I have always had a fascination with the supernatural. I remember watching horror movies as a kid and I studied the paranormal in college (you can read my Master’s thesis here). I have watched movies – including documentaries and “reality” tv shows, read fiction books, researched academic documents, and even went on “paranormal investigations” as part of my graduate research.
Yet many Christians avoid the topics of ghosts, UFO’s, and other unexplained creatures. I assume this is a reaction to experiencing fear of the unknown and dangerous accounts from others. However, the Bible is clear – the supernatural, as we call it, is Biblical.
The “super”natural and “para”normal are so named because they are above and outside of scientifically defined phenomena. Prior to the advent of science, these concepts were highly cultural and rarely questioned. Science seeks to make the paranormal normal and the supernatural natural.
We Christians should know better. The Bible itself is supernatural (though it should be natural for us). It is beyond our understanding and is a living Book written by a spiritual being who exists outside of time and space.
That being said, I just thought it would be fun to see what the Bible says about some common supernatural phenomena.
UFO’s and Aliens
A UFO, or Unidentified Flying Object, is, by definition, unidentified. Witnesses can describe it visually – often they are pill or saucer/disk shaped – but they cannot identify its place of origin, its purpose for existence, or explain how it functions.
The Bible has several passages involving UFO’s and their alien passengers. Probably the most popular can be found in Ezekiel 1.
This passage opens with a whirlwind coming from the “north” (v. 4) – that is, the sky. Four “living creatures” who have the appearance of men (v. 5) came out of the whirlwind. These creatures, however, are not your typical men.
Verses 6-8 tell us, “And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. And their feet were straight feet; and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot: and they sparkled like the colour of burnished brass. And they had the hands of a man under their wings on their four sides; and they four had their faces and their wings.”
Verses 9-10 continue, “Their wings were joined one to another; they turned not when they went; they went every one straight forward. As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.”
It is interesting to note that the four Gospels represent four aspects of Jesus Christ – Matthew: the man, Mark: the King (lion), Luke: the sacrifice (ox), and John: the divinity (eagle).
These are not angels. Nowhere in the Bible do angels have wings or four faces. These are cherubim (See Ezekiel 10). I suppose if these creatures were to interact with people today, they would be seen as “aliens,” especially since they come to us via spacecrafts, of a sort.
“Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces. The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel. As for their rings, they were so high that they were dreadful; and their rings were full of eyes round about them four. And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up.” Ezekiel 1:15-16, 18-19 KJV
Now, if that is not a UFO, I don’t know what is. First of all, a wheel in the middle of a wheel with rings full of eyes might be descriptive, but what in the world are these things? What is their purpose? From where do they originate?
I don’t know, because they are Biblical UFO’s.
Zechariah 5 is a lesser known, but no less interesting account of UFO phenomena.
The passage begins with a 30’x15’ “flying roll” (v. 1-2). Verse 3 describes it as “the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth.” The Lord is the one who sends it out to “enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name” (v. 4a). Not only does this curse shaped as a roll enter into houses, but “it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof” (v. 4b).
Whatever this roll is (and it is certainly an unidentified flying object), it brings a destructive curse on the very construction material used in the homes of thieves and liars.
In the same chapter, Zechariah sees a vision of a “woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah” (v. 7) that goes forth through all the earth (v. 6). He describes this woman in an ephah as “wickedness” in verse 8.
An ephah is a vessel (probably a basket) that can hold roughly 9 gallons – about the size of a commercial trash can. It is large enough to hold a woman.
From out of nowhere, two women with wings of storks carried the Ephah to Shinar in order to “build it an house” and “set there upon her own base” (v. 11).
Shinar is related to Babel/Babylon is Mesopotamia. If you read my book, The Old Gods of the New Age, you already know that Nimrod, the first king of Mesopotamia and likely the father of the gods as we know them. I also made the argument that Mystery, Babylon (Rev. 17) is based on the New Age worship of spirits and strange creatures that is not just similar, but the same as worshiping the gods of old, dating back to Nimrod.
The woman in the ephah might very well be the “Whore of Babylon” headed to her home in Babylon. I cannot say this for sure, so, this phenomenon is as yet an unidentified flying object.
Ghosts are one of the most popular pop-culture paranormal phenomena. Almost everyone you meet likely has a story of encountering a disembodied spirit of some kind (or they will tell a tale of a loved one who met with said entity).
In my academic research, I studied paranormal investigators by interviewing several groups and going on investigations with them. A very interesting finding from my time on the field is how many of the secular investigators invoked religious language, like “prayer” and “demons” when describing their own rituals and beliefs in the supernatural.
Despite the deluge of ghost sightings in our culture, I can think of only two “ghosts” in the Bible (that is, the spirits of the dead returning to earth). Moses came back alongside Elijah (who never died) at the transfiguration of Jesus Christ (who died and was resurrected). The other is in 1 Samuel 28.
In verses 6-14 of this chapter, there is a lot of interesting information to unpack.
The Urim mentioned in verse 6 is related to the Thummim which was part of the high priest’s “breastplate of judgment” (Exodus 28:30) and was often consulted by priests (Numbers 27:21) and kings (here) like a Ouija board used to speak with God.
Also, notice the involvement of a “familiar spirit” in verse 7. Anyone familiar (no pun intended) with the Harry Potter franchise should recognize that familiars are often depicted as owls, rats, cats, and frogs. These supernatural “guides” are used in common practice today.
Saul consulted this witch and her familiar despite being the one who outlawed witchcraft and wizardry (v. 9) and asked her to conjure up Samuel (v. 11).
However, when Samuel actually appeared, the witch “cried with a loud voice” (v. 12). Why would she cry with a loud voice, despite very likely conjuring up many “spirits” in the past? She was probably startled not because someTHING came up, but because someONE came up.
My own conclusion on the existence of ghosts is that they are spiritual “things,” probably demonic in nature. 2 Corinthians 5:8 tells us, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Once in the Lord’s presence, loved ones do not stroll back and speak with us from “beyond the grave,” because their souls and spirits are in Heaven or Hell.
The witch described Samuel’s coming as “gods ascending.” In other words, this was not a run of the mill “ghost,” but something more tangible and powerful. This is an interesting acknowledgement of the existence of “gods” (about which I wrote a book).
Samuel was “ascending” because Paradise (where the souls of the Old Testament saints went until Christ emptied Abraham’s Bosom and took them to Heaven during the Resurrection) was in the center of the earth (Matthew 12:40; Ephesians 4:8-10).
What we know as “ghosts” are not like Samuel ascending from Paradise or Moses’ transfiguration – both of which were ordained by God – but they are more likely whatever entities are associated with familiar spirits that are often seen during astral projection (again, discussed in my book).
Moreover, when someone tells you, “I don’t believe in ghosts,” you can point them to the Bible and possibly use it as a witnessing opportunity.
Daniel chapter 4 has to be one of my favorite supernatural chapters in the whole Bible for several reasons. First and foremost, this chapter was written by King Nebuchadnezzar (he signed it in verse 4). Now, if you are unfamiliar with typology, Nebuchadnezzar is a type of Antichrist (and keep in mind that “types” are more like “shadows” in that they have a similar shape, but the details do not always match).
You might remember him as the king of Babylon (like Antichrist) who commanded his people to worship a statue (like Antichrist) or perish in a fiery furnace. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego disobeyed the order and were sent to be killed (as will happen under Antichrist during the tribulation). Because they refused the order (sort of like refusing the Mark of the Beast), the Lord delivered them to safety (as He will do for those who endure the tribulation).
See? Lots of typology. I digress.
King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and needed Daniel to interpret the dream. In this was a vision (that would come to fruition) in which Nebuchadnezzar “was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws.”
Though not necessarily a “werewolf,” Nebuchadnezzar was most certainly turned from a man into some kind of were-beast (31-37) – a feathered bird like creature with sharp claws that ate grass like a cow.
After “seven times” (I do not know for sure whether these are days, months, or years), Nebuchadnezzar’s mind and kingdom were restored (v. 36). Most importantly, this wicked, pagan king who murdered Israelites for many years, in the end (v. 37), turned to the Lord and got saved.
That is what makes this chapter so amazing to me, and shows just how far reaching and powerful the grace of God extends. If the Lord can save someone who is a “type” of Antichrist, who do you think you are that would not be worthy of salvation?
There are many more accounts of supernatural events and creatures throughout the Bible. I can say with confidence that you cannot be a Christian without belief in the supernatural. If this is a topic that interests you, check out my other work on sea creatures, giant beasts, giant men, gods (did I mention I wrote a book?), fallen angels, The End Times, and my general theory of the supernatural.