The Bible and Reincarnation
by Robert Randle
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There is doubtless no true Bible-believing Christian who could in all good conscience accept the doctrine of reincarnation or transmigration of souls. For the faithful the issue is clear as day because Hebrews 9: 27 states: "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." And while this may seem to settle the matter, it does appear that there are some hints or inferences in Holy Writ which support a belief that in a special circumstance, some people who have a received a special divine calling are imbued with the spiritual power or soul essence [personality??] of a previously deceased saint. Consider the case of the prophet Elijah and his protégé Elisha, below:
2 Kings 2: 9, 15a
And it came to pass when they were gone over [the Jordan River], that Elijah said to Elisha, "Ask, what shall I do for thee, before I be taken from thee." And Elisha said, "I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me." And he [Elijah] said, "Thou have asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken away from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so." And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him [Elisha], they said, "The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha."
NOTE: Why did Elijah say that what his pupil asked for was very difficult if it wasn't something outside the natural human experience? I mean, Joshua took over leadership of the Israelites from Moses but the Scriptures do not say that he had the "spirit" of Moses, resulting in his great success and military victories.
2 Samuel 14: 14
For we must needs die, are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; yet God (Elohim) doth not take away the soul (nefesh) but devises means ['Reincarnation' or "Transmigration of souls"??], so that His banished be not expelled from Him. OJB
Ecclesiastes 1: 9-11
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything whereof it may be said, See, this is new? It hath been already of old time. There is no remembrance of former things, neither shall there be with those who come after any recollection (zikaron) of things that are to come.
Ecclesiastes 3: 15a
That which is hath been already; and that which is to be hath already been. . .
NOTE: Does this statement apply to inanimate objects "only" and not human souls as well? Even the apostle John referred to Jesus [Yeshua] with the designation 'That' as in the following, below:
1 John 1
"That" which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of Life.
Matthew 16: 13-14
When Jesus [Yeshua] came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Whom do men say that I the Son of Man am"? And they said, "Some say that thou art John the Baptizer; some Elias [Elijah]; and others, Jeremias [Jeremiah], or one of the prophets."
NOTE: Did the Jews, including the disciples, believe that Jesus was one of the prophets from old times who God resurrected from the grave, or rather that the 'spirit' or power or personality of one of them resided in Him?
Matthew 17: 10-12
And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Why then say the scribes that Elias [Elijah] must first come?" And Jesus answered and said unto them, "Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say to you, that Elias is come already; and they knew him not. . ."
Matthew 3: 1-3, 5
In those days came John the Baptizer, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken by the prophet Esaias [Elijah], saying, 'THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, PREPARE YE THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT.' " Then went out to him all Jerusalem, and all Judea, and the entire region round about Jordan. And were baptized of him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.
Luke 1: 13, 15a, 16-17a
For the angel said unto him, "Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shall call his name John. For he shall be great in the sight of the LORD. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the LORD their God. And he shall go before Him in the "spirit and power" of Elias [Elijah]."
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