Memory Gem: “You will know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:16) Mike was a prophet. At least, that’s what plenty of people thought. […]
Published on: 10-24-2019
Memory Gem: “You will know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:16)
Mike was a prophet. At least, that’s what plenty of people thought.
One day Mike carefully wrote the following mysterious prophecy:
“Mars and the scepter will be in conjunction, A calamitous war under Cancer. A short time afterward a new King will be anointed, Who will bring peace to the earth for a very long time.”
What could this strange prophecy mean? “Mars” and a “scepter”? Was a war going to end with everyone getting cancer? Who was this “new king”?
This wasn’t the first prophecy to come from Mike, whose actual name was Michel de Nostredame. The man was a French physician who lived from 1503 to 1566. Eventually he simply became known as Nostradamus.
Nostradamus wrote a book containing 942 four-line poetic prophecies called “quatrains.” The book, whose English title is simply The Prophecies, is still being used—and believed—by many people. All the “prophecies” in the book sound pretty weird, just like the one above.
So what about the above prophecy? Can you figure out what event it’s predicting? Through the centuries some people have made a few suggestions. One of the most recent involved some folks saying “Mars” was the planet Mars, and the “scepter” referred to the planet Jupiter. These two planets would supposedly be “in conjunction,” or “lined up,” in space on June 21, 2002. That’s when a terrible war would begin!
Except that it didn’t happen.
Actually, lots of experts agree that the prophecies of Nostradamus can mean, well, pretty much anything you want them to mean!
It’s important to remember that telling the future isn’t always a prophet’s main job. They might also write, preach, or deliver God’s message in some other way.
But how do you know if a prophet is really God’s messenger? Here are four ways to help you know whether a prophet’s message is from heaven—or somewhere else.
BIBLE. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). In other words, a person’s prophecy must match what the Bible says on the subject.
ACTIONS. “You will know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16). How does the person claiming to be a prophet live their life? Does the person cheat? Does the person use foul language? A true prophet’s life will show the fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22, 23, traits such as love, gentleness, and self-control. In other words, what Jesus is like!
RESULTS. “When the word of the prophet comes to pass, the prophet will be known as one whom the Lord has truly sent” (Jeremiah 28:9). In other words, how do things turn out after the prophet delivers their message? Does the prophecy come true?
JESUS. “By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God” (1 John 4:2). What does the prophet say about Jesus? If it’s something like “Well, Jesus was a good teacher, but He wasn’t God’s Son,” run the other direction!
Did you know?
In the United States a man named Harold Camping claimed to know the date of Jesus’ return. He gained many followers, even after Jesus didn’t return on three different dates: September 6, 1994; May 21, 2011; and October 21, 2011.
A few false prophets are mentioned in the Bible, including one named Hananiah. You can read about him in Jeremiah 28:15-17.
Think it through
Why would someone who’s not a real prophet claim to be one?
Do you think Satan might be behind certain false prophecies? Why or why not?
How do you think you’d react if someone came and told you they were a prophet sent by God?