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  • The Firstfruits

    Jas 1:18 "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."

    What do you make of this verse of Scripture? Especially in relation to:

    Rev 14:1-5 "And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads...These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God."


    Z.
    "Unto you therefore which believe, He is precious" (1 Peter 2:7)



  • #2
    From the ESV Study Bible.

    James 1:18 "Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."

    "Brought us forth by the word of truth speaks of spiritual salvation, with “us” meaning believers, the “word of truth” being the gospel, and “brought . . . forth” (that is, from the womb) being a metaphor for the new birth. The firstfruits of the harvest (cf. Ex. 23:16–19; Lev. 23:9–14) are pioneer believers, who are a prelude to further conversions yet to come (cf. Rom. 16:5; 1 Cor. 16:15)."



    Revelation 14:4 "It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb,"

    "Rev. 14:4–5 have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. The spiritual purity of those who bear the Lamb's name is symbolized by the sexual self-denial that consecrated Israel for the wars that God commanded (cf. Deut. 23:9–11; 1 Sam. 21:5). Although portrayed as celibate males, the 144,000 (Rev. 14:3) signify believers of both sexes who, dying in faith, are gathered as firstfruits for God, foreshadowing a greater harvest. in their mouth no lie was found. They resemble Jesus, the blameless servant of the Lord (cf. Isa. 53:9)."
    This IGNORE button is by far one of the most useful tools I've used to keep my peace while navigating through some of the madness.

    Comment


    • #3
      As I've said in other threads, the "firstfruits" that will be "sealed" that Revelation prophesies about are the same "firstfruits" that the New Testament authors say have already appeared and have already been "sealed".
      To This Day

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by -SEEKING- View Post
        From the ESV Study Bible.

        James 1:18 "Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."

        "Brought us forth by the word of truth speaks of spiritual salvation, with “us” meaning believers, the “word of truth” being the gospel, and “brought . . . forth” (that is, from the womb) being a metaphor for the new birth. The firstfruits of the harvest (cf. Ex. 23:16–19; Lev. 23:9–14) are pioneer believers, who are a prelude to further conversions yet to come (cf. Rom. 16:5; 1 Cor. 16:15)."



        Revelation 14:4 "It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb,"

        "Rev. 14:4–5 have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. The spiritual purity of those who bear the Lamb's name is symbolized by the sexual self-denial that consecrated Israel for the wars that God commanded (cf. Deut. 23:9–11; 1 Sam. 21:5). Although portrayed as celibate males, the 144,000 (Rev. 14:3) signify believers of both sexes who, dying in faith, are gathered as firstfruits for God, foreshadowing a greater harvest. in their mouth no lie was found. They resemble Jesus, the blameless servant of the Lord (cf. Isa. 53:9)."
        So you're saying they are past-tense saints who have died?

        Z.
        "Unto you therefore which believe, He is precious" (1 Peter 2:7)


        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by markedward View Post
          As I've said in other threads, the "firstfruits" that will be "sealed" that Revelation prophesies about are the same "firstfruits" that the New Testament authors say have already appeared and have already been "sealed".
          Care to elaborate?

          Z.
          "Unto you therefore which believe, He is precious" (1 Peter 2:7)


          Comment


          • #6
            Christ is called the firstfruit of the resurrection: because he was the first person who was resurrected in the context of the New Covenant. The terminology is clear here: "firstfruit" means he was the first. This does not mean he was the only one who will ever be resurrected. But it sets the precedent that "firstfruit" means just that... the first.

            The 144,000 are called "firstfruits". They are the firstfruits of Christ's salvation and New Covenant. This means they are the first people to come into Christ's salvation. There is no mention of them being the firstfruits "of the end-times" or that they were the "first of the last". It simply says they were the firstfruits. They were the first... ever. But that would mean a bunch of people living during the era of the New Testament were the firstfruits.

            Paul and James each directly call themselves and their contemporaries "the firstfruits" of Christ's salvation. [Romans 8.23; James 1.18] The passage from Romans even speaks of them in an eschatological ("end-times") context, which is what the Revelation is. The first-century Church was comprised of the firstfruits. Likewise, the first followers of Christ (the twelve disciples, Paul, and their contemporaries) were "sealed". [John 6.27; 2 Corinthians 1.21-22; Ephesians 1.13, 4.30]

            So... if the first Christians are said to be "firstfruits" and are "sealed", I would necessarily identify them as the "firstfruits" who are "sealed" of the Revelation. The likeness in the language used between the Revelation and the epistles isn't mere coincidence, they're referring to the same thing.
            To This Day

            Comment


            • #7
              For as In Adam shall all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

              But every man in his own order, Christ the Firstfruits,(already came to pass)..... afterward, they that are Christ's at His Coming..
              ----------------------------------------------------------------------

              what about these 'firstfruits'? do these include 'all' that have died in Christ, thru the ages?

              does this include 'Saints' that are currently alive today?
              Many appear Righteous and Just because they say 'yes' to Jesus Christ , yet they don't do His Will.
              ------------------------------------------------
              Verily I say unto thee, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the Kingdom of Heaven before you do.
              ------------------------------------------------
              The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying. YEA, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with LOVINGKINDESS have I DRAWN THEE.
              Jeremiah 31:3

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by markedward View Post
                Christ is called the firstfruit of the resurrection: because he was the first person who was resurrected in the context of the New Covenant. The terminology is clear here: "firstfruit" means he was the first. This does not mean he was the only one who will ever be resurrected. But it sets the precedent that "firstfruit" means just that... the first.

                The 144,000 are called "firstfruits". They are the firstfruits of Christ's salvation and New Covenant. This means they are the first people to come into Christ's salvation. There is no mention of them being the firstfruits "of the end-times" or that they were the "first of the last". It simply says they were the firstfruits. They were the first... ever. But that would mean a bunch of people living during the era of the New Testament were the firstfruits.

                Paul and James each directly call themselves and their contemporaries "the firstfruits" of Christ's salvation. [Romans 8.23; James 1.18] The passage from Romans even speaks of them in an eschatological ("end-times") context, which is what the Revelation is. The first-century Church was comprised of the firstfruits. Likewise, the first followers of Christ (the twelve disciples, Paul, and their contemporaries) were "sealed". [John 6.27; 2 Corinthians 1.21-22; Ephesians 1.13, 4.30]

                So... if the first Christians are said to be "firstfruits" and are "sealed", I would necessarily identify them as the "firstfruits" who are "sealed" of the Revelation. The likeness in the language used between the Revelation and the epistles isn't mere coincidence, they're referring to the same thing.
                Interesting...
                So what is the significance of the number 144,000?
                And why is the context of James 1:18 (and Rev 14) regarding sanctification?

                Z.
                "Unto you therefore which believe, He is precious" (1 Peter 2:7)


                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by theBelovedDisciple View Post
                  For as In Adam shall all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

                  But every man in his own order, Christ the Firstfruits,(already came to pass)..... afterward, they that are Christ's at His Coming..
                  ----------------------------------------------------------------------

                  what about these 'firstfruits'? do these include 'all' that have died in Christ, thru the ages?

                  does this include 'Saints' that are currently alive today?
                  I have also heard it said that this rendering of the passage cannot be certain since there is no punctuation in the original Greek... I'm not sure how true that is. If so, some would say it can be read as follows:

                  "For as In Adam shall all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
                  But every man in his own order, Christ, the Firstfruits, afterward, they that are Christ's at His Coming."

                  Changing the location of the comma signifies 3 separate resurrections: First, the resurrection of Christ. Second, the resurrection of the firstfruits. Last, the resurrection of those who are Christ's at His coming.

                  Weird?

                  Z.
                  "Unto you therefore which believe, He is precious" (1 Peter 2:7)


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by markedward View Post
                    Christ is called the firstfruit of the resurrection: because he was the first person who was resurrected in the context of the New Covenant. The terminology is clear here: "firstfruit" means he was the first. This does not mean he was the only one who will ever be resurrected. But it sets the precedent that "firstfruit" means just that... the first.

                    The 144,000 are called "firstfruits". They are the firstfruits of Christ's salvation and New Covenant. This means they are the first people to come into Christ's salvation. There is no mention of them being the firstfruits "of the end-times" or that they were the "first of the last". It simply says they were the firstfruits. They were the first... ever. But that would mean a bunch of people living during the era of the New Testament were the firstfruits.

                    Paul and James each directly call themselves and their contemporaries "the firstfruits" of Christ's salvation. [Romans 8.23; James 1.18] The passage from Romans even speaks of them in an eschatological ("end-times") context, which is what the Revelation is. The first-century Church was comprised of the firstfruits. Likewise, the first followers of Christ (the twelve disciples, Paul, and their contemporaries) were "sealed". [John 6.27; 2 Corinthians 1.21-22; Ephesians 1.13, 4.30]

                    So... if the first Christians are said to be "firstfruits" and are "sealed", I would necessarily identify them as the "firstfruits" who are "sealed" of the Revelation. The likeness in the language used between the Revelation and the epistles isn't mere coincidence, they're referring to the same thing.
                    I would say the first century Christian Jews are the firstfruits of the Spirit as we find in Ro 8:23. Also Jews [specifically] being a kind [Ja 1:18] of firstfruits [to the Jew first], then I would also consider the 144,000 of Rev 7 sealed prior to the gospel going unto all the world. These 144,000 of all the tribes of the children of Israel...i.e. faithful Jews are firstfruits unto God. These are the same 144,000 of Rev 14, the difference being in Rev 7 we see them being spiritually resurrected to heaven, having died in faith without living to see fulfillment of the promise of His first coming, and in Rev 14 we see them after the cross before His throne in heaven.

                    Jer 2:3 Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD.

                    Since Pentecost every Christian is sealed with the Holy Spirit, this is not limited to the first century Christians (and I don't think this is what you meant). Faithful Israelites are firstfruits unto God, and now since in Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile, but one faith in Christ, we are called Christian when we are born again of the Spirit. Faithful Jews are firstfruits, after Christ no more firstfruits, but Christians.

                    Many Blessings,
                    RW

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ZAB View Post
                      Jas 1:18 "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures."

                      What do you make of this verse of Scripture? Especially in relation to:

                      Rev 14:1-5 "And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads...These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God."


                      Z.


                      The early Jews where the firstfruits of the Gospel...then afterwards, the gospel went to the Gentiles for the main harvest.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ZAB View Post
                        So what is the significance of the number 144,000?
                        I would say that it's a numerically symbolic gesture. The number is 12 times 12 times 1000. The number 12 is used in Scripture as a symbol of the followers of God (twelve tribes, twelve disciples, etc.). The number 1000 is used in Scripture as a symbol of completeness (a thousand hills, a thousand generations, etc.).

                        Christ did not mean for us to literally forgive people only 70 times 7 times. The number 7 is a number of perfection, and 70 is essentially a larger version of that. His point was that we are to be perfect in our mercy and ability to forgive others. In other words, don't just forgive an individual only 490 times, forgive them unconditionally anytime they seek forgiveness, even if it happens to exceed 490.

                        In the same manner, 144,000 is a number symbolizing the entirety of Christ's followers. The "firstfruits" is a reference to the first of his followers (being, as I said, the ones living in the first century).

                        John makes use of a certain mannerism throughout the Revelation. He repeatedly says something like, "I heard..." and then follows it up with "I turned and saw..." But often, what John hears about and what John actually sees are different. For instance, John "heard" about the Lion of Judah, but when he "turned to see", he didn't see a Lion, he saw a Lamb. But we should not interpret the Lion and the Lamb as being different entities; both the Lion and the Lamb are the same entity, Jesus. John says he "heard" about the 144,00, but when he "turned to see", he saw a multitude that was unable to be counted. The 144,000 and this innumerable multitude are not different entities; they are the same.

                        And why is the context of James 1:18 (and Rev 14) regarding sanctification?
                        I'm not sure what you mean by this question.
                        To This Day

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by theBelovedDisciple View Post
                          For as In Adam shall all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

                          But every man in his own order, Christ the Firstfruits,(already came to pass)..... afterward, they that are Christ's at His Coming..
                          ----------------------------------------------------------------------

                          what about these 'firstfruits'? do these include 'all' that have died in Christ, thru the ages?

                          does this include 'Saints' that are currently alive today?
                          Greetings BLD,

                          When we look at this verse in context we find it is reference to those who have died [them that slept] in faith awaiting the promise of Christ's first coming. Christ is the firstfruits of them that have already died. Therefore in Christ these faithful saints are made spiritually alive through Christ's victory over the cross and death. This is the order, Christ resurrected from the grave, takes spiritually those who died in faith waiting for Him. Now all who die in faith go spiritually to be with Him in heaven, then at the end of time He will deliver up the completed Kingdom to God the Father, having destroyed the last enemy, death.

                          1Co 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
                          1Co 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
                          1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
                          1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
                          1Co 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
                          1Co 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
                          1Co 15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

                          Many Blessings,
                          RW

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by markedward View Post
                            I would say that it's a numerically symbolic gesture. The number is 12 times 12 times 1000. The number 12 is used in Scripture as a symbol of the followers of God (twelve tribes, twelve disciples, etc.). The number 1000 is used in Scripture as a symbol of completeness (a thousand hills, a thousand generations, etc.).

                            Christ did not mean for us to literally forgive people only 70 times 7 times. The number 7 is a number of perfection, and 70 is essentially a larger version of that. His point was that we are to be perfect in our mercy and ability to forgive others. In other words, don't just forgive an individual only 490 times, forgive them unconditionally anytime they seek forgiveness, even if it happens to exceed 490.

                            In the same manner, 144,000 is a number symbolizing the entirety of Christ's followers. The "firstfruits" is a reference to the first of his followers (being, as I said, the ones living in the first century).

                            John makes use of a certain mannerism throughout the Revelation. He repeatedly says something like, "I heard..." and then follows it up with "I turned and saw..." But often, what John hears about and what John actually sees are different. For instance, John "heard" about the Lion of Judah, but when he "turned to see", he didn't see a Lion, he saw a Lamb. But we should not interpret the Lion and the Lamb as being different entities; both the Lion and the Lamb are the same entity, Jesus. John says he "heard" about the 144,00, but when he "turned to see", he saw a multitude that was unable to be counted. The 144,000 and this innumerable multitude are not different entities; they are the same.

                            I'm not sure what you mean by this question.
                            Yes, I've often heard the 144,000 and the great multitude (Rev 7 & 14) defined as one in the same. But I don't think this is correct, because the text specifically tells us the 144,000 are from all the tribes of the children of Israel. But then when we read of the great multitude we find they are from all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues. To say these are both the same group of the redeemed causes us to miss (in this passage) the great significance and enormous victory of Christ at the cross. Prior to the cross and Pentecost, 144,000 symbolizes a remnant being saved, but after the cross and Christ sending the Spirit at Pentecost we find a great multitude that no man can number being saved. I would argue this is an important truth we must not gloss over.

                            Many Blessings,
                            RW

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by markedward View Post
                              I would say that it's a numerically symbolic gesture. The number is 12 times 12 times 1000. The number 12 is used in Scripture as a symbol of the followers of God (twelve tribes, twelve disciples, etc.). The number 1000 is used in Scripture as a symbol of completeness (a thousand hills, a thousand generations, etc.).

                              Christ did not mean for us to literally forgive people only 70 times 7 times. The number 7 is a number of perfection, and 70 is essentially a larger version of that. His point was that we are to be perfect in our mercy and ability to forgive others. In other words, don't just forgive an individual only 490 times, forgive them unconditionally anytime they seek forgiveness, even if it happens to exceed 490.

                              In the same manner, 144,000 is a number symbolizing the entirety of Christ's followers. The "firstfruits" is a reference to the first of his followers (being, as I said, the ones living in the first century).

                              John makes use of a certain mannerism throughout the Revelation. He repeatedly says something like, "I heard..." and then follows it up with "I turned and saw..." But often, what John hears about and what John actually sees are different. For instance, John "heard" about the Lion of Judah, but when he "turned to see", he didn't see a Lion, he saw a Lamb. But we should not interpret the Lion and the Lamb as being different entities; both the Lion and the Lamb are the same entity, Jesus. John says he "heard" about the 144,00, but when he "turned to see", he saw a multitude that was unable to be counted. The 144,000 and this innumerable multitude are not different entities; they are the same.
                              Great answer, thanks.

                              I'm not sure what you mean by this question.
                              Verses 19-22 of James 1 says, "therefore". Almost alluding to something different. "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves."

                              Also, the Rev 14 passage seems to imply these firstfruits are significantly set apart: "These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth."



                              Z.
                              "Unto you therefore which believe, He is precious" (1 Peter 2:7)


                              Comment

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