I think that we are coming into an age where it is more important than ever to draw the lines of some of the main differences between Christian Mysticism and New Age Manifestation. To some, the two can appear to be very similar, but as I have been seeking the Lord on this subject, there are some key differences that I have come across that I feel would be helpful to keep Christians grounded in their faith while discovering the entirety of how God designed us as believers to operate. Christian Mysticism can be a complex topic, and not as easily defined as some would like, but for the purposes of the majority of my writings I am referring to the supernatural/spiritual practices and experiences of Christians (in this article in particular how Christians manifest heaven on Earth.) These practices are nothing new, but are historically found as far back as ancient Christianity and all the way up to modern day Christianity. This is not meant to be an exhaustive scholarly article, but a simple outline of a few guideposts.
The main difference: Whose will are you bringing to pass?
Matt. 7:21-23 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
The scripture clearly shows here that there are two types of people who work miracles, and do wonders – those who manifest them according to their own will, and those who manifest them according to the will of God. Knowing God and his will is a crucial first step to being able to manifest his will on earth.
Legally entering into the Spirit realm: Christ the door.
10 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
This scripture illustrates that Christ is the only way to legally enter into the Spirit realm, that there are other ways that people enter in, but they are considered thieves and robbers if they do so. Verse 9 tells us that Jesus is the gate, so it is only through our faith in him (not ourselves, hallucinogenics, or others such as ‘spirit guides’) that we can enter in.
Spiritual laws that God put in place to govern the entire world, not just Christians.
Job 38:33 Do you know the laws of the heavens? Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth? It is important to understand that when God created the world, he put into place spiritual laws. Things like you reap what you sow, whatever a man thinks, he is … and so on and so forth. These spiritual laws do not only apply to believers, they apply to all of mankind, and to the spirit realm. That is the reason why we see many pagans who appear to be making things happen in the spirit realm, or who manifest things on earth despite the fact that they are not believers in Christ. The sad truth is that while these people seem to be making things happen on earth, when they pass away, they are not allowed to enter into eternal life because they did not do so through Christ. The church at large has avoided operating in the Spirit to bring heaven to earth because it appears on the surface to be ‘New Age’ or witchcraft. The truth is that we were made in the image of God, and as Christians we are to bring peace to earth, and to create solutions for mankind. While New Age and Witchcraft practices are very real and dangerous, we should understand the basic differences between operating in them, and operating in our supernatural inheritance through Christ. If we simply neglect the supernatural, the body of Christ will continue to appear to be defeated time and time again as darkness seems to. take over the earth.
Death to Ego and Refinement of Character: Two Prerequisites to healthy Mysticism
I am convinced that to truly be able to walk in spiritual authority and manifest things on earth through Christ in a healthy way, it is a must that the believer has been through two phases in their walk: Death to Ego and the Refinement of their Character. This is because manifesting things through the Spirit is a great responsibility, and the ability to do so will eventually crush those who have not gone through these two phases, and potentially harm those who they come across.
Death to ego does is not the same as death to pride. Death to ego means we do not have any of our own ‘wants’, but that we are only vessels of what God wants. Sometimes we can wrongly discern if our ego is not dead, we can even find scripture to back up what we want, or our ego. Even the Pharisees in the Word found other scriptures to back up what they thought was the will of God. Their egos were in the way and they were not open to the new thing that Christ was bringing to earth. As a result they were in positions of authority but they placed heavy burdens on God’s people.
Character is important because we as believers are to be known by our fruit. As we begin to manifest heaven on earth through healings, breaking off of strongholds, and other acts that radically change the lives of others, broken people will begin to be drawn to us, and if our character is not fully developed our human nature will cause us to hurt, manipulate, and harm those who come to us for healing. It is better to take the long road of character development so that we walk like Christ in both character and in supernatural authority, than it is to walk only in supernatural authority and be lacking in character. What good is it for us to perform greatly on earth, only to find out when we get to heaven that we did not know Jesus, therefore we cannot spend eternity with him? Character is not so much about us being perfect in all that we do, but is more of a demonstration of true love for the body of Christ, and for our neighbors.
It is impossible to cover all aspects of the difference in Christian Mysticism and New Age manifestation and how to walk it out in just one article. I do however pray that you find this post to be helpful in providing you with a few guideposts and boundaries that help believers understand this subject in a way that both banishes fear of the supernatural and brings about clarity in how to operate in in safely.