Issue No.

15

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Double Issue

www.TheDaysOfYourYouth.com www.G-4Mission.Blogspot.com www.PurposeSpot.Blogspot.com

Life

What makes

Meanin gful?

This magazine serves as the voice of the Grabbing the Gadget Generation from Gehenna Mission (G-4 Mission) – an interdenominational youth organization founded by Duke Jeyaraj in February 2006. Its vision is to captivatingly connect the world of yahoo Youth and the Word of Yahweh so that young people would remember their Creator in the days of their youth. Its burden is to make the unchanging Word of God relevant to the fastchanging World of Youth. G-4 Mission is funded by the freewill offerings/donations of individual Indians interested in the fulfillment of the above-mentioned vision and goal.

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Page 3-6 Page 7-13 Page 14 Page 13-17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20-22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25-26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29-31

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Issue No. 15 published in December 2008 One-point contact: emailduke@gmail.com Mobile: +91-9441352433

What makes Life Meaningful?… What’s so unique about Jesus?… Dostana, Fashion and The Anti Christ!… Wishing you a smashing year of non-stop Scripture study... From the sea, when we did not see!… Want to go with Obama or Jesus?… The Smell of Neem to the Fragrance of the Holy Spirit… I, the Convert… S. R. Iyer’s Outlook magazine letter & Arundhati Roy’s brilliant point!… Motivating Corporates to plunder Hell, in their Dell!… Dukes Brutally Frank, Biblically Sound Message CDs!… Duke back in ‘ fulltime’ ministry now!… How far is too far?…

Easy way to pay…
If you have an account with Karur Vysya Bank (KVB) you can do an online transfer to the account of G4 Mission, Ac. Number, 1465155000004395. Or walk into any KVB Branch in India and deposit money in the same account. Log onto www.kvb.co.in to find out the nearest branch to your home. This bank has branches in 15 Indian States. Or send a DD or Cheque or Money Order in the name of “G4 Mission” and send it to Duke Jeyaraj,

LIG B 316, A S Rao Nagar, Hyderabad 500 062. Phone: +91-9441352433
You could do an online transfer or pay cash by walking into any branch of ICICI Bank to the account of “Duke Jonathan Goforth Jeyaraj” A/c. Number 024401000969 (12 digit number). This same process could be repeated in any State Bank of India (SBI) Branch in India. Duke’s account name at SBI is Duke Jonathan Goforth Jeyaraj and his SBI account number is 30024777226. Do send an sms to +91-9441352433 whenever you do this, so that we can check the account and quickly acknowledge. We appreciate your partnership in this small ministry that makes Yahweh’s Word relevant to Yahoo Youth.

The Mag Team

Ravi

Joy

Steve

Magdalene

Florussel

Fenella

Santosh

Gideon

Duke

Evan

Ruby

Navamani

This magazine is published by Duke Jeyaraj. It is for private circulation only.

Text editing - Shruthi Joy, Stephen Jothiraj, Magdalene Daniel, Duke Jeyaraj and Evangelin Duke. Over-all Page Engineering and Design - Ravi Alamothu Website Management and Photofishing - Florussel Satya, Fenella Prince, Gideon Samuel Gnanasekaran and Santhosh William.

Some images used in this magazine have been downloaded from the internet. We acknowledge that the copyright of these images remain with the original owners and G-4 Mission does not intend to use these for commercial purposes and does not claim any rights for the images.

Ministry Products Design Team - Ruby Evangel and Navamani Kingsley. The Days of Your Youth

What gives life purpose? What makes life meaningful?

What puts sense into the journey called life? Have you asked those questions? To find out the answer, I turned to the one who made life - God and His Written Word, the Bible. I bumped into a book of the Bible where the word, “meaningless” or “vanity” is used 29 times – the book of Ecclesiastes. I discovered many things that simply will not give purpose and meaning to life. Let me share them with you.

me! Then my life will have meaning, purpose and sense! That is what he thought. But he was disappointed (Eccl 2:2). Jim Carey, the man who made a fortune with his funny face, was not a happy man, his biographer writes. Tony Hancock, a great comedian out of the United Kingdom ended his life on his own. Yes, the Bible observes that even in laughter the heart may ache (Prov 14:13). Yes, we can be bubbly on the outside, yet empty on the inside! So the way of wit is not the way to meaning.

What makes Life Meaningful?
-Duke Jeyaraj

point he attempted to end his life by wrist-slashing. He was reportedly too drunk to even speak to the press after this event. Alcohol consumption will rob your life away from you by causing immense damage to your liver, slowly but surely. At times, it can make you so senseless that you may even take another’s life or your own life under its influence. When this is the case, how can alcohol give life meaning and purpose?! It surely can’t. The search for meaning doesn’t end with wine - it has to continue....

1 WIT will not meaning and purpose in life!

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WINE will not give meaning and purpose in life!

The search for meaning in Ecclesiastes continues. He tried to “cheer” himself with wine (Eccl 2:3). Again, he was disappointed. Wine can make you forget life for a while. But it can never bring it meaning and purpose! Fourteen- year old Aarushi Talwar was found murdered on May 16, 2008 in the room of her home in Noida, near New Delhi, India. Her throat was slit. Her face had stab wounds. How could someone get so cruel to commit a murder so cold and clinical as this? The answer is given by the investigation team - the murderer was influenced by alcohol. Famous England footballer, Paul Gascoigne’s addiction to alcohol led him to mental depression. At one

WORK will not 3 give meaning and purpose in life!
The writer of Ecclesiastes next talks about how he got busy with work in his search for life’s purpose (Eccl 2:4-6 ). He made houses, vineyards, gardens, parks, forests and pools yet that did not make his life, sensible or purposeful. Ahithophel made a career out of counseling kings. He was the counselor of King David, the great King of Israel (II Sam 15:12). When David’s handsome son, Absalom rebelled against him and occupied the throne, Ahithophel joined his team. He gave key counsels to Absalom too. In fact, his counsel was seen as the very counsel of God, the Bible records (II Sam 16:23). But when Absalom listened to the counsel of Hushai instead of

The story of Jim Carey reminds us that we could be laughing on the outside while languishing on the inside!
The writer of this book “tries” different things in his search for meaning in life (Eccl 2:1 NLT ). First he tries “laughter”. Shall we make that “wit”? If only I can laugh my guts out! If only I can crack a joke and my world laughs with

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his counsel, Ahithopel could not take it and he instead took his own life (II Sam 17:23). In II Samuel 16:23, he was at the peak of his profession. In II Samuel 17:23, he was in the pit of depression because of a professional failure, so much so, he ended his life! I found a tragic news piece on washingtonpost.com very similar to the story of Ahitophel. Let me narrate the real story about Natrajan Ramachandran, an investment advisor of Indian origin who worked in the United States: On a heart-stopping August Day in 1998, in his 5,000-square-foot, 20room tract mansion in Herndon, the United States, he gathered his family in the master bedroom -- his wife, Kalpara; their daughter, Reha, 11; and their son, Raj, 7 -- and ended their lives and his with a 9mm Ruger rifle. Because of an obvious failure in his profession he behaved in this bizarre manner: he had had run up to $10 million in debts, some to casinos, and was under investigation for passing $2 million in worthless checks, the same website reported. Natrajan Ramachandran also killed himself. Both Ahithophel and Natrajan Ramachandran perhaps believed that their success in their work would give them meaning and purpose in life. But that did not happen. And they were so shattered that they killed themselves. It is true - work will not give purpose and meaning in life!

himself as the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Bible Scholars tell us he was King Solomon. He was richest ever king to rule Israel. The weight of the gold that he possessed in a single year was 666 talent (I Ki 10:14). One talent weighed 34 kgs, mind you! He had 200 large gold shields. His drinking vessels were made out of gold. He sat in an ivory throne (I Ki 10:14-22). Here was a king who had seen wealth like no other king. Yet, this is his startling confession: wealth could not give him meaning and purpose in life. If we were to resurrect Judas Iscariot, the man who betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver coins and ask him, “Judas, will money give meaning to life?” he would vigorously shake his head to say ‘no’. “If money made my life, why would I have ended my life after I made money? Purpose in life is found in the One I betrayed to make money - the One who told us, One’s life does not consist in the abundance of His possessions! (Luke 12:15)” Pat Rafter, mouthed these words, after he won a huge prize money, following a US Open win, “When you don’t have it, you want it. When you have it, you don’t want it!” By saying this he was admitting money does not give fulfillment to life.

Pat Rafter made a sublime statement about the true nature of money the other day.
a very popular magazine in Germany, “I myself know how stupid and dumb this is!” Kahn, by saying that admitted, women and all the pleasures they could offer, could not help him find life’s purpose and meaning! So our search for life’s meaning can’t stop with women. It must continue.

6 ‘WOWs!’ will not give meaning and purpose in Life!
Solomon keeps travelling in his search for meaning and fulfillment in life. At each stop he met nothing but disappointment. His next stop in this seemingly insatiable journey is what I want to call as the stop of “Wows!” Solomon, in other words, wanted to find life’s meaning through the route of appreciation from people for his commendable achievements. He says, “So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem” (Eccl 2:9). In the “Wows!’ people would shower him with, he tried to find life’s purpose. Wows - Solomon received them galore. He got them by the truckloads. Solomon’s wisdom and wealth made the visiting Queen of Sheba go “Wow!” (I Kings 10:1-10). The Bible records, “Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the

5 WOMEN do not give meaning and purpose to life!
Scroll down to Ecclesiastes 2 and you will bump into yet another thing King Solomon tried out to get meaning and purpose in life: women. He had female slaves, female singers and female sexpartners (called concubines) in plenty (Eccl 2:7,8). Yet these women could not bring fulfillment to his life. After an infamous tryst with a young woman who was not his wife, Oliver Kahn, Germany’s legendary goalie told

4 WEALTH will not give meaning and purpose in LIFE!
The search for life’s meaning continues in Ecclesiastes 2. We read how this writer “bought” slaves, herds and flocks like no one else in all of Israel (Ecc 2:7, 8). Who is this writer? In the first verse of this book, he introduces

The Days of Your Youth

east and all the wisdom of Egypt” (I Kings 4:30). His knowledge of biology was baffling; his insight into zoology was zapping (That’s how I understand I Ki 4:33). People did not mind long walks to hear Solomon talks (I Kings 4:34). In his book Shane Warne’s Century, Shane Warne says that he would pay to see Indian Opener Virender Sehwag bat. Sehwag’s batting made him go “Wow!” The Sportstar titled it special issue about Steve Waugh this way: Wow Waugh! People in Solomon’s time had to just say that when they saw Solomon: Wow!

is still far from being made. You still are searching for meaning in life.

The destination of these wrong roads....
Solomon openly confessed “everything is meaningless” at least six times in his book (Eccl 1:2,14; 2:17; 3:19; 11:8; 12:8). The seven routes he took to get meaning and purpose in life led to only disillusionment and disappointment. Not only that. Writing elsewhere in the Bible, Solomon says these routes he took led to danger as well. I am referring to his words in the Bible book of Proverbs. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death,” so writes Solomon (Prov 14:12). It is so important that he repeated it in Proverbs 16:25. When he was in the way of wit, the way of wine, the way of work, the way of wealth, the way of Wows, the way of Women, the way of the whole world, he felt he was on the right track. As he journeyed further, after the initial elation, he felt miserable because deep down he knew he doing wrong. And not just wrong, he knew he was heading straight into danger - death. Another version of the Bible translates the very same words of Solomon this way: There’s a way that looks harmless enough; look again—it leads straight to hell. The ultimate destination of life-purpose routes such as wine, women, work, “Wows!”, wit, etc is hell! Eugene Peterson, swapped the word, “ hell” for the word, “ death”, because we do have places in the Bible where hell punishment is figuratively called “second death” (in Rev 21:8 for example) though no one actually gets to die in hell!

7 THE WHOLE WORLD cannot give meaning and purpose in your life!
After his great disappointment of trying out the first six Ws - wit, wisdom, wine, work, wealth, women and ‘wows’ - Solomon makes a summary statement. And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure (Eccl 2:10). Notice the word “whatever” here. And that word is an all-sweeping, allencompassing word he used to imply that he tried everything “under the sun” (a frequently appearing word in this Bible book) to find meaning and purpose in life. Whatever his eyes set sights on, whatever his heart felt could give meaning and purpose to life, and he tried that out. What was the end result: the same. The whole world and all of its pleasures cannot give one’s life meaning. That is the message of this Bible book. The gambling which Las Vegas can offer, the girls which Paris can parade, the gold which Johannesburg can brag about cannot give your life meaning and purpose! The porn site about which your pals say, “You have not lived, until you have seen it, bloke!” cannot give your life meaning. Solomon kept nothing from his eyes (To put that in modern terms, “There was no porn site which Solomon did not surf...”). Yet the discovery of the fulfillment of life was kept from him! When Jesus said, “What good is it if someone gains the whole world but loses his soul?” (Math 16:26, NIV ) this was what He was getting at: You can search the whole planet for meaning and purpose in life, but you will not find it!

The “Wows!” that Schumi earned could not remove the woes of his heart
Eugene Peterson translates I Kings 4:29 this way: There was nothing beyond him (Solomon), nothing he couldn’t handle. But sadly the “Wows!” he won with effortless ease did not give Solomon his life’s purpose. Michael Schumacher after winning the World Championships in Formula One racing for the record seventh time said, “I’m empty and I’m exhausted!” A ‘wow’ performance could not give him life’s purpose or give him fulfillment. What about you? You thought, “Once I have a Beyonce Knowles figure and once I hear a ‘Wow’ from my male admirers, my life is made!” You do have Beyonce Knowles’s figure now. You have heard that ‘Wow!’ you were waiting for. But, guess what? Your life

“There was no porn site Solomon did not surf, yet....” 5

relationship with the one above the Sun – with God! To underline that he wrote, Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, “I have no pleasure in them” (Eccl 12:1). Here is what he is saying, “Remember and relate with God, who came to this Earth in the person of Jesus, if you want to make all the days of your life full of eternal pleasure and meaning!” (to put that verse in the context of the message of the whole Bible). So why are you waiting? Would you bow your head, right now, and ask the resurrected and returning Jesus to come into your repentant heart, to begin your eternity-long relationship with Him - a relationship that will fill every second of your life with purpose and meaning and fulfillment? Don’t delay this decision! As Solomon pointed out, let us do this in “the days of our youth”! As Solomon penned, let us do this before the door to life’s opportunities is closed (Eccl 12:4, NLT ). As Solomon scripted, let us do it, before you near the grave, before the silver cord of life snaps - which technically is ‘any time’ in this world full of heart-stopping terror (Eccl 12:5,6 NLT )!

Life under the sun will be meaningless unless and until we relate with the One above the Sun – Our Creator!

Why and How Jesus can give us purpose in life
Hell?! In the Bible, God’s Words in Human words, no one spoke about this place more than the person who actually came to save us all from going there. His name is Jesus! Jesus compared hell to “a lake of fire” in which worms will forever feast on the eternally alive human body. He preached that He, God in Human Flesh, came to this world to give each one of us, life, and “ life to the full” ( John 10:10). Without a living relationship with Jesus, our life will never be fulfilled. Without a daily relationship with Jesus, our life will be a living hell, even as we head to the literal hell. This is the message of John 3:36 - a verse in the Bible. When we come to Jesus who claimed to be “The Bread of Life”, we will no longer be hungry - our hunger to find life’s meaning can be only quenched by Jesus (John 6:35)! The reason for this is very simple. Since Jesus had purpose and meaning to His life, He could offer the same to others. He explicitly says He came for the purpose of dying for the human race (John 12:27). Through His death, every human, could discover life’s purpose. Jesus not only had purpose for His own life - He gave purpose to the life of those who made Him

Lord and Savior of their lives. A man called Paul, repented from his sins and trusted in Jesus as His only Lord, God and Savior. And this is what he testifies after having walked the road of life with Jesus: “I run with purpose in every step!” (I Cor 9:26, NLT ). The same Jesus who filled Paul’s life with purpose all over can give your life purpose, meaning fulfillment as well, for He is impartial and unchanging. All you have to do is repent from sin like Paul and trust in Jesus alone for your salvation.

The person who made life, can make it meaningful!
This message is what even the guy we were talking about, King Solomon, all along was getting at. After having observed the whole world and what it had to offer, Solomon makes a very important statement. It is this: “God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? (Eccl 2:24-25). While he openly confessed “everything is meaningless” at least six times in his book, Solomon, offers some hope in some sections of his book (Eccl 1:2,14; 2:17; 3:19; 11:8; 12:8). His message is simple: the person who made life can make it meaningful! His message is direct: life ‘under the sun’ (a phrase he uses in his book 20 times) will be meaningless, until we have a living

A new spiral bound photocopy book by Duke Jeyaraj with 25 different contemporary-events-wrapped Gospel presentations. This book will be an ideal gift for that friend of yours, who does not know the Lord. Not only that - this fantastic book will flood you with fresh ideas as to how to share the Gospel to the Google Generation (the Modern Youth). Price (including forwarding charges) - Rs. 100/- See page two for easy way to pay.

The Days of Your Youth

What’s so unique about Jesus?
What’s so unique about Jesus
-Duke Jeyaraj

that people in well-earning jobs throw them aside to dedicate their entire life and all their waking time just to tell others about Him? What’s the big deal about Jesus that you get to hear about Him Christmas after Christmas? As a teenager, I once wrote a letter to a movie starlet. What did I write? “I love you and can’t live without you?” Nah. I wrote to her about a person who had made such a difference in my life – Jesus. Jesus? What’s so unique about him that I had to write to a movie actress about Him? Hang on.

All roads lead to Rome?
Popular music troupe, Colonial Cousins sang a song that went on to become a big hit: Come back as Jesus, come back and save the world/ We need a teacher and you are the only one/Come back as Rama and forgive us for what we have done/Come back as Allah, come back as anyone…Colonial cousins were only eloquently putting into music, a popular philosophy called pluralism which you will bump into time and again. A pluralist would say, “All religions lead to the same destination; you have your religion and I’ll have mine; let’s not fight or argue over religion!”

Whenever I have witnessed about Christ while traveling, 99% of my fellow passengers would bounce back at me with this stereotype response. Stumped by this response I started thinking hard and also reading on this controversial subject. You see, if Jesus wasn’t unique, it would not have mattered who I follow or what way of life I chose. This article is the baby of my reflections on this crucial subject.

worshipping 330 million deities (India), to Thomas, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 ). Incredible! Thomas took Jesus at His word and came to India in A.D. 52, preaching Jesus as the only way to salvation and gave his life for this very message by dying as a martyr in Chennai. Peter denied Jesus before a servant girl saying, “Woman, I don’t even know Him!” (Lk 22:57). Months later this very same Peter, after receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit said, “Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been given or will be given us by which we can be saved, only this one!” (Acts 4:12). Think! Previously he said

Does the Bible really say that Jesus is unique?
A song sung by Colonial Cousins reveals a lot about people’s general perception of Jesus which is very wrong!
Absolutely! To a man who would go as the first ever missionary to a country

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that he hadn’t even heard ‘that name’. Now, he says, he knows no other name that will save humanity but the name of Jesus! The way of Jesus was sometimes also dubbed ‘the Way’ during the time of the early church (see Acts 9:2; 19:9, 23). That implies that all other ways are dead ends paths that will neither lead to heaven nor will give real purpose and peace. Logically speaking, no one can really believe that statement - All ways lead to the same destination! Wondering why? How will a person who claims that ‘all-religions-are-cool’ respond to Christ’s claim that He alone is the Way? He might argue “When Christ said that He was the only way, He was wrong!” But the moment he says that he no longer believes that “all” ways are equally valid when it comes to the salvation of the soul which is what he claims to actually believe! Pluralism – as you just saw – is logically inconsistent. What Jesus tells us is very similar to what a boy told a girl in a popular song: “Don’t love me for fun girl. Let me be the ONE, girl!” He demands that we serve Him and preach Him as the ONLY Savior. Did not the God of the Bible say, “I, even I, am the LORD and apart from me there is no Savior!” (Isa 43:11). Put your thinking caps as I present a few arguments for the uniqueness of Jesus, that sets Him apart from anybody you would care to name!

Jesus to escape the crucifixion. All He had to do to escape death was to say that He was indeed born to Mary and a human father. But He stubbornly refused and broke His silence (notice that He did not answer the previous question of the High Priest) to say, “Yes, it is as you say!” (Math 27:64). Why did Jesus say that? Simple. That was the truth – while He was born to a biological mother He had no biological father. He was living since eternity (in the past tense) before He decided that He was going to give up His divine glory to become a baby floating in the amniotic fluids of Mary who was a virgin on Christmas. You see – it is not an easy job at all for a mother to watch her son die, right before her

why? You are right – Mary pretty well knew that she became pregnant when the Holy Spirit came upon her when she hadn’t even allowed a man to even peep into her bed (so to speak)! And what was more – a medical doctor – records for us in the Bible, the most detailed record of the conception of Jesus (Lk 1:27-37). What is it about the virgin birth of Christ that sets Him apart from the rest of pantheons of self-made gods? Simple. All other citizens of planet Earth had a beginning. But Jesus had none. He has been existing eternally – something that no other so-called ‘god’ or ‘guru’ can truthfully claim! In fact He claimed to have existed long before Abraham, someone who existed

Jesus had no real birthday. He existed eternally. He got himself a human body on the first Christmas!
own eyes, knowing pretty well she can actually save him. But Mary preferred to watch Christ die. All she had to do to prevent her Son from the savage death awaiting Him was to have gone and told the executors of Jesus: “Listen! Don’t believe my Son and His ridiculous claim that He is the Son of God and all that rubbish. He was born because of an immoral relationship I had with a person I do not wish to name. I am His mom and if anybody knows how He was born, it is I! Please release him, I beg you!” But Mary did not do that. Asking thousands of years before he did (Jn 8:58). Not only that, He claimed that famous prophet Isaiah – again a chap who lived hundreds of years before Jesus came into this planet as a baby – ‘saw Him and spoke about His glory’ (Jn 12:41)! Not only that. We are unsure if the many founders of religions even existed. But that is not the case about Jesus. The supernatural birth account of Jesus pins Him to both history (he was the one who divided

1 His supernatural birth
The High Priest before whom Jesus stood after His arrest at Gethsemane garden shot a solemn question to Jesus: “I demand in the name of the living God that you tell us whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God?” (Math 27:63). Here was a golden chance for

The Days of Your Youth

the time line of the planet into two – A.D and B.C) and geography (he was born in Bethlehem, a small village near Jerusalem). We have more solid proof that Jesus historically lived than for Alexander. The two earliest biographers of Alexander, Arrian and Plutarch wrote more than 400 years after his death in 323 B.C. The first three Gospels – which tell us a historical narrative of the life and times of Jesus – were written within 30 years of Christ’s death!

out the rest of His life on the earth in which He fulfilled at least 100 more prophecies. Daniel predicted the exact date Jesus would enter Jerusalem to be crucified – die for the sins of others (Dan 9:24). Stunning! Some have suggested that Jesus Himself arranged His life so that He could fulfill prophecies spoken made about him. Come on! Can anyone arrange that - the family, time and place of birth? Do you think Jesus whispered to the Roman soldiers who beat Him black and blue, “Beat me softly guys – none of my bones must be broken as per the Old Testament prophecy which I have got to somehow fulfill” (Ex 12:46; Psa 34:20; Jn 19:36 )? Ha Ha! Mathematicians have calculated that the probability of 16 predictions being fulfilled in one man is 1 in 10 to power of 45! If we stretched it to 48 predictions, the probability will swell to 1 in 10 to the power of 157! Set mathematics and the probability calculations aside. Let’s try to figure out what one is saying if he just brushed aside the fact Jesus fulfilled so many prophecies purely ‘by chance’. It would be tantamount to that Actor Shah Rukh could have batted for India, left-handed, and made a triple hundred to take India past the near-impossible World Cup final target Australia set for India – 360 in March 2003!

By fulfilling prophecy at will Jesus was just proving that He could control the history and happenings before the time He entered the world as a human and after He did – a feat no one can even ever dream of doing!

3 His spotless character –
Only a sinless person qualifies to save a sinner! Speaking to His worst enemies at that time – the Jewish leaders, Jesus challenged, “Which of you can truthfully accuse me of sin?” (Jn. 8:46 )? They were dumbfounded. Jesus had a cousin brother in John the Baptist. They were born just six months apart. I can imagine Jesus and John playing many kids games with each other. Hide and seek? You bet! This very same John who had literally seen Jesus grow up before his eyes testified to the absolute sinlessness of Jesus by refusing to baptize Jesus at first. “You need not be joining the sinners’ string, Jesus – no never! I’ve never seen you commit a sin that you need to repent of,” he said in-effect (Math 3:6 )? Will any childhood buddy of any great figure in history ever testify that he/she was sinless? Never! But Jesus’ childhood friend did just that! The man who was Jesus’ bosom friend could testify this of Jesus: “There is no sin in him and sin is not part of his program” (I Jn 3:5 MGE). Would any close pal of any top notch ‘guru’ testify the same about his friend? When we contrast the sinlessness of Jesus with sensuousness of other religious biggies, His character becomes dazzling white! The Quran itself records Prophet Mohammed praying for forgiveness of sins. But the very same book declared that Jesus was sinless (Surah 19:19). Rock group, Beatles found out that the Hindu guru they were going bonkers

2 His staggering fulfilment of prophecy
Jesus fulfilled no less than 110 prophecies made about Him in the Old Testament that was written hundreds of years before His birth. The Bible predicted that Jesus would be born of a woman (Gen 3:15). That was an easy one to fulfill. He was (Gal 4:4). Again the Bible predicted that Jesus would be born of a virgin woman (from among the millions of women who would come to exist in this planet) (Isa 7:14). Again it happened (Math 1:21). The Bible further narrowed its prophecy span to say that He would be born of virgin woman in the line of Abraham, the father of the Jewish race – to simplify the prophecy (Gen. 12:1-3/22:18). Jesus was (Math 1:1; Gal 3:16 ). Then the Bible incredibly further narrowed its prediction spread to say that Jesus would be born to a virgin Jewish woman from one of the twelve tribes of the Jewish race – the tribe of Judah (Gen 49:10). He indeed was (Luke 3:23, 33). The Bible further foretold that the Messiah – Jesus, would be born to a virgin Jewish woman from the family of David who belonged to the thousands of families of the tribe of Judah (II Sam 7: 12). Though it was asking for too much Jesus fulfilled that prophecy too (Math 1:1). And this is just to talk about His birth – leaving

Could Shah Rukh have batted left handed for India in the 2003 World Cup Final and scored a triple hundred to steal India a win over Australia? If so…

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over – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – was more interested in the bodies of one of the female singers than in spiritual stuff he was supposed to teach them! The communist ‘god’ Karl Marx died because of syphilis – a disease that he got because of his immoral life style. Man’s universal problem is sin. The Bible teaches, “There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins” (Eccl 7:20). Only a sinless person qualifies to save a sinner. Isn’t that plain cool logic? Max Lucado smartly put it: “Two kids in a mud puddle cannot clean each other. They need someone clean. Someone spotless. We need someone clean too. That is why we need a savior.” Not just “a savior”. But a sinless savior. Therefore only Jesus and no one else qualifies to bring salvation from sins to humans who are all sinners. In fact Jesus was named so because “He will save His people from their sins?” (Math 1:21). The world is neatly divided into two groups: in one group are people who have never experienced a vacuum in their heart. Only Jesus is there in this group. Only Jesus and no one else. Because Jesus never sinned He never had any vacuum in His heart! In the other group there are the Aishwarya Rais and rest of her species – the entire Homo sapiens! Indian actress Aishwarya Rai talked about it – this emptiness phenomenon. She once said, “You know as Ms. World, I was exposed to so much that after the year was over there was suddenly a vacuum!” And every human would talk about the empty feeling he or she had without exception, not just Ashwariya, if we were honest. Jesus explained the reason why He, though being God, took human flesh. It was so that “you” -- whoever you may be, “may have life and have it to the full!” (Jn 10:10). In other words, all those who do not

having a daily living relationship with Him, would languish with a vacuum in their heart. An emptiness which is caused by sin (Lam 1:18).

4 His stupefying miracles and wonders
The ONLY sinless miracle-worker! Three funeral services Jesus attended had to be stopped midway Why? In all the three cases He raised the dead (Mk 5:35; Luk 7:11-15; Jn 11:43-44). You may give Jesus a nickname: “Funeral Spoiler!” Jesus’ miracles beat time and space. When He changed water to wine, His miracles were beating time, for water does ferment as wine in a natural process that takes lots of time – many months. His miracles beat space. When He spoke a word of healing from one location, an official’s son was instantly healed at another location (Jn 4:43-54)! What was more, even His opponent accepted the fact that He worked irrefutable miracles (Mt 28:11-15; Mk 5:40-42; Jn 11:47-48). Even the Koran conceded that Jesus did miracles. Several miracles and medically documented healings take place even today when people are prayed for in the name of Jesus!

Why did Jesus go around working miracles? Easy. He did them so that people would believe that He was the way and came from the Father. He rapped the unbelieving Jews saying, “The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for Me but you do not believe” (Jn 10:25, 26 ). When the apostles preached Jesus, they kept rehammering the same point: “Jesus the Nazarene, a man thoroughly accredited by God to you – the miracles and signs God did through Him are common knowledge” (Acts 2:22).

Where purity and power meet..
Any miracle a person does would account for nothing if it is not backed by a pure life that is lived in obedience to God’s will – Jesus Himself taught this truth (Math 7:21-23). In other words, miracles don’t mean a thing, unless the person who does it is immaculate. True, there are many claims from modern gurus that they perform miracles. Though many of their claims have been shown to be duplicitous, one cannot deny that some miracles may be genuine. But even those genuine miracles don’t substantiate any claim to divinity. Why would I say that? Only Jesus had a one-of-a-kind combination of a pure life and powerful life, a never-been-

If Rahul Dravid was nicknamed “the Wall”, Jesus could be nicknamed, “Funeral-spoiler!” The Days of Your Youth

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seen joining of an innocent life and incredible life! You can be sure of this – Jesus is the ONLY sinless miracleworker there is or will ever be!

His substitutionary death 6
By definition God is eternal. So God cannot die actually! But God can die – if He chooses to. Jesus chose to die. “No man can take away my life from me. I lay down my life voluntarily. For I have the right to lay it down when I want to and also the power to take it up again” (John 10:18). And that is what exactly happened at Calvary’s cross: Jesus willingly gave up His life. The nails did not hold Him on the cross but it was love, as someone said. No one died the way Jesus did: others would die and then bow down their head. But Jesus bowed His head and then died – He could pick and choose the exact moment He would give up his spirit without resorting to a suicide ( Jn 19:30)! Jesus said that He was dying as a “ransom” for the sins of the world – a purpose for which no one has died or will die (Math 20:28). He explicitly said that the blood He would shed would bring “ forgiveness of sins.” Again, a unique reason to die (Math 26:28). The rest of humanity - when it dies - does so for its sins. The wages of sin is death, we are told in the Scriptures (Rom 3:23). Put in another way, we all die because we are all sinners. But Christ wasn’t. He need not have died at all. But nevertheless He did, as a substitute for sin (Isa 53:5). A one-of-kind death! Because He was one hundred percent human – He could die as a valid substitute for the human race. And because He was one hundred percent God as well, He could die for all people of all times. God is beyond time, you see! “If Jesus were only God, He would not understand us. If He were only man, He could never save us. But He was equally

God and equally man, so He could understand, love and save us, if only we surrender our lives to Him alone!” This is how someone put this whole thing irrefutably!

His sure-fire resurrection!
The Greatest the world! F-E-A-T in

vowed to disprove the resurrection of Jesus. He piled up 700-hours of library research on the subject. And after that research He concluded that Jesus was actually alive. And today McDowell (well that’s his second name) travels around the world speaking to bright students in campuses about how a resurrected Jesus can change one’s life! Yup, the resurrection is a solid fact! The next letter in the acronym FEAT is “E”. It stands for the Empty Tomb. All that the Jewish leaders had to do to convincingly prove to the world that Jesus never rose from the dead was to showcase His dead body. But they couldn’t. The next letter in this chain of proofs for the resurrection is “A” – the Appearances of Jesus. On one occasion Jesus appeared to 500 people and repeatedly to His disciples. Some suggest that the disciples were hallucinating. You’ve got to be kidding. You can never hallucinate about an event you never expected to happen – you hallucinate about an event you long for to happen. The disciples were done with Jesus. They did not expect Him to rise from the dead at all (Luke 21:24). That is why some of them got back to their old way of life – fishing. But then, they really saw Jesus! The final word of the acronym FEAT is “T” which stands for the Transformed lives of the disciples. From cowardly no-hopers to courageous non-stop witnesses they became! The message they kept pounding was that “Jesus is Alive! We are witnesses of this fact!” wherever they went. In fact, in the book of Acts alone, I counted 14 times when it is specifically recorded that the disciples were witnesses in particular of the “resurrection” of Jesus (Acts 2:24; 3:15 are just samples – you can find the rest of the references!). Eleven of the disciples of Jesus died a martyr’s death: they died for their message that

Jesus’ resurrection is the greatest proof that He is unique (I Cor 15:14, 17, 20/Rom 1:14). Jesus proved beyond a whiff of doubt that He stands alone in history as God – thanks to His resurrection. In fact, the resurrection was a necessary event in Jesus’ life. Do you know why?

The more Josh McDowell did research, the more he was convinced of Jesus’ resurrection!
Having died by His own will, He chose the time to become alive as well – a feat that proves that He is God and there is none else. All other so-called gods are all dead and gone. But not Jesus. “Not so fast,” some say. “Can you prove the resurrection of Jesus?” Here follows a brilliant chain of arguments for the resurrection of Jesus developed by Hank Hannegraaf. This chain of evidence is based on the acronym FEAT – isn’t the Jesus’

Resurrection, the greatest feat in the world?

F stands for Fact. Yes, the resurrection of Jesus isn’t a story but a certainty! A smart American student named Josh

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Jesus was alive! “Can 11 people die for a lie knowing it is a lie?” asks Josh McDowell. Impossible we all agree! The Sportstar’s tribute to the Legendary Batsmen Don Bradman went this way: “In an era when 50-plus is still the true yard stick of greatness for batsmen, Bradmen’s average of 99.94 must give us an idea of where the Don stands – alone and apart from every other cricketer!” Jesus stands “alone and apart” from every human on earth in every sense of the word! Yes, just anyone can take the place of Jesus. That is right – just anyone. All that he/she has to do is this: die and be raised from the dead after three days! It is that simple! Jokes apart, the resurrection sets Jesus alone and apart from the rest of the gods-gang!

Jesus claimed that if anyone did not confess Him before others, that is, own up an allegiance to Him and Him alone, they could not be accepted by God (Math 10:32-33). Jesus made a claim that would make one drop his jaw in amazement – He said that He would judge every human being (that would mean that all from the Mandelas to the Manishas would have to give account to him) ( Jn 5:27; Math 25:31-33).

fire called Hell (Rev 21:7, 8). So what Jesus was saying in John 8:24 is quite shocking: if anyone did not believe that He was God, the unique God, they would land up in eternal hell to be tormented forever! This was recorded by John and the other three Gospel writers. They have recorded that Jesus made the astounding claim that believing in Him and not believing in Him would make the difference between eternal life in heaven and eternal languishing in hell (Mk 8:28; Lk 12:8-12; Mt 12:41; 25:46 ). Only Jesus has made such astounding assertions and has also given us evidence to take those claims seriously. Did you know that Budda never claimed to be God? Yes, some modern godmen have made some crazy claims but they haven’t given us enough proofs to take their claims seriously like Christ! Jesus did not mince with words when He stated, “I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them” (Jn 10:7, 8). In effect , Jesus calls all the leaders of other so-called ways as “thieves and robbers”! Clear, strong words!

7 His stunning claims

No one in all of history has claimed to be and do the things Jesus did. What’s more – the points mentioned above qualify Jesus to make these stunning claims!

Dhoni has an unique combination of the good qualities of several of India’s past captains, while Jesus is the ultimate and only person with the combination of …
He presented a seemingly outrageous proposition to each member of the human race: to either come to Him in repentance and faith and accept him as Savior or face Him as a Judge and go to hell. Jesus forgave not just the sins people committed against Him in person, but also, every sin, every person may have committed against anyone Clearly, it’s something which God alone could do (Mk 2:5)! The Jewish onlookers without a whiff of doubt understood that Jesus was making Him “equal to God” (Jn 5:18). Perhaps the most stunning claim ever made by Jesus was this: “For unless you believe that I am who I am, you will die in your sins” (Jn 8:24). In the very same chapter, in verse 54, Jesus claimed to be God (The word “I am” was the name for God in the Old Testament – Ex 3:14). The ultimate Bible meaning for the word “ death” is to experience eternal conscious of punishment in a lake of

Judge of all – Mandelas to Manishas
Jesus demanded that all must follow Him (Math 4:18-22). While other leaders pointed to a way (Budda – Ahimsa or Non-Violence; Rajneesh – Sexual Freedom) Jesus claimed to be the way Himself ( Jn 14:6 ). There is a big difference you see! While most others taught that salvation is earned by good behavior Jesus taught that salvation is earned by repentance and belief on Him and what He has already done on the Cross (Jn 3:14,15,16 ). He categorically taught that salvation which is eternal life can never be earned by following a set of rules. This is in direct contradiction to what other religious big heads have taught (Math 19:26 ).

Dhoni and Christ’s Uniqueness
India’s Cricket Captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been getting a lot of praise from the press of late. These words from the pen of Satish Chapparike about Dhoni of The Sunday Indian were extra-brilliant, I thought. Here they are: In these contexts if you look into Dhoni’s captaincy, one safely concludes that he is the culmination of all the above characters (He had just explained the most prominent positive quality of each of India’s great captains from Tiger Pataudi to Anil Kumble, in that article). Like Pataudi, he was given a new dimension to the Indian team. If you look into his

The Days of Your Youth

talent pool, he is raw as Kapil was. He has Saurav’s striking aggression, not in body language but in the form of leading from the front. Dhoni never talks much, but whenever he does; he talks a lot of sense. The amazing thing is that he has Anil Kumble’s professionalism in as well. Overall Dhoni has evolved or is evolving as a perfect leader” (The Sunday Indian, 2 November 2008). These glowing words about Dhoni made me recall that in Jesus Christ there was an extraordinary culmination of characteristics of absolute purity, amazing power, astonishing prophecyfulfillment and astounding preaching to make Him the perfect God and only God!

more addition in a pantheon of gods! The disciples wrongly identified Jesus for a ghost once (Mt 14:27). For many even today Jesus is a ghost. They are scared to come close to Him. They by their life attitude (if not by their actual words) tell Him, “Jesus do not come too close to me. You will not like the things I think about, the things I enjoy seeing and the things I secretly do!” But Thomas worshipped Jesus as God ( Jn 20:28). When we go about witnessing the uniqueness of Jesus during the Christmas time or any other time, we sure must present the uniqueness of Christ. “If you try and fail you may

words, but they all contain water; Christianity, Islam and Judaism are different words but they all contain truth!” I don’t agree with him at this point. Neither would you if you have read this article with an open mind!

What do I do now?
What should you do right now if it was true that Jesus is really unique (as this article has pointed out). Two things: First you need to LEAVE. That is you need to leave your life of sin. Jesus preached, “Unless you repent, you too will perish (in everlasting hell)!” Second you need to BELIEVE. You need to believe that Jesus, God in human flesh died instead of you on the Cross, as the Bible says He did. “Yet to all those who received Him, to those who believed in His name He gave them the right to become the children of God,” we read in the Bible(Jn 1:12). When you do that, believe in Jesus with all your heart and confess your sins to Him. The sinless spotless blood of Jesus will forgive you of every sin and give you a peace which the world cannot give you ever! Why not then pray this prayer right away: “Dear Lord Jesus. I am sorry for my sins. Please forgive me. I am LEAVING my terrible sins and BELIEVING in you as my Savior. Wash me with your blood and make me a new person completely. I will serve you with all my heart hereafter. So be it!” Get yourself a copy of the Bible and read it daily. Talk to the Lord Jesus daily in prayer. Join a fellowship where the Bible is taught. Share with as many people as possible with your life and lip about the Lord Jesus.

Lunatic, Liar or Lord!
Every human being has to answer this question which the Roman Governor of Jerusalem asked the frenzied crowd which was rooting for Jesus’ death: “What do I do with Jesus…?” (Mt 27:22). You know what? That is a question every person who has set foot on this planet must answer: “What do I do with Jesus?” Jesus made it clear that He can be accepted or rejected but none can remain neutral towards Him (Jn 12:30). As C.S. Lewis categorized it captivatingly you’ve got to call Jesus by one of these three titles: Liar, Lunatic or The Only Lord! No one would have any qualms about calling Jesus a “good teacher of morals” but He has not given us that options. That as a matter of fact would amount to calling him a liar!

What is Jesus to you? A mere Gardener? A Ghost? Or God?
be disappointed. But if you don’t try at all you will be doomed!” someone said. That is particularly true when it comes to the matter of witnessing about Christ’s uniqueness. Without believing in the unique Christ people are “without hope” – doomed (Eph 2:12). But we must not leave it at that. We must graciously call for a response from the people we’ve talked to Christ about: either He is a gardener, ghost or God who alone will save them from their sins! Mohammed Ali in a live TV program after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on America said that the firemen, police and the rescue workers are the true heroes of New York. I agree with him so would any follower of Christ. Mohammed Ali went on: “A river, lake and stream are different

Gardener, Ghost or God!
Mary Magdalene saw Jesus and mistakenly thought of Him as a gardener (Jn 20:15). For many today, Jesus is just like a gardener. Just like there are many gardeners in the world, Jesus is yet another good guru – one

If you want the DVD version of the article you just read, featuring Duke’s message on the same topic, please contact us at emailduke@gmail.com 13

Dostana, Fashion and The Anti Christ!
capture the world’s imagination during the end of time. Daniel has this to say about this “Little Horn” – “This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully” (7:8). Again in verse 11 of the same chapter Daniel refers to “the boastful words the horn was speaking”. The Spirit of Reformation Study Bible explains that phrase brilliantly: “The imagery (of the speaking horn) suggests that this horn represents an individual rather than a kingdom” (p.1389). Paul refers to the same person, the Anti Christ as “the man of lawlessness” in II Thessalonians 2:3. Eugene Peterson makes that “the Anarchist, a real dog of Satan” in his contemporary translation.

-Duke Jeyaraj

The characteristics of the Anti-Christ!
Bible Scholars tells us in Daniel 11:36 to 45 about the activities of the Antichrist before Jesus returns the second time. From that passage I have learnt the following about the Anti-Christ – he will be arrogant (v. 36), he would be a terrific speaker (v. 38), he could be a homosexual (v. 37), he could be a Jew (v. 38), he will be a world-conqueror (v. 4042) and he will control world finances (v. 43). Please note at some places in the above sentence I use ‘could’ and in some places I use ‘will!’ From Daniel 8:23 I understand the Anti-Christ will be sternfaced or unsmiling! Daniel predicts what will happen to the Anti-Christ: God will allow him to have a free run ‘until the time of wrath is completed’ (v. 36). But when his end will come, no one will be able to help him (v. 45). While it is tough to guess the time period in which the Anti-Christ will sway the world according to his whims and fancies, we can be sure of his sorry, sad end!

Homosexuality, a possible trait of the Anti-Christ, is shown in positive light in some of Bollywood’s latest movies.

The Anti-Christ - has he arrived in Rome?
This particular headline in The Hindu caught my attention. It went this way, “Italy priest stabber inspired by Da Vinci Code.” “Sounds interesting!” I thought. And I continued reading. The story unfolded: “A 25-year-old man who tried to kill a priest by stabbing him in a church here (Rome) has told the police that he did so after believing himself to be the anti-Christ. Father Caino Calitri, 68, was in critical condition in hospital after he was stabbed repeatedly in the neck on Tuesday by Marco Luzi. The police found a note in one of Luzi’s pockets reading, “this is just the beginning, 666.” (The Hindu, September 25, 2008).

Oozing Arrogance!
Paul goes on to talk about his most distasteful character which is his cockiness, this way: “And he will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God” (II Thess 2:4). Yes, the Anti-Christ will ooze with arrogance!

Daniel gives us details about the Anti-Christ!
Here was a self-proclaimed anti-Christ! Who then is the actual anti-Christ? This is the question that boggles the mind and bothers the heart of many followers of Bible prophecy. In the book of Daniel in the Bible we have some clues about the identity of the Anti-Christ. Shall I share what I gathered?

Who’s The Anti- Christ?
There has been a lot of discussion about who the Anti-Christ is or could be. And there have also been plenty of deliberations about when he would arrive in the world scene. And there are those who say that he already has. I would not like to get into that though. Scripture simply does not give these topics enough space or clarity for us to be dogmatic or sure about it. But what we can be sure of is this: the Anti-Christ will come during the last days of History. What I am more interested in at this point in time is that we must start being anti-AntiChrist! Confused? Baffled?! We can be anti-Anti-Christ when we are humble people, for pride and arrogance will be hallmarks of Anti-Christ as both Daniel and Paul have so clearly pointed out!

Dostana, Fashion and The Anti-Christ!
We must keep examining our life to check if we have any qualities of the Anti-Christ: Are we arrogant? Do we use our God-given communication skills to flatter people and advance our selfish goals? Do we think, ‘being gay is okay’ like some characters in present-day movies like Dostana and Fashion? Do we love money? Are we too serious, too sober, too stingy when it comes to smiling?! You see - It is more important to flush out from our lives the characteristics of the Anti-Christ and become more Christ-like than spend all our time trying to figure out who he is or when exactly he will show-up!

The speaking horn!
Daniel made the first Bible reference to the rise of the anti-Christ according to some Bible Scholars. He did it in Daniel 7:8. “The Little Horn” he referred to here is the Anti-Christ, an evil ruler who will

The Days of Your Youth

Wishing you a smashing year of non-stop Scripture study

- Duke Jeyaraj

it “daily” (Duet 17:18-20). In other words, God wanted the leaders of His people to be regular readers of His Word which was their leadership manual! You may say, “I am not a king of Israel!” But do you know that if you are a believer, God, the King of kings sees you as a king? Has what Peter written in his epistle, that we are “a royal priesthood” slipped from your mind? (I Pt 2:9). I hope not. If we are kings in God’s eyes, and He wants to use us in leadership positions in His Kingdom, we must fulfill what He expects from His little kings all the days of their life - read his written Word, the Bible!

Would you take a vow to read through the Bible fully in 2009?
Another ‘New Year’ is about to dawn. I am sure you are hoping it would be a “prosperous New Year”. You are dreaming that it would be a “successful New Year”, correct? Ask Joshua. He would tell that it is imperative to meditate on the “ book of the Law”, the Bible, if we put that in our context, day and night, to become “prosperous” and “successful” – in God’s eyes ( Josh 1:8). One of the wisest things to do in the upcoming year is to read the entire Bible within that year. In what is known as the greatest poem devoted to the Bible and its greatness, Psalm 119, we read, ‘‘Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me”.(vs 98) Yes it is true when God’s Commandments (read, “The Bible”) is ever with us (shall we make that “is read everyday of the fresh year” to begin with) we would be wiser than our enemies. Not just our enemies, even our teachers - the very next verse tells us! That apart, we will also find “light to our path” through out the year - won’t we? (Ps 119:105). Three basic questions are commonly asked when the topic of daily Bible reading comes up. They are : 1. 2. Does the Bible teach us that we should read it daily? Does the Bible teach that we should read all of it (i.e. all the 66 books of the Bible)? What version of the Bible can I choose to read?

Seven times a day!
The Law-lover of Psalm 119 says that he would praise God for His righteous Laws seven times a day (Psa 119:164). To be able to do that, don’t you think he would have a section of his Bible (which was just the Law books of the Old Testament) at least once a day?

Tooth-decay Vs Truth-decay!
The example of the Berean believers challenges us to read our Bibles daily. After Paul preached to them, they went back home and “ daily” examined the Scriptures to check if what they heard from Paul was supported by the Scriptures (Acts 17:11). By doing this, the Bible says they became “nobler” than the believers in Thessalonica. They received an appreciation for the hunger they showed for the truth. Do you want to earn the “noble” tag from the Bible? The further you keep yourself from the Bible, the further you will be away from the truth. Forgetting to

3.

Let me answer the first question: Does the Bible teach us to read it daily? - Of course!

Leaders to Be Readers!
The command for the Kings of Israel was that he should keep for himself a copy of the Laws of Moses and read

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brush your teeth everyday may cause tooth-decay. But you know what is worse? Forgetting to study your Bible the source of all truth worth knowing on this planet. It will cause truth-decay in your life! Then we must read our Bibles daily like the Bereans did!

These four passages - one from Deuteronomy, one from Acts, one from Psalms and one from Job - teach us that it is imperative that we read the Bible each waking day of our lives!

Now, for the second question...
Now we will answer the second question “Does the Bible teach us that we must read all of it?” Yes - of course!

the women, and the little ones, and the sojourners who lived among them (Josh 8:35).’ The lesson here is loud and clear: If every single word of Goddictated Laws of Moses had to be read, we too, must read every single word of every single Bible book!

No Bible - No Breakfast!
In the Bible we read about a man who could testify, I have not departed from the commands of His (God’s) lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread (Job 23:12 NIV ). Yes, I am referring to the ancient patriarch Job. The Bible was more important to Him than “daily bread”! In other words, the Bible was more important to him than breakfast, lunch and dinner! Shall we resolve, being challenged by Job’s example, that even if we have to miss our breakfast or lunch or dinner we will not miss our Bible meditation, each day? Such a rigorous and regular habit of devouring God’s Word on a daily basis certainly helped Job. This steady diet of the Scriptures increased his appetite to be holy and made him holy, so much so that he could say, I made a solemn pact with myself never to undress a girl with my eyes (Job 31:1 Peterson Version).

Let not your eye miss even a single “i” ....
Jesus preached that while it was possible for heaven and earth to disappear, it was not possible even for a “dot” or an “iota” (ESV) or “the smallest detail” (NLT) or “the smallest letter” or “one little hook” (Amplified) or “the smallest stroke”(NASB) or “a period or a comma” (CEV), “one jot or one title” (KJV) or the “smallest part of a letter” (NCV), even one “i” (Wycliffe NT) to disappear from the Law (read “the Bible”) until “all” of it was “accomplished” (Math 5:18). So, isn’t that a motivation for us to read the entire Bible without even missing an “i”?! It is - for me! So I resolved my eye would not even miss even a single “i” of the Bible text while I read it!

Read all of it!

Ready to read the Bible without missing even an “i”?
Hear what Paul penned in II Timothy 3:16: All Scripture is Godbreathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. Notice that Paul uses the word “all” here. Yes, “all” of Scripture is God-breathed and so we must read all of it! Yes, we must read each of the 66 books of the Bible! Paul must have read every part of the Bible he had, the Old Testament. How can I say that? I can say that after reading Romans 10:18-20. He quotes from three different Bible books from three different sections of the Bible (the Law section, the Poetic Section, the Prophetic section) in a span of just three verses!

John’s warning!
All-alone in the Isle of Patmos, John possibly had just the Word of God and the manifest presence of God for company. He signs off from the book he wrote in that circumstance, the book of Revelation, saying, “If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book!” (Rev 22:19). What was John trying to convey here? Was he trying to imply that a page from the Bible must never be torn? Billy Graham, in his autobiography, Just As I Am, talks about how, he, at times, would take a Bible, scissor some passages from it and paste it onto his sermon file, carry it to the pulpit and preach from it directly during meetings that lasted

Not a job, but his joy!
Read Job 23:12 again! This verse says that Job “treasured” the words of God, did you notice? For Job, Bible meditation was not a job - it was a joy! It was not a chore - it was an encore! Won’t you learn from his example?! Would you “run” to your Bible to meditate on it, with enthusiasm each day, instead of dragging your feet in disinterest? Will you jump up from your bed, each day, to land in your Bible so that you can swim deep in it, every morning?!

Every Word, read!
With all of Israel standing to hear him, Joshua, read both the blessings as well as the curses found in the book of the Law ( Josh 8:33, 34). We further read‘There was not a word of all that Moses commanded that Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, and

The Days of Your Youth

for many days. Was Billy Graham wrong when he did that – according to John in Revelation 22:19? I do not believe so. What John was implying here, I believe, is this: we must never stubbornly leave out sections from the Bible or leave out sections even from difficult-to-grasp books like the book of Revelation, when we sit to read it during the course of our lifetime! That would be equivalent to “taking away words from the book of this prophecy!” This is how one preacher helped me see that passage!

Reading every bit of the Holy Writ!
Paul, Joshua, Jesus and John as we have just seen, motivate us to read every part, every book, every verse, every word, every letter, and every part of the letter of the Bible! There could be portions of the Bible you have never touched. There could be sections of the Holy Writ that you haven’t read one bit! In the upcoming year, you can change that!

becomes as enjoyably lip-smacking as biting into a six-layered butterjam-mayonnaise-cheese-meat stuffed sandwich. The six sections of the Bible are as follows: The books Genesis to Esther make up the Old Testament History books section; the books Job to Song of Songs make up the Old Testament Poetic Section; the books Isaiah to Malachi make up the Old Testament Prophetic Section. Cross over to the New Testament and you will find two more sections: the New Testament History Section (Mathew to Acts) and the New Testament Letters Section (Romans to Revelation). Read one chapter each day from each section. This way, you will get to read six different chapters of the Bible every day. Did you know that this way you would have read the whole Bible once and the New Testament twice in the whole year?! “WOW!” You could read three chapters in the morning after you get up and three before you go to sleep. The variety in the material you read will spice up your interest to read and keep at it. Highlight at least one verse from each chapter you read that spoke to you the loudest. That way it is easy to keep track where you stopped in each Scripture section. Use a color that you have not used so far on your Bible to avoid confusion with previously colored verses. In case you fall behind on your Bible reading you can catch up during your weekend.

word translation, go for the English Standard Version (ESV) - the latest and perhaps the best addition to the short list of Bible versions produced with this kept in mind. If you want to read the Bible in the language we use today, go for The Message - a Bible translation done entirely by Canadian Pastor, Eugene Peterson. If you want a balance between both, go for the New Living Translation (NLT) of the Bible. Reading the Bible in a version you have not read before makes your Bible-reading more interesting than you can ever imagine! But there are many more good translations of the Bible out there in the crowded world of English Bible Versions. Go to www.BibleGateway.com and on this very resourceful site, you will find it is possible to read the Bible in all the major English versions! Among the many online Bible websites out there, the site www.esv.org is perhaps the best one. You can search Bible verses and phrases and get them listed before your eyes book by book at amazing speed. With these basic questions answered, are you now, getting ready for a smashing year of non-stop Scripture Study?!

The six-layered sandwich method
It has been my practice, to read one chapter each from each section of the Bible for many years now. And, trust me; I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the Bible this way. My Bible-reading

The Money You Sent, Spent This Way
As the Lord moved the hearts of the readers of this magazine (all of them, Indians), they sent in money for the ministry carried out by Duke Jeyaraj, the founder of this magazine. It is only fitting, then, the details how the money so sent in, was spent, is revealed. Here are the relevant details: Printing Expenses – Rs.12,000/-; Internet charges – Rs.1000/-; Communication Charges – Rs.2000/-; Refreshments while on duty – Rs. 1000/; Local Transport Charges – Rs. 1000/-; Dispatch Charges – Rs. 5300/-; Offerings given to other ministries – Rs.4500/-; Raw Material for this issue – Rs.1500/-; Book and CD production – Rs.3000/-; Office cum Residence Rent – Rs. 3500/-; Tract Creation and Distribution – Rs.200/- Grand Total – Rs.35,000/---

The third question:
Now let us head for the third and final question: What version of the Bible can I use to read the Bible?

ESV, The Message, NLT - my pick!
Try the six-layered method of Bible reading and you will enjoy it!
The answer to this depends on you and what you like. If you want to read the Bible in a very literal word-for-

17

From the sea, when we did not see!
-Duke Jeyaraj

Joshua and the Mumbaibound terrorists
After 9/11 we heavily guarded our airports and imposed several security checks. But the 26/11 terrorists came took a path we did not expect - the sea route. They came from in such a way that we simply did not see them coming. “At least 10 young men, aged between 20 and 23 years, carrying backpacks and bags, according to sources in the Mumbai police, coastguard, and commandos,” hijacked a private fishing trawler to inch close to Mumbai with a deadly plan (Source: www.bbc.com). More over, they came at a time when we were busy doing other trivial things - they touched Mumbai shores on the night when India was busy watching the dying minutes of an IndiaEngland Day-Night game at Cuttack, didn’t they?
The strategy of the terrorists reminded me of the strategy of Commander Joshua when his nation, Israel, battled the city called Ai. Eugene Peterson describes it for us in contemporary English: Joshua and all Israel let themselves be chased; they ran toward the wilderness. Everybody in the city was called to the chase. They pursued Joshua and were led away from the city. There wasn’t a soul left in Ai or Bethel who wasn’t out there chasing after Israel. The city was left empty and undefended as they were chasing Israel down. Then God spoke to Joshua: “Stretch out the javelin in your hand toward Ai—I’m giving it to you.” Joshua stretched out the javelin in his hand toward Ai. At the signal the men in ambush sprang to their feet, ran to the city, took it, and quickly had it up in flames.

The men of Ai looked back and, oh! saw the city going up in smoke. They found themselves trapped with nowhere to run. The army on the run toward the wilderness did an about-face—Joshua and all Israel, seeing that the ambush had taken the city, saw it going up in smoke, turned and attacked the men of Ai. Then the men in the ambush poured out of The events of 26/11 reminds us of a Bible Passage on the city. The men of the Second Coming of Jesus - Mark 13:35-36 Ai were caught in the when he started marrying many middle with Israelites on women, something that God did not both sides—a real massacre. And not want the kings of Israel to do. But a single survivor. Except for the king he preferred to have not noticed it of Ai; they took him alive and brought (I Chron 3:1-9; II Sam 5:13). Before him to Joshua. ( Josh 8:15-23). he horrendously planned to murder a man whose wife he had a torrid affair Don’t be blind to with, he went head-over-heels to marry a woman whose husband was killed by spiritual danger! the Lord, remember (I Sam 25:39)? There is a spiritual lesson for us here: Noah was a preacher of righteousness, our enemies will attack us in weak sure enough (II Pet 2:5). But he was areas of our life at a time we do not literally caught with his pants down, expect him to! That is why Paul wrote: one fine day. He was boozing in the ‘Keep your eyes open for spiritual danger; privacy of his tent! He was so drunk stand true to the Lord!’ (I Cor 16:13, that he disrobed himself only to be Living Bible). seen in that state by one of his kids. These examples from the Bible warn us People who did not that we must keep our spiritual senses sensitive to constant dangers coming keep their eyes open! to our spiritual life. Sins “creep” on us - they generally do not “leap” on us, We read about people in the Bible someone observed! who did not keep their eyes open to spiritual danger. Samson, though full of the Holy Spirit, did not keep his eyes Caught with pants down! open to see the sin of lust lurking into his life. Here was a “He-man” with Paul wrote, ‘But our citizenship is in a “she” weakness. The sin of lust was heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior slowly but surely moving into David’s from there, the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil life much before the Bathsheba affair, 3:20).’ Instead of “eagerly awaiting”

The Days of Your Youth

our Savior’s return, if we doze off in our spiritual lives we will be in for a shock. “Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!” - those are the words of Jesus Himself (Rev 16:15). When one person on CNN-IBN observed that the terrorists caught Mumbaikars with their pants down, I was thinking of this verse: Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house (Jesus, in the context of this passage) will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning—lest he come suddenly and find you asleep (Mark 13:35-36 ). There was no point guarding just our airports from the infiltrating terrorists. They can always find another route, and come at a time when we are totally

engrossed with something else, as they so tellingly showed Mumbai on 26 November 2008.

Ready now, not ready, a little later!
There is no point being ready for the coming of Jesus on a Saturday morning, only to booze away to glory on the same night. It is absolutely foolish to be ready for Jesus’ return on a Sunday morning, only to watch porn later that afternoon when no one is at home. We must be ready always to go and meet God at His Judgment seat. We must be ready much more so, since the real possibility of terror at any time and at any place has opened the possibility of instant death for anyone, at anytime and at any place. A terrorist can open fire on you when you are waiting to catch a train in the railway station. A terrorist can shoot you when you are

taking care of your sick relative in a hospital. A terrorist can blow your head off when you are about to check into a five-star hotel or waiting to eat a lipsmacking dinner in a restaurant. The events on November 26th, 2008, have shown us that in a chilling fashion.

Too late!
So we must be ready for death and judgment thereafter at any waking moment in our lives. We must keep short accounts with God. If we fall, we must rush to Him for forgiveness and be reconciled immediately. Otherwise it could be too late. When we die in a state of stubborn sinfulness, after death, there is no chance of salvation but only condemnation (Heb 9:27). It becomes too late to accept Jesus then! We must not delay our getting right with our Maker! The lesson of 26/11 is that simple: “Don’t wait till the 11th hour to repent, you can die at 10:59!”

Want to go with Obama or Jesus?

-Duke Jeyaraj

“All things are possible!” (Math 19:26 ). Not only that. The Bible explicitly tells us that there are things that are not possible anywhere, anytime. For example, in the Bible, we read, “For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Heb 10:4). The main message of the Bible-book of Hebrews is that only the blood of Jesus can take away sins - nothing or no one else can! I am not sure if Barack agrees with that Bible truth, though he is supposedly a Christian. He reportedly carries a locket of a Hindu god, Hanuman (according to a piece in Outlook, 17 November 2008). Barack may not be able to take Jesus at His word when He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life! No one comes to the Father except through me”(Jn14:6). Quite possibly, Barack does believe it is possible to be saved and find purpose in life without Jesus. And that isn’t true. There is no space or scope in this article to argue why Jesus alone can save and give purpose to life. That is argued persuasively elsewhere in this very same magazine. But I sure can say that this is true! You can take your pick, whom do you want to believe - Barack or Jesus?! I will go with Jesus! What about you?

In what was the most watched speech on Youtube.com of late, Barack Obama, the president-elect of the United States of America was in his element. In his victory speech at Chicago on November 4, 2008 he said, “If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer!” And the crowd roared when they heard that. No doubt this was orator Obama at his very best. I agree that came from a man with a silver tongue. But I simply could not agree Obama’s assertion, “That America is a place where all things are possible!” The reason being the Bible tells me that only with God,

19

The Smell of Neem to the Fragrance of the Holy Spirit
The story of Priya Solbrekken in her own words After the dream, came a question….
Startled by the dream I woke up and knelt down to pray. In the dream I saw a huge image of a goddess with its head reaching up to the ceiling of my room. I heard a voice asking me, “My daughter why have you moved away from me?” “God I shouldn’t be having such dreams. Why Lord do I get such dreams?,” I asked with tears rolling in my eyes. Suddenly I saw a huge white cloak envelop me, instantly I felt a strange peace fill my mind. This was a few years after I accepted the Lord as my Savior. Today, When I think about the Lord…How he saved me, how he raised me…How he filled me with the Holy Ghost…How he healed me to the utmost…I feel like shouting “Halleluah, thank you Jesus…..!”

Priya with her husband Solbrekken. Though she was born in a staunch Hindu family, Priya found the Lord Jesus as her Savior!
Some of my close friends called me over to sprinkle holy water on them when they fell ill, thinking perhaps I had something divine in me. ONLY way and truth….however the seed was surely sown.

The seed sown….
I never knew then, that the Lord had set me apart for Him. I went to a Catholic school where all around me were people abounding in selflessness. Nobody seemed to really care for themselves; all they cared for was the children they served. As I began to grow up I asked myself, “Could such people really exist on the planet? Where do these people derive their motivation and I found that their inspiration is from the love of Jesus. Since then I began collecting more information about the personality of Jesus. I set Him as my role model and began to admire His nature and mould my character. But I was never convinced that Jesus is the

Jesus, in my dream….
With service as my passion, I entered a Nursing College. I was always remembered in college for the big ‘Pottu’ on my forehead and my regular temple visits. One Easter night, I had a dream of stars falling from the sky directly on me. The stars were glimmering like gold and beside the stars was the image of Jesus dressed in white robes with splendor and majesty. The dream is vivid in my memory even today. But when I awoke, I brushed it aside saying dreams are just a reflection of our subconscious mind. I could never be truly convinced until I personally experienced something radical, something dramatic.

Adorable parents, the smell of Neem….
As I recall my faith in my pagan religion, I realize how deeply grounded I was in my beliefs. I was fortunate enough to have adorable parents who showered me with love and care. Ever since I was a little girl, I was a staunch devotee of my two favorite idols. My dad awoke at 4:00 am every day and performed his Hindu rituals for over an hour. I developed a strong relationship with my idols. The relationship grew so strong, that at one point of time my fingers used to smell of Neem even though I washed them several times.

The Days of Your Youth

“No other gods, but Me!”
The dramatic change happened when I was at Trishur, Kerela working on my Nursing exams. I got a roommate who was a Christian. She had a pleasing nature that attracted me. Though she never forced me to pray, I joined her in prayers but continued my temple visits too. Beginning to read my Bible, for the next few days, every time I turned my Bible I bumped into Exodus 20:35, “You shall have no other Gods before me…You shall not bow down to idols”. “No this is not right”, I told myself,I love my gods as much as I loved Jesus and I should never abandon them for any other God. But then the unthinkable happened. I went to bed that night and awoke at 3:00 am to attend my ailing friend who shared my name, Priya. My eyes opened to see the whole room lit up with a brightness that exceeded a 1000 Watts light bulb. I was confused, “God is that you?” Numerous questions boggled my mind but amidst them a divine peace wrapped my heart like a blanket.

deeper I grew in my relationship with Him. My friend Priya and I developed a habit of praying at 3:00 every morning, which had a great impact in my faith. The following month, I moved to Delhi to work with the Escorts Hospital. My faith grew stronger as the Lord granted whatever I asked for and he anointed me with the Holy Spirit. My heart was overwhelmed with happiness like a girl who found her first true love.

I was made to love You …I was made to find You …I was made just for You I was made to adore You… Those convictions swept over my soul following that unforgettable encounter I had with the Holy Spirit.

boarded the train. I was overjoyed that within a few days I would be flying to a new country, the dream of millions. As the train approached Agra station, I bent over to look for my bag that contained my Certificates and Passport, but alas it wasn’t there. I searched the entire compartment in vain. The bag that had my Passport, VISA, all my Original Certificates was missing. Tears rolled in my eyes, my dreams lay shattered. I had just begun my walk with the Lord and this incident came as a blow on my head. I felt my faith shaken. I alighted at Agra and took another train back to Delhi. My eyes were flowing with tears during the whole journey. I filed a complaint with all three railway stations that I had boarded enroute and enquired all the people that I encountered. The search continued for three days but in vain. I came back to my friends room, dejected, tired without any hope. My heart was in agony scuffled with thousands of questions “Why Lord, did you permit this to me?” I asked as I went to bed.

My Bag with the US VISA inside, lost!
In the next couple of weeks I was overjoyed when I got my US VISA. There was no turning back. I decided to make my commitment with the Lord and be baptized. I made arrangements to be baptized in Tamil Nadu and packed my bags to leave Delhi once for all as my contract with the hospital was over. I took an auto to the Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station and

Noisy Church, yet a strange new calm
It was December 31st 2002 when I first accompanied my friends to a Pentecostal church. The entire service seemed so strange to me that I went to a room attached to the worship hall and slept. I came back home that morning with mixed feelings. Though I was critical of the noise in the church, there was some inner peace that I had never experienced before and I realized a special touch of love in that place.

The Bag was back!
At around 3:00 am, I felt somebody waking me up to pray. I sat on my bed and cried in tears, “God I desperately need a miracle. I have done my best

Like a girl who found her first true love!
My relationship with God began to grow daily. Being superficial in my relationship was the last thing on my mind. The closer I went to God, the

Jesus helped Priya to get back her lost US Visa! 21

and this is it”. The same day at 7:00am, my friend received a call from an auto driver who had found my Certificates. My joy knew no bounds. I felt like jumping up to heaven and say, ‘Father I love you’. I was thoroughly convinced that nothing is impossible with God.

opened my eyes to a whole new realm of prayer. He spoke on choosing a life partner and how to be specific in prayer. I came back home and enlisted all the characters that I desired in my spouse and wrote them like a letter to my father and prayed everyday over those points.

in my husband, just as I had requested God, not a single attribute differing from my written petition.

Serving God together in the US!
My husband moved to the US within a few months and our life has been blessed beyond words. Each day feels like a marvelous art painted by the hands of our Father and gifted to us. The Lord has been opening doors for the ministry here. The Lord is using us as witnesses in the Church and in the neighborhood. My husband serves as the Worship leader and an Assistant Pastor in the Church and we also have a weekly prayer meeting in our neighborhood. There is nothing more for me to ask from the Lord rather than surrender ourselves as a living sacrifice for his kingdom. As for me and my house we will continue to serve the Lord (Josh 23:15).

God, I want a guy with these characteristics….
I was baptized and later moved to the US. I was fortunate to get a very good church in Houston. As the years rolled by, I was praying earnestly for my marriage. Though my mom had accepted Christ by then, I realised it wouldn’t be easy to convince my orthodox Hindu family that I wanted to marry a Christian. Several proposals followed but I couldn’t sense the Lord’s hand in any of them. Three years rolled by but I hadn’t got my answer. During that time, I attended a convention at Dallas where I heard a powerful message by Rev.Paul Yongi Cho, the renowned Pastor. The message

Meeting the man of my dreams….
Within a few months, I discovered a profile that I was drawn to. Little did I know that he would turn out to be my beloved husband one day. I initiated contact and began praying to see if it was the Lord’s will. In the next month all fell into place so perfectly. I was thoroughly convinced that this was the person I would spend my life with. I came back to India to be united in Marriage to Solbrekken, the man of my dreams. I am so delighted to become the daughter of Missionary parents whose zeal for Lord still mesmerizes me. I was amazed to see every attribute

Living Streams – Is That You?
- Abhimanue Vonteddu

Are you a Living Stream through which Jesus can flow?
Science says around 90% of the human body is made up of water. Not a day a passes without you and I drinking water. Okay - before you strangle me, I was only trying to say, water is an essential part of our life and I think I made the point quite fine. The Bible in John 7:38 says that rivers of Living waters will flow through all those who go to Jesus to quench their thirst. Now, if you look at that verse real close, the

word ‘streams’ was used. Now, can you imagine the size of a single stream! But Jesus was talking about ‘streams’ (plural) here! And the other powerful word used in this verse was LIVING. Now that’s really cool isn’t it? You call something living, when it has LIFE in it, right? However we know for a fact that water does not have life in it. The Lord, here, was obviously talking about the ability of the water in a stream to move swiftly. Living beings can move, correct?! And our Lord doesn’t want us to stop after we have received a blessing from Him. He wants us, in turn, to become a stream, through which, His blessing will flow to others. We must not just quench our thirst and forget about the others. Have you not come across people, who just walked up to you and said, “Thank you so much for being my friend. It’s so comforting to have you around!” If haven’t had this happen to you, then perhaps, it is quite possible, you have not been a blessing to others as John 7:38 teaches. The very reason you are placed, wherever you are placed, is because, the Lord wants you to be a blessing! The Days of Your Youth

I, the Convert
My conversion was not a change of religion; it was a change of heart writes Anand Mahadevan, an Editor with the Outlook Group

and we have given both distinctly Hindu names. In fact, many of my colleagues and acquaintances who may happen to read this column are likely to be surprised. They have no inkling about my faith, for I generally don’t go about announcing it. But if someone does ask me the reason behind the joy and hope that is everpresent in my life, I am always delighted to share it with them. I write this piece to make one point— that my conversion was not a change of religion but a change of heart. To explain this, I need to go back to my childhood in Chennai, similar to that of so many other Tamil Brahmin boys like me. My grandfather, every bit the virtuous priest, had enormous influence over me. I absolutely adored him and as a toddler, always clung to him. He too loved me. There was no wish of mine that he would not rush to fulfil. But even in my early, formative years I was unable to relate to the religion he fervently practiced. Later, in my school days, I once spent my summer holidays with him in Trichy. Memories of dawn walks with him, for the ritualistic dip in the Cauvery river, cow in tow, are still fresh in my memory. I learnt many shlokas, some of which I still remember. But I never understood any of it and none of it helped me connect with God. When I was 19, a Christian friend with whom I used to play cricket invited me to his house for prayer. If he had invited me to a pub, or party, I would have gone too. At his home, he and his sister prayed for me. It was a simple yet delightful conversation with God that lasted all of five minutes. I don’t remember it verbatim, but they articulated a prayer of blessing on my life, future, career and family. It was a simple affair—no miracles, no angels visiting. All they did was utter a deep human cry out to the creator God and His only son Jesus Christ. When they said Amen, I felt in my heart a desire to follow Jesus.

It was a faith encounter with God that I shall not even attempt to understand, rationalise or explain. I simply accept it. It is my faith. It is what I choose to believe. That evening I did not change my religion, for in reality I had none. Hinduism was my identity, not my religion. It still is. The Christianity I acquired that evening is not a religion. On the contrary, it is an intensely intimate relationship with Jesus. Over the past fifteen years, I have come to know this Jesus even closer. I know Him as the pure and sinless Son of a Holy God. And I know Him as a dear friend to whom Ipray and talk to every day—about my career, my dreams, successes, failures, finances and even my sexuality. If I read a good book, watch a good movie (Rock On is terrific, mate), or eat a good meal at a new restaurant, I would naturally tell my friends about it. In Jesus, I have discovered a truly amazing friend, guide, leader, saviour and God. How can I not tell all my friends about Him? And if anyone does listen and he too comes to believe in Jesus, I am delighted. The world would call it a conversion; I call it a change of heart, like mine. But I would never force anyone to listen to me, leave alone financially induce, coerce or con him into believing. That to me is pointless and against the very grain of my faith. But I do have a constitutional right to practice my faith and to preach it without deception, force or bribery. It pains to see such basic rights of mankind being cruelly violated every day in this great Hindu nation. (Courtesy: Outlook, October 27, 2008).

The editor of Outlook Business, a Tamil Brahmin, talks about his encounter with Christ!
I was born a Brahmin and am the grandson of a priest whom I dearly loved. I am educated and my current professional standing indicates that I am reasonably intelligent. I am also affluent and my income would put me distinctly in the upper middle class bracket. I guess that would make me high-caste, rich and smart. In other words, I am not a tribal, or poor or dim-witted. And yet, I chose to become a follower of Jesus Christ. The world would call me a convert to Christianity. I have no problems with that, though I see my faith more as a relationship with God through Jesus Christ than as a religion. And for the record, I can truthfully claim that no one financially induced or threatened or deceived me into converting to Christianity. I am fiercely proud of my national identity as an Indian and I am completely at peace with my cultural identity as a Hindu. I retain the name my parents gave me. My wife, who also shares my faith, continues to go by her Hindu name. We have two children

Anand’s written testimony reached millions of OUTLOOK’s readers, worldwide. Why not write your testimony and mass e-mail it to your friends? 23

S. R. Iyer’s Outlook magazine letter & Arundhati Roy’s brilliant point!
In response to the article of Anand Mahadevan which you have just read in the previous page, Outlook Magazine received numerous letters some of which were published in its 10 November issue. One such letter, by S. R. Iyer from Greensboro, United States, made me go tongue-in-cheek. Here are parts of it: .... So, I for one will call God and worship him the way my forefathers have done for thousands of years. There lies my true identity, and to be anything else would be a lie. The reason why this letter writer rejects the claims of Jesus not hard to decipher: his forefathers did not believe in Jesus. Christianity came from another country, from another culture. So he prefers to dump its unique claims. His point of view made me recall lines from the article of Arundhati Roy, the Booker Prize winner author whose essays Outlook publishes time to time. I am referring to her article, “The End of Imagination” published in Outlook, August 3, 1998. In this essay, Arundhati argues persuasively why India should sign the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) which bans Nuclear Testing totally. She was basically trying to say, “Don’t oppose the CTBT just because it is put forth by the Western Nations or the Americans!” To clinch her argument she uses biting sarcasm: The jeering, hooting young men who battered down the Babri Masjid are the same ones whose pictures appeared in the papers in the days that followed the nuclear tests. They were on the streets, celebrating India’s nuclear bomb and simultaneously “condemning Western Culture” by emptying crates of Coke

-Duke Jeyaraj

they make an exception there? They could put it down in the column marked “Universal”? (Only essential commodities will be included here. No music, art or literature.) Needless to say, sending your children to university in the US, and rushing there yourself to have your prostate operated upon will be a cognisable offence. It will be a long, long list. It would take years of work. I could not use a computer because that wouldn’t be very authentic of me, would it? Point well made Arundhati! Are you smiling? Do you see our doublestandards here? We will accept things like Chillies, Coffee, Cricket and Hospitals practising Western Medicine even though they first came to us from other countries. But what makes hesitate when it comes to accepting matters of belief and faith, if they came from other countries? If Einstein’s E equals M multiplied by C square is true, it would be true anywhere correct? Jesus’ claims to be the Truth is applicable everywhere or nowhere! If Jesus is who He is, westerness is beside the point, as someone smartly pointed out! It does not matter if our forefathers followed or worshipped Jesus or not. The question we must ask is this: Was Jesus speaking the truth when He claimed to be the only Way to Heaven, Peace and Fulfilment? If He was (and He has given us a pack of proofs to help us take His claims seriously like His sinless life) we must come to Him, no matter what or who our forefathers worshipped!

A point made in an Arundhati Roy’s essay endorses belief on Christ
and Pepsi into public drains. I’m a little baffled by their logic: Coke is Western Culture, but the nuclear bomb is an old Indian tradition? .... For the rest, I could compile a practical list of things to ban and buildings to break. It’ ll need some research, but off the top of my head here are a few suggestions. They could begin by banning a number of ingredients from our cuisine: chillies (Mexico), tomatoes (Peru), potatoes (Bolivia), coffee (Morocco), tea, white sugar, cinnamon (China) . . . they could then move into recipes. Tea with milk and sugar, for instance (Britain). Smoking will be out of the question. Tobacco came from North America. Cricket, English and Democracy should be forbidden. Either kabaddi or khokho could replace cricket. I don’t want to start a riot, so I hesitate to suggest a replacement for English. (Italian? It has found its way to us via a kinder route: marriage, not imperialism.) All hospitals in which western medicine is practised or prescribed should be shut down. All national newspapers discontinued. The railways dismantled. Airports closed. And what about our newest toy - the mobile phone? Can we live without it, or shall I suggest that

Duke’s tract, Bubbly Outside, Yet Empty Inside, is a good tract to give modern youth. Contact us, if you want it. The Days of Your Youth

In the months of October and November, the Lord used us in his Vineyard, very graciously. Let me give you the details so that you can join in giving God the praise.

Motivating Corporates to plunder Hell, in their Dell!
his listeners with his topic- “If Nehemiah were in Nippuna...” In yet another message, given on yet another Sunday, Duke used the character of Paul to challenge his hearers with the message titled “What motivated a Tent-maker to become a Soul-winner!” The corporates in that church were motivated to plunder hell in their “Dell” (the corporate company some of them worked for) through life and lips. A powerful time of commitment followed. These two talks, along with two other talks that Duke gave to a largely corporate crowd are available in one MP3 CD. Contact us at +91-9441352433 for details.

- G-4 Mission ministry report by Evangelin Duke

in an interesting and inspiring way. Only when we get back to the Bible, we will see personal and church revival - this conviction drives us to have studies like these!

After your miracle…
About 400 people were there, eager to listen to God’s Word. Where? - The spacious prayer hall of the Jesus Calls premises in Secunderabad. Duke was given the mike after a warm welcome by Bro. Bhushnam. Duke’s topic was differently titled, “After your miracle...” He challenged the listeners with what God expected them to do following a miracle they received. A senior couple came forward to testify how that message was the need of the hour. Duke spent time praying for sick. We believe that apologetics (the challenge for the mind), Bible-teaching (the challenge for the soul) and miracles (the challenge for the body) must be integrated into our ministry. We have a long way to go in this regard. And we are fasting and praying for this to happen!

Birthday bash turned to a Gospel Meeting!
On November 12, our daughter Datasha celebrated her first birthday. On the roof of our home we called for a meeting. We invited our neighbors from different faiths to be part of that meeting apart from our family and ministry friends. The number swelled to 45. In that meeting Duke wrapped the miraculous story of her birth with the Gospel. Dr. Nallaraj Edward and his wife too shared the Gospel through song and through Bible verses.

Zechariah and Haggai studied
Duke led two practical summary Bible Studies for people from different churches on two Bible books, Haggai and Zechariah at the home of Bro. Christopher at Dr. A. S. Rao Nagar, Hyderabad. He used the names of the prophets who wrote these books as acronyms to summarize their message

Tracts Distribution
Duke wrote the story of Datasha’s miracle birth in the form a Gospel tract and invited people who came to take it. We distributed what was left to couples who were coming in and

Serving the Bible in a kitchen!
This meeting took place in a restaurant. Wong’s kitchen they call it. It is in Hitec city, Hyderabad. Duke was there upon the invitation of Pastor Chaitanya, Duke’s Bible College room-mate, to bring God’s word for one Sunday each in October and November. Duke’s messages challenged the congregation that met in Wong’s Kitchen - a congregation full of corporate crowd. In one message, Duke used the character of Nehemiah to challenge

Three of this magazine’s volunteers joined in Datasha’s birthday party which was turned into an evangelistic event! 25

out of Anu Test Tube Baby Centre in Hyderabad - the most talkedabout Test Tube Baby Centre in Andhra Pradesh. Talking about tracts distribution, Duke distributed our other Gospel tract for the Google Generation, Bubbly Outside, Yet Empty Inside, to the young corporate employees of Infosys. They were waiting for their company bus, the same way Dale, our little son, was waiting for his School bus in the main road near our home in A. S. Rao Nagar. Do we look for changes to tell others about Jesus when we are waiting somewhere doing nothing? On December 1, 2008, World AIDS Day, Duke distributed yet another Gospel tract of ours which wrapped the Gospel Message around AIDS awareness in the ECIL area of Hyderabad. No day is a wrong day to tell others about Jesus!

topics – fasting, intercession, family, taking care of the body, Holy Spirit and keeping the fire till the end. It was a powerful and blessed time! On the day when the terrorists attacked Mumbai, 26, November 2008, we were in prayer. God poured out an unusual burden in my heart for India on that day. I was not just praying – I was groaning out to God in the Holy Spirit. I am sure that there were many others praying for India at the very same time. These prayers, I believe, moved the Lord to move His Hand of Protection upon Mumbai so that the damage caused by the terrorists was curtailed. Their plan to blow up the Taj did not materialize, as we all know!

From His hand to yours!
The task of publishing this magazine is quite a challenge and consumes a lot of time. First, Duke collects secular magazines and takes time to go through them. Then, he fishes out interesting events around which Bible truths can be wrapped while staying sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Then, he writes the articles. These articles are then edited by the team of voluntary editors – Stephen Jothiraj, Shruthi Joy and Madgalene Daniel. Simultaneously, photos that will go alongside these articles are fished out by Florussel Satya and Gideon Samuel Gnanasekaran. Navamani Kingsley and Ruby Evangel design CD covers that need to be advertised on the magazine. Ravi Alamothu, apart from choosing photos page-engineers the magazine. It is uploaded on the web by Santhosh William. Part of the magazine is uploaded onto our blog by Fenella Prince. Once the magazine is printed, Bro. Christopher along with his friends helps us in the posting. We value your supplication and support. Thank you for holding the ropes even as we plunge to grab the Gadget Generation from Gehenna!

Writing in obedience to God’s call
The call from God to write is something that Duke takes very seriously. He sometimes has to turn down certain preaching invitations so that he can find time to write what God has laid in his heart. Light of Life, India’s leading Christian magazine, published two of Duke’s articles recently, titled thus: When Called To Compromise; Ways To Witness This Christmas! Duke’s article “Jackie Chan Vs David” was translated into Tamil and published in the Voice of the Shepherd magazine, coming out of Vellore in September 2008.

The Gospel for a good old man
One very senior man from a Hindu background came for this meeting upon our invitation. He listened to the Gospel attentively during this meeting. Shortly later he was in his death bed. Duke and I went to see him. Duke again shared the Gospel with him. He got up from his bed, held Duke’s hands and started crying like a little child. Duke prayed with him. The next day, he lost his memory and within few days he died.

27,000 Hits!
Every week, Duke continues to post an article on our official ministry website, TheDaysOf YourYouth.com, managed so very well by Santhosh William, our hard-working volunteer. This site now has over 27,000 hits! Talking about hits, I am happy to let you know that the Youtube videos of Duke, now live, is seeing a steady stream of hits as well.

All the 15 issues of this magazine, bound!
Would you like to have all the 15 issues of this magazine bound together and sent to you? This bound volume would come in very handy: it could be used a daily devotional in your family, if you have grown up young people! Each day you and your family could then have a captivating dose of Bible Truth wrapped around contemporary events. The price of this bound volume is Rs.200/- including postage. See page two for easy way to pay.

Seven straight days of intense prayer
For seven straight days in the month of November, I got to lead two young people in daily prayer. Duke would join in for sometime. He brought God’s Word on different practical

The Days of Your Youth

Duke’s Brutally Frank, Biblically Sound Message CDs!
“The music in my heart I bore; Long after it was heard no more!” Those are lines from a popular poem, The Solitary Reaper. Duke Jeyaraj’s prayer and passion is that after having heard him preach, his audience would say, “The message in my heart I bore; Long after it was heard no more!” Duke’s messages to various audiences across India have been recorded in the DVD format and MP3 CD format. usually have two or even three messages in them, with the juice of the message in the brackets:

Daring DVDs
DVD 1 - Finding Purpose in Life (a message from Ecclesiastes 2 for friends who need to hear of Jesus)/ No One Can Love You More Than Jesus! (a message on the tools of torture used on Jesus, the last 24 hours of his earthly life) DVD 2 - The Greatest of the Greatest (a message on the uniqueness of Jesus in a world full of gods) / Getting Hooked to the Greatest Book (Why Bible is God’s Word and how one can read it in an interesting way) DVD 3 - A Sex Addict Gets Saved (a message of liberation from Ezekiel 16) DVD 4 - God who Kisses Can Kill too (a message on why God had to kill some characters in the Bible) / Close Shave With Dave (a challenge from David’s life) DVD 5 - Taming Tough Temptations (including a section on What the Bible Teaches About Sex and Sexual Sins)/ True Romantic Love (the characteristics of true boy-girl love from Song of Songs) / Answers to Commonly Asked Youth Questions DVD 6 - How Can I be Silent (a message from Isaiah 6) / Pooh Pooh Procrastination (What the Bible teaches we must not postpone) DVD 7 - Relationships and Wise Partner Pick (a message by Duke’s wife, Evangelin, on relationships with parents, elders, friends and the opposite gender with Bible tips to find one’s life partner) / Marriage-Romance Question-Answers (a message from Genesis 24, the chapter with the Isaac-Rebekah Story) DVD 8 - Which Road Are You On? (a message from Solomon’s life) / Beating

Temptations Like Joseph (a verse by verse study on Genesis 39) / Finish Fantastic (a message from Paul’s life on how to keep the fire burning till the end!) DVD 9 - Bid Bye to Backsliding (a message from the book of Malachi on the marks of a believer who is backslidden) / If Daniel Were In Dell (a challenge for corporate believers from Daniel’s life) / Prophets Who Prick (thumbnail sketches of Christmas event prophets and their most important heart-pricking message) DVD 10 God-pleasing Boy-Girl Relationships and Other Relationships (how to relate with parents, elders, friends, opposite gender and the planet)/ Prudent Partner Pick (what the Bible teaches on choosing one’s life partner) / God as a Family Man (a challenge for the whole family from Bible Passages that speak of God playing the role of a husband or father) Here are the Titles of MP3 CD Audio collections:

The following are salient features of these messages:
These messages • are lively and lifechanging, biblical and bubbly, captivating and courageous. are packed with present-day illustrations from the world of cricket and entertainment, notably don’t beat about the bush and are brutally frank were born in prayer and crafted with the sweat of meditation were originally preached to elite audiences - corporate employees, college students, city church audiences have produced results - original listeners have accepted Jesus/ committed their lives for holy living and witnessing/ received clarity on confusing issues have outlines with coined words that will make you remember the message for a long time

• • •

Moving MP3s
MP3 One - Duke Youth Talks Collection (15 messages on a rainbow range of topics from Salvation to Missions) (English Only) MP3 Two – The Apt Word for the Corporate World (5 messages that Duke gave to the employees of Corporate Companies at various times) All the MP3 CD have atleast five messages on various topics. Convenient to be played in a car. Price of each CD is Rs. 50/-. All the 12 CDs can be mailed to you for Rs. 650/-. See Page Two for easy way to pay.

The covers for these CDs were designed by Ruby Evangel, a young corporate employee of Sierra Atlantic and Navamani Kingsley, a young corporate employee of Delloitte. Here are the titles of the DVDs which

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Duke back in ‘ fulltime’ ministry now!
Yes, the day finally arrived. It arrived after Duke Jeyaraj and his family had lived almost three full years in Hyderabad. On November 7, 2008, the 90th birthday of Billy Graham, the great evangelist, Duke Jeyaraj, an Indian evangelist to the Google Generation gave his resignation to his manager in HSBC Global Resourcing Centre where he worked. The Lord definitely led him to take this landmark step. Of course, Duke is no stranger to “fulltime” ministry: Duke was a Youth Pastor / Bible College Teacher with the Assemblies of God, while his wife worked as a Project Manager with Compassion International Ministries in New Delhi for one year. Both Duke and his wife Evangelin were missionaries with Blessing Youth Mission for three years. Duke worked in HSBC only as part of a Paul-modeled ministry strategy that the Lord impressed on his heart. Paul worked (made tents) and made his living, even as he continued preaching the Gospel in towns such as Corinth, Ephesus and Thessalonica, didn’t he? But when he was in Philippi, the church there supported him so much that he felt led to take that support. Perhaps, he did not have to do secular work during his stay there. Working in HSBC for two years and a 24/7 Customer Care for one year (earlier on) really helped Duke gain experiences he would have never got otherwise. Here’s how: One, in an imperfect way Duke could reflect Jesus through the quality of work at his workplace. In HSBC, his main job was collections/ loan recovery. Duke would collect for his company at least the benchmark of 1 lakh dollars ($100000) every other month by making outbound calls to them. Even though he was fighting sleep issues, he won customer compliment certificates consistently. There was even an occasion when Duke’s call was played as a model good call during a section call calibration. He won a poetry competition held for the entire process. Duke was called to be the Master of Ceremonies for an awards night too – a privilege only given to a select few. His presentation to his team, “Finding motivation for a task that calls for relentless repetition!” was appreciated. When people appreciated Duke he would divert the praise to the Lord and say, “By God’s grace!” The Days Of Your Youth, a magazine that wrapped Bible Truths for Youth around contemporary events. This magazine and Duke’s Gospel tract, Bubbly Outside, Yet Empty Inside were widely distributed in the two corporate offices he worked in. With all of this having happened, Duke felt in his spirit, “What I needed to do in the Corporate World as an employee, I have done to the best of my ability by the grace of God! Now it is time to move on!” Duke used his leaves wisely to travel and preach even during his three year tenure in the corporate world. Even when Duke worked in the call centre industry, he travelled to Mumbai, Pune, Kolkota, Kavali, Vellore, Coimbatore, Warangal, Vijayawada, Yercaud and other places to preach. Of course, he had to turn down many invitations because of lack of leaves and other constraints. In October 2008 alone Duke had to say no to preaching invitations to go to Vizag, Varanasi, Nagpur and Asansol. But now, the direction from the Lord was that he needed to be fully available for travelling and preaching God’s Word to the Google generation all over the planet. Duke, now no longer tied to any earthly fulltime job, will also devote much time to writing. He had one carton box full of message outlines he developed during his personal devotions (messages he preached all across India). These messages will be converted into articles from time to time. Please pray for Duke, his wife, Evangelin and his two children. Duke is certain that the Lord would supply all his needs (personal and ministerial) according to His riches in glory even though no person or organisation has promised to underwrite these regular recurring expenses.

In order to concentrate more on praying, studying the Bible, writing, traveling and preaching ,Duke has quit his job at HSBC
Two, he could meet and rub shoulders with the Google Generation and understand their world on a daily basis. After he started working in the Call Centre/BPO industry, Duke’s messages became increasingly dotted with terms used in that industry. The messages directly addressed the problems they faced in the light of the Bible. Three, Duke would have had a breaktime fellowship right in the corporate office. You can’t walk into a corporate office as a full-time pastor or evangelist, can you? But as an employee, Duke could. Duke would read a Bible verse, preach a three or four sentence message and lead an intercessory prayer, all in the time span of three minutes. This fellowship blessed many. Duke even had the privilege of leading one person into the sinner’s prayer and a relationship with Christ right inside the processing floor of one corporate office after he logged out! Four, Duke could support his family needs and also divert some funds for the publication of his magazine,

The Days of Your Youth

How far is too far?
Duke Jeyaraj on the limit when it comes to boy-girl physical intimacy before marriage

The headline in Hyderabad Times was deliberately attention-grabbing.

the time I entered, she has not stopped kissing my feet” (Luke 7:45). Jesus took Jairus’ young daughter by the hand (Mark 5:41). Before we punch the air to exclaim, “My Master touched the opposite sex and therefore I can have a whale of a time!” do notice in what situations he touched women. It was in public places before the eyes of several others. There was no secrecy about it. And nothing obscene about what he was doing. Period. So those fun-games we play in the church in front of each other which involve touching the opposite sex in an appropriate way would be cool in Christ’s eyes.

Preeti Jhangiani made a statement the other day which made me ask, “What would our Creator think of Boy-Girl physical intimacy before marriage?”
With the picture of actress Preeti Jhangiani serving as eye-candy, the headline screamed: “I don’t mind lip locks!” The article talks about how this actress after playing an orthodox girl in her debut movie Mohabbatein, boldly indulged in a lip-lock for a music album. (The Times of India, Hyderabad Times, October 18, 2008). “What would God think of this statement from Preeti?”, I mused. How would the Bible answer modern youth who are asking the question, “Can I passionately kiss my faithful boyfriend without going further?” that is what I was contemplating. What would be Bible’s reply to youth who are asking, “How far is too far when it comes to boy-girl intimacy before marriage?” Can Jesus-loving girls sing with Barbie, “You can touch my hair and touch me everywhere?” Well, that is the question!

through the window, he shot a question: “Why did you not tell me that Rebecca was your wife, Isaac. Why did you instead say that she was just your sister?” Stop. Listen. There is a moral in this narrative. A truth for youth hidden in this story found in Genesis 26:19. It is this: even a non-believing king knew instinctively that only a husband and wife can fondle each other – not just any couple! Even a pagan king instinctively knew that you could fondle only your wife – not anyone else of the opposite sex. When this is the case, it is quite sorrowful to note young people who are church-regulars also being casual sex regulars.

Do a Clinton? Do a Lewinsky?

2 The Proverbs penman’s
penetrating question –
The Proverbs penman’s question to this generation of youth who have no qualms about exploring every inch of the body of the opposite sex is this straight-forward: “Why embrace the breasts of another man’s wife?” (Prov 5:19). Just the previous verse in this passage makes out that the breasts of a young wife must be caressed only by her young husband (verse 18). Physical intimacy with the opposite sex before marriage is like scooping fire on your lap and expecting nothing to happen (Prov 6:27). Duffy Robbins said, “You can’t spend your time heating up hormones – by indulging in petting – and expect nothing to come out of it!” The problem with petting is this: you will want to get more and more intimate with the person of the opposite sex you are getting physical with. I haven’t yet met a young man who told his girlfriend, “Girl that kiss was awesome. However, from our next meeting onwards we will just shake hands – okay!” Even in the Bible I read

Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky made the behavior of being physically intimate without being married quite famous. But God calls such behavior notorious. But we must probe this matter a little deeper. “What about touching the opposite sex, the way Bill Clinton touched Monica Lewinsky?” – that’s probably the question that hides at the back of your mind. In Scripture we do find the answer for this burning issue. Certainly. Here I outline what different books of the Bible have to say about this sensitive subject:

Jesus touched women, but… 1 The Pagan’s clear conviction – You know what? Jesus, a normal red
blooded young man touched women and allowed them to touch him. In fact about one woman he said, “ from When a Pagan (a Non-believer) king saw, Isaac ‘fondling’ his wife Rebecca

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3

about a young man who first “strolled” near a seductive woman’s home; then he started to “smooch” her only to finally “sleep” with her (Prov 7:8-23). Notice how he graduated from lesser forms of intimacy to greater forms. Our body is wired that way. The Bible calls him “a youth who lacked judgment” (Prov 7:7). And if we get physically intimate with the opposite sex we too will earn that same name. You don’t want it – do you? “If you cannot stop, don’t start!” – that was a signboard put up in a Brake Station. Relay that principle in the area of sexual intimacy and the message is crystal clear: if you want to stay a virgin and please the Lord, don’t even start to be physically intimate with a person of the opposite sex! Be the Joseph who ran away from the woman who touched him the wrong way (Gen 39:12).

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man in question in this book ‘browses among the lilies’ (2:16). He also goes to his garden ‘to pasture and pluck lilies’ (6:2). And you know what – sheep never eat lilies! So obviously in the boy’s vocabulary the girl is the “lily” he wants to pluck – fondle, caress and touch intimately (See 2:2)! But remember they were already married (5:16). The young man calls the girl his “bride” – not girlfriend (4:12; 5:1). So we learn again from Song of Songs that petting is out of bounds for those not married to each other.

you were a child. You aren’t one anymore! You have grown up! Grow up to grasp this lesson that jumps out from Ezekiel 23!

The Prophet’s graphic parabolic narration Prophet Ezekiel in his 23rd chapter wrote a graphic parabolic narration of how two sisters, Oholah and Oholibah (symbolic of Israel and Judah) allowed men to touch them in places they shouldn’t have touched. God did not mince words when he named the act of allowing one’s breasts to be fondled as “prostitution” and explicitly said that he was “disgusted” with such behavior in this shocking passage (Ezek 23:3,18,19,21). Bible Scholars explain, this passage actually speaks of “the elect people of Israel’s figurative promiscuity in Egypt where they sought to be caressed by a foreign faith and culture” (New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis: Volume 4 - London: Paternoster Press, 1996, page 1091). They brilliantly observe that, in this passage, the breasts fondled by illicit lovers of these young girls were being torn as part of God’s judgment upon them (Refer to Ezek 23:21,34) (Ibid., Volume III, page 214). I believe that even through this passage, God is teaching modern youth that he is pretty peeved when they get intimate with the opposite gender without the benefit of marriage. Have you grasped this truth for youth that emanates from Ezekiel 23? There were days you learnt truths only from elementary passages like Psalm 23 when

5

Ezekiel 23 tells the story of two sisters who allowed men to touch them intimately – something that displeased the Lord so much.

Our GrandPop’s practical wisdom led suggestion:
Talk without holding back with your grandpa. Have a frank discussion with your grandmom. Ask them why they are not comfortable when you get touchy-feely with the person of the opposite gender before marriage. They may not quote any of the Scripture passages or verses you have read so far in this article. But they could say something like this: “We don’t know what will happen tomorrow or in the days to come when it comes to your relationship with this person. When this is the case, why do have to become so close physically with him or her? What if, something goes wrong and you actually do not marry this person with whom you are merry-making without holding any part of your body back? Will you not feel bad? Would you not feel miserable? And those scars can stay with you for a lifetime and affect your marriage with someone else! So, keep the opposite gender at an arm’s length from you, dear!” Guess what? There is a lot of practical wisdom in what they are concerned about. Not only that. There is Scriptural truth behind this counsel as well. Yes, the Bible in many places

The Poetry of Solomon’s conclusion –
The young lady in Song of Songs describes the way she is physically intimate with her man very graphically: “His left hand is under my head and his right hand embraces me” (SS 2:6 NLT). Shortly after this statement, comes the call which was referred to earlier in this piece: “Promise me, O Women of Jerusalem…not to awaken love until the time is right” (v. 7). Keeping the context of this verse just quoted, we can conclusively say that the young woman of Song of Songs is saying this: “Do not get physically intimate with the opposite sex until the time is right! Show some temperance. Show self-control! ”And we know from Scripture that ‘the right time’ for climaxing one’s sexual desires is within the boundary of marriage. Therefore true romantic love certainly will not indulge in intimate touching of the opposite gender before marriage. Sure, the couple in Song of Songs did pet and fondle each other a lot. The

The Days of Your Youth

tells us we do not know what will happen to us in the future ( James 4:14).So getting physically intimate with a person you know you can never be 100% sure of marrying, until the event has actually happened, is nothing but plain folly!
The concern of our older folk is illustrated by the story I have narrated below:

and trapped food. A dog’s mouth is cleaner!” (learnt from www.imdb.com on 9 March 2007). If you avoided kissing altogether before marriage, apart from keeping you off from sexual sin you would have kept your mouth from bacteria, it looks like!
Uncle Billy Graham’s example

(not becoming one or in the process of becoming one – I Cor 7:36 onwards and II Cor 6:14). Any boy (or girl) who touches you the wrong way cannot be a true, practicing believer. By marrying the person who is physically intimate with you before marriage you will convert your single sin into double sin. So why do it?
Someone was smacked because you allowed yourself to be fondled!

Karan’s question and Shahid’s answer

Karan Johar shot a point blank question to Actor Shahid Kapoor in a Star World TV program that was aired on March 9, 2007 titled “Koffee with Karan”. This was the question: “In one word tell me what you think of casual sex?” His girlfriend of three years, actress Kareena Kapoor was sitting beside him in the show. When Shahid answered that “casual sex was convenient” he was only airing the views of the google generation that they didn’t mind exploring the bodies of the opposite gender without actually having “sex”. And we know what happened to the much publicized relationship between Shahid and Kareena. They broke up. And Kareena is now going around with the already-married actor, Saif Ali Khan (at the point of writing this piece, I must add, because we never know in the world of Formula One Speed World of Bollywood Liasions…!). After reading this real life incident, do you now see why your older folk were not cool or happy when you got too close physically with your friend from the opposite gender? What disgusts Dicaprio Your grand pop seem to have a very unlikely person agreeing with them in this regard. Who? Leonardo Di Caprio of the Titanic Movie fame. I was surprised to read this about the man who probably did the most watched kiss of all time on the screen: “Kissing disgusts Dicaprio!” He went on to say in the news item, “The human mouth is one of the dirtiest things in the planet! There’s so much bacteria, slime

Therefore never get into a confined space alone with a person of the opposite sex and lock yourself in. This simple practical step will save you from the temptation to have the kind of physical intimacy that will displease the Lord. Billy Graham writes in his best selling autobiography JUST AS I AM about how he refused to meet with Hilary Clinton in private but insisted that they sit in front of others in a restaurant and meet. Here are the exact words he used in reply to Hillary Clinton’s request, “I would be delighted to. But I don’t have private luncheons with beautiful ladies. We could sit in the middle of the dining room at the Capital Hotel where everybody would be able to see us, and still have a private conversation” He was in his seventies when this particular incident happened! (USA: HarperSanFrancisco Zondervan, 1997, page 651). Billy Graham certainly understood all what the Scripture said about physical intimacy limits with a member of the opposite sex! Thank you for the example, uncle Billy!
I have already been fondled, so what do I do?

Come to Jesus. NOW! He will wash your sins away – no matter how bad you have been all this while in this area. He died for you on the cross so that he can wash away your sin. He was beaten in His sinless body for the sins of your body – including the sin of allowing the opposite gender to fondle you, before marriage (I Pet 2:24).

Your grandfather may talk about the duo in this picture to remind you to keep a safe distance from the opposite gender before marriage...
He was beaten that you might have peace – peace you tried to unsuccessfully get by allowing that friend of yours to touch you places that you should not be touched (Isa 53:5). Yes, someone was smacked, by cruel Roman Soldiers because you allowed yourself to be fondled! That was Jesus! He took your punishment upon Himself! Though your sins are blood red, they will become white as snow when you ask Jesus to cleanse you (Isa 1:18). You will be pure in His eyes and that is what counts! He will make you a real virgin again! So why are you waiting? Have you already sent that SMS to your friend from the opposite gender, saying that it is over between you both?

After having read so far, you could say this: “I have already been intimate physically with a boy who is not a believer. What should I do now? If I break up with him at this point, he will never marry me!” You know what? That is your golden opportunity to just do that and break up with him. By doing that you will please the Lord whose word clearly says believers must marry those who are ALREADY believers

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The Corporates at MindSpace Hear of Jesus’ Grace!

On December 12, 2008, Duke made a moving presentation of the Gospel to over 150 Corporates who assembled in the open air arena at MindSpace IT Park, a Corporate Hub in Hitec city, Hyderabad.

This is what two young people, one from IBM and another from Bank of America, who were there during that presentation said:
The words you spoke at MindSpace was like a Energy Drink.........so refreshing......all IBMers present there loved every second spent there........ (thro Orkut scrap). There was a powerful presence of God…. (thro SMS).

Latest Releases: Duke’s New message CDs

Duke on

Video clips of Duke’s daring messages on taboo topics are now available in the popular video sharing site, youtube. com. Search that site under “Duke Jeyaraj” and those messages will pop up! Some of the titles of those videos: “The Bible on Homosexuality,” “The Bible on Sexual Touching Before Marriage”, “The Bible and Beating Sexual Temptation!” etc.

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