Monday, April 2, 2018

A mini-lesson on First Fruits

Not looking for an argument, but by the calendar we keep at The Refiner’s Fire, today is First Fruits, which is the beginning of the Omer count (which started at sunset last night). As always, we have received many questions about First Fruits and the Omer count. Here is just one:

QUESTION:

I have a question about how the Omer counting is done like scripture says because we are told Y'shua was the first fruits and when He was "waved" it was on the Sunday after the weekly
Sabbath, so wasn't the counting begun on Sunday?

OUR RESPONSE:

It is a common misunderstanding about First Fruits that Y'shua had to rise on Sunday to be "First Fruits", as it only serves to add to the confusion about when to begin the counting of the
Omer.

First, though, one must understand that "first fruits" don't "rise" - they are "presented".

Secondly, first fruits are presented when they are ready. Leviticus 23:10 says - "Tell the people of Isra'el, 'After you enter the land I am giving you and harvest its ripe crops, you are to bring a sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the cohen."

True, there is a particular day, for THIS firstfruits, so one brings a sheaf - regardless of its state of ripening - (on the day after the day of rest (Leviticus 23:11), and that is a particular calendar day whether it is understood to be the 16th of Abib, or the day after the weekly Shabbat.)

But notice that the "First Fruits" are "presented" (Leviticus 23:11); they don't "rise".

Thirdly, there are "other" First Fruits besides Leviticus 23:10-11. See Leviticus 23:17 - another "First Fruits" is presented at Shavuot. (Another is in the fall - see Proverbs 3:9 and Exodus
34:22.)

So what is the meaning of "First Fruits" in regard to Y'shua? Only this: Y'shua brought us the Good News of the Kingdom of Elohim, that we have eternal life through Him - and He was
first. i.e., First Fruits. He did not have to "rise" on First Fruits, nor be "waved" (presented) on the 16th of Abib, nor "waved" on the Sunday after Passover that year. The fact that He was "first", made Him our "First Fruits".

So when was Y'shua presented?

Well, when Miryam found the tomb empty and saw Y'shua, we know He had not yet ascended! HE even says in John 20:17 "Y'shua said to her, 'Do not touch me, for I have not yet
ascended to my Father'."

In Acts 1:3 we find "to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them for forty days, speaking concerning the reign of Elohim.."

Acts 1:9 "And after these (things), he spoke while they watched him. He was taken up and a cloud received him and he was hidden from their eyes. 10. And while they were staring into
heaven as he was departing, two men were found standing near them clothed in white. 11. And they said to them, Galilean men, why are you standing and staring into heaven? This Y'shua who was taken up from you to heaven, likewise he will come just as you have seen him who ascended into heaven."

Now here is a thought: The Gospels never say exactly how many days it was from crucifxion to ascension; for example, Acts 1:3 mentions "40 days". Forty days from when? Luke 24:51 seems to say He ascended Sunday night, possibly after sunset (...a new day!)

So much for Christianity's point of view that it was "Sunday morning!" because Luke 24:29 says it was already becoming light the same day Miryam found the tomb empty that very morning, yet there they were that evening in the presence of Y'shua! Nevertheless, though Y'shua became hidden from their view that night, and the scripture says "...he was separated from them and ascended into Heaven" (Luke 24:51), and all they really knew was that "he was separated from them."

Here is our opinion on this issue: Since Acts 2 begins with the Shlichim (apostles) "assembled as one", and at that time fire appeared and descended on all present (Acts 2:3), THAT was probably when Y'shua was "presented"! The "40 days" spoken of in Acts 1:3, was merely the separation of Y'shua from the Shlichim - after all, the scripture only says "He was taken up and a cloud received him and he was hidden from their eyes." (Acts 1:9).

Scripture even says "...he [Y'shua] commanded them that, "You should not depart from Urishlim, but they should wait for the promise of the Father, He whom you have heard about
from me. For Yochanan immersed with water, and you will be immersed by the Ruach haKodesh not after many days."
(Acts 1:4-5).

It seems Y'shua was saying "Hey, when I am presented to YHWH on Shavuot, you will be immersed in the Ruach!" Just a thought. Y'shua was First Fruits on Shavuot, then immediately
the Ruach descends.

What could be a better interpretation than Y'shua representing the entire Feast of Weeks from First Fruits to Shavuot by His death, burial resurrection, presence among the Shlichim for 40+ days, then being "presented" to YHWH on Shavuot, upon which the Ruach was "released" to be received by those who were ready?

2 comments:

  1. Very interesting Carmen. Never put it together like this but it does make perfect sense. Thanks sis.

    ReplyDelete