©2006 by W. L. Graham
NOTE: This article assumes some familiarity with the Cosmic Theology paradigm presented in the seminal treatise, On the Wings of Angels: The Extraterrestrial Theology of the Hebrew Record. Readers may examine the treatise in its entirety or quickly review its core thesis in "Cosmic Theology: A Brief Summary" by clicking on either of the titles.
"And there was war in heaven..." Revelation 12:7
Many otherwise literate students of theology are unaware that the Hebrew writers of the biblical literature communicated their belief in a vast race of extraterrestrial gods whom they called “the Elohim.” To correct a common misconception, Elohim is neither the proper name nor an exclusive designation for the principle Hebrew god, Yahweh. While this distinctive plural noun found in the Bible texts some 2,570 times is well known by scholars to be accurately translated “Mighty Ones,” it is almost always rendered “God,” singular proper noun, in all but a few instances where it is arbitrarily rendered gods, angels, sons of God, and (rarely) mighty ones.
Also noteworthy is a more correct rendering of heaven (Heb. Shameh/shamayim, or Gr. Ouranos) in unambiguous modern terms such as cosmos, universe, or outer space in all biblical passages that refer to the extraterrestrial Elohim. The original language texts reveal the writers’ belief in a vast Cosmic Empire of Elohim with a vertical military command structure descending from the Almighty God, Yahweh. Not only were the Elohim actively involved in earthly conflicts and conquests in the ancient world, but they also engaged in battles of cosmic proportions, “star wars” if you prefer, with alien adversaries who are always portrayed as inherently malevolent.
The Hebrew writers of the Bible were particularly impressed with the Elohim’s warlike nature, as the following sample passages clearly show.
“The Lord of hosts is mustering the army for battle; they are coming from a far country at the end of the universe.” Isa 13:4, 5
“But our mighty ones are in outer space...” Psa 115:3
“Yahweh has established his throne in outer space and has sovereign rule over the universe. Bless Yahweh you his mighty ones...Bless Yahweh all you his troops...in all places of his dominion...” Psa 103:19-22
“Who is the radiant king? Yahweh, strong and mighty! Yahweh, mighty in battle!” Psa 24:8
“Indeed, I (Yahweh) lift my hand to the universe and say, ‘As I live forever, if I sharpen my flashing sword and my hand takes hold of justice, I will render vengeance on my enemies and I will repay those who hate me.’” Deu 32:40, 41
“For my sword is satiated in outer space...” Isa 34:5
“And there was war in outer space, Michael and his angels [elohim squadrons] waging war with the dragon [Satan] and his angels [elohim squadrons]” Rev 12:7
Biblical angels and gods, or Elohim, are broadly represented throughout the texts and appear to differ as much in character, motives, and activities, high and low, as do human beings. Thus, in ancient Hebrew thought, besides Lord Yahweh, Baal-zebub, Dagon, the goddess Ashtoreth, the Archangel Michael, and also the one commonly called the devil or “Satan,” were all considered to be of the Elohim-kind, whether divine or evil. There are even references to the arrival of unfamiliar alien gods as in, “new gods (elohim) who came recently whom your fathers did not dread.” (Deu 32:16-17)
It would be a serious error in judgment to presume that all extraterrestrial entities are inherently guided by pure virtue and have benevolent intentions towards earth and humankind, especially from a perspective on cosmic warfare. According to the theological worldview of the Bible's writers, such is not the case. They repeatedly warn us to be alert for deception when encountering extraterrestrials who may masquerade as benevolent entities (e.g., false Christs, demonic beings, “...Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”, etc.) and advise caution, sound judgment, and faith when confronting such powerful beings, as inferred from the following passages, among many.
“But I would remind you that even the archangel Michael when he was contending with the devil in the dispute over the body of Moses did not dare to condemn him with mockery. He simply said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’” Jud 9
“Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” Jno 7:24
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from [Yahweh]...” I Jno 4:1
Perhaps significantly, in every instance of personal encounters with the benevolent Elohim emmisaries of Yahweh recorded in the Bible, they are always described as recognizably human-like in appearance. Although purely speculative, if the Hebrew writers did have contact with specific non-human extraterrestrial species, such as those referred to as “greys” or “reptilians”, only vague or dismissive terminology is used when referring to such alien elohim (e.g., strange, new, unknown, etc.) offering no detailed descriptions. Minimizing attentive details about alien gods in the texts is presumably intentional.
Rightly interpreted, the biblical texts reveal the spiritual, economic and political oppression of human beings to be the work of evil alien gods allied with earthly rulers. This elemental human struggle against malevolent cosmic superpowers is a common theme in Bible scripture.
“For our struggle is not against [mortals], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual [dark forces] of wickedness in outer space.” Ephesians 6:12. (Lit. Greek translation)
From these and many other Bible scriptures we may reasonably conclude that the battle for control over Earth and its inhabitants is both arduous and strategically important to all sides of the conflict. As we begin to grasp the biblical worldview relative to a diversity of warring extraterrestrial “Mighty Ones”, perhaps it would also be prudent to view this “cosmic theology paradigm” in a larger context relative to modern encounters with unconventionial flying objects and extraterrestrial biological entities.