Friday, December 16, 2011

Biblical Truth Regarding Reincarnation

By Pastor Michael Frisbee

The latest Pew Forum survey of religious beliefs puts the overall percentage of Americans who believe in reincarnation at 24% (men 21%, women 28%).  Strangely enough, Blacks (34%) are almost twice as likely to believe in reincarnation as Whites (21%), with Hispanics in the middle (29%).

Oddly enough, a full 11% of self-identified Evangelical Christians believe in reincarnation, although only 5% of those who attend church weekly.  Black Christians (29%) believe in reincarnation only slightly more than White Catholics (25%). Even among weekly attendees, 21% of White Catholics believe in reincarnation.

Such high percentages stand as a testimony to the poor job of religious education being performed in the churches today. The spread of these beliefs is one of the most under-reported and unnoticed religious phenomenon of the last 100 years, representing a sea change of religious worldviews.

The word "reincarnation" literally means to "come again in the flesh." The process of reincarnation - continual rebirths in human bodies - allegedly continues until the soul has reached a state of perfection and merges back with its source.  One's lot in life, according to those who believe in reincarnation, is based on the law of karma. This law says that if bad things happen in one's life, this is an outworking of bad karma. If good things happen in one's life, this is an outworking of good karma.

"Karma" refers to the "debt" a soul accumulates because of good or bad actions committed during one's life (or past lives). If one accumulates good karma by performing good actions, he or she will be reincarnated in a desirable state. If one accumulates bad karma, he or she will be reincarnated in a less desirable state.

Some people twist the Scriptures and say that Jesus Himself taught reincarnation or "cyclical rebirth." In Matthew 11:14, for example, Jesus said, "And if you are willing to accept it, [John the Baptist] is the Elijah who was to come." Likewise, in John 3:3 Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

But these passages, rightly interpreted, do not support reincarnation. Matthew 11:14 does not really teach that John the Baptist was a reincarnation of Elijah. Luke 1:17, an important cross reference, tells us that the ministry of John the Baptist was carried out "in the spirit and power of Elijah." Moreover, reincarnationists conveniently forget that John the Baptist, when asked if he was Elijah, flatly answered, "No!" (John 1:21).

Regarding Jesus' words about being "born again" in John 3:3, the context clearly shows that Jesus was referring to a spiritual rebirth or regeneration. In fact, the phrase born again carries the idea of "born from above," and can even be translated that way. Jesus clarified His meaning by affirming that "flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit" (v. 6).

There are other Scriptures that clearly debunk the notion of reincarnation. Hebrews 9:27 tells us that "man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment...." Each human being lives once as a mortal on earth, dies once, and then faces judgment. He does not have a second chance by reincarnating into another body. Second Corinthians 5:8 indicates that at death the Christian immediately goes into the presence of the Lord, not into another body. Luke 16:19-31 indicates that unbelievers at death go to a place of suffering, not into another body.

We must also remember that Jesus taught that people decide their eternal destiny in a single lifetime (Matthew 25:46). This is precisely why the apostle Paul emphasized that "now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).

Further, Jesus taught the concept of resurrection, not reincarnation. In fact, He predicted His own resurrection early in His public ministry (John 2:19). And after Jesus resurrected from the dead, He appeared to some disciples and said, "Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have" (Luke 24:39). Jesus resurrected in the same body that went into the tomb. His body even retained the scars and wounds in His hands, feet, and side from the crucifixion (John 20:28).

In addition to biblically refuting reincarnation, we must also point to some of the practical problems involved in the theory of reincarnation. For example, we must ask, Why does one get punished for something he or she cannot remember having done in a previous life? Moreover, if the purpose of karma is to rid humanity of its selfish desires, then why has there not been a noticeable improvement in human nature after all the millennia of reincarnations on earth?

What about those who ‘remember’ their past lives so vividly? I cannot speak against their experiences. All I can tell you is either they’re being deceived by a demon or is deceiving the gullible public. Even if they indeed remember their past lives, why can’t they have an empirical evidence to prove that they indeed lived a previous lives. Why can’t they tell us and, describe for us how it is to live as an insect or animal. Or why not bring something from the so-called, past life, let say, a necklace, clothes, perhaps a birth certificate that will proved and convince the skeptics?

India, the cradle of reincarnation, still one of the world’s woeful nations.  According to a friend of mine (who loves to travel to India) who has been to India several times, told me that countless of city streets are awash with filth. Starving beggars were everywhere. Miseries abound to those who don’t have a meal in their stomach. The only fortunate were the rats, and cows who in turn ate their fill. The question that comes to my mind is, after thousands of years of reincarnation, isn’t it only fair to say that India would be the exception and a shining example of human progress and spiritual transformation?

Isn’t the theory of Karmic transmigration a cop-out from human responsibility? For instance, I always help beggars. Sometimes I offer them a meal if I get the chance. But, helping a beggar in India is futile since he is working off his Bad Karma!

Did you know that before Christian missionaries arrived in India there were no charitable institutions and hospitals? Institutions for helping the needy is considered a stumbling block for the Karmic Transmigration. The reincarnation edifice offers no hope, nor does it have any relevance in answering suffering and human depravity. In fact devotees are enslaved into believing life-death-life that doesn’t make any sense at all.

Finally, if reincarnation and the law of karma are so beneficial on a practical level, then how do they explain the immense and ever-worsening social and economic problems - including widespread poverty, starvation, disease, and horrible suffering in India, where reincarnation has been systematically taught throughout its history?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Spirit Talk

By Pastor Michael Frisbee

When one does a search of paranormal research and investigations, watch the several different ghost hunting shows on cable television, or searches for books of these same topics, the subject or ability of mediums inevitably surfaces. Without a doubt, people claiming the ability to sense the presence and communicate with the dead grows each passing day. There are para-celebrity mediums like John Edwards, Sylvia Browne, and James vanPraagh, lesser known mediums that are making a name for themselves on shows like Paranormal State, The Dead Files, etc, and then your unknown mediums, the people who claim this ability that attach themselves to Paranormal Investigative Teams.

Within this group of mediums, you have the fakes (cold and warm readers with no real ability) and those with an actual gift. The fakes, their problems lie in the deceptions that they are conducting for which they will have to atone when they pass. They will be surprised by whom they will be atoning to. The reason I mention the particular three celebrities above is because they are FAKES. They have all been tested and observed, and it has become apparent they are using these “Mentalist”-style techniques to gather information and feed it back to get a “reading”. You can do a search on Google to find the various debunking sites that lay out the facts and truth behind these para-celebrity readings. From “studio plants”, bugging a holding room for audiences, doing research and pumping production people for information before readings, to mind-play tricks, all of them have been found to be fakes, yet millions seeking answers from beyond continually suspend their beliefs and logical thinking to accept these frauds and their fake abilities as the real deal.

Now, there are mediums out there that are connecting with the spiritual world, but unfortunately, it is not our dead relatives or the previous residents of a house that have passed into the spiritual realm. In my first blog and on my first radio show for “The Paranormal Christian”, I presented scriptures that proved that when we die, we receive our judgment from God immediately, and move on to the reward (Heaven), or punishment (Hell). In last week’s blog presented by Reverend Mark Hunneman, my co-host on the radio show and author of “Seeing Ghosts Through God’s Eyes” (, explained quite well how the concept of Purgatory, held by the Catholic Church and getting integrated by many people’s beliefs to explain why human ghosts would be here on earth for us to get evidence of, is not supported by the Scriptures. On the show that followed this past Saturday, I presented listeners with even more information, from the Catholic Church’s own history, which they have not always held the belief of Purgatory and that it was not presented until 593 AD by Gregory the Great. In fact, there was no Pope until after Gregory the Great. Here’s a link to give you a full run down on the changes to doctrine and dogma through the past two millennia by the Church that “never changes”. There is corresponding scripture as to why it goes against God’s Word. .

The Bible is quite clear about contacting the dead (Using New American Standard Bible).

Deuternonomy 18:10-12 - There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORD your God will drive them out before you.

Isaiah 8:19-20 - When they say to you, “Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,” should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.

Those are just a couple of scriptures related to this topic specifically. So there is a great danger for those who practice and serve as mediums. That danger is very apparent when you add in the fact that there are no human ghosts here on earth for them to communicate with. So what are they connecting with?

Ephesians 6:10-12 - Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Satan is the ruler of the dark spiritual forces of this earth, of the rulers, the powers. This encompasses the demonic, the fallen angels that rose up against God with Lucifer (Satan) that are now demons that prowl all around us, seeking to destroy us.

1 Peter 5:8-9 - Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

So when mediums – truly “gifted” mediums – connect with a spirit, they are connecting with the demonic, whether they are doing it knowingly or not. Demons are fallen angels, so they can appear as “beings of light”, and they have witnessed the life of every human being that has and is living on this planet. They can present themselves as these people, with all the knowledge of their lives, and even their “secrets”. This also applies to spirit guides, guardian angels, etc. True angels, they work unseen in our lives, at the command of God and His Son, Jesus Christ. They do not communicate directly with us, for that goes against scripture. Demons do it because they are in rebellion, and seek to separate us from God and God’s Word.

There is only one spirit we will, as Christians, ever have direct communication from, and that is the Holy Spirit, which is of God. When we are born again in Christ and our sins washed clean by His precious Blood, we now have a direct line spiritually through Christ and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us those gut feelings when we come witness something not of God’s Word, or we come across doctrines and activities that are not of God. There are gifts of the Holy Spirit found in 1 Corinthians 12 – you can look up that one ;)

When dealing with the spiritual realm, be sure to test the spirits. If it doesn’t glorify God and His Word, or align with it, then you can be assured, you are dealing with the demonic.