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John's Good News Journal

A
Journal
of
Bible
Revelations
To a
Christian
Engineer

Having read and studied the Word of God in the Bible
for several years, I felt a compulsion to write my thoughts
and the revelations revealed to me by God's Spirit.

JTOC


The Purpose of This


The aim of this instruction is love from a pure heart, a clear
conscience, and a sincere faith.
1 Tim 1:5

My purpose in writing these things is that perhaps, by
reading, some might come to know my Lord and my God, Jesus
Christ. I am writing for the love of souls and so that none may
suffer.

A foolish person chooses certain destruction rather than
love.

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Baptism


Why should we baptize?

Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John
tried to prevent him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you,
and yet you are coming to me?" Jesus said to him in
reply, "Allow it now, for thus is it fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness."
Matt 3:13-15

It is right and fitting to be baptised. Baptism is
symbolic of the New Covenant. It symbolizes your death to
sin, burial, and rebirth through the blood of Christ. The key word here is 'symbolic'.
The actual or real baptism is your baptism of fire with
the Holy Spirit.

I am baptising you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming
after me is mightier than I. I am not
worthy to carry his sandals. He will
baptise you with the Holy Spirit and
fire.
Matt 3:11

The 'baptism of fire' occurs when you commit yourself
to the Lord. Making Him your savior.
Which baptism is correct; Believers baptism or Baby baptism?

Both.

Believers baptism occurs after someone accepts Jesus
Christ as their Lord and Savior. A person is dunked in water. It is to
show the people in the church a persons repentance and acceptance of
the Lord. It is important to remember that baptism is symbolic. It
initiates a person into the family of God. When Jesus was baptised, it
was not for repentance. He was and is pure and free from sin. What
then was Jesus baptised for? To symbolize the beginning of the New
Covenant, the beginning of His mission, and the beginning of the
church.
Baby baptism occurs to an infant. Many wonder and do not consider
this a valid baptism. Baptism is symbolic of the New Covenant. Do
babies have to have knowledge of the Old Covenant before they
receive the symbol of the Old Covenant? No.

Throughout the ages, every male among you, when he is eight days old,
shall be circumcised,
Gen 18:12

"Go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them
in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy
Spirit, teaching them to observe all that
I have commanded you."
Matt 28:19,20

The dictionary defines 'disciple' as: one who accepts
and assists in spreading the doctrines of another. One can become a disciple immediately or it can take
some time. Even a partaker of Believers baptism may fall away
for a time and later in life study the Word and become a true disciple.
A good family, after baptizing their infant in faith, truth, and love, will
disciple their child about every aspect of the Christian life. Believer's
baptism waits for the moment when the child accepts Christ. It is the
truth lived and breathed and eaten every moment of the child's life. It
is the love and kindness of the mother with family, friends, and
neighbors and the dedicated protective love and discipline of the
father. God is in that home and the child knows it and believes it
without question or doubt. It is a pure faith - untainted by life - true
to the core.
Jesus has been a part of my life from the very start.
He has always been present. From the beginning it was an accepted
fact. With every spiritual encounter, I drew closer to Him. That is
what I remember. When I went down on my knees to ask Him into
my life - I discovered He was already there - and I did not know
why. Now, I do know why. It began with my being baptized as an
infant and my parents loving me into the church.
Many people believe that water baptism is what forgives sin. What
about the thief crucified next to Jesus who repented? When was he
baptized? And yet we know that thief entered Heaven. He was
baptized by the Holy Spirit.

Where in the Bible do we find examples of baby baptizm?

In 1 Cor 1:16, Paul states that he baptized the household of Stephanas.
A normal household has a full family - adults, children, and infants.
Also, many preachers use the exodus of Israel as an example and type
of the Christian walk. They make the transit of the Red Sea a type of
baptism. All of Israel went through the Red Sea - everyone.

>JTOC


Wisdom


The image of God is
 the wise man who
 loves God
 and loves his neighbor.

But if any of you lacks Wisdom, he should
 ask God who gives to all generously and
 ungrudgingly, and He will give it.
James 1:5

For the fear of the Lord is Wisdom
and Culture; loyal humility is His delight.
Sirach 1:23,24

For she is the aura of the might of God and the effusion of the Glory of the Almighty.
Therefore, nought that is sullied enters into her. For she is the refulgence of eternal
light, the spotless mirror of the Power of God.
Wisdom 7:25,26

And to the man he said; behold, the fear of the Lord is Wisdom; and avoiding evil
is understanding.
Job 28:28

If you desire Wisdom, keep the commandments, and the Lord will bestow her upon you;
Sirach 1:23

What is Wisdom? The fear of the Lord. She is a created
thing with many of the attributes of God.

Before all things else Wisdom was created;
Sirach 1:4

Some feel that Wisdom is either the Holy Spirit or Jesus
Christ. Although from the previous passage we see Wisdom was
created. Jesus and the Spirit are one with the Father and not created.
Then who is Wisdom? The woman in the Song of Solomon is a good
candidate or Mary; the mother of Jesus Christ. Perhaps Mary could be
considered the corporal incarnation of Wisdom.

As Wisdom, should we worship Mary? No. We do not worship
the creation beside or before the Creator.

Why is Mary Wisdom or a type of Wisdom?

She is the most important female figure in scripture. The immensity of being chosen to
carry the Son of God in her womb; God must have loved Mary more
than any other human being. Much of the Christian Church chooses to
ignore Mary or denegrate her to the position of a common person.
Still, you cannot ignore the special function and importance of the role
she performed.
Wisdom is consistantly referred to as 'she'. The Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit are consistantly refered to as 'He'. As the Spirit lead me through
scripture, the thread
which began with Wisdom ended at the feet of Jesus Christ! In the
gospel of Luke, Mary is said to be full of grace - without sin - and the mother of God.

By slow and careful reading of Luke 1:26-55, we get the impression that an event of
monumental importance is taking place. What a marvelous thing.
As I studied this part of scripture, some thoughts came to me. Mary
is THE MOTHER OF GOD! This is a fact, and cannot be denied.
Therefore, per Deut 5:16, the Son of God must obey the Mother of
God - simply because God would not violate His own rules.

Honor your father and your mother, as
 the Lord, your God, has commanded you,
Deut 5:16

Also, when the Spirit entered Mary to father Jesus, the
Spirit of the Most High God united with the spirit of Mary.
and the two of them became one body.
Gen 2:24

And per Gen 2:24, a Holy union occured. We know that
when a man and a woman are joined physically in marrage, their
spirits as well as their flesh become one. To God they are looked upon
as one. The purpose of the union of man and woman is to produce
children. At the moment of union, as incredible as this sounds, God
and Mary were united forever.

To resolve the mystery of Mary, we must listen to what
she has to say. At the wedding in the second
chapter of John; they run out of wine. Someone asks Mary to get some
more. I see this request as an example of someone praying to Mary to
intercede for them. She approaches Jesus with the request and He
says,

"Woman, how does your concern
affect me? My hour has not yet come." So His mother goes to the
servers (the servers playing a type of the Christian believer) and she
says, "Do whatever He tells you."
John 2:4,5

I read that as an order to the Christian to obey the Lord.
And what does He tell us to do? Love the Lord and Love your
neighbor. In other words - do the commandments.
Now look at
Sirach 1:23:

If you desire Wisdom, keep the commandments,
 and the Lord will bestow it upon you;
Sirach 1:23

Mary said the exact same thing as Wisdom. Wisdom is the fear of the Lord.
You show/do fear of the Lord by doing the
commandments of Jesus Christ. And
through the execution of them you gain Wisdom.

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Prosperity and Success


Yet all good things came to me in her company, and countless riches at her
 hands; and I rejoiced in them all,
 because Wisdom is their leader, though
 I had not known she was the mother of
 these.
Wisdom 7:11,12

Wisdom is the mother of prosperity and success.

Do not let this book of the law depart
from your mouth; meditate on it day
and night, so you may be careful to do
everything that is written in it;
Joshua 1:8

Jesus said that the sum of the law and the prophets was: Love
the Lord and Love your neighbor. Jesus was the fulfillment of
the law. You make Jesus Christ your Lord
and Savior - Sovereign King and Lord of your life - and show your
belief/faith by doing Love the Lord and Love your neighbor - with the
kind of love talked about in

1 Cor 13: 4-8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not
envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it
 is not easily angered, it keeps no record
 of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil
 but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.

then you will successfully attain your goal.
Joshua 1:8

If you walk the path of life with Jesus Christ's
commandments on your lips, in your mind, and in your heart; you
will gain Wisdom, prosperity, and success.

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Humility


To be humble - to serve. How does keeping God's commandments
enable you to be humble? You must acknowledge God's
sovereignty and kingship over your life in order to truly believe in
Him. When you serve your neighbor, you are
showing your love for God; the life within your neighbor was given
by God. God is the Prime Mover - everything that lives and moves
started with God. The key attribute of Father God is life. Life does
not die. There is no death in life - life is pure life. All that has life has
God within it. Yet, God is seperate.

In order to access the power of God, you must totally submit to His
sovereignty.

A prayer may be answered if:
a. it is God's will ("Your will be done" Matt 6:10)
b. it is asked in total humility.

Indeed, God does not listen to their empty plea; the Almighty pays no
 attention to it.
Job 35:13

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Pride


So what is life without acknowledgement of God's hand in it?
Pride. Self-sufficiency apart from God is the road to destruction;
route 666 - the Highway to Hell. Self-sufficiency is just another
word for idolatry.
The worship of self is to put yourself before or in place of God. No pride in
self-sufficiency must be present when you ask God for anything. If vanity is present in the asker, God will
not regard the prayer or answer it.

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Give Thanks


"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go throw
yourself in the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart,
	but believes that what he says will happen,
 it will be done for him. Therefore I tell
you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be
 yours."
Mark 11:22-24

How do you truly - without a doubt - believe in something you need that has never existed or happened before? I
wondered about this question for days. But after prayer and reading
it over and over, I realized that giving thanks is how you do this.

When you thank the Lord for something you:
a. are doing so in faith
b. are doing it in His name
c. are acknowledging His sovereignty.

Thank Him for the things you need. If it is in His plan,
He will bless you with the need you thanked Him for in
advance. So - thank the Lord for it!

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Judging Others


"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that
 your Father in Heaven may forgive your sins."
	Mark 11:25,26

This statement comes after the previous verse.

Why?

Pride again. If you are too proud to realize you are no better than your
neighbor, then giving thanks will be as hollow, and empty as the wind.
Read Matt 18:23-35. Forgive as you have been forgiven. True Love -
1 Cor 13:4-8.

You see, you are not truly free of the law if you put others under the yoke of it.
The freedom you get is equal to the freedom you give.  You gain true
freedom by looking on others through the eyes of Jesus with humility
and forgiveness. This does not mean, once you gain salvation, you are
given a license to sin.
If belief in the Lord gives you freedom to sin, the Lord would not have told the adulterous woman,

"Go, and from now on do not sin anymore."
John 8:11

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Choose Your Destiny


One time at work I tried to witness to one of my fellow engineers. I asked him,
"What do you believe in?" He said, "I believe
in oneself." This shocked me. How depressing. A lump of clay says,
"I believe in oneself." The pride in this statement is almost humorous.
Pride in self-sufficiency is the road to Hell. So, when a person who
believes in oneself dies - nothing - like a bug. Oneself = dust. If God does exist -
and He does - this philosophy will make you burn in Hell!

Now think about it - if my fellow engineer had said,
"I believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as my Lord and Savior", it
would have been like a drink of cool-clear water on a hot summer day.
Sometimes it really strikes me how eminently practical believing in
Christ is. After all, aren't engineers supposed to be smart and practical
(my wife would say, "He is uncomfortably practical") ? When a person
makes a free-will decision to reject Jesus Christ for a road to oblivion,
I just can't understand it. No one is perfact - we are all sinners. God is
very aware of this. That is why all Jesus asks of us is to believe in Him.
When you focus on Jesus, He will inspire you to do what He asks.
It is a free-will choice between fire and clear-cool water.

Choose wisely.

JTOC


An Eternal Principle


There is a divine pattern which relationships with God follow. An
individual or group of individuals feel oppressed or low. They present
there appeal to God. He answers them and blesses them with exactly
what was asked. They settle in with confidence in God and get
comfortable. Time goes by. Without realizing it, their active faith in
the Provider becomes an inactive, passive faith. To be replaced by self
indulgence and idol worship. The Lord warns them to come back to
Him more than once. If they repent and acknowledge God and their depravity,
He heals their land and peace is restored. If they
do not return to their Provider and repent - God pours out His wrath
on them.

Now this principle should be obvious, but for some reason it is
not. I derived it from studying the relationship between idolatry, self-
sufficiency, and pride. The principle and pride are linked. When the
person or persons recognize their inadequacy, they humble themselves
before God and recognize His sovereignty over their lives and
everything in it.  Through this humility they ask sincere prayers and
God hears them. Through the fog of time, all they can think about is
the ball game or washing the car. Somehow they forget who put them
there. They start to think that they succeed all by their own sweat.
Turning away from God becomes easy. Seeking empty pleasures
becomes the primary concern. The sin of selfsufficiency and pride
comes to the rich. A poor man has to struggle and recognizes from
where his next meal is coming.
If you pray for a higher level of achievement and it is
granted to you through the Lord's power; you are obligated to depend
on Him to maintain it - or it will be taken away!

Remember the Promised Land!

If you are living in your 'Promised Land' right now recognize it! God
gave it to you. Depend on Him and be thankful for it every day! Or
you will fall into sin and the Lord will wipe you out!.

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Salvation


O death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory?
1 Cor 15:55

I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet
shall he live. and whosoever liveth and believeth
in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
John 11:25,26

I grew up in Rochester, New York during the 1960's. My
father and mother brought me up in the Roman Catholic Church.
A Protestant person believed in God, but in a different way.
The majority of people I knew were Catholics. I can't even
remember a Protestant church. As time went by, I began to memorize the Mass in Latin. In the late 60's
they changed the Mass to English and the organ music to guitars and strange 'folk' music. And so, I began to
memorize the Mass in English. Yet, somehow I sensed the power
and mystery had gone out of the Mass. I love the Catholic Church. It
is where I learned about God. Through all the confusing theology,
the Lord kept my focus on Him. I did not miss the reason He hung
on the cross. I knew He died for my sins and rose three days later;
"Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again." His
purpose was clear, the rest of Catholic theology was not. It is still
difficult for me to understand much of Catholic theology.
The only thing that felt right was the Mass and the Lord's prayer. The
Lord's prayer stood out in my mind as untainted truth. Now, I
understand it was the Holy Spirit who was guiding me to the path of
truth. Now that time has passed, all I miss about the Catholic Church
is going to Mass with my family.

The Mass is derived from the apostles faithful keeping
of the Lord's Supper. The apostles felt it necessary to include
important events from Jesus' ministry whenever the believers gathered
to celebrate the Lord's Supper. People in those times could not get
Bibles, and few had the education to read it.

The Mass is the Living Scriptures.

As Christians our love, life, and church must be
centered on Jesus Christ.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your
earthly nature; sexual imorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because
of these, the wrath of God is coming.
Col 3:5,6

To put your bodies desires before the truth of God is
idolatry. When a woman chooses to get an abortion because the baby
will be inconvenient, a hinderance to her career, or a burden on her
life, she is sacrificing the growing life within her to her job or herself.
The doctor who performs the abortion is essentially acting like a priest
to the pagan god Molec. Sacrificing children to the god of 'self' is the
same as worshiping Molec - an idol.

No one can serve two masters. He will either hate
one and love the other, or be devoted to one and
 and despise the other. You cannot serve God and
 mammon.
Matt 6:24

The practice of homosexuality and abortion are anti-life
and anti-God. The practice of one is not compatible with the
other. One cannot be a practicing homosexual and truly
believe in God. God does not change. What was wrong in the
days of Sodom and Gomorrah is still wrong today.

Because of these the wrath of God is coming.
Col 3:6

So let us return to the question of Salvation.

Then they asked him, "What can we do to accomplish
the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to
 them, "This is the work of God, that you believe
 in the One He sent."
John 6:28,29

1 Cor 15:55 and John 11:25,26 were quoted at the funeral
of my uncle, August Spagnolia. He believed and held to the promise of
the Lord, and I am confident he is with God in Heaven right now.
Uncle Gus was brought up in the Roman Catholic Church, however, it
was not till his daughter Carol and her husband inquired of his belief
that he truly understood that Jesus Christ was essential for salvation.
My uncle died of throat cancer. A disease I would not wish on my
worst enemy. At the end, the Lord eased his pain and that of his family
and when they looked into his eyes - they saw Jesus looking back at
them. Wow! At the funeral you could truly sense the presence of the
Holy Spirit. The certainty of my uncle's salvation was self-evident.

Praise Jesus!
Our Lord!
God Bless You!

JTOC


What Are We?


What does it mean when the Lord says: Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and soul?

What is heart?

The heart is the innermost part of a man, the core of a
person, the soure of motivation, inspiration, and deeds. Emotion
comes from the heart.

What is mind?

Where you add 2 + 2. It is the seat of logic and reason. Where your
memories are. It is your decision making place. The mind is the open
ground - where Satan wispers deception. You reason God away with
your mind.

What is soul?

This is tied to your other parts - body, heart, mind,
and spirit. This is what makes you unique. The soul is your personality.
When you die, this is what goes before the Lord. Your soul is eternal.
It will spend eternity in the glorious
presence of the Lord, or away from God, burning in agony forever.

What is Spirit?

It is Your life. What animates your body. What gives you strength. It
is the spirit of life that comes from God. This life is seperate from the
Father of life until a person makes a free-will decision to invite Him in
- as Jesus Christ. When you are born-again, your old spirit is replaced
with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the everlasting Spirit of God.

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What Counts?


Once you ask Jesus Christ into your life, it does not become real unless
you practice the commandments. Something people miss - especially today
- is that Christian living is a 'do' thing.
One thing that becomes clear, as you study the Bible, is you are what
you do. If you do sin - you become and are a sinner. If you believe in
God, you do as He asks.

Therefore, belief/faith = do/action.

If a person takes the salvation Jesus gave him and flaunts it as a license to sin he is not a
Christian.

Remember what Jesus said:

"This is the work of God, that you believe in the One He sent."
John 6:29

As long as one practices Christianity by Loving the Lord
and Loving your neighbor, he is a Christian. Thus, there is no
condemnation. When you sin, you must repent. If there is no
sorrow or guilt which is the feeling of doing wrong to someone you
love, including God - how can you have the Lord in your heart?

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when
he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see
that faith was active along with his works, and
faith was completed by the works.
James 3:21,22

First comes the 'doing' of verbal acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord
and savior of your life. Then comes the 'doing of living as He did.

Being a Christian is being like Christ.

Part of this is having an repentant heart. When you sin with a repentant
heart, you know it. Since you love the Lord
and do not want to be seperated from Him, you repent. However, if
you sin with an unrepentant heart, and continue in that road, will you
be saved? A repentant heart is consistant, true, and forgiven. A person
may stumble and fall occasionally, but because his heart is consistant,
he gains eternal life. An unrepentant heart is on-again off-again, not
consistant, hypocritical, and Luke warm. This type of plant is going to
be thrown into the fire.  As Jesus said. So, how do we conduct
ourselves?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy,
 it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no
 record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects,
 always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
1 Cor 13:4-8

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Faith Contrasted to Doubt


Doubt = low or no surety
Faith = surety

But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats
 because his eating is not from faith; and
everything that does not come from faith is sin.
Romans 14:23

To be sure of something is to have faith in it. Though this
passage deals with meat sacrificed to idols, it is
applicable to all things in life. When you study for a test - the
answers are planted firmly in your mind. When you take
the test, you pick the right answer with confidence - faith -
that what you pick is the correct answer. Some answers you pick
in doubt - these are incorrect. If you pick enough answers in
doubt - you fail the test.
A life full of doubt is a insecure life. Without confidence or
courage. Faith brings with it security.
Confidence that what you do is right and true. Knowing what you
do is right and true gives you the courage to move mountains. See
Mark 11:22-26.

If you have even a little doubt about anything - don't
do it. Many times the Spirit will warn you of coming disaster. You
hear people say, "I know I shouldn't have gone there." This is doubt.
Be sure in all you do and you will avoid disaster.

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