The "Treasure Hidden in the Field" and the "Pearl of Great Price" are two of the many parables which are given in the Scriptures to explain the Kingdom of God.1 When the man found the hidden treasure he was so filled with joy over it that he sold all he had to possess it. The man searching for beautiful pearls finally found one of great value and sold all that he had to obtain it.
Let me tell you about my search. I actually didn't know what I was looking for, but I did know that I hadn't yet found it. When I became a Christian, I stopped committing the obvious outward sins, but there were still hurtful ways in me that I was powerless to change no matter how many times I "went down to the altar," was re-baptized, or changed churches.
Yahshua, the Son of God, earnestly cried out, "He who has ears to hear, LET HIM HEAR!" He persistently taught in parables about the Kingdom of God. When his disciples asked him about this, he told them that he would reveal the mysteries of the Kingdom to them but not to the others, because they don't see or hear with hearts to obey, which would give them understanding.2 In another place Yahshua told his disciples that it was given to them to know the mysteries, but to those outside, all things were in parables.3 That disturbed me because I didn't know whether I was inside or outside his circle, but I did know that there were many things in the Bible that I didn't understand.
When Paul went to Colosse, he talked about mysteries and was concerned that the Colossians would understand the mystery of both the Father and of Messiah, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.4 In Corinth, he also referred to the wisdom of God as being a mystery from before the ages, and that the deep things of God could only be revealed to someone by His Spirit.5 The Ethiopian eunuch, a man of high position, was reading the book of Isaiah while on his way home from worshiping in Jerusalem. Though he was an educated, righteous man, he could not gain understanding by just reading the Scriptures and humbly admitted that he needed someone to explain it to him.6 Peter also warns us that Paul's writings are easily misunderstood and get twisted, just as the rest of Scriptures do, by untaught, unstable people who are causing their own destruction because of it.7 Paul warned the Corinthians not to be deceived as Eve was and lose their simple devotion to Messiah. He told them they were accepting a different gospel, a different Yahshua, and receiving a different spirit from the one he preached to them.8
I mention all these examples because it shows quite clearly that there is a real danger of misinterpreting Scripture and misunderstanding the mysteries intentionally hidden from the insincere who are unwilling to pay the cost of being a disciple.
It is recorded in John's Gospel that when Yahshua spoke, many people believed in his name but he didn't entrust himself to them because he knew all men and what was in them.9 He also said that if anyone has his commandments and obeyed them, he would love them and manifest or reveal himself to them.10 I had been a Christian for 23 years, but somehow I didn't feel as if I really knew him. After searching all those years, I started praying daily that God would reveal both Himself and His son to me, so I could figure out how to serve Him and know that I was pleasing to Him.
Another time, when Yahshua was teaching and many were believing in him, he said, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." So only after we live according to his teachings will we know the truth that will set us free. I considered myself a believer but I had never thought of myself as a disciple.
Someone told my husband and me about the Twelve Tribes and we were interested in meeting them. We thought we knew the Scriptures well enough not to be led astray by any false doctrines they might have. We came several times a week to watch and listen in their gatherings and share a meal with them afterward. Each week we would see and hear things that caused a stir in our hearts. They were telling us things we had never heard before and we didn't know whether we could believe them.
Back in Yahshua's time, the people felt the same way about the things he was saying. Some said he was true, but others said he's a deceiver. Yahshua said that his teachings were not his own, but they came from his Father, the one who sent him to speak. He also explained that if anyone was willing to do God's will, then he would know whether the teaching was coming from God or was from himself. He went on to say that he who speaks from himself is seeking to draw people to himself, but he who seeks the glory of the One who sent him can be trusted, because his motive is not selfish.11
In a kingdom there is a king and there are laws that govern how he wants his people to live. God has made our Master Yahshua king over the kingdom of heaven, but the kingdom of this world is still under the rulership of the evil one. I knew there were two kingdoms and I was struggling to be in God's kingdom while at the same time living in the kingdom of this world, which according to Scripture is under Satan's sway.12 Paul says that the believers in Yahshua are delivered out of the power of darkness and transferred or conveyed into the kingdom of His Son.13 The Pearl of Great Price is mentioned only once in the Bible, but those two verses actually explain the gospel of salvation that transfers us out of the kingdom of this world and into the kingdom of God. It's also a reoccurring theme throughout the Scriptures, which is not taught in Christianity and therefore goes unnoticed by those studying them.
One very clear example is in the Book of Acts. After hearing the preaching of Peter on the Day of Pentecost, three thousand people believed what they heard, were baptized, and then stayed together, sharing all things in common. None of them returned to their old lives, but sold their possessions and provided for those who had need. They were together every day and even ate their meals together.14 A short time later, the apostles were again speaking the word of God and another large number of people responded in the same way by selling their houses and lands and distributing to anyone that had need.15 From the very beginning the response to the Gospel was the same as in the parable of the Pearl of Great Price.
However, a couple named Ananias and Sapphira were baptized, sold a property that belonged to them, but then deceitfully held back some of the money as a "safety net" in case things didn't work out. They were afraid to be honest about their lack of trust, and God took their lives as an object lesson for the community, so that others would fear doing such a thing.16
The apostles weren't demanding that everyone sell everything, but in a true baptism the normal response was to not want to leave those who rescued them from the kingdom of darkness. They couldn't go on in their old life with all their possessions and also be fully immersed into this new life. Apart from giving all one has, he cannot obtain the Pearl of Great Price, which is his life in us drawing us into a new life in him. It's the only way to enter into his kingdom, into the Body of Messiah where he rules as king.
The so-called Rich Young Ruler was a good religious man who lived a righteous life according to the commandments. If he lived today, he would probably be in church every Sunday. It's recorded that he came to Yahshua to find out how to receive eternal life. Our Master lovingly told him that he needed to sell all that he had, give it to the poor, and then come follow him, so that his only treasure would be in heaven. However, he went away sad because the Gospel required more than he was willing to give. He must not have seen the Pearl of Great Price, since he was unable to part with the comforts of his old life.
Upon hearing Yahshua's conversation with this man, and how hard it was for a rich person to be saved, Peter said to Yahshua, "See, we have left all and followed you, therefore what shall we have?" Yahshua reassured him, saying, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life."17 The Pearl of Great Price can only be obtained by forsaking all else.
One day our Master was teaching his disciples not to be anxious about food and clothing. He warned them in Luke 12:22 not to seek after them like the people of the nations, since their heavenly Father would provide for their needs if they would seek first His kingdom. Thinking that was the end of his teaching on trust, I had never paid attention to the following verses, ending with, "Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."18
Another time, Yahshua was teaching in parables and unexpectedly turned to the crowds and said, "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters and yes, his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." Then a few verses later he clearly states, "So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple."19 I was shocked at how clear it was.
Yahweh is gathering his people, His chosen ones, a royal priesthood and a holy nation.20 Those with ears to hear are those He reveals himself to because they are willing to do his will. As one goes down into the waters of baptism he is making a covenant to die to and no longer live for himself; then he is raised up from death, as it were, into new life in Messiah. To be "in Messiah," one must be in the place where he dwells, which is where his followers live together and share all things in common. They are his Body on earth.
That is what Yahshua meant when he told Nicodemus that he must be born again. He couldn't enter the Kingdom with his old life, but had to give it all up in baptism and start a whole new life. Yahshua said, "He who does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it."21 And, "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone, bit if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, let him follow me, and where I am, there my servant will be also."22 A dead man doesn't own anything, but in the Kingdom we have all that we need.
So the Kingdom of God is a place you can see. It is the place where Yahshua rules as king and his subjects spend all their hours loving God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. It is the only place where it is possible to obey all the commands of Yahshua, their king. It is in this world but not of this world. It's a spiritual nation with its own customs and traditions, which are different from the ways of the world. It's where the love, acceptance, and forgiveness is so incredible that one would give up all he has to obtain it. It's the Way of Yahweh that brings healing and changes us into the image of our Master Yahshua. It's where the Holy Spirit enables us to love each other enough to stay in the conversation and not divide from each other.
We invite you to come and SEE the Kingdom being built by those who have forsaken ALL to do their Father's will and serve their King by laying down their lives daily for him and for each other. We would love to meet you and share our life with you. You can find us at any of the places listed on the back cover of this paper, where you are welcome to visit us any time.