Hyper grace false doctrine cannot be sustained by it’s own philosophy. Let me explain: I am believer. I attack hyper-grace false teaching. The hyper grace proponent who sees this should only say, ‘Duke Jeyaraj, though he attacks hyper grace false teaching is the righteousness of God!’ They should not try to change me by commenting and counter commenting on Facebook because, according to them, I remain the ‘righteousness of God’ no matter what I do as a believer in Jesus. So, you see Hyper grace false teaching is a philosophically self-defeating. Thanks to Dr. Ravi ZACHARIAS who has trained me to employ arguments like this. Ever Grateful! #ThankYouRavi
ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION: “WILL GOD FORGIVE THE SIN I AM PLANNING TO COMMIT – THAT GOSSIP SESSION I PLAN TO HAVE, THAT FOUL-MOUTHED RANT I AM ABOUT TO EXPLODE WITH, THAT ADULTEROUS AFFAIR I AM ABOUT TO ENGAGE IN, THAT HOUR OF SECRET PORN SURFING THAT I AM ABOUT TO LAUNCH INTO, ETC?”
The book of Revelation makes wonderful reading. The lessons already taught in the first 65 books of the Bible are pictorially confirmed by it’s book no. 66 – the book of Revelation. “There is nothing new in Revelation which is not taught elsewhere clearly in the Bible!” – this I believe.
We are ‘given a white robe’, we read there (Rev 6:11). That’s a symbolic way of expressing POSITIONAL SANCTIFICATION. I call it ‘GIFTED SANCTIFICATION’. We come to Christ in repentance and faith just as we are, he makes us ‘white’ – holy and pure. But that’s just the start. Positional sanctification would and should translate into practical sanctification, if our repentance was genuine. By practical sanctification I mean a living a life of victory over sin in our day to day lives. John talks about practical sanctification this way: “No one who lives in Him makes a practice of sin” (I John 3:6).
The same book of Revelation talks about those ‘clothed in white’ in the very next chapter (7:13). The folks who wore white, deliberately chose to wear that color. We must make a choice to wear white clothes (spiritually speaking), that is, be pure, say ‘no’ to sin day in and day out, with God helping and we actively cooperating with him (quoting God’s Word, running away from temptation, praying to receive power at the hour of temptation, being accountable to a believer pal, etc). If we want only the privileges of positional sanctification without the responsibility of PRACTICAL SANCTIFICATION (‘GAURDED SANCTIFICATION’) we are like the man who walked into the wedding feast without wearing the ‘wedding garment’ already gifted to him before the wedding (Math 22:11). He had no excuse for not wearing the wedding garment (Math 22:12). We will have no excuse for living a practical holy life on the final day because God has given us everything we need to live that life – His Word, The Fellowship of the Church and opportunity to be accountable, The Holy Spirit, etc, etc (Eph 1:3). And the end of those who just want the privileges of ‘positional sanctification’ without the responsibilities of ‘practical sanctification’ will be same as that of that wedding guest whom Jesus talked about – being bound and bounced into eternal hell (Math 22:13). “You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth (this part of the this verse is talking about PRIVILEGES); therefore I will punish you for all your sins (this part of this verse is talking about punishment sent by God for not combining the RESPONSIBILITY of living holy with God-given power with God-given PRIVILEGES!) – Amos 3:2.
So, my friend, let not anyone deceive saying, “Jesus has already forgiven the sin you are planning to commit.” The Bible declares that God will not forgive sin that we refuse to acknowledge, repent from, and ask Jesus forgiveness for. The Bible teaches that we only store up God’s wrath (we are on the road to hell, in other words) by refusing to repent (Rom 2:5). Another 2:5 – Revelation 2:5 I mean – warns of judgement of God which will come upon those CHURCH BELIEVERS who refuse to repent!
“Will Jesus forgive the sin I am planning to commit?” He will – provided you come to him in true repentance and ask him for forgiveness. But there is no guarantee that you will ever do that. Judas did not. He was saved. His name was written in heaven (Luke 10:20). But he also lived in sin even as he lived with Jesus. He used to, now and then, help himself with the moneybag of Jesus. He allowed greed to grip him, slowly but surely (John 12:6). The greed became a monstrous ball, and, before he knew it, Judas agreed to help the religious leaders of his day to arrest Jesus for the money he would pocket by doing so. He may have thought, “I will come back to Jesus after I am done and dusted with this sin!” (like we say, “I will ask Jesus forgiveness after I am done with this hour of porn-surfing!” or “I will ask Jesus forgiveness after I am done with this session of gossip with my close buddies!”). But he did not. Yes, Judas did not get back to Jesus after he committed wanton sin. He ended his life. He headed to hell (John 17:12). But Peter… Peter came back to Jesus after he committed sin. He repented genuinely. He took a U-turn. When he wept bitterly, Jesus did not ever say to him, “Don’t weep Peter. Don’t repent of your sin. I have already taken care of it!” (Math 26:75). Instead, Jesus allowed Peter to weep for his sin. Because doing so is good. It is better and wiser to weep over our sins now, in this period of grace when there is time, than to weep upon seeing Jesus return the second time to judge it when there will be no time given to repent (Rev 1:7). Jesus taught we must weep ourselves and our children (Luke 23:28). So, when we sin, we must feel for that sin and come back to Jesus in repentance (Luke 13:1-5).
We must consciously avoid deliberate sin. For when we keep committing deliberate sin without even repenting of it, there will come a point in our life, like it happened in the life of Judas, that we will, perhaps, commit a deliberate sin and never feel like coming back to Jesus in repentance. It’s then we come to a point in our life when ‘there will be no sacrifice for sins would be left but only a fearful expectation of judgement and of the raging fire that will consume the enemies of God’ as the Bible teaches (Heb 10:26,27).
So, let’s say with Paul, “I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave (‘wage war with sin with the power of God,’ in other words) so that after I have preached to others (‘after I have been a believer all my life and preached God’s Word too,’ in other words), I myself will not be disqualified for the prize!” (I Cor 9:27).
Also we must remember that there are consequences when God’s children commit wanton sin. Let’s look at the case of believers committing sexual sin deliberately.
From the Bible we read about the following lethal results when people have lapped up sexual sin: Firstly, the LORD will leave you and you won’t know it. Like it happened for Samson as he lay on Delilah’s lap (Jud 16 20). Secondly, you can never be a leader who will influence people for good. Joseph, one who was famous among a set of 12 brothers for beating sexual temptation was told under Divine Inspiration that he would be “prince among his brothers” while the one who slept with his father’s wife, Reuben, was told “you will be first no longer” (Gen. 49:4,26). David, the great leader of Israel who had an adulterous affair, had to go silent when his son raped his daughter (2 Sam13: 2l,22). Thirdly, violence could become commonplace in your family. David learnt this bitter truth when the lives of three of his Sons – Amnon, Absalom and Adonijah were cut short violently at the prime of their youth. Fourthly, you would have given birth to spiritual enemies who will battle against you for the rest of your life. The sons born to Lot’s daughters out of his incestuous relationship with them became ancestors for the Moabites and Ammonites – two of Israel’s most bitter enemies in their later years. Fifthly, the advantages you may have gotten through sexual sins will melt away. Remember, David’s love-child born as a result of his adulterous relationship with Bathsheba eventually died notwithstanding his plea that God would spare Him (2 Sam 12:14).Sixthly, God’s name will be blasphemed. “You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? As it is written: ‘God’s name is blasphemed among the gentiles because of you!'” wrote Paul (Rom 2: 22,24). Finally, when you persist stubbornly in sexual sin you’ll go to hell. The Bible doesn’t mince words when it says “the sexually immoral – their place will be the fiery lake of burning sulfur” (Rev 21:8). L-U-S-T is a four letter sin that will take you to a four-lettered place – H-E-L-L. Do these fatal figures concerning those who indulged in sexual sin make you shudder? It is meant to do just that. Reason? Shuddering can also be biblical way to beat sexual temptation! After proclaiming the Ten Commandments to the people of Israel (including the command, “You shall not commit adultery”) Moses told them, “The fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning!” (Ex 20:14,20). The next time when you think of yielding to sexual temptations, take time to count the cost of yielding to them and you will find that thought not so pleasurable.
The effects of yielding to sexual temptation or any temptation are deadly – even the secular world stories reveal this. It is said that Bill Clinton lost the privilege of his face being carved with the other great American Presidents at Mount Rushmore and a noble Prize because of his incredibly foolish sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky (Source of information – Asian Age, Bangalore edition, 21 September 1998). It is a fact that the great Australian leg-spinner, Shane Warne, lost the honour of leading the Australian Cricket Team because of the phone sex scandals that surrounded him. Tiger Woods lost his sponsorship deals with MNCs because of his sexual sins. This list is endless. Your name does not have to be in this list. Let’s live a victorious Christian life and win over the habit of committing deliberate, callous, sin, with God helping us and we actively cooperating with him.
(Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj is a fulltime preacher n writer who lives in Hyderabad. Duke founded the Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission in 2006. This is a reader supported Indian ministry. Watch Duke’s message videos at http://www.youtube.com/c/VisitDuke. WhatsApp Duke via +91-8886040605).
A teaching that is called “Hyper-Grace” is sadly lapped up by unsuspecting believers world over (including those in Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Singapore and literally world over). A google search on “Hyper-Grace” would throw up the prominent Hyper-Grace teachers in the world, presently. This is an unbiblical teaching that is, at best, a half-truth. But then, a half-truth is a full-lie (as someone said)! Hyper-Grace teachers are in the GRIP of “G-R-I-P”, I noticed. Let me explain:
G-GRACE GRAMMER GOOF-UP!
What I mean here is that, the Hyper-Grace Teachers tell us that a believer’s past, present and future sins stand automatically forgiven when he gets saved. This is simply not true, according to Scripture. A “brother” (that is, a believer) who had regular sexual relationship with his own mother was not considered “forgiven” or “righteous” but as a “evil person” by Apostle Paul (I Cor. 5:1,11,13). David Ravenhill wrote, “The fact is that the provision for my cleansing was completed at the cross but the process of my cleansing is conditional upon my repentance.” I agree.
Hyper-Grace teachers tell us that Repentance merely means changing one’s mind – it does not involve action. Some Hyper-Grace teachers unashamedly say, “I don’t preach on repentance (turning from sin), anymore!” Paul clearly taught in Acts 26:20 that the Gentiles should repent, turn to God, “performing deeds in keeping with repentance”. This was the description given in the book of Revelation about those condemned to eternal hell: “they did not repent” (Rev. 9:20, 21; 16: 9,11). All of us have a choice, Jesus preached: to repent or to perish in hell (Luke 13:1-5; Rev. 21:8). Some hyper-grace teachers are very quick to reject any so-called “pre-cross” statement of Jesus like the one I just quoted. But they do quote portions from the sayings of pre-cross Jesus which they think squares up well with their deceptive theology. For example I have heard them quote from Luke 9:53-55 (where Jesus rebukes his disciples, James and John, who wanted to call down fire from heaven to destroy Samaritans). They should make up their minds to accept ALL the words of Jesus or NONE of it. And they should not forget, “ALL” Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for “teaching” (2 Tim. 3:16).
I-INCESSANT IDENTITY INSANITY!
The way Hyper-Grace teachers will invariably begin their messages is this way: “Today, I will tell you who you are in Christ – your identity in Christ!!” While it is good to know our identity in Christ, we must not forget the “responsibility” of holy living that Christ calls us to (I Thess 4:3 which says, “It is God’s will, your sanctification, that you abstain from sexual immorality”). Hyper-Grace teachers, call those who preach on holiness/progressive sanctification, as ‘hypocritical legalists’/’mixed-grace preachers’. But the Scripture does teach progressive, day-to-day sanctification. One of the 16 fundamental doctrines of the Assemblies of God is (progressive) sanctification which is expressed by these words: “Sanctification is realized in the believer by recognizing his identification with Christ in His death and resurrection, and by the faith reckoning daily upon the fact of that union, and by offering every faculty continually to the dominion of the Holy Spirit.” We chose to live holy using our free-will, enabled by the Holy Spirit’s power(Gal. 5:16; Rom. 8:13). Therefore we have nothing to boast about, except that we have been enabled by His Grace.
P-PERMANENTLY PLEASED POP!
The teaching they systematically spread is this: “God, your loving father, doesn’t see you in your failures and short-comings; He sees you in Jesus’ perfection and loveliness, always.” If that were true, Jesus, when he saw the failures and short-comings of the Revelation churches would have said, “Rejoice! I do not see your sin!” But, instead, he said “Repent!” (because he did see their sin, post-cross!) He said that six times (Rev. 2:5,16, 21,22; 3:3,19). We must not exalt one image of God found in the Bible at the expense of other images, leading to a blunder that could land us in hell. In Hebrews 12, we read that God is both these “CFs” – a Compassionate Father (verse 5) and a Consuming Fire (vs. 29)! God is not just a Father who dotes over us, he is a Master whom we must obey, the Scripture tells us repeatedly (I Cor. 6:13; Col. 3:24; Jude 4; Gal. 6:17; I Thess 1:6-8). He is not just a loving dad but also a faithfulness-expecting and purity-expecting Bride Groom (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:27). We are saved by Grace, for good works and holy living (Eph. 2:8-10). Let us not forget that.
Let’s get busy with the work of rescuing those friends of ours in the g-r-i-p of the hyper-grace teaching before it is too late. Let us boldly go to places where false doctrines like hell-taking hyper-grace teaching is taught and “charge” people not to teach any doctrine that is contrary to Scripture (See I Tim. 1:3).
The scene outside the colony where I live in Hyderabad, outside liquor shops on 6 May 2020. It is easy to ‘WHIP’ these folks with Bible ‘woes’ of judgement (like this one: ‘Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that tarry late into the night, till wine inflame them!’ – Isaiah 5:11). But do we also WEEP for them? (See Isa. 16:9).
(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Gen from Gehenna Mission. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org).
Dr. Duke Jeyaraj put the biblical ingredients of discipleship in an acronym D-I-S-C-I-P-E
Who is a disciple of Jesus? What the Bible teaches on this can be put in acronym, D-I-S-C-I-P-L-E.
Jesus’ words in Luke 14:26—“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” is THE requirement for Discipleship. We love our phones and even perhaps our ministry more than Jesus! Sad! No one or nothing should take the position of Jesus in their lives. He should be the one who is truly the dearest in their lives.
I for “Instruction-follower”
Someone wrote, Used thirty times in the Book of Acts, the word “disciple” speaks of one who is “learner, seeker or student” is “learner” learns the Words of Christ. This “seeker” seeks knowledge about Christ. He obeys instructions without asking questions. He says, “We must obey God rather than man!” (Acts 5:29).
S for “Stay-in-Jesus-Presence”
Mark records the purpose why Jesus chose disciples: “And he (Jesus) appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him…. (Mark 3:14).” Suzanne Watts Henderson writes, “he (Jesus) establishes (here) the Twelve (disciples) for the primary purpose of continuing in his presence.” To do much for God, we must be must with God (as they say).
C for Carrying the Cross
This brings us to another call that Jesus issued to those who desired to be his disciples: “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:27).” But hasn’t Jesus carried our Cross and thundered “it is finished”? John Stott’s explanation here is helpful: “In this way, one might say, every Christian is both a Simon of Cyrene and a Barnabas. Like Barnabas we escape the cross, for Christ died in our place. Like Simon of Cyrene we carry the cross, for he calls us to take it up and follow him.”
I for Invite via Evangelism Efforts
The disciples were called by Jesus to invite others to the Kingdom of God (Mark 3:14). He further writes, “…the character of discipleship as a community organized to support missionaries reaching out to others with evangelistic urgency and to maintain a witness by the very quality of a community life was there from the beginning.”
P for People-Lover
Certain Bible characters who were addressed as “disciples” have excelled in serving people they met in practical ways. Herbert Lockyer writes these lines about little-known Bible character Mnason: “This early disciple from Cyprus accompanied Paul on his last journey, and Paul lodged at his hospitable home (Acts 21:16).”
L for “Led”- Being Led by the Lord and the Spirit
Luke records that the “disciple” Ananias was led by the Lord through a vision to be of spiritual help to a new convert of the Christian faith, Saul (Acts 9:10-17). Disciple Ananias clearly told Saul it was the Lord Jesus who sent him to be of help to him (Acts 9:17).
E for Endurance
Jesus said, “No one who puts a hand on the plow and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God” (Luke 14:62). A true disciple of Jesus must be willing to endure till the end, come what may. Rose Dowsett put it this way: “Jesus’ call to his disciples is a call to embark on a journey, a pilgrimage, lasting all the rest of our lives.”
Let us be faithful-unto-death disciples of Jesus in the One life we have!
Are you a Jesus Disciple?
(Dr. Duke Jeyaraj, who lives in Hyderabad, India, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org.)
Irrfan Khan’s acting came as a breath of fresh air in the world of Bollywood dominated by the other khans – Aamir, Salman, Shah Rukh. The movies of the other Khans mainly focused on the hero. They had to dominate every frame, invariably. This Khan’s movies focused on the story and the message (including some messages which I strongly agree with like, “You don’t need to speak flawless English to make it big in life!”). And what was more – he did not raise his voice to deliver the message. He did it quietly. He did it in a dignified fashion. This is what I could write when I watched the flood of videos, posts, and articles about the late actor who lost his battle with cancer (on 29 April 2020). I don’t want to sign off before making this point: we can be “Irrfan Khans” or the “other Khans” when it comes to doing Christian Ministry. Let me explain: We can do ministry so that the focus is on us (the Other Khans way) (Paul talked about this group in Galatians 1:10: “Do you think I speak this strongly in order to manipulate crowds? Or curry favor with God? Or get popular applause?” (The Message). Or we can do ministry so that the focus in on the Name of Jesus (the Greatest Name) and the Word of God (the Greatest Story). We read about the focus of this group in Psalm 138:2: “(God) you have exalted above all things your name and your word” (ESV).
Duke Jeyaraj on the last over between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kings XI Punjab in Dharamshala, 18 April 2010, easily the most exciting game in IPL-111, and perhaps one of the most iconic final overs ever in IPL History as one hits the rewind button on 12 years of IPL (as on April 2020).
They were just an over away from possible elimination – despite having quality players to flaunt,
16 runs in the last over – that’s what Chennai Super Kings needed stay in the hunt,
Irfan Pathan ran into bowl with determination, Dhoni’s efforts to get those runs, to blunt,
The onlookers couldn’t move – be it a person young or old, or be it an uncle or an aunt,
After Dhoni crashed the first ball for four – 12 required off 5 balls was the new count,
When the next ball he miscued for a brace, Chennai’s semi-final chances none could totally discount,
The next two balls Dhoni smacked over the fence – Irfan Pathan’s ego to bruise and affront!
The super cool Skipper then celebrated with a rare, never-seen-before upper cut stunt!
It was as if he knew that Chennai would go on to win the IPL 3, up-front!
“Dhoni scores 28 out of 29 runs required in the last 2 overs” – that’s what the papers reported in big font!
What Dhoni did atop that stadium in 5000-feet high Dharamshala’s mount,
Reminded me of Jesus who willingly took cuts on his body atop mount Golgotha, to open a fount,
A fount filled with sinless, precious blood that would take away sin of all, who into it, would in repentance and faith, even today, dismount!
(Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj, the author of this poem, is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, the G4 Mission. This is a reader-supported ministry. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org. WhatsApp Duke at +91-8886040605).
You must tell the Devil, “I am the righteousness of God”, when he brings temptation before you. That is the teaching of Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:21. This confession helps you to overcome temptation. “I am the righteousness of God. So, I will not lie! So, I will not watch porn! So, I will not use those Fs and Bs!” Yes, we can use these exact words during times of Temptation.
What the verse that is found after 2 Corinthians 5:21? It is found in the next chapter. Chapter and verse divisions were put in our Bibles for our convenience and were not inspired by God. This verse teaches that way we will not be guilty of using the grace of God in “vain” (2 Cor. 6:1/compare with Titus 2:11-12, Romans 3:8, Romans 6:1-2,15).
This is correct teaching.
However, if you and I fall into temptation, we should not foolishly continue saying, “I am the righteousness of God” (as Hyper-grace, heretic, hell-populating false teachers tell us to). The Bible calls those believers stubborn in sin with this names: “adulterers!” (James 4:4). Notice, the Bible does not call believers stubborn in sin as “Children of God!” We must repent and confess our sin immediately (I John 1:7-9, Compare with Romans 2:4-5). Hyper-grace false teachers tell us that there is no need to repent or confess our sins, even if we sin. False theology. Dangerous theology. Hell-leading theology. Because Hell is the place for unforgiven people.
(Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org. WhatsApp him via +91-8886040605).
Duke Jeyaraj answers via a Family Bible Study during Corona Virus Lockdown on 31st March, 2020.
The ultimate question is whether Jeremiah 7:30-34 is speaking about the contemporary pandemic (COVID -19) situation in Italy?
Read Jeremiah 7:30-34. This passage was supposedly referring to the deaths in Corona-hit Italy according to a forward in WhatsApp. 10,779 deaths have already taken place and 97,689 have been infected in Italy (as I speak on 31 March 2020). Though USA has more infections (141,000), Italy is the most affected nation because of the number of deaths (Of course, USA eventually overtook Italy in the number of deaths, but Italy has remained the nation with the highest death density as a result of the Corona Pandemic).
This passage under question (Jeremiah 7:30-34) makes a very sad reading. Jeremiah speaks about the people of Judah and something terrible happening in Topheth. Some people believe that this passage is a reference to the Topheth in Italy because of the escalation of the deaths there. I hear that corpses are left in the open without a burial site and the birds of prey eating them in Tophet, Italy.
If we Google search the geography of Topheth, we find 3 places with that very name in our world, presently. One Topheth in Italy, another is in Carthage (Tunisia) and yet another one outside Jerusalem’s South Bend in Israel. The third venue reminds me of Pete Buttigieg, a US Presidential candidate for 2020, who was a mayor of a US City named South Bend!
We must note that we have cities with same name but in different countries in our world even today. There is a Salem in Tamil Nadu, India and a Salem in Massachusetts, USA. There is a Hyderabad in India (I live there!) and a Hyderabad in Pakistan! So as there are three Topheths in the world today – one in Israel, one in Tunisia and one in Italy – we must ask ourselves which Topheth did Jeremiah 7:30-34 talk about?
The venue that Jeremiah refers to the Topheth in the southern part of Israel (also called Judah, just outside of Jerusalem).
There are 3 lessons from this passage I learnt for our life, here and now. Before we look for a prophecy in a Bible passage, we must seek to ask, “What does God want me to learn for my life here and now from that passage?” Why do I say that?
The Bible is a book of prophecy and is God’s daily bread for us. It has nearly 700 predictions and about 600 of those have been already fulfilled. Approximately 20% (the remaining percentage of prophecies yet to be fulfilled) is slated for future fulfillment. What is the Bible primarily for? The Bible is primarily for the spiritual purpose of ‘growing in godliness’, for the ‘purpose of training in righteousness’. II Timothy 3:16,17 says – “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” The main good work that God gave his people is the work of propagating the Gospel and the work of making disciples of Jesus.
This passage (Jeremiah 7:30-34) teaches us about three things: PARENTING THROUGH CELL PHONE, PEOPLE WHO ARE HELL-BORNE, PHONY BIBLE TEACHERS WHO ’SELL’-PRONE (THEY SELL A DRONE-LESS VIEW OF BIBLE)!
1.PARENTING THROUGH CELL-PHONE – Leviticus 18:21 says, “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of Thy God; I am the Lord.”
People sacrificed their children to Molech, the fire god. In Aramaic, Molech means ‘fire.’ They believed that they and their land will be more fertile as well as the land if they sacrificed their eldest child. These days, the economy is focused on the corporate companies and manufacturingindustries. Those days it was primarily an agrarian economy. People made big money with agriculture and needed fertile land to maintain their agrarian economy. So the backsliden people of Israel whose goal was to make money, would do anything – include sacrifice their kids to a pagan god – just to ensure the land is fertile!
II Kings 21:5,6 speaks about King Manasseh, who was the most evil king who ruled the southern part of Israel, Judah. He built altars and sacrificed his own son in the fire.
According to Jeremiah 1:2, the Word of the Lord came to Jeremiah in the 13th year of reign of King Josiah. Jeremiah was a contemporary of Josiah and influenced by the message of the prophet, King Josiah ended the sacrifice of children introduced by King Manasseh. “Then Josiah demolished the Topheth, the iron furnace griddle set up in the Valley of Ben Hinnom for sacrificing children in the fire. No longer could anyone burn son or daughter to the god Molech” (II Kings 23:10, The Message).
Topheth was also called the Valley of Ben Hinnom (Hebrew) and was also known as Gehenna (Greek). Jesus used this Greek word for hell. It was a dumping ground for the city’s waste. Outside some cities today, we do see dumps of garbage which burn continuously. I have seen one in Chennai. Priyanka Thirumurthy describes the Chennai garbage dump for us: ‘Standing there on 228 acres of land, in an I-T hub of Tamil Nadu’s capital, were mountains of garbage, each of them the size of a two-storey building. We had arrived at the Perungudi landfill, where half the city’s waste is deposited every single day’ (The News Minute, July 11, 2017).
King Manasseh was notorious for his brazen sacrifice of his own son to Molech in Topheth! And we modern-day parents are notorious for a similar sin! Let me explain:
We absolve our responsibilities as parents and spend very little time with our children. Instead, we allow cellphones and other screens to parent our kids on our behalf. Is that not a kind of ‘child-sacrifice’? Are we sacrificing our kids on the altar of the technology god? Since we ourselves are gadget-addicted, we give a gadget in our little children’s hands to occupy them with it, so that we will be able to remain in our shameful addictions! How sad! Let’s repent!
2. PEOPLE WHO ARE HELL-BORNE – When Jesus talked about Hell in the New Testament, he used the phrase for Topheth/Ben Hinnom we read about in Jeremiah 7:30-34. He was the greatest hell-preacher who ever lived! Read Matthew 5:28,29. Jesus equates lust with adultery there. He equates anger with murder in the Sermon on the Mount. Our destination too will be Gehenna (Hell) which Jesus talked about, if we keep dabbling with lust and anger. As believers, let us live holy lives, enabled by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:13).
3. PHONY BIBLE TEACHERS WHO ’SELL’-PRONE (THEY SELL A DRONE-LESS VIEW OF BIBLE)! Drones fly in the air and are used for capturing the bigger picture from the air. We need to have ‘drone-view’ of the Bible when it comes to formulation of doctrine. Our doctrines/teachings must take into consideration ‘ALL SCRIPTURE’ (2 Tim. 3:16-17). However, phone Bible Teachers are sell-prone! They sell a view of the Bible based on a few Bible verses they twist without taking into consideration the full-message of the Bible. This keeps happening because these false teachers do not have ‘drone’ view of the Bible. Their cultic false teachings take people to hell.
On such group is the Hyper Grace Preachers/ Prophets . They say, “You are the righteousness of God” (even when in stubborn sin). But we must see the full message of the Bible. Read Romans 2:4,5. If God doesn’t strike me down dead when I sin, as he did in the case of Ananias and Sapphira, what do I do? Do I keep living in stubborn sin, thinking God is mighty pleased with me and is smiling at me (as hyper-grace cult teachers’ suggest)? What is his message for me in Romans 2:4,5? I need to immediately repent. If I do not, I store up wrath the God on myself.
Another group is the Hyper-healing Preachers. If you have a sickness, problem, God will heal you then and there if you have faith – these preachers claim. Hebrews 2:4 tells us that God has given us gifts. The gifts of the holy spirit will operate according to God’s will and not according to our whims and fancies. That is what Hebrews 2:4 teaches.
Hyper-life preachers say since Jesus died on the cross and rose again, we can be immortal and not die at all. I Timothy 6:16 states that God alone is immortal. We are not immortal, here and now, before the return of Jesus. To say one will never die or be immortal before the return of Jesus is a false teaching. If you are alive when Jesus returns, you will be given an immortal body or if one dies in Christ before this, they will be given an immortal body at his return (I Thess. 4:16-17; I Cor. 15). It is a blasphemy to say that humans can be immortal before the glorification (second coming).
So as per Revelation 22:18,19 there will be plagues for those who add to God’s Word.
Is God judging Italy? Italy is a nation with many Catholics and many books have been added to the Catholic Bible – Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, Wisdom, Tobit, Judith, I Maccabeus, II Maccabeus (to name a few). These books were not part of the original Bible. II Maccabeus 12:45-46 is quoted by Roman Catholic theologians in support of praying to dead saints. But you will not find support for the same in the original Bible (with 66 books). I Timothy 2:5 is clear that we have only one mediator between God and Man, and he is Jesus. We should not pray to dead saints. Hebrews 9:27 speaks of no salvation after death, only judgement awaits the dead.
Is it a sin to add to God’s Word? It is. But however we cannot say that Italy is being punished for its Roman Catholic faith. As I have pointed above, even we Protestants have twisted God’s Word through harmful teachings like hyper-grace, hyper-healing, hyper-life. We are not without blame in this matter of adding or twisting God’s Word. Luke 13:1-5 teaches that those who have survived a disaster should not think they are more righteous than those who have died of that disaster. Those are the Words of Jesus. All of us need to repent. Not just Italians or Catholics. Not just Americans. Not just Britishers.
Read Jeremiah 7:33,34. And imbibe the above-three lessons.
The prophecy of Jeremiah 7:30-34 was already fulfilled twice. The first time this prophecy came to pass was in 586 B.C. when the Babylonians came to invade South Israel (Judah) and many Judeans were burnt as prisoners of war at Topheth/Gehenna of Jerusalem (read Jeremiah 19:1-15, esp vs. 6,11,12,13,14). The second time this prophecy perhaps came to pass was in A.D. 70 when Jerusalem city was burned down and several bodies thrown in Topheth/Gehenna outside Jerusalem (as secular history records what the Bible clearly predicted in Luke 19:41-44;21:6,20-24; Matt. 22:7; 23:37-38; 24:1-2; Mark 13:1-2). Only when we go to heaven, Jesus will reveal where-all and in whom-all the prophecies concerning Geographical locations/historical persons were fulfilled after the completion of the canon of Scripture! So we cannot say for sure that Topheth of Italy was referred to in Jeremiah 7:30-34!
This is not an assault on the prediction-accuracy of the Bible. It is a book which has predicted over 700 historical events. Out of this, nearly 600 prophecies have been accurately fulfilled only leaving the rest of the prophecies for the future (like return of Jesus, judgment day, heaven, hell, etc).
Meanwhile, we must rather focus on the these events that the Bible has made a clear prediction about: the any-second-possible return of Jesus, the no-escape-for-anyone day of judgement following that, the reality of eternal heaven and hell of eternal conscious torment.
We will be wise to avoid speculations concerning fulfillment of prophecies, we will have no way of verifying, like the Topheth prophecy of Jeremiah 7:30-34.
(Rev. Dr. Duke Jeyaraj is the founder of Grabbing the Google Gen from Gehenna Mission. This is a reader-supported Indian ministry. Find out more at http://www.dukev.org. WhatsApp him via +91-8886040605. Duke’s SoundCloud audio message accounts and Youtube video message accounts have a wide following. Mrs. Malini Prabakar worked on this transcription from a live Bible Study that Duke did on 31 March 2020 now available on YouTube here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozOMyLdFPKo).
USA just became the most -affected nation in the Corona Pandemic. The number of deaths crossed 20,000. They have beaten Italy’s toll. So, what does that mean? Does it mean, “USA is under the wrath of God and curse of God?” Read Luke 13:1-5 patiently. Read it again. The message of that passage is crucial for our time. This passage says this: “Just because you have escaped a disaster (read, pandemic), it does not mean you are more righteous than those who have died in that disaster (read, pandemic). You too must repent!” Yes, the USA must repent! And we too must repent! We ALL must repent of the sin Isaiah 5:20 talks about: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” We must repent of our moral confusion, core doctrinal deviation, cell-phone parenting, gadget-addiction, porn-consumption-without-second-thought and whatnot. Let us pray and mourn for each other during this pandemic!