March 2018

Revival Feature Image

Easter Saturday

Truth Is the Word Post on the Glory of Love

If Friday represents the death of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and Sunday represents His glorious resurrection, then what does Easter Saturday represent?

I dislike using the term ‘Easter’ because it derives from Ishtar the pagan demon Queen of Heaven. However, almost all societies and churches call it by this name, so for the sake of simplicity and clarity, I will use the term ‘Easter’. I would prefer to call Good Friday ‘Crucifixion Friday’ or ‘Atonement Friday’. I would also prefer to call Easter Sunday ‘Resurrection Sunday’, but what then do I call the Saturday of the Passover weekend?

Traditional denominations usually call it ‘Holy Saturday’, the Coptic church calls it ‘The Saturday of light’, or ‘Joyous Saturday’, and the Philippine Roman Catholic church calls it ‘Black Saturday’ and commemorates it with a sort of funeral service. So, what then are we supposed to commemorate on the Saturday between Crucifixion Friday and Resurrection Sunday?

The Eastern Orthodox Church teaches that Jesus descended into Hell where the devil tortured him until He had paid both physically and spiritually for the sins of humanity. The Word of Faith and some Pentecostal teachers have adopted this and added that Jesus was then ‘born again’ from spiritual death on the Sunday. This would make Easter Saturday a black Saturday indeed, but they base this erroneous understanding on several scriptures taken out of context (Acts 2:27 Romans 10:6-7 Ephesians 4:8-9, and 1 Peter 3:18-20) and a particular reading of the Apostles Creed that was written in AD 390.

On Earth, that Saturday must have been dark indeed. The dead body of Jesus lay partially embalmed in a cold tomb. The disciples had no idea that He would rise again the next day and they must have been terribly distressed and confused. Their Messiah was dead, hope was gone, and the Jewish leaders would surely be coming after them. Black Saturday, a funeral day to end all funeral days!

However, in Heaven, something glorious was happening! In Colossians 2:13(b)-15 Paul writes about Jesus Christ, ’having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross’. The language he used here is similar to that adopted in the military court’s marshal of his day. Here is the scene in Heaven as I deduce it to have been:

The Lord Jesus Christ ascends in spiritual form into Heaven where He presents himself before the throne of God the Father. The archangels sound out the trumpet call to gather all of heavens’ citizens before the throne. The Father dispatches one of the mighty angels, let’s say Michael, to enter Hell to summons Lucifer, the fallen archangel to present himself. Lucifer, (the devil, Satan) appears before the throne of God. A look of utter astonishment replaces the insolent sneer on his face when he sees Jesus at the right hand of the Most High. God the Father rises from His throne and addresses the Prince of Darkness: “Lucifer, I have already charged you with high treason but have till now allowed you freedom to come and go as you please. Now, your guilt has been established beyond all doubt in the life and death of Jesus Son of God. Therefore, I now pronounce your sentence; you are henceforth prohibited from entering Heaven and are restricted to the realms of Earth and Hell. Moreover, you will be bound to obey all commands issued rightfully in the authority of Jesus by any of His disciples of all generations. Any violation will result in your immediate and absolute incarceration.”

As the voice of The Ancient of Days thundered through the court of Heaven, the Lord Jesus stepped up to Lucifer and symbolically ripped from his clothing all symbols of authority. His voice was clear and commanding as He pronounced, “All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me!” (Matthew 28”18(a)). Then He added, “Now go!” As He made this pronouncement, the entire population of Heaven shouted out, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments” (Revelation 19:1-2).

Black Saturday? No. Joyous Saturday of light? Yes

Be blessed today as you celebrate the victory of the Lord Jesus Christ and rejoice tomorrow as you revel in the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the grave!

Gods Glory

It is Easter again

Christ has risen

I am posting this just a few hours before the start of the great redemption drama most often called ‘Easter’.

Just after 6 pm on a Thursday evening close to 2,000 years ago, the Lord Jesus Christ met with His disciples to celebrate Passover with them for the last time. About 15 hours later, at 9 am Friday morning, Roman soldiers nailed Him to a cross. Six hours after that, He gave up His spirit for the redemption of lost humanity. On the third day, before dawn at 6 am on Sunday, Jesus Christ rose bodily from the tomb as victor over death and as the living saviour for all who place their trust in Him. Hallelujah!

Here is a suggested reading plan for the next few days:

Thursday evening

Matthew 26:17-56
Mark 14:12-52
Luke 22: 7-51
John 13:1 – 18:13
1 Corinthians 11:23-26



Matthew 26:57 – 27:66
Mark 14:53 – 15:47
Luke 22:52 – 23:53
John 18:14 – 19:42
1 Corinthians 15:3-4



Matthew 28:2-20
Mark 16:1-20
Luke 24:1-53
John 20:1 – 21:24
1 Corinthians 15:5-8

Depression feature image

TruthTalks: Depression

Top image Depression

Dad (Dr Christopher Peppler) and I discuss depression and how Christians can deal with it.

So if you, or anyone you know is suffering from this malady then this TruthTalk could be very helpful to you.
Listen now by clicking the play button below and do subscribe (buttons at the top of the


Blessing to you all until next time

Karen (daughter and site admin)

Christians and depression


Depression top image


Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression and it is the leading cause of disability and a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease (World Health Organisation Feb 2018).
How many of those 300 million people are committed Christians? I don’t know, but from experience, I would say that depression is almost as much a problem for the church as it is for the world. And it is a problem because it robs believers of their joy, diminishes their quality of life, negatively effects their Christian witness, and if left unchecked can debilitate.

Sadly, many Christians deny that a Christian can be depressed, so the best place to start a discussion of this condition is (as always) the Bible. I will focus on two Psalms and one particular phrase that links Psalm 42 and 43 together as it appears twice in Psalm 42 and once in Psalm 43:

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Saviour and my God.
King David certainly suffered from depression as attested to in several of the psalms he penned. Moreover, he wasn’t alone among biblical characters. Consider Elijah’s cry, “I have had enough Lord, he said. Take my life, I am not better than my ancestors.” (1 Kings 19:4); and Jonah’s, “Now O Lord, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” (Jonah 4:3). Then there was Job, Moses, Jeremiah, and… Jesus. I am a little reluctant to say that the Lord Jesus experienced depression, but Isaiah prophesied of Him as “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” (Isaiah 53:3), and He did utter the words; “my soul is deeply grieved to the point of death” (Mark 14:34).

So, if you are suffering from depression then take heart for you are in good company.

However, good company or not, depression still needs to be addressed, and this phrase from the two Psalms (42 & 43) gives us some guidance on how to do this.

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?” The words that identify the condition are ‘downcast’ and ‘disturbed’, but the key word to note is ‘why’.

The first thing we need to do is to attempt to answer the question ‘Why am I feeling so down?’

Of course, anyone who has experienced depression more than a few times will know that answering such a question is hard because it requires the emotional energy and will that seems to have leaked out of our toes.

Most Christian medical doctors, such as Meier and Minirth cite repressed anger and guilt as the primary causes of depression, and they are most probably correct, in most cases. We need to confess guilt or it will soon drag us down into despondency. Sometimes feelings of guilt are false in that we are not guilty of any wrongdoing yet we feel culpable. To resolve this we will probably need to go to the person we think we have offended, and talk it through. Jesus pointed to this when He said; “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First, go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24). If you have simply imagined the offence then the chances are that you and he or she will have a lovely chat and you will feel all the better for it.

Repressed anger is the second major cause of depression yet it is not enough simply to say that we should purposefully express our anger in a reasonable way to the object of our anger. It is, of course, true that if we bottle up our feelings of anger then they either cause us to become downhearted or they erupt at inopportune moments. We explode over something inconsequential and then wonder why we overreacted so. However, to get to the root cause of anger we need to dig deeper because my understanding is that hurt lies behind much anger. Somewhere, at some time, we were deeply hurt and we have never dealt with this by forgiving the offender. Then something happens that subconsciously evokes that hurtful experience and we react defensively with an inappropriate outburst of anger, and that in turn often triggers depression. So we need to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the pain that lies deep in our past and then forgive and ask God to forgive us our previous failure to forgive those who have offended us (Luke 11:4).

Having identified why we are downcast and made the appropriate responses as much as we are able to do, we need to turn to God and express our hope in Him for our mental wellbeing. David wrote, ‘Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.’ The best way to express this is to praise God for who He is, for His forgiveness, and for His ability to lift up our heads from the gloom of depression to the sunshine of His countenance. When I was a newly reborn Christian, the church my wife and I attended used to love to sing a song that started, ‘my glory and the lifter of my head’. It was based on Psalm 3 verse 3 and 4, which read, ‘But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill’ (NIV).

Depression is as real for Christians as for anyone else, but our first response should be to put our hope in the Lord our God. To take counsel from His written Word, to ask why we are feeling downcast and then to respond accordingly. I am aware that some people can have an inherited predisposition towards melancholy and that sometimes circumstances beyond our control can drag us down. However, if depression is allowed to take hold for too long it can leech vital chemicals needed for mental equilibrium from the brain, and then we might well need a prescription from a medical practitioner. I remember the shock many expressed when we asked a well-respected minister to preach on the subject of depression and he introduced his address with the words, “I have just one word for you… Prozac”. Perhaps this is a valid ‘word’ for those who have a physiological condition or long-term problem, but the first word should usually be ‘trust’; trust in God, the prescription He has given in His Word, the Bible, and our relationship with the Lord Jesus.

TruthTalks Dependence on the Holy Spirit

TruthTalks – Dependence on the Holy Spirit

Dependence on the Holy Spirit

To be dependent on the Holy Spirit is firstly, to enable us to live Jesus-manifesting lives in terms of our witness, values, priorities and general life-styles (Fruit of the Spirit) and secondly, to enable us to minister to others, in the power of the Holy Spirit (Gifts of the Spirit).

Our dependence on The Spirit is not either for daily life or for spiritual ministry, but for both – fruit and Gifts.
This TruthTalk and its Q&A session is about what it means to be dependent on the Holy Spirit and how this relates to the authority of the BIble and the centrality of the Lord Jesus.

Listen below, subscribe (buttons at the top left) and do let us know if this was meaningful to you.

About Me

My name is Christopher Peppler and I was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1947. While working in the financial sector I achieved a number of business qualifications from the Institute of Bankers, Damelin Management School, and The University of the Witwatersrand Business School. After over 20 years as a banker, I followed God’s calling and joined the ministry full time. After becoming a pastor of what is now a quite considerable church, I  earned an undergraduate theological qualification from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa and post-graduate degrees from two United States institutions. I was also awarded the Doctor of Theology in Systematic Theology from the University of Zululand in 2000.

Four years before that I established the South African Theological Seminary (SATS), which today is represented in over 70 countries and has more than 2 500 active students enrolled with it. I presently play an role supervising Masters and Doctoral students.

I am a passionate champion of the Christocentric or Christ-centred Principle, an approach to biblical interpretation and theological construction that emphasises the centrality of Jesus

I have been happily married to Patricia since the age of 20, have two children, Lance and Karen, a daughter-in-law Tracey, and granddaughters Jessica and Kirsten. I have now retired from both church and seminary leadership and devote my time to writing, discipling, and the classical guitar.

If you would like to read my testimony to Jesus then click HERE.