Are there hidden messages in the Bible? Are there things we can find that might not be found in the text?
A Bible Code?
I have heard several theories that there are numeric values in the Bible and that we can use these numbers to find hidden meanings in the Bible. But is that true? The so-called Bible code is an alleged code that is hidden within scriptural texts. These “secret messages” are encoded within the Hebrew text of the Bible, particularly the Old Testament. What they are claiming is that there’s a method by which specific letters from the text can be selected to reveal an otherwise obscured message in the Bible that most Bible readers don’t even know about it. They claim strong statistical evidence that biographical information about famous rabbis were encoded in the text of the Book of Genesis centuries before those rabbis lived. But is this true? How would Moses, who wrote the Book of Genesis, know this? Why are the Scriptures silent over this alleged code? Was this a prophecy shrouded within the Book of Genesis or in the Old Testament? Over the past few centuries, Bible scholars, Jewish scholars, and, later, Christian scholars attempted to find hidden or coded messages within the Bible’s text, including Sir Isaac Newton. However, nothing of significance has ever been discovered to validate the theory of there being a Bible code. There’s just not enough evidence to show it’s true. Therefore, it’s speculative at best and still remains only a theory.
Hidden Messages in the Bible?
There are a lot of Christians who are certain the Bible has hidden meanings and that these meanings are found in Scripture. So-called Bible experts claim they can decipher the cryptic messages God has “hidden” in the Scriptures. However, such “experts” aren’t needed because the Bible contains no hidden codes that I have ever found. Even those who purport to be experts cannot agree on what they believe is hidden. My question is, why would God hide things like this when He says in His Word, “The unfolding of Thy words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:13)? It seems contrary to the way God reveals Himself and His Son to lost people. What would God’s motivation be to hide things in the Bible that most of us wouldn’t be able to find? This makes the Bible nothing more than a word-search puzzle. Those who are trying to use computers to find numeric values or letters of the Hebrew alphabet are ignoring the plain things in Scripture. What is most important in the Bible has been clearly revealed in the Bible. So why go on a seek-and-find mission when there is no need to?
The Main Things
I have heard it said that the main things are the plain things in Scripture; I believe that’s true. God has clearly revealed His plan of salvation (Romans 10:9-13) through the Man of Salvation, Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). To put it another way, we should make the main things the plain things because the plain things are the main things (for example, John 3:16). The Apostle Paul writes that “these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10). Paul didn’t say God has revealed them to us through secret codes or hidden messages. This contradicts Scripture, which says “God has revealed to us through the Spirit,” and “the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.” We don’t do the searching. God’s Spirit reveals God’s truths to us. It’s not that we reveal anything; it’s God Who reveals Who His Son is. We don’t seek out hidden truths in the Bible because the truths are clearly evident (Romans 1:18-21). In writing about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Paul says, “I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:12), meaning it was God Who revealed it to Paul. He didn’t receive it from his own diligent search. The truth is, none of us even seek God (Romans 3:11).
Gnosticism is apparently still alive today because many believe and even teach that we must search the Scriptures for meaning and the way of salvation. Gnosticism comes from the Greek word “gnosis,” which means “knowledge.” What Gnostics believe (wrongly) is that salvation can only be obtained through special knowledge and that most of this knowledge is not plainly revealed in the Bible. However, this is a works-oriented salvation. If we can find out by knowledge how we are to be saved, that really makes us responsible for our own salvation, which is not what the Bible teaches. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth (Ephesians 2:8-9). There are no works we can do in regard to receiving Christ because we are saved not by works, not by finding secret codes, and not by discovering hidden knowledge. That’s a type of works, and God will not accept our works.
Sadly, we get off on so many tangents today and chase so many rabbits down rabbit holes that we take our focus off the main and plain things in Scripture. Of course, that is faith in Jesus Christ. We cannot be saved by figuring out a code or by searching for and receiving special revelation that’s been hidden. That’s not the way God works in His Word. It is God alone Who saves (John 6:44). For this reason God receives all the glory. If we contribute anything, it’s coming to God with hands full of sin.