The Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association

The End of the World? Keep Watching!

by Jim Josephsen

This time the end of the world was to occur on October 21st, 2011.

Oops! Wrong again. When will the likes of Harold Camping and his followers with their brand of Christianity ever learn?

Perhaps you recall back in May, the 21st to be exact, Judgment Day was to take place on the earth. A great earthquake was to occur with massive global destruction occurring coincidentally with graves opening and some two hundred million “saved” individuals wafting up to heaven, as God poured out his wrath upon sinning mankind. (For a recap of this false prediction, see our “Word From” article, Another Day, Another Lie.)

The May 21st prediction was wrong and the false prophet was quick to adjust his message. He spiritualized his apocalyptic interpretations and put a twist on his fortune telling. After May 21st came and went, Camping went back to his mathematical equations, establishing a new timetable. And of course a new date was set; October 21st, 2011.

According to Camping, what really happened on May 21st was that God accomplished exactly what he wanted to have happen. That was to warn the whole world that on May 21st God’s salvation program would be finished on that day. For the next five months, except for the elect (the true believers), the whole world would be under God’s final judgment. To accomplish this goal God withheld from the true believers the way in which two phases were to be understood. Had he not done so, the world would never have been shaken in fear as it was, so Camping teaches.

One of Camping’s followers was reported to have concluded that instead of an “earthquake” meaning the earth or the ground quaking violently occurring on May 21st, what really happened on that day was “all mankind was shaken with fear.”

Are you shaking your head in bewilderment yet?

On May 21st, when no noticeable global destruction occurred, when no reports of disasters, no twitters or videos gone viral were evident, Camping had to re-evaluate his folly. Several months later he proclaimed that on May 21st, “God had brought down an invisible ‘spiritual judgment’ upon humanity and that the world was still scheduled to end in October.” Camping stated, “I am really beginning to think as I restudied these matters that there’s going to be no big display of any kind. The end is going to come very, very quietly, probably within the next month. It will happen that is, by October 21st.”

Continuing, Camping stated, “There will be no pain suffered by anyone because of their rebellion against God … we can become more and more sure that they’ll quietly die and that will be the end of their story.” And October 21st was to be the end.

Oh give it a rest! Even a cursory reading of the Bible, read in a literal sense, shows the juvenile logic of Camping and his followers, as they attempt to interpret Biblical prophecy.

One can only hope that Camping will decide to quit telling his fairytales and save face while he still has a chance. Interestingly enough, this is now the third time (once in 1994; then of course twice in 2011) Camping has attempted and failed to predict the end of the world; what he would characterize as Judgment Day.

Let’s get another thing straight; the Bible does not prophesy an end of the world; which is to say a complete and utter end of this earth brought about by a destructive force so powerful that not one person is left alive and the earth is no longer the third planet orbiting around the sun.

In relating to end-time prophecies, of events to occur prior to the return of Jesus Christ, the Bible does not speak of an absolute and complete physical destruction of the planet earth. Of certainty the topography and physical features, the country-side, cities, at street-level, mountains and shorelines; all will be affected. These results will manifest themselves not only due to nations at war with one another, civil unrest and physical violence of all types, but also as a direct intervention of God, in order to get mankind’s attention.

There is a time coming that will require the intervention of God, through Jesus Christ, in order to save mankind from destroying itself, from complete and utter annihilation.

When God decides to address the world, when God shakes the earth; when His outpouring of judgment is revealed– the entire world will know it. Nothing will be as if in secret and done quietly, when God decides to get your attention.

When Jesus Christ was asked, “Tell us when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming and the end of the age (Greek – aion – age or period of time, course),” He responded with a series of chronological events that will transpire leading up to his return; His second coming.

Mankind is very capable of destroying itself and would do just that, unless God interferes in the affairs of the nations and peoples (cf. Mathew 24:22).

Camping’s prophetic utterances failed. What a pity. Thinking of his three attempts, and the likes of others who have predicted end-time scenarios, only to realize the predictions did not come to pass; a scripture comes to mind, found in Deuteronomy 18:22. If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, his message is not what the Lord has spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.

It is disturbing to realize more and more people these days are entertained by the words of alleged preachers (men and women alike); are taken in and attracted to teachings that are the exact opposite of the very Bible itself. Rather than simply reading the Bible and letting the Bible interpret itself, many Christians are hoodwinked and believe lies.

The prophecies of the Bible are of no private interpretation (cf. 2 Peter 1:20). God reveals exactly what He will allow to transpire in the end-time.

Consider what the Word of God proclaims and compare it with the failed attempts of false-prophets like Camping; Amos 3:7. Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he reveals his secrets to his servants the prophets. Consider also Isaiah 8:20: to the law and the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light (or truth) in them.

God has revealed the events that are to occur not only to the nations of the United States, Britain, Australia and Canada but to the entire world; events that will culminate in the return of Jesus Christ. The scenario of events soon to occur is nothing like that which Camping proclaims.

Ironically, October 21st being yet again a bust and a day of ridicule is still further evidence of the accuracy and validity of the Bible. Jesus Christ accurately stated: Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying I am Christ and shall deceive many (Matthew 24:4-5).

Further God warns, I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the hearts of the prophets that prophesy lies? Yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; (Jeremiah 23:25-26). False prophets come and go. In their wake, they leave disillusioned and disappointed people.

Of a truth the Lord is a true God, he is a living God and an everlasting king: at his wrath the nations shall tremble and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation (Jeremiah 10:10). God will judge the earth, according to the truth. (cf. Romans 1:32 – 2:2).

But only for a while will all the nations tremble, for in God’s mercy, salvation will come to the whole earth and all the inhabitants therein. God will not keep his wrath forever, but will save His creation; as the prophets of old and the Apostles have declared. As an example of how God’s mercies will flourish for all mankind, notice what He spoke to Israel. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer (Isaiah 54:8). It is God’s desire that all will be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth (cf. 1 Timothy 2:4) and God has a plan laid out to give every human being the opportunity to repent.

God will send his wrath upon sinning mankind, to stop man’s misery and to get their attention, resulting in the death of many. None the less, God will provide a chance for the dead to live again (cf. Revelation 20:5). This is a fact Camping does not preach.

Of the hour and the day, no man knows (Mark 13:32). Any person, who would stay faithful to God and stay safe under God’s protection, will not listen to anyone who predicts a date for the end of the world or predicts a date of Christ’s return.

Christ admonished those who would be faithful to Him to watch and pray - for you know not when the time is. (Mark 13:33). He also stated, as Luke wrote, Watch therefore and pray always that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man.

It was obvious Camping was wrong. No matter what date he proclaims, he will never get it right.

As for you, it is best that you give heed to the Word of God, and with all due diligence – Keep Watching!


Breaking News Stories
Go here for the latest news stories on this subject. –news stories added 1 November 2011
Further reading:
Our Commentary
In War, There is No Timeline
12/21/12...Is this the End?
Dangerous Holy Men
Another Day, Another Lie
The End of the World? Keep Watching!
Quote by Garner Ted Armstrong:
"With an outline of global conditions as a guide, one is better prepared to WATCH certain new developments in the context of Matthew 24."
-End Time Prophecy, 21st Century Watch, Volume 11, Number 2 [Fall, 2008]
2011 end times prediction - Wikipedia
Biography of Harold Camping

Left: atomic blast
Center: Harold Camping
Right: destruction of the world