“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” – Ephesians 2:4-5
My first experience with Shepherd’s Chapel was in early 1994 – I was 16 at the time. I happened across a study on the local channels one morning, with Murray teaching in his common manner. At the end of each study he does a Question and Answer session.
A question came up about the dead sea scrolls. It was about the Gospel of Mary. In some of the fragments there was a reference to a secret relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Murray deftly explained the problem away.
You see, at that time in my life I was tormented over this issue with the dead sea scrolls and particularly this Gospel of Mary Magdalene – but Murray adequately assuaged my doubts and I began a frenzied period of bible study with the Chapel to learn more.
At the end of the broadcast they advertised the free “Mark of the Beast” tape and introductory letter with recommended study tools and other information. I took them up on the offer. At the time I felt like I had discovered gold and began to assimilate the Chapel doctrine rapidly.
Before long I was poisoned. My struggle to break free from the grip of this cult would drive me into atheism, occultism and mental insanity. In December of 1994 in an effort to separate myself from all of this I renounce all belief in God and became an atheist. A period of rebellion and vacillation between atheism and belief in God would go on for the next 9 years.
During those periods of brief belief I would invariably gravitate back towards Shepherd’s Chapel only to rebel again. These stints of religious faith were characterized by fascination with Shepherd’s Chapel themes, insanity and hospitalization.
On this blog I have detailed many of my experiences along the way and the freedom from false religion that only Jesus can give…
On February 14th, 2003, the Lord Jesus Christ saved me from the atheistic path of perdition I was heading. Almost immediately I began to drift back into Shepherd’s Chapel teaching. I got the mark of the beast CD and started to collect and study the Chapel’s material all over again.
Initially I remember the Lord convicting me to stay away from him but I was unable to do so… I just couldn’t see the bible outside what I had learned from Murray.
Within a short period of time I had a job and was tithing regularly and buying reams of study material from the Chapel – such was my commitment to Murray’s teaching. I would passionately share the teachings with others…
This period of time was characterized by astounding mental delusion and instability but God kept me from completely breaking down into madness.
I couldn’t conceive of anyone else having the depth of insight into the true meaning of scripture and I wanted more than anything to be one of the 144,000… I mean who wouldn’t? I would come to find out later that Murray’s insight was merely a gnostic façade.
You see, genuine truth from God’s word is for all – not for a select group of elite believers like the pastor from Arkansas taught. Murray’s stock response to those that would question his wisdom was that they weren’t the elect, that they were blinded and that only a small group of select students could understand.
In Fall of 2003 I for the first time became aware of Lance Knight’s ministry. Lance was a student of the Chapel and had a rather large following. He produced his own teaching material and taught the Murray system with a flair and charisma that the old man simply didn’t have.
In Spring of 2005 Lance had an “awakening” and repudiated the Shepherd’s Chapel and began to teach a new doctrine that I can only describe as Latter-Rain like.
For a time I would continue to study with him but it would soon become apparent that he was more deceived than before he come out of the Chapel. His heresies began to multiply and that’s when I cut anchor and began to turn away from man’s teaching and put my trust in God.
I would begin to radically reject the Shepherd’s Chapel and Lance Knight. In April 2005 I remember taking all of my study material to the dump and throwing it away. I even had a pricey companion bible – it went as well.
It would take several years to fully break away from the elements of Murray’s system of deception but the dye had been cast. Because of his lies I would never see him in a favorable light again.
It’s hard to understand the harm that cultic religion causes when you’re in it… when you come out of it then you begin to see.
My foray with the Chapel began in early ’94. It would unleash madness and instability in my life that will take some time to recount for you here. By the grace of our Lord Jesus it no longer has any hold or influence on me. I pray the same takes place in your life whether it be with ministry or any other false teacher that may have a foothold in your life…