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Once-off or repeated?

Theme: Anointing – Necessary or nice to have?

Ephesians 5:18 ‘Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.’ 
Many years ago, Rick Godwin came to South Africa to speak at a convention. His key address was titled ‘Fresh Oil’. The basic idea was that we should not rely on yesterday’s anointing but should instead regularly seek ‘fresh oil’ form the Holy Spirit. It was a good message and I bought a cassette (tells you how long ago it was) to listen to again in my car. Shortly after this I drove down to Durban to minister over a weekend and on Sunday attended a local church there. The pastor started to preach and I was immediately intrigued by the similarity of the message with ‘Fresh oil’. The longer he preached the more my de je voux experience intensified. After the service I jumped into my car for the trip home and immediately inserted the Rick Godwin cassette. To my amazement I realised that the local pastor had preached the exact same message, right down to the jokes and ‘personal’ anecdotes. He clearly did not have any fresh oil!

Now had that Durban pastor asked the Holy Spirit for a fresh empowering, I am sure he would have had a fresh sermon. Perhaps his theology got in the way. What I mean by this is that classical Pentecostal theology asserts that we only have one empowering experience called the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This occurs shortly after our conversion experience and never again. More traditional theology asserts that the Holy Spirit resides within each believer and that the concept of ‘anointing’ is redundant. I believe that Holy Spirit anointing can and should occur regularly. I base this on the witness of the early church and the powerful experiences of the Holy Spirit that occurred subsequent to Pentecost. I also base it on the particular use of words in the Greek of Ephesians 5:18. The verb translated as ‘be filled’ is in the present tense which can indicate that the command is to keep on doing an action as one’s general habit or life-style. So, the verse could legitimately be translated as ‘be being filled with the Spirit.’

Before I preach, I ask the Holy Spirit to anoint me for the task. Sometimes folk will lay hands upon me and sometimes I will simply ask God in private prayer. The important thing for me is to realize my dependence on the Holy Spirit and to acknowledge this often by asking for his anointing power.

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Christopher Peppler



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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.