Soul Vibration

vibration

The soul only recognizes that which is true and does not see error. Therefore the soul only vibrates for us when truth is spoken or presented.

When a truth is spoken and it just seems to “ring true” that can be a soul confirmation if the seeker has moved beyond the emotional influences.

What and Where is Soul? (Part 5), Joseph J. Dewey

Copyright © 2000 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved

Discerning Initiates

founders

Another point is that some of the initiates among the Founding Fathers of the United States came close to blows with other initiates.

The coming generation of aspirants and initiates must not let preconceived notions create a fog that causes us to overlook the work of the various initiates in the world who are on the left, the right and the middle of the belief spectrum.

I personally disagree with most of the initiates of the world on a number of items, but that does not negate the positive work they do.

It is much easier to look at dead initiates and honor them. It is much more difficult to comprehend living initiates.

Even Jesus had only 120 followers after His crucifixion. Now He has over a billion. But if these billion were to individually spend five minutes in His presence and listen to His ideas on world change, 90 percent would deny Him saying He was an imposter.

Discerning Initiates, Joseph J. Dewey

Copyright © 2003 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved

Free

path

Jesus said:

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.  John 8:32

Free from what? Free from the necessity of mortal incarnation  with all of the attendant pains and opportunities to just plain mess up, acquire karma, and suffer.

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out:  Revelation 3:12

Jesus said:

Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  John 3:3

Jesus said that those on the road to liberation would have many houses, brethren, sisters, fathers mothers, wives, children, and lands:

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.  Matthew 19:29

The Apostle Paul summed it up.

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 1 Corinthians 15:26

To Overcome

nomoregoout

Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.  Revelation 3:12

We can become a member of the heavenly Jerusalem at any moment that we “overcome” and obtain soul contact and the Christ consciousness. Then we become a spiritual pillar in the temple of God, and the God within is expressed and we “go no more out” no matter where we are physically. We are given a new name. That is we realize that our personality self is not real, but a false image, and the new name is “the name of my God“. In other words, we become one with God, a son of man who has become the Son of God.  The Gathering of Lights, Joseph J. Dewey

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

New Age, Old Age

We are all fortunate to be living on the cusp of a New Age where the paradigms of the old world and the Old Age are being replaced with new ideas, new ways of doing things, and new ways of seeing things.

Everything old is not bad though, and everything new is not good.

Someone once characterized the difference between those with conservative and liberal views thusly (and please take those terms “conservative” and “liberal” as being very loose terms, not precisely defined here):

A conservative sees good in the old and wants to preserve it. A conservative has difficulty seeing good in the new.

A liberal sees good in the new and wants it immediately. A liberal has great difficultly seeing much good in the old.

The truth is that we need both energies. We need energies to bring in the new, but at the same time we need an energy to act as a brake on change so we don’t rush foolishly into ill-considered change.

If the conservative is totally in charge then stagnation is likely. If the liberal is completely in control a train wreck is probable.

The middle way between these two energies leads to peaceful, and productive change. Both sides have valuable energies to contribute.

Is God Perfect?

god

My experience with most religious people is that they will tell you that God is perfect. I have been told this by extreme fundamentalists, and I have been told this in Unity. I have been told this by people who study A Course In Miracles (ACIM).

I have been told that God is perfectly loving, perfectly powerful, and perfectly intelligent, that he (she/it)  knows everything that was, is, and will be. In ACIM I have been told that I am perfect and my real problem is that I don’t yet realize how perfect I am.

With one exception I don’t remember any religious person admitting that God could be less than perfect. If I look around in the world that I see – and which many will tell me is an illusion – I don’t see a lot of perfection in anything.

I searched for the definition of “perfect” on the Net and I got:

ADJECTIVE

having no mistakes or flaws

completely correct or accurate

You may occasionally find an individual who for the moment seems to have no physical mistakes or flaws in their makeup, but in reality even the most beautiful and perfect specimens will age and become old, weak, and eventually die. If even physical perfection exists in this world it is only fleeting and appears to have the seed of its own destruction.

Sorry, didn’t mean to get all negative and all that!

The point is that if there is any reality in this world, and if God made it, then if that reality is any reflection on its maker, then that maker is not yet perfect. Maybe that is not such a bad idea after all.

Perfect is that which has no where else to go, has nothing to learn or do, because everything would take it from perfection. It is at the end of its road, so to speak.

If God is not perfect then that is not a flaw. It is just a reflection of the self-apparent fact that God is not done with its creation just yet.

 

 

Heaven & Hell

Heaven and hell, are they real? Can a modern person pursuing a spiritual path believe in some concept of hell?

hell

In the KJV translation of the New Testament I see 9 references to “hell” in Matthew, 3 in Mark, 3 in Luke, and none in John. In Acts it shows up twice. In James once. In 2 Peter once. Finally 4 times in Revelation. If I counted correctly that is 23 times.

When I was a child in a fairly fundamentalist church there was no problem with believing in hell. However I can hardly remember hearing the word “hell” in Unity, except perhaps once in a blue moon in reference to delusional beliefs.

These two polar opposites both claim to believe in Jesus. The fundamentalists are very literal in trying to understand those words and in Unity we find Jesus becoming a “wayshower” and he is quoted often, his name is invoked often, but I don’t think any of those words supposedly uttered by Jesus mentioning “hell” are given any credence in Unity, or similar spiritual movements.

Again if I am counting correctly the count goes down to 14 in the NIV translation. Looks like most in Matthew are preserved. But the situation is a little more complicated when you look at the various Greek words the writers of the New Testament used that were translated as “hell.” I believe there are just three (transliterated from Greek):

GEENA (Gehenna, a valley outside Jerusalem considered cursed)
HADES (the Greek term for hell)
TARTAROO (Tartaros, the deepest abyss of Hades in Greek mythology)

Different authors have a preference for one of these original Greek words but I think the bottom line is that which original Greek word was used, it meant a place where souls would be punished for their sins.

Now fundamentalists generally emphasize the idea that such punishment was intended to be eternal punishment, a punishment that would last I guess for the rest of time. Looking at the Greek word from which “eternal” usually comes in translation that doesn’t seem entirely justified.

There are two Greek words that are most often translated in phrases like “end of the world,” and “eternal.” They are:

AIONIOS (eternal)
AION (“world” as in “end of the world)

Clearly they are related. The modern word “eon” comes from AION. In fact these are generally gross mistranslations. What is really meant is an “age.” For example from the Gospels:

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? -Matthew 24:3 (KJV)

A more correct translation would probably be “…and of the end of the age.” The Concordant Literal New Testament translates the above as “…the conclusion of the eon?

What do I take from this? Very simply I don’t see the New Testament ever talking about time-lasting eternal punishment. Nor does it explicitly talk of an “end of the world” as is believed in most of Christianity. The disciples are asking Jesus how to recognize when he will return at the end of the age, presumably some long period of time  in human reckoning.

In Acts we are told that Christ will come again much in the same manner as he left then:

And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Acts 1:10-11 (KJV)

 The event described above was visible to the followers of Jesus, but they were not very many at that time. Perhaps a couple hundred or so. For most of the world at the time this event was unseen. So if the above prediction is correct when the Christ returns it won’t be the massive event predicted in the “Left Behind” series. Instead the Christ may return again in human guise and only be recognized by a relative few.

Getting back to the subject of “hell,” I am in my sixth decade now. If you are much younger you may not be familiar with “The Twilight Zone” television show back in the late 1950s and 1960s. It was a show including a fair amount of science fiction that tried to come up with stories with a surprise twist at the end.

I remember one episode where it starts out with a gangster getting killed in a gunfight. He wakes up and is greeted by a man who is his guide to the world he finds himself in after death. It seems unbelievably pleasant. He can pretty much have anything he wants. He particularly likes to gamble so he goes to a beautiful casino and he can’t lose. Not even once. There are beautiful women everywhere and absolutely every one of them will go to bed with him at the slightest suggestion. He never gets turned down. The finest food and booze are at his disposal just for the asking.

No matter what he does he can’t lose. But it starts getting a little boring. Part of the “spice of life” was the potential to lose. But not here. Eventually he is talking with his guide and he asks him a question that has been bothering him ever since he got here. He says, “So I wasn’t such a nice guy in life, so how did a guy like me end up in heaven?” The guide replies, “Who told you this was heaven?

Now the idea is clear. Boredom can be hell too. But that is not the point I am trying to make. We all assume we are living on “Earth” and we only go to hell after we die? My question to you is this: “Who told you that this isn’t hell?,” the place where people go for punishment (and more importantly correction)?

A “hell” that only serves for punishment is really a kind of a waste, isn’t it? In real life we don’t (or shouldn’t) punish our children because we enjoy doing it. We punish them (at least good parents do) in order to hopefully change their behavior. Right? In the original Greek to “sin” really means “to miss the mark.” A loving parent punishes with the aim of improving a child’s aim.

Maybe we do go to hell after we die – again, and again, and again. This is the concept of reincarnation, the idea that you live many lives. Jesus is described in the Gospels as accomplishing the resurrection of life, meaning a resurrection into a life where death no longer rules. Maybe we all are also resurrected, but instead we find ourselves in the resurrection of death, the resurrection to a life on earth (hell) that always has death waiting as a destination at its end, that is, until we learn the secret of the resurrection of life that are in the “words of life” taught by Jesus. The Apostle Paul said that “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” ( 1 Corinthians 15:26 KJV)

Maybe when Jesus was talking about hell he wasn’t kidding. He really meant it and he knew what he was talking about (and what he was talking about had little to do with the dogmatic Christianity that evolved in the centuries after he left for a while so that humanity could take a couple millennia to digest what he taught that first time).

Perhaps if we understand that hell is real, but not an eternal punishment, but rather as a road to correction and redemption then we can see the message of Jesus with a better balance. Maybe people on the path of enlightened spiritual progression can come to understand that all the words of Jesus have potential meaning, not just the ones that speak of love, the words that we see as being “warm and fuzzy,” so to speak.

Jesus said:

Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. -Matthew 3:3 (KJV)

Maybe we have to be born again, and again until we learn how to turn hell into heaven? Someone once said that God has no hands on earth but our own. Don’t wait for God to magically do the job. Realize you have to get your own hands dirty and do some of the work yourself. That is, unless you really like coming back to hell again and again.

Heaven is within our reach. But we have to build it with our own hands. Maybe that is the real meaning of hell, and the promise of heaven.

Was Jesus a Pacifist?

Was Jesus really a pacifist as some claim?

money-changers

One definition of a pacifist might be:

A person who is opposed to war or violence of any kind.

People who claim that Jesus advocated absolute pacifism will often quote Matthew:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. Matthew 5:38-42

Since I am not a traditional or fundamentalist Christian I do not feel constrained to believe that the Bible is the literal, and inerrant word of God. Just thought I would get that out of the way so no one is confused about where I might be coming from.

If we take the quote above from Matthew literally, “do not resist an evil person,” then the case seems to pretty solid that Jesus was a pacifist who opposed the use of violence in any shape or form. If he did mean that, and if he can be shown to have used physical violence, then the case could also be made that Jesus was a hypocrite. You may remember that Jesus criticized the Pharisees for being hypocrites.

In fact in one his more famous actions Jesus attacked the money changers in the Temple with a corded whip and overturned their tables as depicted in John 2:13-15:

When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. John 2:13-15

Jesus goes into the Temple and is greatly angered by what he sees going on. But he does not attack them immediately. He goes out somewhere and gets some cords and makes a whip. That probably took him a little while to do. Then he goes back and creates this famous scene. That shows that although he experienced anger he kept it under control. He didn’t attack them without coming up with a plan and then applying carefully calculated violence to dramatize his outrage at them for polluting a holy place.

Just as surely as the quote from Matthew 5:38 seems to establish Jesus as a pacifist, the quote from John 2 shows he was quite willing to use calculated and controlled violence if necessary. So was Jesus a hypocrite then, saying one thing and doing another? I don’t think so.

I don’t think so for several reasons. I think more than likely Jesus walked a “middle way” that didn’t claim either extreme as an absolute. I think he would agree with the author of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 in the Old Testament who wrote:

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

 I said earlier that I don’t believe the Bible was inerrant. I am pretty sure that people added to it, and modified some things to suit their understanding.

Consider Matthew 5:38-39 quoted earlier.Jesus says:

You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.

See the “do not resist an evil person” in a gray color above? Do you suppose that was commentary added by a later copyist? I can’t prove that to you but the context invites that conclusion. Why?

Read Matthew 5:38-39 aloud to yourself leaving out the “do not resist an evil person.” Does it sound as good? Does the narrative still flow as if it didn’t need it? Here is what could have happened. You have an early, early copy without the “do not resist an evil person” in the main text. But someone writes in the margin, as an explanation of the Master’s words, “Do not resist an evil person.” Just so that the reader understands the context as this person who wrote the commentary believes he understands it.

The following sentence really doesn’t need it: “ If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”  It doesn’t need it because it is not a simple command to be non-violent. A lot more is going on here. In that day and age a master who was right handed might strike a slave with a back handed slap to the right cheek. He would not do the same to a person of his own rank. He would strike him on the left cheek with an open hand (if not a fist).

What Jesus appears to be saying here is, “If someone slaps you like you are worthless or a slave, then turn the other cheek and invite then to slap you as an equal.” Jesus is instructing the person to appeal to the empathy and humanity of the person who strikes you, not giving an absolute black and white command to be non-violent.

Indeed this seems to be the context for the rest of the quote. If a person sues you then give them even more than they ask. If a Roman soldier forces you to carry his pack (a Roman law that Jesus is referring to here) a mile take it another mile. Maybe this will appeal to the soldier as seeing you as another human being, not just a beast of burden.

There is a little more evidence in the Gospel of John where Jesus is questioned by the High Priest:

Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.
“I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret.  Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.”
When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded.
“If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” John 18:19-23

In the above case Jesus does not seem to be following his own advice of turning the other cheek, but instead questions why he is being hit. That seems a lot more rational approach than following an uncompromising commandment without understanding as many pacifists appear to advocate.

Skipping to modern times we have a law in Texas that concerns something called “fighting words.” If, for example, you are in a bar and say some really rude things to someone, and he strikes you, then you cannot legitimately claim simple and innocent self defense. You were a party to the fight by the very words you used. Your words incited violence. If in self defense you do serious bodily injury to that person a claim to self defense will not save you.

So did Jesus ever use “fighting words” with the Pharisees, a form of verbal violence? I think he did. Consider this quote from John 8:42-44:

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:42-44

I think telling these Pharisees that the devil was their father was pretty much fighting words, just as if in modern parlance I would make rude references to someone’s mother. No doubt about it, he intended to drive them mad! He used verbal violence to accomplish that.

So no, I don’t think Jesus was a pacifist at all. I think he saw the great value of pacifism and appealing to the humanity of others in appropriate circumstances, but I don’t think he laid pacifism out as an unwavering rule of good human conduct. His own life as recorded in the scriptures does not bear out that he was a pacifist.

Son of God?

Do you believe that Jesus was the one and only Son of God and that he made that claim? You may have read the following at some time:

Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?

Jesus The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

John 10:31-36 King James translation

In the original Koine (“common“) Greek of the New Testament the word “the” in the above translation of “I am the Son of God” simply does not exist. I am not an expert on the language of the New Testament, but I have consulted with some who are. They tell me that generally if a definite article (“the” in grammar) is intended it will be written, but if an indefinite article (like “a“) is intended, it would often be omitted.

Probably a more accurate translation would have been “I am a son of God.”

That this is not nitpicking on my part can be seen in how some other modern translations handle this, e.g.:

‘I am God’s Son’?   New International Version
 Son of God I am?  Young’s Literal Translation
‘Son of God am I’?  Concordant Literal New Testament

All avoid using “the” because it isn’t in the original, and all avoid using the indefinite article “a,” no doubt because it would be theologically significant. It would allow the possibility that Jesus is saying that he is a son of God in a way that doesn’t make a claim of being the one and only – the – Son of God.

Is there any other proof in the quote from John that Jesus really did mean to say that he was a son of God without claiming to be the one and only one? In fact there is. It is in the argument he is making.

Jesus is quoting from Psalm 82:

I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
Psalm 82:6-7 (KJV)

The Jews to whom Jesus was speaking considered this to be part of their scripture, and like modern Christian fundamentalists believed it was the literal word of God, and as Jesus said to them, “the scripture cannot be broken.” That was the logic he was using.

If in Psalms it is said of humans that ‘Ye are gods’ then what is your problem with me saying I am a son of God?” was precisely the logic that Jesus was using here. If Jesus was claiming to be the one and only then his argument not only lacks logic, it is largely incoherent. I do not believe Jesus was being incoherent. I think he said what he meant, and the implication is that we are all sons of God.

Our mission is to understand who we are, and what it means, and to grow into the role for which Jesus was the model.

 

 

Reincarnation in the Bible?

ruins

There is evidence in the New Testament that Jesus and the Apostles believed in  reincarnation, although it will most likely not convince the dogmatic believer. There is evidence that Jesus believed that John the Baptist was the reincarnation of Elijah (called Elias in Greek in the New Testament).  Consider these scriptures from Matthew:

For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.  … And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.  Matthew 11:10-14

That seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? John is Elijah returned as predicted by both the prophets and the law. This is repeated again in Matthew:

And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.  Matthew 17:10-13

Your conventional believer might reply with this from Luke where Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, is told by an angel that he would have a son:

And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.  And he [John] shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, 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 1:11-17

The conventional believer will say that John was not really Elijah but rather he just somehow went “…in the spirit and power of Elias.” That seems a little weak to me. I think “in the spirit and power of Elias” means being Elijah. That is consistent with what Jesus said in Matthew.  To say otherwise is to say that Jesus was mistaken or confused.

One other possible objection is that John himself replied to the Pharisees that he was not Elijah come again:

And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.  John 1:19-21 

It is entirely possible that John himself was not aware of his past lives. Jesus however claimed to have superior information.

Is there evidence that some Jews in the 1st century believed in some form of reincarnation? Indeed there is much evidence of this.

And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. John 9:1-3

If the Apostles believed it possible a man could be born blind as a punishment for his sins then clearly they believed he must have committed those sins in a previous life. What other possibility is there? That establishes that they at least believed it was possible. Jesus simply says this is not the case for this particular man.

You would think if the very idea of reincarnation was a serious mistake he would have immediately corrected them then and there. But this is the same Jesus that in Matthew says that John the Baptist is Elijah come again.

In Mark as a prologue to Peter declaring that Jesus is the Christ we have this dialogue:

 And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am? And they answered, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets. Mark 8:27-28

This tells you that the idea of people from the past reincarnating was a common notion at the time. The idea being expressed here is that because of his great works people clearly believed Jesus was some great person from the past reincarnated to life again.

This shouldn’t be surprising. In the Old Testament in Jeremiah we have the Lord telling Jeremiah that he knew him before he was born.

Then the word of the Lord came 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.  Jeremiah 1:4-5

In other words the real essence of a human does not come into existence at birth. In another quote from Mark it is clear that the belief that people can live again is common and accepted among Jews in the 1st century:

And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.  Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.  But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.  Mark 6:14-16

In Revelation the author clearly states the idea that those who overcome will not have to “go no more out,” that is go out into mortal life and the difficulties and pain that entails:

Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.  Revelation 3:11-12

Hebrews 9:27 is usually given as the final refutation of the idea of reincarnation:

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Hebrews 9:27

This may be a mistranslation. The Concordant Literal New Testament translates more literally saying that:

And, in as much as it is reserved to the men to be dying once, yet after this a judging…  Hebrews 9:27 , Concordant Literal New Testament

This puts a different spin on it. One could interpret this to mean that there will be a time for repeating death, judgment, and rebirth for as long as it takes for one to “overcome.”

In the New Testament the man Jesus overcomes death at the Resurrection. This is the Resurrection of Life, a resurrection to life that does not have the vision of eventual death at the end of a number of days. In Hebrews what is being talked of is the Resurrection of Death, a resurrection to a life with the near certainty of death awaiting one some day. As they say, in mortal life some things are certain, death and taxes!

Jesus makes this promise to his followers:

And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.  Mark 10:29-30

In this “present age” those who sacrifice their lives for this mission will be given other lives with “homes, brothers, sisters, …” so that in the age or world come they may achieve the Resurrection of Life as did Jesus.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.   John 3:3

Born again, and again.

The Apostle Paul writes that:

The last enemy to be destroyed is death.  1 Corinthians 15:26

One aspect of the mission of Jesus was to demonstrate the truth of this, to demonstrate that eventually death can be overcome.