A mystic or nothing at all

In the days ahead, you will either be a mystic (one who has experienced God for real) or nothing at all.

Karl Rahner, as quoted by James Spinti from the forthcoming book The Furious Longing of God.

I agree. Faith that is based only on truth understood by the intellect will not survive difficult times. Only faith based on a real personal experience of God can endure the worst that life can throw at us and last into eternity.

0 thoughts on “A mystic or nothing at all

  1. This is true. I’m going through a rough time of trying to sort through God’s word concerning soteriology and implications of Calvinism vs. Arminianism. This may ultimately be a waste of time, I admit, but nonetheless, certain “mystic” experiences of God help me realize His reality and love, no matter how pessimistic I may be.

  2. Pingback: Peter Kirk, New Mystic - Or did I misunderstand him? « The Church of Jesus Christ

  3. Mystics and mysticism is a pursuit of things God commands us to KEEP AWAY FROM.
    It is the realm of occult, New Age religion, witchcraft, and magic arts.

    The dictionary definition http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/mystic indicates this, as does the Bible:

    2 Kings 21: 6 And he made his son pass through the FIRE, and observed TIMES, and used ENCHANTMENTS, and dealt with FAMILIAR SPIRITS and WIZARDS: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

    Deut 29:29 THE SECRET THINGS belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

    “The things revealed” are the teachings CONTAINED IN SCRIPTURE. Any teachings BEYOND THIS are not permitted, regardless of how they come (prophecies, angels, dreams, visions, voices, golden tablets, etc.).

    Prophecies from God will never contradict the teachings of his Bible.

    The Bible is closed from extensions or insertions.

    Participating in MYSTICAL experiences and “secret place” meditations is attempting to know and experience what God has not permitted.

    In this DISOBEDIENCE, the Devil gains an opportunity to give false counsel via “familiar spirits”, and it seems he will give pleasurable “tickles” to encourage the disobedience.

    This explains the pleasurable “experiences” people got from impartations of John Arnott’s Toronto “Blessing”, and the similar ministries of Todd Bentley, John Crowder, etc.

    These people are practicing WIZARDRY and bringing witchcraft into Christian fellowships.

    They should be opposed.

  4. Seeker3, do you really think this is a fair assessment of the mystical tradition in the church over many centuries? How would you interpret biblical accounts of God speaking through “mystical” experiences, such as Acts 10:10-16 and 2 Corinthians 12:1-6, plus the whole book of Revelation?

  5. >> “mystical” experiences, such as Acts 10:10-16 and 2 Corinthians 12:1-6, plus the whole book of Revelation?

    Those are visions from God because they are WRITTEN IN SCRIPTURE, and the context indicates they came from God.

    King Saul had a mystical experience by going to unauthorised source in consulting “familiar spirits”: 1 Sam 28:1-5
    Any vision any person has since the Bible was CLOSED at Revelation 22:21 must NEVER ADD ANY NEW TEACHING. If it does, it is mystical, that is MYSTERIOUS by going BEYOND SCRIPTURE. Divination is the SEEKING OF INFORMATION that is not permitted.

    Deut 18:10-11 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.

    The Bible has one perfect author, the Holy Spirit, through guiding its contributing writers.
    The Bible therefore is the standard for all matters of teaching and doctrine, not church history or the traditions of men.
    The Holy Spirit will never counsel in contradiction to his Bible:
    1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
    2 Tim 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
    Mark 7:8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the TRADITIONS OF MEN.

    The Bible is closed from alterations at Revelation 22:21 so HISTORY CAN ADD NOTHING TO IT.

    History teaches the tendency for people to stray away from literal, in context Bible teaching.

    People are often not content with the limited but QUITE SUFFICIENT knowledge contained in the Bible. Mysticism is the seeking of spiritual information BEYOND IT, as well as indulgence in spiritual experiences that FEEL GOOD.

    The “god” who speaks through mysticism is not the God of Genesis 1:1, but rather “the god of this age” (2 Cor 4:4) or “prince of this world” (John 16:11).
    Jesus warned many times about deceptions, and the only safe way to know is being absolutely familiar with “the things revealed” (entire Bible, Genesis 1:1 through to Revelation 22:21) so that counterfeit will be obvious in contrast.

    Jesus Christ dealt with the devil by simply QUOTING SCRIPTURE: “It is written…” (Matt 4:3-11)
    That is an INTELLECTUAL method.

    1 Tim 4:16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

    “Watch your doctrine” is an intellectual activity.

    When mystic followers discourage intellectual capability they are indirectly discouraging the reading and comprehending of Gods word the Bible. This serves the Devil’s purposes to deceive, as he thrives in a climate of Biblical ignorance.

    Therefore, in discouraging intellectual activity, mystics are “Devils advocates”.

    Some of them are clearly being energized by Demons directly, as the Holy Spirit never produces manifestations simulating mental illness or drug/alcohol influence, eg. euphoric feeling, confused thinking, vibrating, twitching, slurred speech, gibberish speech and sound effects, animal acts – dogs, snakes chickens, lions, pigs, etc., staggering about, falling over, uncontrollable/irrational laughter, etc.

  6. Seeker3, I reject your presupposition that the only genuine revelations from God are those recorded in Scripture. I am not a deist as you appear to be, at least of the kind that God stopped intervening in his creation when the canon closed and left us to get on with it. If we can’t agree on this, what more can we say?

    I agree that “The Holy Spirit will never counsel in contradiction to his Bible”, but that does not imply that he cannot give individual guidance according to biblical principles. 1 John 4:1 implies that there are genuine revelations from God as well as ones from false spirits, and his audience (in what was probably one of the last few Bible books to be written) was not people writing additional canonical books of Scripture.

  7. >> your presupposition that the only genuine revelations from God are those recorded in Scripture

    I do not believe that, so don’t assert I do.

    God continues to give revelation, but never in contradiction to scripture.

    EVERY Christian believer has to have a revelation about the gospel message of salvation in order to be saved.

    Conviction of sin, believing the authority of scripture, Jesus Christ was God in the flesh.

    These are all Holy Spirit given revelations involved in genuine Christian conversion.

    Church people who don’t get personal revelation of the gospel won’t be born again. They might appear religious, even be theologically clever, but still not saved.

    The Holy Spirit “opens the eyes” (reveals) to people what he has ALREADY WRITTEN in scripture.

    The intellect must ALWAYS be involved in spiritual revelation, to ensure it lines up with scripture.

    Godly revelations are always supported by scripture.

    Mystical revelations are not supported by scripture (mystics discourage involvement of the intellect, so that their deceptions will not be challenged).

    For example:

    Todd Bentley claimed he had access to “The angel of finance”, and that donating money at his services would cause the giver huge blessing from this angel. Whether he was lying, or actually did see such an angel, both are wrong.

    The only “angel of finance” the Bible mentions is Lucifer, in tempting Jesus Christ about worldly wealth Luke 4:5-7 “The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.”

    “if you worship me, it will all be yours”.

    Is Todd Bentley’s “angel of finance” a deception towards worship of Lucifer?

    “Angel of finance” indirectly introduces teaching that goes BEYOND the Bible, eg. that God encourages the seeking of money, and that we should be contacting angels for it.

    The Bible actually DISCOURAGES seeking of money, so an angel that turns up to encourage it must be a satanic counterfeit intent on deception.
    Use of the INTELLECT to find appropriate scripture exposes the deception so that the temptation can be rejected:

    1 Tim 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

    Luke 16:13-14 “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
    The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.

    TODD BENTLEY’S mystical revelations are rejected by scripture as EVIL COUNSEL.

  8. Seeker3, I’m glad you accept that God can and does reveal things to people like me which are not in Scripture, but also do not contradict it. This is a large part of what I meant in commending mysticism. I don’t understand your objection to this in principle. You wrote:

    EVERY Christian believer has to have a revelation about the gospel message of salvation in order to be saved.

    I wrote:

    Only faith based on a real personal experience of God can endure the worst that life can throw at us and last into eternity.

    What’s the difference? We agree that a intellectual assent to the gospel message without a personal revelation from God is not enough for salvation.

    I don’t want to discuss here the revelations claimed by Todd Bentley or any other individual. One cannot discredit a whole movement from the possibly bad example of one fringe practitioner.

  9. Peter.
    Your statement was made next to a prior one about mystics:

    >> In the days ahead, you will either be a mystic (one who has experienced God for real) or nothing at all. (Karl Rahner)
    >> I agree. Faith that is based only on truth understood by the intellect will not survive difficult times. Only faith based on a real personal experience of God can endure the worst that life can throw at us and last into eternity. (Peter Kirk)

    In that context (close proximity) you have associated “personal experience of God” with mysticism.

    I assert that the God of mysticism is not the God of Genesis 1:1, but rather “the god of this age” (2 Cor 4:4) or “prince of this world” (John 16:11).

    Whilst we may agree with the need for “personal experience/revelation”, there is a disagreement about WHO that personal experience is with, God or the Devil.

    Mysticism is the Devil enticing people to find out things God has deemed are NOT NECESSARY TO KNOW (the secret things, mystical = mystery). This is the identical temptation Eve was given in the garden – to find out information God had deemed not neccessary (via the tree of knowledge of good and evil):

    Genesis 3:4-5 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

    Mysticism has the signature of Lucifer all over it, in terms of the unbiblical teachings and mental illness type manifestations and hallucinations that come from it.

    The Holy Spirit never incites teachings or manifestations that contradict God’s word the Bible.

    Through the Bible the Holy Spirit counsels “stand firm”, “be sober”, “sound mind”, whereas Lucifer is inciting falling down, drunkenness and hallucination, and giving false teaching along with it.

  10. Seeker3, you can redefine mysticism as communion with the devil if you like, but the definition Rahner and I, and most Christian thinkers, use relates to a relationship with the true God, including the “revelation about the gospel message of salvation” which you commended. I understand your concerns about “falling down, drunkenness and hallucination”, but none of these are of the essence of the kind of mysticism I am describing.

  11. >> but the definition Rahner and I, and most Christian thinkers…….

    Why would you presume to speak for “most”?

    Your assertion “Christian thinkers” implies INTELLECTUAL competence to support your definition of mystic.
    You have already agreed with the mystics DISAPPROVAL of the intellect, so it is a contradiction for you to now decide “Christian thinkers” (intellectually competent) support mysticism.

    Do you intend “Christian thinkers” to mean all the people who can articulate support of what you believe?

    >> most Christian thinkers ….

    On the earth, “most” are usually WRONG when it comes to Biblical truth.

    MOST mystics will probably disagree with my reasoning against mysticism.

    Roman Catholic priest Martin Luther was outnumbered by MOST of the church leadership regarding his list of complaints about unbiblical doctrine.

    Jesus Christ was completely outnumbered by MOST Jewish leaders in his time, eg. leadership decision to kill him.
    When a vote was canvassed by the Roman governor Pilate from a public gathering of citizens, MOST asserted “Crucify Him” (Pilate actually wanted to set Jesus free).

    The MOST in a group of 401 prophets counseled a king success in battle, but one predicted disaster, and he was right (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Chr%2018:1-34&version=31 )

    That prophet was PRESSURED to go along with the MOST. A lying spirit had been put into the mouths of the other prophets. The mystics are being counseled by lying spirits, eg. Todd Bentley and the prophets who endorsed him at Lakeland.

    >> I don’t want to discuss here the revelations claimed by Todd Bentley or any other individual. One cannot discredit a whole movement from the possibly bad example of one fringe practitioner.

    Todd Bentley was commissioned at Lakeland as a CHAMPION OF WORLD WIDE REVIVAL, definitely not a “fringe practitioner”.

    Todd was promoted BECAUSE OF his mystical/supernatural activities.

    The Apostolic/Prophetic people who endorsed Todd Bentley (Rick Joyner, Peter Wagner, etc.) at the commencing of “Lakeland revival” continue to affirm Todd Bentley’s type of ministry.

    You continue to affirm confidence in those people, then contradict that by hinting their promoted champion Todd Bentley is a “fringe practitioner”.

    Here is a transcript of the Lakeland commissioning prophecy for Todd Bentley from Peter Wagner (http://vodpod.com/watch/835371-todd-bentleys-apostolic-and-prophetic-commissioning-14 ):

    “This commissioning represents a powerful spiritual transaction taking place in the invisible world. With this in mind, I take the apostolic authority that God has given me and I decree to Todd Bentley:
    Your power will increase.
    Your authority will increase.
    Your favor will increase.
    Your influence will increase.
    Your revelation will increase.
    I also decree that:
    A new supernatural strength will flow through this ministry.
    A new life force will penetrate this move of God.
    Government will be established to set things in their proper order.
    God will pour out a higher level of discernment to distinguish truth from error.
    New relationships will surface to open the gates for the future.”

    In the context of Todd Bentley’s adultery (new relationship), the last sentence in that prophecy might mean “adultery will open the gates for the future”.
    Those gates must lead to Lucifer and ultimately Hell, as the Bible says that’s where adulterers go (1Cor 6:9, Heb 13:4).

    “adultery will open the gates for the future” fits Bible prophecy about adultery with “the whore of Babylon”: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=rev%2017:1%20-%2018:24;&version=31;

    Are Peter Wagner, Todd Bentley, John Crowder, and all like minded mystics leading people towards Lucifer? Is their global network actually setting up the kingdom of the antichrist?

    The Bible repeatedly shows “the many” are often wrong against few who are right, that academic qualification, “church title”, intellectual ability, and supernatural experience are not ends in themselves, as counterfeits and falsehood can operate through all those.

  12. Seeker, if you don’t like my use of “most”, then let me just say that this is the definition of “mystic” which I am using on my blog, and I make the decisions here. Since it is my blog I am asking you to accept my definition. If you don’t like it, write your own blog using your own definitions.

    On my definition Todd Bentley is not really a mystic, although he has had some mystical experiences. So I don’t want to discuss him on this thread. If you want to discuss him, please do so on one of the many comment threads about him on this blog or elsewhere.

  13. Gal 5:25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

    How do we “live by the Spirit”, so as have personal relationship with God, and not just an intellectual understanding?

    a) We “live by the Spirit” through the INTELLECTUAL EXERCISE of reading and following the Bible, since the Holy Spirit is THE AUTHOR OF THE BIBLE.
    b) The Holy Spirit is a HELPER. He is also called “THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH” (John 14:17, 15:26, 16:13, 1 John 4:6).
    c) The Holy Spirit will HELP those who genuinely seek truth to correctly INTERPRET the Bible.

    The above 3 statements tie together four necessary parts that should NEVER be separated:

    1. Bible (printed book)
    2. Intellectual capability, including good logic
    3. Heart that seeks truth
    4. Holy Spirit

    The MYSTICS are discouraging item 2, which is VERY SUSPICIOUS.

    Removing item 2 effectively removes item 1, as if you don’t pick up the Bible and read it, then it is as good as not having it.

    With items 1 and 2 removed PEOPLE CAN BE EASILY DECEIVED, and very quickly end up in New Age/Occult, because they have AVOIDED THE BIBLE, then gone to SEEK A SPIRIT to give them truth.

    Avoid the Bible, seek a spirit.

    The devil will turn up EVERY TIME to lead people who follow this method.

    The occult is simply avoiding the Bible and seeking a spirit.

    “Walking by the spirit” means READING THE BIBLE AND DOING WHAT IT SAYS.

    >> Faith that is based only on truth understood by the intellect will not survive difficult times. Only faith based on a real personal experience of God can endure the worst that life can throw at us and last into eternity.

    This statement from a mystic is a subtle tilt AWAY FROM the intellect. The mystics avoid debate (intellectual battle), as they are exercises in DISCERNMENT leading to exposure of falsehood and promotion of truth.

    The mystics are DISABLING LOGIC AND INTELLECT. They are also pursuing PLEASURABLE SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES.

    People will ALWAYS testify that their depression “went away” when they had pleasurable spiritual experiences (eg. Toronto “Blessing” sensations). It is no different than people who take alchohol or drugs make their depression go away. The Devil is capable of giving pleasurable spiritual experiences in order to seduce for a relationship, similar to prostitution/adultery/fornication.

    People have been encouraged to get rid of their intellectual logic, and walk by the spirit of God.

    In actual fact, you can ONLY “walk by the spirit” WITH your intellectual logic, as otherwise you could be deceived and actually be walking with evil spirits, since you threw out the means of DISCERNMENT.

    You have thrown out the means to TEST THE SPIRITS, to reject the false and accept the true:

    1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

    The consequences are DIRE for anyone who fails to do this correctly.

    The Toronto “Blessing” got through because of failure to discern.

    Sadly, an averagely intelligent 10 year old UNBELIEVING CHILD could easily have done the CORRECT DISCERNMENT with the most BASIC LOGIC:

    “Dad, those church people look like they’re nuts. They’re vibrating, twitching, having slurred speech, gibberish speech and sound effects, animal acts – dogs, chickens, lions, etc., staggering about, falling over, and having uncontrollable/irrational laughter”.

    “Son, stay away from them, they must be into something devilish”.

    That turns out to be the correct discernment.

    Christians in churches have shown themselves to be fools for failing to discern blatant intrusion of evil spirits.

    When people manifesting like John Crowder and Todd Bentley are accepted in churches, it is proof there is no discernment at all.

    If God has given instruction and counsel in a book (Bible), then it is no good ignoring the book and insisting God must give those instructions another way such as dreams/visions, etc.

    In that disobedience the devil can turn up to deceive, or worse, God may hand you over to delusions (2Thess 2:11) for not loving the truth (reading and following Bible instruction).

  14. Seeker3, I reject and resent your accusation “You have thrown out the means to TEST THE SPIRITS, to reject the false and accept the true”, because in fact I agree with almost all that you write here. Your problem is that you have completely misunderstood what I was writing about here. You think I am talking about a group of people, some of whom may call themselves “mystics”, who have committed certain errors. But I am not referring to these people at all and have never expressed my support for them. I by no means reject or discourage “2. Intellectual capability, including good logic”, and I do not endorse anyone who does.

  15. >> Seeker3, I reject and resent your accusation……

    It was a personalised assertion made to ALL readers, including myself, based on the prior logic and supporting scripture.

    In making the point about the 10 year old unbelieving child having the correct discernment about Toronto “Blessing” type manifestations, the same simple discernment would also CORRECTLY DISCERN mystic Todd Bentley’s new relationship to Jessa Hasbrook.

    Leaving a wife and asserting publicly a relationship to another woman is adultery.
    However church leader and mystic Rick Joyner gives a different explanation, that Todd Bentley is simply following God’s direction in a new path of “restoration and fulfilment”.

    I think Jesus Christ would make a STRONG ACCUSATION to Rick Joyner, like he made to the Pharisees:
    Mark 7:9-13 “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! ………………… you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”

    In western nations there are TRADITIONS, for example, beliefs about divorce/remarriage, that have got into church teachings and practices.
    Many church leaders are encouraging UNITY WITH COMPROMISE, and therefore MORE MEMBERS in their institutions.

    The Bible instead insists on UNITY WITH TRUTH, which EXCLUDES COMPROMISE, and therefore FEWER MEMBERS. God is exclusive and intolerant because he is holy (perfect).

    The pattern throughout the Bible is that ONLY A FEW are saved, because God REJECTS COMPROMISE:

    Luke 17:27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed THEM ALL.
    Luke 17:29 But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed THEM ALL.
    Isaiah 10:22 Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand by the sea, ONLY A REMNANT will return. Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming and righteous.
    Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and ONLY A FEW find it.

    If clever people use their talent to create scriptural interpretations that fit “worldly ways” then it becomes a dreadful tragedy towards leading THE MAJORITY to Hell for eternity.

  16. Seeker3, your comment is not relevant to this thread and so I will not respond to it. If you wish to comment on what I have written about Todd Bentley and Rick Joyner, please do so on a relevant comment thread.

  17. >> Faith that is based only on truth understood by the intellect will not survive difficult times.

    Actually, the reverse is true.
    Faith that is based on TRUTH FROM SCRIPTURE, understood THROUGH THE INTELLECT, is the ONLY way to survive difficult times.
    The Holy Spirit is the author of the Bible.
    The intellect achieves understanding of the Bible by HELP from the Holy Spirit sent by God.
    Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the RENEWING OF YOUR MIND. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

    One of the purposes of false spiritual impartations such as Toronto “Blessing” and Todd Bentley / John Crowder type impartations is to CONFUSE THE MIND with spiritual DRUNKENNESS and grieve the Holy Spirit by mocking him.
    In this state the person is DISTRACTED by pleasure and the INTELLECT is affected in its role of DISCERNMENT and UNDERSTANDING scripture, so deception easily occurs.

    No Christian can complete their life successfully without the Holy Spirit, so it is no good participating in manifestations that mock him.

    False, mystical, spiritual impartations are dangerous wickedness, and wise Christians everywhere should Flee Them.

    Deception is fun (most entertainment is based on deception of the senses), but some types have adverse consequences and some cause irreversible damage. Good discernment is critical for SAFETY.

    If people WANT TO be deceived, then they WILL BE deceived:
    2 Thes 2:9-12 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because THEY REFUSED TO LOVE THE TRUTH and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

    The problem with mysticism is that it emphasises “joy through sensory experiences” which just happens to be the same motive that leads to immorality, and the justification of it.

    It is much safer to just be content with experiencing God through following his counsel in the Bible.

    There is joy in just following God’s way and being free of the tyranny of sin.

  18. Seeker3, this is your eighth long comment on this post, and you are beginning to sound like a broken record. Again, this thread is nothing to do with “Toronto “Blessing” and Todd Bentley / John Crowder type impartations”, and I would ask you not to mention these again here. If you continue I will not allow you to comment further on this blog.

  19. Seeker3 wrote;

    The Holy Spirit is the author of the Bible. The intellect achieves understanding of the Bible by HELP from the Holy Spirit sent by God.

    “HELP from the Holy Spirit sent by God” sounds “mystical” to me….

    T

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