The word “Eschatology” is from the Greek ἔσχατος/ἐσχάτη/ἔσχατον, eschatos/eschatē/eschaton meaning “last” and -logy meaning “the study of”, first used in English around 1550. It is the part of theology, physics, philosophy, and futurology concerned with what are believed to be the final events of history, the ultimate destiny of humanity — commonly referred to as the “end of the world” or “end time“(1)
Anyone who reads this blog knows that I have an interest in eschatology. There are many different views about “the end of the world.” I recently ran across an article that perked my interest. It was reprinted in a blog that I respect for helping me understand many of the crazy things some of our “churches” are teaching today.
The blog is called Appraising Ministries and its creator is Pastor Ken Silva.
The title of the article is THE RISE OF APOCALYPITIC PAGANISM IN THE CHURCH: BIBLE PROPHECY IN CRISIS. The original is found in a publication named Herescope. The article criticizes another pastor whom I respect: Gary Stearman.
I respect Pastor Stearman because of his great knowledge and because of his support of the nation of Israel. He believes that Israel is “God’s Timepiece” and I’m inclined to agree with him.
The Herescope article contends that Gary Stearman and many of his guests rely upon ancient apocryphal literature that is corrupted. The example given is Gary’s observations of the Book of Enoch.
I have a copy of the Book of Enoch, but I have never read it. I am not a scholar on the subject so I would have to do some studying before I ever made a conclusion about who is closer to the truth on apocryphal lit.
I have posted things from Pastor Silva and I have posted items from Pastor Stearman. I think they both have their good points and bad points just like I do. I went back and reviewed most of the posts I put up from Prophecy in the News (Gary is the Editor). Israel is the subject of most of the podcasts I have posted. I don’t think there are any posts of interviews with people listed in the Herescope article. I may be wrong.
The men mentioned in the Herescope article are Doug Woodward, Tom Horn, L.A. Marzulli, and Doug Hamp. I have seen Pastor Stearman interview all of these guys. Do I agree with everything these guys are saying? Of course not. I can’t recall the topic, but an interview with Mr. Hamp was particularly off. Much of the literature written by these authors is advertised in the Prophecy in the News monthly magazine, which I receive.
Gary Stearman wrote a very good article in the March’s Prophecy in the News magazine entitled “The Mind of Christ.” I agree with Gary’s assessment that there will not be another Major revival until after the rapture. You can read the article here.
So, do we throw the baby out with the bath water? (Gary is anything but a baby; he is brilliant.)
It is true that many of the books advertised by Prophecy in the News are questionable. At the same time, I have read many thought-provoking articles by Pastor Stearman.
I found it interesting that Herescope didn’t mention the New York Times’ Best Seller The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn. I’m sure it was mentioned in another piece. A friend gave me the book and I only made it to chapter 11, the one about the seventh of nine harbingers. I found an interesting synopsis and opinion about the book here.
I studied the Assyrians and the book of Nahum when I was in college. The men from the armies of Nineveh could definitely be considered terrorists. I think that Mr. Cahn, however, went way out-of-bounds with his comparisons to the 911 event.
I could go on about other issues where I don’t know if I agree with the Prophecy in the News folks. There is the idea that certain years line up with certain Psalms. There is the Dispensational view. Gary and most of this persuasion think there will be 7 time periods or Dispensations throughout history. Dr. Charles Ryrie, whose name is on The Ryrie Study Bible, agrees with Dispensationalism but after listening to an interview with him I’m not sure how many Dispensations he believes in.
I could also find areas where Mr. Silva and I differ. I’m not quite as Calvinist as he is.
So who is right? I know that this article is all over the place but I do have a few conclusions:
I like Gary Stearman. I like Ken Silva. I like Charles Ryrie. I think they are all saved. None of them are always right and none are always wrong. I look in the mirror and see someone just like them except less knowledgeable.
Dr. Mark Cain of Village Bible Church says: “Some hills are worth dying on and some aren’t.”
When prophetic speculation reaches the level of paganism, then it is serious. However, just because someone is wrong doesn’t make them pagan. I would fit the definition in that case.
I’m not saying that “we should all just get along.” I’m saying that the discussion should be civil. Thus far, I have never seen Gary Stearman act otherwise.
May God bless us all as we study His word and await His coming.
The interview with Charles Ryrie looks like an old Japanese monster movie.
A very timely and interesting post. I tend to not go there in an escatology because of the intensity of the subject and the strong feelings many hold. Both posts hold a lot of truth in their stance.
However, I feel Pastor Stearman brings a lot to the table and is obviously very sincere, likewise for Pastor Silva.
As a Protestant I accept our Canon because it stands against the heretical views of Romanism. I take a firm stance against extra-biblical books not recognized by our Canon. As we all know and are experiencing there is a lot of non-biblical teaching and preaching being dished out.
I have to agree with Pastor Silva in his viewpoint about this practice. And yet I feel as you do that people can and should make choices as mature Christians according to their faith and what they take from the Word of God.
The whole issue is a well founded one, just take the Nephilim stance as just one among many. As a dear friend once said to me: “I am not looking for the undertaker, I am looking for the upper taker.”
I also believe that the Bible is the only reliable source to be considered God’s Word. Other works may hold some historical truth, but they must certainly not be considered divine in nature. It can be a dangerous thing to rely on other literature.
I think that both Pastors make good points and bad points. I’m fond of each one, but like us they are not perfect as:
“For now we (they) see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
I wish we understood all of God’s mysteries; it is not to be this side of heaven.
I always appreciate your comments.
Like you, I am waiting for the upper taker.