Pope Benedict: Holy Roman ‘Church of God’?

Pope Benedict: Holy Roman ‘Church of God’?

ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/GettyImages

In one of his final papal decrees before resigning, Pope Benedict invoked the term ‘Church of God’ as solely applying to the Roman Church, which he claims is the only true church.

The Vatican news service Chiesa released a report Wednesday that announced a papal edict issued by Pope Benedict, only days prior to his resignation, on a change in the name of the Roman Catholic Church as mentioned in the text for the rite of baptism. Chiesa reported of Benedict that “He wanted ‘Church of God’ to be said instead of ‘Christian community.’ The order to change was issued a few days before his resignation. And it went into effect after the election of Francis” (August 22).

Though the change is only really coming to light now to the eyes of the Catholic public, it was originally published in Notitiae, the official bulletin of the governing body of the Roman Catholic Church, the dicastery, some time back.

What is particularly interesting is Chiesa’s observation that “Its existence was pointed out, amid the silence of the Vatican media, by the newspaper of the Italian episcopal conference, Avvenire.”

Chiesa describes the change in the Roman Catholic baptismal rite that Benedict introduced as follows: “From now on, at the end of the rite of reception, before signing with the cross the forehead of the child or of the children, the priest will no longer say: ‘Magno gaudio communitas christiana te (vos) excipit,’ but instead: ‘Magno gaudio Ecclesia Dei te [Church of God] (vos) excipit.’”

This change in Rome’s baptismal rite places a very definite stamp of papal authority on one of the most stringent claims of Pope Benedict—that the Roman Catholic Church is the sole and original church established by Jesus Christ: “In practice pope Joseph Ratzinger, as a sophisticated theologian, wanted that in the baptismal rite it should be clearly said that it is the Church of God—which subsists fully in the Catholic Church—that receives those who are being baptized, and not generically the ‘Christian community,’ a term that also signifies the individual local communities or non-Catholic confessions, like the Protestants” (ibid).

On July 10, 2007, the Vatican released a statement approved by Pope Benedict which declared that “The Catholic Church is the one, holy, apostolic church of Christ …. It said that the Second Vatican Council was clear in stating that Christ’s church ‘subsists in the Catholic Church, governed by the successor of Peter and the bishops in communion with him.’ That phrase affirms that the ‘historical continuity and the permanence of all the elements instituted by Christ’ are only present in the Catholic Church” (Catholic Online, Oct. 10, 2007).

Pope Benedict’s textual change to the Roman Catholic rite of baptism clearly is in direct line with his assertion that the Roman Catholic Church is the only one true church as founded by Jesus Christ.

He placed his imprimatur overtly on the adoption of the term “Church of God” as Rome’s church when, “[On] last January 13, in celebrating baptism for the last time as supreme pontiff, he said: ‘Dear children, with great joy the Church of God welcomes you.’ And shortly afterward, among the last measures of his pontificate, he prescribed this formula for the whole church” (Chiesa, op. cit.).

Does the name “Church of God” truly apply to the Roman Catholic Church?

If it did, then we surely should expect that its doctrines, beliefs, customs, traditions and practices would accord very directly to the New Testament church that Jesus Christ founded in a.d. 31, as recorded in inerrant Scripture.

But they patently don’t!

Take just one example. Jesus Christ and His disciples, upon which foundation the true Church was built, observed the seventh-day Sabbath according to God’s direction in Exodus 20—a perpetual commandment of Almighty God!

The Roman Church observes the pagan day of the sun—Sunday.

That is but one example of a plethora of instances where the Roman Church has changed Jesus Christ’s basic doctrines upon which He raised up the one true Church of God.

Space prevents us from going into more detail on this subject. However, if you are interested in proving just where the true Church of God is today, then read the booklets mentioned below. They will enlighten you as to the fact that the one true Church of God, as originally established by Jesus Christ, is alive and active today, pursuing the very work that He set it up to do! (John 5:17).

Read our booklets Does God Exist? and the Proof of the Bible. They are wonderful primers for Herbert Armstrong’s book Mystery of the Ages. The latter gives a history of God’s plan for humankind including a whole chapter on the mystery of the Church. It’s eye opening in its revelation of the true history of the Church—the true Church of God!

Detroit’s Gone to the Dogs

Detroit’s Gone to the Dogs

Thomas Hawk/flickr

Literally.

Roughly 50,000 stray dogs are wandering the streets of Detroit, intimidating the bankrupt city’s shrinking number of people, overwhelming its animal-control organizations and rapidly breeding.

Some of the animals are technically claimed by a city resident but allowed to roam the streets unsupervised. Most, though, have been permanently abandoned after their owners left the dying city, were incarcerated or became too cash-strapped to care for a pet. Many of the animals were born to abandoned mothers and are completely feral.

According to reports published Wednesday, some of the Motor City’s boarded-up houses have become home to as many as 20 stray dogs. Many of the animals are emaciated and starving, which can provoke bouts of aggression in them. “They haven’t eaten,” said Detroit resident Freddie Parker. “If I hadn’t eaten in over a week, I’d be vicious too.”

The dogs have killed pets and livestock. They have also congested the city’s animal shelters where almost 80 percent of them are euthanized. Most worryingly, the animals have attacked hundreds of city residents, with a record 903 dog attacks on people reported there in 2012.

One of those victims was a 3-week-old girl who was mauled to death by a pit bull as she sat in her car seat. Another was a woman sitting on her porch on the city’s east side when two stray pit bulls attacked her, ripped her scalp off and left her in critical condition. Other such reports are not uncommon. Because of Detroit’s rampant dogfighting circuits, pit bulls dominate the city’s stray populations. Male pit bulls are aggressive in mating, so they disseminate their genes faster than most other breeds.

Yesterday, the Detroit Free Press reported that residents in some northeast Detroit neighborhoods are worried less by dogs than by a supersized cat roaming their streets. It’s unclear whether the cat is feral or domesticated or what species it is, but a picture taken by resident Nathan McGuire shows that it is about four feet tall. “I’ve never seen a cat that big — even on TV,” McGuire said. Locals have requested help from city police and Animal Control, but haven’t yet received a response from the skeleton crews of these services.

Detroit—once an auto-manufacturing powerhouse with a population of 2 million—is now down to just 700,000 residents. And it’s now down to just four animal catchers to cover the entire 139-square-mile city (an area large enough to fit San Francisco, Boston and Manhattan inside of with space to spare) seven days a week. Amanda Arrington of the Humane Society recently visited the city and was shocked by the widespread devastation and by the animals roaming the streets. “It was almost post-apocalyptic,” she said, “where there are no businesses—nothing except people in houses and dogs running around.”

Long before Detroit and the rest of America was established, God promised that the nation would grow to become astoundingly prosperous (Genesis 48:14-22; 49:22-26).

God also revealed clear specifics of how He would curse the U.S. if it refused to obey His law: “And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; [I will] send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate” (Leviticus 26:21-22). Ten years ago, no one would have thought the mighty city of Detroit could come to match this apocalyptic description. Yet, today the portrayal is frightfully accurate for parts of the city and the problems are spreading.

Why is it happening? Broken families, gang activity, corrupt politics and crime became pandemic in Detroit. Its people began pushing God out of every facet of their lives, transforming it into a lawless city. As a result, the blessings it once enjoyed are being rapidly replaced with curses.

The deteriorating Motor City carries a lesson for the whole country. Trumpet columnist Robert Morley explains: “Detroit’s plight is a gigantic, flashing warning sign for the nation. … Detroit has gone from one of the most prosperous cities in the world, with the highest standard of living, to one of the world’s poorest. … Now the same thing is happening to many American cities. Despite America’s unparalleled agricultural, mineral, scientific and geographic resources, cities across the country are in various stages of Detroitification.”

To understand why Detroit has gone to the dogs, and the lessons the rest of the U.S. should learn from the tragedy, read Mr. Morley’s article in the Philadelphia Trumpet’s September issue, “Detroit Bankruptcy—Nothing to See Here.”

The Tombs of the Kings

A prophecy in Jeremiah indicates that the tombs of the righteous kings of Judah will be discovered before Christ returns. But most people lack the faith to believe the prophecies of God.

Herbert W. Armstrong’s History With King Saud

Herbert W. Armstrong’s History With King Saud

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Early foundation laid for gospel message delivery to Saudi Arabia

The unofficial ambassador for world peace recounted to an audience in Cairo, Egypt, how he “had met the crown prince, who later became King Saud” of Saudi Arabia. “I’m sorry he’s no longer with us, but we were good friends as long as he lived,” Herbert W. Armstrong said during the testimonial dinner held in his honor in November 1974.

The history of the house of Saud dates back to 1744, when the father of the “Wahhabism” form of Islam settled in the Najd region of Arabia and established an alliance with Al Saud tribe. The moment saw the merging of religion with politics, wealth and security. In 1902, Abd al-Aziz ibn Saud set out across the Arabian expanse to extend the influence of the house of Saud. Within the next 23 years he oversaw the capture of Riyadh, then Islam’s two holy sites of Mecca and Medina. By 1932 he was able to announce himself king and rename the dominion Saudi Arabia.

The following year, the United States aided the new country in the research, recovery and sale of oil, its most prized commodity. The Arabian American Oil Company was established. By 1945, amid the Second World War, Saudi Arabia was providing America with black gold in return for military security, training and construction of a military base in Dhahran.

That same year, in San Francisco, during the historic United Nations conference, Mr. Armstrong was granted 48 minutes with the Saudi Arabian delegation, which took the form of an interview for the Plain Truth magazine and the World Tomorrow radio program.

Two years later, the king’s son Prince Faisal, while in New York, was displeased by President Truman’s support of the division of Palestine into Arab and Israeli states. As a result, months later, in 1948, the king sent troops in support of the forces unsuccessfully attempting to destroy the fledgling Jewish state.

Prior to his death in 1953, the king appointed his eldest son, Saud, to succeed him, and his second eldest, Faisal, as the country’s foreign minister. After the overthrow of the Egyptian monarchy by Gen. Gamal Nasser and his military, the U.S. strengthened ties with the Arabian kingdom with another special oil-security deal signed by President Dwight Eisenhower and Prince Faisal during a state visit to Washington in 1957. King Saud’s reign was marked by controversy and opposition from within the royal house. Seven years later, bereft of his ruling alliances, and his abdication decreed by the religious elite in favor of his brother Faisal, Saud was exiled to Athens, Greece, where his health steadily declined resulting in his death in 1969.

Mr. Armstrong’s meeting with the Saudi Arabian monarch enabled the groundwork to be laid for delivery of the gospel message to Saudi Arabia. Uniquely, in a country where the royal family holds the majority of leadership posts, God’s good news of an impending divine Kingdom and world-ruling government reached the country through Mr. Armstrong’s contact with its leading international envoy, princes and kings (Matthew 24:14).

For over two decades, our editor in chief, Gerald Flurry, has dedicated his life to continuing Mr. Armstrong’s message. He has visited the Mideast numerous times reporting for the Trumpet, the Key of David program, and overseeing humanitarian endeavors of the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation. The message he heralds is the way of peace, prophesying of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in climactic end-time events outlined in Psalm 83, and highlighting the hope-filled road toward the establishment of the coming Kingdom of God.

Request your free copy of The Way of Peace Restored Momentarily today to learn of how you individually can be at peace while working for the establishment of true, global peace. By doing so you will learn how to support the message of peace heralding its soon-coming implementation worldwide—true world peace for all mankind soon to be imposed by our supreme, benevolent Creator, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Battle Cry for a Race War

Battle Cry for a Race War

YouTube

Here’s an employee of the Department of Homeland Security you need to know about.

We were saddened and disturbed by news this week of two incidents of black youths murdering white people—Christopher Lane in Duncan, Oklahoma, and a World War ii veteran in Spokane, Washington. In the first case at least, the killers held blatantly anti-white views.

But these murders are only the tiniest taste of the racial violence about to flood America. This reality became more ominously believable with another report this week—in many ways more chilling than those two murders.

Waronthehorizon.com is not a popular website; it doesn’t get much traffic. Nevertheless, consider its self-stated purpose: “War on the Horizon (woh) is a Haitianist organization created for the purpose of preparing Black people worldwide for an unavoidable, inevitable clash with the white race. whites [sic] around the world are absolutely determined to exterminate Afrikan [sic] people in all corners of the Earth. As a result of this reality, woh has dedicated our time and expertise to properly educating Black people to prepare for Racial Warfare.”

One could dismiss this as being just a thimbleful among the oceans of nonsense contained on the Internet. Except for one thing: It was created by an employee of the Department of Homeland Security.

Ayo Kimathi works for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a dhs agency. He is “a small business specialist in a unit that buys such items as handcuffs, ammunition and guns,” according to Southern Poverty Law Center, which exposed his association with War on the Horizon. (splc is a nonprofit civil rights law firm in Alabama that tends to go after white racists. Its tagline on its publication “Hatewatch” is, “Keeping an Eye on the Radical Right.” Nevertheless, Ayo Kimathi is so extreme that he registered on splc’s radar.)

As law enforcement officials, ice employees must receive official permission to be involved in such outside activities. Kimathi received permission in order to publicize his racist views via War on the Horizon. splc says he did so by lying about the nature of his organization.

Videos of this man’s hate-filled, murder-inciting bile are easily accessible on YouTube. But apparently the same government that has been revealed to have sophisticated monitoring capability over American citizens’ e-mail, online activity and phone records is unable to ascertain what Kimathi is really up to. He still works there, purchasing ammunition for the dhs.

The “War on the Horizon Creed” says, “Afrikan people are an international racial family who share a common: homeland (Afrika), Racial origin, culture, destiny, and a bitter enemy—the white race.” It says blacks are destined “to eradicate the system of racism white supremacy and its benefactors in order to establish righteous Black Dominion over Planet Earth,” and “are mandated by our Creator to return to our proper status as rulers of this world.”

“Warfare is eminent,” Kimathi’s website declares, “and in order for Black people to survive the 21st century, we are going to have to kill a lot of whites—more than our Christian hearts can possibly count.”

This is in print. Publicly available video shows far, far worse coming out of this man’s mouth.

Wouldn’t a God-given mandate to establish black supremacy by murdering whites be a conflict of interest for a dhs employee?

Why would such an individual even seek out a job in Homeland Security? What is his real intent?

And why would dhs employ someone who thinks this way, and pretend like such incitement is acceptable? Is this simply a matter of political correctness run amok—officials who have come to accept the notion that “black racism” is an oxymoron? Or is there something more sinister at play?

It is particularly unsettling to see such racially explosive thinking finding harbor within the same government department that is establishing a well-armed, federalized police force, including massive procurements of ammunition and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles.

The truth about America’s current leadership has a spiritual dimension. Read Gerald Flurry’s booklet America Under Attack to help put the pieces together.

As evidence like this mounts, the inevitability of devastating racial violence engulfing the nation becomes more plain. The Bible prophesies of it, and the Trumpet has been warning about it for two decades. For more information, read our article “Race to War.”

Did Terrorists Get Nuke Material From Semipalatinsk Test Site?

Did Terrorists Get Nuke Material From Semipalatinsk Test Site?

Alexander Liskin

Stolen radioactive material is out there.

Just how bad could things get for our volatile world in the nuclear age?

Following the Boston bombing, Marc Thiessen, a political commentator and former speechwriter for President George W. Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, wondered why al Qaeda hadn’t carried out more attacks like the one the Tsarnaev brothers pulled off. He wrote on April 22: “Why does [al Qaeda] remain so intently focused on spectacular, mass-casualty attacks, instead of smaller scale attacks like Boston—attacks that are much easier to pull off, and much harder for us to detect and prevent? Smaller scale attacks could be equally effective in paralyzing the country.”

George Moore, a nuclear scientist and former senior International Atomic Energy Agency (iaea) analyst from 2007 to 2012, analyzed the Boston bombing from a slightly different angle. He wondered, “What if the explosive devices allegedly used by the Tsarnaev brothers had contained radioactive material?” He then went on: “Many experts believe it’s only a matter of time before a dirty bomb or another type of radioactive dispersal device is used, with some expressing surprise that it hasn’t happened already. … It’s not pleasant to think through worst-case scenarios, but in this case it’s essential.”

A recent report about former Soviet nuclear test site Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan reveals a worst-case scenario worth pondering.

Titled “Plutonium Mountain,” the report was released on August 15 by the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. It revealed a 17-year, $150 million mission by Russian, Kazakh and American scientists to rid the site of residual radioactive material. The operation was completed in 2012, and a monument celebrating those efforts was erected, bearing the inscription: “1996-2012. The world has become safer.”

But how much safer is the world now? The reality indicates otherwise.

To begin with, “the operation was based almost entirely on ad hoc agreements struck at a lower level [by the scientists], and was carried to a conclusion without elaborate, negotiated state-to-state agreements of the kind used for arms control during the Cold War,” explains the report.

The scientists found “high purity” plutonium and uranium, enough to assemble a dozen nuclear bombs. Some of this material was removed, but some remained in underground tunnels, which the cleanup experts have since simply poured reinforced concrete over. Evidently, in spite of the inscription on the monument at Semipalatinsk, there are concerns that residual nuclear material on the site could have been, and still can be, stolen. When scientist Siegfried Hecker visited the site in 1998—two years after the project began—he reported that “access is unimpaired; no gates are manned … we have a strong concern that a proliferation risk may exist—material in reasonably concentrated form, easily picked up, completely open to whomever wants to come.”

Metal scavengers had dug up underground copper cables linked to the buried site. They easily could have accessed the radioactive material from the site.

The New York Times reported in 2011 that the U.S. State Department has drones keeping an eye on the nuclear site.

Until recently, the entire project had been kept secret, even from the iaea, to ensure it wasn’t made public.

Every year, the iaea receives hundreds of reports of thefts and unauthorized activities involving radioactive materials. At a conference in July on enhancing global nuclear security efforts, the director general of the iaea, Yukiya Amano, warned of the possibility of terrorist attacks involving radioactive material, saying that “the threat of nuclear terrorism is real.”

So, what if al Qaeda—which made headlines recently for threats that led to a number of U.S. embassies being shut down—resorts to relatively “small scale” attacks like the Boston bombing? What if those “small scale” attacks involved nuclear material, crude or refined? Surely, this would not be impossible.

In a November 2001 Trumpet article titled “The Future of Terror,” editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote:

Perhaps a terrorist might hijack and explode a plane carrying nuclear waste as it is being transported, or crash an airplane into a nuclear power plant, or destroy industrial facilities which disassemble nuclear bombs. Carrying out any of these monstrous plots would pollute the environment with radiation and bring death on the wings of the wind.So many opportunities remain open for terrorists, it is impossible to guard against all attacks. And God has prophesied that evil men will grow worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:13). That prophecy, written more than 1,900 years ago, is becoming increasingly relevant in our modern day. …Dark clouds of nuclear terrorism are on the horizon. Because mankind is trying to solve the problem on his own, we will surely have to weather some terribly stormy and blood-drenched times ahead.

The threat of nuclear terrorism is real, and only God can save us if we believe and obey Him. Mr. Flurry continued:

But at the end of it all, after Jesus Christ returns to put a stop to the madness of man and establishes God’s government of peace on Earth, mankind will be able to recognize the lesson in the horror movie we are experiencing today. How desperately this world needs God’s education and His righteous rulership, that we may put away the horror and learn to live up to our exalted, God-given potential.

For more about the reality of our nuclear world and the great hope beyond it, read We Have Had Our Last Chance and The Incredible Human Potential.