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Archive for September, 2016

PAUL’S “GENTILE”  MINISTRY  DISPENSATION 

 

The next and present dispensation of time would be using Saul (Paul) to take a new transition of the Gospel of Grace for salvation to the Gentiles. This is commonly called the Church Age! Paul in, Ephesians 3: 2-6:  wrote these words from the King James Version, …you have heard of the

DISPENSATION of the GRACE OF GOD which is given me to you: How that the revelation he made known to me the mystery…when you read you may understand my knowledge of the mystery of Christ; which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles, and prophets by the Spirit… (KJV) (This was a new revealed dispensation! More on this later.)

 

Also, in Colossians 1: 25, Paul again spoke of dispensation. (KJV) He said, “I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me, to fulfill the word of God; the mystery which has been hid from all ages… but now is made manifest to his SAINTS.” Paul added words of the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles…  Below is the story as to how Paul became a minister to the Gentiles.

 

In Acts 9, Saul, near Damascus, was blinded by Christ in order to see the Light! (No pun intended.) Saul armed with letters from Jerusalem was out to arrest any of those Jews who had believed Jesus was their Messiah. (The Way.) Remember, these Jews had left Jerusalem to escape Saul’s wrath after Stephen’s death. (Acts 8:1, and 9:1-2)

 

Once his blindness was healed Saul went to the Damascus synagogue to preach what?  Paul preached that Jesus was the Promised One as did the disciples. (Acts 9: 19-22) Wait for the next change is to come! At this time, the mystery of Grace hadn’t been revealed to Saul.

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Peter, around this time frame, visited a home of a Gentile, named Cornelius, against his will, and against Jewish law. This is proof Peter was still a law-

keeping Jew at this time. So, we can see Peter, at the time of this event, was still going only to the Jews. In Acts 10: 28, Peter even reminded Cornelius it was unlawful for a Jew to be with a Gentile.

 

However, Peter told the story about Jesus to these Gentiles. These Gentiles believed, and the Holy Spirit was received. In Acts 10: 45, scripture states Peter, and the accompanying Jews, were amazed the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit! Peter then baptized the Gentiles, as per custom. Have you seen the dispensational transition at this time?  Remember, in early Acts the program was that the Jews had to belief Jesus was their Messiah by repenting of their unbelief, and being baptized. These Gentiles received the Holy Spirit through believing only! Baptism came about afterwards only because Peter knew he was to do it with the believing Jews!

 

Peter knew something new and unique was happening, but did not totally grasp it at this time. God had commanded Peter to go to Cornelius to show things were changing as Israel’s rejection continued. God would use this experience of Peter to aid Paul’s Gentile ministry at the Jerusalem Council of around 50 A.D., and twenty years after the cross.

 

Around this same time frame, Saul after being rejected by Jews in

Damascus went to Arabia for three years. (Galatians 1:17) This seems to imply was the time Paul was ministered to by the RISEN CHRIST! (Galatians 1:12) During this time Saul had his zealous Judaism removed, and learned of the Gospel of Grace for salvation, and the MYSTERIES!

(Remember, the apostles spent three years with Christ. I believe, Paul spent

three years with Christ to prepare him with the new dispensation, and to reveal God’s “mysteries”, so often found in his writings. It was time to reveal the secrets of God.) This gospel of salvation and GRACE can be found in 1 Corinthians 15: 1-4, Romans 10: 9-10, and elsewhere. (Interestingly, the disciples spent three years with Christ, and apparently, Paul spent three years with the Risen Christ. See Galatians 1: 16-18.)

 

Paul went to Gentile communities to preach the importance of BELIEVING IN FAITH. Paul told them of Jesus’ life; ministry; death on the cross; burial, and RESURRECTION after three days, and three nights in the tomb! THIS IS THE GOSPEL OF SALVATION!  or the GOSPEL OF GRACE! He

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explained the importance of believing with complete faith this gospel of grace! A true believing of the gospel, he preached, would promise the Holy Spirit working within oneself!  NO WORKS! No water baptism; no circumcision; no religious rituals or rites; no tithing; no animal sacrificing, no church memberships, and much more! True gospel believers have only liberty and freedom in GRACE! (Also, see Ephesians 2: 8-9 on works.)

 

Whereas, Peter’s ministry required the Nation of Israel to believe who Jesus was, and with Paul’s ministry anyone could find salvation on an individual basis. This would apply to either a Jew, or a Gentile, just through a true believing of the gospel! Did you note the differences? ……………. WOW!!!

 

NOTE: I believe it is important to mention how Paul would usually enter a community and go to the synagogue first to try to convince the Jews of Jesus. He would then go to Gentiles. The vast majority of Jews would not believe.

 

To summarize The Dispensations

 

  1. The Gospel of the Kingdom was preached during Jesus’ ministry. The

Jews, and Israel, had to believe Jesus was their PROMISED ONE!

 

  1. The Gospel of the Kingdom was preached by the disciples after Jesus’ ascension and their gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Jews were required to repent of their unbelief, and crucifying their Promised One. They were to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, and receive the Holy Spirit. (All of the House of Israel needed to adhere to this.)

 

  1. The Gospel of Grace was preached by Paul to, primarily, Gentiles on an individual basis. They were to believe with faith the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the gift of the Holy Spirit. (However, at least, Peter gave Paul’s message credence for the wisdom in Paul’s writings towards the end of Peter’s life. More on this later.)

 

IMPORTANT DETAILS OF  THE  BOOK  OF  JAMES

 

James, wrote the Book of James during this time of transitions. His writings were directed to the Jewish believers of Christ (James 1:1) who had been

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dispersed after Stephen’s murder. Note the language James used: THE TWELVE TRIBES OF THE DISPERSION. These Jews, although believers in Christ, were still law-keeping Jews! This is important to remember! (Don’t try to read anything other than what James wrote. This letter was written to believers of the twelve tribes of Israel still practicing law!)

 

Much of James writings include words of works or law-keeping. For instance, James wrote: Whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point becomes guilty of them all! (James 2: 10) At the time of this writing this was the dispensation program in place for the Jews. There are no discrepancies at all!  James was writing in regards to the Gospel of the Kingdom! His attempts were based on having Israel repent, believe who Jesus was, and be baptized. Israel was a law-keeping nation. The Jewish believers of Jesus were law keepers at this time.

 

IMPORTANT DETAILS OF THE JERUSALEM COUNCIL

 

The Jerusalem Council of around 50 A.D. easily shows the middle of the forty year dispensational times between the apostles, and Paul. This event happened about twenty years after the cross. This conference is recorded in Acts 15, and Galatians 2. (Paul’s account is found in the Galatians writing.)

 

Paul met with the disciples, elders, and believing Pharisees, over his gospel message to the Gentiles. The apostles wanted Jewish law preached unto the Gentiles. The meeting was heated at times, until Peter, remembering his experience with Cornelius; (Acts 10) stood to speak. He spoke of the bondage (Law) upon them. The decision, and take note, was

Paul would be entrusted to go to the Gentiles, and the disciples

would still be entrusted to the Jews! (Galatians 2: 7-9) They even shook hands on the decision! One can easily see the disciples, some twenty years after the cross, were still law keeping Jews, too.

 

IMPORTANT DETAILS  OF  THE  TWO  BOOKS  OF  PETER

 

Peter wrote two books of our Bible. They are 1 Peter, and 2 Peter. These

two books were written towards the end of Peter’s life. Also, the writings were completed as Israel, and the Jews, and the Jewish, Jesus believers were witnessing very troubled times. Israel’s destruction would be occurring in a

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few years. Peter thought the tribulation was about to occur.

 

These two books were written to those Jews who had become believers as to who Jesus was, and were exiled. They ran because of their belief after Stephen’s murder. Proof of this fact is found in 1 Peter 1, where Peter stated his letter is to the exiles of the Dispersion. Peter reminded the readers, in

2 Peter 3: 1, the fact of this letter being his second one to those exiled Jewish

believers. Peter’s words are different than his early Acts sermons. Some things to consider: Peter, as his life is winding down, has realized the Nation of Israel was NOT going to believe his ministry, and repent of their unbelief. Troubled times were already happening, and would continue until Rome finally destroyed Israel out of existence as a nation. Peter wrote much on preparing these people for the bad times ahead leading to the coming of Christ. I believe Peter was seeing the current troubles, of this time, as a forerunner to Daniel’s 70th week. Remember, in Acts 3: 19, Peter spoke of the time of refreshing, and Jesus being sent back to earth. Peter is, hoping, he could still witness Christ’s coming. Remember, Jesus told the disciples they would rule over the twelve tribes of Israel at his coming. They would set on the thrones judging Israel! (This is found in Matthew 19: 27-28.)

 

Peter, by this time, is also writing with words of faith, and of believing Paul’s ministry. He stated in 2 Peter 3: 14-18, about Paul writing to these believing Jews with wisdom, as he (Paul) did in all his epistles.  What was Paul’s wisdom?  The message was to believe the gospel, with faith. That gospel is believing the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.  (1 Corinthians 15:1-4.) Peter, also, mentioned the fact of Paul’s message being hard to understand. (I believe Peter as a law-keeping Jew, was still was having difficulties in faith alone without works as Paul preached in his dispensation. Could the letter to those exiled Jewish believers be the book of Hebrews written by Paul?) Peter wrote of Grace, and faith in words very similar to Paul’s letters. I can sense the difficulties with Peter’s words at this time. He knew his life was about done, and he didn’t see Israel repent of the unbelief, and believe. Peter was seeing the troubled times all around.

 

Understanding how these dispensations worked in the forty year of transitions will greatly aid to grasping Biblical truths. The separation between the Jewish kingdom dispensations compared to the present-day dispensation of grace is markedly different. God used separation between the Jews, and Gentiles throughout Biblical history. That separation was intended by the Lord.

 

 

 

 

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TIMES OF  DISPENSATIONS  IN THE NEW  TESTAMENT

By Larry A. Smail

Introduction

 

Have you ever really debated, within your thoughts, what the message was during the years of Christ’s earthly ministry; followed by the years after the resurrection in regards to the disciples’ “Jewish” ministry, and later, Paul’s “Gentile” ministry, concluding around Israel’s destruction? This time of dispensations lasted, approximately, forty years. (A dispensation is a change of program; a transition, or going towards, or dispensing, in a new direction.)This time frame is one of important transitions! There are three, distinct, dispensations during those forty years of Biblical transitions.

 

If you have read much of the New Testament books of the Bible you may have formulated a number of questions. You may have even felt there are contradictions within the books of the Bible by the various writers.

 

The usual way of thinking may be to simply ignore anything, but Christ’s words. That thought may seem proper; however, you’ll miss the Risen Christ’s words to Paul! Those words are IMPORTANT! One may, simply, disregard some writings, and avoid other writings that do not fit into a previously conceived belief. This may be a denominational belief that has been placed into your thoughts without question. Some may attempt to work all the New Testament books of the Bible as a puzzle in hope the pieces will fit together in the end. Maybe, others throw all the scripture into a Biblical blender expecting the truths to be poured out! Won’t work!

 

Any perceived contradictions are easily explained. However, grasping that fact may prove to be challenging without prayer, study, and a willingness to grasp a truth when revealed. There are specific reasons why Biblical variances are observed within the New Testament. The primary reasons are the dispensations, or the changes in God’s program to finalize the goal of salvation along with the coming kingdom.

 

First of all, the varied writer’s messages are NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THE SAME! Their ministries were part of the forty years of transitions covering Israel‘s law-keeping time during Jesus’ ministry; followed with the times of many Jews becoming believers of who Jesus was, but continuing as law-keepers, concluding with the faith, and grace only ministry to believing Gentiles. (The latter applies to Jews today, as well. Paul wrote in Romans 10:12, that there is no distinction between the Jew and Greek… This occurs under Paul’s Grace Doctrine coming later. Notice the separations!)

 

Those interested in Bible study need to separate the Jewish culture, and the Gentiles of the times. They need to understand the variances between law-keeping, Jewish, Jesus believers, and faith-based Gentile believers. They need to separate Judaism; Jesus-believing Jews; (The Way) and Christianity!

 

Before we enter into Christ’s earthly ministry we need to visit some Old

Testament realities involving the Hebrews (Jews) early times and their purpose.  We need to understand how, and why, this nation came to be.

 

THE HEBREW’S  EARLY  YEARS

 

God removed Abraham from the pagan, Gentile populace. He initially used Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, (Israel) and Joseph to form a nation of people known as the Hebrews. Joshua 24: 2-3 stated of Israel’s fathers serving other gods. However, these people, the Hebrews, became God’s Chosen People!

 

One, potential, and important, purpose for these chosen people is found in Exodus 19: 5-6. God, through Moses, told these people an important message. These Hebrew people (Jews) if obedient  to God’s covenant were to be a special,  set apart, and unique people, and to become a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS, AND A HOLY NATION…    Ask yourself why God would need a nation of priests?  They were to take God’s salvation to THE GENTILES! Isaiah 49: 6, states…”I will give you (The Jews.) as a light to the nations that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” Isaiah 61: 6 repeats of Israel being a nation of priests, and ministers of God!  In Zechariah 8:23, the prophet wrote: “In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying, Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” (These events are futuristic, and none of these have happened, yet! These will be reality at Christ’s return.)

 

In Exodus 20, the Hebrews received the Ten Commandments. Unfortunately, the Jews failed continually! God would still make his move towards the redemption plan in other ways! This must be understood before we move into the words spoken by Christ to the Jews.

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Many, many generations later, Israel was being dominated by the Roman

Empire. Many years of Jewish prophecies concerning Israel‘s King, and

kingdom were falling into place. Israel, however, wasn’t an obedient nation.

 

As promised through these Old Testament prophecies major events were ready to be fulfilled. A man, known as, John the Baptist entered onto Israel’s scene announcing, and preparing Israel that their King was at hand. Of course, with the arrival of their King, the kingdom was just out ahead!

 

Jesus of Nazareth was that Promised Messiah to be their King, and to restore their kingdom glory! However, the nation would need to accept this fact!

Paul wrote in Romans 15: 8-9, that Jesus’ purpose was to be a minister to the Jews in accordance with Old Testament scripture. Here are the verses: For I tell you that Christ became a servant (Minister) to the circumcised (Jews) to show God’s truthfulness, in order that the GENTILES might glorify God for his mercy.” (Read the next few verses adding more detail concerning the Gentile’s hope.) Israel’s second chance to fulfill the Exodus 19 covenant was about to occur.  This, too, must be fully grasped, as well, to understand the dispensational times just ahead.

 

CHRIST’S EARTHLY  MINISTRY  DISPENSATION

 

Jesus’ three year ministry on earth was based on one extremely important message to Israel. The Nation of Israel (Jews) needed to believe Jesus was their Messiah, or Promised One!  THAT WAS IT! If the Nation of Israel would believe Jesus was their Promised One the Kingdom of God would become reality for the nation. Of course, Israel then would become that nation of priests to go to the Gentiles as found in Exodus 19, and Isaiah 61.

 

This Kingdom of God was to be a literal government on earth with Jesus ruling. The Jews would become that nation of priests. This message is known as the Gospel of the Kingdom! OR the good news of the kingdom!

 

Proof of this kingdom being a government of Israel can be read in the words of the prophet Isaiah. In Isaiah 9: 6-7, the prophet wrote: For a child will be born unto us; a son will be given to us. Ask yourself who the “US” is? The “US” here are the Jews, and Israel. Remember, Isaiah was a prophet for Israel!

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Isaiah added the government will be on his shoulders. This kingdom will be a government ruled over by the child given to Israel. Who was, and is, that child? THE LORD JESUS!!!!!

 

Isaiah continued, His name will be WONDERFUL; COUNSELOR;

MIGHTY GOD; ETERNAL FATHER; PRINCE OF PEACE. There will be no end to this governmental kingdom of peace! He will set on David’s throne over this kingdom in Jerusalem!!!!

 

WOW!!!!!

 

What did Jesus preach on earth? Again, his message was to believe who he was! The writers of the first four books of the New Testament wrote of the importance of believing on Christ’s name! Many of those words of believing were spoken by Christ himself. You can see Christ’s words if you have a red-letter edition of the Bible. His parables were everyday stories to relate the kingdom of God to the people.  (Underline the kingdom of heaven, or kingdom of God, and you’ll soon see the importance.)

 

The Nation of Israel was still a law-keeping religion! The only difference, now, is Israel had to believe in Jesus as their Promised One! Did Israel believe?  NO!!!  Precious few believed who Jesus was. The Nation of Israel as a whole failed again! Israel rejected Christ again leading to his crucifixion on the cross.

 

CHRIST’S 40 DAYS  ON  EARTH  AFTER  RESURRECTION

 

Jesus was resurrected after three days, and three nights in the tomb. Jesus spent forty days on earth before his ascension to glory. What did the RISEN CHRIST talk about? Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God! (Acts 1) His message was the same. Believe Jesus was the promised One, and the kingdom of God would become reality!

 

THE DISCIPLES  “JEWISH”  MINISTRY  DISPENSATION

 

Other important verses few have seen are located in Matthew 10: 5-6. Jesus told the disciples to go nowhere among the Gentiles…but go rather to the

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lost sheep of the house of Israel and preach the kingdom of heaven is at

hand…    Read that again! This language fits well with the Romans 15: 8 words of Paul. Remember, Paul wrote: Jesus was to be a minister to the Jews…to confirm the promises given to the fathers. (Also, study Matthew 15:21-28, where Jesus tries to ignore a Gentile woman.)

 

Jesus never altered that command during this time of Israel’s history. Yes, he said in Matthew 28: 19, for his disciples to make disciples of all nations, but

Those words were in regards to the Exodus 19 verses again of Israel going to all Gentile nations. The disciples were to have Israel believe who Jesus was, and then the Jews would cover the earth to the Gentiles. This would be the Great Commission! Proof of this can be found in Acts 10 where Peter argued to not go to the Gentiles. Also, the disciples twenty years after the cross during the Jerusalem Council shook hands on the fact that Paul would continue to the Gentiles, and the disciples would stay with the Jews. (Read Acts 15, and Galatians 2.)These were hints of the, soon, future transitions! Are you seeing this? The disciples did not run out to preach to all nations. They were attempting to have Israel believe! (Jews)Also, read Acts 11: 19…preaching to none, but Jews.

 

The next dispensation is about to occur with the disciples after they received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. A different approach is in play towards the Nation of Israel, and the Jewish populace. (Pentecost is a Jewish time celebrating the Feast of First Fruits. See Numbers 28: 26-31.)

 

Peter, now filled with the Holy Spirit began to preach of Jesus’ message; the cross, and the resurrection. Peter’s ministry is preaching to the Jews. The Jews present heard Peter’s words, and became troubled as to what happened with Christ. These Jews requested what they should do now? (Acts 2: 37)

 

Peter addressed his Acts 2, and Acts 3, sermons to Jews. We can know this because he used language mentioning Jews. Peter used wording as, “Men of Judea” (Acts 2:36); “Men of Israel” (Acts 2:22); “All the House of Israel”(Acts 2: 36); and “Men of Israel”. (Acts 3:12)  Other hints can be realized as Peter spoke of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Gentiles could care less of Israel’s fathers! No Gentile language here! Remember, the Jews still were to avoid Gentiles.

 

NOTE: Any mention of a church in your Bible translations relate to these

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Jewish, Jesus believers. The Greek word is ecclesia, which simply means: a called out assembly. This can be a gathering for anything. In early Acts, these individuals are, also, still law-keeping Jews who have accepted, and believed Jesus was the Promised One. The Holy Spirit inspired term of “Christianity” doesn’t appear until Acts 11: 26 with Paul’s preaching to the Gentiles. NOTE: In Acts 19:32, the translators used “assembly” during the riot in Ephesus. The Greek word here is “ecclesia.” Why were the words “ecclesia” translated into two different meanings?

 

Peter told these troubled Jews they needed to repent, and be baptized. (Acts 2: 37-39.) Ask yourself repent of what?  In verse 36 Peter said, “Let ALL THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL know assuredly that God has made him both Lord, and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.” These Jews needed to repent of their unbelief which led to the crucifying of their King, Jesus. They then were to be baptized under John the Baptist’s, baptism of

repentance in order to receive the Holy Spirit. They then would be forgiven of their sin of unbelief, and crucifying their Messiah. This was the next time of dispensation. Notice the difference from what Jesus preached while on earth? Do you see the difference?

 

Peter, in Acts 3: 19 mentioned the time of refreshing. This time of refreshing is part of the second coming of Christ. This second coming occurs at the end of Daniel’s 70th week. (Tribulation) The world will return as it was originally created, or refreshed. Peter stated that Christ would be sent back. (Acts 3:20) Peter’s sermon is in regards to the Gospel of the Kingdom. Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God being preached again during the end times to announce the kingdom will be, again, at hand! (Matthew 24:14)

 

Another detail of proof as to who Peter’s message is directed comes from Acts 3: 25. Peter talked of the covenant promise which God made with “your fathers.” This covenant was made with Abraham; Isaac, and Jacob.

These men were considered the Fathers of Israel.

 

Peter, and the disciples, were obeying Christ’s command of going to the Jews, attempting to have Israel believe Jesus was their Messiah. Many Jews believed their words, but the Nation of Israel in its entirety, continued to firmly reject Jesus was their Promised One. Israel’s final rejection was about

to occur.

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The disciple chose some men to help take care of the believers in Jerusalem. (Acts 6:2-4) One of those men was named Stephen.  We know little about this man except from a few powerful descriptions of his faith.  In Acts 6: 5, scripture states he was a man full of faith, and the Holy Spirit. In Acts 6: 8, he was described as being full of grace, and power, able to perform great wonders, and signs. An Acts 7: 35 state Stephen was full of the Holy Spirit. Scripturally speaking this means there was something extraordinary about Stephen. This man was stoned to death because he spoke words against the Jews in power, and of their betrayal of Jesus, the Righteous One!

 

The murder of Stephen would prove to be the final rejection of Jesus by the Nation of Israel in the eyes of God. Israel from this point on is in a state of

decline. Immediately, another Jew is brought into the word! A man named Saul is mentioned. He would become known as Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles! (Acts 8)

 

Scripture states a great persecution occurred concerning those Jesus-believing Jews. The disciples would continue to preach to the Jews despite this persecution. The persecuted Jewish believers left Jerusalem to Gentile countries. (Acts 8:1, and Acts 11:19) As stated, Israel would be in decline from Stephen’s murder. The disciples continued preaching to the Jews. (These are epistles to the Jews.) However, Israel was in a downward spiral towards destruction. Troubles upon them would increase. The Roman Empire would become increasingly belligerent towards Israel. That destruction occurred in 70 A.D.

 

A major transition would soon happen in regards to Israel, and the man named Saul. God would be using, this Jewish man, Saul to become a minister to the Gentiles, and preach the Gospel of Grace. God was side-stepping Israel to get his words to the Gentiles. The Exodus 19: 5-6 verses of Israel going to the Gentiles would be removed out of God’s agenda at this time. At a future time God will return to Israel when this time of the Gentiles is fulfilled.  (In Romans 11: 25, Paul wrote of Israel’s hardening until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled. We are in the time of Gentiles presently.) This will happen at the latter half of the tribulation period or Daniel’s 70th week. (Daniel 9, and 12.) Towards the end of that 70th week, and the time of Jesus’ second coming, God will use the remnant of Israel to, once again, go and take the word to surviving remnants. THIS TIME THE

JEWS WILL BELIEVE WHO JESUS IS! In Zechariah 13: 6, the

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prophet wrote of Jesus’ Second Advent. Jesus will answer the Jews of that

future time when they ask him how he received the wounds. Jesus will answer the wounds came about in the house of my friends. (The House of Israel.) The prophet wrote Israel will ask the Messiah about his wounds from the time of the cross. Again, Jesus, at this second coming, will announce he received the wounds from the hands of his friends. (The Jews.) THIS TIME THE JEWS WILL BELIEVE!

 

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More Carp Fishing

dsc_0014   I enjoy fishing. Most people know that fact. A couple of times in recent weeks I ventured to a pond where Carp have become the most prevalent fish. Carp are not native to Pennsylvania. In fact they are not native to the United states at all. They usually cause much habitat damage to any ponds destroying egg-laying sites of native species.

My fly rod and reel!

My fly rod and reel!

However, since they have been established in almost every water locally one might as well enjoy fishing for them at times. I sure do!

My last two ventures to this pond has found me enjoying the fight by using a fly rod. Carp averaging fifteen to eighteen inches of muscle on such a fishing pole produce an action paced fight.

I have fished in the river several times during the last few weeks. I have done well with Smallmouth Bass this year.

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Baker Trail Hike

dsc_0033  This hike was an earlier excursion in early September. The morning was heated to an already 73 degrees as I left the house in the early morning.  The dew point was at 69! So, this time in the woods was going to be a warm on.

Crooked Creek Dam

Crooked Creek Dam

I was walking the Baker Trail at the Crooked Creek dam area in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. This trail is actually 132 miles in length. The trail begins near Aspinwall, PA and ends in the Allegheny national Forest at Cook Forest Park. My section this day would only be about three miles one way. The trail was named in honor of Horace Forbes Baker.

Elbow Run

Elbow Run

 

Along the trail.

Along the trail.

As stated, I was walking at the Crooked Creek Dam section of the trail.                           dsc_0014

Crooked Creek Park is an United States Corps of Engineers project completed in 1940.  The dam was built as a flood control project. During World War 2 my dad told me a 50 caliber machine gun was placed at the dam area in case of enemy bombing attempts. No Germans or Japanese planes today!

The walk began at the parking area across from the Tunnelville Beach. I walked northerly  along a small stream named Elbow Run. this creek empties into the dam area.  There were a lot of fungus growth throughout the walk. the conditions were correct for their growth. I saw a lot of squirrels gathering nuts. Deer were rather common all morning as well. I Glimpsed an eagle flying through some hemlocks. I dropped over a steep hill to walk back along Elbow Run.  dsc_0035

The entire walked was a humid one, but I still enjoyed being out and about.

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McConnell's Mill

McConnell’s Mill

One will find the beautiful and rugged McConnell’s Mill State Park as an area of awe. The Lawrence County, Pennsylvania park has a lot to witness. The landscape around the park covers often steep slopes with big, to huge boulders all around. The park surrounds a

Slippery Rock Creek moving slow.

Slippery Rock Creek moving slow.

section of Slippery Rock Creek Gorge.

This park has eleven miles of trails to hike and enjoy nature at its best.

The original mill was built in 1852 by Daniel Kennedy. Fire destroyed the mill, but a second mill was built in 1868. Thomas McConnell purchased the mill in 1875. This mill closed down in 1928.

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These waters can rage during other seasons.

These waters can rage during other seasons.

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy obtained the are in 1942 wishing to preserve the area’s wealth of natural beauty.   dsc_0132McConnell’s Mill State Park became reality in 1952.

Immediately south of the old mill one will find a covered bridge over Slippery Rock Creek. (The bridge is currently as I type under renovation for preserving the structure.)  the bridge was built in 1874.

Slippery Rock Creek is a beautiful flow of water offering some danger. Far too many people have succumbed to the water’s treachery. For this reason the area at the park has no swimming. trout fishing is fine here.  Huge smooth boulders are found along the water’s edge. When wet they can become like an ice patch. Some stretches of the creek are smooth slower moving water and some are considered white water.

Trail

Trail

 

Female Hummingbird

Female Hummingbird

Slippery Rock Creek Gorge received a listing as a Natural Area and a National Nature Landmark in 1974. The creek received  designation as a State Park natural Area in 1998.                                                                                                  dsc_0012

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Lake Arthur

dsc_0094 Lake Arthur is quite a sizable body of water within Moraine State Park. The area is a treasure for observing waterfowl; herons;

Green Heron

Green Heron

eagles, ospreys and many other kinds of wildlife. My time was limited so I didn’t spend a lot of time along this water, but the little time I utilized produced a lot of birdlife.

Lake Arthur consists of 3,225 acres of water with 42 miles of scenic shorelines. The depth of the water is between 11 to 36 feet. Moraine State Park  is a 16,725 acre mix of Lake Arthur, woodlands, and wetlands.

Backwaters

Backwaters

dsc_0095 One of first specie of birds I located was the little Green Heron. These bird often spends time along the creek at my home. They find the minnows and frogs a source of food!  I saw the Great Blue heron and a surprise, too. I spotted the white of an egret far off feeding along the opposite shoreline.  A very friendly woman had just mentioned the fact of seeing an egret moments before.                                                      dsc_0103

dsc_0104  Lots of waterfowl can be viewed in the back water areas. They were busy swimming around searching for some “grub”. Canada Geese are always a site at the lake.

I painted a painting called Back To Moraine-Osprey some time ago. The painting was produced on a plate for sale.

Jack-In-The-Pulpit berries

Jack-In-The-Pulpit berries

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Back To Moraine-Osprey

 

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Prairie Vegetation

However, it happens, my computer received a nasty virus. Thanks to Bevington Technologies of outside Worthington, Pennsylvania for saving everything, and getting me back into business.  I have some catching up to do in so far as getting some  dsc_0074entries on this site.

Closed Gentian

Closed Gentian

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dsc_0053  Last week, a cool fall-like morning mandated some hiking time. I decided to go to the 300 acre Jennings Environmental area to walk about. I had hoped the Blazing Star wildflower may still have a few blooms left. However, I knew their time was over, but I hoped a few stragglers may yield some blossoms. This are has a lot of very big trees on the property. This area, also, has a prairie area, possibly the farthest prairie east of the Mississippi River. This area was established in the 1950s with the need to preserve the Blazing Star wildflower. This is a prairie flower.

Turtlehead

Turtlehead

Another interesting feature is this area holds the endangered Massasauga Rattlesnake, also known as the Pygmy Rattlesnake. I was told even trained

Members of the Pennsylvania Fish Commissions have difficulty finding them.                                                                                  dsc_0063

dsc_0070  I saw a number of deer while walking. Interestingly, I turned onto a trail named Deer Trail and immediately spotted two deer. I saw some migrating warblers and a lot of goldfinches eating seeds from various flowers. I found another rare wildflower known as the Closed gentian. I have only found one in Armstrong County. The prairie lands displayed a number of these blue flowers. This specie looks like flower bud ready to open into a bloom. However, this is the flower!

I walked a number of trails. I walked the Oakwoods Trail, The Deer Trail, the Blazing Star Trail; the Prairie Loop trail, the Massasauga Trail, the Hepatica Trail, and the Glacier Ridge Trail.

I found a lot of beauty this morning. Of course, this lead to a lot of photos.

What a beautiful native wildflower!

What a beautiful native wildflower!

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