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TruthTalks: Revival and Revolution

Last week we read about Revival and Revolution HERE.


This week we get to hear Dr Christopher Peppler talking us through it in this TruthTalks podcast.

If you would like to hear other posts in audio form, we have an extensive library HERE or look for us on your podcatcher of choice. is non-profit and we rely on YOU to help us spread the word, so please like, comment, subscribe and interact with us.

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Revival and Revolution


The Asbury University revival was much in the news a while ago and Christians from all over the world tracked it hopefully.

Was it the start of something bigger and more far-spread? “Oh Lord Jesus, let it be so!”.

But, now the Asbury awakening has receded like a wave on the shore and it seems that we may have to wait a little longer for a great move of God.

In Christian circles, if we speak of both Rivival and Revolution in the same sentence, we usually refer to Revival OR Revolution rather than Revival AND Revolution. What we imply by this is that only a Holy Spirit revival will prevent our nations from fragmenting into revolution. Put another way, we see revival as the antidote to rapidly deteriorating conditions in our world. However, history does not fully support this idea.

Before going any further, I must mention that in this article I use the word ‘revolution’ in its broader sense of, ‘a radical and pervasive change in society often accompanied by violence.’

The greatest revivals have had a profound influence on their host nations, and even the world.

They brought about change and in at least one case even moved the nation away from a devastating revolution. Almost all were messy, controversial, polarising, and relatively short-term phenomena, albeit with long-term residual influence. Moreover, a historic observation is that revivals usually occur in parallel to ongoing conditions of revolution.

I live in a nation where the ruling party calls itself a revolutionary movement, and true to its self-description, it has brought us to a state of national ‘revolution’.

The non-Christian majority clamours for change yet ironically employs the strategies of revolution as an antidote to revolution. On the other hand, the Christian minority prays and hopes for revival to save our land. However,  is this a valid hope or are we more likely to have both revival and revolution occurring simultaneously in our near future?

The greatest revival/awakening recorded in the bible is what we call The Day of Pentecost Outpouring.

Initially, only about 120 were affected and within a few days a few thousand more. But, from then on the revival grew and spread until two millennia later there is hardly a nation on earth that has not been affected by it.

Sometimes it has burned bright and hot, but these have been lightning flashes followed by long periods characterised by both growth and decline. In our generation, the life of the Holy Spirit indwells the hearts of probably no more than a tenth of the world’s population although over 30% describe themselves as ‘Christian’. The relatively few followers of Jesus live all over the globe and many are in countries where armed conflict rages, corruption and degradation rule, or hunger and sickness constitute their own form of deadly revolution.

So, what should we, you and I, expect of the darkening revolutionary future storming towards us?

A Biblical Testimony


The Book of Revelation presents a graphic portrayal of the ages from the first to the second coming of the Lord Jesus. We can find evidence of the forces it describes in every age over the last 2,000 years, but it also gives us insight into the kind of world in which we now live.

I have written a book explaining the structure and general trends, principles, and powers presented in the book of Revelation and you can find it HERE. For this article, I will confine myself to just Chapter 11 of Revelation and will only give some of the detail that I present in my book, so if you would like to learn more, go ahead and get the Kindle or paperback book.

Revelation 11:1-12 reads: ‘I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, with its worshipers. But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”  They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.”  If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want. Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them. Their bodies will lie in the public square of the great city—which is figuratively called Sodom and Egypt—where also their Lord was crucified. For three and a half days some from every people, tribe, language and nation will gaze on their bodies and refuse them burial. The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth.  But after the three and a half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them. Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.”’

Now do not let the extreme language and imagery throw you, but rather focus on the following key aspects drawn from the text:


  1. The temple represents the church, which, like the temple of old, contains an ‘outer court’ of nominal professing Christians and a Holy Place of genuine followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. The imagery is from Ezekiel Chapters 40 to 44, where the following verses are particularly pertinent, “Son of man, describe the temple to the people of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their sins. Let them consider the plan, and if they are ashamed of all they have done, make known to them the design of the temple – its arrangement, its exits and entrances – its whole design and all its regulations and laws. Write these down before them so that they may be faithful to its design and follow all its regulations”. (Ezekiel 43:10-11) It appears that John was equating the church with Ezekiel’s temple. Only priests were allowed to enter the Holy Place, and John was told to ignore the outer court where the ‘gentiles’ were. In Revelation 1:6 and 5:10 John refers to Christians as ‘priests’, and so it seems that in the allusion to the temple he is distinguishing between true believers and nominal Christians; between those who worship God in spirit and in truth and those who just claim to do so.
  2. The world, including apostate Christendom, will ‘trample’ on the true church for a period specified as 42 months or 1 260 days. The prophetic month consisted of 30 days and so 1 260 days exactly equals 42 months. The same symbolic period appears in Revelation 12:14 as ‘time, times, and half a time’ (in other words, 3½ years). We should not take the numbers in Revelation literally, so the question concerns what this period symbolises. In Revelation 11, the period relates to the ministry of the ‘two witnesses’, who have the power to ‘shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying’. The allusion is to the prophet Elijah, who proclaimed a three-and-a-half-year drought in Israel. Jesus spoke of this when he compared the people of his time with those in ancient Israel. He said, “I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land” (Luke 4:25) So, the two witnesses represent an Elijah-like ministry. However, John also describes them as having the power to ‘turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague…’ This is a reference to Moses. He displayed the mighty power of God in liberating his people from Egypt. Elijah symbolises the prophetic ministry of the church in judging apostate Christendom, and Moses is a symbol of the apostolic ministry of the church in protecting the true believers. Revelation 12:14 picks up on this second function, where it describes God taking the church into the desert ‘where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.’ So, apostate Christians equate to those in the outer court of the temple, and true Christians to those in the inner court.
  3. There is a strong correlation between Jesus’ ministry and that of the church. Jesus ministered for 42 months during which he displayed mighty signs and wonders, judged the apostate ‘church’ of his day, and made a way of salvation for all who would follow him. At the end of that period, Jesus was put to death, yet rose again. Towards the end of the period of end-time Elijah and Moses-like ministry, the church will be ‘put to death’, yet it too shall rise! Revelation 11:7-11 reinforces this correlation. Verse 12 describes the ascension of the church into heaven after its period of powerful ministry amid persecution.

The Implications of Revival


So, mighty revival comes first to the church and then to society.

The first effect of revival is that it serves to judge the condition of the church and to separate the true from the false. True believers experience and participate in the empowering influence of the Holy Spirit and false believers, and unbelievers, criticise them and seek to persecute them.


We long for revival yet we often fail to grasp that revival has an enormously disruptive effect on the church. Even among true believers, as opposed to nominal religious Christians, the powerful influence of the Holy Spirit tests, refines, and separates the ‘flesh’ from the ‘spirit’. For this reason, real revivals are messy as well as painful. Messy because immature believers let their emotions get the better of them and become extremely disruptive and painful because nominal Christians criticise, sanction, and make life tough for all in the revival, both the messy ravers and the more balanced disciples.

Secondly, true revival burns bright for just a short period of time during which it has a profound influence on the church and society generally.


When it dies down and the smoke of its fire clears, then all can see a transformed church and a radically impacted society. This church continues the work of influencing society with truth and light. Over time, this can give rise to transformed governments, businesses, families, and so on.

A third point to note is that revival happens within the context of revolution; it is revival AND revolution.


It does not replace revolution but rather mitigates and redirects it in key ways. Although modern versions translate Isaiah 59:19 differently, the New King James bible still has ‘When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him’. I like this because it describes a divine principle we see repeated throughout history. The flood is ‘revolution’ and the raised up standard is ‘revival’.

Perhaps, one final thing to note is that the revival of Revelation 11 portrays revival in general, but more specifically, the last and greatest revival of history as we know it.

Are we living in ‘the end times’ when the revival we desire will be the final mighty blast of the trumpet of God? I suspect so, but who can know other than God himself?

A Last Thought on this Matter


Taking into account all that I have written here, do I still want to witness and participate in a mighty Holy Spirit revival? Yes, I do.

In general, the church is in desperate need of shaking up and purifying and only a God-given revival can do that adequately.

My country might not pull back from the brink of the failed-state abyss without the restraint and reformation that revival would bring. Do I want revival even if it is the last and most radical of all? Yes, because if it ushers in the second coming of the Lord Jesus then how can I not pray for it to come?

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: The Theology Behind Spiritual Impotence

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Greetings! After a week off due to illness (please note the little frogs here and there as a nod to a still sore-throated Dr Christopher Peppler) we bring you the TruthTalks podcast on this important subject.


The audio for this talk is based on THIS article as well as a previously written book titled “Prayer, Power and Proclamation” which you can view, along with Dr Peppler’s other books HERE, or buy directly from Amazon HERE.

This audio in essence asks:

Where are the miracles nowdays and how do we get them back?

A valuable listen to both leaders as well as all Christians. Simply click the play button below. I do hope you benefit greatly from this listen. is non-profit and we rely on YOU to help us spread the word, so please like, comment, subscribe and interact with us.

Until next time, Admin

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Darkest Before Dawn

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I have written a long article ready for publication titled ‘The Dark Night of our Nation’s Soul’ which was drawn from Isaiah 59. However, the Holy Spirit has arrested me and directed me to rethink when and if I should publish it. My aim was to focus on the light of Revival as the only viable solution to our nation’s woes. This conviction has not changed, but there is another way I can express it other than bemoaning the darkness. For instance, the next chapter in Isaiah is, of course, chapter 60 and this starts with the gloriously well-known passage:

Arise, shine, for your light has come,

and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.

For behold, darkness shall cover the earth,

and thick darkness the peoples;

but the Lord will arise upon you,

and his glory will be seen upon you.

Isaiah 60:1-2 ESV


What is very noticeable about this statement by Isaiah is that the first verse is in the present tense while the rest of the passage is in the future tense. Your light has come… glory has risen upon you… darkness shall cover… glory will be seen.

Chapter 59 presents Israel as living in deep moral and material darkness yet in his next breath the prophet tells them that God’s light has already risen upon them. They are like a man standing in the deepest darkness who is unaware that behind him a light is already shining. He cannot see the light because it is behind him and the shadows before him are very dark. This was Israel’s condition, and it is our current condition.

Before us and around us we see and sense darkness, but perhaps we need to turn around in order to see the light.

The Light Behind Us

In our church service this Sunday, we sang a song with the chorus lines. ‘And all my life you have been faithful. And all my life you have been so, so good…’ As I sang these words, I was praying silently, “It is true Lord. You have been so good and faithful to me. Thank you Jesus”.  Of course, there have been hard parts in my personal history with all the pain, confusion, and sadness that is a part of life. However, when I think back, I can see that God’s goodness, grace and mercy has always shone brightly. (I wrote my personal testimony HERE if you would like to read it) The problem is that sometimes, like these present days, our eyes get blinded by the darkness and cannot see the light behind us. This of course is an illusion, because darkness is just the perceived absence of light and cannot blind us. However, we can’t see too well in the darkness unless we turn around and catch the glimmers of light reflecting off our past realities and our current circumstances.

The Light Around Us

The light of the Lord is a spiritual and not a physical light. It shines from a dimension beyond the perception of the six normal senses. This spiritual light enters our worlds through many windows such as the scriptures, the inner spirit, and fellow disciples of Jesus.

If we stop searching for the light in the scriptures, then we are turning our backs on the light. If we cease seeking for the light within our spirits, then darkness dominates our spiritual vision. In addition, when we sever contact with other spirit-filled believers, then we isolate ourselves from the light that shines through the windows of their souls.

The COVID-19 lockdown has been a brutal thing in so many ways and has isolated each of us in into our own small corners. Do you remember that children’s song from Sunday-school days about our small corners? ‘Jesus bids us shine, with a clear, pure light. Like a little candle burning in the night. In this world of darkness, so we must shine, you in your small corner, and I in mine’. Well, to benefit by the light that we each bear, we need to connect, and this is one of the reasons that the gatherings of the church are so important. If I had not been at the church service on Sunday I would not have sung of God’s faithful goodness towards me, I would not have heard others testifying to this, and I would most likely not have seen the light around me.

‘For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.’ (2 Corinthians 4:6) 
The Light Before Us

There are two ways in which the light is before us, past and a future tense. Isaiah probably had no idea that he was not only encouraging Israel, but also prophesying the coming of the Messiah. Speaking of Jesus Christ, the Apostle John wrote that ‘in him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.‘ (John 1:4-5) Jesus is the light of the world, both 2000 years ago when he walked on Earth, and now. Every person who is born again of the Spirit is a light bearer and a member of what Paul described as the Kingdom of Light (Colossians 1:12); we are fellow sons and daughters of the Light (1 Thessalonians 5:5).

In another sense, the light is still before us on the timeline of the ages. In Revelation 21:23 John uses the analogy of a city to describe Heaven, and writes that it ‘does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp’. However, the same book of Revelation hints strongly at a foretaste of the light of heaven in a last and greatest spiritual revival.

However, we only have to read the bible and consider church history to see that God sends the light of revival in the darkest times. Our present time is very dark – (and not just from load-shedding) both in South Africa and the world at large, and so should we not expect God to send revival?

Jesus Revival

In the yet to be published article I referred to earlier, I gave revival as the only truly foreseeable positive scenario for the future of South Africa. However, we cannot generate true revival no matter how much we declare it, structure for it, or pretend that it is already here. Revival is a sovereign act of God, preceded only by prayer. A few years ago I wrote a series on Revival and you can read it by following the links listed HERE or you can purchase the book in its entirety it from Amazon HERE. I urge you to do this because our need for revival is critical and urgent and we need to be asking God to send it ASAP!

Light Upon Light Upon Light

So, within our current darkness, we have past, present, and future light. We have the light of Jesus who was and is the very light of the world; we have the light of our remembrance of the light of the Lord in our own lives; we have the light of fellow light-bearers all around us, and we have the great light of future revival and ultimate heaven. This is why Paul can write:

‘For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible.

This is why it is said:

“Wake up, O sleeper,

Rise from the dead,

And Christ will shine on you.”‘

Ephesians 5:8-14

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TruthTalks: The Nature of the New Birth

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Last week, Dr Christopher Peppler wrote THIS, slightly formidable in length I can’t help but feel, but very important article on’ and what it means to be ‘born again’.

If you felt this was a bit of a meaty read, then we give you the audio/podcast version, so you can listen while you drive, do chores, or just carry on with your day while still getting the message.

Please click on the “play” button below, and SHARE, RATE, SUBSCRIBE etc. please as this is a self-supporting operation and YOU are how we get the word out.

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.