2 Kings 4:42
2 Chronicles 31:5
1 Corinthians 15:20
1 Corinthians 15:23
1 Corinthians 16:15
Today, many pastors and others teach that firstfruits is somehow either equal to, or a part of the tithe. The scriptures clearly show that firstfruits have nothing to do with the tithe. In fact, the scriptures clearly distinguish between contributions, firstfruits, and tithes. (See Nehemiah 12:44.) And in Nehemiah 10:37 it is clear that the firstfruits were taken to the priests, to the temple, and that the tithe was taken to the Levites, who lived in the Levitical cities.
A liberal definition of firstfruits would include the first of most anything, including the first part of one's income. However, the scriptures restrict the definition of firstfruits, when associated with offerings, to only food. Offerings of firstfruits consisted of grains, grapes (and wine made therefrom), olives (and olive oil made therefrom), and from other crops that come from the ground or soil.
Firstfruit offerings always came from the miracles of God, or from that which was "produced" by God. Man cannot produce crops. Man can only harvest the crops that God produces and gives to us. In Deuteronomy 8:18 God tells us that He gave man the ability to produce wealth. In other words, God gives us the ability to work and earn a living. We earn that income from our labor. Our labor is not holy. Firstfruit offerings only came from God's labor and NEVER man's labor. Saying that the first part of one's income is the firstfruits is not biblical. It fits the definition of firstfruits, but NOT the biblical context relating to offerings.
In this study I present three versions of each referenced verse. The first is from the Kings James Version of the Holy Bible. Because word meanings have changed over the years, it is sometimes necessary to compare the Kings James Version to newer versions of the bible. This helps to give a better understanding of the true meaning of the verses. I also have used the STRONG’S EXHAUSTIVE CONCORDANCE of the Bible in conjunction with STRONG'S HEBREW AND GREEK DICTIONARIES.
As you go through the scriptures, you will see that firstfruits offerings were ALWAYS assets, NEVER income, and ALWAYS from God's labor, NEVER from man's labor. Keep that in mind when you study firstfruits offerings. When a pastor asks for a firstfruits offering of your income, you need to realize your pastor has taken the concept of firstfruits out of the biblical context and is applying it to income. That is a man-made principle. It is not biblical. Of course you have a right to give the first part of whatever you wish to the church. But giving a firstfruits offering from your income has NOTHING to do with firstfruits offerings in the scriptures.
Firstfruits offerings according to the Word of God:
Food from crops only (assets) from God's labor.
Firstfruits offerings according to some preachers:
Money (income) from man's labor.
Deuteronomy 4:2 (NIV):
2 Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.
Scripture is given by God and not to be changed by man. When man changes the scripture, it is no longer the Word of God. Christians are not to adapt the Bible to the times. Christians are to adapt their life to the Bible.
2 Peter 2:1, 3 (NIV):
1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.
3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up.
2 Timothy 4:1-4 (NIV):
1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:
2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
The choice is yours. Follow tradition, or follow the Word of God.
At Trinity Financial Ministries, we believe in generous giving, from the heart, not under compulsion. We believe giving results in blessings.
Please keep in mind the definition of firstfruits, the difference between assets and income, and the difference between God's labor and man's labor as you continue your studies. The scriptures that follow in this study should help you to better understand what firstfruits offerings is all about.
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