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Reincarnation of Your Spirit
There was a time, not too long ago, when I would laugh at those who believed in reincarnation. I thought they were being deceived by actually believing that our spirit returns to this world again and again until we reach some kind of "perfection." You see, I used to have rather traditional beliefs where death was concerned. I believed that no matter how long or how short your life was- that was it. It didnít matter if someone died before taking their first breath of air because of an abortion; too bad, their life here was done. That was their ONLY life, their only chance to learn, and their only chance to believe and be saved by Christ. Yes, this is what I was taught, but my spirit deep within me told me that this could not be true. There are many problems with this type of theology which all Truth seekers and followers of Christ will come to understand. My spirit deep within me cried out that life is for learning, growing and overcoming with Christ. My spirit told me that God would never give up on saving my spirit from this hell that all must go through. Yes, I used to laugh at those who believe we are given many lives to "come to the knowledge of the Truth" and find that "narrow gate", but I am not laughing any more. I am seeing the truth in this.
Before I could come to accept reincarnation, I had to come to realize who I am. Am I just a body? Am I just a mind (or what I call a"soul")? Am I a spirit? Well, I have all of these, but my essence, my True Self and destiny lie hidden within my spirit, which came from God. This is true of ALL created in Godís likeness and image. God is Spirit and if we are in His Image and Likeness then we too are truly spirit, not just a physical mass of cells that thinks. Your spirit from God is given a mind to "know" with and a body to "move" about with in this world. All have a spirit within us that is from God that must be saved from a kind of spiritual death. To understand more about our spirit given by God, the Father of all mankind, check out this article- "What is Man?"
So why do I believe in reincarnation? Well, the evidence for this belief can be found in many areas like science, psychology and history, but the first place I looked for answers was in Scripture. In my mind, this is a prerequisite for any Truth- even if it be somewhat hidden from our eyes at first. So is reincarnation hidden in the Bible? Yes, I believe it is and I will attempt to show you where.
I will start with the strongest case for reincarnation that is found in the Bible and also look at the counter arguments raised by traditional Christian theology. Here is what we read in the book of Matthew concerning that strange man, John the Baptist:
MT 11:13 "For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. 15 He who has ears, let him hear." NIV
When I now read this verse it speaks loudly to me. Can we accept what Jesus is telling us? What is he plainly saying? Jesus says, "HE IS ELIJAH who was to come." Now, some doubters may quickly point out that it was "the" Elijah as if to differentiate between many prophets "like" Elijah. But other translations do not have a "THE" and make this more clear that John is Elijah.
MT 11:14 "And if you are willing to accept it, John himself IS ELIJAH that was to come." NASB
MT 11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come KJV
MT 11:14 And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. NKJV
MT 11:14 and if ye are willing to receive [it], he is Elijah who was about to come; Young's Literal Translation of the Bible
The real question from Jesus isn't IF John IS Elijah, but rather are we WILLING to accept it! So it should be clear that we canít assume there is a "the" before Elijah. Many words (articles) like this are added to make the translations from Greek easier to read, but we must be careful to keep the original meaning. Jesus clearly says that John is Elijah- no ands, ifs, buts nor "the's" about it. With this in mind, letís instead focus on what Jesus said that was SO HARD to accept.
First, why would this statement of Jesus' be so hard for any to accept? Whenever Jesus gives the babes some "meat" he says "if you can accept it." In other words, Jesus is saying, "if you are spiritually mature enough to understand what I am saying then listen up!" Many times Jesus prefaces what he says by saying if you HAVE "the eyes to see" or "the ears to hear." These all speak of spiritual truths that were being revealed by Jesus to the "little ones" following Christ. I believe that today more than ever there are Truth Seeker longing for the meat of the Truth. Many now have the teeth to chew and the fearlessness to swallow. We all start off as babes in Christ not being able to swallow these Truths. In this account, Jesus was revealing the higher Truth of the reincarnation of the spirit, but it was not easy for their natural minds to accept.
One of the arguments used against the idea that Jesus is revealing reincarnation in his "if you can accept it" statement is found in Luke.
LK 1:17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous--to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
Many of traditional thought believe that this says that John came in the same "manner" as Elijah did. This sounds plausible at first, but I have found MANY problems with this notion. First, we should harmonize our faith and beliefs in all of Scripture. It must collectively make sense. So if this phrase "in the spirit of" really was intended to mean "in the manner of" then we would likely find that same type of usage somewhere else in the Bible. Well, it isnít there- at least I havenít found it. So it seems odd that the word "spirit" would be used this odd way ONLY ONCE. Perhaps, the truth is that MAN uses "in the spirit of" to mean "in the same manner," but God never did. I have not found where God would carelessly use His identity (Spirit) as to mean "pretty much the same as." I am not buying it. It isnít sound logic and doesnít harmonize with all the other ways that "spirit" is used in Scripture.
Secondly, if it is true that John the Baptist was simply SIMILAR to Elijah, why is THAT so hard to accept? Was Jesus saying, "John is just like Elijah- can you accept that?" I am sure that the disciples could swallow that. But this argument certainly doesnít stand up either in the face of the evidence especially considering the very prophecy of Elijah returning. This passage says nothing of another man coming LIKE Elijah. It clearly states that this SAME Elijah would come again.
MAL 4:5 "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."
God says that He will send Elijah. Do any disagree with God? Did God lie and really mean to say that a man LIKE Elijah was to come? Dear Truth Seekers, I understand that this may be hard to accept, but indeed, the meat is harder to swallow than the milk. Letís do some more chewing, okay?
Some will bring up another defense to attempt to dismantle the reincarnation belief. They will say that John FLATLY denies that he is Elijah. On the surface, this seems to be true.
JN 1:21 They asked him, "Then who are you? Are you Elijah?"
He said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" He answered, "No."
JN 1:22 Finally they said, "Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?"
JN 1:23 John 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.' "
It would appear that John clearly says that he is not Elijah. But notice that he does declare that he is that "VOICE" preparing the way for the Lord. This is key. Also we read MANY times that our Lord Jesus says Elijah DID COME in the form of John. Consider the strong evidence after Jesus was transfigured on that high mountain along side Elijah and Moses. After seeing Elijah talking to Jesus, the disciples asked him again when would Elijah return to the earth. The form of Elijah that they had seen with Jesus had not been seen by them before. It had still not registered in their minds that John was Elijah, but they did not recognized him. So Jesus tells them again.
MT 17:11 Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished.
MK 9:13 But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him."
I find it ironic that many still donít recognize what Jesus tells us plainly and repeats in the Gospels. Elijahís spirit, his TRUE INDENTITY reincarnated in another body- that of John. John denied being Elijah because, in HIS mind, he was John, not Elijah. This is the real key. We must come to realize that we are body, mind and spirit. The spirit is what really defines who we are. The body is glorious but only a jar of clay; and the mind is powerful but is something we have and not something we are. The mind is shaped by the world we are surrounded by. The spirit (strengthened by God) can lead the mind and body as it did the bodies and minds of Elijah and John. It was the same SPIRIT BEING that led both men to serve God as they did. Consider the striking similarities in their true identities defined by this same individual spirit from God.
2KI 1:8 They replied, "He was a man with a garment of hair and with a leather belt around his waist." The king said, "That was Elijah the Tishbite."
MT 3:4 John's clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.
MK 1:6 John wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.
They dressed alike. They acted alike. They were the same person on the INSIDE (Paul calls this the "inner man"), but the "outer man" seemed different because the spirit was in different bodies with different environments. Consider that Elijah was a "man of God" like no other- that is except John the Baptist! Both men seemed be on top of Godís list of servants!
MT 11:11 I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
This seemed to be Godís sentiment towards Elijah as well. The same spirit being (inner man) that was defining Elijah identity was also shining through John the Baptist. Of course by saying this, this leaves the body and soul kind of out of the "who am I really" loop. Elijah and John were led by the SPIRIT in them given by God. In Johnís MIND (soul) he did not believe himself to be Elijah. This would make sense because these past memories were hidden from his mind. Our minds cannot be the "part" of us that defines who we are. Our minds are evil and carnal without the spirit in Christ interacting and refreshing it daily. Remember Christ is the Vine and we are the branches that must stay in Him to do anything good. While in Christ, our spirit is alive and active. The spirit of man defines who he really is while connected to the Vine. This is seen in Elijah and John. Both men were great servants of God because they were led by the exact SAME spirit within them.
The mind is always changing from our birth to our burial. The mind may define to a great extent who we are in THIS superficial world, but our True Self is only revealed when obeying the spirit within us. This is exactly what John and Elijah did. The spirit in Elijah was kept from death (this world) until he returned in John to announce that we must repent because Godís Kingdom was coming. Both of these menís minds were led by the same identifying spirit within them. By obeying the spirit from God, Elijah/John showed who he really is in the Spirit. Our life and true self is only found in that spirit from God. Another passage in Scripture that logically infers the idea of reincarnation is this one:
JN 9:1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
The disciples seemed to believe that this man could have sinned BEFORE he was born in the flesh. This man was blind from birth, yet they ask if he is being punished for his OWN sins or his parent's sins. How could one be punished for sins committed before they are born? There is a central theme in Judaism and Christianity that we REAP what we SOW. What we sow in this lifetime, may be reaped in the next. This is clearly the understanding of the disciples. Now, Jesus never corrects them or says that they are wrong to believe this, but in the case of this particular man, Jesus says he is blind to glorify God by receiving sight.
One of the passages which seems to be used frequently to disprove reincarnation is this one:
HEB 9:27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.
Well, many take this passage to mean our physical death, and this is a level of truth. Everyone is judged after their present life because we reap what we sow. Yet we must also take into account what "death" really is. What about the many that died and were brought back to life? Paul said that he "died daily." He also said that he no longer lived, but Christ lived. I understand "die once" as dying to the old nature or self, so the New Self can be revealed. Also recall that Jesus told us we must LOSE our life to find Him. This did not mean we had to die a physical death, but we had to die to sin and this world.
There are many passages where we read that we will reap what we sow. That if we live by the sword, we will die by the sword. Yet, many "evil" souls live without any such suffering during their lifetime. Some killers are never killed. Rapists are not raped. Some greedy rich are never poor. There seems to be no reciprocation or restitution in THIS lifetime. Reincarnation solves this dilemma. Reincarnation of your spirit guarantees that God's justice is served in your following lifetimes.
This is why many lives are needed to punish and reward according to our deeds in the flesh. This is the central theme to the separation of the "sheep and the goats" (MT 25:31). They were separated according to what they DID and not what they believed. Now many might believe that those being punished are in hell and those being rewarded are in heaven. To some degree, this is true, but heaven and hell are states of mind and spirit. Hell is this world, but Christ can make it our heaven. For more on this topic, check out this article- "Going Through Hell."
Also this parable is not about salvation and says nothing of what they believed, but only of what they did during their lifetime. This parable is about WORKS, not salvation in Christ. It is NOT about following Christ, but is about how we treated those who WERE following the Christ within. Also the punishments and rewards were said by Jesus to be "aionion"(Gr.) which is translated "age-lasting" in more accurate translations. This "age-lasting" reward or punishment takes its form in another lifetime or age. Yes, the murderer and rapist will feel the pain he has caused others. The kind and gentle will be blessed many times over! God is not a liar. We do reap what we sow- sometimes in many times more in measure.
A similar passage seems to imply that reincarnation was a belief of Jesus time. Even Jesus himself sets up the question this way:
MT 16:13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"
MT 16:14 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
So obviously the followers of Jesus believed in reincarnation of the spirit of these other prophets into other bodies. Again, Jesus says nothing to condemn this belief, but does confirm the Truth of HIS true identity.
Some may come close to accepting that reincarnation of the spirit is true, but are afraid of losing their identity. They may say if I really have been MANY different people in different times throughout mankind's history then what happens in heaven? They may say which person am I in heaven? I would say you are the TRUE YOU! You are the INNER YOU that God created in His Image which is Christ. This INNER YOU may have peaked through in some or all of the lives you lived like a light under a basket, but this INNER YOU will glow in FULL and is your destiny. Still, many might be confused as to who they will be married to, or a brother to, or a mother to. Jesus explains that this NATURAL thinking is not applicable in the Spiritual world.
MT 22:29 Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 But about the resurrection of the dead--have you not read what God said to you, 32 `I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob' ? He is not the God of the dead but of the living."
We are not married to anyone in the flesh, but married to God in Christ. We are ALL related in heaven. We are One Body in the Kingdom. We are all each otherís brothers, sisters and mothers, but we all have only One Father as Jesus again tells us:
MK 3:34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."
So we should not worry about seeing our spouses in heaven nor our dear old grandmother nor that child that died at a young age before he could really know life or Christ. They are there, but maybe not as our natural minds might perceive them. We are spirit, and we are all related in the Body of Christ! All in Christ love each other unconditionally as if we are brothers, sisters and mothers to each other. Natural relations are a product of the flesh, not the Spirit.
If we can accept that we are spiritual beings then consider those "evil spirits" who seem to find residence in anotherís house ( or body).
MK 5:6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!" 8 For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!"
MK 5:9 Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?"
"My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many." 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
While this may not exactly be proof of "reincarnation," it certainly shows that disembodied spirits can move from body to body affecting the minds of their inhabitants. These disobedient spirits were in anotherís body and were given PERMISSION from Christ Jesus to enter the swine. And even though they were "evil" and deserved to be punished, they were treated KINDLY by Jesus the Christ as he gave them what they desired.
More evidence for reincarnation of our spirits comes from the truth that God will save ALL of those created in His Image. Our Perfect Creator did not create man in vain. ALL of mankind will be saved by God's unfailing love. Once I was shown this Truth, I had to harmonize the MANY passages in Scripture that speak of the soul being destroyed or forfeited. And what of the billions of souls that never heard the Gospel, never could have believed and NEVER even had the chance to be saved? What of the countless number of babies that die before ever having any chance to BELIEVE and be saved?
AC 16:31 They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household."
ROM 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
So please tell me how these who knew nothing of Jesus or his Gospel will be saved in their ONE short lifetime? Are they predestined for an eternal torture chamber as many minds like Augustine's believed? Is our Father in heaven not going to give them a CHANCE to hear, believe and be saved? What is the fate of these? It has been estimated that perhaps as many as 97% of the earth population that has ever lived never heard about Jesus the Christ. Isnít God going to offer these salvation too? When is God going to offer everyone salvation? Are we given only one chance to repent and be forgiven? Many Universalists say that God will show everyone the Truth and offer them salvation in "hell." I agree, but we must come to realize that hell is right here in this world. We are going through the death and pain of hell right now. There may be a spiritual cleansing in the Lake of God's Holy Fire apart from this world, but this world is surely the "grave, pit, or hell" for humanity. For more on this topic see- "Going Through Hell." The truth is that all must be given the Truth at some point, all must come to know Christ, but this happens according to Godís will and timing, not ours.
1 COR 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn:
1PE 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 TIM 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all men--the testimony given in its proper time.
Yes, Christ Jesus has paid the price for ALL of mankind. We must believe that he will get ALL that he has paid for! All will hear the Truth, accept the Truth and be set free by the Truth in due time. So the "testimony" or Truth of the Gospel will be given to ALL MEN in its proper time. Or should we say the proper LIFETIME? It should be clear that even while Jesus walked Judea, the Gospel was kept away from some that were not yet called to be saved. They heard Jesus preaching, but they didnít REALLY hear him because this wasnít their lifetime to be saved.
MK 4:10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that, " `they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!' "
It was not their time, or age yet to hear the Truth and be saved, so they were to stay in this dark place where there is "weeping and gnashing of teeth" and the only Light is Christ. So even many who saw, heard and knew the MAN Jesus were NOT ALLOWED to come to the Truth of Christ yet. This was Godís will for them in that particular lifetime, but unquestionably God will give them the sight, hearing and understanding to accept the Truth in some later life. Life is about learning lessons at our Father's hand. He is patient. He is kind. He is love. He didn't create anyone in vain, but knows exactly how to bring us into His Kingdom and Life.
The next area in Scripture I would like to explore would be that of the "spirit of man." The spirit is from God who is the Father of all true spirits.
HEB 12:9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!
ECC 12:7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it
JAMES 2:26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
So our spirit from God is what gives us life and is what defines who we really are. With this in mind, we need to understand that the spirit is considered the male gender of our being. The soul or mind is considered the female gender of our total being. This is reinforced by gender usage in the Hebrew and Greek languages. We should understand that Adam and Eve is really describing our true nature as Spirit (male) and Soul (female). The soul, or mind of man (generically speaking) is the spiritís helper and wife in a spiritual sense. They were joined by God to be one. Now if you can understand that your spirit has a wife (mind/soul), consider that many "men of God" like David and Solomon had many, many wives.
1KI 11: 3 He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. 4 As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God,
It was permitted by God for these men to have many wives. We know that the Bible has many shadows whose spiritual reality is revealed to us as our understanding grows. I believe this is a shadow of the reality of reincarnation. Our spirit will take many, many wives, or MINDS (helpers) in all our different lifetimes. These wives that the spirit marries in our many lives can certainly "lead us astray" because these souls (minds) we take are carnal and worldly. The spirit is led into death by our minds (wives) chasing after "other gods" of this dark and dead world. Have we not read that it was Eve is who sinned? This is to say the soul, or mind of man led the spirit away from God's life and into death.
2 COR 11:3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
1 TIM 2:13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing--if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.
Unfortunately, Christendom has used this and similar passages to exploit and oppress women when it is really the MIND or soul of man that became sinful. So we should understand that Adam (the spirit) was not deceived, but the woman (soul) who became lost. The spirit and soul were joined by God so that the spirit was destine to follow the soul into sin and death just as Adam took what Eve gave him. Paul also tells us that "women" will be saved through childbearing (1TIM 2:15). This should be understood that our SOUL (female) will be saved by giving birth to the Mind of Christ. This is a new creation!
GAL 4:19 My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,
So the soul is saved by Christ being born or revealed in us! We may have many wives (souls) throughout our many lives in our spiritual journey, but the soul that gives birth to a son of God is saved. This soul is the one who has been made pure, white like a virgin. This virgin mind is the Mind of Christ. Do any suppose that any natural minds (souls) can enter the Kingdom of God? This is why many SOULS are perishing and are destroyed in this world which is hell.
2COR 4:3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
MT 7:13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Now, this passage from Jesus seems to sap our hope of overcoming this world because only FEW find the small gate and walk the narrow road. Yet, MANY are destroyed. But understand that it is true. In each AGE, or generation, only a FEW do overcome and many are destroyed. This is to say your old memories and your old body are destroyed. God will give us many, many chances to overcome until we finally do by the power and love in Christ. The Few that enter the Kingdom have the pure Mind of Christ. This is why our natural minds must be renewed by the Holy Spirit of God- to be made like virgins for the Spirit of Christ to marry.
COL 3:9 since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
EPH 4:22 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; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Yes, man has been created to be the fullness of God. It is Godís eternal destiny for man that we become the Image of the One God. We call God our "Father" yet do some suppose that God, who is Spirit, is fathering flesh and bone creatures? Or can you accept that we are also spirit from the One Spirit that is placed in a body and given a mind that we may come to know the Truth of who we are? We are the Body of Christ- God's Image. Our spirits can not die, but continue in this world until we overcome this world. The Spirit is the Seed of God. This Seed is planted in many different bodies and in different circumstances so that we can "come to the knowledge of the Truth." Do you understand the parable of the Farmer, the Seeds and soils?
MK 4:13 Then Jesus said to them, "Don't you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop--thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown."
The Word of God is Christ, not your Bible. Christ is sown in our spirit to bring forth life- the life of a SON. God is raising Sons and Jesus was the First. If we hear Christ (our True Identity) calling us and we ACCEPT HIM, then we will produce a crop. We will sow this Seed in others. We will also bring forth "fruit of the Spirit." But the main point here is that the Christ Seed is incorruptible and indestructible. The Seed is sown again and again in these perishable bodies, and Paul speaks to this idea.
1CO 15:42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
Yes, our spirit is placed in many bodies, in many different cultures learning lessons by the will of the Father. In addition, I believe the spirit of man also retains many memories of his past lives and situations. I believe this explains why many have spoken "in tongues." This happened to the disciples after Pentecost and even today, there are many that in a certain state of mind can speak another language fluently without ever knowing it in THIS lifetime. How can this be? I have heard some Christians say that this ability comes from demons entering our minds. I would hope that the disciples were not demon-possessed when they were speaking in another tongue. This really puts some rain on their parade and makes the Holy Spirit gift a mockery. The only Holy explanation is that can be offered is we have lived in many different cultures and learned many different languages. When our minds are brought into the Spirit, this knowledge becomes available to our minds. As the Holy Spirit came upon the believers, their very spirits now fed their minds this gift from God.
Here are some other passages from Scripture that may be speaking of reincarnation. They speak our "our house," but many times this is meant to mean our bodies.
LK 13:35 Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, `Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.' "
LK 11:24 "When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, `I will return to the house I left.' 25 When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first."
MK 3:25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man's house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house.
Godís desire is to make our bodies HIS HOUSE, or Temple. He wants to be Lord over our house. For this to happen, we must learn that we are nothing apart from God. We must accept who we really are. We are the Body of Christ, the Image of the only God. When we have overcome the world and our false self by the power and love of Christ, then we are to dwell in a permanent body.
ISA 32:18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.
In the end, we will find "places of rest" for our soul and spirit. We are to be given spiritual bodies like our Lord Jesus has. We are raised in a spiritual body that can walk through walls, transcend space and time, and is not bound by our natural laws.
1COR 15:48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.
Another passage that certainly could be referring to reincarnation is this one:
MT 12:32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
When I read this now, I see that sins committed against the flesh are forgiven, but if we KNOW the Truth (Christ) and then sin in the face of the Teacher of the Truth (Holy Spirit) we can not be forgiven in this lifetime (age) or the next. This harmonizes with what is written in Hebrews as well.
HEB 10:26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
Jesus tells us that this type of sin can not be forgiven in this age (Gr. aion) or in the next. The word "aion" in Greek can mean any number of different time periods. One of its meanings is the "lifetime" of a man. So in this light, it would seem that those who are given the Truth then deliberately refuse to accept it must return to this dark and dead world again after their current "age" or lifetime.
One other area in Scripture that we should investigate is God's fairness. Is God fair and just? Does He love all and desire all be saved and return to Him? Are we all born on equal footing with God? Well then, we must be concerned when God says that he loves one and hates another as in the case of Esau and Jacob.
MAL 1:2 "I have loved you," says the LORD. "But you ask, `How have you loved us?' "Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" the LORD says. "Yet I have loved Jacob, 3 but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals."
Why would these men be treated differently by God? Why would God prefer one over the other? Is it because they must reap what they have sown in a previous life? Also, there is a parallel passage in Romans.
ROM 9:18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. 19 You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?" 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?" 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, (NKJV)
Could it be true that we have been "predestined" by God? Paul speaks of this many times in Ephesians. Is this fair? Don't we have a choice in our destiny? Again, for God's justice and Perfection to be worked out, there must be a reason why some are "vessels of wrath prepared for destruction." Surely they have done something to warrant this harsh treatment. Surely in God's justice, it is WE who have created our pain and suffering and this hell we perceive. Peter also echoes the same sentiments that God brings some into the world only for them to live ungodly lives and be destroyed.
2PET 2:12 But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish. 13 They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done.
Could these be those who "blasphemed against the Holy Spirit"? We read they will be paid back the harm they have done. But wait a minute here! These men were "created" to be vessels of dishonor by God were they not? They were born ONLY to be caught and destroyed. They were PREDESTINED by God were they not? If this were these men's ONLY lifetimes, is this fair of a Holy God who loves all and desires all to be saved? It should be clear that for God to be just and Holy, these men are being punished for their own sins in another life. This must be the same for Esau. What could that child in Rebekah's womb have done to offend God? Are we able to sin before we are born? This same question was asked earlier about the man born blind from birth.
There are other passages that might speak of the idea of reincarnation, but with all Truths, we must have the eyes to see them in God's Scriptures. There are other areas outside of the Bible that provide substantial evidence for reincarnation. One of them in is somewhat hidden in the history of the Church.
Do Christians understand that many evil men entered Christendom like wolves and have corrupted the original teachings of early Believers? It is well documented that many, perhaps the majority, of early Christians believed in reincarnation. Although in 553 AD, the Second Council of Constanople banned this belief from the "official" doctrine of the Church by a very slim margin. It was apparently defeated by only one vote. Those continuing to hold on to this belief were eventually excommunicated from the now corrupt "church." It should be known that what early Believers were taught varies dramatically to what is currently being taught in Christian religions.
The early Believers believed and taught that ALL of mankind would be saved by God and that the spirit (sometimes called soul) transmigrated from body to body and from age to age. Among those who held this belief was one of the greatest Church Fathers- Origen. He and others taught this belief in many of the theological schools during the first three centuries. One of these schools was in Alexandria, Egypt where Origen was assigned the head this institution and teach new Believers the Truth. Even today, about two-thirds of the worldís population believes in reincarnation. Truth Seekers will find that there is Truth to be found in faiths other than Christianity. God gives good gifts to ALL that call on Him, not just Christians. There is a book that I would recommend to any seeking the Truth in this matter of history and reincarnation. It is called "Reincarnation- The Missing Link in Christianity" by Elizabeth Claire Prophet.
In the scientific field there lies a vast amount of evidence for reincarnation. As has been the case for hundreds of years though, the religious leaders of Christianity would rather turn a blind eye to empirical evidence than to change what they believe. The "Church" would not accept the TRUTH that the earth revolved around the sun. They killed many whom believed in this so-called heresy. So if Christians can accept it, there is considerable research that has been done by Ian Stevenson which is nearly irrefutable. Many of his studies investigate memories of past lives that children recall with great accuracy. It seems that children between the ages of 3-6 seem to recall past memories much easier than older children or adults. They speak of incredible stories in detail only to be proven to be quite accurate. There are also the cases of "child prodigies" that master the piano or some higher skill at five years of age. Are they masters because they were already skilled in that area before? There are hundreds of thousands of accounts of "out of body" experiences where the "true" person leaves his body and observes the physical world like a spectator.
There is enough evidence in science alone to make the case for reincarnation. Dr. Stevenson has also found that in many cases, the "new" bodies of an individual will RETAIN marks from the previous lifetime. Many times birthmarks on individual's current body will parallel wound marks from their previous life. This evidence is uncovered AFTER they have described the identity, culture and setting of where they were in the previous lifetime. For more on Dr. Ian Stevensonís extensive work, check out this web site: Dr. Ian Stevenson.
The evidence as a whole is overwhelming, but, as was the case during the Dark Ages, many religious minds adhere to their dead traditions and vain imaginings instead of acknowledging the Truth. Instead of letting the Truth lead what they believe, they cling to what the corrupt minds of the Dark Ages taught the masses. We must accept all Truth- even that from science. If what we believe about God does not align with what God has revealed to us in science, then we must have our minds renewed.
COL 3:9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
Many are lying to each other and to themselves. They refuse to believe the Truth. The "NEW SELF" is your Spirit from God. Your True Life, True Self and True Existence are in that Spirit and not in these bodies we possess. There are many passages within the Bible showing that we (in Spirit form) do "pre-exist" the bodies that we currently occupy. God knows us before we are placed in these bodies and lives. He knows what lessons, punishments and rewards we need to bring about His perfection. God is loving and patient to a point which the human mind, bound within space and time, cannot understand. We stay in THIS world for as long as we desire. God KNOWS that we will become sick of this world, sick of being SELFish and desire to return home. Once we have exhausted our worldly desires (become "poor in spirit"), we turn back to God (repent). He fills us with His life, His desire and His love. It is by this Almighty Love that we overcome this dark world, our dark self and our dark minds that lived in ignorance of who we really are. The Truth will not change, so our thinking must.
Genuine Truth Seekers will not deny any type of Truth. This includes the scientific evidence that God allows us to discover. Truth is truth- no matter in what form it may come in. Truth Seekers will not ignore the physical evidence showing us the transmigration of the spirit. Truth Seekers should accept the history showing us that early Believers carried to their deaths the belief of reincarnation. Truth Seekers will not deny our Lord Jesusí words when he says that Elijah did come again as John the Baptist. Truth Seekers will discover that there is no other way to harmonize Scripture without reincarnation. This is how I was convinced that reincarnation is the Truth. There is no other way to climb that mountain of evidence.
Finally, I want to share with you one more passage from Paul that kind of wraps up the whole point and need for reincarnation.
2 COR 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Dear Truth Seekers, as Paul says, we are being TRANSFORMED from a natural beast into Spirit, into Christ, into an Image of God. This transformation takes many lives to complete. We are placed in these bodies and in this world to learn, to grow and to overcome it. This is not done in one lifetime especially for the many that die as infants. We must quit looking at the body for our identity. Jesus said the Spirit is what counts and the flesh means nothing. We are losing our old "flesh" natures and coming out of the death and darkness of hell so that we may know the life and glory of God! God is our only Life. God is using our many lives to transform us and bring us into His Image- Christ.
Jesus the Christ was the first to overcome this hell. He is our Lord and Savior. He is setting the captives free! Many are afraid of dying and worried about their bodies going to the grave. But understand that only the Spirit gives us true life and that our natural body is really our grave. It is made of dirt and it surrounds us. It covers who we really are in Christ. We are called to be spiritually circumcised thereby removing our FLESH natures and showing our True natures, which is that of God's. The Seed and Kingdom of God is within you. Your awakened Spirit will overcome the world by the will and love of God and is destine to be called a son of God. The Body of Christ is being RESURRECTED from the grave by God the Father. The purpose of time is for bringing about perfection. Time will not end until God has subdued all of His creation into Himself so that God is revealed to be ALL in ALL.
God's peace and understanding be with you,