Is the Doctrine of SOUL SLEEP BIBLICAL Part 1?

SPELLING EDITED


IS THE DOCTRINE OF SOUL SLEEP BIBLICAL? PART 1

 

Let us begin this study in God's word by briefly reading the aspects of what this denominational church doctrine that is known as SOUL SLEEP, actually teaches. Basically, this doctrine teaches that God created man as a living SOUL and NOT that God created man as having or possessing a soul. In other words, the Christians who teach the doctrine of “soul sleep” use Genesis 2:7 and a few other verses to try and prove that mankind IS a living mortal soul, as opposed, to a human being having or possessing a soul on the inside of the mortal body of a man as almost all other Christians teach. The WHOLE word of God teaches us that a human being is made up of three parts, the spirit, the soul, and the body. But first, let us look at the Scriptures used to teach “soul sleep”.

 

Genesis 2:7.

 

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man BECAME a LIVING SOUL.”

 

Therefore, those that teach the doctrine of soul sleep conclude that this is the “FORMULA” so to speak for what a “SOUL” actually IS according to God's word, which they say can be understood as the BODY + BREATH of life from God = a LIVING SOUL.

Then they combine Genesis 2:7 with Ecclesiastes 12:7, which speaks of when a man dies along with how Genesis 2:7 states that man became a LIVING soul when God breathed His very own breath of life into the body of a man that He formed from the dust of the earth. And then they arrive at the conclusion or the INTERPRETATION that the SOUL dies when the body dies. They use the analogy of death being SLEEP like we see many times in the New Testament.

Now some Christians who teach soul sleep argue that the soul turns to dust with the body that was formed from the dust of the earth. So, according to them, the soul ceases to exist when the breath or the SPIRIT of God leaves the body and goes back to God. In all fairness, please let me explain what they mean by the “SOUL CEASES TO EXIT”. 

First of all, there is division among those that teach this doctrine of soul sleep. What I mean by this is that there are different groups of believers who teach this doctrine of soul sleep, but they all do not agree on how they define the SLEEP of the SOUL. In other words, one group believes the SOUL is completely annihilated the moment a person DIES. And, therefore, to them, the soul COMPLETELY CEASES to EXIST. Except, right before it is annihilated God makes a copy of the soul’s memory much like we would make a copy on an external drive of our computer. And then, at the time of the resurrection, God creates a new soul and uploads the memory into this new soul. That is one teaching of what one group means by the soul ceasing to exist when a person dies. While another group says that the SOUL goes into a state of SLEEP where the soul has absolutely NO CONSCIOUSNESS whatsoever and does not regain any consciousness UNTIL the resurrection of that soul. Therefore, most of these groups of soul sleep Christians define soul sleep as the “CONSCIOUSNESS OF the soul” ceases to exist so to speak, and not the entire soul itself ceases to exist. But basically, all the different groups agree that the soul SLEEPS, in that, the soul is in a state of COMPLETE UNCONSCIOUSNESS UNTIL that soul is resurrected on the Day of Judgment.

Here is Ecclesiastes 12:7 which clearly teaches us that when a person dies the physical body decays and turns back to dust from which it was formed. And that the moment a “person” dies the SPIRIT or the breath of life goes back to God which they “interpret” to mean that the “SOUL” itself DIES when a man draws his last breath and the BODY of a person DIES. For you see, to them, the soul IS the person.

 

Ecclesiastes 12:7.

 

“Then shall the dust RETURN to the earth as it was: and the SPIRIT (Or the BREATH of life from God when he breathed into the nostrils of man to become a LIVING soul) shall RETURN unto God who gave it.”

 

So then, by combining these two verses, those that teach this doctrine of soul sleep have concluded by the logic of a mathematical FORMULA that uses subtraction of the breath or Spirit of God at the time of death to arrive at this formula where at death the BODY is subtracted and the SPIRIT is subtracted from the LIVING soul. In other words, their line of reasoning is that the SOUL that was once living now becomes DEAD because the Spirit of the BREATH of God that made the soul LIVE was substracted at the very moment of death. So, therefore, they conclude that, essentially, the soul is no more, in that, the soul ceases to exist. In other words, they use the reasoning that it took TWO and only TWO ingredients so to speak in order for God to create a LIVING SOUL. And these TWO ingredients to them are number one, the dust of the earth which God formed into a BODY combine with ingredient number two, the BREATH or the SPIRIT of life from God to create a LIVING SOUL. And when BOTH ingredients are SUBTRACTED at the moment of death of a person then there is NOTHING LEFT but dust. Hence, to them, the living soul CEASES to exist.

Again, when a person dies, according to their line of reasoning, which goes on to continue along with this same reasoning of the creation of man as being likened to a mathematical formula of adding TWO ingredients together, then they conclude that at DEATH when the BREATH or the SPIRIT of God leaves the BODY and goes back to God then the ONLY other ingredient left is the lifeless BODY. And when the lifeless body eventually decays and turns back to dust then there is nothing left. So, therefore, they use the reasoning that since BOTH ingredients separate at death and go back to where they came from, as in, the BODY turns to BACK to dust and the BREATH of life from God that made or formed the body from dust to BECOME a LIVING soul goes BACK to God leaving NOTHING LEFT. Therefore, they conclude that the SOUL ceases to EXIST at the very moment a person draws their last breath and the body ceases to be LIVING because it is the BREATH of God that gives the physical body LIFE to BECOME a LIVING SOUL. 

They also use Psalm 104:29 to further support their point of view that when the BREATH of life from God is SUBTRACTED or taken away, then the body AND the SOUL both DIE The physical both most every Christ understands decays and turns back to dust. But ONLY those Christians that teach the doctrine of soul sleep teach that the SOUL DIES as well the very selfsame moment that the physical body dies when a person draws their last breath.

 

Psalm 104:29.

 

“You hide your face, they are troubled: you take away their BREATH, they die, and return to their dust.

30. You send forth your SPIRIT, they are created: and you renew the face of the earth.”

 

Now while these verses SEEM to be saying that a LIVING soul is made up of just TWO ingredients please keep in mind that these few verses are NOT the WHOLE word of God on what the SOUL truly IS. And while this ideal or form of reasoning of a living soul being likened to a mathematical FORMULA where BODY + BREATH of life = a LIVING SOUL and BODY - BREATH of life = a DEAD UNCONSCIOUS SOUL may SOUND logical to some Christians, it is simply NOT what the WHOLE word of God teaches us about the SOUL. 

And that is why we must take a closer look in this study to clearly see that it is the BODY only that DIES and turn back to dust and NOT that the SOUL of man that dies as well. For you see, the spirit of life is CONNECTED to the SOUL and the spirit and soul live in a mortal body. The Bible itself teaches us that there is an INNER man and an outer man. We will look at those verses of Scripture shortly but first, you need to understand that there is a DIVISION among those who teach soul sleep. 

 And it is obvious by the DIVISION between those who teach soul sleep that even some who teach this doctrine of soul sleep have realized from other passages of Scripture that the soul does NOT actually cease to EXIST at the very moment a person dies. These particular believers in soul sleep go on to define the death of a person as being that the soul of man at the time of death when a person draws their last breath and dies does NOT actually cease to exist. But rather, the soul simply goes in a state of SLEEP where they also conclude the same as all those who teach soul sleep that the souls of the dead have absolutely NO CONSCIOUSNESS whatsoever until they are awakened at the resurrection. In other words, the “general commonality” of the doctrine of soul sleep teaches that when a person draws their last breath and dies that those who once were a LIVING soul now become a DEAD soul. And by the soul being dead they describe the soul as having absolutely NO CONSCIOUSNESS whatsoever when a person dies. In other words, they teach that the soul is dead, in that, the soul of a person who dies is ASLEEP or in a temporary state of SLEEP without any consciousness whatsoever of where they are, where they have been, or where they are going. The soul is DEAD to CONSCIOUSNESS.

Also, those who teach this doctrine of soul sleep go on to dogmatically emphasize that the dead soul REMAINS in the grave UNTIL the resurrection and therefore NO ONE goes to heaven to be with the Lord when they die. In other words, those who teach the doctrine of soul sleep dogmatically demand that the righteous when they die REMAIN in the grave asleep and absolutely NO SOUL or NO SPIRIT being of a person goes to heaven to be present with the Lord. They dogmatically maintain that the dead are DEAD, as in DEAD as a doornail so to speak and that the dead remain in the grave, BOTH the decaying body and the soul that is sleeping in an unconscious state until the resurrection BOTH remain in the GRAVE until that soul and body are resurrected together FROM the GRAVE. 

Now the main groups of believers that teach this doctrine of soul sleep are the Jehovah's Witnesses which refer to their teaching as “SOUL ANNIHILATION” because they believe that the soul is actually destroyed or annihilated when a person dies and then God will recreate a new soul being with an immortal body on the day of resurrection. Some other main groups of believers that teach this doctrine of soul sleep are the Christadelphians, the Seventh Day Adventist, the Neo Sadducee group, and Herbert W. Armstrong who founded the Worldwide Church of God (WCG) that has now splintered off into many groups, because of differences in the way each of these splinter groups believes about different doctrines. Some of you may already know that Herbert W, Armstrong is also the founder of the Plain Truth magazine, which others of you may have seen around. And I am quite sure that there are other groups who teach the doctrine of soul sleep as well, but these are the main larger groups that I have been made aware of at this present time. Sadly, I learned that SOME Biblical Unitarian Christians also believe in the doctrine of soul sleep. So while I agree with almost all the teachings of Biblical Unitarian Christians, I have to disagree with the doctrine of soul sleep. But before we get to the Scriptures that prove the doctrine of soul sleep to NOT be sound Biblical teaching let us look at some other verses of Scriptures that are used to teach the doctrine of soul sleep.

Those who teach this doctrine of soul sleep use around 12 or so main verses to try and show that there is absolutely NO CONSCIOUSNESS in the grave when a person dies. And on the surface, these verses do indeed seem to build a very sound Biblical foundation when these verses are viewed WITHOUT closely considering the rest of God's word. Of course, they obviously use many more other verses of Scripture but those other verses are used to try and support other points of this doctrine. So again, in reality, there are only around 12 main verses of Scriptures that are used to try and prove that the soul is UNCONSCIOUS when a person dies. And yes, I will admit that on the first reading of these 12 main verses all grouped together along with reading “their interpretations” of these verses that it does indeed SEEM like this doctrine of soul sleep is a Biblical teaching. 

In other words, as I have said many times that any verse or verses when taken out of context and viewed alone and apart from the rest of God's word may SEEM to be saying something that they are NOT TRULY saying. And like most every other false doctrine the enemy Satan always mixes a little truth in order to deceive Christians into sincerely believing his lies. Now on the points of this doctrine of soul sleep where a multitude of scripture on the subject of DEATH in the Bible as being described of likened to falling ASLEEP is being used, we will not cover all these verses, because the Bible does indeed liken death as a person falling ASLEEP. However, we will take a closer look at what the Bible truly MEANS when the dead are asleep. In other words, I do not want someone accusing me of not giving my readers ALL the evidence. I always try to be open and honest so if I by chance did happen to miss a verse that you feel very strongly proves without a doubt that what I am teaching is false, then by all means I would like to hear your argument that you so disagree that what I am sharing with my readers is in error. 

So then, let us continue this study in God's word taking one argument at a time and closely examine all the evidence from both sides of this highly controversial doctrine that teaches that the souls of the dead are UNCONSCIOUS knowing nothing when a person dies and that absolutely NO SOUL has ascended up into heaven to be present with the Lord until that soul is RESURRECTED and given an IMMORTAL body like Jesus. 

But before we begin let me say that I myself do NOT believe in the doctrine that some mainstream churches teach about the SOUL of man being IMMORTAL

I bring this up because those who teach this doctrine of soul sleep spend a great deal of time and scripture teaching that the soul is NOT immortal, but rather that the soul is MORTAL and therefore soul can DIE and be DESTROYED. 

I also want to let my readers and seekers of the TRUTH know that I myself do NOT believe that the man-made doctrine of eternal torment in flames of fire for all eternity is sound Biblical teaching either.

 Which again it is for the same reason. Those who teach this false doctrine of soul sleep also spend a great deal of time and scripture refuting as UNBIBLICAL teaching of eternal torment in flames of fire in HELL. 

In other words, I already have in-depth Bible studies on these subjects of “IS THE DOCTRINE OF HELL BIBLICAL?” and “IS THE SOUL OF MAN IMMORTAL?” So when we come to an argument used by those who teach soul sleep to show that they are indeed NOT SOUND BIBLICAL teachings, then I will just give you the links to these other studies rather than spending a lot of time restating what I have plainly explained in these other studies. In other words, there is a little TRUTH in BOTH sides of this highly controversial subject of what happens to us when we DIE?

With that being said, let us now begin exposing the errors of interpretation made by those who teach the doctrine of soul sleep. Again, I will not be spending a lot of time exposing the ERRORS of interpretation made by the mainstream churches in this particular study that will teach you where the souls of the dead go where a person dies, and what happens to people when they die. With that being said, let us now take a close look at the ERRORS of interpretation made by those who teach the doctrine of SOUL SLEEP.

 

ERROR #1.

 

The first error made by those who teach the doctrine of soul sleep is that they FOCUS on just a few verses that do in fact clearly state that man is a living soul, but then they falsely conclude that the WHOLE man IS a LIVING SOUL. And then from this false conclusion they therefore falsely conclude that man can NOT possibly have or possess a SOUL that can go on living and have conscious thought after a person dies. In other words, because of this error #1 in interpreting the Scriptures, they have incorrectly concluded that it is impossible for the soul of the righteous to go to heaven to be present with the Lord when they die. Now in all fairness, I will say that BOTH sides of this argument of what the SOUL actually IS there is both truth and error on BOTH sides. In other words, NEITHER side is entirely correct. Nor is neither side entirely incorrect. But rather SOME of what BOTH sides say is indeed BIBLICAL. I will explain what I mean by this as we continue this study in God's word and we get to those points or being PARTLY correct but yet still NOT SOUND BIBLICAL teaching. Here are the verses in the Bible that SEEM to teach that man IS a SOUL as opposed to man HAVING or possessing a soul. Again, NEITHER side is totally 100% BIBLICAL in accurately defining what man is. As you continue this study in God's word you will clearly see and understand exactly what man is. With that being said let us take a closer look at the verses used by those who teach soul sleep to try and prove that man IS a LIVING SOUL.

Here is Genesis 2:7, which we already read, but here it is again grouped together along with other verses of Scriptures that they use to teach this doctrine of soul sleep.

 

Genesis 2:7.

 

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the BREATH of LIFE, and man BECAME a LIVING SOUL.”

 

Job 33:3,4.

 

“My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly.

4. The Spirit of God has made me, and the BREATH of the Almighty has given me LIFE.”


Job 27:3.

 

“All the while my BREATH is in me, and the SPIRIT of God is in my nostrils;”

 

Ezekiel 37:4-6, which is speaking of the resurrection.

 

“Again, he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O you dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.

5. Thus says the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause BREATH to enter into you, and you shall LIVE:

6. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put BREATH in you, and you shall LIVE, and you shall know that I am the LORD.”

 

 

Again, when one focuses on these verses ALONE it does indeed SEEM as if the BODY and the BREATH of life or the SPIRIT of God make or become a living SOUL, in that, man, as in the whole man, IS a SOUL rather than what the mainstream churches teach that man has or possesses a soul. However, these four verses are NOT the WHOLE word of God that helps us understand what the SOUL truly is in the light of the rest of scripture. We simply cannot just ignore these other verses in the word of God that teach us about the soul.

First of all, I want to say that BOTH of these sides of this controversy are PARTLY correct and at the same time they are also PARTLY incorrect. Let me explain what I mean by this. In truth, the SOUND BIBLICAL TRUTH is somewhere down the middle of these two sides of the argument. You see the WHOLE word of God teaches us that PART of man IS indeed a living SOUL, but NOT the WHOLE man itself is a living soul. Please bear with me while I explain what I mean by this in greater detail. You see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible ALSO teaches us that man is made up of BOTH the INNER man AND the OUTER man.

 Please read Ephesians 3:16,17 which clearly teaches us that we as a WHOLE being are made up of an INNER man that is sometimes referred to as our HEART and at other times as our SPIRIT.

 

Ephesians 3:16,17.

 

“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the INNER MAN;

17. That (Or so that, or in order that) Christ (The anointing of the Holy Spirit of Almighty God, or the being endued with power from on high, our being filled with the Holy Spirit of Almighty God) may dwell in your HEARTS by faith; (Or may dwell in that part of you called the INNER man) that you, being rooted and grounded in love,”

 

Then we read in 2 Corinthians 4:16 about our OUTWARD man that perishes, which I am sure everyone agrees is speaking of the physical BODY as being the outward man that will one day decay and perish by turning back into the dust of the earth.

 

2 Corinthians 4:16.

 

“For which cause we faint not; but though our OUTWARD MAN perishes, yet the INWARD MAN is renewed day by day.”

 

Now those that teach the various doctrines of soul sleep are partly correct when they say that man is a living SOUL. But yet, they are NOT totally teaching you the truth of the whole word of God because they FALSELY conclude that this MEANS that the soul is the WHOLE man. Let me explain what I mean by this. Those who teach soul sleep teach that the WHOLE man IS a SOUL. This misleads the followers of this doctrine of soul sleep to falsely conclude that the physical BODY OF man is PART of the SOUL. And this is NOT what the whole word of God teaches us. And then the followers of this doctrine further falsely conclude based upon previous false conclusions that, therefore, the SOUL must die as well when the physical body dies. And this is simply NOT what the WHOLE word of God teaches us.

So then, in order to come to the knowledge of the TRUTH, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth we need to take a closer look at all verses in the Bible. rather than just FOCUSING on a few verses, which I call having TUNNEL vision so to speak concentrating on just a few verses so intensely that a person is like being in a tunnel and all they can see is those few verses that are kept in front of they by their denomination week after week over and over. In other words, we need to take a closer look at ALL the verses on this subject of the soul to what the whole word of God teaches us. And by doing this you will learn that man has more than just one PART. In other words, the whole word of God clearly teaches us that the INWARD man is the PART of the whole man that is made up of two parts called the SPIRIT and SOUL, which I will explain shortly and the OUTWARD man is the other PART of the whole man which consists of the BODY that in this present world will one day perish and RETURN to the dust of the earth from which it came when a person dies.

Now let us take a closer look at the INNER MAN, which is the REAL you. And yes, the Bible does indeed teach us that the INNER man is sometimes referred to as the SOUL. But at other times the Bible refers to as the INNER man as the SPIRIT of man, which is NOT the SAME as the Spirit of Almighty God. Nor is the spirit of man the SAME as the BREATH of life of Almighty God. You see the INNER man is made up of both SOUL and SPIRIT that are CONNECTED. In other words, the SOUL or the INNER part of man is given LIFE by the Spirit of Almighty God and ONLY Almighty God can DIVIDE asunder or separate his Spirit of BREATH of life from the SOUL. Please read Hebrews 4:9-13 where we learn that the SOUL and the SPIRIT can indeed be DIVIDED or SEPARATED from each other by Almighty God. But I assure you that you do NOT want God to do this to you, because God will only do this separation of the soul and spirit so that he can DESTROY the soul of the WICKED for all eternity never to exist again. In other words, this SEPARATION of the BREATH of life of Almighty God does NOT take place when the PHYSICAL body draws i's last BREATH. The BREATH of the physical BODY is NOT the SAME as the BREATH of life that is CONNECTED to the SOUL, the INNER part of man. You will see this very clearly as we continue this study in God's word, his WHOLE word.

 

Hebrews 4:9-13.

 

“There remains, therefore, a rest to the people of God. (Speaking of this rest being ONLY for the RIGHTEOUS people of God)

10. For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

11. Let us labor (Or let us work the works of righteous now, that is to say, while we are alive let us labor) therefore, to enter into that rest, lest (Or for FEAR that) any man (Or any one of us) fall after the same example of unbelief.

12. For (Or BECAUSE) the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the DIVIDING ASUNDER (Or the cutting apart or the separating) of SOUL and SPIRIT, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the HEART. (Speaking of the INNER MAN)

13. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest (Or clearly seen) in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”

 

In other words, once again we are being WARNED to work the works of righteousness and make sure our salvation in order to enter into REST lest or for FEAR that if because of unbelief or sin we fall short and fail to enter into rest. And then, on the Day of Judgment our SOUL and SPIRIT will be severed apart and the real you the INNER man will PERISH and cease to exist on the Day of Judgment. For you see, the BREATH of LIFE will depart from ONLY the souls of the wicked as the wicked souls are destroyed in the lake of fire on the Day of Judgment. That is WHEN the Spirit will return to God. 

Please understand that Almighty God will ONLY separate his spirit or his breath of life from the SOUL of ONLY the WICKED and that this will NOT take place at the very moment a person draws their last physical breath of the physical body, but rather this separation of SOUL and SPIRIT does NOT take place UNTIL AFTER the wicked are resurrected at the end of the 1000 year reign of Jesus to face the white throne judgment. This is why we are WARNED to earnestly fight the good fight of faith and endure unto the end so that we will be found to be that good and faithful servant to enter into our rest and then obtain eternal life in the world to come whereby we shall be given new glorified immortal bodies of flesh and bone like Jesus has now so that we, the REAL us may again be COMPLETE or made PERFECT.

So then, by now you should be at least starting to clearly see that the whole man is made up of SPIRIT, SOUL, and BODY where the OUTWARD man in this present world is the PHYSICAL BODY of flesh that will one day die and perish and will return to the dust of the earth while the SPIRIT and SOUL that are CONNECTED and which make up the INNER man will continue to be ALIVE after the body dies.

Please read 1 Thessalonians 5:23, which teaches us that the whole man is made up of three parts the SPIRIT, the SOUL, and the BODY and NOT just two and only two parts as those who teach the doctrine of soul sleep have FALSELY concluded by NOT considering ALL the scriptural evidence from the WHOLE word of God.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:23.

 

“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God your whole SPIRIT and SOUL and BODY be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

Now once again, some verses in the Bible interchange terms like the HEART of man and the SPIRIT of man. But in truth, the HEART of man IS the SPIRIT of man. And both of these terms are speaking of the real you, the INNER man. This may be confusing to some who do not yet understand that the SPIRIT of man IS the INNER man that is made up of BOTH the SOUL of man and the SPIRIT or the breath of life of Almighty God that are CONNECTED together as ONE. God never intended them to ever be separated. And they will NOT be separated UNLESS the SOUL of man SINS and then DIES in his or her state of SIN or is found to be a wicked servant at the second coming of Jesus. Then and only then, AT the judgment of the WICKED ONLY, will Almighty  God divide asunder the soul and spirit on this Day of JUDGMENT at the last resurrection of the dead in order to DESTROY the SOUL of the wicked ONLY for all eternity never to rest day or night forever and ever. In other words, the WICKED ONLY shall be tormented with FIRE and brimstone to be DESTROYED and CONSUMED to ASHES in the lake of fire. And, therefore, none of the wicked will enter into the rest that is given ONLY to the righteous for all eternity. You see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, it is only the SMOKE of their TORMENT that ascends up to heaven forever and ever or from age to age and NOT that the SOUL of the wicked is TORMENTED for all eternity. Please read another study that I have written on this subject of hell called “Does Revelation 20:10 TEACH ETERNAL TORMENT?”, along with the study “IS THE DOCTRINE OF HELL BIBLICAL?, but for now here is Revelation 14:11 which clearly teaches us that it is ONLY the SMOKE that lasts forever and ever, which literally mean for age to age.

 

Revelation 14:11.

 

“And the SMOKE of their torment ascends up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receive the mark of his name.”

 

So then, as just a brief summary of section number one or ERROR #1, we have learned that because of the INCORRECT interpretation or the FALSE conclusion that is made by those who teach the doctrine of soul sleep concerning the nature of the SOUL they have gone on to make even more errors after errors based upon this first error. It is like the old saying goes, one lie leads to another so does One ERROR lead to another and then another and then another and so on. Now I pray that you agree with what I have shown you thus far in God's word, his WHOLE word as we move on to yet another error that is made by those who teach the doctrine of soul sleep. This brings us to section number two of this study in God's word under the heading of ERROR #2.

 

ERROR #2.

The second error made by those who teach the doctrine of soul sleep is that they do NOT TRULY consider ALL the aspects of SLEEP in the LIGHT of ALL the Scripture when they conclude that death being compared to being ASLEEP in the Bible MEANS without a doubt that the ALL dead, both the righteous and the wicked throughout all periods of history, are in a state of complete UNCONSCIOUSNESS where there is absolutely NO THOUGHT process going on after a person dies.

First of all, the word of God does indeed liken death to being ASLEEP in many places and I am quite sure that there is no true Christian who will disagree with this truth that death is likened to falling ASLEEP, which is clearly taught to us in the Bible. So since I know with almost complete assurance that we all agree the death is likened to SLEEP in the Bible I will only quote one verse for those who may not be aware that when a verse in the Bible speaks about a person being ASLEEP that at times in many places this word SLEEP or ASLEEP actually mean or is saying that the person is DEAD. But please keep in mind that the words DEATH or DEAD have DIFFERENT meanings in different verses of the Bible. We will talk about the different meanings of death further on in this study of God's word, but for now, I want you to see that the Bible does indeed liken PHYSICAL death to falling ASLEEP. Please read Acts 7:54-60 where Stephen is being stoned to death for his testimony of Jesus and then after asking Jesus to receive his SPIRIT Stephen falls ASLEEP.

 

Acts 7:54-60.

 

“When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.

55. But he, (Speaking of Stephen) being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,

56. And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

57. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,

58. And cast him out of the city, and STONED him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.

59. And they STONED Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, RECEIVE my SPIRIT.

60. And he knelt down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell ASLEEP.”

 

This means that the SPIRIT of Stephen was RECEIVED by Jesus into heaven. And, therefore, the spirit connected to the soul DEPARTED from his physical body which fell DEAD after being stoned, and the spirit left to body to go and be present with our Lord up in heaven.

In other words, the INNER man, the REAL you goes to be present with the Lord IN HEAVEN when you die IF SO BE that you are found to be a good and faithful servant when you die because ONLY the SOUL or the SPIRIT of the RIGHTEOUS go to be present with the Lord in heaven when they die. Please notice verse 59 in this passage of scripture that Stephen while he was being stoned to DEATH cried out to Jesus to RECEIVE his SPIRIT. Again the spirit of man is the REAL you that DWELLS is a BODY. We will see this clearly taught to us in many verses of the Bible as we continue this study in God's word, his WHOLE word. Now from this point on in this study of God's word I may interchange the words, SOUL, SPIRIT, and INNER man, which are the REAL you, without explaining over and over that they are all speaking of the same thing. 

Again, in all fairness, the other side of this argument of soul sleep and the nature of the soul use verse like we find in Acts chapter 7 and verse 59 to try and prove that man POSSESSES a SOUL because Stephen says receive MY spirit, which indicates POSSESSION of a spirit or soul. Now while there is a little truth here it again is not the whole truth and sometimes causes controversy between brothers and sisters in the Lord. With that being said let us move on to some more verses that clearly and plainly teach us that the spirit of man or the soul of man, as in, the REAL you, the INNER man, DEPARTS from the physical body and goes to another place when a person dies. Now that other place in which ONLY the spirits or souls of a RIGHTEOUS people in Jesus Christ go when their physical body dies is to be PRESENT with the Lord up in HEAVEN. 

Please read 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, which clearly teaches us that when a faithful believer in Jesus Christ dies the spirit or the INNER man of that person, which is made up of both SOUL and SPIRIT that are CONNECTED leaves their physical body and goes to be PRESENT with the Lord in heaven to wait for the RESURRECTION of the dead in Jesus Christ, which takes place at the second coming of Jesus so that they can be CLOTHED once again with a BODY. Only this time the real you, the INNER man made up of both SOUL and SPIRIT shall be CLOTHED with a NEW IMMORTAL body of flesh and bone just like Jesus has now. Again this new IMMORTAL body is promised ONLY to those of us who OVERCOME and are found to be a good and faithful servant when we die or Jesus comes again. Please read the study “IS ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED BIBLICAL?”, which gives you all the evidence for both sides of this highly controversial subject of ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED teaching. But for now, I want you to see that the INNER man, the REAL you, your spirit, sometimes referred to as your soul, DWELL IN a BODY to become a COMPLETE person.

 

2 Corinthians 5:1-10.

 

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, (Speaking of our physical body dying we know that the real us, the INNER man, which only DWELLS in this physical body or this earthly house while we are alive on the earth, that if this physical body were to DIE then) we (The REAL us speaking of our INNER man sometimes referred to as the soul in other places in the Bible) have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (In other words, we know that we have a new HOME waiting for us that is being kept up in heaven for us when this present physical body dies)

2. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house (Or because we know how much better our new home or immortal body will be we groan earnestly desiring to receive or new immortal bodies) which is from heaven:

3. If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. (In other words, we or the inner man is not COMPLETE of made PERFECT until it is CLOTHED upon with a new IMMORTAL body)

4. For we that are IN this tabernacle (Or WE speaking of the real us, our INNER man, our SPIRIT, or sometimes called our SOUL, that is presently IN or inside this physical body) do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, (Or NOT that we are desiring to die) but clothed upon, (Or but rather, we are desiring to be clothed upon with our new IMMORTAL glorified bodies of flesh and bone just like Jesus has now) that (Or so that) mortality might be swallowed up of life. (Meaning no more sickness and disease, no more tears of sorrow, no more death, no more sin, no more wickedness, no more evil, but rather only joy, peace and rest in kingdom of Almighty God)

5. Now he that has wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, (Meaning that this the goal or joy that is set before us by God that we are aiming towards and is the very reason as to why mankind was redeemed by the atonement of Jesus so that whosoever BELIEVED can be a partaker of this IMMORTAL life in the world to come) who also has given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. (Meaning that God has given us just a small taste of what he has prepared for those who love and obey him)

6. Therefore, we are always confident, KNOWING that, while we are at home IN the body, we are ABSENT from the Lord:

7. (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) (In other words, we know this truth to be so by FAITH in God's word)

8. We are confident, I say, and willing to rather be ABSENT from the body, (In other words, a believer in Jesus Christ should NOT fear death or love life more than loving God, but rather a believer should be willing to lay down his or her life for the testimony of Jesus KNOWING that to be absent of not at home in this physical body that we shall be PRESENT with the Lord in heaven. So a Christian should NOT fear those who are able to kill ONLY the body and should be willing to die for their faith in Jesus and be ABSENT from this physical mortal body) and to be PRESENT with the Lord. (Or be willing to be PRESENT with our Lord who is IN HEAVEN seated at the right hand of the Father)

9. Wherefore, (Or for this very reason) we labor, (Or we work the works of righteousness and do the commandments of God under the New Covenant by walking in love one toward another) THAT (Or so that or in order that) whether PRESENT (Or whether alive IN our physical body) or ABSENT, (Or having left our physical bodies to go be present with our Lord in heaven) we may be accepted of him.

10. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad.”

 

Earlier in Acts 7, we read where Stephen asked Jesus who is IN HEAVEN to RECEIVE his SPIRIT, and then after asking forgiveness for those who were stoning him to death Stephen yielded up his spirit and died. Now you can believe that the spirit or the soul of the righteous remain in the grave if you want, but as for me, I myself am going to believe the clear plain, and simple word of God that teaches us that when the righteous die, then at the moment the physical body draws its last breath their spirit, their INNER man sometimes called their soul goes to HEAVEN to be PRESENT with the Lord. We will take a look at some other scriptures that clearly teach this truth as well, but for now, let us get back to exposing this second error made by those that teach the doctrine of soul sleep.

If you remember, I said the error which I refer to as ERROR #2, is that those who teach this doctrine of soul sleep falsely conclude that because death is likened to being ASLEEP that there is absolutely NO CONSCIOUSNESS whatsoever after a person dies because their soul is RESTING in the GRAVE until the resurrection.

First of all, please keep in mind that not ALL who die shall be granted the right to enter into REST. The Bible teaches us that ONLY the RIGHTEOUS in Jesus Christ enter into REST when they die. The WICKED and the SINNED do NOT enter into REST as some have falsely concluded. 

Now there is no doubt that ONE of the aspects of sleeping is indeed REST. However, when a person goes to sleep in the natural they do not go into a state of complete UNCONSCIOUSNESS. The SPIRIT of man still communicates with God and even the mind still carries on THOUGHT often dreaming throughout the time a person is asleep. We still HEAR when we are asleep because often times this is how we are aroused from a deep sleep. We HEAR a noise and wake up. We are CONSCIOUS or aware of noises while we sleep. Sometimes this is referred to as our SUBCONSCIOUS where we are CONSCIOUSLY aware of something but our MIND does not perceive in that we are totally conscious of every little detail that is happening around us. SO sleep if for the BODY to REST. But some people have nightmares while they sleep and to them, sleep is not very restful. They toss and turn being tormented with bad dreams or THOUGHTS while they are asleep being torment in their minds or conscious thought. So you see, my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, one cannot just take the ONE aspect of sleep as the aspect of rest and then dogmatically say that this means, without fail, that there is absolutely NO CONSCIOUSNESS after a person dies.

Well, some of you may argue and maintain that the BIBLE teaches us that there is NO CONSCIOUSNESS in the grave, so even though the ANALOGY of death being likened to SLEEP may not prove without a doubt that the dead are in a state of complete unconsciousness. Those of you who may have been TAUGHT this doctrine of soul sleep may still want to argue and say that there is still plenty of verses in the Bible that say that the soul is in a state of complete UNCONSCIOUSNESS when a person dies even though you can now clearly see that the ANALOGY of death being like SLEEP is a very week and pour argument for the soul as being in a state of complete unconsciousness. This brings us to section number three or error #3 where we will take a look that the errors made in INTERPRETING these verses that used to try and teach that the dead have no consciousness in the grave.

 

ERROR #3.

 

Let us begin this section of our study in God's word by reading each verse one at a time that is used by those that teach the doctrine of soul sleep to try and prove that there is absolutely no consciousness in the grave whatsoever, and then we will examine them more closely in the context in order to see the true Biblical meaning of each of these verses.

 

Psalm 146:4.

 

“His breath goes forth, he returns to his earth; in that very day his THOUGHTS perish.”

 

Now those who teach this doctrine of soul sleep dogmatically demand that this verse MEANS without a doubt that there is absolutely NO CONSCIOUSNESS after a person draws their last breath and dies because this verse plainly says that his THOUGHTS PERISH or his THOUGHTS cease to exist.

But does this verse truly mean that the THINKING process ceases to exist so that there is absolutely no consciousness after a person dies? Let us examine this Scripture when it is LEFT in its CONTEXT to discern the TRUE meaning of this verse. Please read Psalm 146:3-6 where we will learn that the subject under discussion is TRUSTING in God rather than putting trust is MAN who will DIE.

 

Psalm 146:3-6.

 

“Put NOT your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. (WHY? Why is there no help guaranteed by putting our trust in man rather than in God? BECAUSE...)

4. His breath goes forth, he returns to his earth; in that very day, his THOUGHTS perish. (Or because man DIES and his THOUGHTS perish or come to an END)

5. Happy is he that has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:”

 

So what do the THOUGHTS of man have anything to do with why man is no sure help for us? You see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Hebrew word that is TRANSLATED as thoughts here in the King James version also means PLANS or that which has been THOUGHT to do or one is THINKING to do. PLANS are the THOUGHTS of man that are yet future and have not yet been done. Plans are THOUGHTS of what man PURPOSES to do. Please read verse 4 from a couple of other translations to properly understand that it is the PLANS of man that he has purposed to do which is what comes to an end when a man dies because the physical body of a man lies stiff and cannot move to do anything once the real you leaves the body.

 

Here is Psalm 146:4 from the New Living Translation.

 

“When their breathing stops, they return to the earth, and in a moment all their PLANS come to an end.”

 

Here is Psalm 146:4 from the New International Version.

 

“When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their PLANS come to nothing.”

 

Here is Psalm 146:4 from the Bible in Basic English version.

 

“Man's breath goes out, he is turned back again to dust; in that day all his PURPOSES (Or those things which man has THOUGHT to do) come to an end.”

 

Can you not see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, that this verse does NOT mean that there is absolutely NO CONSCIOUSNESS in the grave when a man dies, but rather the true Biblical meaning is that the PLANS and PURPOSES or what man has THOUGHT to do come to an END when a person dies. Please consider the words of Jesus in Luke 12:16-21 where a rich man's THOUGHTS perish and come to an end when this rich man SOUL is required of him BEFORE he could do that which he was THINKING to do. In other words, all his PLANS perished when he died. You cannot WORK on earth anymore when you DIE. You no longer live IN your BODY when you die.

 

Luke 12:16-21.

 

“And he (Jesus) spoke a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:

17. And he THOUGHT within himself, (Or he made PLANS or thought what he purposed to do) saying, What shall I DO because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?

18. And he said, This will I do: (Now, what follows in the very next verse are the THOUGHTS, as in the PLANS of this rich man that will perish or END when he DIES) I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.

19, And I will say to MY soul, (Or I will say to MYSELF) SOUL, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry. (The real you is your SOUL or your spirit, your INNER man)

20. But God said unto him, You fool, this night your SOUL shall be required of you (Meaning that this man was to DIE that very night right after he PLANNED to get richer and store up his wealth to consume it upon his own fleshly desires. In other words, the THOUGHTS of man, as in, the PLANS of man come to an end when a man dies physically and NOT that CONSCIOUS thought ends when a person dies) then whose shall those things be, which you have provided?

21. So is he that lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

 

Another verse used by those that teach soul sleep is Psalm 6:5, which says.

 

Psalm 6:5.

 

“For in death, there is NO remembrance of you: in the GRAVE who shall give you thanks?”

 

Now those that teach the doctrine of soul sleep again INTERPRET this verse to mean that since the DEAD do NOT remember anything and the dead do NOT praise God, then the dead must without a doubt be in a state of complete UNCONSCIOUSNESS where they are UNABLE to SPEAK or REMEMBER anything whatsoever.

But is this INTERPRETATION a sound BIBLICAL interpretation that agrees with the WHOLE word of God? Let us first read the CONTEXT from the New Living Translation. Some Christians like the newer translations because they are not written in the Old English style like the King James Version. I almost always use quotes from the KJV in which I change the old English words like “thee” to the modern English word “you” because it makes it easier for my readers to understand.

 

Here is Psalm 6:1-5 from the New Living Translation.

 

“For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by an eight-stringed instrument. O LORD, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage.

2. Have compassion on me, LORD, for I am weak. Heal me, LORD, for my body is in agony.

3. I am sick at heart. How long, O LORD, until you restore me?

4. Return, O LORD, and rescue me. Save me because of your unfailing love. (So, according to the context, David is FEELING lost and not in the right relationship with God. And David knows that he cannot WORK to please God in the grave and his body is sick and weak)

5. For (or because) in death, who remembers you? Who can praise you from the grave?”

 

First of all, in order to understand the true meaning of this passage of Scripture, you must realize that while it is true that all Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit of God this does NOT mean that each and every verse can be used to build DOCTRINE without making absolutely sure that whatever one concludes or INTERPRETS that single verse of Scripture to mean that their INTERPRETATION does NOT disagree or contradict any other passage of Scripture. For example, the Bible does in fact make the statement that Jesus has a DEVIL so why hear him. However. when you read the context and understand that it was the JEWS who were ACCUSING Jesus of having a devil, then you know without a doubt that the BIBLE as a WHOLE was NOT truly saying that Jesus had a devil.

Also, there are different styles of writing in different books of the Bible. Some books in the Old Testament are considered POETIC books such as many of the Psalms, of which, many of the Psalms are PRAYERS from man to Almighty God. And all our prayers are NOT sound Biblical prayers. Then, other books of the Bible, such as Ecclesiastes, those books are known as WISDOM books that are written from man's human earthly perspective of God and NOT written as thus says the Lord type language from Almighty God TO man. There are also PARABLES that teach us life lessons and the kingdom of God, but at the same time, each and every single word of a parable cannot be taken literally as a thus says the Lord type statement. Then there are books like Job where those speaking are again speaking from their earthly understanding of God and not in a thus says the Lord type of way. Remember that Job BLAMED God for his troubles but in TRUTH, it was actually Satan that oppressed Job.

In addition, as many of you may already know, there are some of the RULES of interpretation that we must follow to be sure that we arrive at the true meaning of a verse. And one such rule which is obviously not being followed by those that teach this doctrine of soul sleep is that we are to let the NEW Testament reveal to us the meaning of the Old Testament. In other words, if there are clear, plain, simple verses in the New Testament that are teaching one thing, but then we find in the Old Testament a verse of some verses that SEEM to be contradicting the clear teaching of the New Testament, then we need to tread lightly and not dogmatically demand that the BIBLE, as in, the WHOLE word of God teaches what we INTERPRET these Old Testament scriptures to mean. It is always best to interpret the OLD Testament in the LIGHT of the NEW Testament. In other words, if an INTERPRETATION of what one THINKS or has been TAUGHT that an OLD Testament scripture MEANS seems to disagree or contradict what the NEW Testament teaches us, then the rule of interpretation says that we are NOT to try and change the meaning of the NEW Testament, but rather we are to go back to these OLD Testament verses and see what they TRULY mean in the LIGHT of the NEW Testament verses. 

Having said all of that, I want you to think about your walk with God and try and recall if you have ever had a great need in your life and you prayed to God in a way where you were, in essence, making a deal with God that if he would answer your prayer, then you would do something for him in return? Well, this is, in essence, what is taking place in Psalm 6:1-5 which again is a POETIC book in the collection of Psalms where David is PRAYING to God in his earthly understanding of God. You see, David is crying out in prayer to the Lord pleading with God to heal his anguished heart. And during his agonizing in prayer, he seems to be trying to con God into healing him by telling God, “What good am I to you dead Lord, because who remembers you when they are dead? Who can praise you from the grave?” These are QUESTIONS and assumptions made by David and are not to be taken as literal statements of fact and then INTERPRETED to MEAN that there is absolutely no remembrance or consciousness in the grave.

Can you not see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, that IF the INTERPRETATION of these verses truly means that there is absolutely NO consciousness after a person dies, then how do we reconcile the passage of Scripture in Revelation chapter 6 verses 9 and 10 which clearly teach that the SOULS of the righteous are indeed in heaven under the altar of God waiting for God to judge the wicked and they are very much CONSCIOUS and AWARE that God has not yet judged the wicked as he promised in his word that he would.

 

Revelation 6:9,10.

 

“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the SOULS of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: (Now the souls of the righteous in Jesus Christ are CLEARLY seen to be under the altar which is before the THRONE of God up in heaven, according to Revelation 8:3-5 and Revelation 9:13, Revelation 11:1, Revelation 14:18, and Revelation 16:7)

10. And THEY cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, do you not judge and avenge OUR blood on them that dwell on the earth? (And you cannot speak or cry out to the Lord IF SO BE that the soul is in a state of UNCONSCIOUS as some falsely teach) 

11. And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”

 

Please notice in verse 10 that those saints who have DIED for the testimony of God are SPEAKING to Almighty God and asking him how much longer is it going to be before God judges the wicked? Now to me, this verse is clearly teaching us that there is without a doubt MEMORY or REMEMBRANCE and CONSCIOUSNESS in the souls of those who have died and are now present in heaven with the Lord.

This does NOT mean that these saints have been RESURRECTED, nor does it mean that these saints have been given ETERNAL LIFE at this point in time and have received their new IMMORTAL bodies. But it does mean that after PHYSICAL death when the spirit and soul, which are CONNECTED, leave the body and that there is indeed CONSCIOUSNESS and REMEMBRANCE. Also, it is made perfectly clear that SOULS of the righteous who have died are indeed PRESENT with the Lord in heaven being kept under the altar of Almighty God that is BEFORE the THRONE of God where they await their resurrection and reward of eternal life. In other words, the righteous souls in heaven are without a BODY as yet. They have not yet been resurrected to receive their new immortal bodies of flesh and bone like Jesus now has.

Also, another meaning of the Hebrew word that is translated as REMEMBRANCE in this verse in question, Psalm 5:6, can also be translated as to MENTION or to MAKE MENTION of God. And to me, that meaning goes better with the next part of this verse where Almighty God is not being praised by the DEAD.

 

 Here is Psalm 6:3-5 with this Hebrew word translated as makes mention.

 

“I am sick at heart. How long, O LORD, until you RESTORE me?

4. Return, O LORD, and rescue me. Save me because of your unfailing love.

5. For (Or because) in death, who MAKES MENTION of you? Who can praise you from the grave?”

 

In other words, after a person dies physically then they can no longer do anything to CHANGE what state in which they died. So we must be READY to meet our maker BEFORE we die. And that is the “mindset” of King David when he rewrote Psalm 6:5. David was sick and weak and he wanted to make sure he was in the right relationship with God just in case he would die. 

So then, in the light of these other ways in which this Psalm can be interpreted, which do NOT contradict the clear teaching of the New Testament, it should be clear to you that this verse can in no way be demanded to dogmatically teach that the soul is completely in an UNCONSCIOUS state in the grave and will not be awakened out of this unconscious state of sleep UNTIL the RESURRECTION. Please keep in mind that the DEAD in some places in the Bible is referring to ONLY the dead of the WICKED or the SINNER and NOT the dead of the RIGHTEOUS. We will clearly see this a little further on in this study that some verses that are speaking of the DEAD are indeed very obvious that they are referring to the death of the UNRIGHTEOUS sinners ONLY and NOT to the righteous who have died PHYSICALLY, but who are indeed ALIVE SPIRITUALLY. 

Now in the light of Psalm 6:5 being a PRAYER, we can see that David is crying out to God to RESTORE him and RETURN to him righteousness. And then David goes on to say in my own words, “For if I were to DIE in this SIN being SEPARATED from you who shall make mention of you for the DEAD can they praise you from the grave?” In other words, the wicked who have died, shall they make mention of you, O God? Who can praise you from the grave? Will the WICKED praise you after they are dead? WHO can praise you after they died? ONLY the RIGHTEOUS will make mention of you after they died. ONLY the righteous will praise you after they die. 

You see, other verses in the NEW Testament do show us that the RIGHTEOUS who have died do indeed PRAISE Almighty God after they DIE and their physical BODY goes to the GRAVE. We will take a look at these verses that clearly show us that the righteous are PRAISING God in heaven before the second coming of Jesus, which is when the FIRST RESURRECTION of the righteous takes place. Therefore, the WHOLE word of God does NOT teach us that the soul or the spirit is completely in an UNCONSCIOUS state. 

For another example of the SOULS of the dead NOT being in a state of complete UNCONSCIOUSNESS or that the soul CEASES to EXIST please consider the young maiden girl that Jesus raised from the DEAD and how Jesus CALLED to her and her SPIRIT returned to her body and she arose from the dead. The account of this is given in Luke 8:41-56, which clearly teaches us again that the spirit can HEAR after a person dies.

 

Luke 8:41-56.

 

“And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and sought him that he would come into his house:

42. For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.

43. And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,

44. Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.

45. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng you and press you, and say you, Who touched me?

46. And Jesus said, Somebody has touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.

47. And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.

48. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: your faith has made you whole; go in peace.

49. While he yet spoke, there came one from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, Your daughter is dead; trouble not the Master.

50. But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.

51. And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden.

52. And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is NOT dead, but SLEEPS. (Jesus understood that the INNER man does NOT die at the very moment that the PHYSICAL BODY dies, but rather that the SOUL in LIKENED to falling ASLEEP. Jesus knew that the SOUL of this young girl could HEAR even though she was truly dead PHYSICALLY. But Jesus needed to get some others around him to NOT FEAR and BELIEVE ONLY that she would be made WHOLE)

53. And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was DEAD. (In other words, Jesus could not get the family to BELIEVE. Again, Jesus KNEW that this girl was dead PHYSICALLY and without the prayer of faith that she would remain dead PHYSICALLY, in that she would SLEEP in a state of BEING CONSCIOUS. Sleep does NOT dogmatically mean NOT BEING CONSCIOUS as some Christians insist)

54. And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and CALLED, saying, MAID, arise. (Which teaches us that the spirit or the soul can indeed  HEAR after a person dies. Thus, this proves yet again that the spirit or the soul is NOT in a state of complete unconsciousness as some have incorrectly INTERPRETED some Old Testament Scriptures to mean being taken OUT of their CONTEXT. Even those in the world know this to be true because when a person is in a COMMA and their PHYSICAL body is being kept alive by a MACHINE forcing it to BREATH at times their spirit or soul comes back into their physical body and the body is now able to BREATH without the machine. The souls or the spirits of the dead can indeed HEAR after they leave the body when the physical body dies)

55. And her SPIRIT came AGAIN, (Which again proves that the spirit or the soul LEAVES the physical body and goes to another place when a person dies. Please notice that Jesus himself says HER spirit and NOT that the Spirit of BREATH from God came again) and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.

56. And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell NO man what was done.”

 

This passage of Scripture makes it very clear to us that when a person DIES the real you, which is your INNER man, your SPIRIT, which is sometimes referred to as your SOUL in the Bible, immediately LEAVES the physical body. The physical body cannot live without the INNER man or the spirit of man that DWELLS or lives INSIDE the body. So just because the body dies does NOT mean that the SOUL dies. Please keep in mind that the SOUL and the SPIRIT are CONNECTED and TOGETHER they make up the INNER man, the REAL you that DWELLS IN a BODY. You see, the physical BODY is likened to clothes or a garment that covers the real you. The body is also likened to a house or a tabernacle in which the real you dwells IN. So clearly the WHOLE word of God teaches us that the SOUL can and DOES indeed LEAVE the body and go to another place when a person dies. We also see that the spirit or the soul or the inner man is NOT in a state of complete unconsciousness UNTIL the resurrection where the righteous receive their new IMMORTAL bodies because clearly, this young girl did NOT receive an IMMORTAL body when she HEARD that she was being CALLED back into her PHYSICAL body and arose from the DEAD. 

In other words, this false teaching of soul sleep downplays the miraculous works of Almighty God such as raising the dead back to life in the name of Jesus. Yes, those that teach the doctrine of soul sleep do not deny that JESUS raised the dead, nor do they deny that the APOSTLES raised the dead, but have you ever heard where they teach that we as BELIEVERS in Jesus Christ are given the AUTHORITY to RAISE the DEAD in the NAME of Jesus? This false doctrine of soul sleep also robs people of HOPE that the righteous go to a place where there are joy and peace in the presence of God in heaven to await their resurrection and reward of their new IMMORTAL bodies. It is the ATHEISTS who dogmatically demand that the DEAD are DEAD and that there is NO God. So to ME, this doctrine of soul sleep that falsely teaches us that the dead are DEAD and completely in an UNCONSCIOUS state until they are resurrected would NOT give me the high level of HOPE that I have in KNOWING and being CONFIDENT of going to be PRESENT with the Lord IN HEAVEN when we die gives to me. 

Now, I also underlined part of verse 56 because some of those who teach the doctrine of soul sleep use the argument that if a person's soul does LEAVE the body and does NOT remain in the grave, then HOW come those who have been RAISED from the dead do not tell of their experience of where they were when they were dead? 

Well, it may very well be that Jesus charged them NOT to tell anyone what happened as this verse clearly implies. We simply do not know WHY the Bible does NOT give any record of the place WHERE those who were raised from the dead went when they died. When I first read this argument that is given by those who teach this doctrine of soul sleep that there is absolutely NO testimony of people LEAVING their body when they die, I thought to myself where have you been hiding all of your life? For you see, I have heard many multiple testimonies of people dying and telling how they went to heaven. But then I realized that those who teach soul sleep that presented this argument were speaking of testimony from the Bible only and not the testimony of people throughout the age of the church. You see, some of those who teach this false doctrine of soul sleep also as I said before downplay the MIRACULOUS works of God. Few of them ever believe and teach with authority that God still heals the sick today. Some teach that the gifts of the Holy Spirit were ONLY for the early church and not for the church today. And some do not truly believe the personal testimonies of Christians when they testify of the miraculous works of God of healing and raising the dead. And any and every personal testimony of a Christian dying, going to heaven, and coming back from the dead are point-blank REJECTED as being from the devil.

While we are on this subject of people being raised from the dead throughout the church age and the testimonies that many of us have heard where the dead were raised I would like to share my own personal testimony of my wife dying in my arms while we were lying in bed talking about the day's events. I had thought that my wife had gone to sleep on my arm because she had not said anything for a while. Her head was becoming quite heavy and I asked her to please move because my arm was going to sleep and it was beginning to hurt. When she did not respond I sat up on my side to pull my arm from under her head. It was then that I noticed that she was not breathing. I shook her trying to wake her up, but she would not wake up. She had no pulse and her body was cold. Fear began to grip me and my first thought was to run to the phone and call 911. Before I even finished this thought the Holy Spirit spoke boldly to my heart and said, “STAND IN YOUR AUTHORITY!” I knew exactly what the Holy Spirit was telling me to do because I had been studying quite a bit at that time about healing and the authority that we all have been given as Christians to use the name of Jesus. So I began to CALL out my wife's name and commanded her to come back into her body in the name of Jesus. I began to speak life to her dead body in the name of Jesus. I rebuke you, death, in the name of Jesus and said Barb you shall live and not die in the name of Jesus. I command you to come back into your body and live in the name of Jesus. I do not know how long I prayed, I was not aware of time, but it seemed like a long time and yet at the same time it seemed only a few moments before my wife's spirit returned to her body. I asked her what happened and she told me that she was in heaven and that she saw Jesus. She described the beauty and peace that she felt. But she went on to say that she was saddened a little because she said that somehow she knew on the inside of her that she felt that she could not stay and that she had to go back, so she asked Jesus and he told her that she was being CALLED back and that she had to go back to the earth. The next thing that she remembered was that she was laying in bed hearing me call her name to come back into her body in the name of Jesus.

Now you can choose to believe my testimony of my wife dying and going to be present with our Lord in heaven and coming back to life or you can choose not to believe it. I myself always try to warn my readers not to base Bible doctrine on experiences unless they agree with what the whole word of God clearly teaches us. In other words, there is nothing wrong with supporting sound BIBLICAL doctrine with personal testimony.

Let us continue with error # 3 where those who teach soul sleep have INCORRECTLY INTERPRETED verses in the Bible, which again are primarily from the Old Testament to dogmatically say that without a doubt the soul of a person who dies goes into a state of complete UNCONSCIOUSNESS and will remain in that state of absolutely NO consciousness UNTIL the resurrection of the dead in Jesus Christ that takes place at the second coming of Jesus. Another verse that they use to try and prove that the soul sleeps IN a state of complete UNCONSCIOUSNESS is Ecclesiastes 9:5, which says.

 

Ecclesiastes 9:5.

 

“For the living know that they shall die: but the DEAD know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.”

 

Now some who teach this doctrine of soul sleep INTERPRET this verse to mean that the DEAD cannot REMEMBER anything and that the DEAD do not KNOW anything and therefore they conclude that the dead have absolutely NO CONSCIOUSNESS.

But is their INTERPRETATION of this verse a SOUND BIBLICAL interpretation in that their interpretation agrees with the rest of God's word. Well, obviously THEIR interpretation does NOT agree with the NEW Testament verses. So then, there must be another way to interpret this verse. Let us first follow the rule of interpretation that says we must KEEP the verse in question in its CONTEXT. So here is verse 5 left in its context from which it is found. 

 

Please read Ecclesiastes 9:1-10 from the New Century Version

 

I thought about all this and TRIED to understand it. (Please keep in mind that this book a written from an earthly human perspective of God rather than a thus says the Lord literal factual style of writing. Even the writer plainly states that he TRIED to understand. In other words, God did not dictate word for word everything that is written in this book of wisdom. Therefore, we cannot build SOUND Biblical doctrine from such books unless our own personal INTERPRETATION of these OLD Testament verses AGREES with the NEW Testament verses. Now we can use these wisdom books to support a doctrine that is clearly understood from the NEW Testament and supported by Old Testament books that have factual thus says the Lord type statements. But clearly, here in this verse, the writer plainly says of himself that he TRIED to UNDERSTAND IT) I saw that God controls good people and wise people and what they do, but no one knows if they will experience love or hate.

2. Good and bad people end up the same -- those who are right and those who are wrong, those who are good and those who are evil, those who are clean and those who are unclean, those who sacrifice and those who do not. The same things happen to a good person as happen to a sinner, to a person who makes promises to God, and to one who does not. (In other words, both the righteous and the wicked DIE physically)

3. This is something wrong that happens here on earth: What happens to one happens to all. So people's minds are full of evil and foolish thoughts while they live. After that, they join the dead.

4. But anyone still alive has HOPE; (Teaching us that the DEAD meaning ONLY the WICKED who have died have NO HOPE, because if ALL the people who have DIED have NO HOPE then this would CONTRADICT the NEW Testament passage of Scripture found in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 that clearly teaches us that ONLY the UNRIGHTEOUS SINNER who dies is WITHOUT HOPE) even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!

5. The living know they will die, but the DEAD know nothing. DEAD people have no more REWARD (Again it is ONLY the WICKED DEAD who have NO reward of eternal life in the world to come), and people forget them. (The wicked will be destroyed and they will be no more and the righteous will forget them. God will wipe away every tear)

6. After people are dead, they can no longer love or hate or envy. They will never again share in what happens here on earth.

7. So go eat your food and enjoy it; drink your wine and be happy, because that is what God wants you to do. (Now, these two verses are INTERPRETED by ATHEIST that there is NO LIFE after death so enjoy life to the fullness NOW because the dead are DEAD and CEASE to EXIST. Can you not see, how close this false doctrine of soul sleep is to this atheist doctrine of devils that falsely teaches that there is no life after death. In other words, the atheist falsely teach that once a person dies then they cease to exist and have NO CONSCIOUSNESS of ever being alive) 

8. Put on nice clothes and make yourself look good.

9. Enjoy life with the wife you love. Enjoy all the useless days of this useless life God has given you here on earth because it is all you have. So enjoy the work you do here on earth.

10. Whatever work you do, do your best because you are going to the GRAVE, where there is no working, no planning, no knowledge, and no wisdom.”

 

So then, it is not that all the memory of the dead is erased and the dead know not anything, but rather, that PEOPLE who are alive on the earth lose the memory of the dead over time. It is people who are ALIVE that forget the dead. This can also mean that in the world to come at the end of the 1000 year reign of Jesus when the wicked shall be destroyed and shall be no more than the RIGHTEOUS who have been GIVEN eternal LIFE shall FORGET the wicked who suffer the SECOND DEATH. 

Also, in the CONTEXT, the people who are still ALIVE have HOPE to CHANGE their WORKS. And in verse 10 it states that in the grave there is no MORE working, no planning, no knowledge, and no wisdom, which teaches us that after a person DIES, then there is NO HOPE for them to be saved IF SO BE that they died while living in a state of sin. The knowledge and the wisdom of the truth to be saved is for people who are yet ALIVE and not in the grave. In other words, if a person is NOT saved BEFORE they DIE, then there is NO HOPE for them. You see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, verse 10 starts out by saying, “do your BEST”, while we are ALIVE, and then we are given the REASON why we must WORK while we are yet ALIVE. And the reason is that after a person DIES there is NOTHING they can do to receive the reward of eternal life in the world come. It is ONLY the living who can work and gain knowledge of the truth to be saved. There is no knowledge or wisdom being taught to the DEAD in the grave. Only the living have HOPE of receiving REWARD.

Also in Ecclesiastes 9:5 the Hebrew word that is translated as “anything” also means “ought else”, which means to “possess else”. One of the meanings of the word “else” here is “otherwise”. So here is another way to translate verse 5 which I will give to you my readers and seekers of the truth as I myself have come to understand this verse t truly mean through studying the definition of the original Hebrew words. 

Please understand that this is MY translation of this verse in the light of what these Hebrew words mean in the original language.

 

Ecclesiastes 9:5 in my own words. 

 

“For the living KNOW that they shall DIE: BUT the DEAD know nothing otherwise, neither have they any more a reward; (In other words, the DEAD speaking of ONLY the WICKED who have died know very well that they are DEAD, as in both physically dead AND that they are SPIRITUALLY dead, separated from God forever. They know that they possess death and that there is NO HOPE of REWARD anymore. This knowledge of having NO HOPE of reward of eternal life is all they can think about. The Bible teaches that there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth) for the memory of them is forgotten.” 

 

Meaning most likely that the LIVING will forget the wicked dead. BUT this last phrase “for the memory of THEM is forgotten”, in the light of this translation, may very well refer to HOPE and REWARD rather than the memory of the dead. In other words, the word “THEM” here may very well be referring back to the two things that the WICKED dead ONLY do not have. The wicked dead no longer have HOPE of reward nor can they think of anything but their DOOM. But this MEMORY that ONLY the wicked dead are being tormented with while they are in the grave will be forgotten when they are destroyed.

Now some of you may argue and say that I am changing the word of God to fit my own personal interpretation of the scriptures, but I am not. I am merely studying more closely the meanings of these words in their original language in order to have these OLD Testament verses agree with what is already a clear plain and simple teaching in the NEW Testament.  Even those who teach this false doctrine of soul sleep try and CHANGE any and every verse in the New Testament that does NOT agree with their own personal INTERPRETATION of these OLD Testament verses.

However, any student of the Bible understands that the word of God is a TRANSLATION and therefore is only as close to the true meaning as the TRANSLATOR has chosen to translate the Hebrew or the Greek into English. This should be clear to anyone who has read from DIFFERENT translations of the Bible. Again any student of the Bible also knows that Old Testament scriptures should be interpreted in the LIGHT of what is clearly seen in the New Testament and NOT the other way around where the NEW Testament verses are CHANGED to agree with these verses from the OLD Testament that are unclear and need to be revealed to us as what they truly mean. 

Please read 2 Corinthians 3:14-16, which teaches us that there is a VAIL upon people who read of the OLD Testament scripture unless the anointing of the Holy Spirit of REVEALS to them the true meaning to their heart or their spirit.

 

2 Corinthians 3:14-16.

 

“But their minds were blinded: for until this day remains the same veil untaken away in the reading of the OLD testament; which veil is done away in CHRIST. (Speaking of the anointing or the teaching of the Holy Spirit of God, which is given only to BELIEVERS in Jesus Christ)

15. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.

16. Nevertheless when it (Speaking of the HEART or the spirit or the INNER man) shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.”

 

So is your HEART truly seeking the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of God? Ar you truly turning to the Lord and seeking HIS truth. Or do you consider yourself beyond being able to be deceived by the enemy so therefore only your group of believers knows the truth? This is where I myself see the greatest dangers of some of these groups that teach soul sleep, because they teach their followers that they ALONE have the truth so therefore if you are not part of their group, then you are not saved and cannot be saved until you join their group. To ME, this kind of lording over your followers using FEAR to control what they believe telling them that if they leave off believing exactly what they teach, then they shall be lost is the true mark of a cult. It is not so much that false doctrine defines what a cult is, but rather to ME, a cult is a group that dogmatically teaches that if you are not a member of their group, then you can not be saved because ONLY they have the truth. This is nothing more than PRIDE, so be not deceived by these false teachers. with that being said let us move on to Psalm 30:9, which is yet another verse that is used by those who teach the doctrine of soul sleep to try and support their dogmatically point of view that there is absolutely NO CONSCIOUSNESS in the grave.

 

Psalm 30:9.

 

“What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise you? Shall it declare your truth?”

 

Now those who teach soul sleep interpret this verse to mean that the dead CANNOT praise God, and the dead CANNOT preach the truth of God's word, BECAUSE they are UNCONSCIOUS when they die and go down to the grave.

But is their interpretation of this verse a SOUND BIBLICAL interpretation of what this verse actually means? Again the answer is absolutely not, because their INTERPRETATION does NOT agree with the clear NEW Testament teaching that the soul or spirit of the righteous go to be present with the Lord in heaven and are indeed CONSCIOUS. So then, let us keep this verse in its CONTEXT and see its TRUE meaning. Please read Psalm 30:8-10 where we can see again that this is a PRAYER or supplication being made to God and a deal so to speak is trying to be made with God to hear this prayer in. The deal is that how can I praise you if I die? Can a dead body that has turned to dust praise you or declare your truth? Hear my cry O Lord and have mercy upon me. And again, keep in mind that these are QUESTIONS being asked of God in PRAYER and NOT thus says the Lord type statements from God to man.

 

Psalm 30:8-10.

 

“I cried to you, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication.

9. What profit is there in my blood when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise you? Shall it declare your truth?

10. Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be you my helper.” 

 

Now we do not know from this particular Psalm the exact reason for this prayer or cry for help, but DEATH was the thing the Psalmist was asking to escape because we see that a deal-making plea so to speak was being made in verse 9, which is the verse in question. The Psalmist is basically saying if I die what good is it to you. Shall the dead praise you? I do not see how that the dead can praise you God since my body will turn to dust. Shall my dead body that has turned to dust declare your truth?

To me, I do not see how anyone can demand that this verse means, without fail, that there is absolutely no consciousness in the grave. Can you not see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ that these are QUESTIONS being asked in a PRAYER to God and NOT statements of FACT being given TO man FROM Almighty God. Please keep in mind that the OLD Testament must be interpreted in the LIGHT of the NEW Testament. Therefore since the INTERPRETATION given by those who teach this false doctrine of soul sleep does NOT AGREE with the NEW Testament scripture, then we must consider these OTHER interpretations of these OLD Testament verses so that they will NOT CONTRADICT the NEW Testament.

Let us move on to Psalm 115:17 which is used by those that teach soul sleep to TRY and prove that the DEAD are SILENT and do speak in the grave and they CANNOT praise God, because there is absolutely NO CONSCIOUSNESS in the grave.

 

Psalm 115:17.

 

“The DEAD praise NOT the LORD, neither any that go down into SILENCE.”

 

So again, I ask you, the seeker of the TRUTH, is the INTERPRETATION of those that teach the doctrine of soul sleep a SOUND BIBLICAL interpretation? Does their interpretation of this verse AGREE with the rest of God's word? Do the words “go down into SILENCE” mean without a doubt that the dead are in a state of complete UNCONSCIOUSNESS and therefore cannot possibly praise the Lord because there is absolutely NO CONSCIOUSNESS in the grave? Have you honestly considered that there may be another way to interpret these OLD Testament verses of Scripture so that they agree with the NEW Testament? The wicked are WITHOUT EXCUSE. They go down to the pit in SILENCE having NO EXCUSE to plead to God. They will KNOW that they have NO HOPE when they die. But then it will be TOO LATE.

As I have said many times that any verse when taken out of CONTEXT and view alone and apart from the whole word of God may SEEM to be saying something that it is NOT TRULY saying.

So let us read this whole Psalm which is only 18 verses so that we can learn the TRUE meaning of verse 17 because this is one of the main verses that is used by those who teach soul sleep to try and prove that there is NO consciousness in the grave.

Psalm 115:1-18 where we can see TWO different groups of people, which are God's people and the heathen. This is important because the heathen who worship DUMB idols that are silent and do not speak is compared to these dumb or silent idols. Also, the DEAD in verse 17 is speaking of ONLY the heathen who go to the grave to await their DOOM of being DESTROYED on the Day of Judgment.

 

Psalm 115:1-18.

 

“Not unto us O LORD, not unto us, but unto your name, give glory, for your mercy, and for your truth's sake.

2. Wherefore, should the heathen say, Where is now their God?

3. But our God is in the heavens: he has done whatsoever He has pleased.

4. Their idols (Speaking of the idols of the HEATHEN) are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.

5. They (The idols) have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not:

6. They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:

7. They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.

8. They that make them are LIKE unto them; (Meaning that the HEATHEN are being compared to the IDOLS that they have made, which are DUMB where word DUMB can mean that they do not speak or make a sound, but this word DUMB in it's original old English origin also means DEATH or the DOOM of DEATH) so is every one that trusts in them. (Or so is anyone that trusts in the heathens, atheists, or anyone that does not teach the truth of God's word. Now please do not misunderstand what I am saying. I am not speaking specifically of those false teaches of God's word, but rather this particular verse is referring to those who teach about false god's or that there is no God because all who trust and believe these heathens who teach these false things shall go down into the gave into silence along with these heathen false teachers)

9. O Israel, trust you in the LORD: He is their help and their shield.

10. O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.

11. You that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: He is their help and their shield.

12. The LORD has been mindful of us: He will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel; He will bless the house of Aaron.

13. He will bless them that fear the LORD, both small and great.

14. The LORD shall increase you more and more, you and your children.

15. You are blessed of the LORD which made heaven and earth.

16. The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD'S: but the earth has He given to the children of men.

17. The DEAD (Or the dead, however, or but RATHER, the dead, speaking of ONLY the heathen who are spiritually dead and who have died physically in this state of being separated from God as those who do not trust in the one true God, but rather, the DEAD trust in idols) praise not the LORD, neither ANY that go down into SILENCE. (Speaking of ANY of those who put their trust in these HEATHENS who FALSELY teach that these idols are gods shall go DOWN into SILENCE)

18. BUT WE will bless the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the LORD.”

 

Now the Hebrew word that is translated as SILENCE here is only used two times in the Bible and it comes from a root word that is not used in the Bible, which means to be DUMB, silence, and figuratively means DEATH. So then it is the dead or the sinners that go down into the pit to face their DOOM of DEATH, as in, the second death on the final Day of Judgment. The word DUMB also means astonished, to PERISH, to be still, to be SILENCED, to be DESTROYED, to DOOM to PERISH, cut down, and put to silence.

So in the light of this root word from which this Hebrew word comes from is TRANSLATED as SILENCE in the King James Version, it is made even more apparent or clear that the DEAD in verse 17 does NOT refer to all of the dead. But rather, the word “dead” refers ONLY to the spiritually dead and those who died as SINNERS. Or more precisely, all those who go down into SILENCE refer to ONLY those who have died physically as SINNERS in a state of SIN and therefore have NO HOPE of eternal life. Therefore, it is ONLY WICKED DEAD who having nothing before them but SILENCE, they are without excuse. Again, in the original language, the word silence means the ASTONISHMENT of what faces them which is the DOOM of DEATH speaking of the SECOND death where they know that they will cease to exist. So the word “silence” has nothing to do with being in a so-called unconscious” state. And again, this verse of Scripture is speaking of ONLY those who do not trust is the one true Almighty God and His Son Jesus to be saved. We know that this verse is speaking of the DEAD here as referring to ONLY the WICKED who have nothing to look towards but their doom of the second death which is permanent destruction in the lake of fire because verse 18 says, BUT WE speaking of the RIGHTEOUS who trust in Almighty God and His Son, Jesus. 

You see, the whole word of God teaches us that the eternal punishment of the wicked is not eternal torment in flames of fire, but rather the torment of the wicked is that they will know that they have no hope of reward of eternal life when they die. In other words, ALL that the WICKED DEAD know is DEATH, which is their DOOM of being destroyed for all eternity in the flames of the lake of fire which torments them when they die. This knowledge is all that is before them. It is not the DEAD here dogmatically means ALL the DEAD, both the WICKED and the RIGHTEOUS, know nothing whatsoever and therefore it must be concluded that ALL the dead are in a state of unconsciousness, but rather that ONLY the WICKED who have died know nothing but facing the torment that plagues their thoughts and they can think or know of nothing else. They DEAD here is speaking of ONLY the WICKED who have died and know OUGHT ELSE, which again simply means that their future destruction is all that the WICKED dead can think about. The devil and the fallen angels KNOW of their future destruction in the lake of fire so why is this so hard for some believers to grasp or understand?

Now those that teach soul sleep also use Isaiah 26:14, which clearly shows us that the word “DEAD” in the Bible sometimes refers ONLY to the WICKED who go down into the pit into DEATH or the DOOM of death where they are astonished. You see the word DEAD does not always refer to ALL the dead as you can clearly see in this next verse. Almost every Christian is fully aware that the word “DEAD” in the Bible at times means SEPARATION from God, as in being SPIRITUALLY dead. And ONLY the SPIRITUALLY DEAD who are ALIVE physically have HOPE of coming to the knowledge of the truth and be saved.

 

Isaiah 26:14 from God's Word Translation.

 

“The wicked are DEAD. They (Speaking of ONLY the WICKED who have died physically) are no longer alive. The spirits of the DEAD won't rise. (But we know from the rest of God's word that the spirits or the souls of the RIGHTEOUS who have departed from their dead bodies will indeed rise because the souls of the righteous are not doomed to DEATH the second death which is DESTRUCTION in the lake of fire where the wicked will never to rise again)

You have punished them, DESTROYED them, and wiped out all memory of them.” 

 

Again, this is speaking of ONLY the WICKED. It speaks of the WICKED that are spiritually dead while they are alive physically. And it speaks of the WICKED that IF a wicked person should DIE in his or her state of SIN being separated from God, then they have NO HOPE of reward of eternal life, and all that is before their face is the DOOM of the SECOND DEATH. And AFTER the WICKED are DESTROYED in the lake of fire to be consumed to ASHES they will never rise again.

Now, while we are on Isaiah 26:14, I would like to expound a little further on how revelation knowledge of God's word is PROGRESSIVE. As I said before most any Biblical scholar or serious student of God's word knows that the NEW Testament reveals the OLD Testament and Isaiah 26:14 is a very good example of this. Let me explain what I mean by this. You see, anyone who has studied the resurrection of the DEAD knows that in the OLD Testament there SEEMS to be just ONE resurrection of the dead on the last day where BOTH the righteous AND the unrighteous or the wicked will be raised TOGETHER is just this ONE resurrection. In other words, it is not made perfectly CLEAR to us in the Old Testament that there is MORE than just ONE resurrection. That is to say, in the OLD Testament there SEEMS to be just ONE resurrection being talked about.

However, the NEW Testament teaches us that there will be TWO resurrections of the dead in the future seeing that the resurrection where Jesus was resurrected had already taken place when John was given the revelation of these two different resurrections of the dead. Now while it is true that at the LAST and FINAL resurrection on the last day at the END of the 1000 year reign of Jesus BOTH the righteous and the wicked will be raised from the dead in this resurrection on the last day, it is not the truth of the WHOLE word of God to say that this resurrection on the last day is the ONLY resurrection that the Bible teaches us about. 

You see, the TRUTH of the matter is that the NEW Testament REVEALS to us the TRUTH that there will be a FIRST resurrection where ONLY the righteous in Jesus Christ will be raised from the dead. And that this FIRST resurrection takes place AT the second coming of Jesus. Please read the studies that I have written on the second coming of Jesus and the rapture of the church where I give you all the scriptures explaining what I just said in far greater detail. But for now, I am just pointing out that if one uses the OLD Testament to try and PROVE a doctrine or a belief, then they can and often do get into ERROR if their INTERPRETATION of this Old Testament verse does NOT AGREE with the NEW Testament. And clearly, the interpretation of these OLD Testament verses by those who teach this doctrine of soul sleep do NOT AGREE with the NEW Testament. The point that I am trying to get across to you is that our understanding of God and His word is PROGRESSIVE, and Isaiah 12:14 is just one such example of this progressive revelation of God's word.

For example, a person could take Isaiah 26:14 and say something like the BIBLE says right here in Isaiah 26:14 that the DEAD shall NOT RISE AGAIN, therefore, this PROVES beyond any shadow of a doubt that there is NO resurrection of the DEAD, case close end of discussion.

But we all know that this INTERPRETATION of Isaiah 26:14 simply CANNOT be the TRUTH because we can CLEARLY see from the NEW Testament that the DEAD will indeed RISE again. Even the wicked dead will come forth from the grave and be resurrected from the dead in order to be judged. But then, after the judgment on the last day, the wicked and ONLY the wicked will be cast into the lake of fire which IS the SECOND DEATH where these wicked who will THEN truly be DEAD, as in, permanently dead and they will never RISE AGAIN. This is what the WHOLE word of God teaches. This final death or this SECOND death is the total destruction of  ONLY the WICKED who shall be NO MORE forever because they will be consumed to ASHES.

I totally realize that some of you who sincerely believe with all your heart that this doctrine of soul sleep is the truth of God's word may be having trouble letting go of this FALSE teaching. I mean I was taught many FALSE doctrines in the Roman Catholic Church and yet still more false doctrines in the mainstream church denominations. But at the time that I was TAUGHT these doctrines, I did not know that they were false teachings. So, therefore, I fully trusted the priest and the nuns. And then I trusted my pastors in the Protestant church denominations. And, at the time, I SINCERELY believed that which I was TAUGHT. Plus, I used to share what I sincerely believed at the time to be the truth to others because, after all, I was taught it in the church. 

However, NOW having realized that some of the things that I was TAUGHT are FALSE teachings, I no longer teach them as the truth, but rather expose them as false teachings. So you see, I totally realize even that the mainstream church also has a lot of ERRORS in their man-made doctrines. But I also know that many of these groups of believers, which I named at the beginning of this study that teach this false doctrine of soul sleep are called “CULTS” by the mainstream churches also have errors in their doctrine that could cause a believer to stumble and fall from grace and lose their reward of eternal life. 

Now I myself do NOT call these groups of believers “CULTS”, because even though they have ERROR in some of their doctrines many individual members in these groups do indeed love God with all their heart and they profess Jesus as the Savior who died for their sins as well as I know that Jesus died for my sins. So I myself cannot and will not be JUDGE over these groups of believers and call them “CULTS” as if they are NOT saved as some of the mainstream churches do. I think that many in the mainstream churches are WRONG in calling these groups of believers “CULTS” as if they are NOT saved. 

However, I do believe that ERRORS in doctrine should be addressed and exposed. And even those ERRORS in the MAINSTREAM church denominations need to be exposed as well without saying that your group alone has the truth and if one does not belong to your group then they are not saved. I mean, after all, if a group of believers is labeled as a “CULT” just because they have ERROR in some of their teachings, then we ALL would belong to a CULT because even the mainstream churches have ERROR in some of their teachings. This is clearly seen by the many DIFFERENT denominations that have split off from other churches BECAUSE they did not agree with the DOCTRINES that were being dogmatically taught to them in such a way that if they did not believe these doctrines word for word, then they were not accepted as being MEMBERS of that particular church denomination. Maybe one day I will write more on this subject of what a cult truly is, but for now, let us get back to this present study exposing the ERRORS of interpretation of the Scriptures of those who have incorrectly concluded that the souls of the dead sleep in a state of complete unconsciousness and that NO ONE goes to HEAVEN when they die.

This brings us to section number four or ERROR #4 which deals with the false teaching that no one goes to HEAVEN when they die which we will cover in part 2 of this study on soul sleep. We will also cover errors #5 and #6 as well in part 2 called “IS THE DOCTRINE OF SOUL SLEEP BIBLICAL? PART 2”

Thanks for reading. And may God bless you richly as you continue to seek the truth of the whole word of God.

 

Your brother in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Brother Mark.

 

 

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