25 Dec 2015

Why First Fruits ~ Mary Beth McElroy Part 1 of 3

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Rosh Kodesh, Hebrew for “First Fruits” is a way to begin the new month by joining together to praise & honor God. Rosh Kodesh is an expression of the principle of First Fruits. The New Testament calls them “new moon festivals.” Paul didn’t say don’t observe them. He said don’t let anyone condemn you for how you observe them. (Colossians 2:16) They were a shadow. Jesus is the real deal. Therefore, Firstfruits, just like any sacrifice, points to Jesus. Every sacrifice reflects something about Him, our relationship with Him, and/or our relationship with God. He’s not only the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, He’s the bread without leaven and He’s the Firstfruits of those who sleep. He’s the first. We are a part of the harvest.24 Old Testament references, 7 New Testament

Pr. 3: 5-10 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.9 Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.

It is not the tithe. Notice, “the firstfruit,” not the harvest of your increase. The tithe is off the harvest. A seed is immature, but it has the potential for multiplication.

Deut. 14:22 You shall truly tithe all the increase of your seed, that the field will bring forth year by year

A seed produces a harvest.

Deut 12:6 And more so you shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks.

The key word is “first.” We give to God first, before the harvest and after the harvest. We “set it aside.” We say it is “holy,” “sanctified.” That just means it’s not common or ordinary. It’s special. Sanctified is not how we act, it’s what we are, and if we’ll believe it, it will produce sanctified (not common, not ordinary) actions.

Deut. 26:1-15 Talks about both firstfruits & tithe. VV 1-4 (NLT) “When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you as a special possession and you have conquered it and settled there, 2 put some of the first produce from each crop you harvest into a basket and bring it to the designated place

of worship—the place the Lord your God chooses for His name to be honored. 3 Go to the priest in charge at that time and say to him, ‘With this gift I acknowledge to the Lord your God that I have entered the land he swore to our ancestors He would give us.’ 4 The priest will then take the basket from your hand and set it before the altar of the Lord your God.”

The First of Everything Belongs to the Lord

Neh. 10:35-36 And to bring the firstfruits of our ground, and the firstfruits of all fruit of all trees, year by year, unto the house of the LORD: Also the firstborn of our sons, and of our cattle, as it is written in the law, and the firstlings of our herds and of our flocks, to bring to the house of our God, unto the priests that minister in the house of our God.

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What is the purpose? To bless us and give us prosperity. To keep our barns filled with plenty & our presses bursting forth with new wine!

The principle: You reap what you sow (Gal. 6:7). Gen. 8:22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. It will keep you free of mammon.

Come back tomorrow and we will discuss What is Mammon and How it Relates to First Fruits

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