WHY FIRST FRUITS (HABIKKURIM) IS MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE TO THE WEEK OF UNLEAVENED BREAD
The following is the OFFICIAL unifying statement of the Great Awakening International concerning the Why First Fruits (Habikkurim) is mutually exclusive to the week of Unleavened Bread.
The Two are in Separate Sections
When we read Leviticus 23 it was clear that the First Fruits of Barley could not occur within the 7 days of Passover and Unleavened Bread because the 7 feasts were divided into separate sections and First Fruits was NOT within the section for Passover and Unleavened Bread. First Fruits of Barley and the 50-day count to Shavuot were together but separated from the earlier 7 days of Passover and the later feast of Yom Teruah/Trumpets.
So to recap:
Section 1: Passover and Unleavened Bread
Section 2: First Fruits of Barley and the 50-day count to Shavuot
Section 3: Yom Teruah and Tabernacles.
First Fruits must be the day following the first Sabbath after the 7 days ends because everything is done in sections. You must count (7 Sabbaths) 50 days to the Barley harvest and then another (7 Sabbaths) 50 days to the Wheat harvest.
First Fruits is a biblical festival celebrating the first harvest of crops and it is the SECOND of three annual pilgrimage festivals. Passover and Unleavened Bread is the FIRST three annual pilgrimage festivals. FIRST FRUITS counting culminates at SHAVUOT. PASSOVER and FEAST OF UNLEAVENED are a separate grain and counting season so FIRST FRUITS cannot fall within the week of the FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD.
Essene and Zadok Calendars
The Essene and the Zadokite Calendars which are much older than the Lunar Calendar both place First Fruits on the 26th of Abib which is outside of the week of Unleavened Bread (Abib 14-22).
Because the Essenes and Zadokites would always start the count to Shavuot from the first Shabbat that follows the weeklong observance of Passover, Pentecost would always fall on the 15th day of the third month – always the first day of the week (Sunday). As we go along, we will see that this is consistent with Scripture.
Dead Sea Scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls proves that over 2,200 years ago they wrote it was the 26th of Nissan (Abib) which is the Sunday FOLLOWING the first weekly Sabbath after the end of Passover/Unleavened Bread.
Then when we read in Jubilees that the feast of Shavuot was in the middle of the 3rd month, it was another confirmation that it lined up with Torah. Starting the 50-day omer count during the 7 days of Unleavened Bread would never get you into the middle of the 3rd month when Israel arrived at Mt. Sinai according to Exodus, the closest you could get was a full week BEFORE the middle of the 3rd month…so how could Shavuot commemorate arriving at the holy mountain of Yah?
Mutually Exclusive Grain Offering
Leviticus 23:9-14 YAHUAH said to Moses, (10) Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first GRAIN you harvest. (11) He is to wave the sheaf before YAHUAH so it will be accepted on your behalf; the priest is to wave it on the day after the Sabbath. (12) On the day you wave the sheaf, you must sacrifice as a burnt offering to YAHUAH a lamb a year old without defect, (13) together with its grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil--an offering made to YAHUAH by fire, a pleasing aroma--and its drink offering of a quarter of a hin of wine. (14) You must not eat any bread, or roasted or new grain, until the very day you bring this offering to your ELOHIM. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.
So YAHUAH instructed the Israelites that before reaping the barley harvest they were to take a sheaf of the first grain to the priest who would wave it before YAHUAH. As they waved the firstfruits to the left and the right, it was symbolising that this sheaf that they had represented the entire crop. Until they did this the rest of their crop was not 'kosher' (acceptable). They did this to acknowledge and thank YAHUAH for the coming harvest and to ask His blessing upon it. It was to be a joyous occasion trusting that the One who gave them the firstfruits would also bless the full harvest. As well as waving the sheaf before YAHUAH, they were to offer a burnt offering and a drink offering. They were not to EAT BREAD or continue the harvest until this offering of the firstfruits had been made to YAHUAH.
They were not to eat bread or hametz——- Notice that in the instructions given about the Feast of Unleavened Bread they had to get rid of all the hametz:
“During the first month in the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, you are to eat matzot [unleavened bread], until the evening of the twenty-first day of the month. For SEVEN DAYS no hametz [leaven] is to be found in your houses, for whoever EATS hametz, that soul will be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is an outsider or one who is born in the land. You are to eat no hametz; in all your houses you are to eat matzot.”
If we place the feast of first fruits at this traditional time (the way GAI have been doing it), aren't the commands concerning these two holidays mutually exclusive of each other, as in "You can't do both.” You can’t abstain from bread and eat it at the same time.
A prohibition not to eat grain until after the waving of the sheaf on first fruits conflicts with the requirements to eat unleavened bread on the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and to eat the Bread of Presence in the sanctuary.
Following the feast of Unleavened Bread this feast was to occur 'on the day after the Sabbath'. So this feast was to occur on the first day of the week after the week of Passover/Unleavened Bread.
Reconciling the Dilemma of Yahusha
A lot of us have been taught that Yahusha had to be resurrected on First Fruits of Barley because He is called the First Fruits of the resurrection later and if He didn’t rise from the dead on First Fruits then He didn’t fulfill the feasts properly. This has been a popular Torah movement teaching which was based more on the lunar calendar tradition of the Rabbi’s who routinely mix and overlap their feast days and Shabbats.
So where did the idea come that He would be the First Fruit if He didn’t resurrect on that feast day? Isaiah 53. This is also where we get the understanding that He was to be our Atonement as it states in Hebrews although He didn’t die on Day of Atonement. Yahusha was the first to resurrect to ETERNAL life out of land that was dry, devoid of the living water needed for life. Because He was the first to resurrect with eternal life, He can now impart this to us as the Day of Atonement sacrifice.
If you will recall the part of His trial when Barabbas (Son of the Father) was placed next to Him and the people chose Yahusha as their sacrifice and that Barabbas would be set free.
The first Adam destroyed eternal life and until Yahusha there was no eternal life imparted to anyone, only the expectation of eternal life in the future Messiah which it says that Abraham saw and rejoiced over. This is why Yahusha is called the 2nd Adam/the Last Adam. But the association doesn’t dictate that He must be resurrected on the feast of First Fruits to be the First Fruit, just as He didn’t have to do it all over again in the 7th month just so He could be called our Atonement. It simply means that He fulfilled or filled up with meaning, those specific roles during His ministry.
Misunderstanding Paul / First Fruit from the Dead
1 Corinthians 15:20-23 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (21) For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. (22) For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (23) But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.
Nowhere in this text does it explicitly tie Yahusha to the Feast of Fruits—- it glaringly states that he’s, “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”The Apostle Paul calls Yahusha the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
The Great Awakening International believes that Yahusha fulfilled the feast of firstfruits but this verse is specifically stating that he’s firstfruits of the resurrection.
John 20 Witness
Another reason why we believe that First Fruits occurs outside of Unleavened Bread is because the disciples didn’t see him until 8 days (counting 7+1) after his resurrection.
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Yahusha came.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen Yahusha. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 And after EIGHT DAYS AGAIN his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Yahusha, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
This is why Paul called him first fruit from the dead because his disciples didn’t see him until after the Feast of Unleavened would be over. They wouldn’t see him until a Sunday (the day First Fruits would be observed) 8 days after his resurrection (a Saturday).
Let’s prove this. So when the Messiah was crucified it was according to prophecy, he was a lamb of sacrifice, being sacrificed on the 14th day of the 1st month Abib, which the 14th day is the last day of the second week of the first Month. The very next day would be the first day of the third week being the 15th day of the same month, which the Messiah had not risen yet because it would have only been 1 day. If he died on the 14th day then from 14th to 15th is one day, from the 15th to 16th is two days, from the 16th to the 17th would be three days, which means he rose on the start of the 18th day but did not appear to his followers until the 26th day (8 days later) which would be the first day of the following week — the same day we are to keep FIRST FRUITS.
This also lines up with the keeping of the Passover and Feast of the Unleavened Bread, for know one would have gone to his grave until the Passover 14th day, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread 7days of feast from the 15th day to the 21st day for it was unlawful to go to any grave during this time.
So it was a total of 8 days before the followers of the Messiah appeared on the first day (Sunday) of the following week from his death which was 8 days which is why he didn't appear to Thomas until 8 more days as it reads in St. John 20: 24-26. In verse 26 it mentioned that he didn't appear to Thomas until 8 days again. If it was 8 days again that means he didn't appear to Thomas until the second day (Monday) of the next month. So if I gave you 8 dollars again how many dollars did I give you the first time? It would be 8 dollars. So if it was 8 days again, how many does from his death and rising did the Messiah appear the first time? It would have to be 8 days. This would put his sighting (sighting of the new grain) on the 26th of Abib.
8 days from His Resurrection is First Fruits which is consistent with the 7+1) sequence of counting towards Shavout. It’s also consistent with First Fruit been on the 26th of Abib the same day that Yahusha appeared to his disciples. Essene and Zadokites agree that the 26th of Abib, 8 days after the Resurrection, and the same day the Messiah appeared to the disciples is First Fruits.
This statement is the conviction of the majority of Great Awakening International’s Morim and Assemblies.
Tenufah Offering on the 8th Day
Now from a biblical perspective going back to the time that Yahuah originally gave us the space to first fruits, it's when the Israelite farmer would go into his field in the spring. He would then take the first fruit or the first sheaf of his harvest, he would bring it to the priest, the priest then would waive it before Yahuah. This is called a Tenufah Offering. As a result of that the Israelite farmer was dedicating his harvest to Yahuah and Yahuah would accept the whole harvest as holy because the first fruit of it was dedicated to Yahuah. All these feasts reflect the ministry of Yahusha as our example. Yahusha was crucified on Passover, buried on unleavened bread, and seen on the feast of First Fruits.
During the spring feast, the Israelite farmer would go to his field and take the first of the sheaf, bring it to the priest, the priest would wave it to Yahuah as a result, the whole harvest was accepted. Just a few months earlier the farmer's field looked barren, it looked dry but, in the spring, it had to come to light. So prophetically Yahusha is the first of the dead that has come to light. He's the first fruit of those that are risen from the dead. Ancient Jewish Feast of First Fruits is not only an application and its original historical context, but it was also a shadow of King Yahusha. The whole harvest became sanctified because the first fruit of it was dedicated to Yahuah. So likewise, because Yahusha, the first fruit that rose from the dead, presented himself to the Father as a Tenufah offering as a result of that. The entire harvest is now sanctified. The first fruit is accepted as the whole harvest. Yahuah has always worked through the first fruits, the firstborn of those that have risen from the dead. The first of the harvest, the firstborn of every Israelite, male child, in the days of the Bible, and the ancient to Old Testament writings was dedicated to Yahuah.
We looked at how the Passover lamb had so many requirements for it. We see how Yahusha clearly fulfilled all the requirements of the Passover lamb. Now after Passover and the feast was finished, the high priests would go into seclusion until the morning of the next day. Yahusha fulfills the role of the priest. How does he fulfill the role as the high priest? Yahusha is our Great High Priest. But what does that mean? Well, the high priest had very, very specific roles during the holy days. So the high priests would go into seclusion right after the Passover. And what he would do was go into the fields to gather a bundle of grains from the harvest. The first fruits that came forth from the harvest, a priest would go and get them and would bring them into the temple, and he would wave them before Yahuah in the temple, after he wave these first fruits, then he could come back out into the commonwealth of Israel, he could leave the temple area, and then he could be touched by all the people who around him.
Right after Passover, he goes into hiding, and then days later on the morning of First Fruits, he goes into the fields, and he picks the best of the field. He brings them to the temple, and he waves them before Yah. Yahuah sees this as a wave offering. And then after Yahuah accepts that offering, then and only then does the priest go into the temple area. He goes out and among the people and they embrace Him, they celebrate with him.
Yahusha is crucified, put to death, and goes into hiding. He's not touched by anyone. And then on the eight day he's brought back he is the first fruits of Yahuah.
Remember in the garden, Mary Magdalene goes down to see Yahusha because she wants to anoint the body and according to Jewish burial customs you have to anoint the body in a very specific way. And she goes there's an angel, or she thinks it's an angel. The body is no longer there. The tomb was empty. And now she walks and sees the gardener. And she says, Do you know where my master is? You know where they have laid them? And they have this conversation and as we're having the conversation, she suddenly realizes that it's Yahusha. And she goes to embrace by saying, "Touch me not why he said, I have not yet gone to the Father."
John 20:17 “Yahusha saith to her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren, and say to them, I ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my Elohim and your Elohim.”
As the high priest. It was his role to take the first fruits and to go before the Father and to wave them. And then after he waves those first fruits that he's allowed to come back out. He is not letting anybody touch him. And then just a couple of chapters later, on the 8 Days after his resurrection, he appears to the disciples in the upper room. And what does he say? He says, Thomas, Go, take your hands, put them in my side.
John 20:27 “Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
All of a sudden he is allowed to be touched. Why? because he's been presented to the Father, as the first fruits
Again, looking at Yahusha as our first fruits begins with the resurrection but it's not complete until he's presented to the Most High. At the time that he's presented to the Most High he completes the whole process of being our first fruit.
That's key because in Leviticus 7:28-30.
28 And Yahuah spake unto Moses, saying,
29 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, He that offereth the sacrifice of his peace offerings unto Yahuah shall bring his oblation unto Yahuah of the sacrifice of his peace offerings.
30 His own hands shall bring the offerings of Yahuah made by fire, the fat with the breast, it shall he bring, that the breast may be waved for a wave offering before Yahuah.
Leviticus 7 highlights a principle when it comes to wave offering. That is the first fruit offering is the wave offering. It’s the Tenufah. It must be done within our hands. According to Leviticus 7:28 it must be waved.
Another key to the Tenufah offering is that it is not just the grain offering. The Tenufah offering is the grain, the first born of Yasharel, cattle, sheep, oxen etc. So, if Yahusha presented himself as the first offering immediately after Passover and Unleavened, he would have broken Torah.
Exodus 22:29 Thou 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.
30 Likewise 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.
This is why if Yahusha would have presented himself with anytime within the first seven within Unleavened, he would have broken Torah.
The Tenufah offering has to deal with first fruits and the first-born child. So when the death angel came and he killed all the firstborn he passed over all of Yasharel first born. The Most High took the Levites in place of the first born. They were to present the Levites to me as a first fruit or offering. As the High Priest and Lamb, Yahusha has to follow the guidelines of Torah.
Notice it says, “seven days it shall be with his dam, but on the eighth day give it to the Most High.” If Yahusha is the Lamb of Yah as a first born. As a Tenufah offering, if Yahusha would have presented himself or any other day, besides the eighth day he would have broken Torah according to Exodus 22.
This is consistent as to why he appeared unto his disciples 8 days later on First Fruits.