Now some other thoughts. Other arguments that people have. Paul’s “thorn in the flesh.” That’s a great one. People always ask what was Paul’s thorn in the flesh? Now it’s a great question because there’s so much debate and confusion about it but it’s actually kind of a silly question     because the Bible actually says what Paul’s thorn in the flesh was. Did you know that? It says “There was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan sent to torment me.” Now that’s pretty clear. In fact the Greek word for messenger is “angelos” which is the word translated “angel,” an angel of Satan. And there’s only two other places that mention angels of Satan. Like the dragon and his angels were thrown down to the earth. Right? And I don’t remember what the other one is but only two places and it’s always referring to demons. So pretty simple. A demon of Satan was given to him.

A messenger of Satan was given to him to keep him humble. Now what did that demon do? That’s the part that’s a debate. Okay? It was just a demon. Now some demons can cause a physical problems. Sure. I’ve seen a whole lot of that happen. But in this case I’ve walked through all these questions. You know some of the popular theories like Paul having an eye problem. I mean I’ve written about this extensively. There’s no way to make that work. In fact if you want to read a classic book that’ll teach you that, F.F. Bosworth wrote one and thoroughly dismantled the idea that Paul had an eye problem. It’s kind of ridiculous when you see the logic of it especially looking at the fullness of the New Testament. But, yeah, I personally believe that it was a demon inciting persecution everywhere Paul went.

Cause he faced more persecution than anybody. In fact he said it was sent to buffet me and that word “buffet” means repeated blows [sounds of his fists hitting] as with a fist. Now furthermore some people question maybe this is my thorn in the flesh or something like that. I say, no. Throw that away. Because you know you’re telling me that you— Smith Wigglesworth. Actually if you know who he is. He was a minister back in the early 1900’s. And he— a woman came to him and said that and if I remember right he said something like are you so prideful that you think you’ve had such an abundance of revelations as Paul did that you need a thorn in the flesh? Be healed in Jesus name and the woman got healed. (laughs)  

AUDIENCE: (LAUGHTER)

ART: Yeah. So separate yourself from that thinking. Set aside the thorn in the flesh thing. That’s not for you. If you’ve had all kinds of crazy revelations of heaven that are too wonderful to share then sure you’re allowed to have one if you want to. It’s okay?  

AUDIENCE: (LAUGHTER)

ART: But until you’ve had that I’m not letting you claim it. All right? So that’s the deal. Now another one. Jacob’s limp. What about Jacob? He limped for the rest of his life and it was a blessing. Did you know that’s nowhere in the Bible? Did you know that? I searched backwards and forwards could not find anything that said Jacob limped for the rest of his life. What I did find the reason we believe it is because Jacob wrestles with that angel. Right? And some believe that is was actually a pre-incarnate Jesus that he wrestled with and he wrestles with Him until I want that blessing. Right? And then the blessing was a dislocated hip or something like that, we think. But whatever happened it says that as the sun rose over Peniel, Jacob stumbled. He limped or halted says the King James.

The Greek word there literally means “stumbled” in fact everywhere else that it’s used in the Old Testament to describe an action it’s translated “stumbled” but to describe a person it’s translated “lame.” Okay? And then the other verse we have is that at the end of his life at 140 years old it says he leaned on his staff and blessed his sons. And people say well he leaned on his staff. That meant he must have limped his whole life. Moses had a staff. We don’t think he limped. Elijah had a staff. We don’t think he limped. It was a sign of authority. And if you’re 140 years old I expect you to be leaning on a staff. Right?

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