The Failed 1981 Prediction of Dr. Arnold Murray
People have written asking me about Dr. Arnold Murray's false prediction of the coming of the Anti-Christ in 1981. Until now (2010), I have been reluctant to talk about it much, or release the audio clips I possess. I have obviously changed my mind.
I know this is going to make some Dr. Murray fans mad, because it makes Dr. Murray look like a false prophet, (which he is, in any case, you shall know them by their fruits).
The Lord Christ said, "For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad." (Mark 4:22) Not that Dr. Murray ever hid this, but some people would rather this be kept secret. People hide things because of fear, if your teacher is of God then you should have nothing to fear, nothing to hide.
There is something to be gained from examining past mistakes, and that is how I now see this issue. What Dr. Murray did was a mistake, and it is good to show the thought and detail that went into this mistake and how certain it seemed at the time; yet how completely wrong it all was. I believe the same recklessness still guides Dr. Murray to this day and may be seen in his continued insistence that we are currently living in the time period covered by the trumpets of Revelation. That insistence has its roots in 1980, he is still trying to say something started at that point.
In my opinion, and as you will see, one could even argue that there is better "documentation" for Dr. Murray's 1981 prediction than there is for many of Dr. Murray's remaining arsenal of perverse doctrines (like the Serpent Seed, the Kenites, Knowledge of The Identity of the Lost Tribes of Israel, and the Battle Against Satan in the World that Was).
I will count this effort a success if this causes anyone who reads it to wonder if someone who could be so wrong in creating a doctrine that has been proven to be false can be trusted in the formulation of the rest of his poorly substantiated doctrines.
How I Came To Hear About the Prediction
In 1995 another student of the Shepherd's Chapel gave me a paper prepared by an anti-heresy group against The Shepherd's Chapel and Dr. Murray. As I read it, I partly felt that they did not really understand Dr. Murray's teachings. In any case, I was not moved at all by their criticisms.
Among the things they criticized Dr. Murray for was an alleged prediction that "Christ would return" in 1981. At the time, I thought that it was an interesting claim, and I assumed it was probably true, because the anti-heresy group was well known, and I could not imagine why they would make up a story like that. I did not agree with their doctrine, but I did not think them liars either. Mostly, I was just curious about what had lead Dr. Murray down that road in 1981.
In 1995 I was 21 years old, and the fourteen years between then and 1981 was basically a lifetime to me, I remember remarking to my wife, "Well, I assume he repented." No doubt. So I then saw the issue as irrelevant. Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone learns from them.
How I Obtained My Information
In the years 1994 and 1995 I was ordering Dr. Murray's bible study materials from the Shepherd's Chapel regularly. I was buying the single-topic cassettes and the books of the Bible on cassette the which I could not get not on TV, or the which I had no patience to wait for.
At some point, I bought the Books of 1st and 2nd Kings. As I listened to these studies, I began to realize that these recordings were from 1980. As I continued to listen, I realized that these cassettes contained Dr. Murray's predictions for 1981. This set is no longer available because Dr. Murray eventually taught the books of Kings again in '95 or '96 and the old recordings were replaced (so don't bother trying to buy it from the Chapel).
UPDATE: March 15, 2013 - I recently received a complaint from a student of the Shepherd's Chapel claiming that these audio clips were fabricated by me, saying, "THAT IS NOT ARNOLD MURRAY'S VOICE..........YOU DID A VERY POOR JOB ON THAT!"
This caused me to analyze the audio clips. I don't know the exact cause, (there are many possible explanations) but the audio seems to register Dr. Murrays voice at too high a pitch. I had noted this phenomena on many of Dr. Murray's older tapes, but had never given it any thought. I forget that many of the older tapes are no longer available. I have pitch-corrected the audio clips and added the new clips to this page below. I would not want anyone to walk away thinking this is something I made up.
How Dr. Murray Justified the Prediction
The prediction was based on number of years between the sieges of Jerusalem in the Bible having a correspondence with number of years between the modern wars between the Arabs and the Israelis (Dr. Murray called it an "overlay"). The following two verbatim transcriptions and corresponding audio clips come directly from Tape 6 of the 1980 1st and 2nd Kings set, from the final study of that series. I have broken the quotes into paragraphs for ease of understanding. Dr. Murray's words in red bold:
Dr. Murray: "Now you are all familiar with the three sieges against Jerusalem. You are familiar with the facts. That the three battles by Nebuchadnezzar... and we'll be looking at a chart in just a moment... three battles by Nebuchadnezzar are an overlay, which is to say, the same amount of years, days, and months apart in, beginning in '48 when the Kenites that are now in Jerusalem where they ought not be [sic]."
Dr. Murray: "Uh, the overlay is precise. Paul [sic] said, "When you see these things come to pass." In the beginning they happened as an example, whereby we could know when the end was. Alright, so we're going to go through these sieges. And we're going to go a little deeper than we ever have before into the relationships of that siege, and the very end." Pitch-Corrected "Clip A" Original "Clip A" 210k 0:53
Dr. Murray: "I'll tell you, if we may, let's swing over here slightly, and let's do a cut on this chart, if we may, because this siege in chapter 24 that we're speaking of [sic]. The first siege happened, in this chronology, in 496 BC. The siege in your generation, happened in 1948, when the land, Judea, was taken.
The second siege occurred, uh, in our 19, uh, 54, [sic] actually came to pass in '56 when it was signed and concluded. I would have you bear in mind, and you're going to need to, that this is the siege in which was, which, Sinai, [sic] the Sinai Peninsula was taken. Alright? That's biblical and it is important.
The Third Siege occurred in 477 B.C. The third siege, A.D., occurred in 1967 which is the well known six-day war. This is when the city was smitten. In these other sieges the old city did not fall. In this third siege it did fall. Some of you might remember pictures of the Kenites running up to the wailing wall in that six day war in '67 and uh [sic] and the commotion that took place there at that time." (Editorial comment: Anyone still wondering who the Kenites are? Note that Dr. Murray considers a picture of a bunch of Jews, automatically, to be a picture of Kenites without the least allowance that any of them may be of Judah or any might not be the children of the Devil)
Dr. Murray: "So, what I'm saying, and the point I wish to make is this: on any chronology you choose to use, the battles are the exact number of years and months apart. They are an over-lay. (his emphasis)
Ezekiel now, stated that 14 years after the city was smitten, (that's the old city), he observed the millennium temple being built; which was our 1981. With this being the year 1980 we will not have to wait long to see.
Now also, and a point you must remember because we're not coming back to this chart, is that in the equivalent in BC, in 463, occurred the fall of Tyre. Now Tyre, of course, in Hebrew, means rock. It is also Satan's name. Our rock is Yahveh. Their rock is Satan.
So we see then, a perfect overlay, a perfect plan. A coincidence? Beloved, if you believe that all that... is a coincidence, then you are not one of God's elect. God's plan is perfect, it is written, that this overlay would repeat itself. It has repeated itself in this generation." Pitch-Corrected "Clip B" Original "Clip B" 638k 2:43
That is a pretty good explanation. I think the most interesting statement was this "Beloved, if you believe that all that... is a coincidence, then you are not one of God's elect. " Dr. Murray felt confident in his delusion so that he was bold enough to say such things. Is his confidence today in his weak doctrines any less misplaced? "It is written, that this overlay would repeat itself. " Written where? In the 2nd book of Nebuchadnezzar? (and that, is, "inside the Chapel," humor) Or is it written in Dr. Murray's imagination, where the rest of his fanciful doctrines are written?
In All Fairness
Now, in Dr. Murray's defense, it cannot be said that he was absolutely certain of his prediction, and I do have a clip where he does not sound 100% sure which is included in this next pair both taken from side B of tape 4 in the 1980 1st and 2nd Kings set.
Dr. Murray: "But I can assure you, he has made the promise, you know exactly how things are going to pass [sic]. A false messiah shall appear in Jerusalem, about this time, or a little earlier in the spring, rather, that is, of this coming year; very possibly; it could happen."
"You must be prepared to stand against him. For this very army, this very army that stood behind Elisha, shall stand behind you, and be ready to speak through you, to bring the truth to the world. Then your people will listen (certainly in the millennium).
It is written: One-Worldism shall come to pass and it shall receive a deadly wound about the end of this year. " (this was 1980)
Dr. Murray: "You're going to have a campaign of S.A.L.T. II, and III, and, uh, actually, let's put it a little plainer. Your going to have a campaign for world peace that is going to make S.A.L.T. II and III look like kindergarten stuff. But it's going to receive a wound, its gonna [sic] almost fail. I'm talking about in a political sense.
And then shall he come, this false one, bringing peace to the world. Don't you be afraid of him, you know it's going to happen before it does because it is written." Pitch-Corrected "Clip C" Original "Clip C" 288k 1:13
Dr. Murray is making allowance that he "could be wrong" but most of his talk is very self confident. Dr. Murray continues to lead people astray and pile false authority on top of bald speculation, in all his talk, he showcases his, "Authority," and, "Boldness," which ensnares the simple, but he has no real grounds for the exhibition of either of those qualities.
I personally have wondered if the end of this age could start sometime during my own life, I'd really like to be an end time prophet. God knows, I'm an ambitious man in the things of God, but I know that I may just as likely die and be buried and another 1000 years pass before the first trumpet sounds, but that is what I look for, the signals which God has ordained, that is what the trumpets are, signals. And, "If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for battle?"
Dr. Murray is in possession of another kind of trumpet (that satellite dish) but his trumpet gives off uncertain sounds, leading people astray. When the true trumpets of God sound, there will be no mistaking them.
Dr. Murray Taught We Were, "In the Three and A Half Years" In 1980
Dr. Murray: "I tell you, Jezebel killed all the prophets. Except 100 which were hidden in caves by Obadiah in 50. There were no prophets. Elisha has been successful, he is expanding, there are too many prophets, prophets of the living God, to stay in this one place, even though they are in poverty, they are increasing.
Now you can understand that in the prior two chapters, or the prior chapter, referring back to Luke, in the teachings of Christ that we were in the three and a half years. So expect those ranks to grow. Expect us to reach out. Expect us to reach people in these last hours.
Uh, how will some of this come to pass. Now beloved, this is referring, (and I tell you this, in a prophetic sense) to you today. As your prophet-ship, as your, your family grows, you can see yourself within these scriptures." Pitch-Corrected "Clip D" Original "Clip D" 217k 0:55
Dr. Murray is fond of placing himself in the midst of prophetic events, but I can say, with all authority, that not one trumpet has sounded; the end is not upon us. Dr. Murray has always displayed his very real ignorance of the actual signals which God has ordained that we would see, the signs by which we will know that the end is upon us; he displays his ignorance by his past declarations that we are in this trump or in that trump, and by the times he has said that we are moving from this seal to that seal. No trumpet has sounded.
And, as for the seals, they are either all already opened, and have been for nearly two millennia, or they are all completely intact, we have certainly never, in my lifetime, or Dr. Murray's lifetime, moved from one seal to the next. He is a deceived liar and a false prophet.
This is my prophecy concerning him: he shall die, and not see any of his predictions come to pass; his false vision of the Millennium shall not be taught in it; his perverted resurrection does not stand; his false doctrine of where the dead are is not found; his works shall be burned with fire, and nothing shall remain.
Posted Feb 2009 (written earlier, second edition 3-31-2010)