Arnold Murray and the Shepherd’s Chapel

Article ID: DM600 | By: B.J. Oropreza

A teacher who has recently become popular over television is a man named Arnold Murray of the Shepherd’s Chapel in Gravette, Arkansas. We at the Christian Research Institute do not endorse the teachings of Arnold Murray. This paper will demonstrate why we consider Mr. Murray’s teachings to be heretical.

THE CULTIC TEACHINGS OF ARNOLD MURRAY

Modalism

Mr. Murray does not believe in the Christian doctrine of the Trinity (one God existing eternally in three Persons). There are real and personal relationships between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Murray denies the three persons of God, claiming they are merely three offices. Concerning the Trinity, he said:

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. It’s simple and to the point (The Shepherd’s Chapel Question and Answers period, aired 6‐4‐91).

Referring to Christ, Murray says, “His spirit is holy and he is the Holy Spirit.” (Shepherd’s Chapel Question and Answers period, 5‐8‐91) Hence, Murray is guilty of teaching the heresy of modalism, which states that Jesus is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (one Person in three roles, or modes). One of the accusations made against CRI by the followers of Arnold Murray is that Mr. Murray does hold to the eternal deity of Christ. However, since Murray does not believe in the three Persons of the Trinity, he cannot logically hold to the deity of Jesus Christ being the eternal Son of God, Second Person of the Trinity. Having made these statements, he inconsistently says, “A wise man never discusses the Trinity.” (Ibid., 5‐15‐91)

Little Gods

Not only does Arnold Murray teach a false concept of God, he also believes that men were once gods who existed prior to living on the earth. In Genesis 1:26 when referring to the “Our” and “Us” (which have normally been understood to mean the Persons of the Trinity: Mal. 2:10; cf. Job 9:8; Isa. 44:24) Murray says, “he 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 the 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 always were with Him [God] until you were born into this earth.” (Kenites, Tape #486) Similar to the cultic teaching of the Mormons, Murray declares that God is “one man,…our Father,” and like the Oneness Pentecostals, God “(sic) gots three offices he serves.” (Shepherd’s Chapel Questions and Answers period, aired 5‐14‐91)

The Biblical View of God

The biblical teaching concerning the nature of God is completely incompatible with Murray’s modalism (a heresy taught by groups such as the Oneness Pentecostals). There is a distinction of Persons in the Godhead (Matt. 3:16, 17; 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14) who have personal relationships with one another which cannot be accounted for if they are all the exact same person as Murray teaches (Matt. 12:31, 32; John 1:1‐14; 8:16‐18; 14:16, 17, 23; 15:26; 16:28; 17:1‐5). The Trinity is one of the major tenets of the Christian faith. All the cults deviate from Christianity on this point, and Mr. Murray is no exception.

Additionally, God is not a man (Num. 23:19; Hos. 11:9; John 4:24), and angels and humans are not gods (Isa. 43:10; 44:6‐8; 1 Cor. 8:4‐6; Gal 4:8). Neither did man preexist with God. The Bible says that God created man on the earth, not in heaven (Gen.2:7; Zech. 12:1; 1 Cor. 14:47, 48). Christ, on the other hand, being the eternal Son of God who always existed with the Father (John 1:1; 17:5), is the only man who ever preexisted with the Father (John 3:13, 31; 8:23; 1 Cor. 15:45‐48). John the Baptist, who was born before Christ (Luke 1, 2), said that Christ existed before he did (John 1:15, 30). His statement can only be explained by affirming that Christ existed with God before his incarnation, and that John the Baptist (or any other human) did not.

THE IMPLICIT RACISM OF ARNOLD MURRAY

Anglo‐Israel Origins

Mr. Murray teaches Anglo‐Israelism, which believes that Anglo‐Saxons are the chosen race, and America and Great Britain are the lost tribes of the children of Israel. Murray claims 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) According to the theology of Anglo‐Israelism, other races are inferior to whites, and usually the blacks and Jewish race are particularly stigmatized. Murray, on the other hand, says that he respects blacks and other races. However, 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. Hence, there is a definite distinction between whites and non‐whites. Arnold Murray also promotes the literature of other Anglo‐Israelism teachers. The Shepherd’s Chapel Book List, for instance, offers materials by E. Raymond Capt and J. H. Allen.

The Serpent Seed Doctrine and the Kenites

Another central teaching of Arnold Murray is the serpent seed doctrine. According to Murray, Eve had sex with the Serpent in the Garden of Eden. In 2 Corinthians 11:3, Murray uses the word “beguiled” to mean “wholly seduced.” Hence, Murray claims the Serpent sexually seduced Eve who then became pregnant with Cain; the devil’s literal offspring. Murray asserts that the offspring of Cain are called the “Kenites.” He also states that the Kenites are not a race, “but a hybrid.” (Genesis 1:1‐6:22, tape #146) He thus seems to implicitly consider them to be less than human. Mr. Murray claims that many of the Kenites are Jewish! Based upon the “creed” of the Shepherd’s Chapel, Murray states, “We believe in the existing Satan…who has a people who will not hear God (John 8:44‐47).” (Our Statement of Faith, p.2) In John 8:44‐47, the context clearly states that these people who are the “children of the devil” are Jews (8:31‐58).

Hence, Murray believes that Jesus is referring to these particular Jews as the literal offspring of Satan. Regarding 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.” (The Shepherd’s Bible, Commentary by Arnold Murray, 1979) He calls them “scum,” and obviously makes the racial Jewish businessman remark when he states, “If you want to get a Kenite upset, bother his money table.” (Parable of the Fig Tree, Tape #445) Murray connects these Jews with Cain by Christ’s comment in John 8:44 that their father was a “murderer from the beginning.” To affirm these Jews as the offspring of Cain (i.e., the Kenites), Murray refers to Cain’s murder of Abel in Genesis 4. One can only conclude that Mr. Murray has made statements that label him as a white supremacist. He might tell colored people to be proud of who they are, but then again, so do some white supremacists. The real questions the followers of Arnold Murray need to ask are: Does Arnold Murray think that non‐whites are equal to whites in every respect? Does he approve of interracial Christian marriages like the Bible does? (Gen. 16; Num. 12 cf., Gen. 10:6 & Amos 9:7; Song of Sol. 1:5‐7 cf., 3:7‐11; 1 Cor. 7:39; Gal. 3:28 [note: The only type of marriage the Bible forbids is one between believer and nonbeliever: Ex. 34:14‐16; 1 Cor. 7:39; 2 Cor. 6:14]). Would Mr. Murray let a black or a Christian of Jewish ancestry preach at his church—perhaps even take it over if he were to pass away? What does Murray think about the Jewish holocaust in World War II? What does he think about the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan? These types of questions need to be addressed to Arnold Murray.

The Biblical View of the Races

The creation of man in Genesis 1 and 2 should not be interpreted as two separate Adams. Just like the Esau of Genesis 36:1‐37:1 should not be considered a different Esau from the one mentioned in Genesis 25:12‐35:29 (cf. 1 Chron. 1:38‐42), so the Adam mentioned in Genesis 1:1‐2:3 should not be considered a different Adam than the one mentioned in Genesis 2:4‐4:26. Genesis 1:1‐2:3 simply focuses on the development of heaven and earth, while Genesis 2:4‐4:26 focuses on the development of man. If Murray were consistent, he would have to say there must be a third Adam mentioned in Genesis 5:1, 2 that is different from the previous two Adams!

The Anglo‐Israelism theory has been refuted, and virtually no reputable scholar or historian today would promote it. The Assyrian and Babylonian captivities in 722 B.C. and 586 B.C. forever ended the schism between Judah and Israel. From about that time on, the terms “Jew” and Israelite” were used interchangeably. Further, there is no sufficient evidence that the Scythians (the supposed missing link between Israel and Great Britain) were ever connected with the ten tribes of Israel. By comparing the etymologies of English words from the most respected English dictionary (Oxford English Dictionary), there is simply no sufficient evidence to support any connection between the Anglo‐Saxon and Hebrew tongues.

The Old Testament also uses the children of Judah and the ten tribes of Israel together after the Jews returned from the Babylonian captivity in 536 B.C. (Ezra 2:70; 6:17; 7:6‐15; Neh. 7:73; 12:44‐47; Zech. 1:19; 8:13; 10:6; cf. 2 Chron. 11:3‐17; 15:9). Many of these texts are the fulfillment of Ezekiel 37:15‐25 (cf. Jer. 31:27; 50:40).

In the New Testament the Jews and the ten tribes of Israel are mentioned many times without any distinction made between them (e.g., Matt. 10:5, 6; 15:24; Luke 2:36; 22:30; Acts 2:14, 22, 23, 36; James 1:1; Rev. 7:4‐8). Both Jesus and Paul were Jews (Matt. 27:11 cf. Rom. 9:1‐4; Acts 21:39 cf. Rom 11:1‐2). Since all New Testament Christians are God’s chosen people, racial distinctions no longer matter (John 1:12‐13; Acts 10:34; 17:26 cf. Gen 3:20; Rom. 8:14; 1 Pet. 2:9; Col. 3:11; Gal. 3:28; Rev. 5:9, 10). All humanity has sinned (Rom. 3:23; 5:12‐20); thus, as William H. Baker states, “The so‐called races must be equal, because sin is what produces undesirable traits, not race” (Moody Monthly, “Equal Before God,” p.19, 1‐87).

The Myth of the Kenites

The Jews of John 8:44 are not Kenites. Jesus was simply denouncing these particular Jews for their unbelief—as he and his apostles would denounce anyone as a child of the devil, Jew or Gentile, who refused to believe (Matt. 16:23; Eph. 2:1‐3; 11; 3:1; 1 John 3:9, 10). Christ was calling them the “children of the devil” because of what they believed, not because of who they were. Additionally, Jesus was not making a blanket judgment on all or even most Jews, but only this small group of Jews because they intended to kill him (John 8:40, 44, 58, 59). Furthermore, it is not Cain who is the murderer in John 8:44, for Jesus says it is literally the devil who is the murderer. The murder mentioned in John 8:44 is not Cain’s murder of Abel, but the devil causing death to occur upon all the human race when he instigated Adam and Eve to sin (Gen. 2:17; 3:1‐4, 19; Rom. 5:12). Anyone, whether Jew or Gentile (including Anglo‐Saxons), are considered Satan’s child if they refuse to believe in Christ (Gen. 3:15; Matt. 13:36‐43). This “seed of the Serpent” is not Cain and his literal offspring, but only a figurative offspring. In other words, only those people (regardless of what race they belong to) who do not believe the gospel are the children of Satan because they follow their own sinful tendencies instead of accepting Christ (Matt. 16:23; John 6:70, 71; Acts 5:3; 13:4‐10; Rom. 5:12‐19; 8:5‐6; Eph. 2:1‐2; 1 John 3:4‐10).

If there were any descendents of Cain (which there isn’t), they could receive salvation too, because a number of people from all nationalities, tongues, tribes, and races will serve Christ (Rev. 5:9, 10) just like a number of people from all races will serve Satan (Rev. 13:5‐8). Furthermore, the Kenites mentioned in Jeremiah 35 and 1 Chronicles 2:55 are not the children of the Cain of Genesis 4. First of all, Scripture does not say that the Kenites are the children of the same Cain who slew Abel. Second, simply because both terms come from the same Hebrew word does not mean that all, some, or any Kenites are the descents of the Cain who slew Abel. Apparently, “Cain” was a common name just like “Zechariah.” The Bible records at least 33 men by the name of Zechariah, and not all of them were related (e.g., there is no relationship between these men who were all named Zechariah: 1 Chron. 5:7; 24:25; 2 Chron. 21:2; 2 Kings 14:29). Therefore, individuals can be called the descendents of Cain, but the Cain they are related to was not the same Cain who slew Abel in Genesis 4 (see for instance, the different Kenites mentioned in Gen. 5:12; Num. 24:21, 22; Judges 1:16; 1 Sam 15:6). Third, some Kenites do acts of righteousness, and Jonadab the Rechabite could be considered a righteous man of God (1 Sam. 15:6; 2 Kings 10:15; 16, 23, 24; Jer. 35:12‐16). It would be impossible for them to be commended for their righteousness by both God and the Israelites if they were “children of the devil.” Furthermore, the whole doctrine of the serpent seed is flawed because nowhere in Scripture does it ever say word for word that Eve actually had sex with the Serpent in the Garden of Eden. In 2 Corinthians 11:3 the word for “beguiled” (exapatao) should be rendered “wholly deceived.” Just because Eve was fully deceived does not mean that she literally had sex with the Serpent. In other passages where the same Greek word is used, it is never connected with sex. In fact, if it were connected with sex, we would run into ridiculous conclusions, like people literally having sex with their own minds (Rom. 16:18; cf., 1 Cor. 3:18)!

Also, if Eve had to hide her nakedness because of her sex with the Serpent, we would have to conclude that Adam also had sex with the serpent (Gen. 3:6, 7). It was out a sexual relationship with Adam, not the Serpent, that Eve became impregnated with Cain. The New International Version correctly renders Genesis 4:1, 2: “Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.” There is also no evidence that Abel was the fraternal twin of Cain. The “again” of Genesis 4:2 does not indicate that Eve gave birth to Abel right after (whether a few minutes, hours, or days) she gave birth to Cain. Several years may have passed before Eve “bore again,” by giving birth to Cain’s brother, Abel. Not to mention, Josephus writes that Cain was begotten by both Adam and Eve (Antiquities 1:.2:1). Finally, even if Cain were the literal offspring of Satan, no descendent of Cain survived the flood of Noah.

The Kenites and the Flood of Noah

In order to support his view that the Kenites survived the flood, Murray misinterprets Genesis 6:7. Instead of adhering to the plain meaning of the text in which God says that he will wipe out all mankind, Murray claims that this phrase is a figure of speech which means that he’ll wipe out “more or less” everything. (Tape #146) According to Murray, it cannot mean that God would wipe out absolutely everyone, because Noah and his family survived the flood. In the same context, however, the Bible states that the only exception to this flood would be Noah and his family because Noah was a righteous man (Gen. 6:8‐9). All the rest of humanity would be completely wiped out (cf. 7:19‐23).

God told Noah the reason why He would destroy all humans was because mankind had become wicked (6:10‐13). If the purpose of the flood was to wipe out sin, then why would God allow some of the “wicked Kenites” to survive? The only logical explanation is to believe that God wiped out all mankind, including all the “Kenites.” Additionally, in Genesis 9:11 God promises Noah that He would never again destroy all flesh by means of a flood. But if this flood were merely a local community flood which did not even reach the people of the land of Nod, as Murray claims, then God must have lied because we still have had hundreds of local floods over the years. The only way to affirm that God kept His promise is to believe that this flood universally destroyed all human life. Regardless of whether one believes that the flood of Noah covered the entire earth, or only a portion of it, the evidence is clear that this flood destroyed all mankind except for one family. Other cultures testify to this as well. In order to escape this evidence, Murray makes the assertion that some Kenites actually managed to get on board of Noah’s ark. Since Noah took “two of every flesh,” Murray concludes that he also took two Kenites on board! (Kenites, Tape #436) The Bible, however, clearly affirms that Noah, his wife, and his three sons and their wives were the only humans who survived the flood (Gen. 6:18; 9:18, 19; 2 Peter 2:5). In order to be true to Scripture, Murray must either conclude that absolutely no Kenites survived the flood, or admit that he is a racist for believing the Kenites cannot really be considered human. He appears to hold the latter by saying the Kenites are not a race, “but a hybrid.” (Tape #146) Nevertheless, even if the Kenites were less than human, they still committed sin according to Murray. And as mentioned earlier, the purpose of the flood was to wipe out sin and wickedness. If any Kenite survived the flood, then God failed to achieve His purpose. Thus, either God made a mistake, or Arnold Murray made a mistake. Since God is perfect, and Murray isn’t, we must conclude that Murray is wrong, God is right, and there are no “Kenites” alive today.

ARNOLD MURRAY’S FAULTY INTERPRETATIONS

Most of Arnold Murray’s heretical teaching comes from a subtle misinterpreting of Scripture. He commonly manipulates the original Greek and Hebrew languages, abuses the use of symbols and numerics, interprets Scripture out of context, and makes use of selective citations. By emphasizing to his audience that he has the correct, almost “secret” meaning of the text that most scholars have ignored or overlooked, Murray can get a passage of Scripture to mean almost anything he desires it to. He claims that the majority of Christians have been “wrong from the beginning” regarding their understanding of Scripture. (Parable of the Fig Tree, tape #445)

Mr. Murray commonly uses King James English instead of examining the original languages whenever the English translation supports his view—but when it contradicts his view, he will attempt to support his view by means of the original languages. For instance, he uses the Old English word “replenish” to mean “repopulate” in Genesis 1:28 in order to support the widely disreputed “gap theory.” (e.g., tape #146) This theory alleges that there was an earth age of millions of years between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Murray states that Adam repopulated the earth. (e.g., tape #146) However, the Hebrew word for “replenish” is “malah” which, in all 306 times it occurs in Scripture, simply means “to fill,” not “refill.” The Oxford English Dictionary demonstrates that “replenish” simply meant “fill” from the 13th to the 17th century when the King James Version was translated. This is why Murray does not refer to the Hebrew of this passage. This is just one of many examples of how Murray deliberately deceives his followers by withholding the truth from them.

It should be noted that the original languages are not necessarily the most important aspect of interpreting Scripture, and numerics and symbols are of little value. The simple reading of a text within its proper context, and comparing this in light of all biblical passages that relate to that text remains the most important principle of interpreting Scripture. Murray does very little of this. His usual method is to let either the root meaning of a particular word, or figurative language and symbols dictate what the text means while ignoring the context and passages that contradict his claims. We encourage the followers of Arnold Murray to do their own study of the Scriptures without Murray’s aid. By applying sound principles of interpretation, we are confident they will come up with a completely different view than that of Mr. Murray. A good book to help the student begin this pursuit is Knowing Scripture (B110/$10.00), by R. C. Sproul.

MURRAY’S FAULTY VIEW HELL

Mr. Murray also teaches the doctrine of annihilationism. This view teaches that all unbelievers will not be tormented eternally in hell, but will completely disappear. “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, on the other hand, asserts that just like the righteous will have never ending life, so shall the unrighteous have never ending punishment (Matt. 25:41, 46). Furthermore, this punishment is a conscious punishment according to Revelation 14:9‐11 (cf. Rev. 20:10).

IS THE RAPTURE CULTIC?

Mr. Murray also emphasizes, and takes dogmatic stands on issues over which Christians can legitimately disagree. One such case pertains to the rapture of the church. According to Murray, Christians who believe in the rapture are cultic, and do not have God’s seal upon them. They will be deceived by Satan during the end times. “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 5‐16‐91) “When this false christ stands in the holy place performing in the sight of Christians, the pretribulation rapture Christian shall think it is Christ come to rapture them away.” (Our Statement of Faith, p. 2)

Murray’s statement, however, is fallacious. Christianity has always believed in a literal rapture by which the saints would be transformed and removed from this earth to meet Christ in the air, not on the earth. Since the Antichrist (who will live on the earth, not in the air) will not be able to literally transform their bodies, nor cause them to disappear from the earth, there is simply no way Christians will follow such a man, nor believe he is the Christ who has come to rapture them away. It is true that followers of the Antichrist will be strongly deluded, but this delusion is caused by the miracles he and the false prophet perform (2 Thes. 2:9; Rev. 13:11‐15; 16:13, 14; 19:20). But Christians already know that the Antichrist will attempt to delude people by using spectacular miracles. It is virtually inconceivable, then, to think that any believers would follow a man they know fits the criteria of the Antichrist.

Mr. Murray bases much of his anti‐rapture claim on Dave MacPherson’s research. He claimed that the pretribulation rapture came from a personal revelation of a young girl named Margaret Macdonald in 1830. Actually, there is no hard evidence that J. N. Darby, the pretribulation advocate of the 19th century, was influenced by Margaret Macdonald. Second, even if Darby was influenced by Macdonald, this does not necessarily mean that his view was false. As long as he can adequately support his position by Scripture, it does not matter who influenced him. We should avoid committing the “genetic fallacy” of Arnold Murray. Just because some beliefs and teachings are connected with controversial or pagan origins, does not necessarily mean that such teachings should be discarded. For instance, chemistry came from boiling toads in urine. But it would be absurd to discard all medicine because chemistry had its origin in what seems to be a witch’s brew! Murray also commits this same fallacy by denouncing those who celebrate holidays such as Easter. The Hebrews celebrated their Feast of Tabernacles after the pagan holidays of Palestinian culture at that time. If Murray were consistent, he would have to condemn all musicians, cattlemen, and smiths because these occupations found their roots with the linage of Cain (Gen. 4:19‐22). Regardless of when the rapture will occur, the fact remains there will 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; possibly Rev. 11:12; 12:5). 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 Christian church.

ARNOLD MURRAY: GOD’S EXCLUSIVE END‐TIME MESSENGER?

What really sets Arnold Murray apart is his claim to be God’s exclusive messenger for this era. Although he says that not all Christians are deceived, his comments nevertheless ostracize all orthodox denominations as being deceived. First, 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)

Second, Christians who believe in a literal six‐day creation are deceived and many are going to hell (i.e., all or most fundamentalists). “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 & 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.). Third, Christians who believe in the rapture, speak in tongues, or celebrate Easter are deceived (that includes all major branches of Christianity: Protestant, Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox!). “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, 4‐89) Fourth, he claims that the majority of Christians have been “wrong since the beginning” (i.e., historic orthodox Christianity). (Parable of the Fig Tree, Tape #445)

Ultimately, Mr. Murray subtly pressures his listeners to choose between his “prophetic” word or “the doctrine of the Pharisees” of 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) In defiance of Acts 1:7, Mr. Murray set an end time date by claiming that the Antichrist would appear by 1981. This prediction, of course, turned out to be false. “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) Yet, in spite of his prejudices, false doctrine, and false prophecies, he states, “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)

CONCLUSION

Based on the above evidence, by redefining the nature of God, Arnold Murray denies the Trinity and the eternal sonship of Christ. As this statement has demonstrated, his views imply a subtle racism. He also teaches the distorted gospel of Anglo‐Israelism, the serpent seed doctrine, and other unorthodox doctrines. He uses the original languages, numerics, symbols, and figures of speech whenever they can be manipulated to support his view, but ignores or redefines them if they happen to contradict him. His antagonistic attitude towards orthodox Christianity is blatantly evident. Christians should stay far away from his ministry and teachings.

APPENDIX

Does Arnold Murray Have a Doctor’s Degree?

Arnold Murray claims to have received a doctorate under a man by the name of Roy Gillespie. He also asserts his dissertation was on the Book of Daniel. After learning this, CRI attempted to find out where Murray received his doctorate. I personally wrote to Arnold Murray and asked for information about his degree. I also attempted to find any dissertation by either Murray or Gillespie through University Microfilms International (UMI Microfilms) in Michigan, the headquarters for postgraduate dissertation copies in America. There were no dissertations on file by either of these men. Neither could any dissertation be found through checking with Inter‐library loan, and The National Union Catalog Pre‐1956 Imprints.

Tony Pierce, another counter‐cult researcher, had also called the Shepherd’s Chapel questioning Murray’s credentials. The receptionist accused her of being a “Kenite,” but did mention that Murray used to be a student at Biola University in California. After contacting the school, Biola University personnel stated that the University never had a student by the name of Arnold Murray throughout its history. Furthermore, Biola did not even have a doctoral program until recently. A receptionist from the Shepherd’s Chapel also stated that Murray’s dissertation was being “revised.” However, there is no such thing as a “revised” dissertation once it is submitted. A doctor’s dissertation must be in its completed form if a school is to award anyone with a doctor’s degree. Based upon the above evidence, we can only conclude that the Shepherd’s Chapel has been dishonest in this regard, and that Arnold Murray does not have a genuine doctor’s degree from a properly accredited university or seminary.

––B. J. Oropeza, December 1991

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

The following documents, which are posted at our Web site (also available upon request free of charge in limited quantities), address topics related to the discussion above:

The Trinity (DT160; DT250)

Racism, Anglo‐Israelism, and serpent seed (DI100; DP700)

The impossibility of human and demon cohabitation (DG064; JAG062)

Interpretation of Scripture (DI501‐1; DI501‐2)

Defining orthodox Christianity (JAE100‐1; JAE100‐2)

Eschatology (end times) and D‐day declarations (DE150; DE160; DE250)

Hell versus annihilationism (DA286; DH190)

The Mormon concept of God and eternal progression (DM410)

Age of creation (DA060)

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