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Acts 7:17-30-42  E-mail
Contributed by Jerral Campfield   
Friday, 13 December 2019

30 And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sinai an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush. Here Stephen is still talking about Moses who had survived the 40 years after seeing the fire of the Holy Spirit lead them through the wilderness just before He saw the burning bush
31 When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him,
32 Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold. What a startling experience for Moses to behold and really see the reason for it not burning up. This world we are living in is burning up with lust of the flesh and one of these day God is going to intervene and call the Church home. May we behold what the Lord is doing in our world today to get our attention of His return. May the voice of the Lord come to you so you can see the wonder of the grace of the Lord to forgive you of sin. Abraham is dead, but God is alive; thank the Lord He is never dead but always alive to touch our eyes so we can see the wonder of    what all is going on in the spiritual world of reality. 
33 Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground. Moses your feet are standing on Holy Ground so take off your shoes. Thank the Lord God is not confine in places but He is in you and wants to minister to you regardless of the circumstances your in. He wants to appear as a flame of fire to burn out anything that might destroy our relationship to God. Notice Israel is not consumed by its neighbors even through it is in a flame of affliction all around them.
34 I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt. God Always sees what is going on and hears the groans of those in pain and of persecution. I have seen and I have heard and I am coming down to deliver you. It is God who sent His Son to come down from Heaven to save our world addicted by selfish pursuits just as He came to deliver the Promised children for Egypt’s bondage by Moses.
35 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush. God puts honor on Moses whom they refused by saying who made you a judge? God made Moses a ruler and a judge while he was yet in the bulrushes. Here it is Moses who made Pharaoh let the people go after many woes; water turn to blood; Frogs, Lice, Flies, livestock diseased, Boils, Hail, Locusts, Darkness and finally Death of first born
36 He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. What a testimony of God leading and guiding Moses for 40 years through a land he did not know having to depend upon the cloud by day and the fire by night hovering over them.


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Acts 7:17-29  E-mail
Contributed by Jerral Campfield   
Friday, 06 December 2019

17 But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,
18 Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph. Here it is 215 years latter they have increased to 6,000 fighting men. God knows how to redeem the time and Abraham had to wait to see God unfold Abrahams time to have a child so he was not childless, but fruitful to where the land multiplied in number as the sand of the sea shore. Suffering times have been growing time for the Church. When we increase in numbers, we increase in burdens. And we are seeing they knew not the history of Joseph. Today those that injure good people are very ungrateful and we see this by the homelessness and carelessness in our world. We have more understanding to day and yet more evil than any time in our world with people acting like fools, as they have no mercy for peoples problems. We are seeing barbarous inhuman cruelty, casting out babies and older people from living. Abortion is killing a seed. That can be a blessing. So Stephen is doing all he can to make everyone see the truth of what happen in the past, so they can become what God created us for Goodwill and peace to all today! Here the Church is multiplying and increasing in goodwill and peace to all.
19 The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live. Lord help us to see life as important and very precious in order that all can live and have the opportunity to live life to the fullest degree possible.
20 In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father's house three months: Here they are accusing Stephen of Blasphemous words against Moses and here he is speaking favorably and honorably for Moses showing he was to be killed by Harold, but God protected him as he was in danger, He was saved to set His people the Jews free from bondage. So here Stephen shows Moses as fair and just as God was honoring him with life to the fullest. Moses is seen as being sanctified from birth as God made his life beautifully preserved when Pharaoh’s daughter who took him up and nursed him as her son. Who God wants to make special He uses special care to take care of. 
21 And when he was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. This can only happen because of Gods care for Moses.
22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. Here Moses became a great scholar as he was taught by the greatest scholar of Egyptian men of learning, in philosophy, astronomy and hieroglyphics so he was being prepared to lead the Children of Israel threw the wilderness. He became a prime Minister of Egypt mighty in words and deeds even though he stammered, it did not prevent him from doing his job of addressing the needs of the people. 


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Acts 7:1-16  E-mail
Contributed by Jerral Campfield   
Friday, 29 November 2019

When Jesus sent the Disciples out into the world to preach the Kingdom is at hand and they were going to suffer for Him, He said, the last should be first and the first last; which was fulfilled in Stephen and Paul who were late converts in comparison to the Apostles yet they both where in service as suffering for the Lord. This is a chapter we see the martyrdom of Stephen the first martyr of the Christian Church. He defends himself in front of leaders. Saying this temple was going to be destroyed as the law has been changed now, it’s our faith in Gods loving grace and mercy Whereby we are saved.   We are seeing him giving a history lesson of the Old Testament showing the Jews, Gods chosen people were always provoked. Yet good things happen when the obeyed the laws of God. He applies what is happening to him now and those who are persecuting him, by putting him to death by stoning, yet he show mercy, grace and submission to what is happening. Acts 7 King James Version (KJV)
Then said the high priest, Are these things so? Here Stephen has to answer for Himself of what he is saying and doing? Is it true of what people are saying about you, you can recant; You can plead Guilty, or not guilty? We want to be fair are you a blasphemer? Here Stephen takes his time and would of taken even longer if they had not stopped him. Note his compassion and his felt need for his life was at stake. 
And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,
And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee. We see Stephen full of the Holy Spirit, as he has much to reveal as God reveals to him what to say, and how to say it. He wants to see conviction to come upon the people he was talking to, as they recalled the Scripture. So he quotes the Scriptures to the men, brethren, and heathen, showing he was one of them; even though, they did not look upon him as such. He address them by asking them to harken, I am going to tell you what you already knew. It is so strange that people do not want to know the truth and walk in the way, truth and life the Lord has established for us. We continue to walk the way we want to, with no regard to what is right. We can’t see the past when just like Abraham, did not know where he was going. Referring to Genesis 12:1 Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. Then Nehemiah 9:7-8 You are the Lord the God, who didst choose Abram, and roughest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gave Him the name of Abraham, 8 and found his heart faithful before thee and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites and the Jebusites and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed and hast performed the words, for thou art righteous: His land was a idolatrous country, but now a land of promise. Remember Lot choose the idolatress land of Sodom and Gomorrah and God destroyed it. Now here is Abraham enjoying God best on his way to heavens glory. They were living in the world of total collapse where wrong is right and right is now wrong. Just like today. Here they were charging Stephen with Blasphemy against God and he was a son of Abraham who was a child of Gods glory. He was proud of being circumcised and justified by God for what he believed.
 
Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. Stephen is doing his best to let everyone know they were special people, in a special land, regardless of how many people had died. Gods will for Canaan is still a blessing to all that live there. 
And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child. Strange God gave him no inheritance in it, for Abraham had not yet had a child. So he was a stranger in this Strange land that was promised to him to possess along with his son not yet born. He has to wait. That is still hard today! And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years. This is a long time to be under pressure of not possessing the land. God knows His work and time line of what is going on and it is hard for us as man to accept what He has offered. His offer is many times slow in coming to pass, but they will be fulfilled. This produces a lot of stress and troubles, yet God will in His time complete what He says.
And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place. Here Stephen is showing the Jewish Nation that, God honored some pepole, made others jealous from the very beginning. Here Abraham was given a call to go all by himself and Sarah not knowing what was going to happen next. Here they were all seeing the difference from the law to how we live in God grace now, for He loves us all and wants us to receive His mercy as we repent of our sins. Lord help us to see nothing is easy about faith. To have faith makes life a blessing for God’s presences always leading and guiding us forward to another day.


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Doubt-Faith-Doubt  E-mail
Contributed by Jerral Campfield   
Friday, 22 November 2019

This is how I feel about speaking wisely ABOUT ABOUT DOUBT IN THE CHURCH 

DR. DOUGLAS GROOTHUIS!
BY DR. DOUGLAS GROOTHUIS
· NOVEMBER 18, 2019 
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Doubt is best worked through individually with trusted friends. If leaders confess doubts on major Christian doctrines, their congregations may lose confidence in their leadership, equate doubt with unbelief, or be thrown into an unnecessary crisis of faith themselves. 
Christian author Joshua Harris recently announced that he was no longer a Christian. It seems that the Bible’s views on sexual morality were a major stumbling block for him, although there were probably other concerns. Songwriter Marty Sampson similarly released statements saying he was questioning Christianity but had been reading apologetics to try to keep the faith.  Thirteen-year-old Steve Jobs was troubled by the suffering of children produced by the 1968 famine in Biafra, Africa. After he asked his pastor whether God knew about this ahead of time, he replied, “Steve, I know you don’t understand, but yes, God knew about this.” The pastor offered no apologetic—no reason to believe in God despite evil (1 Peter 3:15)—to this young, brilliant and inquiring soul. Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson writes, “Jobs announced that he didn’t want to have anything to do with worshiping such a God, and he never went back to church.
These examples should challenge us to consider the place of doubt in the life of the Christian and what pastors can do to address their doubts. Unhappily, many in the church don’t know where to turn when doubts arise. This must change. Jude tells us “to have mercy on those who doubt” (Jude 22). In this essay, I won’t so much respond to doubts concerning the existence and goodness of God, or of the need for faith in Jesus for salvation, as I will outline a strategy for addressing doubt with love and integrity.
Shepherding the Flock Through Doubt   
Leaders in the church are shepherds of the flock. A good shepherd knows the health and strength of the sheep and attends to them properly. He doesn’t ask a weak sheep to pretend to be strong, nor does he punish a sheep who is lame. Those suffering from illnesses or the death of a loved one are prone to confess their needs and receive help in the church through pastoral visits and support groups. But those suffering from doubts are often ashamed and keep them to themselves, fearing being judged or even ostracized by fellow Christians. These fears may be warranted since Christians sometimes shoot their own wounded. So, the first thing a church can do to help doubters is to create a safe place for questioning the Christian faith. How might this be done? 
Pastors and other teachers should address what the Bible teaches about faith and doubt.  Reading Os Guinness’s book God in the Dark is highly recommended. I offer a few truths to keep in mind. 
The Bible calls us to have faith in Christ’s atoning work for our salvation. We are redeemed by God’s grace through faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8). Faith lays hold of the truth that God reveals to us in the Bible. Yet, faith is not the opposite of knowledge, nor does it require a blind leap in the dark. 
Paul calls us to “live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). The contrast he draws is not between faith and reason, but faith and sight. Many of our beliefs are justified without being based on visual evidence. We may believe a book of history on the basis of testimony, for example. I believe you have thoughts, but I do not see your thoughts. In fact, God is invisible in His essence, so He cannot be directly seen at all. Thus, when Paul tells us to walk by faith, he means a reasonable conviction that runs deeper than what everyday sensory evidence can provide. But, Paul never foreswears reasons for faith. After all, it was Paul who gave such convincing evidence that Christ rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:1-8). 
To doubt God or His promises is not virtuous, as James writes.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That person is double-minded and unstable in all they do (James 1:5-7).
Yet if one is doubting, steps can be taken to remove or alleviate doubt. Before addressing doubt, a distinction should be made between unbelief and doubt. An unbeliever in Christianity doesn’t suffer from doubts. He simply doesn’t believe. But a doubting Christian is not an unbeliever. He does believe but is having difficulty maintaining this belief for some reason. One in this situation can take comfort from the man who said to Jesus, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). Jesus did not rebuke this man but granted his request that his son be delivered from a demon. Jesus encouraged the faith of the apostles when they confessed their need for more faith. He did not scold them.
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you” (Luke 17:5-6).


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Acts 6: 7 to 15  E-mail
Contributed by Jerral Campfield   
Friday, 15 November 2019

Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith. Thank the Lord the Church is going to increase as the Church body keeps connected to the vine; Jesus. The Church increases when all realize the need to spread the seed, Jesus saves. Lord help us to see a multiplying of our Church in the day we are living in so people have hope and faith that God is in control. When the Lord walked among us His ministry was limited to the area but know His Holy Spirit is given to all to bring good news, it is Jesus who saves from the lust of sins addictions. Lord help us as a Church to be obedient to the faith that comes as we trust and obey Your word oh, Lord. It is not our way, but Gods  way, truth and life.

Stephen Accused of Blasphemy

And Stephen, full of [b]faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Steven here is described as a man full of faith and power doing great wonders. When the Spirit of God is operating in a person life, something good is about to happen for the Lord Spirit is manifested or seen. Our faith is important but when it is on fire it is something else, for God reveals His enabling of dunams; Dynamite. Dynamite is of no value if it does not get a charge of electricity and it is the Spirit of God that gives a shot that is needed today, to stay connected to the vine; Jesus. Stephen was certainly a minister before he was selected here as he was doing great wonders by His faith and power given to Him by Gods unfailing love. When God is moving in an area, it seems like Satan does not like it, so will do anything to disrupt the Church. Today we are seeing the Churches being burned, people shooting at ministers and we have to be concerned with safety from intruders. The Church is having a hard time expanding in many area and Governmental powers many times thinks the Church blocks traffic or become a distraction by music being played, or it ruins our neighborhoods. Now this week we heard the Church should not be a tax-deductible governing body for not supporting gay rights. The Church is being forced to act just like the world. Thank the Lord we are a part of this world, but do not do what the world is doing. The Church still has a commission given by God to maintain without compromise. We are seeing the very elect, become deceived as the Bible speak of, in these last days and should allow us to make sure we are full of the Holy Spirit to be able to become more and more like the Lord, and not allow bitterness to creep in and destroy by killing others.   Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen. There is always those who do not understand who they are and do not want to become better but bitter with what is going on. The (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia This could have been what Paul belonged to before his conversion as he was persecuting Christians. It is strange we see the same thing going on today with people getting upset with the Christians to day for what everyone to become better not bitter. Now we see the Libertines are foreigners in slaved by birth, yet think they were free to do whatever they wanted to. They felt they had as much freedom as any Jewish person, so want to pounce on Stephen and engage other to do the same in committing him to death. Here Stephen was a scholar like Paul before his confession of Faith and Stephen could have been one that received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost or shortly afterward. He was a deacon a sharp young man taught by Gamaliel, He was zealous to argue with them and convince them to become a follower of Christ. 

 

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