Jesus Never Mentioned Double Fulfilment of Prophecy

The Pilgrims of Emmaus on the Road, James Tissot (1836-1902)
The Pilgrims of Emmaus on the Road, James Tissot (1836-1902) | Source
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Introduction

After considerable research and deliberation, my conclusion is there is no scriptural support for the 'Law of Double Fulfilment of Prophecy', as promulgated by Dispensationalism.

This misconception demands a second (or more) fulfilment of certain prophecies concerning the 'end times' and Christ’s return.

A major stumbling block arises while attempting to catapult into the 21st century, so-called 'unfulfilled' Messianic prophecies contained in the Old and New Testaments. The 'Law of Double Fulfilment of Prophecy' was created to overcome this difficulty.

I will attempt to prove why I believe Jesus fulfilled all the Law and the Prophets during the lifetime of His generation, and why double fulfilment of prophecy is a misrepresentation of Scripture.

Has Interpretation of Scripture Really Become a Science?

A Quote from David L Cooper's 'The Science of Interpreting the Scriptures'

The Statement of the Law

'The law of double reference is based upon one of the fundamental laws of psychology: the principle of the association of similar or related ideas. Similarities always suggest comparisons. Thus the prophets constantly depicted that which was as a rule in the immediate future or present. Since history repeats itself, as all admit, the prophets looked out into the future and saw similar situations arising like those which were confronting them or immediately in the future. Thus the transition from describing that which was immediately before them to that which was in the remote future was very easy, normal, and natural.'

'The law of double reference is based upon one of the fundamental laws of psychology' Is it necessary to study psychology to interpret the Scriptures, or to determine which prophecies have double fulfilment?

'Since history repeats itself, as all admit' David L Cooper assumed that all agree history repeats itself, but is that an accurate statement. It's true there have been similar events in the past, but not to the extent suggested by the author. For example, God in His infinite wisdom permitted empires to rise, and He caused empires to fall. Nevertheless, these empires were never identical in rise and fall; therefore, history does not repeat itself.

History does not repeat itself, but history reveals that 'man' repeats mistakes.

Jesus is our Prophet

  • Deu 18:18 KJV I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
  • Joh 12:49-50 KJV For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

'and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him' Jesus is the fulfilment of Deuteronomy 18:18, and the perfect example of the ministry of prophet. He spoke the mind of God and His prophecies are unequivocal. It is a serious matter to tamper with the words spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ.

God is not the author of confusion!

'The consequences of admitting such a principle should be well weighed. What book on earth has a double sense, unless it is a book of designed enigmas, And even this has but one real meaning. By what laws of interpretation is it to be judged? By none that belong to human language; for other books than the Bible have not a double sense -attached to them.'

— Canon Ryle on Double Fulfilment

The Complexity of Double Fulfilment of Prophecy

Here is a list of phrases I discovered during my research, to name but a few:

  • The Law of Double Fulfilment
  • The Phenomenon of Double Fulfilment
  • The Principle of Double Fulfilment
  • Telescopic Prophecy
  • Bifocal Prophecy
  • Generic Prophecy
  • Gap Prophecy
  • Unforeseen Partial Prophecy

Dispensationalism's Existence Depends on Double Fulfillment of Prophecy

Prophecies with a past 'spiritual' fulfilment don't comply with Dispensationalism’s literal 'end times' theory, for example, Malachi 4:5. Hence, a future, literal fulfilment is mandatory. In my opinion, it was for this reason the 'Law of Double Fulfillment of Prophecy' was introduced.

  • Mal 4:5 KJV Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

(My article 'Elijah the Prophet will not Return' explains my understanding of Malachi 4.)

Leading futurist scholars created their own 'law' in an attempt to add a sense of authenticity to their 'end times' view. What authority endorsed this law? None, Dispensationalism is simply a law unto itself!

‘Far be it from us to make God speak with two tongues, or to attach a variety of senses to His Word, in which we ought rather to behold the simplicity of its divine author reflected as in a clear mirror (Ps. xii. 6 ; xix. 8.) Only one meaning of Scripture, therefore, is admissible: that is, the grammatical, in whatever terms, whether proper or tropical and figurative, it may be expressed.'

— Samuel Des Marets, in Latin Maresius (1599-1673) French Protestant Theologian

Why Did Jesus Never Mention Double Fulfilment of Prophecy?

Personally, I believe there was no need! Jesus fulfilled all prophecy during the lifetime of His generation.

Christ Came to Fulfil the Law and the Prophets

  • Mat 5:17 KJV Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

'I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil' If Jesus came to fulfil the Law and the Prophets, did He fail to accomplish what He set out to do. Of course He didn't fail!

Yet many today believe Jesus only fulfilled prophecy concerning His first coming and all appertaining to His return is still unfulfilled, even although 2000 years have passed. However, Jesus did not predict or teach a parenthesis of 2000 years; therefore, double fulfilment was never an issue.

Heaven and Earth Shall Pass Away

  • Luk 21:32-33 KJV Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. 33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
  • Psa 104:5 KJV Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.

The Lord declared on more than one occasion the earth shall not be removed...Psalm 93:1; Ecclesiastes 1:4.

'Heaven and earth shall pass away' Did Jesus therefore contradict the Scriptures? If He referred to this physical heaven and earth, then yes He did.

So what did Jesus mean? He referred to the passing of the Old Covenant, with the destruction of the temple, Jerusalem, and the Diaspora in AD 70.

The 'heaven and earth' that passed away during Christ's generation was the Jewish polity, Old Covenant Israel. All the promises of God to Old Covenant Israel necessitated fulfilment before the Old Covenant Age ended.

  • Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

'till all be fulfilled' Logically speaking, if Jesus was referring to physical 'heaven and earth', which has not passed away, then the Old Covenant Law and the Offerings should still be in effect today. Obviously, this is not the case, the offerings ceased with the destruction of the temple and Christ ended the Old Covenant Age at His returned in judgement.

  • Mat 24:34-35 KJV Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

The fulfilment timeline was before Christ's generation passed away.

A Quote from James Stuart Russell’s ‘The Parousia’

‘Are we to look for double, triple, and multiple meanings, for prophecies within prophecies, and mysteries wrapt in mysteries, where we might reasonably have expected a plain answer to a plain question? Can any one be sure of understanding the Scriptures if they are thus enigmatical and obscure? Is this the manner in which the Saviour taught His disciples, leaving them to grope their way through intricate labyrinths, irresistibly suggestive of the Ptolemaic astronomy - 'Cycle and epicycle, orb in orb'? Surely so ambiguous and obscure a revelation can hardly be called a revelation at all, and seems far more befitting a Delphic Oracle, or a Cumaean Sibyl than the teaching of Him whom. the common people heard gladly.’

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The Road to Emmaus

The two despondent disciples on the road to Emmaus were traumatised and confused, even although there had been reports of Christ's resurrection. The crucifixion had dashed their hopes.

When Jesus joined them, did He only expound the Scriptures concerning His first advent, or did He include all the Scriptures concerning Him? He expounded all the Scriptures!

  • Luk 24:27 KJV And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

'Moses and all the prophets' Luke included 'all' the prophets!

'in all the scriptures the things concerning himself' Jesus taught from ‘all’ the Scriptures!

  • Luk 24:44 KJV And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

'the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me’ Once again, Luke unambiguously emphasised the importance of the fulfilment of all Scripture concerning Christ.

It is cause for concern to espouse the double fulfilment theory, since it contradicts the clear and concise words of the Lord.

  • Luk 24:21KJV But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

The disciples had two major issues on their minds, the redemption of Israel and the crucifixion. Consequently, I believe Jesus also taught the events leading to His imminent return and the great plan of redemption.

A Quote from John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Luke 24:21 'that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel; they thought, hoped, and believed, that he was the Messiah, spoken of under the character of the Redeemer of Israel; and they had been in expectation of redemption by him, though only of a temporal kind, from the Roman yoke and bondage; but now they could not tell what to think of it, since he was dead; indeed they were not altogether without hope, since there was a report of his being raised from the dead; but what credit was to be given to that, they could not say: but certain it is, that he was the true Messiah, and promised Redeemer; and who was to redeem, and has redeemed the whole Israel of God; even all the elect of God, whether among Jews or Gentiles, from the servitude and damning power of sin, from the slavery of Satan, and the bondage of the law, and from every enemy; and that by his precious blood, his sufferings and death, the very things which were the occasion of these disciples' doubts about him, as the Redeemer:...'

  • Luk 24:32 KJV And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

Jesus came alongside them, just as He does in times of trouble today, and before He left them their hearts did burn within. Now that's my type of heartburn!

Would their hearts have continued to burn if Jesus had taught the psychology of interpreting Scripture, or the Law of Double Fulfilment of Prophecy?

I dread to think what their reaction might have been if Jesus ended his discourse by adding "By the way lads, when I said things like 'at hand', 'this generation', and 'the hour cometh, and now is', I meant in a couple of thousand years". The shock would certainly have cured their heartburn!

'Dr. Owen's remark is full of good sense-" If the Scripture has more than one meaning, it has no meaning at all: "and it is just as applicable to the prophecies as to any other portion of Scripture.' (Sufferings and Glories of the Messiah, p. 5, note.)

— John Brown, Double Fulfilment

Why Did Paul Never Mentioned Double Fulfilment of Prophecy?

Paul elaborated on the theme of Old Covenant 'types and shadows' not double fulfilment of prophecy. He taught that Christ was the ultimate fulfilment of the Old Testament Law and the Prophets. The New Testament confirms Christ is the anti­type, the reality, and the absolute fulfilment of prophecy.

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Conclusion

Dispensationalism’s Dilemma

The Scriptures consist of the Old and New Testaments, the inspired Word of God.

The New Testament is the key to understanding the fulfilment of Old Testament Law and the Prophets, and the types and shadows.

What other authority or testament can we now rely on as the key to understanding the fulfilment of so-called unfulfilled prophecy? There is none!

It's for that reason I believe Dispensationalism has brought embarrassment and loss of credibility to Christendom. The infatuation with empirical evidence has become the norm and is a poor substitute for scriptural authority.

Newspaper headlines, world events, ’end times’ fiction, date setting, and personal interpretation of prophecy by TV preachers, nurture the insatiable appetite for sensationalism.

A Quote from James Stuart Russell’s ‘The Parousia’

‘There is not a scintilla of evidence that the apostles and primitive Christians had any suspicion of a twofold reference in the predictions of Jesus concerning the end.’

Jesus fulfilled all prophecy concerning Him; therefore, Dispensationalism's 'Law of Double Fulfilment of Prophecy' is superfluous.

What do you think?

Matthew 5:17-18 Until All Fulfilled, Don K Preston

Alexander Gibb

© 2014 Alexander Gibb

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Comments 21 comments

Josh 2 years ago

My friend what I see here is that we are not living in the end times or anything like that but in a time of which the prophecies are being fulfilled again,am I right or not,please correct me if I'm wrong.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 2 years ago from UK Author

Josh

Thank you for your comment.

According to many scholars, a second fulfillment of prophecy is necessary to support their Futurist ‘end times’ teaching. In this Hub, I explain why I believe double fulfillment of prophecy is unscriptural, and why we are not living in the ‘end times’ today.

In my opinion, the 'end times' described in the Scriptures applied to the end of the Old Covenant Age, not to the end of this material world.

Jesus fulfilled all prophecy by AD 70.


TrustInTheBible profile image

TrustInTheBible 2 years ago

So what of the times we are living in with all the disasters and deaths,they seem to have been mentioned in the bible how disasters would be more frequent and more intense during the end times.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 2 years ago from UK Author

TrustInTheBible

Welcome to HubPages and thank you for reading and commenting on my Hub.

There is no doubt that we are living in terrible times, mans’ inhumanity to man appears to know no bounds.

The advancement of technology has increased our awareness of horrifying events from all over the world within minutes of them happening, which often causes fear and trepidation in our hearts.

Over the past 2000 years, generations also believed they were living in the ‘end times’, due to the calamities and wars of which they were made aware.

In my opinion, believers today can choose to determine what was meant by the ‘end times’ by either looking at current events, believing newspaper headlines, or reading fictional ‘end times’ novels.

Alternatively, the Word of God contains all we need to know about the ‘end times’. Who should we believe?

A problem arises however, when attempting to apply the ‘last days’ to our generation. Jesus and the Apostles consistently preached they were living in the ‘last days’ and Christ’s return was imminent, meaning it was ‘about’ to happen.

Personally, I believe many scholars today are guilty of misinterpreting Scripture to fit a preconceived view of the ‘end times’. For example, the subject of this Hub, double fulfillment of prophecy.

The ‘last Days’ is a constant theme of my Hubs, please feel free to read and comment.

GB


TrustInTheBible profile image

TrustInTheBible 2 years ago

I see but how are the bible prophecies being furfilled again in our time going to effect us also what are your thoughts on the upcoming tetrad of blood moons,also what about the prophacies about the wars in ekriel and psalm,have those been fulfilled yet and one last thing,if Christ has already returned a second time then does that mean we are living in the milleumm time?that is all my friend hope u respond sone.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 2 years ago from UK Author

TrustInTheBible

I believe Christ fulfilled all the Old and New Testament prophecies concerning the ‘end times’ by AD 70; therefore we are not witnessing a repeat fulfillment today.

In my opinion, the blood moons scenario is just another ‘fad’ used by a so-called TV evangelist. It is not only attention seeking, it is another money-spinner.

I haven’t heard of ekriel and psalm, perhaps you could enlighten me.

We are not living in the ‘millennium’ today; this is the New Covenant Age.

I welcome your questions, and hope my answers are helpful and useful.

GB


TrustInTheBible profile image

TrustInTheBible 2 years ago

Have u read psalm 83 or Ezekiel 38 well if u haven't let me give u a short explanation,in psalm 83 and Ezekiel 38 there are prophecies that wars will come to the Middle East and that they would be like no other wars in history with weapons of mass destruction(which could be nukes)it also says that these wars will occur during the end times.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 2 years ago from UK Author

TrustInTheBible

If you believe your comment to be true, could you explain how you arrive at this conclusion? I can’t find anything in these Scriptures to connect it to the present Middle East crisis.

Dispensationalism insists on taking the Scriptures literally and condemns any other interpretation. Nevertheless, proponents of this doctrine write and broadcast on TV wild and exaggerated claims about nukes and weapons of mass destruction in the Scriptures!

I remember Psalm 83 recently quoted to prop up the claim that it is an unfulfilled prophecy about Damascus, with fulfillment any day now. However, I haven’t heard anything since. The fulfillment of this prophecy was during the reign of King Jehoshaphat.

Ezekiel 38 is another example of Dispensationalism’s publicity department. This doctrine feeds of sensational newspaper headlines and current affairs. We are living in terrible times and the Middle East is a cause for alarm, but to misrepresent the Scriptures and strike fear in people’s hearts is unwarranted.

Rev 20:7-9 KJV And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

Dispensationalism teaches that Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38 will appear during the ‘end times’ prior to the second coming of Christ, then Christ will reign on Earth during the millennium. Could you explain Revelation 20:7-9? According to John, Gog and Magog appear after the millennium not prior to it.

GB


TrustInTheBible profile image

TrustInTheBible 2 years ago

I see,well can u please explain the alignment of the planets on sept 23 2017 which people believe would mark the mid tribulation.(I don't know how to explain it but just type In the date on google and u will find videos explaining the alignment of the planets and a bible prophacy that would be furfilled halfway through the seven year tribulation.)


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 2 years ago from UK Author

TrustInTheBible

I am astonished that some Christians are gullible enough to entertain such an interpretation. Having said that, I have to keep reminding myself I was once a proponent of Dispensationalism, which is often the source of such claims.

This is not the way to interpret the Revelation; we must allow the Scriptures to interpret the Scriptures.

We read a similar vision in Genesis 37:9 and it was symbolic of the nation of Israel.

In my opinion, the woman in Revelation 12 represents Old Covenant Israel, bringing forth the New Covenant people of God. The Elect who looked for the Messiah before the cross, and all who are in Christ since the Cross is the Israel of God; the New Covenant was established when the Old Covenant ended in AD 70.

GB


TrustInTheBible profile image

TrustInTheBible 2 years ago

Thank u for clearing that up also what are ur thoughts on the 411 disappearances?


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 2 years ago from UK Author

Sorry, I can’t help you on this question. It’s something I’m not aware of, perhaps because I am in the UK.


Joshua 2 years ago

Quick question,if we are not living in the end times then what about the H3 hybrid moon that happened last year which coincides with a biblical prophecy of Christs return?


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 2 years ago from UK Author

Joshua

Thank you for your comment.

I reckon my answers to the above questions asked by 'TrustInTheLord' also apply to your question.

Could you be more specific and let me know where in the Scriptures I will find the biblical prophecy in question.

Perhaps you might read my Hub 'Are We Really Living in the Last Days?'

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Are-We-Rea...


Joshua 2 years ago

http://www.fivedoves.com/letters/aug2013/luisv84.h... please visit this website to understand my statement on the Hybrid moon


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 2 years ago from UK Author

Joshua

I visited that website before I posted my comment, there is little reference to the Scriptures.

Personally, there was a time when I was influenced by such theories, but not any longer. In my Hubs I try to stick rigidly to interpreting the Scriptures, because I am convinced that is where we will find the answers.


Joshua 2 years ago

Have u heard of Edgar cayce or aka the sleep prophet.?


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 2 years ago from UK Author

Joshua

I did an internet search because I hadn't heard of Edgar Cayce. Again, this is an area I haven't researched, because I concentrate on studying Bible prophecy.

In my opinion, there are many time consuming distractions around today that hinder us from studying the Scriptures. I find strength, peace of mind, and answers in the Scriptures.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 23 months ago from UK Author

Brendy

Thank you for your comment.


searchinsany profile image

searchinsany 21 months ago from UK Author

BigMarble

Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my Hub.


BigMarble profile image

BigMarble 21 months ago from IL

I find a lot of encouragement as I study the Scriptures and while I don't agree with your viewpoint on double fullfilment of prophesy, I can at least have a good understanding of your position on this difficult issue. Thanks for the hub!

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