Categories
Ministry Event Reports

DIVERSE GOOGLE GENNERS CHANGE LIFE-COURSE AFTER THIS SUPER YOUTH CAMP!

Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj

To say that this was the youth camp with the most diverse selection of Google Generation I have been ever part of in 24 years of preaching in youth camps, is an understatement!

300 youth from India-over were there in this camp! The most diverse crowd of Google Genners I have ever ministered in! #YouthCamp #DukeJeyaraj #Diverse #GoogleGen

In the Sishya Team youth camp organised by Bro. Ashok Vedanayagam and team in Joe Beach, East Coast Road, Chennai, there were 300 plus young people from Chennai and beyond (Bangalore, Delhi, Madurai, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Jharkhand, etc.). School students, college students, IT Professionals, families associated with the Sishya Team, school teachers, college professors, etc. were there. The Lord graciously blessed each of the three main messages I preached.

In message one, I gave the youth seven reasons why they must not procrastinate their salvation and total commitment to Christ (All starting with the letter, S). The young people responded to the altar call, raising hands, standing up and kneeling down and praying. They could not come forward because of the lack of space.

In the second main message, I brought a challenge for sexual purity from I Thessalonians 4, the Bible chapter with the most personal call for sexual purity. After this message the young people committed their hair to heels and everything in between to the Lord, 100%.

In the main message 3, delivered on the last day, of the four-day camp, 15 August 2022, I talked about Witnessing Whys and Ways. I outlined six ways to witness for Jesus. At the end of this message, 20 youth joined me on stage indicating their decision to ‘become Corn (of Wheat)’ rather than to spend their times ‘watching porn’ or in Phone addiction in the one life they have.

I also shared in two workshops spread over two days (Aug. 13-14). One workshop was on finding God’s Will. The other was on Career Choice Clues. Sections of the audience attended these out of their free-will. I started off with a Kahoot Quiz in both session to get warmed up. My daughter, Datasha, helped me with the technicalities. My son, Dale, who was flown to the Camp, from Delhi by Annan Ashok, shot videos of the workshop. My wife closed in prayer. I answered live questions after the workshop (‘Does it mean we must give up on our dreams if ‘Close Doors’ is one way of finding God’s Will?’ – this was one question which I answered).

Sharing the Knowing God’s Will workshop in the Sishya Team Camp. #DukeJeyaraj

I also counselled a group of 8 students from 8 different colleges on how to do youth ministry in their college talking about how I did ministry in the college I was in, Allahabad Agri Institute, where I did B. Tech. 1993-97. These youth had committed for ministry involvement after Ashok annan challenged them.

My wife and I joined others when we prayed for the baptism of the Holy Spirit upon the campers after Annan Ashok spoke on the Holy Spirit. 

The Lord mightily used the others several others in this camp: Annan Ashok, Bro. Sreedhan Manoharan (VP of an International Tractor Firm), Dr. Vijay-Dr.Ann (Assam Missionary Doctors), Swaroop (Sishya Team Staff) Andy (formerly with YFC), Bro. Sankar Ramachandran (UP), Sis. Samuela (Life Focus Society), Sis. Cynthi (Ashok annan’s sister-in-law). It was my humbling honor to be part of this wow team.

Thrilled to be part of an awesome team and minister in the Sishya Camp!!!

The campers had interesting activities they could get involved in during the camp. One of was sand-castle building. I was privileged to be one of the judges of this event!

Sand Castle Building Activity in the youth Camp! I was one of the judges! #JoeBeach #ECR #Chennai

I had a one on one interaction with one of the campers who told me this: ‘Every camp, I make a decision. I fail shortly after that. So this camp I do not want to make any commitment.’ I explained to him how he could sustain his camp decisions. He was soon praying the sinner’s prayer with me!

Thank you for praying. You prayed and I could feel the impact even as I ministered in Joe Beach, East Coast Road, Chennai.

I received warm words of encouragement and appreciation from the youth part of the camp and from Ashok annan. One 17-year old wrote to me via Instagram after the camp this: Praise God uncle! This is…… Heard all your messages at Sishya Camp. It was so inspiring, motivating and life-changing. Keep changing impure souls, uncle. You did a very great job, uncle. God bless you, uncle.’ Tears welled-up in my eyes. All glory to God.

With Ashok Vedanayagam annan, the founder of Sishya Team. He was kind to invite me to speak in this camp.

The camp brought a blessing into the lives of my kids who attended several sessions where I was not the speaker. When we wanted to leave after my final session was done, my daughter insisted we stay back till the end. Such was the impact. My prayer is this: the fire in the altar of their hearts will keep burning till the last day (Lev. 6:12). The messages I shared were recorded. We will release as and when our volunteers will edit them on our Youtube channel under ‘Duke Jeyaraj’

Categories
Stories from my life

Started This When I was 16 Years Old….

Duke Jeyaraj

Fiercely introvertish. Super shy. That’s who I am still. That’s Duke Jeyaraj even now. But my God chose me – and when I get to heaven I will certainly ask him why – to preach His Word. 31 years ago as a 16 year old, I preached God’s Word from a stage for the first time as a class XII student of Ida Scudder School, Vellore, on this very day – 9th August. This journey has been marvelous and I fall down at His feet and worship Him acknowledging my nothingness. To each one of you who have ‘endured’ my sermons all these years I am most grateful.

Some of my preaching heroes are in heaven now. One of them is Rev. S. A. Sundarraj of Vellore-6 Assemblies of God. Once I paid a courtesy visit to him. He was in the church. He was the one who recommended me to Southern Asia Bible College for the M. Div. course. His face lit up as he saw me. He then asked me this question: “Will you preach the message in our church, this Sunday?” I was flattered. I was floored. Me, to preach in the church I went to week after week as a little boy? Me, to preach in the church where I was baptized in water? Me, to preach in the presence of my pastor?

When the day came – a Sunday in the month of May 2011 – Rev. S. A. Sundarraj introduced me to the congregation. He said, ‘Duke and me have a lot in common. We can start with anything we see or anything we have read in the newspaper and preach a message from that!’ And I went to preach a message that Sunday that was titled, Bible Lessons for Today’s Believers From India’s World Cup Win with Dorai Jasper annan interpreting into Tamil. The message can be heard here:

One of the joys that I have had in all these years of preaching is this: I have preached in meetings organised by others. By others I mean churches. By others, I mean parachurch organisations. By others I mean loosely-administered corporate company fellowships. By others I mean College Administrations or School Administrations. This way I have crossed many different boundaries and barriers. The kingdom of God has been built.

Another surprise that I have had in these 31 years of preaching is this: though I do not preach to get invited again, there are places I wanted again. Though I tell people what they should hear and not what they want to hear, in some cases, they want me back. For example, after I preached in a youth camp in Germany in 1998, the pastor wanted me back in 1999. I have been invited again to speak in a top medical college in their annual camp. Why do I say this? When you are faithful in executing God’s call upon you as a preacher, you will not become ‘jobless’! I am a witness!

Thank you for all your sacrificial support to my preaching over all these decades! I am ever so grateful!

Categories
Ministry Event Reports

A Nerve-wracking Kahoot Bible Quiz on the Book of Ruth

Duke Jeyaraj

On 29 June 2022, Wednesday, at 9 PM, we at Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission (G4 Mission) organised an online Bible Quiz. It was open for all age-groups. As the quiz began we had 54 players who joined. See this picture:

The cast of characters – as the gripping drama of the Book of Ruth Kahoot Quiz was about to start!

Duke Jeyaraj began asking the questions. These questions were fresh questions that focused on application of Bible Truth into one’s life. They were geared to make preachers and teachers of God’s Word down the line.

Here are a few sample questions:





As the quiz rolled, we had different leaders at different stages. Let us see a few pictures that will help us see that:

Bhavana Priya led after question 1.
Charles led after question 2. Two questions. Two new leaders! Wow!
Joel took the lead after four questions! Another new leader!
Joel held onto his lead after five questions. We had Helena, Mahi, and Tina on the rapid rise.
Mahi (Mahima Bindu) took the lead after question 7. Pratiksha is back in the top 5. Namrata back in the game!
After question 8, Priscilla D leads. Another new leader! Timothy on the rise!

Priscilla D firmly holding onto her lead three questions later – after question 11 is done!

It is still Priscilla D in the lead after 13 questions! Apphia has the highest answer streak of 13, meaning she never got a single question wrong so far!
After Question 17, Mahima Bindu takes the lead once again! Tina firmly holding onto the third position for quite some time now!
Priscilla D takes back her lead with just one question left for the quiz to be over! However, Pratiksha and her husband, Manas are on the rise!
However at the end of the quiz, Pratiksha comes out as a winner!
The final group picture! This was the first quiz we have conducted where over 50 players answered every question of the quiz! We have had several Kahoot Bible quizzes now. Search ‘Duke Jeyaraj Kahoot’ on Youtube to pull up older ones. Thank you for your enthusiastic participation!

Finishing at no. 3 and no.4 are Mahima Bindu and Nayomi Christina. They are siblings! The top two – Pratiksha and Manas – are a married couple! I am so glad entire families are learning God’s Word and taking part in this quiz!

The recording of this quiz can be seen here:



In this video, you will hear Duke Jeyaraj bring Bible Teaching on varied topics inbetween the questions. He calls for sexual purity using Boaz’s example. He counsels on life partner choice from his comments on Ruth 2:3. And much more. You have to listen to the full video to understand what we try to do through this quiz which attracts people of all agegroups from different churches – mainline, Pentecostal and independent – from different corners of India and beyond (in the top five, we had a player playing from Belgium). The next such quiz will be on the Gospel of Matthew on Wednesday 3 August 2022.

The winners (top 5) will get Prize. A Study Bible plus a Book for the winner; a Study Bible for the person who stood second; a Stylish Bible for the third place winner; a Bible for the fourth place winner; a Sound Doctrine Christian Book for the fifth place winner. They will also get digital certificates.

The ministry that runs this quiz is not a church. It is not sponsored by a church or a big international organisation. It is an inter-church ministry which runs, thanks to the donors who want to see the Google Generation going gaga over God’s Word through some creative efforts like these. The supporters are mainly Indians who have been blessed by Duke Jeyaraj and Evangelin Duke’s ministry over the years and want to contribute in some way. Our support comes through sacrificial giving of such precious individuals. Would you like to donate so these kind of efforts are stepped up even more? Then please use this link: https://rzp.io/l/G4Mission

Take time to read the Word of God! Never leave a Bible Passage till it speaks to you! God bless you!

Categories
End Times and the Bible

GOD AND MAGOG AND SCRIPTURE: FOCUS ON EVANGELIZATION RATHER THAN ON SPECULATION

Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj

Of late, after Russia invaded Ukraine, there has been a lot of focus on Bible Passages like Ezekiel 38 and 39. There is a talk that Gog and Magog mentioned in these chapters concerns Russia and Putin and so on and so forth. But I want issue a word of caution here. This word of warning comes straight from Scripture. Revelation 11:8 goes this way: “Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city – which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt – where also their Lord was crucified” (NIV). We know that the city where our Lord was crucified to be historically Jerusalem. But historic Jerusalem is symbolically called Sodom and Egypt in the book of Revelation. Why should this be so. The answer is obvious: Jerusalem committed the very same sins of Sodom (sexual immorality) and Egypt (Idol Worship).

Don’t get super-excited about names of places and their physical locations as the Lord’s return nears!

So as the coming of the Lord nears, we must not get super-excited about names of places and their physical locations! You excitedly blurt out, “Gog and Magog – that is about Russia! This is about Putin!” Don’t be so quick! Just above we saw proof that when the Bible talks about literal Jerusalem it may not be literal Jerusalem! We need to open to the possibility that Gog and Magog can signify another place spiritually speaking and not Russia. I am not saying this because of a personal bias. But I am saying this from the method of interpretation laid out in Revelation 11:8. Similarly, the ‘Babylon’ mentioned in I Peter 5:13, could have been used instead of Rome as there is no record in any other Bible passage which mentions that Apostle Peter and his spiritual son Mark ever ministered in geographical Babylon. Peter was using Babylon as a codeword for Rome, where he ministered. The phrase ‘She who is in Babylon together with you, sends you her greetings’ can be taken to mean the church in Rome sends you greetings. Peter uses this phrase just to be on the safer side when persecution was being stepped up. Babylon was a cryptogram for Rome. That’s all. If a Roman officer who was against the church get go to read I Peter, he would have got fooled when he read I Peter 5:13’s reference in Babylon, but believers of that time would instinctively know that Peter was talking about the church in Rome, and not the church in Babylon there.

Very often the physical location of Bible Places just don’t mean that place alone as Revelation 11:8 clearly shows!
Bible Scholars tell us that the Babylon of I Peter 5:13 does not mean geographical Babylon but geographical Rome. This verse has crypto description of the church in Rome to fool the enemies of the church in Rome.

Let’s read another passage from the book of Revelation: Revelation 20:7-8. It goes this way: ‘When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth – Gog and Magog – and to gather them for battle.’ Here Satan-deceived nations from the four corners of the Earth are called Gog and Magog. So, there is a real possibility that Gog and Magog is not indicative of one place in the end-times. As the coming of the Lord nears, you would be biblically wise, if you don’t be focus on physical locations like Russia, Jerusalem, Israel, etc. Instead your spiritual senses alert and you will see that people from all four directions of the globe are being deceived by Satan as the end draws near.

Jesus had told his disciples in no uncertain terms that the time of his return could not be guessed as the Father only knows this (Matt. 24:36; Mk. 13:32). Knowing they could not get an answer if they asked him a question, ‘When will you return Lord?’, I believe, they asked him a smartly-worded question which was a lot similar. They asked Jesus this question concerning the last days, the end times: ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the Kingdom to Israel?’ I believe this question is not much different from the questions we spend all our time speculating about these days: “Is Gog and Magog about Russia? Is Putin the anti-Christ? Will not Jesus surely return before one generation of people pass away after the formation of national Israel?” I believe Jesus’ answer to these questions is the same as his answer to the question of his disciples concerning geographical Israel’s future recorded by Luke in Acts: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Did you notice that Jesus indirectly mentions Gog and Magog, here? When speaks about the ‘ends of the earth’, I believe, Gog and Magog are also included in the list of places we must share the Goodnews with, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Rather than do unfruitful speculation about lesser important details about eschatology(end-times), we must focus our attention on gospel proclamation – that is the clear message of Acts 1:6-8. Ofcourse, the most important things concerning eschatology are these: the physical return of Jesus, the day of judgement where Jesus would be the judge, the eternal conscious torment of the stubborn Christ-rejectors, the reality of eternal heaven.

Acts 1:6-8 tells us this: do not waste your time in mere speculation about non-important aspects of eschatology. But be busy about passionate evangelization of all nations, peoples, tribes, languages.

If I get a chance to meet Putin, I will not ask him, ‘Are you the anti-Christ?’. Rather, I would look to share the Gospel with him! Rather than speculate on the role of nations in the endtimes, we must seek to spread the goodnews there! It is God’s job to harden their heart after having given them enough opportunities to repent like he did in Pharoah’s case. Once their heart is hardened they would go about fulfilling all what is written in the Bible about them in God’s calender. Till that happens, frankly, is none of our business. But it is our business to proclaim the Gospel to all in all nations – including Russia and Israel. God’s Word says so.

(A version of this article by Dr. Duke Jeyaraj appeared in the June 2022 edition of Evangelical Fellowship of India’s Aim magazine. Duke Jeyaraj, the author, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission. This is a reader-supported, inter-denominational Indian ministry to presentday people. Find out more by emailing Duke via emailduke@gmail.com or whatsapping him at +91-8886040605).

Categories
Happy Marriages Building Articles Romance In Marriage - Keeping It Alive

The Marriage Bed: The Biblical Call To BOTH Sanctify It And Electrify (Enjoy) It

Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj

The writer to the Hebrews writes, ‘Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral’ (Heb. 13:4, NIV). This is a clear call to sanctify the marriage bed! That means that there is no room in the marriage bed for anyone else apart from your spouse. To cite an example: You cannot watch porn to spice up your sex inside marriage for that is akin to having a porn star in your marriage bed (recall Jesus’ words which makes lust, adultery in Matt. 5:28).

Duke Jeyaraj writes, ‘You cannot watch porn to spice up your sex inside marriage for that is akin to having a porn star in your marriage bed (recall Jesus’ words which makes lust, adultery in Matt. 5:28).’

The same Bible that calls us to sanctify our marriage bed, calls us to electrify it as well! Let me explain: by saying that I mean there are clear calls in both the Old Testament and New Testament to celebrate inside-marriage sex! Can I briefly take you through a survey in this regard, which I believe, will be memorable!

The Call from the THE  FONDLING STORY:

‘The call to have unabashed sex inside marriage comes first from an incident from Isaac and Rebecca’s life’ – writes Duke Jeyaraj

We read that Isaac – he was not exactly young – fondling his wife Rebecca in Genesis 26. Genesis 26:8 goes this way: ‘When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelek king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah.’ The word ‘caressing’ here implies sexual foreplay. It is talking about a physical intimacy that may not necessarily lead to a sexual climax! It is sad phenomenon that among many Christian couple, the touching leads to super-fast sex without the lingering in the acts like caressing. As a couple, Isaac and Rebecca explored each other’s bodies in an unhurried way! That is indeed a biblical way to electrify your marriage bed!

The Call from the FOUNTAIN JODI:

‘The only biblical call for intoxication found in Proverbs 5:18-20 concerns the celebration of no-holding-back sexual love between husband and wife!’ – writes Duke Jeyaraj

The Proverbs-writer compares the wife to a fountain. I call the couple talked about in Proverbs 5, ‘the Fountain Jodi’ (the Fountain Couple). He writes in Proverbs 5:18-20: “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer – may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. Why, my son is intoxicated with another man’s wife? Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?” (ESV). Why is the wife called a fountain? The fountain was the source of clean drinking water in Biblical times. The implication is direct: the only guilt-free place that God has ordained for sexual thirsts to be quenched should be inside the boundaries of marriage. Men, from time immemorial have visit prostitutes, had affairs with the ‘wayward woman’ because of their thirst for sexual variety. And that is a sin against God as this above passage and other Bible passages would clearly teach. But what Proverbs 5:18-20 teaches is this: the husband and wife should together make their sex life so exciting that it would make a visit to a prostitute or affairs with wayward women/men a big bore! And what is more, this passage calls us for the only sin-free intoxication which is to enjoy sex within the boundaries of marriage! All other intoxication, alcohol and drug intoxication included, is sin according to the Bible. Have you ever realized that intoxication with sexual love for your spouse, is a God-commanded intoxication! Yes, Proverbs 5:18-20 is a biblical call to electrify the marriage bed!

The Call from the Fragrance of En Gedi

‘The Song of Songs couple inspires married couples to have sex inside of marriage to experience God-ordained pleasure! There is no mention of a child-birth in this book, did you notice?’ – writes Duke Jeyaraj

I refer to the Song of Songs couple here. The woman says in 1:12 to 14 this: ‘While the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance. My beloved is to me a sachet of myrrh resting between my breasts. My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi.’ This book uses word pictures to depict actual sexual intimacy situations. So, what is the meaning of Song of Songs 1:12-14? It is this, according to me: The husband becomes a sachet of good smell emanating myrrh who celebrates every curve of his wife in electrifying sexual union (the curves are explicitly named in the above passage). Myrrh used to drive away bad smell from dead bodies. But in this passage, myrrh represents the husband himself who transforms into a pleasing aroma which exhilarates his wife as they enjoy sexual union. In short, the perfume the wife wears not Victoria Secret (the famous perfume brand) but Victor (if Victor was the name of the husband)! What is more, in all the eight chapters of Song of Songs, there is no mention of a birth of a child. That tells me, that God created sex inside of marriage, not just for production of children but also the enjoyment of sexual pleasures! Have you heard the call from the fragrance of En Gedi to make your marriage bed, electrifying?

Finally, the call from FIRST CORINTHIANS ISSUED CALL OF ‘MISSIONARY’ DUTY

Apostle Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthian believer underlines a call of duty for both husband and wife: “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife” (I Cor. 7:3-4). This passage is akin to a missionary call. The only God-ordained ‘missionary’ that can deliver and demonstrate the ‘goodnews’ of sexual joy to your husband is you, wife! The only God-ordained ‘missionary’ that can declare and demonstrate the ‘goodnews’ of sexual joy to your wife is, husband! So, if not you, then who will excite the sexual life of your spouse?

The clear call not just to sanctify but electrify the marriage bed has come from different parts of Scripture.

Are Christian couples listening?

Duke Jeyaraj, a fulltime Bible Teacher, itinerant Revival Preacher, who is the author of this piece, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission (G4 Mission). This is a reader-supported Indian ministry. Duke’s book, Straight Talk, brings frank Bible Teaching wrapped around contemporary events on sex, love, marriage, porn, phone addiction and the like. Duke is married to Evangelin who also works fulltime with G4 Mission. They have two children – Dale, 18 and Datasha, 14. They currently live in Chennai. Email us at emailduke@gmail.com if you need further information.

Categories
G4 Mission Event Reports & Testimonies

TESTIMONIES FROM OUR KAHOOT BIBLE QUIZ PARTICIPANTS

#1

“Hello Brother! Thanks for organizing this kahoot quiz! It was a great joy to be part of this event… was really inspired by young boys like Jerome, Jaaziel, etc. taking God’s Word seriously (by preparing hard for this quiz and doing well). And finally your short yet powerful and direct snippets-in-between was really useful!” – a young married man and working professional, Chennai.

#2

“Good questions and a lot of learning!” – a young woman, Hyderabad.

#3

“Yesterday’s (kahoot quiz) session was really useful and was really fun uncle. This quiz helps me study and know the secrets hidden in that Bible book assigned for the quiz. It is indeed a soup for the soul! It really encourages us to complete reading of that Bible book!” – a young woman,  Chennai.

#4

“Thank you so much for the Amazing session, Duke anna!” – a young woman, Mumbai.

#5

“Thank you Duke for painstakingly preparing such a thrilling quiz on the book of Ecclesiastes, yesterday. By conducting such quizzes, you have motivated us to read the particular Bible book assigned for the quiz and try to ascertain the theme of the book, etc. It is amazing how with the Spirit’s leading you are able to relate verses/parables from the Bible with something contemporary from today’s world. Looking forward to the next quiz.” – a young working professional woman, Cuttack.

#6

“Thanks sir for the efforts taken towards the quiz. It really helped me study and understand Ecclesiastes better than I did before. Also the questions were so engaging and fun! Our whole family enjoyed doing it together. My kids who are under 7 want to participate next time.” – a home-maker and mother, Chennai.

#7

“During the Kahoot Quiz, God spoke to me through you as I explored Scripture to answer the questions asked.” – a young working professional woman, Hyderabad.

#8

“I really enjoyed the Kahoot quiz. It was interesting and very different. So much brain-work you had put in. Looking forward to having many more!” – a College Professor, Vellore.

We are encouraged to receive all your kindly-worded testimonies. Thank you for taking time to write-in. All glory to God. Now we welcome you to the next quiz on the book of Nehemiah (all 13 chapters) on Wednesday 27 April 2022 from 9 PM India time. Use this link to register now – :https://forms.gle/38msjE4hw2TPYo7a7 — and WhatsApp, Bro. Duke and 91-8886040605 once you have registered so that you can be placed in a WhatsApp list where regular updates about quiz will be sent. THOSE WHO HAVE ALREADY REGISTERED FOR THE NEHEMIAH QUIZ PLEASE DO NOT REGISTER AGAIN!

Categories
Promise Message With A Difference From The Bible Strong Believers Creating Articles

The Last Reference To Money In the Bible Calls Us For…..

Duke Jeyaraj

The last Bible reference of Money according to the ESV version of the Bible comes from Hebrews 13:5. It reads this way: Keep your life from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).

What a glorious promise comes at the end of that verse: I will never leave you nor forsake you!

The presence of God is the best blessing we can have! The Bible often talks about the blessings that the presence of God brings.

What are the blessings, the presene of God brings into our lives?

It brings into our life a joy which the world cannot give. David writes in the Psalms: “In your presence is fullness of joy” (Psa. 16:11). Lasting joy does not come from presents we receive – that gadget, that device – but from His presence!

The Presence of God in our lives distinguishes us from other people. That was Moses’ point. He said, “For how then can it be known that your people and I have found favor in your sight unless you go with us? How else will we be distinguished from all other people on the face of the earth!” (Ex. 33:15-16). You may be working in a company with thousands of employees. But the presence of Jesus in your life distinguishes you, sets you apart from others!

We are talking about the blessings of having God’s presence in our lives. King David penned a moving Psalm after he sinned with Bathsheba – Psalm 51. In that Psalm he refers to the Presence of God often. He writes, “Do not cast me from your Presence or take your Holy Spirit from me” (Psa. 51:11). Stubborn sin would take away God’s sweet joy-giving presence from His life, David knew. So, the loss of the sense of the presence of God when we indulge in stiff-necked sinful behavior motivates us to live Holy.

Another Psalm by David leads us to yet another angle to the blessing of God’s presence. David writes, “You hide them in the protection of your presence. Your presence can conceal them in a shelter from the schemes of men from quarrelsome tongues” (Psa. 31:20). In David’s life, the presence of God protected him from the repeated assassination attempts which King Saul launched onto him under the influence of an evil spirit (I Sam. 18:10; 19:9). The presence of God in our lives serves as a shield against the evil schemes of cunning co-workers in our offices.

The book of Jonah revealed to me something about the presence of God, something which I had not noticed before. God’s presence is already there in the location that God wants us to be present preaching and living the Gospel in the one life we have. Why do I say that? I say that because Jonah 1:3  says Jonah fled from the presence of God as he disobeyed God to go to Tarshish. That means God’s presence was already in Nineveh waiting for Jonah to do his missionary work! God’s presence waits to empower us to do what he has called us to do in the one life we have. I have witnessed that when I have executed his calling upon my life – grabbing the Google Generation from going to Gehenna (the word Jesus used for hell).

The presence of God already waits in the venue where He wants us to share the Gospel in! Read Jonah 1:3 to grasp that!

So, the promise of Hebrews 13:5 is the promise of God’s presence which brings in a bag full of blessings as the above paragraphs show!

But as it is true with every promise in the Bible, there is a condition for this promise as well. What is the condition? Let me copy paste the same verse under discussion here again: Keep your life from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).

The first condition for this promise is COOPERATION. This verse reads this way, “Keep yourself…” It is talking about your cooperation with God’s already available power! The Bible is full of things that God does for us. I call these things as our privileges! But don’t forget that the same Bible is also full of things that we must do in response, having received those wow privileges from God! I call these our responsibilities!  The Scripture is full of both God’s Charis and God’s Commands.

The New Testament is dotted with “keep yourself” commands. Here is a sample: keep yourself in God’s Love…. (Jude 21); keep yourself pure (recorded twice – I Tim. 5:22 and 2 Tim. 2:21); keep yourself from ‘such things’ and one such thing is sexual immorality (Acts 15:29). Keep yourself united in Spirit (Eph. 4:3). Let us cooperate with the Holy Spirit and life that is pleasing to the Lord. Then, the promise of his presence is ours!

The NT is full of “keep yourself” commands. That mean we must cooperate with the already-available power of the Holy Spirit.

The second condition for this glorious, ‘I will be with you’ promise comes from this phrase found in Hebrews 13:5: ‘and be content with what you have….’ CONTENTMENT is the second condition found in Hebrew 13:5 for the Hebrews 13:5 promise of “I will never leave you nor forsake you”.

There is a reason why contentment is the focus of the book of Hebrews. It was written at a time when Jewish believers were backsliding from their newfound Christian faith and wanting to become Jews again. It was easier to be a Jew than being a Christian during that time because the Roman government recognized the Jews but not the Christians. This government of that time started persecuting the Christians. The properties of Christians were being “plundered” after Government orders (Heb. 10:34). It was quite possible that Christians lost out on a job promotion and increase in salary because of their faith during those times when persecution against them was slowly but surely increasing. So, Christians had to learn to live contented lives managing with what they had.

Such times are already upon us. If they have not yet come, they are bound to come, sooner than later, no matter which nation you live! We could be persecuted for our Christian faith by the State Government as well as the Central Government. This is quite possible. This persecution could lead to loss of income. But we need to learn to live with contentment. And when we do that, we have this glorious promise from Hebrews 13:5: I will never leave you, nor forsake you! What else matters?

Mulk Raj Anand, senior journalist wrote, ‘We buy things we don’t need, to impress people we don’t like!’ How true! Let’s inculcate contentment in our lives. If we have to buy an iPhone because that does the job well for us, let us see if we can be content with a smaller size screen edition of the same and a lesser memory edition of the same! If we need a compact SUV car we could choose to be content with the frills-free model of the same!

Let us not forget these two ‘C’s: Cooperate and be Content!  Then, the glorious promise of Hebrews 13:5 – I will never leave you nor forsake you – will be ours! 

(This article was published by Aim Magazine published by Evangelical Fellowship of India in its March 2022 edition. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj is an itinerant preacher and writer. His book, Straight Talk, covers 50 taboo topics including porn, sexual temptation, masturbation, homosexuality, boy-girl physical intimacy boundaries, wise life-partner choice, sex inside marriage, and much more. You can get this book by WhatsApping 91-8886040605 following which you will get a payment link. Duke preaches ‘promise’ messages from the Bible that are balanced during the Month-End Midnight Prayer which starts at 11:45 PM of the last day of each month. WhatsApp +91-8886040605 to receive the link to join this meeting where people from different parts of India and the world – a small group – join together to enter the new month in God’s presence.)

Categories
G4 Mission History Ministry Event Reports

The Corinthians Correspondence Contest In Pictures

The Corinthian Correspondence Contest is an quiz contest that Duke Jeyaraj led on 23 March 2022 over Zoom Share. The peak participant count was 65. Here is a picture tour of this quiz:

We had players from different parts of India, Belgium and UAE participating. When we examined the 60 plus people who registered for this quiz, we found this: We are encouraged that many people from different age groups, walks of life and church backgrounds have already registered for this online, play from wherever you are, quiz. So far a wide variety of people –  from Government service background, from Delloitte, from Infosys, from TCS, from Byjus, in Class 6, in Class 7, in Class 8, from colleges in Mumbai, fulltime youth ministry staff, home-makers, from Christian organisations like World Vision, a whole bunch of CMC Nursing college, etc. – have already registered. Those who have registered are from various churches – CNI, Methodist, Bethel City, Full Gospel Church of God, CSI, Baptist, AG – various locations, JCNM, LEF, Ark VCI, Hosanna, IPC, Sharon Fellowship, Marthoma, Jacobite, Seventh Day Adventist, etc. Those who have registered hail from Alibag in Maharashtra to Zaheerabad, Telangana! They live in nearby Bangalore and far away Brussels, Belgium! They are from Kollam in Kerala to Khamman in Andhra Pradesh! 
After Question 1, the leader board. Notice that top two have same number of points! They hit the right answer in the same second – nano second!
This was the first question asked.
Another sample question.
The leader board after seven questions!
The leader after 13 questions became the eventual winner! She focussed on starting slow and making sure she got all answers right! She refused to take risks earlier on!
The fourteenth question! A call for believers to choose life partners wisely!
The leader board after 25 questions!
The leader board after 29 questions! Jerome, the eventual number 3, was number 4 at this time!
The last question asked. A question that lead to a discussion on financial accountablity.
The top five! When the wife finished first, the husband finished fourth! Wow!
40 stayed back for the group picture!
The most controversial question of this quiz was this! A majority got it wrong! I explain this further in this Youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sln8P4tOQWE&t=9s&ab_channel=DukeJeyaraj

Thank you for taking time to participate. The full quiz can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s76GharWQsY&t=2276s&ab_channel=DukeJeyaraj

The next such quiz will be on the book of Nehemiah. WhatsApp Duke Jeyaraj on 91-8886040605 if you plan to join that quiz which will be called Reliving the Rebuilding Kahoot Bible Quiz.

Categories
New Year Devotions

WHEN JESUS USED THE WORD ‘YEAR’….

Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj | New Year Bible Devotion

Jesus  used the word “Year” twice during his earthly ministry.

Jesus used the word ‘year’ twice during his earthly ministry. Duke Jeyaraj, examines those two occasions and brings out a practical message.

In a synagogue in Nazareth, he read from the scroll of the book of Isaiah this: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).  He particularly chose this passage to read from the Scroll (Luke 4:17).

What was Jesus’ point?  During his first coming, he came to announce the period of God’s favor; at that time, everyone has the opportunity to turn from sin and trust him as Savior. But when he comes back the second time, he will come as a judge. The writer to the Hebrews explains this further. She writes (I think it is Pricilla): So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him (Heb. 9:28). While Jesus would bring Salvation to those who are waiting for him, he will also bring judgment resulting in Hell for those who spurn ‘the year of God’s Favor’ – the time between his first coming and second coming!

So, let us use the New Year that God has graciously added to our lives to proclaim the year of God’s Favor! How do we do that? We do that by proclaiming Jesus through our life and lips to as many as possible! We do that by building God’s Kingdom using our time, talent and treasures! We must also clearly mention that this ‘year of God’s favor’ can come to an end the second Jesus returns to the earth. And the New Testament is clear that Jesus can return any time. It is there in Matthew’s Gospel: ‘So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him’ (Matt. 24:44). This truth is so important that it is repeated. See Matthew 25:13: ‘Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour’. The ‘thief in the night’ imagery is used by both Paul, Peter and John to underscore this truth yet again (I Thess. 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10; Rev. 16:15).

We proclaim the year of God’s Favor by proclaiming the soon-to-come return of Jesus Christ!

We must also take time to mention that the year of God’s Favor will come to an end if someone dies outside of an ongoing relationship with Jesus. This is so, because there is no salvation after one’s death. After death, there is only judgment to look forward to (Heb. 9:27). Also after death and after the commencement of eternal punishment in the hell there is no change to cross-over from hell to heaven. Jesus himself mentions this in an incident he narrates in Luke’s gospel where we read, ‘And besides all this, a great chasm has been fixed between us and you, so that even those who wish cannot cross from here to you, nor can anyone cross from there to us’ (Luke 16:26, the words of heaven-dwelling Abraham to hell-dwelling Rich Man).

So, this understanding – that the year of the Lord’s favor can end any second – should motivate us to race to the lost with the Gospel this year!

So, make it a point to join your local church’s evangelistic outreaches! Join hands with a para-church organisation involved in direct evangelism activities like gospel tract distribution! That’s one ministry we in Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission (G4 Mission) do each month – the ministry of tracts distribution. We welcome you to join us if you happen to live in Chennai. If you live other cities, please reach out to us and we can supply with gospel tracts which will appeal to the Indian English reader which we have published.

After a Tracts Outreach done by G4 Mission in Hyderabad…..

During your many travels this year, share the Gospel with the person sitting next to you. I do that by showing the ESV phone app on my smart phone. I read Psalm 119:165 to the person sitting next to me in the flight, train or bus. And finish off with these words, “When I read this book – God’s Word in human words – I have ‘great peace’ which this verse talks about. While others pointed out the way to peace, the Bible proclaims that Jesus himself will be our peace. Jesus and the peace He offers is unique and you must experience it!”

Using the ESV App I have shared the Gospel in brief with flight co-passengers in several of my flight journies!

So, let this be a YEAR of FAVOR-PROCLAMATION.

There was yet another time, that Jesus used the word “Year” as he went about his earthly ministry. He did after talking about two disasters that took place during his time: an building crash that kill 18 people and the butchering done by an evil ruler who sought to mix human blood with his religious sacrifices (Luke 13:1-5). Jesus told this to the people who heard him this: “Just because that building did not fall on you, it does not mean you are better than those it fell on to take their lives! Just because the evil ruler did not kill you and mix your blood in the sacrifice he wanted to offer, it does not mean you are better than his targets. No way! Unless you repent, you too will perish!” (my paraphrase keeping the context in mind).

Jesus referred to two contemporary events and wrapped Bible Truth around them in Luke 13:1-5

Let the Voice version of the Bible take over to explain to you what happened after this:

(following up with this parable) A man has a fig tree planted in his vineyard. One day he comes out looking for fruit on it, but there are no figs. He says to the vineyard keeper, “Look at this tree. For three years, I’ve come hoping to find some fresh figs, but what do I find? Nothing. So just go ahead and cut it down. Why waste the space with a fruitless tree?” The vineyard keeper replies, “Give it another chance, sir. Give me one more year working with it. I’ll cultivate the soil and heap on some manure to fertilize it. If it surprises us and bears fruit next year, that will be great, but if not, then we’ll cut it down.” (Luke 13:6-9, The Voice).

So, there you have it, the second time Jesus used the word ‘year’ from his mouth! He does so in the context of giving those of us still alive a fresh opportunity to make up for the times who have goofed up and blow away opportunities to bear fruit for him! So, the new year should be a time of FRUIT-BEARING, and not just FAVOR-PROCLAMATION.

How do we bear Fruit?

For that we need to send our roots far down below in Christ. Apostle Paul writes, ‘Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude’ (Col. 2:6-7).

We send our roots deeper into Christ by increasing our times of intimacy with him evidenced through prayer and Bible meditation this new year – thanks to our ever-growing love for him.

Recently, I discovered that the Bible can be divided into ten parts: Genesis through Deuteronomy are the Law Books. From Joshua till 2 Kings are the pre-exilic History books of the Bible. From 2 Chronicles to Esther are the post-exilic History Books of the Bible. From Job till Song of Songs are the Poetry Books of the Bible. From Isaiah to Daniel are the major prophetic books of the Bible. From Hosea to Malachi are the minor prophetic books of the Bible. From Matthew to Luke are the Gospels – we know that. The book of Acts is the lone New Testament History book. From Romans to Jude, constitute the Letters or Epistles. And the book of Revelation is the lone Prophetic book of the Bible. Why not try and read one chapter each from each of these 10 different sections of the Bible? This way you Bible meditation time will have a 10-fold flavour and boredom will be blown away! We must read from every section of the Bible regularly because “ALL” Scripture is God-breathed and is useful (2 Tim. 3:16).

Duke divides the Bible into 10 sections in this essay. And it slightly different from what is illustrated above as well. Reading one chapter from each such section of the Bible daily will be an interesting, invigorating exercise.

So, have a blessed New Year of Favour-Proclamation and Fruit-Bearing!

(This article was published in Evangelical Fellowship of India’s Aim magazine edition of January 2022. Duke, the author of this article, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. Find out more about this reader-supported Indian ministry at www.dukev.org)

Categories
Cricket-Wrapped-Bible-Devotions Deep Disciples of Jesus Shaping Article

THE SACKING OF KOHLI AS ODI CAPTAIN AND THE CALL FOR SEXUAL PURITY FROM THE BIBLE

Duke Jeyaraj


Virat Kohli was unceremoniously sacked from his position of ODI Captain of India and his position was given to Rohit Sharma in Dec 2021. Earlier on, he himself gave up his role as the captain of the Indian T20 team. The reason for his demotion was not hard to find. While he had one of the best ever win-loss percentages in ODIs among modern captains (over 70 percent), most of those wins came in bilateral series. In multi-team tournaments, like the ICC World Cups, India could not win the Cup when Kohli captained. In short, Kohli could not lead his team to wins in important games. ‘Chasemaster’ and Captain Kohli became ‘choker’ and the-cause-of-pain Kohli when he scored 5 off 9 when India chased 339 for a win in the Champions Trophy final versus Pakistan in 2017. That’s not all. He made 1 off 6 when India chased 240 for a place in the World Cup ODI Final 2019 versus New Zealand. We are not done yet. He made 13 off 29 balls in the crucial second innings in the World Test Championships Final 2021 after India and New Zealand scored almost equally in the first innings. However his counterpart Kane Williamson made 52 runs to take his team, New Zealand to the Test World Cup win. Kohli made underwhelming 9 off 17 when his team depended on him to reach a match-winning first innings score in the crucial T20 Super 12 game versus New Zealand in the World Cup T20 2021. So, Kohli has had a sub-20 score in four crucial innings for India as a Limited Overs Captain (a far cry from his average as a ODI Captain which is nearly 73 runs per innings). This analysis tells the story clearly: when the game gets big, Kohli as Captain underperforms as a batsmen very badly.  When his team needs him the most, that is when Kohli would get out early. Hence this unceremonious sacking and handing over of mantle to Rohit Sharma, an accomplished captain who is known to take the team he captains to big tournament wins (He has led Mumbai Indians to five IPL Titles already while Kohli has never led his team RCB even to a single title win). 

The highest score of Kohli when it came to knock-out level games in four crucial ICC multi-nation tournaments when he was either ODI or T20 Captain has not crossed 20!!!


Kohli reminds me of Samson of the Bible. While Samson was so keen to keep ritualistic laws as a Nazirite he was not not that keen to keep far more important laws which concerned his personal holiness. He would often talk about not having his hair cut (see Num. 6:1-5 and Jud. 13:5) but he did not cut off his sexually immoral relationship with many women (a violatation of two of the 10 commandments given to all including the Nazirites – ‘You shall not commit adultery’ – Ex. 20:14; ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife’ – Ex. 20:17). What was easy to do – ritualistic purity part – Samson did with great consistency till one point. What was even more important – moral holiness is, see Micah 6:7-8 – Samson blew it. Are we like Samson? 
Empowered by the Spirit (Rom. 8:13; Gal. 5:16), let us please God in key matters such as sexual purity (I Cor. 6:18b). When we sin sexually we directly oppose God’s clearly expressed will (I Thess. 4:3) which is one the same important level as his will to welcome everyone for salvation (3 Peter 3:9; I Tim. 2:4). When we live stubbornly in sexual sin we will go to hell (Rev. 21:7-8).  But that is not God’s desire for us! God’s desire is that we overcome sin when sin’s allurments come knocking!

(Duke Jeyaraj, the author of this article is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission, a reader-supported Indian ministry to presentday people. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org. Or WhatsApp him via 91-8886040605. )