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Peer Pressure Sent Packing!

Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj

In a month when the world celebrates Friendship Day, it may be a good idea to think about handling peer pressure.

Peer pressure. Each day it jabs at you as you rub shoulders with your pals at High School. Time and again it nudges you as you walk hands on shoulder with your buddies at College. Repeatedly it bumps into you as you jostle with the people at your work-spot. There are friends in your world who pressure you, prod you to do things that you pretty well know won’t please the Lord. “A sip of Rum won’t rub away your saintliness,” your associate remarks in an attempt to make you somehow join him in drinking. “What’s your opinion about him? Come on speak up!” your mates coax you to join their round table conference where nothing but backbiting and gossip are going on. “You really haven’t lived if you haven’t yet made a visit to this salacious site,” your Internet-insane chum says cajoling you to copy his porn-site visiting habit. One of the reasons why urban 13-17-year-olds have sex is because their “friends have it” (according to a survey published in Outlook magazine). Well, don’t tell me that you haven’t faced peer pressure in your life and existence. You certainly have. And absolutely will. Hey listen – Jesus actually predicted that each of his followers would encounter peer pressure! He did not preach, “If the world hates you…” Instead He preached, “When the world hates you…” (John 15:18).  Did not our Lord say, “Everyone will hate you because of your allegiance to me. But those who endure to the end will be saved” (Math 10:22)? Can we not say that on the basis of this verse handling peer pressure (among other sorts of pressures) is a matter that is so important it concerns our eternal salvation?

A DIRECT COMMAND

Did you know that there is a direct command in the Bible that we must not bow to peer pressure? The Bible does not mince words when it says, “Do not join a crowd that intends to do evil. When you are in the witness stand, do not be swayed by the opinion of the majority” (Ex. 23:2). Caleb took those words from the Law of Moses pretty seriously it seems. Otherwise, these daring words would not have flowed from his mouth when he stood in the witness-stand with the entire nation of Israel watching him, following his crew’s return from scouting the land of Canaan: “Let’s go at once to take the land. We can certainly conquer it!” This was in direct contradiction to the report given by the rest of the members of the spy crew. They all were unanimous in saying, “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are! The land we explored will swallow up any who go to live there. All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. We felt like grasshoppers next to them, and that is what we looked like to them!” (Num. 13:30-33). But Caleb refused to bow to the sheer peer pressure that would have been mounting on him to alter his report so that it too would sound negative like his colleagues’! And mind you Caleb was forty years old when this event happened – an extremely youthful age when you take into consideration that people lived for many hundreds of years in those times (Num. 14:6). Oh, for more Calebs in this crooked and depraved generation of young people! Calebs who will take God’s command that we must not follow the crowd in doing wrong, come what may!

What do we do when our buddies burden us to do things that our Master won’t have us do? Clueless? Got no answers? Well in God’s Word we certainly have some clues and answers to this perennial problem of youth. Want to hear them?

  1. MAKE!

Making Jesus as our best pal ever is the best defence against the lures of Peer Pressure! Wondering how? Take a good look at Peter and you get to know. See Peter closely and this lesson will sink into your system. There were times when Peter and Jesus were close and cozy. Peter knew that it was a foregone conclusion that Jesus was going to be forced to carry the cross and he would finally be crucified on it. So in his heart he too decided that he would “deny himself and take up his cross” and follow His Master just as His Master taught them to (Mk. 8:34). That was why – I suppose – he flatly said, “Lord, I am ready to go to prison with you, and even to die with you!” when Jesus predicted that one of the twelve disciples would betray him (Luke 22:33). He felt that close and committed to Jesus. But then as we pretty well know Peter ended up denying Jesus. Three times out. What went wrong? Simple. Mathew records that when Peter was following Jesus he was following him from “far behind” after his arrest (Matt. 26:58). Mathew – I believe meant more than a geographical distance. He meant there was a spiritual distance between Jesus and Peter. He was drifting away from a warm and wonderful relationship with his Master. Just 11 verses and a short while later, Peter ended up denying Jesus (Matt. 26:69-75). This was the message that crystallized in my heart as I kept reading Matthew 26:58-75: “If you follow Jesus from a distance you would soon end up doing things that would displease him.” If only Peter had maintained his closeness with his Master he would have withstood the pressure put on him as he sat in the courtyard with those who were not clearly in sympathy with Jesus. From the way they eyed him suspiciously Peter knew he would be in trouble if he admitted that he was indeed Jesus’ most outspoken disciple. Peter was hanging out with a crowd hostile to Jesus without being close to Jesus. A potentially deadly combination that ultimately bust Peter’s spiritual fuse and rocked his commitment to Christ. The result was predictable: he ended up swearing that he did not know the Man who in his very first recorded sentence to Peter in Mathew’s Gospel told Peter to make him known (“Come, be my disciples, and I will show you how to fish for people!” – Mathew 4:19).

Have you made Jesus your best friend as yet? Well if there is anyone who can be called “a Friend who sticks closer than a brother,” it’s got to be Jesus (Prov. 18:24). Only sin will increase the distance between Him and you (Isa. 59:2). And if you ask Him to forgive your sins and stick close to him, the pressure from your pals to do things that displease Him will dwindle away, I bet. How do we get close to Jesus?  By spending lots of time with him. By lapping up His Word hungrily. By taking the deliberate time-off from our busy worlds and standing still in his presence to have heart-to-heart talks with Him. If we inculcate this habit of constantly enjoying a close walk with our Maker, there will come a point in our life when we automatically say what the Psalmist said, “One day spent in your house, this beautiful place of worship beats thousands spent on Greek island beaches. I’d rather scrub floors in the house of my God than be honored as a guest in the palace of sin!” (Psa. 84:10, MSG). Yes, it is living in his presence day in and day out that defuses the pressure on us to dwell in the “tents of the wicked” (Psa 84:10, KJV).

In summary, if you fall in love with Jesus chances are that you will not fall in line with the lousy ways of your filthy friends!

  • BREAK!

In order to escape the deadly effects peer pressure can have on our lives there are some friendships (actually fellowships) we must break. That is right – destroy outrightly! But I can almost hear you arguing, “But even Jesus was called as a ‘friend of sinners!’ – wasn’t he? ” Of course, he was! But his closest pals were never the cheating tax-collectors and the captivating prostitutes but Peter, James and John – three men who left their all to follow Him and later would not hesitate to die for Him! Jesus tried to lift the sinners to His level in the times He spent with them – He never stooped to their level. His goal of mixing with them freely was to evangelize them and not let his morals be eroded by them! Also, we must note that He reserved his thick friendship only for His disciples. In fact, he met them “often” in an olive grove – something He did not do with his “sinner” friends (John 18:2). Following the model of Jesus we can have a circumspect friendship with our unbeliever pals without having close fellowship (while reserving that with friends who closely walk with the Lord)! He by His personal example and model teaches us to say “No” to friends who call us for “ungodliness” thereby helping us to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age (Titus 2:11,12).

Ask Rehoboam why he brushed aside the sensible advice to ease the great pressure his father Solomon put on the people of Israel. He would talk about another kind of pressure – peer pressure. His youthful buddies boosted his ego and tutored him to reply to a delegation that had come to meet him in this harsh manner: “My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist – if you think he was hard on you, just wait and see what I’ll be like! Yes, my father was harsh on you, but I’ll be even harsher! My father used whips on you, but I’ll use scorpions!” (I Kings 12:1-14). This peer-pressure-inspired rude reply eventually led the split of Israel into two Kingdoms – we can say that.

Oh, how many times foul friends have lured many a Christ-following youth to sin? Countless times. What is the solution? It is to willfully sever yourself from friends who seduce you forget your devotion to Christ. That is what Paul has taught us to do. Paul warned that the Corinthian believers must steer clear of some folk who argued that one could just feast and get drunk – enjoy life to the full – the reason being that “tomorrow we die” (and there was no resurrection from the dead and judgement before God to panic about – I Cor. 15:32). He plainly wrote, “Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for ‘bad company corrupts good character.’ Come back to your senses and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t even know God” (I Cor. 15:33-34). One version of the Bible renders that passage this way: “Don’t let yourself be poisoned by this anti-resurrection loose talk.”  What Paul was teaching the Corinthians was in line with a present-day proverb that goes,  “If you sleep with dogs you will get fleas!” Jesus would agree with Paul’s suggestion that we should cut ourselves from corrupting chums for he said, “Even if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out…” (Matt. 5:29). What was Jesus getting at? It is probably this: “Your friend may be as dear to you as your eye. But cut your relationship with him if he causes you to sin against me!” (The imagery of “eyes” being compared to people is very much in the Bibles – See Dt. 32:10, Psa. 17:8 and Zech. 2:8). Your buddies may seem to you as the apple of your eyes. But it what they say is against what God says, you must steer clear of them because we are told to “guard” the Lord’s teachings which are to be the  “apple of our eyes” (Prov. 7:2).

In short, one sure way of sending peer pressure packing is to pack off our persistently perverted pals!

3. CONTEMPLATE!

 

When young people give in to peer pressure, they feel good for the moment. In fact, Jesus himself said, “If you lived on the world’s terms, the world would love you as one of its own…” (John 15:19). But even some of the worldliest people will tell you that the warmth the world showers on you will be at best temporary. For example, famous American actress Marilyn Monroe once said, in an interview given at the fag end of her life: “Fame doesn’t fulfil you. It warms you a bit, BUT THAT WARMTH IS TEMPORARY!”

The story of the younger son – the prodigal son – which Jesus narrated is very familiar to us all. This son too was probably incited by his friends to somehow parcel away his portion of his Pop’s property. Armed with a lot of cash he threw parties (for who else,  but his comrades). But when he was low on cash, and it is quite possible his so-called friends left him. One day he was feeding his pals. Pretty soon he was feeding on what was given to the pigs! Sad story, indeed! Had he had contemplated on some of the proverbs of Solomon, which he must have surely had access to as a Jewish youngster, he would not have wrecked his life. He must have read these stirring words in Proverbs that directly warned him of fair-weather friends. He had no time to chew and act upon these well known Proverbs: “My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them!…Don’t go along with them, my child!…The poor are despised even by their neighbors, while the rich have many ‘friends’ (meaning so-called friends who are not really friends)…Wealth makes many ‘friends’; poverty drives them away…” (Prov. 1:10-15; 14:20; 19:4). In short he missed the repeated message of Proverbs: the very same friends who egg you on to commit a sin may not hesitate to throw an egg on your face when you suffer as a result of your sin!

Quite often we bump into characters in the Bible who were let down by their close friends. You cannot miss how hurt David was when you read this: “As for this friend of mine, he betrayed me; he broke his promises. His words are as smooth as cream, but his heart is war. His words are as soothing as lotion, but underneath are daggers!” (Psa. 55:20-21). Job (6:15-23) and Jeremiah (20:10) had similar experiences.

Go over these sob stories of those ditched by their bosom buddies at the time when they desperately needed them. Once you have done that – contemplated that – chances are that you will not be pressured by these very same people to let down “the Friend closer than a brother” – Jesus! Agree? 

Apart from his family (seven of them) no one took seriously Noah’s preaching that there would be a flood seriously. I am sure there were quite a few to make jokes about this judgment-preacher  (II Pet 2:5). Some probably told Noah, “Look at those short pants! Hey Noah, expecting a flood?” Sure these sort of jokes must have put pressure on Noah to quit. But he did not quit. He kept doing what God wanted him to do. Faithfully.

Nehemiah was busy rebuilding the broken walls of Jerusalem. It was then that he heard this acidic remark from Tobiah: “That stone wall would collapse if even a fox walked on top of it!” (Neh 4:3). Would Nehemiah yield to this pressure that was put on him to quit doing what God called him to do? By no means. The wall rebuilding project was completed (Neh 6:15).

Like Noah and Nehemiah did, it is my prayer that you would withstand peer pressure to complete what God has called you to do and consequently enjoy the divine pleasure in your life.

Well, peer pressure can be handled perfectly well only if you will draft into your life these  simple, Scriptural and pragmatic steps. You can count on it!

(This article by Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj was published in the August 2021 edition of Aim Magazine published by the Evangelical Fellowship of India; Duke is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org. Or WhatsApp +91-8886040605).

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Anti-Dotes-For-Modern-False-Teachings-Like-Hyper-Grace US Presidential Elections 2020 Devotions

TATA TO FALSE TEACHING STARTING WITH TRUMP! BYE TO CULTS STARTING WITH BIDEN!

Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj brings key Bible Truth from the Biden-Trump Presidential Debates

Philip Elliot wrote the following lines after the third US Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump: ‘…a pair of men in their 70s vie for the White House in the final days of an unprecedented election cycle’ (Time, October 22, 2020). Between 60 to 70 million American were watching!

I watched both the debates live turning on my TV set at 6:30 a.m. As a preacher of the Gospel, I wanted to pick up some communication skills from most watched debate in the world – the US Presidential Debate!

From the first debate what stood out was the number of times Donald Trump interrupted Joe Biden or moderator Chris Wallace. It was a whopping 128 times (Slate, Sept. 30, 2020).

Apostle Paul was not an ‘interrupter’.  He loved to listen in full to what the other side was saying! As he wrote the New Testament under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, his preempts possibly questions from his readers and answered them in advance. That’s how much he wanted to listen first and respond to what others would say to he wrote down. Brad Price writes in his commentary on the Book of Romans this: “Paul knew his readers would sometimes have questions about his instructions and teachings, so in many instances he answered these questions in advance”. Wow! So instead of interrupting others, Paul was inviting interruptions as he spoke or wrote so that he could stop what he was doing, listen patiently and give a well-thought-out rejoinder!

So, what does he do in this connection in the book of Romans? He asks the question and answers them himself! One question he asked on his reader’s behalf was this: “So then, do the Jews have an advantage over the other nations? Does circumcision do anything for you?” (Romans 3:1, The Voice). Here is another question in the same category: “How should we respond to all of this? Is it good to persist in a life of sin so that grace may multiply even more?” (Romans 6:1, The Voice). He asked another question like the second question in chapter 3 itself. This was the question: “But if my lie serves only to point out God’s truth and bring Him glory, then why am I being judged for my sin?” (Rom. 3:7, The Voice).

How does Paul go about answering these questions? His answer to question number one about the Jewish advantage in receiving the Law much before Gentiles did was this: the large-scale disobedience to the Laws that God gave them would have the consequence of being objects of God’s wrath (Rom. 3:5). His answer to the second question about grace of God being used as a license for immorality was straight to the point: grace was not to be used as a license for immorality – and if anyone would think it was so, it would be pure slander (Rom. 3:8). Listen in to this, his classic response to question number two he pre-empted from readers of the letter to the Romans:  “By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Rom. 6:2, The Voice). He rehammers the same answer using different words:  “So what do we do now? Throw ourselves into lives of sin because we are cloaked in grace and don’t have to answer to the law? Absolutely not!” (Rom 6:15, The Voice).

In the same way we must also pre-empt the questions people may ask as we present Bible truth to them. For example, when you share the Gospel with friends from Islamic faith you can be almost sure that you will hear this question: “How sure are you that the Bible you are quoting from is reliable?” You must be ready with answers for such questions which you will come. Did not Apostle Peter tlelll us thing: “Always be ready to offer a defense, humbly and respectfully, when someone asks why you live in hope” (I Peter 3:15, The Voice). 

In the third and final debate between Trump and Biden held on October 23, 2020, Trump used an unforgettable imagery – ‘vacuum cleaner’ imagery! He said, “I don’t make money from China, you do. I don’t make money from Ukraine, you do…They’re (the Biden family) like a vacuum cleaner. They’re sucking up money every place he goes.” In his 2016 Election, Trump used another colourful imagery – ‘drain the swamp’ – as he fought Hillary Clinton’s challenge.

Prophet Isaiah, the prophet with the best vocabulary among all the different Bible writers (numbering about 40), filled his book with word pictures that taught spiritual truths. He wrote, “Jerusalem stands like a watchman’s shelter in a vineyard; Like a hut in a melon field, like a city assaulted and besieged” (Isa. 1:8 The Voice).

Imagine a watchman in his shelter on the lookout for animals or petty thieves that would attack the vineyard and take away the grapes (that were particularly tasty in Jerusalem)! It’s just him in that hut! It is all green around! But no humans around! Imagine another watchman in a hut in a melon field. He is there to chase away the melon hurting animals. He is there to give thieves checking into the melon field a run a whack. But it is just him in that hut. He’s lonely. Let’s move onto the third imagery that Isaiah used in the same sentence – a word-picture loaded sentence! He compares a city which is surrounded by an enemy army. The people can’t go out for business. No flight taking off from its airport. No trains moving in or moving out. No buses plying. Why did Isaiah pen all this? He wanted to talk about the effects of sin to people of the southern part of Israel – a place where he was called to minister in. Sin would make you utterly lonely – that was the point he wanted to convey through the three terrific, can’t-be-taken-away-from-mind images.

When tempted by the lure of sin – be it by porn-watching, by extra-marital affair, by alcohol-consumption, etc. – we would do well to remember these Isaiah 1:8 images and win over those temptations enabled by the Grace of God (Titus 2:11,12). Jesus died for a lonely generation. That’s why he became lonely on the cross for your sake and my sake. How do I know he became lonely? I know from this his cry from the Cross: “My God! My God why have your forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46). Jesus became lonely so that you and I can be friends with God (Rom. 5:1).


And Joe Biden, in the third debate said, “We are learning to live with the Corona Virus (as Trump says)? Come on! People are learning to die with it! You folks home that have an empty chair at the kitchen table this morning. That man or wife going to bed tonight reaching over trying to touch out of habit where the husband or wife was …. that person is gone. Learning to live with it? Come on! We are dying with it!”

Biden’s poignant statement reminds me of a key Bible truth that has been twisted by hyper-grace (unbiblical grace) pastors/teachers. They effectively say it is okay to remain in sin. They say that believers need not absolutely bother about what they call as ‘behavior modification’. They say believers should be only concerned about ‘heart transformation’. They encourage living in sin by statements like these: ‘And if today God punishes you for your sin, that would make God unholy’; ‘Even your future sins are automatically forgiven’

But the plain truth of the Bible is this: true heart transformation will always result in behavior modification. But the plain truth of the Bible is this: without holiness no one will see God (ofcourse by the Grace of God and by the Spirit of God we can live holy lives).  Apostle Paul wrote these lines for believers: Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: “Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (I Cor. 6:9-10). Just below this passage Paul warns believers in the stubborn sin of sexual immorality can be destroyed by God (I Cor. 6:13). Paul also wrote the same to believers in the church at Rome: ‘Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed’ (Rom. 2:4-5). And a little later he emphatically wrote, ‘For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live’ (Rom. 8:13). Death, for the believer who deliberately and stubbornly lives in sin. And the ultimate meaning for death in the Bible is conscious torment in hell (Rev. 21:8). And the far-out meaning of life in the Bible is eternal life in the literal presence of God (2 Cor. 5:4). So, chose life, by choosing holy living which is made possible by the grace of God and the Spirit of God.

The Presidential Debates between Trump and Biden may have been done and dusted. But the Bible truths we have learnt starting from them is for us to keep remembering!

(Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj is founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. This is a viewer-supported Indian ministry to presentday people. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org).

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US Presidential Elections 2020 Devotions

GOING GAGA OVER KAMALA?

Duke Jeyaraj

Kamala Harris is the focus of many a conversation these days! She is the subject of many a social media discussion! If you did not know it yet, Kamala Harris is the Vice-Presidential nominee for the Democratic Party in the 2020 US Presidential Elections. Of late, I have been reading a lot about her. And watching some video where news about her is featured.

THE DIVERSITY OF HER FAMILY WHICH REMINDS ME OF THE MOST ULTIMATELY DIVERSE PLACE CALLED HEAVEN

I was excited to learn that Kamala Harris’ mom hailed from Chennai, where three-fourth of my larger family lives (mother’s side and father’s side)! An undated picture of her in a saree is going viral! Kamala’s dad moved to the USA from Jamaica. She is married to a Jewish man. So, India, Jamaica, Israel, and the USA meets in the person of Kamala. This world-talking about person reminds me of the greatest ever assembly of people from every race, tribe, language in the world that will one day take place. The book of Revelation talks about that. That book teaches that in the New Heaven people from every tribe, people, language and nation will be there – twice!

What is the only criterion for anyone to make it there? Knowing Jesus! Jesus calls every one of us reading this to turn from sin and trust Him today, without delay! Then, life will be meaningful!

People from all races, tribes, peoples, languages will come to heaven – that’s Revelation’s prediction. But this prediction necessitates a mission from our end. What mission? A mission to reach out to the lost! You and I – believers – will need to take efforts to preach and/or reach the Gospel through our lives and lips to people from all tribes, peoples, languages and nations in the one life we have! I am a missionary to the Google Generation. In 2006 I started Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission to focus on getting the Good News to this group through pulpit preaching, writing, social media action and counseling. This mission gives me so much fulfillment. Even this article is my offering of ‘five loaves and two fish’ created toward the goal of evangelising and discipling the Google Generation! Which people group has God burdened your heart with to share the Gospel? What are you doing about that burden?

THE CRUELITY SHE SUPPORTS WHEN IT COMES TO UNBORN CHILDREN

Mark A. Thiessen writing for The Washington Post on the 14 August 2020 says this about Kamala Harris: “She is also an abortion zealot who has suggested that a faithful Catholic who belongs to the Knights of Columbus is unfit to serve as a federal judge.” That implies that Kamala Harris has a blatant disregard for the what the Bible teaches about unborn babies. The Bible talks about the God-planned-future of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Paul even when they were in their mom’s womb. Abortion is an attack against God’s plans! When Jacob and Esau (the twins) were in their mom’s stomach, God saw “nations” from them. So, abortion can be seen as a crime as serious as wiping out nations (though we don’t see it that way)! While we must love Kamala Harris no matter what she believers in or does, we must keep proclaiming the message of the Bible to the Kamala Harris Generation and call this generation to repentance, with love, backed by an exemplary life!

THE INQUITY CALLED HOMOSEXUALITY SHE SUPPORTS

Chris Johnson writing for Washington Blade on 11 August 2020 talks about Kamala Harris’ pioneering, persistent support for the homosexual lifestyle: “The crown jewel of Harris in terms of her LGBTQ record is her decision as California attorney general not to defend Proposition 8, the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage enacted at the ballot in 2008.” The same article talks about how she officiated the first ever homosexual marriage in California.

Kamala Harris was called the ‘female Obama’. Well Obama, and the most of the Democratic Politicians fight for homosexual rights and call it ‘marriage equality’. Well, the Bible calls homosexuality, iniquity (not ‘equality’)! And we must not support iniquity!

Homosexuality is a sin against God, the Bible repeatedly records. Those who practice homosexuality will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God, the Bible declares (I Cor. 6:9). The fact that the early church called practicing homosexuals to repentance is seen by this – that there were FORMER homosexuals in the church (I Cor. 6:11)! We too must call homosexuals to repentance with love as we all other sinners to repentance with love! I have a chapter on this very topic in a more detailed way on my book, Straight Talk, available as a eBook on Amazon and Google Play Store and Books.

As India, goes ‘oo la, la’ about Kamala, it is good to get the full picture! The Bible is the final court of appeal for all matters of belief and behavior and what the Bible says about issues associated with the Kamala Harris and what she endorses matters.

(Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. This is a reader supported ministry. Find out more at www.dukev.org. Follow Duke’s ministry on Youtube at www.youtube.com/visitduke).

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Bible Truth Around Contemporary Events US Presidential Elections 2020 Devotions

TRUMP AT MOUNT RUSHMORE & A TRUTH ABOUT FREEDOM WHICH ENCOURAGES US AGAINST RUSHING TOWARDS SIN!

Duke Jeyaraj

“These heroes will never be defaced. Their legacy will never, ever be destroyed. Their achievements will never be forgotten. And Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and to our freedom.” – So said US President Donald Trump in a much-talked-about Independence Day speech in front of the iconic Mount Rushmore on 3 July 2020. At this time, I recalled a Bible truth about FREEDOM that warns hyper-grace cult embracing believers that we must not rush towards sin because we are ‘free’! At this juncture, I was reminded of a much-neglected truth about FREEDOM that needs to be re-hammered in this false-Grace-embracing age, found in the book which is the very Word of the living God, a book with words that will stand forever according to the Lord Jesus who said, “Heaven and earth will pass away; but my words will never pass-away!” (Luke 21:33)! And I put that truth I discovered in my personal devotion on this poster! Just in case you have never seen the two Bible verses I am quoting in this poster, here they are: “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Gal. 5:13). “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God” (1 Pet. 2:16). Here is how Eugene Peterson puts a part of I Pet. 2:16 – ‘Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules’ (MSG).

(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission. This is a viewer-supported, reader-supported Indian ministry to the Google Generation. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org. Write to Duke via emailduke@gmail.com or via WhatsApp 918886040605).

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Uncategorized

USING ‘FATHER WHO WILL NEVER ABANDON’ IMAGERY TO DEFEND HYPER-GRACE, ONCE-SAVED, ALWAYS-SAVED, HAS NO BIBLICAL WARRANT!

Duke Jeyaraj

Hyper-grace cult teachers use the ‘Father’ imagery to say this in-effect: “You can never stop being God’s child even if you are stubborn in sin till you die!”

Really?

Yes, God is like the loving earthly fathers! Prophet Hosea recorded this in a heart-touching way: “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. The more they were called the more they went away; they kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning offerings to idols” (Hos. 11:2). Fathers hold the hands of their kids teaching them to walk, and God did the same with his Spiritual child, Israel (Hos. 12:3). Fathers chase naughty, active crawling kids and bend down to feed food to them and God did the same with Israel (Hos. 11:4). God as a Father want to give another chance to sinning Israel (Hos. 11:8-9). He wanted to deal in love and not in wrath. But since Israel stubbornly held on to sin, the same loving God became an attacking/punishing/judging Lion/Leopard/Bear! The same author talks about it (Hosea 13:7-8). Let us embrace both the images of God – the one in Hosea 11 (loving father) and in Hosea 13 (attacking wild animal).

But God the Father is NOT like the earthly fathers! His accusation to us is this: “Somehow you got the idea that I was like you!” (Psa. 50:21, The Voice).

God is the Holy Father (John 17:11) who disciplines us and enables us, so that we become holy – something without which we can’t see God (Heb. 12:5-6,14).

– Duke Jeyaraj

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WHAT’S/WHO’S ON YOUR LAP, DADDIES, MOST OF THE TIME – YOUR KIDS /YOUR GADGETS?

Duke Jeyaraj / Father’s Day Devotion


During the days I was in the Call centre industry as a tent-making preacher (no longer now since Nov. 2008, am a fulltime evangelist now), I used to stay back in the office for some time in the early morning after I logged out. I would read the Bible online in the net-connected computer systems. And I would also write articles for our ministry’s magazine, The Days Of Your Youth, wrapping Bible Truth around contemporary events. Yes, by God’s sheer Grace, I worked hard. I also tried to balance things by spending time with my wife and children. I recall taking my son, Dale Nathan to a water theme park in Hyderabad, one day, during those days. It was raining heavily that day! Playing in the water with him – natural water from above and stored water from below was exhilarating. And this act was as God-pleasing as staying back in the office to write articles! My wife and I enjoy watching cricket together! After India successfully chased 325 runs in the Natwest Trophy Final in the Lord’s Cricket Ground in July 2002, Saurav Ganguly jumped on the top of Mohammed Kaif, India’s hero that night along with Yuvraj Singh; My wife and I were jumping on each other too! I also recall how I boxed the floor of our home, in derilious joy, along with my son after Sreesanth took the catch offered by Misbah in the 2007 Twenty20 Cup Final! AS FATHERS WE MUST TAKE TIME TO KEEP OUR CHILDREN ON OUR LAPS TO TALK AND PLAY WITH THEM THAN SPENT ALL OUR TIME WITH OUR LAPTOPS. YOUR FAST-GROWING DAUGHTER MAY APPRECIATE YOUR LAP TOP GIFT TO HER. BUT SHE WILL APPRECIATE YOU MORE, IF YOU PUT HER ON YOUR LAP AND ASKED LOVINGLY, IF EVERYTHING WAS GOING WELL IN HER WORLD. I was inspired by Bible characters like Caleb to balance work and family.CALEB came back from that God-given work and gave a speech that tells us that he was a man who did his work differently – daringly different to be precise. While others were very negative in their reporting, Caleb dons the role of a Pep Talk Prince with effortless ease. He says, “Let us go at once and occupy it (the Land of Canaan), for we are able to overcome it!” (Num 13:30). A guy who was positively good at his work, no doubt! What about his family life? Going by what we read in Judges 1, it does look like his family life was rocking – it was not on the rocks! He gave his daughter what she wanted (Jud 1:11-15), He gave her the upper springs and lower springs. This act of Caleb rings this truth into our mind: here was a man who doted on his daughter. Caleb, it looks like, had a decent work-life balance. As fathers, we must spend time with our children. MAX LUCADO, the famous American author talks about how he gave a preaching assignment a miss to be in his daughter’s school function in one of his books, Lucado also humorously writes that he found out that the meeting he was supposed to preach in, went on well, and that the organizers did not miss him! Do you know that not spending more time with his family and not balancing Work and Life adequately is the regret of a man as great as BILLY GRAHAM – the man whom God has used to announce the Gospel to the maximum number of people ever in all of Church history. This is how he talks about it in his autobiography, JUST AS I AM: ‘Although I have much to be grateful for as I look back over my life, I also have many regrets. I have failed many times, and I would do things differently. For one thing, I would speak less and study more, and I would spend more time with my family. When we look back over the schedules I kept thirty or forty years ago, I am staggered by all the things we did and the engagements we kept. Sometimes we flitted from one part of the country to another, even from one continent to another, in the course of only a few days. Were all those engagements necessary? Was I discerning as I might have been about which ones to take and which to turn down?: I doubt it. Every day that I was absent from my family is gone forever. Although much of that travel was necessary, some of it was not.’“You will have to consciously switch off your blackberry, turn off your computer, and not read your email. You should go on a vacation with your family and take a break, or else, it’s coming at you all the time!” Those words weren’t spoken by Family Counselor James Dobson. You will be surprised to know they were spoken by the one-time Google Inc.’s Vice President, Sukhinder S. Cassidy. She said this in a India Today Conclave 2007. An employee of Google herself says we must not overuse Google products, Youtube, Gmail, Google Search, at the cost of not spending time with our families! (EXTRACTED from Duke’s book, STRAIGHT TALK published by Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission – www.facebook.com/googleduke).

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Antidotes for Immortality on Earth False Teaching Uncategorized

JOHN 8:12 AND THE ‘IMMORTALITY’ CULT DOUBLE STANDARD DUKE JEYARAJ

Questions for Immortality on Earth Cult Pastors: If you preach from John 11:26 that people who believe in Jesus should not experience PHYSICAL death then you should also preach from John 8:12 that people who believe in JESUS will not be in PHYSICAL DARKNESS! That is, you should teach your congregation this: ‘do not switch off your lights when you sleep, because John 8:12 says those who walk with Jesus will never live in the dark!!’ But you don’t do that right?! You instinctively interpret the ‘light’ of John 8:12 to be ‘spiritual light’ right? You instinctively interpret the ‘thirst’ that Jesus talked about in John 4:14 as spiritual thirst, right? Then why this double standard only with John 11:26? Oh for consistency in Bible Interpretation!
(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Gen from Gehenna Mission. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org).

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MOTHER DONKEY AND COLT – A JOLT FOR THOSE WHO GIVE STEP-MOTHERLY TREATMENT FOR THE THINGS OF GOD!

Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj

Only Matthew records that Jesus wanted BOTH the MOTHER DONKEY and it’s COLT (the Kid Donkey) (Mt 21:2). A person would be sitting on the back of that untrained colt for the first ever time, it looks like. Therefore, Jesus perhaps felt the presence of the parent would calm the colt’s nerves when a person (Jesus) sat on it. Do we cooperate with God’s plan for our kids the whole-hearted way this MOTHER DONKEY apparently did with Jesus’ plans for it’s kid donkey? Parents should encourage their born-again children to serve God. Parents do not ask generally kids, “Is it God’s Will?” when their kids say, “I want to go to the US to study and settle down there!” But when their kids say, “Mom/Dad, God has called me for full-time ministry to such and such a place in India itself!” most parents pour cold water on their enthusiasm by asking, “Are you sure, it is God’s will?” What a wicked double standard! How we show step-motherly treatment for the things of God! The Lord is watching this with deep sorrow and anguish. His anger may be triggered by our worldliness and money-mindedness. The message that comes to us from the Palm Sunday Matthew narrative is this: encourage the younger generation in your family to get involved in God’s Work, whole-heartedly!

(Dr. Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of G4 Mission. Find out more at www.dukev.org. This is a reader supported ministry. Reach him via WhatsApp at +91-8886040605)

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Job & Corona – Duke Jeyaraj

Why did God flood Job with so many questions (77 by one count in Job 38-39) at the end of the book of Job (perhaps the first Bible book in terms of date)? I believe this was the reason. He wanted to tell Job, “When you could trust and serve me (Job 13:15) without knowing answers for so many questions, what is the big problem you have when it comes serving me when you do not know the answer for ONE MORE QUESTION: ‘Why am I suffering?’ “ Job who did not know the answer for the question of God to him, ‘Do you know when the MOUNTAIN goats give birth?’(Job 39:1) must walk with God with unshakable trust even when he grabbles with the question: ‘ Why this MOUNTAIN of problems for me?’ That was God’s point at the end of this book. We do not the exact reason for this destructive Carona pandemic. But just as God expected Job to do, we have a job to do: trust and serve Jesus in the one life we have till our death or His return whichever comes earlier!!!!

(Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj, the author of this piece is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission. This is a listener-supported Indian ministry to presentday people. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org. Follow Duke’s videos at http://www.youtube.com/visitduke).

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WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT PLAGUES AND PESTILENCES USING THE ACRONYM C-O-R-O-N-A

Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj – 22 nd March, 2020 (A Video Message Shared Online Via Facebook and Youtube)

Opening Prayer:

We thank you Lord for this day, March 22,2020 when we are home, worshipping you in accordance with your sovereign plan; also for the privilege and freedom to broadcast on social media (You Tube and Facebook).Thank you for the opportunity to teach and share your Living Word that touches and transforms the lives of people watching globally .

May hearts be warmed by the Holy Spirit’s leading, bringing illumination, revelation, and life transformation. Amen.

The recent Economist Magazine reports that governments are trying to get a grip on this deadly pandemic – COVID -19. On March 16, reliable medical research published by epidemiologists (Imperial College, London) predicted that the virus would affect 80% of British population within 3 to 4 months if not arrested by the government or population.2.2 million Americans and 500,000 people in U.K. would be affected. No one really knows what will happen in nations like India.

I want to use the acronym C-O-R-O-N-A to teach what the Bible, God’s own Word, has to say about plagues and pestilences.

C – CREATOR CAUSED PLAGUES

The Bible repeatedly attributes the origin of plagues and pestilences to God. If the Devil causes a plague (In Luke 13:16 Satan causes a disease which could have been a result of a viral attack on the human body – See also Mark 9:17; 9:25 and Acts 10:38) he needs to get God’s permission. God can permit the devil to operate. God’s sovereignty is a major doctrine of the Bible and no one can question him with a WHY (Dan. 4:35)?

The first reference to the plague is found in Genesis 12:17 when the Lord afflicted Pharaoh and his house in Egypt because of Abram’s wife Sarai. (Genesis 12:10 – 20)

The next reference is Exodus 8:2 where the Lord plagues Egypt with frogs because Pharaoh would not release the Israelites from their bondage. (Moses was their leader and he wrote the first 5 books of the Bible.)

In Exodus 9:3, it is the plague on livestock caused by the hand of God. In verse 14, we read that God sends all plagues on the Egyptian people to proclaim that “there is none like me(God) in all the earth.” In all, there were 10 plagues that affected the Egyptians.

Exodus 32:35 states that God sent a plague because Aaron made a golden calf which the people of God, Israelites, worshipped. They worshipped the CREATION rather than the CREATOR.

Numbers 11:33 tells us that even before the Israelites had consumed the flesh of the quail, God sent a plague because their perpetual complaints and ingratitude triggered God’s anger.

(One theory regarding the origin of Corona virus is that it came from a wet market which sold exotic meats, including the meat of winged bats, the likely original host of the Corona Virus, in Wuhan, China).

In Numbers 16:46, Moses tells Aaron to carry a censer, take fire from the altar and use incense as an atonement for the congregation since God’s wrath had caused a plague. The Bible is a library of 66 books and as we comb through it, we come to Numbers 25 where we read of the religious prostitution with Moabite women in the temple of Baal and Baal worship of the Israelites.

Balaam, in Numbers 31:16 counselled the Israelites to worship the idol Baal-Peor in-effect (by dancing with the women of Moab) using his seemingly prophetic powers and the consequence was a plague that killed 24,000.

Deuteronomy 28:59 records the farewell speech of Moses to Israelites before their entry to the Promised Land where he repeats the law and warns them of the fearful plagues that will affect their children and will last long and afflict them with sore sicknesses. In Deuteronomy 32:24 God warns the disobedient people that he will send hunger, heat, beasts, and poisonous serpents as agents of destruction. At the beginning of creation, the serpent is Satan’s slave and speaks to Eve. However, in Matthew 10:16, God says “be ye therefore as wise as serpents.”

Joshua 22:17 is a reminder of the plague on the congregation by sexual immorality. Joshua 24:5 states, “I plagued Egypt.” I Samuel 4:8 tells us how even the pagans realized God’s protection over the Israelites when it came to plagues.

Psalm 78:50 speaks of a pestilence that God delivered his people to. In Zechariah 14:12, the plague will affect those who war against Jerusalem; verse 18 of the same chapter speaks of the Lord smiting the heathen with a plague that do not observe the Feast of Tabernacles/Booths.

The Feast of Booths/Tabernacles is a Jewish Festival which is symbolic of the Israelite journey through the wilderness in temporary shelters. It is a call to repentance. It is also a symbol of our spiritual journey through this world as aliens, strangers, travellers, and as Peter says “sojourners “ (I Peter 2:11). The world offers prosperity, sinful pleasures, immortality on earth before Second Coming and we can choose to be worldly! But we should remember that we are passing through, to reach a city with no plagues. As Jim Reeves sang, “this world is not my home, I’m just a passing through.”

In the New Testament, Revelation 18:8 speaks of God’s judgement on establishments that are anti-God. Babylon is symbolic of this. The plagues will come in a single day – death, fire, famine. Revelation 22:18 warns with clarity that in response to people’s rebellion, God can choose to send plagues.

With the help of the above references, we understand that the plague is CREATOR CAUSED. Yes, Satan can be given permission by God to cause plagues/diseases. But even then, the buck for causing a plague, for reasons known to him, stops with God as he chose to give permission without which no plague could have occurred – including the Corona Virus Pandemic – in the first place!

We are using the outline C-O-R-O-N-A to understand what the Bible has to teach about plagues. C for Creator-Caused Plagues. O is the next letter under consideration!

O-OBLITERATED BY THE CROSS ON WHICH JESUS DIED? IS THAT TRUE ABOUT PLAGUES?

Obliterated means cancelled. Does the Bible teach that none of the believers will be attacked/affected by the virus? Is there such a theology in the Bible? This is the question. Exodus 12:13 speaks of the blood as an anti-dote for the plague. In Exodus 30:12, the Lord asks Moses to take census and number the Israelites when there is non-existence of plague among them. Revelation 18:4 refers to Babylon, which is symbolic of the system of evil and sin. We should say bye-bye to satan , come under the blood of Jesus, and join the spiritual church.  Should we as believers never experience a plague? Plagues are not for God’s children says Numbers 8:19. Can Numbers 8:19 be applied to believers of today?

Psalm 91:10 is assuring – “There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. Revelation 18:4 says this: “be ye not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” So, the question is this: will a believer who lives a holy life be spared from the Corona Virus infection as Revelation 18:4 seems to suggest?

Accelerated, passionate, cultic preaching, originally from South Africa, also echoed in Sri Lanka, India, propagated immortality which said that if you believe on Jesus, you will not die. Is this teaching correct?

There are 4 things that the believer which the human race deals with: defilement, disease, death, and demonic attack.

DEFILEMENT: By His first coming, Jesus gave us power over defilement. Being away from defilement does not allow us to use angry/ abusive words. We gain complete victory over every kind sinful habit (I John 3:5-6).

The Bible reiterates 300 times that Jesus is coming again. II Corinthians 5:21 says that Jesus has already made us righteous. But I John1 :8 states we are not righteous. James 3:2 says that we (believers) stumble in many ways. It is a paradox. We are “already” holy, but “not yet” holy! This is what is called the ‘already but not yet’ theology – a theology that we must understand!

Grace is not a credit card to sin. We are not perfect and we do sin, but must come back to Jesus in genuine repentance and confession (Romans 2:4-5; I John 1:8-9). Only after the Second Coming (which takes place in Revelation 19:11) and in the New Heavens and Earth will there be complete absence of sin (Rev. 21:27). 

So till the Second Coming we must put to death the acts of the flesh empowered by the Spirit (Romans 8:13). So, in a sense, we are already holy but not yet holy!

DISEASE: The ‘already but not yet’ theology is also seen in the area of diseases.

Even though God has worked out the solution on the Cross, the provision for our healing, some do not get healed for mysterious reasons.  Isaiah 53:5 – With His stripes we are healed. I Peter 2:24 – By whose stripes ye were healed. Yes, after the first coming Jesus made provision for our healing at the Cross. However for some mysterious higher reason not all of us are healed here and now II Timothy 4:20 – Paul left his fellow labourer Trophimus at Miletus sick, even though he had healed sick and possessed people, with handkerchiefs/aprons.

Matthew 8 :16,17  records that Jesus healed all that were sick in a particular area fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah 53:5. This is in line with Exodus 23:25 which says, “I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.”

Let us hit rewind button on the characters of Elijah and Elisha.Elijah had performed 8 miracles – shut up heavens, caused drought, multiplied oil and flour to the widow, raised her son, defeated prophets of Baal with fire, brought rain to end drought, destroyed 51 with fire, destroyed another group of 51 with fire, parted the waters at River Jordan and he was taken in a whirlwind to heaven. Miracle after miracle and healing after healing but one day, he was taken in a whirlwind to heaven.

Elisha had asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit and he performed 16 miracles – parted waters of Jordan, purified waters of Jericho, Caused a flood, made Israelites to foil the Moabiltes, gave a flow of oil to the widow, gave fertility to the woman of Shunem, raised her son from death, purified the poisonous stew, multiplied barley loaves, healed Naaman of leprosy, healed Gehazi his servant, floated the head of the iron axe, struck Arameans blind, prophesied end of Aramean siege, prophesied death of Benhadad and rise of Hazael and prophesied Israel would defeat King of Aram.

Yet, Elisha, the mighty miracle-worker died of sickness – II Kings 13:14. This is the story of many of our loved ones.

We know of the apologist Dr.Nabeel Quereshi who was working with RZIM Ministries died of an illness at the age of 33.  God released healing in the Old and New Testaments but here and now there is sickness, suffering, and pain. Plagues and pestilences fall in that category of suffering. They keep us humble. We are not in-charge of the earth. The Sovereign God is in control.

Paul , the author of many New Testament books, had a thorn in his flesh – some kind of ailment causing pain. He pleaded three times with God. II Corinthians 12:9 says “My grace is sufficient for thee.” I Peter 2:24 reiterates that we are healed by His stripes. Infirmities humble us.

If I can do everything, then I will be God but I am human. I depend on God and others and this ushers in a beautiful, mutual dependence, and a spirit of team work. The area in which I am weak may be the strength of another person.

While I Peter 2:24 teaches that Jesus has ‘already’ made provision for our healing, passages such as Romans 8:23 (which says that we await redemption of our bodies) teach that we are ‘not yet’ healed. After the Second Coming of Jesus (recorded in Revelation 19), there will be a time when there will be no more pain – no more disease (Rev. 21:4).

We have talked about Defilement in terms of the already but not yet paradigm. We have talked about Disease in terms of the already but not yet paradigm. Now to the next topic – Death.

DEATH- There are 2 stages in the coming of Christ – the first coming. If Jesus had planned to finish all his work with regard to us (like defeating death) in the First Coming itself, he would not have told that us that he is coming again. But he told us that he is coming again! First coming helps us overcome the ‘fear of dying’ (Heb. 2:15). Second coming helps us to overcome death itself (Rev. 19, Second  Coming becomes a reality; Rev. 21:4 no more death in New Heaven and Earth). The fear of death is released. The first coming of Christ deals with one dimension of death but the second coming deals with death in all dimensions. Only post his Second Coming we will receive a glorified, death-free, immortal body (I Cor. 15:23). The reward for giving up all and loving Jesus supremely is “Eternal” life (a deathless life) and this blessing is only available in the “life to come” (Luke 18:30) – not before that! We have “already” overcome fear of death (Heb 2:15) and but “not yet” experienced a total win over death as death is the last enemy which Christ will defeat “at his coming” (I Cor. 15:23,26).

Some cult false teachers quote John 11:25,26 to teach immortality on earth. When Jesus said that those who believe in me will not die, we must check the context to understand the meaning of the word ‘death’. If we say ‘Sunny’ – it could mean the weather, or it could mean the Indian Cricket Opener (Sunil Gavaskar), it could mean the Nissan Car model, or it could me a porn star! The context will determine what “Sunny” means! In the same way the context of the word ‘death’ as Jesus used in John 11:25-26 indicates that he was talking about spiritual death. In Luke 9:20 Jesus says, “Let the dead bury the dead!” He was referring to the spiritually dead people who will refuse to follow Jesus because they await the actual physical death of their parents! In Luke 15:24, 25, Jesus referred to the alive-physically post repentance but once upon a time, dead-spiritually prodigal son. So, John 11:25-26 cannot be talking about immortality on earth (if you look at the context of these passages and map those the rest of the Bible, you cannot believe in immortality on earth here and now). It is talking about overcoming spiritual death and ultimately escaping second death which is hell punishment (Rev. 21:8). Romans 8:1 – There is no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. There is no danger of second death when you believe and abide in Christ Jesus!

We are talking about the ‘already’ but ‘not yet’ theology of the Bible with regard to Defilement, Disease, Death and finally, Demons!

DEMONS: Matthew 12 :28 – Devils are cast out by the spirit of God. When this happened in Jesus’ ministry the Kingdom of God has been established and Satan has been defeated. When Jesus died on the Cross the Devil was “already” defeated and shamed on the Cross. Read Col 2:13,14,15. Jesus defeated the devil on the Cross. But the final defeat of the Devil is still in the ‘not yet’ category. It is pending. The devil is still active deceiving people and nations (I Peter 5:8). “Already but not yet theology” tells us that  the work of God is inaugurated in His First Coming but completed in the Second Coming. Matthew 25:1 – Kingdom of heaven is likened to 10 virgins with their lamps. Matthew 25:31-34 speaks about the separation of people and nations just as a shepherd divides the sheep and goats (judges both believers and non-believers) as a King on the throne. God will complete the establishment of the kingdom of God after the Second Coming. So, His kingdom is still coming, in one sense. Luke 23:42,43 is a reference to the dying thief who says “Remember me when you come into your Kingdom” and Jesus responds “You will be with me in Paradise today.” The Dying thief rightly say the ‘already but not yet’ theology in Jesus’ teachings and made the right request.

Satan is still active and can cause us harm if we are not alert and will only be sent to hell after the Second Coming of Jesus [Rev. 19:11 (Second Coming), 20(hell for the miracle-working False Prophet and AntiChrist and Rev. 20:10 – hell for the Devil)]. Note that we must not get carried away false teachers who say, “Look at my miracles!” because the ultimate False Prophet, one who is part of the False Trinity will also work miracles!

There is a group working with missionary zeal on social media that circulates teaching that we have victory over disease (so you can’t have diseases), death (so you can’t die now), and demons (and Satan poses no danger to you now).  In the light of the above paragraphs, what they teach is hellish false teaching. I wonder why this group does not say, “Jesus died for our sins on the Cross, so we must not sin anymore!” But they say, “Jesus died for us on the Cross and we must not die anymore!” Their shallow, double-standards-embracing arguments tells the larger story of how they love “Balaam’s wages” and so will only preach a message that will “tickle” people’s ear! [Of course, the right teaching is this: Jesus died for our sins on the Cross and we can have power over sin (I John 3:5-6), though only Jesus is sinlessly perfect (I John 1:8)!]

Balance Psalm 91:10 (no plague shall come near thy dwelling) with Hosea 13:14 where the prophet, alive before the first coming of Jesus, foretells the future time after Second Coming where-in a Psalm 91:10 protection will be a reality! In the absolute sense, Psalm 91:10 (no plague shall come near thy dwelling), will be true only in the New Heaven and Earth (Rev. 21:4) post the Second Coming of Jesus (Rev. 19:11) and not before that.

We are using the outline C-O-R-O-N-A to learn what the Bible teaches about Plagues.

C-reator-Caused plagues; O-bliterated by the Cross plagues here and now (absolutely not!); now for the third letter in this acronym, R….

R – REDEMPTION FROM THE PLAGUES

What can be humanly done to stop a plague (knowing ultimately it is God’s prerogative to do so)?

Sacrificial entry into God’s presence:

In II Samuel 24, we read about David’s pride and arrogance when he wanted to count the troops instead of counting on God. God sends a pestilence and 70,000 men died. A sacrifice had to be made in a particular piece of land for the plague sent by God to stop. That piece of land was available for free for King David. But he wanted to pay for it. “I will not offer to the Lord, burnt offerings that cost me nothing!” – he said (2 Sam. 24:24).  Then finally the altar was built. The sacrifice was offered. The Lord answered the prayer and then the plague stopped.

We have to increase our prayer time and kneel instead of watching different screens all day and night (I am talking about the phone, pad and the TV). Spend time with family around His word, in prayer. We can fast and pray and say “NO” to the things we love with a sacrificial David-like spirit; we can give sacrificially and support missionary organizations. Then, God may chose to stop the plague!

Numbers 16:21 onwards speaks of the grumbling against Moses, the rumbling, and the humbling of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. The earth swallowed them up and their houses. A fire consumed 250 men that offered incense.14,700 died from the plague. Moses begged for mercy. Aaron offers incense as an atonement which is symbolic of the prayers and intercessions of saints. Revelation 5:8 speaks of golden vials full of odours which are the prayers of saints.

[We have a monthly fasting and prayer time with intercession named “Fountain of tears against Mountain of fears” when we pray for nations (for Corona-hit Italy/Iran), our nation (India), the google generation (which goes porn-again!) and for the tensions of those who come (for a job, for a baby, for peace in marriage, etc)].

Separation from the world:

Revelation 18:4 warns us not to partake in sins and be subject to plagues. When we live a life of holiness and separation, then God may choose to stop the plague!

Others use foul language, we too use foul language. Others watch soft porn via Netflix, we too do the same! This CAN’T be! For the plague to end, we must choose holiness and separation from the Bible. Then God may choose to end the plague!

Proclamation of the standards of God’s Holiness:

We should preach the truth about God’s holy standards from His Word taking the cue from Phinehas. In Numbers 25, we read of Phinehas and how he removed evil and stopped the plague which killed 24,000. He killed people involved in sexual immorality. We should turn away from filthy thinking and adultery. God’s word is the sword which divides holy and sinful people. Psalm 106:29 speaks of the outbreak of the plague. “They provoked him to anger with their inventions.” Phinehas literally sent a spear into a couple that was into sinful Baal worship through sexual intimacy inside the privacy of a tent (Numbers 25:6-8). As New Testament believers we will not kill people physically that way. Instead, we will use the sharp sword of the Word of God (Heb. 4:12) and preach it to people so that their hearts are “cut” (Acts 2:37). My book, Straight Talk, brings such frank Bible teaching on sex, love, marriage, petting outside marriage, homosexuality, porn, etc. We are now working on edition 3 as I write with vols 1 and 2 sold out.

We are using the acronym C-O-R-O-N-A to outline the message of the Bible on the topic of plagues. And the next letter to consider is O…..

O – ORDERLY QUARANTINE HAS TO BE MAINTAINED DURING THE PLAGUE:

The laws of quarantine set by the local government have to be followed. Leviticus 13:36 speaks of social distancing and isolation. As long as they have the disease, they have to separate themselves from others and stay outside the camp. We must obey in order to stop the spread of the disease. Read Leviticus 5. Cleanliness can be marred by having an issue, leprosy or touching the dead – Numbers 5:2

Leviticus 15:6,17,18,32; Deuteronomy 23:10,11; II Kings 7:3; 15:5. Read these Scriptures that vote for orderly quarantine during times of plague or contagious disease long before medical science was as advanced as it is during our time!

In II Samuel 24, we read about David’s pride and self-sufficiency. God sends a pestilence and 70,000 men died. In II Kings 15:5, the king becomes a leper until his death and lives in a separate house. II Chronicles 26:21, Uzziah the king was a leper till his death and lived in a separate house. Read Leviticus 22:14.

Romans 13:1 teaches that we must obey the Government when it comes laws passed by it that does not contradict the written Word of God. The 21-day quarantine period and consequent ‘stay-at-home’ order by the Government needs to be obeyed for the larger good of the people.

We are using the acronym C-O-R-O-N-A to outline the message of the Bible on the topic of plagues. And the next letter to consider is O…..

N – NEARNESS TO THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS:

“And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven” – Luke 21:11

Many signs of Jesus’ second coming are seen. From 1981, 35 million lives were lost due to the HIV pandemic; 1.4 billion were infected globally by the Swine Flu in 2009. 11,325 died and 28,600 cases reported in the West African Ebola in 2014; in 2015 the Zeke virus caused by mosquitoes affected South and Central America and in 2020 we have the Corona Virus globally. Many lives have been lost in China, Italy, U.S.A., Iran. In Deut 23:10,11, we read about an unclean man who has to cleanse himself.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness. God can help us to be clean! Clean husbands will please wives and vice-versa!

The Lord’s coming will be like a thief at night (I Thessalonians 5:2) and we must be ready for it any-second.

We are using the acronym C-O-R-O-N-A to outline the message of the Bible on the topic of plagues. And the next letter to consider is O…..

A – ALIVE DURING THE TIME OF PLAGUE AND SO WE MUST….

Amos 4:10, Luke 13:1-5 instruct us to repent or perish; repent from pride and prayerlessness. Pilate had mingled the blood of some Galileans with sacrifices.18 people died because the tower of Siloam fell. These people did not die because they were worse sinners than the others. We are all living with the virus of sin and this plague situation is a call to REPENTANCE. Hebrews 11:25 warns us of the passing pleasures of sin. May be prayerlessness and porn watching? If we are alive today, then we should eagerly expect and wait the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior who died for us. Without repentance, we will perish. We need to repent.

Jesus tells us about the ten lepers in Luke 17:12. They were healed. Jesus comes close to us and heals us though we are affected by the virus.

The question He asks is if we will allow His touch. He came in search for us. He wants to come close, touch, and perform a miracle in our lives. Those affected by leprosy had to stay outside the city and could not touch anyone. Corona is causing social distancing but sin is a greater virus than this. We live in a living hell and go to a literal hell because of sin. Intercede for the lost and affected. Cleanliness is next to Godliness. God can help us to be clean and ready for His coming and not left behind. He will lead you and give you a purpose.

Prayer of repentance.

Dear Lord Jesus, I am sorry for my sins. I have a virus deadlier than CORONA, the virus of sin. Wash me with your blood that you shed on the cross. Cleanse me right now from this. Thank you for dying for me. Thank you for rising again. Thank you for being willing to be my friend, a friend closer than my brother.From this day onwards, I want to relate to you, love you, and follow you.

Thank you for cleansing me, washing me. Thank you that I am born again. In your name I pray.

Amen. We ask for God’s healing by His nail-pierced hand and experience miracles, testimonies, and healing and pray for closed doors to open. Let us continue to lead balanced lives and pray for the hurting world. When times return to normalcy, we should not forget God. God consciousness should remain. Let us plunder hell and populate heaven. God does more than we ask for or imagine and we have to follow Him and hold on to His Word.

(The Author of this piece is Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj. He is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. Find out more at www.dukev.org or at www.dukewords.com. This particular article was transcribed from a message that Duke Jeyaraj preached via Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f25tnCjBJ3s) or Facebook on 22 March 2020 by Mrs. Malini Prabakar).