“But of that day or of that hour no one knows, neither the angels who are in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father. Take heed, watch and pray, for ye do not know when the time is” (Mark 13:32-33)
“Watch therefore, for ye know not in what hour your Lord comes. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what watch the thief was coming, he would have watched and not have suffered his house to be dug through [into]. Wherefore ye also, be ye ready, for in that hour that ye think not the Son of man comes.” (Matthew 24:42-44)
Here we are again before another case of disrespect for God’s Word like the one we saw in the Hell vision of Bill Wiese: another false prophet, Harold Camping, considers the verses quoted at the head of this article as being optional opinions and not the absolute truth of God. Without consideration for the particular and general contexts of the text, he relies on some speculations he has made about imaginary numerical “prophecies” in the Bible, and he thinks he is free to give any interpretation he wants to these texts and to conclude anything he wants, and he then considers his conclusions as being the “biblical authority” as he calls it, while the truth is that only the Bible can interpret the Bible. And those who hate the truth believe such charlatans, without even realizing that this man has previously lied to them, and that his lie was exposed!
In the verses quoted above, the Lord was very clear. No man, absolutely no human, knows the day and the hour of Christ’s second coming. Unless Harold Camping is not a mere human, then this part applies to him as well: he does not know the date. Even more: the case is not only that no one knows the time; the case is such as no man in the human condition or limitation can know the time. You can’t find any method of calculation or anything that may help you know the time. It is an impossibility for the human nature, because it is not given to humans, not even to the Apostles of Christ, to know the times or the seasons “which the Father has placed in his own authority“ (Acts 1:7). And the Lord said even something more than this: not only an Apostle cannot know the time, but even the Son, in His earthly human limitation, does not know the time. It is in such a way that this impossibility to know the time is inherent to the limitations of the human nature. Not even the Son, who is God incarnate, could know the time as long as He was in the human condition or limitation on earth. He obeyed God the Father as a human under the Law. He had emptied Himself, and thus He had accepted the limitations of our condition on earth (cf. Philippians 2:7). And even after He went to the Father who was greater than Him (cf. John 14:28), i.e. He took back His previous position with the Father (a position which is greater than His condition on earth as a man lower than God), even then the Lord Jesus in His eternal humanity (cf. Hebrews 13:8) didn’t take for His human prophetic office the authority to know the time which belongs to the Father and to Jesus Himself (in His Divine incarnated and glorified Nature — as He says in Matthew 28:18 “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”) So although Jesus as God knew the time, but He had not taken this authority of knowledge for His human prophetic office of the New Covenant (Read our article about the meaning of “Messiah” in order to understand this better). Thus even the Perfect Human, Jesus Christ, as the Prophet of the New Covenant, is not given to know the time in His humanity. So when Jesus said that not even the Son knows the time, this was a clear teaching from the Lord Himself that the knowledge of the time of His second coming would not be in any way revealed to any prophet of the New Covenant, as the Prophet of the Covenant Himself does not have that knowledge in His human authority as Prophet, and thus He will never reveal it to the prophets of the New Covenant. In other terms, when Jesus said that not even the Son knows the time, He was practically saying that the time of His second coming would never be revealed to any human. However, as it seems, false prophets insist to think that such teachings are just optional or secondary teachings for the reason that many Christians cannot see them in the big image of the New Testament doctrine about the Messiah as we have seen above (please, read also the article about the “Messiah”, because the explanation about “The Prophet” in that article is very important for a good understanding of what has been explained above).
And on this very important truth of the impossibility to know the time Jesus builds the importance of the means of sanctification for the Church. You can’t know when the thief will come to rob your house, so you can’t say “I will not wake up and watch until that time comes; I will have rest until then…” The Apostles also told us that this second coming and the Judgment Day will come suddenly like a thief, therefore we should walk in godliness and in the light always: “But the day of [the] Lord will come as a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a rushing noise, and [the] elements, burning with heat, shall be dissolved, and [the] earth and the works in it shall be burnt up. All these things then being to be dissolved, what ought ye to be in holy conversation and godliness“ (2 Peter 3:10-11); “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that ye should be written to, for ye know perfectly well yourselves, that the day of [the] Lord so comes as a thief by night. When they may say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon her that is with child; and they shall in no wise escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you as a thief: for all ye are sons of light and sons of day; we are not of night nor of darkness. So then do not let us sleep as the rest do, but let us watch and be sober; for they that sleep sleep by night, and they that drink drink by night; but we being of [the] day, let us be sober, putting on [the] breastplate of faith and love, and as helmet [the] hope of salvation; because God has not set us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-9) It is because we can’t know the time that we will be sanctified in the true New Covenant way, i.e. by the Spirit. Jesus said that, as we don’t know when the time is, therefore we should take heed, be on the alert, watch and pray. We should be ready for the coming of the Bridegroom. He may come at any moment, and those who are not ready will stay out! Thus the truth of the sudden coming of the Lord is very important for a right understanding of Christian sanctification. All churches that have misunderstood or dismissed this truth have fallen either in antinomianism (the refusal to obey God’s Law and the turning of God’s Grace into licentiousness — cf. Jude 4) or in legalism (the practice of those who rely on their righteousness in order to be sanctified — cf. Galatians 3:2-3). The wrong teaching of decisional salvation is a direct result of a false understanding of the second coming: as people don’t understand what it means that they should be ready for the second coming of their Lord, so they think a past “decision for Christ” is all what is needed for their Salvation, thus misunderstanding the relation between justification and sanctification. Tell anyone of them to be ready for the coming of the Lord, and he will be surprised: “Why! I am already saved, so I am ready!”… They don’t understand that Salvation as past tense (justification) is inseparable from salvation in present tense (sanctification). Even though they could say we should be ready, but they assume they are already ready… And thus they don’t understand that there is nothing called a true Salvation without fruits of righteousness in the life of the one who is saved. While those who are really in Christ take His warnings seriously, “yielding obedience to the commands, trembling at the threatenings, and embracing the promises of God for this life, and that which is to come.” (The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XIV, Of Saving Faith) They know that a true faith is present-tense repentant faith that works through love (cf. Galatians 5:6). In fact, we should be ready always! We should be walking by faith always! If we don’t, then we are not ready if the Lord suddenly comes today. This truth is indeed very important, so I encourage you to read more about it in our articles Are we already righteous or not? and Who is a righteous man?
This very important and essential truth that is explained above is attacked by those charlatans who come up each day to predict for us a time for the Lord’s second coming. Instead of believing the Lord about the fact that they cannot know the time, and consequently watch and pray and walk in the truth, they concentrate on disobeying the Lord by trying to guess the time which He said no one will know! And they lead others behind them in this disobedience. Thus people forget the following warning of the Lord: “Then if any one say to you, Behold, here is the Christ, or here, believe [it] not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall give great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you beforehand. If therefore they say to you, Behold, he is in the desert, go not forth; behold, [he is] in the inner chambers, do not believe [it]. For as the lightning goes forth from the east and shines to the west, so shall be the coming of the Son of man.” (Matthew 24:23-27) The Lord warned us that in the last days the concentration of the false prophets will be on the wrong things in relation to His second coming, and He warned us that we should not believe them. As He gave this warning solemnly, so it is very important. If we believe them, then this will show that we are not of His sheep, because, as He said, His sheep “follow him, because they know his voice. But they will not follow a stranger, but will flee from him, because they know not the voice of strangers.” (John 10:4-5) And His Apostles also warned us: “Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2) A Christian who listens to the voice of the Shepherd will learn to turn his eyes from those vanities, and will concentrate on understanding the mind and Will of God each day in relation to all what happens in this world and in his life, thus watching and understanding the signs of the times (cf. Matthew 16:3). And the signs of the times are not about knowing the future by looking to signs that happen now, but about knowing what season or what kind of time is now, and thus to be prepared spiritually for the coming of the Lord at any time now (near): “But when these things begin to come to pass, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws nigh.” (Luke 21:28) If the Lord wanted us to read the future instead of understanding the present in the light of God’s Word so that we may be ready now, then the Lord would be contradicting Himself, because in other places He said that we can’t know the time. And the Lord does not contradict Himself. We know in what kind of time the Lord will come, so when that happens we will know it, but not before. We can’t know the exact date, because it’s not about mathematics, but it is in the authority of the Father. It is an attack against the Sovereignty of God to try to find out the times and seasons which are in His authority.
So we should be careful not to follow or listen to false prophets, because the Shepherd’s sheep will not listen to strangers and will not follow them. God’s Word says: “And if thou say in thy heart, How shall we know the word that Jehovah hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of Jehovah, and the thing followeth not, nor cometh to pass, that is the word which Jehovah hath not spoken; the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: be not afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:21-22) Harold Camping has previously said that the second coming of Christ would happen on 6 September 1994, and that did not happen! So how can any true believer still listen to such a false prophet? Even more, God’s Word says: “If there arise among you a prophet, or one that dreameth dreams, and he give thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass that he told unto thee, when he said, Let us go after other gods, whom thou hast not known, and let us serve them, — thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams; for Jehovah your God proveth you, to know whether ye love Jehovah your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after Jehovah your God, and ye shall fear him, and his commandments shall ye keep, and his voice shall ye hear; and ye shall serve him, and unto him shall ye cleave.” (Deuteronomy 13:1-4) Even if some things that a false prophet like Camping says come to pass, that doesn’t mean he is a true prophet, because, as we have seen in the previous passage, ALL what he says should come to pass. And besides this, this second passage comes to tell us that even if what the prophet says comes to pass, and yet he teaches us wrong things about God, then we should not listen to him. We now know at least one very heretical teaching from Harold Camping about sanctification: he teaches that we may know the time of Christ’s second coming, thus leading people to sin, as we have seen above. Of course, Harold Camping also has many other heretical teachings (like his teaching about annihilation and against eternal damnation, and his practical denial of God’s Sovereignty). He now says that the second coming and the judgment will happen on 21 May 2011, around 6pm… I wonder: is that 6pm USA time?… Because if that’s so, then it will already be 22 May 2011 in other parts of the world, like Middle East and Australia, and thus the prediction of Camping will be wrong again… Maybe he has not paid attention to this point… But whatever is the case, we are sure that Harold Camping is not telling the truth, because that’s what the Bible teaches us (as we have seen in this article). Don’t misunderstand me: the Lord may come today, on 21 May 2011, and even at 6pm, but even then Harold Camping will be wrong for the reasons explained above; he is teaching a wrong doctrine about sanctification and about the Lord’s second coming, thus leading people to sin. It is already sinful to think that the Lord may not come right now, even before I finish typing this sentence! how much more if I think that He will come at 6pm today, and that He may not come now!…
Let us watch and pray and be ready! Maranatha! The Lord is coming! He may come now! Let us be ready, for no man knows the time.
Grace be with you!
Disciple of Jesus Christ