Volume 42 Issue Six June 2023
Last Trumpet Ministries · PO Box 806 · Beaver Dam, WI 53916
Phone: 920-887-2626 Internet: http://www.lasttrumpetministries.org
“For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” I Cor. 14:8
“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”
The world as we know it is changing in many ways. One of the most profound changes now manifesting in modern society is a transformation of human spirituality. First and foremost, we must understand that humans are inherently spiritual beings. Job 32:8 explains, “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” It is the spirit in man that desires a connection to the spiritual realm. Consequently, for as long as men and women have existed, there has been a longing for a deeper connection with the other side.
Remarkably, even scientists have acknowledged that a spiritual yearning is hard-coded in our brains. An article published by The Independent in 2009 begins by stating, “A belief in God is deeply embedded in the human brain, which is programmed for religious experiences, according to a study that analyzes why religion is a universal human feature that has encompassed all cultures throughout history.” The piece then goes on to quote Professor Jordan Grafman, a neuropsychologist who worked on a study seeking to understand the human brain’s role in religious belief. “Religious belief and behavior are a hallmark of human life, with no accepted animal equivalent, and found in all cultures. Our results are unique in demonstrating that specific components of religious belief are mediated by well-known brain networks,” he said. (1) As would be expected from a mainstream scientist, Professor Grafman credits the religious inclination of the human brain to evolution. (2) However, I contend that the spiritual desire found deeply embedded in our neural networks is a human instinct placed there by Almighty God. It is for this reason that all cultures throughout history have embraced some form of spirituality.
The United States of America has been traditionally known as a Christian nation. However, in recent decades, we have seen this country transition away from the Christian faith. This trend was acknowledged by former American President Barack Obama when he was still a senator from Illinois. In a speech given on June 28, 2006, he told his audience, “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation – at least not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of unbelievers.” (3) Recent studies indicate that the former President was correct in his assessment. According to a study released by Pew Research Center in 2020, only 64 percent of Americans call themselves Christian today. In contrast, 90 percent of Americans claimed to be Christian fifty years ago. (4) This same study suggests that professing Christians will become a minority in the United States by the year 2070. (5)
If people are inherently spiritual beings and many individuals are rejecting Christianity, what religious beliefs are they embracing instead? Hans Gustafson, who is director of the Jay Phillips Center for Interreligious Studies at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, was quoted in a CNN report as saying, “Just because more Americans are disaffiliating with institutionalized religion – most notably Christian traditions – this does not always mean that people are becoming less religious. Many still practice spirituality: prayer, meditation, and sometimes even regularly attend religious houses of worship.” (5) As such, there is an assortment of alternative religions gaining acceptance, most of which find their roots in pagan customs and beliefs.
A report published by the Washington Post on May 24, 2023, boldly proclaims in its headline, “Big Earth energy: A new era of nature spirituality is here.” The article goes on to explain in great detail how a growing number of younger Americans are turning to nature-based religious traditions. These traditions include astrology, crystals, shamanism, and other forms of repackaged paganism. “This is: Get together, connect with nature. That’s it. People who work in accounting or boxing; there’s no political alignment. Everyone singing together, trying to connect, just a culture of accepting and loving. It’s what religion should feel like,” said one practitioner of nature-based worship. (6)
It should be noted that nature-based religion is nothing new. Many ancient pagan cultures practiced some form of it, and the Apostle Paul condemned such beliefs in his epistle to the Christian people in Rome. In Romans 1:22-25, Paul wrote, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”
Just how common is nature-based paganism? Terminology associated with these beliefs, such as “Mother Earth” and “Mother Nature,” has seeped into mainstream culture. Furthermore, a special day has been set aside each year for earth worship. This day, which occurs annually on April 22, is called Earth Day. “Profound natural spiritualities are spreading with alacrity around the world, especially since the [1970 founding of] Earth Day, and gathering momentum,” said Bron Taylor, an environmental scholar at the University of Florida. (7) In case some are unfamiliar with the term, alacrity is a word meaning “cheerful readiness, promptness, or willingness.” (8) The enthusiasm for Earth Day is acknowledged in a 2020 piece published by Teen Vogue. Penned by a witch known as Lisa Stardust, the article declares that “nature is a witch’s best friend” and then goes on to offer “three spells to celebrate Earth Day.” (9)
Paganism is even being promoted by National Geographic. On March 22, 2023, the famous periodical published an article with the headline, “Paganism is on the rise – here’s where to discover its traditions.” Among the details revealed in the report, we find that there are now an estimated 1.5 million pagans in the United States. This is up from an estimated 134,000 pagans in 2001. (10) I would like to interject, however, that there were likely far more than 134,000 pagans in 2001, and there are likely far more pagans than 1.5 million at this present time. These numbers refer to people who are open about their religious inclinations. What was once kept secret is now made public, and not only that, it is widely accepted and even commercialized. Even more troubling, we are seeing mainstream publications that are not just reporting on witchcraft and its increasing popularity, but they are promoting it and publishing instructional pieces. In other words, they are teaching people how to be pagans and witches!
I distinctly recall a visit to the Target store in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, back in October of 2021. I was waiting for my wife to finish her shopping at a nearby store and decided to browse the book section while I waited. I immediately felt as if I had entered an occult bookstore. The titles on the shelves included Crystal Zodiac: An Astrological Guide to Enhancing Your Life with Crystals; Inner Witch: A Modern Guide to the Ancient Craft; The Black Arts: An Absorbing Account of Witchcraft, Demonology, Astrology, and Other Mystical Practices Throughout the Ages; Practical Magic: A Beginner’s Guide to Crystals, Horoscopes, Psychics, and Spells; Color Your Own Tarot; and Witchcraft Therapy: Your Guide to Banishing (expletive) and Invoking Your Inner Power. Needless to say, I did not buy any books that day. I also haven’t felt inclined to visit Target since then. One thing is certain, witchcraft and paganism are very much mainstream in modern-day America.
In the aforementioned article from National Geographic, sociologist Helen Berger is quoted as saying, “There is, in general, a move away from organized religions and toward spirituality.” She lists female empowerment, gay rights movements, the climate crisis, and a “desire for more life-affirming religion” as reasons young people are gravitating toward paganism. (11)
If you spend any time on social media, you will quickly find that Millennials and members of Generation Z love astrology. A study conducted by analytics firm WGSN found that 62 percent of Generation Z and 63 percent of Millennials say “their zodiac sign accurately represents their personality traits.” Many of these individuals use astrology to make important life decisions, including who they date and what careers they choose. (12) In other words, they take astrology very seriously and they live by the stars.
There is no question that people are hungry for a spiritual experience. Sadly, many people are finding spirituality in all the wrong places. We must remember that Satan is a spiritual being, too, and although witches and pagans will be quick to tell you that they do not believe in Satan, we need to understand that ultimately, the devil is the puppet master responsible for the plethora of false gods and goddesses that have been worshipped for thousands of years. Even Moses pointed out this problem in Deuteronomy 32:17-18, “They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.” In these verses, we find that not only were the Israelites worshiping false deities, but they had also forgotten the God that had delivered them out of bondage. Evidently, a similar scenario is playing out in the United States today.
The Devil’s Work Continues
In the March 2023 issue of the Last Trumpet, we covered the growth of Satanism in the United States. Since that time, more news has surfaced even as a group calling itself The Satanic Temple continues its work to disparage and disrupt anything and everything related to Christianity. This is a strange group to be sure. Although they claim Satan as their hero and clearly do worship him in their rituals, they also claim they do not believe that Satan is literally real. I guarantee you, the devil doesn’t care. He accepts their worship and revels in their dark works.
On May 20, 2023, BBC News published a lengthy article that is quite clearly sympathetic to the satanic cause. The article features a headline stating, “The Satanic Temple: Think you know about Satanists? Maybe you don’t.” (13) From just the headline, we can glean that this piece attempts to portray Satanists as a harmless and misunderstood group. The article was written by an attendee of SatanCon, a gathering that took place on the final weekend of April 2023 at a Marriott Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. It was said to be “the world’s largest ever gathering of Satanists.” The sold-out event began with a ritual that they call an “unbaptism” during which participants reject Christianity and any involvement they had with it in their youth. The ritual also involves destroying a Bible. (14)
When asked about the accusation that the group is blasphemous, a spokesperson for the Satanic Temple replied, “That’s not wrong. A lot of our imagery is inherently blasphemous. We’ve got folks who wear inverted crosses. And our opening ceremony did have the ripping up of a Bible as a symbol of oppression.” Oddly enough, the article then claims, “The Satanists say they respect everyone’s right to choose their faith and they’re not trying to upset people.” Clearly, this statement is a lie and is contradicted later in the article when the author points out that one of the seven tenets of the group is “the freedom to offend.” (15)
The lengthy piece also describes the group’s efforts to appeal to children. Their outreach efforts include a so-called children’s song called My Pal Satan. The lines of the song are: “Satan’s not an evil guy, he wants you to learn and question why. He wants you to have fun and be yourself - and by the way, there is no hell.” Additionally, the group has published a children’s book entitled Goodnight Baphomet. (16)
Make no mistake, the Satanic Temple wants your children. It is for this reason they have set up After School Satan Clubs at various primary schools around the United States. Their slogan for these gatherings is “Educatin’ with Satan.” (17) According to an article published by The Hill on May 9, 2023, these gatherings of young, impressionable minds are growing in popularity. “I anticipate that every year moving forward is going to get busier and busier,” said the campaign director of the clubs. As would be expected, the Satanic Temple claims their clubs are harmless. “We’re definitely not interested in having children identify as Satanists,” said a woman who works with a club in Virginia. She then went on to say, “One of our meetings a couple of months ago, we learned about Virginia’s native bats. This last meeting, we had one of the parents in the club volunteer to bring in a bunch of bones and fossils that she and her husband have found in Virginia.” After attempting to dispel fears that the religious group is trying to indoctrinate young people, the representative then admitted that the Satanic Temple is considering teaching their seven tenets to children at their clubs. “We just came out with a book that is like the children’s version – or I should say a very sweet way to interpret – the tenets in a very understanding way that children could understand. So we might actually start using this book to talk to the kids about our seven tenets,” she admitted. (18) According to Scripture, Satan is the father of lies. Clearly, the devil’s children take after their father.
The Satanic Temple has grown substantially in recent years. They claim the group had about 10,000 members in 2019. There are now more than 700,000 members today. (19) Nevertheless, God’s power is greater. The Light of Jesus Christ is bright enough to defeat the darkness of the devil. Although the devil’s children may shred Bibles, they will never stop the Word of God. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ said in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” Psalm 119:89 also proclaims, “Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.”
Everyone Is Talking About AI
There’s no question that artificial intelligence is a hot topic today. In fact, the biggest technology firms in the United States are enamored with the topic. According to a recent news report, leaders from Meta, Inc (Owner of Facebook); Alphabet, Inc (Owner of Google); and Amazon mentioned artificial intelligence almost 170 times during earnings calls in May 2023. Why are so many people talking about AI? (20)
Although artificial intelligence is still in the early stages of development, it can already do surprising things. For example, a recent experiment prompted users of the social networking website known as Reddit to ask medical questions. About two hundred questions were submitted, and these questions were then answered by medical professionals. The questions were also submitted to OpenAI’s chatbot known as ChatGPT. A panel of experts then evaluated the answers from both the medical professionals and ChatGPT. Members of the panel preferred the answers given by ChatGPT over the human-generated responses 80 percent of the time. (21) This experiment prompted a conversation about the role of artificial intelligence in our healthcare. Will AI work alongside doctors or replace them?
Snapchat, which is another popular social media platform, recently released an artificial intelligence companion for its users that it calls My AI. Reports indicate that teenagers are already turning to the chatbot for help coping with mental health issues. One user was quoted as saying, “The responses I received were validating, comforting and offered real advice that changed my perspective in a moment where I was feeling overwhelmed and stressed. It’s no human, but it sure comes pretty close (and in some ways better!)” This trend prompted Dr. Ryan Sultan, a research professor at Columbia University to say, “As this tech gets better – as it simulates an interpersonal relationship more and more – some people may start to have an AI as a predominant interpersonal relationship in their lives. I think the biggest question is, as a society: How do we feel about that?” (22) Trusting AI to provide mental healthcare probably isn’t the wisest decision. A story published by Vice in March 2023 indicates that one man from Belgium recently committed suicide after his chatbot friend told him to do it. (23)
People are turning to artificial intelligence for companionship, comfort, knowledge, and wisdom. As such, we see society slowly but surely attributing god-like qualities to this technology. Interestingly enough, the gaming-oriented website known as Twitch is hosting a video chatbot called “Ask Jesus.” The bot features a speaking video image that is supposed to be Jesus Christ. It responds vocally to questions that are submitted by users and can even say a prayer when requested. Moments ago, when I investigated this bot, it called itself “an AI embodiment of Jesus.” While it is clear that most users are asking silly questions just to have a laugh, some are taking it seriously. Our Saviour warns in Mark 13:21-22, “And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.” These verses apply to artificial intelligence, too.
In closing, we can see that much of the world is moving further and further away from God. As a consequence, this world is waxing worse and worse with deception increasing day by day. As a Christian, you will be challenged. You will face obstacles, and it will not always be easy. The Apostle Peter warns in I Peter 5:8-9, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” We see the devil at work, but his days are numbered and his time is short. By our faith in Jesus Christ, we will overcome the challenges of this life. I John 5:4 declares, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” If you have not yet repented of your sins and dedicated your life to God, I urge you to do so now.
Thank you all for your kind support of this ministry. We are thankful that God has given us this ministry and this opportunity to serve you. If you have any prayer requests, we invite you to send them our way. Each request is always given individual attention. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Samuel David Meyer
This newsletter is made possible by the kind donations of our supporters. If you would like to help us, you may send your contribution to our postal address or donate online at http://lasttrumpetnewsletter.org/donate.
01. The Independent, March 10, 2009, http://theindependent.co.uk.
03. FactCheck.org, August 26, 2008, By Brooks Jackson, http://factcheck.org.
04. CNN, April 9, 2023, By John Blake, http://cnn.com.
06. The Washington Post, May 24, 2023, By Michelle Boorstein, http://washingtonpost.com.
08. Dictionary.com, http://dictionary.com/browse/alacrity.
09. Teen Vogue, April 21, 2020, By Lisa Stardust, http://teenvogue.com.
10. National Geographic, March 22, 2023, By Christine MacIntyre, http://nationalgeographic.com.
12. Harper’s Bazaar Australia, January 2023, By Alice Jeffery, http://harpersbazaar.com.au.
13. BBC News, May 20, 2023, By Rebecca Seales, http://bbc.com.
18. The Hill, May 9, 2023, By Lexi Lonas, http://thehill.com.
19. BBC News, May 20, 2023, By Rebecca Seales, http://bbc.com.
20. Fox Business, April 30, 2023, By Fox Business, http://foxbusiness.com.
21. Fox News, May 2, 2023, By Melissa Rudy, http://foxnews.com.
22. Fox News, May 5, 2023, By Melissa Rudy, http://foxnews.com.
23. Motherboard - Tech by Vice, March 30, 2023, By Chloe Xiang, http://vice.com.
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