November 22, 2009
I greet you once again in the Name of Jesus!
So why is there such excitement over December 21, 2012? It seems everyone is talking about it. It has riveted the attention of people all over the world. Everyone from astronomers, meteorologists, researchers, New Age gurus, and film makers are talking, writing, and making movies about this date. So what is coming, if anything, on 12/21/2012? We have been considering this question of late.
Last time we began looking at the major sources of information that people are looking to in their search for answers about 2012. We began with the Mayan Calendar. We saw where the Mayan long count calendar, the one that measured months, years, centuries, and millennia; suddenly comes to an end on December 21, 2012, the end of the 5th cycle by this reckoning. Some are predicting based on Mayan tradition that great catastrophes await planet earth on this date. Others take a more euphoric, almost philosophical approach and believe that 2012 will be a new beginning for humanity and earth. Many who discuss possible 2012 scenarios always bring up the Mayas. Not only are the Mayas discussed, but secondly,
It seems even the mention of the name Nostradamus carries a certain ominous tone for many. He is unquestionably the king of secular doomsday seers. He was born Michel de Nostradame in St Remy, Provence, France in 1503 and died in 1566. He came from a long line of Jewish doctors and scholars. The family converted to Christianity in 1502. Nostradamus was an apothecary as well as a popular astronomer and seer.
His best-known book is Les Propheties (the prophecies). According to an index of his collected writings, “Nostradamus began to write his prophetic verses in the city of Salon, in 1554. They are divided into ten sections called Centuries (which refers to the number of verses in each section, not to a unit of 100 years). The Centuries were published in 1555 and 1558, and have been in print continuously ever since.” Most of his writings have a very dark feeling to them. They are quite gloomy. During his lifetime the “black death” or bubonic plague, wiped out over a quarter of Europe. Writing against this backdrop probably accounts for this gloomy tone.
The famous predictions Nostradamus recorded are written in a coded format known as quatrains, which are mysterious verses or poems with four lines. At this point it might be good to mention that I do not regard Nostradamus as a prophet of God. I do not believe that the things he predicted were revealed by the Holy Spirit. He did not, as I see it, stand in the Prophet’s office. He did not operate in the Word of wisdom or word of knowledge. Why do I say that? Primarily because of the manner in which Nostradamus received his “revelations.”
To come up with his predictions, he used a technique called “scrying” (to reveal). “The technique, which is an occult practice, requires concentration on a shiny object, crystal ball, bowl of water, mirror, etc. until normal vision recedes and other visions are seen. Nostradamus used bowls of water. He surrounded his writing table with candles and waiting with quill and ink while he gazed into the bowl. Nostradamus had visions, which he translated into words.” [Cynthia Andrews and Colin Andrews, The Complete Idiots Guide To 2012, pg. 139]
It has been reported that Nostradamus even predicted his own death, though the legend cannot be verified. His work is definitely not an uplifting read. Most of his quatrains deal with devastation and disasters, such as plagues, earthquakes, wars, floods, invasions, murders, droughts, famines, and battles. Many believe that he predicted Hitler’s name (although he was off by one letter) and a description of the Nazi swastika; the discoveries of penicillin, nuclear energy, and the AIDS virus; the demise of Communism; the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the end of the world in 2012! Are his predictions reliable? Should we look to Nostradamus as an accurate predictor of doomsday?
There are several examples we could look at of his quatrains. A simple Google® search reveals much information on Nostradamus that I will not list here. A couple of things you will want to keep in mind. 1) His predictions are very vague. They can be interpreted in many different ways. 2) He arrived at his predictions using occult practices the Bible condemns. [Deut. 18: 9 – 12]
Although we will not take the space to list many of the predictions of Nostradamus, what did he write specifically dealing with 2012? Many reports allege that there is a lost book of Nostradamus that has recently come to light. According to one Nostradamus web site, “In 1994, Italian journalist Enza Massa was at the Italian National Library in Rome when she stumbled upon an unusual find. It was a manuscript dating to 1629, titled: Nostradamus Vatincia Code. Michel de Notredame, the author’s name, was on the inside in indelible ink. The manuscript, never published by Nostradamus, was handed down to the prophet’s son and later donated by him to Pope Urban VIII. It did not surface again until now, almost four hundred years later. The Cryptic paintings vary from the strange to the bizarre, with images of Popes, decapitations and strange creatures. Known as the “Vaticania Nostradami,” this book has been considered to be Nostradamus’ final prophecies regarding the end of the world as we know it.”
So what exactly is this “Lost Book of Nostradamus”? Basically it is a book that contains seven stark images, tables, or enigmatic drawings that according to experts, tell a story that points to a coming apocalypse in 2012. I have looked at the images, and like Nostradamus’ other works, can be interpreted in many different ways. To be honest, I cannot see anything specifically linking these drawings to events of 2012. You can view excellent color pictures of the images on-line at: http://mendhak.com/40-the-lost-book-of-nostradamus.aspx. You see what you think.
In conclusion, let me emphasize that the Bible strictly forbids the kind of divination and fortune-telling that Nostradamus practiced. What he engaged in was not a harmless, innocuous, or even entertaining practice; it was divination, which is explicitly condemned in the Bible.
If we want to find clear, reliable prophecies about 2012, we will have to look elsewhere. But where? How about the best-selling book of all time, the Bible? Does it have anything to say about the end of the world in 2012? Many believe that it does! We’ll take a look at that next time.
The Weekly Word is found in Deuteronomy 18:9 – 12. Here the Bible says,
9 “When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. [Deut. 18:9 – 12 NKJV]
Until next time, this is THE WEEKLY WORD.
Pastor Kevin E. Johnson