Thoughts to Ponder

Do you believe in magic? How about UFOs?

Many Christians scoff at the idea of UFOs and magic. They don't believe in these things. They believe that either the UFO sightings are hoaxes or the inventions of someone's imagination. As for magic, they view it as just superstition, or again hoaxes.

While I was a Police Officer in South Carolina I saw some very strange things happen. I lived in an area where Voodoo was very big. We used to get calls from people who were afraid for their lives because someone had put a 'root' on them. A root being a kind of curse. I personally laughed these off, and even when I saw something appear to happen because of the root, I figured it was more power of suggestion than anything real.

As I study God's word, I am less convinced that these are things for a Christian to laugh at, but rather things that we should take seriously. The reason I think that a Christian should take them seriously is because I believe many of these things will become more popular in the coming days and years and will be proven true at least to a certain extent.

When these things are proven true, what will Christians do who have laughed at them? Will they refuse to believe, or will they lose their faith in God because things they thought were not true turn out to be.

I am not trying to say that all magic is real, I am sure much of it is a hoax, but to believe that it is all a hoax is to set yourself up for a fall. I believe the same is probably true of UFOs. There are too many respectable people who claim to have seen UFOs to just write them off as nuts. Police Officers for example. They have every reason in the world not to tell anyone they saw a UFO, unless they really did see one.

Let me address magic first. There are 'street magicians' who do some pretty incredible things. Now since I have only seen them on television I have no way of knowing if some of the things they do are hoaxes or not. But I will tell you that if they truly do some of the things that I have seen, I can see how some people's faith would be shaken. But should it be shaken? As always I want to turn to God's word for our answers.

Exodus 7:10-11 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. [11] Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: [NIV]

Exodus 7:20-22 Moses and Aaron did just as the Lord had commanded. He raised his staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood. [21] The fish in the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not drink its water. Blood was everywhere in Egypt. [22] But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh's heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said. [NIV]

Exodus 8:6-7 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land. [7] But the magicians did the same things by their secret arts; they also made frogs come up on the land of Egypt. [NIV]

God gave Moses and Aaron certain signs that they could perform in front of Pharaoh, but notice that the Pharaoh's officials could replicate many of those things with their magic. Now if God says that they did it by magic, then I believe they did it by magic, also called secrete arts. So if this was possible in Moses' day, why would it not be possible in our day?

What would Christians think if they saw an animal speak? There are several apes that they have taught to sign with their hands and they can communicate on a very basic level. Of course those who believe in evolution point to this and claim that it proves that we are just higher forms of apes, but they miss what God's word has to say. In fact these signing apes are pretty mundane compared to two examples in the Bible:

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" [NIV]

Numbers 22:27-30 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff. [28] Then the Lord opened the donkey's mouth, and she said to Balaam, "What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?" [29] Balaam answered the donkey, "You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now." [30] The donkey said to Balaam, "Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?" "No," he said. [NIV]

So should a Christian have their faith shaken by reports that an ape told one of her keepers that she had been worried about her when she was gone a couple of days? I don't think so. I will admit that I think the researchers stretch the truth a little bit about this ape's abilities, but I sure won't say it is impossible, since God's word shows me two incidents where animals spoke to humans.

That brings me back to UFOs and how seemingly sane, intelligent people claim to have seen them. I believe in UFOs, after all UFO stands for unidentified flying objects. Yes most people associate the term with aliens from other planets and I don't believe in that, but I do believe these people truly saw something. Just as I have shown that animals can talk, according to God's word, and that there is really magic, I think we can find evidence of possible UFOs in the Bible too.

Jeremiah 10:2 This is what the Lord says: "Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them." [NIV]

Signs in the sky, could mean lots of things, but it sure could mean things we can't explain too, and that I believe could include UFOs. If you think about it, there is a good reason for there to be UFOs, it would again call God into question and His word too. And we know who would like that to happen.

2 Thes. 2:9-10 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, [10] and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. [NIV]

"All kinds of counterfeit miracles and signs and wonders." Why wouldn't Satan use UFOs to get people's attention off of God? In Revelation we are told that the Anti-Christ will cause the statue of himself to speak with a human voice. He is going to do many things that appear to be impossible to humans. The result is that people will reject the one true God and follow him.

I believe we see some of these miracles happening today and have for some years now. For example, the aberrations of Mary that are seen around the world. Statues that cry tears, or whose hands drip blood. What is the result of these 'miracles' on people? They flock to these appearances, they bow down to them, they worship them. But most basic of all they take their eyes off of Jesus Christ, the only name under heaven by which we must be saved.

I fear for the Christian community in these days. We have not had hard hitting biblical teaching in most churches for years now and people are not well grounded in God's word. So when these things happen, will the church lose its faith, or will the people run after these signs and wonders and thereby follow the Anti-Christ?

We need to guard ourselves and those we love and the only way to do that is to know God's word. We need to commit it to your hearts and minds so that the Holy Spirit can call it up to our memory when we see or hear things that would normally shake our faith.

There has never been any substitute for personal Bible study, but in these last days that is more true then ever before. People think that listening to a feel good sermon on Sunday which has a couple of Bible passages thrown in is all they need, but they are sadly mistaken. Don't allow yourself to perish for lack of knowledge of God's word.

E-Mail Ralph

These devotionals are written by Ralph Dettwiler, and reflect his views.

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August 2005