The First Fruits Principle | Part 2


Pt 2: Why The Priests?


God’s Word is full of patterns, and the manner in which the first fruits were to be presented to the Lord was no different.


In the Old Testament, the offerings were given to the priests and Levites so that they could be devoted to the work of the Lord and carry out His instructions for the people. But what was significant in the Old Testament about bringing the first fruits offering to the priests in such a manner? How did that benefit the one who brought the offering? The key is found in the words of God to Ezekiel, “And the first of all the firstfruits of all things, and every oblation of all, of every sort of your oblations, shall be the priest’s: ye shall also give unto the priest the first of your dough, that he may cause the blessing to rest in thine house” (Ezekiel 44:30, KJV). Under the Old Covenant, the priest received the first fruits offering and waved it before the Lord as a means of presenting it to God. He then prayed to release the blessings of the Lord over the house of the one who presented the offering. But let’s take this apart a little. It says that the priest would cause the blessing to rest on your house. The first tendency is to think of the physical building in which you dwell. But the Israelites were living in tents at the time. The Hebrew term for “house” or “household” in this verse is “bayith,” meaning family. It comes from the root word “banah,” which means to “build.” The blessing would rest not on your dwelling, but on your family...on your lineage...your children, grandchildren, their kids and grandkids and so on. Joshua put a choice before the Israelites to choose who they would serve, the Lord or other gods. Then he gave his choice: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15, NKJV). Again, we tend to think “and my house” may include the husband, wife, and kids living there at the time. But actually, it means generation after generation. The blessing comes to the house of the giver by a spoken word from the mouth of the priest. The Hebrew word for blessing is berakah, which means “benediction” and by implication “prosperity.” It did not just come and go, but it came and rested. The Hebrew word for rest is nuwach, which means to settle down, to dwell, to stay or fall in place. It is the very heartbeat of a loving God to grant you a “household blessing!” Not all denominations have a “priesthood” any longer, nor do the priests and leaders live off the fruits and slaughtered animals of the sacrifice. The equivalent today would be bringing your first fruits offering to the man or woman of God with whom you are in covenant and or partnership with. The man or woman of God is blessed and encouraged by your giving first fruits. 2 Chronicles 31:4-5 declares, “Moreover he commanded the people that dwelled in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD.”

This is vitally important! We live in the most powerful prophetic time in the destiny of nations with the manifested presence of God in our midst.


God is releasing His heavenly pattern for advancing His kingdom. Breakthrough believers are being raised up to impact and influence our world in ways never seen before.


God’s purposes cannot and will not miscarry. He is being perfected in a people to complete His purpose in their spirits . . . to bring forth His plan and purpose in the earth. He is reproducing the very life of Jesus Christ in the “fragile earthen vessels of human clay.” It is “Christ in you,” the hope of glory, rising up unto maturity and being formed within you (Galatians 4:19). How will this come to pass? “And he gave some, apostles, and some, prophets, and some, evangelists, and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; Till we all come in (unto) the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son – of – God unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13). It is the five-fold ministry gifts that God chose as His divine instrument to bring the “saints into perfection.” The word perfection means complete furnishing, to complete thoroughly, i.e. to repair or adjust. In essence, if the five-fold ministry gifts can be shut down, then the “mature church” or Bride of Christ can be shut down! No wonder Ezra 6:13-16 declared that the children of God continued to build and prosper under the preaching of the prophet and the priest.

DEVOTED TO THE LORD

The principal of first fruits was not limited to vegetation. It is found throughout the Word, 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, NIV). Throughout God’s Word, He tells us that every devoted thing, or first fruit, is most holy unto the Lord. Notice the instructions God gave to Moses as He prepared the Israelites to be led out of slavery in Egypt: “And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee, That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD’s. And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem” (Exodus 13:11-13). God claims the right to every first—the first of the crops, every firstborn male of herds and flocks, every first-born 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. And, if it is devoted to Him, the Word of God declares that it is better to destroy it than to use it for yourself. In Exodus 22:29, God instructs Israel again saying, “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 Amplified reads, “You shall not delay to bring to Me from the fullness [of your harvested grain] and the outflow [of your grape juice and olive oil]; give Me the firstborn of your sons [or redeem them].”
The principle is that all first things belong to God.
Even in the midst of rebuilding their destroyed city, Nehemiah restored and kept to this pattern, and Jerusalem was protected as a result: “...and that they might bring the first fruits of our ground and the first fruits of all the fruit of every tree to the house of the LORD annually, and bring to the house of our God the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, and the firstborn of our herds and our flocks as it is written in the law, for the priests who are ministering in the house of our God. We will also bring the first of our dough, our contributions, the fruit of every tree, the new wine and the oil to the priests at the chambers of the house of our God...” (Nehemiah 10:35-37, NASB). In Leviticus 27:28-29, God again explained the 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). Devoted things and first things have the exact same meaning, which is “the irrevocable giving over to the Lord.” In other words, they are the things that belong to God and to God alone. All first things belong to God. If you touch these devoted things, you remove yourself from the covering God has for you. On the other hand, when you obey the principle of first fruits, you’ll see the strong hand of God favor, protect and provide for you.
God sees the first thing as the root governing all 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). When the first governs the total, whatever the first portion is used for determines what happens to all the rest. If a first thing is consecrated to the Lord as “holy” then it sanctifies the rest as “holy” or having the presence, endorsement and blessing of God on it. -Paula White-Cain

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