O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

The Dispensational View of Double Fulfillment of Prophecy-- and Joel McDurmon- #1

This article was written by Don K. Preston.Having watched the debate on DVD I can assure you Preston is right on the money here!

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.

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).

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!


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Comment by Doug Wilkinson on December 8, 2012 at 5:36pm

After listening to the debate the other night it's obvious that the only way to really make the point is to have a three way event:  Dispensational Premillennialist v. Postmill Partial Preterist v. Full Preterist.  Preston ended up chasing McDurmon around because there was no one theologically behind him to push back.  It's not enough to point out what McDurmon or someone else from his camp might have said in a premill debate.  You have to have that person on stage.

BTW, I'm reading through "The Meaning of the Millennium:  Four Views".  When they finally add Preston to a format like this it will start to get interesting.  I don't agree with everything Preston is saying, but he'll hold their feet to the fire in a way they aren't used to.

Comment by John on December 8, 2012 at 10:36pm


I totally agree with you.You make an excellent point but I'm afraid Preston would be hard pressed to find a dispy and partial to share the stage with him in an honest 3 way debate.

And for good reason.

And thanks for another book I have to add to my wish list :)

Comment by Doug Wilkinson on December 9, 2012 at 12:48am

At least this book is a cheap one.  One of my favorite things about the "four view" types books is that they make an excellent reference for what a given group believes on a matter because the author has to get to the point in his summary.  It's also interesting to see the internal incoherence of some of the authors and the other authors pointing it out.

I triple dog dare them to do a three way debate.


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