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Joined: 2008/5/3
Posts: 435

 Christian Mysticism vs. The Holy Spirit

Christian Mysticism vs. The Holy Spirit

A. Mystical Experience

1. No true believer will deny that experience or even, mystical experience, has a place in the Christian life.

2. For instance, the divine events that bring a sinner to salvation could be described as a mystical experience.

3. A mystical experience could be an evangelism tract that was picked up, or someone randomly entering a church out of desperation and hearing a gospel presentation, or even standing in line in a grocery store next to a believer. Other mystical experiences could be a definite answer to prayer, an unexpected provision, or a season of spiritual renewal.

4. Even some of our great hymns of the faith suggest a “mystic’ sweet communion” from “The Church’s One Foundation.”

5. However, these mystical experiences might rather be described as “God’s supernatural work in everyday life.”

B. Christian Mysticism

1. Christian Mysticism, on the other hand, differs in that the concept of Christianity is combined with Mysticism.

2. Definitions:

a) Mysticism (from the Greek mustiko´s an initiate of a mystery religion, mustê´ria meaning "initiation") is the pursuit of achieving communion, identity with, or conscious awareness of ultimate reality, the Other, divinity, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, or insight. (

b) Christian Mysticism … maintains that God dwells in all Christians and that they can experience God directly through belief in Jesus… [It] aspires to apprehend spiritual truths inaccessible through intellectual means, typically by emulation of Christ. (

3. The problem with both of these types of mysticism is that in order to have union with God (the Other or the Absolute), the intellect and divine revelation of the Scriptures must be abandoned.

In other words, in one degree or another, Christian Mysticism does not rely upon the Scriptures for its truth and spirituality, but rather upon one’s own feelings, impressions, and intuitions.

Gnostic Mysticism

1. Mysticism is also an ingredient of Gnosticism. A form of pre-Gnosticism was a false teaching circulating around the time of New Testament writings.

2. Paul addresses this pre-Gnosticism specifically in Colossians and by John likewise in 1, 2, 3 John.

Moravians contemplative Mysticism

Zinzendorf was a Rosicrucian. In late medieval Germany, the Rosicrucians were a secret society of mystics holding a doctrine built on esoteric truths, and secret doctrines of the ancient past. They believed that these secret mystical truths were concealed from the average man, and reserved for an elite few. [6] Much like today s New Apostolic Reformers, these mystics sought a universal Reformation of Mankind. Many modern esoteric orders and secret societies are said to draw in part or in whole on the Rosicrucian s philosophies.  Zinzendorf was head of the Rose Croix (Rosicrucian) from 1744 - 1749. [7] In fact Masonic dictionaries list a category called Moravian Masonry which was founded in 1939 called the Confraternity of Moravian Brothers of the Order of the Religious Freemasons. An alternative order was the Order of the Grain of Mustard Seed which itself originated in 1922 through Count Zinzendorf. Members of the Order wore a ring on which was inscribed in Latin no one of us lives for himself Its purpose was for the extension of the Kingdom of Heaven through Masonic Channels. [2] Although he sought to build a Kingdom on earth, it most certainly had nothing to do with the God of the Bible.



A. The Holy Spirit Has A Convicting Ministry In The World (Jn 16:8-11).

1. Christ told us that one of the ministries of the Holy Spirit, when He came, was going to be a convicting ministry. “Convict” comes from the Greek word ele´gcho and means generally to show someone that they have done something wrong in order to bring light and repentance (cp. Jn 3:20). The Spirit, therefore, reveals sin in the world which is against God or His Word.

2. He specifically convicts the unbelieving “world” (kosmos cp. Jn 3:16) so that they might believe (8). He convicts the world of their sin (primarily unbelief) and their need for a Savior (9).

a) Thus the convicting work of the Spirit is the placing of the truth of the gospel in a clear light before the unsaved person so he acknowledges it as truth whether or not he receives Christ as personal Saviour. Conviction is making the message clear, not the saving of the soul—that’s regeneration. (Ryrie, A Survey of Bible Doctrine)

b) The Holy Spirit also convicts (same Greek word but translated “correction” in 2Ti 3:16) the believer but in the sense of correcting and sanctifying him through the instruction and preaching of the Scriptures (2Ti 4:2). The Holy Spirit’s convicting ministry plays a major role as to what should take place during worship (preaching the Word and conviction).

3. He convicts the world (8, 10) of falling short of God’s righteousness (Ro 3:23) and of its own sin of self-righteousness so that the world might believe and avail themselves of Christ’s imputed righteousness (Ph 3:9).

4. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of God’s judgment upon it (8, 11) in view of the fact that Satan, the god of this world has been judged (1Jn 3:8) and that the world has not believed on the Savior (Jn 3:18).

The Concept of the Filling of the Holy Spirit

a) In order to understand the filling of the Spirit, there are certain things we must understand that filling is not.

(1) Being filled with the Holy Spirit does not equate to an ecstatic experience before, during, or after being filled. Filling is the work of the Spirit by which the believer continually lives his Christian life under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

(2) Being filled with the Holy Spirit does not mean a person will be able to speak in tongues. The NT does record that some believers were filled with the Holy Spirit and also spoke in tongues. But nowhere does Scripture say that speaking in tongues is a by-product or an evidence of being filled with the Spirit. Rather the NT states that as a spiritual gift, tongues was not given to every believer (1Co 12:30).

(3) Being filled with the Holy Spirit does not mean that a believer receives extra-biblical revelation about the Lord’s will. In fact, Eph 5:17 argues that believers are not to be foolish (aphron - without the mind), but are to understand (suniêmi - to fit together in order to understand) the will of the Lord. The will of the Lord is perceived by understanding the Scriptures.

b) What actually is the filling of the Holy Spirit?

(1) Filling of the Holy Spirit is being under the influence and control of the Holy Spirit. It is not being out of control and doing wild acts in the name of the Holy Spirit. When the believer is under the control of the Spirit, he exhibits the fruit of the Spirit, which includes “self-control” (egkrateia - mastery over one’s self).

(2) Filling of the Holy Spirit means that a believer is under the control of the Holy Spirit by being under the control of the Spirit’s Word (2Pe 1:20-21). The Holy Spirit controls us through the Scriptures that He authored. In a sense, we can say that the reason the Holy Spirit gave us the Scriptures was to communicate and control the Spirit-filled believer.

(3) Filling of the Spirit means that the Holy Spirit has complete control over the believer. It does not mean that the believer receives more of the Holy Spirit. Rather filling means the Holy Spirit has more of the yielded believer. A believer is filled to the degree that he has yielded and submitted to the Lordship of Christ and His Word.

4. The Results of the Filling of the Holy Spirit

a) The context following Eph 5:18 gives us the results of the filling of the Spirit.

b) Saturated with Scripture: One of the results is that a believer is saturated with the Scriptures and thoughts about Scripture (Eph 5:19a). A Spirit-filled believer is allows the Scripture to dwell in him richly (Col 3:16). As a result it overflows in wisdom, teaching, and the encouragement with the Scriptures. This would also include speaking the word of God with boldness (Ac 4:31; 1Th 2:2).

c) Joy of the Holy Spirit: Another result is the spiritual joy of the Holy Spirit (Neh 8:10; 1Th 1:6) which is expressed by the melody and joy in the heart inwardly and outwardly (Eph 5:19). Note that the singing is spiritual in nature and revolves around Scripture

d) Giving Thanks: A believer filled with Holy Spirit exhibits a thankful attitude toward God in all things (1Th 5:18) and for all things (Eph 5:20), knowing that God is in control and that God works all things together for good, even trials and tribulations.

e) Attitude of Submission: Eph 5:21 continues to describe the behavior of a believer filled with the Holy Spirit by the word “subject” (hupota´sso - arrange under, submission). A Spirit-filled believer obviously submits himself to the Lordship of Christ, but also to other believers in a desire to serve them and see them grow spiritually. This is the same subjection that a Spirit-filled wife is to have toward her husband (Eph 5:22-24); a Spirit-filled husband is to have toward Christ in regard to his wife (Eph 5:25-33) and his children (Eph 6:4); Spirit-filled children are to have toward their parents (Eph 6:1); employees and citizens have toward their employers (Eph 6:5-8) and authorities (Rom 13:1-7).

5. The Conditions of Continually being Filled with the Holy Spirit

a) Submit to the Lordship of Christ, the Spirit, and the Word of God moment by moment in every area of life (1Pe 3:15a; Luk 6:46; Eph 5:18 - 6:9).

b) Saturate your mind and life with the Word of God (Joh 15:5; Col 3:16)

c) Confess your sins immediately (1Jo 1:9; Pro 1:23)

d) Do not quench the Spirit (1Th 5:19).

e) Do not grieve the Spirit (Eph 4:30).

f) Walk by the Spirit (Gal 5:16, 25).


 2016/4/15 21:22Profile

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5678

 Re: Christian Mysticism vs. The Holy Spirit

Quote: 3. The problem with both of these types of mysticism is that in order to have union with God (the Other or the Absolute), the intellect and divine revelation of the Scriptures must be abandoned.

In other words, in one degree or another, Christian Mysticism does not rely upon the Scriptures for its truth and spirituality, but rather upon one’s own feelings, impressions, and intuitions."
Who says?

To say that someone like Tozer who was, at a minimum, sympathetic to some of the Christian Mystics was in agreement with "abandoning scripture" is gross slander. Sorry, but I will have to trust Tozer on this point.


 2016/4/15 21:30Profile


The dictionary gods are going to meet at high noon.

In the meantime,

Jesus will continue to pour out His spirit upon all flesh;
and sons and daughters shall prophesy,
old men shall dream dreams, young men shall see visions:

Psalm 91

 2016/4/15 22:04


Christian Mysticism is greatly misunderstood thanks to Satan mixing it up with gnosticism.

It merely says that all inspiration in the understanding of scripture must come from the Holy Spirit alone as it's basis and not the mind, which is secondary but vital nonetheless. It must be experientially in this order. We are to live by the Spirit and just because many are in error here does not nulify the truth. The balance is a fine dividing line.

It never ever says though that any inspiration can step outside of scripture. Everything must be able to stand this test. But the Spirit giving confirmation of what is truth comes first and it is only when one is filled with the Spirit and therefore in full union with the Trinity, that the principle holds. We see it when the apostles were in full accord and at other times in movements of the Spirit in church hustory like the time of the early Quakers who were in accord with each other. We will never in this life however, have perfect understanding or full revelation each, though enough to walk in His will and have that sense of oneness with others who are in the same Spirit which us unfortunately rare in these dark days.

Another misunderstanding is regarding the word mystery. According to scripture, it is something to be revealed by the Spirit and only kept hidden from the blind. Their own hearts keeps their minds in darkness. There is no secret to it - it is to the obedient that more light is given, obedient that is to the light given to their consciences.

It is when this part is missing that men will start to depend on their minds primarily to interpret scripture and then unity is not possible hence the many sects we see.

 2016/4/16 1:58


Well said, Brenda.

Mystery = "The deep things of God" - Freely given to the spiritual man made known to him by the Spirit.

Foolishness to the natural man who CANNOT receive the things of the Spirit (of God), because they are not naturally discerned (which is the only discernment he has) but spiritually discerned.

1Co 2:10-16

10. But GOD HATH REVEALED them UNTO US BY HIS SPIRIT: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, THE DEEP THINGS OF GOD.

11 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. 12 NOW WE HAVE RECEIVED, not the spirit of the world, but THE SPIRIT WHICH IS OF GOD; THAT WE MIGHT KNOW THE THINGS THAT ARE FREELY GIVEN TO US OF GOD.

13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which THE HOLY GHOST TEACHETH; COMPARING SPIRITUAL THINGS WITH SPIRITUAL.


15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

As I am reading this anew, I am realizing why there are so many conflicts in discussions.

 2016/4/16 10:37

Joined: 2009/1/24
Posts: 453


There are so many heresies and doctrinal errors flying around that it is tempting to "play it safe," stick to the basics and not search into the "deep things of God." But Hebrews 6 warns us about the dangers of laying the foundations over and over again and not "going on to perfection." As we go on to the fulness of Christ there are dangers and snares along the way, but the greatest danger of all is perpetual immaturity.

Wayne Kraus

 2016/4/16 11:27Profile


Amen, wayneman.

I also noticed in the same chapter of Heb 6 some verses on love and I thought I would post a few thoughts that came to mind if that is ok?

Heb 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and LABOUR OF LOVE, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Heb 6:11 And we desire that EVERY ONE OF YOU DO SHEW THE SAME DILIGENCE to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

The most sought after "maturity" is not knowledge but rather being perfected in love. Knowledge is good, but when isolated only puffs up. (1 Cor 13)

1 Jn 4:12 ...If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

The Spirit can show us amazing things, but if these things are not handled with care (love), then what good is it?

I guess what I am saying is that I would rather have love than knowledge. The Ephesian Church was very knowledgeable/spiritual but had left their first love. Of course, we can have both, Jesus only told them to return to their first love, not discard their knowledge.

But, there is a knowledge that I do seek and that is the knowledge of Him rather than Bible facts. As you know, the heart of a Christian is tested constantly if we are dwelling in love (in God) by how we treat others (love others) and how we respond to the Spirit of God (love Him). Bible facts tell nothing of a man's character/heart.

To me, "the DEEP THINGS OF GOD", are the increasingly rich revelations of Jesus Christ as revealed in His Word and by His Spirit.

Jer 9:23 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:
Jer 9:24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, THAT HE UNDERSTANDETH AND KNOWETH ME, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

I am determined more than ever to walk as Jesus walked and the only way to do that is complete submission and abiding in Him.

 2016/4/16 11:54

Joined: 2009/1/24
Posts: 453


"Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him." - 1 Corinthians 8:1-3 NKJV

Wayne Kraus

 2016/4/16 12:07Profile


"Being filled with the Holy Spirit does not equate to an ecstatic experience before, during, or after being filled."

Within the charismatic/Pentecostal movement there is error and there is truth. One mans "being filled with the Holy Spirit" is another mans fleshly outburst. The Holy Spirit moves in peoples lives in various and sundry ways. Sometimes He drops them dead in a church service. Other times He knocks them off their horse and blinds them. He might even pick them up and transport them supernaturally across many miles to do His bidding. Other times He overwhelms them with power so that peoples hearts are cut to the quick. Sometimes He causes the whole building to shake...for many to shout out exuberantly and prophesy.

It is unfortunate that some people think they know everything there is to know about the Holy Spirit. In my own personal experience and also from observing the lives of godly men and other great men of God throughout history, and ALSO from reading the book of Acts, there is much that can surprise us and that we may not have yet encountered with Him.

It is a very common experience for their to be an overflow of thrilling joy and ecstasy or tears and a broken heart to be associated with the infilling of the Holy Spirit. At other times you will want to sing, shout clap and dance before the Lord.

These "feelings" are not something that we should ever seek after but they come with the whole package so to speak. We cannot help but be "affected" when we are filled with the Spirit.

Many who refute and downplay these things are usually speaking out of their massive intellects rather than out of their own walk with God. In other words they speak of things they know nothing about.

 2016/4/16 13:57


How true, Mark.

Here is a man that got healed physically and look what he did.

Act 3:8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and LEAPING, and PRAISING God.
Act 3:9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God:

1Pet 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

"Joy unspeakable" can be quite a challenge for our bodily tents to contain. As a matter of fact it is often quite a spiritually ecstatic event. But, if one has never had "joy unspeakable and full of glory", then the doubts are understandable.

How much more joyful is spiritual healing than physical healing and being joined to the Lord's spirit? This is not just a theory that one reasons with their mind that makes sense. Nothing of the Spirit makes sense to the mind unless the Lord illuminates our minds with revelation.

 2016/4/16 14:49

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