4. Christ’s Pearl through the Ages

By John Thiel, The Pearl of Great Price in the Hour of Temptation Conference, Study 4, mp3

We must remember why we are here. It is good after a day of hard work that we recall why we are doing it. That we appreciate why we are engaging the way that we do and the efforts we make to press together when it sometimes appears as though it can’t be done. It can be done, but only as we keep on reflecting upon the pearl that we have been pondering upon. In our meditations regarding the church the pearl for which Jesus has sacrificed all for, we reflect upon this statement:

The Lord God of heaven collected all the riches of the universe, and laid them down in order to purchase the pearl of lost humanity. {OHC 13.3}

Do you remember who we are? We are lost humanity. Jesus came to purchase us and what did He do? The Lord God collected all the riches of the universe and laid them down in order to purchase the pearl of lost humanity. Keep remembering this when we have to lay down certain things that sometimes we find hard to do.

The Father gave all His divine resources into the hands of Christ in order that the richest blessings of heaven might be poured out upon a fallen race. God could not express greater love than He has expressed in giving the Son of His bosom to this world. {OHC 13.3}

Could He have done any more? He could not express greater love than He has expressed.

This gift was given to man to convince him that God had left nothing undone that He could do, that there is nothing held in reserve, but that all heaven has been poured out in one vast gift. The present and eternal happiness of man consists in receiving God’s love, and in keeping God’s commandments. {OHC 13.3}

I want us to recapture this amazing price that was paid for the pearl of great price from God’s viewpoint. We are regarded by God as a pearl of great price that He sacrificed everything for to purchase. As you permit this to replay in your imagination, it keeps on generating an energy, a power within that cannot be abated; it just pulsates on. Let us trace down from Adam to now the pearl that God held so dear. He purchased His pearl and He held it so dear all through the ages from Adam right through to now. Here is the description of the pearl that Jesus is:

The righteousness of Christ, as a pure, white pearl, has no defect, no stain. No work of man can improve the great and precious gift of God. It is without a flaw. In Christ are “hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3. He is “made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” 1 Corinthians 1:30. All that can satisfy the needs and longings of the human soul, for this world and for the world to come, is found in Christ. Our Redeemer is the pearl so precious that in comparison all things else may be accounted loss. {COL 115.1}

We have these two powerful aspects. We have Jesus the great pearl who paid all for us. This righteousness of Christ as a pure white pearl that has no defect or stain, look how this is ascribed to His pearl on earth. We are connecting Him as the great pearl and His righteousness with His wonderful pearl here on earth, Christ’s pearl through the ages.

Jeremiah 33:16 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this [is the name] wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.

We just read in Christ’s Object Lessons that Jesus is a pearl without flaw. Here we have read how that pearl that righteousness of Jesus, is actually transferred upon His church. What should she be called? She shall be called, The LORD our righteousness. That beautiful pearl Christ’s righteousness, is transferred to His church that is called the Lord our righteousness. Jesus the pearl is transferred upon His people. There she is the pearl Judah in that day.

Jeremiah 6:2 I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate [woman]. 3 The shepherds with their flocks shall come unto her; they shall pitch [their] tents against her round about; they shall feed everyone in his place.

Mark these words of the shepherds who pitched their tents against round about her, this pearl of a woman. Have you ever heard men calling their wife a beautiful pearl? That is exactly what Jesus is calling this comely and delicate woman, this church. He has likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.

This beautiful woman, this pearl, this church that is called the Lord our righteousness, is described in very many places. While we are just fresh on the shepherds in conjunction with the woman, let us consider these verses. This is the thrill to see the chain of pearls in God’s word that link together so perfectly. We wonder when we are tossed from one church to the next, what is your beautiful pearl, who is she?

Song of Solomon 1:7 Tell me, O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest [thy flock] to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions?:8 If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds’ tents.

Where did that come from? What did Jeremiah say? The shepherds of the flock shall come unto the comely and delicate woman and pitch their tents with her round about. The woman is saying, where do you feed my love? The answer is to follow the footsteps of the flocks that are always feeding where the Lord our righteousness is pouring His beautiful word. These texts belong together so preciously. This comely and delicate woman, this daughter of Zion that He regards as His precious pearl is described:

Song of Solomon 7:1 How beautiful are thy feet with shoes, O prince’s daughter! the joints of thy thighs [are] like jewels, the work of the hands of a cunning workman. 2 Thy navel [is like] a round goblet, [which] wanteth not liquor: thy belly [is like] an heap of wheat set about with lilies.

Song of Solomon 7:6 How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!

Can you see Him looking upon His beautiful pearl describing her in all her beauty? When you have a very precious gem and love something that is beautiful, don’t you enjoy looking at it and speak of its beauty? This is Jesus rejoicing over His people. Sometimes I wonder whether we really appreciate these things because we are so apt to fall into rote Christianity. This is what keeps me joyful under every circumstance, to see that Jesus is so fascinated with His people whom He has redeemed. He shows them the beautiful way by which they can find this pearl.

Song of Solomon 1:9 I have compared thee, O my love, to a company of horses in Pharaoh’s chariots. 10 Thy cheeks are comely with rows [of jewels], thy neck with chains [of gold].

I just love looking at you, you are my precious pearl with all those jewels glistening there.

Psalms 45:7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. 8 All thy garments [smell] of myrrh, and aloes, [and] cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad. 9 Kings’ daughters [were] among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir. 10 Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house; 11 So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he [is] thy Lord; and worship thou him.

Can you see her, He wants us to worship Him but He admires the church? He desires her beauty. What is that? O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. His church, His pearl, His wonderful love is called the Lord our righteousness. This qualifies to us what the Lord is actually wanting to achieve with us, that He can look upon us and love us as a body, as a church that we can be so in tune with His mentality, with His thoughts and ways that He can look upon us and say, you are so beautiful, I desire you.

Song of Solomon 5:2 I sleep, but my heart waketh: [it is] the voice of my beloved that knocketh, [saying], Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, [and] my locks with the drops of the night.

Do you remember Revelation chapter 3?

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

This is where He got it from, this is His own words to His bride. He stands there knocking and His bride is sleeping, His pearl is sleeping in her bed. She wakes up and she hears the voice of her beloved saying, open to me my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled. I love you; I want to spend my time with you. I am out here and I have been suffering outside.

Song of Solomon 6:9 My dove, my undefiled is [but] one; she [is] the [only] one of her mother, she [is] the choice [one] of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; [yea], the queens and the concubines, and they praised her.

We have a very interesting collection of texts here that paint the picture for you. Where is she? Can you find her? He describes her all the way through. Here she is and finally through the history of the footsteps of the flock that is always there with her. Here she is in verse 9. She is the one that has come forth from mothers.

Song of Solomon 6:8 There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number.

As you look at the prophetic pictures that lead through the history of the church, you actually have queens that gave birth to daughters who then became queens who gave birth to daughters and so on until we come to the many queens and the many daughters in the very last days where she is the only one of her that bare her. The other daughters blessed her, yea the queens and the concubines and they praised her. Who is she? Where are you o beloved, where do you feed? Prophecy reveals it.

Song of Solomon 6:10 Who [is] she [that] looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, [and] terrible as [an army] with banners?

This beautiful precious pearl that Jesus is so delighted with, who is she from one generation to the next until finally there she stands? When you read the word of God to explore these beautiful gems of God’s interest, the whole prophecy changes its spectrum, it becomes refreshing. We are admiring the pearl of the church that is such a pearl to our beloved redeemer.

Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

The wonder is a sign. Here is the woman of Song of Solomon, who was dressed in the sun and the moon under her feet. She is there at the time when she gives birth to Jesus.

Revelation 12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. :5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and [to] his throne. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days.

The woman of chapter 12 verse 1, is that the woman in the last days? Not here. This is the woman that gave birth to Jesus back there before she fled into the wilderness. That is the line-up. That is the plain reading. This woman was there all the way through history and here it is picked up at the time when she gave birth to Jesus and then was persecuted. We are gaining a picture here of the footsteps of the church, of the flock. She is the one that is represented with the twelve stars. In the Old Testament that was the twelve tribes, then she continued with twelve which was launched out as the twelve apostles. You see that the church of the Old Testament is the same as the church in the New Testament.

Right through chapter 12 is a glancing view of the church from the Old Testament to the birth of Jesus through the New Testament, to the very end.

Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

As per Song of Solomon, she is the dove, the undefiled, the only one of her mother. There were other mothers before, the queens that gave birth to all the different daughters who became queens all though the history of the church. Here is the grand finale. She gives birth to a seed and then the seed continues into the remnant. There you have the steps of the flock described in Song of Solomon 6:9-10. Here we can see and trace her descriptions through history.

From the beginning, faithful souls have constituted the church on earth. In every age the Lord has had His watchmen, who have borne a faithful testimony to the generation in which they lived. These sentinels gave the message of warning; and when they were called to lay off their armor, others took up the work. God brought these witnesses into covenant relation with Himself, uniting the church on earth with the church in heaven. He has sent forth His angels to minister to His church, and the gates of hell have not been able to prevail against His people. {AA 11.2}

Is this a comfort to you? This is an extreme comfort to me. In the midst of all the queens, the concubines and the multitude of daughters and little virgins everywhere God has still His undefiled, His pure one. This beautiful pure company of people is fascinating to find. They are in a covenant relationship. He delights in her. This is for us to know so we can follow her and be part of her. That is what makes our experience so extremely meaningful just now, because there are threescore queens and fourscore concubines and virgins without number. How true that statement is. There are so many different organisations and big churches that have once been faithful and have become corrupt. There are the queens. Then you have the many concubines, all the different people that claim to worship God but they are not true wives. Then there are all the little virgins. How many little companies are there? Among them all He says, my dove, my undefiled, my precious pearl. I love you, and you are beautiful. He delights in her and steps in and says, I want to come in unto you, I want to be part of you. Let me in, knock, knock. She is the remnant of the woman’s seed.

During ages of spiritual darkness the church of God has been as a city set on a hill. From age to age, through successive generations, the pure doctrines of heaven have been unfolding within its borders. Enfeebled and defective as it may appear, the church is the one object upon which God bestows in a special sense His supreme regard. It is the theater of His grace, in which He delights to reveal His power to transform hearts. {AA 12.1}

We experience this, we even experienced it today. The Lord is at work delighting in us to transform hearts. Only as we see that in our transactions with Him, can we rejoice in our exchanges. This is what keeps me burning alive no matter what comes up in our church activities. This is the beauty of God’s wonderful love and mercy to His people. He delights to reveal His power among us if we choose to be the remnant of her seed.

In the Old Testament we have a description written in Hebrews 11 of this precious people. All the different faithful souls of Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, all these beautiful gems and pearls of people that God delighted in and how they were persecuted all through the Old Testament are recorded there. Then he comes to the conclusion in Hebrews 11 and says something very profound:

Hebrews 11:38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and [in] mountains, and [in] dens and caves of the earth. 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

This is the apostolic church that Apostle Paul spoke of. Those in the Old Testament didn’t receive the full fruition of it because there were others to come. Those others can be picked up in the study of the seven churches of Revelation chapters 2 and 3.

In the New Testament you have the Ephesus church which was the apostolic church, then as you go through the seven churches you come to the Waldenses, the Huguenots and Colombo in Ireland. Then the reformers and the Advent people and then to the last developments to the very end.

That is what we read in Revelation 3:20. Behold I stand at the door and knock, because the last woman, Laodicea He is ready to spew out. He says, is there any man among you? Those who open the door He will come in and sup with them. He will say, you are my pearl, I want to eat together with you. He says, if you let me in we will sup together and then He says, if you will sup together with me in my sufferings and I will be with you in your sufferings, then he that overcometh will sit with me in my throne. There is the woman, Laodicea, her seed, the people who open the door and let Him in and then those who will sup with Him who finally overcome. These are the remnant of her seed.

Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Here they are just as it said, you will follow the flock by their footsteps. Then the shepherds can pitch their tent there and take care next to this beautiful church. Who is she? They are His dove, His undefiled, and the remnant of her seed. Revelation 14:1-5 is the description of this people, the 144,000, who have no fault.

We may follow as we ask the question, Lord I am being tossed from one church to the next to the next, where am I going? Follow in the footsteps and you will not be misguided because prophecy helps you. You don’t have to make any claims that we are the ones, you just follow the footsteps that is all. If you follow the footsteps you will inadvertently be purified and be an overcomer.

Revelation 14:5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

He delights in her, this precious pearl.

From the beginning it has been God’s plan that through His church shall be reflected to the world His fullness and His sufficiency. {AA 9.1}

She is to be the pearl describing the glory of the pearl of great price.

The members of the church, those whom He has called out of darkness into His marvelous light, are to show forth His glory. The church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ; and through the church will eventually be made manifest, even to “the principalities and powers in heavenly places,” the final and full display of the love of God. Ephesians 3:10. {AA 9.1}

Are you wondering why we go through struggles? The pearl of great price, Jesus, went through the struggles and we are to go through them with Him so that finally there will be a people describing the full and final display of the glory of His love.

The 144,000 are made up of the twelve tribes of Israel. They were God’s church in the facets of the twelve tribes, the twelve sons of Jacob. In His love for the church, He gathers them together into the New Jerusalem when it is all concluded. He will see Himself perfectly reflected in His people and He will take them to be with Him in the heavenly city called the New Jerusalem. Where will they enter and what is described there?

Revelation 21:12 And had a wall great and high, [and] had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are [the names] of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:

Revelation 21:21 And the twelve gates [were] twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city [was] pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

Why is that so significant? On those gates were names written. Each gate which were the same as the woman with the crown of twelve stars. These people are pearls and they go through the gates that have their names on them. This is God’s amazing mentality. He says, you are my pearl and here are the pearls that have your name on them. What a beautiful mental attitude He has, I just marvel at Him, I love Him because He describes Himself by these kinds of manifestations. He says, here is one big pearl which is the gate through which you are going to go with your name on it.

What is your resolve? Will you become affected by all this glory so that no matter what you have to go through here on this planet or how many complications and difficulties that we have to meet, we will be a people He delights in. To develop these precious pearls via the irritants of temptation to form those precious characters so that those characters can go through those pearly gates.

The characters of the Lord our righteousness to shine like pearls and stars.

Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

The twelve stars, the twelve pearls; they will shine as the wise in these last days. May God help us that we will be prepared to remain absolutely faithful to this picture as it is described here. If you will permit your imagination to explore it, that is what we are needing. We need to be colourful people, but not colourful like the world. A person is not colourful who is following a rigid set of rules. A person who shines and is glorious is a person who is joyful in the practices of God’s righteousness. That is what people can see and say, how can this person be happy? He has to keep all those laws and regulations but they are happy, they are glowing, they are shining. There is something different about these people. This is what the Lord wants us to be and may He achieve it with us as we continue to let Him burnish us, and work over those roughened surfaces. As we heard with the pearls that are not natural pearls when you put them in your mouth you feel little lumps on them. Let the Lord cover the lumps; let Him produce a precious pearl.


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Posted on 30/06/2013, in The Pearl of Great Price in the Hour of Temptation (Conference). Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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