In Acts Chapter 15, Jesus’ disciples gathered together in a meeting that is now known as “The Jerusalem Council” to determine what restrictions would be incumbent on the new Gentile converts who were coming to Faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The general consensus among Jewish believers at that time had been that Gentile believers would need to convert to Judaism to be saved. However, the Jerusalem Council soon recognized that God does NOT require Gentiles to convert to Judaism OR keep the Law of Moses to be saved! This is the MYSTERY that the apostle Paul wrote about in Ephesians 3:1-12, namely that the gentiles (non-Jews) were to be fellow-heirs and fellow partakers of the Promise of Eternal Life through simple FAITH in the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 3:4 By referring to this, when you read you can understand my (apostle Paul) insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which in other generations was not made known to mankind, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,
God’s plan did NOT say that gentiles would become fellow heirs and partakers in the promise (of ETERNAL LIFE in CHRIST JESUS) through the law of Moses. No. The MYSTERY that Paul spoke about is that gentiles would become fellow heirs (with Jewish believers) and partakers in the promise of ETERNAL LIFE in CHRIST JESUS…. simply by BELIEVING and RECEIVING the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:1: Now I make known to you, brothers and sisters, the gospel which I preached to you, which you also received, in which you also stand, 2 by which you also are saved, if you hold firmly to the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
3 For I handed down to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;
Although God does NOT require Gentile believers to convert to Judaism to be saved, the apostles (under the guidance of the Holy Spirit🕊️) did place some restrictions on gentile believers to steer them away from IDOLATRY and guide them towards living Holy Lives in Christ…
The MYSTERY of CHRIST was NOT revealed to the apostles until several YEARS AFTER Jesus’s death, resurrection and ascension. All of the initial Christians were either Jews by birth or by conversion, and apparently there were no Gentile members for at least the first ten years after the birth of the Church on Pentecost c28-30AD. An approximate timeline…
|Jesus’ ascension into Heaven||28-30AD||Acts Chapter 1|
|Peter preached to Gentile family (Cornelius)||37AD||Acts Chapters 10,11|
|Jerusalem Council||48AD||Acts Chapter 15|
The MYSTERY of Christ is that YHWH (God) was going to call the Gentiles INTO THE NEW COVENANT WITH HIM via the Gospel of Jesus Christ! This was (and is) a really big deal! I do not think we understand just how SHOCKING this revelation was to Jewish believers 2000 years ago! The Jewish people believed that they alone were the ONLY ONES who had ACCESS to the One True God (YHWH) through the Mosaic Covenant and later through the New Covenant✝️.
In the days of Jesus Christ, the majority of Jewish people believed that gentiles were UNCLEAN PAGAN HEATHENS (uncircumcised) who could NEVER be in Covenant with the One True God (YHWH). They thought that the only way a Gentile could enter into Covenant with God is by converting to Judaism and keeping Torah (Mosaic Law) – like the Moabite Ruth.
However, God had other plans which were PROPHESIED in the Old Testament (Tanakh) and foreshadowed in the Tabernacle of David. These plans remained a mystery, “hidden in plain sight” in the Tanakh (Old Testament) UNTIL God (YHWH) revealed them to His apostles in approximately 37 to 48 AD.
Acts 15:13 After they stopped speaking, James responded, saying, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has described how God first concerned Himself about taking a people for His name from among the Gentiles.
15 The words of the Prophets agree with this, just as it is written: 16 ‘After these things I will return, And I will rebuild the fallen tabernacle of David, And I will rebuild its ruins, And I will restore it, 17 So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, And all the Gentiles (non-Jews) who are called by My name,’ 18 Says the Lord, who makes these things known from long ago.
In the verses above (Acts 15:13-18), the apostle James was quoting from Amos 9:11.
Amos 9:11: “On that day I will raise up the fallen TABERNACLE of David,
And wall up its gaps;
I will also raise up its ruins
And rebuild it as in the days of old;
12 So that they may possess the remnant of Edom
And all the nations (goyim/gentiles) who are called by My name,”
Declares the Lord who does this.
What IS the Tabernacle of David that had “fallen” and was prophesied to be REBUILT during the Last Days??”
To better understand this, let us take a brief look at an Israel’s HISTORY.
A Tabernacle is a TENT or temporary dwelling place. The Israelites lived in tabernacles during their sojourn in the wilderness.
John 1:14: And the Word became flesh, and did tabernacle (dwelt) among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only begotten of a Father, full of grace and truth.
Jesus Christ (Messiah) is God (a Spiritual Being who is One with the Father YHWH) who took on the likeness of human flesh so that He could come into the world and SAVE mankind. Jesus dwelt TEMPORARILY in the likeness of human flesh. Similarly, our human bodies are temporary dwelling places (tabernacles) for our souls and spirits. More importantly, for the born-again Christian our human body is the temporary dwelling place (tabernacle) for YHWH’s Holy Spirit. 🕊️
When Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai, he was given a blueprint for the Tabernacle that would house the Ark of the Covenant, the “box” that contained God’s ten commandments. The Mercy Seat was to be placed above the ark. The Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat were placed within the “most holy place“, the place where God’s Glory would dwell with man. This was a very, very special place that was so holy, ONLY the Jewish High Priest (from the Levitical Priesthood) could enter, and ONLY once a year (Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur). The Jewish High Priest had to follow very strict instructions from YHWH as he approached God’s Presence, or he would die. Our fallen human bodies cannot be in the presence of YHWH’S GLORY without special preparations.
For hundreds of years the Hebrew Levitical priests followed Moses’ instructions to the letter as they ministered to YHWH in the Tabernacle of Moses. However, at the same time the people, including many in the Levitical priesthood itself, sinned rampantly and began to worship the “gods” of the land (demonic entities masquerading as gods – IDOLATRY). This greatly angered YHWH who was in Covenant (Mosaic) with the Jewish (Hebrew) people.
The people ASSUMED that because the ark of the Covenant was WITH them and they were going through the motions of religious services in the Tabernacle of Moses, then they could “do as thou wilt” with no consequences. This is similar to how many Christians (NEW COVENANT) ASSUME that if they attend Church and go through the motions of religious services, they can “do as thou wilt” without ever having a true heart conversion which always comes with true belief.
Upon entering the Promised Land, the Tabernacle of Moses finally settled in Shiloh which is about 31 kms (20 miles) north of Jerusalem. For about 400 years, during the period of the Judges, offerings and sacrifices were made there.
It was during the time of Eli, the second last judge of Israel that the Israelites decided to take the Ark of the Covenant into battle against the Philistines as a “good luck charm”. The Lord was angry with the Israelites and allowed the Philistines to defeat them and capture the Ark of the Covenant (1 Samuel 4). After seven months with the Philistines, the Ark was returned to Israel on an ox cart with symbolic gifts from the Philistines as payments of their sins against the Lord (1 Samuel 6).
At this point, the Ark is now separated from the Tabernacle of Moses.
The priests continued to minister at the tabernacle of Moses in Gibeon, offering daily sacrifices, but they were just ritual motions without God’s Presence (Ark of the Covenant).
The Ark of the Covenant eventually came to rest in Jerusalem in an open-air Tabernacle (Tent) that David pitched for it.
1 Chronicles 15:29 When the ark of the covenant of the Lord came to the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David dancing and celebrating; and she despised him in her heart.
1 Chronicles 16:1: And they brought in the ark of God and placed it inside the tent which David had pitched for it, and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God. 2 When David had finished offering the burnt offering and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord. 3 Then he distributed to everyone of Israel, both men and women, to everyone a loaf of bread, a portion of meat, and a raisin cake.
1 Chronicles 16:37 So he (King David) left Asaph and his relatives there before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, to minister before the ark continually, as every day’s work required, 38 and Obed-edom with his sixty-eight relatives; Obed-edom, the son of Jeduthun, and Hosah as gatekeepers.
39 He (King David) left Zadok the priest and his relatives the priests before the tabernacle of the Lord in the high place which was at Gibeon, 40 to offer burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar of burnt offering continually morning and evening, even according to everything that is written in the Law of the Lord, which He commanded Israel.tfj: In 1 Chronicles 16:39 the phrase “Tabernacle of the Lord” is being used to describe the Tabernacle of Moses which was in Gibeon.
tabernacle of moses
Purpose of the Tabernacle of Moses: So that the Glory of God (YHWH) could dwell with Israel and give the Israelites a place where they could worship.
- Tent built according to the blueprint God gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai.
- Levitical Priesthood under Zadok
- Regular sacrifices continued according to the Law of Moses
- No singing was there
- Rested in Gibeon
- Bronze altar was present.
- Ark of the Covenant was NOT there
- 1 Chronicles 16:39, 1 Chronicles 21:30
TABERNACLE OF DAVID –
Purpose of David’s Tabernacle: Amos 9:12 “that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the nations who are called by My name,” declares the Lord who does this. The Septuagint (Greek) translation of the Old Testament reads, “that the remnant of men and all the Gentiles upon whom My name is called may earnestly seek Me.”
- Open air Tent.
- Levitical Priesthood under Asaph and his relatives
- Rested in Jerusalem
- Ark of the Covenant representing the Presence of God was there.
- Altar was present. Burnt offerings and peace offerings.
- Sons of Asaph sang songs of Praise and worship before the Ark.
- 1st Chronicles 15:1, 1st Chronicles 16:4-5, 1 Chronicles 16:1
It is important to note that once the Tabernacle of Moses and the Ark became separated, God’s Presence remained with the Ark that was in the open-air tent in the Tabernacle of David. The Sacrifices and burnt offerings according to the LAW OF MOSES continued in the Tabernacle of Moses, but the Divine Presence of YHWH was NOT there.
There was great intimacy and transparency between the Lord and David. Although David sinned against God (as we all have done), he was still considered a “man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22) because he truly did love the Lord God with all his heart, mind, soul and strength💕. David appointed Levites to worship regularly in shifts in the tabernacle that he erected for the Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem. The musicians worshipped before the Lord continually day and night (in shifts) with instruments that ranged from soft harps to loud cymbals.
As 1st Chronicles 16:4, 5 describes:
1 Chronicles 16:4 And he (David) appointed some of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, to commemorate, to thank, and to praise the Lord God of Israel:
5 Asaph the chief, and next to him Zechariah, then Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, and Obed-Edom: Jeiel with stringed instruments and harps, but Asaph made music with cymbals;
On this side of the Cross✝️, I doubt we truly grasp just how incredible it was that the Levites (and others) were permitted to come near the Ark in this manner. They were actually doing something that would have been considered dangerous. They were entering God’s presence—something which could kill instantaneously if not done properly (I Chronicles 13:9-10)—without the blood of atoning sacrifices. In-fact, all people (Jew or Gentile) who believed in and loved the Lord God (YHWH) with their whole hearts were able to come into the Tabernacle of David and into the presence of God. In the Tabernacle of Moses ONLY the High Priest could come into the presence of God (YHWH), and only once a year (Day of Atonement).
It appears that David had received deep insight about how to come into God’s presence with a heart of devotion and love. 💕✝️
“When the singer becomes the song, his life provides the lyrics, and his heart beats the music🎵. More than a heart of worship, God requires a heart that is pure and undefiled, unspotted by the world.”
The Tabernacle of David was a foreshadowing of the Life, death and resurrection of Messiah. (Jesus Christ). Jesus’ death on the Cross ✝️ tore the veil of separation between God and man in HALF. It also tore the veil that separated Jew and Gentile (non-Jew).
John 4:19 The woman *said to Him (Jesus), “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and yet you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one must worship.”
21 Jesus *said to her, “Believe Me, woman, that a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we (Jews) worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. (Jesus Christ (humanity’s Messiah) was Jewish from the Tribe of Judah)
23 But a time is coming, and even now has arrived, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
25 The woman *said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” 26 Jesus *said to her, “I am He (messiah), the One speaking to you.”
Although life feels very difficult right now, we are actually very blessed to live in the Last Days, where God’s Messiah Jesus Christ has already come to wipe away our sins and bless us with the ability to enter His courts with Thanksgiving and Praise! We do not enter YHWH’s presence through the blood of bulls and goats, but through Christ Jesus’ own precious blood. ALL humanity (Jews and Gentiles) has access to the Throne of God through the atoning work of Jesus Christ, our Messiah.
As prophesied in the Old Testament (Amos 9:11) and confirmed in Acts 15:13-19, God has REBUILT the “Tabernacle of David” through HIS MESSIAH JESUS (YAHUSHUA)! God has been calling GENTILES into Covenant with Him through the NEW COVENANT! Now, all who believe in Jesus’ Christ’s atoning work on the Cross can enter directly into God’s presence because Jesus Christ IS our High Priest Forever after the order of Melchizedek. 🙌🏻 Jesus has entered into the True Tabernacle (in Heaven) through His own precious blood, where He now makes intercession for all believers. ✝️
Where does this leave the “Tabernacle of Moses” and the Jewish people?
The Ark of the Covenant did not permanently remain in David’s Tabernacle. Ultimately, the Ark of the Covenant was placed in the Temple of Solomon, where the Tabernacle of Moses and the Tabernacle of David “came together”. In the Temple of Solomon, the duties of the Levitical priesthood continued, along with all of the religious observances. David also passed on God’s commands regarding praise and worship to his son, Solomon who ultimately employed 4,000 full-time paid musicians and singers to worship the Lord Day and night in the Temple. This is something that had not taken place in the Tabernacle of Moses.
1 Chronicles 23:1: Now when David reached old age, he made his son Solomon king over Israel. 2 And he gathered together all the leaders of Israel with the priests and the Levites. 3 Now the Levites were counted from thirty years old and upward, and their number by head count of men was thirty-eight thousand.
4 Of these, twenty-four thousand were to oversee the work of the house of the Lord; and six thousand were officers and judges,5 and four thousand were gatekeepers, and four thousand were praising the Lord with the instruments which David made for giving praise.
What happened in the Temple of Solomon? Fire came down out of Heaven and consumed the burnt offering and sacrifices and the Glory of the Lord FILLED the House! God was well-pleased!
2 Chronicles 7:1: Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven🔥 and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house.
2 And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house. 3 All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the Lord upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the Lord, saying, “Certainly He is good, certainly His faithfulness is everlasting.”
If the Tabernacle of Moses represents the Law of Moses (Jewish) and the Tabernacle of David represents the Church (age of Grace – Gentile Church), then the Temple of Solomon represents the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ on this earth (Jew and Gentile, one in Messiah). The Jewish people recognize God’s Holiness and Righteousness. The Gentile Church understand God’s Love and Mercy. All will be reconciled in the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ when God’s Glory returns to the earth. 💕 Jesus (YAHUSHUA) is the Messiah, and His Sacrifice on the Cross ✝️ is the only sacrifice that can wash away sin. All of the animal sacrifices in the Tabernacle of Moses and in the Temple of Solomon, also in Herod’s Temple (2nd Temple), were never sufficient to take away sin because the blood of bulls and goats cannot remove sin. (Hebrews 10:4)
When Jesus Christ arrives on this earth to take His Rightful Seat on the Throne in the City of David, we will be entering a “new time” and a “new age”. God’s Presence is on this earth now (via the Holy Spirit) in the rebuilt Tabernacle of David which is a picture of the believer’s human heart. During the Millennium, God’s Glory in its fullest will be on the earth which is something we haven’t really experienced since the days of Solomon’s Temple.
Jesus Christ IS the Glory of YHWH, but when He was here 2000 years ago in the likeness of human flesh He had not yet been “glorified”. Following His Death, Resurrection and Ascension, Jesus is now fully Glorified👑 and is seated at the Right Hand of the Father. When Jesus returns to earth, He will be fully glorified, and His presence will be EXTREMELY POWERFUL BECAUSE JESUS IS GOD!
It says in the Scriptures that those who are transformed in the First Resurrection will see Jesus as He is because they will be “like Him” (glorified- 1 John 3:2). However, during Jesus’ 1000-year Millennial reign on the earth there will be plenty of people who are still clothed in sinful human flesh (the survivors of the Tribulation). In addition, all those born during the Millenium will continue to be born into the sin nature (fallen human flesh); however, the sin nature will not be amplified by the fallen angelic realm which will be imprisoned in outer darkness. Hallelujah! 🙌🏻
The Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ
Ezekiel 40-48 provides details about the Millennial Temple from which Jesus Christ will reign in ALL HIS GLORY. One of the more surprising details is that there will be animal sacrifices in the Millennial Temple. 🤔 The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ ✝️ is the ultimate sacrifice and the Only One that can take away sin, so this aspect of the Millennial Temple has confused many people. Biblical scholars have come up with many theories as to WHY there would be animal sacrifices during Jesus Christ’s Millennial reign on earth. Some scholars have tried to allegorize the animal sacrifices away; however, Ezekiel describes them in great detail making it unlikely that they are merely allegories. The most popular theory is that the animal sacrifices in the Millennial Temple will be memorial in nature. Animal sacrifices have always served as object lessons for the sinner, that sin was and is a horrible offense against God, and that the result of sin is death. 💀 During the Millennial age, righteousness and holiness will prevail, but those with earthly bodies will still have a sin nature, and there will be a need to teach about how offensive sin is to a holy and righteous God.
This leads us to another possibility as to WHY there would be animal sacrifices in the Millenium. Scripture says they will be offered “to make atonement for the house of Israel” (Ezek. 45:17). This sacrificial system will not constitute a return to the Old Testament Mosaic Covenant or Law but will be a new system set up by the Lord applicable to the Millennial Kingdom.
The Hebrew word for atonement means “covering.” The animal sacrifices that made atonement in the Mosaic Covenant never removed sin; they simply covered it, staving off God’s divine wrath by providing a ransom. Christ’s death on the cross✝️—not the Levitical sacrificial system—made it possible for people’s sins to be taken away.
In addition to being an object lesson, the animal sacrifices during the Millennium MAY be required to remove ceremonial uncleanness and prevent human defilement of the Millennial Temple.
The animal sacrifices in Leviticus (Tabernacle of Moss) and in Solomon’s Temple were instituted because YHWH’s Shekinah Glory dwelt there. God resided in the midst of sinful, unclean people. Similarly, Ezekiel predicted the return of God’s glory to the Millennial Temple. YHWH may use the animal sacrifices to keep the worshipper’s sinful human flesh from defiling the physical temple.
Hebrews 9:13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh,
14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
The future animal sacrifices will not deal with eternal SALVATION, but it is POSSIBLE that they will be used to….
- TEACH people living in the Millenium about the consequences of sin 💀 and the incredible SACRIFICE of JESUS CHRIST! ✝️ Christ in all His Glory will be present on the earth during that time; however, people will still have mortal bodies with the sin nature. They will still have to trust Jesus Christ by faith to become saved and be granted ETERNAL LIFE.
- CEREMONIALLY CLEANSE people of FLESHLY impurities so that they can worship in the Millennial Temple where God’s Glory resides.
We can rejoice 🎺 because the blood of Jesus has ALREADY given ALL PEOPLE (Jew and Gentile) the ability to come directly into YHWH’s presence with Thanksgiving and Praise. 🙌🏻 Prophesied by Amos (Amos 9:11) and declared by the apostles in Acts 15, YHWH has REBUILT the Tabernacle of David! Every time we sing a worship song or listen to worship music on the radio, praising Jesus with our whole heart, we are acting like David who ministered to YHWH in the Tabernacle of David. God (YHWH) wants worshippers who worship Him with their whole hearts, in Spirit and in Truth. 💕
Ultimately, YHWH’s glory will return to this earth as Jesus sets His feet upon the Mt. of Olives. Jesus will reign over the entire earth from His Millennial Temple in Zion (both spiritual and physical). At this time, every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ IS Lord over ALL the earth!
It will be so GLORIOUS! Jesus will reign forever and ever in the Kingdom of God, an everlasting Kingdom that has no end!