“we have not followed cunningly devised fables” (2Pt. 1:16)
“Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.” (Prov. 9:6)
The BIBLE GUARANTEES you do NOT need to heed a FALSE PROPHET (but “prove all things” and heed and obey the Scriptures):
"How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him." (Dt 18:20-22)
"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only." (Mt. 24:36) Once Jesus arose to glory it is understood He did know, but it is not revealed to man, and instead they we to always be ready:
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. (Mt. 24:42-44)
Harold Camping has once again — and again — showed the world that he is a false "prophet," and in so doing dishonored the name of Christ and the Bible which he invokes for authority, thus taking the Lord's name in vain. Having seen his prediction of the rapture fail in 1994, he continued his efforts and contrived a May 21, 2011 date for the rapture and Oct. 21 date for the judgment upon the earth, both of which failed, as no man knows the day or the hour as the Lord stated. (Mt. 24:36) In an attempt at damage control when his prediction of the May 21st rapture failed to occur after the literal manner which the Bible describes, Camping resorted to explaining it away as being a "spiritual" event. He next suffered a literal stroke that left him difficult to speak, which is fitting yet merciful for a man who has spoken so much falsehood, without repentance.
While Camping finally admitted many months later (4-9-2012) that he was wrong, in reality Camping's predictions do pertain to a prediction made approx. 2,000 year ago, that "of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." (Acts 20:30) And as God's "word is true from the beginning, and every one of His righteous judgments endures for ever," (Ps. 119:160) thus it exposes souls such as Camping who presume to know what the Lord said was not revealed. And if it could be, it certainly would not be revealed by a heretic like Camping, and his perverse methodology
While it is evident in Biblical interpretation that a few numbers (like 7) can signify something, it does not allow for the manner of numerical contrivances and eschatological extrapolation that is behind Camping's conclusions. Eschatology (study of prophecy and future times) itself is overall an area which defies being so dogmatic, while no historic doctrine has been derived using Camping's methodological manipulation.
While we have all sinned and dishonored God, for which we must repent, yet in making his false predictions, Camping has impenitently, willfully and boldly gone to extremes few have gone to before, with his erroneous esoteric eschatology and egregious elitism and other falsities, and made disciples of the same (Camping’s cult), and has effectively served as an instrument of the devil who is the author of deception. In so doing, Camping has
flagrantly taken the name of God in vain by claiming God revealed the rapture would occur on May 21,
given occasion for the name of Christ to be blasphemed among the heathen,
placed a stumbling block before the simple who heeded him,
seduced them into loss of substantial amounts of time and money
seriously impugned the integrity of the Bible and prophecy among the ignorant public by asserting it guaranteed his false prediction,
has made a mockery of Biblical hermeneutics with his any-digit-will-do methodological madness
propagated a false gospel, that only those who leave the visible church and know the exact day of the Lord's return can be saved
hindered souls from being saved by true repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus to save them (please see here regarding that most important choice)
while also teaching heresies such as that Jesus died twice,
denying eternal torment,
the nature of the church and its preservation,
damning all who are in the visible church
May God in His mercy grant Camping and his congregation repentance unto the acknowledging of the truth. (2Tim. 2:25)
► Most of the following was written before his latest false prediction.
Harold Egbert Camping (born July 19, 1921) is the leader of an anti-church movement which engages in imaginative, esoteric eschatology (doctrine of the end times), being wise in his own eyes, (Prov. 3:7) and who denies established Scriptural doctrines. He has already falsely claimed the world would end in 1994, but undeterred, he went on to predict that the removal of all true believers from the earth — an event in the Bible known as the “rapture” (1Cor. 15; 1Thes. 4:14-17; 2Thes. 2:1) — will take place on May 21, 2011, followed by the destruction of the earth on Oct. 21, 2011. [Note: Even by Camping's calculations his May 21 date seems to be off, as detailed here (see below posts from May 16 and 18 as well), here and here
That did not happen, and so Camping said it was wholly spiritual, with believers in their bodies being yet on earth as well as in heaven, which is clearly contrary to the description in Scripture (see above verses). Yet he holds to the Oct. 21 date as the literal end - 153 days after May 21, and incredibly, invokes the 153 fish that Peter caught in Jn. 21 for support. (ebiblefellowship, 2011/05/31) Here once again we see Camping forcing Scripture to conform to his contrived calculations, as his almost any-digit-will-do hermeneutic allows him to claim and revise predictions as needed, his Oct. 21 prediction being included.
Like many other false prophets before him, Camping invokes the promise of Amos 3:7, that “the Lord GOD will do nothing, but He revealeth his secret unto His servants the prophets,” inferring that Camping is one (even though he denies it), and he states that the Bible guarantees his prediction.
While Camping claims to hold Scripture as the supreme authority for doctrine, yet, consistent with most “cults,” he misappropriates its authority, rejecting established truths and relegating all other visible churches as apostate, while fostering faith in himself and Family Radio as the uniquely correct interpreter of the Bible, and disparaging listening to church pastors. (http://www.familyradio.com/graphical/literature/judgment/judgment.html)
This rejection of all other churches is based upon Camping's conclusion that the church age, together with its clergy, and ordinances such as baptism and the Lord's supper, has ceased due to its failures and Camping's contruance of numbers in the Bible. He thus holds that it is impossible to be saved while remaining therein.
Instead of belonging to the visible church, those who wish to be saved are instructed to gather in groups and listen to him and Family Radio, which overall refuses to air ministries associated with the local, visible church.
In contrast to Christians who are in local churches, those in Camping's congregation who spread his message are likened by him to the 144,000 virgin male Jews of the book of Revelation. But in this case rather than following Christ, the Lamb of God, they are following Camping, the logos of deception.
HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF DECEPTIVE DOCTRINE
In 1958 Camping was a member of the Christian Reformed Church and a construction company owner who invested in a number of radio stations. He later became the president of Family Radio Inc.
By 1970, Camping had dated the Creation of the world to the year 11,013 BC and the Flood to 4990 BC.
In 1988 Camping left the Christian Reformed Church in Alameda, CA., apparently after being barred from teaching. (see here + Christian Renewal Magazine, April 6) Soon after Camping would teach that the Holy Spirit had rejected the local, visible, established church (that rejected Camping).
In 1992, Camping published his 551 page book “1994(?)” in which he states that Adam and Eve were born in the year 11,013 B.C., and that total years of Biblical history was 13,000-years. And that the devil was unbound (after 1,955 years from A.D. 33) in 1988, (p. 512) which was to be followed by a 23-year tribulation. However, he believed God decided to cut the tribulation short, and Camping calculated that the return of Christ would likely take place on September 6, 1994, with 2011 being a fall back date, and declared that true Christians must leave their churches and listen to Family Radio.
Camping stated therein, “At the beginning of this study I said that during the last twenty years I have answered the question concerning the end of the world with the statement. ‘I will be very surprised if we reach the year 2000 A.D.’ After having done this study I now say equally carefully, ‘I will be surprised if we reach October 1, 1994.’ And,
“By God’s mercy there are a few months left. However, if this study is accurate, and I believe with all my heart that it is, there will be no extensions in time. There will be no time for second guessing. “When September 6, 1994, arrives, no one else can become saved.” (The end has come.” — 1994?, Harold Camping, p. 533)
Camping also stated, “There is no time left to trust your pastor or your church. You must trust only the Bible.” (The end has come.” — 1994?, Harold Camping, p. 534) But since all who do not concur with Camping are damned, what he really means is trust him to interpret the Bible
When his 1994 expectation failed, Camping went on, with his grandfatherly voice, to make his present prediction, becoming increasingly imaginative and deviant in his eschatology and doctrine.
In 2001 Camping continued to teach, “this is the end of the church age,” and that “through Family Radio we can have this kind of fellowship,” and thus stated that “the gospel has never been sent out with more purity than it is being sent out now.” (cf. Open Forum, July 11,12, 2001)
Camping then went on to teach that May 21, 2011 is surely the rapture, and Oct. 21, 2011 is the end of the world. (“We are Almost There!,” cps 3-5)
Having dismissed the pastoral leadership which the New Testament places over the church, (Acts 20:28) Camping also rejected such commands as to baptize and observe the Lord's supper: “...the New Testament commands concerned with the ceremonial laws of water baptism and the Lord's Supper which should be obeyed within the churches and congregations until He comes can no longer be obeyed because God has brought judgment upon the institution of the church. Thus, God has effectively ended the possibility of the observance of the New Testament ceremonial laws of water baptism and the Lord's Supper.” (The End Of The Church Age And After, Chapter 13, page 232)
Camping did not stop there, but teaches that “the Holy Spirit is no longer working in the church” and thus “no one can become saved as the result of the preaching in that church.” (The End Of The Church Age And After, Chapter 8, page 107)
In addition, Camping not only teaches not to pray for the church, and rejects the full nature of the church, and commands given it, and sound rules of interpretation, but like the so-called “Jehovah’s Witnesses cult, he teaches Michael the archangel is Christ, (“The End of the Church Age...and After,” pp. 56, 197) and rejects the eternal punishment of the wicked, imagining that texts such as 2Thes. 1:8,9; Mt. 13:42,50; 25:41,46; Mk. 9:42-48; Rev. 14:11; 20:10 refer to annihilation! Instead, Scripture shows that the devil, and those who are deceived by him, being cast into the Lake of Fire, each suffering according to accountability. (Lk. 12:48; Rv. 20:10-15)
Camping stated in an interview, "Because I was an engineer, I was very interested in the numbers," he said. "I'd wonder, 'Why did God put this number in, or that number in?' It was not a question of unbelief, it was a question of, 'There must be a reason for it.'" (San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 1, 2010)
There is an obvious literal reason for dates and numbers in the Bible, with its extensive genealogies and historical records, and a few numbers can also denote things (such as 7 representing completeness), while only in a minority of times do they have prophetic significance, such as in Dan. 8:14. And self-evident rules of hermeneutics (Biblical interpretation) and the manner in which the Bible interprets itself limit these to what the context, etc., support. However, Camping has demonstrated that almost “any-digit-can-do,” a hermeneutic by which he can “prove” most anything he needs in order to fit his eschatological construct, in which he seems to see a prophetic significance in every closet.
Many examples of Camping's numerological contrivances can be given, but one is what he extrapolates out of Jn. 21:1-14 in his book, “1994?.” The Lord had told His disciples, who were about 200 cubits out in the Sea of Galilee, to throw their net on the right side of the boat, resulting in a catch of 153 fish. Camping takes that to mean that the 200 cubits represent about 2,000 years between the first and second comings of Christ. (p. 503) Camping then took October 4, 7 B.C. as the most likely date for the birth of Christ (when the Jubilee Trumpet allegedly sounded: p. 418), and added 2,000 years, minus one year for the year 0, to get 1994. As for the 153 fish, Camping finds that 153 equals 3 times 3 times 17, and that “The number three signifies the purpose of God whereas the number seventeen signifies heaven. Thus we can learn that [the] purpose of God is to bring all believers that are caught’ by the Gospel into heaven p. 503,504).
Yet the 153 fish are also used to support his prediction that the end of the world will be Oct. 21, 2011, 153 days after the May 21, 2011 date of the rapture which failed. Scripturally, when the rapture occurs then all believers who passed away shall arise, and along with those who are yet alive, will be changed into an incorruptible glorifed new body, and forever be with the Lord. (1Cor. 15; 1Thes. 4:14-17; Phil. 3:21) To the glory and praise of God.
As the Christian Research Institute also points out,
Camping’s book is characterized by inconsistency. According to Camping, the seventy sevens of Daniel 9 are literal years, except for the last three and one-half. He calculates the years precisely up to the point of the death of Christ, which he says occurred in A.D. 33.He then turns around and says the last three and one-half years equal 2,000 years.
Camping takes a page to explain the subtitle “The Prerogative of God to Use Numbers as He Desires” (p. 403). This should be amended to say that it is the prerogative of Harold Camping to use numbers as he desires..(http://www.equip.org/articles/harold-camping-1994)
Years ago Camping also demonstrated how he was able to see a prophetic significance in virtually every number, by using the 276 saved from drowning in Acts 27 to relate to the final tribulation period:
"The number 276=3x4x23. It also equals the sum of all the numbers that come before 23. Thus, 276=1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10...+21+22+23. By this unique arrangement, God focuses our attention on the number 23."
"The number 3 signifies the purpose of God, and the number 4 signifies universality... "
"The number 23 is identified with the final tribulation period, when God's judgment comes upon the church."
"True believers within the church, represented by the 276 people aboard the ship, are saved... The number 276, which equals 3x4x23, represents the purpose of God that in all the world the believers who are present during God's judgment on the external church - during the final tribulation period - cannot lose their salvation..." (The Great Tribulation, pp. 149-150).
BIBLICAL TEACHING ON THE CHURCH
Jesus Christ established the church in the New Testament upon faith in Himself, (Mt. 16:16) who is the foundation, (1Cor. 3:11; cf. Rm. 9:33; 1Cor. 10:4; 1Pet. 2:8; cf. Lk. 6:48; Mat. 21:42; Mk.12:10-11; Lk. 20:17-18; Act. 4:11; Eph. 2:20; cf. Dt. 32:4, Is. 28:16) and promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against it, (Mt. 16:18) fro by faith in Christ as the Son of God believers overcome. (1Jn, 5:5; cf. 1Jn. 2:13,14,25) And which is made up of born again believers (1Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:13), and are led by pastors who are to oversee the church, (Eph. 4:11; 1Pt. 5:1) and who are to be obeyed. (Heb. 13:17)
In addition, the church is given transcendent ordinances and practices such as baptism, (Mt. 28:19; Acts 2:38) the Lord's supper, (Lk. 22:19,20; 1Cor. 11:23-26) corporate discipline, (Mt. 18:15-17; 1Cor. 5:4); collections, (2Cor. 8:ff; 9:1ff); anointing and healing of the sick, (Ja. 5:14,15) and ordination, (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5-7; Heb. 6:1) etc.
While Camping rejects baptism, the Lord told those that He commanded to baptize that he would He be with them to the end of the world. (Mt. 28:18-20) In addition, the Lord's supper (another ordinance that Camping's “church” rejects as for today) is a remembrance until He returns, (1Cor. 11:26) while anointing of the sick and ordination calls for elders.
And the church is revealed in the New Testament as a body consisting of believers with different gifts and offices, (1Cor. 12:4-11,28; Eph. 4:11) including deacons, (1Tim. 4:8) and is overseen by pastors, (Act 20:28; 1Pt. 5:1-14) these being elders/bishops. (Acts 20:17; Titus 1:5-7)
While the church is essentially a spiritual body, into which believers enter upon conversion, (1Cor. 12:13) there is no such thing as a world-wide invisible church without any visible local expression, to which God gave pastors, etc. so that they would not be deceived! (Eph. 4:11,14)
Camping also teaches that local churches no longer preach salvation by grace alone (by teaching souls can “accept Christ,” versus God choosing to save a person), as well as by the rise of “signs and wonders” teaching, which he says adds things to God’s Word, in opposition to Rv. 22:18-19.
However, multitudes of local churches teach that God elects a person and makes him born again so that he can repent and believe, or that regeneration occurs as a consequence of believing, but that no one can come to the Lord Jesus unless the Father draws them, and enables and moves such to do what they normally would not, with both rightly holding that justification is by faith in Christ, not by any moral merit of works.
As for miracles, one need not believe all gifts are for today in order to be saved, but regeneration itself is a miracle, and the fact is that we would not have a Bible or Christianity if God had not done what Camping now forbids. (Jn. 5:36; 14:11; Heb. 2:3) Nor are such things adding to the canon of Scripture, but they are a fulfillment of it, (Mk. 16:20; Jn. 14:12) like as works show faith. And whatever claims are made on their behalf origin are also subject to testing by the Scriptures, as is Camping's claim to be teaching “the Word.”
In so testing Camping and Family Radio by the Scriptures, we see that by him teaching that the Bible guarantees his prediction, it is Camping who is essentially doing what he charges the local church with, that of adding to what Christ did not reveal, while he subtracts from Scripture things Jesus commands, which are to be kept until He returns.
In addition to his doctrinal heresies, Camping is one the examples of the many extreme date-setters, such as William Miller, or the so-called “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” who presumed to know the date of the Lord's return, and failed in every attempt, as the Lord stated that day was not revealed. (Mt. 24:36) Camping even teaches the lost are those who deny that believers will know the hour of Christ's coming, yet prior to that he said that he makes plans for future business on earth (as does his ministry, even while teaching he expects 2011 to be the end.” (Time has an end, p.22)”
Many of the Scriptures Camping contorts to conform to his end-time construct were written to local churches, including the Thessalonians and Corinthians, which believers were assured they would be taken in the rapture if it had occurred. (1Cor. 15; 2Thes. 2)
While an overall falling away will take place before that Day, the Biblical church with its pastored, baptizing bodies will endure, while those who deny this are actually part of the great falling away! Now and not just May 22 is the time to “forsake the foolish and live” in obedience to Christ, versus the heretic Camping and his “cunningly devised fables.” And whose false predictions offers excuses to scoffers who deny Jesus and His return, and can hinder others from coming to Christ and being born again by faith in Him. And which Jesus solemnly warns us against. (Mt. 18:7; 24:11)
To download a version of the above from before his May 21 prediction, as a ''8.5x11'' 3 column brochure, download the PDF file HERE. To print in most printers, first choose to print only side 1, and then simply pick up the last end of the paper that was printed out and place that end back into the paper slot, the blank side facing you, and then print side 2.
To fold, place the beginning of the message side down facing you so that the beginning (“JUDGMENT on CAMPING..”) is under your left hand, and fold it up and over from the column line under your thumb. Make sure it is even. Then rotate the paper to the right, and fold the other end (the “Methodology” column) under the beginning column you just folder and hard up against into crease. It will not be perfect, but that is due to trying to fit in a lot of content I think is needed, and keep it more readable.
Also from this site, Critique of Camping's teaching
Some of Camping’s various errors and heresies (from Dr. Ken Matto, “Campingism and Stockholm Syndrome”)
1) Annihilation of the Unsaved
2) The Rejection of the Total Depravity of Man in denial of Romans 3:12
3) No Visible Return of Christ
4) No resurrection of the Unsaved
5) No Final Judgment of the Unsaved
6) The eternal wrath of God on the unsaved will last 5 months
7) Allah is the God of the Bible
8) Christ became the Son of God after He rose from the dead before the foundation of the world
9) From Camping's new book "To God be the Glory" (Pg 34) - "Thus when Jesus went to the cross, He was not there to pay for our sins"
10) Christ died twice when the Bible states He died once for the sins of His people (Hebrews 9:26; 1 Peter 3:18)
11) Hell is just the Grave (Family Bible Study 8/6/09 - JW doctrine)
12) The Cross and Resurrection of Christ are non-substance Tableaus
13) Solomon was an unsaved man
14) God used unbelievers to write His Holy Word
15) Denial of the Trinity - Modalism - Jesus Christ is God the Father
16) The Conditional Deity of Christ - Christ was not equal to God when He took upon Him the form of a servant.
17) Camping now teaches that if you believe that Christ can come on any other day than May 21, 2011, this gives evidence that you are unsaved
18) Christ repented, confessed, and was annihilated before the foundation of the world per Gunther Von Harringa on his daily show (10:10 AM). (week of 1/31-2/4/11)
19) Rolling Judgment Day - That is, it will not be a single event as the Bible states it will be.
Resources on Camping
NOTE: as usual, providing links cannot infer that I agree with all that a site may offer, but that at least the article(s) referenced are a worthy informational resource.