Generally speaking, Christians believe the Bible is God's written Word to man. For centuries, people have been trying to gain esoteric knowledge by searching for patterns and codes for deeper meanings. Although the Bible can be understood by untrained people for salvation and instruction in righteousness, I'll allow that there are some tricky passages where we need the help of a skilled theologian.
A section of the 20th anniversary Dr. Who episode from 1983, "The Five Doctors", comes to mind. The Time Lords are wondering what's happening in a certain area, and one says, "We must know what is happening in there". Extreme sidewinder The Master asks, "Did it occur to you to go and look?" I reckon that's the way some professing Christians act: they want the knowledge of the Bible, but are not bothering with what it actually says. Go and look, what a novel concept!
Seems to me that a lot of cults and false teachings have this in common. This is frequently seen in the "I have a personal, direct revelation from God" crowd. People get caught up in the emotional manipulation and frenzy that they'll actually believe this stuff instead of pulling back on the reigns and saying "Whoa", opening their Bibles, and verifying if this new "knowledge" comes from God. People also put their minds on hold during these "religious" experiences. If you study on it a mite, it seems rather egotistical (as well as insulting to God's character) that something would remain hidden for millennia, but the owlhoot that's speaking is The One© that gets God's special revelation today. Along with hundreds of other false teachers with their own special (and often conflicting) alleged revelations.
While this article was in the planning stage (I was thinking about doing it), someone posted a comment at The Question Evolution Project promoting the "Book of Enoch". When the commenter was taken to task for adding to God's Word, he received this reply:
Nonsense Curtis, you have no idea what your talking about. Read the books and then comment. After all the bible speaks of them many times and Christ himself would have read them in his education. Enoch was only left out of the western bible (which has lost books since the 4th century) due to the poor condition of Enoch 1. Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Eritrean Orthodox Church, use it. Revelation was chosen instead, being in better condition. This was debated for nearly 100 years before the bible was compiled. Enoch was no enemy of God, God delighted in Enoch, he showed total faith and dedication to God when the rest of the world had turned away. Enoch was shown the inner works of heaven, so he could tell his people. Do you even know who Enoch was? "When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away." Genesis 5:21-24This guy is using the evolutionist principle of Making Stuff Up™ as well as mixing in some truths from Scripture. Also, note the commenter's wounded pride and attack on the other person. The so-called Book of Enoch was assembled by piecework over several years, was never written by Enoch himself, and because a certain church uses it doesn't mean the rest of Christianity has to accept it. This bit about debate about it's inclusion, preferring Revelation and so on really takes the rag off the bush!
The Book of Enoch is a favorite of Gnostic heretics, and that gang likes their own esoteric knowledge — the Bible doesn't mean what it says, so they have to add their own ridiculous choices of "holy writings".
Gail Riplinger, author of the spurious New Age Bible Versions, has amazing credentials that enable her to refute Dr. James White and discuss textual criticism and ancient biblical manuscripts. Her degrees are in interior design, home economics, and art. She can tell you how the New International Version and the sinking of the Titanic are related, and God gave her a direct revelation of "acrostic algebra". No, I didn't chaw down some peyote buttons, Riplinger is really that way, see "King James Version Only Controversy" beginning at the 10 minute 20 second mark. What would be appreciated here is if she had knowledge, integrity, actually dealt with Scripture, and didn't hear "God" speaking to her.
These things remind me of the "backward masking" excitement. That was where people would play vinyl records backward and "hear" satanic messages in the lyrics. Even if such things did exist, the lyrics played in the proper direction would be enough reason to leave some musicians alone.
Counting the words and letters, playing around with verse numbers, various methods to crack the code — all wastes of time. For one thing, chapters verses were added a few hundred years ago, and were not a part of the original manuscripts. (Indeed, in Luke 4:17, Jesus did not say, "Turn with me to Isaiah chapter 42, verse 1...") Further, they don't cotton to using the ancient texts from which the Bible is translated. So to seek divine significance from chapter and verse numbers that were added by men is rather silly. And again, such allegations that God hid a code for thousands of years is insulting to his integrity.
To learn about creation, sin, repentance, redemption, living a life of godliness, being equipped — it's all there in the Bible. If someone offers you codes, "revelations" outside the Bible, mixes truth with false teachings, I recommend that you light a shuck out of there.