The concept of reincarnation is a joyous one! Understanding that the soul is a continuum and has more than one opportunity to get it right – gives us hope. We come to understand that there is not ONE opportunity to enter the portals of heaven but many.
This concept of reincarnation is essential to understanding the teachings of the Ascended Masters which are given for our soul’s victory. Likewise, the Law of Karma (the Law of Accountability), as we discussed before (see The ‘BE’ Attitude), proves that more than one lifetime is necessary to make amends. Let’s talk further about these two teachings.
The Concept of Reincarnation is Ancient
The soul is a continuum, incarnating lifetime after lifetime on Earth as often as necessary to attain self-mastery and become One with God. The Buddhists call this the wheel of rebirth from which we escape only after achieving nirvana.
The concept of reincarnation (and karma) is ancient and widespread. Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs all believe in the need for the soul to reincarnate. Hindu theologians teach that you achieve liberation from the round of rebirth through the realization that the individual soul is one with the Absolute, or Ultimate Reality, called Brahman.
According to some scholars, statements made by the first-century Jewish historian Josephus indicate that even the Pharisees and Essenes believed in reincarnation.
When Jesus gathered his disciples around him, they discussed the teachings of re-embodiment freely and with familiarity. An example is when Jesus and the disciples were speaking of the coming of the prophet Elijah. To the disciples the word coming meant the coming of the soul into manifestation, or being born.
The scriptures say that a forerunner having the spirit of Elijah the Prophet would precede Jesus’ coming. The disciples were speculating as to whether or not Elijah had been born. Jesus answered them, “I say unto you, that Elias [Elijah] is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed….” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.
Clearly, the disciples believed in reincarnation, as they said to Jesus: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” They were asking if in another incarnation, someone caused the man to be born blind. Jesus’ response was, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”
From Hebrews 7:10, we have this statement, “…when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.”
In Jeremiah 1:45, we all read a passage suggesting the belief in reincarnation: “Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; and before you were born I consecrated you, and I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’”
There is much evidence that Jesus taught about reincarnation and that it was a common belief. See Mrs. Prophet’s book, Reincarnation: the Missing Link in Christianity.