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"His teachings are causing confusion in my mind;  the serpent seed, first earth age, Kenites, 6 day creation of the races and 8 day creation of the race that Jesus came from, etc. etc. etc."

My question to you.....  why would God say "The Lord is not slack concerning His purpose, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9


---- Original Message -----
From: Name Withheld
To: Paul Stringini
Sent: Monday, December 05, 2011 12:27 PM
Subject: re: Shepherd's Chapel
        "if the spirit of God is merciful towards you He will witness to you that what I say is true."  (Paul Stringini )

 I was baptized in 1998 and attended a Baptist Church for 6 years.  Currently I am attending a non-denominational Bible based church.   I have supplemented my studies of the Word through various television ministries, Christian books, and 4 yrs. of Bible study in BSF (bible study fellowship).  I have tuned into the televised Shepherd's Chapel bible study for about 12 years, off & on.   Long story short....I could feel myself being drawn into "Arnold Murray's" teachings and also becoming immune to his arrogant condescending way of answering some questions at the end of his program (years ago I called in a comment regarding his disrespectful way and offensive attitude if anyone dared to question him, and asked is this the way Jesus would teach? ).

Last week I sent up a heartfelt prayer for "truth".  I reminded the Lord of what He says  "I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except by Me".  I said I need "TRUTH".  I asked Him if  Pastor Arnold Murray is genuine and truly speaking truths because his teachings are causing confusion in my mind;  the serpent seed, first earth age, Kenites, 6 day creation of the races and 8 day creation of the race that Jesus came from, etc. etc. etc.       Now I have confirmation from the Lord that Shepherd's Chapel is indeed a false church. They have mixed in false teachings with enough truths to hook-in many new & unfortunately well-seasoned christians.  Briefly this is  how I got confirmation...... I was about to order the video of the first 6 chapters of Genesis.   In the process of checking out the various sites of Shepherd's Chapel I clicked onto your site and lo & behold.... I received the Lord's answer.  And now I know I need to run away as fast as I can from this church!  The Lord does work in mysterious ways. He led me to your site, a site that is sounding the trumpet by giving a heads-up about this church.  Thank You Jesus, and thank you Mr. Stringini.   

On a side note..... this statement you made was highlighted to me. God makes people to be destroyed, that is their purpose, "What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:" Fitted to destruction.  You have to be made to conform to the pattern of destruction.  

My question to you.....  why would God say "The Lord is not slack concerning His purpose, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

My First Response:

----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Stringini
To: Name Withheld
Sent: Monday, December 05, 2011 5:50 PM
Subject: Re: Shepherd's Chapel
Thanks very much for writing, I can't say that I know the answer to every question or that every answer I give is going to be as satisfactory as I would like it to be.  As a long time bible student you know that the scriptures contain ideas that at times can seem to be at odds with one another.  The whole business of interpreting these kinds of passages is a delicate business that ought to be approached with gravity and humility.

"My question to you.....  why would God say "The Lord is not slack concerning His purpose, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9"

The short answer is that the object of the Lord's patience is "us." So it can be interpreted that "Us" refers to believers, ie the vessels of mercy. 

2 Peter 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you;

Not to them who are appointed to wrath,

3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming?

but to the beloved. 

8 But, beloved...
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance

Mercy, longsuffering, and patience are all kindred to repentance.  

Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

1 Cor 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

A vessel of wrath does not repent, but rather his heart is hardened.  Often,  we read this "us" as referring to every single human being individually(and I did read it that way in the past).  But I cannot see that as the proper reading because of the context of the passage.

When I read the whole of 2 Peter 3 my interpretation seems sound, for several reasons.  For one, in that earlier verse when Peter makes reference to the Lord not being  "slack concerning his promise" he is clearly trying to build believers up in contrast to the "scoffers"  he mentions.  There is a distinction between we who believe "beloved" as he refers to them, and the ones he calls "cursed children (Ch 2)"

Ultimately I think a lot of the arguments against the idea that God indeed is in control arise out of an effort to make God pleasing to man.  When the purpose of Christianity is to make man pleasing to God.   In that other mindset, God is our elect, whom we have chosen, we are the smart ones who have chosen to take the path he has elected that would lead to eternal life.  It pleases man and exalts man's decisions. but it is not beautiful, or consistent, and they do not like to have it stated the way I just did. But  I don't think it is a mischaracterization though.

When I talk about this subject I wish often that I could communicate every necessary idea.  The parable of the tares of the field is an important piece of this puzzle.  In the parable the Lord forbid uprooting tares before the harvest.  "Lest ye root up also the wheat."  The children of God and of the devil are both known by their works.  But the last are more than the first.  The apostle Paul may have look like a tare, but we know that it was revealed in the purposes of God that he was a chosen vessel.  My point is that these are truths that are hid in God.  He wants us to understand that he is indeed in control. But it is foolish for us to ever prsume we can look at men with his eyes.  We can judge works but we do not know the end of men.  I hope you get my meaning.  

The tares are the vessels of wrath and the wheat are the vessels of mercy, they are planted as such and they bear fruit as such. it is a simple truth, but there are some verses which are often mistaken to indicate that God does not absolutely know what man will do and as creator has set it all in motion, and is responsible for it. I tke a great deal of comfort in the idea that God knows exactly what is happening and that he is indeed in control.  It gives meaning to suffering.  If suffering has no purpose in God...

My ministry, apart from working against my former teacher is to try to help people to realize and come to fulfill their high calling in Christ, to become a son of God and to help any who will receive it take part in the same.  It is actually very simple.

2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

That almost sounds like we are working to earn our salvation, it almost sounds like when God elected us it was not for certain yet, but what it really means is that the works that are revealed in us in Christ give US cause to believe that we are indeed the elect of God.  I believe in Christ and my calling and election seem more sure to me the more I see in myself the works of Christ being manifested.  As the kernel of wheat preparing for harvest.  So what this is acknowledging, and indeed, I believe  the context bears me out, is the idea that we do not see our election through God's eyes.  We see our lives as we live them, moment to moment day to day, year to year, but God has wrought all his works in us and established our destiny before we were even born. 

Here are some other verses you might want to ask about:

1Tim 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

John 1:7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

In these, the term "all men" often gives rise to the idea, that the phrase refers to every single human individual on the planet.  There are two good arguments against this.  One is that in the context of the time of the Apostles we have to remember that Jesus was initially only sent to the Jews and that the opening of the Gospel to "other nations" "strangers" "Gentiles" "the whole world," ie "all men" was FOREMOST in the minds of the Aposltes.  The term "all men" is GENERIC, it means "all kinds of men."  As opposed to being a NUMERIC or existential term as in "the absolute number of men that exist" 

There are many verses of election and exclusion and to take the view that "all men" refers to "wheat and tares"  vessels of "wrath and mercy" requires what I take to be very uncomfortable and radical interpretations of the scriptures.  Of course there is the option of not dealing with them, but we ought to have a passion to understand the word of God.  Even if it takes some work.

Also The phrase "All men" is often used in the bible in a figrative sense in which it is clearly not meant to indicate every human being

Mark 11:32 But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.

We would have to be really literal and wooden in the way we read the scriptures not to be able to detect a figure of speech here.  Obviously "all men"  means "it was the general opinion."  We still use the same kind of figure of speech today "don't be silly, everyone knows that isn't true!"

Anyway, the verse you asked about was one I had to deal with and I have had to deal with all the verses because i wanted to have a reasonable and consistent view of the scriptures and of God.  So I probably have an answer for any questionable verse you might find regarding this question, but with this groundwork laid I wouldn't be surprised if you figured out the rest on your own.  I do believe that most of the answers are simple and right in front of us.

Anyway you might be interested in my line by line bible studies,  they are all free, you ought to listen to them, I have had very good reports from people who have listened to them.

I started doing videos but have not had time to keep it up because I'm trying to finish a musical project.

 I also sing the bible.

If I can be of further service, or if you feel my answer was not completely satisfactory, do not hesitate to ask, and please be specific.


Paul Stringini

Emailer's Reply: 
----- Original Message -----
From: Name Withheld
To: Paul Stringini
Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2011 3:46 PM
Subject: Re: Shepherd's Chapel

Thank you for such a prompt and informative reply!  It has given me better understanding and perspective.  I do have to remember though to read the entire verses prior to the scripture referenced in in question.  There is much I still need to learn and I will continue to pray for the Holy Spirit to guide & teach me in whatever way He chooses.  
I will check out your line-by-line bible studies.   May the good Lord bless your ministry


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