We are approaching our next Firstfruits on August 30th as we enter the 6th month of the Hebrew Covenant Calendar.

In the Old Testament, when Moses went back up the mountain to get the second set of Tablets of Covenant, he left on the first day of ELUL. While Moses was away for 40 days, the children of Israel humbled themselves and were hopeful God would give them a second chance.  Waiting in great anticipation for Moses to return, God used that time to allow the Israelites to gather together and examine their hearts so they were ready to honor God’s marriage proposal.


I asked a friend of mine, Tammy Carroll, to paint a picture of the month of Elul to put in the Firstfruits Calendar Journal.  Here is what she wrote:

“Sometimes we go through valleys in our lives that seem long and hard but when we listen and walk with God, we can experience His promises and responses to us! I actually dreamt about this place and knew I needed to paint it.  The 3 streaks signify the Trinity, the fullness of God’s presence. If you look at it carefully, you can see a figure of a bride entering the garden signifying the covenant He has with us as His beloved. Let His promises burst out for us!”

I love the fact that Tammy captured the essence of this month: God wants to respond to us intimately and make Himself known to us in the secret places of our heart, even when we have seemingly “screwed up.”  It is His desire to come and walk alongside of us, and make Himself known so we aware He’s with us.

Many times when I am reflecting about this month, I think of time when Jesus was walking with the two men on the road to Emmaus after His resurrection.  The two men were reasoning about all the things that had just happened when the women had arrived at the Jesus’ tomb and found it open, empty, and angels declaring He was alive.

Throughout their 7 mile journey, the men’s eyes were “restrained,” as to who Jesus was as they just thought they were talking to a stranger.  When they arrived at their destination, the men invited Jesus to stay with them, so Jesus changed His plans to continue on and stayed with them.

When they all three sat down at the table to eat, Jesus took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave some to them.  Suddenly, their eyes were opened that Jesus was with them!

“Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.  THEN their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and HE vanished from their sight” (Luke 24:30,31).

Why I like this scriptures depicting this month is because Jesus was with them throughout the 7 miles, but they didn’t even know it.  They were frustrated, sad, and doubting everything about their own future, let alone trying to understand the present day events while sharing with Jesus all that was in their hearts.  He was there all along, walking with them in the flesh, and they had no clue!

But then, Jesus sat down and had a meal with them.  The breaking of bread was the greatest witness of the SIGN they were told to remember of His greatest sacrificial love:  “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19).  Sometimes, we just need an ELUL moment to remember that Christ has not forsaken us in our journey.

The Hebrew letters that make the word “Elul,” aleph, lamed, vav and lamed, are an acronym for the phrase “I am my beloved and my beloved is mine” which is from the Song of Songs.

It is the month of Elul that teaches us the necessity of being willing to turn around and be vulnerable to see God face to face.  Like a loving Father, He will never turned away from us. But sometimes we cannot see Him through the fiery trials we are going through.  When we sit and “eat” with Him, we literally turn ourselves toward Him.  And this month, God wants us to see Him right where we are at in our journey.

This month is tied to the tribe of Gad, who’s name means “troop.”  Gad reminds us of the importance of gathering together with those who God has chosen to use to sharpen our “swords” so we can gain intel, strategy, and support for the season ahead.  Who are you called to lock arms with?  Now is the time to unite so you are positioned with God’s people to conquer.



Adopting God’s ways inherently opens up the gates for His power and authority to be established in the earth. This seems so elementary in theory, and yet historically, man and “Church” have often not followed God’s ways.

I believe God wants us to start asking more questions as to WHY we believe certain teachings, or why we accept certain ways of organized “church.” Is what we believe consistent with the blueprint that is written in the Bible?  Let’s explore one just example.

Jesus tells us that His foundation begins with the apostles and prophets; Jesus Christ being the Chief Cornerstone (Eph. 2:20).  If this is the blueprint, then the question one may ask about the Church is:  Why have “pastors” been leading the church?  Why are many apostles and prophets kicked out of the church because their anointing threatens the pastors?  Could this be one of the reasons we have a dysfunctional Church, because we have members in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing, with the wrong titles?  It’s like asking a hand do the work of the foot, while the foot is doing the work of the head.  What?  Confusion!

Christian churches are typically led today by a “pastor,” a title that is recognized as the person in charge, overseeing their staff, and usually teaching behind the pulpit every Sunday.  But Jesus, who is our example, started building His Church serving 12 disciples, who were later charged to build the Kingdom of God.  They then became known as Apostles, not Pastors.

The Apostles of the New Testament were chosen to be the greatest servants to the body of Christ.  Are the Christian leaders in your life more more interested in elevating their platform than elevating others?  A good question to ask for sure.

The true blueprint of the Apostle is to actually decrease, while the others he or she serves increases (launches) into their gifting and calling.   Jesus set the example to follow:

“If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:14,15).

God’s apostles are builders following the blueprint of Christ’s truth and His ways.  This building is a temple not made of hands, but each stone representing a person God saved by grace where His presence dwells.

In the process of serving, Christ the Apostle laid the groundwork for others to spring into their God given identity, purpose, contribution, and relationship with the Father so that ALL who chose to follow Him would be fitted together to display God’s glory on the earth.

“..in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Eph. 21,22).

Alongside the Apostles who are called to build, are the Prophets, who are chosen to see and speak God’s Word. Their main purpose is to confirm God’s heart, His truth His timing, His identity and purpose, and to encourage the Apostle who is building.

Alongside the Apostle and Prophet, there is the Pastor anointed to care for the needs of the people.  Pastors are appointed to “Tend My sheep” (John 21:16), encouraging and supporting the flock through their “sanctification process.” They are not necessarily teachers, although they naturally are given teaching moments as they mentor and support the “sheep” through life’s challenges and triumphs.

God also included in the foundation Teachers who are gifted to “Feed My Sheep” (John 21:17).  Teachers are NOT primarily called to be pastors who are off tending to the needs of the sheep.  Teachers spend a lot of time away and alone, digging for treasure through the scriptures. The nuggets they discover are found through great searching efforts that their gift can simplify when sharing to those who are hungry for the truth.

And lastly, the Evangelists are purposed to GO!  Evangelists have no problem being gone from home because their primary purpose is to connect with the those who need salvation; boldly sharing a message of hope and the good news of Christ to those in darkness.  They are the “outside” intel to the Apostles, prophets, teachers, and pastors, and are equipped for the adventure.

God tells us why we are all a part of the family, but each family member serves their own unique role:

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craziness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into His who is the head – Christ- from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes grown of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Eph. 4:11-16).

God also has an order He builds the blueprint:

“And God has appointed these in the church:  FIRST, apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, administrations, variety of tongues” (1 Cor. 12:28).

The building of the kingdom of God is not limited to a 5-fold “ministry.”  The scripture above establishes that.  However, the 5-fold ministry is the primary foundation.

Many people have made the error as well that the 5-fold ministry is just inside the four walls of the church.  But this primary foundation can be seen outside of the 4 walls of the church in any organization or body of people called together for a single purpose of heart.

Whether in or out of a church, the key to building something significant for the Kingdom of God is in the submission to the Chief Cornerstone, the Head of the Body, the King, the Anointed one that rules and reigns:

“having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ, Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Eph. 2:20).

God makes it clear that in the New Testament, no man is chosen to sit in that HEAD seat, nor should any man put someone in that seat.  God designed His New Covenant so that the Holy Spirit would lead and guide and write God’s truth in our hearts and give us all the ability to follow His lead.  God will then use men and women gifted in the body of Christ to affirm His lead.

“And He is the HEAD of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have pre-eminance.  For it please the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell.  And by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col 1:8-10).

The Church over the past 2,000 years has mirrored a similar pattern the Israelites chose when they cried out for an earthly king, rejecting God as their king (leader) when they were living in His Promised land.  WHY?  Have they forgotten how sad God was when they rejected Him?

“Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them” (1 Sam. 8:7).

God relented, and gave them King Saul.  Saul had flawed leadership that affected everyone, but the people still favored this over God’s rulership Himself because they wanted to be like the world.  But through Christ, God changed the mediator from a sinful leader to a sinless sacrifice so we can boldly enter His throne of grace and hear from heaven.  We now have access to God’s heart directly so we can follow His lead.  How amazing is that!

Unfortunately, as time has past since the disciples birthed the Church, the New Testament Church soon adopted a Saul mentality, leaning on a pastor to hear what God had to say.  More often than not, Christians even today will put their trust in their church leader over hearing God’s voice for themselves.  But the buck doesn’t stop there.  Church leaders over the ages have craved the power and control they create through their religious systems that elevate them “lording” over the flock.

This Saul mentality has not only bred an unhealthy codependent relationship between the church and their leaders, but also misplaces a believer’s identity with a denomination or man instead of in Christ alone.  God is waiting for us all to become dependent upon HIM FIRST, and see Him as our ruler with our identity as a son/daughter of God; not a Lutheran, Methodist, Assembly of God, etc, etc.

God has been training us to run Him and hear HIS VOICE FIRST!  Afterwards, we can trust and respect the gifting and calling in each of the saints who will encourage, confirm, support, connect, serve, and strengthen each other to build His kingdom here on the earth.  We have to see our Christian leaders functioning as just one part of the body, not as the Head.  We have to respect ALL for their part, not just the pastor of a church.

In this month of AV, we are reminded to listen to God’s voice, and to obey what He says.  In taking the time this month to do so, we will enter into the next Hebraic month ready with His instruction on how to unite and join for the work ahead, like a troop that has learned how to follow their Commander in Chief.




Our next Firstfruits is Thursday, August 1st, which begins the fifth Hebrew Covenant Calendar month known as AV.  AV actually means”father” and is derived from the root meaning “to will, or to desire.”  Therefore, we are reminded this month to purpose ourselves to submit our will or desire to our Father in heaven.

This month is also associated with the tribe of Simeon.  Simeon’s name means, “to hear”  and is a great reminder to take the time to hear what God has to say.

We can all probably be found guilty of making the same mistake of doing all the speaking when praying, telling God all about our problems, pleading for Him to solve them, and afterward resuming our day without pausing to listen.  When we make time to listen, we also make a way for us to understand the will or desire of the Father.

20181208_111709I asked a sixth grader, Dillon, to draw a picture of how he would describe the month of AV.  This picture is what he drew that is in this year’s Firstfruits journal.  I immediately understood the simplicity of this drawing which spoke so loudly:  God’s will and desire is for each of us to help those in need with a simple act of kindness and generosity.  Children don’t ask why a person is homeless, or if the one begging really is in need.  They just respond from a heart that loves unconditionally, without judgment, and without reservation.

AV has an interesting biblical history.  It was the first of AV that the High Priest, Aaron died (Numbers 33:38).  In this month, the first and second temple were destroyed on the 9th of AV; once by the Babylonians, and secondly by the Romans in 70 AD. AV has a repetitive pattern of being a month of great judgment after God’s people continued in rebellion and chose not to listen to the warnings from the Lord.

Even Christians today can find themselves not listening to God’s warnings and landing in a heap of trouble.  Although Jesus made a way for our sins to be forgiven as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103),  our sins can result in consequences that can lead us down difficult paths.  This is why it is so important to hear what God is saying and then be quick to respond in obedience.

In the book of Revelation, the Lord speaks to the 7 churches a word of affirmation as well as a strong word of correction.   With every church, He finishes by saying:

“He who has an EAR, let him HEAR what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev. 2:7).

God repeats this phrase over and over in Revelation 2 and 3 because it was His simple but relevant point that sets believers apart as “OVERCOMERS.”

The Lord’s simple point was this:

“Now therefore, if you will indeed OBEY MY VOICE and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine” (Ex. 19:5).

The following is the list from Rev. 2& 3 of God’s “blessings” given to those who were known by Him as “Overcomer’s.” 


  1.  I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.
  2. He shall not be hurt by the second death.
  3. I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.
  4. I will give him the morning star.
  5. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
  6. I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
  7. I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

This month, I pray you purpose within yourself to set aside time to journal what God is speaking to you so you too can enjoy the blessings of obedience and become known by Him as His “overcomer.”