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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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SPRING FEASTS!

It is time to prepare for the Spring Feasts of YHWH!

All feast days are celebrated as joint events with 
GIFKG and HODF!

All are invited to join in the celebrations!

June 4: Shavuot (Pentecost) -- Meeting will be at the Blankenship homestead.  Time: 2:00 pm


Contact us for directions to the Blankenship homestead!





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: Jun 3,  2017
(1st & 3rd Shabbat of each month)
Contact us for directions to the Blankenship homestead!



 
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.



We Interrupt This Broadcast for the Following
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

Want to know why I keep pursuing the questions of faith? Want some insight into what I am thinking about history, culture, language and exegesis? Want to know what role I think I need to play in all this? Then take a look at this video interview. I hope you will understand me a little better.


Skip



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

05/23/2017
A Sacred Summary
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

“I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” Matthew 16:18 NASB


Church – It’s no surprise to most of us that the word “church” is a paradigmatic expression without textual support. I have written many investigations of ekkelsia (Greek) and qehelah (Hebrew) to explain why the Church used a word that could never have been spoken by the Messiah. You can explore those comments on the web site if you haven’t already. Today I want to offer some comments by Jacques Ellul. He has summarized what happened in the course of two thousand years of paradigmatic, anti-Jewish theology. Here are three statements. See what you think.


Finally, the mysterious powers of the world are definitively exorcized, eliminated, and vanquished. This is an essential theme. . . . In this world, then, there is no longer anything supernatural. There is no longer anything mysterious, no longer any world beyond. . . . The Christian world is wholly secular. There are in it no particularly sacred times or places, precisely because God is absolutely Wholly Other and nothing in the world comes close to him or can be the bearer of value, meaning, energy or even order. The only new energy that Christianity recognizes is the potential presence of God by the Holy Spirit. But the Spirit, too, is incomprehensible, inaccessible and unexploitable.[1]


Now at the same time and in a corresponding manner, reflection upon God, being led by Greek and Roman thought, radically transformed what the Bible said about God. On the one side it analyzed the attributes of God – a God, of course, very different from the gods of polytheism, but still a God constructed by philosophy. Thus the idea of creation underwent a radical change the moment omnipotence came to the fore. The relation between God and the world now had nothing whatever to do with what the first Christian generations believed. God was tied to his creation, and ultimately the world contained God. On this basis one could find the sacred everywhere. This path led to the reappearance of persons typically connected with the sacred, such as mediators or priests.[2]


The people of the third century and later have been converted to Christianity in morality and religion, but they...


Read the rest by clicking the Title link above. 



05/22/2017
King of Kings
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”1 Kings 3:9 NASB


Who is able – Answer the question. Solomon asked it. You answer it. Who is able to judge? The answer, of course, is the one who can “discern” between good and evil. That one is able to judge the people. What we have discovered is that Solomon’s role as the second Adam is a demonstration that no man can fulfill this task. The story of Solomon tells us that knowing good from evil is too much for human beings to handle on their own. Even with a divine gift, it overwhelms and destroys.


Does that mean we should not ask for discernment? Should we just be good little robots doing whatever the Master asks without raising an eyebrow? Job didn’t think so. He followed, he worshipped, he submitted—and he questioned. That is the human way—to trust in the Lord and to question the process.

Notice the use of bin (discern) in Hebrew thought:


The verb refers to knowledge which is superior to the mere gathering of data. It is necessary to know how to use knowledge one possesses (Pirke Abot 3:12). The verb yādaʿ (q.v.) can also mean “understanding” in the sense of ability (e.g. Esau as a skilful hunter). It can also mean “to be perceptive,” (Ps 73:22). However, yādaʿ generally describes the process whereby one gains knowledge through experience with objects and circumstances. bîn is a power of judgment and perceptive insight and is demonstrated in the use of knowledge.[1]


Yeshua had something to say about this. “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone” (Luke 18:19). Did you think Yeshua’s comment was about morality? No, sir. It was about...


Read the rest by clicking the Title link above.  



05/21/2017
What Did He Hear?
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” 1 Kings 3:9 NASB


Understanding – Solomon asks for a heart that hears. He wants to know what God knows. So do we (might I add, unfortunately) because we fail to see that knowing what God knows is too dangerous for human beings. Perhaps it’s necessary to remind ourselves of the meaning of the word šāmaʿ.   “šāmaʿ has the basic meaning ‘to hear.’ This is extended in various ways, generally involving an effective hearing or listening: 1) ‘listen to,’ ‘pay attention,’ 2) ‘obey’ (with words such as ‘commandment’ etc.), 3) ‘answer prayer,’ ‘hear,’ 4) ‘understand’ and 5) ‘hear critically,’ ‘examine (in court).’”[1] So when Solomon asks for an understanding heart, he is really asking for a heart that hears and obeys. But this entire dream is suddenly riddled with contradiction. Why? Because the text tells us that Solomon had this dream at Gibeon, and Gibeon was “a great high place,” that is, a place where Solomon made sacrifices to pagan deities (see verses 3-4). The motivation seems pure, that is, to discern between good and evil on behalf of the people, but the execution turns out to be a disaster. Solomon becomes the new Pharaoh, enslaving the people that God set free. The dream fulfills the intention of pagan deities, creating bondage of all who fall victims to it, including most of all, Solomon himself.


Jacques Ellul’s insight tells us why:


“To be like God is to be able to declare that this is good and that is bad. This is what Adam and Eve acquired, and this was the cause of the break, for there is absolutely nothing to guarantee that our declaration will correspond to God’s. Thus to establish morality is necessarily to do wrong. This does not mean that a mere suppression of morality (current, banal, social, etc.) will restore the good. God himself frees us from morality and places us in the only true ethical situation, that of personal choice, of responsibility, of the invention and imagination that we must exercise if we are to find the concrete form of obedience to our Father. Thus all morality is annulled. The Old Testament commandments and Paul’s admonitions are not in any sense morality. On the one side they are the frontier between what brings life and what brings death, on the other side they are examples, metaphors, analogies, or parables that incite us to invention.”[2]


You and I want to know. We want to know everything. We want to know certainty. Why? Because...


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05/19/2017
Coping Skills
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

But his mother said to him, “Your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, get them for me.” Genesis 27:13 NASB


Your curse – “Listen to me,” she said. Actually, it’s more like, “Listen to the sound of my making.” She continues, “If anything disastrous happens, then let it affect me. I will pay for the consequences. Just do what I say now. Go, and get what I need.”


And Rebecca does bear the consequences, doesn’t she? Esau wants to kill Jacob. The family is divided physically. It has always been divided emotionally. Rebecca never sees her beloved son again. Her husband suffers as well, trying to save face and ending up the victim of his older son’s revenge. And Jacob? His life becomes a torment of being manipulated by the brother of his mother. No protection there! He is thrust into an “every man for himself” world. And even when he finally emerges, his own family experiences the same emotional trauma. In the end, he also has to deal with blessings and curses. Rebecca might have declared that she would bear it all, but it doesn’t work that way, does it?


“Your curse be on me,” she says. But clearly the curse wasn’t hers. It was Jacob’s. qillotka—the curse that you will have to bear because of what we are going to do. It’s important that we understand the basic meaning of qĕ lālâ (curse). Our culture views curses as proclamations of catastrophe, sometimes accompanied by guilt. We focus on the emotional and physical outcomes for the individual. If you are cursed, something very bad will happen to you. But this isn’t the fundamental Hebrew idea. The Hebrew idea of qĕ lālâ is social. It is a statement that the person will be considered of lower status by others. He will lose his standing. He will be disgraced. TWOT notes: “The noun qĕ lālâ represents a formula expressing lowering from election. Thus, when informed of Rebekah’s scheme, Jacob fears he will bring a qĕ lālâ ‘a curse’—removed from the blessing of election—upon himself (see Gen 27:11–12; also especially Jer 24:9).”[1] Interestingly, Jacob’s fear of losing the blessing is an anticipation since at this point he doesn’t even have the blessing. He is projecting the results of the scheme. Even if it works, he risks reprisal in terms of family dynamics (and possibly with God as well). So Rebecca attempts to assure him that she will take the blame and the loss of status.


Now we can investigate this ethical dilemma. Why is Jacob concerned? Because...


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05/18/2017
The End and the Beginning
by Skip Moen, D. Phil.

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” Exodus 20:2 NASB


Brought you out – Israel Finkelstein makes some challenging points in the book, The Quest for the Historical Israel. He notes that archeology is not in the business of exegesis. Exegesis is the process of uncovering the meaning of the text, not the historical and/or physical confirmation or disconfirmation of the text. But exegesis is too often inwardly focused, that is, it is concerned with the theological importance of the text. It overlooks the needs, ideology and goals of the authors and the audience. When it attempts to find universal application for the “words” of God, exegesis often forgets that every author is selective. Fundamental assumptions about divine initiator of the text shape the approach to the text. Because the theology teaches us that God cannot lie, we assume that any sacred text claiming God as its author must be true according to our definition of truth. The veracity of the message is incorporated into the examination simply because the exegete claims the text is divine revelation. But does the text itself require this presupposition? Is it not possible that the text was written to serve other purposes?


Consider this statement in Exodus. Is it a theological text or a declaration of national identity? If you say, “Well, it’s both,” then where does your emphasis lie? Can you view this text as essential to the formation of the nation of Israel without demanding that it also be historically accurate? A few of Finkelstein’s remarks raise serious questions about the assumptions behind our idea of a divinely inspired Scripture.


“Every man who leaves a perceptible mark on that life, though he may be a purely imaginary figure, is a real historical force; his existence is a historical truth,”[1]


Robin Hood is a perfect example in Western culture. Was there really a Robin Hood?   Finkelstein’s comment makes us realize that even if there were no such person, his historical presence still shaped the ethos of the West, and even if such a person existed but was nothing like the legends, his historical presence is still a powerful factor in the development of our culture. Finkelstein notes:


Biblical history and archeology are two different disciplines. The Bible is not an historical record in the modern sense, but a sacred text that was written by authors who had strong theological and ideological convictions. Its “historical parts” are wrapped in themes such as the relationship between the God of Israel and the People of Israel, the legitimacy of the Davidic dynasty, and the centralization of the cult in the Jerusalem Temple. Other topics that would have been of great interest to the modern historian are not dealt with at all. Moreover, since much of the text was set in writing at a relatively late date in the history of Israel—in the seventh through the fifth centuries B.C.E.—it does not provide us with a direct, real-time testimony of many of the events of ancient Israel. Besides, even those ancient texts that recount events from a real-time perspective, such as the Assyrian records of the ninth through seventh centuries B.C.E., are not free of ideological inclinations. Therefore, one cannot judge the biblical text according to modern criteria for historical precision. In fact, every historical description is bound to be influenced by the realities of the time of its compilation. It is enough to remember how many contradictory interpretations we give to events that happen today in order to demonstrate how difficult it is to accept an ancient text as providing a full, reliable record of events.[2]


What I am trying to say is that faith and historical research should not be juxtaposed, harmonized, or compromised. When we sit to read the Hagadah at Passover, we do not deal with the question of whether or not archeology supports the story of the exodus. Rather, we praise the beauty of the story and its national and universal values. Liberation from slavery as a concept is at stake, not the location of Pithom. In fact, attempts to rationalize stories like this, as many scholars have tried to do in order to “save” the Bible’s historicity, are not only sheer folly, but in themselves an act of infidelity. According to the Bible, the God of Israel stood behind Moses and there is no need to presume that actual occurrence of a high or low tide in that or that lake in order to make His acts faith-worthy.[3]


“The biblical history was written in order to...


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