A biblical response to RAP spokesman Rev Ron Johnstone (Part 5)

Behind Closed Minds is an examination of the book ‘Behind Closed Doors’ by “Royal” Arch Purple Spokesman Rev Ron Johnstone, Armagh, on behalf of the Chaplains Committee of the Grand Chapter of the Royal Arch Purple Chapter of Ireland. In our response, we have deliberately chose to concentrate upon the arguments relating to the actual “Royal” Arch Purple degree rather than reply to the author’s many unjust personal attacks upon the author of Behind Closed Doors.

Key matters Mr Johnstone sidesteps (continued)

As we analyses ‘Behind Closed Minds’ it is noticeable to any informed observer that the author has conveniently chose to ignore the vast bulk of the degrading “Royal” Arch Purple initiation, doing so, as if it doesn’t actually exist. It is no surprise that this impotent document was quietly binned by the Grand Chapter after reading it. Notwithstanding, we have decided to furnish the reader with the omitted parts of the degree – which in essence involves the majority of the RAP ceremony.

We can certainly understand the author’s reluctance to address these core issues as they include many degrading practices and much false teaching.

Jacob’s Ladder

After being whipped round the hall and being figuratively raised from the dead on the five-points-of-fellowship, the blindfolded candidate stands nervously in front of the set of steps – known as ‘Jacob’s ladder’. The initiate is then assisted in climbing up this three stepped ladder (one step at a time), with the help of his guide, whilst the Chaplain reads I Corinthians 13:13. Each rung of the ladder being labelled as he progresses upward, “And now abideth (1) Faith (2) Hope (3) Charity, these three; but the greatest of these is Charity.” Unknown to the candidate, at this stage, this climb symbolises one of the great mystical doctrines of all secret societies.

The Royal Arch Purple, once again, takes this custom directly from Freemasonry where the first-degree Mason is taught: “The way by which we, as Masons, hope to arrive there [heaven] is by the assistance of a ladder, in Scripture called Jacob’s ladder. It is composed of many staves or rounds, which point out as many moral virtues, but three principle ones, which are Faith, Hope and Charity: Faith in the Great Architect of the Universe, Hope in salvation, and to be in Charity with all men.”

For more information read Freemasonry: The Invisible Cult by Jack Harris


At the top of this ladder, the blindfolded Arch Purple candidate is made to kneel upon a representation of a coffin. The Royal Arch Purple lecturers then outline the importance and profound significance of this solemn act to him: “With my knees upon a representation of a coffin, my toes extended over the earth, to testify that I was duly prepared to suffer death and all its penalties, before I would divulge anything I had received, or was about to receive.”

Here the candidate agrees, by symbolically kneeling upon a representation of a coffin, to suffer the destruction of his own life before he would divulge the bogus teaching of this man-made counterfeit order. Yet Jesus says, “For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them” (Luke 9:56).

How could a believer submit himself to such Arch Purple bondage for what is in reality a counterfeit gospel? This is in stark contrast to Paul the Apostle in Acts 20:24 who was only prepared to pay the ultimate cost, for the Gospel’s sake. He said, “Neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”

And in Philippians 1:17,20-21 he declared: “I am set for the defence of the gospel… According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

“Riding the Goat”

After the gravity of his obligation is further impressed upon the Arch Purple candidate the assembled Chapter gather at the back of the steps (‘Jacob’s ladder’) and unfold a large canvas blanket. The blindfolded initiate, who has his back to the blanket is then told to cross his arms whilst still kneeling upon a representation of a coffin.

He is then asked, by the lecturers, “In whom do you put your trust?” The nervous candidate answers “God” (normally with a little prompting from his guide) whereupon he receives a violent push backward unto the blanket. Here he undergoes one of the most painful and humiliating experiences within the Royal Arch Purple ceremony, when he is brutally kicked and tossed upon the blanket by the assembled Chapter for a number of minutes. This practice is known as “riding the goat.”

There is no greater proof of the corrupt nature of the Royal Arch Purple Order than this demeaning farce. How anyone could interpret it as anything other than an organised disgrace defies belief. One wonders how any Christian could defend such an irreligious sham and explain how it at all promotes holy living or respect for one’s fellow man. The Bible solemnly states: “be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD” (Isaiah 52:11).

Questions that Christian Independent Orangemen should consider
Is the Independent Orange Order a secret society?
Biblical doctrine on its deathbed!

For more information, please William Schnoebelen’s enlightening book Masonry Beyond the Light

“Receiving Light”

Not only does the candidate’s mode of dress and ritual participation represent one in darkness seeking light, but the instruction of the Arch Purple Order clearly teaches it.

The Chaplain reads Genesis 1:14-18, where the Scriptures record the creation of the TWO great natural lights to illuminate the earth, the sun and moon. The sun, the greater light, is to rule the day and, the moon, the lesser light, is to rule the night (V.16). Then without introduction or explanation the Chaplain quotes John 1:5 stating, “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

No exposition is made of these passages or the context in which they are found, thus placing the light of Lord Jesus Christ, referred to in John 1, in the same context as the natural light provided by the sun and moon. As the ritual progresses, the selective design of these readings become more apparent. Like most of the passages used within secret societies, they are carefully selected to support false practice.

The lecturers then ask the blindfolded candidate: “What do you stand most in need of?”

The blindfolded initiate, normally with the assistance of his guide, answers, “Light.” The candidate’s blindfold is then removed by the ‘Worshipful Master’, or some of the brethren present.

This is the most crucial part of the ceremony as it symbolically represents the spiritual enlightenment of the initiate. It is at this point that the ceremony reaches its apex. Like all secret society initiates, the Royal Arch Purple candidate has participated in a blasphemous counterfeit travel from darkness to light. This practice is found in all pagan initiations and is designed to represent the core doctrine of all occult bodies, that of ‘mystical enlightenment by ritual initiation’.

Masonic authority Albert Mackey writes: “When the candidate makes a demand for light, it is not merely for that material light, which is to remove a physical darkness, that is only the outward form, which conceals the inward symbolism. He craves an intellectual illumination which will dispel the darkness of mental and moral ignorance, and bring to his view, as an eyewitness, the sublime truths of religion, philosophy and science, which it is the great design of Freemasonry to teach… Light, therefore, becomes synonymous with trust and knowledge and darkness with falsehood and ignorance.”

It is at this juncture of the ceremony that the Royal Arch Purple lets its deceptive illuministic mask drop, in the most glaring manner imaginable. It is here, at the pinnacle of the ceremony, by the performance of its own counterfeit enlightenment, that the depth of deceit within the Order is fully revealed. It is here, once again, that the rogue Protestant credentials of the Arch Purple Order are graphically exposed.

The true child of God needs no such mystical enlightenment, as he possesses the blessed light of God’s dear Son the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Himself declared in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Imagine a professing Christian who has received the true light of the Lord Jesus Christ through salvation, subjecting himself to a ceremony which requires him to divest himself of that light and to conform to the devilishly designed procedures of a man-made sinful institution.

The Arch Purple lecture continues:

Q. “Did you get that light?
A. I did.
Q. Who gave it to you?
A. The Worshipful Master, or some of the brethren present.”

Tom C. McKenney reveals the significance of this procedure in his book, ‘Please Tell Me’ (p. 67): “The blindfold makes the point that the candidate is in complete spiritual darkness and needs the Worshipful Master and the Lodge to bring him out of spiritual darkness and into the light of redemption.”

Using the story of the Ark of the Covenant as justification for this counterfeit experience, the Royal Arch Purple Order expound the evil doctrine of mystical enlightenment that is so essential to the very nature of all occult, and secret societies. The lecture teaches:

Q. “Where was the resting place of the Ark?
A. In the Tabernacle
Q. How was it adorned?
A. With curtains… of blue, purple, and scarlet, of fine twined linen curiously interwoven with fine needlework.
Q. Of all these colours, which did you choose?
A. Purple
Q. Why purple?
A. Because I received it in darkness, and brought it forth to a marvellous light.”

Such blasphemous teaching violates the infallible truth of God’s Word and makes a mockery of the wording of 1 Peter 2: 9, which addresses the blood-bought child of God alone, affirming, “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”

What transpires is a deluded candidate with a false gospel.

Behind Closed Minds is an examination of ‘Behind Closed Doors’ by Royal Arch Purple Spokesman, and Free Presbyterian Minister, Rev. Ron Johnstone, Armagh, on behalf of the Chaplains Committee of the Grand Chapter of the Royal Arch Purple Chapter of Ireland.

We would recommend a very compelling book written by Masonic authority E. M. Storms called Should a Christian be a Mason?:

Evangelical Truth response

Part 1 – An analysis of the arguments

Part 2 – An analysis of the arguments (continued)

Part 3 – An analysis of the arguments (continued)

Part 4 – The arguments conveniently ignored

Part 6 – The Conclusion

Evangelical Truth response to Former Independent Orange Grand Master on Behind Closed Doors.

Evangelical Truth debate with Independent Orange Institution

Ulster Christian review of Behind Closed Doors
The response of George Dawson (Imperial Grand Master of the Independent Orange Institution).
Readers response (including the author of ‘Behind Closed Doors’ – Paul Malcomson).
Second response of George Dawson (Imperial Grand Master of the Independent Orange Institution).
Evangelical Truth reply to George Dawson

Royal Arch Purple degree

A biblical analysis of the Royal Arch Purple degree
The Royal Arch Purple compared generally and exactly to Freemasonry
The Royal Arch Purple compared to Wiccan Witchcraft
Grand Chaplain to the Grand Orange Lodge of England JRG Harvey book in response to Behind Closed Doors: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

We would recommend a revealing book written by David W Daniels – Should A Christian Be A Mason: