The Stone Was Cut Out of the Mountain Without Hands

Writer Author  Jerry Lee Kay Sr.
Christian Article : Bible Teaching  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer I spent most of my early days growing up in the high desert of New Mexico and Texas, and acquired a bit of knowledge of Horses, cattle, goats and Sheep. When I was 13 I worked in the uranium mines in New Mexico as a grunt, most of the time my job was to keep the underground porta-potties clean and emptied for the miners, sounds gross but I was making tons of money, (35 cents) an hour. When I was 16 I got a chance to go work offshore in the Oil Patch in the Gulf of Mexico. I worked for a group of Geologists in the exploration end of the Oil business. The oil patch slang for it is "Doddle Bugging" talk about exciting, I was on my own and running with the big boys. They put me on what was called the shooting boat, my job was to load the dynamite, blasting caps and boosters, on to the boat, (no such thing as a forklift), and we nearly always loaded 25-30 tons all by hand. After we arrived many miles offshore I loaded the kegs of powder (charges) individually with the caps and boosters and throw them over as needed when we arrived at each shot point, sounds real easy but sometimes the charge weighed 75lbs and I had to toss them far enough away from the boat that they wouldn't explode under the boat as the shooter set them off, weighing only 128lbs myself that was a chore at times. But Poppa had hit the big time!, and they were paying me an outrageous sum of money, (1.10) an hour with a guarantee of ten hours a day and all the grub I could eat. Just don't get no better than that!

As time went by the captain of the boat got to know me and gained confidence in me, we were supposed to work 10 days out 4 days in, but it never seemed to work out that way, sometimes we were out 20 -25 days, so the captain would get pretty fatigued. Also he was diabetic and at times he had to get a nap, so when we were moving from shooting area to shooting area he let me drive the boat. We usually carried 50-60 thousand lbs of powder on board, so when he handed Poppa the wheel I felt like the most powerful man on earth. I marveled at the power that was in my hands!

I well knew the powerful force that I had in my hand because I was there in April 1947 at Texas City, TX when the deadliest industrial accident in U.S history occurred, and the product we were using for explosives was the same product that blew up killing hundreds and nearly wiped that city off the map. The blast was so powerful it blew windows out in Galveston, TX, and was felt in Houston 50 miles away. I was 3yrs old and remember it like it was yesterday. Later in my time of working with this product, I was on a shooting boat loaded with the same stuff, which caught fire, and exploded. But that's another story!

A few years ago I had the pleasure of being on a boat again, this time a cruise ship. As I walked around the different decks, I started thinking about my experience of the power contained in the dynamite boats and all the hard work involved to get the job done... My! My! What a gravy train this cruise ship is.

There are people who think church is a cruise ship. Only about having their own personal needs met. Their needs for fellowship, for worship, for spiritual growth and comfort. If their cruise ship doesn't measure up, they'll just look for one that does. These are people who simply "come to church." There is a difference between coming to church and 'BEING' the church. When you 'are' the church then you take a different attitude. Instead of looking at the church as a place where you can have your needs met, you begin to look at church as a place where you can meet the needs of those for whom Christ died, those who are oppressed, those who hunger both physically and spiritually, those who are lonely and in pain. Suddenly your cruise ship becomes a battleship.... And the enemies are all the forces of death, decay and destruction in this world. I rejoice, because of Christ's sacrifice in my behalf, I don't have to worry about my eternal destination. But I do know that there are people in every community who are in torment, there are people whose pain is unceasing, there are people who have been in a spiritual hell for many years and remain captive there today. They are the people for whom the Gospel is intended and indeed good news. And they are the people who need what the Church of the Redeemed has to offer. As time passes and I hear the cry of those that are held captive by the forces of hell the voice of the Holy Spirit whispers in my Spirit and my Heart, "It Doesn't Have to be This Way."

Matthew 16:13-19
Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, "Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said; Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

My grandson came to me a while back clearly upset, just short of being livid with rage, he will soon be 18, is very serious about his testimony. And is making a fine preacher. It seems some of the heathen kids at school have really been giving him a hard time about being ignorant of the truth, there really is no such thing as God, Jesus is a joke, some started a rumor he is gay because he won't join in with the deviate sex, alcohol and drug abuse that runs rampant in our schools and society these days. So he came to ask Poppa what would I do about it, so we talked awhile, prayed together and this was, and is my answer,” Son it doesn't matter what those Yahoos think... Whom say Ye that Jesus is”!

Daniel 2:44.And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever... Forasmuch as thou sawest that "The stone was Cut out of the Mountain without hands", and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

1Peter 1:18. Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word, which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Psalms 118:1. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth forever. Let Israel now say, that his mercy endureth forever. Let the house of Aaron now say, that his mercy endureth forever. Let them now that fear the LORD say, that his mercy endureth forever. I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? The LORD taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them that hate me. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes. All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them. They compassed me about; yea, they compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. They compassed me about like bees; they are quenched as the fire of thorns: for in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. Thou hast thrust sore at me that I might fall: but the LORD helped me. The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation. The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. The right hand of the LORD is exalted: the right hand of the LORD doeth valiantly. I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD. The LORD hath chastened me sore: but he hath not given me over unto death. Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD: This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter. I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation. The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I beseech thee, O LORD: O LORD, I beseech thee, send now prosperity. Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD. God is the LORD, which hath showed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar. Thou art my God, and I will praise thee: thou art my God, I will exalt thee. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever.

Isaiah 28:9.Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, this is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

1 Peter 2:4-10
On the day when the young Hebrew exile Daniel entered the throne room of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, the lives of many hung in the balance. The king's sleep had left him, and his spirit troubled him on account of a terrifying dream. The king had threatened to take the lives of all his counselors if they could not make known to him his dream and its interpretation. But to Daniel—the exile—God made everything known. So he entered the throne room, and said in effect:
"You saw, O King, a great image, and its appearance was frightening. The head of the image was of fine gold. Its chest and arms were of silver. Its middle and thighs were of bronze. Its legs were of iron, and its feet partly iron and clay. Then a stone was cut out of a mountain not made with hands, and the stone struck the image and broke it into pieces. The interpretation, O King, is this: the precious metals are all kingdoms—and you are the head made of fine gold. The stone, however, is the coming kingdom of God. And it shall stand forever, and of its increase there shall be no end."

Daniel was not the only one in Israel's history who spoke of God's kingdom as a stone. Isaiah had seen a stone in a vision God had given to him years before.
"Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious."

The psalmist also spoke of a cornerstone that would bring salvation to all who believed as well as a stone that would be a stumbling-block for those who reject it, And so, deeply imbedded in the strata of Israel's rich history was the conviction that she was God's promised kingdom—that Jerusalem was God's saving city and that the temple stood at the center of God's activity in the world.

Centuries later a young, impoverished itinerant preacher from Galilee named Jesus would come along and take all the imagery of the stone passages in the Hebrew Scriptures and commit the unpardonable sin of applying them to himself instead of to Judaism, the city, or the temple.

Luke records the day when Jesus came through the stone gates of Zion, that great city, and stood in the temple teaching with authority. When the religious leaders asked him, "By what authority do you do this?" he responded by telling a parable of wicked tenants who rejected the authority of the vineyard owner's son. The leaders knew, of course, that the story had been directed against them, and they took issue with it Luke 20:9-18. In defending himself, Jesus provoked them further by quoting from the psalmist about the rejected stone of God. And then, most amazingly of all, Jesus alluded to the prophet Daniel and took upon himself the stone not made with hands—the one that would come from Heaven and replace all the kingdoms of the world.
On that storied day Jesus of Nazareth stole all of Israel's strong poetic and prophetic stone imagery and called it his own. In essence he proclaimed that in him all the promises of God are being fulfilled.

It is in the light of all this rich and contested history regarding Israel's religious identity that Peter writes in 2:4, 5:
As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

These are stunning words, and elevating beyond measure. In one sentence Peter grasps the entire wealth of Israel's identity and applies it not to Jesus alone, but to any man, woman, or child who comes to faith in Christ!

When we come to Jesus—not the city of Jerusalem—we come to the "living stone."
When we come to Jesus—not to Judaism—we come into God's kingdom.
When we come to Jesus—not the ornate temple—we become God's "spiritual house" and "holy priesthood."
These phrases, applied metaphorically here to Peter's early readers, represent the most exalted ideas within all of Judaism. After all, the spiritual house was the temple. If God were going to dwell anywhere in the world, certainly his presence would be there. In addition, the royal priesthood consisted of those honored ones who had the privilege of standing in the very presence of God. Yet now, following Jesus' example in usurping these ideas, Peter claims that in Christ these truths are likewise transferred over to every follower of Jesus. In essence the church has become God's people and God's place in the world. Truly, with these phrases "a spiritual house" and "a royal priesthood," Peter is raising the identity of his early readers to storied and unimaginable heights.

With these words Peter cements his thought in an architectural metaphor. Notice: he is moving beyond the idea of the church being God's family (1:1-2:2). Further, he will leave to the Apostle Paul the metaphor of the church as Christ's "body." What he takes for himself, though, is the architectural metaphor of the church as God's building. Peter proclaims that they are at the very heart and center of God's activity in the world. They are God's building, and in Christ they are being built up into a residence intended for God's very presence. To put it as simply as I can, they must have been thrilled to learn that their identity was secure. They were God's special building project. How inspiring to be reminded by Peter that if you have come to Jesus as God's "living stone," you are at the center of what God is doing in the world. We are God's spiritual houses.

Other implications can be drawn from Peter's metaphor of a spiritual house. First, his teaching cuts directly across the contemporary notion that we need sacred space. People are God's sacred space. The New Testament does away with the idea of being at home anywhere outside of faith in Christ. His Spirit dwells within us. There is no need for us to lean on brick and mortar in an effort to get close to God. In fact, we can't get any closer to God than through faith in Christ.

Second, in light of Jesus' claim that he fulfills the Hebrew Scriptures' promise of a house, the notion that some of God's promises to Israel still need to be fulfilled should be questioned. There is no need to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. And in this sense contemporary Zionism, as well as blind support for Israel in all things political, especially among evangelicals, might be, in some ways, misguided. After all, the apparently unfulfilled rebuilding of the temple, as put forth in a text like Haggai 2:6-9, has already found its fulfillment in Christ and the church, as proven by Hebrews 12:18-29.

The second new identification tag Peter bestows on his readers is the priesthood. Peter mentions it in verse 5 as well as in verse 9. The priesthood, of course, began with Aaron. And it was Aaron who stood before a holy God on behalf of a sinful people. In some respects he functioned as an intermediary between God and the world. As such the priests were the ones most intimately acquainted with God.
Now consider the impact of this verse in light of Israel's priestly history. Peter calls all believers a "holy" (v. 5) and "royal" (v. 9) "priesthood." This means that every Christian is the ultimate insider. We are not merely representative of God's place in the world; we serve as God's priests before the world. No wonder Peter closes verse 10 with the words, once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. What an encouraging word for those who were identified in 1:1 as "exiles." The ones who struggled with the sense of being outsiders now see in a fresh way that they are very dear to God indeed. A New and Honored Identity and Calling

I hope that these awesome truths put forward by Peter encourage you in your faith. Your identity in Christ is an exalted one. And how did these things come to be bestowed on you? The closing words of verse 6 and the opening words of verse 7 read: "Whoever believes in him will not be put to shame." So the honor is for you who believe.
This new and exalted identity is held out for all who come to believe that Jesus is God's Ruler. Conversely, anyone who rejects Jesus as God's cornerstone shall stumble and fall. Put simply, what you and I do with Jesus will mean everything to our standing and identity before God. Jesus alone is the full expression of God in the world, and by his sacrifice he has brought us close to God. What will you do with Jesus? The Bible says that when he stood outside Jerusalem, he wept for the people of his own day. From the distance he could see the stone city gates. He also saw the temple mount. And yet he knew that he would be rejected by many. May it not be so for you. May you come to Jesus as God's "living stone." And may you experience in fresh ways your new and treasured identity in Christ.

When a person comes to faith in Christ, his or her identity is not the only thing that changes. Our text says that one's calling in life does too. The latter half of verse 9 says all this occurs so "that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness, into his marvelous light." Wow! What an exalted calling! We now exist to proclaim the excellencies of God. Could anything be better?

"I will build," the Lord said. He, through His Holy Spirit, quarries stones out of nature's dark mine, shapes and fashions them, makes them "lively [living] stones," and places them shoulder to shoulder with others of "like precious faith" in that "habitation of God through the Spirit" that is being erected in this day and age (1 Peter 2:5; 2.Peter 1:1; Ephesians 2:22).

"And the gates of hell [Hades] shall not prevail against it." Hades is the realm of the dead, and the gates are a symbol to the entrance to that realm. The Lord was declaring that death will not triumph over His church. We read His triumphant shout in Revelation 1:18: "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." Death can no more hold the Christian than it could hold the Christ. One day the dead in Christ will rise shouting, "O grave, where is thy victory?" Another view is that since "the gate" was the place where the rulers of an oriental city met (Genesis 19:1; Ruth 4:1), the "gates of hell" symbolize the place where Satan and his fallen angels take counsel against the church. But neither Satan nor all his hosts are a match for the Spirit-born, Spirit-filled, Spirit-built church, The Lord Jesus "spoiled" the Satanic hosts at the cross (Colossians 2:15) and He has equipped us to war victoriously against them Putting the two thoughts together, we conclude that Christ has promised that neither the power of death nor the power of the devil can prevail against the church which He is building.

Our Lord's expression means, that neither the plots, strategies, nor strength of Satan and his angels, will ever prevail as to destroy the sacred truths in the above confession. Sometimes the gates are taken for the troops which issue out from them........Beloved, Poppa going to stand flat footed and back my ears like a blue nose Missouri mule and tell you that we may firmly believe, that though hell should open her gates, and vomit out her devil and all his angels, to fight against Christ and his saints, the Church of the Living God, will defeat all those efforts every time, because the arm of the Omnipotent shall prevail.

I talked about working on the "Doodle Bug" powder boats, and how much power was on that boat. Beloved until we loaded the dynamite on board, and then released that power, it was just another boat. Step one, Load the boat. Invite the Holy Spirit to come into your life and load you up with all that Jesus promised to us, and then you have to keep it stocked, every time we started running low on the powder we called for a supply boat to bring more to us. And lastly we had to release the power. No one ever said it is going to be a cake walk, I hear folks talking all the time about being saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, and never see the fruits of the Spirit coming from them, if you have the power you are professing, then by all means release it or stop complaining the church is folding up. It's like not voting and then talking about how sorry our politicians are. And then the cold facts...He is Building His Church... if your not producing... your not a part of it. What a beautiful picture—a church where the Spirit truly reigns!

The character and company of those who are filled by the Holy Spirit, means they are "set ablaze." It refers to Christians themselves. And also means they will set other people ablaze. It refers to those in whom the fire of the Holy Spirit is so intense and so meaningful that they just cannot keep the message of the Spirit to themselves. So they speak of Jesus, and, as a result, here and there little fires spring up. And pretty soon there is a great raging fire of revival that spreads across the world. I do not think we have a raging fire in our time, though there are some places in the world where it may be beginning. But there is a fire. The Holy Spirit is working. We need to be part of that working and see the flames spread.

Jesus said I'm gonna build "My" church, and hell is not going to be able to silence it, not going to discourage it, is not going to be able to stand against it, not going to restrain it, not going to be able to retain it, and is not going to be able to conquer it, nor overpower it. Bless the Name of the Lord! He said I am going to give "My Church" the keys to the Kingdom and what ever it binds shall be bound and what ever it looses shall be loosed! Unless you have the backbone to call the Son of God a liar we best start believing it and living it. Beloved, He is alive and He is still working on the Building... Whom do you say that Jesus is.?....

Lord, though the world may reject you, we receive your rule with humble thanksgiving. We are honored to be called your people, and we ask that our lives would proclaim the excellencies of your name, Amen.

God Bless You

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