Tithing (or one tenth of your earnings) is a sore point for most people. I is considered the means by which Pastors support themselves. Many pastors today impose tithing on their members. Some churches go as far asking congregants to attach their tithe cards to their pay slip. This way, the church “verifies” if the tithe is in tandem with what the salary slip says.
In the Old Testament, tithes and offerings were always brought to a designated and chosen place by God. Priests, Levites and those who brought the offering ate from the same offering. Here is one proof:
“There you shall bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the contribution of your hand, your votive offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock. 7″There also you and your households shall eat before the LORD your God, and rejoice in all your undertakings in which the LORD your God has blessed you. 8″You shall not do at all what we are doing here today, every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes.” Deuteronomy 12:6-8
Tithes were also eaten by those bringing them. Read it here and here. The only offering not eaten are burnt offerings. These were offered whole to the Lord. Not even the priests were allowed to eat it. But today, Church Members barely eats their tithes or offerings. It goes to the Church or the pastor, depending on the denomination.
The Service of the Tabernacle
The priests served in the tabernacle. The priests were not supported as priests by the tithes of the people. The tribe of Levi was supported by tithes, a kind of tax imposed on all the other tribes. The Levitical tribe had given up their part of the land to other tribes, and, as compensation, the other tribes paid to support the entire tribe of Levi – not just the priests, because the priests were only a small part of the tribe. All of the men, women and children of the Levitical tribe were supported by the tithe.
Tithes Brought to the Storehouse
The tithes were taken to the storehouse. Just where the storehouse was has not been revealed, but we know it was not the tabernacle. The Jews tithed their cattle and sheep, and surely the tabernacle was not a stock pen. The tithes were put in the storehouse, wherever it was, and were used to support the entire tribe of Levi. The tithes supported the women and children, and surely the women and children were not priests. The majority of the men were not priests, and judging them by other people, many of them were not saved, but were unsaved children of the devil, but all of them, the good and the bad, were supported by the tithes of the other tribes. If there is anything at all certain, it is certain that tithes were not for the Temple service. Free-will Offerings Brought to the Temple Free-will offerings only were brought to the Temple and the priests received a part of these free-will offerings.
Tithes were also collected so that certain people, aside the Levites might be blessed therewith:
“When thou hast made an end of tithing all the tithes of thine increase the third year, which is the year of tithing, and hast given it unto the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that they may eat within thy gates, and be filled; thou shalt say before the LORD thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levite, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou hast commanded me: I have not transgressed thy commandments, neither have I forgotten them.” Deuteronomy 26:12-13
Tithes can also be given directly to priests or Levites (modern day men of God), a stranger, orphans, widows are those poor people. Tithes and offerings are not for pastors alone. You can give this directly to these folks. The words “even so” mean in exactly that way those who preach the gospel shall live of the gospel. The priests received a part of the free-will offerings of the people. The part of the free-will offerings that the priests were to get is seen in
“And this shall be the priest’s due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep; and they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw. The first fruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him. For the Lord thy God hath chosen him out of all thy tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons forever. And If a Levite come from any of thy gates out of all Israel, where he sojourned, and come with all the desire of his mind unto the place which the LORD shall choose; Then he shall minister in the name of the Lord his God, as all his brethren the Levites do, which stand” there before the LORD. They shall have like portions to eat, beside that which cometh of the sale of his patrimony” Deuteronomy 18: 3-8.
Tithing a Good Rule for Giving
I certainly am not opposed to anyone giving a tithe of his income, if he tithes and gives of his own free will and not by law. But, whether we give a tithe or more than a tithe, it must not be by law, for we are not under the Law. The Law that contained tithing has been done away with (Colossians 2: 14-17). Then, the example used by Paul in urging the support of the ministry, was not tithing, but the free-will offerings received by the priests, even so preachers should be supported by free-will offerings.
The tabernacle is a type of the church, and since the tabernacle was not the storehouse, it follows that the preachers who persistently demand that the people bring their tithes to the storehouse are entirely mistaken about the church being the storehouse. And even if they bring the tithes and offerings, they should be partakers of same. When Pastors and their family ALONE take tithes and all offerings they walk against the scriptures. The people should not be scared into bringing their contributions to the church, thinking the church is the storehouse. The Jews had a storehouse somewhere to bring their tithes to for the support of the Levites. Under the New Testament plan, each man has his own storehouse, and he is his own storekeeper.
“Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him” Corinthians 16:2.
Note it says, each individual, “every one of you, ” should, on Sunday – the first day of the week lay by him in store, not make the church a storehouse, but each one should lay by him in store. Each man should have his own store, and be his own storekeeper, that is, under the Christian dispensation, each man and woman should systematically lay by him in store, each Sunday, so that there will be money on hand all the time for the Lord’s work. We are not Jews and are not under the Law given specifically to the Jews.