What does the Bible say about reincarnation? Should Christians believe in it? Where do we go when we die? Better yet, where were we before we incarnated into this realm of existence? For many evangelical Christians the idea of reincarnation seems preposterous and anti-Biblical, but there are some obscure verses within the scriptures that give notion that souls or spirits of the deceased may come back to earth in other forms. On the topic of spirits, we must understand that people die and bodies are destroyed but the spirit is eternal. During the ministry of Jesus, many people were speaking among themselves as to who this miracle working man was. Some said Elijah and others said Jeremiah or one of the prophets. This gives us the notion that the ancients Jews believed that spirits would reincarnate into other vessels.
There was also a time when Jesus’s disciples were speaking to him about John the Baptist and asking who he really was and Jesus answered “And if you care to accept it, he himself is Elijah, who was to come”. There is much debate whether he was literally Elijah in the flesh or if he was operating under the spirit and office of Elijah. It seems that the majority of Christendom believes that once we die we are immediately translated into the presence of God. This is because Paul stated that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. The Bible speaks about other places that souls enter into once they are done with their life here on earth. The Apocrypha is 14 books that were removed from the King James Bible that were originally a part of it. Within the Apocrypha are details about the journey that souls must undergo once they leave the body. These books were taken out of the Bible for various doctrinal reasons.
I believe Earth to be a training ground with many lessons, testings and experiences for eternity. Many people believe that we will be given roles in the age to come. What if that age is already here and when we cross over to the other side we face the judgement seat of Christ and are given roles according to our performance here on Earth? For some, that could be reincarnating here again to retake the parts of the tests that they failed. Others who have learned their lessons are possibly welcomed with a “Well done thy good and faithful servant” receive their according rewards / crowns and take their rightful place in the kingdom. Maybe they get to join the great cloud of witnesses and teach from the other side. Maybe they are to judge angels and are given heavenly duties or maybe they are stuck in the ethers in-between on a loop repeating the same mistakes over and over until they serve out that sentence. Although I do not believe in eternal torments any longer, the apocalypse of Peter goes into great detail about paying for our sins on the other side. Much like the concept of hell, which was inspired by Dante’s Inferno, Peter shares about how humans will be tormented by demons on the other side according to their sins and the wickedness that they committed. For example,
those who have raped on Earth will in turn be raped by the spirits that be.
Communing With The Dead
In Matthew 17:2 we read about Jesus upon the mount of transfiguration meeting with elder champions of the faith, Moses and Elijah. Jesus’s garments and face transformed into their light body form radiating with a bright white light and this was witnessed by not only by Saint Peter but also by James and John. This was the first time that someone was privy to be a part of what Jesus practiced during his prayer time when he would draw away for hours on end to pray. We find that he wasn’t simply praying for people or going over a prayer list but actually communing with the Father and meeting the saints and prophets of old. To fully understand this we must look to the East. Many religious and spiritual traditions believe that our ancestors and spiritual teachers continue to teach us from beyond the grave. This isn’t that far outside of Christian thinking. True Christianity has its origins in eastern thought. There are verses about ghosts as well as stories about conjuring up the dead that actually took place in the Bible.
In 1 Samuel 28, King Saul conjured up the spirit of Samuel which came forth during a séance to speak with King Saul.
Connecting with the spirits of the deceased is becoming more and more accepted within many Christian circles in the West. Many Christians in recent years have reported seeing their elders who have since passed into eternity meeting with them face to face as apparitions in hotel rooms and even in dreams and visions in the night.