Understanding the Significance of the FIRST FRUITS



Without a background understanding of who true Israel is, the reader will not be able to comprehend the scope and depth of this study.

Here are studies of the true Israel.

1 Corinthians 15:20

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.”

King James Version (KJV)

Note:  Jesus Christ is The Firstfruit (singular).

Deuteronomy 18:4

“The firstfruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him.”

King James Version (KJV)

 We see here in 1 Corinthians 15:20 Firstfruits (plural) used with the preposition "OF"  them (3rd person object plural pronoun referring to all the Saints as the object of existing as the "firstfruits" meaning who have died and are awaiting their resurrection from the dead to be with Christ Jesus. 

1 Corinthians 15:21

“For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.”

King James Version (KJV)

1 Corinthians 15:22

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

King James Version (KJV)

Jesus Christ is the First Fruit. He exists from the Type And Shadow of the Harvest Wave Offering of Leviticus 

Deuteronomy 18:4

“The firstfruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him.”

King James Version (KJV)

Although the standard or conventional wisdom's explanation of "firstfruits" is logical in part, (see notes below), it leaves out what scripture is actually telling us which is actually.

Jesus Christ is the First Fruit and all who are saved are the First Fruits and this body will all be comprised as One in Israel.  See my extensive studies here that apply.

IF we carefully examine scripture we see as we find in1 Corinthians 15:20-22 KJB that the "kinds "of first fruits are Harvests:  BARLEY WHEAT and GRAPE.

Kinds*  I want to thank my sister in Christ Sharon for bringing to my attention the word, "kind" found in James. Also thank you sister in Christ Jennifer for your input.

James 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.”

King James Version (KJV)

Barely - the Winnowing of lifting - throwing up into the air the barely grain to separate it from the shell. Foreshadows of the RAPTURE

Wheat - The necessity of going through the TRIBULUM crushing process to break the shell from the kernel of wheat. To separate the chaff, there is a crushing and takes place.

Revelation 13:7

“And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”

King James Version (KJV)

GRAPES  The treading and complete destruction pulverizing of the grape by smashing, crushing and completely obliterating the outer shell and process the grape juice.  Stomping on the grapes.

The Grapes of Wrath:  Revelation 14

Revelation 14:19

“And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.”

King James Version (KJV)


First Fruits standard explanation:

“The firstfruits” is a common expression found in both Old and New Testaments. It is used in Scripture with both literal and figurative meanings. So when Paul said Christ was “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20), he was using terminology and imagery rich in history and meaning.

At least five kinds of firstfruits can be identified in Scripture:


In the Old Testament, God commanded His people to give the first and best portions of the harvest as an offering to Him (Ex. 23:16; Neh. 10:35). This included grain (Ex. 23:16; 34:22), olive oil (Num. 18:12; Deut. 18:4), new wine (Num. 18:12; Deut. 18:4), honey (2 Chron. 31:5), sheep wool (Deut. 18:4), fruit (Neh. 10:35), and even their herds and flocks (Deut. 15:19).

By giving the firstfruits as an offering to God, the Israelites acknowledged that all the harvest—in fact, everything they had—came from God and belonged to Him. The offering of firstfruits was likewise an expression of faith that something else—the harvest of the rest of the crop—would come later. Therefore, the firstfruits offering acknowledged God’s ownership of everything, expressed thankfulness for His provision, and anticipated what was to come.

Firstfruits were given at the Feast of Harvest (Ex. 23:16), the second of three annual festivals. This feast is also known as the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost (Ex. 34:22; Num. 28:26). It was normally celebrated seven complete weeks or fifty days after the Passover (Lev 23:16). In the New Testament it is known simply as Pentecost.


In a symbolic use of the term, Jeremiah called Israel the firstfruits of God’s harvest. “Israel was holy to the Lord, the firstfruits of his harvest” (Jer. 2:3). Just as the first and choicest crops were devoted to God, Israel was God’s chosen and set apart people. But the fact that Israel was God’s firstfruits, not His only fruit, also anticipated other peoples and nations coming to the Lord.


In Romans 16:5 and 1 Corinthians 16:15, the first converts of a particular area were called “the firstfruits.” Some translations use the term “first converts,” but literally it is “firstfruits” (KJV), the same word used in 1 Corinthians 15:20.

James 1:18 uses the term with reference to believers: “By his choice, he gave us birth by the word of truth so that we would be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” The new birth we have experienced is only a preview of the day to come when He will make all things new in a new heaven and a new earth.


Paul said we “have the Spirit as the firstfruits” (Rom. 8:23). The Holy Spirit is a foretaste, the first installment of our future glory. He is God’s the pledge of more to come in our resurrection life.


When Paul said Jesus is “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20), he was drawing an analogy between the Old Testament offering and Jesus’ resurrection. As the Old Testament firstfruits symbolized and consecrated the entire harvest that was to follow, Christ’s resurrection was the foretaste of the resurrection of all believers yet to come. His resurrection is our assurance that one day all believers will be raised from the dead and will receive new, resurrected bodies.

“Where, death, is your victory?
Where, death, is your sting?” (1 Cor. 15:55)

5 Kinds of Firstfruits (Session 5 – John 20:3-9; 1 Corinthians 15:20-28) - Explore the Bible (lifeway.com)


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