What does this Appointed Time of Bikkurim (First Fruits) have to do with Messiah YAHUSHA?

W

What does this Appointed Time of Bikkurim (First Fruits) have to do with Messiah YAHUSHA?

What does this have to do with Passover and Unleavened Bread?

Well, Messiah YAHUSHA is the first-fruits of the harvest. He is the first to ripen in the sight of YAHUAH. Because of Him, we are able to be counted among the harvest of YAHUAH.

YAHUSHA is the first-begotten of the Father (Heb 1:6); the Firstborn of Creation (Col 1:15-16); the first-begotten of the dead (Rev 1:5), and is the First-fruits of those who are to be resurrected (1Cor 15:20-23). 

Praise YAHUAH! And just as He is our First-fruits, so “He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of all His creatures” (Jam 1:18).

Kepha’Ri’shon (1Peter) 1:3

Blessed be the Elohim and Father of our Master YAHUSHA Messiah, who according to His great compassion has caused us to be born again to a living expectation through the resurrection of YAHUSHA Messiah from the dead.

Chizayon (Revelation) 14:4

They are those who were not defiled with women, for they are maidens. They are those following the Lamb wherever He leads them on. They were redeemed from among men, being first-fruits to Elohim and to the Lamb.

Our mission is to go into the world and witness the Good News (Besorah) to every living creature (Mar 16:15), and recognize that the fields are white (ripe) for the harvest (Yohn 4:35). We are fellow-workers of Elohim’s field (1 Cor 3:9).

Will you be obedient to this call? 

First fruits in the Scriptures

“Honor YAHUAH with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops.” —Proverbs 3:9

We see the term first fruits initially mentioned in the book of Exodus when Moses is leading YAH’s people out of captivity in Egypt. YAHUAH instructed the Israelites to give up the first of their crops so that they could understand the value of YAH’s blessings.

Through the first five books of the Scriptures, Moses brings up the idea of a total of thirteen times. That’s because it was an essential concept for his people to understand. First fruits is mentioned throughout the Old Testament, and it’s even referenced in the New Testament books.

In the New Testament, the term first fruits takes on a symbolic meaning. In 1 Corinthians 15:20, Paul mentions Messiah as the “first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” YAHUSHA was YAHUAH’s first fruits—his one and only son, and the best that humanity had to offer. YAHUAH gave YAHUSHA, who was raised from the dead, up for us, in the same way that we sacrifice the best we have for him.

What started as a specific instruction for bringing crops to the temple priest was expanded on later in Scripture. It no longer refers to literal fruit—firstfruits means any income, wealth, or blessings that a Believer has received over the course of the year.

Difference between first fruits and tithing

“The first of all first fruits of every kind and every contribution of every kind, from all your contributions, shall be for the priests: you shall also give to the priest the first of your dough to cause a blessing to rest on your house.” —Ezekiel 44:30

To give a tithe means that you give a tenth of your income to your Assembly. Tithes are generally given throughout the entire year. Tithes are meant to be given in an automatic sense of obedience after you receive your income–e.g., paycheck, commission, bonus. 

A First fruits offering is something different.

First fruit offerings are typically an annual gift to a Minister or Assembly done at “harvest time.” 

Because we’re not actually harvesting crops, the harvest can mean different things to different people. Perhaps you just got a bonus at work. Maybe you just received a huge tax refund check. Maybe you saved 15% or more on car insurance.

These are all harvest time moments when your hard work paid off. These are also great opportunities to turn back to YAHUAH in gratitude for the blessings.

Whenever you decide to make a first fruit offering, the important thing is that you do it freely, with no guilt or obligation. This is supposed to be a celebration of all that YAHUAH has done for you. It’s a kind of worship that you can use to support the work of others. A first fruit offering is our opportunity to give above and beyond just a regular tithe.

Why giving first fruits is important

“In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to YAHUAH. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. YAHUAH looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.” —Genesis 4:3-5 

The famous Bible story of Cain and Abel begins when the two brothers make an offering to YAHUAH. Cain brings some of his crops before YAHUAH, and Abel brings an offering of slaughtered animals. But there is a distinct difference between these two gifts.

Cain brings some fruit and vegetables—probably something he had left over after he had fed himself and his family. But Abel brought the best of what he had to YAH—the firstborn of the flock, the healthiest of his animals. YAHUAH noticed this difference in these sacrifices, and he had a clear preference between the two.

Disregarding what famously happens in the rest of the story, the sacrifices of Cain and Abel teaches us a valuable lesson. Giving our firstfruits means giving our best to YAHUAH. It means sacrificing something that costs us a little. It means putting YAHUAH first, even before ourselves, or our family.

Making a first fruit offering opens us up to allow YAHUAH to work in our life. When we approach YAHUAH with open hands—rather than clenched fists—it makes it easier for him to give us more to work with.

Giving of our first fruits reminds us that YAHUAH is our ultimate priority. It shows YAHUAH that we are obedient to him and we can be trusted with more. Perhaps most importantly, being generous in this way shows that we are grateful for all YAHUAH has given to us.

How to give a first fruits offering

“If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.” —Romans 11:16 

What does this practically look like? How do you determine how, when, and how much you should give as a firstfruit offering? This is going to look different for every person and each season. But here are a few steps you can take to help you get started in the right direction:

• Pray: If your goal is obedience to YAH, it only makes sense that you would first go to him in prayer. Ask him what you should do with your money and resources. Listen to what he says.

 

• Prepare: YAHUAH calls us to be good stewards of the blessings he gives us. That means knowing what we’re able to give and when. Have a plan in place for your offering. Approach each harvest time with an open mind and a generous heart.

 

• Prioritize: The whole idea behind a first fruit gift is to put YAHUAH first. That may be donating your first paycheck of the year to a individual, minister, ministry or Assembly. It may mean that you put this donation first in your budget. Just make sure that you’re prioritizing YAH in your finances.

 

• Give: Know where you are going to give the money to. Is there a specific funds you want to contribute to? Is there another nonprofit you want to support? It also helps to know the amount you’ll give.

 

• Repeat: How often do you want to give a first fruit offering? This was traditionally an annual practice, but you can give as often as you’d like. Making it a part of your routine will help keep it a priority, not something you do spontaneously or sporadically.

 

However you give, the key thing is that you’re giving with an open heart and mind. 

The process of giving above your normal tithe can help prepare you for YAHUAH to make a difference in your life. Making a first fruit offering demonstrates obedience to YAH, rather than your money. 

But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 

Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for YAH loves a cheerful giver. 

QORINTIYM SHENIY (2 CORINTHIANS) 9:6-7

What to do with your money?

When YAHUAH tells you to give, then give, but make sure that YAHUAH has spoken and do NOT yoke yourself to people who are in error.

Else engage in works for YAHUAH, whatever those may be.

First Fruits Aviv 26 / April 16, 2023

About the author

Gera'el Toma

A highly esteemed elder in the faith of the Natsarim, the first century believers in Messiah Yahusha, and a treasured member of the Remnant House Team.

Gera'el Toma (Gerald Thomas) is an internationally recognized and respected teacher of the Holy Scriptures as originally written in the Hebrew language.

Add Comment

Leave a Reply

Gera'el Toma

A highly esteemed elder in the faith of the Natsarim, the first century believers in Messiah Yahusha, and a treasured member of the Remnant House Team.

Gera'el Toma (Gerald Thomas) is an internationally recognized and respected teacher of the Holy Scriptures as originally written in the Hebrew language.

Get in touch

Quickly communicate covalent niche markets for maintainable sources. Collaboratively harness resource sucking experiences whereas cost effective meta-services.