FIRST FRUIT OFFERING
The first fruit offering is to God a way of demonstrating the principle of putting Him first in all things. It shows the act of loving the Lord with all of your heart, soul, and mind. [Matthew 22:32-38]. The first fruit simply refers to the initial or the first harvest of one’s labor and does not necessarily refer to agricultural produce, but whatsoever benefits come to us as a result of our labor or service rendered.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE FIRST FRUIT AND THE TITHE (LEV 27: 26-27, 30 – 33)
The first fruit is the first of your income and should be the best. You do not remove anything from it, you are to give all of it. The tithe, however, is a tenth of your income. (Ex 34:26; Lev 23: 9-10; Prov 3:9-10 )
While the tithe applied to all forms of produce in the Bible whether of flocks or plants, the first fruit applied also to the first-born child of a man as consecrated unto God. We see portions of the bible where references are made to the first fruit, the firstling or the first-born. There is something holy and special about the first; which is why you find that some had to be given the right of the firstborn ( Exodus 34: 19 – 20, Num 18: 13 – 15) God went after Pharaoh and the Egyptians because Jacob was his firstborn, he was consecrated unto Him. ( Ex 4: 22 – 23)
SIMILARITY BETWEEN THE FIRST FRUIT AND THE TITHE
The first fruit and the tithe are anointed. They are hallowed things and you cannot keep them. They belong to God. Unlike the other offerings where you can make your choice, in the case of the first fruits and the tithes, God specifically says they are His and you must give them to Him.
The first fruit was however revealed before the tithe (Gen 4:1-4)
ORIGIN OF FIRST FRUITS
The First Fruit existed before the law (the Old Covenant). Abel brought to God the firstlings of his flock and of the fat portions and the Bible says God had respect and regard for Abel and his offering. [Gen 4: 3-4] When God spoke to Moses concerning the first fruit, He said “… it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.” Meaning the First Fruit was to be continually given by all of God’s children throughout the ages. [Lev 23: 9 – 14] God being righteous in all His ways didn’t just ask us to give our first fruit. He also demonstrated the power of the first fruit when He gave His first begotten son for the sins of the world [John 3:16; John 1: 34]
QUALITIES OF THE FIRST FRUIT
It is holy and consecrated unto God. [Rom 11: 16]. For anything to be presented to God, it has to be sanctified that be presented through the Holy Spirit. Pray over your first fruit, speak God’s word concerning it before presenting it to God [Rom 15: 16] It is the best quality [Num 18:12 – 13]. In Genesis 4: 3 – 5, God rejected Cain’s offering because it was not the best quality of what he got. God is concerned about the quality of your First Fruit (Deut 15: 19 – 22 ) It is given in whole, not in parts. It is compulsory for you to bring in everything, you are not to take from it [Deut 26: 2] It is brought in without delay. Don’t postpone giving of your First Fruit. [Ex 22: 29] It brought in with an attitude of thanksgiving; for God loves a cheerful and prompt to do it giver, whose heart is in his giving. [II Cor 9;7; Deut 26: 10 – 11]
WHY WE GIVE OUR FIRST FRUITS? (THE BENEFITS)
We are commanded to give it [Prov 3: 9-10, Ex 22: 29] By giving your first fruit, you secure and sanctify the rest of your fruits ( Rom 11: 16) We give our first fruits that the blessing of God may rest upon us ( Eze 44:30) By giving it, you demonstrate your appreciation for God and the things He has done in your life (Deut 26:10 – 11) It releases the anointing upon your life. The bible says thy presses shall burst out with new wine. New wine symbolizes the anointing ( Prov 3:9) God is delighted in our obedience to His word; for it is better to obey than to sacrifice [I Sam 15: 22] If you don’t give your first fruit, God will go after it because it belongs to Him ( Ex 4: 22 – 23) Anyone who holds back his First Fruit exposes himself to evil. As God said to Israel. [Jeremiah 2: 3]
WHERE DO YOU TAKE THE FIRST- FRUIT TO?
It is to be taken to the house of God ( Deut 26: 1-4) Not just anyone in the house of God is to receive it, only the priest could receive it. ( Neh 10: 35 – 37) The Priest (Pastor) receives it and proclaims the blessing upon you ( Eze 44: 30)Other references – Leviticus 23:20; Deut 18: 3 – 5
WAYS OF GIVING FIRST FRUITS
New Job: First salary package
New Year: First salary or first income (for those who don’t earn a salary)
Old Job (Promotions) – Increase i.e. the difference between the old and new salary. (If your heart condemns you go ahead and give all. He is looking for something to multiply back to you).
Note that giving your first fruit offering may also be a personal revelation, and there are times the Holy Ghost will instruct you in a way that is not common to everyone else around you. For example, a businessperson may give first fruit offerings severally, every time he experiences an increase or receives new goods.
CONCLUSION: Your Giving establishes your righteousness. It characterizes you,