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Finance (2 of 2)

Shane Willard

Now, this is so important to your finances - so important. You sanctify everything else in your life by honouring the lord with your first fruits.

Let’s review: how do first-fruits become Terumah? It has to be lifted up; placed in the hands. Lifted high, placed in the hands. This has huge implications.

What's true of the first fruits is true of the crop. We have to understand this has spiritual implications too. Jesus was actually two offerings on the cross. One, he was a sin offering - behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world! But he was also a first fruits offering.

1 Corinthians 15 says it this way: that Jesus rose from the dead, being the first fruits of all who died.

Let's think of the principle: if what's true of the first fruits is true of the crop; if the first fruits of all who die, is living; then what's true of all who die? You're following me right? They live!

If what's true of the first fruits is true of the whole crop; if the first fruits of all who die, is living; then all who died are living - guaranteed the resurrection.

So if Jesus is a first-fruits offering, what did he have to become, to be sanctified? Terumah!

How did first fruits become Terumah - it had to be lifted high. “Behold if I be lifted high, I will draw on into myself.”

It had to be lifted high; and it had to be placed in the hands of the spiritual authority. Who was Jesus spiritual authority? The father! So when he dies, what does he say? Father, into your hands... which is what guaranteed the resurrection!

Three days later the Father says: give me my son back! If you humour me for a second, Satan may have said: based on what?

Based on the fact that the first fruits are in my hands, now the whole lump has to follow; now give him back.

Jesus is brilliant; he could've done all this miraculously, but all he did was instituted a universal principle, and he followed it. What's true of the first fruits is true of the crop, so he placed the first fruits of himself into the hands of the father, which guaranteed his resurrection.

It’s the very thing that guarantees yours. When you come to Christ, what do you do? You give your heart to Jesus.

The bible says it this way: that God gives you a deposit of the holy spirit; and you give him your heart.

You give him the first-fruit of your being; which is why, to be absent from the body, is to be present with God. Why - because the first fruits of your being is already in his hands. So when you die, the whole lump simply follows to where the first fruits are. The parable of the first fruits goes into resurrection.

So what does this mean for us financially? Well it means that if your first fruits are in the right hands, your finances can't die. They might look dead, but a resurrection is guaranteed.

The first fruits of your finances needs to be in the right hands; the first fruits of your spirit needs to be in the right hands - very important!

There are extra-biblical sources on this too. The Mishna is huge, but I've actually seen this volume four (it’s like, that thick); and this is how commonplace this was… Volume four was that thick, and its’ all about how to give Terumah - that's how commonplace it was - do you see how much we've lost? It was very common, it didn't go away until about 350AD, when Constantine...

This is how it went away, if you're wondering - Constantine had a meeting with the leaders of the tribe of Judah, and he says: we have all the education, we have all the resources, we have all the roads, we have all the ports, but you still have all the money - why?

And the leaders of the Tribe of Judah said, well they just pointed this out to him: this is how we do our money. You can read about this btw, in the history book "The Post-Nicean Fathers, Volume 7", if you’re interested.

Constantine said: is that it? They said: yes! He said: fine, this is what I'm going to do: I'm going to institute a tax! Now listen to the tax: 1/8 of a day's wage; 1/40 of a week’s wage; and 1/60 of a seasons wage; all on top of one another.