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Sunday @ 9:30am  &  Sunday @ 11:15am

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6780 N Socrum Loop Rd., Lakeland, FL 33809

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Firstfruits

Firstfruits, also referred to as the Feast of Weeks in the Bible, is recognized as the start of the Jewish religious calendar, and has been in practice since before Jesus’ time and into the twenty-first century. Yet, even more than a new calendar, Firstfruits is actually a Biblical festival offered in recognition of God’s blessing over the past year and an advanced celebration for God’s future provision over His people in the year ahead (Leviticus 23:9-14). This is why the original Hebrew word for firstfruits (“bikkurim”) literally means “promise to come” and is the most mentioned day in the Bible, except for Passover (Easter). The actual practice and celebration of firstfruits involved painstaking efforts coupled with eager involvement from each household. In fact, the process of gathering the firstfruits required each family to carefully watch their fields. Then, at the sight of the first budding fruit or grain on the tree or in the field, they would immediately ‘mark’ each species of the first-maturing produce by tying a piece of red yarn around the branch, limb or vine; designating it as the ‘first’ in the growing process for the new year – which became the firstfruit sacrifice.

“Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce.” — Proverbs 3:9 ESV

Once the firstfruit crop had matured and was harvested, it was brought to the Temple, where the High Priest would receive the family’s gift, lift it above his head and wave it back and forth while giving thanks to God for His past faithfulness and declaring His continued provision and blessing over the new year. It was only after this firstfruit sacrifice had been made that the people could consume the remainder of the harvest. This is because the first had sanctified the rest!

Firstfruits at free life chapel

Free Life Chapel has celebrated Firstfruits in January, the start of each New Year, since 2011. Recognizing today’s equivalent of biblical “crops and fruit” as our salary and monetary income, the Free Life family corporately participates in firstfruits by bringing a sacrificial offering beyond our regular tithe and offering. While the amount of the firstfruit offering is decided by each giver, Free Life Chapel issues the challenge of bringing the equivalent of one full week’s salary to follow how this offering was celebrated in the Bible historically (1/50th of annual income). In doing so, we are proclaiming our reliance on and thankfulness to God for His blessings and provision, while proclaiming a Blessing of Increase upon the remainder of the year – “a promise to come”!

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

To join in the celebration and declaration of Firstfruits over your life and family, consider preparing a Firstfruits Offering and bringing it to one of Free Life Chapel’s Sunday worship services during the last two weeks of January. Then, following the order of Leviticus 23, opportunity will be given for everyone to personally bring their Firstfruit forward. Pastor Scott will then collectively pray over our Firstfruit offerings, giving God thanks for His past provision, and declaring His abundant activity, outpouring, and promise of great blessing over your life, health, family & finances!!!

biblical firstfruit events

Listed below are just a few of the Biblical events that the rabbi’s inform us all took place on the exact same Jewish calendar day of Firstfruits throughout history — Nisan 17th.

• Nisan 17 Noah’s Ark came to rest on Mt. Ararat (Genesis 8:4)
• Nisan 17 Moses led the Children of Israel through the Red Sea (Exodus 3:18)
• Nisan 17 Israel ate the Fruit of the Promised Land (Joshua 5:10-12)
• Nisan 17 Hezekiah cleansed the Temple (II Chronicles 29:1-28)
• Nisan 17 Queen Esther saved the Hebrews from annihilation (Esther 3:12)
• Nisan 17 Jesus resurrected from the dead! (I Corinthians 15:3-4 refers to the “third day” after Passover, which is the very day that Firstfruits is celebrated!)

NOTE: The odds of just two of these events taking place on the exact same day of the Hebrew calendar (360 day year) are 1 in 129,000. But the odds for all of these events happening on the same day are 1 in 587,898,657,720,000,000!!!

Firstfruits & God’s Message to US!

These odds are much too great for coincidence! So, what is God highlighting and communicating to us through this impossible and undeniable message on Firstfruits?

IN YOUR LIFE:

• God will END STORMS… like he did for Noah!
• God will get You THROUGH the Impossible… like Moses in the Red Sea!
• You will TASTE the PROMISES of God… like Israel in the Promise Land!
• God will RESTORE and RENEW Your Life… like Hezekiah and the Temple!
• God will STOP the ENEMY’s PLAN… like he did for Queen Esther!
• God will give You NEW LIFE… in and through the Life of Jesus!

Additional Scriptures on “Firstfruits”

Please take some time to study these additional scriptures as you prepare your heart and offering to participate in Firstfruits!!!

Exodus 23:19; 34:22-23
Leviticus 2:12; 23:9-21
Deuteronomy 18:4
Nehemiah 10:34-39
Proverbs 3:9

Ezekiel 20:40; 44:30
Matthew 1:25
Romans 8:29; 11:16
1 Corinthians 15:20-21
Revelation 14:4

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