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How Many Souls Will Our Deacons Lead to Hiram?

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Jesus gave us explicit instructions

Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, He gave his disciples clear instructions that they were to share the Gospel with others, making disciples of them. These last instructions have become known as the Great Commission.

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

(Mat 28:18-20 NIV)

Today, one of the principle tasks of the church is to share the Gospel with those who do not know Jesus. In the United States, there are many branches of the church, the body of Christ, who all share the same core beliefs. They publicly stand in agreement with the words of Paul:

Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures

(1 Cor 15:1-4 NIV)

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The Southern Baptist Convention

Possibly the largest denomination (group of congregations) in the country is known as the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). Southern Baptists are 15 million strong and have more than 20,000 churches scattered in every state in the union. Many congregations have been planted in other parts of the world by Southern Baptist missionaries.

Southern Baptists are evangelical. SBC congregations are active in declaring the Gospel of Grace from the pulpits. SBC congregations have chosen to cooperate with one another to send and support missionaries. The missionary efforts of the Southern Baptist Convention are conducted by the Foreign Mission Board and the Home Mission Board. SBC congregations channel a portion of the offering to support the cooperative program.

The purpose of the Foreign Mission Board is to share the Gospel and plant churches in foreign lands. The charter of the Home Mission Board is to share the Gospel and plant churches in areas of the United States which do not yet have an SBC congregation.

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A number of other groups promote a false Gospel

Also present in the United States, and other parts of the world, are groups which have distorted the Gospel of Grace and are actively involved in teaching hollow and deceptive philosophies which depend on human traditions and the basic principles of the world, rather than on Jesus Christ. These groups are commonly referred to as cults. They include the Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Scientists, Scientologists and a host of others. What these groups have in common is that they reject the claims of Jesus Christ.

False teaching is not a new problem. Paul addressed it and warned of the consequences:

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!

(Gal 1:6-8 NIV)

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Things are not always as they appear

On the surface, it appears that Southern Baptists have been quite faithful carrying out the commandment of Jesus, known as the Great Commission. The number of SBC congregations, the impressive facilities and the large number of programs and activities conducted under the SBC banner is substantial.

However, the SBC (as well as other denominations) have been infiltrated by a group of men who meet in secret to teach salvation on the basis of another savior. The number of men participating in this secret activity is staggering. Approximately 3.5 million men in the United States are involved. Of the 3.5 million men, an estimated 1.3 million of them are Southern Baptists. (Estimates from Florida Baptist article.) If Southern Baptists are divided into groups of men, women and children, there are approximately 5 million in each group. Of the 5 million men in the SBC, 1.3 million, or 26% of them, are secretly involved in promoting a plan of salvation which is based on another savior!

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Who are the infiltrators?

The infiltrators and their converts are not uniformly distributed throughout the various congregations. A disproportionate number of these deceivers are in leadership positions in the infected congregations. They include Sunday School teachers, Southern Baptist Bible College presidents, Southern Baptist pastors, and many Southern Baptist deacons.

The infiltrators and their converts fall into two groups. The active group regularly takes part in the secret meetings, teaching salvation on the basis of imitating their false savior, whose name is Hiram Abiff. They conduct the rituals which teach salvation apart from faith in Jesus Christ, standing in agreement as other men are conducted through the ritual. Many SBC pastors, Sunday School teachers and deacons are in this group. Most of the men who are drawn into the cult are not Southern Baptists and many do not claim to be Christians. Non-Christians who are ensnared obviously view the teachings of the cult as compatible with their conception of Christianity. They reason, if it were not compatible, why would so many Southern Baptists pastors, deacons and others be standing in agreement with the teachings of the ritual?

The inactive group have all been through the rituals which teach salvation without Jesus, but they do not regularly participate in the ritual teaching aspect of the cult. Instead, they act as a public relations element providing false information to anyone who has questions. In cooperation with the active group, they attempt to intimidate those who would oppose their involvement in false religion. They rally with the active group whenever substantial opposition appears. They have driven some of the pastors who have been bold enough to take a stand from Southern Baptist pulpits.

The cult is known by several names. Freemasonry or simply Masonry are the two most common. The buildings in which the secret rituals are conducted are know as Masonic Lodges. A few Masonic Lodges use church buildings through the week for their secret activities. The rituals are conducted in a building, or on a floor of a building, which has no windows. When the rituals are conducted, a guard, known as a tyler, is posted to keep non- Masons from getting into the lodge to see what is going on, or hear what is said.

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Specific examples of false teaching

Masonry teaches that there is only one God and men of all religions worship that one God using a variety of different names. Of course, Christians know that such a teaching is Biblical nonsense. In Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth, he wrote that “the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God. All men who worship a Supreme Being other than Jesus are simply worshiping a demon. Masonry worships a god known as the Great Architect of The Universe (GAOTU). When a Buddhist worships his demon god in the Lodge, he refers to him as the GAOTU. Similarly, the Hindu worships the GAOTU in the Lodge finding it a suitable representation of his demon god. If pagans are able to worship their demon gods using the name GAOTU, then clearly it would not be pleasing to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, for a Christian to join in the worship of the GAOTU while pretending that he was worshiping Jesus.

Masons include Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, Southern Baptists and men who have infiltrated other denominations, such as Methodist and Disciples of Christ. There are other men in the lodge who have no religion other than Masonry. Moslems, Buddhists and Hindus openly reject the claims of Jesus Christ, yet they find the teachings of Masonry acceptable. Why? The first Masonic ritual a new Mason takes part in, known as the Entered Apprentice degree, contains the following teaching:

The covering of a Lodge is a clouded canopy, or star-decked heaven, where all good Masons hope at last to arrive. . .

In the Entered Apprentice degree, the Fellow Craft degree, and the Master Mason degree, the following words are spoken:

. . .as Fellow Crafts, we should apply our knowledge to the discharge of our respective duties, to God, our neighbors and ourselves, so that in age, as Master Masons, we may enjoy the happy reflections consequent on a well-spent life, and die in the hope of a glorious immortality.

During the third degree ritual, the Masonic savior is unjustly murdered, buried and then raised from the dead. Just before the Masonic savior is raised from the dead, the Worshipful Master says a prayer which ends with the following words:

Yet, O Lord! have compassion on the children of Thy creation, administer them comfort in time of trouble, and save them with an everlasting salvation. Amen.

Knowing that there are Masons who are Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, Mormons and men who claim no religion other than Masonry, it is obvious that the ritual of the Masonic Lodge teaches a false gospel. Some Masons will admit privately that, "Yes, Masonry does say that Masons will go to heaven, but it doesn't say how. That is left up to the individual." However, at the close of the third degree the following conclusion is spoken:

Then, finally my brethren, let us imitate our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff, in his virtuous conduct, his unfeigned piety to God, and his inflexible fidelity to his trust; that, like him, we may welcome the grim tyrant, Death, and receive him as a kind messenger sent by our Supreme Grand Master to translate us from this imperfect to that all-perfect, glorious and celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides.

The meaning is perfectly clear. By imitating the Masonic savior, Hiram Abiff, Masons can welcome the grim tyrant, Death, and be translated into the celestial Lodge above (heaven). Hiram Abiff is the (prototype) Masonic savior. By imitating Hiram, Masons can get into heaven without faith in Jesus Christ. The Grand Lodge of the State of Indiana offers the following explanation of the meaning of Masonic ritual on page 154 of the 1993 edition of the Indiana Monitor and Freemasons Guide:

It was the single object of all the ancient rites and mysteries practiced in the very bosom of pagan darkness. . .to teach the immortality of the Soul. This is still the great design of the third degree of Masonry. This is the scope and aim of its ritual. The Master Mason represents man, when youth, manhood, old age, and life itself have passed away as fleeting shadows, yet raised from the grave of iniquity, and quickened into another and better existence. By its legend and all its ritual, it is implied that we have been redeemed from the death of sin and the sepulchre of pollution. . . .and the conclusion we arrive at is that youth, properly directed, leads us to the honorable and virtuous maturity, and that the life of man, regulated by morality, faith, and justice, will be rewarded at its closing hour by the prospect of eternal bliss.

Southern Baptist Masons are teaching in secret that Master Masons, as a group, may die in the hope of a glorious immortality, that they represent those raised from the grave of iniquity and that they have been redeemed from the death of sin. Southern Baptist Masons teach in secret that Master Masons have salvation! However, the Holy Bible is quite clear: Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. John reported:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

(John 14:6 NIV)

The group of men known as Master Masons includes Hindus, Moslems, Buddhists, men who profess to be Christians and men who have no religion other than Masonry. Hindus, Moslems, and Buddhists all reject the unique Deity of Jesus Christ and reject him as the Savior and Redeemer for all mankind. Since the infiltrators teach in secret that Master Masons, as a group, may die in the hope of a glorious immortality, represent those raised from the grave of iniquity and that they have been redeemed from the death of sin, they are teaching a gospel of salvation which does not require faith in Jesus Christ.

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The infiltrators are using
the church to further their purpose

Masonic infiltrators are using the church as a cover which makes it appear that the Masonic Lodge is a Christian organization, or minimally that it is compatible with Christianity. The words in the ritual are simple enough that a Christian would recognize that the teachings are false.

Christians, including those in leadership positions in the SBC, who have been unaware of the facts and have not known what has been happening, have no guilt in the matter. However there are others, many in leadership, who know exactly what is going on. Many have decided to condone it and some have agreed to defend it and assist in distortion of the truth. These men have a price and their price is really not that high. As long as they can have a comfortable salary, a large congregation with a nice building and are able to speak a portion of the will of God from the pulpit, they are willing to allow the deacons and others to use the church as a cover, while teaching the gospel of Masonry in secret. They are careful to avoid the issue of Masonry in their sermons. The lodge has a name for such men. They are known as "Masons without an apron."

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Identifying Spiritual Leaders

We are commanded to be in submission to our spiritual leaders:

Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.

(Hebrews 13:17 NIV)

Included in the instruction is a description of spiritual leaders: "They keep watch over you as men who must give account." Some SBC pastors are truly spiritual leaders. However, pastors who know the truth about Freemasonry and condone the activities of Masonic infiltrators are not spiritual leaders in Christ's church. Jesus called such men hirelings.

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The efforts of the Home Mission Board

The Home Mission Board has conducted an official study of the matter and has recommended that membership in the Masonic Order be a matter of personal conscience. The man who wrote the study was in collusion with the Masonic Lodge from the beginning. He has since joined the Masonic Lodge. The intentionally dishonest study included material which was written by an agent of the Masonic Lodge without revealing the source. The seven page report contains gross distortions of the truth. It stated, "To be sure, not all Grand Lodges affirm Christian doctrine, and many do not declare Jesus as the unique Son of God; but many do, and for this we commend them." When asked to name a Grand Lodge which had declared Jesus as the unique Son of God, the Home Mission Board had to admit that in truth, there were none! In 1993, the convention voted to approve the HMB recommendation. In the spring of 1994, the HMB voted to continue to send Masons out as missionaries.

In 1996, the Home Mission Board issued a paper entitled A Closer Look at A Bridge To Light. A Bridge to Light is a book which is distributed to Scottish Rite Masons, although any other Mason may purchase a copy.The HMB paper took issue with the teachings contained in A Bridge to Light, but did not take issue with Freemasonry in general or the presence of Freemasons in the church. The paper ends with these words:

The Conclusion of this study is that many of the religious teachings presented in A bridge to Light are incompatible with biblical Christianity.

Until Southern Baptist leaders take a strong stand against Freemasonry, Masons will continue to use the church as a cover; Southern Baptist Deacons will continue to lead souls to Hiram.

(The Home Mission Board has been renamed the North American Mission Board.  After the name change, they continued to distribute the false Report on Freemasonry.)

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To obtain a copy of this essay in the form of a tract,

Order a free copy of this tract on-line,
which will be sent by U.S. Mail.

Or, write to the address below and ask for  "How many souls?"

Ephesians 5:11, Inc.
BOX 291,
Fishers, IN 46038

Copyright 1995 Ephesians 5:11, Inc.  Publication on another web site is prohibited.

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