(Photo: The Christian Post/ Hudson Tsuei)
In a Bible study program published on Family Radio's website this week, Tom Evans, who served as Harold Camping's PR man leading up to the May 21, 2011 non-event, is seeking to comfort supporters who may be experiencing doubt over the accuracy of Oct. 21 – the day Camping says the world will come to an end.
Titled "Tom Evan's Study" and dated Oct. 16, the audio clip features Evans doing a Bible study with Family Radio and Camping supporters about the "spiritual" unfoldings of May 21 and what to expect on Oct. 21, especially if Christians are not raptured, or caught up to heaven.
Evans has known Camping for about 30 years and has worked with Family Radio for 25 years in various capacities.
According to media reports, Evans still serves as Camping's media liaison, but has refused to speak with reporters.
In the Sunday program, Evans tells those gathered at the Family Radio meeting in Oakland, Calif., that he has been in regular contact with Camping, and emphasizes that the 90-year-old Bible teacher, who has been recovering from a June stroke in his Alameda home, "believes that unbelievers will simply become tired, fall asleep and never awake."
The following are excerpted quotes from Evans' meeting with Camping supporters on Sunday.
Camping's Change of Heart on the Fate of "Unbelievers"
"He [Camping] has emphasized that he is convicted that the end will come very quietly. That the end will come like a whisper. That the unsaved of the world will fall asleep and never reawaken. There won't be any suffering or torturing."
"We don't know how He [God] will bring about the end... we don't know physically what that will look like, how it will take place..."
"He believes that unbelievers will simply become tired, fall asleep and never awake."
"Is he correct? ... I want to believe this. I hope and pray that this is the case."
May 21 Fallout's "Important Lesson" for Camping and Family Radio
"We mistakenly thought that every eye would see Christ coming on the clouds. ... We know that's not true for several reasons..."
"We have learned since May 21 that we cannot look at things literally necessarily. May 21 was a very good teacher. And it taught us some very painful, but important lessons. And that is, we can never presume anything. We cannot presume we that understand something simply because we want to believe it. Especially when God uses parabolic language in the Bible and we look at it physically. We must be very careful with how we interpret Scripture, especially when it comes to the character of the end. On the other hand, though our understanding of truth is faulty at times, we must never be ashamed of the truth."
"If God's Sprit has revealed something individually, we should never be ashamed of that. We should never apologize to anyone that God has opened our eyes to truth. That doesn't mean that we know everything. ... We have to humbly admit that we see through a glass darkly."
"A child of God can have great, great comfort knowing that the Spirit of God will guide and lead him or her into truth. That we will not be deceived. Jesus said in Matt 24:24 'false Christs and false prophets shall arise' and these false Christs and false prophets will be so good at deceiving that, if possible, they could deceive the very elect.' "
"I rely upon that, that God's Spirit will guide me individually, not collectively, but individually, me personally, I trust that God's Spirit will lead me into truth. If I am starting to go down a path of false teaching, if I embrace a teacher or a pastor or someone and I begin to think 'wow, yeah that sounds reasonable to me,' and start going down a path... Well, what did Jesus say? He said that's not possible. He said 'my sheep hear my voice and a stranger they will not follow.' "
Oct. 21, 2011 Rapture Claims Described as "10,000-Pound Elephant"
"Here we are, we're standing here today, we have all the questions and all the problems and all the issues connected with Oct. 21, five days away. All of our hopes, those of us who've been around Mr. Camping for years, decades. I've known Mr. Camping for almost 30 years. And for a long time, I've had expectation that Christ would come back in my life time. Now, within the last 6 years, since around 2005, 2011's become a very real year. Has become a very important year."
"So now, here we are. The 10,000-pound elephant sitting right in the room. In less than five days from today, we'll know whether we were right or wrong. Whether we understood the Scriptures correctly, whether the Spirit of God directed us, or whether we were deceived. That's a big question."
"The other question I think that is huge, is whether or not any of us here will be left, will fall asleep and ever reawaken. That's a question that's between you and God. Only God can answer that, and only you can answer that."
"May 21 taught us that we cannon look at the natural and rely upon our natural senses to know whether or not Christ will come back. We didn't understand that on May 21, and we must understand that now."
Disappointment on "Foolishness" of Camping's Teachings
"We didn't misunderstand. We were looking for something physical but something spiritual occurred. Can't prove it to anybody, especially to those, the princes and all the people of the world that do not have Christ's spirit in them. They think of all this is foolishness..."
On May 21: "Again, was it spiritual? Yes. Can we prove it? No. We can't prove something that's spiritual to someone that's natural. They will thnk 'foolishness, you are fools and you believe in foolishness.' "
"Has the Spirit of God guided us to this point? I say yes."
"Are we ready? Is Oct.21 the day? God will reveal this, certainly in five days from We can have great comfort, those of us who truly believe this and trust this.
"We can believe something, Lord help Thou my unbelief. I have to admit, I have my doubts. I'm not saying that I doubt the Scriptures. I do doubt my own understanding. ... But that's where my trust in God's Spirit comes into play. That's where a child of God needs God's spirit to protect us. That's where we need God to guide us."
"In five days from now, we are going to experience something so totally beyond our ability to image. Or, we'll be be here. If we humbly acknowledge the fact that we may not know everything. This is something Mr. Camping and I talked about many times. He learned something from May 21, he learned a very difficult lesson, and that is we see through a glass darkly. So we can never say absolutely Oct. 21."
"Now, we have to counterbalance that, human belief and fear... with all the great amount of Scripture that points to Oct. 21 being the day when Christ will come take His believers and destroy this universe. A lot of evidence, a lot of good evidence. This isn't just pie in the sky."
What if the Oct. 21 "Physical" Rapture Fails to Happen?
"How am I gonna respond if it doesn't happen? Well, I think we all can trust that God will strengthen us. If there's something we've missed, then He will strengthen us."
[After reading John 14:15-17] "God didn't stop abiding with a child of God when we started thinking about May 21 or Oct. 21. God was with us through that entire period, cause He says He'll be with us forever. God doesn't turn His back on His people."
[After reading Amos 3:7 and Isaiah 42:9] "God has set up a pattern. He tells His people what He's going to do before He does it. He tells His prophets. The end of the world? I would say it's probably the biggest event since Creation. Why would He not tell us what's gonna happen before it springs forth? He does, and we can have great confidence in this."
[After reading Luke 21:25] "God has sent on the world deep-sleep. Drunkenness, spiritual drunkenness so that people don't have any idea what's going on."
[After relating story of Lot's wife from Genesis account] "What happened to Lot's wife? ... She was not saved. Even though she knew about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, God took her by the hand, just like us. We can know all about May 21, all about Oct 21, but if we truly have not been born again, thats the question we should be examining ourselves for the next five days. Examine yourselves, there's nothing wrong with that..."
Evans closed the meeting, as he opened it, with prayer: "We long to be with you, Father. We are weary, and we long to be with You. And we do pray that that day, when you come for us, that we will be ready."
According to the Kansas City Star, Camping's home phone number has been disconnected, and a woman who answered the door to his home Monday said the Bible teacher was not seeing anyone.