Be sure to read the first two installments in this series in which we examine Hebrews 13:15 in light of modern eschatologies. When properly considered this text– and Hebrews as a whole– falsifies futurism. Read the first two installments here and here.
Be sure also to get a copy of Tony Denton’s excellent book From Flawed to Flawless, which shows the marvelous superiority of Christ and the New Covenant world over any ancient or proposed future restoration of the Old Covenant Cultic world.
In this installment, we want to focus on some of the implications of what we have seen for the modern evangelical, i.e. Dispensational world.
Modern Dispensationalism is founded on certain premises:
1.) Israel remains today the covenant people of God.
2.) The land of Canaan / Israel remains the eternal possession of Israel.
3.) Jerusalem remains today as the center of God’s eschatological schema. It is still the holy city, and will, in the future, be the capital of the Messianic Kingdom.
4.) The “traditional sacrifices” will one day be restored, and the Zadokite priesthood, (simply a “branch” of the Levitical priestly lineage) will offer those traditional animal sacrifices.
However, if we take seriously what the Hebrews author has said about these things, then the idea of a present or future nationalistic and physical restoration to the land, a rebuilt temple, a restored Levitical priesthood offering animal sacrifices should, at the very least, raise red flags. A return to that temporal city, the ineffective sacrifices offered by an imperfect priesthood, in a physical edifice would, in the mind of the Hebrews author, be a repudiation of Christ, the fulfillment of those types and shadows.
The author’s statement that now “by him let us offer the sacrifice of praise” is an encapsulated, pregnant comment that all of those material things were about to come to their climactic covenantal termination. That Old Covenant “heaven and earth” was about to be shaken, removed by the Sovereign act of Jesus “the mediator of the New Covenant”, and the eternal High Priest over the “true tabernacle.” In our next installment, we will demonstrate how Hebrews 13:15 reveals the dramatically different nature of the Messianic Temple, City, priesthood and sacrifices, in other words, the radically different nature of the Kingdom of Messiah. We will continue our thoughts on Hebrews 13 in the next installment.