Does “First” equate to “Best”?

After reading and hearing a lot about honouring God with the best of your finances, I thought it might be a good idea to write something along those lines. In all honesty, does first equate to best? Where on the face of the earth do believers that peddle this funny doctrine get their ideas?

If for instance I told you that the letter “A” was an alphabet and the letter “B” was also an alphabet, have I told you that “A” is the same thing as “B”? It would be so absurd to make such conclusion. Rather unfortunately, that is the same line of thought that has given rise to the first being the best belief. The first has been called everything from the tithe to the firstfruits et all.

Searching scripture from cover to cover, there is simply no verse that ever equates the first to the best or to tithes. Another man-made doctrine that appeals only to those with itching ears who own bibles just for the sake of it!  From the Old Testament of the Holy Scriptures, we can gather that the first always consisted of the firstborn male animal, first born male of any household and the first crops to ripen aka firstfruits. If we decide to import this into today’s church, how then can we determine the first of currency in trying to bring the “best”? All £1 coins are the same, so also £2 coins as well as £5 notes, £10 notes and all the denominations within the English currency are the same. Which comes first? Which can actually be referred to as the “firstborn” so to speak?

The commercialisation of the gospel and it’s infusion with new age philosophy is to blame for this mess. Since many pews are packed full of spiritually naïve people each Sunday, their simple mindedness makes them very easy target for many rapacious preachers that litter the pulpits. Why not consult your bibles to see what it truly says about the first? Let’s look at why the firstborns became the Lord’s.

11And it shall be when the LORD shall bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, and shall give it thee,

12That thou shalt set apart unto the LORD all that openeth the matrix, and every firstling that cometh of a beast which thou hast; the males shall be the LORD’s.

13And every firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb; and if thou wilt not redeem it, then thou shalt break his neck: and all the firstborn of man among thy children shalt thou redeem.

14And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the LORD brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage:

15And it came to pass, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that the LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast: therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all that openeth the matrix, being males; but all the firstborn of my children I redeem.

16And it shall be for a token upon thine hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes: for by strength of hand the LORD brought us forth out of Egypt. Ex 13

The offering of the first served as a reminder of their emancipation from Egypt. It was not instituted as a means of “attracting” God’s wealth or prosperity.

How about this

29Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.

30Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me. Exodus 22.

Still no mention of offering the first of money! And please do not tell me that this was because money was not available then. Read your bibles properly! I even find it amusing that we are encouraged to bring our “first” or “best” every month. A mammal can only ever have one firstborn. It never gives birth to a first born every time it falls pregnant. Neither does a human. Where then does this continual practise of offering the so called “first” of “best” arise? Definitely not from the bible!

As much of today’s church have redefined the bible’s meaning of tithes so also have they tried to redefine the true biblical meaning of the first. The offering of the first born animals and the first of ripe crops were all shadows of Christ! In Him all of these things find their fulfilment. He is the first born that has been offered up unto God once and for all. He is the firstfruit and He is the firstborn of all creation. In His day, he ticked all the boxes. He was Mary’s firstborn son. Since He has already been offered up, this negates the practice of trying keep offering the first unto God.

The first did not really symbolise the best but showed the strength of man. In other words it showed that a man has someone to carry on his name. We see an example of this in Gen 49: 3

Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:

Jacob never referred to Rueben as the best.

There is simply no way to determine the best of currency neither does scripture equate the first with the best. That is simply a money making man-made idea.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Syl
    Jan 05, 2011 @ 01:34:29

    Hi there,

    I found your blog today and love it. I just finished watching Paula White today and she was teaching about first fruits which is the message she teaches about every January. I decided to google “first fruits doctrine”, came across your blog and have been on here for at least two hours reading up about first fruits and the tithe. I have been attending pentecostal churches for many years and the church my husband and I attend currently is really big on tithing.

    I actually started to question the tithing doctrine about 2 years ago when my husband lost his well paying job. We were faithful tithers for the last 10 years and then even after he lost his job, we didn’t have any money coming in but we continued to tithe and give offerings on the little bit that we would received here and there. However, during that time we still lived in lack and I didn’t see anything “miraculous” happen as I thought it would and as my Pastor preached about how important it was to sow seed.

    Now that I’m questioning this doctrine and just got through reading alot of your articles, I started to ask myself where I would give if there was no fear on my part and how I would give if I was not looking for anything in return.

    So let me know what you think about this: My heart is to give to single mothers that I see walking in and out of my salon that I own who need help of some sort. My heart is to help the single mothers who work in my salon that need new tools to do their jobs better and more efficiently. My heart is to do those things that help my employees prosper in their businesses so that they don’t live in lack year after year. My heart is to help people that don’t even know me.

    I guess what I’m getting at is really and truly, I wouldn’t really give as much to my church because my heart is not really in it anymore as I see my Pastor’s wife drive in and out of the church parking lot in a red Mercedes Benz while all the while talk about how the church is struggling somewhat financially. I’ve been giving out of fear and obligation thinking that the Lord won’t bless my business and my finances if I don’t give to what the church calls the local “storehouse” (meaning my church).

    Also, my husband and I are still struggling somewhat as we haven’t fully recovered from his job loss two years ago and thus, we are still living in my parents basement and the living conditions here are not too great but all the while we’ve been tithing and giving above the tithe on a regular basis. However, I wonder if one of the reasons we haven’t been able to move is because out of fear, alot of our money has been going to our church because of our belief system in the tithe.

    So….am I selfish because my heart is to give but to give in a different way?

    Reply

    • eliteinchrist
      Jan 06, 2011 @ 18:02:30

      I am glad that you found what I had written helpful and we do give the good Lord thanks for His mercies.

      You did however raise a lot of questions which only the word of God holds answers to. The fact is tithing is definitely something that has been wrongly taught in much of today’s church. Rather unfortunately this false doctrine has held a lot of well meaning Christians under bondage and it is really unfortunate.

      The fact is this concept of giving because we want to receive has really screwed a lot of us Christians up and we nearly forget how to be human when it comes to giving. Contrary to what a lot believe, the first people you need to give to are yourself and your family. The bible says love your neighbour as yourself and not more than yourself. Scriptures also says that he that cannot take of his family is worse than an infidel and has denied the faith.

      The first thing you need to get rid of is any guilt or fear you feel when you have to spend your money on legitimate things you and your family require like food, clothing, rent/mortgage, bills etc. I personally do not think it is wise giving away all your money when what you both need is a roof over your heads. That really should be your number one priority before you both overstay your welcome at your parents and strain your relationship with them.

      Truth be told, giving never commends us unto God, all that God is interested in is your relationship with Him. You do not have to “bribe” God with tithes and offerings before He blesses you and yours. And I kind of get the feeling that your situation is almost making your harbour some resentment towards your pastor as you have given everything and have nothing left while they seem to be living so well off the contributions you’ve made. That is not a healthy place to be in.

      What I can advise is you first all prayerfully concentrate on getting a home for your family and once that is sorted, seek God’s guidance on how to give and whom to give to.

      God bless

      -Tony Isaac

      Reply

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