Acts 15:16-18 – And the prophet’s words are fulfilled:

‘After these things I will return to you

and raise up the tabernacle of David

that has fallen into ruin.

I will restore and rebuild what David experienced

so that all of humanity will be able to encounter the Lord

including the gentiles whom I have called

to be my very own,’ says the Lord.

‘For I have made known my works from eternity!’

I was born again and filled with the Holy Spirit in August of 1973. Thousands of others across the world at that time were having a similar experience. The Charismatic Renewal and an off shoot of that movement known as the Jesus Movement was in full swing. I ended up in a Bible College/Jesus Community in California called God’s Army. Those were some of the sweetest and special days of my life. We worshipped together, studied together, worked together, and lived together in extended households. Worship was a huge part of our lives. Jesus music (spiritual rock) was just in its infancy. Worship was the air that we breathed. A huge part of our corporate worship experience was singing spontaneously together songs in our heavenly language. Heaven would come down in those meetings and carry us into the heavenly realm. My life was changed in those precious moments. The restoration of Spirit empowered worship was a huge part of the Charismatic movement. Singing the Psalms of David put to music was the bulk of our singing. Here is a quote from Theopedia describing the Charismatic movement.

“Virtually all Charismatic Christians believe that the presence of God can be experienced in a supernatural way by believers, usually during times of intense spiritual reflection (such as during a worship service, a small group meeting or personal prayer). The singing of praise songs is an important element in this belief.

Nevertheless, there are two primary beliefs which define the charismatic movement. The first is the belief that the “charismatic gifts” of the Holy Spirit, such as tongues, prophecy, and miraculous healing, are still in effect today. Charismatics also hold that sometimes Bible passages are misinterpreted in order to declare that charismatic gift are not valid for today’s believers.”

Those early years of worship left a lasting impact on everyone who was involved in that movement. Our church worship today reflects the influence of the Charismatic Renewal. Today’s verse speaks of the restoration of the Tabernacle of David in the last days. I believe the exuberant and spontaneous worship we experience in our services is exactly that.


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.



Acts 2:17 “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.

Acts 15:16-17 “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,

If you pay close attention, the Bible always tends to interpret and confirm itself.
In today’s verses we have two Old Testament prophecies that began to be fulfilled in the first century church. In the first prophesy from the Prophet Joel, Peter declares the beginning of fulfillment on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit began to be poured out on the multitudes gathered for the festival in Jerusalem. This was clearly the beginning of a new day that we would see spread all throughout the world during the time of the apostles. There have been seasons of continued outpourings throughout history. Today, we live at the end of that season. It seems as if the Lord has turned up the intensity of His outpourings as the end gets closer. We can trace the current world wide Holy Spirit outpourings to one common point of origin, the great Azusa Street outpouring of 1906.
This brings us to the second prophetic word in the book of Acts. The Apostle James quoted from the Prophet Amos in his discourse in Acts 15. James applied this word about the rebuilding of the tabernacle of David to the apostolic church planting ministry of the Apostle Paul. Paul’s ministry ushered in the second phase of God’s plan for the Holy Spirit to be poured out upon all flesh. In the Old Testament the Lord dwelt in a building or a tent, in the new He would reveal Himself in His Church, not in the building itself but in the gathering together of His sons and daughters from every ethnic group on earth.
This prophesy about theTabernacle of David is very significant in our day. The uniqueness of David’s tent was this, there was no veil of separation and God’s Shekinah Glory was there. In today’s church the veil of separation has been removed by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Through His blood we can all come into His presence. Secondly, the Lord intends His church today to be the place where the Shekinah Glory is welcome and present. This presence is what people need and long for, this presence is the uniqueness of Christianity. There are plenty of churches, mosques, temples, and synagogues in our world today. What would make any one of them stand out from all the rest? In the Old Testament the difference was the Glory in the temple. If we listen carefully to the prophesies in the book of Acts we will come to the same conclusion, the church is intended to be the place of His manifest presence.



Acts 15:13,14
And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, “Men and brethren, listen to me: Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.

This passage describes one of the great turning points in church history. After this decision and acknowledging of the work of God amongst the gentiles by the Apostle Paul, the church world would be radically different. The main focus of the work of God moves from Jerusalem to the new hubs of Christianity being formed in the gentile nations. This was the beginning of God’s plan of world evangelization, surely the whole world will be filled with the glory of the Lord. In this phrase we see the focus of what God was after. He wanted to set apart a people from the nations of the world that would bare witness to the glory of His grace. This is what He meant by the phrase “to take out of them a people for His name”. People who had been bound by sin and idolatry were suddenly experiencing the life changing grace of God, the testimony of their changed lives would bring great glory and honor to the name of Jesus. Matthew Henry pointed this out in his comments on this verse.

“that the glory of God was the end of it: it was to take out of them a people for his name, who should glorify him, and in whom he would be glorified. As of old he took the Jews, so now the Gentiles, to be to him for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory, Jer. 13:11. Let all the people of God remember that therefore they are thus dignified in God, that God may be glorified in them.”

Understanding this, that God is setting apart a people by His grace to display His grace, will help you understand what life is all about, it will help you understand what your life is all about. Can you see the possibilities this brings about? The worst things that you have gone through, no matter what caused those things, provide an opportunity for God to be glorified in you and through you. If you have been bound by substance abuse and addiction, your deliverance and happiness in God provides an opportunity for God’s glory to be seen in your new life. Maybe you were abused or mistreated as a child, your emotional healing and victorious life will also bring glory to the name of the Lord. For you, maybe your trouble was a broken marriage. The dreams you had for your life came crashing down bringing heart break and misery into your life. As the Lord brings you out of depression into His life of unspeakable joy, the name of the Lord is glorified. Like James said in today’s passage, the Lord has taken out a people from a life of misery, heart break, and sin into a life of wholeness and contentment in Him. Today, God is glorified in your testimony, not only is He glorified but you are satisfied.



Acts 15:16-17 “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.’

There was tension in the air as Paul gave the account of what had been happening amongst the gentiles through his ministry. He told of town after town, where a local church had been planted and thousands of gentiles were experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit in and upon their lives. These jewish believers were okay with an occasional proselyte becoming a Christian, but this was different. The church was now becoming international, there were more gentiles than jews calling themselves Christians, this could hardly be the plan of the God of Abraham. That’s when James, the brother of Jesus, stood up and begin to prophesy using this passage from the book of Amos. James said that Paul’s ministry was the beginning of the fulfillment of this profound prophesy. He gave us a glimpse into the very purpose of the local church as he spoke about the restoration of the Tabernacle of David as being fulfilled in the establishing of new testament local churches.
What does the local church have to do with the temporary tent that David pitched on Mount Zion? Actually everything, the outstanding characteristic of David’s tabernacle was this, free access into the very Shekinah Glory of God’s Presence. This was unheard of, the tabernacle of Moses and the future temple had veils of separation. David’s tent had no veil, you could worship in the very presence of God before the ark of the covenant. Can you see the importance of this? The veil was a picture of man’s sin that separated us from God, this veil has been taken away by the blood of the cross. In the New Testament church, we have open access into the presence of God. What this means is this, the local church’s primary purpose is to provide a means for whosoever will in every nation to come into the Glory of His presence for themselves. The church is to be primarily a place for the habitation of the power and person of the Holy Spirit.
So I pose you a question today, is that what the church is doing today? I hardly think so. The church actually does everything but allow for the powerful manifestation of the Glory of God. We have conferences, and relevant worship followed by a motivational talk using an occasional scripture text, but never an allowance for the outpouring of His Presence. If James is right, this Tabernacle of David will be powerfully restored before the end of this age, frankly, that is all this age is about. Today, our primary purpose as a follower of Christ, is to promote and build His local church for the express purpose of providing a place for His Glory. A new day is dawning, as Isaiah prophesied, Is. 4:5-6 “And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defense. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.”



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.’

What a strange prophesy, restore the tabernacle of who? Everyone knows about the tabernacle that Moses built in the wilderness, but the tabernacle of David? Actually their is quite a lot said in the Bible about David’s tabernacle. David pitched a tent on Mount Zion to house the ark of the covenant. Over the centuries, Moses’ tabernacle had been neglected and fallen into disrepair. when David became king, he wanted to build a permanent dwelling place for the Lord’s presence in Jerusalem. As you know, this never was fulfilled in David’s life, his son Solomon built the temple. The Lord had other plans, better plans for David. You see, David pitched that tent, brought the ark to Jerusalem, and experienced a life of revival as the Lord granted David access into His presence, no one since Moses had this kind of favor. David was overwhelmed by the Glory of His presence, David spent hours in this tent worshipping the manifest glory of the Lord.
Now this brings us back to the prophesy James gave in the book of Acts (today’s scripture passage). James was declaring that the ministry of Paul to the gentiles was the beginning of the fulfillment of this prophesy by the prophet Amos. He was saying that the churches being planted amongst all of the gentile nations was the rebuilding of David’s tabernacle, actually a provision by the Lord for the lost people of the world to have access to the powerful presence of the Lord.
That is powerful, James is actually declaring to us the purpose of the Church. What could that be? It is the opportunity for everyone everywhere to experience the incredible power of His presence. The actual purpose of the church is to be the habitation of God. The Lord doesn’t live in buildings made by hands, He lives in the gathering of His people from every tribe and every tongue.
After David pitched this tent and brought the ark into Jerusalem, revival began to break out in Jerusalem. David was flooded with songs, his tongue became the pen of a ready writer, he spent his life shaping the river into words. David began to organize choirs and musicians whose entire life was devoted to ministry to the Lord. This was a foreshadowing of New Testament worship. David was living out the first New Testament church, a place where the power of God’s presence is evident, a place dedicated to the worship of the Lord. Today, we live in the times foretold by the prophets. The Tabernacle of David fell into disrepair over the ages, but today, he is restoring this place,his local church, to display the power of His presence.