A “different Jesus” an offended Apostle and a “thorn in the flesh”



Published by Rob Skiba January 15, 2015 at 4:55 PM

So, I saw this pic in my news feed this morning:

It really got me thinking. Wow! Indeed, we have had a “different Jesus” (Yeshua) being preached to us for a very long time! I decided to look up that passage in 2 Corinthians 11 and was reminded of a study I had done back in 2003, which revealed what Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was. Context is king when it comes to interpreting Scripture. Yet, far too often it is tossed out and verses are “cherry picked” and given equally random meanings. I remember hearing preachers talk about Paul’s “thorn” as being everything from poor eye-sight to homosexuality (yeah, crazy stuff). As I was praying and seeking YHWH for answers concerning the Spiritual Gift of healing, 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 was usually tossed at me as a way of justifying the bogus doctrine of Cessation (that the Gifts passed away with the last Apostle). I never bought the argument, but I always struggled with the question: What was Paul’s thorn? Then one day as I was reading 2 Corinthians 10, the Holy Spirit said to me, “Read as if the big (chapter) numbers aren’t there, because I did not put them there.” I thought that was rather odd, but it made sense. In our western mindset, we see new chapter and think new thought. But it was not written like that. It was one complete thought. So, when I got to 2 Corinthians 11, I saw all of the pain Paul endured through persecution. Pretending the big number 12 is not there, I kept reading and when I came to verses 7-9, it became “painfully” obvious that Paul’s so-called “thorn in the flesh” was persecution.

Paul was a Torah scholar. He knew it inside and out. I thought, as a Hebrew scholar, he may have used “idioms” based on what he had studied. So, I decided to see if this idea would pan out if I looked through the Old Testament for such an idiom for persectution. And what do you know? I found 3 confirming witnesses to this “Hebrew idiom” for persecution:

Numbers 33:55 But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.

Joshua 23:13 Know for a certainty that the Lord your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the Lord your God hath given you.

Judges 2:3 Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.

See, this is the value of studying what Paul studied, so that you actually have a clue what he is talking about when you read what he wrote.

This also helps us to understand when Jesus said, “They persecuted me, they will persecute you.” (John 15:20) He is the head. We are the body. What was His head crowned with? Thorns!

Folks, the New Testament was not written in a void. Essentially, it is a commentary on the Old Testament, which for all intents and purposes was the Bible of the people in the Bible. See my blog: What Are The Scriptures Anyway? 

OK, back to the initial discussion of a “different Jesus.” I generally start all of my studies in the KJV, but as I’ve said many times before, I love to compare translations. I’m going to post 2 Corinthians 11 – 12:12 (removing the “big numbers”) from the International Standard Version as I found it most easy to understand…

Paul Contrasts Himself with False Apostles

I wish you would tolerate a little of my foolishness. Yes, please tolerate me! {Paul cracks me up in this chapter}

2 I am jealous of you with God’s own jealousy, because I promised you in marriage to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to the Messiah. {see? One plan to redeem one Bride}

3 However, I am afraid that just as the serpent deceived Eve by its tricks, so your minds may somehow be lured away from sincere and pure devotion to the Messiah.

4 For if someone comes along and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached, {the Church today preaches a VERY different “Jesus” from the “Yeshua” of the Scriptures} or should you receive a different spirit from the one you received or a different gospel from the one you accepted, {this is too big of a subject to unpack here, but the Church is also preaching a VERY different “gospel” from what was taught in the Scriptures} you are all too willing to listen.

5 I do not think I’m inferior in any way to those “super-apostles.” {Paul is having to defend his credibility here against that of those who spent time with Yeshua}

Even though I may be untrained as an orator, I am not so in the field of knowledge. We have made this clear to all of you in every possible way. {No other Apostle was better trained in the Old Testament Scriptures than Paul. He did his best to give his understanding through much writing – and preaching no doubt too}

7 Did I commit a sin when I humbled myself by proclaiming to you the gospel of God free of charge, so that you could be exalted?

I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. {This is interesting because here we see Paul discussing the need for ministry support. He did not “burden” the Corinthians, but this is because he was being supported by others}

9 When I was with you and needed something, I did not bother any of you, because our brothers who came from Macedonia supplied everything I needed. I kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and I will continue to do so.

10 As surely as the truth of the Messiah is in me, my boasting will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia.

11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows that I do!

12 But I will go on doing what I’m doing in order to deny an opportunity to those people who want an opportunity to be recognized as our equals in the work they are boasting about.

13 Such people are false apostles, dishonest workers who are masquerading as apostles of the Messiah.

14 And no wonder, since Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

15 So it is not surprising if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their doom will match their deeds! {Even in Paul’s day, there was a conserted effort to spread false doctrine. He plainly links such “false prophets” to Satan… this would apparently include those who preach “a different Jesus”}

Paul’s Sufferings as an Apostle

16 I will say it again: No one should think that I am a fool. But if you do, then treat me like a fool so that I can also boast a little.

17 When I talk as a confident boaster, I am not talking with the Lord’s authority but like a fool.

18 Since many people boast in a fleshly way, I will do it, too. {I love Paul’s honesty here. He hates that he must defend himself, and acknowledges that he is going to “act the fool” so that he may do just that}

19 You are wise, so you will gladly be tolerant of fools.

20 You tolerate anyone who makes you his slaves, devours what you have, takes what is yours, orders you around, or slaps your face! {This is such an interesting bit of sarcasm! It’s like he’s saying, “You guys like listening to and obeying fools, so I’ll play the part for a moment here – maybe then you will listen to me!}

21 I am ashamed to admit it, but we have been too weak for that. Whatever anyone else dares to claim—I am talking like a fool—I can claim it, too.

22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelis? So am I. Are they among Abraham’s descendants? So am I.

23 Are they the Messiah’s servants? I am insane to talk like this, but I am a far better one! {Paul is losing it just like I do here on Facebook, LOL! OK, I’m going to go completely insane now…} I have been involved in far greater efforts, far more imprisonments, countless beatings, and have faced death more than once.

24 Five times I received from the Jews 40 lashes minus one.

25 Three times I was beaten with a stick, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, and I drifted on the sea for a day and a night.

26 I have traveled extensively and have been endangered from rivers, robbers, my own people, and gentiles. I’ve also been in danger in the city, in the open country, at sea, from false brothers,

27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, through hunger, thirst, many periods of fasting, coldness, and nakedness.

28 Besides everything else, I have a daily burden because of my anxiety about all the churches.

29 Who is weak without me being weak, too? Who is caused to stumble without me becoming indignant?

30 If I must boast, I will boast about the things that show how weak I am.

31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.

32 In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas put guards around the city of Damascus to catch me,

33 but I was let down in a basket through an opening in the wall and escaped from him.

All of those trials are a set up for this…

Paul’s Thorn

1 I must boast, although it does not do any good. Let’s talk about visions and revelations from the Lord.

2 I know a man who belongs to the Messiah. Fourteen years ago—whether in his body or outside of his body, I do not know, but God knows—that man was snatched away to the third heaven. {This is VERY interesting. It sounds like he may be talking about someone else, but verse 7 gives “this man” away as Paul himself, who saw incredible revelation in Heaven}

3 I know that this man—whether in his body or outside of his body, I do not know, but God knows—

4 was snatched away to Paradise and heard things that cannot be expressed in words, things that no human being has a right even to mention.

5 I will boast about this man, but as for myself I will boast only about my weaknesses.

However, if I did want to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be telling the truth. But I am not going to do it in order to keep anyone from thinking more of me than what he sees and hears about me.

To keep me from becoming conceited because of the exceptional nature of these revelations, a thorn was given to me and placed in my body. It was Satan’s messenger {Greek: aggelos = angel or messenger – either way, an entity was his thorn, not sickness, disease or any other such nonsense} to keep on tormenting {Greek: kolaphizó = to strike with the fist, maltreat} me so that I would not become conceited.

8 I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me,

9 but he has told me, “My grace is all you need, because my power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most happily boast about my weaknesses, so that the Messiah’s power may rest on me.

10 That is why I take such pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for the Messiah’s sake, for when I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul realized that he was indeed a very learned man, not just from his intense studies as a Pharisee (and a student under Gamaliel) but also because of some serious Divine revelation, having been yanked up to the “third heaven.” So, to keep him from becoming too proud and arrogant, he was given a lot of persecution, trials, insults, hardships and difficulties… and the grace to deal with it all.

Bringing it all full circle, back to what Paul began saying in 2 Corinthians 11. As this Ephraim Awakening continues, many of us are realizing that a “different Jesus” has indeed been preached all over the place… for a long time now. But as we go back and study what Paul studied, we are now seeing Yeshua as He was. He was not a blonde hair, blue-eyed surfer dude who came to do away with the Law and the Prophets. He was not born on the date of the historic sun-gods of antinquity. He did not die on “Good Friday” and raise on Ishtar’s Day. He did not come to undo everything His Father said.

He did not come and hang out for a while, die, rise and ascend just to pick Paul and then create a whole new system that ignores the truth of Israel’s redemption back to her Husband.

The “Jesus” we have been preached about looks nothing like the “Yeshua” of Scripture. And no… this is NOT about the names! It is about Who He was, when He came, what He did and did not do… that  is the topic of this discussion. If your Jesus was not born of a virgin during the Fall Appointed Times, lived a life 100% in obedience to His Father, Who came to redeem Israel by dying, being buried and rising again during the Spring Appointed Times, who kept the Sabbath and the Feasts and taught others to “walk as He walked”, then you have been taught about “a different Jesus.”

It’s time to get back to the Book and see Who He really was. And I submit to you that you cannot do that by simply reading the New Testament. When Jesus explained who He was to the men on the Road to Emmaus, He “began with Moses and the Prophets” and told them all that revealed Himself. When EVERYONE in the New Testament was “searching the Scriptures” to see if what they were hearing from the likes of Paul and the other Apostles was true, they were not reading Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and the Epistles of Peter, Jude, James and Paul. They were reading Moses, the Prophets, Psalms and other writings. So, unless you are doing the same, how can you claim to have any idea Who your Messiah was? Especially when He Himself declared…

Matthew 5:

46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.

47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

The New Testament is AWESOME! I love it. I’ve spent over 30 years studying it. But it’s the last 1/4 of the Book. It’s the commentary on the previous 3/4. Get to know the real Jesus/Yeshua. Start “in the beginning” and begin to unlearn what you have learned about this other character being preached from the pulpits these days, who looks nothing like the original. As you do however, and the revelations begin to come, don’t be surprised if you end up with a few “thorns in the flesh” showing up to constantly abuse you. Thankfully, it has not come down to whips, chains, stones and shipwrecks. So, all things considered, whatever flack we may get from friends and family and those on Facebook, it pales in comparison to what Paul endured.

Pressing onward to get know my Hebrew Messiah better and better…

– Rob Skiba

2 Responses to “A “different Jesus” an offended Apostle and a “thorn in the flesh””

  1. Justin says:

    Absolutely awesome Rob, thank you for allowing Yahuah to use you to share Truth. He used you to literally turn my life upside down, or actually, right side up and get me right with him. Praise Yah and thank you again.

  2. JC Reynolds says:

    It’s refreshing to be able to peer through a clean pane window into Paul’s humble character. His teachings are profoundly Tor’ah, yet is more often accused of being lawless by many who failed to try and understand his immense knowledge and connection between the law of Mosheh and the resurrection of our Machiach. Your study into his thorn in the flesh is remarkably insightful and has lifted my heart. Thank you and blessing. Shalom!

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