from Questions about Teachings of Jesus
Wisdom of JESUS
by Charles Sindelar.
Did Jesus teach reincarnation and can you find examples in the scriptures?
ANSWER FROM JESUS:
Of course there is no direct mention of reincarnation in the scriptures. The scriptures that you have today were approved by the very same church fathers who decided to ban reincarnation as heresy and to curse everyone who believed in it. Do you think they would have left any mention of the ideas they considered to be heresy? If you ask a scientific materialist whether there is any scientific proof of the existence of God, what kind of answer would you expect to get? That is much the same as asking an orthodox Christian if there is any proof in the scriptures of reincarnation. For 1,500 years orthodox Christianity has denied the reality of reincarnation, so how could there possibly be anything in the scriptures that contradicts a church doctrine?
Anyone who takes an objective look at historical records will see that the early church fathers were not afraid of adapting the scriptures to the doctrines they had decided represented either an infallible truth or the “truth” they wanted Christians to believe. This is simply historical fact , and no one can deny this if they are willing to take an objective look. I realize that most orthodox Christians are not willing to be objective about this, and therefore nothing you could possibly say – or nothing I could possibly say – would convince these people. Yet you might at least make them aware that the scriptures people have today are not necessarily a true reflection of what I actually taught 2,000 years ago.
In reality, there was never any direct mention of reincarnation in the four gospels that are known today. The simple reason being that at the time the Gospels were written, reincarnation as a concept was known to virtually everybody. Several Jewish sects did in fact believe in reincarnation, so for these people there was no reason to mention reincarnation directly. And for the people who did not believe in reincarnation, there was no reason to mention it either.
Given the situation that existed when the four Gospels were written down, there was no particular advantage to mentioning reincarnation. Those who already believed in it, could see reincarnation in the Gospels. And those who did not believe in it, would overlook such hints and therefore not be offended.
The simple fact is that I never made reincarnation a major issue in my outer teachings. The reason was that most of the people who were open to my teachings already believed in reincarnation. For those who were not open, it was better that they started following other aspects of my teachings. This is in line with the fact that I taught the multitudes in parables and taught all things to my disciples (Mark 4:34). I can assure you that my disciples all knew the reality of reincarnation.
As you grow toward personal Christhood, you will gradually receive intuitive confirmation of the reality of reincarnation. For those who are far from attaining Christhood and not open to their Christ potential, reincarnation is not an essential concept. That is why many mainstream Christians in today's world do not necessarily need to believe in reincarnation. If they are not ready to accept the idea that they have the potential to attain Christ consciousness, it makes little difference whether or not they believe in reincarnation.
However, in today's world far more people are ready for the path to personal Christhood than was the case 2,000 years ago, as I explain elsewhere. For these people it is indeed important to have an understanding of reincarnation. Otherwise, you simply cannot resolve your relationship with God and make your peace with God. That is why I mention reincarnation in the Christ Is Born in You, as quoted in several places on this website. [Link 1, Link 2, Link 3.] My point is that there is little gained by seeking to force Christians to accept reincarnation. There is no harm in mentioning it, but unless people seem to be open to the idea, you should not seek to force it upon them. Simply state your own beliefs and state why you have those beliefs without seeking to prove anything. You cannot prove anything to those who have closed their minds to the Living Truth that can be revealed only inside their hearts. You will see that even I could not convince the lawyers, the scribes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees or the temple priests of the Jewish religion to accept the living truth. Likewise, you cannot convince the lawyers, the scribes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees or the temple priests of today’s Christian religion to accept the Living Truth.
Yet for your consideration, here is an excerpt from the book The Secret Coming of Christ.
Was reincarnation ever part of Christianity?
We have already seen that the ongoing human power struggle, combined with the relativity of the carnal mind, has caused things to be added to and subtracted from the Christian faith. It is a historical fact that the organizational structure, the doctrines and the rituals of modern Christianity were solidified and defined between 200 to 700 A.D. This was done primarily by a group of leaders called the church fathers.
These leaders removed a number of ideas from the Christian faith and banned some of them as heresy. They even sought to prevent people from thinking and talking about these ideas by declaring that anyone doing so would be anathema. Anathema means cursed. In other words, if you talked about ideas banned by the church, you would be cursed by the church authorities and therefore denied entry to Heaven.
One of the ideas banned by the church fathers was the concept of the pre-existence of souls. The idea was officially banned in A.D. 553 at the Second Council of Constantinople. The fact that the idea was so forcefully denounced by the church fathers shows that reincarnation had been present in early Christianity. If it wasn’t an issue, why make an all-out effort to ban the idea?
In reality, many of the early church fathers and theologians accepted reincarnation. Clement of Alexandria and Origen are just two well-known examples. Most Gnostics also believed in reincarnation. The first serious resistance to reincarnation came from the wife of the emperor Justinian. Her name was Theodora, and she did not like the idea that she could be punished in a future lifetime for what she did in this lifetime. She didn’t like that kind of personal accountability and used her influence to get the church to ban the idea.
The fact that reincarnation was taken out of Christianity opens the question of how it came to be part of early Christianity? If you take the inner approach to religion, the real question is whether Jesus was familiar with, or perhaps even taught, reincarnation. Currently, there is no proof that he did, but there are indications.
Archaeological finds, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, have shown that Jesus was affiliated with the Essene community at Qumran. The Essenes believed in reincarnation. So did many other sects in Palestine, and it is highly unlikely that Jesus would have been unfamiliar with the idea. Therefore, one might consider it significant that neither he nor the gospel writers denounced it, especially since there are two opportunities for doing so in the scriptures. Consider the following quote from Matthew, Chapter 17:
10 And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
13 Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
How could John the Baptist be Elias come again? John was born like any other child, so is seems that one possible explanation is that John was the reincarnation of Elias. Now, consider the following quote from John, Chapter 9:
1 And as [Jesus] passed by, he saw a man which was blind from [his] birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
This is a strange question to ask because if the man was born blind, how could he have sinned? I know some Christians say the man sinned in the womb, but can this explain the situation? The Old Testament law was an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. So to have committed a sin severe enough to warrant blindness, one would assume that the man should have caused the blindness of another person. How could a child in the womb do this? Therefore, another possible explanation was that the man had sinned in a previous lifetime.
If Jesus was as negative toward the idea of reincarnation as many modern Christians, this would have been a good opportunity to correct his disciples. Obviously, there is no absolute proof that Jesus taught reincarnation. However, if you take the inner approach to religion, you don’t need an outer proof. You need an intuitive insight to determine whether reincarnation makes sense. Can the concept of reincarnation answer your questions, and can it accelerate your spiritual growth?
The answer is that reincarnation is a very efficient tool for overcoming the sense that you are a victim, that God is unjust and that there is nothing you can do about your situation. Reincarnation puts you in charge of your destiny and encourages you to take an active approach to salvation. In fact, if you don’t consider reincarnation, it is very difficult to overcome your anger against God and love him “with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” And if you don’t love God wholeheartedly, how can you hope to enter his kingdom?
Copyright © 2004 by Kim Michaels
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from Questions about Teachings of Jesus
Wisdom of JESUS