For a working definition of Christian Mysticism I'd like to quote the top answer to Is Christian mysticism an oxymoron or is it a legitimate path for a Christian?:

Christian Mysticism has a long and honourable tradition. You can read the histories of many holy Christian mystics. Wikipedia will give you a good starting point. Meditation is only one aspect. For a working definition, try: ""that part, or element, or Christian belief and practice that concerns the preparation for, the consciousness of, and the effect of [...] a direct and transformative presence of [the Christian] God" (Bernard McGinn). In effect mystics are those who make real and experience for themselves things that many Christians take as theoretical or abstract - e.g. the presence of God, union with God, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Here are some well-known people and practices that form part of the Christian Mystic tradition:

  • Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola
  • Meister Eckhart
  • Brother Lawrence
  • Julian of Norwich
  • Teresa of Avila
  • St John of the Cross
  • Thomas Merton

I also recently asked another question, Which denominations consider it commendable to pursue a profound mystical connection with God?, and according to the answers posted so far I've been pleasantly surprised by the fact that the pursuit of a profoundly mystical union with God is highly regarded in Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, and arguably even in some branches of Protestantism (this answer makes a case for mysticism in Protestantism specifically).

What is the biblical basis for Christian Mysticism?

3 Answers 3


What is the biblical basis for Christian Mysticism?

First of all, Christian mysticism is a difficult term to define so that all Christian denominations would agree on and would be acceptable. Likewise, Sacred Scriptures are often interpreted in different fashions and ways.

12 If I must glory (it is not expedient indeed), but I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.

2 I know a man in Christ above fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I know not, or out of the body, I know not; God knoweth), such a one caught up to the third heaven.

3 And I know such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I know not: God knoweth

4 That he was caught up into paradise, and heard secret words, which it is not granted to man to utter.

5 For such an one I will glory; but for myself I will glory nothing, but in my infirmities.

6 For though I should have a mind to glory, I shall not be foolish; for I will say the truth. But I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth in me, or any thing he heareth from me.

7 And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there was given me a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan, to buffet me. 8 For which thing thrice I besought the Lord, that it might depart from me.

9 And he said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee; for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

10 For which cause I please myself in my infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ. For when I am weak, then am I powerful. - 2 Corinthians 12:1-10

Take for example the phrase of the third heaven as mentioned in 2 Corinthians 12.

In several Abrahamic religions, the Third Heaven is a division of Heaven in religious cosmology. In some traditions it is considered the abode of God, and in others a lower level of Paradise, commonly one of seven. - Third Heaven

Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., in his Three Ages of the Interior Life, speaks of this passage as attaining union with God.

In his commentary on this chapter of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, St. Thomas speaks admirably of the union of humility and magnanimity in St. Paul. He writes as follows: “As charity is the root of the virtues, pride is the beginning of every sin. It is the inordinate desire of our own excellence: we desire it then without subordinating it to God. Thus we turn away from Him, which is the beginning of every sin; for this reason God resists the proud. As there is in good people the good of which they may become proud, God sometimes permits some infirmity in His elect, some defect, and occasionally a mortal sin, which prevents them from becoming proud, which truly humiliates them, and makes them recognize that they cannot hold out or persevere by their own strength. The apostle St. Paul in particular might have grown proud of many things: he was a vessel of election to carry the faith to the Gentiles; he had been ravished to the third heaven and heard secret words, which it is not granted to man to utter; (28 [Cf. II Cor. 12:4.]) he had suffered greatly for Christ, several times he had been cast into prison, and scourged; he was a virgin (having obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful); he had labored more than all, as he says; and in particular he had a lofty knowledge of divine things which may be the source of pride. For this reason the Lord gave him a remedy for pride. That the excellence of the revelations made to him might not make him proud, he received a sting in the flesh, a humiliating infirmity which crucified his body in order to heal his soul… . As he says, an angel of Satan came and buffeted him. How the sinner should tremble if the great Apostle, the instrument of election, is not sure of himself! Three times he ardently begged the Lord to deliver him from this sting; three times, that is, often and urgently. He then heard these words: ‘My grace is sufficient for thee,’ it will preserve thee from sin. Divine power is shown in weakness, which is an occasion for the exercise of the virtues of humility, patience, and abnegation. The man who knows his weakness is more attentive to resisting it and, because he struggles, he grows in strength. ‘Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities,’ says St. Paul, since I am thus more humble, and I must fight that the power of Christ may dwell in me and bear all its fruits of grace.”

Thus, we can see that St. Paul is clearly speaking of a mystical experience in the Catholic traditional understanding of the term. How to achieve this state is beyond the realm of this question, so I will pass over it.

In Catholic thought the three stages (ways,state) of interior life or prayer are the purgative stage, the illuminative stage and the unitive stage (third heaven).

Protestants and Charismatic Catholics have a sense of this reality of Christian Mysticism, but from a genuine Catholic or Orthodox perspective, it is not the same.

Christian mysticism is a difficult term to define. It is often thought of as the practice of the experiential knowledge of God. The term can also apply to the mystery of the Eucharist in Roman Catholicism as well as so-called hidden meanings of Scripture, such as in Gnosticism. The Bible does not have hidden meanings, nor do the elements of communion become Christ’s literal body and blood. Although it is true that Christians experience God, Christian mysticism tends to elevate experiential knowledge and revel in the mysterious, focusing on mysticism for spiritual growth. Biblical Christianity focuses on knowing God through His Word (the Bible) and communion with the Holy Spirit through prayer. Mysticism tends to be an individual, subjective practice whereas biblical Christianity is both an individual relationship with God and one that is necessarily lived out in community. There is no such thing as a solo Christian. Not all of what could be considered "Christian mysticism" is wrong, but much of it is, and a focus on mysticism can certainly lead one into error.

Mysticism can be found in many religions. Often it involves asceticism of some type and seeks union with God. It is certainly right to want to draw close to God, but mystical union with God is different from the type of intimacy with God to which Christians are called. Mysticism tends to seek out the experience and is sometimes seen as secretive or elitist. Christians are aware of and engaged in spiritual realities (Ephesians 1:3; 6:10–19) and biblical Christianity involves spiritual experience, but intimacy with God is intended for all Christians and is not veiled by any sort of mysterious practice. Drawing near to God is nothing mysterious or elitist but involves things like regular prayer, studying God’s Word, worshiping God, and fellowshipping with other believers. Our efforts pale in comparison to the work God Himself does in us. In fact, our efforts are more a response to His work than they are something that originates in us.

Christians do have what might be considered mystical experiences. When we accept Jesus as Savior, we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit transforms us and enables us to live out God’s calling. Often, filled with the Holy Spirit, a Christian will demonstrate great wisdom or faith or spiritual discernment. A Christian filled with the Holy Spirit will also demonstrate things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22–23). The Holy Spirit helps believers understand truth and live it out (1 Corinthians 2:13–16). This is not the result of mystical practices but a sign of the indwelling Holy Spirit at work. Second Corinthians 3:18 talks about the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives: "And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."

The Charismatic movement, with its emphasis on dreams and visions, feelings and experiences, and new revelation, is one form of Christian mysticism. Because we have God’s completed Word, we are not to seek after dreams and visions or extra revelation from God. While it is possible for God to reveal Himself in dreams and visions today, we should beware the subjective nature of feelings and spiritual impressions.

It is vital to remember that anything a Christian experiences must line up with the truth of the Bible. God will not contradict Himself. He is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). God is certainly beyond our full comprehension, and there is much that is mysterious about Him. But He has revealed Himself to us. Rather than seek out mystical experiences, we should involve ourselves in the things God has revealed to us (Deuteronomy 29:29). Ephesians 1:3–14 talks about spiritual blessings in Christ. In part, that passage says, "[God] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ" (v. 9–10). God has revealed mystery and calls us to faithfully walk in His ways as He completes His plan (John 15:1–17; Philippians 3:20–21; 2 Corinthians 5:16–21).

Second Peter 1:3–8 sums up our call nicely: "His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." There is mystery, yet the way in which we are called to live is not at all mysterious. Study the Word, seek to honor God, and allow His Holy Spirit to work within you. - What is Christian mysticism?

Here follows the great works on the interior life leading to union with God from a classic traditional view by Catholicism:


I think the following Biblical passages could be interpreted in a mystical sense:

Passage Content (KJV) Comments
2 Corinthians 12:1-4 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. The passage recounts an experience of a man caught up to the third heaven, encountering visions and revelations of the Lord. This mystical encounter, whether in or out of the body, emphasizes a direct communion with the divine, transcending normal human understanding. It supports mysticism by illustrating a profound and transcendent experience of God beyond ordinary perception.
John 14:21-23 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. The passage from John 14:21-23 aligns with Christian mysticism by highlighting the concept of divine manifestation. It portrays Jesus as promising to reveal himself to those who love and obey him, signifying a deeply personal and intimate encounter with the divine. This manifestation is not for the world at large but is reserved for those who have a genuine relationship with Christ. Through love and obedience, believers create a space within themselves where the presence of God can dwell, leading to a profound spiritual union. Thus, this passage encapsulates the mystical journey of encountering God's presence through the manifestation of Christ within the faithful, emphasizing the transformative power of divine revelation in the lives of believers.
Psalm 63:1-3 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; 2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. 3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. The passage from Psalm 63:1-3 reflects the essence of Christian mysticism through its profound longing for intimate union with God. The psalmist's fervent pursuit of God early in the morning signifies the primacy of spiritual communion, emphasizing the soul's thirst for divine presence amidst a barren and desolate world. The desire to behold God's power and glory mirrors the mystical aspiration for direct experience of the divine, akin to the visions encountered in the sanctuary. Ultimately, the acknowledgment of God's lovingkindness as surpassing life itself highlights the mystical understanding of God's boundless love as the ultimate source of fulfillment, leading to a state of praise and adoration.
Psalm 42:1-2 As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? Psalm 42:1-2 illustrates a profound yearning for God's presence, akin to the thirst of a deer for water. This imagery resonates deeply with Christian mysticism, which emphasizes the intimate, experiential union with God. The psalmist's longing reflects the mystic's desire to transcend the material world and unite with the divine, seeking fulfillment and sustenance solely in God. Through this passage, Christian mystics find affirmation of their pursuit of a deeper, mystical relationship with the divine, where the soul thirsts for nothing but the presence of the living God.
Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalm 16:11 provides a biblical basis for Christian mysticism by emphasizing the intimate connection between the believer and God's presence. The verse suggests that in God's presence, there is not only joy but a fullness of joy, indicating a deep spiritual experience beyond mere earthly pleasures. This verse invites believers to seek and experience the profound joy and eternal pleasures found in communion with God, reflecting the core aspect of mysticism: the pursuit of direct, experiential union with the divine.
Philippians 4:4-7 4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 offers a profound insight into Christian mysticism, urging believers to rejoice always in the Lord, emphasizing the perpetual presence of God. It calls for a lifestyle of moderation and prayerful dependence on God, highlighting the imminent nearness of the divine. The passage encourages believers to entrust their concerns to God through prayer, acknowledging His sovereignty and provision in all things. The promise of God's peace, surpassing human understanding, serves as a testament to the transformative power of divine presence, offering spiritual reassurance and guarding believers' hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. This passage underscores the core principles of mysticism, emphasizing joyful communion with God, constant awareness of His nearness, and the transformative peace that comes from intimate union with the divine.
Psalm 51:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. The psalmist expresses a deep desire to remain in God's presence and to not be separated from the Holy Spirit. This verse aligns with mysticism by highlighting the importance of a continuous connection with God's Spirit. It suggests an understanding that the Holy Spirit is essential for spiritual closeness and guidance, reflecting the mystical longing for an ongoing, intimate relationship with the divine.
Psalm 139:7-10 7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. This passage emphasizes the omnipresence of God's Spirit and His constant presence. It supports mysticism by underscoring the idea that there is nowhere one can go to escape from God's presence, indicating the immanence of the divine and the accessibility of a spiritual connection in all aspects of life.
Psalm 27:8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. The psalmist's response to God's call to seek His face reflects a mystic's commitment to pursuing a deeper, intimate relationship with the divine. This verse aligns with mysticism by emphasizing the earnest desire to encounter and know God personally, echoing the mystical theme of seeking a direct communion with the divine presence.
Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. This verse encourages a direct and active calling upon God, promising that He will respond with revelations of great and mighty things beyond human understanding. It supports mysticism by affirming the transformative potential of seeking God, indicating a willingness on God's part to reveal profound spiritual truths to those who earnestly seek His presence.
Proverbs 8:17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. In this verse, the connection between God's love and those who earnestly seek Him is emphasized. It supports mysticism by suggesting that a genuine and early seeking of God leads to a reciprocal love and a deeper spiritual connection. This reciprocal seeking and finding underscores the mystical theme of an intimate, personal relationship between the seeker and the divine.
1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually. 1 Chronicles 16:11 encourages believers to pursue a continuous seeking of the Lord and His strength, emphasizing the importance of ongoing communion with God. This verse lays a foundation for Christian mysticism by promoting a perpetual quest for intimacy with the divine. The directive to "seek his face continually" suggests a desire for a direct, personal encounter with God's presence. In the context of mysticism, this pursuit involves not only intellectual understanding or adherence to religious practices but also an experiential journey of encountering God's presence and power. Thus, 1 Chronicles 16:11 underscores the essence of mysticism, which involves an ongoing, earnest pursuit of deeper spiritual union with God.
Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Isaiah 55:6 supports Christian mysticism by urging individuals to seek the Lord while He is accessible. The idea of seeking God's presence and calling upon Him aligns with the mystical tradition's emphasis on actively pursuing a connection with the divine, especially during times when spiritual closeness is within reach.
Matthew 7:7-8 7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Jesus' words affirm the efficacy of seeking and persistence in prayer, promising that those who ask, seek, and knock will receive, find, and have doors opened. This supports mysticism by highlighting the active engagement with the divine through prayer and the expectation of a responsive, interactive relationship with God. The passage underscores the mystical idea of a participatory dialogue between the seeker and the divine.
Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Jesus contrasts human generosity with God's willingness to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask. This supports mysticism by emphasizing the accessibility of the divine through prayer and the gift of the Holy Spirit. The verse underscores the mystical understanding that seeking God's presence involves an earnest desire for spiritual gifts and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer's life.
Psalm 25:14 The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant. Psalm 25:14 supports Christian mysticism by suggesting that those who fear the Lord are granted access to His secrets. This aligns with the mystical tradition's emphasis on a special, intimate knowledge of God reserved for those who seek a deep and reverent connection with Him. The verse suggests a personal and privileged relationship between the devout and the divine.
1 John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. This verse speaks to the indwelling anointing of the Holy Spirit, highlighting a direct connection between believers and divine guidance. It supports mysticism by emphasizing the inner teaching of the Holy Spirit, suggesting that believers have direct access to spiritual truth. The passage underscores the mystical idea that believers can experience a personal and unmediated relationship with God through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10 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. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 supports Christian mysticism by emphasizing the mystery of God's revelation. The passage suggests that the profound truths prepared for those who love God are not perceptible through human senses alone but are revealed by the Holy Spirit, aligning with the mystical idea of divine insight and revelation beyond conventional understanding.
1 Corinthians 14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. This passage supports Christian mysticism by emphasizing the importance of pursuing spiritual gifts, particularly the gift of prophecy, which aligns with the mystical tradition of seeking direct communication and revelation from the divine.
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 supports Christian mysticism by expressing the profound union of the believer with Christ. The idea that "Christ lives in me" aligns with the mystical concept of spiritual transformation and oneness with the divine. It reflects the Christian mystic's pursuit of a deeper, more intimate connection with Christ, where individual identity is merged with the life of Christ through faith.
Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: This supports Christian mysticism by describing a mystical experience where God's spirit is poured out on all people, leading to prophetic visions and dreams. This aligns with the mystical notion of direct divine communication and spiritual insight.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. John 16:13 supports Christian mysticism by affirming the role of the Spirit of truth in guiding believers into deeper spiritual understanding and revealing future truths. This aligns with the mystical idea of divine guidance and revelation, where individuals are led by the Spirit to profound insights and a deeper connection with God.
James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. James 4:8 supports Christian mysticism by encouraging believers to draw near to God. The idea that as individuals approach God, He reciprocates by drawing near to them aligns with the mystical concept of seeking a close, personal connection with the divine through spiritual practices and inner purification.
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. Amos 3:7 supports Christian mysticism by asserting that God reveals His secrets to His servants, the prophets. This aligns with the mystical tradition of divine revelation and communication, emphasizing the idea that certain individuals, in this case, the prophets, are granted direct insight into the mysteries and plans of God.
Exodus 33:14 14 And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. Exodus 33:14 supports Christian mysticism by expressing the promise of God's presence going with His people. The assurance of God's presence and the promise of rest align with the mystical idea of seeking divine companionship and finding spiritual peace and solace in God's intimate presence.
Ephesians 5:18-20 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Ephesians 5:18-20 supports Christian mysticism by urging believers to be filled with the Spirit rather than worldly indulgences. The emphasis on worship through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, along with continuous thanksgiving, aligns with the mystical practice of seeking a heightened spiritual state through communion with the Holy Spirit and expressing devotion to God.
Romans 8:26-27 26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27 supports Christian mysticism by highlighting the role of the Spirit in aiding believers in prayer. The idea that the Spirit intercedes for the saints aligns with the mystical concept of divine assistance in spiritual practices. It underscores the notion that, in moments of inadequacy or uncertainty, the Holy Spirit intervenes, guiding believers in their prayers and aligning their petitions with the will of God.
Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Matthew 3:11 supports Christian mysticism by introducing the concept of baptism with the Holy Ghost and fire. This baptism symbolizes a transformative, spiritually intense experience, aligning with the mystical idea of encountering the divine presence and undergoing a profound inner change through the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:1-13 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:1-13 supports Christian mysticism by highlighting the diverse spiritual gifts bestowed by the Holy Spirit. It emphasizes the unity of believers as one body in Christ, with each individual receiving unique gifts through the Spirit. This aligns with the mystical idea of a shared, interconnected spiritual experience guided by divine influence.
Revelation 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, In this passage, the apostle John describes being "in the Spirit" when he received the visions that make up the Book of Revelation. This is a significant passage for those interested in mystical experiences.
Ezekiel 3:12 Then the spirit took me up, and I heard behind me a voice of a great rushing, saying, Blessed be the glory of the Lord from his place. The prophet Ezekiel recounts experiences of being lifted up by the Spirit, indicating a mystical encounter with the divine.
Romans 8:9-11 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. This passage speaks to the concept of living in the realm of the Spirit, emphasizing the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in believers—a central theme in Christian mysticism.
Galatians 5:22-25 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. This passage speaks about the fruit of the Spirit, which is often associated with the transformative work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer—a key aspect of Christian mysticism.
Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:31 illustrates a profound manifestation of God's presence through the filling of the Holy Spirit. The tangible experience of the place shaking and the empowerment of believers to speak boldly demonstrate the transformative impact of divine encounter. This passage aligns with the essence of Christian mysticism, highlighting the tangible experiences of God's power and presence, which embolden believers to proclaim His word with confidence and authority.
Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:1-4 vividly depicts the dramatic outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, demonstrating a profound encounter with the divine. The description of the rushing wind, tongues of fire, and the subsequent filling of the believers with the Holy Spirit highlights the tangible and transformative nature of God's presence. This passage serves as a cornerstone for Christian mysticism, showcasing the direct experience of God's power and the supernatural manifestations that accompany it. The event of Pentecost underscores the reality of encountering God in a tangible way, empowering believers for spiritual ministry and witness.
  • 1
    Some context would greatly improve your answer.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Dec 7, 2023 at 16:11
  • @KenGraham Do you mean adding a third column with comments?
    – Mark
    Commented Dec 7, 2023 at 16:12
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    A super biblical list of God's supernatural connections with those who 'walked' with him in faith, and you've gone the extra mile with your 3rd column. This is just to point out that the title "Mysticism" with the understanding you detailed, can be found in non-Christian religions with their mystical practices and beliefs. If some such practices put people under the control of unseen demonic powers, and not the God of the Bible, the need would be to show the difference. Not all mysticism is of God.
    – Anne
    Commented Dec 9, 2023 at 12:23
  • @Anne What are your thoughts on this talk: The Presence of God or Mysticism? - Ask Pastor Tim ?
    – Mark
    Commented Feb 9 at 18:24
  • I'm not interested in people talking about Mysticism, Mark. Mysticism as understood today is not a subject that I deem would get me closer to Christ in my walk with him. Now, biblical references / examples DO help with that, so the scriptures in your tabulation are interesting and helpful. But I won't go further into the subject.
    – Anne
    Commented Feb 9 at 18:39

As a former New-Ager, what it seems to me that you’re actually longing for is a deeper spirituality than what you’ve been taught traditionally. And it is true—the Bible is God’s word, God is Spirit and ultimately there are many many deep spiritual doctrines and truths not immediately or explicitly available without deep diving into the word. Actually there are truths in the Bible that people would call heretical to the Bible, because they’re so religious. Take a second look at John 17:21-23, for example.

However, what you seem to be looking for is a deeper connection with God, and this connection is personal, not impersonal. God is not a force you can manipulate, He is a person. And this is the anti-Eastern view: that God is knowable as a person. Even Moses, who looked as though he could split the sea, did not himself split the sea, but merely agreed with God, and held his hand over the sea: and God split it. To move mountains, one must get near to God. The nearer to God, the greater the miracles and secrets and knowledge that come forth.

I would look into praying in tongues as well as seeking the Lord and His voice to a deeper depth than you have ever before.

  • 1
    I appreciate the warning, but notice that I never said that God is impersonal.
    – Mark
    Commented Dec 8, 2023 at 20:22
  • @Mark sorry, mark—small misunderstanding. I’ve adjusted my answer Commented Dec 8, 2023 at 20:24

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