TEACHER: Where we came from, why we are here and where we are going are three questions that have been asked since man came on the earth. We will delve into these as clearly as possible using the scriptures and common sense as guidelines. Most religious teachers seem to think that we began at birth and before that time we were in total oblivion. Few realize that this idea is contrary to the Bible. In this lesson we are going to show you that:
(1) Man is an eternal being who existed before birth.
(2) Why we are here.
(3) Where we go after we die
(4) That man is reborn, or reincarnated until he reaches perfection.
The Bible clearly tells us that there is a spirit in man but a scripture that illustrates this quite well was given by Paul. (Read II Corinthians 12:2) “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (Whether in the body, I cannot tell, or whether OUT OF THE BODY, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.” II Cor 12:2 Paul here speaks of being caught up to the third heaven and he tells us that he could not tell if he was in the body or out of the body. Why do you suppose he could not tell if he was out of his body or not?
STUDENT: Because being out of the body was similar to being in the body.
TEACHER: Have you heard of out-of-body experiences that people have had in recent times?
TEACHER: As you probably know there are many books written on the subject relating near-death experiences where people have left their bodies and were hardly aware of it. In fact their astral, or spirit, body seemed so much like their regular body that they often thought they were still in the physical. Often when these people are brought back to life they will relate conversations they heard or events they have seen that happened some distance from their physical body, but were verified to be true. Does it sound here like Paul may have had an out-of-body experience?
STUDENT: It seems so. He even uses the phrase “out of the body.”
TEACHER: First we’ll read one of the more metaphysical scriptures in the Bible. (Read Eccl 12:6-7) “Or ever THE SILVER CORD BE LOOSED, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel be broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the SPIRIT SHALL RETURN unto God who gave it.” Those who have had out-of body experiences have seen that the spirit or astral body is connected to the physical by a silver cord. Many spiritual people throught the world believe that this silver cord is a life cord that sustains us and that at death it is severed. In this scripture the writer is talking about what happens at death. What does he say happens to the silver cord?
STUDENT: It is loosed.
TEACHER: He also tells us that at death the golden bowl is broken. Do you have any idea what this is?
STUDENT: I’m not sure.
TEACHER: This is the etheric body which is an energy body of light and us usually golden or yellow in color. The great thing about this is that you can actually see it. Would you like to see my golden bowl, or etheric body?
STUDENT: Why not?
TEACHER: (Stand several feet away against a light wall, perferably white.) Now look at me right in the center of my forehead for a minute or so and don’t take your eyes off for a second. (Have the student stare at you for about two minutes.) Now keep staring at this same location without moving your eyes while I move away. What do you see?
STUDENT: Wow! I see a glowing yellow or golden image.
TEACHER: This is the golden bowl which is broken at death. It is not the spirit which continues to survive. The pitcher broken at the fountain, and the wheel be broken at the cistern refers to the destruction of the physical body. What does it say happens to the spirit of man at death?
STUDENT: It says it returns to God.
TEACHER: Can you return to a place if you have not been there before?
STUDENT: Not really
TEACHER: If we return to God, does that mean that we came from there?
STUDENT: It would seem so.
TEACHER: Now most people believe that we as individuals had no existence before birth. How does this scripture indicate to us that this is not the case, that we did exist before birth?
STUDENT: If we return to God at death we must have been there sometime before birth.
TEACHER: Now there are a lot of religions who believe that all this spirit is is breath and that we have no consciousness or form away from the body. Lets read a scripture from Paul that clarifies this: The things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle (the physical body) were dissolved, we have a building of God, (The Spirit of man) an house not made with hands, ETERNAL in the heavens. II Cor. 4:18;5:1 Now the “earthly house” would be our physical body. What happens when this dies or dissolves?
STUDENT: We still have a house made without hands, eternal in the heavens.
TEACHER: Now reread the first scripture. How does that tell us we still have consciousness out of the body?
STUDENT: If Paul could not tell if he was out of the body or in the body then we must still have our natural consciousness out of the body.
TEACHER: There are a number of scriptures that clearly teach that we lived before birth. Please read Titus 1:2: In hope of eternal life which God who cannot lie PROMISED BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN. When did God promise eternal life to us?
STUDENT: Before the world began?
TEACHER: How could he promise it to us if we were not there?
STUDENT: He couldn’t.
TEACHER: Now we will read a fascinating scripture that reveals where we were before the world began. Here the “I” referred to represents the wisdom of God. This could have been Jesus Christ. (Read Prov 8:1,22-31) The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: When he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: When he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; rejoicing in the habitable part of HIS EARTH; and my delights were WITH THE SONS OF MEN. How do we know that wisdom, or Christ was speaking of a time before the creation of the world?
STUDENT: It says clearly that the earth was not made yet.
TEACHER: And who did Wisdom share his delights with (verse 31)?
STUDENT: The sons of men.
TEACHER: Are you and I part of the sons of men?
TEACHER: Where were we at when we rejoiced with God and wisdom?
STUDENT: In the habitable part of his earth?
TEACHER: Do you think this may mean that we lived on other planets and spheres before we lived on this earth?
STUDENT: It seems to indicate that.
TEACHER: God verified to Jeremiah that he knew him somewhere before he was born on this earth. (Read Jeremiah 1:4-5) Then came the word of the Lord unto me saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I KNEW THEE; and BEFORE thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. Why did God know that Jeremiah would make a good prophet?
STUDENT: He knew him before he was born.
TEACHER: This also makes sense. Most of the religious world tells us that man will live forever but began at birth. Modern mathematics teaches that this is impossible, that there is no such thing as a beginning to something that lasts for infinity. Therefore, if man lives forever after death, he also had to exist forever before birth. That sounds logical doesn’t it?
STUDENT: Seems to.
TEACHER: One of the great mysteries sages have pondered on throughout time is the question of why we are here. Have you ever wondered this?
TEACHER: Now the Bible does not come out and say point blank what the purpose of man is, but the answer can be discovered by searching the scriptures. A clue to our destiny is given in the name of God. When Moses had his great revelation and spoke to God face to face the first question he ask of Him was his name. The reason he asked his name was simple. In those days a persons name represented something very important about the person. For instance Moses meant “drawn from the water,” Joseph meant “he will increase” and David meant “Beloved of God.” Moses thought that God’s name would tell him once and for all who or what he was. We can read God’s answer in Exodus 3:14. And God said to Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. I AM THAT I AM seems like a strange name doesn’t it?
TEACHER: One of the reasons that people have had difficulty in making sense of it is because this is not an accurate translation. It is more correctly rendered: I AM BECOMING WHAT I AM BECOMING. In other words, God was telling Moses that he could not give him a name like the Hebrews used that would reveal who he was because he was becoming whatever it was he wanted to become. Moses learned that God was an evolving God and that His goals, pupose and plan would be different tomorrow than it is today. Therefore a meaningful name given in one age may loose its meaning in the next. After examining this name do you think that God himself still sets goals for himself?
STUDENT: I would think so if he is in a state of becoming.
TEACHER: “Becoming” is very close in meaning to “evolving.” What God chooses to be, or evolve toward is certainly a goal isn’t it?
TEACHER: Imagine what your life would be like if you had reached some ultimate perfection and could have no new goals. That sounds pretty boring, doesn’t it?
TEACHER: Yet the sects of the world seem to wish this nightmare existence on God. Actually, they have it backwards. God is the God of life and life is newness and change. A static condition is death and this is the true hell. Now we’ll read an interesting scripture in Isaiah 43:7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. Does it say here that we can be called by God’s name?
TEACHER: When the I AM presence in us decides to be or do a certain thing and we allow ourselves the freedom to do it then we bear the name of God. Now why does it say that God created us?
STUDENT: For his glory.
TEACHER: We bring glory to god by glorifying his name and we do this by becoming free to accomplish any good goal that we set for ourselves to all eternity. Just like we are proud of our children, and happy they bear our names when they learn to set worthwhile goals and reach them, even so is God glorified when we realize we must actively pursue a joyous life. That sounds a lot better than just playing a harp for eternity doesn’t it?
TEACHER: Now let us find out what happens when we die. Jesus gives us a clue in his words to the repentant theif that was crucified with him: (Read Luke 23:43) And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. Where did Jersus say that he and the thief would be after death?
STUDENT: In Paradise.
TEACHER: Peter tells us of another place Jesus visited (Read I Peter 3:18-19: For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison. Where did Jesus go to preach here?
STUDENT: To the spirits in prison.
TEACHER: From these two scriptures we have read we know that Jesus visited two places in the spirit world. One was a place called paradise where he promised to meet te repentant thief. The other place is called the spirit prison where live the “unjust.” In the next chapter Peter tells us why Jesus visited this spirit prison. (Read I Peter 4:6) For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. Who did Jesus teach the gospel to here while his body was in the tomb?
STUDENT: The dead.
TEACHER: Why is that?
STUDENT: So they can be judged on the same basis as the living.
TEACHER: Its only logical that the dead need to be taught the truth just as much as do we the living. Now we basically know where we go right after we die the question is: What happens to us next? The next scripture gives us a clue. (Read John 5:28-29) The hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. How many does it say here will here the voice of God and be resurrected?
STUDENT: All that are in the graves.
TEACHER: The scripture talks about two resurrections. What are they?
STUDENT: The resurrection of life and the resurrection of damnation.
TEACHER: The word “resurrection” means “to come to life again.” The scriptures make it clear that the resurrection of life was the kind that Jesus had. That is, even though his body was destroyed, he came back from the spirit world and brought it back to life and then ascended to his Father. Do you have any idea what the resurrection of damnation is?
STUDENT: I’m not sure. Hell perhaps.
TEACHER: People misunderstand what the resurrection of damnation is because the word is a mistranslation. “Damnation” comes from the Greek word KRISIS and in the King James Bible has been translated as “accusation, condemnation, damnation and judgement.” Translators are reluctant to render it correctly because it does not support orthodox Christian thought. The modern English word “crisis” comes from it and the Greek implies “a decision that brings correction.” The word “damnation is not even a close word to this. Therefore, if we translate the phrase “resurrection of damnation” literally from the Greek it would read: “Coming to life again to face decisions that bring correction.” The modern English word that is closest to this meaning is “reincarnation.” Have you ever considered that we may live more than one life on the earth?
STUDENT: I’ve thought about it.
TEACHER: It is interesting that the only useful scripture in the Bible for refuting reincarnation has this word in it. (Read Hebrews 9:27) And as it is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgement. On the surface here it sounds like we will only die once and therefore only live once, doesn’t it?
STUDENT: Seems to.
TEACHER: When we read it in the Greek, however, we get a different view. “But” comes from ALLA which literally means “contrariwise.” This tells us that “after this the judgement” contradicts the “once to die.” The word “judgement” here is the key to the scripture. Again, it is a mistranslation for it also comes from the word KRISIS. No doubt Paul is telling us that we will only have to die once if we are entering the resurrection of life, but the exception will be those who enter the resurrection of KRISIS. This is supported by another scripture. (Read Revelations 20:12-15) They [the dead] were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast [to suffer a second death] into the lake of fire. How do we know that we can die more than once?
STUDENT: Because the scripture clearly mentions a second death.
TEACHER: Those who do not suffer the second death are written in the book of life. Which resurrection do you suppose these people will have.
STUDENT: The resurrection of life.
TEACHER: Which resurrection will those not written in the book of life have who also suffer a second death?
STUDENT: Probably the resurrection of KRISIS (mistranslated damnation).
TEACHER: The Bible tells us how long we must suffer the resurrection of KRISIS: (Read I Corinthians 3:16-17) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy: for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. The scriptures tell us that the temple of God is the body. What happens if we defile it?
STUDENT: We will be destroyed.
TEACHER: Our bodies return to dust and are destroyed until we quit defiling ourselves. We live many lifetimes and are reborn again and again until we do not defile ourselves. When perfection is reached we are then written in the Book of Life and are brought back to life again in a perfect undefiled body that does not have to ever die again. A few verses later Paul gives some interesting information to those who are following the Spirit. (Read I Corinthians 3:21-23): Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come, all are yours; And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s. How many things are promised to those who follow the Spirit?
STUDENT: It says “all things are yours.”
TEACHER: In other words those who do not defile themselves can have their choice of anything they want. It even says they can choose life or death. How do you syppose we choose life?
STUDENT: That would probably be the everlasting life that is talked about.
TEACHER: It says that we can also choose death. It is not speaking of death here as a punishment, but as something we are free to choose. Do you have any idea as to how this could happen?
STUDENT: I’m not sure.
TEACHER: The average person is forced to be reborn whether he wants to or not in circumstances not to his choosing, but he who follows the spirit may choose to be reborn and live a mortal life in circumstances of his choosing to accomplish some good purpose. Being able to choose death in this way is a nice option to have, isn’t it?
STUDENT: It seems to be.
TEACHER: Paul also says “things present, or things to come” are ours. If we have the freedom to be reborn whenever we want in circumstances we choose then that gives us the power to enjoy the challenges and experiences of any future age we wish. Have you ever thought that you would like to live in an era when there was perfect peace and harmony on the earth?
TEACHER: If we follow the spirit then we can make that choice. Jesus elaborates on this further. (Read Matthew 19:28-29): And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you. That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. The word “regeneration” is an interesting one. It comes from the Greek PALLGGENESIA. It basically means “to be reborn again and again.” Therefore, the scripture is telling us that the Son of man will sit on the throne of power on the earth not once, but numerous times and that his followers will judge (or set right) Israel numerous times. Next he tells us that those who forsake ‘houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands” for his sake shall receive a reward. What is that?
STUDENT: A hundredfold and life everlasting.
TEACHER: What will the person receive a hundredfold of?
STUDENT: I’m not sure.
TEACHER: The Gospel of Mark carifies this somewhat. (Read Mark 10:30): But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time (era), houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. We are plainly told here that if we make a sacrifice for Christ and have to forsake a mother or father, for instance, that in this era we can have a hundred of them back. Is there any way you can literally have a hundred mothers and fathers without being reborn?
TEACHER: Now we can see how this whole scripture makes sense when we translate “regeneration” as “to be reborn again and again.” The Bible indicates that reincarnation was a popular doctrine among the people. When Jesus was with his disciples he asked them who the people were saying he was. We can read their response in Matthew 16:14: And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias (Greek for Elijah. We will hereafter use Elijah for this word); and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Why would the common people think that Jesus could be Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets returning?
STUDENT: They must have believed in rebirth.
TEACHER: One of the reasons that they thought Jesus may have been Elijah is that the Bible prophesied that he would appear before the coming of Christ. We can read this in Malachi 4:5-6: Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. Who would God send before the coming of the Lord?
TEACHER: Now let us read the Angel Gabriel’s words concerning John the Baptist: (Read Luke 1:17) And he (John) shall go before him (Jesus) 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. Does this sound as if John the Baptist fulfilled the prophecy of the coming of Elijah?
STUDENT: It seems to.
TEACHER: Jesus tells us clearly that John the Baptist was Elijah in answer to his disciple’s question on the subject.. (Read Matthew 17:10-13 [Quoting the New English Version]): 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. Who did Jesus here say fulfilled the prophecy of the coming of Elijah?
STUDENT: John the Baptist.
TEACHER: Jesus not only said that Elijah had already come, but notice that he said that he also “will come and set everything right.” How do you think this prophecy will be fulfilled?
STUDENT: Perhaps John will be reborn before the next coming of Christ.
TEACHER: Jesus repeats this affirmation in Matthew 11:14. We will read from the Concordant Version which is more accurate than the King James: And if you are willing to receive him (John the Baptist), he is Elijah… That’s about as clear as word can be, isn’t it?
TEACHER: Elijah is not the only prophet who is to be reborn and do an additional work. A similar promise was made to John the Revelator. (Read Revelations 10:10-11) And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And he said unto me, thou must prophesy again before many people’s, and nations, and tongues, and kings. John was an old man when he received this vision so how could he fulfill the prophecy to teach many people in different lands?
STUDENT: He’d probably have to be reborn.
TEACHER: One of the main reasons that more and more people are accepting reincarnation is that it introduces the principle of fairness in God’s plan. The orthodox way of looking at the opportunity for eternal life seems to be lacking something. For instance most religions teach that we only have one life and when we die that is it. There are no more chances to prove ourselves in the flesh or to catch up on what we missed out on. If eternal life does indeed last billions of years then this life is less than an hour in comparison to it. Do you think it would be fair for someone to sit you at a desk with no preparation and command you to take a test for one hour which will determine whether you life in rags or riches for the rest of your life?
STUDENT: It doesn’t seem so.
TEACHER: Yet this is the reasoning that man thinks God uses. Would it be fair if you were placed with others of better natural ability than yours, yet judged by the same standards?
TEACHER: Yet the people think that God makes no allowances for the differing stages of man’s spiritual awareness. What if you were to die before you could finish the test, or even review your answers? Would it be fair to judge your test with a half hour’s work on the same basis as those who had the full hour?
TEACHER: Yet people think that if a person dies when he is twenty, or thirty, he will be judged on the same basis as one who lives to be a hundred. Let us say that two brothers were headed to hell at age twenty and one dies. The other lives to a ripe old age and straightens out his life and dies a saint. Is it fair that the brother who died first suffer for all eternity without another chance whereas the other one has eternal bliss.
STUDENT: I wouldn’t think so.
TEACHER: Furthermore, if the latter man loved his brother could he really enjoy heaven if he knew his brother was suffering?
TEACHER: Could you enjoy being in heaven if your loved ones were suffering in hell for all eternity without the possibility of another chance?
TEACHER: What is wrong and injust with the orthodox doctrine of heaven and hell.
STUDENT: It is not fair.
TEACHER: Jesus tried to correct the notion that God was not fair. (Read Matthew 7:9-11) Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Here Jesus tells us that earthly fathers have enough sense to try and give good things to their children, but God is much better and wiser than they. Now would you sentence one of your children to burn forever in hell?
TEACHER: Then neither would God for he knows how to give better gifts than you do. We do however, give our children temporary punishments so they can learn don’t we?
TEACHER: God also allows us to suffer pain in this world so we can learn. Now a good earthly parent would not only refuse to sentence his child to an eternal hell, but he would also never give up on the child and always seek to help him or her progress. Yet what do many think God’s attitude toward the damned is on judgement day?
STUDENT: He gives up on them
TEACHER: Fortunately, the fundamentalist view of heaven and hell is not supported by the Bible. Let us read several scriptures relating the true will of God toward man. (Read I Tim 2:4) Paul spoke of God who will have all men to be saved, and to come to a knowledge of the truth…. (read Matthew 18:14) Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. What is the true will of God here?
STUDENT: That all should be saved and none perish.
TEACHER: Do you think that God has power to fulfill his will?
TEACHER: Therefore, do you think that all his children will eventually be saved?
STUDENT: It seems so.
Copyright 2011 by J J Dewey
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