Reincarnation and the Secret Teachings of Jesus
There are many Bible verses that affirm the reality of reincarnation.
The episode in the Bible where Jesus identified John the Baptist as the reincarnation of Elijah the prophet is one of the clearest statements which Jesus made concerning reincarnation.
For all the prophets and the law have prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who was to come. (Matt. 11:13-14)
In the above passage, Jesus clearly identifies John the Baptist as the reincarnation of Elijah the prophet. Later in Matthew's gospel Jesus reiterates it.
And the disciples asked him, saying, "Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?"
But he answered them and said, "Elijah indeed is to come and will restore all things. But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also shall the Son of Man suffer at their hand."
Then the disciples understood that he had spoken of John the Baptist." (Matt. 17:10-13)
In very explicit language, Jesus identified John the Baptist as the reincarnation of Elijah. Even the disciples of Jesus understood what Jesus was saying. This identification of John to be the reincarnation of Elijah is very important when it comes to Bible prophecy. By identifying the John with Elijah, Jesus identified himself as the Messiah. The Hebrew scriptures mentions specific signs that would precede the coming of the Messiah. One of them is that Elijah will return first.
Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. (Mal. 4:5)
This is one of the major Messianic promises from God that is found in the Bible. And these John is Elijah references clearly demonstrate the reality of reincarnation. So there are two important conclusions we can draw from this:
- The Hebrew scriptures prophesied that Elijah himself - not someone like him or someone in the same ministry as him but Elijah himself - would return before the advent of the Messiah.
- Jesus declared John to be Elijah when he stated that Elijah has come.
Based on these conclusions alone, either (1) or (2) must be true:
- John was Elijah himself which means that Elijah reincarnated as John the Baptist. And if this is true then reincarnation must belong once again in Christian theology. It also means that the concept of corpses crawling out of graves on Judgment Day can be discarded. OR...
- John was not Elijah reincarnated which means that Elijah himself did not return. And if this is true then either (1) or (2) listed below is true:
- Malachi's prophecy concerning Elijah's return to life before the coming of the Messiah failed to happen. This would mean that God does not keep his promise and that the Bible is fallible. OR...
- Jesus was not the Messiah.
Based on all the logic presented thus far, only one of the following conclusions is true:
- Reincarnation is a reality OR...
- Jesus was not the Messiah OR...
- Bible prophecies are not reliable.
There is no way around this logic. Only one of the above options can be true. And because Jesus' declaration that John is Elijah is overt and direct, then the only option that can be logically true is (Reincarnation is a reality).
After the beheading of John, Jesus took a few of his disciples to the top of a mountain and transfigured into a Being of Light. On the mountain with them as Elijah and Moses.
After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus ...
As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what "rising from the dead" meant.
And they asked him, "Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?"
Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things."
"Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected?"
"But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him." (Mark 9:9-13)
The passage above describes the disciples seeing the spirit of Elijah and wondering again about Elijah's role. Jesus again identifies John to be the reincarnation of Elijah.
The description of Jesus shining with light as the sun and clothes as white as the light is remarkably similar to descriptions of Jesus in many near-death accounts. This transfiguration of Jesus event in the Bible is just one of many events in the Bible that corresponds with near-death experiences.
Another point to make is that the appearance of Elijah and Moses in spirit with Jesus refutes the concept of people sleeping in graves until the last day. In other words, it refutes the concept of resurrection.
Skeptics of reincarnation like to quote the following Bible verse in an effort to refute Jesus' clear teaching of the reincarnation of Elijah as John the Baptist.
And he [John the Baptist] will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah. (Luke 1:17)Skeptics claim that the above Bible verse affirms John to be merely a prophet who performed the same ministry as Elijah - not that John was actually the reincarnation of Elijah. But this is not what the verse actually says. In fact, the verse gives a perfect definition of reincarnation: the return of a person's spirit and power into another body. It is the spirit and power that reincarnates. Therefore this verse clearly states that John the Baptist had the spirit and power of Elijah. And this is exactly what reincarnation means. It does not get much clearer than this.
Although John carried the living spirit of Elijah he did not carry his conscious mind and memory. Reincarnation involves only the higher consciousness of the spirit. Because John did not have the conscious mind and past-life memories of Elijah, John denied being Elijah. With very few exceptions, nobody has a conscious memory of past lives. The following is the Bible passage that shows John denying that he is Elijah.
They asked him, "Then who are you? Are you Elijah?"
He said, "I am not."
"Are you the Prophet?"
He answered, "No."
Finally they said, "Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?"
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.""
Now some Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, "Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?"
"I baptize with water," John replied, "but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie." (John 1:21-27)
Notice that the Pharisees questioning John were expecting the reincarnation of an Old Testament prophet. And John did not refute the concept of reincarnation when he stated his ignorance about having a past life as Elijah. But Jesus was not ignorant about John. Jesus knew better and said so in the plainest words possible:
This is the one ... there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist ... And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. He who has ears, let him hear. (Matt. 11:11-15)
Jesus revealed John to be Elijah; but John denied it. Which of the two people are right - Jesus or John? The answer should be very clear. John's denial of his own past identity as Elijah does not mean he did not have a past life as Elijah. This is especially true when Jesus claimed that John was indeed Elijah.
The following is another Bible passage which describes other people who believed John to be Elijah or some other prophet:
Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going on. And he was perplexed, because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead, others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life. (Luke 9:7-8)Perhaps it was the appearance of Elijah at the Mount of Transfiguration that led some to believe that John was still alive even after he was killed by Herod. This would also explain the rumor going around then that Elijah was raised from the dead.
Even when we compare the physical description of John with Elijah we find a striking similarity.
John the Baptist: John's clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. (Matt. 3:4)
Elijah the prophet: He was a man with a garment of hair and with a leather belt around his waist. (2 Kings 1:8)The similarity between John and Elijah should not be dismissed as a coincidence. Believers of the concept of reincarnation know that personality traits can be passed on from one life to the next - even though conscious memories are not passed along.
Another interesting parallel between John and Elijah has to do with karma. The Bible describes how Elijah had the priests of Baal killed with the sword because their sacrifice failed to catch fire whereas his did. Here are the two Bible verses that describe it:
"Then Elijah commanded them, "Seize the prophets of Baal. Don't let anyone get away!" They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there." (1 Kings 18:40)Having all the priests of Baal beheaded seems like an incredible injustice on Elijah's part. This may explain why Elijah had to pay the karmic debt for this injustice by reincarnating as John the Baptist and having his own head cut off:
"Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword." (1 Kings 19:1)
"Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist." The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted and had John beheaded in the prison." (Matt. 14:6-10)
Because Elijah had people beheaded, the law of "eye for an eye" and "reaping what we sow" demanded that Elijah be beheaded. This is a good example of how those who live by the sword will die by the sword - if not in the same lifetime then in another.
The Bible does not limit the reincarnation of Elijah to John the Baptist either. The Bible suggests that another reincarnation of Elijah will occur around the time of Jesus' second coming. And not only does Elijah appear again at this time, but Moses is reincarnated as well. In the same way that John and Elijah appeared together on the Mount of Transfiguration so will they appear together at Jesus' return. Here is the Bible passage:
And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands that stand before the Lord of the Earth. If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies.While this verse does not specifically identify these two witnesses as Elijah and Moses, the miraculous powers they perform suggests it is them. Just like the two witnesses in the Book of Revelation, Elijah had the power to prevent rain from occurring (1 Kings 17:1; Jam. 5:17) and Moses is shown having the power to turn water into blood and to bring plagues (Exod. 7-12). The Bible passage in Revelation describes two prophets who have these identical powers as Elijah and Moses. Is this a mere coincidence? You be the judge. But if Elijah and Moses are to appear again at the second coming of Jesus then the only realistic way for this to occur is through reincarnation.
This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die.
These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the Earth with every kind of plague as often as they want. (Rev. 11:3-6)
With the appearance of Elijah and Moses at the first coming of Jesus, it is not a stretch to believe that Elijah and Moses will appear again at the second coming of Jesus. Also, the Malachi prophecy may actually be a reference to both of these incarnations of Elijah.
Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. (Mal. 4:5)
There are two comings of Jesus to the world and it would be logical to assume that God will send Elijah at the second coming as he did at the first coming.
During his first coming, the Bible records people wondering if Jesus was the resurrection of John the Baptist or a reincarnation of Elijah or some Old Testament prophet. Here is the verse:
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "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." (Matt. 16:13-14)
First of all, in the above Bible passage Jesus actually asks his disciples the identity of the person he was in a past life. Notice that the disciples knew exactly what Jesus was talking about and their answer to Jesus referred to people who died a very long time ago. Notice also that there is no Bible passage that shows Jesus refuting the concept of reincarnation whenever the concept is brought up. Instead Jesus teaches reincarnation.
The next Bible passage shows Jesus telling his disciples that they don't know the spirit they possess. This is an important statement coming from the lips of Christ concerning one particular fact concerning reincarnation. People did not have a conscious awareness of the spirit they possess from a past life. Because of this people do not know who their spirit previously incarnated. The following passage demonstrates this:
And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, "Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?"
But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them."
And they went to another village. (Luke 9:54-56, KJV)
The above passage shows the disciples asking Jesus if they should call down fire upon a city just as Elijah did. Jesus responded by telling them that they don't know what spirit they have to be able to accomplish this. The spirit of Elijah can call down fire but this does not mean the disciples can.
[Note: In the original text, the phrase "manner of" was not part of the above Bible verse nor in the Vulgate version. The phrase "manner of" was added at the time that the Bible was being translated into English. Without the words "manner of" in the verse it would be even more a clear reference to reincarnation. It would show Jesus telling his disciples that they "don't know what spirit they are of." However, in modern translations of the Bible this mistranslation is corrected.]