The world as we know it will end on October 21st of this year. That’s the newest claim by Christian broadcaster, Harold Camping. Camping earned his 15-minutes of fame when he predicted the rapture of believers and end of the world would take place on May 21st. Of course, we’re still here. Mr. Camping’s word failed to be fulfilled, so he moved on to a new date for his spurious claim.
Most people familiar with the scriptures can easily refute Camping’s doomsday claims by quoting a short, straightforward passage of scripture: Matthew 24:36, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” However, many people, possibly thousands, were taken in by Camping’s claims to know the end of days. Why did they fall into such a spiritual trap when they had the basics before them in the Bible? In fact, why do people follow cult leaders or organizations at all? What is it about people like Harold Camping, Joseph Smith, Jim Jones, and so many others that people fall under their influence? Certainly lack of Bible knowledge plays a roll. Just because you call yourself a Christian and own a Bible doesn’t necessarily mean that you know what it really says. So how do you recognize the characteristics of such charismatic leaders? How do you know they are what the Bible refers to as “false prophets?”
In addition to the guide written in Deuteronomy 18:20-22, here’s a seven-part test to help you recognize a modern-day false prophet.