Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Reincarnation in the Bible?

It is appointed for man to die once, and then comes the judgment.(i don't know where in the bible that is located- do you?)The above verse tells me that reincarnation is not going to happen (would i be correct in this, or am i being naive?). Would you please direct me to all of the other scripture references that support the above verse?The reason that I bring this up is that the other day I over heard this guy say that, "Jesus said that John the baptist is Elijah," to support reincarnation. I know that the guy is wrong, but I cant prove it. So, what say you?

That verse is found in Hebrews 9:27.

Yes, that verse clearly says that reincarnation isn't something the Bible teaches. Rather, the Bible teaches in resurrection-- that after a period of our bodies being separated from our souls, they would be brought back together (Luke 16; Daniel 12; John 5:28-29). Paul and Jesus also clearly teach that the resurrected bodies would be powerful "spiritual" bodies-- kinda like Superman (Matt. 22; I Cor. 15:42). The Bible is clear that these bodies will live eternally, never to die again (Rev 21:4; Matt 25:46; John 5:24).

As far as what Jesus said about John the Baptist: Yes, he said that John the Baptist marked the return of Elijah-- Matthew 11:14. But did he mean reincarnation by that? Obviously not, since Elijah met with Jesus during his ministry at the transfiguration, not John the Baptist (Matt 17:3). The disciples did not recognize Elijah as John, but instead asked about the prophecy that Elijah would return (Malachi 4). Jesus said that Elijah had already come, as prophecied, and he was clearly talking about John. However, the angel speaking to John's father clarified exactly what was meant, that John would have the spirit and power of Elijah. Not that he was Elijah himself.

So could Elijah come again? Jesus said he would (Matt 17). And it is still possible, and not in the way John the Baptist did. The reason for this is that Elijah never died. He was taken up to heaven directly, without dying first (II Kings 1-2).

Does this mean reincarnation isn't possible? No, God could do whatever he wanted, and since Jesus experienced birth after he already existed, then it is certainly possible that God COULD do it. But I think Heb 9:27 (the verse you quoted) clearly says that it isn't God's normal plan. Every person has one life to live. People's consciousnesses don't start over. That's the Bible. If someone wants to believe in something else, that's fine. But don't say the Bible teaches it.

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