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Life-Study of Lukeby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-1202-1
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

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LIFE-STUDY OF LUKE

MESSAGE SIXTY-FIVE

JUBILEE

(2)

Scripture Reading: Lev. 25:8-13, 23-24, 28, 39-41

In the foregoing message we began to consider the definition of the jubilee. We saw that the word “jubilee” is an anglicized form of the Hebrew word yobel. This Hebrew word signifies the blast of a horn, specifically the signal of a silver trumpet; hence, it came to signify the instrument itself and the festival thus introduced. In this message we shall consider further the definition of the jubilee.

THE SOUNDING OF THE TRUMPET
ON THE DAY OF ATONEMENT

In understanding the jubilee, we need to carefully read Leviticus 25:8-10. The blast of the trumpet proclaimed the jubilee. But in what year and on what day of the year was the trumpet of the jubilee sounded? Some may answer this question by saying, “Since the jubilee was the fiftieth year, the trumpet of the jubilee must have been sounded on the first day of the fiftieth year.” This answer may be reasonable, but it is according to the natural concept. We should not bring our natural thought into our reading of the Bible.

If we read the book of Leviticus carefully, we shall see that every seventh year was to be a sabbatical year. In a sabbatical year there was to be no sowing, reaping, or harvesting. The people were not allowed to work, and neither was the land allowed to work. Both the people and the land were to enjoy rest. This rest, this sabbath, was to be every seven years. Concerning the sabbaths Leviticus 25:8 says, “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.” Leviticus 25:9 says, “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.” Notice that this verse begins with the word “then.” It is difficult to explain the time indicated by this “then.” When was “then”? Was it in the forty-ninth year or in the fiftieth year?

According to Leviticus 25:9, the jubilee was sounded on the day of atonement, which was on the tenth day of the seventh month. It was necessary for the trumpet of the jubilee to be sounded on the day of atonement because the jubilee is based on redemption. Without redemption there cannot be the jubilee. Therefore, the proclamation of the jubilee must be from the time of redemption. In typology, the day, or time, of redemption was signified by the day of atonement on the tenth day of the seventh month. The seventh month was the first month of the second half of the year. Concerning the sounding of the trumpet of jubilee, we need to ask if this was the seventh month of the forty-ninth year or of the fiftieth year.

Leviticus 25:10 tells us, “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.” To hallow the fiftieth year is to sanctify that year, and to proclaim liberty throughout the land is to proclaim release. Here we see that this liberty, this release, involves the returning of every man to his possession and of every man to his family. This verse does not speak of the return of a man’s possession, but of the return of a man to his possession.

Now that we have read these important verses, let us study the relationship between the sounding of the trumpet of the jubilee on the tenth day of the seventh month and the sanctifying of the fiftieth year as the year of jubilee. Leviticus 25:9 indicates that the forty-ninth year is divided into two sections of six months each. In the middle of the forty-ninth year the trumpet of the jubilee was sounded on the day of atonement. The fiftieth year began six months later. If the trumpet of the jubilee was sounded in the fiftieth year and not in the forty-ninth year, then the jubilee would have begun six months after the start of the fiftieth year. That, however, was not the situation. Contrary to our natural concept, the trumpet of the jubilee was not sounded on the first day of the first month of the fiftieth year. Rather, it was sounded on the tenth day of the seventh month of the forty-ninth year. Verse 8 speaks of the forty-nine years; verse 9, of the sounding of the trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month; and verse 10, of the hallowing of the fiftieth year. From this we see that the sounding was in the forty-ninth year, and the sanctifying, the hallowing, was not from the seventh month of the forty-ninth year, but from the beginning of the fiftieth year. This means that the sounding of the trumpet was a preparation, a preliminary step, for the jubilee.

We have pointed out that the day of atonement typifies the time of redemption. The fact that the trumpet of the jubilee was sounded on the day of atonement and that the fiftieth year was sanctified and liberty was proclaimed throughout the land indicates that it was necessary first for Christ to die and then for there to be the proclamation of the release of the people. In other words, first Christ died, and then there was the genuine preaching of the gospel. The gospel could not be preached unless Christ had already died. Therefore, the proclamation, the preaching, of the gospel is based on the death of Christ. The sounding out of the gospel depends on Christ’s redemption. Without the redemption of Christ, there would be no basis for the proclamation of the jubilee.

According to Leviticus 25, the sounding of the trumpet of the jubilee took place six months before the actual beginning of the year of jubilee. The jubilee began from the first month of the fiftieth year, but the sounding of the trumpet of the jubilee was in the middle of the forty-ninth year, six months earlier. When applied to our spiritual experience, this indicates that the preaching of the gospel comes first and the jubilee follows. Many of us can testify that in our experience of salvation we heard the preaching of the gospel long before we were saved. The preaching of the gospel came to us a considerable time before we entered into the jubilee.

If we read carefully Leviticus 25:8-10, we shall see that the sounding of the trumpet always took place before the year of jubilee. This means that the sounding of the jubilee took place in the seventh month of the forty-ninth year as a preparation for the jubilee, which began at the start of the next year. Beginning with the first month of the year, the fiftieth year was hallowed, sanctified, as the year of jubilee.

I can testify that in my case the sounding of the gospel came to me at least eight years before I entered into the jubilee. When I was a child, I heard the preaching of the gospel. But I did not experience the jubilee until I was nineteen.

Many of us passed through a period of preparation for salvation before we actually received salvation. Did you go through such a period of preparation before you entered into the enjoyment of salvation, that is, before you entered into the jubilee? Some cases, however, are extraordinary. These are cases of saints who entered into the jubilee at the time they first heard the gospel and learned of the Lord Jesus. But there are not many cases like this. Most Christians had a time of preparation first and experienced the jubilee sometime after they first heard the gospel.

Most of us first heard the gospel sounding of the jubilee. Then some time later we received God’s salvation at a time that was hallowed, sanctified, and we entered into the jubilee. When we entered into the jubilee, we returned to our possession and to our family; we returned to God as our possession and to the family, the house, of God.


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