Aliens: Extraterrestrial Friends Or Interdimensional Foes?

By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)

Many of the people that I work with in the Hazard area have had experiences with “alien” encounters.

Oh, I am not just talking about strange sightings in the night skies (although there have been many of these).

I am talking about people that I have worked with who have told me about encounters with “aliens” that go something like this… Continue reading Aliens: Extraterrestrial Friends Or Interdimensional Foes?

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Overview Of The Book Of Jasher

By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)

Several times in the Bible, there are references made to a work known as the book of Jasher. However, this book is not found in the 66 Books of the Bible. In this article, I would like to share with you some of the facts regarding this interesting book, and notice some of its’ many valuable gems for the devout student of the Bible.   Continue reading Overview Of The Book Of Jasher

The Mysterious Bond Between Angels And Humans 

By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist). 

In the Book of Revelation, the inspired Apostle John is told something fascinating by an angel who had been ministering to him:

Revelation 19:10-And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am YOUR FELLOW SERVANT, and OF YOUR BRETHREN who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

Through this statement to the Apostle, the angel speaks of some kind of connection between humans and angels.  

What is the basis of this connection?  

In what sense may it be stated that angels are of “our brethren?”  

To answer these questions, we will carefully investigate another text of Scripture which is found earlier in the Book of Revelation.  

In Revelation 4, John describes the throne room of Heaven. Among other things, he describes a powerful image of “four living creatures.”  

Revelation 4:6-8-6 Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.

7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle.

8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!”

Notice that there are “four living creatures” surrounding the throne of God.

 
The first is like a lion;
the second like a calf;
the third like a man;
and the fourth like a flying eagle.  

What does it mean?  

The answer to this question (and to understanding the connection between angels and humans) is found in studying the Old Testament Scriptures, from which much of the Book of Revelation is derived.  

“As noted in volume 1 (239, n. 160), the pages of the New Testament are filled with citations from the Hebrew Scriptures, with as many as three hundred direct quotations from the Tanakh and several thousand allusions to the Hebrew Bible in the New Testament. In fact, some scholars claim that almost one out of three verses in the New Testament-2,500 out of a total of 8,000 verses-contains an Old Testament quote or general allusion, while, quite solidly, it can be demonstrated that “more than ten percent of the New Testament text is made up of citation or direct allusions to the Old Testament.”‘ More than 10 percent! The Book of Revelation, the last book of the New Testament, contains 404 verses, most of which (as many as 331 verses) are drawn from the imagery of the Hebrew Scriptures, although Revelation hardly ever directly quotes a specific verse from the Tanakh. All this indicates how deeply the Hebrew Scriptures are intertwined in the New Covenant Scriptures.2” (Michael L. Brown, Answering Jewish Objections To Jesus: Volume Four-New Testament Objections, 3 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Books) 

Hebrew Christians would understand the imagery of John, for they had been raised with the Old Testament.  

With this in mind, let us turn our attention to the Old Testament.  

We will begin with a study of the “flags” of the twelve tribes of Israel.

The Tribal Flags Of The Twelve Tribes

Each of the twelve tribes of Israel had a specific “standard” or “insignia” which represented their particular tribe. We find references to this throughout the Old Testament.

One of the most relevant is found in the Book of Numbers:

Numbers 2:2-Everyone of the children of Israel shall camp by his own standard, beside the emblems of his father’s house; they shall camp some distance from the tabernacle of meeting.

Numbers 2:2 (CEV)-how the Israelites should arrange their camp: Each tribe must set up camp under its own banner and under the flags of its ancestral families. These camps will be arranged around the sacred tent, but not close to it.

The symbols on these flags were drawn from the blessings which Jacob gave to his children (the twelve sons which became the twelve tribes) on his deathbed (Genesis 49). Each of the tribes had a specific “flag” with a descriptive emblem, which was made to represent that particular flag.  

In describing how the people of Israel were to camp around the Tabernacle (Numbers 2), the Lord gave specific instructions that the Hebrews were to assemble in the four cardinal directions.  

There were to be three tribes in each group, with a particular tribe facing towards the Tabernacle. The tribal insignia or flag of the main tribe was to face towards the Tabernacle. (The capitalized tribe in each of the following lists was the one which was in the middle of the three tribes in its’ group, and its’ flag faced towards the Tabernacle).  

To The North: Issachar, JUDAH, Zebulon 

To The West: Asher, DAN, Naphtali 

To The South: Manasseh, EPHRAIM,
Benjamin 

To The East: Gad, REUBEN, Simeon

In The Middle: The Tabernacle

What does this have to do with our study?

Well, notice with me what the tribal flags were (especially of Judah, Dan, Ephraim, and Reuben): 

“EACH of the tribes of ancient Israel appears to have had a distinctive emblem….Each tribe of Israel had a primary emblem (a banner) and one or more secondary emblems to remind them of their unique patriarchal blessing received from Father Jacob (Israel). Jacob called his sons together a short time before he died, and gave to each a blessing….The second chapter in the Book of Numbers tells us that Jehovah had directed the twelve tribes to camp around the tabernacle in specific areas. This configuration is shown in Figure 11. Four brigade leaders were appointed: Judah, reuben, Ephraim, and Dan. Both tribal and brigade standards were adopted. The tribal flags with their unique emblems were displayed when camped around the tabernacle and when moving to a new location. “Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of their father’s house” (Numbers 2:2)….The four brigade emblems are shown in Figure 25. JUDAH IS REPRESENTED BY THE LION, REUBEN BY THE MAN, EPHRAIM BY THE OX, AND DAN BY THE EAGLE. Relatively few emblems of other tribes are used in national heraldry, because they were usually identified by the emblem of the brigade to which they belonged. Thus Benjamin, as a member of the Southern Kingdom of Judah, would frequently be identified by the Lion, the emblem of the Brigade of Judah. The more frequent use of brigade emblems does not necessarily indicate that the other tribes of the brigade were not in the country. Heraldry related to provinces and municipalities usually includes more emblems of individual tribes than does national heraldry. Two visions, one seen by Ezekiel and the other by John the revelator, each mention the four brigade emblems, adding credibility to them. Ezekiel 1:5–10 records four living creatures, each having the faces of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle. John, in revelations 4:7, also records four beasts, like a lion, a calf, a man, and an eagle.” (Vaughn E. Hansen, PhD, Israel’s Lost Ten Tribes: Migrations To Britain And The United States, 961-1022 (Kindle Edition, emphasis added, M.T.); Springville, Utah; CFI)

Notice that the tribal insignias of Judah, Dan, Ephraim, and Reuben line up perfectly with the four living creatures identified in Revelation: 

Tribe And Insignia  

Lion (Judah)

Man (Reuben)

Ox (Ephraim)

Eagle (Dan)

Four Living Creatures

Lion

Calf (Ox)

Eagle

Man

 
Remember that these four specifically mentioned tribes actually represent all of the twelve tribes (each aforementioned tribe having two other tribes in its’ group).

 
Why were there such specific instructions about how the people were to camp?  
One author has explained that (from an aerial view), the tribes formed a gigantic cross!  

“Each of the camps, of three tribes each, were to encamp on one of the four cardinal compass directions (N, S, E, or W) with respect to the camp of the Levites enclosing the Tabernacle. 98 We can only guess at how much space was required by the Levites, whether it was 100 ft. on a side, 100 yards, or whatever. But whatever it was, we’ll assume that length as a basic unit. To fully appreciate all of the implications, you must try to think like a rabbi: you need to maintain an extremely high respect for the precise details of the instructions. They resorted to heroic measures in their attempt to comply with the letter of the law. The tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun—collectively called the Camp of Judah—had to encamp east of the Levites. This poses a technical problem. Notice that if the breadth of their camp was larger than that of the Levites, the excess would be southeast or northeast, not east. Therefore, if they were to strictly comply with their instructions, their camp could only be as wide as that of the Levites, and they then would have to extend eastward to obtain the required space. The camps of Reuben, Ephraim, and Dan had the same constraint on the south, west, and north respectively. The length of each leg would thus be proportional to the total population in each camp….If we assemble what we can infer from the Torah account, we can imagine what the camp of Israel looked like from above: the Tabernacle and the Levites in the center, surrounded by the four faces of the tribal standards, and each of the four camps of Judah, Ephraim, Reuben, and Dan, stretching out in the four cardinal directions. We can also tally the approximate size of each tribe to determine the relative length of each camp as they stretched out in each of the four cardinal directions. The startling results are on the next page….It would appear that when the Israelites encamped, they formed a giant cross! This is a graphic macrocode, indeed! And this is from the Torah, not the New Testament! The New Testament is, indeed, in the Old Testament concealed; the Old Testament is in the New Testament revealed.” (Chuck Missler, Hidden Treasures In The Biblical Text, 925-947 (Kindle Edition); Coeur d’Alene, ID 83816-0347 http://www.khouse.org; Koinonia House) 

Thus, we see that the “living creatures” which surrounded the throne of God are identifiable with the saints of God throughout the Old Testament.  

Further, we learn that there is a mysterious foreshadowing of the Cross of Jesus in the camping arrangement of these Hebrews.  

The Cherubim Of Ezekiel 

Our second clue in the investigation of the mysterious bond between humans and angels is found in the Book of Ezekiel.  
Long before the time of Christ, the Prophet Ezekiel had two terrifying visions of the glory of God.  

Ezekiel 1:5-10-5 Also from within it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man.

6 Each one had four faces, and each one had four wings.

7 Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the soles of calves’ feet. They sparkled like the color of burnished bronze.

8 The hands of a man were under their wings on their four sides; and each of the four had faces and wings.

9 Their wings touched one another. The creatures did not turn when they went, but each one went straight forward.

10 As for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man; each of the four had the face of a lion on the right side, each of the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and each of the four had the face of an eagle.

Notice that the “four living creatures” are again associated with the tribal insignias of the people of God (lion, man, ox, eagle).  

Later in Ezekiel, we read of a similar vision which Ezekiel has. In it, he again describes the four living creatures. He also shows that the four living creatures that he sees in that vision are identical with those of the vision described in chapter one:

Ezekiel 10:14-15-14 Each one had four faces: the first face was the face of a cherub, the second face the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.

15 And the cherubim were lifted up. This was the living creature I saw by the River Chebar.

Ezekiel 10:20-22-20 This is the living creature I saw under the God of Israel by the River Chebar, and I knew they were cherubim.

21 Each one had four faces and each one four wings, and the likeness of the hands of a man was under their wings.

22 And the likeness of their faces was the same as the faces which I had seen by the River Chebar, their appearance and their persons. They each went straight forward.

Further, we are told that these “four living creatures” are “cherubim.” What exactly does this mean?

“The next group is the cherubim. The word “cherub” is used twenty-seven times in Scripture and the plural form “cherubim” occurs sixty-four times. The cherubim are special angels whose responsibilities are (1) to guard the entrance of Paradise (Gen. 3:24); (2) gaze upon the mercy seat (Exod. 2:18; Ps. 80:1; 99:1; Isa. 37:16); and (3) to constitute the chariot on which God descends to the earth (2 Sam. 22:11; Ps. 18:10). They are first mentioned in Genesis 3:24. “After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.” In 2 Kings 19:15, Hezekiah mentions the cherubim in his prayer. “And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: ‘O Lord, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth….They are also referred to in Ezekiel 10:1-20; 28:1416. There is an interesting analogy between the Bible’s description of cherubim and the winged bulls and lions of Babylon and Assyria—colossal figures that are often found in the ruins of these places.1” (Edward P Myers, A Study Of Angels, 28-29 (Kindle Editions); New York, NY; Howard Books)  

So, these four living creatures are angels, and yet are identified also as the people of God.  

The Mystery Deepens

It is by turning to a final clue in the Book of Revelation that our investigation will be concluded.  

In chapter five of the Book of Revelation, we see that the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders join together and sing a song of praise to the Lamb of God (i.e., Jesus).  

In this song, they identify themselves and explain who they are:

Revelation 5:8-10-8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

9 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have REDEEMED US to God by Your blood, OUT OF EVERY TRIBE AND TONGUE AND PEOPLE AND NATION, 

10 And have MADE US KINGS AND PRIESTS to our God; And we shall REIGN ON THE EARTH.”

The “four living creatures” (i.e., the cherubim of Ezekiel 1 and 10) thus identify themselves as being: 

The Ones Redeemed By The Blood Of The Lamb; 

The Ones From Every Tribe And Tongue And People And Nation; 

The Ones Who (By Virtue Of Their Redemption By The Blood Of Christ) Are Now Kings And Priests To God Who Will One Day Reign On The Earth

In every way, the description of the “four living creatures” shows that they are dead Christians.  

So, what is the connection between humans and angels?  

Very simply, at least some of the angels of God (i.e., cherubim) are dead Christians (or at least some of them).  

All of my life, I had been told that angels and humans are completely separate beings. Yet here in the Word of God, we see indications that some dead Christians actually become angels of God.  

With this in mind, let me share some concluding thoughts.  

First, just because we have been taught something all of our lives does not make our belief true. We must be willing to continually study with an open and objective mind. The Word of God will help us to grow into new understanding, but only if we are willing to seek God with all of our hearts (Jeremiah 29:13; Hebrews 11:6).  

Second, there is a great deal more to learn from the Word of God regarding the afterlife. In Scripture, we are continually reminded that God’s people who have died have entered into peace with Him.  

Isaiah 57:1-2-1 The righteous perishes, And no man takes it to heart; Merciful men are taken away, While no one considers That the righteous is taken away from evil.

2 He shall enter into peace; They shall rest in their beds, Each one walking in his uprightness.

Third, when I think of these “four living creatures,” and their connection to the Old Testament people of God, I am amazed at the implications regarding the Cross of Jesus.  
Remember that we noticed the camping directions of the Hebrews meant that they would form a huge cross. 
In the middle of the camp (in the middle of the cross), the Tabernacle was located.  
Within the Tabernacle was located the Ark of the Covenant, which is where God promised to meet with His people (Exodus 25:16-22).  

In considering the camping arrangements of the Hebrews, where was fellowship with God found?  

In the center of the cross.  

If we want to be in fellowship with God, we must be one of His people, or in His church.  

How do we become one of His people?  

Only through the cross.  

Ephesians 2:16-and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.

Finally, there is another possible interpretation that I would like to consider with you about this passage.  
The text also mentions the “24 elders.” Many scholars believe this is a reference to the combined redeemed people of God, symbolically portrayed by the doubling of the number 12 (the “twelve tribes” of the Old Testament people of God, combined with the “twelve tribes” of the New Testament people of God).  
This interpretation is strengthened by the fact that the New Testament teaches the people of God today is the church (cf. Romans 2:28-29; 9:1-6; Galatians 3:26-29).  

If that is the case, then the redeemed saints would be the ones who are pictured as the twenty-four elders.  

What then, should we make of the four living creatures?  

The Bible teaches that at one time, there was a race of angelic and human hybrids known as the “nephilim.” Their lineage is recorded in Genesis 6:1-4, and they are referenced several times throughout the Old Testament Scriptures.  

One day, as my wife and I were studying this text in Revelation, she asked me, “Mark, why couldn’t these be the nephilim that were redeemed? After all, the text says the living creatures are both human and angelic in nature-so isn’t that possible?”  

The more I have thought about her observations, the more I am convinced that is a definite possibility.  

In any case, the Scriptures are clear that at least some of the dead Christians are identifiable as the “living creatures” or “cherubim.”  

This helps us to understand at least part of the mysterious connection between “them” and “us.”  

The more I study the Word of God, the more I am amazed at its’ depths and riches of meaning. One of the most profound themes throughout Scripture is that God does not want any to perish, but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). He has sacrificed more then we can imagine to make this possible! “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9). The Son of God came to this world, and suffered and died in our place on the Cross of Calvary (1 Timothy 2:6). He did this because God (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit) desires that all people will be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). Jesus died for us, was buried, and arose from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).  

As the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures sing, He is worthy!!  
Will you not today accept His gracious offer of salvation? Will you not glorify Him today by turning your life to the Lord? God has declared that the person who hears His Word (Romans 10:17), believes in Jesus Christ (John 8:24), repents of sin (Luke 13:3), confess Jesus Christ as the Son of God (Acts 8:37), is baptized into Him (Acts 2:38), and who lives faithfully to Him will receive all spiritual blessings in Christ and an eternal Home in Heaven (Ephesians 1:3, 7; Revelation 2:10).  
When believers thus obey God’s plan of salvation (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10), they are set free from sin (Romans 6:17-18), made children of God (Galatians 4:6), and are added by God Himself to His church (Acts 2:47).  

If you haven’t obeyed Him, why not do so today?  

If you are a child of God who has left the Lord, He promises forgiveness to all of His people who will turn back to Him and will confess their sins to Him in prayer (1 John 1:9).  

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.  

Could The God Of The Bible Be An Extraterrestrial? 

By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)

I know that to many, the title of the current article will sound strange.  

However, the sad fact is, many in our country have come to believe in the notion that the one true God Who has revealed Himself through the Bible is actually an extraterrestrial from another planet.

Indeed, several of the people that I have worked with through the years have espoused this belief, and others have been made to seriously doubt the Bible as the product of a non-Divine intelligence from another world in our cosmos.  

Nor is this belief new. Sadly, many of the religious teachers of the past (as well as the present) have espoused this belief.

Consider, for example, the famous words of Mormon leader Brigham Young:

“Though we have it in history that our father Adam was made of the dust of this earth, and that he knew nothing about his God previous to being made here, yet it is not so; and when we learn the truth we shall see and understand that he helped to make this world, and was the chief manager in that operation. He was the person who brought the animals and the seeds from other planets to this world, and brought a wife with him and stayed here. You may read and believe what you please as to what is found written in the Bible. Adam was made from the dust of an earth, but not from the dust of this earth. He was made as you and I are made, and no person was ever made upon any other principle.” (THE COMPLETE JOURNAL OF DISCOURSES   Latter-day Saint Reference Edition, A Discourse by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, April 20, 1856, 30581 (Kindle Edition))

This is, tragically, in harmony with the teachings of Joseph Smith Jr., the founder of the Latter-Day saints church:

“First, God Himself who sits enthroned in yonder heavens is a Man like unto one of yourselves—that is the great secret! If the veil were rent today and the great God that holds this world in its sphere and the planets in their orbit and who upholds all things by His power—if you were to see Him today, you would see Him in all the person, image, fashion, and very form of a man, like yourselves. For Adam was a man formed in His likeness and created in the very fashion and image of God. Adam received instruction, walked, talked, and conversed with Him as one man talks and communicates with another. In order to understand the subject of the dead and to speak for the consolation of those who mourn for the loss of their friends, it is necessary to understand the character and being of God. For I am going to tell you how God came to be God and what sort of a being He is. For we have imagined that God was God from the beginning of all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil so you may see. Truth is the touchstone. These things are incomprehensible to some, but they are simple. The first principle of truth and of the Gospel is to know for a certainty the character of God, and that we may converse with Him the same as one man with another, and that He once was a man like one of us and that God Himself, the Father of us all, once dwelled on an earth the same as Jesus Christ himself did in the flesh and like us.” (Joseph Smith, Jr., in Donald Q. Cannon, The King Follett Discourse, 589-605 (Kindle Edition))

Whether from religious indoctrination or science fiction propaganda, many in our times have come to believe that the God of the Bible is an extraterrestrial, and not truly God.  

In this article, I would like to suggest three reasons why I reject the “God of the Bible is an extraterrestrial” theory.  

The Cosmological Problem

The first reason why I reject the Extraterrestrial theory is because of what I call the cosmological problem.  

When studying with atheists and agnostics, I point out what is known as the “cosmological argument,” which demonstrates clearly that there is an eternal God.

Basically, the argument goes like this:

1). If there was ever a time when there was absolutely nothing, there would be nothing now.

2). There is something now (i.e., I exist).

3). Therefore, something has always existed.

4). But we know that the universe has not always existed.

5). Therefore something beyond the universe has always existed.  

This argument is not only provable through simple logic and mathematics, but through the laws of science.  

How does this relate to the extraterrestrial God theory?  

Very simply, if there are extraterrestrials “out there” somewhere, then they also need an explanation for their existence. In other words, you always have to get back to the eternal Creator.  

The Teleological Problem 

The teleological problem for the extraterrestrial god theory is very simply stated: from what we have learned in our studies of science, life on Earth is unique!

There are NO EXTRATERRESTRIALS!  

Many will meet this statement with open criticism because they have been indoctrinated to believe in the so-called “Copernican principle,” which basically states that there are thousands and perhaps millions of planets throughout the universe which support life, and that Earth is not unique in any way, shape, or form.

This is, indeed, the consensus of many evolutionists (who continue to hold to the teachings of Darwinism, despite the clear evidences that this theory is false).  

However, the fact is, the more we learn about the universe, the more more we are learning that Earth is extremely unique.

In discussing the Copernican principle, two scientists lay out the logical predictions or implications of this theory, and then investigate the evidences to see how well the theory holds up to the facts:

“Sometime in the twentieth century, however, Einstein’s cosmological principle came to be identified with a subtly different idea, the Copernican Principle, also known as the Principle of Mediocrity or Principle of Indifference. 4 In its modest form, the Copernican Principle states that we should assume that there’s nothing special or exceptional about the time or place of Earth in the cosmos….Once considered, it’s fairly easy to produce some general predictions of the Copernican Principle. In practice, these are usually unstated expectations rather than actual predictions. This has the effect of protecting them from critical scrutiny— all the more reason, then, to make them explicit….Because astronomy considers objects as small as meteorites and individual planets, and as large as clusters of galaxies, the Copernican Principle has generated the most predictions in this field. Let’s scrutinize the major ones in turn. Appropriately, we’ll begin with one of the earliest: Prediction 1: Earth, while it has a number of life- permitting properties, isn’t exceptionally suited for life in our Solar System. Other planets in the Solar System probably harbor life as well….Most now recognize that the other planets in the Solar System are not good candidates for life….Much of this optimism ignores the myriad ways in which Earth is exceptionally well suited for the existence, and persistence, of life, as we detailed in Chapters Two through Six . No other place in our Solar System comes close to providing the astronomical and geophysical properties that make Earth habitable. If anything, the other planets show how narrow the conditions for habitability are, even for planets in an inhabited Solar System. The basic pattern is worth repeating, because it’s so often forgotten or ignored. From the seventeenth to the twentieth century, many expected to find intelligent, even superior life on the Moon, Mars, and other planets in the Solar System. This expectation required direct contrary evidence to suppress it. Now, at the beginning of the twenty- first century, despite PR blitzes from Martian- life enthusiasts, the search has moved from the planets to a few obscure outlying moons. At the same time, the aspirations have been substantially downgraded. No one today expects to find advanced or intelligent life elsewhere in the Solar System. ET advocates now argue that finding the Europan equivalent of slime mold would be just as significant as finding intelligent Martians. Add to this pattern the evidence of Chapter Six : some of the planets once said to diminish Earth’s status now seem to be the guardians of her habitability. Finally, recall that these rare properties discussed in Chapters Two through Six have been crucial in a diverse array of scientific discoveries here on Earth, from the nature of gravity to the internal structure of our planet revealed by seismic activity. Surely these facts about Earth’s superiority both for living and observing should count as a sobering contradiction of the Copernican Principle….Prediction 2: Our Sun is a fairly ordinary and typical star…As we discussed in Chapter Seven , however, we now know that our Sun has a number of important, and anomalous, life- permitting properties that simultaneously contribute to its measurability. These include its luminosity, variability, metallicity, and galactic orbit. So our Sun doesn’t fit this prediction well at all. Even among the minority of stars in the same class as our Sun, it seems to be exceptional in several important ways, again in contrast to the expectations nurtured by the Copernican Principle….Prediction 3: Our Solar System is typical; we should expect other Solar Systems to mirror our own….Nevertheless, what appears most likely, at the moment, is that our Solar System will turn out to be highly atypical with respect to its habitability….Prediction 4: Even if our Solar System is not typical, there are lots of planetary configurations that are consistent with the presence of biological organisms. Variables like the number and types of planets and moons are mainly contingencies that have little to do with the existence of life in a planetary system….In any event, the evidence from Chapters One through Six weighs heavily against it. The existence of a large, well- placed moon, of circular planetary orbits, of a properly placed asteroid belt with felicitous properties, of the early bombardment of these asteroids on Earth, of the outlying gas giants to sweep the Solar System of sterilizing comets later on— all these and more are profoundly important for the existence of complex life on our planet….Prediction 5: Our Solar System’s location in the Milky Way is relatively unimportant….Our Solar System is located within what may be a quite narrow Galactic Habitable Zone, and far from dusty, light- polluted regions, permitting an excellent overall view of both nearby stars and the distant universe….Prediction 6: Our galaxy is not particularly exceptional or important. Life could just as easily exist in old, small, elliptical, and irregular galaxies….Without enough metals, there aren’t enough materials for building terrestrial planets. And without terrestrial planets, there are no environments suitable for life. Our very massive, spiral galaxy, then, is an especially suitable home for a habitable planet and Solar System, while providing an optimal position for viewing and discovering both our own galaxy and the wider universe.” (Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards, The Privileged Planet: How Our Place In The Cosmos Is Designed For Discovery, 4434-4632 (Kindle Edition): Washington DC; Regnery Publishing)

The more we learn from scientific discovery, the more we realize that life is a very rare treasure in tour universe.

As another scientist has pointed out:

“So, could it be possible that intelligent extraterrestrial beings are sending UFOs to Earth? As discussed in chapter 7 , the number of conditions necessary for life in any particular star- planet system, combined with the amount of time and complex processes involved in producing intelligent life, as well as the limited time frame that a planet remains habitable, make it extremely unlikely to find another planet in the universe capable of sustaining intelligent life. Especially during the same time frame that life exists on Earth. In fact, by some estimations, a person is more likely to win the California state lottery more than five thousand times in a row than we are apt to discover another life- friendly planet. In addition, there are several problems with the idea that UFOs might be coming from distant planets.” (Leslie Wickman, Ph.D (Corporate Test Astronaut, Rocket Scientist, and Hubble Space Telescope Engineer), God Of The Big Bang: How Modern Science Affirms The Creator,1425-1431 (Kindle Edition); Brentwood, TN; Worthy Books). 

Lee Strobel has provided some great evidences of the uniqueness of planet Earth: 

“It’s turning out that the Earth is anything but ordinary, that our sun is far from average, and that even the position of our planet in the galaxy is eerily fortuitous. The idea that the universe is a flourishing hothouse of advanced civilizations is now being undermined by surprising new scientific discoveries and fresh thinking. In short, new findings are suggesting that we are special. More and more scientists are studying the mind-boggling convergence of scores of extraordinary “coincidences” that make intelligent life possible on Earth and concluding that this can’t possibly be an accident. They’re seeing signs of design, a kind of unlikely fine-tuning for life similar to the fine-tuning of physics that we explored in the previous chapter. In fact, said one noted researcher, “new evidence which could potentially have refuted the [design] hypothesis has only ended up confirming it.” 11 Once again, we find the evidence of science pointing in the direction of a Creator. And rather than our lives being purposeless, scientists for the first time are uncovering concrete evidence that suggests at least one surprising purpose for which we were created—that is, to discover and learn about the surroundings in which we have been placed. In other words, as we’ll see in this chapter, one purpose for which we were designed is to do science itself. RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME As the new millennium dawned, geologist Peter D. Ward and astronomer Donald Brownlee, both professors at the University of Washington in Seattle, published a provocative and highly successful book that raised this disquieting question about Earth: “What if it is utterly unique: the only planet with animals in this galaxy or even in the visible universe . . . ?” 12 Their book, Rare Earth, marshals evidence from a wide range of scientific disciplines to build its case that “not only intelligent life, but even the simplest of animal life, is exceedingly rare in our galaxy and in the universe.” 13 They called the conclusion “inescapable” that “Earth is a rare place indeed.” 14 Although Ward and Brownlee uncritically buy into the idea that microbial life may very well be more prevalent, a view they draw from the way life seemed to have effortlessly developed on Earth “about as soon as environmental conditions allowed its survival,” 15 their conviction that the existence of complex life is “extraordinarily rare” is bolstered by convincing data divorced from any theological framework. Calling their book “carefully reasoned and scientifically astute,” Don Johanson, director of the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University, remarked: “In spite of our wishful thinking, there just may not be other Mozarts or Monets.” 16 David Levy, of comet Shoemaker-Levy fame, added, “As we know it on Earth, complex life might be very rare, and very precious.” 17 Said the Times of London: “If they are right it could be time to reverse a process that has been going on since Copernicus.” 18 More and more scientists are observing the stunning ways in which our planet—against all odds—manages to fulfill a large number of finely balanced criteria that are absolutely crucial to supporting a habitat suitable for humankind. “Rather than being one planet among billions, Earth now appears to be the uncommon Earth,” said science educators Jimmy H. Davis and Harry L. Poe. “The data imply that Earth may be the only planet ‘in the right place at the right time.’ ” 19 A BOLD AND AUDACIOUS CLAIM Earth’s location, its size, its composition, its structure, its atmosphere, its temperature, its internal dynamics, and its many intricate cycles that are essential to life—the carbon cycle, the oxygen cycle, the nitrogen cycle, the phosphorous cycle, the sulfur cycle, the calcium cycle, the sodium cycle, and so on—testify to the degree to which our planet is exquisitely and precariously balanced. 20 As they begin their influential textbook Earth, Frank Press of the National Academy of Sciences and Raymond Siever of Harvard University write about what they call “the uniqueness of planet Earth.” 21 They note how its atmosphere filters out harmful ultraviolet radiation while working with the oceans to moderate the climate through the storing and redistributing of solar energy, and how the Earth is just large enough so that its gravity retains the atmosphere and yet just small enough not to keep too many harmful gases. Then they describe the Earth’s interior as . . . . . . a gigantic but delicately balanced heat engine fueled by radioactivity. . . . Were it running more slowly . . . the continents might not have evolved to their present form. . . . Iron may never have melted and sunk to the liquid core, and the magnetic field would never have developed. . . . If there had been more radioactive fuel, and therefore a faster running engine, volcanic dust would have blotted out the sun, the atmosphere would have been oppressively dense, and the surface would have been racked by daily earthquakes and volcanic explosions. 22 These kind of highly choreographed geological processes—and there are lots of them—leave me shaking my head at the astounding ways in which our biosphere is precisely tuned for life. Even more interesting, though, is the “why” question behind them. What accounts for all of these astounding “coincidences?”” (Lee Strobel, The Case For A Creator: A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence That Points Toward God, 155-157 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Zondervan) 

Bottom line: there is no real reason to believe extraterrestrials even exist, much less that they are pretending to be the God of the Bible! 

The Ontological Problem 

To me, the biggest problem is: those who espouse the “God of the Bible is an extraterrestrial” theory are claiming that the God which has revealed Himself to us through the Scriptures is a huge liar.  

In fact, if the claims of God being an extraterrestrial are true, then the God of the Bible is the greatest liar the world has ever known.  

But when we look at the track record of the God of the Bible, do we see any evidence that He is lying to us?

Let’s consider.  

It has been estimated that there are over three thousand promises which are made by God to His people in the Bible.

And how many of those promises has He broken?

How many lies has He ever told? How many untruths has He uttered?

None.  

For example, the Prophet Joshua wrote of the faithfulness of God:

Joshua. 21:45-Not a word failed of any good thing which the LORD had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.

Joshua 23:14-15-14 “Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed.

15 Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all the good things have come upon you which the LORD your God promised you, so the LORD will bring upon you all harmful things, until He has destroyed you from this good land which the LORD your God has given you.

God’s character has continually passed the “truth” test.  

Consider again:

2 Chronicles 19:7-7 Now therefore, let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take care and do it, for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, no partiality, nor taking of bribes.”

Jeremiah 9:23-24-23 Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;

24 But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the LORD.

God has proven Himself true in every way. The simple fact is, we have no reason to suspect that the God of the Bible is anything other than what He claims to be: the eternal Creator.

In fact, if we will take the time to study about the characteristics of the eternal God which are manifested through the creation, then we see that the God of the Bible matches up perfectly!

Norman Geisler elaborates:

“This God Who Exists Is Identical to the God Described in the Christian tian Scriptures. The God described in the Bible is said to be eternal (Col. 1 :16; Heb. 1:2), changeless (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 6:18), infinite (I Kings 8:27; Isa. 66:1), all-loving (John 3:16; I John 4:16), and all-powerful (Heb. 1:3; Matt. 19:26). But there cannot be two infinitely perfect, changeless, eternal beings. First, there can be only one infinite and necessary sary Being, as was shown above (p. 239f.). Second, there could not be two beings who have all possible perfections attributable to them. For in order to be two beings one would have to differ from the other; where there is no difference in being there is only one being. But there can be no difference unless one being has something the other does not. But if there is something that an infinite being can have but one lacks, then the one lacking it is not absolutely perfect. Hence, there is only one absolutely perfect being. But if there cannot be two such beings, then the God described scribed in the Bible is identical to the God concluded from the above argument. Therefore, the God Described in the Bible Exists. If there is only one God and the God described in the Bible is identical in characteristics to him, then it follows logically that the God described in the Bible exists. For there cannot be two infinitely perfect beings; there cannot be two such ultimates or absolutes, and so forth. Hence, the God portrayed in Scripture does indeed exist.” (Norman Geisler, Christian Apologetics, 249-250 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Baker Books House)  

But I want to go deeper with this line of thought.  

You see, if the Bible was indeed written by the eternal God (as it claims, and which supposition the evidence demands), then the many events, commands, and promises of the Bible make sense.

From the command in the Garden of Eden not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, to the Levitical sacrificial system, to the restitution commands of the Mosaic code, to the promises of the coming Messiah and His death on Calvary, etc.; all make perfect sense if they are the product of a perfectly righteous and holy God Who loves His creation and wants it redeemed.  

Yet what is the motivation of all of these commands if God were an extraterrestrial (assuming, for the sake of argument, that such beings do indeed exist)?

Some have suggested that we are the subjects of some grand study.

Yet I have to wonder: why would aliens from another star system or galaxy be interested in human beings?

Would they not have something better to do with their time then pretend to be God?

Why would they care one way or the other about us?  

Some have suggested that we have something which they need.

But think about that!

If they are so advanced that they can traverse the distances between the stars, what could mankind possibly offer to these creatures?  

To put it simply, if these beings did exist, it would seem that they would have a lot more important things to do with their time then pretend to be God.  

Conclusion

Much more could be said along these lines, but I believe there is more than sufficient evidence to establish the conclusion: the “God of the Bible is an extraterrestrial” theory is false.  

In our next article on this subject, we will consider in greater detail the subject of alleged alien abductions and contact.  
The God Who has revealed Himself to mankind through the Scriptures is the eternal God Who desires the salvation of all people (2 Peter 3:9; Ezekiel 18:23). Because of our sinfulness, we are personally condemned to eternal separation from this holy God (Romans 6:23; Isaiah 59:1-2). Yet God loves us so much that He sent His Son to pay the price for the sins of mankind (1 Timothy 2:6; 2 Corinthians 5:15). Jesus Christ died for us, was buried, and arose from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-8).

He promises to save those who hear His Word (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God (John 8:24), repent of sin (Luke 13:3), confess Jesus Christ as the Son of God (Acts 8:37), and are baptized into Him (Acts 2;38).

When we live faithfully to Him, even till death, we will receive the crown of life and the crown of righteousness (Revelation 2:10).  

When we fall short and sin as Christians (which we will-1 John 1:8), then God says that He will forgive us when we repent and confess those sins to Him in prayer (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9).  

Why not obey Him today?

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.   

A Common Thread In Many U.F.O. Experiences  

By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)

One of the questions that I am often asked (and that I have often wondered about myself) deals with the subject of U.F.O.’s (i.e., unidentified flying objects).

It seems that many people in our world are increasingly intrigued by the subject of alien life.

Is it possible that many U.F.O. experiences could be people who have been contacted by aliens which evolved on some other plant in the cosmos?   Continue reading A Common Thread In Many U.F.O. Experiences  

The Dangers Of Necromancy  

The subject of communicating with the dead has caught the fancy of many Americans. Experiments with table-knocking, crystal ball reading, ouija boards, and electric voice phenomenon (EVP) have become standard topics of conversation in many homes. Many become ensnared with these matters, opening themselves up to spiritual dangers that they are often unprepared to deal with (Mark 9:14-29). The Word of God tells us several times of the serious nature of the sin of necromancy (i.e., attempting to communicate with the dead):  Continue reading The Dangers Of Necromancy  

Who Were The “Sons Of God” In Genesis 6?

By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist) 

In Genesis 6, we are told about the continuing sin and corruption of the antediluvian world.

In particular, we read:

Genesis 6:1-4-1    Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, 2    that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. 3    And the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” 4    There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.  

Through the years, there have been two competing viewpoints of who these “sons of God” were.  

One view states that they were fallen angels who came to Earth and sinned against God by taking wives among the daughters of men and having children with them.  

The other view states that these “sons of God” were the ungodly descendants of Cain who intermarried with the godly descendants of Seth.  

While this matter is clearly not a matter of salvation, it is an intriguing matter which is worthy of our deepest study. Moses clearly understood this, for he is the one who included it in Genesis!  

The linguistics of the passage are actually very straightforward. The phrase used here “sons of God” was only used prior to this time to refer to angels of God (cf. Job 1:1-6; 2:1-2; 38:7). This was clearly understood by the ancient Jews and early Christians.

In fact, the evidence in this regard is very clear: 

“This strange passage describes the bizarre circumstances that led to the cataclysmic disaster of the famous Flood of Noah. The Hebrew term translated “sons of God” is , B’nai HaElohim, a term consistently used in the Old Testament for angels.224 When the Hebrew Torah, which of course includes the book of Genesis, was translated into Greek in the third century before Christ (giving us what is known as the Septuagint translation), this expression was translated angels.225 With the benefit of the best experts at that time behind it, this translation carries great weight and it was the one most widely quoted by the writers of the New Testament. The Book of Enoch also clearly treats these strange events as involving angels.226 Although this book was not considered a part of the “inspired” canon, the Book of Enoch was venerated by both rabbinical and early Christian authorities from about 200 B.C. through about A.D. 200 and is useful to authenticate the lexicological usage and confirm the accepted beliefs of the period. The Biblical passage refers to supernatural beings intruding upon the planet Earth….The “angel” view of this classic Genesis text is well documented in both ancient Jewish rabbinical literature and Early Church writings. In addition to the Septuagint translation, the venerated (although non-canonical) Book of Enoch, the Syriac Version of the Old Testament, as well as the Testimony of the 12 Patriarchs234 and the Little Genesis,235 confirm the lexicological usage and the extant beliefs of ancient Jewish scholars. Clearly the learned Philo Judaeus understood the passage as relating to angels.236 Josephus Flavius also represents this view: “They made God their enemy; for many angels of God accompanied with women, and begat sons that proved unjust, and despisers of all that was good, on account of the confidence they had in their own strength, for the tradition is that these men did what resembled the acts of those whom the Grecians call giants.”237 In accordance with the ancient interpretation, the Early Church fathers understood the expression “sons of God” as designating angels. These included Justin Martyr,238 Irenaeus,239 Athenagoras,240 Pseudo-Clementine,241 Clement of Alexandria,242 Tertullian,243 Commodianus,244 and Lactantius,245 to list a few. This interpretation was also espoused by Luther and many more modern exegetes including Koppen, Twesten, Dreschler, Hofmann, Baumgarten, Delitzsch, W Kelly, A. C. Gaebelein, and others.” (Chuck Missler & Mark Eastman, Alien Encounters: The Secret Behind The UFO Phenomenon, 205-208 (Kindle Edition); Coeur d’Alene, ID; Koinonia House)  

The alternative view was not adopted until a few centuries AFTER the time of Christ, by some “church fathers” who were undoubtedly embarrassed by these accounts in the “modern” circles of their times. Clearly, the evidence favors the view that these “sons of God” were fallen angels.  

Some have rejected these facts because of the words of Jesus in Matthew:

Matthew 22:30-For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.

Some interpret these words to mean that angels are not capable of having sexual relations, and that therefore, the “sons of God” in Genesis 6 could not have reference to fallen angels having sexual relations with humans.  

Is this true? 

Let’s study.  

First, notice that in Matthew 22, Jesus is referencing Godly angels; whereas in Genesis 6, we are being told about rebellious angels. 

Second, the angels Jesus references in Matthew 22 are angels “in Heaven.” However, the beings referenced in Genesis 6 were on earth.  

Third, the Scriptures are clear that angels can take the physical form of humans.  

Speaking of these facts in consideration of Jesus’ words in Matthew 22, researcher Michael Heiser has written: 

“Jewish thinkers in the Second Temple Period understood that original Mesopotamian context, which is why they overwhelmingly viewed the Nephilim of divine sons of God as giants. This perspective includes the translation of the Hebrew term with gigas (“giant”) in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament….In reality, it doesn’t matter whether “fallen ones” is the translation. The Nephilim and the Anakim/Rephaim who descend from them (Numbers 13:33; Deuteronomy 2:20–21; 3:1–11) are still described as unusually tall. Consequently, insisting that the name means “fallen” produces no escape from a supernaturalist interpretation….The primary objection to this approach is the sexual component. The modern enlightened mind simply can’t tolerate it. Appeal is usually made to Matthew 22:23–33 in this regard, under the assumption that verse 30 teaches that angels cannot engage in sexual intercourse:…The text does not say angels cannot have sexual intercourse; it says they don’t . The reason ought to be obvious. The context for the statement is the resurrection, which refers either broadly to the afterlife or, more precisely, to the final, renewed global Eden. The point is clear in either option. In the spiritual world, the realm of divine beings, there is no need for procreation. Procreation is a necessity for perpetuating the human population. Life in the perfected Edenic world also does not require maintaining the human species by having children—everyone has an immortal resurrection body. Consequently, there is no need for sex in the resurrection, just as there is no need for it in the nonhuman spiritual realm. Genesis 6 doesn’t have the spiritual realm or the final Edenic world as its context. The analogy breaks down completely. The passage in Matthew is therefore useless as a commentary on Genesis 6:1–4….That angels—and even God—can have true corporeality is evident in the Bible. For example, Genesis 18–19 is quite clear that Yahweh Himself and two other divine beings met with Abraham in physical flesh. They ate a meal together (Genesis 18:1–8). Genesis 19:10 informs us that the two angels had to physically grab Lot and pull him back into his house to avoid harm in Sodom, something that would be hard to do if the two beings were not truly physical. Another example is Genesis 32:22–31, where we read that Jacob wrestled with a “man” (32:24), whom the text also describes as elohim twice (32:30–31). Hosea 12:3–4 refers to this incident and describes the being who wrestled with Jacob as elohim and mal’ak (“angel”). This was a physical struggle, and one that left Jacob injured (32:31–32). While visual appearances in human form are more common, the New Testament also describes episodes in which angels are best understood as corporeal. In Matthew 4:11, angels came to Jesus after He was tempted by the devil and “ministered” to Him (cf. Mark 1:13). Surely this means more than floating around before Jesus’ face. Angels appear and speak (Matthew 28:5; Luke 1:11–21, 30–38), instances that presume actual sound waves being created. If a merely auditory experience was meant, one would expect the communication to be described as a dream-vision (Acts 10:3). Angels open doors (Acts 5:19) and hit disciples to wake them up (Acts 12:7). This particular episode is especially interesting, because the text has Peter mistakenly thinking the angel was only a vision.” (Michael Heiser, Reversing Hermon: Enoch, The Watchers, And The Forgotten Mission Of Jesus Christ, 302-379 (Kindle Edition)) 

Conclusion

First, the fallen angels here left their proper domain (Jude 1:6). Angels-like all accountable beings-have the capacity of freewill (cf. 2 Peter 2:4).  

Second, this passage teaches us about the dangers of sexual immorality. Indeed, this is the point that Jude makes of this account (Jude 1:6-7).  

Third, the discovery of many giant skeletons around the world, as well as the historical accounts of many nations throughout history, further confirms the Bible narrative of these matters (cf. Luke 1:1-4).  

Finally, this reminds us that there is a Day of Judgment coming (Acts 17:30-31). God’s Son has made it possible for us to be saved (please read 1 Corinthians 15:1-8).

Believers who repent of their sins and are baptized are promised forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:37-38).

Why not today accept God’s gracious invitation?  

The grace of The Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.