Today is May 19th. We all know what that means: the rapture is supposed to happen in a few days (according to Harold Camping and the false teachers at Family Radio…and he’s never been wrong before about this, has he?). Given that the event is supposedly on Saturday, I figured I should cover it. Do I agree with these people? No.
For those of you who haven’t heard it, here’s their logic: Harold Camping says that the number five equals “atonement”, the number ten equals “completeness”, and the number seventeen equals “heaven”. He states that Christ died on April 1, 33 AD. The time between April 1, 33 AD and April 1, 2011 is 1,978 years. If 1,978 is multiplied by 365.2422 days (the number of days in a solar year, not to be confused with the lunar year), the result is 722,449. The time between April 1 and May 21 is 51 days. 51 added to 722,449 is 722,500. (5 x 10 x 17)2 or (atonement x completeness x heaven)2 also equals 722,500.
So, according to Camping’s logic, since the number of days since Christ’s death equals the product of three numbers squared, He’s coming back Saturday. Do I need to start going over how ludicrous this is? I do? Ok.
Let me begin by saying that I believe in the pre-tribulational rapture. At any moment, Christ will return, and all church-age believers (both living and dead) will instantly leave the surface of the earth and meet Him in the clouds, at which point we will go to heaven for approximately seven years, while bad stuff happens here on earth. Then Christ will return (with us in tow), crush His enemies and set up a one-thousand year reign on earth. That’s the basics of my view on end-time events (also called “eschatology”).
Here are my problems with the Family Radio view:
- I don’t know where he’s getting this “five equals atonement” business (or any other of the other numbers). The only numbers I’ve ever heard of that meant anything were 666 and “7” which is the number of perfection (but I wouldn’t base a doctrine on that).
- Christ died on April 1, 33 AD? According to whom? Personally I believe He died around 29 AD, which throws this whole thing in the trash.
- He multiplies by the amount of days in a solar year. He totally rejects the fact that the Jews don’t use a solar calendar, they use a lunar calendar. This is a weak point, I know, but it bears stating.
- My final point is more of a question: Why does he square the product of those three numbers? What is the logic behind doing that math step?
In conclusion, Christ could return on Saturday, but I don’t think He’s any more or less likely to return on Saturday than He is on Friday, Sunday, next week, or in 2013 (that one’s for you Mayans!). I wonder what Harold Camping is going to say on Sunday if the rapture doesn’t take place on Saturday. One friend of mine suggested he will say something like, “We prayed to God for an extension of His mercy, and He has granted that extension…the rapture has been postponed so that more people can be saved.” I’ll be interested to see what happens.
Well… I agree that he’s probably not coming back this week, but my logic is lots less work. See… I got up this AM at about 6AM. I was going to put in some summer wheat (hard red) yesterday (2500 sq ft), but spent the whole afternoon putting in the 49 sweet potatoes instead.
It was supposed to rain last night… and for the next two days. It didn’t. So I threw on some clothes (wouldn’t want to shock the woodland creatures), and boogied out to the garden and got to work.
The rain clouds were getting closer and closer. The ground had hardened since I roto-tilled it. I had to fluff it up with the tiller. Then rake it smooth. The rain clouds were getting closer and CLOSER! I was almost done raking and I felt a light run of misty rain.
I asked God to please hold off until I got the wheat in.
It stopped raining. I worked my tushy off and got the ground raked and leveled.
The wind was blowing – and I reminded God that you can’t sow wheat via broadcasting it when you have a high wind, and asked Him would He please drop the wind velocity. As soon as I got the wheat loaded in the seeder, the wind dropped to almost calm – it was just a light breeze. I broadcast the wheat in a fairly even cover pattern.
Then the wind picked up again as I started dragging the rake over the wheat to settle it in. Just as I finished, it started to rain – very lightly. I gathered my stuff and said, “Thanks, God!” and came back to the house.
Now I’ve always thought God is the definition of “rational.” Would it be rational for Him to help me plant wheat that won’t ripen until later this summer if I wasn’t going to be around to harvest it? Well… maybe. But I think I’m supposed to harvest and eat that wheat – so He won’t be back until at least I get the wheat in.
BUT if you prefer mathematical solutions to non-problems – I got up at 6AM. It took me nearly 3 hours to get the wheat in. 6 divided by 3 is 2. That’s the first number. The number of the Beast is sometimes translated as 666. My dogs were hanging around while I planted the wheat, and they are beasts. But since there are only three of them, 666 times 333 equals 221,778. So to any with even half a head of hair, this proves without a doubt that He is not coming back Saturday – unless He wants to.
Got it? Good. I’m glad we’ve done away with all that silliness and I can go plant spinach and radishes and lettuce if it continues to not pour down rain.
And International Towel Day is only THREE days away!!! (Wed. May 25th).
DON’T FORGET TO WEAR YOUR TOWEL!!!