Joel McDurmon and Double Fulfillment—Part 1
Don K. Preston D. Div.
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, Powerder Springs, GA., 2011)185).
It is worth while to note that McDurmon is not alone in (ostensibly) rejecting the “double fulfillment” practice. Kenneth Gentry likewise attacks and rejects that practice, at least when addressing Dispensational theology. Responding to C. M. Pate, who claimed that the mark of the beast (Jewish) was a type of the future events, Gentry says: “Pate specifically notes that the mark of the beast ‘can be understood as pointing a guilty finger at those Jews in the first century.’ Why, then, should we look for further fulfillments beyond this most relevant first century one?” (Four Views of Revelation, Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 1998, Stanley Gundry, Series Editor)45).
So, McDurmon and Gentry (and we could add DeMar and other postmillennialists to the list) are on record as rejecting the Dispensational “double fulfillment” view of prophecy.
Now, fast forward to July, 2012, Ardmore, Oklahoma, and the McDurmon –V- Preston formal debate. (DVDs and MP3s of that debate are now available, and I urge you to get a copy and listen and watch it carefully, with your Bible and note book handy).
One of McDurmon’s key points, indeed one might say one of the points critical to his entire eschatology, is in fact, the concept of “Double fulfillment”…no, scratch that, “multiple fulfillments” of Bible prophecy! Joel and the Dominionists are not, in truth, satisfied with Double Fulfillment. They are on record as affirming many, many fulfillments of Bible prophecy! Here are just two quotes from Joel during the debate itself.
“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 after rejecting and condemning the Dispensationalists for positing the Double Fulfillment of prophecy, McDurmon not only affirmed Double Fulfillment, he affirmed Many Fulfillments!
McDurmon’s multiple—at least double—fulfillment view was illustrated in stunning fashion, when, after being pressed repeatedly to show how he could divorce 1 Corinthians 15 from the consummation of Israel’s Old Covenant age, McDurmon said, “My belief system allows me to believe that there could have been a fulfillment of 1 Corinthians 15 and Revelation 20, but, that there will yet be a final fulfillment.” (close paraphrase of his words).
In response, I challenged Joel to produce for us, and show to us how that was possible. If the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15 and Revelation 20 was fulfilled, in anyway, this demands that there was a resurrection to eternal life, a White Throne Judgment, and the destruction of death—all in AD 70! I challenged Joel to explain, exegetically, how this could be, and what the difference would be, between the resurrection to eternal life, and destruction of death in AD 70 and that which he says is still future? I received not a word of explanation.
I should also note that I pointed out, repeatedly, that according to Gentry, DeMar, McDurmon, and a host of other postmillennialists, that the New Creation of Revelation 21-22 arrived in AD 70. I showed that in that New Creation, which again, these men affirm arrived in AD 70—the text of Revelation 21 and 22 emphaticallys says there is “no more (the) death” and “there is no more curse no more” (22:3-4). I repeatedly asked, that if, in AD 70, death was destroyed, and “there is no more curse no more” then how in the name of reason and logic are we still waiting for the world in which there is no more (the) death and the removal of “the curse”? Again, not a word of response.
Do you catch the power of that?
Now, it is incredibly disengenuous to say that AD 70 brought the “no more death” and “no more curse no more” state, and then turn around and claim that we are waiting on the world of “no more death” and “no more curse no more”! There is not one word of textual support for such a position, and to simply say “My belief system allows me to hold to such a doctrine” is nothing more than sophistry. What does “no more curse no more” mean, anyway?
It is incredibly disingenuous and illogical for the Dominionists to say that Dispensationalists are wrong to affirm Double Fulfillment and then turn around and affirm multiple fulfillments. Is it wrong to posit double fulfillment, but scriptural to affirm many—as long as it is not double?
The Postmillennial, Dominionist, paradigm of multiple fulfillments is to say the least, self contradictory in its attack of Dispensationalism. How can Dominionists condemn the millennial insistence on Double Fulfillment, and then turn around and posit, not just double, but, multiple fulfillments, and maintain any hermeneutical or logical credibility?
The Dominionists have patently surrendered their ground to the Dispensationalists, all the while claiming to eschew that doctrine.
More to come