HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE THE FIRST FRUIT OFFERING?
“The first fruit is the first of the offerings that you get in the course of the harvest year or when you begin a new venture. Exodus chapter 23 verse 16 says, ‘The feast of harvest, the first fruit of your labour, which you have sown in the field’. Traditionally, in biblical times, when you get into a new field, you plant corn, yam, barley, or wheat. At the end of the planting season, when the food has grown, there will be a first set of harvest that comes out from the ground. It may be three, four, or a whole sheaf. The very first set of harvest you get, you gather them together and you go and give them as an offering unto the Lord, as an acknowledgment that He made the ground to yield for you.”
“It is an offering of thanks and appreciation. What the Bible says is that if you do that and you put God first, the rest of your harvest will not fail and everything else that needs to come out of the ground for you during the harvest season will come out. In those days, you could plant and then after a while, new dew of locust, blight, or wrong climate may kill the rest of the harvest and not allow it to grow. But once you give God the first of the harvest, then He’s duty-bound to protect the rest of the harvest, which is now yours. That explains the first fruit.”
HOW DO YOU RELATE YOUR EXPLANATION OF THE FIRST FRUIT TO THE MODERN DAY?
“In the modern day, the recommendation is that the first salary that you earn or the first income you generate from business as a businessman is your first fruit. You should come and present it to the Lord so that your income for that year will be guaranteed. The other side of the first fruit is that if you’ve been harvesting 10 tubers of yam regularly then all of a sudden something happens and it is 12 tubers and you’d be getting those 12 tubers regularly, the first two incremental tubers are also your first fruit. That’s the first fruit of your increase. So in the modern day, if you get a salary increase from N100,000 to N150,000, the additional N50,000 you get the first time you earn that N150,000, becomes the first fruit of your increase. This is to ensure that the increase doesn’t fail and that it continues. It is biblical and spiritual. That explains the first fruit.”
DOES THE FIRST FRUIT BELONG TO THE PASTOR OR THE CHURCH?”The tithes and the first fruit belong to the priests; that is God’s way of compensating them for their commitment and dedication to the work of God. So when you pay your tithe, your tithe goes to sort out the welfare of the priests; both the high priest, the priest, and the sons of Levi, the musicians, and all that. They share it among themselves and they pay their tithe or first fruits to the high priest. These days, the money goes to the church primarily, which was what it was then, and then the church will divide it among its people as it deems fit. Some may go to the priests, Levites, welfare cases, the poor, or church building and enforcement. That is how it generally is. What you do is that you’re giving it to God and God is giving it to his people.”