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FIRST FRUITS — MORE THAN ENOUGH!   >>
“THE LORD INSTRUCTED MOSES, ‘DEDICATE TO ME ALL OF THE FIRSTBORN SONS OF ISRAEL, AND EVERY FIRSTBORN MALE ANIMAL; THEY ARE MINE.’” Ex. 13:1 TLB One of the most interesting studies in the Bible is that of the many feasts, festivals and offerings which the Lord required of the children of Israel. What makes it so fascinating is that all of them pointed in some way to the person of Jesus Christ who was to come.

Actually, if we stand back and look at the Holy Book, we see it as one long and winding road leading all us “sinners” back to God. From Genesis 3:15 — “THE SEED OF THE WOMAN” — to the final words of Jesus on the cross, “IT IS FINISHED,” we see the Bible as one big LOVE LETTER from God the Father to everyone who will simply receive it! But this is another whole, wonderful study; so let me come back to one of the glorious truths that can HOLD YET ANOTHER KEY to your need!

The children of Israel were required to bring about twentytwo different offerings to the Lord — some great and some small. The one I want to point you to in this letter is the “OFFERING OF THE FIRST FRUITS.” This offering was unique in that it promised multiplication or “MORE THAN ENOUGH” to the giver! I’ll prove this to you from Scripture in a moment.

Now, as always, we have to first understand: Who are the children of Israel today? Oh, I know, there is controversy on this subject! But I believe most Bible scholars agree that WE ARE! Jesus makes it clear that, “I AM THE VINE, YOU ARE THE BRANCHES…” (John 15:5). Yes, we have been grafted into the family of God by faith in Jesus our Savior. The apostle Paul goes on to say:

“AND NOW THAT WE ARE CHRIST’S WE ARE THE TRUE DESCENDENTS OF ABRAHAM, AND ALL OF GOD’S PROMISES TO HIM BELONG TO US!” Gal. 3:29 TLB

Well, that settles it for me; so back to this “more than enough offering,” or as the Bible calls it, “FIRST FRUITS.” First of all, let’s not confuse this offering with the tithe or ten percent of our income. That, technically, is not an offering because it belongs to the Lord. When we bring our tithe to the Lord we really have not “GIVEN” Him anything yet. We are simply even or at sea level. Of course, we are “blessed” by the Lord for bringing our tithe into the “storehouse” as the prophet Malachi proves, but “FIRST FRUITS” is different. The tithe “opens the windows of heaven,” but the “FIRST FRUITS” offering brings the glorious INCREASE!

First of all, let’s identify why God said, “THE FIRST FRUITS ARE MINE.” The story is exciting — the Israelites are leaving Egypt after 430 years of slavery. God is preparing to kill all the first born of Egypt — the last of the ten plagues — because Pharaoh would not let them go! There is a chilling truth right here: the Egyptians would not GIVE, so God TOOK! Believe me, I would rather GIVE my FIRST FRUITS willingly and lovingly to God, rather than have HIM TAKE IT!

So why FIRST FRUITS? God told Moses: “AND IN THE FUTURE, WHEN YOUR CHILDREN ASK YOU, ‘WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT?’ YOU SHALL TELL THEM, ‘WITH MIGHTY MIRACLES JEHOVAH BROUGHT US OUT OF EGYPT FROM OUR SLAVERY.’” Ex. 13:14 TLB
Egypt is often used as a type of sin, so it is clear here that the FIRST FRUITS was a “THANK YOU” OFFERING to God, as we see from the next line:

“PHARAOH WOULDN’T LET US GO, SO JEHOVAH KILLED ALL THE FIRSTBORN MALES THROUGHOUT THE LAND OF EGYPT, BOTH OF MEN AND ANIMALS; THAT IS WHY WE NOW GIVE ALL THE FIRSTBORN MALES TO THE LORD — EXCEPT THAT ALL THE ELDEST SONS ARE ALWAYS BOUGHT BACK” Ex. 13:15.

The purchasing back of all the eldest sons is, of course, a beautiful type of Jesus’ sacrifice as a spotless male lamb who was offered by the priest on the altar to God.

Finally, God tells Moses:
“IT [THE FIRST FRUITS] IS A REMINDER THAT THE LORD BROUGHT US OUT OF EGYPT WITH GREAT POWER.” EX. 13:16 TLB

The analogy is most evident: God has brought us out of our Egypt, or sin, with even a greater power — the death and resurrection of God’s own FIRST BORN! Therefore we too can bring our FIRST FRUITS to God in great thanksgiving for, as Paul puts it — “SO GREAT A SALVATION!”

So, what are my FIRST FRUITS to God? Well, first of all it is an offering, not our tithe. It could be your first pay check on that new job; it could be a portion of the sale of that house or piece of property; it could be a portion of that new paycheck most of us receive every week or two weeks. In Bible times it was the first lamb from each mother sheep —first cow, mule, etc. To me it is NEW MONEY or NEW GOODS of any kind that God supplies to us in many ways.

So, how much? Only God should reveal it to you. Ask Him — He will quicken an amount to you — He has to Jan and me many times!

So how do I know this special offering will be multiplied back to me as Jesus said — “IN GOOD MEASURE, PRESSED DOWN, SHAKEN TOGETHER AND RUNNING OVER” (Luke 6:38)?

Here are two Scriptures, but there are many others:

“HONOR THE LORD WITH THY SUBSTANCE, AND WITH THE FIRST FRUITS OF ALL THINE INCREASE: SO SHALL THY BARNS BE FILLED WITH PLENTY, AND THY PRESSES SHALL BURST OUT WITH NEW WINE”! Prov. 3:9, 10

The second proof is a story from the prophet Elisha who needed to feed 100 sons of the prophets —

“AND THERE CAME A MAN FROM BAALSHALISHA AND BROUGHT THE MAN OF GOD BREAD OF THE FIRST FRUITS, TWENTY LOAVES OF BARLEY…AND HE SAID, ‘GIVE UNTO THE PEOPLE THAT THEY MAY EAT.” II Kings 4:42

Now here may be YOUR KEY to that need, that abundance, that more than enough, that you have been asking the Lord for — read on carefully!

“AND HIS SERVANT SAID, WHAT? SHOULD I SET THIS BEFORE AN HUNDRED MEN?

The prophet Elisha says —

“HE SAID AGAIN, GIVE THE PEOPLE THAT THEY MAY EAT….” II Kings 4:43

And I love the way the Living Bible translates it:

“BUT ELISHA SAID, ‘GO AHEAD FOR THE LORD SAYS THERE WILL BE PLENTY FOR ALL, AND SOME WILL EVEN BE LEFT OVER! AND SURE ENOUGH, THERE WAS JUST AS THE LORD HAD SAID.” II Kings 4:43, 44

Ah, dear Partners, God really wants to give you everything you need with “plenty left over,” but we have to do it HIS WAY! As I have said so often, He even wants to give you those “secret desires of your heart”! God Himself says to, “PROVE ME…SEE IF I WILL NOT OPEN THE WINDOWS OF HEAVEN, AND POUR YOU OUT A BLESSING, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT HAVE ROOM ENOUGH TO RECEIVE IT! Mal. 3:10

And as we all bring our FIRST FRUITS and even other offerings we will move the very heart of God by sending this GOOD NEWS to the world via 6,000 plus TV stations, fed by 46 great angel satellites! Praise the Lord!

Jan and I will be agreeing with you that ALL YOUR NEEDS BE MET with plenty left over for you and yours to enjoy!

We love you — we need you — now more than ever, 31 years strong!

When we bring our FIRST FRUITS offering to the Lord, He promises to multiply it back to us “MORE THAN ENOUGH”!

While in Baghdad earlier this year, Paul purchased a satellite dish from a street vendor. Praise the Lord — the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ is reaching people throughout Iraq!

There are now 46 great “angel” satellites carrying TBN’s signal to over 6,000 TV and cable affiliates — and to countless millions of home satellite receivers around the world!

Through the prayers and faithful support of our precious Partners, TBN is now covering roughly HALF of the great nation of India with the Gospel! Yes, “thank you for giving to the Lord”