Secret Things

Scripture: Proverbs 11:13, Psalm 25:14, Proverbs 3:32
Date: 05/03/2008 
The Bible has much to say about secrets. There are things that should remain secret. There are no secrets with God. He gives us secrets to empower us to do his will. Unless we go with a prayerful heart, we will not see truth.
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Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the live broadcast. It is presented as spoken.

Good morning. I sure enjoyed listening to those young ladies sing. Wasn’t that beautiful? Just something about those sweet voices is very inspiring. You know “secret” is a powerful word. It must be because everybody uses it. If you look at book titles: Ten Secrets to Investing, Secret Recipes, Secrets to a Happy Marriage. The magazine covers: “Secrets to the future”. Everything is secret, secret, secrets. People always want to know something that they don’t know. They’re wanting to acquire this additional knowledge. Well, the message today is going to be dealing with secret things, an array of secret things. You heard in our scripture reading there from Daniel 2:20 where it says that the secret things are with God. The Bible has a lot to say about secrets. Matter of fact, you’ll find the word secret over a hundred times in the Bible.

Now to begin with you might have secrets, and I might have secrets, God has secrets but nothing is a secret to God. You can’t keep information from Him. You cannot surprise or tempt God by saying, “I’ve got a secret” or “I know something You don’t know” because God knows everything. We’re the ones that have limited knowledge and, as always, I thought it’d be a good idea if we’re going to talk about the word secret and secrets in the Bible we’d begin with a definition. So we’re going to put that up on the screen there for you. A secret is something that is kept hidden from others or known only to oneself or a few. It’s hidden from view, concealed, not expressed, confidential, discrete, inward, secluded, mysterious. I’ve got some secrets, but if I tell you they’d stop being secrets. You probably have some of your own. This special exclusive restricted knowledge. Some secrets are best left secrets, if you know what I mean. And there are some secrets that God wants us to pursue. I was thinking about this subject and I was wondering what is the best kept secret of history? The jury is out, but I had some possibilities.

You think about it for a minute. The D-day invasion during World War II was one of the best kept secrets, the most momentous secrets ever kept in history, that this invasion was about to be launched from England across the channel against France and Europe and the occupied countries, but it was one of the most open things to the public. By the end of May 1944 there were over two million troops stationed in Britain, five thousand ships had been gathered in ports and harbors and thousands of bombers were readied on fields all over the country and yet the invasion came as a surprise when it came. To keep that information secret, you just think about that. That was a monumental task. You know what they say in Washington, D.C. If two people know something then it’s not a secret anymore. They’ve had a few things that some reporters knew, sources that nobody knew. The one who broke the Watergate story, they kept that secret for about thirty years which is really amazing.

One of the great secrets of history is the military secrets regarding a nuclear war. They’ve managed to keep that pretty secure. The single integrated operations plan that outlines how a nuclear war would be conducted, that’s one great secret. There’s three of them connected with this. The national strategic target list which lists the nuclear war targets. If a nuclear war broke out, where are the missiles aimed? And three the national military command authorities from the president to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who would hold the cryptographic key to the nuclear trigger. The identities to the nuclear line of succession have never been disclosed. Somehow they’ve managed to keep that secret even though every living president, ex-president, they all know what that line is. That’s one reason the presidents still have secret security people even after they’re out of office is because they have been given national secrets that are very important to protect. If someone should kidnap and torture the presidents it would divulge those things, even the ex-presidents.

Proverbs 11:13, can you keep a secret? Is it good to keep secrets? Well, it depends. You ought to be able to keep something to yourselves. Proverbs 11:13, “A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter.” There is a time when you need to know to keep silent and just to keep something private. If you’re involved in ministry people need to be able to trust the pastors that when, it’s not that we’re priests you confess to, but sometimes there are private things you talk about and you want to know that when you’re done and you pray about it that it’s not going to suddenly be in the church bulletin. You know what I mean? You’ve got to be able to keep people’s confidence. Some things should be kept secret just between you and that person and God because there are no secrets with God, amen? Someone once said, “He who gives up the smallest part of a secret has the rest no longer in his power.” When you say, “Alright, this is a secret.

I can’t tell the whole thing but…” As soon as you start to give up some of it, it’s like trying to pop a balloon slowly. You let it out and it’s gone. You’ve got to know how to don’t even go there. Sometimes we have secrets we’re just bursting to tell somebody because it’s gossip. We feel like we’ve got inside information and it’s power. People say, “I’ve got inside information, and it’s power.” Insider trading is illegal on Wall Street because those people have tremendous power. They know that a stock is going to go up within a matter of hours and they can use that power to make a lot of money. Martha Stuart, of course, she went to prison for that. A lot of other people should go because a lot of that goes on using that secret information and the power associated with it. People feel that sometimes.

I’ve thought of some of the great biblical secrets. For instance, somewhere out there you’ve got some missing arks. You’ve got Noah’s ark and you’ve got the Ark of the Covenant, and there are people out there searching for it. They call it ark-eology, but it’s spelled A-R-K. Well, where are they? Can you imagine what would happen if the news were to announce, I’m talking about a respected source of the news, “Noah’s Ark Discovered.” It’s up there somewhere. I believe it. I think there are probably still enough remains where the evidence would be very compelling. And by the way, if Noah’s ark is true, think about every other fantastic story in the Bible. You’d have to believe all of them, wouldn’t you? What would that do to evolution if Noah’s ark was discovered intact?

Think about it. I believe it’s up there. You can read in the book Patriarchs and Prophets, page 105, “As the waters began to subside the Lord caused the ark to drift to a spot protected by a group of mountains that had been preserved by His power. These mountains were but a little distance apart and the ark moved about in this quiet haven and was no longer driven upon the boundless ocean…” which made the seasick occupants probably feel much better too. It’s still there. The water subsided. You remember after the flood there was a great wind that went blasting around the planet to dry up the earth and it was good that the ark had settled into this haven surrounded by hills to protect it during that time. It’s still there, probably covered by glacial ice up on the mountains of Ararat or somewhere in the vicinity. What about the Ark of the Covenant? Wouldn’t that be something to find that? You’ve all heard stories.

They’ve made movies about it and a lot speculation about where the Ark is. I’ve seen on Discovery Channel, History Channel, and even in Hollywood they’ve produced movies. Where is the Ark? This would be the greatest national treasure of the Jewish nation, and any Christian, any believer, Protestant, Catholic, Jew. The Ark of the Covenant, a writing written by the hand of God Himself in that golden box, that’d be something worth finding. Wouldn’t it increase people’s confidence in the rest of the Bible? I hope it is discovered. I’m talking about in a broad and compelling way in the end of time. I know where it is. I’ve got a secret. I’ve been to Israel twice. I actually explored a cave looking for the Ark once. Did you know that? An unauthorized expedition but it’s true. I know where the Ark is. It’s a secret. But I’m going to tell you now. It’s in Israel. I’m not done. It’s near Jerusalem. Let me read something to you. See, a lot of things are secrets not because the knowledge is not available, it’s because they’re secret to you. And you just don’t know because you haven’t read. Prophets and Kings, page 453, “Among the righteous still in Jerusalem…”

Now you remember this is during the time when Nebuchadnezzar was about to destroy the temple in the city of Jerusalem and Jeremiah had foretold to King Zedekiah you need to turn yourself in because he’s going to burn the temple, he’s going to destroy the city. So among the righteous they realized if they didn’t do anything to preserve their national treasure the Ark of the Covenant was going to fall into the hands of enemies. Keep in mind, had there been another time in the history of Israel when the Ark had fallen into the hands of the enemies? The Philistines had captured it and they said we’re never going to let this happen again. So “Among the righteous… in Jerusalem to whom had been made plain the divine purpose were some who determined to place beyond the reach of the ruthless hands” (the Babylonians) “the sacred Ark containing the tables of stone on which had been traced the precepts of the Decalogue” with the finger of God. “This they did. With mourning and sadness they secreted the Ark in a cave where it has been hidden from the people of Israel and Judah because of their sins. It was to be no more restored to them.

That sacred Ark is yet hidden; it has never been disturbed since it was secreted.” It was very heavy. Normally it required twelve men to carry it. A smaller group of men could probably carry it under desperate circumstances. You didn’t want too many people to be in that group because the more people that know a secret, what happens? It gets out. Probably in the wee hours of some night they had found… If you’ve ever been to Jerusalem you know it’s riddled with caves and tombs and tunnels and they found some tomb or some tunnel somewhere not far from the city because they had to do it all. The city was surrounded by the Babylonians, right? They couldn’t take it out a chariot. They were besieged. Probably underneath Jerusalem somewhere in one of the many caverns there was a cave or a tomb, they opened it, they sealed it, and hid the entrance and it’s never been found, but it’s there. So I just told you a secret and you just need to find it. All go on a tour like a bunch of moles and we can tunnel around and see if we can find it there. That’d be a great secret to have revealed.

The Bible says God has some secrets, and some of them He reveals. Deuteronomy 29:29, “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” God reveals certain secrets to empower us to do His will. He doesn’t give us secrets to entertain us. Matter of fact, certain elements of truth are hidden from the lost because they’re not willing to do God’s will. So who does God reveal His secret to? Those who are willing to do His will. Psalm 25:14, “The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.” God is going to reveal secrets of truth to those who are willing to do His will. The Bible says “If any man,” John chapter 10, Jesus said, “If any man is willing to do His will he will know of the doctrine whether it be of God.”

Again, “You will search for Me,” Jeremiah 29:13, “and you will find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” Secrets, like hidden gold, are found to those who dig. Proverbs 3:32, “for the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord, but His secret counsel is with the upright.” J. I. Packer said, “One of the many divine qualities of the Bible is this, that it does not yield its secrets to the irreverent nor the censorious.” If you open the word of God reverently there are a lot of secrets in the Bible. There are secrets in the Bible about investing. There are secrets in the Bible about planting. There are secrets in the Bible about relationships. There are secrets about science that are in the Bible. The Bible is filled with secrets people don’t see. If you go at the holy book of God irreverently, well, you’re going to miss it. But if you go with a prayerful heart and submission He will reveal secret things to you.

In the Bible there’s even secret code. How many of you have heard the story of the enigma machine? During World War II, even just prior to World War II, the Nazis had developed this extremely intricate complex machine that would receive messages. They were typed out on these rolls and through the gears and the sequences they were able to put in these key codes and numbers and unless you knew what those key codes were you could not decipher this message that had been typed on this special machine. Only others who had the enigma machine with the key code (you needed the combination) could decipher it. There was a group of extremely brilliant Jewish, Polish mathematicians and they had been working on cracking the enigma code. Matter of fact, the machines, that’s where you get the word the enigma. It’s an enigma, it means something that cannot be resolved. Also the British Navy and the American Navy managed to capture a few German submarines that had key codes in them and the cryptographers broke the code of the enigma machine. They just needed to do some comparisons and it all came together. Well, in the Bible, in the prophecies of the Bible, there’s a lot of truth that is there waiting to be discovered. All kinds of truth about history, truth about future events, a lot of things that were revealed in the past.

When Jesus came the first time did His people know? Were the majority of them in darkness? Well, you’ve got a few shepherds in the field that were praying about when He might come, and you’ve got some wise men reading the oracles of Balaam in the east, Simon who had a revelation from the Holy Spirit, but that’s about three people there out of a whole nation that were looking when the Messiah came the first time. Could they have known from the prophecies when He was coming? Could they have known when the time was fulfilled? Sure, from the prophecies of Daniel and Isaiah and Ezekiel and the Psalms the evidence was there, but they were not reading and if they were reading they didn’t know how to decipher it.

Let me turn your attention to something. Turn with me to the book of Revelation, chapter one. There are some prophecies that are called apocalyptic prophecies if you will. If you look right in the book of Revelation, I thought it was amazing because I have heard many pastors say, “Well, the book of Revelation is a sealed book. It’s full of mysteries. You shouldn’t even read it.” That’s not what it says. First of all, the title of the book “The Revelation”, what does reveal mean? It is a book of revelation. “The revelation of Jesus Christ,” verse one, “which God gave to him to show His servants things.” He’s showing us secret things. He wants us to know. “…to show His servants things that must shortly take place.” The beginning of these fulfillments was when it was given and they’re still being fulfilled. And he sent and signified it. Now you know that word signify in the original you can actually break it up in the English to find out what it means.

S-I-G-N spells what? Sign, I-F-I-E-D sign-ified it. This message of events that were going to take place of the history of the world is given in signs and symbols. These visions and dreams of strange creatures and beasts, it’s filled with symbolism. The code to understand it is the stories of the Bible. You’ve probably heard me say before that there are about four hundred and four verses in Revelation. Of those four hundred and four verses you can find two hundred and seventy-eight of them almost word for word in the other books of the Bible like Daniel and Zechariah and Ezekiel and Hosea and Psalms. So as you look through the other clues that are given, you do a little bit of calculating and all of a sudden you have these epiphanies and the meaning all opens up. Now there’re still a lot of mysteries, and I don’t claim to understand all the mysteries of the prophecy, but I know that the more you search and you compare scripture with scripture it unfolds.

God wants us to know. Don’t you appreciate a treasure more when you’ve got to dig for it yourself? Last night Nathan came up to my room and we were talking about gold and I was doing a men’s retreat up in Alaska, oh, a little more than a year ago and the men to thank me for coming, some of them are miners and one of them gave me some gold. I was very thankful. I thought that was really neat, but I was kind of thinking, “I’d like to find some for myself.” Wouldn’t it be fun to find your own? To be washing your dishes there by some Alaskan river and you see gold nuggets staring back up to you. It was nice to have the miner give it to me, but I want to find my own. It’s kind of that way when you find the truth in God’s word. When you discover these things and you’re reading the word and the Lord reveals secrets to you… Well, so often the things that you think you’ve discovered they’re secrets for you because you didn’t know it, there’s someone else out there that knew it.

I mean, the men that hid the Ark of the Covenant in a cave, can you imagine the vow that they took with each other when they said, “Now we can’t tell anybody”? Many of them may have been killed by the Babylonians during the sacking of the city. But if you find something for yourself that no one else has ever found before then you really feel special, right? When the Lord speaks to you and gives you something just for you that’s when you really have a precious treasure and He does that. So some of these messages in the Bible are given like in a secret code. If you read, for instance, in Matthew 13:10, why did Jesus speak in parables? To make the truth hard to understand? Matthew 13:10, “And the disciples came and said to Him, ‘Why do You speak to them in parables?’ He answered and said to them, ‘Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven…’” There are mysteries in the gospel. There are mysteries in the Bible.

There are things that not everyone can see, but it’s given to us to understand. Jesus will help us; He’ll reveal these things. “…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. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” What did we read earlier? The secret things of the Lord are revealed to those who are willing to do His will. Why does God do that? You realize that in judgment you’re responsible for what you know. If you know something you’re more responsible than if you violate some offense than if you don’t know. If a policeman pulls you over and he says, “You’re speeding.” And you say, “Officer, I haven’t seen a speed sign on the freeway for ten miles.” And the officer looks up and down, he says, “You know you’re right. This is a section of road where there are no posted speeds. I guess I probably should go easy on you.” But if he pulls you over and you’re parked right underneath a sign that says 55 and you’re doing 70 and you say, “Well, I didn’t know.” And he goes… you’re a little more culpable then, right? God loves His children.

He does not want to judge you more severely because you knew something. And so if you are not willing to do His will, He’s not going to show you because it’s just harder for you in the judgment. Did that make sense? He loves you too much to make it more difficult and if there’s a truth out there and for all the truth He reveals, “to whom much is given, much is required,” and He knows that you don’t have a willing heart, He doesn’t want to make you more responsible. But when your heart is willing you’ll understand the prophecies, you’ll understand the parables. God will illuminate your mind with these secret things. It’s exciting. Isn’t it fun when you say, “I’ve got a secret!” or “I’ve discovered the answer to a secret.” Can you imagine what it must have been like for some of these great curious inventors when they finally said, “Eureka!” When Ben Franklin felt that zap coming from the kite key to discover lightening is electricity; you realize that was a great discovery. He found that out between the time he discovered that and he got to notify everybody he was probably pretty excited he had this inside knowledge.

Or if you were Robert Fleming in the laboratory doing experiments with molds and you discovered there is actually a mold that will kill this bacteria but it will not hurt a human that can heal from diseases and infection, called penicillin, and you’ve got that knowledge and most of the world doesn’t know. How exciting would that be to know that you’ve got what was virtually, it was considered to be one of the greatest inventions of the last century, penicillin, and you’ve got that information? Wouldn’t that be exciting? What would be more exciting, to have that or to have the gospel? When you’ve got the gospel you realize it’s a secret. Do you remember what the definition for the secret was? You’ve got knowledge that others don’t have. The harvest is great, the laborers are few. Most people in the world don’t have the gospel. When you’ve got the gospel you posses a secret cure for the disease of sin as you share it with others. Isn’t that exciting? So I wish you’d gossip more about the gospel and share the secret. That’s a good thing to do. Say, “I’ve got a secret!” I’ve got a secret. Matter of fact, know what I did last night?

Someone else was thinking this way. I was looking for the greatest secret of history and I typed that into my browser on the computer, and it came up with this YouTube video (I’ve only recently discovered YouTube.), and it was somebody giving a gospel presentation. They said the greatest secret in the world is the gospel because it is the most valuable thing. I was looking for something from science or history. They said it’s the most valuable information and people just aren’t taking advantage of it. Spurgeon, Charles Spurgeon said this, the great preacher, “There are many locks in my house all with different keys, but I have one master key that opens it all. The Lord has many treasures and secrets all shut up from the carnal mind with locks that they cannot open, but he who walks in fellowship with Jesus possesses the master key which will open to him all the blessings of the covenant and even the very heart of God. Through Jesus, the well beloved, we have access to God, to heaven and to every secret of the Lord.” Did you catch that? Through Jesus. He is the master key. You remember Jesus says in Revelation I’m the One who has the keys. Through Jesus we’ve got the keys to all of the mysteries that we need that give us access to the elements of salvation.

There are some mysteries about God that are not revealed. Some things remain mysteries and you always run into people that they’re preoccupied trying to figure out the mysteries that are not to be figured out and they’re ignoring the ones that God wants them to figure out. I’ve met people before that wait and wait and wait to make a commitment to Jesus because they’re constantly trying to figure out these mysteries that are high above the earth as the heavens are and they’re ignoring the things that have been revealed. They’re trying to constantly use that as an excuse to postpone, and they’re ignoring the things that have been revealed. They’re trying to constantly use that as an excuse to postpone. Daniel 12:4, “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end…” You know a lot of the interpretation of Daniel, the truth about the book of Daniel was not really revealed until the eighteenth century and the nineteenth century.

People began to study it and all of a sudden the book of Daniel through comparing scripture with scripture at the same time all around the world people began to understand these prophecies of Daniel that had been sealed for hundreds, technically thousands of years. Now there are some mysteries that are still not exposed. For instance Revelation 10:4, John is in vision, “Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write…” because all through this he’s saying write these things, “but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, ‘Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them.’” Now wouldn’t you like to tap John the Apostle on the shoulder and say, “Come on, John, what did the thunders say?” God said, “Don’t write it.” You can read in 2 Corinthians 12, verse 2, 3, 4 Paul talks about knowing a man in Christ “fourteen years ago” who was caught up to the third heaven. You’ve heard before the seventh heaven.

The Bible doesn’t talk about the seventh heaven. That’s a myth. There is no seventh heaven. The third heaven is the best one. First heaven is the atmosphere around the earth, second heaven is the starry space, the Hebrews talked about the third heaven as paradise, the dwelling place of God. So here Paul, and he’s probably talking about himself just to protect his identity, “he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” You naturally want to say what are those words? He said I can’t tell you; it’s not lawful. I heard some things said I can’t even repeat not because they’re bad, but they’re so good, they’re so mysterious, they’re so profound I can’t tell you. It’s a mystery. There are some mysteries God has that they stay mysteries. Acts 1:7, another mystery, mystery of God. Acts 1:7, after Christ was about to ascend to heaven the disciples came to Him and they said, “Are you going to now reveal to us the kingdom of God? When is it going to happen?” And Jesus “said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.’”

Have we all met people that are trying to calculate the day and the hour of Jesus’ coming? Let me see, show of hands, how many of you have met somebody who is trying to calculate that? Come on, fess up! How many of you have met lots of people like that? What does Jesus say? “Of the day and the hour knows no man.” Now it is possible after the close of probation when it won’t make any difference that the day and the hour may be revealed, but until that time God is not going to reveal it because He does not want us getting ready based on a calendar. It’s like people saying, “Oh, it’s almost April 15th. I’ve got to pay my taxes. I’d better start getting my accounting done now.” God wants us to live a life of preparation all of the time because, in reality, He could come for you tomorrow. He could come for you today. Right? What I mean by that is your next conscious thought will be the Lord coming and none of us knows that.

So it’s silly for us to be putting it off and picking a date that’s sometime in the future. Now I think it’s important to understand and study last day events, but even Jesus, when He was on the earth, that knowledge was a mystery to Him. Mark 13:32, “But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Now there is a mystery, the day and the hour of Jesus’ coming. By the way, does Jesus know now? Yes. When He was on earth in the form of a man He didn’t know. Think about that. Jesus said I don’t even know so it’s a little bit outrageous when you’ve got church members walking around saying, “I’ve got inside information. I know Jesus didn’t know, but I know.” Be careful about people who tell you they’ve now figured out the day and the hour of the Lord’s coming. While we don’t know the precise date, and be careful about anyone who even picks a year, can we know when it’s near? Yeah, every headline tells us that we’re getting closer. Matter of fact, common sense tells you that every breath, every tick of the clock we’re getting closer. I think that especially Adventists ought to be excited the imminence of the advent. Don’t lose that. But don’t be picking dates. That’s not a safe thing to do.

Now we’re talking about secret things and so someone might be thinking secret sin. Well, I wasn’t going to say anything, but since you brought it up we probably ought to talk about that. Psalm 90:8, “Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.” Now are there any sins that are secret to God? So when we talk about secret sins, who are they secrets to? Oh, others around us. I would venture to say probably good that you’ve asked me to talk about this because everybody has something that would fit into this category. What really makes it dangerous is, have you confessed and forsaken? I’ve got some things in my life I’m not telling you, I’ve not told nobody, no, not even Mrs. Batchelor, and I’m not going to tell you now because I’m good at keeping secrets. You want me to keep your secrets you’ve told me, right? So you would naturally want me to keep my secrets. But those things, if they are not confessed and forsaken, people who are living and practicing secret sin, that’s going to come to the light.

One reason to turn away from those secret sins is if you want to keep them a secret between you and God you need to confess them, forsake them, and have them covered by the blood of Jesus. You know they say that one of the best paints if you’re painting over a building or a sign and you want to paint a new sign, you’ve got the old lettering keeps jumping through because maybe it was black or white and a little of it is showing through, you paint it in red and it seems that the intensity of red it’ll block out whatever was behind it. Red primer then put on your new paint. The blood of Jesus will cover those things, but it’s a dangerous thing to think that, “Well, I’m just going to hide it from everybody.” That won’t last. Ecclesiastes 12:14, “For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil.” Romans 2:16, “in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.” All those things will be brought to light; they’ll be brought to judgment. 1 Corinthians 4:5, “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts…” Not only will the secret things be revealed, the motive, the counsels of the heart behind those things is revealed.

When David got into trouble with Bathsheba (I’m not going to go back through the whole sordid story. You all know it.) for a while there he thought that he had affected the perfect crime. He had basically had Uriah assassinated at the hands of the enemy, and he then married Bathsheba and they had a baby and everything looked good. He thought, I’ve got that behind me. It’s all covered. But when it was finally exposed Nathan the prophet came to him and he said, this is 2 Samuel 12:12, “you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.” The thing that David thought was done secretly in the hidden chamber really became advertized on the headlines of the nation. That’s happened with political leaders before, hasn’t it? That which they thought nobody will know becomes international scandal. I forget the verse in Numbers where Moses said to the children of Israel “be sure of this: your sin will find you out.” Someone will find that for me and call it out. Ephesians 5:12, “For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.” One of the keys of a truly converted Christian; you don’t have to hide what you do. You can live a transparent life. You don’t feel guilty wondering if someone is going to walk around the corner at the wrong moment. You have a peace; you don’t have anxiety because you’re not trying to hide anything. You ever walked up on somebody and all of a sudden they looked very nervous and you wonder, hmmm, I wonder what they were hiding.

What’s going on? Luke 12:2, 3, Jesus speaking here, “For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.” You know both times he says what you have spoken. Sometimes we talk and we think what we’re saying is a secret and more than once, matter of fact it happened this week, somebody was talking to me about somebody else and while they were talking to me about someone else that someone else walked up behind them. I don’t think the Lord wants us gossiping about each other. You notice He says twice here, Jesus says, that which is spoken in the dark, that which is spoken in the inner rooms. What does Jesus say we’re judged by? Matthew chapter 12 every idle word that men will speak they’ll give an account thereof in the Day of Judgment. That’s all I’m going to say about this. We all know what to do with those secret things. We need to confess our sins. God will cover them with the blood of Jesus. Amen? And then forsake them. Live a new life. We can have a life of peace. Your life is not a life of hypocrisy and cover-up when you are delivered from those secret sins.

Some are bearing secret burdens. I’m not talking about sin now; I’m talking about struggles others don’t know about. Be sensitive to that. Virtually everybody has some burden in their life, some experience that they’re carrying that is a struggle for them and you may not know about it. Sometimes we’re very harsh in how we judge people; we don’t know about their secret burden that they’re bearing. The Bible tells a story about a woman, Mark 5:25, “Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment; for she said, ‘If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.’” She had this embarrassing infirmity and it rendered her unclean according to Jewish law and she had a financial problem. She’d spent everything, she’d been humiliated. She didn’t want to talk to Jesus and announce in front of everybody about this problem. She thought, “I’ve got this burden, but Jesus, I think, can help me with this secret burden that I’m carrying.

If I just reach out in faith He can heal me.” And did He? He healed her. There are a lot of people like that out there and some of them are happy and sunny dispositions and some of them look like everything in their life from the outside is just wonderful and you may not know that they’ve got a tremendous health problem that it’s a secret and they’re hiding it. Others, it looks like they’ve got everything together but they went through some experience in their life that scarred them deeply and they can’t go a day without thinking about it and it pains them. Others because of the way they were brought up they may seem a little difficult to get along with but if you only knew the burden they carry it’d be a lot easier for you to be patient and forgiving with them. People have secret burdens that we may not know about but I’m so glad you can cast your cares on the Lord. You can take those things and He will bear the burdens with you and for you. I just wanted to mention that to help you think about that.

And while we’re talking about secrets, you ever heard of secret Christians? Are their some? There are some who try to be. Let me give you an example of one. John 19:38, “After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus…” Did the secret come out? Here he had been sitting as one of the leaders of the Jews and he was believing in Jesus, but he was hiding it. You wonder if maybe he had come forward a little sooner things might have been different. The plan of salvation still needed to be fulfilled. John 12:42, “Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue…” They were scared so they tried to hide their faith. Like Peter when Jesus was betrayed, he followed Jesus from a distance. He thought, “Well, if I follow far enough back they may not know I’m following. I can be a secret follower.” How did that turn out? Before the day was over he denied Jesus with cursing and swearing and he went out and wept bitterly. Someone once said, “There is no such thing as a secret Christian for either your Christianity will destroy the secret or your secrecy will destroy your Christianity, but they cannot coexist.” You cannot keep that secret for long without losing the experience. Christianity is made to be shared and it needs to be shared in the life by the example and best yet by the words. So if you’re trying to be a secret Christian, that doesn’t work. One of them is going to kill the other. Better come out of the closet, friends, and stand up for the Lord. Amen?

The Bible talks about a lot of verses that deal with the subject of a secret refuge. You know, in the land of Israel when a person was involved in some unintentional accident, somebody died, they had these cities of refuge where a person might flee. If they were cutting a tree in the woods and accidently they hit their partner and there is no witness and someone might think they deliberately murdered him they could flee to one of these seven cities. There were six throughout the land of Israel, and Jerusalem ultimately became the seventh city the temple, and you could flee there and if you could get into the city before the pursuer blood (the family that was going to take vengeance) could catch you, you were home free. It’s like home base and you were safe. But that’s really not what it’s talking about when it talks about these secret refuges. Psalm 91:1, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.’” It’s a secret refuge. Now you’ve probably heard about near Colorado Springs they have this great big military operation base that’s hidden in a mountain and they’ve got just miles and miles of tunnels and apparatus and in theory they could operate a nuclear war from the bunker that they’ve got built underneath that mountain. But for thirty years they kept a secret that not far from Washington, D.C. in West Virginia underneath a posh hotel called The Greenbrier that’s still there today, it’s a resort in West Virginia, there was a bunker built for Congress. They spent probably billions building it. It was seven hundred feet underground tunneled, between 1959 and ’62 they built it. It’s got dormitories for Congress, meeting rooms, hospital, power plant, food, everything needed to keep Congress humming while the world above them was incinerated. I mean, you want to make sure Congress survived, right? So we could have a whole lot more of nothing happen. They say that of all the entities of the government the one with the lowest approval rating was congress.

Who was it, Will Rogers that said… (I’m getting off my subject a little bit, but this just came to me.) Will Rogers, the very funny American humorist, he said, “We ought to have a spaghetti feast with the US Government.” He said, “The people will bring the spaghetti and Congress will supply the meatballs.” They built a whole underground city to protect Congress. They’ve finally realized how absurd that really was and they’ve divulged it. Now you can take tours of where your dollars went. People can go on tours of that bunker. Talk about a masterful waste of money, but it was meant to be a hiding place, a refuge, a place of protection. All through the Bible you’ll hear about this secret place. Read for instance in Psalm 31:20, “You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence From the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion From the strife of tongues.” All through the Psalms and many places in the Bible it talks about the secret place of the Most High.

Now here’s a question. Do you know where that secret place is? I believe every Christian should know where the secret place of the Most High is. It’s a special relationship between you and Jesus. He’s got a personal relationship He wants to have with you. Isaiah 32:2, “A man will be as a hiding place from the wind, and a cover from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.” What shall be? A man. Who is the Man that is our hiding place? Jesus, the Lord, is our refuge; He is our hiding place. How many times in the New Testament do you read about being in Christ? We are in Christ, we’re in the Rock. He is our refuge that protects us. Now does that mean that we’re to go find a tunnel somewhere in Jesus and hide from the world, or is that a place that you could be right now? Right now you could be in Christ and it is a refuge, it is a fortress. Who does God promise to protect during the last days? Read Psalm 91, Neither shall any plague come nigh your dwelling. “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.” Because the Lord is your refuge; He is your hiding place. He protects His people.

You read in Revelation about another secret. Jesus says in the kingdom, Revelation 2:17 talks about the secret stone. We just talked about Jesus being a rock and a hiding place. Jesus talks about a secret stone. Revelation 2:17, “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.” Secret bread. “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.” Now this is an interesting passage in the Bible. Nathan, you can join me up here if you want. Nathan and I did a little activity yesterday afternoon to try and illustrate this. We knew we had some white stones. Have you ever read about this in the Bible, the white stone?

What they would sometimes… Go ahead and open up your bag there for a second. What they would sometimes do in Bible times is they’d make a covenant with somebody, and a white stone represented favor. Matter of fact, sometimes in judgment when the jury came out with their verdict or the judge came out with their verdict they would either toss a black stone or a white stone at the one who was being tried. If they got the black stone it meant guilty, condemned, sentenced. If they got the white stone, innocent, freedom, release. So there was a lot meant by, first of all, a white stone that Jesus gives us, what does that mean? You’re innocent, but there’s more to it than that. They also used to make a covenant with a stone. They would take a stone and they’d crack it and they’d give half of it to one person and half of it to the other and they might be separated for a while. Suppose I’m getting old. Alright, go ahead and pull out the right half. Okay, is that the right half?

Well, we don’t know yet. You’re hiding it. Okay, you were all ready for this. Alright, so. We take this stone, we split it, I give half to him, half to me. Years go by and we’ve made this covenant that we’re going to be family, and I meet somebody and say, “Look, I’m never going to get back to see my friend Nathan again, but whatever he has he’ll share with you. We’ve made this covenant together and the evidence is this.” So I give this to somebody, they take it back to Nathan, they say, “I knew your father. We were good friends. He said he made a covenant with you and that you’re going to help take care of me and that I could live in your house.” He says, “Well, what proof do you have?” Well, see, you’ve got all these different stones here. If I say, “Look, I’ve got the white stone.” He says, “Great! Let me see it.” So he takes the white stone. Let me see your half here. You take that and you put it together and they say (Cameras, you might have to get a close-up on this.), “You didn’t make a covenant. You tried to trick me. There’s no evidence. You’re not the right one.”

Or you take any of those others they won’t work. But Nathan and I cracked a stone yesterday. It took a lot of time. We crushed most of them into a thousand pieces, but finally, you see that? It becomes one uniform stone. Matter of fact, you put water between them it’ll stick. You can’t fake that connection. There are no other two stones anywhere in the world that are going to fit together like these two stones. So the Lord is saying, I’ve made a covenant with you. How many of you remember when the children of Israel were… I’ll tell you what, Nathan, you can go share these stones with your friends later. You can take those. Sit down. Thank you. How many of you remember when the children of Israel were going through the wilderness they made the articles for the vestments of the High Priest, that he had the urim and the thummim and they would engrave a name, they engraved the names of the children of Israel six on one and six on the other. So when you read here in the Bible the Lord says, I’m going to give you a white stone and there’s a new name in it, I used to think that it meant like the Lord gave a new name to Abraham and a new name to Israel, to Jacob, that He’s going to give us a new name. I don’t mind Douglas that much, but He’s giving me a new name, that’s fine. We may all get a new name there.

The Lord is going to give us a new name, but it’s really not talking about our name; it’s talking about His name. Did you know that? Revelation 3:12 notice here I’m going to another verse now. Revelation 3:12, “He who overcomes,” we just read that in chapter 2. “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.” You remember when the Lord revealed Himself to Moses? They were all alone. Just Moses and Jesus, the burning bush out in the wilderness, and He said, “Look, I’ve got a name I’m going to tell you that I’ve not told anyone else. I’ve been known by other names, but My name Jehovah is a name. That’s the name that you’re going to take to them.” And so God is telling us that He is going to reveal something about Himself to us that is very unique, it’s very intimate, it’s very personal and He’s making a covenant. He’s telling us that we’re forgiven. All of that is embodied in that white stone with a new name in it. Well, what shall I more say in the few minutes that remain? You remember in Judges 13:18 when the parents of Manoah asked for the name of the angel and the angel said, “Why do you ask after My name, seeing it is a secret?” There are secrets about the name of God that you and I don’t even know.

Then there’s the ultimate mystery which is the mystery of the gospel. I don’t know that we can count how many times in the Bible it says that the gospel is identified as a mystery. Turn in your Bibles, this is a very important verse. Romans chapter 16, verse 25, Romans 16:25. “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began…” The plan of salvation is mysterious. The Bible talks about the mystery of iniquity. Why a creation would want to be the creator is a mystery. Why the devil would want God’s position. On the forehead of Babylon it says “mystery”, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots. There’s a lot of mysteries about sin I don’t understand. Some of these things may be answered in time, but the real mystery that helps us to understand everything is the mystery of the gospel. It helps us explain the purpose of life.

Think about all the people you see every day that are going around in the rat race, they don’t know why they’re alive, they don’t have purpose, they’re destroying themselves. In the gospel you’ve got the secret for the purpose of life. Paul refers to it as a mystery because for the majority broad is the way that leads to destruction. They don’t have the secret truth. God doesn’t want it to stay a mystery. Ephesians 6:19, he says, and pray “for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel…”

You know there is a mystery. Let me tell you what it is. I can’t explain how the power of Christ can come into an unregenerate heart and create a new birth. There is a mystery of the new birth. Just like Solomon says, “Who can tell how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child?” How those two cells come together and start growing into another human being within a human being, that’s a mystery. It’s marvelous when you think about it. We might study that for a hundred years and learn some new things, but we’re not going to know it all. It’s incredibly profound, mysterious how a heart can be changed and that old stony heart can be made, how we become new creatures, how the things we once loved we now hate and the things we once hated we now love, the mystery of the gospel is the conversion. But you’ve got to believe in it even though you may not understand it all. You know, years ago there was a young man who became something of a songwriter and a radio celebrity.

His name was Stuart Hamblin and he actually developed a radio program in southern California and it became very popular. He hobnobbed with some of the people in Hollywood, made some movies with people like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers and he did a lot of drinking, did a lot of cursing, did a lot of womanizing. Matter of fact, one of the popular songs he wrote was I’m not going to go hunting with you, Jake, but I’ll go chasing women. He had this radio program. A preacher was in southern California and he thought he’d go hear the preacher and he started making fun of him. Actually that night that he went to hear the preacher the preacher said, “There’s someone in this crowd and they’re a total fake.” And Stuart had this overwhelming conviction that he was the one. Even though he’d been making fun of the evangelistic meetings going on there in southern California he came under great conviction. He found out where the preacher was staying. He went to the pastor’s hotel room at two in the morning drunk, banging on the door saying, “I’m just under great conviction, Pastor. Would you please pray for me?” The pastor said, “No, I’m not going to pray for you.

You’re battling with God and I don’t want to get between you both. It’s between you and Him.” He said, “But I’ll talk to you.” He brought him in and they talked until five in the morning. He surrendered. He fell to his knees before the evening was over, gave his heart to the Lord, and was a changed man. Matter of fact, he eventually lost his radio program because he refused to advertize for the alcohol sponsors that were wanting to buy time. He became a dedicated Christian. His friends all said, “What’s come over you?” He had this one very close friend named John and he said, “You seem so different. Don’t you miss your drinking and your carousing? Isn’t it hard living like that?” He said, “No, I don’t miss it one bit.” He said, “How are you able to quit?” He said, “Well, it’s really no secret. What He did for me He could do for you.” His friend John said, “That sounds like a good name for a song,” and so Stuart Hamblin put it into a song, and it became very popular “It Is No Secret”. Oh, by the way, the preacher that spoke to him was Billy Graham, and John was John Wayne. That’s the rest of the story.

I thought it would be good since we’re talking about the secrets of God if we sang that song. It’s not in your hymnal. How many of you know, you probably know the chorus, “It is no secret what God can do…” We’ve got in your bulletin the words. We’re going to stand and sing this together before we have our closing prayer. The great secret is the secret of the gospel, the mystery of what Jesus will do for you. We’re going to sing the whole thing through and then I’ll have an appeal and a prayer for you.

The chimes of time ring out the news, Another day is through. Someone slipped and fell. Was that someone you?

You may have longed for added strength, Your courage to renew. Do not be disheartened, For I have news for you.

It is no secret what God can do. What He's done for others, He'll do for you. With arms wide open, He'll pardon you. It is no secret what God can do.

There is no night for in His light You never walk alone. Always feel at home, Wherever you may go.

There is no power can conquer you While God is on your side. Take Him at His promise, Don't run away and hide.

It is no secret what God can do. What He's done for others, He'll do for you. With arms wide open, He'll pardon you. It is no secret what God can do.

Amen. You’re going to be humming that through the day. People are always singing new songs. I think it’s fun sometimes to resurrect the good old ones and then they become new songs.

It’s a miracle and it’s a mystery, we may not understand it all, the power of the gospel to change hearts but it works. In the same way that I can understand how a baby can be born, I can’t understand so many mysteries in the world of life. Matter of fact, if you think about it, there’s a whole lot more that you don’t know than you do know and the longer you study and the longer you live, the more you’ll know you don’t know. But there’s some things that God has revealed He does want us to know. He loves us and He can change us and give us new hearts and make us new creatures. That’s a good news we ought to be sharing with people everywhere: the secret, the mystery of the gospel, in that you have the serum for the disease of the world that changes lives. I want to accept that good news and believe in its power, and I want to share that, don’t you, friends? Is that your prayer today?

Father in heaven, dear Lord, we are so thankful for what You have revealed, what You’ve revealed about Yourself, but Lord, we want more. We want to know more about Jesus. For most of the world it’s a secret, it’s a mystery they don’t know You, Lord. We’re so thankful that we have that intimate relationship, but we want to be closer. We want to understand the deep things of truth that reveal Your greatness. Lord, we also want to better understand and experience the mystery, the power, the science of the gospel that totally converts and transforms our lives.

We may not always understand it but we want to experience it, Lord. We’re so thankful for Your love for us. I pray that the good news of the gospel that is hidden from most of the world that You’ve revealed through Your truth, through Your prophecies, through Your parables, I pray that we will seek after more of that knowledge and then we’ll share it. If we’re willing to live the life, Lord, we know that you will reveal the truth. Bless us all. We thank You for the knowledge of Christ that we have. We pray that it will be ever unfolding and that light will grow brighter and brighter as that day approaches. We may not know the day and the hour, but we pray that we can be ready now and each day. Thank You and we ask these things in the name of Your Son Jesus. Amen.

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