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 so then we see also, he said in Exodus 20, verse 24 and 25, an 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 from 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 hast 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 lift 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 or 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 will 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 reign 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. Now here's the problem with building this huge, huge temple. How many on the news have at least seen the wailing wall or the Western wall?
That's all that is left of Solomon's temple. How many notice the stones of that wall are huge? They're huge stones. And how many notice that they're all about the same size?
They're squared off or rectangled off and they're all about the same size so that they fit nice and neatly one on top of the other. So this great temple that Solomon built, it would have been built out of these stones. Now here's the thing about it. It would be impossible to build that magnificent temple out of random stones that you go out there and find and try to move because they would not have fit nicely. So God allowed them to use the hammer, to use the axe, to use the iron tools to take those big stones and shape them to the right size and the right shape, but they had to do it somewhere else. He didn't even want the sound of the hammer anywhere near where the house of God was to be built. So he said, you're going to have to do that somewhere else and then Lord help us move those stones to the house of God.
And that's what they did. That's how they built Solomon's temple. So God was so particular.
Amen. Now having told you all that, I do want you to turn with me in Isaiah 65, Isaiah chapter 65, based on what we just read about the house of God and about the temple of God and about it having to be stones and whole stones. The altars happen to be whole stones. Look at Isaiah 65 verse two. I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people which walketh in a way that was not good, and here's the definition of walking in a way that's not good, after their own thoughts. A people that provoked me to anger continually to my face, that sacrificing gardens and burn incense upon altars of brick, which remain along the graves and lodge in the monuments which eat swine, flesh and broth of abominable things in their vessels, which say, stand by thyself, come not near to me for I am holier than thou.
These are a smoke in my nose and a fire that burneth all the day. So God said by the time of the prophet Isaiah, and they're getting ready now, they're getting ready to go into captivity, but God said, I've stretched forth my hand to a rebellious people. And what was the thing that they did? They went after their own thoughts, just like Nimrod convinced the people of his day to go away from the truth and away from the light and in God's face to subjugate people and make them slaves to make bricks to build a tower so they could have a name so that they wouldn't be scattered across the earth, which God specifically said, that's exactly what he wanted them to do. He said, I want the three sons and their descendants to spread out and to cover the earth with population. But they said, no, we're going to stay here. We're going to be have a name and we're going to do what we want.
And we're also going to make these people be our slaves. And so God says in Isaiah that the people are rebellious, walking after their own thoughts and you see all the things that they did and the thing that jumps out to me is you offer me up incense. Yes, you do come to Tabernacle. Yes, you do come to church on Sunday. Yes, you do offer me up incense, but you're doing it on altars of brick when I have told you to make altars of stone. And there are a lot of people today and a lot of churches today that have the name Christ somewhere in the name of their church, somewhere over the door. Amen.
And they've got all kinds of programs and they've got all kinds of things going on. But God says all that is to me is smoke in my nose. All this manmade stuff, all this religiosity, all of these things that man has.
Amen. This hierarchy of who's up here at the top and the hierarchy going on down, coming into God's house with the incense and all of that. And God says all that is is a smoke in my nose. I don't want your altars of brick.
I want the living stones, the holy stones. Amen. And so what happened here is he said, these people are provoking me to my face because they walk after their own thoughts.
Let me tell you something. When people start walking after their own thoughts, they have become bricks instead of stones. Amen. When people start becoming enmeshed in the world, they begin to act like the world. They take on the world's perspective. They begin to talk like the world. Amen. They begin to dress like the world. They begin to be come a part of the world's form because the scripture says that there is a something that wants to conform you and make you one of a kind, one like everybody else, not one of a kind like God makes you, but it wants you to make you identical to everyone else. Amen. And people that began to lean on the world and they began to look to the world and they began to think that that God is okay with all of that. And he is saying, I don't want your unholy worldly bricks.
I'm looking for a holy living God. Breathe stones. Amen. So back to Nimrod, he said, let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach to heaven and let us make a name lest, L-E-S-T, lest we be scattered abroad. So they were saying, God, we don't want your plan. We don't want what you said to do. We're doing our own thing.
We're going to do it our way. Amen. And they rebelled against God until the point that God had to come down. He said, look, the God had said one to another. Look at them. The people have become as one and they are so united in what they are striving to do, that if we don't do something, if we don't come down and confound their languages so they can't communicate, he said, then there will be no stopping them.
There will be no restraining them. Now, some people think, amen, that everything that's going on, that God is behind it all. But I'm telling you that a lot of things that are going on in the earth, the devil's behind it and for his purpose and his reason and his timing, God has not intervened.
But a lot of people blame God for things he doesn't have anything to do with. Amen. It's the wickedness of man. It's the spirit of Nimrod. It's the spirit of Antichrist that's in the land. Amen. It's a spirit of worldliness. But when God gets enough and when it serves his plan and his purpose, he said, let us go down and confound their languages.
And you know, this is really a great illustration to show you the power of unity in the detrimental sense. Amen. Because you know, when they came to Jesus and they said to him when he was casting out devils that you cast out devils by Beelzebub, which is the means the devil, the king, the prince of the devils.
What did he say to them? He said, can Satan cast out Satan? Won't his kingdom on his kingdom collapse if he goes around casting out demons and devils? Amen.
You're saying I'm casting them out by I'm casting demons out by the prince of demons. What kind of sense does that make? A house divided cannot stand a kingdom divided cannot stand.
Amen. How many see the point there? And so we see here that they were in rebellion and God said that there is no stopping them when men are bent on doing things. And we see it in the world today. We see it in our nation today. We see it everywhere. We keep thinking, how are they getting away with this? How are they getting away with it? Because they're all coming under the spirit of Nimrod.
And in some cases, saints, the barn doors open and the horses out and there's no getting them back in. There are some things that have happened in this nation in the last few years that we talked about it. We said it could happen. We warned about it, but I don't think anybody really believed it.
Amen. And now we have judges that are overturning the votes of people in their own states when the majority vote for something. This is the people we're supposed to be. We're the people by the people of the people and states where the majority of the people went to the voting booth and voted and said in our state, as for this state, we don't want same sex marriage. Judges are overturning it, overturning the will of the people. It's not happening once or twice.
It's happening over and over and over. There's four right now, four right now before judges and judges are just turning it over. So why, what does our vote mean? Amen.
What does it mean if you can go and have the majority vote and the judge say, well, I'm overturning it. Saints you can see that when people get a one mind and one accord to do evil, how evil can run away. Amen. And things that are occurring and things that you can't even begin, you don't even begin to know.
I'm telling you. And that's just one issue. And then we look at the world at large. We have no idea the unity that's in the house of Islam. Now they have their spats between their different ones. You've got Hamas and you've got Hezbollah and you've got this new, you got Al Qaeda, which you all know about. And this new ISIS is really gaining a lot of power and strength. And they, you know, they do via again, they butt heads because everybody wants to be Nimrod. Everybody wants to be the main chief.
Amen. But when it comes down to the matter of the cross and the Bible and Christians and Jews, oh wow, they can forget their, all their differences. They are United and they have one goal to annihilate Israel off the map. They don't want to annihilate America. They just want their flag flying over the White House.
And this is what their intent is. And we can sit and think, well, that is never going to happen. Oh, I know that could never happen.
Oh, really? If God didn't come down and intervene, they were building that tower. Now let me tell you something. God was not threatened by that tower. He was not upset. He wasn't getting worried at one bit about that tower. We all know that tower was only going so high. Bricks are no bricks.
Slaves are no slaves. They were never going to reach God. We've sent rockets up there. We've had, in 1970, we sent a man who walked on the moon, but he still didn't get to the third heaven where God is. If you want to get to the third heaven where God is, you got to get in the spirit.
Amen. You got to take a spiritual ride. If you want to do like Paul said, caught up in the third heavens, whether in the body or out of the body, I don't know, but I know I was there. And John said, I got in the spirit on the Lord's day and I saw a door in heaven open up and someone said, come up here. And he was caught up and he saw the things that Paul was not allowed to write. John was allowed to write because remember when Paul came back, he said, I saw things that are unutterable, but really the word means illegal or that I wasn't allowed.
I wasn't given permission to write because God was going to save that for John to write later. Amen. So if you want to go to the third heavens, you can go there, but you got to get in the spirit. Amen.
You've got to seek after God. And if God wants to, the door will open. And I believe, I believe that when the rapture does happen and it says that we're going to hear the trumpet sound and with the shout of the voice of an archangel and somebody says, what is he going to say?
I think he's going to say what he said to John. Come up hither. Amen. And like a song we used to sing back in the old, old days, I'll be somewhere listening for my name. Amen. When my savior calls, I'll be somewhere listening.
Amen. When he says, come up hither in a moment in the twinkling of an eye. That is less than a second.
It's like a thousandth of a second. And we'll be caught up to meet him in the air. And those who have gone before us, they are going to come out of the graves. The graves are going to open and we're going to have a simultaneous meeting in the air. Simultaneous meeting in the air because Paul said they that sleep in the grave shall not prevent.
And the word really means shall not go before us. They're not going to go before us. In God's nanosecond of way that he can do things, the grave is going to open up. They're going to come out and we're going to all join up and rise up together. We'll be caught up to meet him in the air. Hallelujah.
My God, I'm hearing all these old, old, old time songs. I'll be caught up to meet him. I'll be caught up to meet him. Another one. We shall be changed. We shall be changed in the moment of a twinkling of an eye. Amen. So I think I was the point I was supposed to be making was that tower was not going to reach God and God was not nervous about it and he wasn't getting the least bit concerned that they were having success in building that tower.
That was not the point at all. Amen. But God saw that they were in rebellion against him, that they had refused to obey his commandment.
Amen. And that Nimrod was walking around saying, I said, get down and making slaves of people and making them build his kingdom, his cities and his tower. And God said, we're not going to let that go any further. He wasn't stopping the building of the tower per se.
He was coming and intervening and by confounding their languages so they could not communicate anymore. Nimrod could be walking around saying, I said, get down. I said, get down. They didn't know what he was saying. I said, put them bricks in that furnace.
They didn't know what he was saying. Amen. Come on now.
I'm not making fun of anybody's ethnicity at all. But do you know how difficult it is when you're trying to do something and the other person doesn't speak English and you're trying to tell them what you want done and that you can pull your hair out. Amen.
So come on now. What do you think it was like trying to build that tower? And according to rabbinical studies, it was 70 nations. If you count them, if you count the sons and the grandsons and all of them that's listed, it's 70 different tongues. And Bible scholars say, just FYI, Bible scholars say that on the day of Pentecost in the upper room when the Holy Spirit came down and cloven tongues of fire stood over everyone.
I want you to understand individually everybody in that upper room, all 120 of them had an individual cloven tongue of fire light down on them. And they began to speak with other tongues. And when they spilled out into the streets of Jerusalem and they're all talking and here's the good thing about it. They were talking about the wonderful works of God. They were preaching the gospel in other languages. And it is, Bible scholars say that if you go through all of the nations that were there, that it was 70 different nations. So what God had to do at the Tower of Babel to confound man on the day of Pentecost, he allowed the gospel to go forth.
Amen. In those same languages. So we see that they were rebelling against God and so God intervened and that was it.
That was the end of the Tower of Babel. You know, if I'd known I was going to say this, I'd have probably tried to bring something to prove it, but you people know how to Google. You know, how many have heard of the European Union? Okay.
Just making it real quick. It's the nations of Europe that have come together and they have made themselves a unity. They have now all the same money. Now they don't all speak the same language because you've got French people speaking French and English people speaking English and the Swiss and the Dutch and all these other people speak their languages, but they all have the same money. The Euro. They have a, I want to say a capital.
I don't know if that's the right word, but I'll use it because it's the right meaning. A capital building. And if you go and Google to what that building looks like, you will be amazed. It looks very similar to the drawings that you have seen of the Tower of Babel.
Very similar. The architecture because it's, that's not normal architecture for today. How many have seen drawings of the Tower of Babel? Amen. So I just thought I'd bring that out. The spirit, let me see, God intervened. He stopped that tower from being built. He dismantled the kingdom of Nimrod, but the spirit of Nimrod is still in the land. The spirit of Nimrod is still in the earth.
Amen. It's the spirit of Antichrist. It's not about a person.
It's about an ideology. Let's do this without God. Some people are saying, let's do it without God because there is no God. Other people are saying, well, if there is a God, I don't care and I don't need him.
So we're going to do what we want to do without God. How many know that's the spirit of the age? It's a spirit of godlessness and it's a spirit of self-promotion.
Amen. It's a spirit of self-promotion. My God, I don't know every 10 years they name the decade. I guess I think they ought to name this one the age of the selfie. Honestly, have you ever seen so many people take so many selfies of themselves all day long every day as if we really want to see your picture 20 times a day? I'm sorry, but it just amazes me.
How many know I'm telling the truth? It's the age of the selfie. And I heard a celebrity, honest to goodness, last night on one of the news channels and she actually said it and she said it so nonchalantly because to her it was perfectly respectable to say this. She said, I am self-possessed. Now, she was beautiful, very beautiful.
And I forgot what I don't know what she did, but anyway, she was very beautiful and she says, I am self-possessed. So in other words, that makes it okay for her to take endless selfies of herself and plaster them all over social media for everybody to see it. And that's fine. And we've got all these young girls coming up and that's what they see. That's the spirit of the age that's out there. Amen.
And that's all there is. I even see it honestly. I even see it in little ones, little girls, three and four years old. You will see pictures of them. Not one or two saying, oh, that's really cute. She's cute. Okay. Oh yeah, she really is cute. Yeah, she's cute.
Okay. This is about the 10th picture today. How many times am I going to say she is cute? And the little girl, she is cute for honestly she is, but she's standing there going and then, and all these things I'm thinking, my God, what is she going to be like by the time she's 13?
You will not be able to live with her. And I'm thinking to myself, does this child ever get dirty? Does she ever just play?
Does she ever just play something and get dirty? I don't know, but we're living in the age of the selfie. And so you've got to be careful that you do not let the world make you one of its bricks. God said he made you to be a living stone, not a worldly brick. Amen.
And that's what we've got to be on guard against and what we've got to fight against. And I know you know these scriptures and I'm going to say them anyway. Romans the 12th chapter verse one and two, I beseech you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you present your bodies a what? A living sacrifice.
Holy. Holy is what? Acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service and be not conformed to this world, but be transformed how? By the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 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 mold 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. Until next time, this is Sharon Notzengen, Maranatha.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-05 20:39:04 / 2023-05-05 20:50:04 / 11