“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 email@example.com or via WhatsApp 918886040605).
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!”
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).
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).
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).
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)
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).
Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj – 22 nd March, 2020 (A Video Message Shared Online Via Facebook and Youtube)
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).
As my wifey dear, Evan Duke, completes four and half decades of existence on God’s green earth, here is a summary of her lovely life and terrific times:
1) HOSTEL-DWELLER EVAN (0-10, 1976-85)
Since her parents, Mr. P. Selvam and Mrs. Esther Selvam, were missionaries to interior areas of Tamil Nadu first (Sitteri Hills) and Odisha later (including the area in which the Dr. Staines served), Evan lived in hostel even before she turned five. She was a protective elder sister to her two younger brothers – Solbrekken and Revivan.
When Missionary Mon Singh gave an altar call in Santhosha Vidhyalaya, Dohnavur, Tirunelveli District, Evan raised her hand to commit for fulltime ministry. She memorized the entire book of Philippians and recited it in Sunabeda Public School in Odisha – a school in which she became School Captain down the line.
3) HEART-BEAT OF DUKE, EVAN (1996-2001)
At the age of 25, she became the heart-beat of Duke Jeyaraj, a young engineer turned itinerant evangelist and settled to live with a guy whose salary was Rs.3000 a month!
4) HERO OF DALE, EVAN & HYDERABAD HEADING EVAN (2002 – 2005) She became the proud mom of Dale Nathan in 2003. Till date, he remains mummy’s biggest fan! A few hours ago Dale dished out an acronym-choreographed appreciation of his ‘shero’! She clearly heard God’s voice to Duke and herself asking them to move to Hyderabad after stints as Blessing Youth Mission Missionaries in Trivandrum and Jabalpur. And She encouraged her hubby dear to obey this voice and landed in Hyderabad on October 30, 2005 with little Dale in tow.
She prodded her hubby to take up the invitation of Center of Global Leadership Development – Southern Asia Bible College to join a Doctor of Ministry program and helped him focus on that. She stayed back home and managed the home even as Duke got his doctoral degree in 2014. She did nappy-changing happily for little Datasha (born in 2007) even as Duke preached in North West Bengal (Darjeeling) to South Tamil Nadu (Madurai), from West India (Mumbai) to East India (Vizag)! She co-founded the Grabbing the Google Generation (G4 Mission base) from Gehenna Mission with her husband, actively influencing him to say ‘no’ to other ministry job opportunities with other reputed churches and organisations. She encouraged Duke to quit his job with HSBC in 2008 and since then both she and Duke work fulltime with G4 Mission.
6) HEALING-CHANNEL EVAN (2016-2020)
She was the brain behind the Fountain of Tears Against Mountain of Fears Fasting prayer – an intercession event which was held every month at the G4 Mission base. As she led in prayer for the needs of the people who came to this meeting, God graciously moved and did miracles and healings. Cancer gone. Babies born. Marriages became joyous. Life Partners were found.
No – Evan is not perfect. But she is the perfect life-partner and ministry-companion for me!
DID JESUS TEACH IMMORTALITY ON EARTH IN JOHN 11:25-26? DID APOSTLE PAUL TEACH BELEIEVERS WON’T EVER DIE UNLESS THEY CHOOSE TO?
Duke Jeyaraj examines the claims of a Chennai cult pastor and Madurai cult pastor that the Bible teaches that believers need not die if they choose not to
Jesus said, I myself am the resurrection and the life,” Jesus told her. “The man who believes in me will live even though he dies, and anyone who is alive and believes in me will never die at all. Can you believe that?” (John 11:25,26).
Does this verse teach ‘immortality on earth’ as a Chennai cult Pastor and Madurai cult Pastor emphatically teach? Does this mean that believers will never need to physical death?
These verses – John 11:25,26 – does not teach that man will have immortality on this eternity. These verses do not teach that believers will not experience physical death. Why do I say that? Because I have read I Timothy 6:16 which says, “He (God) alone is immortal and dwells in immortal light…” This, Apostle Paul, writes after Jesus spoke the words he spoke in John 11:25-26. We must interpret the words of Jesus the way the Apostle interpret it – not according to our whims and fancies. We cannot interpret Jesus’ words according to way some cult pastors interpret it. We must follow Christ, as Apostle Paul followed Christ. We must interpret Christ as Apostle Paul interpreted Christ! Also, don’t forget, that Apostle Paul included ‘death’ in the list of the things that cannot separate a believer who abides in Christ, from Christ (Romans 8:38). If he believed in immortality/physical death cancellation, he would not have included death! If he believed that death is not for a believer, Paul would not have acknowledged that a ‘sentence of death’ hung over him and the other apostles doing God’s Work (I Cor. 4:9).
So, what did Jesus mean when he said, “anyone who is alive and believes in me will never die” (John 11:26)? We must ask the question, “What did Jesus mean by the word ‘die’ here?” This question brings us to the different meanings of the word ‘death’ in the Bible. A careful study of the word ‘death’ in the Bible tells us that there are three kinds of death.
First, there is spiritual death. In fact, the first reference in the Bible about death, concerns spiritual death. God told the first couple: “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:17). Did Adam and Eve experience physical death instantly when they ate the forbidden fruit? No. But they died spiritually speaking. For Jesus, this concept of death was foremost in his mind. In Luke 15:32, the Loving, Waiting Father says the prodigal, lost son was “dead” but now “alive” after he repented and returned! Was the prodigal younger son “dead” – physically or literally? No. He was very much alive! He squandered his father’s wealth in ‘reckless LIVING’ (Lk 15:13). He was the “LIFE” of the party (to use today’s youth’s language) when he partied hard living in open sin, yet he was DEAD (according to his dad, according to Jesus who narrated this parable). Only after his repentance and return to God, did he find LIFE! Otherwise he was DEAD. Luke 15:32 is clear. Apostle Paul also taught the same thing. Those living in sin are “dead in sin” he wrote concerning the Ephesian believers before they found Jesus (Eph. 2:1).
The second kind of death the Bible talks about is physical death. When the Bible says in Genesis 5:5, “Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died”, it is talking about physical death. Physical death is called the ‘way of all the earth’ (Josh 23:14, Joshua’s words; I Kings 2:2, David’s words). Joshua heard Moses his mentor asking those he lead to “choose life and not death” (Deut. 30:19, 29:2). Yet he knew while he found spiritual life through Yahweh, he did have to die physically! The Madurai pastor quotes ‘choose life’ (from the Old Testament) at the end of an immortality-promoting sermon! Why not also quote Josh 23:14 and I Kings 2:2 and other Old Testament passages that clearly say that death is for all – including Yahweh followers and believers in the Messiah (Jesus) to come! In the light of the full message of the Bible, choose ‘life’ did not mean Physical Death’s end (Joshua, who heard it did not see it that way)!
The third kind of death is eternal death. For Apostle John – the author of John 11:25-26 (the fave verse of no-physical-death-for-believers-bluffers) – this was the meaning of death. He called it ‘second death’ or ultimate death. Hell punishment was ‘second death’ for John (Rev. 21:8). If you have not read Revelation 21:8 which the author of Gospel of John also wrote here it is:”But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
When Jesus died on the Cross, He endured ‘second death’ punishment for us. We should have gone to hell which the Bible calls as ‘second death’ (Rev. 21:8). But Jesus endured hell – which is ultimate death – for us. As he hung on the Cross, he cried out, “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me!” Jesus experienced the hell of separation from his father! As he hung on the Cross, he cried out, “I thirst!” Those were the words that Rich Man spoke after he died (physical death) to endure second/eternal death (punishment in hell) (Luke 16). Jesus spoke those very words while he hung on the Cross! We can see it this way: Jesus endured ultimate death – which the Bible calls ‘second death’ in Revelation 21:8 – so that we will not have to go to hell! In Romans 5:8-9 and I Thessalonians 1:10 Apostle Paul also explains how Jesus’ death on the Cross saved believers who would abide in him from ‘second death’ – hell punishment (or the coming wrath). So the message of John 11:25-26 is simple: Jesus died to save us from hell-punishment; if we live in Christ, we will never go to hell. I tell youth this: If you come to Jesus now, he will save you from your living hell (the disappointment you have as you found out that you never found in sin, what you entered sin to find) and literal hell (burning Sulfur furnace punishment).
So, Jesus was not teaching physical death cancellation in John 11:25-26 (as what he said would contradict what he spoke through the Holy Spirit through Apostle Paul that only God can be ‘immortal’, I Tim. 6:16). The meaning of John 11:25-26 is this: “those who keep believing in Jesus will be resurrected by spiritual death and be kept from eternal death – hell punishment!” Let not the cult-pastors-brigade confuse you by making you believe that these verses – John 11:25-26 means something else!
There is another reason why I believe that Jesus did not teach physical death cancellation for the believer in John 11:25-26. If there was to be no death for his followers why did he allow John the Baptist to die (Matt. 14)? If there was to be no death for believers why did Jesus allow James the apostle to die (Acts 12)? If there is no death for New Covenant believers why did Apostle Paul commend Ephaphroditus one of his ministry team members for risking his life for the Lord and almost dying (Phil. 2)? If death was cancelled for believers believers cannot be ever at ‘risk’ of dying – isn’t it? But Ephaphroditus faced this real risk according to Paul. So, Apostle Paul never believed what these cult pastors are saying that he believed! He never believed in immortality on earth!
These cult pastors twist Scriptures to teach that Hebrews 9:23-28 and 2 Cor. 5:15 to bring this false teaching: “When Jesus died, we all died and when Jesus rose we all rose. So, since Jesus died once for all and will not die again, we too will have to die!” The Madurai cult pastor argues: “Since we were buried with Christ when we got water baptized (see Romans 6:3) we will not have to die again!” Really?
So, John 11:25-26 must be interpreted with the light of the rest of the Bible. If Jesus meant physical death cancellation for the believer in John 11:25-26, he would not called his disciples to be martyrdom ready using the ‘grain of wheat’ imagery in John 12:24. But he did! You see – cancelling physical death, here and now, was never part of Jesus’ plan for us!
These cult pastors also claim that Apostle Paul kept beating death (in the sea amidst storms, in the island of Malta – they quote these examples). But he ultimately died because he chose to die. God took Apostle Paul because Apostle Paul gave permission to God to take him away when he wrote, “I finished the race” (2 Tim 4) – this is their bizarre claim. Apostle Paul – hear me good – never for a second thought that he would be immortal as he wrote that ONLY GOD can be immortal (I Tim. 6:16). The Chennai cult pastor says Paul, like Jesus had the right to lay down his life on his own accord (John 10:18). What blasphemy! This is an attempt to make Paul, a mere human as God, by this cult pastor! Only God has the power over the duration of one’s life. King Hezekiah understood that correctly. That’s why he pleaded with God to extend his life weeping bitterly. We see the same truth in the New Testament when in Acts we read that Jesus is the ‘author of life’ (Acts 3:15).
Yes, Jesus will stop physical human death one day. That is after his Second Coming! Revelation 21:4 talks about a time when there will be no more death in this world! Notice this happens only after Jesus’ return to the earth riding a white horse which is recorded in Revelation 19! So, do not get confused and get carried by what these cult false pastors teach.
The Chennai cult pastor asserts that Jesus will not come back until a generation in church rises to beat death. He quotes Psalm 110:1/alluded to in I Cor. 15:25 to ‘prove’ this: He says after reading this verse, “Jesus is sitting right now at the right hand of the father. His body and legs are the church. And the church should make all enemies the footstool! And death is the last enemy to be defeated (I Cor. 15:26)! So, when a generation rises in the church that beats death by believing in immortality, and then Jesus will come back. Till then he will only sit at the right hand of the father!” This interpretation is wrong. Why? It violates the principle in the Bible that Jesus will return without giving any warning to anyone. Four Scriptures teach that Jesus will return like a thief in the night (Matt. 24:43; I Thess. 5:2,4; Rev. 16:15). The meaning is plain as day: Jesus will return when no one expects him! Only a fool will say, “Jesus can never come until this happens!” The truth of the Bible is this: “Jesus can come anytime!” If Jesus will not come till a generation beats death (as this Chennai pastor asserts), that again gives youth time to live in sin without the fear of being “left behind” during his coming! So, this teaching put forth by these cult pastors lead to slackening of holiness! That’s why these doctrinal deviations are taking people to hell! That’s why these doctrines put forth by this immortality company of pastors are “doctrines of demons” whose final destiny is hell.
And if you carefully read Psalm 110:1/I Cor. 15:25 (also quoted in Matt. 22:22 and Heb. 2:8) that verse says that Jesus must reign until “He” has put everything “under his feet” (re-read I Cor. 15:25)! But this Chennai cult pastor is talking about believers – not ‘He’ meaning Jesus – working to put everything “under his feet!” So, it Jesus who will defeat the final enemy called Death. Believers will not do it! It is Jesus who will do it! That’s why Paul writes, “to those who….Seek immortality” (Rom. 2;5) following repentance (Rom. 2:5), Jesus will give eternal life (Rom. 2:7). We must get that clear – immortal life for believers is only in future eternity (‘will give’).
These cult pastors have an agenda. Their main target is the younger generation. If youth are told, ‘no more death’, then that would give youth (or anyone else who will believe this rubbish) the license to sin. Because after death there is no chance for salvation as the Bible teaches (Hebrews 9:27). After death, there is going to be only judgement! And if we are found to be living in secret sin and not abiding in Christ then hell is where we will go! So, by removing death from the equation by twisting and raping certain Bible verses, they want to remove the fear of God from the youth and give them license to sin with freedom! Let us not welcome such teaching and share in their wicked work (2 John 10,11) and land in hell with them!
I say this because both the Chennai cult pastor and the Madurai cult pastor readily admit that they may die anytime but they say that they will still preach immortality “as it is in the Word of God”! As we have seen here above – it is not in the Word of God! So, what is the real reason why they preach this poison? The real reason they preach immortality is to comfort young people in their sin. I implore them to repent and start preaching like Jesus: “Tonight your life will be demanded from you….” (Luke 12:20)/”Mrs Lot did not have lots of time to repent….so remember Lot’s wife….(Luke 17:32)!”
(Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. This is a reader supported Indian ministry. Find out more at www.dukev.org or via WhatsApp at +91-8886040605).
A Short Bible Devotion from the Nevada Democratic Party’s Presidential Primary Debate on 19 Feb 2020 by Duke Jeyaraj
The Nevada Democratic Party’s Presidential primary debate was called the greatest debate in human history (by John Podhoretz of New York Post, February 19, 2020). Senator Elizabeth Warren was at her scathing best. “I’d like to talk about who we’re running against — a billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians,” Warren said. “No, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.” “Bloomy should feel gloomy after the Dem debate roasting” – someone observed and it was all the work of Elizabeth Warren’s silver tongue! While she was convincingly vicious in her attack of the stunned Mayor Bloomberg, she also offered unexpected support to the other woman on the debate stage, Senator Amy Klobuchar (who is also her opponent as Bloomberg is), who said that she’d made an error by not recalling correctly the name of the president of Mexico in an interview. Elizabeth Warren defended her Democratic primary opponent Sen. Amy Klobuchar saying, “It happens to everybody on this stage…” while Amy was ripped apart by Pete Buttigieg(The Hill’s report). This action of Elizabeth Warren sent this message to her hearers: “I am objective when it comes to criticism/defence of my political opponents! I do not hesitate to hit out against my opponents. I do not shillyshally when I have to praise them as well!”
Apostle Paul was objective as a communicator of the Gospel in the hostile Athens much like Senator Elizabeth Warren was in the Nevada Democratic Party Presidential Primary Debate. He did roast the city’s lack of faith in after-life by talking about a certain judgement day that was soon to come. But Paul was also objective and fair when he chose to agree with one of the famous poets and son of Athens when he spoke thus: “One of your own poets say we are God’s offspring”. Read Acts 17 and gather this for yourselves. When we share the Gospel with friends from other faith, we need not shy away from asserting certain-to-bring-controversy issues like the never-to-be-sacrificed uniqueness of Jesus, the certainty and eternity of hell, etc. But at the same time, we need to seek to appreciate/assert things we can agree with in the world/works (it could be a secular movie, a secular song, etc) of those we are trying to give the Gospel too. Apostle Paul did that in Athens in Acts 17. And we too can follow suit.