Former WCG member a partial preterist: Preterists will not know when the Great Tribulation will begin


A reader sent me an email about someone who was listed as a 1971 alum of the old Ambassador College, Haydn (Chip) Fox. Chip Fox wrote a book about HIS views on the Book of Revelation.

Here are some comments from Chip Fox about his prophetic interpretations in his book:

Seals start immediately after Christ’s resurrection and continue up to sealing of God’s servants in sixth seal just prior to destruction of Jerusalem and nation of Judah.  Seventh seal includes the seven trumpets that run from when the Romans first started (66 CE) conquering or destroying cities of the nation of Judah, then (70 CE) the destruction of Jerusalem.  Third trumpet is the pollution of Christianity starting with the Christian/Pagan mix in the 300s CE.  Trumpets continue up to the sixth trumpet which ends with the Ottoman empire in 1923.  Within the sixth trumpet, prior to 1923, there is an assessment of Christianity, and then a major change in Christianity because of the two witnesses.

The seventh trumpet is not chronologically subsequent to the sixth trumpet, but concerns a much broader time span from prior to Christ’s birth to sometime after the conclusion of the sixth trumpet to the end of our age.  The seventh trumpet includes the seven bowls or vials, which are a subset within the seven trumpets.  They explain in detail what was given in brief in the second trumpet, i.e., the destruction of Jerusalem, the temple, and the political nation of Judah.  It also includes, so importantly, the shift completely away from physical Israel and toward the importance, promises, and reality concerning spiritual Israel.

The seventh trumpet gives the whole background of Christ and the people of God, and all the things leading up to the destruction in 70 CE.  It gives details of the destruction. And then there is a chapter in Revelation, chapter 13, that explains why this destruction had to be done.  Chapter 14 gives the aftermath of the destruction.  Then we come to the symbolic description of New Jerusalem, which is stated to be the bride of Christ.  A physical city is not a bride. The body of all Christians, spiritual Israel, is the bride of Christ, but the symbol of a city that far surpasses the beauty of the Jerusalem of the first century shows how much more precious spiritual Israel is than physical Israel could ever have been.

At the most, only one of the seven seals of Revelation have been opened as of now. Hence, the idea that any of the seventh seal trumpets already were blown, etc. is simply wrong.

People who believe that most of the Book of Revelation was already fulfilled are termed ‘preterists.’

In general, preterists believe that prophecies that have not been fulfilled yet, have been historically fulfilled. Full preterists do not believe in a coming Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21), whereas partial preterists believe some future prophecies were only for the past.

I will not take the space in this post to explain all of the reasons that preterists are in doctrinal error. But those interested is more biblical reasons should check out the article The Dangerous Rise of Preterists.

Some COG groups, most notably CG7, are preterist (though it was not originally).

The following comments from Jesus, in my view, apply to preterists who are actually still Christian:

3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. (Revelation 3:3)

15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked — 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:15-19)

Now, various Church of God (COG) groups, other than just CG7, teach at least some preterist positions.

COG groups like ICG, CGI, UCG, COGaIC, CG7, CGG, and the old CEM do not officially teach and/or do not believe in the idea of Church eras (The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3), though they sometimes teach about the churches of Revelation. They tend to take more of a preterist (past) view of those churches, despite the fact that many statements made to them had to have future prophetic ramifications (e.g. Revelation 1:19; 3:3; 3:10). Because of that they do not teach certain prophetic aspects of this, most do not see their own problems and will have to go through the Great Tribulation.

Let me also add that, like many Roman Catholics, many COG groups believe that certain remaining parts of Daniel 9:27 were fulfilled anciently (see also The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27).

Furthermore, many COG groups and independents do not believe that the Gospel of the Kingdom of God still needs to be preached to the world as a witness per Matthew 24:14 (e.g. GCW, PCG), do not really make that a high priority (e.g. COGWA, CGG), or do so in less than truly loving the truth (cf. Jeremiah 48:10). Some either believe that Herbert W. Armstrong fulfilled it–which, in my view, is another preterist view–or it is a job only remaining for the two witnesses, which is an improper interpretation of what that verse actually says.

Some teach that there is no biblically-required King of the South as that supposedly was fulfilled, while at least one group is unsure (CGF-NW)–but this is an error (see also Is the Future King of the South Rising Up?). This is not considered by most to be a preterist error, but since that prophecy has not been fulfilled, I consider that to be one.

Most COG groups fail to teach Habakkuk 2:2-8 is an end-time prophecy, hence are not properly getting the warning out to the USA and UK (see Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel). PCG totally misses it, and LCG, while it once would teach it, has backed off because of what appears to be internal politics–it basically believes that Habakkuk 2:2-8 was fulfilled anciently, despite it clearly being a prophecy for the appointed time of the end. So, yes, in that way, LCG is being a bit preterist.

According to Jesus’ words to the churches in Revelation 2 & 3, relatively few Christians will (the remnant of the Philadelphia Church Era only) truly understand the Book of Revelation and various other matters.

I do not believe that preterist books, like the one Chip Fox is promoting, are correct.

Will you truly listen and truly understand the truth?

Or do you prefer preterist and/or other improper interpretations of prophecy?

Items of related interest may include:

The Dangerous Rise of Preterists Has the Great Tribulation finished? What was the view of early Christians? Why is the preterist view dangerous? A related sermon video is titled Preterism: You’ve Gotta Be Kidding…Right?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2018, 2019, or 2020? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2018 o 2019? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter video is: Can the Great Tribulation begin in 2018?
The Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Near Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory. Two sermon-length videos of relaled interest are available Physical Protection During the Great Tribulation and Might Petra be the Place of Safety? Here is something related in the Spanish language: Hay un lugar de seguridad para los Filadelfinos. ¿Puede ser Petra?
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 from 31 A.D. to present: information on all of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3. There is also a YouTube video: The Seven Church Eras of Revelation. There is also a version in the Spanish language: Las Siete Iglesias de Apocalipsis 2 & 3.
Independent Members of the COG: Herbert W. Armstrong Comments, Plus Questions and Answers What did Herbert W. Armstrong teach about being independent of the organized Church? Should independents who claim to accept Herbert W. Armstrong’s teachings support the end time Philadelphian work? Watch also Zephaniah’s ‘Gather Together’ Prophecy.
5. The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.
6. The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
7. The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

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