But the end of all things is at hand;
Therefore be serious and watchful
In your prayers.
I Peter 4:7

~ Israeli Newspapers Carry ~
~ Messianic Ads ~

    In the winter of 1996 a bill was introduced into the Israeli Knesset that would have made it a crime to distribute literature that proclaimed that Yeshua was the promised Messiah to the Jewish people. (See Issue 97-2).
    Recently, one of the sponsors of that bill withdrew his support and the bill died. This was attributed in no small part to the massive protest mounted by various Messianic Jewish and Christian organizations throughout the world. One of the benefits of this effort was the bringing together of many Believers, in the land of Israel, into closer contact with one another.
    On April 29, 1998, the 50th Year Jubilee editions of the three major Hebrew language newspapers in Israel carried ads proclaiming Yeshua as the Messiah. The three newspapers were: Yediot Aharonot, Ma 'ariv, and Ha'Arefz. Also, the ad ran in a Russian (Israeli) newspaper and the English edition of Ha'Aretz.
    The only paper that refused to carry the ad was the Jerusalem Post. However, the Post did carry an "anti-missonary" ad on that same day, which was placed in the paper by Orthodox Jewish activists.
    (Information taken from the Maoz Israel Report, June, 1998 issue. Their address in the U.S. is Box 763100, Dallas, TX 75376-3100.)

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~ New Missionary Threat ~

    Right on the heels of the good news report concerning the withdrawal of the Anti-Missionary bill, comes the introduction of a new Anti-Missionary bill that has the full support of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The interesting thing is, this bill could be worse for the Messianic Believers in Israel than the one that was just killed.
    This new bill, introduced by Raphael Pinhasi of the Shas party, is supported by the 37 Knesset members who make up the Coalition that supports Netanyahu. The 28 opposition members opposed the bill. It would impose a three year prison sentence or an NIS 50,000 ($13,500) fine for anyone found guilty of "preaching with the intent of causing another person to change his religion."
    The previous bill was directed towards printed material. This new bill would cover both printed material and the spoken word.
    According to the Jerusalem Post International Edition of May 30, 1998, this bill was brought to a vote without speeches or discussion. It would cover all religions, not just Christian activities.

    The Coalition whip, Meir Sheetrit, initially opposed bringing the bill to a vote. After discussions with the bill's sponsor, Sheetrit supported the bill. However he is quoted as saying:

    "This bill will be buried in committee like similar bills before it. I made this clear to Pinhasi. He knows it and that is why I let it pass. There is no way this will become a law." (p. 4).

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- Thou Shalt Not Steal -

    The August, 1998 issue of Bible Review tells the story about the book shop in North London which specializes in secondhand religious books.

    It seems that Pendlebury's Bookshop had a very large problem with people stealing books from them. They had posted "Thou Shalt Not Steal" signs, but it did not seem to help. Finally, a customer, who was aware of their problem, ran across a 16th century Spanish curse. He immediately thought of the book shop, sent them a copy, and the store posted it. It reads as follows:

    "For him that stealeth a Book from this Library, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with Palsy, and all his Members blasted. Let him languish in Pain crying aloud for Mercy and let there be no surcease to his Agony till he sink in Dissolution. Let Bookworms gnaw his Entrails in token of the Worm that dieth not, and when at last he goeth to his final Punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him for ever and aye."

    Theft has virtually disappeared since the curse was posted, and two anonymous customers have returned large boxes of stolen books.

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~ Shalom ~


The Beginning and the End

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