By Brian Mariani
In our last post (Ancient Aliens: Part One) we discussed the present day infatuation with aliens as well as the theories about alien visitations in ancient times. In this post we will focus more on the Biblical implications of these alien theories. Some might claim that just because the Bible doesn’t mention aliens, it doesn’t mean they don’t exist. But as we approach this topic, we need to focus on what the Bible does address. As Christians, when we are looking for answers, our first question should be, “What does the Bible say?” Let’s look at what God tells us about the spiritual world.
Aliens or UFOs in the Bible?
Many people try to identify spiritual events in Scripture as possible accounts of UFOs. For instance, Elijah is carried up into heaven by a chariot of fire in 2 Kings 2:11-12 and Ezekiel had some strange encounters that sound like common UFO descriptions (Ezekiel 1). These miraculous spiritual events show God’s all-powerful hand working throughout history. The Bible also explains that Satan is one of the most powerful angels created, and that he can reproduce miracles and mysterious powers that God Himself often uses (Ex 7-9, 1 Sam 28, 2 Kings 21:6, Dan 1-2, Acts 13, Matt 24:24). Remember though that God is infinitely more powerful than Satan, though Satan is a great deceiver.
Spirits in the Form of Man
Rather than using the Bible to defend accounts of aliens, perhaps the secular alien accounts (historical and present day) actually confirm the biblical records. In Genesis 18:8, among other passages, we see that angels can take the form of and behave like man (even eating!). There are many myths all throughout the world that say the gods came down and cohabited with mankind. Maybe there is truth within these myths? Perhaps these “superhuman” creatures led to the idea of extraterrestrials? [i]
Credible secular ufologists like Jacques Vallee and J. Allen Hynek have studied and claimed that extraterrestrials and UFOs are strongly correlated with cults, religious movements, demons, angels, ghosts, and psychic phenomena.[ii] It could be that ancient interaction with the spiritual world (both angels and demons) led to belief in alien life.
The Name of Jesus
More evidence supporting the idea that “aliens” could have some connection to the spiritual world comes from the reported abductions and encounters. Dr. Stephen Yulish is a PhD professor who formerly taught at the University of Arizona in Tucson and was a researcher of UFOs beyond his academic pursuit of Astronomy and Exobiology. He has written numerous articles about how using the name of Jesus Christ has stopped alien abductions. This is another clue that points to the fact that aliens might be demons in disguise, because we read that demons shudder or tremble at the name of Jesus in James 2:19.[iii]
God’s Creation…on EARTH
Did you know that the word “earth” is used 20 times in Genesis 1 alone?! God is very clear in the creation account that He made the EARTH, then everything on the EARTH; man was given dominion over the earth and to inhabit and fill the EARTH. The focus is on God, man on earth, and man having dominion over the plants and animals on earth; nothing is even hinted at about anything more beyond that.
In Genesis 1:14-18, on DAY FOUR God made the stars and celestial bodies to “separate night from day…and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years…to give light on the earth” (emphasis added). Even the creation of the rest of the universe is focused on and has a purpose for the EARTH and the creation upon it.
How does this affect the Gospel?
Genesis 1:26-27 says that God made man after His own image. How would salvation reach or translate to other races on other planets? Jesus left His Godliness above to come humbly to the earth as a man and sacrificed Himself as the God-man on Earth about 2000 years ago for the sins of all mankind. Would God have to do this other times for other races?
Astrophysicist Dr. Jason Lisle writes, “One might at first suppose that Christ also visited their world, lived there, and died there as well, but this is antibiblical. Christ died once for all (1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 9:27–28, Hebrews 10:10).”
Lisle continues by saying, “One might suppose that alien beings have never sinned, in which case they would not need to be redeemed. But then another problem emerges: they suffer the effects of sin, despite having never sinned. Adam’s sin has affected all of creation— not just mankind. Romans 8:20–22 makes it clear that the entirety of creation suffers under the bondage of corruption.” Lisle concludes that we cannot try to force this “antibiblical notion into the Christian worldview.”
From a naturalistic point of view, life has evolved here on Earth, and therefore the odds are that other races have evolved elsewhere in the universe. This is why the idea of extraterrestrial life is fundamentally “an evolutionary concept.”[iv]
True Perspective about Aliens
Many people seem to try to fill their inward desire for something more (their desire for God) with the idea that there are others out there. As Jason Lisle says, “The truth is not “out there;” the truth is in there—in the Bible!”
Researcher David Laughlin says, “Man longs for peace, but refuses to accept the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). He wants to see where he is going, but ignores the Light of the world (John 8:12). Man spends millions of dollars hoping to catch a few meaningful beeps from outer space, yet dismisses the 'gift of God' (Romans 6:23), through which he can tap into God's infinite wisdom and knowledge (Proverbs 1:7; 1 Corinthians 2:10-16; James 1:5).”[v]
In the Bible we are consistently exhorted to remember God’s Word (Josh 1:13, Jude 1:7), to hide it in our hearts (Ps 119:11), and to take every thought captive to Jesus Christ (2 Cor 10:5). It is in Jesus that we can do all things (Matt 19:26, Phil 4:13) and therefore we do not need to fear alien abductions, alien warfare, and demonic and satanic possessions (Rom 8:38-39, Eph 6:12). We are called to resist the devil (James 4:7) and be sober minded, meaning alert and watchful because our “adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet 5:8). But remember that God does not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able (1 Cor 10:13). We have no need to fear when we walk in faith and confidence in God and His good grace (Ps 23:4, Matt 28:20). In the name of Jesus Christ, we are saved and “can stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph 6:11).
Be sure to read Part One if you missed it!
[i] B.A. Robinson, “Passages in the Bible about....Demons,” Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, December 1, 2001, accessed March 29, 2011, http://www.religioustolerance.org/dem_bibl.htm.
[ii] Jacques Vallee, Passport to Magonia: From Folklore to Flying Saucers, (Washington, D.C.: H. Regnery Co, 1969).
Chuck Missler, “Return of the Nephilim,” Koininia House, accessed April 4, 2011, http://www.khouse.org/topical_bible_study/nephilim/.
[iii] Stephen Yulish, “Extraterrestrials Tremble at the Name of Jesus,” UFO Digest, March 29, 2007, accessed March 24, 2011, http://www.ufodigest.com/news/0307/tremble.html.
Stephen Yulish, “Alien Abductions Stopped By the Name of Jesus Christ,” UFO Digest, January 13, 2009, accessed March 24, 2011, http://www.ufodigest.com/news/0109/abductions-stopped.html.
[iv] Jason Lisle, The New Answers Book: Are ETs and UFOs Real? December 6, 2007, accessed March 24, 2011, http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/are-ets-and-ufos-real.
[v] David Laughlin, “Should we search for extraterrestrial intelligence?” Creation 18 (3): 14-16, June 1996, accessed March 24, 2011, http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v18/i3/ufo.asp.