In this post I will identify the first of the three types. For those of you who have been faithfully following this series you have likely deduced the three types by now…
On the surface, the original Pharisees didn’t look so bad. They were dedicated (one may say ultra-dedicated) to their belief system. Outwardly, it looked as though they were faithfully following the Word of God. They overtly held the Word of God in high honor. But this must be qualified. Their emphasis was not actually on the entire Word. As many Christians today, they had their prejudices and were quite selective regarding Scripture, though they convinced themselves otherwise. Regarding this practice, and how they made their supposed application thereof, the Hebrew Scriptures of that time (the OT) had a different format than that which we have today in our “Christian” Bibles. Their Scriptures consisted of three main divisions:
(1) The Law (Torah, or “Teaching”), which comprised the Pentateuch, the first five books of the OT
(2) The Prophets, which included not only the individual accounts of the Major and Minor Prophets but also the earlier historical books of Joshua, Judges, Kings, and Samuel
(3) The Writings (the remainder of the OT, primarily the Psalms, which the Lord referred to often)
The Pharisees were specifically very high on The Law. They emphasized the teachings of Moses. And though Moses was certainly a prophet, they didn’t necessarily see him that way nor do most Christians. They saw Moses as the great lawgiver and ostensible head of the nation in that he revealed all the particulars of how they should live.
Moses (1526-1406BC) predated the kings of Israel and the many prophets, both the well-known and the not so much, which arose several centuries later. The Pharisees certainly had respect for Abraham (1946-1771BC), but focused primarily on the Law and neglected (often spurned) The Prophets.
The latter is due in part because the Pharisees (Separated Ones) originated at a time which was already far into the “Silent Years” in which the prophetic voice was entirely absent from the nation. Regarding a specific date of their founding, some say it coincided with the beginning of the Maccabean Revolt in 167BC. However, there had likely already been a loose organization by that time which may have existed for a few decades which rapidly coalesced in response to the attack and desecrations of Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
The last Hebrew prophet was Malachi in approximately 450-420BC. Therefore, since there were no longer any prophets or prophetic voice speaking to the nation in what remained of Israel (primarily Judea) after that date, the entire focus shifted to The Law, since this was the area of expertise of the Tribe of Levi, along with the temple and its ceremonies, rites, etc. The Levites were the only ones remaining in authority in charge of anything “spiritual,” so to speak. Lacking the very necessary prophetic Word and the highly anointed Prophets to balance them out, correct them, and keep them in line (theses two camps often clashed), it is not difficult to see how the nation drifted away from the heart of God and proceeded to emphasized dogma, laws, rites, externals, liturgies, and unbridled religious authority from an ecclesiastical caste which superseded the heart of the Lord as characterized through the prophetic writings.
Which made it all the more strange that the Pharisees and their precursors effectively dishonored the Law. How did they do this? First of all, one may recall the apostle Paul’s admonitions about the letter of the Law and the Spirit of the Law:
But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. [Romans 7:6]
Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. [2Corinthians 3:4-6]
Those who look at The Law from a strictly legal perspective have a problem with it covertly though they may honor it overtly. The problem? It is not specific enough. Though it contains a great many laws (613), including the ceremonial directives, it correspondingly contains behavioral commands about what to do and what not to do and lists many “for instance” particulars which are very specific. It also defines sin. Yet it cannot possibly list all the sins known to man and could not possibly list all the possible “for instances” that might occur. So even though it appears to be a comprehensive collection of all conceivable thou shalts and shalt nots that would satisfy the strictest Torah teachers and certainly everyone else, who would otherwise think it to be much too extensive and far-reaching (and extremely difficult to follow and obey), there were some who thought it to be quite limited.
Why? Because they could conjure up other specific particulars that Moses never addressed. In their defense, they likely experienced such particulars or heard of such and knew as lawyers they must address every possible occurrence. So while God was giving specific laws through Moses these laws were seen as somewhat general laws and needed to be further parsed out. This is why the Torah teachers, over several centuries, began adding greater specificity to the original Torah so as to have an answer for pretty much any eventuality. All these additional “laws” were collected over time and became quite extensive. And because they could never write all these additional laws down and thereby give them the same legitimacy as the Torah, their vast collection became known as the Oral Law. It was passed down orally over the centuries and collected greater weight and honor along the way.
But this large collection of specific oral additions to the written Law of Moses caused a problem. By attempting to be too fine, the Oral Law had a tendency to lessen the impact of the original. After a while, those guys went even further in their attempt to add to the Law by adding much additional fine tuning to their initial fine tuning. For example, if the Law stated plainly “Don’t Do This,” they would break down all the possibles of what that single command entailed so as to have every possibility covered. One may see this as a good thing in that it merely added greater clarity to the issue, especially since there were penalties involved in breaking such a law, sometimes severe.
But as I alluded to previously, a very strange thing happened. Within the list of further particulars and possibles contained in the Oral Law was the possibility of some particulars which seemed to get one off the hook. In delving into all such possibilities an even stranger occurrence took place. The Torah teachers actually started making laws designed to do that very thing. They eventually created a massive system of statutes that only they were privy to and they learned exactly how to implement them to gain a particular outcome.
Therefore, is it surprising that the Oral Law tended to favor its most loyal supporters, those who actually created it? Is it not a phenomenon in this world that laws are often written to favor those in charge and do damage to perceived political enemies? This was the inherent danger in adding to the Word of God, whether one was sincere or not. Mixing religious prejudicial renderings from the hand of man causes the Word of God to lose its impartial and holy nature.
Remember, this was the “Oral Law.” It was never written down before 70AD when the nation ceased to be. The only way to learn it and know it was by being taught by the few who did, and the only way that could happen was by being an ultra-dedicated student who would honor their Torah teachers (lawyers) exclusively and never question them or their teachings.
Though it may seem obvious to people from without (or should), those people who created, passed on, and taught the Oral Law had actually created an elite Secret Society with its own precise rules and regulations in which only the top members knew what their Oral Law actually stated in total. Most Israelites were apparently completely unaware of these sinister goings-on. Maybe they never noticed because the internal goings-on were always done essentially in secret though in appearance in the open. (There existed a superficial front of legitimacy hiding the actual unspoken agenda.) In other words, the few candidates to become members of the next generation of Oral Law teachers learned their craft in schools which only they attended. The people at large had no idea what went on in such places but were conditioned over time to believe that the Torah schools (in which the Oral Law predominated) were a great and holy enterprise created and supported by God. They learned to never question anything that went on there.
Now, while this was true for the majority of Israelites, whether some actually believed in the institution fully or not but went along with it anyway, there were a few who disagreed. And some of those who disagreed and saw through the false façade of the Oral Law institution and its teachers were strongly opposed. Yet, not having a voice and being appropriately wary of crossing powerful people who had tricked the general public into supporting them and gaining their trust, few ever spoke out. But the time came when the centuries of silence finally ceased. The blessed day arrived when God’s voice returned.
THE AGE-OLD CLASH SUDDENLY REIGNITED
It was the coming of John the Immerser that blew the lid off and exposed them. A Great Awakening had begun. God was intent on exposing this secret society and all others like it which had gained illicit control over the nation and its people to their detriment. We have seen the same thing happen throughout our current Age of Grace which has existed from that time. There have been many occurrences when great corruption was exposed within Christianity in general. We are now living in one of those times.
Never forget that corruption always thrives in secret. John had to be completely and absolutely disconnected from society at large in order to be incorruptible and effective. He did an excellent job. May real Christians in the present be as effective.
It is always the case that a lack of proper accountability results in eventual corruption. When the ability to correct is removed, especially from those who lead and have great power, their corruption will spread throughout whatever it is that they control. When the corrupt controllers have the ability to threaten, coerce, and make demands upon the people they rule over and have the law and the means on their side to carry out their threats, there is no remedy or ability to counteract them outside the Kingdom of God. It is why countries, societies, and yes, religious organizations, should never allow the establishment of a tyrannical government, secret society, ruling class, or religious clergy group to take control because once they do, freedom will be the first casualty. And they will twist everything around for their own benefit.
It is why America, in its original form post Revolution, was the greatest country and form of government ever created. And while America now has an ever increasing amount of domestic enemies, some in very high places, who hate the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and never have any problem ripping apart the Founders and their hope of a place in this world where individual freedom may reign, they never address any better alternative in the world. Even in its present degraded condition, America arguably remains the best country on the planet in the eyes of a likely majority, though freedom is under severe attack and will not last much longer without a powerful corrective.
However, one must know that the necessary corrective will never come from this first type of Christian in America which I identify here. Their political equivalent in the 1770s were the American Tories who continually betrayed the cause of freedom and independence by staunchly siding with the English Crown and Parliament. These people comprised about one third of the American Colonists. Many if not most of them were directly connected economically to the higher money interests in England and Europe which essentially controlled the government of England since the Bank of England was created in 1694. For the Tories, then, it was a power and money issue. Why should they fight against the very hand that feeds them? Why should they sacrifice their comfortable position in American society or allow it to be threatened for a mere political cause?
There are Christian denominations that still exist which were identified as Tory at the time of the American Revolution. They opposed the relatively smaller Protestant denominations who stood for freedom, those who actually had ministers of the Gospel who took up arms and fought for the cause. One particular well known large denomination which still exists today, though a mere shell of what it once was and almost thoroughly taken over by the sinful culture, was so against the American Revolution that many members left the country or went into hiding. They supported the English money-controlled tyrants absolutely. Those that remained refused to fight. And then when the War was over and their side lost, the many members of this denomination suddenly came back out of the woodwork and began evangelizing in America again, taking full advantage of the new religious freedom won in the War. Talk about your blazing hypocrites!
In essence, those who believe in high church, who cannot exist without customary church structures and a ruling clergy, who must be told what to believe and do, who have no desire to do their own research into the written Word, who refuse to put the pure teachings of the Lord Jesus first and always, and who revert to the beliefs of their denomination or church or pastor though such beliefs often clash and disagree with the New Testament, are identified as this first type of Christian. They will stand by as real Christians who honor the Lord Jesus are persecuted. They are the equivalent of the religious acolytes who refuse to get their hands dirty by helping the unfortunate victims of assaulting robbers left dying on the side of the road. They are as the rich man Dives who neglected a destitute Lazarus asking for mere scraps to stay alive and viable. They will rarely do anything which may threaten or sacrifice their standing in church society or as members of a higher group. Their money, salaries, prestige, and success are always more important. They place a high premium on their social status and are mortified if people see them as something other than legitimately mainline.
They are opposed to the total authority of the Lord Jesus, the infilling of the Holy Spirit, and the free exercise of spiritual gifts. They are against the spiritual love and close fellowship as characterized by the originals and their unity in the Spirit. They insist that Christian unity can only exist through an authoritative establishment which must include institutional church structures just as the unbelieving Israelites insisted on the physical temple and its priesthood instead of the Lord’s new spiritual Temple comprised of every single believer as a priest thereof.
They gag at independent Christian home groups or Bible studies. They will only support whatever their church or leaders sanction and nothing else. They cannot see that church as we know it is much different than it was in the beginning. They don’t care about the beginning. They don’t care about Biblical Truth. They much prefer their own respective “Christian” interpretation which is more comfortable, socially acceptable, and not threatening to the devil. They love playing church. No matter how much someone may point out that so much of what they hold dear has no precedent or support in Scripture, they will continually insist they are perfectly satisfied with their interpretations, doctrines, and church formats to the point of actually holding Scripture in contempt. They hate it when Scripture proves them wrong. Even five hundred years after the Protestant Reformation we still have a great many Christians who insist on putting clergyites and church governments on the throne and allow their oppositional pronouncements and beliefs to counteract and overcome the Word of God.
These people are best defined as Christian Pharisees. They are perfectly described by the Lord Jesus in the following passage as He reveals the fallacy of the Pharisees’ vaunted Oral Law (the tradition of the elders), which Unreal Christianity has their own many examples of (extra-Biblical church doctrines, traditions, bylaws, statements of faith, confessions, catechisms, specific denominational beliefs, etc.) which render the Word of God of none effect:
The Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with impure hands?” And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’ Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”
He was also saying to them, “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition. For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, is to be put to death’; but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),’ you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.” [Mark 7:5-13]
© 2022 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued]
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.
“Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” [Matthew 10-13]
In my previous article, I made an attempt to reveal a little light regarding Secret Societies, those mysterious behind-the-scenes organizations often composed of very powerful people.
The United States of America was in part founded by members of such groups. Our first president was a member in good standing of one such Secret Society and never absolved himself of his lifelong membership.
Though not all of those who played principle roles in the formation of this country belonged to secret groups, those who did seemed to play a larger role than those who did not. Such was their power at that time.
Two questions: (1) Because of such facts does it somehow lessen both the necessity and pertinence of the founding this nation, or diminish the individual freedom gained as a result? And (2) What does this have to do with real Christianity?
Glad you asked (or possibly thought of asking).
First of all, in order for a group to be established, stay in existence, and remain viable, it often has to use some form of tact or secrecy. For Christians, such secrecy stems from the very parables the Lord Jesus taught. Rather than a cut-and-dried formulaic approach, He used a parabolic form of revealing truth that demanded the direct participation of His followers.
Instead of the passive forms of indoctrination used by the majority of teachers, religious hucksters, gurus, mystics, and even many philosophers from ancient times to the present, the founder of real Christianity preferred not the usual indoctrination process of forced dogma and non-interactive “sermons,” but alive and lively mutual and reciprocal communication. He wanted discussions. He wanted His listeners to engage, to use their minds, to consider His sayings and respond.
When this form of teaching is not being used, one can rest assured that a method of instruction designed to bypass critical thinking is being applied in an effort to have maximum impact on impressing relatively unused hard drives and create anything from a shallow-minded cult to a universal sect.
This method may be fine when properly teaching first-graders how to read or use basic arithmetic. The young ones have no established data bank to accept or refute such instruction and such instruction in its purest form utilizes hard facts and fixed fundamental absolutes. One can thus afford being dictated to somewhat, but later interaction with parents and loved ones regarding such instruction is a must.
Now, the Lord certainly taught facts and He certainly used and supported the Mosaic code. He never spoke against the Law of Moses but did allude to its misapplication and misinterpretation by certain religious leaders who taught according to rote and demanded unconditional acceptance with no dissent.
Thus, the casuistic method of the Pharisees appears much like the methods traditional, institutional unreal Christianity has used throughout its long heyday. It is a teaching method that has an answer for everything, down to the atomic level, and engages in dogma-domineering of both large block fundamentals, the smallest minutia, and everything in between.
Such teaching not only does not need an interactive, responsive discussion, it condemns it.
The reason most Christians do not see this is because they have been conditioned to accept a false modus and consider the Lord’s actual method as inappropriate at best and outright disrespectful at worst.
And there’s your problem: “If you do not listen to me properly, give me the floor, and never question my core beliefs then you are disrespecting me as a teacher/minister/reverend/priest/pastor.”
Such a response usually reveals a person so insecure in his religious beliefs and practices that he must have large artificial constructs all around him to support his standing, rank, status, and stature, and to enforce his absolutist all-encompassing theology and doctrine.
These people are playing hardball with no ball on a fake field and when they get on a real field with real players they are exposed for the jacked-up pretenders they are. Without such great Hollywoodish props to fake people out they would be standing alone in the midst of people with lively brains who would undoubtedly take issue with their false religious clothdom and hardwired casuistry.
By the demanding of total allegiance and professing an answer for everything, a prospective disciple (student, congregant) is cut off from hearing God.
“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:13]
The counter intuitive nature of such religious indoctrination, which seemingly exists openly and without guile, must actually depend on secrecy to remain outwardly legitimate. Otherwise, it would not be issued forth as something never to be questioned, and it would not treat dissenters with the vile disgust and anger it is historically known by.
So, what am I driving at? I’m driving at the actual need for secrecy in many pursuits, such as that used by the Lord (and including the need for it in the founding of a free republic), whether or not some use it incorrectly or for sinister reasons.
If not for the tight-lipped secrecy and strong organization employed by Secret Societies and others in the founding of this country, there might possibly not be an America. The American Revolution happened with their direct involvement for better or worse as a matter of historical record.
What this portends is simply the fact that some had one agenda and others had another, but all such agendas agreed on the need for FREEDOM. This is how Great Awakenings work. The real ones begin in the spiritual sphere and ripple out from there.
During the American Revolution, one man wanted religious freedom because real Christians were denied such freedom for many centuries by evil demon-possessed religious autocrats and pinheaded inbred monarchs in Europe. Others wanted political freedom. Most wanted economic freedom and the liberty from being taxed and regulated to death by those mentioned above.
In the early centuries real Christianity had no choice but to use secrecy simply to stay alive, since the community of the Lord was made illegal, both by the Jewish ruling authorities and later by the dreaded iron-fisted Roman Empire. Our forebears were wanted men and women, and they had to use tact and genius to do their work of evangelizing the world, often behind the scenes. Many were caught though, and many were killed, but the movement was never stopped.
As we fast forward to modern America in the last one hundred years or so, we see that much of that which refers to itself as Christianity has indeed been stopped, and has become relatively dead and useless. Nevertheless, the witness of real Christianity has thrived though greatly persecuted. At the height of America’s material wealth and prestige, many Christians succumbed, and wanted no mention of the Lord’s real teachings.
But now, as America is descending into a moral and economic abyss, a curious and wonderful event is taking place: Real Christians are coming forth. A Great Awakening is happening. What has been done in secret for the last half century or so is now beginning to produce fruit outwardly. The ones formerly involved in the hardest foundational work will be the greatest recipients of the outpouring and the ones most used of God within it.
I’ll have more on this theme in the immediate future. But for now know this: The Lord Jesus is in charge. He never uses force. He has granted and respects free will. He expects us to use our free wills and our brains. He expects us to utilize every gift and blessing we’ve been granted. And His greatest blessings come to those who do things His way, because His way is the best way. This has been proven historically.
But those who refuse a closer walk with Him, many “Christians” included, will end up joining the bad guys against the Lord’s people. And most will think they’re doing God a favor:
“They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.” [John 16:2]
(Many Christians in western countries historically blow off such pronouncements because they do not seem to apply. But we better start paying attention.)
There is nothing to be done about those who refuse to see. They are engaging in willful blindness. They have either been indoctrinated to the hilt, something to which they freely submitted, or they are simply apathetic toward truth. Not even the Lord was all that concerned about healing their blind eyes. By His behavior and teaching method, it was up to them to hear Him. And until they did they were given a steady diet of parables that they neither understood nor applied to themselves.
But those with eyes to see will know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. Revealed truth will fill them, and they will be the recipients, on this earth, of the oracles of God, especially the greatest secret of all:
…The mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. [Colossians 1:26-27]
And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. [Acts 4:31]
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” [Matthew 5:8] 
© 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
In Secret Societies, the people comprising the lowest levels have no idea what is really going on at the highest levels. A false narrative is put forth as truth, and it is done in such a way to indoctrinate initiates without the initiates knowing they have been indoctrinated.
Part of the indoctrination process includes infusing the soul and mind of the initiate with the perceived fact that the society he has joined is the best, most prestigious, first in both importance and influence, and most profitable and advantageous for his life and career.
And to prove this, the initiate will be given an open door into some such benefit he would probably not otherwise receive, such as employment, to go along with his initial benefit of belonging to a group, something everyone needs and desires.
As the initiate travels upwards through the various degrees, he gains more knowledge and benefits. His life begins being built around and upon the precepts and initiatives of the order, and he begins becoming closer in alignment with the true purpose and intentions of the society, and those toward the upper levels who comprise it.
As long as the process takes place through a properly paced and methodical fashion the member grows in his awareness, becomes somewhat distant to the members of the lower orders in the sense of only revealing the knowledge allowable and not revealing the higher knowledge he possesses, and continues in his gaining of higher knowledge and growing closer to those in and around his level.
By ascending this ladder of knowledge, he grows closer to understanding the secret teachings that exist only for those at the top who give themselves wholly to the society, and the more his very life is built upon and within said teachings and the society itself. Though he started out committed, he reaches a point of visceral commitment to the society from which he could never exit without destroying his life and that of his family and future descendants.
This is why those at the higher levels never leave. The benefits are incredible. They begin receiving the best jobs, the most money, begin moving in the highest circles, and attain a virtual heaven on earth with reference to wealth, material possessions, and political influence. They discover that there is a hierarchy of powerful people who rule the planet, and that they are becoming part of it.
During the heyday of the mafia, it is said one could never leave after achieving a certain level, simply because he knew too much. The mafia was a society that clearly instructed its members that they were members for life, and to leave would be the equivalent of treason. As long as a member obeyed the dictates of the order, remained loyal, and did whatever was asked of him he would remain in excellent standing and would be the recipient of the full benefits. Part of being an excellent member was never being a “stool pigeon.” One must never reveal anything that was not to be revealed. The penalty for treason was death.
Thus, those who make it to the highest levels of the most prestigious Secret Societies never reveal anything that would expose them for what they are. They never reveal their influence and machinations behind the scenes, their positions of power, their true means of wealth, or the mystical knowledge they possess that makes them what they are.
Part of their secret is that they convince lower initiates there are no secrets. They convince them that there is absolutely nothing sinister or held back, that all is open to see for whoever might want to see it, that what you see is all there is, and that the very idea of a Secret Society is absolutely ridiculous.
But once one climbs the ladder for a while and gets vested, he realizes he was lied to, but for his own benefit and that of the Society as a whole. The key to keeping secrets then, is having a vested interest to do so. By revealing secrets one loses his vesting, or his benefits. It is the equivalent of being bounced from a bar or being a stoolie. Everyone within the society disowns him. No one will help him or grant him a position or employment. He essentially gets kicked to the street. And some pay with their life.
For any single man it is easier to get out, but the benefits of the society extend not only to the individual and his immediate family, they continue to extend to his descendants. Long term Secret Societies develop a gradualist approach that honors a family line, and as long as the individual descendants toe the mark and do all that is required, the benefits keep coming. This is actually very good for the society because it develops multi-generational loyalty and establishes solid family groups that act as both the foundation and glue that keeps it together and stable.
But for one to think that only human beings are involved in such longstanding, high level, powerfully influential, and extremely wealthy Secret Societies is not only naïve, it reeks of pure bullheaded, stiff-necked, and close-minded ignorance.
Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” [Matthew 4:8-9]
And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” [Luke 4:5-7]
The Lord Jesus calls the devil “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31, 14:30, and 16:11). This is archon kosmos in the Greek. It refers to that which has been built on this planet by the devil and his invisible guys in concert with fallen humanity. This kosmos is not the planet, it is the fallen world of sinful man built upon this planet. It existed at the time of our Lord when He revealed it, exists now, and existed long before the Lord walked among us.
It has managed to circumnavigate the globe. It has succeeded in establishing itself almost everywhere and has achieved its greatest level of unity and universality to date. It will eventually succeed in becoming a single worldwide entity in complete control of everything with complete knowledge of everything and everyone.
Its absolute and total fullness is almost here.
Yet, there is one, and only one other society on this planet that is not part of this kosmos, and will never be—the community of the Lord Jesus. Hence, there has always been and always will be persecution directed from the devil’s kingdom against the Lord’s kingdom. It is the battle of Light and darkness, and as far as the devil is concerned, one must either join up and worship him or be killed.
Thus, the devil has built a universal Secret Society with himself ruling from atop a mystical pyramid. But one of the great secrets to his success in denying that he has done any such thing. And even more than this, he denies that he even exists. Its much easier to stay hidden when he indoctrinates people into believing he’s not even there to begin with.
But the Word of God reveals him. The Lord Jesus exposed him:
When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. [Colossians 2:15]
As a result, the Lord Jesus has built a community composed of those who were formerly under the authority of the devil:
Such were some of you;
But you were washed,
But you were sanctified,
But you were justified
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ
and in the Spirit of our God. [1 Corinthians 6:11]
Every member of the Lord’s community has been born into it (John 3:3-8). Every member enters through faith and repentance. Every member obeys Him, His teachings, and His commandments. Every member is saved by grace. Every member is wholly committed to Him in love and honor. All of this is required, or there can be no actual fellowship with God or one another.
But there are deceivers and those who have been deceived. Some who are members of the first group think they are members of the Lord’s group. And one must notice that unreal Christianity in all its forms is built exactly like a Secret Society and is in fact the same thing, and exists as part of the devil’s kingdom.
Unreal Christianity contains a hierarchy, a mystical pyramid structure, an initiate program, a spiritual ladder, ignorance of its true existence and purpose at the lower levels comprised of most of its members, and secret knowledge known only to those at the top. It is worldly, looks like the world, pays much more attention to head knowledge than possessing a true heart for God and knowledge of Him, and has much more in common with ancient religions than the community of the Lord Jesus. Its members refuse to be filled with the Spirit of God as per the Book of Acts historical model, and has invented a baptismal formula that refuses the Name Above Every Name.
The Lord warned us to be aware of very strong deception, but most refuse to consider the fact of their own deception. The answer should be straightforward and simple, but because of the devil’s “Secret Gnosis” placed upon and mixed within false forms of Christianity, it is just as the Lord said:
“Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.” [Luke 12:1-2]
To close, John warns us:
For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist.
Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward.
Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.
If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. [2 John 1:6-10]
And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments… [2 John 1:11] 
© 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.