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Why Harold Camping was wrong and why the rapture did not occur May 21st 2011
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Why Harold Camping was wrong and why the rapture did not occur May 21st 2011

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As May 21st, 2011 came and went thousands hung their heads in disappointment and shame. While some Christians reached out to those disappointed by the claims of Mr. Camping many so-called Christians railed against Mr. Camping with rage making statements such as “I hope he burns in hell forever” instead of praying for his salvation.

While I believe Harold Egbert Camping was a very sincere man (based on his interviews and his statements I must give him that benefit of the doubt) he was sincerely mistaken in his views. Not because looking back we can see it didn’t happen but because the Bible said it wouldn’t happen. His views of interpreting the Bible were based on his own ideas and had no true foundation in scripture although he held this to be “super important” to him. In this article I will explain why I knew May 21st 2011 was not the date, not because I am smarter than anyone else but because my Bible told me it wasn’t.

How I knew that May 21st, 2011 would not be the rapture, end of the world or Jesus coming…
The Bible states in very plain language that only God knows the time.

Mark 13:32 says:

“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”

Harold Camping interpreted this verse as the son being the son of perdition… the angels of heaven as being Satan’s angels (what they are doing in heaven still I am not sure) – which leaves only the father… would that not make him the father of perdition?  As I write this I want to make it clear my comments are not jests or jabs or ridicule. And I hope that as you read this you don’t get that impression, I take this very seriously.

So he takes a verse that is clearly saying that at the very least humans do not know the day or hour and he twists it into saying that the son of perdition and Satan’s angels do not know…. like that would be in question.

This is one example of his use of interpretation that the Bible does not condone. The Bible says clearly in 2 Peter 1:20:

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”

This means that I must let the Bible interpret itself. Thousands of Pastors and teachers and theologians make lengthy, eloquent and admittedly very convincing arguments based on what they claim are scriptural points but many times their views are conformed to a preconceived idea.  That is why Peter admonished in Acts 5:29 “We ought to obey God rather than men” – had Harold Campings followers studying his views out with an intent to know Bible truth they would not have been deceived but they did not. They took his “complicated” mathematical claims as fact and assumed he knew what he was talking about. Brothers and Sisters let me tell you something… the Bible is simple enough for the plow boy to understand as William Tyndale said.

God did not set Harold Camping up as a prophet…
While the man never claimed this title and while I made fun of sects that claimed to have a prophet he himself in so many words does show that he sees himself as a prophet. He stats in his book that the canon of scripture is closed… yet he then states to the effect of a revelation a “third time” the second and first being the new and old testaments respectively. He also speaks of his preaching as new Revelation… that God has “blinded” people to henceforth.

He also believes/believed that during the whole church age little to noone would be saved…
This means that up until 1980 something and I forget this exact date… there were very few people saved. This is terrible ignorance to the many millions of martyrs who died for their love of the word of God. Martyrs that Revelation speaks of. He bases his view on the fact that the Bible says there will be much joy in heaven over one sinner that rejoiceth… he then goes to the Seventh seal in Revelation 8:1 and applies this to the church age.  While I believe that there have been throughout time many who claimed the name of Christ who have been false, to blatantly state that throughout the whole church period (roughly the forming of the Christian church, apostles, to about 20-30 years ago) that very few were saved is a very bold and in my opinion ignorant claim.

His next claim is that God chooses who will be saved… yet he also states that during this period of “probation”, 5 months after May 21st something like 200,000,000 will be saved… a bit odd don’t you think? Whats odd is that Revelation 9:16, the Sixth trumpet, the number of the evil side is 200,000,000. Now to be fair I did not actually read where he said in his book 200,000,000. I have heard it quoted on the news and blogs… so it maybe a misquote but regardless of that the fact remains their is inconsistency between  God choosing who will be saved and preaching like Noah and saying that you have to leave the “fallen churches” (btw all churches are fallen now according to Camping) to be saved.

Jesus didn’t have to come and die…
Harold Camping states in his book that Jesus died at the “foundation of the world” and that coming to this earth was basically, in my words, a show to let everyone know he had already died. First of all the Bible says in Revelation 13:8

“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”

2 Corinthians 5:21 teaches:

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”


Hebrews 9:26 explains what Revelation 13:8 means:

“For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.”


Hebrews 9:16

“For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.”

Brothers and sisters Jesus had to die… had He not come and died you would be eternally lost. Without Jesus blood you cannot be saved. This idea that Jesus died at the foundation of the world is in error… Jesus didn’t die then… the plan of salvation was started then and Jesus knew at that time He would someday die.

2 Peter 3:3-4 says:

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”

This is my fear that Harold Camping’s unbiblical teaching will bring disrepute to the Christian world… to those who truly do follow the Bible as it reads and not as man interprets. But it does comfort me to know that the Bible predicted the end of Harold Camping’s teachings. “scoffers… walking after their own lusts… saying where is the promise of his coming”

Atheist and skeptic blogs are ridiculing not only Camping but Christ as if Christ failed yesterday when in reality Jesus stated that no man knows the hour. both skeptics and Camping are willingly ignorant of this fact.

My admonishment to you dear reader is this… do not follow after sensations, to leaders who stand up proclaiming some new great truth and date-setting for our Lord has said they do not know and never will know. But instead study the word for yourself and learn Bible truth for yourself. The only sure way not to be deceived is to conform your WHOLE life to what the Bible says. Yes, that means everything! And while it means giving up some things they are only things that are bad for you and will do you harm.

The word of God has power… it prophesied the fall of Camping, not in name but in action. it prophesied the ridicule by the skeptics and it prophesies that Christ will truly come soon. Stay faithful, stay true, stay in His holy word.

If you have any questions or feel I have misquoted Mr. Camping feel free to let me know. God Bless!

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011 at 1:22 pm and is filed under General Bible Questions, End Times, Second Coming/Resurrection. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “Why Harold Camping was wrong and why the rapture did not occur May 21st 2011”

  1. Posted by lyla cavanaugh 22nd May, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Camping did discover the method of dating my adding the ages of all the bible people, who was a direct descendent and who was not. He should be given creedit for this new idea because it is most likely quite accurate. His dating ran aground when he miscalculated the church age as ending in 1986. Most believe the church age is the 2000 plus yrs. since Christ’s death on the cross in which gentiles and Israel is saved.

  2. Posted by Randy 22nd May, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Yeah its a wonderful mathematical discovery… the only problem is there is not one ounce of biblical backing for it… not one ounce. He bases his calculations off of invalid interpretations of numbers… for instance he says 10 = completion when in the Bible 7 always has… 7 days in creation, 7 times around jericho etc etc. He says
    5 equals atonement… where is that found? Show me that one…

    He came up with these on his own… they are not biblical. The Bible is able to be understood by anybody… God did not complicate it to the point that you would need a mathematical degree to understand it.

    His dating went invalid when he stated the church age ends… according to Revelation when the Church age ends then its done… and Jesus takes his saints home. This idea that the Church age ends is not biblical… I have asked over and over to be shown it from the bible and have yet to see it. There are 7 churches in Revelation, even Hal Lindsey a futurist believes these are symbolic of Church periods of history… there is no more after the 7th church…thats it.

    Camping did not base his calculations on some formula in the bible… he manipulated the bible into his formula. I have no ill-feelings against the man but his research is not biblical and needs to be exposed as such.

    Quoting Gary Demar:

    “Camping’s prophetic methodology is based on his own strange version of numerology. In John 21:1–14 we learn that Jesus’ disciples were about 200 cubits out from the Sea of Galilee engaged in their trade as fishermen. On this day the disciples catch 153 fish. According to Camping the Bible is teaching that the 200 cubits represent about 2,000 years between the first and second comings of Christ.[7] Since Jesus was born, according to Camping, on October 4, 7 B.C., the interpreter is to add 2,000 years minus one year for the year zero and “presto change-o,” out comes 1994! What about the 153 fish? The number 153 equals 3 times 3 times 17: “The number three signifies the purpose of God whereas the number seventeen signifies heaven. Thus we learn that [the] purpose of God is to bring all believers that are ‘caught’ by the Gospel into heaven.”[8]”

    I’m sorry, you can believe that if you want to but its bogus and its not Biblical. What biblical principle allows you to so distort a simple story as to say that the number 153 equals 3 times 3 times 17?

    It so saddens me because he was so sincere but so duped… he actually believed he had respect for the Bible yet he manipulated it like a piece of clay.

  3. Posted by lyla cavanaugh 22nd May, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I had no idea Gary Demar commented on Harold Camping. Harold thought the church age ended in 1986 because that was the year he was personally excommunicated from his church for teaching “heresy.” Harold still has interesting insights. You just have to separate the wheat from the chaff. I can’t follow his wierd numerology either.

  4. Posted by Randy 22nd May, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Sister Lyla whether or not Gary Demar comments on Harold Camping does not make the teaching true or false. Its the Bible… Harold being excommunicated by his church has absolutely no relevance to Christ’s coming. God does not base his kingdom on whether or not a church excommunicates someone. His view that the church age is expired is tainted by his experience not by his study.

    Isaiah 8:20 says “To the law and testimony… if they speak not according to this word there is NO light in them” – it doesn’t say to “eat the melon and spit out the seeds” as I have heard some people say. It says there is NO, zero, absolutely no light in them. Now this doesn’t mean that every single word they speak is a lie. It means that a Christian will not listen to anything that person says because they have proven themselves to speak in contradiction to scripture and we run the risk of being deceived by listening to anything they say.

    As I began researching Harold Campings writing I was astounded at some of his audacious statements. Some of them are literally down right blasphemous… such as Jesus did not have to come and die for our sins… he was actually killed before creation… that he is the 3rd development of the Bible… that the holy spirit no longer works in the church and has not saved anybody since apostolic times…

    Sister Lyla there is no light in this man… I pray with all my heart that he is out in some field somewhere desperately calling out to God to reveal his error and searching the bible with a desire to know truth and give up his errors… I pray this happens… but as he stands there is no light in him and we only run the risk of deception if we try and pull “wheat” from his writings… its not there. Get your wheat from the Bible, from the pure unvarnished Bible.

    God bless you and have a great week!

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