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Reincarnation is Scriptural! Elijah Returned as John-the-Baptist

Scriptures Expounded - Posted on Monday, February 2, 2015
by Temi Peter
Reincarnation is Scriptural! Elijah Returned as John-the-Baptist

“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”
Matthew 11:12-15
Our LORD Jesus Christ made it clear on three occasions that Elijah (referred to in the New Testament as Elias) returned as John-the-Baptist. Aside the scripture above, Matthew 7:11-12 & Mark 9:13 are scriptures where our Lord stated explicitly that Elijah came back as John-the-Baptist. This coming back is properly referred to as reincarnation. According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, to reincarnate means to be born again in another body after one has died. We may argue that this does not really apply to Elijah and John-the-Baptist because Elijah never died the normal physical death in the first instance. Rather, he was taken up by a whirlwind into heaven as stated in 2 Kings 2:11. Thus he escaped physical death. Death as we know it is a phase in our transition to the external beyond. After death, the flesh returns to the earth and decays, the spirit returns to God (Ecclesiastes 12:7) while the soul faces judgement. It’s the soul that either ends up in heaven or hell. However, the Bible tells us that some people will be so fortunate not to taste death. That is, they will never have to go through the mostly gruesome process of having to die before transiting to glory. Even long before the Bible said it in Matthew 16:28 and Mark 9:1, it had already happened in the Old Testament. Remember, Enoch never died but God took him according to Genesis 5:24. This kind of transition was most likely what repeated itself in the case of Elijah. It is also similar to our Lord Jesus’ ascension into heaven after His resurrection except that our Lord Jesus had to taste death for a very short while before he resurrected and ascended. The automatic transition to glory experienced by Enoch and Elijah will eventually happen to all the saints who will not taste death before the rapture. Before you begin to wonder what happened or will happen to the physical bodies since there was/is no allowance for the decay of their physical bodies via natural death, the Bible has already cleared our doubts. The Bible made it clear going by 1 Corinthians 15:51-55 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16 that we shall not all sleep i.e. die but we all (heaven-bound believers) shall be changed and this corruptible body of ours shall put on incorruptibility while our mortal bodies put on immortality thereby bringing to pass the saying “Death is swallowed up in victory”.
In essence, our physical bodies will simply be converted to an immortal, incorruptible heaven-standard body.

Hence, since the transition of Enoch and Elijah is similar to what will happen to living believers who will experience the rapture, we can therefore deduce that the bodies of Enoch and Elijah simply underwent the change Apostle Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians 15:51-55.
With that being said, we can conclude that Elijah’s transition to glory was a form of death even though his body was never found. Nevertheless, there were those (sons of the prophets) who doubted Elijah’s transition and had feelings the Spirit of God may have dropped him on a mountain or in a valley that he may eventually die there. Elisha allowed them to search for Elijah’s body after much persuasion and after three days of rigorous searching and finding nothing, they all had to agree that Elijah was indeed taken up into glory – 2 Kings 2:15-18.
Having established the facts above, we can rightly say that Elijah reincarnated to become John-the-Baptist.

However, some things continue to amaze me as regards this reincarnation. One of them is the fact that John-the-Baptist himself never knew that he was Elijah reincarnated because when the Jews asked him categorically in John 1:21 if he was Elijah and he said no. He never intended to lie. It’s just that he didn’t know. Another point is that he didn’t reincarnate to continue doing what Elijah did or behave like Elijah. No. He was a completely different and unique personality.
This brings me to the issue of ogbanjes, abikus and the rest who torment specific families by dying a few years after their birth only to be born into the same family again shortly after and continue in that cycle until something is done about them. We have also heard stories of people who were known to have been dead somewhere resurfacing to lead normal lives elsewhere, people having spirit husbands or wives and spirit children. Honestly, I can’t confirm the veracity or authenticity of these other scenarios as they do not fall into the category of reincarnation both in definition and features. But all I can say is that the Bible has already made it clear that the secret things belong to God – Deuteronomy 29:29. For the Bible to have said that, it means there must be some secret things which the Bible has deliberately refused to discuss or tell us about. These secret things are so many and diverse in nature. The Bible advises us not to look into or search out those secret things rather we should focus on those things which are revealed in the Bible which belong to us and our children forever. Anyone who delves into secret things may end up losing his salvation in the process and/or becoming a psycho. I believe since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, man lost the ability to put his brain to full use. Scientists say that we only use a small percentage (can’t remember how much now) of our brain throughout our lifetime. Any attempt by the natural man to use the brain beyond what it is has been reprogrammed by sin via Adam’s fall to do may lead to dire consequences.
Hence, since reincarnation is scriptural and since we cannot establish the fact that only Elijah reincarnated, we can conclude that a number of other individuals have been and we will be reincarnated from time to time. Many believers will quote Hebrew 9:27 saying it is appointed unto men once to die and then face judgment afterwards. True. That is the expected fate of every human being. But we must bear in mind that the Lord always creates exceptions. I believe the Lord doesn’t like to be rigid, predictable and wholly comprehensible. I think He wants us to keep searching Him out till we die and meet Him in Heaven. Nothing will ever be fully clear! However, as regards the Lord’s standards on righteousness, holiness and what it takes to make it to Heaven, we can be sure the Lord is firm and absolute in that regard. His standards will never change or be altered!

Posted by:
Temi Peter


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