First-fruits of God’s Harvest
Known by some throughout the earth and among a few of creation is the knowledge that “in-Christ” God’s people are more than conquerors. This word “in” is a word meaning, “being and remaining within.” Therefore, know that it is unto His redeemed first-fruits that God has chosen to dwell, and in them, He shall reap the harvest and establish His kingdom through spiritual warfare.
“because our conflict is not with blood and flesh, but with the governments, with the authorities, with the potentates of this darkness, with the spiritual things of wickedness in the heavenlies.”
When God purposed to create man and placed him in the Garden of Eden, according to His overall plan of creation, know that the angels were already in place as purposed by God. Angels, created by God and used according to His purpose, were not the highest or the ultimate of God’s creation. God had something greater in mind and for this cause, when He created man; it was man who is to become the ultimate manifestation of God as His sons, His family. Scripture reveals that God’s place for His sons is of a much higher realm.
“Having become so much better than the angels, as He [Jesus Christ] has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angels did He ever say: You are My Son, Today I have begotten you? And again: I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son? But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: Let all angels of God Worship Him.”
Jesus Christ is of a much higher order than the angels. Jesus Christ, established as the firstborn Son of God, is God’s glorified and exalted man, becoming the pattern for redeemed creation, beginning with the first-fruits.
While noting that the angels are spirit beings, it is from humanity that God calls forth a ministry to become His flames of fire, and it is unto His Son that He declares an eternal throne.
“And of the angels He says: Who makes His angel’s spirits and His ministers a flame of fire. But to the Son He says: Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom.”
As we continue to read, we can see that this throne is an eternal throne, anointed with “the oil of gladness.”
“You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore, God, Your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness more than your companions.”
Therefore, we should recognize that this place in God, those becoming His first-fruits, is eternal in purpose. When God speaks of a coming forth of a new heaven and earth, it is speaking of a new way of life. The old way of life connected to the fallen Adamic race is the heaven and earth that shall perish. All that has existed in what God calls the old heaven and earth shall pass away. Know that repentant humanity shall know the reality of the passing away of that old life, that they might know a coming forth into that which is new and available.
“And: You Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; and they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak, you will fold them up, and they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will not fail.”
Angels then are of a lower state of existence than those who are becoming the first-fruits, for unto the angels the good and precious promises of God are not given. However, unto Gods first-fruits, these promises are stated and given that God shall put all enemies under the feet of these who overcome. Secondly, that in Christ and as His body, God causes them to sit down on the right hand of God. Thirdly, as God’s children, they can become heirs of His full salvation. Fourthly, they become joint-heirs with Jesus Christ and fifthly they gain the right to sit in the throne room of God.
“But to which of the angels has He ever said; Sit at My right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.”
In addition, we read again, in Rev. 3:21 as He declares,
“to him who overcomes I will grant to sit with me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
While many humans would tremble in the presence of a mighty angel, we must ever remember that they are but servants of God with the ministry of serving the saints. Therefore, it is unto the overcomers that God chooses to speak to and manifests Himself through. It is these first-fruits who shall be co-heirs of salvation unto the kingdom of God. Heb. 1:14 states,
“Are they [angels] not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?”
Have you heard of or ever considered God’s promise for the overcomers in becoming a son? If not, you can, and in so doing, man receives instructions and warnings not to drift from that promise.
“Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.”
What about you, does complacency and slothfulness seems to have become a way of life as with most of the Christian Community? These are those who dwell in the established mind-set that manifests what was and is being passed down from generation to generation. This established mind-set makes the Word of God non-effective, becoming a people never expecting nor seeking for its fulfillment. If an angel were to appear before them, most people would bow at his presence and at his voice. Yet these same people are very careless when it comes to respecting the Word of God when spoken through His ministries, the apostles, the prophets, the evangelist, the shepherds, and the teachers of God and His word, the preparers for Christ appearing.
“For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?”
If disobedience to a revelation transmitted by angels is punishable, indifference to salvation and the kingdom brought by Christ (head and body) receives even greater punishment. The greatness of salvation and entering the kingdom of God is given by these three facts of conformation:
- Spoken by the Lord;
- The apostles confirmed,
- Attested by the ministry of the Holy Spirit through miracles and spiritual gifts.
It is an age-long expectation that the Holy Spirit in confirming the gospel will minister manifestations of Christ’s glory. Remember, the angels are of a lower realm than Christ is, so the gospel of Christ and God’s kingdom is of a far greater realm than of the angels. The Holy Spirit shall not only anoint these first-fruits, Christ, and His body, but also the message as it comes through those who hear from heaven.
1 Cor. 2:1-5,
“And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
Gods’ ways, revealed to humanity through the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross are ways beyond the ways of man. Paul did not preach the message of the cross to show off his oratorical skills and to draw attention to himself; rather, he spoke with fear, and trembling, a figure of speech denoting the opposite of self-confidence. Demonstration of the Spirit and of power not only refers to the fact that the miraculous accompanies God’s Word when anointed, it also refers to the Holy Spirit’s transforming power in the individual lives of the saints at the time of their conversion. This is more than a mere intellectual conversion through human wisdom, but an encounter with the Spirit Himself, who demonstrated His presence in them. Thus, we have the way and walk of the first-fruits.
Angels purposed of God to minister to the saints, are not given the place of rulership over the world that is to come. It has been given to humanity, those of Christ’ body, who shall become ministers of “so great a salvation,” spirit, soul and body. These who are to usher in a new day in God in which we shall rule and reign with Christ. It is the eternal promise and purpose of God, that man shall rule all of God’s creation.
“For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. But one testified in a certain place, saying: What is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man that you take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.”
What a promise and what we do not see manifested now, we shall begin to see. The fruit of the seed, the first-fruits shall come forth in a full measure, each one in their season. We shall see them because we see Jesus who states that He is bringing many sons unto that same glory.
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for who are all things and by who are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren.”
We can read in Heb. 2:12-18 that Jesus became, for us, a merciful and faithful High Priest. In this office as High Priest He makes reconciliation for our sins, a forgiveness of sins and a changing from the sin nature. In this, the process of our spiritual maturity, we might likewise bring others in and minister unto the nations the ministry of reconciliation. Jesus, as our High Priest whose purpose is to gather and lay hold of Abraham’s seed. Understanding is given that we are Abraham’s seed by faith in Christ, thus the call.
Gal. 3:16 & 29 states,
“Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, and to seeds, as of many, but as of one, and to your Seed, who is Christ. … And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.”
A call comes forth. We do not choose Him, but He chose us. In responding to the call in God choosing us, the process for our being apprehended begins. A desire springing up from within, to come to the place of truly knowing Him as a bride knows her husband. An intimate union in the Christ until a consummation and birthing takes place.
Phil. 3:10-14 declares,
“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected, but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
This is a seeking to know Him, a devoting of ourselves to the pursuit of intimacy with God. We can ask the Holy Spirit to birth in us a deep hunger and longing for more of Christ. Asking God to place in our hearts a burning desire to know Him in a greater way than ever before. Seeking Him with our entire mind, will, emotions and desires. Thus, the purpose of this life is to press our way into a full measure of that for which God has called us. We are to become that expression of God in the earth that all men might see Him, as He is, the Head with His body, the first-fruits of His harvest.