Study Our Hebrew Roots!


Study OurHebrew Roots!
Study OurHebrew Roots!
Learn the Foundation of Your Faith!

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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Grafted In Fellowship King George
16459 Merchants Lane
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King George, VA  22485

NOTE: 
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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.  

However, GIFKG will still meet at the Smoot Library on the second and fourth Shabbat of each month.

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GIFKG Meeting Information:

Meeting Place: Smoot Library

Meeting Time: 1:00 - 3:30 pm 
Meeting Day: Sep 10, 2016  
(2nd & 4th Shabbat of each month)
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HODF Meeting Information:

Meeting Place: Chesterfield Food Bank

Meeting Time: 2:00 - 9:00 pm 
Meeting Day: Sep 3, 2016
(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?

ADDITIONAL POINTS TO PONDER
I AM CURRENTLY STUDYING:

SHATTERING THE CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE: 

The Hebrew Power of the Priestly Blessing Unleashed

Nehemia Gordon


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 

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

8/29/2016
Who Are You?
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” Genesis 3:1 NASB


Serpent – “No language is used in 3:1 to suggest that the snake is malevolent or demonic (though that claim has been made since intertestamental times, Wis 2:24; cf. Rev 12:9, 20:2). Moreover, the humans seem to understand the snake in quite innocent terms; they express no fear or wonderment, . . .”[1]


“The snake is an ambivalent symbol in Israel’s world, associated with both life and death. . .”[2] Perhaps we have committed the sin of anachronism in our penchant to assign satanic status to the serpent. Of course, apparently John did the same thing (although it would be worthwhile to investigate his reason for doing so). In our case, I wonder if we aren’t motivated by a desire to shift the blame from us to this demon in disguise. After all, it really was his fault. If he hadn’t started the ball rolling, we would have all escaped the terrible consequences, right?


The role of the nahash in this story is perplexing. As Fretheim notes, “The snake may not tell the whole truth but neither does God.”[3] After all, upon eating the fruit they don’t immediately die and they do have their eyes opened to the experience of good and evil. The issue, as Fretheim notes, is about...


Read the rest by clicking the Title link above. 



8/28/2016
Where’s Waldo?
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” Genesis 3:11 NASB


Have you eaten – God asks Adam two questions. Neither one of them makes any sense. “Who told you that you were naked?” But no one told him he was naked. In fact, the subject of nakedness never even comes up. Adam should have been nonplussed. What kind of question is this? There isn’t any answer. The second question is even more shocking. Can you imagine that God didn’t know if Adam had eaten from the Tree? Isn’t it obvious? Furthermore, is God suggesting that He is clueless as to the events that occurred while He was off tending to the Pleiades? If by some exegetical miracle we can find a way to address these two seemingly absurd questions, we are still left with the unasked biggest one. “What about sin?”


The word for sin never occurs in this story. In fact, the story seems to be more about punishment than about transgression. The majority of the dialogue is about the curses on the serpent and the land and the results for the man and the woman. Following God’s prescriptive and descriptive announcements, the story seems completely disjointed since the very next action is Adam’s naming the woman. Something seems to be implied but never spoken, that is, a...


Read the rest by clicking the Title link above. 



8/26/2016
Playing the Fool
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

A prudent man conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims  folly.Proverbs 12:23 NASB


Proclaims – Proverbs suggests that the fool doesn’t think before he speaks. He just blurts out whatever words happen to come across his lips. We read this verse and imagine that it can’t possibly have anything to do with us because 1) we don’t consider ourselves fools, and 2) we speak with deliberation. Really? Let’s see.


First we must note that the meaning of a word is found in how it is used. That is to say, the meaning of the word “fool” isn’t found in how I attribute the word to someone (including me). It is found in the way the person acts. A fool is someone who acts in a particular manner no matter what the person thinks of himself. So if you and I act in a way that portrays the characteristics of a fool, then that’s what we are even if we staunchly claim otherwise.


Now let’s see what kind of behavior is characteristic of this particular kind of fool. According to the text, this person speaks without thinking of the results of his words. Here’s an example. My wife and I are with other people. Everyone is talking, sometimes over each other, as we engage in lively dialogue. My wife says something to one of the others. I interject with what I intend to be a joke. But it has a sarcastic edge, an edge that, if not interpreted as a joke, could be heard as a jibe. Suddenly my “joke” is turned on itself and I realize that my unintentional comment has injured another. Of course, since I know I didn’t intend it to injure, I am not quick to apologize. Instead, I try to justify what I said because I know I didn’t intend it to harm. But it did. Because I didn’t think about the possibility that it could be taken in any other way except a joke, I blurted out a remark without considering all its ramifications. Then I tried to defend myself. I acted like the biblical fool. And I am the last person on earth to think that I am a fool. But there it is, the evidence of words spoken without prior consideration.


As I meditate on this situation (which was not hypothetical, I might add), I see that it has...


Read the rest by clicking the Title link above.   



8/25/2016
The Happiness Addict
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

And you shall rejoice in all the good that God your God has given you and your family. Deuteronomy 26:11 (JLI)


Given – “No one leaves this world with even half of his desires fulfilled.”[1] Why? Because we are happiness addicts and like all addictions, tolerance increases our desire in proportion to its fulfillment. No matter what we are able to acquire, we always adjust our desire for more. Consequently, we never achieve the level of fulfillment we think we must have despite the fact that we continue to acquire. The happiness addict is just as addicted as the drug addict. What satisfied yesterday will not satisfy today. More is required.


Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi notes that the rise of prosperity in the Western world is greater than it has ever been in human history. So is the rise in depression. He asks the simple question, “If we are so rich, why aren’t we happy?” The simple answer (with incredibly complex application) is that desires can never be satisfied. They always exceed the ability to fulfill them. Desires are like She’ol, an open pit most willing to receive all who step that way. The first step facing happiness addicts is recognizing the difference between desire and need. The next is to shift the trajectory of my life so that I express gratitude for the fulfillment of my needs.


The commandment to rejoice in what the Lord has given you includes the verb natan. While there is a great variation in the translations of this word, TWOT notes that, “every meaning given this verb can in fact be seen as a literal or figurative action of the hand.”[2] With this in mind, we might think of everything that comes to us from the open hand of God. Of course, we should not limit our thinking to only those things we consider beneficial. Sometimes the “gift” of suffering is one of our dearest blessings. And since what is good is defined by whatever God does, the only limit to God’s goodness is...


Read the rest by clicking the Title link above.    



8/24/2016
Babylon Revisited (with some revisions)
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

Whoever finds me [Wisdom] finds life and obtains favor from YHWH; but whoever misses me does violence to his very being [nephesh]; all who hate me love deathProverbs 8:35-36 NASB with revisions


Love death – “Since the culture of ancient times tended to value a person in light of the role performance, personal values also follow that path. Van der Toorn finds a ‘priority of shame over guilt, of honour over self-esteem, and of success over integrity. Since misfortune of any sort was inferred to derive from having offended deity, the “offender” inevitably experienced social rejection. No one wanted to suffer from guilt by association and likewise attract the ire of some god. Therefore, though the sufferer felt no guilt (the sufferer had no idea what he might have done wrong, though he was ready to acknowledge any offense if only he were informed what to acknowledge), he was overwhelmed with shame from society’s response to his difficult circumstance. He felt that humiliation of public disgrace and suffered consequences in disintegrating relationship in his town and in his family. Prayers therefore seek restoration of the god’s favor, which is expected to result in the renewal of one’s social well-being rather than in the renewal of one’s personal or spiritual well-being. Shame would be resolved and honor restored.’”[1]


Imagine life in this ancient world. When tragedies strike, when circumstances go against you, when success turns to failure, you are left wondering, “What did I do wrong? What god did I offend?” This is a world where invisible deities rule the affairs of men, where the favor of the gods is the single determining factor of well-being. But it is also a world where the gods hide their thoughts and their expectations. This is a world where you are left to guess what you must do in order to survive. Therefore, when bad things happen the only reasonable assumption is that you did something wrong to cause these bad things to happen. You guessed wrong. The problem, of course, is that you have no idea what it was.


In this ancient culture, God’s revelation of Torah makes all the difference. For the first time, men know what God demands. Men are able to act according to the revealed expectations of God and can therefore anticipate the consequences with regularity. Life is no longer a guessing game. God tells men what to do. The ancient problem of the hidden gods is solved. Ancient Israel knew what God wanted. Life became a matter of obedience, not guesswork.

The loss of Torah in contemporary religious circles is not simply a loss of rules. Torah resolves the question of how life should be lived. Torah establishes the bridge between God and men. When the Church sets aside Torah, it sets aside the resolution of the problem of the hidden gods. Men are thrust back into a world where guessing governs well-being. However, contemporary religion without Torah offers a different solution to this ancient problem. First, it moves the discussion from...


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