Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger
crookedfingers

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that I may gain Christ

Yesterday I quoted from the book "The Highest States of Consciousness" where in an essay it referred to the apostle Paul's experience of being caught up to the third heaven. The writer of this essay said that this experience of the apostle Paul was an example of someone experiencing cosmic consciousness. I could write a ton of stuff on this experience of the apostle Paul, but that I will not do. I will just share some of my reflections.

In the New Testament letter to the Second Corinthians chapter 12 we have the account of the apostle Paul telling the Corinthian church of his experience of being caught up to the third heaven. The apostle Paul in Second Corinthians is defending his apostleship against false apostles. These false teachers were boasting of their mystical experiences "visions and revelations". The apostle Paul tells the Corinthians church that he also could boast of such experiences, but instead he will boast in "mine infirmities". The apostle Paul tells the Corinthians that the Lord had given him a thorn in the flesh "the messenger of Satan to buffet" him. Why? "lest I should be exalted above measure". The Lord instead of delivering the apostle Paul from the thorn in the flesh told him "My grace is sufficient for thee". The apostle Paul learned through these trials that his strength was to be found in the Lord. In Paul's weakness he learned to depend upon the Lord therefore the apostle Paul writes "most gladly therefore will I rather glory infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake". The point is that the apostle Paul boasted of his relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ not mystical experiences. The apostle Paul knew "the power of Christ" rested on him as he went through his hardships "for when I am weak, then am I strong". Notice in 2 Corinth. 12:2 the phrase "a man in Christ". The apostle Paul was united to Christ Jesus spiritually. We read in the Gospel of John these words of the Lord Jesus, "I am the vine, you are the branches, He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing" John 15:5. Christianity is not a state of cosmic consciousness but a living relationship with the Risen exalted Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul writes in the Letter to the Philippains. "Yet I indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ" Phil. 3:8.

"[1] 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.
[5] Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
[6] For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
[7] And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
[8] For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
[9] And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
[10] Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." Second Corinthians 12:1-18
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