blasphemous and is a profane attack upon the nature and existence of the eternal (unending) God. What is more, to propose that God was found under a “Jewish arch” which was situated underneath a “marble slab” in the Temple is to advance teaching that is a gross misrepresentation of truth and which patently contravenes the teaching of God’s holy Word.

A number of years ago a group of concerned evangelicals within the Royal Black Institution challenged many of the non-biblical elements within the Institution, much of which is highlighted in this book. The content of this degree was part of that unease.

The one element that was amended is of particular interest to our current enquiry into ‘the lost Word’. It will help us piece together the full story and give us pointers in our wider research. Unfortunately, in its amendment, the Black only cut out half the disputed text, leaving the other half, which we are currently examining. In fact, the most problematic element remains. The Black Institution has made no effort to inform its members (or past members) that it has renounced this former teaching. The fact that it refuses to discard the remainder of this extra-biblical instruction demonstrates the half-hearted nature of this change.

The part that was omitted is as follows:

“Where are you going?
To the rock.
What rock?
The rock at Joppa.
What to do there?
Search out the murderers of my Grand Master Hiram.
How do you intend to get there?
By the benefit of a password.
Have you that password?
I have.
Will you give it to me?
I will if you begin.
Our-great-Grand-Master-King-Solomon.”

solomon's temple

It continues:

“Have you a number?
I have.
What is your number?
Nine.
What nine? The nine revolters who went in search of the murderers of my Grand Master Hiram.
Did they find them?
They did and with their apron bound them.
How did they find them?
By their moans and lamentations.
What moans and lamentations did they make?
1st O that I had suffered my throat cut across ere I had murdered my Grand Master Hiram.
2nd O that I had suffered my left breast torn open ere I had murdered my Grand Master Hiram.
3rd O that I had suffered my body severed in two ere I had murdered my Grand Master Hiram.”

This instruction served as the introductory part of the teaching on ‘the lost Word’ that we observed at the beginning of this chapter. It gave context and setting for the retained text. Its removal has left the new initiate with only half a story to consider; because of this he will have no awareness of the backdrop of the lecture before him. For the purpose of our understanding it is needful to analyse both the removed and the existing text, because they are undoubtedly two sides of the one coin. In short, it will give us vital clues as to the meaning and source of this degree. This will become clearer as our examination develops. Whilst it reveals more of the overall picture, the discarded text does not make our task of deciphering the whole doctrine simple, it just makes it easier. The removed text also involves a lot of cryptic language.

From a Black perspective what does this teaching mean and where was it acquired? Who or what is “the Word” being spoken of here? What was it doing “buried in the ruins of King Solomon’s household”? What was “a Jewish arch” doing underneath “a marble slab”? What was the Word doing underneath “a Jewish arch”? Who is supposed to be going to “the rock at Joppa” and why? Who is this “Grand Master Hiram”? Who murdered him and why? Who are these “revolters who went in search of the murderers” of this “Grand Master Hiram”? Did they find them? Most importantly: How possibly could God be “the Word that was lost”?

It is obvious that this teaching does not emanate from Scripture. So, where does it originate? Those familiar with Freemasonry will immediately recognise it. This theology belongs to, and has been acquired from the Masonic Lodge. In fact, Freemasonry builds its whole philosophy around Hiram, his murder and the search for ‘the lost Word’. It is important therefore that we look deeper into Masonic teaching in order to determine the sense of this passage, including the spiritual significance of this instruction and its specific application to the candidate. With the repeated exposure of Freemasonry over these past 150 years, it is not difficult to acquire the wording of the Masonic degrees regardless of where you live in the world. This makes it easy to identify the fountain from whence this theology springs.

Freemasonry is a syncretistic religion, teaching as a central tenet that all roads lead to God. It does not align itself with one particular religion but embraces all religions in its ideology and membership. It views itself as the modern face of the ancient mysteries and expounds its beliefs by way of strange mystical fables. Masonry defines itself as “A Peculiar System of Morality, Veiled in Allegory and Illustrated by Symbols.” It consists of a number of degrees (1 to 33) which are taken progressively as one grows in the mysteries of the Institution. These are practised in secret and are intended to bring men into a revelation of certain religious concepts rather than of one orthodox religious position. The most disturbing element about Masonry is that it mixes Scripture with its fables in order to reinforce its mysterious beliefs. In characteristic Gnostic manner, it views literal Bible figures, events and truths as symbolic or allegoric and places whatever interpretation it chooses upon them.

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).

We get further explanation on this matter in the Black explanatory booklet on the degrees entitled Lectures on Tracing Boards From Black to Red Cross Degrees: “Hiram was slain at high twelve … The body was buried by the murderers in the rubbish of the Temple until low twelve, or twelve o’clock at night, when they met by agreement and carried the body a westerly course from the Temple to the brow of the hill, west of Mount Moriah” (p. 16).

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. This theme is echoed in the Master Elect of Nine degree (in the higher Scottish Rite) although only 9 workers are sent out. Whilst this last figure aligns with that employed in the Apron & Royal Blue degree, careful comparison shows that the Black account has been taken directly from the Master Mason degree (the 3rd Masonic degree), with slight modifications here and there. Apart from the numbers involved in the conspiracy, the thrust and detail of the Master Mason degree matches that of this Black degree under consideration, while explaining it in greater detail.

In the Black account, also described in the instructive pamphlet on the degree just referred to, there are 12 revolters – 9 who recant and 3 who perpetrate the murder of Hiram. It records, “The nine Craftsmen, who had recanted from their murderous designs, appeared before King Solomon acknowledging their guilt, and kneeling before him implored his pardon. King Solomon ordered them to divide themselves into three parties and travel … in search of the murderers” (p. 16).

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. Both the Royal Black Institution and the Masonic Master Mason degree teach that there were 3 murderers of Hiram. Despite the various institutional and provincial differences, we are clearly viewing the same overriding story. Each jurisdiction and individual secret society tends to tailor this fictional story to suit its own particular message – giving the degree its own local uniqueness. The Royal Black does the same. However, the overall composition of the whole story is virtually identical. We must therefore explore the Master Mason account, as it seems to be the source of the Apron & Royal Blue lesson. 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 should note in passing that Joppa is the direction of the searchers’ journey in the Apron & Royal Blue story.

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).

We can see that these cries closely align with the moans and lamentations recorded in the Apron & Royal Blue degree in relation to the three assailants. Anyone who has travelled the Royal Arch Purple degree, which is the preliminary degree before joining the Black, will immediately recognise these three penalties as “the three great and solemn penalties of a Royal Arch Purpleman” which he is said to deserve should he ever divulge the secrets of the order.

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).

5pof

The brethren then raise the member on the five points of fellowship which proves successful. Those who have travelled the Royal Arch Purple degree will also recognise this rite. It is the same mock-resurrection which the aspirant undergoes when being initiated into the Arch Purple order. 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).

W.J. McCormick in ‘Christ, the Christian and Freemasonry’ explains: “He [the candidate] falls under the blows of the ‘Assassins’ and, shamming death, is ‘buried’. Some Lodges are constructed with a grave in the floor, into which the candidate is lowered … Well, after death and burial comes the ‘resurrection’. Two attempts are made to raise ‘the corpse’ and ‘prove a slip’. The Worshipful Master then leaves the chair to show how it can be achieved. He embraces the ‘corpse’ with the ‘five points of fellowship’ (breast to breast, knee to knee, etc.) and the ‘corpse’ returns to life. The candidate’s baser nature is now dead and he rises a perfectly regenerated being” (p. 36).

This heathenish practice can ultimately be traced back to the pagan religion of Egypt and the elevation of their false gods, Osiris, Isis and Horus. Egyptian religion being built around the mythical life, death, and ‘resurrection’ of Osiris.

Martin Short in his secular book, ‘Inside the Brotherhood’ affirms that, “Osiris was a King of Egypt who married his sister Isis. His brother, Set, wished to usurp the throne and so plotted his death. He tricked Osiris into climbing in a golden chest. As soon as he was inside, Set nailed down the lid and flung the chest into the Nile. It was carried off to Byblos in Syria where it came to rest against a small tamarisk or acacia tree, with the dead Osiris still inside. Isis found out what Set had done to Osiris, so she set off to find her husband.”

He continues, “A vision led her to Byblos, where she recovered his body and took it back to Egypt. Alas! Set stole it and tore it into fourteen pieces, which he scattered through Egypt to prevent Osiris coming to life again. Isis recovered all but one of the pieces and gave Osiris a fit burial. Their son, Horus, avenged him by slaying Set. Another son Anubis, resurrected Osiris with the lion grip. Having triumphed over the grave, Osiris now reigns as King and Judge of the so-called dead.”

This Egyptian trinity is always personified in pagan art by the sun (with a face), the moon (with a face), and the all-seeing eye.

Hiram usurps the place of Christ

Hiram_raised

The Royal Black Institution’s explanatory booklet on the degrees concurs with this Masonic philosophy, saying, “The account of Hiram Abiff’s death and burial is purely allegorical. In the symbolical Mystery of his death we have a representation of man under the teaching of love, saved from the grave of iniquity, and raised under the new dispensation in the faith of Salvation.”

In keeping with Freemasonry, the Black Preceptory presents Hiram and his fabled death, burial and resurrection as a powerful illustration of man’s salvation. Amazingly for an institution which claims to be Reformed, rather than pointing its members exclusively to Christ and His efficacious death, burial and resurrection as the only means, as typified by Christian baptism, the Black advances this fantasy figure and his mythical life as a fitting model and an appropriate representation of the new birth experience! Instead of identifying exclusively with Christ, Hiram is pushed to the fore as a preferred prototype. The forthrightness of this internal Black document, whilst shocking, shows us again the dangerous thinking that pervades the Preceptory. This runs completely contrary to orthodox accepted Christian doctrine based on the teaching of Scripture, which identifies salvation as only experienced through Christ alone.

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.

The Black further reveals its thinking in its booklet Lectures on Tracing Boards from Black to Red Cross Degrees, explaining, “In Hiram Abiff’s death we have a representation of the death of the Saviour, and 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” (p. 18).

One need not be a Bible scholar to notice the error contained within this Black statement, neither does one need to be a preacher of the Gospel to be shocked at its detail. The comments in the Black booklet expose the spurious theological position of the Order, which is just a reflection of the secret instruction expounded within its ceremonies. In this quotation the Black addresses the important subjects of Christian living and the afterlife, and presents the criteria needed to reach the heavenly abode. In this citation it mentions both Christ and Hiram. We know that one is the biblical example of righteousness and truth, whereas the other is the Masonic counterfeit. The Order points its members to its worthy example and reveals how by following his example we can reach the heavenly abode. This character is known as the Institution’s spiritual Grand Master. But the only problem here is that this lofty representative is not Christ, but Hiram. We saw earlier in the Black narrative that Hiram is known as “Grand Master Hiram.”

Whilst the Black gives lip-service to the Lord Jesus Christ in its external pronouncements and writings, its internal teaching and secret documents point to another master and example. This secret theology therefore does great injury to the person and deity of Christ. It elevates another christ, presenting the mythical Masonic character Hiram Abiff as the Institution’s Grand Master and pattern for all Blackmen to imitate in order to reach heaven. This mythical character masquerades as the symbol of righteousness and the signpost to heaven for most secret societies. He becomes their hope for eternal life; he is made their great prospect of eternal reward. In this belief, the Royal Black Institution bypass man’s true example Christ. Whether they mean it or not they dethrone the Lord from His exalted position.

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.

Jesus said, in John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” There is no joint-way to God or joint-master for mankind. There is no substitute for Jesus. 1 John 5:11-12 says, “This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”

In the Black Lecture booklet, Hiram is advanced to the place that only Jesus holds. Evidently, the Black ignores the poignant words of Christ in Luke 16:13, which says, “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.” The Royal Black Institution is seen to side itself with Masonry, its hero Hiram and its allegoric teaching, rather than with Christ and His infallible Word. Instead of using Christ as its sole Model of truth and fidelity it transfers its loyalty to the fantasy figure Hiram. It states, “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 the Blackman’s christ and following in his footsteps is said to ensure a glorious “final reward.”

Rather than viewing the Saviour as its one all-sufficient Grand Master it looks to another – Masonry’s Hiram Abiff. True believers do not need another religious Master. They definitely do not require a fictional Grand Master conjured up by the carnal mind of man. Jesus tells us in Matthew 23:9-10: “Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.”

Christ satisfactorily, exclusively and majestically holds such a supreme position. He is Lord of all. Nothing could be clearer, and nothing could be simpler. In the hidden doctrine of the Black, Hiram is the Institution’s Grand Master and King Solomon the great Grand Master. Both Masonry and the Royal Black Institution elevate these two figures to a place Scripture neither allows nor countenances. Both institutions have their own under-masters, known also as Grand Masters, Worshipful Masters and Deputy Masters. They govern in the local setting as the ancient Grand Masters supposedly did in the Temple. It is they who preside over the local gathering of Blackmen.

This Black pamphlet portrays Hiram’s fabled death as “a representation of the death of the Saviour.” What could be more offensive to God? What could be a greater mockery of the cross? What could undermine more the glory of Calvary? What could be more deceitful? To liken any human event or work to the cross-work is folly, but to compare the death of this imaginary Masonic christ to it defames man’s only Saviour – the Lord Jesus. They have elevated their fictitious Masonic champion to a plane equal to that of Christ – a truly terrible doctrine.

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 Blackman. 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 and the Black have done. They have followed the same methodology and have 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.

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.

None can compare with Christ. He lived a sinless life that no one else could ever live. He died an atoning death that no one else could ever die. He rose triumphant over death, hell and the grave which He alone could do. All this was done for us. Through His life we now have hope. Through His death we are wondrously saved. Through His resurrection we now have deliverance. Why do we need a fictional Masonic or fabled saviour, who is not a saviour?

Jesus taught in John 11:25-26, saying, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” None can compare with Him; He is unrivalled in His splendour, incomparable in his accomplishments, and matchless in His example.

We therefore contend with confidence that Black teaching consists of a precarious blend of Masonic myth and perverted human ideas of Scripture. Christians know full well that truth mixed with error will always produce error – in fact the most harmful type of error. The Black’s mysteries are so deceptive that professing Christians within the organisation imagine them to be evangelical and even biblically based. This is alarming, especially in the light of the evidence before us. Such an assumption must be occasioned by the fact there is no facility or accepted system for Blackmen to read this teaching as it is exclusively an oral tradition. It is therefore impossible for them to objectively and comprehensively analyse it in the light of day. The exposure of most members to this theology is restricted to the occasional Apron & Royal Blue initiation ceremony from which they may remember the odd phrase, although this is impaired by the weird manner in which it is worded.

This brings us to the end of the Master Mason evidence (the 3rd degree). As we can see, this covers and explains the detail outlined in the removed text of the Apron & Royal Blue degree. However, it does not shed much light on the remaining text, which is the chief concern of our research. To find this we need to examine Freemasonry’s Royal Arch – the 5th degree.

Remainder of the Apron and Royal Blue degree

Locating the Word
The Lost Word
The Blue Apron

Black Degrees

The Royal Black Institution consists of eleven degrees, as follows: –

(1) Royal Black degree – exposed and biblically examined
(2) Royal Scarlet Degree – exposed and biblically examined
(3) Royal Mark degree – exposed and biblically examined
(4) Apron and Royal Blue degree – exposed and biblically examined
(5) Royal White degree – exposed and biblically examined
(6) Royal Green degree – exposed and biblically examined
(7) Gold degree – exposed and biblically examined
(8) Star and Garter degree – exposed and biblically examined
(9) Crimson Arrow degreee – exposed and biblically examined
(10) Link and Chain degree – exposed and biblically examined
(11) Red Cross degree – exposed and biblically examined

The Institution also possesses a final retrospective degree, which is essentially an overview of the 11 degrees that the candidate has traversed.

Red Cross Grand Charge – exposed

For further revelations read Inside the Royal Black Institution