“Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” (James 1:18, KJV)
The Old Testament patterns of giving first fruits are not so much about giving the first fruits of our financial increase, before we give our monetary tithes and offerings, which prosperity teachers maintain, but rather the patterns of giving first fruits have to do with the first fruits of the spiritual harvests that are devoted unto God. Indeed, the Old Testament’s shadows and types of the barley harvest, which happens in Israel during the first month of Abib (Nisan), symbolize that this first harvest of the year not only is an agricultural event but also a spiritual event that is connected to each of the seven commanded Jewish annual feasts. For sure, the Feast of Firstfruits has a mutual relation with the Feast of Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the Day of Pentecost (the Feast of Weeks), as well as a shared relation with the second harvest’s wheat. During the Feast of Weeks in the third month of Sivan, the firstfruits of wheat begin the wheat harvest, which finally culminates in the month of Tishri, during the End Harvest around the time of the Feast of Tabernacles. This shared relation means that the Spring Feast of Firstfruits also is connected to ALL three of the Fall Feasts: the Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles.
In the Old Testament, after the Israelites entered the land which God had promised to them, God commanded the children of Israel to mark a special day for the purpose of acknowledging that God had provided them fertile land on which to grow their crops. God told Moses to “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:” (Leviticus 23:10, KJV, cf. Leviticus 2:12 and 14; Leviticus 23:17 and 20).
Now, not only were the Israelites commanded to keep the Feast of Firstfruits but also God says:
Three times thou shalt keep a feast unto me in the year. Thou shalt keep the feast of unleavened bread: (thou shalt eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded thee, in the time appointed of the month Abib; for in it thou camest out from Egypt: and none shall appear before me empty) And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field. …The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God. (Exodus 23:14-16 and 19a, KJV; cf. Exodus 34:22 and 26a)
For sure, the Feast of Firstfruits is very significant because this feast falls on the day following the first day of Unleavened Bread, which follows Passover (one of the three mandated feasts that Jewish men had to travel to the Jerusalem Temple before they could celebrate God’s mandated feasts according to God’s instructions [see Exodus 23:17]). Now, sometimes people get confused about which day is really the Feast of Firstfruits, as the Day of Pentecost Feast also is called the Feast of Firstfruits. That’s why knowing what God wanted His chosen people to do on the specific day that has been established for them to offer the “devoted things” to God will help in understanding the difference between the Day of Firstfruits and the Day of Pentecost.
The specific day that the Israelites were to establish for the purpose of offering their sanctified “firstfruits” to God would be the Feast of Firstfruits (see Leviticus 23:9-14), and on this specific day, the Israelites were to offer to God the first grain (typically barley) of the first Spring harvest. This firstfruit offering was to take place during the week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread on the day after the regular weekly Sabbath (cf. Leviticus 23:11b). Therefore, this firstfruits offering always would occur on the first day of the week (on the Jewish Sabbath, which is from sunset Saturday to sunset Sunday). The Jewish people call this Feast of Firstfruits day Reishit Katzir, which means the “beginning of the harvest.”
In biblical times, on the day after the first day of Unleavened Bread, a sheaf (Omer)of barley (the first grain crop to ripen) was waved before the LORD in a prescribed ceremony that marked the start of the counting of the Omer (cf. Deuteronomy 16:9-12 and Leviticus 23:15-16). The Israelites would begin a forty-nine day countdown (the counting of the Omer) plus one extra day. This countdown started from the moment when they put the first sickle to the barley and ended with the harvest festival of Shavu’ot (Pentecost). The Hebrews call this period of time Sefirat HaOmer, which means, “counting the sheaves.” Thus, the first harvest season (Spring harvest) begins on the Day of First Fruits, which happens seven weeks plus one day before the Feast of Weeks/Firstfruits/Pentecost.
On the day of the Feast of First Fruits, the Hebrews were commanded to give God, without delay, their firstfruits (the very first of their sons, as well as their flocks, vines, fields and trees that appear before their whole flocks, fields, vines, and trees became ripe). The Old Testament Scriptures reveal this divine truth:
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine. …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. Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me. (Exodus 13:1-2; Exodus 22:29-30, KJV)
Without a doubt, the Feast of Firstfruits’ spiritual implications were fulfilled through Jesus the Christ, who was the first person to return to life who would never die again. Our Lord was crucified and buried on Passover (Pesach), the day before the first day of Unleavened Bread (Chag HaMatzot).
Now, Passover begins at evening time on Abib (or Nisan) 14, which also is when the eating of Unleavened Bread first begins. What is important to note about the Jewish evening is that it falls between 3:00pm and sundown, which makes sundown both the time when one day ends and the time when a new day starts. Because Passover continues through Nisan 15 (the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread), this is the reason why the celebration of the Feast of Unleavened Bread often is shown on most calendars as beginning on Abib (Nisan) 15 and ending on Abib (Nisan) 22, while on other calendars the Feast of Unleavened Bread is shown as starting from Abib (Nisan) 14 and ending on Abib (Nisan) 21. Whichever way someone denotes the day when the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins, this Feast (also called Chag HaMatzot) represents a holy week spent without having any leaven in our lives.
What is more important is that, in Jesus the Christ’s day, Passover was on Wednesday the 14th, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread started on Thursday the 15th. Abib (Nisan) 15th, or day one of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, is also the “High” Sabbath, a special Sabbath day that, in Jesus the Christ’s day, was not a Saturday Sabbath! This fact would mean that the wave offering(called tenufat HaOmer), which the priest is supposed to wave “…on the morrow after the sabbath” (Leviticus 23:11b, KJV) is the God-commanded firstfruit wave offering that must take place on Sunday morning after the weekly Saturday Sabbath. In Jesus the Christ’s case, this weekly Sabbath was on Abib (Nisan) 17th, two days after the “High” Sabbath of the first day of Unleavened Bread. Once again, a “High” Sabbath is a day of shabbaton (rest) that could occur on any day of the week besides the weekly Sabbath day of Saturday.
Thus, on Abib (Nisan) 14th, Wednesday at evening, which is the beginning of that day, Jesus the Christ eats His early seder (Passover) supper, as this day also is called the Lord’s Passover day (cf. Leviticus 23:5). On Abib (Nisan) 14th, during the daytime, is the Preparation day mentioned in Luke 23:54 and Mark 15:42. Jesus the Christ then dies, gives up the Ghost, in the afternoon of the 14th, and His death happens at the same time that the korban Pesach (Passover Lamb) is sacrificed in the Temple. Jesus the Christ then is buried before the evening (before the official Passover dinner starts).
On Abib (Nisan) 15th, at evening, “High” Sabbath (the actual Seder night) begins. On Abib (Nisan) 15th, during the daytime, “High” Sabbath, a time of rest, is observed.
On Abib (Nisan) 17th, at evening, Weekly Sabbath begins, and on Abib (Nisan) 17th, during the daytime, Weekly Sabbath continues. During the daytime on this day is when the priest’s waving of the Omer takes place, initiating the 49-day countdown to Pentecost (or Shavu’ot).
On Abib (Nisan) 18th, at sundown or the start of this new day, Jesus the Christ is raised from the dead at or after Havdalah, which is the Jewish ritual of using wine, multi-wick candle, and spices for the purpose of marking the end of the Shabbat (and/or holidays) and the beginning of the rest of the week. Remember now that sundown is both the end and start of a day (in this case sundown on the 17th is both the end of day 17 and the start of day 18)! Thus, what’s for certain about when Jesus the Christ arose from the grave is that He at least arose before sunrise on the 18th.
The good news (Gospel) for the born again and saved believers is that, on the day after the Feast of Firstfruits is celebrated by the priest waving the first sheaf of barley before the Lord our God, Jesus the Christ is raised from the dead. His resurrection makes Him the firstfruit of all who, subsequently, would arise from the dead, never to die again. Moreover, Jesus the Christ’s resurrection, when compared to the “wave offering” the Temple priest presented before the Father as the “firstfruits” of the full harvest yet to come, explains how the biblical shadows and types that pertain to Jesus the Christ being the firstborn of the firstfruits are also why our Lord represents the firstborn of man (and beast) who belongs to God. Indeed, Jesus the Christ is the firstborn of all creatures!
The firstborn and “firstfruits” shadows and types that are seen in the agricultural former and latter rain seasons are parallel to the birth and ripening of believers (the so-called CHURCH and the those who become Tribulation saints). Just as the first or early ripening of the grain crops is offered on First Fruits, or the “beginning of the harvest,” the same First Fruits’ process takes place in the Body of Christ, except this process is a spiritual ripening of believers.
Jesus the Christ physically arises from the grave, and is literally born again as the firstfruit of the brethren and the firstborn of all creatures. Then, by the Day of Pentecost, the 120 Upper Room disciples become the firstfruit of the CHURCH who later will become spiritually born again by the Holy Spirit, and the first of those who later will become physically resurrected like Jesus the Christ. For these reasons, the cutting of the sheaf (Omer) of the new barley that culminates in the celebration of Shavu’ot (Pentecost) is an important firstfruit/firstborn principle, because it relates to the spiritual birth and the glorification of the CHURCH. The Apostle Paul agrees, and in the following Scriptural quotation he declares that, because of what Jesus the Christ experienced, spiritually born again and saved believers also can experience the same thing—they physically can be born again (raised from the dead) to live eternally. The apostle writes:
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. (1 Corinthians 15:20-23, KJV; cf. John 11:25; Romans 5:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)
Thus, after the counting of the Omer begins, early in the morning on the third day of Unleavened Bread, Jesus the Christ appears as the firstfruit of the dead, first to Mary Magdalene. At that time, He immediately says to her: “Don’t cling to me” … “for I haven’t yet ascended to the Father. But go find my brothers and tell them that I am ascending to my Father and your Father, my God and your God” (John 20:17, NLT). From the Scriptures, we know that on the same day that the arisen Christ spoke to Mary Magdalene that in the evening of this day He also supernaturally appeared before His disciples, minus Thomas, who for some reason wasn’t in this assembly, and minus Judas, who already had committed suicide. Then “eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. He said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!’” (John 20:26-27, NLT).
Since Jesus the Christ has told Mary that He is ascending to His Father, and then He isn’t seen again by anyone after He first appears before His assembled disciples until He appears before them the second time, the logical conclusion is that during the counting of the Omer’s first eight days (sometime during the fourth through the eighth day of the celebration of Unleavened Bread) Jesus the Christ not only descended into Hell to preach the Gospel to the centuries of lost sinners and the saints in Paradise, but also He ascended up to Heaven where He would present to God Himself, the other firstfruits who arose out of the graves with Him, and the ones from Hell who accepted Him as their Lord and Savior. These are the sanctified “devoted” unto God firstfruits who have been redeemed.
Once this work is done, Jesus the Christ is able to return back to Earth in His glorified body! What is the proof of this conclusion?
Well, the writer of the book of Matthew declares that the “…tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead after Jesus’ resurrection. They left the cemetery, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people” (Matthew 27:52-53, NLT). Thus, once again, the logical conclusion is that Jesus the Christ had to have ascended up to Heaven sometime between the fourth and eighth day of Omer to offer to His Father the first installment on the “early crops” of what would be an overwhelming harvest by the end of the Age (by the end of the world as we know it), for it is not recorded in the Scriptures that any of these other resurrected people were seen after Jesus the Christ met again with His assembled disciples.
Keeping with the idea of firstfruits installments, Jesus the Christ’s second firstfruits’ installment will be the Rapture of the CHURCH—when the dead in Christ and those who are yet alive when He comes to rapture the CHURCH will be caught up to meet Jesus the Christ in the air (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). For this reason, the day of the Feast of Firstfruits (the beginning of the first harvest) spiritually is connected to the Day of Pentecost or the Feast of Weeks that happens 49 days later. In other words, the Day of Pentecost/Feast of Weeks is a shadow and type of the birth of the CHURCH. The apostles and their first century Hebrew converts, then, also represent the firstfruits and/or the firstborn of Christians who have been devoted (sanctified) unto God—the firstfruits of the Day of Pentecost’s Holy Spirit pouring.
The third and last firstfruits’ installment will be the 144,000 martyred saints. The Apostle John supplies the scriptural evidence for this claim. John writes:
And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. (Revelation 14:3-4, KJV)
Returning back to Jesus the Christ’s first ascension, it is apparent that Jesus the Christ makes His first ascension during the first eight days of the counting of the Omer. At this time, He takes with Him to Heaven ALL of the ones who were resurrected from their graves when He arose, plus the Old Testament saints whom He preached to in Paradise, John the Baptist, and the New Testament repentant thief from the cross (cf. Psalms 68:18, Ephesians 4:8-10,). As a result, in Acts 1:9, Jesus the Christ now is speaking about His second ascension, which happens a few days before the Feast of Pentecost, as the Scriptures tell us that He is still on the Earth some 40 days after His resurrection (see Acts 1:3).
Thus, based on God’s appointed Feasts, the fifty days between First Fruits and Pentecost are significant in that these days mark the time between the Festival of “Physical Redemption” (Passover) and the Festival of “Spiritual Redemption” (Pentecost). For this reason, the Day of Pentecost is viewed as the climax of God’s plan for believers’ deliverance through Jesus the Christ, who is the true Lamb of God. The counting of the Omer, or the seven weeks plus one day from First Fruits until the Day of Pentecost, represents the giving of the anticipated New Covenant to mankind, and the giving of the gift of the Holy Spirit through whom the Body of Christ is formed.
Likewise, just as Jesus the Christ’s firstfruit resurrection from the dead and the Day of Pentecost’s outpouring of the Holy Spirit are literal fulfillments of the ancient agriculturally repeated first harvest’s Firstborn, Firstfruit, and Former Rain shadows and types, the second outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the reunion of the Groom (Jesus the Christ) and His Bride (the CHURCH from whom Jesus the Christ has been separated for over 1900 years) also will be literal fulfillments of the agriculturally repeated second harvest’s “end of the year harvest” and Latter Rain shadows and types.
Besides the symbolic Old Testament’s repeated agricultural Spring and Fall harvests’ patterns that point to the Rapture, there are other Old Testament shadows and types that represent the Rapture. For example, in the Old Testament, the Rapture is symbolized through imagery, expressly, the Voice of God (or Trumpet of God) calling out of the mountain to Moses, beckoning him to come up to the top of Mount Sinai (cf. Exodus 19:3), which is similar to Apostle John’s New Testament precursory rapture encounter which begins with the Alpha and Omega God’s voice sounding like a trumpet (Revelation 1:10-11); in Prophet Hosea’s metaphorical prophesies about Israel being revived in 2 days, and raised up on the third day (Hosea 6:2); in Enoch’s bodily translation (Genesis 5:24, and Hebrews 11:5)—symbolizing the New Testament’s twinkling of an eye catching up of alive Body of Christ members who will not be found after the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17); in Elisha’s witness of the supernatural appearance of the chariot and horses of fire that were followed by Elijah’s whirlwind (storm cloud) disappearance (2 Kings 2:11-13)—symbolizing the middle of the Tribulation’s left behind people who will witness both the life and death of two Old Testament witnesses and then see these two witnesses raptured, also these left behind people will witness the disappearance (rapture) of the 144,000 Messianic Jews (Revelation 11:3-12 and Revelation 14:3-4); and finally the disappearance of Moses’ gravesite (Deuteronomy 34:6), which symbolizes the dead without Jesus the Christ nonbelievers who, once resurrected, will leave behind no earthly gravesites where those who inherit the Earth can find the wicked ones’ bodies!
Now, just like it is in the natural concerning the harvesting of a field of wheat, so will it be with the harvesting of the world (the field in which the Lord plants His Gospel seed). After the world has been judged during the seven-year Tribulation, near the end of that time, Jesus the Christ will come on the clouds with a host of angels, and He will oversee the angels’ reaping (cutting with a sickle) and harvesting of Jesus the Christ’s Wheat—the angels will separate (winnow) the figuratively speaking mature grains of wheat (believers) from the chaff (unbelievers and nonbelievers or tares)—the spiritual souls and spirits which, like the literal inedible waste of the wheat’s chaff, will be thrown away. In the tares’ case, they will be thrown into the Lake of Fire (Matthew 13:37-43), while the genuine Wheat is saved/delivered from the Lake of Fire.
This Wheat, then, is the overwhelming harvest that will happen after God determines that He is finished dealing with mankind; this Wheat Harvest will be the harvest that comes about all because Jesus the Christ first became the literal and figurative firstborn and firstfruit wave offering. Lastly, this end of the Age Wheat harvest also will be the fulfillment of the shadows and types found in the Fall or second harvest that the Hebrews have practiced for years in their end of the year harvest-feast celebrations. For this reason, this Wheat harvest also will be the finale to the Great Commission.
The current countdown from the birth of the CHURCH to the full ripening of believers, which includes the Wheat being separated from the tares at the end of the Age, also will bring about a clearer focus on the true meanings of the Fall Feasts and the second harvest’s principle of three main yields from the Grain. These three main yields are: (1) Firstfruits Harvest (cf. Leviticus 23:10; Matthew 27:52-53; Acts 26:23; and 1 Corinthians 15:20)—the Sheaf (Omer), which is a Bundle of Grain. This sheaf is made from the First few ripened heads of grain; (2) New Grain Harvest (cf. Exodus 23:16, 34:22a; Leviticus 23:16; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54aand 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17)—the Field’s new grain growth—no matter if the grain is barley, wheat, and so forth. This grain, minus the four corners, is picked, gathered, processed; and the (3) Remnant (cf. Leviticus 19:9; 23:22; Deuteronomy 24:19; Matthew 13:24-30, 37-42; Joel 3:13; and Revelation 14:15 and 17-20; Revelation 20:7-9)—the grain harvested from the Field’s corner edges that originally were food left for the poor, the widowed, the orphaned, and the strangers.
The firstfruits (the few heads of ripened grain), the new grain (the whole field except for the corners), and the remnant (that which is left after the rest of the field has been harvested) are shadows and types of the SECOND ADVENT—the END-TIME period when JESUS the CHRIST returns back to EARTH, in phases. Once again, the very “firstfruits” of the barley and wheat fields are Jesus the Christ, the Old Testament Saints, John the Baptist, the repentant thief from the cross, and the Body of Christ (the CHURCH) firstfruits who spiritually were born on the Day of Pentecost and thereafter—in essence, all of the dead in Christ and the living believers who are around when Christ raptures His CHURCH (Bride).
The “new grain” refers to: (1) the 144,00 martyred Tribulation evangelists; (2) the 2 Tribulation witnesses; and (3) the Tribulation believers (Wheat) who are evangelized by the 144,000 Messianic Jews. These Tribulation believers (or Wheat), though a great number, will be those individuals from all tongues and nations who are NOT glorified. They will enter the 1,000-year Kingdom of God in their original bodies; therefore, these “Wheat” are the people who will repopulate the Earth.
Lastly, where the end of the Age is concerned, the “remnant” grain now refers to those people from the Lord’s 1,000-year Kingdom who side with the recently released Dragon—Satan who has been set free from the bottomless pit. They, however, will not have a chance to attack the Lord and His true remnant, because God rains fire down upon them and consumes them. As for Satan, who deceives this remnant of people who are born during Jesus the Christ’s 1,000-year reign, convincing them to march on God’s holy city to war against the Lord and His saints, this Satan/Devil is thrown into the Lake of Fire.
In a nutshell, all of the aforesaid shadows and types and literal and figurative grain yields are found in the repeated agricultural patterns that run through the seven mandated Hebrew feasts. Four of these feasts are celebrated in the Spring of each new ceremonial/festival year, and each one of these four Spring feasts relates to Jesus the Christ’s first coming. Moreover, all four of these Spring feasts have been fulfilled!
The four Spring feasts are: (1) Passover Feast, which symbolizes our salvation and our deliverance that are made possible by the Lamb of God’s atoning sacrifice, as Passover represents our Lord’s explicit, sinless, and substitutionary death; (2) the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which testifies to the reality that, as the Lamb of God, Jesus the Christ’s body could not decay in the grave, the Unleavened Bread, then, also represents our sanctification process—the Holy Spirit’s work related to getting rid of the old leaven in our lives that is symbolized by our carnal nature/desires; finally, the Feast of Unleavened Bread symbolizes Jesus the Christ’s death and burial and our identification with His humiliation and the cruel and brutal way that He died; (3) the Feast of Firstfruits, which illustrates that death could not hold Jesus the Christ prisoner, because His body could not remain in the grave; therefore, the Feast of Firstfruits also represents Jesus the Christ’s resurrection and our future glorious state that will happen at the end of the CHURCH age in conjunction with the Rapture of the CHURCH; additionally, the Feast of Firstfruits represents the firstfruits of the 144,000 who are raptured near the end of time, as we know it; lastly, (4) the Feast of Weeks (Day of Pentecost), which commemorates the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the CHURCH.
There also are three Fall feasts, but none of these feasts has been fulfilled! Moreover, the three Fall feasts portray the events associated with Jesus the Christ’s Second Coming. These three Fall feasts are: (1) The Feast of Trumpets, which depicts Jesus the Christ’s second phase of the firstfruits’ ascensions (i.e., the Rapture). The first phase dealt with Jesus the Christ’s initial ascension, when He takes those who rose from the grave after Him, and the redeemed Old Testament saints, John the Baptist, and the repentant thief from the cross from Paradise to Heaven, to offer them to God as the firstfruits of the dead. Lastly, the third phase will deal with the Tribulation’s martyred saints, or the 144,000; (2) The Day of Atonement, which points to the wrath of God against the great host of surviving Tribulation people, Jews and Gentiles, who take the mark of the Beast (Antichrist). When the Lord returns (when He appears in the clouds with His host of angels to reap the world’s harvest—to separate the Wheat from the Tares), He will destroy these individuals by metaphorically trampling them under His feet and then squeezing the grapes’ juice out with the metaphorical winepress (Himself); (3) The Feast of Tabernacles, which speaks of the day when the Messiah Himself will tabernacle or dwell with His Kingdom people forever.
Today, our firstfruits are our gods of fortune, power, beauty, talent, and intelligence. No longer are we more concerned about the souls of mankind, but rather we are more concerned about our money; our material possessions; our position in life, and the power behind that position; our outer facial and bodily appearances; our abilities, skills, and gifts; and our mental capacity. Furthermore, the firstfruits that have become our gods are also the things we worship, instead of letting them serve us! That is why it is so easy for prosperity teachers to encourage so many people to become FINANCIAL partners with their ministries. Notice, if you will, that most of these prosperity teachers do not consistently stress that the people watching and/or listening to their ministries should be doing their own God-appointed share of the Great Commission work, which is over and above making a donation to their church or ministry by writing a check, or by using a credit card, in excess of buying their self-help books, sermon on cassettes or CDs, Christian movies on DVDs, and so forth!
Once again, the Old Testament patterns of giving first fruits are not about giving the first fruits of our financial increase, before we give our monetary tithes and offerings, which prosperity teachers maintain. The Old Testament patterns of giving first fruits have to do with the first fruits of our spiritual harvests that are devoted unto God—our spiritual lives, our spiritual resources that God “freely” has given to us, our passionate commitment to evangelism and discipleship (to be zealous about reaching lost souls), and our desire to ALWAYS be about doing our Father’s business of building up the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
Jesus the Christ is coming back for the rest of His firstfruits—for the rest of His soul winning CHURCH and His soul winning martyred Tribulation saints. He also is coming back for His end of the Age abundant harvest—His Wheat. For these reasons, being counted as the spiritual firstfruits in the next event on the prophetic timetable, the Rapture, should be the goal of every born again and saved believer living today!
The harvest indeed is plentiful, but the laborers are few! That is why every person who has eyes and ears should understand and apply what he or she has read here or heard about the full significance of God’s first fruit commands. Once again, God’s first fruits’ commands pertain to us making sure that we are cooperating with His Holy Spirit’s sanctification process—that we not only are filled with but also growing in His Holy Spirit. Secondly, God’s first fruits’ commands pertain to us making sure that we are using EVERYTHING God has blessed us with (spiritual gifts, talents, abilities, skills, character, money, possessions, and so on) so that we can be productive field workers—so that we can be laborers who actively are involved with evangelism and discipleship. Finally, God’s first fruits’ commands pertain to us being spiritually discerning Christians who ALWAYS promote rather than suppress the divine truth found in God’s WORD!
We are living in the generation from which the largest harvest will come. Therefore, this is the time to get busy working with today’s lost souls, realizing that God’s saving Grace, mighty workings of the Holy Spirit, holy Scriptures, and the faith that God gives us will help us value the Kingdom of God above everyone and everything else in this world! In other words, we have the supernatural resources that make it possible for us to consistently be about our Father’s business!
The holy Scriptures tell us that there will be signs of Jesus the Christ’s Second Coming and that these signs are available for true Christians. Therefore, if we intend to meet our Lord in the air when He returns (if we plan to be the firstfruits of the Holy Spirit’s second outpouring, to be those who are raptured before the Tribulation Period starts), then we must be prepared, now, for our Lord’s imminent Second Coming. We get prepared by obeying God’s first fruits’ commands for His New Testament saints!