Christ-centered

Feature Image

TruthTalks: Captivated by Jesus, An Interview with Wade Trimmer

Top Image

This is the third and last interview in the Captivated by Jesus series. We have found that the transcripts of these interviews have not served much purpose and so for this one we are going straight to the audio version.

Please scroll down and click on the play button to listen, or subscribe using the buttons at the top of the site.

Wade Trimmer is the founding pastor of Grace Fellowship of Augusta. After serving 30 years as the pastor, he left to devote the rest of his life to the training and discipling of pastors and key lay leaders.  You can find more information on this HERE.

If you would like to read more on what he feels about Jesus, then click HERE

Without further ado, here is the podcast with Lance Peppler and Wade Trimmer:

TruthTalks: Captivated by Jesus, An Interview with Wade Trimmer Read More »

Post feature image

TruthTalks: Sabbath Sticks, Stones, and Sacraments

Top Image of post

Dealing with things like the Sabbath, Sticks, Stones, and Sacraments through the Jesus Perspective.

This TruthTalks podcast is based on THIS post and deals with two troublesome passages of scripture by looking at them from the perspective of what Jesus taught. Dr Christopher Peppler talks on the incident of the man stoned to death because he worked on the Sabbath. He also deals with the passage in 1 Corinthians describing the fate of sacrament violators.

Simply click on the play button below to listen to this enlightening talk.

Please feel free to comment or subscribe to the podcast feed or the post.

TruthTalks: Sabbath Sticks, Stones, and Sacraments Read More »

TruthTalks feature image

TruthTalks (Sermons): Connecting the dots

People who doubt the authenticity of the Old Testament or the divinity of Jesus should listen to this message.

The Lord Jesus connects the dots between His life and key Old Testament events. By doing this He is in effect saying, “Yes, it is true, and I AM the one who did it!”

Click HERE to read the article on which this sermon is based or press play below to listen or download the sermon.

TruthTalks (Sermons): Connecting the dots Read More »

FeatureImageJudgementDay

Judgement Day

Judgement Day

The prospect of a Final Judgement should not threaten any true Christian, for it is the final earthly act in God’s redemptive plan for all who believe. Judgement Day completes the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross; The Day of Atonement resolves Passover.

In my last article, I wrote about the Feast of Tabernacles, which Jewish folk all around the world have recently celebrated. The commemoration consists first of Rosh Hashanah, the blowing of trumpets, followed 10 days later by Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Then comes 7 days of living in out-door ‘tabernacles’.

For Christians, the immediate relevance of the Day of Atonement is that it presents aspects of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. Hebrews 9:11-14 makes this clear:

When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

However, some clues in the Day of Atonement rituals point to a deeper level of meaning.

  • John referred to Jesus as the Lamb of God (John 1:29, 36). Paul likens Him to the Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) and effectively links the crucifixion to Passover, not the Day of Atonement, as does Peter in 1 Peter 1:19. Why then did they sacrifice a GOAT on the Day of Atonement? Jesus used goats to represent those who were condemned, not those whom He saved: “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left” (Matthew 25:31-33).
  • There was a second goat involved on the Day of Atonement and this animal was called Azazel (Leviticus 16:8), which most probably means ‘complete sending away’, but which some Jewish scholars regard as a name for the devil. The High Priest laid all the sins of the people of Israel upon this goat and sent it off to be lost in the wilderness. How does this relate to the Crucifixion? The most likely connection I see is to the banishment of Satan from Heaven when Jesus died and then rose again.

Jewish tradition places the full emphasis of the Day of Atonement on averted judgement. For them, Yom Kippur is the climax of ten days of repentance, called the ‘Days of Awe’. After this, the names of the righteous are written in the Book of Life while the unrighteous are inscribed in the Book of Death.

The book of Revelation contains a graphic reference to the Judgement Day of God;

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life’ (Revelation 20:11-12). Earlier, Revelation links this Book of Life to Jesus with the words, ‘the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world’ (Revelation 13:8).

There are further connections between the Day of Atonement and the Final Judgement. The Blowing of Trumpets precedes the Day of Atonement and in the book of Revelation, the Seventh Trumpet announces the Day of Judgement. Jesus spoke of this when He said that the nations of the earth “will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other“ (Matthew 24:30-31). Paul echoed his master’s words when he later wrote that ‘the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God’ (1 Thessalonians 4:16).

After the Day of Atonement came the 7 days of the Feast of Tabernacles commemorating God dwelling with His people during the wilderness exodus. In the book of Revelation, the final dwelling of God with His people is described in terms of a new creation, a HeavenEarth:

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” ‘ (Revelation 21:1-4)

The great Day of Atonement holds no fear and trepidation for those born again of the Spirit of God, for Jesus referred to himself when He said that “whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:18). Hallelujah!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Judgement Day Read More »

Jesus feature image

What religion says about Jesus

Top Image for What religion says about Jesus

I have found that a good way to determine the integrity and truth of religious, sectarian, or cultic teachings is to first determine what they say about Jesus.

The teachers of many religious systems claim that they worship the same God as the God of the Bible, and that their system of belief is just another way of approaching Him. Now, according to the Bible, Jesus is ‘the image of the invisible God…the exact representation of His being… for in Christ all the fullness of the deity lives in bodily form’ (Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 2:9). The Lord Jesus is therefore the primary yardstick by which we should measure the validity of all spiritual truth claims. What a belief system teaches concerning His deity, uniqueness, and Lordship is an excellent indication of whether or not their god is our God, and their way of salvation the biblical way of salvation. So, let us have a quick look at what five major religious systems have to say about Jesus.

Islam

In terms of Islamic teaching, Jesus is only a messenger of Allah (and a prophet). Muslims deny that Jesus is both God and man and they also deny that he was crucified. However, they affirm that He was born of a virgin and that He was sinless. Islam has a high view of Jesus, but denies His divinity.

Hinduism

Although there are numerous sects within Hinduism, most of them hold to certain core teachings. For instance, Brahman is the name they apply to what they believe is the divine essence of all that exists. Brahman is impersonal, eternal, and beyond all human comprehension. There are many hundreds of gods and goddesses within Hinduism generally believed to be manifestations of the divine essence (Brahman). An Avatar is the name given to an appearance on earth of one of these deities and some strains of Hinduism claim that Jesus was an Avatar. However, most hold that he was simply an enlightened teacher (a master or guru).

Buddhism

Perhaps the best way to understand Buddhism is as a philosophy of how to live a happy life. Although it does include a concept of reincarnation, each new appearance of life on earth does not represent a specific spiritual entity or being. Because Buddhism predates Christianity by some six hundred years, its basic teachings take no account of Jesus. If they have any view of Jesus at all it would be as an enlightened teacher.

Mormonism

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints claims to be ‘the church of Jesus Christ’ but the big question is, ‘is this Jesus the same of the biblical Jesus of Nazareth or is he the Jesus of the latter day saints?’ Their Jesus was birthed in a pre-earthly existence (on another ‘planet’) by a flesh and bone divine man and his wife. He was the first of many sons and Satan was his younger brother. This alone evidences that the Jesus of Mormonism is not the Jesus revealed in the Bible.

Jehovah’s Witnesses

According to Jehovah’s Witness’ theology, God is a single person, not a Trinity. He does not know all things and he is not everywhere. He first created Michael the Archangel through whom He created all “other things,” including the universe. When the time came for a messiah to redeem humanity Michael the Archangel became a human in the form of Jesus. Jesus was created and was therefore not ‘god’ and he is not part of any supposed trinity. The Jehovah’s Witness doctrine of salvation sets out three requirements for salvation – a proper knowledge of god and Jesus, obedience to god’s law, and membership of and loyalty to the one true church (theirs). This neither the Jesus of the Bible nor the way of salvation it reveals.

It is reasonably clear from all of this that the Mormon or Jehovah’s Witness Jesus is not the Jesus revealed in and through the Bible. Nor is the Jesus acknowledged by Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism the Jesus of the Bible. The Jesus of these religions cannot save anyone in and of himself and cannot be worshipped as God.

Here are links to the source documents of the five religions I have listed, for those of you interested in verifying this information or studying further:
Islam: The Quran
Hinduism: The Vedas
Buddhism: The Dhammapada and others
Mormonism: The Book of Mormon
Jehovah’s Witnesses: New World translation of Holy Scriptures
The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM) has a lot of information on these and other religious systems.

PS: Listen to my forthcoming TruthTalk and the Q&A that follows it if you want to know what I think of Roman Catholicism’s take on Jesus and His saving work.
Save

What religion says about Jesus Read More »

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.