The Hidden Things of God
This is a very interesting topic and much can be said about it. God has obviously hidden a lot of things from us, yet He has revealed a lot (and all of the essentials) through The Bible. We must avoid any relation to Gnosticism or Neo-Gnosticism which is heresy. God's Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the Bible and the Bible is full of remarkable truth that had previously been hidden. When God came to earth, Christ was continually revealing hidden truths, which amazed everyone. Then Jesus gave all of His followers the Holy Spirit, promising that He, who is a Person and a part of God, "will guide you into all truth" (John 16:13). When someone begins a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit begins to live in that person, and He will reveal many things that have been hidden from them and those without the Holy Spirit.
Now there are mysteries and hidden things in the Kingdom of God and everyone will not see them. This is not some new form of Gnosticism because everyone has the opportunity to learn them, however, the vast majority will not. Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God" (Matthew 5:8). Those who are not pure in heart will see nothing. This is what the Apostle Paul refers to as the "Natural" man. "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1Corinthians 2:14). Now some hidden and secret things are from the Spirit of God and some of them are from Satan. One of the jobs of the Holy Spirit in our life is to "reveal it to us by his Spirit" (1 Cor. 2:10). If you do not have the Holy Spirit, many things in the Bible and this website will not make sense to you.
God wants us to search out His hidden truths and the Holy Spirit enables us to do this. God has an innumerable number of hidden truths and secrets:
"He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, And light dwells with Him" (Daniel 2:22).
"I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel" (Isaiah 45:3).
"The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant" (Psalm 25:14).
"The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law." (Deut 29:29).
"You have heard; See all this. And will you not declare it? I have made you hear new things from this time, Even hidden things, and you did not know them" (Isaiah 48:6).
"It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter." (Proverbs 25:2).
"We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but no the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: 'No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him - but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God... But we have the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:6-10,16b).
"He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. This is why I speak to them in parables:
"Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: " 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.' But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it" (Matthew 13:11-17).
"The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables..." (Mark 4:11).
"He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, " 'though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand' " (Luke 8:10).
"For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open" (Mark 4:22).
"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it." (Rev. 2:17)
There are also many other verses which speak about the hidden things and secrets of God.GOD SPEAKS BEFORE HE WORKS
This is a powerful truth and we can see this throughout the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. God spoke at the very beginning of Creation. Throughout Genesis 1 we read "Let there be..." and when He created man He said, "'Let Us make man in Our image...'" It is interesting that the word "Us" is plural, reflecting the triune nature of God in three persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).
Later, when God is about to do something, He speaks:
"'Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them" (Isaiah 42:9). THE PROPHETS AND SEERS
God very clearly reveals hidden things to His saints but He also speaks some of them only to His prophets and seers. The prophets spoke the Word of God that was revealed to them and the seers could see into the spirit and would reveal what they saw in dreams, visions or trances. Amos 3:7 says, "Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets." An example of this is when God spoke to Abraham about Sodom and Gomorrah. God asked, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?" (Genesis 18:17). God first spoke to Abraham about what he was going to do and this gave Abraham an opportunity to intercede on behalf of the two cities.
In 1 Samuel 9:9 we read, "Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he spoke thus: "Come, let us go to the seer"; for he who is now called a prophet was formerly called a seer." We can lose the history and context behind Biblical words but Scripturally a prophet and seer refer to the same type of calling, yet they receive revelation in different ways. Seers and prophets continue to function throughout the Old and New Testament into present day. In fact, throughout the Bible we see God revealing His secrets and hidden things to the Prophets before He would act.
In the New Testament, We see that the ministry of the seer falls under the prophet. The Church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets:
"Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit" (Ephesians 2:19-21).
Later in Ephesians, we see that Christ gives five gifts to lead the Church:
"And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (Ephesians 4:11-12).
In both the Old and New Testament, sometimes a prophet's message is revelatory (new revelation and truth from God) and sometimes a prophet's message is predictive (e.g. Acts 11:28; Acts 21:10). Some people believe there are prophets today and others don't but it is essential to define what we mean by prophet and prophecy. Please see my page on prophecy for more information on that.PARABLES
Jesus often taught using parables, which are often confusing and have a hidden message. In Matthew 11:25-26, in part of a prayer of Jesus, Jesus declares, "'I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight." Later in Matthew 13, Jesus tells the multitudes numerous parables, and it says, "All these things Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables; and without a parable He did not speak to them, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: "I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world (Matthew 13:34-35)." Jesus was fulfilling the prophecy in Psalm 78:2.
Psalm 78:1-4 says, "Give ear, O my people, to my law;
Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings of old,
3 Which we have heard and known,
And our fathers have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their children,
Telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,
And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done."
When the disciples asked Jesus why He spoke in parables, Jesus replied, "'...Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him'" (Matthew 13:11-12). Yet, even the disciples weren't ready for everything as Jesus said, ""I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now." God also uses dreams, visions and seeing into the spirit realm, to understanding the ways He works (which is often a mystery) or having supernatural understanding like what Christians might call a "word of knowledge" or "word of wisdom." A word of knowledge is knowing something that could only be revealed to you by the Holy Spirit. I have had this happen several times. A word of wisdom is when the Holy Spirit reveals to you the application, or how to do something. The key is that this is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. Please let me know if any of these things happen to you but you don't understand what's happening or why. God wants to use these mysterious things in your life for His glory.SECRETS
Isn't it interesting how people like to know things that other's don't? People love gossip, especially spreading it. It's also understandable because people become interested in what we have to say. We also appear knowledgeable or well-connected. Well, people also have a curiosity and fascination for hidden and secret things. There has been a long history of this. This has been evidenced through ancient magical Grimiores (magic books). This is explored in the New Age movement (which isn't new). Kaballah explores this in Judaism. Some charismatics and cults explore this in Christianity. Look at the recent interest in books like The Secret. Have you heard people like Oprah talk about it? "It was an incredibly savvy move to call it 'The Secret'," says Donavin Bennes, a buyer who specializes in metaphysics for Borders Books. "We all want to be in on a secret. But to present it as the secret, that was brilliant." Their official website really plays on this curiosity/fascination. Do you know what The Secret is? In one sentence, what you think about attracts those things to you. That's it. It is a lie, a twisted truth. It's based on Rosicrucian teachings (not the Bible or any of Jesus' teachings) and is a new age teaching.KEEPING SECRETS
Sometimes we are told to keep secrets that God reveals to us. In Revelation 10, John sees an angel coming down from heaven with a little book. When the angel cried out with a loud voice like a lion, seven thunders utered their voices. We read, "I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them." This is an example of a secret God wanted John to keep. Thunder is often a mark of judgment in Scripture as in 1 Samuel 2:10, 2 Samuel 22:14, and several more places in Revelation (8:5, 11:19, 16:18), so these seven powerful voices are crying out for God's judgment upon the sinful earth. The seven thunders are the only words in Revelation that are sealed. We see other examples of these secrets like Samson's secret to his strength (his hair and perhaps the ability to keep a secret of God) and when Samson revealed the secret (Judges 16:17), he lost his strength (Judges 16:19). Or Hezekiah who revealed all his treasures (2 Kings 20:14-15) and Hezekiah lost everything (2 Kings 20:16-18; Isaiah 39:1-8). God may reveal secrets to you that you are to take to the grave with you and I pray you can keep those secrets.SATAN'S "DEEP SECRETS"
Satan also has "deep secrets" that the faithful "have not learned" (Rev. 2:24b). These things we are clearly not supposed to learn or seek out.
" Some of you in Thyatira don't follow Jezebel's teaching. You don't know anything about what her followers call the "deep secrets of Satan." So I won't burden you down with any other commands." (Rev. 2:24 CEV)
In this case, I will tell you what the "deep secrets of Satan" refers to. There was a group called the Nicolaitans (followers of Nicolaism), primarily in Pergamum (aka Pergamos) and Ephesus (Revelation 2:6), who accomodated their Christian faith to paganism. In the city of Pergamum, there were numerous dark and sinister forms of occultism, causing Pergamum to be one of the most wicked cities in the history of the ancient world. Thyatira (modern Akhisar) is 40 miles away from Pergamum but used to be part of it and the Jezebel spirit who introduced pagan customs to Israel (e.g. 1 Kings 19:1–2; 1 Kings 21:1–14; 2 Kings 9:22; 2 Kings 9:30–34) was doing the same to Christianity. Thyatira was known for its trade guilds (cf. Lydia; Acts 16:14) which would hold banquets in the pagan temples. After eating and drinking, the diners often engaged in sexually immoral acts on the couches (klinai) where they lay. Jezebel and the Nicolaitans apparently condoned such behavior because of a false understanding of freedom in Christ. Ireneus, Hippolytus, Epiphanius, and Theodoret, leaders in the Early Church who recorded many of the events that occurred in the earliest recorded days of Church history, mention the Nicolaitans. For example:
The Nicolaitanes are the followers of that Nicolas who was one of the seven first ordained to the diaconate by the apostles. They lead lives of unrestrained indulgence. The character of these men is very plainly pointed out in the Apocalypse of John, [when they are represented] as teaching that it is a matter of indifference to practice adultery, and to eat things sacrificed to idols.
— Irenaeus, Adversus haereses, i. 26, §3
[Nicolas] had an attractive wife, and had refrained from intercourse as though in imitation of those whom he saw to be devoted to God. He endured this for a while but in the end could not bear to control his incontinence.... But because he was ashamed of his defeat and suspected that he had been found out, he ventured to say, "Unless one copulates every day, he cannot have eternal life."
— Epiphanius, Panarion, 25, 1
Hippolytus agreed with Epiphanius in his unfavourable view of Nicolas. However, there are opposing views and two Early Church Fathers (Ignatius of Antioch and Clement of Rome) say that they were falsely called Nicolaitians. Clement of Alexandria had a completely different view. He maintains that Nicolas's words were perversely interpreted by the Nicolaitans as authority for their immoral practices. He says:
"Such also are those (who say that they follow Nicolaus, quoting an adage of the man, which they pervert, 'that the flesh must be abused.' But the worthy man showed that it was necessary to check pleasures and lusts, and by such training to waste away the impulses and propensities of the flesh. But they, abandoning themselves to pleasure like goats, as if insulting the body, lead a life of self-indulgence; not knowing that the body is wasted, being by nature subject to dissolution; while their soul is buried in the mire of vice; following as they do the teaching of pleasure itself, not of the apostolic man"
— Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, ii. 20).
"But when we spoke about the saying of Nicolaus we omitted to say this. Nicolaus, they say, had a lovely wife. When after the Saviour's ascension he was accused before the apostles of jealousy, he brought his wife into the concourse and allowed anyone who so desired to marry her. For, they say, this action was appropriate to the saying: 'One must abuse the flesh.' ... I am informed, however, that Nicolaus never had relations with any woman other than the wife he married, and that of his children his daughters remained virgins to their old age, and his son remained uncorrupted. In view of this it was an act of suppression of passion when he brought before the apostles the wife on whose account he was jealous. He taught what it meant to 'abuse the flesh' by restraining the distracting passions. For, as the Lord commanded, he did not wish to serve two masters, pleasure and God. It is said that Matthias also taught that one should fight the flesh and abuse it, never allowing it to give way to licentious pleasure, so that the soul might grow by faith and knowledge"
— Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, iii. 4, §§25-26; and apud Euseb. H. E. iii. 29;
Theodoret, in his account of the sect, repeats the foregoing statement of Clement, and charges the Nicolaitans with false dealing in borrowing the name of the deacon.
So according to the writings of some Early Church leaders, Nicolas taught a doctrine of compromise, implying that total separation between Christianity and the practice of occult paganism was not essential. Other Early Church leaders (e.g. Ignatius, Clement and Theodoret) felt that the Nicolaitans falsely used the name of Nicolas. These are opposing views. Others have snippets of information. Victorinus of Pettau states that they ate things offered to idols. Bede states that Nicolas allowed other men to marry his wife. Thomas Aquinas believed that Nicholas supported either polygamy or the holding of wives in common. Eusebius claimed that the sect was short-lived.
Since we have so many differing views, it is hard to know what the truth is. It would be really sad if Ignatius, Clement and Theodoret were correct and Nicolas, one of the first seven deacons of the early church, was maligned, but this could very well be the case. We do know that Satan's name means slanderer, and that could be exactly what the Nicolaitans did. Lets make sure we are not doing the same.
I know that there are a lot of other "secrets" that Satan and his workers reveal to those that seek them but we need to remember that these secrets only lead to death and destruction. Many people who worship Satan, including indirectly like in Sateria, enjoy power, money, revenge, etc. but these people are bound, die and go to hell, only to realize they made the ultimate mistake that they will live with for eternity.HEAVEN AND HELL
Some more hidden things sometimes revealed are the details of heaven and hell. It appears that people have different experiences when they die and often don't appear to make it to heaven or hell. Some people don't die, yet get to experience heaven and hell. However, many have different experiences in the short time they spend there. Apparently they are many different places in both heaven and hell. The Apostle Paul was told not to tell what he had seen in Heaven. However, John and others are told to tell, at least some things. Consistent with other accounts but very detailed, Alex Malarkey and Colton Burpo are two boys who apparently died, went to heaven, and experienced remarkable things. There were apparently several things these two boys were told not to tell anyone, but they did say the following:
- They both left their bodies, could see the hospital, family and details until taken to heaven.
- Lots of things in Heaven are similar to things here on earth. There are trees and fields of grass, lakes and rivers, and many other parts of the earth that we know. It's just that in Heaven, every last detail is perfect. Sin has warped the earth, and even the colors here are less bright than in Heaven. There are also things in Heaven that we don't have here on earth. (Malarkey Ch. 4).
- Angels are different sizes and have many different roles (Malarkey Ch. 5).
- We can speak in a heavenly language (tongues), including to angels, even now while on earth (Malarkley, Ch. 8).
- "Daddy, I'm always in prayer because part of my brain, through the Holy Spirit, is in constant communication with Heaven. My mouth is for talking to people." (Malarkley, Ch. 9).
- "You can't see God on His throne—the angels fly so fast that they block Him from view. (Malarkley, Ch. 9).
- "There is the hole that I told you about in outer Heaven. I know that if you go through that hole, you end up in hell." (Malarkey, Afterword)
- Everyone except Jesus has wings to fly (Burpo, Pg. 69)
- Christians on earth and everyone in heaven have lights over their head (Burpo, Pg. 70/71).
- Gabriel sits on the left and Jesus the right of the Father (Malarkey & Burpo, Pg. 90).
- Gates of heaven made of gold with pearls (Malarkey - "like fish scales") & Burpo, Pg. 93).
- In heaven we look like ourselves, just younger (Burpo, Pg. 106).
- God can shoot power down to us (Burpo, Pg. 107).
- The men in heaven will fight in the Battle of Armageddon against "monsters" (Burpo, Pg. 115-117)
- "There are hundreds of millions of more colors we don't know yet." (Burpo, Pg. 119)
- "But after three years of examining Jesus pictures, we did know that Akiane's rendering was not only a departure from typical paintings of Jesus; it was also the only one that had ever stopped Colton in his tracks." (Burpo, Pg. 121).
To view this remarkable painting, click here or here.
NOTE: More details and testimonies on heaven can be found by clicking here for my page on heaven.
As far as the details of hell, Jesus spoke more about hell than heaven. Some people have been able to see a glimpse of hell while alive. The others have died or have had a Near deat hexperience (NDE) and have been allowed to view a glimpse of hell before they returned to life. Here's just a few examples:
"You desperately long for even a few moments of rest, but you never, ever get that privilege. Imagine for a moment how terrible you feel after forty eight hours of no sleep. In hell you never sleep, rest or find a quiet moment. No rest from the torments, the screams, the fear, the thirst, the lack of breath, the stench, the heat, the hopelessness. You are isolated from contact with any other people".
- Bill Wiese – Book: 23 Minutes in Hell
"A respiratory nurse who works in an emergency room told me about a patient who had gone “code red” – he flat lined. She and some other medical personnel rushed over with the defibrillator to try and bring him back to life. They applied the paddles and revived him. She said that he started screaming and shouting “the heat, the heat!” then his heart stopped again. They brought him back a second time. He shouted “The flames, the flames!” They lost him again. Four times the man flat lined and was brought back, each time shouting about the heat or the flames. After the last time, he died and they could not bring him back. She said all the doctors and nurses just stood there for a few minutes and stared at the body. They all knew that man went to hell."
- Mark Cahill – Book: One Heartbeat Away – markcahill.org
"I tell you, the terror is unbelievable. With a spirit body, it cannot be frozen or burned. It simply exists with thousands of sensations, which this nervous system we own down here could not take. It is absolutely Hell. I was surrounded by demons. They seemed to be so excited they were doing a fancy rock and roll dance in honour of getting me there. Thousands of them shouted to me that I would never get out. They didn't realize I was only there for a short period, and told me I was there because I had believed their deceptions whilst I was on Earth. The stench was indescribable. It was the smell of dying and dead flesh. Satan, their captain, is of course the author of death. Jesus called them unclean spirits, and they certainly are that."
- Dr. Richard Eby - Book: Caught Up into Paradise
"Then out of nowhere, a car was coming at us at high speed, running the light. I remember my friend yelling, “Oh my God!” - just before the car hit us. I left my body. I started going down this long, dark tunnel. It was dark … so dark. I knew I was dead and I was going to hell. You couldn’t even see the hand in front of your face. I was yelling, “I don’t want to go yet! I don’t want to go yet!” I’m falling farther and farther away from the little light at the top of the tunnel above me.
Out of the dark things began grabbing at me. Long fingernails began to grab me and claw at me, trying to pull me into them. I kept screaming, “No! I don’t want to go yet!” Their grotesque mouths were open wide and their teeth were gnashing at me."
- Full testimony of Debra Mc Farland
“As I stood there I began to sense that this wasn’t just a physical darkness but that there was something else there. I could feel a cold eerie feeling as though something or someone was looking at me – a spiritual darkness. From the darkness I began to hear men’s voices screaming at me telling me to “shut up” – “that I deserved to be there” – “that I was in Hell”.
– Ian McCormack Personal Testimony – aglimpseofeternity.org
"A wild orgy of frenzied taunting, screaming and hitting ensued. I fought like a wild man. All the while it was obvious that they were having great fun. It seemed to be, almost, a game for them, with me as the center-piece of their amusement. My pain became their pleasure. They seemed to want to make me hurt by clawing at me and biting me. Whenever I would get one off me, there were five more to replace the one."
- Personal Testimony of Former Atheist Howard Storm
From the Book My Descent into Death
"In the darkness I became aware of an even more evil presence than I had already felt and there, high above anything, was this creature I just know was Satan. I didn't know what to do because this wasn't just a dream, this was reality. In my terror I screamed out, "I'm a Christian and I belong to Jesus. I shouldn't be here", but Satan looked down and laughed a hideous laugh that I will always remember, and said, " When I tempted you, you gave in to me, you belong to me now", and at that moment I knew it was true. What could I do? There I was in Hell, with Satan, and in total despair. I had thought I was a Christian, but I had not committed my life to Jesus."
- Testimony from Christine Eastell - Went into a cardiac arrest after a serious car accident.
NOTE: More details and testimonies on hell can be found by clicking here for my page on hell.
Let me be clear that there is nothing hidden when it comes to the essentials of doctrine that we need to know. God has given us everything we need to know and may we recognize the difference. We are not to just seek out the "secret things" but rather to focus on the emphasized, those truths which Christ emphasized and pleaded with us to follow. That is what really matters.
The Bible says that the beginning of wisdom is the fear (respect) of God. It starts there. Remember, if God seems distant, you are the one who is distant, not Him. Sin seperates you from God and God, who is perfectly holy and pure, can't be in the presence of sin or evil. Without holiness, no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
I pray that you have a healthy respect for God and with that, come to Him humbly and seek Him with all your heart. Read the Bible as much as possible and accompany that with Christian resources like this website to aid your understanding. Find a good Bible-believing church and surround yourself with Godly people who have surendered their lives to Christ and live for Him. As you continue to grow and feed on the "Bread of Life," you will discover incredible riches which will continue to propel you into a faith-filled life which is pleasing to God.
May we one day eat of "the hidden manna" when God reveals everything to us in heaven!FOOTNOTES:
1. Stephen Gobar, Photii Biblioth. §232, p. 291, ed. 1824; Philosophumena, bk. vii. §36.
2. Haeret. Fab. iii. 1.
3. St. Victorinus of Pettau, Commentary on the Apocalypse, 2.1
4. Bede, Explanation of the Apocalypse, 2.16
5. Aquinas, Thomas. Summa contra Gentiles, iii. 124.
6. Eusebius. Ecclesiastical History, iii. 29.
© Todd Tyszka
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