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Dead Men Talking—Necromancy in Today’s Church*
By Warren B. Smith
Twelve months have now passed, in almost every week of which I have been cheered and comforted by messages from my boy, who is nearer and dearer to me than ever before.1 —William T. Stead, Titanic casualty, How I Know That the Dead Return (1909)
Jim was comforted by Josiah’s visit, and it serves as proof that our son is not dead and gone, but merely moved to a different place to do other things for God.2—Pastor Steve & Sarah Berger, Have Heart (2010)
Maritime writer Morgan Robertson (1861-1915) described the huge and mighty vessel as “unsinkable” and “indestructible.” He wrote:
She was the largest craft afloat and the greatest of the works of men. In her construction and maintenance were involved every science, profession, and trade known to civilization. . . .
In short, she was a floating city—containing within her steel walls all that tends to minimize the dangers and discomforts of the Atlantic voyage—all that makes life enjoyable.
Unsinkable—indestructible, she carried as few boats as would satisfy the laws.3
Robertson goes on to describe how this seemingly invincible ship collides with an iceberg and sinks to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean. However, the ship he was describing was not the Titanic—but rather a fictitious ship he called the Titan. This similarly named vessel was the subject of a short novel titled Futility that Robertson wrote in 1898—fourteen years before the Titanic ever set sail and almost a decade before the Titanic, or its name, were even conceived. Futility was a remarkable story in that the similarities between the Titan and the future Titanic were most uncanny.
Besides having similar names, the Titan and the Titanic were both triple-screwed British ocean liners with three propellers and double masts. They were of similar weight and length, had a similar number of water-tight compartments, and both were capable of similar top speed. Both ships could carry around 3000 people, had a similar number of lifeboats, and both were acknowledged to be the largest ship of their time. Both were described as “practically unsinkable,” yet they both sank on a cold April night after going too fast and colliding with an iceberg several hundred miles off the coast of Newfoundland. Because both ships lacked sufficient lifeboats, many people unnecessarily died.
However, even with all their amazing similarities, there were definite differences too. The Titan was sailing from New York to England; the Titanic from England to New York. It was not the Titan’s maiden voyage as it was for the Titanic. The Titan had a full load of passengers, while the Titanic was just three quarters full. The Titan had few survivors, the Titanic had over seven hundred. The Titan sank on a foggy moonlit night, while the Titanic sank on a clear moonless night. The Titan capsized before it sank, while the Titanic upended and split in half before it sank.
Thus, as incredible as Titan’s story was in retrospect, it was a stunning foreshadowing but not a literal foretelling of future events. Morgan Robertson’s Futility was not truly prophetic because it was not exact in all its details about the future (Deuteronomy 18:20-22). And like Pharaoh’s magicians with their magically inspired signs and wonders, Robertson’s inspiration was not from the one true God Almighty. His inspiration came from a much different and highly forbidden source.
THE ASTRAL WRITING-PARTNER
Biographer John Vess reported that two of Morgan Robertson’s close friends described the maritime author as a “psychic mystery” who was periodically “possessed” by a “discarnate soul” who was “a skilled writer.” Vess wrote:
Artist John O’Neill and journalist Henry W. Francis, both among Morg’s close friends, described him as a “psychic mystery,” apparently in the belief that his writing ability and often surprising knowledge resulted from his being possessed from time to time by a discarnate soul, a skilled writer who used Morg as a means of reaching the living world.4
Vess reported another source who also stated that Robertson’s stories were inspired and controlled by a “demanding” unseen “spirit.” The source said:
[Morg] believed that he was under the control of a spirit that had passed over the border; of a soul who, demanding earthly expression, had seized him as its instrument.5
In his book Premonitions: A Leap Into the Future, author and psychic researcher Herbert B. Greenhouse wrote that Robertson described his supernatural assistant as an “astral writing-partner”:
Robertson called his co-author his “astral writing-partner.” When he tried to coax his conscious mind into producing a story, nothing would happen and he would sit for hours at a time staring at his typewriter. Then “the mood” would come on. He would go into a trance, the present would fade away, and he would find himself in another dimension of time and space. It was in this mental state that he saw his vision of the Titanic and wrote about the Titan.6
Greenhouse said that toward the end of Robertson’s life, his “astral writing-partner deserted him and nothing more would come out of his typewriter.”7 Robertson died in 1915, three years after the sinking of the Titanic. All alone, he passed away in an Atlantic City hotel room that looked out at the ocean where both the fictional Titan and the actual Titanic sank.
WILLIAM T. STEAD
William T. Stead (1849-1912) was a renowned British journalist, professing Christian, and practicing spiritualist, who was famously known for his investigative articles, books, and social activism. 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.
In 1886, twenty-six years before the Titanic tragedy, William Stead wrote a short story about the sinking of a huge ocean liner and the great loss of life that resulted from there being a shortage of lifeboats. He titled his story, “How the Mail Steamer Went Down in Mid Atlantic by a Survivor.” It was published in the March 22, 1886 issue of the Pall Mall Gazette where he was the editor. Stead concluded his story with a sober warning: “This is exactly what might take place and what will take place if the liners are sent to sea short of boats.”8
In 1892, twenty years before the sinking of Titanic, Stead wrote another story titled “From the Old World to the New” in the December edition of his Review of Reviews. It was about an ocean liner that sank after hitting an iceberg. The captain of the rescue ship was Captain Edward J. Smith, the same man who would captain the Titanic two decades later.9
In 1910, just two years before the Titanic disaster, William Stead delivered a lecture in London where he portrayed himself as the victim of a shipwreck who suddenly found himself “floundering in the water and calling for help.”10 Tragically, Stead turned out to be a victim of his own concern about shipwrecks and ships not carrying enough lifeboats. He was last seen reading a book in the Titanic library as the vessel was sinking.
As a professing Christian, William Stead was also 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 unbiblical occult practice known as “automatic writing.”11 In particular, Stead literally and figuratively “handed” himself over to what he believed to be the discarnate spirit of a deceased friend named Julia Ames.12 Her presumed spirit would then write through him on a variety of topics—many of them having strong spiritual implications. Stead periodically published transcripts of their collaborative writings in his Borderland magazine, a psychic quarterly he founded and edited from 1893-1897.
In 1897, Stead published a wider collection of these automatic writings in his book Letters From Julia. It was republished in 1905 under the title After Death: Letters From Julia. In the Preface, he vouched for the authenticity of his spiritual contact with “Julia” and insisted that it was “an absolute duty on the part of mortals to renew and keep up a loving intercourse with the loved ones who have gone before.”13 In 1909, at the request of the discarnate “Julia,” William Stead established Julia’s Bureau. The bureau was set up to enable people to submit questions to a select group of psychic mediums who would answer their requests. Also, in 1909, Stead’s book, How I Know That the Dead Return, was published.
In publishing the numerous “letters” written through him by “Julia,” Stead hoped to normalize the occult practice of communicating with the dead. In particular, he wanted to share the spiritual information he received from “Julia” with the world at large. For example, in a meeting “Julia” said she had with “Jesus,” this counterfeit “Jesus” told her he was going to teach her about “the secret things of God.” He said:
Be not afraid. It is I, who am appointed to teach thee the secret things of God.14
One of the “secret things” that “Jesus” told “Julia”—and that she subsequently communicated through Stead—pertained to what her “Jesus” described as “the God within.” He told her that the purpose of our earthly lives was to “evoke” and “develop” the “God” who was “within” everyone and everything. Presenting this “secret” information she received from “Jesus,” “Julia” wrote the following through Stead:
The object of life is to evoke, to develop the God within.15
The “secret” of this immanent “God within” was presented in After Death: Letters From Julia under the bolded heading—“A Spiritual Revival.” Through Stead, “Julia” wrote that 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” themselves and 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.16
And what “Julia” was allegedly taught by “Jesus” and her “guides” over a century ago about “a great spiritual awakening among the nations,” closely resembles what is being taught by both New Age leaders and many church leaders today—that a great “worldwide revival” is fast approaching. New Age sources allege that this coming “revival” will eventually lead to unity, world peace, the formation of a New World Religion, and the salvation of mankind—and that it will all be founded on the “immanent” New Age teaching of the “God within”—God “in” everyone and everything.17
Sadly, most Christians do not realize that this unbiblical “God-in-everything” teaching has already entered today’s church through best-selling “Christian” books and undiscerning church leaders. Just as surely as the sea water that flooded into and shipwrecked the Titanic, this “God within” leaven continues to flow into today’s church, shipwrecking the faith of those who choose to believe this dangerous false teaching.
A COURSE IN MIRACLES
One of William Stead’s more modern spiritual counterparts was Columbia Presbyterian Hospital’s Medical Psychology professor, Helen Schucman (1909-1981). She took her “inner dictation” from an inner voice that claimed to be “Jesus” from 1965-1972. The resultant work was published as A Course in Miracles in 1975. Highly promoted and internationally popularized by New Age authors Gerald Jampolsky and Marianne Williamson, as well as talk show host Oprah Winfrey, A Course in Miracles is now widely regarded as a New Age “Bible.” Like “Julia’s” false Jesus, Helen Schucman’s “Jesus” presented the same foundational false doctrine of God “in” everyone and everything. One of the lessons from her channeled “Jesus” was to repeat and affirm the following statement:
God is in everything I see.18
And just like “Julia’s” counterfeit “Jesus,” Schucman’s “Jesus” stated that our own spiritual awakening must first take place before we can “awaken”19 the rest of the world to the “God within.” However, the first commandment in the Bible is very explicit that we are not to follow other gods, which would most definitely include the false “God within” (Deuteronomy 5:7). God is the Creator, and He is distinct and separate from His creation. He is not “in” everyone and everything. He is uniquely God, and we are not God, or in any way a part of God. The Bible makes it clear that “the way of man is not in himself” (Jeremiah 10:23). It warns “whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased” (Matthew 23:12), and that “every man at his best state is altogether vanity” (Psalm 39:5). The apostle Paul specifically warned:
For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. (Galatians 6:3)
Nevertheless, A Course in Miracles continues to be promoted and popularized as “new revelation” channeled from “Jesus” through Helen Schucman—just as “Julia” channeled “new revelation” from “Jesus” through Titanic passenger William T. Stead.
As a professing Christian, William Stead supported—with great enthusiasm—spirit-filled preachers, evangelical prayer circles, church revival, and Christianity in general. He described preachers like Welsh revivalist Evan Roberts as being among the most valuable members of the community. Stead’s best-selling 75-page pamphlet, The Welsh Revival, promoted the revival and sold 200,000 copies in Britain and 500,000 in the United States.20 As a result of his pamphlet, Stead was asked to speak in churches and other venues about the revival. Stead’s The Welsh Revival is still in print today.21
On the other hand, as a practicing occultist/spiritualist, William Stead also supported—with great enthusiasm—psychic mediums, seances, metaphysical prayer circles, communicating with the dead, automatic writing, occult revival, and spiritualism in general. He regarded mediumship as “a precious gift”22 and once stated, “Mediums are among the most valuable members of the community.”23 His occult books After Death: Letters From Julia and How I Know That the Dead Return are also still in print today.
Obviously, William Stead’s sincere but confused spiritual beliefs contradict themselves and make no biblical sense. He let his mystical occult experiences trump the Bible’s clear warnings about spiritual deception. In fact, the Bible explicitly warns about those, like Stead, who “depart from the faith” as they listen to “seducing spirits” that teach “doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1) like that of the “God within.” As a professing Christian but practicing spiritualist, Stead was dangerously “double minded” (James 1:8) as he drank from two cups and ate from two tables (1 Corinthians 10:21) and served “two masters” (Matthew 6:24).
As a professing Christian, yet occult spiritualist, William T. Stead was greatly deceived. Unbeknownst to him, he was paving the way for a future New Age “Christianity” that was definitely not biblical. Stead was a direct forerunner to his present-day media counterpart Oprah Winfrey. Oprah has publicly promoted her occult/New Age beliefs as well as her social reform activities, while simultaneously professing her Christian faith; likewise, William Stead publicly promoted his occult/New Age beliefs as well as his social-reform activities, while simultaneously professing his Christian faith—both of them used their prominent media positions as universal platforms to preach and promote their “Christian” occultism and social reform; both of them seemingly sincere; both of them sincerely deceived.
As a footnote, shortly after the Titanic disaster and William Stead’s passing, occult sources announced that “Stead” had begun to speak and write through earthly mediums—just as “Julia” had spoken and written through him.24 Not surprisingly, the communications from the alleged “Stead” were totally consistent with occult/New Age spiritualism—not biblical Christianity. A group of friends and admirers founded the William T. Stead Memorial Center in Chicago, Illinois where resident pastor and medium, Mrs. Cecil Cook, held seances and services. In a book she co-authored about the Stead Center, she wrote:
Mr. Stead is the directing head of the organization that bears his name, and through his ceaseless kindness and ministering efforts, many have been led to a new understanding of life. . . . And now the work of Mr. William T. Stead, that at best was only arrested temporarily by the sinking of the Titanic, is once more able to reach mankind.25
Titanic passenger William Stead was a classic example of a hybridized professing believer who was also a practicing occultist and spiritualist. While claiming to be a Christian believer, he carried within him “another Jesus,” “another gospel,” “another spirit,” and another god (2 Corinthians 11:4). Yet, he supported the Welsh revival, wrote a best-selling pamphlet about it, and was asked to speak at church gatherings to promote the revival. Unfortunately, spiritually confused individuals like Stead can become main players in revival activities.
Stead, being asked by President William Taft to speak at a major Peace Conference in New York City, was similar to Oprah being asked to speak at Yankee Stadium after the World Trade Center disaster. Both William Stead and Oprah Winfrey are examples of two media people who have used their influence as professing Christians to promote the occult and the New Age.
While Morgan Robertson and William Stead’s premonitions about the Titanic are intriguing, it is clear their psychic abilities were inspired by “familiar spirits”—not the One True God. The Bible acknowledges that divining spirits are real and can convey the future to some extent, as exemplified by Morgan Robertson and William Stead’s stories. However, Scripture warns that while these deceiving spirits can deliver some true pronouncements, there is great spiritual danger in interacting with them in any way (Deuteronomy 13:1-3). Truths that emerge in their pronouncements may lead one to follow other pronouncements that are not true—like “Julia’s” false teaching about the “immanence of the Divine”—the “God within.”
THE PHILIPPIAN PSYCHIC
The demonic reality behind spiritualistic foretelling is dramatically demonstrated in the New Testament when the apostle Paul and Silas were being hassled by a Philippian soothsayer (psychic) who was “possessed with a spirit of divination.” After Paul cast the divining spirit out of her in the name of Jesus Christ, she was no longer able to do her psychic readings (Acts 16:16-19). Similarly, when Morgan Robertson’s “astral writing-partner” mysteriously “departed,” so did Robertson’s ability to foresee future events and write effectively. Bottom line—no matter how amazing Morgan Robertson and William Stead’s premonitions proved to be regarding the Titanic or anything else, their spiritual leadings came from a biblically forbidden occult source. They were not a “precious gift” from God. Quite the opposite. And this is why the Bible warns us to stay away from spiritualism and the occult and to “try the spirits” of whatever one is dealing with to see if they are really from God:
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
FAMILIAR SPIRITS & NECROMANCY
What Morgan Robertson and William Stead were doing was not just unbiblical—it was spiritually dangerous. They willingly entertained the unseen spirit realm by allowing themselves to be used by deceptive spirits that came as a “skilled writer” and a former “friend.” In so doing, Robertson and Stead went directly against the Bible’s explicit warning not to communicate with “familiar spirits” or attempt to interact in any way with those who have passed on (necromancy):
There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. (Deuteronomy 18:10-11)
Several years prior to William Stead’s death on the Titanic, he claimed to have had contact with his deceased son. In his 1909 book How I Know That the Dead Return, he wrote:
Twelve months ago this month of December I saw my eldest son, whom I had trained [in automatic writing] in the fond hope that he would be my successor, die at the early age of thirty-three. The tie between us was of the closest. No one could deceive me by fabricated spurious messages from my beloved son.
Twelve months have now passed, in almost every week of which I have been cheered and comforted by messages from my boy, who is nearer and dearer to me than ever before.26
How I Know That the Dead Return was William Stead’s personal testimony of his alleged communication with his deceased son William. This spiritual communication gave him the final “proof” he needed to completely and wholeheartedly endorse, as a professing Christian, the occult practice of interacting with the dead. A century later, a Tennessee pastor and his wife also wrote a book about communicating with their deceased son—only his name was Josiah.
In 2010, Steve Berger, founding pastor of the Grace Chapel megachurch in Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee, wrote a book with his wife Sarah titled Have Heart: Bridging the Gulf Between Heaven and Earth. The book described how they claim to be in spiritual contact with their deceased son Josiah. And like Titanic’s William Stead, the Bergers, as professing Christians, were attempting to justify and normalize the practice of interacting with the dead.
In Have Heart, the Bergers wrote that their deceased son Josiah has been directly communicating with the two of them, their children, and some of their friends. One of the chief examples in the book related to an incident that occurred during a Wednesday night worship service at their church. They described how Josiah allegedly appeared and spoke to then Assistant Pastor Jim Sterling during the service. In the book, as the congregation sang the praise song “It’s Gonna Be Worth It,” the Bergers had Sterling recounting his experience with Josiah. Sterling said:
As I was listening, I was praying, and I asked God one more time, “Lord, is it worth it?”
The next thing I knew, Josiah came into the sanctuary. It wasn’t like he just appeared there. It was a sense of him coming into the aisle, and he got down on one knee and bent to speak into my ear. He said, “Way worth it, Mr. Jim.” Then, as quickly as he came, he left . . .
I stood up and went over to my wife and told her, “Josiah was just here.”27
The Bergers cited the incident in detail, telling readers that the visit proves that departed loved ones can communicate and interact with those on Earth. The Bergers wrote:
This visit proves that our loved ones in Heaven are spiritually active and that they care—they are aware of times that we need special encouragement. Josiah saw his friend, tired, questioning, and drained, and God granted Josiah permission to make an appearance to encourage and reassure him.28
However, in a phone call with Jim Sterling several years after Have Heart was published, Sterling said he had come to believe that what had seemed to be Josiah, was actually a demonic spirit.29 No longer an assistant pastor at Grace Chapel, he said his conviction came after much prayer and reading of Scripture. And the Bible definitely backs him up. It describes consulting with familiar spirits and attempting to interact with the dead as “an abomination unto the LORD” (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).
While obviously being sympathetic to those who have suffered the tragic loss of a child, that sympathy cannot extend into condoning an occult practice like necromancy. No one—especially professing Christians like William Stead and the Bergers—should be involved in forbidden occult practices. In addition, the Stead and Berger books are as dangerous for what they don’t say as for what they do say. The scriptural admonition to “test” and “try the spirits” cannot be found anywhere in their books (1 John 4:1-3).
ENDORSING HAVE HEART
Also troubling are Have Heart’s inside front-page endorsements by pastors Greg Laurie and James Robison, The Shack author William Paul Young, and former U.S. Senate Majority leader Dr. Bill Frist. In promoting Have Heart, these endorsers seemed to legitimize what the Bergers were falsely teaching. Greg Laurie wrote that Have Heart “bursts with hope.” He also said, “I hope this book will be a blessing to you.” Part of James Robison’s endorsement also appeared on the book’s front cover. It said, “The Bergers show us how we can find light and life beyond death’s shadow.”
All of these endorsements have been featured in Have Heart for over a decade. The Berger’s Grace Chapel and Greg Laurie’s Harvest Christian Fellowship are both Calvary Chapel affiliates. However, Calvary Chapel’s flagship radio program, Pastors’ Perspective, has openly renounced what the Bergers were doing and what the endorsers were endorsing.
Anne-Marie, a friend who formerly attended the Berger’s church, phoned in a question on the September 29, 2015 broadcast of Pastors’ Perspective.30 She was troubled about the issue of talking with the dead. Without mentioning the Bergers or their book by name, she wanted to know from a biblical perspective if talking with the dead was a “major” or “minor” issue regarding “the fundamentals of the Gospel.”
Christian apologist and co-host Don Stewart replied that it was a “huge” issue and referred the caller to Deuteronomy 18 with its warning verses that forbid occult practices like talking with the dead. Stewart emphatically stated, “The dead don’t speak to the living.”
Stewart said if the living are spoken to, it originates from one of only two sources—a “demonic spirit” or from some type of “charade” working through “a medium.” Stewart’s co-host, Calvary Chapel pastor Brian Brodersen, also referred to Deuteronomy 18 and expressed his concern about this forbidden activity being promoted by professing believers. He said, “This could cause real problems in the church.”
Before moving on to the next caller, program director Pastor Josh Turansky said that what had been discussed on the program was “dangerous” and “bizarre.”
Morgan Robertson’s “astral writing-partner,” William Stead’s former friend “Julia,” and the Berger’s son “Josiah” were all in alleged communication with the living. Over the years, we have come to expect psychics like John Edward and a host of other New Age figures to practice and promote this occult activity of communicating with the dead—but we do not expect this from professing Christians. Repeating the words of Pastor Brian Brodersen on Pastors’ Perspective regarding those who teach and/or endorse communicating with the dead—“This could cause real problems in the church.”
Chris Lawson of the Spiritual Research Network contacted Pastor Steve Berger by phone and respectfully questioned him about his alleged interactions with his deceased son, Josiah. Berger strongly defended what he and his family 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.31
Lawson also tried to talk with Pastor Greg Laurie about his endorsement of Have Heart. He documented his concern and his failed attempt to talk with Pastor Laurie. Lawson said:
Out of concern for many Calvary Chapel pastors and the fellowships they oversee, and out of concern for all the people that attend Pastor Greg Laurie’s Harvest Christian Fellowship, and out of concern also for the many thousands of people whom Greg Laurie has influenced through his ministry, and books, and Harvest Crusades, I made a telephone call to Greg Laurie in 2012. . . .
I explained to Greg’s secretary that I just had a quick question to ask him regarding his personal endorsement of Steve Berger’s book, Have Heart: Bridging the Gulf Between Heaven and Earth.
Greg’s secretary asked if I would wait on hold, and so I did—for about 15 or 20 seconds. When the secretary came back onto the telephone, she simply said to me, “Greg is not available for comments on that book.” With that, I thanked her for her time, and the telephone conversation ended.32
When Lawson also contacted Pastor James Robison and his son in 2012, they claimed to have never seen the manuscript and weren’t sure if they even had a copy of the Bergers’ book. They acknowledged that sometimes their endorsements were made based on “relationship” without ever having seen the actual book. They expressed their concern and told Lawson they would look into the matter. Eight years later, James Robison’s endorsement is still on the hardcover and Kindle editions of Have Heart. The late Chuck Missler’s original endorsement of the hardcover edition of Have Heart has since been removed, but it still remains in the present Kindle edition.
NEW AGE NECROMANCY
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 are desperately looking for secret knowledge that can save the world, Rachel, one of the 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,33 Rachel was told much the same thing. She 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.34
And, of course, that plan had already been conveyed by William Stead’s “Julia,” by the “Jesus” of A Course in Miracles, and by so many other “familiar spirits” from the “other side.” It is the plan for humanity to universally unite and “awaken” to the “God within.”
THE LIGHT THAT WAS DARK
In The Light That Was Dark, I describe how I was seduced into the New Age by a ball of light that suddenly manifested over my head in a psychic reading. I was told by the psychic that the ball of light had appeared to let me know I had a lot of help on the “other side.” When I asked what she meant by “the other side,” the first thing she told me was: “Family and loved ones who have passed away.”35 She added that “angels and other spirits” were also interested in helping me with my life. All I had to do was ask for their assistance. So I did. And the spirit world was more than willing as they seduced me further and further into spiritual deception—just as they had with William T. Stead, Helen Schucman, the Bergers, and countless others of us over the years. The amazing thing is that the Bible has thoroughly warned us about all this spiritual deception and how it will play out in these latter days.
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (1 Timothy 4:1)
Note: As of this writing, Pastor Steve Berger continues to serve on the Executive and Pastoral Advisory Boards of Promise Keepers. And in September 2020, he was a featured speaker at Jonathan Cahn’s global assembly, The Return, in Washington, DC.
To order copies of Dead Men Talking—Necromancy in Today’s Church, click here.
- William T. Stead, How I Know That the Dead Return (Boston, MA: The Ball Publishing Co., 1909), p. 49.
- Steve and Sarah Berger, Have Heart: Bridging the Gulf Between Heaven and Earth (Franklin, TN: Grace Chapel, Inc., 2010), p. 100.
- Morgan Robertson, Futility or, the Wreck of the Titan (originally published in 1898 under the title of Futility; now in the public domain), p. 1.
- John Vess, The Titan and the Titanic: The Life, Works and Incredible Foresight of Morgan Robertson (Chapmansboro, TN: Pleasant Valley Publishers, 1990), p. 79.
- Herbert B. Greenhouse, Premonitions: A Leap Into the Future (New York, NY: Bernard Geis Associates, 1971), p. 39.
- William T. Stead, “How the Mail Steamer Went Down in Mid Atlantic by a Survivor” (The Pall Mall Gazette, March 22, 1886, W. T. Stead Resource Site: https://www.attackingthedevil.co.uk/pmg/steamer.php).
- William T. Stead, “From the Old World to the New” (The Review of Reviews, December 1892, W. T. Stead resource site: https://www.attackingthedevil.co.uk/reviews/oldworld.php), chapters 7-8, pp. 39-50.
- Herbert B. Greenhouse, Premonitions: A Leap Into the Future, op. cit., p. 31.
- Estelle Wilson Stead, My Father, Personal & Spiritual Reminiscences (London, England: William Heinemann,1913, reprinted by Hard Press Publishing), p. 170.
- Ibid., pp. 177-193.
- William Stead, After Death: Letters From Julia (Woodland, CA: Ancient Wisdom Communications, public domain, originally published 1905), p. 10.
- Ibid., p. 21.
- Estelle Wilson Stead, My Father, Personal & Spiritual Reminiscences, op. cit., p. 300.
- William Stead, After Death: Letters From Julia, op. cit., p. 29.
- Benjamin Creme, The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom (London, England: The Tara Press, 1980), p. 88.
- A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume (Glen Ellen, CA: Foundation for Inner Peace, 1975, 1992) (Workbook), p. 45.
- Ibid. (Text), p. 585.
- 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.
- Estelle Wilson Stead, My Father, Personal & Spiritual Reminiscences, op. cit., p. 224.
- Ibid., p. 225.
- Mrs. Cecil M. Cook and Lloyd Kenyon Jones, God’s World (Vol 1) (Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Legacy Reprints, originally published by The William T. Stead Memorial Center in1919), pp. i-v.
- Ibid., p. v.
- William T. Stead, How I Know That the Dead Return, op. cit., p. 49.
- Steve and Sarah Berger, Have Heart, op. cit., pp. 99-100.
- Ibid., pp. 100-101.
- This information from my phone call with Jim Sterling was reconfirmed through a mutual friend’s e-mail exchange with Mr. Sterling during the writing of this book.
- Pastors’ Perspective podcast, K-Wave radio, September 29, 2015 with Josh Turansky, Don Stewart, and Brian Brodersen. “Anne-Marie” is the caller. Cited discussion begins at 23:50 minute mark and runs to 29:02 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpPoRdlTIhs; takes about 30 seconds to load).
- “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 Pastor Steve Berger regarding Have Heart.
- Ibid., per Chris Lawson, president of the Spiritual Research Network, pertaining to his telephone call with Pastor Greg Laurie’s secretary about Have Heart.
- 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.
- Warren B. Smith, The Light That Was Dark: From the New Age to Amazing Grace (Magalia, CA: Mountain Stream Press, 1992, 2005), pp. 16-17.
To order copies of Dead Men Talking—Necromancy in Today’s Church, click here.
*This booklet is an excerpt from Warren Smith’s 2020 book The Titanic and Today’s Church.
This was a fascinating read. Great to see resources which will provide Biblical insight into spiritual deceptions. The story of Roger Morneau is another story which demonstrates the power of Jesus to save to the uttermost.https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ird-BKuPRlw
Even though I have already read Warren’s Titanic book, I have just been stunned by how this specific chapter of the book so clearly articulates what is happening as the world gets more and more deceived. The book and booklet have helped me connect more of the dots in the spiritual battle we are engaged in. Thanks. Praying that God bless and protect your ministry.
jamie in Illinois
Would Jude 1:8 fall under this heading? “dreamers”. Or is it only when the dead talk back?! ie, grave soaking
Perhaps a spell check changed what should have been ‘this article’ to “ the circle” in Pastor Stauffer’s reply.
I once cautioned a young woman who attended Grace Chapel to be wary of Steve Berger and his interactions with his dead son. She was offended then, but later I learned she had left that church. Hopefully, Christians will wake up and know Truth. Thank you for this timely article. Deception is rampant in today’s world.
God Bless Lighthouse Trails. I am sorry to change the subject of this power-full article by our Brother Warren to warn Christians of what is happening right now to the United States of America. The Governor of Tennessee has just signed a Executive Order authorization his National Guard to carry out COVID Medical Kidnappings. The National Guard may enter your home at gunpoint and take you to a camp if you are not vaccinated. The fema-style concentration camp is now here. Their are now camps being set up all over the United States of America. They are calling it a National Emergency act. It means are freedoms are now removed until this COVID Hoax is taken care of. Does this not sound like Nazi Germany during world war 2? Christians need to pray and Preach the Gospel while we still can. Let not your heart be troubled Brothers and Sisters. Our Heavenly Father is still in control. Keep looking up!!!!!! Even so Come Lord Jesus.
Claude T. Stauffer
Thank you for this timely message. I’m a Calvary Chapel Pastor and just so happen to be teaching in Luke 17 where in verse 21 Jesus speaks of the kingdom of God within you. I will be sure to reference the circle. Thank you again. God is using you. God bless
Christians, this in-depth article by our Brother Warren should be given to every New Ager and Spiritist we know. They need to hear truth. It seems that Satanists now rule Israel and are now in full attack in America. Spiritist’s say the early Church was saturated with Spiritism. There is not a shred of evidence of that in God’s Holy Word . The churches never taught it. Satan, the arch-enemy of mankind is called “the deceiver of the whole world ( Revelation 12:9) He fashioned himself into an angel of light ( 2 Corinthians 11:14) The Bible gives abundant evidence of the work of evil spirits and their influence over mankind. Demons are mentioned no less than 70 times in scripture. Evidence of their super human knowledge abound in scripture. (Matthew 8:29; Mark 1:24,34;5:7;Acts 16:17) Spiritist Mr. W.T. Stead learned that when the power of communication between a median and the control is established the demon was unwilling to relinquish the relationship. Very Dangerous New Agers? Sadly, the New Age leaders and followers will have to explain to the world why they were not taken in the Rapture. The end of this age is very close. Pray they will awaken to the truth.