Written by Ángel Manuel Rodríguez
What does the Bible say about unidentified flying objects (UFOs)?
Nothing! Of course, some have argued that they are mentioned in the Bible (e.g., 2 Kings 2:11), but there is nothing in it comparable to what some claim to have seen today. However, some Adventists—emotionally and spiritually balanced believers—have informed me that they have seen such objects and that they would like to know how to relate this to the Scriptures. It is commonly believed that flying objects come from other worlds/planets, and this assumes that there is intelligent life on other planets.
1. Intelligent Life on Other Planets: The Bible affirms the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life. The ministry of God’s angels among humans (Matt. 18:10; Ps. 91:11) and the statement that the sons of God rejoiced when the Lord was creating indicate that intelligent beings exist, and existed even before the creation of humanity (Job 38:7). The Son of God—an extraterrestrial, if you please—descended to our world, became one of us, and ascended to heaven victorious over the forces of evil (John 1:1-3, 14; Acts 1:9; Col. 2:15). It is also important to keep in mind that the forces of evil are not earthlings; they came here from outer space to oppose God and deceive humans (Rev. 12:7-9).
2. What if They Are Real? What can we say to those who believe that unidentified flying objects are real and that they come from other planets? First, the Bible makes clear that communication between humans and extraterrestrial forms of life is possible only through the mediation of Christ, who sent the Holy Spirit and His angels to minister in our behalf (1 Tim. 2:5; John 14:16, 17, 26).
Second, God through Christ has revealed how the human predicament in all its diversity of expression is to be resolved. Any deviation from the divine plan is suspect.
Third, Christ has clearly established the manner of His return (Matt. 16:27; 24:30, 31; 1 Thess. 4:14-17). Therefore, we can affirm that He will not be using the unidentified flying objects that some people claim to have seen.
Fourth, evil powers are also involved in the cosmic conflict, and seek to deceive humans by offering an alternate plan for the solution of the human predicament. They will become particularly active through miracles and supernatural manifestations as we approach the close of the cosmic conflict (Rev. 13:13, 14). Scripture tells us that they will go to the kings of the earth to unite them against God and His people (Rev. 16:14). They will even attempt to imitate the return of Jesus Christ (2 Thess. 2:8, 9). These fundamental biblical teachings should be used to evaluate any alleged manifestation of extraterrestrial life on our planet in unidentified flying objects, or in any other form
3. Additional Evidence? Some Adventists have used a statement by Ellen G. White to argue that she anticipated the phenomenon of unidentified flying objects and identified them as being of demonic origin: “Fearful sights of a supernatural character will soon be revealed in the heavens, in token of the power of miracle-working demons. The spirits of devils will go forth to the kings of the earth and to the whole world, to fasten them in deception, and urge them on to unite with Satan in his last struggle against the government of Heaven” (The Great Controversy, p. 623). I will leave it to the reader to decide how to interpret this interesting statement. We can, based on the biblical evidence, unambiguously state that demonic manifestations will increase in intensity and nature.
Time will tell what, if anything, are the unidentified flying objects; and, if real, what their intentions would be. Our safety is to be grounded in Scripture. We should not be distracted by this phenomenon from that which is more important: the fulfillment of the mission God has entrusted to us. Adventists should not be obsessed by these things, even if we can affirm that we have seen them. The divine plan, and our involvement in it, are most important.