The mystery was not yet revealed in Acts 8 and the remnant of Israel was facing tribulation and anticipating their kingdom come. What a perfect introduction to one of the most confused books of the New Testament!
Hebrews describes Israel’s transition from their Old Covenant to their New Covenant, but most everyone takes it as doctrine for the church today. This places the church today right in the middle of Israel’s position in prophetic fulfillment, and robs us of our position in this dispensation of grace.
When teachers claim to see Paul’s mystery truth all over the book of Hebrews, it only shows they do not see the difference between what the New Covenant prophesied and what the Mystery revealed.
Hebrews is an exciting book chock full of prophetic types, shadows, prophecies, encouragement, faith, hope, and salvation for the Hebrews. None of this is the mystery of Christ revealed to Paul.
“Isn’t salvation for the Hebrews the same as salvation for us?”
While ultimately all men are saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ’s finished work, this was not revealed in prophecy. It was a mystery of salvation. Not everyone in the Bible was offered the gospel of grace unique to this dispensation of grace.
For the Hebrews, their salvation would ultimately be by God’s grace through faith, but their salvation was yet future, and required patience and obedience to get there. For the remnant of Israel, faith without works is dead. They needed to endure to the end.
“Sure, but these works do not concern salvation. They are for rewards or placement in the kingdom, right?”
Actually, while works of sinful men can never merit salvation, for the Hebrews, works were still required. Faith without works meant death.
For the Hebrews, placement in the kingdom is salvation. Just like our placement in the Body is our salvation. If we are not in the mystery Body of Christ, then it is because we do not have salvation.
If Hebrews did not get a place in their promised future kingdom, then they would not be saved (Rom 11:26; Matt 25:45-46).
Hebrews exhorts this scattered flock to follow their Shepherd and they will inherit the promises. It also contains a stern warning, that if they do not follow the Shepherd because of their heart of unbelief, then they cannot enter in.
After 27 weeks of study, we found the orientation in Hebrews consistently on the scattered believing remnant receiving their promises in Christ through their covenant in the world to come.
If you have trouble with Hebrews listen to our audio commentary.
If you prefer reading, you can follow along with the outlines, or purchase this excellent print commentary of Hebrews from a mid-Acts perspective.