May 2018

TruthTalks Sermons

TruthTalks (Sermon): Hezekiah

Hezekiah, a king amongst kings

In this sermon (and I apologise for the not great audio quality in places) Dr Christopher Peppler looks at the life of Hezekiah. The first few minutes were not recorded, however, this is the background to the life of Hezekiah and describes what his father had done before Hezekiah became king. If you would like to read more about it you can at 2 Kings 1-20 and 2 Chronicles 28-30.

Like most stories of biblical characters there is no ONE point we can apply to our lives, but MANY points of interest we need to apply to our modern-life context.
It is astonishing how many similarities can be found in today’s society with that of one thousands of years ago. The story of Hezekiah is of a young king who reopened the desecrated and abandoned temple, restored, reformed and revived the worship of Almighty God… a sort of Old Testament day of Pentecost for the people of God.

Hezekiah – God has strengthened

To listen to this sermon now click the play button below.

 

Blessings, Karen

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Truth Talk (Sermon): Bezalel

Sermon: Bezalel

Bezalel was an ordinary man who did something truly extraordinary – he crafted the tabernacle and everything inside it.

You don’t have to be a king or queen or ruler or anything other than “normal” to do something of immense significance. Last week Dr Christopher Peppler preached on this at the Village church, so if you would like to hear about the amazing life of Bezalel, then listen to this sermon below.

Bezalel: In the shadow of the Almighty

 

If you would like to find out more about finding YOUR ministry click HERE to read the free booklet on www.truthistheword.com, or wait for it to come out on Amazon (soon).

If you would like to hear more sermons by Dr Christopher Peppler then you can find them HERE, or by subscribing to the podcast HERE where you will receive options to hear both sermons as well as the TruthTalks and Q & A sessions.

 

 

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Feature Image Spiritual Warfare TruthTalks

TruthTalks: Spiritual Warfare

Top image for TruthTalk on Spiritual Warfare

In this TruthTalk, Dr Christopher Peppler, covers the last two posts he wrote concerning Spiritual Warfare. If you missed them, and would like to read them, you can find them here:

    1. Spiritual Warfare: Does the Church need to be Delivered from this? and,
    2. Spiritual Warfare: The Real Battle
If you would prefer to listen to a concise summary of both, in audio format, along with some extra information on them and a question and answer session with me (Karen) then please click on the play button below or subscribe here.

 

As always, do let us know what you thought, and do subscribe by going to www.truthistheword.com and clicking on the buttons in the top right. God Bless you!

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Spiritual Warfare 2 Feature image

Spiritual Warfare – The Real Battle

Top image Spiritual Warfare Part 2

In my previous article, I wrote about the implications for Christians and the church for those who believe in and practice spiritual warfare as it is commonly presented. In this follow-up article, I want to deal with what I understand as the real nature of spiritual warfare.

Although the term itself is not found in scripture, Paul does allude to some sort of conflict between the powers of darkness and the church. For instance, in Ephesians 6:12 he wrote, ‘For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms’. Jesus also alluded to this conflict when He declared; “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18). There is also Daniel’s account of a celestial being who appeared to him and told him that the ‘prince of the Persian Kingdom’ had detained him until Michael came to help him (Daniel 10:13).

There is a spiritual conflict between the forces of darkness and the church

There is no doubt that, according to the biblical testimony, demons exist, are opposed to the things of God, and take every opportunity to harass the church. Peter confirmed this when he warned us that ‘your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour’ (1 Peter 5:8). However, Jesus spoke about the forces of darkness attacking the church but not overcoming her, and Paul wrote of putting on the whole armour of God ‘so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes’. He concluded with the injunction to ‘stand your ground, and after you have done everything, (to) stand’ (Ephesians 6:11-13).

The devil attacks and we defend, not the other way around. Teaching that encourages us to go on the offensive with all sorts of imagined tactics does not stand on firm biblical ground.
‘Yes, but what about Jesus’s teaching on binding the strong man so we can plunder his house?’ Yes indeed, what about it – The reference is to Luke 11:21-22 (Matthew 12:29 and Mark 3:27), which reads; “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armour in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils”. Here, some Jewish teachers had just accused Jesus of being in league with the devil and driving out demons by the power of Beelzebub. Jesus’ rebuttal was that if He was part of the kingdom of darkness then why would He weaken that kingdom by driving out its citizens. To ILLUSTRATE this He used the example of a robber who would have to subdue the owner of a house before he could plunder his possessions. The point is clear; how could He, Jesus, drive out demons if He had not already overcome the householder (the devil). It is silly to use this illustration as a warrant for ‘binding strongmen’ through prayer warfare, and other extra-biblical ‘spiritual warfare’ techniques.

The real weapons we use

If we are not supposed to ‘fight the devil’ with binding strong men, breaking curses, spiritual mapping, and so on, then what are the weapons of our warfare? Well, Paul described how he fought the good fight as follows: ‘In purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left…’ (2 Corinthians 6:6-7). Then in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 he expanded with: ’For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ’. Now add to this the analogy he presented in Ephesians of the armour of God and we have quite a good description of the real weapons of spiritual warfare – truth, righteousness, the proclamation of the gospel, faith, salvation, and prayer. Of course, the Lord Jesus also included healing and deliverance in our arsenal.

So, we fight the devil by disciplining our minds to resist sin, by living pure lives, and by exhibiting understanding, patience, and kindness. We fight by loving, by speaking truthfully, by teaching the truth that demolishes all proud pretensions, and by proclaiming the good news of salvation in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. We wage war by exercising faith, by praying, by healing the sick, and by delivering the demonized. All of these in the power of the Holy Spirit.
This then is how I understand the nature of spiritual conflict and the real defensive weapons at our disposal.

So, the call is to go out into the world, wearing our full spiritual armour and:

  1. Refrain from sin (resist the devil and he will flee from you – James 4:7)
  2. Live a biblical life and with love
  3. Tell others about Jesus, and
  4. Exercise faith by healing sick and delivering the demonized.

All in the authority of the Lord Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit!

 

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Binding, loosing and Spiritual Warefare

Spiritual Warfare – does the church need to be delivered from this?

Top image Spiritual Warefare

Wherever I can, I like to write articles out of current experiences, and if it were not for a recent conversation with a congregation member, I would not have thought that the subject of Spiritual Warfare was still relevant.

In 2010 I wrote on the armour of God and in 2016 on the weapons of our warfare. Therefore, in this article, I want to cite just two examples of what usually goes under the heading of spiritual warfare and then discuss the implications for us.

Binding and loosing, in its spiritual warfare context, is the practice of binding demons, and even the devil himself, from interfering in earthly matters. These matters range from national politics, through church life, to personal afflictions. I wrote about this in 2012  and so I won’t deal with it again here.

Breaking generational curses is the practice of freeing someone from the sins of his or her parents or grandparents. I preached on this in 2013 and you can listen HERE if you like.

Of course, many other beliefs and practices march under the spiritual warfare banner, but they all have similar implications for us as Christians – they cast aspersions on the sufficiency of scripture and on sound biblical interpretation, they distract us from real ministry, and they focus us on unbiblical and specialist ministries.

Aspersions on the sufficiency of scripture and biblical interpretation

When Jesus sent His disciples out as ambassadors, He did not instruct them to first bind any powers and principalities in each town they visited. His command to them was simply;As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons” (Matthew 10:7-8). Later, when the early church evangelised the world, they followed the same injunction. There is no record in the book of Acts of the Apostles conducting ‘spiritual mapping’ to determine the names of territorial demons controlling an area. There is no mention of prayer meetings designed to bind the identified spiritual powers before evangelising the area. There is no evidence or even inference, that generational curses had to be broken before salvation, healing or deliverance could occur.

So here is the thing – did the Lord Jesus forget to mention these vitally important practices, or did the Holy Spirit neglect to inspire the biblical authors to record Jesus’ and the Apostles’ teaching in this regard? If so then the Bible is insufficient and untrustworthy! Of course, some claim that Jesus did teach binding and losing in Matthew 12:29 and 16:19. Yet when you read these texts in their biblical and cultural context it is obvious that they have nothing whatsoever to do with ‘spiritual warfare’. To believe in and practice these elements of modern-day spiritual warfare is to deny the sufficiency of scripture and to ignore sound biblical interpretation.

Distractions from real ministry

If real ministry to the church and the world consists of such things preaching and teaching biblical truth, pointing people to Jesus and presenting the way of salvation, healing, and casting out demons from the afflicted, then anything else is a distraction. Holding prayer meetings to bind the devil until there is ‘an open heaven’ before evangelising is a pseudo ministry, a distraction, and a waste of valuable time and resources. It is as worthless as holding a prayer meeting to pray about whether or not to have a prayer meeting!

Focus on unbiblical and specialised ministries

When someone suspects that a friend is suffering from some form of demonic influence, they usually call in someone with a ‘deliverance ministry’. Do we find such a ministry in scripture? No. We are all enjoined to cast out demons when we encounter them. Why then do we need an ‘expert’ to do what we are all supposed to do naturally in the power of the Holy Spirit and under the authority of the Lord Jesus? Well, who else has the checklist of symptoms of generational sins? Who else has read the books and been on the training courses? Who else has a special anointing to cast out demons? Where on earth (or under the earth) did we get such notions!

Sometimes the degree of demonic control is so strong that the afflicted person cannot deal with it in isolation. In which case, any mature believer can assist and minister in Jesus name. We don’t need, so-called, deliverance ministries any more than we need spiritual mapping workshops!

Perhaps it is appropriate to end this short article with the words I used to conclude my sermon on generational curses:

‘Perhaps now is the time you need to repent and say “Sorry Lord that I believed all that silly stuff” Or perhaps now is the time to say:

“Thank you Lord that I don’t have to suffer for the idolatrous actions of my ancestors”. “Thank you Jesus that you have set me free from the past… I am a new creation in you… Hallelujah!”’

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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.