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Nathan Shaw: "Abel and the Power of First Fruits"

Nathan Shaw
Sep 3, 2018


September 3, 2018

"Abel and the Power of First Fruits"
Nathan Shaw, Dunedin, New Zealand

From the Desk of Steve Shultz:

Steve ShultzI really enjoyed reading through this word from Nathan Shaw about the lives of Enoch and Abel and how they relate to us today.

More people have asked us to post "teachings"...and this is not just prophetic in nature, but it cares a great teaching message in it as well.

Nathan opens with this excerpt:

Recently there has been an increased emphasis on the significance of Enoch. Enoch is one of the many witnesses who surround us (Hebrews 11:5, 12:1). I believe his message and his witness are strategic for our times. Another witness I believe is strategically important is Adam's son, Abel (Hebrews 11:4). Abel's witness will become more prominent in the days ahead. The combined witness of Abel and Enoch will cause a dramatic increase of faith on the earth.

Now read on to find out more from their lives and how they will impact us today! (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)

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Enjoy!

Steve Shultz, Founder and Publisher
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"Abel and the Power of First Fruits"
Nathan Shaw, Dunedin, New Zealand


The Witness of Enoch and Abel

Recently there has been an increased emphasis on the significance of Enoch. Enoch is one of the many witnesses who surround us (Hebrews 11:5, 12:1). I believe his message and his witness are strategic for our times. Another witness I believe is strategically important is Adam's son, Abel (Hebrews 11:4). Abel's witness will become more prominent in the days ahead. The combined witness of Abel and Enoch will cause a dramatic increase of faith on the earth.

Enoch walked with God for 300 years and was caught up to God (Genesis 5:22-24). But what was Abel's witness? Abel gave an offering (Genesis 4:3-5). That's it. He brought an offering to God from the firstborn of his flock. He gave God the first and the best. His brother Cain, on the other hand, only casually brought an offering from his produce. God looked with favor on Abel's offering but not on Cain's offering. Abel modeled the principle of bringing a first fruits offering to God. First fruit offerings acknowledge God as the source of our harvest. They give Him first place.

The Power of First Fruit Offerings

When God entered into covenant with the Israelites He commanded them to keep three feasts each year (Exodus 23:14-19). The feasts coincided with specific harvests. In all three feasts they were to bring the first and the best of their harvests as first fruits offerings to God. The principle of first fruits was part of Israel's world view and way of life. It set them up to live in the prosperity of God's full provision. Consider the power of first fruits offerings:

    • They acknowledge that this is just the first.
    • They acknowledge that it is God's intention for us to have the full harvest.
    • They acknowledge that God brings forth and protects the full harvest.
    • They acknowledge that God is generous.
    • They acknowledge covenant relationship—the wholehearted giving of two parties to each other.

First fruits offerings establish a life of faith and wholehearted commitment.

Hebrews Chapter 11 is one of the greatest chapters on faith in the Bible. It mentions many witnesses. Abel is the first witness (Hebrews 11:4). Significantly, the first witness demonstrates the principle of first fruits. Enoch is the second witness (Hebrews 11:5). The writer of Hebrews intentionally highlights Abel and Enoch. They form the foundation from which the other witnesses follow. Abel and Enoch are highlighted by placing them in between two profound revelations about faith.

Firstly: "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible" (Hebrews 11:3). And secondly: "Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).

The context in Hebrews chapter 11 highlights some important things about Abel's offering:

    • It acknowledged God as the source of all things (Hebrews 11:3).
    • It acknowledged the invisible realm (Hebrews 11:3).
    • It was made by faith, not duty (Hebrews 11:4).
    • It demonstrated Abel's active belief in God's existence (Hebrews 11:6).
    • It demonstrated Abel's confidence that God rewards those who diligently seek Him (Genesis 4:4, Hebrews 11:6).

Abel's greatest delight was to bring pleasure to God. The principle of first fruits had first priority in Abel's life. The conclusion is clear: The principle of first fruits is foundational to a life of faith.

Voices Igniting a New Generation—How Abel and Enoch's Faith Impact Us Today

Something often overlooked is the impact Abel's faith had on Enoch. Abel was murdered by his brother Cain before Seth was born. Enoch came from the line of Seth. This meant that Enoch never met Abel. But Enoch did know Adam (their lives overlapped by 308 years). We can conclude that Enoch knew about Abel's faith through Adam. Thus concluding Enoch's faith to walk with God was inspired by Abel's offering! What does it mean to walk with God? Walking with God means giving God our first and our best every day of our lives.

Abel and Enoch both lived short lives. Abel's life was cut short when he was murdered. Enoch's life was cut short when he was caught up to God (Enoch was caught up at 365 years of age which is very young when you consider that most people lived to over 900 years old at the time). It's not the length of a life that determines its impact. Faith determines the impact of a life.

When we hear the voices of the witnesses who have gone before us we are strengthened to run our own races (Hebrews 11:4, 12:1). Abel gave a first fruits offering. Enoch walked with God. Their faith actions impacted future generations. Abel and Enoch were prophets who informed the world view of first century Christians in powerful and significant ways (Matthew 23:35, Luke 11:51, Hebrews 11:4-5, Jude 14-15, 1 John 3:11-12).

But what of our day? Abel's voice and Enoch's voice will be heard with increasing clarity. Their voices will ignite a new generation. There will be a profound release of faith and the miraculous. Who would have thought that a single offering could be so powerful? (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)

Nathan Shaw
Heart of David Ministries
Email: 
fireanddestiny@slingshot.co.nz
Website: 
www.heartofdavidministries.org

Nathan Shaw helps bring individuals and churches into dynamic encounters with God's indescribable love. Over the last twenty years he has been instrumental in ushering in significant moves of the Spirit in over ten different nations. Many have experienced life-changing prophetic encounters and dramatic visitations from God. Nathan is the author of two books: Passion and Fire and Unto the Least of These. Nathan is senior pastor at Fire and Destiny Centre, Dunedin (www.fireanddestiny.org) and Celebration Church, Mosgiel (www.celebrationchurch.xyz).

Nathan Shaw's Itinerary:

October 11-13, 2018
Fill This House Conference
Baytown, Texas
(for more information click here)

October 14, 2018
Celebration of Life Church
Baytown, Texas
(for more information click here)

October 19, 2018
Abundant Love Christian Fellowship
Washington DC
(for more information click here)

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