Today millions of intelligent people believe in the idea of reincarnation.
This is the idea that after death the soul or life-force will eventually
find its way into another body. There are many different and contradictory
theories concerning how reincarnation works. One thing is sure however.
If reincarnation is true, then death is not final. It is only the gateway
to a new existence. Death, then, is therefore also relatively safe. There
is no need to fear hell-fire or eternal judgment. This is comforting.
Most systems of thought which accept the idea of reincarnation also
hold to the doctrine of karma. This is the doctrine that one reaps what
one sows in future incarnations. Thus, if I am bad in this life, I might
come back as a beggar in the next, or as a dog or a frog. If I am good,
the law of karma will ensure that I come back in a more fortunate situation
or as a more exalted being. The law of karma is unforgiving but totally
fair and always results in everybody ultimately getting what they deserve.
Hopefully next time they will learn their lesson and move upward on the
If the law of karma is true, then if someone has an easy life or many
advantages, it is because they are being rewarded for what they did in
past lives. If someone is poverty-stricken and diseased, it is believed
that they have bad “karma” because of misdeeds in a previous life. It would
be no use to help them – they would pay for their misdeeds anyway in a
There are many variations on these ideas. The Hindu idea of reincarnation
has animals – even insects – coming back as humans, and vice versa. There
are therefore some groups in India who take precautions to avoid swallowing
or accidentally killing bugs – who knows if that bug will come back as
your grandson one day? Also, cows are seen as very exalted creatures. They
are worshipped by millions of Hindus as gods and seen as higher than people
in the scale of things. It is a fact that there are even temples in India
where rats are worshipped.
The New Age movement, which draws on Hinduism for a lot of its ideas,
teaches the doctrines of reincarnation and karma. Normally the idea that
you have been or might one day be an animal are not promoted. The less
pleasant ideas of karma and reincarnation are often played down or ignored
altogether. There now even appears to be a short-cut for many. A number
of NDE (near death experience) researchers are asking us to believe that
when we die we will be instantly promoted to a sort of perfection and oneness
with the Universal Consciousness known as the “Omega Point”. Again, there
is no need to fear hell or judgment.
Why do people believe in reincarnation? Here are some possible reasons.
1. Because they have been brought up to believe in it. They may have
been brought up with Hindu, Buddhist or other religious ideas in which
the concepts of reincarnation and karma have been accepted as fact.
2. They have had an experience of “deja-vu” and are convinced it is
because of a memory of something they saw or knew in a previous life.
3. People under hypnosis have given detailed descriptions of things
they never could have seen – things which they are supposed to have seen
in a past life.
4. They want to believe it, because the Christian doctrine of hell-fire
for the ungodly seems too cruel and unjust to be right.
5. Because they have been influenced by the teachings of the New Age
movement, as they have come through various self-improvement seminars and
6. “Something” just tells them it is so. Some might be so bold as to
say that their “spirit guide” told them it was so.
7. They have had an out-of-the-body experience in which they got in
touch with what happened in their past. Having experienced such an amazing
thing, they need not consider the dogmas and doctrines of theologians who
declare it to be not so.
If you have a different reason for believing in reincarnation, I’d be
interested in hearing from you. Write me an e-mail.
Objections to Reincarnation
1. The Bible teaches something quite different.
According to the Bible, “It is appointed unto man once to die, and
after that the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). It didn’t say that there would
be many chances. God’s judgment is described in Revelation 21:8, “But
the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers,
idolaters and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with
fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
“And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they
have no rest, day or night, who worship the beast and its image, and whoever
receives the mark of his name.” (Revelation 14:11).
Some would object to this, stating that the Bible is wrong about many
things, either because it never was right, or because it was changed. There
are so many references to eternal judgment and no clear references to reincarnation
in the Bible today, or for as long back as we have manuscripts. The idea
that the Bible used to teach reincarnation is pure speculation. Jesus himself
warned about hell many times in the gospels. He would not have done so
if he knew reincarnation to be true.
When Jesus said of John the Baptist that he was “the Elijah which was
to come and restore all things” (Matthew 17:11-13) he was referring to
the function of Elijah in restoring the people of God back to the truth.
He was referring to the spiritual empowerment and task that Elijah had
to get God’s people out of idol worship and back to God and His ways. This
function has not been fully completed yet, since “all things” have not
yet been restored. In one sense, the true church of Christ must also be
an “Elijah” before the second coming of Christ. We don’t have to see this
passage as some endorsement of reincarnation at all. In fact, John the
Baptist himself denied that he was Elijah (John 1:21), doubtless because
if he had affirmed it, the people would not have understood correctly in
what sense he was Elijah. In fact, they might have erroneously supposed
that he was Elijah reincarnated.
2. Demons may be involved in the re-calling of supposed past lives.
The Bible teaches the existence of demons. Jesus said, “These signs
will follow those who believe. In my name they will drive out demons.”
(Mark 16:17). I personally have had demons driven out of me, and have driven
them out of others. There is definitely a flow of supernatural power when
this happens which you can sense. There are often unusual manifestations.
When demons are cast out, people’s personality improves and sometimes diseases
leave them. At times demons have taken over the features and voices of
people I have known, and have talked out of them to me. Tens of thousands
of Christians whose lives have been changed through a relationship with
Jesus Christ can testify to the reality of battles with these unseen spiritual
forces known as demons.
In fact, it is very likely that the “spirit guides” which so many are
being encouraged to contact these days are nothing more than demons masquerading
as wise and helpful departed spirits. Those with experience with “spirit
guides” will have to admit that these spirits do sometimes lie to them
and deceive them. They cannot always hide their true evil nature successfully.
It is quite natural that these lying spirits promote the doctrine of reincarnation.
They always oppose the doctrines and teachings of the Bible. Isn’t this
what you would expect from a demon?
In the Old Testament law, God himself condemned occult activities, including
the casting of spells, or enchanting others (hypnosis) .
“There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter
pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft [wiccans, satanists,
witches, warlocks], or a soothsayer [psychics, fortune-tellers, palm readers],
or one who interprets omens [astrologers], or a sorcerer [drug dealers,
makers of magic potions], or one who conjures spells [hypnotists], or a
medium [channellers], or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead [necromancy].”
Under hypnosis, people can be made to believe a lie. It is a tool of
deception. Demons are involved with hypnosis, and may give information
that the person themselves could have no natural way of knowing.
Demons have been around for a long time, and may have been in many different
countries and understand many different languages. Hypnosis, like drugs,
is a gateway to involvement with the demonic. And despite what some practitioners
may say, all the above practices listed in Deuteronomy 18:10-11 basically
involve getting deceived and influenced to a greater or lesser extent by
demons. Anyone doing these things is going to the devil for help, whether
they believe in the devil or not, and they will be affected negatively.
Extensive research has shown how curses, illness, insanity, despair and
depression plague those who get involved in these things, and their descendants
Out of body experiences can be brought on not only through hypnosis
and eastern meditation (which is basically emptying one’s mind of thought
so that a possessing spirit can work in it), but also through drug abuse.
I have met people who have had out of body experiences as a result of smoking
some “angel dust” in a joint. Many have testified to such experiences.
Drugs are just another way of touching the demonic realm and screwing up
your brain. Such experiences should not be trusted, even if they are euphoric
or pleasant at times. Eventually they will lead a person to the pit of
3. We should question those who have taught us reincarnation
Just because our parents, our teachers or even a guru with mind bending
powers have taught us something, does not mean it is the true truth. (And
if there is no such thing as true truth, then not even reincarnation can
be said to be truly true or factual).
Dr. Maurice S. Rawlings, M.D. is a heart specialist. He claims that
some of the people he has resuscitated after clinical death came back frightened
with experiences of hell, which were later normally suppressed by their
memories. He pointed out in his thought provoking book, “To Hell
“Some people are convinced they were Bonaparte, King Henry VIII, Alexander
the Great, or even one of the Pharaohs of Egypt. This can be an embarrassing
situation, however, when several people claim they were George Washington,
when only one George Washington existed in history – considering there
is only one soul for any one body.”
“There seems to be an unexplained discrepancy. Why doesn’t anyone claim
to have been a beggar or a cripple or a garbage collector? There were many
more of these than there were George Washingtons. Instead of the plentiful
poor, everybody claims to have been someone plentifully rich or important.
And if they were important in the past, why aren’t they even more important
now, since the law of karma is constantly improving them?”
“If the original law of reincarnation has not been counterfeited but
remains the true reincarnation of India, why don’t more people recognise
original transmigration and find they were animals in their previous lives?
Why don’t they remember being a rock or a tree or a worm as a result of
terrible misdeeds in previous lives?”
Unlike Jesus Christ, who physically rose from the dead after his body
was more than 48 hours in the grave, teachers of reincarnation cannot
establish their credentials in telling us what lies beyond death. They
can assert that they have existed before, but why should we believe them?
Why is it that India, the cradle of re-incarnation and the birthplace
of karma, is so full of downtrodden people, living in squalor, begging
for food in large cities? Hasn’t their Hindu religion helped them to become
more affluent, through generations of good karma through right religious
observance? Or do good Hindus reincarnate as Christians or Atheists and
Christians and Atheists as Hindus?
It does no good to point out the injustices done against India by muslim invaders or British colonialists. If the doctrine of karma is true, then all these sufferings were also due to bad karma of Indian people in previous lives.
With world population on the increase, one has to ask, where did all
the souls that presently inhabit human bodies come from? Did they come
from animals or microbes? Then how did the soul evolve so quickly, if physical
evolution is supposed to have taken so many billions of years to happen?
Where is the evidence that an ant or a kangaroo has the powers of a human
soul? If animals don’t have equal soul power to humans, then where does
that soul power come from when the animal has behaved well enough to become
a human? Indeed, if an animal cannot tell between right and wrong, how
could some animals move up and others down the scale? What basis is there
for talk of karma or some form of morality amongst animals?
Some might wish to avoid such problems by appealing to a preexistent
and eternal “Universal Cosmic Consciousness” which is supposed to explain
everything. But if our souls are simply parts of the “Universal Cosmic
Consciousness”, then how can it be said that one soul truly exists as an
individual entity? How can the departed soul or spirit be said to truly
reincarnate, if it somehow re-enters this oneness of Universal Consciousness?
How can it still be the same soul when it comes out? The problems are many.
You can have no hope of truly seeing your departed loved one if re-incarnation
is true. The only hope is for Christians who have died in Christ.
Satan doesn’t care which lie you believe, as long as you don’t acknowledge
your guilt before God, and you don’t trust in Jesus Christ and His work
in paying for your sins and rising again from death. The theories contained
in the New Age movement and many of the Asian world religions are
contradictory on many points, but they all unite in rejecting what Jesus
and the Bible teach. If you believe in reincarnation you cannot believe
in the Jesus of the Bible. The New Age Jesus is a demon and a lie. When
you perish, your belief will not change the way things truly are. It will
be as God warned you through the teachings of the Bible. Please, if you
are bound up with new age teachings, occultic practices or mind sciences,
call out upon the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. He wants to reach down
and show you the reality of His power and His salvation, which you and
everybody else needs.
Hope to hear from you soon.