Pearls And Gold

“Awesome!” “Stupendous!” And, without a doubt, “Glorious” can be used to describe the final plans that God has for the redeemed as described in Revelation 21 and 22.

While The Revelation of Jesus Christ, the last book in the Holy Bible, might bring fear to some, to the redeemed it is a source of relief and joy, especially as they near the end of the book.

The return of Christ at Armageddon is recorded in Revelation 19, and in Revelation 20 the Millennial Reign of Christ is mentioned. Near the end of Revelation 20 there is one more great war, then the last judgment takes place. In chapter 21 we see a new heaven and earth with the city built foursquare, the New Jerusalem, descending from heaven. As we

read about the conditions of that time and the glory of the city we come to verse 21 (American Standard Version) which states, “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the several gates was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.”

I. The Pearls

Why are the gates made of pearl? Why not silver since their are pure gold streets? How about diamond? Or, even better since the its red color would remind us of the blood of Christ, ruby?

Let us consider how a pearl is naturally formed. A parasite or irritant gets lodged between the shellfish’s shell and mantle. The shellfish then secretes nacre, a.k.a. “mother of pearl,” over the irritant or parasite and over time a pearl is formed.

Think about those two terms: parasite and irritant. People and circumstances at times become parasites or irritants. Now, here is Matthew 7:6, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

While to a degree pearls might refer to the spiritual experiences a disciple might have like visions, speaking in tongues, or being overwhelmed by the presence of God, I feel Christ was teaching us about how to deal with certain troubles that come our way. Indeed, it is often fruitless when we tell an unsaved person, a weak Christian, or a Christian that needs to make progress, we have had a vision or we danced in the Spirit. However, it might be even worse if we tell such a person what trouble we are going through. They might not give Biblical advice. They might not be led by God’s Holy Spirit.

We are to remember that God through Christ is the source of pure wisdom and the ability to do the correct thing. He should be the first one we go to and, most times, the only one we go to. While Spirit led godly counsel is beneficial, too many fellowships and denominations create spiritually deficient disciples when they expect those disciples to come to them for direction in various areas. Do not get me wrong though. I do believe we have an obligation to spiritually mentor newborns in Christ, but somewhere in time the “cord must be cut” so they learn firsthand about being led by the Holy Spirit. Also, the cord does not have to be cut completely, for we are encouraged by God’s Word to spiritually aid those that need help (Galatians 6:2), albeit in every case we should encourage our fellow disciple to be personally Spirit led.

Whether it be people or situations, we all have irritants in our lives. While getting rid of them (Acts 16:16-18) is often the thing to do, it would be best to handle most irritants the way Paul did as recorded in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10:

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Essentially, go to God through Christ. Bring to Him repeatedly the situation over the course of a few days, if possible. Listen to the Holy Spirit. If there is no other direction from Him then seek the grace of God when confronted with the irritant.

So, what about parasites? Jacob is one good example of some being plagued by a parasite. While he stayed in Haran his father-in-law Laban changed his wages ten times (Genesis 31:41). Another example are the three “friends” of Job who came to comfort him, but instead they helped to emotionally drain him. Be careful, though, with such parasites, that they do not spiritually drain you.

In both the case of Jacob and Job, these men were transformed to become like Christ. The twelve gates of pearl in our verse speak to the fact that through Christ anyone can be transformed to the glory of God. However, the entirety of Holy Scripture indicates we must cooperate with the grace of God in our life in order to be transformed in such a way.

Also note that each of the twelve gates was a single pearl. This speaks to the fact that Christ with His life, authority, and power is the only answer for whatever we face.

II. The Gold

What often happens to gold after it is mined? It is refined by heat, and often “fire" is used in the Word of God in connection with refining gold. All disciples of Christ encounter such heat or fire when they experience persecution or testing through a circumstance.

Consider the Apostle Peter. Before the day of Pentecost there were many times


he was led by his own self and rarely by the Holy Spirit. Most people also know that he cowered when confronted by ladies who said he knew Christ, denying Christ three times. However, after Christ rose from the dead and confronted Peter about his inner commitment He forgave him (John 21:15-19). Then Peter, along with others, was filled with the Holy Spirit and their filling overflowed [A] so that they spoke in other tongues as the Holy Spirit directed (Acts 2). A short time after that, Peter was placed in prison with a good chance of being executed. However, he was so filled with the peace of God that an angel of God had to smack him on the side in order for him to wake up and make good on the escape plan God had provided for him (Acts 12:7).

When it comes to being tested, the account of Abraham being tested by God in Genesis 22 {1} is a prime example. To be clear, we mean “testing” in the sense of being refined. Abraham’s soul was placed into God’s crucible to be perfected when God told him (Genesis 22:2), “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and get into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell you of.”

Imagine what Abraham felt in his heart when God said that. And do not let the mockers and skeptics of the Holy Bible tell you that God did not know what He Himself was going to do or what Abraham was going to do. God knew very well what was going to happen, but the point is Abraham did not and Abraham needed to take one more step of perfection in God.

God worked in the lives of these men, and desires to do the same work in us that we might be changed into the image of Christ. Our verse says that the street of the city was of pure gold and transparent. Years back I heard that some scientists were saying that would be impossible, but some scientists themselves often attempt what is thought to be “impossible” and succeed. One might be amazed at what some in the scientific community are working on. But most amazing is what God does, by taking the crudest sinner and turning such a one into His workmanship.

Because Christ has lived the life that we should live, being without sin and pure, and because He was punished for our sin, died, rose, and ascended, His grace is available to those that truly trust Him and permit Him to do a work in them.

III. The Goal

Whether it be irritants or parasites, trouble or testing, it is necessary for each disciple to seek the grace of God in every situation. But we must go beyond seeking to applying that grace in our life. It might be hard to “turn the cheek,” especially when it seems like there is a piece of me or you that might want some sort of retribution, but if we believe His Word to the extent of obeying it His grace strengthens us as we are spiritually exercised by obedience to Him.

The Word of God is clear that we should develop the moral qualities of Christ and maintain them through constant fellowship and obedience unto Him Who died for us that we might live unto Him.

We are to persevere, not giving up because of any circumstance or because of any failure on our part. We are to strive to enter through the narrow gait (Matthew 7:14) and on to one of the gates of pearl that awaits those who have overcome by Christ. We are to consistently walk with Christ now so that we may walk on the purest gold for all eternity. And let us endeavor to bring others with us that they may be blessed with salvation, enjoying the pearls and gold for all eternity.

Notes:

{1} The King James Version has “God did tempt Abraham” in Genesis 22:1, the actual Hebrew word states he was tested, not tempted.

Unless otherwise noted all Holy Scripture is from the 1769 Authorized Version with spelling of some words updated for our time in addition to changing LORD to YHVH as it rightly should be when the text so indicates. An * next to the abbreviation for another translation or version indicates the same for the text presented.

This article was in the form of a sermon (message) outline with comments. God willing by November 20, 2014, (hopefully much sooner), you should be able to hear the actual message (sermon) by selecting a link at http://www.sapphirestreams.com/life/audioM.html#M340 . The mirror link will be http://macinta.webs.com/messages.html#M340 .

[A] Please see my article, Nine Fallacies About Speaking In Tongues at 
http://www.relijournal.com/Christianity/Nine-Fallacies-About-Speaking-in-Tongues.522907



Article Written By BrotherPete

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, having served over forty years as a pastor. I graduated from Northeast Bible College of Green Lane Pennsylvania and have a Bachelors Degree in Bible. I am enthused about the Word of God and how it can make a positive change in the life of anyone once it is teamed up with faith and the Holy Spirit. I am happily married. Visit www.sapphirestreams.com.

Last updated on 24-07-2016 344 4

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  • Lightningforce  29-03-2017
    Abraham was truly blessed. Jesus is the light that pierces the darkness. I love these kinds of articles because you are inspired to share the word of God and in Truth. I thought that you did a magniicent work here and that your imagination inspires me to think about my life and as a christian and that I love Jesus our Lord.
    reply 0
  • nbillett  28-12-2016
    Jesus is the light that has pierced the world's darkness and as he travels, the light spreads by his very presence and is enforced by his words that challenge and confront. And his words are tied to his works: he touches people in their sicknesses, diseases and weaknesses; even in their sins.
    reply 0
  • Morning Girl  26-01-2015

    I am eagerl awaiting of the culmination of God's plan for all His children and  I  mean all those who accept Jesus as Lord and ; Not all are children of God so not all will get the chance to enjoy that glorious day.

    reply 0
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