“And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.” 2 Peter 1:19,20.
Not until very recently have I been aware of Mr Camping and his prophecy predicting a secret rapture on May 21st 2011, followed by the earth’s destruction 5 months later. Intrigued by this, though immediately sceptical, I decided to do some research into this apocalyptic doctrine that many tens of thousands have believed true.
In my research online, I found the vast majority of people hurling ridicule, insults and generally rubbishing the claims of Harold Camping and his followers. This saddened me for two reasons: first, because I believe whole heartedly in Bible prophecy, and what is evident from this episode is that the majority of non-Christians are not prepared to invest a little effort in searching out for themselves the real truth of the matter. Instead, they are content to disregard it as utter foolishness from the outset. This leads me to my second point. It is because when men such as Harold Camping go public with new apocalyptic predictions every so often, the credibility of real Biblical truth suffers irreparable damage in the eyes of the general public as their claims are inevitably proven false once again. This is the kind of Christianity which inflicts the most damage upon the hearts and minds of those who might otherwise have sought Christ and His truths.
In continuing my search, I came across an article (click here to read) refuting the claims of Harold Camping. As I began reading it, I found the author’s stance on the Biblical narrative regarding apocalyptic predictions rather agreeable at first. This optimism quickly evaporated however, as he/she began to elaborate further on prophetic interpretation in regards to the end of days. As is the case with most Christians aligned with the futurism and preterism methods of prophetic interpretation (95% of them), our understanding took two separate and diverging paths at that point, specifically in relation to the Middle-East in end time Bible prophecy, the secret rapture, and the great tribulation.
After commenting that Luke 21:23,24, predicts an end time desolation of Jerusalem, the author introduces David C. Pack as the foremost authority on Bible prophecy, and continues by quoting him extensively. At this point, the line of reasoning presented sent question marks like missiles hurtling violently through my mind. Questions such as, where does the Bible speak explicitly of saints being raptured secretly prior to Christ’s coming? How is it that over “four-fifths of Bible prophecy remains unfulfilled” (despite the Christian church’s 2000 year history), yet we are considered to be living in the last days? If Bible prophecy relates specifically to God’s people, what sense does it make for Israel to suddenly re-appear after a 2000 year absence and play a significant role in the end? “Numerous passages explain that the Tribulation lasts two and a half years, followed by the year-long Day of our Lord…” Huh???
I will state here categorically that God alone, not David C. Pack, or Harold Camping, is the foremost authority on Bible prophecy. “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.” Isaiah 45:18,20,21.
We serve “a God in heaven that reveleath secrets” (Dan. 2:28), and knowing that “no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Pet. 1:20), even a farmer studying in sincerity of heart may have the depths of His word opened unto him in truth. And so I have decided to write my own thoughts and understanding on the subject here.
Unfortunately, usually when discussing Scriptural interpretation, the proper context is rarely set. However, I will make every effort where possible to explore and establish the context of the matters raised in my following posts…
[continued in the following post, "Jerusalem, the City of God"]
- polishedmud posted this