Harold Camping is at it again: he’s rescheduled the end of the world from May 21st to October 21st. I thought he’d keep his mouth shut for a while, but predicting the end seems to be big business (Camping’s “ministry” draws millions of dollars from foolish contributors).
I’d like to share some biblical admonitions regarding Camping and the Family Radio International (his “ministry”):
It only takes one failed prophecy to be a false prophet.
Let’s look at Deuteronomy 18:19-22:
“I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name. But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.”
You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.
This harsh penalty discouraged people from spouting out empty words in God’s name. We no longer impose the death penalty on false teachers, but the principle is clear: a true prophet will never make a false prediction—never.
God’s word commands his followers to be discerning.
This means we are to be careful about who and what we listen to. Consider 1st John 4:1:
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
The Word commands us to “test the spirits”—we should never blindly accept a preacher’s message just because he’s holding a Bible and a microphone. False prophets have been in the world from the times of the ancient church until now. It’s vitally important to study the Bible and know what it really says. Do this and you’ll be able to find a church that preaches the gospel—the timeless message of Jesus Christ.
Jesus plainly told his followers that no one knows the exact time of His return:
But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. –Matthew 24:36
I don’t see how this could be any clearer–Camping is claiming to know something Jesus Himself didn’t know while He was here on earth!
No one is above God’s word—no one.
Paul gave us some clear warnings about those who would teach false doctrines:
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! –Galatians 1:8
The Apostle Paul himself did not have the right to invent his own message—he could only preach the gospel. Those who invent their own message, man or angel, are under God’s curse.
Harold Camping is one of many false teachers predicting the end of the world. Ignore him and don’t be troubled by his foolishness.
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