29 Apr

Perhaps you’ve seen a billboard like this around your town.  Harold Camping, Bible teacher and owner of 55 Family Radio stations, believes that he has mathematically figured out when the end of the world is going to take place.

Camping had made an earlier effort at predicting the Second Coming in his book 1994?  Pastor Stephen C. Meyers reviewed 1994? and says:

In his book 1994? Harold Camping states the end of the world may occur this year, somewhere between September 15-17 (p. 531). He does not know the exact day because Scripture says “no man knows the day nor the hour” (Matt. 24:36). But according to Camping we can certainly know the month and the year that Christ will return.

 The main glue that holds Camping’s book together is numerology: that part of ancient mysticism that endeavors to find hidden truths locked in literal termi­nology through numbers. Mystical num bers are the keys that allegedly unlock the hidden truths concealed in literal language. The basic theory this system operates on is that God created a perfect world and a perfect word (the Bible) which exhibit precise numerical and symmetrical design.

 Camping’s interpretation of John 21:1-14 displays his use of numerology. Jesus tells the disciples who were about 200 cubits out in the Sea of Galilee to throw their net on the right side of the boat. The result was a catch of 153 fish. According to Camping the Scriptures are teaching that the 200 cubits repre sent about 2,000 years between the first and second comings of Christ (p. 503). Since Camping states that the most likely date for the birth of Christ is October 4, 7 B.C. when the Jubilee Trumpet allegedly sounded (p. 418), one needs only to add 2,000 years minus one year for the year 0 and out pops 1994. Concerning the 153 fish, Camping points out that 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 can learn that [the] purpose of God is to bring all believers that are caught’ by the Gospel into heaven” (p. 504). Would it not be hermeneutically better to go to Matthew 24 where Jesus clearly teaches about the end of the age instead of trying to mystically find hidden secrets behind clear narrative prose?

Camping was wrong in 1994 and is most likely wrong about May 21, 2011.  I sure hope so.  My daughter celebrates her one-year wedding anniversary on May 22nd, and we’re looking forward to our second grandchild to be born in August.  We’ll blog more on this topic in the coming days — including 88 Reasons Why Jesus Will Return in 1988!

Discussion Questions:  Why is date-setting such a seriously misguided venture?  How should the worldwide Body of Christ respond to people like Camping? 


Posted by on April 29, 2011 in endtimes, Theological Essay


Tags: , ,

13 responses to “MAY 21, 2011 COUNTDOWN ALA HAROLD CAMPING

  1. thepaintedman

    May 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm

  2. george

    May 16, 2011 at 4:14 am

    It seems as if another group has entered the billboard wars in Camping’s/Family Radio’s back yard of Oakland, CA. They are disputing Camping’s claims with a compelling message of “Jesus is already here.” Here’s the billboard photo:

    One Tree Hill

    • Brian Smith

      September 12, 2011 at 10:10 pm

      Jesus warned us that some would say Jesus has retund even though He has not.

      Matthew 24:24-28 (Darby)
      24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall give great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.
      25 Behold, I have told you beforehand.
      26 If therefore they say to you, Behold, he is in the desert, go not forth; behold, [he is] in the inner chambers, do not believe [it].
      27 For as the lightning goes forth from the east and shines to the west, so shall be the coming of the Son of man.
      28 [For] wherever the carcase is, there will be gathered the eagles.

  3. Parch

    May 17, 2011 at 11:44 am

    “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition-2 Thessalonians 2:3” How many people around the world are going to deny Christ when this doesn’t happen? How many new’s anchors, t.v. hosts, comedians, athiests, and non-believers in general are going to hack down Christianity and run Jesus’ name through the mud when this doesn’t happen on May 21st? I would love to believe that this will be the day that my Savior comes back, but my heart says we still have time to see many people saved. Pay attention int he coming days. When May 21st passes and nothing happens you are going to see who the true Christians are and those who are just onthe bandwagon. You will see the verbal and physical persecution spoken about by Jesus. And then… It that great day won’t be far… He that hath an ear let him hear… God Bless!

  4. Tiff

    May 18, 2011 at 6:47 am

    I believe god will come when hes ready not when man is ready. All i can say is , always be ready.

  5. Anonymous

    May 19, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Jesus return is only known by the father God.
    God Bless.

  6. Nate

    May 20, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I believe that we should all respect Harold Camping if he is wrong because not everyone is perfect. And as for May 21st, I’m not so sure if it will happen.
    Lets let God decide when he will come.

  7. Bruce David Bell

    May 20, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    God has given us His roadmap to the future.
    it is found in detail in the Book of revelation.
    For a verse by verse account of how rhis will unfold,
    please visit our website at
    Click “sermons”
    in the “Audion Library” you willl find thirty-nine messages that give us the story

  8. dustin

    May 21, 2011 at 11:15 am

    let GOD be true and every man a liar

  9. BIG

    May 22, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Well, it’s 6:33pm CST! We’ll see if it happens in MST or PST… What do you think???

  10. JoMi

    May 22, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    It’s MAY 22, 2011… And, nothing happened! Where’s Mr. Harold Camping now?! =P

    • YoPo

      May 24, 2011 at 6:41 am

      Well, he might be there hidden in a basement waiting for a divine sign advising to return to the ‘outside’ world. hehe


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