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What the Bible says about Living Stones in God's House
(From Forerunner Commentary)

1 Kings 5:17-18

Much of the rock chosen was probably the hard white limestone found near Jerusalem, but Solomon's builders found many other beautiful stones, boulders, and pillars from all over the known world.

Blocks of stone, granite, or marble are not hewn out of a rock mass easily. If rocks could speak, they would probably complain bitterly about the harshness of the chisel and saw. We too are required to endure hardships and setbacks. Suffering is part of the process of quarrying, sizing, polishing, and preparing us, the living stones, for our roles in God's Kingdom.

In I Peter 5:10, Peter prays, "But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal gloryby Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you." The hewing, chipping, sizing, and polishing are all vital parts to making each stone fit the Architect's blueprints please the Master Builder, God the Father. The church is His House, the "House of God" (I Timothy 3:15).

Even Jesus experienced "the quarry," as God perfected Him for His dual role as High Priest and King of Kings, by what He suffered:

[Jesus], in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. (Hebrews 5:7-9)

A great deal of sacrifice awaits us once we commit ourselves to the salvation process, which prepares us for our responsibilities in the Temple of God. That process is not all fun! If we do not feel the shaping going on, we will. It must! Many valuable stones lose as much as sixty percent of their initial size and mass before they are considered finished as beautiful jewels. We must sacrifice significant parts of our lives, habits, cultures, reasoning, and values to be transformed into one of God's jewels (Malachi 3:17), a gem fit for our Master, which is His will and desire for each of us (Romans 12:1-2).

Staff
Living Stones in God's House

1 Kings 6:7

Josephus adds:

Now the whole structure of the temple was made, with great skill, of polished stones, and those laid together so very harmoniously and smoothly, that there appeared to the spectators no sign of any hammer, or other instrument of architecture, but as if, without any use of them, the entire materials had naturally united themselves together, that the agreement of one part with another seemed rather to have been natural than to have arisen from the force of tools upon them. (ibid.)

What a beautiful picture! This is what will happen when God completes His Temple! Living stones will come from all around the world, from different "quarries." God needs gems, stones, and boulders of different shapes, sizes, materials, and colors to finish His beautiful House. Thus, God is calling people from all personality types, backgrounds, races, and strengths so each can be the precise stone He needs in a specific place in His Temple.

There will be many needs, tasks, jobs, and projects in God's Kingdom. He knows exactly what "stone" He wants and where He needs it. We are those stones, planned for a specific spot for which God is preparing us. Because of His grace, blessings, and gifts, we will be fulfilling a precise role in His holy Temple.

The quarry is wherever we are now, where God is cutting, shaping, and polishing us to fit into the masterpiece He is building. We lose sight of this sometimes because we do not see the whole Temple coming together. How could we? We are still in the quarry where all we can see are a few other stones perhaps similar to ourselves. We cannot see the stones from the other quarries: first-century Christians, patriarchs, prophets, kings, true Christians throughout history, or even all the believers alive today. We do not see the whole picture yet—and will not—until all the stones arrive at the Temple Mount.

Staff
Living Stones in God's House

1 Kings 18:31

Here appears "the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob" again. We never seem to stray very far from God's identification with Israel. In Galatians 6:16, the church itself is called "the Israel of God." God identifies Himself, not just with physical Israel, but with spiritual Israel. The stones used to prepare the altar are, in this case, representative of physical Israel. And in the time of the book of Revelation, the time of the end, those stones will be made up of spiritual Israel (see Revelation 7:4-8; 12:1; 21:12).

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part Six)


 




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