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A SPIRIT REINCARNATED

 

By

 


Larry Brian Radka

 

 

Does a spirit reincarnate here on Earth?  “Come now, and let us reason together saith the Lord” in the Bible (Isaiah 1:19).   Therefore, I will try to follow His advice in my short discussion here—to briefly present enough information to inspire us to pursue the answer to this question further.



 

One popular Website*—Bible.org—asks a relevant question:  “What does the Bible say about reincarnation?”  And its author goes on to declare:


The whole thrust of the Bible opposes reincarnation.  It shows that man is the special creation of God, created in God’s image with both a material body and an immaterial soul and spirit. He is presented as distinct and unique from all other creatures—angels and the animal kingdom alike.  The Bible teaches that at death, while man’s body is mortal, decays and returns to dust, his soul and spirit continue on either in a place of torments for those who reject Christ or in paradise (heaven) in God’s presence for those who have trusted in the Savior.  Both categories of people will be resurrected, one to eternal judgment and the other to eternal life with a glorified body (John 5:25-29).  The emphatic statement of the Bible, as will be pointed out below, is that “it is appointed unto men once to die and after that the judgment” (Heb. 9:27).

 

Before we evaluate the statement above, perhaps we should try to define “soul” and “spirit,”  which are separate entities of our human condition.

 

The 1979 Macmillan paperback edition of its dictionary defines the two words as follows:

 

“soul:  principal of life in man, consisting of the faculties of thought, emotion, and action and regarded as being a separate entity distinct from the body”

 

“spirit:  moral or spiritual part of man believed to be immortal and to separate from the body at death”

 

What we are focusing on in this little discussion is the reincarnation of the spirit of mankind.  The soul* is another issue, another unseen entity attached to the body, which creates a record of decisions and experiences from the birth to death of one’s carnal body—in most cases along with its soul-controlling spirit as they develop together during their shared lifetime.  A carnal body’s soul being possessed and controlled by multiple spirits is an unusual condition—which sometimes requires exorcism for cleansing.

 

Nevertheless, did you ever notice how many good parents turn out wicked kids so unlike themselves or how they trained their kids?  Or how many evil parents’ kids grow up to be good instead?  This might be explained by the type of reincarnated spirits their children’s bodies and souls received at birth—strange independent spirits for which their parents were not responsible.


However, before we can accept the possibility of an independent ever-changing spirit-molding  soul—moving toward progressively more good or evil—during each of its lifetimes, we must present a little scriptural evidence that might question the veracity of Paul’s statement in his letter to the Hebrews, which inspires so much popular Christian belief in that “it is appointed unto men once to die and after that the judgment.”  (Heb. 9:27).

 

After all, Paul was human—and humans make mistakes!   And the Bible points out that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”  (II Timothy 3:16 & 17)

 

So perhaps in his letter to the Hebrews, Paul’s statement: “It is appointed unto men once to die and after that the judgment”—needs some correction?  Or maybe not after all, since mankind’s soul may indeed receive a temporary judgment before its spirit moves on to another carnal birth and lifetime.



 

If so, it may be subtly incorporated in one of the Bible’s  Five Separate Judgments” discussed by the great author,* the Reverend Clarence Larkin in his renowned work entitled Rightly Dividing The Word.**




Therein, he points out that “They differ in five general aspects.




As to ‘Subjects,’ ‘Time,’ ‘Place,’ ‘Basis of Judgment,’ and ‘Result.’




He goes on for thirteen pages of interesting text and diagrams to detail these and other spiritual issues in his outstanding book.


In concluding this short essay on “reincarnation”—to inspire much more thought and research on the subject—I should mention that the belief in reincarnation was accepted, and perhaps even popular, in ancient Israel’s time. Even Israel’s governor apparently believed in reincarnation then.  As proof, I submit that the Bible states:  “At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus, and said unto his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.”  (Matthew 14:1 & 2)  This may indeed have been a good example of reincarnation since Jesus did perform mighty miracles!

 

 


 

NOTES

 

 

INTERESTING INFORMATION ON REINCARNATION OF THE “SOUL”

 

*  Another Web site defines Reincarnation of the Soul as: “The individual soul survives and is reincarnated into another body. Reincarnation is usually connected with the next belief, pantheism, by the notion of karma: that after the soul has fulfilled its destiny, and learned its lessons and become sufficiently enlightened, it reverts to a divine status or is absorbed into (or realizes its timeless identity with) the divine All.”

 

And still another Web site adds even more information on Reincarnation as follows:


Reincarnation is the belief that the human soul never perishes or dies, it simply passes through a succession of lives. In its basic concept, it had its origin in India sometime near 800 B.C. Reincarnation is vital to classical Buddhism and Hinduism. Although reincarnation has ancient roots, its more modern, popular versions are modifications of the ancient, eastern beliefs of Hinduism.


In the original forms of reincarnation, it was believed that souls transform from life to life in never-ending cycles. It was believed that it was even possible to reincarnate into the form of an animal or plant. Most modern, popular versions of reincarnation limit this never-ending process to the transmigration of the soul into human bodies.


The concept of karma is closely associated with reincarnation. Karma is essentially the law of cause and effect. Those that profess belief in karma teach that the deeds (good or bad) of one's past lives affect this present life. Further, ones present deeds will have ramifications for future lives.


In other words, the law of sowing and reaping is not limited to this present life but rather continues throughout eternity.


In much of the Orient, this strict belief in karma has resulted in a hopeless, pessimistic view of life. Their lives are seen as dreary, endless cycles of suffering and rebirth. Because of this endless chain of karma, reincarnation does not resolve the problem of evil, but simply points toward the impossible goal of perfection and self-salvation, the ultimate freedom from reincarnation. In modern, western reincarnation, the objective is to join with “ultimate reality,” merging with God and becoming God. Modern reincarnation often promotes the divinity of the soul and denies the biblical concept of a sovereign, personal God.


The Bible also contradicts the belief in karma by emphasizing grace. According to the Bible, atonement and forgiveness may be gained only through the death and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Salvation is based solely upon the work of Jesus Christ, not upon our own merits. The concepts of reincarnation and karma are in clear contrast to Hebrews 9:27,“For it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.”


**  Other Books by Rev. Clarence Larkin include:  Dispensational Truth or God’s Plan and Purpose in the Ages, The Book of Revelation, The Second Coming of Christ, and The Spirit World.