Joel McDurmon and the Multiple Fulfillment of Prophecy– #3
Don K. Preston D. Div.
In the first of this series, I noted the following:
At the 2011 Prophecy Conference sponsored by American Vision, of Powder Springs, GA., Joel McDurmon presented a speech entitled “Double Fulfillment: Double Cross.” In that presentation he examined the Dispensational practice and claim that Bible prophecy must be fulfilled twice. Thus, while many OT prophecies did have “audience relevance” for the ancient audiences to whom they were addressed, those prophecies will be fulfilled again in the last days. McDurmon categorically rejected this hermemeutic, opting for what he called the type / anti-type fulfillment paradigm.
In his book, Jesus –V- Jerusalem, which is truly excellent in many ways, McDurmon continued his attack of the Dispensational “double fulfillment” practice, especially as it relates to the anti-christ. Millennialists claim that the first century “anti-christ” that John spoke of as already present—in fulfillment of prophecy by the way, “pre-figure” the final, greater” end times anti-christ. McDurmon said this double fulfillment practice “distorts the scripture” (Jesus -v-Jerusalem, Powder Springs, GA., 2011)185). The book is available from me here, and I highly recommend it. I have had a number of people who have read the book tell me that it convinced them of the truth of Covenant Eschatology!
In addition to McDurmon’s comments, I cited other postmillennialists who reject (ostensibly) the Dispensational Double Fulfillment concept.
In spite of being on record against the Double Fulfillment of prophecy, in our formal public debate, held at the 2012 Preterist Pilgrim Weekend, in Ardmore, Ok. (DVDs available here) McDurmon affirmed this about prophetic fulfillment:
“We hear a lot about this one hope and I was ‑‑ this was thrown at me that I apparently ‑‑ because of all these variegated, multiple fulfillments that I have…” (My emphasis).
“You don’t have to say, oh, well, where does it say this will be done twice? It doesn’t have to say it will be done twice. The nature of Biblical prophecy is variations upon the theme until you reach that vast final conclusion.”
So, as we have noted, on the one hand Joel McDurmon condemns the Millennialists for holding to a “double fulfillment” hermeneutic, but then, McDurmon not only affirms the double fulfillment, but, the triple, quadruple, and who knows how many fulfillments of prophecy! To say that this is a self –defeating hermeneutic is to make a gross understatement!
In the Q and A session of our formal debate, McDurmon was asked about the anti-christs that were present in the first century, prompting John to write, “it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18). Joel admitted that the question posed a challenge to him, because if he says that the last hour of 1 John was not the last hour of John 5:28f that we must find justification for another last hour. And, here is where it gets bad (worse) for Joel.
He admitted that if the anti-christs of John’s day were the fulfillment of the last hour / last day prophecies, then it raises the spectre of future anti-christs. After all, if the last hour was already present, and yet you affirm a future last hour, then by logical extension, you must posit future anti-christs as well. Yet, Joel McDurmon does not believe in a future anti-christ! This is a troublesome reality for McDurmon and all Dominionists
In fact, in the second article in this series, I documented how Joel castigates as un-scriptural the Dispensational view that the first century anti-christs foreshadowed and typified the final anti-christ. Joel says there is no scriptural proof or support for such a view! Yet, Joel believes in the multiple fulfillment of prophecies—over and over again!
Joel acknowledged that his view raises the possibility of future anti-christs, but, of course, made no attempt to show how he could reject the Dispensational claims while holding to his multiple fulfillment hermeneutic. Simply stated, Joel had defeated his own hermeneutic (and theology) by his position on the Dispensational Double Fulfillment view. But, there is more here.
Joel (with DeMar, Gentry, Mathison, Leithart, et. Al) believes that the events of AD 70 and the close of the age were typological of the final, true end of the age, i.e. the end of human history. Not only are the events of the first century typological of future events, remember that during the debate, Joel affirmed that the events of the first century foreshadowed coming literal, physical events.
So, the question therefore is naturally raised, if the events of the first century, and the end of the age, including Christ’s coming in AD 70, were typological of future events, then of necessity, there will be future (literal) anti-christs, there will be a future Great Tribulation, and it gets worse from there! You cannot affirm the multiple fulfillment hermeneutic, and deny this. It is inescapable.
We will explore some of the devastating issues involved in Joel McDurmon’s multiple fulfillment hermeneutic in upcoming articles.