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A Ray of Darkness
Murray claims "millions of Shepherd's Chapel listeners" (www.shepherdschapel.com/critics.htm, 3rd to last paragraph, hard copy on file). Such a claim should cause any discerning Christian to be wary of him (Luke 6:26). Nonetheless, though millions may be for Arnold Murray, God is clearly against him, as it is written,
God resists the proud (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5).
I am very proud to have served as a U.S. Marine in this severe winter battle in which approximately 12,000 of our troops faced a massive surprise attack by an estimated 120,000 of the Chinese communist enemy. (www.shepherdschapel.com/critics.htm, 2nd paragraph, 3rd sentence, bold added)
Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. (Proverbs 27:2)
Likewise, Psalm 36 says,
An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes, . . . . (Psalm 36:1-2a)
Concerning the proud God also says,
Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him (Habakkuk 2:4).
By this we know Arnold Murray is not an upright man.
Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; . . . . (Proverbs 16:5)
The LORD will destroy the house of the proud (Proverbs 15:25).
You rebuke the proud - the cursed, who stray from Your commandments. (Psalm 119:21)
So to those who desire to join the millions of Shepherd's Chapel listeners who enjoy studying God's Word I welcome you. If you disagree with me, that is quite alright. All I ask is that you be honest in disagreement and careful to document your beliefs. I'll always respect honest disagreement. (www.shepherdschapel.com/critics.htm, 3rd to last paragraph, bold added)
Murray says he "respects honest disagreement" about "God's Word." True believers in Jesus Christ contend for the faith (Jude 3), expose false doctrine (Ephesians 5:11; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5), hate every false way (Psalm 119:104, 128), love the truth (John 14:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:10), and do "not respect . . . such as turn aside to lies" (Psalm 40:4). Murray claims to be teaching God's Word. If people disagree with him, and continue in disagreement, they should be marked as those who oppose God's Word (as in 1 John 4:6; John 8:47; etc.). But, Murray knows no such narrow way (Matthew 7:13-27), the "way of truth" (2 Peter 2:2).
Murray's lackadaisical approach to Scripture is hell-bound deadly and the antithesis of Matthew 7:13-27; John 8:47; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5; 1 John 4:6; etc.. For more on this common broad way that Murray propagates with his dishonest "honest disagreement," see www.atruechurch.info/savednot.html under point I. The Broad Way.
I. Little gods1
Also, I have never taught that men were little gods. It would be a lie for someone to say so. (www.shepherdschapel.com/critics.htm, 5th paragraph)
Is it not written in your law, "I said, 'You are gods'"? If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, "You are blaspheming," because I said, "I am the Son of God"? (John 10:34-36, bold added)
Jesus speaks here of Psalm 82 in which God calls men "gods" ("You are gods" Psalm 82:6). God doesn't lie (Titus 1:2). If He calls them "gods" they are. That is Jesus' point, as He says, "the Scripture cannot be broken." In other words, it means what it says. When Murray says, "It would be a lie for someone to say" "men were little gods" he is speaking directly against Jesus (in John 10) and the Psalmist who wrote Psalm 82 (see also vs. 1, "He judges among the gods").
I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me (Isaiah 46:9; see also Exodus 9:13-14; 2 Samuel 7:22; 1 Kings 8:23; Psalm 35:10; Jeremiah 10:6-7)
Yet, little gods is indeed to whom He refers, as the nations of men are counted by God "as the small dust on the scales" (Isaiah 40:15) and "as nothing, and they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless" (Isaiah 40:17). Small dust on the scales is quite "little." It is quite truthful to say they are little gods (Psalm 82:6; John 10:34-35), and it is certainly not a lie to say so.
II. The Lamb, The Messiah, And The Dragon
Apostasy means giving up or renouncing of one's professed principles, or faith. This will come to pass when the religious lamb (false messiah) of Revelation 13:11 comes to pass. He will look like the Lamb of God, but his voice is of the dragon, for he is the great dragon, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan (Revelation 12:9). [underlining added, www.shepherdschapel.com/statement3.htm, hard copy on file]
The second beast of Revelation 13 (which is the context) is never called a lamb nor a messiah. It has horns "like a lamb" (Revelation 13:11) and is identified as the false prophet (Revelation 13:12-15; 19:20), but he is never identified as a lamb or a messiah, as Murray claims. Moreover, Scripture nowhere teaches he will look like the Lamb of God. This is a pure fabrication (Proverbs 30:5-6). Also, he is never identified as Satan. This too is a lie. It indeed says he has a voice like a dragon (Revelation 13:11), but he is not called a dragon; nor is he ever noted to be Satan himself (as Murray claims).
In Revelation 16:13 it says,
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
This verse distinguishes between all three. The false prophet that is mentioned here is the second beast of Revelation 13 to which Murray claims is the dragon. Therefore, according to Murray's perverted interpretation, Revelation 16:14 actually speaks of the dragon twice over. In Murray's folly, Revelation 16:14 would read,
And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the dragon.
Christ is your spiritual Husband. You should remain a spiritual virgin until He returns (II Corinthians 11:2). For Christ Himself said; "Woe to them that are with child in those days!" (Mark 13:17). If your spiritual Husband has been on a long journey and finds you with child when He returns, then you have been impregnated (deceived) with the mark of the false messiah, and worshipped Satan in the last hour. (bold added)
Murray perverts and spiritualizes a literal Scripture. First, Mark 13:17 is a very physical context and statement. In the context, Jesus is talking of literally fleeing to the mountains (Mark 13:14-19; see also Matthew 24:16-21; Zechariah 14:1-5; Revelation 12:6, 14). Also, in this context, Jesus says, "Woe to those who are pregnant" (Mark 13:17). There is nothing there indicating being impregnated by deceit or anything of the like. He is talking about literal pregnancy, just as the latter part of the verse speaks of literally nursing literal babies, "and those who are nursing babies in those day" (Mark 13:17).
IV. Seventh Trumpet
We believe the seventh trump sounds after the tribulation (Matthew 24: 29-31).
The verses given say nothing of the seventh trump. There is indeed a trumpet (vs. 31), but it is not identified as the seventh (Revelation 11:15-19). And, just because a trumpet is mentioned, this does not mandate it is the seventh trumpet of Revelation 11:15-19 (which is the only "seventh" trumpet recorded yet to sound). This teaching goes "beyond what is written" (1 Corinthians 4:6), adds to the Word (Proverbs 30:5-6), and teaches contrary to it.
First of all, when God shows up on the scene, which is what takes place in Matthew 24:29-31, a trumpet sound is not particularly unique and somehow limited to being identified with one of the seven trumpets of Revelation (8:1-2). See, for example, Exodus 19:11-19 (20:18; Hebrews 12:19); Psalm 47:5; and Zechariah 9:14.
When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. . . . So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. (Revelation 8:1-2, 6).
And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, "Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!" (Revelation 8:13, bold added)
This wording is clearly part of the tribulation of those days. The first "woe" (fifth trumpet) lasts five months (Revelation 9:5). The second "woe" (sixth trumpet) is a massive slaughter of mankind by creatures presently unknown to man (Revelation 9:15-19). The third "woe" (seventh trumpet) includes "lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail" and speaks of destroying those who destroy the earth (Revelation 11:19). All three of these "woes" (seventh trumpet included) are clearly part of the "great tribulation" of that time. There is nothing telling us they are not, or that somehow the first two are and the last is "after the tribulation" as Murray claims. Murray confuses the trumpet of Matthew 24:31 with the seventh trumpet.
When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
This is clearly "after the tribulation of those days" "When the Son of Man comes in His glory."
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:47-50)
Matthew 13 sums up the more detailed account of Matthew 25:31-46. If you understand the event of Revelation 19:11-21, you can see Matthew 25:31-46 happens afterward.
In Revelation 19:11-21 Christ returns with his saints and wars with the "beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies" (Revelation 19:19). He wars with the ruling powers of that time. And, as Daniel 2:44; 7:26-27; Revelation 17:14 reveal, He destroys them and sets up His Kingdom. The saints who are with Him at this point are not the elect who are gathered in Matthew 24:31 and 25:31-32, just as the goats who are gathered in Matthew 25:31-32 are not the wicked who are slaughtered in Revelation 19:17-21. Matthew 25 reveals the elect who are gathered are separated from the wicked "as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats" (Matthew 25:32), and the sheep (elect) are put "on His right hand, but the goats on the left" (Matthew 25:33). Then, they are both judged according to their deeds (Matthew 25:34-46). The elect enter the kingdom, and the wicked are cast into "everlasting fire" (Matthew 25:41-46).
Matthew 25:31-46 is entirely different than the event of Revelation 19:11-21. In Revelation 19 the saints are already with Christ, already separated from the wicked and come back with Christ from heaven as part of His conquering victorious army. The heaven from which they come is the heaven beyond this physical heaven, as it says, "Now I saw heaven opened . . . " (Revelation 19:11). This is not the heaven of this creation or "from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other" as Matthew 24:31 records. No, it is "heaven opened" as in Luke 3:21; John 1:51; and Acts 7:56 in which the heavenly abode of God intersects with this creation in a way not common to man. From this the saints (elect) come forth with Christ. They are not gathered. They are already together with Him.
If the timing of 1 Thessalonians 4:17-5:3 is understood, which is at the beginning of the 3 1/2 year great tribulation (Matthew 24:15-21; 36-44; Revelation 11:2-3; 12:6, 14; 13:5; Daniel 9:27; 12:11), then it can be seen when these saints of Revelation 19:14 were gathered together. Likewise, in the event of Revelation 19:11-21 the wicked are "killed with the sword" and the "birds were filled with their flesh" (Revelation 19:21). In other words, they die in the war. They are not, as in Matthew 25:31-46, standing before Christ and being judged. Those judged there, along with the godly elect, are those left alive on the planet at the end of that time, "When the Son of Man comes in His glory" and sits "on the throne of His glory," and "all the nations" are "gathered before Him" (Matthew 25:31-32).
Revelation 19:11-21 is an entirely different event than that recorded in Matthew 25:31-46. By this, we can see the event of Matthew 24:31 (with the trumpet therein) is not that of Revelation 19:11-21, but rather Matthew 25:31-46.
1. Scripture calls men gods in Psalm 82, and it also calls angels gods in Psalm 8:5 ("angels" in the Hebrew is אֱלהִים ['elohiym], "gods." Compare w/Hebrews 2:7). Note also Deuteronomy 10:17; Joshua 22:22; Psalm 97:7; 136:2; 138:1; Daniel 2:47; 11:36.
See also Exodus 21:6; 22:8-9 (H7-8) in which אֱלהִים ('elohiym) is translated "judges" (e.g. KJV; NKJV; Darby), "God" (e.g. LXX; YLT), or "gods" (e.g. Douay-Rheims; BBE Exodus 21:6). See also Psalm 29:1 and 89:6 [H7] where "mighty ones" and "sons of the mighty" are more literally, "sons of gods" (BBE "sons of the gods") בְּנֵי אֵלִים (benêy 'êliym). Ezekiel 32:21 also more literally reads, "gods of mighty ones" אֵלֵ֧י גִבּוֹרִ֛ים ('êlêy giboriym), YLT "the gods of the mighty."
In light of these things, Jethro's statement to Moses is curious.
Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods; for in the very thing in which they behaved proudly, He was above them. (Exodus 18:11)
What "gods" behaved proudly and how or in what way? See Nehemiah 9:9-10.
Also, Job 41:25 more literally reads,
From his raising, gods fear. From crashings, they purify themselves. (H41:17 מִשֵּׂתוֹ יָגוּרוּ אֵלִים מִשְּׁבָרִים יִתְחַטָּאוּ)
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