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masonic matters

Belief in a Supreme Being

by Ed Halpaus
Grand Lodge Education Officer
Grand Lodge of A. F. & A. M. of Minnesota

“The True Art of Memory is the art of attention.” Samuel Johnson

One of the qualifications of a man becoming a Mason; is a belief in a Supreme Being, whom we might as men refer to by different names. When we pray in a Masonic Lodge or at a Masonic function we refer to Him as The Great Architect of the Universe. Sometimes Freemasonry is chided by our critics and enemies for using this term, as it is a euphemism which they say is disrespectful. I think some things are quite interesting, and I found one of those things when I was actually on my way through some books looking for information on another subject.

I certainly am not anything close to a scholar when it comes to the Great Light of Masonry, but I sure do enjoy reading and learning from the Holy Bible. Well I happened to run across another euphemism in the book of Isaiah, and found that the euphemism in that book is also used in some other parts of what some of us call the Old Testament. In the book of Isaiah God is referred to as “The Holy One of Israel;” not once but 26 times.

By the way reading in the Bible, in my opinion, is a good thing to do. When we read in the Great Light of Masonry we are reading thoughts and messages of people who lived a very long time ago. For instance, Isaiah (who wrote much of the book of Isaiah if not all of it) wrote during the time of his ministry which was from about 740 to 681 BCE, which is the year he may have died.

Isaiah is among the Latter Prophets of the Bible, and is sometimes referred to by Scholars as the Prince of the Prophets. There is a verse in Isaiah that is used sometimes to illustrate the meaning of the term “raised” as it is used to illustrate the immortality of the soul.[i] I like the translation used in the New Living Translation, (NLT.) Isaiah 26:19 says, “Yet we have this assurance: Those who belong to God will live; their bodies will rise again! Those who sleep in the earth will rise up and sing for joy! For God’s light of life will fall like dew on his people in the place of the dead!”

One of the references to the term The Holy One of Israel, can be found in chapter 41 of Isaiah; 41:19 “I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah[ii] tree, and the myrtle, and the oil[iii] tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together:” 41:20 “That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.” [KJV]

“Even on the springboard of success, you have to bounce a little.” Zig Ziglar

From “The Great Light of Freemasonry: = “Hope deferred makes the heart sick; but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12 [NKJV]

“There is a wicked inclination in most people to suppose an old man decayed in his intellect. If a young or middle-aged man, when leaving a company, does not recollect where he laid his hat, it is nothing; but if the same inattention is discovered in an old man, people will shrug their shoulders, and say, ‘his memory is going.” Samuel Johnson

There is no proof that Samuel Johnson was a Freemason, but Mackey has said “the probabilities in favor of his having been one are much weightier than the probabilities against.” However there was a Samuel Johnson who was a member of Old Dundee Lodge of Wrapping, England. This Brother Johnson was made a Master Mason on July 9, 1767. Whether this is the Samuel Johnson who was such a prolific writer no one seems to know for sure.[iv]

“Memory is the treasurer to whom we must give funds, if we would draw the assistance we need,”

Do you like the slogan at the bottom of Masonic Matters?[v] This slogan was the brain child of M.W. Brother Neil Neddermeyer, Immediate Past Grand Master of Minnesota. Well Brother Michael McMillan, of South Pueblo Lodge #31 in Pueblo Colorado, with Brother Neil’s permission, has had that slogan put on a bumper sticker, and they look great. They are 3"x11 1/2" and blue on white. Brother McMillan is making these bumper stickers available to us for the nominal cost of $1 each. He tells me he can put two, folded in half, in a #10 envelope and mail it for one ounce of postage, so if you would like one or more of these great bumper stickers just send Brother McMillan $1 for each bumper sticker you want and a SASE he will he happy to send them out. Two bumper stickers in an envelope will go in the U.S. mail for .37 and up to 5 bumper stickers will go with an envelope for .60 U.S. Postage. As far as I’m concerned these are a decent bargain at one buck plus an envelope and postage. I obviously like Brother Neil’s slogan, because I began using it in Masonic Matters as soon as I heard it, and got M.W. Brother Neil’s permission. Brother Mike has plenty of bumper stickers on hand so be sure to get one for each car, and possibly some extra to give as a gift to a Brother or two. Send to Brother Michael L. McMillan 56 Amherst Ave. Pueblo, CO 81005-1626

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” Robert Byrne

I came across some interesting information about a benediction that is given sometimes at Masonic and other types of gatherings, and I’m certain you will recognize it. But you may not have known that it is in the Bible. This Benediction was given to Moses by God. It is found in the book of Numbers.[vi]

Numbers 6: 24 -26 is called the Aaronic Benediction. This is what my Study Bible[vii] has to say about these verses: The three fold repetition of the Divine name Yahweh, (the Lord,) is for emphasis in verse 27 and the verses are progressively longer, (in the Hebrew text the first verse has 3 words, the second verse has 5 words, and the third verse has 7 words.) The benediction is echoed in Psalm 67:1.ere Here are verses from Numbers 6:22 – 27 from the KJV of the Great Light of Masonry.

6:22 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 6:23 Speak unto Aaron and unto his sons, saying, on this wise ye shall bless the children of Israel, saying unto them,
6:24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
6:25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
6:26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
6:27 And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them.

Here are the same three verses 6:24-26 in the Hebrew language showing the sentences with 3, 5, & 7 words. these verses of the Aaronic Benediction are in Hebrew without vowels. This can be found at


[i] Masonic Concordance of the Holy Bible #752 Body, raising of – Masonic Book Club 1984
[ii] Shitta Tree also known in other translations as Acacia.
[iii] Oil Tree = Olive Tree
[iv] 10,000 Famous Freemasons by William R. Denslow
[v] Political Freedom, Religious Tolerance, Personal Integrity; Freemasonry – it’s not for everyone.
[vi] The five books of Moses are also known as the Pentateuch
[vii] Zondervan NIV Study Bible, revised 2002

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