Reincarnation in the Bible 
Part 4
By Kevin Williams, B.Sc.
 
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 Table of Contents (Part 4)
 
7. God's Demand For Human Perfection Implies Reincarnation
 
a. The Perfection Process of Sanctification Defined
b. God Requires People To Become Perfect and Holy
c. The Requirement For Perfection Implies Reincarnation
d. Reincarnation Nullifies the Need for an End Time Corpse Resurrection
e. Summary
8. God's Judgment According To Works Implies Reincarnation
 
a. God's Law Has Not Been Nullified and Still Remains in Effect
b. Everyone Is Judged According To God's Law
c. Everyone Is Judged According To Their Works Both Good and Bad
d. Working For Salvation Where the First are Last and the Last are First
e. The Near-Death "Life Review" as Judgment Day
f. Salvation Is Not By Faith Alone
g. Salvation Begins By Working To No Longer Practice Sin
h. Summary
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 7. God's Demand For Human Perfection Implies Reincarnation
 
 a. The Perfection Process of Sanctification Defined
 

Sanctification is the perfecting process by the Holy Spirit working together with the soul of the person toward becoming transformed into Christ's image. Paul mentioned sanctification:

"But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth." (2 Thessalonians 2:13)

Jesus called upon people to be perfect:

"Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)

It should be self-evident that this perfection process takes much longer than one lifetime to accomplish. All human beings need perfecting; and even Jesus, as a human being, needed perfecting:

"In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered." (Hebrews 2:10)

"Once made perfect, he (Jesus) became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him." (Hebrews 5:9)

Just how perfect are people supposed to become to attain eternal life? Well, perfect is perfect:

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." (Matthew 5:8)

"No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God." (1 John 3:9)

"May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thessalonians 5:23)

Notice in the above verse, the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write about the sanctification process occurring until the Second Coming of Christ which implies reincarnation. The following are more verses about the perfecting sanctification process:

"What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" (Romans 6:1-2)

"But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it -- not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it -- they will be blessed in what they do." (James 1:25)

"Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God." (Hebrews 6:1)

Jesus expected people to do even greater works than he performed:

"Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." (John 14:12)

Evolution of Man

Becoming perfected is defined in the Bible as becoming like Christ -- to be made into his image -- in other words, to become without sin; to become one with the Father. By extension, I would include having psychic abilities; being able to perform miracles such as walk on water and raise the dead. I submit to you that for humans to become like Christ is the equivalent to humanity attaining to the next stage of human evolution of which Jesus was the first. Perhaps the Kingdom of Heaven and the Second Coming of Christ will appear on Earth when the world is filled with Christs, Moseses, and Buddhas. Who can say this is not possible? With God all things are possible. Humanity has come a long way since the first century. Christianity has been preached throughout the entire world as Jesus foretold. A tremendous amount of scientific knowledge has been learned. Millions of people have come back from the dead through NDEs to tell us what life after death is like. Psychic phenomena has become common knowledge. Reincarnation studies have provided an abundant amount of evidence. In the 20th century alone, rapid technological change has taken place and it looks like the 21st century will be no different.

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 b. God Requires People To Become Perfect and Holy
 

In many instances in the Bible, we are told we must be perfect, holy and sanctified. This is a very high standard and implies a multiple-lifetime process. The following is a list of Bible verses which deal with Christian perfection:

"Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord." (Hebrews 12:14)

"It is God’s will that you should be sanctified." (1 Thessalonians 4:3)

"Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded." (James 4:8)

"But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: 'Be holy, because I am holy.'" (1 Peter 1:15-16, Also: Leviticus 11:45, Leviticus 19:2, Leviticus 20:26)

"Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God." (2 Corinthians 7:1)

"My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you." (Galatians 4:19)

"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts." (Hebrews 8:10-13, Also: Jeremiah 31:33)

"And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:11-13)

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 c. The Requirement For Perfection Implies Reincarnation
 

God's requirement for people to become perfect and holy implies the perfecting process takes more than one lifetime. Even Paul admitted he was not yet perfected in his Epistle to the Philippians:

"That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me." (Philippians 3:10-12)

Concerning the great personalities of the Old Testament, such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Bible gives the reason why they did not remain in heaven (the promise). It was so they could be reincarnated along with everyone else to attain spiritual perfection:

"These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect." (Hebrews 11:39-40)

Concerning those end times, an angel told the prophet Daniel in a vision in the Book of Daniel:

"Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time." (Daniel 11:35)

"I asked, 'My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?' He replied, 'Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked.'" (Daniel 12:8-10)

So what happens when people overcome their bad karma and reincarnation, and become perfected? In the Book of Revelation, Jesus himself said they will never have to leave heaven again implying reincarnation:

"The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it." (Revelation 3:12)

The following Bible verses also teach Christian perfection and sanctification:

"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6)

Notice the above verse is another instance where the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write about the sanctification process occurring until the Second Coming of Christ which implies reincarnation. Here are more Bible verses teaching Christian perfection and sanctification:

"Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." (Ephesians 5:1-2)

"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 3:18)

"I (Jesus) have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you." (John 13:15)

"To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps." (1 Peter 2:21)

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 d. Reincarnation Nullifies the Need for an End Time Corpse Resurrection
 

A unique point about Jesus' resurrection was it took place very soon after his death without waiting until the end times. And according to Paul, the "resurrection" happens immediately after physical death:

"For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life." (2 Corinthians 5:1-4)

"We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord." (2 Corinthians 5:8)

So it's reasonable to assume the "Resurrection of the Dead" takes place immediately after a person's physical death. As Paul mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:35-54, the resurrection body is a spirit body -- not of flesh -- because flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God in heaven. And if a worldwide reanimation of corpses at the end times were true, there would be a long period of time of "resting in peace" from the moment of death until Christ's Second Coming. Such a situation would make any personal identity of the soul impossible which makes quite a strong case against a worldwide corpse resurrection at the end times. And this is an important point which the traditional interpretations of the Abrahamic religions seem to have a considerable difficulty in addressing -- salvation and personal spiritual growth after death. But the Bible does mention Jesus descending to Hades to preach to the "imprisoned spirits" for their possible salvation after his death, an event previously mentioned as "the Harrowing of Hell":

"For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits -- to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.." (1 Peter 3:18-20)

But most Christian denominations believe death means the end of spiritual growth and the end of possible salvation for the unsaved. They believe a particular judgment occurs immediately after death and an intermediate state exists as a disembodied foretaste of the final state before the final resurrection. Therefore, according to these traditions, those who die in Christ rest in peace in the "bosom of Abraham" in Hades while they await the final resurrection. Those who die unrepentant will experience torment in Hades while they await the resurrection and final condemnation on Judgment Day. So for thousands of years, Christians have believed that when a person dies their soul rests in peace until the final resurrection of the dead and the Last Judgment. The only exceptions are Purgatory as understood by the Catholic Church and reincarnation as understood by the Christian Gnostics. Only reincarnation offers continued personal identity and further spiritual growth after death. And only reincarnation offers the unsaved more opportunities toward spiritual growth and possible salvation which is consistent with a God of infinite love and mercy. In an effort to justify the love of God, many modern Christian thinkers have adopted reincarnation to their theology such as the Unitarian Universalists.

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 e. Summary
 

Universal salvation, Christian perfection and reincarnation are mentioned many times throughout the Bible. The Bible is filled with teachings compelling people to be perfect and become sanctified through the Holy Spirit. Those people who are not perfected must be reincarnated until they are perfected. The Bible mentions Jesus needed to be perfected by suffering on the cross implying he had a human nature subjected to reincarnation. Life is short; and for many people, very short. It is self-evident that the process of sanctification takes more than one lifetime. The goal for every human is to become like Christ -- to be transformed into his image. Only reincarnation offers continued personal identity, further spiritual growth, and the opportunity for the unsaved to receive many opportunities for salvation after death. For all these reasons and more, reincarnation must now become a doctrine of Christianity as it was widely believed during the first 500 hundred years of Christian history.

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 8. God's Judgment According To Works Implies Reincarnation
 
 a. God's Law Has Not Been Nullified and Still Remains in Effect
 

All the Bible verses about people being judged and "saved according to their works" [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] proves God's law (the Ten Commandments) remains in effect and has not been abrogated. Such verses also support the existence of a perfecting sanctification process involved in God's plan of salvation which implies reincarnation. Such verses assume one lifetime is not enough time for a person to become Christ-like and implies many lifetimes are required to accomplish this. The following Bible verses prove God's law has not been nullified:

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and Earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished." (Matthew 5:17-18)

"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 7:12)

"'Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?' Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.'" (Matthew 22:36-40)

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 b. Everyone Is Judged According To God's Law
 

The following list of Bible verses prove everyone will be judged according to God's law and that salvation is based upon performing good works of faith which implies a perfecting process exists based upon reincarnation:

"Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment." (James 2:12-13)

"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." (Romans 2:13)

"On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. 'Teacher,' he asked, 'what must I do to inherit eternal life?' 'What is written in the Law?' he replied. 'How do you read it?' He answered, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 'You have answered correctly,' Jesus replied. 'Do this and you will live.'" (Luke 10:25-28)

One of the problems concerning the apparent debate about whether or not Christians must by live by "good works of faith" according "to the law," or by "faith alone" without "works of the law" is distinguishing which "law" is being referenced. Biblical law in Judaism and Christianity is divided between the following laws (in this order):

(1)

The seven laws of Noah which applies to both Jews and Gentiles.

(2)

The Ten Commandments given to Moses which applies to both Jews and Gentiles.

(3)

The hundreds of commandments in the Torah (mitzvot) given to Moses such as the commandment of circumcision which applies only to Jews.

In the 1st century, Jews believed every Jew must follow the Torah's hundreds of Mosaic laws of mitzvot of which circumcision was of the most important. Jewish Christians in Jerusalem were Jews whose only difference between other Jews was that they believed Jesus was their Messiah. So in Acts 15:1-29, when Paul met with the Jerusalem apostles, there was a conflict concerning whether new Gentile converts should follow all the Torah's Mosaic laws of mitzvot and be circumcised. It was ultimately decided that Paul and the Gentile Christians did not need to follow all the Torah's Mosaic Laws which in Judaism would be heretical. This Jerusalem Council resulted in the "Apostolic Decree" which stated that Gentiles did not need to be circumcised. But it was also agreed that Gentiles should:

(a)

Abstain from things offered to idols.

(b)

Abstain from eating food with blood in it.

(c)

Abstain from eating animals not properly killed.

(d)

Abstain from sexual immorality.

Nevertheless, following the Ten Commandments and the Noahide laws remained in effect because there was no debate concerning them. The obligation of both Jews and Gentiles to follow these laws were beyond dispute. In other words, Paul's dispute with the Jews between "following the law" and "faith in Christ" salvation had to do with whether Christians needed to follow the hundreds of Jewish Mosaic laws of mitzvot -- not the Ten Commandments. So the apparent historic debate between salvation based upon "good works of faith" by the Ten Commandments, and not salvation based upon "faith alone," can be seen in James position:

"You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only." (James 2:24)

And salvation based upon "faith alone" without the "works of the law" -- the hundreds of Jewish Mosaic laws of mitzvot -- was Paul's position:

"For we account a man to be justified by faith, without the works of the law." (Romans 3:28)

So Paul was not referring to "the law" as the Ten Commandments as many Christians historically have thought. Paul is referring to the Mosaic law of mitzvot which has been abrogated by Christ for Christians. This is why some scholars, according to the "new perspectives on Paul," believe this historic Christian debate between "good works" and "faith alone" salvation may be more of a misunderstanding in interpretation between Paul's actual position. For example, Paul does not claim "the law" -- the Ten Commandments -- have been abrogated as some Christians have historically claimed. Paul only claimed "the law" -- the Mosaic law of mitzvot of the Jews -- had been abrogated. And Paul does give some indication that faith in Jesus alone is not enough for salvation:

"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love." (Galatians 5:6).

So the Christian can rightly claim that neither "good works" alone, nor "faith alone," can save anyone. Rather it is through performing "good works of faith" through Christ and the joint work with the perfection process of sanctification through the Holy Spirit that we are saved. And as Jesus taught in the Bible verses previously mentioned, the Ten Commandments remain in effect and must be followed of which love for God and neighbor are the greatest laws (Matthew 22:36-40).

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 c. Everyone Is Judged According To Their Works Both Good and Bad
 

So the Ten Commandments have always remained in effect, demanding bad karma among people be paid, and people be judged according to their works both good and bad. And a perfecting process exists where people are saved by good works of faith whereby people spiritually evolve into Christ's image through the Holy Spirit in a multiple-lifetime reality of reincarnation. The following is a list of Bible verses from Paul describing how people are judged according to their works both good and bad:

"God will repay each person according to what they have done." (Romans 2:6)

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad." (2 Corinthians 5:10)

"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed -- not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence -- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling." (Philippians 2:12)

"The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor." (1 Corinthians 3:8)

"If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved -- even though only as one escaping through the flames." (1 Corinthians 3:12-15)

Several Church Fathers regarded the above verse in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 as evidence for the existence of an intermediate state called "Purgatory" where the dross of lighter transgressions will be burnt away, and the soul thus purified will be saved. This, of course, suggests a path of salvation after death. In Judaism, "Gehenna" is a place of purification where, according to Rabbinical Judaism, the maximum amount of time spent there is a year before release.

 

Jesus mentioned several times of judgment according to works. Here is a list of them:

"But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." (Matthew 12:36-37)

"For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done." (Matthew 16:27)

"And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done." (Revelation 20:12-13)

"Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done." (Revelation 22:12)

It is self-evident that if everyone, without exception, is judged according to their works, and a perfecting process in salvation exists, then this is a very high standard for attaining eternal life into God's Kingdom in heaven and this implies the reality of reincarnation. Reincarnation allows everyone, through good works, to "work their way up" through the afterlife realms immediately after death toward attaining eternal life in the highest heaven. The idea that God gives a person only one chance at salvation in one very short life has to be abandoned at this point. Otherwise, if God gives people only one chance to "believe in Christ or be damned for eternity" then this presents many problems. What happens to babies and children too young to understand the gospel? What happens to those who have never been given the chance to hear about Jesus? Are they eternally damned? So, at this point, it is time to abandon the "one chance only" salvation theory to the kindergarten box and learn from the mystery teachings of Jesus as adult Christians.

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 d. Working For Salvation Where the First are Last and the Last are First
 

Now let's consider a series of related parables by Jesus concerning working for entry into the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth supporting judgment according to works and reincarnation. The first is the incident with Jesus and the rich young man:

Christ and the rich young man"Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, 'Teacher, what good thing must i do to get eternal life?' 'Why do you ask me about what is good?' Jesus replied. 'There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.' 'Which ones?' he inquired. Jesus replied, 'You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.' 'All these i have kept,' the young man said. 'What do I still lack?' Jesus answered, 'If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.' When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.' When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, 'Who then can be saved?' Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'

"Peter answered him, 'We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?' Jesus said to them, 'Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.'" (Matthew 19:16-30)

As previously mentioned in Part 1, the "renewal of all things" in verse 28 of the above verse in Matthew 19:16-30 is a Greek word "palingenesía" which is sometimes translated "regeneration" but is a word the Greeks used when referring to reincarnation. The above passage is also a reference to the "first resurrection" (reincarnation) at the beginning of the thousand year reign of Christ on Earth as described in Revelation 20:4-6. The "first resurrection" is the beginning of the souls of God's people in heaven reincarnating into the established Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. More about this will be described later in Part 6 this article. Jesus mentioned how the "first will be last" and the "last will be first" which is a reference to how the rich people of the world ("the first") will be considered "the last" in God's Kingdom on Earth. The followers of Jesus ("the last" of the world) -- those Christians who left everything to follow Jesus -- will be considered "the first" in God's Kingdom on Earth. Notice also how the followers of Jesus ("the first") will receive "a hundred times as much" in family during the thousand year Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. This implies karma and reincarnation. People receiving "a hundred times as much" of houses and family on Earth can only happen through reincarnation. Notice also both "the first" and "the last" receive the same reward -- entrance into the God's Kingdom on Earth. But the rich man will only be allowed entrance into the Kingdom and not receive the reward of receiving "a hundred times as much" in houses and family because he only kept the Ten Commandments but refused to be perfect by selling his riches and giving it to the poor.

The next reference to "the last will be first" is Jesus' Parable of the Narrow Door where he warned people living in his day how they ("the first" given the opportunity for salvation) would become "the last" and be denied entry into the Kingdom of God on Earth if they practice evil. And "the last" people given the opportunity for salvation (the ancient people of the Hebrew Bible dwelling in Sheol) will be "the first" to enter the Kingdom of God on Earth:

door"Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, 'Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?'

"He said to them, 'Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.' But he will answer, 'I don’t know you or where you come from.' Then you will say, 'We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.' But he will reply, 'I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!' There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.'" (Luke 13:22-30)

The next reference to "last will be first" is Jesus' Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard where Jesus compared the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth to a landowner who hired workers to work in his vineyard at various times of the day. At the end of the day, the landowner paid all the workers the same day's wage for which the workers who were hired first ("the first") complained because they believed they should have been paid more than the workers hired later in the day ("the "last").

Vineyard"'For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.' So they went. He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?'  'Because no one has hired us,' they answered. He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.'

"When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.' The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 'These who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.' But he answered one of them, 'I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?' So the last will be first, and the first will be last." (Matthew 20:1-16)

In the above parable, Jesus teaches it's not important how long a person has been working for the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth regarding the wage for working for it. The wage is the same for all workers which is membership into the Kingdom. As long as the invitation to work is accepted before the time the Kingdom of Heaven arrives, and the work is completed, everyone is paid the same wage. What is important is that people work meritoriously for their wage until the Kingdom does arrive. And we must be constantly at work and be ready because no one knows when their "day of reckoning" will come or when the Kingdom does arrive. When a person's "last day" on Earth occurs, they die and "resurrect" into the afterlife, and its "judgment day." What is important is their level of spiritual growth when it is time for the Kingdom to arrive on Earth and whether or not the person has attained the spiritual maturity and purity to receive more rewards for their work.

The following verse in the Book of Revelation describes the time immediately before the Second Coming of Christ and the establishment of the thousand year Kingdom of Heaven on Earth:

"Then one of the elders asked me, 'These in white robes -- who are they, and where did they come from?' I answered, 'Sir, you know.' And he said, 'These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.'" (Revelations 7:13-14)

Notice how the above verse clearly states the people of the Kingdom had washed their own robes and made them white. They themselves did the washing; the Lamb did not, although they certainly had his help. This verse supports the idea of working out our own salvation, taking up our own cross and following Jesus for our salvation and this implies reincarnation. We cannot sit back, rely only upon the cross of Christ, and assume he will do all the work for us. The Creator has placed in creation the mechanism for salvation and provided us the knowledge of how we may work toward our own salvation and given requisite strength to those who are willing to work for it. This knowledge of salvation (or "gnosis") came to the world at very great cost including the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus.

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 e. The Near-Death "Life Review" as Judgment Day
 

The "life review" undergone by those who have had a near-death experience (NDE) strongly resembles God's judgment "according to works" as mentioned in the Bible. The NDE life review and the biblical judgment "according to works" supports the idea that life is a "test" for which we are "graded" immediately after death for the purpose of determining our level of soul growth and the corresponding afterlife level or realm earned. As previously mentioned, people are reincarnated into an Earth life according to God's plan for souls, through good works, to "work their way up" through the afterlife realms immediately after death with the goal of attaining eternal life in God's Kingdom in heaven.

 

The following is how Bruce Horacek, Ph.D., and the International Association of Near-Death Studies (IANDS) describes the life review in his article entitled "Impact of the Near-Death Experience on Grief and Loss."

Bruce Horacek"During a predominantly pleasurable NDE, usually while in the light, the NDEr may experience a life review. In this review, the NDEr typically re-views (sees again) and re-experiences every moment of his/her life. At the same time, the NDEr fully experiences being every other person with whom the NDEr interacted. The NDEr knows what it was to be on the receiving end of his/her own actions including those causing other people harm. At this time, the NDEr usually reports feeling profound remorse, along with extreme regret of harm not being able to be undone. At the same time, the NDEr typically reports feelings consistent with unconditional love from the light, which communicates forgiveness because the NDEr was still learning how to become a more loving person. NDErs tend to say 'learning how to love' is the purpose of life." (Bruce Horacek, Ph.D.)

The revealing of a person's every moment of their life during their life review is supported by Jesus' words in the Bible:

"There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs." (Luke 12:2-3)

The following are a few NDE examples of the "judgment" aspect of the life review:

Dannion Brinkley"You literally re-live it. Next you watch your life from a second person's point of view. In this life we're taught to be sympathetic toward others. But from the second person's point of view, you'll feel empathy, not sympathy. After that, you literally will become every person that you've ever encountered. You will feel what it feels like to be that person and you will feel the direct results of your interaction between you and that person. You know the story of the Book of Judgment? Guess what? When you have your panoramic life review, you are the judger ... You do the judging. If you doubt me, believe this: you are the toughest judge you will ever have." (Dannion Brinkley)

PMH Atwater"And into this great peace that I had become there came the life of Phyllis parading past my view. Not as in a movie theatre, but rather as a reliving. Had it been a reliving of just deeds done, it would have been as expected because I had heard of that before. But for me it was far more involved. The reliving included not only the deeds committed by Phyllis since her birth in 1937 in Twin Falls, Idaho, but also a reliving of every thought ever thought and every word ever spoken PLUS the effect of every thought, word and deed upon everyone and anyone who had ever come within her sphere of influence whether she actually knew them or not PLUS the effect of her every thought, word and deed upon the weather, the air, the soil, plants and animals, the waters, everything else within the creation we call Earth and the space Phyllis once occupied. It was a gestalt experience, meaning complete and whole on all levels, a total viewing and reliving of the totality of one woman’s life complete with all the ripples and consequences of her ever having lived. I had no idea a past-life review could be like this. I never before realized that we were responsible and accountable for EVERY SINGLE THING WE DID. That was overwhelming. It was me judging me, not some heavenly St. Peter. And my judgment was critical and stern. I was not satisfied with many, many things Phyllis had done, said or thought. There was a feeling of sadness and failure, yet a growing feeling of joy when the realization came that Phyllis had always done SOMETHING. She did many things unworthy and negative, but she did something. She tried. Much of what she did was constructive and positive. She learned and grew in her learning. This was satisfying. Phyllis was okay." (P.M.H. Atwater)

Laurelynn MartinDuring her life review, Laurelynn Martin relived an event when she was five years old and teased another girl to the point of tears. Laurelynn then felt exactly what the other girl was feeling. Laurelynn realized how the girl needed love, nurturing and forgiveness. Laurelynn then felt a love for this child that was so deep and tender, it was like the love between a mother and child. She realized that by hurting another person, she was only hurting herself. It was an experience oneness with everyone. (Laurelynn Martin)

Some NDErs are shown -- not only a review of their life just lived -- but a review of many of their past lives as well:

Christian Andreason"I saw four translucent screens appear (and form a kind of gigantic box around me). It was through this method that I was shown my life review. (Or rather I should say my LIVES IN REVIEW!) Without ever having to turn my head, I saw my past, my present, my future and there was even a screen that displayed a tremendous amount of scientific data, numbers and universal codes. I saw the beginning of my known existence as a Soul and saw that I had existed Spiritually long before this incarnation -- where I am now a male human known as Christian Andreason! In Heaven, I undeniably saw that I had lived an innumerable amount of lives. Yet, what I saw went way beyond our comprehension of what we think reincarnation is. So, I am not exactly speaking of being born again and again on this planet alone. I saw that it is a big Universe out there and God has it all organized perfectly. Each of us is sent where we can obtain the best growth according to our Divine purpose." (Christian Andreason)

Two of Dr. Kenneth Ring's NDE study subjects mentioned learning of his past lives, one of them during his life review:

Kenneth Ring"My whole life went before me of things I have done and haven't done, but not just of this one lifetime, but of all the lifetimes. I know for a fact there is reincarnation. This is an absolute. I was shown all those lives and how I had overcome some of the things I had done in other lives. There was still some things to be corrected."

Another NDEr whose testimony is included in Ring's audiotape archives gave this account:

"I had a lot of questions, and I wanted to know what they [the light beings she encountered in her NDE] were doing -- why are you just kind of milling around here? And someone stepped forward ... it wasn't just one ... I got information from a number of them ... that they were all waiting for reincarnation." (Amber Wells, Reincarnation Belief Among Near-Death Experiencers, JNDS Vol. 12, No. 1, Fall 1993 PDF)

According to NDE testimonies from the life review, "God's judgment" after death is really self-judgment at which time we enter the light of God where all is made known. Having your true inner self revealed in the light can be "hell" for those who have been motivated mostly by negative forces and bad karma in life. Having your true inner self revealed can be "heaven" for those who have been motivated mostly by positive forces and good karma in life. Everyone's true inner nature, their spirit, is a part of God -- a "spark of the divine." Everyone who enters the afterlife after death begins to realize their true inner nature. Those who lived a life against their inner self will find difficulties when entering into the light. This is the self-realization and self-judgment as revealed by Jesus:

"This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." (John 3:19-21)

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 f. Salvation Is Not By Faith Alone
 

Contrary to what many Christians believe today, people do not attain eternal life by merely giving verbal and/or mental assent to the idea of "Jesus is Lord" or "Jesus is God" or "Jesus is Savior." And because salvation is through "good works of faith" toward perfection and sanctification into Christ's image, this implies the salvation process takes more than a single lifetime and implies reincarnation. The following Bible verses support this:

"Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did." (1 John 2:6)

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Matthew 7:21-23)

The brother of Jesus, James the Just, knew Jesus perhaps better than anyone else. James had this to say about "faith only" salvation versus "good works" salvation:

James the Just"What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

"But someone will say, 'You have faith; I have deeds.' Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that -- and shudder. You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, 'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,' and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." (James 2:14-26)

There are many other Bible verses proving salvation is by performing good works of faith and not by faith alone. Salvation by performing good works implies a perfecting process involving reincarnation. Here are some Bible verses supporting this:

"To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice." (Proverbs 21:3)

"Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts." (1 Corinthians 7:19)

"If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing." (1 Corinthians 13:2-3)

"Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose." (Philippians 2:12-13)

"We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, 'I know him,' but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did." (1 John 2:3-6)

"Each person was judged according to what they had done." (Revelation 20:13)

"For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age." (Titus 2:11-12)

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 g. Salvation Begins By Working To No Longer Practice Sin
 

To be acceptable to God, one must be more righteous than the Pharisees, fear God, do what is right, stop practicing sin, and forgive others. To attain such a life -- a life of sinlessness -- is obviously not an easy achievement. Considering how too often life is so short for many people, it is also obvious how such an achievement is much more than a single lifetime process:

"For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:20)

"If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' and again, 'The Lord will judge his people.' It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Hebrews 10:26-31)

"Then Peter began to speak: 'I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right." (Acts 10:34-35)

"For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matthew 6:14-15)

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 h. Summary 
 

God's law of divine justice, karma, universal salvation, preexistence, Christian perfection, a "correcting judgment" process and reincarnation are mentioned many times throughout the Bible. People who are not perfected must be reincarnated until they become perfected. The Bible mentions that Jesus needed to be perfected by suffering on the cross implying he had a human nature subjected to reincarnation. The process of sanctification obviously takes more than one lifetime because the goal for everyone is to become like Christ -- the perfect image of God within man. Only reincarnation offers continued personal identity and further spiritual growth after death. People are judged according to God's law based upon their good and bad works. People who have not overcome their bad works must reincarnate until they do. The Bible repeatedly states that God's law (the Ten Commandments) has never been abrogated and Jesus affirmed this fact. Paul apparently dismissed "the law"; but careful scholarship shows Paul rejecting the Jewish Mosaic law of mitzvot, which Jesus himself did, and not the Ten Commandments. There are abundant Bible verses teaching salvation by soul growth through performing "good works of faith" according to God's law -- especially in the teachings of Jesus -- and perfecting through the Holy Spirit. Salvation begins with repentance and the continual non-practice of sin. Those sinners who refuse to do so will not attain eternal life and will instead continue the cycle of reincarnation until they do. Everyone is working toward the goal of permanent citizenship in God's highest heaven -- eternal life -- whether they are aware of it or not; and the method is through reincarnation. Jesus has shown us the way -- the pattern to follow. Jesus is the way-shower. We must take up our own crosses and follow his example if we want to attain the highest heaven. The NDE life review experienced by millions of people prove how people are judged by their deeds after death and that past lives are also reviewed after death. For all these reasons and more, reincarnation must now become a doctrine of Christianity as it was widely believed during the first hundred years of Christian history.

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"Who do people say the Son of Man is?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." -- Gospel of Matthew 16:13-14

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