|I was born May 28, 1928. I was Born Again (Saved) by the wonderful, marvelous, matchless grace of God in the month of July 1955. I heard the gospel and was convicted of my sins. I saw myself lost and on the road to hell without any hope whatsoever. Therefore, for a period of time I was restless, and afraid to go to sleep, knowing if I should die in this condition I would go straight to hell. In those days a person heard more preaching about hell than you do now. I put off trusting the Lord Jesus for some time, then one day after being so troubled about my lost condition I came to my senses and called upon the Lord to save me, and He did. Praise God He didn't give up one me! I trusted Him 100% for the salvation of my soul and at that moment I received eternal life, and will never, no never perish. God gave me a great hunger for His Word and a great desire to go to Church and learn via listening to the preachers and teachers. I also got into the Bible to study and learn all I could in this God breathed Book, the Divinely Inspired Scriptures. After a while I found out it was not always easy to study, for we must depend on the Holy Spirit to enlighten us and give us an understanding heart. I learned that the devil does his best to keep us out of the Book, and when we study he will try to confuse us if he can, therefore we must prayerfully study the Precious Word of God. God kept speaking to me via His Word, and the Holy Spirit was dealing with me, and finally in the month of July 1956 I answered God's call to preach His precious Word. I was just a country plow boy saved by God's grace, but very backward, bashful and not able to communicate with people very well. God brought be out of all this and changed my life completely. To Him be ALL the glory! He certainly did some miracles in my life in short order. All I am or ever hope to be, I owe it all to the Lord Jesus Christ. I found out that I am what I am by the grace of God, nothing more, nothing less, to God be All the Glory! Praise God for all these years He has blessed me to live and preach His Precious Word, not because of my being worthy, but because of His Sovereignty. He can do what He wills to do, anytime He wills to do it, involving whomsoever He wills to involve and He is always right regardless of what anyone says or thinks. Praise God also for my precious wife who has stood with me and by be all these years. We celebrated our 58th Wedding Anniversary 11/13/06 and 60th in 2008. Our marriage vows are still in effect, as much so as the day we were wed. Again, I will say, "to God be ALL the glory!
Before reading the second
part of 'My Testimony' please read God's
Word beginning with the Scriptures in II Corinthians 6:14-18; and chapter 7 verse 1.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord (agreement) hath Christ with Belial? (Belial, worthlessness, wickedness or wicked one, the devil). Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (unbeliever). And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not unclean thing, and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Chapter 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord.”
These verses of Scripture are very plain and we should accept them at face value. Any thing offensive to God should be shunned. In order to do so we must follow the leading of the Holy Spirit because He will lead us in the path of righteousness. Making no excuse for myself, but as a young Christian, I was all fired up and wanted to reach as many people as I could for Christ. I really didn’t know much about the Bible and didn’t totally depend on the Lord. I got all involved in something I shouldn’t have, and very soon I came face to face with this sin. I had been listening to people, and watching them instead of listening to God, therefore He got my attention. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to correct us, let’s look in II Timothy 3:16;
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
Comment; That the man of God may be proficient, capable, thoroughly equipped to do good works. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to make us suitable for His Service.
A Christian can't please the Lord and stay in His will, by being yoked up with unbelievers such as Jews, Muslims, and other religions, who reject, and do not accept Christ as the only Savior. People in different religious groups, other than Christians, are allowed in masonry. I know that some local lodges do not have any of these, but Nationally and Internationally it is different. The fact is, according to the rules of masonry Christ isn't to be mentioned in the Lodges.
If you are a saved mason, read the following with an open mind and humble spirit, depending
on the Holy Spirit to give you an understanding heart. Please open you heart to the truth I have
given about masonry. I absolutely will not fight with anyone about the information I have given,
but I will help anyone who will consent. I will love and pray for you, no matter what. OK?
This testimony is not written to belittle anyone.
There are many masons who are moral, good citizens,
honest, truthful, outstanding people in society and do
many good deeds and are very gracious. Nevertheless I am
compelled to give my testimony, being an ex-mason. If I
didn't tell you the truth I would be your enemy, not
your friend. The following testimony is absolutely true.
I give it with love and compassion for all. I pray God
will use it to inform and enlighten. Just remember this
is given with a loving spirit, not out of a spirit of
animosity. I have books written by masons, I have books
written about the Masonic Order, and I have the Bible,
(God's Holy Word). It Is The Final Authority. There are
no doubt many Christians in the Lodge. We are to loved each other in spite of our differences. That is the way it is supposed to be, if we love the Lord we will love each other, even though we may disagree on some things, there should be love and respect for each other. We can disagree, but we should never be disagreeable. I was saved when I became a mason, saved when I withdrew, and will forever be saved, as Fanny Crosby wrote, "His child and forever I am." People are not lost because they are masons, and are not saved because of church membership. John 3:16,17,18,"For God so love the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." Failing to believe (trust) in Jesus for salvation will condemn one's soul to hell, but those who trust Him will be saved. For it is only by grace through faith in the Wonderful & Only Savior we are saved.
THE "CHRIST OF CALVARY" IS OUR ONLY HOPE!!!
Jesus spoke to Thomas, and is speaking to all, through His Precious Word; Jesus saith unto him," I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."
The testimony of an ex-mason with a heart of love for all Masons and malice toward none, because of the love of God shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit. I have no problem with morality and good deeds of the Masons, but I do have a problem with the theology of the Masonic Order, not the masons per se. The late Albert Pike, a Mason and authority on Masonry said in his book "Morals & Dogma" p.226; "Masonry, around whose altar the Christians, the Hebrew, the Moslem, etc. can assemble as brethren and unite in prayer to the one God who is above all the Baalim." In light of this statement, the god of Masonry is not the God of the Bible. Baalim
is plural for Baal (false gods or idols, also the
deities or false gods of the Canaanites). See Judges Ch.
11.I had been saved about two years when I joined the
Masonic order, not having been advised against it. I
joined against my better judgment and the will of God.
Therefore, I was never completely satisfied in the
Lodge. Before I joined the Lodge I was influenced by
several Masons. One was my brother, a 32 degree Mason; another was a minister. I thought at the time by joining the Order I would be able to reach more people for Christ. I soon found out I was wrong. To be really effective in our witnessing for the Lord, we must live a consecrated life, ( separated unto the Lord Jesus Christ) to serve Him.
My older brother thought and expressed his belief that
by being a Mason and living by the rules and teachings
of the organization, one could get to Heaven. After I
withdrew from the Lodge, I talked with my brother and
thank God he listened to me. Later he came to hear me
preach the Gospel and came to realize that Jesus was the
only way of salvation and that he must trust Him to be
saved. Praise God!-he was saved and baptized. To God be
all the glory! My oldest brother ( also a minister) and
I had the wonderful privilege of baptizing our brother who later went on to be with the Lord, because of his trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and Lord. Praise God! he saw his need of Christ, the Wonderful and only Savior, who is The Way, The Truth, and The Life. In the Masonic "Blue Book", the latter part of a prayer at funerals reads: "---and after our departure in peace, and in Thy favor, may we be received into Thine everlasting kingdom, to enjoy in union with the souls of our departed friends, the just rewards of a pious and virtuous life. Amen!" Not one word is mentioned in reference to the Lord Jesus Christ, our wonderful and only Savior! Therefore, I absolutely could not live a double life, with double standards, preaching salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,-the only way anyone can be saved,- and at the same time be yoked up with people in an organization that teaches salvation by works, bypassing the Cross and advocating a false hope by way of a pious and virtuous life, when the Bible says, "...it is not of works lest any man should boast", but by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 4:12 says, "Neither is there salvation in any other (speaking of Christ) for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart, using the Word of God to convict me of my sin, and bring me to the final decision to withdraw from the Lodge. My prayer for all saved Masons is that they will prayerfully study God's Word and believe it, for God forbids believers being yoked up with unbelievers, (2 Cor.6:14-18). My prayer for the lost is that they will repent of their sins and trust the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour and Lord. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD." (Rom. 6:23). GIFT OF GOD emphasizes God's unmerited favor to mankind.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
BELIEF IN CHRIST is a definite act of faith by which you receive the LORD JESUS as your ONLY HOPE FOR ETERNAL LIFE.
Dr. John R. Rice's book "Lodges Examined By The Bible" was helpful in bringing me to the final decision to withdraw from the Lodge. My testimony has gone across the US & and into over 100 countries of the world by way of the printed page, "The Sword of The Lord" and "The Baptist Banner."
I'm grateful for the editors and their desire and willingness to print it, that it might be helpful to someone somewhere.
Evangelist R. E. Layne, Th.D.