John Hagee - Feast of the First Fruits
God demands to be first. The Bible says, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things"... Say that with me. "And all these things". What does that mean? That means the cornucopia of God, the three thousand promises that are in this book that promise you what God wants to do for you. When you put God first, all of these things shall be added unto you. Why do we worship on Sunday? Because Sunday is the day Jesus rose from the dead. It's the first day of the week for us. It's the firstfruits of the week. Your success on Sunday controls what happens on the rest of the week. Why? Because this second principle, learn this, firstfruits sanctify the following fruits. Firstfruits sanctify what comes after it.
So Sunday is the day that sanctifies Monday through Saturday. If you don't give the Lord the sabbath day, then the next six days are not going to amount to much, because they are not sanctified by the Lord. Hum. Putting God first in your life establishes his Lordship. If he's not first, he's not Lord. And if he's not Lord, there's no blessing. There is no favor. There is no prosperity. Think about that. C.S. Lewis said, "When first things are put first, second things automatically fall in line". What does it mean to be first? First is preceding all others in time, in order of importance. Listen closely. First does not mean number one. Nothing can be first unless there's something else to be the first one of. If you go to a speech contest, and you win first place because nobody else showed up - you were not first: you were just the only one.
Follow that. Firstfruits is the offering of the first grain harvested in Israel. If you did not bring your firstfruits to the Lord's house, there would be no additional fruit for the harvest for the priest to wave it as an offering before the Lord that brought the harvest to you. God is the Lord of all or he's not God at all. God created Adam and Eve, and he placed them in the beauty of the Garden of Eden. Adam went to sleep and he woke up married. It's enough to make an insomniac out of you. They didn't have to work 60 hours a week? They didn't have to battle traffic going to work and from work, and then wrestle with the irs trying to keep what they could, or listen to some socialist candidate running for the presidency of the United States talking about how they want to tax you 70% for what you have saved after that. I won't keep on with that, because I will get anointed all by myself and never get off of it.
There's only one command, "Leave the fruit on the tree of knowledge of good and evil alone". They had one rule and they broke it. God then gave us Ten Commandments, and we broke them. And now we have over a million laws on the book, and we're breaking them. Because until we put God first, there is no rule book on the planet that's going to work. So the question, if God knew what they were going to do, why did God put the tree there to start with? The answer is to see if Adam and Eve would put him first when Satan came to tempt them. The temptation is to put their will above God's will. When your desires, your plans, your ideas become more important than God's plan, you have adopted the attitude of Lucifer, who later became Satan. You are challenging God's authority over your life.
You could have the attitude of Lucifer. And I'm just going to say "Satan" from now on, because he's the same guy. You can have the attitude of Satan and confess to be a Christian. And you can prove this in the Bible. The fact is, when Jesus and the 12 were rejected by the Samaritan, James and John asked Jesus for permission to call fire from heaven and burn them alive! That's in your Bible. And Jesus said, "You don't know what spirit you have". "Satan has come to", what? "Rob, kill, and destroy. Christ came to seek, to save that which was lost". Christ came to seek and to save. The disciples had whose attitude? They had the attitude of the devil himself. That exists in this century. There are people, who are looking for the right people before they join that church. Or you're not in our group, or you're not of our denomination. We're not looking for who we can cast out: we're looking for who we can bring in. We're not looking for someone to put down: we're looking for someone to pick up.
In the law of firstfruits, everything is either sacrificed or redeemed in the Bible. Exodus 13:2, the Bible says, "Consecrate to me all the firstborn. Everyone who opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of men and beast, it is mine". That's God's opinion. According to the Old Testament law, the firstborn was to be either sacrificed or redeemed. There's no third option. Every time one of your livestock delivered its firstborn, you were to sacrifice it or to redeem it. Fast forward to the New Testament. John the Baptist sees Jesus of Nazareth walking down to the Jordan river. John the Baptist says, "Behold, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world," John 1:29.
Jesus was God's only begotten son. He was the firstborn. He had to be sacrificed or redeemed. God allowed his son, a male lamb without spot or blemish, to be sacrificed for the sins of the world, for your sins, for your sins, and for my sins. If you do not accept that sacrifice on the cross, then you must die for your own sins. "The wages of sin is death". God has made the gift of the death of his son. You reject that death and you have to pay the bill yourself. Which is easier? Hum. The next concept, whatever is done with the first portion determines what happens with all the rest. Follow this: Isaac was the firstborn of Abraham. As the firstborn, he had to be redeemed or sacrificed. That principle continues. When Abraham and Isaac came to the top of mount Moriah, Isaac was tied.
Now he was in his 20's, so he did this willingly, because his father was over a hundred. Isaac was tied and placed on the altar. God sent a ram. That ram, the Bible says, "Was tied by the horns in a thicket," which was divinely arranged to redeem Isaac. The point is when the firstfruit was given, it brings a mighty harvest. Whatever is done following that, determines what happens with all the rest. Back to you go to church on Sunday. The next six days, receive God's blessing. You honor the Lord on the sabbath day. When you give the Lord the tithe, the last 90% is blessed. Isaac was firstfruit. Listen closely. I'm going to cover thousands of years of history in 60 seconds. Isaac was the firstborn. He had two sons, Esau and Jacob. Jacob had 12 sons. Those 12 sons produced the tribes of Israel. They produced the Old Testament prophets. They produced the kings. Out of king David, 33 generations later, came Jesus Christ and the 12 disciples.
And the world continued to grow because of the firstfruits. Listen closely. Joseph sent for his family, Jacob and his brothers, which were 70 in number. They stayed in Egypt for 430 years and became a nation of almost two million people. The point is even in severe persecution in Egypt, they prospered and grew. Why? Because back at the beginning, the firstfruit, Isaac on mount Moriah, had been sacrificed to God, and God blessed the Jewish people with a blessing that no one can take away from them. It is theirs forever! Consider the Exodus. God told Moses in Exodus 4:22-23, go to Pharaoh and say: "Thus saith the Lord, 'Israel is my son, my firstborn. So I say to you, let my son go: that he may serve me. But if you refuse to let him go, I will kill your son, your firstborn.'" the nation of Israel came from Isaac, the son of promise, the firstborn, who was redeemed.
Listen. Redeemed property always prospers. And it is always supernaturally protected. Pharaoh rejected Moses' request to let Israel go. God sent ten plagues to Egypt. The tenth plague was the death of the firstborn in Egypt. And the firstborn child and all of the cattle, in the whole nation died that night. Exodus 12:30 says, "There was loud wailing in the land of Egypt: for there was not a house without someone dead". Think about that. Millions of people woke up with a dead person in the house, because they would not allow the Jewish people to go experience the spiritual relationship God had promised them to have. I'm saying to the nations of the Middle East that are gathering right now against Israel: Iran, Russia, Turkey, Syria: watch your step. There's a God in heaven that's watching Israel. "He that keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps," and his eye is on you.
Consider the law of firstfruits in the resurrection of Jesus and how this affects you. The firstfruits found its prophetic fulfillment in the resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:20 says, "But now Christ is risen from the grave", listen, "And has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep," meaning those who have died. Follow the facts. Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, in the month of nisan. That's April the 16th, which was the day of firstfruits. His resurrection guarantees your resurrection and mine. Because he lives, you shall also live. 1 Corinthians 15:51, "Behold, I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep in death, but we shall be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye".
There's coming a day for every person who died in a state of righteousness before God: that because Jesus, the firstfruits, rose into heaven and is now in heaven, they themselves, "In the twinkling of an eye, are going to rise to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall they ever be with the Lord". That's in the Bible. I hear people all the time, "Well I don't believe that". I don't care what you believe. It's in the Bible. God said it and that settles it. It's going to happen.
Consider the law of firstfruits and the fall of Jericho. Four hundred and thirty years of slavery in Egypt was followed by forty years in the heat and the grit of the desert. With Joshua as their leader, God released a plan that would begin the conquest of the Holy Land for the Jewish people. Think of Jericho as firstfruits. It was the first city that stood between Israel and the Promised Land. They are a nation of slaves, who have never Marshalled an army. They are learning principles of combat as Joshua is teaching them. But they're far from a mighty army right now. So God is saying, I'm going to fight this fight for you, because this first city belongs to me. God made it clear: he was giving them Jericho.
There was only one thing forbidden and that was the gold and the silver in Jericho. And that's according to Joshua 6:18 and 19. "And you by all means, abstain from the cursed things: lest you become cursed when you take the accursed thing and make the camp of Israel a curse of trouble for it. But all the gold, and the silver, and the vessels belong to me, saith the Lord". Because Israel fully understood the law of firstfruits, every one of them got the message except one guy, Achan. There's always one guy in the crowd that thinks he's smarter than anybody else. That night, they went to bed in Israel after Jericho collapsed. And Achan is laying in his tent, saying, all of that money is just a few hundred yards right over there. I can slip from tent to tent in the darkness and get gold and silver. I'll be rich for life. He went over there and got it. He came back, buried it in his tent, rolled back on his cot, and said, "I'm rich"!
The next day, Israel went out to fight AI, a little, ole insignificant army. It would be like the Astros playing a pop warner team. They should have cleaned their clock, but they did not. Joshua inquired of the Lord, "What's wrong"? God says, "Get up. Quit praying. There's sin in your camp". There was a tent-by-tent search for every tribe. Achan had time to repent, because there were thousands of tents to inspect. Eleven tribes were searched. Achan's tribe, the tribe of Judah, was last. And they same to his tent, and Joshua came to the tent and said, Joshua 7:19, "Achan, give God the glory". Give what you took.
Achan had stolen the glory of God because he took the things that belonged to God. The result, what happened? Achan, his wife, his sons, his daughters, every animal he had, all his livestock were stoned to death by Israel. They stacked their bodies in a pile and burned them to an ash to purge Israel of the sin of taking what belonged to God. The Bible says, "I am the Lord: I never change". Have you stolen what belongs to God? Uh. Think about it. Because of one man's disobedience, the entire nation of Israel suffered a consequence. They had to deal with the Achan factor before they could come back and get the blessing of God.
Are you taking what belongs to God? If one nation could be affected by one man, a church of 22.000 could be affected by a very, very few. "Well, I don't know if I believe that". You know how cancer starts? One cell goes crazy, and then it doubles, and doubles, and doubles, and grows. And it has you before you know it's there. Little things become worse if they're not corrected. If there are little sins in your life, don't pet them until they became a spiritual cancer. Get them out of your life, confess it as wrong and stop doing it!
The law of firstfruits and tithing. Tithing is firstfruits. God established firstfruits to remind Israel of his Lordship. Firstfruits include children, animals, crops, fruit, trees. The Bible says, "I want the first portion of everything". When God destroyed Jericho, it was the first city conquered on the road to the Promised Land. It was the firstfruits where God said, "Bring all the gold and silver from Jericho to my house". God didn't say, you conquer ten cities, and give me the gold and the silver from the last one, and I'll be satisfied. No. I want the gold and the silver from the first one. Listen now. Your income is either consecrated or cursed.
Think about that. The tithe, in scripture, is either consecrated to the Lord, if you keep it for yourself, it becomes a curse to you if you steal it from God, because that's God's money. Malachi 3:8 and 9, "Will a man rob God? Yet, you have robbed me". God says, when you don't tithe, God puts your picture on a mugshot in heaven. "Known thieves in San Antonio. Shoplifters all". When a redemptive work is in process, the number ten will be involved. There were ten plagues that were used to get Israel out of Egypt's bondage. Ten Commandments were given to Moses at mount Sinai. The donkeys were sent to get Joseph and bring him to Egypt were ten in number.
The tenth part of your increase points to the redemption of your increase. The question is: is it possible to give 10% of your income and not give the firstfruit? And the answer is yes. The tithe, according to the law of firstfruits, should be the first of your income that breaks the curse. Let me give you a very simple illustration. Let's say that these are hundred dollar bills. They're not, because this is a low-budget program. And we don't carry that kind of money around. Our security is good, but there's no need to test them. There are ten of these. And it's your time at your house to start paying your bills. And so you make your house note. You make your mercedes payment. You pay for your trip to Hawaii. You pay your lawyer for various things you shouldn't have done. And you get right on down to the end, and this last one, you give to the Lord. This is not the tithe. The tithe is this one, this one.
Oh, you say, "But it's the same amount". That's not how God counts it. God says, I want to be first. I don't want to be after your poodle or after your vacation: I want to be first. The point: when you give the tithe, the 90% is consecrated and it's blessed. And God will bless you exceedingly, abundantly, above all that you can ask or imagine. Are you giving what God asks, the firstfruits? Or are you playing like Achan, stealing what is God's and praying for God's blessing on your life? Think about that. You can go to church and sing, "Amazing grace" and be a thief. Do you want God's favor? Do you want his abundance? Do you want unlimited victory? Do you want divine health? Do you want unlimited promotion? Do you want a harvest of your fields? Then give God what he asks, "So shall you prosper".
In the Old Testament, Moses told the children of Israel to bring the offering to the priest, to anointed hands. When Jesus was on the earth, he told his disciples to bring the boy's sack lunch of five loaves and two fish, firstfruits. He blessed it. It multiplied. They fed the thousands of people who were there and gave the boy 12 baskets to go back home with many times more than he came with. Today, as we celebrate firstfruits, I want us to do what God asked Israel to do. I want you to stand to your feet. Stand to your feet. As required by the Lord, concerning Israel, to bring your firstfruits' offering forward and place it on the platform. You can bring your 2020 pledge or whatever it is you wish to give. Please start coming forward now.