First-fruits of God’s Harvest
From before the foundation of God’s creation, He purposed from within Himself that He, in the process of time, would bring forth a seed in the earth to birth after His own kind. As God spoke in the first chapter of Genesis, He proclaimed the fashion of that seed.
“Then God said, Let Us make man in our image, according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth”.
This scripture refers to and includes such qualities as reason, personality, and the intellect. Also, with the capacity to relate, to hear, to smell, to see, to feel and to speak.
All these are characteristics of God, which He chose to reproduce in His created man. This man is purposed to be God’s kingdom agent, to rule and subdue all the rest of creation, including the aggressive fallen forces of the adversary that would and does infringe upon God’s purpose. This plan, this seed, this man, a many members one, is not one that God has forgotten about nor left to be unfulfilled. It is down through the dispensations of time that God purposed the molding and maturing of this created man into Christ full measure.
From scripture as written in the book of Hebrews, the revelation of that seed had its beginning as the seed, the Son of God Christ Jesus begins.
“God who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.”
God’s son, superior to everything in every way, is the perfect reflection of God’s glory and the image of His Person. Herein, lays the promise that God gave and its coming forth as a first-born Son. Note with understanding that while the first-born is the Heir, the promise will not be complete until the co-heirs likewise find their place of fulfillment as members of Christ, becoming His many member body. These members of Christ, first as a first-fruits company, have their beginning in the making up of this completed body.
Rom. 8:14-17 openly declares,
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, Abba, Father. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together”.
From this verse, we can see the progression as a person receives forgiveness of past sins to become one of the children of God. However, in the spirit realm as in the natural, a child needs to grow, and in its maturing processes, he matures to qualify and finally become an adopted son, a son that begins to move in the Father’s authority. Thus this child finally becomes a part of the matured body of Christ, the glorified ones in which Jesus prayed for in John 17:22,
“And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one.”
This oneness prayed for is not an organizational oneness but a spiritual unity, a body that will manifest the life of Christ as first-fruits, as they bear full witness to the divine mission of Christ.
As clearly stated in the Word of God, Jesus Christ is but the firstborn son. It also declares that God, in His foreknowledge, purposed that others would also mature into the image of His First Son.
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son. That He might be the firstborn among many brethren”.
The writer, looking into eternity past sees that God’s purpose for His people has only been good. He foreknew and predestined believers to be like Christ. With clarity, God states that a people shall become sons. The requirement stated is that they shall be required to overcome. “Overcome” is a word that speaks of conquering. Thus, unto those who conquer, they shall likewise inherit from the Father, becoming a first-fruits people who gain a place called “sons.” These shall receive from God all things that He has prepared for them that love Him.
“He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be my son”.
Herein lays the revelation concerning that which God purposed when He declared, “let us make man in our image, according to our likeness”. With the Holy Spirit’s revealing, we can understand that the seed, Christ Jesus, is but the beginning of God’s creation. In other words, Jesus Christ was the pattern for other coming sons. God saw Him before the making of any man, with the man becoming many in number that would finally grow-up into the likeness of the first-born son.
“… These things say the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God”.
Jesus Christ then, birthed through Mary came forth from God, not only to become the sacrifice for sin, but as God’s pattern son. He, as a seed, is to become a harvest of sons made in His image and likeness. Thus, we have the witness that the firstborn has come. He lived, died, was in the tomb, rose to life again to now be seated at the Father’s right hand.
With the Sonship of Jesus being made complete and by becoming the sacrifice needed, God continues working and is still waiting for the body of Christ, the precious fruit of the earth to be made complete. James 5:7 states,
“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord [includes His first-fruit many member body]. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.”
God’s patience, according to the times and seasons of creation will bring forth this great harvest of first-fruit sons.
When is it that the heirs of God shall possess their inheritance? In answering this question, we must take into account the phrase “in the last days.”
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God …”
This phrase “in the last days” refers to the era of the church from the upper room Feast of Pentecost to the return of Christ. This brings today’s man to the overlapping of today’s age and the age that is to come.
2 Tim. 3:1
“But know this that in the last days perilous times will come.”
This word “perilous” has the meaning of “harsh, savage, difficult, dangerous, painful, fierce, grievous, hard to deal with.” This word describes a society that is barren of virtue but abounding with vices. Appearing “in the last days” certain events begin to take place that bring about the fulfillment of those things declared previously.
With the entire dispensation of grace, this church age, referred to as “the last days,” the Apostles revealed that they, likewise, were living “in the last days”. Yet 2000 years later, we find we are still living “in the last days”. Thus, a 2000-year period given to prepare and mature the harvest of the Christ seed that was planted those 2000 years ago. It is here that we should note that Jesus as our sacrifice, lifted upon the cross at the third hour, the morning’s sacrifice, speaks of 9:00 AM.
“Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him.”
Jesus then remained on the cross until the ninth hour, the evening sacrifice, at 3:00 PM.
“Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? Which is translated, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? [the sacrifice completed].”
Fallen man, unable to restore himself, can now know restoration but only through this sacrifice of Jesus. This being because man, born in the fallen condition of the Adam man, could not pay the penalty for himself. Fallen man needed a worthy sacrifice found only in God’s firstborn Son, the man Christ Jesus. Herein He died; He paid the price that was necessary for man’s sinful life. He hung on the cross for as long as needed and then He cried out, “it is finished.” His sacrifice, for man, was now a price paid in full.
“So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, it is finished! And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”
Now, with that requirement met, God begins to focus upon another son, a corporate son, one that has many members.
Jesus, the firstborn son came forth in the morning of these “last days,” but now, at the time of the evening sacrifice (the closing hours of the last days) Jesus again cries, “It is finished.” Here, because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, He pours Himself by the Holy Spirit into a called and chosen body of sons who now do the ministry of the “greater things.”
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”
Because His purpose was the crucifixion, Jesus’ earthly ministry was limited to only a few years. However, after the Resurrection of Jesus and with the Holy Spirit poured out at Pentecost, His ministry continues to multiply through Holy Spirit empowered believers, a harvest of first-fruits coming forth to establish the kingdom of God in all the earth.
According to God’s plan, from the beginning, He purposed to have a many member son. These, with Christ as the head, are to restore creation as a whole back into a restored divine order. Back, from the realm of death, to God’s realm of life.
“For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory; to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings”.
While the Old Testament people knew God only as the creator, the lawgiver and a punisher of sins, Jesus came to reveal and unveil God’s true nature.
“Who [Christ Jesus] being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
This Christ seed, now planted in the souls of receiving humanity, purposed that they might live again. With every seed bringing forth after its own kind, Jesus Christ brings forth a harvest liken unto the first born, the visible image of the invisible God. As stated in Col. 1:15, it says,
“He [Jesus Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”
Herein we can rest assured in this fact, that Jesus was and is the overcomer. He overcame, not for Himself alone, but that man could also become partakers of God’s divine nature.
2 Peter 1:4
“By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
These great and precious promises, given to us in Jesus Christ whose very nature can become who we are. While it is only in the blood of Jesus Christ that man can know redemption, we can also remember that His other sons are spiritually birthed to do the greater works spoken of by Jesus.
1 Cor. 15:22-24
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power”.
This scripture is pointing to the resurrection, an experience in human life with Jesus Christ being the authentic Man who acted in behalf of other men. The second coming of Christ within His completed purpose will complete the resurrection harvest. Having subdued all enemies, Christ will then turn over the reign of the divine government to God the Father. Again, let us remember that the Christ is the Head and He has a many member body, the first-fruits manifesting in the earth.