Not only is the right percentage necessary, but Scripture also emphasizes the right place for the tithe to be collected. In Deuteronomy 12:5–14, some principles of the storehouse are mentioned. First, God’s sanctuary was a depository where the tithes and offerings of all God’s people are collected. From sacrifices to offerings and tithes, all were collected in an actual place that God chose. Second, it was from this central place that the Levites received their portion. Later, the temple storehouse was the collection place for the tithes and offerings from the twelve tribes of Israel. And from this same place the priests and Levites were paid.
This centralized place denoted the purpose of the tithing system. Numbers 18:21, 31 says that it was for the purpose of ministry, for supporting those who teach and serve. Today this centralized place is the local conference, a sisterhood of local churches that pool the tithes together to sustain the ministry of pastors and teachers. To ensure their proper and faithful usage, there are two components instituted by the church. The first component is a policy established by the church body. Policy may sound like a boring topic, but it ensures that everyone agrees in understanding and practice as to what will happen to the centralized funds. This takes place in a public format, where everyone can comment and participate in the corporate fidelity of God’s resources. Policies regarding tithe usually state their exclusive use for ministry, Bible teaching, church administration, and mission field operations. Per the biblical injunction, tithe cannot be used for other subsidiary purposes, such as paying off debt or assisting in building operations. Second, an auditing system is established by the church which assures the ecclesial body that tithe is being used faithfully at every level.
One test of the storehouse or treasury of the Lord is mentioned in the account of the fall of Jericho. In Joshua 6:17–19, the faithfulness of Israel was tested when they raided the city. All the silver, gold, brass, and iron goods were to be kept in the treasury, while they burned everything else. While almost the whole nation obeyed, one individual named Achan disobeyed and kept things for himself, leading to their army’s defeat at Ai. Surely an important principle to be mindful of is faithfully maintaining the central depository of God’s resources.
For further information, see the document Where Do We Bring Our Tithe? (https://stewardship.adventist.org/where-do-we-bring-our-tithe-in-search-of-the-storehouse.pdf).