A reader made a post referencing an article by Ernest Valea refuting the idea that John the Baptist was a reincarnation of Elijah. The Biblical evidence is quite overwhelming so disproving it is a difficult task. First let me give a couple scriptures that positively identify John the Baptist as Elijah come again.
The disciples were curious about the prophesy of Elijah coming again so they asked the Lord:
“Why then do our teachers say that Elijah must come first? He replied, Yes Elijah WILL COME and set everything right. But I tell you that ELIJAH HAS ALREADY COME, and they failed to recognize him, and worked their will upon him; and in the same way the Son of Man is to suffer at their hands. Then the disciples understood that HE MEANT JOHN THE BAPTIST.” (Matthew 17:10-13 – New English)
Here is a second powerful statement from Jesus about John:
“…Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John…A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written, Behold I send my messenger before my face, which shall prepare thy way before thee (This is a quote from Malachi near the prophesy of Elijah) Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven (Christ) is greater than he…For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, THIS IS ELIJAH, which was for to come.” (Matthew 11:7, 9-11, 13-14)
The Concordant version says it most accurately: “And if you are willing to receive HIM, HE IS ELIJAH…”
Now Mr. Valea tries to refute this idea with this scripture from, Luke:
“And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:17)
Then he says:
“First we must be aware that the Jews viewed ‘spirit’ and ‘soul’ as quite different things. The human person has a soul which will live on after physical death. The spirit is a kind of driving force, a motivation that makes people behave in one way or another.”
It is possible there is some Jewish teaching of this nature but this proves nothing. The words “spirit” and “soul” in the Bible are often mistranslated so one has to look up the original Greek or Hebrew word to discover what the author really meant.
The word “spirit” from Luke 1:17 comes from the Greek PNEUMA and it does not refer to personality or driving force as Mr. Valea suggests. For proof we just have to look at actual samples of the scriptures where the word was used.
“Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits (PNEUMA) are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)
“And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit (PNEUMA)” (Luke 23:46)
“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (PNEUMA)” (John 19:30)
“And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit (PNEUMA).” (Acts 7:59)
It is obvious that when the Greek PNEUMA is used it is not referring to something ephemeral such as drive or personality, but the actual spirit that lives on.
Now taking this into account we can see a totally different meaning to Luke 1:17 than did Mr. Valea. Let us look at it again:
“And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah…”
Note the word “power” comes from DYNAMIS which means “ability” as well as “strength.” “Spirit” comes from PNEUMA which is the eternal spirit that lives on. As it turns out this scripture does not refute reincarnation, but proves it. What is it really saying?
It is saying that John will go forth with the same spirit that Elijah had with the same powers and ability because he is Elijah come again. If he has the actual spirit of Elijah then he must be Elijah.
The Number of Souls, Etc.
Question: How do you harmonize the doctrine of reincarnation with the great increase in population over the past thousand years or so?
There are 60 billion human monads allotted for the earth at this time so the pool of souls is far from being depleted.
Only about 10 percent of the human spirits are here at the present time (2007). Overall, man has been on this earth for 18 million years which is not only much longer than the religions think, but longer than the scientists believe. Science keeps going further back. They have now found humans 4 million years back.
If the average human has experienced 500 lives that means he could have had an average span of 3600 years between lives over the past 18 million years. There has been plenty of time for all to experience lots of lives. In addition to this we have an eternity in front of us. Then too, some have experienced additional lives on other planets and systems.
Then if we ever have a shortage of entities to incarnate the soul can project more than one personality at a time if needed.
Question: “Do you believe the bible to be INFALLIBLE WORD OF GOD?”
JJ: All words of every book are infallible if revealed in the light of the soul. Without this assistance none of them are infallible.
Question: “Do you believe you should not add or remove from the word of God?”
JJ: Sounds like you are referring to the injunction given by Moses as follows:
“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.” (Deuteronomy 4:2)
“What thing so ever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” (Deuteronomy 12:32)
Obviously, he meant to not add to or take away from what he wrote and then pass it on as if they were the words of Moses. Yes, I am strongly against doing this to any writer.
I also explain a similar injunction in Revelation in my book The Unveiling.
Question: “What hope are you reserving for those that follow your teachings?
JJ: I offer them the hope that they can contact their own souls, which are linked to God and can lead them to the truth of all things. Then they can know the truth for themselves and will not depend on me or any other outside source. This also dispels the fear of an unloving God willing to smite us for petty insignificant things.
Comment: “I am asking this because it will be terrible if people believe that you are telling them the truth and at the end it was not AUTHORITATIVE.”
JJ: The tragedy would be if I were authoritative. Such authority (however well intentioned) only causes a delay in the disciple finding the true God within so they can achieve liberation.
Question: Are you starting a new religion and where do you get your authority?
JJ: The soul of any man is an authority greater than any written word.
No. I am not starting a new religion. The dogmatic religions of the past will fade away and lose their power and be replaced by a universal religion. This will not be a religion envisioned by conspiracy buffs where a great dictator is telling everyone what to believe, but a universal recognition of truth that is eventually seen first by the enlightened and then the masses.
One place in history where this evolution took place is the idea of slavery. First the enlightened saw it was wrong and now the masses see it. Almost all religious thinkers now accept the freedom of the individual, even if it goes again their religious books, such as the Old Testament.
Question: “Don’t you think people that follow you are those who are looking for excuses to live anyhow in sin and hope that they have no punishment waiting for them?”
JJ: To live in sin means to live in error. I do not think anyone here wants to do that. The Bible says we reap that which we sow so no one here should fear a great punishment unless they have caused great pain to someone.
Question: “Do you go to church, mosque or do you have your own temple? Where do you encourage your members to go?”
JJ: Do I want to punish myself with extreme boredom?
Therefore, I attend no religious service. If there were somewhere I could learn something I would consider going.
Your place in the next world has nothing to do with attending a service in a stone building.
I neither encourage nor discourage anyone from attending whatever it is they want to attend. If someone wants to go howl at the moon that is fine by me as long as they stay out of my back yard.
A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a lifetime’s experience. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841 – 1935)
July 18, 2007
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