WHY LAND RIGHTS ARE THE MOST CRUCIAL FACTOR IN FREEDOM AND THE RISE AND FALL OF NATIONS

QUOTES TO PONDER:

  • “There should be no poor among you…You will receive this blessing if you are careful to obey all the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today.” Deuteronomy 15:4-5
  • “Distribute the land as an allotment for yourselves and for the foreigners who have joined you and are raising their families among you. They will be like native-born Israelites to you and will receive an allotment among the tribes. These foreigners are to be given land within the territory of the tribe with whom they now live.” Ezekiel 47:22-23
  • “During the lifetime of Solomon, all of Judah and Israel lived in peace and safety. And from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, each family had its own home and garden.” 1 Kings 4:25 (see also Lev. 25:18, Prov. 14:34, 29:2, etc.)
  • “True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Some years ago, I was reading a book and I came across a statement that Moses had been a pioneer of land rights. It referred to an article titled “101 Famous Thinkers on Owning Earth” and said:

“The Robert Schalkenbach Foundation lists over 100 famous thinkers—including Confucius, Moses, Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain, Henry Ford, John Maynard Keynes, Albert Einstein, President Eisenhower,…who recognized the principle that the natural product of the land belongs to all citizens, and lists various places in the modern world where these policies have been, at least in part, implemented.”

Really, I thought??? I have read the Bible many times, gone to church all my life,  done a degree in religion, have several relatives and friends who are pastors, why have I never heard/understood this before.  The book didn’t mention any verses, so I began searching. And the more I dug, the more I found that verified that God through Moses and other inspired Bible writers had a great deal to say on the subject of land rights as well as many other principles of economic justice.  Not only that, God indicated that land rights for every family were the most crucial foundation of justice, freedom and the long term stability of communities and civilizations. And many wise thinkers as well as a great deal of research agrees. Below I will share some of what I have found.

I eventually realized that every principle of God has a connection to economics and found that there are more than 30 major Bible principles on economics. In the Bible texts above (and dozens more like them below and at the end of this article), God again and again emphasizes the importance of land rights for every family and warns against the destructive evil of greed/hoarding/high levels of inequality and  The Bible indicates that every family having rights  to land outside cities is about the most crucial principle for national stability, peace, prosperity and full and genuine freedom.  It’s very difficult to find a topic that God speaks about in stronger language than the topic of permanent rights to land for every family, both native and foreign.  He also promises that we can defeat poverty by following His principles, especially in economics. Bible economics are extremely important for our time since economic injustice is at sky high levels now. And many wise writers from many backgrounds have affirmed the Bible’s principles

There are many reasons for this.  But the records of history show that any nation that stops protecting land rights for every family is inevitably over time going to see massive concentrations of wealth and this destroys freedom and human rights and eventually results in collapse, enslavement, totalitarianism, dictatorships by plutocrats, war, invasion or something of that nature. NONE of them good.

By Bible principles, the records of history and research in economics, any system that does not protect land rights for ALL people (not just a few greedy super rich) is responsible for most of the evil on planet earth. This is very easy to understand with a little math and research. Anyone who doesn’t have their own home has to pay ~30-70% of their income in rent. Then they will have to get a job work for other’s profits, which sometimes requires an education, car, insurance, and other expenses. They can’t grow their own food easily, so they have to depend on corporations, which eats up another 10-50% of their income depending on country. And there are many other systems in capitalism that siphon off people’s income and cause them to live in debt slavery for decades, including even the money that we use which is based on debt and interest which keep spiraling higher all the time.

The principle of land rights for everyone is first strongly implied at creation where God gave Adam and Eve their own home and garden to manage. But man other verses state the principle explicitly. God gave this principle to Israel at the founding of their nation.

  • “[Every] fiftieth year will be a jubilee for you…proclaim freedom throughout the land for all who live there. It will be a jubilee year for you, when each of you may return to the land that belonged to your ancestors…If you want to live securely in the land, follow my decrees and obey my regulations.  Then the land will yield large crops, and you will eat your fill and live securely in it.” Lev. 25:11, 10, 18,19 (In this chapter, Sabbath is mentioned 6 times in connection to land being justly and equitably distributed and Sabbath is also mentioned in Isaiah 58 with economic justice).

Will Hutton, Principal of Hertford College, University of Oxford, and Chair of the Big Innovation Centre, said that this is one of the most radical economic principles in history.

Moses explained that God’s principles were designed to eliminate poverty.

  • “There should be no poor among you…You will receive this blessing if you are careful to obey all the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today.” Deuteronomy 15:4-5

During the time of Saul who rebelled against God in many ways, there is no evidence that he followed this principle. Many fell into debt and fled to join with David which confirms the claim in Leviticus that this principle is crucial for national stability.

  • “Then all the people in distress, in debt or embittered began gathering around him, and he became their leader.” 1 Samuel 22:2

David was a man after God’s own heart and by the time of Solomon the Bible indicates that every family had land rights.

  • “During the lifetime of Solomon, all of Judah and Israel lived in peace and safety. And from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, each family had its own home and garden.” 1 Kings 4:25 (see also Lev. 25:18, Prov. 14:34, 29:2, etc.)

A wise Christian writer wrote,

“In God’s plan for Israel every family had a home on the land, with sufficient ground for tilling. Thus were provided both the means and the incentive for a useful, industrious, and self – supporting life. And no devising of human beings has ever improved upon that plan. To the world’s departure from it is owing, to a large degree, the poverty and wretchedness that exist today.” Ellen White, Welfare Ministry p. 195

If no devising of man has ever improved on God’s plan and abandoning it causes most evil in the world, isn’t this something we should learn and follow and consider to be one of our highest priorities?

Some will say that Jesus said you will always have the poor with you. He did say that. But he said it to the Jews who were in constant rebellion against God and eventually crucified him. Scholars have shown that Jewish and Roman governments were not following God’s economics. But we know that the early church WAS able to eliminate poverty for its members from the Bible by compensating for their refusal to do this:

  • “And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need…And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” Acts 2: 45-7
  • There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them 35 and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.” Acts 4:34-5

Note that because of many verses already mentioned (like Ez. 47:22-23) and 1 Tim. 5:8, 1 John 3:17,  this clearly means that people sold extra property and possessions that their families didn’t need. It did not mean that those who had worked diligently and had been blessed with wealth suddenly became homeless with nothing. In fact, the Bible, EGW and science say that giving blesses the giver and for various reasons that science shows, those who are able to give often end up better off economically in the long run from doing so. (***) Either way, the reward in heaven of those who give financially, or in any other way, will also be far greater than anything we can dream of on this earth.

Ellen White says that it is crucial for us to follow the principles of the early church in order to have the same power they did…and she specifically mentions economic principles in the context.

  • “When those who profess the name of Christ shall practice the principles of the golden rule… [EGW then clearly refers to equality, economic justice and testifying to the resurrection in Acts 2 and 4], the same power will attend the gospel as in apostolic times.” Ellen White, Mount of Blessing, p. 138-9.

When people refuse to follow God’s principles, especially in economic areas, it results in every kind of evil and disasters for civilizations.

  • “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10 (NLT)
  • “The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” Mahatma Gandhi

Science shows that greed and levels of inequality where the top 20% have more than 9 times the wealth of the bottom 20% are very destructive to all levels of society (including the rich) in areas like these (and many others):
“life expectancy, on kids’ maths and literacy scores, on infant mortality rates, homicide rates, proportion of the population in prison, teenage birthrates, levels of trust, obesity, mental illness — which in standard diagnostic classification includes drug and alcohol addiction — and social mobility” https://www.ted.com/talks/richard_wilkinson

Is economic injustice important to Jesus? Most definitely. What happened after Zaccheus was converted? He follow economic rules regarding theft and gave back 4 times what he had stolen and Jesus approved, saying salvation had come to his house. But this was far from the only time Jesus was concerned with economic justice.

Soon after Jesus defeated Satan’s temptations in the wilderness, he came to his hometown of Nazareth. And there he preached one of His first sermons. It’s a sermon which focuses on the central message of God in all topics, that God is a God who sets us really free (John 8:32, Deut. 5:15,). We don’t know everything Jesus said in that sermon, but Luke reports that the central theme was freedom from oppression for the poor:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” Luke 4:18-19

But what Jesus was saying here was much deeper than we realize at first glance.

Dr. Michael Hudson is the best economist in the world now according to Paul Craig Roberts. Roberts is an economist who taught at Stanford and was the Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury under Reagan and also Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal). He says this because Hudson is one of the few economists who rejects the extremely destructive neoliberal economics (this has many aspects but it’s basically giving trillions to the top 1% and powerful corporations in various ways for no work done through loopholes, selling inventions, property and industries that tax payers paid much for for pennies on the dollar, etc.).  Both major parties in America now follow this nonsense and it is a primary factor that has gutted the middle class and caused millions of small businesses to close because it is a massively fixed field and is causing debt slavery to get worse and worse year after year.

Dr. Hudson is a Christian economic expert who documented how the practice of charging interest, forbidden by the Bible, originated in Sumerian and Canaanite pagan temples and then moved to Phoenecia, to Greece and then to Europe and into much of modern economics and how it and other economic injustices have caused havoc in many families and are going to bring on a new dark ages if not stopped. He wrote an article titled, “Jesus: the economic activist” and says:

“Christianity began as a protest movement…We know from the Dead Sea Scrolls – essentially the library of the Temple of Jerusalem hidden to protect it from the Romans – that what Jesus wanted to do was just what he announced in the first [known] sermon that he gave. It is reported in Luke, Chapter 4. He said “I’ve come to proclaim the year of the Lord,” meaning the Jubilee Year.

He unrolled the scroll of the Prophet Isaiah that described the Jubilee Year. He said that the rabbis who opposed cancelling debts – the Pharisees, a conservative group of rabbis led most notably by Hillel – had developed a special clause [wherein] A debtor who needed money would have to sign a waiver saying, “I agree not to avail myself of the rights that the Bible promises me in the Jubilee Year. So if the debts are cancelled, I waive my rights and the creditor can foreclose anyway.”

Jesus explained in his sermon that this was against the Mosaic Law – the law of Leviticus, chapter 25. It was in fact against everything the Old Testament talks about. (My book has the relevant Dead Sea scrolls.) But rabbinical Judaism was being taken over by pro-creditor Pharisees. Luke quotes Jesus as describing them as being avid for money, and working for the creditor class.”

Jesus wanted to restore the debt cancellation as it was supposed to be according to Leviticus 25. Jesus explained in his sermon that this was against the Mosaic Law – the law of Leviticus, chapter 25. It was in fact against everything the Old Testament talks about. (My book has the relevant Dead Sea scrolls.)

Redemption meant literally to redeem this debt oo to pay it. That is why Jesus was called the Redeemer – annulling the debts and also the sins of mankind in a vast Clean Slate.
https://michael-hudson.com/2018/04/jesus-the-economic-activist/

Economic injustice and polluting worship with made Jesus so angry that he cleansed the temple not once, but twice. 
We need to understand that debt damages lives and kills so many people in so many ways and is heavily connected to many kinds of injustice ranging from theft on up to racism and the abuse and sexual exploitation of children as much research has shown. That’s why the Bible calls debt slavery and that societies are to work very hard to free everyone from this oppression. It really is slavery.

Dr. Chomsky explains why concentrations of wealth are so destructive:

“Concentration of wealth leads naturally to concentration of power, which in turn translates to legislation favoring the interests of the rich and powerful and thereby increasing even further the concentration of power and wealth. Various political measures, such as fiscal policy, deregulation, and rules for corporate governance are designed to increase the concentration of wealth and power…It is a vicious cycle in constant progress. The state is there to provide security and support to the interests of the privileged and powerful sectors in society while the rest of the population is left to experience the brutal reality of capitalism. Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor.

So, yes, in that sense capitalism actually works to undermine democracy. But what has just been described — that is, the vicious cycle of concentration of power and wealth — is so traditional that it is even described by Adam Smith in 1776. He says in his famous Wealth of Nations that, in England, the people who own society, in his days the merchants and the manufacturers, are “the principal architects of policy.” And they make sure that their interests are very well cared for, however grievous the impact of the policies they advocate and implement through government is on the people of England or others.

Now, it’s not merchants and manufacturers who own society and dictate policy. It is financial institutions and multinational corporations. Today they are the groups that Adam Smith called the masters of mankind. And they are following the same vile maxim that he formulated: “All for ourselves and nothing for anyone else.” They will pursue policies that benefit them and harm everyone else because capitalist interests dictate that they do so. It’s in the nature of the system. And in the absence of a general, popular reaction, that’s pretty much all you will get.”
http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/38682-socialism-for-the-rich-capitalism-for-the-poor-an-interview-with-noam-chomsky

Neither Dr. Chomsky or I support capitalism or communism, both of which are in full out denial of Bible economics and have caused more destruction to families and lives than any other economic systems in history (another article is coming on that). This is first of all because neither system has ever at any time spoken of or followed God’s principle that all families have a God given right to land, and they also ignore or reject many other principles of Bible economics while at the same time both falsely claim to be freedom. This cannot be because only following God’s principles brings freedom according to the Bible (Ps. 119:44-45, James 1:25, etc.). Dr. Chomsky supports syndicalism which has some similarities to Bible economics and has had some impressive results in some places (esp. the Mondragon coop***). I support Jubilee economics which has shown the best results in history by FAR (see http://blog.truth-is-life.org/economics/jubilee-economics/, esp. from “MAIN OBJECTIVES OF BIBLE ECONOMICS.”).

When  we understand that the value of land worldwide now is $217 trillion and that in most countries, the vast majority of land is monopolized by the top 1-10% wealthy and corporations (in America, 75% of private land is owned by the top 5%), and that throughout history, many people have died over land rights because they are so incredibly valuable, you may begin to understand why you never learned anything about land rights or how crucial it is in any public school, through the media,  through atheism/agnosticism,  and not even through most churches (there are some notable Christian exceptions that do teach solidly on biblical land rights and economic justice, but astronomical sums of money have been spent to keep people and churches blinded or distracted from this key issue which is literally the foundation of your human rights.

God repeatedly emphasized the importance of land rights in numerous verses like the above, a few more here (and many others listed at the end of this page.

  • “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Enough, you princes of Israel! Stop your violence and oppression and do what is just and right. Quit robbing and cheating my people out of their land. Stop expelling them from their homes, says the Sovereign Lord.” Ezekiel 45:9
  • “Distribute the land as an allotment for yourselves and for the foreigners who have joined you and are raising their families among you. They will be like native-born Israelites to you and will receive an allotment among the tribes. These foreigners are to be given land within the territory of the tribe with whom they now live.” Ezekiel 47:22-23 (see also Leviticus 25, Deuteronomy 15, Nehemiah 5, Ezekiel 45:1-13, Isaiah 5 and many other verses)
  • “How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You devour widows’ houses and say long prayers to cover it up. Therefore, you will receive greater condemnation!” Matthew 23:14 (ISV) (see also Mark 12:40, Luke 20:47)

Ellen White very strongly emphasizes the importance of land rights and that it will be important as we come closer to Jesus’ 2nd coming.

  • “If men would give more heed to the teaching of God’s Word, they would find a solution of these problems that perplex them. Much might be learned from the Old Testament in regard to the labor question and the relief of the poor. In God’s plan for Israel every family had a home on the land, with sufficient ground for tilling. Thus were provided both the means and the incentive for a useful, industrious, and self-supporting life. And no devising of men has ever improved upon that plan. To the world’s departure from it is owing, to a large degree, the poverty and wretchedness that exist today.” Ellen White, Welfare Ministry, p. 195
  • “Study in agricultural lines should be the A, B, and C of education given in our schools.” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 179).
  • Had all our schools encouraged work in agricultural lines, they would now have an altogether different showing. There would not be so great discouragements. Opposing influences would have been overcome; financial conditions would have changed.” 6T 177
  • It was not God’s purpose that His people should be crowded into cities, huddled together in terraces and tenements. In the beginning He placed our first parents in a garden amidst the beautiful sights and attractive sounds of nature, and these sights and sounds He desires men to rejoice in today. Light has been given me that the cities will be filled with confusion, violence, and crime, and that these things will increase till the end of this earth’s history. It is time for our people to take their families from the cities into more retired localities, else many of the youth, and many also of those older in years, will be ensnared and taken by the enemy. “Out of the cities; out of the cities!”–this is the message the Lord has been giving me….The ungodly cities of our world are to be swept away by the besom of destruction. In the calamities that are now befalling immense buildings and large portions of cities God is showing us what will come upon the whole earth.

This issue of godly land rights alone goes a long way towards explaining the virulent attacks on the Bible by certain corporations and banks which the 1% plutocrats control. They want to keep people ignorant of this land rights truth above almost all others because as Oxford professor Felipe Fernando-Armesto said,

  • “Once truth has been devoured, people swallow falsehoods whole. Without confidence in the concept of truth, listeners are disarmed against lies.”  Truth, A history and a Guide for the Perplexed, p. 165

If you read, listen and understand the facts and data and documentaries cited below, there’s a strong argument that a person who loves people, truth and wisdom, cannot support any ideology or worldview that does not make clear statements about the permanent right of each person/family to land. Views like that will disarm their adherents against lies, enrich a few who help promote the deception (esp. entertainers, professors, politicians, false religions, atheism, etc.), and expose the majority of the population to a wide array of deceptions, various types of exploitation, injustice and abuse. It is absolutely that serious.  Any ideology or worldview that does not contain strong protections of land rights for each person will always in time contribute to the enslavement of the masses in some way. This is the consistent pattern of history and it is happening now as well. One of the very few political parties that understands the importance of land some is the Constitution Party which you can learn more about here.

The Roman historian Pliny said,  “It was land monopoly that ate out the lion heart of Rome. Latifundia perdidere Italiam — “Great estates ruined Italy “.  This article explains some of the problem.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/fall-roman-republic-income-inequality-and-xenophobia-threatened-its-foundations-180967249/

This same problem is rampant around the world now.

This article will give you a general overview of these sections of this topic (and search for these titles to skip to that section of the article)***:

  1. LAND RIGHTS FOUNDATION INTRODUCTION: This will give a general introduction to the biblical doctrine of land rights along with some insights from Ellen White and a little of the research.
  2. LAND RIGHTS WAS A KEY FACTOR IN SOUTH KOREA’S EXPLOSIVE GROWTH***
  3. HOW ECONOMIC JUSTICE CORRELATES WITH THE THRIVING OR DECLINE OF SPIRITUALITY (with an example from Russia)
  4. THE SCIENCE/RESEARCH (part 1): How the rejection of land rights always and inevitably results in massive concentrations of wealth.
  5. THE SCIENCE/RESEARCH (part 2): How high concentrations of wealth in a very few hands (something prophets routinely condemned and America’s founders feared worse than invading armies) is the source of every major evil that is happening these days.
  6. BIBLE SURVEY: A general survey of most of the Bible’s verses on the issue of land rights which is grounded in creation week (and some one the evils of hoarding).
  7. PRACTICAL ACTION/WHAT CAN YOU DO: Some links to practical solutions to restore land justice and/or compensate for it in our modern world in simple ways that if many people follow them, can have an impact of trillions of dollars per year and save millions of lives per year.

And see this link as well:
WHY DOES ECONOMIC & LAND JUSTICE MATTER ANYWAY?

LAND RIGHTS INTRODUCTION

We live in a world where “22,000 children die each day due to poverty, [where] about 72 million children of primary school age in the developing world were not in school in 2005 [where] 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation” and 1.8 million children die each year as a result of diarrhoea.  But even in America, over 140 million people live in poverty or debt slavery and at least ~17% of children don’t have access to basic nutritious food or are hungry Poverty leads to people being subjected to all sorts of other exploitation, including debt slavery, wage slavery, chattel slavery, women being forced or pressured into sex slavery and even teens being forced into prostitution.

Even in America, not just adults, but vulnerable teens and even younger girls are at times caught in this destructive deception and driven by poverty to sell their bodies for sex or turn to drug dealing or theft just to get enough decent food to eat.

God has made it clear that people at all levels from individual to governments have a duty to care about the economic rights of the poor if they are godly and desire the long term stability of their nation.

  • “The godly care about the rights of the poor; the wicked don’t care at all.” Proverbs 29:7 NLT

  • “If a king judges the poor fairly, his throne will last forever.” Proverbs 29:4-14

In Leviticus 25 and Deuteronomy 15, God explained the most important foundational principle of all just economics, that every family had a permanent right to land outside cities (as well as a couple other crucial ones such as banning the charging of interest to the poor and cancelling debts after 7 years).  It is not a coincidence that it is in these chapters also that God promises that poverty can be eliminated and that nations will have security as long as they follow these laws..

He also promised that these principles  long term national security and that they would be effective at stopping poverty in nations.

  • “There should be no poor among you, for the Lord your God will greatly bless you in the land he is giving you as a special possession. You will receive this blessing if you are careful to obey all the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today.” Deuteronomy 15:4-5

    “If you want to live securely in the land, follow my decrees and obey my regulations.” Leviticus 25:18 (NLT)

In other words, these principles would enable nations to thrive long term.  And when these land rights laws were followed, this came true. There was peace and safety throughout the entire nation.

  • “During the lifetime of Solomon, all of Judah and Israel lived in peace and safety. And from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, each family had its own home and garden.” 1 Kings 4:25

It’s interesting to note that in nearly all the cases where God promised long term security and stability or where it actually occurred in the Bible, it was connected to economic justice for everyone, and usually when every family had fair land rights.

Why does this matter so much?  It matters for many reasons, but 2 are:
1) EQUITABLE LAND OWNERSHIP PROTECTS FREEDOM
Many intellectuals have said that fair and equitable land ownership is the foundation of protecting freedom long term. One of America’s founding fathers, Noah Webster, said:
“Wherever we cast our eyes, we see this truth, that property is the basis of power; and this…directs us to the means of preserving our freedom. Make laws, irrevocable laws in every state [that] no man can obtain dominion over a large territory…and thus the balance of wealth and power will continue where it is, in the body of the people. A general and tolerably equal distribution of landed property is the whole basis of national freedom… The power of entailing estates is more dangerous to liberty and republican government, than all the constitutions that can be written on paper, or even than a standing army.” press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch16s17.html

2) STABLE THRIVING NATIONS  ARE EQUITABLE
MIT economist Daron Acemoglu and the Harvard political scientist James A. Robinson wrote the book “Why Nations Fail”. They say that the key differences is when nations have institutions that are fair and equitable to everyone. They fail when a few take most of the benefits for themselves and concentrate power and opportunity in the hands of a few.
www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/opinion/sunday/friedman-why-nations-fail.html

Unfortunately, many policies on both the republican and democratic sides create higher and higher levels of inequality and dependency over time.

Republican trickle down economics quickly creates gigantic levels of inequality unfortunately as well as a great deal of poverty as so much research has shown. The money just doesn’t trickle down for a lot of reasons (one being that the rich use the extra money that they get from the government which they did not earn to merge companies and slash jobs, or move them overseas or to lower wage areas). For starters read:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-22/trump-tax-plan-turns-donald-trickle-down-king
billmoyers.com/2014/09/11/a-wealthy-capitalist-on-why-money-doesnt-trickle-down/ http://paxonbothhouses.blogspot.kr/2014/09/billionaire-capitalist-nick-hanauer-why.html

The Bible clearly warns against giving to the rich, saying that it’s the way to poverty.  It’s interesting to read this verse in several different versions.
“Both oppressing the poor to enrich oneself and giving to the rich yield only loss.” Prov. 22:16 CJB
“These two things will make you poor: hurting the poor to make yourself rich and giving gifts to the rich.” Prov. 22:16 ERV“If you take advantage of the poor or coddle the rich to get ahead, you will end up destitute.” Prov. 22:16 VOICE

However the Democrat side makes people dependent on the government which is another problem and also makes corporations have far more power than the people do. I have supported experienced, skillful politicians who were republican, democratic, independent, green party candidates (but now mostly support the constitution party since it is the only party with a chance to rescue America from plutocracy. See more here: http://questions.truth-is-life.org/vote.html). I supported Obama, and agree with some things he did very strongly, disagreed with others. But neither he nor any president on either side is stopping the dependency. Every one increases it. In 2016, under Obama, after 8 years in power, American families lost ~$4 trillion.

http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/how-90-of-american-households-lost-an-average-of-17000-in-wealth-to-the-plutocrats-in-2016/
 
“Obama’s legacy is the ongoing legacy of big-government liberalism: a growing debt and increasing dependency. Eventually, the government will not be able to tax and borrow enough to maintain the welfare state it is continuing to build. ”
www.cnsnews.com/commentary/terence-p-jeffrey/liberalisms-legacy-debt-and-dependency
 
And now 95 million Americans are dependent on the government.
http://dailysignal.com/2015/12/18/by-one-measure-95-46-million-are-dependent-on-the-federal-government/

3) THE ENORMOUS VALUE OF LAND
Land is the most valuable thing on the planet. The value of all land around the world at present is valued at ~$217 trillion.  If a few control all the land, then they can concentrate huge amounts of wealth, which inevitably cripples or destroys freedom of many types and causes massive differences between the rich and poor and a host of social ills that always comes from that.

Time after time God emphasized this principle. From the first time Israel entered Canaan and time after time when they returned from exile, God very strongly re-emphasized these rights to land for each tribe and family. He even made sure that foreigners were to be included. I’ve never heard of any other nation or religion in history having even considering any law as just and fair as this.

  • “Distribute the land as an allotment for yourselves and for the foreigners who have joined you and are raising their families among you. They will be like native-born Israelites to you and will receive an allotment among the tribes. These foreigners are to be given land within the territory of the tribe with whom they now live.” Ezekiel 47:22-23 (see also Leviticus 25, Deuteronomy 15, Nehemiah 5, Ezekiel 45:1-13, Isaiah 5 and many other verses)

The New Testament repeatedly warns that the last days will be terrible times because of greed, which is the root of all evil. It warns against hoarding of riches, which included treasures and fine cloths, but also land where their workers worked. As both the Bible and scientists and even billionaires agree, extreme inequality does not only harm the poor, it also has harmed the wealthy in many ways ranging from higher rates of infant mortality and more health problems (https://www.ted.com/talks/richard_wilkinson) all the way up to being murdered due to mob violence.

  • Look here, you rich people: Weep and groan with anguish because of all the terrible troubles ahead of you.  Your wealth is rotting away, and your fine clothes are moth-eaten rags.  Your gold and silver are corroded. The very wealth you were counting on will eat away your flesh like fire. This corroded treasure you have hoarded will testify against you on the day of judgment.  For listen! Hear the cries of the field workers whom you have cheated of their pay. The cries of those who harvest your fields have reached the ears of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. You have spent your years on earth in luxury, satisfying your every desire. You have fattened yourselves for the day of slaughter. You have condemned and killed innocent people, who do not resist you. James 5:1-6

From creation to the end of time, God has said through various spiritual sources such as the Bible and prophets of God in the Bible as well as after Bible times that making sure families can own their own homes and lands, especially in the country, is the most crucial principle to follow for national stability and for real freedom as well as it being ideal for the family and a way that churches can make one of the most practical and long term differences in people’s lives.

The seminal writer Ellen White makes it clear that most of the poverty, wretchedness, and suffering today is directly related to ignoring God’s economic plan of giving every family a home and land.

  • “If men would give more heed to the teaching of God’s Word, they would find a solution of these problems that perplex them. Much might be learned from the Old Testament in regard to the labor question and the relief of the poor. In God’s plan for Israel every family had a home on the land, with sufficient ground for tilling. Thus were provided both the means and the incentive for a useful, industrious, and self-supporting life. And no devising of men has ever improved upon that plan. To the world’s departure from it is owing, to a large degree, the poverty and wretchedness that exist today.” Ellen White, Welfare Ministry, p. 195

She acted on this personally too. She wrote,

  • “I am straining every power I possess to help different families to obtain a spot of land, where they can support themselves and obey the truth. I wish you could see some of these families.” Lt 72, 1898

And she said that one of the greatest mission efforts that we can engage in is to help people to live and be independent on their own land in quotes such as these.

  • “There are multitudes of poor families for whom no better missionary work could be done than to assist them in settling on the land and in learning how to make it yield them a livelihood.” {MH 192.2}.

  • Cut off to a great degree from contact with and dependence upon men, and separated from the world’s corrupting maxims and customs and excitements, they would come nearer to the heart of nature. God’s presence would be more real to them. Many would learn the lesson of dependence upon Him. Through nature they would hear His voice speaking to their hearts of His peace and love, and mind and soul and body would respond to the healing, life-giving power. {MH 192.1} [See also MR. 8 [Nos. 526-663], p. 143]


Why does God emphasize land rights so many times in the Bible and also through Ellen White?

Dr. Archer Torrey, head of the Anglican seminary in Korea (grandson of R. A. Torry, president of Moody Bible Institute) writes:

  • “Henry George and Scripture teach the same thing: that..this globe has been created by God and not by man. Any man who does not have an “right” to any space of his own has been robbed….without a space of his own, a human being is completely at the mercy of whomever ‘owns’ the space…Without a right to land, a person will have to search for a job from someone else to ensure his basic needs….To say that everyone has a right to work, to health care, to this, that and the other without at the same time recognizing his right to land…is to frankly declare that he is a slave. The United Nations has published a list of 30 “human rights”. But they omit the right to land, which is the basic human right given by God and clearly defined in the Bible. If the right to land were recognized, the other rights would follow automatically and would hardly need to be defined. As it is the UN’s “human rights” are only the rights of slaves!” Archer Torrey, Jane Grey Torrey, Biblical Economics,   p. 8. https://books.google.co.kr/books?id=GqMhHAivCTwC&pg=PA8

We’ll look at why the above claims are true in more depth later on in this article. But many scientists and researchers are helping us understand why God emphasized land rights so many times in the Bible.

Dr. Niall Ferguson, professor of economics at Harvard, explains that each person having ownership of some land or resources is one of the most important factors in stimulating national growth and a key difference between nations that are thriving and wealthy and ones that are in poverty.  In wealthy North America, ~75-90% of the people owned their own land in the past, while in South America, ~5% of the conquistadors monopolized nearly all land and it stayed mostly poor. Dr. Ferguson says:

  • “Property rights: It’s not the democracy, folks; it’s having the rule of law based on private property rights. That’s what makes the difference between North America and South America. You could turn up in North America having signed a deed of indenture saying, “I’ll work for nothing for five years. You just have to feed me.” But at the end of it, you’ve got a hundred acres of land. That’s the land grant on the bottom half of the slide. That’s not possible in Latin America where land is held onto by a tiny elite descended from the conquistadors. And you can see here the huge divergence that happens in property ownership between North and South. Most people in rural North America owned some land by 1900. Hardly anyone in South America did. That’s another killer app.”  www.ted.com/talks/niall_ferguson_the_6_killer_apps_of_prosperity/transcript?language=en (see ~10:30)

There are ~ 30 cities, states and/or nations that have focused on making land rights equitable in the last 1-2 centuries and found that it helped them make dramatic and phenomenal progress. One of them is Korea.  Korea has risen from a country devastated by the ravages of war in the 1950s to being a world leader, ranking #1 or close to it in dozens of areas (many of the largest churches in the world, 1st nation to send out creation science missionaries, best internet speed/distribution, best cell phone technology, best airport, best subway systems, top student grades in reading, math and science, very low crime rates and so many others)

“America has always been great for the richest 1%, and it’s rapidly becoming greater. Confirmation comes from recent work by Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman; and from the 2015-2016 Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databooks (GWD). These multi-millionaires effectively shifted nearly $4 trillion in wealth away from the rest of the nation to themselves in 2016…nearly half of the wealth transfer ($1.94 trillion) came from the nation’s poorest 90% — the middle and lower classes, according to Piketty and Saez and Zucman. That’s over $17,000 in housing and savings per lower-to-middle-class household lost to the super-rich. Put another way, the average 1% household took an additional $3 million of our national wealth in one year while education and infrastructure went largely unfunded.

It Gets Worse: Each MIDDLE-CLASS Household Lost $35,000 to the 1%. According to Piketty and Saez and Zucman, the true middle class is “the group of adults with income between the median and the 90th percentile.” This group of 50 million households lost $1.76 trillion of their wealth in 2016, or over $35,000 each. That’s a $35,000 decline in housing and financial assets, with possibly increased debt, for every middle-class household…

Delusions persist about the power of the market and the dangers of governing ourselves. The business media has conditioned us to fear the words ‘social’ and ‘public,’ as if they connote evil or ineptitude or anti-Americanism. But the public good depends on cooperation. Society fosters individual accomplishment, not the other way around. The obscene transfer of wealth and income to the plutocrats won’t end until we demand a return to the Commons, where we work as a society rather than allow predatory plutocratic individuals to control us.
www.filmsforaction.org/articles/how-90-of-american-households-lost-an-average-of-17000-in-wealth-to-the-plutocrats-in-2016/

Dr. Wilkinson, professor emeritus from the University of Nottingham, has done research showing that when the top 20% have more than 9 times as much as the bottom 20% all sorts of social problems get worse and some damage life for all classes, not just the rich.

  • “…there are endless problems with social gradients [crime, health, infant mortality, education, mental illness, trust, divorce, etc.) that are worse in more [economically] unequal countries — not just a little bit worse, but anything from twice as common to 10 times as common. Think of the expense, the human cost of that. …in the more equal countries on the left — Japan, Finland, Norway, Sweden — the top 20 percent are about three and a half, four times as rich as the bottom 20 percent. But on the more unequal end — U.K., Portugal, USA, Singapore — the differences are twice as big… it’s not just the poor who are affected by inequality. There seems to be some truth in John Donne’s “No man is an island.” This is just one example. It’s infant mortality…You see there that Sweden does better than Britain all the way across the social hierarchy. The biggest differences are at the bottom of society. But even at the top, there seems to be a small benefit to being in a more equal society. We show that on about five different sets of data covering educational outcomes and health in the United States and internationally. And that seems to be the general picture — that greater equality makes most difference at the bottom, but has some benefits even at the top.” Dr. Wilkinson

In America right now, the top 20% have about 8.4 times as much as the bottom 20%. This is one of the biggest reasons for all sorts of social problems and disasters that are proliferating now.  And there are even more serious dangers.  Billionaire Nick Hanauer puts it more bluntly in an article to his fellow rich people, titled, “The Pitchforks Are Coming…For Us Plutocrats”:

What do I see in our future now? I see pitchforks….Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution. And so I have a message for my fellow filthy rich…Wake up, people. It won’t last. If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when….Any student of history knows that…revolutions, like bankruptcies, come gradually, and then suddenly. One day, somebody sets himself on fire, then thousands of people are in the streets, and before you know it, the country is burning.
www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/the-pitchforks-are-coming-for-us-plutocrats-108014

People supporting anarchy and talking about violent revolutions are starting to become more common in America where I live (a local political page had to expel dozens of them) and in other places it is even worse.

Have these extreme inequalities been normal throughout history?  Of course there is a long history of inequality in America as these 3 documentaries show.
http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/plutocracy/ https://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/plutocracy-iii-class-war-must-see/

But there were also some periods of peace and stability that would make our time seem like a time of severe injustice and destitution similar to the times when empires of old concentrated wealth so that a few could live luxuriously while the majority lived in chaos and/or squalor.

God outlined an economic system in the Bible that was explicitly designed to prevent and protect against the abuses that come from economic injustice. It is a system that is far better than any that the mind of man has developed at any time in history, better than capitalism, socialism and communism COMBINED, one that has successfully eliminated extreme poverty many times in history     and one without any of the damaging and/or exploitative problems that plague each modern system. There are at least 20 different principles in the Bible regarding economics which either alone or in combination can easily solve poverty worldwide as so much research  has shown (~13 principles are listed here: http://www.truth-is-life.org/jubileeeconomics.html and examples of how just a few of them can solve poverty worldwide are here: http://blog.truth-is-life.org/human-rights/).

The one that is probably the most important is that God repeatedly demands that every family have a right to their own land and home. God stated that this is a key foundation of long term security as well as promoting peace and safety.  Some Bible verses have already been cited above on that. But to see a survey of the numerous times God emphasized that promote land rights for every family as the foundation of stability, peace and safety and warned against hoarding  land and wealth (as well as more from Ellen White and some researches (see the appendix of this article at the very end).

LAND RIGHTS WAS A KEY FACTOR IN SOUTH KOREA’S EXPLOSIVE GROWTH

Dr. Bom Mo Chung, professor emeritus at Seoul National University who led many educational efforts for many decades of Korean history, thinks that there are basically 6 reasons why Korea’s economy sky rocketed.[1]  One of the most crucial as research has shown was fairly distributing land rights so that anyone could own their own land cheaply. Many would add the Korean language as a 7th crucial reason Korea was able to develop since it is the simplest, most efficient and consistent language in the world to learn to read and saved enormous amounts of time for Koreans. This incredible alphabet was invented by King Sejong (probably with monks/scholars helping him), but the elite in Korea opposed it for a long time because they didn’t want an empowered and well educated population. It was largely missionaries using it in schools to educate the lower classes that finally brought it to prominence.  Another factor that is helping Korea an enormous amount is its modern emphasis on healthy living, well being.

Here are some of the major factors that helped Korea and note that many of them derive from following Biblical principles in some way.
1) CANAAN FARM/NEW COMMUNITY MOVEMENT & LAND RIGHTS:

Dr. Bush has written about how there was a powerful spiritual revival in Korea and then eventually biblical principles became so influential that South Korea’s government started following many of its principles:

“Biblical values permeated government policy and have produced the engine that has driven transformational development of Korea,…particularly in regards to its economic development. This phenomenal development of South Korea is often called the ‘Miracle on the Han River’”.[2]

One of the most important causes of Korea’s success was the Saeumaul (New Community) Movement and following Bible economics. The Saemaul movement was inspired by the Canaan Farm Movement led by a Christian named Kim Yong Gi.  President Park Chung Hee said that Kim Yong Gi’s work inspired the nation and led it forward.

“This home and this farm, have carried out a revolution to advance our nation.”[3]

So what did he do?  Kim Yong Gi followed many Bible and scientific principles and strongly emphasized that most families should own some land or a farm. He also taught many people a great deal about spiritual life, health, farm science, supporting each other in a community, diligence/work ethics and other things.

It’s interesting to learn a little more of Kim Yong Gi’s life. As a young man, he was angry at the exploitation and abuses of the Japanese who had colonized his country, much like the Romans colonized Israel (the Japanese exploited Koreans economically, tried to ban them from using their language and culture and also forced many Korean women into sex slavery. See the documentary “Behind Forgotten Eyes” for more on this). He got a bright idea into his head. He decided to go to China and work hard to become the emperor of China. Then he could use their army to destroy the Japanese. He began putting his plan into action.  But in time a Chinese pastor heard of his plan and told him that China had almost never been fully unified in its history even by a Chinese leader and that he has a foreigner had almost no chance of succeeding in that direction. He should go home and make his own country strong by following God’s principles.

Kim Yong Gi came back to Korea, read the Bible and realized that many of the prophets lived on the land and emphasized land ownership.  He also realized that a nation that could not provide its own food could never really be independent.  So despite some people’s criticism, he decided to become a farmer and try to revolutionize Korea that way.

He started by buying, selling and  transforming several pieces of land, making them very productive and also making quite a nice profit as well. In 1 case, he borrowed 400 won and bought 3,000 pyung of land for 90 won. Then he planted sweet potatoes which are highly nutritious along with fruit trees. The farm flourished. He eventually sold the land for 1,200 won, 10 times what he paid for it. He did this repeatedly. He then began to teach other farmers how to do this, strongly advocating land ownership for each family:

“One thousand pyung of farm land per family is necessary and 600 pyung (1/2 an acre) including a lot for stock raising and a building site is necessary.” [4]

He also taught many other Bible principles regarding family, community, integrity, diligence, as well as agricultural/scientific principles combined with thrift/simple living/rejection of pride as foundations for his life work.

“He was a pioneer in waste land cultivation, and strove to demonstrate through his work that life as a farmer can be fulfilling and productive. His mission was to induce dynamic spiritual, inspirational, and economic change in rural areas of South Korea. He is considered one of the founding fathers of the New Community Movement, the foundation of South Korea’s modernization.” [5]

After he demonstrated successes like this several times, he began giving lectures and started the Canaan Farm movement in the 1940s training more and more people. Eventually Kim Yong Gi started the Christian Canaan Farm movement that led to the Saemaul/New Community movement.  You can see some of the principles he emphasized in this chart:
The success of the movement was noticed by Korean government leaders. The Canaan Farmer Movement ideas were brought directly into the government Saemaul/New Community movement and its Farmer Training Institute. Kim Yong Gi was a leading lecturer in those government programs. The lectures included
1) education on agricultural knowledge,
2) training in community cooperation,
3) setting up the new villages,
4) education on spiritual principles, democracy, ethics, esp. in connection to agriculture
5) Frequent lectures by people who had experienced success with these principles and
6) group discussions about development and improvement of daily life.[6]

In the 1950s, the government also banned owning more than 3 hectares (~7.5 acres) so that all farmers could easily afford to buy and own land. They took land from wealthy land owners and made land cheaply available to all farmers. They could buy it for ~150% of 1 year’s crop value and no interest was charged. This transformed Korea.

“With time and appropriate methodologies and cultivated values in the family not only did the Canaan Farm School Property being to develop but as others were trained, little by little Korea’s ‘wasteland was transformed into a fertile land.’”  [7]

A scholar said that this sharing of land was one of the biggest reasons why poverty reduced in Korea:

“By redistributing rights to the most important rural asset, East Asia’s postwar land reforms did much to reduce poverty in the countryside. At the same time, the land reforms helped to set the stage for the rapid industrialization that one day would be hailed as ‘the East Asian miracle’ (World Bank 1993).

Two links between land reform and industrial growth were particularly important.  First, farmers’ improved economic security meant that they could afford to send their children to school, providing a skilled workforce for industry (Shin, 1998). Second,…the reforms brought about a more egalitarian order.  Economist Dani Rodrik (1995, pp. 92-93) concludes that…land reform was one of the keys – arguably the key – to East Asia’s economic ‘miracle.’” [8]

Other researchers have talked about how Korea and Taiwan’s economies sky rocketed while the Philippines has had a lot of poverty.  They showed that it was basically due to 3 reasons:

  1. Korea and Taiwan shared land fairly which greatly reduces corruption and made it very hard to concentrate wealth. The rich in the Philippines prevented this.
  2. The war in Korea broke the power of the rich. In Taiwan, General Chiang Kai Shek had a strong army as well as a strong commitment to land justice. So it was easier in those countries to overcome the resistance of the wealthy and make fair land laws. But in the Philippines, the rich stopped the fair laws on land justice.
  3. American leaders and the military strongly supported land justice in Korea and Taiwan because of nearby communist threats (North Korea and China respectively). But they didn’t do that in the Philippines.

This research basically shows that there is a strong causal mechanism  of “inequality→higher corruption→lower growth”. This confirms many other studies on this (such as You and Khagram (2005) and Easterly (2007)).[9]

2) SOLUTION FOCUSED LEADERSHIP: Korea had a strong leader, Park Chung Hee. He was determined to liberate Korea from poverty. He traveled around Korea to learn about problems. He talked to many experts to find solutions and he used government power and resources to educate people about those solutions.

3) MORALITY/POLITICAL STABILITY:  Without social trust between people and a belief that there will be a stable future, people will not work diligently and economies cannot grow well. So morality and stability are crucial.

4) VALUING EDUCATION:  Korea’s Confucian background and later the influence of many missionaries gave Korea an incredibly high desire for good education. Education is essential at all stages of development.

5) MILITARY EXPERIENCE:  Some men were not able to go to high school when Korea was poorer. The military gave them chances for education and training and gaining discipline and organizational skills.

6) CONGLOMERATES/CHAEBOLS:   There were some ambitious businessmen who built conglomerates, such as Samsung, Hyundai, SK and LG. These were crucial in producing numerous products for exports. These helped speed up Korea’s economic rise and development in many sectors of the economy.

7) HANGUL: If a nation can develop an alphabet that is easy to learn, efficient to use and consistent in its rules, that will save large amounts of time in communication as well as accuracy, especially when you consider that millions of people are using it daily.  They will be able to use that time to produce much more progress for society, to make families and churches stronger and aid improvements in many areas.  This is what the brilliant invention of Hangeul has done for Korea.  It is so efficient and easy to learn that it has won the Alphabet Olympics not one, not two, but three times (and shut down the whole Olympics since no other alphabet can compete). Wikipedia and other sources summarize some of the history of how it developed[10] and it is quite interesting.

Koreans had used Chinese systems like idu, hyuangchal, gugyeol and gakpil for hundreds of year as a writing system. But they were very hard for busy commoners to learn and the Chinese characters didn’t convey some aspects of Korean language well. So King Sejong the Great, the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty, along with the Hall of Worthies, a group of scholars who assisted him, worked hard to invent and refine a new and uniquely Korean alphabet. It was completed around January, 1444, and explained in 1446 in a the Hunmin Jeongeum (“The Proper Sounds for the Education of the People”). The Hunmin Jeong-eum Haerye (“Hunmin Jeong-eum Explanation and Examples”) which was discovered in 1940 explains how the consonant letters were designed according to articulatory phonetics and the vowel letters according to the principles of yin and yang and vowel harmony. Hangul was designed so that even a commoner could learn to read and write; the Haerye says “A wise man can acquaint himself with them before the morning is over; a stupid man can learn them in the space of ten days.” [11]

Yeonsangun was the paranoid tenth king and he forbade the study or use of Hangul and banned Hangul documents in 1504. King Jungjong abolished the Ministry of Eonmun (a governmental institution related to Hangul research) in 1506.

The National Institute of Korean Language says:

“The ruling class used the Chinese writings as a method to maintain their power…Only persons belonging to the ruling class were allowed to learn Chinese writing and take a test for selecting officials, which was the entrance to the higher society and the chance to [grab] political power and/or economical benefits.”[11] www.korean.go.kr/eng_hangeul/setting/002.html

As scholars agree, it was largely unused until Christian missionaries came along in the 1800s and found it very useful and began to use it as the basis of education in their schools, which is why it is popular now.

From the late 1700s and throughout the 1800s, Christian missionaries came to Korea. They had to decide between using the prestigious Chinese characters or the King Segong’s alphabet for the commoners. They wisely chose Hangul.
“As early as the 1780s, portions of the Gospels appeared in Hangul; doctrinal books such as the “Jugyo Yoji” (주교요지) appeared in the 1790s…John Ross, a Scottish Presbyterian missionary based in Shenyang, completed his translation of the Bible into Korean in 1887[34] and Protestant leaders began a mass-circulation effort. In addition, they established the first modern educational institutions in Korea.[35] The Methodist Paichai School for boys was founded in 1885, and the Methodist Ewha School for girls (later to become Ewha Womans University) followed in 1886. These, and similar schools established soon afterwards, helped the expansion of Protestantism among the common people, and Protestants surpassed Catholics as the largest Christian group in Korea. Female literacy rose sharply, since women had previously been excluded from the educational system.[36]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_Korea#Hangul.2C_literacy_and_education

The Gabo Reformists’ movement in 1894-6 helped some as well, but it was Christian missionaries who were one of the very biggest factors in popularizing Hangul and it has been quite a significant factor in Korea’s development. [13]

8) HEALTH: If people are dead, they can’t contribute anything to a society. If they are sick a lot, they will contribute much less.

For a long time, Korea  was very poor and had one of the highest death rates in the world due largely to its high rate of smoking, extremely high rate of alcohol use, lack of exercise and a diet that had many unhealthy aspects. But Adventists had for many years been promoting a much healthier diet called Newstart. One of its leaders was Dr. Sang Lee. The Korean Joongang Daily Newspaper writes a little about how he and the Adventist church influenced major changes in Korea:

“One of the first was the “New Start” movement led by Dr. Sang Lee, a medical doctor and a member of the Adventist Church, during the 1990s. Sang compared eating meat to taking poison, and said that it could result in cancer and other terminal diseases. The challenges and rewards of being vegetarian in Korea.”
koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=2924525

The Korean Times writes:

Lee, popularly known as the “Endorphin Doctor,” will give a lecture on “Your Genes and Health” starting at 9: 30 a.m. A frequent speaker on major networks, Lee is a prolific writer. He virtually introduced the word hormone endorphin (or the happy hormone) to the Korean TV viewers through his lectures.The “Endorphin Doctor” is associated with NEWSTART Center, a non-profit and faith-based organization that seeks to promote a healthy lifestyle based on the NEWSTART principle. The name NEWSTART is the initials for Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunlight, Temperance, Air, Rest and Trust in God…Lee’s NEWSTART Center traces its roots to Weimar Institute in California where he was once a faculty member, teaching nutrition.
www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2016/09/177_88065.html

The efforts of Dr. Sang Lee and Adventists and scientists learning from them and integrating them into government policies and publishing them in science journals and news media, as well as Korea having such a vibrant Christianity (which is known to increase longevity) has been a major factor in Korea’s stunning increase in longevity in a very short period of time. And soon Korea may have the highest longevity in the world. Nature Magazine reports:

“Life expectancy set to hit 90 in South KoreaBy 2030, nation’s girls can expect to live to 91, says statistical analysis….by 2030: there is a nearly 60% chance that their life expectancy at birth will exceed 90 years by that time, the team calculates. Girls born in the country that year can expect to live, on average, to nearly 91, and boys to 84, the highest in the world for both sexes.”
www.nature.com/news/life-expectancy-set-to-hit-90-in-south-korea-1.21535

9) PEACE: Korea is one of the few nations in world history that has never fought a war of aggression against other nations at any time in its history. There were wars of defense and wars within Korea at certain times, but no invasions of other countries to dominate them.

This is a huge benefit to any country that follows this path in several ways.

A) First, preventing war is 60 times cheaper than fighting it. https://www.fcnl.org/updates/invest-in-smart-security-171

Second, who pays for wars? Middle class and poor taxpayers, in both money and more tragically in blood. Who profits? The military-industrial complex and corporations that build the military machines.  Why is it that they make billions of profits in every war from the blood of citizens? In what other industry can you find a situation where one group pays all the costs and takes all the risks while another group risks nothing, pays nothing and yet reaps all the profits? It is for this reason that America’s founders made very serious warnings against endless wars.

Third, Non-violent protest is also far more effective in the long run. When activists become violent, it gives the military industrial complex and corporations an excuse to portray them as criminals or even terrorists and use their weapons. This is exactly what profiteers from violence and war want. The more violence, the more they profit.

Dr. Chenoweth points out that it can take as little as 3.5% of the people in a nation to cause major change, something we saw recently in South Korea where ~2% of the people protested for weeks and it caused the removal of the president.
The success of nonviolent civil resistance: Erica Chenoweth at TEDxBoulder https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJSehRlU34w

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2013/11/05/peaceful-protest-is-much-more-effective-than-violence-in-toppling-dictators/

Last, many researchers and documentary makers as well as US generals, congressmen and presidents have agreed that war is not very often for the official purpose that it is claimed to be for.  News organizations are also fairly easily manipulated to blow the trumpet of patriotic support for war while minimizing and sanitizing the greed, abuse, suffering and death that happens to innocent people, especially those on the other side. John Pilger brilliantly exposes this problem in this documentary:

The War You Don’t See

https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/war-you-dont-see/, https://vimeo.com/67739294

What is the main reason for all this happening? It’s very simple. The Bible gives the reason in one verse.

“Godliness makes a nation great,but sin is a disgrace to any people.” Proverbs 14:34  (NLT)

Many nations have followed the same path to success by intentionally learning and following God’s principles as Dr. Loren Cunningham explains in this lecture and an associated book titled:
The Book that Transforms Nations

In some nations, it has happened by trial and error using science with many false starts and detours due to the ignorance of people, the time it takes to do solid science and eliminate all the errors as well as the interference of corruption, pride and greed. But the rise and fall of the Korean nation and nations throughout history is directly related to how many of God’s laws the population follows.  That is the record of history.

REFERENCES

[1] Formal Education and Development of Korea www.adeanet.org/triennale/eng/docs/Education and Development of Korea.pdf

[2] Transformation: from Poor to Blessed A Korean Case Study, Luis Bush,  www.disciplenations.org/media/Transformation-from-Poor-to-Blessed-a-Korean-Case-Study_Bush.pdf, p.2

[3] Ibid. p.8.

[4] The Education and Development of Korea, Kim Yong Gi,
www.adeanet.org/triennale/eng/docs/Education and Development of Korea.pdf, p. 254-259.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Yong-ki

[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Yong-ki

[6] The Education and Development of Korea, The Origins of New Village Movement (NVM),
www.adeanet.org/triennale/eng/docs/Education and Development of Korea.pdf, p. 164-5.

[7] Page 94, The Unique Canaan Farm of Korea

[8] Land Reform and Sustainable Development, Land Reform and Sustainable Development, James K. Boyce, Peter Rosset, Elizabeth A. Stanton, http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1079&context=peri_workingpapers,p.4

[9] Inequality and Corruption: The Role of Land Reform in Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines http://kaisnet.or.kr/resource/file/kjis/Land_Reform__Inequality__and_Corruption.pdf

[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangul#History

[11] Hunmin Jeongeum Haerye, postface of Jeong Inji, p. 27a, translation from Gari K. Ledyard, The Korean Language Reform of 1446, p. 258

[12] www.korean.go.kr/eng_hangeul/setting/002.html

[13] “Missionary Contributions toward the Revaluation of Han’geul in Late 19th Century Korea”. International Journal of the Sociology of Language. 192: 57–74. doi:10.1515/ijsl.2008.035.

HOW ECONOMIC JUSTICE CORRELATES WITH THE THRIVING OR DECLINE OF SPIRITUALITY (with an example from Russia)

Economic justice is not only connected to national freedom and progress. It is also connected to the stability and strength of the church. When churches reject economic justice, it is almost always connected with many other types of immorality which together often produce atheism and skepticism which are the most dangerous types of intolerance known to scholars and which are heavily based on propaganda that benefits only the elite and those who help them.

Economic injustice in society makes nations vulnerable to totalitarianism or other abusive deceptions. Russian historian and author Simon Sebag Montefiore has written a new biography of Stalin book based on newly accessible Georgian communist party archives as well as memoirs of Stalin’s friends and various historical sources. In his account, you can see quite clearly how a mix of corrupt religion, economic and social injustice, abuse at home, Darwinism and atheism all combined to cause him to reject Christianity and embrace atheism and eventually commit the atrocities that killed over 30 million people.  Here are a few excerpts.

“While still the finest choirboy at the church school, Stalin started to show an interest in the plight of the poor and to doubt his faith….One event…made a deep impression on Stalin. On 13 February 1892, the teachers of the church school ordered all their pupils to attend a gruesome mise-en-scene that they hoped “would arouse fear and respect in the boys”: a hanging. Three gallows were erected…the condemned men had stolen a cow and, in the ensuing pursuit, had killed a policeman. But the boys learned that the criminals were actually just three “peasants who had been so oppressed by landowners that they escaped into the forest,” petty Robin Hoods, attacking only local squires and helping other peasants…The executions were a Russian show of strength; young Davrichewy called the condemned men “holy martyrs”…The three bandits in leg irons were marched onto the scaffold…the crowd threw stones at the hangman, who was masked and clad completely in scarlet…The hangman kicked away the stools…If anything, the spectacle helped make Stalin a rebel.” pg. 48-51

He read Alexander Kazbegi’s forbidden novel “The Patricide, which starred a classic Caucasian bandit-hero called Koba…[who] fights against the Russians, sacrificing everything for his wife and country, then visiting a terrible vengeance on his enemies.  “Koba became Sosa’s God and gave his life meaning,” says Iremashvili. “He wished to become Koba. He called himself “Koba” and insisted we call him that. His face shone with pride and pleasure when we called him ‘Koba.'”
Simon Sebag Montefiore, Young Stalin, p. 63.

Montefiore reports that Stalin borrowed a copy of Darwin’s Origin of Species when he was a teen (or a book about Darwin’s views).
“Stalin read it [Darwin’s Origin of the Species] all night, forgetting to sleep, until Keke found him. ‘I loved the book so much, Mummy, I couldn’t stop reading…’ As his reading intensified, his piety wavered.”

One day Soso and some friends, including Grisha Glurjidze, lay on the grass in town talking about the injustice of there being rich and poor when he amazed all of them by suddenly saying:

“God’s not unjust, he doesn’t actually exist. We’ve been deceived. If God existed, he’d have made the world more just.”

“Soso! How can you say such things?” exclaimed Grisha.

“I’ll lend you a book and you’ll see.” He presented Glurjidze with a copy of Darwin.”
Simon Sebag Montefiore, Young Stalin, p. 25, 29-31, 49, 55,56. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 2007. (referencing memoirs of G. Glurjidze, P. Kapanadze, G. Elisabedashvili and Demna Shengelaya, quoted in Kaminksy-Vereshchagin, pp. 50-54).

Trotsky also was enthralled by Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species. He said:

“Darwin stood for me like a mighty doorkeeper at the entrance to the temple of the universe.”

He said that Darwin’s ideas “intoxicated” him. And he thought it insane for someone to think that belief in God could find room in the same head as belief in Darwin’s ideas.

The consequences of the church and state in Russia abandoning God’s economics were disastrous. 30 million died due to the crimes of the atheist state, millions more were put in concentration camps and tortured. Countless families were ripped apart and an entire country was crippled and devastated by the ignorance and totalitarianism of godless atheism.  But the key point is that this was only made possible by churches ignoring God’s economic laws which made people desperate enough to consider other ideologies like atheistic Marxism.

GOD’S LAND JUSTICE—
THE FOUNDATION OF FREEDOM AND NATIONAL STABILITY
The Bible says:

  • “I will walk in freedom, for I have devoted myself to your commandments.” Psalms 119:45

The most important economic principle and the one most often repeated in the Bible was the principle of giving permanent and equitable land rights to each family. It is described in some detail in Leviticus 25, Deuteronomy 15, Nehemiah 5, Ezekiel 45:1-13 and Ezekiel 47:22-23. After explaining land rights, God then promised that these principles would ensure long term national security and that they would be effective at stopping poverty in nations.
“If you want to live securely in the land, follow my decrees and obey my regulations.” Leviticus 25:18 (NLT)

“There should be no poor among you, for the Lord your God will greatly bless you in the land he is giving you as a special possession. You will receive this blessing if you are careful to obey all the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today.” Deut. 15:4-5

As you will see below, God reemphasized these land rights principles again and again throughout Israel’s history. After Israel returned from captivity in both the first and second exile, God again instructed governments to guarantee them. When Israel rebelled so badly that their nation was left to them desolate, God instructed the church that one of the most crucial aspects of godliness was to protect and guarantee economic rights for those in difficulties. When this was done, poverty was eliminated in the church, and as a result many of the evils listed above also disappeared as well. This practical love was the key factor that turned the world upside down in the time of the apostles (Acts17:6).

Adventist pioneers considered the US a beast at their time for its treatment of Indians and slavery as Dr. Baker explains here.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UsVDq7GTyU

They would certainly call it a beast now since it is working to enslave the world in various ways, esp. debt slavery…but also chattel slavery. We have 2 million being trafficked now every year compared to 80,000 at the height of the slave trade. Overall, we have the highest levels of slavery in history, including chattel slavery.

The 2016 Global Slavery Index estimates that 45.8 million people are subject to some form of modern slavery in the world today. Those countries with the highest absolute numbers of people in modern slavery are India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Uzbekistan. Several of these countries provide the low-cost labour that produces consumer goods for markets in Western Europe, Japan, North America and Australia. www.globalslaveryindex.org/findings/

These are all results of abandoning the principles of God in the Bible as much research has shown.

LAND RIGHTS: The Bible in many places advocates land rights for every family.

The most important economic principle and the one most often repeated in the Bible was the principle of giving permanent and equitable land rights to each family. After explaining God given land rights in Leviticus 25 (the rights to land for every tribe/family are mentioned in many places in the Bible and Sabbath is mentioned several times in that same chapter), God then promised that these principles would ensure security.
“If you want to live securely in the land, follow my decrees and obey my regulations.” Leviticus 25:18 (NLT)

Ellen White wrote saying that no system had yet equaled God’s Jubilee system and most evil is due to ignoring land rights:

  • “If men would give more heed to the teaching of God’s Word, they would find a solution of these problems that perplex them. Much might be learned from the Old Testament in regard to the labor question and the relief of the poor. In God’s plan for Israel every family had a home on the land, with sufficient ground for tilling. Thus were provided both the means and the incentive for a useful, industrious, and self-supporting life. And no devising of men has ever improved upon that plan. To the world’s departure from it is owing, to a large degree, the poverty and wretchedness that exist today.” Ellen White, Welfare Ministry, p. 195

The Bible tells us that in every action

Dr. Richard Wilkinson has done exhaustive research that shows that when the top 20% wealthy have 9 times more wealth than the bottom 20%, then all kinds of terrible problems and injustices proliferate in society.
https://www.ted.com/talks/richard_wilkinson 

Eventually as many have pointed out, this can result in violence, terrorism, revolutions, civil wars, and worse.

Dr. Michael Hudson has shown that the practice of charging interest originates in inhumane Canaanite religions. The practice of denying families right to land which was frequently condemned by Bible prophets, also was pioneered by pagan religions in ancient times and godless ideologies. Going against just the principle of land rights for every family causes the loss of trillions of dollars per year for the middle and lower classes and plunges millions into grinding poverty.  Similar to how the new age is modernized witchcraft, so too has capitalism incorporated some of the most heinous and diabolical traits of pagan economics from idolatrous religions. The practices of denying Bible economics, especially Jubilee economics, always results in oligarchy and plutocracies long term. It’s a mathematical inevitability.

Communism is very harmful to be sure, and many of the 13 forms of socialism are just as bad as capitalism to be sure although a couple originate from the Bible, Torah and the Jews as researchers have shown.  Capitalism is arguably worse overall in terms of how many people’s lives capitalist governments and corporations ruin and destroy every year since 41 million people die due to bad health habits, 18 million due to poverty and 12 million due to pollution and the majority of these deaths are due to people being forced off their land by capitalist greed, subjected to grinding poverty and debt, believing propaganda of corporations and other aspects of capitalism.

Bob Djurdjevic wrote an article titled “Plutocrats of the New World Order” and warns that we are in a similar danger now as to when social and economic injustices opened the doors to Marxism and communism in the past.

A crude hand-painted sign on a run-down building in East Berlin, not far from the former “Checkpoint Charlie” crossing which once divided the West and the East, read as follows in July 1995:”The border runs not between the peoples, but between top and bottom.”  Much of what had taken place in Britain in the 18th and 19th century is now happening in the U.S. under the New World Order banner. A century ago, the rich got richer; the poor got poorer, and the resulting social injustices gave birth to such ideologies as Marxism and Communism, among others. They also led to several revolutions and two World Wars. We are facing the same prospects today.   www.truthinmedia.org/Columns/Plutocrats of NWO.html

God’s simple  economic Jubilee system is perfect and ideal and we should do all we can to get as close to that as we can. God emphasized over 20 major economic principles in the Bible. But the most important was probably each family’s permanent right to land.

Here are some of the major places that God addressed this issue in the Bible directly or indirectly:

1) EDEN: At the beginning God gave Adam and Eve property and a home to live in that they managed and did not have to rent from others. This was the very beginning of land rights.

  • “The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.” Gen. 2:15

2) BABEL: When people became really abusive, criminal and evil, God had to destroy them with a flood. Soon afterwards, they built the city and tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). It seems clear that they were trying to again establish a political and economic system with concentrated wealth and power that would soon produce similar levels of evil as before the flood and greatly reduce the freedom God designs for human beings to have. So God destroyed that conspiracy against His wisdom to stop that oligarchy and its cruelty.

Ellen White writes:

  • “God had directed men to disperse throughout the earth, to replenish and subdue it; but these Babel builders determined to keep their community united in one body, and to found a monarchy that should eventually embrace the whole earth. Thus their city would become the metropolis of a universal empire; its glory would command the admiration and homage of the world and render the founders illustrious. The magnificent tower, reaching to the heavens, was intended to stand as a monument of the power and wisdom of its builders, perpetuating their fame to the latest generations…The men of Babel had determined to establish a government that should be independent of God….Had they gone on unchecked, they would have demoralized the world in its infancy. Their confederacy was founded in rebellion; a kingdom established for self-exaltation, but in which God was to have no rule or honor. Had this confederacy been permitted, a mighty power would have borne sway to banish righteousness–and with it peace, happiness, and security–from the earth. For the divine statutes, which are “holy and just and good” (Romans 7:12), men were endeavoring to substitute laws to suit the purpose of their own selfish and cruel hearts…In mercy to the world He defeated the purpose of the tower builders and overthrew the memorial of their daring…God bears long with the perversity of men, giving them ample opportunity for repentance; but He marks all their devices to resist the authority of His just and holy law. From time to time the unseen hand that holds the scepter of government is stretched out to restrain iniquity. Unmistakable evidence is given that the Creator of the universe, the One infinite in wisdom and love and truth, is the Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth, and that none can with impunity defy His power…The schemes of the Babel builders ended in shame and defeat. The monument to their pride became the memorial of their folly. Yet men are continually pursuing the same course–depending upon self, and rejecting God’s law. It is the principle that Satan tried to carry out in heaven; the same that governed Cain in presenting his offering.” Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, pg. 119-123.

3) CANAAN: Each tribe, clan and family was given permanent rights to land outside cities when they first entered Canaan (Leviticus 25:14-17, 23-34, Joshua 13-18) and it could never be permanently sold (Lev. 25:23). Land could be leased for up to 49 years and at any time during that period it could be bought back by the buyer. Purchases were to be proportional based on the number of years left until the Jubilee (Lev. 25:23-28, 32-34 ), but never permanently sold. There was one exception to this. Property in major cities could be permanently sold (Lev. 25:29-31). This enabled an area for a free market to operate, giving incentive to business. But it prevented the plutocracy that always results from massive concentrations of wealth that result from unfettered and ruthless capitalism.
creation.com/darwins-critical-influence-on-the-ruthless-extremes-of-capitalism

  • “Divide the land among the tribes, and distribute the grants of land in proportion to the tribes’ populations, as indicated by the number of names on the list.” Numbers 26:53 (NLT)
  • “You must distribute the land among the clans by sacred lot and in proportion to their size. A larger portion of land will be allotted to each of the larger clans, and a smaller portion will be allotted to each of the smaller clans.” Numbers 33:54
  • “None of the territorial land may pass from tribe to tribe, for all the land given to each tribe must remain within the tribe to which it was first allotted. ” Numbers 36:7

4) DAUGHTER’S LAND RIGHTS: When Zelophehad had no sons and 5 daughters, to protect the family land rights and keep it in the family, the daughters were give land rights since no sons were there to protect the land rights (Numbers 28:1-11).

5) JUDGES: In Judges, each tribe took possession of the land God had assigned them (and this land could not be permanently sold outside the tribe).

  • “After Joshua sent the people away, each of the tribes left to take possession of the land allotted to them.” Judges 2:6

6) EARLY ISRAEL: We see family land rights being followed in the time of Solomon where it brought great peace and prosperity to all and there was no extreme poverty.

  • “During the lifetime of Solomon, all of Judah and Israel lived in peace and safety. And from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, each family had its own home and garden.” 1 Kings 4:25 (NLT).

7) MIDDLE ISRAEL: A major conflict between the prophets of God and pagan religions was directly related to land rights. The economics of Baal worship did not protect the rights of the people to land. Due to the influence of his pagan wife Jezebel, Ahab tried to permanently buy the family land of Naboth. When he said no, Queen Jezebel, who followed the religion of Baal which had no respect for land rights, saw no problem with royalty using force to do what they wanted. She used her power to kill Naboth and then steal his family land and give it to Ahab. Elijah responded with some of the most severe judgements in history, predicting that both Jezebel and Ahab would be doomed and suffer violent deaths because of this. (1 Kings 21:1-19). Dr. Archer Torrey has written an insightful chapter on this contest over land rights with God/Elijah/Naboth vs Baal/Ahab/Jezebel here.
http://www.landreform.org/be4.htm and http://www.landreform.org/be5.htm

Later in Isaiah’s time, God again connected monopolization of land with oppression, violence and destruction of national freedom.

  • “He [God] expected a crop of justice, but instead he found oppression. He expected to find righteousness, but instead he heard cries of violence. What sorrow for you who buy up house after house and field after field, until everyone is evicted and you live alone in the land…So my people will go into exile far away because they do not know me. Those who are great and honored will starve, and the common people will die of thirst…Humanity will be destroyed, and people brought down; even the arrogant will lower their eyes in humiliation…For they have rejected the law of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies; they have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. That is why the Lord’s anger burns against his people, and why he has raised his fist to crush them….He will send a signal to distant nations far away and whistle to those at the ends of the earth. They will come racing toward Jerusalem… They will roar like lions, like the strongest of lions. Growling, they will pounce on their victims and carry them off, and no one will be there to rescue them. They will roar over their victims on that day of destruction like the roaring of the sea.” Isaiah 5:7,8,13, 15, 24-26,29-30

8) OTHER NATIONS: God did not only speak to Israel. Wilhelm Schmidt, editor of the Anthropos, a scholarly scientific journal, gathered 4,000 pages of evidence in 12 large volumes in his book “The Origin and Growth of Religion” that cultures throughout history believed in and/or had contact with a monotheistic God similar to the Bible. His 13th chapter shows that acceptance of Schmidt’s research was virtually universal by informed anthropologists. For this and other reasons, many nations in history also respected land rights and fair use of nature, often calling land a “commons” to be shared by all. The Chinese philosopher Confucius (BC 551-479) for example said:

  • “When the Great Way prevailed, natural resources were fully used for the benefit of all and not appropriated for selfish ends… This was the Age of the Great Commonwealth of peace and prosperity.”

American Indians had similar thoughts as did cultures around the world,

  • “What is this you call property? It cannot be the earth, for the land is our mother, nourishing all her children, beasts, birds, fish and all men. The woods, the streams, everything on it belongs to everybody and is for the use of all. How can one man say it belongs only to him?” -Massasoit
  • “How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them?” Chief Seattle
    (see more here: archive.adl.org/education/curriculum_connections/na_quotes.html and 101 Famous Thinkers on Owning Earth commongroundorwa.org/index.php/research/research-reports/item/386-http-commongroundorwaorg-famsthnkpdf/386-http-commongroundorwaorg-famsthnkpdf

9) AFTER THE FIRST EXILE: God strictly emphasized permanent land rights again after Israel returned from the first captivity in Assyrian in Ezekiel 45-47. In Ezekiel 45:1-13, He spelled out the limits of land for the temple and the priests, how much the prince was limited to,  how much land should be set aside for the homeless, and required the leaders of Israel to give all the rest to the people of Israel with a strict warning against dispossessing people. In Ezekiel 47, God also specifically stated that land should be given to foreigners who were raising their families in Israel. In addition, He also forbade the princes from robbing people of land, associating it with violence and plundering.

  • “My princes shall no more oppress My people, but they shall give the rest of the land to the house of Israel, according to their tribes. ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Enough, O princes of Israel! Remove violence and plundering, execute justice and righteousness, and stop dispossessing My people,” says the Lord God.” Ezekiel 45:8-9

“Distribute the land as an allotment for yourselves and for the foreigners who have joined you and are raising their families among you. They will be like native-born Israelites to you and will receive an allotment among the tribes. These foreigners are to be given land within the territory of the tribe with whom they now live.” Ezekiel 47:22-23

10) AFTER THE SECOND EXILE: In Nehemiah 5, when the Israelite exiles returned from the second exile/captivity in Babylon/Persia, the wealthy started exploiting the people again, charging them high interest rates and taking control of their land. The people were having to mortgage their property and some even had to sell their children as slaves and they could not redeem them because the wealthy had taken control of their lands and farms. When they people cried out in desperation, Nehemiah got extremely angry at the injustice and demanded that the wealthy restore the people’s God given land rights and pay back the interest they had illegally charged.

In Nehemiah 5, the godly Nehemiah forced the rich to pay back the interest they had wickedly charged AND he forced them to give back the land they had wickedly monopolized with the interest they had stolen, violating the crucial land rights for each family that God instituted.
 
In Nehemiah 5, when the Israelite exiles returned from the second exile/captivity in Babylon/Persia, the wealthy started exploiting the people again, charging them high interest rates and taking control of their land. The people were having to mortgage their property and some even had to sell their children as slaves and they could not redeem them because the wealthy had taken control of their lands and farms. When they people cried out in desperation, Nehemiah got extremely angry at the injustice and demanded that the wealthy restore the people’s God given land rights and pay back the interest they had illegally charged.
 
Nehemiah 5:1 About this time some of the men and their wives raised a cry of protest against their fellow Jews.
5 We belong to the same family as those who are wealthy, and our children are just like theirs. Yet we must sell our children into slavery just to get enough money to live. We have already sold some of our daughters, and we are helpless to do anything about it, for our fields and vineyards are already mortgaged to others.”
6 When I heard their complaints, I was very angry. 7 After thinking it over, I spoke out against these nobles and officials. I told them, “You are hurting your own relatives by charging interest when they borrow money!” Then I called a public meeting to deal with the problem.
8 At the meeting I said to them, “We are doing all we can to redeem our Jewish relatives who have had to sell themselves to pagan foreigners, but you are selling them back into slavery again. How often must we redeem them?” And they had nothing to say in their defense.
9 Then I pressed further, “What you are doing is not right! Should you not walk in the fear of our God in order to avoid being mocked by enemy nations? 10 I myself, as well as my brothers and my workers, have been lending the people money and grain, but now let us stop this business of charging interest.
11 You must restore their fields, vineyards, olive groves, and homes to them this very day. And repay the interest you charged when you lent them money, grain, new wine, and olive oil.”
12 They replied, “We will give back everything and demand nothing more from the people. We will do as you say.” Then I called the priests and made the nobles and officials swear to do what they had promised.” Nehemiah 5:1, 5-12 (NLT)

11) THE LAST DAYS OF ISRAEL:
“Many of the prophets in the last days of Israel focused their warnings on economic justice, which often involved land, but also other issues. Here are just a couple of examples out of many.

  • “Your princes plot conspiracies just as lions stalk their prey. They devour innocent people, seizing treasures and extorting wealth. They make many widows in the land. Your priests have violated my instructions and defiled my holy things. They make no distinction between what is holy and what is not. And they do not teach my people the difference between what is ceremonially clean and unclean. They disregard my Sabbath days so that I am dishonored among them.  Your leaders are like wolves who tear apart their victims. They actually destroy people’s lives for money!  And your prophets cover up for them by announcing false visions and making lying predictions. They say, ‘My message is from the Sovereign Lord,’ when the Lord hasn’t spoken a single word to them. Even common people oppress the poor, rob the needy, and deprive foreigners of justice.” Ezekiel 22:25-29

12) THE TIME OF JESUS:
People most of the time think of Jesus as king, patient, meek and mild, never angry. But Jesus got angry in a few situations. The most common ones were when he say disregard for God’s laws and truths and when he say economic justice. He specifically condemned religious leaders who tried to monopolize the houses of widows f or their personal greed and said they would have a greater condemnation (some verses say damnation) because of it. This sin was also connected to loss of eternal life.

  • “What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You won’t go in yourselves, and you don’t let others enter either. How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You devour widows’ houses and say long prayers to cover it up. Therefore, you will receive greater condemnation!” Matthew 23:14 (ISV) (see also Mark 12:140, Luke 20:47)

Ellen White comments on this verse and the story of the widow and her mite that follows it.

  • “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.” The Pharisees had great influence with the people, and of this they took advantage to serve their own interests. They gained the confidence of pious widows, and then represented it as a duty for them to devote their property to religious purposes. Having secured control of their money, the wily schemers used it for their own benefit. To cover their dishonesty, they offered long prayers in public, and made a great show of piety. This hypocrisy Christ declared would bring them the greater damnation. The same rebuke falls upon many in our day who make a high profession of piety. Their lives are stained by selfishness and avarice, yet they throw over it all a garment of seeming purity, and thus for a time deceive their fellow men. But they cannot deceive God. He reads every purpose of the heart, and will judge every man according to his deeds.Christ unsparingly condemned abuses, but He was careful not to lessen obligation. He rebuked the selfishness that extorted and misapplied the widow’s gifts. At the same time He commended the widow who brought her offering for God’s treasury. Man’s abuse of the gift could not turn God’s blessing from the giver.Jesus was in the court where were the treasure chests, and He watched those who came to deposit their gifts. Many of the rich brought large sums, which they presented with great ostentation. Jesus looked upon them sadly, but made no comment on their liberal offerings. Presently His countenance lighted as He saw a poor widow approach hesitatingly, as though fearful of being observed. As the rich and haughty swept by, to deposit their offerings, she shrank back as if hardly daring to venture farther. And yet she longed to do something, little though it might be, for the cause she loved. She looked at the gift in her hand. It was very small in comparison with the gifts of those around her, yet it was her all…Jesus understood her motive. She believed the service of the temple to be of God’s appointment, and she was anxious to do her utmost to sustain it. She did what she could, and her act was to be a monument to her memory through all time, and her joy in eternity. Her heart went with her gift; its value was estimated, not by the worth of the coin, but by the love to God and the interest in His work that had prompted the deed.Jesus said of the poor widow, She “hath cast in more than they all.”The rich had bestowed from their abundance, many of them to be seen and honored by men. Their large donations had deprived them of no comfort, or even luxury; they had required no sacrifice, and could not be compared in value with the widow’s mite.It is the motive that gives character to our acts, stamping them with ignominy or with high moral worth…When Jesus said of the widow, She “hath cast in more than they all,” His words were true, not only of the motive, but of the results of her gift. The “two mites which make a farthing” have brought to God’s treasury an amount of money far greater than the contributions of those rich Jews. The influence of that little gift has been like a stream, small in its beginning, but widening and deepening as it flowed down through the ages. In a thousand ways it has contributed to the relief of the poor and the spread of the gospel. Her example of self-sacrifice has acted and reacted upon thousands of hearts in every land and in every age. It has appealed to both the rich and the poor, and their offerings have swelled the value of her gift. God’s blessing upon the widow’s mite has made it the source of great results. So with every gift bestowed and every act performed with a sincere desire for God’s glory. It is linked with the purposes of Omnipotence. Its results for good no man can measure.

13) EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH: The early Christian church had no power to control land rights issues at the government level. Worse, the governments of their time were actively persecuting them and hunting them down. So they compensated by individuals who had had good fortune in wealth sharing their possessions and supporting those in need. This again ended extreme poverty.

  • “And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need.” Acts 2:44-5
  • “All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God’s great blessing was upon them all. There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need.” Acts 4:32-35

This was not at all communism since it was not government forcing everyone to have equal salaries. It was individuals choosing to follow the Holy Spirit.

We have evidence from several Bible verses that they would take care of the needs/comforts of their families first and then share resources beyond that with other believers and also pagans as there was need:

  • “Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.” Galatians 6:10 (NLT)
  • “But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers.” 1 Timothy 5:8 (NLT)
  • “If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister[a] in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?” 1 John 3:17 (NLT)

Paul describes how the early churches shared to make sure everyone had enough for their needs:

  • Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters,[a] what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem….You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich. Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it.  Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have.  Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.  Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality.  Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.” 2 Cor. 8:1-4,9-14

Paul also writes that there should be strong commands to the rich saying:

  • Command those who are rich in this world that they not be conceited, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who richly gives us all things to enjoy. Command that they do good, that they be rich in good works, generous, willing to share, and laying up in store for themselves a good foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of eternal life. 1 Timothy 6:16-19

It is clear and logical that Christians took care of their own families first, then were charitable to the church of God who were in need and then to unbelievers who were in trouble. Historians show us that the Christian virtue of charity was almost unknown in the ancient world.

And when Christian showed such incredible concern for each other and for those who didn’t even believe yet, it shocked the world so much that nonbelievers said that the early church turned the world turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6).

Sociologist Rodney Stark analyzed the survival and growth of the early church in the first few centuries. Here is his fascinating summary of the Early Church.

  • “. . . Christianity served as a revitalization movement that arose in response to the misery, chaos, fear, and brutality of life in the urban Greco-Roman world. . . . Christianity revitalized life in Greco-Roman cities by providing new norms and new kinds of social relationships able to cope with many urgent problems. To cities filled with the homeless and impoverished, Christianity offered charity as well as hope. To cities filled with newcomers and strangers, Christianity offered an immediate basis for attachment. To cities filled with orphans and widows, Christianity provided a new and expanded sense of family. To cities torn by violent ethnic strife, Christianity offered a new basis for social solidarity. And to cities faced with epidemics, fire, and earthquakes, Christianity offered effective nursing services. . . . For what they brought was not simply an urban movement, but a new culture capable of making life in Greco-Roman cities more tolerable.” Rodney Stark, The Rise of Christianity, Princeton University Press, 1996, page 161.

Many other scholars have written about how social justice was a crucial factor in helping Christianity to grow in incredible ways in the its early days. Elaine H. Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University wrote about the success of Christianity:

  • “[Christianity] is saying that every person, man, woman, child, slave, barbarian, no matter who, is made in the image of God and is therefore of enormous value in the eyes of God…. That’s an extraordinary message. it’s certainly clear that some were drawn by the way that this community would take care of people [to] feed the destitute, take care of people who were widowed so that they wouldn’t become prostitutes and orphans and so forth. That is an enormous element of the appeal of this movement.” www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/why/appeal.html

If this was what love meant for the early Christians, would it not be wise for us to follow in their footsteps?

14) CHRISTIANS IN THE MIDDLE AGES & OTHER NATIONS: In the documentary “The Money Masters”, researchers document that before capitalism, communism and most forms of socialism destroyed land rights, most people in Christian nations and sometimes also tribal peoples either had fair plots of land that they owned, or access to a commons, land that could be used by all. This was common up to the 1700s and 1800s or so and prevented the extremes of wealth and dire poverty that we see commonly around the world now. But then capitalism which rejects godly economic principles and has no principle to protect every family’s land rights took over. The consequence of that has been the worst levels of plutocracy in history and much crime, terrorism and war have ensued.

Plutocracy: Political Repression In The U.S.A.
http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/plutocracy/

Money Masters

15) EARLY AMERICA: Noah Webster like many American founders understood and spoke of the fact that freedom real depended on economic freedom and especially the ownership of land. He wrote:

  • “Wherever we cast our eyes, we see this truth, that property is the basis of power; and this, being established as a cardinal point, directs us to the means of preserving our freedom. Make laws, irrevocable laws in every state, destroying and barring entailments; leave real estates to revolve from hand to hand, as time and accident may direct; and no family influence can be acquired and established for a series of generations–no man can obtain dominion over a large territory–the laborious and saving, who are generally the best citizens, will possess each his share of property and power, and thus the balance of wealth and power will continue where it is, in the body of the people. A general and tolerably equal distribution of landed property is the whole basis of national freedom.”
    Noah Webster, An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution
    press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/print_documents/v1ch16s17.html

16) SDA PIONEERS ADVOCATED LAND RIGHTS
Ellen White, a godly American theologian and a founder of the Seventh Day Adventist Church Ellen White was well aware of the economic arguments of her time in regard to capitalism and communism. She criticized both and pointed people to God’s simple Jubilee economics and land rights as the solution and also said that disregarding them was the source of nearly all evils in modern times. She wrote saying that no system had yet equaled God’s Jubilee system:

  • “If men would give more heed to the teaching of God’s Word, they would find a solution of these problems that perplex them. Much might be learned from the Old Testament in regard to the labor question and the relief of the poor. In God’s plan for Israel every family had a home on the land, with sufficient ground for tilling. Thus were provided both the means and the incentive for a useful, industrious, and self-supporting life. And no devising of men has ever improved upon that plan. To the world’s departure from it is owing, to a large degree, the poverty and wretchedness that exist today.” Ellen White, Welfare Ministry, p. 195

She acted on this personally too. She wrote,

  • “I am straining every power I possess to help different families to obtain a spot of land, where they can support themselves and obey the truth. I wish you could see some of these families. Lt 72, 1898 and

And she advised others that this was one of the most important types of mission work to do.

  • There are multitudes of poor families for whom no better missionary work could be done than to assist them in settling on the land and in learning how to make it yield them a livelihood. {MH 192.2}

  • Cut off to a great degree from contact with and dependence upon men, and separated from the world’s corrupting maxims and customs and excitements, they would come nearer to the heart of nature. God’s presence would be more real to them. Many would learn the lesson of dependence upon Him. Through nature they would hear His voice speaking to their hearts of His peace and love, and mind and soul and body would respond to the healing, life-giving power. {MH 192.1} [See also MR. 8 [Nos. 526-663], p. 143]

She criticized the communist ideas that all should have the same amount of wealth very strongly. Yes, we should strive and strain to help all have an equitable amount of land with government laws or by the help of the church and individuals. But forcing all to have equal wealth is wrong.

  • “There are many who urge with great enthusiasm that all men should have an equal share in the temporal blessings of God. But this was not the purpose of the Creator. A diversity of condition is one of the means by which God designs to prove and develop character. Yet He intends that those who have worldly possessions shall regard themselves merely as stewards of His goods, as entrusted with means to be employed for the benefit of the suffering and the needy. {Patriarchs and Prophets p. 535}

But she repeatedly condemned capitalist ideas since some differences in wealth are fine, but extreme differences in wealth are extremely destructive.  The fact is that capitalism always results in the vast accumulation of wealth by a few because it blatantly disregards God given land rights and this is why she warned so much against profit and hoarding of land and wealth as numerous Bible prophets also did:

  • “The Lord would place a check upon the inordinate love of property and power. Great evils would result from the continued accumulation of wealth by one class, and the poverty and degradation of another. Without some restraint the power of the wealthy would become a monopoly, and the poor, though in every respect fully as worthy in God’s sight, would be regarded and treated as inferior to their more prosperous brethren. The sense of this oppression would arouse the passions of the poorer class. There would be a feeling of despair and desperation which would tend to demoralize society and open the door to crimes of every description. The regulations that God established were designed to promote social equality. The provisions of the sabbatical year and the jubilee would, in a great measure, set right that which during the interval had gone wrong in the social and political economy of the nation. { Patriarchs and Prophets p. 534}

She spoke of the solution as well.

  • World’s Great Men Cannot Solve the Problem
    “There are not many, even among educators and statesmen, who comprehend the causes that underlie the present state of society. Those who hold the reins of government are not able to solve the problem of moral corruption, poverty, pauperism, and increasing crime. They are struggling in vain to place business operations on a more secure basis. If men would give more heed to the teaching of God’s Word, they would find a solution of the problems that perplex them.”
    –Testimonies, vol. 9, pp. 12, 13. {Welfare Ministry p. 173}
  • “The principles which God has enjoined, would prevent the terrible evils that in all ages have resulted from the oppression of the rich toward the poor and the suspicion and hatred of the poor toward the rich. While they might hinder the amassing of great wealth and the indulgence of unbounded luxury, they would prevent the consequent ignorance and degradation of tens of thousands whose ill-paid servitude is required to build up these colossal fortunes. They would bring a peaceful solution of those problems that now threaten to fill the world with anarchy and bloodshed.” { Patriarchs and Prophets p. 536}
  • “The plan of life that God gave to Israel was intended as an object lesson for all mankind. If these principles were carried out today, what a different place this world would be!”–Ministry of Healing, pp. 183-188. {WM 196.3}
  • “If the law given by God for the benefit of the poor had continued to be carried out, how different would be the present condition of the world, morally, spiritually, and temporally! Selfishness and self-importance would not be manifested as now, but each would cherish a kind regard for the happiness and welfare of others; and such widespread destitution as is now seen in many lands would not exist.” { Patriarchs and Prophets p. 536}

18) TIME OF TROUBLE: There are only 2 times in the history of the world that God says we will not need to worry about having land and a home/garden. One is when God gives us specific instructions for a specific need, such as in a vision or strong spiritual impression (and God will usually restore that person to owning land and a home again in time).   The other is during the time of trouble where we will have to be 100% dependent on God.

Houses and lands will be of no use to the saints in the time of trouble, for they will then have to flee before infuriated mobs, and at that time their possessions cannot be disposed of to advance the cause of present truth. I was shown that it is the will of God that the saints should cut loose from every encumbrance before the time of trouble comes, and make a covenant with God through sacrifice. If they have their property on the altar, and earnestly inquire of God for duty, He will teach them when to dispose of these things. Then they will be free in the time of trouble, and have no clogs to weigh them down.

I saw that if any held on to their property, and did not inquire of the Lord as to their duty, He would not make duty known, and they would be permitted to keep their property, and in the time of trouble it would come up before them like a mountain to crush them, and they would try to dispose of it, but would not be able. I heard some mourn like this: “The cause was languishing, God’s people were starving for the truth, and we made no effort to supply the lack; now our property is useless. O that we had let it go, and laid up treasure in heaven!” CS 60.1

I also saw that God had not required all of His people to dispose of their property at the same time, but if they desired to be taught, He would teach them, in a time of need, when to sell and how much to sell. Some have been required to dispose of their property in times past to sustain the advent cause, while others have been permitted to keep theirs until a time of need. Then, as the cause needs it, their duty is to sell.—Early Writings, 56, 57

At this time of earth’s history, we will have to be entirely dependent on God, similar to what Elijah was while being hunted by Ahab and fed by ravens. You can read a vision she had here:
http://www.ellenwhitedefend.com/children%27s/visions_&_dreams.htm

20) IN HEAVEN: God is going to follow His land rights laws even in heaven with everyone having their own land/mansion (Isaiah 66:22-23, John 14:1-3)

  • “All your people will be righteous. They will possess their land forever, for I will plant them there with my own hands in order to bring myself glory.” Isaiah 60:21
  • “In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all—the most important place on earth.It will be raised above the other hills,and people from all over the world will stream there to worship….Everyone will live in peace and prosperity,enjoying their own grapevines and fig trees,for there will be nothing to fear.” Micah 4:1,4

God desires the highest freedom for all human beings. That’s precisely why He gave us His laws and through prophets repeatedly instructed people to follow them and that they were for the best good of all people. When we don’t follow God’s principles, many or all people eventually become slaves of tyrants in one form or another.

Capitalism violates almost all Bible economic principles and is the #1 reason why the 1% wealthy now own more than the other 99% combined. This gives them enough wealthy to buy politicians, change government laws, buy up Hollywood/media, promote massive amounts of ungodly deception, promote atheism, buy up corporations, sell destructive things ranging from cigarettes to fast food which harm health and thinking, buy up war companies and then provoke wars to make profits and so much more. Greed based capitalism is the #1 cause of evil on the planet. It was also the DIRECT cause of communism becoming popular for a while, but that turned out to be even worse than capitalism. But capitalism is still causing massive amounts of harm to families around the globe in a myriad of ways precisely because it is based on putting profit/greed above human lives and godliness.

Yet again, as in all other areas, God has given simple solutions that are easy to understand and that work incredibly well. If we only have the sense and humility to follow them, we can solve all sorts of modern problems.

May God help us avoid the stupidity of rebellious Israel and give us the wisdom and sense to follow His principles above all else.

EXTRAS
forces people to move:

separates extended families. Benefits of grandparents being near kids.

forces people to get jobs, often immoral jobs.

telemarketers, junk mail, etc.

plastic pollution.

Experiencing how God’s truth energizes life!