A Doomsday Prophet Without a Leg to Stand On

I ran across another story yesterday about another group of people proclaiming a date for the Rapture.  I don’t want to waste a lot of time or space, but I feel I can offer a service for those who might get sucked in by such a thing.  Here are 3 simple reasons why May 21, 2011 is not the date of the Rapture, and I am not even going with obvious reasons that others might give you (with one exception).

1.  The man who has predicted this, Harold Camping, has made a previous prediction that proved to be false.  I could absolutely stop there with no further explanation, but I don’t want to let this go.  In trying to explain why he was wrong then but is right now, he has made this excuse:

He explains now that he originally thought 2011 was the year, but a few verses tripped him up and he concluded that the Great Tribulation might get cut short. There was still scripture he was grappling with, end-time signs that were to come — he points to the gay pride movement as one of them — and truths that had yet to be revealed, “but because of the urgency of time I had to get it out quickly,” he says of his previous warning.

This time around, he has no doubts.

“I know it’s absolutely true, because the Bible is always absolutely true,” he says. “If I were not faithful that would mean that I’m a hypocrite.”

If your best excuse is that you felt “rushed” to get the prediction out there, then you are already on shaky ground.  The only thing in the above quote that is even true is that the Bible is always true.  The man made a false prediction and ascribed it to God, let me make plain what the Bible says about this:

20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ 21And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’— 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.

– Deuteronomy 18:20-22

No matter what Camping says at this point, I simply tell you that the Word of God says he was presumptuous and you don’t need to listen to him anymore.  This is the first “infallible” proof that May 21, 2011 is not the date of the Rapture.

2. Camping offers a long mathematical dissertation as an infallible proof of his calculation for the May date and it is full of holes as well. For those who might be tempted to overlook the whole prophecy gone wrong and the biblical warning to ignore people who do such a thing, I will also offer the service of dismantling this mathematical rant.  They claim to know the year of the Noahic flood, although they offer no proof whatsoever.  The claim holds no water based on his previous track record and the biblical admonition.  Furthermore, I would note that the Jewish calendar indicates the current year as 5771, which is supposed to be dated from the creation of Adam by tradition.  Any supposition of dating the flood is questionable at best and cannot be used to assume for accurate calculations.  This is a case of make the “proof” fit the facts they want to assume.  Throw it out.

The second part where the vast amount of calculations come into play is even more dubious.  They presume to know that the date of the crucifixion of Jesus had to be on April 1, 33 AD because they feel it had to be on a Friday.  This is a sad case of confusing modern Christian tradition with actual history.  It is quite possible(likely even) that Jesus was in fact crucified on a Thursday.  The key is the realization that the first day of Passover is a special Sabbath no matter what day it falls on.  I won’t go into a lengthy explanation here, but you can check it out for yourself.  So the “starting date” for their calculations is already problematic.

He further complicates things with some dubious numerical ideas.  One is the declaration of some “special numbers”:

Likewise some numbers in the Bible also frequently point to spiritual truth. We will look at five numbers that are examples of this, as they focus on significant spiritual truth. These numbers are 3, 5, 10, 17, and 23.

I am not even going to bother with debunking the reasons given for these numbers being special as they are flimsy indeed.  Rather, I will point out that Camping missed some other very significant numbers in the Bible, presumably because the math didn’t work out quite as well.  Do the numbers 12 (tribes, disciples and so forth) and 40 (I am not even going to list the number of times this one pops up) ring any bells?  I can make a very simple case that these two numbers are far more significant than 23 for instance.  The “proof” for that number’s usage is tortured to say the least.

Listen, if God can encode the number Pi in Scripture out to four places, I am certain that He can do better than what Camping has produced in his “infallible proof.”

3. God has a calendar and it isn’t the Gregorian one. It is silly to start trying to tag significant dates to any place on the Gregorian calendar.  If there is one thing that God has demonstrated throughout history, it is that He has a definite sense of timing and it is His own times that are appointed times.  God’s appointed times are defined in Scripture: Passover, Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Day of Trumpets, Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Tabernacles (Leviticus 23 outlines these).  If you want proof that God keeps these days, look no further than the NT.  Jesus died on Passover and the Spirit was given on Pentecost; a perfect echo of the deliverance of Israel from bondage in the Exodus and the giving of the Torah at Pentecost at Sinai.  There are multiple references to God’s “appointed times” and a study would be fascinating, but this isn’t the place for that either.  Suffice it to say that May 21, 2011 comes in at day 32 of counting the Omer and corresponds to absolutely nothing on God’s timetable.  Sorry Mr. Camping, you might want to check God’s appointment book before you claim to know these things.  Study a little of the history of God’s work in history and you will find that He is very deliberate and remarkably consistent is sticking with these particular days.

There is more that I could say, but I don’t want to belabor the point.  Do not be dismayed or confused by these false prophets of doom.  There is a day coming when God will judge every person, but it isn’t in May of 2011.  I personally lean toward Him utilizing the appointed time of the Feast of Trumpets, since it is commonly known as “the Day when no man knows the day or the hour” in the same way that we call Thanksgiving, “turkey day.”  And just so you know, that day is nowhere near May in this year or any other.  It typically falls in September/October on our calendars.  But God isn’t confined to my idea and I am making no predictions about His return, only debunking one that is patently false.


Categories: Apologetics, Bible Misunderstandings, Christianity, church, Culture, End Times, False Teachers, Feasts, Heresy, Kingdom, ministry, Passover, Persecution, Prophecy, Shavuot, Signs of the Times, Thanksgiving, theology, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

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26 thoughts on “A Doomsday Prophet Without a Leg to Stand On

  1. He’s a nut.

  2. marcusmaxis

    there just gonna feel real silly on May 22 thats all.

  3. Jeff,

    So glad you did a post on this. My Christian co-worker asked me if I had heard about this and I hadn’t.

    It still amazes me how many of this idiots still try to set dates. The Bible is so plain on these points. I think everyone (and I do mean everyone) can quote Jesus when He says: “No one knows the hour, not even the Son, but the Father alone.”

    Daniel’s 70 Weeks calculates certain dates with precision: Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the last 3.5 years of the 7 year period which is the 70th week. But what is not in Scripture is “the hour” of the Rapture of the church. That is the date that comes like a thief in the night.

    I wanted to do a post on this myself, but then I didn’t want to give any credence to this false prophet.

    Marcus is right: they are going to look awful silly on May 22nd. I should put a calendar reminder to see what he has to say that morning!

  4. I seriously debated on whether or not to do a post on this for the same reason, but I figured that someone needs to speak plain truth in the fact of error and hysteria. I imagine he won’t say much on May 22nd, since it took him this long to come up with an excuse as to why he missed in 1994. I think there are days that we should be aware and watchful (see the parables of Jesus about watching and knowing), He comes as a thief only for those who are unaware and don’t listen to or watch for his coming. However, it is beyond us to give a day and hour with a year attached to it.

  5. marcusmaxis

    Well are’nt we supposed to see a false prophet who will call down fire from heaven? I tell you what. When I see anyone call down fire from heaven then Ill start to worry.

  6. Marcus,
    There are plenty who would argue that believers won’t be around to see that sight in person. Either way, I agree with you that it would be good cause for real alarm.

  7. What drives me nuts is that this guy has already been wrong about this once before!

    He should have NO credibilty and NO one should trust anything else he has to say with respect to the Christian faith.

    Hey Joe! Long time, no hear! Hope you are well!

    – Steve

  8. Steve,
    I absolutely agree, which is why I made that my first and most obvious point of contention with his claim.

    It baffles me that he has this many people swindled into giving up their lives for months to drive around in RVs spreading his latest ruminations. Just sad really.

  9. Exactly!

    People are suckers for this gnostic BS.

  10. Witness

    There are many false prophets out there but some with true gifts of prophecy. Twelve days before the quake, http://www.cartaphilus.com predicted the Japan earthquake specifically in the post “Kingdom of Wa” at this blog site. Not a doomsayer, just a reporter of what they believe are things to come. In this case it was correct. Hopefully people who “see” things coming aren’t all tagged as crackpots or fools.

  11. Witness,
    You have settled it. I was considering doing another post on why even “fulfilled” prophecies are not sufficient for credibility by themselves. I looked around your site and found no evidence of what you believe about Jesus or God. The gift of prophecy isn’t enough. You have to preach the truth as well (see Deuteronomy 13:1-5 and Matthew 7:21-23.

    How about you share what you teach about Jesus and give us something else to go on as well.

  12. A true prophet NEVER gets it wrong.

    Our Lord has been revealed to us and has accomplished all for us. The Bible tells us all we NEED to know.

    There is absolutely NO NEED for any more prophets. And that is why there are none.

  13. Witness

    The postings all have dates and these are visible as tabs to the left of the post (the blog template resembles a notebook). Some browsers like Safari for some reason trim off the tabs however. Try a different browser or you can click on the date in the calendar archive (far right column) for Feb 26th and view the entry. The prediction was recorded on 2/26/2011 at 17:29 (5:29 P.M.) The Truth will follow shortly. Sometimes the Truth can be more frightening than we can imagine.

  14. Witness

    and for the record….I am not a prophet. Prophets speak for God. The lord does not tell me to speak. I speak to enlighten.Since we are quoting Deuteronomy 18:19 says, “If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account.”
    I am not a prophet.

  15. Which is it then witness? First you say you aren’t a prophet then you quote a passage saying that people should listen. Your reference isn’t even relevant in this case.

    The prophet referenced in Dt. 18:19 is a very specific case. That prophecy points to Jesus (see Matthew 17:5 and John 17:6-8). Jesus was God in the flesh and spoke directly in His Father’s name. He is the only one this refers to.

    Again, I ask you to tell us what you teach regarding Jesus. (I will try a different browser, because I can only see part of the tabs on your site using Firefox)

  16. Witness

    Isaiah 48:3 I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did [them] suddenly, and they came to pass.

  17. Witness,
    I have gone back and placed your previous comments in moderation. If you will answer my questions, I will bring them back out to the site. Prophecy is worthless(even correct ones) if the prophets message contradicts what God has revealed about Himself, so please answer this.

    What do you believe regarding Jesus Christ? What do you believe about God? Speak now or forever hold your peace on this site at least.

  18. Witness

    In answer to your question:

    “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
    —1 John 5:11-12
    This is the third time I am coming to you and the last.
    You ask me repeatedly to attest to my beliefs.
    Am I now seeking the approval of a man, or of God?
    I exist at the pleasure of God and it is only to he that I need answer to. I do not care if you dismiss me so callously. So I depart from your eyes with these words:
    I am just a voice in the wind. The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you don’t know where the wind comes from or where it’s going. That’s the way it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

  19. You apparently quote Scripture to suit your own purposes. For you should also know that John states:

    1Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.
    – 1 John 4:1-3

    I thank you for answering my question. We could have saved a lot of time if you would have done so the first time I asked. If you call giving you three chances to answer a simple question about Jesus callous dismissal, I don’t know what else to tell you.

  20. In 1992, brother Harold Camping published a book entitled 1994? (the question mark was actually part of the title), in which he theorized that the Rapture might occur in September, 1994. In that publication, he also mentioned that 2011 could be the Rapture. This last fact, that brother Camping in 1992 referenced 2011 as the possible time of the Rapture, is generally (and either ignorantly or dishonestly) not mentioned by his numerous detractors.
    These same detractors when repeating, almost mantra-like, the “no man knows” part of certain scriptures, also, invariably (through ignorance or dishonesty), fail to point out the other pertinent parts (as it pertains to the ability of people to know critical dates of the end times) of those scriptures. I would humbly invite the reader to consult brother Camping’s research at familyradio.com and investigate it for yourself. Or my blog http://whymay212011matters.blogspot.com/
    might be an interesting read as well.
    Far better to just say that you dislike brother Camping, his followers, etc. on principle rather than trying to justify it through an ignorant, lazy, or dishonest “analysis” of his work.

  21. Mike, if Camping is wrong again, will you admit that he is a false teacher?

    And, if he gets this wrong, what other parts of his teaching are wrong?

    That would certainly be a legitimate question.

  22. Mike,
    Perhaps you would like to reread the post as you seem to have completely missed most of it. I didn’t say I dislike Camping or his followers and I would argue that my effort is far from ignorant, lazy or dishonest. I am not swayed one way or the other by the fact that he “hedged his bets” back in the 90s. I have taken the time to point out why his “infallible” calculations are based on faulty data and reasoning. If you want to start playing numbers games with the Bible, you would do well to stick with the numbers that are truly viewed as important and appear often, not those that are gleaned from obscure reference and numerical gymnastics.

    The other reason that I know you didn’t read what I wrote is that you failed to take careful note of how I dealt with the issue of “no one knows.” I am of the opinion that those who are watchful should indeed know times and seasons as God has been faithful to His appointed times throughout history. It is yet another weakness of the May 21st date. It does not correspond to any of God’s appointed times.

    If you would like to make specific claims as to errors in my logic or arguments, please do so. To simply wave your hand and call it lazy or ignorant is not an argument. Prove it.

  23. Mike,
    If you should bother to stop back by again, I wanted to mention that I took the liberty of perusing the PDF book that you have linked up at your site. It is a shameful mix of truth and error, including near Gnostic type “hidden knowledge” falsehoods, a confusion of the Gregorian dates with God’s appointed times, and outright denials of revealed biblical information.

    This rampant psedo-numerology is patently unScriptural. Claiming that the “great tribulation” is actually 8600 days because of some uncovered revelation is twisting God’s Word and adding to it. Come May 22nd, let me encourage to seek God as He has revealed Himself in His Word, without the filter of a man who claims “special insight” and previously unknown keys to knowledge.

    By the way, that is several specific points of disagreement for you to deal with if you wish to challenge them or offer proof contrary to my position. I will certainly discuss it with you.

  24. For all of those who may have been sucked in by this false prophet, let me encourage you to seek the Way the Truth and the Life, Jesus Christ. I am praying for you to see the truth as it is revealed by Him and through His Word and not the speculations of man.

  25. Pingback: Harold Camping -Twice Bitten and Still Not Shy « Jeofurry's Jesus Journey

  26. Pingback: Thanks Dad: I Notice Numbers « Jeofurry's Jesus Journey

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