<I did a fuller grading of a longer version of the predictions in a follow-up post. Recommend looking at it. Click Here: Fuller Version.>
Had an acquaintance of mine asking about the prophecy by some Indian self-described prophet. He had apparently prophecied Typhoon Yolanda’s (Haiyan) destruction in Tacloban and Samar. Then I noticed a lot of search engine requests to my blogsite about prophecies for the Philippines.
Map of the Philippines with Pangasinan highlighted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In truth, prophecies for the Philippines is a major industry, both local manufacture and foreign import. There is a strong market for it. One guy keeps running for president because a “prophet” said that he would be president one day (if he doesn’t give up). Another acquaintance of mine was planning to bring back a bunch of prophecies from Tennessee to give out upon his return here. Some American ministers I never heard of in my many years in the US are quite well-known over here because a major part of their labor is giving out prophecies here. <Note: When I am using the “prophecy” here, I am not using the Biblical concept of sharing God’s Word to inspire change, but in the common usage of divinely empowered (hopefully) future prediction.>
I am not one who likes to make judgments on these things. These “prophets” generally have a theology that is not particularly compatible with my own… and there is a tendency to overemphasize God’s abnormal behavior (the the miraculous) while underemphasizing God’s normal behavior (God’s creation and sacred history). I don’t like to judge because I don’t really want someone of a different flavor of Christianity trying to judge me or my faith. If I don’t seek such judgment, I should be cautious in making judgments.
Still, there is room for a skeptic in these things. A skeptic is one who does not believe (at the least, Descartian Doubt), but is open to having one’s mind changed. This is a very reasonable description of the term skeptic, but commonly not so used. Many seem to use it the way the magazine “American Skeptic” uses it… unwavering doubt of one paradigm and unwavering acceptance of another. It is tempting to go in that direction… and I suppose I am unlikely to buy into the prophetic movement that feeds on Christians here in the Philippines. But, while acknowledging my clear bias, I will try to be cautious in my assessments.
Still, let’s look at the prophecy:
This prophecy came from Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj. He is a former Hindu who had a dramatic conversion to Christianity. His ministry’s website is http://www.jesusministries.org/
A portion of the prophecy in question can be seen on this webpage:
Let’s look at the prophecy. The exposition of the prophecy in the blogpost linked above was done, to say the least, uncritically, so let’s dig in a bit deeper. A portion of the prophecy (at a speaking engagement in the Philippines in April 2013) said to the effect:
God is going to pour out His anointings in 7 cities of this nation like never done before anywhere else in the world. You will be the first nation and the first people in the world to receive that kind of an anointing.
If you remember clearly… [another prophet] saw a huge menorah, and from the menorah the seven spirits of the Lord came forth, and the seven spirits of the Lord will be poured upon the Philippines, the first of its kind in the world. Because you receive like the firstfruits anointing, the punishment will also be the first of its kind in the world. Blessings first of its kind, and the punishment the first of its kind. So the plagues that will strike Pangasinan will be nothing that the world has ever seen. The skin, the flesh, and the bones will be corrupted. They melt and will rot away.
Next, Cebu. Another peculiar disease, a plague will arise from Cebu and will spread all over the land and then spread all over the world. And Bohol. From Bohol another plague another disease will arise and spread all over the land and all over the world.
So the first is the destruction through winds. The second is the destruction through diseases. The third destruction through floods. You have experienced many floods in the history of your nation, but that which is to come has no precedent in the past… Specifically, the areas that will experience this flooding: Luzon, Samar, Leyte, and Cebu.
And some hundreds of places, small places, will experience flooding. These are destructions that will come upon your land….
Let’s take it bit by bit. In the first paragraph, there are three basic predictions
Paragraph #1 Item 1: God will bless the Philippines with a special anointing (again using a term being used differently) of Spirit of God that is unlike anything before and will be a blessing to the Philippines… and presumably to the world. <No evidence of this prophecy so far, as far as I can tell… have to wait on that one.>
Paragraph #1 Item 2: God will curse the Philippines with a special set of curses (perhaps because they don’t embrace the blessing that is allegedly promised). <Seems strange. If there is meant to be causation here… rejecting the gift of the “anointing” seems to imply a prior receiving of the anointing. Hard to see why punishment would be given for rejecting something that hasn’t been given yet. Perhaps someone else can give a better explanation. Perhaps they would argue such an anointing has already occurred and the vast vast majority of the people have rejected it. But I can say there is no APPARENT anointing that is a first in an clear way. (Of course, since I would be considered a doubter and I live in the Philippines, presumably this prophecy would be against me. Thus I have a strong bias to reject this prophecy. Still, if there should be some visible evidence of such an “anointing”. (Sorry, but I hate the butchering of the Biblical concept of “anointing” as well… adding to my rejection).>
Paragraph #1 Item 3: There would be a plague in Pangasinan like has never been seen before. Some call it a “zombie plague” but the description given is not really consistent with that. It sounds more like flesh-eating bacteria or perhaps gangrene. <Not much one can say about this. I have heard a few people and a few websites trying to talk about such a disease already evident in Pangasinan. However, these sources tend to be ones with a vested interest to support the prophecy. I live just over an hour away from Northern Pangasinan and have lots of friends there. We drive through there periodically and our medical doctor has his office there. If the disease is true… it certainly hasn’t become anything remotely like a vast plague. There are some cases worldwide and to some extent in Southeast Asia of flesh-eating bacteria. I have an acquaintance in Central Asia that contracted that disease. I don’t know anyone in Pangasinan with it. I believe I read of a minor epidemic of an animal disease in Pangasinan and La Union that has drawn the attention of some, but this is completely unrelated to the prophecy, unless it jumps species and changes symptoms. At best we should withhold judgment. We will just have to wait on that one.>
Paragraph #2 Item 1 and 2. Plagues from Cebu and Bohol will also spread all over the world. <No evidence of this so far. Perhaps these “plagues” are metaphoric or figurative. Unfortunately, if they are figurative, they are unprovable both positively and negatively.>
Paragraph #3 Item 1. Flooding all over Luzon, Samar, Leyte, and Cebu unlike ever seen before. <Okay, this is the one that keeps being referenced, but it is actually the weakest one. One characteristic of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) was its relative LACK of flooding. That was because the issue was wind not rain. (Careful now, the reference to winds in the third paragraph appears to be tied to the anointing in the first paragraph, not to the typhoon). Only a few places had major flooding… most noticeably Tacloban, due to storm surge. Even there, this sort of flooding is not unique, but has happened in Tacloban before on more than one occasion. Flooding in general did not happen in the VAST majority of places listed. It seems to me that the best one could say about this part of this prophecy is “not yet fulfilled.”>
Okay, pretty much everything in this prophecy is either not fulfilled or unproven. Can someone look at it and find meaning and usefulness in it? Perhaps… but I believe there are two things you can’t honestly draw from the prophecy:
A. You can’t determine if Sadhu is a true or false prophet. Basically nothing in the prophecy has exactly been fulfilled, and almost nothing can be said to be fulfilled even in general terms. If one prophecy is proved false even if all the others are shown true, he is a false prophet (a good reason not to call yourself a prophet, really). Since there is no real timeframes given, and no good standards for testing the prophecies, it is hard to use them to show that Sadhu is a charlatan. But the same vagueness prevents us from identifying him as a true prophet. Unless things change, can’t say much.
B. It really can’t be used evangelistically. Anyone who takes the time to look at the prophecy will see its basic lack of fulfillment in either detail or in general. Perhaps it could be used to convince people who don’t bother to check your sources. To me, that is unethical (Like a mission group that was using the move “2012″, to convince Filipinos to convert to their version of Christianity because it showed that Jesus was about to come). Beyond unethical, those who take the time to check things out are likely to be more firmly rejecting of Christianity because of the use of false marketing. That may more than negate gains with the uncritical.
Okay, personally, I feel comfortable with rejecting this prophecy. The first NT indwelling of the Holy Spirit (in the disciples before Jesus ascended) was not marked with curses on others. The second indwelling (or at least empowering) of the Holy Spirit (at Pentecost) was not typified by curses on others. I am not a Pentecostal, Charismatic, or a “Third-Waver,” so I don’t take seriously these other so-called “anointings.” But for those that do accept them, it is pretty evident that curses were not associated with such an alleged arrival. It seems fair to question whether this “new” anointing being associated with curses on the people that it was meant to bless is Biblical. I apparently am one who would be under such a curse since I reject the message of this anointing. Perhaps that makes me a bad judge… but it does make me an interested party.
When the chaos settles, I just really have to suggest that people go back to the words of Jesus as their guidance. Jesus said that we are not to know the times, but are to be faithful in what we know we are supposed to do (worshiping God, loving our neighbor, and disciplining the world) until He comes. Why waste one’s time on the rest of this… trivia.?
Some of the ones in this one sound more accurate while others seem to be even more fanciful. Still most of it is vague… or else inaccurate. Why don’t you look it over yourself and go over them step by step and decide for yourself. This second one does, in my view, look a bit more contrived… a bit redacted (edited). It seems a bit broken up like bits and pieces were shoved together. However, it is possible that is how this particular “prophet” writes. Second, and continuing on the style thing, it has the style of someone who is trying to sound “prophetic” like mixing a bit of Daniel with Nostradamus. It happens. Joseph Smith, whose normal writings were pretty down-home vernacular English wrote the “Book of Mormon” in quasi-King James. Why? I suppose because it sounds more holy, prophetic, and authoritative. I don’t know. You decide for yourself.
Second Addendum: If you are interested, you could also look up Cindy Jacobs “prophecy” back in 2009, that essentially said that the Philippines would either get better or worse. Can’t argue with that. You can look that one up yourself and decide for yourself. Again, because the Bible also says that things will either get better or worse, I don’t see how this prediction adds to what we already know.