Sunday, January 28, 2024, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


Last Sunday when I preached on the “Twelve Gates of Pearl,” I came under a heavy presence of the Holy Spirit which stayed on me as a weight of glory through Monday.  As a result of that visitation, I purposed to continue preaching on New Jerusalem ministering from “The Twelve Precious Stones” which are the foundations of the wall of the “City.”  As always after touching the Glory of God, I spent my week repenting of my many sins and failures; and pressing into Christ for our failures as a people both individually and generationally. 


Like the Twelve Gates of Pearl, the truths of the Twelve Precious Stones is deeper and wider than anyone could possibly preach in one sermon.  Like the twelve gates, these are a visual of Christ being formed in peoples of all races and back grounds. It is a visual of the finished work of the glorified community of God pictured in a “City” and a “Bride.”


I am of the persuasion the Lord Jesus is empowering His church with a greater visitation of His Glory.  I want to finish my race for what possibly may be the next decade in complete union with Him.  I have no aspirations for “a ministry,” “a book,” “a legacy,” “or even a building,” etc.  Yes, we are constructing a building, but that is not where my eyes are focused.  No! I am looking for a “City” whose builder and maker is God. 


According to my notes, I first pursued this study under the Blessings of the House of Jacob in 1992.  This is a prayer I wrote in December 1992: “O Great and Might God whose name is the Lord of Hosts, great in counsel and mighty in deed.  I ask you for the blessings of the House of Jacob to be upon our families, upon this ministry and upon everyone you have called to this ministry and upon the redeemed in the nations of the earth.  That:  No longer will we be ashamed or our faces be pale with fear.  That:  We will see the work of your hand among our children and grandchildren.  That:  Our children will keep your name Holy and continually acknowledge the Holiness of the Holy One of Israel.  That:  We will be in awe of the God of Israel.  That:  All who attend these meetings who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding, and those who complain will accept instruction.  (Isaiah 29:22)  We ask for the anointing for all who are here this night that we may call to you and you will answer us and tell us great and unsearchable things we do not know.  I ask you for the blessing that we will bear fruit in all our ways, that we will bring to you renown, joy, praise and honor.  That all will be in awe and tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace you provide for us.  Amen”


I can say, I have lived long enough to see this prayer fulfilled not only in my life, but in the life of so many others.


“Twelve of the great doctrines of our inheritance we have in Christ are found in the twelve stones of the “City.”  Every one of these twelve great truths begins at the cross and at the sacrifice of the Lamb of God.  They all stem directly from the shed blood of Jesus, and all are the greatest and richest of teachings” (Lyn Gitchel).


Exodus 28: 15-21: You shall make the breastplate of judgment… you shall make it of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, you shall make it…  You shall put settings of stones in it, four rows of stones; the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and an emerald, this shall be the first row; the second row shall be a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond; the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; and the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper.  They shall be set in gold settings. The stones shall be the names of the sons of Israel; twelve according to their names, like the engravings of a signet, each one with its own name…


Rev. 21: 19-21: The foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones.  The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprases; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth an amethyst.  And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gates were of one pearl.


The order of the stones are carefully documented and numbered in Revelation for all eternity, emphasizing the significance of their order.  


Josephus: “For God has declared beforehand, by those twelve stones which the High Priest bare upon his breast and which were inserted into his breastplate, when they should be victorious in battle; for so great a splendor shown forth from them before the army began to march, that all the people were sensible of God’s being present for their assistance.”


Josephus shows we have the supernatural answer to victory in our Christian experience.  It shows us all that we are conquerors and overcomers by the imputed power of the Christ within. 


In Revelation 21:19, the foundations of the “City” walls are decorated with every kind of precious stone:  The twelve precious stones mentioned in verses 19-20 are reminiscent of those in the high priestly breastplate, engraved with the names of the twelve sons of Israel.


 The twelve pearly gates in verse 21 convey the splendor of the glorified people of God.


Rev. 7:9: After this I beheld, and, lo, “a great multitude, which no man could number, and people, and tongues stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palms in their hands.



  This is the home of righteousness.  God had a plan.  The beloved “City” is thus marked out as the True Israel or People of God.  This is emphasized by the re-occurrence of the number twelve and its multiples throughout the description of the city.  Here using the number twelve as being metaphorical of the number of the elect and God’s government of His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.


Rev. 7:4: Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.  Then I heard the number of those who were sealed:  144,000 from all the tribes of Israel:


The stones God selected for the breastplate had their own significance in ancient days.  As I preached last week using the order of the Gates sealed in Revelation 7 and thus the order of the Twelve Gates of Pearl, I will continue in that order.


In Exodus 28,  The Priestly garment in the Old Testament was made of fine linen, pure gold, precious stones, costly ointment, cunning workmanship, all used by wise hearts.


 The New Testament speaks of God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothed with compassion, kindness, humility, goodness, and patience.  Bearing with each other, forgiving grievances against one another, bonding together with love and perfect unity... 


In Exodus 28:10, the stones were placed on the Ephod (breastplate of the High Priest) in four rows of three according to their birth. The names of the tribes were engraved on the stones.  In Revelation 21:19-21, the precious stones in the foundation of New Jerusalem are in a different order and two are left out.


BREASTPLATE – Ex. 18:10:

First row: Sardius, topaz, carbuncle.

Second row: Emerald, sapphire, diamond

Third row: Ligure, agate, amethyst.

Fourth row: Beryl, onyx, jasper.d


Foundations of New Jerusalem: Rev. 21:19-21:


These are listed as twelve foundations of the walls of the city, which can be interpreted as one on top of the other, or lateral.


First foundation was Jasper; second, sapphire; third, chalcedony; fourth, an emerald; fifth, sardonyx; sixth, sardius; seventh; chrysolite; eight, beryl; ninth, topaz; tenth, chrysoprase; eleventh jacinth; twelfth, amethyst.


The variety of stones upon which the names were written are that no two were alike.  This is a picture of the Church of God on earth with no two believers alike.  We all look at life from various angles.  Our views on doctrine differ.  Thus, we have different groups, gifts, callings, functions, denominations, etc., but we are all one in Christ by our belief in His death and resurrection and only in His name and Blood are we saved to eternal life.


All twelve were precious stones.  “Precious is the eyes of Jehovah in His death for His Saints.” 


1.     Sardius: The first stone on the breastplate is Judah.  The stone is Sardius, a blood red or wine stone.  The stone was used for making seals and signets as a mark of authority.  We, as believers, are sealed with the blood of Jesus and nothing Satan can bring against us can ever change that. To have the characteristics of Judah means to have Christ dwelling within the heart in all fullness.

Gen. 49: 8-12: Judah, you are he whom your brethren shall praise:  your hand shall be in the neck of your enemies; your father’s children shall bow down before you.  Judah is a lion’s whelp: from the prey, my son, you are gone up: the scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.  Bind his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine and his clothes in the blood of grapes. Praise will always bring blessings in its train.   The scepter is an anointing of authority, acceptance, and nobility.  Judah (Regal tribe from which the kings of Israel came).  Out of Judah came the Messiah, the Lion of the tribe of Judah.  This also represents the Kingly anointing.  The wine stands for fruitfulness and joy blending the earthly and the heavenly. (Note prophecy in Deut. 33:7) This is the first gate in New Jerusalem, and speaks of the experience of Praise, confidence, faith and trust in God.  It is the sixth stone in the foundations of New Jerusalem.


2. TOPAZ: The second stone engraved in the breastplate is Issachar.  The stone is Topaz, a golden-yellow or rose stone.   A reward for diligently seeking, beauty, wisdom, long life, bright and cheerful – reflecting the Glory of the Lord.  Job likened wisdom to this stone (Job 28:18-20). Wisdom is not knowledge; nor is it education.  Someone with almost no education can still excel in wisdom.  Gen. 49:14-15: Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens: and he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear and became a servant unto tribute. (Note prophecy in Deut. 33:19).  This is the ninth gate in New Jerusalem and speaks of the experience that we do love our master and that we cannot be bought.  This is the ninth stone in the foundation of New Jerusalem.


3.     CARBUNCLE:  Zebulun is the tribe represented by the third stone.   The stone is Carbuncle: glittering, lightning, or flashing.  This is the modern-day garnet which means seed.  Carbuncle-garnet is metaphorical of His seed in us.   In the New Jerusalem, chrysolite replaces carbuncle.  Chrysolite is a gold stone.  Gold speaks of divinity.  Carbuncle tells us about the seed of God, resident in believers, lifting and guiding us always towards the goal, which is the fullness of Christ himself with the manifestation of the nature of God.  It is fitting that at the end of the journey the seed should be replaced by the gold gemstone.  It is a token of having reach the goal in the “City” of finally becoming what He wants us to be, His own image and likeness.  

   Genesis 49:13:  Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for a haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.”  Two disciples asked Jesus, “rabbi where dwellest thou?  He dwelled in Nazareth of Zebulun.  Jesus in Galilee, Bethlehem, Capernaum, Bethsaida, Cana, mountains of the beatitudes, Mount of Transfigurations, Mount of Olives, and Calvary.  The people who sat in darkness saw a great light; and to them which sat in the region and in the shadow of death, light is sprung up.  This is the tenth gate and the seventh stone in the foundation of  New Jerusalem.


  1. EMERALD:  THE FOURTH Stone in the breastplate is Reuben.  The stone is emerald. Rev. 4:3:  A rainbow resembling an emerald circled the throne.  Marred by internal fractures, emeralds are a perfect picture of peace.  The end result of our journey is that we will have perfect peace without a flaw --- absolute peace in spite of our  circumstances and unmarred by our fears. 

2 Peter 3:13-14: We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.  Wherefore, beloved seeking that you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace.  

Genesis 49:3: “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the Excellency of dignity, and the Excellency of power:  Unstable as water, you shall not excel; because you went up to your father’s bed; then defiled thou it; he went up to my couch.  He should have received three portions priesthood, birthright, and kingdom, but because of sin, the birthright is given to Joseph, the Kingdom to Judah and the High Priesthood to Levi.  Instability was his weakness.  One sin forty years ago cost Reuben his birthright.  Those saved by grace, saved though as by fire.  A precious stone like all the rest.  One of the stones in the foundation of the walls of the “City.”  We all wear emerald.   This is the second gate in New Jerusalem and speaks of the experience of the new birth – impartation and deposit of the very nature of God.  This is the fourth stone in the foundation of New Jerusalem.


  1. SAPPHIRE:  The Fifth Stone in the breastplate is Simeon.  The stone is Sapphire. A clear blue stone which often has in its blue depths a six-rayed white star.  In Ezekiel’s visions, a sapphire pavement is under God’s throne.  In Rev. 21:19, the New Jerusalem, the bride of Christ, is spoke of as having a foundation of sapphire. The sapphire is seen, not above but underneath the feet, and herein lies the teaching of this stone: heaven  although above, is truly the pavement under our feet for we are seated in the heavenlies in Christ.

 Genesis 49:5:  Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.  Oh, my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honor, be not you united:  for in their anger, they slew a man, and in their self will they dug down a wall.  Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel:  I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel.  This is for all of us who have dealt with a spirit of anger from within.  But Simeon repented and his stone, the Sapphire is the second precious stone in the foundation of New Jerusalem. This is the Seventh gate.


  1. DIAMOND:  The sixth stone in the breastplate is Gad.  The Stone is diamond.  A hardness that cannot be broken.  The diamond is the hardest known substance and is one of highest valued gemstones in existence.  Diamond is not mentioned in the New Testament and is not one of the stones in the foundation of the New Jerusalem.  It is replaced by a chry-so-pra-sus.   The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron and with the point of a diamond (Jer. 17:1).  It is written in God’s book of remembrance. Sin could never be removed until Jesus came.

Genesis 49:19: A troop shall overcome him:  but he shall overcome at the last.  Guilty though we were, the blood of Jesus cleansed us and set us back into the right relationship with God so that we are free from condemnation, as the chry-so-pra-sus symbolizes.   Blessed is he that enlarges Gad.  Elijah was from this tribe.  He who executes the justice of the Lord.”  Gad is the third gate of New Jerusalem, and the chry-so-pra-sus is the tenth stone. 


  1. LIGURE.  The seventh stone in the breastplate was Ephraim (the second son of Joseph and the grandson of Jacob).  The Stone is Ligure. This stone is unknown to us today.   Ephraim means doubly fruitful.  He inherited a double portion of the first born as Joseph’s son.  This is Joseph’s fruitfulness in the land of his affliction.  The stone is identified with rest.  Heb. 4:9: Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”  His stone is not in the foundation of New Jerusalem nor is he one of the gates of New Jerusalem.  We assume that Joseph took the place of Ephraim, thus keeping this gate in the house of Joseph.  Joseph is the 11th gate in New Jerusalem.    


  1. AGATE.  The eighth stone in the breastplate is Manasseh.  The stone is the Agate, a multicolored semiprecious stone of the quartz family.   It is a form of chalcedony, and is listed as such in the foundations of the New Jerusalem.  Agate is found where waters have been flowing, or are presently flowing. This is a type of Christ being formed in us as we flow in and from the River of God.    “Forgetfulness as a virtue.  Putting the suffering the past behind and pressing on.  Forgetting self, grievances, and sin.”  God has made me forget all my toil.”  The joy of the present can heal the heartbreak of the past.  Manasseh is the sixth gate and the third stone in the foundations of New Jerusalem.   


  1. AMETHYST:  The ninth stone in the Breastplate is Benjamin.  The stone is the Amethyst, a rock crystal, violet to purple in color. They made goblets to drink wine from amethyst.  We can compare the amethyst as a cup – the cup of the Lord which we will all drink from along our spiritual journey. To God’s people, he is a cup of blessing; to the wicked, they drink from the cup of his fury.  This is the Son of the Right-Hand Company.  This was the only son born after Jacob’s name was changed to Israel.  Joseph was the end of the old nature and now Benjamin has come forth in the new nature.  Many brave warriors came from the tribe of Benjamin.  Ehud, the left-handed warrior, Jonathan, Mordica, Esther, and Paul who said, For I also am an Israelite of the seed of Abraham of the tribe of Benjamin. Genesis 49:27: Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf:  in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.  Benjamin is the 12th Gate.  This gate speaks of the experience of sitting with him in the throne as a full brother.  This would include the adoption and our coming into the fullness of His stature.  This is also the 12th stone in the Foundation of New Jerusalem. He was also number 12 in his order of birth.   


  1.  BERYL:  The tenth stone in the breastplate is Dan.  The stone is a Beryl.  These gemstones are six-sided, prismatic crystals of great hardness. Sometimes known as the aquamarine, a blue green like sea water.  The hands of the bridegroom in the Song of Solomon are set with Beryl.  The swift and powerful chariots and wheels seen by Ezekiel are made of Beryl.   Ex. 33:22: Dan is a lion’s whelp; he shall leap from Bashan.  The children of Dan committed a grave sin of idolatry (Amos 8:14).  However, the Beryl is the eighth stone in the foundation of New Jerusalem.    


  1.   ONYX:  The Eleventh stone in the breastplate is Asher. The stone is Onyx. It is chalcedony quartz.  In the foundation of New Jerusalem, it is identified as chalcedony.  The onyx means a flashing forth of splendor to shine with the luster of fire.  It means to be happy or blessed.  One of quality.  Genesis 49:20: Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.  Let him dip his foot in oil.  “The Iraq petroleum Company passes through Asher.  It is also fruitful in olive groves.  Oil is metaphorical of the Holy Spirit and the overcoming life.  Christ is the bread of life to his people.  Asher represent people who feast upon the finest wheat.  A living biding communion with Christ Himself.  Let Asher be blessed with children.”  Not bothered with jealousy by others. 
    Asher’s shoes shall be iron and brass.”  Asher is the fourth gate and third stone in New Jerusalem.  This gate speaks of the experience of being content in every experience and circumstance.  This is manifested by worship in every situation. As we have born the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. (1 Co. 15:49).


  1.  JASPER:  The twelfth stone in the breastplate is Naphtali.  The stone is jasper.  The jasper is of many colors – yellow, scarlet, green and brown.  Jasper must have been very important in the plan of God.  Not only is it the 12th stone in the breastplate of the high priest but is also the first foundation of the New Jerusalem.  In Revelation 21:18, the wall itself is made of jasper.  Jasper lives in the higher realms of a spiritual atmosphere showing forth the Glory of God.  Genesis 49:21: Naphtali is a hind let loose: he gives goodly words.  Naphtali means wrestling.  The oak is made strong as it struggles against wind and storm.  He will travail until Christ be formed within.  He is affectionate, satisfied with favor, full of the blessings of the Lord.  He will possess the west and the south.  Naphtali is the fifth Gate.  This gate speaks of the experience of being and overcomer who is releasing the creative word.


Not on the breastplate are two other sons of Jacob.  The first is Levi which means joining.  He fell deeply into sin but was lifted high in holiness.  “He that is forgiven much, loves much.”  Levi has no territory, no fields, and no coasts.  The blessings were on the work of his hands.  In Genesis 49:5, he shares his blessing with Simeon.  Levi is the eighth Gate in New Jerusalem.  We have no way of knowing if his stone is one of the two unidentified stones in the foundation of New Jerusalem.


The other son was Josep, but hJoseph means fruitful.   A fruitful bough.  Fruit of the spirit in full measure.  Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, kindness, and temperance.  One who is planted by the rivers of water.  One whose branches run over the wall, grieved by misunderstanding, shot at by hurling accusations, hated by brethren, made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob, blessed of the Lord.  Joseph is the 11th gate in the New Jerusalem.


Joseph had joy in family renewal, peace of heart while in prison, longsuffering toward a forgetful butler, gentleness when his brothers were cruel, goodness in his home life, faith in his God, meekness in his dreams, temperance in Potiphar’s house.  In Genesis all of the blessings of heaven and earth, blessings past present and future are bestowed upon Joseph…


Behold I am coming soon, bringing my recompense to repay everyone for what he has done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”


Isaiah 49: Is it too small of a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept.  I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.


The Lord has not changed His mind about the Redemptive purposes for which he raised up the House of Jacob and for the blessings to those of us who through the Seed, Jesus Christ of Nazareth will inherit the blessings.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

10115 West Hidden Lakes Lane

Richmond, TX

Over the years, I have taught this at least five times to different audiences. I make changes to accommodate the people and the times.  I really do not have a clue as to where I studied the original text.  It could have been, These are The Garments by C. W. Slemming.  Some could have come from F.F. Bruce Bible Commentary.  Others from The Twelve Gates of the City by Kelly Varner. Truths in the Gemstones by Lyn Gitchel.   Most of this has been copied direct from the Holy Bible with my own comments.  This is a teaching with no intention of plagiarizing.  I simply have lost track of the origin of some of the material.  (Excerpt from The Blessings of the House of Jacob by:  Carolyn Sissom November 25, 2007, October 9, 2000, June 1996, January 4, 1992).

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