History of Freemasonry
Some Freemasons have become so consumed with their secret society and new found secrets, that they go to great extremes of building fables and fairy tales of the greatness and antiquity of their group. Although all records limit any recorded history of any form of secret societies to 1326 A.D., and the first initiation into Freemasonry to 1634 A.D., these men have played a game of trying to tie this sect all the way back to Solomon's Temple. They built a mythical story about Hiram, the Gentile King whom Solomon hired to build the Temple, to trace their origin! The "Duncan's Ritual and Monitor", glorifies Hiram, a gentile unbeliever, as the "greatest man in the world" (page 88) and their "Worshipful Grand Master" (page 114). I have disarmed this false teaching in the link noted above as scripture shows that Hiram was never killed during the building of the Temple as Masons teach! Although the ungodly teachings of the Kabbalah, Gnosticism, mysticism and magik, used in the rituals of the Lodge, have a long historical record reaching back to those days of old, the recorded history of the Masonic Lodge as we know it today is of recent origin!
According to the Wikipedia Encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemasonry) as well as the Masonic web pages I will note below, no real evidence of the existence of Freemasonry predates the 14th - 15th century A.D. Some historians, according to Wikipedia, claim that Freemasonry, as we know it today, only dates back to the 17th century in England! Until the 17th century, there were only "operative" Masons, which are "stonemasons" who actively built buildings. "Speculative" Masons, men who do not actively build or even have knowledge of how to build, began being admitted as early as 1634! Wikipedia declares that the secret signs and initiation rituals in current day Freemasonry is of recent origin, NOT an outgrowth of these medieval stonemasons:
"It is thought by many that Freemasonry cannot be a straightforward outgrowth of medieval guilds of stonemasons. Amongst the reasons given for this conclusion, well documented in Born in Blood, are the fact that stonemasons' guilds do not appear to predate reasonable estimates for the time of Freemasonry's origin, that stonemasons lived near their worksite and thus had no need for secret signs to identify themselves, and that the "Ancient Charges" of Freemasonry are nonsensical when thought of as being rules for a stonemasons' guild." (Wikipedia Encyclopedia)
Although current day Masons take pride in their craft and build unsubstantiated theories that the Masonic Lodge dates back into ancient days of old, predating the days of Christ, we can find no real evidence of its existence prior the 14th -15th century A.D.! The earliest record of any sort, by which the Masonic Lodge could lay their hat that "any form" of secret societies were forming, can be found in the "Concilium Avenionense" of 1326 A.D., in which the Church attacks secret societies, describing them with such words as: fraternal assistance, signs, tokens, obligations and election of Masters. You will find these Masonic web pages by the Grand Lodge of British Colombia will confirm that, prior to 1326 A.D., no record whatsoever of the existence of Freemasonry can be found!
"Although not a masonic reference the earliest reference to secret societies was the Decree XXXVII, columns 763-4, vol. 25 of the "Concilium Avenionense" of 1326, in which the Church attacks secret societies, describing them with such words as: fraternal assistance, signs, tokens, obligations and election of Masters."
"...the first appearance of the word 'Freemason' occurs in the Statutes of the Realm enacted in 1495 by Henry VII, however, most other documentary evidence prior to the 1500's appears to relate entirely to operative Masons rather than speculative ones. 1583 is the date of the Grand Lodge manuscript, and more frequent mention of lodges is made in documents from this time onwards." (Wikipedia Encyclopedia) confirmed on Masonic web page http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/history/early.html
Any and all testimonies of Freemasons claiming the existence of the Masonic Lodge "in any form whatsoever" prior to the 1300's, is pure speculation and has absolutely NO credible evidence by admission of their own researchers. Although secret societies were being noted as early as 1326, it would appear, that the rituals used in joining the Masonic Lodge are of recent origin!
"The first record of an initiation in an English lodge is 16 October 1646...There is no extant ritual, minutes or descriptions and no primary evidence of masonic activity in the 17th century. ...The documented history of Craft freemasonry starts in 1717." http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/texts/transitiontheory.html
The Masonic Lodge as we know it today, had its full indoctrination in the year 1717 in London, England! The third degree of the Lodge, appeared around 1725!
"In 1717, four Lodges which met, respectively, at the "Apple-Tree Tavern, the Crown Ale-House near Drury Lane, the Goose and Gridiron in St. Paul's Churchyard, and the Rummer and Grapes Tavern in Westminster" in London, England joined together and formed the first Grand Lodge, the Grand Lodge of England (GLE). The years following saw new Grand Lodges open throughout England and Europe, as the new Freemasonry spread rapidly. How much of this was the spreading of Freemasonry itself, and how much was the public organization of pre-existing secret Lodges, is not possible to say with certainty. The GLE in the beginning did not have the current three degrees, but only the first two. The third degree appeared, so far as we know, around 1725." (Wikipedia Encyclopedia)
On Sept. 11th 1826, the murder of Captain William Morgan was orchestrated by 6 Lodges and 69 Masonic members when Morgan, a 30 year veteran of the lodge, published the Masonic rituals. Afterwards, U.S. President John Quincy Adams unsuccessfully attempted to bring these men to justice. The short lived Anti-Masonic political party was formed and Masonry was almost brought to extinction.
"ANTI-MASONIC PARTY - A political Party that arose as an indirect result of the William Morgan abduction and as a direct result of percieved Masonic abuses of privilege...... William Morgan, who resided at the time in Batavia, New York, was, on September 14, 1826, arrested on a charge of petit larceny, and imprisoned in the jail at Canandaigua. While confined there, he was kidnapped by several men and conveyed in a closed carriage across the country to Ft. Niagara, where public knowledge of his whereabouts ceased for a time. Later, judicial investigations were instigated to solve the mystery of his disappearance. It was established that Morgan had been initiated into Masonry at some time previous to coming to Batavia. Becoming incensed against certain Masons, he resolved to publish the secrets of Freemasonry and prepared a manuscript with that purpose in view. This aroused the more radical Masons who were accused of burning a printing office in an effort to destroy the documents. It was also brought out that those who kidnapped Morgan from the jail and took him to Ft. Niagara were Masons. During the investigation and trial of the accused Masons, public sentiment was raised to a high pitch of excitement by the charge that Masons were hindering justice and seeking to prevent the truth from being divulged." http://www.masonicdictionary.com/antimasonic.html
It is known, that Albert Pike, almost single-handedly, re-birthed the Lodge again in the U.S., and is the father of the current day Masonic Lodge! One of his Masonic titles was “Sovereign Pontiff of Lucifer.” Pike also helped to start the Ku Klux Klan, an anti-Negro group. Negroes cannot join the Masonic Lodge, and therefore started their own Lodge called "Prince Hall" Masonry! Masonry continues to be racist today!
"While Freemasonry as an organisation does not directly involve itself in politics, its members have tended over the years to support certain kinds of political causes with which they have become associated: the separation of church and state, the replacement of religiously-affiliated schools with secular public schools, and democratic revolutions." (Wikipedia Encyclopedia)
Jesus Christ and John the Baptist
Some Masons today, who are so caught up in idolizing the Lodge, have even made some very poor attempts to make claims that Jesus Christ and John the Baptist were both Freemasons! With no evidence whatsoever of secret societies predating 1326 A.D., I would like you to note that Jesus was a Carpenter, not a stonemason. There is no record anywhere that Jesus was part of any secret society. You might also note, that several scriptures declare that Jesus was against any and all secrets.
Luke 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
John 18:20 Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.
Eph 5:11-13 And stop participating in the unfruitful works of the darkness, but instead, even be exposing [them]. For it is disgraceful even to speak of the [things] being done by them in secret. But all the [things] exposed by the light are revealed, for every [thing] revealed is light. (ALT)
There is no record anywhere that John the Baptist was a stonemason! You might recall that prior to 1634 A.D., which is the earliest record of an "initiated" Freemason, that all "masons" were "operative" masons. That means they were stonemasons building stone buildings. John the Baptist was a prophet and lived off the land, not a stonemason!
Much of the information here can be found on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knights_Templar
If Freemasons could prove indisputably, that they are direct descendants of the Knights Templars, that would only identify their beginnings to have taken place as far back as 1118 A.D., not Solomons Temple! One of the reasons why Masons like to identify themselves with the Templars, may be found in the legends that arose after the demise of the Templars.
The Knights Templar later became surrounded by legends concerning secrets and mysteries handed down to the select from ancient times. Perhaps most well known are those concerning the Holy Grail, the Ark of the Covenant, and secrets of building. (Wikipedia Encyclopedia)
Although the Knights Templar ceased to exist in and around 1307 A.D., Freemasons today take pride in trying to link themselves to this group.
Some historians and authors have tried to draw a link from Freemasonry and its many branches to the Templars, with some Masonic organizations claiming a direct descent from them. This alleged link remains a point of debate. (Wikipedia Encyclopedia)
Although the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry has adopted their names, and even implemented some of the rituals of the Templars into their own, the fact remains that the Templars were not Freemasons! They were not even “operative stonemasons” but rather a military group dedicated to warfare.
.... the majority of the Knights Templar were dedicated to warfare. It was primarily a military order directly responsible only to the Pope. (Wikipedia Encyclopedia)
The Knights Templar was founded in 1118 A.D. in the aftermath of the First Crusade of 1096, to help the new Kingdom of Jerusalem maintain itself against the hostile Muslims. The Templars quickly found themselves operating as bankers. The Templars demise took place around 1307 when Philip the Fair of France had them arrested and tortured into admitting heresy, possibly in an attempt to gain control of their power and money. Jacques de Molay was one of those whom Philip accused of heresy and had him burned at the stake.
The Templars got into banking almost by accident. When members joined the order, they often donated large amounts of cash or property to the order since all had to take oaths of poverty. Combined with massive grants from the Pope, their financial power was assured from the beginning. (Wikipedia Encyclopedia)
On Oct. 13, 1307, what may have been all the Knights Templar in France were simultaneously arrested by agents of Philip the Fair, later to be tortured into admitting heresy in the Order. The dominant view is that Philip, who seized the treasury and broke up the monastic banking system, was jealous of the Templars' wealth and power, and sought to control it for himself. (Wikipedia Encyclopedia)
In the end, the only three accused of heresy directly by the papal commission were Jacques de Molay and his two immediate subordinates; they were to renounce their heresy publicly, when de Molay regained his courage and proclaimed the order's and his innocence, along with one of his companions. The two were arrested by French authorities as relapsed heretics and burned at the stake in 1314. (Wikipedia Encyclopedia)
Conclusion of Templar/Mason link
In conclusion, the Freemasons of today are enamored by the mysticism and secrecy of the Templars, especially by the legends of the treasures of the Templars. As seen on the recent 2004 movie “National Treasure,” the Masons have an intrigue over the secrets of lost, hidden, treasures that can only be found through uncovering secrets of the symbols of the Masonic Lodge.
In the Christian faith, those who place all of their faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ, can find the greatest treasure of all, eternal life in the Kingdom of God. Yet, the Masonic Lodge has created their own, ungodly search for earthly treasures. As Nicholas Cage, the lead actor in “National Treasure”, had to deal with obstacles to overcome by having complete faith in the leads and symbols of Freemasonry, he was able to find this hidden treasure which ends up being buried deep under the ground in Washington D.C.
So while those who are involved in Freemasonry, have a misdirected faith and trust in a Lodge which will burn up at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, those who wish to find true treasure, will forsake this carnal lust, and seek the true riches which can only be found in Jesus Christ!
If you wish to find TRUE antiquity and mysteries that will completely blow your mind, search the line of truth, back to the Garden of Eden, where God the Father has desired a personal relationship with man, which was lost because of sin, but regained for those who will repent and turn to Jesus Christ!
Every Mason has religion and belief in “a” god, but not a single Mason, has a relationship with the living God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Every Mason that has found the real treasure, an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, has forsaken the Lodge and its dead-end search for earthly, perishable, treasures!
Col. 1:26-28, 2:2-3
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;  In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.