Sermon title:  SATAN USES UFO’S TO CHALLENGE OUR FAITH

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

Immanuel Baptist Church – Sunday, June 13, 2021

 

 

Are there flying saucers in the Bible?

 

Some people believe there are.

 

And they point to the First Chapter of Ezekiel.

 

Ezekiel starts out by saying,

1 In my thirtieth year,

in the 4th month on the fifth day,

while I was among the exiles

by the Kebar River,

the heavens were opened

and I saw visions of God.

And then Ezekiel goes on to describe

some strange-looking winged creatures in the vision,

each one next to an unusual wheel.

 

In Verse 15 he says,

15 As I looked at the living creatures,

I saw a wheel on the ground

beside each creature.

 

And then he describes these special wheels.

 

16 This was the appearance & structure

of the wheels:

They sparkled like topaz,

and all four looked alike.

Each appeared to be made like

a wheel intersecting a wheel.

17 As they moved, they would go

in any one of the four directions

the creatures faced;

the wheels did not change direction

as the creatures went.

18 Their rims were high and awesome,

and all four rims were full of eyes

all around.

19 When the living creatures moved,

the wheels beside them moved;

and when the living creatures

rose from the ground,

the wheels also rose.

 

Ezekiel goes on to describe

how the wheels were supporting a structure

that was like a heavenly chariot,

a movable throne of God.

 

The chapter concludes with Ezekiel saying,

Such was the appearance

of the likeness of the glory

of the LORD.

 

So, this was a vision of God on his throne—

a movable throne with amazing wheels.

 

But some false teachers today claim

that the wheels Ezekiel saw were flying saucers.

 

Louis Farrakhan, of the Nation of Islam

reportedly quotes one of the group’s early leaders

as saying Ezekiel saw a mother ship.

According to the Wikipedia, Farrakhan said,

“The Honorable Elijah Muhammad told us of

a giant Motherplane that is made like the universe,

spheres within spheres.

White people call them unidentified flying objects

(UFOs).

Ezekiel, in the Old Testament, saw a wheel.”

 

And then he added, and I quote,

“It is a circular plane, and the Bible says

that it never makes turns.

Because of its circular nature

it can stop and travel in all directions

at speeds of thousands of miles per hour.”

 

The Nation of Islam sect teaches

that a black Allah will come to earth

aboard this mother ship

and will wipe out the white race—

the supposed cause of the world’s troubles.

 

After this visitor from the flying saucer

destroys all the white people,

the world will then enjoy peace and prosperity.

 

This is just one example of how false religious teachers

distort the meaning of Bible passages

to fit their theories about U.F.O.’s.

 

And it shows how they pin their hopes for salvation

on visitors from outer space,

instead of on Christ, crucified,

risen & coming again.

---------------------

 

The news media in recent weeks

have been full of speculation about U.F.O.’s—

Unidentified Flying Objects—

because a government report on them

is due to be released this month.

 

Six months ago the Congress and President Trump

agreed to set a 180-day deadline

for the intelligence agencies to release

whatever information they have on this.

Flying saucer enthusiasts were hoping the report

would expose the secrets of “Area 51”—

a highly-classified Air Force testing area

in the Nevada desert.

 

There have been whisperings for years

about flying saucers crashing there,

the government finding remains of space aliens,

and even filming an autopsy

performed on one of the little green men.

 

But officials who leaked some of the report’s contents

in advance to the New York Times

appeared to burst the bubble,

by stating no evidence of aliens was found.

 

But they added that the report still leaves

many reported sightings unexplained.

 

And then the mystery was re-invigorated

when it came out that the report would have

a classified annex, not to be made public.

Some assume that refers to secret projects of

the Defense Department,

or secrets our intelligence agencies have learned

about Russian or Chinese technology.

 

But others speculate that there really have been visits

from aliens from outer space—

maybe even a spacecraft that crashed in Area 51,

with alien autopsies, and all—

and that that information is hidden

in the classified top-secret annex.

 

So, nothing that’s been leaked from the report

has done anything to dampen the enthusiasm

of those who believe aliens from outer space

will soon reveal themselves to us.

 

An Associated Press story from a week ago concluded,

and I quote,

“Whatever or whoever they are,

they’re still out there.

U.S. intelligence is after them,

but its upcoming report won't deliver any

full or final truth about UFOs.”

 

Practically speaking, though, the immediate result

of all the media discussing flying saucers,

has just added to the speculation

that alien life may be about to reveal itself.

 

Add to this, the fact that Israeli newspapers

have been quoting

the Former Head of Israel’s Space Program,

with headlines like,

“The Aliens Asked Not To Be Revealed,

Humanity Not Yet Ready”

 

Brigadier General Haim Eshed served from 1981 to 2010

as the head of Israel’s security space program.

 

He commanded the launching of 20 Israeli satellites.

 

And, in an interview he said,and I quote,

 

"The UFOs have asked

not to publish that they are here,

humanity is not ready yet.

Trump was on the verge of revealing,

but the aliens in the Galactic Federation are saying:

Wait, let people calm down first.

They don’t want to start mass hysteria.

They want to first make us sane and understanding.

 

And this retired Israeli general went on to say,

 

“There’s an agreement

between the US government and the aliens.

They signed a contract with us to do experiments here.

... There’s an underground base in the depths of Mars,

where their representatives are,

and also our American astronauts.”

 

Most people would say this is crazy and over-the-top,

but General Eshed defended himself

against such charges by saying,

 

“If I had come up with what I’m saying today

five years ago,

I would have been hospitalized.

Wherever I’ve gone with this in academia,

they’ve said: the man has lost his mind.

Today they’re already talking differently.

I have nothing to lose. I’ve received my degrees and awards,

I am respected in universities abroad,

where the trend is also changing."

 

But, it should be noted that General Eshed

may stand to gain financially

by making such wild claims.

 

He gave that interview as part of the sales promotion

for a new book he’s written.

 

And the claims he made in the interview

could lead more people to buy his book—

follow the money,” they say.

---------------------------------

But, why are we talking about this in church?

 

What does this have to do with our faith?

 

The answer is found in a different interview

given a couple of weeks ago

by former President Barack Obama.

 

The interviewer alluded to the upcoming release

of the intelligence agencies’ report on UFO’s,

and asked Obama how the existence of aliens

would impact his politics.

 

Obama replied,

 

"It wouldn't change my politics at all.

Because my entire politics is premised on the fact

that we are these tiny organisms

on this little speck floating in the middle of space."

 

And then Obama added that, were aliens to be proven real,

“New religions would pop up.”

 

And that’s why we’re talking about it here in church.

-----------------------------

The “little green men” have NOT been proven real.

 

But the speculation alone, the unsolved mysteries,

and the thought that there might be

aliens from outer space

has already affected people’s religious beliefs.

 

The Apostle Peter wrote in his 1st letter that we should be

prepared to make a defense

to anyone who asks you for a reason

for the hope that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:15)

 

So, we should be prepared

for people to throw up challenges to our faith

using reports of alien life forms

to undermine the Bible.

-------------

 

The fact is, though, that such challenges are not new.

 

You might think that speculation about space aliens

began with science fiction stories

about Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon

within the past hundred years.

But, stories of visitors from outer space

have been distorting people’s religious views

long before that.

 

Back in the 1830’s

the Mormon Church emerged in the United States,

calling itself

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

 

Joseph Smith, Jr. and his successor Brigham Young

claimed to be prophets with new revelations.

 

And they taught all sorts of doctrines contrary to the Bible,

even producing their own Book of Mormon,

presented as another Gospel

with higher authority than the Bible.

 

One of Brigham Young’s new teachings was

that Adam and Eve came to earth from another planet.

 

That’s right—he taught that Adam was not made

from the dust of the ground, here on earth,

but rather traveled here from outer space.

 

He claimed, further, that Adam and Eve brought with them

the plants and animals that we see on earth,

from their supposed original home planet.

 

So, our first parents were actually space aliens,

according to the Mormon prophet.

 

And those space aliens populated the earth

with their offspring.

 

But Brigham Young was not the first Mormon

to speak of life on other planets.

 

Mormonism’s founder Joseph Smith, Jr.,

produced not only the Book of Mormon,

but also the so-called Book of Abraham.

 

And it alludes to God’s throne being located

at a star or planet named Kolob”—

a celestial body unknown to science.

Mormons speak of “Kolob” sometimes as a star,

but also as a planet—a planet that rotates

so slowly that one day on Kolob

is equal to 1000 years on Earth.

 

If you Google “Kolob,” you’ll find music videos

sung by young Mormon men and women

about going to this imaginary planet.

 

The Mormons also named several places in Utah after it:

Kolob Canyon in Zion National Park,

Kolob Arch Hiking Trail,

Kolob Reservoir, and so on—

all serving as reminders of this non-biblical belief.

 

Anyone familiar with the science-fiction TV series

Battlestar Galactica may be wondering

if it’s a coincidence that the show features

a fictional planet “Kobol”—

just like Kolob with the “L” and “B” reversed—

as the planet where life began,

the mother world of the human race.

 

Well, the similarity to Mormon teaching

is not a coincidence,

because the creator and producer

of the Battlestar Galactica was a Mormon,

and simply adapted his church’s teachings.

---------------------------

 

The Mormons are not alone among the cults

in focusing on other worlds in outer space.

 

The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Watchtower publications

taught for decades that God’s heavenly home

was on the star Alcyone in the Pleiades constellation.

 

And Watchtower followers expected God

to rapture them away to that star cluster.

 

In 1997 dozens of Americans committed mass suicide

as the Hale-Bopp comet approached,

because their Heavens Gate religion taught them

their souls would be beamed aboard

a spacecraft trailing that comet.

 

The online encyclopedia Wikipedia lists Heavens Gate

among 9 prominent “UFO Religions”

where belief in extraterrestrials and UFOs

form a key element of their doctrine.

 

And the Wikipedia lists half a dozen other religions

that notably feature space aliens in their beliefs—

including the Mormons.

 

But it’s worth noting that all of these are cultic groups

and that, when they do refer to the Bible,

they twist the Scripture contrary to its plain meaning.

 

So, when former-President Obama says that

further revelations about extraterrestrial aliens

would give rise to “new religions,”

it would be more of the same—

non-Christian cults.

 

For example, the Raëlian Church is considered to be

the largest UFO religion,

with tens of thousands of members.

 

And they claim to have already had contact

with spaceships sent by aliens.

 

The founder of the Raëlian Church claims he was

visited in the 1970’s by a small space alien

with pale green skin and almond-shaped eyes,

who spent six days with him,

paging through the Bible and

explaining what Scripture really means.

 

The church teaches that the spacemen later took him

to their home planet in another solar system.

 

They claim that the aliens are called “Elohim”—

the Hebrew word for God—

and that an alien scientist named “Yahweh”

created the first humans and named them

Adam and Eve.

So, this gives some idea of the sort of “new religions”

that Barack Obama expects will result

from new revelations about space aliens.

 

But these “new religions” are always false religions.

 

For example, some claim

that the Old Testament’s Ark of the Covenant

was actually a radio

given to Moses by aliens from outer space

so they could speak to Moses.

 

That would mean Moses heard from space aliens

rather than from Almighty God.

 

But those who make these claims ignore the fact

that God spoke to Mosesmany times before

the Ark of the Covenant was built.

 

And, yes, Ark of the Covenant was not given to Moses,

as they claim.

 

Rather, the Bible says it was built by a man.

 

And its design was very simple—

with none of the electronics needed for a radio.

 

Exodus 37 records the details of how it was built

by an Israeli craftsman named Bezalel.   It says,

 

1 Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood,

45 inches long, 27 inches wide,

and 27 inches high.

2 He overlaid it with pure gold

inside and out and made

a gold molding all around it.

 

He put 2 carved angels called cherubs on top of the cover,

but nothing inside it.

 

It was an empty box.

 

After it was built, the only things placed inside it were

--the walking stick belonging to Moses’ brother Aaron

--a pot of manna,

--and the stone tablets with the 10 Commandments.

 

Hebrews 9 describes it as

the ark of the covenant

overlaid on all sides with gold,

in which was a golden pot

holding the manna,

Aaron’s rod that budded,

and the tablets of the covenant;

5 and above it cherubim...

 

So, there’s no way that box could have been

a radio given to Moses by space aliens.

-----------------------------------------

 

Yes, whenever the UFO enthusiasts

try to use the Bible to support their beliefs,

they resort to taking passages out of context

and ignoring the historical facts.

 

But their biggest problem is that

they look for salvation from a source other than

Christ, crucified, risen and coming again.

 

The UFO teachings are just one more lie of the devil,

raised up against the truth of the Gospel.

 

The Apostle Peter says we should be

prepared to make a defense

to anyone who asks you for a reason

for the hope that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:15)

and that’s why we’re

talking about flying saucers here in church.

 

The devil’s time is short,

and he’s pulling out all stops

to deceive as many people as he can,

to take them down with him.

 

Our Lord Jesus said at Luke 21:25 that in the last days

“There will be signs

in sun and moon and stars,”

and some of those signs could be put there by the devil,

to mislead people.

 

Will the governments and the news media

make even more false claims

about UFO sightings and contact with aliens?

 

We don’t know.

 

But we do know 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2 says,

9 The coming of the lawless one

will be accompanied by

the working of Satan,

with every kind of power, sign,

and false wonder,

10 and with every wicked deception

directed against those

who are perishing,

because they refused

the love of the truth

that would have saved them.

11 For this reason God will send them

a powerful delusion

so that they believe the lie,

12 in order that judgment may come

upon all who have disbelieved

the truth and delighted in wickedness.

 

Amidst all of the deception going around,

our protection is to know the Scriptures

to know what the Word of God actually says—

and to know and follow our living Lord Jesus.

 

People around us may eagerly hope for

space aliens

to reveal themselves, and save our planet.

 

But we will not be deceived.

 

Based on all the solid evidence we have

from the Scriptures, from history,

from archaeology,

and from the creation around us,

our hope is in Christ—

for his Kingdom to come,

and for his will to be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

 

We won’t let speculation and false reports

about UFOs

turn us away from our true hope,

which is Christ crucified, risen and coming again.