In July, 2012, Dominionist Joel McDurmon espoused (in our formal debate) the multiple fulfillment of prophecy. He argued that prophecy is fulfilled over and over again. What is so inconsistent in this is that in 2011 McDurmon condemned the Dispensational view of prophetic “Double Fulfillment” saying it is without scriptural warrant. His lesson was entitled something like “Double Fulfillment, Double Cross.”
Incredibly, in our debate (DVDs are available here, and a book is forthcoming) McDurmon affirmed that 1 Corinthians 15 and Revelation 20 had “a fulfillment” in AD 70 but, that fulfillment pointed forward to the final fulfillment at the end of human history.
I pressed McDurmon to demonstrate this exegetically. His response was his “belief system” allowed him to believe this.
I noted his claim was a historically unprecedented position, and challenged him to show us anyone in church history that has taken that view. He did not even try. (The first time I encountered this view was in my formal debate with James Jordan in 2003. Jordan said that he could accept that every NT prophecy (yes, including 1 Corinthians 15) had a fulfillment in AD 70, but because of his hermeneutic, he still believed in a future, final fulfillment. A book of that debate is available from my websites (here) and on Kindle).
I noted that if McDurmon was right, then in AD 70, incorruptibility and immortality was given. I pressed McDurmon to demonstrate how the immortality and incorruptibility of 1 Cor. 15 arrived in AD 70, but that we are still looking for it– or need it. But he never gave us anything.
It is difficult to over-emphasize how fundamentally important the multiple fulfillment hermeneutic is to the postmillennial world. Many amillennialists, e.g. Beale, Riddlebarger, take much the same view, although they never go so far as saying 1 Corinthians 15 / Revelation 20 were typologically fulfilled. At least I have never found this in their writings.
We increasingly hear and read from both camps of how important the events of AD 70 were. Kenneth Gentry writes of AD 70, “God is preparing to punish His people Israel, remove the temple system, and re-orient redemptive history from one people and land to all peoples throughout the earth (Matthew 8:10-11; 21:43; John 4:23). This dramatic redemptive-historical event not only ends the Old Covenant era, but points to the end of history itself.” (He Shall Have Dominion, Draper, VA., Apologetics Group, 2009)342). We could multiply this kind of quote many times over.
You will note Gentry claims AD 70 was typological of the “real” end of the world. Again, this is the view of McDurmon, DeMar, and virtually all representative postmillennialists of the day.
It is not too much to say that if AD 70 was not in fact a type and foreshadowing of the “real” end, the Dominionist futurist eschatology would be totally falsified. You cannot affirm, as they do, that AD 70 was the end of the age, the parousia, the judgment, the arrival of the New Creation, the resurrection, etc. without bringing any futurist eschatology into serious question. In other words, if all of those things took place within the context of the imminence found in those predictions, then where are the predictions of another end of another age (in reality, the end of time), another “second coming”, another resurrection, another New Creation? After all, there are no predictions of a coming of the Lord, end of the age, resurrection, etc. that was not “at hand,” and coming soon in the NT. So, simply stated, there are no other predictions of these things.
So, admitting the prophecies of these things were fulfilled in AD 70 demands one find justification for positing another fulfillment of those things and it is apparent that the Dominionist feel they have found that safe haven in claiming that AD 70 was a type, a shadow of the real end.
There are manifold, fatal problems with this view, and I am finalizing a book explaining some of these issues. (The book is entitled AD 70: A Shadow of the “Real” End? so be looking for that). For the moment however, I simply want to point out some of the fatal self contradictions in those who attempt to make AD 70 typological of yet future events.
In his often excellent book Jesus V Jerusalem, McDurmon says Jesus’ prediction of the Abomination, along with the separation of the wheat and tares (Matthew 13): “describes the then soon coming end of that old age and the destruction of its children, and the beginning of the gathering in of the true children of God’s kingdom. It should not be understood as teaching anything beyond this.” (Jesus V Jerusalem: A Commentary on Luke 9:51- 20:26, Jesus Lawsuit Against Jerusalem, (Atlanta, Ga., American Vision, 2011)49), available here)
You really must catch the power of this self defeating statement! But, before we make our point, take note of the following.
Gentry, (Dominion, 2009, 351+), Mathison (Age to Age, 2009, 375), and most other Dominionists categorically reject the Dispensational claims that John the Baptizer as Elijah, the man of sin, the abomination of desolation and the tribulation of the first century were in any way, a foreshadowing of yet future events. We have documented this in our earlier articles, and do so extensively in the upcoming book
Okay, so, these critical eschatological tenets were not typological. They do not point to the coming of another “real” Elijah, another man of sin, another Abomination of Desolation. However, the end of the age that all of those things pointed to as signs, was a shadow of another end of the age?
Just exactly how does that work? How disingenuous can one be? And more importantly, where is the textual, contextual, exegetical basis for such a claim? As a matter of simple fact, I have not read a single article, by even one leading Dominionists that even attempted to give exegetical support for the claim that AD 70 was typological. All I have read are bold assertions, claims and words without proof. But, let’s move on. In our next installment we will continue with this examination.
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