x118.......No "office " of priest--No tithe

The old testament tithe was a command which was given specifically to Israel--that all of Israel was to give 1/10 of everything they increased to the Levitical priesthood. But in the NT there is no specific mention of a tithe being collected by the apostles--or the elders or bishops of the later church---Why?

Re 5:10* And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

The NT reveals the fact that by the blood of Jesus--under this new covenant, all followers of Christ have been made "priests" unto God. This was recognized by the NT believers of the early church--therefore they had a system of giving which was to give to the need of any or all that had a need.

44* And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. (Acts 2:44-45)

The common misconception was that this verse says that the people in the clearly church immediately sold everything they had, and gave away everything they had. But this is not what this verse says.

What it does say is that they sold their goods or possessions and gave to individuals who had the need.

Look carefully at verse 45--they sold possessions--and parted them (divided them or gave them)--to "all" (see below)--any individual who had a need.

The key word here is "all" which is the following Greek--

pas {pas} adj

--- all 748, all things 170, every 117, all men 41, whosoever 31, everyone 28, whole 12, all manner of 11, every man 11, no + 3756 9, every thing 7, any 7, whatsoever 6, whosoever + 3739 + 302 3, always + 1223 3, daily + 2250 2, any thing 2, no + 3361 2, not tr 7, misc 26; 1243

1) individually 1a) each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything

2) collectively 2a) some of all types

C.H. Spurgeon from a sermon on Particular Redemption

As we see in the example shown here--this word translated "all" really means "some of all sorts" the real meaning is that they sold and gave to those among them who had needs. They did not live communally--where no one had ownership of anything but the leadership---

This is obvious when we see that later on, Annanias and Saphiria are commanded specifically by the Holy Ghost to sell some land and give to the need. Obviously they were in possession of some land---and yet they were already Christians living among other Christians. There was no requirement by anyone that in order to be in the group you had to sell everything you had immediately--the command was to follow after the rule of the Holy Spirit--and do exactly what He spoke to do.

Now, the need that they were giving to was not specifically the lack of goods--but also the need that God was directing through the Holy Spirit to conduct the ministry---to break bread together each day--to minister in the Jewish temple every day--for all the people to be carrying out the ministry that the Holy Spirit was directing them to do each day. In this church--every member had access to funds which could be used to further the work of God in the earth. There was not control of funds by leadership--"the ministry"--the "priests"--- since they knew very well that they were all made priests unto God--that they were all made ministers unto the Lord.

No more tithe was necessary since there was no special class or tribe selected by God to serve Him exclusively--as was the case with the levites--therefore all had access to funds to work their own ministry and to avoid lack. This system honored God by respecting the ministry in all--and at the same time gave opportunity for all to give and receive freely for the work the Lord was calling them to do.

But think of what a remarkable and productive system this really is! The concept is that we should give to the minsitry needs of one another--that is to say we ought to plan our giving, to fit Christ's purposes (Luke 4:18) of preaching the Gospel--feeding the poor--praying for the sick and needy--and freely releasing one another to serve God. Therfore, if the Lord wanted us to feed thee poor in an area, we could all pitch in and work together. (Think of the unused resource of the kitchen of every Christian household!) Now, Christians certainly do these things today, but we divide our resources, usually giving most to the leadership of the chruch, to build and maintain our own meeting place. If we truly had "all thing common" amongst ourselves, we could put 100% of our resources toward Christ's purposes.