Millions are being spent in an attempt to contact other life in the universe. What will be found?
WE LOOK up into a black sky, dotted with millions of stars, and we wonder — is there life out there? Are there other creatures similar to life on earth? Are there life forms totally different from ours? Or is there no life at all in outer space? Is planet Earth unique? These questions have puzzled mankind for centuries. Even modern men are bewildered about mysterious places such as Nazca in Peru and the Bermuda Triangle. Science fiction writers have capitalized on our natural curiosity and have produced hundreds of books, magazine articles and movies on the subject of life in the universe. Throngs see such movies as E. T. — The Extraterrestrial. People are intrigued by futurist movies and wonder if someday there will indeed be Star Wars with beings from other planets.
From Fantasy to Serious Business
But man has now moved from fiction to an earnest search for life in outer space. If there is life out there, perhaps — some scientists reason — they are trying to contact us. The California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and NASA's Ames Research Center have launched a program to search the universe for radio signals from intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations. A spectrum analyzer now being built and tested will monitor nearly 70,000 separate microwave channels and examine them for signs of intelligent signals. A unit being designed at Stanford University in California will be able, in the future, to examine microwave signals and split them into nearly 10 million channels. The theory is, if there is life in outer space, perhaps they will be broadcasting on one of those millions of frequencies. And scientists want to be ready to receive their messages. On the other hand, our own modern technologies have made possible satellite telecommunications that could be intercepted or received by other life forms — if such life existed in other locations in the universe. There is a plaque attached to one of our space probe vehicles. Engraved on the plaque is the genetic code for human life and stick drawings of a man and woman. Just in case the spacecraft would be intercepted, captured or crash into another planet on which life exists, scientists would like them to know the makeup of our life.
What Has Been Discovered So Far?
Efforts to contact life beyond our planet have, up to now, yielded nothing. We have been able to send manned spacecraft into earth's orbit. We have been able to send men to the moon and return them safely. Every effort of the various space programs has so far demonstrated no form of physical life exists, or ever did, other than our own life on planet Earth. Through the Pioneer, Mariner and Voyager space programs sponsored by the U.S. government, prized information and marvelous pictures have been sent to earth from space. Close-up pictures of Mars and other planets are beautiful and exciting. Such space probes have proved beyond any shadow of doubt that no intelligent life exists on those planets and astrobodies that have thus far been explored. Meanwhile, in human eagerness to contact other life forms, there have been hundreds of accounts of people who have allegedly seen unidentified flying objects. So common are reports of such sightings that the initials UFO are commonplace in our vocabulary. Some universities and governments have established research centers to investigate and attempt an explanation for the claims about unidentified flying objects. In the vast majority of cases studied, a logical explanation has proved those sightings were weather balloons, cloud formations, reflections off flying aircraft or other equally logical explanations. In other cases, the whole affair was proved to be a complete hoax — a made — up story to attract publicity or attention. What we have discovered is that extreme temperatures and hostile environments (to man) not only make life as we know it next to impossible on those planets, but makes life in any form of existence highly improbable. Huge telescopes have made it possible to view astrobodies light years from our own earth. Still, no hint of intelligent life.
But There Is Life Out There!
The one form of life that does exist and always has existed will never be discovered by the largest existing radio telescope. The newest spectrum analyzer that will monitor some 10 million channels will not receive messages from these beings. Yes, there is life beyond our planet. And that life is interested in what happens on earth. Beings in outer space have sent messages to the earth. There have been visits to the earth and at least one major visit is projected for the future. But it's not the science-fiction-type visit fantasized by writers — little green men landing a spacecraft in a wheat field commanding the farmer, "Take me to your leader." There have been at least five individuals in human history who have seen and described the only provable form of life beyond our earth's atmosphere. These men have unimpeachable credentials — men of great integrity. And we have written accounts of what they observed. From their accounts we can understand what intelligent life forms really exist in the universe. The names of those who have seen and written descriptions of extraterrestrial life are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Paul and John. And their accounts are found in the pages of the books we call the Bible.
The Creator God
First and foremost, the greatest life that exists in the extraterrestrial is the one who made all life — the great Creator God. There is no life greater than God. And he brought all other life forms into existence. I realize that will not win a popularity contest in many scientific circles — but it is the absolute truth. God cannot be put into a test tube. He cannot be analyzed with a spectrophotometer. He has no anatomical (physical) weight. He cannot be felt, smelled, tasted, touched or seen by physical means. God is spirit, not matter (John 4:24). Thus, many scientists reject his existence. Those who believe in creation are often ridiculed by certain members of the scientific community. Life on earth, many scientists reason, is the result of blind chance — a happenstance "big bang" that occurred in the universe hundreds of millions of years ago. Then, say scientists who oppose creation, just the right chemical combinations resulted in the evolutionary process that has developed all the physical life forms on earth. They reason further, "If it happened on earth, then perhaps it happened elsewhere in our universe." The scientific community as a whole has rejected the existence of a Creator God (and though some have not rejected his existence, most have repudiated his revealed message to mankind). Therefore the knowledge of other life forms as revealed in the Bible has been excluded and subjected to ridicule. But all the while, the one Being who does exist in the universe — the one who created it all — sent this message: "For this is what the Lord says — he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited — he says: 'I am the Lord, and there is no other'" (Isa. 45:18, NIV throughout). The plan God is working out in this universe is being worked out on planet Earth and is being fulfilled by human beings. In the pages of The Plain Truth we tell what that plan is — what the real purpose for human life is. In addition, timely booklets and books are available to Plain Truth readers. If you haven't read our booklet Why Were You Born?, read it now. Also, Herbert W. Armstrong's book The The Incredible Human Potential will answer many questions about the meaning of life, where we are headed, what the future holds. All our literature is free, so them today. Yes, there is extraterrestrial life-spirit life-including hosts of created angelic beings in the universe. And from the eyewitness accounts of Isaiah,. Ezekiel, John and the others, we can know what that extraterrestrial life is like.
First, the Throne of God
Late in the first century A.D., the apostle John was a Roman prisoner on the Aegean isle of Patmos. In vision, the apostle saw the throne of God and the beauty of its surroundings. A vivid description is found in the fourth chapter of Revelation. Here, John describes the glory and majesty of extraterrestrial life. He does not picture little green men speeding through the universe in flying saucers. But he does describe majestic spirit beings. John portrays an awesome throne on what appears to be a platform of clear crystal. Over the throne is an emerald-hued rainbow. When God speaks, his voice resembles roaring thunder. From the throne of God streak what appear to the human mind to be blinding flashes of lightning. The glorified appearance of the Creator is described in Revelation 1: "His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.... His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance" (verses 14-16). Seated on 24 thrones before God and Jesus Christ are 24 spirit beings John simply identifies as "elders." They are clothed in white robes and wear gold crowns. These 24 could be considered the "advisory council" to God. In addition to the 24 elders are other living creatures, described by Ezekiel — cherubim. Contrary to common misconception, cherubim are not chubby creatures with little wings and tiny bows and arrows that they shoot into young lovers. Cherubim are powerful spirit beings who are top aides at God's throne. Some transport the majestic throne as God directs. (See Ezekiel 10:10-14 for a further description.) In addition to these cherubim, there are others who also hold the position or rank called archangel. Two of these magnificent. beings stretch out their wings over the throne of God. Their names are Gabriel and Michael. At one time, another archangel or cherub resided at God's throne as a covering cherub. The story of this being is told in Ezekiel 28:12-14 and Isaiah 14:12-15: His name meant "shining star of the morning" — "light bringer" or "truth bringer" — Lucifer in Latin. Long before the time of Adam,. Lucifer was given responsibility to administer God's government on the planet Earth. In the course of time, Lucifer's vanity and lust led him to form a rebellion against God — he tried to ascend and seize the throne of God. and rule over all the angelic beings God had created. Lucifer drew one third of the angels with him in the rebellion (Rev. 12:4). Their coup was unsuccessful. Lucifer and the mutinous angels were cast down to earth where they have resided in a hostile state of mind ever since. Lucifer became Satan the devil, the adversary of God. The seditious angels became demons. Satan has injected his hostile state of mind into human minds for the past near 6,000 years of human history since the creation of man. Satan is even the god of this world (II Cor. 4:4), the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2) and has been responsible for deceiving this whole world (Rev. 12:9). When Christ returns to reestablish the government of God on the earth, Satan (Lucifer) and all the demons will be taken, bound in a giant abyss and rendered totally powerless for 1,000 years (Rev. 20:2-3).
A Host of Angels
Of course, if one third of the angels that God created rebelled with Lucifer, that means two thirds did not rebel — they remain faithful to God. When John saw the vision of God's throne, he witnessed more than 100 million angels and said in addition there were thousands,. upon thousands (Rev. 5:11). So, additional extraterrestrial life exists in abundance — hundreds of millions of angels. Angels perform a variety of functions in the government of God. They have been used to transmit portions of God's law. When God gave Moses his law, God himself thundered the holy law to all Israel from Mount Sinai and then wrote the Ten Commandments on tables' of stone with his own finger. The statutes and judgments were shortly thereafter given to Moses, mediated by angels (Gal. 3:19). The word angel comes from a Greek word that means "messenger." Angels are the messengers of God. Through angels, God in times past revealed his message to the prophets. Through the apostle Paul, we find, "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" (Heb. 1:14). As messengers of God, the angels function between the throne of God and the earth. What the Bible reveals about angels is (1) they are spirit beings; (2) they are servants of God; (3) they are generally invisible to human eyes; (4) they do have the power to manifest or make themselves visible to mankind if they choose. The apostle said of angels, "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it" (Heb. 13:2). In the days of the patriarch Abraham, about 19 centuries before Jesus, angels came to tell Abraham that his descendants would become great nations and also to tell him that his nephew Lot would have to leave the wicked city of Sodom. These angelic messengers appeared like human beings. They sat with Abraham, talked with him, walked alongside him and ate with him. Read the account in Genesis 18. Later, two angels personally visited Lot and escorted him and a portion of his family from Sodom (Gen. 19). So when angels have appeared, they appear like human beings. No little green men. No two-headed monsters. No flying saucers or ray guns. So there is extraterrestrial life! There are intelligent forms of life in the universe other than human life on earth! It is not the Buck Rogers, Star Wars, E. T. or Chariots of the Gods type science fiction. Extraterrestrial life consists of hundreds of millions of angels, seraphim (described in Isaiah 6), cherubim, and at God's throne a variety of spirit beings, including the 24 elders — and of course God on his throne and Jesus Christ who sits now at his right hand (Heb. 1:3). There are at least two high-ranking cherubim or archangels, Michael and Gabriel, who oversee God's throne. God created this vast universe with its galaxies, the stars (suns), the planets and their moons and, in the midst of it all, a beautiful blue and brown jewel in the universe, swaddled in clouds 'of white, glistening against the blackness of darkness — the planet Earth. On earth, God created all physical life forms that exist. The crowning glory of creation is mankind — made in the very image of God the Creator. The Bible nowhere reveals even the slightest hint any other creation of physical life exists anywhere else in the universe. Ironic, isn't it? We are sending a plaque with the genetic code for life with a stick drawing of a man and a woman. We are trying to tell the only life out there — including the one who made us — what we are. I wonder if God chuckles at the plaque and the crude little drawing?
A Message from Outside of Space
As Pioneer, Voyager and Mariner spacecraft speed on their journeys to nowhere in particular, the turmoil of human life on earth goes on. It's time to devote a lot more time, thought and energy in contacting the Creator God and understanding his message than it is to search the universe for possibilities of extraterrestrial physical life forms. There is a message from that eternal Life-force we call God to human beings on earth. That message, simply put, is that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, will visit the earth and establish the government of God on it. The intervention of God in the course of human events is vividly described in the 19th and 20th chapters of the book of Revelation. When extraterrestrial beings do intervene, the heavens will be rolled back like a scroll, and the Son of God will descend to the earth. That message has been consistently taught by the servants of God throughout the ages. Patriarchs and prophets in the Old Testament dispensation, and apostles in the New Testament Church and today have proclaimed the message. The prophesied time for God's intervention in the affairs of man is at hand. That visit from outer space will probably occur in the lifetimes of many or most of you reading this article. In the meantime, men vainly scan the skies in an attempt to contact presumed physical life forms. The creative extraterrestrial spirit Life that really does exist is only a prayer away, and the written word of the Bible is that Life's communication to mankind. Better it is to spend time and effort communicating with God than listening to the empty crackling of static on 10 million microwave channels. With God there will be real and tangible results.