Come along with me and let’s visit the future as we turn our bibles to the Book of:
Revelation 14 NKJV
1 ¶ Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads.
2 And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps.
3 They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth.
4 These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb.
5 And in their mouth was found no deceit, for they are without fault before the throne of God.
It is evident that these 144,000 are somehow special to God. In fact, verse 5 says that “they are without fault before the throne of God.” This means that when they stand before God, He sees no blemish, no imperfection, and no fault in them at all. Only the grace of God can cover a man to that extent. God has accepted these 144,000 as “firstfruits”. This is why they are without fault in His eyes.
Firstfruits – this is a term which we are not readily familiar with in these days. However, tonight we are going to take at what the Bible has to say about firstfruits and see how we might apply this powerful principle in our lives today. So, what does firstfruits mean? Just what it says: First Fruits!
The Apostle Paul referred to Jesus as being a firstfruit:
1 Corinthians 15:20 ¶ But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
1 Corinthians 15:23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.
Basically a first fruit is the promise of more to come, a greater harvest. Paul counted those who were first born again in the church to be firstfruits of those works.
1 Corinthians 16:15 I urge you, brethren—you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints—
The Word of God also counts the whole of mankind as a type of firstfruits of God’s creation.
James 1:18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
This makes mankind special in the eyes of God, holy unto God, in an accepted position with God. When man offers himself to God through Jesus he finds himself before God without fault in God’s eyes. Why, because of this special position we hold as a firstfruits offering accepted by God.
Jesus came as a man, not as a dog, or a cow, a bird or some locust on the great wheel of reincarnation. When Jesus matured, fully ripened if you will, as the Son of Man, victorious over sin, death, hell and the grave … He became the first ripe, firstfruit unto God from among mankind, or any of God’s other creations for that matter.
Jesus offered Himself unto God as a firstfruit offering, thus insuring a blessing from heaven on the rest of the harvest yet to come. When God accepts a sacrifice or offering it becomes holy. God became recipient of the first fruit in Christ and therefore all of mankind when offered to God becomes holy.
Romans 11:16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
What does this mean? Since God accepted Jesus as a firstfruit of mankind, all mankind now have the potential, if given to God, to be holy and accepted just like Jesus is holy and accepted, without fault before God.
Jesus got God involved in making man holy instead of just judging his ungodliness. God now extends this holiness and acceptance of Jesus unto every soul harvested in Jesus’ name. It is the principle of firstfruits.
The first fruit is given to God the whole harvest is blessed by Him.
God wants the first to be offered, dedicated, given to Him. If the first is given to God, the rest is blessed. If the first is blessed, there is a blessing on the rest.
So, how does this apply to our lives today? Throughout the Bible, God gives instructions concerning firstfruits. From guiding the Children while under the Law of Moses, to instructing the Churches in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the world, God has not left us without instruction. Even Solomon in all his wisdom wrote:
9 Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase;
10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.
Here once again we see that there is a promise attached to this principle of firstfruits. If you honor the Lord with the firstfruits of your increase, your first fruits, then the rest of your harvest will be abundantly blessed throughout the year.
Deuteronomy 26 NKJV
7 ‘Then we cried out to the LORD God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and looked on our affliction and our labor and our oppression.
8 ‘So the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders.
9 ‘He has brought us to this place and has given us this land, "a land flowing with milk and honey";
10 ‘and now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land which you, O LORD, have given me.’ Then you shall set it before the LORD your God, and worship before the LORD your God.
A firstfruits offering is given yearly. It is given in the whole amount of the very first increase of the year. The first ripe or first harvested or first gathered in fruit of the field you work in and depend on belongs to God and, if given to the Lord by faith, God promises to protect the field, increase the harvest, and bless the rest of that year’s income.
The Old Testament Law of firstfruits has become a New Testament Principle of firstfruits which allows us access to the same benefits that the Children of Israel enjoyed in their Promise Land. God has not left us out of this opportunity and its potential to abundantly bless our yearly income.
As for me and my house, all of the very first paycheck of the new year is given as a holy firstfruits offering to God by faith. We trust the principles of God’s Word and know that He will accept our offering and bless the rest of our harvest much more abundantly that we could ever be blessed without His holy intervention.
Then, with each paycheck for the rest of the year we dedicate the first ten percent as a tithe, holy and acceptable unto Him, and we bring it to the house of God, for the work of God, in the place God has set us.
I can tell you for certain that God will not forget your faith or your holy act of giving sacrifice and offerings to Him.
Many people in today’s economy need a financial miracle. However, God demands that we participate in our miracles. In every Bible story wherein God gave financial increase or met a financial need, the person receiving the miracle first did something to show their trust in God. We don’t grow crops without sowing seeds and you won’t get God’s blessings on your finances without trusting Him with what you have.
Prayerfully consider starting 2010 off with God’s special blessing on your finances for the year. Remember Proverbs 3:9-10 …