Jesus Christ our “first fruits”Offering
Have you noticed that every New Year a lot of Churches today centered their teachings on the subject of first- fruits offerings and they seriously promote this teaching. My consternation is that if the way and manner they are promoting this teaching is channel into propagating the second coming of Jesus Christ I believe that the world would have felt our impact.
Now to start with the teaching that you bring all your salary or earnings to the church as ‘first-fruits’ is a modern day fraud(419)to dupe unsuspecting Christians that are ignorant of the teaching of ‘first-fruits’ offerings. This fraudulent teaching is mostly propagated by most Pentecostal churches.To say the truth the whole idea of ‘first-fruits’offerings emanated from the Law and in the New Testament we are positioned to the fact that Jesus Christ is now our’first-fruits’.That is not to say that symbolically Christians should not give out their ‘first-fruits’offerings as we see in many passages of the Old Testament.
The idea of giving all your earnings or salaries is unscriptural,some even in the attempt defend this teaching always draw a similarity to the account of Patriach Abraham who took his only son Isaac to be sacrifice on the instruction of God’s command(Genesis 22:1-13)but they also fail to understand that God being merciful and compassionate did not allow Abraham to carry out the deed by providing a lamb for Abraham.
I have always observed that a lot of preachers in this ‘last days’(2Timothy 3:1)will always do every thing to fine tune the Holy Scriptures to sooth their selfish purposes.To many the Old Testament is good to apply today only when it favors them but when it does not they will say we are in the grace era insisting that Christ has paid the price on the Cross of Calvary.We must all learn to compare Scriptures to Scriptures if we must understand God.
Should I give my whole first month’s salary to my church as ‘first-fruit’?
Give honour to the Lord with your wealth, and with the first-fruits of all your increase: So your store-houses will be full of grain, and your vessels overflowing with new wine. Pro 3:9-10 BBE
Usually a lot of Christians normally asked this question, the answer is straightforward. “If it is your money you can do anything you like with it.” As simply put!
Now, if the question is “did the Lord command that Christians should surrender their whole January salary (income) to their church as first-fruits?” Then I give another unequivocal answer: No, He never did. There is no such thing in the whole Bible, not even under the Law of Moses. Yes, many churches ask their members to do it, but it is a decision of the elders of the Church and is not the commandment of God or the Lord Jesus to Christians. God does grant blessings to our giving of any sort but we must be careful in our attempt to try to help God as many Churches try to do., and so I hope the elders can pray a special blessing for the people who obey them.
Again there is another angle to this issue,if on your own you decided to make a vow that every new year you decided to give God all your earnings or proceeds as firstfruits then it’s a vow and you should not make a doctrine out of it.A vow is a vow and not firstfruits offerings. Afteral it was said of Uncle Ben, a wealthy American Rice farmer in his days was reputed to give God 90 percent of his earnings as tithe instead of the normal 10 percent.
My personal advice to anyone asking is this: if you consider it burdensome and so would be grudgingly doing it, then please do not do it. Don’t worry, the Lord is not angry with you, He didn’t command it in the first place. Anything you give to Him from your heart, willingly and by faith, is good enough for Him.
Having said that, let me quickly clarify the practice of first-fruits as it was in the Bible. First, bear in mind that every occurrence of the term in the New Testament(1 Corinthians 15:23) relates to Christ Jesus and His saints(James 1:18,1 Corinthians 16:15,Revelation 14:4). Both Jesus Christ and saints in churches were referred to as the first fruits offered to God. There was never a time it referred to money, income or material things. What the New Testament always teaches about money and material things is generosity and not trusting in those things. We are to be careful to trust in God alone. Every Christian must be generous continuously and make giving priority in their lives. In what the Lord gives to us, seed for sowing is before bread for eating (2 Cor 9:10). That tells us that we must give as a matter of priority.
Also, there was no occurrence of first-fruits giving before the Law. There is no doubt that the giving of first-fruits as a commandment is only to be found under the Law. Even under the law, the offering of first-fruits was not burdensome. It was a token of gratitude for what the Lord had done. The law did not at any time specify the amount that was to be given in this matter but left it to each individual’s discretion but a sheaf (a part of your proceeds)-…ye shall bring a sheaf(a part of a whole) of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest-Leviticus 23:10.
The first fruits were brought in a basket to the sanctuary and presented to the priest, who was to set the basket down before the altar. It was not much; it could fit into a basket. It was definitely nothing sizeable compared with the rest of the harvest. Then, the person recited the story of Jacob’s going to Egypt and the deliverance of his descendants from there. He then acknowledged the blessings with which God had visited him (Deut 26:2-11). See, it was a ceremony of thanksgiving. If we are to obey this as salary earners in these modern days, it is something that would be done from every salary, every time we are paid for a new job, not just in January alone. Each time you harvest, you will take a small amount, as you like, and offer it. It will be the very first expenditure.
Let me divulge a bit,please young ministers of the gospel, ministry has taken a paradign shift today,make demands of your ability and talents by being meaningfully engage in secular works so that poverty will hot push you into error in a bid to survive.You are to occupy till He comes(Luke 19:13) then at the fullness of time when your church or ministry takes shape to be able to cater for your needs because ministry is problem solving.But if you insist that God called you into full time ministry or’half time ministry’ it’s left to you but please don’t go begging because it will be evident that you are hiding your laziness under the guise of ministry by so doing over labour your wife and family thereby bringing reproach to the kingdom of God because that is the trend today. I have warned you oh.
Let me continue from my earlier position, but we all know that Christians are not obligated to keep the laws of Moses as a practice of their faith, so we do not have to do this all the time. But there are things to learn from the Law.
What we learn from the Law is the spirit of that commandment. The spirit is that of acknowledging God. It is that of giving Him the praise and glory for all that He has done and is doing in our lives. It is the habit of gratitude that the Lord was teaching Israel. It was one of those ordinances He gave to them so that they would not forget Him.
But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. For when you have become full and prosperous… be careful! …Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath. Deutronomy 8:11-18 NLT
Whatever ordinance you want to practice, please remember that the aim is to remember God our Father. Give what you want to give; it is as your spirit leads. No one should command you that you MUST present your whole month’s salary. It is not the law of God.
Remember, but God loves a cheerful giver; that is what Christianity is. Let no one make merchandise of your soul by making obedience to the laws of man compulsory for you. You are free to serve God. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
I will stop here by God’s grace I will continue this teaching but please after this teaching if on your own decided to fall to this manipulation it then means that you are deluded and if you are a minister I beg you to desist and repent because that is another gospel(Galatians 1:6).I know some watching or reading this message may decide to hate me because I am spoiling business for them, it is all left to God to judge who is right or wrong and like somebody once said ‘all what we are doing is awaiting results’.
Charles Ejoh,is an End-Time Message preacher.He is the Presiding Minister of Christian Foundation International,a non-denominational restoration ministry.
He can be reached on whatsapp/sms:09033227058,08034810692 or
Email:Christian foundation email@example.com