From Chapter Four, The GOVERNMENT CRISIS: The Land and the Book of the "World Crisis in Agriculture" booklet by Ambassador Agricultural Research Dept, 1974
The farm problems described in the previous three chapters are not only the fault of individual farmers, specific government programs, or particular industrial chemicals. The fault also lies with an intangible system of government which rules all lands and peoples. It is a world system based on the way of getting for self; it is a world ignorant of the true God and His laws of agriculture; it is world deceived by Satan (Rev. 12:9)!
God says, "the world is Mine, and the fullness thereof" (Psa. 50:12). In the beginning God created the earth for man to learn to rightfully manage, as a challenge to build character in preparing to become a sons of God (Gen. 1:26-31; Rom. 8:19-23). The use of land (to "dress and keep" the Garden of Eden) was and still should be man's primary occupation (Gen. 2:15). God undoubtedly spent many hours with the first man, Adam, giving him instructions about the proper ways to keep the land healthy, productive and beautiful.
By now nearly 6,000 years later, however, it should be obvious that mankind has "multiplied," but he has failed to "replenish the earth." Rather, man has mismanaged his birthright planet, and squandered its resources. Experts of every discipline are increasingly pessimistic about the earth's chances to survive the next century. The land is seemingly under a curse.
The handwriting is on the wall -- unless mankind accepts revealed knowledge.
The Creator God has revealed knowledge of His spiritual laws, which were perfectly designed to produce happiness, peace of mind and the abundant life. These laws provide a foundation for all knowledge.
God's law is His character codified, His way of life in print, His revealed blueprint for mankind's greatest fulfillment.
Agriculture is of primary importance within this godly system of law.
Revealed to Patriarchs
Adam and his sons were the first farmers. Virtually all the Old Testament patriarchs were also farmers, trained personally in many cases by God Himself. "And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard" (Gen. 9:20). "And Abram [Abraham] was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold" (Gen. 13:2). "Then Isaac sowed in that land...for he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds..." (Gen. 26. 12-14).
Jacob, Joseph and Moses were all at some time in their lives "agriculturists." All of these men walked and talked with God, face to face, and received agricultural instruction from Him. When God formed a nation out of the sons of Jacob, God gave instructions to the new nation, through Moses, on how to use the land to reap the most abundant crops.
These laws, given through Moses, include the great immutable spiritual law of the Ten Commandments, and the statutes and judgments for civil national laws governing the conduct of the ancient Israelite nation. although the Ten commandments apply in principle to land usage, the laws relating specifically to agriculture are found in the second body of laws, the statutes and judgments.
The original statutes -- like the spiritual Ten Commandments -- were not some ritualistic regulations for the Mosaic period only. They are not a part of the animal sacrifices and oblations "added for transgressions," which were "done away with" by the sacrifice of Christ (Daniel 9:27). The statutes are laws created with perfect predesign to produce good results for any nation who will follow them. Obviously nations are not following them today. These laws, among other things, govern health, economics and agriculture. They provide for blessings if obeyed, and warn of curses if disobeyed. And they reflect the great law of love in the exercise of service toward mankind and toward God. They are laws based on faith and trust is the Great Creator God and His word who alone has the power to make everything work together for the good of those who love Him (Rom. 8:28).
The Land Sabbath
Primary among these agricultural statutes is the land Sabbath: "...When you come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a Sabbath unto the Lord. 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 rest unto the land, a Sabbath for the Lord: thou shalt neither sow thy field, not prune thy vineyard" (Lev. 25:2-4).
God anticipated their first reaction, and the same would be true today should a nation's leaders insist that a land Sabbath be kept. "If ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? Behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase: Then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years" (verses 20-21). God is a diversified agriculturist and has power to control growing conditions for our benefit (see Leviticus 26:1-13; Deuteronomy 28:1-14 and Proverbs 27:23-27). He taught Israel the laws that produce blessings; therefore a farmer resting his crop lands would still enjoy meat, milk, eggs, wheat, fruit, vegetables and other volunteer garden greens during the seventh-year land Sabbath, as well as a triple blessing on sixth-year crops.
Additional information regarding the seventh year is found in Exodus 23:10-11: "...Let it rest and lie still." The opposite of working the land is to "let it rest," and the opposite of tilling it is to let it "lie still." This law therefore helps guard against soil depletion by helping check erosion, by encouraging more plant and root growth, and by enabling the land to build and restore plant food used and not returned during the previous six years. It is the basis of soil conservation and rotation programs developed by the Soil Conservation Service during the "dust bowl" of the 1930's. Soil conservation scientists of that era noted that "these curses have come upon us because we have broken God's laws." In humble acknowledgement, they put together a slide program to tell the story of "The Land and the Book," the title of this chapter.
The seventh-year law also provides some additional time for repair and maintenance of buildings and grounds, fences, equipment, and it is a time for learning (Deut. 31:9-13) and for planning the next six years' operations. In ancient Israel, however, the seventh year meant much more than that. It was also a "year of release" for slaves and debtors.
"And this shall be the manner of the RELEASE: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbor shall release it: he shall not exact it of his neighbor, or of his brother; because it is called the Lord's release. Of a foreigner thou mayest exact it again: but that which is thine with thy brother thine hand shall release; save when there shall be no poor among you; for the Lord shall greatly bless thee in the land which the Lord thy god giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it" (Deut. 15:2-5).
Additionally: "And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the Lord thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him" (verses 12-14).
After six years of working for someone else, everyone is offered an opportunity to try it on his own if desired, and with a "nest egg." This system of land inheritance guaranteed a continuing physical life-support occupation for families and servants generation after generation. Absentee ownership was discouraged, and land grabbing or empire building were not allowed, since God Himself divided all the land by tribes and families.
If a man or his family were poor managers of the land, or failed in operating their inheritance, they were given a "fresh start" every 50 years (Lev. 25:10-16) in the Jubilee Year. This was a further measure to cut down land-grabbing absentee landlords from building real estate empires. "Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!" (Isa. 5:8). Again, here is a law which, if obeyed as a nation, would solve major agricultural, social and economic problems.
Little know is the fact that during the depression of the 30's leaders in the U.S. government, who read and believed the Bible, instituted the principle of the Sabbath year of release as the "bankruptsy laws," which stopped the foreclosures of farms and helped to bail the U.S. out of the "Great Depression." Prior to that, economists had observed that economic depressions had a habit of occuring about every 50 years. The U.S has not had a major depression since the institution of those laws, though there is now much discussion of repealing or changing them.
Taxation vs. Tithing
Today's governments require twenty, thirty, and even fifty percent of their people's incomes in taxation: income tax; sales tax; inheritance tax; federal, state, county, city, school and local taxes and levies; and various hidden taxes. This taxation, averaging one-third of all income in most Western nations, yields only a fairly inefficient and corrupt bureaucracy which frustrates its citizens.
God's law, however, reveals a tithing system that requires only about 10 percent of the family income to finance the operation of God's government and education programs. An additional "3rd" tithe was taken once every three years to assist the poor. God's way is so "simple" (a straight percentage) that almost nobody thinks it will work. Each nation has rejected this revealed system of taxation; and they are being cursed with higher rates of tax which buy less.
"And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: it is holy unto the Lord... whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord. He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed" (Lev. 27:30-33).
Through the Prophet Malachi, God asks us as individuals and as nations: "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for you have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Mal. 3:8-10).
Statutes on Livestock and Food
Here is another of God's basic laws on animal husbandry and agriculture: "Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: Thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingles of linen and woollen come upon thee" (Lev. 129:19).
Hybridization of plants and animals "seems good" to man, but the long-range results, after many generations, have not proven to be good. This is why God, the Creator of plants and animals, reveals this knowledge. Mankind need not experiment, test, and document hybridization, since God revealed to man that the long-range effects are not best. This, However, does not mean that all hybrid herds and crops should be immediately liquidated. But to move toward upgrading crossbreeds [hybrids] by the use of quality purebred sires [or seed] of the dominant breed [or variety] would be wise. Hybrids have made it unfeasible for most farmers to select and save their seeds and breeding stock making them dependant upon monopoly industries controlling the gene pools.
Since the advent of hybrid corn, nutrient quality values such as protein and essential amino acid levels have diminished considerably. Cross breeding of livestock produces no advantage or hybrid vigor over properly selected, bred and maintained breeding stock.
If sound selective breeding practices are maintained, both quantity and quality of production can be improved and can last indefinitely. God's laws are for man's lasting benefit. "And God said," in the beginning, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so" (Gen. 1:11). God felt strongly enough about "kind after kind" that He repeated the phrase "after its kind" ten times in the first chapter of the Bible.
God promises: "If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely" (Lev. 26:3-5).
"And if you shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague [fever], that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain....and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass...and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate" (verses 15-16, 19,22).
We don't want these curses, but we DO exactly what God says will eventually bring them about. We disobey His statutes, including agricultural laws, that produce the results we want.
In the future, when these curses strike in full force, God's statutes will be fulfilled! "...And your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and you be in your enemies' land: even then shall the land REST, and enjoy her sabbaths" (verses 33-34).
The REAL "Farm Problem"
The true farm problem is the same as the city problem, the national problem, and the world problem -- man's selfish attitudes and man's wrong government. As long as man's nature, with its tendency to tear down, exploit, take to self and destroy, is allowed to dominate man's governmental systems there is no hope for agriculture, nor for the malnourished, hungry and starving masses of our world.
Throughout history, man has cut down the forests, overgrazed the pastures, and "mined" the earth's croplands -- sometimes with hardly a thought given to replacing, rebuilding, restoring, and replenishing the earth's limited resources. With very few exceptions, land use has been synonymous with land abuse.
The good news is that the evils of human nature will soon be controlled by an outside power. While on the earth, Jesus Christ preached the good news of the Kingdom of God. And He promised that He would come back again to our Planet Earth! This time He is coming as King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev. 19:16). At the very climax of world troubles (Matt. 24:22), a strong world government is going to be established -- a divine government, the government of God, the Kingdom of God -- and it shall stand FOREVER (Dan. 2:44).
Jesus Christ will solve the "farm problem," first by CHANGING the present world rulership, and then by altering the human heart: "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh...And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and DO THEM" (Ezek. 36:26-27).
Agriculture in the World Tomorrow
What will be the result of obedience to God's laws? Again in Ezekiel 36:
"And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates [inheritances], and will do better unto you than at your beginnings... And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited" (verses 11, 35).
And in Isaiah 35:1-2, "The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing... They shall see the glory of the Lord, the excellency of our God."
A large percentage of the world's populace will live on prosperous family-sized farms. There will be rain in due season. Hunger and malnutrition will be a thing of the past. Literally everyone in every land will be able to enjoy fresh, clean wholesome, tasty, nutritious food -- grain and nuts, meat and dairy products, and fruits and vegetables in unbelievable variety and abundance. Man will work in HARMONY with God's laws.
"Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all" (Jer. 31:12).
Agricultural shortages or surpluses will no longer be a farm "problem": "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt" (Amos 9:13).
Within the coming few decades, mankind will enjoy stable economic prosperity, radiant health, and a sense of satisfaction, accomplishment and fulfillment in life. There is a fantastic hope for the 21st century.
Wonderful good news is around the corner in tomorrow's world. Jesus Christ will soon return to establish a new world order. That is the good news, the gospel of the Kingdom of God Mark 1:14-15)!
For additional information on the agricultural problems and solutions check the RECOMMENDED READING list.
Last Update: 10/18/01