ALIEN GOSPEL: FACT OR FICTION? – 7

1 – What is the Alien Gospel?
2 – Invasion by the Forces of Darkness
3 – Invasion by the Forces of Light? UFOs? Hybrids/Giants?
4 – Apocryphal Works: Old and New
5 – Reverse-Engineering/Embellishment of Artistic Works
6 - “As the Days of Noah… Seed of the Woman”
7 – Staying on Track
8 – Where to Draw the Line
APPENDIX 1: “Mingle themselves with seed of men” (Daniel 2:43)
APPENDIX 2: Why the Book of Enoch was not written by Enoch

APPENDIX 3: What’s wrong with the Book of Jasher
APPENDIX 4: How Canon Scripture Differs from Apocryphal Literature

7 - Staying on Track

From what we have seen so far, when it comes to trying to ascertain what the future will bring, generally, it is better to stick to what can be proven – through Scripture, true historical example, or common sense reasoning. Wild speculations are not all that helpful. True, it is a valuable exercise sometimes to brainstorm and consider unusual, unorthodox ideas. It should be kept in mind, though, that some unorthodox ideas advance the cause of Christ, and some only confuse and undermine it. The latter source of ideas may be harmless, if they are not taken seriously or not presented in overly definite terms.

Otherwise, too much over-speculation can become the Devil’s misleading device to cause puzzlement among believers, or to sidetrack them from more meaningful activities they should be pursuing, or even to discredit Christian belief and testimony in the eyes of the world. For example, if believers start preaching that there are, walking amongst us, non-humans disguised as humans – the physical “seed” of Satan - then that is likely to erode their credibility very quickly.

It is one thing to suggest the possibility of an unusual new idea like that. But it is quite another to proclaim it as if it were established fact. Such proclamations need to come up with the facts: the sound reasoning, the Scriptural support, etc. And this seems to be the problem with much of today’s “alien gospel” teaching. Too much swagger and over-confident speculation and not enough sound reasoning and Scriptural foundation. And perhaps without realizing it, many are influenced subconsciously by the world’s sci-fi culture of movies and books that harp so much on this theme of alien invaders.

The intention of many “alien gospel” teachers may be good – to prepare God’s people for what might happen in the future. But it’s a pretty big “might”. As outlined above, the ancient Scriptures (Genesis 3:15, Daniel 2:43, Matt 24:37, Luke 17:26) that are generally used to back up the more extreme aspects of the “alien gospel” have not been accurately understood. And other “Scriptures” (like the Book of Enoch) are not even Scriptures; at best they can be traced back to oral traditions from ancient times, which may or may not be true; often they are the product of someone’s imagination or embellishment of the original story. And, of course, these weaknesses in the scriptural foundation bring the conclusions based on those Scriptures into question.

It is not a healthy practice to gloss over these obvious weaknesses without acknowledging or addressing them, nor to mask them in a swaggering, how-could-you-not-believe style of approach. We should not feel intimidated against asking some probing questions, “examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so,” as did the Berean Jews. (Acts 17:11 – ESV) “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” (Proverbs 18:17 – ESV)

We should ask then, are these speculations really bringing clarity or are they just bringing confusion? In fact, we may even ask, do those who promote these doctrines really have such a great concern for educating and preparing God’s people for the future? Or are they just seeking for recognition or some other form of personal gain? Almost anyone would like to claim they have stumbled upon some hidden knowledge, some great Biblical truth or insight. But if that “insight” is not supported by Scripture, direct revelation, or even logical reasoning and common sense, then this is treading on thin ice theologically.

To attract an audience, writers often resort to promoting ideas that are spectacular in some way. And since the new idea may be difficult to believe, the author tries to clothe it with some veneer of legitimacy. In the days of the Apocryphal writings, this was done by giving “false titles” to their “Books” to make it sound as if they were authored by some famous Bible personage. In modern times with “alien gospel” teaching, that legitimacy comes in a different way – by using the Scriptures, interpreting them in a way that will support their unusual ideas. Not all unusual ideas are wrong, of course, but great care must be taken in how unusual ideas are linked to the Scriptures.

The following quote, commenting on an extraordinary vision (of candles, urns, flowers), warns of the danger that always knocks on the door of those who find themselves in the position of promoting a new religious movement or doctrine:

       The whole thing was like a terrible warning: that we are not to ever take credit for anything, but to always give God the glory, else we would become like the false prophets. Each of the candles was a prophet and I could actually see them materialising out of the candle… Even some of these had started with the truth, but were then led astray.
       
It was as though every one of those lights and each one of those representations were symbolic of a life or a prophet or a man of God or someone God had used or tried to use. It was as though each one was like the flames and the flowers and the vessels. Each one was a prophet speaking that God was trying to use or using. But then some of them began to take the glory unto themselves and they perverted His Words and they lost His Inspiration; so then they continued to speak of themselves without God’s power, lies and false prophecies, because God was no longer with them, because they were disobedient prophets; and they became false guides to the people who no longer knew the way, because they themselves could not find it because of disobedience, because they “loved the praise of man more than the praise of God.” – John.12:43.
       
May God forbid that this should ever happen to any of us! Let’s keep the connection strong with His Word and His Love, in humility and obedience.
       
[from “The Temple Prophecy” by David Berg, 11/70] 

Under a mask of the “spectacular”, under a cover of radical, anti-establishment rhetoric, these “alien gospel” teachings, especially their more extreme aspects, generate much appeal among believers these days and among people who are disillusioned with the world and its status quo. Although it is true that bucking the status quo can result in great progress, on the other side of the coin, it can also be the Devil’s device to distract with red-flag issues and red herrings that serve only to confuse and lead believers astray into false doctrinal positions.

As said before, there are certain basic features about the “alien gospel” that can be accepted. But the fruit of these more extreme aspects seems to be confusion rather than clarity. And this leads one to wonder if maybe the intentions of those promoting these doctrines are similar to those whom the apostle Paul had to deal with long ago: misled idealism? self-exaltation? monetary benefits to be made from spinning something out of God’s Word that sounds spectacular and could attract profits from publications and speaking engagements, etc.?

One has to ask these questions, for the motives behind the promotion of certain doctrinal positions may have something to do with how reliable or accurate they really are. And of course, no one should want to be guilty of putting words into God’s mouth; we are supposed to let Him put His words into our mouths. “But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2Corinthians 4:2 – ESV) Following is a helpful bit of insight into the negative effects of such teachings:

       Present Christian dialogue among believers on the coming of the Lord is cluttered, strewn and clogged with false declarations and false declarers. It seems the gullibility of His sheep is successfully taken advantage of over and over again.
       Does it matter? Can’t we just go on enjoying the latest shout of woe, regardless of whether it is founded in God’s truth and actual reality? Jesus said “It would be better that a millstone be hung about your neck and that you be drowned in the sea than that you offend one of these little ones” (Matthew 18:6), one of His searching sheep, longing for the truth and looking to what they can find in Christianity to see if the truth is there. How many are stumbled and turned away by the sensationalists with their latest announcement when they see that their prophecy of imminence fell through and they were just another empty vessel?
       God help us to have a higher standard.
       (from “The Whites of Their Eyes” by Mark McMillion

(NEXT)  8 – Where to Draw the Line

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