Forgotten Word Ministries
Arnold Murray’s Shepherd Chapel is located
in Gravette Arkansas. His TV program is seen on over 325
stations throughout the country, even here in Hawaii. As one tune’s into
his program what they see is a man who thunders his message and answers
questions from behind a desk in front of an American flag. He
sometimes subtle and sometimes not. The Gospel of Christ as Savior
to pay for our sins is spoken of, but it is often eclipsed by other
doctrines that are part of his whole exclusive package. As he wields the
word, he comes up with some very unique interpretations. The message
Arnold Murray is spreading is unfortunately a mixture and can be lethal
to one's spiritual life. Because he is divisive on almost all points of
core beliefs. When we carefully examine his teachings one can only come
to the conclusion he is not a shepherd feeding sheep. His personal
doctrine many consider to have much falsehood. He is often seen scolding
against orthodox teachers saying they, don't know their Bibles, but his
followers should check who it is that really does not know their Bible.
The historic Christian faith is under attack from this mans pulpit, as
he comes off authoritative and sometimes arrogant, belittling those who
do not agree with his views as they are identified as unspiritual and
Kenites. In his teaching there is promotion of bias against the
Jews, blacks and all non Anglo-Saxon people. I realize these are strong
words but one needs to listen to his attitude and certainly pay
attention to his doctrine and words.
He has attributed to himself special honor in the past, claiming to be God's end time messenger for the world (one among many today). “I am a servant of the living God that carries the end time message, and it's either time to wake up now, or go down with your boat, friend” (The Shepherd's Chapel Questions and Answers period, aired 5/16/91). This has to do with his unique interpretation of the mark of the beast. While most of those who enjoy Murray do not feel that this is what he meant by the statement, the attitude certainly comes through if you listen long enough.
Requesting further information from The Shepherd’s Chapel is often refused, what is sent is Murray's standard audiotape entitled “The Mark of the Beast.” This insinuates that if your not with them “on the same page” you are a good candidate for it. The tape actually starts off fine and well within orthodox teaching, but it is not where it ends (more will be
forthcoming on this). In the newsletter
that accompanies it he states “They could tattoo “666” from your
head to your feet and it would not change your feelings or mind about
Christ. This is important. I hope you understand” (Newsletter
This is important! And this is unacceptable. Does Murray think one can receive the mark and still love Jesus? His interpretation is much like the 7th Day Adventists, that it is not a literal mark but is in your mind only. Rev.13:16 “He causes (forced) all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark ON their right hand or on their foreheads” The word on is epi in Greek and it means upon. Don' t just read the English, be a bible student, the Greek word is charagma, and it means “a stamp” or “imprinted mark and almost every Bible scholar worth his salt agrees with this interpretation. It's something they need to buy and sell. No matter what you may think the mark is, it is clear that it is something that will be seen. The mark is accompanied by worship to the beast. This is very concerning that one can tell his listeners you can have 666 on you and it would not matter and still be a Christian. This is flat out dangerous.
I have actually had those who are so convinced by this statement that they write me to contest what I'm saying, agreeing with Murray that one who receives the mark can still worship Christ; the mark does not matter. Does the Bible say this? Of course not. Here is what I have heard - You can tattoo me from head to foot with the number called the mark of the beast it does not matter as long as I love the Lord. Well one would not receive the mark if they really loved the Lord. The bible says that those who believe refuse the mark, the number or his name and are killed. Yet Murray’s followers think they are immune to this despite the clear Bible verses about the punishment for those who take it.
They who take the mark will receive the wrath of God. Rev. 14:9-11 “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,…The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God,… 11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.”
The Bible says ANYONE who receives this mark, it does not make a silly distinction of those who were unwilling or willing for obvious reasons.
They who take the mark and worship the image of the beast are punished for it. Rev. 16:2 “So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.”
They are deceived into taking the mark by miracles of the false prophet and the antichrist. Rev. 19:20 “the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.”
Rev. 20:4 “and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
The Scripture is clear, only those who did not receive the mark will reign with Christ, yet Murray tells his followers it doesn’t matter. Who are you going to believe? The Bible says to test all things. If any man--receives the mark, the name or the number of his name- the wrath of God is theirs, they will have everlasting torment. That is not a mans opinion it is God's absolute statement on the matter- he is warning you.
His followers being extremely loyal to him which does not help them from hearing the Word in context or from another source. Mr. Murray pressures his listeners to choose between his “prophetic word”, or what he calls “the doctrine of the Pharisees” which is often orthodox Christianity. “But, deep down in your souls when you must make the decision to stand for your Father or the traditions of man, it can separate you from friends and loved ones.” (Newsletter #129, 6-89) By using this he makes them decide for him without even considering another point of view. This is expressed in may different ways when he speaks of others. The implication is that only those spiritually mature can understand him. This stops “his students” from considering anyone else’s teaching, as if they will not mature under anyone else. They come to the conclusion that those who are critical of Arnold Murray’s teaching are biblically illiterate, steeped in the traditions of organized religion or are Kenites, a convenient way to dismiss it all.
To his credit he speaks out against those who are making merchandise of the saints and rippin' them off. His followers insist he does not ask for money or charge for his materials. While it is true he is not involved in seed faith or any of the hype that goes on today, he certainly does charge for his tapes. His followers attack anyone who also asks for donations, as only Murray is allowed to do this in their eyes. He requests a $4.00 donation for individual tapes (a fair price). This becomes one of the main attractions to him as many see the shrewdness of the ministers that want money to build their kingdom. But none of this uprightness excuses him from his false expositions.
I had posted by some researchers that Murray claimed to have a doctorate when in fact he did not. I have not had any proof of the statement of Murray asserting a doctorate from a university so I removed this statement. But now I'm putting it back up because of verification. I do agree with Murray that ones credentials are not dependent on any doctorate they may have but on their teaching ability, and I would add by rightly dividing the word.
Murray has in the past claimed to have a doctorate degree which has been proven false by those who looked into this claim. Researcher William Alnor states that Murray “Falsely claims to have a doctorate degree from a properly accredited university or seminary.” (Bill Alnor, “The Cultic Views of Arnold Murray and the Shepherd’s Chapel,” The Christian Sentinel, (1994) www.cultlink.com/murray.html
B.J. Oropeza a researcher notes that Murray claimed to receive a doctorate from an individual named Roy Gillespie, after writing a dissertation on the book of Daniel. (Oropeza, p. 5.) When Oropeza in 1991 further investigated no evidence of such a dissertation was found where it would be in The National Union Catalog or through UMI Microfilms.
I had taken this portion off the article because I could not verify this. Just recently I have received this letter proving that what was already posted and looked into by others, it is indeed true. “I just wanted to mention that I contacted Shepherd 's Chapel in 1990 after seeing Dr. Arnold Murray on the Television. I contacted them and asked if Mr. Murray had received a doctorate in theology and if so where. I was told he had received it at Biola University in Southern Ca. I contacted Biola and found out this was not the case. And called Shepherd's chapel again to share with them my findings. I was called a Kenite and asked not to call again? I just thought I would let you know that they were making the claim that he had a doctorate in theology.” T. Pierce a missionary with Witness Inc.
If Murray is not a graduate of a university or college then what is he a graduate of that he calls himself Dr. Murray. If education does not matter as his students argue then why the title Doctor. Does anyone really know this mans background in education or when he received the gospel and was spiritually reborn? His background is not up on his site.
I do not hear much about Jesus being God, but mostly the mention of Father in his broadcasts. Murray denies the historic doctrine of the Trinity. Instead of saying there are three eternal persons in the Godhead he says that they are three offices. This is what is called modalism which was condemned as heresy by the early Church in the mid second and third century. (All three are eternal persons and the Father- Son- and Holy Spirit simultaneously exist.) He mocks this saying,... You have these yo-yo's that will say, 'Well I want you to think like of water (sic) and ice' and so on, various gases or so forth, or then they'll say, 'I want you to think of a 200 watt bulb, and a 150 watt bulb, and a 50 watt bulb.' Well, they're all the same wattage, friend. So why not just simplify it instead of playing stupid games, and understand there are three offices of the Godhead. Like this little lady said. She said, 'To my husband I am a wife, to my children I am a mother, that's my office. To hundreds of third graders I am their teacher and have been down through the years. That's a different office; none of them the same, but I'm still the same person.' I like that.” (The Shepherd's Chapel Question and Answers period, aired 6/4/91). God is “one man,...our Father,” and just like the Oneness Pentecostals state Murray says, God “(sic) gots three offices he serves.” (Shepherd's Chapel Questions and Answers period, aired 5/14/91)
Shepherds chapel- statement of faith
His statement of faith is vague that one needs to know what’s under the surface before one takes this at its face value. He denies many of the essential doctrines of Christian which puts him outside the church. I will point out only a few of the main ones that should be sufficient. The statement of faith on his website does not say anything about the nature of God being tri-une, therefore his statement of God being three offices certainly explains his position on the concept of not being persons. The Bible teaches that all three are eternally existing simultaneously who worked in concert together in creation, they are not just offices. This is crucial doctrine that affects many others, and one needs to take note of this before they listen to any of his teachings.
Also his statement of faith says you get born again-- “By water and Spirit.” WITHOUT God's grace and through faith, there is no way to be born of the Spirit. Yet according to his students Murray teaches that being “born again” means that one must be born INTO a flesh body---from the spirit world, because Murray holds to a pre-mortal existence of man.
Jesus says to be born again means a spiritual birth, just the opposite of what Murray teaches. John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him (Nicodemus), “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Strong’s Concordance 509 anothen-Means from above used of things which come from heaven or God. To experience the new birth means to be born from the Spirit above.
Peter explains it as “having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God” (1 Pet. 1:23) . Which means we are born again on earth when we hear the gospel that saves us. “… According to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).
Murray does cite Eph.2:8-We believe salvation is by grace through faith, and it is the gift of God, and not of works. Many of these statements are not defined enough to know what he means by it, in other words ones interpretation means more than just quoting the Scripture.
In his statement of faith “We believe in the God of the Bible” So do the Mormons, Christadelphians, the Jehovah's Witnesses; they all claim the same. But they too have a false view of the nature of God denying God is triune in person (Shepherd Chapel believes in offices, as this is only statement we could find on it).
On his site it says “We believe in the resurrection of the dead as prophesied the resurrection of Jesus.” Does he? From what I understand Murray denies His physical resurrection. Instead, Jesus was raised spiritually, not physically. On this teaching alone they are considered a cult because it denies one on the core doctrines of Christianity. Likewise for the believer, the Shepherd's Chapel also denies the physical resurrection of the believer. When the Shepherd's Chapel speaks of resurrection, it is not referring to a physical one, but a spiritual kind of resurrection. Don’t be fooled by their statement of faith, check it out. See what they mean by their words. If you ask direct questions you may get some answers.
Serpent Seed Doctrine
Murray teaches, Eve and Adam had sex with Satan; Satan being the fruit, the tree, and the snake, in that story. Eve got pregnant with Satan's son and with Adam's son. Cain and Abel were twins; but Cain was Satan's son. (Tape #436)
NOW where is that in Scripture? How would this be possible if they were twins? They would both be Satan's sons. Was Adam Satan? Because this is what he would have to be, as Scripture states in Gen.4:1-2 “ Adam knew his wife” (it was not Satan) and Cain was conceived. Both children are called Adam's offspring. Even the Lord calls them brothers in v.9, but not twins. When Eve bore Cain she said he was from the Lord, not Satan. She bore again this time his brother, they were not twins. The Hebrew language does not allow for this in the word “brother”, as well as the construct of her bearing twice. Clearly the implication is she conceived and then bore again. Murray interprets this as Eve having sex with Satan first, then with Adam.
The Bible teaches that Adam had sex with his wife after the fall not before. so how can Murray be right? He says it was the cause of the fall (eating of the tree). This seems to put his whole theory into jeopardy. Both Cain and Abel are called Adam's offspring, not just Abel. This conception of Cain took place after Adam and Eve are put out of the garden, one has to do some juggling to try and connect this to the encounter with Satan at the tree.
I have heard from Murray’s followers that everyone knows that Cain and Abel were from two different fathers from Eve, as if this is common knowledge and a Biblical teaching. This they call fraternal twins; Cain is from the Serpent (Satan), and Abel from Adam. but you can only get this teaching from Murray, it is an exclusive scoop. Besides the Biblical evidence being completely silent on this incredible revelation, science refutes it as well. Fraternal twins is somewhat common with animals and has occurred in humans but it is extremely rare. Fraternal twins may be of the same sex or consist of a brother and a sister.
But to be accurate it is not fraternal twins that they are describing, but heteropaternal superfecundation. This occurs when two eggs are fertilized by different fathers. This can happen when a woman releases more than one egg having intercourse with more than one man in a short time span. This is recorded in 1810 by John Archer, the first doctor to receive a medical degree in the United States and discussed in Williams Obstetrics (1980). As a matter of fact there are 7 recorded cases, 6 are not mentioning another man as the father except for one possibility, which is not proven. Heteropaternal superfecundation has only recently been proven to be a possibility with DNA testing. It also is reported that fertility drugs played a part in many of the newer cases. The percentage of this is extremely rare estimated to be .0000000015 percent; using these figures in the population it is nine in 6 billion. I say all this only to be fair with those who have brought up this point. Nonetheless it is not a biblical possibility because the Bible already told us who begot whom. So this explanation is not relative to the biblical text.
Another point to consider in the arguments for this unique doctrine is the DNA of the serpent, which does not line up with that of a Human and cannot be used to fertilize a human egg. So the argument they put forth on this is also mute. Besides it is impossible that a snake a completely different species could copulate with a human being, which would have to be the case since Satan used him for the temptation. The serpent was real not a symbol, as he was called one of God’s creatures in the garden, it would be ridiculous to call it a symbol and have God curse a symbol (Gen.2:14). It is later we see the serpent is used symbolically for Satan referring back to this first event.
The followers of Murray refuse to see what the Scripture is actually saying. The Scripture leaves no room to think that Satan was the father of Cain through the Serpent. Because it specifically states it was Adam that was the father for both Abel and Cain. If he is not the father of Cain, then he is not the father of Abel either! Stop and think on this.
The word for twins in Hebrew is ta'owm (Strong's Concordance #8380 from 8382); a twin (in plural only), literally or figuratively.
The Hebrew word for Brother (Strongs Concordance #251) is 'ach which is a primitive word; a brother (used in the widest sense of literal relationship and metaphorical affinity or resemblance [like 1]): KJV-- another, brother (-ly); kindred, like, other. Compare also the proper names beginning with "Ah-" or “Ahi-”.
We have 2 completely different words for twin and brother, yet Murray insists they are twins, when the Bible says they are brothers. Certainly one can be a brother without being a twin. The Bible uses the word for brother - not twin.
The Bible teaches Adam knew his wife and she conceived Cain, there is not a hint of another source. It is the same word in Gen.4:17 where Cain knew his wife.
On Cain, when Eve conceived; the Hebrew word is harah (2029); a primitive root; to be (or become) pregnant, conceive (literally or figuratively): KJV-- been, be with child, conceive, progenitor.
And Bore the Hebrew word is yalad (3205); a primitive root; to bear young; causatively, to beget; medically, to act as midwife; specifically, to show lineage: KJV-- bear, beget, birth ([-day]), born, (make to) bring forth (children, young), bring up, calve, child, come, be delivered (of a child), time of delivery, gender, hatch, labour, (do the office of a) midwife, declare pedigrees, be the son of, (woman in, woman that) travail (-eth, -ing woman).
on Abel 3254 yacaph (yaw-saf'); a primitive root; to add or augment (often adverbial, to continue to do a thing): KJV-- add, X again, X any more, X cease, X come more, + conceive again, continue, exceed, X further, X gather together, get more, give more-over, X henceforth, increase (more and more), join, X longer (bring, do, make, much, put), X (the, much, yet) more (and more), proceed (further), prolong, put, be [stronger-], X yet, yield.
Again the same Hebrew word for bare, yalad, is used for Abel as is for Cain. There is no reason to consider them as twins, nor conception from another source. There is every reason to not interpret it this way.
Gen 4:25 “And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth.” Since Adam knew his wife and conceived Seth, no one contests that it would be anyone else but Adam. Why do they contest the same language used for Cain. It becomes clear that it was Adam who was the Father of Cain. The same words and intent are used for both. (Gen.4:17 also uses the same phrase, as Cain knew his wife and she conceived.) This word (knew), in its context means intimacy and is used consistently throughout the Scripture for sex.
All the Bible translations agree. (NIV)
Gen. 4:1 Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave
birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth
The KJV: “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. You don't get a demon child from God or with His help, nor do you praise him for this. Notice also that she said she got “a man” not “men” as in plural or “twins.” Who knows better Eve and the Scripture or Murray? This becomes a matter of where one wants to get there teaching from, the Bible clearly says, in Gen.4:1 “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain ” So all the arguments for twins, fraternal or any other are mute. Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Notice the words bore again. The NIV makes it clear in verse 2: Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Abel was born “later”, not as a twin. They would have been mentioned as twins, as in the example of Esau and Jacob if this had been the case (again as previously mentioned the Hebrew does not allow for this). This is not making a doctrine from silence, but going against the clear teaching in Scripture. It was from ADAM the Scripture clearly attributes Cain to, not Satan.
Then there is another argument they use. Cain is not found being in the genealogy, therefore the reason is because he is from the Devil. This is truly ridiculous as Abel is not in it either, so using this way of interpreting Scripture one would have to believe he is from the Devil also! Murray has made this teaching up from the silence of the Scripture, not from what it actually teaches. and the people seem to be gullible enough to believe it without EVER checking it out for themselves.
Gen.5 excludes Cain and starts with Seth because it is the genealogy of Noah, this is why Cain is not included (Gen.4:25 he is the appointed seed in place of Abel). Genesis 5:4: “After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters.”
Why are not these other sons and daughters named in Adam's genealogy? Are they also sons and daughters of Satan? Of course not, and neither is Cain. God is giving us the line of Seth revealing whom Jesus Christ came through.
This is where Murray's error begins and then he launches into what he calls the line of Cain (Kenites). But Scripture teaches there were many lines of humanity not just two. The reason Cain is not mentioned and Seth is mentioned is for the same reason not all offsprings are mentioned; the line of the Messiah is being traced. Example: Some of Cain's descendents are mentioned in Genesis 4:17-22 Gen.5:7,13,16,26 Cain's descendents, Seth's descendents, and the descendents of their kin (Remember Adam and Eve had other children, Genesis 5:4) populated the earth.
In our modern time this false doctrine
was promoted by William Branham. He taught that Eve's sin in the Garden
of Eden (Genesis 3) was sexual sin. Branham said that Eve was seduced
into a sexual relationship with the serpent and became impregnated with
her son Cain. “Here is what actually happened in the Garden of Eden. The
Word says that Eve was beguiled by the serpent. She was actually seduced
by the serpent. He was as close to being a human that his seed could,
and did mingle with that of the woman and cause her to conceive” (The
Original Sin, pp. 2-3).
So we see the very same thing repeated by Murray. If one looks into the teachings of Branham there are other similarities as well.
What are the Trees?
Eve certainly did not have sex from eating of the tree. For if Satan is the tree and the fruit, then one must apply this principle of interpretation to other trees they ate from. This would mean they are having sex with what? Lets look at this interpretation of trees in the book of Genesis and other examples. Gen 2:8-9: “And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” Was Jesus created out of the ground as it says every tree. Both are trees like all the trees that gave food. They are actual trees according to the Bible. The Hebrew word for tree is `ets (from its firmness); hence, wood (plural sticks). Yet Murray teaches the tree is actually the serpent, whose fruit Eve ate by having sex with him. Every time a tree is mentioned it a real tree that comes from a seed. Gen 3:1 “And he (the serpent) said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’? Certainly the serpent is speaking about something other than himself, a real tree. To prove this all one has to do is go back to when the trees were created by God. Gen. 1:11 tells us the trees fruit produce after its own kind. This included the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So Murray's postulations are not from the Bible.
In Eve’s conversation she said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden” (Gen. 3:2).
The plain meaning of the text should be sufficient to explain the meaning of it not being a sexual act but an act of disobedience to the command of eating from the one tree God put as off limits. For if this meant having sexual intercourse then both she and Adam were allowed to have it with the other trees (whoever these trees might be). It is later we find the Scripture say Adam “knew” his wife, this is the Hebrew word Yada which means to know intimately. It is the same kind of response Mary gave to the angel when he said she would have a child, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”(Luke 1:34)
Gen. 3:13 And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
In fact this Hebrew word is consistently used for physically eating- not for sex.
Gen. 3:19: “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”
Gen 9:4: “But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.
Gen. 24:33 “Food was set before him to eat, but he said, “I will not eat until I have told about my errand.”
Exod.2:20 So he said to his daughters, “And where is he? Why is it that you have left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread.”
The Bible also tells us that Eve gave the fruit to Adam, Gen 3:6: “She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” So if this is a sexual meaning Adam would have had sex with the serpent also. Did he having sex with the devil? Gen 3:22: “Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat.” Lets look at the interpretation of eating of the tree being sex. If Eve ate from the tree of good and evil and it means having sex, was God afraid Adam was going to have sex with Jesus from the tree of life? The fact is they were already eating from the tree of life (Gen.2:16). Is God is saying you can have sex with anyone in the garden but Satan. Gen, 2:9 states- out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow. Murray's interpretation is not consistent with the biblical record although it seems to offer a deeper secret knowledge to those who pursue it. For this reason many occultists have come to a similar understanding.
Trees can often be used metaphorically or symbolically. Prov.3:18: She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her.” Is Jesus a she? Prov. 13:12: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Is desire a tree? Prov. 5:4: “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” Is a tongue a tree?
Rev.22:2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
Does Jesus stand in the middle of the street?
The tree of life is probably a metaphor used for Christ, but is not Christ himself. In the same way Jesus used other examples for Himself. He is called a vine, a door, a Hen, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. That He is called the Word in Jn.1, but not something spoken. God likewise is called shield, a buckler, a high tower, His eyes run to and fro upon the earth. Men are called sheep, lambs, salt, branches. We know these are symbols to convey spiritual meanings. If Mr. Murray insists on a figurative use of the term snake or tree, then he needs to explain why he interprets the term “seed” as literal. As far as I'm concerned --case closed on this subject, at least according to Scripture interpreting the Scripture.
On Shepherds chapels statement of faith “We believe that after Christ's death and resurrection Israel was to be called by a new name (Isaiah 62:2). Israel was not to be remembered by her old name (Hosea 2:17); and, the new name was to be the Lord's Name (II Chronicles 7:14) which would be CHRISTIAN (Christ man) (Acts 11:26; I Peter 4:16).”
Isaiah 62:2 says, “You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD will name.”
We are not told the name Christian (Acts 11:26) is said to be spoken from the Lord. The Bible does teach that believers were called Christian, but not Israel (the nation or people). In fact Israel is still called Israel through the book of Acts and the epistles to keep the distinction of those Jews who believe and those Jews who do not. Israel is indeed remembered by her name, and the apostles use it often. In fact the name Christian is used only twice in the whole New Testament. It is never confused with the nation or people (Eph.2:12). Even in Heb.8 when explaining the new covenant, Israel is never said to be called Christian. If one is going to find a new name for the Jews who believe, the church would more appropriate. I point this out only to show that many statements become a matter of interpretation more than just citing Scripture.
Are We Pre-existent Spirits Before Coming to Earth
Murray and his followers believe that humans existed prior to living on earth. I have been told by some of those who formerly listened to his teachings that to be born again meant to be physically born on earth.
The Shepherd Chapel divides history up into three earth ages: Gen.1:1 where we first had the fall of Satan causing incredible destruction and waste. We pre-existed the earthly existence in soul bodies. Those pre-existent ones who rebelled against Lucifer and sided with God are called the elect. In the second age After the fall of Satan, God remade the world. This includes Gen.1:2 through Revelation, all the world will accept the antichrist, except the elect. The third age Begins with the establishment of the millennium, proceeds through its end, and extends into eternity. The elect live in spirit bodies, not physical ones through the millennium.
In response to the Shepherd's Chapel teaching that we were created in the first earth age, before the fall, where we existed in the form of soul bodies. There is no biblical support for this position. In fact, the Bible contradicts this soul-body idea. Paul who wrote on the resurrection states in 1 Cor.15:44-47: “it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.”
Paul is teaching here that the first “body” we have is the natural, or the physical body. The spiritual body which is a resurrected physical body comes afterwards. Paul gives the order of our existence and of our bodies. To teach that we had soul-bodies prior to this life is wrong, at least according to the Bible. Therefore Shepherd's Chapel position is not a biblical one.
Murray teaches, in regard to Genesis 1:26, that God “spoke to the Elohim, meaning God and his children, let us make that man in our image, which is to say make it look in likeness that we are. Do you appear as your soul appeared in the world that was…I told you, that God said, ‘In our image, our likeness,’ the Elohim were standing there, they were from before.” (Tape #146) “We were always with [God] until you were born into this earth.” ( Tape #436)
The Bible teaches that God created man on the earth, not in heaven (Gen.2:7), man does not have pre-existence in heaven according to the Scripture. This is in agreement with Mormonism, not Scripture. He also teaches good people are the good angels that stayed with God in the first earth age. The bad people are the wicked angels that followed Satan in his rebellion that happened in the first earth age, also found in Mormonism. Murray's followers refuse to go to the bible to understand its meaning and accept his explanation without question.
If our souls were pre-existent before coming into the flesh, where please is this clear teaching in Scripture? And what are they doing in heaven before they get here. Why come here? Are they sinless in heaven or sinful. Please show me where this is? The mistake comes from their wrong concept of predestination. The scriptural teaching on predestination means God knows something beforehand, that before He created anything He knew its end. When one reads of God knowing someone in their womb or life it does not mean they pre-existed literally before they were on earth! Otherwise when God speaks of prophecy and knowing things that will occur, this would mean they too exist in heaven before they were on earth. From this the earth had no beginning nor would anything else in history- since it already existed, for the Lord says the same about events as he does man. Predestined does not mean one exists. The lamb was predestined to be slain from the foundation of the world. It does not mean he was slain before He came to earth, does it?
Just as God knew Jeremiah before he was made, it was His mind that knew him. As Isa. 46:10 Says God declares and knows the end from the beginning. From Murray's theological position it would mean the end actually is created in heaven and sent to earth to occur.
The Biblical teaching of is also distorted as it is connected to the pre-existence doctrine he promotes. It means to come down from heaven (your soul) and to be born into a flesh body, because we all existed in spirit bodies previously. when you die in the flesh, you are born again into the spirit (as in the the spirit realm). According to the Shepherd Chapel, all people whether saved or not are considered born again. If I'm not understanding this correctly please let me know.
Are you a Kenite?
Murray teaches the already proven false doctrine of British Israelism. That the, Anglo-Saxons are the chosen race, and America and Great Britain are the lost tribes of the children of Israel. The core of his false teaching also finds its source in “serpent seed” doctrine' which has been linked to various “Christian” identity and right-wing neo-nazi groups. What this doctrine teaches is that in the Garden of Eden Eve's sin was that she had literal sexual intercourse with the serpent, which produced the ungodly line of Cain, as the literal offspring of the Devil. (This was also held by numerous other false teachers, one is William Branham who also was a Oneness Pentecostal).
Cain is called “of the wicked one” because of his sacrifice, not because of his conception. Cain was angry that his own offering was not accepted because his brother gave a better sacrifice than he did. He was taken over by anger (Gen.4:6-8) and it turned to hatred and he murdered his brother. Heb 11:4 “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous.” The Bible gives us the answer and we need not look elsewhere. I Jn. 3:12: “Not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother's righteous.” This is one of the main reasons why Cain is called of the wicked one. It was the sin nature in Cain that was like Satan.
Jesus also interprets
what the wicked one means. Matthew 13:38 “The field is the world; the
good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the
children of the wicked [one].”
“The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.” Are we to believe that is about two different lineages of mankind and one is fallen and the other is not? Or is it about being redeemed by believing in Christ and those who are not.
(Matt 13:39) the seed Jesus told us is the word, the soil is our heart, so these are people that do not respond to his word. What I find ironic is that the Scripture answers these questions “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside” (Matt 13:19). So simple yet elusive for those who embrace this serpent seed--Cain and Abel posterity doctrine.
The concept of the Serpent seed comes to us from the early Church where a certain group took the spiritual concept of Jesus’ statement of certain Jews nature as “ children of the Father” to be literal. The Cainites, and the Archontites, mentioned by Epiphanius, read it thus (John 8:44) “Ye are the children of your father the Devil, because he is a liar, and his father was a liar. He was a man-slayer, and he did not remain in the truth. When he speaketh, he speaketh a lie of his own (progenitors understood), because his father also was a liar.” The consequences which the above heretics drew from this verse were the following. They said that the father of the Jews was a demon; that he also had a demon for his father; and that he had a demon for his father, etc. The Archontites maintained that Cain had a demon for his father, the spirit which our Lord speaks of here; and that the Jews proceeded from the race of Cain” (from Adam Clarke's Commentary.)
The problem with this heresy is that Jesus was a Jew being of the seed of the woman and of the tribe of Judah. So in essence what the Archontites were claiming is that Jesus was demonic as well. Something to think about when believing the Kenite teaching.
What Murray teaches is exactly what the cult leader of the Moonies, Sung Myung Moon teaches. “If the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil were a literal fruit, then Adam and Eve should have covered their mouths or their hands. So why did they hide their lower parts? ... It cannot be denied that the fall was caused by fornication” (Buenos Aires Sheraton Hotel Speech Nov.23, 1996). Murray's followers say the very same thing for justification on their misunderstanding of Adam and Eve's shame.
Murray states that the northern ten tribes of Israel are “the same tribes that later went north and populated Europe and North America.” (The Shepherd's Chapel newsletter #148, 2-91) The other races he seems to imply are inferior to whites. He believes these races were the 'Adam' created on the sixth day of creation in Genesis 1, while the Anglo-Saxons were 'another Adam' created on the eighth day of creation based on his interpretation of Genesis 2. This is a common mistake people make when they are untrained in how the Hebrew writers wrote down Scripture. The mistake is that there are not two creation narratives but as the Hebrew writers penned, Gen.2 is only going back and giving more detail to the Gen.1 account. There were no races created on the 8th day either, the Bible says there is no creation after the sixth day, on the seventh God rested from all His work. There is no eight day of creation, so again this teaching is from the silence of Scripture, not Scripture itself.
Murray claims Cain's descendants are the “Kenites” who went on to become scribes and corrupted the Bible, and that the Kenites are not a race, “but a hybrid.” (Genesis 1:1-6:22, reference tape #146).
One of the reasons that those who listen to Murray believe the Kenites descended from Cain surviving Noah’s flood because it was not worldwide but only a local flood. Therefore Noah’s family was not the only ones to survive. I want to pause and look at how unbiblical Murray's view is, because this is what his whole theory rests on.
To show how far removed this is from the Bible we only have to read the record. Whereby the WORLD THAT THEN WAS, BEING OVERFLOWED WITH WATER, PERISHED” (2 Peter 3:5,6). The Judgment of the last days is compared to Noah’s flood. (Matthew 24:37-39; 2 Peter 3:6,7). Consider if the first worldwide flood did not destroy the earth then neither will the judgment be worldwide from Jesus. Since we know that the last day’s judgment will be universal and worldwide, we can assume the same was true for the first judgment. “And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and “And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and EVERY THING THAT IS IN THE EARTH SHALL DIE” (Genesis 6:17).
“and EVERY LIVING SUBSTANCE THAT I HAVE MADE WILL I DESTROY FROM OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH” (Genesis 7:4). “And ALL FLESH DIED that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. ALL in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died” (Gen 7:21-22). all means ALL. It also states only “NOAH ONLY REMAINED ALIVE, AND THEY THAT WERE WITH HIM IN THE ARK. (Genesis 7:22-24). On these verses alone one would think there is sufficient proof from the Bible that the flood was not localized, but wiped everything out except Noah and his family. But logic also tells us that. If the flood were specifically local, there would have been no need to bring two of every kind of animal on the ark, since animals would have survived outside of the flood area. So on this premise Murray tells us that Kenites survived the flood and descended from Cain. None of Murray’s explanations make any sense. There is NO proof of any of Noah's family being related to Cain. “This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations.” (Gen. 6:9) Noah's family was pure. Murray has no evidence from the Bible except a private interpretation he has constructed together making this a most unique theory.
God promised to never destroy the earth with a flood again. If it was local, then He did not keep his promise because we have had many local catastrophes in floods (Gen. 9:14-15)
To Murray Kenites a whole group of people that are supposed to be descended from Cain. Gen.10 gives us the genealogy of Noah making it clear that the whole human race comes from his family (Gen.10:31-32) there is no Cain or Kenite mentioned. No one survived the flood except Noah's family.
Kenites are first mentioned in Gen. 15:19 as one of the nations to be “given” to Israel. They descended from the Midianites and developed extraordinary skill in metalwork. They settled down early along the SW shore of the Dead Sea, SE of Hebron (Judg 1:16). Gen. 15:18-25 shows Caiananites and Kenites are different tribes.
Hobab, the son of Reuel, was a Kenite and acted as a guide to Israel in the wilderness (1:16; 4:11). Heber, was a Kenite (Judges 4:11 and 5:24 “Most blessed among women is Jael, The wife of Heber the Kenite.” Around the time of Israel's exodus from Egypt, the Kenites showed kindness to Israel (1 Sam 15:6), some Kenites entered the Promised Land along with the Israelites in the conquest led by Joshua (Judg 1:16).
1 Chron 2:55 “And the families of the scribes who dwelt at Jabez were the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and the Suchathites. These were the Kenites who came from Hammath, the father of the house of Rechab.” Notice all the families involved. This is there beginning, Recahab was the son Rimmon, it does not say they came from Cain. A Kenite is member of the tribe of Kajin. Cain and Kenites are two different names. Murray has not produced clear evidence from the Bible for any of his unique teachings especially this one.
Murray claims many of the Kenites are Jewish and the Jews are descendents of the offspring of Satan and Eve, thedescendants of this offspring are the Kenites who were the Jews who killed Christ. (Serpent seed teaching also promoted by another modalist William Branham). Eve and Adam had sex with Satan; Satan being the fruit, the tree, and the snake, in that story. Eve got pregnant with Satan's son and with Adam's son. Cain and Able were twins; but Cain was Satan's son. All teachers who do not hold to a literal offspring of God and Satan (i.e., the serpent seed doctrine), are considered by Murray as “nothing but a bunch of self-righteous hypocrites blinded by what sounds good to men's ears” (Tape #436). So where is this in the Bible?
So what about the argument of her seed and his seed-the seed of woman, and the seed of Satan. If we look at Galatians 3:16 where it speaks of the seed of the woman, it is Christ (singular) it is the same for his seed; it is not an ongoing genealogy for either of them. Simple Bible teaching that anyone should be able to grasp.
He believes that people can still become children of Satan by adoption into a Jewish or Christian family, or through conversion to these religions. “Of what use is this knowledge to us? Because as Satan seduced Eve physically to accomplish an earthly impregnation he strives daily to spiritually impregnate those Children of God who know His truth.” (Arnold Murray, Newsletter #126, (1989).
The Serpent Seed is also used as a label of false teaching on those who disagree with Mr. Murray’s interpretation, as he calls them of a Kenite descent “How many today are teaching from a quarterly written by a Kenite, rather than teaching from God's Word? (Newsletter #193, Nov. 1994)
Murray states, “We believe in an existing Satan... who has a people who will not hear God (John 8:44-47).” (Our Statement of Faith, p.2). Murrays position is that in John 8:44-47, the context clearly states that these people who are the “children of the devil” are Jews (8:31-58). Murray believes that Jesus is referring to these Jews as a literal offspring of Satan. Only people who believe in Jesus are “true” Jews. This is correct if they are Jewish, but not if they are gentile.
Murray teaches that the Kenite's are the descendants of Cain, Eve’s son, that Cain's father is literally Satan, so the Kenites lineage is of Satan. In interpreting Jn.8 Murray concentrates verses 42 and 44 to identify these men as “sons of Satan,” but the teaching in John 8 begins back at verse 3 where we see that teachers of the law come to test Jesus. In verse 37 Jesus calls them descendants of Abraham. NOT of Cain or Satan. He also states in verse 56 Abraham is their father.
Jesus’ whole point is that they do their fathers work spiritually; they were Jews. But because they opposed him they had the characteristic of Satan. He is making a distinction of their physical posterity and spirituality. So to make the connection to Cain and then Satan from this interpretation is quite a leap.
About the Jews he writes, “Now, who stands in Jerusalem today? The sons of Cain or those who will not accept Jesus Christ. The Kenites, that founded a new nation starting in 1948.” (Commentary in The Shepherd's Bible, Gravette, Ar: Shepherd's Chapel, 1979 quoted by Jason Barker profile -Watchman Fellowship)
The Anglo-Israelism theory has long been abandoned as reputable, no scholar or historian continues to promote it. After the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities in 722 B.C. and 586 B.C. Judah and Israel were no longer separated. The terms “Jew” and “Israelite” are often used interchangeably. The New Testament the Jews and the ten tribes of Israel are mentioned often without any distinction made between them (Mt.10:5,6; 15:24; Luke 2:36; Acts 2:14, 22, 23, 36; Jms.1:1; Rev. 7:4-8) On the tape called Grace and Baptism he states also that different races should have no fellowship. Jesus was a Jew and an Israelite. The Bible teaches that all people are from the same family through Noah via Adam.(Gal.3:28; Acts 17:26). Murray traces the different races to Adamic creation in the book of Genesis. He claims that the British Israelites were the Adam created in Genesis 2, while the other, inferior races were the first Adam created in Genesis 1.
On his website it is stated, “We believe in the Bible account of Creation (Genesis 1 and 2).” But it is how they interpret the Bible that is not explained. Murray adamantly states that if you believe in a literal 7 day creation your on your way to hell. “Only an idiot will stand and argue...such a thing [young earth creationism], for the manuscripts declare that this earth, not this earth age, but this earth is millions of years old ... A lot are going to hell unless they realize 'the destruction that was' (i.e., the gap theory between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2)...Take the blinders...off of your eyes where you just have tunnel vision, one earth age. You can't understand God's Word if that's all you see” (ibid). He also assumes the first earth age ended because of Satan's fall and ended with a world wide flood. This is how the earth “became” void in Gen. 1:2.(But the Bible never says this in any form, yet he holds that the flood of Noah was not a world wide flood when the Bible says it was). God believes in 7 literal days and gave Israel the same DAY to rest that he rested after creation (Gen.2:2-3; Exo.16:23-30, 20:8-11; Lev.23:7.) There is too much biblical evidence for a literal 7 days, as our week still bears witness to. The Church and even Judaism has always believed in 7 literal days until evolution brought its influence to society. Murray is wrong again.
(go hear to see the Biblical position of the 7 days of creation)
I guess all those who deny a 7 day creation who are going to hell (according to Murray), but they may have nothing to be concerned about. Because he denies the existence of hell as eternal (Jesus certainly believed in it and warned people so they would not to go there). I would say neither those who do believe in a 7 day creation and those who do not believe in a 7 day creation are going to hell. It is those who reject the true gospel that will unfortunately end up there. But then according to Murray's view one would not have to be afraid since they would not any longer exist because Murray teaches the doctrine of annihilationism. This view teaches that all unbelievers will completely disappear out of existence. So there is nothing to fear, no judgment or punishment for those who refuse Christ. This is hardly biblical.
“We know man can kill our earthly bodies, but only our Father in heaven has the power to wipe out the existence of the soul...God's emotions are so much greater than you can even imagine, and to roast one of his own children day and night would be something only Satan would conceive of.” (Newsletter #151) Christ explained that just as the righteous will have never ending life, so shall the unrighteous have never ending punishment (Mt. 25:41,46). It is a conscious punishment according to Revelation 14:9-11 (Rev.20:10), just as it is conscious eternal life with Christ.
Rapture, or do we stay on earth
He claims the doctrine of the rapture is “cultic” and condemns anyone who believes in it does not have God's seal upon them. They are going to be deceived by Satan during the end times. “Yet, today we have false teachers leading people to Satan's doctrine of rapture from the very pulpits from which they should be hearing the doctrine of Jesus Christ. It is very appropriate that judgment begins at the pulpits.” (Newsletter #253 Nov. 1999).
This would hardly be considered a matter of salvation, but Murray makes it one, so it needs to be addressed. Murray presupposes his anti-rapture claim on Dave MacPherson's research. Who taught that the pre-tribulation rapture teaching came from a personal revelation of a young girl named Margaret Macdonald in a vision in 1830 during one of Irving's services.
This does not necessarily mean that this view was false which is what Mr. Murray is saying it means. The rapture/resurrection is a Biblical teaching and a simultaneous event. Murray is not arguing against a pre-trib rapture, but the rapture itself. “There will be no rapture; however, if you believe the rapture theory, Satan might use this fact to deceive you. The false prophets promise salvation cheaply. ... They say, “All you have to do is believe and then wait to be raptured out of here. These are dangerous teachers, friends.” (Newsletter #193, Nov. 1994, Prepare to Meet Your God) “The rapture is not in God's Word. God is against those seducing spirits who would teach His children to fly to save their souls.” (Newsletter #262, Aug. 2,000)
i don't know anyone who has ever taught to sit around and wait but instead they teach since it can happen soon we should be busier than ever, the exact opposite of what he portrays.
The Bible does say there is going to be a rapture or “catching away” of the saints to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess. 4:16,17; 1 Cor.15:52 ) raptura is Latin for the Greek word harpazo found in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, and it means to be caught way forcefully- upward to heaven. And the historic Christian Church has always taught this, although there are various views on the timing of this event. If Murray believes there will be no rapture (catching away) of the saints, he is being both unbiblical and setting himself against the historic understanding of the Bible by the Christian Church. Murray states “Most go along with this cult that teaches the rapture that didn't start till 1830, but it's growing into the largest cult in the world.” (The Shepherd's Chapel Questions and Answers period, aired 1991) This is inaccurate. Everyone seems to be a cult or false according to Murray, except him and his followers. He does not answer challenges, which is convenient! Although I will say that those who like his teaching certainly are willing to go at it, but all they do is mostly repeat what he says like poor fed parrots.
FACT: There are many physical raptures mentioned in the Bible.
ENOCH “And Enoch walked with God and was not for God TOOK HIM.” (Genesis 5:24) “By faith Enoch was TRANSLATED that he should not see death and was not because God had taken (TRANSLATED) him for before (his death), he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5). Since we are told all but noahs family did not survive the flood Enoch was not on earth.
ELIJAH “And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that behold, there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire and separated them, and Elijah WENT UP by a whirlwind into Heaven” (2 Kings 2:1-11).
JESUS “And when Jesus had spoken these
things, while they beheld, Jesus was TAKEN UP and a cloud received Him
out of their sight.”
THE TWO WITNESSES (which has not occurred yet) After three and a half days they are resurrected and raptured in front of everyone “And I heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them COME UP here and they ASCENDED UP to heaven in a cloud and their enemies beheld them” (Revelation 11:3-12).
At the rapture, the Lord comes only for believers. The rapture is a translation for the living and a resurrection for the dead into immortal bodies. It is an event that happens to both the living and dead Christians alike. Both the the living and the dead believers will be caught up (raptured) to meet Jesus Christ in the air. The Greek word is harpazo which means a taking away by force. The phrase “caught up” NT:726 This the Greek word harpazo which means to sieze (in various applications): KJV-catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force). (New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary). In 1 Thess. 4:13 He comes for his saints having them rise to meet him in the air to receive their glorified bodies as their bodies are changed (1 Thess. 4:16). The Lord then takes the believers “to the Father's house” in heaven (John 14:3) as He promised.
In 2 Thess.2 it describes this event and the words as “our gathering together unto Him” meaning ‘our being gathered up into Him.’ The Greek word for ‘gathering together’ is EPI-SUNAGOGES. EPI- means “above”, and SUNAGOGES means “housed, or gathered.”
Murray teaches that the word “clouds” in 1 Thessalonians is not referring to clouds in the sky, but allegorizes the meaning to be a gathering of like minded people, a assembly of witnesses who know the truth. This interpretation is certainly not the intent of the 1 Thess. 4 passage where the dead will be resurrected out of the ground and the living will be transformed to meet the Lord in the air. This is a special one time event. When Jesus was taken up in the clouds in Acts 1 was this of like mind? Are we to believe He wasn’t actually taken up from their view toward heaven to the Father? What nonsense.
The word clouds in Greek is nephele from NT:3509; properly, cloudiness, i.e. (concretely) a cloud: the root word is 3507 ephos apparently a primary word; a cloud. (referenced from the New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary.)
Jesus used the word cloud word
literally in Luke 12:54 “Whenever you see a cloud rising out of
the west, immediately you say, 'A shower is coming.” It is the same word
used in Acts 1:9 “He was taken up, and a cloud received Him.” It
is the same word used in Mt.24:30 when Christ comes back to earth
(Mt.26:64; Rev 1:7 “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will
see Him” and in Lk.9:34 when the cloud covered the disciples on the
Mount of Transfiguration. there are times clouds can be used for a
Murray attributes the antichrist will deceive the people by saying that he has come to “rapture” out all his people. Even those who hold to a rapture even a mid or post trib-view are wrong “When this false Christ stands in the holy place performing in the sight of Christians, the pre-tribulation rapture Christians shall think it is Christ come to rapture them away” (Our Statement of Faith, p.2).
If he does not take us as the Scripture says then wouldn't we know? In other words we are looking for Christ to come from heaven toward earth and we are changed and removed in a twinkling of an eye. If we are still on earth then it means he is the antichrist- the very opposite of the meaning in his argument. He can be here if he wants to and explain it to his followers. Besides if he is standing in the holy place then it is the middle of the tribulation (as Scripture teaches), that makes it hard to be a pre-trib rapture. Even his arguments are convoluted with inaccuracies. There will be those deceived into believing that Antichrist is Christ, but contrary to his assertion, the belief in the rapture actually protects us from accepting the wrong Christ. Those who do not believe Christ comes to remove the Church are more likely accept a false Christ who comes here on earth. We are not looking for a Christ to be on earth to take us off the earth but one that will lift us off the earth that did not come to earth, he takes us up (as he also takes up the dead into new bodies) to where he is. The Antichrist will have the ability to do great signs and wonders by the power of Satan (2 Thess. 2:9,10), but there is one thing he will not be able to do. He cannot raise the dead and at the same time lift up the living believers to heaven. If we are watching for the Christ who raptures us to heaven we cannot be deceived by a counterfeit who will rule on earth no matter what kind of power he exhibits. We are to be looking for the Christ who comes back the same way he left, in God's glory and from heaven, Jesus told us to look for him in this way (Acts 1:11).
“ They have twisted the truth into teaching the rapture, the Easter bunny and the apple Eve ate in the garden of Eden. These false teachings make those that accept this doctrine easy marks for Satan's bondage.” (Newsletter #230, Dec. 1997).“Do we know anyone deceived by any of Satan's lies? Do we believe in rapture, or babbling, or Easter, etc.? ...To flirt with doctrines, beliefs, and traditions that are contrary to what Christ taught endangers the pureness of your soul...Recognize the false from the true so you may come to the wedding, worthy and accountable to be accepted” (The Shepherd's Chapel Newsletter #126, April 1989). While I agree with some of the points in his statement I have to totally disagree with his conclusions. (1 Thess.4:16-17, 1Cor. 15:51-54, we are told our citizenship is in heaven. In Jn.14 Jesus said He went ahead to prepare a place for us that we may be where he is. Can he explain how we get there without the Biblical teaching of the rapture/ resurrection? Why would we go there if Christ only comes to earth to set up his kingdom?
Murray in his Mar. 2001 Newsletter says of Jn.14 where Jesus said I go to prepare a place for you. He interprets it as “That place of rest available for you today. I hope you have already moved in.” While it is true we have that rest now because Christ in us (Heb.4), This is not what Jesus is speaking about. He said where his Father is, that is in heaven. Murray makes the mistake of the earthly and the heavenly house. Jesus told us to build our house (our lives) on the rock now. Then there is a house not made of hands eternal in heaven (2 Cor.5:1). The Father’s house is in heaven not on earth, it is this place Jesus went TO prepare. Then He comes back again to bring us to where He is (at the Fathers right hand), to finish the Scripture Murray quoted: “that where I am you may be also.” I’m not in debate of when this will occur- pre or post, only that it will happen according to the Bible. Murray says it will not happen, pre, mid or post! And that is completely utterly wrong and unbiblical.
He neglects that Jesus said He would come again to receive us (plural, collectively) to Himself, not himself to us. Murray in his explanation even used 2 Corinthians 5:1 "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” I guess his followers missed where this is; it is not on earth now but in heaven where Christ is. The crucial point is where this is- not what it is. Again how does one get from earth to heaven without what the Bible has called as the rapture, a removal from earth to heaven. After all that is where our real citizenship is. We will be before his throne praising Him.
Is Jesus not coming back, does it not say we will rise up to Him in 1 Thess. 4 , all this is done to deny a rapture, a taking away of the saints. Ezekiel is used by Murray as a main argument againt the rapture (flying away), but I fail to see anything in it about flying away as a denial of the church being raised up to Christ in 1 Thess.4.
Ezekiel 13:20: “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said, Here I am against your cushions, with which you are hunting down the souls as though they were flying things, and I will rip them from off your arms and let go the souls that you are hunting down, souls as though they were flying things.”
The closest translation I found to Murray’s was Ezek 13:20 “Wherefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make (them) fly, and I will tear them from your arms; and I will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make (them) fly. ASV
But there are other translations of this verse: Ezek 13:20 Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I am against your magic bands by which you hunt lives there as birds, and I will tear them off your arms; and I will let them go, even those lives whom you hunt as birds.” NAS
The full context is needed to understand what Ezekiel is addressing. Ezek 13:18-20 and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: “Woe to the women who sew magic charms on their sleeves and make veils for the heads of people of every height to hunt souls! Will you hunt the souls of My people, and keep yourselves alive? And will you profane Me among My people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, killing people who should not die, and keeping people alive who should not live, by your lying to My people who listen to lies?” “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I am against your magic charms by which you hunt souls there like birds. I will tear them from your arms, and let the souls go, the souls you hunt like birds.” NKJ
you hunt the souls like birds, (to fly) does not mean they go up in the sky. It means these women hunted souls like some do birds, but God will free them as birds.
What do Bible scholars say on Ezek 13:20, these false prophetesses decoyed men into these gardens, where probably some impure rites of worship were performed (from Adam Clarke's Commentary)
Barnes' notes states Most ancient interpreters and many modern interpreters have understood the “pillows” (or charms) and “kerchiefs” (or veils), as appliances to which the sorcerers had resort in order to attract notice Ezek 13:17-23. Verse 20. [To make them fly] If the marginal reading “into gardens” be adopted, it must mean, Ye entice men to the gardens or groves, where magical arts are practiced. That groves were used for this purpose and for idolatrous rites is notorious.(from Barnes' Notes)
Ezek 13:20 [Ye ... hunt the souls to make them fly]-namely, into their snares, as fowlers disturb birds so as to be suddenly caught in the net spread for them. “Fly” is peculiarly appropriate as to those lofty spiritual flights to which they pretended to raise their dupes, when they veiled their heads with kerchiefs, and made them rest on luxurious arm-cushions (Ezek 13:18).” (from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)
The word for fly in the Old Testament in Hebrew is parach (6524), a primitive root; to break forth as a bud, i.e. bloom; generally, to spread; specifically, to fly (as extending the wings); figuratively, to flourish: KJV-X abroad, X abundantly, blossom, break forth (out), bud, flourish, make fly, grow, spread, spring (up). (New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary.)
Murrays interpretation makes sense only if it is divorced from the Scriptures meaning. For even Ezekiel describes himself flying away. Ezekiel says the Spirit lifted me up” (Ezek. 3:12, 14) Ezek 8:3 “the Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven”; Ezekiel also had a vision of the future by the Spirit”; “then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the east gate of the LORD's house” (11:1) “Then the Spirit took me up and brought me in a vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea”(Ezek. 11:24); “Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate that faces toward the east.”(Ezek. 43:1); “The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the temple” (Ezek 43:5).
The Scripture does use fly away in other ways as well. Prov 23:5 “Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.” [riches] fly away like an eagle toward heaven.” Obviously talking about money in a metaphorical sense since money does not actually leave someone like this. (see also Isa. 60:8-9 Jer. 48:40 for other examples of this in the Scripture)
Speaking on prophecy Murray states “And they will attack our most extreme northern border which is Alaska of today and bring thee upon the mountains that is to say the states or nation of Israel. And actually Canada is a part of Israel today, parts of the Great Britain America Ephraim and Manasseh”(Video on file). Canada is a part of Israel? that’s something you don’t learn from any other teacher today (or at any other time in history), this is a laughable conclusion. What does the Bible say? Certainly not this in Ezek.38! Israel is in the Middle East, I doubt any rational person could think that the prophets meant Canada when they said north of Israel. It's not north of Israel but north of America.
It has also reported that Murray emphasizes other prophetic means and Biblical numerics. The only Bible that is to be trusted is the 1611 KJV (which had errors and were later changed to correct them) and the original Textus Receptus. And a slew of other unmentionables.
Independent organizations that refer to themselves as “Shepherd’s Chapel Bible Students” were created through the Internet for Bible studies. So beware, they are out to bring you in.
Mr. Murray has also prophesied falsely by setting a date for the appearance of the Antichrist by 1981. “Lucifer was taken to the pit...Know from the 2nd chapter of 2 Thessalonians that he shall soon return. The Book of Daniel very clearly states that it shall happen before the year 1981, if you have any understanding at all of the wisdom of the elect in the last days” (Seed of the Serpent, version taped in 1979). I ask you did this happen? His students refuse to believe this was said.
Murray defaults to his “students” to take care of those who oppose his teaching. He has called people idiots, liars and gossips (on tape), but it appears that no one is justified to challenge what he teaches (without calling him names).
Murray passionately says “Well
brother so and so has always told me, No! What did God tell you, what
does the word of God say? I don’t care what brother so and so says this
brother or any other brother. But what do those scriptures say? That’s
your choice, if you make the right choice listen to your father through
the unction of the Holy Spirit and you will always be right.” (Olelo
ch.52, Oct.24, 2000)