December 2020

Immanuel, God With Us

Recently, Dr Christopher Peppler preached on Immanuel, God with us, at Lonehill Village Church. A great message for the season we are in, so watch the sermon below or view other videos on his YouTube Channel HERE.

In this sermon, Christopher also talks about “The Great Reset” which you can read about in full HERE.

 

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Until next time, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all. Thank you for supporting www.TruthIsTheWord.com

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The Great Reset

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The Great Reset is a Term That is Starting to be Used Frequently Around the World.

In Christian circles some excellent teachers are now addressing it; Martin Iles gives a good overview of it HERE.  The phrase was coined by the World Economic Forum and if you have any desire to wade through obfuscated politic-speak then you can read all about their ideas HERE

The Cambridge Dictionary definition of ‘reset’ gives a clue to what is meant by the term The Great Reset: ‘to turn a piece of computer equipment off and then on again when it does not work correctly, to make it start working correctly again.’

A Disclaimer

I am a theologian and neither an economist nor a political scientist. However, I have to start this article with a fair amount of both politics and economics to present what I believe to be important truths. Although this post is on the long side and a little complex, please don’t skip to the end because context is important.

The Political-Social Aspects of The Great Reset

The ideas and plans that fall under the ‘reset’ label are complex and convoluted, but although I risk oversimplification, here are the main components:

  • A reset of economic policies and structures.
  • A reset of money resources to create new systems.
  • A reset of health and social approaches to global challenges through the use of new technologies and global cooperation.

The aim of The Great Reset is Globalism and Socialism on a grand scale and the catalyst is COVID-19.

The Key Ideas Presented by Proponents of The Great Reset are:

  • Changed mindsets to such things as ‘Capitalism leads to inequality’ and ‘the idea that a free market will provide is a myth’. Rather, Socialism leads to equality and a central government will provide.
  • Creation of new metrics that measure what matters. For instance, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measures the wrong things because it is a measure of wealth that ignores its distribution, social benefit, environmental impact, and social health.
  • Design of new incentives leading to a new vision of all corporations and governments to promote an economy that serves all people.
  • Construction of genuine connections between people and nature.

A lot of this, while ambiguous, sounds pretty fair and reasonable, equal opportunity for the underprivileged, rulers who are rewarded for genuinely serving their constituents, all nations being accountable for combating the destructive consequences of global warming, and so on.   However,  it is when we consider many of the proposed means of bringing all this about that matters get problematic. These include the legislated and enforced imposition of socialistic government policies such as wealth tax, green-new-deal state programmes, Orwellian surveillance and control of citizens, and so on.

In essence, the key concept behind the key doctrines and applications of the Great Reset is a 21st Century form of Radical Socialism.

What is Socialism?

The word ‘socialism’ is seldom used in 1st world countries with politicians and others favouring the label  ‘Progressive Liberalism’. In essence, the two terms encompass the same range of ideologies.  It is not easy to provide one generally accepted definition of socialism but the following will do for this article; It is a system in which, through a democratic form of government, every person in the community has an equal share and ownership of the various elements of production.

Socialism, as opposed to Fascism, is implemented through democratically elected governments. However, to implement socialistic reform those elected governments need to control and centralise. Radical Socialism/Progressive Liberalism, by its very nature, is in many ways the antithesis of free-market Capitalism. A reasonable definition of Capitalism is ‘an economic system in which all or most of the means of production are privately owned and operated, and the investment of capital and the production, distribution, and prices of goods and services are determined mainly in a free market, rather than by the state.

So, to better understand the 21st version of Socialism just take the definition of Capitalism and reverse it. Something like: Socialism is an economic system in which all or most of the means of production are owned and operated by the state rather than privately, and the investment of capital and the production, distribution, and prices of goods and services are determined mainly by the state rather than a free market.

No wonder then that Klause Schwab, of the World Economic Forum, the man who coined the phrase ‘The Great Reset’ wrote: ‘To achieve a better outcome, the world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions. Every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed. In short, we need a “Great Reset” of capitalism’

Underpinning much of what passes today as Socialism is what used to be called Cultural Marxism.

This political and social ideology promotes the idea that the old must be destroyed to build the new.

So when people speak of systemic problems, such as racism, needing to be eradicated, what they are saying is that the old systems and institutions must be destroyed, often violently, before the new can be established. In the United States of America, President Trump contends that the Washington political swamp must be drained while his opponents claim that systemic racism, gender prejudice, and so on, must be eradicated. Both are expressions of the idea that the old must be destroyed to build the new.

More specifically, the Cultural Marxism of our day is targeting such things as gender assigned at birth (where children’s gender is determined at birth by their genital attributes), marriage and the nuclear family, capitalistic economic dominance etc. Some of these issues are openly embraced by political parties such as the Democrats in the USA but often fly under the false flags of organisations such as Black Lives Matter.

Here, in my home country of South Africa, Marxist-flavored Socialism is promoted in various degrees of radicalism by the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). However, the socialism that the Great Reset seeks to unleash is not limited to the USA and RSA, it is global.

Globalism

Nationalism champions national sovereignty, self-governance, and the belief that government should be limited and localised rather than global and centralised. Globalism, on the other hand, is a liberal and authoritarian desire for some form and degree of ‘one-world’ government which minimises national sovereignty and self-governance. It favours, amongst other things, open borders, free-trade zones, interventionism, and extensive foreign aid.

So, what the advocates of The Great Reset seek to bring about are globalism and radical socialism.

Not Everything is Either Entirely Good or Bad

Most of us tend to try to paint everything as either black or white and people as either good or bad. However, not every idea espoused by Socialism is bad and not every idea promoted by Capitalism is good. Not all Socialists are bad people and not all Nationalist Capitalists are good people. And the converse also obviously applies. When President Trump stated that not everyone attending an ostensibly right-wing political rally was bad he was not saying that the KKK participants were good but that there were many good conservative people in the crowd (the majority by far as it turned out).

Also, people can have affiliations, policies and practices you and I might find ‘bad’ but they would claim that their motives are ‘good’. For instance, it is hard to argue that Capitalism does not foster financial inequality or that some form of state-sponsored social aid is necessary, particularly in a 3rd world country. Environmental activism is no doubt needed to some extent to prevent global catastrophe and intra-national cooperation is vital to combat things such as a pandemic.

There is a continuum of views, convictions, and motivations in the political spectrum and very few forms of pure Capitalism or Socialism exist today.

However, politics and economics are important and life-affecting so it is important to understand something of the political and economic issues of the world in which we live.

Moreover, the ideologies and movements that fly under the flag of The Great Reset have a huge potential impact for Christians in general and the church in particular. When I was a young man it was often said that the two things a pastor should keep out of the pulpit are politics and money. This is good advice if it refers to party political partisanship and money-squeezing manipulation but to avoid the bigger and broader subjects of politics and economics is to present the Gospel in an unnatural vacuum.

What is at Stake

Radical Socialism or Social Marxism, call it what you will, is profoundly humanistic and agnostic at best but more often blatantly atheistic. Some politicians and political movements profess a form of Christianity that usually proves itself to be mildly religious and certainly not biblical, Jesus-centred, bible-believing Christianity.

A tree is known by its fruit (Matthew 12:33) and a social ideology is known by its objectives and programmes.

So, consider some of the ‘fruit’ of The Great Reset.

  • Strong prejudice against the Christian church and its members including tax legislation, right to gather, and state control.
  • Anti-family legislation and initiatives such as same-sex unions, abortion on demand, Gender identity rights of minor children, and so on.
  • Aggressive anti-law-and-order behaviour from disrespect for police officers and courts of law to armed civilian control of parts of cities, disregard for legal regulations governing demonstrations and rallies, and wanton violence against people and property.
  • Freedom of expression withheld from righteous people and used with impunity to serve the cause of societal disruption.
  • Massive distortion of truth, the unabashed proliferation of fake news, blatant manipulation of statistics and data, and hateful rhetoric.
  • The de-Christianising of school curricula, government traditions, and national constitutions.
  • Centralisation and ownership of property and the means of production by the state and the resultant disenfranchisement of entrepreneurs and innovators.
  • Gun control for responsible citizens while armed criminals abound.
  • Open borders and uncontrolled people movements across the globe.
  • Executive powers conferred on state institutions and world organisations at the expense of national citizens.
  • State ownership of land, the Reserve Bank, electricity and water provision, education, transport, and mineral resources.
  • Economic and social discrimination against minority ethnic and religious groups.
  • And the list goes on…

In short  what we are likely to experience under Secular Marxism (Radical Socialism) is at first an erosion and then a denial and suppression of Christian-Judeo beliefs, values, freedoms, and rights.

The Third Way

Nationalistic Capitalism has its failings and Global Socialism has serious implications and problems, but there is a third form of world and national order that is largely ignored by the leaders of nations… the Kingdom of God. When challenged by the Roman authority of his day, the Lord Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). Concerning the way believers are to counter the assault of world-systems, the Apostle Paul wrote: ‘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’ (2 Corinthians 10:3-4). Also, Peter addressed his letters (1 Peter 1:1 and 2:11) to ‘God’s elect, strangers in the world’ and urged them to live as ‘aliens and strangers in the world’.

This alternate kingdom was inaugurated when Jesus was born into the world and will continue until he comes again in glory. Its values and laws are the opposite of godless Socialism and greedy Capitalism. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and his kingdom is everlasting and his dominion endures through all generations (Psalm 145:13).

Everyone who is born-again of the Spirit of God is a member of this kingdom with dual yet subordinate citizenship in an earthly nation. We live in the world but we are not of the world. The world often seems to be a circus with the clowns running the show, but we live in that circus. We might be walking ankle-deep through Elephant poo, dodging mad clowns, and desperately trying to find a way out, but we cannot avoid being in the circus. The only way we can make sense of our sojourn through this insanity is to hold fast to the values of our king and to strive to influence our physical world with his ways and Gospel.

The Great Reset in a Bigger Context

The Great Reset that the World Economic Forum promotes is not THE reset and its not great at all. Aeons ago, when human iniquity had become intolerable, God reset the physical world and the instrument he used was the Great Flood (Genesis 6:6-8). Then, thousands of years later, he reset the world spiritually by coming personally as Jesus Christ of Nazareth, dying to atone for the rebellion of mankind, and rising from the dead so that all who choose to can be born again of the spirit into eternal life.

And God has a third and final Great Reset planned; it goes by several names but is most often referred to as ‘the great and awesome day of the Lord’ (Malachi 4:5).

Zephania 1:14-18

“The great day of the Lord is near – near and coming quickly.  Listen! The cry on the day of the Lord will be bitter, the shouting of the warrior there. That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness, a day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the corner towers.  I will bring distress on the people and they will walk like blind men because they have sinned against the Lord. Their blood will be poured out like dust and their entrails like filth.  Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord’s wrath. In the fire of his jealousy, the whole world will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live in the earth.”

I suspect that day is almost upon us but before this last and greatest ‘reset’ occurs there will be a Great Revival. My eyes are straining for that and I am starting to see distinct signs of its imminence. So, instead of fearing the so-called Great Reset, let’s anticipate with excitement the soon-coming Great Revival.

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. (Revelation 22:20-21).

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TruthTalks: Insanity of Insanity

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For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. NKJ

Let’s talk about the insanity of the world we are living in and what to do about it. How do we react in a world gone bonkers? Listen to this TruthTalks podcast by Dr Christopher Peppler to find out how!

Please help us continue what we are doing by subscribing to the podcast, sharing this post with friends and helping others stay sane!

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Insanity of Insanity, all is Insanity

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In a previous age, the author of Ecclesiastes wrote, ‘Vanity of vanity, all is vanity’ (Ecceliastis 1:2) but in this age, we could equally say ‘Insanity of insanity, all is insanity.’

I am not using the word in its medical or legal form, but as defined by Merriam-Webster as ‘extreme folly or unreasonableness’. In many respects, it seems that the world has lost its collective mind for wherever I look I see insanity manifesting to an even greater extent than COVID-19!

Some Current Examples

Let me give a few fairly current examples, some extreme and others less so, yet all fundamentally insane.

  • At least one of the states in the USA allowed strip-joints to remain open yet prohibited churches from meeting together – insanity.
  • Also in the USA, we observe an orgy of politically-oriented slander, lying, racism, looting, violence, cheating and vote-rigging in the midst of economic peril and a run-away pandemic – insanity.
  • Back home in the good old RSA, we recently had taxis that were allowed to pack in 10 or more people into one vehicle but close family members were prevented from meeting together in a garden – insanity.
  • Social distancing of at least a meter and a half is required on public streets, shops and so on,  but hundreds of people pack into an aeroplane with about 30 cm separating them – insanity.
  • Two thousand political party members marched on a school while matric exams were in progress to protest an assumed and unverified act of racism among the students and staff – insanity.
  • Government’s denial, prevarication, and unwillingness to prevent the slaughter of hundreds of farmers when that sector of the economy not only contributes in a major way to our financially ruined state coffers but also provides food for millions of near-starving citizens– insanity.
  • A previous head of state pleading repeatedly to be given his day in court while doing everything possible to prevent this from happening – insanity.
  • And the list goes on, and on, and on… and on!

On the Lighter Side

To give some relief from contemplating these dire examples I cite just a couple of funny minor examples of insanity. My car’s GPS unit has a voice-activated function. I say to it “Find place” and it tells me to speak out the place I want. I say “Pick n Pay Lonehill” and after a suitable interval of computerised pondering it comes back with “Did you say ‘Pick up loners?” And so it goes until I snap “exit” and try to find my own way to the desired destination. My little granddaughters howl with mirth from the back seat, and I just howl. Then just yesterday, I was using the search feature on a major store’s website to look for a cordless phone. What did it produce? It showed a whole lot of cordless kettles and power tools. When I paged through a relevant department on the very same site, I found several cordless phones on sale – insanity.

Not everyone is Insane

In the face of so much insanity, it is easy to generalise and assume that everyone has lost their minds. 

This is not so. You probably are not insane and I don’t think that I am. But as Robert Owen said, “All the world is queer save thee and me, and even thou art a little queer”, so perhaps you are thinking that about me (of course in Owen’s day ‘queer’ just meant ‘strange’) ;-P

God is certainly not insane and the bible is the sanest of books.  In Deuteronomy 1:13 the criteria for leadership within the Kingdom of God include wisdom, understanding, and respect. Acts 6:3 establishes similar criteria for church deacons in that they were to be ‘known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom.’ Concerning all of us Paul wrote in 2 Timoty 1:7 that ‘God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.’

Very Sane Biblical Instructions

The bible contains God’s idea of what government should be and do.

Romans 13:4-5 describes ruling authorities as ‘God’s servants to do you good…’ and 1 Timothy 2:2 instructs us to obey them ‘that we may have peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness’. If only more politicians would recognise this high calling.

Regarding the fear-induced insanity of the world around us, 1 Peter 3:11 tells us not to ‘fear what they fear; do not be frightened’ and Proverbs 1:7 states that the only kind of fear we should constantly experience is the fear (reverence) of the Lord, which is ‘the beginning of knowledge…’

The Moral of The Story

I am writing all this to make just one lucid point: The world has lost its mind but God has given those who follow him a sound mind – a mind focused on Jesus. The Christian church is to be a pool of order in a sea of chaos and a pillar of truth and sanity amid the crumbling ruins of falsehood and madness.

 We can speak Truth where we have the opportunity and we can order our lives rationally and fearlessly. However, perhaps a greater challenge in these times is not to allow ourselves to slip into the whirlpool of political, economic, and religious madness that is swallowing up so much around us.

Keep clear-minded dear believer: keep focused on Jesus, and keep reminding yourself that God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. And just so you know, I take Robert Owen’s quip to heart and include myself in this exhortation to sanity.

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TruthTalks: Jesus and His Bible

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Last week Dr Christopher Peppler wrote THIS article about Jesus and His Bible.

What did he use before the full Bible (Old and New Testaments) was available? How did He interpret the texts that He did have at His disposal? What do we learn from this?

Listen to this great podcast by clicking play on the media toolbar below, and if you like it, please subscribe, pass it along and enjoy.
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Please don’t forget to scroll down for the current TruthTalks audio!

Until next time, Admin

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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.