Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Red Dynasty: The Reemergence of Royal Arch in Freemasonry

Written by Excellent Companion Rev. John L. Hairston,
Grand Historian-MEPHGC-HRAM-WA

"And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation. And thou shalt put therein the ark of testimony and cover the ark with a veil."
Exodus 40:1 (KJV)

The Excellent High Priest looks to his Captain of the Host and asks:

"Where were you made a Royal Arch Mason?"

The Companion returns his answer and provides a prophetic jewel in the midst of this exchange. He informs the Convocation that they were assembled in a place REPRESENTING the TABERNACLE built by the ancient brethren. But more importantly, he informs them of the location of this NEW TABERNACLE; he states that they built on territory NEAR THE RUINS OF KING SOLOMON'S TEMPLE.

Behind the Veil

The word "REPRESENTING" implies that there is symbolism involved, that we should be looking beyond what is presently stated, and travelling into the dimension of implementation. The symbolism serves a veil that awaits the drawing away by those who recognize the light illuminating from behind the curtain.

The Tabernacle

The Tabernacle was a mobile Temple. It was built specifically with MOVEMENT in mind. The Children of Israel were in route to Canaan, through the wilderness, and they were instructed to build an edifice where the Most High God could come and abide among the people. They were instructed to build this movable Temple, this TENT of CONGREGATION (Assembly) and as we see in Exodus 40:34, "...a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the Tabernacle." 

The most important thing to grasp, is that this Tabernacle was the place to meet and interact with the glory of God, and it was built for MOVEMENT.

King Solomon's Temple

In Freemasonry, King Solomon's Temple is a representation of the Blue Lodge: The ground floor, middle chamber and the UNFINISHED Holy of Holies. All of the assemblies of the Blue Lodge were here. The Temple of Solomon was magnificent, it was luxurious and steeped in opulence. It was the center of the Jewish Nation and the object of envy of other nations with Temples, but nothing like Solomon's Temple.

But, because of disobedience, rebellion and deviation from the Law and Landmarks, that Temple found itself in RUINS. The Babylonians came and ransacked the Temple and raided it of its opulence and wealth, and left it abandoned, desolate and impoverished. It remained in this condition until Nehemiah approached Cyrus with the proposal to rebuild the Temple.

The New Tabernacle

Acknowledge how the ritual now deviates from the narrative in the Scriptures; rather than calling the new edifice a Temple, the ritual calls it a TABERNACLE, giving indication that there was a return to the ORIGINAL PATTERN. A return to the MOBILE and MOVING Temple. This New tabernacle wasn't built OVER the ruins of the OLD RUINED PATTERN, but NEAR it, so as to CONTRAST the conditions of them both. We can see the message being voiced through the ruins of KST, "Here I am desolate because I deviated from what the creator intended, let me become a lesson that you preserve this NEW TABERNACLE with."

The Red Dynasty

I am a ROYAL ARCH Mason to my heart. I believe that it was divine timing that placed it rightfully in the fold of ancient craft masonry in 1813. I believe that Royal Arch masonry is building and emerging near the decline in Craft Masonry. I believe that Royal Arch masons are the vanguard of the Sacred Word (Manifest glory). I believe that Royal Arch Masonry is the resurrection of ancient Craft Masonry in the respective Jurisdictions. If Craft Masonry is making good men better, then it is those better men that compose a Chapter of Holy Royal Arch masons.

Royal Arch Masonry preserves the ancient landmarks (Tabernacle) that many of the members of the Lodges are seeking to be returned to the Craft. They are seeking Movement. The Movement is embedded in the very nature of Royal Arch Freemasonry. The Word isn't dormant or immobile, it is vibrant, creative and moving. The Word seeks and demands manifestation, it moves to become LIFE, REAL, TANGIBLE...

"The value of Royal Arch Masonry will be justly appreciated by all who are Exalted to that Most Sublime Degree, particularly by those who are seeking ·to complete their Masonic education. It reveals the full light of Ancient Craft masonry, presents it as a complete system in accordance with the original plan and confers at last the rights and light of a Master Mason in fact as well as in name."


  1. By expressing your religious intentions in your Royal Arch tabernacle, are you able to Separate them from your Prince Hall meetings? Or do you also bring your Judaeo/Christian worship with your to Lodge? I am a member of a Blue Lodge and I know we all come from different churches or no church and I'm glad none of that is brought into our meetings (or should not) as I want to meet on the level and Religion often causes separation (or always does?). I appreciate and benefit from your love of history and work ethic towards sharing what you have found. Thank you.