“The Lord works in mysterious ways, His many wonders to perform!”
Which of us hasn’t encountered this saying a hundred times in our lifetimes. And it is logical enough – after all, God IS big – and his ways are complicated! As Paul said:
Romans 11:33-34 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
And yet this very common – yet totally unscriptural – saying, has a crippling affect on the mental ability of everyone in protestant Christianity today! If you ask them any question which they cannot readily answer, their eyes will glaze over with awe while their face transforms into a blank mask of idiocy and they will respond as if from afar, “The Lord works in mysterious ways, His many wonders to perform!”
But what they really MEAN is, “I don’t know why God did that, but rather than admit I’m too lazy to find out, I’ll just say that God doesn’t WANT me to find out!”
Of course, this isn’t a new way of thinking. In this quote from Paul Heinrich Dietrich, in systeme de la nature, London, 1770, we find this has been going on for a long time…
“If a faithful account was rendered of Man’s ideas upon Divinity, he would be obliged to acknowledge, that for the most part the word “gods” has been used to express the concealed, remote, unknown causes of the effects he witnessed;…”
In other words, when a man doesn’t know WHY lightning strikes, he says “Zeus did it!”
“…that he applies this term when the spring of the natural, the source of known causes, ceases to be visible: as soon as he loses the thread of these causes, or as soon as his mind can no longer follow the chain, he solves the difficulty, terminates his research, by ascribing it to his gods…
So this simple answer to his laziness or ignorance solves many problems, and at the same time exalts his gods and makes him feel good! He can stop thinking now, knowing that “God is so mighty, who can know His ways!” – but what is he REALLY doing when He does that?
“… when, therefore, he ascribes to his gods the production of some phenomenon… does he, in fact, do anything more than substitute for the darkness of his own mind, a sound to which he has been accustomed to listen with reverential awe?”
The author of this quote was largely referring to the ancient Greeks, but it applies equally well to anyone who is too lazy or too fearful to continue a line of thought once it reaches an area where his concept of reality is threatened, and so he terminates his research, and instead “makes a sound to which he has been accustomed to listen with reverential awe”, and says “Oh, how great is the mind of God! Who can know His will!”.
Don’t believe me? Ask any person, in any religion, any question they cannot answer, and rather than admit they are ignorant and are not the least bit interested in learning anything more, they will resort to this tactic and tell you that “The Lord works in mysterious ways!”
But does He? Or is that just an “out” that people use to excuse themselves from further thought?
Psalms 103:6-7 The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
If God works in mysterious ways – and I’m not saying He does – then at the very least, God seemed to have made those mysterious ways of his known unto Moses, now didn’t He? It specifically says that God MADE HIS WAYS known – those ways that everyone believes are mysterious, and unknowable!
But then what did Moses do with that knowledge of God’s ways?
Deuteronomy 30:11-14 For this commandment which I command thee this day, IT IS NOT HIDDEN FROM THEE, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven … Neither is it beyond the sea … But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, THAT THOU MAYEST DO IT.
Moses wrote it in the Bible, and told the ENTIRE NATION OF ISRAEL what those ways were! Doesn’t that mean they weren’t a mystery anymore?
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
That sure sounds like He is a mystery! But wait!
Verse 10-11 But God hath REVEALED THEM UNTO US by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
So NO MAN knows the things of God – but God’s SPIRIT knows those things! And as it just said, God REVEALED THEM TO US BY THAT SPIRIT! So He isn’t a mystery anymore, to those who HAVE that spirit!
Verse 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
But to those without God’s spirit, those who are still carnal, God IS mysterious, for they CANNOT RECEIVE the understanding! God DOES work in mysterious ways from their perspective, and God MUST remain a mystery to them, for it is only by His spirit that we can KNOW those deep things of God!
Verse 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
So yes, the Lord does work in ways that are mysterious to them. But WE have the mind of Christ.
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.
But now let’s step back a moment and ask what the difference is between God’s secrets and mysteries and those of the world’s religions. A secret is a simple fact that I know that you don’t. I know what present you’re getting for your birthday and you don’t. But this is not mystical knowledge, it’s just a fact that you CAN know, and that one day you WILL know!
Luke 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
And God DOES do things in secret. But that doesn’t mean we CAN’T know, for God promises that He will do NOTHING without telling us His secrets!
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.
Mysteries are pretty much the same; things God has kept hidden, wrapped up in riddles, until God wanted to make them clear.
Daniel 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
But that time has come; knowledge has been increased, on an exponential level. And these mysteries have been unlocked.
Colossians 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
Can you read that and get “The Lord works in mysterious ways” out of that? The only people to whom God works mysteriously is those who don’t KNOW HIM! But to those who KNOW Him, and have His spirit revealing His secrets to them, God is an open book!
God has nothing to fear from your scrutiny. He doesn’t need to have meetings behind closed doors to maintain control over you. He doesn’t need to hide what He does from prying eyes. He is honest, and can afford to be upfront and above-board with his actions. Like Paul:
2 Timothy 3:10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, … [etc]
The true God and God’s true ministers have nothing to hide. If you don’t like God and His decisions, find a new God. Doesn’t bother Him. He’s right, He’s fair, and no one can prove otherwise.
But the FALSE God does have things to hide! Because if you fully know HIS doctrine and manner of life, you’d see how evil, and at times even silly, they are! And so throughout time, everyone who served Satan had a “mystery religion” – Cain, Nimrod, Bablyon and the Catholic Church and every other false religion has “secret knowledge” that only the priests can know. Only the inner circle of the secret society, the 32nd degree Mason, or a Grand Poobah of some sort, is initiated to know what the upper echelon is doing.
In this way, Satan hides his true motives from the populace, and divides the hierarchy up so much that the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing – and by the time someone becomes an illustrious potentate and realizes the evils of the organization, he has too much invested it in to back out – and if he does back out, the society can see to it that he has an unfortunate… “accident”.
Since the time of Babel these societies can be traced; when Nimrod was killed by Shem, his wife Semiramis took the movement underground and made it a secret religion. This pattern was followed by the priests of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Assyria, Bablyon, Phoenicea, Greece, and most recently Rome.
All of these orders have as one of their highest rules the simple code “secrecy”. The worst crime a member can commit is revealing sacred knowledge to the uninitiated. You remember the little “incident” between the Catholic Church and Galileo? The Catholic Encyclopedia’s version of the incident reads:
“Above all, he excited alarm by publishing works on the subject in the vernacular, and thus spreading the new doctrine, which was startling even for the learned, amongst the masses who were incapable of forming any sound judgment concerning it.”
Reading the article, it is plain to see that Galileo’s greatest crime was that “above all”, he published his works in the language of the common people, rather than in Latin which they could not have read. He revealed secrets that threatened the authority of the Church, which at the time held that the Sun revolved around the Earth (and didn’t publicly change it’s mind until 1982, 350 years later!).
But bear in mind that the church was willing to debate these issues with him – but it would NOT tolerate Him taking the information to the people! That, more than anything else, is what got him tortured in the inquisition.
This is just one example out of billions. Secret orders of fraternity, the mysteries of astrology, state sponsored religions worshiping Caesar, secret societies of every sort, churches with meetings behing closed doors, all of them hiding truth from the masses, keeping the knowledge to themselves so that the power will stay concentrated in their group, ostensibly suppressing truth for the “good of the church”… this is how Satan and his churches work.
2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
This mystery, Satan’s mystery, was well underway in the time of Paul. It is flourishing today. And it is true to say that “Satan works in mysterious ways, his many wonders to perform”. Satan does work that way, and MUST work that way, or not even a fool would follow Him. He fears the light of your scrutiny.
John 3:20-21 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
But God is not afraid of the truth. If God does something, ANYTHING, you CAN know why. The Bible WILL tell you, and God WILL reveal it to you. You may have to work for it, but it CAN be known, since God is not the least bit intimidated by your inspection of His ways, and His position will not be harmed by it. In fact, with every bit of truth He tells you, and each new thing He reveals about His un-mysterious ways, His position is strengthened a little more.
The world is full of false saviors, as Jesus prophesied it would be. There are lots of “other Jesus'” out there, Jesus’ who supposedly died on a cross and have the right name, but who act nothing like the real Jesus did!
2 Corinthians 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached…
Those false Jesus’ ARE a mystery. They CAN’T be known because they don’t make SENSE! They torture babies for eternity because they died in the womb, never being saved! Those Jesus’ force saved mothers to watch their unsaved children writhe in hell for all time! Those false saviors think that flames should lap at the feet of dead Chinese until the universe DIES, because they never heard the name of Christ, the only name by which men CAN be saved! (Acts 4:12)
Those Jesus’ DO NOT make sense! And the ONLY way anyone would follow them is because they keep their ways a MYSTERY! And instead of investigating questions like those I just mentioned, instead of demanding ANSWERS from their irrational “Jesus”, they just say “Well, He works in mysterious ways!”
You BET He does! Because if you actually SAW the mind of that Pseudo-Jesus, who is in fact Satan himself in disguise, you would SHUDDER in terror of the blackness there! And anyone who LIKES a Jesus who cannot be known is headed down that same road, ultimately for the same destination!
If such a person prefers to relegate God to a nebulous mystery, and substitute for truth a nice-sounding phrase which lets him off the hook, HE CAN! If that’s the sort of God you want, Satan is right there, ready to fill those shoes.
But God does NOT work in mysterious ways. He doesn’t need to, and He doesn’t want to! Anyone who says otherwise is ignorant, probably lazy … and if he is reading this article, probably angry by now.
Matthew 13:35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.