What Is The Gospel?

The Gospel is the Remission of Sins Through the Shed Blood of Jesus Christ

It is commonly brought to my attention that I must be in some type of lost sinful state because I repudiate the false teachings of the Shepherd’s Chapel. People question my motives. People criticize me harshly – they condemn, they laugh, they mock, deride, they go on every manner of inimical scriptural tirade… but you know what I say?

TO GOD BE THE GLORY! It doesn’t matter what anyone says. The chief purpose of this blog is to not only give a testimony of what the Lord Jesus Christ has delivered me from but to also exalt the pure gospel and His word.

We also expose Satan’s deceptions and obliterate his lies but I will try to take it easy on Shepherd’s Chapel in this article…

So I want to make it really clear and in doing so maybe I can help some understand: I not only understand what the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is, I accept it by faith. I cherish it, the gospel is the power of God unto salvation.

So what is the gospel? The picture up front says it all, but I want to add my take on it. The word “gospel” means “good news”… but what is the “good news”?

Simply put, and I learned this from R.C. Sproul whom I’d like to give a lot of credit… he is very special to me. The Lord used him to get the truth across to me at a dark time in my life that led to my ultimate conversion to faith. The good news is the REMISSION OF SINS. Remission means to “send away”. The penalty of your sin is sent away through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice.

Or a better way… the gospel is the remission of sins through the shedding of Christ’s blood. God’s perfect justice demanded that sins against a holy God be repaid. The penalty for violating God’s Holy Law is eternal death. Every human because of sin, is under a spiritual death sentence.

THAT IS THE BAD NEWS. We have incurred a debt through our wickedness that we can never discharge before God of our own volition. Many imagine that they can somehow merit God’s mercy through a feat of human performance – sound like the Chapel’s teachings on pre-existence and election?

That is why hell is place of eternal, conscious punishment – we radically violated God’s law, have incurred an infinite debt to an infinite God and then rejected God’s infinite love in sending Jesus Christ to reconcile you. That is double death for sure, do that and you will suffer for eternity, that’s a promise!

Very bad news indeed. You and I are lawbreakers, cosmic criminals in the court of God’s law and we deserve God’s every ounce of God’s wrath – we really need to grasp that. We need to know that before the Good News will be of any value to us… we must be brought to the point of despair about our own goodness before we will truly accept Christ’s righteousness.

Many Chapel devotees see themselves as good enough because of some mythical age where they proved their loyalty to God – I know the lies, Jesus Christ once saved me from them.

They claim to have received their “justification” in a world that was because of their performance before God in the rebellion and then go around spreading this accursed idolatry. God have mercy! Many play around with false religion and denigrate the importance of gospel in favor of some lies man created but the day of God’s wrath is coming for them if they don’t repent…

Let’s look at how the Apostle Paul defines the gospel:

But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” – Romans 3:21-26

Friends, salvation (being saved from eternal death) is received by faith alone, in Jesus Christ ALONE. Or as Martin Luther would say, SOLA FIDE! Do You Believe That? I do. You better.

Sola Fide was the battle cry of the Reformation and it should be our battle cry in the revolt and overthrow of sinful, man centered, false religion like the Chapel which promotes a fetid gospel of works at it’s core.

Satan’s empire is going to be routed through the gospel of Jesus Christ! The dead works of man’s religion are going to sustain a terrible amount of collateral damage through witnesses telling the truth – and Christ will be honored. The fire of Judgment Day is swiftly coming to test their work, it will be consumed like stubble.

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Why Do You Call Shepherd’s Chapel a Cult?

cult

During my time working with this blog there has been an immense hue and cry from Shepherd’s Chapel students. Many say to me, “Why do you call them a cult? I would call Jamestown and Jim Jones a cult. Murray always encourages his students to think for themselves… I wouldn’t consider that a cult!”

Point well taken. The term “cult” is a “culturally charged” word with strong negative connotations. Nobody wants to be a brainwashed drone with no mind of their own, right? Murray knows this, that’s why he encourages them to study and think for themselves.

So when I use the word to refer to this ministry I realize that it will be perceived as inflammatory. But I think the terminology fits perfectly…

I would also like to add in their favor Shepherd’s Chapel is not a cult in the typical sense… here’s how Webster defines “cult”:

Cult:

  • a small religious group that is not part of a larger and more accepted religion and that has beliefs regarded by many people as extreme or dangerous…
  • a situation in which people admire and care about something or someone very much or too much…
  • a small group of very devoted supporters or fans…

Lately I have really been keying in on how Murray teaches that there are essentially TWO bodies of Christ, the “elect” and the “free will” church… the following video segment from the Chapel’s teaching, “Elect” demonstrates perfectly why I call them a cult. It starts around 25 minutes, but listen to what he says in 25:21 – if this doesn’t make alarm bells go off you need to change the batteries in your smoke detector!

So you see what he is saying, right? That there is, “the Elect” whom he calls the “Church” – this really means “Murray’s elect” something that he fabricated… it is naked heresy pure and simple. Then there are those poor saps who are the Church of Christ whom he calls the “free will” church because they are going to worship the beast.

Essentially two churches… there is division built into this thing.

The bible doesn’t teach that there are two bodies of Christ… HE’S PEDDLING SPIRITUAL ELITISM AND PEOPLE ARE DRINKING IT UP LIKE WATER!

“For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.” – Ephesians 2:14

Let me explain this to you – because of dispensationalism Murray teaches a division in the body Christ. He learned this from Bullinger and Scofield. They maintain that the church and Israel are radically distinct and God has seperate plans and purposes for them.

BECAUSE of British Israelism (they believe that THEY are the Hebrews), the Chapel inserts themselves into the place of Israel and upholds the division of dispensationalism… DO YOU SEE THAT?

I would say this is a picture perfect definition of a cult, with the heresies to boot!

Is the Great Tribulation Shortened to 2.5 Months?

the whole tribulation last only 5 months?
the whole tribulation last only 5 months?

(Jer 6:13) For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.
(Jer 6:14) They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.

The Chapel’s smooth words about prophecy are leading it’s students in a precarious direction…

Here’s a short video where Murray unequivocally states that the tribulation will be shortened to two 2.5 month periods, the last part is the great tribulation – this is a truncation of the 70th week down to 5 months… at first he say 9 months and corrects himself at the end…

If you’re ever studied with the Chapel for any period of time, you’ve probably come away scratching your head on more than one occasion. Let me give you a thumbnail sketch of what they’re teaching about the tribulation…

In Matthew 24 we read:

(Mat 24:21) For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
(Mat 24:22) And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

One of the first things we realize about Murray’s tribulation is that it really isn’t that bad – I mean, the 5th trumpet began in 1982 when Mt. Saint Helen’s erupted and things have been pretty good so far. The 5th trumpet began a time of teaching about the coming of the Antichrist in the 6th trumpet. So one of the chief purposes of the Chapel is to teach this special doctrine about the 6th trumpet and the advent of the devil himself.

Massive populations of people dying in judgment is a big theme in Revelation. The Chapel teaches that the deaths spoken of in Revelation are only spiritual because Satan’s powers of “deception”.

His power is so great that only Murray’s VERY elect (7,000 die hard students, called Zadok) have the capacity to completely avoid all deception. The effects of these spiritual deaths are ameliorated by the millennium of course as these poor souls receive a second chance… you see, they never really had a chance.

Another aspect of the tribulation is its overall shortening to a 5 month period spoken of in Revelation 9 – Lucifer himself will show up for the last 2.5 months or the great tribulation… and it will be like a carnival with ice cream, circuses and freak shows, no big deal. PHEW! Big relief, now I can go back to watching Bozo the Clown.

But where do we find this in scripture? Well, as with most fantasies, we don’t.

(Dan 9:27) And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

According to dispensationalist’s (and Murray is one) the whole period of tribulation is known as the 70th week of Daniel. One week = 7 years. Of that 7 years half, or 42 months, is the period of great tribulation according to futurist interpretation.

I will have much to say about dispensational futurism in time — suffice to say it is completely incorrect but let continue…

Many people will die as martyrs if I read my bible correctly. It also says that, THE Antichrist, a man, not some supernatural entity will wear the people of God out for 42 months, not 2.5 months. People will be required to worship the beast under penalty of death and to take a literal mark to buy or sell… now I may be wrong, these things may apply to the whole church age or mean something else, but it’s certainly won’t be like the Chapel teaches.

There are no second chances in a future millennium if you take the mark of the beast…

The Chapel has basically created an apocalyptic amusement park for “his” elect during the 2.5 month tribulation… one where they are glorified in triumph over Antichrist and reign over all in the millennium… that’s RELIGIOUS FANTASY!

Questions for Shepherd’s Chapel Students

Colby Braden’s Testimony of Deliverance from the Chapel

The following is an acutely insightful testimony by Colby Braden of his deliverance from Shepherd’s Chapel teaching. I have republished it mainly so you can see the agreement of witness.

Shepherd’s Chapel – Colby Braden’s Story

http://reformedthinker.blogspot.com – republished by permission…

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 to closely 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 am a member of a Bible believing and teaching local Church, Hanson Baptist 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, Isaiah 44:2 and 1 Cor. 15:46 refute preexistence of the soul 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 CD’s from them. Why hide this teaching? Because it is a blatant denial of Holy Scripture. (Revelation 22:19, Deut. 4:2; 12:32.)
  • 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 Pre-tribulation 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 officesnot 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 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 and presupposition 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. (see this post.)
  • They teach there is a distinction between free will Christians and electChristian. There is, however, no scriptural support for this position. Romans 8and Ephesians 1 disproves this heresy. All Christians are elect and all elect are Christians. The Bible doe not teach there is a group called free-willChristians that are different from 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)

Is Race Mixing a Sin? And Are Mixed Races Soulless Beasts?

Race Mixing: The Unpardonable Sin?
Race Mixing: The Unpardonable Sin?

My Aryan Troll friends here on the blog have informed me that mixed races are soulless creatures with the mark of the beast and that race-mixing is the unpardonable sin.

Thanks Aryan Trolls, (I’m sorry Lord, please forgive me saying that, and please be with the starving pygmies in Australia…)

I need the comic relief as my campaign against the The Shepherd’s Chapel cult becomes very wearisome at times. Maybe I will spend some attention on their idiotic positions for a change up.

Now, before we go much further let me communicate the Chapel’s position so I can move on to more hideous things.

The Shepherd’s Chapel is not your dyed in the wool Christian Identity ministry – they are a close spiritual cousin. I would consider them spiritually to be more equivalent to Christian Identity for Dummies. Though Arnold Murray does not rail against the sin of race mixing he did in fact teach that it was a sin, though he did it in passing and wasn’t fixated upon it.

The doctrine of race-mixing being a sin is definitely implicit in Chapel teaching but Murray had bigger fish to fry.

The Chapel would commonly refer to black followers of his ministry as, “Kings and Queens of the Ethnos”. So he was very fair-minded and conciliatory towards the various races. And to his credit, I don’t find Dennis to have any racial bias at all outside the bigoted biblical system he adopted from his father.

Christian Identity doesn’t like Murray because of this. They cry out that he does not go far enough in his Xenophobia. Hate him as they do, they are still drawn to him like moths to a flame.

But is race mixing a sin, or as some would assert, the unpardonable sin? And are mixed races soulless beasts?

Let me argue from experience and then I will present some scriptural ideas…

One of my dearest friends, Ted, is mixed race – his father who he never knew was white his mother black. I found Ted at a park one day as he was about to commit suicide. He had a bottle of engine cleaner fluid and was about to drink it. I talked him out of it, became his friend and took a good bit of time to teach him the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is now a Christian and over the years we would travel about the inner-city passing out tracts and sharing the gospel to people of all ethnic varieties.

Please have some humanity and quit referring to those whom God created as soulless beasts.

As far as race-mixing being a sin, or the unpardonable sin. The latter notion is asinine so it requires no comment. Anyone with a spiritual I.Q. of higher than say that of 50 will figure it out real quick…

But there are legitimate concerns with race-mixing. God gave the Old Covenant Hebrews prescriptions for marriage when entering into the Promised Land that were binding upon them…

Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.” – Deuteronomy 7:3-4

This statute was given to the Jewish people. It is not binding upon New Covenant believers but the principle can be found in the New Testament though it has nothing to do with physical ethnicity…

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, ‘I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,’ says the Lord. ‘And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. And I will be a Father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,’ Says the Lord Almighty.” – 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

Believing Christians should NOT marry unbelievers – but should it happen, God accepts their marriage and it is holy.

A person’s physical race does not matter one iota when it comes to marriage – RACE MIXING, that odious Christian Identity term is no real sin at all, only a sin against their code of bigotry.

A person’s spiritual race is much more important… and there are only two spiritual races in the earth: the redeemed children of God, and the children of wrath… to which do you belong?

And let’s take this to next level. The bible tells us that Eve is the mother of ALL living. That means we are all of one family, one physical race. Racial consciousness is a disease.

Race is a racist idea – the bigotry of race is solidified in the doctrines of evolution which speculate that the different races come from different primates and that one particular race is physically/intellectually superior. Identity picks this notion up and uses the bible to assert their spiritual superiority… if you adhere to these things:

YOU WILL BE JUDGED FOR YOUR HATRED.

I leave you with the Apostle Paul’s thoughts on the matter…

From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.” – Acts 17:26