The Bible’s Greatest Prophecies Unlocked! A Voice Cries Out—CHAPTER THREE – DID GOD SEND NOSTRADAMUS?
Nostradamus has captured the world’s attention since the sixteenth century. His mysterious, cryptic writings have been the subject of endless debate. Hailed by millions, and known the world over, this man is among the most famous people in history.
Many believe Nostradamus’ writings hold the key to understanding the future’s greatest events. To followers, he accurately predicted the French Revolution—the rise of Napoleon—and then Adolf Hitler—the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy—and the bombing of the World Trade Center—among others.
Nostradamus is revered as a prophet. But was he a true prophet—one sent by God—or a fraud—a false prophet?
Nostradamus has been the subject of many books and films, including popular television programs. According to one scholar, “…Nostradamus is probably the only author who could claim that his work has never been out of print for over 400 years, apart from the Bible. The interest he generates is extraordinary” (Erika Cheetham, The Prophecies of Nostradamus).
In recent years, as millions of people seek to understand end-time prophecy, this interest has increased. Believing him inspired by God, some think his prophecies are on par with those in the Bible.
In light of the interest surrounding this man, we must ask: “Did God send Nostradamus?”
You can know—and by the end of this chapter you will.
God does not want His servants in doubt about those He sends. They should know whether Nostradamus—or any other man—was sent by God. Let’s learn what most will never know, nor even seek to know.
From Doctor to Seer
Michel de Notredame—or Nostredame—was born in southern France in 1503 to Jewish parents, who later converted to Catholicism. Europe had been undergoing the Renaissance. This was the time that produced Galileo, Copernicus, Michelangelo, Christopher Columbus and Leonardo da Vinci.
Son of a merchant and grandson of scholars, Nostradamus grew up in an environment of learning. As a young boy, he studied classical languages, astrology—and possibly the occult! At 14, he left home to study in Avignon, an ecclesiastical and academic center in southern France. Later, he studied medicine at the prestigious University of Montpellier.
Nostradamus became a physician. Early on, he traveled throughout France, caring for victims of the infamous bubonic plague, and gained a reputation as one who healed patients by innovative, but simple, methods. Gravely ill people recovered, and then so did entire towns and villages. He became a celebrated figure in southern France.
In time, Nostradamus returned to Montpellier for further study, eventually obtaining a medical doctorate. He married into a wealthy family and settled into the comfortable life of a doctor.
Soon after, the plague hit, killing his wife and two children. Unable to save his own family, his credibility was questioned. Compounding his troubles, a simple remark about a statue led to charges of heresy against the Catholic church. Summoned to stand trial, Nostradamus chose to flee instead—and spent the next several years traveling in southern Europe. He eventually returned to France in 1544, re-established his practice, remarried and had six more children.
A practicing Catholic, Nostradamus became heavily involved in astrology and the occult. He would sit for hours, deep into the night, meditating in a trance before a bowl of water.
Here is his description of this strange ritual: “Sitting alone at night in secret study; it [the bowl of water] is placed on the brass tripod. A slight flame comes out of the emptiness…The wand in the hand is placed in the middle of the tripod’s legs. With water he sprinkles both the hem of his garment and his foot [in all of this he is speaking of himself]. A voice, fear; he trembles in his robes. Divine splendor; the god sits nearby” (The Prophecies of Nostradamus, book I, verses 1-2, emphasis mine).
During these sessions, Nostradamus would have visions. After returning to his senses, he would record them. He began including them in what were called Almanacs. The first was published in 1550. These contained predictions for every month of the year. His Almanacs were so popular he produced them annually for the rest of his life.
Nostradamus’ fame grew. His services were now sought by the wealthy and powerful. In 1555, he began publishing a monumental project, a 10-part series of predictions called The True Centuries. Each consisted of 100 quatrains (four lines of rhyming verse) written in Latin, French, Greek, Italian and other languages—but in riddles difficult to understand so as to protect himself from accusations of witchcraft.
Nostradamus eventually attracted the attention of Catherine de Médicis, the French queen. She was so impressed she had him produce horoscopes for the royal family’s children. Later, he was appointed royal court physician.
Nostradamus died in 1566, allegedly stating the day before his death that he would live just one more day.
The Legend Grows
After Nostradamus’ death, the legend grew. Followers claimed he had predicted the death of King Henry II of France—and he was said to have predicted that a young monk, Felice Peretti, would go on to become pope by addressing him as “Your Holiness.” Peretti did become Pope Sixtus V.
So great was Nostradamus’ influence that in the period following the bombing of the World Trade Center, his name was one of the top Google search terms.
People have always wanted to know what the future holds. And they have also always consulted with soothsayers, fortune-tellers, clairvoyants and so-called prophecy experts—alongside the Bible—to learn it. Books on prophecy are often instant bestsellers. Remember, Nostradamus is regarded by many as a prophet.
But again, did God send him?
Let’s ask: How does God describe those who are not sent by Him? Notice: “And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? For the living to the dead? To the lawand to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8:19-20).
There is no evidence whatsoever that Nostradamus ever based his prophecies on the Bible. They came solely from visions. He neither spoke, nor attempted to speak, according to God’s Word—or Law. Therefore, GOD says—not I—there is “no light in him.” Think of it this way. The man was not enlightened—nor can he shed light on the future. We will, however, later learn why some of his predictions did come true.
It is widely acknowledged that many of Nostradamus’ prophecies failed. One author outlined five that were false:
- Venice would have great power and world influence by 1792.
- The Catholic clergy would fall in 1609.
- Persecution would arise against the Catholic church, also in 1792.
- Astrologers would be persecuted in 1607.
- China would subdue the northern part of the world by 1700.
But other predictions never came true, and most were grand failures:
- The Bourbon line of kings would be restored to the French throne. It never was.
- French king Charles IX would live to 90. He died at 24.
- A dramatic reduction in world population in the eighteenth century would occur due to famine and disease. Instead, the population exploded during the eighteenth-century Industrial Revolution.
These events clearly did not happen. Based on number and size of failures, Nostradamus is a particularly poor prophet. Among false prophets, he could be classified as extra false!
A related question—and it is enormous: Could the God of the Bible inspire prophecies that didnot come to pass? What about even one?
The answer is obvious—No! If this were possible, God becomes a liar. Recall from Chapter One: “…I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Isa. 46:9-10).
Only God can declare the future! Hebrews 6:18 says it is impossiblefor God to lie—His Word is certain. What He foretells—remember God does not predict—will come to pass! Thus, even a single failed prophecy means one was not sent by God.
Signs of a False Prophet
Nostradamus was known to be involved in the occult, having a large occult library. In a book dedicated to his son, who carried on after him, he wrote this strange and revealing description: “Dreading what might happen in the future, after reading them [his occult books], I presented them to Vulcan [the pagan Roman god of fire], and as the fire kindled them, the flame…shot forth an unaccustomed brightness, clearer than the light is of natural flame, resembling more the explosion of powder, casting a subtle illumination over the house…” (Nostradamus, Preface a Mon Fils). By any standard, this description, and Nostradamus’ conduct, is strange.
God utterly condemns the occult. Let’s read: “There shall not be found among you any one…that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or witch, or charmer, or consulter with familiar spirits, or wizard, or a necromancer [one who supposedly can reach the dead]. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord…” (Deut. 18:10-12).
How many know that this early psychic consulted the dead? Ask: Would God send someone who is involved in practices He explicitly condemns? Of course not.
One either believes such verses or he does not.
False prophets prey on people’s natural fascination with the future. The apostle John warned of them: “Believe not every spirit, but try [test] the spirits whether they are of God: becausemany false prophets are gone out into the world” (I John 4:1). Jesus added this warning: “Andmany false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many” (Matt. 24:11). Now ask: How many worry about being deceived? Most ignore these passages. But this comes with a price.
Understand. God calls such possessors of “enlightened” knowledge “angels of light” (II Cor. 11:13-14). Such “angels” are only too willing to share their “knowledge.”
Jesus also warned, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” (Matt. 7:15).
It is not always easy to detect these deceivers. None of them wear signs exposing who they are. They are smooth operators, but their teachings tear people’s understanding as wolves rip prey.
How can you tell a false prophet? Let Jesus answer: “You shall know them by their fruits…” (Matt. 7:16). And four verses later, “By their fruits you shall know them” (vs. 20). One key to knowing whether a prophet is true or false is by fruits—good or bad. Nostradamus did very strange things—followed practices God condemns—and did not otherwise practice obedience to God’s laws. While possibly sincere, he was deceived and false!
Remember, most of Nostradamus’ prophecies failed. And again, this could not occur with a prophet of God. Recall: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy…” (II Pet. 1:19). God’s prophecies are sure. They never miss. Not one!
Here is God’s command regarding prophets: “And if you [ask] in your heart, How shall we knowthe word which the Lord has not spoken?” (Deut. 18:21). God’s answer is, “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken, but the prophet has spoken it presumptuously: you shall not be afraid of him” (vs. 22).
This passage reveals that men can presume to speak for God. This is very serious to the God of the Bible. It should also be serious to you. You must know if God sent a man—or if the man sent himself.
The true prophet Ezekiel recorded, “Son of man [Ezekiel], prophesy against the prophets of Israel…and say you unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear you the word of theLord; thus says the Lord God; woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing” (13:2-3).
Think of the worldwide fear that Nostradamus’ presumptuous prophecies have engendered. But God declares, “you shall not be afraid of him” (Deut. 18:22). What was the Old Testament punishment for false prophets? “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in My name [meaning, by God’s authority], which I have not commanded him to speak…even that prophet shall die” (Deut. 18:20).
Again, this is serious to God—and it should be to you!
But what if a prophecy is correct? Some of Nostradamus’ at least seemed to be. Notice what God also says in Deuteronomy: “If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams [one who sees visions, like Nostradamus], and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass…you shall not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proves you, to know whether you love the Lordyour God with all your heart…You shall walk after…and fear Him [God only], and keep Hiscommandments, and obey His voice [How many preachers teach that all 10 of God’s Commandments must be kept? Few!], and you shall serve Him, and cleave unto Him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death…So shall you put the evil away from the midst of you” (13:1-5).
Of course, such executions cannot be carried out today. The point becomes: get away from the evil—put it away from you.
All Bad News
Another point bears consideration. Nostradamus’ prophecies are interpreted after events pass, not before. What is the value of this? Nothing! One author admitted, “As far as is known, Nostradamus did not leave a ‘key’ to his predictions…If he did, it has certainly been lost in the dust of the centuries. The need of having to interpret his predictions without the help of such an aid has led to some curious and widely varied versions of his quatrains” (Rene Noorbergen,Nostradamus Predicts the End of the World).
True prophecies—and true prophets—present events before they occur, never afterward. That is the job of historians.
Nostradamus was also an astrologer. In short, stemming from the natural tendency toward superstition within human nature, this is one who seeks guidance from the stars. God also condemns this practice: “Thus says the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen [pagans and unbelievers], and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them” (Jer. 10:2).
Get this. Nostradamus not only read, but literally produced horoscopes—practices that God outright condemns! So tragically, in total disobedience to God’s command, millions today are also fascinated with their daily horoscopes.
In addition, Nostradamus never recorded good news. All of his writings involve bad news—assassination, war, famine, dictators, disasters—never anything good. However, the Bible is a Book filled with good news about the future.
Nostradamus’ Prophecies—Not of God
Make yourself confront the source of Nostradamus’ prophecies—where they actually came from. Notice: “Whether the majority of his visions came…from a psychic inspiration, necromancy, tarot cards or a refined form of witchcraft, we will probably never learn. We might conclude, however, that his hidden source of knowledge knew much of the course history would take, and possibly had the power to control or at least influence some of the major future historical developments” (ibid.).
What could be this “hidden source”? The Bible describes the existence of a spirit world. On one side are God, Christ and righteous angels. In opposition are Satan and fallen angels. Earlier we saw Nostradamus spoke of a “god that sits nearby.” Who is this god?
The Bible describes Satan as the “god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4). The devil and his demons are the true authors of Nostradamus’ visions and writings—not the man himself, and certainly not the true God. Remember from earlier that demons have a certain partial, but always twisted, knowledge of how God’s Master Plan will play out. This allows them therefore to partially predict the future through humans. I have seen this many times.
The Bible records a story of the apostle Paul encountering a demon-possessed girl: “And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying [fortune-telling]: the same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God [yes, demons will sometimes acknowledge God if it benefits them], which show unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit [not the girl], I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour” (Acts 16:16-18).
How many search God’s Word for instruction about astrologers, palm readers and psychics? Most do not care what God says, and besides, it is too much work. They enjoy the fascination, but ignore the danger, of toying with powerful, destructive spirits who want people looking tothem, not God.
Now this: “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them…” (Lev. 19:31).
Understand. Satan and his demons want to destroy mankind, and will stop at nothing to achieve their goal! This includes using phony visions to confuse man’s understanding of God’s plan of salvation and the many prophecies that relate to it. Nostradamus was simply a tool of Satan, the father of murder and lies. Read John 8:44. Nostradamus was almost certainly demon-possessed.
The apostle Peter compared false prophets in the Old Testament to false teachers in the New. Notice: “But there were false prophets also among the people [in ancient Israel], even as there shall be false teachers among you…” (II Pet. 2:1).
False ministers come in many shapes and sizes. Some specialize, particularly today, in confusing, incomplete, deceitful theories of how the future will play out. You are beginning to see that the utter nonsense of these conflicting scenarios is almost without end.
No “Private Interpretation”
While the most famous, Nostradamus is but one of many who have sought to interpret the future. Other well-known deceivers include Edgar Cayce and Jeanne Dixon. Again, all such astrologers, psychics, wizards, seers, fortune-tellers and channelers have exploded in number all over the world in recent years, alongside “experts” on end-time Bible prophecy.
All of these bring their own interpretations—virtually none of them correct even on the details. We saw the Bible warns that “no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation” (II Pet. 1:20). God works through His chosen servants—and no one else. Ephesians 4:11 and I Corinthians 12:28 show that He does occasionally send a prophet, but also that this would only be within His one Church.
Understand. God does not—and would never—send different people to say different things—private interpretations—about the same events. In fact, this is one of the greatest ways you know that the many disagreeing prophecy writers so popular today cannot be of God.
God’s servants always speak with one unified voice (I Cor. 1:10)!
Nostradamus was a false prophet. Give him not another second of your time. Never fear this world’s seers—including all the phony prophecy writers and supposed prophecy scholars. They do not know what they are talking about. God did not send them! They do not speak according to His Law—or almost any other of the plain truths of His Word. They are false! Reject them! They will only confuse you.
Most are not interested in anything that God may require them to do—or not do. They want to be titillated by special prophetic knowledge more than to obey their Creator. Other books on prophecy will not tell you this. Instead of addressing spiritual causes behind man’s unending ills, they focus on political, social, judicial or economic causes.
Because all of modern Christendom ignores even God’s most basic biblical commands, preferring to hold to cherished traditions (Mark 7:7, 9), it does not—and will never—correctly understand true prophecy.
Understanding true conversion and obedience to God opens the door to understandingprophecy. Acts 2:38 explains that repentance and water baptism precede receiving God’s Spirit. Also reread Acts 5:32. Without God’s Spirit, one cannot understand the Bible, which means he will never correctly understand—beyond misapplied bits and fragments—what the future holds.
The all-importance of obedience to God, and to all of His truth—on prophecy and everything else—will loom ever larger through the book!
Behind the scenes, enormous events are taking shape. Prophecy will soon culminate in events terrifying beyond description. These will shake every nation on Earth. Vast numbers will perish. Stay focused as you read.
In this and the previous chapter, we have addressed the beliefs and fears of millions—all founded on easily disprovable false prophecies perpetrated by deceivers. So says the Bible! In the pages ahead, we will see the clarity and logic that God brings to explaining what willactually happen. Remember to prove what is written here. Compare it with your Bible!
Now for the single, longest unbroken prophecy in the Bible…