In an online sermon titled, “The Wages Of Sin Is Death”, the World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCOG) claims that humans lived as angels in heaven prior to being kicked out for sinning against God.
“The Bible teaches us that we were angels in heaven before we were born on this earth. What happened to us in heaven, that Christ urged us to repent when He came to this earth to save mankind and first began to preach?” © WMSCOG English WATV.org – Accessed on 04/09/2011.
In the above sermon, the WMSCOG attempts to prove that “we were angels in heaven” before we came to Earth by reading from Proverbs saying:
“The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began. When there were no oceans, I was given birth, when there were no springs abounding with water; before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth, before he made the earth or its fields or any of the dust of the world. . . and when he marked out the foundations of the earth. Then I was the craftsman at his side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind.” Proverbs 8:22-31
“In the above verses, “I” designates Solomon, who was the third king of Israel. When he wrote the book of Proverbs, he stated that he already existed before the creation of the earth. From this, we can see that he existed as a spiritual being before he came to this earth─that he lived in the angelic world, the kingdom of God.” © WMSCOG English WATV.org – Accessed on 04/09/2011.
Because the WMSCOG thinks that the “I” refers to Solomon, they attempt to justify that Solomon (and thereby all human beings) existed in heaven before they existed on earth.
However, this idea cannot be reconciled with Scripture. It can not even be reconciled with the passage they argue from. Here, the literary device of personification is used to describe God’s wisdom.
Their statement concerning Proverbs 8:22-31 is incorrect because it completely ignores the context. If we read from the beginning of that section, we see very clearly that Solomon is actually using personification:
Thus, it is clear that when Solomon writes “I”, he is not referring to himself nor is he stating that he existed before the creation of the earth as the WMSCOG states in their online sermon. On the contrary, Solomon is speaking from the perspective of Wisdom. Thus, their attempt to use Proverbs to justify we were angels in heaven before we existed on Earth fails easily when we read the chapter from the beginning.