I have been watching the latest Harold Camping videos over the last few days at the Ezekiel thirty three 3 You Tube site. [Added: May 24, 2011 - It turns out the guy who did this filming infiltrated into Harold Camping's ministry and this guy does not even believe the Bible at all; much less Camping's false teachings and predictions. wow.] I also also listened again to Dr. White's debates with Harold Camping that are from almost a year ago. At the time I first heard about this guy back around 1988, another guy was also predicting the rapture. I dismissed them easily as nuts, citing in my mind Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32 and Acts 1:6-8. I have been amazed at all the followers that Camping has, I had no idea that this “movement” was that widespread. I am amazed at all the money that people have wasted on billboards and artwork and cars with professional signs. Truly amazing.
In his debates with Dr. White, Camping just ignored everything that Dr. White said and went on with his own interpretive system, allegory, numerology, subjectivism and connecting different passages together that have nothing to do with each other.
Irenaeus around 200 AD wrote of the Gnostics that did that, grabbing a verse here and connecting it with a verse somewhere else.
Sound Hermeneutics and theology and reading whole chapters and whole books of the Scriptures at a time for context are the great need in local churches.
It is obvious that all those large crowds of people that go to Joel Osteen or Kenneth Copeland or Benny Hinn meetings do not read their Bibles in large sections in context (chapters, paragraphs, books).
What is really ironic is that Camping told everyone years ago that the church age had ended, and that everyone should flee the churches, and yet he has, what appears to be a "church service" there, shown in the videos. (pulpit, audience, etc.)
It is incredible to watch him, and his followers, and to think that they really believe this stuff.
"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. Matthew 24:36 (see also Mark 13:32)
So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?"
He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;
but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."
www.aomin.org (for Dr. White's debates with Harold Camping and other messages on his heresies.)
Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1:8:1
In this passage, Irenaeus tells us the Gnostics do 2 things -
1. They gather information from sources other than the Scriptures.
Camping keeps claiming he does not do that (as other heretics also claim); but the way he connects numbers in different passages and "breaking down" the numbers is really outside from Scripture and also from his own mind. He is an outside source, using his strange system of how to connect verses and allegorical and mystical interpretations of numbers.
Chapter VIII.-How the Valentinians Pervert the Scriptures to Support Their Own Pious Opinions.
1. Such, then, is their system, which neither the prophets announced, nor the Lord taught, nor the apostles delivered, but of which they boast that beyond all others they have a perfect knowledge. They gather their views from other sources than the Scriptures; and, to use a common proverb, they strive to weave ropes of sand, while they endeavor to adapt with an air of probability to their own peculiar assertions the parables of the Lord, the sayings of the prophets, and the words of the apostles, in order that their scheme may not seem altogether without support. . . .
2. They Connect different passages together without following the context or argument of either passage.
". . .
In doing so, however, they disregard the order and the connection of the Scriptures, and so far as in them lies, dismember and destroy the truth. By transferring passages, and dressing them up anew, and making one thing out of another, they succeed in deluding many through their wicked art in adapting the oracles of the Lord to their opinions. Their manner of acting is just as if one, when a beautiful image of a king has been constructed by some skillful artist out of precious jewels, should then take this likeness of the man all to pieces, should rearrange the gems, and so fit them together as to make them into the form of a dog or of a fox, and even that but poorly executed; and should then maintain and declare that this was the beautiful image of the king which the skillful artist constructed, pointing to the jewels which had been admirably fitted together by the first artist to form the image of the king, but have been with bad effect transferred by the latter one to the shape of a dog, and by thus exhibiting the jewels, should deceive the ignorant who had no conception what a king's form was like, and persuade them that that miserable likeness of the fox was, in fact, the beautiful image of the king. In like manner do these persons patch together old wives' fables, and then endeavor, by violently drawing away from their proper connection, words, expressions, and parables whenever found, to adapt the oracles of God to their baseless fictions. We have already stated how far they proceed in this way with respect to the interior of the Pleroma."
Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1:8:1
I was amazed again listening to Harold Camping connect "the book" in Daniel 12 with Mark 4:33-34, I Cor. 2:13, and 2 Peter 3:8 and a verse from Genesis 41 and then add his thoughts and connections and "breaking down the numbers" and the repetition of "we know" and "its very clear" and "this means that" and "that number means that" and "only the Bible", etc.
These are the same methods that other heretical groups do, having sources outside of the Scriptures and connecting individual passages that have nothing to do with each other, and ignoring the context of verses.
The Word of Faith (Financial Prosperity and Healing/ Name it Claim it) movement and many on TBN does this. Just some of these false teachers: the late Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Paula White, Joyce Meyer, T. D. Jakes, John Hagee, Joel Osteen, Paul and Jan Crouch, Jesse Duplantis, Marilyn Hickey and Eddie Long. Their other sources came from the "New Thought" of E. W. Kenyon and other positive thinking mind over matter cults; and are their assumptions about positive thinking and the innate power of saying words and formulas; and their wrong ideas about God, that they get from their own greedy desires for money and wealth and success. Not only that, their messages lack citing verses in their context and they just jump from one verse on healing or God's blessing or prosperity or answered prayer in one passage, and jump to another completely different verse and connect them together wrongly. For example, they take a phrase from Romans 4:17, that God "calls into being that which does not exist" and connect it with Ephesians 5:1, "be imitators of God", and then say that we can create our own money, wealth, success, healing by imitating God the same way as God created things out of nothing in Genesis 1, "be, and it became"; and they even say things like "speak words to your wallet; you big fat wallet full of money"; and "body, I take authority over you and speak healing to you right now", etc. They, like Mormons, another cult and false religion, also take Psalm 82:6 and John 10 out of context and say "you are little gods" and you can call things into being which do not exist. It is amazing that so many people actually think that is good teaching.
Same thing that Roman Catholics do about Mary (and other issues), using sources other than the Scriptures (human oral traditions), and seeing her in the arc of the covenant, and connecting her to obscure verses in Ezekiel, etc. as others have pointed out.
Yes, the hermeneutical method of heretics is very old.