The worm has been turned

We have come to a moment of destiny for South Africa.

We stand at a crossroads with one path leading to dictatorship and national destruction, and the other to the realisation of the dream of a democratic, non-racial, and prosperous country. We have, and we continue to intercede fervently for God to intervene…

…and I believe that He has, and He is, and He will!
I wrote this article in November 2016, after the courts had ordered that the Public Protector’s State Capture report be released. As I wrote it I was conscious of the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit, but when I had completed the task I had a strong check in my spirit that I should not publish it just then. I had a sense that the timing was not right and that it lacked an essential element of redemption and hope. But, now I feel the time is right.

To combat darkness, we must all shine whatever light we have. This starts by speaking out into our circles of influence. This comment is my little light beam.
This article is addressed to South African Christians but applies in part to many nations at this time.

The ‘worm’, in Shakespeare’s quaint saying ‘the worm has turned’, refers to the ancient, fire-spewing dragon of myth and fairy lore. In our nation, South Africa, the dragon has not turned of his own choice, but because of the efforts of hundreds of brave saint Georges. The bravest of all dragon slayers is our erstwhile Public Protector but in her wake has risen a legion of true freedom fighters. And as the swords of truth and integrity rise high to strike, we look and observe with surprise that the dragon is actually just a worm after all.

I am convinced that we will look back on the 2nd November 2016 as the day the worm was turned. On that day the judges of the Supreme Court issued an order that the Public Protector’s ‘state capture’ report be immediately made public, and between every page crawled the maggots of corruption! Crooked business men, corrupt politicians, leaders of state-owned entities, and assorted other wigglers. The report does not so much reveal the danger of state capture but rather documents the critical evidence that the state has already been captured. Men and woman of ill will, greedy disposition, and misdirected loyalty sit snugly under every key rock in the formal garden of our state.

But light is now shining brightly on the areas of corruption. Paul wrote ‘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’ (Ephesians 5:11-14). The rocks are being turned over one by one and the light is shining brightly on the worms beneath. And what do worms do when exposed to light? They wiggle – and what a wiggling we are now witnessing! Barefaced lying, inane excuses, arrogant and angry claims that the Public Protector’s report is incorrect, biased and riddled with ‘gossip’… wiggle, wiggle, wiggle.

We delude ourselves if we think that the number one worm will line up all his invertebrates behind him and slither off into the sunset. On the contrary, he will wiggle all the more, rage against white economic colonialism, disparage those wise and seasoned men and woman within his own party, and dig in as deeply as he can into the mud of control, manipulation, lies, and arrogant recalcitrance.

And all the while our economy is strangling and is gasping for breath, the horde of angry and disillusioned unemployed men and woman is growing to record highs, while the rating agencies are poised to downgrade our nation to junk status. But our leaders simply blame the rating agencies of being unfair and biased against emerging economies and bluster about creating their own rating agency, despite the lunacy of the notion. The next generation of thought leaders are either throwing stones at university security officers in their violent demands for free education or struggling to be able to write their examinations and qualify. All the while, provincial governments and state-owned entities are exposed as chalking up tens of billions of unauthorised expenditures, to the extent that the entire higher education bill could have been paid from the corruption and wastage alone. The power utility CEO brags about how clever he has been in keeping the nation supplied with electricity when everyone knows that the failing economy has reduced the demand for power considerably. Then the Public Protector reveals that this CEO is under scrutiny for mismanagement at best and blatant corruption at worst. His response is to cry crocodile tears, literally, and then resign – problem solved… not! The head of the National Prosecuting Authority tries to have the Minister of Finance arrested on trumped-up charges and at the same time, he does nothing about obeying a court order to reinstate the over 700 charges against the State President. And so it goes, a painful and pathetic litany of moral and ethical failure, greed, and arrogance, followed by exposure, denial, and a total lack of accountability.

What is to be done? Can we afford, and I mean that literally, to wait until the process of successive elections slowly changes the balance of power in our nation? Will we have a nation worthy of the name left by then? Or can we justify and risk civil unrest, revolt, and a coup? I shudder at both of these alternatives!
As passionate believers in the ability of Almighty God to change reality, we can ask Him to intervene. We can acknowledge that we have probably been given the government we deserve but we can say, with painful sincerity, that we have learned our lessons, and that we commit ourselves to a just, lawful, moral, ethical, and godly system of government and society. We can plead with God to send revival to His church, to remove the evil from our structures of power, and to give us another chance. Then we need to submit ourselves to the guidance of the Holy Spirit as to what actions we should undertake to follow our words of protest.

“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you”.
Isaiah 60:1-2

In the early hours of Friday the 31st March 2017, the president of South Africa made his big move to grab power over the country from the hands of the ruling party. Without consulting his leaders, he announced a massive cabinet reshuffle designed to achieve three tactical objectives; to place his sycophants in the remaining cabinet posts not yet personally loyal to him, to secure a greater number of parliamentary seats that he could count on, and to capture the national treasury. In a flagrant display of arrogance and contempt for his party and the people of the land, he fired the most efficient minister in his cabinet on the grounds that he was improving efficiency and effectiveness. His flimsy and unpublicised excuse for axing the minister of finance was a ridiculously inept and incomprehensible ‘Intelligence report’ claiming that the minister was engaged in treasonous activity. Yesterday one of the three major rating agencies degraded South Africa to junk status and a second will follow suite by the end of the week. As I write this, our markets have not yet opened but I am expecting a disastrous fall in the value of the Rand. However, despite the deepening darkness let me switch on the light of hope.

On Monday 27th March the Revival Prayer Meeting of our local church met as usual. Unsurprisingly, the major focus of our prayers was intercession for our nation. We prayed that God would step in and dramatically intervene and we acknowledged our dependence on Him. One prayer went as follows;

‘Please Lord, just as you sent an angel to confront Balaam will you not stand before our president with your hand up and say, ‘Enough! Stop! Be silent”’.Before the meeting ended we had a deep sense that there were thousands of groups of Christians all across our land interceding just as we were.
The next day a grand old stalwart of the liberation movement died and the day after that was laid to rest. At his funeral, former president Kgalema Motlanthe read out Ahmed Kathrada’s message from the grave, that Jacob Zuma should step down for the sake of the nation. This funeral service signalled a great intervention by Almighty God because it initiated waves of response and resolve that are now washing over the nation like ever-expanding ripples in a pond.

I believe that over the next few weeks we are going to witness, and even participate in, the decisive ‘turning of the worm’ and the start of a new era for our nation. There is more drama to come and I anticipate brazen and desperate attempts by the Zuma faction to stay in power. But, I do believe that God is acting on behalf of righteousness and that soon, very soon, we will be praising His name for another great miracle in our land.

The Lord Jesus had remarkably little to say to the political rulers of His time, but what he said to Herod is so appropriate. Luke 13:31-32 ‘At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’…” Perhaps we could paraphrase this and apply it to our times and situation with these words; “Go tell that worm, ‘I will drive out the demons and heal this land and her people, and surely I will accomplish my goal’”.

Christopher Peppler

Christopher Peppler



20 thoughts on “The worm has been turned”

  1. Lukes comment is appropriate as we approach Palm Sunday. The people shouted’ Hosanna’ ( Save us now), Praise God in the highest heaven. They expected Him to remove the Romans and save them from occupation,but Jesus had another plan as to how to save the people in 3 days. We should all pray on Palm Sunday to be saved from corrupt leaders but more important for our own salvation which will last much longer than any corrupt leader.

  2. margaret van blydenstein

    Amos5:15 “Hate evil and love good, then work it out in the public square. Maybe God-of-the-angel-armies , will notice your remnant and be gracious.”

  3. Our God is able to do exceedingly abundantly far above that which we ask or imagine! He is in control! He is busy shaking everything that can be shaken! It is time for heaven to invade the earth! Rise up Church of the Living God and take back what Satan has stolen from us! The Kingdom of God which is our inheritance must be taken by force! (Not physically, but spiritually)! We are at war against principalities and powers of darkness, so beam forth the Light! For it is: “Christ in us the hope of Glory”.

  4. That is so profound and wonderfully written Thanking you for Boldness ,Trust ,Hope and Focus (On Him ) We Stand firm but
    Kneel in prayer for this country and all it’s
    People .

  5. Val Parker(Reynolds)

    A good word which is how I’ve been praying What was exposed last year is still in the light.John 1 v 5

  6. Profound. Describes accurately the devastating situation our country is in, yet leaves us hopeful and inspired to continue praying.

  7. This is awesome. Therefore good people be there on 22nd of April at It”s Time National Prayer day in Bloemfontein

  8. “If My People, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray, AND SEEK MY FACE, and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear them from Heaven, I will forgive them their sin AND I WILL HEAL THEIR LAND.”
    The Lord God Almighty is waiting for us…..

  9. In Jess Name – I endorse that and pray for South Africa – and all pray and intercede for the 23.April – Bloomfontein event –

  10. Geert Busschots

    Well written, sad that we see what’s happening in our country. Having said that, history informs us that change normally happens with the middle class involvement.
    The poor do not always have the means and just follow while the rich are comfortable and move their portfolios.
    The last week’s have seen all walks of life, all of colour, all of religion , all of political affiiation, standing together, this a miracle as
    we have not experienced this in decades.
    Mandela’s rainbow nation has mobilized and let’s make sure that this progresses into the plan he was building for all of us before we were hijacked.
    We all need to have faith to believe.

  11. You have captured the essence of the problem and our hearts desire. Excellent article. .thanks Chris. There is hope surging and the people of God are full of expectancy that God is keeping His promise .. and is with them

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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.