Bible X-Files, Part 2

Title: Bible X-Files, Part 2

Text: 2 Timothy 4:3-4, 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, 1 Corinthians 10:19

Time: September 23rd, 2011

 

Last year I gave a message that dealt with the subject of space aliens. Why did I take the time to address such a subject? Because the History Channel had just run a five-part series called Ancient Aliens that argued for the validity of the so-called “Ancient Astronaut” theory, that is, the belief that in times past aliens visited the planet earth and made contact with earth’s primitive people. The theory goes on to explain how much of religion and culture can be explained as coming from alien contact. Supposedly, much of our history on earth is due to the influence of space aliens. I felt it important to address these issues from a Christian perspective because what was once considered a part of the “lunatic fringe” is now being mainstreamed by media outlets such as the History Channel. That was over a year ago. Although I was surprised that the History Channel would risk its credibility by airing this series, I thought that for ratings sake they were probably trying to cash in on the popularity of belief in aliens among the population and that their coverage would end as soon as they had exploited the topic for all it was worth during a short time period. But to my surprise I happened to be flipping through the channels on TV and found the History Channel had not only run the initial five-part series in 2010, but it then ran two more new seasons, a second ten-part series and then a third eight-part series also. So far, the History Channel has devoted at least twenty-three separate episodes explaining the evidences for the Ancient Alien theory. The once fringe author Eric Von Daniken is now being given star billing on this television series. How can we explain the popularity of the topic of space aliens in American culture today? And how can we explain how such ideas that were once laughed at and classified as psuedo-science are now becoming a part of the mainstream? A big reason could be that modern people long for and hunger for mystery which an increasingly secular and scientific world is taking from them. The human heart knows that there is more to life than matter and energy as secular science teaches. Unfortunately, there are always figures such as Von Daniken and others who are all too eager to step in and claim to fill the spiritual hole in the soul of modern man with bizarre and mysterious claims of extra-terrestrials. But why should Christians in particular be concerned about the popular alien theories? Because these theories seek to replace historic, biblical Christianity with an entirely new interpretation of God and spiritual truth. Underneath the interesting and attractive alien theories being articulated today there is a subtle — and not so subtle — attempt to explain away Christianity and replace it with a new worldview based on science and New Age philosophy. Therefore, what I’d like to do today is approach the whole topic of Ancient Aliens and the worldview that comes from it, as one big form of deception. I’d like to argue that what is taking place isn’t science but rather a spiritual con game run by the father of all lies the Devil. Yes, Satan himself is inspiring the popular alien mythology that is fast becoming mainstream in the modern world. The Ancient Alien myth seeks to replace Christianity as a worldview. I’d like to expose this deception as much as possible. That’s my task today.

 

First, there is the popular Ancient Alien mythology being promoted in modern times. “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths,” 2 Timothy 4:3-4. The actual Greek word in the original language of the New Testament in this passage uses the literal word muthous or myth. And while there are some scholarly uses of the word “myth” that define it simply as a belief or explanation, such as Joseph Campbell uses it, in the minds of most people the word means a belief that isn’t true even though it may explain something. That’s the way the Apostle Paul uses the word in 2 Timothy when he says that people turn away from the truth and turn to myths. That’s what’s happening in our culture as more and more people turn away from biblical Christianity – they don’t stop believing, they simply start believing false teachings or myths. Of course, there is Chesterton’s famous quotation that when people stop believing the truth they don’t just stop believing things, they believe anything! That is what we see happening in the modern world today, especially in secular Europe and America. As the truths of Christianity are rejected, more and more false beliefs or myths come in to replace the rejected truths. Now what is so appealing with the Ancient Alien belief is that it mixes a little bit of science with popular New Age spirituality, thus creating a distinctively modern worldview. For example, the History Channel series constantly and consistently introduces evidences from a wide variety of sciences, such as archaeology and physics, to prove that our planet has been visited by aliens in the past. The so-called evidence is scattered all over the globe, from the Americas to India, from Europe to Africa and Asia. This is all presented in the form of an investigation. Then, conclusions are drawn that take our traditional understanding of God, truth and spiritual reality – for example, as taught in the Bible, the church and Christianity – and reinterpret them in light of the so-called evidences of ancient aliens. Angels as no longer messengers from God, but instead they are really ancient aliens from another planet. In fact, God himself is no longer seen as an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present eternal being, but now merely a very powerful space alien. And with the modern, secular population moving away from historic Christian beliefs anyway, this reinterpretation makes a lot of sense. With the truths of Christianity losing hold on a large percentage of modern citizens, it makes sense that many would be led-astray by this New Age spiritual makeover.

 

Second, there’s the real possibility spiritual deception is involved in the promoting and spreading of the Ancient Alien belief. “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve,” 2 Corinthians 11:13-15. If the Ancient Alien theory is true, then historic, biblical Christianity is false. Why such a sharp contrast? Because the Bible describes God as eternal, uncreated and all-powerful, a completely unique Being in all of reality. The Ancient Alien belief claims that there really is no “God” in the biblical sense, but only powerful aliens who visited our planet many years ago and influenced human culture into thinking of God and the spiritual realm. According to this belief, alien visitation is the basis for most spiritual beliefs, including Christianity. So as Christians, we must reject this view as wrong and reaffirm our historic belief in the truthfulness of the biblical account of God and faith. But if we reject the alien theory of the origins of religion how do we explain the many different spiritual beliefs in the world? Some of these beliefs can be explained not by alien visitation or influence but by demonic influence. In the verse quoted, the Apostle Paul says that Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light, is it not surprising that his demons masquerade also? Instead of ancient aliens visiting primitive peoples long time ago all over the world, it could have been demon spirits – this makes total sense from a Christian biblical worldview. But that raises the question, “Can demonic spirits, fallen angels, take on human appearance like righteous angels?” We know from the many instances in the Bible that holy angels can visit the earth and take on human form. For example, in the Old Testament, we have angels visiting Abraham before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18 – and they eat and drink with him. In the New Testament, we have the statement in Hebrews 13:2, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” In both instances, angels from God appear on earth in fully human form. Now the question is, “Can fallen angels or demons take on human form just like righteous angels?” If so, then demons – and not ancient aliens – could explain much of the evidences that these new theories are presenting. But are there any instances of demons taking on human form in the Bible? Yes, or at least there is the good possibility of it, in Jesus’ encounter with the Devil himself in the desert. “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. . . . The devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor,” Matthew 4:1, 9. Was this a purely spiritual vision or a concrete, solid body encounter? The context seems to favor a real human form by Satan, for example, by taking Jesus to a high mountain and showing him the earthly kingdoms. There is nothing in the Bible that says demons can’t appear in human form from time to time, and they could have done so in the past and they may also do so in the present. This would explain a great many things about so-called aliens and their influence on humans.

 

Third, demonic deception could explain a lot of alien activity and belief today. “Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons,” 1 Corinthians 10:19-20. According to the Apostle Paul, demon spirits are behind a lot of false religious activity. Without going into a lot of speculation about the origins of ancient false religions, it’s quite possible that many false belief systems got their initial inspiration from demons. According to Ancient Alien belief religions got their start from alien visitations. Primitive people interpreted their encounters as spiritual and directly with God or angels, but according to authors like Eric Von Daniken it was really with extra-terrestrials they interacted. But from the biblical perspective, it might have been with demons they had interaction. Demons might have even taken on human form, like holy angels can take on human form. But what is even more intriguing is to think of demonic deception not just in ancient times, but also in modern times as well. How do we explain the many claims of alien encounters today? How do we account for the many UFO sightings? How can we understand the people who claim an alien abduction? Are all these reports false; are all these people lying? No, we don’t have to believe all the reports are false or all the people are lying. But we don’t have to believe they are seeing or experiencing what they think they are – we can believe they are all being deceived. Primitive pagan people, according to the Apostle Paul, were deceived into thinking they were making offerings to the gods, but in fact, they were offering sacrifices to demons. So too today, many people think they are encountering aliens, seeing UFOs or being abducted by aliens, for example, but in reality, there’s a greater probability they are being deceived. Satan or demons have the power to produce illusions – we know this from the Bible. Remember Jesus’ encounter with Satan in the desert? Remember that Jesus was taken to a high mountain and shown “all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor,’ Matthew 4:8. But how could all the kingdoms of the world be seen from any high mountain? There’s no mountain, even the highest, such as Mount Everest, where one can see all the kingdoms of the world. So Satan must have used some form of projection to display the kingdom of the world to Jesus. Could demons or the Devil be projecting UFOs and aliens into the minds of modern people today? Given the known capabilities of the Devil there’s more chance he’s deceiving, giving false projections and illusions, than there are actually UFOs and space aliens being encountered today.

 

But does this really explain the popular UFO and space alien belief today? Obviously something is really happening for there to be so many people who claim to have encountered aliens or UFOs. And there is something really happening – the demon spirits are projecting the alien mythology into the minds of thousands, if not, millions of persons today. Just as in ancient times, demons projected false spiritual and religious visions into the minds of ancient people, just as demons actually arranged for and orchestrated human contact by taking on human form, so also today demons are promoting the whole alien mythology in the minds of modern people. We might wonder, while we are on the same topic, what the futuristic anti-Christ might be. The Bible speaks of someone who comes during the end times, who draws many people to follow him, and who opposes God. Believers have always speculated as to how this evil personage might actually arrive or emerge. But if we think about it from a biblical perspective, we might just be talking about an evil figure who is a fallen angel in human form who presents himself as an extra-terrestrial. Am I saying that the anti-Christ will come as an alien from space? No, that isn’t necessary to fulfill biblical prophecy, but I’m saying he could claim to be an alien visitor – and by posturing himself as such could garner a huge following instantly. Of course, it would all be a huge deception, but the many millions or even billions of people on earth following such a leader, they wouldn’t know. Yes, it would involve a grand deception of enormous size, but that isn’t outside of the realm of possibility for Satan – from what we already know about him from the Bible. Now I’m not saying that I know that the anti-Christ will claim to be an alien, or even that UFOs and alien encounters today are actually demonic deceptions. But I am saying that the possibility it’s deception is greater than the possibility it’s really visitors from outer space. So far, there is no scientific evidence that there exists any intelligent life outside our planet. The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence or SETI, is based on the evolutionary assumption that if life “evolved” on planet earth, that given the vast size and age of the universe, it probably “evolved” somewhere else also. But that assumption is only an assumption. We should be very careful in the near future if or when we hear of discoveries of life beyond our planet. We need to be aware that there are fallen angels, demons, fully capable of deceiving even the most intelligent among us. Seen in the light of the Bible and our Christian faith, most or all talk of extra-terrestrial life, at this point is probably demonic deception. Let us not be taken in by it.

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