Tag Archive | "May 21 2011 Judgment Day"

The Error of Harold Camping

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


 

WHEN 2011 FAILED TO BE THE YEAR GOD DESTROYED THE WORLD, 1988 AS THE START DATE OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION FAILED RIGHT ALONG WITH IT!

 

Have you read Mr. Camping’s book 1994?  I never did.

 

Prior to 2011, I read and studied all of his other books, but this one was unavailable when I began to listen to Family Radio in 2002.  I didn’t secure a copy of it until a few months ago.  What I have found in this book has been startling and extremely enlightening.

 

I decided to share this information for the sake of others like myself who may have misunderstood exactly how it was determined that 1988 was the year that the Great Tribulation began.  It saddens me to know that this lack of understanding has caused some to become adamant in the belief that an 8400 day countdown to Judgment Day began in that year.  It did not.

 

Until recently, I believed that as Mr. Camping was studying the scriptures over the years 1994-2011, he was continuing to receive previously unknown Biblical understanding about the timeline and its meaning.  As I sat under Mr. Camping’s teachings from 2002-2011, listening to the Open Forum nearly every night, and reading his books in order as each one was published, beginning with “The End of the Church Age,” I came to that conclusion very naturally and almost without thinking. I say “almost” because I had learned of the unsealing of the little book spoken of in Daniel 12:9 through the Open Forum.  Every evening as well as in each book, he used phrases such as “God has a timetable for revealing the understanding of truth recorded in the Bible” and “as God opens our eyes to truth.”  So I ASSUMED that Mr. Camping was publishing these books as this was happening, AS HE WAS LEARNING the information.

 

Certainly Mr. Camping did nothing to dissuade anyone from reaching that conclusion during those years.  His words very directly insinuated that he was teaching things he hadn’t known previously.  But also, I had the reality of my experience.  In 9 years, I’d NEVER heard him speak of certain subjects before their nearly simultaneous publication in a new book.  So I don’t believe this assumption was entirely my fault.

 

Yet, in reading the book “1994?,” I have learned through Mr. Camping’s own words that this was not the case at all.  Nearly everything he taught in the years I listened were things he believed and taught in 1992 when that book was published.

 

For example, I never heard him speak about the year 2011 as the probable final year of history on the Open Forum until 2004.  I didn’t think he knew the exact year since previously he had always discussed the end only as being “during our lifetime in all likelihood.”

 

I never heard him speak about the 7000 years between the Flood and the end of the world until late 2004 on the Open Forum and in the subsequent publishing of the book “Time Has An End.”  When I did hear him discuss this 7000 years, he did so by calling it a “proof” which backed up everything we had learned up to that point.

 

I never heard him discuss Solomon and his concubines until somewhere in 2007-08 as near as I can recall.  When he taught the study through the Alameda Fellowship videos and began to teach it on the Open Forum, I believed that he had just learned this information.

 

I never heard him mention Homosexuality as a “sign of the end” until he published that book just before 2011.  The only discussions I had ever heard him give regarding homosexuality were on the Open Forum and then it was only in response to caller questions where he would describe it as being “no different than any other sin.”  But he said nothing about it being a significant sign of the end times.

 

And certainly, I never heard the phrase “cry out to him for mercy” until early 2010, shortly before the Family Radio (FR) billboard campaign began.

 

But I have discovered that ALL OF THESE THINGS were discussed in the book “1994?.”  So, I’m sure that people who’d read it must have known these were NOT new ideas and understandings.  But I did not.  By the time I started listening in June of 2002, this book was no longer offered by FR and these particular things were not being discussed on the Open Forum Program, nor were they discussed in the books “The End of The Church Age” and “Wheat and Tares.”

 

Of course, I DID hear many callers to the Open Forum ask Mr. Camping about his failed prediction and the book “1994?.”  I heard his explanations regarding the question mark in the title, etc.  I heard him say that his error resulted from placing too much emphasis on one verse which he said he misunderstood because God had not opened his eyes to the Latter Rain period which would come after the 2300 evening mornings spoken of in Daniel 8:14.  And most important, I heard him defend the failure and the new date by saying that he’d noted the year 2011 in that book as another possible end date.  Like many, I accepted that explanation and I didn’t investigate it myself.

 

Simply put, his explanation was not the whole truth.  He did not give the year 2011 as just “another possibility.”  The ONLY context in which Mr. Camping discussed 2011 in the book was to note it as being 7000 years from the Flood date and to use it as the year from which to begin his calculations to find the starting date of the Final Tribulation!  He never indicated to his audience that 2011 had been the basis for his 1994 failed conclusion and yet, IT ABSOLUTELY WAS and certainly he knew it as he answered those questions.

 

Let me explain how 1994 and 2011 failures are connected:

 

In “1994?,” Mr. Camping already taught that the Bible says that the world would continue for exactly 7000 years after the Flood and then it would be destroyed.  So, using the timeline’s 4990 BC Flood placement, he did the arithmetic and calculated that end of the world HAD to take place in the year 2011.  Since he knew that the Final Tribulation takes place in the closing years of the earth’s history he knew that it ALSO would need to conclude in the year 2011.  Further, he had determined that God had ORIGINALLY planned a specific length of time for this Final Tribulation, but according to Daniel 8:13-14 and Matthew 24:21-22, He intended to shorten that time period to 2300 days for the sake of the elect.

 

Having already fixed the Great Tribulation’s shortened length at 2300 days and having already fixed its end and the destruction of the world at 2011, he began a search for the start date of the “original tribulation.”  From there he could simply add 2300 days to find the year that the “shortened tribulation” and the world would end. The only way he could do that would be to speculate as to how long God had “ORIGINALLY” intended the Tribulation to be, subtract that number of years from 2011 to locate the original beginning year date and simply add 2300 days to determine the end.  The equation looked like this:

 

(7000 year End of the World as 2011) – (Original Full Great Tribulation Period)  = (Start of Original Great Tribulation) + (2300 day Shortened Tribulation Period) = End of the World

 

He taught that the length of this tribulation period could be ONLY ONE OF 4 POSSIBILITIES which were each periods of time which typified the Final Tribulation.  The book details the process by which he concluded that these 4 possibilities were 70 years, 23 years, 3.5 days, or 42 months.   With this in mind, he began to plug these possibilities through the equation:

 

(7000 year End of the World as 2011) – (Possibility 1,2,3,or 4 as the Original Full Great Tribulation Period)  = (Start of Original Great Tribulation/End of Church AGE) + (2300 day Shortened Tribulation Period) = End of the World

 

RESULTS:

 

First, he decided that 3.5 days and 42 months were both too short and should be considered “symbolic” because neither period of time was long enough to fit even the shortened 2300 day tribulation length he’d ALREADY DETERMINED.  So he discounted those possibilities. Still considering the other 2 possibilities as “literal” time periods, he then plugged 70 years into the equation and found that it would result in a year which had already gone by.

 

(2011) – (70 years) = (1941) + (2300 days) =1947.

 

With the 70 year possibility now discounted, this left only the final choice of a 23 year length for God’s Originally Planned Final Tribulation.  The equation was as follows:

 

(2011) – (23 years) = (1988) + (2300 days) = 1994 End of the World

 

When 1994 failed, it should have been immediately suspected that 1988 failed as the Start of the Great Tribulation right along with it, but instead, a “spiritual” reason was given to explain it.  This is when the “half hour of silence in heaven” was ADOPTED as the meaning of the 2300 evening mornings of Daniel 8:13-14.  BUT THE EQUATION WAS LEFT INTACT!  The reason it was left intact is that it was already seen that the other 3 patterns simply COULD NOT FIT and there were no other possibilities left that he could see!  So while it may still be true that the Great Tribulation is a period of 23 years, it could not have begun in 1988.

 

Here is why:

 

1)  If it is true that the last day of the world is exactly 7000 literal years from the Flood (the basis for which 2011 was chosen to begin the equation), then the Flood could not have occurred in the year 4990 BC since the world did not end in 2011.  THIS WOULD MEAN THAT THE CALENDAR IS WRONG and we have no way of knowing for certain when those 7000 years began or when they will expire.  So we would have no reason or Biblical authority to begin calculating backwards from 2011 to arrive at 1988 as the End of The Church age and the start of the Great Tribulation.

 

2)  If it is true that the calendar is correct, then it CANNOT be true that the Bible is telling us that the world will end precisely 7000 literal years post-Flood in the year 2011 AD because we know that it did not end!  THIS MEANS OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE 7000 YEARS IS WRONG.  So we would have no reason or Biblical authority to begin calculating backwards from 2011 to arrive at 1988 as the End of the Church Age and start of the Great Tribulation.

 

3)  The two statements above CANNOT both be true at the same time.  Once 2011 passed without the end of the world, it became Biblically IMPOSSIBLE to adhere to the belief that 2011 is 7000 years from the 4990 BC Flood AND ALSO adhere to the belief that the Church Age ended in 1988, beginning the 8400 day Great Tribulation which results in a post-May 21, 2011 Judgment Day WITHOUT BELIEVING A LIE.

 

4)  So this is the bottom line.  The explanations and computations Mr. Camping gave on pages 494-497 of the book “1994?” clearly demonstrate that the 1988 calculation for the start of the Great Tribulation was entirely based on a pre-determined understanding that world was to be destroyed in 2011 AD.  When the world did not end in 2011, God demonstrated that this conclusion is faulty and 1988 was NOT the first year of the Great Tribulation.

 

AFTERWORD:

 

When 1994 failed to be the end of the world as Mr. Camping believed, he simply moved back to what he believed was God’s ORIGINAL EXPECTED 23 year Tribulation duration ending in 2011, 7000 years after the flood.  He deduced a spiritual meaning for the 2300 days of Daniel which sadly left the faulty 1988 calculation intact.  It doesn’t appear that he ever revisited his original studies after the 1994 failure to check for errors beyond the 2300 days.

 

Finally, it doesn’t matter what we may eventually learn regarding the correct meaning and/or time application of the 7000 years, the length of the Great Tribulation, or the dates for either.  The fact is that Mr. Camping’s calculation for 1988 as the End of The Church Age/Start of the Great Tribulation has been invalidated with the passing of 2011.  Subsequently, there is absolutely NO BIBLICAL BASIS to conclude that the world has entered into a “Judgment Day” defined by a period of “no salvation.”  This doctrine must be given up as a spiritual “high place” and “another god.”  On pages 142-143 of “The End Of The Church Age… And After”, Mr. Camping wrote:

 

“If we trust in any doctrine that is not firmly taken from the Bible, then we are trusting in our own minds.  In that event, our minds and the individuals who designed that doctrine is our god.  Any time any doctrine is taught that is not altogether based upon the Bible, it is a spiritual high place, it is the worship of another god.”

 

I would also like it to be known that throughout “1994?,” Mr. Camping repeatedly went into great Biblical detail to prove that there is no possibility whatsoever that the world may continue for a single day beyond the saving of the very last elect soul.  He provides much scriptural support for that particular conclusion since his teaching on Matthew 24:21-22 formed the entire basis for the ability to search for the day of Christ’s return.  In fact, he taught quite thoroughly that the only purpose for this world to continue or for believers to be here on the Earth is in order to fulfill God’s magnificent salvation program.  He taught that the bounds of this physical world are determined completely by that plan.  Once the last soul is saved, this world must end according to God’s own Word given in Deuteronomy 32:8 and other verses.  Having learned that, I am doubly surprised by his “temporary” descent into the “5 months of torment/no salvation” doctrine and the “post May 21 no salvation error.”

 

The man-made ideas of “feeding sheep” and a “Judgment Day over the whole world in which there is no longer any hope of souls becoming saved” came about only AFTER AND IN RESPONSE TO the failure of May 21, 2011.  But, ANY doctrines which are based on the conclusion that 1988 was the start of an 8400 day Great Tribulation simply CANNOT be true since they are entirely based upon a foundation that has been demonstrated to be irrefutably impossible and absolutely incorrect.

 

If we lived in a world where men had perfect Biblical understanding, Mr. Camping should have been the first to comprehend this error.  If we lived in a world where men made perfect decisions, he would not have removed “1994?” from the FR website immediately after the prediction failed as he did his other books after 2011 failed.  I believe those decisions did much to allow error to multiply and has significantly slowed correction.  And finally, if we lived in a world where men were able to perfectly examine their own hearts, those of us who believed that Christ would come May 21, 2011 would be quicker to admit to ourselves and to others that we failed to “check out” what Mr. Camping taught (as he encouraged us to do) as thoroughly as we claimed we had, beginning with a brutally honest review of the book “1994?”

 

Thank you for reading.  I sincerely pray that you will not receive this note as an attack on Mr. Camping.  As he was always the first to say, he is a man with feet of clay as any other, though I thank my God always for him and the FR ministry, and for directing their hearts into the love of God’s Word and the desire to share the Gospel so that Christ might seek out and save His lost sheep.  By God’s grace and mercy, my family and I have been unspeakably blessed by their labors.

 

I pray also this information will be as helpful to you in your walk with Christ as it has been to me.  Please feel free to share the note if the Lord so inclines your heart.  May God, in His merciful longsuffering, forgive our errors and comfort the hearts which sorrow over them.   And may He be pleased, in His infinite pity, to continue to reprove us, correct us, and lovingly lead us to our heavenly home.

 

Jude 1:24-25:

 

24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

 

25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever.  Amen.

 
 

 

Ten Virgins, Two Shut Doors

Tags: , , , , , ,


 

If you go to Matthew 25 in your Bible, you will find something amazing.  It’s a parable known as “The Ten Virgins,” and it should be amazing to all who believed last year’s warnings about May 21, 2011.  That’s because this parable so well describes the situation that day and afterwards.

 

People all around the world heard the Judgment Day, May 21 warnings.  Many believed there would be great physical signs that day.  Many Christians expected the Rapture and resurrection to occur then.  It was supposed to be the date for the Lord’s return – guaranteed by the Bible.

 

Since last year, several other dates have been proposed for the Lord’s return.  However, none of those other dates was publicized nearly so much or accepted by nearly so many people as last year’s May 21.  The warning about May 21, 2011 was a worldwide phenomenon.  It’s important to keep this in mind as you read the parable of The Ten Virgins.

 

 

The Parable

 

Here is the complete parable, from Matthew 25:1-13 (King James Version):

 

1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

 

 

The Time Setting

 

As we see in these verses, it’s a parable about ten virgins.  Immediately we should ask ourselves why the parable concerns virgins.  When we search the Bible, we find that the word “virgins” (Strong’s number G3933) can refer to those who have become saved (for example, see Revelation 14:4).  However, when we read this parable we soon learn that half the virgins were not saved; so as a group these ten virgins do not represent the elect.  Instead, they must represent people who are identified with God’s kingdom – regardless of whether or not they are actually saved.

 

All ten of the virgins took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom.  Who is the bridegroom?  The Lord Jesus compared Himself to a bridegroom in Mark 2:18-19:

 

And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?  And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.

 

Also, the Lord compared His return at the end of the world to the arrival of a bridegroom returning after his wedding, as in Luke 12:35-36:

 

Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;  And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.  

 

Therefore, we see that the parable of the ten virgins is actually showing us a picture of those identified as God’s people at some time near the end of the world.  They are expecting the return of the Lord Jesus.

 

 

They Went Forth to Meet the Bridegroom

 

Verse 1 tells us that the virgins went forth to meet the bridegroom.  Perhaps you’ve read this verse many times without thinking about it.  If you go to meet someone, it’s because you expect that person to arrive at a particular time.  In only a few words, the parable is telling us that the virgins were expecting the bridegroom’s immediate return – that’s why they went to meet him.

 

In verse 1, we also learn that they took their lamps with them when they went to meet the bridegroom.  Continuing with the parable, we read that five virgins were wise, and five were foolish.  The wise ones “took oil in their vessels with their lamps.”  The foolish ones, however, “took no oil with them.”  What is the significance of the oil?  The Greek word (G1637, “elaion”) translated as “oil” in Matthew 25:3 and 4 is the same word translated as “oil” in Mark 6:13:

 

And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them. 

 

Mark 6:13 is actually a little parable in itself.  It’s telling us that the apostles (Mark 6:7) anointed the sick with oil and healed them.  This is a picture of people who have not yet been saved (that is, they are “sick”) hearing the word of God and being saved when God’s Holy Spirit (the “oil”) is present to save them.   So when we read that the wise virgins took oil with them, we know that they were saved.  The foolish virgins, however, took no oil with them; in other words, they were not saved.

 

All ten virgins had lamps: they appeared to be God’s people.  The world knows them as Christians.  However, only five of them were truly God’s children.

 

 

The Bridegroom Tarried

 

Verse 5 states:

 

While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 

 

The virgins went to meet the bridegroom, but what happened?  He tarried, or delayed his coming.  The delay pictured in this parable is apparently not brief, for we read that the virgins “all slumbered and slept.”  They settled down to relax while they waited for the bridegroom, and then they fell asleep.

 

Beginning with verse 6, the parable deals with the arrival of the bridegroom.  However, before continuing with the parable we should consider some key verses about the Lord’s return.

 

 

Like Lightning

 

One of those verses is Matthew 24:27:

 

For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

 

The Lord compared His return to lightning.  A powerful flash of lightning brightens the entire sky, and does it so quickly that it appears to be instantaneous.  It might be a matter of seconds until the sound of thunder reaches someone who is distant from the lightning, but the flash can be seen from one end of the sky to the other as soon as the lightning strikes.

 

The Bible also tells us that for the unsaved the Lord’s return means sudden destruction.  We read that in 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3:

 

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

 

The day of the Lord is the last day (see 2 Peter 3:10), and that’s the day the Lord will return.  Therefore, the above verse implies that there will be no physical signs preceding the Lord’s return.  The world – the unsaved as well as the elect – will be going about their business as usual; everyone will expect a tomorrow that brings more of the same.  Matthew 24:37-39 confirms this:

 

But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

 

On the day of the Lord’s return, there will be no doubt about what is happening.  His return will happen without any warning, and it will be seen and heard all over the world at the same time.

 

 

The Bridegroom Cometh

 

Returning to the parable, verse 6 states:

 

And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

 

What is this cry?  It is the start of events that will happen on the last day.  It is proof –physical evidence – that the last day has arrived.  Compare that verse with 1 Thessalonians 4:16:

 

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 

 

The ten virgins are wide-awake; they have heard the “cry” or “shout.”  Notice that the time setting has changed.  Time has passed since the virgins went forth to meet the bridegroom; but we cannot know how much time.   Now the ten virgins are witnessing the resurrection or something else that will occur on the last day.  They know what is happening.  In verse 7, we read that they all arose and trimmed their lamps:

 

Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

 

It’s interesting to read that they “trimmed their lamps.”  Every other time the Greek word translated as “trimmed” (Strong’s number G2885) is used in the Bible, it’s translated as “adorn” or “garnish” (for example, as in 1 Timothy 2:9: “…that women adorn themselves in modest apparel…).   Perhaps this verse is telling us that the virgins are mentally preparing themselves to meet God.

 

Continuing with the parable, verses 8 and 9 tell us:

 

And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.  But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.

 

The foolish virgins are worried they are not saved.  We know this because of the words telling us that their “lamps have gone out.”  They witnessed the resurrection and Rapture; they see no indication that they will be taken up with the others.  Their anguish is much greater than that of other unsaved people, such as those who follow other religions and those who are atheists.

 

As Christians, the foolish virgins knew that the Bible teaches about the Lord’s return; but they thought they were saved and ready to meet Him.  However, instead of the true Gospel they believed a false one.  They thought they could guarantee their own salvation.  These foolish virgins are the same people the Lord Jesus mentioned in Luke 12:47:

 

And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 

 

The foolish virgins now realize they have a false gospel.   They realize they need the “oil” of the Holy Spirit, and they need to be saved.  The wise virgins tell them “go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.”  This is a reference to something we find in the book of Isaiah.  There, God compares the Gospel to something that is offered for sale by merchants.  Isaiah 55:1 states:

 

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 

 

Despite the wise virgins’ advice, it’s too late for the foolish virgins to seek God’s mercy because the time for it has passed.  This is clear from verses 10-12:

 

And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.  Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.  But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

 

 

The Door Was Shut

 

When we read that the door was shut, we are reminded of the ark’s door being shut in Genesis 7:16:

 

And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.

 

The great flood was God’s judgment on the world of Noah’s day.  Out of all the people living then, only Noah, Noah’s wife, their sons and their sons’ wives were spared.  Not even one young child came into the ark, which represented God’s salvation.  Once the ark’s door was shut, it was impossible for anyone outside to be saved.  They were condemned to die in the flood.

 

In the flood account, we see a picture of God’s end-time judgment; but we must be very careful in the way we apply its lessons to our own time. The consequences of God shutting the ark’s door are clear; but what about the door in our parable?  Should we conclude the shutting of the door in the parable of the ten virgins is teaching something similar?  Is the parable teaching salvation is possible right up to the moment the door to the marriage feast is shut on the last day?

 

We’ve seen that God often uses objects and people in the Bible to represent ideas associated with His salvation plan.  However, we must be aware that there is no guarantee an object or person will represent the same idea in every situation and whenever we find it in the Bible.  For example, Moses is frequently a picture of the Lord Jesus; but in the verses where we read about his disobedience (Numbers 20:11-12), we know that he is definitely not a picture of the Lord.

 

What about the shutting of the door in the parable of the ten virgins?  That cannot be the moment salvation ended – there is too much Biblical evidence that salvation had already ended before the foolish virgins were shut out of the marriage feast.  The very fact that the virgins went to meet the bridegroom on a particular day tells us that day is associated with God’s judgment.  Then how are we to understand the shutting of the door?  When we read “and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut,” we are reading about the end of the Rapture.  Luke 13:25-28 helps us to understand this:

 

When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:  Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.  But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.  There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

 

In our parable, when the door is shut so that the foolish virgins cannot enter, it’s the moment they realize there is absolutely no hope for them to be saved.  It is when they see “Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God,” and realize they are “thrust out.”

 

The parable’s final events  – from the time the virgins hear the cry (“Behold, the bridegroom cometh … “) until they hear the final words (“I know you not”)  – all happen quickly.  They portray the Rapture-resurrection, and anguish of unsaved Christians when they finally understand their fate.  They show us a picture of events on the last day of the world.

 

Watch!

 

The final verse is the command associated with this parable.  Matthew 25:13 declares:

 

Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

 

This is the parable’s point.  It’s teaching us to always watch, because we won’t know when the Lord will return.

 

Before May 21 in 2011, it was commonly believed that the command to watch meant that God’s people are to search the Bible in order to learn the date of the Lord’s return.  However, all the evidence now indicates we will never know that date.  If you search to understand what is meant by the command to “watch,“ you will find that the Bible guides us to correct understanding.

 

When we check a concordance for the word “watch,” we find that there are several different Hebrew words and several different Greek words translated that way.  In our parable, the word used for watch (Matthew 25:13) is Strong’s number 1127 (gregoreo).  It’s used 23 times in the New Testament, and it’s always translated as “watch,” except for one verse where it’s translated as “be vigilant” and another one where it’s translated as “wake.”

 

The way it’s usually used, it means just what we think when anyone tells us to watch: we should keep our eyes open and notice what is going on around us.  But that doesn’t help us understand what the Lord meant when He told us to watch.  Obviously, He doesn’t expect us to spend our lives sitting around, watching the sky and waiting for His return.

 

There are some verses that can help us understand what it means to watch.  For example, read 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8:

 

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.  For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

 

Notice that the first verse tells us to watch and be sober.  Then in the last verse we find an instruction to those who are “of the day.”  This is an instruction to the elect; and what are they told?  They are told to be sober, “putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.”  What about watching?  Does this verse only explain what it means to be sober?

 

God didn’t just skip over the idea of watching here; He’s helping us understand what it means to “watch” by telling us to be sober, and telling us about the breastplate of faith and love, and the helmet of salvation.

 

Here’s another verse telling us to watch, using the same Greek word found in the parable.  In Colossians 4:2, we read:

 

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

Here we see the idea of watching associated with thanksgiving in prayer.  Finally, let’s look at Revelation 3.  In Revelation 3:2, we find the word “watchful;” and in Revelation 3:3, we find the word “watch.”  In both cases, the original Greek word is “gregoreo”  – the same word used in the parable.  In Revelation 3:2-3, we read:

 

Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.  Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

 

These verses are part of a message from the Lord Jesus to the church in Sardis.  He is telling them to be watchful and to “strengthen the things which remain;” to remember what they have received and heard; and to repent.

 

Based on these examples from 1 Thessalonians, Colossians and Revelation, we can now understand the Lord’s command in Matthew 25:13 to “watch” (“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”).  We can see that watching has nothing to do with searching the Bible to learn the date of the Lord’s return.

 

Instead, watching has to do with examining ourselves to make sure that we are living faithfully.  It has to do with strengthening ourselves through prayer, and taking the “whole armour of God” (Ephesians 6:13-18).  We get the protection of that armor by reading the Bible and praying.  Watching has to do with spiritual growth as God works in our lives and as we pray, give thanks, read the Bible and meditate on God’s word.  God wants us to watch ourselves!

 

 

The Parable Fits the Timeline

 

The parable doesn’t give any clue telling us how long this time of watching will be; but it does help us to understand all that has happened since May last year.  It also shows that key teachings associated with the Judgment Day, May 21, 2011 warnings were correct.

 

Notice the following:

 

First, the ten virgins went forth to meet the bridegroom because they expected him to return at a specific time.  Based on the Biblical timeline about which Mr. Harold Camping and others wrote and taught, May 21, 2011 was to be the date for the Lord’s return.  People all over the world expected the Lord to return that very day.   Like the ten virgins, they “went forth” to meet Him.

 

Second, in the parable the bridegroom tarried: he didn’t arrive when the virgins expected him.  Like the ten virgins, people who expected the Lord’s return on May 21, 2011 have been forced to wait because the Lord is “tarrying.”

 

Third, the parable tells us that the foolish virgins took no oil in their lamps.  From the day they went forth to meet the bridegroom, they were unsaved.  This confirms the teaching that salvation was over by May 21, 2011 – the day people “went forth” to meet the Lord.  Also, notice that the bridegroom came at midnight.  Midnight identifies with spiritual night.  It’s a time when salvation has ended and the light of the Gospel is no longer shining with power to save anyone.

This parable should give tremendous comfort to those who believed the teachings about May 21, 2011, but have now begun to wonder if any of them were true.  It confirms our understanding that God provided end-time information, just as He indicated He would in His word (Daniel 12:10).  It also helps us understand why God’s people remain here, even though salvation has ended.

 

 

Watching and Waiting

 

What is God’s purpose in letting His people remain here if salvation has ended?  There are plenty of examples in the Bible showing that even after God has saved a person, he or she is far from perfect.  Earlier, we saw that watching has to do with spiritual growth; but that process takes time.  Depending on God’s specific purposes for each one of His children, a very short time may be enough.   On the other hand, it might take a lifetime.

 

Based on the Biblical timeline, we know that God saved a great multitude all over the world during the latter rain – the period when He poured out His Holy Spirit, starting in 1994 and continuing until the last day of salvation.  The Bible indicates that this group included people who had little or no exposure to God’s word until very recently (Revelation 7:9).  During this final part of God’s plan for mankind, these people can learn more about God’s word and God can work in their lives.  There are some verses that help us to understand this.

 

In 2 Peter 1:5-7, we read:

 

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

 

This verse shows us a picture of spiritual fruits developing in a person’s life over a period of time.  In Hebrews 12, we find another idea that helps us understand why the final group of God’s elect would remain in the world even after salvation has ended.

 

Sadly, human nature is such that God must either allow or cause suffering to come into the life of everyone of His elect.  Hebrews 12 tells us about chastening, and in Hebrews 12:6-7 we read:

 

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?    

 

These verses appear to indicate that chastening occurs after God has saved someone.  Chastening forces a person to rely on God and seek His help in prayer.  It is one way God may use to develop spiritual fruit in a person.  Even after salvation has ended, spiritual gifts are still available to God’s children.  In fact, there is a parable showing us that very thing.

 

 

Another Parable, Another Shut Door

 

In Luke 11, we find a very interesting parable.  It has to do with a man who goes to his friend at midnight to ask for three loaves.  In Luke 11:5-6, we read:

 

And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;  For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?

 

In order to understand this parable, we need to realize that it is telling us something about prayer.  We should suspect this right away because in Luke 11:1, we read that one of the Lord’s disciples asked Him to teach the disciples how to pray.  For His answer (Luke 11:2-4), the Lord Jesus spoke the words that have become among the best known in the Bible:

 

And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.  Give us day by day our daily bread.  And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

 

Then, right after this the Lord told them the parable about the man and his friend.   The fact that this parable has to do with three loaves also indicates that it is teaching something about prayer.  (Remember the words “Give us day by day our daily bread” in the verses telling us how to pray).

 

In the parable, a man has gone to his friend’s home at midnight to ask for three loaves for another friend who has come to him “in his journey.”   But the friend who is at home doesn’t immediately provide the loaves.  In fact, at first it appears that the man won’t get the loaves because of the way his friend seems to answer.   In Luke 11:7 we read:

 

And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.    

 

This verse is telling us that salvation has ended!  Remember, the man went to his friend at midnight.  That means it’s a time of spiritual nighttime.  The sun has darkened so that the Gospel is no longer able to save anyone (Matthew 24:29).  Also, the friend says that his children are with him in bed and the door is shut.

 

In this case, the shut door does indeed mean that salvation is over.  This door is like the door to the ark in Genesis 7 after God has shut it.  And notice what we read about the man’s children.  Just as the fictional Lazarus was in Abraham’s bosom after death (Luke 16:23), the children of this man’s friend are with him in bed.  The parable is definitely telling us about the period of time after salvation ends.

 

The friend’s answer from within indicates that the man will not get the loaves he requested.  However, in the very next verse of the parable we find that the man will get what he wants.  Luke 11:8 tells us:

 

I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.

 

What is going on here with the loaves?  We can see that the loaves do not represent salvation.  Notice that the man asked for three loaves; but salvation cannot have a quantity associated with it.  It’s an amazing work of God in which He gives someone a new, resurrected soul.  No number can represent salvation, and you can’t say that if you get as many as need then you’ll have it.   Therefore, the loaves cannot represent salvation; but they can represent increasing fruits of the spirit and nourishment provided by God’s word.

 

In Luke 11:9-10, the Lord Jesus begins to explain the parable:

 

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

 

We must be careful not to misunderstand the words “every one.”  These verses cannot be teaching that just by asking God for salvation, anyone will receive it.   The “every one” here means God’s children.  We see that in Luke 11:11-13, which speak of a father’s relationship with his son:

 

If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?  Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? 

 

The promise of the Holy Spirit in the last verse is not a promise of salvation; it is a promise that the Lord will give “good gifts” to His children – those whom He has already saved.  Some statements the Lord Jesus made to His disciples support this way of understanding the promise of the Holy Spirit.

 

For instance, recall that at the Passover supper the Lord washed the feet of His disciples.  In John 13:10-11, we read:

 

Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.   For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

 

According to these verses, except for Judas all the disciples there that evening were clean; that is, they were saved (also, see John 15:3).  Yet they had to wait for the Holy Spirit, as we read in Acts 1:4-5:

 

And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.   For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

 

About a week and a half later, the disciples were baptized with the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.  That was the beginning of the Church Age, and from that day the disciples were equipped to carry out their mission to spread the Gospel.

 

Summary

 

Once we realize that God has promised to give His Holy Spirit to the elect even after “the door” of salvation has been shut, we can understand how all of these ideas fit together.  The parable of the ten virgins is in agreement with the parable of the man asking for the loaves, although the two parables are teaching different things.

 

In the parable of the ten virgins, the shutting of the door signifies the moment when the unsaved Christians realize they will not be caught up to be with the Lord.  The point of that parable is that the elect should always be watching – and we saw that watching has to do with spiritual growth.

 

On the other hand, in the parable of the man asking for the loaves, the shut door shows us the parable’s time setting: it happens after salvation has ended.  Therefore, this parable is showing us that God’s elect remain here even after salvation has ended!

 

There’s another important lesson in the parable of the man and the loaves.  God is showing us that we can go to Him in prayer any time, right up to the last day.  God is the “friend” who is at home behind the shut door.  John 15:15 illustrates that:

 

Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

 

God’s children can go to Him in prayer for themselves and for others too.  Remember, the man who was asking for the three loaves needed them to set before his own friend who had come “in his journey.”

 

Although the parable of the ten virgins only mentions one door, there are actually two doors in view there.  The first door, the one to salvation, was already shut when the virgins went forth to meet the bridegroom.  There was no possibility that the five foolish virgins could be saved after that time.  Neither was there any danger that the five wise virgins could lose their salvation, even though they weren’t watching when the Lord returned.

 

If God has saved you, then you will be allowed into the marriage feast (Matthew 25:10) whether or not you have been “watching.”  On the other hand – if God has truly saved you – then you will want to be watching.   We can do that by reading and meditating on God’s words, thanking Him for blessings, and remembering others in our prayers.

 

 

October 21, 2011: End of the World!!!

Tags: , , , , ,



 Heee’s Baaaack!

   


Just when you thought it was safe to join or rejoin a church congregation, Harold Camping is back to explain the reasons for his failed prediction that May 21, 2011 would be the “guaranteed” date of The Rapture, a worldwide earthquake of epic proportions, and commencement of a 153 calendar day period known collectively as Judgment Day. Reported as “flabbergasted” that his alleged prediction proved erroneous, Camping faced some members of the press on his Monday, May 23rd edition of the Open Forum, a live call-in radio program.


In explaining his error, Mr. Camping, in circumlocutory language, essentially stated that his Biblical analysis and ultimate prediction of the world’s end on October 21, 2011 was actually correct! He simply misunderstood the nature of Christ’s return on May 21st, believing it to be a physical rather than a spiritual return. In fact, he stated, Jesus had returned spiritually on May 21st and that the world now sits in Judgment until its end on October 21st of this year.


He reiterated that all the “proofs” that “guaranteed” Christ’s return and the Rapture of his elect on May 21st are still valid. Having listened to Mr. Camping’s program and read a good deal of his literature on the subject, however, I am a little dubious – particularly of the “proof” than many have considered preeminent. Mr. Camping had stated that May 21, 2011 (the 17th day of the second month of the Jewish calendar) was exactly 7,000 years from the Great Flood (that his timeline indicated had occurred on the 17th day of the second month of 4990 B.C.). And, the number “seven,” according to Mr. Camping represents “spiritual perfection.”


So, does this now mean that there are 7,000 years and 153 days between the Great Flood and the world’s end? In that event, what becomes of the significance of exactly 7,000 years intervening between the two terminal events? If, however, he holds to the May 21st date as Judgment Day – exactly 7,000 years since the Flood (in his determination based on Biblical research), how does he harmonize the fact that one was an actual physical event and the other, spiritual? Or, does he now mean that the Flood was also a spiritual event? Could it be that the world’s end and the New Creation will also be “spiritual events?”


By the way, Mr. Camping’s indication that Christ’s May 21st return was “spiritual” in nature sounds very much like an explanation given by some of the followers of William Miller in the days succeeding his group’s final prediction of the world’s end on October 21, 1844. In that instance, it was suggested that Christ had returned “spiritually” on that day, was sitting on a cloud, and had to be “prayed down.”


As was the case prior to May 21, 2001, I am certain that there will be those who will believe Mr. Camping’s explanation and await the world’s end on October 21st. For those who are “true believers,” however, perhaps they should think carefully before making personal or financial decisions based on this predicted date. Neither Mr. Camping, nor his Family Radio organization are risking their personal and financial futures on its accuracy.


Related Stories:


Countdown to Judgment


May 21, 2011: Judgment Day!


Harold Camping: False Prophet or Herald of God?


It is Finished: God’s Final Warning


Assembling the Timeline of History – Part I


Assembling the Timeline of History – Part II


Assembling the Timeline of History – Part III


Assembling the Timeline of History – Part IV


Judgment Day: Less than One-Half Year Away


A Word of Warning


Signs of the Times 


May 21, 2011: Judgment Day Scenario Unfolds


The Great Anticipation


The Great Disappointment II



The Great Disappointment II

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,




Between 1831 and 1844, William Miller – a Baptist preacher later credited with founding the Seventh Day Adventist Church – predicted that Christ’s Second Coming would occur in 1843.  Prompted by followers to set a more specific date for Jesus’ return, Miller – using the Hebrew calendar year 5604 – refined his earlier prediction simply indicating that the Return would occur sometime between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844.  A further revision, based on use of the Karaite Jewish calendar, led to extension of the date to April 18th.  In August 1844, Samuel Snow – a Miller follower or Millerite – propounded his own interpretation based on what he referred to as the “seven-month message,” extending the date of Christ’s return to October 22, 1844.  This final prediction spread like wildfire among the general public, already familiarized with Miller’s preaching during the preceding 13 years.  The passage of October 22 without event came to be known as “The Great Disappointment.”


Miller based his prediction on information in the Old Testament Book of Daniel.  Daniel 8:13-14 states, “Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?  And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.”  Using an interpretive principle known as the “day-year principle,” Miller began dating these 2300 “years” with the decree by Artaxerxes I of Persia in 457 B.C. to rebuild and restore Jerusalem and its Temple.  Thus, his simple calculation that Jesus would return in 1843 or 1844.


Fast forward to 1970 when Harold Camping published The Biblical Timeline of History that he later refined and expanding in Adam When? Using genealogies from Genesis and a starkly different interpretative method than that employed by Bishop James Ussher in his landmark Biblical chronology published in 1650, Camping established the date for the Creation of the World as 11,013 B.C. and the Flood as 4990 B.C.  Using a combination of historical and Biblical sources, he calculated that the most logical date for the birth of Jesus was October 4, 7 B.C and for his crucifixion, April 1, 33 B.C.


Having created a timeline and determined the date of our Savior’s birth, Camping later turned his attention toward determining when that timeline would end.  Firmly believing in the Bible as the literal word of God and relying heavily on numerology as proofs of his theories, Camping initially determined that 1994 might be the date for Christ’s return.  In John 21:1-14, 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, resulting in a catch of 153 fish.  Camping interpreted this to mean that 2,000 years would intervene between Christ’s First and Second Comings.  Since there are 2,000 years between Jesus’ birth (7 B.C.) and 1994 (note that there is no year 0 and hence you must subtract 1 from your calculations), Camping speculated that Jesus would return in 1994.


Although uncertain of his 1994 prediction, Camping later refined his analysis, and – comparing “Scripture with Scripture” and interpreting the spiritual meaning of Biblical events – established May 21, 2011 as the authoritative date for Jesus’ momentous return.  He further identified numerous Biblical “proofs” for this date.  These proofs relied heavily on the “spiritual meaning” that Camping applied to certain numbers – 3 representing “God’s purpose,” 5 representing “atonement” or “redemption,” 7 “spiritual perfection,” 10 or its multiples “completion,” 17 “Heaven,” and 23 “destruction.”  Included among these were that May 21, 2011 was exactly 7,000 years from the date of the Great Flood (4990 + 2011 – 1) and that there are 722,500 days between Jesus’s crucifixion and his return with 722,500 being the product of two repeating sets of spiritually significant numbers:  5 x 10 x 17 x 5 x 10 x 17.


Obviously, Harold Camping exerted a great deal of research, Biblical scholarship, and critical thinking into developing his theories.  Also, quite evidently, he – like William Miller and everyone else who have ever attempted to predict the world’s end – was wrong.  Does this mean that he should become the subject of derision and branded a “false prophet?”


Mr. Camping has been a source of controversy among Christians for more than two decades.  His views ultimately led to his excommunication by the Church with which he had been associated in 1988.  Coincidentally, he later determined from his Biblical scholarship that his excommunication coincided with what he refers to as the “end of the Church Age” in Christian history, the time at which the Holy Spirit left the Christian churches and Satan took over as their ruler.


Since that “revelation,” Camping has maintained that no one can be saved in the churches and that when Christ returns to Rapture his “elect,” those in the churches will be left behind.  Undoubtedly, this point of view has not been cheerfully embraced by the leaders and congregations of these churches.


Another thing that has been a source of frustration and consternation to those who would question Camping’s views is his absolute certainty in their rectitude.  On his call-in radio program “The Open Forum,” Camping has resolutely refused to entertain any questions conditioned on the possibility – no matter delicately stated – that his interpretations were incorrect.  His response has always been that to do so would be to deny The Bible and its truthfulness.


Like many before him, Camping confused his own interpretations with Biblical truths.  And, although he never suggested to anyone that they should make any personal or financial decisions based upon his predictions, one wonders how many did.  At the time of the Millerite’s Great Disappointment, there were reports that many of the “believers” had sold or given away their property in reliance on the belief that they would shortly be leaving this world.  I hope that that is not the case with Camping’s followers.


While Camping’s personal demeanor of certitude may have been divisive and his approach to interpretation seriously flawed, I believe that he has made a significant contribution to Biblical scholarship.  I also believe that, advanced in age, he will likely disappear from the limelight and that Family Radio will ultimately return to a more mainstream Christian message.


And, to those “true believers” that May 21, 2011 would be the date of Christ’s return, I offer the following consolation:  your efforts in promoting this message have not been in vain.  Your message, although inaccurate, has spanned the world, gained the attention of both mainstream and alternative media, introduced countless thousands to Christianity, and placed thinking about God squarely into the forefront of the minds of people worldwide sorely in need of His merciful intervention.  Countless others have delved seriously into the Word of God for the very first time in their lives.  Some of these will, undoubtedly, continue to read and study the Word.


And so, your “Great Disappointment” may produce great joy in Heaven.


Related Stories:


Countdown to Judgment


May 21, 2011: Judgment Day!


Harold Camping: False Prophet or Herald of God?


It is Finished: God’s Final Warning


Assembling the Timeline of History – Part I


Assembling the Timeline of History – Part II


Assembling the Timeline of History – Part III


Assembling the Timeline of History – Part IV


Judgment Day: Less than One-Half Year Away


A Word of Warning


Signs of the Times


May 21, 2011: Judgment Day Scenario Unfolds


The Great Anticipation


The Great Anticipation

Tags: , , , ,



Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon in which a human observer perceives significance in a vague or random stimulus (often an image or sound).  When ancient man gazed at the nighttime sky, he discerned patterns in the stars and named constellations after the images he perceived.  In Ursa Major man perceived a Great Bear, in Ursa Minor a Lesser Bear, in Taurus a Bull, in Scorpio a Scorpion, in Sagittarius an Archer, and so on.  People see images of faces, people, or objects in clouds and hear hidden messages in recordings played backwards.  The desire or need to define patterns in those things inherently without pattern is a distinctly human trait.


And so, being human myself, I find it interesting that in the same week that many await the return of Jesus the Christ and their Rapture to spend eternity with him, it has been widely reported that Stephen Hawking, the celebrated English theoretical physicist and author of the best-seller A Brief History of Time, has declared that the concept of Heaven or an afterlife is a “fairy tale” for people afraid of death.  Is there a pattern here?  Could it be that our Creator employed a noted intellectual and inspired the news media to publicize these comments in juxtaposition to His plan for the conclusion of human history?


As the hours grow short until May 21, 2011, I find myself thinking about many things – but primarily about the nature of God and of His creation, Man.  I wonder about the criteria that God employed in selecting those whom He will save and those left behind.  I wonder how it is that humans, cut from the same cloth, can have such diversity of belief and opinion when presented with the same information.  Primarily, however, I think about the interplay of all of the individual stories of all of the people who have ever lived in the creation of humanity’s story.


As the world devolves into a morass of moral, ethical, and spiritual decay, I truly believe that there has perhaps never been a time when the world more needed God to intervene directly into the Story that He began those millennia ago – to wipe the slate clean and start over with a new Creation absent the flaws of this current one.  And, I observe that there are great multitudes of people whose heaviness of heart belies their implicit acceptance of the premise that this world is coming to its end.


But, perhaps I am just falling victim to pareidolia, perceiving a pattern where there is none.  Nonetheless, I can state with 100% certainty that, over the last number of years, I have grown weary with this world.  And, it brings to mind St. Paul’s valedictory declaration in 2 Timothy, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”


Whether I can say those things about myself or have any assurance about my state of being on May 22nd is uncertain.  Yet, I anticipate God’s imminent intervention – in whatever way He chooses and hope for the promised new Creation.


Related Stories:


Countdown to Judgment

  

May 21, 2011: Judgment Day!

  

Harold Camping: False Prophet or Herald of God?

  

It is Finished: God’s Final Warning


 Assembling the Timeline of History – Part I


 Assembling the Timeline of History – Part II


Assembling the Timeline of History – Part III

  

Assembling the Timeline of History – Part IV

  

Judgment Day: Less than One-Half Year Away

 

A Word of Warning


Signs of the Times


May 21, 2011: Judgment Day Scenario Unfolds

  

A Word of Warning

Tags: , , , , , ,


As we rapidly approach May 21, 2011, the word is spreading regarding Jesus’ imminent return and the commencement of Judgment Day – not via the mainstream media, but through the efforts of individuals who are heralding the date on their own time and at their own expense.  A case in point is Edwin Ramos, a resident of Vineland, New Jersey, who is currently leasing three billboards in Cumberland County warning passers-by of impending Judgment.


According to an article in The News of Cumberland County, Ramos, an electrical contractor, has been openly professing the world’s demise for the past three months, during which he has seen a steep decline in his business as a result.  Undeterred, he is self-funding his advertising campaign to serve notice to residents and visitors to Cumberland County of the coming Wrath of God.


His billboards are in front of his Vineland home, on Delsea Drive in Vineland, and in front of the Dollar & Up store on Route 49 as one enters Bridgeton from Millville.  Whether Ramos is misguided or a latter-day Noah, those of us living on May 21st of next year will know soon enough.


In the interim, should you wish to learn more about this topic, you can review the related articles listed below as well as the resources and commentary provided in those writings.


Related Stories:

 

Countdown to Judgment

  

May 21, 2011: Judgment Day!

  

Harold Camping: False Prophet or Herald of God?

  

It is Finished: God’s Final Warning


 Assembling the Timeline of History – Part I


 Assembling the Timeline of History – Part II


Assembling the Timeline of History – Part III

  

Assembling the Timeline of History – Part IV

  

Judgment Day: Less than One-Half Year Away

Site Sponsors

Site Sponsors

Site Sponsors










RSSLoading Feed...

Live Traffic Feed

RSSLoading Feed...