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Hello my name is Jerral Campfield and this web site is dedicated to Moral Recognition Therapy using Biblical principles. Please come back often to join me in understanding Gods hands are outstretched still to forgive.

Contributed by Jerral Campfield   
Friday, 19 January 2018

We are getting ready to see Paul not in the picture no longer in Acts but the Gospels are going to cover his minister in more detail. In acts here we have seen him in one judgement seat after another, here we are going to see himn shipwrecked stripped of all yet seeing God reach out to him in distress as a prisoner.
Acts 28New King James Version (NKJV)
Paul’s Ministry on Malta
28 Now when they had escaped, they then found out that the island was called Malta. This was a tiny Island between Sicily and Africa  twenty miles long and twelve miles wide. It is hear the Turks overran this part of Christendom and made a noble stand for right.  And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold. Remember God promised to keep them safe from harm and sure enough providence continues to care for them, He makes even their enemies to be at peace with them. Thank the Lord for the many time God intervene and caused our enemies to settle down and find we are ok for we want the best as well. There is nothing like when your cold and wet to be given a fire to warm the body. It seems like today we do not know how to make one another feel good with the fire of the Holy Spirit as people like being ship wreck and Lord help us to keep offer other goodwill and peace for Gods Spirit is what warms our spirit to be full. Notice some 260 people plus the natives must of required a lot of fires or one huge fire, so people had to fuel the fire.
 But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand. We see Paul here doing what he is custom in doing working. He is looking for things to do and putting sticks in the fire was necessary and could of watched other do all the work. Here he is as wet as anyone of them but realizes the power of giving of self. Yes snack are in the area and hiding in the pile of sticks so Paul is bitten by one and it stays connected to Paul hand. Trouble on the sea not trouble on the land. Do we ever get out of trouble?we\We So when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live.” The men now what snakes were and how poisoned they were. So here it is hanging on to Paul and they knew something was wrong and he was getting justice for being a murderer. But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. Paul shacks it off as if he knew it harm and as soon as possible does something to protect himself. Do we not have to shack off a lot of things that are always coming out after us to kill us.  However, they were expecting that he would swell up or suddenly fall down dead. They expect Paul to have been given the poison as the snack bite him and would normally have killed quickly.  But after they had looked for a long time and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god. No  longer thinking he was a murder but know a god. I have told the story of working with Bell Steel and John the owner had me working with a crew at Magic Mountain, one of which had a pet Rattlesnake that he would entertain with when he had drinking parties. Here he was having a party with several friends girls and men and let the snake out of the gage to tease it, the snake was faster, he was drunk and the snake bite him several times, all the guest ran away another friend was late and saw him laying on the floor with the snake by him and took him to the Antelope Valley Kaiser Hospital in his pickup which was close. John Bell was called and he called me and we went to the hospital together and he was alive, but they gave him more anti venom than any one up to that time and his face and body were swollen to where it was hard to recognize him and he was unconscious. We prayed for Him that God would safe and he would accept the Lord. Then a week later we go to his home and guess what? He still had a snake and did not want to talk to us about the Lord. God is the only one that can heal and keep us safe from danger when we are abiding in the Lord.
In that region there was an estate of the leading citizen of the island, whose name was Publius, who received us and entertained us courteously for three days. Thank the Lord for people in our lives who treat us with respect regardless of who we are and here Publius is very courteous entertaining them for three days as he is a wealthy man in the area that is full of barbarians.   And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Here they saw that Publius father was sick with a fever from dysentery which was commonly fatal. Kind of like getting bite with a snake Paul know what to do for remember he was full of the spirit of God on the sea, drying out getting snake bit and now faced with a dying man.  Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him. Paul was not forced to do anything but he takes upon himself to be a servant to minister to the need present, so does what he is used to and prays as he lays his hands upon Publius’s father and he was instantly healed. Here Publius did not ask for a reward but is treated to a miracle from God love mercy and grace. So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed. Thank the Lord when people are healed and forgiven people take note of what is happening and what the same done for them. May we here see God hands of mercy reach out and touch our lives and we pray for one another for whatever it is bothering us. 10 They also honored us in many ways; and when we departed, they provided such things as were necessary. God is at work all the time and most of the time we do not experience what Paul experienced, for we lack faith to reach out and touch the life of those that are hurting. Lord help my unbelief and give me the quickening of the Holy Spirit so it is not me but You oh Lord living in me. Notice Paul and all who were on the boat saw what was happening along with these Barbariansso now it time to leave and those from Maltese embrace them and give belonging to help these prisoner get into another boat. Freely they received and freely gave now these Barbarians received from Paul and gave to all to be safe and secure.


Arrival at Rome
11 After three months we sailed in an Alexandrian ship whose figurehead was the Twin Brothers, which had wintered at the island. Three months is a long time to be in one harbor, remember Paul tried to get them to not travel the seas but they did, now they learned to relax as they paid dearly for the trip already. Experience is called the mistress of fools, because those are fools that do not learn till experience has taught them. They are still in an Alexandrian ship from Africa  with two figureheads Castor and Pollux, pagan deities which preside over storms protecting seafaring men , as gods of the sea which was graven on the fore-part of the ship, headed to Rome. 12 And landing at Syracuse, we stayed three days.  Syracuse in Sicily the chief city of that Island where the trade ships traveled and where we stayed three days.  13 From there we circled round and reached Rhegium. This is a city in Italy, belong to Calabria or Naples they stayed for one day.  And after one day the south wind blew; and the next day we came to Puteoli, 14 where we found brethren, and were invited to stay with them seven days. Here the next stop saw them in Puteoli a sea port town not far from Naples now called Pozzolana. Here they went ashore and were able to be with other Christians. God has Christian around the world and may we find them out so we can encourage one another. They are here for 7 days so one was the Sabbath so Paul was able to minister to them as well. Paul knew what it was like to seek out believers for remember he used to seek them out to persecute them but know to encourage them to trust and obey the Lord.  And so we went toward Rome.  How they traveled is not known but note there where many prisoner that had to travel rather by shanks horses or horses is not known but they are on the way to Rome. 15 And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. What a bless for Paul to see as people from Appii Forum some 51 miles away and Three Inns some 33 miles from Rome come to hear him first hand.  When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage. Paul had already written Romans and sent it to. them now here they wanted to see Paul in person. Just like to day people travel far to here Franklyn Graham, Greg Lauri, David Jeremiah and many other ministers as they have a message of hope as they are very busy in the Kingdom of God.
16 Now when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him. What a testimony of how the Lord blesses His own and Paul is shown favor and I hope and pray as Christian we find favor with others in this world of sin and shame abounding. 
Paul’s Ministry at Rome
17 And it came to pass after three days that Paul called the leaders of the Jews together. Now this is God that gives us freedom and Paul loves to be with other Christians especially leaders. So when they had come together, he said to them: “Men and brethren, though I have done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers, yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans, 18 who, when they had examined me, wanted to let me go, because there was no cause for putting me to death. Here he is defending himself from what has happened to him in the past to show his commitment to the Kingdom of God now yet here I am free to talk and minister to you.  19 But when the Jews[a] spoke against it, I was compelled to appeal to Caesar, not that I had anything of which to accuse my nation. I certainly felt that I was not wrong in the slightest degree so appealed to meet with Caesar for he is the Authority and he will see what is going on. 20 For this reason therefore I have called for you, to see you and speak with you, because for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.” This is the reason not the why for we never know why but we all have a reason for what we do and Paul here was very transparent knowing he needed to have his way. Here he had experienced time and time again God way was far better but now that he has to defend himself he appeals to the highest body of Rome’s Government Caesar.
23 So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets, from morning till evening. Here he is seeking their conviction more than his own vindication, he is expounding and explaining the Kingdom of Gods goodwill and peace. Shows them the nature of heavenly and spiritual realms of God’s love. Shows the minds of men as God is seen in our lives by the purity and heart and life. He talked about the security we have in the Lord as we abide in the Lord becoming empowered by Gods spirit. It is embracing and believing that is obeying God. He embraced the fact God is the Messiah able to rescue us from sin now and forever. They being Jews he dwelt with them on the Old Testament, demonstrating that they were Christians that had proof of being God children. He was long winded eight to ten hours but had them curious for he was full of the Holy Spirit. He knew this could be the last time with them so no doubt spent time in prayer for that is what he did a lot. 24 And some were persuaded by the things which were spoken, and some disbelieved. Note some not all were persuaded, the child Jesus is set for some and the rising against of others, a fountain stone for some and a stumbling stone to others. Some agreed and some disagreed that is the division we are seeing today and it is a fire that has consequences. To some God is our Savior to others it is death to having fun in the world. Some get harden to. the scriptures and others are molded and formed in the image of God.  25 So when they did not agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had said one word: “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our[b] fathers, 26 saying,
‘Go to this people and say:
“Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand;
And seeing you will see, and not perceive;
27 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.” 
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.” Isaiah 26:11 is quoted here and it is still true today He that believes not shall be dammed and He that believes will be saved. Matthew 15:7 The Holy Spirit hearing you shall hear but nor understand. God hands are outstretched to us still do we see them? Many people’s eyes are totally blind and cannot see the truth of God word They stop their own ears, eyes, mouths feeling and nose from working properly to benefit themselves and others. You’re are in charge of what you do and think so let’s let God have His way and become servants of His. Zachariah 7:11 -12 people like to keep their minds in the dark to be confused and life in turmoil without a sober thought. Note God wants us to see so we understand with our hearts we need to be converted to do God will so we ae healed in body, soul and spirit. Let’s not put out our understanding of right from wrong. 
28 “Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!” 29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had a great dispute among themselves.[d]Matthew Henry says “No physic that can be given them operates upon them, nor will reach them, and therefore their disease must be adjudged incurable, and their case desperate. How should those be happy that will not be healed of a disease that makes them miserable? And how should those be healed that will not be converted to the use of the methods of cure? And how should those be converted that will not be convinced either of their disease or of their remedy? And how should those be convinced that shut their eyes and stop their ears? Let all that hear the gospel, and do not heed it, tremble at this doom; for, when once they are thus given up to hardness of heart, they are already in the suburbs of hell; for who shall heal them, if God do not?”
30 Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him. Two years as a prisoner under Nero was a long time even though he had freedom to own his own home and receive people into his home and able to preach the Bible in the area was a kindness offered to him. He had been uses to going from place to place now here planted for 2 years, now his prison was his castle. He is working for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords in his own home as a temple. So is able to preach to anyone that wanted to hear him for he did what he could. He is an Ambassador for Christ preaching the Kingdom of God is hear. What am I preaching, does it pertain to God ministering to us now? Am I preaching myself or Christ living in me. God grace gives us liberty to proclaim Jesus as the answer. Lord give us liberty to speak might our words be anointed coming from your heart oh Lord. Let us rejoice for we still have a voice.

Copyright 2005 Jerral Campfield, All rights reserved.