Mystical Enlightenment

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’.

Like much of the error within the Royal Arch Purple, this teaching comes directly from Freemasonry, where the initiate desires “light” (first degree), “further light” (second degree), and “more light” (third degree). Former thirty-third degree Mason Jim Shaw describes his own initiation into Freemasonry, in his book ‘Deadly Deception’. “The Master said to me, ‘My brother, in your present blind condition, what do you most desire?’… The Senior Deacon leaned over and whispered in my ear ‘Light’…I said, ‘Light’. He [the Master] then quoted from Genesis where God said, ‘Let there be light’ and said, ‘In solemn imitation of Him I, in like manner, Masonically declare, let there be light!’… the Senior Deacon ripped off the hoodwink and I was blinded with brilliant light. The Worshipful Master then said, ‘And there is light’ ” (p. 27).

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.”

Christian authority on Freemasonry Tom C. McKenney points out that, “Masonry defines itself as a search for ‘light’. This means enlightenment, the acquisition of knowledge that redeems and empowers… This search for the secret knowledge goes on and on, as the individual becomes gradually perfected, redeeming himself!” (Please Tell Me p. 176).

The Royal Arch Purple here aligns itself with all secret societies and Illuminists throughout the world by providing a counterfeit form of light. William T. Still in his evangelical book ‘New World Order: – The Ancient Plan of Secret Societies’ says: “All Secret Societies promote an alternative form of enlightenment, an enlightenment which is damning countless souls to hell.”

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.

Daniel says, of Almighty God: “He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him” (Daniel 2:22).

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.

Ephesians 5: 6-11 declares, “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

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

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.”

The Psalmist in exalting the Lord says, “The entrance of thy words giveth light” (Psalms 119:130).

This blasphemous practice of advancing the ‘Worshipful Master’ to the position of a ‘light bearer’ within the Chapter graphically shows the hypocrisy of the ‘Master’s’ place within secret societies. This Arch Purple title (not surprisingly) was inherited from the domain of pagan Masonry. Significantly, the name Lucifer itself means ‘light-bearer’. God’s precious Word says, “For Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15).

Like other similar bodies, the Royal Arch Purple, in typically apostate manner, has presided over the large-scale conferment of the religious titles of ‘Worshipful Master’, ‘Grand Master’ and ‘Most Worshipful Sovereign Grand Master’, upon many ungodly men. The true believer has no authority to countenance, by his membership or his active pronouncements, the profane granting of such religious titles. The Lord Himself said of the title Master: “Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ” (Matthew 23:10).

William E. Ashbrook in his booklet ‘Secretism and Apostasy’ (p. 2) writes: “When men arrogate to themselves such overweening titles they do despite to the Name, which is above every name. They demonstrate afresh that the Satan born delusion ‘ye shall be as gods’ is still a mighty opiate to deceive those who are untaught in His Word. Herein lie the basic reasons for the fact that all secret orders are basically mutual admiration societies catering first, and always to human vanity.”


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.”

The Scriptures here show how the child of God has been removed from the world of darkness and placed into the jurisdiction of Christ’s marvellous light.

The Bible also says, “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:12-14).

No man, whether Protestant or Roman Catholic, red, yellow, black or white will ever enter into true enlightenment, but by the Lord Jesus Christ and his shed blood on Calvary. Brother in the Lord, within the Royal Arch Purple, how can you defend such blasphemy? Scripture solemnly warns: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness” (Isaiah 5:20). Every believer within the Royal Arch Purple Order is clearly, by his very membership, condoning apostasy.


swords (2)

Immediately after the blindfold is removed the Arch Purple candidate is faced with the most shocking of sights, when three of the brethren solemnly stand pointing dangerous weapons at him. The lecturers then explain the significance of such an intimidating sight. This is again outlined in catechism form.

Q. “What did you first behold?
A. Death in all its horrors, staring me in the face, a spear to pierce my heart, a sword to run me through, and a gun to shoot me, should I divulge.”

Many Chapters use real guns to impress the grave consequence of betraying the Order. This custom has often involved the firing of a blank round at the candidate to further instil fear in to him, thus securing rigid loyalty to the Institution. This dangerous practice has resulted in tragedy over the years.

Tony Gray in his book ‘The Orange Order’ (p. 211) mentions to one such incident when discussing the Arch Purple degree. He refers to the Contemporary Review for August 1896, which explains how “a candidate for the Orange Order was shot dead at his initiation; he was killed by a bullet from a revolver used in some form of ‘Russian roulette’ ceremony!”

The Royal Arch Purple Chapter’s book (p. 160) refers to another fatality in the early 1900’s, when one of its members, Samuel Tweedie of Newry, was charged with causing the death of a candidate in that town by a pistol wound.

This incident was exposed by the Protestant Truth Society in its pamphlet condemning the Arch Purple in 1925. They revealed: “It appears that Tweedie was unaware that the pistol used in the ceremony was loaded with other than blank cartridge. The jury acquitted him of culpable homicide under the circumstances.”

This practice, however beautifully packaged, is a sinister act carefully designed to instil great fear within the candidate. It is also designed to secure secrecy, and is the foundation upon which all secret societies are built, and exist. It is difficult to see how a truly saved man could condone such evil. This custom is certainly not biblical. God’s Word again states, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Satan, the ‘deceiver’ has enticed many evangelical men into the Royal Arch Purple, and unbeknown to themselves, once within, he has dulled their spiritual senses through the sinful imposition of fear. Many brethren, even when leaving the Institution, testify to a great sense of fear surrounding them. The Bible reveals that, “The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25).

The child of God does not have to fear man, a sinful institution or any of its penalties. His trust is in God alone to preserve his feeble life. How often our forefathers took solace in the precious words of the Lord Jesus Christ: “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).


3 lights

The candidate is then faced with a mystical three-branched candlestick flickering before his eyes. He is told that it represents ‘the three great lights’.

The Arch Purple lecture explains its meaning.

Q. “What did you next behold?
A. Three great lights in the east.
Q. What did these three great Lights represent?
A. Spiritually, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, co-equal and co- eternal; but carnally, the Sun, Moon and Stars, and the Worshipful Master.
Q. Why the Sun, Moon and Stars, and the Worshipful Master?
A. First – The Sun, the greater light, to rule the day. Second – The Moon and Stars, the lesser lights, to rule the night. Third – The Worshipful Master standing in the midst with a drawn sword in his hand. He also carried the Bible, and the book of rules and regulations, and the seal of the Chapter placed thereon. The Bible to be the rule and guide of his faith and practice. The book of rules and regulations to enable him to rule and govern his Royal Arch Purple Chapter, or, in his unavoidable absence, cause the same to be done by some fit and qualified brother. The seal teaches me that should I receive a summons or document whereon that seal is legally affixed, I am in duty bound to attend thereto, as well as to keep the secrets of my Royal Arch Purple brethren within my breast, as well as my own, murder and treason excepted.” Here as the initiation nears its end the candidate is again reminded of his grave obligation of allegiance to his brethren.

The superstitious use of burning candles is here employed to further impress upon the candidate the deep spiritual significance of his ‘mystical enlightenment’. It is nevertheless ironic that one of the most immediate practices purged from the Church at the Reformation was the widespread use of burning candles. It is amazing to see how such a pagan custom has worked its way into a so-called Protestant order.

Masonic author Bernard E. Jones, who wrote the ‘Freemasons’ Guide and Compendium’, states, “The burning of candles in holy places seems to have been a heathen idea originally, and there was great opposition to it in the Early Christian Church” (p. 359).

Furthermore, the teaching that accompanies this superstitious practice involves both an attack upon the Godhead and also the infallibility of God’s Holy Word. The Royal Arch Purple here blasphemously throws the blessed Trinity into an unholy alliance with the sun, moon and stars, and the ‘Worshipful Master’. (Such profanity!) It is only at this juncture that the full significance of the Order’s (earlier) coupling of Genesis 1:14-18 with John 1:5 is understood.

The Royal Arch Purple lecture explains that these ‘three great lights’ have a dualistic meaning. Spiritually, they represent “Father, Son and Holy Ghost, co-equal and co- eternal; but carnally, the Sun, Moon and Stars, and the Worshipful Master.” In its recent book, the Chapter state that they represent the “Greater Lights” and “lesser lights,” respectively.

This Arch Purple teaching is here seen to have NO biblical foundation! Scripture speaks of only two great lights, the sun and the moon, which were created to provide natural light to the earth. Genesis 1:16 says: “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.”

sun worship

In order to dispel any doubts, that this dualistic symbol is anything other than heathenish, the Arch Purple candidate is informed that ‘the three great lights’ are to be found “in the east.” In Ezekiel 8 we see God exposing the same type of idolatry which the children of Israel had brought into the house of God. Ironically, they too performed their error in secret. The Lord spoke through His prophet Ezekiel: “hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark [or obscurity], every man in the chambers of his imagery?” (V.12)

The prophet Ezekiel continues, “And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east” (V.16).

The Lord’s response is chilling, when we think of the state of our beloved Province. He says: “Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them” (Ezekiel 8:17-18).

The Royal Arch Purple Order refers to ‘the three great lights’ in its closing address. When referring to the subject of ‘death’ they state, “this is not the end of man, nor the glorious aspirations of the brethren of our Order, who, true to their principles, look for the manifestations of the three great lights in the east, representing Death, Resurrection, and Ascension; and bid us turn our eyes with faith and confidence beyond the silent grave towards the dawn of a glorious eternity.” Here again we see the rogue nature of the Royal Arch Purple exposed. They amazingly point the bewildered candidate to a three-branched, dualistic, heathenish candlestick in the east for their hope of salvation.

This heretical teaching undermines the authority and supremacy of Scripture, which assures the child of God that he is in the hands of his Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says that the true believer is “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:13-14).

In their book, ‘History of the Royal Arch Purple Order’ (p. 197), the Arch Purple Chapter deceitfully tell its readership that the three lesser lights represent, “the Sun, Moon and Stars.” Nevertheless when one studies the internal teaching of the Order we learn that the three lesser lights really represent “the Sun, Moon and Stars, and the Worshipful Master.”

After tampering with the truth about the inner components of the lesser lights, the Arch Purple Chapter explain how they “represent the carnal or physical light” thus placing the ‘Worshipful Master’ in the same realm as the sun, moon and stars, as a ‘light bearer’.

This extra-biblical teaching is condemned in Deuteronomy 4:2, which declares: “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”

The sun, moon and stars, known in Scripture as the ‘the host of heaven’, have always been the focus of heathen Baal worship throughout time. Even the children of Israel turned towards this idolatry at particular times of great compromise. Interestingly, such error was always performed behind a veil of great secrecy.

Under the evil reign of King Ahaz we learn that, “the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God,” and Scripture continues, “they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them. And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal” (II Kings 17:9, 15-16).

When Israel enjoyed a godly King, he normally distanced the nation from all appearance of Baal worship. II Kings 23:4 records how King Josiah commanded the priests to “bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel.”

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

Surely the time has come in our history to do the same and return to the old trusted paths. The Bible commands us to: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil” (1Thessalonians 5:21-22).

The idolatrous teaching of the Royal Arch Purple has clearly originated from that child of the mysteries, Freemasonry, and is an affront to the name of Protestantism. Former thirty-third degree Freemason Jim Shaw, (in relating his own experience) confirms the immediate source of this teaching on the three great lights. In his evangelical book, ‘The Deadly Deception’ p. 27, after explaining the greater lights as, the Bible, square and compass, he states that the ‘Worshipful Master’ “referred to the three candles around the altar and said they represent the three lesser lights of Freemasonry, which in reality are the sun, the moon, and the Worshipful Master of the Lodge.”

The Arch Purple Chapter’s book (p. 197) explains how the lesser lights (the sun, moon and stars, and the ‘Worshipful Master’), are provided to “assist us in our daily lives.” Then, obviously feeling the need to exonerate themselves, they endeavour to argue that the lesser lights are “not subjects of adoration in their own right” (How helpful!).

The only light-bearer needed to “assist us in our daily lives” is the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact the Bible condemns the bestowing of such a blasphemous title of ‘Worshipful Master’ upon any other man. In Matthew 23 the Lord rebukes both the religious title of ‘Father’ which is so commonly used by Rome, and the religious title of ‘Master’ which is used by all secret societies.

Jesus says: “And 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” (V. 9-10).

Once again, the Royal Arch Purple (like all secret societies) place the ‘Worshipful Master’ in the position of a ‘light-bearer’. This exaltation of a mere mortal reveals the true heathenish nature and hypocrisy of the ‘Master’s’ position within the Chapter. The ‘Worshipful Master’, who actually sits in the east in Freemasonry, is symbolically the human embodiment of the sun. His deputy, the Senior Warden, who sits in the west, represents the moon. Masonic adept W.L. Wilmshurst touches this matter in his book ‘The Meaning of Masonry’, where he expounds, in great detail, the esoteric (or hidden) spiritual significance of this peculiar custom. He states that “The Senior Warden, whilst the Master’s chief executive officer, is his antithesis and opposite pole…At best he in the West can but reflect and transmit that greater light from the East, as the moon receives and reflects sunlight” (pp. 101-102).

Even the Royal Arch Purple Chapter seems uneasy with this whole subject of the three greater and lesser lights. In the Chapter’s published book, they hesitantly ask, “Could this have been part of the objections raised by the Lifford brethren in 1813 when they complained of the heathenish rites?”

In establishing the answer to the Royal Arch Purple Chapter’s question we must carefully explore the annals of history. We discover in Orangeism’s archive material that Lifford Orange District was in fact commenting on the whole Arch Purple ceremony rather than one individual act within it. Like nearly all the Orange family throughout the 1800s, Lifford Orange brethren strongly opposed the heathenish practices of the Royal Arch Purple. When they heard of the degrading Royal Arch Purple degree being secretly worked in parts of Ireland they wrote to the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland on 16th January 1813 to expose such false practices.

Lifford testified: “Several Lodges introduce the man to be made, naked and hoodwinked, and go through a long and tedious form, and then he has to take an obligation, in many respects different from that prescribed by the Regulations of the Grand Lodge, at another time a man is entered and has to pass through several forms, and perform several other things, and take another oath.”

The Grand Lodge of Ireland, which opposed this indecent ceremony from its inception in 1798 to the early 20th century responded promptly to Lifford’s concerns on 27th January 1813. In a strongly worded statement, they declared: “your Memorial containing an account of the Heathenish and indecent ceremonies practised themselves by some calling themselves Orangemen, I laid before the Grand Lodge of Ireland, who heard it read with the most poignant grief and indignation: and I am directed to say, that nothing can be more contrary to our Loyal Institution than such practices. The Principles of the Orange Institution, following the Principles of the Christian Religion, are precise, clear, and simple, easily understood, and easily practised; Piety towards God – Loyalty towards our King, and Good Will to all our Neighbours – To enter into Societies professing and practising these Principles, requires no idle or ridiculous ceremony… we have no mystery, or superstitious Rites; For we well know, where mystery begins, honesty terminates…Entreat them to put away from them Practices which they have adopted so derogatory to our Glorious Institution – tell them these were the very Practices and Ceremonies of the Illuminati of France and Germany, who brought their country to slavery and ruin. Ask them how such Practices can conduce to the Maintenance of the Protestant cause, to the advancement of Loyalty, or the Good of the People?” How times have changed!

We recommend a sound compelling book written by the great revivalist Charles Finney who was a former Freemason (The Character, Claims And Practical Workings Of Freemasonry):


red_dot The History of the Orange Order
red_dot The Royal Arch Purple oath
red_dot Properly Prepared
red_dot A hostile reception
red_dot The Five Points of Fellowship
red_dot Riding the goat
red_dot The Orange Order Blood Curdling Penalties
red_dot Mystical enlightenment
red_dot A false hope
red_dot Symbolism


Royal Arch Purple push-back

Evangelical Truth response to Former Independent Orange Grand Master’s attack on Behind Closed Doors.
Biblical response to Rev. Ron Johnstone (Royal Arch Purple spokesman): Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6
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.

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

We recommend The Secret Teachings of the Masonic Lodge by John Ankerberg and John Weldon