There are a number of laws concerning the Sabbath Year. God has issued a specific law concerning debts and the release in the Sabbath Year, which is called the “year of release”.
It is written: Deuteronomy 15:1-11 At the end of every seven years you shall make a release. 2. And this is the manner of release: Every creditor that lends anything unto his neighbour shall release it: he shall not exact it of his neighbour or of his brother; because it is called the Lord’s release. 3. Of a foreigner you may exact it again, but that which is yours with your brother your hand shall release. 4. Save when there is no poor among you: for the Lord shall greatly bless you in the land which the Lord your God shall give you for an inheritance to possess it. 5. Only if you carefully hearken to the voice of the Lord your God to observe to do all these commandments, which I command you this day. 6. For the Lord your God blesses you as He promised you and you shall lend to many nations but you shall not borrow; and you shall reign over many nations but they shall not reign over you. 7. If there be a poor man of one of your brethren within any of your gates in the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not harden your heart, nor shut your hand from your poor brother. 8 But you shall open your hand wide to him, and you shall surely lend him sufficient for his needs in that which he is wanting. 9. Beware that there is not a thought in your wicked heart (i.e. heart of Belial), saying: The seventh year, the year of release is at hand; and your eye be evil against your poor brother, and you give him nothing; and he cry to the Lord against you and it be sin against you. 10. You shall surely give him and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him; because it is for this thing that the Lord your God shall bless you in all your works and in all that you put your hand to do. 11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command you saying ‘ You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to the poor and to your needy in your land.
Thus, this year is a Sabbath Year of Release and we are required to forgive debts. Under the law we are permitted to lend to other nations, but we should not borrow from them. What is of great interest this Sabbath Year is that there is a big movement to forgive Third World debt, and particularly to African countries that have no possible chance of paying the debts back and no capacity to develop because of those debts.
The Law of God sanctions us lending to foreign nations due to the blessings God has given us. However, we are not permitted to charge usury or interest on those debts. God has said in Psalm 15:5 that this person shall stand in the congregation of the Lord: “He that does not put his hand out to usury, nor takes reward against the innocent. He that does these things shall never be moved.”
Thus, we can lend but not charge interest. It is immoral to bankrupt people and nations by charging usury or interest. The writing off of the debts of the developing nations is thus mandatory for any Bible believer and Bible believing nation.
How is it that these debts are being forgiven in this year? Is it a fact that the nations are using this year to obey God as He has spoken to His servants the prophets? One would like to think so. It is however, more probable that God is moving now to open the minds of the people to the necessity of His Law, and to motivate them to comply with the spirit of the Law, even if they themselves do not understand what it is that they are doing.
In our society it is almost impossible to be righteous. To build a house now (when the entire world is in slavery), requires the payment of interest on loans in order for anyone to survive in their own homes. This practice is immoral.
The problem is that the nations have enshrined it over the last few centuries. The English-speaking people became consolidated over the centuries and our people did not charge interest. The banking system was owned by foreigners and by Jews who misused the Law of God under improper distinctions regarding neighbours and Hebrews, from the text above and the text against slavery in Deuteronomy 15:12. The British monarchy established the banking system in order to fund and support its wars. This system is contrary to God’s Law and will be abolished by the Jubilee of the Messianic system.
We are all required to forgive debt in the Sabbath Year if we are asked for release. Simply because the Sabbath is approaching, we are also not allowed to harden our hearts and not give to our brothers.
There is also a requirement placed on our brothers in all nations to support themselves and not to be constantly asking for financial support from their brothers.
Each nation is required to govern themselves according to the Laws of God and to fund themselves. If you cannot pay your way, then you as a group are living above your means.
This month we were approached by a number of people for funds to support activities that by and large are national responsibilities. In one instance, a church approached us for association and also asked for funds. Our investigations showed that they had also approached WCG and UCG for assistance. They may have even asked others, as we only know of those two churches for a fact. One of the churches had published the details of their approaches and it may be that others like us were approached. They told us they accepted our doctrines. They cannot believe all three systems. Only time will tell. So, the Bible commands us to give to our brothers and neighbours, but in scant resources we must allocate funds as we are able to those in need, and charity begins with your own people.
Each nation is required to pay their way and to tithe properly. If they spend more than their tithes, then they are living above their means. If you can’t afford what it is you wish to do, then meet at home until you can afford it. The Scriptures tell us not to be like the horseleech’s daughters crying, “Give, give” and never being satisfied (Pro. 30:15).
The Church gives as it is able but we cannot be bled to death or the work suffers.
The same problem exists with the nations. We cannot bleed poor countries to death. We cannot enslave our own people through usury and with corporate slavery. Each of us is judged by the way we treat each other, both as a people and as nations.
The way the world has been set up in the twentieth century in its corporate structure is unsustainable. It will collapse under its own weight with the inequitable system it has created. God will allow the collapse and He will restore His system under His Laws at the end of the trouble. Do not lose faith as it all unfolds.
Without usury and with God’s Laws we can create wealth and live securely. If we work contrary to that system we will create inequity.
The Law of God and His system work on a theory of obligation and not one of rights.
Through love of one another utility is maximised and welfare is all embracing.
Love one another and help one another. Forgive one another in all things and especially in this Sabbath Year.
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