It is not unusual to find many books about religious prophecy both on the internet or in the bookstores at the malls. It is big business in these times, and many have predicted things concerning the end of the world, and other such things. One of the most notable was Edgar C. Whisenant who is the author of a book which predicted the rapture would occur in 1988. Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia encyclopedia:
Edgar C. Whisenant (September 25, 1932 – May 16, 2001), was a former NASA engineer and Bible student who predicted the Rapture would occur in 1988, sometime between Sept. 11 and Sept. 13. He published two books about this: 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988 and On Borrowed Time. Eventually, 300,000 copies of 88 Reasons were mailed free of charge to ministers across America, and 4.5 million copies were sold in bookstores and elsewhere. Whisenant was quoted as saying “Only if the Bible is in error am I wrong; and I say that to every preacher in town,” and “[I]f there were a king in this country and I could gamble with my life, I would stake my life on Rosh Hashana 88.” 
Whisenant’s predictions were taken seriously in some parts of the evangelical Christian community. As the great day approached, regular programming on the Christian Trinity Broadcast Network (TBN) was interrupted to provide special instructions on preparing for the Rapture.
When the predicted Rapture failed to occur, Whisenant followed up with later books with predictions for various dates in 1989, 1993, and 1994. These books did not sell in quantity. Whisenant continued to issue various Rapture predictions through 1997, but gathered little attention. [Wikipedia Encyclopedia]
Twenty two long years have gone by (2010) since the prophesied date of the rapture by Mr Whisenant, and people are still waiting for that day. We learned through this excerpt from the Encyclopedia that 4.5 million copies of his book were sold (incredible), in addition to another 300,000 copies that were mailed to ministers across America. I often wonder how many people were upset when the rapture did not occur according to the predictions by Mr Whisenant. Not only that, but I often wonder how many sincere Christians must have been mocked by their families and friends, when that event did not happen. This is what happens when Christian leaders attempt to speak for the Lord, they prophesy an event, and then it fails to be fulfilled. What is also amazing is that those same ministers never break their stride, but they continue in their deception, with more than enough ready to follow along.
I remember another book that was written by Harold Camping of Family Radio entitled 1994? in which Mr Camping predicted that the “end of the world” could possibly occur in the year 1994. That was 16 years ago, and yet Harold Camping is still preaching away, and giving out more predictions (prophecies?) Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia.
Recently, as what he believes to be the Biblical date for Judgment Day (May 21, 2011) draws near, Family Radio has become affiliated with eBibleFellowship.com, another Bible-based ministry. Followers continue to listen to Camping despite the fact that he was wrong in his previous prediction of the end of the world. In his book 1994? he claimed there was a very high likelihood that the world would end in September of 1994, although he did acknowledge in the book “the possibility does exist that I could be wrong.” He makes no mention of this failure when establishing his new claims of the end of the world in May 2011. Camping has received criticism from a number of leaders, scholars, and laymen within the Christian community for his predictions on when the Rapture will take place. His critics argue that Jesus Christ Himself taught that no man knows the day or the hour of the Lord’s return.
I would like to encourage the true and sincere Christian to pray and dig into the Word of God for yourself. You will certainly find more peace in doing that. The Bible has already informed us about such things as false prophecies and how to respond to them.
When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:22)
I would like to say that I most definitely believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit for today. I also believe that people can and do prophesy in the church today for the edification of the true body of Jesus Christ. I find it ludicrous that some declare that the “gifts of the Spirit” are not for today. Would the Lord withdraw his power in a day, when the Devil is having a field day, making great inroads even inside the church? Sorry, but you may fall for that lie, but I will not. But on the other hand we are living in a day when people have run after ministers such as Edgar Whisenant, and Harold Camping and other “prophecy” teachers and “watchmen” and never give a thought to the possibility that they may be wrong. In one of the excerpts above the article said that the TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) interrupted their regular programming to give instructions on how to prepare for the rapture. It is absolutely clear that Satan is working inside the walls of the “church” while the modern day “prophets” are being distracted by him, and uttering falsehoods to the delight of the mockers of Jesus Christ. Do not be fooled any longer by the modern day false prophets, and most certainly do not be afraid of them, no matter how “anointed” they may appear to be. Here is a prophecy that is GUARANTEED to come to pass. Why? Because it is contained in the very scriptures, and because it was the Holy Spirit of truth who was prophesying through the Jewish apostle Paul:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (1 Timothy 4:1)
I will close with an excerpt from an earlier post on the subject of Biblical discernment.
The late Larry Thomas in his “Spiritual Discernment” seminar told of how he was once part of a very large ministry, which held daily devotional and prayer meetings among the ministers. The ministry leaders would take turns each day sharing from the word of God. One day it was Larry’s turn to minister and instead of the Bible, Larry brought his leather appointment book to the pulpit. Instead of scripture, Larry began preaching from the quotes that were at the head of each page in his appointment book. He quoted people such as Confucious and Mark Twain, and every once in a while he would throw in a King James ‘thee’ or ‘thou’ to make it sound good. There were several hundred people present at this meeting. They were encouraging him by saying “Preach it Larry!” and “Amen.” Larry jokingly said that revival almost broke out. Larry continued on for a few minutes before he told the people what he was doing. He was teaching them the need for spiritual discernment, in the church of Jesus Christ, in this modern day.