CHRIST The Only Way           

FIRST FRUITS REVEALED

Israel survived by growing their own food in the early years of the nation being established. They had fields of grain that included wheat, barley, corn, and many other foods. God blessed these harvests of the food and set requirements for more blessings. God wanted the people to depend on Him and to worship Him as their God. God set up His plan of salvation in the process of the harvesting of the fields of grain and the way they were to be harvested. God was showing us how the souls of the saved would be taken into His kingdom. There were many rules to be followed as the plan for Jesus to come into the world as our Savior began to unfold. God set up feast days that were to be observed, and these feast days would unveil the plan. Let's look at some of the days of harvest.

Why did the priest and the people tie a red cord or reed around a small portion of the grain in the fields? The Jewish perspective usually leaves out the divine purpose for the act. The feast days are not much more than a duty and a party to them in these last days. The meanings have been lost to the majority of people. When the red reed or cord is tied around the first ripening grain, it is to signify the first and best of the field set aside for God. The red signifies divinity. It alludes to the coming of Christ and his blood shed on Calvary. When the first ripened grain is harvested and brought to the priest for the waving, it sanctifies the rest of the field as holy and worthy to be taken. This was a duty of the people to receive further blessings from God in future harvests. The priest waved the offerings in the air before God, and God blessed the offerings that were given to Him.

The people living in the city did not grow the grains needed for first fruit offerings because their means of survival were things like tent-making and shops that sold materials needed to live. They did not have the field of grain to give the first fruit offerings God demanded, so God devised a way for all the people to receive first fruit blessings and for the High Priest to sanctify these people. In order to represent the city people to God, the priest of the temple did their own small field outside of the temple grounds. It was the High Priest's duty to offer first fruit for all the people of the city.

Jesus said the fields are white for harvest (referring to the way cotton fields are "white" when ready for harvesting).

After Jesus was killed and His blood shed, the harvest of souls needed to be sanctified. Jesus Christ became our High Priest to God and would then perform the duties as the High Priest before Him had done in the earthly temple. Jesus was the first fruit of the dead, but when He ascended to the Father in heaven, He also offered a first fruit of His own to God the Father in the temple of heaven.

Matthew 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, V.53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

These saints that appeared in the city were taken by Christ to the Father in heaven as a first fruits offering from our High Priest Jesus Christ.

Next thing to look at is the harvest at the first fruits festival. After the small amount of ripened grain has been sanctified by waving it before God, the rest of the grain must be harvested. This harvest is the wheat harvest. The wheat is cut and brought to the threshing floor. Wheat is a grain that has a hard shell surrounding the grain. This hard shell must be removed, and it is done by beating the stalks of wheat with a tool called a flail. In Hebrew the tool is called a trimlin. This is where the word tribulation is derived from. The hard shell must be removed before the grain is able to be used. After the separation from the shell, the grain is still full of contaminants and must be separated. In Israel the wind usually blows harder at night, so the wheat is separated by sifting the wheat grain. The kernels are thrown up into the air, and the wind removes the chaff from the grain till it is usable. This is how the Holy Spirit sifts a soul as the precious fruit of God is made ready for Christ to receive it.

This harvest represents the harvest of the Jewish nation. Let's look at what God's Word has to say concerning this harvest.

The harvest was to be done in a fashion as the fields of grain were to be harvested. The corners of the fields were not to be harvested but left for the poor and stranger to use for their survival, as the book of Ruth shows the gleaning of the fields after the main harvest.

Leviticus19:9 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. V.10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God

This remnant left in the harvest of souls in the Jewish nation will be taken as the angels go to the four corners of the earth and reap the harvest of souls that are left.

Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

This happens when Jesus returns to the Mt. of Olives and triumphs over antichrist and satan's forces. Jesus then receives the remnant of the Jewish peoples.

Luke 12:36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.

What did the brother of Jesus say about the harvest of souls?

James 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

What group of people are Jesus speaking to when he told of great tribulation?

Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Matthew 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Matthew 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

It was the Jewish people. Why? They rejected His salvation and will have to be put through a period of tribulation that will remove the thick-headed crust of unbelief they have allowed to control their lives. The prophet Jeremiah spoke of this time.

Jeremiah 30:7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

 

CULMINATION OF THE HARVEST

The tribulation will be starting soon and Jesus will be taking out His precious fruit from the turmoil. This will be the harvest of souls Jesus takes to heaven out of the Jewish nation. They are called the 144,000. They will be the first fruits of the Jewish nation.

Revelation 14:3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

This harvest of the Jewish nation will be the beginning of the wrath of God on the earth. Till this point on earth, man has caused the tribulation of the Jewish people. Now God will unleash His wrath like never before, as Jesus said.

Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

This period of time is recorded in God's Word as being 3-1/2 years long before Christ Himself returns and ends the satanic rule.

Daniel 12:11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. V.12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.

Zechariah 14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

That is the plan outlined in God's Word for the harvesting of souls for the kingdom of God.

There are two plans mentioned that we cannot ignore, for instance, when James mentioned the two rain seasons

James 5:7 ...until he receive the early and latter rain.

Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: V.6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

 

BARLEY HARVEST REVEALS RAPTURE

We get the harvest of the Jewish nation through the feast day of first fruits. What feast day would be referred to as the harvesting of the Gentile Church? 50 days before the wheat harvest there is the barley harvest. This harvest is held by the Pharisees on the 16th of Nissan. Sadducees went by the availability of the grain ripening for the harvest. Christian observance is the first Sabbath after the grain is available. The day is not known till it is time for the barley to be harvested, just like when Jesus said only the Father knows when the harvest of souls will be.

This day is called the wave offering, and it is held when the barley harvest becomes ready to cut and the sheaves are ready for the priest to wave them before the Lord for blessings.

This harvest is representative of Christ's people and is called the rapture of His Church. It happens before the harvest of the Jewish first fruits in the tribulation. As Jesus said, the first will be last and the last shall be first. Let's explain this a little more.

Matthew 20:16 So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

Matthew 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Matthew 12:21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

Jesus came for the Jews first, and then the Gentiles were grafted into the kingdom after His death and resurrection. The Jews rejected the Savior, but the Gentiles received Him at Pentecost. This second group of people introduced to Christ received Him first, and the Jews which were the first to hear from the Savior will come to Him last. Hence the first (Jews) will be last and the last (Gentiles) will be first. Apply this to the harvest of souls and we get the rapture of Christ's Church before the Jewish rapture of the 144,000.

This feast day is held at the barley harvest. Barley is gathered and stored in a silo or barn for keeping. It is a soft grain and has a dough-like substance to it. If squeezed in the hand, it feels like bread dough. When it is ready, it is taken from the fields and protected from moisture and elements that may contaminate the grain. During the processing period of barley, the contaminants are separated from the grain by using a winnowing fork and throwing the grain into the air with the wind blowing through the grain. The unusable parts are blown away as the good grain is ready for use. This is the same as what the Holy Spirit does as it sifts our souls for harvesting. The chaff is taken away for burning.

This harvest is in stark contrast to the wheat harvest which must have a flailing to remove the hard covering. Barley is winnowed and has no sin-crusted outer shell that must be removed by the tremlin. Wheat is a hard-crusted grain that is threshed and crushed to be made ready for Christ. That is why we are instructed to pray that we are worthy to escape the tribulation the Jewish nation must go through.

Jesus presented His first fruit offering to God when He ascended to the Father.

Matthew 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, V.53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Ephesians 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

That act sanctified the rest of the souls to be harvested till the rapture. Jesus is our High Priest and sits at the right hand of the Father.

Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

After the barley is winnowed, there is a process called "pearling the grain." This makes it better suited for bran grain. The pearled barley is a fine polishing of the grain that is not done with wheat.

Matthew 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: V.46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

Jesus will sift His pearls for the best at the rapture. He is looking for a special people that love Him and do not deny Him.

Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

1 Peter 2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Jesus will not take lightly the attitude of complacency the Church has today.

Matthew 22:8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

Revelation 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

Revelation 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

How would the Church escape tribulation if God doesn't have a harvesting before the tribulation begins?

Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

We have two completely different harvest periods here with a different group of people being dealt with in each, a rapture of the Jews during the tribulation period and the rapture of Christ's church before the tribulation begins. Both are represented by feast days before Christ died and went back to His heavenly home.

Another representation of the two raptures of God's people would be the two raptures in history that have occurred. Enoch was a man of God that was taken.

Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

No warning, for God took him. Just as Jesus will come as a thief in the night for his bride, God will take the church. 'Harponzo' means snatched away by force.

And Elijah, a hard-nosed Jew that lived strictly by the law, and God took him. God had warned him beforehand and then did it when people were there to see it happen.

2 Kings 2:1 And it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.

2 Kings 2:3 And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.

2 Kings 2:5 And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.

2 Kings 2:9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.

2 Kings 2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

PLENTY OF WARNING for the Jew that was taken (Elijah), just as John had written in the book of Revelation warning of the Jewish rapture to come during the time of Jacob's trouble (the tribulation period). NO WARNING for the rapture of Enoch, just as the Bride of Christ, or the Church, will be raptured in a twinkling of an eye.

1 Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Another feast day God gave the Jewish people was the Feast of Tabernacles. The people were to leave their homes and dwell, usually on the roofs of their houses that were flat, for seven days and then return to their normal dwellings.

Leviticus 23:39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath. V.40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. V.41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the LORD seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. V.42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: V.43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. V.44 And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the LORD.

This feast represents the rapture of two groups of God's people into heaven and then returning to earth with Christ at His second coming. Many other things are represented in God's Word that people overlook. God loves to conceal things in His Word for us to search out and define.

Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.

God Bless,


Doyle Reno

Website Builder