RELEASING DESTINY: THE LAW OF THE FIRSTFRUIT!
First Fruits: Your Opportunity To Honor God
Proverbs 3:9-10 King James Version (KJV)
9 Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
Matthew 6:33 King James Version (KJV)
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Song of Solomon 2:15 King James Version (KJV)
15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.
HISTORY OF FIRSTFRUITS
Answer: Firstfruits was a Jewish feast held in the early spring at the beginning of the grain harvest. It was observed on Nissan 16, which was the third day after Passover and the second day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Firstfruits was a time of thanksgiving for God’s provision.
Leviticus 23:9-14 institutes the firstfruits offering. The people were to bring a sheaf of grain to the priest, who would wave it before the Lord. A burnt offering, a meal offering, and a drink offering were also required at that time. Deuteronomy 26:1-10 gives even more detail on the procedure of firstfruits.
No grain was to be harvested at all until the firstfruits offering was brought to the Lord (Leviticus 23:14). The offering was made in remembrance of Israel’s sojourn in Egypt, the Lord’s deliverance from slavery, and their possession of “a land that floweth with milk and honey.” The day of the firstfruits offering was also used to calculate the proper time of the Feast of Weeks (Leviticus 23:15-16).
In the New Testament, the firstfruits offering is mentioned seven times, always symbolically. Paul calls Epaenetus and the household of Stephanas “the firstfruits of Achaia” (Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:15). His meaning is that, just as the firstfruits offering was the first portion of a larger harvest, these individuals were the first of many converts in that region. James calls believers “a kind of firstfruits of His creatures” (James 1:18). Just like the sheaf of grain was set apart for the Lord, so are believers set apart for God’s glory.
The firstfruits offering found its fulfillment in Jesus. “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20). Jesus’ resurrection has paved the way for our resurrection. Significantly, if Jesus was killed at Passover, then His resurrection on the third day would have fallen on Nissan 16—the Feast of Firstfruits.
Paul taught the Corinthian believers to set aside a collection “on the first day of the week” (1 Corinthians 16:2). And, just as the offering of firstfruits was an occasion of thanksgiving, so the Christian is to give with gladness.
In summary, firstfruits symbolizes God’s harvest of souls, it illustrates giving to God from a grateful heart, and it sets a pattern of giving back to Him the first (and the best) of what He has given us. Not being under the Old Testament Law, the Christian is under no further obligation than to give cheerfully and liberally (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
God has a principle that will release favor over your entire year! You have a special opportunity to activate the principle of First Fruits as mandated by God.
God declares, “When you come into the land which I give you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest” (Leviticus 23:10 NIV). — This divine establishment of God’s order is actually the root, the foundation that governs the rest.
“For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches” (Romans 11:16 NKJV). The first represents the total.
All firsts belong to God! — “Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow!” (Proverbs 3:9 – 10 NKJV).
God’s Word clearly shows He set this principle to be observed. When we are obedient there is a promise for us. And there is ONE who never breaks His promise, God! And, this is the only opportunity to sow a First Fruits offering in a jubilee year our generation will see!
When you give the “firstfruits of your increase,” as the Word says, your“barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will OVERFLOW.” The Word will manifest in your life when you are obedient. DO NOT LET THIS opportunity to start your year off right by linking to this prophetic call PASS YOU BY!
Your sacrificial offering will be a seed for blessings for the remainder of the year. According to Ezekiel 44, when you present your First Fruits offering, it will cause a blessing to rest upon your house!
As you remember the Lord your God, according to Deuteronomy 8:18, through your first fruits offering, He gives you the power to acquire wealth to establish His covenant.
What you do with your “first” in the opening days, weeks, and month of 2017 will greatly determine your entire year! Jesus declared, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness… all these things will be added to you,” (Matthew 6:33). God adds the “things” to you when foundation is in place to be built upon. I challenge you to put FIRST THINGS FIRST and HONOR GOD!
According to Ezekiel 44, I will raise your offering up as a sacrifice, believing God to pour out His promises through your obedience! “The best of all the firstfruit and of all your special gifts will be given to the priests. You are to give them the first portion of your ground meal so that a blessing may rest on your household” (Ezekiel 44:30). Give your very best as a first fruits offering and watch God’s unlimited blessings pour into your life and your family.
The Hebrew word for “first fruits,” reshiyth, means “the first in place in time, order or rank.” It also means “the beginning, first or principal thing, captain or chief, excellent, forefront, ruler, sum top, summit, upper part and primary.” First fruits, which belong to God, govern the rest and set the pattern, or the promise to come. Another Hebrew word first fruits is bikkurim, which means ‘a promise to come,’ and shares the same root word, bekhor, as the word meaning “firstborn.”
The first fruits offerings signal the beginning of your harvest. It promises an abundant harvest. It establishes the law of first things first in your life. It establishes the promise of what is to come and positions the believer to receive the promises of God.
In ancient days, the process of gathering the first fruits of the crops involved painstaking preparations. Each family among the Israelites had to carefully watch for the first budding fruits or grains. Once spotted, they would designate it as the first by tying a piece of red yarn around the branch, limb or vine.
As the crops matured and were harvested, those first fruits were brought into the Temple and presented to the High Priest according to God’s pattern. The Priest would accept the offering from each household, and lift it in a wave offering above his head, presenting it to God in thanksgiving and recognition of His continued provision and blessing. Once the offering of first fruits had been made, the people were free to enjoy the rest of the harvest because the first had sanctified the rest. This is vital to recognize the order and pattern of God.
The principle of first fruits was not limited to plants, as we saw before in the case of Cain and Abel. The principle of first fruits is found throughout the Bible, and deals with all “first things.” “Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats. You must give me the firstborn of your sons. Do the same with your cattle and your sheep.” (Exodus 22:29-30)
Even as Tamar was in labor with Judah’s twin sons, one of the twins put out his hand first, and even the first born of twins were marked in such a way.
“After the Lord brings you into the land of the Canaanites and gives it to you, as he promised on oath to you and your ancestors,12 you are to give over to the Lord the first offspring of every womb. All the firstborn males of your livestock belong to the Lord.13 Redeem with a lamb every firstborn donkey, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem every firstborn among your sons.”
God claims the right to every first – the first of the crops, every firstborn male of herds and flocks, every firstborn male child. Every first is to be devoted to God through His covenant. Any time something is called a first thing, a first fruit, a devoted thing, it belongs to God. Exodus 22:29 states, “Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors; the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.”
The principle is that all first things belong to God. In Leviticus 27:28-29, God again lays out instructions for first fruits, “But nothing that a man owns and devotes to the Lord – whether man or animal or family or land – may be sold or redeemed; everything so devoted is most holy to the Lord.” (NIV).
Thankfully, we no longer sacrifice the firstlings of our sheep or cattle at a Temple; nor are we required to redeem our firstborn sons with gold. Jesus paid for all redemption through His death, burial and resurrection, giving a New Covenant “founded on better principles” (Hebrews 8:6). Jesus is God’s only begotten son. God gave up His son to set Him apart as a holy first fruit. The first fruit then sanctified all who came after so Jesus became the first fruit of many brethren (Romans 8:29, 1 Cor 15:23)! We bear forth the same power and image of God because we are the fruit of His firstborn.
However, the principle of first things still remains. God does not change in His character or principles. He is the same yesterday, today and forevermore. God is serious about things being in order in our lives. That is why it is so crucial that we understand the principle of “first things first.” When you do not put first things first, there is disorder, which can affect your life. On the other hand, when you do put first things first, your life can and will fall into place as it is supposed to. Just as God promised – when we are faithful to follow Him, we will live an empowered life and be blessed! When we serve the Lord with our whole hearts, His blessing, peace, victory, and wholeness is upon our lives so strong that everyone can see it. The harvest for giving the Lord your all is so abundant and rich! Give the Lord your “first” and best in all that you do…He will reward you beyond what you thought possible!
To be in alignment with what God has for us, we must start the year off as instructed- by obeying God’s Holy Principle! God’s Word clearly instructs us…”When you come into the land which I give you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest,” Leviticus 23:10. It is to be set apart as holy unto God!
First Fruits in Hebrew is “bikkurim” and literally means “promise to come.” And there is ONE who never breaks His promise – God! That is why the truth behind this “promise to come” in God’s Word is so powerful. Though long overlooked by many, this divine establishment of God’s order of things is actually the root that governs the rest. When you KEEP FIRST THINGS FIRST through faith and obedience, you turn God’s promise into provision… ABUNDANT PROVISION!
Because He wants to see you succeed, He has put a system into place based on the principle of “First Fruits.” The Bible references first fruits or first things or devoted things no less than 32 times.
“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your increase” (Proverbs 3:9).
“When you come into the land which I gave you, and reap its harvest, then you shall bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest” (Leviticus 23:9-10)
God claims the first fruits of anything! It rightfully belongs to Him in His divine order. When we apply the Principle of First Fruits – First Things First – in our lives, we begin to see that all firsts should be given to the Lord: the first part of the day, the first day of the week (Sabbath), the first month of the year, and the first of our harvest – be it the wages for the first hour, the first day, the first week, or the month.
You can put God first in every area of your life by:
- PRAYING. Give God your first thoughts in the morning. Talk with Him before you do anything else EVERY day. Pray without ceasing for your family, for financial recovery and blessings, for healing… for your needs. God will honor your faithfulness.
- PLANNING. Where do you want to be 365 days from today? Getting from here to there requires a prayerful plan. Seek God’s clear directive for your life, then write it down. Keep it in the front of you on a daily basis. Let it get into your spirit. See it! Believe it! Live it!
- MAKING AN OFFERING. When you give your first fruits offering, you are planting a seed for the remainder of the year. Everything you have is a gift from God… you have an option to keep it or to sow it for an even greater harvest. There is a greater portion that awaits you in honor of your first fruits offering!
When you offer God your first fruits and bring Him the fullness of the first, you establish the foundation that the “whole thing” – your entire life – will be holy and blessed!