Man can learn that there is a Creator from creation (Ps. 19: 1). However, while creation demonstrates the fact of order, power, and sovereignty, creation alone cannot articulate the mind of God in particular matters. The Creator has not left man without communication, though. This communication is the word of God. God has spoken through his Son and his Son speaks through his word (Heb. 1: 1, 2; John 6: 63, 12: 48, 2 John 9-11). Yet, God has chosen not to reveal certain things.
"The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law" (Deut. 29: 29).
Regarding the idea and meaning of "secret things," I shall share the following with you:
"Öthe meaning rather is, things in Godís purpose known only to himself: these things it is affirmed, belong to him, are his affair, and may be left with him. On the other hand, the things revealed are the things made known by God to man in his wordÖ.and with these men have to doÖ." "Secret things. The Ďsecret thingsí of this verse which God had not revealed regarding Israelís future Ė especially the time and manner of the fulfillment of those promises and threatening which were made contingent on their obedience or disobedience" (Pulpit Commentary, Vol. 3: 449 and then from the homilitical section, pg. 456).
In our Bible Questionís work, we have processed, answered, and done any needed follow up work on over 20, 000 questions. Regarding a certain percentage of these questions, we must refer the respondent to Deuteronomy 29: 29.
Man is often inquisitive about many matters, some of interest, some trivial, but all secret. A question often asked is, "Does God have any plans after the judgment?" We know that God has two respective destinies for man; the saved shall bask in Godís glory in heaven and the wicked shall spend an eternity in hell (Matt. 25: 46). While we can read of heaven, there is much left unrevealed (Rev. 21). Hence, regarding this aspect of "secret things" (Godís sovereignty and future plans), we simply do not know, the particulars are only known by God. We do know, though, that heaven will be after the Judgment (Matt. 25: 14-46). We also know that heaven will not be here on earth because the earth will be destroyed (John 14: 1-6, 2 Pet. 3: 10-14).
Regarding the future and Godís sovereignty, there is not a scintilla of evidence that after the Judgment God is going to start a new world with a new created man, as some speculate. All that is revealed points to heaven and hell being the final stages pertaining to man. To toy with the idea of some physical "future man" subsequent to the Judgment is not only not revealed and contrary to what is revealed, but is also comparatively trivial in nature (we must respect the silence of the scriptures in view of what is revealed, (Heb. 7: 11-14).
There are inquiries as to matters perhaps not involving "secret things" (Godís sovereignty pertaining to the future is the primary idea of Deuteronomy 29: 29), but they are of interest. For instance, was the devil an ordinary angel or was he different and if so, in what ways was he different. It does appear that the devil was an angel, a created being (cp. 2 Pet. 2: 4, Job 1: 6ff., cp. Ps. 148: 2, 5). In view of an apparent angel hierarchy, it would seem that the devil was high ranking, but we simply are not provided detailed information relative to the devil. Some of these particulars can be inferred, perhaps with degrees of necessity, and some involve speculation. We are expressly told that the devil has limitation (Jas. 4: 7). An interesting study is the nature of angels from the slant of free will; yet, not having access to salvation (I Pet. 1: 12, Heb. 2: 16, 1: 14).
A matter of interest, under this heading, that may not be fully revealed is why did God create man. We do know that God solicits manís worship (John 4: 23). God also has placed man in a climate that can result in his maturation (Jas. 1: 2-4). There could be, though, additional reasons, reasons unrevealed as to why God thus created man. In this case, we have revelation and still perhaps an area lacking revelation.
In the case of where did Cain find a wife, we largely deduce based on what is revealed. Cain did find a wife (Gen. 4: 15-17). Since there is no hint of a parallel race of people or previous creation prior to Adam and Eve (Adam is said to have been the first man, I Cor. 15: 45), we can only infer that Cain married a sister. The two main objections to this inference can be answered. For instance, the law forbidding intermarriage involving brother and sister was apparently not given until Leviticus 18: 9 (by the time of Leviticus 18: 9 the gene pool was such that such intermarriage could result in physical and mental degradation). Regarding the objection that Cain did not have a sister to marry, we must remember that the Bible usually mentioned only the birth of males and there is the possibility of a period of time elapsing between Genesis 4: 1 and verses 15, 16. The parallel world view is not allowed as an inference because it conflicts with what is revealed and the matter of Cain marrying a sister does not conflict, as seen, and must be allowed as a tenable answer.
Man is forever interested in the age of the earth. In order for organic evolutionists to even begin to deceive the populous into thinking all things evolved from nothing, they must speak in terms of hugh amounts of time to which man cannot relate, millions or even trillions of years. It might surprise some to find out that the Bible does not reveal the exact age of the earth. However, the Bible does reveal some related facts of interest. For instance, the earth and man were created mature (Gen. 1, 2). Such a fact does potentially contribute to the age of creation; how much, none really know. Again, though, we have a combination of lack of revelation and revelation and conclusions of interest.
In an exploration of the nature of things not revealed, one must concede those matters that are totally trivial. For instance, what was the forbidden fruit (Gen. 2: 17). The name of Lotís wife and the specific type of affliction that plagued Paul are not revealed but are essentially trivial in nature. If these things were revealed, of what substantive value would they be? However, some become so fascinated relative to these particulars that they miss out on the attendant lessons and truths that are revealed (cp. Luke 17: 32, Gen. 19: 26; 2 Cor. 12: 5-12).
Some things thought "secret" are actually revealed. Some mistakenly believe that the reason for Jesusí coming to this earth is not disclosed, but it most certainly is (Heb. 2: 9, 10, 14-18). Some contend, "the spiritual status of the unbaptized is not revealed," but it is (Mark 116: 16, I Pet. 3: 21). Regarding the divorce and marriage to another controversy, there are those who teach that the Bible does not mention the innocent put away person, but it does (Matt. 5: 32, 19: 9). "The Bible does not address the matter of how the treasury of the church is to be used," some maintain, yet, we do find teaching. The local church has the primary task of preaching and upholding the gospel; hence, monies are to be spent for this spiritual work (I Tim. 3: 15, I Cor. 9: 14).
The things revealed should have our attention, interest, and focus. Rest assured, God has revealed all things pertaining to life and godliness (2 Pet. 1: 3, 4, 2 Tim. 3: 16, 17). The mystery that was hidden has been unveiled, that is, all God wants man to know (Col. 1: 26). The plan of salvation, both how to initially come to God and how to live to please him is made evident in the scriptures (Acts 16: 30ff.). There is belief, repentance, confession of Jesusí deity, and water baptism for the remission of sins (John 8: 24; Acts 17: 30, 31; Rom. 10: 9, 10; Acts 2: 38). Christians are to live lives of godliness (Tit. 2: 11-14). The church, its origin, nature, and purpose is clearly set forth in the scriptures (Matt. 16: 18, 19; I Tim. 3: 15). The scriptures reveal pertaining to relationship duties (Eph. 5: 22-6: 4; Rom. 13: 1-7; Col. 3: 22, 23, 4: 1).
In closing, let us revisit Deuteronomy 29: 29:
"The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law."
The things revealed are not simply for manís philosophic discussion and enjoyment, they are rather revealed, "Öthat we may do all the words of this law." The referenced law of the verse is the Law of Moses; however, we are "under law to Christ" (I Cor. 9: 21, Gal. 6: 2). "Secret and unrevealed matters pertaining to Godís sovereignty, only God can know and man needs to control his imagination and speculation. Regarding unrevealed things that have some partial related revelation, we can draw from what is revealed and effect certain inferences, even necessary inferences. When Godís word specifies, man needs to respect the silence of the scriptures in all other related areas. We need to always diligently study the scriptures to ascertain what is revealed (Acts 17: 11). Such a search should always be for the purpose, "...that we may do all the words of this law."