Is God real to you? Have you proven for yourself that there is a Supreme Being who intervenes in world affairs—and your life—for His purposes? You can, and you should!
Does the God of the Bible actually seem real to you, personally? He can—and He should!
When horrifying personal or national tragedies strike, do you ever find that the idea of a real God seems very nebulous or uncertain to you? Are you unsure about what will happen to you when you die? For nearly all human beings, these are certainly normal feelings. They are nothing to be ashamed of.
I can relate to this. As thousands of you subscribers—and hundreds of my former students and colleagues—know, I was brought up in an average middle-class family and attended a “mainstream” Protestant church for the first 19 years of my life. Quite regularly, the congregation heard that we could look forward to “going to heaven” to spend eternity—if we were “good people” and loved Jesus.
Very little was ever mentioned about what we would actually do when we got to heaven—or if there was any real purpose for our lives beyond that. And although we often heard the idea that there was a “God” up in heaven and that He loved us, it was often stated very sentimentally, but it was never proved. We all just “assumed” that it was so.
Despite all these “nice” sentiments, I began to notice that—when real tragedies occurred—most of my friends and relatives were deeply shaken. They did not seem very happy about the idea that they, or any of their loved ones, might go up to this supposedly wonderful “heavenly home” the minister talked about. Then, after the sudden death of my dear friend, Jimmy Mallette—whose neck was broken in a wrestling match—I, too, was shaken. I began a quest to prove to myself whether or not a real God existed, and to discover what His purpose was for creating mankind, if indeed there was any purpose.
Back in 1944, in the latter days of World War II, Germany was being pulverized by British and American bombers. Around that time, I began listening to a radio preacher named Herbert W. Armstrong. Despite the apparent defeat of Germany, Mr. Armstrong pointed out from Bible prophecies that the German nation would rise again and become the leading power in a coming European Empire. A few years later, in the fall of 1949, I traveled to Pasadena, California, to enroll in Mr. Armstrong’s Ambassador College. There, I heard much more about the coming European Empire—actually a revival of the ancient Holy Roman Empire—and I began to understand from the Bible exactly why America and Britain were such great nations, and what would happen to them if they did not fully repent and turn to the God of the Bible. Mr. Armstrong told us many times that the greatness of the English-speaking nations would be removed. He showed us that the British Commonwealth nations and the United States were the modern descendants of the “lost” Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. And, by understanding the Bible prophecies related to those ancient tribes, he specifically pointed out that the great “sea gates” promised to those nations in the Bible were to be taken away—places like the Suez Canal, the Panama Canal, the Straits of Malacca, the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar—unless there would be national repentance.
I remember Mr. Armstrong in 1954, during a dynamic speaking campaign in Great Britain, thundering a powerful warning about the coming demise of the British Empire, the loss of its sea gates and the growth of the European Union that was to come! I was there, hearing him powerfully proclaim, “If you British people do not genuinely repent and turn to the God of the Bible, there will be no more British Empire! Your great sea gates, such as the Suez Canal, will be taken away! And America will be brought down if we do not repent!”
This was not “his idea.” It was there in the pages of the Bible for those with eyes to see. He also pointed out that, according to Bible prophecy, the nations of Eastern Europe would have to break away from the Soviet Union, and that West Germany and East Germany would reunify. He wrote, in the April 1952 issue of his Good News magazine, “Russia may give East Germany back to the Germans and will be forced to relinquish her control over Hungary, Czechoslovakia and parts of Austria to complete the ten nation union. Europe will have a free hand to destroy America and Britain as prophesied” (p. 16).
At a time when most “experts” were frightened by the prospect of war between the United States and the Soviet Union, Mr. Armstrong understood from Bible prophecy that something very different would take place. He wrote: “The way is being prepared for a colossal third force in world politics—a European Federation of Nations more powerful than either Russia or the United States!… We have shown years in advance what would happen to Russia’s ill-fated Empire in Eastern Europe” (Plain Truth, December 1956, p. 3).
What about war between the U.S. and the Soviets? Mr. Armstrong wrote: “No all-out full-scale war is prophesied between Russia and the United States. The famous prophecy of Ezek. 38 and 39 foretells a Russian invasion of Palestine, much later, not against the North American continent” (Plain Truth, August 1950, p. 2).
Millions of people heard Mr. Armstrong make pronouncements like these, or read his articles proclaiming the certainty of these events prophesied in the Bible. Yet most scoffed at what they heard.
As these specific prophecies began to occur, many people were astonished. As the Berlin Wall came down and the once-mighty Soviet Union collapsed, millions were caught by surprise. The “mainstream” news analysts and pundits had had no idea that these events would occur. But those familiar with Mr. Armstrong’s teachings were not surprised. Indeed, note these revealing admissions by the editor of a small newspaper in Tennessee, who did understand. He had no religious connection with Mr. Armstrong whatever. But here is what he wrote after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakaway of these Eastern European nations—which Mr. Armstrong had specifically predicted:
“Like a great many Americans I have been watching the current political situation in East Germany with interest. While many have expressed surprise at the recent events and at East German cries for reunification of East and West Germany, I have to admit I haven’t been too surprised by these events. The reason I haven’t been particularly surprised is that for years I have occasionally read the publications of… the late Herbert W. Armstrong… Armstrong predicted that the Berlin Wall would some day come down and the two German states would once again reunite into a powerful nation” (Free Press, December 7, 1989).
The above is just one of several examples I could cite. Again and again, by deeply studying the Bible and then carefully watching all these specific fulfillments of prophecies affecting major nations and situations, I have proved to myself the absolute truth of many, many specific Bible prophecies about Egypt, Babylon, the revived Roman Empire, and the reason why America and the British-descended peoples have been given such great powers and blessings. Over the years, I have realized that Bible prophecy is accurate in describing what will happen to major cities and nations all over this earth! If there were not a “real” God who actually inspired and guided the writing of these prophecies, they would not have been fulfilled on so many occasions and in such miraculous detail. Except for the Holy Bible, no other book even remotely gives such detailed prophecies about the exact fate of peoples and nations—often hundreds or thousands of years in advance!
Almighty God inspired the prophet Isaiah to write: “Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure,’ calling a bird of prey from the east, the man who executes My counsel, from a far country. Indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it. Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, who are far from righteousness” (Isaiah 46:9–12).
If you are not already familiar with what the Bible teaches about the end-time fulfillment of prophecy and how it relates to the former British Commonwealth nations and the United States in particular, please request your free copy of our booklets, The Beast of Revelation and The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy. These booklets will help you prove to yourself, from Scripture, what will soon happen as end-time prophetic fulfillments continue to speed up as never before! These booklets will make your Bible “come alive,” as you recognize prophecy being fulfilled. They will add meaning to your reading the daily newspaper, as you see event after event fall into place just as God has prophesied!
For instance, be sure to “watch” (Luke 21:36) whether one or both of Britain’s only two remaining “sea gates”—Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands—are taken away within the next few years. Scripture says this will happen before the end of this age. And right now—in the prophesied “last days” of this world’s society—God is beginning to intervene powerfully in world affairs. He will soon “wipe the smirk off” the faces of the doubters and the scoffers!
As for me, after 62 years in the true Work of Almighty God, I have learned not to doubt what God says, once I have proved to myself that the Bible clearly predicts something. For I know that it will happen! And I know that anything God tells His people to do will work out for good in the end (Romans 8:28).
Another reason I know God is real is that I have proved Him to be the ultimate Healer. Of course, God expects each of us to “do our part” in maintaining good health. It is not that we should abuse our bodies for decades, and not be willing to give up the unhealthy practices that helped to make us ill, yet still demand from God an instant healing. We do have a responsibility to follow the health guidelines God has given in His word. And we should not be embarrassed about seeking a medical “check- up” if we seem to be developing an illness. Sometimes a doctor can tell us “what’s wrong,” so we can then understand what we need to do to take proper care of ourselves.
However, we should not forget that only God is our Creator and our Healer. Doctors may be able to repair injuries and slow the spread of illness, but healing comes from God. As all of you who are familiar with the Bible should know, one of the vital aspects of the ministry of Jesus Christ was healing. Scripture tells us: “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people” (Matthew 4:23). So, we see that Jesus continually healed many different kinds of disease and sickness. We need to understand that—when we are dealing with the real God of the Bible—there is nothing He cannot do. There is nothing that He cannot heal (Mark 3:1–6; John 9:1–7; Acts 3:1–10)!
Jesus Himself said very clearly, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick” (Matthew 9:12). So doctors and health professionals can be of immense help at times. Yet the real God of the Bible can go far beyond what they are able to do! And, we should not forget that even if we want to trust in doctors and hospitals, they have their limits. As I have often pointed out, when the prophesied terrible disease epidemics begin to occur on a massive scale and millions are being afflicted, doctors and hospitals will be absolutely overwhelmed! Many people will not even have the option of trusting in doctors and hospitals. They will, as never before, truly need to go above and beyond what mankind can do and look to the great God who made their bodies in the first place!
One vital aspect of Jesus’ ministry is the mission He gave to His disciples. He sent them out, and “He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease” (Matthew 10:1). Divine healing is one of the proofs of the real God of the Bible. That power is still in effect today, and I have seen it for myself many times!
I personally taught and baptized one veteran of the Korean War who was a quadriplegic. For years, Howard Clark relied on a wheelchair, unable to move around on his own power. This man had absolutely been to the doctors! He had been to the very best naval hospitals in the world and had had all kinds of operations and medical procedures—all to no avail.
For several years, I had grown used to seeing Howard in his wheelchair, sitting at the right-hand side of our congregation’s meeting hall every week. After some time, he felt inspired to ask for prayer for healing. On the day of Pentecost, my dear friend Richard David Armstrong—the elder son of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong—prayed for this paralyzed veteran. And right then, this former quadriplegic was supernaturally healed!
I had been in Chicago that day, conducting Pentecost services there. When I returned to Pasadena, I was met by one of the young college drivers who told me excitedly, “Mr. Meredith, have you heard that Howard Clark was healed the other day?” I exclaimed, “No! I was away and no one told me.” So, I was thrilled to hear that such a remarkable miracle had occurred. The very next day, I was able to visit with Howard personally and see him walking about. Then—several weeks later—I saw him going through a wedding reception line, carrying and jostling two of his children as he laughed and talked with others in the line. This brought tears to my eyes. It was an experience I will never forget!
Another powerful example of divine healing came while I was on a “visiting tour” of our scattered Church members back in 1951. While traveling with another Ambassador College student, we met a lady who came to be counseled for baptism. She had brought to our meeting a friend she had known since childhood. In faith, this woman had written to Mr. Armstrong asking for an anointed cloth, according to the biblical example (Acts 19:11–12). And after receiving the cloth, this woman began to be supernaturally healed by Almighty God. By the time she met us young men from the college, it had been a few months after she had received the cloth. When our counseling was complete—and she had nothing to “gain” from us by telling us—she said, “Fellows, I want to show you something that may be encouraging.” She held out both her arms, and described how her right arm had been withered from childhood and she had never been able to use it in a normal way. She explained how—after receiving the anointed cloth and praying to God—the arm began to grow right out. Then she said, “Fellows, notice that this arm is still a little smaller than the other one. Although God healed the arm, the muscles are not fully developed yet, and God is letting me rebuild the muscles. I can now milk our cows with both hands!”
When she said this, it brought tears to my eyes. Yet, being from the “show me” state, Missouri, I felt the need to “check up” on her. So I asked her friend, “Did you really grow up with her and see her withered arm all of those years?” She said, “Yes I did. And it is a remarkable thing how it has grown right back again!” Yet, despite seeing what God had done to heal her friend, this other dear lady never wished to be baptized or to join God’s Church in any way. He had not opened her mind to what we believed. Yet she did believe that God healed her friend! For she saw it with her own eyes!
My friends, I know that my recounting of these instances will not necessarily convince many of you. For you do not deeply know me, and you should “check up” on all of this. But I am giving you my testimony as a servant of Jesus Christ who has been giving you the real understanding of the prophecies of the Bible, of God’s way of life. I hope that this will stir you to at least look into this matter, and come to recognize that God is real. He does intervene—not only in world affairs, but in healing His people who are willing to put their faith and trust in Him, as described in James 5:14–16 and many other places in the Bible.
Another reason I know there is a real God is that He has laid out for us a way of life that works! It is a way that will bring us peace of mind, happiness, success—and, eventually, eternal life—if it is sincerely followed. We at Tomorrow’s World teach that way of life through our entire panorama of television programs, magazines, booklets and Web sites. If you are new to this Work, or to the Truth of the Bible, be sure and request a free copy of our vital booklet, Restoring Original Christianity. It will tell you a great deal about the genuine way of life preached by Jesus Christ and His apostles—which very few people today understand. Also, request your free copy of our booklet entitled The Ten Commandments. Together, these booklets will truly open your eyes to a wonderful way of life that very few people today are aware of—even most of those who call themselves “Christians”—because Satan the Devil has blinded most of those who are alive today, as clearly explained in your Bible (Revelation 12:9; 2 Corinthians 4:3–4; Ephesians 2:2).
For more than 60 years in God’s Church, I have personally witnessed that, to the degree people follow God’s way of life—and genuinely obey the Ten Commandments through Christ living within them—they are blessed. Of course, they will have trials and tests, as God clearly indicates. All Christians do. However, they will develop a peace of mind, a great understanding and a positive faith that God is with them. They will develop the courage to do His will, and to prepare themselves for eternal life through the Spirit of God working within them.
Notice what ancient King David was inspired to tell us. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing” (Psalm 34:8–10).
Yes, my friends, I truly know that there is a very real God. He has guided my life, overall, for the last 62 years to the degree I have been willing to walk with Him, serve Him and do His will. As He promises in His Word, God will never leave me nor forsake me unless I turn away from Him: “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5).
Neither I nor anyone else in this Work want you to serve God with “blind faith.” For God is real. You can prove to yourself His prophesied intervention in world affairs and prophetic events. And, in your personal life—if you are willing—you can prove to yourself that God is the Healer and that He will intervene and supernaturally heal those who put their trust in Him. Yes, if you are willing to surrender your will, to let the real Christ of the Bible live within you (Galatians 2:20), you will find that God’s way works. For He has laid out for us a pattern of living that not only will produce an abundant life filled with joy, but will also help build within us the divine nature of God Himself (2 Peter 1:4).
This is how I know that God is real. You and I were truly put here for a great purpose, and we must be willing to prove these things to ourselves—and to so fulfill the purpose our Creator has in bringing full sons into His everlasting Kingdom and Family upon the soon-coming resurrection of the dead. So, prove God for yourself—and act on what you prove!