Mountains are universally associated with deities and spirits. History suggests part of the reason native peoples considered Mt. Graham “holy” involved unusual heavenly activity there in ancient times, when UFOs called “spirit lights” moved through the sky, something that seems to have contributed to their attribution of “powers” to the solar system and natural phenomena. Interestingly, the base of the mountain hosts the Saint Paisius Orthodox Monastery, a women’s cenobitic community dedicated to intercession by the alleged Marian phenomenon. As biblical Christians, we do not accept Marian dogmas. Our position is that the so-called Marian apparition is likely one and the same as the deceptive UFO phenomenon. For example, note this description of the October 13, 1917 Fatima sighting witnessed by an estimated seventy thousand people who had stood in the rain all day to see it, as recorded by Vallée:
The sun appeared as a disk of brilliant silver, “a weird disk that turns rapidly on its own axis and casts off beams of colored lights in all directions. Shafts of red light shot out from the rim of the sun and colored the clouds, the earth, the trees, the people; then shafts of violet, of blue, of yellow and of other colors followed in succession.” These colors have been described by an objective skeptic as “monochromatic sectors,” and they were definitely revolving. The reports speak of a flat disk rather than a globe. After a while it stopped spinning and “plunged downward in zig-zag fashion toward the earth and the horrified spectators.”… Finally the disk reversed its motion and disappeared into the sun, the real sun, once again fixed and dazzling in the sky. The astounded crowd suddenly realized that their clothes were dry.[i]
While the Orthodox presence at Mt. Graham is not officially under the Roman Pontiff, it does share many heterodox Marian doctrines, including the belief that apparitions like Fatima are visitations by Jesus’ deceased mother.[ii] It also affirms problematic doctrines like Mary’s perpetual virginity[iii] despite the Scriptures’ many explicit attestations to Jesus’ siblings (Mark 6:3; Matthew 13:55–56; Galatians 1:19). The Saint Paisius Monastery home school for teenage girls is dedicated to the “Protection of the Theotokos,” meaning the protection afforded them through the intercessions of the Theotokos (“Virgin Mary”). Yet, as addressed in our former work, Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope Is Here, Scripture states there is only one mediator between God and man, the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5). Perhaps Mt. Graham’s association with Marian idolatry is more than coincidence?
Arizona is quite famous for UFO activity. Witnessed by thousands of people across Nevada and Arizona, as well as the Mexican state of Sonora, the Phoenix lights UFO was the United States’ largest mass sighting—not just because of the sheer number of witnesses, but because of the quality of their testimony. Then-acting Governor Fife Symington has testified in writing:
Between 8:00 and 8:30 on the evening of March 13, 1997, during my second term as governor of Arizona, I witnessed something that defied logic and challenged my reality: a massive, delta-shaped craft silently navigating over the Squaw Peak in the Phoenix Mountain preserve. A solid structure rather than an apparition, it was dramatically large, with a distinctive leading edge embedded with lights as it traveled the Arizona skies. I still don’t know what it was. As a pilot and a former Air Force officer, I can say with certainty that this craft did not resemble any man-made object I had ever seen.[iv]
Documented activity like this suggests something inherently strange about the area, begging the question, “Does Arizona host a dimensional portal or wormhole?” While extradimensionality is addressed generally elsewhere in this series, needless to say, the area provides a uniquely hospitable climate for the well-yoked marriage between Jesuits and extraterrestrials. According to Apache lore, this geographic proclivity toward the peculiar has ancient roots.
The San Carlos Apache have preserved an ancient tale concerning a race of giants known as the Jian-du-pids, who were judged and destroyed by the Great Father, the sun.[v] In fact, the enormous Phoenix metropolitan area, covering Maricopa and Pinal counties, is often referred to as the “Valley of the Sun.” According to the legend, a miniature race of three-foot-tall Indians called the Tuar-tums lived in the valley as peaceful farmers. They prospered until one day they were invaded by the Jian-du-pids, described as goliaths who used tree limbs for toothpicks. These Nephilim, led by a massive man named Evilkin, allegedly came from the Northeast and were headed south to their home beyond the Gulf of Baja. The giants nearly wiped out the Tuar-tums before they hid themselves underground in the mountains and Father Sun threw a huge fireball that seared the monstrous Nephilim into the scorched mountain rock. While elements of the tale are obviously mythological, it has a remarkable thematic coherence with Genesis 6.
The Apache Creation Myth is also interesting in this regard, as a particular version involves the “One Who Lives Above,” who descended in a flying disc at the start of Creation. “In the beginning nothing existed—no earth, no sky, no sun, no moon, only darkness was everywhere,” the legend starts before noting that “suddenly from the darkness emerged a disc, one side yellow and the other side white, appearing suspended in midair. Within the disc sat a bearded man, Creator, the One Who Lives Above.”[vi]
While no single Apache Creation Myth dominates all tribal beliefs, most groups share key precepts as well as symbolism within their oral histories. Besides the creator who rides in a heavenly disc, a Dragon with the power of speech turns up, bargaining with men, as well as supernatural gateways associated with mountains (ch’íná’itíh) through which spirit beings can come. Sometimes these spirits are represented by the Owl (to an Apache Indian, dreaming of an Owl signified approaching death, while the Hopis see the Burrowing Owl [Ko’ko, “Watcher of the dark”] as the god of the dead and the underground), which is fascinating, given the connection with “alien abduction” accounts in which the Owl is a disguise wherein the abductee is led to believe the bug-eyed alien in their memory was actually an Owl they had seen somewhere and had lodged in their memory. Throughout Christian history, owls have been associated with sorcery and flying witches, and the source of these legends seems to mirror many abduction tales, which we shall consider later. Suffice it to say that these ancient native ideas involving flying discs, flying creators, spirit lights, owls, a talking dragon or great serpent, and even supernatural gateways tied to mountain ranges began long before the Vatican cast its eyes on Mt. Graham.
Days of Noah
“But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37).
In Luke 17:26 and Matthew 24:37, Jesus draws a provocative parallel between the days of Noah and the days of the Son of Man. While it is clear He is characterizing the disposition of civilization as His return approaches, what exactly does this antediluvian allusion imply? Beginning with George Hawkens Pember (1837–1910), the phrase “days of Noah” has perhaps fueled more speculation concerning end-time, otherworldly phenomenon than any other passage of Scripture. Pember was an English theologian affiliated with the Plymouth Brethren, a group that emphasized biblical prophecy and believed that current events could be signs or signals that heralded Christ’s Second Coming. In Pember’s classic work, Earth’s Earliest Ages and Their Connection with Modern Spiritualism and Theosophy, the original preface states that he “endeavored to show the characteristic features of the Days of Noah were reappearing in Christendom, and therefore, that the Days of the Son of Man could not be far distant.”[vii]
His prescient work of evangelical counter-cult apologetics addresses the spiritual deception in the Spiritualist movement, Theosophical Society, and Buddhism. He believed these occultic movements were characteristic of the end-time, black awakening. Working from the allusion to the days of Noah, he listed seven parallels between the antediluvian age and the days of the Son of Man: 1) an overemphasis on God’s mercy at the expense of His holiness; 2) a disregard for gender roles and contempt for marriage; 3) how technology and entertainment entice man away from worshipping God; 4) the alliance between the nominal Church and the world; 5) a vast population increase; 6) the rejection of prophetic warnings and preaching; and the most pertinent to our discussion, 7) “the appearance upon earth of beings from the Principality of the Air, and their unlawful intercourse with the human race.”[viii]
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Turning back to the Luke passage, Jesus connects the time of His return to the judgment of the antediluvian world and that of Sodom and Gomorrah (Luke 17:28). While Pember lamented these emergent trends in the late nineteenth century, we suggest that the violence of Noah’s day and perversion of Lot’s are close to their ultimate fruition. We are eager to address the extraterrestrial question, but first, in deference to his faithful service, let us briefly examine Pember’s seven points in a twenty-first century context.
1: Pember’s first point finds ready correspondence in a humanistic denial of human sinfulness and the theological liberal’s denial of hell. Postmodern theologians blur the concept of truth and trendy books denying the reality of hell, like Rob Bell’s Love Wins, are “Christian” best sellers. For Roman Catholics, Christ’s exclusivity (John 14:7) has been replaced by politically correct Vatican II pluralism. The fear of the Lord has been relegated to an anachronism, and Jesus is seen as simply a wise teacher. Pember railed, “They neither confess Him to be the Only Begotten Son of the Father, nor feel the need of His atonement. Consequently, they reject His revelation, as an absolute authority at least, trusting rather to the darkness within them which they call light.”[ix] Has this trend improved?
Of course, this situation has only festered. A recent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life study determined that 52 percent of self-identifying Christians say eternal life is not exclusively for those who accept Christ as their Savior. President of Southern Seminary, Al Mohler, commented, “We are in an age when we want to tell everyone they are doing just fine. It’s extremely uncomfortable to turn to someone and say, ‘You will go to hell unless you come to a saving knowledge of Jesus.’”[x] We wonder how many Christians have the courage to say that in public in 2012.
2: Normative gender roles are increasingly anachronistic, and the institution of marriage is being attacked in ways Pember would not have conceived in his most hellish nightmare. With pastoral concern, he was direly troubled by the nineteenth-century divorce rate. According to scholars, “In 1870, it was calculated that 81 divorces took place per 0.1 million of the married population of the US.”[xi] That calculates to a mere 8 percent, whereas today, up to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce.[xii] Accordingly, many Generation X, Y, and Zs forgo marriage altogether. Others, believing it to be a hedge against divorce, opt for a trial period or, in popular parlance, “shack up.” Today, between 50 and 60 percent of all marriages begin with cohabitation.[xiii] Unfortunately, secular wisdom fails, as it turns out that living together before marriage actually increases the chances of divorce with a remarkable 67 percent of cohabitating couples eventually divorcing.[xiv]
3: Pember believed science, art, and luxury were leading to depravity. Keep in mind this was during an age with no electricity, Internet porn, or Hollywood films. Since then, man’s achievements in science and technology have grown exponentially and collaterally fostered the rise of radical secularism. Aiden Wilson Tozer characterized this secular trend as zombification: “Secularism, materialism, and the intrusive presence of things have put out the light in our souls and turned us into a generation of zombies.”[xv] If mindless forms of entertainment occupy too much of our time, it takes a toll. Many young people watch so much television that they can no longer follow a written linear argument. This is devastating to Christianity, as biblical faith is dependent on the written word. Similarly, pornography is one of the highest earners in any given entertainment medium and has infected conservative evangelicalism.[xvi] Others are zombified by arrogance.
Leading the ghoulish charge, physicist Stephen Hawking brazenly denied the Creator in his 2012 best seller, The Grand Design, writing, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.”[xvii] In other words, to create itself, the universe had to exist, before it existed. Now that is futile thinking! I guess Hawking’s “Grand Design” is actually no design…but how grand is that? Unfortunately, man’s accomplishments have fostered scientism—the assumption that science is the only path to true knowledge. Yet, clearly, this assumption is not arrived at by the scientific method. Thus, scientism cannot meet its own standard. In truth, we must assume a great deal of discovered truths, like the laws of logic and mathematics, to make science possible. Scientism is woefully incoherent, but prideful men live as if it were true.
The so-called four horseman of the “new atheism” dominated the first decade of the third millennium with best-selling tripe like The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, The End of Faith by Sam Harris, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon by Daniel Dennet, and God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens. Of the notorious four, it is a safe bet that one is no longer an atheist. Christopher Hitchens became a believer December 15, 2011, albeit it was an unsalvific postmortem conversion. Still more, the astonishing hubris exhibited by transhumanists like Ray Kurzweil has led to the supreme arrogance that man will create God in his own image.
4: The alliance between the nominal Church and the world, which began in the fourth century Constantinian synthesis and the formation of Catholicism, has reached new levels of decadence as the Protestant mainline denominations Episcopal,[xviii] Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA),[xix] and Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PCUSA)[xx] not only condone homosexuality, they promote homosexual clergy. Ignoring the clear warnings in Scripture, they thumb their noses at God while inverting His created order. “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded” (Luke 17:28). Accordingly, Jesus’ allusion to Lot living in Sodom is analogous to the widespread acceptance of sexual immorality. Some commentators believe it was the societal approval of perversion more than individual acts that beckoned God’s wrath in Lot’s day. Even worse, predatory pedophiles are abusing children under the protection of the Roman priesthood while others proudly march in parades.[xxi] We cannot be far from what God saw during the days of Noah and Lot.
5: World population has more than tripled from around 2 billion, when Pember wrote, to 7.4 billion today. This even has secularists screaming the “end is nigh” as the Inter-Academy Panel Statement on Population Growth called the current growth “unprecedented” and prognosticated that rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and pollution will lead to an environmental Armageddon.[xxii] While the science is dubious, the angst is appropriate, though for other reasons. Burying its head in the sand, the secular world has attempted to push God out of everything. From public schools to politics, secularization works to relegate God’s truth to the upper story realm as explained in a different segment of this series. Religious beliefs are considered mere private opinions. As a result, the violence of Noah’s day is paralleled by new levels of depravity in our own. The FBI records around 1.4 million violent crimes per year in America, and entertainment media glorifies the behavior.[xxiii] The year 2012 has provoked multiple instances of assailants biting, even eating, their victims, prompting the media to sensationalize the catchphrase “Zombie Apocalypse.”[xxiv] Even so, there is nothing as subtly violent as the unmitigated slaughter of innocent babies. Indeed, over 40 million infants are legally murdered each year with global government approval. In China, many abortions are forced by the state but in the United States they willingly sacrifice to the idol of easy sex on the altar of convenience.
6: Jesus makes an allusion to past divine judgment with an emphasis on the credulity of the general population. By credulity we mean they were oblivious. Not only did the people in Noah’s day not heed the warnings given, they carried on their day-to-day activities as if God were inconsequential. They were caught off-guard because they were so wrapped up in everyday life that they had no concern for the warnings Enoch and Noah had given about spiritual realities. In contrast, Noah and his family prepared for the future Flood even though they saw no material evidence of its coming and did not know the exact time of its arrival until it came. The author of Hebrews confirms, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” (Hebrews 11:7). Vigilance is appropriate; Jesus is saying that we face a similar situation today.
The notorious generations of Noah and Lot are frequently employed in Jewish texts as symbols of great wickedness and God’s corresponding judgment. For example, the apocryphal book Sirach 16:7–8 reads: “He did not forgive the ancient giants who revolted in their might. He did not spare the neighbors of Lot, whom he loathed on account of their arrogance.” In like fashion, Jesus is telling us these things will increase and divine judgment will fall. This belief entails an apocalyptic worldview. The term “apocalyptic” from the Greek apokalypto, meaning “reveal,” occurs in v. 30 with: “the Son of Man is revealed” (apokalyptetai). God’s dramatic disruption of everyday life is part of the divine ordering of history. The revealing of Christ is the consummation of salvation history, the fulfillment of the Original Revelation, the protoevangelium in Genesis 3:15. Accordingly, Christians expectantly welcome the apocalypse as the long-awaited solution to the so-called problem of evil.
In the New Testament, 1 Thessalonians 5:1–3 parallels the preparedness of Noah’s family: “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:1–3). Then verses 4–6 respectively speak to the timing: “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:4–6). Paul is implying that believers will sense the arrival of the “days of Noah.” While no one knows the day or hour of the apocalypse, there is widespread consensus in the Christian community that the hour is late. While the above is certainly the main thrust of Jesus’ “days of Noah” warning, we agree with Pember on his final point as well.
UP NEXT: UFOs and the Days of Noah
[i] Jacques Vallée, Dimensions: a Casebook of Alien Contact (New York, NY: Contemporary Books, 1988) 200.
[ii] Dr. Alexander Roman, “Lourdes, Fatima and Medjugorje,” Orthodox Christianity, last accessed January 17, 2013, http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=2186.0;wap2.
[iv] Leslie Kean, UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record Kindle ed. (Random House, Inc., 2010) 262.
[vi] “Creation Myths,” Mercer, last accessed January 17, 2013, http://physics.mercer.edu/balduz/sci105/creationMyths/creationMythsF07.htm.
[vii]G.H. Pember, Earth’s Earliest Ages and Their Connection with Modern Spiritualism and Theosophy (Crane, MO: Defender Publishing, 2012), Kindle locations 48–51.
[viii] Ibid., Kindle location 3528.
[ix] Ibid., Kindle locations 3271–3273.
[x] Al Mohler, as reported by Cathy Lynn Grossman, “Many Beliefs, Many Paths to Heaven?” USA TODAY, December 18, 2008, http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2008-12-18-saved-heaven_N.htm.
[xi] “History of Marriage and Divorce,” eDivorce Papers, last accessed December 7, 2012, http://www.edivorcepapers.com/marriage-and-divorce/history-of-marriage-and-divorce.html.
[xv] A.W. Tozer, “Knowledge of the Holy,” 1961 (See: http://www.heavendwellers.com/hdt_knowledge_of_the_holy.htm, last accessed December 7, 2012), 14–15.
[xvi] David Roachon, “Pastors Say Porn Impacts Their Churches, Many Unsure to What Degree,” LifeWay, November 10, 2011, http://www.lifeway.com/ArticleView?storeId=10054&catalogId=10001&langId=-1&article=Lifeway-Research-Pastors-say-porn-impacts-their-churches.
[xvii] Stephen Hawking, The Grand Design (New York, NY: Bantam Books, 2010),14.
[xviii] Mireya Navarro, “Openly Gay Priest Ordained in Jersey,” The New York Times, December, 17, 1989.
[xix] ELCA News Service, “ELCA Assembly Opens Ministry to Partnered Gay and Lesbian Lutherans,” ELCA.org, August 21, 2009, http://www.elca.org/Who-We-Are/Our-Three-Expressions/Churchwide-Organization/Communication-Services/News/Releases.aspx?a=4253.
[xx] Eric Marrapodi, “First Openly Gay Pastor Ordained in the PCUSA Speaks,” CNN.com, October 10, 2011, http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/10/10/first-openly-gay-pastor-ordained-in-the-pcusa-speaks/.
[xxi] Steve Baldwin, “Child Molestation and the Homosexual Movement” Regent University Law Review, last accessed December 7, 2012, http://www.mega.nu/ampp/baldwin_pedophilia_homosexuality.pdf.
[xxiii] “Crime in the United States,” FBI.gov, last accessed December 7, 2012, http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl01.xls.
[xxiv] For a list of 2012 zombie events, see the following article: Neva Happel, “Zombie Apocalypse List of Attacks in 2012, Real or Just Covered More?” Z6Mag, July, 30, 2012, http://z6mag.com/featured/zombie-apocalypse-list-of-attacks-in-2012-real-or-just-covered-more-1612871.html.