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The Rise of Apocalyptic Paganism in the Church

Bible Prophecy in Crisis

In the context of the Jasher account,
that story makes a whole lot more now sense [sic] doesn’t it? I mean think about it. Without
Jasher, the story in Genesis 25 makes no sense at all.
… After
reading Jasher, you now completely understand what is going on and
why
. Esau had just killed the king of the world!

By the way, the “valuable garments” that Nimrod had, “with
which he prevailed over the whole land”
were the original garments God
made for Adam and Eve back in the garden… so here Esau has chopped off
Nimrod’s head and stolen his “magic garments.” The rest of Nimrod’s
“mighty men” were after him now. Esau came home famished from a very
busy day! So, when Jacob says he wants his birthright, Esau basically said, “Look.
What do I care about my birthright? I just killed King Nimrod! I’m a dead man.
His
warriors are probably coming for me as we speak. Just give me something to
eat!” Esau was extremely vulnerable here and Jacob totally took advantage
of the situation for his own selfish gain….


The Fifth Trumpet blows, and the spirit of
Apollyon (Apollo) ascends back into its former host body – Nimrod
. Thus,
empowered by the dragon himself, the Anti-Christ will rise. And his first order
of business will be to kill the Two Witnesses!
(p. 135, 258)[bold added]
The eschatological teachings of the
postmodern evangelical church are in a state of revision and flux. It is no
longer possible to categorize endtime teachings according to the standards of Postmillennialism, Amillennialism and Premillennialism. There are
emerging permutations in these teachings, hybrid eschatologies that blend in New Age
evolutionary progression, quantum
physics
(including quantum
spirituality
), “incarnating”
Christ,
“Forerunner
Eschatology,”
science
fiction
, UFO
lore
, secret
codes
, and ancient
pagan mythology
, astrology
and apocryphal writings. The result is a prophecy mish-mash. These strange new
configurations of eschatology are apocalyptic in nature and go far beyond the
descriptions found in Scripture alone. Postmodern
endtime prophecy no longer reflects the humble Gospel message of salvation, nor
does it find hope in the imminent return of Jesus Christ, “the blessed hope” (Titus 2:13).
There have been serious revisions to the
classic Premillenarian as well as Pre-Tribulation Rapture positions. These are such
substantial changes as to render them barely recognizable. While many
prominent evangelical prophecy teachers still profess a basic Premillennial
view, in actuality many of them have mixed in extrabiblical teachings to such
an extent that they substantially revise their position. Specifically, the
Premillennial position has been added to by including
large amounts of extrabiblical
material
, especially ancient apocryphal sources. This ancient
apocryphal/apocalyptic literature serves as an additional foundation to Scripture for many of the endtime
scenarios these prophetic teachers now envision. Building upon this unstable foundation the postmodern prophecy
teachers add all sorts of other “spiritual”
teachings

The quotation at the top of this article is a perfect case in point. What
started thirty years ago as intriguing speculations about difficult passages in
the Bible has now turned into full-blown heresy. When prophecy leaders first
began to examine apocryphal literature with curiosity, they cracked open the
door to considering sources outside of Scripture. Little did they realize that
within several decades a flood of occult teachings from the ancient pagan world
would come pouring into the church. This ancient apocalyptic literature serves as an additional foundation for the endtime scenarios they create. It is no wonder that the History Channel’s
miniseries version of The
Bible
goes so far afield into fiction. After years of a steady diet of
seeker-sensitive pap, people are desensitized, de-moralized, dumbed-down and
don’t know their Holy Bible. And thus they are rendered receptive to these
evocative enhancements to Scripture.
In
the recently devised endtime scenarios
there is a new focus. Attention is placed on cataclysmic events that include space aliens, Nephilim
creatures, and other entities and deities – all of which are said to be coming
to invade
earth
. Prophecy teachers are making extravagant claims about events they
say will take place imminently. Some predicted dire cataclysms on 12-12-12. It
didn’t happen, but that hasn’t deterred them from developing alternative future
apocalyptic scenarios. The hype surrounding these proposed end-time scenarios
is often accompanied by bizarre teachings borrowed directly from occult sources.[1]
Prophecy has now turned speculative. That which stands written has turned into an apocalyptic wonderland. The novel apocalyptic teachers
portray dramatic portents of doom and disaster that are far removed from plain
Scripture. There seems to be an insatiable
market
for this kind of fear-mongering.
A
noteworthy feature is the inclusion of apocalyptic America scenarios that drum
up hysteria about how our nation will be ruined. This is actually a potent form
of operant conditioning – the trigger creates a panic reaction; people want to
“do” something to “fix” things before America is
doomed. Create the crisis, propose the solution. Thus, drummed-up fear renders
people more susceptible to potent solutions such as Dominionism
or spiritual
warfare
. The focus is no longer on teaching the Gospel to those who are
lost – a message of conviction and truth that would have a real and lasting
impact on the terrible morals of our land’s inhabitants. Evangelicals are no
longer “Looking
for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our
Saviour Jesus Christ,”
(Titus 2:13).
Current Illustrations of
Apocalyptic Hype
Biblical prophecy
is being reinvented,
changed over to apocalyptic scenarios. These predictions are characterized by
sensationalism, bold and sweeping claims, wild speculations, vivid imagery and
fantasy, and reliance
upon
extrabiblical and occult sources. Below are some examples.
In
Doug Woodward’s 2012 book, Power Quest Book Two:
the Ascendancy of Antichrist in America
, in the section titled, “America’s
Role in Eschatology—Rethinking the Standard Scenario,” he states what he means
by “rethinking” prophecy. Woodward speculates:
Christianity is an
apocalyptic religion
.…
…I
have concluded that America is a major player, if not THE player in the
ascending of the notorious figure the Bible calls, Antichrist…Many
believe as I do now that America will play a vital role in the ‘end-times’
scenario… it is
time to question certain core elements of the ‘traditional apocalyptic
scenario’ that dispensationalists espouse
; specially the place of America
in Bible prophecy.
I complete our study
with a homily on why America is this
Babylon
.
…Furthermore,
we have ultimately
made the impossible probable
. America—the land of the free and home of the
brave—appears ready to become the initial seat of
power for the Beast of Revelation
…the personage of Antichrist appears
destined to be revealed in America, pushing the world to the brink of the war
to end all wars
.
[2] [bold added]
Jonathan
Cahn… has recently written a best-selling book, The Harbinger: the
Ancient Mystery that Holds the Secret of America’s Future
, which delivers a
remarkable prophetic message…. If we do not heed the harbinger, if we ignore the
‘omen’ singed into our mind’s eye on that September morn in 2001, we will
experience an even more complete and utter destruction
.
[3] [emphasis added]
Tom Horn
relies heavily on additions to Scripture, reinterpreting God’s Word to fit his
extreme endtime notions. In his book, Nephilim Stargates:
the Year 2012 and the Return of the Watchers,
Horn explains a supposed
end-times prophecy and “sign unto the Lord” regarding the return of fearsome
“Nephilim.” Note how Horn borrows from occult sources for information about the
Great Pyramid, and see how far these conclusions veer away from the plain
Scripture in Rev.
21:16
:
Not
long ago a man whom I have come to know as a friend wrote a book called The Nephilim and the
Pyramid of the Apocalypse
. Patrick Heron published his study after delving
into the history of the pyramids, seeking to explain who built the structures,
how they acquired such mathematical and astronomical knowledge, and what advanced technology
was used in the construction. The answer he came up with was astonishing: the pyramids were
built by the Nephilim….
The Great Pyramid was the only “pillar” standing on the border dividing Lower and
Upper Egypt in Isaiah’s day, but why would the
prophet point to it as a Last Days sign unto the Lord?
Patrick answered me
with the “shape” of things to come. He believes New
Jerusalem is pyramidal, as opposed to cubic in shape, and that Watchers
conveyed this design to the Nephilim following what they had seen in heaven.
[4] [bold added]
Another
case in point is an exchange that took place between radio host Derek Gilbert and author L.A. Marzulli at the “2012 Prophecy
Summit” in Branson, Missouri regarding the time of the Lord’s return. A
recurrent theme in all their apocalyptic scenarios is the return of Nephilim
creatures
, an idea extracted from ancient apocryphal literature. Notice how
boldly these men go beyond Scripture in their speculations:
GILBERT: 
Let me play devil’s advocate, so to speak, for a moment. Ah, there’s a parallel
verse to the Matthew
24 verse—Luke 17:28.
Ah, and it says, they were eating
and drinking, marrying, being given in marriage—very similar to what you read
in Matthew 24—till the day that Noah entered the ark and the Flood came and
destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot, they were eating
and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day that
Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulphur rained from heaven and destroyed them all. So it
will be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
Jesus
didn’t specifically mention the Nephilim return…. He didn’t specifically say
,
‘just as it was when the giants were roaming the land,’…He seems to indicate,
and there are those who will interpret it this way, that what He meant was
people just weren’t paying attention. They were running about, doing their
thing, not paying attention to spiritual matters and suddenly, destruction
comes down… So what then is it about Matthew 24 and Luke 17 that convinces you
that what Jesus
really meant was something He didn’t specifically say
—was talking about the
presence of Nephilim in the land in those days?
MARZULLI: 
Well, the question is, when in that passage, who is ‘the they’?
Who is ‘the they’ that are eating and drinking?
… When we read in Genesis
6, ‘the they’ are
not human beings.
It says, ‘the sons of God saw the daughters of man,’ it’s
referring to the B’nai HaElohimwhich are the
fallen angels! ‘They’ were eating and drinking and given in marriage. And
that’s why I believe this is, this is what’s
coming.
This
is what’s coming on the earth. In fact in some ways, it’s already here
.
[5] [bold added]
Author
Douglas Hamp, during this same
roundtable discussion, actually includes space aliens in his science fiction
view of the Lord’s return. In his discussion of Revelation 19, notice how
boldly he tosses in a few new doctrines to create an apocalyptic scenario
involving warfare:
HAMP:
I actually think it’s going to be something like this: that we’re going to have
sort of a good
alien and bad alien kind of thing.
And the so-called good aliens will
be those that will get there first, and they’re saying, ‘you know what, people
of the world? You should be glad that we got here first. Cause there’s a hostile alien force
that’s hot on our tracks. They’re going to be here in about seven years. And if we get busy, and,
ah, get to work, and start making you guys into Nephilim, then we can overcome
them.
And, uh, so you need to be
changed
, because when they come, they’re going to try to take away your way
of life. They’re going to try to stop you from having all that fun. And we can overcome them
together.
[6]
[bold added]
How
do these men arrive at such preposterous prophetic scenarios? Doug Hamp claims
biblical support for his strange ideas from 2 Peter and Jude, but in reality he
extrapolates this from ancient extrabiblical apocryphal sources. During the
same roundtable discussion, Hamp adds to Jesus’ statement ‘as it was in the
days of Noah’ by claiming that there will be a “hybrid race” on earth. Note his
use of apocryphal sources:
HAMP: 
And then if you go and look at every ancient
commentator
—especially the Jewish ones. They unanimously talk about how in
Genesis Chapter 6 that it was fallen angels that came down and had relations
with women. Ah, if you go look at Philo here, Mr.
Allegory himself. And yet he says it was the fallen angels that came and had
relations—he says that the Nephilim were the procreation of two natures, that is,
angels and women. He makes it very, very clear. Josephus says
essentially the same thing. We see the Genesis apocrypha.
We see the
Targamim,
the Aramaic
Targamim…. Whoa! Seriously, this is pretty scary because that means that fallen
angels are gonna come down, and they’re gonna create a hybrid race, just like
it was in the days of Noah.
[7]
Rob Skiba,
whose quote is at the top of this article, acknowledges his use of ancient
writings outside the Canon of Holy Scripture[8] and has also written about an apocalyptic
America:
While
I do believe that the Holy Bible is Divinely inspired and written by men, I
do not necessarily hold to the idea that only the 66 books we now have in our
(Protestant) bibles are the sole Divinely inspired books of antiquity.
[9][bold added]
America,
we need to wake up! There is an evil agenda at work, and our country is leading
the way in making it happen. As I said before, I now strongly believe that
America’s sole purpose has been to bring about the rise of Babylon and the
return of the Antichrist!…
Indeed,
I believe the United States is destined to be the driving force behind the
resurrection of Nimrod.
[10]
The Original Apocalyptic Source
Material
These postmodern prophecy
masters
borrow heavily from ancient apocryphal writings to make their case.
What are these writings? What is their history? How do they alter biblical
prophecy? Dr.
Martin Erdmann
in his classic work The Millennial
Controversy in the Early Church
(Wipf & Stock, 2005),[11]
delineates the differences between prophecy and apocalyptic teachings in the
early church.[12] The decline in interest in prophetic literature within
the Scriptures alone led to a rise in interest in an apocalyptic sourced
outside of the Canon
.[13] In his book Dr. Erdmann explains the difference
between biblical prophecy and the apocalyptic:
The apocalyptic
message itself could take on bizarre forms of thoroughly symbolic content. Its
frequent use of the most graphic language to describe the calamitous
occurrences of the end times is one of its strongest characteristics. That is
exactly where the genre of the apocalyptic eschatology diverges most noticeably
from the literary form of the prophetical writings. If the latter had taken up,
among other themes, the climactic grand finale of world history merging into
the eternal kingdom of God, the former was exclusively interested in the
cataclysmic unravelling of those events. To portray the eschatological
consummation of world history in the form of visionary revelation was the
all-consuming concern of the apocalyptic writers….
History, as it was understood by the prophets, was
leading up to a final consummation. These visionaries were grounded in the
past, lived in the present, and looked forward to the future. Hence their
message was not purely a prediction of future events, but a “trumpet
call” to turn “the house of Jacob” from sin and rebellion (Is.
58:1) and to incite them to righteous living (Is. 33:15). More than once they
had to pronounce the impending execution of God’s severe judgment, because the
Israelites were not willing to heed the call for repentance (Is. 65:2-7). As
this judgment came, the prophets were confronted with the plight of national
disintegration during the Assyrian and Babylonian captivity. Yet, they had not
lost hope in a restored national identity, preceded by a renewed spiritual
awakening, and the return to the land of their ancestors. Therefore, the
consequences of God’s judgment on an apostate Jewish nation, forcing it to
carve out an existence in exile away from its own native country, did not
diminish the prophets’ faith in God’s promises of calling the Gentile nations
to account for their treacherous acts against the Israelites. This was,
however, only part of their message. The prophets were
pointing to another universal judgment and future deliverance of the Jews from
their dispersion among all the nations to be accomplished by the Messiah
himself
(Je. 23:5-8). His intervention on behalf of the exiled Israelites
would be on a much bigger scale. He would bring them back from the four corners
of the earth to the Promised Land (Is. 11:10-12) and establish his glorious
kingdom (Is. 65:8-25). If the prophets were speaking about the future, it was
with this hope of salvation for the nation of Israel in mind. Thus, their
prophecies were firmly rooted on the basis of a unique relationship with a
covenant-keeping God who would fulfill his promises in the future just as he
had done in the past.
The prophetic literature, therefore, stands out as a
monument of divine faithfulness, turning the fate of the exiled Israelites and
re-establishing them as a religious community in the land of Palestine under
divine blessing and authority.
The apocalyptists departed
from this tradition of the prophets. They left the sound foundation of
historical perspective and developed an eschatological philosophy instead
. They
did not entirely lose the prophetic character of their message inherited from
the Hebrew Bible, but modified its form and content under the impression of
different historical conditions and the influence of other spiritual
conceptualizations.
(MC, pp. 8-9)
[bold added]
Dr.
Erdmann presents the dilemma of the early Church Fathers. Would they choose
biblical prophecy alone? Or would they choose to integrate extrabiblical
sources to add to their prophetic scenarios? And how would this create
apocalyptic visions in excess of simple biblical revelation?
If the apocalyptic was different from,
and yet similar to, the prophetic books a decision had to be reached in regard
to its inspiration and authority. Was it a message given by divine revelation and
thus constituting another portion of God’s word, as the apocalyptic writers insinuated?
Or was it only part of a particular collection of religious literature,
profitable to read, but not to be taken too seriously? Its canonical value lay
in the air and needed to be addressed.
(MC, pp. 9-10)
[bold added]
Prophecy
often served as a starting point. But it was added to. Dr. Erdmann explains
that “
the most prominent characteristic of the apocalyptic is its
appropriation of prophetic themes, which are then further developed into
something quite different from the original source of inspiration.” These
prophecies
“cannot be called
“apocalyptic” in the sense that the name can be applied to books like
Daniel and its successors, but it can be said that they contain the
“stuff” from which apocalyptic is made – the notion of divine
transcendence, the development of angelology, fantastic symbolism, cosmic
imagery, the use of foreign mythology, reinterpretation of prophecy, the
visionary form of inspiration, a distinctly literary form, cataclysm and
judgment, the Day of the Lord, the destruction of the Gentiles, the Coming of
the Golden Age, the messianic deliverer and the resurrection of the dead. When
at last the historical conditions for growth were right, these seeds rapidly
grew into full flower in the colourful and diverse literature of Jewish
apocalyptic.”
(MC, p.6)[14]
“…apocalyptic is not a substitute for
prophecy but a readaptation and development of the same message for a new
historical situation – prophecy in a new idiom.”
(MC, p. 9)[15]
Apocryphal
writings are considered to be a genre of literature. As literature they are
interesting, but they were not included in the canon of Scripture for many
reasons. A list of the “specific elements of apocalyptic literature” includes:
more or less cyclical understanding of
history, prophecy about the end times, pessimistic perspective of the world,
dualism, images of doom and salvation, esoteric knowledge about supernatural
events in correspondence with revelations about the future and extraordinary
visions, recorded in written documents, bizarre imagery.
Jewish apocalyptic is further
characterized by accounts of visual or oral revelations, which, by depicting
scenes of heavenly journeys or dialogues, frequently employ symbols, metaphors,
and pictures. These visions were, in most cases, delivered by a heavenly
messenger, like an angel, and received by the authors themselves, or, at times,
by persons closely associated with them.
(MC, p. 13)
A
standard list of the apocalyptic literature includes many of the books cited by
Tom Horn and his prophecy associates as foundational to their revised
eschatologies:
D. S. Russell, in The Method and
Message of Jewish Apocalyptic
, pp. 37f., lists seventeen apocalyptic books:
The Book of
Daniel
(canonical); I Enoch 1-36, 37-71, 72-82, 83-90,
91-108 (a composite work, with the oldest part written c. 120 B.C.); The
Book of Jubilees
; The Sibylline Oracles, Book III; The
Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
(probably first century A.D.,
though others date them earlier; the apocalyptic parts are in the Testaments
attributed to Levi and Naphtali); The Psalms of Solomon; The
Assumption of Moses
(written about the beginning of the Christian era);
The Martyrdom of Isaiah; The Life of Adam and Eve,
or The Apocalypse of Moses (of uncertain date; contains little
apocalyptic); The Apocalypse of Abraham; The Testament of
Abraham
; II Enoch, or The Book of the Secrets of
Enoch
; The Sibylline Oracles, Book IV; II Esdra
(= 4 Ezra) (the best specimen of a theological apocalypse); II
Baruch
, or The Apocalypse of Baruch (dating from the
beginning of the second century A.D.; though written originally in Hebrew or
Aramaic it is preserved only in Syriac); III Baruch; The
Sibylline Oracles
, Book V (all of them non-canonical).
(MC, p.
10)[16] [bold added]
Dr.
Erdmann takes note of the specific milieu of Jewish apocalyptic literature in
the early centuries before and after the time of Christ. The fact that this
milieu can be perceived as very similar politically and religiously to our own
time period draws obvious parallels to the sudden and dramatic rise in the use
of apocalyptic sources to supplement biblical prophecy.
The uniqueness of a particular type of
literature can often be traced back to the penetrating atmosphere of a special
historical milieu. For three hundred years the Jewish nation experienced a
continuous drama of oppression and warfare which produced a climate of
religious fanaticism and mystical imagination. Thus the emergence of Jewish apocalyptic
must be seen against the background of political oppression and religious
persecution.
(MC, p. 14)
The Jews were challenged by a set of
historical-theological problems which… are mainly responsible for the formulation
of apocalyptic literature. They can be summarized as follows: (1) the emergence
of a “righteous remnant” who maintained loyalty to the law over
against the prevailing mood of compromise; (2) the problem of evil in the sense
that even when Israel was apparently keeping the law she was undergoing
suffering and national abuse; and (3) the cessation of prophecy at the very
time when the people needed a divine explanation for their historical plight.
The purpose of apocalyptic literature was intended to provide an answer to
those vexing questions and pressing problems. Why were the righteous still
living in a world of suffering, why was the promised Golden Age not yet in
sight?
(MC, p. 20)
Are
we entering a similar time period of “religious fanaticism” accompanied by
“mystical imagination”? It surely seems so. Perhaps this is what the Bible
means when it says that a “time will come” when people will have “itching ears”
and do not want to hear “sound doctrine” but rather follow after teachers that
feed their “lusts.” (1 Tim. 4:3)
Apocalyptic Scenarios or
Biblical Prophecy?
Modern-day prophecy teachers have changed
their mode of operation in the past several decades. Formerly they focused on
biblical prophecy by comparing Scripture to the unfolding of international
events. And indeed there are astonishing comparisons and indicators that the
endtimes predicted by biblical prophets are upon us. Sadly, many prophecy
teachers were not content to stay within the confines of Scripture. Some
created apocalyptic fictions, including science fiction.
Others chased after international crises, trying to make them fit prophetic
scenarios. Many profited from making dramatic predictions of dire disasters. Through
all this saints became addicted to the adrenaline-charged briefings issued by
these doomsday profiteers. Today this sort of apocalyptic hype has almost
completely overtaken the formerly biblical prophecy conference circuit,
publishing houses, radio shows and media outlets. It is nearly impossible to
find plain, humble biblical prophecy that points people to Jesus Christ.
Apocalyptic scenarios
sell
. No wonder there is a temptation to enhance Scripture
with extrabiblical and alternative future scenarios. Postmodern teachers are
rapidly leaving Sola
Scripture
to add in mystical components,
and the prophecy circuit teachers are no exception. Dr. Erdmann warned that
there is an inherent “suggestive power” in apocalyptic literature and that it
has a “potency to arouse mass-excitement [which] instead of being diminished,
proved to become only stronger in the inevitable case of delayed fulfillment.”(MC, p. 15) We
have also warned about the potent occult power of the imagery embedded in many
of these cataclysmic predictions.
Reliance
upon ancient apocryphal literature has been taken to extremes. Some prophecy
teachers even make rather odd claims such as this one by Gary Stearman, a
self-described “apocalyptist”[17]:
Enoch
walked with God, and he was basically transformed. He was metamorphosed into a
glorified being. And God took him to heaven. He didn’t die. But you know, when you read about
the Book of Enoch,
he took an amazing journey, and then he came back and recorded what he saw.

And what he saw was the future of mankind.
[18] [bold added]
Stearman
is not the first to make such a claim, as evidenced by Dr. Erdmann’s scholarly
discussion of how the authorship of the apocryphal works was deceptively
attributed:
The authors were writing often under the
cloak of a pseudonym in seeking to appropriate the spiritual authority of a
religious predecessor for their own works. The authorship of the apocalyptic
writings was often attributed to those great men of Jewish history, who like
Abraham, Moses and Ezra, were held in such high esteem that supposedly anything
coming from their pens would be regarded as being of high quality and divine
origin. The deliberate use of this method by the apocalyptists has been
explained in numerous ways. It has been described as a justifiable procedure in
communicating a new message from God in a time when prophecy had ceased to
exist and a strict adherence to the legal code had become the norm of Jewish
orthodoxy. Some scholars see it as a means of protection which the
apocalyptists utilized for themselves to prevent any possible reprisals from
the civil authorities; others, that it grew out of a heightened interest in
Jewish history. Probably all those factors played a role to a certain degree.
(MC, p. 13-14)[19]
But
we are not left without hope. Jesus told His church what we need to know about
His second coming: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye
do well that ye take heed…  For the prophecy came not in old time by the
will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

(2 Peter 1:19a, 21)
Apocalyptic Syncretism
The classic Premillennial eschatological
position previously focused exclusively on the return of Jesus Christ,
His Second Coming. And the traditional
prophecy teachers
once focused on warning believers to prepare their hearts
and to not be deceived during these “perilous times”
(1 Tim. 3:1). They exhorted believers to warn their family and friends by
spreading the Gospel of Salvation message while there was yet time. The focus
was on Jesus. Not cataclysms, not Nephilim, not space aliens nor Mayan
prophecies. Just Jesus. It didn’t make a difference whether or not America was
in Bible prophecy, because Jesus was coming back quickly and the message was
about salvation of the lost. The endtime church was charged with spreading the
Gospel and doing acts of kindness and mercy while awaiting expectantly for
Jesus’s imminent return when HE would rule and reign on earth.
The
church today has shifted from biblical prophecy over to an apocryphal
eschatology that bears only faint resemblance to Scripture. By borrowing
heavily from an entire library of ancient and modern extrabiblical and pagan
literature, the prophecy experts of our day have now corrupted beyond
recognition the simple, humble, basic biblical message of the blessed hope of
Jesus’ coming. Most of these men do not say they are replacing the Bible, but
they definitely admit that they are adding to Scripture.
This emerging hybrid eschatology is rapidly becoming part of an endtime scenario that Jesus and His apostles warned against. By mixing in ancient and modern extrabiblical and pagan teachings, modern prophecy teachers are actually creating a prophetic polyglot. In an ecumenical way they are broadening the parameters of Christian spirituality to include many other religions of the world, ancient and modern. Under the guise of investigating ancient “sacred” or “inspired” texts, they add in occult elements to biblical prophecy, thus creating an endtime syncretism where all of the world’s religions can unite around apocalyptic cataclysmic scenarios not found in Scripture.
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of
the Lord….
Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts:
for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

(James 5:7a,8)
For ye have need of patience,
that, after ye have done the will of God,
ye might receive the promise.
For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come,
and will not tarry.
(Hebrews 10:36-37)
Endnotes:
[1]
Pastor Larry DeBruyn succinctly summed up this apocryphal prophecy agenda in
his critical article on Herescope, January 28, 2013: “For reason of
angel-alien-watchers cohabitating somewhere with human females, a whole new DNA-altered-trans-human-hybrid
species
is arising, a new
nephilim that will corrupt
, if it has not already done so, human
life on this planet in such a widespread fashion that God will have to wipe out
the world again as He did in the days of Noah.” From his article: “’Babylon
Rising” and Canon in Crisis: Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Fresh Revelations, and
an ‘Open’ Canon,” https://herescope.net/2013/01/babylon-rising-and-canon-in-crisis.html
[2]
S. Douglas Woodward, Power Quest Book Two:
The Ascendancy of Antichrist in America
, Prologue: “America’s Role
Eschatology—Rethinking the Standard Scenario,” Faith Happens Publishing,
Woodinville, WA, 2012, pp. xvi-xli.
[3]
Ibid, pg. 362. Peter Goodgame further promotes these ideas and related themes
in his 2012 book (published by Tom Horn), The Second Coming of
the Antichrist
.
[4]
Thomas R. Horn, Nephilim
Stargates: the Year 2012 and the Return of the Watchers,
Anomalos
Publishing, Crane, MO, 2007, pp. 45-46. Scripture clearly refutes Heron’s
faulty belief Revelation 21:16 says, “The city [the New Jerusalem] is laid out as a square, and its
length is as great as the width; and he measured the city with the rod, fifteen
hundred miles; its length and width and height are equal.”
A
“square” is NOT pyramidal. John’s description clearly describes a cube. See
also Tom Horn’s NewsWithViews 2007 article, “Talk of Apocalypse from US
President Down,” describing Patrick Heron’s book Apocalypse Soon
(published by Horn), http://www.newswithviews.com/Horn/thomas4.htm
[5]
Partial transcript of a roundtable discussion between Doug Hamp, Rob Skiba and
L.A. Marzulli moderated by P.I.D. radio host, Derek Gilbert at the Prophecy
Summit 2012 in Branson, Mo. The audio was accessed on Hamp’s website, “L.A.
Marzulli, Rob Skiba, and Douglas Hamp discuss Nephilim at Prophecy Summit
2012”, posted Aug. 19, 2012, quotes taken from the 13:12-15:56 minute mark;
See: http://www.douglashamp.com/l-a-marzulli-rob-skiba-and-douglas-hamp-discuss-nephilim-at-prophecy-summit-2012/.
[6]
Ibid, Hamp’s quotes taken from the 30:18-30:45 minute mark.
[7]
Ibid, Hamp’s quotes taken from the 8:37-9:40 minute mark.
[8]
For more on Rob Skiba, see Pastor Larry DeBruyn’s article “’Babylon Rising” and
Canon in Crisis: Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Fresh Revelations, and an ‘Open’
Canon,” Herescope, January 28, 2013, https://herescope.net/2013/01/babylon-rising-and-canon-in-crisis.html
[9]
Emphasis added, Rob Skiba II, Babylon Rising: And The First Shall Be The
Last
, 2011. Online at: (http://www.seedtheseries.com/blog/PDF/BabylonRising.pdf)
275 pages.
[11]
Martin Erdmann, The
Millennial Controversy in the Early Church
(Wipf & Stock, 2005).
Hereafter the quotations from this book will be designated as MC followed by
the page number. We are grateful to Dr. Erdmann for permitting the Discernment
Research Group to use such lengthy excerpts from his book. 
[12]
See Dr. Erdmann’s article “The Emerging Galactic Religion: Science Fiction and
the Rise of Technocratic Posthumanism” on Herescope, 2/28/13, https://herescope.net/2013/02/the-emerging-galactic-religion.html
Also see his “AFTERWORD,” as part of the Herescope article “Doomsday
Datesetters: 2012,” 6/10/11, https://herescope.net/2011/06/doomsday-datesetters-2012.html
[13]
There are Scriptures that are apocalyptic in their message, but they should not
to be confused with apocalyptic messages from extrabiblical sources. Dr.
Erdmann explains in footnote 1 to his chapter 1 (p. 21) that: It might be helpful to the following general discussion
about the apocalyptic literature to look at the different rendering in the
English language of the Greek word “apokalypsis” (and its cognate verb
“apokalypto“): 1. a divine revelation of certain supernatural secrets frequently
through visions, e.g. Ps. 97:2; Dn. 2:19, 22, 28; Is. 56:1; Rom. 16:25; Gal.
1:12; 2. in the eschatological sense of the disclosure of secrets belonging to
the last days, e.g. Rom. 8:19; 1 Cor. 1:7; 2 Thes. 1:7; 2:8; 1 Pet. 1:7, 13;
4:13; 3. to reveal (disclose, bring to light) e.g. Mt. 10:26; Lk. 12:2; Jn.
12:38, Rom. 1:17,18; Commonly, however, the emphasis of “apokalypsis”, as
it is used in both the LXX and the New Testament, lies on its particular
meaning of a supernatural unveiling of divine mysteries, especially as it
relates to the unveiling of hidden truths about the kingdom of God to his
people (primary source: Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of
the New Testament
, 2 ed., The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1958).
[14]
This is a quotation from D.S. Russell, The Method and the
Message of Jewish Apocalyptic
, SCM Press LTD, London, 1964, p. 91.
[15]
Ibid, p. 92.
[16]
In private correspondence with Dr. Erdmann he elaborated: Some of the apocryphal letters were partially influenced
by the Jewish Apocalyptic Literature, but they were written in circles which
propagated Gnostic religiosity. Thus other pagan influences came into play as
well such as Neoplatonism (3rd century A.D.), Pythagoreanism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagoreanism,
Zoroastrianism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoroastrianism,
mystery cults (Serapis ) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serapis,
Magna Mater http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cybele,
Eleusian Mysteries http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleusinian_Mysteries,
Cult of Mitrash, etc. and other influences from Greek philosophy and
Christianity.
[17]
Gary Stearman, “Are You an Apocalypticist?” Prophecy in the News, 2/1/13, http://www.prophecyinthenews.com/are-you-an-apocalypticist/
[18]
Gary Stearman interview Tom Horn. Transcribed from “Enoch and the Ancients with
Tom Horn,” Prophecy in the News broadcast, Dec. 11. 2012. http://www.prophecyinthenews.com/enoch-and-the-ancients-with-tom-horn/
[19]
In private correspondence, Dr. Erdmann clarified the differences between
pseudo-epigraphical and apocryphal writings:  “Works
which carry a name of a well-known Old Testament patriarch or prophet, NT
apostle or Christian leader (Barnabas), etc. as the author but are fakes. The
alleged authors didn’t write them (this was done to give the work some
credibility). These can be works written during time of the OT or NT.”
Apocryphal works are not necessarily pseudo-epigraphical, but “some of the
apocrypha are pseudo-epigraphical such as the Epistle of Barnabas. These
are works written in the 2 century A.D. or later. Some of them (Epistle of
Barnabas, Didache,
etc.) are not necessarily heterodox, but they didn’t
belong to the Canon.”
This
article was a joint project of the Discernment Research group, with special
assistance from Dr. Martin Erdmann, Gaylene Goodroad and Sarah H. Leslie, and with gratitude to Pastor Larry DeBruyn for his careful editing assistance.