Greetings, friends and new listeners. Welcome to The Sound of Faith.
I'm Sharon Otz, thanking you for tuning in today because we know faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. I believe you will be intrigued by today's message, Are You a Brick or a Stone? When I asked this question of Christians I know in preparation for preaching this message, I was surprised by how many said brick.
Sounds reasonable, I guess, since bricks are used to build strong buildings. But find out what God says about it in, Are You a Brick or a Stone? And you know what Jesus told those old skeptical Pharisees when they were upset because they saw the children worshiping and praising Jesus and saying, Hosanna, hosanna.
And Jesus said if they would hold their peace, even the what? The rocks. The rocks would cry out.
Amen. Even the rocks would cry out. And so you know our message tonight is, Are You a Brick or Are You a Stone? How many brought a stone tonight? Let me see your hand if you brought a stone. Okay. That's a good majority. Amen.
Everyone that brought a stone you will get a reward at the end of the message. Amen. But we're going to start, yeah, I'm smart about things like that. We're going to start in 1 Peter. 1 Peter chapter 2, we'll read two verses. And I want you to remember this because of course since it's 1 Peter who wrote it.
Oh, give this man a gold star. Peter wrote it. So we're going to start off with the words of Peter. We're going to end with the words of Peter.
But here we're going to go for verse 5. Ye also as lively stones are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Christ Jesus. Wherefore also it is contained in the scriptures, now this is quoting the Old Testament, behold I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and he that believeth on him shall never be confounded.
Who is the chief cornerstone? Jesus. And we'll remember that. So he said that we are lively and actually it's really better just to say we are living stones. So how many can say that you're a brick tonight? How many are going to say you're a stone? Amen.
That was a smart choice. We are living stones. Now this means that we're not, we don't just exist, we're not this inanimate stone that's just sitting here. But you've got to understand he's speaking supernaturally and in the spirit and he says you are living stones because the breath of God has breathed into us and that has made us a living stone. Now when God created Adam out of the dust of the earth, he was this beautifully sculpted specimen of a human being, but he was inanimate until what? God breathed in him the breath of lives and man became a living soul. So the first Adam became a living soul and when we're born by our mother and father, we're born alive. How many know that or you would not be here so you can get that one right? But when you are born again, you are a living stone.
Amen. And then in a very supernatural twist because God just can do things like that in his word, he said that we're not only the stones that make up the house of God, but we're the priests who serve in the house of God offering up spiritual sacrifices. And I'm not going to take you there, but if you're taking notes, you can find out what they are in Ephesians 5, 19, Colossians 3, 16, Hebrews 13, 15 and 16 talks about Psalms and a lot of the Psalms of David are put to music and spiritual songs and hymns and praises, supplications and thanksgiving unto our God. We offer these up because everything about God that he does in our lives is supernatural. Now I want you, you can tell it here, you would actually have to just turn around and look at that back wall for a second and tell me what that back wall of this church is built of. It's made out of bricks. Now we put paneling over top all around in here, but this church, if you go on the outside and look all the way around, both buildings are made out of bricks. And so God said he made us out of stones.
Amen. The physical church is made out of bricks, but the spiritual church is made out of stones and not bricks. And you might think to yourself, well, why is that significant and what does it matter? Because man made bricks, but God made stones. You see bricks are all alike. If you look at these two bricks that I have, they're identical and all the bricks that have built this church are identical.
They're exactly alike. They're made out of a mold. And then when they're in the mold, they're put in the oven and they're baked and every brick is identical. Man makes bricks, but God makes stones and stones. Even on this earth, they are created from nature. Stones are created from the exposure to the winds and the waters and the waves and the storms and the elements.
Amen. And pressure in the earth creates stones and stones are beautiful and unique. No two stones are exactly alike. I have a couple of stones that I brought with me tonight and this one is nice and round and pretty and it's white. It's out of a rock garden. And here's another one out of the rock garden. And then I've got this one that's really cool that my grandson Noah gave to me. I wrote it down in March 2005 and I wrote his name on it. It's got sparkles on it.
You're up here. Can you see sparkles on there? It's like glitter.
It looks like, you know, like you put glitter on your projects and your little kindergarten projects. This stone has got glitter all over it. And I was in that room lying down because back then I used to have to lie down while service was going on.
And he came in there. He was only six years old and he said, grandma, I have a very special stone. This stone is special and I'm going to give it to you. And the look on his face, you would have thought he was giving me a hundred dollar bill. I mean, he really was impressed with this stone and by giving it to me, he was giving me something special. He was really telling me, grandma, you're special. I love you so much. I want to give you my special stone.
And I said, okay, Noah, thank you. And it obviously made an impression on me because I wrote his name and the date on it and stuck it in my china closet. And the other day when I was digging out some things, I found it and I thought, look at the difference. Now this pretty white stone is quite pretty, but look at the difference in these stones. No two stones are identical. No two stones are alike. They're different shapes. They're different colors.
And some might even be like that one, nice and glittery. Amen. But stones are created by nature and they are actually unique and bear the handprint of God. But bricks are made by man. And we're going to go and read about the first brickmaker on the earth. So turn with me in Genesis, the 10th chapter. We're going to read the first verse just to get the feel, but then we're going to drop down because I don't want to read all this begats because they really get tea just after a while.
We want to just zoom in on the ones we care about. But chapter 10 verse one says, now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And unto them were born sons after the flood. So now we have our timeline. Our timeline is immediately after the flood. Noah and his three sons and the three daughters-in-law came out of the ark and God told them, now be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.
And so they did. They began having children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And we get down to verse eight. And Cush, now Cush was the son of Ham. He begat Nimrod. He began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord. Wherefore it is said, even as Nimrod, the mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Akkad and Calneh in the land of Shinar. How many have heard of Nimrod before?
Amen. You know, actually Nimrod is the very first prototype of the coming Antichrist. And it says that he began to be a mighty one on the earth.
Let's first begin by looking at his name because in Hebrew, every name is significant and its meaning bears a lot of significance on their life. The name Nimrod in Hebrew, they do not write the vowels or at least they didn't at that time. So we're looking at the consonants N-M-R-D. N-M translated is he said, R-D translated is get down. Therefore Nimrod means he said get down. Are you getting the feel of what kind of person Nimrod was? Nimrod said to everybody else, get down.
Get down under me. He was subjugating the people. He was Nimrod and did you notice and said and his kingdom was in the land of Shinar and did you notice we read those cities that one of them pop out at you a little bit?
Babel, aka Babylon. Amen. So Nimrod, he said to all the other people, I said get down.
I said do what I tell you to do. Amen. And he began to build his kingdom. Now we read here that it says that he began to be a mighty one on the earth. And it even went on to say he was a mighty hunter before the Lord. Now if we just read through that in the English, we'll think nothing of it. We'll think, oh, now he was a good hunter before the Lord as if it was pleasing to God.
Well, let me tell you something, folks. Everybody was a hunter back then. They didn't have grocery stores.
They didn't have Sam's Club and Costco's. Everybody was a hunter. All men had to hunt for food for their families.
Amen. How many understand that? So the fact that he was a hunter, why bother to tell us that? Everybody hunted.
All the men hunted. But if we understand the Hebrew text and even if we can even see in our own English Bible that what this is talking about is that he was a hunter of men. Now you don't have to turn there, but I'll give you a couple verses to support it. Jeremiah 16, 16. God said, I will send for many hunters and they shall hunt from every mountain and every hill and out of the hills of the rocks. And God is talking about hunting down rebellious men.
Micah 7, 2. The good man has perished out of the earth and there is none upright among men. They all lie in wait for blood.
They hunt every man his brother with a net. So Nimrod said, get down. And Nimrod hunted other men.
And where it says before the Lord, it actually means in God's face. Are you getting a picture of what kind of person Nimrod was? So in other words, he waxed great and mighty. He told everybody else to get down. I'm over you and you do what I say and you help me build my kingdom. And he hunted men.
If men, obviously I would try to get away from him too. Amen. But he hunted men down and this is all very, very telling of what it will be like as I'm sure you'll hear tomorrow about the reign of the Antichrist.
They will hunt down men. Amen. And they will do it in God's face. He had no problem with doing what he did in God's face. And he began to build his kingdom. And as we saw, Babel, which became Babylon. Now, folks, this is only about a hundred years after the flood. How quickly, how quickly Satan had his man, had his person to raise up even after God had cleansed the earth after Noah and his righteous sons came out of the ark. It's only a hundred years later and we have the introduction of Nimrod, this wicked man.
Amen. So let's find out more about him. We know now that he built the city of Babel. How many saw that? Now let's look at chapter 11 and let's read there. And the whole earth was one language and one speech and it came to pass as they journeyed from the east. I want you to pay attention to that.
We'll come back to it. As they journeyed from the east that they found a plane in the land of Shinar and they dwelt there. Shinar is modern day Iraq. And they said one to another, go to and let us make brick. Let us make brick and burn them thoroughly.
And they had brick for stone and slime they had for mortar. And they said, go to let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven and let us make us a name. Lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth, which by the way is exactly what God told them to do. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men build it. And the Lord said, behold, the people is one and they have all one language and this they begin to do and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. So go to let us go down and there confound their language that they may not understand one another speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth and they left off to build the city.
Therefore the name of it is called Babel because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. So now we have, we know that Nimrod is behind this. We know this because I took you to chapter 10 first so you could see that he built Babel.
So even though his name is not mentioned in chapter 11, we understand who's behind it. Amen. And so he's telling people, get down.
And now he's telling people, you're going to build this city for me and we're going to make it out of bricks. Amen. Now it says they journeyed from the east. Again, we would just look over that quickly and think, okay, that's just saying they're, they journeyed from the east and they're going west, but it's not the meaning in the Hebrew. It's actually a figure of speech from the east is the same saying from the sun or from the light. How many know the sun rises in the east?
Amen. And we know that in the Bible, light always stands for truth. It stands for God.
It stands for truth. We are told in first John the first chapter that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. So if we say that we know God and have fellowship with him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth. But if we walk in the light, then we do have fellowship with him. We're told in John the third chapter, Jesus said that men love darkness rather than light.
That doesn't make sense, but why? Because their deeds are evil and they know if they come to the light, they'll be exposed and they're not willing to give up their evil deeds so they won't come to the light. Therefore, in Hebrew, the figure of speech from the east is the same as saying from the light is the same as saying from the truth. So you see Nimrod got these people and he's got them under subjection now and they're going away from the light. They're going away from the truth. They're going away from what God told Noah and his sons when they came out of the ark to multiply and replenish the earth. But they are doing their own thing. Amen.
They're going their own way. And he says, let us make brick and burn them thoroughly. Now here's the thing about it, saints. If you've ever been to the Holy Land, you know there's one thing they do not have a shortage of, and that is stones. They have stone, stone, stones, and more stones.
The Holy Land is covered with stones. And so if you are going to build a fence or build a wall or build a building, it only makes sense to use those stones. You know, you've got to clear the stones away anyhow before you can build anything. You can't build anything when a field or an acre or whatever covered with stones. You can't plant a garden. You can't plant a crops.
You can't build a building. You can't really have a sheep and goats to pasture because of all the stones. The first thing you have to do is move the stones. And that's why when you go over there, you will see all of these markers that they will divide off the property and it's all these stones just piled up on one another.
Fences all the way around dividing everybody's property lines. Or they want a wall to keep the sheep in or the goats in and not get out. They have walls made of stone because they're plentiful.
They're everywhere and you've got to get rid of them anyhow. So it only makes sense then to use the stones to build your building. It would only make sense for them to use the stones to build their tower.
But what did they say? Oh no, let us make bricks. Let us make bricks that we make and put in a mold and put them in the fire, a furnace, a very hot, extremely high temperature furnace in order for them to bake hard enough to become that hard. What kind of labor do you need to make such bricks? What kind of backbreaking labor does it take in that day with primitive tools to make such bricks? It would take slave labor. Amen. It would take someone like Nimrod subjugating people and telling them, you get down. You get down in the dirt and you make me bricks.
And then when your back is breaking from making those bricks, you go over to that hot, hot oven and they're in a tropical climate and you burn them bricks and make sure you burn them thoroughly. So these people were being treated like slaves. Amen. And Nimrod was taking this advantage to enslave the people and keep them under. Now saints, we all know the story about the children of Israel.
Don't we? When they were in Egypt, what did Pharaoh do to them? I'm going to read you what Pharaoh did to them.
I'll, I'll just refer to it. If you're taking notes, Exodus chapter one in verse 13 and 14, it says, and the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor and they made their lives bitter with hard bondage in mortar and in brick and in all manner of service in the field and all their service wherein they made them serve was with rigor. The word rigor there is means crushing, crushing pressure and labor. The children of Israel were slaves for 400 years, helping the Egyptians build all those monuments, all the, you know, all the pyramids and I mean the, we know about the three great pyramids, but they got pyramids and monuments all over Egypt and the children of Israel, they were slaves and they worked till they were exhausted beyond comprehension. They, their lives were bitter until they cried out to God. They cried out to God and finally God kept his promise to Abraham, said they will be afflicted for 400 years, but then I will bring them out.
I will bring them out. And that's a whole nother message about, well, why would God wait so long? Why would he wait 400 years? Anybody know the answer? No. Okay. I'm not going to tell you. Maybe I'll tell you Sunday.
We'll see. God's not a meanie sitting up there getting satisfaction out of seeing people suffer. He's not up there, you know, well just do it another a hundred years. That's not my God, but God has reasons for all that he does and things like this.
You can find it in the word if you dig it out. Amen. And so we see that the Egyptians made the children of Israel miserable. They were in bondage and what was their terrible bondage? Making man-made bricks for man to be exalted, for man to build his towers and his pyramids and everything else, for man to be exalted and turn them away from God. Nimrod was in rebellion against God. Now God does not like the idea of them making this tower and he doesn't like the idea of men using bricks on anything that pertains to him and his holiness. It says in Deuteronomy the 27th chapter verses five and six and God is telling them, Moses, how to make his altar.
And you know what he said? Thou shall build an altar unto the Lord thy God, an altar of stones. Thou shall not lift up any iron tool upon them, build with whole stones and then thou shall burn offerings there upon. Now God is saying for the altar, not only did they had to be built with stones, but they had to be whole stones.
They couldn't use their iron tools and shape them. They had to build the altar out of one stone piled on top of the other. Now they would have used stones bigger than this. Obviously this is for illustrative purposes only, but just imagine these stones a whole lot bigger and they would have to put them together in such a way to build an altar to God. He said, I want you to make them out of stones. I want you to use whole stones and I don't want any tools to touch it. God wanted his altar holy and he did not want man's fingerprint on it. Are you understanding why I want to be a stone?
You can be a brick if you want to be, but I want to be a stone. Amen. And so then we see also, he said in Exodus, the 20th chapter, verse 24 and 25 and altar of earth shall thou make unto me and shall sacrifice there on thy burnt offerings in all places where I record my name. This means for now on, even when you go into the promised land, anywhere where the name of my name is recorded, you make an altar of earth and I will come unto thee, I will bless thee. And if you make an altar of stone, thou shall not build it out of hewn stone for if thou lift up thy tool against it, thou has polluted it. Did you know God was that particular? Did you know that God was that picky about holiness?
Yeah, God has really got some ideas about what holiness is to him. And he said, you will make me an altar of stone out of whole stones and you will not lift one tool upon it because when you do, it's polluted and it's not worthy to be a part of my altar. Now, this was before they went in. Now they're moving into the Holy land and Joshua now has taken over. Moses has died and is with God and Joshua now is the one who the Lord has chosen to take the children in. It says in Joshua chapter 8 verses 30 and 31, Joshua built an altar unto the Lord God of Israel in Mount Ebal. As Moses, the servant of the Lord commanded the children of Israel and as it is written, an altar of whole stones over which no man has lived up any iron and they offered it unto the Lord and they sacrificed offerings. So Joshua was careful that when they went into the land and they built the altar that he obeyed the commandment that God had given Moses. Now let's speed ahead to the time of Solomon. Now up into this time, up to this point, God's house was a big tent.
How many know that? When you read about the tabernacle, don't think about faith tabernacle, a building. You got to think about a tent because God's house was a tent. But in the time of David, David said he desired to build God a house, a permanent dwelling place. And God said, I will let your son build it because David, you've been a man of war and a man of blood. See how God is about anything that pertains to him.
He doesn't want anything of man's pollution upon it. He said, but your son Solomon will be a man of peace and there'll be no wars in all of his reign. You talk about a miracle. Back in that time, that's all we read about is war. They went to war with this, with this ite and that ite and the other ites. But he said no wars in Solomon's time and Solomon reigned for 40 years and no wars. He said, you'll be a man of peace and I'll let him build my house. Now look, listen what he tells them about building it.
This is the first King, six, seven. He said that it's to be built of stone so that there was neither a hammer nor acts nor any tool of iron heard in the house where it was building. Amen.
What an intriguing and eye opening message. Are you a brick or a stone? Perhaps you think a brick because they are used to build strong buildings. The first brick maker in recorded history was Nimrod, great grandson of Noah.
His name meant I said, get down. And he was the brick bully of Babel. In rebellion against God, he hunted men to be his slaves, to make bricks, to build his kingdom and the infamous tower of Babel to reach into the heavens until God intervened and disunited the people by confounding their languages and thereby scattering them abroad on the earth. Now later, God delivered the seed of Abraham out of Egypt's bondage where Pharaoh had enslaved them to make bricks to build his monuments. But when God gave Moses his blueprint for worship in the wilderness, he commanded that his altars were not to be of manmade bricks, but of unhewn stones. You see, man makes bricks, but God makes stones unique and unspoiled by the world.
Bricks are all alike, cast into the same mold. And today the world is casting people in the mode and spirit of Nimrod, a spirit of rebellion against God and his word. Nimrod was the first prototype of what the Antichrist will be.
And we see his spirit already at work. John said in his epistle, the apostle Paul declared in Romans 12 to be not conformed to this world. Don't let the world put you in its mold and make you one of its bricks. And apostle Peter said, you are living stones built up as a holy habitation for God.
Ask yourself, am I a worldly brick or a holy stone? If you would like to receive this message on CD, send a love gift of $10 or more to help us with the cost of airtime, to Sound of Faith, P.O. Box 1744, Baltimore, Maryland, 21203, and request SK171, that's SK171, or you may go online to RGHardy.org, where you can also order on MP3. But to receive Are You a Brick or a Stone by mail, send your minimum love gift of $10 to P.O. Box 1744, Baltimore, Maryland, 21203. Till next time, this is Sharon Notzengin, Maranatha.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-05 20:03:39 / 2023-05-05 20:14:43 / 11