Photo in New Orleans by Bart Everson from Wikipedia
While this page tends to focus more on those once affiliated with the Church of God, there are some other religious leaders that can impact it. One of those may be Harold Camping.
According to Harold Camping, Jesus will return on Pentecost May 21, 2011 and the world will end on October 21, 2011. So, based on his proclamations, the world has about six month to exist. Of course, that is not possible, so in a couple of days, his remaining followers will again see that his prediction was wrong (like they did about his predictions for 1994).
Here are some of the predictions Harold Camping wrote in his We are Almost There! book:
The church age embraced, to the very day, exactly 1,955 years in that it began on Pentecost day, May 22, A.D. 33, and ended the day before Pentecost on May 21, 1988 (A.D.). (p. 29)
As we have noted, God further solidifies or locks in this date, May 21, 2011, by placing the day of shutting the door, when the rapture will occur, on the 17th day of the second month of the Biblical calendar. Significantly, the number 17 links perfectly to the fact of the rapture because spiritually, the number 17 signifies heaven. Moreover, the number 2 (second month) spiritually identifies with those who have been commissioned to bring the Gospel. Is it not amazing that they will be raptured on the 17th day of the second month? Is that coincidental? We also have learned that the last day of the earth’s existence, October 21, 2011, is the 23rd day of the seventh month of the Biblical calendar. The number 23 normally signifies God’s wrath being poured out. The number 7 (seventh month) signifies the perfect fulfillment of God’s purposes. Could this also be coincidental, that the final completion of God’s punishment on the unsaved occurs in the seventh month on a day that features the number 23, which is a number that completely identifies with God’s wrath, thus signifying God’s perfect wrath on the unsaved? (p. 61-62)
Now what is all that based upon?
In my view, his own private interpretations and imaginations.
Many of the events Jesus and the prophets spoke of are still for the future (cf. Daniel 7,9, 11:31-44; Luke 21; Mark 13). Notice something that Jesus said:
31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)
The truth is that the events Jesus said must happen have not happened (cf. Matthew 24:15-22, 29-35) and not all of them can for some time.
Yet, the Family Radio website states:
MAY 21, 2011
THE BIBLE GUARANTEES IT!
Claiming that the Bible allegedly guarantees that May 21, 2011 is THE Judgment Day, reminded me of the following scripture concerning the “handwriting on the wall”:
24 Then the fingers of the hand were sent from Him, and this writing was written.
25 “And this is the inscription that was written:
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
26 This is the interpretation of each word. Mene: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; 27 Tekel: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; 28 Peres: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” 29 Then Belshazzar gave the command, and they clothed Daniel with purple and put a chain of gold around his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom. (Daniel 5:24-29, NKJV)
While May 21, 2011 is not THE biblical Judgment Day, in a sense it will be a judgment day against the supporters of that date. Notice how I believe that May 21, 2011 supporters should view the “handwriting on the wall”:
Mene: God has allowed you to number your foolishness.
Mene: Within days your May 21, 2011 date is finished.
Tekel: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting.
Peres: Your group will likely become divided.
We in the Living Church of God believe:
19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (2 Peter 1:19-20, KJV)
Now, Peter is warning that unlike improper human reasoning, prophetic scriptures were not private interpretations. May, 21, 2011 and many of the numbers that have been associated with it are not biblical prophecies, but improper private interpretations of scripture.
While we in believe that we have “a more sure word of prophecy”, it is because we believe that many prophetic scriptures are literal and should often be understood that way. Sadly, those into their own private interpretations, and misunderstand the Bible and the Holy Days, have another view.
Of course, Harold Camping claims that May 21, 2011 is Pentecost. Yet, PENTECOST IS ON JUNE 12, in 2011 AND NOT MAY 21 this year (see Holy Day Calendar). Harold Camping does not even understand what Pentecost is all about (to learn more, see Pentecost: Is it more than Acts 2?).
Because he prefers his own imaginations to the truth of the Bible, Harold Camping seems to load one misleading calculation onto other misleading information to get to the wrong answer. He should not be listened to by those that actually believe the Bible. The heavenly signs in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 have not happened, and they must happen first according to Jesus before He can return.
So why cover Harold Camping?
A couple of reasons.
It remains my view that when Jesus does not come on May 21, 2011, hopefully the warnings to his followers will finally sink in. And some may remember that Jesus said,
11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. (Matthew 24:11)
The iniquity of false prophets such as Harold Camping, Ronald Weinland (who still claims that Jesus will come on May 27, 2012, and others will turn various people off about prophecy–and that is one reason that I feel it is better to denounce them in advance–this type of denunciation shows that those who actually rely on biblical prophecy do not have to be deceived by false ones who simply only claim to (cf. Matthew 24:24).
Despite false predictions, Jesus will return. And we are to look forward to His return as the Apostle Peter wrote. Jesus will return no earlier than 2018 (and likely later) as certain biblically-required steps have not yet happened (Daniel 9:27; cf. Matthew 24:15,21,29-30).
When God’s true servants proclaim the truth about prophetic events, people are likely to point to false predictions (supposedly, but not really, from the Bible) and scoff, though God still wants people to repent (2 Peter 3:3-9). This scoffing is one of the dangers of the May 21, 2011 date that will soon be proven false.
Those who are interested in the truth about Harold Camping, Ronald Weinland (who also claims to be one of the two witnesses), Mayan prophecies, and when the Bible shows that Jesus can return, may wish to study the following articles:
Harold Camping’s Teachings About the End of the World Do Not Agree with the Bible Harold Camping teaches that the rapture will be on May 21, 2011 and the world will end on October 21, 2011. What does the Bible show?
What is the Appropriate Form of Biblical Interpretation? Should the Bible be literally understood? What do the writings of the Bible, Origen, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Augustine show?
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them.
Concerns About Ronald Weinland’s Church of God-Preparing for the Kingdom of God Ronald Weinland falsely claims to be one of the two witnesses God is raising up and that the end will come in 2008 (first April 17th, then June 2008, now December 14, 2008). Why does the Bible show that Ron Weinland is a false prophet? He also has at least one other view that suggests that he is not part of the Church of God.
Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2011, 2012, or 2013? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord?
End of Mayan Calendar 2012–Might 2012 Mean Something? Are there Mayan calendar predictions for change in 2012? Changes were centuries ago predicted by the Hopi Native Americans. Do Mayan/Hindu/Hopi/Buddhist/New Age/Nostradamus prophecies have any value here? Why might Satan have inspired this date? Does the Dresden codex show destruction of the earth by flood? Can the great tribulation start before 2012? How might the next pope be involved in 2012?
Who Are The Two Witnesses? What is their job? What does the Bible reveal? What has the Church of God taught on this subject? Might even Roman Catholic prophecies give some clues here?