Double Fullfilment of Prophesy

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Dave, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. Dave

    Dave
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    In the thread "Who Are the Two Witnesses of Rev 11?" I saw a few posts claiming double fulfillments of some prophesies as the basis for their answer. I am starting a new thread because I don't want to hijack the other thread and would like some discussion of this issue, because I don't understand the basis for this.

    I have some questions about this idea, as iit seems to me that 1 prophesy has 1 fullfilment of the prophesy. The examples that I saw in the other thread seem to me to be suspect.

    One example given was based on Isaiah 7:14-16
    The claim is that this was near-time fulfilled in Isaiah 8:3
    The fulfillment that was the birth of Jesus, was deemed the second fulfillment.

    Now I am no expert in prophesy, but I don't see Isaiah 8:3 as anything but telling about the birth of Isaiah's son. The prophetess was not a virgin because Isaiah "went in unto her". If true then the prophesy only has 1 fulfilment.

    Another example given was 2 Samuel 7:12-16
    This one seems to me to be expressly about Solomon. It is a repeat of the promise given to David. Yes, the establishment of the kingdom is culminated in Christ, but the prophesy is about the establishment of Solomon's throne following David's reign. It was fulfilled in Solomon, imho.

    So my question is, do prophesies about express events have possible multiple fulfillments? What is the basis for this? Any examples that we can discuss? Anyone with a different view of the examples given that would care to discuss how they reach this conclusion?

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  2. Brandon C. Jones

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    I know one resource to point you to is Robert Thomas's (of Master's Seminary) book "Evangelical Hermeneutics." He devises a solution to the issue of the New Testament authors' uses of the Old Testament regarding prophecy that he calles "inspired sensus plenor application" of an OT prophecy. He does not use Isaiah 7 as an example, but uses some others.

    This is by no means an endorsement of his work (on Amazon I have left my thoughts on the book as a whole), but it would at least introduce you to one conservative look at things. As to other works on the subject I would recommend some of the good books on hermeneutics out there (which Thomas beats up repeatedly in his work): all of them usually address this issue. Then there's also commentaries to help you out.

    Another prime example you could discuss is the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31 and how the NT uses that prophecy and the question of its fulfillment.

    BJ

    one note on Isaiah 7..is that of the Assyrians coming to takeover Israel before the child in the prophecy is old enough to know good or evil...my guess is that was fulfilled long before Christ was born...but that's just my 2 cents on that matter.
     
    #2 Brandon C. Jones, Jul 5, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2006
  3. Grasshopper

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    Moses Stuart's book "Hints on the Interpretation of Prophecy" is a good book on this subject.

    I find most of the reasoning behind a "double-fulfillment" view is the inability of futurist to deal with the Olivet Discourse and the use of figurative language in the OT. Since the OT uses "world ending language" such as Is. 13:10 in referring to a fulfilled historic event, many force it to have two fulfillments once in a partial fulfillment and a full fulfillment sometime in the future. Likewise the obvious description of the destruction of Jerusalem as found in the Olivet discourse, especially Luke 21, must also be only a partial fulfillment and must be fulfilled again in the future.

    Without a double fulfillment, it would lead to the demise of most futuristic views and lead to some sort of preterist view. Dispies cannot allow this so in comes "double-fulfillment". Of course this is only my humble opinion.
     
  4. Ed Edwards

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    The MOD on the pretribulation Rapture

    Grasshopper: //Without a double fulfillment, it would lead to the demise
    of most futuristic views and lead to some sort of preterist view.
    Dispies cannot allow this so in comes "double-fulfillment".
    Of course this is only my humble opinion.//

    And very humble at that :D

    Logically this viewpoint preceeds the logic above.
    The following logic derives from the assumption above:

    Grasshopper: //I find most of the reasoning behind
    a "double-fulfillment" view
    is the inability of futurist to deal
    with the Olivet Discourse
    and the use of figurative language in the OT.//

    Here is Ed's method of dealing with the Mount
    Olivet Discourse (MOD) see Matthew 24-25, Mark 13, Luke 17:

    -----------------------------------------------

    In Matthew 24:3 the disciples of Jesus
    ask three questions:

    (in the order asked):
    1. When will the Temple be destroyed?
    2. What is the sign of His coming?
    3. What is the sign of the end of age?

    Jesus answers these questions in
    Matthew 24:4-44, then follows them with
    some parables.

    Here are the answers of Jesus in the
    order the questions were asked:

    1. When will the Temple be destroyed?
    Matthew 24:4-14

    2. What is the sign of His coming?
    Matthew 24:15-30

    3. What is the sign of the end of age?
    Matthew 24:31-44

    Here is a summary of the answers
    in the order in which events will occur:

    1. When will the Temple be destroyed?
    Soon, it was in 70AD

    3. What is the sign of the end of age?
    No signs preceeding the end of the age

    2. What is the sign of His coming?
    The Sign of His coming will be the
    Tribulation period.


    Recall the Greek language in which this
    Mount Olivet Discourse (MOD) was written
    did not have Microsoft Word to do it with.
    So many ands, buts, and other connectors
    give the outline. 'Polysyndeton' is a retorical device that uses
    (in English) repeated connectors (usually 'and')
    instead of an outline. This is most noticable
    in the Bible in Genesis 1 and Matthew 24.
    I believe the major outline to be:

    1. When will the Temple be destroyed?
    Matthew 24:4-14

    2. What is the sign of His coming?
    Matthew 24:15-30

    3. What is the sign of the end of age?
    Matthew 24:31-44

    The Gathering in Matthew 24:31 is the
    Rapture/resurrection which ends the
    current church age (gentile age, age of grace,
    last days, etc.)

    Thus Matthew 24:4-14 describes all of the
    church age even up to this time.
    Matthew 24:4-14 describes the church age.
    The signs of Matthew 24:4-14 are signs
    that the church age continues.

    -----------------------------------------------
    Yep, People told me, "If the pretribulation rapture,
    premillinnial physical Coming, dispensatinal/Futurist
    viewpoint is true, how come Jesus said nothing about
    it in the MOD? Well, He did!
     
  5. Dave

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    First, Brandon and Grasshopper, thanks for the book titles, I will check them out (more for my extensive reading list I need to get to one of these days):tongue3:

    I don't see that your outline makes sense as I read the text (Assuming "When will the Temple be Destroyed" was 70AD). In verse 4-14 it touches on the following events that must happen prior to the end (in your argument destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD):

    1. Many falsely claim to be Christ (verse 5)
    2. Wars and rumours of wars (verse 6)
    3. Nation rising against nation and kingdom against kingdom (verse 7)
    4. Famines, pestilences and earthquakes (verse 7)
    5. Affliction of the believers, hatred by all nations (verse 9)
    6. Many false prophets deceive many (verse 11)
    7. Love of many waxes cold (verse 12)
    8. Gospel of the Kingdom preached in all of the world (verse 14)

    I don't think a case can be made that all of these were accomplished prior to 70AD. In fact, I see the 3rd point above as referring to global war which did not come close to happening until the 20th century.

    Verses 15 - 30 are definitely signs of His coming (we agree!)

    Verse 31 is a continuation of the thought from 30. The Son of Man will com and He shall send his angels with the sound of the trumpet to gather the elect.

    From verse 32 on are parables and descriptive passages of how it will be prior to the end already referenced by verse 30 and 31.

    Now, if one wanted to argue for double fulfillment of any part of this, I think the only part might be verses 15-21, but the signs prior to these verses would seem to mitigate against that interpretation. The context doesn't support it, imho.
     
  6. Dave

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    The destruction of the temple is definitely in view in the Luke account, but the Matthew account seems to not be pointing explicitely to that. How would you resolve this? As I stated above, I don't see all of the Matthew signs as coming to pass prior to the Temple destruction. The Luke account though, is specific as to its referring to the destruction of the temple and leaves out some of the signs that are in the Matthew passage.

    So, rather than a double-fulfillment maybe the Luke prophesy was already fulfilled in full, and the Matthew prophesy is still future?
     
  7. Grasshopper

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    I believe they were all fulfilled prior to AD70.


    I believe Luke 21, Matt 24 and Mark 13 all refer to the same event.
     
  8. Ed Edwards

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    Sign mentioned by Dave: //8. Gospel of the Kingdom preached in all of the world (verse 14)//

    This sign has been happening since 61AD right through
    70AD and unto this very day:

    ----------------------------------------------
    Matthew 24:14 (HCSB):

    This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed
    in all the world as a testimony to all nations.
    And then the end will come.



    Items quoted from THE ALMANAC OF THE CHRISTIAN WORLD,
    1991-1992 Edition (Tyndale, 1990), page 305+.

    61AD - Colossians 1:6 (HCSB):
    the gospel that has come to you. It is bearing fruit
    and growing all over the world, just as it has
    among you since the day you heard it and recognized
    God's grace in the truth.

    c. 140AD - Hermas writes: "The Son of God ... has
    been preached to the ends of the earth" (Shepherd
    of Hermas).

    197AD - Tertullian (c160-222) ... writes ... "There
    is no nation indeed which is not Christian" ...

    c. 205AD - Clement of Alexandria (c155-215) ... writes
    "The whole world, with Athens and Greece, has already
    become the domain of the Word."

    c. 310 - Eusebius of Caesarea (c265-339) writes ...
    ""The doctrine of the Saviour
    has irradiated the whole Oikumene
    (whole inhabited earth)"

    378 - Jerome (c345-419) writes: "From India to Britian, all
    nations resound with the death and resurrection of Christ".
    estimates 1.9 million Christians to have been marytred
    since AD33 (out of 120 million Christians). ...

    etc.
     
  9. Ed Edwards

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    I posted this on the other thread:
    -----------------------------------------
    Grasshopper: //Where may we find this principle in scripture?//

    Frequently the fulfillment of a prophecy is NOT in scripture.
    So this principle isn't frequently found in scripture but
    is found among those with the ability to count to TWO
    or higher.

    Isa 7:14 (KJV1611 Edition):
    Therefore the Lord himselfe shal giue you a signe:
    Behold, a Uirgine shall conceiue
    and beare a Sonne,
    and shall call his name Immanuel.

    First Fulfillment:
    Isa 8:3 (KJV1611 Edition):
    And I went vnto the Prophetesse,
    and shee conceiued and bare a sonne,
    then said the Lord to mee,
    Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz.

    Second Fulfillment:
    Mat 1:23 (KJV1611 Edition):
    Behold, a Uirgin shall be with childe,
    and shall bring foorth a sonne,
    and they shall call his name Emmanuel,
    which being interpreted, is, God with vs.)



    Grasshopper: //How many prophecies have double-fulfillment?//

    More now than 2,000 years ago.
    More at the end of the literal/physical Millinnial Messanic Kingdom
    than now.


    Grasshopper: //Which ones are they and who decides which ones they are?//

    Your prophile lists you as a Baptist.
    You know Baptist Doctrine.
    You get to decide which one(s) are double fulfilled -
    you have the role within the doctrine: Priesthood of the Believer.

    Grasshopper: //If double fulfillment is allowed how about triple?//

    What about prophicies that are fulfilled in the life of Billions
    of Christians? Aren't they BILLION fullment prophecies.
    Whosover will may come.

    ----------------------------------

    James_Newman explains the double fulfillment of
    the passage thusly:

    ----------------------------------
    Lets see if we can find any prophecies that had double fulfillments.

    Isaiah 7
    11 Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth,
    or in the height above.
    12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.
    14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign;
    Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,
    and shall call his name Immanuel.

    Here is the near-term partial fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14
    Isaiah 8:3 And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived,
    and bore a son. Then said the LORD to me,
    Call his name Maher-shalal-hash-baz.

    but we are told that Jesus' birth was the fulfillment of that prophecy

    Matthew 1:22-23
    22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled
    which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
    23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring
    forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel,
    which being interpreted is, God with us.

    Was Isaiah 7:14 not a sign to Ahaz?

    ----------------------------------
    BTW, the term translated 'virgin'
    in Isaiah 7:14 is Hebrew denoting any
    chaste (married women can be chaste, if they go only
    unto their own husband) young woman. The term
    translated 'virgin in Mathew 1:23 is Greek for a
    person never having had sex ever.

    BTW, notice that in neither of the two quoted fulfillments
    did the child get called 'Imanual. Matthew 1:25 says
    Mary called her son 'Jesus' not Imanual.
    In chapter 8 of Isaiah, the son was called
    'Maher-shalal-hash-baz' not Imanual.
     

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