Harold Egbert Camping (born July 19, 1921) is an American "Christian" radio broadcaster. He served as president of Family Radio, a California-based radio station group that broadcasts to more than 150 markets in the United States, since 1958. In 2011 he retired from active broadcasting following a stroke, but still maintains a role at Family Radio. Camping is notable for applying numerology to his interpretations of Bible passages in an attempt to predict dates for the End Times.
False Prophet or Not?
"Thou shalt have this sign: Whatsoever that same prophet foretelleth in the name of the Lord, and it cometh not to pass: that thing the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath forged it by the pride of his mind: and therefore thou shalt not fear him." (Deuteronomy. 18:22)
Harold Camping who has studied the Bible for more than 50 years, believes that on 21 May 2011, at around 6pm, a massive earthquake will hit New Zealand and from there continue quaking around the world during the next 24 hours till May 21 is reached on both time zones. He's going to watch this unfold on TV. At the end of this 24 hour period Harold Camping says believers will go to heaven and the rest will be left on earth to face final judgements before the earth is destroyed.
Is May 21 the beginning of the end of world? Harold Camping has no doubts that 21 May 2011 is the beginning of the tribulation and the rapture. Neither do many of his followers have doubts for they have done things like resigned from their jobs and invested all their life savings into advertising the Day of Judgement.
Harold Camping also believes that 5 months after the May 21 date, on October 21 2011, the earth would be annihilated, never to exist again.
Harold Camping is not a trained Bible scholar. He has a BS in civil engineering from UC Berkeley. He has not been to seminary. But Harold Camping does describe himself as a Bible scholar. In this interview at Killing the Buddha, he said: "I am a Bible teacher, a Bible scholar. For the last 50 years, I've made the Bible my university."
There are tons of other equations and formulas, including one in which he multiples (5 x 10 x 17) x (5 x 10 x 17) to get 722,500, then notes that Christ died on April 1, 33 AD. Guess what date is exactly 722,500 days after that crucifixion date? Yep. May 21, 2011 (which he predicted would be "Rapture and the Day of Judgment" ).
Harold Camping doesn't care if you quote Matthew 24:36 to him. That well-known verse states, "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." Camping uses 1 Cor. 2:10-14 to redefine what "no one knows" means, and says that the saved CAN know because they are indwelt by God's spirit.
Harold Camping doesn't believe in hell. Camping is an annihilationist. He teaches, contrary to the Bible, that the unsaved will be destroyed.
Harold Camping Predictions
"Beyond the shadow of a doubt, May 21 will be the date of the Rapture and the Day of Judgment".
"Oct. 21, 2011... the whole world will be destroyed"
Before Harold Camping started saying that the world would end on May 21 2011, he had already published (in 1992) his belief that the world would end sometime between September 5 and 27 of, 1994!!!!! (page 531 in his book, "1994?") It didn't happen, obviously.
In 1994 on September 6, many of Harold Camping's followers got together inside the Alameda Veterans Memorial Building to wait for the return of Christ. Followers dressed their children in their Sunday best and Bibles were held open-faced toward heaven. Nothing happened. Harold Camping said he may have made a mathematical error.
He then moved the date forward to December 25, 1994. Then it was April 3, 1996. We are still here.
Please, don't follow Harold Camping. May 21 2011 is not the end of the world. Be careful to weigh what Harold Camping says against what the Bible says in this matter. Bible prophecy does give us signs of end times but also tells us clearly that no one will know the day or hour of Christ's return and the end of the world (Matthew 24:36). Jesus' disciples actually asked him "what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (Matthew 24:3). Interesting that Jesus began his answer with "Take heed that no man deceive you..."
How does Harold Camping come up with these dates?
Here's an insight from Richard Palmquist, co-founder of the "Family Radio" network with Harold Camping in 1958.
Harold Camping promotes his views through this network to millions of people world wide. Palquist says that Harold Camping (a qualified Civil Engineer) calls the Bible an "Engineering Handbook" and that Camping interprets the Bible through Maths and numbers. Palquist says, "I believe the controversial message of Family Radio today is an example of faulty Bible interpretation using numbers...".
Harold Camping says that he has based his calculations on what the Bible says. He takes Genesis 7:4 ("Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth" ) and 2 Peter 3:8 ("With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day" ).
Departing from the doctrine of eternal torment for the unsaved in a place called Hell, Camping teaches the heresy of annihilationism; that life will end and existence will cease for the unsaved soul.
Harold Camping - A Protestant Heretic
Harold Camping says he has no church. He belongs to no denomination.
Camping teaches that all churches have become apostate and thus must be abandoned. He encourages personal Bible study and listening to his Family Radio broadcasts.
Harold Camping teaches that the Holy Spirit is NO LONGER working in the church!
Harold Camping teaches that the church age ended in 1994!
The truth is, however, that Camping is a protestant heretic that remains outside the Church of Christ.
It is a fact of history, scripture and tradition that Our Lord Jesus Christ founded His universal Church (the Catholic Church) upon St. Peter.
Matthew 16:18-19- "And I say to thee: That thou art Peter: and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven."
Our Lord made St. Peter the first Pope, entrusted to him His entire flock, and gave him supreme authority in the universal Church of Christ.
John 21:15-17- "Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He saith to him again: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He saith to him a third time: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved, because he had said to him the third time: Lovest thou me? And he said to him: Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee. He said to him: Feed my sheep."
And with the supreme authority that Our Lord Jesus Christ conferred upon St. Peter (and his successors, the popes) comes what is called Papal Infallibility. Papal Infallibility is inseparable from Papal Supremacy – there was no point for Christ to make St. Peter the head of His Church (as Christ clearly did) if St. Peter or his successors, the popes, could err when exercising that supreme authority to teach on a point of Faith. The supreme authority must be unfailing on binding matters of Faith and morals or else it is no true authority from Christ at all.
Papal Infallibility does not mean that a pope cannot err at all and it does not mean that a pope cannot lose his soul and be damned in Hell for grave sin. It means that the successors of St. Peter (the popes of the Catholic Church) cannot err when authoritatively teaching on a point of Faith or morals to be held by the entire Church of Christ. We find the promise of the unfailing faith for St. Peter and his successors referred to by Christ in Luke 22.
Luke 22:31-32- "And the Lord said: Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have all of you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren."
Satan desired to sift all the Apostles (plural) like wheat, but Jesus prayed for Simon Peter (singular), that his faith fail not. Jesus is saying that St. Peter and his successors (the popes of the Catholic Church) have an unfailing faith when authoritatively teaching a point of faith or morals to be held by the entire Church of Christ.
Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, 1870, ex cathedra: "SO, THIS GIFT OF TRUTH AND A NEVER FAILING FAITH WAS DIVINELY CONFERRED UPON PETER AND HIS SUCCESSORS IN THIS CHAIR…"
Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, 1870, ex cathedra: "… the See of St. Peter always remains unimpaired by any error, according to the divine promise of our Lord the Savior made to the chief of His disciples: 'I have prayed for thee [Peter], that thy faith fail not...'"
And this truth has been held since the earliest times in the Catholic Church.
Pope St. Gelasius I, epistle 42, or Decretal de recipiendis et non recipiendis libris, 495: "Accordingly, the see of Peter the Apostle of the Church of Rome is first, having neither spot, nor wrinkle, nor anything of this kind (Eph. 5:27)."
The word "infallible" actually means "cannot fail" or "unfailing." Therefore, the very term Papal Infallibility comes directly from Christ's promise to St. Peter (and his successors) in Luke 22, that Peter has an unfailing Faith. Though this truth was believed since the beginning of the Church, it was specifically defined as a dogma at the First Vatican Council in 1870.
Pope Pius IX, Vatican Council I, 1870, Session 4, Chap. 4: the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra [from the Chair of Peter], that is, when carrying out the duty of the pastor and teacher of all Christians in accord with his supreme apostolic authority he explains a doctrine of faith or morals to be held by the universal Church... operates with that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished that His Church be instructed in defining doctrine on faith and morals; and so such definitions of the Roman Pontiff from himself, but not from the consensus of the Church, are unalterable."
But how does one know when a pope is exercising his unfailing Faith to infallibly teach from the Chair of St. Peter? The answer is that we know from the language that the pope uses or the manner in which the pope teaches. Vatican I defined two requirements which must be fulfilled: 1) when the pope is carrying out his duty as pastor and teacher of all Christians in accord with his supreme apostolic authority; 2) when he explains a doctrine on faith or morals to be held by the entire Church of Christ. A pope can fulfill both of these requirements in just one line, by anathematizing a false opinion (such as many dogmatic councils) or by saying "By our apostolic authority we declare…" or by saying "We believe, profess, and teach" or by using words of similar importance and meaning, which indicate that the pope is teaching the whole Church on Faith in a definitive and binding fashion.
So, when a pope teaches from the Chair of Peter in the manner stipulated above he cannot be wrong. If he could be wrong, then the Church of Christ could be officially led into error, and Christ's promise to St. Peter and His Church would fail (which is impossible). That which is taught from the Chair of Peter by the popes of the Catholic Church is the teaching of Jesus Christ Himself. To reject that which is taught by the popes from the Chair of Peter is simply to despise Jesus Christ Himself.
Luke 10:16- "He that heareth you, heareth me: and he that despiseth you despiseth me…"
Matthew 18:17 -"And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican."
Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, 1896: "…Christ instituted a living, authoritative and permanent Magisterium… If it could in any way be false, an evident contradiction follows; for then God Himself would be the author of error in man."
Harold Camping - A Heretic that is Outside the Church of God
The unchanging dogma Outside the Catholic Church There is No Salvation and the necessity of the Sacrament of Baptism for Salvation, was defined as a truth by our first pope St. Peter himself:
"… the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ… Nor is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name, under heaven, given to men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12).
There is no salvation outside of Jesus Christ, and the Catholic Church is His Mystical Body. Since there is no entering into the Catholic Church of Christ without the Sacrament of Baptism, this means that only baptized Catholics who die in the state of grace (and those who become baptized Catholics and die in the state of grace) can hope to be saved.
"If anyone abideth not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth." (John 15:6)
Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis (# 22), June 29, 1943: "Actually only those are to be numbered among the members of the Church who have received the laver of regeneration [water baptism] and profess the true faith."
Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis (# 27), June 29, 1943: "He (Christ) also determined that through Baptism (cf. Jn. 3:5) those who should believe would be incorporated in the Body of the Church."
The following statements on Outside the Catholic Church There is No Salvation are from the highest teaching authority of the Catholic Church. They are ex cathedra Papal decrees (decrees from the Chair of St. Peter). Therefore, they constitute the teaching given to the Catholic Church by Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Such teachings are unchangeable and are classified as part of the solemn magisterium (the extraordinary teaching authority of the Catholic Church).
Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, "Cantate Domino," 1441, ex cathedra ( infallible statement from the chair of Peter): "The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of this ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the Church's sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church."
As we can see from this infallible statement from the chair of Peter, no one at all can be saved unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives. Yet, many people today who call themselves Catholic or Christian, boldly and obstinately assert the direct opposite of this statement and claim that protestants, heretics, Jews, schismatics and even Pagans can attain eternal life.
Pope Gregory XVI, Summo Iugiter Studio (# 2), May 27, 1832: "Finally some of these misguided people attempt to persuade themselves and others that men are not saved only in the Catholic religion, but that even heretics may attain eternal life."
Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, The Athanasian Creed, Sess. 8, Nov. 22, 1439, ex cathedra: "Whoever wishes to be saved, needs above all to hold the Catholic faith; unless each one preserves this whole and inviolate, he will without a doubt perish in eternity." (Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils, Vol. 1, pp. 550-553; Denzinger 39-40.)
Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, Constitution 1, 1215, ex cathedra: "There is indeed one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which nobody at all is saved, in which Jesus Christ is both priest and sacrifice."
Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, Nov. 18, 1302, ex cathedra: "With Faith urging us we are forced to believe and to hold the one, holy, Catholic Church and that, apostolic, and we firmly believe and simply confess this Church outside of which there is no salvation nor remission of sin… Furthermore, we declare, say, define, and proclaim to every human creature that they by absolute necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff."
Those who refuse to believe in the dogma Outside the Church There is No Salvation until they understand how there is justice in it are simply withholding their Faith in Christ's revelation. Those with the true Faith in Christ (and His Church) accept His teaching first and understand the truth in it (i.e., why it is true) second. A Catholic does not withhold his belief in Christ's revelation until he can understand it. That is the mentality of a faithless heretic who possesses insufferable pride. St. Anselm sums up the true Catholic outlook on this point.
St. Anselm, Doctor of the Church, Prosologion, Chap. 1: "For I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, that unless I believed, I should not understand."
Naturally, the truth that there is no salvation outside of the Catholic Church has been supported by all the saints from every age. Following are several examples:
St. Irenaeus (130-202), Bishop and Martyr: "The Church is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers. On this account we are bound to avoid them . . . . We hear it declared of the unbelieving and the blinded of this world that they shall not inherit the world of life which is to come . . . . Resist them in defense of the only true and life giving faith, which the Church has received from the Apostles and imparted to her sons."
St. Augustine (354-430), Bishop and Doctor of the Church: "No man can find salvation except in the Catholic Church. Outside the Catholic Church one can have everything except salvation. One can have honor, one can have sacraments, one can sing alleluia, one can answer amen, one can have faith in the Name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and preach it too, but never can one find salvation except in the Catholic Church."
St. Fulgentius (468-533), Bishop: "Most firmly hold and never doubt that not only pagans, but also Jews, all heretics, and all schismatics who finish this life outside of the Catholic Church, will go into eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels."
Pope St. Gregory the Great (590-604): "The holy universal Church teaches that it is not possible to worship God truly except in Her and asserts that all who are outside of Her will not be saved."
St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226): "All who have not believed that Jesus Christ was really the Son of God are doomed. Also, all who see the Sacrament of the Body of Christ and do not believe it is really the most holy Body and Blood of the Lord . . . these also are doomed!"
St. Thomas Aquinas (1226-1274), the Angelic Doctor: There is no entering into salvation outside the Catholic Church, just as in the time of the Flood there was not salvation outside the Ark, which denotes the Church."
St. Louis Marie de Montfort (1673-1716): "There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church. Anyone who resists this truth perishes."
St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621), Bishop and Doctor of the Church: "Outside the Church there is no salvation...therefore in the symbol (Apostles Creed) we join together the Church with the remission of sins: 'I believe in the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins"...For this reason the Church is compared to the Ark of Noah, because just as during the deluge, everyone perished who was not in the ark, so now those perish who are not in the Church."
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787), Bishop and Doctor of the Church: "All the misfortunes of unbelievers spring from too great an attachment to the things of life. This sickness of heart weakens and darkens the understanding, and leads to eternal ruin. If they would try to heal their hearts by purging them of their vices, they would soon receive light, which would show them the necessity of joining the Catholic Church, where alone is salvation. We should constantly thank the Lord for having granted us the gift of the true Faith, by associating us with the children of the Holy Catholic Church ... How many are the infidels, heretics, and schismatics who do not enjoy the happiness of the true Faith! Earth is full of them and they are all lost!"
Pope Pius XII (1939-1958): Some say they are not bound by the doctrine which teaches that the Mystical Body of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church are one and the same thing. Some reduce to a meaningless formula the necessity of belonging to the true Church in order to gain eternal salvation. Others finally belittle the reasonable character of the credibility of Christian Faith. These and like ERRORS, it is clear, have crept in among certain of our sons who are deceived by imprudent zeal for souls or by false science." (The dates for the two Popes are the years they reigned as Sovereign Pontiffs.)
Learn more about: Outside The Catholic Church There Is No Salvation; and: The Bible Proves the Teachings of the Catholic Church.