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Burnt Stones (1 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 1 of 10
Burnt Stones (1 of 4) Stones are a picture of people. The church in its early days was filled with glory - it changed the Roman Empire, and influenced nations. Then it went through a dark season - but we are in days now when God is rebuilding His church, and the Bible says: the glory of that latter house will be greater than the glory of the former!

An indignant Moabite mocked the Jews, saying: will they offer sacrifices and complete it in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, stones that have been burned in the fire? It's a picture of demonic spirits arrayed against us, arrayed against God's purpose & plan, scorning & belittling you, saying: is it possible for God to raise up people whose lives have been burnt?

Once a stone was burnt and crumbled, it was easy to pull it out of position. If you have ever been burnt by the fires of pain, disappointment, offence, it's very easy for you to be removed out of the wall of destiny, out of where God has positioned you to grow, to be planted, and to become successful in your walk as a Christian. When we walk through a difficult season in our life, it's what the Bible calls a 'fiery trial' - a trial by fire. What is at stake is your destiny, and what's being tested is the quality of your faith in God.
I want you to open it with me in Nehemiah, Chapter 4. I want to speak today on a message called Burnt Stones. I looked in the paper on Saturday night, and I couldn't believe it - that Hettinga Estate on fire. Man, how many saw that fire? Man, what a blaze! Nearly burnt to the ground, and of course, occasionally you have houses catch fire, buildings catch fire. One of the things I've seen, I've been to buildings that have caught fire, and they are burnt out or gutted out, and one of the things that you find often the next day, is you find people walking through the charred ruins, looking for something of value. What hangs over the house is a sense of a dream, or a life, that has been shattered and broken - suddenly, without warning. So a burnt-out building is a horrendous thing. The smoke, the ruins, the water, the ashes, the dust, and then every now and then, you'll find something that survived the fire, but it's a heartbreaking thing, ever to go to a house that is burnt down.

I want you to see something that really was heartbreaking for God, and it's found in Nehemiah 4, and that's when the city of Jerusalem and the walls were beaten down, broken down, and the city was burnt with fire. Jerusalem in the Bible is a picture of the church of Jesus Christ, and so there's an Old Testament picture, it's a picture of the church once glorious, once invincible, once being the centre of influence in the world, once being the centre of God's glory shining out to touch nations. The Bible says: people came from round the world, Sheba came [Queen of Ethiopia], to see the glory of God in the house of God - the church in that day was a great and a glorious place. Then it fell into ruin, it was overtaken. The armies of its enemies came, it sacked the city, burnt the city out, burnt the walls, tore down the walls, burnt the city, burnt down the temple, plundered the people, killed the people, destroyed the people. It was a horrendous time.

You find in the last part of the Book of Chronicles, where the city was burnt down; but God is always ready to restore! And whatever has happened to people, whatever's happened in our lives, whatever may have happened to the church over the centuries, I tell you something: God is a God who restores and rebuilds! God is a God who puts hope, you can walk through the abandoned tatters of a building that's burnt to the ground, and see nothing of value there, but God is able to build something great upon those ruins. I tell you something, the church in its early days was filled with glory. It changed the Roman Empire. It influenced nations. Then it went through a dark season, but we're in days when God is rebuilding His church, rebuilding His people, and the Bible says: the glory of that latter house will be greater than the glory of the former! [Yeah!] And we are living in such days of rebuilding and restoration! What a challenge to respond to God! In Chapter 4 Verse 1, we're going to pick up where the building has started, and I want to just move through this, and just bring out some things for you, that I felt God put on my heart. I felt very, very deeply touched by the Holy Ghost as I began to study and look into this.

It came to pass that when Sanballat... Sanballat means strength, he was a Moabite. He was an unclean person. He was an enemy of the work of God. When he heard we were rebuilding the wall, he was furious and very indignant, and he mocked the Jews. It's true that the devil continually is indignant, angry, and absolutely furious when we set out heart to build lives, to bring people to Christ, to see them saved, water baptised, filled with the Holy Ghost, starting to get equipped, trained, restored. The devil gets furious. He gets furious. Notice what it said he did: he mocked the Jews, or he despised, laughed, and he scorned them. One of the strategies of the enemies, that comes against every person, is he will belittle, despise, and scorn you, as being of no value whatsoever. It says: he spoke before his brethren, and the army of Samaria, and said: what are these feeble Jews? They're weak! Will they strengthen themselves? No way. Will they offer sacrifices and complete it in a day? Will they call on God? Can God make a difference? And he said: will they complete it in a day? This is where I want to pick this up from. Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, stones that have been burned in the fire?