“‘Set apart to me every firstborn male—the first offspring of every womb among the Israelites, whether human or animal; it is mine.’ … Then you must give over to the Lord the first offspring of every womb. Every firstling of a beast that you have—the males will be the Lord’s” (Exod. 13:2, 12, NET).
“Every firstborn of the womb belongs to me, even every firstborn of your cattle that is a male, whether ox or sheep. … The first of the firstfruits of your soil you must bring to the house of the Lord your God” (Exod. 34:19, 26).
“Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled completely, and your vats will overflow with new wine” (Prov. 3:9–10).
Why Is Firstfruits So Important?
This week as I was reading Exodus, the Lord began to highlight the concept of “firstfruits” to me. He emphasized again and again that all firstborn were His, including the firstborn of animals. He also said that firstfruits of crops needed to be brought to Him. I began to study this more, and below are some conclusions on the functions of giving “firstfruits.”
- When we give or recognize “firstfruits,” we place on it the value that God places on it. Moses was instructed: “You must say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Israel is my son, my firstborn”’” (4:22). God wanted to release Israel into its destiny. So there is a definite link to “firstfruits” and being enabled to fulfill our calling.
- Pharaoh resisted what God said. “When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to release us, the Lord killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of people to the firstborn of animals” (13:15). Notice then the principle reason that Moses states for giving the firstborn to the Lord: “That is why I am sacrificing to the Lord the first male offspring of every womb, but all my firstborn sons I redeem” (13:15). It’s something like if we aren’t willing to give it or recognize it, it may be taken away.
- On the other hand, if we willingly give firstfruits to the Lord, then He takes it and moves us into the miraculous. Consider the story of Hannah who could not conceive (1 Sam. 1–2). She told the Lord that if she bore a son, she would give her son to Him. This was all done in faith. She had no son and couldn’t even conceive. She made the promise and miraculous things happened. She conceived, Samuel was born, and at the right time, was given to the Lord. Giving her firstborn to the Lord was the beginning of much more blessing. She didn’t just “give Samuel away.” No, she gave to God, who is the creator and source of all life. Not only did Samuel enter into and fulfill a great destiny, but God kept on giving to Hannah, who ended up having a total of seven children. In 1 Samuel 2:5, we read, “Even the barren woman gives birth to seven.”
Firstfruits Giving and the Apostolic Fund (Pledge of US $1000 for the Year)
(Details about becoming an Apostolic Fund Supporter [AFS] are below.)
Recently. someone told me that giving to the Arise 5 Apostolic Fund is like giving a firstfruits offering. The more I thought about it, the more I began to see it as such. If so, we can then state the following:
- For some, it is definitely a matter of giving or promising “in faith.” Hannah was still barren when she, by faith, promised her son to the Lord. But her “promising” resulted in Samuel’s miraculous birth.
- Like all firstfruits, when it is placed in the Lord’s hands, then He blesses it or releases it for its proper destiny. By giving, we “honor the Lord with our firstfruits.” Even though we are talking about money here, please think of Samuel. He was no ordinary boy, and was used incredibly by the Lord. We can believe for our giving to have impact far beyond the ordinary.
- Giving of firstfruits not only honors the Lord, but also allows Him to release us into our destiny. Who would have thought that after years of barrenness, Hannah would be the mother of Samuel and six more children? What a destiny she had. Giving firstfruits releases us.
- The firstfruits then releases continued blessing and increase—Hannah had many more children.
I am so amazed at this power in firstfruits. I am so glad that whenever we give firstfruits to the Lord, these amazing things are then opened.
Thanks for praying.
Ron and Teddy Sawka
MPP Off for the Chinese New Year!
The largest group (by number) connected to MPP are Chinese. (We are told that several thousand people either listen to the broadcast/recording, or read the transcripts daily.) Therefore MPP is off for the Chinese New Year (Jan. 27–Feb. 5), and will resume on February 6.
MPP is broadcast weekdays from 6:00–6:50 a.m. (Japan Time) at ustream.tv/channel/arise-5-morning-prophetic-prayer-mpp. To receive transcripts or to unsubscribe from the mailing list, please write to email@example.com.
- Feb. 4, Arise 5 Network and Firstfruits, Sano, Japan
- Feb. 10–11, Daejeon, Korea
- Feb. 23–28, Sri Lanka
(My schedule for the year is listed at arise5.com/events.)
Giving to Arise 5
Your giving plays such a vital role in helping us to do what the Lord has assigned to us. No matter what amount the Lord puts on your heart, we are so very, very thankful. Be blessed with the same blessing the Lord gives us as we travel (1 Sam. 30:24)
You may also feel led to become an Arise 5 Apostolic Fund Supporter (AFS) by pledging to give $1000 (US) or its equivalent for the year.
Bank Info and Online Giving
Arise 5 now has online giving. Not only will this make it easier for those who live in the USA and Canada, but it will also help those in countries without a designated account for Arise 5. You can give by credit or debit card, or via electronic bank account transfer at arise5.com/giving.
You can also give via the bank account in the following nations: Japan, China, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Russia. Bank information is listed below.
JAPAN (and direct deposits from countries not listed below):
Bank name: SMBC Trust Bank
Bank address: Nishi Shimbashi Square 1-3-1 Nishi Shimbashi, Minato Ku, Tokyo Japan 105-0003
SWIFT code: SMTC JPJT
Intermediate bank name and SWIFT code: Citibank Japan Ltd. Tokyo Japan, CITI JPJT
Account name: Ronald W. Sawka
Account number: 93642377
CHINA: 中国工商银行郑州郑上路支行, 户名：RONALD WADE SAWKA, 账号：6212 2617 0201 3013 933
KOREA: KEB Bank 172-18-47989-8
MALAYSIA: Standard Chartered Bank 390194941955 (account name Ronald W. Sawka)
SINGAPORE: POSBank 149-42129-7 (account name Ronald W. Sawka)
TAIWAN: Chinatrust 42854-041347-0
RUSSIA: Please write us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*USA: Destiny Christian Church, 2161 Forrest Avenue, Dover, Delaware 19904
Email: email@example.com; Phone: 302-674-4288
OTHERS: Please use the SMBC Trust Bank details for direct deposits as listed above (be sure to include the intermediary bank name and SWIFT code).
All other nations please use our online giving form at arise5.com/giving.