Spiritual Deception, Mormonism & UFO’s
|By: Dr. John G. Weldon; ©2012|
|As a brand-new Christian converted from skepticism, I did something I wouldn’t recommend for another believer in Christ; I studied a lot of occult books.|
As a brand-new Christian converted from skepticism, I did something I wouldn’t recommend for another believer in Christ; I studied a lot of occult books. The reason I would never recommend this is because it is something that has been documented to be spiritually and otherwise dangerous.
I did this out of naïveté and partly out of amazement. I was converted to personal faith in Jesus Christ from a biased materialism which ruled out the supernatural without even considering it. I was startled to learn that spirits not only existed but even more amazed to learn that they went out of their way to deny biblical Christianity — but not any other religion.
Looking back, I had been much more indoctrinated (than educated) as an undergraduate at a major California University – instructed to believe in materialism, scientism, secularism, humanism, Marxism and relativism. Ironically, I had not been taught to think critically and independently. Prior to my conversion I was convinced Christianity was a myth and that Jesus was irrelevant if He existed at all.
But after the Lord’s gracious conversion of my soul, I began studying “the other side” of life that none of my professors had an interest in – despite its obvious importance to every academic discipline and, indeed, every area of life. My profs seemed content with their ill considered (and irrational) faith in evolutionary materialism. As a result, when I encountered occult literature such as credible parapsychological studies into spirtistic mediumism and the “Seth” series, the question became: the spirits obviously exist — but why do they go out of their way to insulate people against biblical Christianity unless what biblical Christianity says is true — there really are evil spirits who hate God and man and will even cleverly and persuasively imitate “good” spirits in order to deceive people spiritually?
But they do a lot more than imitate good spirits. The interesting thing about spiritistic literature was it’s amazing variety, from the Urantia Book, offered through a human medium by alleged extraterrestrials from outer space; to Oahspe: a Kosmon Bible; to revelations from the alleged dead (the Seth series, the so-called “Great White Brotherhood” Azrael books,) to all kinds of revelations from alleged angels, to Levi’s Jesus the Christ, purportedly a new revelation from Christ himself (that denies His nature and teachings) – even most reported credible Near-Death Experiences fit the pattern of spirtistic deception.
It seems that these spirits, who are actually demons, would imitate virtually anyone and anything in order to get their message across. The message varies widely philosophically, religiously and theologically but always denies key biblical doctrine, sometimes very subtly so and sometimes openly. For example, The Urantia Book declares:
- “The whole idea of ransom and atonement is incompatible with the concept of God as it was taught and exemplified by Jesus of Nazareth. The infinite love of God is not secondary to anything in the divine nature.” “All this concept of atonement and sacrificial salvation is rooted and grounded in selfishness.” “This entire idea of the ransom of the atonement places salvation upon a plane of unreality;…”
Biblically, however, the death Christ who atoned for our sins on the cross is the central teaching of the divinely inspired New Testament. In that biblical Christianity has already been independently established to be true, the Urantia book must be in error. The Urantia Book logically brings us to the modern field of UFO studies which is so fraught with classic demonology that even secular researchers and UFO experts such as atheist John Keel (Operation Trojan Horse, etc.), whom I once spoke with, leading scientific UFO researcher, Dr. Jacques Vallee (Passport to Magonia), and the oldest and leading UFO Journal in the world, the British Flying Saucer Review, have proven beyond doubt that the UFO phenomena we are experiencing in modern times is a virtual hand-in-glove fit with classical and biblical demonology. (This is irrespective of the issue of God creating life on other planets.) Following in part Dr. J. Allan Hynek, modern ufology is typically classified as: 1) lights in the sky phenomena; 2) close encounters of the first second and third type; 3) alleged abductions and 4) “contactee” experiences (or personal spirtistic-type contact with alleged aliens).
This conclusion of demonic origin remains sound even though this literature, reminiscent of the devil quoting (and misquoting) Scripture to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden or to Jesus during his temptation, will sometimes closely mimic biblical teaching – which takes us to our next topic, the religion of Mormonism which often claims to be biblical and Christian, but isn’t. So what about Mormonism?
How could Mormonism possibly be related to modern ufology? Joseph Smith claims he received the Mormons Scriptures (The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, The Pearl of Great Price) through occult methods such as divination or from the angel “Moroni” and other spirits. But it was his “first vision” account that began the religion of Mormonism and the reception of its alleged Scriptures through occult means.
As a young Christian apologist, when I began reading Mormon Scripture, particularly Doctrine and Covenants, I was struck by the similarity in content, tone and/or style to some of the spiritistic literature I had read years earlier. For example, Joseph Smith’s alleged “first vision” account recorded in his History of the Church volume 1 chapter 1:8-20 comprises classic spirtistic duplicity. Consider the following extended passage:
- After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God [allegedly, to find out which of the Christian denominations was true]. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.
- But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.
- It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. Then the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My fBeloved gSon. Hear Him!
The story continues:
- My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the [Christian] sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join.
- I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”
- He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. When I came to myself again, I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven. When the light had departed, I had no strength; but soon recovering in some degree, I went home
Without going into detail, the similarity to modern spirtistic mediumism and ufology (with a “Christian” veneer) recorded in the pages of Flying Saucer Review is obvious to one who has studied the subject (e.g., rejecting biblical truth yet remaining spiritually open and searching; involvement in the psychic world and the occult; being alone; threatened then delivered from something menacing so that one implicitly trusts the source of deliverance; experiencing contact with ‘extraterrestrials’ [which is exactly what God and Jesus are in Mormon theology]; the bright light or pillar of light; receiving anti-biblical messages; lying on one’s back looking up in the space, etc).
In fact, decades ago, I remember reading an article in Flying Saucer Review or some other major ufology Journal about the “first vision” account of Joseph Smith and its relationship to ufology. Not surprisingly, Joseph Smith is even branded a “UFO contactee” in some UFO blogs. One particular blog begins with the following words:
- “In the Canadian UFO Report (now defunct) Vol. 3 No. 3 you will find an article with the title “A Church that Tells of Other Worlds.” We believe that Joseph Smith displayed the same phenomena that [UFO contactee] experiencers do during their contacts with extraterrestrials with one exception; they have not started a new religion. We have been warned over and over again not to let our contact experiences lead to a religion….”
(Not unexpectedly, UFO contactees often do begin a “religion” of sorts, or at least a religious following, as with the Urantia book and others.)
Regardless, given Smith’s subsequent contact with the alleged angel Moroni, it is relevant that the Bible declares the following in Galatians 1:8-9:
- But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
In other words, the apostle Paul is saying that if even an angel from heaven should preach a gospel contrary to that which God has revealed he should be eternally condemned to Hell.
In the following sampling of Scriptures taken from the Mormon Scripture, Doctrine and Covenants it is clear that “another gospel,” a gospel of salvation by works and keeping the commandments is presented. This is a false gospel that denies salvation in Christ alone by grace alone through faith alone:
- “… he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven;” (Doctrine and Covenants 1:32)
- “And those who receive it [the truth of the Mormon Church] in faith, and work righteousness, shall receive a crown of eternal life [exaltation as God];” (Doctrine and Covenants 20:14)
- “But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.” (Doctrine and Covenants 59:23)
A good illustration of how strongly Mormons emphasize salvation by good works and personal merit can be seen through the following explanation of the Mormon concept of justification. (Biblically, the concept of justification constitutes being declared righteous by God entirely apart from works. For example, “David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works,” (Romans 4:6) and “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). The Mormon concept of justification is discussed by noted Mormon doctrinal theologian Bruce McConkie, who also quotes from the Mormon Scriptures Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Mormon:
- “What is lacking in the sectarian [Christian] world is a true knowledge of the law of justification. Simply stated, that law is this: “All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations” (D&C 132:7), in which men must abide to be saved and exalted [achieve Godhood]…. must be entered into and performed in righteousness so that the Holy Spirit can justify the candidate for salvation in what has been done (1 Ne. 16:2; Jac. 2:13, 14; Alma 41:15; D&C 98; 132:1, 62) …. As with all other doctrines of salvation, justification is available because of the atoning sacrifice of Christ, but it becomes operative in the life of an individual only on conditions of personal righteousness.” (Bruce McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary Volume 2, p. 230 emphasis added)
Note that this is the precise opposite of what the Bible teaches about the doctrine of justification – that man is justified through faith in Jesus Christ alone, apart from works. It is not necessary that works of righteousness be performed first so that later a person can become individually qualified to be justified on the basis of personal merit.
In contrast, God’s revelation in the Bible teaches that if righteousness comes by the law, then the death of Christ is worthless. Further the Bible teaches that the law is actually a curse that Christ’s death on the cross or atonement delivered us from –the law is never the actual means to salvation. Again, according to the Bible, salvation never comes through personal merit and works of righteousness:
- “All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” (Galatians 3:10-11).
- “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24).
- “I do not nullify the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died needlessly” (Galatians 2:21).
- “For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law” (Galatians 3:21).
- “We … know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified” (Galatians 2:15-16).
- “Now that no one is justified by the law before God is evident; for, the righteous man shall live by faith. However, the law is not of faith; on the contrary, “He who practices them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us – for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” (Galatians 3:11-13).
- “Now then, why do you [those giving false teaching] try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke [of obedience to the Law] that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are” (Acts 15:10-11).
It is our prayer that our Mormon friends might not simply accept uncritically the claim that Mormonism is the one true restored church, but that they would prayerfully and independently research the subject, asking God for wisdom as to the true nature of God and Jesus Christ. (Probably the best place to begin is with is the Gospel of John and the extensive historical research of the Utah Lighthouse Ministry, utlm.org, begun by former Mormons Jerald and Sandra Tanner.)
- “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3).
- .Dr. Kurt Koch, Occult Bondage and Deliverance; Christian Counseling & Occultism; Occult ABC; John Ankerberg, John Weldon, The Coming Darkness..
- This is the theme of Raphael Gasson in his exposé of his life as a former spirtistic medium in The Challenging Counterfeit.
- For a brief critique of The Urantia Book see Eric Pement, “The Urantia Book,”: http://logosresourcepages.org/FalseTeachings/urantia1.htm.
- The Urantia Book, 188:4.8-13.
- See John Ankerberg, John Weldon The Facts on UFOs; John Weldon, Zola Levitt, Encounters with UFOs; Clifford Wilson, John Weldon, Close Encounters: A Better Explanation.
- “Extracts from the History of Joseph Smith, the Prophet: History of the Church, Volume 1, Chapters 1 through 5;” http://lds.org/scriptures/pgp/js-h/1.1-75?lang=eng#0.
- “Joseph Smith Contactee,” September 18, 2006; http://ufoexperiences.blogspot.com/2006/09/joseph-smith-contactee.html.