August 12, 1863, was the dateline printed on the very first issue of The Hope of Israel, a publication now named the Bible Advocate. We’re planning to memorialize BA’s history as one of the oldest religious publications in America and to improve its service in the future.
Join us, please, as we celebrate our one hundred fiftieth year of publication in this and the next six issues. Bible Advocate Online
That's a pretty good accomplishment for a Church of God that has been in existence longer than HWA's version, published a magazine longer than any other COG and has more members. Of course this does not go over too well with Bob Thiel, the official spokesman for the Living Church of God.
Bob says, in his official capacity as LCG spokesman, that the COG7 has had no real converted members over the decades, though there might have been an incredibly small percentage orginally. Real converted Christians never emerged on the scene till Herb started his empire after Loma had that nightmare.
Back in 1863, not only was the publication not called the Bible Advocate, and Church of God (Seventh Day) was actually called Church of God (Adventist). Based upon my research into its early history, while it may have some actual COG members back in 1863, they seemed to be the minority until around the early 20th century.
COG7 apparently is looked upon by Bob as uneducated, theologically bankrupt fools. Bob has even lectured the COG7 leadership on what they are supposed to believe. Bob and LCG know more about the Bible than the COG7 does.
They ignored Bob and continue on in their own beliefs. Bob gets the last word in though. Bob wants them to know that the tribulation will soon be upon them and the COG7 will no longer be publishing or have reason to celebrate.
Thiel does not have much to celebrate considering that LCG is just another of the 700 some harlot daughters of Armstrongism, fractured and impotent, that the world knows nothing about. In the 70 some short years of Armstrongism, hundreds of splinter cults have formed with an equal number of men declaring themselves to be the true leader. Armstrongism is shrinking while the COG7 gains new members.
While, as a rule, CG7 has lost certain knowledge of some doctrines (cf. Revelation 3:1-6), especially prophecy (and this loss here seems to have accelerated over the past five or so years), the current issue of the Bible Advocate does have an article by Arlo Gieselman consistent with the COG view that God will give everyone an opportunity for salvation, either now or at the second resurrection. And while I have personally spoken to one of its former presidents (Calvin Burrell) about why he should teach this doctrine, and he is the editor of the Bible Advocate, he did have the following disclaimer after the pro-second resurrection opportunity doctrine article:
Arlo Gieselman attends the Church of God Kansas City in Independence, MO, and conducts a ministry to truckers at nearby truck stops. Though Arlo is a good friend of the editor and of CoG7, not every idea in his Viewpoint necessarily represents positions adopted by the Church.So, while I am glad that more in CG7 seem to understand at least parts of this doctrine, it is still not one that CG7 is fully comfortable about embracing. Anyway, if my understanding of end time Bible prophecy is close to correct, CG7 will not have too many more years to put out its publications.