The Sabbath Years
By Pastor F. M. Riley
September 29, 2010
“And the Lord spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying,
Speak unto the children of
, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a Sabbath unto the Lord. Israel
Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof;
But in the seventh year shall be a Sabbath of rest unto the land, a Sabbath for the Lord: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.
That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land.
And the Sabbath of the land shall be meat [food] for you; for thee, and for thy servant, and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant, and for thy stranger that sojourneth with thee,
And for thy cattle, and for the beast that are in thy land, shall all the increase thereof be meat [food].
And thou shalt number seven Sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven Sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years.
Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.
And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a Jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.”
A Brief Testimony
I AM NOT a person who is given to or depends upon “dreams and visions” for Scriptural truth. Please understand that I am not saying this to condemn anyone, or to make anyone feel guilty. I am simply stating it as a matter of truth. When it comes to spiritual truth, I go by what the inspired Word of God actually and literally says and teaches, ONLY by God’s Word, and strictly by God’s Word. If I can’t back up what I believe and teach with book, chapter, and verse in the “rightly divided Word of truth,” [2 Timothy 2:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:21], then while I may be prone on occasion to believe something not yet proven, I DO NOT teach it as spiritual truth. PERIOD!
Yet this DOES NOT mean that I am not open and sensitive to hearing and understanding the “still small voice” of the Lord as He speaks to His people through His Word and through His Holy Spirit, 1 Kings 19:12; Zechariah 4:6; John 16:12-15. I
pray every single day for the Lord to keep my heart and mind “open” to hearing and being able to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit as I study and meditate upon His Word, and live out the life that the Lord has by His wonderful saving grace placed within me.
Therefore…….This past Thursday night, September 23rd, I was in a sound sleep when at precisely 3 a.m. I suddenly awakened. When I awoke the thought was burning in my brain…..I MUST go to the Day of Atonement in 2017, the very day the Trumpet [ram’s horn] announcing the beginning of the Great Jubilee is blown, and COUNT BACKWARDS from that day to determine how much time is left in this present dispensation BEFORE the Tribulation MUST begin. I already knew that there is a certain number of days stated in God’s Word for the length of the Tribulation period. I also KNOW that the Lord NEVER changes or violates His own inspired Word. Not for anyone, nor under any conditions! Therefore I knew that when I counted BACKWARDS from the sounding of the Jubilee Trumpet on the Day of Atonement in 2017, the exact number of days set forth in the Scriptures for the Tribulation period, it would reveal EXACTLY how many days are left in this present dispensation before the Tribulation MUST begin.
When I got up Friday morning, September 24th, I immediately obeyed what I knew had to be the leadership of the Lord, counted the days, and then wrote out my study on The Great Jubilee and sent it out to all those on my email address list on Friday afternoon and Saturday, September 24th and 25th.
I am relating this brief testimony because I have had several people email me asking why I even thought of COUNTING BACKWARDS from the beginning of the Jubilee in 2017, and why I am so certain my count is correct. Now you know WHY I thought of making the count. Give all the glory to the Lord! I most certainly do believe the Lord “woke me up” in the wee hours of the night with those thoughts on my mind. As to the certainty of my count, COUNT IT FOR YOURSELF just like I did. Folks, we are LITERALLY “running out of time” for the end of this present dispensation! We are indeed living in “the last days” of this dispensation, and “the coming of the Lord draweth nigh,” James 5:8. People can either repent of sin and call on the Lord for salvation, or they WILL be “left behind” when the rapture occurs. May God grant His mercy to every true “seeking soul” is my prayer.
This study is a “follow up” and a confirmation of the truths presented in my previous study on the prophetic significance of The Great Jubilee. Many of God’s people today have not seriously studied this subject, and have little or no idea of what the “Jubilee” really is, nor why it is so vitally important in God’s great Plan of the Ages. Neither do many know how a “Jubilee” year is Scripturally calculated, leading up to the correct year for the sounding of the Jubilee Trumpet. To explain this to our readers, and to encourage God’s people in holding fast “the blessed hope” [Titus 2:11-15] of our Lord’s coming is the purpose of this present study. So let’s get started…..
The Lord’s Instructions
Our text for this study sets forth explicit instructions for how the Israelite people were to use the “promised land” to which the Lord was leading them. This was the wisest and most brilliant concept for the preservation and fertility of the land which has ever been devised. If the Jewish people had followed these commandments of the Lord, then the natural growth of each seventh year would have fallen to the ground during that year. In the following year this fallen growth would have been plowed under, thereby naturally enriching the soil and providing a natural fertilizer for the seed being sown that year. In other words, the Lord gave
a method by which the land itself would be renewed every seventh year. Sadly, most of the Israelites totally ignored this part of the Law, never putting this into practice in the use of their land, 2 Chronicles 36:21; Ezekiel 20:12-24. Since the Jewish people never put this law into practice, then it is obvious that the other nations to whom Israel was supposed to be “a witness” for the Lord, never learned this practice either. Today once productive lands all over the earth are about worn out, and men have to use chemical fertilizers to force the land to produce anything. So goes the consequences of disobeying Almighty God who created us all. Sic! Israel
What the Lord explicitly commanded the Israelite people to do once they had entered and taken the land and were able to begin farming, was to farm their land for six years and then allow the land to lay idle for the seventh year. Each seventh year in this process was to be designated as a Sabbath year, Leviticus 25:4.
They were then to keep count of each of these sets of Sabbath years until seven whole series of Sabbath years had been completed. This would amount to a total of 49 years, Leviticus 25:8. Then the next year, the fiftieth year in the series of years was to be proclaimed a “Jubilee” year, Leviticus 25:9-11.
What is meant by this term, “Jubilee” is that the fiftieth year in the cycle of years was to be an entire year of celebration and “rest” for the Jewish people, and for their land. The two Hebrew words translated as Jubilee in the Bible are “yobel” and “teruah.” Both of these words convey the meaning of “the blowing of the ram’s horn” and “shouting.” The “Jubilee” year was then a year to be devoted to the worship of the Lord, and to joy, thanksgiving, rejoicing, and celebrating, before the Lord and before one another, while the people and the land rested.
Why shouldn’t it be this way? When the “trumpet” of the “Jubilee” sounded on the Day of Atonement in that fiftieth year [Leviticus 25:9] “liberty” was to be proclaimed throughout the land. All slaves were to be set free! All debts were to be cancelled! Every man [or woman] was to be given back a clear title to his own piece of land which had been given to him or to his ancestors before him! Every family was to be reunited! Read the entire chapter for yourself, Leviticus 25:1-55. Under such wonderful circumstances how could the people not be filled with joy and rejoicing? Thank God for “the Jubilee.” Praise the Lord!
Yet the Jews as a nation and people NEVER observed the Jubilee throughout their history, and they still do not observe it today! Why? Because they are seeking to keep a Law WRITTEN IN STONE, a type of their own “stony heart,” Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26. In the wickedness of their own “sin nature,” they have obstinately refused to let the Lord whom they claim to be serving, give them a soft tender “heart of flesh” and place “a new Spirit” within them, WRITING HIS LAW IN THEIR HEART, even though it is clearly
prophesied IN THEIR OWN SCRIPTURES that their Lord and promised Messiah would do this to them and for them, Jeremiah 31:31-34. Do the Jews then as a people pay attention to THEIR OWN SCRIPTURES? Absolutely not! Just like many Gentile “Christians” [?] today, even the “religious” Jews still just “pick and choose” what Scriptures they want to believe and follow, and ignore or outright deny the rest. God have mercy!
Understanding the Calendars
For those of our readers who are not familiar with the Jewish calendars [that’s plural], I want to make a brief explanation. The Jews have two calendars which regulate the course of their years. The Jews have…..
The Civil Calendar…….The calendar governing their civil year begins on the 1st day of Tishri each year in late summer or early fall. The month of Tishri is then the first month of their civil year. This is the calendar they use in numbering and celebrating a new year. In other words, on the 1st day of Tishri [September 9th this year on our Gentile calendar] the Jewish civil year changed from 5770 to 5771. In 2011 on our Gentile calendar, another civil year will begin for the Jews on the 1st day of Tishri as their calendar year changes from 5771 to 5772. This is not too hard to understand if one carefully studies the Jewish calendars.
The Sacred Year…….However, if you are not paying close attention, it can be confusing, for the Jews also have a sacred year. Their sacred year is based on the calendar which the Lord Himself gave to
in Exodus 12. Their sacred year begins with the month of Abib [Nisan] in the Spring of the year, and regulates the Jewish Holy Days throughout their sacred year which the Lord Himself gave to Israel to observe as commanded in Leviticus 23. Israel
Both of these Jewish calendars are lunar calendars. This simply means that they are based on the cycles of the Moon, in contrast to our Gentile calendar which is based on the time required for the earth to make one orbit around the Sun. Both of the Jewish calendars also overlap our Gentile calendars. In other words, it requires parts of two of our Gentile years to make up each of the Jewish years.
The Jubilee Year…….But then every fifty years there is another year inserted into the framework of the Jewish calendars. This special “Jubilee” year begins and ends on the Jewish Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, each 50th year when a cycle of 49 years or 7 Sabbath years have been completed. This is stated in our text for this study, and this is what I want our readers to notice in particular in this study.
The Historical & Prophetical Significance
Historical…….I have personally traced these “Jubilee” years back through history for several hundred years in order to confirm that the years now being claimed as “Jubilee” years are correct. What a blessing I found in undertaking this study! Glory to God! However, it IS NOT my intent in this brief study to review all of these Jubilee years which have taken place in Israel’s history during this present dispensation. But for the purposes of Scriptural proof [1 Thessalonians 5:21], I will point out only a few selected Jubilee years and the prophetically significant events which occurred during
those years. Let’s begin by going back in history to…….
The Jubilee Year 1217……In perfect harmony with Acts 2:17, in the Jubilee year of 1217 the Jewish Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel prophesied that the Ottoman Turks would rule over the city of
for eight Jubilees. Keep in mind that a Jubilee year only occurs every fifty years, so eight Jubilees would be 8 x 50 or 400 years. At the time Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel gave his prophecy it seemed preposterous, and many did not believe him. But 300 years later in 1517 [a Jubilee year], the Ottoman Turks conquered the city of Jerusalem Jerusalemand other parts of the Middle Eastand began their reign. They reigned from 1517 to 1917, exactly 400 years or eight Jubilees cycles. Hello!
But that isn’t all…..Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel also prophesied that during the ninth Jubilee cycle, 1917 – 1967,
would be a “no man’s land.” Significantly, this is exactly what happened. When the Ottoman Turks were driven out of the land of “ Jerusalem Palestine” in the 1st World War in 1917, the land was then placed under British Mandate by the League of Nations. In other words, became the “overseer” of the land, but not the owner. So in reality the holy land was indeed a “no man’s land.” Great Britain
The land remained under British Mandate until the British government turned the Mandate back to the United Nations in 1947. The United Nations immediately voted to partition the
into two separate states, one for the Arabs and the other for the Jews. The Jews rejoiced over this decision, but the Arabs rejected it totally. The Arabs loudly let it be known that if landof Palestine attempted to establish a nation, they would be attacked and destroyed by the combined armies of the Arab nations. Israel
Nevertheless on May 14, 1948, when the British governor in Tel Aviv lowered the British flag from the flag pole in front of the Hall of Justice, David Ben Gurion and his Jewish supporters stepped up to the flag pole and ran the FLAG OF ISRAEL up the pole and read a prepared statement declaring the NATION OF ISRAEL a reality. Glory to God! This fulfilled so many Old Testament Scriptures that I don’t have the time nor space in this study to list them all.
The new nation of
was immediately attacked and forced to fight their “war of independence,” described in detail in Psalm 48. At that time there were about 350,000 Jews in all the Israel , yet they were able to defeat the combined armies of all the Arab nations that came against them. How great is the GOD OF ISRAEL! When their war of independence ended with an armistice being signed, the city of landof Israel Jerusalemwas divided between Israeland Jordanwith Israeloccupying the western half of the city and occupying the eastern half of it. Right through the heart of the city was a strip of land explicitly called “no man’s land.” Coincidence…?? Or the hand of God…?? Jordan
But the Jubilee cycle wasn’t complete.
remained a divided city until 1967. In 1967 the whole world was astounded when Jerusalem fought the now famous Six Day War with the Arab nations around them. In the Six Day War the Jews regained complete control of the city of Israel . At the very end of the ninth Jubilee cycle, the beloved city of the Jews reverted to the Jewish people, exactly as the Rabbi had prophesied hundreds of years previously in 1217. Praise the Lord! Jerusalem
But the Rabbi’s prophecies were still not complete. He had also prophesied that during the tenth Jubilee cycle the Messianic end-times would begin. The tenth Jubilee cycle began in 1967 and will end in 2017. Hello! Are our readers listening? We living
today are “on holy ground.” Let every reader humble themselves before Almighty God!
There were many other prophetically significant events which happened during the 450 year period [9 Jubilee cycles] from 1517 to 1967, especially on or in close proximity to the actual “Jubilee” years. For instance…..
In 1667 [a Jubilee year] John Milton published his book, “
ParadiseLost.” Today most Christians have never even heard of the book, but back then the book immediately became a best seller sweeping throughout the whole English speaking world. Literally thousands of people, both Jews and Gentiles, came to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ through reading that magnificent Christian classic. Praise the Lord!
In 1717 [a Jubilee year] the Hurva Synagogue was built in
. One of the Rabbi’s at the dedication of the synagogue that year also gave a prophecy. He prophesied that the Hurva Synagogue would be destroyed three times and rebuilt three times. This prophecy has come to pass exactly to the letter. The Hurva synagogue was rebuilt and dedicated for the third time during this very year of 2010. Why is this important? Because the Rabbi also prophesied that WHEN THE HURVA SYNAGOGUE WAS DEDICATED THE THIRD TIME THE MESSIAH OF Jerusalem WOULD COME! Folks, all of the other prophecies made by the Rabbi’s have been fulfilled to the letter. Then why should not this prophecy also be fulfilled to the letter? Well…??? ISRAEL
The Messiah of Israel is THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, whether the stiffnecked, rebellious, “uncircumcised in heart” [Acts 7:51] unbelieving Jews want to believe it or not! And He is coming THIS YEAR “in the air” [1 Thessalonians 4:13-18] to rescue and receive His New Covenant saints unto Himself. Glory to God! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Hosanna to the King! Thank you Lord Jesus! Let every one who names the name of Christ lift up their voices and give Him praise and glory! Praise the Lord! The Rabbi’s prophecy will be literally fulfilled! Glory to the Lord!
The Last Jubilee Cycle
The last “Jubilee cycle” of 50 years began on Rosh HaShanah, Tishri 1, 5728 , and it will extend to the eve of Rosh HaShanah, Tishri 1, 5778 .
Then on the 10th day of Tishri, the Day of Atonement, in the Jewish year 5778 [September 30, 2017], the Trumpet will be blown proclaiming the beginning of “The Great Jubilee.” Any serious student of Bible prophecy knows that the “Jubilee” is and has always been a type of the
of the Lord Jesus Christ. Glory to God! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Millennial Kingdom
Folks, we who are living today are so close to the end of this present age and the glorious kingdom of our Lord and Savior that we ought to be rejoicing and praising our Lord every day that we live. What a glorious future there is in store for God’s people.
These Final Seven Years
I would point out to our readers that at this very moment the Feast of Tabernacles is in progress in
. This is a seven day festival which begins on the 15th day of Tishri on the Jewish calendar, then the seven days are followed by one additional special Sabbath day, making the total festival an eight day celebration. On our Gentile calendar the Feast Israel
of Tabernacles began on September 23rd, which this year was also the Autumnal Equinox, the full moon, the end of the Jewish harvest season, and the time when the great trumpet of Psalm 81:3 was to be blown.
As I write this is now September 29th and the 7th day of the Feast of Tabernacles. Tomorrow, September 30, 2010 will be the eighth day of Tabernacles and the special Sabbath Day observance on which the Great Trumpet of Tabernacles is blown three times. I would remind our readers that “3” is the Bible number always associated with “the resurrection and the rapture” in God’s Word. Glory! Praise the Lord!
Am I saying that the resurrection and rapture of God’s people will take place tomorrow? No! But I would point out to our readers that September 30, 2010 is exactly seven years to the day from September 30, 2017 on our Gentile calendar of 365.2422 days to the year. Folks, we are running out of time according to the time allotted for the seven year Tribulation period to occur in the inspired Word of God. Almighty God NEVER violates His own Word. Praise the Lord!
So what I am saying is that there is a GREAT POSSIBILITY that the resurrection and rapture of God’s people COULD occur on this final eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles TOMORROW.
But even if it doesn’t, how much “time” is left for these final end time events [the resurrection, rapture, Tribulation, and return of Christ] to occur BEFORE the sounding of the trumpet on the Great Day of Atonement, September 30, 2017, proclaiming the establishment of THE GLORIOUS MILLENNIAL KINGDOM OF OUR LORD?
THINK ABOUT IT!
I wrote this study to encourage God’s people who are seriously studying the Word, praying, watching, and waiting eagerly for the coming of our precious Lord and Saviour to rapture His people to glory. HIS COMING IS AT THE DOOR! Look up and rejoice “for your redemption draweth nigh,” Luke 21:28.
I also wrote this study as A FINAL WARNING to every lost person who reads this study. YOU are facing imminent judgment in the coming terrible Tribulation period at the hands of Almighty God unlike anything you have even known or even imagined in your entire life. You may not even believe that there is a God right now. But you will believe God is real six months from now…….if you are still alive! If you have doubts about God’s existence, then ask Him in sincere prayer to reveal Himself to you. He will answer if you are honest and sincere in asking. I am personally begging you, if you have any fear of God whatsoever within you, then call on the Lord NOW for salvation, for I have no desire to see you cast into the fires of eternal damnation, Revelation 20:15. I do care! God Himself knows this is the truth for I am watering this plea for your lost soul with my tears even as I write. My prayer for YOU, lost friend, is that God may have mercy upon your poor lost soul, and bring you to a saving knowledge of my own wonderful Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ! John 3:16 3:36 5:24 14:6 Acts 4:12 16:30-31 Romans 10:8-13.