Recently I had the pleasure of reading a really different kind of book. Acts of the Spirit-Filled. by Johnnie R. Jones is part historical and part fiction. I am happy to present my review of the book here.
About the Author
A former pastor who has degrees from Dallas Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Johnnie R. Jones is currently a revivalist preacher residing in McKinney, TX. He has authored seven other books, booklets, and study guides. In 2007, Johnnie was diagnosed with the Shingles virus in his head, called post herpetic neuralgia, which leaves him dealing with chronic nerve pain.
Connect with Johnnie
Website: His Abounding Grace Ministries | Facebook: Johnnie Jones
This book was a joy to read. It is based upon the first 12 chapters of the Acts of the Apostles, as found in the Bible. Johnnie does well to draw you into “the acts” from the first few words when you find yourself back in the first century near Bethany of Judea. You can envision what Peter has seen as he speaks with the Lord who is ascending into Heaven. Peter pleads for Him to return to help restore His kingdom. I was captured by the descriptive words that Johnnie used to describe how it might have been back in the day of the apostles. How often have we read the Book of Acts and never really stopped to consider the true heart of the apostles — Jesus’ closest friends? How they must have felt when Jesus left this planet. How much they did not understand about His return. They expected Him to come back right away. And yet here we sit still patiently awaiting His return. Just like Johnnie says in that first chapter when John reminded Peter of what the angels said, that they must go back to Jerusalem and “wait” (p. 15). So must we wait.
Johnnie takes you through a journey of unbelievable, but true stories. All along the way you meet the apostles and their family, friends and foes. He has taken some lovely literary license as he tells the stories unlike nothing I have ever read before. If you have never read the Book of Acts in the Bible, I suggest you do, but I highly recommend you read Acts of the Spirit-Filled, which brings the historical accounts to life. For example, on page 40 he writes about a miraculous event that happened in the day that we know as Pentecost, take a look:
A blast of light and a rumbling sound from the northern horizon got the attention of a lone figure in Bethany. He was thinking of how to restart his mission to run the Roman government out of Judea—his homeland. But this strange appearance of light and the deep rumbling sound so early in the day broke his chain of thought. What could it be—an earthquake? (p. 40)
You are going to have to get this book to learn what that light and rumbling is all about.
As with every review I publish I try to highlight at least one favorite part. Truth be told, as I read the book I would jot a note about my favorite part and continually cross it out only to find another favorite. In the end I have to choose my favorite part of not only Johnnie’s book, but of the actual Book of Acts. That would be Chapter 9, which documents the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. This chapter is so amazing because it tells of the conversion of a dirty, rotten scoundrel, who is saved from a murderous life into the family of God. The most amazing thing about it is that not only does the Lord save Saul, but He then uses Him to write a huge section of our New Testament. Here is an excerpt from that amazing transfiguration and conversion on the road to Damascus where Saul heard a voice, as told by Johnnie:
Suddenly, a bright flashing bolt of lightning hit the road, just ahead of Saul. His horse jolted and reared back, throwing him off and onto the ground. Cracks of thunder pealed through the air; everyone fell off their horses. But the brightness did not end immediately. Its illumination was like the brightness of lightning. The others shielded their eyes, but Saul looked into the light, for he saw the figure of a man. He began to hear a noise—a voice from the figure: “Saul! Saul! Why are you persecuting Me!?” (p. 174)
Another bright light and loud noise! Who do you suppose was speaking to Saul on that road? Well, you know you gotta get the book to read the rest of the story!
Acts of the Spirit-Filled is action packed and sure to play with every emotion you can possibly have. Johnnie is a gifted writer and has apparently spent much time in research of those first century facts and figures. I liked this book and I think you will too. You can order the book for just $19.95, which includes shipping. Texas residents have to pay tax too. It will be worth every penny, I promise. You can order this great book from CrossHouse Bookstore at the link below:
List Price: $19.95
Paperback: 322 pages
Publisher: CrossHouse Publishing (January 10, 2013)
I am excited to announce that Johnnie would like to give a copy of his book Acts of the Spirit-Filled to one of my readers. Giveaway begins tonight (Monday 2/25) and ends Wednesday 3/6 at 12:01 AM Mountain Time. Follow the Rafflecopter instructions for several ways to gain extra entries! Winners will be picked randomly and will have 48 hrs to respond to my email notification before a new winner is chosen. You must be 18 years old or older to enter, however you can always get your parent to enter for you. NOTE: This giveaway is open to residents of the contiguous United States of America and Canada and prize will not be mailed outside of these areas. The prize will be shipped to the winner directly from the author or his publisher.
I received a free electronic review copy of this book to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. You may read my full disclosure policy here: Disclosure
Take a look at these other books by Johnnie R. Jones