Top 10 Countdown of New Age Lies: #8
Reincarnation and the Immortality of the Soul
Reincarnation is the religious or philosophical concept that a soul or spirit, after the body dies, can begin a new life in a new body here on earth. Reincarnation is a central teaching of the Hindu and Buddhist religions. It’s also part of the belief system of many native peoples of Siberia, Australia and South America. Spiritism and Theosophy also espouse the belief in reincarnation. Mystic groups like Kabbalah, the Rosicrucians and other gnostic groups also hold this false belief of reincarnation. But mainstream Judaism and Christianity have no place for reincarnation because the Bible is very clear on its teachings about the human soul.
In recent decades, many Europeans and North Americans have developed an interest in reincarnation. Many popular films, books, and songs allude to reincarnation. Recent studies have shown that 20 – 25% of Europeans have some level of belief in reincarnation. They found similar results in the USA. In addition, as many as 30% of nominal Christians say they believe in reincarnation. Why are those numbers so high? A couple of reasons: 1) the wave of Eastern influence hitting the West, and 2) the personal experiences of people who claim to have past life memories from regression hypnosis and dreams. People who read or hear these stories feel that there “must be something in it” if other people are having such experiences.
I myself used to believe in reincarnation. It made perfect sense to me that we need to pay off karmic debt if we’ve hurt others in the course of our lives and that we need several lifetimes in order to attain spiritual perfection. I remember the first time someone in my family who knew the truth corrected me. I said something about reincarnation and this aunt of mine said: “There’s no reincarnation – there’s only resurrection. That’s what the Bible teaches.” At the time I was deep in the New Age so of course I didn’t believe her. I thought that was the most preposterous statement I’d ever heard. “Of course reincarnation is real”, I thought, having read a few books where people shared their accounts of past lives.
But today I know better. There is no such thing as reincarnation. Souls do not reincarnate. Souls do not live through numerous cycles of birth and rebirth until they get it right. Once a soul dies, it never comes back to the world of the living. We have only one lifetime to get it right. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27: “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,…”
Reincarnation is a huge smoke screen Satan uses and behind it lies one of the oldest lies ever told: the immortality of the soul. As always, we need to go to the Bible, the only source of absolute truth, so that we can unmask the devil’s deceptions. We’ll discover that our souls do die and that the only intrinsically immortal being in existence is God. Our only hope of eternal life is through resurrection through Jesus Christ. Let me now prove this to you from the Word of God.
The soul is not immortal
This Bible truth may come as a big surprise to you: the soul is not immortal. The immortality of the soul is a pagan doctrine. The Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians also known as the Chaldeans, the Greeks and the Romans, all believed in the immortality of the soul. In fact, nowhere in the Bible do we even read the words “immortal soul”. The immortality of the soul is not biblical. The immortality of the soul is in direct opposition to what the Bible teaches about the soul and about the resurrection of the dead. Let’s delve into the Scriptures to get the full picture.
A soul is the combination of body and breath
The creation of man is described in Genesis 2:7: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground (body), and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (spirit); and man became a living soul.” James 2:26 says that the body without the breath or the spirit is dead.
So according to the Bible a living soul is the combination of body and breath, or body and spirit. When a person dies “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). At death our spirit returns to God. This is where we get the old English expression: “giving up the ghost” when people breathe their last breath. Our spirit doesn’t go to heaven or to hell nor is it floating around anywhere in between. The soul is not some disincarnated entity – it’s the union of body and spirit or body and breath.
Only God is immortal
Only God has immortality. In 1 Timothy 6:15—16 we read about God: “He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power.”
We as sinners are mortal. The Bible says in Ezekiel 18:20 “ The soul who sins shall die”. We are all sinners therefore we die.
In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve had immortality. But this characteristic was not an intrinsic to them. They only had immortality as long as they ate from the Tree of Life. The moment they were cast out of the garden they knew death.
The dead know nothing
The Bible also tells us that the dead know nothing and do nothing. Psalms 115:17 says: “The dead do not praise the Lord, nor any who go down into silence”. And according to Psalm 146:4: “His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; in that very day his plans perish.”
King Solomon speaks about death in Ecclesiastes 9: “But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. … For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun. … Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.”
Our spirit doesn’t go directly to heaven or hell after death
People do not go to heaven or hell when they die, otherwise there would be no point in resurrecting. There is also no reincarnation whatsoever. Souls are resting completely unawares until God wakes them up either at the first or the second resurrection.
So the dead are asleep in a state of total unconsciousness until they’re resurrected: “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28—29).
The righteous are awakened at the first resurrection: “the dead in Christ shall rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). The unrighteous are awakened at the second resurrection, which takes place after the Millennium, the period of one thousand years that starts immediately after the Second Coming of Christ. “But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished” (Revelation 20:5).
The resurrection or translation
We read in Job 14:12—15: “So man lies down and does not rise. Till the heavens are no more, they will not awake nor be roused from their sleep. Oh, that You would hide me in the grave, that You would conceal me until Your wrath is past, that You would appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, till my change comes. You shall call, and I will answer You; You shall desire the work of Your hands.” Clearly Job is saying that man dies, goes into a state of sleep and won’t awake nor be raised until the last day (when the heavens are no more), at which time the just shall be resurrected. Job says “I will wait, till my change come”. What is the change that Job is waiting for? It’s the change from unconsciousness to consciousness, from mortality to immortality, from corruption to incorruption.
“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Corinthians 15:51—53). So when Christ comes the dead in Christ rise first and are resurrected into glorified bodies. The living are translated directly into glorified bodies.
Satan owns the copyright on the immortality of the soul
Where does this deception come from? It goes all the way back to the beginning of the world. We read in Genesis 3:4: “Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.” The devil used the serpent to channel the first lie. This lie “You will not surely die” is one of the primary deceptions of the devil.
The immortality of the soul is Satan’s invention; he owns the copyright on it! Truly a brilliant idea, it has deceived billions of people throughout the ages. This single lie has opened the door to countless abominations before God. Remember, Lucifer was perfect in all of his ways until iniquity was found in him. “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. … Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor” (Ezekiel 28:12,17). Satan is full of perverse wisdom; he’s crafty and cunning. We can’t keep up with his lies. Our best and only protection against Satan is to know the Word of God, “thus says the Lord”.
Let it be clear: Whenever people are talking to someone whom they believe is a dead relative or friend, in reality they are talking to demons, fallen angels. We’ve seen that the dead are not available for any experience until God resurrects them. So if it’s not our dear departed ones that we’re talking to, then it’s what the Bible calls familiar spirits. Familiar spirits are fallen angels falsely impersonating the deceased to bring deceptive messages to the living. Any ‘New Age channeling’ through which supposed ‘ascended masters’ or spirits of the dead are transmitting spiritual teachings to the living is also the work of the devil.
The Final Judgment
In order to fully understand what happens to a person after death we need to know about the final judgment and the stages of the judgment. The final judgment is the defining moment that our lives tend toward, because our passage on earth is a period of probation. We only get ONE lifetime to get it right, and there is a day of reckoning. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
If you were surprised to learn that the soul is not immortal, you’ll probably be surprised to learn that the judgment has already started. What? The judgment has already started? I thought the judgment happened on the Last Day! Well, let’s take a closer look at Scripture and reason this through. We said earlier that when Jesus comes on the Last Day the dead in Christ will rise first in glorified bodies. Then the living will be transformed into glorified beings and will rise to meet Jesus in the clouds. In order for Jesus and the rest of the universe to know who are His rightful heirs and who aren’t there must have been a judgment beforehand that allows Him to separate the wheat from the tares and to know who He’s taking to heaven with him.
The first of the Three Angels’ Message in the Book of Revelation says “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people—saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come” (Revelation 14:6-7). It doesn’t say will come, it says has come, it’s in progress even now. “Judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17) which means that Christians are judged first.
Let’s step through every aspect of this judgment: where’s the courtroom, what is the law against which we’ll be judged, who’s the judge, what’s the legal evidence for or against us, who’s our accuser and who’s our defender.
The heavenly courtroom
There is a courtroom in Heaven and it’s in session right now. This is why in Isaiah 43:26 the Lord says “Put Me in remembrance; ?let us contend together; state your case, that you may be acquitted.”
Heaven is a kingdom with laws. “Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail” (Revelation 11:19).
What’s in the ark of His testament in the Heavenly Sanctuary is the same law that was in the earthly sanctuary: God’s Ten Commandments. This is the standard we’ll be judged against, and we’ll either be acquitted (in Bible language the word is “justified”) or we’ll be condemned.
God the Father presides over the judgment
In the Book of Daniel we learn who presides over the judgment: “I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was like a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened” (Daniel 7:9—10). So God the Father presides over the judgment.
Jesus is both judge and advocate
John 5:22—23 tells us: “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father.” Romans 14:10 also states: “for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.”
But Jesus our judge is fully committed to our cause and will rule in our favor if we have surrendered our lives to Him and if He’s truly our Lord and Master. Daniel 7:21 says: “… the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.” Hebrews 4:14—15 tells us that Jesus sympathizes with us: “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” “We have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). So our advocate in heaven is sympathetic to our cause. Jesus can relate to us as no one else in heaven can, because He had the direct experience of living on this sinful planet.
The evidence is in the books
What then is the evidence that will be used to justify or to condemn us? Daniel 7:10 tells us that “the books were opened”. There are books that contain the record of all of our actions and words and all of the details of our lives. There’s also a book called “The Lamb’s Book of Life” that contains the names of the saved. Let’s read about these two books in Revelation 20:11—15:
“Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Satan is the accuser
Who’s our accuser? Satan of course is the accuser according to Revelation 12:10: “Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.”
No condemnation to those who are in Christ
The accuser does not prevail. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). If we are in Christ Jesus and walking according to the Spirit we will be justified in this trial. Yes we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus’ perfect sacrifice, because no amount of works can gain us salvation. But we will be rewarded based on our works: “Behold I come quickly and my reward is with me to give every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:12).
The phases of the judgment
We said earlier that judgment begins in the House of God (1 Peter 4:17). Those who claim to be Christians will be judged first. The Bible actually provides firm dates regarding when the first phase of the judgment begins in heaven. The prophet Daniel is given a revelation about the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary: “For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed” (Daniel 8:14).
This is the 2300-day prophecy, the longest Bible prophecy with a date. It begins in 457 BC with the decree issued by King Artixerxes of Persia to rebuild and restore Jerusalem. The prophecy ends on October 22, 1844. The cleansing of the sanctuary which corresponds to the Day of Atonement marks the beginning of the pre-advent judgment. The pre-advent judgment is the judgment that takes place before the Second Coming of Christ to determine which are truly God’s people whom Jesus will take with Him to heaven when He comes again. The planet and the rest of the living will be destroyed when Jesus comes. There will be no survivors.
The timing of the second phase of the judgment will not be until the end of the millennium after the Second Coming of Jesus, also known as the Last Day. During one thousand years all the saved in heaven will be reviewing in detail the records of the lives of the souls who were lost. 1 Corinthians 6:2-3 says “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? … Do you not know that we shall judge angels?” The outcome of this second phase of the judgment will be that the righteous will confirm God’s decision about every lost person and praise God for His perfect justice.
Jesus is the Only Way
The day of reckoning will come for each and every one of us, there’s only a very short while left before Jesus comes back. If we’re walking with Jesus and have made Him Lord and Master over our lives He’ll intercede for us in that heavenly courtroom and we’ll be justified into eternal life. If instead Jesus says of us “Depart from Me you worker of iniquity, I never knew you” we’ll be forever lost.
If only you understood how much God loves you! So much so that He gave up His only Son so that you may be saved. “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight…” (Colossians 1:19—22). We receive further confirmation of this in Jude 24: “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy…”
The judgment of all mankind—dead and living—that started in 1844 is still in session right now. We’re in the time of sealing. God’s people are being sealed before the winds of strife are unleashed, as described in the Book of Revelation Chapter 7. We need to humble ourselves before the Lord. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1John 1:9). There is nothing on this earth worth giving up Heaven for.
The New Age is nothing but a clever web of lies, a gigantic smoke screen that prevents true seekers from ever finding the one living God and His truth. As inconceivable as these revelations may sound to you, it’s absolute truth you can stand on. If you choose to believe that all paths lead to heaven and that we have several incarnations to get it right, you’re in for a rude awakening. According to the Bible, the final test of any doctrine or spiritual teacher is: “If they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). I pray for you that “what had not been told you you shall see, and what you had not heard you shall consider” (ref. Isaiah 52:15).