THIS STORY begins in Old Russia, more than a hundred years ago, when the Czars still reigned in Saint Petersburg. There was a mighty outpouring of the Holy Spirit in much the same pattern as on the Day of Pentecost in Jerusalem. The nation rejected this visitation of God even as the Jewish nation rejected the similar visitation many centuries before. We believe these rejections of the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ are reasons that Jerusalem has been trodden down by the Gentiles for nineteen centuries and that Russia is the only nation on earth that officially denies the existence of God.
In 1855, an eleven-year-old Russian boy who lived in Armenia received a wonderful, supernatural visitation. For seven days and seven nights he was under the power of God writing prophecy of things to come. He neither ate, drank nor slept during the seven days and seven nights. Although he was an illiterate boy, he wrote in beautiful handwriting and drew pictures and maps and charts. He foretold that peace would be taken from the earth and that Armenia would be overrun by the Turks and that the Armenian Christians would be massacred unless they went to a land across the ocean, which the pictures and charts and maps showed to be America. God promised to bless and prosper everyone who would heed His warning and go to the country where they would be free from persecution.
As is the case with most prophecy, the warning had no meaning at the time for it was not until twenty-five years after the Pentecostal outpouring in Russia that the same experience came to Armenia. Nevertheless, the Russian boy’s prophecy was carefully preserved, awaiting such a time as its full meaning would be revealed by God.
Among the first to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit in Armenia was the family of Demos Shakarian, Senior, Presbyterians. The father of Demos, however, refused to accept this manifestation as being from God, although he joined with the other Pentecostal members in their worship services.
The Demos Shakarian family consisted of father, mother and five daughters. In Armenia, in those days, it was as much a reproach for a wife to be without a son as it was in ancient Israel.
On May 25, 1891, the mother was sitting in the large one-room home sewing, weeping as she worked, because God had not blessed her with a son.
A great-uncle was visiting with the family and was sitting across the room from her, reading his Bible. Suddenly, he arose, walked across the room, and stood before the weeping mother. Looking down at her, he said, “Sister, God heard your prayer. One year from this day you will be the mother of a son.” Exactly one year from that day, on May 25, 1892, a son was born. The parents named him Isaac, for, as with Abraham’s son, he was a son of promise.
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