English speakers have forged the term “godsend” to use in situations whenever someone receives a sudden, unexpected blessing or gift at just the right time. While having mostly a positive connotation, it’s not usually spoken of in a negative sense…that is until one considers 2 Thessalonians 2:11:
For this reason God sends them a strong delusion so that they will believe what is false” (HCSB).
Now here’s an interesting turn of phrase—God sends a strong delusion to those who are perishing in order to believe what is false. Yes, many who are left behind after our departure (2 Thess. 2:1, 3) will welcome the coming lawless one as heaven-sent…a true godsend.
Piggybacking off of Gary’s post last month and many others who have focused their efforts on exposing the alien (extra-terrestial) deception and UFO phenomenon, I will add my two cents and incorporate some passages of Scripture that, hopefully, will shed further light on this pertinent end-times topic.
Intergalactic vs. Interdimensional War
As many alert, perceptive believers have noticed, the prince and ruler of this world (Jn. 14:30; Eph. 2:2) has bombarded the masses with extra-terrestrial ideas and movie plot lines driven by the usual premise—the earth is in grave danger from either an inside or outside threat; alien saviors arrive just in time to help mankind; sometimes they are good…sometimes bad. On and on it goes, through film, books, television, and, especially, video games. My goodness, the video games. Do you know what you’re children are watching/playing/absorbing and then adopting into their worldview?
Even the New York Times has decided that the exponential rise of UFO sightings is “news that’s fit to print” (see here). Almost daily I spot a headline where NASA has found new planets that have potential for intelligent life. And wouldn’t you know it, in a year where many of us are expecting the Lord to do the unexpected in 2017, Ridley Scott is at it again this month with Alien: Covenant. How odd…how fitting a title given what many of us expect coming soon in the form of a deceptive covenant of peace between Israel and the nations.
Much of the world is primed now to welcome extra-terrestrial saviors. In the aftermath of the resurrection/rapture of the body of Christ, the spiritual vacuum created will open the door for desperate people to make desperate attempts at peace and security. One of the trailblazers in exposing the alien deception and sounding the alarm has been L.A. Marzulli. If you have been following him, you might have heard him say once or twice, “When we go up, they show up. When we go up, they come down” (see here). I think he’s spot on.
Before the unveiling of our Lord Jesus Christ to the world, there will be another unveiling…a disclosure of another sort. Contrary to the lies and anti-biblical agendas being promoted by academia, mass media, and a number of alien enthusiasts, these beings that show up to save the day will not be extra-terrestrials from another galaxy; they are inter-dimensional beings—rebellious angels who are going to be kicked out of heaven and thrown down to earth…
Revelation 12 Sets the Stage
We go up. They come down. Here at Unsealed we have written numerous articles concerning this amazing chapter in the book of Revelation. This chapter really sets the stage for the end-times and reveals all the major players, including the body of Christ being “birthed” and raptured up to the Father’s house (Rev. 12:5). However, a word of caution: In regard to the timing of events—even the literal signs in the sky—we need to acknowledge the overlapping style of John’s visions and not try to strain out a gnat when we read the chapter, verse-by-verse.
For example, Revelation 12:5 comes immediately before 12:6, and verse 6 is immediately before verses 7 through 12. The timing of these events is not strictly sequential in order. There appears to be overlap between the catching up of the male-child in 12:5 and the outbreak of war in heaven in 12:7-12 (another layer/overlap occurs with 12:6 and 12:13-17). Israel’s hideout in the wilderness, we know from other passages of Scripture, occurs during the middle-to-latter half of the Tribulation. According to Isa. 66:7-8, we know that the timing of our departure comes before Israel’s labor pains (see Gary’s post). So, don’t be discouraged, for instance, if you haven’t hammered out all the details regarding the sign of the dragon (Rev. 12:3-4); the uncertainty surrounding this particular sign should take nothing away from the immense significance of the great sign appearing on September 23, 2017!
Ok. Now then, I got to get back on track. We go up, they come down. According to the overlap mentioned above in 12:5 and 12:7-12, our departure and arrival to God’s throne appears to coincide with the expulsion of Satan and his entourage of rogue angels. In a few words, “…there was no place for them in heaven any longer” (Rev. 12:8).
Hmmm…what could possibly tip the scales this time around, when Michael and his angels are able to fight and prevail over Satan and his angels? Could it be the presence of the newly glorified Church, an army of believers who had just been resurrected, transformed, and transferred to heaven? I think so. Consider also the conspicuous absence of the accuser in the throne room scene in chapters 4 and 5 of Revelation, whereas in visions past, the adversary is an ever-present antagonist in God’s heavenly court (Job 1:6-12; Zech. 3:1-4).
Let’s look at a few other Old Testament passages that reveal the true identity of these fallen “alien saviors” who will deceive earth-dwellers after the Rapture.
O’ How the Mighty Have Fallen!
First, we’ll start with Psalm 82, and while we’re at it, I’ll also plug Dr. Michael Heiser’s book The Unseen Realm. He has done a great service to the body of Christ by writing this book. For one, unlike most pastors and scholars, he doesn’t break out in hives and run for the hills when asked about Genesis 6:1-4. Coming from the academic arena, he has opened the door for many other Christians who were once skeptical of the so-called “fringe groups” within the Church. You know, those who keep yammering on about Nephilim, Watchers, and the book of Enoch.
If you aren’t going to get his book, then please just read the first couple of chapters (here). He shares a personal testimony of having his eyes opened and world rocked upon reading Psalm 82:1 one day before church. Consequently, he discovered that any interpretation that denies that God [Hebrew, elohim] is holding court and judging among “the gods” [Hebrew, elohim] suppresses the truth and strips the passage of its supernatural, heavenly context.
Sure, Psalm 82 is uncomfortable for those who rigidly hold to an anti-supernatural bias, or perhaps they don’t want to be accused of teaching polytheism. But as Heiser indicates throughout his book, we shouldn’t be protected from our Bibles, explaining away difficult passages in favor of those that fit into our tidy theological systems. As good students of the Word, we need to let the Bible be the Bible and seek to understand the Scriptures in its original and cultural context.
Ok. If you are on board with Psalm 82 describing a scene in heaven, where our Triune God is issuing judgment on “gods,” or heavenly beings also called elohim, then I want to focus on verses 6 and 7. Concerning these two verses, Heiser writes:
A quick read of Psalm 82 informs us that God has called this council meeting to judge the elohim for corrupt rule of the nations. Verse 6 of the psalm declares that these elohim are sons of God. God says to them: I have said, ‘You are gods [elohim], and sons of the Most High [beney elyon], all of you” (pg. 27).
Corrupt rule of the nations? Where is this idea coming from? Check out Deuteronomy 32:8-9, especially the ESV or NET versions (also the LXX). I’m sorry to burst any bubbles here, but other English translations get this one flat-out wrong. Verse 8 should read that God set the boundaries of the nations [after dividing them at Babel] according to “the number of the sons of God,” or in the Greek, “the angels of God,” not any human rulers like “the sons of Israel.”
On page 322 in The Unseen Realm, Heiser comments further on the LORD’s rationale for judging the sons of God placed over the nations in Psalm 82:
Though originally given their dominions by Yahweh, the lesser elohim had governed corruptly and had not maintained loyalty to the Most High. Instead, they embraced the worship that should have gone only to Yahweh (Deut. 17:3; 29:25).”
And now with this insight, read Psalm 82:7 carefully:
Nevertheless, you will die like men and fall like any one of the princes” (NASB).
Whoa! That’s right. These mighty sons of God who currently rule over the nations—the very same powers and principalities that the apostle Paul speaks of in Ephesians 6—will die…like men (Hebrew text reads literally, “…you will die like Adam”). I believe that Revelation 12:7-12 captures the moment when the LORD makes good on His decree and these wicked sons of God are cast down out of heaven, just after we have been raised up and elevated as newly-adopted and glorified sons of God (c.f. Rom. 8:19; 1 Cor. 6:2-3; Gal. 4:5-7). Hallelujah, amen!
* I noticed an interesting pattern between Psalms 81, 82, and 83. All three are grouped into Book III within the Psalter and seem to have a strong connection to one another—especially in regard to the prophetic timeline of events at the start of the Tribulation. Psalm 81 is our quintessential “Feast of Trumpets” psalm (Ps. 81:3); the trumpet is blown on the new moon and we are taken up and hidden on that day (c.f. Rev. 12:5). Psalm 82, as previously discussed, corresponds with what occurs after the Rapture and involves the fall of the “gods” down to earth (Rev. 12:7-12). Psalm 83, as many of you know, relates to the invasion of Israel by her surrounding Arab neighbors once the dragon has been release upon the earth to go after the woman (Rev. 12:6; 13-17). Cool, huh?
Falling Stars From Heaven and a Prison Break from The Bottomless Pit
In the past I wrote about the “star language” of the Bible, which usually refers to heavenly beings, especially in the book of Revelation (see post entitled The Real Star Wars). Again, the Scriptures are clear that these beings that fall to earth during the Day of the LORD are malevolent deceivers who masquerade as angels of light and desire the worship that is solely reserved for Yahweh alone (c.f. 2 Cor. 11:14-15; Rev. 19:10).
Our next OT passage related to the fall of Satan and his ruling angels comes from Isaiah 24:21-23. Here’s the text in its entirety with some highlights and bracketed explanatory notes for emphasis:
On that day [Jacob’s trouble/Tribulation] the LORD will punish the host of heaven above and kings of the earth below. They will be gathered together like prisoners in a pit. They will be confined to a dungeon; after many days [at the end of the Millennial Reign – Rev. 20:7-10] they will be punished. The moon will be put to shame and the sun disgraced [heavenly bodies are shaken – Matt. 24:29], because the LORD of Hosts will reign as king on Mount Zion in Jerusalem [Millennial Reign – Rev. 20:1-6], and He will display His glory in the presence of His elders [you and me included! – Rev. 2:26-27; 4:4, 10]” (HCSB).
Another treasure trove in the book of Isaiah! How awesome is the LORD, our God, who even makes the literal moon in the sky blush with shame [lunar eclipses] and the sun go dark [solar eclipse] before the great and terrible day of His wrath (c.f. Joel 2:30-31; Rev. 12:1-2).
Alien saviors from another planet in the cosmos? No, not at all. May those who are left on earth to witness the coming disclosure look to the Scriptures for guidance. Yahweh has mercifully exposed the identity of these rebellious angels—and as we see in Isaiah, He has given advanced warning.
It’s also interesting to note that once “the hosts of heaven” are judged and thrown down to earth, they are gathered together along with “the kings of the earth.” The world stage during the Tribulation then becomes a fishbowl of God’s wrath as the fallen angels are stripped of their immortality and kicked out of the heavenly realm to join the rebellious sons of Adam below. I believe these fallen angels will definitely retain some of their strength and power after their fall to earth, but it will gradually fade and diminish, possibly on into the Millennium when they are bound and imprisoned (think diminishing strength and lifespan of Adam’s subsequent children post-Fall).
*Any Marvel Comics superheroes coming to mind as you ponder what this will look like to the unsuspecting inhabitants of earth after the fall of these sons of God?
Not only will there be powerful and terrifying creatures falling from heaven above, there will also be even more frightening sights coming up from below—seriously hellish, angelic monsters will be released from the deepest, darkest parts of the underworld to wreak havoc on the surface of the earth.
On this matter I will suggest several Scripture passages for comparison and study: Gen. 6:1-4; Joel 2:1-11; 2 Pet. 2:4-5; Jd. 6; and Rev. 9:1-11. Let’s see if I can trace and connect the dots here, starting with Joel 2:
—The supernatural army described in Joel 2:1-11 are not human agents of divine wrath; they’re not even benevolent angels, either. Contrary to the claim that Joel’s army is a form of the Church militant (see here), this band of destroyers who appear at the onset of the Day of the LORD are also mentioned in Revelation 9:1-11. Notice the immediate context of the book of Joel—a literal locust plague has devastated the land of Israel (Jl. 1:4) and the prophet also sees a day when “locusts” of another kind terrorize the inhabitants of the earth.
—Compare Jl. 2:4-5 with Rev. 9:3, 7-9 (see the connection?). In Revelation we are given more detail concerning the origin of this ghastly, overpowering army (Rev. 9:1-3).
—Both Peter and Jude confirm their identity and origin:
And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day…” (Jd. 6, NKJV).
For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but held them captive in Tartarus with chains of darkness and handed them over to be kept for judgment…” (2 Pet. 2:4, LEB).
—”Tartarus” is an adopted term from Greek thought concerning the lowest place one could go—even further below hades [or, “hell,” in KJV vernacular]. Brothers and sisters, if you consider hell to be a real place (and you should, because Jesus did too – Matt. 5:29; 10:28; Lk. 16:22-23), then you should also consider Tartarus, or the abyss [Greek, abussos], to be just as real a locale (the demons that Jesus’ encountered considered it a real place too – Lk. 8:31).
—Finally, the brief yet profoundly important passage of Gen. 6:1-4 explains the origin of these imprisoned spirits who will be released during the Tribulation. The same “angels who sinned and did not keep their proper domain” are the same “sons of God” who took “the daughters of men” and begat gigantic offspring [Nephilim] with them (Gen. 6:2, 4).
A Hollywood Ending
All right. Now here’s the kicker: What if we haven’t been reading books like Daniel and Revelation in the proper light? What if those of us who care about bible prophecy have been expecting a human ruler to step onto the scene as an Antichrist candidate, when he may not be entirely human, or descended from Adam at all?
I’m still wrestling with this, so I offer this as final food for thought. I’ve been re-thinking Daniel 9:24-27, especially in regard to the two contrasting “princes” mentioned in the prophecy. I think it’s time for a fresh look at familiar territory for those of us who have been at this a while.
Considering the context of the book as a whole, what if “prince to come” in Dan. 9:26 is a fallen angel? Is it so far-fetched given that we know about Christ, “the prince” (Dan. 9:25), who has supernatural beginnings? Compare these “princes” with Michael, “a chief prince,” who fights against “the prince of the kingdom of Persia” as well as the other supernatural “kings” mentioned in Dan. 10:13. Heck, while we’re at it, maybe we should revisit “Gog” of Ezekiel 38-39 fame—he’s also a “chief prince” just like Michael (c.f. Dan. 12:1; Rev. 12:7-12).
Also, consider that the apostle John never uses the term “antichrist” in Revelation; instead, he identifies Paul’s “man of lawlessness” (2 Thess. 2:3) as “the beast that rises from the bottomless pit” [Greek, abussos] — the Abyss! (see Rev. 9:11; 11:7; 17:8). I find it intriguing that “the beast” of the Tribulation period is given a short reign with ten other kings (Rev. 17:12)…could these also be fallen sons of God who are jockeying for power among the human race? After all, even though they have been kicked out of heaven and exposed for all mankind to see (c.f. Isa. 14:16-21), they aren’t going to give up without a fight and will continue to use any means necessary to deceive and enslave humanity (I’m looking at you, harlot religions of the world – Rev. 17:1-6, 16-17).
We know the fallen have been working behind the scenes, especially in regard to the alien/extra-terrestrial deception. During the Tribulation they will pick up where they left off and use false signs, miracles, and wonders (2 Thess. 2:9-10; Rev. 13:13-14) as a means to enslave (hence, the holy angel’s warning to John in Rev. 19:10). When the “alien saviors” arrive, mankind will be seduced into creature-worship once again, just as Paul stated in Romans 1:25:
For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen” (NASB).
The earth had better get ready for a real-life, Hollywood blockbuster. It’s all coming to a world theater near you…