(1) Who Do People Say Jesus Was in a Past Life?
Jesus asked his disciples the following question:
“Who do people say the Son of Man is?” (Matthew 16:13-16)
The disciples’ reply was that people were saying he was one of the Old Testament prophets such as Elijah or Jeremiah. The nature of Jesus’ question, and his disciples’ reply, reveals the question was assumed to be one about who the people were saying Jesus was in a past life. His disciples knew this and so they gave a reincarnational answer. And Jesus made no comment against the popular belief in reincarnation and his question sealed it with his approval. Belief in reincarnation during the time of Jesus was almost universal including in all the so-called pagan religions. Nowhere in the New Testament is reincarnation denied, disputed or questioned. If reincarnation was a false doctrine it would almost certainly have been denounced in the same harshest terms as idolatry, sorcery and evil throughout the entire Bible. Instead, as we have seen, reincarnation is referenced throughout the Bible and taught by Jesus.
More evidence of reincarnation as a teaching of Jesus can be found in the belief systems of the early Judeo-Christians. One group, known as the Ebionites, believed the Holy Spirit had incarnated first as Adam and later as Jesus. Other early Judeo-Christians, such as the Elkasaites and Nazarenes, also believed this. In the Clementine Homilies, an early Judeo-Christian document, also taught of Jesus having many previous incarnations. The Jewish sect of Samaritans in Jesus’ day, believed the spirit of Adam had reincarnated as Seth, Noah, Abraham, and Moses. Even today, Orthodox Judaism teaches reincarnation (gilgul).
As was discussed in Part 4 of this article, all human beings are participating in an evolving, reincarnational, perfecting process toward sanctification and holiness. The Epistle to the Hebrews states that Jesus himself, as a human being, also needed perfecting and it was through his suffering on the cross which accomplished this (Hebrews 2:10, Hebrews 5:9). This implies Jesus himself had enduring the perfecting process of past lives, and the biblical evidence shows this. One of those past lives is King David (1000 BC) who was anointed the king of Israel and Judah. David conquered Jerusalem, took the Ark of the Covenant into the city, and established the Kingdom there. David is mentioned in the prophetic Hebrew literature as an ideal king and Messiah. The Hebrew word translated as “Messiah” comes from the Hebrew noun meaning “the anointed one.” In the First Book of Samuel, the young shepherd David is anointed King (“Messiah”) of Israel (1 Samuel 16:1,10-13). In the Second Book of Samuel, the dying King David is called “the anointed (“Messiah”) of the God of Jacob (2 Samuel 23:1). As we will see, the Hebrew Bible is filled with references of David as God’s first Messiah and references of Jesus as the reincarnation of David.
(2) Whose Son is the Messiah?
In Jewish eschatology, the Messiah also refers to a future Jewish king from the Davidic line who will be the king of God’s kingdom on Earth and rule the Jewish people during the Messianic Age. In Judaism, he is referred to as “Messiah ben David,” which means “Messiah, son of David.” Belief in the eventual coming of a future Messiah is a fundamental part of Judaism and Christianity. The early Church believed the life of David foreshadowed the life of Christ; Bethlehem is the birthplace of both; the shepherd life of David points out Christ the Good Shepherd; the five stones chosen to slay Goliath are typical of the five wounds on Christ; the betrayal by his trusted counselor, Achitophel, and the passage over the Cedron remind us of Christ’s sacred Passion. Many of the Davidic Psalms, as we learn from the New Testament, are clear references to Jesus. In the Gospel of Luke, the archangel Gabriel informs the Virgin Mary she will give birth to Jesus whom God will give the throne of “his father David.”
“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:31–33)
The “Son of David” is a clear title of the Messiah is the New Testament (See Luke 1:31–33; Matthew 1:1; Matthew 15:22; Mark 10:47). Jesus confounded the religious leaders who were persecuting him by asking them a question about the son of David:
“While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, ‘What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?‘ ‘The son of David,’ they replied. He said to them, ‘How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.’ If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?’ No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.” (Matthew 22:41-45, See also Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:41-44)
In the above verse, Jesus references David’s Psalm 110:
“The Lord says to my lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.'” (Psalm 110:1)
Although Jesus doesn’t give us the answer to his question on how the Messiah can be David’s son when David calls him “lord,” we already know the answer. Jesus knew that he himself, as the Messiah, was not a genetic son of David because he was the only “begotten son of God” — the title given to the soul whom God first gave to David:
David as God’s only begotten son:
“I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to me, ‘You are my son, today I have begotten you.'” (Psalm 2:7)
Jesus as God’s only begotten son:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Jesus’ human father, Joseph, was a genetic descendant of David; but because Jesus was supposedly not a genetic descendant of Joseph — and therefore not of David — the only way he could be the “son of David,” David’s “lord,” and God’s “only begotten son” would be if David’s soul was a past life soul of Jesus.
(3) David and Jesus as Firstborn, Seed, Root, Melchizedek, Savior
And as the “only begotten son,” both David and Jesus are said to be the “firstborn” of God:
David as firstborn of God:
“I have found My servant David; with My holy oil I have anointed him, with whom My hand shall be established; also My arm shall strengthen him… He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.’ And I will appoint him to be My firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth.” (Psalm 89:20, 26-27)
Jesus as firstborn of God:
In the gospels and in Paul’s epistles, the soul (spirit) is metaphorically referred to as a “seed” (See Matthew 13:24-30; 1 Peter 1:23). God promised David that his “seed” and throne would be established forever to all generations suggesting his “seed” would be his reincarnation:
The seed of David established with David:
“I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to my servant David: ‘Your seed I will establish forever, and build up your throne to all generations.'” (Psalm 89:3-4)
The seed of David established with Jesus:
“Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” (John 7:42)
An even more direct reference to the soul of Jesus as a reincarnation of the soul of David is the Messianic title “Root of Jesse.” Jesse was the father of David and a direct descendant from Judah, Jacob, Isaac and Abraham. So “Root of Jesse” is the literal son of Jesse, who is David himself. Isaiah the prophet, whose ministry was active hundreds of years after David’s death from 740 BC to 698 BC, prophesied of a “Branch” which will rise from the “Root of Jesse” (David) of whom “the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him” during a time when “the wolf will live with the lamb.” The apostle Paul confirms that Isaiah’s prophesy applies to Jesus:
Root of Jesse anointed Messiah:
“Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king (David) among his sons.” (1 Samuel 16:1)
Messiah as Branch from “Root of Jesse”:
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit… In that day the Root of Jesse (David) will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.” (Isaiah 11:1,10)
Jesus as One from the “Root of Jesse”:
“And again, Isaiah says, ‘The Root of Jesse (David) will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.'” (Romans 15:12)
Again, because Jesus was not the genetic descendant of David, he could only be the “Root of Jesse” if his soul was a reincarnation of David who WAS a genetic descendant of Jesse. And genetic ancestry is critical in Judaism. In the Book of Revelation, Jesus is also referred to as the “Root of David” (Revelation 5:5) which is also a Messianic title. Concerning the “shoot” and “Branch” rising from the “Root of Jesse,” as previously mentioned, the gospels and epistles use the metaphor of a “seed” for the soul (Matthew 13:24-30; 1 Peter 1:23). From the seed arises the “shoot” — the “resurrected” body — which we’ve already made the case is the reincarnated soul in a new body (a fetus). The prophet Jeremiah, whose ministry was active from 626 BC until 587 BC, like the prophet Isaiah, also prophesied of a future “Branch” — another Messianic reference to Jesus — whom God will one day “raise up” (reincarnate) as King to rule after the Jews are brought back to their homeland from all the nations:
“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.” (Jeremiah 23:5)
Another connection between David and Jesus is their “Priesthood of Melchizedek.” Melchizedek was a king and priest appearing in the Book of Genesis whose name means “King of Righteousness” — a name echoing kingly and priestly functions. He is the first individual to be given the title of “priest” in the Hebrew Bible. The majority of Chazalic literature attributes the primary character of the following Psalm as King David who was a “righteous king” of Salem (Jerusalem) and, like Melchizedek, had certain priest-like responsibilities:
David as “priest of Melchizedek”:
“The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: ‘You (David) are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.'” (Psalm 110:4)
Jesus as “priest of Melchizedek”:
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 6:19-20)
As we will also see, there is also biblical evidence of Jesus, and therefore David, as having a past life as Melchizedek. Other Messianic titles shared between David and Jesus include “King of Israel,” “King of Righteous,” “Servant of the Lord,” and “Shepherd.” In Psalm 22, David also demonstrated his ability as a prophet when describing — in uncanny detail — the experience of Jesus on the cross:
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?… (v.1) But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone despised by the people… (v.6) All who see me mock me; they hurl insults… (v.7) ‘He trusts in the Lord,’ they say, ‘let the Lord rescue him’… (v.8) From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God… (v.10) Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me… (v.12) I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint… (v.14) My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me… (v.14) My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth… (v.15) You lay me in the dust of death… (v.15) Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me… (v.16) They pierce my hands and my feet… (v.16) All my bones are on display… (v.17) People stare and gloat over me… (v.17) They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment… (v.18) For he (God) has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one… (v.24) He has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help (v.24) (Psalm 22:1-24)
(4) David Will Be Reincarnated in the Last Days
The prophet Hosea‘s ministry was active just before the destruction of Israel in 722 BC — several hundred years after the death of King David. Hosea prophesied that “in the last days” Israel will be restored and King David himself will rule over them:
“For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their King. They will come trembling to the Lord and to his blessings in the last days.” (Hosea 3:4-5)
Note that Israel was established as a Jewish nation in 1948, and they are still awaiting their Messiah — as Christians are awaiting the return of Christ. The implication is that Jesus, as the reincarnation of David, will rule at that time.
The prophet Ezekiel (622-570 BC) prophesied incessantly for five years and acted out the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple several hundred years after the death of David. Like Hosea, Ezekiel prophesied the future return of the Jews to Israel and the reincarnation of David himself to rule them:
“I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land… I will place over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. I the Lord will be their God, and My servant David will be prince among them. I the Lord have spoken.” (Ezekiel 34:13, 23-24)
In Part 6 of this article, in Ezekiel’s “vision of the Valley of the Dry Bones” in Chapter 37, Ezekiel described the entire nation of Israel reincarnating in the last days and King David himself reincarnating to rule over them:
“I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God. My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees.” (Ezekiel 37:22-24)
The prophet Jeremiah was a contemporary of Ezekiel whose prophetic ministry was active from 626 BC until after the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of Solomon’s Temple in 587 BC. During that time, Babylon conquered Jerusalem and began taking Jews as captives to Babylon. Jeremiah prophesied that the Jews would be scattered from their homeland and persecuted; but God would protect them from total destruction and one day return to their homeland. He also prophesied a day when Israel will no longer be enslaved by foreigners and God would “raise up” King David himself to rule over them:
“This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you. ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess… In that day,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘I will break the yoke off their necks and will tear off their bonds; no longer will foreigners enslave them. Instead, they will serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.'” (Jeremiah 30:1-3; 8-9)
Notice also Jeremiah 30:9 says that King David himself will be “raised up” (reincarnated) sometime after Israel is restored. As previously mentioned, “raised up” is a reference to reincarnation. Notice also that even if we assume a corpse resurrection interpretation, Jeremiah says it will be King David himself who will be “raised up.” From this information, we can conclude that the so-called “Second Coming” of Jesus will actually be the “Third Coming” of King David assuming Jesus and King David were the same soul. See also Jeremiah 23:5-6 and Jeremiah 33:15-16 for more support for the raising of King David.
The prophet Zechariah began his ministry in the second year of Darius, king of Persia (520 BC), about sixteen years after the beginning of the Jews returning to Israel from their Babylonian exile and hundreds of years after the death of David. Jeremiah prophesied of a future time when all the nations of the world will be against Jerusalem causing God to destroy all Israel’s enemies and establish the House of David (the Davidic line of kingship):
“I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves… On that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord going before them. On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem. And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zechariah 12:2-3; 8-10)
The “Angel of the Lord” (in Hebrew “Messenger of Yahweh“) is an entity appearing 65 times in the Old Testament on behalf of God (Yahweh). In some instances it is made clear that the reference is to an appearance of Yahweh himself rather than a separate entity acting on his behalf. The Angel of the Lord is identified by the early Church Fathers, such as Justin Martyr and Tertullian, as the pre-incarnate Christ whose appearance is recorded in the Old Testament. Zechariah’s prophecy reveals it will be a reincarnation of the “house of David” (David himself) — the Angel of the Lord (Jesus), the one who was pierced (Jesus), who will save Israel in the latter days.
(5) More Evidence of David as a Past Life of Jesus
The following biblical comparisons show David and Jesus as having the same identity. Both are “the most exalted king of the Earth”:
David as the most exalted king of the Earth:
“I have found My servant David; with My holy oil I have anointed him, with whom My hand shall be established; also My arm shall strengthen him…. He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.’ And I will appoint him to be My firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the Earth.” (Psalm 89:20, 26-27)
Jesus as the most exalted king of the Earth:
“On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords.” (Revelation 19:16)
Both David and Jesus are “the Holy One”, the Messiah:
David as the “Holy One”:
“For our shield belongs to the Lord, and our king to the Holy One of Israel. Then You spoke in a vision to your Holy One, and said: ‘I have given help to one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen from the people. I have found My servant David; with My holy oil I have anointed him“. (Psalm 89:18-20)
Jesus as the “Holy One”:
“Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.'” (John 6:68-69) (See also Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34)
David said God would not leave his soul in Sheol, nor allow God’s “Holy One” to see corruption:
“I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope. for you will not leave my (David’s) soul in Sheol, nor will You allow your Holy One (Messiah) to see corruption.” (Psalm 16:8-10)
The above Psalm of David corresponds with the Acts of the Apostles where Peter revealed Jesus to be a past life of David during his sermon at Pentecost when he explained how Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of David concerning how God would not leave David’s soul, as Jesus, in Sheol:
“For David says concerning him (Jesus): ‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; moreover my flesh also will rest in hope. For you will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will you allow your Holy One to see corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.’ Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, he would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that his (Jesus’) soul was not left in Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.” (Acts 2:25-31)
In the above verse, Peter equated David mentioning his soul would not be allowed to be left in Hades (Sheol) with Jesus’ soul not allowed to be left in Hades.
In the next verse, James (the brother of Jesus) quotes an end time prophecy in Amos 9:9-12 concerning David’s fallen “tent” being restored as a metaphor for the resurrection of Jesus’ “body” which implies David and Jesus were the same soul:
“The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. When they finished, James spoke up. ‘Brothers,’ he said, ‘listen to me. Simon has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles. The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: ‘After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things’ — things known from long ago. It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.” (Acts 15:12-19)
In the Bible, the word “tent” is used as a metaphor for the physical body, such as in the New Testament, by both the apostles Paul and Peter for example:
“For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” (2 Corinthians 5:1)
“So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body.” (2 Peter 1:12-13)
b. Melchizedek as a Past Life of Jesus Christ
As we have seen in Part 1 of this article with the case of John the Baptist as the reincarnation of Elijah the Prophet, events in one lifetime often repeat in another lifetime for a variety of reasons, such as the fact that life is a cycle (Ecclesiastes 3:15), bad karma extending into future lifetimes (Numbers 14:18), personality traits transferring from one lifetime to other lifetimes, etc. For these reasons, we can find biblical parallels between one biblical personality and another.
Such careful examination of the evidence reveals another past life of Jesus is the Old Testament figure known as Melchizedek, the High Priest and King of Salem (Jerusalem). It is clear from the Book of Hebrews that Melchizedek was not an ordinary man, assuming he even was a man, “without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually” (Hebrews 7:2-3). There are strong parallels between Melchizedek and Jesus. Besides the Biblical evidence, there exists evidence from the discoveries of early Christian texts in 1945 and the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947. There is also extra-Biblical revelations supporting this Melchizedek-Jesus connection. Read this article describing the biblical parallels between Melchizedek and Jesus.
c. Joseph as a Past Life of Jesus Christ
Another past life of Jesus apparently is Joseph, the son of Jacob and Rachel in the Old Testament. Joseph is an important figure in the Book of Genesis and also in Islam’s Quran. Joseph’s father was Jacob, the grandson of Abraham. Jacob fathered twelve sons from whom have sprung the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Because of this, Jacob’s name was later changed to Israel. Joseph was Rachel’s firstborn and Jacob’s eleventh son. Of all the sons, Joseph was preferred by his father, and this is represented by a “long coat of many colors.” When Joseph was seventeen years old he had two dreams that made his brothers plot his demise. In the first dream, Joseph and his brothers gathered bundles of grain, of which those his brothers gathered, bowed to his own. In the second dream, the sun (father), the moon (mother), and eleven stars (brothers) bowed to Joseph himself. These dreams, implying Joseph’s supremacy, angered his brothers who sold him into slavery. But Joseph rose to become the second most powerful man in Egypt next to Pharaoh, where his presence and office caused Israel to leave Canaan and settle in Egypt. Joseph, the Hebrew Prince of Egypt, has some of the most interesting parallels to the life of Jesus suggesting Joseph was a previous incarnation of Jesus. In Judaism, the Messiah was thought of as the “son of Joseph” (Messiah ben Joseph) as well the “son of David.”
Jewish tradition actually alludes to four messianic figures. Called “the Four Craftsmen” discussed in Babylonian Talmud, each will be involved in ushering in the Messianic Age. They are mentioned in the Talmud and the Book of Zechariah (Zechariah 2:1-5). Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (aka “Rashi”) in his commentary on the Talmud gives more details. His commentaries which covers nearly all of the Babylonian Talmud has been included in every edition of the Talmud since its first printing. Rashi explains that Messiah ben Joseph is called a craftsman because he will help rebuild the temple. Nahmanides also commented on Messiah ben Joseph’s rebuilding of the temple. The roles of the Four Craftsmen are as follows:
Elijah will be the herald of Jewish eschatology. If necessary, Messiah ben Joseph will wage war against the evil forces and die in combat with the enemies of God and Israel. According to Saadia Gaon the need for his appearance will depend on the spiritual condition of the Jewish people. In the Sefer Zerubbabel and later writings, after his death a period of great calamities will befall Israel. God will then “resurrect the dead” and usher in the Messianic Era of universal peace. Messiah ben David will reign as a Jewish king during the period when God will resurrect the dead.
With the ascendancy of Rabbinic Judaism the Righteous Priest (Melchizedek) has largely not been the subject of Jewish messianic speculation. Most Jews believe that the Third Temple will be built during this era.
Read this article describing the biblical parallels between Joseph and Jesus.
d. Adam as a Past Life of Jesus Christ
Judaism, Christianity and Islam all accept the account of Adam and Eve as part of their religion. The Bible gave the distinct title of “Son of God” to only four personalities in the entire Bible: Adam, Melchizedek, David and Jesus. So, it should not be surprising that these four personalities have a connection that goes well beyond coincidence. This connection is proof that these personalities were indeed the same soul appearing in different incarnations. This evidence shows how the Bible is the story of the sojourn of the “Son of God” beginning with humanity in Paradise lost and ending with Paradise restored by the same “Son of God.” Read this article describing this Adam-Jesus connection.
2. Final Summary of This Article
The religious concept of the “Resurrection of the Dead,” a massive worldwide reanimation of corpses at the end of time, is a foreign concept originating from ancient Persia – not Judaism or Christianity. The few instances recorded in the Bible where corpses were reanimated were “miracles”. A massive worldwide reanimation of corpses is bizarre, repulsive, unnatural, and against science.
In many documented near-death experiences (NDEs), doctors bring people back from the dead with modern technology. In many NDEs involving Jesus, the concept of reincarnation appears such as with Sandra Rogers and Jeanie Dicus. NDE and reincarnation studies support the scientific reality of reincarnation.
All Hebrew, Judeo-Christian and Gnostic scriptures support reincarnation: the Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Christian Gnostic gospels, the Hebrew Apocrypha, the New Testament Apocrypha, the Kabbalah and Zohar, and other Judeo-Christian texts.
Reincarnation was widely believed by the people of Israel in the days of Jesus, the Roman Empire, Hellenistic culture, and by people all around the world. Reincarnation was also a Christian salvation “mystery” teaching and oral tradition handed down from the apostles only to those initiated into the Christian mysteries.
Reincarnation has been a tenet in Orthodox Judaism for thousands of years and continues to this day.
The doctrines of pre-existence and reincarnation championed by Origen of Alexandria (184-253 AD) were eventually declared a heresy by the Roman Church in 553 A.D at the Second Council of Constantinople.
The mystery of reincarnation in Christianity was mostly hidden for almost two thousand years until the 1945 discovery of the lost Christian Gnostic writings in northern Egypt and the 1946 discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls around the time of the “rebirth” of the nation of Israel in 1948 which was a great fulfillment of Bible prophecy.
For thousands of years, traditional Christianity has taught that when a person dies their soul rests in peace until a final resurrection of the dead and the Last Judgment — a doctrine based upon the unusual notion that the soul is inseparable from the physical body.
Many of the Biblical references to “resurrection” refer to spiritual regeneration of the Holy Spirit to people already alive instead of the reanimation of corpses on the so-called “Last Day.”
Biblical reincarnation is shown to be God’s design for the soul, through good works, to “work its way up” through the afterlife realms immediately after death with the goal of becoming permanent citizens in God’s Kingdom in heaven.
Based upon the biblical evidence of John the Baptist as the reincarnation of Elijah alone, it can be easily declared that Jesus taught reincarnation. John had both the spirit and power of Elijah — meaning he was the reincarnation of Elijah.
All skeptical objections to Elijah’s reincarnation as John have been debunked in Part 1 of this article.
John and Elijah shared many similarities suggestive of reincarnation including appearance, diet, personality, relationships, life situations, ministry, locations inhabited throughout in Israel, and karma.
If John was not the reincarnation of Elijah as prophecy foretold, then Jesus was not the Messiah as prophecy foretold.
Elijah and Moses appeared transfigured with Christ at his First Coming. The Bible shows Elijah and Moses reincarnating for Christ’s Second Coming.
Part 2 of this article described more biblical reincarnating prophets and other holy people; also Jesus’ teachings on bodily and spiritual rebirth.
Throughout the Bible is the expression of a common knowledge among God’s people that God occasionally reincarnates prophets to warn the people of Israel.
The Bible describes God taking the dead from Sheol (Hades) and bringing them up, and bringing those in heaven back down to Earth — a perfect description of reincarnation — and a contradiction of an end time corpse resurrection.
Jesus taught his followers that they would be alive on Earth at his Second Coming which could only occur through reincarnation. Jesus promised reincarnation and “good karma” to those who have forsaken everything to follow him. Jesus taught his followers they must spread the gospel throughout the entire world before he returns implying their reincarnation.
The New Testament describes people who had an opportunity to return to Earth after death and describes women receiving their dead — “raised to life again” — which cannot be a reference to corpse resurrection because the verse also mentions people refusing to die so they can live longer to do good works so they may obtain more favorable conditions in their next reincarnation — a “better resurrection.”
The Book of Ecclesiastes describes life as a cycle and teaches reincarnation. In the Book of James, there is a reference to this cycle as the “wheel of birth” which is another clear reference to reincarnation.
In the Book of Job, Job wondered if he will live again after death. He answered his own question by saying he will live again at the time of his “renewal.” According to the Hebrew dictionary, the word translated “renewal” is “chaliyphah” (pronounced “khal-ee-faw”) which is an obvious reference to a “change in body” as a “change in garments” as in reincarnation.
Jesus taught Nicodemus that, “You must be born again,” which has a literal meaning of bodily “rebirth” (reincarnation), but is also used metaphorically to mean spiritual “rebirth” (regeneration) by the Holy Spirit. So “born again” has a reincarnational meaning and a spiritual “resurrection” meaning — not a corpse resurrection meaning.
Because the phrase “born again” literally means “reincarnation,” there is nothing in the Bible to warrant putting only a metaphorical interpretation on the phrase “you must be born again” although we know Jesus meant it to be understood both metaphorically and literally.
The Bible also contains many references to “born again” (reincarnation), baptism, and Christ’s resurrection as metaphors for the transformation from spiritual death to spiritual rebirth by the Holy Spirit.
According to Strong’s Concordance, the phrase “rise again” is translated “egeirontai” which means repeated embodiments which also negates a one-time resurrection.
In all the verses in the New Testament where the word “resurrection” is a translation of the Greek word “anastasis” — according to Strong’s Concordance — the word can mean either a one-time “resurrection” or repeated embodiments of “rising again.”
Jesus taught the Sadducees how “resurrection” involves living souls becoming “like angels” and then as “children of the resurrection” such as the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Part 3 of this article proves it is God’s will that everyone is saved which can only realistically occur through reincarnation. Part 3 also describes how God’s law of divine justice (also known universally as “karma“) is the same as the law of reincarnation
Throughout the Bible are declarations that it is God’s will that everyone is saved. Because God wills everyone to be saved — and nobody can thwart the will of God — then everyone will be saved. Universal salvation implies the reality of reincarnation. There are numerous Bible verses mentioning the salvation of all humanity.
Universal salvation, like pre-existence and reincarnation, was widely believed by Christians and Jews during the first 500 years of Christianity and was championed by the early Church Father Origen.
Several of Jesus’ parables declare how a person will not get out of “prison” (hell) until their “debt” (transgressions) has been paid in full which falsifies eternal punishment. Because these parables imply people getting out of hell, one wonders where they would go? It would be reasonable to assume they would be reincarnated. The New Testament Apocrypha states that this is exactly what happens.
Paul mentioned a time of “universal reconciliation” in his letter to the Colossians. In the Book of Acts, Peter mentioned a time of “universal restoration” or “apokatastasis” in Greek which refers to the thousand year reign of Christ on Earth and the universal salvation of all souls resulting from it mentioned in the Book of Revelation.
God’s law of divine justice of “an eye for an eye,” also known as “karma,” is the law of reincarnation and is mentioned throughout the Old and New Testaments, the gospels, Jesus’ parables, and the Epistles.
According to the biblical concept of “original sin,” Adam’s sin created “bad karma” for himself and for his descendants — spiritual death — which was “paid” by Christ at the cross (1 Corinthians 15:22). However, Christ’s atonement for sins and the redemption of sinners of original sin does not nullify karma.
Karmic debts against other people are separate from our karmic debts to God for sin because God’s law was not nullified at the cross (Matthew 5:17-20). God may forgive a man for killing another man; but God’s forgiveness of his sins doesn’t nullify the murderer’s obligation to seek forgiveness, pay restitution, and restore the karmic “balance” with his victims.
The Christian “mystery” of reincarnation is that a person’s accumulation of “bad” and “good” karma determines which level of heaven or hell in God’s hierarchy of afterlife realms they dwell in between earth lifetimes.
Jesus taught people how to overcome and reverse the cycle of bad karma when it happens to them by “turning the other check when slapped” for example, and through good karma or good works, and through the greater divine laws of love, forgiveness, and grace.
Part 4 of this article describes the biblical case of how God’s demand for human perfection and holiness can only realistically occur through reincarnation. Part 4 also describes how God’s salvation and judgment “according to works” also can only realistically occur through reincarnation.
In the Book of Revelation, Jesus said that once a person overcomes the world, they will never “again” have to leave heaven which means they will never again have to reincarnate.
Paul said the sanctification process continues until the Second Coming of Christ implying reincarnation.
Sanctification is the perfecting process by the Holy Spirit working together with the soul of the person toward becoming transformed into Christ’s image. It is self-evident that this perfection process is much more than a single lifetime process to accomplish.
The belief in the soul “resting in peace” until a final corpse resurrection at the end times makes any personal identity of the soul, salvation, and personal spiritual growth after death impossible. However, the Bible mentions Jesus descended to Hades to preach to the “imprisoned spirits” for their possible salvation after his death, an event called the “Harrowing of Hell” — an event which supports reincarnation.
All Bible verses about people being judged and “saved according to their works” proves God’s law (the Ten Commandments) remains in effect and has not been abrogated. Such verses also support the existence of a perfecting sanctification process involved in God’s plan of salvation which implies reincarnation.
According to numerous Bible verses, everyone is judged according to God’s law, according to their works both good and bad. It is self-evident that if everyone, without exception, is judged according to their works, and a perfecting process in salvation exists, then this is a very high standard for attaining entrance into God’s Kingdom in heaven, and this can only realistically occur through reincarnation. Perhaps this is why Jesus said the way to heaven is narrow.
At this point, the idea of God giving a person only one chance at salvation in one very short life needs to be forever abandoned.
In the Bible, a Greek word “palingenesía” is sometimes translated “regeneration” but is a word the Greeks used when referring to reincarnation.
The “life review” undergone by people who have an NDE resembles God’s judgment “according to works” as mentioned in the Bible requiring them to return from their NDE which also supports reincarnation.
Part 5 of this article describes the biblical doctrines of the pre-existence of the soul and the Christian “mystery” of God within human beings as important principles involving Christian reincarnation.
Pre-existence is the doctrine of the soul/spirit not being created at birth; but rather having existed before birth in past lives on Earth and in afterlife realms. All Bible verses referring to reincarnation assumes the reality of the pre-existence of the soul. All Bible verses referring to pre-existence of the soul implies the reality of reincarnation.
Both concepts of reincarnation and pre-existence are inseparable and both concepts were common knowledge in Jesus’ day.
The disciples asked Jesus if a man committed a sin causing him to be born blind. Given the fact the man was blind since birth, this was an unusual question to ask unless they believed in pre-existence and reincarnation.
The Bible affirms the pre-existence of Adam, Jacob and Esau, Jeremiah, Jesus, John the Baptist, and all of humanity.
The biblical doctrines of predestination, election, calling and God’s foreknowledge also implies the reality of reincarnation.
The nature of an eternal, immortal, and indestructible human soul/spirit shows that all human beings partake in the divine spirit as Jesus did. Jesus taught, “the Kingdom of God is within you” (Luke 17:20-21) which implies divinity within humanity. An immortal human soul/spirit makes reincarnation a necessity. One lifetime isn’t enough to attain divinization.
Because the human spirit is a part of God, it cannot be destroyed nor can it suffer eternally in hell. It is the spirit – the “spark” of the divine – within human beings that is reincarnated.
It is the flesh which must be overcome, and through reincarnation, that this becomes possible. As co-heirs with Christ, humans can attain at-onement with God as Jesus did. It is self-evident that this requires more than one lifetime and this implies the necessity of reincarnation.
The Bible describes a “Trinity” (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), three parts of Christ (the Mind of Christ, the Body of Christ, and the Spirit of Christ), and three dimensions of God (light, life, and love) which the three-dimensional enlightened Christian shares (mind, body, and spirit). So the mystery of God in man defines all of humanity created with a spirit in the image and likeness of God’s Spirit which is immortal and indestructible and refutes eternal damnation or destruction.
Because of the fallen nature of the pre-existent human spirit from the highest heaven created before the world began, the human spirit is “trapped in flesh” (a “prison”) and subjected to reincarnation which, like Jesus himself, is the way for the soul to regain the highest heaven through soul growth according to good works.
The mystery of God in man is the reality of human beings evolving into the image of Christ. In Christian theology, the Greek word “theosis” is translated divinization (deification, making divine) and is the perfecting effect of divine grace by the atonement of Christ and spiritual regeneration by the Holy Spirit.
Divinization mean exactly what Jesus and the Bible says, humans can become “gods” or “godlings” — not “Gods” — but “sons” of God, “children” of God, an “image” of God, like “the Logos,” like Christ, a “part” of God, a “thought” within the Mind of God.
According to NDE studies, everyone is born into this world with a “mission” from God — lessons in life to learn toward spiritual growth and perfection. The life review also affirms reincarnation and often reveals how one lifetime is not enough to accomplish all a person must accomplish on Earth including the process of spiritual growth.
Part 6 of this article describes more reincarnating biblical personalities including fallen angels as reincarnating human beings. The dream interpretation of the end times in the Book of Revelation is described as having a reincarnation interpretation.
The story of “Jacob’s Ladder” in Genesis describes “angels” ascending and “angels” descending a heavenly “stairway.” Ascending this stairway implies death and going to heaven. Descending this stairway implies returning to Earth and reincarnation.
The idea of a “stairway to heaven” is also a useful metaphor for the near-death experience (NDE) tunnel which so many NDE experiencers travel through during their NDEs.
Another example of angels reincarnating as humans can be found in the story of the Nephilim (“fallen” angels). The “Nephilim” is a metaphor for “fallen” souls from heaven because angels don’t have genitals and cannot have sex, neither do they marry according to Jesus.
According to the cosmology of Christian Gnosticism and Jewish mystery teachings, God’s plan for the fallen human souls was a limited series of reincarnations with periods in between of dwelling in other heavenly dimensions (afterlife realms) where increasingly righteous souls dwell in higher afterlife realms and increasingly unrighteous souls dwell in lower afterlife realms. Reincarnation continues until the soul completes its plan originally laid out for the soul toward a human-divine unity.
The Christian psychic, Edgar Cayce, confirmed the evidence from early Christian Gnostic writings which shows that humanity, as pre-existent souls, had fallen from the highest spiritual realm before the creation of the physical realm (a lower realm). The Bible allegorically refers to this event as “the Fall” in the Garden of Eden in the Book of Genesis and “the revolt of the angels” in the Book of Revelation.
The Bible refers to the entire nation of Israel reincarnating and holy men reincarnating such as the apostles John and Paul.
The case was made against a resurrection interpretation of “dead bodies coming out of tombs” and in favor of a reincarnation interpretation of “live babies coming out of wombs.” It is a case against “resting in peace” until a final “night of the living dead” of a worldwide corpse resurrection.
A verse in Hebrews 9:27-28 is often used to refute reincarnation; but instead refutes the traditional concept of resurrection that “people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.” This verse has historically been interpreted to mean people die only once, then they rest in peace in Abraham’s bosom until the body is resurrected at the end times to face judgment. But this verse simply declares a “one life, one death, one judgment” principle which doesn’t refute reincarnation. According to reincarnation, a person’s body dies once, never to be inhabited again. Then the spirit immediately faces judgment. Later, if a person chooses to reincarnate, a different body having a different life is subjected to a different death and judgment. Therefore, reincarnation upholds the principle of “one life, one death, one judgment.” But this verse in Hebrews 9 does not, in fact, support corpse resurrection. Corpse resurrection is the reanimation of a dead body, which happened to Lazarus and many other people in the Bible. All such people experienced death not once, but twice, violating the “one life, one death, one judgment” principle. Corpse resurrection also contradicts the doctrine of the “second death” mentioned in the Bible. And this verse in Hebrews implies judgment occurs immediately after death which also refutes the idea of resting in peace until an end time corpse resurrection Judgment Day.
The original Greek translation of the word “judgment” in Strong’s Bible Concordance comes from the Greek word “krisis” which is one of the most misunderstood words in the entire Bible. The King James version rendered the word as: “accusation, condemnation, damnation, and judgment.” But the actual Greek word “krisis” implies a decision that brings correction. The resurrection of “krisis” should more appropriately be called “the resurrection of correction” or “the resurrection which forces correct decisions.” Such a “resurrection” would be a reincarnation into a lifetime involving a “reincarnation of correction.”
A “resurrection of damnation” limits God’s grace by requiring God to pronounce judgment of horrible eternal consequences because of a short, single, earthly life lived under conditions of apparent unjust inequity among human beings.
The traditional doctrine of salvation of “faith alone” involving only one lifetime creates spiritual laziness by lulling the Christian into believing one life is enough to attain spiritual perfection in Christ. It also allows for immoral behavior by suggesting that people can avoid the consequences of their transgressions against others by simply “accepting Christ” without realizing that no one who truly accepts Christ can escape seeking forgiveness and paying restitution to those they have transgressed.
The return of the fallen condition of the cosmos to its original state is the object of the entire cosmic process. Through reincarnation, all souls will eventually return to Paradise — a process which the Bible refers to as the “apocatastasis.” God created the universe in which all individual acts work freely together toward one cosmic end which culminates in returning all souls to God as co-creators.
Humanity, conceived in the image of God with an eternal soul (spirit), is able by imitating Christ in good works to become like Christ — the perfect image of God in man — refutes eternal damnation and supports reincarnation.
Symbolic interpretations of the Book of Revelation refers to — not only actual people and events — but also an allegory of the spiritual path through reincarnation and the ongoing struggle between good and evil both within individual human beings and within humanity as a whole.
The Christian psychic, Edgar Cayce, gave an idealist dream interpretation of the Book of Revelation by which he unlocked all of its religious symbolism. Cayce revealed the Bible to be the symbolic account of the Fall of the human soul from its divine origins, as symbolically described in the Book of Genesis, culminating with the restoration of the human soul to heaven symbolically described in the Book of Revelation. The literal “thousand year reign of Christ” in the Book of Revelation is the future “golden age of humanity” predicted in the Bible.
Later in the Book of Revelation, it describes how the “first heaven” and the “first Earth” is replaced with a new heaven and new Earth. God’s people on the old Earth can rise to the new first heaven. The people who are purified in the lower “Lake of Fire” (or “Gehenna” as Jesus taught) can then eventually reincarnate to the new Earth where there will be “no remembrance of former things” mentioned in Revelation.
Concerning a person’s citizenship in Gehenna, most biblical translations render the Greek “aionas ton aionon” to mean “forever and ever.” However, the correct translation of “aionas ton aionon” is “ages of the ages.” The Greek word “aion” is English for “age.” In the context of Biblical Hebrew cosmology, “age” refers to an astrological age which is one of twelve astrological ages corresponding to the twelve zodiacal signs of the Zodiac (“Mazzaroth” in Hebrew). The Greek word “aion” is also the root word for “eon” which is a finite, long period of time.
In the final chapter of the Book of Revelation, John foresaw the “Garden of Eden” restored on Earth. The Book of Revelation reveals the Kingdom of Heaven is here and growing now — within us and around us — just as is the “resurrection” (reincarnation) has been constantly occurring here and now.
The Book of Revelation describes the final judgment of the unrighteous, death, and Hades being thrown into the “Lake of Fire” which is called the “second death.” Revelation states that anyone whose name is not found written in the “Book of Life” was thrown into the “Lake of Fire.” This event in Revelation contradicts the dogma of eternal damnation in hell because hell itself is thrown into the “Lake of Fire” which implies purification. Death is never the end of life. The immortal soul cannot be destroyed. The spirit cannot be punished forever as an image of God. Eternal damnation contradicts everything presented in this article as biblically true.
Fire is a metaphor used in the Bible to describe God and manifestations of God through the metaphor of purifying fire. Fire is also a metaphor used in the Bible to describe the purification of people on Earth through tribulation. According to NDE studies, God’s judgment on “Judgment Day” is actually a “life review” which occurs immediately after death which results in determining the next stage in the life of the soul or the next afterlife realm.
The idea of a literal 24-hour “Last Day” time period when corpses are reanimated for Jesus to judge them can be refuted with the following Bible verse: “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” (2 Peter 3:8). The evidence shows today is the day of salvation, now is the “resurrection” occurring and the “harvest” of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth growing, and the “day of the Lord” is approaching.
Part 7 (this article) describes the biblical case for the past lives of Jesus Christ as King David, Melchizedek, Joseph, and Adam. Part 7 includes a final summary of this article and a final conclusion by Kevin Williams.
The Biblical case was made for David as a past life of Jesus. Both David and Jesus share titles such as: the anointed one (Messiah), the Holy One, only begotten son, firstborn, Root of Jesse, priest of Melchizedek, and most exalted king of the Earth. The Bible clearly states that David himself will be reincarnated in the Last Days (Hosea 3:4-5; Ezekiel 34:13-24; Ezekiel 37:22-24; Jeremiah 30:1-9). In Acts 15:12-19, the apostle Peter equated rebuilding “David’s fallen tent” with the resurrection of Jesus’ body. In the Bible, “tent” is a metaphor for the human body (2 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Peter 1:12-13).
The Biblical case was made for Melchizedek as a past life of Jesus. Both Melchizedek and Jesus share titles such as: Son of God, King of Righteousness, King of Peace, of the order of Melchizedek high priesthood, appointed by God, an eternal priesthood, pre-existent, personally associated with Abraham, who used ritualistic symbols of bread and wine.
The Biblical case was made for Joseph as a past life of Jesus. Both Joseph and Jesus were miraculously born; were taken into Egypt to avoid being killed; whose families were called out of Egypt and back to Israel as an act of salvation; began their ministry at the age of thirty; became a humble servant; were hated for their teachings; miraculously gave bread to hungry people who came to him; were betrayed by the advice of Judah (Judas), one of the Twelve; were betrayed for the price of a slave in silver; were persecuted because of false witnesses; were condemned with two other prisoners; had one of the prisoners released and exalted with him; were stripped of their robes; forgave the people who wanted to kill them; descended into a pit; arose victorious to be great princes; and had people who refused to believe they were not dead.
The Biblical case was made for Adam as a past life of Jesus. Both Adam and Jesus shared titles such as: Son of God, Son of Man, “firstborn” of every creature, an immortal soul from the beginning, the “Image” of God, the “human-divine” unity, “father” of the human race, “ruler” of God’s creation, the “first” and “last” sacrifice, the “Alpha” and “Omega”, associated with the Tree of Life, and having identical karma which required them to pay for Original sin.
Part 8 of this article provides references, resources, and links related to reincarnation and Christian reincarnation in particular. Internet links to websites provided include reincarnation main websites, researchers, case studies, news, YouTube videos, articles, Wikipedia and Psi Encyclopedia references.
3. Conclusion by Kevin Williams
The Biblical evidence of John the Baptist as the reincarnation of Elijah the Prophet should be enough proof to the Christian for the reality of reincarnation. Also if reincarnation were a false doctrine it would almost certainly have been denounced in the same harshest terms as idolatry, sorcery and evil throughout the entire Bible. Instead, as we have seen, reincarnation is referenced throughout the Bible and taught by Jesus.
By studying the historical records and allowing NDE concepts to guide me, I reached the same conclusion many others have which is that reincarnation is actually a gift from God allowing humans to have as many opportunities as necessary to become permanent residents of God’s highest heaven. “Hell” means having to dwell in lower, hellish afterlife realms, then reincarnating to be subjected to the cycle of life and death repeatedly until eternal life in heaven is attained. These hidden mysteries of Jesus were not limited to Jesus or to Judeo-Christianity. Examples of these mystery teachings of attaining a human-divine unity can also be found in the Perennial Philosophy and the more modern school of psychology called Transpersonal Psychology which includes NDE studies. All assume the same goal which is the liberation of the soul from the lower, animalistic nature of the flesh through the awakening of the spirit within — our higher nature.
Reincarnation is to the soul, what evolution is to the body. And for scientists who are skeptical of reincarnation, there is the reincarnation and NDE research of Dr. Ian Stevenson whose 40+ years of research yielded much scientific evidence suggestive of reincarnation. Dr. Kenneth Ring also studied reincarnation in NDE studies. Then there is my own reincarnation research where I provide evidence for the reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln and in my own NDE studies. From all that has been presented in this article, it must be admitted by the open mind that Christianity originally began with reincarnation as an assumed teaching and special doctrine, and that reincarnation should be a doctrine preached from the pulpits of every Christian Church.