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The Thorn in Paul's Flesh

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  • The Thorn in Paul's Flesh

    Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me--to keep me from exalting myself!

    2 Corinthians 12:7 NASB

    I just finished reading The Man In White by Johnny Cash. It's a book about the life of Paul.

    All sorts of theories abound about the thorn in Paul's flesh....some say epilepsy, lust, speech impediment, and club foot. This is just speculation, but could the thorn in his flesh have been guilt over his actions towards the church before his conversion? Just simple curiosity on my part.

  • #2
    Well, we know it was a messenger from Satan. There are hints here and there about the way this messenger manifested itself. But who can know for sure?
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

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    • #3
      ummmm... don't think I'm tooooo weird... but I was born again in a face to face salvation, and have received "exceedingly great revelation".

      The "thorn in the flesh" in my experience is literally being spiritually "impaled" by a spiritual force and power of Satan... a literal messenger of Satan. Now, it may manifest itself physically in whatever manifestation of physical ailment, etc... but it's a literal spiritual attack.

      God's grace is sufficient. After my personal full revelation of hell subsequent to full revelation of grace in a full apostolic salvation (part of the full revelation of grace and spiritual union in Christ - not all, I'm saying)... I was buffeted and impaled.

      God's grace is sufficient. My spiritual strength renewed and restored... and by force and power of the anointing of the Holy Spirit within me... the "sword" of the messenger of Satan that impaled me was expelled.... and I'm full armor up, baby... and Satan has "hell" to pay. Cause I'm coming... I'm coming... I really am coming... out of my prayer closet soon. lol

      Sometimes what we have to minister, we have to minister as the result of great sufferings... even suffering being buffeted by a messenger of Satan.

      Furthermore, more Christians experience the very same thing spiritually with physical manifestation. But it is the apostolic office, imo, that experiences and ministers the manifest presence of God... the spiritual reality of dimension... most powerfully.

      That's why Paul experienced the buffeting manifestly... because great revelation... causes one to "step into" the Spirit... manifestly. (And thus be gifted of God to impart the Spirit in ministry manifestly... all part of the same deal in the Spirit.)

      Bottom-line, Paul experienced manifestly the spiritual side of being buffeted by Satan with a thorn in his flesh... but this attack of Satan is not limited to those who have received great revelation... they're just more "aware" of it by virtue of fully heightened gifts of spiritual discernment.

      And do I have a sense of humor? I have a sense of humor. (This was years ago.) I would lay on my couch being "racked" by a spiritual sword going straight through my heart with my friends there praying for my spiritual strength to be regained (experience an immersive plunge into hell... sigh... and one is completely weakened... but strength is restored in power from on high... )... and I'd laugh and joke, "Well, if there was a support group for apostolic prophetesses being buffeted by a thorn... I'd join it!!! But I think we're a little rare." lol (It was funny, they thought so, at the time.)

      Yeah, I know... TMI... but you asked.



      Love in Christ,

      js

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      • #4
        I thought it was something related to his eyesight. He speaks of his epistles being written by someone else but signed by himself I think and I think there are other indicators that he had vision problems - Gal 4:15 for one.
        ...be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man, that Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith, that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be full of strength to apprehend with all the saints what the breadth and length and height and depth are and to know the knowledge-surpassing love of Christ, that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God. Eph. 3:16-19

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Toymom View Post
          I thought it was something related to his eyesight. He speaks of his epistles being written by someone else but signed by himself I think and I think there are other indicators that he had vision problems - Gal 4:15 for one.
          I agree. It would make sense - he was blinded after all. Never fully recovered?

          also it's often said the following refers to how largely he is writing:

          Gal 6:11¶Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.
          yours in, of and by Christ, Christopher
          _____________________________________________
          The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
          and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
          and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
          and a little child shall lead them. Isaiah 11:6

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Gard View Post
            Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me--to keep me from exalting myself!

            2 Corinthians 12:7 NASB

            I just finished reading The Man In White by Johnny Cash. It's a book about the life of Paul.

            All sorts of theories abound about the thorn in Paul's flesh....some say epilepsy, lust, speech impediment, and club foot. This is just speculation, but could the thorn in his flesh have been guilt over his actions towards the church before his conversion? Just simple curiosity on my part.
            I believe Paul's thorn in the flesh was persecution.
            "What you do does not define who you are; it's who you are that defines what you do."

            -- Dr. Neil T. Anderson

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            • #7
              I would have to go with the actual spirit from satan. Perhaps a demon that followed him around. I have also heard it said somewhere that it was the slave girl who was a medium, but I have to reject that because she didn't always follow him around. I don't think it was his sight because the bible tells us his sight was restored. There is no mention that it was only partially restored.
              Psalm 118:8 - "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man."

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              • #8
                I also believe it was Paul's constant persecutions. The word translated "buffet," kolaphizo, means, "to rap with the fist." This corresponds with Paul's statement that he does not battle with flesh and blood, but with spiritual forces (that obviously work through flesh and blood).

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                • #9
                  I think it was an injury he got from a person or people attacking him while being a minister and preacher. Since he called it a 'thorn in the flesh' it was probably very painful. I think it was a recurrent pain that came and went but never left him entirely. And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. - Acts 14:19

                  Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes

                  Of the Jews five times received I forty
                  stripes

                  Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

                  In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
                  above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. save one. - 2 Corinthians 11:23-26

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by nzyr View Post
                    I think it was an injury he got from a person or people attacking him while being a minister and preacher. Since he called it a 'thorn in the flesh' it was probably very painful. I think it was a recurrent pain that came and went but never left him entirely.
                    That is a really good point! He may have received some sort of permanent injury. Maybe he was stoned in one eye and blinded or something similiar to that? In any case, I think the thorn in the flesh was the result of persecution (ongoing or otherwise).

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Toymom View Post
                      I thought it was something related to his eyesight. He speaks of his epistles being written by someone else but signed by himself I think and I think there are other indicators that he had vision problems - Gal 4:15 for one.
                      Yeah Toymom
                      I think it was his eyesight.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Toymom View Post
                        I thought it was something related to his eyesight. He speaks of his epistles being written by someone else but signed by himself I think and I think there are other indicators that he had vision problems - Gal 4:15 for one.
                        I believe it is evident in Scripture that the reason he had eye problems when he came to the Galatians is because he had just gotten stoned in Lystra. He makes note in Galatians that his eye problems were not permanent but only temporary.
                        "What you do does not define who you are; it's who you are that defines what you do."

                        -- Dr. Neil T. Anderson

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          He alludes to the fact that it was his eyes;

                          GAL 4
                          13 but you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time;
                          14 and that which was a trial to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself.
                          15 Where then is that sense of blessing you had? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me.
                          And those castles made of sand....fall into the sea......eventually

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                          • #14
                            Was the mention of the thorn for the sake of mention or more to examplify that life might not be perfect even after conversion?

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                            • #15
                              The thorn in the flesh was apparently a physical infirmity.
                              2 Cor 12:7-10
                              And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
                              Gal 4:13-16
                              13 You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first. 14 And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. 15 What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?
                              He was blinded by the light on the road to Damascus. His sight was restored when Ananias spoke to him (Acts 9:17-18), but it is possible that he continued to have problems with his eyes, even though he was not blind any more.
                              Love In Christ,
                              Tanya






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