4th Apron and Royal Blue Degree

The Lost Word

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LECTURE

As we have already shown, the most disturbing aspect of this teaching is the misuse of New Testament Scripture to reinforce it. If the Black and the Masons had held their strange beliefs within their own realms of fantasy and made no impingements on Holy Writ then it would not have been so harmful. In the midst of its teaching, the Masonic Royal Arch degree quotes John’s Gospel chapter 1, which every Bible student knows relates solely to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. It then uses this Bible reference to underpin its esoteric teaching by applying it to the fabled ‘lost Word’. The Royal Black Preceptory does the same.

In its teaching, Freemasonry equates the Word (Jesus) with Hiram Abiff. This, of course, is a direct and seditious assault upon our Lord and Saviour and a blatant falsification of the true Word of God. To reduce the Word (Christ) to such a base level is blasphemy. It undermines the person, majestic divinity and absolute uniqueness of the Son of God. To attach this mythical tale to Him crudely challenges the inerrancy of the written Word. Christ alone is the living Word. The title can be attributed to none other – neither in reality nor in fiction.

Former Freemason Lt. Col. Gordon Jack Mohr explains in The Hidden Power Behind Freemasonry: “Many Masons, and most non-Masons, do not realize that Masonry uses a special language to convey Masonic values. It often calls things by their opposites. It substitutes Masonic legends for facts, and palms them off as being true historical events. It expresses its pagan ideals and legendary lore in Scriptural terminology in order to fool the unsuspecting public as well as its own members. It calls heathen deities by the Biblical name of God, and heathen rites by their Christian phrases. It couches its Masonic doctrine in the terms of Christian theology. This deception in itself should turn honest men against it. Its entire system is based on pretence and fraud. It hides its pagan moral and religious ideas under the veil of artful speech, emblems and types.”

To apply the Word of John chapter 1 to anyone else but the Lord Jesus Christ is to sully God’s truth. This is further indisputable evidence that the secret teaching of the Black (which has been inherited directly from Masonry) is bogus and anti-Christian – a powerful deception that is Satan’s grubby handiwork. If the devil cannot question the veracity of Scripture, he will distort it. This narrative is a case-in-point. Satan has been corrupting the Word of God from the Garden of Eden, for that is his modus operandi. He misrepresents Scripture, modifying it to say the opposite of what it really means, and then presents the perversion as truth.

Only the devil could devise such an elaborate composition as to succeed in deluding “Christians” into believing this teaching is of God. The amount of professing Christians who join the Black and defend it as if it were Christian is amazing. They must either be blinded to the real import of this teaching or else their Christian profession is open to question. No believer could be enlightened on the detail of this secret doctrine and not be deeply troubled in spirit.

Instead of speculating as to the full meaning and import of this bizarre teaching, it would be better if we allowed the Masonic commentators to explain it for us. Masonic authority W.L. Wilmshurst admits: “There is no historical basis whatever for the legendary account of Hiram’s death. The entire story is symbolical and was purposely invented for the symbolical purposes of our teaching. If you examine it closely you will perceive how obvious the correspondence is between this story and the story of the death of the Christian Master related in the Gospels.”

He continues, “The completion of the great mystical Temple was prevented for the time being by the conspirators’ attempt to extort from Hiram the Master’s secrets, and its construction is delayed until time and circumstances—God’s time, and the circumstances we create for ourselves—restore to us the lost and genuine secrets of our nature and of the divine purpose in us. The tragedy of Hiram Abiff, then, is not the record of any vulgar, brutal murder of an individual man. It is a parable of cosmic and universal loss; an allegory of the breakdown of a divine scheme. We are dealing with no calamity that occurred during the erection of a building in an eastern city, but with a moral disaster to universal humanity. Hiram is slain; in other words, the faculty of enlightened wisdom has been cut off from us.”

He adds that the ritual sees “Hiram Abiff, the widow’s son … personifying the active intellectual principle or Logos. In a word, Hiram Abiff is the Christ-principle immanent in every soul” (The Meaning of Masonry pp. 44, 71,199).

In Masonic thinking and instruction the death of Hiram signifies the loss of “the Word.” In Masonry, he is the outward embodiment of “the Word.” However, we are not to take Hiram or the other figures in the lecture literally but as an allegoric representative of a spiritual concept. However, the consequences of this is that Masons undergo a subtle process of renouncing the truths of the Gospel of Christ, in favour of the fabled Hiram or christ-influence that can be experienced through ritual initiation.

Masonic authority S.R. Parchment gives further explanation of this secret philosophy, saying: “The ‘Lost Word’ is the Christ within, to which the Mystic Mason looks for redemption. Thus the Master Jesus, who was an Initiate of the Ancient Operative School, taught his followers that the kingdom of heaven is within. In the early church, as in the secret doctrine, there was not a personal Christ for the whole world but a potential Christ in every living being. Yea, the mystic while investigating the intangible realms beholds potential Christs in the atoms which compose the universe. Hence Masons believe in the Architect of the Universe, but positively not in Jesus the man as the only Son of God” (Ancient Operative Masonry p. 35)

Masonic writer R. S. Clymer states, in The Mysticism of Masonry, “In the third degree the candidate impersonates Hiram, who has been shown to be identical with the Christos … In deifying Jesus the whole of humanity is bereft of Christos as an eternal potency within every human soul, a latent Christ in every man. In thus deifying one man, they have orphaned the whole of humanity! On the other hand, Masonry, in making every candidate personify Hiram, has preserved the original teaching, which is a universal glyphic. Few candidates may be aware that Hiram whom they have represented and personified is ideally, and precisely the same as Christ” (p. 47)

In esoteric doctrine and mystic thinking, Christ (the Word) is not a person but a principle or a consciousness. Mysticism supposes Christ to be an energy that works in all people of goodwill, regardless of their religious or philosophical persuasion. It believes there is some good in man that needs to be spiritually stimulated – they imagine this to be the dormant christ within. The Rosicrucians of the 17th century (who were Mystic Gnostics) infiltrated secret society thinking and practice from the start with this teaching. Freemasonry was its most successful innovation.

Evangelical authority Harold J. Berry explains: “Rosicrucians teach that each person is born with the ‘divine spark’. All that remains is for him to fan the flame – to have his soul awakened to the divine nature within him. Rosicrucianism is a system of self-salvation” (What they believe: Rosicrucians p. 24).

This is also the central foundation on which the New Age movement is built. It believes all humanity, indeed all life, is spiritually interconnected, participating in the same energy. ‘God’ is the name for this energy. Douglas R. Groothuis, a research associate with Probe Ministries, lists six characteristics of the New Age Movement: “All is One; all is God; humanity is God; a change of consciousness; all religions are one; cosmic evolutionary optimism.”

The whole Masonic legend of Hiram is an elaborate allegory revealing apparently deep esoteric thought. In the story, the Temple represents the initiate. The fact that the Temple is depicted as broken down is significant. Masonic spokesman Dr John A. Johnson confirms this in an oration entitled Masonry as a Mystery: “The fall of Adam and Eve is an allegory describing each and every one of us. Now, a person who falls from a great height will break his bones, and will need to be mended—put back together. Because we have fallen from God, we also need mending … The allegory of the building of King Solomon’s Temple, with its destruction and re-building (as described in Royal Arch Masonry) symbolizes the building or reconstruction of our spiritual bodies, of regaining our lost divine natures.”

In the Masonic Lodge, Hiram is the logos, the Word and true Christ – which is supposed to denote the life-principle. The death of Hiram refers to the loss of the logos (Word/Christ) within the temple (man) in and through the fall. The search for Hiram in this myth is supposed to be a parable expressive of our search in life for the Word within us. The temple is incomplete until the finding, discovery or resurrection of the dormant Hiram (logos or Christ) occurs. And all this is believed to come about through ritualistic initiation into the Lodge.

Man is corrupt

This belief bases its entire philosophy on the fallacy that there is some innate good within man – a latent supernatural power that needs to be discovered and tapped into. One will search in vain for any reference to sin (or sinners) in secret society teaching. Such a scriptural reality is contrary to the secret doctrine. Members are constantly reminded of their inner spiritual virtues, worthiness and attainment, and never about their hopeless condition outside of Christ. Psalm 53:2-3, states, “God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” The candidate is never confronted with the reality of his fallen state, which is the essential prerequisite to acknowledging one’s need of a Saviour.

Like all false religions, secret societies pander to the inner pride of man. They elevate it to a place where it feels comfortable in itself. This is nothing new; it has been around since man first rebelled. According to the New Agers, any lack in man is simply because he needs to be enlightened to his inner Christ-life. This is the complete opposite of what Scripture says. The Bible repeatedly demonstrates that man is a vile fallen sinner whose nature is at complete variance with God. Romans 3:10-12 says, “There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”

Every man since the fall is born with original sin and is therefore separated from God and the life of God. Regardless of how pure he sees himself, or how highly the secret societies may deem him, he is still a depraved sinner in need of redemption. The Bible states that we are all “by nature the children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3). Outside of salvation, man is a rebel against God and therefore at enmity to Him. Romans 3:23 tells us, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” It was because of this awful reality that God sent Christ to rescue man and reconcile him to Himself. Christ accomplished this through His sinless life, atoning death and victorious resurrection. This is not a Christ of influence or the inner human spirit. It is “the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5), a real Person.

The person of Christ is our only hope

Christianity is the Gospel about a real Person. As John said, this is what “we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life” (1 John 1:1) – the Word of life that was manifested in the Person of Christ. John the apostle knew all about the secret mysteries of Gnostic philosophy, which is why he wrote these things. Christ is not some dormant spiritual energy in all men when they are naturally born, or some inner good that needs to be awakened, but the second Person of the Trinity – the One in whom “dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9).

That great evangelical writer A. W. Pink put it well in a sermon The Example of Christ: “When His enemies asked Him, ‘Who art Thou?’ He answered, ‘even the same that I said unto you from the beginning’ (John 8:25) … In replying to their interrogation, the incarnate Son of God affirmed that He was essentially and absolutely that which He declared Himself to be. I have spoken of ‘light’: I am that Light. I have spoken of ‘Truth’: I am that Truth – the very incarnation, personification and exemplification thereof … None but He could really say I am Myself that of which I am speaking to you. The child of God may speak the Truth and walk in the Truth, but He is not the Truth itself—Christ is! A Christian may let his light “shine,” but he is not the light itself. Christ is, and therein we perceive His exalted uniqueness. ‘We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us all understanding that we may know Him that is true’ (1 John 5:20): not ‘Him who taught the truth’, but ‘Him that is true’.

The only way that we can experience the logos (the Word) within us, is to accept the One who alone is the logos – Jesus Christ. Jesus declares in John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” He is man’s only hope of salvation. Contrary to the Black teaching that “God is the Word that was lost,” He was never lost, and therefore He never needed to be found. Secret societies conceive of a lost Christ and then of man trying to find him, when in fact it is sinful man that is lost and Christ is seeking Him. They pervert the Gospel to mean the opposite to what it does. Constantly throughout the ritual, Christ is in effect being dethroned and man is being exalted.

Jesus said, in Luke 19:10, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Christ is the one looking for lost men. He is both the Searcher and the Finder. He is Sovereign; man is hopelessly astray. These secret orders craftily turn the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ back to front making man God. The reality is: it is man who is in need of help. The Lord came to rescue lost sinners and reconcile them to an offended God. 1 Timothy1:15 declares, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”

God in His love and compassion provided man with a way of escape and appointed a suitable Substitute to take the sinner’s place. Christ laying down His own life in the sinner’s stead secured His eternal redemption. 1 John 1:7 testifies: “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” By embracing Christ in salvation, sinners enter into union with God and become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). Galatians 3:27 says, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Romans 6:4 enlarges: “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.”

Let there be no ambiguity, there is nothing of the divine nature in the life of the unbeliever outside of salvation. Anything that we are, or anything that we possess, that is of any spiritual worth, emanates solely from what Christ has done for us and how we partake in that, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). When we are saved, Christ comes into the life through the work of the Holy Spirit and changes the individual. In Colossians 1:27, Paul sums up this great truth in telling believers that it is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

For Masonry to use John 1 and apply it to its own imitation christ is to make a mockery of the Saviour and denigrate the character and standing of the eternal Son of God. To say that the Word (Jesus) mentioned in John 1 was lost in the Temple and had to be found by human searching is patent blasphemy. 2 Peter 2:1-3 tells us, “There shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”

“God is the Word that was lost”?

Whilst there are many problematic assertions within the Black there can hardly be a more disturbing statement than that: “God is the Word that was lost; God is the Word that was found and God is the Word.” This is extraordinary, especially coming from an institution that purports to be Protestant. It is hard to know where to start when responding to a claim so extreme and blatantly erroneous. Before commenting further, we will consider the introductory comments on this instruction in the actual catechism, because this gives us a better sense of what is being taught. The Black lecture commences: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God, and God is the Word.” There is no doubt this is a reference to John 1:1, although it is a modified quotation.

The scriptural wording of John 1:1 reads, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” A careful comparison between the biblical wording and the Black lesson will reveal a noticeable divergence. The expression “and the Word was with God” is removed by the Black lecture from the biblical text and replaced by the Black alternative phrase “God is the Word.” We should not underestimate this. The deleted reference “the Word was with God” is important as it shows the distinctiveness and inter-relationship of the Godhead – but these truths are incomparable with the Gnostic and Masonic ideas of God and Christ.

The Black version, which is a half-baked version of Christianity and Masonry therefore finds itself in a fix, concealing the truth by simply saying, “God is the Word” or ‘God is Jesus’, therefore obscuring the tri-unity of God embodied in the scriptural text. If we are to swap the references to the Word with the name of Jesus (about whom John 1 is speaking) then we can see the absurdity of this secret Black doctrine. We read: ‘God is Jesus that was lost; God is Jesus that was found and God is Jesus’. This is nonsense.

It is worth noting and rather ironic that, whilst the Royal Black Preceptory alters the quotation of John 1:1 in its instruction, Freemasonry and the “Protestant” Knights of Malta quote it word-for-word when describing this story. Notwithstanding, both employ it to reinforce their belief that “the Word” was “lost.” There is much that is hard to decipher in these lectures, but the Preceptory does make it abundantly clear that God is the lost Word whom we must somehow discover. It is fair to say that the implications of this belief are enormous.

The Black’s explanatory booklet on the degrees Lectures on Tracing Boards from Black to Red Cross Degrees provides illumination on this matter. Speaking of the Temple, it says: “In a vault of this edifice we are informed, the sacred word ‘God’ was the word that was lost and ‘God’ was the word that was found” (p. 19).

Regardless of whether the Black is suggesting that God, Jesus or some superstitious way of pronouncing God was lost at the rebuilding of the Temple we are still looking at an outlandish falsehood. It strips Christ of His matchless glory. The Bible makes clear that God has never been lost. He certainly was not lost in a vault in the Temple as the secret fraternal community claims. It is clear from our research that this secret Black doctrine has been acquired directly from the Masonic Holy Royal Arch degree – where the “lost” name of God is supposedly discovered and imparted to the initiate. It has absolutely nothing to do with scriptural teaching nor does it have anything in common with evangelical Protestantism.

So what about John chapter 1? This passage is explicit and detailed in its description and application to the Lord Jesus Christ. John 1:1-4 and 14 teaches, “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 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.”

The 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 pre-existence as the eternal Son of God. It tells us: “The same was in the beginning with God” (v 2). This is one of the greatest proof-texts for the deity and eternal Sonship of Christ in Scripture. As the second person of the Trinity, He was the eternal Creator of this world. Verse 10 tells us that “The world was made by him, and the world knew him not.” The Word in John 1 is Jesus. He is the incomparable physical and personal manifestation of the eternal God.

Philippians 2:6-8 says of Him: “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.” God took upon Himself human form in order that He could identify with man and rescue Him from his hopeless estate. Christ did not set aside His deity when He took on human likeness; He set aside His infinite glory. Christ is God’s only begotten Son; He is man’s only exemplar and hope of salvation. He is the sole embodiment of the Word.

Scripture confirms that Christ is the living Word – the logos – the express image of the Father. God took on human flesh in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, thus identifying with us, living the life we could never live and paying the debt we could never pay. As our Substitute He secured a free and perfect redemption for all that would believe in Him. These truths show the deep heresy of this substitute gospel owned by the Black and Masonic. It also nails the lie that “God is the Word that was lost” and “God is the Word that was found.” God the Son was never lost, and never needed to be found.

The ineffable name of God

Freemasonry commonly uses phrases like “the Ineffable Name” and “the Omnific Word” to describe the logos. Whilst these descriptions sound quite illustrious, what do they actually mean? In mystic culture and secret society theology “the Ineffable Name” indicates that the true name of God is unpronounceable or unutterable. Top Masonic information website on the internet Masonicinfo.com explains, “The Ineffable Name so often referred to in the Scottish Rite is the Unpronounceable Name; the Omnific Name is the All-Creating Name.”

Whilst these terms are not common everyday language they are not new nor are they particular to modern-day Masonry. Their origin can be traced back to the Jewish Kabbalists around the time of Christ, especially the philosopher Philo (20BC-30AD). Philo took the references to the Word of God in the Old Testament and united it with Greek philosophy’s view of the logos, which represented reason. The Christian Gnostics that arose during the 1st and 2nd centuries were heavily influenced by this heresy. Philo considered the logos as no more than an abstract idea rather than the person of Jesus. The great Reformer Martin Luther puts a sword to this folly, saying, “Reason is the enemy of faith”

To Masonry and the occult the logos is unpronounceable as it does not refer to a person or to a particular title but to the supposed awakening of divinity within a man. This is poignant when we consider that “the Word” being spoken of in Masonry is the one found in John chapter 1 – Jesus Christ. The Royal Black Institution booklet on the degrees Lectures on Tracing Boards from Black to Red Cross Degrees alludes to the discovery of this great unpronounceable word in its writings. It suggests that man’s desire in every age is to obtain this mystical word. They contend, “In all ages the predominant wish of man has been in search of the ineffable name of God, and here we have that thought symbolically made clear to us” (p. 19).

A careful examination of this statement reveals how deeply the Black is immersed in this heretical teaching. It shows how the whole Hiramic drama is deliberately designed to represent the whole concept of man searching for “the ineffable name of God.” The Apron & Royal Blue degree “symbolically” signifies this idea, all of which shows the correlation between Freemasonry and the Black. Whilst this esoteric belief is concealed from outside attention, it is shocking that it actually exists. Christians will know this statement to be untrue. Firstly, the name of God is not “ineffable” (unpronounceable or unutterable). It is written throughout the Word both in Hebrew and Greek. Secondly, there is no prohibition placed on the mention of the name of God, apart from its being taken in vain.

It is not surprising that Satan wants to prevent any mention of the worthy name of Jesus Christ. He knows that “God also hath highly exalted him, and given him, a name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9). By forbidding men to cite the mighty name of Jesus (the logos/the Word), the devil prevents men from accessing man’s only Redeemer and hope of salvation. Men cannot be saved by any other than of the person and name of Christ. Whilst the devil may delude men into thinking there is another way, Scripture makes it abundantly clear that salvation comes alone through that one and inimitable name.

Romans 10:9 declares: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Conversion involves the sinner approaching God in and through the name of the Saviour in true repentance. There is no other way to experience the favour of God and enter into union and communion with Him. Acts 4:12 tells us, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

In the Master Mason’s handbook called Introduction to Freemasonry written by Masonic writer Carl H. Claudy, we learn: “The Hiramic Legend is the glory of Freemasonry; the search for that which is lost is the glory of life. Never may we find it here. You shall gaze through microscope and telescope and catch no sight of its shadow. You shall travel many lands and far and see it not. You shall listen to all the words of all the tongues which all men have ever spoken and will speak, the Lost Word is not heard. Were it but a word, how easy to invent another! But it is not a word, but The Word, the great secret, the unknowableness.”

In The Word Is God!, Masonic author Lyle S. Evans, explains, “Through the hills and valleys of years, through the days and nights of history, through wars and through peace, through life and through death, the human soul, unconquered, undismayed, holding fast to its native idealism, has been seeking through the shadows and the mists for that Lost Word which is God. Thus it is that the ancient secret is, after all, an open secret, available to him who will make the quest and pay the price, for the ‘Word’ is very near to you even in the heart.”

He adds, “There is a spirit at the center of the soul which stands ready whenever you give Him free course with you to manifest the Divine Name, even that Lost Word which must forever remain lost to the worldly, to the selfish, the vain and the impure. But it may be found any day and any place by the simple, the innocent and the childlike or to those who sincerely desire to find it. It is an ideal for which we must search and if we earnestly seek to make ourselves worthy of that ideal, we will find the Lost Word. Can we now wonder why the Royal Arch Degree is as it is, or why it was made the principal degree of Masonry?”

So to sum up: the Word in John chapter 1 is related in secret society doctrine to a Masonic substitute – Hiram. Hiram in reality is an allegoric character who epitomises the Word and is deliberately employed to represent a mystical concept. Thus, Masonry changes the literal living Word Christ into a so-called ideal. He is reduced to some strange spiritual force within every man. This is why the Word is said to be unpronounceable. The losing of the Word relates to man losing his awareness of ‘the Christ’ within. This is classic Kabbalistic teaching. The discovery of the Word is linked to the illumination of the soul. This allegedly comes through mystical enlightenment. The Word is supposedly found when the logos is spiritually discovered within the candidate. The carefully designed rituals within the fraternal world are calculated to achieve that. These quotes from accepted Masonic authorities clearly confirm this.

Whilst the vast bulk of Blackmen will be ignorant to the hidden meaning behind this teaching, they will certainly acknowledge that the transcript of the Apron & Royal Blue lectures that we have relayed is accurate. When allowed to peruse the detail of these degrees, they will also see that the content of the rituals do not accord with Scripture; rather it conflicts with it. They will note that their internal commentaries (which are kept in selected hands) also reveal the meaning of these degrees. When they compare these stories with that of Masonry they will find that Freemasonry is the home from whence their rites are derived, and will in turn realise that their Institution’s teaching is totally alien to that of Scripture.

The book of the law

In essence what Masonry and the Royal Black Institution have done is to take certain aspects of the Old Testament story of the building of the first Temple (between 917BC and 910BC) and mix it together with detail from the rebuilding of the second Jewish Temple (in 513BC). They have then integrated their own mystical teaching on Hiram (and the supposed christ-consciousness within) into the story. Finally, they have added the teaching of John chapter 1 relating to the living Word Christ into their formula. They have therefore brought these four different elements together, mixed them and made them into one elaborate allegory. They have then presented this bizarre combination to their members as absolute truth – as a superior and supreme form of enlightenment!

As is the outcome with any such similar procedure, that which results is a confusing blend of truth and error. Scripture is so carefully entwined with esoteric legend in this teaching that it is difficult to unravel it. And it is the use of biblical references and language that makes it all so particularly deceptive. But there is nothing really innovative about this. Most cults and apostate religious groups that claim allegiance to or harmony with Christianity employ Scripture to reinforce their beliefs. All are marked by their use and abuse of the Word for their own ulterior motives. They repeatedly twist and pervert the sacred pages to suggest the opposite to what they really mean.

The teaching contained in this degree was one of several reasons why the United Protestant Council rejected the Black’s application for membership of its evangelical umbrella-group in 2004. They saw it as being incompatible with and contrary to the infallible teaching of Scripture. The Imperial Grand Black Chapter responded, attempting to allay UPC concerns about this degree, saying, “I would have thought it a rather well known account of scripture speaking of the reign of young king Josiah. The full account can be found in 2 Kings chapter 22 where the heading in my Bible is ‘The book of the law found’, and does this not mean that it was lost?” (15/07/04).

The only problem with this explanation is that the Bible account about which the Grand Black is speaking about here has absolutely nothing to do with the Apron & Royal Blue degree. If this was meant to be the focus, it is strange that it is not mentioned or referenced anywhere in the degree. The fact is, there is no discussion of 2 Kings 22 (or the parallel account 2 Chronicles 34) in this lecture, nor are there any allusions to Josiah. The Old Testament chapter references listed for this degree are 1 Chronicles 21, 2 Chronicles 5 and 1 Kings 7 & 8.

If this degree is so biblical, and if it relates to Josiah’s day (as the Black claims), then where in 2 Kings 22 (or 2 Chronicles 34) does it teach that “the book of the law” was discovered by means of a Masonic or neo-Masonic “mystery” as the Black lecture would have us believe? This is unknown to Scripture. There is no biblical evidence that it was found by “coming to a marble slab” which revealed a Jewish arch, underneath which the Word was found in Josiah’s day. This is not found anywhere in the biblical account. Nor is there any warrant for the erroneous Black belief that “the Word” really represented the letters G – O – D written on a roll of fine linen underneath a Jewish Royal Arch. The Word of God that was lost in Josiah’s day was a book; the Black takes it was G–O–D that was lost – a person.

The Black is clearly uncomfortable when challenged about its fable. The only way it can defend it is to apply something to it that is not actually taught in the lecture. In this case, the Black Chapter relates the story of the lost word to the finding of “the book of the law” in the Temple in Josiah’s day, despite the fact this is not part of its teaching. The Black then argues as though this were the topic of the degree, whereas the real theme of the degree is entirely unaddressed. Christians should not be surprised at the Chapter’s duplicity here, since the order was founded (and exists) on concealment. It will do anything to safeguard its oral tradition. Frankly, it knows that if its secrets were to be opened out they would cease to be. These mysteries would immediately lose their potency, intrigue and purpose for existing. The Chapter must therefore mislead the outsider in order to protect its status.

What is the time-period in the Black catechism story-line here? It is expressly speaking of Solomon’s day. The removed text coupled with Black internal lecturer commentaries confirms this. In its response to the UPC, the Grand Chapter fails to acknowledge that this degree is set in Solomon’s day during the building of the first Temple and not a later period in history as it suggests in its apology. The Royal Black governing group seeks to justify its beliefs by wholly focussing upon the later Temple, as if the players in view are Hilkiah and Josiah instead of Solomon and Hiram (king of Tyre). However, the two latter characters central to this degree lived 400 years before Josiah was born, so it was obviously impossible for him to be involved in any event relating to the building of the first Temple. It is therefore disingenuous for the Imperial Grand Black Chapter to suggest that the teaching of this degree is concentrated upon the finding of the book of the law in the Temple in Josiah’s day (2 Kings 22:4) when it knows full well that this had nothing to do with it.

Whilst the Royal Black Institution makes no direct allusion to the building of the second Temple in the Apron & Royal Blue degree or in its reference works, the Masonic Lodge does. The Masonic Chaplain reads 2 Chronicles 34:1, 2, 8 & 14 during the initiation which is as an allusion to the discovery of “a

book of the law of the LORD given by Moses” in Josiah’s day. Freemasonry then inserts a fable about the discovery of a “copy of the law” into their account. The only problem is, rather than “Hilkiah the high priest” being the finder of the book and King Josiah being the righteous king who oversaw it (as Scripture says), that historic role is assumed by a Hiram Abiff of Masonic folklore.

It is fair to say that if it was not for the Masonic degrees and the Masonic commentators we would be scratching our heads at this bizarre Black teaching. Freemasonry therefore serves as a useful aid to put flesh on the bones of this secret theology. There can be little doubt that Freemasonry is the source of this Black catechism. It is they who have the patent for the Hiramic myth and its Masonic philosophy, and who have attached the teaching of John chapter 1 to this legend.

Freemasonry therefore brings reality and fantasy together and creates a tissue of confusion. It produces a story about these three characters, while subtly making the imaginary character Hiram the centre-piece of the instruction. Collectively the three personages represent the Word – albeit this is a wholly mystical idea. The three individuals are totally inter-dependent. When one element is lost then the Word is lost. This is what occurs in Hiram’s murder. He was an important constituent in the triple existence of “the Word.”

Secret Societies actually believe Christ was lost

In its external defence to the UPC the Royal Black Institution refers to a Word that is not the same Word as found in its internal teaching. The Word contained in this degree is the one they quote in its catechism – the One found in John chapter 1. Despite its public denials, the Royal Black Institution privately holds and teaches that the Word in the Apron & Royal Blue degree is Christ. This is not a point of internal debate but an accepted in-house belief.

The Black lecturers’ handbook addresses the whole subject of the Word in its Apron & Royal Blue section. Here it is acknowledged that the Word being spoken of relates to the Saviour: “The Word was God,” and explain, “John tells us in v. 14 that ‘the Word became flesh’, that is, the Word may be identified with Jesus. So we learn that Jesus was with God from the beginning of time and that Jesus is God” (p. 10).

This handbook is an extremely important reference manual for those of the Institution’s lecturing fraternity (the grouping ultimately responsible for relaying this Black ideology to the members). It explains the finer detail of the degrees and the real import of the teaching. The subliminal message given during the initiations – that is often unintelligible to the nervous initiate – is expressed in clearer terms in this restricted booklet. Whilst some may try and explain away the ambiguous teaching in this degree, this internal document has no difficulty in identifying “the Word” being spoken about in the Apron & Royal Blue degree with the Saviour.

Going by this Black reference book we have confirmation that the Word being spoken about in this degree is referring to the Lord Jesus Christ. When we consider this and how also this is supported by the employment of John chapter 1 in the initiation we are left aghast at the extremity of this error. According to the Black, Christ was lost. There is no other conclusion. This damning internal evidence completely demolishes the guarded outward protestations of the Royal Black Institution to the UPC.

Whilst the Black would not in the least publicly declare that Christ was lost (for understandable reasons), we can see from the internal evidence before us that this is the definite insinuation of its internal doctrine. Its usage of John chapter 1 and its applying of it to the ‘lost Word’ within the Apron & Royal Blue degree is undeniable. The Black commentaries we have consulted corroborate this fact.

Whilst this may be shocking to many outsiders this is a standard belief within most secret fraternal societies. Whilst it takes time and effort to put the Black jig-saw together, the Masonic pieces are more obvious and detailed, and therefore easier to integrate. The preface to the Masonic Lodge magazine the Kentucky Monitor unapologetically expounds this esoteric belief: “‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God’. Of course the Word was lost at the death ‘of the Christian’s Redeemer, Jesus, as at the death of Hiram’” (p. XVI).

The Masonic Knights Templar (who birthed the Black) repeat this viewpoint (which is proudly held throughout the Masonic system). They do so in the Templar ode The Royal Robe, which is a cryptic poem which gives an overview of the beliefs of this chivalric Order. Whilst it is difficult to understand the wording of the rhyme when one is unaware of the secret internal theology of these neo-Masonic orders, it is certainly comprehensible when one has been furnished with the detail. One verse of this Templar poem pertaining to the subject under discussion reads:

“The secret was lost and afterwards was found So was our blessed Saviour, it is very well known, In the garden of Gethsemane He sweat a bloody sweat, So repent my loving brethren, before it is too late.”

Here the mother-order of the Black, the Masonic Knights Templar, obscurely admits the hideous secret society belief that Christ was lost and had to be found. Interestingly, this ode can be found in some older Loyal Order poem books, which is where the author of this book actually found this. The evidence here conclusively proves that this doctrine is widespread in the murky underworld of secret fraternities, although the intelligibility of the teaching is very much determined by the individual brotherhood involved. A lot depends on the nature of the Order and the type of clientele it has. Satan adapts his message to the culture he infiltrates.

Not surprisingly, the United Protestant Council rejected the sheepish apology of the Royal Black Institution, stating: “This degree makes reference to the Word that was lost and found. It is certainly true that in 2 Kings 22:8 the high priest Hilkiah found ‘the book of the Law’. However the words of the degree describe God the Word as being buried in Solomon’s household and found ‘by a mystery’. Jesus is God the Word. He was never buried in Solomon’s household and was not found there! This degree appears to confuse the word of God in the sense of Scripture or a specific book of Scripture and the second Person of the Trinity Himself. This obscures Scripture rather than clarifying it. The notion of masons discovering the lost Word of God can be found in Freemasonry but not in the Bible.”

Finally

Secret societies succeed in removing Christ from His own Book and mongrelise the factual detail relating to the subject of the second Temple. The Grand Black Chapter, in its defence to the UPC, speaks exclusively of the second Temple as if the Hiramic legend does not exist and the lost Word does not relate to Christ in its thinking. However, as we have seen from the lectures before us, these four strands are so intricately and meticulously interwoven into this Masonic tapestry (and are therefore inter-dependent) that it would be impossible to separate one from the other without tearing apart the whole esoteric fabric.

This information may shock those who imagined the Black to be a solidly evangelical grouping. The truth is, it is a secret neo-Masonic order that has penetrated evangelical Protestantism in Ulster (and elsewhere) and is damaging the Gospel message. We can come to no other conclusion than that it was created to harm Protestantism, not promote it. Despite what these highly secretive orders assert, Christians know that neither the written nor the incarnate Word Christ were ever lost.

1 Peter 1:23, 25 says, “The word of God … liveth and abideth for ever …. The word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” Isaiah 40:8 tells us, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” Jesus said, in Mark 13:31, “Heaven and earth shall pass away but my words shall not pass away.”

Remainder of the Apron and Royal Blue degree

The Discovery of Hiram
Locating the 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