Many people ask is it a Religion?
Well it has the trappings of a religion; by definition freemasonry has all the distinctive qualities of a religion. It demands a belief
in a Supreme Being as a requirement for membership. A belief in any God – can be Jehovah, Allah,or a variety of other Gods. Atheists join so their foundational belief on joining is a lie. What I
remember about the darkness of that
first meeting in the past master room.
Sun shining brightly, but cold and dark in that room.
It also has a chaplain, rituals of initiation, prayers and funeral services and teaches a
plan of salvation. It has an organized
body of philosophical and ethical teachings.
Masonry is a religion. Many men make it their religion – my own father stated this to my mother
It is a universalistic religion upon which all men can agree. Universalism is a theological doctrine
holding that eventually all people will be saved and there are many paths leading to God. Jesus said in John 3:3 “Most assuredly I say unto you unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God”, Jesus said in John 14:6 that no one could be saved except through Him.
The teaching that meritorious deeds can make one acceptable to God is a false one. Only the grace of God that comes through
faith in Jesus Christ his Son can save a sinner from the judgment of sin. There is a teaching in the craft that good works aside from faith will allow you into the Grand Lodge above. Ephesians 2:8-9 states For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works so that no one can boast.
The Three Degrees
All of the ceremonies of the three degrees in craft masonry are supposed reenactments of the Masonic history associated with the building of King Solomons temple.
Candidate enters in a state of darkness, that is he is prepared to enter the lodge poor and penniless and in a pitiful state. This is
represented by him being stripped of all money and valuables prior to
entering the lodge and having his left knee, arm and breast made bare with his
left heel slipshod (representing nakedness).
He is wearing a blindfold (representing blindness) this blindfold is also called a hoodwink!!!. He is also wearing around his neck a hangmans noose.
Explain the entry to the lodge dagger and noose.
Strangulation and Stabbing
The candidate is let into the lodge and asked if he is 21 years of age and then asked a question in whom do you put your trust, he is prompted to say God at this point!! Again, a lie, to the vast majority of people entering the craft.
He is then asked to kneel while the blessing of heaven is then invoked over this ceremony
The candidate is then assured that there is nothing in this ceremony that will conflict with their moral, civil or religious
I will come back to that later.
After being taken (perambulated) around the lodge so that everyone in there can see you are properly prepared and shown to the
Worshipful Master, Senior Warden and Junior Warden (the top three offices in the lodge), the candidate is expected to
undertake an obligation.
This obligation is done while still blindfolded, kneeling at the altar with one hand on the Bible and with a pair of compass points to the naked left breast.
It is stated that this obligation is undertaken in the presence of the Great Architect of the Universe (God). The obligation is that you will never reveal any part of parts or the secrets of this degree apart from to another Brother.
This is spoken by the WM and the candidate repeats it, but it means under no circumstances either verbally or writing down of any of the secrets of these degrees, that they should be repeated to anyone outside of the lodge.
The candidate states that he will be unworthy (Jesus died on the cross to make us worthy of communion with God) if he tells these secrets.
If he does tell them to anyone by whatever means, he will by his own admission be declared or branded a willfully perjured individual, void of all moral worth and be totally unfit to be received into any Masonic lodge thereafter. Praise the Lord!!
They are then prompted to ask God to help them keep these secrets. And to render it binding upon them as long as they shall live by kissing the Bible 3 times.
Just at this point I would like to say that Jesus said that in Matthew 5:34-37, “But I tell you. Do not swear at all, either by
heaven, for it is Gods throne, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by
Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black, simply let your yes be yes and your no no, anything beyond this comes from the evil one” Oaths are forbidden by Christ. .
Masons are expected to swear blood oaths
on the Bible in the name of God, yet Jesus commanded his disciples never to swear oaths. Should a mason claim that the oaths are only in fun, then he has taken the name of the Lord in vain, another commandment broken (Exodus 20:7) If he says the oaths are serious, then he has violated the commandment which forbids murder, by consenting with an oath to his own murder .Many masons simply do not realize the seriousness of these oaths, by invoking Gods name in them.
There is an oath that is written in the Book of constitutions, that says “You must conceal all crimes of your brother Masons and
should you be summoned as a witness against a brother Mason be always sure to shield him. It may be perjury to do this, it is true, but you’re keeping your
The question is then asked, and to me now as a Christian is the question and the part of the ceremony at which any Born again Christian
should stop and say No Enough! The question is asked “Having been kept for a considerable time in a state of darkness what is at the present moment the predominant wish of your heart?”. The
candidate is prompted to say “Light”.
How can a genuine Christian agree that “he has long been in darkness” when he has the Light of the World in him?
How can he think that Masonry can add anything to the light of Christ in whom are “hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” and in whom all fullness dwells. Jesus said I am the light of the world. There is no other light in the world that is greater than him.
At this point for me this is the time when Christians entering this organization should just calmly stand up and renounce any vow taken and leave the building.
The WM then tells the candidate that “the danger which would traditionally have awaited you until your latest hours was the physical
penalty at one time associated with the obligation of a mason had you improperly disclosed the secrets of masonry, that of having your throat cut across, tongue torn out by the roots and buried in
the sands of the sea at low water mark where the tide regularly ebbs and flows every 24 hours.” Now many masons will say that this penalty is not associated with the degree, well it is included
the degree being spoken over them. When
the candidate is presented later to the JW he gives what is known as the penal sign which alludes to the symbolic penalty of the degree as mention earlier.
The WM also states earlier in the ceremony that once admitted, you will ever afterwards act up to and abide by the ancient usages and established customs of the order.
The candidate is then placed in the North East corner of the lodge to represent the journey he is about to commence in the craft and he
is now representative of the
foundation stone of the building symbolically representing the beginning of his craft career.
After this the candidate is asked if he has any money to give to charity which of course he does not as he has been divested of all
these things prior to entering the lodge but asked would he have given if he had.
He is then presented to the JW who presents the working tools and the ancient charge for the degree and then given a lambskin apron to
show he is what is termed an entered apprentice freemason, armed with the secret grip and password he is told to learn answers to certain questions to which he must give when he
returns to the lodge in 28 days time.
The outline of the degree follows pretty much a similar pattern to the 1st where you are perambulated around the lodge
to show that you are a fit and proper person to be passed to the 2nd degree.
The 2nd degree of fellowcraft degree starts with the candidate being asked a series of
questions to which he has learned all the answers to in the preceding 28 days.
The Candidate then leaves the lodge to be prepared again to re-enter. This time the opposite sides of heel, knee, arm and breast are bared.
The same blessings are invoked asking God(s) to be present while this ceremony takes place. After advancing to the pedestal the candidate has to kneel place his hand on the Bible and take another series of oaths or obligations, again stating that he will not reveal any of these new secrets.
These secrets are the signs used to identify fellow craft masons, and again includes the symbolic penalty at one time included in this degree that a mason would rather have had his left breast laid open, the heart torn therefrom and given to the ravenous birds of the air or the devouring beasts of the fields. Again the candidate is taken around the lodge and asked what these signs mean and again if they are not included in the oaths why are they included in these parts of the ceremony.
The third degree in craft freemasonry is the highest a man can achieve in degrees recognized by British Freemasonry, although the Royal
Arch or Chapter is recognized, the vast majority of masons only achieve this degree and do not progress any further. The main reason for this is that for the many other degrees (up to 96) are that
you are to have held
certain positions in your craft lodges, been members of the chapter and finally many of the so called higher degrees are by invitation only, which is where elitism comes into the craft.
This ceremony follows similar patterns to the 1st two degrees but a large portion of it is done in complete darkness barring on small light on the WM lectern.
The whole ceremony is based around the central character of Hiram Abiff who was the architect who designed and project managed the building of Kings Solomon’s Temple. The candidate unwittingly plays the part of HA.
In ancient times it is stated (by freemasons) that masons who traveled working on various projects such as the temple would be looked
after a bit like a trade union would look after its members now. And in order that their trades were protected from ancient cowboy traders, they had a series of signs, tokens and passwords that
protected their jobs and the fact that they were fed and had a bed for the night.
So these are the secrets that they were
trying to protect.
The story of the degree is that HA was leaving the unfinished temple where he had been at prayer and leaving to return home for the
night when he was accosted by three so called ruffians who tried to get him to tell the secrets of a master mason, as they themselves wanted to become MM, without having to go through all the
ceremonies (maybe they knew something I didn’t).
Each of the three ruffians (rogue traders) asked HA a question the first asked the EA grip and password, when he didn’t give an answer
he hit him with a plumb rule but he
wouldn’t still tell him the secrets, the next ruffian positioned himself at the next exit of the temple asked him the secrets of the 2nd or fellowcraft degree and HA wouldn’t tell him again so he hit him with a level
and then finally onto the last entrance and the 3rd ruffian who told him in no uncertain terms that he would die if he didn’t give him the secrets to the third degree. HA true to his word wouldn’t tell him so the ruffian hit him with a heavy setting mall, which laid him dead at the ruffians feet.
At each point at each of the blows the candidate is “hit” with each of the implements and when he is laid dead at the feet of the WM who is representing the 3rd ruffian he is laid in a coffin.
Each of the JW (1st ruffian) SW (2nd ruffian) and WM (3rd ruffian) then try
to raise the Candidate (HA) with the grips of the three degrees until finally the candidate is raised on the third attempt figuratively raised from death to a re-union with their former companions.
The whole point of this degree is to make the candidate ponder their own death.
But the problem here is that Hiram as recorded in 1 Kings 7:40 did complete all the works of the temple, so this so called
re-construction of his death scene never actually took place. But yet HA is lauded as the most single most important person in the annuls of freemasonry, no place given to the Saviour of the
world but only as a minor prophet along the same lines as
zoraster and Buddha. How can a Christian
be part of an organization that does not acknowledge Jesus as God yet exalts a
minor bible character to be the greatest man ever lived? Jesus himself states that all other religious leaders who came before Him (Buddha, Zoroaster, etc) were thieves and robbers (John 10:8)
The Bible makes it very clear that Jesus name is above every other name (Philippians 2:9) The Bible points to Jesus Christ! The Bible
itself is supposed to be one of the three great lights of Masonry and the rule and guide of the masons faith. Yet this same Bible, which so lifts up the name of Jesus, barely mentions the central
figure of Masonic myth HA. This obscure craftsman, who is barely
mentioned in the context of the building of King Solomons temple is treated as
a God – like figure in Masonry. He is
lionized above all other men in the Old Testament and even made to be greater
The normal obligations are enacted in this degree as they are in the others invoking the name of God and giving away of secrets in this
degree are accompanied by
another blood curdling oath the penal sign being ……
And the penalty being the body being severed in two, the bowels torn there from and the body being burnt to ashes on the centre and the ashes scattered before the four cardinal winds of heaven so that no trace or remembrance of him may longer be found among men, particularly master masons.
Talk about bringing curses upon you and your family.
In Scotland the grave you are lowered into is a real coffin, In English degrees this is
represented by a white sheet with a black coffin and skull and cross bones printed on it.
The WM then goes on to explain how many masons went to find the body of their beloved Master HA who was buried in a paupers grave and how they lamented many days over the tragic death of one so loved. Various distress signs are shown at this point and this is where non masons have got heated up over the years, because this is the point at which a sign of distress is given to show someone that you are a mason.
“Carry on with this prosecution no longer”, or “give me this contract for my business” and unfortunately masons have only got themselves to blame for much of the corruption that takes place in most societies around the world.
Many masons themselves bring curses upon them and their families. The Bibles tells us that God will visit upon them curses to the third
and fourth generations when we turn away from Him and
get involved in idolatry and worshipping false Gods. This is exactly what freemasonry is and because of the seriousness of these oaths you will find that a mason or his family will have major health problems around the throat, chest and bowel areas, as well as other problems associated with higher degrees.
The third degree particularly is associated with the candidate as being treat as temple rubbish. Many people who I have come across
where parents have been in or themselves have been in masonry treat
their families as rubbish as not being good enough.
Men who want ascend the Masonic ladder and achieve the chair of King Solomon, which is the Worshipful Master of the lodge has to
spend at least three to four years being out of the family home three to four nights a week visiting other lodges,
representing their lodge on the way to gaining the Mastership of their own lodge. This puts a tremendous strain on family life where fathers miss out on so much of their children’s lives because they are out of the family home. This increases as they get to their year in the Chair as they should be out almost every night of the week. If you are not doing the visiting you will have no visitors to your lodge, this is deemed to being a poor Master and an insult to the lodge.
When a man enters higher degrees this put even more pressure for him to be out of the family home. After the year in the chair many men then enter other degrees and instead of being at home more are out just as much.
The Devil loves this because what greater way to attack the family unit than to get the man out of the house 4 and 5 nights of the week.
We were very blessed this month that on the 6th of May we had a visit from the current Wesleyan Reform Union President, Phil Hartshorn with his lovely wife Sue. They stayed with us in the cottage next door to the church. We enjoyed worshipping and fellowshipping with them, both at Word of Life and Guide Post Churches. The message that Phil brought was wonderful. We also gave them a guided tour of our favourite place; the Holy Island of Lindisfarne.
The two days that we spent together were encouraging and uplifting and we thank God for Phil and Sue, and the wonderful time that we all shared together.
We are almost nearing completion of our Mission House, of 73 North Seaton Road, the building adjacent to the Church. We are excited to announce that this annexe to the building will be utilised for many community outreach programmes.
It will also be a place of Christian retreat, where specific programmes can be tailored for each group of people staying. Examples of the type of programmes we will be delivering, will be Leading Worship, Prayer, and a wide range of other Christian Programmes.
We will also be using the venue for Healthy Eating and living healthily on a budget, as well as music lessons, photography lessons; job searching and basic IT programmes.
We are very excited about this development, and if you require any further information, please contact us either by email or by telephone on 07879253072 or 07854 820012
We held a Nigerian Evening in the Church on Saturday the 17th of February. A wonderful night of Nigerian Worship, Culture, food and fellowship was had by all, led by the Akinsola Family. Pictures below.
Our Friday Diner at church is on the last Friday of every month from 12:00 till 2:00pm. Soup and sandwiches and a range of other hot meals will be available for each of the coming months. This is an outreach for those who may be lonely, or who maybe are just in need of company. There is no charge for the food but donations are welcomed.
The ordination service of Rev Michael Hedley took place on Saturday the 25th of November 2017. It was led by Phil Hartshorn the WRU President of 2017/18, with input from Rev Ian Fall chair of the ministerial committee. It was a wonderful day for all concerned. A very special privelege that this service was delivered in our home church and not as it is usually done at conference. Thanks to all who participated and a heartfelt thanks for the wonderful gifts that you have given us both
Reverend Michael & Lindsey Hedley.
Once again this year it was a great priviledge for our rapidly growing Church Family to witness yet another baptism. Gordon gave his life to Jesus in July earlier this year and he went through the waters of baptism at Bedlington Trinity Church. A fantastic time was had by all and we truly rejoice that his life is now heading in a new Holy Spirit filled direction.
We held a Baptism Service on Saturday May 27th at Bedlington Trinity Church for Caroline Taylor who joined our fellowship earlier this year. We had a wonderful time in God's presence and the service went so well. Pictures of the event are below this text.
Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday and forever
This is not just breaking news, it is the news from yesterday, today and tomorrow and guess what? It is forever. Hallelujah!!!!!
Contact us at:
Word of Life Church
Wesleyan Reform Union
North Seaton Road, Ashington Northumberland NE63 0AG
Tel: 01670 814425
Mobile 07879253072 Michael
Or use our online contact form.
Our new range of Christian Greetings Cards and encouragement scripture cards are now available to purchase from us on this website and also in church
Check here for visiting guest speakers in the coming weeks and months