“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” – Genesis 1:1-2
To understand the Shepherd’s Chapel you’ll need to understand the influence of 19th Century theologian and hyperdispensationalist E.W. Bullinger. He was the one that originated some of Murray’s more pivotal false doctrines.
Case in point, the Gap Theory and the KATABOLE… which I consider to be foundational Chapel teachings.
Frequently you’ll hear the Chapel make reference to the “three earth ages” – the one that was, is and is to come. This model is simply not biblical.
In the New Testament Jesus Christ is VERY clear, there are only two ages: the one that is and the one that is to come…
|This World (Gen 1:1)
|| Timeline of Events
|World to Come (Rev 21, 22)
We can see that this is completely different from Bullinger’s model of three earth ages. This is taken from 2nd Peter…
“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:” – 2nd Peter 3:5-6
Bullinger and Murray teach that the whole world was destroy by water in the gap between Genesis 1:1-2, prior to the six days of creation. Folks, it is very plain what Peter is talking about here…
It’s the antedeluvian world that perished by Noah’s global flood! Now you can understand why the gappers grasp to make the Noah’s flood a local event because evidence does in fact corraborate such a global flood. Do you see how catastrophic this error is now?
This is directly from the Companion, click for a larger image…
This is from Bullinger’s Companion bible, italics and highlights are mine…
COMPANION BIBLE. APPENDIX 146. “THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.”
To arrive at the true meaning of this expression, we must note there are two words translated “foundation” in the New Testament:
(1) themelios, and
The Noun, themelios, occurs in Luke 6:48, 49; 14:29. Acts 16:26. Rom. 15:20. 1Cor. 3:10, 11, 12. Eph. 2:20. 1Tim. 6:19. 2Tim. 2:19. Heb. 6:1; 11:10. Rev. 21:14, 19. It is never used of the world (kosmos) or the earth (ge). The corresponding Verb (themeliou) occurs in Matt. 7:25. Luke 6:48. Eph. 3:17. Col. 1:23. Heb. 1:10 and 1Pet. 5:10. The verb is only once used of the earth (ge). Heb. 1:10. A comparison of all these passages will show that these are proper and regular terms for the English words “to found”, and “foundation”.
The Noun, katabole, occurs in Matt. 13:35; 25:34. Luke 11:50. John 17:24. Eph. 1:4. Heb. 4:3; 9:26; 11:11. 1Pet. 1:20. Rev. 13:8; 17:8; and the corresponding Verb (kataballo) occurs in 2Cor. 4:9. Heb. 6:1; and Rev. 12:10. A comparison of all these passages (especially 2Cor. 4:9, and Rev. 12:10) will show that kataballo and katabole are not the proper terms for founding and foundation, but the correct meaning is casting down, or overthrow.
Consistency, therefore, calls for the same translation in Heb. 6:1, where, instead of “not laying again”, the rendering should be “not casting down”. That is to say, the foundation already laid, of repentance, &c., was not to be cast down or overthrown, but was to be left — and progress made unto the perfection. Accordingly, the Noun katabole, derived from, and cognate with the Verb, ought to be translated “disruption”, or “ruin”.
The remarkable thing is that in all occurrences (except Heb. 11:11) the word is connected with “the world” (Gr. kosmos. Ap. 129. 1), and therefore the expression should be rendered “the disruption (or ruin) of the world”, clearly referring to the condition indicated in Gen. 1:2, and described in 2Pet. 3:5, 6.
For the earth was not created tohu (Isa. 45:18), but became so, as stated in the Hebrew of Gen 1:2 and confirmed by 2 Pet. 3:6, where “the world that then was by the word of God” (Gen. 1:1), perished, and “the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word “were created (Gen. 2:4), and are “kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment” (2Pet. 3:7) which shall usher in the “new heavens and the new earth” of 2Pet. 3:13.
“The disruption of the world” is an event forming a great dividing line in the dispensations of the ages. In Gen. 1:1 we have the founding of the world (Heb. 1:10 = themeliou), but in Gen. 1:2 we have its overthrow.
This is confirmed by a further remarkable fact, that the phrase, which occurs ten times, is associated with the Preposition apo = from (Ap. 104. iv) seven times, and with pros = before (Ap. 104. xiv) three times. The former refers to the kingdom and is connected with the “counsels” of God; the latter refers to the Mystery (or Secret. See Ap. 192) and is connected with the “purpose” of God (See John 17:24. Eph. 1:4. 1Pet. 1:20).
Ample New Testament testimony is thus given to the profoundly significant fact recorded in Gen. 1:2, that “the earth became tohu and bohu (i.e. waste and desolate); and darkness was on the face of the deep”, before the creation of “the heavens and the earth which are now” (2Pet. 3:7).
Do these arguments look familiar? They should. This is the very foundation that Murray built his system of theology upon and guess what? It is of sand…
The reason why we know the KJV translators were correct in properly translating the greek word “katabole” as foundation because the old testament is replete with references to the foundation of the earth…
“Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands.” – Psalm 102:25
“Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.” – Isaiah 48:13
The reference is obvious, it points to the events spoken of in Genesis 1:1-2. It logically follows that 2nd Peter was pointing to the same founding in Genesis 1:1-2. Therefore the KJV translators are CORRECT! Foundation is the proper interpretation…
Are you a Shepherd’s Chapel follower? Do you want to really learn what the bible means? Set up shop over this issue and dig – a landslide of error will come cascading off your mind by the grace of Christ…