One of the most devastating changes made to the scriptures of the Holy Bible was the result of the Catholic Church’s insistence on purging The Gospels of any reference of reincarnation. It was felt that only the conduit between humanity and God was “The Church” and it alone was the route to salvation. This grand effort to purge the topic of reincarnation was missed in several places. One of which was the book of Matthew.
The Gospel of Matthew
In the last chapter of the old testament, it was prophesied that prophet Elijah, also know as Elias, would be born again with the coming of the Messiah (Malachi 4:5-6). In Matthew 16:13-15, Jesus meets some of his disciples in upper Galilee and asks them who people think he is. Their answer was that some thought he was the reincarnation of Elias, John the Baptist, or even Jeremiah. In Matthew 17:9-13, Jesus replies telling his disciples that “Elias has already come and they had not recognized him. They had done with him as they wished. His disciples acknowledged he was speaking of John the Baptist.” If the new testament states that John the Baptist had been the prophet Elijah 900 years earlier, are we to believe that his mother gave birth to a 55 year old man weighing 150 pounds? The only explanation that has been given by the fundamentalists is that John the Baptist was born from the “Spirit of Elijah”, which would be a fair description of reincarnation. There is no misunderstanding of this scripture.
History of Reincarnation
Reincarnation did not begin with the Jews in Israel 2,000 years ago. The truth is the Prime Creator created a foolproof system enabling souls to learn and discover the truth and to eventually reach perfection and to become one with God and Christ consciousness by consistently exercising universal compassion and love. Some of the greatest minds that ever lived have understood this.
Pythagoras (580-500 BC), a famous Greek philosopher who not only believed in reincarnation, but claimed that he had received a gift from God: the memory of his soul’s past lives.
Aristotle (384-322 BC) and his teacher Plato (428-348 BC) are two of the greatest philosophers in history and both held beliefs supporting reincarnation. They stated in a number of writings that the soul of man is immortal and can perform its proper functions by continuing to reincarnate into different physical bodies at different times.
Cicero (106-43 BC), just years before the birth of Christ, stated there was “strong proof” of men knowing most things before birth, and when they are children, they grasp facts with such speed as to show they are not experiencing them for the first time.
Virgil (70-19 BC), the famed Roman poet stated that all souls, after they have passed away, are summoned by the divine once again. In this way, they become forgetful of their former Earth lives as they return to their new living bodies.
Plutarch (46-119 AD), another Greek scholar, stated that every soul is ordained to wander between incarnations in the spiritual world until driven down again to earth and coupled with a newborn babies body.
The Council of Constantinople
However, it was absolutely necessary to the early Christian leaders that their followers not believe in reincarnation. They felt the church would not be able to control the lives of their parishioners if these individuals did not believe they were dependent on the Church in order to have a relationship with God.
It was vitally important to these leaders that reincarnation be erased from all religious teachings and that Jesus and Paul, who completely accepted the reality of reincarnation, be separated from that belief for all time.
In 553 AD, approximately 200 years after the Council of Nicaea, the fifth ecumenical Council of Constantinople was called to order. The council began on May 5th and concluded its work by June 2nd. In less that one month, the council passed its resolutions called Anathemas. An anathema meant there would be a curse on anyone who did not accept and follow their rulings. The first ruling stated that anyone who continued to teach and honor the process of reincarnation would be excommunicated from the Church with a warning of damnation to any inquiring mind who considered embracing the forbidden beliefs. What the council accomplished through these rulings was to declare anyone who continued to believe in reincarnation “cursed for eternity.”
It is my intention that all God’s people understand one basic truth: “We are not human beings who by coincidence have a spirit and soul, but are in fact spiritual beings with a soul who are having a human experience.” As a result of the decision to deny people the right to believe in reincarnation in the 6th century, organized religion has fundamentally impacted our relationship with God, making it substantially different than it otherwise would be. There is a great difference between recognizing and experiencing that you are part of God, God is part of you, and God’s Spirit resides in you- and having any third party insist they are the conduit between you and the Prime Creator.