Homeward Bound

Volume 11 Number 07
Yet, Jesus was subject to temptation just as each and every one of us. The Bible says, “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16) In “all points” Jesus was tempted. Not a few, not some, but in all points He was tempted, just as you and me, yet He did NOT sin. The writer of Hebrews tells us this because it was important for the Christ to endure temptation without sinning to make His redemptive act an act of value, one filled with merit and power. To have been tempted knowing that He could not possibly sin would have been insincere and falsely portray His humanity, therefore not being just like you and me. If Jesus could not possibly sin, then the temptations He endured would have been meaningless and His suffering and death upon the cross of no redeeming value. Satan tempted Jesus sorely and though He left Him for a time after the great temptation in the wilderness, he did return. Only by overcoming temptation, each and every one, without sinning, could He have possibly set the example for us to overcome sin in our own lives. Knowing from scripture, had it been so said that Jesus could not and would not sin, we would despair of being able to overcome sin in our own lives, there being no true example.
(continued on page two)

Could Jesus Sin?
Although this is a seemingly simple question, there is no clear and simple answer from scripture. We know from reading the Gospels that Jesus did not sin and knew no sin. But, it is important to know that because He overcame, we can overcome. Had Jesus sinned, even but once, God’s plan to save man and redeem him to Himself would have failed. A perfect, sinless lamb must need be offered and Jesus was that Chosen sinless Lamb of God. Jesus hungered. Jesus thirsted. Jesus sweat. Jesus needed to cleanse His body. Jesus labored and tired in His flesh. Jesus wept and experienced sorrow. Jesus had more than ample opportunity to be frustrated and possibly even to the point of anger. He was a man living in a body of flesh just as you and me. We are familiar with Jesus’ temptation by Satan in the wilderness before He began His ministry. This is a powerful story for us to recall and be an empowerment for our own selves as we face the onslaught of temptation daily from Satan and his minions. Jesus is 100% God and 100% man by nature. These two natures were somehow able to coexist contemporaneously in the body of flesh in which He habitated. It would have been impossible for this to happen had He been born in a sinful state as did all men born prior to Him. Since the sin nature is passed to the children from the seed of a human father, it was necessary for the Father to provide the “seed” for the sinless flesh of Jesus.

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Homeward Bound – Volume 11 – Number 07

Could Jesus Sin? (continued)
Jesus most certainly had opportunity to sin and there are some examples in scripture that uniquely show that temptation was at work in His life and that He made conscious effort to overcome the temptation and not sin. Not the least of which was the Gethsemane garden experience in the hours before He was crucified. The Bible says, “Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.” (Matthew 26:36-45) Matthew here relates the powerful experience of Jesus in the Garden at Gethsemane where He certainly

must have had thoughts of another way, any other way than the cross of Calvary. His soul being sorrowful, even unto death and, “ . . . being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44) The agony, temptation and the decision to be made and carried out in His flesh was so great that, “ . . . there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.” (Luke 22:43) Any lesser man would have run, immediately run far away from what was facing Him at that very moment. The decision to take upon Himself the sins of man, to suffer horrendously and die without mercy for them, to this end He came to Earth and overcame the desires of His flesh and submitted to the will of the Father. The Bible says, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (I Peter 2:21-24) Here Peter tells us that though He was hanging upon that cruel cross He sinned not though He had opportunity. Jesus chose to commit Himself unto the righteous judgment of the Father, knowing like as Abraham said, “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25) Jesus operated from a position of authority, of being omniscient (knowing all things) and being omnipotent (possessing all power). Jesus knew from before the foundation of the Earth that man, the pinnacle of His creation, would fall in sin and that He was chosen by the Father to redeem man from that fallen position. Knowing all and having all power gave Him, (continued on page three)

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Homeward Bound – Volume 11 – Number 07

Could Jesus Sin? (continued)
in His flesh, the confidence and the power to overcome and do the will of God. What an example for you and for me! Without this example we would not know it could be done, be possible for us to overcome and endure unto the end. His call to us would have been meaningless without proof, without evidence. The fact that His Spirit comes to abide in us as we surrender our lives to Him gives us that very same power that the flesh of Jesus of Nazareth possessed and therefore we can, we must overcome sin! The Bible says, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” (Hebrews 12:1-4) This, this very thing is the confidence that both you and I have knowing that if Jesus could overcome the possibility of sin in His life, we can, we must do it also. In the Garden Jesus resisted unto blood striving against doing His will over the Father’s. Those precious drops of sweated blood that dropped to the ground was proof enough in His own flesh of the actual struggle going on in both the flesh and the heavenlies since it was at that very point in time that Jesus overcame and proceeded to the cross, performing the Father’s will as planned. Satan was overcome and

would soon be crushed and defeated, Jesus’ death and resurrection forever breaking the power of sin and death that he exercised over mankind! This is why John, the beloved disciple, the man who more than probably any other man on the Earth at that time knew Jesus intimately, could say to all who would follow, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.” (I John 2:1) This exhortation to overcome sin in our own life would have rung hollow had He not overcame sin and went to the cross unblemished by sin stain and be that perfect sacrifice.

How did Jesus fulfill

only God could fulfill?
There are at least 44 specific prophecies relating to the life of the Messiah . . . and Christ fulfilled everyone of them . . . a feat that only God could perform. (Example: being from the line of David (Matthew 1:6), being born of a virgin (Matthew 1:23) and being crucified (Psalm 22:16). Some would say, “That could happen simply by chance.” Really? Two science professors, Peter W. Stoner and Robert C. Newman, applied the science of probability to just 8 select Old Testament prophecies being fulfilled in one man. The odds? One chance in 10 to the 17th power. To make this huge number more understandable, they illustrate it: ''Suppose we take 10 to the 17th power in silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up one silver dollar and say that this is the right one. What chance would he have of getting the right one? Just the same chance that the prophets would have had of writing these eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, from their day to the present time, providing they wrote using their own wisdom.'' (Stoner and Newman, Science Speaks, p. 107)

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Homeward Bound – Volume 11 – Number 07

The Story of Harry Orchard
-Adapted from 'Harry Orchard The Man God Made Again’, An Autobiography “The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.” (Jeremiah 18:1-4) The following story is about a man who, after living a life of crime, was suddenly given time, lots of time, to think. Fortunately, for him, it was not too late to change. A loud, official knock sounded at the door of the hotel room. The sheriff stood outside. "Orchard, you're under arrest," he stated. Shortly, Harry Orchard found himself in the county jail. That day marked the end of a long career in organized crime. Life began for him in 1866 on a farm near Toronto, Canada. Every Sunday he was sent to church. By the age of 22 he married a sweet Scottish lassie and together they worked to establish their home. It was a happy home and all seemed to be going well. Life was off to a good start. After four or five years of marriage however, plagued by debt, Harry began taking steps that led him down the wrong path. First it was an occasional drink and a game of cards. Next came frequent gambling and many nights away from home. Little dishonesties crept into his business practices.

One winter day Harry and his wife went to visit an uncle that was a minister. They intended to stay a day or two, but an unexpected blizzard snowed them in for two weeks. During this time God spoke to his heart, and Harry gave his heart to Jesus. He vowed to turn his back on the world and live for God. Peace returned to their home. Unfortunately, Satan was there to destroy that decision. Back home, Harry had a court case pending where he had to face a previous dishonesty in his business. He was determined to confess the whole thing and make it right, but at the moment of truth he weakened and covered the whole affair with lies. His vow to God was broken, his new Christian experience was gone. From then on Harry plunged deeper and deeper into sin. Desperate for money, Harry set fire to his business, collected the insurance, then skipped the country with a friend's wife. Alone before long, he eventually moved to Idaho and began working in the mines in 1899. Those were the days of the "wild, woolly west." Crime was prevalent, and labor unions ruled the country with a reign of terror. At first, Orchard despised the ruthless tactics used by the unions. Later, however, he became convinced that their cause was justified. The cruelty used by officials who were sent in to correct the situation enraged him. He didn't understand that two wrongs do not make a right. He gave himself over to getting revenge. For years he was a skillful and willing tool for the leaders of the labor unions who were anxious to remove any man that stood in their way. For a price, he became guilty of the blood of scores of innocent people. The day of reckoning finally came. After taking the life of former Governor Frank Steunenberg of Idaho, he found himself for the first time behind bars. It was a jarring experience. He felt like a caged animal. Deprived of his freedom he had time to do something that he hadn't done for years. He had time to think. In fact, he had nothing to do but think. As he lay (continued on page five)

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Homeward Bound – Volume 11 – Number 07

The Story of Harry Orchard (continued) in his cell, the dreadful deeds of the past forced their way into his consciousness. Beginning with his boyhood, each scene marched through his mind. As he reflected, conviction and remorse began to take hold of him. Desperately he tried to fight these feelings but to no avail. For weeks the struggle continued. Nights passed where he was unable to close his eyes all night due to the thoughts that chased each other wildly through his mind. After three long weeks in the local county jail, he was moved to the penitentiary at Boise for "safekeeping." The struggle in his mind intensified. He was placed in solitary confinement. His meals were handed to him in silence. For ten days he was not permitted to communicate with anyone in any way. This angered him, but here again there was nothing to do but think without interruption. Try as he would he could not get away from those terrible scenes that seemed to haunt him. He was not deeply concerned with the charges that were being brought against him, for though he was guilty, he knew it would not be difficult for the labor union leaders to build an alibi to acquit him. He also knew that any money needed to buy his freedom would be used. It was the eternal side of life that troubled him now. He often had boasted that he did not believe in God, but deep in his secret heart he believed there was a God and that he must face Him. Alone and imprisoned, he finally wondered if he could ever make his peace with God. As he realized how terrible his life had been, the guilt pressed him down with a weight that seemed to be more than he could bear. The devil harassed him with the thought that he had gone too far and that God would not listen to his cry. Suicide was an appealing thought until he would realize that he was not ready to die. he thought came forcibly to his mind that if he would frankly confess his terrible

deeds, God might still forgive him. Then the seriousness of his crimes would plague him again and banish the possibility of forgiveness from his mind. Days and weeks passed with this towering question ever on his mind. At times

Harry Orchard, 3rd from left, on way to prison

he thought he would fight it out in court until acquitted and then change his life and seek God's mercy and forgiveness, but this plan brought nothing but darkness. Only one course of action brought him the tiniest ray of hope-to make a full confession regardless of the consequences. After months of deliberating, he virtually came to this decision. Then he would think that he could never go through with it. The thought of the shock it would be to the world, and the monster that he would be pictured as, were appalling to him. He felt that he could make public his confession only if he could receive God's forgiveness and then die. He wanted the earth to swallow him up so that he would never have to look upon the face of man again. The mental agony was terrible. The one thing that overshadowed all others and made the rest sink into insignificance was the desire to first of all make his peace with God. When he surrendered, his cold, hard heart began to melt, and the first real tears in years came to his eyes. What a relief they were! That night he made a solemn vow--to confess to all men the terrible sins of his evil life. The following (continued on page six) morning he began

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Homeward Bound – Volume 11 – Number 07

The Story of Harry Orchard (continued) to write out his awful confession which he later gave to the world from the witness stand. When the trial came, the labor union leaders were there to prove his testimony false since it laid bare their own criminal plans and actions. Lawyers were hired to confuse him and prove his story false. Throughout the grueling days of cross examination, he clung to God to help him tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, though he knew that his plea of guilty carried with it nothing but the death sentence. When the lawyers finished cross-examining him, they were constrained to express their amazement at the consistency of his long sordid story. When he was finished, he was sentenced to be hung. But in his heart there was peace, for now he knew he was forgiven and had become a new creature in Christ Jesus. Not long after being returned to the penitentiary, he heard that his sentence was being commuted from a death sentence to a sentence of life imprisonment. As he faced the thought of life imprisonment, he felt overwhelmed. Dying seemed easier than living. Again he struggled as he learned to submit to the will of God for him. Life was not easy in the prison, but he determined by the grace of God to make the best of it. Day by day he went to his Saviour for the help that he needed in struggling with the nature and habits that had controlled him for so long. God worked miraculously to change him. A chaplain proved to be a valuable spiritual counselor to him and he eventually had the joyous privilege of following Christ's example of being baptized. He saw a touching revelation of the love of God when Julian Steunenberg, the son of the former governor whom Orchard had murdered, came to see him to tell him

that he and his mother had forgiven him and wanted only for him to turn to God for forgiveness and the salvation of his soul. For nearly fifty years Orchard walked the grounds and halls of prison. He made himself as useful as he could and became a financial asset instead of a burden to the state. At his death his one expressed wish to be buried outside of the penitentiary was granted to him. In his personal testimony he states, "Were I to live a thousand years, and had to spend every one of them in prison, I would still say that I am glad in my heart that I burned all the bridges behind me when I turned my back upon the old life of sin that dragged me down to the committing of such terrible crimes." By the time of his death at the age of eighty-eight, the hardened expression and shifty eyes of the criminal that had first entered the prison had been changed. The lines of his face seemed to be etched with kindness and love. A gentleness seemed to radiate from his presence. God had re-made him. One of the most important questions you may ask in this life is, "Am I ready for Jesus' coming?" "Is my heart right before God?" The answer to these questions will determine where each of us will be throughout eternity. May God be with you as you seek daily to know that there is nothing between your soul and the Saviour.

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Homeward Bound – Volume 11 – Number 07

Hubble Space Telescope Observes a Star on the Brink of Destruction
Presented here is a Hubble Space Telescope "natural color" image of the material surrounding the star Eta Carinae. Eta Carinae has a mass of approximately 150 times that of the sun, and is about 4 million times brighter than our local star, making it one of the most massive and most luminous stars known. Eta Carinae is highly unstable, and prone to violent outbursts. The last of these occurred in 1841, when despite its distance (over 10,000 light years away) Eta Carinae briefly became the second brightest star in the sky. This photograph revealed new detail in the rapidly expanding shell of material which was ejected during the last century's outburst. The clear view of Eta Carinae dramatically demonstrates the ability of Hubble to reliable study faint structures near bright objects although far away. The picture is a combination of three different images taken in red, green, and blue light. The ghostly red outer glow surrounding the star is composed of the very fastest moving of the material which was ejected during the last century's outburst. This material, much of which is moving at more than two million miles per hour, is largely composed of nitrogen and other elements formed in the interior of the massive star, and subsequently ejected into interstellar space. The bright bluewhite nebulosity closer in to the star also consists of ejected stellar material. Unlike the outer nebulosity,

this material is very dusty and reflects starlight. New data shows that this structure consists of two lobes of material, one of which (lower left) is moving toward us and the other of which (upper right) is moving away. The knots of ejected material have sizes comparable to that of our solar system. This star is an example of a supernova, a star in the process of exploding. Most supernovae destroy the star which undergoes such an explosion, but this star is so massive it has survived! God’s Creation is so wonderful and beautiful. There are countless objects in the heavens for us to see, revealing His majesty and power, this is just one of them. For more pictures of objects in space taken by the Hubble space Telescope, visit: http://www.seds.org/hst/hst.html

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Homeward Bound – Volume 11 – Number 07

It’s What We Do!
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20) It’s what we do. Plain and simple. This is Jesus’ command to us today and His Word is as fresh as it was almost two thousand years ago. All things we do as believers must be wrapped up in and concerned with this very thing. Anything else is anything less than Jesus commanded us. Is this what you are doing? Prior to Jesus giving this final command to His disciples, when He appeared to them immediately after His resurrection in the room where they had gathered, “Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” (John 20:21-22) Jesus sends His disciples on the very same mission for which the Father had sent Him, to reconcile the world unto the Father. In order to do this great work believers need to receive the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Filled with His Spirit and knowing the work at hand we go and serve. It’s what we do. Anything less than this and we have fallen gravely short. Receive the Holy Spirit. Preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Baptize those who repent and are saved. Teach new converts to obey Jesus in all things. Prepare them for service in the Great Commission. It’s what we John Payne do!

In my opinion . . .
In my opinion, the great single need of the moment is that light-hearted superficial religionists be struck down with a vision of God high and lifted up, with His train filling the temple. The holy art of worship seems to have passed away like the Shekinah glory from the tabernacle. As a result, we are left to our own devices and forced to make up the lack of spontaneous worship by bringing in countless cheap and tawdry activities to hold the attention of the church people. (A. W. Tozer Keys To The Deeper Life).

Thank you for taking the time to read this issue of Homeward Bound! As usual, your questions and comments are most welcome. Do you write? Do you have something you’d like to share with the readers of Homeward Bound? Please consider sending it in for review. Until next time . . . may God bless you and use you in the Harvest of souls!

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