Harold Camping: Oops, I did it Again!

Here is a great article by Mike Oppenheimer of Let Us Reason Ministries.  Thanks to good friend Bud Press of Christian Research Service for sending this to me.

Oops I did it Again

Let’s imagine that it’s the year 1994 and someone named Harold Camping of Family Radio says he knows the day of Jesus return somewhere between September 15-17. And he gets it wrong, would you listen to him the next day for a new date?

Camping said Sept. 6 1994 would end the tribulation period – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OT0Y2lxe00I

Well its now 16 years later, and at the age of 89  he has predicted May 21, 2011 and many are listening to him instead of a real prophet – 2 Peter 2:1: “But there were also false prophets among the people.”

With Billboards, signs on cars, on Internet sites, on the radio and TV  many are putting stock in Camping’s proclamation.

Harold Camping’s prediction for May 21 is more than a foolish prediction. Using allegorical mathematic equations from the Bible (some call numerology) he has made his calculation of the day. Camping believes that what he has been doing for many years is biblical.

Well I’m not going to bore you with a refute of all his “Bible mathematics” and conclusions, but only go back to his original 1994 prediction. Camping interpreted John 21:1-14 with his 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 repre­sent about 2,000 years between the first and second comings of Christ. On the next page of his book he explains, “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, 1994).

Some say: just because he was wrong then does not mean he will be wrong again. Really?
Camping believed the time of the Great Tribulation started in 1988 and lasted from May 21, 1988 to September 7, 1994 or 2300 days. That no one could be saved anywhere in the world during this period. The church age ended. How many of you have been saved after 1994?

I say; with Bible teaching like this when can he EVER be right?

Camping refers to Amos 3:7; insinuating he is a prophet. Well there are two kinds of prophets, usually when one is found wrong they are not consulted as a true prophet. Only those with the spirit of error adhere to false prophets.

He has been wrong before and did not repent of his date and yet people still want him to be right. You see that by setting a new date shows no repentance…

Camping is bringing shame to the true church, he is making a mockery of Christ’s statements and allowing us to be the target of ridicule by unbelievers.  This should at least make the remnant that is aware of false prophets and teachers pause, in a moment of soberness understand the harm this all brings to the cause of the gospel.

How many others spoke of knowing the time in some way and were wrong. A quick refresher of some of the more infamous ones:

William Miller of the 7th day Adventists Elder White, their leader, engaged in preaching three different set times for the Lord to come:1843, 1844, 1845: “I found myself happy in the faith that Christ would come about the year 1843” (Life Incidents, p.72).

Then of 1844, he says: “I stated my conviction that Christ would come on the tenth day of the seventh Jewish month of that year [1844].” pp. 166, 167).

“It is well known that many were expecting the Lord to come at the seventh month, 1845. That Christ would then come we firmly believed. A few days before the time passed, I was at Fairhaven and Dartmouth, Mass., with a message on this point of time.” (‘A Word to the Little Flock,’ by James White, p. 22.)

Prophetess Mrs. White had 1843 and 1844. She says: “With carefulness and trembling we approached the time when our Saviour was expected to appear.” Then she tells her disappointment. (Testimonies, Vol. 1, p. 48. and: “Our hopes now centered on the coming of the Lord in 1844.” (p. 53.)

Not since William Miller and the Millerite’s climbing up a hill waiting for the rapture have we had such scandalous publicity.

Continue reading…

27 thoughts on “Harold Camping: Oops, I did it Again!

  1. shane1977m

    Looks like nothing happened. At least not while I am typing this. Perhaps it could start at a later timezone.

  2. SirDent

    Just another false prophet out for fame and fortune. The desire for wealth and popularity is one of the biggest problems facing believers in this day and time. Too much Hollywood and TV. We should stick to the Word of God and stop allowing the devil to control what we do.

    On a light note, I have been trying to get in touch with Mr. Camping and see if I could get him to send me all his money, keys and titles to his automobiles and deeds to his properties before he is raptured away. Does anyone have his cell#?

  3. ray

    With regard to the Millerites, out of the confusion and dissappointment that ensued from that mess , we now have the SDA movement. I hesitate to call them a denomination because their theology is based solely on the compounding of one error into another and another. What Camping is doing is no less disgraceful , and this will certainly leave ” his ” followers with the same sort of confusion. If there is moral to this saga , it would be to follow Christ alone.Far less likely to be disappointed that way.

  4. Rev's Kate & Rich M.

    Well, today is the day!

    I have seen his recent interview and he stands firmly, let’s say stubbornly, by his conviction that we will be obliterated today at 6:00 PM–still–in what the heck time zone, I have no flippin’ idea.

    Australia, NZ and the Pacific Islands still seem to be doing pretty good, business as usual–Kiwi, whtat’s going on–you still here?!

    That’s the crazy thing, Jesus is making a return at 6:00 in what part of the world?
    It’s already 6:00 somewhere. It does not make any sense. Maybe I just don’t get it.

    It’s as if Jesus Christ the Supreme God and Creator, He, the King of the universe has to follow ridiculously arduous global appearances scheduled by foolhardy human marketing and production crews giving Him the cue to, “Okay Jesus, on three– fix that stray hair there and look into the camera–make sure you follow the teleprompter and smile–three, two, one–lights, camera, action! Good job, Jesus, now get ready for the Siberia appearance… oh, do you need a jacket?! Get Him some hot chocolate.” Preposterous.

    Camping has become annoying–I do not think he is amusing any longer.

    I have had enough! K

  5. Tim

    I wonder how many more people will become athiests on May 22 because of the foolishness of Harold .

  6. Valerie

    Thank you for posting this. I just saw it this morning or would have commented earlier. I can’t imagine that anyone would follow Camping or any other self proclaimed Prophet!! And yet, although nothing happened, I am certian that he will still have his loyal followers because they don’t have security in their own relationship with Christ. They must ‘follow’ someone, do as he says and surely this will get them into Heaven. So sad!

  7. Carolyn

    As I was watching one adamant follower of Harold Camping this morning saying with complete dogmatic trust that the rapture would still happen today, I thought of the small phrase…”to suit their own desires”.
    2 Timothy 4:3
For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
    We all have to watch that in our own lives because we are prone to wish and believe things the way we want them and not how they actually are…scripturally founded, well rounded and prophetically grounded. If we would all follow the rule of context, context, context, we would eliminate a great deal of dogmatic “isms” and many false teachings that cloud our view of Christ and his very clear and simple gospel recorded for all to read and understand. The trouble I see, is that we just don’t read it or we read it selectively.

  8. Rev's Kate & Rich M.

    You know, my dear sisters and brothers, deep down within the dark parts of our souls, at least I know I feel this at times–just a quick thought: we may sift through all our fears and insecurities; in those hidden nooks and crannies; those deep, cold wells of unresolved junk that comes to the surface at times such as these… our fears of death, our fears of the unknown–todays fiasco… maybe not… we must remember there is a perfect Father, a loving, caring and protective Creator who gave His perfect son, Jesus, in whom we can trust to lead our lives–as a lamp unto our feet.

    What’s my point? Really, all I can say is, I am so sorry there will be some people left scarred, or touched, whatever, today and for a long time. Some will remember this event with a sigh of great relief as they did not have to answer…not yet; they, still with no idea that one day we all will see Him coming from the heavens–no one will miss His arrival and every knee shall bow; there is no escape from the inevitable.

    What Satan has meant for evil, our God will turn it for His Glory. Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound. God will use this day to His glory and I do believe a seed has been planted, a good seed which will reap great rewards.

    So let us keep proclaiming the word of the Lord, tirelessly and with greater zeal now, intelligently and with dignity and prepare for His imminent return!

    God bless you all, K

  9. Ruitje

    I saw on the Dutch television a newsreport last week about Harold Camping and his statement that May 21 2011 would be Judgementday. In the report they followed a young couple with one child and the mother was pregnant of a second baby. They quit their jobs and believed all Camping was saying. But they worried about the unborn child. Would it also be cought up in heaven? Camping said that the baby would not go with them to heaven because it was not born yet and had not heard the word of God. I felt so sorry for these parents. They were so sad about what Camping told them. And they still believed his statement that May 21 would be the day the rapture would take place.

    I felt sorry for this couple, but I am angry towards Camping. He is a false prophet destroying people’s lives. He will be judged by God.

    This is what happens when people don’t read the Bible and they don’t test the spirits.

  10. Ruitje

    By the way, I have read somewhere that Family Radio has 18 million dollars in store… Why would they have so much money when they could not use it after May 21?

    May be Camping knew it was a false message. May be he took a plane to a tropical island to stay there for the rest of his life living in luxury.

  11. Daffydil

    Out of the total falseness and ridiculous ideology of this whole non-event, there evolved a financial scam that is actually honest, albeit sad from a spiritual point of view. There are online companies advertising care for “your precious earthbound pets” of those who are fortunate enough to be raptured away. For a fee (some are reasonable, some outrageous), committed atheists promise to take care of pets that are “left behind”. The saddest part of this, as with any well organized scam, people have given their money to these “companies”. But if they are already following the clown of the day, like this Camping dude…….well, there’s an old saying – thought it was in the Bible (you know, God’s Holy Word), but I can’t find it. “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

  12. Doug

    We discussed this in church tonight, covering some of the same information. Those who were misled by Camping who are true Christians have just learned an important lesson about following false teachers. Many will learn from this and I am hoping will pray, asking God for discernment. That is positive.

  13. Truthinator

    Stay away from anyone who attaches a date to future things. That should have been enough of a clue for anyone with reasonably good sense to avoid Camping. I have done very little research of Camping for the above stated reason. The little reading I did made me all the more sad. This man is misguided and has been for a long, long time.

    What I am also disappointed with are the what I call “rabidly reformed” people who are crying out that Camping’s lunacy disputes dispensationalism. Camping’s teachings that I have read do not represent dispensationalism at all. As a matter of fact, Camping apparently spent a great nuimber of years in reformed churches if what I read was true.

    Also, I do not recall Camping claiming the Rapture was due on May 21. He proclaimed Judgment Day. Not the same. Reformed “exegetes” should know the difference. I suggest some study for those basement bloggers whose “Alice in Wonderland” approach to eschatology & Israel look more like Campingites than Biblicists.

    Off the soapbox now. Thanks for listening. Peace.

    Uncle Truthy

  14. Sean

    Scriptures have stated emphatically and repeatedly that the day and the hour are unknown. As Camping studied the Bible, he should have read the words as well as look at the numbers.

    His failure to predict this is just another validation of the truth of the Bible.

  15. Carolyn

    Truthinator – I agree with you. If you are going to defend or refute something, I guess you should know something about it. I prefer to not defend myself or my theories but rather the Word of God.

    There was a post (can’t find it right now) where someone said that their pastor told them we should glean what we can from false teachers. Emphatically, I would have to disagree with this, as this “gleaning” is the ultimate in disrespect for the Lord’s uncompromising gospel. That we are asked or told to “chew the meat and spit out the bones” another fallacious compromising, toleration of evil doctrine…

    We are not here to command respect for ourselves…but we are here to command respect for the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. They can be without compromise.

    The WOF doctrines, for example, of people with great personalities, being discussed lately re Paula White and Joyce Meyer, no matter what else they have to offer…if their doctrines do not agree with Scripture are to be rejected and the Word tells us to have nothing more to do with them…not to show them respect and tolerance.

    Here are a couple of WOF doctrines that to me are intolerable…that Christ’s work was not finished on the cross as he said, but in hell. Wrong. It was finished on the cross. Another one is that we have the Christ consciousness…now any way you say that…”we are all gods” “I am God” “we are little gods” “I am as much God as Christ is God”… all fictitious nonsense and to be rejected. One more of their blatant false teachings…seed faith…give to get God’s blessing. That’s pagan ideology and only leads one way…away from the truth of God’s word.

    We cannot reconcile truth with error. It is one or the other. And God calls us to make a choice not a compromise. We choose whom we will serve…
    Joshua 24:15
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

  16. Rev's Kate & Rich M.

    Hope all you folks who have experienced the traumatic tornado in Joplin, MO are doing well; it was a terrible Fujita 4.

    Call in and let us know how you people are doing? Our prayers and support are with you.

    Much love,

  17. stan

    An unrepentant Harold Camping restated his prediction in light of his failure and re-characterized the judgment as “spiritual.” He did just what William Miller did in 1844 and the Millerites/Adventists did. Deja Vu, all over again. To quote Charlie Brown, Good Grief!

    “Harold Camping unapologetic, spins new doomsday date

    May 23, 2011 10:29 PM EDT

    An unrepentant Harold Camping took to the airwaves Monday night reasserting his beliefs in the end of the world, saying that judgment did come down on Saturday, and gave yet another prediction for the end of the world.

    Speaking on his Open forum radio show from California, Camping, who publically predicted the end of the world was to come this past Saturday, defended his claims despite the events not happening.

    “The timing, the structures, the proofs, none of that has changed at all,” Camping said. Reiterating his numerology he used to determine the date, he says judgment day did come, but “it was spiritual.”

    “On May 21 this last weekend…God again brought Judgment on the world…We didn’t feel any difference,” he says, “but we know that God brought Judgment” on the world. “The whole world is under Judgment.””

    Continued here: http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/150674/20110523/harold-camping-unapologetic-as-he-spins-new-doomsday-date.htm

  18. Ruitje

    I heard this morning that Camping said that he made a little mistake: Judgementday will be on October 21 2011. I heard that he did not feel sorry for all those people who quit their job and sold their houses. This man is crazy, he is dangerous and he is not a christian at all. It is demonic.

    I get very angry when I hear him spreading lies again. Can no one stop this man? May be only God can.

  19. Doug

    The update today is that Camping says that a spiritual rapture happened Saturday, and the earth will be destroyed in October. My question is, if this is true, where will Christ reign for a thousand years before the creation of a new heaven and earth?
    Also, does the ‘spiritual rapture’ mean that our bodies are now zombified? We are walking round without our spirits-shouldn’t we have noticed the difference?

  20. ian vincent

    Now there’s calls for legal action against Camping.

    Right on cue.

    Free speech will be increasingly restricted, thanks to these jokers.

    I saw on WND they referred to Camping’s prediction as the publishing of “wrong information”.

    “Information” ???

    Setting a date for the end of the world does not qualify as “information”, period.

    Imagine if someone were preaching the tooth fairy, and they were prosecuted for spreading “wrong information”?

    A secular society would not be able to justly prosecute Camping for anythng. I can’t see he’s broken any law.

    The irony is that Camping is probably less of a fraud than many of the stars of christendom. He’s certainly less fraudulent than the Roman Catholic Church, Mormons, JWs etc.. Who’s gonna take legal action against them, for all the lives they have destroyed?

    If they want to prosecute Camping, let them also prosecute Islam. Who has murdered more people?


  21. Kiwi Dave

    @ Bud Press “Camping is bringing shame to the true church, he is making a mockery of Christ’s statements and allowing us to be the target of ridicule by unbelievers. This should at least make the remnant that is aware of false prophets and teachers pause, in a moment of soberness understand the harm this all brings to the cause of the gospel.”

    This is a fulfilment of scripture as it is written:

    “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. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” II Peter 3:3 – 7 KJV

    “But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.” Jude 17 – 19 KJV

  22. Kiwi Dave

    @ Stan, that article while sad, was written by a New Age proponent that is pushing the 2012 “end of the world”. There’s also a group of Jewish Extremists living in Russia and that are believers that the world will end on December 23rd 2012.

    @Kate, yep I’m still here as are all the rest of us. Harol Camping was interviewed live on the NZ television on TV1’s current affairs program “Close-Up” :

    before May 21st:




  23. ed

    Camping is a disgrace to the Christian church. He has single handedly swayed many non-believers even further away from knowing the truth. And because of this he will have to answer to the Lord for deceiving many and making a mockery of Jesus Christ to the world at large. For us Christians, this doesn’t effect us at all, for we knew before hand that his perdiction was false. But for those who have yet to accept the Lord, this is a tragedy and it will take many Christians a very long time (if God tarries) to try and undo the damage this man has caused. May Camping see his error and come back to the Lord.

  24. Rev's Kate & Rich M.

    Hi Guys! Okay–very cool responses.

    Umm, saw “Mr. Wonderful”, Harold Camping the other night, yikes!

    I have the urge to go through the TV and pull him by his necktie right out of that TV!

    I think it’s time for Mr. C to retire and take Psalms 23 as a personal hint, “… He makes me comfortable and to lie down in green pastures…”; give it a rest Harry, will ya already! K :)

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