Monday, September 8, 2014

Paul's "thorn in the flesh" were the unbelieving Jews of his day who persecuted him and The Church by Tuese Ahkiong

Paul's "thorn in the flesh" were the unbelieving Jews of his day who persecuted him and The Church

February 9, 2013 at 9:40pm
Feb 6, 2013

So, I’m going thru the book of Numbers this morning and I come across 33:55 and my spider senses go off. I’ve heard Paul use this language before. So, I do a little research and noticed that this phrase “thorn in the side, eyes, flesh…” is in connection with actual people bringing oppression, harassment, trouble… (analogy of faith). So, perhaps, Paul’s thorn in the flesh in my humble opinion was not a physical ailment (like vision problems) or demon as I use to think and as most commentators would say.

1. Numbers 33:55 But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then those of them whom you let remain shall be as barbs in your eyes and THORNS IN YOUR SIDES, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell.

2. Joshua 23:13 know for certain that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations before you, but they shall be a snare and a trap for you, a whip on your sides and THORNS IN YOUR EYEs, until you perish from off this good ground that the Lord your God has given you.

3. Judges 2:3 So now I say, I will not drive them out before you, but THEY SHALL BECOME THORNS IN YOUR SIDES, and their gods shall be a snare to you.”

4. 2 Corinthians 12:7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, A THORN WAS GIVEN ME IN THE FLESH, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.

After seeing the context of 2 Cor. 11-12, it is my conviction that Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” were unbelieving Jewish persecutors.
  •  12:7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

    "a messenger of Satan" could be a singular description of a corporate entity, apostate unbelieving Israel.
  • The first century unbelieving Jews were sons of the devil as Jesus said in John 8:44You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.,

    they were definition of the antichrist(s) in 1 & 2 John, 1 John 2:18[ Warning Concerning Antichrists ] Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.
    1 John 2:22Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son.
    1 John 4:3and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.
    2 John 1:7For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.
    The Unbelieving Jews were the first to persecute the church.
  • In ACTS
  • 4:3-22, 5:17-42: Peter and John arrested by Sadducees, questioned by the Sanhedrin, and flogged (5:40 only)
  • 6:8-8:1: Stephen is arrested by “the people…the elders and the scribes” (6:12 NRSV), questioned before the Sanhedrin, and stoned to death, supposedly sparking a “severe persecution against the church in Jerusalem” (8:1).
  • 8:3, 9:2: Saul (who would later become Paul) imprisons many Christians
  • 9:23-24, 20:19, 23:12-14: Jews plot to kill Paul
  • 12:1-5: King Herod (believed to be Agrippa I)executes James and imprisons Peter
  • 13:44-51: Paul and Barnabas are being driven out of Antioch of Pisidia.
  • 14:5-6: Jews and Gentiles attempt unsuccessfully to stone Paul and Barnabas
  • 14:19-20: Jews stone Paul nearly to death
  • 16:16-24: Paul and Silas are flogged and imprisoned by Gentiles in Thessalonica.
  • 17:1-15: Paul and others are chased out of successive towns by Jews
  • 18:12-17: Paul is made to appear before the Roman proconsul Gallop in Achaia, who dismisses the case as an internal dispute. Paul is then beaten by the Jews
  • 19:23-41: Worshippers of Artemis in Ephesus riot against Paul and his companions, but they are not harmed.
  • 19:27-28:30: In his final journey to Rome, Paul is taken by Jews in Jerusalem to be killed, but is rescued by Roman soldiers who imprison him. He testifies before the Sanhedrin (22:30-23:11), and the governor Felix at Caesarea (24:1-27) before using his power as a Roman citizen (22:29) to have his case heard by the emperor.
    In the chapter before 2Cor11, Paul gives us more context of who the messenger of satan are. They are jews (judaizers) trying to infiltrate and destroy the church.

  • 2 Cor 11I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! 2 For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. 3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 
  • 4 FOR IF SOMEONE COMES AND PROCLAIMS ANOTHER JESUS THAN THE ONE WE PROCLAIMED, OR IF YOU RECEIVE A DIFFERENT SPIRIT FROM THE ONE YOU RECEIVED, OR IF YOU ACCEPT A DIFFERENT GOSPEL FROM THE ONE YOU ACCEPTED, YOU PUT UP WITH IT READILY ENOUGH. 5 INDEED, I CONSIDER THAT I AM NOT IN THE LEAST INFERIOR TO THESE SUPER-APOSTLES. 
  • 6 Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.7 Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God's gospel to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. 11 And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
  • 12 AND WHAT I AM DOING I WILL CONTINUE TO DO, IN ORDER TO UNDERMINE THE CLAIM OF THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO CLAIM THAT IN THEIR BOASTED MISSION THEY WORK ON THE SAME TERMS AS WE DO. 13 FOR SUCH MEN ARE FALSE APOSTLES, DECEITFUL WORKMEN, DISGUISING THEMSELVES AS APOSTLES OF CHRIST. 14 AND NO WONDER, FOR EVEN SATAN DISGUISES HIMSELF AS AN ANGEL OF LIGHT. 15 SO IT IS NO SURPRISE IF HIS SERVANTS, ALSO, DISGUISE THEMSELVES AS SERVANTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. THEIR END WILL CORRESPOND TO THEIR DEEDS.Thursday at 6:54am · Like

  • Acts 17:5 5 But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd.

    1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind 16 by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last!

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