Messenger of Satan

Those who are baptised must realise Christ is in us – every day. We prove this by becoming more and more like our Lord and Master in the way we think and act. Note Paul’s conclusion,

“Finally brothers (& sisters), rejoice … comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace” (2 Corinthians 13:11).

“Messenger of Satan”

Gustave Doré, Depiction of Satan, the antagoni...
Gustave Doré, Depiction of Satan, the antagonist of John Milton’s Paradise Lost c. 1866 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The conclusion of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians illustrates how Paul was thankful in a way, that “a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from being too elated” (verse 7). Who gave it to him? The point is, he sees this “messenger” as being part of the will of God.

We cannot be sure what this “thorn” was, some disability, many say it was probably poor eyesight. Turn on 2 or 3 pages and look at the last chapter of Galatians, Paul writes

“See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand” (verse 11),

this indicates difficulty in writing which would most likely be caused by poor eyesight. This handicap, whatever it was, stopped him from being too elated and so he says,

“for the sake of Christ then I am content with weaknesses …”.

But why is it called “a messenger of Satan”?
It is a figure of speech to describe adversity. Satan is a Hebrew word, and many times in the Old Testament it is translated as “adversary” and a particular person is named. It is adversity that brings out the best in disciples! All ‘strengths’ need to be tested to make sure they are really strong for the task they are designed for. Peter was a “satan” to Jesus (Mark 8:33), he tested Jesus’ resolve to do his Father’s will.

In completing his letter Paul expresses the fear that when he comes

“I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality and sensuality that they have practiced” (12:21).

There is the blunt request (13:5),

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you” (13:9).

The fleshly atmosphere in Corinth seems to have been very much like that in world today, More than ever we need God’s word IN our thoughts every day as a defence against the fleshly attitudes all around us.

Paul says, don’t you realize Christ is IN you? Those who are baptised must realize this – every day. We prove that Christ is in us by becoming more and more like our Lord and Master in the way we think and act. Note Paul’s conclusion,

“Finally brothers (& sisters), rejoice … comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace” (verse 11).

– Thought of the day by The Christadelphian


Find also to read:

  1. Heavenly creatures do they exist
  2. Who are the Angels?
  3. Angels with Names
  4. Evil in the bible
  5. Satan or the devil
  6. Lucifer
  7. Christendom Astray The Devil Not A Personal Super-Natural Being
  8. Satan the evil within
  9. Listening and Praying to the Father
  10. The Soul confronted with Death
  11. Fragments from the Book of Job #5: chapters 32-37
  12. Bad things no punishment from God
  13. The Existence of Evil
  14. Epicurus’ Problem of Evil
  15. Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42
  16. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 3 Black Mass, Horror spectacles and pure puritans
  17. A New Year and a New Person


  • The Old Testament: For and Against – A Debate between Christopher Jon Bjerknes and Lasha Darkmoon (Part 2) (
    We know for a fact that Jesus taught in the synagogue, something he would not have been allowed to do if he had been a non-Jew. We also know that the capital letters inscribed on his cross were INRI, which stand for IESUS NAZARENUS REX IUDAEORUM, meaning “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”.
  • How long did Paul train before he began his ministry? (
    Probably his training with Gamaliel would have been concluded by the time he was twenty and would have given Paul a very good understanding of Old Testament Scripture. The school of Hillel (family of Gamaliel), concentrated on the Scripture in the education process.
  • What an Evangelical church was like for an atheist with anxiety… (
    I felt such relief that it must have seemed to my friends that I had “gotten something” out of the service. I didn’t really–too busy battling fears–but I was glad I had gone. I had faced my fears instead of running from them, and each time I did that was a success.
  • The Dangers of Christian Creativity (
    One of the most important things any creative need to know is where the boundaries are. In some cases smashing the boundaries is okay, but in many cases it is not and in the case of Christian creatives, there are areas that must remain unchanged.

    If I had to define the ultimate responsibility of every Christian creative (and this can be done in a multitude of ways) it would be:

    To take the Unchanging message of the Gospel to an Ever-Changing world.

  • Jesus Christ, My King Jesus (
    Christ, my King / To Thee I raise my voice to sing / All praise and glory do I bring / All evil ways from me fling.
  • Galatians 3 (
    Paul is reaming the Galatian church for trying to add to what Jesus did on the cross. They were saved by faith, but over time started trying to stay saved through works (following the Old Testament law). Paul is calling them back to faith. He points out that where works of the law will always fail to earn us anything from God, faith will succeed. Believing in Jesus achieves for us all we could desire.
  • The Book of Job and the Problem of Evil (
    Our friend Jessica Kelley recently wrote a four part series on the theodicy of the Book of Job. It’s an examination of the ways our culture has misused some of the language of this book to mean exactly the opposite of what it was originally intended to convey.

  • DIG for Friday the 13th of February…..unconditional forgiveness, there can be no argument…..Ephesians 1 v 7 (
    to reject the Old Testament literally leaves Christianity in ruins.
  • The Nonviolent God of the Exodus? (
    I keep returning to the issue of the consistency between the Old Testament and the New Testament in it’s portrayal of God because the issue keeps getting brought up in popular (and academic) forums. Driven largely by a particular hermeneutic and reading of Jesus’ revelation of God, atonement, and nonviolence, a significant drive towards screening out large sections of the Old Testament portrayal of God is afoot. The basic argument is that while the Old Testament is fine for what it is–a limited, timebound telling of God’s dealings with his people according to their lights–Jesus came along and corrected that view. So, we need to go back and look at the Old Testament in light of Jesus and judge it according to his standard of non-violent love. By that standard, much of the Old Testament’s depiction of God’s activity falls short and we ought to gently set it aside as a bit of revelation of who God is.
  • Corinthians Series – Outsmarting Satan: Serving God With The Right Attitude (2 Corinthians 9:6-7) (
    putting a different spin on God’s commands about the proper mindset of giving in 2 Corinthians 9.  Rather than limiting the application of these principles to financial giving,

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