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Grafted In Fellowship is a gathering of like-minded people who understand the importance of following ALL of our Father's Word.  We understand our Father is the "same yesterday, today and forever" and furthermore, the Word of God is a complete writing without contradiction within what is commonly called the Old and New Testaments. 

YES!  We Shabbat!  Or more properly stated, "We observe Shabbat!"  What does this mean?  Shabbat is Hebrew for Sabbath.  We believe the day our Father has "set apart" is the Sabbath!  The Day of Shabbat has not been moved to Sunday!  Shabbat is the Seventh Day...the day we call Saturday.  
 
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MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT!


GIFKG has joined/merged with House of David Richmond!


House of David (HODF) meets on the first and third Shabbat (Saturday) of each month.  

On OCT 29, 2016, GIFKG returned to meeting each week at the Smoot Library!  How is this possible with the HODF merger? Easy!

1st & 3rd Shabbat meetings: 
Kevin will be the Lead Teacher 

2nd & 4th (& 5th) Shabbat meetings: 
Rick will be the Lead Teacher

GIFKG Meeting Information:

Meeting Place: Smoot Library

Meeting Time: 1:00 - 3:30 pm 

Why the change back to weekly meetings?  There are those who are not able to travel to the various locations HODF meets -- the distance is too far for them.  In order to make sure Shabbat is still observed, going back to a weekly meeting in King George will allow this opportunity!
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HODF Meeting Information:

Meeting Place: Mechanicsville Library

Meeting Time: 2:00 - 9:00 pm 
Meeting Day: Mar 4,  2017
(1st & 3rd Shabbat of each month)



 
2 Corinthians 11:4 (NKJV): For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!

This is a short introductory writing on this verse.  It can have (and has had) volumes written about it.  But here is the catch: what is your paradigm when reading this verse?  If you are reading this from a Western, Greek-based paradigm, then you will believe that anyone else “preaching” another Jesus is in the wrong.

However, if you place the text back in its original context, with the original audience, you will quickly discover Paul (Sha’ul) was a Jew (Paradigm Alert: Sha’ul never “converted” to Christianity) writing to other Jews.  Their worldview was Hebrew-based — NOT Greek!

So to put it simply, Sha’ul (a Jew) is writing to other Jews who also believed Yeshua was the Jewish Messiah (Paradigm Alert: There is a HUGE difference between the Jewish Messiah and the Christian “Christ”).  Everything about Sha’ul’s writings is Jewish.

Putting this in perspective: If I believe in the Jewish Messiah, I am in agreement with the original intent/context of Sha’ul.   If you are preaching a “Greek” Jesus, and not a Jewish Messiah, are you sure you are on solid footing?

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Continuing with this verse, the above is just a thumbnail look at a "different" Jesus.  The Greek Jesus vs. the Hebrew Yeshua.  But the verse goes on to say, "...or a different gospel which you have not accepted--you may well put up with it."

Interesting.  A different gospel.  

Tell me, what is the Gospel?  Many in the "Church" today will respond with, "the birth, life, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus."

Have you ever stopped to consider this as the gospel being preached in the New Testament?  Stop and think about it.  Is that what John the Baptist was preaching in the wilderness?  A lot of theology has been attached to his words.  

What about Yeshua?  In Matthew 4:23, it reads, "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom..."

Was Yeshua preaching His birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection?  If so, then why were the disciples so confused after His crucifixion?  Especially, if Yeshua preached His resurrection the entire time of His ministry.  

Please don't misunderstand me!  I am NOT saying the concept of "the birth, life, crucifixion and resurrection" isn't important!  I am saying it is NOT the Gospel -- especially the Gospel as it would have been understood by the first century Jewish believer.  

So, you may ask, "What is the Gospel?"  I am glad you asked. 

The gospel (good news), as understood by ALL Jews, not only in the first century, but throughout the writings of the prophets as well, is the establishment of the Kingdom on earth!

>>Here is another proof about the "gospel:"  Heb 4:2 - For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them [referring to the Children of Israel at Mt. Sinai.]<<

So, here is the point.  In this one verse, we have the "Church" preaching a Greek Jesus (versus a Hebrew Yeshua), AND also preaching a different gospel.  

What were the last words of 2 Cor 11:4?  "...you may well put up with it."

Think about it...

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Let’s look at the last of the categories Paul writes about: a different Spirit.

Matthew 12:28 - But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. (NKJV)

Then compare the same story in Luke 11:20 - But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. (NKJV)

This is straightforward.  The Spirit of God is the same as the finger of God.  Why does this matter?  Let’s go back to the Exodus story, when the Children of Israel were at Mt. Sinai. 

Exodus 31:18 - And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God. (NKJV)

Just to drive the point home, read Deuteronomy 9:10 - Then the Lord delivered to me two tablets of stone written with the finger of God, and on them were all the words which the Lord had spoken to you on the mountain from the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly. (NKJV)

At Pentecost when the Spirit was poured out, it was the same finger of God, the same Spirit of God that was writing the Torah on their hearts!

Some people see a difference between the Law and the Spirit--NO!  The Holy Spirit is the very finger of God that is writing the Torah--but instead of on tables of stone, it is on the fleshly tables of your heart!

Following the Torah is not supposed to be a burden.  It is not something we constantly have to strive to perform.  Rather it is going to be a part of our new creation makeup because God has touched our heart so that we just want to do those things that please Him!

So if you are being taught, or if you believe, following the Torah is no longer valid and the “spirit” will lead you to truth, to put it bluntly, you are relying on a different spirit -- one that takes you away from God's word.  The true Spirit of God (the finger of God) can only lead you to what He wrote.

It is my prayer you can see God's intent and turn to His whole word.


ADDITIONAL POINTS TO PONDER
Updated: 10/30/2016
Note: The 5777 Torah Portions Schedule does not align completely with the "traditional" reading schedule; however, all Torah Portions are included.



INTERESTING QUESTION:

I recently watched the documentary, The Way.  It poses an interesting question: If Jesus was perfect, and He followed the Law -- the Feasts, dietary restrictions, Sabbath -- and we claim to want to live like Him, why don't we do what He did?

The Way

The Truth & The Life
Click the picture above 
 to see the video trailer.


The following is an excellent description of the power of paradigms -- how we approach reading/studying the Bible.

The excerpt  is from, The Jewish Gospel of John by Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg:
Interpreting the Bible is a difficult task. We bring our past, our preconceived notions, our already formed theology, our cultural blind spots, our social standing, our gender, our political views, and many other influences to our interpretation of the Bible. In short, all that we are in some way determines how we interpret everything. This does not imply that the meaning of the text is dependent on its reader. The meaning remains constant. But the reading of the text does differ and is dependent on many factors surrounding the interpretive process. In other words, how a reader or listener understands the text can differ greatly from person to person.


One of the biggest handicaps in the enterprise of Bible interpretation has been an inability to recognize and admit that a particular interpretation may have a weak spot. The weak spot is usually determined by personal preferences and heartfelt desires to prove a particular theory, regardless of the cost. I consider that, having an awareness of our own blind spots and being honestly willing to admit problems with our interpretations when they exist, is more important than the intellectual brilliance with which we argue our position. 


Page 78, Chapter 4


NEW FEATURE: TODAY'S WORD BY DR. SKIP MOEN 

INTRODUCTION:  Who is Skip Moen?

A few weeks ago I was the guest on a local television show.  The interviewer asked me about my background, my development and approach to Scripture and where I am headed.  You might enjoy the result if you want to know a bit more about me.  Here’s the link.     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHJhXUhaMsY

OR you can just CLICK HERE.



After reading the TW, be sure to continue reading the comments section online!

02/24/2017
Rebuking the Devil
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor misfortune. 1 Kings 5:4


Adversary – As I travel the world, I am privileged to observe first-hand the incredible diversity of culture. From Asia to Africa, from Europe to Central America, each group seems to have a unique worldview that filters into religious experience. When we think that we share great common truths, we are likely to be surprised to discover there are many more differences than there are similarities. None is more emblematic than the role given to Satan. Since the middle ages, Satan has been credited with more and more power, taking on characteristics that were once solely YHVH’s. This particular verse and its treatment over the centuries is a good place for us to start thinking about how much credit we give where credit is not due.


“ . . . prior to the modern world people had a clear sense that there were certain things they were not supposed to know because such transgressive understanding would lead them astray or violate the limits that God imposed on his creatures. We’ve lost that sense in the modern world. . . . The religious institutions that once reined in curiosity have lost their authority in Western secular culture. It is now widely assumed that the pursuit of wisdom should be limitless.”[1]


By the way, the modern world didn’t begin in 1900. It has been with us for many, many centuries. Even the rabbis were affected by a growing accumulation of “Satan fixation.” That should be obvious from a comparison of the Tanakh with the apostolic writings. What this means is that certain rabbinic traditions read this verse about Solomon in terms of exorcisms and power over the demons. They read the Hebrew satan and pega ra as “Satan” and “evil spirit” rather than “adversary” and “misfortune.” What they claimed is that Solomon was...


Read the rest by clicking the Title link above.  



02/23/2017
Solomon’s Garden
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

 

Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable idol of Moab, on the mountain which is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the detestable idol of the sons of Ammon. 1 Kings 11:7 NASB


Built – The women got him. At least that’s the way most of us were taught (if we were taught anything at all about Solomon’s sexual exploits). One thousand women turned the ideal king’s heart away from God. Stay away from those idolatrous women. Even contemporary Christian thinkers like Philip Ryken seem to conclude that the real lesson of Solomon is avoiding “unequally yoked” relationships. As you might have guessed, I consider this pandering to Victorian morality, not exegetical rigor. But it is a problem. How could the wisest man who ever lived, recipient of a divine impartation of knowledge, end up in such a mess?


The rabbis struggled with this. They were particularly concerned that Chronicles “simply eliminated the episode of Solomon’s sin.”[1] The book of Kings may have revealed his darker side, but apparently Chronicles sought to redeem him by simply overlooking the mistake. Things like this led a famous rabbi to say, “Whoever says that Solomon sinned is mistaken.”[2] How does rabbi Yonatan ignore the verse in 1 Kings 11:7? Weitzman explains:


“the verb ‘built’ is in the past tense, but only when read in the context and in the light of what we now know about the grammar of biblical Hebrew. Without that knowledge, the verb (yivneh) appears in a tense used to describe actions not yet completed—in other words, its form allows it to be understood as ‘he was going to build’ or ‘he would have built.’ Read literally in this way, the text can be construed as saying that while Solomon intended to commit idolatry, he didn’t necessarily act on the impulse.”[3]


That might have worked for the first century, but it won’t work today. Today we have the contradiction staring us in the face. Solomon loved God but worshipped idols. How is this possible? There is a more plausible tradition that does not blame the female gender (as powerful as it is). “According to this interpretation, Solomon falls into sin not because he forgot what his wisdom taught him or because his intellect was overcome by some emotion or passion; his wisdom is...


Read the rest by clicking the Title link above. 



02/22/2017
Payback?
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

When King David came to Bahurim, behold, there came out from there a man of the family of the house of Saul whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera; he came out cursing continually as he came. 2 Samuel 16:5 NASB


Shimei – David’s last words seem to be nothing but payback. Just before he dies, he instructs Solomon, “Behold, there is with you Shimei the son of Gera the Benjamite, of Bahurim; now it was he who cursed me with a violent curse on the day I went to Mahanaim. But when he came down to me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the Lord, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ Now therefore, do not let him go unpunished, for you are a wise man; and you will know what you ought to do to him, and you will bring his gray hair down to Sheol with blood” (1 Kings 2:8-9). Why does David tell Solomon to kill Shimei? Is it only revenge? Is it a way for him to save face while his son does the wet work?


Weitzman offers some important insight. Shimei denounced David during the attempted coup of Absalom. At that moment, the united monarchy was at risk, and there was a possibility that the house of Saul might reemerge. “Shimei’s very existence reminded the people that David was a usurper, and that there were alternatives to who they might turn, which is why, in his last words to Solomon, David urges his son to send Shimei to his grave—not just as payback for a public insult but as a preemptive effort to snuff out any potential revival of Saul’s dynasty after his death.”[1] In other words, David’s advice is politics, not payback. He knows that Solomon must eliminate any possibility of a challenge to his throne, and the way to do that is the way kings have always dealt with potential rivals—eliminate them.


Why does this little bit of political background matter to us? First, it should cause us to re-evaluate our approach to biblical texts. Our concerns about the ethics of David’s instructions often ignore the political reality of the tenuous nature of Solomon’s ascension. In other words, the text is about the real life situations of the people. We might not like David’s solution, but unless we understand his circumstances we will miss the purpose and point of this bit of history. We must know the context of the text before we start applying it to our lives.


Second, what we learn is that...


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02/21/2017
Cultural Alterations
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. Proverbs 31:10 NASB


Excellent – By now we all realize that any translation of ‘eshet hayil that shifts the meaning toward internal qualities leads us in the wrong direction. ‘eshet hayil is the Hebrew expression often translated “excellent wife,” “virtuous wife,” “wife of noble character,” or something like that. All of these translations push us away from the warrior characteristics in the Hebrew terms. “A warrior woman” is more like the Hebrew. Hayil communicates the ideas of power, strength, bravery, competence and valor. It’s associated with descriptions of armies and forces, land ownership and wealth. This kind of woman is certainly not the demure, reserved, submissive little woman so often portrayed in religious circles. She is more like Joan of Arc than the blond angels floating on cathedral ceilings. Do you have her true character firmly in mind?


Good. Now notice something quite odd. “ . . . the women judged acceptable by Proverbs are largely desexualized, figures like the famous ‘woman of valor’ who is praised at great length in Proverbs 31 but who is of interest for her work ethic and wisdom, not her sex appeal.”[1] Do you find Weitzman’s insight a bit uncomfortable? There is a reason why most men are intrigued by a good looking woman strapped with a 9mm on her hip. Sexuality is a form of power. The combination is almost irresistible. But the woman in Proverbs seems stripped of sexual appeal. Why?


Perhaps the first approach to answering this question is to notice the author of this famous text. It is the mother of King Lemuel, probably the king of Massa, a North Arabian nation.[2] This means that the oracle given to King Lemuel and adopted by the Hebrew scribes who collected the material for the book of Proverbs originates outside of Israel’s community. It might fit the context of Proverbs, but it comes from an unknown worldview.


Second, notice the purpose of this oracle. It is a warning to the king about behavior that will lead to...


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02/20/2017
Looking Back
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.  Romans 15:4 NASB


In earlier times – Ah, the problems on syntax. English does not work like Greek. In Greek we have one word, proegraphe, that requires five English words to capture the meaning. “In earlier times” is nothing more than the prefix pro added to the verb grapho. It means “writing before” and in this case it means “what was written before this particular time.” Now that we see how the Greek compresses all this into a single word, we must ask, “But what is it?” “What was written before this moment?” The answer, of course, can only be one thing. Torah! Torah is the only thing written for our instruction. Paul’s statement in the first century would not even include the Talmud, still in oral form. It is Torah that is intended to preserve and encourage us so that we might have hope. And what a tragedy that most of the believing world today knows so very little of the Torah! How can we have hope when the words of God are not lodged deeply in our hearts?


Paul’s audience was saturated with Torah. Oh, of course there were Gentiles, but one of the characteristics of synagogue communities in the first century was teaching Torah constantly. Memorization. Careful and deliberate tutoring. Practice! And for the Jews in the assembly—well, they had been following Torah instructions since birth. Paul is preaching to the choir. Everyone knew what he was saying. Get Torah into your heart and you won’t be hopeless. And the best part? It’s already written. You don’t have to go searching for the answers. The prophets have provided them.


What’s the lesson for us, two thousand years late to this party? We need a...


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