Did We Have a Premortal Existence?
NCW 74, October-December 2001
Q. I can't seem to find a scripture that says we were with Christ and God before the foundation of the earth. There seems to be a difference between foreknew and actually being someone somewhere else. Where were we before we became flesh? What does it mean that Jerusalem is the Mother of us all? These seem to be the questions that I have the most difficulty with. Is there a difference between "The only begotten" and the "First Begotten" son of God and Son's of God???
A. Your questions have also been my questions for many years. I cannot explain it, but I just happen to believe that God's family preexisted in the heavenly city of Jerusalem sometime before or during Geneses 1:1. I give the scriptural evidence in my writings why I choose to believe this.
The Jerusalem above as being our "mother" means exactly what is implied (Galatians 4:26). We know that God [Yahweh] is our real "Father", and therefore we have to logically ask: who is our real "Mother"? The Bible gives the answer. God is our Father simply because we were born of Him, and the question is; when were we born of Him?
I happen to believe God's family was brought forth sometime in the eternal past in the heavenly City of Jerusalem by our true "Father" and by our true "Mother". How else can the preexistence of the family of God be explained? God did not become "our Father" when we were born in the flesh of fleshly fathers and mothers. I believe God was and always has been "our Father" which was before our fleshly birth, and therefore we were known of Him before the foundation of the world.
I do not believe our beginnings and origin came from the loins of Adam. We know we came from Adam as genetically pertaining to the body but not as to our spirit, simply because we do not have the spirit of Adam in us (if you know what I mean). We have a spirit in us that came from God (not Adam), and it is given to us at our physical conception in the womb, and when we die that same spirit returns back to God who gave it in the first place (Ecclesiastes 12:7). It is very possible for our spirit to testify with God's spirit that we are the children of God (Romans 8:16), and logically there is no way of knowing this if not believing in some type of preexistence.
Notice I said "logically", which takes in account to logically think this concept through; which means that the children of God could not have originated from the wombs of fleshly mothers; simply because God does not co-inhabit with fleshly mothers. I cannot believe that God was without a family in the eternity of the past. The very name of God (el-o-heem) [Elohim] means plural, therefore implying a family.
According to Romans 8:16 our spirit can merge with God's spirit, which means two spirits merging into one in the same manner as Christ and the Father are one. This only proves where our spirits came from, which were already in existence in the same manner as Christ's spirit. The difference is, Christ remembered his glory He had with the Father before the world was (John 17:5). We cannot remember.
I am not sure of the beginning of our souls. I tend to believe our souls develop and reflect our personal lives, and therefore our soul simply could be called "our life". Our salvation has to do with the saving of the soul (Hebrews 10:39, James 1:21, and James 5:20). Therefore at the resurrection our "lives" (or souls) will continue on, but with glorified immortal bodies as Adam once had.
However in the case of one delivered unto Satan it is possible for the spirit (not the soul) to be saved (1 Corinthians 5:5), and I believe these spirits are "saved" so they can be judged in the day of Christ.
Ephesians 1:4 explains that we were chosen "in Christ" before the foundation of the world. This also touches on the doctrine known as "predestination". Foundation means "disruption" or a "casting down", which is speaking of Lucifer's rebellion and the effects this had on the earth; as stated in Gen. 1:2. The question is, how could we be chosen "in Christ" if we did not exist in spirit somehow in the eternal past?
Some will say that God just looked forward to the time of our physical existence when He chose us "in Christ". That would of course mean that God's family only existed in God's mind, or was a figment of His imagination (if you know what I mean). We know Christ had to exist according to Ephesians 1:4, and therefore because of something that happened in the heavens in the eternal past God had to have known us and the need for us to be covered by Christ's sacrifice, and that is exactly what Ephesians 1:4 implies.
God knew of the possibility of an angelic rebellion, therefore we were chosen "in Him" before Lucifer's rebellion and before the earth became waste and void (Gen. 1:2). Christ would not have been sacrificed on behalf of the Father's children if there was no rebellion and no "casting down" of the creation of Genesis 1:1. We were the "congregation" in the sides of the north (Isaiah 14:13), which was before Lucifer's rebellion and long before the creation of Adam's immortal flesh body in the Garden of Eden. Read carefully my booklets "The World Before Adam, and "The New Jerusalem, and also the pamphlet "Ye Must Be Born Again". Please take note of every statement in these writings, and you will know why I choose to believe in the doctrine of preexistence. However I cannot explain this doctrine. None of us are able to explain it because our memory is blocked, and I might add, for a glorious purpose.
Before the Father can bring His children "home" again He has to know the hearts and faith of His children without them having the conscious awareness of their preexistence. This is very profound, deep, and precious knowledge of which our minds simply are not able to comprehend, but I do believe it is not a "salvational" matter that we must believe in. We will be saved according to our faith and through the works of Christ, and not for things we happen to not understand.
When the apostle Paul spoke of his "departure" he was referring to his "return" (2 Timothy 4:6). Return to where? Paul knew at his death he would "return" to where he originally came from. The meaning of departure is to "return". Check it out.
The main thing is we had better believe the Bible, and if the Bible alludes to a sort of preexistence of God's family then we had better believe it. We don't have to understand the details.
You asked about the "only begotten" and the "first begotten". Jesus Christ [Yah'shua the Messiah] was the "only" Adamite born of flesh and blood that was literally conceived and "begotten" of God through the spoken words of an angel; which is why Christ had to be born of a virgin. We were all begotten of fleshly fathers, but we can also be begotten again of God through faith and obedience to His written Word. Notice I said "again"; which touches on the subject of "born again". Christ is referred to as the "first begotten" by the resurrection from the dead (Revelation 1:5). He was the "first" of many of God's family that will be resurrected from the dead. We are considered "sons of God" if we are being led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14).
Thank you for the questions. I hope this has helped. What I have explained is as I understand the scriptures. However I could be wrong.
Editor: Not all the views in this section are necessarily those of NCCG/BCAY. Article by Mahon Wickey
Also see Pre-existence.
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