“The Firstfruits”

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The firstfruits of the harvest was always given to God as an offering. It was a blessing from God to be able to bring in a harvest from the land, and this offering was considered to be a tithe unto the Lord as when the people offered when they were brought out of the bondage of Egypt. “And the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders. And he hath brought us into  this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey. And now behold, I have brought  the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O Lord, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the Lord thy God, and worship before the Lord thy God”.(Deuteronomy 26:8-10).

    When people read in Revelation 14:1-4 of the 144 thousand who were redeemed from the earth some think that this leaves those in the last days out of the equation, but it also goes on to say those who follow the Lamb (Jesus) and are redeemed being the firstfruits. So just who are the 144 thousand? We find the answer in Revelation 7:4-8) and not only are we told who they are, But of a multitude of people too numerous to count. They are 12 thousand sealed of each of the 12 tribes of Israel, and the multitude are given white robes after going through great tribulation. “After this I beheld, and, Lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb”.(Revelation 7:9,13,14).
    We see that Jesus was of his word as we read in Matthew when he was asked what shall it be like before his return? “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened”.(Matthew 24:21,22).
    We are the firstfruits made alive by the sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour who gives us the Holy Spirit he promised to send which will quicken us in death to be alive for all eternity with him. We are then sealed till the day of redemption! “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body”.(Romans 8:11, 22,23).
    We are born anew when we turn to God and learn the truth of his word, and he has begotten us which makes us a firstfruit of his people. We are told to be careful and be not just hearers of his word but doers also or we are as someone who is looking in a mirror and there is no change in us! “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity (excess) of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass”.
(James 1:18-23).
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