Monday, October 17, 2011

Harold Camping's Oct. 21st Date Setting - Is Date Setting Biblical?


Billboards like this one have been placed throughout the nation. Harold Camping, 90 year old nationally known radio host (Family Radio) sought to predict the exact date of the Lord’s return: May 21, 2011 which failed and NEVER came to be. Well fellow seekers, here we go again... Camping now is again predicting that the end of the world will occur this week on October 21, 2011.
"The Lord warned against foolish date-setting when He taught that no one knows the day or the hour of His return (Matt. 24:36)"

To the discerning believer, red flags are raised immediately. First red flag: The Lord warned against foolish date-setting when He taught that no one knows the day or the hour of His return (Matt. 24:36). Second red flag: The day of the rapture will not be a "judgment day" for the world. Rather it will be the day when the members of the body of Christ (the true church) will be caught up to meet their Lord in the air (1 Thess. 4:13-18). Third red flag: The world cannot end in 2011 because the millennial kingdom of 1000 years must run its course before this earth is destroyed (Revelation 20; 2 Peter 3).

"History has proven Camping wrong and it must have been a major national embarrassment to him! Why he would now want to be embarrassed a second time is hard to understand"

This is not the first time that Harold Camping has predicted the time of Christ’s return. His earlier false prophecy was that Jesus Christ would return on or between September 15, 1994, September 27, 1994 and May 21, 2011. History has proven Camping wrong and it must have been a major national embarrassment to him! Why he would now want to be embarrassed a second time is hard to understand. Camping failed to learn his lesson from his first failed prediction. How unwise to try to announce that which God has chosen not to reveal. God has not told us the time. He wants us to be ready always.

"How unwise to try to announce that which God has chosen not to reveal"

There have been many other date setters. Edgar Whisenant wrote a book entitled, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Could Be in 1988. Of course, the Lord did not come in 1988 so he presented his new theory: 89 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Take Place in 1989. Someone humorously surmised that the added reason given in the new book might be this: "Reason #89—Because He did not come in 1988." Jehovah’s Witnesses taught that the second coming of Christ took place in 1914. Other cults have likewise engaged in date-setting. --George Zeller

Is Date Setting Biblical?

By Dr. Manfred Kober

Harold Camping, owner of Family Radio Network, claims, "God has led us in these last days to discover Biblical evidence that judgment day for the unbelievers and the rapture of believers will occur on May 21, 2011." (FRN Pocket Calendar for 2009)
Hundreds of previous dates set for the return of the Lord and the end of the world were erroneous predictions uttered by false prophets. Date setting is unbiblical. Below are some reasons why it is dangerous and wrong.

1. It disregards the fact that all previous date-setting attempts were doomed to failure. Rather than repenting, most erring date setters just recalculate and recalibrate. When Edgar Whisenant s book, 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be In 88, turned out to be a false prophecy, he promptly suggested 89 reasons why the rapture would be in 1989. Camping’s publication, 1994?, failed to come true but he is now certain that the rapture will be on May 21 of this year.

2. It disobeys the injunction from Christ to refrain from unwarranted speculation. A hundred years ago, Sir Robert Anderson, chief of Criminal Investigation for Scotland Yard, and great theologian, said of date setters: "They have brought reproach on Scripture itself, and have given a stimulus to the jaunty skepticism of the day. We might have hoped that whatever else might be forgotten, the last words which the Lord Jesus spoke on earth would not be thus thrust aside: ‘It is not for you to know the times nor the seasons which the Father has put in his own power’ (Acts 1:7)...the result has been that the blessed hope of the Lord’s return has been degraded to the level of predictions of astrologers, to the confusion and grief of faithful hearts and the amusement of the world" (The Coming Prince, 11th ed., 132).

3. It delves into areas of privileged knowledge that only belongs to God. Christian psychiatrist O. Quentin Hyder warns believers, "God has not given us knowledge of the future nor the ability to obtain it. In this dispensation we are limited in knowledge but expected to live by faith. One day we shall know even as we are known. Craving for knowledge of the future is absolutely contrary to God’s will for man and therefore any attempt to obtain it is devil inspired and eventually damaging or even destructive to all who pursue it." (The Christian’s Handbook of Psychiatry [1971], 75-76).

4. It discounts the fact that even secular predictions are totally inaccurate and impossible. Who in the summer of 1989 would have predicted the collapse of the Iron Curtain on November 9 of that year? Who predicted the ouster of Egyptian President Mubarak a week before it happened in February 2011?

5. It destroys the concept of imminence, namely, that Christ could return at any moment. Camping’s insistence on a May 21 rapture means that the Lord cannot return today. Yet we are to look daily and hourly for His coming. In Titus 2:13 Paul literally says the we are "excitedly expecting continually the joyous prospect" of Christ’s glorious appearing.

6. It displays a certain arrogance of the date setter by suggesting a novel interpretation hidden from everyone else. Date setters claim to have special insights. Camping observes that previous speculators were wrong because "they did not base their conclusion upon a careful analysis of everything the Bible had to say about the return of Christ." (We Are Almost There, 18) As for himself, Camping says, "We indeed can be certain that the rapture will occur on May 21, 2011 and the final day of the history of the world is October 21, 2011" (Ibid. 63, emphasis in the original).

7. It distorts genuine interpretation and holds all legitimate teachers of prophecy up to ridicule. Camping’s sensational warning has appeared on many billboards: Judgment Day-May 21, 2011-The Bible Guarantees It. The news media are ridiculing these precipitous predictions. After May 21 skeptics will point out that Camping s claim that the Bible guarantees his view implies that the Bible cannot be trusted. Unfortunately, doctrinal error seldom stands by itself. Harold Camping s horrible and heretical hermeneutics also lead him to insist that the church age ended in 1988, that there is no millennial rule of Christ, and that all the wicked will be annihilated rather than suffer everlasting punishment in hell.

8. It disseminates its error with missionary zeal and thus influences others to be heretical. Untold harm is done to immature and young Christians! What will the life of Camping s followers and employees be like when the Rapture does not occur on May 21? What of their witness to their neighbors or their credibility and usefulness in any future ministry?

Conclusion: Rather than engaging in speculation and sensationalism, the believer is characterized by a. Eager anticipation (Tit. 2:13, "excitedly expecting..." b. Energized activity (Lk. 19:10, "occupy till I come") c. Extraordinary alertness (2 Thess. 2:13, "Let no man deceive you. . .") May this be our concern until the trumpet sounds and summons us into the presence of the Saviour!

The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!

Dr. Manfred Kober



Anonymous said...

Date setting is biblical; God does set date to fulfill His prophecies. Cases in point:

1. The Lamb of God was sacrificed on the prescribed date: Nissan 14; and the prescribed time: 3:00 in the afternoon; the earliest time allowed.

2. Resurrection of the Lamb of God occurred on the prescribed date: First Fruits

3. Giving of the Holy Spirit occurred on the prescribed feast date: Weeks.

God is sovereign; and He has ordained certain dates for certain events.

Anonymous said...

No one will know the day or the hour of His coming but we will know the season

Anonymous said...

Ah, the famous and misunderstood verse from Matthew. Please consider these 2 verses that occur **consecutively** (because they are consecutive, the context of both verses is the same topic) from the same chapter:

Matthew 24:42 ``Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.''

Matthew 24:43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.

In Matthew 24:42, Jesus commands us to keep watch... and the **reason** why we must do this is: we do not know on what day our Lord will come.

However, in Matthew 24:43, the owner of the house was keeping watch because he knew at what time of night the thief was coming !!!

If you interpret "the day that no one know" literally as "you do not know"; then there is absolutely no reason why Matthew 24:43 can make sense. But there is ANOTHER explanation; the phrase "the day that no one know" has a specific meaning in the Hebrew language (like "kick the bucket" in English is not kicking the bucket, but dying). The day known as "the day that no one know" is Yom Teruah. Here ares ome references to verify my statement:

Anonymous said...

Sorry for a broken link, the reference links are:


BTW, this guy is definitely wrong on May 21 - this day is not any one of the feast day ordained by God (see Exodus 12).

If God can ordain the death of His son on Nissan 14 (an ordained feast day), He most certainly can ordain the return of His son on one of the Fall feasts. God is sovereign.

Nicodemus said...

i concur. it seems that the scripture and the precedent of God's actions regarding the Spring feasts leads one to think that the Rapture will most likely occur during Yom Teruah, the first of the Fall feasts and the next in line to be fulfilled by God (the last was Shavuot/Pentecost.)

Mark Blitz, a messianic Jewish pastor, gives an excellent talk on the subject here. It's an hour and 16 minutes, but very worth studying.

as always, please search the scriptures to see if what we're saying is true.

Salvation comes by grace through faith in the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

God bless.

Nicodemus said...

sorry, if try this youtube link instead:

Mark Blitz - Feast of Trumpets

tom sheepandgoats said...

well....If Camping's calculation was any good, Jehovah's Witnesses would have latched onto it. They haven't, so it's not.

Anonymous said...

It is going to happen on May 21! Lord Jesus has given me enough hints and clues about it... And I trust Him totally...

An earthquake in Christ Church,NZ in 2011 means Jesus is coming in 2011!!!

Anonymous said...

Take note of 5:4. Brethern are not in darkness so that day overcome us like a thief. The Lord comes like a thief in the night but not to the brethren (Christians) that recognize the signs. I'm not defending Harold Camping or date setting, but a whole lot of people quote the first part of 1 Thes 5 and leave out the later part. I believe we as Christians are to watch and know when Jesus is coming back. Not the day and the hour, but we will not be in the dark and He will not be like a thief in the night to us.
1 Thessalonians 5:2-5 2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness;