GRABBING THE GOOGLE GEN FROM GEHENNA MISSION / DUKE JEYARAJ h
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Uncle David Pawson, the most original Bible Teacher in the whole wide world according to me, is now with Jesus!
In the year 1992, Uncle R. Stanley invited him to preach in the Bible Lovers Camp of BYM in Danishpet, Salem, Tamil Nadu. I was 17 then (having just preached my first sermon in Ida Scudder School Vellore, a few months earlier).
In a talents competition in the camp I recited a Jimmy Swaggart message on hell. I also won the first prize in the daily tests conducted based on uncle Pawson’s messages in the same camp. My gift was this book – ‘The Road to Hell’ by uncle Pawson with uncle Stanley himself writing the congratulations message on the book. [Later, I would found an organisation with the word Hell (Gehenna) in its very name – in 2006]! Uncle Pawson was gutsy in writing this book, as he biblically and brilliantly opposed the mild annihilation view of hell which John Stott (the world’s leading evangelical then) had, inexplicably, promoted. I had the joy of receiving the prize from the book’s author itself.
I traveled with him by car to Vellore post the meeting. He told me: ‘Duke will preach like Duke and he will not copy anyone else!’ The original Duke Jeyaraj was born that day!
Later when I did what I could to warn the Google Generation about the hell-populating Hypergrace cult, I returned to uncle Pawson resources to find solid Cult-answering Bible Teaching. I bought his book ‘Once Saved, Always Saved?’ in this connection via Amazon. I never searched for a book with more ferocity like how I searched for this book and finally got it (it was couriered from overseas)!
I have used material from his book, Truth to Tell, to prepare evangelistic messages. It was his book on the Second Coming titled, When Jesus Returns, which made me realise this: “many top Bible Teachers believe in one Second coming of Jesus, one judgement, and heaven and hell post that!” His book, Word and Spirit Together, inspired me to chase both the Presence of God and Word of God with equal fervor.
I often referred to uncle Pawson’s book, The Normal Christian Birth, when I wrote a tract (my first tract of any sort) on the importance of immersion water baptism for adult believers as a student of Allahabad Agricultural Institute (1993-1997).
When I did a Bible Study for each of the 66 Bible Books in Hyderabad – a process that took seven years as we met only once a month as a small group of people from different churches and varied walks of life – I often would return to Uncle Pawson’s book, Unlocking the Bible, for wisdom.
I used material from one of his little books when I preached on Why God Allows Natural Disasters in a flat in Gachibowli, Hyderabad (a message for modern young working professionals).
I can safely say that his awesome use of alliteration in his writings and sermons have made his bible material even more memorable. For example, in his book, The Road To Hell, all the chapters begin with R (The Residue, The Retreat, The Reality, The Risk, The Rescue, The Reverse, The Relevance). Not just that – even the sub-points are arranged with coined words. For example in the chapter where David Pawson talks about Rescue From Hell he uses these carefully crafted words: Father’s affections, Son’s atonement, Spirit’s assistance, Believer’s adherence (notice the “a” rain in the sub-point?) But you know what – uncle Pawson, never would make a big deal of this pain-staking-efforts-in-preparation presentation style of his. He would say: “Even dogs speak in alliteration. They go ‘bow, wow’ – don’t they?!” How humble!
Praising God for uncle Pawson! Though I am no patch on him, we have some similarities! We both left the field of agriculture to do full-time ministry! We both are non-pastoral evangelists/Bible Teachers! We both try to use alliteration/rhyming words in our writings/sermons!
In a span of few days Christendom has lost its greatest apologist and its Bible Teacher! The baton is passed to our generation! Will we measure up?
It was May 14, 1988, a Saturday. I was in Danishpet, Salem, in the center of Tamil Nadu. I was a 13-year-old kid. I was in a Blessing Youth Mission (BYM) Annual Camp along with hundreds from different parts of Tamil Nadu. In a session that night, Uncle R. Stanley, the ministry’s founder gave a missionary challenge with my dad, Mr. A. Jeyaraj, interpreting into Tamil. He is known to preach peppery, passionate messages that have a memorable outline. But I have no memory of the outline he used that night. But what I do remember is this: when he gave the call for full-time ministry specifically, I walked forward to the front. When the call for salvation was given, in a BYM Meeting in a CSI Church in Ranipet, North Tamil Nadu, two years earlier, by uncle A. Lionel, I did not walk forward. I accepted Jesus as my Savior, right where I was. I confessed my sins and prayed the sinner’s prayer, right where I was. But that night – May 14, 1988 – I had to walk forward. Little did I know what kind of ministry I would do. But I still went forward. I had no blue-print of my ministry future, but I still went forward. The fact that I was baptised in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues for the first time, the previous day in the same camp (in a session led by Uncle A. Lionel), perhaps prepared me to commit my life for full-time ministry that night as the Holy Spirit is the one who ultimately ‘sets-apart’ people for specific ministry tasks (including full-time ministry) and gives them the courage to be bold witnesses of Jesus (Acts 13:2; Acts 1:8).
I was a student of Ida Scudder School then. I had just finished my grade 8 and was about to move to grade 9. Did I quit my school following this commitment? No. I continued to study. But I never forgot the commitment I made. I recall that Mr. Vincent Jeyakaran, my Chemistry Teacher in Scudder School, Vellore, asked me what I wanted to become after this event of 14 May 1988. I instantly replied: “I have committed for full-time ministry sir. I want to serve Jesus full-time!”
I got more active in the Lord’s Work post this commitment. I started a fellowship for boys post that BYM Camp. I called that fellowship, Friends for Jesus. What I knew from the Bible, I taught the small group of boys who would gather either under a tree outside the CSI Church near my home or in the home of Ben Suresh. We also went for outreach with tracts in different parts of Vellore. I taught Sunday School in a Village in Vellore along with Arumugham annan. Our mode of transport was the bicycles!
Uncle Silas, who worked in Christian Medical College and Hospital then, took me various boys hostels across Vellore District and had me preach the Gospel. As I preached in English, He would interpret for me into Tamil. He did this, not because he could not preach. He was a good preacher, himself. I still remember one of the messages Uncle Silas preached to us, teens of Friends for Jesus, from Proverbs 7, about a flirty aunty who had an affair with a naughty boy. I continue to preach from that very passage inspired by Uncle Silas. I did that even in a Assemblies of God National Youth Conference in 2012. Silas uncle wanted to prepare me to be an itinerant minister of the Gospel. He wanted to mentor me. My Dad gifted me, my first copy of any sort of Study Bible – the NIV Study Bible – in the year 1991 (I was 17). I preached my first sermon from Stage in Ida Scudder School to a crowd of about 400-500 in the Captain’s Assembly. School Captain, Shameen, asked me, the Lincoln House Captain, to preach. I preached a message on hell, inspired by American Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart’s video-tape message, Hell is no Joke (a tape which my uncle, A. Gnanasekaran had given us – he also gave me a nice NIV Bible at that time – which became the first Bible I read regularly, underlining phrases and words that spoke to me, writing out devotional thoughts in the side margins). After my first stage sermon in Ida Scudder on August 9, 1991, a girl in the audience fainted. One young man who who would serve God full-time down the line, had an unforgettable encounter with Jesus. I was encouraged to keep preaching.
Eventually I landed in Allahabad Agricultural Institute (SHIATS now) in the month of March in 1993. I remember that I shared about Jesus to one of my co-passengers during that 36-hour journey in the train to Allahabad. Giving tracts in the train became a regular ministry in the train since then. I do it even now. In Allahabad, I picked up my first ever Theology Book – a damaged copy of a Systematic Theology book by J. Rodman Williams (again, my dad’s gift). I led Bible Studies from that book (sometimes just to one person in the boys hostel). I made the first presentation of what the Bible teaches on Sex, Love, Marriage to a group of boys I gathered in the lawns outside the Chemistry Department during my college years (1993-97). I made apologetics-inspired Gospel presentations in Ewing Christian College. I led Bible Studies in Motilal Nehru Regional Engineering College in Allahabad. My Evangelical Union Fellowship senior, John Joe kept giving me these opportunities. I attended a 10-day training by the EU in Kotagiri (Committee Members Training Camp) in 1993.
I worked briefly in Chennai during late 1997 and early 1998. That’s when Pastor Daniel Navakumar, a Sri Lankan Tamil Pastor who lived in Germany, who had read my article for youth from the life of Absalom, invited me to preach to the youth of his churches in Botrop, Germany and other cities in Germany. I quit my job, so that I could prepare to preach in my first ever youth camp. Uncle R. Stanley again helped me with my outlines (as he did as I preached for the first time to a crowd of over 1000 boys, in Halo 1998 in Sitteri Hills). The eight messages I preached in Germany in 1998 to youth in the English to German were video recorded. The Question and Answer session I did at the end of the youth camp was also video recorded. Those are the oldest video message recordings of mine presently available. You can listen to those presentations even now via Youtube by following this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5DR3RjcgKY&list=PL2z1uBimIney9juybE93o0RFp9UBG1XWA
After I returned from that very successful youth camp in Germany, I went straight to Bible College – Southern Asia Bible College (now CGLD), in Bangalore. It was June 1998 when my pre-theology courses started with Mrs. Felicia Praveenkumar teaching us English! The rest is history. I started my own ministry, Grabbing the Google Generation from Gehenna Mission, in 2006, as my wife and I landed in Hyderabad from Jabalpur along with 1-year old Dale.
It has been my privilege now to give missionary calls/fulltime ministry calls in several of my meetings across India. To see young people come forward with tears has given me immense satisfaction.
I do not say, “Full-time ministry is the only way or the best way to serve Jesus!” Far from it! I worked in the years 2006-2008 as a tent-making missionary when I founded G4 Mission. I worked in call-centers, raising money for the ministry God moved my wife and I to start. I was an active witness in those call-centers as well (I led in breaktime, three minute fellowships). But then people moved by the Holy Spirit – all Indians – started to send offerings for our newly-started ministry. I also could not do both – work a full-time secular job and do the ministry. Encouraged by my wife, I quit my HSBC Global Resourcing job in November 2008. I have been fulltime with G4 Mission, my own ministry ever since (as has been my wife). This journey of faith is so awesome!
Have you made a commitment to the Lord? Do not delay in fulfilling it! “When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow!” (Eccl. 5:4). I am glad I could honor the vow I made to come to fulltime ministry!