You get the impression these days that people seem to confuse the word mystical with the word spiritual, the word mystical seems to suggest a more universal experience in that somehow or other you can get into some kind of universal spiritual force through meditation or looking within etc. St Paul made an interesting point of view when he talked about the spiritual when he said, “…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.” (1 Corinthians 2:14) This verse is interesting because it associates the spiritual with the Spirit of God so when you are talking spiritual you are talking about God because God is a Spirit.
When St John had what some people might call a mystical experience it clearly wasn’t some kind of universal experience because his whole actual spiritual experience was coming from a Person and that Person was Jesus Christ and there was also a departed saint involved in this spiritual experience. Some people like to think that St John was taken on some kind of astral travelling experience and therefore again they might call this some kind of mystical experience of sorts, the interesting reality was that when John was given the book of Revelation it was all down to hearing a voice as well as seeing a vision. We read in the book of Revelation that John had a vision of a door opening in Heaven and then he hears a voice saying, “come up hither” and so John then finds himself on the other side of that door and in Heaven and at the same time he was still sat down on earth writing all of this down so he was very conscious of the fact that he was still on earth because clearly he had to write all of this down and somehow or other at the same time he was taken on what you might call a spirit trip.
The same sort of thing appears to have happened to St Paul, he says that he was taken to what he chooses to call the third Heaven. By the third Heaven we take it to mean that he is talking not about the atmospheric heavens or the heavens where the stars and the moon are but instead he was taken to the spiritual realm which is nothing to do with these physical heavens and he kind of says that he found the whole experience indescribable because he says, “…whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth” (2 Corinthians 12:2) He also heard voices through his so-called mystical experience but better said spiritual experience, because again, it was coming through and of and from the Spirit of God.
You get the impression that people like to use the words mystical and astral travelling and all this sort of thing because it offers up a more universal kind of god and therefore a material scientific kind of experience and an absence of a name for God experience. People like the ideas of a universal mystical spiritual experience because it goes straight over Jesus’ head and therefore they think they are dealing with forces rather than a Person called Jesus or a Person called God if you like and so they have God down as being everything and therefore it fits in with their idea that we are all gods, and so this word “mystical” or “mysticism” has a kind of a universal appeal to it because all kinds of people can make claims to having these unique kinds of experiences that somehow or other it’s all coming from them and God. St John made it completely clear that it wasn’t coming from him in any way at all as he starts off by saying that he was in the spirit so he was in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing, and with the right Person (Jesus), that place so happens to have been the Island of Patmos and it appears that he was simply resting because it was the Lord’s day, or in other words the Sabbath. Seeing as he was doing the right thing he was in the spirit of God, or in other words he was in the presence of God and therefore he was yielded to God and then he hears a voice behind him saying, “I am Alpha and Omega” and then at the same time he sees a vision of Jesus standing in the midst of seven golden candlesticks. So it was hardly a universal experience or what you might call a mystical experience or looking within experience, better said it was a more personal experience because it was all coming from Jesus, totally and completely and absolutely all coming from Jesus Himself and also decided by Jesus Himself so it was ALL Jesus, so much so that we read that St John fell at the feet of Jesus as one dead. So he had kind of thrown himself completely over to Jesus and it had nothing to do with his own will and his own mind and his own putting two and two together or anything like that, he simply turned to see the voice that spoke to him and seeing Jesus he fell at His feet as dead and we go on to read that it says, “And he (Jesus) laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forever more, A-men; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter.” (Revelation 1:17-19)
So these two incredible accounts of going on some kind of spirit trip had everything to do with the Spirit of God and little to do with what people call astral travelling or mysticism and all that sort of thing. The amount of people that use the word “mysticism” in relation to their spiritual experiences again is what you might call universal, the whole point to this word has more to do with getting around Jesus and God than getting to God, there is only One mediator between God and man and that man happens to be Christ Jesus, anyone else seeking some kind of mystical or universal experience and who is doing this without Jesus must be doing it through some other spirit. There are only two spiritual personalities that everyone comes under in this whole universe, one so happens to be Jesus Christ because all power in Heaven and earth has been given into His hands, the other one so happens to be Lucifer who believes all power in Heaven and earth should be given into his hands so if you are seeking some kind of spiritual or said mystical experience through any other way other than Jesus then you will be doing it through the wrong spirit and therefore the wrong god and you cannot marry these two together because again, this all boils down to a Person. You are either doing it through the right Person which is Jesus or the wrong person which is Lucifer!
What’s also going on these days is that they are trying to bring everyone into a universal god and to do this they have to take everyone away from the so-called narrow minded point of view that there is only one way to get to God, that way being Jesus. People like this more modern mystical point of view because it appears as the more broadminded view and therefore it has a broader appeal and not only this but it reinvents what God is because the more modern god might just as well turn out to be a woman or a man or even a woman who you address as being a man such as is brought out in the book “The Shack” and the film that’s just come out. In the book God appears as a woman and at the same time is called Papa so the universal god that they are creating will turn out to be very broadminded indeed! It appears in the book that Jesus is ok with God being portrayed as a woman who is called Papa, this goes against what Jesus said to Philip in the Bible. Philip had said to Jesus, “Lord show us the Father” Jesus answered him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father…” (John 14:9) So our best description and picture of who God is is Jesus, Jesus was not in any way dressed as a woman or wearing lipstick or anything like that when He said these words to Philip.
A universal God might also accommodate the view that we were all seeded here on planet earth via more evolved aliens from some other star system or galaxy or dimension and so we all evolved here and were not created and put here by God Himself. The other universal appeal with the word mysticism will bring in the eastern religions and even those that are associated with witchcraft and all that sort of thing in that Christians now feel and have acknowledged that they have been left behind in the game and so they wish to launch themselves into the twenty-first century and have a more broader appeal to today’s world and therefore they wish to make Christianity more exciting and more appealing to modern man and so they wish to make a compromise and consider the possibility that there is somehow or other some other way we can all get to God and we can all get together and share some kind of “New Age Jesus” with each other and a more universally appealing Jesus with each other. They are so bending over backwards (apparently) to accommodate all aspects of spirituality from all religions and faiths etc. that they wish to bring in some kind of brotherhood of man under some kind of universal “Christ like” figure who acknowledges this whole need in man to at last embrace the more mystical and therefore scientifically spiritual side of life but the sad reality in all of this will be that they are all preaching and turning to another Jesus. And again, it has to be emphasised that there is only one sure way that we can all get to God and that way happens to be as Jesus said in His own words, “…I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “He that have seen me have seen the Father.” (John 14:9) So it’s ALL through Jesus! “Neither is there salvation in any other for there is none other name under Heaven given among me whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)