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Are you familiar with the bible term – “Firstfruits”

This is a subject that deserves your intense attention and concentration..

FIRSTFRUITS are the first part of the harvest to ripen. It is the part of the harvest that was given to the priests as a tithe to the Lord. Deut 26:1-12 gives the instructions how each family was to bring a basket of their firstfruits and give it to the priest as the Lords representative. Also Lev 23:10-14 gives the instructions for a special “firstfruits sheaf” of the barley harvest which was to be offered to the Lord at the time of the passover festival in the spring of the year. They could not begin their harvest of the barley and other crops until the high priest had offered this firstfruits sheaf to the Lord in a special ceremony. As the Lord of the harvest, God had to receive His special portion before the rest of the harvest could be reaped.

This is a TYPE of God’s ways in His spiritual harvest of human beings. Jesus clearly states in Mat 13:39 that His harvest comes at the end of this age. But before He can gather a great host into His “heavenly barn” (kingdom), He must receive to himself a firstfruits. And this “firstfruits” must be gathered out of the endtime harvest, to be translated without experiencing death.

Revelation 14:1-5 Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the face of the earth. These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.

There are several pieces of the puzzle contained in the section of Rev 14. First of all did you notice that this group of people have been “redeemed from the face of the earth”? This is the only place in the revelation that there is a mention of this “rapture” or deathless transition into the heavenly realm with glorified bodies that Jesus spoke of in I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Luke 17:34 Notice the night time for this prophecy. At night means it was a HIDDEN or a SNEAK move. This is the total and utter surprise of the 144,000 firstfruits being raptured to begin the 3 1/2 year (1260 day) tribulation. Unlike the group that is taken up in mid-day, in plain site, at the end of the tribulation period, when millions of Christians will take Matt 24:40-41

Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.&

Luke 17:34-35 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

This group is also spoken of in the parable of the sewer and the seed (Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20, and Luke 8:4-15).  This is the 100 Fold Harvest – those who “hears the word and understands it“.  This is the much smaller group that mature and ripens ahead of the 60 and 30 fold believers.

The rest of Rev 14 includes the preaching of THE GOOD NEWS to all the earth, the judgement on Babylon, the warning about the mark of the beast, the wrath of God, the commendation of the martyrs who die at the hands of the Beast powers – all of which take place during the tribulation period. THEN, after all these things COMES:

Rev 14:14-16 I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one “like a son of man” with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested

AFTER the tribulation, we see the Lord Himself in Rev 14:14-16 with a sickle REAPING THE REST of the harvest of the earth – gathering the great number of Christians who have been awoken from their slumber, and are NOW ready. The intense ‘heat’ and ‘pressure’ of the tribulation period is designed to ‘ripen’ that 90% – the group that were slower to mature…

Russell Dibird

Originally Published 1999