Recently, I have been studying the book of Joshua. As I always mentioned, this book is very important and very crucial in our time. We are the Spiritual Israel and what was written in the book of Joshua that happened in the physical Israel is also happening to us today.
We are now under the Joshuanic Ministry of whom this Joshua is no other than our Lord Jesus Christ Himself in the Word form, working through the five-fold ministry. He is the Voice of the Archangel today written in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. That’s why, if we wanted to be an overcomer to this age, we, the Spiritual Israel, should learn from the physical Israel. Just like what was written in 1 Corinthians 10:11:
“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.”
Yes, the book of Joshua was given to us in order for us to learn from them. To admonish us not to repeat our mistakes and so that we may know how to triumphantly overcome this age.
WHOLE STONES NOT TOUCHED BY ANY IRON
“Then 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, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings.”
Now, during my study in this book, these verses above caught my attention and I ask myself as to why the Lord would not want that the stones to be used in His altar be touched by any iron tools. He emphasized it and made it clear that they should be whole stones not touched or shaped by any iron tools.
Do you know the reason of the Lord for this specific instruction? According to verse 31, this instruction is also written in the book of the law which means that this instruction is a law given by our Lord on the building of His altar. Let’s then look at the books of the law that contain this:
“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.”
“And there shalt thou build an altar unto the LORD thy God, an altar of stones: thou shalt not lift up any iron tool upon them.”
Again, the question is: Why won’t our Lord allow those stones to be touched by any iron tools? The specific answer for this is also found in Exodus 20:25b, the given verse above:
“for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.”
The next question is: How can the iron tools pollute the stones for the altar? To answer this, we need to know first what does a stone for the altar represents and what does iron tools represents.
STONES FOR THE ALTAR
According to 1 Peter 2:4-5
“To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
As we can see in this verse, we are the living (lively) stones built up to be used to offer up spiritual sacrifices. In short, it is clear now that as members of the Body of Christ, Peter described us as the stones that made up the altar to where the sacrifices are being offered. We are the ones who composed the altar of God.
Another thing to note in this verse is that, Peter also mentioned that we “are built up a spiritual house”. Indeed, just like an altar of where the presence of the Lord is, we are also the spiritual house of the Lord (1 Cor. 3:16). We are God’s Temple (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
THE IRON KINGDOM
Since we now know what the stones of the altar symbolize, we have already answered our first question. It is now time to answer our second question: How can the iron tools pollute the stones for the altar? To answer this question, again, let us first look at what does iron symbolizes in the Bible.
In Daniel chapter 2, we can read that the Lord revealed to Daniel the dream of king Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel then relates to the king the meaning of his dream. In that dream, an image made of different metals was seen by the king.
This image’s head was made of gold, its breast and arms are of silver. Its belly and his thighs are of brass, its legs are of iron and his feet are made of partly iron and partly clay (Dan. 2:32-33). Each of these parts has an interpretation given by the Lord to Daniel. We all know that based on the revelation given by our Lord to Daniel, each metal in the image represents the kingdom that will capture Israel. The first one of which is Babylon which is represented by the head made of gold (happened during the time of Daniel). The second kingdom that capture Israel is Medo-Persia or popularly known as Persia represented by the silver breast and arms. The third is Greece represented by the brass belly and thighs. The fourth is the Roman Empire represented by iron legs. And the fifth is the Papal Rome (which is happening today) represented by the feet made of partly iron and clay.
We will no longer look at the details of each kingdom as we can read them in Daniel 2:36-43. We will only concentrate on the meaning of the legs made of iron and its symbolism as this is what we are looking for to answer our second question.
According to Daniel 2:40
“And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.”
Again, this fourth kingdom that captured Israel is the Roman Empire represented by the legs of iron. Based on the above verse, this iron kingdom “subdueth all things.” It bruises and breaks anything into pieces. Subduing in simple English means “bringing under control, oppressing or dominating.”
The motto of the Roman Empire at that time is “Obey or be crushed.” Anyone who will not obey this kingdom is automatically executed. Any rebellion against this kingdom is crushed. So this is what this kingdom of iron means, oppressing and dominating.
These legs made of iron fittingly describe the Roman Empire for just like the iron metal which is used as tools to crush and shape almost anything, this empire also subdues and dominates its captured nations.
So basically, iron symbolizes subduing and dominating. This is the reason why a person who has “an iron hand” is a person who exercises power and authority in an oppressive or dominating way. Commonly, this is a description of a dictator. It’s either obey or be crushed.
This philosophy was also seen in the political world when Russia built an “iron curtain” an imaginary wall to divide east Europe from west Europe during the Cold War. It was just a display of brutal force and power to keep East Europe under Moscow’s centralized control and domination. The dictator Russian President has the say. Disagree and Russia will send her tanks to crush rebels. People were only allowed to think of what Russia would want them to think. The net result was backwardness and poverty in Russia and Eastern Europe. When the iron curtain broke in 1989, it ushered growth and prosperity for that region because the people of different nations could freely interact with each other. Market economies all over the world began to take off.
This is the reason why when the iron is used as a tool, it is very effective in crushing or bruising almost anything it touches. That’s why most of our tools are made of iron. Therefore, applying this analogy spiritually, an iron tool is a tool used to subdue and dominate something. This is the kind of spirit that can dominate and pollute the Church of the Lord who are the lively stones in His altar. God does not want His stones (Church) to be touched by this.
Spiritually, iron tools are people who have the spirit of subduing and dominating the Church. These characteristics are seen in people with Nicolaitan spirit, whose aim is to subdue the believers by elevating themselves and to rule over them. They are the people used by Satan to create denominations. It is for this reason why there are many denominational churches today. To denominate is simply the goal of these people. They wanted to crush and to bruise. Anyone who is under them will automatically be not qualified to be used on the altar of God.
IRON TOOLS POLLUTE THE STONES OF THE ALTAR
So we are now ready to answer our final question: How can the iron tools pollute the stones for the altar of the Lord?
As we can see, our Lord does not want the stones for His altar to be touched by any iron tools. And we are those stones. This means, that believers should keep themselves away from any denominationalism. We should not allow ourselves to be touched or bruised by a Nicolaitan person. (If you want to know more about who are the Nicolaitans, kindly read the article entitled: The Nicolaitan Spirit).
Any believer under a Nicolaitan system or person will automatically be not qualified to be used in the altar of God (Exo 20:25). These believers are already polluted by the iron tools. Our Lord wants whole stones to be used in His altar (Josh 8:30-31), not those touched by iron.
The Lord is shaping us right now through His Word (Isah. 64:8). He wanted to shape us by His leading alone and not by any iron tools for He alone knows what shape and size He wanted us to be in order for us to be put fittingly as one of the stones that will make up His Temple. He is the owner of His Temple, that’s why He alone knows the shape and size of the materials to be used on it. We should let Him shape us (Jer. 18:1-6).
But the problem comes when we are shaped by someone who is an iron tool, someone who has a Nicolaitan spirit – the very thing that the Lord hates (Rev. 2:6). These people have no clue about the shape and size that God wanted for us to have. All they want is to shape us according to their own purpose. They are the people in local churches who are dominating everyone. Most of them nowadays are Pastors. They think highly of themselves that they will not hear you out if you speak up to them. All they care is that what they want should be done. They always wanted to dominate.
If an iron tool is within the local church, then believers in that church can no longer fit into God’s temple for the one who shaped them is not God. The influence of these people will pollute them. Believers should immediately leave these local churches if they don’t want to be polluted.
People touched by Nicolaitism are already influenced by them and the Lord cannot use them in His temple. But once believers flee from them, Spiritual growth then followed. God will break them and mold them again so that He can shape them to fit in His temple.
“WHERE THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS, THERE IS LIBERTY”
Believers who are not touched by iron tools are the ones who are truly free and are led by the Spirit of God. They are not in the prison of denominationalism and are set free by the Truth (John: 8:32). Just like what 2 Corinthians 3:7 says:
“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
They are the believers whose local church is free from Nicolaitans. They are like an eagle who soars high. And God is able to work freely in them.
BUILDING THE TEMPLE
1 Kings 6:7
“And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.”
The specific instruction of Solomon to the builders of the Temple is that, the stones to be used to form the Temple should already be made ready before bringing them in the Temple because the Lord would not want it that an iron tool is heard during the construction. So we can see here that the stones are ready-made and will only be assembled at the construction site.
Spiritually speaking, the Lord would want us to be prepared by Him first before bringing us to the construction site for assembling. This is the reason why the ministers (construction workers) used by the Lord should know how to rightly divide His Word for each and everyone of us to be fittingly dovetailed in the construction site just like what 2 Timothy 2:15 says:
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
If you are a workman in the construction, you need to study to know how to rightly divide the word of truth. The Lord doesn’t want to hear any sound from the iron tools on His construction site. He doesn’t want that the any Nicolaitan person will dominate in the construction of His Temple
Today, the construction of the Temple of God is almost finished. The saints are almost perfect and the work in the construction will soon going to end (Eph. 4:11-13).
The Apostles have done great jobs in laying the foundations. The Prophets who are the Foreman of the construction have successfully pointed us to the blueprint of the Temple. The Evangelists have done their part in converting those hearts of stones to be materials for the construction. The Pastors have successfully dovetailed those materials to fitly join together so that no iron tools were heard during the construction.
NOW, it is time for the Teachers to do the polishing for the Temple to be finished. Polishing is done by the overlaying of gold (1 Kings 6:21-36). And polishing cannot start when all the materials are not yet joined together.
We are now in the polishing stage which is the most crucial of all. It is the polishing that determines the final outcome and the final form of the Temple. If the polishing stage is poorly done, expect that the Temple is ugly. While if the polishing was excellently done, then the final form of the Temple would be excellent also.
Among the five-fold, it is the Teachers that have been given the gift to see the most intricate details needed for the polishing. Polishing is the job of the Teachers. They should overlay all parts of the Temple with pure Gold (1 Kings 6:21-22). Making sure that no stone can be seen in the Temple (1 Kings 6:18). Through this, the Body (Temple) of Christ will be made perfect, “unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph. 4:12-13).
3 KINDS OF POLISHERS
Lately, I have my personal experience about polishing.
We have decided that we should have our house polished since it was only made with concrete blocks which are not overlayed by any cement and when it is heavily raining, the concrete blocks would absorb the rainwater which made the walls of the house to moist and eventually soaks in water. So I look for someone who would do the polishing job.
The first worker I found told me that he can finish the polishing in one week’s time. So I hired him. But I have to stop him from working on the third day because I am not satisfied with his work. He is fast but the quality is so poor. Knowing that the final form will depend on the polishing, I look for another worker.
The second worker I found is really well-known in our area in doing great polishing. Some people actually recommended him to me. So I hired him. This second man’s work is really nice, but the one thing I noticed is that, he is not following my instructions based on my plan. He doesn’t want to obey the plan. For him, my plan is bad while his is good. We always argue because of it. He has his own plan in the polishing that made me to spend more money for what he wants is too expensive compared to mine. So again, I have to stop this man. Yes his work is nice, but it drained my budget and his plan is not what I wanted.
I was wondering if I can ever find a worker who does excellent polishing and is also willing to follow my plan.
Then one of my neighbors who had been observing the works of the past two workers approached me and ask me if he can work for me and finish the polishing of the house. He told me that he is also a Mason and that he can do the polishing. And what struck me is what he said next. He said:
“Polishing the house is the most crucial part because it will cover the flows and will beautify the house. The beauty of the house depends on it. That’s why It takes an ample amount of time to do it. Just told me your plan and provide me with the needed materials and I can do it.”
Based on what he said, this man knows how critical the role of the polisher is. And this is the worker that I need. Someone who knows its importance. So I give him the job and sure enough, I am very satisfied with his work. In fact, when I was around, he is teaching me how to do the polishing so that the next time if I want my house to be polished, I can do it myself. And so, I now know the basics of polishing.
Taken spiritually, as the owner of the tabernacle, our Lord knows how crucial the polishing is. And He doesn’t want a fast job but a quality one. He is also very particular that the workers should follow His plan, His instructions and His leading to them. He will provide all the materials that we need to do the polishing, but we need to wait for His instructions first to achieve the perfect result.
Polishing takes time. That’s why this polishing of the Temple will also take time. Be patient therefore, for the Lord doesn’t want us to be quickly polished. What Hee wanted is a Tabernacle (Temple) that is intricately polished with gold as clear as crystal like the one seen by John in Revelation 21:10-11
“And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;”
Another thing that we should take note of is, polishers have the tendency to compare their works. If you are one of the polishers of God, then you should concentrate on those areas that the Lord had given you to be polished. If the Lord had given some areas to other polishers, then let them polished those. Do not intervene in those areas especially if they are not given to you. This way, you will not be wasting your time trying to polish those areas that are not given to you and at the same time, you won’t fall into the error of comparing your works with them.
May the Lord continue to guide us into all truth is my prayer.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?