Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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21 May, 2011—Beware of Camping's Date-Setting!

Rev. Angus Stewart


Recently, date-setting literature has been distributed by followers of Californian end times prophet, Harold Camping, and his organization, Family Radio, in many parts of the world .... and now even in Ballymena!

Camping declares that he knows the day of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 May, 2011! He even reckons he knows the hour: about 6PM!

This is not the first time that Camping has uttered such a prophecy. Previously, he claimed that 6 September, 1994 would be the day of Christ's return. After this date came and went, Camping did not repent and most of his followers failed to see through him, as is typical with lying prophets and those taken in by them. Instead, Camping fudged the issue, claiming that he simply needed to do more studying!

Moreover, Camping claims that ALL instituted churches have come under the control of Satan since—another of Camping's "dates"—21 May, 1988 (around the time that Camping was censured for his erroneous teaching in an adult Sunday school class and soon before his departure from that church!). Thus for over 22 years, according to Camping, there have be no true churches on earth and no faithful pastors, elders or deacons serving in any congregation anywhere in the world and no proper preaching, sacraments (baptism and the Lord's Supper) or discipline in even a single church! Christ affirms that He will build His church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it (Matt. 16:18) and to it He gives authority to preach and baptize to the end of the age (Matt. 28:18-20) but Camping teaches that everybody should leave their churches to be saved and listen to him on Family Radio as the countdown to judgment day at around 6PM on 21 May, 2011!

Camping's end times error goes against the clear words of Jesus Christ concerning His glorious second coming: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man [not even Harold Camping!], no, not the angels in heaven, but my Father only" (Matt. 24:36). Camping’s answer is that the time has been kept hidden throughout the ages, but now God has revealed this to "true believers" (by which he means himself and those who follow him). Camping’s method is highly allegorical, especially as regards numbers. For example, five (he says) is the number of the atonement and seventeen (he says) is the number of heaven. Then by multiplying 5 by 10 (the number of completeness) by 17 and then by squaring the product, Camping gets 722,500. He reckons that 722,500 days after Christ's crucifixion is 21 May, 2011. This is Scripture twisting at its worst (II Peter 3:16)!

When Camping is proved wrong and we reach 22 May—just a few weeks away—some of his followers will be disillusioned and some will foolishly doubt the Bible itself. In these last days, when "false prophets" abound, as Christ predicted (Matt. 24:4, 11), it is vital that believers belong to biblical and Reformed churches where the the Word of God is soberly interpreted, according to its grammar, and in its context and historical setting, with Scripture interpreting Scripture; where the gospel of sovereign grace is preached; where the two sacraments are rightly administered; and where church discipline is exercised faithfully by lawfully ordained elders.

Check out this on-line article for a more thorough treatment of Harold Camping’s main errors: "Harold Camping Refuted: The Necessity of Membership in the Church (Institute)." See also this off-site article "A.D. 1993: The Lord is Coming" by Prof. David J. Engelsma.