“First fruits are anathema to the New Testament”.
esus says: “Is it not written: ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” (Mark 11:17).
The churches, today’s so-called houses of God, are veritable dens of robbers. Their kingpins are their highfalutin pastors and bishops. These men and women specialise in hypnotising unsuspecting Christians to rob them of their hard-earned monies.
Be warned! They plan to steal from you in a big way this January.
Law and grace
Under Moses, God instituted the law of “first fruits.” This was part of the support system established for the Levitical priesthood who were not given any land in Israel. (Deuteronomy 18:1-2). First fruits are the produce of the land of Israel, which was God’s gift to the Jews. (Leviticus 23:10).
However, the priests of old are not synonymous with the pastors of today who are landowners and propertied. Moreover, Christians are not under the Law of Moses but under God’s grace. (Romans 6:15). Nevertheless, modern-day Christian pastors are still laying claim to first fruits.
When Jesus fulfilled the law, He declared on the cross of Calvary: “It is finished.” (John 19:30). Accordingly, Paul maintains: “Christ is the end of the law.” (Romans 10:4). How then can pastors bring back the outdated law of first fruits through the backdoor?
Counterfeit first fruits
Pastors resurrect the payment of first fruits in the Old Testament and use it to squeeze money out of their church members in the New Testament. This amounts to using the Bible to steal and defraud.
In the last four months of the year, there is a definite change of emphasis in the messages preached by pastors in many of today’s “new generation” churches. If you have been paying attention, you would have noticed this already. Pastors start to talk repeatedly about the need to give “first fruits;” laying down the foundation for a major robbery routinely planned for January.
In the Old Testament, the first fruits were required to be given to priests. Ezekiel says: “The best of all the first fruits and of all your special gifts will belong to the priests.” (Ezekiel 44:30). This scripture is seized on by today’s money-grubbing pastors who now insist that the “first fruits” of all the members of their congregation must be handed over to them.
This is disingenuous because, in the New Testament, there is no longer an exclusive priesthood. Instead, Jesus has made all believers: “kings and priests to our God.” (Revelation 5:10). But this fact is conveniently ignored by today’s first fruits collectors.
First fruits were given to priests because they were not allowed to own landed property in Israel. God said: “I am to be the only inheritance the priests have. You are to give them no possession in Israel; I will be their possession.” (Ezekiel 44:28-29).
However, the pastors of today are men of means and property owners. In no way whatsoever do they fit the bill of a people without inheritance who only have God as their possession. Indeed, some of today’s mega-pastors are multi-millionaires who drive around with bodyguards in a cortege of Jeeps and even fly around in private jets.
Fruits of money
The true and original first fruits were crops and livestock: “You are to give (the priests) the first fruits of your grain, new wine, and oil, and the first wool from the shearing of your sheep.” (Deuteronomy 18:4).
Money was never regarded as the first fruit in the Bible; neither was it ever paid as such. However, today’s pastors would not find it funny if you were to bring your first fruits to them in bananas or pineapples. First fruits are now only accepted in cash or cheque.
In biblical days, first fruits were not required from those in non-agrarian trades, such as carpenters or fishermen because these professions were not tied to the land. First fruits are specifically “the first fruits of the land.” (Deuteronomy 26:10).
This ties them to the land of Israel and makes them inapplicable to even Israelites living in non-Jewish lands. It also means they cannot be re-conceptualised as the first fruits of salaries. God gave Israel land: He did not give them any money.
Indeed, Jews who simply possessed the trees and not the land were exempted from offering first fruits because they could not say: “Behold, I have brought the first fruits of the land which You, O Lord, have given me.” (Deuteronomy 26:10).
Jews who lived beyond the Jordan could not bring first fruits because they could not recite the scriptural words of the service saying it was from: “a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Deuteronomy 26:15).
How then can Nigerians, for example, bring first fruits to God from Nigeria? It is simply unacceptable and impossible! Nevertheless, pastors hoodwink Christians by claiming there are special blessings attendant upon giving first fruits to pastors anywhere and everywhere.
Therefore, it should be clear that pastors who insist on collecting the first fruits in the churches of today are nothing but “thieves and robbers.” The armed robber takes your money from you with a gun in his hand: the pastor takes your money by brandishing a Bible.
True first fruits were collected once a year at the harvest. But today’s counterfeits are collected at the beginning of the year in January. True first fruits were just a small portion of the entire harvest: “The first of the first-fruits of your land you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God.” (Exodus 23:19). But counterfeit first-fruits have become the entire “harvest.”
Counterfeit first fruits used to be defined as a Christian’s first salary after leaving school and securing gainful employment. But some pastors soon realised this only gives them the right to the salary of their congregants once. So, they now insist that, since the January salary is the first salary of the year, counterfeit first fruits must be given every year, and must be the entire January salary of their hoodwinked parishioners.
This makes the first fruits boon far more profitable than the tithe; which is just a tenth of the Christian’s salary. Moreover, the tithe is nominally given to “the church.” The “first fruit” is a far more rewarding scam because the money is given to the pastor.
Accordingly, 419 pastors are already salivating, waiting to rob Christians of their entire January salaries. They have already put the fear of the devil in Christian hearts; telling them of the dire consequences of refusing to accept this daylight robbery. Do not fall for this kind of witchcraft unless you want to live in penury throughout February.
First fruits are anathema to the New Testament. Today, the harvest is no longer crops but souls. The redeemed are now God’s first fruits. (Revelation 14:14). James says: “Of (God’s) own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of His creatures.” (James 1:18).
So, if your pastor is already waxing lyrical about the need for you to give him your entire January salary as first fruits, do not mince words. Shout to his face: “Ole! Thief! Barawo! Jaguda pali!”