Thursday, October 9, 2014

Refuting Shepherd's Chapel - Kenites

One of the defining false doctrines of Shepherd's Chapel is their twist on the Serpent Seed heresy. I have dealt with this topic in other posts in one form or another (See: here, here, and here). My desire for this post, Lord willing, is to expand on what I've already posted and make as concise a refutation as I can.

If one orders Shepherd's Chapel's free introductory CD called The Mark of Beast they will be introduced to the Kenite doctrine. Shepherd's Chapel also has several study CD's that deal with this doctrine in more depth, see their studies entitled Seed of the Serpent #30461, Genesis, Chapters 1-6 #30146, and Kenites #30436. I will give a brief definition of this doctrine, as they believe it, but feel free to order the material from Shepherd's Chapel to get a fuller explanation from their point of view.

So what is this doctrine of the Kenite? Simply put, Shepherd's Chapel teaches that Eve had sex with Satan. Eve then conceived and gave birth to Cain. Cain's biological father was Satan, and Cain's offspring are what the Old Testament identifies by the term Kenite. Jesus, in the New Testament, identifies the scribes and Pharisees as these same literal sons of Cain. Kenites are still in the world today claiming to be Jews. Behind the scenes they control the world by, what Shepherd's Chapel calls, the four hidden dynasties (political, religious, economic, and education). Utilizing their control of these four hidden dynasties, Kenites will bring about the one world system. Only churches that teach the true identity of these Kenites hold the Key of David, know the truth, and will not be deceived in the end-times.

Can any of that be substantiated from the Bible? Shepherd's Chapel does, of course, try to defend these beliefs by selectively utilizing Scripture. I will examine these proofs and show that the doctrine of the Kenite cannot hold up to close scrutiny.

In reality the whole doctrine hinges on the interpretation of Genesis chapter 3. Does this chapter describe a sexual encounter between Satan and Eve? A straight read-though of this chapter would not lead to that conclusion, thus Shepherd's Chapel is forced to take a completely allegorical interpretation of Genesis 3. We read the following in Genesis 3:3-6:
but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. (Genesis 3:3-6 ESV)
Shepherd's Chapel claims that this eating of the fruit is used here as an analogy for sex. They claim this is describing sex between Satan and Eve; I suppose Adam as well sense it states he took the fruit too. There are, however, some serious problems with this interpretation.

The serpent is using what God said in Genesis chapter 2.
The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:15-17 ESV)
Now if we are to take that eating of the fruit of the tree is an analogy for sex then we would be forced to conclude that God gave Adam permission to have sex with anything in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That is simply not true. We see from this text that God is giving Adam permission to literally eat of any tree in the garden he wishes. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, however, is forbidden. Sex is not the topic of discussion. Even if one takes the scene in the garden of Eden as allegory we see that sex is not in view here.

You would also have to identify the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as Satan for Shepherd's Chapel's view to work. The problem is Satan is not identified as the tree but as the serpent, see Revelation 12:9. Even if sex was in view it was not with Satan. There are other problems as well. Take a look at Genesis 3:17.
And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; (Genesis 3:17 ESV)
We have read in Genesis 2:16 that God gave permission for Adam to eat of any tree. Now that Adam has sinned in eating the forbidden tree, God curses the ground. Since he ate fruit he wasn't allowed to eat, Adam will have to work hard for his food. We see how the analogy of eating the fruit = sex simply does not work with the point God is making in Genesis 2 and 3.

The most serious and heretical problem with the view of Genesis 3 describing sex is in Genesis 3:22.
Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. (Genesis 3:22-23 ESV)
Arnold Murray, in his study #417 Elect, states that the tree of life is Jesus and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is Satan. Now in verse 22 God states that eating of the tree of life brings eternal life. This verse specifically says "and take also" which means the same action that was done to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil must also be done with the tree of life in order for someone to have eternal life. Are we really to conclude that God is talking about having sex with the tree of life instead of sex with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? That we are to have sex with the tree of life in eternity, see Revelation 2:7? Of course Shepherd's Chapel would deny that, but that is the logical conclusion to their interpretation of Genesis chapter 3.

It is quite obvious from reading the passages in Genesis 2-3 that sex is not in view. The scene in Genesis 3:3-6 is not describing a sexual encounter with Eve and Satan. The point of the story in Genesis 3 is to show the disobedience of Adam & Eve, the fall of mankind, and the consequence of that disobedience.

A student of Shepherd's Chapel may raise the objection that Genesis 3:15 does prove the Serpent Seed doctrine.
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15 ESV)
It has been shown by reading the texts that it was not the serpent that Eve took the fruit of but rather the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So even in their own view of eating the fruit = sex it was not the serpent that Even could have had sex with.

We see in Genesis 3:15 the enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of Eve. It is clearly shown that the serpent has a seed completely separate from Eve, not coming from Eve. Eve has no part in the serpent's seed and does not give birth, in any way, to the serpent's seed.

We read in Genesis 3:14-19 God hands down his punishments to the Serpent, Eve, and Adam. So literally serpents are cursed after the fall to no longer be as cunning and must go in shame on their bellies eating dust. Serpents and humans will always be at odds with each other with humans having the victory over them.

Allegorically we read in Genesis 3:15 what is called the Protoevangelium, the first announcement of the Gospel. The serpent would be identified as Satan, see Revelation 12:9 and 20:2. His seed would be that of anything that opposes the Gospel and Christ. The ultimate seed of the Eve would be Christ. The statement "he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel" would be Christ's victory over the Devil and death at the Cross.

We see this dual-seed and its meaning most clearly presented in 1st John 3:8-10:
Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
(1 John 3:8-10 ESV)
Again sinners are the children of the devil and believers are the children of God. This alludes back to Genesis 3:15 so its meaning is very clear. Genesis 3:15 is not and cannot be talking about literal physical seed of Satan produced by a sexual encounter with Eve. If you read 1st John 3:1-3 you see believers being called the children of God set against the world of unbelievers (children of the devil).

So who is Cain's father? It is claimed by Shepherd's Chapel to be Satan. We see in Genesis 4:1 who Scripture claims Cain's father to be.
Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.” (Genesis 4:1 ESV)
The statement "Adam knew Eve" is a figure of speech for sex. We see, very clearly, that Adam consummated his marriage with Eve and she conceived and bore Cain. The statement "and she conceived and bore Cain" coming directly after the statement "Adam knew Eve his wife" proves the conception of Cain is in view. Cain was not conceived at some prior time before this.

Shepherd's Chapel will claim that Genesis 4:2 shows that Cain and Abel were twins. Abel was born at the same time as Cain with Cain being conceived at a prior point. This was already refuted in Genesis 4:1 but we will take a look at this claim.
And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. (Genesis 4:2 ESV)
Shepherd's Chapel will claim word "again" used in Genesis 4:2 means "to continue to do a thing". In other words Eve continued in labor and bore Able. The Hebrew word here is yacaph and its meaning is to add, increase, do again. Here are a couple more verses, from Genesis, that use yacaph in a similar context:
And she called his name Joseph, saying, “May the LORD add to me another son!” (Genesis 30:24 ESV)

Yet again she bore a son, and she called his name Shelah. Judah was in Chezib when she bore him. (Genesis 38:5 ESV)
The bold words are the Hebrew word yacaph. It does not mean to continue in labor, but is a connector word indicating two separate events. Not the same event.

Shepherd's Chapel also claims that since Cain isn't listed in the genealogy of Adam in Genesis chapter 5 then he is not Adam's son.

Cain could be included, in sorts, in Genesis 5:4 when it says of Adam "he had other sons and daughters". More importantly the genealogy of Genesis 5 starts with Seth so it is perfectly normal to leave Abel and Cain out.

Genealogies in Old Testament times were often deliberately truncated to remove cursed generations or included only those of note. In the case of the Genesis 5 genealogy only those descendants leading to Noah are mentioned because only those are pertinent to the story. That the Bible does not list every single twig on a family tree does not mean that Kenite theory is a valid doctrine.

Also note in Genesis 5 Abel is not listed either yet Shepherd's Chapel doesn't say he wasn't Adam's son. Cain's genealogy is listed separately because he’s not part of the lineage or Noah, not because he’s the literal biological son of the devil. Like I said before the genealogy starts with Seth and leaves out both Abel and Cain!

It has been fully shown that Genesis 3 is not talking about sex between Satan and Eve, Genesis 4:1 shows exactly who Cain's father is, and Genesis 3:15 is not talking about a Kenite seed set loose in the world.

That leaves us with one question. Who are the Kenites? They are mentioned in 10 verses in the Old Testament and never mentioned in the New Testament.
(Genesis 15:19, Numbers 24:21, Judges 1:16; 4:11; 4:17; 5:24, 1 Samuel 15:6; 27:10; 30:29, 1 Chronicles 2:55)
Nowhere in the Bible are Kenites identified as descended from Cain. We do, however, see in two of these verses how they can be identified.
And the descendants of the Kenite, Moses' father-in-law, went up with the people of Judah from the city of palms into the wilderness of Judah, which lies in the Negeb near Arad, and they went and settled with the people. (Judges 1:16 ESV)

Now Heber the Kenite had separated from the Kenites, the descendants of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far away as the oak in Zaanannim, which is near Kedesh. (Judges 4:11 ESV)
We read from these texts that Kenites are the descendants of Moses' father-in-law, see Exodus 3:1. Kenites are part of the Midianites and came out of Rachab. The name Kenite is probably derived from the name of Kenan the son of Enosh (the grandson of Seth and the great grandson of Adam).

We have already refuted the possibility that Cain was the biological son of Satan. Now we have shown that there is no warrant at all to identify Kenites as sons of Cain. It is known that Cain fathered children, but they all would have died in the flood of Noah. 2nd Peter 2:5 makes the statement that only eight people survived the flood; only Noah and his family.

No we will turn our attention to the New Testament. Shepherd's Chapel uses several New Testament texts to try and prove their Kenite doctrine. One of these texts is what is commonly called the Parable of the Tares and is located in Matthew 13:24-30. Shepherd's Chapel claims that the tares, or weeds, in this parable are identified as Kenites. Lucky for us Jesus explains this parable in Matthew 13:36-43.
Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. (Matthew 13:36-43 ESV)
Here Jesus does give us the true interpretation of the dual-seed or, if you will, serpent seed doctrine. The good seed is planted by the Son of Man (Jesus). The good seed are the sons of the kingdom. These sons of the kingdom are believers. They are called the righteous in verse 43. The good seeds are Christians, not the literal seed of Jesus. The field where the seeds are sown is the world. The tares, or weeds, are sown by the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, what we would call judgment day (Rev. 20:11-15). Verse 41 identifies the seed of the devil as "all causes of sin and all law-breakers". So the seed of the devil is unbelievers, not the physical descendants of Cain. This is basically the same thing we see in 1st John 3:1-10.

Simply put, the Parable of the Tares describes the activity of God’s kingdom in the world. The enemies of the kingdom (weeds) will always coexist with the sons of the kingdom (good seed). It is talking about believers and unbelievers not physical offspring.

John 8:44 is also a popular text that Shepherd's Chapel uses in an attempt to prove the Kenite theory. Jesus is speaking to the Jews when He says this:
You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44 ESV)
Shepherd's Chapel claims this text teaches that these Jews are literally the sons of Satan (via Cain). The contrast is being "of the devil" or being "of God" (see verse 47). Jesus is, however, speaking that the spiritual father of these Jews is the devil, not their physical father. Jesus identifies who their physical father is a few verses up in John 8:37.
I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. (John 8:37 ESV)
These are the same Jews Jesus is speaking to in verse 44. Jesus here identifies them as being offspring of Abraham not Cain. So Jesus in John 8:37 identifies who their physical father is and then in John 8:44 identifies their spiritual father. Later in this chapter (John 8:56) Jesus again identifies who these same Jews physical father is.
Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” (John 8:56 ESV)
These passages clearly teach that Jesus did not think these Jews were literal, physical sons of Satan. What they do teach, however, is that the works of these Jews proved that they were spiritually the offspring of the devil. Jesus specifically identifies them as Abraham's physical offspring (twice) and not Cain's!

One New Testament text that Shepherd's Chapel will claim proves a sexual encounter happened between Satan and Eve is 2nd Corinthians 11:3.
But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3 ESV)
The Greek word for deceived used here (beguiled in the KJV) is claimed by Shepherd's Chapel to mean sexually seduced. So, to Shepherd's Chapel, this verse says the serpent sexually seduced Eve in the garden of Eden.

The Greek word used here is exapataō, and simply means to deceive. Interpreting the word exapataō sexually brings up problems in other passages written by Paul. 1st Corinthians 3:18 uses the same word in a similar context.
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,”
(1 Corinthians 3:18-19 ESV)
The word deceive in this verse is the same Greek word exapataō. You can read by the context that exapataō has no sexual meaning whatsoever. Just try replacing deceive in this verse with sexually seduce and you see how ridiculous the assertion by Shepherd's Chapel is. Paul also uses exapataō in 2nd Thessalonians 2:3.
Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, (2 Thessalonians 2:3 ESV)
The word deceive is also the Greek word exapataō and shows that it is not used in a sexual manner. Again try to replace deceive with sexually seduced in this verse, it won't work. In fact the Greek word exapataō is only used 5 times in the New Testament, all by Paul, and it is never used in a sexual context to describe sexual seduction. (See: Rom. 7:11; 16:18, 1 Cor. 3:18, 2 Cor. 11:3, 2 Thes. 2:3)

These kinds of arguments are common with Shepherd's Chapel. They will take a Greek word and using a Strong's Concordance try and redefine what the word means, twisting it to fit their doctrines. Although Arnold Murray claimed to be a Greek scholar he was not. It has been shown that he did not know how Greek or Hebrew grammar works and deceived his students by twisting the meaning of Scripture. This is the same kind of tactic that Charles Taze Russell, founder of Jehovah's Witnesses, used.

Another claim one may hear from Shepherd's Chapel is that there are only 2 churches that Christ's finds no fault with and those are the churches that teach the Kenite doctrine. To defend this view Shepherd's Chapel will quote Revelation 2:9 and 3:9. Let's take a look at one of these texts.
“‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. (Revelation 2:9 ESV)
Jesus is speaking to the church of Smyrna, see verse 8. Smyrna was known as the crown of Asia where the Greeks held to strong emperor worship. They also had a large Jewish community and both the Romans and the Jews strongly persecuted Christians in this city. Although these Jews were Jews physically they spiritually aligned themselves with the Greek pagans in putting Christians to death. This is similar in the church of Philadelphia (briefly named Caesar’s New City) in Revelation 3:9. The Roman imperial cult and a large synagogue were known to be in Philadelphia around this time. Both Smyrna and Philadelphia were dangerous places for Christians to be.

Jesus' statement "they say they are Jews and are not" is not Jesus denying their Jewish genealogy but rather their spiritual genealogy. Romans 2:28-29 declares "For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly... But a Jew is one inwardly...". These Jews denied the Messiah and aligned with the emperor worshipers; thus Judaism became a "synagogue of Satan". The New Testament defines God's people in relation to Jesus, not genealogy. The "key of David" mentioned in Revelation 3:9 is simply Jesus' authority to admit to or exclude from God’s kingdom (see Isaiah 22:22, Mark 16:19).

Revelation 2:9 and 3:9 does not teach or promote the Kenite or serpent seed theory.

We have shown from Genesis to Revelation that the Kenite or serpent seed theory is not taught in the Bible. Cain was the physical son of Adam not Satan (Genesis 4:1). Yet we are to head the warning of 1st John 3:12 and "not be like Cain, who was of the evil one". Yes Cain's spiritual father is Satan, just like our spiritual father is God. Our righteous seed is from God and unbeliever seed is from the Devil just as 1st John 3:10 states "By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother". The point of all these Scriptures (starting with Genesis 3:15) is to differentiate believers from non-believers, not physical sons of Cain from sons of Adam.

Shepherd's Chapel does not condone racism and claims not to teach racism. The fact is, however, the Kenite doctrine breeds this us versus them mentality. Saying that the people we identify as Jews are really literal sons of Cain will, inherently, cause racism and hatred. There are many evil people today in power but it is not Kenites behind the scenes controlling the world.

The Kenite false doctrine of Shepherd's Chapel is dangerous and heretical. It needs to be avoided and Christians warned against it. I pray that if you are stuck in the false teachings of Shepherd's Chapel that you will take serious these warning and that the Lord will open your eyes.

** Addendum 5/3/2017 **
I've had some feedback and criticisms that I did not deal with the "trees" in Daniel chapter 4 and Ezekiel 31 and how they relate to the attributes of Satan and that links Satan to the Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil in Eden. Here is a very quick addendum and hopefully I can do a proper post dealing with these texts explicitly.

First let's look at Daniel Chapter 4:
you will see in verses 4-18 Nebuchadnezzar has a dream and wants it to be interpreted. He has as dream about a tree that grew and became strong. Somehow I suppose SC students seem to think this links back to Satan. However we see Daniel interpret the dream in verses 19-27 and Daniel specifically says in verse 22 that the Tree was Nebuchadnezzar. Let's look at the passage

 The tree that thou sawest, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached unto the heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth; Whose leaves were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all; under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of the heaven had their habitation: It is thou, O king, that art grown and become strong: for thy greatness is grown, and reacheth unto heaven, and thy dominion to the end of the earth. (Daniel 4:20-22 KJV)
We see specifically in verse 22 that Nebuchadnezzar is the "tree" in his dream.

 Ezekiel Chapter 31 is a very popular chapter that SC students love to quote and show some of the attributes of Satan. Ezekiel 31 (also 28) is about judgment on nations. Context begins in chapter 25 about judgment on nations (chapter 26 about King/Prince of Tyre specifically) and Chapter 31 begins the judgment on Pharaoh and Assyria.

The context (starting in chapter 25) is judgment on nations (Ammon 25:1, Moab and Seir v.8, Edom v. 12, Philistia v. 15, Tyre chapter chapter 26-27, prince of Tyre in 28 and Pharaoh/Assyria in Chapter 31 )

The Prince/King of Tyre in chapter 28 is described using Hebrew Poetic imagery which is common in the Hebrew prophetic books. “in Eden” simply shows that the king of Tyre owes his entire existence to the Sovereign God. “Guardian cherub” shows the ordained purpose of a King is likened to the cherub in Eden guarding the way to divine Presence. We see in the prophetic books in the OT use these vivid Hebrew Poetic devices to describe people and nations all the time.

We see similar language used in Chapter 31 to describe Pharaoh and Assyria. The context is clear if you read Ezekiel 31:1-3

And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the third month, in the first day of the month, that the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude; Whom art thou like in thy greatness? Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs. (Eze 31:1-3 KJV)
And again poetic allusion in Ezekiel likens Assyria to the trees in Eden. It is not saying Satan was the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But if you go the last verse in this chapter it makes it absolutely clear who this prophecy is talking about:

To whom art thou thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth: thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that be slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord God. (Eze. 31:18 KJV)

Even if there is a dual meaning in these verses that is attributed to Satan (although I see no contextual reason for that interpretation) they still in no way prove a sexual encounter with Eve. Again even if Satan was the serpent and the tree in Eden it is a long way from saying Eve had sex with him.

Soli Deo Gloria!