Was Nostradamus a real prophet and did his prophecies come true?
Who Was Nostradamus?
Michel de Nostredame, or in the Latin rendering, Nostradamus, was a French doctor who later became a “seer” and published a collection of prophecies that were supposed to occur in the future. Even today, Nostradamus has many followers, and his book, “Les Propheties” (The Prophecies), is still a major seller that’s still available in print. Nostradamus tried again and again to enter different universities, but he was frequently unable to finish. He finally turned to the occult and began writing almanacs, and not that different from the Farmer’s Almanac that tries to predict the weather, however Nostradamus was more interested than just predicting the weather. He wanted to become a seer, and look into the future of human history. That is expressly forbidden by God. Nostradamus must have known this, being raised in church, however when he turned to the occult, an evil spirit may have given him certain, but limited power beyond most human ability. We really don’t know for certain. Nostradamus saw how his almanacs were being widely read, so eventually, he made a collection of these almanacs, and that is what came to be known as “The Prophecies,” however, these almanacs were not really written with the idea of what was to happen thousands of years later, nor were they written, as some claim, to prophesy future events like the fall of the twin towers and JFK’s assassination.
Horoscopes and Psychic Readings
I am always curious as to why some psychics go out of business. Shouldn’t they have seen it coming? People have always been intrigued with knowing what the future holds, so when Nostradamus saw that his almanacs were being read far and wide, and people started asking him for horoscopes and “psychic” advice, he decided to put these in a birth chart. Even today there are daily predictions based upon Nostradamus’ “prophecies” and a certain website even claims to have the right predictions for every day of your life, but rarely are these validated as being true. Nostradamus’ prophecies are so undated and so generic that it’s impossible to know to which event and when they apply? It’s like the horoscopes you might see in the newspaper (which God also forbids), but their predictions are so general that these things could happen to just about any one of us. Even more problematic for Nostradamus’ believers is the birth charts that he constructed were totally off, and because he was not a professional astrologer, his predictions are not even for the right dates. That means the person who’s reading them is reading the wrong horoscope because their birthday falls within a different range in Nostradamus birth chart. Because Nostradamus based his writings on the wrong astrological calendar, the accuracy of the birth charts is affected, and this means his prophecies are no better than a random chance occurrence of something happening, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.
Prophecies after the Fact
Human beings have always had an interest in the future. We want to know what is to be, even before it comes to pass. We’re fascinated with predicting the future or those who claim to have this ability. That’s why horoscopes appear in thousands of publications and on the Internet. I noticed that many of the self-proclaimed prophets tell us that they have foretold many major events in human history, however why do they always tell us after these events have happened? Wouldn’t it have been better if they had warned us ahead of time, like the supposed prophecy of John F. Kennedy’s assassination? Right after this happened, dozens of prophecies suddenly surfaced about this event, but if they were true prophecies, they could have told us ahead of time so we’d be prepared for them. A prophecy that doesn’t warn us ahead of time isn’t really a prophecy at all, is it? These prophets are really good at telling us what was to come, but only after it comes. That’s no help at all. The true prophet of God never failed in one prophecy that finally came to pass. Everything they have prophesied has come true just as they had written, because it was God Who gave them this knowledge. God alone knows the future, so it wasn’t the prophets who knew what was to come, sometimes thousands of years later; it was God Who told them what was to come to pass. It was always, “Thus says the Lord.”
There were Old Testament “seers” who were basically prophets who could prophesy, by God’s help, what was to shortly come to pass (2nd Chron 29:25, 29:30, 3:18; 25:15, etc.). They often helped the king make military decisions, but a prophet of God could do the same thing, as he also wrote what was to come, and in some cases, thousands of years later. These men spoke what God told them (Heb 1:1), but a modern day seer speaks what people want to hear. I would classify horoscopes and psychic readings as both falling under what the Bible calls, “an abomination.” A seer or psychic, sometimes called a clairvoyant, alleges that they can see into the future, but I should also warn you about that those who conduct séances. They are in the same category of what God calls abominable sins and that includes playing with Ouija Boards. Jesus warned us to “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matt 7:15), but this was nothing new as Jeremiah wrote, “The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule on their own authority; And My people love it so” (Jer 5:31)! And don’t we love it today! The hundreds of so-called, self-anointed prophets writing books boggles the mind, and especially considering, many of them contradict one another. A few even call the others “false prophets.”
Tests for Prophets
Here is how we can know for sure whether a prophet is from God or stems from their own selfish motives and interests. If God doesn’t call a prophet, then he is no prophet at all, but we can see if “the prophet who prophesies peace, when the word of that prophet comes to pass, then it will be known that the Lord has truly sent the prophet” (Jer 28:9), so “When this comes—and come it will!—then they will know that a prophet has been among them” (Ezk 33:33), however, “when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him” (Deut 18:22), but we must be crystal clear that only God can say, “The former things I declared of old; they went out from my mouth, and I announced them; then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass” (Isaiah 48:3), and “The former things I declared of old; they went out from my mouth, and I announced them; then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass” (Isaiah 48:5). It was never, “Thus says Isaiah” but always, “Thus says the Lord.”
Prophecy is great but it can become a preoccupation as we do nothing but search for the latest news, always looking for a fulfilled prophecy, instead, we should be “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:2). Let’s just pray for those who are mixed up in these worldly things and for those Christians who are following someone who is supposed to be a modern day prophet. Even in the ancient days of Ezekiel, the so-called prophets “have seen false visions and lying divinations. They say, ‘Declares the Lord,’ when the Lord has not sent them, and yet they expect him to fulfill their word” (Ezk 13:6), so today’s “prophets” had better take Ezekiel’s warning seriously, because God says, “My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and who give lying divinations. They shall not be in the council of my people, nor be enrolled in the register of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord God” (Ezk 13:9). If you are not with God, you are against Him, and that ends badly my friend (Rev 20:12-15; 21:8).
Something more that might interest you: Are There Still Prophets Today?
Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.