Global Revival or Global Deception: 10 Critical Warnings From the Titanic to the Church by Warren B. Smith is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet. The booklet is 18 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are available. Our booklets are designed to give away to others or for your own personal use. Below is the content of this new booklet. To order copies of Global Revival or Global Deception: 10 Critical Warnings From the Titanic to the Church, click here.
Global Revival or Global Deception: 10 Critical Warnings From the Titanic to the Church
Who doesn’t want true revival—one filled with godly sorrow, heartfelt repentance, and powerfully met with God’s forgiveness, mercy, and amazing grace? But the word true is key. The revival must not be unduly influenced by our spiritual Adversary for his own deceptive purposes. True revival has to be truly God-given and truly inspired by our One True God and His One True Holy Spirit.
Prior to its sinking, the RMS Titanic was thought to be “invincible” and “unsinkable” and was viewed with widespread confidence and positive regard. People felt they would be safe on that big and mighty ship. What could possibly go wrong? Today, revival is seen in much the same way. It brings up similar notions of invincibility, “unsinkability,” and positive regard. People feel safe when they are part of a big and mighty revival. What could possibly go wrong? And it is in this light that the Titanic can serve as a graphic example for the church today. The following are ten critical Titanic warnings as the church longs for revival yet moves into some very dangerous waters.
I. A Little Leaven/The “God Within”
The Titanic: After the Titanic sank, it was generally believed that the iceberg had sliced a 300-foot-long gash piercing the ship’s hull. However, a decade after the Titanic was finally located in 1985, a scientific expedition found out what really happened. The title of an April 8, 1997 New York Times article read—“Toppling Theories, Scientists Find 6 Slits, Not Big Gash, Sank Titanic.” The account that followed revealed that the shipwreck was not the result of a 300-foot-long gash as previously theorized. Rather, it described how an international team of scientists discovered the damaged area to be no more than “12-13 square feet.” Proving that a little leaven can leaven the entire lump, it was concluded that it only took “a series of six thin openings” totaling less than the size of “two sidewalk squares” to sink the Titanic in less than three hours.((1))
At the time of its sailing, it was almost inconceivable that the “unsinkable” Titanic could be shipwrecked at all, much less by an area no larger than “two sidewalk squares.” Thus, history now records that it only took a little leaven to sink the biggest, grandest ship of its time. In similar fashion, it will only take a little leaven—like the false teaching that God is “in” everything—“God within”—to sink what may turn out to be the biggest, grandest revival of its time.
The Church: Titanic author and researcher Walter Lord wrote the following in his book The Night Lives On:
Just 20 minutes short of midnight, April 14, 1912, the great new White Star Liner Titanic, making her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, had a rendezvous with ice in the calm, dark waters of the North Atlantic. She brushed the berg so gently that many on board didn’t notice it, but so lethally that she was instantly doomed.2
And so it is with today’s church. It has brushed up against the New Age/New Gospel teaching of the “God within” so gently that most people haven’t noticed but so lethally that it could ultimately shipwreck the faith of those who do not recognize it, renounce it, and flee from it.
Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. (Galatians 5:7-9)
II. Ship of Dreams/God’s Dream
The Titanic: Described as the “Ship of Dreams,” the RMS Titanic was owned by the British White Star Line and was built by the Harland and Wolff shipyards in Belfast, Ireland. In almost every conceivable way, the Titanic seemed to be a literal “Ship of Dreams.” The biggest ship and the biggest moving object of its time, the Titanic was a dream come true for transatlantic travelers. But in the end, the big ship and the big dream became a big nightmare. The luxurious and seemingly “unsinkable” vessel was shipwrecked five days out on its maiden voyage. Today, over a century later, the Titanic lies buried in its watery grave 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland. And buried at sea with the “Ship of Dreams” were the shattered dreams of over fifteen hundred men, women, and children.
The Church: In 2003, mega-church pastor Rick Warren proclaimed that he had a big dream and a big “Peace Plan” for his big Purpose Driven movement. He called his big dream and his big plan for a big revival “God’s Dream for You—and the World.”3 However, most people in today’s church don’t know that “God’s Dream” is an overlapping New Age term with century-old roots in theosophy and the occult.4 Decades later this New Age concept of “God’s Dream” was picked up and popularized in the church by pastor Robert Schuller and then Rick Warren himself. Because of them, the term “God’s Dream” has become a go-to term in today’s church and is commonly used by countless pastors, leaders, and everyday believers. In fact, thanks to Rick Warren and his Global Peace Plan, this overlapping New Age concept of “God’s Dream” has come to symbolize world peace and world revival as it seems to idealize the hopes and dreams of both the world and today’s church.
These two metaphors—“Ship of Dreams” and “God’s Dream”—imply a powerful sense of hopeful expectation, promise, and success. Given the lofty grandeur of these two terms, how could anything possibly go wrong? Wouldn’t a “Ship of Dreams” always reach its destination? Wouldn’t “God’s Dream” always come true? But history records what happened to the “Ship of Dreams,” and the Bible warns not so fast with an overlapping New Age concept like “God’s Dream.” Scripture makes it clear that God does not dream, daydream, or pipe dream—especially when it comes to the future. God already knows the future and what it holds. Thankfully, He has warned us about it ahead of time in Scripture. Instead of a coming worldwide revival, He has warned us about an ultimate worldwide deception. And He has specifically warned us to beware of “filthy dreamers” (Jude 1:8) and “dreamers of dreams” who prophesy “false dreams”—like “God’s Dream”—that test our faith to see if we love the Lord with all of our heart and soul (Deuteronomy 13:1-13).
Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:32)
III. The Launch
The Titanic: On May 31, 1911, over 100,000 people, including ninety newspaper representatives from around the world, gathered at Belfast, Ireland’s Harland and Wolff shipyard and along the banks of the River Lagan to watch the public launch of the RMS Titanic. Amidst all the positive fanfare, who in attendance would have ever imagined they were witnessing the launch of a future disaster? And so it was with the celebrated launch of an alleged revival some eighty-two years later in Toronto, Canada. Massive numbers of people would converge on the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church. They believed that the so-called “Toronto Blessing” was the launch of a great modern-day revival. And like those at the Titanic launch, almost no one present considered the possibility that what they were witnessing and experiencing could be the launch of a future disaster.
The Church: On January 20, 1994, the “Toronto Blessing”—an alleged outpouring of the Holy Spirit—was launched when pastor Randy Clark spoke at John Arnott’s Toronto Airport Fellowship in Toronto, Canada. Clark testified that his life had been powerfully transformed by a strange new phenomenon called “holy laughter.” As he spoke, people started laughing uncontrollably and falling to the floor. It was believed by most of those gathered, that through this “holy laughter,” God was bringing a much needed “joy” and “revival” to His church. Within five years, over two million people had traveled to Toronto to experience what was happening. In a February 1995 article in Toronto Life magazine, Canadian journalist Robert Hough provided readers with some of what he witnessed regarding the “holy laughter.” He wrote:
The man sitting beside me, Dwayne from California, roared like a wounded lion. The woman beside Dwayne started jerking so badly her hands struck her face. People fell like dominoes, collapsing chairs as they plunged to the carpeting. They howled like wolves, brayed like donkeys and—in the case of a young man standing near the sound board—started clucking like a feral chicken.5
Holy Ghost Bartender
The “Toronto Blessing” is now commonly regarded as the “mother ship” for many of the other “revivals” that have occurred since. Many present-day ministries, like that of Bethel’s Bill Johnson, can be traced back to Toronto and the influence of a transplanted South African evangelist named Rodney Howard-Browne. He was the one who passed his “holy laughter” “anointing” on to Randy Clark and—directly or indirectly—to millions of others. However, the hysterical laughter, loss of self-control, mental confusion, and tumbling to the floor—sometimes for hours—bore no resemblance to past true revivals. In those revivals, godly sorrow and deep repentance were characteristic—not ungodly manifestations like “holy laughter” (2 Corinthians 7:10).
No Laughing Matter
In spite of the controversy that surrounded it, the “Toronto Blessing” convinced many church leaders that God was in the process of unleashing an “international awakening”—a great worldwide revival. Veteran church figure Michael Brown wrote a book titled From Holy Laughter to Holy Fire: America on the Edge of Revival. He believed that the “Toronto Blessing” was the launch of an “international awakening” of “huge” proportions.6 Toronto pastor John Arnott said the church needed to prepare for “the greatest harvest of souls the world has ever seen.”7 Church leader and revivalist Leonard Sweet stated that God was in the process of giving “birth” to the “greatest spiritual awakening” in “the history of the church.”8 Across the board, church figures from Pat Robertson, Kenneth Copeland, Beth Moore, and Rick Warren to Greg Laurie, Dutch Sheets, and William Paul Young are all heralding a mighty move of God—a great worldwide revival. But none of them seem to be concerned that the false New Age Christ and his designated false teachers are also heralding the very same thing.
New Age Planetary Pentecost
Thus, what is being seriously overlooked by today’s church is that the false New Age/New Gospel Christ is on the very same track as today’s church. He describes his worldwide revival as a “Planetary Pentecost.”9 Today’s church leaders, using much the same language, describe their worldwide revival as a “Second Pentecost.”10 And there seems to be no awareness—much less concern by today’s church leadership—of how these two parallel revivals could eventually merge in the future and become dangerously “One.”
Sounding just like “holy laughter,” the New Age Christ states that in his Planetary Pentecost, people will experience “the joy of the force flooding their systems with love and attraction.”11 He says this “joy of the force” will produce “a Pentecostal experience for all”—“even the fundamentalists.”12 He says that his Planetary Pentecost—his world revival—will bring peace and healing to the world and that “the world will end in laughter.”13
Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. (Ecclesiastes 7:3-4)
IV. Misplaced Confidence in Technology
The Titanic: Prior to the disaster, the Irish News and Belfast Morning News headlined the Titanic as “A Masterpiece of Irish Brains and Industry.”14 Until its demise, the Titanic was a supreme symbol of the Gilded Age notion that man and his “smart” technology had finally outsmarted the forces of nature. Grand possibility thinking seemed to prevail throughout the land. With the rapid advances being made in technology, even the impossible seemed possible. The Titanic, with all of its sheer opulence, bold bigness, and technological superiority, stood as proof positive that man could not only dream the impossible dream, he could now make that dream come true. As far as the world was concerned, the Titanic was—in every conceivable way—a “Ship of Dreams.” However, at the height of this seemingly invincible era of big money, big business, big buildings, big ships, and big dreams—the big dream went under. So much for the Titanic’s state-of-the-art “smart” technology. The “unsinkable” ship was gone, and so was the dream. The triumph of modern technology and the unbridled dreams of the Gilded Age had suddenly hit the wall.
Similarly, certain physicists and self-described “futurists”—both in the New Age and in today’s church—have manipulated legitimate discoveries in quantum physics to produce what appears to be a seemingly scientific technologically based quantum spirituality. This New Age/New Spirituality promises to bring an otherwise divided world into harmonic convergence and spiritual “Oneness.” Proponents of this quantum spirituality believe it will unify the world and all its various religions. In fact, the world and the church are being told that a New Age/New World Religion is now possible because quantum technology is proving that God is “in” everyone and everything.
The Church: One of the most deceptive “Christian” books in this quantum area is Leonard Sweet’s Quantum Spirituality: A Postmodern Apologetic. In his 1991 book, Sweet actually praises a number of New Age leaders for being his “personal role models” and “heroes.”15 He even credits them for helping him to develop his “Quantum Spirituality,” which redefines, reinterprets, and ultimately reinvents biblical Christianity in quantum God-“in”-everything New Age terms.
In his mega best-selling 1975 book, The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism, New Age physicist Fritjov Capra stated that “our own spiritual traditions will have to undergo some radical changes in order to be in harmony with the values of the new paradigm.”16 Sixteen years later in Quantum Spirituality, Leonard Sweet proposed just such a “radical” change. Agreeing with New Age quantum advocates like Fritjov Capra, Sweet introduced the “radical doctrine” of the “God within”—the “God” who is “in” everyone and everything—as the spiritual foundation for his “Quantum Spirituality.” He stated:
Quantum spirituality bonds us to all creation as well as to other members of the human family. . . . This entails a radical doctrine of embodiment of God in the very substance of creation.17
In 1912, as the Titanic departed from Southampton, England, this “unsinkable” “smart” ship was proclaimed to be an incredibly advanced state-of-the-art technological wonder. Five days later all that “smart” technology lay shipwrecked at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Likewise, today’s wayward world and wayward church, with all its “smart” quantum technology and its “smart” quantum spirituality is, like the Titanic, just another disaster waiting to happen. The apostle Paul warned Timothy—and all of us—to beware of anything that presents itself as being scientifically and technologically superior when, in reality, it is not:
O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. (1 Timothy 6:20-21)
V. Wasted Warnings
The Titanic: The April presence of icebergs and ice fields in North Atlantic waters was no surprise to Captain Edward Smith and his Titanic officers. Iceberg awareness was an important part of their job and training. So what happened? When Captain Smith and his crew set out in April, they were aware that ice could be a problem. In the warm spring of 1912, the Labrador current had brought especially large ice-flows down from Greenland and into the North Atlantic shipping lanes where many ocean liners traveled. In addition to this knowledge, the Titanic received six specific warnings en route about the dangerous ice fields that lay before them. Not what might lie ahead of them, but what did lie ahead of them. Yet, in spite of these warnings, Captain Smith had the ship sailing at almost full speed as he neared the treacherous iceberg on that fatal April night. In the end, the six warning messages that were lightly regarded, ignored, or just plain missed by the Titanic officers, played a huge role in the Titanic shipwreck. And so it is with today’s church.
The Church: Serious warnings have been issued throughout the years describing how the New Age/New Gospel deception has been seeping into the church. However, these warnings often have come from outside of established church leadership circles. And like the warnings to the Titanic, these warnings have been lightly regarded, ignored, or just plain missed by most church leaders. Thus, despite the warnings—including from those who actually came out of the New Age and the occult—today’s church appears to be sailing full speed ahead into a revival that is fraught with danger and the very real potential for spiritual disaster.
VI. Racing Toward Disaster
The Titanic: The United States Senate Subcommittee Hearing on the Titanic began on April 19, 1912, just four days after the disaster. After everyone had spoken, and all the evidence weighed, the subcommittee unanimously concluded that one of the chief factors causing the disaster was the ship’s excessive speed—especially when they had been repeatedly warned of the dangerous ice fields that lay before them.18 Twelve days after the disaster, an April 27, 1912 article in Scientific American directly attributed the shipwreck to Captain Smith’s “high speed” at night in the midst of heavy ice fields.19
The night of the disaster, Mrs. Charlotte Collyer recalled a ship stewardess telling her that they were heading into a “dangerous part of the ocean” known as the “Devil’s Hole.” Rather than being frightened, Mrs. Collyer said she remained undismayed. She believed the crew was aware of the danger and would be taking all the proper precautions to ensure their safety. Feeling calm and safe, Mrs. Collyer fell asleep in her cozy cabin. However, in a few short hours she would be shivering in a lifeboat, watching the ship where she had felt so safe, sink right in front of her.20
The Church: Charlotte Collyer trusted that everything was alright because she believed the Titanic officers were looking out for everyone. She was not aware that they were not taking the necessary precautions to insure everyone’s safety and physical well-being. Similarly, most of today’s church assumes that its leaders are looking out for their safety and spiritual well-being. However, like Captain Smith and his officers racing their “ship of dreams” into a total disaster, today’s church leaders are racing their “God’s Dream” church into a world revival that has all the makings of a similar disaster.
As cited, church revivalist and New Age sympathizer, Leonard Sweet, states that the church is in “a race to the future.” He says in the name of “God’s Dream,” God is giving “birth” to the “greatest spiritual awakening” in “the history of the church.” Bethel Church senior pastor Bill Johnson similarly states—“We are in a race. It’s a race between what is and what could be.”21 But the Bible makes it clear that we are not in a race to fulfill an overlapping New Age concept like “God’s Dream.” And we are not in a race to have the greatest revival in history. Rather, the race is for those who take time to heed the warnings they have been given. The race is for those who understand that deception can come in almost any form—even in the form of a worldwide revival. In short, the race is for those who know “the race is not to the swift” (Ecclesiastes 9:11) but for those who “run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
VII. Taking Things Too Lightly
The Titanic: After the Titanic collided with the iceberg, and with water flooding into the bowels of the vessel, some of the passengers frolicked in an almost party-like atmosphere around the two tons of ice that had spilled out onto the foredeck of the already sinking ship. Several hours later, some of those involved in the merry making would be fighting for their lives in the freezing Atlantic Ocean.
After the collision with the ice, young Jack Thayer told his parents that he was “going out to see the fun.”22 Mrs. Natalie Wick noticed that passengers were picking up pieces of the ice and “playfully throwing chunks at each other.”23 Major Arthur Godfrey Peuchen reported meeting a friend on the stairway who “laughingly” told him that they had struck an iceberg.24 Lawrence Beesley recalled how “snowballing matches” were already planned for the next morning.25
The Church: So it is with an undiscerning church that delights itself in the “holy laughter” that often accompanies modern-day “revivals” like the “Toronto Blessing.” The party-like atmosphere of these “revivals” is reminiscent of Titanic passengers, who, unaware of the disaster unfolding around them, wanted to be part of “the fun.” Charisma magazine, reporting on the “Toronto Blessing” in August 1994, wrote about those who went to Toronto to “join the fun.”26 In describing the “Toronto Blessing,” pastor Randy Clark said that sometimes there was “so much laughter” going on in the services that it seemed to be “more of a party than church”27 He recounted how one man said—“It’s like someone’s throwing one big party.”28 In The Secret Message of Jesus, emergent church figure Brian McLaren wrote how God is inviting everyone to “a party.”29
Jesus Is a Party Person?
Rick Warren sent a January 29, 2020 e-mail to his church. It was framed with the heading “Time to Dream” and titled “The Power and Purpose of Parties.” He used his e-mail to present what he called a “mini-Bible study” on “The Power and Purpose of Parties.” He said that Jesus was so into partying that today’s pharisees would call Jesus “a party animal.”30 Rick Warren’s effort to present Jesus as a big “party” person seemed more than a little strange. But not to Rodney Howard-Browne, Randy Clark, Brian McLaren, and all the other church leaders who also portray Jesus as a last days “party” person.
Given these comments and given the state of the world today, is all this “partying” in the name of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in any way realistic? Are future revivals going to be spiritual offshoots of the “Toronto Blessing”—“like someone’s throwing one big party?” Are we to believe that the “someone” throwing the “big party” is going to be Jesus Himself because he is “so into partying?” Was the “Toronto Blessing” a dress rehearsal for future “revivals” that will ultimately usher in a false New Age Christ who is already on record saying that “the world will end in laughter?” And are we really supposed to believe the true Jesus told Sarah Young (author of Jesus Calling) and her millions of readers to “laugh at the future?”31
For those who have a love of the truth and a love of the true Jesus Christ, we are told to work out our salvation with “fear and trembling.” We are not told to work out our salvation with “holy laughter”-type partying. We are not to take part in “revivals” that have “another Jesus”—a “party Jesus”—who is not the true Jesus Christ. We are not to take part in “revivals” that have “another spirit”—a “party spirit”—that may one day merge with the false New Age Christ’s “joy of the force” and his Planetary Pentecost.
For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. (2 Corinthians 11:4)
VIII. Sacrificing Safety for Greed and Gain
The Titanic: It is a tragic fact that there were not enough lifeboats for all the Titanic passengers and crew. As a result, 1500 people unnecessarily died. One of the chief reasons for the shortage was because archaic shipping regulations didn’t require shipping lines to have a sufficient number of lifeboats for everyone on board. And because the White Star Line didn’t have to have them—they didn’t. The ship owners knew that by cutting back on lifeboats, they could cut their costs. And with fewer lifeboats, there would be additional deck space to make the ship more attractive and comfortable for potential ticket buyers. In short, maximizing the company’s financial gain took precedence over maximizing the safety of their passengers.
The Church: This same emphasis on financial gain has always been present in segments of the church. From overly solicitous prosperity preachers to spiritually compromised books like The Shack and Jesus Calling, undiscerning and unsuspecting believers are often unaware of how they are being used and manipulated for both commercial and spiritual purposes.
For example, in 2013, people started to become aware that God Calling, the book that inspired Sarah Young to do Jesus Calling, was actually a channeled New Age book.32 As a result, Young and her publishers did some fast damage control to preserve the popularity and profitability of their book. Realizing that Jesus Calling was suddenly being regarded as a channeled New Age book, Young and her editors removed all references to God Calling from all subsequent printings of her book. They also removed where Young stated that her daily devotions were direct messages from Jesus Himself—including many that had New Age implications and others that stretched or contradicted Scripture. They even changed her mystical moonlight conversion to a more acceptable and traditional conversion account. There was no explanation for these changes.33 Future readers would never know about the damage control Young and her editors had done to try and rescue their book. Just as the Titanic owners sacrificed the physical safety of their trusting passengers for profit and gain, Young and her editors sacrificed the spiritual safety of their trusting readers for profit and gain. The Bible describes what Young and the Titanic owners did as the merchandising of men’s souls—“The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet . . . and souls of men” (Revelation 18:12-13).
IX. Church Revival Leaders Talking With the Dead?
The Titanic: William T. Stead (1849-1912) was a renowned British journalist, professing Christian and practicing spiritualist, who was famously known for his investigative articles, books, social activism, and revival advocacy. As a Titanic passenger, he was on his way to speak at a World Peace Conference in New York City at the request of American President William Howard Taft. Stead was one of the over 1500 people who perished at sea.
As a professing “Christian,” Stead was also deeply involved in “spiritualism”—what would be referred to today as New Age spirituality. He claimed to have a spiritual gift that enabled the spirit of another person to communicate through his passive writing hand in an occult practice known as automatic writing. In publishing the numerous “letters” that were allegedly written through him by a deceased friend named Julia Ames, he hoped to normalize the occult practice of communicating with the dead. In particular, he wanted to share the spiritual counsel he had received from “Julia” with the world at large. For example, in a meeting “Julia” said she had with “Jesus,” he told her he was going to teach her about “the secret things of God.”34 And one of the things he taught her was the “secret” of the “God within.” Writing through Stead, she said that “Jesus” told her, “The object of life is to evoke, to develop the God within.”35 This “secret” of the “God within” was revealed in Stead’s book, After Death: Letters From Julia (1905) and was described under the bold heading—“A Spiritual Revival.”
Through Stead, “Julia” wrote that a worldwide revival—“a great spiritual awakening among the nations”—would take place in the future as humanity awakened to “the immanence of the Divine”—the “God within”—that was universally “in” themselves and “in” their fellow man. “Julia” said:
I was at first astonished to learn how much importance the spirits attach to the communications which they are allowed to have with those on earth. I can, of course, easily understand, because I feel it myself—the craving there is to speak to those whom you loved . . . but it is much more than this. What they tell me on all sides, and especially my dear guides, is that the time is come when there is to be a great spiritual awakening among the nations, and that the agency which is to bring this about is the sudden and conclusive demonstration, in every individual case which seeks for it, of the reality of the spirit, of the permanence of the soul, and the immanence of the Divine.36
And what “Julia” was taught by “Jesus” and her “guides” over a century ago about “the immanence of the Divine” and “a great spiritual awakening among the nations,” is exactly what is being taught by both New Age leaders and church leaders today: that this “great spiritual awakening” is approaching. But again, the Bible makes no mention of a great worldwide revival at the end of time. To the contrary, it warns of a great worldwide deception replete with false signs and wonders (Revelation 18:23, Matthew 24:24).
Surprisingly, William Stead, as a hybrid New Age “Christian,” was greatly involved in the Welsh Revival. His 1905 book, The Welsh Revival of 1904-1905, promoted the revival and sold over 700,000 copies in Britain and America combined.37 Four years later, he released another book titled How I Know the Dead Return. It was a personal account of his alleged communication with his deceased son William. A century later, a Tennessee pastor and his wife also wrote a book about their alleged communication with their deceased son—only his name was Josiah.
The Church: In 2010, Steve Berger, head pastor of the Grace Chapel mega-church in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee, co-wrote a book with his wife Sarah titled Have Heart: Bridging the Gulf Between Heaven and Earth. It describes how the couple claimed to be interacting with their deceased son, Josiah. The book contains the front-cover endorsement of televangelist James Robison (Life Today T.V. host) and the front-page endorsement of pastor Greg Laurie. It also contains the endorsement of Shack author and self-proclaimed universalist, William Paul Young. Young was, in effect, reciprocating Berger’s front-page endorsement of The Shack, where Berger called The Shack “spiritually profound” and “theologically enlightening” and wrote how he had been handing out copies of Young’s book by the case.
Like William Stead’s How I Know the Dead Return, Have Heart seems to be the Bergers’ attempt to normalize the practice of interacting with the dead—particularly for Christians. Closely associated with sorcery, interaction with the dead is clearly forbidden in the Bible. It is described as necromancy and as an “abomination unto the LORD” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).
When Steve Berger was questioned by Chris Lawson of the Spiritual Research Network about his communication with his son, Berger strongly defended what he and his wife were doing. He told Lawson—“God has made an exception at this time in history for the Berger family. We are, indeed, in communication with our son Josiah.”38 When Lawson tried to contact Greg Laurie about his endorsement of Have Heart, Laurie’s secretary told Lawson—“Greg is not available for comments on that book.”39
On September 26, 2020, a huge, highly publicized revival event, “The Return,” was held on the grounds of the National Mall in Washington D.C. The Return website stated that the organization was formed to achieve the “end-goal of world revival.” Speaking in a prime-time slot following The Return’s co-chair Jonathan Cahn was Steve Berger. He said his “assignment” was to take the 250,000 people gathered at the Mall and the millions watching online and to “transition” them from “repentance” into “revival.”40 Amazingly, Berger, unrepentant about his interacting with the dead, was now a leading spokesman for repentance and world revival. In the twelve years since writing Have Heart, rather than being confronted and held accountable for “talking with the dead,” his stature in the church has only grown. Now, as a prominent revival leader, he sits on the Promise Keepers Board of Directors and their Pastoral Advisory Board.41 He also presides over his own ministry—Ambassador Services International—in Washington D.C., where he claims to be “influencing the influencers.” And he speaks at various church conferences at the invitation of people like Amir Tsarfati.42
The “Dead” Want to Help Us?
New Age author James Redfield followed up his mega best-selling novel The Celestine Prophecy with another popular novel titled The Twelfth Insight: The Hour of Decision. When the book’s New Age seekers desperately search for secret knowledge that can save the world, Rachel, one of the story’s main characters, suddenly finds herself having “a real interaction” with her deceased mother. Much like William Stead’s “Julia,” who stressed the great importance that spirits attach to their communications with those on Earth,43 Rachel was told much the same thing by her mother. Rachel said:
All we have to do is use more of our power to tune in and have a conversation. It’s never too late. And there is so much more they want to tell us.
In fact, my mother said they desperately need to speak with us, right now, at this crucial point in history. They know the real Plan for the human world, and it’s time for us on this side to understand.44
And, of course, that plan has already been conveyed by so many other “seducing spirits” from the “other side.” It is the plan for humanity to universally unite by “awakening” to the “God within.” In relation to such spiritual beliefs, the apostle Paul warns that “in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1).
X. The Iceberg & The Antichrist
The Titanic: Soon after the Titanic disaster, author Thomas Hardy wrote a stark poem about the “smart ship” that was not so smart. It was titled “The Convergence of the Twain.45 “Convergence” has been commonly defined as the “oneness” that results from “two or more things coming together, joining together or evolving into one.”46 And it was this disastrous “convergence” with the iceberg—this “wedded oneness” as Hardy put it—that resulted in the Titanic’s demise and gave title to Hardy’s poem. Describing the circumstances preceding the fateful “convergence” of the ship and the iceberg, the poet wrote, “And as the smart ship grew, in stature, grace and hue, in shadowy silent distance grew the iceberg too.”
The Church: Curiously, this 1912 poem can also serve as a metaphoric harbinger for the “convergence” of the world and a deceived professing church with the ultimate spiritual iceberg—Antichrist. If Hardy were alive today, he could similarly describe how a not so “smart” church was underestimating its spiritual Adversary, just as the Titanic had done with the iceberg.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the “Father” of the New Age movement, used this same word “convergence” to falsely allege that “the only possible conversion of the world” to “a religion of the future” would require a “general convergence” of the world’s religions “upon a universal Christ.”47
Yet, in his book Quantum Spirituality, Leonard Sweet would have today’s church believe that Teilhard was “Twentieth-century Christianity’s major voice.”48 In another Sweet book, SoulTsunami, with its front cover endorsement by Rick Warren, Sweet states that if today’s church is smart it will “build new arks”49 and submit to the smart leadership of men like himself. Why? Because in his book AquaChurch, he presents what he believes to be the “essential leadership arts for piloting your church in today’s fluid culture.”50 However, his modern-day “ark”—his “Ship of God’s Dreams”—bears an uncanny resemblance to that 1912 “Ship of Dreams” that ended up at the bottom of the ocean.
Tragically, Captain Smith and his Titanic officers did not successfully “pilot” their ship through those much warned about ice-laden waters. And contrary to Leonard Sweet’s AquaChurch assertions, he and other church leaders are not successfully “piloting” the church through “today’s fluid culture.” Scripture is replete with “iceberg warnings” about the deception, betrayal, and disaster that will occur in the latter days. But today’s church leaders, much like the Titanic’s ship officers, remain all too complacent about the danger that looms before them as they race toward world revival. Sadly, the trap has been set. The trigger has been pulled. Antichrist—the ultimate spiritual iceberg—is drawing closer and closer as his Planetary Pentecost and Antichrist system seek to rise from the sea and converge with a deluded world and professing church:
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. (Revelation 13:1)
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(Cover design by Lighthouse Trails; image from alamy.com; used with permission.)
- William J. Broad, “Toppling Theories, Scientists Find 6 Slits, Not Big Gash, Sank Titanic” (New York Times, April 8, 1997, https://www.nytimes.com/1997/04/08/science/toppling-theories-scientists-find-6-slits-not-big-gash-sank-titanic.html).
- Walter Lord, The Night Lives On (New York, NY: Avon Books, 1986, 1987), p. 1.
- Rick Warren, Saddleback Church e-mail, October 27, 2003, “God’s Dream for You—And the World!”—On file.
- N. L., “Reincarnation” (The Theosophical Path, Volume X, No. 2, February 1916), p. 159. Also read Warren B. Smith’s booklet, God’s Dream online: https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=28521.
- Robert Hough, “God Is Alive and Well and Saving Souls on Dixon Road” (Toronto Life magazine, February 1995), p. 31; cited in James A. Beverley, Holy Laughter and The Toronto Blessing (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995), p. 12.
- Michael Brown, From Holy Laughter to Holy Fire: America on the Edge of Revival (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, 1996), p. 18.
- John Arnott, “The Toronto Blessing: What Is It?” (John & Carol, December 31, 1999, www.johnandcarol.org/updates/the-toronto-blessing-what-is-it).
- Leonard Sweet, soulTsunami: Sink or Swim in New Millennium Culture (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1999), p. 34.
- Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation: A Message of Hope for the New Millennium (Novato, CA: Nataraj Publishing, 1995), pp. 157, 172-173.
- Chris Mitchell, “Spirit-Empowered Believers Praying for a Second Pentecostal Outpouring” (Charisma magazine, https://www.charismamag.com/spirit/revival/20088-spirit-empowered-believers-praying-for-second-pentecostal-outpouring).
- Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation, op. cit., p. 243.
- Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission, Volume Two (Los Angeles, CA: Share International Foundation, 1993), p. 250.
- A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume (Glen Ellen, CA: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1975) (Text), p. 36.
- Walter Lord, A Night to Remember (New York, NY: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1955, 1983), p. 12.
- Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality: A Postmodern Apologetic (Dayton, OH: Whaleprints for SpiritVenture Ministries, Inc., 1991, 1994), p. viii.
- Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism (Boston, MA: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1999), p. 341.
- Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p. 125.
- United States Senate Inquiry (Titanic Inquiry Project, https://www.titanicinquiry.org/USInq/USReport/AmInqRep04.php).
- “Wreck of the White Star Liner Titanic: How the World’s Greatest Steamship Went Down With 1,600 Souls” (Scientific American, April 27, 1912, Vol. CVI, No. 17, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/archive-titanic-wreck-white-star-liner).
- Nick Barratt, Lost Voices From the Titanic: The Definitive Oral History (New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 131-132.
- Bill Johnson, Dreaming With God, Co-laboring With God for Cultural Transformation (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, Inc., 2006), p. 179.
- Walter Lord, A Night to Remember, op. cit., p. 11.
- Ibid., p. 13.
- Geoff Tibballs, editor, Voices From the Titanic, The Epic Story of the Tragedy From the People Who Were There (New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing, 2012), p. 67.
- Lawrence Beesley, The Loss of the S.S. Titanic, Its Story and Its Lessons (New York, NY: A Mariner Book, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1912, 2000), p. 109.
- Julia Duin, “Praise the Lord and Pass the New Wine” (Charisma magazine, August 1994).
- Randy Clark, Lighting Fires (Global Awakening, 1998), p. 93.
- Brian McLaren, The Secret Message of Jesus: Uncovering the Truth That Could Change Everything (Nashville, TN: W. Publishing Group, 2006), p. 144.
- On file.
- Sarah Young, Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2004) p. 16.
- See The New Age Implications of “Jesus Calling” online at: https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=16568.
- See Changing “Jesus Calling”—Damage Control for a False Christ online at: https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=16349.
- William Stead, After Death: Letters From Julia (Woodland, CA: Ancient Wisdom Communications, public domain, originally published 1905), p. 21.
- Estelle Wilson Stead, My Father, Personal & Spiritual Reminiscences (London, England: William Heinemann, 1913, reprinted by Hard Press Publishing), p. 300.
- William Stead, After Death: Letters From Julia, op. cit., p. 29.
- Estelle Wilson Stead, My Father, Personal & Spiritual Reminiscences, op. cit., p. 279. The Welsh Revival & The Story of the Welsh Revival by Eyewitnesses (Lawton, OK: Trumpet Press, 2015, originally this book was two independent books both published in 1905: William T. Stead authoring The Welsh Revival and “eyewitnesses” authoring The Story of the Welsh Revival.
- “Endorsements and Contacting the Endorsers” (Spiritual Research Network, https://www.spiritualresearchnetwork.org/have-heart-bridging-the-gulf-between-heaven-and-earth-endorsements.html), per Chris Lawson, president of the Spiritual Research Network; telephone call with Steve Berger regarding Have Heart.
- Ibid., per Chris Lawson, pertaining to his telephone call with Greg Laurie’s secretary about Have Heart.
- Steve Berger’s Facebook page, September 26, 2020.
- Promise Keepers: https://promisekeepers.org/promise-keepers/about-us/board-members/ and https://promisekeepers.org/promise-keepers/about-us/pastoral-advisory-board.
- William Stead, After Death: Letters From Julia, op. cit., p. 29.
- James Redfield, The Twelfth Insight: The Hour of Decision (New York, NY: Grand Central publishing, 2011), p. 179.
- Steven Biel, editor, Titanica: The Disaster of the Century in Poetry, Song, and Prose (New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 1998), pp. 25-26.
- Your Dictionary (https://www.yourdictionary.com/convergence).
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Christianity and Evolution (New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanivich, Inc., 1971), p. 130.
- Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, op. cit., p. 106.
- Leonard Sweet, soulTsunami, op., cit., p. 23.
- Leonard Sweet, AquaChurch: Essential Leadership Arts for Piloting Your Church in Today’s Fluid Culture (Loveland, CO: Group Publishing, Inc., 1999), taken from subtitle.