An expository thriller on the battle to colonise Planet Earth.
Almost 3000 years ago, a prophecy went out into the world. It was proclaimed by a little known prophet in the Middle East, between 836BC and 797BC, from an area now divided between Israel and the West Bank. It is partly under Palestinian administration as well as Israeli military rule. That prophecy would create social, political and economic reverberations around the world for centuries to come, up to these present times.
At the time of the prophecy, economic prosperity was concentrated in the hands of a miniscule upper percentile. Social injustice and social inequality were rife. The masses were oppressed. The prophecy was therefore set against the backdrop of political and economic realism – economic and social stratification, class distinction and political oppression.
The prophetic significance of the proclamation would not be heralded until 800 years after the prophecy was first proclaimed. From that very moment, the prophecy violently ripped through the pages of history like a mute avalanche of fury. Quietly, it became a determinant of human history and the destiny of nations.
Members of the ecclesiastical order have grappled with the prophecy for centuries. From of old till now, prophets and teachers have quoted the Prophet, and tomes of eschatology have been written on the prophecy. Others have now joined the fray. Historians, astrologers, occultists and even political observers are keenly trying to decode the prophecy.
The first inkling into the dimensions of the prophecy came at a religious gathering in Jerusalem about 530 years after the prophecy was first proclaimed. This event would later be tagged the premier pentecostal outpouring or simply Pentecost. It took place shortly after the death of Jesus Christ. His disciples, conservatively numbered at about 120, were gathered in the attic chamber of a house in Jerusalem. According to the records, a sound of “rushing mighty wind” filled the entire house, suddenly. As if that was not petrifying enough, “cloven tongues of fire” appeared, perched delicately on the heads of the congregants, yet their hairs were not singed. It was akin to the burning bush phenomenon experienced by Moses – the trees were not burned but there was fire! And to further complicate matters, the congregants began a marvelous conversation with the Unseen in foreign languages. These languages were not learned. It was a raucous babel and people were soon gathered. Elamites, Parthians, Medes, Mesopotamians, Judeans, Cappadocians, Asians, Phrygians, Pamphylians, Libyans, Romans, Cretans… All heard their language.
Elam was located in what is now southwest Iran. It was to the east of Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia largely corresponds to modern day Iraq, Iran, parts of modern day Syria, as well as Turkey. It is commonly known as the “cradle of civilization.” It remained under Persian rule until the 7th century Islamic conquest of the Sassanid Empire.
Parthia in modern times is located in northeastern Iran. It is the cultural base of the Arsacid dynasties.
The Medians on the other hand lived in present-day northwestern Iran. Together with the Babylonians, they defeated the Neo-Assyrian Empire in the 6th century BC to establish their empire. Modern Kurdish people consider the Medes among their ancestors.
Judea in modern times is divided between Israel and the West Bank.
Cappadocia was an extensive inland of modern day Turkey.
Pontus was also located in Turkey – the northeastern region on the southern coast of the Black Sea. And so was Phrygia. The Phrygian language survived until 6th century AD when it finally gave way to Greek.
Pamphylia had a coastline of 75 miles and was located in the region south of Asia Minor from the Mediterranean to Mount Taurus in modern day Turkey.
Cyrene was an ancient Greek colony in present day Libya. Cyrene was the seat of Cyrenaica, a famous school of philosophy in the 3rd century BC founded by Aristippus, a disciple of Socrates.
Crete was the center of Minoan civilization (circa 2600 – 1400 BC) – the oldest Greek civilisation. It is the largest of the Greek islands today.
They were the developed nations, the “first world” so to speak. They were the centres of commerce and civilisation.
With the benefit of hindsight, the unfolding event clearly portrayed an international and even global thrust. The international was a radical and unimaginable vision for these aboriginal Pentecostals. Such a vision requires open-mindedness and a hint of insanity. Who could imagine that this event would spread like wild fire across the world?
The fact of the early disciples of Jesus speaking in the tongues of the nations of the world gives us an insight into the propagative vision of Pentecost. Whatever was happening was designed to become a global phenomenon. Though the political and economic dimensions of Pentecost are largely unknown, even till this day, the spiritual dimension would spread around the world through the agency of individuals.
Nations were the focus of Pentecost. To that extent, pentecost was somewhat “political.” The mezzanine floor of the Pentecostal structure would be built primarily through the effort of an interesting and aggressive apostle named Paul. His apostolic ministry was directed at nations. Indeed, attempts by the early disciples to restrict “Pentecost” to Jewry was resisted by God. Pentecost is a nation phenomenon on a global scale.