Dual Fulfillment in Bible Prophecy
Many prophecies in the Bible are dual. In such cases a prophet speaks under inspiration of God and a first fulfillment of the prophecy comes to pass. Then, later, often at the end of the age before the return of Christ, comes a final, ultimate fulfillment.
An excellent example of duality is found in a prediction Joel made about the Holy Spirit: "And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
"And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD ... I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there ..." (Joel 2:28-3:2).
God inspired the apostle Peter to quote from this passage to describe events on the Day of Pentecost, when God founded the Church after Jesus' resurrection (Acts 2:14-21). Miraculous manifestations of God's power through the Holy Spirit did indeed occur then (verses 1-13). But these were only the first fulfillment of Joel's prophecy. The ultimate fulfillment will come at the time of the end and will involve, among other things, the gathering of the nations to God's judgment in the Valley of Jehoshaphat. This did not occur on the Day of Pentecost. So we see that prophecies can be dual.
In a similar fashion, God inspired many other prophecies with dual meanings. They applied as warnings to the Israelites at that time and as warnings to the modern descendants of those same people. The people of Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and the nations of northwest Europe who represent these people today would do well to heed these warnings.
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