Freemasonry      Some of the strongest opposition that my teaching has received has been by Masons.  Also, some of the most unusual teaching efforts have been in the climate of Masonry.  I say this because Masons often deny doctrinal assignments and, yet, they maintain that they have taken an oath of secrecy; therefore, they cannot discuss the matter.  However, the mystique and esoteric nature of Freemasonry has long ago been disclosed.  One authority relative to Freemasonry wrote:      "Freemasonry alone has no secret doctrine. Its philosophy is open to the world. Its modes of recognition by which it secures identification and its rites and ceremonies which are its method of instruction, alone are secret. All men may know the tenets of the Masonic creed."(Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Mackey, One Volume edition, p. 799).      In 1970, there were an estimated four million Masons in the United States comprising the order of Freemasonry (A New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, pg. 34).  Many believe that during the last ten years, Freemasonry has experienced a revival; therefore, the present numbers are probably much greater.      Some view Freemasonry as simply an innocent fraternal order made up of men who simply are attempting to benefit humanity without any effort to compose a religious order, as such; much less, a religious order that is replete with false doctrine and idolatrous practices and views of God. There are a number of recognized works one can consult to ascertain the basic nature and tenets of Freemasonry. Works such as Lightfoot's Manual of the Lodge, Morals and Dogma, the Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, and Duncan's Masonic Ritual and Monitor. Duncan's Masonic Ritual and Monitor contains the rites and ceremonies of the first seven degrees of the York Rite of Freemasonry. Morals And Dogma of the Ancient And Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry was written by Albert Pike, a thirty-third degree Mason. Albert G. Mackey, who was also a thirty-third degree Mason, and probably the greatest Freemason scholar of all time, authored the Encyclopedia of Freemasonry. These works are viewed as authoritative and accurate in setting forth the beliefs and practices of Freemasonry and they, together with other works, shall be used to succinctly present Freemasonry from a biblical perspective.      The origin of Freemasonry.  Tracing and establishing the precise inception of Freemasonry is difficult, if not impossible.  One thing we do know, Freemasonry is not as ancient as some of the proponents of Freemasonry want us to believe.  One thing used to confuse is operative Masonry is admittedly ancient (stone craft) and some deliberately confuse operative Masonry with modern speculative Freemasonry.  Consider the following statement from Albert Pike:      "It sits apart from all sects and creeds, in its own calm and simple dignity, the same under every government. It is still that which it was in the cradle of the human race, when no human foot had trodden the soil of Assyria and Egypt, and no colonies had crossed the Himalayas into Southern India, Media, or Etrusia." (Morals and Dogma, Pike, pg. 153).      One reason Freemasonry is difficult to trace back in time is because many of its conceptual views and practices are commonly seen as characteristic of a number of pagan religions (the symbolism, rites, etc.).   However, many historians site the year 1717 A. D. as an important year relative to Freemasonry (theYork Rite).  The year 1717 is actually sited by some as the official introduction of Freemasonry.  However, it could be that 1717 marked the convergence of certain doctrines that came to be what we know as Freemasonry, this writer's observation.  Regardless, it is evident that Freemasonry does not go back to the time of Solomon and Moses, as some claim.  Moreover, ancient and pristine Christianity knows nothing of Freemasonry (see addendum).  Esteemed Masonic scholar Albert Mackey wrote:      "Many y