Joel McDurmon on Matthew 5:17-18 # 2 What Does "Fulfill" Mean?

Joel McDurmon on Matthew 5:17-18- #2
What Does “Fulfill” Mean?
Don K. Preston D. Div.
In my debate with Joel McDurmon, of American Vision, which was held in Ardmore, Ok. July 19-21, 2012, I repeatedly appealed to Jesus’ emphatic words in Matthew 5:17-18. The Lord said that not one jot or one tittle of Torah– the Law of Moses– would pass until it was all fulfilled.
McDurmon and all postmillennialists and Dominionists find themselves between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Matthew 5:17-18 serves as one of, if not the key, foundational supports for their Dominion Theology. And yet, as David Chilton noted in 1997, in Oklahoma City, at a prophecy conference that I helped organize, Matthew 5 actually destroys Dominion Theology! It does not support it! (DVDs and MP3s of that conference are available from me here).
Notice how critical it is for the Dominionist to have the Law of Moses still in effect. Gary North, McDurmon’s father in law, wrote concerning Deuteronomy 8: “This passage in Deuteronomy presents the biblical basis of progress in history.” He then added, “Any attempt to renounce this passage as no longer judicially binding in the New Covenant era is inescapably a denial of any biblical basis for God honoring cultural progress in history.” (Gary North, Millennialism and Social Theory, Tyler, Tx., Institute For Christian Economics, 1990)52f).
So, per Gary North, one of the key financial supporters of the entire Dominionist Movement, says Deuteronomy 8 remains “judicially binding in the New Covenant era.”
Do you see what has happened here? North, and all Dominionists who agree with him, imposes the Law of Moses onto the New Covenant. They put new cloth onto old skins, contra Jesus’ emphatic declaration that this is impermissible and wrong, in Mark 2.
Furthermore, as was evidenced by McDurmon in our debate, Dominionists have not a shred of justification for arguing against the imposition of the Sabbath as well as all of the feast days, and sacrifices of the Law of Moses.
Joel argued that the seventh day Sabbath has been done away, as well as the sacrifices and feast days. I repeatedly challenged him to show how those things, which were fundamentally a part of the Law of Moses, could be removed, while the rest of the Law and the prophets remain valid? He never answered this.  Be sure to read my article on the Sabbath issue and how critical it is.
Joel’s key attempt at dealing with Matthew 5 was his claim that in his person, Jesus fulfilled all things at the cross. He is the fulfillment of all things, Joel claimed. This is, in truth, nothing but sophistry.
I responded that the cross is without any doubt, the foundation and power leading to the fulfillment of all things, but, that the linguistics of Matthew 5:18 forbid Joel’s application. I noted that in Matthew 5:18 the word for fulfilled “until it is all fulfilled” is genetai. As Nolland, in the New International Greek Testament Commentary says of genetai: “The clause remains difficult, but it seems most likely to be concerned to guarantee a permanence to the Law until such time as every item on the Law’s agenda has been achieved. Until all that it lays out as God’s will for humankind has been accomplished.” (page 220)– “until it has all happened.”  (John Nolland, New International Greek Testament Commentary, Matthew, (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Paternoster, 2005) 221). This is the consensus of scholarship on genetai.
I noted in the debate that Bahnsen concurs that genetai demands the meaning of fully accomplish. More importantly, the NT use of genetai does not mean to “give the full meaning of” as some are spuriously now claiming. And, genetai does not mean fulfilled in some mystical, potential sense. It means to bring to reality, to fully accomplish. But not if Joel is right! If McDurmon is correct, the resurrection of the dead does not need to take place or actually occur because Jesus is the resurrection!
Note a few of the NT usages that I offered in the debate– but they were ignored:
Matthew 24:34-  “This generation shall be no means pass until all of these things are fulfilled (genetai). Now, Joel does not believe that Jesus fully accomplished all of  the events of Matthew 24 at the cross. He is on record that all of the things foretold in Matthew 24– all of which were post-Cross events– took place, came to pass, occurred, were fully accomplished, not at the Cross, but in the events leading up to and consummating in the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.
1 Corinthians 15:54– “Then shall be brought to pass (genetai) the saying” i.e. the resurrection. I noted that if Joel was correct, then the resurrection of 1 Corinthians 15 was fulfilled– fully accomplished, at the cross.
2 Timothy 2:18– Hymenaeus argued that “the resurrection is past” (genetai). This is where it got particularly difficult for Joel.
I argued that if Joel was correct, that all things were “fulfilled” (genetai’ed) at the cross, then Paul could not condemn Hymenaeus because he was simply saying what Joel was saying! Joel says all things, including the resurrection were “fulfilled” (genetai) at the cross. Hymenaeus said the resurrection was already past (genetai). Joel never said one word about this argument, for it is clearly an utter refutation of his argument.
Do you catch the power of this?
Joel could not– and cannot– deny that genetai means fully accomplish, bring to reality, in Matthew 5, and argue that Jesus fulfilled all things at the cross, without thereby implying that Hymenaeus was right after all! For all Joel knows, Hymenaeus was arguing precisely what Joel argued in our debate! But of course, if Hymenaeus was arguing what Joel did, then Paul rejected that position as dangerous.
Revelation 1:1 – “Things which must shortly come to pass.”
Revelation 1:19 – “Things which shall come to be hereafter.”
Revelation 12:10 – “Now is come salvation.
Revelation 22:6– things which must shortly be done.”
Now, in none of the passages does Joel agree that they came to pass, were fully accomplished at the cross. That is a nonsensical, un-Biblical position. The predicted events had not yet taken place. They had not been “genetai’ed.” Yet, due to his presuppositional theology, Joel had to deny the proper definition of genetai in Matthew 5, while affirming it in all other texts. This is clearly untenable.
So, Jesus’ emphatic and undeniable words in Matthew 5:17-18 were and are fatal to McDurmon’s Dominionism. Jesus said not one iota of the Law of Moses would pass away until it was all fully accomplished. The Law of Moses foretold the eschatological consummation. Therefore, until the eschatological consummation, not one single iota of Torah– inclusive of the New Moons, Feast Days and Sabbaths– would pass. For Joel to affirm a futurist eschatology therefore, demands the re-imposition of the entire sacrificial cultus of the Mosaic Law. This is inescapably, irrefutably true.
Be sure to read my book The End of the Law: From Torah to Telos for more on Matthew 5:17-18, and get a DVD or MP3 or the McDurmon -V- Preston Debate.
In our next article we will examine how McDurmon argued that some of the Law passed while some remains, and, how supposedly “the ministration of the law” passed, but that the Law remains valid.

Joel McDurmon, Dominionism and the Sabbath

Joel McDurmon, Dominionism and the Sabbath
Don K. Preston D. Div. 
In my formal debate with Joel McDurmon of American Vision (July 19-21, 2012), in my first affirmative presentation, I took note of the critical, but mostly overlooked, importance of the Sabbath to the study of eschatology.
I proved that the Sabbath was a distinctively covenantal sign between God and Israel, a sign both of creation and of deliverance from Egyptian bondage and death. (Exodus 31; Deuteronomy 5). (DVDs and MP3s of the debate will be available from this website very shortly).
Not only was the Sabbath a covenantal sign between YHVH and Israel, it was a prophetic foreshadowing of the end of the millennium (final) salvation and resurrection.
My argument then was that Jesus said not one jot or one tittle would pass from Torah, the Law of Moses, until it was all completely accomplished, brought to reality (Matthew 5:17-18). (See my new book, From Torah To Telos, The Passing of the Law of Moses, for an extensive exegesis of Matthew 5:17-18). This means that until what the Sabbath foreshadowed came into reality, i.e. until the end of the millennium resurrection was fulfilled, not one jot or one tittle of the Law of Moses would pass away.
McDurmon initially ignored this argument, so I repeated it and pressed it. He then admitted that he believes that  the Sabbath, with its ceremonial ordinances, i.e the sacrifices and observance of the seventh day, have passed away. However, of course, per Joel, the end of the millennium resurrection has not come to reality.
The reader simply must catch the power of the Sabbath issue. (In my planned series of books on the passing of the Law of Moses, I have plans to produce one volume strictly to this incredibly important issue).
Joel, and virtually all Dominionists (postmillennialists), hold to the similar view on the Sabbath. In fact, I documented in a chart how Bahnsen, Gentry, DeMar all agree that the Sabbath foreshadowed the end of the millennium resurrection. Likewise, they all affirm that the seventh day Sabbath has been annulled, along with all of its ceremonial, cultic ministrations. Yet, they all say that what the Sabbath foreshadowed– the consummation of God’s eschatological scheme– has not been fulfilled! Do you see the problem? It is huge. It is insurmountable. It is fatal to the Dominionist paradigm.
I once again took note of Jesus’ words that not one iota of Torah would pass until it was ALL– not some, not even most– but until it was ALL fulfilled, came to reality. Joel’s response was nothing less than desperate and revealing.
Joel responded by noting that the word “all” does not always mean “all.” He appealed to Joshua 21:43-45 where it says that all of God’s land promises to Israel had been fulfilled, and claiming that the Messianic promises had not yet been fulfilled. All in Joshua is limited, therefore, he implied, all in Matthew 5 must be limited, and thus proclaiming that he had nullified my argument on Matthew 5.
Of course, no one denies that context can limit the meaning of “all.” However, I produced a chart with the following quote from Greg Bahnsen (One of McDurmon’s mentors):
“A verse like Matthew 5:18, with its unparticularized panta (translated as “all” DKP) is prey for such treatment… Nothing in the context or vocabulary of Matthew 5:18 warrants the induction of speculative meaning; a phrase as colorless and abstract as panta should not be particularized, personalized, and steered into this theological preconception. …. Page 83— “In Matthew 5:18 the commencement of the law’s passing away is made dependent upon panta genetai. Panta, when used without an article or preposition indicates “all things, everything.” It is to be taken in this absolutely general sense unless the context dictates some antecedent whole of which panta constitutes the complete parts.” (Theonomy, 83, my emp). (McDurmon totally ignored the chart and the quote).
The next night, I took note of Joel’s disturbing hermeneutic. By appealing to Joshua to redefine Matthew 5 Joel was guilty of an illegitimate transfer of context. Joshua was not talking about what Matthew 5 was talking about. To impose one context on another context, when the subject matter is totally different in the two texts, is clearly wrong.
I likewise took note that Joel’s hermeneutic would destroy the meaning of all in all (pun intended) contexts! In other words, if Joshua 21 defines “all” as a limited “all” in Matthew 5, then why doesn’t the “all” in Joshua limit the definition of “all” in “all” (comprehensively speaking) texts? This is so patently untenable as to be unthinkable, and, of course, Joel would never accept it. However, he could never justify why the “all” in Joshua demanded a limited “all” in Matthew. He never gave a word of justification other than seeking to imply that Joshua limited Matthew. This kind of specious, arbitrary hermeneutic is very, very revealing.
Very clearly, there is no contextual qualifier in Matthew 5 that limits, in any way whatsoever, the definition of “all.”  Thus, per Bahnsen’s excellent analysis, all in Matthew 5 must mean, well, ALL!
(In another article, we will share Joel’s disingenuous attempt to negate the force of Jesus’ use of genetai, translated as “fulfilled” in Matthew 5:18).
Here then, was, and is, my argument:
Jesus said that not one jot or one tittle would pass from the Law of Moses until it was all fully accomplished.
The Sabbath– an integral part of the Law of Moses– foreshadowed the end of the millennium resurrection.
Therefore  until the end of the millennium resurrection is fulfilled, comes into reality, not one single iota of the Law of Moses– and specifically the observance of the ceremonial, cultic, sacrificial seventh day Sabbath– can or will pass away!
Joel’s futurist eschatology (in fact, all futurist eschatologies) demands the continuance of the seventh day Sabbath!
I asked the audience (and of course, Joel) at least twice, to consider what Joel was saying. By taking the position that he does, Joel turns Jesus’ teaching 180% out. Jesus said, “not one jot or one tittle  will pass from the law until it is all fulfilled.” Joel, and all futurists, say that what Jesus really meant was: “Some jots and tittles of the Law, for instance the seventh day Sabbath, will pass from the law without being fulfilled at all!”
I posed the following question to Joel and the audience: Would anyone ever get Joel’s interpretation of Matthew 5:17-18 from Jesus’ words? Would they ever get from, “Not one jot or one tittle shall pass from the law until it is all fulfilled” that it actually means: “Some jots and tittles of the Law will pass without being fulfilled”? Joel never offered a single word in response to this question.
I want the reader to let that soak in.
Some years ago, (1997) David Chilton gave a speech in Oklahoma City, presenting his reasons for becoming a full preterist. He took note that Dominionists commonly appeal– as Bahnsen, Gary North and even Joel McDurmon– to Matthew 5:17-18 to prove the eternal validity of the Law of Moses.  But, as Chilton noted, the very verse that they appeal to for their doctrine is in fact a total refutation of their doctrine!
Chilton demonstrated exegetically and logically, that Matthew 5:17-18 emphatically says that not one iota of Torah– which includes the sacrificial system– would pass until it was all fulfilled. Yet, all Dominionists say that lots and lots of jots and tittles of the Law of Moses have passed away, without being fulfilled! Those jots and tittles of the, “New Moons, feast days and Sabbaths” were“purged”, removed and annulled, without ever being fulfilled! (The lectureship containing Chilton’s speech is available from me. Contact me through this site).
In reality, in one very real sense, nothing else that Joel McDurmon said in the debate really matters.  It is impossible, logically, to affirm the passing of the seventh day Sabbath without thereby demanding the fulfillment of the end of the millennium resurrection– the fulfillment of “final salvation”– the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant promises Joel says that the seventh day Sabbath has passed, but, that what the Sabbath foreshadowed has not come to reality. The shadow has not become reality. The shadow simply passed away. There can be no reconciliation between Dominionist theology and Jesus’ words.
There could not be a clearer rejection of the words of Jesus than the futurist eschatology of postmillennial Dominionism.