Reincarnation and the Bible
In many documented
near-death experiences involving Jesus, the
concept of reincarnation appears. In the NDE
Jeanie Dicus, she was asked by Jesus if
she would like to reincarnate or return.
Sandra Rogers was asked the same question
by Jesus during her NDE. One of the reasons
many Christians reject the validity of near-death
testimony is because they sometimes appear to
conflict with their interpretation of Christian
doctrines. But Christians are usually very surprised
to learn that reincarnation was a doctrine once
held by many early Christians. Not only that,
as you will soon see there is overwhelming evidence
in the Bible of Jesus himself teaching it. More
Biblical evidence can be found in Herbert Puryear's
outstanding book entitled
Why Jesus Taught Reincarnation and
Howe, Jr.'s excellent book entitled
Reincarnation for the Christian.
Many Christians have misconceptions
about reincarnation. One particular misconception is that it
means people don't inhabit heavenly realms between Earth lives.
The misconception is that people reincarnate immediately after
death. It ignorantly assumes people will never be permanent
residents of heavenly realms. But near-death testimony reveals
these misconceptions to be just that - misconceptions. People
are free to spend an "eternity of eternities" in afterlife
realms before reincarnating to Earth again. There is freedom
of choice. This is because
time, as we know it on Earth, does
not exist in the afterlife realms as it does here.
The ultimate purpose for reincarnation is for us to learn enough
lessons and gain enough experience from Earth lives that reincarnation
is no longer necessary. Like a graduation. Reincarnation is
not the goal. Eternal life means never having to die anymore.
That is the goal - overcoming death and rebirth. Reincarnation
is the method and means to attain this goal. For more information
on this visit my
A good understanding
of reincarnation begins by understanding the ancient teachings
on the subject and comparing them to what we know about NDEs.
The following are teachings of the various ancient religions
For thousands of years, Christians believed
that when a person dies their soul would sleep in the grave
along with their corpse. This soul sleep continues until a time
in the future known as the "last day" or also known
as the "final judgment." This doctrine concerns a
time when Jesus supposedly returns in the sky and clouds with
the angels to awakened sleeping souls in the graves. Then all
corpses will crawl out of their graves like in the movie "Night
of the Living Dead." This doctrine is the orthodox Christian
doctrine called "resurrection" and it is the result
of a misunderstanding of the higher teachings of Jesus concerning
the reincarnation of the spirit into a new body and the real
resurrection which is a spiritual rebirth or "awakening"
within a person already alive. The orthodox concept of resurrection
as the "Night of the Living Dead" is also the result
of a great schism which occurred in early Christian history
concerning pre-existence and the nature of Jesus. Was he a man
who became God? Was he God born as a man? The struggle was between
the Church established by Paul in Rome and the remnants of the
Jerusalem Church who fled to Egypt after Rome invaded Israel
in 70 AD. The Roman faction rejected pre-existence and reincarnation
and believed Jesus was God become man. The Jerusalem faction
knew Jesus was a man who achieved the human-divine at-one-ment
which is the goal of everyone to escape reincarnation cycle
of birth and death and have eternal life. But Rome won the political
battle and the orthodox definition of resurrection was reduced
to an end-of-time "Night of the Living Dead."
Many Christians would be surprised
to learn that the resurrection of corpses did not originate
with Christianity or with Judaism. It originated with the
in ancient Persia (of Magi fame). During the Babylonian exile
of the Jews in Old Testament times, the Jews were influenced
by Zoroastrian concepts such as the resurrection of corpses,
a final day of judgment, the dualism of good versus evil, the
hierarchy of angels including fallen angels, and the arch rival
of God called Satan. Over time, these Zoroastrian doctrines
were incorporated into the religious doctrines of Judaism. From
those days forward, a foreign concept of regeneration called "resurrection"
competed with the much older concept of reincarnation and the
concept of Sheol - concepts that can be found in the Hebrew
The first-century Jewish historian
wrote about the
being believers in reincarnation. The Pharisees were the Jewish
sect which Paul belonged to before his NDE and conversion to
Christianity. Josephus wrote about the Pharisees' belief that
the souls of evil men are punished after death. But the souls
of good men are "removed into other bodies"
will have "power to revive and live again."
From time to time throughout Jewish
history, there was a persistent belief about dead prophets returning
to life through reincarnation.
a purist sect of Judaism, rejected the Persian concepts of resurrection
and all Hellenistic influences involving reincarnation that
was happening in Jesus' day. The Sadducees accepted only the
orthodox Hebrew belief in Sheol. So there were a variety of
influences going on in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus.
When Jesus began his
ministry, many people wondered if he was the reincarnation of
one of the prophets. Some people wondered the same thing concerning
John the Baptist. And even Jesus affirmed to his disciples that
John the Baptist was indeed the reincarnation of the prophet
Elijah. Throughout his ministry, Jesus taught people about the
true resurrection - a spiritual rebirth within a living person.
Thus, when Jesus stated that he was the resurrection and the
life, he was teaching them a radical new principle. It was a
rebirth of the spirit - not into a new body - as when we are
born from our mother's womb - but a rebirth of our spirit within
the body we now inhabit. Jesus was distinguishing between what
was already believed in those days concerning the afterlife
and a new teaching concerning a spiritual change within us that
can lead to liberation. He was making a distinction between "the
resurrection of the body" (returning to life from physical
death) and "the resurrection of the spirit" (returning
to life from spiritual death). As you will soon see, this confusion
concerning Jesus teachings is documented in John 3 when Jesus
had to explain to Nicodemus the difference between physical
rebirth and spiritual rebirth.
The first great Father of the early
Orthodox Church was
(185-254 AD) who was the first person since Paul to develop
a system of theology around the teachings of Jesus. Origen was
an ardent defender of pre-existence and reincarnation. Pre-existence
is the religious concept of the soul as not being created at
birth; rather the soul existed before birth in heaven or in
a past life on Earth. Origen taught that pre-existence is found
in Hebrew scriptures and the teachings of Jesus.
Origen was a disciple
of Clement of Alexandria who was a disciple of the apostle Peter.
Clement and Origen wrote about receiving secret teachings of
Jesus handed down from the apostles. One of these secret teachings
was the concept of physical and spiritual rebirth. The existence
of secret teachings and mysteries from Jesus is recorded in
the Bible. Here are some of them:
replied, 'The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom
of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.
Whoever has will be given more, and he will have
an abundance.'" (Matthew 13:11-12)
have become its servant by the commission God gave
me to present to you the word of God in its fullness
- the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages
and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints.
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles
the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ
in you, the hope of glory." (Colossians 1:25-27)
I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but
we will all be changed." (1 Corinthians 15:51)
The doctrines of pre-existence
and reincarnation existed as secret teachings of Jesus until
they were declared a heresy by the Roman Church in 553 A.D at
Second Council of Constantinople. It was at this time that
the Roman Church aggressively destroyed competing teachings
and so-called heresies within the Church. Along with the destruction
of unorthodox teachings came the destruction of Jews, Gnostics,
and ultimately anyone who stood in the way of the Inquisition
But on December, 1945,
writings containing many of these
secrets of early Christianity were unearthed in Upper Egypt.
This area was one of the the main locations where Christians
fled to when the Romans invaded Israel. It was here that these
secrets were continued to be taught. Undisturbed since their
concealment almost two thousand years ago, these writings of
the secret teachings belonged to a early sect of Christians
Gnostics and these writings ranked in importance with the
Dead Sea Scrolls which were discovered two years later.
These so-called secret teachings concerning life and death are
strikingly similar to what we know about near-death experiences.
In early Christian Gnosticism, the
pneumatics (from Greek "spirit") were people of
the highest level of spiritual development who are fully initiated
into the mysteries of Christ and are spiritually resurrected.
hylics (from Greek "matter") were people of the
lowest level of spiritual development, the general public, those
outside of this "gnosis"
(from Greek "knowledge") taught secretly by Jesus.
Those of the mid-level type of human being were called "psychics"
(from Greek "soul"), who were considered "soulful",
partially initiated, matter-bound beings. The pneumatics, "people
of the spirit," saw themselves as having escaped the fate
of the "flesh" and the material world through the
way set down by Jesus. In Christian Gnostic terms, Jesus became
i.e., the "logos,"
who acts in the world on God's behalf and can appear in human
form and through whom all things are made as divine. The Gospel
of John identifies Jesus as the incarnation of this Logos.
There are many passages in scripture where
Jesus affirms the reality of reincarnation. Here we will examine
some of them.
The episode in the Bible where Jesus identified
John the Baptist as the reincarnation of Elijah the prophet
is one of the clearest statements which Jesus made concerning
all the prophets and the law have prophesied until
John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is
Elijah who was to come." (Matthew 11:13-14)
In the above passage, Jesus clearly
identifies John the Baptist as the reincarnation of Elijah the
prophet. Later in Matthew's gospel Jesus reiterates it.
the disciples asked him, saying, 'Why then do the
scribes say that Elijah must come first?'
"But he answered
them and said, 'Elijah indeed is to come and will
restore all things. But I say to you that
Elijah has come already,
and they did not know him, but did to him whatever
they wished. So also shall the Son of Man suffer
at their hand.'
"Then the disciples
he had spoken of John
In very explicit language,
Jesus identified John the Baptist as the reincarnation of Elijah.
Even the disciples of Jesus understood what Jesus was saying.
This identification of John to be the reincarnation of Elijah
is very important when it comes to Bible prophecy. By identifying
the John with Elijah, Jesus identified himself as the Messiah.
The Hebrew scriptures mentions specific signs that would precede
the coming of the Messiah. One of them is that Elijah will return
"Behold I will send
you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the
great and dreadful day of the Lord." (Malachi
The above Bible verse is one
of the major Messianic promises from God that is
found in the Bible. And these John is Elijah references
clearly demonstrate the reality of reincarnation.
So there are two important conclusions we can draw
The Old Testament prophesied that Elijah himself
- not someone like him or someone in the same ministry
as him - but Elijah himself would return before the
advent of the Messiah. (Malachi 4:5)
Jesus declared John to be Elijah
when he stated that Elijah has come.
Now, based on the passages
1. and 2. alone, either
must be true:
John was the reincarnation of
Elijah the Prophet; therefore, reincarnation must become
once again a part of Judeo-Christian theology. It also
means the current concept of resurrection - the "reanimation
of corpses on judgment day" - can be discarded
and replaced with "the reanimation of spiritually
dead LIVING people." In other words, becoming "born
again," or receiving "eternal life,"
or becoming free from the slavery of the birth-death-rebirth
cycle. or ...
John the Baptist was not Elijah
himself, meaning that Elijah himself had not returned.
But if this is true, then we must conclude the following:
The Old Testament prophecy
about Elijah returning before the advent of
the Messiah failed to come to pass (meaning
that Biblical prophecy is fallible),
Jesus was not the Messiah.
So based upon the above logic, only
one of the following
can be true:
is a reality or...
not the Messiah or...
are not reliable.
But because Jesus' declaration
of John as Elijah was overt and direct, then the only
logical option is option (1) Reincarnation
is a reality. Jesus explains in clear language that
John is the reincarnation of Elijah:
"After six days Jesus
took Peter, James and John with him and led them
up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There
he was transfigured before them. His clothes became
dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world
could bleach them. And there appeared before them
Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus ...
"As they were coming
down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to
tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of
Man had risen from the dead.
"They kept the matter
to themselves, discussing what 'rising from the
"And they asked him,
'Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah
must come first?'
"Jesus replied, 'To
be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all
"Why then is it written
that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected?"
"But I tell you, Elijah
has come, and they have done to him everything they
wished, just as it is written about him." (Mark
The passage above describes the disciples
seeing the spirit of Elijah and wondering again about Elijah's
role. Jesus again identifies John to be the reincarnation of
The description of Jesus shining with
light as the sun and clothes as white as the light is remarkably
similar to descriptions of Jesus in many near-death accounts.
This transfiguration of Jesus event in the Bible is just one
of many events in the Bible that corresponds with near-death
Another point to make is that the appearance
of Elijah and Moses in spirit with Jesus refutes the concept
of people sleeping in graves until the last day. In other words,
it refutes the concept of resurrection.
Skeptics of reincarnation like to quote
the following Bible verse in an effort to refute Jesus' clear
teaching of the reincarnation of Elijah as John the Baptist.
"And he [John the Baptist]
will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power
of Elijah." (Luke 1:17)
Skeptics claim that the above Bible
verse affirms John to be merely a prophet who performed the
as Elijah - not that John was actually the reincarnation of
Elijah. But this is not what the verse actually says. In fact,
the verse gives a perfect definition of reincarnation: the return
of a person's spirit
into another body. It is the spirit and power that reincarnates.
Therefore this verse clearly states that John the Baptist had
the spirit and power of Elijah. And this is exactly what reincarnation
means. It does not get much clearer than this.
Although John carried
the living spirit of Elijah he did not carry his conscious mind
and memory. Reincarnation involves only the higher consciousness
of the spirit. Because John did not have the conscious mind
and past-life memories of Elijah, John denied being Elijah.
With very few exceptions, nobody has a conscious memory of past
lives. The following is the Bible passage that shows John denying
that he is Elijah.
"They asked him, 'Then
who are you? Are you Elijah?'
"He said, 'I am not.' 'Are
you the Prophet?' He answered, 'No.'
"Finally they said, 'Who
are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who
sent us. What do you say about yourself?'
replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, 'I am the
voice of one calling in the desert, 'Make straight the
way for the Lord.''
"Now some Pharisees who
had been sent questioned him, 'Why then do you baptize
if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?'
"I baptize with water,"
John replied, "but among you stands one you do
not know. He is the one who comes after me, the thongs
of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie." (John
Notice that the Pharisees
questioning John were expecting the reincarnation of an Old
Testament prophet. And John did not refute the concept of reincarnation
when he stated his ignorance about having a past life as Elijah.
But Jesus was not ignorant about John. Jesus knew better and
said so in the plainest words possible:
is the one ... there has not risen anyone greater
than John the Baptist ... And if you are willing
to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.
He who has ears, let him hear." (Matthew 11:11-15)
Jesus revealed John
to be Elijah; but John denied it. Which of the two people are
right - Jesus or John? The answer should be very clear. John's
denial of his own past identity as Elijah does not mean he did
not have a past life as Elijah. This is especially true when
Jesus claimed that John was indeed Elijah.
The following is another Bible passage
which describes other people who believed John to be Elijah
or some other prophet:
"Now Herod the tetrarch
heard about all that was going on. And he was perplexed,
because some were saying that John had been raised
from the dead, others that Elijah had appeared,
and still others that
one of the prophets of
long ago had come back to life."
Perhaps it was the appearance
of Elijah at the Mount of Transfiguration that led some to believe
that John was still alive even after he was killed by Herod.
This would also explain the rumor going around then that Elijah
was raised from the dead.
Even when we compare the physical
description of John with Elijah we find a striking similarity.
John the Baptist: "John's
clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a
leather belt around his waist." (Matthew 3:4)
Elijah the prophet: "He
was a man with a garment of hair and with a leather
belt around his waist." (2 Kings 1:8)
The similarity between
John and Elijah should not be dismissed as a coincidence. Believers
of the concept of reincarnation know that personality traits
can be passed on from one life to the next - even though conscious
memories are not passed along.
parallel between John and Elijah has to do with karma. The Bible
describes how Elijah had the priests of Baal killed with the
sword because their sacrifice failed to catch fire whereas his
did. Here are the two Bible verses that describe it:
"Then Elijah commanded
them, "Seize the prophets of Baal. Don't let anyone
get away!" They seized them, and Elijah had them
brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there."
(1 Kings 18:40)
"Now Ahab told Jezebel
everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all
the prophets with the sword." (1 Kings 19:1)
Having all the priests
of Baal beheaded seems like an incredible injustice on Elijah's
part. This may explain why Elijah had to pay the karmic debt
for this injustice by reincarnating as John the Baptist and
having his own head cut off:
by her mother, she said, "Give me here on a
platter the head of John the Baptist." The
king was distressed, but because of his oaths and
his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be
granted and had John beheaded in the prison."
Because Elijah had people
beheaded, the law of "eye for an eye" and "reaping
what we sow" demanded that Elijah be beheaded. This is
a good example of how those who live by the sword will die by
the sword - if not in the same lifetime then in another.
The Bible does not limit
the reincarnation of Elijah to John the Baptist either. The
Bible suggests that another reincarnation of Elijah will occur
around the time of Jesus' second coming. And not only does Elijah
appear again at this time, but Moses is reincarnated as well.
In the same way that John and Elijah appeared together on the
Mount of Transfiguration so they will appear together at Jesus'
return. Here is the Bible passage:
I will give power to my
and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in
sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the
two lamp stands that stand before the Lord of the
Earth. If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes
from their mouths and devours their enemies.
is how anyone who wants to harm them must die.
men have power to shut up the sky so that it will
not rain during the time they are prophesying; and
they have power to turn the waters into blood and
to strike the Earth with every kind of plague as
often as they want. (Revelation 11:3-6)
While this verse does
not specifically identify these two witnesses as Elijah and
Moses, the miraculous powers they perform suggest it is them.
Just like the two witnesses in the Book of Revelation, Elijah
had the power to prevent rain from occurring (1 Kings 17:1;
Jam. 5:17) and Moses is shown having the power to turn water
into blood and to bring plagues (Exod. 7-12). The Bible passage
in Revelation describes two prophets who have these identical
powers as Elijah and Moses. Is this a mere coincidence? You
be the judge. But if Elijah and Moses are to appear again at
the second coming of Jesus then the only realistic way for this
to occur is through reincarnation.
With the appearance
of Elijah and Moses at the first coming of Jesus, it is not
a stretch to believe that Elijah and Moses will appear again
at the second coming of Jesus. Also, the Malachi prophecy may
actually be a reference to both of these incarnations of Elijah.
I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming
of the great and dreadful day of the Lord."
There are two comings
of Jesus to the world and it would be logical to assume that
God will send Elijah at the second coming as he did at the first
During his first coming,
the Bible records people wondering if Jesus was the resurrection
of John the Baptist or a reincarnation of Elijah or some Old
Testament prophet. Here is the verse:
Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he
asked his disciples, "Who do people say the
Son of Man is?"
replied, 'Some say John the Baptist; others say
Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the
prophets.'" (Matthew 16:13-14)
First of all, in the
above Bible passage Jesus actually asks his disciples the identity
of the person he was in a past life. Notice that the disciples
knew exactly what Jesus was talking about and their answer to
Jesus referred to people who died a very long time ago. Notice
also that there is no Bible passage that shows Jesus refuting
the concept of reincarnation whenever the concept is brought
up. Instead Jesus teaches reincarnation.
The next Bible passage
shows Jesus telling his disciples that they don't know the spirit
they possess. This is an important statement coming from the
lips of Christ concerning one particular fact concerning reincarnation.
People did not have a conscious awareness of the spirit they
possess from a past life. Because of this people do not know
who their spirit previously incarnated. The following passage
when his disciples James and John saw this, they
said, 'Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come
down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias
"But he turned, and
rebuked them, and said, 'Ye
know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's
lives, but to save them.'
they went to another village." (Luke 9:54-56,
The above passage shows
the disciples asking Jesus if they should call down fire upon
a city just as Elijah did. Jesus responded by telling them that
they don't know what spirit they have to be able to accomplish
this. The spirit of Elijah can call down fire but this does
not mean the disciples can.
In the original text, the phrase "manner of" was not
part of the above Bible verse nor in the Vulgate version. The
phrase "manner of" was added at the time that the
Bible was being translated into English. Without the words "manner
of" in the verse it would be even more a clear reference
to reincarnation. It would show Jesus telling his disciples
that they "don't know what spirit they are of." However,
in modern translations of the Bible this mistranslation is corrected.
As previously mentioned,
pre-existence is the doctrine that a person's soul (and spirit)
existed before they were conceived. This also means that all
the Bible verses referring to reincarnation also refer to pre-existence.
The pre-existence of the soul naturally assumes that reincarnation
is a reality. Both reincarnation and pre-existence were concepts
that were common knowledge in Jesus' day. And although the Jewish
doctrine of reincarnation and the Persian doctrine of resurrection
was common knowledge in those days, Jesus taught a more exalted
form of resurrection - a spiritual rebirth (awakening) within
the body by the Spirit of God. This teaching of Jesus was one
of his higher teachings which he passed on only to his closest
disciples. But it was frequently misunderstood by the public
- especially in later centuries when the Church of Rome yielded
more political power. This new form of "resurrection"
is a mystical union and at-one-ment of the human body and spirit
with the divine Spirit of God. In fact, this mystical teaching
of uniting the human with the divine is a very ancient teaching
that has been around for thousands of years before Jesus but
has existed primarily in the East. Jesus referred to this mystical
process as becoming "born again of the Spirit." It
is the liberation of the spirit from the cycle of birth and
death. And it means eternal citizenship in heaven never to experience
death again. To be "born again of water" is a reference
to reincarnation (the resurrection of the spirit into a new
of the soul was a secret teaching held by early Christians until
it was condemned
by the Roman Church in 553 A.D., perhaps because it implied
reincarnation spirit. The following Bible verses describes the
pre-existence of souls.
"He chose us in him
before the foundation
of the world, that
we should be holy and without blemish in his sight
and love." (Ephesians 1:4)
The above Bible verse
states how God knew his chosen people before the world was created.
This implies that these chosen people existed before the world
began. Someone may object to this interpretation by stating
that these chosen people existed only as a thought in the Mind
of God. But even if these chosen people existed only as a thought
in the Mind of God it does not negate pre-existence. After all,
there may be no difference between being a thought in the Mind
of God and pre-existing as a soul. They are probably the same
Another Bible passage
supporting pre-existence can be found in the Book of Jeremiah.
The author of this book uses the metaphor of a potter (God)
and clay (flesh) to describe how God creates, destroys and recreates
(reincarnation) better pots (people). This perfection process
that humans undergo is an excellent description pre-existence
and reincarnation. The purpose for reincarnation is instruction
and perfection. The following is the passage in Jeremiah:
"This is the word that
came to Jeremiah from the Lord, 'Go down to the potter's
house, and there I will give you my message.'
"So I went down to the
potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel.
But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred
in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot,
shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the
Lord came to me, 'O house of Israel, can I not do with
you as this potter does?' declares the Lord." (Jeremiah
For those skeptics who doubt
this interpretation refers to reincarnation, Paul uses this
same metaphor to describe how God is like a potter who can prefer
one pot of clay over another - even before they were created:
"Just as it is written:
'Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.' What then shall
we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to
Moses, 'I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.'
It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or
effort, but on God's mercy. For the Scripture says
to Pharaoh: 'I raised you up for this very purpose,
that I might display my power in you and that my
name might be proclaimed in all the Earth.'"
"Therefore God has
mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens
whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to
me: 'Then why does God still blame us? For who resists
his will?'" But who are you, O man, to talk
back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who
formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'"
"Does not the potter
have the right to make out of the same lump of clay
some pottery for noble purposes and some for common
use? What if God, choosing to show his wrath and
make his power known, bore with great patience the
objects of his wrath - prepared for destruction?
What if he did this to make the riches of his glory
known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared
in advance for glory." (Romans 9:13-24)
By comparing the sovereignty
of God over humans with the sovereignty that a potter has with
clay, Paul is affirming the pre-existence of Jacob and Esau.
The central point Paul is making is that God created Esau as
an object of wrath because of his so-called "hatred"
for him before he was even born. This is also a good analogy
when it is applied to the divine justice of God. God "hated"
Esau because of a past incarnation that displeased God which
would explain why God had him reincarnated as an object of wrath.
The reverse of this is the case of Jacob. Because he led a previous
life that pleased God he was reincarnated as an object of his
mercy. Therefore this metaphor is rich with hidden knowledge
concerning divine justice, the sovereignty of God, pre-existence,
reincarnation, predestination, election, and free will. The
following is another Bible verse supporting pre-existence.
"I tell you the truth,"
Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I
am!" (John 8:58)
The above Bible verse
shows Jesus telling his critics that he existed before Abraham
was even born. This would be impossible unless Jesus pre-existed
before he was born. And because Jesus had a human nature along
with a divine nature, it does not take a leap of faith to believe
that all humans pre-existed. The fact that Jesus taught reincarnation
is reason enough to assume that all humans pre-existed.
But if a person assumes
that pre-existence and reincarnation are false doctrines then
they must explain why there is such an incredible amount of
inequities and injustices in life. We can see all over the world
how some people are born into rich families with excellent health,
provided the best education, live in palatial estates, and many
other favorable conditions. On the other hand, some people are
born in extreme poverty, with severe handicaps, uneducated,
destitute, and many other unfavorable conditions. Without pre-existence
and reincarnation this apparent inequity and injustice between
people might make a person conclude that God is extremely unjust.
Without pre-existence and reincarnation how are we to explain
this? This very question was asked of Jesus by his disciples
in the Bible passage below:
"And as he was passing
by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples
asked him, 'Rabbi, who has sinned, this man or his parents,
that he should be born blind?'
"Jesus answered, 'Neither
has this man sinned, nor his parents, but the works
of God were to be made manifest in him.' (John 9:1-3)
The disciples asked
Jesus if the man committed a sin that caused him to be born
blind. Given the fact that the man was blind since birth, this
is an unusual question to ask unless pre-existence and reincarnation
were a fact. How can a man sin before he is even born? The only
conceivable answer to this question is a sin that was committed
in a past life. And although Jesus stated that the reason the
man was born blind was to manifest the works of God and not
because of sin, this does not logically imply that everyone
who is born in unfavorable circumstances are not born that way
because of sin from a past life; unless you believe that all
people who are born blind are born that way for the purpose
of manifesting the work of God. Just the fact that this blind
man and his circumstances are described in the Bible may be
what Jesus was referring to concerning his manifesting the works
When this same blind
man was brought before the Pharisees, they rejected the blind
man's testimony because they believed he sinned before he was
"You were born entirely
in sins, and are you teaching us?" (John 9:34
This shows that even
the Pharisees believed is possible to sin before you are born
and this implies pre-existence and reincarnation.
It should also be pointed
that Jesus did nothing to dispel or correct the idea that the
disciples (and the Pharisees) believed in the possibility of
sinning before being born. And because Jesus did not correct
the implication of pre-existent sin, we can assume that pre-existence
is certainly a possibility.
The following Bible
verse also supports pre-existence:
"Surely I was sinful
at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived
me." (Psalm 51:5)
Unless pre-existence and reincarnation
are true, the above Bible verse is completely absurd.
According to the Bible, divine justice
demands that sinners pay for their own sins. Jesus taught
this when he declared:
"All who take the sword
will perish by the sword." (Matthew 26:52)
"If anyone slays with the
sword, with the sword must he be slain." (Revelation
Common sense should
tell us that everyone who lives by the sword (a life of crime
for example) do not always die by the sword. A vast multitude
of people throughout history have gotten away with their crimes.
In fact, this is another apparent injustice that some people
even use to deny the very existence of God. This statement from
Jesus is completely absurd and ignorant unless reincarnation
is true. For the divine justice that Jesus refers to as being
true, people who don't pay for their sins in their life must
pay for them in a future life. This fact also applies to the
man born blind.
Jesus also taught this
law of divine justice in his parables:
his master turned him over to the jailers until he should
pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father
will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother
from your heart." (Matthew18: 34-35)
This law of
divine justice was also taught by Paul:
"Do not be deceived: God
cannot be mocked. A person reaps what he sows."
This is the
law of divine justice is also found in the Old Testament:
life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot
for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for
bruise." (Exodus 21:24-25)
This law of divine justice is practically
a universal religious concept. In eastern religions, this law
of div justice is known as
This law of divine justice is equal to the concept of reincarnation.
This law of living by the sword and dying by the sword is the
principle of reincarnation. In other words, this law of divine
justice is the law of reincarnation.
Only reincarnation can satisfy the divine
justice of reaping what we sow, an eye for an eye, live by the
sword and die by the sword. This universal law of God explains
why some people are born under favorable conditions and others
are born under unfavorable conditions. It is the very mechanics
of birth and rebirth. Reincarnation is the missing link - the
long lost doctrine - the key to understanding the secret and
mystical teachings of Jesus.
This law of God is the key to the following
parable of Jesus:
it [the kingdom of heaven] will be like a man going
on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted
his property to them. To one he gave five talents
of money, to another two talents, and to another
one talent, each according to his ability."
This idea that God gives
people varying amounts of abilities at birth - each according
to his ability - is the heart of reincarnation and the law of
divine justice. The great Church Father Origen used this very
parable to teach pre-existence and reincarnation.
soul has neither beginning nor end … [They]
come into this world strengthened by the victories
or weakened by the defeats of their previous lives."
(Origen, De Principiis)
When Origen used the
parable of the talents to refer to reincarnation and pre-existence
he was not introducing some foreign religious concept into the
Christian religion. He was merely expressing what is described
throughout the Bible and believed by early Christians to be
one of the secret teachings of Jesus.
Some early Christian sects not only
believed that Jesus paid the debt of divine justice for Adam's
original sin, they also believed that Adam was one of many reincarnations
of Jesus. These early Christian sects were called the
Even the concept of Jesus paying the debt from Adam's sin makes
more sense if reincarnation is assumed to be true.
This law of divine justice
is so universal that it even applies to science. It is Isaac
Newton's law of cause and effect. It is also known as a law
in physics: For every action there is an equal and opposing
reaction and what goes up must come down. In fact, this law
of divine justice is the very law of nature. Breaking the law
of divine justice is very similar to breaking the law of gravity.
The result is impersonal. Both are a transgression of the law
of nature. Because of this we cannot blame God for the apparent
injustices that happen to us. Like the law of gravity, if we
go against this law of divine justice it is completely our fault
and due to our ignorance of divine justice.
Sermon on the Mount
Jesus taught the following principle:
"Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the Earth." (Matthew
This principle begs
the question: When will the meek inherit the Earth? For millions
of years it has been the aggressive and the strong who have
ruled the Earth. In this world the law of evolution (another
principle of reincarnation) applies and only the fittest and
aggressive survive - certainly not those who are meek. This
promise that the meek will inherit the Earth can only be fulfilled
in future reincarnation. It means the meek will eventually rule
the world when they reincarnate into meek rulers of the world
- a promise that can only be fulfilled at another time.
The following Bible
passage is a promise that Jesus makes to those who have forsaken
everything to follow him:
one who has left home or brothers or sisters or
mother or father or wife or children or land for
me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred
times as much in this present age - homes, brothers,
sisters, mothers, children and fields ... and in
the age to come, eternal life." (Mark 10:29-30)
and pre-existence, this promise of Jesus is completely ludicrous
because it would be impossible to happen. For example, it would
mean that those who leave their parents for the sake of Christ
will receive even more parents in the age to come. And those
who leave their children for the sake of Christ will receive
even more children in the age to come. It is evident that this
promise by Jesus intends to be fulfilled in a future life on
In the Book of Revelation
there is a verse that only makes sense if reincarnation is a
"Look he is coming
with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even
those who pierced him." (Revelation 1:7)
The above Bible verse
reveals an astonishing fact about the second coming of Jesus.
The people who killed Jesus will be alive and living on Earth
when Jesus returns. Given the fact that the people who killed
Jesus have been dead for thousands of years, the only possible
way that this prophecy can be fulfilled is through the killers
reincarnating before Jesus returns.
Jesus gave another prophecy
about the second coming that can be fulfilled only if reincarnation
is a fact. The prophecy concerns those people who were present
when Jesus gave this prophecy and refers to the signs heralding
the return of Jesus.
"I tell you the truth,
will certainly not pass
away until all
these things have happened." (Matthew 24:34)
Jesus told the followers
around him that they would be alive on Earth when all the signs
of the times have been fulfilled. Without reincarnation this
prophecy would be a false prophecy. In fact, this prophecy was
responsible for some followers of Jesus to believe that the
second coming would occur in their lifetime or that it had already
happened. The historical evidence shows how disappointing it
was for some of people when the apostles died off and the hopes
for an imminent return of Christ was dashed.
One of the most controversial
passages of scripture dealing with the doctrine of reincarnation
is the conversation Jesus had with Nicodemus, a Pharisee who
followed Jesus. The controversy with Nicodemus had to do with
Jesus' teachings of becoming "born again of the Spirit"
and what this new concept means. Jesus used this phrase to explain
the difference between bodily "resurrection" and his
new teaching of spiritual "resurrection." Jesus explains
"I tell you a truth, no
one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
Jesus teaches Nicodemus
how the way to the kingdom of God within is through the spiritual
regeneration of the Holy Spirit. As a Pharisee, Nicodemus was
aware that people are reborn into the world through reincarnation;
but he couldn't understand how people are born into the kingdom
of God through spiritual rebirth. This confusion becomes apparent
with Nicodemus' next statement:
"How can a person be born
when he is old? Surely he cannot enter a second time
into his mother's womb to be born!" (John 3:4)
Jesus then explains
to Nicodemus the difference between bodily rebirth (i.e., being "born
of water," reincarnation) and spiritual rebirth (i.e.,
being "born of the Spirit," the true resurrection):
"I tell you the truth,
no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born
of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh,
but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not
be surprised at my saying, "You must be born again."
The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound,
but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it
is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."
Here Jesus uses the
metaphor of the "wind" to teach Nicodemus the nature
of the Holy Spirit and how people are "born of water"
and "born of the Spirit." Jesus affirms how nobody
can see the Holy Spirit, comes it from or where it goes.
The Bible contains many
references to "resurrection" not as a physical event
but as a spiritual event. Here are some of them:
"This is why it is said:
'Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ
will shine on you.'" (Ephesians 5:14)
Paul uses the concept
of resurrection to describe spiritual rebirth - not physical
"You were taught, with
regard to your former way of life, to put off your old
self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to
put on the new self, created to be like God in true
righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:22-24)
Here, Paul is even more
explicit when using the concept of resurrection to describe
spiritual rebirth and not physical rebirth. The same is true
for the following verses:
"In the same way, count
yourselves dead to
alive to God
in Christ Jesus." (Romans 6:11)
"But because of his great
love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
made us alive
with Christ even when
we were dead
in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved."
"In him you were also
circumcised, in the
of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by
the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ,
having been buried
with him in baptism and
raised with him
through your faith in the power of God, who
raised him from the dead.
When you were dead
in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful
nature, God made you
alive with Christ."
"Or don't you know that
all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were
baptized into his
death? We were therefore
buried with him
through baptism into
death in order that,
just as Christ was raised from the dead through the
glory of the Father,
we too may live a new life.
If we have been united
with him like this in his death,
we will certainly also be
united with him in his resurrection.
For we know that our
old self was crucified
with him so that the
body of sin might be done away with,
that we should no longer be slaves to sin - because
anyone who has died
has been freed from sin. Now if
we died with Christ,
we believe that we
will also live with
him. For we know that since
Christ was raised
from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer
has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to
sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to
God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but
alive to God in Christ Jesus." (Romans 6:3-11)
The writers of the Bible not only use
bodily death as a metaphor for spiritual rebirth, they also
use bodily birth as a metaphor for spiritual rebirth. Here are
"I tell you a truth, no
one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
"He chose to give us birth
through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of
first fruits of all he created." (James 1:18)
"Praise be to the God and
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy
he has given us new birth into a living hope through
the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead ..."
(1 Peter 1:3)
"If you know that he is
righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right
has been born of him." (1 John 2:29)
"Everyone who loves has
been born of God and knows God." (1 John 4:7)
"We know that we have passed
from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone
who does not love remains in death." (1 John 3:14)
"But these are written
that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son
of God, and that by believing you may have life in his
name." (John 20:31)
So now we have these three definitions
of bodily transformation:
1. Resuscitation: The
restoration of life to a physically dead body
The giving of spiritual life to a spiritually dead but
physically alive person
3. Reincarnation: The
rebirth of the spirit of a dead person into the
body of a fetus
As previously mentioned,
reincarnation was an established belief in the days of Jesus.
The Persian concept of resurrection, while held by some Jews,
was considered a foreign doctrine to the Pharisees, the Sadducees,
and the Essenes. When Jesus began resurrecting people from the
dead (as modern physicians do today) this created quite a stir
in Israel as the gospels testify. This becomes evident during
an event in the gospels when Jesus performed one of his greatest
miracles - the bodily resurrection of Lazarus. Here is the passage:
said to her, 'Your brother will rise again.'
answered, 'I know he will rise again in the resurrection
at the last day.'
said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. He
who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and
whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do
you believe this?'" (John 11:23-26)
In this passage, Jesus
told Martha that Lazarus will "rise again" - a reference
to the rebirth of the spirit in a new body (i.e., reincarnation).
Martha then expressed the confusion in those days of believing
that "rising again at the last day" refers to corpses
coming out of their graves on Judgment Day. Jesus corrected
her by revealing to her the real meaning of "resurrection"
- that it doesn't involve the dead, but rather the living. By
stating, "I am the resurrection and the life" Jesus
was telling her that he is the living example of the true resurrection
which is of the spirit - not the body. He was teaching them
that they don't have to wait until after death or until "Judgment
Day" to have this new life. To emphasize his point, he
raised Lazarus from bodily death.
Throughout the gospels,
Jesus teaches about the spiritual resurrection of the living
and the spiritual reincarnation of the dead. In Luke 20:27-38,
the Sadducees, who did not believe in either one, tested Jesus
by posing a hypothetical which they believed disproved the concept
of an afterlife. Jesus answered their hypothetical by refuting
their assumption that resurrection meant "soul sleep"
until Judgment Day. He did this by telling them about the resurrection
of the spirit of the living. The passage is as follows:
"Some of the Sadducees, who
say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question.
"'Teacher,' they said, 'Moses
wrote for us that if a man's brother dies and leaves
a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow
and have children for his brother. Now there were seven
brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless.
The second and then the third married her, and in the
same way the seven died, leaving no children. Finally,
the woman died too. Now then, at the resurrection whose
wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?'
"Jesus replied, 'The people
of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those
who are considered worthy of taking part in that age
and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry
nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die;
for they are like the angels. They are God's children,
since they are children of the resurrection. But in
the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the
dead rise, for he calls the Lord 'the God of Abraham,
and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' He is not
the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all
are alive." (Luke 20:27-38)
The Sadducees wanted to know which brother
would be married to the woman when their corpses are resurrected
at the Last Judgment. The Sadducees argument assumes the Persian
form of resurrection. Jesus corrected them by telling them that
bodily death means becoming like the angels. In other words,
they are alive - not asleep or non-existent. Jesus' association
of death with becoming "like the angels" is a good
way to refute the Sadducees who didn't even believe in angels.
Death means the soul leaves the corpse and returns to heaven
with the possibility of returning.
Jesus also said, "They are God's
children, since they are children of the resurrection."
This is a good description of how the soul returns to heaven
after death with the possibility of reincarnating and becoming
a child again. Jesus then corrected the Sadducees' misunderstanding
of the afterlife by telling them that God is not the God of
the dead, but of the living. These words of Jesus are the key
to his teachings. People do not have to wait until after death
or wait for a revival after death to attain liberation from
death. It can be attained in life. In fact, as we will see later,
it must be attained in physical life - this spiritual "resurrection"
- or the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth will continue. In
the gospels, Jesus expressed a special interest for children.
Jesus' reference to the "children of the resurrection"
may be better understood when comparing it with the following
"And he said: 'I tell
you the truth, unless you change and
become like little children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore,
whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest
in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little
child like this in my name welcomes me.'" (Matthew
you do not look down on one of these little ones. For
I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the
face of my Father in heaven." (Matthew 18:10)
As for children having "angels
in heaven," the word "angels" is a good metaphor
for "souls" in general and how children are "closer
to the Source" than are adults.
When Jesus taught this
principle of human beings having "angels in heaven,"
he may have been expressing a concept that was well-known in
his day - a concept found in the he Book of Enoch.
he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the Earth,
and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the
angels of God ascending and descending on it."
This vision of a passageway
from Earth to heaven appears in many near-death experiences
and has been described as a tunnel, a cylinder, a funnel, a
tube, a vortex, and other descriptions. In near-death experiences,
it is the souls of humans that can be seen ascending and descending
through this passageway. Here is an example:
saw spirits going to and from the Earth and the city
[in the heavens]. I could tell the development of the
spirits going to and from by the energy they emanated.
I could see that animals came to and from Earth just
like humans do. I could see many spirits leave Earth
with guides and could see spirits returning to Earth
without guides. The being told me that some of the spirits
passing were the ones that were doing the work with
humans on Earth. I could make out the type of spirits
that were doing the work and the spirits that were coming
to the great city to become replenished to eventually
go back to Earth to experience and further evolve. I
could feel the emotions of the ones coming back for
replenishment. I could feel that some of them were sad,
beaten and scared, much like I felt before my being
came to me." (David
In both Jacob's dream
and David Oakford's near-death experience, spirits can be seen
ascending up the ladder and then descending the ladder for reincarnation.
Because the traditional concept of resurrection involves the
soul sleeping until the time of the end and not being active,
the conclusion is that bodily resurrection is false because
it is refuted by the Book of Enoch, Jacob's dream of a passageway
where souls return and leave heaven, the teachings of Jesus,
and the multitude of near-death experiences that prove the soul
journeys to heaven and returns to reincarnate.
This concept is even
found in the Book of Revelation. Jesus told the believers of
the Church of Philadelphia that when they overcome the world
they will never again have to leave heaven.
"He who overcomes I will
make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will
he leave it." (Revelation 3:12)
This is a clear statement
affirming the pre-existence of the soul and its corresponding
concept - reincarnation. The assumption here is that people
who do not overcome the world will have to leave this heavenly
temple and return to Earth.
Believing in the concept
of bodily resurrection can be dangerous. One particular well-known
near-death experience revealed exactly how dangerous it is to
believe in "soul
sleep." The following is a portion from the account
of Dr. George Ritchie's near-death experience when he was given
a guided tour of the afterlife by Jesus:
of the places we observed seemed to be a receiving station.
Beings would arrive here oftentimes in a deep hypnotic
sleep. I call it hypnotic because I realized they had
put themselves in this state by their beliefs. Here
were what I would call angels working with them trying
to arouse them and help them realize God is truly a
God of the living and that they did not have to lie
around sleeping until Gabriel or someone came along
blowing on a horn." (Dr.
The dangers of believing
in sleeping in graves until the resurrection is also affirmed
by others near-death experiencers:
"Things change little
in the hereafter. Suppose we have the fixed idea that
we'll sleep till the resurrection of the body. Then
suppose there isn't a resurrection of the body. We might
sleep a very long time."
"Those that died believing
they would sleep until awakened by Gabriel, reported
a black darkness, a feeling of being trapped and alone,
stranded. What I've finally come to realize is we truly
and most literally create our own realities. When we
die, the reality we created is where we will live and
what we will become."
you don't believe in God or an afterlife, you will probably
be kept in a sleep state for the first two to three
day period. You will wake up in a beautiful meadow or
some other calm and peaceful place where you can reconcile
the transition from the death state to the continuous
life. You are given teachings in the hope that you do
not refuse to believe that you are dead."
expects to find nothing when he passes through the door
called "death", and for a long time that is
usually what he finds - nothing. He is in a state like
unto death for a goodly while, until at last something
and leaving heaven, Jesus gave an interesting insight when he
rebuked the Pharisees for rejecting the message of John the
Baptist while the prostitutes and tax collectors did not:
said to them, 'I tell you the truth, the tax collectors
and the prostitutes
are entering the kingdom
of God ahead of you.
For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness,
and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors
and the prostitutes did.'" (Matthew 21:32)
In this passage Jesus
described two different groups of people entering heaven at
different times. This statement is a clear refutation of the
resurrection of souls at the end of time. Resurrection assumes
that everyone will enter heaven at the same time. Reincarnation
assumes that everyone enters heaven at the moment of death.
For this reason, the only way for these tax collectors and prostitutes
can enter heaven before the Pharisees is through the process
Some Bible verses do
appear to suggest that corpses are resurrected at the end of
time. Here is one of them:
"And this is the will of
him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that
he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.
For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the
Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and
I will raise him up at the last day .... No one can
come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him,
and I will raise him up at the last day." (John
By raising several people
from the dead and teaching the correct concept of resurrection,
Jesus demonstrated that there is no final resurrection of corpses
at the end of time. So when Jesus referred to people being "raised
up at the last day" he must be using it in a spiritual
sense rather than a literal sense. For example, it is very common
in near-death experiences for Jesus to appear and help people
rise to heaven. The idea of a literal 24 hour time period when
Jesus will judge the dead can be refuted with the following
"With the Lord a day is
like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like
a day." (2 Peter 3:8-9)
Using the above definition,
it is possible that we may already be living in the "day
of Judgment." Perhaps this is the correct interpretation
of the following passage:
"In the time of my favor
I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you."
I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the
day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2)
Whether the "day
of salvation," the "day of judgment," the "day
of the Lord," the "end of days," and the "day
of death" are all references to the same day is anyone's
guess. Nevertheless, near-death experiences and early Christian
and Buddhist writings suggest that "Judgment Day"
is the day of death. The following passage refers to this time
"For it is not those who
hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it
is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous
... This will take place on the day when God will judge
men's secrets through Jesus Christ." (Romans 2:12-16)
Because many people
in the Bible were declared righteous during their life and did
not have to wait until the end of days, the conclusion is that
people don't have to wait until the end of days for judgment.
"For in the gospel a righteousness
from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith
from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous
will live by faith.'" (Romans 1:17)
Also, the Bible describes
many instances where God judged entire nations. There are also
many instances in the Bible where people do not wait until a
Judgment Day to enter heaven. And finally, the fact that multitudes
of people who had a near-death experience describes being judged
by God after death is strong testimony that "Judgment Day"
when the dead are "raised" is actually the day of
Concerning other Bible verses that
refer to reincarnation, the following passage is a clear statement:
"All these people were
still living by faith when they died. They did not receive
the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed
them from a distance. And they admitted that they were
aliens and strangers on Earth. People who say such things
show that they are looking for a country of their own.
If they had been thinking of the country they had left,
they would have
had opportunity to return.
Instead, they were longing for a better country - a
heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called
their God, for he has prepared a city for them."
The above passage describes
people who had an opportunity to return to Earth after death.
This could only come about through reincarnation. Continuing
"Women received back their
dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and
refused to be released, so that they might gain a better
resurrection." (Hebrews 11:32-35)
The above passage describes
women receiving their dead through reincarnation which is the
only method this can happen. Bodily resurrection can only happen
through a miracle or at the end of time on Judgment Day according
to the Persian concept of resurrection. But because this passage
refers to an event in the past, then this cannot be a reference
to a future "Judgment Day" when corpses crawl out
of graves. The passage also mentions people refusing to die
so they can live longer to do good works and obtain more favorable
conditions in the next life.
The verse below from
the Book of James is one of the clearest references to reincarnation
in the Bible:
the tongue is a fire: the world of iniquity among our
members is the tongue, which defileth the whole body,
and setteth on fire the
wheel of nature,
and is set on fire by hell." (James 3:6, ASV)
The phrase "wheel of nature"
is mistranslated in other versions of the Bible as "the
whole course of life." But James actually uses the phrase "trochos
tes geneseos" which had a special meaning in those days.
It literally means the "wheel of nature." By using
this phrase, James gave this statement a specific technical
reference to reincarnation (full references in the commentaries
of Mayor and W. Bauer). The revolution of the wheel symbolizes
the cycle of successive lives. The comparison of life to a wheel
and the symbol of the wheel itself was and is a common symbol
in many religions and civilizations referring to reincarnation.
According to Flavius Josephus, the Jewish temple at Jerusalem
had the wheel of the zodiac inlaid in its floor. The wheel of
the zodiac is mentioned in the Talmud and even in the Bible
38:32) (See Hebrew translation
The wheel is also related to the mystical wheel of fortune which
is another reference to reincarnation. For thousands of years,
orthodox Jews have been believers in reincarnation and their
scriptures, the Zohar, is a book of great authority among orthodox
Jews. It states the following:
"All souls come in reincarnation
(literally "wheeling") and humans don't know
the ways of the Lord and how the Scales stand and how
people are judged every day and time. How the souls
are judged before entering this world and how they are
judged after leaving it" (Zohar, Mishpatim 32)
The verse in James referring
to the "wheel of nature" is stating how harsh the
consequences can be when words are used inappropriately. While
on the cycle of life, peoples' own words can condemn them. It
can set their whole life on fire. It can cause them to cycle
through the fire of hell. It can have consequences in their
next cycle of life as well.
Another Old Testament
verse describes this cycle of nature:
"Generations come and generations
go, but the Earth remains forever. The sun rises and
the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The
wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round
and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All
streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from, there they return
again ... What has been will be again, what has been
done will be done again; there is nothing new under
the sun." (Ecclesiastes 1:4-9)
interpreted this verse to mean a generation dies and subsequently
returns through reincarnation.
Continuing on in this
passage from Ecclesiastes, the writer makes a reference to the
reincarnation concept of a "veil" that causes people
to not remember their past lives.
"Is there anything of which
one can say, 'Look! This is something new?' It was here
already, long ago; it was here before our time. There
is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who
are yet to come will not be remembered by those who
follow." (Ecclesiastes 1:7-11)
A passage in Isaiah
uses the metaphor of Jerusalem as a mother feeding her babies
which can be interpreted as people returning to Jerusalem as
"Rejoice with Jerusalem
and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly
with her, all you who mourn over her. For you will nurse
and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will
drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance."
The following verse
in Lamentations destroys the concept of eternal damnation. Because
of this, the idea of people having only one chance at salvation
(i.e., one lifetime), as in the concept of resurrection, can
be discarded. The only logical meaning is reincarnation.
"For men are not cast off
by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will
show compassion, so great is his unfailing love."
In the Book of Amos,
an excellent reference to reincarnation can be found. It describes
God taking the dead to heaven then bringing them back to Earth.
"Though they dig down to
the depths of the grave, from there my hand will take
them. Though they climb up to the heavens, from there
I will bring them down." (Amos 9:2)
In the Book of Job,
Job wonders if he will live again after death:
"If a person dies will
he live again? All the days of my hard service I will
wait for my renewal to come." (Job 14:14)
Job asks if there is
life after death. He answers his own question by stating that
he will live again when he is renewed. According to the Hebrew
dictionary, the word translated "renewal" is chaliyphah
(khal-ee-faw). Its meaning is: (1) a change,
change of garments, replacement (2) changing, varying course
of life (3) relays (4) relief from death. In my opinion, this
definition fits the concept of reincarnation than it does resurrection.
In the Book of Psalm,
David rejoices that he will be rescued after death:
"Therefore my heart is
glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest
secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made
known to me the path of life; you will fill me with
joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your
right hand." (Psalm 16:9-11)
The word "grave"
in the above passage is an English mistranslation of the Hebrew
word "Sheol," the Hebrew abode of the dead - a shadowy
non-world beyond hope, beyond feeling, and beyond the presence
of God. The Hebrews spoke of going to Sheol with dread. This
passage refers to David being rescued from Sheol.
The next passage refers
to prisoners in chains and in the darkness which is another
reference to Sheol. This same idea can be found in 1 Peter 3:18-20
which is also provided below. The Psalm passage refers to prisoners
being freed in the past tense which rules out the resurrection
at the end of time. For this reason it is suggestive of reincarnation.
in darkness and the deepest gloom, prisoners suffering
in iron chains, for they had rebelled against the words
of God and despised the counsel of the Most High. So
he subjected them to bitter labor; they stumbled, and
there was no one to help. Then they cried to the Lord
in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.
He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom
and broke away their chains." (Psalm 107:10-14)
died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous,
to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body
but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went
and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed
long ago..." (1 Peter 3:18-20)
The reference to imprisoned spirits
whom Jesus freed from the "prison" of Sheol is incompatible
with a resurrection at the end of time but is a good reference
to reincarnation. This liberation of spirits from Sheol is mentioned
several times in the Bible:
"When he ascended on high,
he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men."
In another letter by
Peter, he referred again to these imprisoned spirits:
"For if God did not spare
angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting
them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; if
he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the
flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher
of righteousness, and seven others; if he condemned
the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to
ashes, and made them an example of what is going to
happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous
man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless
men (for that righteous man, living among them day after
day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless
deeds he saw and heard) - if this is so, then the Lord
knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold
the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing
their punishment." (2 Peter 2:4-9)
Peter is referring to
angels and souls who were held in "prison" until the
Judgment Day. These verses by David, Peter and Paul, all refer
to the same event: human souls being liberated from hell. And
because this freeing of souls is past tense in the Ephesians
verse, this means it has already occurred. The conclusion is
that Judgment Day for these souls already occurred. This too
is incompatible with resurrection. Going a step further, the
concept of human souls leaving heaven and being put in "prison"
is a Christian Gnostic reference to the soul being incarnated
into the flesh.
Here is another passage
concerning being freed from prison coming from a parable of
Jesus that is suggestive of reincarnation:
"Settle matters quickly
with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it
while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand
you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over
to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I
tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have
paid the last penny." (Matthew 5:25-26)
Concerning this passage,
the interesting aspect to it is that it states a person will
not get out of prison until the debt has been paid. In the parables
of Christ, Jesus uses the word "prison" as a metaphor
for "Sheol" or "hell." This reference of
getting out of prison suggests that people are able to get out
of hell when their debt has been paid. Since people are able
to get out of hell, one wonders where they would go. It would
be reasonable to assume that they would be raised to life through
the process of reincarnation. Being able to get out of hell
is also a good case against eternal damnation.
The author of the Book
of Jude also refers to these souls in "prison" who
were freed by Jesus:
"And the angels who did
not keep their positions of authority but abandoned
their own home - these he has kept in darkness, bound
with everlasting chains for judgment on the great day."
The writer of the Book
of Jude incorporates heavy Christian Gnostic concepts which
show the writer was a Christian Gnostic. Gnostics viewed the
human soul as being pre-existent, incarnating into a "prison"
of flesh, and being subject to reincarnation. Gnostics believed
humans were identical to angels and whose origin was heaven.
This becomes even more apparent later in the Book of Jude when
the writer actually quotes from a Gnostic book called the Book
of Enoch - a Hebrew book about the heavenly origin of the soul:
the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men, 'See,
the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of
his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all
the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in
the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly
sinners have spoken against him.'" (Jude 14-15)
The Book of Enoch was
a part of Hebrew scripture which was accepted as canon in Jesus'
day. It is very likely that, as a rabbi, Jesus himself was familiar
with this book. The fate of this book as canon came hundreds
of years later when a group of bishops decided the book was
heretical. For this reason it wasn't included in the New Testament
even though the New Testament itself quotes from it.
The idea of Jesus going
to hell to free souls can be found in another Bible passage:
"For as Jonah was three
days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so
the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in
the heart of the Earth." (Matthew 12:40)
Jesus' crucifixion is
compared to the Hebrew myth of Jonah. According to the myth,
Jonah was swallowed by a whale and lived in its belly for three
days until being spit out. Because it is impossible for such
a thing to happen, like other Hebrew myths, there is a higher
spiritual interpretation to it. This myth was also not limited
to the Hebrews and has astrological and spiritual meaning. The
Semitic translation for the name "Jonah" is "sun".
This international myth refers to the sun as it "dies"
for three days on December 22nd, the winter solstice, when it
stops in its movement south, to be "born again" or "resurrected"
on December 25th, when it resumes its movement north. Because
Jesus himself referred to this myth when referring to his coming
afterlife journey (see the previous passage), it is worth examining
the myth as described in the Book of Jonah:
the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.
'In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered
me. From the depths of the grave I called for help,
and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the deep,
into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled
about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me.
I said, 'I have been banished from your sight; yet I
will look again toward your holy temple.'"
waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed
was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains
I sank down; the Earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you brought my life up from the pit [Sheol], O Lord
my God." (Jonah 2:1-6)
We can also understand
how the myth of Jonah is a metaphor for the spirit rising to
heaven after death as the sun rises after the winter solstice.
This cannot be a reference to resurrection and "soul sleep"
until resurrection day. It can only correspond with reincarnation.
A passage in Matthew involves Jesus
explaining why an old ritual is not performed by his disciples:
disciples came and asked him, 'How is it that we and
the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?'
answered, 'How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn
while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom
will be taken from them; then they will fast. No one
sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for
the patch will pull away from the garment, making the
tear worse. Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins.
If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run
out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour
new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.'"
The disciples of John
the Baptist asked Jesus why his disciples don't practice the
ritual of fasting. Jesus answered with a metaphor of pouring
new wine in old wineskins. Jesus is using his disciples as a
metaphor for "new wine" which shouldn't be put into "old
wineskins" (i.e., the old practice the ritual of fasting).
Although these words of Jesus were used to describe the practice
of fasting, they can also be applied to resurrection. Resurrection
is like putting "new wine" (i.e., the spirit) into "old
wineskins" (i.e., the corpse). It is not a good idea.
And finally, the verse
below is often used to refute reincarnation.
"Man is destined to die
once, and after that to face judgment" (Hebrews
This verse is used to
show that humans die only once, thereby supporting resurrection
and refuting reincarnation. But if this verse affirms people
are only allowed a single death, then this itself excludes many
people of the Bible. All of the people in the Bible who were "raised
from the dead" experienced death more than once (with the
exception of Jesus). Other people in the Bible such as Enoch,
Elijah and Melchizedek did not even die at all. But most convincing
of all, the apostle Paul himself died more than one as recorded
in his second letter to the Corinthians:
"I know a person in Christ
who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven.
Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not
know - God knows. And I know that this person - whether
in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but
God knows - was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible
things, things that humans are not permitted to tell."
(2 Corinthians 12:1-4)
Paul uses the Greek idiom "I know
a person" which means that he was humbly speaking about
himself. He explained that he didn't know if he was taken up
in his body or in his spirit, but he was in paradise ("the
third heaven") one of the many Christian Gnostic heavens
in the afterlife hierarchy. This near-death experience that
Paul had cannot positively be identified with a recorded event
in Paul's career because his letters describe many times he
may have died. It is probable that Paul had his death experience
when he was stoned and left for dead (Acts 14:19,20). The reason
that Paul related this incident to the Corinthians was to establish
his authority as an apostle to them.
This verse in James does affirm a one
body/one death reality. But because resurrection and near-death
experiences are defined as the reanimation of the same body,
then this subjects the person to another death including the
so-called "second death" as described in Revelation
Reincarnation is defined as the permanent
death of the body and the soul incarnating into a different
body. This satisfies the one body/one death requirement of this
verse in James. For this reason, Heb. 9:27 refutes resurrection
and not reincarnation.
Due to the
condemnation of pre-existence (and
reincarnation) by church authorities
in 553 A.D., reincarnation became an enemy concept to the Judeo-Christian
West. The reason reincarnation was declared heresy was given
by Gregory, the Bishop of Nyssa. The five reasons he gave were:
It seems to minimize Christian
It is in conflict with the resurrection
of the body.
It creates an unnatural separation
between body and soul.
It is built on a much too speculative
use of Christian scriptures.
There is no recollection of
This defense of the doctrine of reincarnation
as an important part of the Judeo-Christian religion leads to
the following conclusions:
The religious concept of a massive worldwide reanimation
of corpses at the end of time is a foreign concept originating
from ancient Persia.
A massive worldwide reanimation of corpses seems bizarre,
unnatural, and repulsive.
The few instances recorded in the Bible where corpses
were reanimated were miracles. Doctors today bring people
back from the dead with modern technology.
Reincarnation was widely believed by the people of Israel
in the days of Jesus and by people all around the world.
All Hebrew and Christian
support reincarnation: the Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls,
the Christian Gnostic gospels, the Torah, the Hebrew
Bible, the Apocrypha, the Kabbalah and Zohar.
Many of the Biblical references to "resurrection"
refer to spiritual regeneration while already physically
alive instead of the reanimation of corpses on the so-called "Last
Reincarnation is the rebirth of a person's spirit into
a new body to be born again as an infant. Resurrection
is the "spiritual awakening" of a living person's
spirit by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible records Jesus himself teaching reincarnation
to his followers.
Early Christians in Jerusalem believed in reincarnation
and taught it until it was declared a heresy by the
Church of Rome.
Reincarnation has been a tenet in Orthodox Judaism for
thousands of years and continues to this day.
The concept of reincarnation is supported by many near-death
experiences including those where Jesus appears.
Reincarnation is a doctrine which can be accepted by
every follower of Christ and should be a part of orthodox
"If anyone asserts
the fabulous pre-existence of souls, and shall
assert the monstrous restoration which follows
from it, let him be anathema [excommunicated]."
- Decree of the Fifth Catholic Council declaring
reincarnation to be heresy
Copyright © 2013
Near-Death Experiences and