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Doctrine of Feast of First Fruits

January 28, 2011

Feast of First Fruits
The 23rd chapter of the book of Leviticus gives us an account of the 7 Great Feasts of the Lord. They were a prophecy and foreshadowing of future events, part of which have been fulfilled, and part are yet to be. They are the “shadow of things to come,” of which Christ is the “body” or substance (Col. 2:16-17). They were “holy convocations” of the people. The Lord instituted them. The people had no say in the matter. God promised that if the males went up at the appointed time to Jerusalem to keep these Feasts, He would look after their families. When the people became legalistic and arrogant, the Lord said, “I hate your new moons and your appointed feasts; they have become a burden to Me. I am weary of bearing them” (Isa. 1:14). Therefore Jesus called them the “feasts of the Jews,” rather than the “feasts of the Lord.” The “feasts of the Lord” are 7 in number. If we include the Sabbath there are 8. But the Sabbath stands by itself. It was to be observed “weekly,” the other feasts “annually.” The Sabbath was to be observed at “home,” the other feasts at “Jerusalem.”
The 7 Feasts may be divided into 2 sections of 4 and 3. The 1st section includes the following feasts: (1) Passover (2) Unleavened Bread (3) First-Fruits (4) Pentecost. Then there was an interval of 4 months followed by the 2nd section includes the following feasts: (1) Trumpets (2) Atonement (3) Tabernacles.
The 3 Great Festivals were the following: (1) Passover (2) Pentecost (3) Tabernacles. They extended from the 14th day of the 1st month (Nisan) to the 22nd day of the 7th month Tishri or Ethanim. These 7 Feasts were given to only given to Israel to be observed and not the Church. They do however dispensational implications since they mark God’s timetable with reference to human history.
Each of these 7 Feasts were designed in eternity past to be literally fulfilled by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They speak of Lord Jesus Christ’s intervention into human history. The following Feasts were literally fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ during the dispensation of the hypostatic union: (1) Passover: His voluntary substitutionary spiritual death on the cross in April of 30 A.D. (2) Unleavened Bread: His impeccability as a Person. (3) Pentecost was literally fulfilled when the Baptism of the Spirit took place in June of 30 A.D., which marked the beginning of the Church Age.
The following Feasts are eschatological in nature and thus have yet to be literally fulfilled: (1) Trumpets: Rapture or exit-resurrection of the Church terminating the Church Age. (2) Atonement: 2nd Advent of Christ ending the Tribulation dispensation. (3) Tabernacles: Millennial Reign of Christ on planet earth.
The Passover took place on the 14th day of the month, the Feast of Unleavened Bread on the next day, which was the Sabbath, and the following day, which was the day after the Sabbath, the Feast of Fruitfruits was to be celebrated. This feast could not be observed until Israel got out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land. When they had sowed their grain in the land, they were to watch for the first heading of the barley. When they would see a stalk here and there, they would cut each one down and put them together to make a sheaf. This was then brought to the tabernacle, and the priest would offer it to the Lord. It was to be followed by burnt, meat and drink offering but no sin offering.
The burnt offering was to be a male lamb without blemish of the 1st year, which portrays the impeccable humanity of Christ in hypostatic union (1 Pet. 1:18-19). This was done on the 1st day of the week or Sunday, which is the day after the Sabbath, which occurred on Saturday. This is
2003 William E. Wenstrom, Jr. Bible Ministries
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2003 William E. Wenstrom, Jr. Bible Ministries
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so important because Christ is called the firstfruits (1 Cor. 15:20). The time of His resurrection is clearly stated in Matthew 28:1.
The Feast of First-Fruits is therefore a type and foreshadowing of the resurrection of Christ. Christ is the literal first fruits. He arose on the morning after the Sabbath on the 1st day of the week. He was the literal corn of wheat buried in the ground (John 12:24). Our Lord was buried in Joseph’s tomb and His resurrection was the first fruits of the harvest, which is the Church who will be given resurrection bodies at the Rapture (1 Cor. 15:23). When the priest on the day of Christ’s resurrection waved the sheaf of First Fruits in Herod’s Temple, it was before a veil that was torn from top to bottom by the omnipotence of God. It was but an empty form, for the Substance (impeccable humanity of Christ) had come and the shadow had passed away and the empty tomb of Joseph of Arimethea proclaimed that the Great First-Fruits Sheaf had been reaped and waved in the Heavenly Temple. There will be no Feast of First Fruits in the Millennium because it has been literally fulfilled by the impeccable humanity of Christ in hypostatic union.