Acts 15:15-17 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written: “After this I will return And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down; I will rebuild its ruins, And I will set it up; So that the rest of mankind may seek the LORD, Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name, Says the LORD who does all these things.’
I think this prophesy given by the Apostle James is one of the least understood in the New Testament. In this passage we catch a glimpse of God’s purpose for the church and a real key to understanding the plans of God in these last days. James describes the Tabernacle of David, not Solomon’s temple or Moses’ tabernacle as a picture of the New Testament church. What were the characteristics of David’s Tabernacle that caused this comparison. First, there was no veil in David’s Tabernacle. David spoke and sing about the glory beneath the shadow of the wings of the cherubim on the ark of the covenant. This is a clear picture of New Testament worship, the veil taken away by the cross of Christ. Secondly, David’s tabernacle existed for one thing, to house the glory of the Lord. Paul describes this in Ephesians calling the church the very habitation of God. Finally, the worship practiced at David’s Tabernacle was continual, spontaneous, and passionate. This too is a foretaste of the church being raised up in these last days. Here are some comments from the Revival Study Bible by Tommie Tenney.
“God said He would rebuild the tabernacle of David, the only house God ever said He wanted to restore-not Moses’ in its originality; not Solomon’s in its splendor; but David’s with its unveiled worship. It is as if what is important to God is that there are no barriers between Himself and His people. What He wants to restore is to open worship of His glory; where pagans and heathens would stand outside of the circle of worshippers of David’s tabernacle and see the blue flame of the shekinah glory of God between the dancing feet and the outstretched arms of twenty four-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week worshipers. The worshipers literally became the veil. It is time we, the Church, become people to stand in the gap between the glory of God and the wounded people. When we stand in the gap, then we become filters of His glory.”
James may have been speaking about the gentile churches birthed in Paul’s ministry but the Holy Spirit had His entire future church in mind. We live in those days, the days of the restoration of the Tabernacle of David.