UFO sightings, abductions, superior angelic beings making contact from another dimension . . . what should Christians make of all this?
The ‘X files’ and similar TV programmes satisfy an appetite and probably even increase interest in things extra terrestrial. Similarly the film and consequent documentary about the Roswell incident (probably the most quoted UFO/Alien event) has further met the commercial need to feed the increasing number of inquiries regarding aliens.
Depending on your point of view, the Roswell incident, either supports the belief in a cover-up of something very significant, or it increases one’s suspicions.
Whatever your point of view we are still faced with the question: ‘Is there life on other planets?’ But maybe the question even more important is: ‘Do you believe the recorded sightings, abductions and alien contacts are true, partly true or false?’ If your response is ‘false’ then you can still answer the original question with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
WHAT HAS THE BIBLE GOT TO SAY ABOUT MANKIND’S RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNIVERSE/CREATION?
Unlike any of the animals, human beings are made in the image of God. Animals are affected by the result of sin (which entered the world through humankind) but they do not need to repent and be saved as they are not accountable in the way that we are. The stars and planets were made to give light to the earth, and animals were made for humans. God gave us His beautiful creation so that we could live in peace, stability and bountiful supply. It is God’s desire for us to live in obedience with Him, but our sin taints everything. Jesus became a man and was the perfect sacrifice so that in spite of our sin, we could be saved.
There are materials and gasses of incalculable variety in space, however, there is no sure knowledge of any living organism. It is not unreasonable to believe that such organisms exist out of our sight, just as so much of God’s created minerals and gasses are beyond our vision. We could take this further and say that animals exist on other planets, but we must remember that the primary purpose of animals is for the benefit of humankind (see Genesis 2:8-9,19-20). They cannot be our responsibility if they are thousands of light years away.
The main problem arises when we consider the existence of beings similar to, or more advanced, than us. If we are to believe that they exist then it cannot be without considering the following:
1. God would have made these beings in His own image, like us, and likewise they too would be marred by sin because only God Himself is sinless.
2. Jesus Christ would have been incarnated on the other planets at the same time as ours because He could die only once as a perfect sacrifice, and in so doing He fulfilled His purpose throughout the whole of creation (see Ephesians 1:22-23 and 4:10).
3. When Jesus comes back a second time, He would have to do so for the other planets at the same time because the whole universe is going to pass away (see 2 Peter 3:10; Matthew 24:31,35).
The fact is the Bible is totally silent in regard to life on other planets, any sect or group that uses the Bible to try to support the existence of aliens is taking it way out of context.
SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS
When Jesus spoke of the signs of the end of the age, He said that the ‘sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give it’s light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken’ (Matthew 24:29). The passage in Acts 2:19-21 (quoting the book of Joel) speaks of ‘wonders in the heaven above’, which appears to comprise of affects upon the sun and moon prior to Jesus’ return. The signs on the earth below probably comprise of the ‘blood, fire and billows of smoke.’
Wonders in the heavens took place hundreds of years before this – of which the Jews were well aware – such as total darkness in the days of Israel’s bondage in Egypt; God’s angels appearing in the sky, raining fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah; a star supernaturally appearing in the sky to lead the Magi to where Jesus was born; a day extending in length at the request of the likes of Joshua. All these events led people closer to the sincere, simple devotion befitting God’s people in their relationship with Him alone. At the end of time, as we have already seen, similar heavenly signs will occur but in greater intensity.
The Devil cashes in on all this and tries to distort it to bring confusion and disbelief in the Bible and it’s warnings about being led into a false understanding of who Jesus really is. The Bible predicts these things in such passages as 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12, which speaks of a man called the ‘man of lawlessness’ performing counterfeit miracles. By counterfeit it does not mean ‘tricks’ or ‘illusions’, but a copy of God’s original. Unfortunately, all counterfeits of God’s power are deceptions to lead you away from a sincere devotion to Jesus (see Mark 13:22).
We see in Matthew 24 that there will be many more false Christs and false prophets. This is why Jesus warned us in advance and assured us that the whole earth will see Jesus descend (Matthew 24:30; Revelation 1:7). If Jesus warned us so clearly about these things, why does Satan do the obvious? The answer is simply that he keeps getting away with it.
We can see from all this that the enemy (Satan) is well experienced in using heavenly signs to achieve his own ends, and we cannot ignore this when we consider flying saucers. Although God is sovereignly in control of the whole universe, Satan specialises in things to do with our atmosphere since he is the ‘ruler of the kingdom of the air’ (Ephesians 2:2).
THE ‘HEAVEN’S GATE’
The Devil is very crafty and seeks every opportunity to start a new cult or religion. The ‘Heaven’s Gate’ cult, in which 39 people committed suicide, is a case in point. God never condones suicide but the Devil loves this kind of event; it makes him feel that he has the keys of death, which in fact Jesus holds (Revelation 1:18). Satan also knows when comets are due to appear and conveniently planned to put it in Do’s (Marshall Applewhite – the cult leader) mind, that the appearing of comet Hale-Bopp was a sign that the cult members were to ‘progress’ by committing suicide. Satan loves to use ‘signs’ to signify the ridiculous. This use of planetary and other ‘signs’ for depriving humanity of freedom are two-a-penny now.
We should take God’s warning seriously,
‘This is what the Lord says: “Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them.”‘ – Jeremiah 10:2
I would put UFO’s in this category – signs rather than space ships; deluding signs as opposed to godly ones.
According to the 2001 television documentary whatever happened caused quite a stir. The quantity of witness accounts points to a cover-up, but it does not prove for certain that it was a UFO incident. After such a long time of testing a strange metallic substance, I’m sure there have been significant developments in technology and the idea of alien beings stored away with this substance in a top secret place is very doubtful.
Even in a known event, inconsistencies can cloud the issue, and recent attempts to explain the events of 1947 just knock it further into obscurity. Photographs of the material and a video of one of the alleged aliens only seemed to increase doubts because when they were shown to the witnesses the response was non-committal. They could neither bring themselves to identify them or refute them as fakes.
SIGHTINGS AND ABDUCTIONS
The majority of people who believe in life on other planets do not necessarily connect it with angelic type beings unless they delve a little deeper into the UFO culture or reading material. Unfortunately though, due to the widespread acceptance of New Age thinking, much of what evangelical Christians know to be dangerously occultic is being regarded as ‘scientific’ and therefore reliable. Also these Christians believe that Satan has attacked the Church by convincing the world that Christianity is not scientific and therefore ridiculous. As this is now failing due to the flaws of evolution, and many sacredly held theories being disproved, the Devil is making New Age spirituality to be regarded as scientific (the definition of science thereby changing somewhat). He uses various methods such as Alternative Therapies and the belief in a Life Force which backs up telepathy and such like, not to mention a higher regard in this culture for Eastern beliefs.
Most sightings can be explained away by aeroplanes or natural phenomena, but there are a number of genuine sightings of space craft like objects. A stationary object which suddenly speeds off with no evidence of a gradual acceleration, turning at right angles at a constant speed, is something to defy our present technology, however, this kind of manifestation has a parallel with events mentioned in the Bible where angelic beings are described as having similar capabilities. Read for example Ezekiel 1:4-5.
Note verses 9 and 12,
‘Each angelic being went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved’.
‘As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the cherubim faced; the wheels did not turn about as the cherubim went. The cherubim went in whatever direction the head faced, without turning as they went.’ (Verses 10 & 11).
This may not exactly describe all the manifestations recorded, but it shows that angelic beings are capable of all these things, especially when we add the following from verses 13 & 14,
‘The appearance of the living creatures was like burning coals of fire or like torches. Fire moved back and forth among the creatures; it was bright, and lightning flashed out of it. The creatures sped back and forth like flashes of lightning.’
If you read all the first three chapters you will see how it mentions similar experiences to the occurrences in a number of abduction case, such as trances, dazzling lights, supernatural communication, being lifted off the ground and suffering illness later as a consequence. The main and most important thing missing though will always be the understanding of a right relationship with God, with a revelation of His wrath and holiness. These very elements are the foundation of Ezekiel’s experience! Abductions are again a counterfeit of God’s dealings with people such as Ezekiel, a prophet of the true God.
The only ‘dimension’, other than the natural one, that the Bible speaks of is the invisible spiritual world. Here God’s angels are active, out of human sight, unless God chooses to make one appear to give us warning or encouragement. In this realm too the Devil, who is himself an angel, has his own angelic workforce which causes disruption on the earth. They too can appear from time to time.
The Bible shows that angels have no need of space craft (see for example Luke 1:11-12, 26-28). Neither do angels make a great secret of their communications to political figures. It is always in the open and to godly people. Demons (Satan’s angels) have limited power yet often make a spectacle of themselves and frequently act secretively. It would be just like them to impress the world with such occurrences – something feasible in it’s simplest form (space craft) yet with a whole load of dangerous channels to be sucked into as interest grows.
The power of the mind and mind control are very much a part of supposed alien intervention and our contact with super beings over vast distances. These usually involve trance like states and as we have witnessed in the case of Ezekiel it is God who induces the genuine experience (see the article on Hypnosis in the 1996 edition of ‘Reachout Quarterly’). Telepathic abilities are always linked with various occultic phenomena such as fortune telling or dowsing, and have always been a part of witchcraft. Many people can testify to the spiritual control that has ensued after involvement in seemingly innocent activities of this nature, and I’m sorry to say that good motives do not protect you.
When we need to know the thoughts or intentions of a person (on the rare occasion that this is necessary) otherwise unknowable to us, God speaks to the Christian by His Holy Spirit directly, since the Spirit of God knows everything anyway. The most effective way to help people is for us to behave in a godly way – being caring, faithful and approachable under God’s love. It is so easy to be deceived by things that are dangerous when the initial idea is acceptable; we should always look at the whole picture and test the results.
Even the serene and soothing music of the Carpenters had an element of this telepathy teaching. In one of the songs they first sang in the 1970’s called, ‘Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft’ we hear the words,
‘In your mind you have capacities you know, to telepath messages through the vast unknown. Please close your eyes and concentrate with every thought you think, upon the recitation we’re about to say.’
‘With your mind you have ability to form and transmit thought energy far beyond the norm. You close your eyes, you concentrate, together that’s the way, to send the message we declare one contact day.’
I can identify with those who are excited by these supposed alien visitations or encounters with superior angelic beings, as I was very much into these sort of things before I became a Christian. I believed in reincarnation of sorts, so it was not unreasonable to believe in the possibility of being inhabited by an alien spirit from outer space or even Jesus Christ Himself since He came across as super human (I know now He is God incarnate). I believed in telepathy, so thought it was only a matter of time before we could all communicate with each other that way and felt that people could be influenced for good or bad without their knowledge. I am now convinced that information can pass from one mind to another only with the aid of a spirit, and as mentioned previously, only demons would see a need for this. This kind of spirit is the same called a ‘spirit guide’ by mediums but it is never a spirit of a dead person.
As a teenager I did seriously consider that I may be from another planet and although as a non-Christian I felt I was taking a bit of a liberty, I actually thought I may be Jesus Himself. At the time I knew next to nothing about Jesus, but I saw Him as the perfect example of the embodiment of the purest goodness. All this led me deeper into the occult, which brought about a sense of being persecuted, which in turn increased my belief in being someone extra special.
When considering the evidence of records of UFO activity, I would ask you to use a little common sense. Ask yourself a few questions, for example,
Why are we seeing the same things decade after decade with no clear development in communication?
With such advanced technology enabling aliens to travel thousands of light years, why is it that they cannot view the earth without being seen?
Is it really possible for authorities to successfully cover up all the evidence in such a way that we are left in the dark over such a long time?
Why do abductions always seem to be linked with trances in one way or another?
[There has been much publicity recently about the dangers of hypnosis, the most scientifically based form of trance. This has included reports involving deaths, mental instability, supposed regression to past lives and many false accusations of sexual abuse. It seems that allowing yourself to enter such a trance leaves you open to believe basically anything you the hypnotist wants you to believe.]
Does all this tend to lean you closer to New Age type beliefs as opposed to Christianity?
Why are aliens often considered to be serpent-like or frog-like? [Satan and the demons are described like this in the Bible]
As we have seen, a deep belief in these UFOs often gives rise to interest in things occultic or paranormal. It does not seem accidental to me that the space craft are sufficiently different yet comprehendible enough to grip our interest. Consider that such interest tends to lead to belief in a superior race, mostly considered to be peace loving (as though morality increases with technology?), that understands God and religions better than us and that this will lead everyone to a wonderful harmony. The consequences of such belief is to bring doubt to God’s Word which makes it clear that in the end times only a few will be holy, the rest, who decide not to put their trust in Jesus, will be destroyed with the material universe. If the intention of the aliens is to destroy us then I’m sure they have the technology and the opportunity. What are they waiting for?
The Bible says that it is God we should fear and Satan’s desire is to place our trust elsewhere.