Encounters of the Sacred Kind – Are They Biblical?

The following study is based on an article sent to me by Bruce Kine called Close Encounters of the Sacred Kind by Lee Speigel, a contributor to AOL News. It also includes the opinions of Rev. Barry Downing, a retired Presbyterian minister who believes that earth has been visited by extraterrestrial beings since Bible times and believes the Bible proves it. He has said that,

"If UFOs are some type of intelligent power from another world, they may have been around for millions of years and may have been involved in the development of the biblical religion, and I do believe that is the case,"

Downing, has served 34 years as pastor of the Northminster Presbyterian Church in Endwell, N.Y., and has tirelessly researched this material for decades. As a student at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, he specialized in the relationship between natural science and theology and is listed in "Who's Who In Theology and Science."

So then as many have seen UFO's including myself what gives? Do they really exist? Does the Bible actually support the idea of UFO's? What are UFO's? Are they just a mirage or an hallucination? Maybe they are secret military weapons that are being tested which the government doesn't want us to know about. Could they even be demonic and just demons traveling around. This might seem to be the case if we consider that UFO's believers in many cases believe that help will come from some advanced civilization on another planet and aren't looking for something like the second coming of Christ to straighten things out as most Christians would. Perhaps as suggested in the "Chariot of the Gods" we are descended from aliens who visited here millions of years ago and settled here and became our gods we worship. Does anything in the Bible give us any answers to the above questions?
Let’s have a look and see.

First let me state that from a biblical perspective I believe the evidence is flimsy at best. I present it here as food for thought and discussion. It is not intended as either an affirmation of the existence of UFO's or a denial of them. It is simply the presentation of ideas, theories, and the ideas of at least one man who had extensively studied the subject. Some may consider the ideas far-fetched at best.
I will just present the evidence and you can make up your mind.

The first case perhaps for possible aliens is in Genesis 6:1 where it refers to the Sons of God coming down to have sex with women and producing giants. Who are these sons of God? Some have said they were demons/angels having sex with women. However, angels are sexless; thus, without the genitalia necessary to produce offspring (Matthew 22:30). So, who might they be?
Another possibility is that the Sons of God refer to the descendants of Seth and the daughters of men refer to Cain’s descendants. In this case, the daughters of men (Cain’s descendants) corrupt the sons of God until only Noah remains righteous and God destroys the world by flood. It is an interesting thought on how bad company can corrupt good morals. However, could there be a third scenario here. Could these Sons of God be aliens who come and cohabit with earth women and produce giants? One of the meanings for Sons of God as used here means builders of Elohim (plural name of God and can also refer to false gods). So were aliens coming and promoting either themselves or other gods other than the one true God? Is that the wickedness that got the world destroyed by flood? This would seem to fit the evidence of Genesis in the 6th chapter wherein only Noah is declared to be righteous and a true worshipper of God. All the rest are wicked. So is this proof of aliens? You decide.
The second case some would use is the parting of the Red Sea in Exodus 14:9-31. It is the story of the Egyptian trapping the children of Israel along the Red Sea and God miraculously opening a path through the Red Sea so they could cross it on dry land. However, when the Egyptians try to cross, they are drowned. How did this happen? Could it have been some supernatural force from a flying saucer like force? Citing the "pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night" that led the Jews from Egypt, Rev. Downing has this to say on the subject.
"This object hovers in the air and then leads the Jewish people up to the Red Sea, and hovers over the Red Sea during the parting of it, and I believe, uses its propulsion system to split the waters of the sea so the Jews can cross. When the Jews got on the other side, the Egyptians came in with their chariots and got in a good long way before something strange happened. According to the Bible, Moses raised his hands in the air and the walls of water collapsed, which I take to be the power was turned off."
So then according to Rev. Downing the propulsion of the space ships system is used to split the waters of the Red Sea. Then when the children of Israel have passed over safely the power is turned off and the waters return to their normal place drowning the Egyptians. Also we know that this cloud and pillar of Fire could speak and was heard both by Moses and the children of Israel. Moses and the people, identified this pillar of fire as God and the voice coming from it as the voice of God. However could it have been the voice of aliens speaking from inside the craft? Remember these were primitive peoples with no knowledge of airplanes, spaceships, UFO's etc. Could they have been trying to describe something so awesome, so incredible, that their minds couldn't comprehend what they were seeing so described as best they could as a cloud and a pillar of fire?
For the sake of balance and truth there is a scientific explanation for what may have happened at the Red Sea which blows Rev. Downing’s theory to pieces in my opinion. At the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., software engineer Carl Drew, recently suggested that the Red Sea event was more a miracle of nature than divine intervention.
"The parting of the waters can be understood through fluid dynamics," Drew said. "The wind moves the water in a way that's in accordance with physical laws, creating a safe passage with water on two sides and then abruptly allowing the water to rush back in."

Drew and his team of researchers speculate that a very strong 60-mph wind -- blowing for 12 hours -- could have resulted in the water parting, if you will, upstream and downstream, which might have opened a dry walkway for the Israelites.
So then the parting of the Red Sea could have been accomplished by natural means even as the Bible suggests which says a strong east wind blew all night drying the land and allowing the children of Israel to pass through on dry land. Then when the wind quit blowing or reversed course the waters would have returned to their natural state drowning the Egyptians. (Exodus 14:21-27).
In reply to the above assertion by Mr. Drew, Rev. Downing replies

"I believe that some type of force field was used by the pillar of cloud and fire to push the water back," he said. "The wind theory is OK if you leave the pillar of cloud and the fire out and if you leave out huge amounts of details. But if you actually want to pay attention to what the Bible says, then the wind theory doesn't work."
Downing explains that the events of the Exodus and other amazing biblical happenings were described by people who had limited knowledge of science.
"The Jewish people didn't know about Einstein's theory of relativity or about force fields and so, the language they use is like a stunning glance: The Lord in the pillar of cloud and the fire looked down."
So who is right? You decide.
Another possible encounter of UFO's is found in Ezekiel 1:4-28. Specifically Rev. Downing concentrates on the following verses from that passage.
 In the Douay-Rheims translation of the Bible, Ezekiel says
"Now, as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel upon the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them -- their construction being as it were, a wheel within a wheel. When they went, they went in four directions without turning as they went. The wheels also had a size and height and a dreadful appearance, and the whole body was full of eyes round about all the four. And wherever the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them, and when the living creatures were lifted from the earth, the wheels also were lifted with them."
Rev. Downing explains this passage as follows.
"What we have is a picture of four flying saucer-type vehicles with four astronauts that were floating in the air beside each of these vehicles," Downing said.
"I think that a lot of the miracles were done by what we would call advanced technology, but the biblical people had no clue about technology -- a chariot wheel was advanced technology for them.”

In the Hebrew the word wheel used in this passage often means to revolve or wheel. UFO's are said to be able to move in circles and off in any direction it wants in an instant. So therefore this passage could refer to UFO's. The word Living Creature refers to something alive as opposed to dead. So whatever this wheel was it was being driven by something alive which may have been an alien.
On the other hand there is one possible explanation that the description in this passage may be nothing more than allegory or symbols intended to convey some other idea than that of flying saucers or UFO's
Three other possibilities of UFO's are found in the New Testament. First in Matthew 17:5 it says a bright cloud overshadows Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration and a voice speaks from the cloud saying "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him". Could this have been a UFO and an alien from within the UFO speaking to them? The word cloud used here is nephele which means cloud shaped or masses of cloud possessing definite form. Flying saucers, maybe or UFO's? Again you decide.

The next possibility of UFO's is at the ascension of Jesus into heaven. In Acts 1:9 Luke writes:

"...He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight"
Could a UFO have come down and taken Jesus into heaven? The word used here for cloud is the same used for cloud on the Mount of Transfiguration we discussed above. So possibly yes he was taken up into heaven in a flying saucer/UFO. If that is the case then let me present my third possible case of UFO's in the New Testament and a possible alien invasion of planet earth.
I Thessalonians 4:16-17 says the Lord Jesus will descend from heaven with a shout and gather us up in the clouds to be with Him. The Bible in Acts 1:10 says Jesus will come back the same way he left. So if he left in a UFO then He will come back in an UFO. If that is the case, then we will be gathered up into a UFO or a series of UFO's commanded by Jesus to be taken from the earth at the Second Coming. Is it possible? You decide.

This would also seem perhaps to be what Jesus has in mind possibly when He explains the events at His second coming. In Matthew 24:40-42 and again in Luke 17:34-37 Jesus speaks of one being taken and one left behind. Could this be a UFO sent by God to take all believers off the earth. Does God at this time do a mass abduction of all Christians to take them to be with Him? This would agree with what we know of UFO's where in one can be standing looking at the craft and in the next second a shaft of light appears and one is transported into the craft without even being aware of it or others around it either. Could this be the one taken and the other left behind that Jesus talks about. Paul says it happens in the twinkling of an eye. That would infer an instant transformation without time to think about it, get ready or sound an alarm or say goodbye to anyone. Just, instantaneously being taken somewhere perhaps in an UFO. What do you think? The choice is yours.
In summation then as I said at the beginning the evidence for UFO's in the Bible is at best flimsy. I have presented to the best of my knowledge what the Bible possibly has to say on them and tried to present both sides as fairly as I could. Again I think much of this may be explainable by other means or just be fanciful thinking worthy of the best Science Fiction there is especially on the idea of UFO's coming to get us at the second coming but again who knows. Anyway hope I sparked some curiosity about the topic and you will come join us in a couple of weeks when we discuss the topic to Hot topics ready to discuss your views on the subject. Look for the announcement on it.

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