THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE

 

THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

This past week has been a “different” and still “undefinable” week as I have been separated into the Presence of the Lord.  When I arrived home in Texas after my mother’s funeral, my spirit was still in Missouri.  Normally when I am traveling between regions, my spirit goes before me and shows me my next assigned mission.

 

Being quarantined, I yielded in the Holy Spirit to discover this mystery.   The Holy Spirit pulled out of me the short story, “The Land That Raised Me.”  I ended the story with, “I found the Pearl of Great Price.”

 

Kathie Walters picked up the story and sent out to her data base.  One of the people who read the story, a lady by the name of Dorothea, wrote me and asked me for the rest of the story.  Well, I believe that short story will one day be chapter one of the book I am supposed to write (smile).  I have consistently told everyone who told me to “write a book,” that I haven’t felt the anointing.  Well, I felt it last Sunday and that is when I wrote Chapter One. 

 

This sermon is not about my spiritual journey of how I found the one pearl of great price, it is about the “one pearl.” 

 

In August 2013, I saw written out in a dream, “Carolyn preach on The Pearl”.

 

Matthew 13: 45-46: The Kingdom of heaven is like a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls; who, when he found one pearl of great price, went out sold all that he had, and bought it.

 

In the series of parables in Matthew 13, Jesus is telling us the cost of possessing the Kingdom of God.  Here is verse 45, the Kingdom is described as the Kingdom of heaven.  The Kingdom of God tells us who runs it and the Kingdom of heaven tells us where it is.

 

Matthew 13:44: The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

 

Matthew 6:33-34:  Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Take no thought for tomorrow, for tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself…”

 

Life gives us choices.  We choose everyday whether we want the blessing of the Kingdom, or the straw to make the bricks from the world system.  We choose to do right or to do wrong.  We choose to be givers or takers.  We choose to be gracious or surly.  We choose to love or hate.  We choose to forgive or hold grudges.  We choose to be offended or be un-offendable.  We choose to have the last-word or yield to pacify offense. We choose to tithe or steal from God.  We choose to obey God’s word or rebel to satisfy our own lusts.  We choose to lie or speak truth.  The choices are always clear.  There is an earthly and a heavenly reward for our choices.

 

Those who choose the way and realm of the Kingdom will walk in heaven’s blessings all the days of their life.  Will God prove you? Yes!  He will test your mettle in the face of persecution, rejection, suffering, financial challenges, lusts, and certainly the biggest stumbling block may be the “pride of life.”  Our self-righteousness as Christians can become a “pride of life.”    

 

None of us can boast about anything except the LORD by His great mercy delivered us from all of our stupid choices and ideology.    We cannot take any accolades for wisdom, understanding or knowledge, because it is a Gift from the Lord through the Holy Spirit.  “God’s grace can do all without our preaching, but our preaching can do nothing without God’s grace.” (Matthew Henry).

 

Yet, the decision is ours.  Do we walk away from all that is not of God and follow Jesus Christ?  That is the cost of the One Pearl of Greatest Price.

 

When the rich young ruler came to Jesus and asked him “what must I do to inherit eternal life?   Jesus told the rich young ruler that he lacked one thing.  Sell all that you have and distribute unto the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.

 

It was not the wealth of the rich young ruler that was his stumbling block.  His wealth had hold of him. He trusted in his riches.   He had obeyed all of the law his entire life.  He was a good man by Jewish Law.  When the people listening heard this, they asked who can be saved?  Jesus’ answer delivers all of us.   The things which are impossible with men are possible with God(Lk. 18:20-22).

 

I feel like when we get go heaven, the rich, young ruler will be there.  I believe just as the LORD did the impossible at the Cross for you and I and delivered us from trusting in the riches of the world system, this young man received of that same Grace to deliver him from his “love of money.” Jesus was telling him the keeping of the law and the commandments would not save him, but God through the miracle of the Cross would save him.

 

Most of us did not know we needed to be delivered until we came face to face with our Savior.   This is a day by day walk. 

 

Throughout the Bible, the pearl is used in imagery as a standard of excellence, beauty, brilliance, and value.

 

Job 28:18:  No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; the price of wisdom is above pearls (R.S.V.) rubies (K.J.V.)

 

The Lord spoke to me a few years ago that my understanding was my wisdom.  That is mystery in itself.

 

Job. 28:28: Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.

 

We must pray for Wisdom and understanding

 

1 Cor. 14:15: I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also

 

Moses spoke concerning Bezaleel Ex. 36: 30-33: The Lord has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom in understanding, and in knowledge; and in all manner of workmanship.

 

The Kingdom of God is supernatural.  It goes above and beyond the realm of the natural…the strength and wisdom of man…the ability and intellect of man.  This is a supernatural gospel ministered by a supernatural people empowered by the supernatural God (Theos).

 

The glory of the gospel of the Kingdom of God is so precious that it should not be offered to hostile people indiscriminately.

 

Mt. 7:6:  Do not give that which is holy to dogs and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under foot and turn to attack you.

 

As we have grown in “wisdom,” we have learned to wisely discern the spirits in certain swine circles, not from “fear,” for we know that our Kingdom standing of “righteousness, peace and joy” will shine as a brilliant light into the darkness of scorn, mocking, and persecution by the “swine.”  As we respond to the darkness of the “swine” in wisdom and understanding, the brilliant light of the gospel of the Kingdom will penetrate and dissipate the darkness and pain of their soul.  The “joy” of the Holy Spirit within us is not to be placed in submission to the power of the darkness.

 

“It is not everyone who is fit to be reproved.  Give not that which is holy unto the dogs”.  Our zeal against sin must be guided by discretion, and we must not go about to give instructions, counsels and rebukes, much less comforts to hardened scorners.  Throw a pearl to a “swine” and he will resent it.  Give not to “dogs” and “swine” (unclean creatures) holy things.” (Matthew Henry)

 

The pearls of the Kingdom of God are precious ordinances of God.  Among the generation of the wicked, there are some that have walked so long in the way of sinners that they have sat down at the feet of the scornful.  They despise and hate instruction and are in defiance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

 

We should never submit our “soul” to be trampled on by anyone.  The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  Anyone who purposely and intentionally attempts to cause us pain, are “swine”.  That is if we are living in the Spirit of God and not provoking them to wrath.

 

If Christians are being trampled and attacked by “swine”, then they have made themselves vulnerable and victims to the “swine spirit” in dis-obedience to the “Wisdom of the Kingdom.”

 

(This does not apply to those who have been chosen and sent as martyrs.)  Do not take the “mantle” of martyr on yourselves through a “victim spirit.”  That would be another sin of casting your pearls before “swine”.  “Those that are full of the Holy Spirit are fit for anything, either to act for Christ or to suffer for him.” (M.H.)

 

For those of us who have found the Pearl of greatest price, the journey cost our soul all that we had along the way.  However, the Lord restored all that was lost to better than before, and then covered it with His glory. 

 

Generally speaking, I can say the people who are called to this “pasture” are on a journey and like the merchant man in Mt. 13, you are “SEEKING.”  The journey of life has many twists and turns.  At each stage of development, the “seeker” in us is pushing forward to higher ground.  The “seeker” within us is activated by the Holy Spirit.  It is the Holy Spirit who draws us deeper and deeper into Christ as “deep calls to deep”.

 

In our twenties, the natural man “seeks” prosperity, a mate, a home, and then a family.  We can become comfortable and content in those blessings.  The Lord will then pull a “twig” out of our nest and the “seeker” begins to draw deeper into Christ.

 

Matthew 7: 7-8:  Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you; for every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.  

 

When we begin “seeking” the Lord for “more” contentment, happiness, peace, joy, fullness of days, health, love, prosperity, family, more of the Lord, etc. we are like the merchant man seeking goodly pearls.  When I was in my early 30’s, I had the understanding that the pearl of great price was life’s greatest attainment.  However, the journey was not quite as simple as the knowledge and the preaching of that understanding.   Like I said earlier, there were many twists, turns, ups, downs, tests, failures, successes, sorrows, and gladness on the journey.  I am still on the journey and continue to discover the beauty and joy of this One Great Pearl.

 

The Lord will prove us in prosperity and he will prove us when we are in debt. 

 

We must be teachable and ever open to change which is growth.  We are continually learning and growing, for Jesus is continually teaching with the invitation to come up hither.  We must learn to stand still to hear what God is saying today by His Spirit.  We are all learning together.  The truth will always astonish us and will always set us free into liberty.

 

The Kingdom is not fleshly; that is, it is not based upon the natural senses.  We in this kingdom are not moved by what we see or hear in the realm of circumstances.  The Kingdom demands perseverance, “no man having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

 

When it seems, the battle is at its fiercest and raging all around us that is when we are the closest to the victory.

 

The Kingdom involves persecution, tribulation and affliction.  We can see that the half-hearted will not fight the good fight of faith.  This walk is for overcomers who are victorious in Jesus.

 

The Kingdom is to be taken to the whole earth.  Matt. 24:14: This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the entire world for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.

 

We look around and we know that these are epochal days.  We rejoice that we have been brought to the Kingdom for such a time as this.  The “Kosmos” is falling apart.  The Voice (Word) of the Lord is shaking heaven and earth.  Only that which is part of the unshakeable Kingdom cannot and will not be moved.  Our Kingdom is going to stand.  Like Noah of old, there will be a people who will inherit the earth…a people who will remain after the days of shaking (Heb. 12: 26-29; Mt. 24: 37-41; 1 Thess. 4: 15-17; Rev. 3:2).  We shall. like Noah, be left to inherit the earth!  The word for “remain” is “perileipo” and means “to leave over or to survive” and so points to the remnant of those who are not moved by this shaking of the “Kosmos”.   We have been clearly identified and confirmed to be in that number by the vision I had of our church as a “cabin in the cucumber patch” (Isa. 1: 8-9 – June 2013).

 

We are sent and commissioned to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, the gospel of the Kingdom of God.  To preach the gospel is to persuade men “concerning Jesus”.  It is a message that proclaims Jesus to be Lord.  The message is one that will produce a people in the earth that are: heavenly in culture, in language, in character, in authority, in message and proclamation; and in life-style.

 

The final appearance of the imagery of “The Pearl” in the Holy Bible is truly resplendent.  In John’s vision of New Jerusalem, each of the twelve gates of the Kingdom of Heaven is made from a single pearl with the dazzling effect reinforced by the street of the city, which is “pure gold, transparent as glass(Rev. 21:21).

 

The city = a people = the abode for the fullness of God-Body of Christ = the Lamb’s Wife = the church in Glory and perfection = bride adorned.

 

The twelve gates = twelve experience which do progressively unfold from Christ.  The divine nature from within you.

 

Each gate = Pearl = pain = great price= that which is costly---not just one experience but many.  Pearls are created because of a foreign deposit.  This is painful.  Pearl oysters are found in clusters and in the depths.  One must dive to the depths and search.

 

The Holy Bible tells us of twelve ways to enter the Kingdom of the abundant, overcoming life style (Jn. 10:10).  Each of the gates is a manifestation of the nature of God in each of us kicking hard to be birthed from within.  See teaching on website Bible Studies – The Twelve Gates of Pearl, December 2007 by: Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

  1. By being poor in Spirit – Mt. 5:3:  Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Jesus is not talking about finances, but rather an attitude of “I need you Lord.: 
  2. By being born of the Spirit and receiving a new nature: John 3:3: Verily, verily, I say to you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.
  3. By being righteous – (part of the divine nature) --- Mt. 5:20: except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no way enter into the Kingdom of heaven.
  4. By seeking--- Mt. 6:33: Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
  5. By being childlike (the nature of a Lamb) --- Mt. 18: 3-4: Verily I say to you, except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” This, of course, does not mean childish, but humble and teachable, able to receive instruction.
  6. By being instructed---Mt. 13:52: Every scribe which is instructed to the kingdom of heaven is like to a man that is in a household which brings forth out of his treasure things new and old.”
  7. By doing the will of the Father---Mt. 7: 21-23: Not everyone that says to Me, Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but the that does the will of My Father which is in heaven.
  8. By being violent in the will of the Father ---Mt. 11:12: From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”  Caleb spirit- Numbers 14:24: My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit within him, and has followed Me fully him will I bring into the land whereto he went; and his seed shall possess it.
  9. By purging out the offenses (traps, snares, hindrances---Mt. 6:22; Mark 9:47: If your eye offend you, pluck it out; it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
  10. By pressing – walking alone at times---the law and the prophets were until John; since that time the Kingdom of God is preached, and every man presses into it.  The pressing is personal and often very lonely.
  11. By tribulation (Loneliness, misunderstanding, rejection, crucifixion) ---Mt. 5: 19-12; Acts 14:22.  the Lord spoke to me once that the Office of the Evangelist was a lonely walk.  We all must continue in the faith---no turning back---keep moving forward.
  12. By adding to your Faith until you reach the sum (end) of your faith:  We keep maturing until we reach the sum, which is a man in the throne with a ministry energized by a nature of love, the nature of God.

 

Mt. 13: 45-46:  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls; who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

 

On our journey, we have found our way through the Eastern gate into the city.  It is the Lord who named this ministry, the Eastgate.  The gate is made of one large pearl, resplendent of the glory of the Kingdom of God.

 

Preached by: Pastor Carolyn Sissom

Eastgate Ministries, Inc.

www.eastgateministries.com

Scripture from K.J.V. – In my “seeking” and “pressing” in to discover the unsearchable riches of The Pearl, I entered into the labors of Matthew Henry Bible Commentary; Sermon on the Mount by:  Dr. Kelley Varner; The Twelve Gates of the City by: K. H. Varner’ The Gates of Pearl Sermon Notes by: Pastor Carolyn Sissom, December 2007; The Pearl, 8/11/2013 by: Pastor Carolyn Sissom