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Archive for the ‘Spiritual Warfare’ Category

It is hard to understand.

It is difficult to understand how Christians can remain in the Masonic Lodge with the wealth of information that points to an occult foundation of its teachings.  Just a tour through Heredom, the critical journal of the Scottish Rite of the Southern Jurisdiction, can easily point this out.

I understand that most men do not know because they have not been told, or they do not really want to know.

A few years back a Masonic officer of education told a few of us that Freemasonry was not a religion, because it did not observe the sacraments.  I happened to have a copy of the Masonic baptismal service with me at the time, which I passed over for his inspection.   Instead of admitting his oversight, he simply asked how I got my hands on it.  So much for education.

Not only is there a Masonic baptismal service, but there is a ceremony that mimics the Lord’s Supper.  This should be a real concern.  It would send me running.

In 1855 the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction commissioned five men to revise the scattered documents of the Scottish Rite.  Two of the five men were Albert Mackey and Albert Pike.  Two years later, Albert Pike completed the task and handed his manuscript to the Supreme Council.  Albert Mackey coined the work Magnum Opus or The Great Work.  Although monitors and rituals are revised from time to time, key sections of the work are still present in more recent monitors of the Scottish Rite.

The bread and wine meal is one of them.

In the 26th degree, Scottish Trinitarian or Prince of Mercy, we read:

Qn: What is to us the chief symbol of man’s ultimate redemption and regeneration?

Ans: The fraternal supper, of bread that nourishes, and of wine that refreshes and exhilarates, symbolical of the time which is to come, when all mankind shall be one great harmonious brotherhood; and teaching us these great lessons; that as matter changes ever, but no single atom is annihilated, it is not rational to suppose that the far nobler soul does not continue to exist beyond the grave: That many thousands who have died before us might claim to be joint owners with ourselves of the particles that compose our mortal bodies; for matter ever forms new combinations; and the bodies of the ancient dead, the patriarchs before and since the flood, the kings and common people of all ages, resolved into their constituent elements, are carried upon the wind over the continents, and continually enter into and form part of the habitations of new souls, creating new bonds of sympathy and brotherhood between each man that lives and all his race.  And thus, the bread we eat, and in the wine we drink tonight, may enter into and form part of us the identical particles of matter that once formed parts of the material bodies called Moses, Confusius, Plato, Socrates, or Jesus who died upon the cross.  In the truest sense, we eat and drink the bodies of the dead; and cannot say that there is a single atom of our blood and body, the ownership of which some other soul might not dispute with us, and produce prior title.”  Magnum Opus, XXVI, p. 17,18

In case one wonders if the original work of Pike was carried into the Scottish Rite, in Liturgies of the Scottish Rite, 1962, the exact wording is found, minus the last two sentences.  It may well be that these sentences are verbally transmitted, and no longer deemed appropriate for print.

It seems obvious that the Scottish Rite borrows the most sacred meal to Christians and changes its meaning.  Albert Pike addresses the reality of the connection in the following paragraphs to the above section:

“To our Jewish Brethern, this supper is symbolical to the Passover: to the Christian Mason of that eaten by Christ and his Disciples, when, celebrating the Passover, he broke bread and gave it to them, saying, “Take! Eat! This is my body:” and giving them the cup, he said, “Drink ye all of it! for this is the blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for he remission of sins:”…”    Magnum Opus XXVI…18

While tipping its hat to the Lord’s Supper, the Scottish Rite drastically changes the meaning.  Jesus states the bread of the Passover meal refers to Himself; the Scottish Rite changes it to refer to the act of entering into and forming part of the identical matter of past Masters.  Jesus said the cup refers to His own blood; the Scottish Rite changes it to align with forming identical matter with the dead. 

It would seem to me that Christians would think twice before participating in a ceremony symbolically linked to the Lord’s Supper that has been deliberately changed.  The emphasis of this supper is not on Christ, but upon the particles of dead Masters.

 Paul the Apostle said it this way:

“No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons.  You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too, you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.”  1 Cor. 10:20,21

“Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.  A man ought to examine himself before he eats the bread and drinks the cup.  For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgement upon himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.”  1 Cor. 11:27-30

If Masons want to mimic the Lord’s Supper and change its meaning from Christ it is their prerogative, but it should jolt a Christian’s conscience.  How can we participate in a meal that strips the meaning of Christ and replaces it with integration into the dead?

I’ll bank my eternity on Christ, not Albert Pike.

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I never did finish my popcorn.  When a movie fails to deliver even the popcorn seems stale.  National Treasure: Book of Secrets seems to carefully sidestep the murky issues surrounding the Lincoln assassination and the accelerated return from exile of Albert Pike.  I went out the turnstile with an unease surrounding the quest for unending clues.

Just when you want to put the popcorn down, something happens.

In the most recent issue of the Scottish Rite Journal a question is asked:

“Is there a university laid out like a Masonic Lodge”?

I grabbed for popcorn.

The University of North Carolina appears to be fashioned off the interior of a Masonic Lodge, at least in it earliest form.  For two hundred years students have walked in and around the structures in question and no doubt failed to understand the significance.

The Scottish Rite Journal tells us that the buildings in question form a little design with the famous North Carolina cupola as the centerpiece.  Old South, Old East, and Old West complete the Masonic presentation.  It appears that the three buildings mentioned stand in perfect alignment to each other and to the Old Well.  Together they form an exact lineup of the three principal officers and altar of a Masonic Lodge.  The fact that there is no building in the north, only an empty park, further suggests to the Scottish Rite Journal that the early architects built this configuration as a symbol of the Lodge.  It makes sense.  In Masonic lore and thought, the north is considered a place of darkness and void.

The Old Well, which would be a symbol of the Masonic altar to the Great Archtect of the Universe, is kind of a big deal on campus.  It is often used as the symbol on the university itself. The Scottish Rite suggests to us that this well, which was used to give water to the early campus, is the altar itself.  It seems fitting that the architects used the well symbolically, as Freemasonry is thought to give its abundance of knowledge to a devoid and thirsty world.

The Old Well itself is actually fashioned after the Temple of Love in Versailles.  In its original French form it was dedicated to the deity of love, Eros, or Cupid.  Even this dash into pagan thought seems consistent with Masonry as the various male deities of antiquity are seen as diverse symbols of the one, unapproachable deity.  In this form it is just taking the form and function of Eros.

All of this wouldn’t be especially noteworthy, except to Masons and maybe followers of Western magical systems.  The reason is simple.  It is called sacred geometry.  Sacred geometry forms the basis of almost all Western magical tradtions, including Freemasonry.

A certain Hermes Trimegistus articulated the concept of sacred geometry as a metaphysical philosophy, which in turn gave rise to future occult thought.  He postulated that energy of the spiritual world is attracted or focused by use of certain geometric patterns.  Although this wasn’t entirely a new idea, he coined a certain phrase, which stuck.  In the book Emerald Tablet he states, “that which is below corresponds to that which is above, and that which is above, corresponds to that which is below, to accomplish miracles of the one thing.”  This phrase was revolutionary.  It is how magical theory is practiced and experienced by many.

An easily recognizable example of sacred geometry is the pentagram, a five-pointed star.  It can be drawn with a point up, or a point down.  It is usually drawn in one continuous line and itself mimics the movement of the planet Venus in its travels across the universe. When a pentagram, or other geometric figure is drawn, occultists believe it focuses spiritual energy. In this case what is above, Venus,  is as that which is below, the symbol.  It can create something.

His phrase is often shortened to “as above, so below”, or the opposite.  An attempt is made to align the below with the above thus creating change or energy.  This is probably why some people do crop circles.  I don’t really think they are done by space aliens.  Manipulating one level is thought to affect another level.  One could say that something budging in the celestial world, because of a drawn symbol, should reverberate down here on Main Street.

The Masons seem to use sacred geometry in a lot of their ritual work.  One can find pentagrams, triangles, stars of Solomon, among dozens and dozens of others.  Connecting the interior of a Masonic Lodge to the initial buildings of a university, and the celestial world, should create a spark. 

And so the Old Well may not be just an old well.  Old South may not just be old south.  The well fashioned off the Temple of Love in Versailles holds in its original form a statue of Cupid cutting a bow from the club of Hercules.  Maybe it is all about refinement. 

When I naturally think of water, as a Christian, I do not think of Cupid or Eros.  My mind turns to Jesus.  I remember the book of John telling me that Jesus alone gives living water. Water that leads to eternal life does not come from a pagan deity, but from Him.  I have found this to be true in my life.

Who really knows what the original designers had in mind at the University of North Carolina. But I agree with the authors of the Scottish Rite Journal; it is striking. 

Popcorn anyone?

http://www.scottishrite.org/ee.php?/journal/articles/current_interest_freemasonry_q_a/

http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/fnart/arch/17thc/Versailles06.jpg

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People are somewhat uncomfortable talking about some supernatural events that have taken place in their lives.  People worry they will be branded as nuts.  They hide their often profound stories, tucking them away as something weird that cannot be explained. 

 Over the years I have heard countless stories from people.  It’s what I do as a pastor.  I have heard angel stories that changed people’s lives.  I have heard stories of dark visitations which needed intense prayer to break.  I have gone to houses where events as you will read, really do happen.   I have heard just too many stories in my life to relinquish them to the world of pimoral imagination.  There are just too many witnesses in too many places.  I have found explanations for these events in the bible, and guidance in a preferred course of events for them.  You are about to read the story of a supernatural visitation in the childhood home of one the greatest Christian leaders of all time.

I graduated from a seminary that took its time in studing the life of John and Charles Wesley.  It was a premier Weslyan Seminary,  but I never heard this story. 

 The Wesley house of the 18th Century experienced dramatic spiritual warfare during the childhood years of the boys.  The events were known and experienced by multiple members of the family at the same time.  It wasn’t just one creepy story from one sullen member of the family, but a complex and well witnessed set of visual and audio manifestations that lasted over two years.  It may well be that these experiences  can help us understand the depth of passion in John and Charles Wesley to take the gospel to the world.  Once the curtain to the supernatural world was drawn open at their home, Christianity was no longer a philosophy alone.  It was a supernatural reality.  Sometimes it takes understanding the reality of the supernatural world in our life to launch us forward.  It indeed may have lent force and passion to their lives.

Between 1715 and 1717 the Wesley home experienced an ongoing oppression, or intense, unwanted, supernatural presence in the home.  The home began to experience spirit visitations both day and night which cannot be explained.  Although the intensity of the visitations would be unique, it would not be the first time possible warfare erupted in the home. 

In 1709, a fierce storm caught the roof of the Epworth parsonage on fire, with family members scrambled to pick up children and get out of the house.  John, six years old at the time, jumped out a window to a man just moments before he roof caved in on the house.  Little Charles was taken out in a sister’s arms.  The parents were not sure who was alive and who was dead.   Now, six years later, an attack would take a different directon upon the home.

During the daytime, latches of the children’s rooms would go up and down along the hallway with no one present.  At night, the sound of ratcheting wheels and spilling coins would be heard throughout the house, even as all family members were tucked in bed.  The famiy did not own an instrument that could make the noise, and did not leave bags of coins in the kitchen.

As the family tried to sleep, pewter plates and glass bottles would clank and rattle each other down in the kitchen.  Actually, the frequency of the oppression was such that the young girls just thought it was fun.  Mysterious knocks and groaning would take place at odd times during the day. 

It sounds to us like a current episode of Most Haunted.   The manifestations could be experienced in all sections of the house, except, interestingly enough, in the study of the father.  The father was a pastor.  Often, Susanna Wesley would stamp on the floor, and the oppression would return the favor.

Susanna and her husband realized it commenced as they seriously started to pray as a family.  Apparently the visitation also followed on the heels of the father beginning to preach against witchcraft in the area.  He had turned up the spiritual heat by defining the difference between faith and magic, and spiritual forces were challenging the family. 

When Susanna told it to stop, it would stop.  Family members said that it would even go so far as to materialize in the kitchen, in the form of a white rabbit.  One day Susanna was preparing to shoot it with a gun, but it came and left before the gun could be leveled its way.

This account, from the book The Occult Sciences by Rev. Edward Smedley(1855), was taken from the accounts in Susanna’s diary, as well as that of her husband.

If this can happen in the life of the Wesley brothers, spiritual warfare can happen around ours as well.  Rather than believe the presence was a disembodied spirit of a past human being, the family began to understand it was a dark being.  The Bible tells us the identity, or at least the origin, of these spirits.  They are not past humans, but demonic spirits sent to harass and challenge.  In the end, the Lord gave the Wesley family victory and this family, in turn, gave us John and Charles.  John went on to change the world through a revival called Methodism, and Charles wrote many of our hymns.  To them, spiritual warfare was not a joke.  Christianity was not merely reduced to a philosophy of life, but an encounter with a living God and salvation from darkness.

In my next post, I want to talk about the two prevailing views of what ghosts happen to be.

God allowed the Wesleys to experience a deeper level of supernatural things, and the result was a deeper call of commitment from them. 

Whatever may have brought challenges to your life in the past, God specializes in making great things come from them.

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