FIRST FRUITS OFFERING: FAITH OBLIGATION

Friday, February 1, 2019     Day 32

Exodus 22-24            FIRST FRUITS OFFERING: FAITH OBLIGATION

We have realized that sanctification is the gradual process of imbibing the nature of God in our being through obedience and submission to His word, instructions and commands. It is a set apart for God to be expressed through us through transformation. It is an unending process on earth that terminates at rapture. The body will be the last to receive that transformation into a glorious body.

After the sanctification of the children of Israel and the washing of their clothes (filthiness and unbecoming attitudes), they were presented as commanded by God. They heard the voice of God as He spoke with Moses but could not stand the power of the word. We need to understand that whatever God does which is for all to see will stand as testimony on the last day. Those things are to stop us from sinning.

Exodus 20:20 “And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.”

It is unfortunate that many seek for miracles but have lost the fear of God. The miracles will stand testify on the last day. The miracles are not the most important thing but the word of God.

The laws are given for them not to sin against one another and against God. The Ten Commandments were delivered and broken down in categories.

  1. Towards God
    1. Building Altars
    1. Sabbath day
    1. feasting
  2. Towards man
    1. Property
    1. Actions or intents
    1. Resolving issues
    1. Restitution
    1. Servants

Promises attached to obedience and submission

  1. Mercy for those who love and keep His commandments, Exodus 20:6.
  2. None shall suffer any of Egyptian diseases, Exodus 23:25
  3. No untimely death, Exodus 23:26
  4. The wicked shall not be justified, Exodus 23:7
  5. Angelic protection, Exodus 23: 20-23.

God has not changed. In most cases, we seek for His blessing and mercy without seeking for His face and will. The truth is that, conditions are attached to His blessings. He assured the children of Israel that “if they” (a condition) hearkened and followed His commandments, He will definitely show them mercy and bless them.

Exodus 23:25-26 And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. 26 There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil.”

Truly, this is in line with Abraham’s blessing which God has not changed and will not change. We are roped in by the Blood of Jesus Christ. The conditions apply to us. To steal from somebody is wickedness. To bear false witness against another is wickedness, Exodus 23:7. Every hurt we inflict on our neighbors is wickedness which God demands restitution; He will not justify the wicked, whether Jew or gentile (irrespective of who the wicked is). He did not say, “an Israelite” but “thy neighbor” which makes the laws applicable to us.

Exodus 23:7 Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.”

If you appreciate the law that keeps people from hurting you and you do not say it is for the children of Israel, then, you must keep the law that invokes God’s blessing because the blessing is for keeping that law. We are roped in and not roped out of the package of the blessing of Abraham.

First fruits offering is a demand from the Lord. it is a faith obligation. It is an aspect of serving the Lord (Exodus 23:25-26). You don’t have to be selective in which law to do and which not to do. Romans chapter seven (Romans 7) says the law is good, but evil is locked up in our body. Since Godis good, whatever He gives is good, including His laws and commandments. Here are some things the Lord says about it, i.e. first fruits:

  1. There should not be any delay

Exodus 22:29 “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.”

2. It should be to a place.

Exodus 23:19 “The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring into the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe (cook) a kid in his mother’s milk (tender, immature).”

3. It will be accepted through the priest’s waving (prayer) before the Lord, Leviticus 23:9-21. The Lord has granted the priests this responsibility. It is now left for the priest to be responsible in carrying out the assignment righteously.

4. It is the first of the exchange for your labor in the field.

Exodus 23:16 “And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.”

Here, the controversy on whether it is money or crops is resolved by the word of God. By definition, Labour means employment, efforts, exertion, industry, toil, work, input for production. The reward of your input into a process is what becomes the tender of your first fruit. The field is definitely where you exert your labour, work of employment. A medical doctor cannot bring a syringe to the house of God as first fruit offering. The return of his labour is his wages/ salary.

Luke 10:7 “And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.”

1 Timothy 5:18 “For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The laborer is worthy of his reward.”

You need to know that, in politics, Labour party comprises all who earn wages and salaries in exchange for their labours. Their first fruit is what they earn in exchange for their work which they sowed in their various fields, industries or careers.

5. It must be celebrated; feast. According to the law, it is a feasting occasion.

It is pertinent to know that after Moses wrote His words, he built an altar and sprinkled blood on it to affirm the covenant backing the Lord’s word.

Exodus 24:6-8 And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. 8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.”

In like manner, Jesus shed His blood as an everlasting covenant to be roped into the immeasurable heavenly blessing which includes that of Abraham.

Genesis 17:7 “And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.”

We may not be Hebrews by birth, but we are roped into the everlasting covenant by the Blood of Jesus Christ. The only place everlasting covenant is mentioned in the New Testament is to give us the knowledge that the Blood of Jesus is the gift for us to be citizens of the covenant and partakers of the splendor.

Hebrews 13:20-21 “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

In their preparation to depart Egypt, instruction was given on how a stranger could be part of the liberation in Exodus 12:48. God said, such will be regarded as a citizen of the covenant.

Exodus 12:48 “And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.”

The first requirement was circumcision. The second is to keep the ordinance. In like manner, to be born again is a requirement, then keeping the ordinance follows.

Through this Blood, we gain grace (“working in you” by His Spirit) to do His will and please Him in our works.

The problem lies in our flesh which constantly rebel against the spirit. The flesh working in the givers as to murmur and listen to satanic doctrine against the faith obligation. The flesh working in the priests receiving as to use for fleshly splendor. The priests should study very well how to use the first fruit offering. By this, they will not be guilty of it on the day of accountability.

Deuteronomy 28:58-59 “If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; 59 Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.”

The law is not abolished, but we have received grace to do it by His Spirit. The judgement of ignorance is greater that it was under that of the letters.

Hebrews 10:28-31 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite to the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth to me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Truly, we are not under the law but under grace; grace to do the law, and not to trod under foot and regard as unholy.

May we receive more grace of sanctification in the name of Jesus Christ.

Supo Abayode

MFM, Delaware, USA

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