Should we believe in the prophecies of any prophet? The Bible gives us the answer: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). Any prophet should be tested by the Word of God to determine if he/she is true or false. In that case are the prophecies of Nostradamus true?
In examining Nostradamus’ life we find that he was a French pharmacist, born in 1503 and died 1566. Some claim that he predicted modern events such as the 9/11 attacks in America and other historical events. But upon close examination, we find that the prophecies of Nostradamus were very vague and could apply to many incidents at the same time. These prophecies lack the details that pin point exact events to show their divine origin. The sentences in these prophecies are gathered together without clear meanings. In addition, it is not clear whether Nostradamus actually wrote them or whether they were written after his death.
Unlike Nostradamus’ prophecies, Bible’s prophecies are precise, specific and detailed. For example the Messianic prophecies of Jesus gave very specific details about Christ, which include that He was born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), betrayed by a friend (Psalms 41:9), sold for 30 silver coins (Zechariah 11:12), crucified (Zechariah 12:10), His hands and feet will be pierced (Psalm 22:16), lots were cast over His clothes (Psalm 22:18), none of His bones were broken (Psalm 34:20; Exodus 12:46), buried in a rich man’s tomb (Isaiah 53:9), and raised on the third day (Hosea 6:2). These detailed prophecies (over 125) prove without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was the Messiah.
For this reason the Bible’s prophecies can be trusted as the sure Word of God (2 Peter 1:19). They can be recognized as divine. And the Bible confirms that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10). This Word of prophecy has been tested and proved all through history.
Prophecy has a dual purpose, it teaches people the Word of God so that they can be edified (1 Corinthians 14:3) and it foretells future events. “If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him” (Deuteronomy 18:22). But the Bible also adds in Deuteronomy 13:1-3 that even if what a prophet says comes true, if he does not teach people to worship God and follow His prophets, then he is still a false prophet. Nostradamus failed to point to the True God of the Bible and His Son Jesus Christ. Thus, he failed the test of a true prophet.
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In His service,