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 on Matthew 5:17-18- #1 When Was “All” Fulfilled? Don K. Preston D. Div.

Joel McDurmon on Matthew 5:17-18- #1
When Was “All” Fulfilled?
Don K. Preston D. Div.
In my recent formal debate with Joel McDurmon, July 19-21, in Ardmore, Ok., I argued from the explicit words of Jesus in Matthew 5:17-18 that until every jot and tittle of the law was fulfilled, that none of it would pass. (DVDs and MP3s of the debate are now available. You definitely want to get a copy of this debate, so order your copy now!)
In response, Joel gave two totally different answers. First, he argued that “all” does not necessarily mean all comprehensively. Second, he argued that all things were fulfilled by Jesus on the cross, for He is the fulfillment of all things. I want to briefly examine Joel’s arguments, demonstrating their fallacy, as I did in the debate.
In his attempt to discount what Jesus said about the necessity for every jot and every tittle to be fulfilled, Joel took note that the word all can be used in a limited sense. Naturally, no one disputes this claim, as I noted. But that is not the issue.
Joel gave some scriptures where the word all is used, but, in which “all” cannot be understood comprehensively. He took note that Joshua 21:43-45 says that all of God’s promises made to Israel were fulfilled. Joel noted that there were many prophecies still unfulfilled at that time, therefore, all does not mean all. Joel likewise appealed to Ezekiel and Lamentations where the word all is likewise used in a limited sense.
I did not respond immediately to Joel’s appeal to these texts, because I wanted to deal with other issues. Consequently, Joel proclaimed that I did not do so because they are fatal to my claims. He seemed to think that I had not answer. Of course, that is not the case. Time constraints do not permit response to every single word given by the other man. But I did respond, and effectively so.
I noted that Joel was guilty of an illegitimate transfer of context in his appeal to Joshua and the other texts. The subject matter in those texts was not the passing of the law, and the necessary requirements for that to happen. Joel was appealing to texts that spoke of something entirely different from what Jesus was speaking of. Thus, to impose those texts on Jesus’ statements was and is patently wrong.
I also noted that the context of those passages clearly define the “all” in view. In other words, Joshua 21 very clearly speaks of the fulfillment of the land promises. Lamentations speaks of the fulfillment of all of the predictions of the BC 586 destruction of Jerusalem. This is undeniable. In other words, the word “all” was patently not being used in a universal sense, as the context of each of the passages offered by Joel proves beyond dispute.
I should briefly note here that Joshua actually falsifies Joel’s claim that Abraham never received the land promises. God promised the land to Abraham and his descendants. Joshua said that all the land promises were fulfilled. Not a word failed. Thus, the Abrahamic land promise was fulfilled, nullifying Joel’s key resurrection argument.  But, back to the word all and Matthew 5:17-18.
In direct response to Joel, I produced a chart with the following quote from Greg Bahnsen that spoke and speaks to the issue of Matthew 5:17-18 very eloquently, and irrefutably:
“A verse like Matthew 5:18, with its unparticularized panta is prey for such treatment. Now such views might be appropriate pertaining to a verse like Matthew 24:34 from the Olivet Discourse (which reads panta tauta), but they are unjustified in Matthew 5:18; the former has a definite referent and antecedent, while the latter does not (it does not even qualify a noun adjacent to it as does Matthew 24:34). 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” (as in Matthew 11:27; John 1:3; 3:35; 21:17; 1 Corinthians 2:10; 15:27, 28; Ephesians 1:22a; Revelation 21:5); it is to be taken in this absolutely general sense unless the context dictates some antecedent whole of which panta constitutes the complete parts.” (Greg Bahnsen, Theonomy, P. 81).
Bahnsen was McDurmon’s mentor, and this quote clearly stunned Joel– and the audience. Not simply because it was from Joel’s former mentor, but because of the excellent linguistic and contextual analysis. I should also note that Joel said not one word in response to the chart.
The undeniable fact is that contrary to each of the passages that Joel offered, in which context clearly limited the “all” in view, there are no contextual qualifiers in Matthew 5:17-18. So, as Bahnsen astutely notes, where there is no qualifier, then all means all.
I challenged Joel to produce a contextual qualifier of “all” in Matthew 5, but of course, he could not do it, and no one can. It is not there. And this means that not one jot or one tittle– that alone is pretty comprehensive isn’t it?– would pass until every jot and every tittle was fulfilled. In fact, “all” is defined in the text by “not one jot or one tittle.”
(Be sure to see my new book From Torah To Telos, for a study of Matthew 5:17-18. The book is one of the most extensive studies of this text and the passing of the Law of Moses that has been produced. There is nothing else like it anywhere!)
As I noted repeatedly in the debate, since there is no limiting qualifier in the context of Matthew 5:17-18 to quantify the “all”, this means, it demands, that since Torah foretold the end of the millennium resurrection, then until the full accomplishment, the full occurrence of the end of the millennium resurrection, not one iota of Torah would pass. This means that if Joel’s eschatology is true, then the feast days, new moons, and Sabbaths of Torah– along with the sacrificial system– remains valid and binding today. This is unavoidable, and undeniable. Be sure to read my earlier article on the Sabbath issue and the inescapable and fatal problems it causes for Dominionism.
In our next article, we will examine Joel’s second attempt to deal with Jesus words in Matthew 5:17-18. That was his claim that in some manner Jesus fulfilled all prophecy in his person on the cross. As we proved in the debate, and what is critical to see, is that this argument falsified Joel’s own theology. Stay tuned for that article.