Exodus 23:10-12 “Six years you shall sow your land and reap its yield. But the seventh year you shall release it and let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat [what the land voluntarily yields], and what they leave the wild beast shall eat. In a like manner you shall deal with your vineyard and olive grove. Six days you shall do your work, but the seventh day you shall rest and keep Sabbath, that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your bondwoman, and alien, may be refreshed.” THE “LAND SABBATH LAW” AND THE “WEEKLY SABBATH” The Laws and ordinances, that were given to the Israelites in Exodus, by God through Moses are but shadows of what was and is to come. They are not limited to a specific time of history or to a particular place. I started reading this past week, the second Book of Moses, commonly called Exodus. My blogs are always inspired by Holy Spirit, in reading the Word daily and being directed in which direction to take the conversation. After the news about the Standard and Poor’s dropping the United States credit rating, down from a AAA Rating to AA+ rating, I was prompted by God to start the investigative and fact-finding truths of the country’s upcoming future. Is what I am about to tell you a prophecy? Perhaps, but what ever you want to call it, the message came from the Spirit and not from newspapers or television commentators. I have heard various bible experts proclaim that Old Testament Law has been replaced by the New Testament. And as believers, we are no longer under the Law. And there is truth in that statement. I also heard a company Vice President tell me years ago, “I’ve never met an expert before. An expert knows everything there is to know about a particular subject”. He went on to tell me, “I’ve been in this business for over 35 years and I am still learning new things daily”. So let me try to clear up some confusions; some strongholds in your thinking. THE MINISTRY OF JESUS In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus has just returned from spending forty days in the wilderness, where He was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those forty days and He was hungry. And yet, when He arrived in Galilee, He was FULL– “Then Jesus went back FULL of and under the power of the [Holy] Spirit” (Luke 4:4:14). In discussion with a member of my family, who will go un-named proclaimed, “I’m not under the Law so NOT going to church every week isn’t such a bad thing”. And attending church every week doesn’t make you a Christian but ‘Christians do go to church’. “So He (Jesus) came to Nazareth, [that Nazareth] where He had been brought up, and He entered the synagogue, as was His custom on the Sabbath day. And He stood up to read” (Luke 4:16). What is another word for “custom”? According to The New Roget’s Thesaurus in Dictionary Form, the word is “habit”. If it was Jesus’ habit or custom to pay homage to the Weekly Sabbath, then it should be good enough for you and me. And what did Jesus read in the synagogue or church as we might know it? He began His ministry by reading from the Prophet Isaiah’s word: “The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the good news to the poor: He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity], To proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord [the day when salvation and the free favors of god profusely abound]” (Luke 4:18, 19). Jesus had finished quoting from the Book of Isaiah–Isa. 61:1-11– which compares the Millenium with the Sabbatical or Jubilee Years. Jesus himself is our Sabbath. We can rest in the freedom from sin and we have entered into that rest by FAITH; the ultimate rest that will blossom into fullness at Jesus’ return. All the various “rests” of the Mosaic Law–the weekly Sabbath, the annual festival rests, the Sabbatical land rests and the Jubilee Year of freedom rest–all prefigure the ultimate rest we now have in Christ. We are living in the Jubilee Year of Jesus and we are set free! THE SABBATH PRINCIPLE STILL IN EFFECT “So then, there is still awaiting a full and complete Sabbath-rest reserved for the [true] people of God” (Hebrews 4:9). Hebrews 4:9 directly contradicts any false teaching that the fourth commandment has been abolished. Jesus exclaimed in the Gospel of Matthew that He didn’t come into our world to do away with or undo the Law but came to fulfill them. He also continued telling us that not one smallest letter nor one hook [identifying certain Hebrew letters] will pass away from the Law until all things [it foreshadows] are accomplished (Matt. 5:17, 19). The Apostle Paul, a Messianic Jew, was zealous for the laws; the Sabbath commandments included. He was set free but continued in carrying out the principles God had set forth. Instead of calling it “The New Covenant”, I like calling it ‘The Renewed Covenant”. Paul says… “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia but reared in this city. At the feet of Gamaliel I was educated according to the strictest care in the Law of our fathers, being ardent [even a zealot] for God, as all of you are today” (Acts 22:3). So is the Sabbath principle still in effect today? Is “The Year of Release”; the seventh year where “all debts are to be forgiven” (Deut. 15) still in effect? Does the Bible really tell us we have to go to church every week? Your mom and dad gave you some chores around the house to accomplish when you were kids. Your father explained how pleased he would be if you promised and obeyed what he told you to do. Also, there would be something special for you at the end of the day in your obedience. God, our Father in Heaven tells us the same thing He told the Israelites in Deuteronomy 28:1, 2: “If you will listen diligently to the voice of the Lord your God, being watchful to do ALL HIS COMMANDMENTS which I command you this day, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you IF you heed the voice of the Lord your God.” Our obedience is conditional. Your heavenly Father gives us the consequences in being disobedient God’s kids: “BUT if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God, being watchful to do ALL His commandments and His statutes which I command you this day, then ALL these curses shall come upon you and overtake you” (Deut. 28:15). A BLESSING is an empowerment from God for you to succeed in everything you do; His super on your natural! A CURSE is an empowerment from God for you NOT to succeed; FAIL in your doings. And moms and dads, if you find yourselves in a state of being cursed in your life, your blessings blocked…Deuteronomy says the “curse” doesn’t stop with you. “Then the Lord will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary strokes and blows, great plagues of long continuance, and grievous sicknesses of long duration” (Deut. 28:59). Can blessings and curses be applied to the nations of the earth? In PART II of JUBILEE and “The Year of Release” I will attempt to give you the truth about the United States in a time of Jubilee; a year of LIBERTY!