Amos 9:11,12 and Acts 15:16,17
“On that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen, and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old. In order that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by my name, says the LORD (Jehovah) who does this”.
“After that I will return, and I will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen; form its ruins I will rebuild it, and I will set it up, so that all other peoples may seek the Lord – even all the Gentiles over whom my name has been called, Thus says the Lord, who has been making these things known from long ago”.
Cassirer (Acts) – “In days to come I shall return and build up again David’s dwelling-place which has fallen to the ground. I shall build up the ruins again, so that the rest of mankind may come to seek after the Lord: all the nations that I have called to myself to be bearers of my name. These are the words of the Lord who has accomplished all this, and has made these things known from of old”.
Hebrew and Greek meanings – Amos “booth, cottage, covert, pavilion, tabernacle, tent”.
Acts – “tent or cloth hut (literally or figuratively), habitation, tabernacle”.
We should consider all these definitions when we contemplate the meaning of both portions of Scripture.
The Tabernacle of David with the Ark of the Covenant installed, was an interlude with a different message throughout the whole of the Old Testament. What David experienced in the tabernacle he built, his dwelling-place spiritually, was a foretaste of that which we have in the time of the gospel and the new covenant. The focus was not on music then and the theme of worship in the New Testament or Covenant is never worship. Rather, it is the Spirit of God and of Christ. The music set up by David, his own psalms, the musicians, choirs, orchestras and even dancing, were the outburst of what he knew in his innermost being by the Spirit of God. Those external things were only the portrayal of the internal things of God. Some were revealed to him but more often as “the Spirit of God spake by” him, there were things hidden to him that were being played out in prophetic songs called Psalms, for all who have eyes to see and ears to ear, can both see and hear spiritually. We should not forget that David and the people were still offering hundreds of thousands of sacrifices at the temple that was in Gibeon.
Many let their senses play on the musical scene in his tabernacle, feeling the emotion of the times. They see the institutionalised mode of worship and think it is a type of something we are to do and have under the New Covenant. That is far from the truth of the matter. The kernel of the revelation in Psalms is totally Spirit-ual. It is not natural but supernatural. It is to be understood as pertaining to our spirits, minds and souls and not merely something soulish and emotional. It is composed of only heavenly things, supernatural ventures in salvation and it is for us who believe and who thus “taste of the powers of the age to come”, Hebrews 6:5. The spiritual realities are found in the New Testament and not in the Old, in the rebuilding of David’s tabernacle or dwelling-place that is far more glorious than what David built. The rebuilding is totally by the Holy Spirit through the message of the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We find what that is in the New Testament and not in the Old Testament, in the Psalms or in the Prophets. The source of our spiritual understanding by the Spirit is in the epistles of Paul in particular. The first lesson to be learnt can be discovered in what James said and the events surrounding the revelation he received by the Spirit, as found in Acts 15.
We can understand the significance of this wonderful promise from Amos and fulfilment from Acts, only if we realise a few things.
David’s Tabernacle was established by King David on the hill of Zion. It was used in conjunction with the Temple and the worship, priesthood and institutions that regularly occurred there.
It can be seen as the only time since Moses established the Law when something else was introduced other than the worship he instituted, the Laws he gave, the sacrifices and priesthood he set up. It was commenced by David and finished when his son, Solomon, became King and built the Temple. Thus it was “in ruins”.
Secondly, David was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write and sing many Psalms that give us an insight into the real purposes of God in the building of David’s Tabernacle. The Spirit of Christ Himself, was speaking beforehand about the Son of God Himself, who would come to earth to take unto Himself the body and nature of a human, in fulfilment of Amos’ prophecy.
Thirdly, Christ was to be set up as King, the fulfilment of Israel’s hope, the builder of a new and restored dwelling-place or tabernacle, the Saviour of the remnant of Israel and multitudes of Gentiles.
Fourthly, we can only understand these purposes, if we connect the verses from Amos and Acts that are quoted above.
Fifthly, the Spirit of Christ through David, prophesied about the spiritual fulfilment of Amos. The fulfilment that came and caused James to speak as he did in Acts 15, and all things connected to it, had been made known by God in times past.
Sixthly, we must arrive at the conclusion that the meaning of David’s Tabernacle or booth or dwelling-place, is found in a completely spiritual application. It is not to be external, carnal or worldly, being of this material world.
The references in the Psalms to David’s love of God’s dwelling-place show the connection between his tabernacle or dwelling-place, and the New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ Himself “tabernacled” amongst us. His body was His temple. He became the Head of His church, His body. True believers in Jesus Christ have become the temple of the living God.
We are the temple of the living God. Christ lives in us. God lives in His temple and He does not live in the midst of praise as is often stated. Unfortunately, few care to look up the different translations and see that the real meaning and translation of the verse so often quoted is for example, Psalm 80:2, “You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth”: rather it may be, “Thou art he whose praises Israel sings” NEB, or “Nevertheless You are enthroned as the Holy One, the praise of Israel” and again, “Yet art Thou holy, enthroned amid the praises of Israel”.
This was all under the Old Covenant that according to Hebrews 8 to 10, has passed away. We are under the New Covenant with its greater promises, whose Surety is the Lord Jesus Christ. The Old had glory and such glory was manifested between the Cherubim of the Temple, previously the Tbarnacle of Moses. It was a created glory. The reality of the heavenly glory of God could never have its habitation in a material creation of this world. That heavenly glory so surpasses the glory of the earthly Temple because its substance is Spirit.
The Temple of Christ that God is building also has as substance, Spirit in vessels of clay, pots of greater and lesser glory, each differing from the other, as stones set in place in this glorious Temple.
In the former, that of the Old Covenant, the building itself, the earthly treasures therein, the priesthood and sacrifices were all of earth and carnal. The New Covenant that replaces the Old totally and in every way, is so glorious in its abiding and enveloping of the body of Christ, it casts its heavenly glory in the actions and worship of the saints. The earthly is merely a ‘shadow’ of the heavenly and when the latter appears, the shadow disappears.
This has occurred in heaven’s view but in the greater part of the Church’s history, such has not been the case. Instead, men’s own ways control its earthly functions. There remains the earthly building seen as ‘the church’, with the Hierachal orders and human priests wearing Babylonian vestments and performing its varieties of worship and doctrines. Such is prominent in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches, even the State Churches. Incense as in the worship of the Old Covenant still assails the worshippers. Alas, God has removed such forms as Jesus said: ‘They who worship the Father must worship Him in Spirit and in truth’. Is the worship of those institutions acceptable to God? As a matter of fact all churches in some form or other are guilty and that is a sorry state. There is hope. It can be remedied some time, some place!
Thus the fulfilment David’s Tabernacle could never have any connection with any kind of worship in the Old Covenant order so we may not seek to see it occurring in any form similar to that under which David himself worshipped and established in the Tabernacle that he built, that was not even ‘another Temple’.
I think these verses now quoted, will help reveal the spiritual fulfilment in the rebuilding or restoration of David’s tabernacle or dwelling-place. The emphasis in them by David shows the type, David’s dwelling-place or tabernacle, portraying how the fulfilment would come.
David prophesied about the death of Christ in the Psalms to be sung in the Tabernacle set on Zion. He spoke of His resurrection. He tells us about His descent to earth and His ascension to heaven. We hear how Christ arrived at the gates of heaven seeking entrance. We learn from him about the glorification of Christ, the Son of God. He declares His priesthood set up by God. There are many references to Zion. He refers to the river that flows in the city of God as revealed in Revelation.
All these occurrences portray God’s rebuilding of the dwelling-place or tabernacle he had set up.
We quote about these as follows:-
Psalm 22:1,6,7 – “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” words spoken by Jesus on the cross. “But I am a worm and not human, scorned by others, and despised by the people. All who see me mock at me”, again spoken of the cross.
Psalm 16:10,11 – “For you do not give me up to Sheol, or let your faithful one see the Pit”. Peter quoted this in his preaching on the Day of Pentecost and he mentioned David was speaking about the resurrection of Christ. It should be noted that the reference is to the grave and not to any place of dead souls. He did not go into Hell as Kenyon, Hagin and Copeland have heretically taught. That is not so. He said to the thief while on the cross, “Today you will be with me in paradise”.
Psalm 40:6,7 “Burnt offering and sin offering, you have not required. Then I said, ‘Here I am, in the scroll of the book is written of me.’ I delight to do your will, O my God, your law is within my heart”. This is spoken by Christ as testified by the writer of Hebrews in chapter 10:5-7.
Psalm 87:5 – “Of Zion it shall be said, ‘This one and that one were born in it’.” Every person born again by the Word and the Spirit was born in Zion and his nationality is that of Zion. He is in the holy nation of God.
Psalm 68:18 – “You ascended the high mount, leading captives in your train”. This is quoted by Paul in Ephesians 4:6-8 in relation to the ascent of Christ into heaven. Also, Psalm 23:7-10 – “Lift up your heads, O gates! That the King of glory may come in”. This is with regard to the ascension of Christ into heaven, in particular after the resurrection.
“Who is this King of glory? The Lord (Jehovah) of hosts, he is the King of glory”. This is spoken of the Lord Jesus Christ who indeed is the Jehovah of the New Testament. In the Old Testament He appeared to many as the Angel of the Lord.
Psalm 110:1 – “The Lord (Jehovah) says to my lord (Adonai), ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool’. The Lord sends out from Zion your mighty sceptre, Rule in the midst of your foes”.
Psalm 110:4 – “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
These above words of songs given by the Holy Spirit to David have heavenly portent and are not material, external or worldly in their meaning. They are literal but not natural. Sometimes he sang of victories in war that were material. We cannot enter into those Psalms in a personal way unless we spiritualize them.
If we search the Psalms we must be convinced of the fact that it was not so much the music that was important as was the content of what was sung. These songs spoke of Christ. In the music of the rock singing churches, the content is rarely of Christ and the gospel. What has happened? The gatherings in David’s Tabernacle sang of deeper truths and from Spirit-inspired songs. Today, the truths are not deep, quite often the words are not truth but rather are sentimental and natural. We are under a better Covenant. How can this be so?
David also spoke of the heritage of the nations or Gentiles, of redemption and His covenant, meaning the New Covenant. Yet churches maintain a musical stance under the supposed songs of the Old Covenant. We are under the New Covenant. The old has gone forever, never to return. Let us look at –
Psalm 111:6, 9 – “He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations, heathen or Gentiles”.
“He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever.”
The songs or psalms sung in David’s Tabernacle in his day are similar to the above verses. Even so, they were but a shadow of the revelation that would come in the epistles of the New Testament. The source of our beliefs, doctrines and singing should be the gospel message and all that it means.
There were psalms about Zion, We think of Psalm 48:1,2 “Great is the Lord in the city of our God, His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation, Mount Zion, the city of the great King”. It belongs to the times when Christ would come. It refers to the heavenly city wherein is our citizenship, the heavenly Jerusalem, Zion the dwelling place of God in heaven.
David has written concerning his Tabernacle, hut, dwelling-place, dwelling, tent, booth, cottage, habitation. This gives us an indication as to the purposes of God in the restoration of this place. It is not music. It is not worship. It goes far deeper. It concerns the eternal plan of God for the salvation of both Jew and Gentile. James was given a revelation about this when he said what he did in Acts. That revelation is in accordance with what Paul has told us in Ephesians 2:15,16, “He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two (Jew and Gentile), and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it”.
Ephesians 3:3-6, “how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words, a reading of which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: that is, the Gentiles have become fellow heirs, members of the same body, and sharers in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel”.
Clearly, this revelation that Paul received is far greater than anything King David did in his tabernacle experience. We are to consider this to be the case and not to hanker after the old shadow, types and prophecies of the Old Covenant, even of David in his remarkable understanding.
What of Peter in years after the conference in Jerusalem where he testified of the things God had done and where James gave his consideration to the matter? We find out in 1 Peter 1:10-12, “Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours made careful search and inquiry, inquiring about the person or time that the Spirit of Christ within them indicated when it testified in advance to the sufferings destined for Christ and the subsequent glory. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you”. David was one of those prophets. He prophesied of the glorious times ahead. What he had in his tabernacle could not even compare to the wonders of the gospel when salvation would come to Jew and Gentile. Peter happened to be speaking to Jews who were pilgrims in far places and who had become believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
I say this because I have experienced and seen worship in the Spirit often, singing in the Spirit, dancing in the Spirit, prophesying in the Spirit whereas most of the worship and singing in churches is not in the Spirit, the dancing is never in the Spirit and in the majority of cases the prophesying is not in the Spirit rather carnal and/or false. We have the Word of the gospel message to guide us. There should be some Pentecostal leaders who know better. The majority of leaders are taught by those who do not. Jesus said, “To him who has shall be given and to him who has not shall be taken away even that which he has”. We discovered this true in the Pentecostal churches throughout Indonesia over a period of many years. It is true in the midst of the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches today world-wide and particularly in Australia. There is so much error and heresy strongly diluting the gospel message that the gospel is almost hidden from sight. In my country the majority of converts have come in during the last twenty-five years. They have been reared on a diet of false gospel, little truth and new revelations! At least the denominational churches with their singing of doctrinally and scripture based old-fashioned hymns are sometimes true to what they know.
It is evident from Acts 15 that the kind of music and worship in David’s Tabernacle was not what God was to restore. If we do not believe that we have abandoned to a large degree, our faith in the glory of the message of the cross of Christ and the resurrection, of the salvation He brings through the operation of the Holy Spirit. We are dancing and responding to an external, carnal, non-Spirit-ual and worldly emotional tune!
We should look into the meaning of the restoration of David’s tabernacle or dwelling-place with care. It is as if we search for a pearl hidden in a field. We must dig into the Scriptures.
If we consider the use by David of “dwelling-place” in his Psalms we catch an inkling as to the purposes of God for the restoration of this tabernacle. There is a major thrust on dwelling. We dwell or abide in Christ and God through Christ and the Spirit dwells in us. Colossians 1:26,27, “The mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints, To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”; Galatians 5:25, “If we live in the Spirit let us walk in the Spirit” and 1 Peter 4:6, “They might live in the Spirit as God does”. Jesus said, “Those who love me will keep my word and my Father will love them; and we will come to them and make our home with them”, meaning the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This is John 14:23. The Restoration or rebuilding of David’s Tabernacle in the things of Christ involves this dwelling. Christ dwells in us and we dwell in Him. In David’s Tabernacle no one had that kind of an understanding of such truth and neither did anyone experience this glory, not even David. Even his songs and music did not contain this revelation. It was hidden to him. It is revealed to us. Let us be glad and rejoice in it.
Here are some:-
Psalm 23:9 – “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”.
Psalm 27:4 – “One thing have I desired of the Lord, to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life and to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple”.
Psalm 69:35 – “For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah; and his servants shall live there and possess it”. David looked ahead to the heavenly Zion, the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, as is told us in Hebrews 12:22-24, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood”.
There was nothing in David’s tabernacle that contained anything comparable to these glorious statements in Hebrews. Even the Psalms he wrote do not compare. It is then not the music of his tabernacle that God will restore. Apart from this, we are now in the era of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit has worship for us that far exceeds the music, orchestras and dancing of David. After all, music and singing are natural accomplishments. The talents for such must be fostered with hard and long hours of practice – as I myself know having been a pianist.
Psalm 84:4,10 – “Happy are those whose who live in your house, ever singing your praise”; “For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere”. In this verse, David portrays his love of God and his passion to be with Him in prayer, prophesying, praise and spiritual obligations.
Regarding Zion, God says in the words of Psalm 132:14, “This is my resting place forever: here I will reside, for I have desired it”. This is not speaking literally of a natural Zion. God speaks of the spiritual Zion, where He will abide forever with us. He also speaks in Psalm 133:3 like this – “it is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion, For there the Lord ordained his blessing, life forevermore”. This spiritual Zion is where God has placed the gospel message that brings everlasting life.
All these things are far deeper than any restoration of music, choirs, orchestras and dancing.
Psalm 84:1,2 – “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts! My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God”.
Psalm 65:4 – “Happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, your holy temple”.
Psalm 92:12,13 – “The righteous flourish like the palm tree, They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God”.
Psalm 15:1 – “O Lord, who may abide in your tabernacle (tent)? Who may dwell on your holy hill?”
Psalm 18:50, “He gives the king great victories; he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever”. This shows David is a type of Christ and that as David’s descendant, He comes within the scope of the kindness of God, even as is indicated in Romans 1:2,3, “the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures, regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David”. God said of David through the prophet, 2 Samuel 7:8, “I took you from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, that you might be prince over my people, Israel”. Psalm 78:52, “He led forth His own people like sheep”. This David in his tabernacle or dwelling-place, was there as prince over God’s own people. His greater Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, was to come and be Lord and King over His people in the church.
Psalm 2:66-8, “’I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.’ I will tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to me, ‘You are my son today I have begotten you. Ask of me and I will make the nations your heritage and the ends of the earth for your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces with a potter’s vessel”. Much of this is literal but the rest is figurative. It all speaks of Christ.
The restoration of David’s Tabernacle implies the gathering together as a fulfilment, all of the truths mentioned above – and more.
Let us consider Christ from David, his tabernacle and the Psalms. Jesus is the son of David, inheritor of the covenant God made with David in 2 Samuel 7:6-9. David prophesies of His deity, death, burial, resurrection, priesthood and His widespread dominion. These are all redolent of their fulfilment under the New Covenant. David must have realised that he was prophesying about things that were to come. He would have remembered what Nathan said in 2 Samuel 7:12,13, “I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.” This was spoken of Christ. He is building a house, Hebrews 3:6,7, “Christ, however, was faithful over God’s house as a son, and we are his house if we hold firm the confidence and the pride that belong to hope”.
Regarding believers in Christ, both Jew and Gentile as mentioned in Amos 9 and Acts 15, 1 Peter 2:4-9 says we are ”Like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. See, I am laying in Zion a cornerstone. The stone that the builders rejected has become the very head of the corner. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people”. We are that house and are built upon Christ. It is a spiritual house, to offer spiritual sacrifices – not worldly, carnal or non-spiritual.
The question is, “What makes it spiritual?” It is spiritual if it is in the Spirit and by the Spirit. Peter says in his first epistle, chapter 1, verse 8, “Although you have not seen him, you love him, and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy”. This is the realm of the Spirit-ual, the realm of the unseen. The reality of our salvation is in the unseen and invisible. We are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. We are in Christ as He stands before the throne of His Father on our behalf. Our worship and prayers ascend to the heavenly sanctuary, to God Himself. We approach Him who is invisible. Our true worship is not of visibility, even though we are visible beings and visibly attend service or are never invisible. It is of the Spirit into heavenly places. Therefore, music which is of the visible, to be used as the highlight of worship is not scriptural. Believers in Christ, Jew and Gentile are the only holy nation, the only people of God and the only chosen race. Today, there is no other. We are in a spiritual and heavenly nation that has its seat in heaven. This race is of heavenly origin and standing, the “Israel of God”, Galatians 6:16.
We can see from the above that the rebuilding or restoration of David’s hut, tabernacle, tent, house, dwelling-place or progeny has no connection with music. It is the fullness and fulfillment of the shadows, types and prophecies given in the Old Testament Tabernacle of David through the Psalms. The real presence of God was is Spirit. God is Spirit. In the Tabernacle there was a form of a creation. With believers under the rebuilt tabernacle, God by His Spirit is in us in actuality in an invisible but real form. The reality is of Christ in us. “The things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are not seen are eternal” – 2 Corinthians 4:18.
Let me say most emphatically it is not Shekinah. Shekinah is a goddess under Rabbinic Judaism, of which Paul had been one as ‘a Pharisee of the Pharisees’. They did not follow the Old Testament of the Mosaic Pentateuch but instead the Oral Law of the Mishnah, now having become the Talmud and Kabbalah, the Torah. Such does not comprise any part of the Old Testament given by God.
Such beliefs include the Sefirot, the Tree of Life, a pagan and Satanic replacement of the Truth of the Eternal I Am That I Am, the Lord. There are ten emanations therein, representing ten gods and goddess. Adam is said to have created this female out of his side. There is much dark sexuality in the whole belief that also includes our God as being male and female. This Shechinah plays an important role in the evil paganism.
Oh, how they deceived us all over the years. First it was the non-Pentecostals who had and which many of them still follow, even their scholars. Then of course the Pentecostals took it up. We were taught ‘the shekinah glory’ and it is a big lie of Satan. Jesus said, ‘I will build My church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’. We are at the gates as an ecclesia, all the time. The principalities and powers of the supernatural realm and heavens, attack the ecclesia, all the time. Our assemblies are intruded by demons bringing their doctrines, as in 1 Timothy 4 and 2 Timothy 4. The wolves came in after the decease of Paul.
We are to wrestle against them in the Spirit, with the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, being clothed with the armor, helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, loins clad with Truth, and our feet standing in all of the truth of the gospel. There is often hardly any believer fighting this battle for truth against the myths that both Peter and Paul warned us not to follow. Let us never call the Infinite, Heavenly, illustrious glory of God by any other name than the glory of God. Praise Him because Jesus Christ is the Glory and none other.
The connection to music was wrongly made in a “revelation” supposedly from God. No doctrine should be based on a revelation but on the pure Word of God. The Word of God for us is the gospel as is stated in Acts 8:25, “After Peter and John had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, proclaiming the good news (gospel)”. Any experience someone may have in our day, as just an experience that may be vital to them concerning some perceived move of the spirit in the church is exactly that – their experience. This actually happened regarding a revelation said to be God-given concerning joy, so-called worship, music, singing, dancing and the prophetic Song of the Lord. It has swept the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches and even denominational ones, without most understanding its basis and error. Its foundation is the experience of a Canadian Pastor Reg Lascelles, who believed the Lord told him it was the “restoration of David’s Tabernacle”. He had spent some time saying “Hallelujahs” and “Praise the Lord” before a service, so he relates in his book. Then his church, Glad Tidings Tabernacle, Vancouver, began to experience a revitalisation. This was after the Latter Rain beginning in Battle Creek, Canada, of supposedly things from God, in 1948. Anything not clearly recorded in Scripture to be general events cannot be from God.
This teaching on music and the religious institutions of David’s Old Testament Tabernacle were brought into New Zealand, Australia and parts of U.S.A. by such people as Ray Jackson, Rob Wheeler, Peter Morrow, Kevin Connor and others. These are nice pastors but one must not regard that but rather whether they teach truth or error. In this case it is not truth from the Scriptures. From this the idea of music in the church “world” (being worldly) has spread in most continents and many countries. This has replaced the emphases in the early church on Christ, the gospel and the Holy Spirit. It is wrongly called praise and worship. We do not need music for New Testament worship that has to be as Jesus said in John 4:24, “Believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem. But the hour is coming and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship Him. God is Spirit and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth”. It can never be said that the present-day worship through music, called “praise and worship” measures up to what Jesus said here. The Spirit is replaced by music. Personally, for the past twenty-five years, I have not known in any church I have been in Australia where this modern kind of music “praise and worship” is resonant with the touch of the Spirit of God. I have ministered in very many hundreds of places where there was the obvious move of the Holy Spirit.
The scriptures we need to take up as a model for our church meetings are many. Of paramount importance is the preaching of the Truth of the gospel. We are to follow the Truth as laid down by Paul. We are to worship as Jesus said to worship. We should be following the procedures laid down in 1 Corinthians chapters 12 through 14 and Romans 8:26. The early church for one hundred years followed this including much speaking and worshipping in other tongues in every meeting. As Paul said to Timothy, “Preach the Word”, our preachers also, should be so doing.
To do other than what Jesus said is disobedience to Him and a disregard for the grace of God given to us in the Holy Spirit. We are not under the Old Covenant. It has passed away and been replaced by the New Covenant according to the book of Hebrews.
The pithy meaning of the rebuilding of David’s Tabernacle is disclosed by James. Peter had already related how Gentiles had become believers, God having testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit. He exhorted the assembly in this manner, verse 11, “We believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will”. The point was that Jew and Gentile had received the salvation of God. James then stood up and gave the explanation of what was happening by saying it was a fulfillment of Amos 9:11,12. He said God was “rebuilding the dwelling of David which has fallen”. He stated the bringing in of the Gentiles as being its main feature. This had happened. The promises to David as to David’s Son, Jesus Christ, were being fulfilled. Even so, James did not quite have the revelation as given to Paul. Obviously, many people today do not have that understanding of the revelation, not even seeing what James saw about David’s Tabernacle being restored.
God had promised much regarding David. We see this below.
Isaiah 55:3, “I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David”. This concerned the hope of Israel, the Lord Jesus Christ and His resurrection. Isaiah prophesied, 11:1-5, that “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots”. Jesse was the father of David. The dynasty of Jesse and of David had fallen. There was not a king on the throne of Israel for hundreds of years. Then Jesus was born, “son of David, son of Jesse”, Luke 3:31,32.
Acts 28:20 “since it is for the sake of the hope of Israel, I am bound with these chains”. Paul said this in the midst of his speech in his prison in Rome. He told this to the Jews with whom he reasoned and who refused to believe that God through Isaiah (6:9,10) had said they would never understand and would never perceive and neither would they turn to the Lord. Then he enunciated strongly, “Let it be known to you then that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen”. Israel as a nation refused the gospel. They were cast off never to be reinstated, according to Paul. However, there would always be a remnant who would receive Jesus as their Messiah and Saviour.
The rebuilding of David’s dwelling-place is part of the revelation of the plan of salvation from eternity that was revealed in a gradual manner and through heads of dynasties and institutions such as Abraham, Moses and David. First and foremost it is about the Lord Jesus Christ as David’s Greater Son, through Whom all the promises of God would be “Yes and Amen”. It concerns the coming of the Son of God to earth to take upon Himself a sinless human nature and a pure human body, without any tendencies to sin. In doing this it is said in John 1:14, “He tabernacled among us”. His body was a temple as He came in a tabernacle. After His birth, baptism in water, ministry, crucifixion, burial, resurrection and being taken up into glory, He became the head of His body, the temple of God with living stones. This is the tabernacle that He is building into which the Gentiles were brought, in accordance with the mystery of God as revealed to Paul. Christ is in the Sanctuary in heaven, His dwelling-place, where He does more than David could do, interceding for His people to God the Father. He is indeed David’s “Greater” Son.
Thus the prophecy of Amos 9:11,12 and its fulfillment as declared by James in Acts 15:15-20, shows that the rebuilding of the tabernacle, dwelling-place of David, encompassed the salvation of God and the bringing in of the Gentiles to join the remnant of the Jews whom the Lord would call. As Paul said in 2 Timothy 2:8, “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David – that is my gospel”. God through Christ makes them His dwelling place. This in brief is the glorious meaning. It has to do totally with spiritual things and there is nothing of external worship as was in David’s tabernacle that is included. No mention of such external worship is made in James’ discourse or in any part of the epistles.
We are left in a marvelous manner with viewing the fulfillment as a glorious revelation of the love, mercy and grace of God towards us who are saved, particularly we Gentiles. The revelation of Scripture is to be received and should be acted upon. There is to be no taking away from it or addition allowable.
Let us revel in the truth of the rebuilding of David’s dwelling-place. This dwelling-place is where God inhabits His saints and makes us His tabernacle or temple, in and through our Lord Jesus Christ. Even as the Holy Spirit spake by David and James, we are to receive the meaning from Him and its fulfillment and operation by His power.