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Thorn Was A Demon

If "Paul's thorn" was "a messenger of Satan" (2 Corinthians 12:7-9), could this thorn have been a devil meant to test Paul so he could learn to do everything only in grace and not in his own ego?

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 ---willie_c: on 8/19/12
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The words "a messenger of satan" is pretty clear that it was a demon sent to buffet or harass Paul, inciting people to harass him, as evidenced in passages of Acts and his epistles.

The scripture clearly tells us that God's word and the Holy Spirit is our teacher. So no, God hasn't changed his method to teach us.

The apostle Paul's ego was always one of humility. From the time when he was on the road to Damascus. If not sooner.

The scripture states that "God gives grace to the humble." And God told Paul "my grace is sufficient for you".
---jan4378 on 3/10/13

The assault Paul had was painful but purposeful. God was allowing satan to bring this severe trouble in the Church for the purpose of humbling Paul who having had so many revelations, including a trip to heaven and back would have been proud. The demonized false apostle attacking his work in Corinth was the stake being driven through his otherwise proud flesh.
(v. 7) says a messenger of Satan to "buffet" me."
The word "buffet" always refers to ill treatment from other people (Matt. 26:67: Mark 14:65: 1 Cor. 4:11: 1 Peter 2:20). The Corinthian Church was started by Paul and he felt great pain for what was happening there with the false apostles, they were driving a stake into Paul flesh.
---Mark_V. on 2/14/13

Now that is awsome. Thank you Michael e
---pat on 2/14/13

Might have been eye problems, Galations wasn't a large letter so his writing could have been large due to eyesight.

Gal 6:11
Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.
---michael_e on 2/13/13

Yes, you are on the right track! And by-the-way, as I was studying the other-day, this thorn could've been too intimate to put on paper. But, I for one, still believe it was an eye condition. And there is a Scripture to back myself up in that belief... Don't ask me where it's at, I don't know. It's in there somewhere.
---pat on 2/13/13

the devil can't possess someone who is born of the Spirit. historians believe paul had a problem with his eyes and couldn't see very well. I don't know if that is true or not but paul stayed in a state of prayer so demons didn't have a chance with paul. paul was a murderer but when God saved him, he was a servant of the Lord.
---shira4368 on 2/13/13

Paul explains it this way! 2 Cor 12:7-10 "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.For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
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.
---J_Marc on 11/7/12

Absolutely true! To humble Paul. We are much in the dark what this was. Some think it was an acute bodily pain or sickness. Perhaps eye trouble. There are Scriptures to support this view [Acts 13:9, 6:11]....Following Paul's ordeal with the Council, Jesus made an appearance, an literal appearance before Paul in the barracks where he was being held and said, "Take courage, for as you have solemny witnessed to My cause at Jerusalem, so you must witness at Rome also". Paul was not sure if he would get out of Jerusalem alive. [Acts 23].
---pat on 11/7/12

Response to Paul's Thorn in 2 Corinthians 12:9
Whatever the thorn was God wanted Paul to know His grace was sufficient and wanted Paul to understand that His (God) strength and accomplishments was made perfect through all that Paul could not do or accomplish. The devil is the one who tempts us so that we will fail, but God tests us so that we will prevail in His strength.
---Patricia on 9/3/12

"...could this thorn have been a devil meant to test Paul so he could learn to do everything only in grace & not in his own ego?"

Willie_C: Why would devils want anyone to learn to live right ~ by God's grace? No! First of all, devils (demons) don't have the authority to test believers. God alone tests (tries) us. Secondly, devils always "harrass", are hellbent to "depress" & in vain attempt to "possess" believers. It's quite possible Paul's thorn was more mental than physical. Paul was often times misunderstood & ostracized (rejected) by cliques of people who claimed to also believe in the Lord Jesus. What a pain that must've been! :)
---Leon on 8/26/12

There are times when God uses my spouse as a messenger. I trust His appointment, though not easily.

A messenger in the Greek Writings is aggelos, it can be a human or spiritual being.

The KJV uses "angel", which is misleading and interpretive. Cults have arisen from this error.

I assume it was a human agent, as was Judas Iscariot, likely a Judaizer.

Paul was snatched away by God into the third heaven (2C 12:3).

He outstripped the other apostles in works and missions.

I cannot imagine a mere "diabalos" would have sufficiently restrained him. The Judaizers harmed him greatly to the end.
---Phil on 8/26/12

Personally, I believe the "thorn" was Paul's conscience from the persecution he placed on the
Christians in his day. I don't know how he could live with his past, even putting Christians to death... Just my opinion.
---Jim on 8/26/12

Trish, your example was very good. I believe God can remove everything that is in our way in a second, but doesn't for a reason. We don't understand the reason many times, but in due time we see that His grace is sufficient for us to get througth the problem we are experiencing. Paul suffered alot. yet God did not remove all those obstacles and allowed him to suffer.
---Mark_V. on 8/25/12

In addition to my previous post, I am certain that the reason God allowed Paul's thorn to stay, and did not take it away, was that God wanted to humble Paul, and cause him to be more reliant on the Lord.

I know in my own life, I have certain thorns that were not healed, and they cause me to rely on the Lord, and to be grateful for His infinite grace and love. Before my health issues and other issues came to my attention, I took the Lord's place in my life for granted. Now, I'm totally dependent on Him for my life, day by day, hour by hour, sometimes minute by minute.
---Trish on 8/24/12

Steven, I believe many think like you, that satan is the cause of all illnesses. But you have to remember that the curse came from God. The reason was because of Adam's disobedience. He was not tempted by the serpent, he sinned because he wanted to sin. People die of many physical problems associated with the fall of man. physical death and spiritual death (separation from God).
The assault Paul had was painful but purposeful. God was allowing satan to bring this severe trouble in the Church for the purpose of humbling Paul who having had so many revelations, including a trip to heaven and back would have been proud. The demonized false apostle attacking his work in Corinth was the stake being driven through his otherwise proud flesh.
---Mark_V. on 8/24/12

Trish, I am in agreement with Scott! Well done!

Lord bless you both!
---trey on 8/23/12

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very nice Trish
---Scott1 on 8/23/12

Willie, the thorn was a messenger of satan, sent by God to keep him humble. As with Job, Satan was the immediate cause, but God was the ultimate cause. Paul's use of the word "messenger" or angel, from satan suggest the "thorn" in the flesh "a stake for the flesh" was a demon person, not a physical illness. Of the 188 uses of the Gr. word "angelllos, in the New Testament, at least 180 are in reference to angels. The demon afflicting Paul as a demon indwelling the ring leader of the Corinthian conspiracy, the leader of the false apostles. The demon was tearing Paul's beloved Church and thus driving a stake through Paul. Support for this is found in Chap. 10-13. God told Paul His grace was sufficient for him.
---Mark_V. on 8/23/12

Satan is the cause of all sicknesses and illnesses ,both physical and mental, whether directly (demon possession, et al) or indirectly (having another person inflict the illness).

Before the fall of Adam, everything was perfect. After Satan is destroyed and there is a new heaven and a new earth everything will be perfect again.
---Steveng on 8/22/12

Hi, Trish (c: I agree that much of the Bible, if not all, was written so even uneducated people could understand. Peter was a fisherman, but he wrote his two epistles.

It's not hard to understand the difference between a "messenger" and a "message", for one example.

An invisible messenger could have different abilities to test Paul, to find his weak points. Any time Paul did something in ego, only then could that "messenger" get the better of Paul. But Paul, so educated, did not get the message of the devil's messing, until Paul had a little talk with Jesus (c:

If the thorn was just one physical trouble, Paul might have found ways to get by in spite of it.
---willie_c: on 8/21/12

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I'm no scholar, but having studied 2 Corinthians, I kind of came to a conclusion for my practical application of Paul's thorn. Paul was not specific in exactly what the thorn was, or the infirmities. Could be physical, could be spiritual, could be both. I like to think that the Scripture is vague so that people like me could learn and apply the same lessons Paul learned through my own physical and spiritual trials.

I am grateful for God's grace in all I am dealing with.
---Trish on 8/20/12

Yes, Cluny, I would say physical medical trouble could have been involved. But Paul does say the thorn was "a messenger". A messenger is a pesonal being. A problem might be a "message", I think. I can see what Darlene is saying, that the "messenger of Satan" could mess with Paul, in more than one way. Paul says "I will rather boast in my infirmities" (2 Corinthians 12:10-11) > not just one infirmity like an eye problem, but that could have been one infirmity, Scott, as I think Galatians 4:13-15 could also support. Karen, I consider those medical problems caused when demons possessed people. We can also underestimate how much medical trouble can be because of sin and Satan, then, "maybe".
---willie_c: on 8/20/12

Paul's thorn was spiritual not physical,"a messenger of Satan" to buffet him,that means attack over and over. The Lord told him though that His grace is sufficient for him,in his weakness God is made strong. When Paul was weak God was made strong because Paul was giving it all to Him to handle and see him through his mission. Glory to God whatever God orders us to do,He will give us all the power we need to acomplish it for Him. After Paul realized this he took delight in his weakness and trials for he saw the power of God in action. That is a faith walk with God. We all should have a faith walk with God and do what we can for God and trust Him do what we can't,His working through us for the Kingdoms sake.
---Darlene_1 on 8/20/12

I think Satan gets too much credit for medical problems or trials in peoples' lives.
---KarenD on 8/20/12

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It also could have been some type of eyesight problem in which he thought he could do more for God but in reality the hinderence kept him on the foundation of God and not himself. This idea is based on him signing his letters in large letters at the end.
---Scott1 on 8/20/12


Then it could have been an old abscess from the time he fell into a nettle bush, and medical science being what it was at the time, nothing could be done about it.

In any case, the answer was the same: "My grace is sufficient for you."

Glory to Jesus Christ!
---Cluny on 8/19/12

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