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Mystical Deception File

By "Noah's Dove"

With a growing interest in New Age Spirituality and mysticism which is commonplace today, a number of authors such as Jacob Needleman, Herbert Benson, Marilyn Ferguson, and the late Thomas Merton are suggesting that there are mystical techniques which cross religious barriers and traditions. Others say doctrinal and other differences between the world religions have served to divide people of faith, but today many are rediscovering a lost unitive mystical awareness which may provide the philosophical foundations for global religious unity. The following quotes, notes, and articles will examine this trend and provide some assessment and needful discernment.

Quotations

Marilyn Ferguson, in her book, The Aquarian Conspiracy, mentions some of these various techniques or "intentional triggers of transformative experiences" as: sensory isolation and sensory overload, biofeedback, meditation of every description: Zen, Tibetan Buddhist, chaotic, Transcendental, Christian, Kabbalist, kundalini, raja yoga, tantric yoga, etc., psychosysnthesis, a system that combines imagery and meditative state, , chanting, mood-altering music, mind expanding drugs, esoteric systems of religious mysticism and knowledge, guided imagery, balancing and aligning" energies," hypnosis, body disciplines...radical seminars designed to obliterate former values, etc...

In the fall issue #8 (1984), of Common Ground Magazine in Vancouver, B.C. in an article entitled "Religions of World, Unite!" the author Collin Cole, urged followers of the world's religions to unite and network to promote world peace and harmony. He mentioned many things which divide and fragment world religions or faith groups, but added, "However, all is not loss; there is good news. There are numerous people within each of the distinct world faiths, some who have had mystical or unitive experiences ... These people are open to new perspectives and attitudes." He says, they: "attest to an inner unity yet unseen, but with birth-pangs beginning to manifest in the world."

Sites on the internet on the subject of world mysticism such as http://www.digiserve.com/mystic/ seems to support this conviction. A personal and well known example of this is Thomas Merton, a Trappist Monk and Catholic Mystic who before he died saw no contradiction between Zen and Christianity. He commended Hindu, Taoist, Buddhist, and Islamic mystics as "those who had experienced...union with the God of truth and love."* - Harvey D. Clayton, S.J., Christian Mysticism, The Future of a Tradition, p.238-241.

Quoting Jacob Needleman (p.110), Lost Christianity, (a Bantam New Age Book):
In the quarter of a century that Merton lived as Trappist monk at Gethsemani, Kentucky, he delivered a tremendous body of written work dealing with Christian mysticism, the contemplative tradition, monasticism, and the Eastern religions, particularly Zen, which he felt had a crucial role to play in the West by revealing the contemplative, mystical core of normal human life and therefore of the Christian tradition as well.

One of Merton's last essays, "The New Consciousness," begins, "Christian renewal has meant that Christians are now wide open to Asian religions, ready, in the words of Vatican II, to "acknowledge, preserve and promote the spiritual and moral goods" found among them.*

But "it is not that simple." Merton proceeds to list the strong activistic, secular and anti-mystical tendencies that militate against the recovery of contemplative Christianity in the West. Zen, to Merton is the best hope because it rejects all doctrinal dispute and offers itself as something completely unclassifiable in familiar Western theological, moral or philosophical terms. "The real drive of Buddhism is toward an enlightenment which is precisely a breakthrough into what is beyond system, beyond cultural and social structures, and beyond religious rite and belief... What this means then is that Zen is outside all structure and forms." *(Zen and the Birds of Appetite, pp. 4-5).

Zen according to Merton, offers us the pure act of seeing, pure consciousness. It is this, Merton writes, that is the real meaning of knowledge in meditation and contemplation leading to salvation in Christ."

"The deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion .. . . It is beyond words . . We are already one."

Thomas Merton

Below are additional quotes by Merton:

"And in the last public utterance of his life, delivered on the day of his death in Bangkok, he said: 'And I believe that by openness to Buddhism, to Hinduism, and to these great Asian traditions, we stand a wonderful chance of learning more about the potentiality of our own traditions, because they have gone, from the natural point of view, so much deeper into this than we have." quote from the book, Lost Christianity by Jacob Needleman, p.112.

Toward the end of his life, Merton developed an interest in Buddhist and other Far Eastern approaches to mysticism and contemplation, and their relation to Christian approaches. He was attending an international conference on Christian and Buddhist monasticism in Bangkok, Thailand, when he was accidentally electrocuted on 10 December 1968.

According to a website dedicated to Merton:
In 1968 a meeting occurred in the Himalayas between the two most influential monks of the 20th century, a meeting that would shape the dialogue between the worlds of East and West a meeting between His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama and Thomas Merton. Shortly thereafter Merton unexpectedly died prompting the Dalai Lama to commit the remainder of his life to fulfilling Merton's wish of bringing the worlds of East and West together in compassion. This commitment resulted in the historic Gesthsemani Encounter in 1996 at the Abbey of Gethsemani, home of the late Thomas Merton, attended by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and world leaders of the Eastern and Western religious traditions.

Why would some mystical experiences lead individuals in an ecumenical interfaith direction? We will try to find answer to that question.

Meister Eckhart

Many mystics also claim there is no ultimate distinction between God and the experiencer.

For instance, Meister Eckhart states:
It is the nature of the Holy Spirit that I should be consumed in him, dissolved in him, and transformed wholly into love. Whoever is in love and is wholly love, feels that God loves nobody other than themselves, and they know of no one who loves or indeed of anyone but themselves (p. 148).

You should know (God) without image, unmediated and without likeness. But if I am to know God without mediation in such a way, then "I" must become "he", and "he" must become "I". More precisely I say: God must become me and I must become God, so entirely one that "he" and this "I" become one "is" and act in this "isness" as one, for this "he" and this "I", that is God and the soul, are very fruitful (p. 238).

"The seed of God is in us. Pear seeds grow into pear trees, nut seeds into nut trees, and God seeds into God."

The Upanishads

The Upanishads (one of the holy books of the Hindu religion) states:
As the rain on a mountain peak runs off the slopes on all sides, so those who see only the seeming multiplicity of life run after things on every side. As pure water poured into pure water becomes the very same, so does the Self of the illumined man or woman, Nachiketa, verily become one with the Godhead. (Katha Up. 1:14-15, p. 92)

The separate self dissolves in the sea of pure consciousness, infinite and immortal. Separateness arises from identifying the Self with the body, which is made up of the elements; when this physical identification dissolves, there can be no more separate self. This is what I want to tell you, beloved (Brihadaranyaka Up. Chapter 2, 4:12, p. 38)

Biblical Quotes

Perhaps more than often the spirit encountered in the mystical state is not the Holy Spirit of Truth which brings people into the Presence of God but maybe "another spirit" which St. Paul warned the Corinthians about.

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preaches another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit, which you have not received, or another gospel, which you have not accepted, you might well bear with him (2Cor 11:3-4).

"I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High." - Lucifer (Isaiah 14:14).

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2Thes 2:3-12).

"Oneness" with God

For many seeking mystical enlightenment, God is no longer the personal infinite God who is transcendent yet immanent who has acts into human history, reveled in the person of Christ and Holy Scripture, but often becomes a pantheistic and monistic everythingness and oneness that embraces everything. A God that is totally One with a fallen humanity and world would be both good and evil at the same time... this then leads to ethical relativism or a blurring of truth and error.

Mysticism from the East or from Western traditions relies on techniques such as repetitive prayers, repeating over and over a word or phrase (mantras, which maybe are names of deity), contemplations of icons or images real or imagined, also involved are methods of emptying the mind, extreme asceticism and in some cultures the use of hallucinogenic drugs. Through these and other methods the experiencer may see light, encounter entities, hear voices, feel a state of enlightenment or bliss, unity with God, etc.

Buddhist call this state Nirvana or Satori... New Age people call it at-one-ness, etc... Christian and Muslim mystics perceive they have experienced some kind of ecstatic union with God or encounters with saints or angels. Are there other explanations which point out deceptive possibilities? This possibility is what we shall look at with the help of quotes from mystics, scholars etc.

Quotations from Ahmad Ibn `Ata'Allah
(Sufi Mystic)

The sign of the invocation's reaching the innermost Self is the absence of the invoker from both the invocation and the Invoked. The invocation of the Self is ecstasy and drowning in it. Amongst its signs is that when you quit the invocation, it does not quit you. That is the exaltation of the invocation in you that rouses you from absence of mind to presence of mind. It's spiritual lights never disappear... (pp. 47-48, 50).

".... the reality of the invocation is when the Invoked takes possession of the heart, and He is One. Separation and multiplicity exist before that for as long as the invoker is in the station of invoking with the tongue or with the heart" (p. 117).

"As for those who are firmly established and are at the end of the path, invocation occupies their hearts at all times" (p. 100).

"Let your invocation be the all-embracing Name, which is Allah, Allah, Allah, or if you so wish, Huwa, Huwa, Huwa; and do not violate this remembrance. Be careful lest your tongue pronounce it while other-than-He is in your heart."

Let your heart be the one who utters, and your ear the one who is attentive to this invocation until the 'speaker' emanates from your Self (sirr).. When you feel the emergence of the Speaker within you through the invocation, do not abandon the spiritual condition wherein you find... yourself..(p. 108)

Mysticism in Islam

Is it possible that there is spiritual deception in the origins of Islam and other religions influenced by mysticism?

Of his Mohammed's life, Anderson relates:
There is evidence in a tradition which can scarcely have been fabricated that Muhammad suffered in early life from fits. Be that as it may, the adult Muhammad soon showed signs of a markedly religious disposition. He would retire to caves for seclusion, and meditation; he frequently practiced fasting; and he was prone to dreams... (p.54, The World's Religions, 1976).

Alfred Guillaume states concerning Mohammed's call:
One night as he was asleep, the angel Gabriel came to him and said "Recite!" He answered "What shall I recite?" The order was repeated three times, while he felt continually increasing physical pressure, until the angel said: "Recite in the name of thy Lord who created Man from blood coagulated. Recite! Thy Lord is wondrous kind Who by the pen has taught mankind Things thy knew not (being blind)."

When he woke these words seemed to be written on his heart ...Then the thought came to him that he must be sha'ir or possessed, he who had hated such people that he could not bear the sight of them; and he could not tolerate the thought that his tribesmen would regard him as one of them--as in fact they afterwards did. Thereupon he left the place with the intentions of throwing himself over a precipice. But while on his way he heard a voice from heaven hailing him as the Apostle of God, and lifting up his eyes he saw a figure astride the horizon which turned him from his purpose and keep him rooted to the spot. And there he remained long after his anxious wife's messengers had returned to report that they could not find him (Alfred Guillaume, Islam, London: Penguin Books, 1954, pp.28,29).

Muhammad first thought he was possessed by the demons, or Jinn, as they were called, but he later dismissed the idea.

Sir Norman Andersen writes in this regard:
It seems, however, that Muhammad himself was at first doubtful of the source of these revelations, fearing that he was possessed by one of the Jinn, or spirits, as commonly believed to be the case with Arab poets and soothsayers. But Khadijah (his wife) and others reassured him, and he soon began to propound divine revelations with increasing frequency... (Anderson, op. cit. p.55).

These visions mark the start of Mohammed's prophetic call by Allah. Mohammed received these visions during the following 22 years, until his death in 632 A.D.

Mysticism In Other Religions

So is there further evidence that mystical techniques such as meditation and mantras used to invoke the Divine can lead to encounters with fallen entities posing as spirit guides, dead masters, Hindu deities, ET's, angels or a another Jesus. Are mystical methods common place?

The following quotes are taken from a website dealing with: Western Mystical Traditions:

Sufism:

Prayer, in the form of constant repetition of the various names for the Divine, is the chief Sufi tool for such growth. This skill is first developed with the help of a rosary but after time it can become an integrated part of one's mental activities. So, regardless of one's activities, silent prayer can take place. Further techniques include fasting (a 40 day retreat at some point is not uncommon ) and the use of music and movement to induce blissful trance-like, God-intoxicated states.

The help of a teacher at this stage is vital, for the end goal is not merely a blissful experience but rather wisdom and communion with God. To this end, the student is aided in resisting total identification with the affects of trance--such as tears and intense love of God. By experiencing these exalted states but creating a mental space between them and one's awareness, gradually identification with the personal ego (the little "self") is transformed into direct spiritual intuition of higher knowledge and being (the big "Self" ).

Christian Mysticism:

Devotion, concentration (through prayer), and surrender play the key roles in conventional Christian mystic practice. Such efforts naturally lead one to a very pure and humble heart. Selfless service is also a major part of this approach. Thus it is that this mystical style has much in common with the Hindu paths of Bhakti and Karma Yoga.

Eastern meditation techniques have only recently been discovered and the acceptance is still fledgling. Nevertheless, many a Christian mystic has achieved deep levels of communion with the Divine. And in fact, the constant remembrance of a transpersonal level of being is not unknown to this tradition.

Repetition of a prayer is analogous to recitation of a mantra ( which is essentially, a short prayer ). The best known prayers and mantras from all of the world's traditions are charged with a spiritual energy and power well beyond the scope of ordinary words and phrases.

This charging effect occurs due to the fervent practice with these prayers by countless humans throughout history. Two of the better known Christian short prayers are the:

Jesus Prayer from the Eastern Orthodox tradition:
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner.

And the Hail Mary, from the Roman Catholic tradition:
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Blessed or Possessed?

The following is from a website http://chrmysticaloutreach.com/mentor/  promoting Mystical contemplation methods such as mantra-like prayers...it is a question from someone having doubts about the mystical path:

Question: Thank you so much for answering my e-mail so promptly. One more question I would ask of you. Ever since this started in 1991, I have felt as if I am now sharing my physical body with someone else. I can actually feel it. Sometimes It feels like hands inside of me, sometimes like a snake, sometimes like an animal or insect. It only stops when I am asleep. It scares me so much that at times I think it must be a demon or evil spirit. Other times I think it is part of the dark night of the soul. Can you enlighten me on this matter. Thank you,

Here is the answer:

Every single thing you have mentioned, over the years, I have felt. Feel blessed not cursed or possessed. It is the Holy Spirit flowing through your nervous system. It sometimes takes a long time to become accustomed to the flowing of it. Have you ever gotten a spider web caught in your face and your whole face feels creepy and tingly. It's like that. Your nerves have a reaction to the sensation of the web against your face. Same thing with the flowing of the Spirit. As the Spirit opens up new path ways within you, you are going to feel movements of energy throughout your nervous system exactly as you describe. It is a good sign that the Spirit is continuing to work with you. Be grateful whenever the Spirit works with you. It is a blessing. Yours in the Spirit, even when it feels creepy, -lmr

Contrast this with what St. Paul says is the fruit of the Holy Spirit in his letter to believers in Galatia:

Galatians Chapter 5:
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

It is clear that the fruit of the Spirit is not creepy and is not the author of heresies and idolatry which clutters the mystical path we have examined.

Another example:

Question: Why did the One ever separate into the Many? I can never seem to come close to a satisfying explanation of why the fall. Why the illusion of Maya (This is an Eastern term for illusionary nature of the field of primordial matter in all manifest creation, including the heavens, represented in the Bible by Satan, the bejeweled angel) though there is no question to me this is what's going on.

Answer: You are asking the ultimate question. What is the nature of Divine Consciousness (God) and why does it do what it does. All of the great mystics say that the answer can only be understood when directly experienced. A relative answer would be that It does what It does because this is Its' nature. Beyond this, there seems to be an innate impulse in Divine Consciousness to manifest itself as each and all that we know and more that we may never know. The only thing I can suggest is that you allow the Holy Spirit to take you to the direct experience of God as Self. It is the unity spoken of by the Christian saints, the enlightenment of the Hindu, the bliss of the Sufi, the nirvana of the Buddhist. lmr

One more example:

Question: I just finished your wonderful lessons in contemplative prayer, and it seems to me that your prayer method is yoga. I practice Yoga as well as Catholicism, and to me there doesn't seem to be a difference. However Catholics are suspicious of yogis and vice versa. How do you reconcile the two?

Answer: There is really nothing of conflict to be reconciled. Yoga is not a religion. It is a grouping of different methods to achieve unity in God (enlightenment). Anyone who is doing anything to find God is practicing yoga whether they know it or want to admit it. There are Christian yogis, Buddhist yogis, Hindu yogis etc. and none may call themselves yogis at all. There is one eternal truth (Santana Dharma) that those who call themselves yogis teach. But in truth there is only one eternal truth that encompasses everything and everyone no matter what religion we look at this truth through. lmr

Now compare this answer to a quote from Jesus of Nazareth:
1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (Gospel of John Ch 14)

This is in stark contrast to the mystics who say any religious or mystical path is ok. Jesus states that He is the Way.

1 "I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep".

12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep (Gospel of John Ch 10).

The Holy Spirit is not a spirit of fear and darkness but is the Comforter and Spirit of Truth. He is promised not to the world but to those who have received the gospel (Good News) and who now love Christ and follow Him.

15 "If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. - Jesus quoted in the gospel of John ((Gospel of John Ch 14).

Contrast this with passage with Tony Campolo's attitude. In an address at Prestatyn (UK) in 1988, where Tony Campolo expressed his "Jesus is in everyone" philosophy:

Campolo stated:
One of the most startling discoveries of my life was the realization that the Jesus that I love, the Jesus who died for me on Calvary, that Jesus, is waiting, mystically and wonderfully, in every person I meet. I find Jesus everywhere. The difference between a Christian and non-Christian is not that Jesus isn't in the non-Christian--the difference is that the Jesus who is within him is a Jesus to whom he will not surrender his life. You say, 'Are you saying that Jesus is present in everybody?' I am only telling you what it says in John 1:9; He is the light that lighteth every man, every woman that cometh into the world. The minute you start saying that God isn't in some people, you're on the verge of Fascism. Why? Erich Fromm saw that. The minute you can look at somebody and say God isn't in him -- he is only in Christians -- that person is pure demon."

From his book, Partly Right, Campolo states:
We affirm our divinity by doing what is worthy of gods, and we affirm our humanity by taking risks only available to mortals. God had to become one of us before He could become heroic ... Robert Schuller affirms our divinity, yet does not deny our humanity ... isn't that what the gospel is? Isn't God's message to sinful humanity that He sees in each of us a divine nature of such worth that He sacrificed His own Son so that our divine potentialities might be realized? ...

The hymn writer who taught us to sing 'Amazing Grace' was all too ready to call himself a 'wretch' ... Forgetting our divinity and over-identifying with our [Freudian] anal humanity [Freud is responsible for a host of maladies that plague our contemporary society] ... Erich Fromm, one of the most popular psychoanalysts of our time, recognized the diabolical social consequences that can come about when a person loses sight of his/her own divinity ..." (Fromm, author of the book e Shall Be As Gods).

Love And Truth

Some may ask, "Isn't there a need for more tolerance and love between faith groups? What is wrong exploring common ground or promoting world pluralism in a world full of hate and war? After all did not Christ call us to love everyone even our enemies?"

Yes, the the commandment to love is the fulfillment of the moral law. Love should guide our conversation and dealings with others. But love does not mean saying that truth does not matter or cruelty or deception is ok. When we reduce God through mysticism and pantheism to an impersonal ground of all being then truth or morals eventually have no meaning .even love has no meaning as the impersonal Oneness is silent. All one is left with is the whispers of fallen masquerading entities and doctrines of men and demons.

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;" 1 Timothy 4:1

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." -2 Timothy 1:7

Is there a Biblical way to enjoy God's presence without the pitfalls of mysticism?

Yes, Scripture clearly says that through Christ's atonement we may enjoy and approach our Heavenly Father by simple faith. The Holy Spirit is available to comfort, teach, and guide us as we study Holy Scripture.

We are saved and sanctified by grace through faith in Christ who promises to be a faithful friend who promises to always be with us for all time and eternity. We are kept by His faithfulness and His word which He never breaks because He cannot lie. The finished work of Christ and the help of the Holy Spirit is fully sufficient for all our spiritual needs.

17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; 20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." (Hebrews 6)

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. 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" (2Corinthians 12:9,10).

The above article was posted on this Web site January 1, 2002.

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