Bible Answer

What is the connection between altars and salvation?

We found the explanation of uncut stones in Revelation Lesson 4A confusing. We understood the relationship to not working for your salvation, but isn't it work to build an altar?

We regret Pastor Armstrong's explanation was confusing. To summarize his teaching, in the Law the Lord demanded that Israel use only uncut stones (i.e., not shaped by human hands) for the construction of an altar. This detail served to emphasize that the work of redemption will be accomplished by God's hand, not by our hand. 

God supplies the stones, He supplies the animals, and He gives the instruction to sacrifice. Men contribute nothing to the process, reminding us that our salvation is dependent entirely on the work of God. Without this command, we can expect that mankind would have pursued ways to make the altar of God more and more elaborate over time, which would have greatly distorted the message of salvation only by the work of God. BY requiring uncut stones, God prevented such embellishment in the design of the altar and a distorted message of how we are saved.

Regarding your observation, it is true that a man had to do the minimum work of stacking uncut stones into the shape of an altar, but this is an insignificant detail in the overall picture. Even after stacking uncut stones, the resulting altar would have been unimpressive (from a human perspective), and at best it was testimony to God's creation of the natural stones, not a testimony to man's creative work.