Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. ‘He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath, the priest shall wave it. Leviticus 23:9-14
Holy Days of our LORD First FruitsThe Church and the Chosen are represented in the wave offerings of the two loaves of bread before the Lord, the offering for the new harvest season. We interview the editor of Eretz (The Land) magazine regarding his insights into the ancient commonalities between modern Judaism and the present-day Church. On location in Israel, we created this presentation of the holidays our Lord celebrated. Given to Moses on Mt. Sinai, these celebrations comprise one of a fascinating studies of Biblical types and shadows. Few churches or seminaries teach what we take up in this series. Closed Captioned.
Zola teaches from the Mount of Olives, giving us a summary of the festivals that the Lord established for the Chosen People in Leviticus 23.
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, [Concerning] the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim [to be] holy convocations, [even] these [are] my feasts.
Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day [is] the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work [therein]: it [is] the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. These [are] the feasts of the LORD, [even] holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. Leviticus 23
Holy Days of our LORD First Fruits
It’s Firstfruits NOT Easter
Where Easter is concerned, however, we have confused a pagan ritual with First Fruits. Each spring, the Babylonians saw the genuine first fruits and assumed it would be a fine time to ask their goddess, Ishtar (Easter), for new babies. They worshipped the things in nature which represented fertility, such as the rabbit and the egg. The people wore new costumes, in keeping with the new buds on the trees and shrubbery. Today, we continue the Babylonian rite with our Easter Bunny and our painted eggs and our new outfits for the Easter Parade. An egg hunt, of course, represents the attempt to conceive a baby.
The original name of the third feast, however, contains a great truth. If there are first fruits, then there must be a second, a third and so on, and that is the true meaning of this Sunday. We do not merely celebrate the resurrection of the Lord on First Fruits, but more so, the resurrection of the entire church. That the Lord rose from the dead is cause for great wonder and blessing, but are we really surprised? He could raise the dead Himself; He could walk on water; He could feed the thousands. The greater miracle is that we ordinary, mortal, earthly sinners will all rise! As Paul presented so clearly:
“For as in Adam 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” (I Cor. 15:22–23).
Those “in Adam” die, since all descendants of our sinning original father have inherited his terrible tendency. But in Christ we are made alive again. And this will happen in some given order, as the Scripture tells us. Christ is the firstfruits; His “number” was one. Apparently, we all have a number and we will be raised from our graves in order. Obviously, “The dead in Christ shall rise first” (I Thess. 4:16–17), since they have lower numbers.
Jesus celebrated First Fruits in the appropriate manner by rising from the dead on that day. He also gave the Father His proper First Fruits offering; graves were opened and dead people rose and were seen after His resurrection in Jerusalem (Matt. 27:53). Our Lord, not unlike any farmer of the soil, gratefully brought before the Father a few early “crops” of what would be a magnificent harvest later on. We sometimes fail to note that Jesus was not the only deceased person to rise on that miraculous day of First Fruits. Those He brought forth from their graves represent a type of the church. We, too, shall be brought forth from our graves for the big fall harvest — the Rapture — at the Feast of Trumpets. It was not only, then, the Lord’s resurrection that demonstrates our promise, but also the resurrection of those chosen saints of the time, which assures us of our own triumph.
Jesus our Firstfruits Fulfilled
Thus, clearly, in His Passion Week, the Lord celebrated the first three feasts, each in the appropriate manner. He was crucified on Passover, answering to the Blood of the Lamb, which had gotten the chosen people out of slavery to begin with; He was buried on Unleavened Bread (“This bread is my body”) — a case of a dead man arranging his own burial at the appropriate time. And He was raised on First Fruits, as a demonstration of the future resurrection of the church. That wasn’t the end of the Lord’s ministry on earth, even though we assume He was inactive after that. As a matter of fact, He continued, regarding His promise to the disciples in John 14, to send the Holy Spirit. The fourth feast, Pentecost, occurs 50 days after First Fruits (Lev. 23:15–16), and on that very day, the Holy Spirit attended the Pentecost festivities at the Temple site “like a rushing, mighty wind.” Pentecost represents the summer harvest, a larger harvest than First Fruits, but not so large as the fall crops, and the Holy Spirit harvested 3,000 people (Acts 2:41). On the occasion when the Law came, Israel had made a golden calf, and by God’s direction, 3,000 were killed (Ex. 32:38). And now, on Pentecost, the same number were returned to the Chosen People, “The letter kills, the Spirit gives life.”
That was the last of the Lord’s activities that we have seen on earth, other than the various personal miracles we all experience in our holy walk with Him. We are due, therefore, for upcoming performances, each on their appropriate day, if the Lord is to continue the system He has undertaken. If we are correct about the ongoing fulfillment of the feasts in their proper order, we should expect the Rapture of the church, appropriately enough, on the Feast of Trumpets (I Thess. 4:16–17; I Cor. 15:51–52). We cannot be dogmatic on this point, since the Lord is to come by surprise, and the church is becoming more and more aware of the feasts — even expecting Him on Trumpets. Yet, He intends to surprise us ‘Like a thief in the night,” and so there is some debate about whether He will continue to fulfill the feasts or whether He will pick some other day, surprising us all. The writer rather prefers the idea of the Day of Trumpets, itself, and is aware that some of the church is expecting the Lord on that very day in some future year. We are not those who are asleep after all; we are supposed to be waiting and watching expectantly (I Thess. 5:1–10).
If our theory is correct, then the Lord should continue to fulfill the last two feasts — even after the Rapture of the church. And indeed it appears that He will. The Day of Atonement will be fulfilled at the Second Coming, when “they shall look upon Him whom they have pierced and mourn for Him as for an only son…and all Israel will be saved” (Zech. 12:10; Romans 11:26). It must be stressed that it is only surviving Jews who will be saved. Thus it is necessary to witness to the Jews now, if they are to go in the Rapture of the church, and not relegate them to waiting through the Tribulation Period and Armageddon for the Second Coming. Many of them will perish in such circumstances and never live to see the Lord come. Thus, they will be lost, and this will greatly grieve the Father, who loves them.
Finally, the Lord will celebrate the seventh feast, the Feast of Tabernacles, when He places His own tabernacle here on earth among us and the world will come up from year to year to worship Him (Zech. 14:16–19).
First Fruits and The Future
Clearly, then, Christians have a very bright future. First Fruits, in essence, means that our Saviour will return for us. Buddha and Mohammed have not promised their followers they will return. With these worldly religions, what you see is what you get. But our King is coming! First Fruits represents, in a way, the whole point of Christianity — what we see is not all we get. This life is only the beginning. Even if we are dead, we shall rise — just as those dead branches of winter bear fruits every spring. Let us pray with John, “Amen, come quickly Lord Jesus.”
List of Scriptures on Firstfruits
“You shall bring the choice first fruits of your soil into the house of the LORD your God “You are not to boil a young goat in the milk of its mother.
“You shall bring the very first of the first fruits of your soil into the house of the LORD your God. “You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.”
‘No grain offering, which you bring to the LORD, shall be made with leaven, for you shall not offer up in smoke any leaven or any honey as an offering by fire to the LORD. ‘As an offering of first fruits you shall bring them to the LORD, but they shall not ascend for a soothing aroma on the altar. ‘Every grain offering of yours, moreover, you shall season with salt, so that the salt of the covenant of your God shall not be lacking from your grain offering; with all your offerings you shall offer salt.
“Then it shall be, when you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance, and you possess it and live in it, that you shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground which you bring in from your land that the LORD your God gives you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place where the LORD your God chooses to establish His name. “You shall go to the priest who is in office at that time and say to him, ‘I declare this day to the LORD my God that I have entered the land which the LORD swore to our fathers to give us.’
“Israel was holy to the LORD, The first of His harvest All who ate of it became guilty; Evil came upon them,” declares the LORD.'”
and that they might bring the first fruits of our ground and the first fruits of all the fruit of every tree to the house of the LORD annually, and bring to the house of our God the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, and the firstborn of our herds and our flocks as it is written in the law, for the priests who are ministering in the house of our God. We will also bring the first of our dough, our contributions, the fruit of every tree, the new wine and the oil to the priests at the chambers of the house of our God, and the tithe of our ground to the Levites, for the Levites are they who receive the tithes in all the rural towns.
and I arranged for the supply of wood at appointed times and for the first fruits Remember me, O my God, for good.
Honor the LORD from your wealth And from the first of all your produce; So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine.
If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too.
Then the LORD spoke to Aaron, “Now behold, I Myself have given you charge of My offerings, even all the holy gifts of the sons of Israel I have given them to you as a portion and to your sons as a perpetual allotment. “This shall be yours from the most holy gifts reserved from the fire; every offering of theirs, even every grain offering and every sin offering and every guilt offering, which they shall render to Me, shall be most holy for you and for your sons. “As the most holy gifts you shall eat it; every male shall eat it. It shall be holy to you.
“The Levitical priests, the whole tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel; they shall eat the LORD’S offerings by fire and His portion. “They shall have no inheritance among their countrymen; the LORD is their inheritance, as He promised them. “Now this shall be the priests’ due from the people, from those who offer a sacrifice, either an ox or a sheep, of which they shall give to the priest the shoulder and the two cheeks and the stomach.
2 Chronicles 31:2-5
And Hezekiah appointed the divisions of the priests and the Levites by their divisions, each according to his service, both the priests and the Levites, for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to minister and to give thanks and to praise in the gates of the camp of the LORD. He also appointed the king’s portion of his goods for the burnt offerings, namely, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths and for the new moons and for the fixed festivals, as it is written in the law of the LORD. Also he commanded the people who lived in Jerusalem to give the portion due to the priests and the Levites, that they might devote themselves to the law of the LORD.
On that day men were also appointed over the chambers for the stores, the contributions, the first fruits and the tithes, to gather into them from the fields of the cities the portions required by the law for the priests and Levites; for Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who served. For they performed the worship of their God and the service of purification, together with the singers and the gatekeepers in accordance with the command of David and of his son Solomon. For in the days of David and Asaph, in ancient times, there were leaders of the singers, songs of praise and hymns of thanksgiving to God.
“And it shall be with regard to an inheritance for them, that I am their inheritance; and you shall give them no possession in Israel–I am their possession. “They shall eat the grain offering, the sin offering and the guilt offering; and every devoted thing in Israel shall be theirs. “The first of all the first fruits of every kind and every contribution of every kind, from all your contributions, shall be for the priests; you shall also give to the priest the first of your dough to cause a blessing to rest on your house.
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest. ‘He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath, the priest shall wave it.
“Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the first fruits of your labors from what you sow in the field; also the Feast of the Ingathering at the end of the year when you gather in the fruit of your labors from the field.
“You shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks, that is, the first fruits of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year.
‘You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. ‘You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the LORD. ‘You shall bring in from your dwelling places two loaves of bread for a wave offering, made of two-tenths of an ephah; they shall be of a fine flour, baked with leaven as first fruits to the LORD.
‘Also on the day of the first fruits, when you present a new grain offering to the LORD in your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work.
And smote all the firstborn in Egypt, The first issue of their virility in the tents of Ham.
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Sanctify to Me every firstborn, the first offspring of every womb among the sons of Israel, both of man and beast; it belongs to Me.”
“Every devoted thing in Israel shall be yours. “Every first issue of the womb of all flesh, whether man or animal, which they offer to the LORD, shall be yours; nevertheless the firstborn of man you shall surely redeem, and the firstborn of unclean animals you shall redeem. “As to their redemption price, from a month old you shall redeem them, by your valuation, five shekels in silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs. read more.
He also struck down all the firstborn in their land, The first fruits of all their vigor.
Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth, The love of your betrothals, Your following after Me in the wilderness, Through a land not sown. “Israel was holy to the LORD, The first of His harvest All who ate of it became guilty; Evil came upon them,” declares the LORD.'”
1 Corinthians 15:20-28
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
“So, having obtained help from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, stating nothing but what the Prophets and Moses said was going to take place; that the Christ was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.”
In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.
And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
2 Thessalonians 2:13
But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.
Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth.
About Zola Levitt Ministries
We hold to a strictly literal and inerrant Bible interpretation, salvation through Christ alone, a soon pre-tribulation Rapture of all believers and the establishment of a thousand-year kingdom on Earth.
The evangelism of the unbelievers and the exhortation of the believers take precedence over all other activities of this ministry.
Zola, What We Do
Founded in 1979, we are principally a teaching and evangelistic association.
- Our national television program, Zola Levitt Presents, airs on nearly a hundred independent stations and teaches the Bible with an emphasis on Israel, prophecy, and the Jewish roots of Christianity.
- Our free monthly Levitt Letter newsletter users gives a concise Biblical perspectivewith updates on recent events in Israel. The Levitt Letter is mailed to almost 40,000 households and 9,200 online per monthly.
- Our Institute of Jewish-Christian Studies correspondence course teaches the Jewish roots of the Christian faith to more than 3,000 currently-enrolled students.
- Our online store carries a large number of teaching materials.
- We offer several tours each year to Israel, Greece, and locations in the U.S.
- We offer speakers for churches, civic groups, university conferences and the like to speak on the subject of the Holy Land, End-times Prophecy, and general bible discussions.
Zola Levitt Ministries has sent hundreds of books to the Holy Land and planted thousands of trees throughout Israel.
Zola Levitt was the most beloved and well-known Messianic Jewish Bible teacher and Middle East commentator of his day. He was a Jewish Christian thoroughly educated in the synagogues and brought to the Messiah in 1971. He held music degrees from Duquesne University and Indiana University (doctoral coursework completed), and an Honorary Th.D. from Faith Bible College. He played the oboe, English horn, recorder, and piano.
He is best known for hosting the weekly national television program Zola Levitt Presents. He formerly hosted two top-rated radio talk shows — The Heart of the Matter in Dallas, and the nationally syndicated Zola Levitt Live.
Zola was a widely published author with more than 50 books in several languages, and the composer of some 200 spiritual songs, personally performed on most of his albums.
Zola lectured and hosted on more than 100 tours to Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, the areas of the seven churches, Mediterranean islands, European capitals, etc. He taught a course on “Christ in the Old Testament” at Dallas Baptist University and gave seminars at other education institutions.
Zola Levitt, founder and patriarch of Zola Levitt Ministries, died peacefully on April 19, 2006 at his home in Dallas, Texas, following a courageous two-month battle with lung cancer. He was 67 years old.
Those he left behind mourn his passing but celebrate his “promotion the Head Office.” They include his beloved wife Sandra; a son Mark, who takes the lead in administrating this ever-expanding worldwide ministry; a son Aaron, who participates behind the scenes, helping with writing, editing, and more; and a stepson Will. With Ken Berg—Zola’s faithful producer of 28 years—and a dedicated staff of professionals, the Levitt legacy continues, as it will until the Second Coming of our Lord.