Paul (or Saul, as he was also known) was a zealot, a staunch defender of the Jewish faith. He was especially zealous about exposing and punishing offshoots of Judaism that threatened to obscure its message.
He targeted the disciple of a rabbi named Jesus of Nazareth who were attempting to keep his message alive even after the rabbi himself had been crucified. They spread stories about seeing him risen form the dead. They claimed he was the Son of God and the way to everlasting life.
Saul was a young man dutifully searching for his father’s stray donkeys. Samuel was the renowned prophet, priest, and judge of Israel reluctantly searching for his nation’s first king. When their paths crossed, the course of Israel’s history changed dramatically.
Samuel had served as the Lord’s representative leader of Israel for decades, but he was growing old. When his sons proved to be unfit to succeed him, the people of Israel demanded that a king be appointed to rule over them. They were envious of the monarchies common in surrounding nations.
Although King Solomon was noted for his wisdom, he made some very foolish decisions. Some of his lapses in judgment would even have to be categorized as dumb mistakes and fatal sins. Continue reading SOLOMON’S SHORTCOMINGS→
Dreams and visions that carry God’s message fall into three categories (1) personal warnings and direction from God (such as the angelic dream assuring Joseph that Mary was pregnant by supernatural means-Matthew 1:20); (2) prophetic dreams and visions for immediate action (Pharaoh’s dream about years of plenty and famine-Genesis 41); (3) prophetic dreams and visions regarding the course of history (the visions in Daniel 7; John’s visions in Revelation). Continue reading WHY DID GOD USE DREAMS AND VISIONS TO COMMUNICATE WITH SO MANY PEOPLE IN THE BIBLE?→
Commonly called the Millennium, three positions are taken on its meaning and identity:
1. Postmillennialists (the most popular evangelical view of a century ago) teach that the thousand-year reign occurs at the end of history when the world has turned to Christ, for the most part. Christian values dominate world cultures in a period that typifies God’s original plan for creation. Christ is not literally on earth, but His message and people cover the earth. The second coming of Christ occurs as the capstone of this period. Continue reading WHAT IS THE THOUSAND-YEAR REIGN OF CHRIST (REVELATION 20:4)→