Tuesday, April 20, 2021

'The Firstfruits Unto the LORD'

by Leonard V. Johnson

Greetings Everyone! Welcome to the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries, I’m Leonard V. Johnson.

Now, unlike the other feasts of the LORD, the Day of Pentecost is observed – albeit with many different versions – by many of this world’s churches. Both by the universal Mother Church and her daughters. Indeed, the Day of Pentecost was the very day that the ‘the Helper,’ ‘the Spirit of truth,’ ‘the Holy Spirit’ descended upon the disciples as ‘divided tongues, as of fire.’ – Acts 2:1-4.

The majority of this world’s churches that profess Jesus Christ consider the Day of Pentecost A.D. 31 the beginning of the New Testament Church of God. And that is true.

Let’s turn into the Old Testament to glean some understanding of the true meaning of the Day of Pentecost. The Book of Leviticus chapter 23

Verse 15 – “’ And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. 16) Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD.’”

Now the term Pentecost is a Greek term that means “count fifty.” And that very term is derived from the above passage. By calculating the date.

Now the holy Day of Pentecost has several names in the living word of God. Because of that, some are confused. Its other names are, ‘the Feast of Harvest,’ ‘the Feast of Weeks,’ and ‘the Day of Firstfruits.’

Turning back into the Book of Exodus chapters 23

Verse 16 – “’ and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors …”

Exodus 34

Verse 22 – “’ And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits …”

Also, in the Book of Numbers chapter 28

Verse 26 – “’ Also on the day of the firstfruits, when you bring a new grain offering to the LORD at your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work.’”

Now, does the term ‘firstfruits’ help us to understand the true meaning of this holy day!? Indeed!

Notice what the apostle Paul – under the divine inspiration of God’s Spirit – wrote in the Book of Romans chapter 8

Verse 21 – “because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22) For we know that the whole creation [the universal as a whole] groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23) Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan with ourselves, eagerly waiting for the [sonship], the redemption of our body.”

So, recall that it was God’s Holy Spirit (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:17) that was first gifted on the Day of Pentecost A.D. 31. ‘The firstfruits of the Spirit.’

Who are the ‘firstfruits of the Spirit’!?

Well, the apostle James – a very brother to our Lord Jesus Christ – has this to say concerning ‘the firstfruits.’ James chapter 1

Verse 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.”

Also, the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 – called ‘the resurrection chapter’ –

Verse 20 – “But now Christ has risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. …” – those that have died in Christ.

Verse 21 – “For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23) But each one in his own order; Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.”

So, true Christians are the ‘firstfruits of the Spirit’ which began on the holy Day of Pentecost A.D. 31. And, our Lord Jesus Christ was ‘the Firstfruits.’

He is the fulfillment of the wave sheaf offering in Leviticus 23:10. He is the sheaf of the firstfruits.

Timeline of Christ’s Death and Resurrection

In 1st Corinthians 11, Paul said, in the night in which He was betrayed He took the bread. So we know that it wasn’t the night in which He was crucified – but it was the night before. And, we read these Scriptures on the night of the Passover. And that was on a Tuesday night. When Judas Iscariot betrayed Him, we know that all that night He was scourged and taken to the house of Caiaphas the high priest. On Wednesday morning – it says, ‘When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people’ had a “council” meeting. And He would later go before Pilate. And Pilate was a coward who sent Him before Herod Antipas, and He would eventually come back from Herod. They released Barabbas, you know, ‘Which of the two do you want me to release to you?’ Pilate washed his hands in a public ceremony and said, ‘I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.’ Mark tells us that about the third hour – which was 9 o’clock in the morning – they went out and crucified Jesus. And about the sixth hour, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour – which was about 3 o’clock in the afternoon – and we know that that was exactly the time when the high priest slit the paschal lamb and spilled its blood. Exactly the time when the Roman soldier jammed that spear into the side of Jesus, and Jesus said, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’ And ‘bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.’ He died. And that centurion soldier standing there said, ‘Truly this Man was the Son of God!’ That was a Wednesday.

That evening – before the sun went down – the account in the Book of John tells us that it was a ‘Preparation Day.’ You remember Joseph of Arimathea was in a hurry to get the body down before the Sabbath day. Most people believe that that was the weekly Sabbath. But John’s recording here – the only apostle; the one that Jesus loved – said in John 19:31 “ … (for that Sabbath was a high day), …” Most people don’t understand what that means. We do. We keep the ‘Preparation Day’ before the first day of Unleavened Bread – the ‘high day,’ the ‘holy convocation.’ Jesus died on a Wednesday afternoon – probably right at 3 o’clock. By sunset, on Wednesday He was in the tomb.

Thursday was a ‘high day,’ the first day of Unleavened Bread. There was no work permitted. He was ONE DAY in that tomb on that Thursday.

Friday. Another ‘Preparation Day’ – the preparation for the weekly Sabbath day. “And the women who had come with Him from Galilee … 56) returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. …” He was DAY TWO in that tomb on that Friday.

Saturday. “ … And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.” The weekly Sabbath. There was no work permitted. He was the THIRD DAY in that tomb on that Saturday. And by 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon, the 72 hours would have been complete. As Jesus said, “ … ‘and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40) For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.’So, sometime AFTER 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon Jesus Christ stood up and walked through solid rock and came out of the tomb! And, Sunday morning comes around.

John chapter 20

Verse 1 – “Now the first day of the week …” – Sunday. “ … Mary [of Magdala] went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.”

But, returning to the subject – now our Lord Jesus Christ was not only the first of the firstfruits, but He was also the ‘firstborn among many brethren.’ Notice the Book of Romans chapter 8

Verse 29 – “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

Also, the apostle John in the Book of Revelation chapter 1

Verse 5 – “and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.”

So friends, since our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is ‘the firstborn from the dead’ there will be others who will be ‘like Him, for we shall be like Him’ – cf. 1 John 3:2. So, the Day of Pentecost truly represents an early summer harvest. There is an early harvest – which is a smaller harvest – and a latter harvest – which is a larger and more robust harvest. For the Last Great Day of the Feast of Tabernacles truly represents when EVERYONE who has ever lived, having not rejected the Spirit of God and driven the Spirit of God out of them; having committed what is often called ‘the unpardonable sin’ – will have a chance to learn and grow in the word of God, the truth of God, and the Plan of God and to eventually become an eternal member of the family of God within the kingdom of God! And that is the greatest news which the churches of this world seemingly do not understand and would never dream of. □

Additional Articles of Related Interest:

The Firstfruits of the EarthConcerning Exodus 3:18 – “’ Then they will heed your voice; and you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt; and you shall say to him [...]

Day of Pentecost - 2019Hello, everyone! Welcome to Owensboro, Kentucky. Welcome to a non-weekly church service. This is really quite special [...]

The Book of Life - the Last Great DayGreetings friends around the world – also our friends in France, Canada, in Australia, Argentina, and of course the United States of America! I welcome you to the Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries [...]

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