Home Bible Study

"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is both helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible often doesn't tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas 2012


Home Bible Study- Lutz, Florida
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
2 Timothy 2:15


This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1Timothy 2:3-4


Christmas 2012

Welcome back and may I take the time to send the warmest Christmas wishes to you and your families.   May God shower his choicest blessings on you and your loved one this Christmas and in the coming New Year!

*****
It is customary for our Bible study group to take time off during the Christmas holiday season to spend time with their family and friends. 

I usually end the year with a Bible lesson centered on a Christmas theme.
I chose a Bible verse from the book of Isaiah this year.
Please open your Bible to Isaiah chapter 9.

I want to begin with this comment.
There are only two camps in this “world” Believers and unbelievers.
There is no middle ground or “fence-sitting,” when faith in God is the question.

From Scripture we learn this very important Truth.

Hebrews 11

6: And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must (do what) believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

This is one of the absolutes in Scripture.  It is always true and forever constant!

Isaiah 9

2: The people who walk in darkness
     Will see a great light;
    
Those who live in a dark land,
     The light will shine on them.

O.k. Bible students let’s break this down so we can understand it.

The people = the nation of Israel
who walk in darkness = a general term; meaning –profanity, idolatry, worldly lusts
The light will shine on them = the light is the promised Messiah

Let’s compare Scripture with Scripture. 
Please open your Bible to the book of John, chapter 1.

The book of John was written to a Jewish audience to prove conclusively that Jesus is the Son of God.  A few of John’s brethren believed that Jesus was the promised Redeemer (Messiah) but the majority of the Jews did not. 

John 1

1: In the beginning was the Word, (note the capitalization; this is in reference to deity) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2: He (Jesus Christ) was in the beginning with God.

3: All things (all means all) came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

4: In Him was life, and the life was the (what’s the next word) Light (capitalized) of men.

5: The Light shines in the darkness (same word as we read in Isaiah chapter 2)…,

Now when you enter a dark room and flip the light switch what happens to the darkness?  The light drives it away.  Darkness cannot tolerate the light.

The Light (Jesus Christ) dispels darkness, which stands for evil.
Jesus Christ pierces the darkness of sin and death and conquers them.

John 8

12: Then Jesus again spoke to them (the Pharisees) saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

Let’s return to John chapter 1 and take a closer look at verse 5.
I want to draw your attention to something important.

John 1
5: The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it (comprehend means: to lay hold of so as to make it one's own).

This is the first “hint” in this gospel of the struggle between belief and unbelief.

Even after all the miracles, signs, and wonders, which Jesus performed before thousands of witnesses and Jewish religious leaders; the majority of these still would not believe, which prompted Jesus to proclaim:

John 5

37: “And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me.  You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form.

38: “You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent.”

Point of Truth: people have a problem trusting God. 
To be quite frank they don’t believe God!

There is a big difference between believing in God and believing in what God says.
Think about that.

The simplest definition of faith I know is this.
Faith is simply taking God at His word!   

Mankind is a stubborn lot and then there is the issue of free will also.
Which, in my humble opinion, is one of the reasons God gifted mankind with the printed Word; to help us along with our stubbornness.    

But how do we know for certain the Bible is actually of God?
We can know the Bible is from God, because: 
  • It does not have mistakes or contradictions, when it’s Rightly Divided!
  • When it has written about future events, (Prophecies) they have always come true, even though some prophecies were written hundreds of years earlier.  There are over 600 prophecies that have come true and no prophecies that have been proven false
  • The truth it contains has changed countless lives of many people
  • It does not contradict with History, archaeology or true science
  •   It has survived through thousands of years, even with great opposition.
  
No other spiritual book or any other book for that matter can claim all these things.

In addition, let’s not overlook the faithfulness of the Creator God!

Numbers 23

19: “God is not a man, that He should (do what) lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said and will He not do it?  Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?

And:

1 Corinthians 1

9: God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Approximately 300 Messianic prophesies written hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth which foretold a coming Messiah.  These writings were circulated 430 years before Jesus’ birth.  They mention specific names, dates, and locations. 

Every one of these prophecies was fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ.

Coincidence; I think not.
Supernatural; Most definitely!

And yet the majority of the world continues to walk in darkness and UNBELIEF.
The world and its offerings has become their god.
The Bible warns against this lifestyle.

1 John 2

15: Do not love the world nor the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father (note the capitalization –this is deity) is not in him.

16: For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

17: (Take note :) The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

“The world” would also include man’s speculations, lies, and falsehoods raised up against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5). 

Instead of the Creator God, unbelievers devote their lives to human wisdom, human thought, and human ideologies; theory, philosophy, and science.
Mankind’s vain attempts to explain Jesus away or to eliminate Him entirely are not new.  The Apostle Paul addressed this issue when he wrote his letter to the Romans
(Romans 1:18-23).

Man should remember these words of wisdom…

Proverbs 16
18: Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before stumbling.

*****

O Holy Night

An angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds who were watching their flock on the night of Jesus’ birth.  The angel heralded Jesus’ birth.

Luke 2

10: …”Do not be afraid; for behold I bring you good news (Greek word is Euaggelizomeans “to proclaim.”) of great joy which will be for all people;

11: for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

12: “This will be a sign for you (the Jews always demanded a sign before they would believe): you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
The angel of the Lord “heralded” the birth of Jesus Christ.
That is to say the angel “proclaimed” (Greek word = kerusso) Jesus’ birth and also its spiritual implication.

Note: the angel didn’t stop to discuss or debate Jesus’ birth with man. 
The angel “proclaimed” the message and left (Luke 2:15).
Hang onto that thought as we turn to Acts chapter 17.

Here we find the Apostle Paul waiting for his two companions, Silas and Timothy, in the city of Athens, Greece.  While Paul was waiting, “his spirit was provoked within him as he was observing the city full of idols…”  (Acts 17:1)

It has been said there were more idols in the city of Athens then there were people!
They even had had a statue there dedicated to an “unknown god;” just in case…

Acts 17

17: So he (Paul) was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present.

18: And also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were saying, “What would this idle babbler wish to say?”  Others, “He seems to be a proclaimer (kerusso) of strange deities,” – because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.

God chose the word “kerusso” (proclaim) to show in the great message (Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection) how He absolutely passes by the intellect of man, and sets aside all his possible reasoning, ability, philosophy, and wisdom – in this amazing way: “by the proclaiming!”

I want you to picture this setting in your mind.
Here comes a small and weak Jew (the Apostle Paul) upon the assembly of the earth’s wise at Mars Hill in Athens: proclaiming (kerusso) Jesus crucified, dead, buried, and resurrected.” 

It is foolishness to these “wise,” “educated,” and stoic philosophers.
Yet “certain men” – including one Mars Hill philosopher, and one prominent woman, and others with them, believe the proclamation, and will spend eternity with God.
(Acts 17:34)

Paul, also a herald, he does not stop to argue – he has a message; the message is left.  Man is set aside!

Therefore, he does not pay attention to Jews who would say to him,
“We have wonderful forms of religion; we have a great temple!” 
No, he proclaims, “a Messiah crucified” and walks on.

And he does not lend an ear to the “naysayers.”
“The educated” who call out to him, “We have a new philosophy to discuss.” 
No; he proclaimsa crucified, dead, buried, and risen Son of God”, and moves on. 

Those who are ordained to eternal life will believe.
Those who are offended or stirred to anger still have options.

Against the backdrop of man’s conceit, we have the wisdom of God.

The Wisdom of God

1 Corinthians 1

18: For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

19: For it is written,
         “I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE,
         AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.”


20: Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

21: For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

22: For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom;

23: but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,

24: but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

25: Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

There is no middle ground – you can’t be a fence sitter.
Choose wisely.


The manger was filled
The tomb was empty
Jesus Christ is coming back –

Words of Truth


© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved















Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Covenant Gospel and Paul's Gospel of Grace - Part XVIII


Home Bible Study: Lutz, Florida
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
2 Timothy 2:15

Is there more than one gospel in effect today?
The Answer:  No

Part XVII

The Covenant Gospel and Paul’s Gospel of Grace

House Work

My friends the Bible is not silent about the Apostle Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles. 
The majority of the New Testament has been written by this man of God.   
Each and every one of his letters is written to Believers.  Think about that…

I understand why this man suffered and why he faced opposition in his day. 
But we are not living in the past.  This is the 21st century.

Opposition against this servant of God still exists today within the Church Community? 
The question is why?

Saul the Persecutor, this Pharisee, after being knocked off his horse, did not rise up off that Damascus road, shake off the dust and the grime, and then decide to do something completely different with his life from there on of his own accord.

Paul didn’t travel the land proclaiming to be something he was not!
What does this book say?

1 Timothy 1

1: Paul, an (what’s the next word folks) apostle of Christ Jesus according to the (read carefully) commandment (this was not a request but a command) of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, (two persons of the Holy Trinity are named in this verse) who is our hope,

Again, Scripture’s message is quite clear.  There is no mystery here.

Paul was chosen to serve the Gentiles at this specific point in time (Acts 9:15)
This command came from God the Father and Jesus Christ.
(See Ephesians 3:9; 1 Corinthians 2:7; Colossians 1:26; Romans 16:25)

The Bible makes it clear that this was a part of God’s “predetermined plan.

The Bible says the Triune God met before the creation of the world and at that time “predetermined” the history of mankind.  Some examples would be:

Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden, the birth of the Savior in Bethlehem, His rejection in Jerusalem,  His crucifixion, His resurrection, His Ascension, and of course His return in Glory one day future; and all the history which occurred in between, that followed, and everything that is going to happen in the future. 

Something most people don’t understand or are ignorant of is this.
Mankind’s history has already been written by the Creator God.

There is a book written on this subject, published, and it’s been a best seller for more than a century.  It’s the Bible. 

Mankind’s history was “predetermined” down to each minute detail before “the time clock” starting ticking by the Triune God sometime back in eternity past. 

Now everyone uses the phrase “Triune God” but it’s not in your Bible.
 So why do we use it?  Good question. 

Let’s go to the book of beginnings.  Here’s one more example of why I start teaching using the book of Genesis and then moving forward in the Bible.  You don’t build a home without a solid foundation and the same is true with a sound Bible study program.  You have to start at the beginning.  Just look at the way the Bible is laid out.
It’s only logical to start with the book of Genesis.  It’s not called the book of beginnings for nothing.

Genesis 1

1: In the beginning God…

That’s as far as we need to go for this teaching.
The Hebrew word for God (capitalized) is Elohim (El- o – Him) and is a plural noun.
If you use a small “e” or elohim, it becomes a singular noun (or god); small “g.”

If you want to take the time to re-read the creation event, take note that God refers to Himself in the plural more than once. 

Genesis 1
26:  Then God (Elohim) said, “Let Us make man in (read carefully) Our (plural) image…,”
Are you following me?

Here’s one more.  God the Spirit is mentioned in verse 2.

Genesis 1

2: The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the (who) Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

When speaking of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit, they should not be considered separate or incompatible with one another.  They should be viewed as One and Three, or as equals, one is not above or superior to another.

Getting back to the Apostle Paul being a small part of God’s “predetermined” plan of the ages, what does this book say?

This is the Apostle Peter speaking to a crowd of Jewish men in Jerusalem. 
They came to celebrate the Feast of Pentecost in keeping with the Mosaic Law.

Acts 2

23: Him (Jesus Christ), being delivered by the determinate counsel (counsel = consultation with others/a counsel means the same thing today that it meant back then.  It’s a meeting of the board members – so to speak) and foreknowledge (foreknowledge – means you know something is going to happen before it happens.  God is never caught off guard or taken by surprise) of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:  (KJV)

There’s a lot going on in that verse.
Once again, those who choose to only READ their Bible miss 80% of what’s really going on.

The Triune Godhead knew Jesus would be sent to redeem the world from sin. 
They knew beforehand that His message would be rejected; He would be rejected and crucified.  None of this was a surprise.  Are you following me?

Mankind’s history, as it pertains to salvation, and God’s will, has been predetermined.

It pleased the Creator God to choose Saul at a pre-selected point in time to be the apostle to the Gentiles. 

Each and every one of the twelve apostles was chosen by the Creator God. 
I ask you are Peter, James, or John facing opposition today?

Bottom line:  The Apostle Paul was selected by The Creator God as His “chosen instrument.”; …“To bear MY name before the Gentiles.”  (Acts 9:15)

Who then may assume the privilege to discredit him or his teachings?

Scripture says the Apostle Paul encountered opposition wherever he traveled
Paul was constantly defending his ministry and his gospel.
(2 Corinthians 11; Galatians 1 – these are just two examples.)

Moses encountered opposition against his God given authority too. 
(Numbers 11; 12; 13; 14; 16)


When any sincere and true man of God comes speaking God’s Words (Jn 3:34), his authority and purpose will be questioned by those who are not willing to receive the message.  David Neal

Evil has many faces in this world my friends.
But there is only one source.  (Proverbs 15:3)
GJ Heitzman

*****

In the Old Testament, The LORD God (Jehovah) chose Moses to dispense the Law to His chosen people the Israelites. 
  
What was the purpose of the Law?

The Law at Sinai was given to Israel to reveal who God is and to shed light on the reality of an infinite gulf that separates God from man. 

Its proper use is to show man his total helpless and hopeless condition before a Righteous and Just God.

The Meaning of the Term “Law”

In the Old Testament, the word “law” is used to translate the Hebrew word Torah, “instruction.”  The Hebrew word for “law” probably comes from the causative form of the verb yarah, “to throw,” “to shoot (arrows).”  Have you ever felt “pricked” by one of these “arrows” while sitting in a church pew on Sunday morning?

In the New Testament, the Greek word used for law is nomos.  

Nomos means “that which is assigned,” hence, “usage, custom,” and then “law,” or “a rule governing one’s actions.”   Thus God’s law is: His system of rules by which He shows and instructs in His will and administers the affairs of the world.

Obviously the definition allows for and even implies that there might be differing systems of rules at various times, depending on what particular aspects or how much of His will God wishes to show at a given time.…

A system of rules may be tailored for different times, peoples, or purposes.
As a result, in the progress of God’s revelation to man, we can see a number of different systems of law in the Scripture.  These are:

The Law of Nature (Natural or Inherent) – Romans 2:14

The Law of Eden – while no law specifically existed at the time, the LORD God’s spoken will was made known to Adam, i.e. how to care for and keep the garden, to eat freely of all in the garden except for the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” etc.

The Law of the Patriarchs – there must have been specific instructions given to each of these gentlemen but very little detail is given to us.  God’s instructions represent His will and therefore His law.  They are meant to direct the lives of those who profess to believe in Him.  See Genesis 26:5

The Law of Moses Given to Israel – these laws consisted of 365 negative commands and 248 positive commands for a total of 613 commands or Laws which every Jewish man, woman, and child had to know by heart.  (And we struggle to remember the Ten.)

They were divided into three segments: the Moral Law; the Social Law; and the Ceremonial Law.

I’ll stop here because this is as far as I intend to go with this.
But you need to know that there is so much more to learn about the meaning of the term Law as it applies to Bible Truth.

In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus Christ (Jehovah in the Old Testament) chose the Apostle Paul to dispense the Mystery of Grace to the Gentiles and the Jews – for now there is no difference.

Stop thinking that THIS DISPENSATIONAL CHANGE came about where the N.T. begins.  Too many people have been taught over time that the Grace Age begins at Matthew 1:1.  That’s not what the Bible says.

At the time of Matthew 1:1, and on up through the four gospels, those folks are still operating under the Law of Moses.  What do we know about the Law?

There is absolutely no power in the Law to save!
The Law reveals sin!  That’s all it can do.

Romans 3

19: Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;

Since all the world may become accountable to God for all their misdeeds, and the Law is powerless to save the world, what then?

Romans 8

3: The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature.  So God did what the law could not do.  He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have.   And in that body God declared an end to sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.  (New Living Translation - 2007)

Romans 5

8:  But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

This is the condition the Creator God found Saul on the Damascus road that day.
This is the condition in which He found each and every one of us.  Amen

That’s right.  You didn’t go looking for the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Romans 3

11:  THERE IS NO ONE WHO UNDERSTANDS,
THERE IS NO ONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD;

God the Spirit found you…

Acts 16

1:  A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshipper of God (and not Jesus the Christ – it’s important to watch carefully what you are reading), was listening (to the Apostle Paul and Timothy); and the Lord (did what) opened her heart (for what purpose) to respond to the things spoken by Paul.

We may sow the seeds but it’s the Holy Spirit that causes the fruit to grow.

And this is where God’s Grace enters in. 
Grace = God’s unmerited favor. 
You can’t earn it. 
You don’t deserve it.

But the gift of salvation is yours if you genuinely believe!  (See 1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

The Mosaic Law then was merely a “shadow” of something better that would come.

Hebrews 10

1: For the (Mosaic) Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifice which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.

2: Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshippers, having been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins?

3: But in those (ceremonial) sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year.

Skip to verse 11.

11: Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;

12: but He (Jesus Christ), having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD,

13: waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET.  (Psalms 110:1)

The theme of the book of Hebrews is the absolute supremacy and sufficiency of Jesus Christ as revealer and as mediator of God’s Grace.

Jesus Christ is shown to be superior to Israel’s prophets, to angels, to Moses (the mediator of the former covenant) and to Aaron and the priestly succession descended from him). 

Hebrews is often called the book of “better things” since the Greek words better or superior appear fifteen times in the letter.

And this is what the Apostle Paul is all about.
He brings into the light the absolute supremacy and sufficiency of Jesus Christ.
Now when you’ve been raised in religious tradition for centuries as the Jews were and along comes this man with a whole new set of ideas and teachings what’s going to be your response? 

Scripture reveals truth.  The answer to the question above is in your Bible.
The Apostle Paul faced opposition wherever he traveled.

But Truth is Truth when it comes from the Creator God.
Even the Jews should have recognized it when they heard it.
They were first in line to receive the Word of God and His covenants.

Galatians 2

16: nevertheless knowing that a man (or woman) is not justified by the works of the Law but through (what’s the next word folks) faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the Law; since by the works of the Law (read carefully) no flesh will be justified.

But let's get back on point.
The Apostle Paul’s gospel is the only gospel by which an individual is saved today.

Now I know that sentence is going to raise a ruckus out there, but that’s not my idea. 
This comes right from the Bible, therefore, it’s Scripture.
I’m not one to argue with the Word of God.  

Romans 2

16: …on that day (at the Great White Throne Judgment) when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets (sins) of men through Christ Jesus.

And:

Galatians 1

6: I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a (what) different gospel;

7: which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the (what) gospel of Christ.

8: (Read carefully) But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!
9: (Paul repeats) As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

In case you’re wondering, that’s strong language.
Paul’s usage of the word “accursed” here means to be condemned to hell!

It is a common misconception amongst Christians that Paul and the apostles of Christ (the chosen twelve) were unanimous in their preaching of a crucified Jesus.              

Christians think that the apostles and Paul were preaching the same doctrine and everyone believed in the divine Jesus who came to be crucified for the sins of the world.  However, if one examines the bible carefully, that person would observe that Paul and the disciples were not preaching the same doctrine and did not believe in the same Jesus.

No other apostle but Paul preaches Jesus Christ crucified.
(1 Corinthians 19-23; Romans 15:20)

When I say, (and when I teach) there is only ONE GOSPEL in effect today that’s precisely what I mean to say. 

Paul’s GOSPEL is the only gospel by which an individual is saved today. 

I Corinthians 15

1: Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand,

2: by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.

3: For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

4: and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

The Gospel Today = Jesus died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, He was buried, and He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures.

© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved