|Dear Stan |
The first thing I want to establish with you is that I once believed in “double” fulfillments. I am not saying that to try and intimate that I have outgrown your beliefs and am therefore superior to you. I say that because sometimes when I am talking to someone they try to teach me something that I may be able to better defend than themselves but still do not believe it. I do not know how many times people have tried to teach me about just how men get saved and teach me what I already once believed and know for a certainty as being humanistic and false. Now I am not saying that I am as assured of this present subject as I am about the means of salvation. In fact I am still willing to be proven wrong if you can. I just fail to see true prophecy as being anything other than a specific prediction about a specific event with an irrefutable fulfillment. When one sees it fulfilled - he need not look for further events to occur. I believe that double fulfillment theories – lead to triple and multiple concepts and the prophecies become general principles of recurring events rather than true predictions of real events.
RE>> I appreciate your kind offer of the expensive book, but with all due respect to Milton Terry, I present the above for your consideration of double fulfillment. <<
When you say “with all due respect” I presume that you know something of what he taught. If not, how could you know that he deserves any respect at all. In spite of what you may know, if you could take the time to read this quote from Terry, it would make simple my explanation of my position on fulfillment of prophecy.
Now forgive me if you are in fact well aware of what Terry taught, but I do not mind advertising this work for the benefit of anyone else, who may have the tenacity to read one of my more lengthy posts. In fact, length often helps to keep the lazy away. Something I hope occurs. They are easy to spot. They do not really read enough of my posts or they brisk over so quickly that their responses give them away as unteachable men who are simply looking for a good argument. I trust you are not one of those. Arguments are something I find a total waste of time unless you actually mean a Good Argument
Of Milton Terry “Biblical Hermeneutics”
Here is how he laid out chapter 27 of his book
Chapter XXVII Of Milton Terry “Biblical Hermeneutics”
No Double Sense in Prophecy
1. Theory of Double Sense unsettles all sound Interpretation, 493
2. Typology and Double Sense of Language not to be confounded, 494
3. The suggestive Fullness of the Prophetic Scriptures no Proof of a Double Sense, 495
4. No misleading Designations of Time in Prophecy, 495, 496
5. Misuse of Peter’s language in 2 Pet 3:8, 496
6. Bengal’s fallacious treatment of Matt 24:39, 497, 498
7. Practical Applications of Prophecy may be many, 498
8. Mistaken Notions of the Bible itself the Cause of much False Exposition, 499
Now without trying to type the whole section, I would like to quote some of his opening thoughts of that section titled “No Double Sense in Scripture”
The hermeneutical principles which we have now set forth necessarily exclude the doctrine that the prophecies of Scripture contain an occult or double sense. It has been alleged by some that as these oracles are heavenly and divine we should expect to find in them manifold meanings. They must needs differ from other books. Hence has arisen not only the doctrine of a double sense, but of a threefold and fourfold sense, and the rabbis went so far as to insist that there are “mountains of sense in every word of scripture.” We may readily admit that the Scriptures are capable of manifold practical applications; otherwise they would not be so useful for doctrine, correction, and instructions in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16). But the moment we admit the principle that portions of scripture contain an occult or double sense we introduce an element of uncertainty in the sacred volume, and unsettle scientific interpretation. “If the Scripture has more than one meaning,” says Dr. Owen, “it has no meaning at all.” “I hold” says Ryle “that the words of scripture were intended to have one definite sense, and adhere rigidly to it… To say that words do mean a thing merely because they can be tortured into meaning it is a most dishonorable and dangerous way of handling Scriptures.” “This scheme of interpretation” says Stuart “forsakes and sets aside the common law of language.”
No doubt you may be thinking of statements that have double meanings within literature etc. as we have all witness much use of this ploy in humor etc. but how this is much different that to imply that a speaker is truly speaking about 2 different subjects or 2 or 3 different events at the same time. Sorry for interjecting let me quote just a little more. I will skip at bunch here and go on. The type in this book is very small. I think the font to be about size 8.
The second Psalm has been supposed to refer to both David and Christ, and Isaiah 7:14-16, to a child born of a virgin who lived in the time of the prophet, and also of the Messiah. Psalms 45 and 72 have been supposed to have double reference to Solomon and Christ, and the prophecy against Edom in Isaiah 34: 5-10, to comprehend also the judgment of the last day. (see also Davidson’s Hermeneutics pages 49-50 and Woodhouse on the Apocalypse pages 172 – 174 and Horne, Introduction, vol 2, pages 404 – 408) But it should be seen that in the case of types the language has no double sense. The types themselves are such because they prefigure things to come, and this fact must be kept distinct from the question of the sense of language used in any particular passage. We have shown previously (pages 399,400) that the language of Psalm 2 in not applicable to David or Solomon, or any other earthly ruler. The same may be said of Psalms 45 and 72. Isaiah 7:14 was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus Christ, (Matt 1:22) and no expositor has ever been able to prove a previous fulfillment. The oracle against Edom in Isaiah 34:5-10, like that against Babylon in Isaiah 12, is clothed in the highly wrought language of apocalyptic language of the apocalyptic prophecy, and give no warrant to the theory of a double sense. Matt 24, so commonly relied upon to support this theory, has been already shown to furnish no valid evidence of either an occult or a double sense.
Some plausibility is given to the theory by adducing the suggestive fullness of some parts of the prophetic Scriptures. Such fullness is easily admitted, and ever to be extolled. The first prophecy is a good example. The enmity between the seed of the woman and that of the serpent, Gen 3:15, has been exhibited in a thousand forms. The precious words of promise to God’s people find more or less fulfillment in every individual experience. But these facts do not sustain the theory of a double sense.
I will stop there although he goes on to many examples of the difference between believing in multiple applications as opposed to thinking a prophecy can be fulfilled several times over. I would say this of my own thinking Stan – that a Curse, can be can be seen as both a prophecy and a perpetual principle. I would hold up Duet 28 as a classical example. I look upon that section as a prophecy against Israel, but at the same time a spiritual law of God concerning His ongoing punishments of ungodly nations. I found, for instance, the fact that the iron curtain stood for a figure of 40 years as being a little too much for me to call it mere coincidence.
In defense of the common confusion I am not surprised that people fall into this kind of thinking because they are trained to think that way by preachers every Lord’s day, but an even greater obstacle to overcome is that while one prophecy is about a specific event THE VERY SAME WORDS ARE EMPLOYED in a different prophecy about a completely different event. What often happens and happened to me is that the reader upon recognizing the similarity of words will undoubted jump to the conclusion that they speak of the same event. Later when that disciple realizes that different events fulfilled those prophecies it is difficult to remove the first impression.
Stan, will you would indulge me. A fantasy student is starting to go through the Bible. This poor fellow is just like most of us, curious about the future. He has been told that the book of Revelation is all about the future and even better than that, it is all about to come true in HIS lifetime, “Oh Goody” this is exciting he exclaims. “Thank you Lord for allowing me to live in such interesting daze.” He thinks he has read enough of the Gospels to get to heaven J so he delves into Revelations. He see many mysterious verses and phrases. Bowls and smoke and vials and locusts and well it soon becomes obvious that he may need a little help to sort all of that out. Somebody tells him what to believe about the future and that book and he is happy to be a part of those who will be resurrected at the last day whenever that is or, depending upon who told him what to believe, ruptured out before he needs to pay off his Mastercard or think about having a family. This poor fellow goes on for a time, learning what he can from whom he can but the more he learns the more “questions he has” He begins to find that perhaps what people are telling him to believe is not lining up with what he see the scripture themselves to teach and invariably meets up with someone who can better defend a different view. It does not take long before he NEEDS to study the bible for himself. He runs across a verse such as Jeremiah 12 and remembers seeing something like it in Revelation. The poor guy has yet to learn that Israel went into captivity 560 years before Christ came. He has not spent any time thinking about the destruction in 70 AD other than to have heard the Romans took it over. What can he conclude with such little knowledge and learning of history? The verse in Jeremiah must be about the same thing because they use the same language and types. Later when he studies Daniel and finds out that Daniel wrote from captivity he then concludes that Jeremiah was not only about the event yet future to him but also about the Babylonian captivity and perhaps about 70 AD but one thing is sure – it must also be about those future events spoken of in Revelation. It is almost impossible to land anywhere else especially when there is people like yourself who are well studied who promote the idea. You know more than he, so why would you not be correct. You have studied more than he, so why would he not trust your judgment. If someone like me comes along and tells him that I do not for a moment believe the Jeremiahs prophecy was about 3 events but only one that being Babylon. I tell him that I understand that “language and figures” are repeated throughout all kinds of prophecies. I try to tell him that I think he is confusing types with realities and common experiences with true biblical experiences. Who among has not been “hated without a cause”? That does not mean we are a fulfillment of Psalm 69:4!!!
As a matter of fact, to be hated without a cause is to share in the Christian experience but Psalm 69 is about Christ and none other – not even David.
Was David also given “gall and vinegar” to drink Psalm 69:21? When were David’s “hands and feet pierced” such as in Psalm 22? Many then ask, what of Psalm 69:5. That would take a response larger than this one.
What people do is this:
They say the Psalms are
1. About both David and Jesus. They then argue as to whether they are about David first and Christ second or mostly about Christ and David second.
2. Some claim that the statements are not intermingled but co-applied. Claiming Scriptures have a ‘double sense’ and often a ‘double or triple fulfillment’ – this is what I believe you are doing.
3. Or they say the verses are about Christ only and that some of the verses are to be understood in His having “taken upon Himself’ – imputed by the Father - our sins and foolishness at the cross – In fact in some sense the sins of the whole world. ( not salvifically)
I doubt I need to tell you which camp I lean toward. Now concerning the “Judas” of David that you mention namely, Ahithophel. I mentioned in my previous post that I also thought AT ONE TIME that David had his own betrayal set out in the Psalms. This is the problem Stan with that terrible example. If David was talking about Ahithopel in the Psalm, was it in a prophetic sense? In other words, did David say this of Ahithopel BEFORE he was betrayed by him? I doubt anyone would suggest that. So, even if, you could prove David was speaking of Ahithophel, you could not suggest that both Judas and Ahithopel were prophesied. All you could prove was a ‘double sense’ but not a ‘double fulfillment’. I do not however believe that a verse in scripture can be a historical record and at the same time a prophecy of what should become Christ. If it could be made to say this then it also prophesies betrayals in the lives of many Christians, perhaps also of Marcus Brutus in the case of the betrayal Caesar. ( I'm being a bit silly with that )
I think your attempt to point to 2 Sam 7:14 as a cross to Heb 1:5 is especially unfounded. First God is a Father to us all. “Our Father who art in heaven” But if you look closely at Heb 1:5 Stan you will notice that it is teaching that Jesus is the “only begotten son”. It is teaching that Christ ALONE was called ‘the son’ and proving that Christ is not only higher than men but higher than the angels also. Look again at the teaching there. Was Solomon higher than the angels?
“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person” or “Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.”
When you look at the promises about the “seed” of David you must keep in mind what Paul said:
Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
Proving similarity between the types and the reality does not constitute double meaning in scripture. All Christians understand types and shadows. Many do not understand apocalyptic language. It is somewhat similar to inside jokes In order to understand an inside joke you must have additional knowledge that ‘outsiders’ do not have, thus it is with the book of Revelation. John reuses many phrases. John calls Jerusalem “Babylon” and “Spiritual Sodom” Phrase like “coming in the clouds” are to refer the reader back to previous prophecies about other events to show them the “likeness” of the outcome and fulfillment of his fresh prophecies that were “soon to be fulfilled” John was not just repeating what others had already prophecied – nor refreshing the readers memory. The book of Revelation uses many metaphors to cause the reader to dig back into all that God had done. The patterns of the judgement can be shown to be similar to the judgements upon Egypt in the time of pharaoh. That does nto mean that when Moses predicted the flies to Pharoah that he was also predicting more flies somewhere out in the distant future.
Exodus 10:4 Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast:
Is not fulfilled again when this scripture was fulfilled in 70 AD
Revelation 9:3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
Nor will both of those verses be yet re-fulfilled by US Locust helicopters with missiles “stinking” out of their “tails”
That is all make believe and hyper-literalism that make mockery of true biblical interpretation.
So you may ask WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL ABOUT SEEING DOUBLE FULFILLMENT IN A FEW VERSES?
Huge and yet false eschatological systems are built on this precept. How much of it you buy, I do not know. I want to give Hal Lindsey and Tim Lahaye and other some credit. They do realize that much of what they say will happen in the future is so tied to the prophecies within Matt 24 about the temple and the abomination of desolation and fleeing from Judea, that unlike many Partial Preterists who believe part of it was fulfilled in 70AD and some will be fulfilled later, that they at least know that they must get that temple rebuilt. God can not tear it down so that one stone does not stand upon another if it does not even exist. It does not exist because God already fulfilled that scripture in 70AD but it is ALRIGHT to these men to both rebuild the temple and the sacrificial worship system that denies that the Lamb of God has already come, and then have it torn down again. Double Fulfillment poses no problem to them at all. If fact, these men are so comfortable with believe that God will again build that temple and tear it back down in judgment regardless of how perfectly the events of 70AD fulfilled both them and the statement that those thing would happen to that generation in:
Matthew 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
They say that “that generation” that sees all these signs that we now see to them Jesus is coming quickly. My question is, how come when Tim Lahaye says Jesus is coming quickly it means in our lifetime but when the apostles said Jesus was coming quickly it meant thousands of years? Jesus did not say “that generation” Jesus did not say when you see a temple rebuilt for the third time torn down. Jesus did not say a temple that looks just like this will be torn down. Jesus was talking about the same temple that the disciple asked him to look at.
Matthew 24: 1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
How can anyone follow the teachings of men who fail to see that you can not make the words of Christ fit both that temple and a future one. How can anyone follow the teachings of men who fail to see that you can not make the words of Christ fit a future temple and not that one. How can anyone not see that no system of exegesis – other than a false ‘double sense’ one will allow such false teachings.
That is why it matters. Isn’t it Stan?
In God’s Truth – Elect of God