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Doomsday Is Just Another Day for End-Time Evangelist

Jan 5, 2011 – 8:09 AM
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David Moye

David Moye Contributor

What would you do if you knew the world was going to end?

Family Radio Worldwide evangelist Harold Camping
has received a lot of attention in the last few days for announcing the exact date of the Rapture -- May 21, 2011 -- but he tells AOL Weird News that he's not making any big plans for the big day.

"The Bible says the end-times will come to those who are occupied, so I will just continue working and doing the job."

Camping, an 89-year-old former civil engineer-turned-biblical scholar, says he reached his conclusion after 70 years of intense study -- and a few incorrect interpretations. (To err, after all, is human.)

Nevertheless, he is now convinced that the rapture is set to happen in what he reckons is "19 weeks and a few days."

"The Bible guarantees it," Camping says on his website, quoting "... blow the trumpets ... warn the people" from the Book of Ezekiel.

It's nice to have the advance warning, but Camping admits the discovery means his schedule for the next four months and three weeks or so is pretty packed indeed.

"We have a whole lot of work to do warning the world that Judgment Day will soon be here," Camping told AOL News.

It's been a long time coming, but Camping feels a great sense of anticipation for the end-time.

However, he warns that folks who want to spend between now and May 21 trying to get in God's good graces that it may or may not work.

"Some people may claim they can tell you how to be saved, but we have learned with great accuracy that nobody can show anyone how to be saved," Camping said. "All we can do is listen to the word of God and ask for his mercy with great humility."

And faking it won't work. Presumably, the big G is like Santa Claus and knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.

But wait! How did Camping come up with the date anyway?

According to, Camping came up with a mathematical formula using numbers in the Bible.

"Because I was an engineer, I was very interested in the numbers," he said. "I'd wonder, 'Why did God put this number in or that number in?' It was not a question of unbelief, it was a question of, 'There must be a reason for it.' "

Camping concluded that the number five equals "atonement" while 10 is "completeness" and 17 means "heaven." By using the date April 1, A.D. 33 as his starting point, he added 1,978 and came to April 1, 2011.

Then he multiplied 1,978 by 365.2422, the number of days in each solar year. Then, he realized that it's 51 days between April 1 and May 21 and added those to the sum of his multiplication total and got 722,500.

Still with us? Well, Camping realized that 722,500 equals five times 10 times 17 squared: Or, as he prefers, atonement times completeness times heaven squared.

Although Camping says he fell off his seat when he made the connection, others might be skeptical, especially since he made a similar prediction in 1994.

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"I made a mistake," he said. "When you learn to ride a bike, unless your daddy held you, you probably fell. Well, you learn from mistakes. But preachers don't admit they're wrong; I do."

It's just as well. He figures that the current situation is more indicative of the end-time than 1994.

"The gay movement was planned in the Bible as a sign that we're on the threshold of the end," he said.

So, while Camping will be working extra hard in the days before May 21, when that day finally comes he will neither mourn nor break his routine in any way. He's treating doomsday like it's just another day.

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