The Judas Threats (Royal Black 1st degree)

The Judas Threats

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During the first, initiatory degree, the Royal Black, a triangle is placed in front of the initiate, who is asked: “How many lights do you see on the Triangle before you?” After counting them, the Candidate replies: “twelve.” The guide then instructs the Black candidate to “extinguish one of the lights,” and the candidate obliges. The Lecturer then asks, “How many lights do you now see?” The initiate replies (again after counting them): “eleven.” Because of his nervous state, the entrant is normally helped with his answers.

The Black lecturer declare, “I would now draw your attention to this triangle of light. It is emblematic of the Holy Trinity in which, had you not been a believer you could not have been admitted a member of our illustrious order. The first time you counted them there were twelve lights, which represented the twelve sons of Jacob. The second time you counted them there was but eleven, representing the time when Joseph was sold as a slave into Egypt and supposed to be dead. Joseph did die in Egypt, it is true, but not until the Lord had brought about a reunion between him and his brethren, which was represented the third time, you counted them and beheld twelve lights. They will also correspond with the number of the Apostles of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, one of whom fell, and the ancient custom of our Order teaches us that he who would betray his trust deserves no better fate than that which befell Judas Iscariot.”

FirstJudasly, it is difficult to see the parallel in thought and meaning between Joseph’s captivity in the Old Testament and Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of the Lord and ultimate suicide in the New Testament. This internal teaching certainly seems to be a mixture of thought. Secondly, the concluding words in this Black lesson must concern every genuine Christian. It can be viewed as nothing less than a personal threat against the Black novice. The warning directed toward the candidate is real and decidedly menacing. The Black Knights equate betraying their Institution to that of Judas shamefully betraying our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. They place Black-rejection on a similar plain to Christ-rejection. This is wholly unacceptable and plainly anti-Christian.

It is wrong to make such a connection and unjustifiable to equate the awful doom which Judas met for rejecting Christ with that of a Blackman disclosing some of the content of this degree with others. How can the Order in any way liken disloyalty to the Royal Black Institution with that which was perpetrated by Judas against our Saviour? To threaten Judas’ end as the just reward of a disloyal Blackman is troubling. We must remember this charge is directed towards any member who would simply communicate the teaching and practices of this Black body with non-Blackmen.

This address adds an extra sinister edge to an already foul atmosphere. The presence of the earthly remains of the deceased and the chilling ambience in the hall is unnerving enough, but this direct threat to the initiate ensures his experience is even more menacing. The presence of actual human remains in the meeting certainly adds force to this warning. There is no doubt that this caution is designed to scare the candidate – and it does. This is evidenced by the fact that the order has succeeded in protecting these unsavoury procedures from outside scrutiny for over two hundred years. Such warnings serve to shield the inner workings and secret doctrine of the order. Members are fearful of speaking about any of their experiences or sharing any of the teaching communicated to them in case they break this threatening directive.

The Knights of Malta share the same teaching and practices as its sibling and they present a similar warning to its members in its Black lesson. It declares: “The twelve lig
hts you saw at first represented the twelve sons of Jacob, the twelve tribes of the children of Israel, or the twelve Apostles of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The equilateral triangle on which they rest is emblematical of the Holy Trinity, or mystical unity of the Godhead. The light you have just put out represents Joseph, who was sold into Egypt from among his brethren, or Judas Iscariot, who betrayed his Lord and Master. It also represents to you, that, should you ever betray any trust that is now or may hereafter be reposed in you, your light will be put out from among the members of this Illustrious Order.”

Again, the similarities between these two sister-organisations are manifest. Whilst there is a slight variation in the wording we have the same underlying address and its unsavoury rhetoric. This further demonstrates the spiritual interconnection between these secret orders. Despite these undoubted likenesses, we must research back further in its history to ascertain the beginnings of these dark procedures. We will not be too long into our enquiry before we come to the door of the Masonic Knights Templar. When we penetrate its wall of secrecy and study its initiation we find the roots and inspiration for this Black language and actions.

The Masonic Knights Templar candidate is required to swear, “If ever I wilfully violate this my solemn compact, as a brother Knights Templar, may my skull be sawn asunder with a rough saw, my brains taken out and put in a charger to be consumed by the scorching sun, and my skull in another charger, in memory of St. John of Jerusalem, that faithful soldier of our Lord and Saviour. If ever I wilfully deviate from this my solemn obligation, may my light be put out from among men, as that of Judas Iscariot was for betraying his Lord and Master.”

A human skull is then placed in the Templar candidate’s hand.

He then declares, “May the soul that once inhabited this skull, as the representative of St. John the Baptist, appear against me in the day of judgment: so help me God and keep me steadfast in this my solemn obligation of a Knights Templar.”

Skull

This Templar phrasing sheds some light on the significance of the skull. The allusion to John the Baptist is interesting since it connects the prophet to these relics. The Bible student will know from the New Testament account of the daughter of Herodias gaining the favour of Herod in Mark 6:22 when he granted her any request she wanted. She responded, “I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.” The story continues, in verses 27-28, “And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison, And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.” And so the head which the initiate carries in this ritual represents John, the forerunner of Christ.

After the Knights Templar communion, where each new member drinks a toast from a human skull, the candidate is required to affirm, “as the sins of the whole world were once visited upon the head of our Saviour, so may all the sins of the person whose skull this once was, in addition to my own, be heaped upon my head, and may this libitation appear in judgment against me, should I ever knowingly or willingly violate my most solemn vow of a Knights Templar, so help me God” (US Manual p. 206).

The wording of this Templar curse is nauseating in the extreme. To invite the sins of the person who once inhabited the unknown skeleton to be attributed to the candidate, should he betray this wicked Order is repellent. One can scarcely over-state the gravity of such an invocation. More alarming is the fact that it is the direct source of the Black charge. Whilst the Masonic Knights Templar reinforces its teaching with greater detail, ritual and instruction than that of the Black, there is no doubt that this is the source from where the Black curse has come.

The nervous Knights Templar swears, “If ever I wilfully deviate from this my solemn obligation, may my light be put out from among men, as that of Judas Iscariot was for betraying his Lord and Master.” The Knights Templar (like the Black and the Knights of Malta) here equate the act of betraying its own highly secretive mystical Order to that of Judas shamefully betraying the Lord.

Revival preacher Charles G. Finney refers to this Templar procedure in his book Character and Claims of Freemasonry, asking, “Can any profanity be more horrible than this?” He adds, “Here, in the most solemn manner, the candidate, drinking wine out of a human skull, takes upon himself this obligation, under the penalty of a double damnation. What can exceed the profanity and wickedness of this?”

Finney concludes, “To adhere to the institution is to indorse it … why do not Freemasons … who know, or ought to know thoroughly the nature, designs, and tendency of the institution, publicly renounce the whole thing, confess their sin, and proclaim their independence of the order? I answer, first–They have seared their consciences by what they have done, and have, therefore, very little sense of the great sinfulness of remaining a member of such an abominable institution. I must say that I am utterly amazed at the want of conscientiousness among Masons on this subject. As I have said, they have put out the eyes of their moral sense, and do not at all appreciate the awful guilt of their position. And, secondly–They dare not. And if by their oaths they mean anything, it is not to be wondered at that they are afraid to renounce Freemasonry.”

These sentiments could also easily be addressed to Blackmen. After all, they go through the same rites, partake in the same ordinances and submit themselves to the same spiritual bondage. The only difference is, the Royal Black perform such in the name of Protestantism. This would suggest a greater degree of harm.

It would be beneficial to examine the biblical account of Judas’ treachery in order to determine the gravity of this matter. Matthew 26 outlines Christ’s betrayal by Judas Iscariot whilst He communed with His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. Verse 45-46 records Christ’s solemn words to His disciples just prior to His final arrest in the garden: “Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.”

The narrative continues, “while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him” (vv 47-49). The crowd then came and arrested Christ, and took Him to the judgment.

Matthew 27:5 says of Judas’ end, “And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.” Not only did Judas die a horrible death of suicide by hanging but his rejection of Christ secured his ultimate fate of eternal punishment in hell. The Scriptures state in Acts 1:25: “Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.”

This Black doctrine therefore puts the betraying of the Black Order on a par with Judas’ transgression; and adds, by way of warning, “He who would betray his trust deserves no better fate than that which befell Judas Iscariot.” One does not need to be a Bible scholar to know what “befell Judas Iscariot.” He suffered a dreadful death by way of suicide, and the awful manner in which this was carried out was through hanging. Scripture makes it clear that he went to a Christless eternity. His three-fold doom was (1) he suffered an awful death by means of suicide; (2) the dreadful manner of that was through hanging; and (3) he went to a Christless eternity.

And this is the doom the Black Order pronounces upon the one who would betray its secrets. This Black threat is directed towards anyone within its membership who would share the teaching and practices of the Order with others. No Christian would wish this fate on his worst enemy. But all this gives rise to an obvious question: If the doctrine and activities of the Royal Black Institution are so biblical, why would they place this most severe censure on its members for spreading its message to the ignorant? If it were such a Christian organisation, why would it feel the need to employ such extreme curses? Surely it should be sharing its ‘biblical truth’ with all that might listen?

This exposes the obnoxious nature of the Order and reveals the black deceit that permeates it. Outwardly it may appear to be Protestant, but inwardly it is deeply unchristian. How can the Black compare that great betrayer of our beloved Saviour to a Black Knight who would simply share the teaching of the Institution with others? What justification has it for teaching that the betrayal of the Black Institution’s secrets deserves the same fate as that greatest of all Christ-rejecters? How can they possibly equate these things?

In a book Christian by Degrees, evangelical writer Walton Hannah examines the Masonic Templar degree and comments: “‘May my light also be extinguished among men, as was that of Judas Iscariot’, says the novice, as he blows out the taper. That is a truly dreadful thing to say. Judas Iscariot committed suicide, and was doomed to everlasting hell because, although he may have suffered remorse, he died impenitent after betraying our Lord. Can the violation of a secret society oath, the disclosure of a password unmistakeably initialled in printed rituals anyway, the ignoring of a Chapter summons without grave cause, can these seriously be compared with the sin of Judas? Is no repentance possible, no forgiveness offered? This horrible imprecation is trifling with our eternal salvation, which no Christian has the right to do.”

Allowing for the very serious repercussions implied in the wording, it must have a serious spiritual impact on all those that submit to it. Instead of yielding to the liberating Word of God, Blackmen end up bowing to the intimidating word of man. James 3:8-13 says, “The tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.”

The Bible shows us that men have the ability to bless and curse with their tongues. Blessing should always emanate from the tongue of a true believer. He should have nothing to do with the intimidation involved in this organisation. This passage must be a challenge to those that would try and justify this Templar curse. The Bible rebukes this evil and admonishes those involved in conferring these charges that their behaviour is not of God. Plainly, God cannot sanction this charge. He expressly forbids it. Ephesians 4:29-30 warns, “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”

No one could argue with any credibility that this religious rhetoric could be considered an exhortation. It could not in any way be deemed “edifying.” It is quite the opposite – it is all about fear and intimidation. It bullies the new member into concealing the teaching and procedures of the Royal Black. It is an oppressive fabrication that has no right to locate itself within the Protestant camp.

Albert Barnes explains in his Commentary that in the above text, “The word rendered ‘corrupt’ sapros means bad, decayed, rotten, and is applied to putrid vegetable or animal substances. Then it is applied to a tree that is of a useless character, that produces no good fruit; Matthew 7:17. Then it is used in a moral sense, as our word ‘corrupt’ is, to denote that which is depraved, evil, contaminating, and may denote here anything that is obscene, offensive, or that tends to corrupt others.” This useful explanation explains the sense of the scriptural application and strength of the meaning. It would be wholly appropriate to label this Black charge “corrupt communication.” Threatening your brethren that they will end up like Judas if they tell others about the teaching of the Order must surely come within the parameters of “corrupt communication.”

This depraved language should be far from a righteous tongue. The Christian’s words should be towards encouragement and blessing, not intimidation and repression. Clearly, no believer has the right to partake in such wickedness. He is the Lord’s unique possession and his body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Bible declares, “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

Many Black Knights are kept ensnared within these secret bodies by way of fear and coercion – fear of the threats, and fear that they might betray the Order. Of course, if this organisation was built upon Christ and based on truth then such brutal threats would not be found within its ranks. Christ’s name cannot be identified with this behaviour as it is at such variance with His life-changing Gospel. Suicidal curses are a malevolent encumbrance upon every member, and every member who succumbs to this religious manipulation is placing a burden upon his back to carry through life which he does not need to bear. It is difficult to gauge the damage which such a curse has caused to Blackmen and their families over the years, but it is certainly not without significance.

The words of 1 Timothy 6:3-5 are clearly apt, “If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”

Those who administer these imprecations will one day be called to account for it. They will have to stand before God and explain why they put countless Protestant males under such bondage. They will discover that the religious activities they engaged in and the severe bonds they imposed were not of Christ but of antichrist. Blackmen who confer such evil charges upon fellow brethren and feel they are doing God a service are certainly ignorant of the Word of God and the working and nature of the Holy Spirit. Little do they realise that God places great weight on our language.

Jesus said, “Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37). We can see that words carry weight in God’s economy. If these words of caution from Christ mean anything then this leaves the Blackman in a very dangerous position. By his very membership, he is giving his consent to this baleful bondage.

Read a full exposure:

United Protestant Council Objection

The United Protestant Council highlights this (Black) degree as a problem area in its rejection of the Black’s application for membership. It stated, “At one point the candidate is shown a triangle with 12 lights on it and then he is shown the triangle with 1 light missing, and he is told that that represents Judas, one of the 12 who denied Christ, and he will be as a Judas if he reveals anything that he has experienced.” The Apprentice Boys of Derry, English Amalgamated Committee, objected to this record of the degree, trying to deny it actually happens. We should not forget: the Apprentice Boys made it clear to the UPC that it felt sanctioned to speak with authority on the Black due to a large joint-membership with the Royal Black.

triangle
In its support of the Black application to the UPC (26/07/04), it contends, “The Twelve Lights, with one light missing, are not portrayed as representing the 12 Disciples and the demise of Judas Iscariot. They are merely mentioned as a coincidental analysis and places stress upon how the Member would be regarded if he were to publicly reveal details of the proceedings of meeting unless he was properly authorized to do so. This is not an unusual aspect of many organizations and does not necessarily imply a form of secrecy.”

This statement by the Apprentice Boys of Derry is untrue. As we have seen from the actual account of the lecture, the Black degree plainly teaches that the twelve lights represent both “the twelve sons of Jacob” and “the number of the Apostles of our Lord.” The one light being extinguished is said to represent both Joseph when he was given up for dead by his brethren and Judas Iscariot when he took his own life after betraying the Saviour. Despite what the Apprentice Boys claim, the reference to the twelve apostles is more than just a “coincidental analysis,” but is in fact the actual principal thrust of the application.

The whole concluding application of this address surrounds the terrible demise of Judas and the Black warning that if one betrays the secrets of the Black they deserve “no better fate than that which befell Judas Iscariot.” Even in its denial, the Apprentice Boys admits that the degree “places stress upon how the Member would be regarded if he were to publicly reveal details of the proceedings of meeting unless he was properly authorized to do so.” How would he be regarded? He would be viewed as a Judas, deserving the same awful end as Christ’s betrayer. The Apprentice Boys are playing with words here and seeking to wriggle out of their obvious meaning.

The Imperial Grand Black Chapter of The British Commonwealth Province of England state in its response to the concerns listed by the UPC (15/07/04): “The fifth and final specific allegation in the report is with regard to a triangle with twelve lights on it and with one missing it represents Judas the one who denied Christ, and that they ‘will be a Judas’ if they reveal anything that they have experienced. This has nothing to do with their meaning whatsoever even though it is an analogy that does fit the description.”

As was the case with the Apprentice Boys, the Black defence here is totally inconsistent, embodying conflicting statements. In one breath it dismisses the charge that this teaching actually exists in relation to Judas, yet in the next breath it acknowledges it. How can it be “nothing to do with their meaning whatsoever” yet at the same time be “an analogy that does fit the description”? This just does not make sense. It would take a genius to unravel these ambiguous statements. This seems like the spin-doctor or politician’s way of saying: ‘Yes I do realise, but…’ We will therefore take their last statement as a reluctant admission that the Judas threat does exist; even if they do not wish to acknowledge it explicitly.

Interestingly, the Loyal Orange Institution of England response by Sir Knight Harvey does not deny the connection with Judas. He tries a different tactic. He attempts to place a palatable explanation upon the Black lesson. The Orange submission (02/07/04) states: “The primary symbolism of the 12 lights is in reference to the twelve sons of Israel, one of whom was lost and was later restored to his brethren. However, we would not actually see anything wrong or deserving of censure in the use of the term ‘Judas’ to describe a person who betrays their friends. The Oxford English dictionary defines a Judas as exactly that ‘one who betrays a friend’. Certainly the original source for the term’s use in the context of betrayal is the betrayal of Christ by Judas but we do not accept that using the term to describe one who betrays a friend or friends is in any way bible denying or blasphemous; it is simply descriptive and emphatic.”

The “explanations” of these different orders actually cancel each other out. Some try to deny it out of hand; others try to justify it. The Orange defence actually cancels out the Black Institution and Apprentice Boys contention that the Royal Black does not liken the unfaithful Blackman to Judas Iscariot. Sir Knight Harvey’s response demolishes that disclaimer. In fact, the Orange Order tries to justify the threat, arguing that labelling a Blackman who would betray the Institution as a “Judas” is wholly acceptable. Whilst this admission is somewhat helpful, it stops short of actually addressing the punishment that such a “Judas” is said to deserve. It is not simply that a Blackman who fails the institution is viewed as a “Judas,” it is rather that he is considered so base and despicable for doing so that he deserves the same “fate … which befell Judas Iscariot.”

The evangelical objection to this phraseology is not built upon the matter of whether a betrayer should or should not be viewed as a Judas, although no act of disloyalty to a secret society can warrant such a derogatory appellation, and no breach of the rules of a such a body can truly be likened to Judas’ sin, it is the nature of the doom a candidate is said to deserve should he betray the Order that they find unacceptable. Unfortunately, Sir Knight Harvey fails to address this.

This unsavoury communication, like much within the Black, has been inherited from the dark ancient past of the mysteries and is owned by all the neo-Masonic Templar societies. Whatever subject we look at or whatever aspect of ceremony we examine they all seem to trace back to pagan Masonry. It, in turn, has inherited it from the ancient mysteries. Christians would be wise to consider the counsel of Job 14:4, which declares: “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.” How possibly could anyone imagine that blessing, favour or prosperity could come from this wickedness?

Secret societies clearly regard tradition as being as equal in validity and legitimacy as the Word of God, or they would dismantle their structures immediately. This is the same objection born again Christians have with Roman Catholicism. Christ warned about this type of thing in Mark 7:7-8, saying, “in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men.” In verse 9 he affirms, “ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” In Matthew 15:6 the Saviour asserts, “ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.”

The dark cloak of secrecy, the intimidating threats, and the macabre acts along with their false teaching places these Black orders deep within the sphere of the Occult. There is nothing Christian about organisations which engage in such things, and which are so clearly at enmity with the Gospel message.

Biblical analysis of the Royal Black degree

All the 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

Other Info

For further revelations read Inside the Royal Black Institution

A book for ‘black men’ to seriously consider by Cecil Andrew of Take Heed Ministries.

The Black Oath

The Royal Black Institution and British Israelism

United Protestant Council reject the “Royal” Black Institution