Cheshvan Firstfruits

We are entering into the eighth month of the Hebrew Calendar known as the month of “Cheshvan.”  Eight is the number for new beginnings, and perfectly describes the events associated with this month in biblical history.

Cheshvan’s name stems from the word “flood.” During the days of Noah, the flood began on the 17th of Cheshvan and ended the following year on the 27th of Cheshvan. Although Cheshvan marked the execution of God’s judgment and hardship, it was also a significant month of new doors opening to a shifted landscape!  When Noah opened up the door and left the ark, he began the same covenant mission of multiplying and fulfilling the earth in a world that was completely different!

This month is also associated with the tribe of Manasseh; which was one of sons of Joseph. Joseph’s sons were grafted in to Jacob/Israel’s Covenant blessing. “Bless the lads; Let my name be named upon them. And the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.” (Gen. 48:16)

Manasseh means, “one who makes to forget, one who forgets the toil.” The character of Manasseh was to forgive and not carry a grudge. The forgiving nature gave Manasseh the ability to fulfill their calling. This tribe shows us the character of forgiveness to the point of forgetting the wrong, and it is this character trait that brings healing to the nations.

The prophetic blessing given to Joseph (which would now go to his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim) was the crowning best! “Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; His branches run over the wall.” In Genesis 49:22-26 and Deut. 33:13-17, God declares that the sons of Joseph will have hidden resources, rich heritage with God’s favor and blessing upon the land given with rain and produce. In addition, these two tribes would push the peoples to the ends of the earth.

In studying Manasseh, there was a pivotal time in their history in which there were no men to carry on the inheritance of the tribe according to the laws that had been set forth (Numbers 27:1-11). But there were five single women of Manasseh who dared to believe God for a new thing! They petitioned to Moses to take possession of their inheritance so that their tribe would not be wiped out or their inheritance lost.

Moses took their request to the Lord, and the Lord made an amendment to the law and granted their request. I think this story is so relevant that is tied to women stepping through doors of leadership like “Deborah.” Women sometimes need to fight for their portion of the inheritance given to them by the King that is challenged by culture and tradition. They will be granted access to places the “legalistic law” wouldn’t let them go to before. Women will find their biggest battle will be in breaking through religious traditions.

In the Old Testament, we read one hero from the Tribe of Manasseh named Gideon, a “mighty man of valor. (Judges 6:12.) At the time Gideon is “chosen” by God to do a mighty work, he was threshing wheat to hide from the Midianites who were impoverishing and oppressing the Israelites and destroying their produce and livestock.

The Angel of Lord appeared to him. Gideon asked, “Why are all these things happening to the children of Israel?” He was looking to the Lord for answers, and the Lord’s answer was to use Gideon. And the Lord said to Gideon, “Go in this might of yours, and you shall save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. Have I not sent you?” (Judges 6:14)

Gideon didn’t believe God had the right guy, because the odds were against him and he didn’t “appear” to be the best candidate. (Even today, some of us can believe we disqualify to do God’s work because we aren’t “schooled” to share God’s message or are equipped to minister). ”O my Lord, how can I save Israel? Indeed my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”

But the Lord replied, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”

When God finally convinced Gideon He was chosen, Gideon did the logical thing and gathered as many resources as he could to fight the Midianites. The Lord instructed Gideon that he had too many resources…too many soldiers to go to battle. This was key to God’s strategy in turning the hearts of His people toward Him. The children of Israel needed to see His sovereignty to cut to their heart and depend on the resources “flooding” forth supernaturally.

God is preparing a remnant of Gideon’s today that understand they cannot have victory in their own strength or resources, but in God alone! God will choose these Gideon’s as His Firstfruits to enter into the fullness of His glory so that the nations can experience righteousness and justice; placing people in government, business, education, finances, arts, etc. who He has prepared for such a time as this.

Today’s “Gideon “Firstfruits” Army” has been hidden much like Gideon was until the Lord called upon him to step out.   This “remnant army” has learned through tests and trials to surrender to the Lord’s command, and the least likely to be chosen to rule in positions of prominence both in and out of the Church according to our “worldly standards.” They will be chosen to be “kings and priests” in the Age of Tabernacles when Jesus returns as King (Rev. 5:9).

It is no coincidence that Gideon was threshing wheat when He was called upon. God’s role for this Gideon army He is raising up today will have the wisdom to discern between the wheat from the tares that have grown in the field (world). This wisdom will even plumbline the Church in establishing His Kingdom here on the earth. Over these past 2,000 years, the Church at large has produced wheat (good) and tares (bad), and she doesn’t look like a unified body at all. The “Gideon army” will be the ones God equips to bring the body together to look like His Bride.

The month of Cheshvan is associated with the Lord’s flood that brings death and life. When the Lord flooded the earth in the days of Noah, there was death that resulted. Death always proceeds God’s resurrection power and new beginnings. Even before the children of Israel were getting close to the time when the Lord would finally take them out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land, Moses died first.  The Lord then said to Joshua, “MOSES IS DEAD!” (Joshua 1:1). “Be Strong and of Good Courage!”

Moses was a great leader, and God used him to move His Covenantal purpose forward.  But when it was God’s timing, Joshua was chosen to pick up the baton and move the Covenant forward differently than his predecessor. God created Joshua with the purpose in mind to lead and conquer the Promised Land.  He didn’t create Joshua to replicate Moses, but only to glean from Moses the wisdom, knowledge, and leadership of God’s heart, plan and character.

We are about to see a new generation who will take the deposit of the “Pentecostal (church) Age” and move it forward into the “Age of Tabernacles.” They will take the wisdom and truth we have gained in advancing the Kingdom of God these past 2000 years, but will move God’s Covenant plan ahead differently.  The “old wine skin” will die. The “traditions of old” will die. The flesh will die. But His Spirit will flood the earth and bring newness of life. The Gideon’s will advance into the “Promised Land” with the King leading them and establish His government in the land.  It is an exciting time we live in!

In order to experience “newness of life,” we have to close doors to open new ones. We have to let go of old ways and mindsets that aren’t producing life any longer. We need to let go of past successes as well so we can embrace the newness of the season ahead. Ask the Lord, “What door do I need to close so I can enter in the new door ahead?” Enjoy the flood of His Spirit bringing new life!

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