A debut book about claiming the power of Pentecost for the church of today.
Newton challenges fellow Christians to use the power of the Holy Spirit, gifted to the church at Pentecost, in order to prepare for “spiritual battle”; at the same time, he warns the church against errors of complacency and worldliness. The author begins by explaining the background leading up to the story of Pentecost—the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles, as found in the book of Acts. He also discusses the immediate ramifications of the Pentecost experience: an empowerment of the apostolic church to go forth and begin a widespread conversion effort. Newton then asserts that there are three principles of Pentecost: obedience, sanctification, and becoming of one accord. He notes that all three must be “working simultaneously together, to achieve the Pentecostal effect.” He elaborates by saying that “The general idea of Pentecost is to summon the presence and power of God.” The author speaks from the vantage point of a Pentecostalist tradition (specifically, the Assemblies of God), but many other Christians may find the concept of summoning God’s power to be difficult to accept. They may find it easier, however, to accept Newton’s view that obedience, sanctity, and harmony give the Holy Spirit a better outlet to work through the lives of believers. The author rightly notes that, in too many cases, these principles aren’t found in modern churches. “The church is supposed to be a watering hole for the saints,” he says, “but instead it is a breeding ground for devils and demons.” However, the author also asserts that humanity is definitively witnessing the signs of the end times, pointing to the rapid change in views on homosexuality and “the prevalence of the works of the flesh.” Socially progressive readers will be taken aback by Newton’s treatment of homosexuality in particular (“Homophobia is a word created by Satan himself to deceive the world into accepting homosexual behavior”).
A brief, heartfelt work but one that’s certainly heterodox and controversial.