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I come from an Evangelical-Charismatic background, and for many years, I've heard much teaching and emphasis on the rebuilding of David's Tabernacle/Tent in the end times. The verses used are seen in parallel in the prophecy of Amos 9:11-12 and the Jerusalem Council of Acts 15:16-18.

In that day I will restore David's fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be, so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name, declares the LORD, who will do these things. (Amos 9:11-12, NIV)

After this I will return and rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things' that have been known for ages. (Acts 15:16-18, NIV)

The way I've seen these verses used is in the creation of 24/7 houses of worship modeled after David's tabernacle, with singers and musicians offering up constant praise to God. These ministries are intended to usher in salvation and revival, as glory is offered up to God.

As far as I can tell, this interpretation of the verses (or at least the action taken in response to them) is a fairly new phenomenon, perhaps arising only in the last thirty years. Not that I disagree with this action, but I'm curious, how has the Church historically viewed this prophetic concept?

The Vine's Dictionary entry for the word for "Tabernacle" used in Acts 15:

(f) the house of David, i.e., metaphorically of his people, Acts 15:16;

Vine's seems to imply that it's only a metaphorical concept describing the entire body of Christ, under the headship of Christ(the heir to the throne of David).

So, my question remains: what is the historic Christian teaching on this rebuilding? Does orthodoxy teach that this will be one literal tabernacle, that it's a metaphor for the Church, or that it's a model we should build into?

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I think if you read Acts 15:15 you'll see James' perspective on the fulfillment of this prophecy.

Acts 15:15

And this conversion of Gentiles is exactly what the prophets predicted. As it is written:

So read together I think we can make some logical conclusions.

Acts 15:15-18

15 And this conversion of Gentiles is exactly what the prophets predicted. As it is written:

16 ‘Afterward I will return and restore the fallen house of David. I will rebuild its ruins and restore it,

17 so that the rest of humanity might seek the Lord, including the Gentiles— all those I have called to be mine. The Lord has spoken—

18 he who made these things known so long ago.’

God says through Amos that He will return and restore the fallen house (or tabernacle) of David. So that the rest of humanity can be saved (called his). So if James is saying that the second half of this prophecy is coming through through the Gentiles who were being saved at his time, then it seems to follow logically that the first half of this is already true. Then how was David's house restored? While I don't have sources to back me up I think it's pretty safe to put forward that it was Jesus who restored the house of David.

Mathew 1:1 calls Jesus a son of David:

This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:

And there are numerous other places where Jesus is referred to as the Son of David.

Luke 1:32 might be the best example in this case:

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,

I believe based on this that Jesus has already fulfilled this prophecy. I don't know if that answers your question on the historic Christian teaching, but it does appear to be what James taught.

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This is a great answer, and it's entirely Biblical! Although, you're right in that it doesn't really answer my original question. If no one comes up with a better answer soon, I'll accept this one. –  Joel H. Jul 26 '13 at 12:47

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