Court case for Bible Society bookshop in Tel Aviv
The Bible Society in Israel requests prayer for a court hearing tomorrow January 24, 2018 at 9:30 a.m. The court case concerns the Bible Society bookshop in Tel Aviv, which has been in the same premises for 55 years and should have protected status. The owner, however, is alleging that by selling other Christian literature, in addition to the Bible, the Bible Society is violating its commercial license and therefore does not meet the criteria of a protected tenant.
Two representatives of the Bible Society are prepared to give evidence in court tomorrow, but they are understandably nervous and ask for prayer.
It is believed that the owner of the premises is being influenced by others who are opposed to the presence of the Bible Society in Tel Aviv and the sale of Christian books.
Please pray that:
a) The representatives will have the wisdom needed to present the truth in court in a way that will be effective and convincing
b) God will be glorified, that justice will be done and that the bookshop will be able to continue to function and make Christian literature available in a secular area of Tel Aviv
Contents in this article were reposted from http://www.meconcern.org/2018/
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Celebrating Be’ad Chaim’s 30th Birthday
An advantage of getting older is to be able to look back and give thanks for what God has done over the years. When I was in Israel a while back, I met again 2 delightful young men I had known over the years. One a vibrant young man about to start his army service, the other in a wheelchair, but full of life and fun and part of a loving family, and I marvelled afresh that neither of them would have been alive if it hadn’t been for the work of Be’ad Chaim. Both their mothers had had crisis pregnancies and had been considering abortion. However they had found understanding and support for themselves and been helped to choose life for their babies. It had not been easy, but neither regretted their decision. – Just a tiny sample of the precious fruit of a very remarkable work of God.
I have been involved with Be’ad Chaim since around 1983 when the first seed thoughts were planted by Gary Burgel, an American who asked me to research abortion in Israel in order to rewrite and publish in Hebrew, a booklet he had written on the subject for the USA. Although I had not been interested in the topic, once I saw the statistics (possibly slightly inflated), which appeared to show that just under 1 in 3 pregnancies were being aborted, which is the same proportion of world Jewry that Hitler killed, I knew I needed to sound the alarm.
The battle was fierce but after several years of prayer, networking with other believers with similar concerns from all over Israel, lively committee meetings, and fundraising, the Be’ad Chaim amutah (charity/non-profit) was registered on 23rd January, 1988. Exactly 30 years ago.
It says a lot that several from those early days are still involved, such as Tony Sperandeo, Ted and Linda Walker, Ma’ayan Leonard, and Julie Ben Avraham; and many others, too numerous to list, have played their part in many ways over the years in supporting financially and practically, praying, leafleting, teaching, administration, counselling, manning the 24 hour hot line, producing the news letters and calendars, sorting baby clothes and equipment – the list is almost endless of all that has gone into enabling Be’ad Chaim grow and flourish for 30 years.
However, it had a pretty rocky start, when we feared “our baby” would die at birth, but the Lord resurrected it and Be’ad Chaim has gone from strength to strength, building on the prayers and planning of the early days. For some 10 years Ted Walker was director, and many babies were saved through leafleting, street outreaches, and making congregations, leaders and teens aware of the value of life. Counsellors were trained and offices established in several towns. The Silent Scream video was sent to every Member of the Knesset to raise awareness.
Under Sandy Shoshani, the current Director of Be’ad Chaim, the work has continued to grow enormously in the last 13 years. There are 13 counsellors covering effectively the whole country. Many of the referrals now come through a social media campaign to increase public awareness of alternatives to abortion and to combat the idea that abortion is good for women. Be’ad Chaim’s mandate is to defend the rights of the unborn and their mothers. Links have been developed with Social Workers and the IDF who also refer girls, and there has been opportunity to meet with several Knesset members to discuss the need to stop abortion. Be’ad Chaim has been on national television, in news reports and been written about in national media. It was also a great honour, in July 2016 to win an award from the Knesset, for their outstanding contribution to women’s health in Israel.
The Be’ad Chaim hotline number enables girls to talk to an advisor, consider their options, find out what help is available and take time to think through their difficult choice. They, and perhaps their partners and family members, can then talk more with a counsellor near their home, who will give real support as they think things through, and offer continued help if they decide to keep their baby.
In 2006, Sandy, together with others, had the vision and faith to start the Operation Moses Project to provide, if the mother cannot; a bed, stroller, baby clothes – whatever the new baby needs – plus diapers and formula for its first year. The mothers keep in touch with their local office each month and can get emotional as well as practical support, plus parent craft and other practical courses. Though the project started small, (15 in the first year), it currently supports 500 families throughout the country. 350 are in the Operation Moses project and 150 are pregnant. It costs $1,800 to sponsor a baby for a year, but through faith and the generosity of supporters, the Lord has supplied, and in 11 years, over 2,000 lives have been saved through Operation Moses. Sadly the need is constant, so if you would like to sponsor a baby please contact the office. You will receive a certificate with the baby’s name and birth date, plus information about the child at birth and at one year, when the baby leaves the programme.
The counsellors also care for women who have had abortions and are suffering the often devastating effects of Post Abortion Syndrome. These mothers can also plant a tree in Be’ad Chaim’s “Gardens of Life” near Latrun, in memory of an aborted child whom they may not previously have been able to acknowledge or mourn properly, and often find forgiveness and healing through this.
Only God knows how many babies this wonderful work has actually saved over the last 30 years. Some of those babies are parents themselves by now. Some of the Mums have chosen life through reading a leaflet on the street, or been caused to reconsider by just looking on the website, and never contacting the office. We give thanks to the Lord for them all.
All the staff are Messianic believers who believe that every child is created in the image of God. Their goal is to save babies from abortion and give women new hope as they learn that God cares about them and has a good plan for their own and their child’s life. The emotional and financial costs are huge, as they work on the front line in the battle for life, and not every baby is saved. So they need our prayers. A weekly prayer email and a quarterly newsletter can be requested from the Be’ad Chaim office email@example.com, detailing the work and prayer needs around Israel.
At this special time of thanksgiving and celebration, please pray for provision for the work; strength and wisdom for Sandy and the staff, and guidance for the future: blessing and protection for the mothers and babies, especially those whose lives are right now in jeopardy, as well as those who have been given the gift of life over the years; also for those who are seeking peace and healing after an abortion they now regret. Pray that all may have life. Life in all its fullness.
This article originally appeared in Be’ad Chaim’s newsletter, January 22, 2018, and reposted with permission.
Be'ad Chaim (Pro Life) is a registered Israeli non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of mothers and unborn children.
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KNI Israel Prayer Corner :: Jan 23, 2018
Prayer for the Community
1. The driving force for KehilaNews.com is well stated on about about page, “Our vision is to connect the millions of Christians around the world who love Israel with the Messianic community in Israel.” That also happens to be the most critical prayer issue that we can pray for the entire Israeli Messianic community. Why? Because it is impossible for the body in Israel to thrive and fulfill our mission without the help of Christians worldwide. The joining together of the two is God’s plan for mutual blessing. (Ephesians 2:14) – Please Pray for a greater awakening of these spiritual truths around the world. Pray for Christians to bless Israeli ministries to be a blessing. Pray for the bridge-building ministries like Kehila News Israel (KNI) and FIRM and others to receive material support for our labors. (1 Timothy 5:18) Thank God for all the Christians who love the body of Messiah in Israel – like BRAD TV for Korea.
- Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain in due season! The beginning of the fall rains (during Sukkot) were light but as winter has come in, the rains are increasingly strong and hard. The blessing of rain cannot be overstated for Israel who has suffered drought rainfall conditions for several years now. There is still a lot more rain that is needed to bring up water levels, so please continue to pray for downpours. “Let us now fear Adonai Eloheinu, who gives rain in its season —fall rain and spring rain— who reserves for us the appointed weeks of harvest.” (Jeremiah 5:24) More scriptures you can pray over Israel for rain – which is also symbolic of the spiritual outpouring – are 1 Kings 8:36, James 5:18, Leviticus 26:4. And Zechariah 10:1: “Ask rain from the LORD at the time of the spring rain– The LORD who makes the storm clouds; And He will give them showers of rain...”
- As we brought up last week religious opposition against as the witness of the Israeli Messianic community is on the rise again. During the past week we heard of other religious persecutions including how the Chabad rabbi in Dimona is again stirring up protests against a small Messianic gathering in a commercial shopping center space. This time using the teenaged yeshiva students (Jewish studies) to annoy and disturb the peace of their meetings. The rabbis want the mayor of Dimona to shut down the center completely. It is good to know that it is secular shop keepers who are neighbors to the Messianic meeting place who are defending them against the protesters. (Matthew 21:31) Please keep in prayer all acts of religious persecution of Messianic believers including the denial of citizenship based on their faith in Yeshua.
- Aryeh Deri, the head of Israel’s Interior Ministry which is a key hotbed for religious persecution against Messianic Jews in terms of their Israeli citizenship, is under investigation by Israel Corruption Police unit under suspicion of multiple indications of graft. Deri was imprisoned in 2002 after being convicted of bribery while heading the Interior Ministry and now police are doing a deep dive in an investigation that has spanned most of 2017. He was recently questioned for the sixth time in January 2018. Since Deri has been at the head of the Interior Ministry, there has been a distinct rise in discrimination against of Messianic Jewish believers. Please pray that if Deri is guilty as suspected that he is removed from his position and that the persecution against believers by the Interior Ministry would stop. (Ecclesiastes 8:11, Proverbs 16:4, Psalm 145:20, Psalm 37:28)
Prayer for Israel
1. A new timeframe has been set by the US for its move of the American consulate to Jerusalem: by the end of 2019. The new date came after the news media blew up differences in the understanding of when that would take place between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and U.S. President Trump. Once again, the news media attempted to take simple misunderstanding and use it politically against both of the leaders involved. It is highly unlikely that the news media will ever treat anything related to Israel or God’s plan for Israel with honesty or integrity. Therefore please pray that those who follow the mainstream news would be given true discernment by God, and that we would not be tossed around like waves in a stormy wind driven sea. (James 1:6) Also, please continue to pray that the US President will stay the course of this important decision, following through to its completion. (1 Timothy 2:2)
2. President Trump’s Jerusalem consulate announcement, plus his move to cut off one half of its UNRWA funding for Palestinian aid, sent Palestinian leader Abbas into a barrage of invective against the American President and anti-Semitic vitriol against Israel. The successor of the Palestinian Authority terrorist-leader Yasser Arafat, Abbas renewed longstanding claims to Jerusalem that he asserted supersede Israel’s claim. Abbas further withdrew PA recognition of Israel and cut all ties to Israel. For decades the Palestinian Authority found the nations willing to turn a blind eye to their false claims on Jerusalem and against the Israeli nation. It is not sitting well, as Abbas’ temper tantrum shows, but also the timing of it is not right for stirring up the Arab allies they have also depended on to rally with a false importance placed on their claim to Jerusalem. It is a key prayer point to ask God for the steadiness of the new U.S. position, for continued reluctance of Arab states to over-inflate Palestinian claims and for other nations to balk at the funding requests of Palestinians, which are inordinately spent on lining the pockets of Palestinian leaders and fighting against Israel.
3. Continue to pray regarding Iran which poses a particular threat to Israel, as well as to its Sunni Arab neighbors, the US and indeed the world. Pray for the average Iranians who have been protesting the rule of the religious fundamentalists of Iran, as well against Iranian proxies like Hezbollah, Syria and others creating havoc throughout the region. Pray for the Israeli Mossad who are able to penetrate Iran. It is key to have eyes and ears from within in order to neutralize the threat. (Numbers 13:1, Deuteronomy 29:29, Daniel 2:47, 2 Kings 6:8-23)
The Kehila News Staff is a team of Israeli believers in Yeshua.
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Center run by believers under attack again in Dimona
Protesters outside the Messianic meeting center in Dimona, Photo: Courtesy Albert and Esther Knoester
Protests have rekindled recently in southern Israel outside a new Messianic meeting center that re-opened up in the center of Dimona earlier this month.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews protested outside the center and even threatened some of the people there, months after they also demonstrated outside the homes of believers in Dimona connected to the center, damaging their home and traumatizing the children who live there.
Albert and Esther Knoester updated Kehila News Israel regarding the current wave of attacks and both the positive and negative aspects of the attention it has brought. Albert is an elder at Nachalat Yeshua (Yeshua’s Inheritance) congregation in Beersheba.
KNI: What sort of center did you open in Dimona and where exactly?
The place is meant to be a meeting place, a place where people can walk in, sit down, have a cup of coffee or tea and can chat. Several media called it “a Mission Post.” Others wrote about a place where it was preached that “Jews had to convert to Christianity.” Others wrote that it was a place where a congregation had their services. Now we are NOT ashamed of the gospel! But this place is not intended to be a “Mission Post” but a place of meeting. Approximately half a year ago this place was opened. But because we soon experienced severe opposition, we decided to close this place temporarily (in order not to add oil on the fire). In the beginning of January this year, we re-opened a few mornings/afternoons per week. The problems start again.
KNI: You have experienced opposition in the past in Dimona. What sort of reactions have occurred since you opened this center?
Both, very positive as well as negative reactions. Because of all the negative attention we received in the local news papers, people came to us to talk with us also about what we believe. Some of them had never ever talked with Christians. It caused severe reactions from others. We had a “Sanhedrin” coming to our home. With a number of rabbis we were interrogated for some hours. The first religious leader who entered the house screamed: “Where is the cross?! Where is the cross?! And where is Jesus on the wall?! I can only see the 12 tribes of Israel and the gates of Jerusalem on the wall and a big Menorah!”
He was completely confused. After a time of cooling down they started the issues against us.
The first point was the Tanach. We allegedly have a different Tanach (Old Testament), than they have.
Our Tanach was searched and they reluctantly had to admit that it was a real Tanach.
The next point of examination was: The New Testament would have been written by Christians. Esther remarked: “Dear gentlemen, Matthew, Mark, John and Peter were not Christians but Jews!” One of the men demanded: “Give us a New Testament.” That in itself was remarkable, for quite a number of Jewish people are afraid to be struck by lightning, when they touch the New Testament. The New Testament was handed from one to another. And the last rabbi apparently was so fascinated that during more than 15 minutes he deepened himself in the reading of the beginning of the gospel of Matthew.
Then came the next “attack.” One rabbi said: “You are a komer (priest), for you read the Bible, and you try to explain the Bible in this house, but you are not at all capable to understand it. For the Bible is just like an ocean. You are able to ‘sniff’ a bit at the surface but we can go for the deep.”
I asked Esther for my Bible and read the first couple of verses of Psalm 23: “The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.” I said: “Maybe this is too deep for me. Maybe I understand nothing of this, but with this we can live and with this we can die.”
Then they questioned Esther: “What do you think of it when people spit at you and they are they throw stones at you?” Esther replied with a quote from that same Psalm: “You will prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”
At the end of the gathering we agreed that we would (temporarily) close the “Open House” and together with the “religious leaders” we would continue our conversation what place the “Open House” should get in the community. Their eyes full of hatred did not predict much good, but from that moment onwards the situation only worsened.
One day later, one of the rabbis wrote in a local news paper: “We went to that house in order to silence them by force, but that woman would not stop talking! She should know about that other verse of Psalm 23: about the valley of the shadow of death. Let her go through it, together with her husband.”
Also there were many made up stories in the various media the following days. We were accused of bribing people. We would give someone in Dimona a car to try to make him a Christian. We would put a powder in someone’s coffee to change Jews into Christians. We coerce Jews to give up their faith by force. We spread evangelistic materials, etc. etc.
Because they are unable to charge us, and unable to find anything against us, another weapon is used instead: lies, gossip, changing facts and blackmail. There are pictures of us in the city center with severe warnings. Also big posters on billboards with nasty texts have been put up. The people are warned to watch out and protect their children against us.
Really all tools are being used. When we were in the Town Hall for a meeting, Esther suddenly noticed that they were taking a film of us through a small hatch in the wall.
Not long after this meeting demonstrations started to take place in front of our house. A call was put out on Facebook and we were visited by Yad L’achim. Then also a number of our windows were smashed, and yet more other damage was done to the house.
But together with the opposition also comes the blessing! All things work out for good! After having been indoors for over a week ( for fear of the Jews), we decided to walk to the town center. Suddenly there was a shout: “Bo, (come)! Do you want a drink?” And there we suddenly sat on a terrace between the people. After 15 minutes someone said: “You know, I am a Jew. But I do not believe in God. After what my family has experienced in the second World War, I can no longer believe in God.” But… he said: “I see that God is with you!” Esther said: “One day God will also open your eyes.” These words touched him deeply as we could see. Quite a number of “ordinary people” are feeling ashamed of what is being done to us.
We receive invitations from people to come over and have a coffee with them. We had at least six times an opportunity to explain to a rabbi why we believe that Jesus is the Messiah, (as a result of the question to us: Why do you belief that Jesus is the Messiah?). Please pray that God will reveal Himself to the people with whom we are in contact and that they will come to believe in Yeshua the true Messiah.
KNI: Was this sort of reaction something that you were expecting? How did you prepare for it?
On the one hand we did not expect this. During the past years we have build up a good relationship with the people of Dimona. They know who we are. Actually that has never been a problem.
On the other hand we did expect it. We know that our Lord did not promise us a “picnic” here on earth but he said: In this world you will suffer persecution, but be of good cheer, for I have conquered/ overcome the world.” And actually it cannot be otherwise: where (the) light meets (the) darkness, there will be resistance.
Concerning the preparation: we did not really prepare ourselves for this. But God Himself in His great mercy prepared us. One day before these difficulties started, the Lord spoke to us in a special way through His word. His Word really is “ living and powerful”!
KNI: Has there been any physical harm or damage done to people or property?
As I told you before, some windows were broken and some damage was done to our house. And because we bent down at the right moment we were not hit by stones thrown at us. But apart from this damage there was also psychological trauma to one of the families in Dimona. Due to the demonstrations and also because their house was damaged by stones. But also through bullying etc., their two young daughters were traumatized by what had happened and they needed psychological help.
KNI: How can the body of Messiah support you in this?
We are happy with the support we have received until now from brothers and sisters who encourage us with e-mail and/or who come to visit us.
Prayer remains the most important. Pray for the politics. The Apostle Paul writes that we should pray for “kings and all who are in authority, so that we may have a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” Pray that justice will be done in Dimona, in the Negev and throughout the whole country. Pray also for the spiritual leaders. That those who now scoff and smear the Name of the Lord Jesus will open their hearts and confess Him.
The prophet Isaiah says: “I will pour out my Spirit on your descendants and My blessing on your offspring.” Please pray for the fulfilling of these words! God is good and we want to follow Him in what HE has for us here in Dimona. Pray without ceasing and thank God in everything and “pray on our behalf, that utterance may be given to us in the opening of our mouth, to make known the mystery of the gospel with boldness for which we are ambassadors in ‘chains.’” (Eph. 6:19)
KNI: Anything you like to add?
First of all, nobody knows what the near future will look like. It is important to be prepared for what is to come. As Paul writes: “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armour of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of darkness.”
Another important thing is: Do not be focused overtly on the demonstrations, throwing of stones, abusive words. Before we realize it we lose our “Focus.” Let us be focused on Jesus the Apostle and High Priest of our confession (Hebrews 3).
Our Father in Heaven will fulfill His plan. Against all odds He will also cause Jews to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord.
And last but not least: pray for the persecuted Church. In several countries churches were burned down in the past year, brothers and sisters were persecuted because of their faith. At least 3,000 people were killed last year for their faith in Jesus. We would like to say to everybody; Whatever circumstances we are in, through whatever difficulties we have to go through, “Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus, the One who laid the foundation of our faith: the author and perfecter of our faith: Thinking about the joy that was laid before Him, He was not deterred by the shame of the cross.” (Hebrews 12).
The Kehila News Staff is a team of Israeli believers in Yeshua.
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VIDEO: A balanced view of apostolic ministry
As we continue to teach apostolic and prophetic restoration in Israel, the controversy surrounding apostles and prophets in our day is back in the spotlight. Here’s what we believe and what we don’t believe about apostolic and prophetic ministry.
Asher Intrater is the founder and apostolic leader of Revive Israel Ministries, and oversees Ahavat Yeshua Congregation in Jerusalem, and Tiferet Yeshua Congregation in Tel Aviv. Asher was one of the founders of Tikkun International with Dan Juster and Eitan Shishkoff, and serves on the board of the Messianic Alliance of Israel and Aglow International.