The Gospel Observer
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the
nations...teaching them to observe all that I commanded you,
and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age"
October 18, 2015
1) Were We Pre-existing Spirits Before the Creation, and Was Jesus
the First One Created? (Tom Edwards)
2) News & Notes
Were We Pre-existing Spirits Before the Creation, and Was
Jesus the First One Created?
by Tom Edwards
I had an interesting study with a couple young Mormons
yesterday. They had stopped by earlier this week, but I
invited them back so that we could talk about each other's
beliefs. It was an interesting conversation; and they were
polite, well-mannered, and informative about their doctrines.
Did you know that Mormons believe that everyone who has ever been --
and ever will be -- has actually already existed in spirit-form
before the world began? According to the young men I spoke
with, Jesus was the first spirit-being God the Father created; and
then all the other spirit-beings were made, which included you and
me, along with everyone else who has ever been or ever will
be! My two visitors did not know how long ago that actually
happened, but it was sometime prior to the creation of the universe;
and in that state, we were all supposedly similar to angels!
Out of all those spirit-beings, about a third of them eventually
chose to follow Satan in his rebellious ways and were, thus, cast
out of heaven.
For the first humans, the spirits of Adam and Eve had been chosen by
God to come to earth; and they willingly agreed.
Other spirit-beings also desired to have a home on earth, so they
then became the souls within the bodies born.
Reading from one of the Mormons' pamphlets, entitled, "The Plan of
Salvation," page 2 has a section that answers the question, "Where
did I come from?" Here is the answer it gives: "Your life did
not begin at birth... Your Heavenly Father created your
spirit, and you lived with Him as a spirit before you were born on
earth. You knew and loved Him, and He knew and loved
you. This period is called pre-earth life.
Throughout your pre-earth life, you were taught the
principles and commandments that would lead to happiness. You
grew in intelligence and learned to love the truth. You were
taught about the plan of salvation. During this pre-earth
life, Jesus Christ was chosen as the Savior; you learned that
through Him you would be able to overcome the effects of your wrong
choices. An important part of God's plan was for you to come
to earth to receive a physical body and to learn to make correct
choices. You would not remember living in Heavenly Father's
presence, but He would give you the ability to know right from
wrong. ... In your pre-earth life, you chose to have faith
in Jesus Christ and to follow God's plan. Because of your
choices, you were born on earth. Only by making these same
choices can you find peace in this life and be able to return to
live with your Heavenly Father after this life is over" (pages
According to the Mormons, the reason why none of us are aware of our
previous state as spirit-beings is because of the "veil of
forgetfulness," which God gave us when entering this world, and
which was necessary in order that we could benefit from Christ's
Where, however, do you read of any of this in the Bible? Does
it give any indication that Jesus was created and, therefore, has
not always been? And that we existed in spirit-form prior to
Was Jesus Created?
The passage the Mormons cited to allege that Christ was created is
Colossians 1:15 that speaks of Him as being "the firstborn of all
creation." James Strong, however, shows that the Greek word
can be used literally or figuratively. And in the context, it
expresses not merely first in time, but first in greatness, in the
sense of having a superiority over all.
In Old Testament times, when a father "wills what he has to his
sons," the firstborn was to receive "a double portion of all" that
his father had, "for he is the beginning of his strength; to him
belongs the right of the firstborn" (Deut. 21:15-17). So this
right of the firstborn gave him a preeminence over his siblings; and
that idea of a higher rank or superior position is also the way
"firstborn" is figuratively used in Psalm 89:27, where God says of
David, "I also shall make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings
of the earth."
The context of Colossians 1:15 also implies this figurative usage in
Jesus being "the firstborn of all creation." For the passage
shows Him exalted above all creation and gives good reasons for
that: "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and
on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or
rulers or authorities -- all things have been created through Him
and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things
hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He
is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself
will come to have first place in everything" (Col. 1:16-18).
The very phrase having "first place in everything" expresses
preeminence, that exalted and superior position over others.
The passage begins by saying that "by Him all things were
created." This corresponds with what John says of Jesus in
John 1:3: "All things came into being through Him, and apart from
Him nothing came into being that has come into being." And
wouldn't that also be a good reason for the Lord to be exalted over
all that has been created -- since He is the Creator of
Like the Mormons, the Jehovah's Witnesses also believe that Jesus
was a created being before the world began; so in their New World
Translation of the Bible, Colossians 1:16 is rendered as, "because
by means of him all OTHER things were created in the heavens and on
the earth..." (emphasis mine). By their usage of the word
"other," it twists the passage to fit with their doctrine that Jesus
was the first one created, and then He created everything
else. For, otherwise, if all created things were created by
Him, then He would have had to also create Himself. So the
Jehovah's Witnesses use the word "other" to exempt Him from that and
conform the verse to their wrong belief. We should all,
however, take heed to the warnings in the Bible of not tampering
with God's word by adding to or taking away from its teachings and,
thus, perverting it and bringing upon ourselves the wrath of God
(cf. Gal. 1:6-9; 2 Jn. 1:9; Rev. 22:18,19).
Looking to the Scriptures, Jesus is shown to have always
existed. Though His physical body had a beginning when born of
the virgin Mary, yet He is actually "...from long ago, from the days
of eternity" (Micah 5:2); and though inconceivable to us, it appears
from John 8:58 that He was filling all eternity at that very moment
-- and still is. For in this passage He says of Abraham, who lived
about 2,000 years prior to this statement, that "Before Abraham was
born, I am." Also, in Revelation 22:13, Jesus refers to
Himself by saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the
last, the beginning and the end," which also expresses His eternal
nature. And just as we know that there will be no "end" to
Jesus' existence, the same is true when we also try to look back to
His "beginning" -- for that also stretches throughout eternity.
Consider also Hebrews 7:3. It speaks of Melchizedek being
"like the Son of God" in the sense of "having neither beginning of
days nor end of life"; but in Melchizedek's case, it figuratively
conveys that his serving as a priest was not based on his ancestry
-- "Without father, without mother, without genealogy" -- which
would have been required for the Levitical priesthood and would
disqualify one without that genealogical record of proof, as it did
with those in Ezra 2:62: "They searched among their ancestral
registration, but they could not be located; therefore they were
considered unclean and excluded from the priesthood." While
these phrases are used figuratively with regard to Melchizedek, they
are literal when referring to Jesus. His eternal existence did
not come about through a father and mother; so He is, therefore,
That the Lord Jesus Christ has always been is truly an amazing
characteristic that also indicates His superior greatness!
What other religious leader could even come close to that?!
Did We Exist Before the Creation?
But what about man existing in spirit-form prior to the
creation? Is that so?
God is spirit (Jn. 4:24), and "...a spirit does not have flesh and
bones..." (Luke 24:39). So when man was created in God's
"image," according to His "likeness," as seen in Genesis 1:26,27,
that pertains to the spiritual part of man, his soul, that
entity that will never cease to be -- rather than merely his
temporary physical appearance, his body. Therefore, being
created in God's image does not mean that He necessarily looks like
But if we were already spirit-beings prior to the creation, why
would that spirit part of us need to be created again -- rather than
just simply be put into the body?
It can also be said that when we were formed in the womb, our souls
or spirits for those bodies were made morally pure, innocent,
without sin. Some have referred to this as man's "original
righteousness." Solomon declares, "Behold, I have found only this,
that God made men upright, but they have sought out many devices"
(Eccl. 7:29). This same verse is also rendered as,
"...We were completely honest when God created us, but now we have
twisted minds" (CEV); And that "...God made people decent, but they
looked for many ways to avoid being decent" (God's Word).
Due to having corrupted our spirits (our souls) by transgression,
which every accountable person has done, "for all have sinned and
fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23), there is, therefore,
that need to be made pure again -- and just as pure as when we were
first born into this world as those innocent children of whom
belongs the kingdom of God (cf. Mark 10:14,15).
Paul also speaks of that need to get back to the "likeness of God"
as we "lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in
accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the
spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness
of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth"
From these passages, we can see that the soul or spirit of man is
much more than merely the body. This is also clearly seen in Matthew
10:28, in which Jesus encourages His followers by saying, "Do not
fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but
rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in
But if man were a pre-existing spirit-being prior to the creation of
the universe, why would Genesis 1:26,27 indicate the spiritual part
of man also being made on the 6th day of the creation?
Though you might read it in other books, nowhere does the Bible say
we existed as spirit-beings prior to the creation of the universe.
And what we each need to be concerned with now is making sure that
our souls, which will never cease to be, will end up in the right
place where we would want to spend an eternity. The choice is
up to us. God has made the way that every lost soul can be
saved, but we must be willing to comply with His plan of salvation,
as shown toward the end of this bulletin. So if you haven't
done that yet, please give it some serious thought -- and know that
if you do become a Christian, you'll never regret having done so in
the Judgment Day!
News & Notes
Joseph Cooper is now off of life support and is slowly
Mary Vandevander, who is very elderly, recently had a mini
stroke that affected her memory. Let us also remember in
prayer her daughter and son-in-law, Melotine and Ronnie Davis, who
have been taking good care of her.
Misty Thornton went through two days of testing last week.
She is thankful for everyone's prayers and has some good news: Her
heart is now beating at an in sync pace, due to medication and God's
help. She is now to continue with her medication to see
if that will improve her heart, which is still not functioning in
the normal range, and will then see her cardiologist on the 21st to
determine her next step.
The pain in Shirley Davis' legs has improved; but it is
always noticeable to some degree, due to not only arthritis, but
also bursitis. Shirley has her good days and bad days with it.
Kelsey Bohannon has been in the hospital 4 times this
month. One of those times was for surgery on her intestine,
due to a perforation; but she is still having severe pain even in
her shoulder and chest area, which the doctors have not yet
determined the cause of.
Sheila Pennock is now in the hospital because of gall bladder
trouble, which might possibly be due to stones. She was
admitted October 17 and is the mother of Christopher Pennock whom we
mentioned last September as having a stroke and congestive heart
WordPress version of this bulletin:
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes
(Rom. 10:17; John 20:30,31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24;
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts
5) Be baptized in water for the
remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal.
3:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:21)
6) Continue in the faith; for, if not, salvation
can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 5 PM
Wednesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
(Gospel Observer website)