BRICKS  WITHOUT  STRAW
by George Kirkpatrick 


Vital Words to the Body of Christ 
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
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"And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it." Exodus 20:25

God directs that altars built to worship Him are to be made of stone; stones that are shaped and molded by God into usable building stones for His use. Altars in our lives are the places where we worship God and come into His presence with praise.

Our altars are to be built of stones of His design. If man changes the shape of just one of the stones, the altar is polluted and man's worship is unacceptable to God. Man continually resists what God is trying to do in his life. We are not to shape our object of worship to suit ourselves.

Incense is a representation of our praise before God. Incense was burned in Moses' Tabernacle before the Lord continually. Isaiah spoke of the rebellious people that provoked God to anger by burning incense on altars of brick.

"I have spread out My hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; A people that provoketh Me to anger continually to My face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick." Isaiah 65:2-3

Brick is a man-made building material, not a natural formation in the earth. Bricks are made of clay from the earth. Man also is made from the earth. Clay represents the flesh. Bricks are formed and molded into shapes which please man.

Israel was forced to make brick for Pharaoh in Egypt. Making brick was the most unhealthy job in Egypt. The slaves trampled the straw into the clay with their feet. Their feet, being in wet clay continually, would swell, their muscles would ache and the taskmasters would beat them with whips. Many Israelites died under the whip.

Life was hard. Israel was totally dependant upon Pharaoh (government) for their every need. Many Christians today have come to this same place --- total dependency on government.

The children of Israel in Egypt are a picture of God's people in the world today. When God was ready to pour out His wrath upon Egypt, it was to free His people from the grip of man's government. All the hardships placed upon the Israelites were to prepare their hearts to flee that oppressive system. God, again, is ready to pour out His wrath upon the world; not as punishment on His people, but to free His people from the repressive, man-made government.

Israel was producing brick to build Pharaoh's fortified, treasure cities. God sent Moses to tell Pharaoh to set His people free. His people were to go three days into the wilderness to worship God. Three is the number of total separation. When Israel wanted to worship God, Pharaoh took the straw away with which they needed to make brick. Straw is the strength of the brick. Bricks made without straw are weak and will crumble very easily.

"And afterward Moses and Aaron went in, and told Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let My people go, that they may hold a feast unto Me in the wilderness.
And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.
And they said, The God of the Hebrews hath met with us: let us go, we pray thee, three days' journey into the desert, and sacrifice unto the Lord our God; lest He fall upon us with pestilence, or with the sword;
And the king of Egypt said unto them, Wherefore do ye, Moses and Aaron, let the people from their works? get you unto your burdens.
And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens.
And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying,
Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves." Exodus 5:1-7

Vs 1 When we worship God, He demands total separation from the world. Moses told Pharaoh, "three days separation into the wilderness."

Vs 2 Pharaoh confessed, "I know not the Lord." Government had turned their back, totally, upon the true and living God and were "mad upon their idols."

Vs 5 When the Israelites became many and began to stand together, government feared God's people.

Vs 7 When the people stood together, the government took their supply of straw the people depended upon.

"And the taskmasters of the people went out, and their officers, and they spake to the people, saying, Thus saith Pharaoh, I will not give you straw. Go ye, get you straw where ye can find it: yet not ought of your work shall be diminished." Exodus 5:10-11

Pharaoh commanded that if Israel was going to worship the God of Moses and Aaron, Pharaoh's government would no longer provide the straw they needed to make brick. They could no longer depend upon government for their supply. Yet they were to produce the same amount of brick. This was government's way of making their life hard.

"So the people were scattered abroad throughout all the land of Egypt to gather stubble instead of straw." Exodus 5:12

The people gathered stubble (chaff) to make the brick to build Pharaoh's fortified cities. Although the bricks, produced with the chaff, were not as strong as those produced with straw, the government did not care as long as those who wanted to worship God suffered hardship.

Like many Christians today, when government takes the people's "straw", instead of turning totally to God, they settle for the world's chaff. Today, Israel refuses to leave Egypt, but settles for the chaff of the earth instead of the richness of God. This chaff consists of stocks, bonds, real estate investments, business, welfare and even begging to hold their manmade systems together.

In Exodus 5:3, Moses said God would fall upon them with pestilence and the sword (the wrath of God) if they did not separate themselves from the world. Those who will not completely separate themselves from the world and their dependence on government will be partakers of His wrath.

Pharaoh knew the people wanted to be free from the burdens he had placed upon them. In verse 4, Pharaoh told Aaron and Moses to get to their burdens. He tried to enslave them, also. The taskmaster and officers represented the government control in their lives. Pharaoh had come to the place where he had total control of the people's lives.

"Don't give them any more straw to make bricks." Straw is the "dried stalks of grain or grass." It was generally termed as worthless; and was used as bedding for livestock.

Bricks, being made out of clay, need straw to hold them together and make them strong. Man, being made out of clay, needs an inner strength to hold his life together, and that inner strength is the Holy Spirit infilling in his life. But many depend on the straw of the government and the chaff of the world to hold their lives together. Government knew not the Lord.

Paul wrote of those who turn to the weak and "beggarly" elements:

"But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Galatians 4:9

Jesus also said we were not to depend upon the treasures of the earth.

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Matthew 6:19-21

Multitudes look to church government: the creed, precepts and the doctrines of men, to insure their relationship with God instead of having a direct relationship through the Holy Spirit. The church system, itself, looks to the straw of the earth to hold their works together instead of God.

Today, when the government oppresses, they use the excuse that "the people caused us to do it" and "it is for the people's good" that they are oppressing them.

The same happens when the government legislates against God. They are doing it to "protect the people." They use the constitution to give a mother the right to abort (kill) her child, but no such rights are mentioned in the constitution. What are the rights of the unborn under the constitution? Government breaks the rules and blames the people.

There were two Israelites that had no quotas of brick to make. When the straw was taken away, it did not bother them because they were not dependent upon government. These were Moses and Aaron. Both Moses and Aaron lived in Egypt. In the past, Moses had been a prince in Egypt. But he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter,

"Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." Hebrews 11:24-25
"Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward." Hebrews 11:26

Moses fled Egypt (the world). Now he was back before Pharaoh as a free man. He now stood before Pharaoh, and as God told Moses,

"I have made thee a god to Pharaoh." Exodus 7:1

Moses and Aaron represent the king - priest ministry in the earth today. Kings and priests are not the same office. One rules and reigns and the other ministers before God for the people. Moses ruled and reigned. Aaron ministered for the people before God.

Those who are the king - priests as spoken of in Revelation 1:6, will have overcome government in their lives. When the government withholds their hand, it will not affect the king - priest ministry. But those who have their hand out to the government will have no place to turn.

The taskmasters will make their lives hard. Those who do not learn this lesson now, will be looking all over Egypt for chaff to survive. Those who have not learned to trust God now, will use the mark when it is given them because they look to government for their existence.

Start building your altar of stone today with Jesus as the corner stone. And when He sets the capstone in place, you will be under the headship of Christ and part of His Body. Paul writes that we are to...

"Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." Colossians 3:2-3

When we are dead to the world system, and are hid in Christ the Holy Spirit, government has no further control in our lives.

Genesis 11:24 speaks of the tower of Babel (confusion) built out of brick. Man is still building the tower of Babel upon the earth, still building their treasure cities.

Christ is also erecting a temple, but the temple is being built of Living Stones. These are not held together with the straw of the earth, but stones shaped and molded after God's image and likeness.

God's Word speaks about a coming change, I Corinthians 15:51. We are going to be clothed upon with that house from heaven (Spiritual realm), II Corinthians 5:2. We are being formed into Living Stones with which God will build His house, eternal in the Heavens (Spiritual realm). These do not depend on the straw supplied by the world or government to hold their lives together.

Peter writes that we are Living Stones, built up into a Spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up Spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, I Peter 2:5. God is shaping and molding us into usable stones with His design, and fit for His use.

Is your worship upon an altar of brick? Have you designed an altar with bricks of abomination unto God, held together by the worthless straw and chaff of the earth? Or is the strength of your life the Holy Spirit?

Our worship of God must be on the Solid Rock, the Altar of Stone as designed by God. When the Day of Fire comes, the bricks will crumble. Only that which is gold, silver, and precious stones will stand the fire. The wood, hay, and stubble will be burned. The wood is flesh, the hay is grass, and the stubble is chaff.

Do not put your faith in Pharaoh who knows not God. We need to say "No" to the enslaving hand of government today, while it is yet day....


The following is an outline of the contents of this book

for Further Discussion

Altars of unhewn stone
Polluted altars
           Manmade brick
           Clay
Taskmasters of Egypt
Freedom in the wrath
The World's Chaff
Dependency on government
Moses and Aaron
            God's kings and priests
Tower of Babel
Precious stones


Questions

1. What are altars in our lives?

2. What is incense a representation of?

3. Brick is a ________ ________ building material, not a ________ ________ in the earth.

4. What does clay represent?

5. How did the Israelites make brick in Egypt?

6. Who was Israel totally dependant upon?

7. What were the children of Israel, in Egypt, a picture of?

8. God is ready to pour out His wrath upon the world to free His people from what?

9. Three is the number of what?

10.. When we worship God, what does He demand?

11. When God's wrath comes, what will happen to those who will not separate themselves completely from the world and dependence on government?

12. What is the inner strength that man needs to hold his life together?

13. Multitudes look to the church government; creed, precepts and doctrines of men to insure what?

14. What did Jesus caution us not to depend upon? Matthew 6:1921

15. What did Moses and Aaron represent?

16. What will the King Priests of Revelation 1:6 have to overcome?

17. We must start building our altar of stone today with Jesus as the ________ ________ and when He sets the ________ in place, we will be under the headship of Christ and part of His ________.

18. Christ is erecting a Temple which is being built of what?

19. What is God shaping and molding us into?

20. While it is yet day, what do we need to say to the enslaving hand of government?

Answer Key

1. What are altars in our lives?

They are the places were we worship God and come into His presence with praise

2. What is incense a representation of?

Our praise before God

3. Brick is a building material, not a in the earth.

Man made, natural

4. What does clay represent?

The flesh

5. How did the Israelites make brick in Egypt?

They trampled straw into the clay with their feet.

6. Who was Israel totally dependant upon?

Pharaoh [government]

7. What were the children of Israel in Egypt, a picture of?

God's people in the world today.

8. God is ready to pour out His wrath upon the world to free His people from what?

The repressive man-made governments

9. Three is the number of what?

Total separation

10. When we worship God, what does He demand?

Total separation from the world

11. When God's wrath comes, what will happen to those who will not separate themselves completely from the world and dependence on government?

They will be partakers of His wrath.

12. What is the inner strength that man needs to hold his life together?

The Holy Spirit infilling in his life

13. Multitudes look to church government, creed, precepts and doctrines of men to insure what?

Their relationship with God

14. What did Jesus caution us not to depend upon?

The treasures of the earth Matthew 6:19-21

15. What did Moses and Aaron represent?

The King - Priest ministry in the earth today

16. What will the King - Priests of Revelation 1:6 have to overcome?

Government in their lives

17. We must start building our altar of stone today with Jesus as the __________________________ and when He sets the ________________in place, we will be under the headship of Christ and part of His  ______________.

A. Corner stone, Capstone, Body

18. Christ is erecting a Temple which is being built of what?

Living stones I Peter 2:5

19. What is God shaping and molding us into?

Usable stones with His design and fit for His use

20. While it is yet day, what do we need to say to the enslaving hand of government?

We need to say "NO!"


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