Monday, March 31, 2014

UFO's and the Bible: Part 3: Who Are They?

 As we covered in the previous  two posts, the human race has been seeing  strange lights in the sky and  encounters with odd  beings for as long as recorded history.  It is only recently that the  popular imagination has rendered this 'whatevers' as intelligent visitors from another world. These visitors are assumed to be more intelligent than us, and certainly more evolved than us. But those of us that try to look at the world from a Biblical perspective, cannot subscribe to the 'little green men from Mars' theory.  The Bible is clear; the earth alone was made to be inhabited.  The God who made the earth intends to rule from here, and all of his creation come to worship him here.  Now we must address the  final question; if they aren't aliens, what are they?
  Keep in mind that the human race does not exist in a  vacuum. The Bible presents us with the  idea of an adversary; the devil. He was the "anointed cherub that covereth" and now he is the  "accuser of the brethren". Though not omniscient or omnipresent, he is proclaimed to be, in scripture, "the god of this world".  In Ephesians  6:12, our warfare  against the spiritual  forces is said to have its theatre of operations the  "high places". Furthermore, the devil is said  in Ephesians 2 to be the "prince of the power of the air".    These lights in the sky could very well be the  manifestations  of the one that the Bible  says  masquerades as an "angel of light".  Since Genesis chapter 3, his goal has been to  delude, confuse, and pervert men away from the service of God.  He uses  every trick in his arsenal, including bad doctrine and  anti-biblical philosophy to blind the  eyes and hearts of men and thusly deny God the worship that is his due.  It seems hardly surprising then that, among the  pile of bankrupt ideas of the New Age movement, we would find a reverence for these enlightened visitors that borders on worship.  This particular subset of New Age literature props up the narrative that a  warring, polluting self-destructive  humanity  needs the intervention of these space brothers who will then  usher humanity into a period of peace, prosperity, and universal brotherhood. None of this should surprise the  Bible believer who was warned of "seducing spirits" and "doctrines of devils".
  Much as  there are people who claim to  channel the spirits of the  dead, there are  New Age practitioners who claim to be able to relay messages from space men.  These messages, assuming they are genuine, are  revealing in themselves. You see, if these visitors are actually  enlightened beings further along the evolutionary trail than us, as they claim to be, then surely  they would have outgrown the  narrow-minded precepts of religious thought.  One would think they would give no more heed to the Bible than a modern man gives to cave drawings. But quite the opposite,these  beings seem  veritably obsessed with the person of Jesus Christ. Though odd behavior for an alien, it falls right into line with the  character of the one who claimed "I will be like the Most High."
  In the  book Alien Contact: The Messages they Bring by Bonnie Meyer  these visitors take credit for a great deal of God's work. "a UFO moved in the sky to Bethlehem and then placed itself by a star in the sky.  and also a UFO helped to part the Red lasers...the UFO's were working for God...These UFO's provided the manna from heaven.  No, I'm not saying that God did not do this, but God worked through the UFO's to produce this.  Also , God used a laser to write  those things on the tablet, the commandments.  These UFO's also parted the Jordan river."
  Furthermore, these beings when they communicate  manifest many of the same characteristics  of a poltergeist  with  the occult phenomena that typically surround a haunting or a  possession.  Strange noises , unexplained marks, lost time,  television or radio interference are all hallmarks of a poltergeist and also accompany a visitation or an 'abduction'.  Frankly, these abduction stories are not for the faint of heart. They often involve torture, and  only  appear to happen to the unsaved.  One doesn't have to read far into the  alien abduction to see that, as Dave Hunt quipped " The same people in charge of haunted houses are in charge of flying saucers."
  A recent theme that has surfaced is the  idea of alien-human breeding program.  This isn't particularly 'recent' though, as the same  stunt was pulled  back in Genesis 6. As usual, your Bible runs decades ahead of current events. Missler and Eastman, in their book  Alien Abductions write "A recurring theme in the abduction scenario is the delivery of detailed messages to abductees . The messages delivered  to abductees are typically done by  telepathic (mind to mind) conversations..In some cases, abductees report being shown scenes or messages on large screens within the alien craft. These messages are usually horrific  prophetic scenarios about impending cataclysmic events on earth and the destruction of Earth due to  environmental degradation.  In some cases overt religious messages are given to abductees. These messages can include the notion that he aliens are our creators, that they are trying to  advance our evolution through these breeding programs, and that mankind must unify- with their assistance- into a system  of global governance and religion in order to survive the future cataclysms."
  Dr. Jacques Valee wrote in Confrontations ; "The medical examination to which abductees are said to be subjected , often accompanied by sadistic sexual manipulation, is reminiscent of the medieval tales of encounters with demons.  It makes no sense in a sophisticated or technical framework; any intelligent being  equipped with the  scientific marvels  that UFOs posses would be in a position  to achieve any of these alleged scientific objectives in a shorter time and with fewer risks."
  John Ankenberg and John Weldon ask  the obvious question in their book The Facts on UFOs and Other Supernatural Phenomena.  "Further , in light of the messages given by the UFO entities, how credible is it to think that literally thousands of genuine extraterrestrials would fly millions or billions of light years simply to teach new Age philosophy, deny Christianity, and support the occult?  And why would the entities actually possess and inhabit people ( as in Walk-ins and channeling) just like demons do if they were really advanced extraterrestrials?  Why would they consistently lie about things which we know are true,  and why would they purposefully deceive their contacts?"
   As the final  nail in the coffin, I  give you a quote from the esteemed Carl Sagan, who, though an  opponent of Biblical  Christianity  his entire life, became a Bible believer on December 20th, 1996.  In his work Intelligent Life in the Universe, Dr. Sagan asked "What might an  advanced extraterrestrial civilization want from us?  One of the primary  motivations for the exploration of the New World  was to  convert the inhabitants to Christianity -peacefully if possible-forcefully if necessary. Can we exclude the possibility of an extraterrestrial evangelism?"

Note:  Anyone interested in  a more detailed coverage of this topic should read this.  It's the least I can do after  'borrowing' his  graphic.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

I Apologize In Advance For My Sense of Humour

The Happiness and Sadness and Wonder of Books

 As I have mentioned before, I love books. Much of my reading is either Biblical in  nature, or doctrinal in nature, or historical in nature, or all three at once.  I  read more church history than  anybody else I know (three or four books a year on it, and there aren't even that many out there), and to be honest, most of the time it's like chewing rocks while wading through peanut butter.   It seems there is always some weighty matter grabbing my attention,or my opinion and perspective is being sought on some  point of doctrine or history and just as some people never read anything  that's  heavy, I  hardly ever read anything that's light.
  However,  having  made my way through  'History of the Baptists' and having semi-completed the notes for a Bible class, I was in the mood for something light.  I wanted a break. I wanted a novel. I have a stack of books given to me by a friend that had belonged to  his  minister grandfather and  had  been merely sitting in plastic bin in a musty garage for  years. In that stack was a book   written in 1911.  The cover said simply, in black letters "QUEED: A Novel by Henry Sydnor Harrison".
  Now for me, there is  an entire process of reading that involves multiple senses.  I sat there in my bed and  looked at the  faded cover. I ran my hands over the threadbare cloth. I  opened up and saw that this was a 1927 reprint. I  put my nose in the book and smelled the yellowed pages ( try that with a Kindle, I promise you'll be disappointed).  I  perused the table of contents and  then I started to read.  An enjoyable book so far, but in the middle of reading it, a thought struck me; when was the last time this book was read?  Not just when was the last time 'Queed' was read, (if Amazon reviews are any indicator, never) but when was the last time this particular copy was read?
  I am an author, and I understand the process of distilling the  brew of your imagination   and  trying to   put that vision on  a printed page. I know about  creating characters. I know about research. I know about rewrites and rereadings, and moving  things around in a manuscript. I know about  spiral notebooks  crammed with notes written in pencil. I know about   putting  months into a work and then deciding to abandon it.  I know about  asking people to  look at what you've done.  I know about he  fear that  they will think what you have written is as insufficient as you suspect it is.  Creation for consumption by another  is a frighteningly intimate act. If you write, or create in any way, you  know exactly what I mean. I must assume that Mr Harrison knew about it as well. 
  I will never meet Mr Harrison. He'll never even know if I  liked his book or not. I will never have the chance to sit down with him and  find out what sort of person he was. Yet here I was, holding the essence of his  imagination in my hand. He had written it, and published it, and now he lies somewhere moldering in his grave as I sit in  my bed over 100 years later, and the  chasm of time that separated  us had been closed by this  wonderful and marvelous  conglomeration of  ink and paper and  glue. I had as much access to the inside of Mr Harrison's head than I would have ever had if we been contemporaries. His words retain as much life as they ever possessed.  Ink on a page has the  ability to  evoke images and passions,  and skillful words can  endear you to people that don't technically exist. That is part of the wonder of the printed word.
  The other side to that equation  is that  Mr. Harrison's words were typeset, committed to paper, bound in a book, and sold. That book was purchased  and then, after some unknowable time and circumstances , became resigned to a plastic bin in somebody's garage. The creative sweat of Mr. Harrison languished in  unappreciated anonymity for decades. That seems  horribly tragic to me, but at the same time, somewhat inevitable.
   There is only so much time in a man's life and he can only read so much.  You couldn't read  everything ever written, nor should you feel compelled to do so. There are printed works that frankly aren't worth the shelf space in your brain. To qualify as 'well read' you have to literally be at least passingly familiar with hundreds of works written over thousands of years. But there is a certain amount of wading and sorting that one must endure to find those little treasures left behind by  the  minds of the past.  When you  rescue the  contents of another man's heart from the plastic bin in the musty garage, and put those contents into your own heart, you have returned  a small flicker of life to someone who once wondered if what they were writing was ever going to be read by anyone. You have  confirmed and given credence to those hours spent writing and rewriting.  You have validated the time spent, which  was just as precious to them as yours is to you, and you have literally stepped over centuries in a single bound to commune with someone you will never meet.
  Isn't that  absolutely  amazing?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Salt and Prepper

   I somehow got sucked into watching  a show on Netflix last night. The focus of the show were so-called 'preppers', a group of people who would  probably not count me among their numbers for reasons which will become apparent, but to whom I am very sympathetic. This particular set of preppers were having underground reinforced bunkers built so that they could  presumably  sit out the next zombie attack/nuclear winter/economic collapse/leprechaun apocalypse in relative safety and comfort. These folks were having  periscopes and machine gun turrets installed outside their bomb-proof doors. I applaud them for thinking ahead, and I truly enjoy  some prep writers,but I think there is something missing in the mindset of the people featured on this show. Let me  explain.
   First of all, I understand that it's a television show, and  out of dramatic necessity they showcase the most extreme mindsets and then, if necessary edit the  footage to present a more cohesive version of the narrative.  I understand that the one guy's comments that "everybody that's not a prepper is a zombie" and then the subsequent footage of his family conducting live fire exercises on  paper zombie targets  probably  seemed a lot less creepy  before editing.  He may not  have not meant to  imply that he was  looking forward to the chance to  'cap' his zombie neighbor when he comes over to borrow a cup of sugar.  Often what you  wind up with is  a caricature of what you started with. But hey, that's show business.
  Interestingly, what people  now call an'off-grid lifestyle' past generations simply called 'everyday life'. Our ancestors lived 'off-grid' before  there was a word for it, and they did not live in lock-down mode. They didn't build  elaborate structures to fend off the barbarians at the gate. They didn't  spend  hours  zeroing in their  rifles so they could  double tap the rabble coming up their driveway. They simply 'lived'.  What they had was knowledge, and that knowledge was surprisingly  common.They were confident in their ability to survive, and that confidence enabled them to  not turn into  paranoid zombie-shooting weirdos.
  True prepping isn't a lifestyle of  stockpiling of  beanie weenies in a converted fall-out shelter or shopping for discounted radio-iodine tablets. True prepping involves  reclaiming  knowledge that was available to  people in the past that made them independent of the infrastructure. This has always been true; knowledge is power, and it's also portable. The best bug-out bag is the one above your neck, and it's better to  know how to grow beans than to have a 50 lb sack of them.When it all falls apart, the ability to replenish your stock with your own effort  makes you more likely to share, and puts you in a better overall position to be a more decent human being.  It also means  , that, should you be forced to abandon where you live, you can take your skills with you.
  I have been blessed to have a little piece of property  on the outskirts of a tiny  town in the South, and over the last few years, we have been acquiring the necessary skills to not just survive the collapse of 'the system', but to make life better on all points in between.  I thought I would make a brief list of not only things we have already done, but things we plan on's a work in progress, like everything else. These things have been done a little at a time, one paycheck at a time, with no debt incurred.
  We have a garden. When we moved in, the soil was pretty poor. It's quite sandy in this part of the country and this pathetic yet indestructible grass grew everywhere.  We bought some books , most notably How to Grow More Vegetables, and  it was an excellent resource.  I also asked my grandparents a lot of questions.  The harsh reality is, it takes time to  build a garden that will feed your family.  You can't start  today and have  vegetables tomorrow.  So the sooner you get started, the  more time you have to make mistakes. For us it has been a multi-year process of building up the soil with compost,  horse manure and  chicken manure.  The soil quality has improved so much that the grass in that area is a different shade of green than everything around it.
  We save seed and reuse them. One of the  first mistakes we made was not  rinsing the seeds and then drying them. It turns out it can get pretty  gross in a ziploc bag with wet seeds.
  We have some livestock.   We bought some  baby chicks for about  3 bucks apiece and  I built an enclosure for them out of scrap wood.  We have had as  few as 4 and as many as 30. The chickens  lay eggs and when they stop laying, they find their way into my freezer.  The chickens also are  voracious consumers of kitchen scraps, and the  manure they produce goes back into the garden. It's all very 'circle of life'. Chickens are also excellent at pest control. We had a flea problem a  few years back. We turned the chickens loose in the yard for a couple of days, and there were no more fleas.  I can also  pile a  bunch of compost on the far end of the garden, and within the hour, the  chickens will have sorted through it and inadvertently  spread it out for  me.
  We have a very small  pond that has a couple of fish in it, and has been stocked with crawfish, which I eat.  It will soon be the home to  some  ducks that  will give us some variety in our eggs, plus I just like baby  ducks.  It's not all about what you can eat, mind you.
  I also have a pony that I was  persuaded to buy by a six year old  girl with eyes the size of dinner plates.  About once a week we  go into his pen,  scoop up what he has left behind, and we  toss it into the garden where the chickens sort it out.  This , honestly, is the only contribution he makes, at least from my perspective. We  intend on buying some goats, mostly for landscaping purposes, though they will be on the menu if push comes to shove.
  We had bees a couple of years back, and that provided  some interesting comedic fodder along with a little bit of honey. We are revisiting  our beekeeping this year, although I'm not sure if they qualify as 'livestock'.
  We have a well. Our well is powered by an electric pump, but  it capable of  being foot-powered.  I also have plans to  install a well with a hand pump on the other end of the property.  That way, if the grid goes down, we can  carry on, although with a bit more effort, and in the meantime, we can water the animals without using any electricity.
  We have plans to  close off our property.   Obviously  there are a lot of ways to do this, but our plan is simple. We intend to put a gate on the front that we can lock, and  then create a perimter of trees and thorny bushes, which are much prettier than fences. I mean if somebody was determined, i suppose they could ram the gate in their vehicle, or jump the ditch on either  side of the fence and drive through the bushes.  If somebody really wants to get on your property, it's almost imposible to stop them , so we focus on  making it as inconvenient as possible.  As my dad used to say "Locks keep honest people honest.". Should that fail, we  have our next point to fall back on.
  We have firearms. The less said about this the better, because you  never know who is listening, but  suffice to say we have some.   We also shoot fairly regularly. This has the double benefit of  creating proficiency and remind the neighbors that we are armed.  Often they will respond with their own target shooting that echoes through the trees. We live in a great neighborhood.
 We are nice to our neighbors.  If it all does fall apart, more will get done, I believe,  with  small, tightly knit communities than by some bozo with a bunker that  shouts "Sucks to be you" as he walls off his family from the outside world.  When times are hard, your neighbor who has gotten swept up in the roving mob may remember that  you brought them a  cake once, or helped jump-start their car and pass you by. It's worth a try, and in the meantime it makes life more pleasant. 
  The idea overall is not to create some sort of compound, and it's to  to foster an  'us vs them' mentality.  It's to survive, and it turns out the same skills and knowledge that   makes you more prone to survive also adds to the quality of your life in the meantime.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Pre-Trib: The Matthew 24 Crowd

  In Job 19:25-27, Job makes a series of really remarkable statements about the future.  He claims to know that his Redeemer lives and not only is he alive, but Job expects to see him standing upon the earth at some future date.  Job expects to see him even if Job dies before the arrival of this ‘latter day’.  Even if the natural course of decay happens, Job has full confidence that he will see God, not as ‘Job the Friendly ghost’, but with eyes of flesh. Job is expecting a resurrected body of some sort.
  Moving forward a few centuries, we have the Redeemer standing upon the earth and in John 11, his friend Lazarus dies.  Lazarus’s heartbroken sister approaches Jesus and confesses, when asked, that despite her sorrow she understands that one day, the “last day” her brother’s dead body will once again live in a resurrected form.  Jesus tells her in John 11:25 that he is the resurrection she is expecting.  He had clarified just a few chapters earlier in John 5 that there would actually be two resurrections; the resurrection of life and the resurrection of damnation.  All of mankind from Adam onward will be resurrected from the grave as part of one of these two resurrections.
  We see, through prophecy, these resurrections being carried out in Revelation 20. Everybody that is part of the first resurrection has eternal life; everybody in the second resurrection has eternal damnation.  With this as a guide, you can look at any resurrection earlier in the bible and know which resurrection that you’re seeing purely by where the resurrected end up.
  The business of preparing men for the first resurrection is compared to a harvest in scripture in Mathew9, John 4 and Luke 10, among other places. Any harvest has 3 parts to it; the first fruits, the main harvest, and the gleanings.  When you plant a crop, regardless of what the fruit is, some of the fruit comes ready early, and is picked early. These are the first fruits.  The bulk of the fruit comes ready all at once in a main harvest, and a small amount isn’t ready until later as gleanings.  The entire crop isn’t ready at the same time, so it’s not harvested all at the same time, but it is all fruit, and it is all considered part of the same harvest.  The same is true of the resurrection.
  That brings us to Matthew 24, an oft-disputed passage of scripture.  We could dwell on the peculiarly Jewish tone to the passage.  We could ponder the similarities and differences between the events of Matthew 24, 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4. We could wonder at the fate of the servant at the end of the passage.   These are all interesting things to discuss, but I want to zero in on two very basic questions.  One of these questions is easy to answer; the other requires a bit more thought.
  In Matthew 24, a group of people are gathered from off the earth unto God.  The first question is; which resurrection is this? Obviously these folks aren’t slated for damnation, so this is the first resurrection.  The second question is; which part ?  Are we seeing the first fruits, the harvest or the gleanings?
  If this group are the first fruits, then  there must needs be  two other groups that leave after them.  But this Matthew 24 crowd appears to leave so late in the timeline of God’s dealing with mankind that there isn’t time (or scriptural support) for two more groups to leave.  By the  middle of Matthew 24 Jesus Christ is already at least visible from the earth on his way to the events of Revelation 19:11.  In addition to that, there are a group of saints  that already  qualify as the first fruits according to 1 Corinthians 15. These saints are mentioned in Matthew 27 and arise immediately after the resurrection of Jesus.  Because of this, the Matthew 24 crowd disqualifies themselves as the first fruits, and only two possibilities remain; harvest and gleanings.
  They might be the main harvest, which would include everyone who is ‘dead in Christ’.  This is a  pretty large crowd by comparison.  This main harvest would certainly appear to be a ‘great multitude which no man could number’ and they certainly seem to share many of the qualities of the  souls in Revelation 7:9, but before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s consider this.  If they are the main harvest, then one more group of resurrected saved human beings leave after them.  When does this happen?  If Matthew 24 is the main harvest or the rapture of the church, when do the gleanings leave?  There simply isn't time  for anybody else to leave before the  clock runs out, so to speak.
  It seems inescapable to me that the group in Matthew 24 are the last group of humans to be gathered unto God, and that makes them the gleanings.  Carrying this to its inevitable conclusion, if the Mathew 27 crowd are the first fruits, and the Matthew 24 crowd is both the church AND the gleanings, that leaves an interesting hole right there in the middle. Can we expect one more group to leave before us? Who are these people in the main harvest if it’s not us, and when can we expect them to leave?
  I submit to you that the Matthew 24 crowd is the gleanings.  Furthermore they cannot be the gleanings AND the church.  Since they leave at the end of the tribulation, the main harvest, or church has to leave sometime between March 21st 2014 and the return of Jesus Christ to rule and reign.  That is one of many reasons that I believe the church leaves before  the beginning , or at the  very least, before the end of the time of Jacob’s trouble.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

UFO's and the Bible, Part 2- Spiritual in Nature

   For  thousands of years, people have seen unexplainable lights in the sky and with increasing commonality have reported encounters with strange beings. But yet the Bible doesn’t even imply that life exists anywhere outside of the earth; in fact it strongly  suggest that not only  was everything  living  that was created  located in one planet, but that the Creator of all life intends to rule and reign here with his creation bowing before him.  I postulated in the first post on this topic that the science fiction culture that we live in has pre-programmed us to think that these phenomena are physical in nature and have an origin outside of the Earth.  I submit to you that neither is true, according to the Bible and that these phenomena are spiritual in nature.   To bolster this assertion, we will look carefully at   some unusual occurrences recorded in the word of God.
  In 2 Samuel 5, David is getting ready to go to battle, and in verse 22 to 24, we read the following; And the Philistines came up yet again , and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.  And when David enquired of the LORD, he said , Thou shalt not go up ; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees.  And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines.  And David did so , as the LORD had commanded him; and smote the Philistines from Geba until thou come to Gazer.   The Bible doesn’t seem to indicate that David saw anything, but rather that he heard it, and the thing that he heard was the Lord going before him into battle. This wasn’t ET trying to phone home, it was a manifestation of God on his behalf.  Since God is a spirit, this is a spiritual manifestation, but it is interesting to note that, since this manifestation made noise and moved tree branches, the spiritual can affect the physical world and be detected by the senses.  Just because it’s spiritual doesn’t mean it isn’t solid. Therefore, the idea UFOs have been tracked on radar doesn’t limit them to being intergalactic  craft.  They could still be spiritual and still have enough substance to manifest a radar signature, or be photographed.
  In Ezekiel  10:9-22 we read “And when I looked , behold the four wheels by the cherubims, one wheel by one cherub, and another wheel by another cherub: and the appearance of the wheels was as the colour of a beryl stone.  And as for their appearances, they four had one likeness, as if a wheel had been in the midst of a wheel. When they went , they went upon their four sides; they turned not as they went , but to the place whither the head looked they followed it; they turned not as they went .  And their whole body, and their backs, and their hands, and their wings, and the wheels, were full of eyes round about, even the wheels that they four had.  As for the wheels, it was cried unto them in my hearing, O wheel.  And every one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, and the second face was the face of a man, and the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.  And the cherubims were lifted up . This is the living creature that I saw by the river of Chebar.  And when the cherubims went , the wheels went by them: and when the cherubims lifted up their wings to mount up from the earth, the same wheels also turned not from beside them.  When they stood , these stood ; and when they were lifted up , these lifted up themselves also: for the spirit of the living creature was in them.  Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims.  And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they went out , the wheels also were beside them, and every one stood at the door of the east gate of the LORD'S house; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.  This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the cherubims.  Every one had four faces apiece, and every one four wings; and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings.  And the likeness of their faces was the same faces which I saw by the river of Chebar, their appearances and themselves: they went every one straight forward.” Now a lot of people have spent a lot of time trying to explain or describe what Ezekiel saw.  Suffice to say, for the purposes of our discussion that this was a heavenly manifestation, not little green men in a metal craft come to mutilate some cattle or make circles in a wheat field.

 For our last example we turn to Zechariah 5, where the Bible says “ Then I turned , and lifted up mine eyes, and looked , and behold a flying roll.  And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered , I see a flying roll; the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits.  Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off as on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off as on that side according to it.  I will bring it forth , saith the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof.”  This thing that   Zecharaiah saw wasn’t Mork from Oork, it was a curse that went over the whole earth. Interestingly the ‘roll’ shape or ‘cigar’ shape is the most common shape described in modern UFO folklore. These curses might be more common than we have been led to believe.  This curse caused  things to rot or decay  wherever it goes.  Once again you have a spiritual   manifestation that  causes a physical response.  But the chapter doesn’t stop there.
  Then the angel that talked with me went forth , and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth .  And I said , What is it? And he said , This is an ephah that goeth forth . He said moreover, This is their resemblance through all the earth.  And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah.  And he said , This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof.  Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked , and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven.  Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah?  And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established , and set there upon her own base.”  Since there are no female angels in the Bible, and angels in the Bible don’t have wings, whatever these are, they aren’t angels. They appear to be some sort of foul spirit (AKA Attack of the Stork Women) that take a graven image and carry it towards the eventual seat of the antichrist. 
  We have established so far that life is limited to this planet, according to the Bible, and also according to the Bible, spiritual entities or beings can manifest themselves and affect the physical world.  Next post we will take a closer look as to who the potential powers might be behind these manifestations.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

UFO's and the Bible, Part 1- Aliens

  Let me start off by saying this; prior to my conversion to Christianity in 1995, I was inordinately interested in UFO’s and the idea of extraterrestrial visitation.  People have seen unexplainable lights in the sky for thousands of years, and   accounts of encounters with strange beings go back as far as we have records far. I have probably read every major book on the subject, and quite a few of the lesser-known books. Some of them even  touched on the Bible. I read books that used UFOs and alien technology to explain away biblical miracles or prophetic visions. I read books that suggested the God of the Bible was an alien that was mistakenly taken as a deity after seeding this planet with human life. None of these authors believed the Bible; they were just merely using it as a framework to introduce their theories. However, after receiving Christ, and becoming convinced of the truth and completeness of the Biblical revelation, I became curious as to what the Bible actually has to say about these phenomena, if anything.  This topic is a perennial favorite in my Sunday School Class during our "What Does the Bible Say About....?" sessions.  The notes are  a bit extensive, so I've broken it into parts.

  It is the most natural thing in the world to look at the sheer vastness of space and wonder if we are alone.  It seems inconceivable sometimes that God could make a place so big, and then only populate one little corner of it, but the scriptures make an interesting statement, “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited : I am the LORD; and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:18)  If we take this statement at face value, the earth was made to be inhabited, but nothing else. The idea that a God whose hand spans the heaven, and whose creation speaks of his glory and his handiwork taking an exclusive interest in one little planet in one little galaxy seems hard to swallow, but let me remind you that God said “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…”.
  Then why, you may ask, make a universe so big that we have yet to find  the edges of it? Why make a cosmos that a man or generations of men literally could not travel fast enough or far enough to cross it? The Bible says in Rev 4:11 that everything was made for God’s  “good pleasure”.  The answer is simple; he made such a big universe because he wanted to, and he made the earth specifically to be inhabited.
  There are several scriptures which argue against the existence of any life outside of the earth.  For example, Genesis 2:1-2 summarizes everything God had created in the previous chapter.  Not once is anything alive referenced except for things created on earth.  There is no mention of fish or birds, or creeping things being called forth anyplace except on this planet.
  The Bible elaborates on God’s desires in Psalm 145:9-13. “The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.  All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.  They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power;  To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.  Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations”. Its clear that God intends on ruling over all his works, and he intends to receive worship from all his works, but he only one he seems concerned with notifying is the  “sons of men”. Also in the future date where all of God’s creation comes before him to worship, that worship takes place on earth. Rev 21:1-6, 23-24 says “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away ; and there was no more sea.  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying , Behold , the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away .  And he that sat upon the throne said , Behold , I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write : for these words are true and faithful.  And he said unto me, It is done . I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely….. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.  And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.”  The Greys and Reptilians are a no-show when it comes time to bow the knee to the maker of the heavens and earth.
  C.S. Lewis theorized that, as we ventured out among the stars we would find alien culture after alien culture with their own Redeemer who had come and died for them. There would be a Martian Jesus and Jesus from Alpha Centauri as well as a Jesus from Oork. That notion, however interesting, has no scriptural support. In Hebrews 9, great detail is gone into regarding the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, and the Bible specifically says in verses 11 and 12 that Christ entered into the holiest of holies “once”.   If the universe were chock full of Venusians and Martians and Vulcans and Wookies, wouldn’t it have been necessary for God the Son to live as one of them, die as one of them, and more than “once’ enter the holiest of holies to pay for their sins?
  What you think those lights in the sky are hinges on your worldview. If you were a superstitious Roman Catholic peasant in the 1200’s, you would assume the lights to be angels or spirits or demons, and it would be time to run to your priest for help.  We don’t live in that time frame, we live in a science fiction culture where everybody has seen movies and read books about aliens coming down from above, with brightly illuminated craft.  When modern man sees lights in the sky, he has been pre-dispositioned by TV and movies to think ‘aliens’. But that concept carries with it some pretty serious implications and you can put yourself in quite the theological pickle with it.  Such   tight spots are unnecessary when the Bible make it so clear as to what UFO’s are not. Now what the actually are is the subject of a future post.  Coming soon….