I saw it with my own two eyes,” the farmer excitedly explained to the reporter. “As I was feeding the chickens, a huge, saucer-shaped object hovered over my house. A bright light beamed down through my barn, and before I knew what was happening, I saw Bessie, my best milk cow being pulled through the air toward the ship. In seconds, the ship whirred away with Bessie. Don’t know why those aliens would want my best cow!
Does this scenario sound vaguely familiar? Hundreds of UFO sightings, alien abduction stories, and supposed communication with extraterrestrial life forms have been reported across the globe. From the various outlandish claims, not a single shred of legitimate evidence for life in outer space has ever surfaced. Yet, humanity’s fascination with aliens, UFOs, and extraterrestrial life seems only to grow year by year, in spite of this lack of evidence.
As proof of this growing fascination, it has been suggested that the biblical prophet Ezekiel, in the Old Testament book bearing his name, had an early encounter with an alien spaceship. In a Web article titled “UFOs: Even Before There Were Weather Balloons…,” the author misquoted Ezekiel 1:1-4: “As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness round about it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as if it were gleaming bronze” (a very loose paraphrase of Ezekiel 1:1-4). The article then listed several other ancient “UFO” sightings, and concluded by stating: “These are just a few of the examples of UFO sightings from history” (2004).
Is it the case that Ezekiel saw an alien-operated flying machine from outer space? No, Ezekiel did not see an alien spaceship. How, then, are his visions to be explained? When one looks into Ezekiel’s prophetic book, it becomes clear that Ezekiel did see some strange things. From a quick reading of chapter one, it becomes apparent that Ezekiel saw a “great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself ” (vs. 4), four living creatures from within the cloud (vs. 5), a wheel beside each living creature (vs. 15), and the rims of the wheels full of eyes (vs. 18), among many other things. Indeed, the things seen by Ezekiel were amazing and unusual to say the least.
But with a little research into the biblical message, it becomes clear that Ezekiel’s writing and visions were apocalyptic in nature—very similar to the writings found in both Daniel and Revelation. The visions Ezekiel described are of heavenly, spiritual beings, not “alien life forms.” By comparing the description of the living creatures in Ezekiel to that of the living creatures that surround the throne of God in Revelation 4, one quickly realizes that the scenes witnessed by Ezekiel, John, Daniel, and other inspired writers were visions of God and His spiritual host of heaven.
As further evidence of this fact, at the end of Ezekiel 1, after describing “a likeness with the appearance of a man” on a throne, Ezekiel wrote: “This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord” (1:28). Then, a few verses later in chapter 2, this same person said to Ezekiel, “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me” (2:3). Ezekiel fully understood this to be the Lord talking to Him, that the vision was of spiritual beings, and that he had not had an encounter with an alien from outer space. It is ironic that Ezekiel recognized his vision to be a calling and message from God, yet over 2,500 years after this vision, modern-day UFOhunters want to “reinterpret” Ezekiel’s original understanding of what he saw. A simple question should be asked: who would be in a better position to know what he saw—Ezekiel, or a modern-day “alien hunter” who believes in UFOs in spite of the overwhelming paucity of evidence? To ask is to answer, is it not?
Ezekiel did not see a UFO! He was allowed the special privilege of being called by God through an amazing vision of the heavenly host. His description of the vision ties in perfectly with other apocalyptic writings such as Daniel and Revelation. Those who are looking for the long-absent evidence proving the existence of aliens and UFOs, will have to look some place other than Ezekiel for it.
“UFOs: Even Before There Were Weather Balloons…” (2004), [On-line], URL: http://ufos.miningco.com/library/weekly/aa052097.htm.
by James A. Herrick
What does science have to do with science fiction? What does science fiction have to do with scientists? What does religion have to do with science and science fiction?
In the spiritual vacuum of our post-Christian West, new mythologies continually arise. The sources of much religious speculation, however, may be surprising. Author James Herrick directs our attention to a wide range of scientists, filmmakers, science fiction writers and religious philosophers and discovers there the role that science and science fiction have played in such mythmaking.
From scientists such as Francis Bacon, Francis Crick, Carl Sagan and Freeman Dyson, to filmmakers such as George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, to science fiction writers such as Olaf Stapledon, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov, Herrick finds a curious collusion of science with science fiction for promoting and justifying alternative spiritualities. The rise of these new mythologies, he argues, is no longer a curiosity at the edge of Western culture. This alchemy is catalyzing a religious vision of new gods, a new humanity, and alien races with superior intelligence and secret knowledge. This new mythology overshadows the realms of politics, science and religion.
Should we follow such visions? Does science endorse these mythologies? Are we being offered a spirituality superior to the Judeo-Christian tradition? This book will help you decide.