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Bible on Contemporary Issues End Times and the Bible

Take the Vaccine and You Take the Mark of the Beast?

Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj answers

You take the vaccine and you take the mark of the beast, the anti-christ? Is this true? Duke Jeyaraj examines this question in this article.

Three Scriptures connect receiving the mark of the Beast which the book of Revelation talks about with receiving something you receive on your forehead and hands (Rev. 14:9; Rev. 13:11,16,17; Rev. 20:4). Since, the corona vaccine done is sent into one’s hands, the speculation has been rife that receiving the vaccine shot equals to receiving the mark of the beast/the antichrist. These well-meaning folks passionately argue this way: ‘If C equals 3, being the third letter in the English alphabet, O equals to 15, R equals to 18, O equals to 15, N equals to 14, and A equals to 1, the total comes to 66. And there are 6 letters in the English word, Corona. So, there you have it – Corona has something to do with 666, the mark of the Antichrist!’ Does this interpretation of Revelation hold water? Let’s see. 

The SETTING to the Book of Revelation 

There is a background, a setting, a context to every New Testament letter. For example, we know that Apostle Paul wrote to the believers at the church in Corinth to instruct them on how to handle a believer who was sleeping with own mother (I Cor. 5). This was one of the different reasons. In the same way, Apostle John wrote the Book of Revelation to seven specific church believers in Asia Minor who faced the specific problem being sucked into and swept away from what was called the ‘imperial cult’. The Book of Revelation mentions that John wrote to an actual bunch of Asian churches, very clearly (see Rev. 1:4,11). So, as we see the book of Corinthians in its context, we must see the book of Revelation in its context.  

If someone says, ‘Sunny’, we immediately ask, ‘Sunny Gavaskar, the cricketer or Sunny the weather, or Sunny Leone, the porn star or Nissan Sunny, the car?’, don’t we? In the same way, we must look at everything mentioned in the Bible keeping in mind the context. Or else, the meaning of that text will get assassinated!  

When the book of Revelation was being written the believers were faced with the temptation of joining what was called the Roman Imperial Cult. The Caesars of those days wanted the people to worship them or face trouble for not doing so. Bible Scholars of repute assert the book of Revelation was written during the rule of one these two emperors – Nero and Domitian. One killed his own mother and the Christians. The other praised a palace steward, showered with him with courtesies before killing him, the next day. Because of this kind of erratic, eccentric, emotional behavior, these emperors were popularly called ‘beasts’ (of course in whispers).  

So, when Apostle John wrote about the beast and his mark, the early church believers instantly knew who he was talking about. They knew he was talking about the ‘beast’ who was also the Caesar of the land, the emperor of the land, the same way, a cricket fan instantly knows Rahul Dravid is being talked about when someone mentions ‘The Wall’ or an action movie addict knows Jean-Claude Van Damme is being spoken of when someone quips, ‘Muscles from Brussels’! 

So, when the book of Revelation talks about the mark of the beast being received in the hand, it cannot be talking about the Corona Vaccine, I believe! When you keep the context of the book in mind, you simply cannot come to that conclusion! 

The SYMBOLISM of the Beast’s Number 

Both the Hebrew people and Greek people assigned numeric to their language’s alphabets. If one spelt “Nero Caesar” in Hebrew letters (like assigning A equals to 1… Z equals 26 in English alphabets), the total came to 666 (you just have to Google this and you will know).  

So, the number 666 mentioned in the book of Revelation was speaking about Nero Caesar using a code language which was familiar to the original readers of the book of Revelation. The book of Revelation was clearly understood by its original readers as Romans and Corinthians was by its original readers! The writer of Revelation did not want the church believers he wrote to, to get into trouble for possessing a letter with direct references to an evil emperor like Nero Caesar who was out to capture them and throw them to the lions. So, he used code language like ‘666’, ‘the beast’, etc. to refer to the evil rulers of their time who persecuted them for their faith in Christ and their rejection of him as their Lord! 

The SHOPPING-SELLING ban which Revelation talks about 

Revelation 13:17 which reads this way has intrigued a lot of people: ‘so that could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name’ (NIV). What was this shopping-selling ban on those who refuse the beast’s mark all about? The Caesars of those days had their images conformed to the images of the popular deities in the coins people used for daily business transactions, day-to-day shopping and selling in the markets. In the public square, a gigantic image of the Caesar was placed so that people would worship him as god. The very helpful NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible observes this: In AD 89/90, maybe five or six years before the book of Revelation arrived in the churches of Asia, Ephesus issued a coin that conformed Domitian to the image of the chief deity Zeus. Domitian also dedicated an imperial statue of nearly 25 feet (eight meters) high in the imperial temple in Ephesus. Individuals faced social pressure to participate in public cults, but unless they were accused of disloyalty, no one would hunt down nonparticipants to ensure their participation’ (page 2247). If you did not worship Caesar you would not be easily granted access to the market he controlled symbolized by the coins that bore his god-like image. You would be accused of sedition. You would be accused of hating your land. So, the book of Revelation was calling the believers to ‘endure’ and not participate in the emperor cult. Revelation 2:10 called for endurance directly: ‘Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life’ (NKJV). And passages like Revelation 14:9-10 (burning sulfur for recipients of beast’s mark) called for the very same thing indirectly: using the ‘mark of the beast’/666 imagery! So, the writer of the book of Revelation was not talking about receiving a literal mark on the forehead or hands, but warning his congregation against possible Caesar-worship – thanks to social pressure! ‘Be ready to lose your business, or a prominent spot for your shop in the Caesar-controlled market because you will rub Caesar the wrong way by not worshipping him. But if you do, and do so stubbornly, you will lose a lot more. You will land up in ever-burning hell!’ – that was the message of the writer of the book of Revelation. There is nothing in the book of Revelation that is not clearly taught in the first 65 books of the Bible – this I believe. In the letter to the Hebrews, the writer challenges the readers to even accept prison terms and property confiscation by the State, joyfully, for refusing to compromise their faith amidst of a similar-to-the-Book-of-Revelation situation of political persecution because of their faith in Jesus who alone was the Lord (Heb. 10:34). 

The SEALING of the Saved, which the book of Revelation Speaks About 

The book of Revelation talks about 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel who were ‘sealed on the forehead’ by the living God (Rev. 7:2-8). Just like the beast imagery, the 666 imagery, the numbers in the book of Revelation, I believe, have a symbolic meaning. What Revelation 5:9  (‘persons from every tribe and language and people and nation’ will be saved by the blood of Jesus) teaches directly, Revelation 7:2-8 teaches using indirectly, using symbols! 12 x 12 x 1000 (a large number) is one way we can write 144,000. So, the message of Revelation 7:2-8 is this: “people from Old Testament (symbolized by the first 12) and people from the New Testament (symbolized by second 12) will be saved in large numbers (symbolized by the 1000) in the final day by the blood of Jesus! They will be saved if they have a mark of the blood of Jesus! Since Revelation 5:9 and Revelation 7:2-8 seems to be talking about the same thing (how the blood of Jesus ‘seals’ believers from various background across the globe, across various time periods), the sealing of Revelation 7:2-8 can be seen as symbolic. So, the sealing of the mark of the beast mentioned elsewhere in Revelation (Rev. 13:11,16,17; 14:9; 20:4) can also be logically seen as symbolic. Through symbols these passages teach this: “If you allow the evil anti-Biblical, anti-Jesus policies of your political ruler or even your work-place boss to impact your head, you are receiving the mark of the beast on your head. If you allow the evil anti-Biblical policies of your political ruler or work-place boss to impact your actions, you are receiving the mark of the beast on your hands!” 

Elsewhere in Ezekiel 9, the word ‘mark on the foreheads’ seems to have been used symbolically as well. A man clothed in linen was assigned by the Lord to go throughout the city of Jerusalem putting a mark on those in the city of Jerusalem who mourn and grieve over the detestable things done there (Ezek. 9:3-4). Such people so marked were spared from the judgement of God, apparently (see Ezek. 9:10-11). So, the message is simple: those who turn from the popular-among-people sinful ways of the city they live in – be it porn-watching, be it pride, be it foul-language use, etc., enabled by the Grace of God, cleansed by the Blood of Jesus – they are ‘marked on the foreheads’ (spiritually speaking) and they will be saved from the soon-coming wrath of God and hell-punishment! 

So, when there are clear indications that the ‘mark’ in Revelation 7 and Ezekiel 9 are symbolic the mark of the beast can also be a symbolic thing. The message woven around this symbolism is what rest of the Bible has underlined all through: “Even if costs your life, do not compromise your faith in Christ, despite mounting political pressure or unbearable peer pressure!” (Hebrew 12:4; Acts 20:24; Acts 21:13). The mark of the beast has nothing to do with an injection, I believe! It has got everything to do rejection of the spirit of compromise with sin promoted by celebs and politically powerful, prevalent in our time and age (my opinion)! 

So, in CONCLUSION, I would like to say this: if you are standing in a vaccination queue and the nurse says, “You will agree to worship the Prime Minister/President/Chancellor/Chief Minister/the Mayor when you receive this vaccine and if you don’t agree these terms and conditions, then we can’t vaccinate you!’ then you DON’T have to get vaccinated. But to the best of my knowledge, that is not what is being done now anywhere in the world! So, we all get vaccinated against the corona pandemic! Let not a bizarre way of interpreting Revelation, violating self-evident sound Bible interpretation principles, prevent us from taking the corona vaccination! 

(This article written by Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj was published by Aim Magazine of Evangelical Fellowship of India in its July 2021 edition. Duke is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. This is an Indian ministry to presentday people which is reader-viewer supported. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org. Watch Duke’s messages at http://www.Youtube.com/VisitDuke. The video version of the same message is found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Yq3C7udfoU&ab_channel=DukeJeyaraj)

Categories
Anti-Dotes-For-Modern-False-Teachings-Like-Hyper-Grace

God the Father: The Biblical View Vs The Emotional View

Duke Jeyaraj

In a month when we celebrate Father’s Day (it falls on June 20th, this year), it will be appropriate to study the character of God as a Father so that we fathers can copy him. The Old Testament repeatedly presents God as the Father (though some wrongly believe God is a consuming fire in the Old Testament but a loving Father in the New Testament, influenced by hyper-grace false teaching which largely appeals to people who do not take time to read the Bible fully and comprehensively). You will be surprised to know that even the Old Testament clearly teaches that God is a Loving Father. However, he is not the Loving Father, the hyper grace cult false teachers paint him to be via their popular-on-Youtube worship songs and their doing-violence-to-the-full-counsel-of-God sermons.  

THE PLAN

It was God’s eternal plan to be a father to us. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews makes this known. He writes, ‘For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering’ (Hebrews 2:10 ESV). God had an Eternal Son. He enjoyed the fellowship with him he had very much. He wanted more sons and daughters – sons and daughters who would be fully human albeit. The addition of these children will bring joy to God the Father. The joy will be for the kids as well as they fellowshipped with their heavenly dad! To bring more children to glory the Eternal son suffered on the Cross – that is the message of Hebrews 2:10.

THE PAIN

One of the earliest mentions in the Bible which introduces God as a Father to us is in Exodus 4. The Lord instructed Moses to say these words to Pharoah: “Let My son go so that he may worship me, but you refused to let him go. Now I will kill your firstborn son!” (Exodus 4:21,23 HCSB). When we were slaves of sin, God sought to make us, sinners, sons! So, he sent Jesus to die for us to endure pain on the Cross. When we repent of our sins and come to him in faith, we become sons and daughters of God (John 1:12).

THE PAIRING

The next Old Testament reference to God as a Father is found in the Song of Moses. In that classic Holy Spirit inspired song, Moses presents Israel as God’s son. He sang, “They have corrupted themselves; They are not His children, Because of their blemish. A perverse and crooked generation. Do you thus deal with the Lord; O foolish and unwise people? Is He not your Father, who bought you? Has he not made you and established you?” (Deut. 32:5-6 NKJV). One key thing I learnt from this passage is this: The Father God imagery is not only imagery for God in the Bible. In the same song of Moses, God is compared to “the Rock” (see Deut. 32:4, 15, 30) and the Eagle (see Deut. 32:11). Those who teach that God is only a loving Father and nothing else are clearly wrong. In Hebrews 12, God is presented both as a COMPASSIONATE FATHER (vs. 5-6) and a CONSUMING FIRE (vs. 12)! So, we must always pair the imagery of a loving father present in the Bible with other imageries for God in the Bible. The Bible says, “It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes” (Eccl. 7:18, NIV).

Prophet Isaiah, the prophet with the best vocabulary amongst all Bible writers, connects the transcendence of God with the picture of God as the Father in Isaiah 63:15-16. Though ‘God looks down from heaven’ (a phrase that talks about his transcendence), as Isaiah put it in Isaiah 63:15, he is also ‘our Father’ (as Isaiah expressed it in Isaiah 63:16)! The Christian Faith is unique because it is the only faith where the dwelling-in-Heaven God is the same person who like our doting-us-on-Earth Dad! The Bible remarkably pairs these two unlike qualities in one and the same person – our eternal God!

THE PRIVILEGE WHICH COMES WITH…

Prophet Jeremiah, the Bible Prophet who wrote the most-worded Bible Book in the Bible, also introduces God as the Father. He writes, “For I am a Father to Israel. And Ephraim is My first-born” (Jeremiah 31:9b, NASB). To have God as our Father is a privilege. But that privilege comes with a responsibility. What responsibility? To be fruitful! The word, “ephraim” means to “doubly-fruitful” in Hebrew. “Since I am your Father, you must be doubly-fruitful, Israel” – that was Prophet Jeremiah’s inspired message. Since God is our Father, we must be holy! How did I make this connection? In John 17:11 in the high priestly prayer, Jesus called his father, as the Holy Father! So as children of the holy father, we too must be holy in our day to day lives! Apostle James also attaches responsibilities to those who call God as Father. He wrote, “With it (the tongue) we bless our Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God” (James 3:9, NASB). Those who enjoy the love of the Father (privilege) should love people around them and speak kindly to them (responsibility). James made another connection between privilege of knowing God as the loving father and a connected responsibility of taking care of the poor and the needy. He does so here: ‘Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world’ (James 1:27). Apostle Peter also attaches responsibilities with those who call God as a Father. If we call God as Father, we must be ready to be sanctified and obey the Lord Jesus, Apostle Peter teaches (I Peter 1:2). He further writes, ‘And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile’ (I Peter 1:17). While can celebrate the privilege of calling God as our Father, we must not forget the responsibility we have in showing him a holy reverence and healthy fear!

THE PERIL

Prophet Hosea perhaps paints the most moving picture of God as a Father in the entire Bible. Here is his unmatched, emotion-stirring depiction: ‘Eternal One: When Israel was a child, I loved him; and out of Egypt I called My son. But the more I called to Israel, the more they walked away from Me. They kept on sacrificing to other divine mastersand burning incense to idols! But I was the one who taught Ephraim to walk, holding him up by his arms, but his people didn’t know I was the One who took care of them. I led them along with leather cords; with ropes of love I showed them the way. As I dealt with them, I lifted the yoke from their neck; I bent down to give them their food’ (Hosea 11:1-4, The Voice). Here we see how the people of Israel walked away from God their father who reminds them of his great love for them almost fighting back his tears. Does this love continue forever without ever stopping? The hyper grace cult false teachers who present God as the father compare him with earthly fathers. They ask, “Do you stop becoming your earthly father’s son, if you rebel against him? You don’t. In the same way the Heavenly Father will never stop loving you even if you walk away from him, stubbornly, for the rest of your life – you are in no danger of being punished by him. You still remain His Son!” Really? The very next verse post the greatest Bible passage on God’s fatherly love we see God sending a punishment for the people of Israel who spurned his fatherly love: “They will not return to the land of Egypt; But Assyria – he will be their king. Because they refused to return to me” (Hosea 11:5, NASB). Prophet Hosea foretold the end of the northern Kingdom of Israel, also known as Ephraim, here. As he foretold the Assyrians overtook them in 722 B.C. So, there is a real peril if you keep spurning the love of the Father God and keep indulging your flesh. Romans 11:22 warns that if we spurn God’s kindness (expressed by His Fatherly nature), we are in the real danger of being “cut off”.

In fact, Prophet Hosea who painted God as a loving father in Hosea 11 portrays him as an upset and furious Bear-Lion-Wild Beast in Hosea 13. He writes, “I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs; I will tear open their breast, and there I will devour them like a lion, as a wild beast would rip them open. He destroys you, O Israel, for you are against me, against your helper” (Hos. 13:8-9 ESV). So, what is full message of Hosea? It is this: God loves you as a father. But if you are stubborn in rebelling against Him and chasing after sin, he reserves the right to become as an angry bear-Lion-wild beast who can ultimately send you to hell.

Using memorable word-number picture, the author of Revelation, Apostle John teaches when one calls God as his father (Rev. 14:1) he needs to “follow the Lamb wherever he goes” (Rev. 14:4) that is, obey Jesus in all areas of his life! Read Revelation 21:7-8 very carefully and you will understand this: those for whom God is a Father will be the ones who “conquer” (Satan, Self and Sin); they will be the ones who have turned from hell-populating sins such as sexual immorality, murder, sorcery, idolatry, lying, etc.

THE PARENTING

Having understood comprehensively the Fatherly Nature of God as per the Word of God we fathers must parent like God for Apostle Paul call believers to become “imitators of God” (Eph. 5:1). That means just as God disciples his kids moved by great love so that his kids may “share his holiness” (Heb. 12:7-10) we fathers must discipline our kids. We must not hesitate to give them whacks when necessary! Those whacks would be a God-intended way of wooing them to grow in holiness!  We must discipline our kids when they live in sins such as sexual immorality (porn-watching, affairs, gadget-addiction, etc) and not look the other way like King David apparently did when Amnon raped Tamar. Prophet Eli finally spoke some words of restraint when his sons went astray in a brazen manner (but it came far too late as God had already planned to execute judgment on them – check out I Samuel 2:12-25). The Nelson Study Bible notes, “Eli had warned his sons of divine judgment (I Sam. 2:25), but he never really rebuked them for their sins (I Sam. 3:13). By neglecting his parental duty, he was in effect favouring his sons above God.” Fathers let us not parent like King David and Priest Eli, but like God!

Let us return to a biblical view of God the Father shunning our hyper-grace cult impacted view of God the Father!

(This article was published in Aim Magazine June 2021 edition. Aim is published by the Evangelical Fellowship of India. Duke, the author of this piece is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. This is a viewer-supported, reader-supported Indian ministry. You may hear Duke preach at http://www.Youtube.com/VisitDuke. You may buy his book on sex, love, marriage, porn, phone addiction, etc. , via Amazon (the kindle edition) or Google Books (the e-book). For the print version of this book which is seen as a text book on taboo topics please whatsapp us at +91-8886040605 and we will send you the payment link.)

Categories
Bible Studies For Those In Various Professions

What the Bible Says To Nurses

Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj

May 12 is observed as International Nurses Day. We are grateful to God for the selfless services nurses world-over put for the blessing of humanity. The International Council of Nurses records that atleast 1500 nurses from atleast 44 nations have died after contracting Covid-19 from the patients they treated (in a press release done in October 2020 which they readily say is an underestimation).

Sharath Ramesh Kuniyl writes these lines as he reviewed Virus, a Malayalam movie, for The Week magazine: ‘Aashiq Abu’s Virus is a fitting tribute to them and several other faceless, nameless persons who helped contain and fight the Nipah virus. A series of deaths in Kozhikode and Malappuram districts in May 2018 threw the doctors and state administration into a tizzy as they struggled to identify the disease and the source. Even after it was identified, there was no vaccination or treatment protocol for it. Fear of the unknown spawned fake news, conspiracy theories and spread panic’ (June 7, 2019). Rima Kallingal played the character of Akhila ‘the Kerala nurse Lini Puthuserry, who succumbed to the rare Nipah infection during its outbreak after (heroically) caring for the first known casualty in the state’ (The Indian Express, Dec. 6, 2019).

What does the Bible, God’s Word in human words, say to nurses? Here is what I learnt when I meditated on the Bible passages that speak about nurses:

Continue to Make a Difference To One Life At A Time!

When Rebekah was sent by the elders in her family to go with Eliazer, the servant of Abraham, after she consented to marry Abraham’s son, Issac, “her nurse” was also sent along with her (Gen. 24:59). The Bible mentions this nurse by name when she died – Deborah (Gen. 35:8). She was not as famous as the other Deborah, the judge of Israel, who was a prophetess and poet. But she did make a difference to the life of Rebekah. Rebekah’s parents wanted her to travel with her as she went far from home to marry a man who was literally a stranger. They believed the nurse Deborah’s presence will be reassuring for their precious daughter. Deborah, the nurse of Rebekah, clearly made an positive impact in Rebekah’s life.

As a nurse, you may not find have the arc-lights on you. The arc-lights may be on the doctor, the surgeon, etc. But take heart. You can touch the world one person at a time, the way nurse Deborah served Rebekah till death. When you care for a patient, think of Rebekah. You are a “nurse” Deborah for that patient “Rebekah”! The God who recorded a nurse’s name in His Book, knows your name and cheers you as you about making a difference to this planet, by caring for one patient by one patient, patiently.

See Each Patient As God-Sent To Be Cared For By You!

Evil ruler Pharaoh issued a command that ‘every boy who is born to the Hebrews’ in his kingdom must be ‘thrown into the Nile’ (Exodus 1:22, Voice). But Moses’ mother refused to obey this command. Instead of throwing her baby into the Nile, she arranged that her baby be towed in that monstrous River on a miniature boat she herself would create. She placed her baby in ‘a basket made of reeds, sealed with tar and pitch’ and ‘wedged the basket among the reds along the edge of the Nile River’ (Exodus 2:3, Voice). I am sure she prayed that her precious son will be miraculously saved by God from menacing crocodiles that perhaps lived in that area. This floating basket that carried little Moses (that was the baby’s name!) caught the attention of daughter of Pharaoh who happened to be bathing the very spot this basket had miraculously meandered towards. Moses’ sister was secretly watching her baby brother floating in the Nile dangerously. When Pharoah’s daughter recognized her brother to be a Hebrew child, she emerged from the place she hid and said: “Would you like me to find a Hebrew woman to nurse the child for you?” (Exodus 2:7, Voice). To cut a long story short – the mother of Mother was paid by Pharaoh’s daughter to nurse her own son (Exodus 2:9). She faithfully fulfilled her role as a nurse and brought back Moses to Pharoah’s daughter, later on (Exodus 2:10).  Each time the nurse of Moses – who was also his biological mother – took at his angelic face, she knew that this ‘baby patient’ of hers was God-sent to land on her lap!

Dear nurse, do you grumble and growl because you were assigned to take care of that particular patient – a difficult-to-handle patient? Don’t! See that patient as God-sent into your Ward so that you would be able to take good care of him, thinking of the Bible story of Moses’ nurse in Exodus 2! This attitude will take you to the altitude that God has for you in your life and profession!

Be Proactive In Your Work As A Nurse

When God blessed Boaz and Ruth with a baby boy, Ruth’s mother-in-law, Naomi, volunteered to be the child’s nurse (Ruth 4:13-16). The Scripture says, “Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse” (Ruth 4:16 ESV). Naomi spent so much time caring for that little boy – Obed who became grandfather of the great king David – that the women of the neighborhood started calling Naomi as the mother of the baby (though she was only the grandmother) (See Ruth 4:17)! Naomi did not say this (though she could have said this as a typical mother-in-law): “Why should I care for little Obed? Let his mom, Ruth, take care of him! What other job does she have in this world? Why should I give her loads of free time to keep romancing her new husband ignoring me totally – me who is taking caring of her bundle of joy – Obed?!”

When you work as a nurse in a hospital do not just be content doing the bare minimum. Look for fresh opportunities to serve patients and the hospital. “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” – that is the what the Lord wants us to do no matter what profession we are in (Colossians 3:23 NLT). If you merely work for a salary then you will only want to do the bare minimum. But since you work for the Savior primarily, you must proactively do the maximum in your job as a nurse.

Do not be like the careless nurse which 2 Samuel 4:4 talks about: ‘Now Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son who was disabled in both feet. He was five years old when the news of Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel, and his nurse picked him up and fled. But it happened that in her hurry to flee, he fell and could no longer walk. And his name was Mephibosheth’ (NASB). On 10 February 2019, the newspapers reported this shocking news: the medical team ‘left a pair of six-inch surgical scissors inside a patient’s stomach during a hernia operation, sparking outrage’. A Christ-following nurse would shun all carelessness and casualness which may been the cause such terrible things to happen! A believer nurse’s work cannot be categorized as mediocre work and lazy work. Her work will be of top-notch quality.

There is another way in which you can proactive as a nurse. You can deliberately and proactively choose to sacrificially serve in Mission Hospitals located in Gospel-starved parts of India – even North India – rather than serve elsewhere. When God said, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for Me?” he was not specifically speaking to Isaiah. It was a general call. However, Isaiah volunteered to go for God by saying “Here am I – send me!” Post that, God sent Isaiah to a needy area! Read that story all over again in Isaiah 6 and choose to be a volunteer missionary nurse to a difficult area! You can sacrificially choose to be a nurse in Tripoli (capital of Libya, part of North Africa, one of the world most unevangelized belts), rather than in churches-galore Texas, imitating Isaiah, discerning God’s missionary call!

Bring God’s Presence Into the Lives of Your Patients

Evil Queen Athaliah wanted to wipe out the last male survivor in the line of David (2 Kings 11:1). The great promise that God made to David through Prophet Nathan that a person from David’s physical line would sit on the throne of Israel was under visible threat (II Sam. 7:12-16). That’s when God used an ordinary nurse to change the situation of dire straits. Hear that not-to-familiar-to-most-of-us story straight from Scripture: ‘But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah, took Joash son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the royal princes, who were about to be murdered. She put him and his nurse in a bedroom to hide him from Athaliah; so he was not killed. He remained hidden with his nurse at the temple of the Lord for six years while Athaliah ruled the land’ (II Kings 11:2-3). This unnamed nurse shielded the last remaining male survivor from David’s family in the temple of the Lord for six long years!

The patients you treat may never walk into the temple of the Lord – a local church. But you are to be a living-moving temple of the Lord for that patient (I Peter 2:5)! That patient you treat must feel the living God’s very presence in that hospital room! That is why how you react to situations and the kind of language you use in the hospital ward matters. Through your life and lips you must seek to magnify Christ in the hospital you work! Do not ruin the Christian witness in the hospital you work by the secret extra-marital affairs you may perhaps have in the almost-abandoned Christian Mission hospitals you serve in because you wrongly think no body is watching you!

May the Lord bless you as strive to be the nurse He wants you to be!

(This article by Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj was published by Evangelical Fellowship of India’s Aim magazine in its May 2021 edition. Duke, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission. Gehenna is the word Jesus used for hell. Duke’s ministry is reader-supported. Find out more via WhatsApping the author at 91-8886040605 or emailing him at emailduke@gmail.com. You may follow him at http://www.instagram.com/dukejeyaraj or at http://www.youtube.com/visitduke).

Categories
Bible on Contemporary Issues

Sexual Ethics: Porn Producers Vs Bible

Duke Jeyaraj

SEX ETHICS: THE BIBLE Vs PORN PRODUCERS / Duke Jeyaraj / From today’s Deccan Chronicle…. the world seems to say: ‘only porn involving minors, rape, etc. is ethically wrong. Otherwise porn is okay’. But the ethics of the Bible is different from the ethics of these porn producers. A woman’s nakedness belongs to the eyes of her husband alone and the man’s nakedness belongs to the eyes of his wife alone – that is the message of Leviticus 18 a chapter in which we repeatedly read this phrase, ‘you shall not uncover the nakedness of ….’ (v. 7,8,,9,10,11,12,13,14 – a total of 14 references like this in the ESV, NKJV, NASB). Joseph called sex between willing partners not married to each other – not just rape or minors sex – as “great wickedness” and “sin” (Gen. 39:9). Let our ethics be shaped by Scripture and not the ethics of porn producers.

(Dr. Duke Jeyaraj, the author of this article is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission. This is a reader-viewer supported India ministry. Duke is the author of Straight Talk, a book that brings brutally frank Bible Teaching on sex, love, marriage, porn, phone addiction and more. To buy this book, WhatsApp +91-8886040605).

Categories
Happy Marriages Building Articles

Emotional Affairs Are Affairs Too

Duke Jeyaraj

I found myself agreeing with this Deccan Chronicle article (April 20, 2021). Yes, non-sexual affair is cheating too. Oh for husbands who would understand the emotional needs of wives the way Elkanah understood that need of his wife Hannah! Hear his romance-laced conversation with his wife: “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do not eat? Am I not more to you than ten sons?” (1 Sam. 1:8 ESV). “Do not deprive each other” – the biblical command given to couples by God covers not only sexual union but also emotional union as no meaningful sexual union takes place without emotional union (I Cor. 7:5). Husbands,  there must be times, when we remove the laptop from our laps, and have our wives sit there and whisper sweet nothings to them! Wives, do not chase online, non-sexual affairs, via chat apps because that would displease God who underscored the mutual exclusivity of married partners in Song of Songs (Song of Solomon 2:16; 6:3 – ‘I am my beloved and my beloved is mine’ – or in other words, ‘the romantic conversations I need to be having only with my husband, I should not be serectly having with someone else’). May the Lord strengthen our marriages!

(Duke’s book, Straight Talk, has chapters which address these and allied issues. WhatsApp us at 91-8886040605 to buy it).

Categories
Bible Truth Around Contemporary Events Goodnews Around Contemporary Events

The Man Who Inspired My First Name

Duke Jeyaraj

When I was born in 1974, this man was in his fifties and was married to the queen of England. I am talking about the Duke of Edinburg, Prince Philip. My mom liked the name Duke and I was named ‘Duke’. The Duke of Edinburg is no more now. He passed away on 9 April 2021 just two months before his 100th birthday having lived with his wife for 70 plus years! She saw him first jumping over a Tennis Net as a 18 year old! She was only 13 then. We are talking about a Romance that lasted for 80 here and was ‘strong as death’ (Song of Songs 8)! The Duke has died. One day, this Duke will also die if the Lord’s coming delays. Death is everyone destiny (Hebrews 9). Only Jesus who died and rose again to live forever can deliver us from the fear of death and give us purpose in life (Hebrews 2, John 10). One of these two things will surely happen sooner than later: our death or Jesus’ coming (1 Thess 4). We must not be caught sleeping in stubborn sinful habits during at time – for that will have eternal consequences for us (Math 25). We must be busy winning souls till we die or till the Lord returns whichever occurs earlier. #PrincePhilip #DukeOfEdinburg #PrincePhilipFuneral

Categories
Movies & the Bible

Don’t Let A Movie Story Line, Break Your Resolve To Stay As A Virgin Till Marriage….

Duke Jeyaraj

Does one’s willingness to love and stay with a person for the rest of one’s life, no matter what, give you the license to have sex with that person BEFORE marriage? Absolutely not! The Song of Songs Bible couple unpacked God’s gift of sex only after their wedding night (SS 3:11 describes their marriage). Till then, the girl’s virginity was compared to a “locked garden”, “spring closed up tight” and “a sealed fountain” (SS 4:12). Following the wedding, the bride invites the groom to enjoy the garden of her body which was so far sealed (SS 4:15b). And the groom does just that (SS 5:1). The girl fiercely protected her virginity till wedlock, in other words. Let not modern movie story lines shake-up your very biblical resolve to stay as a virgin till your wedding night. #Uppena #KrithiShetty #PanjaVaisshnavTej #VijaySethupathy #DeviSriPrasad

The Author of this piece, Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission. This is a reader supported Indian ministry to presentday people. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org. Write to him via WhatsApp 91-8886040605.

Categories
Goodnews Around Contemporary Events Goodnews Wrapped Around Cricket Magic Moments

Two Who Walked Into Tough Situations: Dhoni & Guess Who?

Duke Jeyaraj

Life Lessons From Thrilling Moments From The Cricket World Cups

WHEN DHONI RAN TO MEET WITH JOGI!

World T20 Final 2007. India versus their arch-rivals Pakistan. In Johannesburg, South Africa. Pakistan needed 13 runs to win off 6 balls with just one wicket in hand in the inaugural T20 World Cup Final. A seesaw game it was. Tension in the air. Spectators at the edge of their seats. Mahendra Singh Dhoni in what was his first international tournament as captain entrusted seamer Joginder Sharma – a bowler he had seen defend totals as low as 2 runs in domestic cricket – to bowl the crucial last over with the dangerous-looking Misbah-ul-haq of Pakistan on strike (despite his star spinner Harbhajan having one over left in his bowling quota). Misbah had hit Harbhajan  for three huge sixes in over number 18. Joginder bowled an ultra-wide as the first ball. Captain Dhoni calmly collected the ball and ran all the way to the other side of the pitch to put an arm around Joginder, who had by then walked back to his bowling mark. After giving him a brief pep talk, Dhoni ran back to the usual wicket-keeper’s position. Dhoni told him this: “If we lose this game, I will take the responsibility. So, relax and give your best! You have done it in small grounds when no one was watching you. You can do it when the whole world is watching you!”  Misbah was beaten off Joginder’s next ball, “trying to carve the ball away over point,” as commentator-on-air Ravi Shastri put it. He thrashed over the bowler’s head the third ball, which was an innocuous fulltoss,  for a huge six to make the equation 6 off 4 balls for Pakistan. Yet, again, Dhoni took the long journey from the wicketkeeper’s customary spot all the way to the fastbowler’s starting point. Another short-session of nerves-calming! Going by the next ball Joginder bowled – a slower ball with the word ‘trap’ written all over it – this may have been Dhoni’s advice: “Don’t try to contain Misbah. Try to get him out!” Sambit Bal’s lines about the last ball of the World T20 Final 2007 is worth quoting: “Then, with only one wicket in hand and fine leg in the circle, Misbah went for that scoop which, not for the first time, ended in tears for the batsman. Sreesanth would have never taken a more important catch in his life. But for Misbah, who has been Pakistan’s surprise star of the tournament, it will take some forgetting.”

The God who made you and me, did something similar to what Dhoni did in that climatic final over. We had goofed up like Joginder. We had sinned and were in danger – the danger of going to eternal hell, the place which God made for the Devil and his angels. God could have chosen to just watch this happen. But he did not. Just as Dhoni ran from the wicket-keeper’s position to the start of the bowling mark of in the T20 World Cup Final last over, God too travelled. He left the comfort of heaven and came all the way to earth, just to save us. Yes, Jesus, God in flesh, came down to seek and save us, sinners, the Bible, God’s Word in human words declares (Luke 19:10).

WHEN DHONI PROMOTED HIMSELF IN THE WORLD CUP FINAL VS SRI LANKA!

It was late evening of April 2, 2011. India had to come up with the best ever chase done in a World Cup Final – overhaul Sri Lanka’s imposing 274 – to win the World Cup 2011, 28 years after the magic day when Kapil Dev and his boys won it in the year 1983. Virender Sehwag, first and  Sachin Tendulkar, later, got out rather cheaply. India’s score stood at 31, when Sachin, just one short of his 100th ton then, got out. When the well-set Virat Kohli after a fighting 83-run partnership with “iron-willed” Gautam Gambhir also got out, caught and bowled brilliantly by Tillakaratne Dilshan, India were in real danger.  In danger of losing the World Cup Finals. In danger of not becoming the first ever team to win the World Cup at home. That’s when Captain M. S. Dhoni stepped in. He volunteered to bat at Number 5.  He could have stayed back and sent into the tension-filled middle, the in-form Yuvraj Singh. But he marched out of the Indian dressing room to bat at Number 5 when India still needed 161 runs to win in the 22nd over (161 from 170 balls, to be precise). The required run rate was almost 6 an over and had to be maintained for 28-plus Overs – that was the huge challenge before Dhoni when he walked in! In his previous seven innings leading up the final, Dhoni had just scored a grand total of 150 runs! Yet, he backed himself. He volunteered to go up the batting order when India was in a crisis. He stuck his neck out saying, “I will do this for India!” He told coach Gary Kirsten that as Lankan ace spinner Muthiah Muralitharan was operating he wanted to go ahead of the inform Yuvraj Singh. As the movie, M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, opened, we got a breath-taking, eagle-eye view of the entire Wankhade Stadium in Mumbai with the camera slowly zooming into faces in the stadium abuzz with untold tension. Rohit Vats, writing a review for this movie, hits the rewind-button on those goose-bumps-giving moments no Indian cricket fan will ever forget this memorable way: ‘When India is reeling at 114 for 3 (in a chase of 274) against Sri Lanka in the cricket world cup final of 2011, a man decides to take charge of the situation. It helps that he is also the captain of the team. He silently walks past the crowd, enters the ground and creates history. The cricketer’s image of rotating the bat as if he is wielding the sword is etched in our memory’ (Hindustan Times, April 15, 2017).

For the first 10 overs of his stay in the middle in that treasured final match, Dhoni did not hit a single boundary. He ran like a rabbit between the wickets, converting the singles in twos. Apart from hitting 25 fours and a couple of sixes, Indian batsmen chased down 274 with 99 singles, 24 twos, and even a  three. To do this, hectic, hare-like running was required and Dhoni was most ready for that. He was sweating, he was blowing his running nose and he received treatment for his back “as the Mumbai heat took its toll.” Andrew Miller reported, “Dhoni at one stage looked so immobile that a precautionary retirement seemed the only logical response, but after some harsh work from the physio he resumed his stance and responded with another trademark filleting of the extra cover boundary, an area in which he scored six of his eight fours – three of which helped to blunt Murali’s attacking instincts.” Sidharth Monga observed, “Once Gambhir tired, Dhoni took over the responsibility of scoring. In the time that Gambhir moved from 87 to 97, Dhoni went from 29 to 60.” In utter desperation, Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara threw the ball to his strike bowler Lasith Malinga hoping that he would take two wickets off two balls  or do even better. But Dhoni hit him for two consecutive boundaries through mid-wicket to hasten India’s World Cup win before a roaring crowd in Wankhade Stadium! Dhoni was the calmest soul in Wankhade Stadium, Mumbai, when he hit the Cup-winning six for India with 10 balls to spare.  And India was home! The World Cup was India’s! Quite memorably!

HE CHOSE TO SWIM IN THE AMNIOTIC FLUIDS OF MARY…

You and I are in danger. The danger of living a life of hell (life without purpose, meaning and real joy, a life in which you are empty despite having everything) and going to a literal hell (a place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth forever, a place which Jesus spoke about  8 times). That’s when Jesus stepped in.  Jesus could have stayed back in heaven and sent someone else to save you from going to hell. He did not. In eternity past, there was a meeting held in heaven. In that meeting Jesus stood up. “I will go Father! Just give me a body! I will get into it, become a human, go to the earth and die for the human race. I will march down the Calvary route and open a doorway to save the human race!” (my imagination based on Psalm 40 and Hebrews 10 from the Bible). He came down and became a man. He chose to swim in the amniotic fluids of Mary rather than swim in the praises of angels and cherubs in Heaven. God took on flesh and bone. Yes, He did it for you. Yes, He did if for me. For everyone – he did it. When he was stopped from the Cross-route, he was determined to keep going, the Scripture records (Luke 9:51). He called as ‘Devil’  the one who discouraged him from walking down the road to Golgotha. On the road to the Cross,  Jesus endured infinitely more discomfort more than Dhoni ever did in the World Cup Finals of 2011. 

The following 12 ‘s’ torment Jesus endured to win the only true salvation offer for you. Here they are:

First, SOLD. Judas sold priceless Jesus for  a price that was less than the price  of a man 20 to 60 years old, according to the Bible (Leviticus 27:3). We sell Jesus even today when our friends apply peer pressure on us, don’t we?

Second, SWEAT. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus sweated blood, the Bible records (Lk 22:44). This happens only when a person experiences highest tension. That punishment would have been apt for a pleasure-lover, like you and me. But Jesus took it upon himself.

Third, STRAPPED. Jesus was bound by ropes before High Priest, the Gospel narratives of the Bible tell us (John 18:12). The most-free man on this earth, Jesus, was now bound. Why? Jesus was dying to release a poisoned, bound generation – a generation bound to drugs, alcohol, porn-watching, gossip-mongering, Facebook!

Fourth, SPAT UPON. This happened twice to Jesus, according to the Scriptures (Matthew 26:67; 27:30).  Only an irresponsible husband was to be spat upon, the Old Testament, one portion of the Bible, tells us (Deuteronomy 25:9). We were irresponsible when it came to using what God had given us and the punishment went to Jesus.

Fifth,  SLAPPED. Jesus was slapped by the High Priest’s servant, the Scriptures note (Matthew 26:67). His sinless mouth was hit hard. The reason – he was dying for a human race that consistently uses its mouth to sin – by lying, by using abusive language, by having oral sex outside of the marriage bond.

Six, SCOURGED. When Jesus was whipped, his back became like a plowed field with strips of flesh hanging loose (See Matthew 27:26 in the Bible).  Only the back of fools was to be whipped, according to the Scriptures (Proverbs 19:29). We were foolish to race behind temporary worldly pleasures (see Hebrews 11:25 in the Bible) ignoring the eternal pleasures at the right hand of God, our Creator (see Psa. 16:11 in the Bible) and the punishment for that sin went to Jesus.

Seventh, STRIPPED. Jesus was stripped off the clothes he originally wore and was then clothed in a scarlet robe (Matthew 27:28). Scarlet robes were only worn by royalty those days. So, the Roman soldiers who made Jesus wear it were making fun of Jesus with words of mockery that could have sounded this way: “You claim to be a King, Jesus? Ha, Ha! You don’t look like a king! Now, wear this scarlet robe and you will look more like a king! Come on, let us fall prostrate before this King!” Jesus was dying for a generation that takes pleasure in making fun of the timid and giggles when they suffer in excruciating pain.

Eighth, SPLINTER-PRESSED. The thorns were pressed on the head of Jesus, a Gospel-writer of the Bible notes (Matthw 27:29). It was you and me who had a big proud head. Those thorns should have come upon us, but Jesus, in his great love, took it upon himself.

Ninth, SHAMED. Only kings of the enemies of the Jews were hung on a tree, publicly, the Bible records (Joshua 10:26). But that shameful punishment came to Jesus, the real King of Kings. Crucifixion on a wooden cross beam was worst punishment reserved for the foulest enemies of the state by the Roman Government. It was akin to being urinated upon in public those days (See, Philippians 2:8 in the Bible). You and I must be publicly humiliated for all our secret, unprintable sins. But Jesus took that punishment on our behalf.

Tenth, SPIKED. Nails were thrashed onto Jesus’ two hands and legs, the Bible tells us (Matthew 27:31). Those nails should have gone on our hands for we sinned against Jesus with our hands and legs. I am referring to sins such as cigar-smoking, masturbation while porn-watching, fondling the intimate parts of the person belonging to the opposite gender not our spouse, walking into a filthy movie show, etc. But Jesus took the punishment for all our sins on the Cross. He was our substitute, the Bible declares (Isaiah 53:4,5; Galatians 2:19,20). The nails could not hold Jesus to the Cross for which nail, however strong, could ever hold God onto a Cross for long? Love did. He could have ripped them off and come down when he was challenged to do that  and scoffed at for refusing to do it (see Mark 15:30 in the Bible). But Jesus stayed on because he loved you and me.

Eleventh, SEPARATED. God turned his face away from Jesus as all of our sins – past, present and future – were placed upon him for six hours, one Friday, about two thousand years ago. At that time, Jesus lost his close fellowship with his holy Heavenly Father who would not even look upon sin. This was a heart-breaking experience for Jesus and so he cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” as the Bible declares (Matthew 27:45-46). He became so utterly lonely so that he would be able to lift the loneliness in your life, the loneliness that comes even when you are rubbing shoulders with plenty of friends in a packed booze party.

Twelfth, SPEARED. This treatment was given to him, minutes after he was dead, the Bible tells us (John 19:34).  The final blood drops in his body came out then. Every drop says, ‘I love you!’ Only this blood can cleanse you from you from every sin, the Bible teaches (I John 1:7)! It is impossible for anything you do or the blood of bulls and goats to take away sin, the Bible makes clear (Hebrews 10:4).

WILL YOU PRESS THE NAILS ONTO HIS HANDS HARDER, OR…

How do you respond to this great love of Christ that was so supremely “demonstrated” while he hung on the Cross (to use a phrase from Romans 5:8 from the Bible)?  You could, in stone-hearted stubbornness, press the nails onto his hands a bit deeper, by continuing to live in sin. That’s one way to respond. You could press down the thorn crown on his head roughly and crudely, once more, in rebellion, by continuing to flirt with the Devil and the world. That’s one way to respond. You could stamp on his holy blood that was shed for you on the Cross by returning to sin like a pig that returns to her wallowing in the mud, as the Bible points out (Hebrews 10:29; 2 Peter 2:22). That’s one way to respond.

Or will you, repent like one of the dying thieves beside Jesus on the Cross like we read in the Bible (Luke 23:42,43)? And would you believe on him (him, who is alive today, him, who is coming back), like the Roman centurion  and those with him who screamed, “This is indeed the Son of God!” as per the Biblical record (Matthew 27:54)? The choice is yours.

WHEN DHONI SPRINTED LIKE USAIN BOLT IN A WORLD CUP GAME….

It was a group game in the World T20 2016 which India had to win to stay in the tournament in the Chinnaswamy stadium Bangalore. And when it came to the last ball, Bangladesh needed two runs to win.  Captain Cool Dhoni had clearly told young rookie Hardik Pandya, the bowler, how to bowl: “no bowling a Yorker, but bowl a well-aimed slightly short-pitched express delivery, wide of the off stump.” Pandya followed Dhoni’s orders to the centimeter. Bangladeshi batsman Shuvgata Hom attempted an offside slash, only to miss connecting with the ball. Dhoni, who had already removed one of his gloves (in anticipation the tail-ender  may miss connecting the ball), calmly collected it and was off his blocks like a 100 meters sprinter! Usain Bolt usually starts slow, but Dhoni had no such problems! He sprinted towards it and broke the wickets catching the non-striker Mustafizur, well short of the crease. The spectators who had their hearts in their mouth, celebrated India’s one run win over Bangladesh in that World T20 game. India’s semifinals hopes were kept afloat following this nerve-wracking one-run win! Shaun Pollock, Darren Ganga, Nick Knight and Russell Arnold, all former cricketers who were on commentary duty during this particular T20 World Cup, slipped into different roles to  create a mock replay of this episode – this last ball runout which resulted in an Indian win was that memorable!

Like Dhoni sprinted towards the stumps, shall we sprint towards God-in-Flesh Jesus to receive salvation for the Bible says, ‘Now is the “acceptable time”, and this very day is the “day of salvation”’(2 Cor. 6:2, Phillips). We tell ourselves, “There’s always time to come to Jesus! There’s always time to get saved!” How foolish such an idea is!

The Bible talks about times when it could be too late for us to come to Jesus and get saved. For instance, we cannot get saved after we have died. There is no chance for salvation after we die – this is the teaching of the Bible (Hebrews 9:27). And sudden death can come to us anytime – can it not? Think of what happened in 2014 to 25-year-old Aussie cricketer Phil Hughes who was struck by a 140 kmph bouncer which struck him at the back of his neck as he took evasive action. He lost consciousness, never to regain it again!

Also, we cannot get saved after we have hardened our hearts beyond a certain limit – a limit that God sets for us, which he alone knows if we have crossed or not. This message jumps out from passages such as Genesis 6 and Romans 1 and from the stories of Pharaoh and King Manasseh in the Bible. So, while the Holy Spirit of God convicts us of our sin, by gently speaking in our heart, we must repent and turn to Christ. If we keep silencing his soft voice, the Holy Spirit of God may never speak to us ever again and we may never be saved eventually!

At this juncture I recall another event from the semifinal of the ODI World Cup of 2015 between India and Australia. After Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane (who had smashed 79 runs off 60 balls in India’s earlier game versus South Africa to lift India to a surprise, easy, win) stitched a ‘’fight-back” partnership with the goal of overhauling Australia’s king-size knock-out game first innings total of 328 this event which Carly Adno writes about happened: “Dhoni put on a 70-run partnership with Ajinkya Rahane, before the sharp ears of Steve Smith intervened. Smith was the only one who heard a nick off Rahane’s bat when a Mitchell Starc delivery caught the faintest of edges on its way to Brad Haddin.” A umpire review was taken by Australian Captian Michael Clarke following this and Rahane walked back to the pavilion. India’s last recognized batting pair’s partnership was broken and so where India’s hopes of beating Australia in that semifinal.

Just like Steve Smith’s alert ears caught the nick, amidst a noisy crowd in Sydney Cricket Crowd that day, would you listen to the soft, faint voice of the Holy Spirit of God in your soul, telling you to repent now, and put your faith in Christ for your salvation, as you read this piece? Don’t turn off that tender voice! Obey it!

We must not forget that it becomes too late to get saved after Jesus appears in mid-air to judge us, all of a sudden. When Jesus comes back the second time, he is not coming back to offer salvation – but to execute judgment, the Bible teaches (Revelation 1:7). During that final judgment time, there is no way anyone can get saved. The message you are currently reading will be preached to you then. No altar call to come forward and accept Christ would be given then.

Why should we still scratch around with sin even after knowing very well that Jesus came to save us from sin? Sin makes us sad. It does so after giving us an initial elation. Sin will ultimately take us to hell, the Bible declares (Revelation 21:8). Why not join Jesus – the Jesus who died for us, sinners, on the Cross and waits to embrace us with arms open wide? Why not do it this very second, lest it becomes too late.

By praying this prayer you can be saved and receive true joy and real peace which only Jesus can give:

Dear Jesus, I am a sinner. Please forgive my sins. You died for me on the Cross. Cleanse me with your blood. Come into my heart and life. From this day onwards, I will turn away from sin and live for you, who rose from the dead. I believe you are the only way to heaven and will return one day to judge all the earth, as the Bible proclaims. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for cleansing me. In your name I pray. So be it.

Once you have prayed this prayer, get busy with the following regularly because you love Jesus: 1. Studying the Bible (ESV Bible App can be downloaded onto your smart phone). 2. Talking to Jesus in prayer. 3. Joining a Bible-believing church/fellowship 4. Tell others about Jesus, through your life and lip.

 (This was written by Duke Jeyaraj, an avid cricket enthusiast who lives in Hyderabad, India, whose letters have been published in newspapers like The Hindu. Duke, at one point in time, won an elocution contest as a visiting student in the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India. If you have a question about what you just read or want to know more about Jesus, shoot a mail to Duke at duke@aol.in. You can read more such writings of Duke at www.PurposeSpot.blogspot.com. You can watch Duke share similar messages at http://www.YouTube.com/VisitDuke).

Categories
Anti-Dotes-For-Modern-False-Teachings-Like-Hyper-Grace Lent Devotion

BYE BESETTING SIN, THANKS TO THE BLOOD!

Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj

If it is not possible to overcome besetting sin in our lives as believers, the Bible will not even call us for it. But it does! Hear the writer of the letter to the Hebrews: “Therefore, seeing we also are compassed by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1 KJ21).

There are those who are merely satisfied with the cleansing work of the Cross. Does the Cross cleanse us from sin? Of course! Apostle John wrote, “the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all Sin” (I John 1:7 ESV).

The Cross of Christ does more than just PURIFICATION. It gives us POWER over habitual sin. The Cross of Christ does more than just WASH away sin. It gives us the wherewithal to WALLOP sin! The Cross of Christ does more than just CLEAN sin. It enables us to CRUSH sin’s grasp over us!

The connection between the Cross of Christ and victory over besetting sin is so clearly established in Scripture that we will have to be stone-blind or be heavily influenced by cultic hyper-grace hell-populating teaching not to notice it.

Apostle Peter expressed it clearly. He wrote, “He(Christ) himself bore our sins on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (I Peter 2:24 ESV). Apostle Paul penned the same thing using different words and imagery: “Those who belong to Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24). And when he wrote in Galatians 6:14, “the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and to the world” he was saying this: “thanks to the deep work of the Cross in my life, the besetting sin of worldliness is now dead (crucify here means death) in me!”  Jesus died so that we might have victory over sin in our day to day lives.

Let me talk about various “P”s that help us understand how the blood of Christ gives us victory over daily, besetting sin.

PEACE & THE BLOOD OF CHRIST

Prophet Isaiah wrote, “the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him” (Isaiah 53:5). When we choose to sin against the Lord as a believer, the first result is a loss of peace. The knowledge that we will lose our peace when we sin should strongly deter us from walk down the familiar path of sin. Yes, that journey to watch a web series full of erotic scenes is not worth it for it destroys our peace which was given to us because of the work of the Cross. Yes, that online affair outside the boundaries of marriage is not simply worth it because our serenity goes for a Six (to borrow a Cricket imagery)! Apostle Paul wrote, “we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us” (Romans 5:1 NLT) on the Cross. “When I commit a wanton wickedness against my Lord, my peace will go for a huge Six. I don’t want that to happen. So, I will overcome the temptation before me by tapping into the power of the Holy Spirit!” That is what we should say. That is what we should do.

PRECIOUSNESS & THE BLOOD OF CHRIST

The Bible says, “You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold but with the precious blood of Christ” (I Peter 1:18-19). When we realize the preciousness of the blood of Christ, we will realize how atrocious it is when we keep returning to same old sin (that porn-watching, that drunkenness, that abusive language, etc.).

Hosea’s wife left him to go to the Red Light area for prostitution. But that did not put a red light (stop) on his love for her. He bought back his wife from the Red Light District operators  by paying 15 pieces of silver, five bushels of barley and a measure of wine (Hosea 3:2). These things were by no means cheap those days. They were very expensive. Exodus 21:32 and Zechariah 11:12 tells us that the price of slave in the Jewish slave market was 30 shekels of silver. Translate that into today’s world where to ‘buy’ a kidney also you need to shell out a bomb. Imagine the price of one full individual, then! Hosea paid this monstrous amount, part in silver (15 pieces), part in agricultural produce (five bushels of barley and a measure of wine). After redeeming her, Hosea told her not to return to the Red Light area as a prostitute (Hosea 3:3). She had to put a ‘red light’ (stop) on her life of sin having experienced a love from her husband which did not stop even though she went into the red light area! Having been bought with something far more precious that Prophet Hosea paid for his wife, which is the precious blood of Jesus, we must also take efforts to overcome sin. Since we were “bought” with a price – the utterly precious blood of Jesus – we must glorify God in our body, the Apostle Paul wrote (I Corinthians 6:20). We must stay away from sinful habits that destroy our souls and bodies – torrid habits such as masturbation coupled with porn-watching, alcohol/drug consumption, sexual activity outside marriage, etc.

THE PROFANING & THE BLOOD OF JESUS

The author of the book of Hebrews wrote these powerful lines: “How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by the man who has spurned the Son of God, and profaned blood of the covenant by he was sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of Grace?” (Hebrews 10:29 RSV). And when do we profane the blood of Christ? The same author answers this question very directly: “when we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth” (Hebrews 10:26 NIV). So, when we are tempted to watch that profane web series that is showing in that popular streaming service (Netflix and the likes) we must tell ourselves this: “If I watch that, I would profane the precious blood of Jesus which I do not want to do. So, I will overcome that temptation empowered by the Spirit!”

Yes, it is possible to beat besetting sin through the blood of Jesus!

THE PERSECUTION & THE BLOOD OF JESUS

John observed in the Book of Revelation this: “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not lives even unto death” (Rev. 12:11). Yes, end-time believers overcame “the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world” (Rev. 12:9) through the blood of the Lamb (the Lord Jesus Christ). The Devil tried to threaten these believers with severe persecution but because they were inspired by the blood of the Lamb they did not “love their lives so much that they were afraid of death” (EXB version of Rev. 12:11). Jesus was extremely bold as he marched toward the Cross. While his disciples ran helter-skelter when the Roman arrest party came, he very boldly marched towards them saying, “I am he (the one you have come to arrest)!” (John 18:4-6). His bold voice threw the arrest party on the floor. They were flabbergasted.  He was that bold! So, his blood gives us the courage in the face of persecution that can came to us for saying ‘no’ to sin. Therefore when we say ‘no’ to sin inspired by the blood of Jesus this complaint that the writer to the Hebrews made about his congregation will be no longer true about us: “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood” (Hebrews 12:4 RSV). Instead of compromising with sin trying to escape the brickbats, inspired by the blood of the Lamb we will conquer sin despite the onslaught of severe persecution which may come from the Government, from your boss in the place of work.

Keep connecting the above-mentioned four “P”s – Peace, Preciousness, Profaning, Persecution – with the Cross of Christ! Habitual sin, which the Bible clearly warns us against (I John 3:6), will be a thing of the past!


This article was published in Evangelical Fellowship of India’s AIM magazine (April 2021 edition). Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission. He has preached by invitation in over 20 Indian States and in five nations, in a ministry that has spread over three decades. His book, STRAIGHT TALK (on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, Sexting, Phone Addiction, wise life partner choice, happy marriage, and More), is seen by some as a Reference Text Book on what the Bible has to say on these Taboo Topics, and is available on Amazon and Google Books. Alternatively, you can reach out to him via WhatsApp at 91-8886040605 or email to emailduke@gmail.com to buy a copy.

Categories
Sex Scandals Among Those In Ministry: Bible Response

SHOCKING EXCUSES FOR A SECRET SEXUAL AFFAIR OFFERED SUPPOSEDLY BY A PREACHER BIBLICALLY UNPACKED

Duke Jeyaraj

In what was the most widely read PDF read by believers world-over in recent times these terribly shocking lines appeared: ‘She reported that he made her pray with him to thank God for the “opportunity” they both received. She said he called her his “reward” for living a life of service to God, and he referenced the “godly men” in the Bible with more than one wife. She said he warned her not ever to speak out against him or she would be responsible for the “millions of souls” whose salvation would be lost if his reputation was damaged.’

Those were lines supposedly used by a world-famous evangelist, allegedly, to convince a woman into having a sexual relationship with him. Let’s unpack these lines in the light of the Bible using sound Bible interpretation principles.

NOT A GOD-GIVEN OPPORTUNITY

First of all, sexual activity outside marriage it is not a God-given opportunity. Only the false teacher we read about in the Book of Revelation could see sexual immorality as a God-given opportunity. These are the words of Christ – words of stern rebuke – about this woman preacher who was part of the church at Thyatira: ‘Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. So, I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds’ (Rev. 2:20-23 NIV). Jesus does not consider sexual immorality as an opportunity to thank God for, as this fallen preacher allegedly made it to be in his private conversations with the woman, he had a secret sexual relationship with. Instead, Jesus reserved the sternest words of judgement on the woman who was leading God’s people into immorality by teaching a twisted theology.

NOT A GOD-SENT REWARD FOR DOING ONE’S MINISTRY DUTY

Second, sex outside of marriage, can never be a ‘reward for living a life of service to God’ (as this celebrated preacher allegedly made it to be). In fact, the Bible teaches, God need not even save us from sin, should he choose to do that. Hear the Lord God’s words as recorded by Prophet Zephaniah: “Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger” (Zeph. 2:3, NIV). Don’t miss the word ‘perhaps’ in the above quoted verse. That tells us even salvation of the soul cannot be demanded by anyone from the Lord God. If we are saved, it is because of God’s sovereign will and demonstrated grace. Read Joel 2:13 and 14.  Our ‘rending of hearts’ does not ‘qualify’ us to receive God’s forgiveness. God forgives us because he chooses to respond in grace and mercy. “Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing!” so says Joel 2:14 (NIV). The phrase “who knows” and “may turn” tells us that nothing we do – even the very noble act of ‘rending of our hearts’ – puts God under any sort of compulsion to do anything for us. God is never in debt to us, no matter what we do for Him, including good quality ministry (which this preacher most definitely did).  If we are in the ministry and do it reasonably well, we have nothing to boast. We boast on nothing, except the cross of Christ (Gal. 6:14). When this is the case, it is ridiculous to think sexual immorality can be a reward for living a life of service to God. On the contrary, the Bible teaches that the Lord will bring judgement upon those who pervert the grace of God into a license for immorality (Jude 3). The Bible proclaims a “woe” on such preachers (Jude 11). The Bible warns that the “blackest darkness” of hell is reserved for such ministers of the Gospel (Jude 13; Matt. 8:12; 22:13; 25:30).

NO GOD-GIVEN PERMISSION FOR POLYGAMY

Third, there is nothing in the Bible which can make us think that God would be okay with it, if we have more than one spouse (as this fallen evangelist supposedly argued to convince a woman to have a sexual relationship with him). This is not only a case of plain sexual immorality but also a clear-case of Scripture-twisting for personal convenience. Clear passages of the Old Testament are enough to teach us that God’s will for humankind is this: one man marries one woman and they both stay faithful to each other. We don’t even need to go to the New Testament to grasp this. Genesis 2:24 says, “a” man (one man) “leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife” (not wives). Psalm 128:3 says, “Your wife (not wives) will be like a fruitful wine.” Malachi 2:14 says, “The Lord is the witness between you and the wife (not wives) of your youth”. Malachi 2:15 says, “Do not be unfaithful to the wife (not wives) of your youth”. Let’s get back to sound Bible interpretation! Let’s get back to holy living!

NO CALL FOR SUPPRESSION OF NEWS ABOUT SECRET ADULTERY

This preacher apparently warned this woman with whom he had a secret sexual relationship this way: if ever she revealed to anyone that she has been having a secret sexual relationship with him, she would be responsible for the millions of souls whose salvation would be lost if his reputation is damaged. This supposed warning from this preacher is from the pit of hell! It is not Scriptural. The Bible teaches that we must not hide, but rather expose the deeds of darkness in Ephesians 5:11 where we read: ‘Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them’. I Timothy 5:17 calls for a double honour for church elders (preachers-teachers of the Word in our context) who do a good job. But if folks of the same tribe persisted in sin, they should be publicly “rebuked” (public rebuke is like double punishment) so that others who are thinking of living such a double life will “fear” a similar treatment. This can be gathered if we read just three verse below (in I Timothy 5:20)! Preachers can not only get to chose the privilege of double honour when they do well. They also must be ready to face the responsibility of receiving double punishment/discipline when it can be shown that they are guilty of living in persistent sin.

This lesson cannot be missed if we read the Bible in context. We read everything else in context, instinctively. For example, if we hear the name, “Shah Rukh Khan”, we now ask: “Shah Rukh Khan, the Bollywood actor? Or Shah Rukh Khan, the Tamil Nadu explosive batsmen who bagged for Rs.5.25 Crore fee by Punjab Kings for the IPL Season 2021? In the same way, we must read the Bible also in context lest we miss crucial truths.

So, none of the excuses this famous evangelist gave to carry out a secret sexual affair stands the test of sound Scriptural interpretation. Let us choose to shun a hypocritical life which will take us to hell (did not Jesus warn the hypocrites of his day, the Pharisees this way: ‘You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?’ – Matt. 23:33). Let us choose the narrow road of holiness (Math. 7:13-14).

THIS KIND OF MINISTRY CANNOT LEAD TO LETHARGY

In a much-read Christianity Today article published on the same matter on September 29, 2020, the same preacher used a similar excuse to get into a sexting-phone sex relationship with another woman (allegedly). Here are those lines slightly altered to maintain the anonymity of the preacher and the person he supposedly preyed upon: “He (the same preacher referred to, above) stated so many times to me that the cost of ministry has been very high, that none of his time is his own, he has no privacy, no personhood left,” this woman wrote in 2016. She added that famous preacher-apologist assured her that the Lord understood what he had sacrificed and implied their sexual exchanges were God’s way of rewarding him.

The above paragraph implies that for this preacher, doing ministry left a huge vacuum in his heart which he wanted to fill with a secret sexual relationship outside marriage. Ministry is not something we do! Ministry should be an overflow of our love for Jesus. Nothing more. Nothing less.  That is why when Jesus chose his disciples he mentioned “being with him” before he mentioned “preaching about him” (Mark 3:14). Let’s get back to falling in love with Jesus all over again! And when we do that – ministry will be a pleasure, and never a “pressure” for which we need find a sinful sexual release which will only make the vacuum in the heart even more voluminous.

(This article by Duke Jeyaraj appeared originally in the March 2021 edition of the Aim Magazine, the magazine published by Evangelical Fellowship of India. Duke Jeyaraj, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission Mission. Find out more about this reader-supported Indian ministry at http://www.dukev.org. Duke’s book, Straight Talk on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, Sexting, Phone Addiction and More is available. Reach us at +91-8886040605 via WhatsApp/Telegram/Signal/Viber to buy this book. Or search for the same on Amazon)