Reincarnation seems to be a prevalent view in our society today. Mankind has continually searched for answers about life and the afterlife, and there are various religions that promote differing views. Hinduism, which is one of the oldest in the world, has influenced our culture more than any other, with the exception of Christianity. Its view of pantheism, that theirs is a god who is nature itself and lives in all things, the trees, the water, the air. He's not a personal being, but an encompassing all. This is called monism, all is one.
Yet it is one of the basic tenets of Hinduism. Within this framework of the religion of Hinduism, which over 1/5 of the population adheres to, we have practices such as meditation, yoga, mantras, and spiritual teachers, that have been readily accepted in the American society. With all this comes the view of reincarnation, which is a re-embodiment of the soul, life after life, until it finally self-realizes who it once was, it repays back all its karma. It is then free to go back to the source from which it came from, which they claim is god.
What we hear today is that the dead are with us, they exist in another dimension, that they sometimes visit us intentionally or even unintentionally. We find this promoted on the talk shows. They're just filled with people's testimonies of deception. They tell us there is nothing to be concerned about, that death is to be welcomed as a friend, it's all part of life. Many claim visitations from spirits of deceased friends and loved ones and these spirits tell them of the peace and beauty they are now experiencing on the other side of life. Their claim is that the universe is teeming with life, other spiritual beings. And, of course, we hear this from the UFO's, that they are unanimously promoting reincarnation and karma.
With the promotion of this new spirituality it has become confusing to say the least. Where does one turn the find the truth of the afterlife? All these spiritual opinions can be put into two main categories; we find karma and reincarnation and then the biblical view of resurrection. This becomes a tug-of-war for the mind and souls of the populace by subscribing either to Hinduism unintentionally or to the biblical account, which is one life and then there is a heaven for reward and a hell for punishment.
The word reincarnation means to come again in the flesh Re-in= to come again, carnate= in the flesh. This is the successive embodiment of the soul in a series of mortal bodies.
I will lay out a premise of both views and I'm going to quote the Scriptures from the Bible that they use to substantiate their view of karma and reincarnation. And I'll give the reasons why the biblical view is the only one that is the logical and true one.
Today we have 30 million Americans that believe in reincarnation. There's recently been a pole done that states that 58% of Americans believe it is a distinct possibility. This, like many other beliefs, did not come overnight, but was a consistent promotion by TV, books, and Hollywood stars that gave the society that we now live in the paradigm shift. I'm sure you've all heard some one say at one time or another that something good has occurred, well, that's good karma. With this view, God is an impersonal being existing in all creation. What follows is all is good since all is God, in essence all is part of God. So Hinduism's solution is reincarnation. For anything we do wrong, that's going to be the making up for the things we have erred in. What happens is a man who's an independent personality needs to achieve oneness through various techniques that alters ones consciousness such as yoga and meditation.
Classic reincarnation is the successive embodiment of the soul in a series of bodies which may not consist of only human. Hinduism claims that the soul, which is of God, finds its beginning and end in God, and we are told that it chooses embodiment for learning and progressing. As one enters the physical realm it will take numerous lifetimes, maybe millions, to progress back to the source and understand who they really are. The soul is entrapped in what is called the wheel of birth and rebirth and this is what is called karma; one must come back to pay off their debts in the next lifetime. Ones present condition on earth was determined by their previous actions in their former life.
Real reincarnation in Hinduism is what's called transmigration. It is the belief that the soul not only progresses but can digress, that in spiritual evolution we can go upward from an insect to a tree to a vegetable, an animal and a man and eventually back to God. However, in classic reincarnation we can also go backwards, something to consider before buying into this mythical philosophy.
One of the most famous people to give spiritualism and reincarnation a huge boost was a man named Edgar Cayce, who was known as the Sleeping Prophet. While Cayce claimed to be a devout Christian, he clearly departed from his Christian beliefs, by practices and the teachings that he was learning from spirit guides. Cayce would go into a sleep-like state, a trance state and give readings on individuals who could have been hundreds of miles away, people he had never met. He'd be able to explain and diagnose exactly what was wrong with them in their sicknesses, this consisted of spiritual and medical matters, and much of his diagnosis was uncannily correct.
He stated his experiences had given him new insight into the Bible and helped clarify and explain the Bible to him. He considered the Bible the greatest record of psychic experiences. During his trance he would have an entity who would speak that was clearly different from himself. Much of what was communicated went against his own beliefs and a process began which, in time, had him abandoning his own Christian beliefs for the new spiritual information that his spirit was giving him. In 1932, he awoke from a session and was told in that session that reincarnation was a reality and throughout his career he received such information on subjects as planetary journeys, past lives, how they related to someone's current karmic past, and even about the Akashic records, which was an invisible blueprint in the ethers that held all that was ever said or done by mankind.
Now, here's an interesting statement from Cayce, who all along was gaining all this new information, yet still wondered if it was correct. He suspected demonic influences with his revelations. "That's what I always thought and against this I put the idea that the Devil might be tempting me to do his work by operating through me when I was conceited enough to think God has given me special power. If ever the Devil was to play a trick on me, this would it."
Reincarnation is not a teaching from God, but from the same serpent that said to Adam and Eve you shall not really die way back when in the garden, and continues to be a good lie to promote to the public because no one really wants to die
Another man named Levi Dowling who tapped into the same so-called Akashic records, used automatic handwriting to pen what is called the "Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ". He, too, was taught that reincarnation was true and he combined Christianity with Hinduism and came up with an occult view of Jesus.
In the concept on reincarnation we have the teaching of karma. This is what they call universal law. If bad things happen in one's life it is an outworking of bad karma, if good things happen in one's life it is an outworking of good karma. Karma refers to the debt that a soul accumulates. This debt is because of either good or bad actions committed during one's life now or from their former past life. If one accumulates good karma from doing mostly good deeds, they'll be reincarnated in a desirable state, a higher, more pleasant position in life, and if one accumulates bad karma they'll be reincarnated in a less desirable state, having a lower lot in life.
A number of years ago, I tuned in to the Oprah Winfrey Show and she had on Marilyn Ferguson, who's a prominent promoter of the New Age Movement, one of the key people in it, and a panel of numerous occultists, a Unity pastor, and they were all explaining many of the New Age concepts, one of which is reincarnation. When asked about the Holocaust, and what happened, it was almost unanimous that they claimed this was a cause and effect, that people were getting repaid for their past lives. Of course, logically, this means that they all re-embodied in a certain race of people in which the universal law was going to repay them in spades.
In Shirley McLain's book ( Out on a Limb page 233) she states, "Reincarnation is like show business, you just keep on doing it until you get it right." So it shouldn't surprise us that Hollywood seems to embrace this kind of spiritual philosophy. Since they're already into acting, and, hopefully, they'll get a good review at least in the end.
In reincarnation life is an illusion, yet, all our ills and phobias are from a past life, so if one is afraid of water, they might have drowned in another life, at least this is what the past-life hypnotherapists tell us. Now we can be hypnotized to go beyond our birth to past lives. One hypnotist claims he has documented over 25,000 cases of people in supposedly their past lives. He hypnotizes the individual to go back to where the trauma apparently occurred to relieve that person of the effects that are not surfacing in their life presently. It can be manifested as a disease, or a mental imbalance, or fears. This is his way of curing them, by bringing them back to where this first happened maybe a few lives before or hundreds of lives before. We are told the subject does not have to believe in past lives to be helped by this type of therapy. If Edgar Cayce could only see now what he started.
There are many influential people that have believed in this philosophy. We have Sylvester Stallone, and Linda Evans, whose channeler, J. Z. Knight, states that she has a 35,000 year old spirit guide, a Lumerian warrior named Ramtha and is promoting this teaching that we are immortal. We have Stephanie Kramer, of the series Hunter, and a numerous other Hollywood stars that practice many different religions, seem to adhere to the idea of karma and past lives.
Here in Hawaii, we have Mike Gabbard who crusades against same-sex marriage and the homosexual agenda. He claims to be a Christian yet, his Guru Jagad Guru teaches that Jesus and Christianity are complimentary to the teaching of reincarnation. He says you can learn about your dreams, your déjà vu and everything else that might be relative to his Hindu philosophy. He says in his publication, Lifeforce you can make it so that your tendencies are not controlling you, and you can learn how not to follow those tendencies. That is the process of Bahkti Yoga and spiritual life , this is the only path to actual freedom and happiness. In the same magazine, in a question and answer column, he tells us that "we shouldn't fear death because once we know we are eternal it's OK and he quotes the New Testament where it says O death, where is your sting "? To everybody death does have a sting but not for those who continue to exist, who know they are eternal. Those who are in a state of meditation are fully protected." Time will soon give him a revelation on this one.
Someone wrote in to the paper and asked about him being a Christian, since his approach was strictly Eastern and he states, Jesus was from the East and spent a long portion of His life in India. This is the typical lie we hear from the gurus, that Jesus learned much of His teachings from the gurus in India. Nothing could be further from the truth. While some people have embraced this teaching unintentionally, others are very much aware of its implications and claim they are Christians, such as Mike Gabbard does.
The law of karma, the natural process of reincarnation has eternity as a wheel on which one side is life, the other side is death and neither is intrinsically bad. Swamis and gurus have taught this philosophy for centuries. Let me give you a couple of quotes from some of the current gurus. Rajneesh said, "To kill, murder, fully conscious, knowing no one is murdered and no one is killed", basically saying it's OK because no one really is murdered because death is just a process of life Yet, the Bible states, 'Thou shall not kill" Then we have Swami Vevikananda, who taught that mother god is Kali, is all, and all is one, "Who can say that God does not manifest himself as evil as well as good, but only the Hindu dares to worship him in the evil. How few have dared to worship death or Kali. Let us worship death." Now I hope you find that disturbing, I certainly do.
And as far-fetched as it sounds, when people teach that death is a friend to all, there's nothing to fear, that it's just the other side of the coin, they are celebrating on an equal basis, evil. Jesus said death was an enemy and it would be the last enemy destroyed and He will eliminate it. Yet, in the Hindu philosophy, death is Maya, it's an illusion and it's as much a part of existence as life is itself, we are to embrace it.
When we hear that death is a friend and we are to embrace it, when we look at this philosophy and we see the reality in life, we find the very opposite. If this were true, why does something inside us move with compassion when we know someone has died or is grieving over death? Why, when we are faced with death, do we fight tenaciously to preserve our life. This is a God-given instinct. Even the animals act to preserve their life rather than just give it up.
Lets go into some of the scriptures that the gurus, and the spiritualists, and the New Agers use to validate their position, for instance, the term born again in John 3:3. As a New Ager, before I became a Christian, I selectively edited and interpreted the Bible, and at the time when I was involved, I believed the term born again meant to be born again and again and again. That's exactly how many of the gurus reinterpret this scripture as a cyclic rebirth in the body. When Nicodemus asked, can I go back into my mother's womb, we find Jesus saying NO, we cant. He's stating that we're in need of a spiritual birth from God's Spirit, not another physical birth. The Greek term born again actually means from above.
Many New Agers believe that reincarnation was purposely edited out of the Bible. Marilyn Furgueson on the Oprah Winfrey Show, stated At the Council of Niacea this was done so that people wouldn't think they could put off repaying until later, so they would repay their debts now. Others blame the fifth ecumenical council or even later in Constantinople in 533 A.D. with Justinian.
One can read numerous metaphysical books with this kind of rhetoric, but it can't be proven from history. The Occultists cant even agree with themselves where this occurred. The Council of Niacea has been blamed for just about everything in the world, they brought in what's called the pagan trinity, and numerous other things, and now it's being blamed for eliminating reincarnation, yet, none of these things are true. The Trinity was taught long before the Council of Niacea, and reincarnation was never eliminated for the simple reason that it was never included. It was never discussed at any of the councils.
The Bible never talks about reincarnation, but, it does talk about resurrection. These are two diametrically opposing philosophies which can never be integrated. For one to claim to be a Christian and a believer in reincarnation would mean that they have to deny Christ rose from the dead, and this would deny also the Incarnation, which happened only once.
The resurrection is the third point of the Gospel. It is essential to the Gospel itself, yet, we find in numerous books in Christianity, there are people that hint toward this and even openly state this. Let me give you an example, the author Hanna Hurnard, a famous author who's written Mountain of Spices, and Hind's Feet in High Places, states in the book, The School of Birth Experience, "The Lord, in the clearest possible way, confirmed His own belief in the Old Testament teaching concerning the necessity for human souls to visit the earth's school more than once. Jesus did accept the current belief concerning reincarnation and said that congenital and hereditary diseases are connected with experiences and behaviors in an earlier lifetime."
She's probably referring to the man that was born blind in the book of John. Jesus never did teach this, and this certainly is her own insertion. We need to discern wheat from chaff in books we read, and in the movements that come to the church that claim spirituality. It's very important to be discerning these days and know when to reject something an author might be stating and not believe that everything that's in a book is the gospel truth.
When we do look at India, and we find a nation that has practiced this type of religion for centuries and yet, we find people dying on the streets and we're not allowed to help them because if you do you might interfere with their past lives, their karma and you might end up taking karma on yourself. The whole country has become bankrupt. Recently, reading about India, we find that people are now searching outside the religion of that country, where almost a billion people are Hindus. They are now looking in other areas, because it seems they are seeing that the religion that they've held so for long is bankrupt, and has not helped the country at all.
When we look at the past in the church, we find the earliest reference to reincarnation in a passing remark by Justin Martyr in150 A.D. in his Dialogue with Trypho IV. In this he reveals his thoughts on the reincarnationists of his time. "Therefore souls neither see God nor transmigrate into other bodies; for they would know that they are punished, and they would be afraid to commit even the most trivial sin afterwards".
Not many years later Irenaeus in his refuting the Gnostic heretics criticized this belief of reimbodiment in his (Against Heresies. Tertullian on the Soul Chpt.23-24, 29-35) had a very unfavorable opinion. Numerous others who were what we would call evangelists for the faith spoke against this belief. Aenobius (Against the Heathen II Chpt.16) Lactantius (The Divine Institutes Book III Chpt. 18-19) Gregory of Nyssa (On the making of a man Chpt.29) Augustine (The city of God book10 Chpt.30).
The church father most quoted to prove reincarnation is Origin, who was one of the early, pre-Nicene church fathers. A brilliant man who had a lot of theological speculations among his apologetic scholarship, almost to the state of heresy. Obviously, he wasn't right on all his doctrines, but I find this an interesting statement and I think we can take it to learn what they were dealing with back then. He states, "We do not allege any re-embodiment of the soul or any fall of the soul down to the level of the irrational creatures and so it is, that if we abstain from animal food it is not for the same reason as Pathagorus that we do not eat the flesh of beasts." (Against Celsus VIII. 30) And then he addresses the concept of Elijah coming back to earth as John the Baptist, which a number of people, even today, who claim to be Christians believe. He states, "I do not think that means that the soul of John the Baptist was the soul of Elijah, lest I should fall into the doctrine of re-embodiment, which is alien from the doctrine of the church of God. It is not the tradition of the apostles, and it does not appear anywhere in Scripture." He then goes on speaking in detail of numerous more re-embodiments which would never end and then neither would there be an end to the ages which goes against sinners being surprised by a final catastrophe.
Origin actually believed in a pre-existence of the soul before a physical death, but only a single embodiment not continual incarnations. He didn't hold this view all of his life, but was influenced by certain philosophies of the day, so, with all these church father writings, we do need to read them with a grain of salt. Go to the Scriptures and see what's right and wrong . we have a person who claims to be a Christian, he's a Oneness Pentecostal on TV, Elishua Reed, who states, John the Baptist was actually Elijah reembodied, yet we find when the angel Gabriel, came to Zachariah, he told him that his son's name would be John. In Luke 1:17 he states that he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah which is synonymous for the same type of ministry one of reconciliation. Turning the hearts of the fathers turn to the children and the children to the fathers. To claim that John the Baptist is Elijah is to teach reincarnation, plain and simple. The premise is that a spirit in a former body comes back to be born in another body. At the very least it's transmigration. In Matt. 11:13, Jesus states, "For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John." So He calls him John, not Elijah. We find him appearing on the Mount of Transfiguration with Moses, and we find the Apostles all recognizing Elijah as Elijah. You don't hear anyone saying, look, it's John. No, they saw him as Elijah and Jesus called him Elijah and he called John, John. So, the two can never meet.
Malachi predicted he would come before the Messiah's appearing and this would be before the Day of the Lord, and that's the Day of Judgment when Elijah would actually come back. So, how do we understand that John the Baptist came back in what's called the spirit and power of Elijah and how Jesus said he is Elijah if you willing to accept it? We find that when the Jews were sent out they sent out the priests and the Levites to investigate John's ministry and they asked him if he was the Christ and he states emphatically, no. Then they ask him if he's not Elijah, why does he baptize. We find that John the Baptist is not suffering from a temporary memory loss that Jesus has to correct later. Actually, we find the Scripture telling us that he carried out his ministry in the spirit and power of Elijah. That he operated in the Spirit and power like Elijah. Now, the question is, what does that mean? It means that he had a similar ministry as Elijah, he had functional similarities. Not that he wasn't Elijah himself. One of the strongest testimonies that John is not Elijah is on the Mount of Transfiguration. Elijah and Moses appear and Jesus and the Apostles recognize him as Elijah being in his original body. No one calls him John the Baptist. We must concede they're two different people, or John the Baptist turned into Elijah again. This would promote reincarnation or transmigration of a spirit going from one body to another. If we look at it more carefully in II Kings 2:11 Elijah never experienced physical death so for him to come back in another body means he reincarnated not only in Spirit but in body too. And the Bible never teaches either one of these.
Also, the question would be, in the resurrection, which body would he get. Either way death would not be conquered because one of the bodies would not be raised, and the whole purpose of resurrection is to conquer death.
It's obvious, when He spoke in Matt. 11:13-14 concerning John being Elijah who is to come, He was not speaking in a solid literal sense. Jesus was metaphorically comparing two different things that also shared some similarities. He came in the ministry of Elijah.
The Jewish scriptures always taught resurrection not reincarnation. Each person is given one body to live in and will be given that same body in the resurrection. When one takes the whole body of Scripture instead of isolating verses we find the consistent teaching that refutes any kind of concept of Elijah becoming John the Baptist and then changing back to Elijah again.
When we look at the teaching of reincarnation we find an enormous amount of people throughout the world believing in it. In America, we find that almost 1/3 believe that reincarnation is a fact. When we look at the world, has it progressed, has it learned its lessons according to the reincarnation theory? If you look at the country that has had this in practice longer than any other, for centuries, or thousands of years, do we see it as a model for others? The country where reincarnation is taught the most suffers the most from it. If it was factual and a spiritual truth knowledge the opposite would be true, this in fact would bring progress. Just look at what this philosophy has done for India. People are left suffering on the streets. Others who are more fortunate from their good karma are encouraged not to interfere lest they need to be paid back in a future life time. Compassion, love in action is deterred because one is practicing Hinduism and according to the law of karma, it's wrong to take a starving person off the street and nurse them back to health. There is no alleviating pain, this is a cold, unfeeling, and unforgiving spiritual view. If we apply this to America and the recession that we're all in, it's all bad karma. The homeless, the sick, are all subject to this fatal philosophy. I don't think that those who believe in this concept would ever go that far in their consideration. And do we really want to resign ourselves over to fatalism?
It was Gandhi who stated about this system that he himself was born into, that reincarnation is a burden to great to bear. He saw the fruits of this practice around his country. All abroad was hopelessness, despair and gave no answers to life. So as one is going through the wheel of suffering, or what called Samsara, yearning to break free of this cyclic wheel, becomes much like the hamster in a cage on their exercise wheel.
There is a solution to erasing your debt and escaping and that's called yoga, achieving a higher consciousness and becoming one with the Brahman (The Ultimate Reality) Since we are all part of God, so they say, and we have forgotten who we really are, yoga and meditation will bring us back to the source so we can all merge as a little drop of water in the eternal ocean, the sea of forgetfulness, called nirvana in Buddhism. This is going to erase our bad karma.
There are some logical problems with this practice and some questions that need to be answered. If it erases our bad karma wouldn't it also erase our good karma, since in Hinduism there is no real good or evil, especially when we look at Zen Buddhism, everything just is. If there is no good or bad, everything is just amoral. Who determines what is good or bad? We are told that we ourselves do, however, there is no universal standard. So why would someone call their deeds bad if it will make them come into a lower life form? Are we really that just in our judgment after we die? If we are not that just now when we're alive why would we be later in death? Reincarnationists have a Jesus, but we find that he's not the same Jesus of the Bible. While the Jesus of the Bible believed and died for sins, the reincarnation's Jesus is a way-shower, a perfect master, an ancient guru who is a learned mystic and learned secrets and meditated his way to enlightenment. And he shows us how to become one with God so we, too, can be like him.
Those who believe in this, use the same Scriptures as New Agers, such as the kingdom of God is within you, yet, when we look at the actual text it literally means that Jesus was the kingdom of God, and He was standing within their midst. So wherever God is that is where the kingdom will be. When one taps into this kingdom by spiritual, psychological techniques, going inward, it's supposed to reveal the universe. As a philosopher Hermes Trismigustus stated, "As without, so within, as above, so below." Man is supposed to be a microcosm of the universe and his ignorance to divinity is the closest definition of sin that they can come up with.
To accept reincarnation can certainly change a person's world view. We need to ask, where did karma come from and why? If one were God and chose to be put into a body to learn, where did wrong or evil come from? According to the Hindu tradition, the three Gunas, which are qualities of the god-head, were in perfect balance in the void and something happened which caused an imbalance (the Prakriti) and manifestation began. This brought the illusion which we are all experiencing as the universe. So bad karma actually was found in the source of the god-head and permeated the universe. There is no escape, whether one practices yoga or not, all becomes in union with a faulty god-head.
We find there aren't any real answers from the Hindu side. If we all come from the source and we did something we wanted to perpetuate or coming back, isn't this like a biblical definition of sin, falling short of perfection? The problem is, that they claim it started from God. How does one get off the wheel of rebirth when there's absolutely no real way of stopping their bad karma?
Since reincarnation means all souls progress through different forms of life, even insects and animals, we must not kill these forms inadvertently. What about germs and bacteria? Aren't they alive, also? Are they not on the same wheel of progression? Eventually, we would have to be paid back for their elimination, also. Even the gurus who become monastic in a cave have to deal with affecting life in this way. Again, there's no real solution.
One woman's testimony explained how this philosophy affected her life. She said, "Gradually, I became increasingly disillusioned. The fruits of Krishna-consciousness proved to be a bondage of deception. There was no love or peace, which is what I was seeking. It was especially hard to bear as a woman because only a man can attain Krishna-consciousness. I could hope that if I built up enough good karma, that in some future life, I would be born into this world as a man." That's interesting, because Plato taught if a man lived a cowardly life he would be reincarnated as a woman. And if a woman lived a cowardly life she would be reincarnated as a bird. This woman says, "It was a great relief when I learned that Jesus Christ died for my sin and would accept me just as I was if I was willing."
That's God's solution to alleviate man's ills. Most people hold today to the Golden Rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This is adopted from the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus. This concept has been changed to karma to gain God's favor: If I do good, it comes back to me by living the Golden Rule, I'm doing right and I'm accepted, that one's good deeds outweigh their bad, therefore it will work out in their favor in the end. Nothing could be further from the truth.
God gave man a standard, but it was not to receive a pardon or a credit in their life. The Bible states we were given commandments to bring us to a Savior, they show us we can't be good enough The rules of living were a tutor, they pointed us to a Savior. There are signposts along the way pointing to the architect of life. Nothing man can do merits God's forgiveness or favor. It was God Himself who did it for us. The system of karma and reincarnation has no answers because it actually perpetuates evil. If I murder someone in this lifetime, in the next life that person is obligated by the law of karma, to murder me. If I save two people's lives today it can't make up for the one person I murdered yesterday. I would still have to be paid back for the evil done and it would keep on repeating itself. So karma actually perpetuates evil, it's a continual punishment. There is no forgiveness in this system. Can one learn from their mistakes from each lifetime? No, we can't remember them because of the forgetfulness in our consciousness, so we keep on repeating them. Is it fair to be punished for something we can't remember and are doomed to repeat?
Reincarnation is punishment not a learning process. By contrast, the God of the Bible offers forgiveness for our sin. It's once and for all and we don't have to depend on ourselves for a solution. Even if our future good deeds could atone for our past sins, the philosophy of karma makes no sense, because one will always have to be reincarnated. So no one is perfect, not even the guru Maharaji or Sai Baba, who claimed this for themselves.
Is there evidence that the world is actually progressing morally or spiritually from this system? Are we really getting better? No, actually the human race is worse off today than it ever was. Evil has increased, so I guess we've all been bad in our past lives, or the other alternative is that it's what the Bible has said all along, we're sinners following our fallen nature in need of being reconciled to our Creator, to Christ the only God/man
The God of the Bible is just and must punish rebellion and the sin of man. And, yet, He's also merciful and willing to forgive. To those involved in this philosophy, there is no grace.
It's dependent on themselves to fix all the wrongs that they did. Imagine that Hitler has to come back to pay for his crimes. That's something we could all really look forward to. What makes us think he would have a change of heart, he can always get it right the next time. Actually, all the evil people who were ever born have to keep on coming back, so this view actually would perpetuate evil instead of erasing it. I don't think that's any improvement. Even with this senseless philosophy, which has hopelessness entwined in its curriculum, it's still winning adherents by the millions in the U.S., and we find psychiatrists that practice hypnotherapy, regressing people back beyond their childhood, back to when they were once apes, lizards, and pollywogs. I'm surprised someone hasn't won an award for doing this, proving evolution is true. This has as much validity as the current trend of evolutionary proofs and will probably go the way of the dinosaur. And while people claim that hypno-regression has brought them into a cure, it's actually brought them into a bigger lie than when they first visited the psychiatrist. They become a free-style Hindu. Now, everything that happens is explained in light of a past life or déjà vu experiences. They also become repelled by the Christ of the Bible and sin is unable to be dealt with eliminated from their life in a conscious rejection. so remedies of one's ills become a future life to live. We find the forgiveness and the power of Christ becomes, at best, just one of the many choices for those who are self-enlightened in post-Christian America.
Evidence for this belief almost always comes from experiences of the occult, meditation, astral travel, drugs and hypnosis. All are altered states of consciousness.
Looking at some of the contradictions in the system of reincarnation, karma, which is the law of perpetual cause and effect, cannot be violated, so how can the use of enlightenment suspend it for a lifetime? If ignorance of reincarnation or a real spiritual life is true and ignorance is what hinders our spiritual progression, why would the soul, prior to its inhabiting a body, cause itself to forget what it did in the past and hinder the very progress its trying to attain. To me, this is like studying for a test to do you best and when it comes time to take it, you purposely forget everything you studied. In karma we are free persons, yet, we resign ourselves to a law of nature which takes away our own choices. This philosophy is fatalistic. It can only be put in the same category as astrology, that the stars and creation rule over our future and we have our whole lives charted out for us. This identifies the Occult connection. While, in America, we have westernized the view of spiritual evolution, real incarnation is what is called transmigration. We can go backwards, also.
So, before one buys into this circular philosophizing, they need to consider whether, logically, this is acceptable to the reality of life we all know. There is no spiritual or mutual ground between reincarnation and resurrection. They are opposites, mutually exclusive. Satan, who opposes God, always attacks the resurrection because death is the penalty for sin. For a reincarnationist, death is the natural process that leads one on to a higher plane of existence, in a new body and a better spiritual condition, and this is universal for all.
The Bible presents death as a disaster that was brought in as an enemy to mankind. It is a judgment from God that was pronounced on Adam and Eve and consequently passed down to all mankind. We all die because we are all sinners in a fallen state. The Bible tells us resurrection is what will conquer physical death. If there is no resurrection there is no victory over death. Christ said this would be conquered as the last enemy defeated. As it is stated all those who love death hate me ! Reincarnation doesnt defeat death, it only promotes it.
The resurrection of Christ is the evidence that the penalty of sin has been paid. He, being the first to conquer death and live life eternally in a body, and he promises the same for all of us. However, where one spends their eternity in their body will depends on their choice of accepting or rejecting Christ and His work for them.
Reincarnation is not compatible with the Bible. If we live a hundred lifetimes and the resurrection day comes, which body do I rise in? I can only get one so 99 are left in the ground and death is not conquered. Resurrection is applied only to the body. We never see a soul or a spirit resurrected because they continue to exist, while the body decays. We find the Bible teaches us everyone lives once. Resurrection is a transformation of a persons own mortal body to an imperishable, immortal one. It is a one time final event that the sovereign God is in control of.
Jesus' resurrection disproves reincarnation. He did not take up another body, but the same one in which He lives forever. The word for body is soma and always refers to a physical body. It is a one time final event and everyone will experience this, Christian or not. Hebrews 9:27 tells us it appointed to man to die once but after this the judgment. According to this scripture Christ would have to die again for man to be reincarnated. Since their is a relationship to man dying once and Christ being sacrificed only once. Each person receives one life in which they will choose whether to bow their knee to God, submit to His Lordship, or they will bow their knee to God in the resurrection and face the judgment of eternal separation from God.
In the later part of this verse in Hebrews 9:27, it says "Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many." If the philosophy of reincarnation is true, Christ would have to die again, since there is a relationship to man dying once and Christ being sacrificed only once.
Each of us live once and face the judgment. There are no second chances to come back. 2 Corinthians 5:8 tells us at death the believer immediately goes into the presence of the Lord to rest from his labors. I think if one were to chose either of these alternatives, even if reincarnation were true, certainly, only once is enough and to be accepted into paradise with the architect of the universe is a grander offer than the enlightenment that false Hinduism offers. Why try to perfect yourself through your own handiwork when the truth is, Christ did it all? The incarnation of the God/man is better than trusting the reincarnation of man. Christ died for our faults, our shortcomings, our sins. It works because it's the truth and it's the truth that will set you free. It's by God's grace and mercy, a gift given to us freely, not by our own hands. As for me, I'll choose mercy, I need it and I certainly appreciate God's free gift.
written by Mike Oppenheimer,Let Us Reason Ministries,