Q. I know you teach that the “tabernacle of David” referred to in Acts 15:16, is the temple. I would really like to believe “tabernacle” refers to the temple as I’m encountering teaching that allegorizes the “tabernacle of David” to mean the “church,” but…”temple” just doesn’t fit to me, because it was “Solomon’s temple”, not David’s. Am I missing something really obvious?
A. As you know, the Lord’s brother James, as the head of the early Church, presided over the Council at Jerusalem described in Acts 15:1-12.
James said that the Lord was first going to take a people for Himself from among the Gentiles. This is the group we know as the Church. Using Amos 9:11-12 as His authority, he then explained that after that, the Lord would return to rebuild David’s fallen tabernacle. He was speaking of the nation in general and the Temple in particular. The reference to David’s fallen Tabernacle can’t apply to the Church, since its rebuilding takes place after the Lord is finished with the Church.
Ezekiel had prophesied that in the latter days Israel would be reborn, (Ezekiel 36-37), but James clarified that when that happened they would revive Biblical Judaism as well. Otherwise there would be no need for a Temple. Daniel had also prophesied a Temple in the Latter Days. (Daniel 9:27)
In 2 Samuel 7 David expressed his desire to build a house for the Lord. The Lord responded by saying that his first He would secure the Davidic line as Israel’s kings and then David’s offspring would build the Temple. David drew up the plans, collected most of the money to pay for it, and stored up much of the material that would be needed. (1 Chron. 28-29). Though Solomon was the actual builder, the Temple was clearly David’s dream.