Cd. Juárez, Chih, Mexico; March 19, 2006. Adar 19, 5766

Are you a mystic or a spiritual believer?

Four months have passed since my last bulletin. We are in the Gregorian year 2006. There's not doubt time flies!

On my other bulletin I did not receive replies by e-mail. By Internet chat a person wrote: "it's very rough!" Another person told me she understood better what means to be sheep and the responsibility of those who take care of the sheepfold. Some others, by their silence, they don't want to expose their spiritual abuse.

Donia Caro and I are walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. We are still on different trials. Sometimes the pressure seems to break us, but the Word of the L-rd keep us on.

Our "family" has grown... a street cat left us two small kitten last December. These 2 kitten come for breakfast, lunch and dinner! My mother was touched how the mother bring her offspring. Obviously it created a problem with our Landlady. One week we avoided to feed them. Mother cat left, but the two kitties remained here. We name them "blackie" and "little dove". On these days we heavy tensions, we are happy to see them playing around. Two additional mouths to feed... but G-d has provided for them also.

It's increidible nowadays how people want all considerations, but they are thoughtless about another's needs.

A person whom I know from my former job, she sent me two e-mails "you are not important-instranscendet" on her life. On the second half of 2005, I replied some of her e-mails. She was informing me about studying Hinduism, yoga, celebrate Halloween and that she was going to be very happy. She read about repentance and to recognize Yeshua's sacrifice on Calvary. She did not want to hear. I believed she was looking for God, but the truth statement is that she looks to serve her small idols. Self is her god. The sad part, she was exposed to Torah and her decision is to give her back to God's word.

The congregation I wrote about closed its doors on November 2005. By a miracle from God, the members were released from the mortgage. I have seen some of them. It's so soon to think they are healed. They need to throw away man's teaching to fill the void with the Word of the L-rd. They have a long distance to walk...

My mother and I enjoyed Chanukah and Purim. We visited some friends, sharing G-d's and Messiah's bountiful blessings.

I'm visiting Beth Israel. It is the only messianic congregation here in El Paso.

The L-rd G-d of Israel know how difficult for me has been the new themes to research. Kabbalah, misticism and judaism. I was like the prophet Jonah. I don't want to approach these subjects. This first one is the cornerstone for the other two.

Are you a mystic or a spiritual?

It's good to begin with definitions from the

Misticism.- Mysticism from the Greek (muo, "concealed") is the pursuit of achieving communion or identity with, or conscious awareness of, ultimate reality, the divine, spiritual truth, or God through direct experience, intuition, or insight; and the belief that such experience is an important source of knowledge or understanding.

Spiritual- Spirituality is, in a narrow sense, a concern with matters of the spirit.

When you visit different congregations (churches, sinagogues) you hear to "be spiritual", but it might have several meanings. I recognized Messiah Yeshua in May 1981. I wanted to grow in my new life. I began reading the Scripture (Bible), but other books too. I prayed. Then a book called the "Fourth Dimension" written by Paul Yonggi Cho arrived to my hands.

Protestant pastors were excited to know his method of church-growth. (It's a matter of fact that home cell groups started for that reason in Mexico). I was a new believer. I bought it in a Christian bookstore. I believe it was "kosher" (clean).

I began using his method of visualization, hearing the word of "God- rhema" and having my "mountain of prayer" Unaware of, I was living in the mystical world, believing I was spiritual. Yonggi Cho teaches buddhist spirituality, and taoistic techniques. Of course with some Bible verses to support them. The person who shared the Gospel of Messiah with my mother and I, was terrified by February 1982. Economic stability from my mother's bussiness was lost, we were insane for some, and some believers were only expectators how we were running toward the cliff. The opinions of some pastors were "if Carlos and Carolina belong to Messiah, He is going to stop them just at the edge of the cliff."

Yes, he stopped us from the mystical world. By June 1982, we began attending a Bible based, fundamental church. I attended there until 1989, then I was in a Baptist Church until 1999.

The lessons learned from this experience: a. Don't believe books or teachings, even if they have a seal of approval from famous leaders. b..Filter all teachings, spiritual experiences or leaders through the Bible as the Bereans did.- "And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming [thither] went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few." Acts 17:10-12 c. Do not be alone. Keep on a local community of believers.

What is to be "spiritual" according to Scripture? There are few verses I want to share with you... Num 11:17, 27:18 Spirit in certain leaders- Moses and Joshua. Psalm 51:10,12,17 Clean heart and a renewed spirit. Isaiah 42:1 The servant Messiah with the Spirit to teach the nations. Isaiah 44:3 God promises to outpour his Spirit . Ezekiel 11:19 New heart, new spirit. Ezekiel 36:26, 27 The Spirit of God to keep his commandments. Ezekiel 37:14 God's breath (spirit) giving new life. 1 Co. 2:15 The spiritual judges all things. 1 Co. 3:1 The spiritual is not walking on the flesh- inmature as a child. 1 Co 14:37 The spiritual acknowledge the Word of God. Gal 6:1 Spiritual believers restoring fallen ones.

At first glance, we can see the presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. This is what makes us really spiritual.

This is something given by God, not induced by human effort. There is a new heart. An unregenerated heart is NOT spiritual.

The Spiritual keep the commandments and decrees of the Lord. But you can't be spiritual only by yourself. This is for the benefit of the body of Messiah, because he even restores fallen believers. He knows if a command is from the Lord or from men.

He judges all things according to the Holy Spirit (Ruach Ha Kodesh.) All the references in the TANAK (Old Testament) use the Hebrew word Ruach. It means breath/spirit.

I will quote rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel: "...spiritual: It is the reference to the transcendent in our own existence, the direction of the Here toward the Beyond... The spiritual is not something we own, but something we may share in. We do not posses it; we may be possesed by it... Spirit is a direction." God in Seach for Man. 1955. Fareer, Straus & Giroux, USA, p. 416

The word mystic you can't find a reference in the Bible. But there is and example: Balaam (Numbers 22-25). He had experiences but NOT the Ruach Ha Kodesh living in him (Holy Spirit).

Therefore, are you a mystic or a spiritual believer?

Shalom, I'm working in the second part about kabbalism. Keep Donia Caro and me in your prayers. Hope to hear your comments by e-mail.

Carlos Perez

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