Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Shepherd's Chapel - My Story


I have stated on this blog and on my YouTube video that I use to be a student of Shepherd's Chapel. It was commented on YouTube and posts on this blog that I am a liar and was never a student of Shepherd's Chapel.


So here is my history:


In the late 1980's my Grandfather, a Baptist preacher for many years, stumbled across Shepherd's Chapel on his old C-band satellite dish (I was quite young at the time). As he listened and studied with Shepherd's Chapel he slowly changed his doctrines to align with the teachings of Arnold Murray. My Grandfather started sending my parents some of Shepherd's Chapel's tapes and trying to explain to us the truths that Murray was teaching. Then a few years later, when I was at about the age of 11 or 12, we started doing weekly Bible studies at my Grandfather's house. This was my first real contact with any Christian teaching. Unfortunately, by this time, my Grandfather's beliefs had changed completely to align with Shepherd's Chapel. My Dad, Mom, Brother, and I became convinced that Shepherd's Chapel was teaching the truth and we started following Arnold Murray's teachings.


A few years later, when I was about 14 or 15, my Dad purchased a C-band satellite dish (the big dish). I was able to watch Pastor Murray anytime I wanted (they have a 24-7 channel on C-band). I watched Shepherd's Chapel as much as I could for the next few years and learned most of the specifics of Murray's teachings during that time. At around the age of 18 I got one of my best friends involved with Shepherd's Chapel's teachings. We started handing out tracts, having Bible studies, and trying to spread the doctrines of Shepherd's Chapel any way we could. I was extremely passionate about my beliefs during this time and even went to three Passover meetings (annual meetings they hold usually in Branson, MO around Easter time). I was a fairly avid poster on some unofficial Shepherd's Chapel forums and tried to defend my beliefs with people on the internet (chat rooms, forums, websites, etc.).


During that time I displayed a lot of the same behavior that is common with Shepherd's Chapel students. I could be quite harsh with anybody that challenged my beliefs and I ridiculed Churches and people that I thought were deceived by Satan and his Kenites.


In 2008 I got married and tried to slowly introduce my wife to the doctrines taught by Shepherd's Chapel. Fortunate for me she was stubborn and would not give on much so I didn't try to push it too hard on her. I figured I would just plant the seeds and hope for the best. Around 2009 is when I started to have some doubts about certain doctrines (especially election) taught by Shepherd's Chapel but I suppressed those doubts as best I could. Then the Lord blessed me with a good job in 2010 that allowed me some time to do more Bible studies and reading. I made a conscious effort to read the Bible without listening to Murray or anybody; I was having some doubts and didn't want anybody influencing my studies. I read through the Old Testament once and the New Testament several times over the course of a year. I took Murray's advice and "checked him out" and I found that several of his doctrines were far from Biblical.


By February of 2011 (I was 32 at the time) I had totally rejected Shepherd's Chapel's false doctrines. That would put me at 20+ years of knowledge of their doctrines and teachings. God opened my eyes to the false teachings of Arnold Murray and I was convinced of Reformed Theology though my personal Bible studies. I attend a Bible believing and teaching local Church (and yes, they teach verse-by-verse).


I renounce Shepherd's Chapel as a heretical cult that is outside the scope of Christianity!


Here is a list of just some of the heretical and unorthodox teachings of Shepherd's Chapel:


  • They teach we existed before we were born in the flesh and there was a first earth age that we all lived in. They teach the Gap Theory. Zechariah 12:1 and 1 Cor. 15:46 refute preexistence and the gap theory cannot be supported with sound Hebrew exegesis. (See here and here.)
  • Satan rebelled in that first earth age and God destroyed it. This destruction is known in the New Testament by the Greek word katabole. (See this post for a refutation.)
  • They teach that there were a people on earth before Adam was created. These pre-adamic people are call the 6th day people and comprised different races. White people were created separately on the 8th day. However, if you read Genesis it is clear that chapter 2 is going back to describe the creation of man in chapter 1. We read in Genesis 2:4 the statement "when they were created" showing that what follows is describing the events of the previous chapter thus refuting a separate creation event. (See also here.)
  • The elect where chosen because they stood against Satan in the first earth age. This is a type of justification by works and is a serious Gospel destroying heresy. The elect where chosen not based on any works but on God's sovereign and free choice (Romans 9). A simple reading of Romans 8 will show that the elect are all Christians and we were not chosen based on works performed. (See also Romans 9:16, Ephesians 2:8-10, 2nd Timothy 1:9.)
  • Satan had literal sex with Eve and Cain was the offspring of Satan and Eve. This is called the Serpent Seed doctrine. A simple reading of Genesis 4:1 with refute this claim. Cain is the offspring of Adam. (See my post here and here.)
  • Cain's decedents are called Kenites and they are still alive today claiming to be Jews and controlling the world behind the scenes. This is a scare tactic and breeds racism. (See this post for a refutation.)
  • Kenites wrote the book of Esther. They won't teach the book of Esther on the air, you have to order the tapes. Why hide this teaching? Because it is a blatant denial of Holy Scripture. (Revelation 22:19.)
  • Caucasians are the true descendants of the 10 lost tribes of Israel. There is no scriptural or historical support for this assertion. This doctrine stems from the British Israelism / Christian Identity heresy which has close ties to racist groups. Shepherd's Chapel does not out-right teach racism but many of their doctrines have stemmed from, and tend to breed, racism.
  • Christians that believe in the Rapture will be deceived by the Antichrist. The Bible, to the contrary, teaches in Revelation 13:8 and Matt. 24:22 and John 10:28-29 that Christians can not be deceived by the Antichrist or his system.
  • The Antichrist is Satan himself and not a man. Scripture, however, distinguishes between the man of sin and Satan in 2nd Thessalonians chapter 2. Also Revelation shows the Devil as separate from the False Prophet and the Beast. (See also Daniel chapters 9-11.)
  • They teach Annihilationism. In other words, the denial of eternal conscious torment in hell. Matt. 25:46, Rev. 14:9-11 and many others refute this. (See also this post for a refutation.)
  • They are unclear as to the Trinity and teach modalism (God uses three offices not that God is three persons). I've heard Pastor Murray say "a smart man doesn't discuss the Trinity". They leave it ambiguous, but Shepherd's Chapel's teachings are clearly modalistic and thus heretical. Wrong God, wrong Gospel!
  • Christians must uphold the kosher food laws. (Romans 14:17, 1st Timothy 4:3-4, Mark 7:19 refute this claim).
  • We are in the end-times because in 1948 the good and bad figs returned and created the state of Israel. They claim the bad figs of Jeremiah 24 are Kenites. (See this post for a refutation). Scripture makes it clear that the last days began in the first century. Hebrews 1:1-2, Acts 2:17. In other words, the last days is the time between Christ's first advent and second advent.
  • If your church doesn't teach who the Kenites are they are not a true church and don't posses the Key of David. They try to use Smyrna and Philadelphia from Revelation 2:9 and 3:9 to try and prove that, but only a false hermeneutic would lead to such a statement. (Romans 2:28-29 shows that a true Jew is a one that is inwardly a Jew, in other words a Christian).
  • They teach there is a distinction between free will Christians and elect Christian. There is, however, no scriptural support for this position. Romans 8 and Ephesians 1 disproves this heresy. All Christians are elect and all elect are Christians. The Bible makes no difference between so-called free-will and elect Christians.


Why is Shepherd's Chapel dangerous? Nowhere in Scripture does it teach that the elect where chosen in a first earth age, that a Christian gained elect status because they sided with God in that first earth age. To teach that you are elect because of something you did is heretical and against everything written in the New Testament. I have heard Pastor Murray, when teaching through Romans 8, say the elect where justified, elected and chosen because they stood with God in the first earth age. In other words the elect where justified (saved) in the first earth age because of something they did. This is essentially justification by works which the Bible strongly condemns (Ephesians 2:8-10). There is no distinction anywhere in the Bible where there are separate elect Christians apart from other Christians. All true Christians are elect, once a person realizes that simple truth the whole Shepherd's Chapel system of doctrine falls apart. That is what started my journey out of Shepherd's Chapel and I pray that if you are lost in this cult that you consider the ramifications of your doctrines.


Consider this: the doctrines they teach were not taught by Christ, Paul, or any of the Apostles. Their doctrines are not found in any early church writings and were never taught by the Christian church. Would God wait until some man in Arkansas almost 2000 years after Christ to reveal the truth (this is similar to what Mormons teach concerning Joseph Smith)? When the Scripture they use to support their doctrines are closely examined it shows they are clearly mishandling the Word of God. In fact their whole system of belief falls apart under close scrutiny.


Shepherd's Chapel denies the Trinity even though they may claim they don't. Like most cults they redefine terms to fit their heretical views. The simple fact is that Shepherd's Chapel does not teach that the one true and living God has eternally existed as three co-equal, co-eternal persons (for more on the Trinity see this video).


Shepherd's Chapel teaches a false gospel and false gospels cannot save! Take seriously Paul's words in Galatians 1:9: As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.



The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14 ESV)



*Originally posted 2/01/12, updated and expanded 10/03/2014 

34 comments:

  1. I study the bible and i have watched pastor murry,and like you even said he's a pretty good teacher,but I also watch pastor prince,and a few others.this is my take on this subject,I believe we should read the word of god for ourselves and study,no one man has all the answers,I respect your opinion and if you want you can find fault in every pastor,I hope all the best to all.....lee

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    1. Every true pastor and teacher of God's word will make some mistakes from time to time, I do grant that. The problem is that Arnold Murray is not a Christian pastor, he is teaching a completely different Gospel than the one handed down by Christ and the Apostles. This isn't nit-picking details, but is rather serious. The gospel presented by Arnold Murray is false and cannot save.

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    2. Do you have some issues with Pastor Murray or his people?? I have a basic difference with some of his conclusions, but he certainly is more correct than the mainstream churches that sell their "gospel" story. You can learn more from Pastor Murray in an hour than you can learn from bogus hirelings in a lifetime. At least he addresses real Biblical questions and answers them to the best of his ability at the time. Rather than attacking him, we should be thankful for the truth that he has shared.

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    3. I have a strong love and compassion for the people deceived by Arnold Murray because I was once just like them. That is why I warn them so strongly because I love them. Mr. Murray is a very nice guy and extremely likable but he is teaching damnable heresies, that is my issue with him. I'm not sure what you mean by "mainstream" churches but it is true that a lot of "mainline" denominations have become liberal and distort the Gospel of Christ. By the way the true Gospel is proclaimed by many churches in America although it is getting less and less. Not everything that Murray says is wrong but in the essentials he is wrong. I am not attacking Murray on a personal level only his doctrine.

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  2. You never studied with the Shepherds chapel, liar .

    You say you understand the Bible , and quote what the Chapel teaches, ( The Bible ). but you never post the scripture for those subjects, because you NEVER studied with the chapel. Or, your the laziest Bible student.

    I have actually studied the Bible that, Shep Chap teaches. So I can see your a liar.

    I can see your lies coming 666 miles away.

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    1. And now everybody gets to see just how vile and un-Christian SC students can be. I have posted scripture to refute SC and I have not said a single lie. You are the one that has not provided any scripture to prove SC's false doctrines. I do this out of Love and I will pray for your salvation Truth teller. May the Lord open your eyes and lead you out of the cult of Murray.

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    2. Actually you don't sound very loving. You seem angry and condescending. Not a nice picture!

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    3. Sometimes it is easy to misinterpret what somebody is saying on the internet because you cannot sense the emotions like you can in speaking face to face. I assure you I am not angry other then frustrated and saddened by so many being led astray and into the pit by the false doctrines taught by Arnold Murray. I am warning you and other because I love you and do not wish to see any of you perish in your sins. It was Truth Teller that has resorted to name-calling and calling me a liar without providing any proof. He had resorted to name-calling instead of dealing with the text of Scripture. I will pray the Lord will open his and your mind and you will see your errors before it is too late and you have to stand before a Holy and Just God.

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    4. I see untruths with this website also, Truth Teller. Pastor Murray does teach the Trinity. This I know as fact because I have studied with him and the chapel for over 9 years. Murray was a wonderful teacher, and he never bashed another preacher or organization by name, something Colby you could learn from him. Reading from the KJV..chapter by chapter...verse by verse..we learned many truths...hard to be conned when God's Word is right in front of you. Murray was a wonderful man of God. He did not cast stones....he let them fall they may. He preached of repentance....and against sin. I am now more closer to my Father than I have ever been. There was only one perfect man, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. There is no living man or religion that has a whole truth...maybe parts...but not a whole. Be wise and don't cast stones, it does your witness no good. And don't worry about my salvation....I love my Lord, and strive to be the best child I can be...asking my Father for forgiveness for those times when I do go astray. What a loving Father we have!

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    5. Hello Debra, Murray may use the name Trinity but if you study and listen to how he describes it, it is pure modalistic. He does not teach 3 co-existent, co-eternal persons of God. I am not bashing Murray, nor do I encourage anybody to bash any person or belief. I am simply doing what Jesus and the apostles did and commanded us to do, call out a false prophet when we see one. I have been to many churches and listened to many preachers that teach verse-by-verse and none would fall for the errors that Murray has come up with. It is easy to twist scripture even in a verse-by-verse format. He misuses the Greek and reinterprets scripture to fit his preconceived ideas that have no Biblical basis. Simple fact is Murray teaches that you earned your election in a former age. that Heresy plain and simple.

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    6. Thanks for declaring the truth.I am so happy He brought you out from among them! Stand strong brother! God of the bible is on your side. :)

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  3. I have been studying with Pastor Murray and can refute all of your hateful rhetoric. My God someday give you eyes to see and ears to hear. You are in my prayers

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    1. I'm just exposing the false teaching of Arnold Murray. I don't see how it is "hateful rhetoric" but I have not intended to be hateful in anyway. I apologize if you have taken it that way. If you can refute what I say please do. If you don't want to use a public forum then please email me and we can discuss this. colby.braden@outlook.com

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    2. Colby, there are more who are with you than against you. I also have recognized the heretical teachings of SC. Thank you for taking a stand for Christ and his true church. It is obvious that those who are against you are deceived. I also understand that it is easy to be deceived by him because of his seemingly apparent bible knowledge and confidence. I urge all listeners to find a local reformed theology teaching church and learn the truth.

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  4. They are teaching false doctrines straight from Hell. Unfortunately these are not the only false Christians that are leading others astray. Christ knows his sheep and his sheep knows Christs voice.

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  5. hey mr rethinker all i can say, is have a good trip.

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  6. I am trying to help an older friend with getting her 'bible study' from SC since the local cable company stopped carrying their show. I contacted them for assistance. I will say this. There was so much sarcasm and inconsideration that I sensed a spirit of hate. They are very unforgiving for even ignorance of their viewers. They have a very outdated website and rebuke anyone who makes it easier for these older people to view, like on youtube. Of course, I discovered they are no longer on youtube because they aren't allowed back on there. She is brainwashed, otherwise I would suggest she go somewhere else for her devotions. But I will stress my concern with her. You should NEVER study with only one teacher.

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    1. Of course, I discovered they are no longer on youtube because they aren't allowed back on there

      That paints a mighty condemning picture of Shepherd's Chapel, doesn't it? The truth is, however, is that they don't want to be on youtube and have filed copyright complaints and youtube omitted many of the videos.

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    2. Your all wrong. Pastor Arnold and Dennis speak Truth. Line by line, verse by verse. The problem with many of tese "comments" s that these people do not take the scriptures back to their original sources from the Hebrew and the Greek. That is the cause of many people not understanding the full meanings of doctrine out of the English translations. for example in the KJV Rev 13:16-17 one little word IN has been revised in the NKJV to ON causing most to beLIEve that to take the mark means it's a physical action such as getting a tattoo or microchip implanted ON your forehead or ON your hand, when the true meaning is taking the mark is a spiritual act which is to say taking IN to your mind THE LIE that Christ is to come and FLY AWAY all his "saved" beLIEvers ; and of the hand, refers to the work you do which is to say ARE YOU PROPAGATING THE LIE by teaching this false doctine. The TRUE CHRIST returns upon the 7th trump and the ANTI-christ at the 6th. 6 comes before 7. duh! I am starting a BLOG of my own called FIG INFORMERS check it out as there's much much more to be said regarding the misinterpretaion of God's Word. Look, you either get it or you don't because God doesn't give everyone EYES to SEE and EARS to HEAR and He doesn't reveal HIS MYSTERY to everyone. That's what the millenium reign is for. It's God's way of separating the sheep from the goats. Shepherd's Chapel speak TRUTH. Amen and amen. Jennifer Siagian Jenny17sheep@gmail.com or malkbkny@gmail.com if you'd like me to send you my essays discussing matters such as these.

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    3. Hello Jennifer. Very interesting comment. You need to check your Greek again. There is a reason why the NKJV and most other modern translations translate Revelation 13:16 as “.. ON the forehead..” instead of “.. IN the forehead..” like the KJV. It is simple, and no it isn't some conspiracy by the Kenites to deceive people. If you will take your lexicon or Strong's concordance you will see the word translated as “in” in Revelation 13:16 in the KJV is the Greek word “epi” which means upon, on, beside, ontop ect.. the word does not mean in, or inside as you suppose. The modern translations simple correctly translate the Greek word “epi” and fix the error in the KJV. Also it is apparent by your comment that you have not even read my Blog at all. I have never once defended the pre-trib rapture view. As a matter of fact I am an Amillennialist and do not believe in a Pre-trib Rapture. If you have any questions about this please contact me at colby.braden@gmail.com. God bless you and my wife and I will pray for you specifically tonight that God may open your eyes to the errors of Shepherd's Chapel.

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    4. Also Jennifer I need to add that all Christians have received Eyes to See and Ears to Hear.. it is unbelievers that do not have the eyes to see and ears to hear. The mystery that Paul talks about is the mystery of the Gospel that the Jews at the time did not have eyes to see that Jesus was the messiah.

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    5. Romans 11:8 (1611 King James Bible)

      Viewing the 1611 King James Version. Click to switch to standard King James Version of Romans 11:8


      According as it is written, God hath giuen them the spirit of slumber: eyes that they should not see, and eares that they should not heare vnto this day.

      - AND SO IT IS> I pray for you dear brother

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    6. Hello again Jennifer! You haven't responded to my refutation of what you said earlier. BTW what is the context of Romans 11:8? If you read Romans 11 you will see it is Israel that was blinded and did not understand the coming of our Savoir Jesus Christ or that salvation was by grace though faith. It has nothing to do with being deceived by a pre-trib doctrine as you suppose.

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  7. I will say this about pastor Arnold Murry, That old combat marine deffinately has something to say.

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  8. To read what Arnold Murray teaches and his reasons for it try this website. As far as I can tell it is an almost complete complication of what Arnold has said and someone spent a great deal of time to accomplish it.

    the season

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  9. Will I burn in Hell for studying the Bible with SC? Who will be the one to judge me, man or God? It is my prayer to stop fighting among Christians and let Jesus do the forgiving for the one that is in the wrong here. Read his word. Any "MAN" preaching God's word should pray for understanding and focus on growing his kingdom. Calling ones belief in the word of God a cult is harsh. And we all know the word about Judging.

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    1. Mike, I cannot judge what is in your heart. All I can tell you is that Murray teaches a false gospel and false gospels cannot save. Jesus and the apostles 'judged' and called out false prophets and commanded us to do so. 1st Cor. 5:12 says we can judge those that are claiming to be in the church since Murray claims to be a Christian teacher Christians can Judge what he says and compare it to scripture. It is the Christian thing to do to call out false prophets.

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  11. You and all your ilk that teach this man is not of God must be from the Synagogue of Satan. In the book of Revelations it warns of people like you. I am glad this is the only forum you have to spread your BS. Blessed you are not. I would love to see your life under a microscope to see just what you have left in your wake.

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    1. Hello Milo. Sorry you believe I am of the synagogue of satan but I am not. I trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and I do as he commands and call out false prophets when I see them. I know Murray is a false prophet and I have shown that pretty well in my posts on this blog. If you have anything specific you want to debate me on or if you think you can defend Murray's teaching Biblically instead of name calling then contact me please and we will talk. It is true I have made many mistakes in my life and the Spirit of God is still Sanctifying my life but I disagree with you, I am very blessed by the Lord for he brought me out of the errors of Shepherd's Chapel and I trust in Christ alone!!

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  12. I thank you for your blog. My Grandfather fell for the SC doctrine after my Grandmother died. She was a devout Christian and Sunday school teacher. I think he wanted to fellowship because he missed her, and he fell for SC because Murray is an aging ex-marine, so in Grandpa's eyes he could do no wrong. I gently tried to explain that the church he no longer goes to would never condone the SC message, but he doesn't believe me. I don't think he ever even paid attention in Church, he went cause Grandma made him go. He doesn't know better. He believes that Murray's knowledge of Hebrew makes his word infallible. As a student of German, I tried to explain how complicated language translation is. Even my favorite German poet is translated over, and over by fluent German translators whom argue about how it should be translated into English. There is no swaying him, however, and I'm upset that he's been conned at the end of his life. Grandma would be furious at SC. She would never allow such a condescending man over the airwaves in her home. She did not tolerate mockery.

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  13. hello everyone
    after reading all of the different posts, and after findin and coming to really like Mr. Murray, what I am convincened of is evil does exists, it is neither black or white, and it is wrong. Evil comes to kill steal and to destroy, and in my humble opinion that is exactly what is going on within this blog. We all have a right to our own individual opinions, however every scriptural doctrine that I have studied basically all teach the same thing and that is we are not to judge one another. Having my own opinion if I am not careful will cause me to sin and it will cause me to do exactly what I am judging someone else of doing and that is taking scripture to make it work for our own benefit. The enemy is so crafty that sometimes we are deceived without realizing it because the deception leads us to believe that Our Father actually needs our help to save His children when scripture clearly teaches He sent Jesus to do that. We sometimes become deceived when we dont realize the very Thing we claim to be doing to help one another is what Our Father wants that and if we take the time to really hear ourselves and the conversations we have been deceived into having, we would realize Our Father surely would not have us arguing with one another, about which one of us has the job to save the others.. we would have to laugh at ourselves and realize we are not being biblical and have been deceived like a theif in the night to forget what Our Father told us about works, lest no man should boast. Since I have found myself tricked and deceived by the enemy on more than one occassion I wanted to share my experiences with all of you. Because I only see the broadcast on tv and the man is alwasy sitting at a desk reading from the same bible i can follow and if i dont have my own bible he puts the words on the screen with the passages for people to look up for themselves.. the only conclusion i can give based on this experience is that he is teaching sound doctrine.. ratther his opinions are in line with Gods word are not is up to the hearer, the reader, and the doer of the scriptures and whether are not they are our sisters and brothers, because our father clearly says His sheep will hear HIS VOICE..

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    1. Greetings Patricia! Thank you very much for your post. I would like to address some things you stated. I agree with you Arnold Murray was a likable man, but he was still a false prophet. I also agree that evil does destroy, kill & steal. I agree that you have a right to your individual opinion, so do I. You are, however, wrong about the judging. It is quite proper to judge those that are claiming to be Christian, yet teaching false doctrine. Please read 1st Corinthians 5:12-13, Paul says (Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”). Jesus in Matt 7 is not telling us we can’t make judgments, but that we cannot be hypocritical in our judgments. “first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.” The Bible teaches us to identify false prophets and call them out. Especially those that are mishandling the Word of God. Most false teachers use the Bible Patricia. You must “check them out” to see if they are false doctrines. That is what I have done in my posts. If you can refute what I’ve said, instead of making emotional claims, then please do. But it is very clear, and I have documented from the Bible, that Arnold Murray and Shepherd’s Chapel is teaching false doctrine. I pray the Lord opens your eyes Patricia and that you will follow the True Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Not the traditions of a man like Murray and Shepherd’s Chapel.

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