The Example of Saul


I posted this cycle in response to a comment/suggestion by Steven Opp. It’s from Totus Christus. I’ve learnt since 2009 that the texts contain much more precise structures than I was aware of at the time, but do believe this one still holds water at a general level. And speaking of water, look where Paul’s baptism occurs in the passage.

As it was with Moses, Daniel, Jonah and many others, the very structure of Saul’s first cycle prefigured what God was going to do through him over the remainder of that Covenant age. It wasn’t only the Gentiles who would follow Saul’s example.

Creation – Saul was still breathing threats against the church, and asked for letters (anointing) from the High Priest authorising him to retrieve the believers in Damascus to Jerusalem. Saul wanted to turn back the four winds. On his way, a light from heaven flashed around him. It was a better anointing. (Genesis – A New Beginning – the Ark scatters God’s enemies)
Division – Saul fell to the ground like a dead man. The Lord asked him why he was persecuting Him. (Exodus – Israel passes under the Sword – the Veil of Death)
Ascension – “Rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do” (Law). (Leviticus – Brought Near to be given a Covenant Mission – Altar & Table)
Testing – The men who travelled with him saw nothing. And Saul was blinded. They led him by the hand and he fasted for three days. (Numbers – Lampstand snuffed out – Israel blinded)
Maturity – Ananias was commanded to go to Saul at the house of Judas (Law). He feared Saul, but the Lord said he would carry his name before Gentiles, kings and the children of Israel. (Deuteronomy – Covenant Mission repeated – Trumpets – Prophetic Witnesses)
Conquest – Ananias laid hands on Saul, scales fell from his eyes and his sight was restored. He arose (resurrection) and was baptized. (Joshua – Mediator/High Priest – Day of Coverings/Atonement)
Glorification – Saul ate and was strengthened. He immediately proclaimed Jesus as Son of God in the synagogues. (Judges – Tabernacles – The Law, once external to Israel, is now internal, by the power of the Spirit. Instead of being under the eyes of God, Paul himself is now the eyes of God, judging between good and evil, and bringing blindness and sight to Judah.)

I was hoping to post the structure of 2 Thessalonians 2 today. The structure is done but the commentary is not, so will post tomorrow. There’s some excellent “revelations” to be had once the Covenant/Creation/Feast pattern is identified. So, I hope you’ll check back tomorrow.

Also, if you are a regular reader, please leave a comment and say hi. I’m getting around 10,000 hits a day, so an actual hi from someone new would be a great encouragement. Thanks!

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7 Responses to “The Example of Saul”

  • Matt C. Says:


    My name is Matt Carpenter and I’m a Baptist from Alabama. It has excited me to hear you say that federal vision theology makes more sense from a Baptist perspective than a Presbyterian perspective. I’d like to talk to you more about that sometime.

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Hi Matt – well, that’s made my day. At least there’s a chance that I’m not actually crazy. Check out the baptism page (link at top of site). Happy to answer any questions.

    Thanks for reading!

  • QuantumGreg Says:

    Mike, I’m a regular reader and generally I’m fascinated by every article. Like I’ve expressed to you before, however, I’m a bit of a left-brain (engineer / math / science) type person and seeing the right-brain type stuff (artsy) in the Word is thrilling to me. I’ve memorized this Creation / Glorification structure and am reading scripture looking for it and finding it. What happens to me is I find it generally difficult to identify all the other parts initially except one: Testing. For me it seems this one is easily identified. Once I spot that, then I go before it and look for the structure preceding and go after it and look for the structure proceeding. This has amazed me.

    Not only do I see the pattern in Saul’s life, but Israel as a people of God, Christians as a people of God, and (shockingly) God’s entrance and moving in my own personal testimony.

    This IS crazy (and so are you… LOL)… but crazy good! :) Keep up the good work, brother. I find encouragement and motivation here.

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Hi Greg – yes, I remember Jordan also saying that Day 4 stuff was easiest to spot.
    Glad you have internalized the pattern. You are right. It’s everywhere to some degree or another. And if an engineer-type can see it, it must be there!

  • Simon Says:

    Hey Mike,

    Thanks for your blogging. I’m part of a new Reformed/Evangelical Baptist congregation down in Melbourne, and we have our own blog which is doing OK, though not anywhere near the 10,000 hits yet!

    Firstly, the site looks great. Secondly, I’m a semi-regular reader, and find your stuff interesting, and very thought provoking. While I’m not with you on some of it, I think there’s heaps for me and others to learn here, and you obviously love our Lord and his scriptures. Keep it up! While I’m not an FV-er, I have benefited greatly from Doug Wilson, and somewhat from others of the FV crowd, and it’s cool to find an Australian who thinks along those same lines.

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Thanks for the encouragement, Simon. Your church sounds great – especially the triple-barreled denominational brand. Just my cup of tea. I don’t suppose you want to send a missionary to Katoomba?

  • Simon Says:

    Yes, the triple-barrel is a solid one. I’m sorry to say that Katoomba is not looking likely as a location for our next missionary, but I’ll be sure to mention your suggestion to the elders!