Janet Weaver Smith © 1-8-16 gardenministries.org
This article addresses a teaching within some Christian circles stating that human beings can pre-exist as free will, choice-making spirit beings in heaven before being sent to earth, birthed as physical human beings. The issue in question about this controversial teaching is not that humans pre-exist in the heart of God through the Word before they become birthed as human beings. Multiple scriptures describe a pre-human existence: Ephesians 1:4-5,11; Romans 8:29; Jeremiah 1:5, 2 Timothy 1:9; 1 Peter 1:20, to name a few.
The issue in question is how, and in what state, does the human spirit exists? Prior to their birth as human beings, do “future” human-born spirits have activated, free-will, choice-making souls in with expressive personalities that enable them to initiate, interact, and communicate with the Father [or the Godhead]?
The Bible tells us that newly created humanity named, “Adam” received his/her free-will awareness and his/her ability to make choices, could exercise his/her unique personality and could initiate relationship with God and interact with his/her created surroundings after he was formed from the dust of the ground and after God breathed his/her soul into full-grown Adam. Genesis 2:7-8 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being [“being” in Hebrew: nephesh meaning “soul”]. The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.”
The only existence humans have before they are God-breathed into their earthly, clay-formed human body is that which exists within the spoken Word of God who is Christ Jesus Himself. In this way, humans can “exist” as being purposed in Christ before the foundation of the earth but only in the essence of being in Christ and spoken into existence by The Word of God. The Bible does not tell us anything more about this pre-human-body existence so there is no way to scripturally prove that humans have an activated soul with a free-will personality that can initiate relationship, make choices, and communicate with God prior to becoming physically born. This idea of spirit beings having free will, choice-making, activated personalities who interact and communicate with the Godhead prior to their human-born earth existence is not found in scripture and thus, should not be taught.
Some Christian prophetic forums have taught that humans lived a long time as spirits in the Father before being “sent” to earth. These spirits are said to have petitioned God to become a part of redemptions story and eagerly asked the Father to, “send me, send me!” This narrative implies that these spirits have a free-will ability to initiate with God and to make personal choices and decisions about their destiny before they are formed in the flesh as human beings. John 15:16 counters the idea of such an ability to initiate the choosing process, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last–and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
Teachings that say that human spirits have activated souls and can make and communicate free will choices before they are flesh-and-blood humans, implies that human beings can have a direct, interactive relationship with the Heavenly Father before coming to the Father through Jesus Christ. It sounds like splitting hairs, and while those who teach this idea most likely don’t mean to teach anything apart from Jesus, they may not have thought the idea all the way through to its end and have not seen where the line is drawn by scripture. The ability to initiate and communicate with God through a human “voice with words” prior to being human born does not build upon any existing scriptural truths. God first loved us and chose us. We did not choose Him. And the only way to the Father is through Christ.
Scripture does tell us that we exist in the heart of God through the Word, Who is Christ Jesus, prior to being breathed into our human flesh. However, our Creator God initiates and chooses when to breathe life and soul in our human flesh and impart life. We do not choose Him. He chooses us. Our human birth is the beginning of a life of conscious choosing.
Colossians 1:15-17 The Son [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
As we enter a new era of seeking and receiving prophetic revelation, It’s a good reminder to take an idea all the way through to its end and look at the fruit to determine the Truth of it before we teach it. The fruit determines whether something can be taught as “extra-biblical” or is actually non-biblical—even unbiblical. Extra-biblical teaching causes established biblical principles to be deepened and all the more profound but never redefines or contradicts established principles. The Lord builds and releases revelation line upon line and precept upon precept.
Furthermore, the idea that humans first exist as spirits who can make pre-birth, free will choices and can initiate communication with God doesn’t enhance how we walk out our life in God on earth today. If we have no ability to recollect any of that existence, we are left to simply imagine it and that without gaining any true revelation from it because we can never give the revelation any scriptural substantiation. Imagination and revelation are two different things and this kind of imagining is fruitless. Fruitless means non-Biblical and can be categorized as unbiblical.
For those who are in the early stages of learning how to scripturally develop and ground revelation, imagining things like this could even lead them toward thinking what most world religions teach: that humans can have an eternal, life-giving relationship with God or a Heavenly Father outside of and apart from accepting and believing that Jesus Christ is their only entry point to the Father.
A good Bible teacher knows to tell their listeners to seek the Scriptures for themselves and ask the LORD to confirm His word—especially when it involves processing extra-biblical revelation. We prophesy in part until the complete comes. There may be a diamond in the rough buried in the extra-biblical insights so patience toward the messenger and a discerning spirit toward what a messenger is trying to communicate will help us to not miss those important new puzzle pieces.
John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.