Selling All for the Pearl

By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

God is speaking to those who are His children and He says:

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:

This scripture has a sequel in the New Testament:

1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

You may say, I didn’t hear the same language of Deuteronomy. Because we have been bought with a price we are to glorify God in our body and in our spirit which are God’s, to love Him with all our strength with everything we have.

1 Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 

What did He come to purchase? You and me. He calls us the pearl that has been buried in rubbish. We are His pearls, His treasure. He paid all to get this one pearl. He gave up everything to save you and me. There is a reciprocating meaning for us. If we have found the pearl of great price, to sell all for Jesus that pearl. If Jesus has paid all to purchase me, how does that touch my heart? Am I prepared to sell all for Him?

The blessings of redeeming love our Savior compared to a precious pearl. {COL 115.1}

What is the precious pearl? The blessings of redeeming love.

He illustrated His lesson by the parable of the merchantman seeking goodly pearls “who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” Christ Himself is the pearl of great price. In Him is gathered all the glory of the Father, the fullness of the Godhead. {COL 115.1}

Isn’t this profound? The pearl of great price is the Godhead in Jesus Christ. We find this pearl and we want to buy it.

He is the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of His person. The glory of the attributes of God is expressed in His character. Every page of the Holy Scriptures shines with His light. The righteousness of Christ, as a pure, white pearl, has no defect, no stain. {COL 115.1}

What is the precious pearl? Jesus, the purity of God came down and became a pearl to us.

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. {COL 115.1}

Anything you want in regards to wisdom, knowledge, freedom from guilt, a perfectly pure life, it’s there in that pearl.

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}

The parable that Jesus gave in Matthew 13:45,46 is for us to explore to see whether it is worthwhile selling everything to purchase that pearl. Jesus is that pearl. What does it mean to sell all to purchase that pearl? We want to appreciate the preciousness of that pearl. When people are jewellers, and when people buy jewellery, they purchase it and then they gaze upon it and let the sun sparkle on it to see the beautiful colours to see what value they’ve got. We want to do that.

The blessings of redeeming love our Saviour compared to a precious pearl. Let us see the redeeming love that is contained in this precious pearl. What does God want to make us? Remember that He sold everything so that we could be redeemed as a pearl.

Isaiah 13:12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.

If you look at some of the Old Testament maps, Ophir was the place where king Solomon got his gold from. It was a particular quality of gold which was the purest that could be found. The words of Isaiah are describing that the gold, the pure gold for which people have such fascination is what God wants us to become. He will make us finer than that pure gold. He will make us the pearl that He paid the price to purchase. He says, I want you to purchase Me so that we can make you like that.

The transaction of making a man pure as Jesus was, is for us to consider in this pearl. Jesus, who is the pearl, who is more precious than fine gold, wants us to experience and to receive that beautiful pearl.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

But it’s important that we gain the blessing of the Holy Spirit to appreciate what is contained in this scripture. Here is the pearl. He, the Merchantman, sold everything He had to purchase us. What did that mean? He was made to be sin for us. He gave up the glories of heaven. He sold everything and became sin with us. To do what? He sold everything to purchase us so that we can become what? That we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. All our guilt-riddled life. Just spend a moment to realise what is contained here. We who are sinners, the experience of having committed sin, the experience of realisation of what a wretched sinner I am, is riddled with anxiety and condemnation. Think about it.

Do you suffer anxiety? This is one of the biggest problems of today’s society. Everybody is suffering under some kind of anxiety or another. That anxiety comes from sin. When we are identified as having done something wrong we are filled with guilt and anxiety and we want to clear ourselves, we want to justify ourselves. You know what people do when you try to justify yourself, they don’t like you doing that do they? They want you to admit that you’ve done the thing. Well, God has made a way through Jesus Christ that the condemnation, the anxiety, the fears that riddle the human soul would be completely removed. What would we give to remove entirely from ourselves the anxiety and the stresses of life? Every time a stress comes upon you, it can be removed. Would you like that? This is the pearl. This is the redemption story. Redeemed so that we will have no sense of guilt at all. In the pearl there is no stain of guilt, nothing. It is totally removed.

Isaiah 43:1 But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called [thee] by thy name; thou [art] mine.

The scriptures in the New Testament make it very plain to us that if we will believe in God as Abraham did, then we become Israel, we become Isaac’s seed. God is speaking to every person who He has redeemed. He is saying to us, you are my people, you are Israel. Yes, Jacob, the one who was a supplanter, who committed this terrible crime against his brother, and against God, God says, you are mine. He is talking to all these Israelites, all these people who are terrible sinners. When you go through the history of Israel you can see how much they have corrupted themselves again and again. You look at your own life and how many times have you spoiled things? He is speaking to us.

Isaiah 43:25 I, [even] I, [am] he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. 26 Put me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified.

We don’t have to justify ourselves. We don’t have to be anxious that we are condemned when we take hold of that pearl Jesus Christ and His righteousness. He says, I have redeemed thee, O Israel, you are Mine. I have paid a price to redeem somebody who is in captivity. When a person is taken hostage, the people say, if some of you want to redeem this person you’ve got to pay us lots. The devil was paid out by Jesus Christ. Jesus is the redeeming value. He says, I have redeemed you, now believe Me, I am the pearl of great price that you want, I have blotted out thy transgression for My own sake, I, even I. Who is speaking?

Here is God speaking to sinners and He says, I, even I. Who am I? I am your Creator. You’ve spoiled your relationship with Me but I want to show the devil that I am not the being that he is making me out to be. I am not like the picture that the devil is painting of God before the world. For mine own sake, He says, I will blot out thy transgression. I am going to show the universe that I love people who have sinned against Me and I will bring them back to Me. I will not remember your sins anymore. Isn’t this a pearl? Isn’t this precious? Doesn’t this sparkle? So put Me in remembrance, let us plead together, declare thou, that thou mayest be justified. What are we to declare? It says plainly that we are to declare our sins and say to God, I’m sorry, I have sinned against you. By confessing to Him, He says, I will blot out your sins. This is the precious pearl of great price.

We are not to serve God as if we were not human, but we are to serve Him in the nature we have, that has been redeemed by the Son of God; through the righteousness of Christ we shall stand before God pardoned, and as though we had never sinned. {5BC 1142.5}

Can you comprehend that? You’ve got a memory of the sins that you have committed. I remember them well. I remember the experience and the guilt and the condemnation that strikes you for doing that. Here is a statement from God. He says, I have removed your sins, I have pardoned you to such a degree that you can stand before God as though you had never sinned. All the sins that may come to your memory, don’t belong to you anymore.

We will never gain strength in considering what we might do if we were angels. We are to turn in faith to Jesus Christ, and show our love to God through obedience to His commands (MS 1, 1892). {5BC 1142.5}

This is the sparkling pearl. To have a possession in your life where you stand as though you had never sinned. The sparkling beauty of Christ’s righteousness is yours by selling all to get that pearl.

Here is Joshua the high priest which is used as an object lesson because the high priest represents the people in the Old Testament.

Zecheriah 3:3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. 4 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.

This is another symbolic representation like the pure white pearl. We are to have a pure white garment without any bloodstains of guilt upon it. Here is this remarkable thing to marvel at and to think about, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee. The iniquities that cause stress, the guilt of a failed life, everything that comes up and crowds upon a person, that is removed. When a person feels their guilt and they know that that has been removed by God’s wonderful love, they really want that, they want to be free. The Laodicean has a great problem with this particular subject because he doesn’t know how wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked he is, so he can’t benefit from this pearl. But a person who knows that they are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked can appreciate that he wants that pearl.

Satan stands at the head of all the accusers of the brethren; {TM 39.2}

Satan is the worst one, he accuses everybody. When people are accusing you, you know where that comes from.

Every sin of which they had been guilty was forgiven, and they stood before God as chosen and true, as innocent, as perfect, as though they had never sinned. {TM 39.2}

Innocent, perfect as though there was never an action of sin in their life. Why? Why are they so white and pure? What is this beautiful pearl that we want so badly?

Isaiah 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue [that] shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This [is] the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness [is] of me, saith the LORD.

If you were living over there in Iraq right now where those that are not agreeing with certain Muslims are killed because the others have got their weapons to slaughter and to torture them, wouldn’t you be full of fear? We are seeing demonstrations of the devil there because that is the way he works. He destroys people’s lives. People are filled with anxiety whether it be in a sort of long range anxiety, or an intense acute one like being in that area. But God says, No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. Why? Why are we to be free from all this? Because this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me. That’s the pearl, the precious righteousness of Jesus Christ. It is a transaction in which He became sin so that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. We want to take hold of this pearl don’t we? We want to have this pearl.

When we fail in our sinful life, we find that we want relief; we want to get rid of this guilt and behold the transfer of our guilt. We want the transfer of our guilt away from us and the transfer of His righteousness upon us. If this is what we really want, a perfect release and freedom from all suffering of anxiety, shall we hold anything back to get it? If Jesus did not hold anything back to give it, what shall we do to receive it?

I gave My life to thee, My precious blood I shed,

That thou might’st ransomed be, and quickened from the dead;

I gave, I gave My life for thee, what hast thou given for Me?

The meditation of the beautiful pearl that Jesus has offered us and how we must make sure that we get it by selling all.

The heaviest burden that we bear is the burden of sin. {FLB 105.8}

As a masseur, I know that the place where our anxiety is most felt is right across the shoulders. When I massage people’s shoulders they are tight, because they are carrying heavy burdens, emotionally. If we carry stress, if we carry burdens, if we have anxiety:

He will take the load from our weary shoulders. He will give us rest. The burden of care and sorrow also He will bear. He invites us to cast all our care upon Him; for He carries us upon His heart. {FLB 105.8}

This is what we are searching for; we want to grasp hold and to receive this entire release. This is the pearl. Do we want that? That my burdens are completely released from my shoulders. I can completely let go and not worry anymore. Don’t worry about anything. Can we do that? Nothing. Nothing to worry about, always free, this is the pearl. Do we want it? Do you want to have that?

When Christ compared the kingdom of heaven to a pearl of great price He desired to lead every soul to appreciate that pearl above all else. The possession of the pearl, which means the possession of Christ as a personal Saviour, is a symbol of the highest riches. It is a treasure above every earthly treasure. . . . {HP 49.2}

There are some who are seeking, always seeking, for the goodly pearl. {HP 49.3}

They’re always looking for this relief, relief, relief. As a medical person I know how people are always looking for relief, and the relief they need is relief of stress, because stress creates disease. The world is riddled with this, and there stands Jesus with the pearl and He says, I want to release you. They’re forever seeking, always seeking for the goodly pearl.

But they do not make an entire surrender of their wrong habits. They do not die to self that Christ may live in them. Therefore they do not find the precious pearl. . . . They never know what it is to have peace and harmony in the soul; for without entire self-surrender there is no rest, no joy. {HP 49.3}

Do you have perfect rest, perfect joy? You want that, that’s the pearl. What does it say? Jesus said in the parable that the merchantman sees the pearl of great price and he sells everything so that he can purchase that one pearl. These are the words of Jesus that we are to pay attention to.

Salvation, with its blood-bought, inestimable treasures, is the pearl of great price. It may be searched for and found. But all who really find it will sell all they have to buy it. {HP 49.6}

That leaves us with a question, What am I to sell? What am I to put away so that I can purchase that? The entire surrender of wrong habits. Compare that with what Christ gave up. Did He give up wrong? No. He gave up all the glories of heaven. He gave up the adoration of the angels. He left everything to come to this drear, horrible, sin-riddled planet. He gave up everything so that He might purchase us. What are to give up? Good? No. Only every wrong habit. Die to self, that’s all He wants us to do.

Let us translate that into some practical terms. It’s so easy to just read clichés isn’t it? “To die to self”. Oh yes, what does that mean? You’ll see what that means if you ponder about it. Every activity of life, every engagement that you engage in, what we eat, the way we dress, our recreation, our work, our careers, our social relations, are all to be under God’s instruction and direction. That’s what is meant. You must come to God and say, what is your will God? Instruct me, show me. Show me what it is. Then you discover, oh, I’ve got to give something up here. My way of living is not God’s way of living. He says it in Isaiah 55. Why do you spend money for that which is not food? My ways are not your ways, neither are you are ways My ways. What must we do? Give up our ways to His instruction and direction. If we are prepared to say, Yes, I want that pearl, I want that entire freedom, I want that beautiful release, this joy, this perfect rest, I want it; God says, well, I want to give it, but there’s something in the way you’re not prepared to give up.

This is the prayer of a person who wants the pearl:

Psalm 25:4 Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. 5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou [art] the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

The God of my salvation, the One who wants to offer me this beautiful pearl. You are the God of my pearl, please now, how do I actually sell everything? Show me Your ways. Lead me in Thy truth, teach me for Thou art the God of my salvation. Lord, teach me Thy paths. If we want to find our way to God, Jesus says, I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh to the Father but by Me. Study Jesus and you’ll learn. He is the pearl that is going to relieve us.

Where many have erred, was in not being careful in following God’s ideas, but their own. {HP 147.3}

Not following God’s ideas, but their own. They’re not careful. Notice what Christ gives us as an example:

Christ Himself declared, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do” (John 5:19). {HP 147.3}

How did Jesus live? He gave up everything. He did exactly what the Father said, even at the expense of His own comforts.

So utterly was He emptied of Himself that He made no schemes and plans. He lived accepting God’s plans for Him, and the Father day by day unfolded His plans. If Jesus was so wholly dependent, and declared, “Whatsoever I see the Father do, that I do,” how much more should human agents depend upon God for constant instruction, so that their lives might be the simple working out of God’s plans! {HP 147.3}

To sell all means, Not my will but Thine be done. If it means cutting off your right arm, or plucking out your right eye, Jesus said it is better to get to heaven marred than to lose life and to be in hell burning and destroyed. It is so simple. But it is so hard. When I am working and labouring for souls and I show them the way, they say, oh, that’s too hard. Well, it was hard for Jesus, wasn’t it? For Jesus to sacrifice wasn’t just like flicking the finger. Many times He wanted to be free from that but He loved us so much that He purchased us with His sacrifice, giving everything.

Our own way must be overcome. Pride, self-sufficiency, must be crucified and the vacuum supplied with the Spirit and power of God. . . . Did Jesus Christ, the Majesty of heaven, have His way? Behold Him in travail of soul in Gethsemane, praying to His Father. What forces these blood drops of agony from His holy brow? Oh, the sins of the whole world are upon Him! It was separation from the Father’s love that forced from His pale and quivering lips the cry, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me” (Matthew 26:39). Three times was the prayer offered, but followed by “Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). This must be our attitude–Not my will, but Thine, O God, be done. This is true conversion. {HP 147.4}

This is the true release from the anxiety that we have.

At every step ask: Is this the way of the Lord? Am I, in spirit, in word, in action, in harmony with His will?” {9T 150.4}

In your study of the word of God, penetrate deeper and still deeper beneath the surface. Lay hold by faith on divine power and sound the depths of inspiration. {9T 151.1}

If you want to know what God’s way is, sound the depths. To find what is in the depths, they send down waves, this is an old-fashioned way of saying it. This is what we are to do, this is our prayer, Lord, show me Thy way. I want to give everything so that I will have this pearl. He says, Follow what I am instructing you. Come to the Word, ask the question, is this that I am thinking of doing God’s way? Am I in spirit, in word, in action, in harmony with His will? Study the Bible to find that, to find a living, surrendering experience with God. The Scriptures tell us this.

1 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; … 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

You’ll have the pearl. You’ll be perfect, because you’re not relying on your own self anymore. This is what Jesus demonstrated. He let go of Himself to save me, to purchase me as His pearl, and now He says, Do you want My pearl? Here, do this. Do it! diligently!

We must free ourselves from the customs and bondage of society, that when the principles of our faith are at stake, we shall not hesitate to show our colors, even though we are called singular for so doing. {OHC 341.4}

Everything that we do, whether it be what we eat, what we drink, doing all to the glory of God. We’ve been bought with a price, therefore we must glorify God in your body. The clothing we wear, is it God’s instruction? or is it man’s corruption? The food we eat, the relationships in society, everything. Everything is now taken to God and we say, Please instruct me according to your idea. As we do that, we must free ourselves from the customs and bondage of society. Have you seen the women with their high heels, balancing and nearly tipping over and rolling their ankles? This is the custom of society. This is just one example, but there are heaps of others as you look around. There is what God instructs and what society does, and we must free ourselves from that society bondage.

Keep the conscience tender, that you may hear the faintest whisper. {OHC 341.4}

Keep the conscience tender. Don’t get the conscience so crowded that you can’t even hear the faintest whisper of the Holy Spirit, for in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.

Keep the conscience tender, that you may hear the faintest whisper of the voice that spoke as never man spoke. Let all who would wear the yoke of Christ show an inflexible purpose to do right because it is right. Keep the eye fixed on Jesus, inquiring at every step, Is this the way of the Lord? The Lord will not leave any one who does this, to become the sport of Satan’s temptation. . . . {OHC 341.4}

Do not imitate men. Study your Bibles, and imitate Christ. {OHC 341.5}

May God help us to go and do that, so we can sell all and have that pearl of great price by doing this.

Posted on October 3, 2014, in Divine Service Sermons and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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