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Arnold Murray and the Resurrection of Christ


----- Original Message -----
From: Emailer #270
To: Paul Stringini
Sent: Monday, June 01, 2015 9:23 AM
Subject: Your belief caused quite a stir...HELP
Hi Brother,
Recently I posted an article at our Yahoo Group Faithful Watching For Christ concerning the Resurrection.  One thing he made reference to was Pastor Arnold Murray saying that the resurrection of Jesus was a spirit.  You mention the same things.  Since making the statement (can't remember author's name), he made a retraction in 2003 when Pastor Murray told him in no certain terms that he (Murray) believed in the physical resurrection of Jesus.  Therefore, the author printed it and apologized for the wrong information,
I have scoured the internet looking for youtube videos, copies of Shepherd's Chapel Video's, mp3's, interviews, written articles, etc. and can find absolutely nothing saying he didn't believe in Christ's physical resurrection.  If you know of something, PLEASE tell me how I can get to the information.
Awaiting your reply,
Jesus Is Lord,
Emailer #270

My First Response:

----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Stringini
To:  Emailer #270
Sent: Monday, June 01, 2015 2:00 PM
Subject: Re: Your belief caused quite a stir...HELP
Hi Emailer #270 ,
I studied with pastor Murray intensively for several years in the early nineties when I was a young man.  I do not recall him ever denying the physical resurrection of Christ, in Murray's teaching, the tomb was definitely empty.  What I do recall is that he denied OUR physical resurrection an that led to inconsistencies in his teachings regarding the resurrection. 
If you listen to his teaching on 1 Thessalonians 4 you will find that he goes to great lengths to explain how that "the dead in Christ rise first" refers to what happens to all at death (in other words, "the dead in christ rise first" means that "they are already with him").  Murray basically believed that we rise from the dead the instant we die.  And while he was more outspoken than most about this belief, it is actually a very common belief.  Where he differs from most who believe in a death-transition/resurrection is that he disposes of the flesh body entirely. 
In Murray's doctrine the spirits of the resurrected do not "return for their bodies" as many believe.  I suppose he wound up going down that road because the idea that someone who had already been raised from the dead should return to earth to pick up a rotted corpse only to change it into what the person had already been changed into, is a bit absurd.  Here we have a person who has been raised from the dead and has been enjoying heaven for hundreds, maybe thousands of years, and now they go back to earth to make a show of rising from the dead only to end up back in the same resurrected state.  Doesn't seem like a real resurrection to me.  I believe in the resurrection of the dead.
John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
I would have to look this up to confirm, but I believe that when he taught the passages which recorded the Lord's appearances after the resurrection, Murray may have suggested that the appearance of the wounds was a bit of a sham.  And I don't mean "sham" in any pejorative way.  I do not think that anyone who believes in the resurrection thinks that we will rise with open wounds and scars.  The Lord wore his scars intentionally to prove he had risen physically, and was not "just a spirit."  So it is reasonable to believe that the wounds were visible intentionally, when Christ returns, I believe they will still be visible. "A Lamb as it had been slain"  He could heal those wounds at any time, but chooses to wear them intentionally.
Murray believed in the "spiritual body" in his own special way.  He would not have said that Christ was "just a spirit"  but that he rose in a spiritual body.  He would have seen Christ's resurrection as being the same as those who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, who are "changed"  "in a moment in the twinkling of an eye."  Murray would not have descibed the change as having empty bodies fall to the ground as people stepped into their spiriual bodies,  he taught that those bodies would be changed, not discarded.  So, for Murray, Christ did not rise as I expect the dead to rise after being dead, but rather as those do who remain alive to the coming of the Lord.  If we could ask him I think Murray would agree that Christ rose from the cross when he died, and that the body that was put in the grave was an empty vessel,  but Murray always taught, so far as my knowledge goes, that the body that was in the tomb was raised and changed.  Even though that made his beliefs about the resurrection somewhat inconsistent.
I hope that helps.  If you need more help feel free to ask.  I could probably dig up some audio for you.  Let me know if you would like that.  I am at your service.
Paul Stringini

Emailer's First Reply:

----- Original Message -----
From: Emailer #270 
To: Paul Stringini
Sent: Friday, June 05, 2015 2:10 PM
Subject: Re: Your belief caused quite a stir...HELP
Thanks Paul.
I appreciate your responding to my email so quickly.  May God bless you in your ministry. I apologize for not thanking you sooner.
You can pray for me if you will...I recently had a massive coronary and a few weeks later congestive heart failure.  I lost 46% of my heart muscle and also have mitrel valve regurgitation (related to a valve).  I am 61 years old and a former Minister.  Now, I am asking God to show me what ministry I should do now.  I believe God can totally heal my heart.
Thank You Brother.
Emailer #270

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