Multiple Fulfillments

New testament scriptures taken at face value, speak of things in the present tense. We take them on faith, but do not see them in reality. The catch is that the New Testament church in the writings of the New Testament is primarily a type of the end time church. And many of the scriptures describing New Testament happenings are only partial fulfillments, or not fulfilled at all. These scriptures will not be finally fulfilled till the end time church comes into being. The chiefest of these is in Acts 2.

Acts 2:16-20

16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

The gift of the holy Spirit on that day was only a partial fulfillment of Joel, and obviously they did not see the wonders in heaven or signs in the earth. The Day of the Lord did not come in their time. The gift of the Spirit on that day was only a measure of foretaste of the spirit. These next quotes speak of the earnest of the Spirit. This means a partial payment or token.

2 Corinthians 1:22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

Ephesians 1:13-14

13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Notice that Ephesians 1:13-14 mentions the promise and looks ahead to time of the redemption. The fullness of the Spirit will come with the complete fulfillment of Joel 2.

Joel 2:28-31

28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.

30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.

31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

Our problem comes when we assume that the partial fulfillment is the one and only fulfillment. Then we get into preaching and teaching on scripture that is not yet fulfilled. And people wonder 'What's wrong with this picture?'

So if you hear claims that :

we are a new testament church we are under grace, not the law we are the sons of God we are spirit filled and spirit led we belong to the kingdom of God we are crucified with Christ we are walking in newness of life we are a new creation we have the fullness of the five fold ministry and so on, look for the witness of the Spirit. Because although those making these claims mean well, there may be no truth in them.

Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

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