Harold Camping
Harold Camping, the 90-year-old preacher who predicted the end of the world on May 21 and Oct. 21, has finally admitted that he made a "mistake." Reuters

Harold Camping now says the world will end on Friday, Oct. 21, 2011.

Earlier this year, Camping, 90, had predicted that the Rapture would take place on May 21 in the form of a global earthquake, followed by five months of torment for the people left behind. When May 21 came and went with no sign of an earthquake or anything else out of the ordinary, he said that God had actually made his judgments invisibly, and that the world would still end as scheduled on Oct. 21.

It is more of the same from Camping, who also predicted that the world would end in September 1994. When that didn't happen, he said he had miscalculated the biblical dates and corrected his prediction to 2011.

In the Bible, God tells Noah that he will bring a flood in seven days, and in another passage, it is said that to God, a day is like a thousand years. Camping interprets that as a message that the world will end exactly 7,000 years after the flood.

Camping Stands By Prediction

Camping has refused to acknowledge any chance of the world not ending this Friday, just as he refused to acknowledge any chance of the Rapture not occurring in May.

It is going to happen. There is no possibility that it will not happen, he said then.

We can be sure that the whole world, with the exception of those who are presently saved (the elect), are under the judgment of God, and will be annihilated together with the whole physical world on Oct. 21, 2011, he says now.

Many of Camping's followers sold their possessions and emptied their bank accounts before May 21, only to be left destitute when the Rapture didn't happen as planned. But Camping refused to help them, saying he was not responsible for what his followers chose to do, because that was a decision between them and God.

Camping had a stroke in June, and afterward, he toned down his descriptions of the end of the world -- but he stuck by the date.

I really am beginning to think, as I restudied these matters, that there's going to be no big display of any kind, he said in an address quoted by The Washington Post. The end is going to come very, very quietly.