What is Middleism?
"Middleism" was created with tongue in cheek. Its purpose is to separate it from Dispensational teaching and Partial Preterism.
- It is based on the late date of Revelation authorship.
- The Olivet and Revelation are of two different "ages".
- There is no promise of a Second Coming found in the Gospels.
- It is the Classical Historical Premillennial Return of Christ as held by the Early Church Fathers.
We affirm the Bible was written for the church, for all Generations, until He comes.
A Premillianlism / Post-Trib Second Coming
When people begin to set dates for his coming as Harold Camping
did or profess to know who the beast is or other such nonsense
it becomes a good idea to avoid such men.
Understanding in these present times we begin by recognizing the
world’s corruption will grow darker and darker and the influence
of the church becomes nonexistent as we have become more and
more like the world in behaviors and attitudes. This can be seen
currently in the divide in the church between those who falsely
accept abortion or homosexuality or the appointment of a
transgender person as an “Elder” in the United Methodist church.
The failures from the pulpit, not only by example but also
theology and doctrine, has made the world reject any authority
of the church by the nature of the conflict from one
denomination to another.
The existence of many denomination proves to the world that even
the church doesn’t and cannot get it right. This does not mean
every denomination is wrong, but many people fail to see the
distinction that some denominations differ based on purpose and
mission and not necessarily doctrine. The one thing every
mainstream Christian denomination holds to is the essentials of
what is Christianity as expressed by the Nicene or Apostles
creed. We can have differing opinions over secondary issues like
baptism: sprinkling or emersion since these are not salvific
issues but we do not divide over trinity, incarnation, or deity
of Christ. As every mainstream denomination holds to these
truths to be called Christian. Every cult is labeled as such as
they deny one of these essential doctrines. Yet the world does
not see these distinctions.
The whole question of “are we in the last days” or not, is a
difficult question to answer without prophetical biblical
specifics of events that happen just prior to this tribulation
period. We can believe that we are in the last days beginning in
A.D. 33 with the birth of the church as it can be said the earth
has more year’s past than what is in front. We generally derive
a chronology from the book of Revelation that gives us an
overall idea but until these events begin to unfold we presently
see through a mirror darkly.
The Olivet Discourse
The Olivet Discourse found in Mathew 24, (Mark 13, Luke 21)
becomes Christ own prediction of the Judgment soon to come upon
Jerusalem which did in A.D. 70. The Early Church Father's all
believed these prophecies came true yet also believed in a future
coming of Christ. The Modern Church today has fallen into a
quandary. They all believe the Olivet speaks of a Second Coming of
Christ, therefore the prophecies must all be future. The Preterist
also looks at the timing statement made by Jesus that "all these
prophecies must be fulfilled in the "generation". To them all
these prophecies then are in the past, which includes the idea Jesus
returned a second time in that Generation, ie: The events of A.D. 70
was also the second coming. Now since Revelation also talks about
the Second Coming therefore all of the Revelation events must also
come to pass at the same time, in A.D. 70. What I argue in my book
is why all these events listed in the Olivet are all past.
The Revelation of John
The Book of Revelation begins with an introduction to what is
contained in the pages, warnings to the seven churches of what needs
change, and a series of events that are to happen in the last days.
Yes we believe these Revelations are all about our future and not
the past. When many details are presented of what is to happen they
simply cannot be reconciled with the events of A.D. 70. In A.D. 70
the Roman army came and besieged Jerusalem and the destroyed it and
the temple. In Revelation Christ returns with his army of saints in
defense of the City. It is not logical to claim God sent an army to
Judge and destroy Jerusalem then at the same time say that Jesus
comes with his army to defend Jerusalem from the very army sent by
God? Of Course the Preterist has to literalize the coming of the
Roman army but spiritualize the second coming of Christ, which means
it never happened literally but spiritually. It all happened in the
"spiritual" realm and no one saw it or observed this "coming". This
is one of the major reasons Preterism is to be rejected. They
spiritualize the literal events in saying they came when they did
Dating the Book of Revelation
In Revelation 1, John tells us he was on the Island of Patmos when
he received the Revelation and was able to write it all down once he
was released and returned to his home church in Ephesus. The Early
Church Fathers testify that John was on the island during the reign
of Domitian until his death in A.D. 68. When he was released, John
soon died between 98 and 100 A.D. So we have a problem. If
Revelation was written after A.D. 70 about events to happen then
those events could not have happened in A.D. 70. So it becomes a
Preterists conundrum. Their answer is to assert the late date is in
error by "uninspired" people who were too apostate to not know Jesus
returned in A.D. 70, which of course would have included John, so
now the Preterist does everything to prove John died, as did all the
apostles, before A.D. 70. Yet we have Barnabus writing about the
destruction and still looking forward to the second coming. The
Preterist answer is again to call the letter fake. The desperation
employed by Preterist to prove all church historical accounts wrong
is driven by the need to prove Jesus retuned in A.D. 70. Instead of
answering the problem they simple create more.
Historicism / Idealism
HISTORICSIM - is the belief that that the events of Revelation
having been playing out in history since the book was written. Some
hold to the early date and so make the events A.D. 70 as part of the
fulfillment of the book. The difficulty in such a position is there
is no chronology to its fulfillment and so adherent look for events
in history and then go to the book and say, "this was fulfilled in
such and such event", which becomes very arbitrary. The most
difficult part to uphold is noting these events happen "quickly".
Meaning in Revelation 1:1 John says he was "shown things that were
to take place in quickness", meaning not close in time but, the
events themselves were to happen in a very quick time. For example
the "Beast" once he comes to rule, his Kingdom only last for 42
months, or three and a half years. It ends with the return of
Christ. It is also hard to argue the Judgments found in the book are
spread out over thousands of years.
IDEALISM is the belief that the events written about in
Revelation are not all to happen literally but take place over time
and spiritually. The exception is the Second Coming and the Great
White throne Judgment. Idealism comes out in Preterist views from
people like John Noe, in his book he claims there is no second coming
but Jesus has been here and never left spiritually so there is no
need for him to return a second time. As I said before the
Preterist view leads to more error. Noe also argues against the
existence of Hell.
Samuel M. Frost, holds a B.Th. (Liberty Christian College), an M.A. in Christian Studies and an M.A. in Religion, and Th.M. from Whitefield Theological Seminary (with combined credits in Hebrew from Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida – and in Greek from Church of God School of Theology, Cleveland, Tennessee). He is a former Hyper-preterist who has left the movement. He is the author of Why I Left Full Preterism
Dr. Brock D. Hollett formerly embraced preterism while earning his Master of Divinity at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2000 because the preterist perspective seemed to provide him with coherent arguments regarding the time statements of the New Testament. Persuaded by the arguments put forth by preterist scholars, especially R. C. Sproul, Hank Hanegraf, N. T. Wright, Gary DeMar, and Kenneth Gentry, Dr. Hollett became a teacher at a church with a preterist orientation,
and defended preterist eschatology as the host of a weekly radio program, Fulfilled Life, on Covenant Key FM. By 2013, he had finished writing a book defending preterism and was scheduled to be a conference speaker at a preterist prophecy conference. However, on the very night that he received the first box of 100 books from his publisher, the Lord spoke to his heart to reexamine the biblical doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, which led him to repent of his involvement with preterism.
In 2017, God placed a fresh burden on Dr. Hollett's heart to write a book that sets forth a proper biblical eschatology and a roadmap for refuting preterism. He wrote Debunking Preterism: How Over-realized Eschatology Misses the "Not Yet" of Bible Prophecy in only three months,
sensing a prophetic urgency regarding the project.