“IS THE DOCTRINE OF SOUL SLEEP BIBLICAL?”
Let us begin this study in God word by briefly reading the aspects of what this doctrine 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, they 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 man as some other Christians teach.
Therefore those that teach the doctrine of soul sleep conclude that this is the “FORMULA” so to speak for what a “SOUL” actual IS according to God's word, which they say can be understood as the BODY + BREATH of life from God = a LIVING SOUL.
Now combining Ecclesiastes 12:7 speaking 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 man that he formed from the dust of the earth they arrive at the conclusion that 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 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 COMPLETELY CEASES to EXIST except before it is annihilate God make a copy of the sols 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 upload the memory into this new soul.That is one teaching of what one group means by the soul ceasing to exit 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 define soul sleep as the CONSCIOUSNESS OF the soul only 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 the SPIRIT or the breath of life goes back to God, which the interpret to mean that the SOUL itself DIES when man draws his last breath and the BODY of a person DIES.
“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 conclude 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 whereby the SOUL that was once living now becomes dead. So therefore they conclude that essentially the soul is no more, in that, the soul ceases to exist. In other words, they reason that it took TWO and only TWO ingredients so to speak in order for God to create a LIVING SOUL, and these TWO ingredients 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.
Now when a person dies according to their line of reasoning which goes on to continue along this same reasoning of the creation of man being likened to a mathematical formula and then 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 BODY, which will eventually decay and turn back to dust. So therefore since BOTH ingredients separate at death and go back to where they came from, 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 there 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.
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 it is simply NOT what the WHOLE word of God teaches us about the SOUL, which we will 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.
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 doctrine of soul sleep teaches that when a person draws their last breath and dies that they who once were a LIVING soul now become a DEAD soul wherein they describe the soul as being dead as the soul 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 door nail 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 an 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 believe 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.
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, which on the surface these verse to indeed seem to build a very sound Biblical foundation when these verse are viewed WITHOUT closely considering the rest of God's word. Of course they use many more other verses, but these other verses are used to try and support other points of this doctrine, but again there are only around 12 main verses 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 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 my 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 verse, 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 of that some main stream 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 a 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 an UNBIBLICAL teaching ofeternal 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 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 main stream 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 b those who teach the doctrine of SOUL SLEEP.
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 fo 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 the those points or being PARTLY correct but yet still NOT a 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 in 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 that they use to teach this doctrine of soul sleep.
Ezekiel 37:4-6, which is speaking of the resurrection.
Again when one focuses on these verse 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.
17. That (or so that, or in order that) Christ (the anointing of the Holy Spirit of Almighty God, or that being endued with power from on high, that 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 every one 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.
Now those that teach the doctrines of soul sleep are partly correct when they say that man is a living SOUL, bey yet they are NOT totally teaching you the truth of the whole word of God, because they FALSELY conclude that these 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, when 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 conclusion that therefore the SOUL must die as well when the physical body dies. And this is simple 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 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 it'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.
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).
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 o 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, because the BREATH of LIFE will depart and 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 in 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 in 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.
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 and will NOT be separated UNLESS the SOUL of man SINS and then DIES in his of 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 Almighty God will 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 for all eternity never to rest day or night for ever and ever. In other words, the WICKED ONLY shall be tormented with FIRE and brimstone to be DESTROYED and CONSUMED in the lake of fire and therefore do not enter into the rest that is given ONLY to the righteous day or night for all eternity. You see my dear brothers and sister in our Lord Jesus Christ, it is only the SMOKE of their TORMENT that ascends up to heaven forever and ever 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 last for ever and ever, which literally mean for age to age.
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 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 another 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.
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 as 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 word "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 as 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.
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 (which means that the SPIRIT of Stephen was RECEIVED by Jesus into heaven and therefore DEPARTED from his physical body which fell DEAD after being stoned).”
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 that good and faith 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 stone 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 is 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 is, being 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 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 promise ONLY to those of us who OVER COME and are found to be that good and faithful servant when we die or Jesus comes again. Please read the study "DOES THE BIBLE TEACH THAT ONCE YOU ARE SAVED THEN YOU ARE ALWAYS SAVED?", 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.
“ 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, an 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:
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 of 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)
8. We are confident, I say, and willing rather to 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 of 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 walking in love one toward another), THAT (or so that or in order that), whether PRESENT (alive IN our physical body) or ABSENT (having left our physical bodies to go be present with our Lord in heaven), we may be accepted of him.
Earlier in Acts 7 we read were 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 mine 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 caries 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. 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 being 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 tat 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 which 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 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.
Let us begin this section of our study in God's word by reading each verse one at a time that are 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.
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 it's CONTEXT to discern the TRUE meaning of this verse. Please read Psalm 146:3-6 where we will learn that the subject under discussion if TRUSTING in God rather than putting trust is MAN who will DIE.
So what does 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 come 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.
Here is Psalm 146:4 from the New International Version.
Here is Psalm 146:4 from the Bible in Basic English version.
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 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 require 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.
18. And he said, This will I do: (what follows in the very next verse are the THOUGHTS of this rich man that will perish 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 much goods laid up for many years; take thine 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.): 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,
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, which some Christians like because it is not written in the Old English style like the King James Version. I most 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.
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 absouletely sure that whatever one concludes orINTERPRETS that single verse means 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 ACCUSSING Jesus of having a devil, then you know without a doubt that the BIBLE as a WHOLE was NOT truly saying that Jesus has 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 are PRAYER from man to Almighty God, while other books such as Ecclesiastes are known as WISDOM books that are written from man's human earthly persective 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 cannot be taken literally as a thus says the Lord type statement. Then there are books like Job where those speaking are speaking from again their earthly understanding of God and not in a thus says the Lord type of way.
In addition as many of you may already know some of the RULES of interpretation, which we must follow to be sure that we arrive at the true meaning of a verse. 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 teh 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 of 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.
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 you judge the wicked? Now to me this verse is clearly teaching us that there is without a doubt REMEBRANCE and CONSCIOUSNESS in the soul 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 receive their new IMMORTAL bodies. But it does mean that after PHYSICAL death when the spirit and soul, which are CONNECTED leaves the body there is indeed CONSCIOUSNESS and REMEMBRANCE and that these SOULS of the righteous who have died are indeed PRESENT with the Lord in heaven being kept under the altar of Almighty God where they await their resurrection and reward of eternal life, 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, which 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?”
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 awaken 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 verse speaking of the DEAD are indeed very obvious that they are referring to the dead 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 where David is crying out to God to RESTORE him and RETURN to him and then 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 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, 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 verse that clearly show us that the righteous are PRAISING God in heaven before the second coming of Jesus, which is when the 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 SOUL 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.
47. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, 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.
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)
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 proving yet again that the spirit or the soul is NOT in a state of complete unconsciousness as some have incorrectly INTERPRETED some Old Testament scripture to mean. 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 of 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 scriptures 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 that cannot live without the INNER man or the spirit of man that only DWELLS INSIDE the body. 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 sleeps 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 is joy and peace in the presence of God in heaven to await their resurrection and reward of their new IMMORTAL bodies. It is 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 does NOT give me the high level of HOPE that KNOWING and being CONFIDENT of going to be PRESENT with the Lord IN HEAVEN when we die gives 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 were 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 WHERE those whom were raised from the dead went when they died. When I first read this argument give 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 you life, because 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 were presenting this argument were speaking of testimony from the Bible 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 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 these miraculous works of God of healing and raising the dead.
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 taking of the days events. I had thought that my wife had gone to sleep on my arm, because she had not said anything for awhile. 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 in 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 take 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,
Now some who teach this doctrine of soul sleep INTERPRET this verse to mean that the DEAD cannot REMEMBER any thing and that the DEAD do not KNOW any thing 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 it's CONTEXT. So here is verse 5 left in it's 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 that 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 every thing that is written in this book of wisdom. Therefore we cannot build doctrine from such books unless our own personal INTERPRETATION of these OLD Testament verses AGREE with the NEW Testament verses. Now we can use these wisdom books to support 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.
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)
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 in no life after death. In other words, the atheist falsely teach that once a person dies then the cease to exist and have NO CONSCIOUSNESS to ever being alive.)
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 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 that the RIGHTEOUS who have been GIVEN eternal LIFE shall FORGET the wicked who suffer the SECOND DEATH.
Also in the CONTEXT of people who are still ALIVE having HOPE verse 10 which states that in the grave there is no 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 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 "any thing" 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 there original language. “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 form God forever. They know that they possess death and that there is NO HOPE of REWARD any more. 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 hat does NOT agree with there 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 verse 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.
"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 veil 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 yo 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.
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 it's CONTEXT and see it's 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 being 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 of 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.
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 bothers 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 the 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.
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 verse so the they agree with the NEW Testament.
As I have said many times that any verse when taken out of CONTEXT and view alone and apart for 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 are 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.
“Not unto US O LORD, not unto us, but unto your name give glory, for your mercy, and for your truth's sake.
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 trust 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.)
11. You that fear the LORD, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.
17. The DEAD (or the dead however, or but 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 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)
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 the dead or the sinners go down into the pit to face their DOOM of DEATH. 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 that 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 the dead, but rather refers ONLY to the spiritually dead. Or more precisely all those who go down into SILENCE refers 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, which again means in the original language 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, again speaking of ONLY those who do not trust is the one true Almighty God and his Son Jesus. Again we know that this verse is speaking of the DEAD here 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 US speaking of the RIGHTEOUS.
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 simple means that their future destruction is all that the WICKED dead can thing 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. Most every Christian is fully ware that the word "DEAD" in the Bible at times means SEPARATION from God, as in being SPIRITUALLY dead. And ONLY the SIRITUALLY 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 speaking of ONLY the WICKED who are spiritually dead while they are alive physically and IF the wicked should DIE in this state of SIN being separated form 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)”
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, any one 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 that 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 truth 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 world 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 say 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 with be cast into the lake of fire which IS the SECOND DEATH where these wicked who will THEN truly DEAD as in permanently dead 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.
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 main stream church. But at the time I was TAUGHT these doctrine I did not know that they were false teachings. So therefore fully trusting my pastor at the time I SINCERELY believed that I was I was TAUGHT, 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 main stream 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 main stream 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 through they have have ERROR in some of their doctrines many individual members in these groups do indeed love God with all their heart and the 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 main stream churches do. I think that many in the main stream 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. Even those ERRORS in the MAIN STREAM church need to be exposed 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 main stream 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 id 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 the church. 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.
Here in section number four we will primarily be concentrating on the verses used by those that teach the doctrine of soul sleep to try prove that the righteous believers do NOT go to HEAVEN when they die, but rather they falsely teach that ALL the SOULS of the dead meaning the souls of BOTH the righteous and the wicked REMAIN in the GRAVE with their decaying bodies and the ONLY thing that goes to heaven is the BREATH of life of God that was breathed into man that created him to become a LIVING soul. So then, when those that teach soul sleep say that only the SPIRIT goes to God when a person dies, and they believe when the Bible uses the word "spirit" that it means the BREATH of LIFE from God and NOT the spirit of man. This doctrine leaves no room for the word "spirit" to mean anything other than the BREATH of life God breathed into the NOSTRILS of man in order to become a living soul.
Now the TRUTH of the matter as we covered pretty well in section number one or ERROR #1 is that the WHOLE man is made up of SPIRIT, SOUL and BODY. We also covered a couple of verses from the NEW Testament that clearly show that the SOULS of those who have DIED in Jesus Christ are indeed IN HEAVEN and are PRESENT with the Lord.
Since we already covered these two verses I will only quote these same verses that I have already explained and then we will take a closer look at some more verses that clearly show us that those who sleep or who have DIED in Jesus Christ are indeed IN HEAVEN present with the Lord. So then, here are the clear plain and simple NEW Testament verses that teach us that the RIGHTEOUS dead are indeed IN HEAVEN present with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:1-10
“ For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved (speaking of our physical body that the real you the INNER man dwells in while alive on the earth were to DIE then), we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
4. For we that are IN this tabernacle (or WE speaking of the real us our INNER man, our SPIRIT or our SOUL that is presently IN or inside this physical body) do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon,(with our new IMMORTAL glorified bodies of flesh and bone just like Jesus has now) that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
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), who also has given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.
8. We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be ABSENT from the body (in other words, a believe should NOT fear death or love life more than loving God, but rather a believer should be willing to lay down his of her life for the testimony of Jesus), and to be PRESENT with the 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 walking in love one toward another), THAT (or so that or in order that), whether PRESENT (alive IN our physical body) or ABSENT (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.”
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.”
Again the two verses that we just read I have already covered in section number one or under the section called ERROR #1 so you can go back and re read this section for clearer explanation if you need to do so. The verses that follow we have not yet discussed therefore I will include my explanation of them to show those of you who are seeking the TRUTH that the righteous who have DIED in Jesus Christ are indeed IN HEAVEN present with our Lord as these two verses that we just read clearly teach us.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, CONCERNING them which are asleep (or your fellow brothers and sister in the Lord who have DIED), that you sorrow not, even as others which have NO hope. (the central message of this whole passage of scripture is about the HOPE that we as Christian have concerning our future resurrection and our CHANGE, which is speaking of our receiving our new glorified IMMORTAL bodies of flesh and bone like Jesus has now. Christians should not fear death, because we shall pass from death unto life and death has no sting for the true believer in Jesus Christ so sorrow NOT for those you know and love who have gone home to be with the Lord.)
14. For (or because) if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep IN Jesus will God BRING WITH him. (in other words, the SOULS of the dead IN Jesus Christ are IN HEAVEN present with the Lord awaiting their reward of their new IMMORTAL bodies and God will BRING these SOULS that are in heaven WITH him when Jesus comes again to execute the wrath of Almighty God. It is at this time that the physical dead BODIES belonging to these SOUL of the righteous dead will be raised from the graves and reunited with their physical bodies. Then immediately after this FIRST resurrection ALL the righteous saints both the newly just raised to life dead in Christ AND those of us who have remained ALIVE unto the coming of Jesus shall ALL be CHANGED TOGETHER.)
15. For THIS we say unto you BY the word of the Lord, (in other words, this passage of scripture is a THUS SAYS the LORD factual statement that can and should be use to build good SOUND BIBLICAL doctrine upon, because it is qualified as being BY the WORD of the Lord) that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (or go BEFORE or go ahead of) them which are asleep. (meaning we do not ascend up into the AIR to meet Jesus until the dead are raised from the dead. And it also means that we do no receive our reward of eternal life before or ahead of those who have died in the Lord. In other words we ALL receive our IMMORTAL bodies at the SAME moment of time that only takes a split second according to 1 Corinthians 15:51-54, and THEN we shall ALL be caught up together at the same time WITH the newly raised dead in Christ)
17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (which basically teaches us that there will be no rapture UNTIL this FIRST resurrection takes place where we ALL shall be CHANGED in a moment and in a twinkling of and eye. This is just one of the many reasons why there can be no PRE tribulation rapture of the church.)
18. Wherefore (or for this very reason) COMFORT one another with these words.(referring to this whole passage of scripture that clearly teaches us that the DEAD who are IN Jesus Christ are indeed IN HEAVEN WITH our Lord and the God will BRING these SOULS of those who SLEEP in Jesus WITH him when Jesus comes again at his second coming)”
The main thing that I want you to see and understand from this passage of scripture is that it is a THUS SAYS the LORD passage and that the DEAD or the SOULS of those who have DIED in Jesus Christ are PRESENT WITH our Lord IN HEAVEN, because this thus says the Lord type of verse plainly says that God will BRING WITH him those who sleep or those who have DIED in Jesus Christ, wherefore COMFORT one another with these words.
Now a dear brother in the Lord wrote to me arguing that the SOULS of the righteous are NOT in heaven, because the DEAD are DEAD, as in, dead as a door nail in the GRAVE in a state of complete unconsciousness. He then went on to try and explain this clear thus says the Lord NEW Testament verse away by saying that God will BRING the dead WITH with him AFTER they are RESURRECTED from the DEAD and they are CAUGHT UP in the AIR to meet Jesus and so shall forever be with the Lord, THEN the dead will be WITH him.
And I thought to myself that the DEAD in Jesus that God will BRING WITH him will NOT be DEAD after they are RAISED from the dead and given new IMMORTAL bodies BEFORE we are ALL CAUGHT UP to be with Jesus in the AIR. And I thought to myself that IF this INTERPRETATION of his was true, then HOW can the Lord BRING them if they are ALREADY here on the earth supposedly remaining in the GRAVE as the doctrine of soul sleep dogmatically demands. And then the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance several other NEW Testament verses that AGREED with the teaching that the SOULS of the righteous who have died are INDEED IN HEAVEN PRESENT with the Lord. Therefore ALL these other clear plain and simple NEW Testament scriptures would need to be explained away as well and most assuredly they would need to be explained away in a much more logical way that he has tried TRIED this verse in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 to be explained away.
So again, I implore you my dear brothers and sisters I our Lord Jesus Christ, please do NOT try and change the clear, plain and simple meaning of the NEW Testament scriptures in order to try and make them agree with your own personal INTERPRETATION of the OLD Testament scriptures. But Rather be open and teachable to hear and consider doctrine that is base upon the NEW Testament scriptures which reveal the TRUE meaning of the OLD Testament scriptures.
This brother who believes in the doctrine of soul sleep wrote me several times on this subject and we exchanged emails for a couple of weeks, but after I heard this last argument I knew on the inside of me that God was trying to get my attention to write an in depth study on this subject to explain the errors made by those who teach that no one goes to heaven because all the dead remain in the grave in a state of unconsciousness until the resurrection.
This is HOW this study came to be. You see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, I do NOT go OUT and search on the Internet for false teachers, but rather the Lord BRINGS these false teacher to me. I mean I never even heard of this doctrine of soul sleep until this brother wrote me and dogmatically told me that I was NOT teaching the truth about the thief on the cross being with Jesus in PARADISE on that very selfsame day that they died on the cross. And I thought to myself WHAT are you talking about, and what Bible are you reading from, because I have never gotten any understanding like this from the Bible. Then I received email after email the next few days of why I was wrong in what I was teaching about the thief being with Jesus that very selfsame day that they died on the cross. It was then that I knew that the Lord was wanting me to write on this subject of soul sleep.
You see, I had prayed and asked God just a few days prior to these emails from this dear brother accusing me of being a false teacher and said to God, "What do you want me to write on next", and then out of the blue so to speak I am being accused of false teaching about the thief on the cross being with Jesus in paradise that very self same day that they died on other cross. You can read this study called “WHAT AND WHERE IS PARADISE?” for yourself to see that I am not teaching false doctrine. Again I just present to my readers ALL the evidence that I myself have been made aware of and then let you decide for yourself. Yes, I do give my OPINIONS and the conclusions that I myself have drawn for studying ALL the evidence, but I will not call you a heretic if you do not agree with the way that I have come to believe. Now this particular brother did not call me a heretic, but I did sense from some of his emails that I was no brother of his simply because we did not AGREE on what he himself believes to be the truth. I pray that I never make anyone feel that they are NOT a true Christian just because they do not AGREE with my opinions and the conclusions that I myself have drawn for doing these in depth studies in God's word.
With that being said let us get back to the dead in Christ coming WITH Jesus at his second coming, which again clearly teaches us that the righteous dead are indeed IN HEAVEN to be PRESENT with the Lord just like Paul teaches us in 2 Corinthians 5:1-10. Again we have already covered this particular passage of scripture, which obviously is a NEW Testament scripture as well. Now here is yet another NEW Testament passage of scripture that to me, definitely teachings us that the righteous saints are indeed IN HEAVEN and the they will come WITH Jesus FROM HEAVEN at his second coming. Please read Revelation 19:1-16 where we see a great multitude of PEOPLE before the THRONE of Almighty God IN HEAVEN praising God and being given white robes that is called the RIGHTEOUSNESS of the SAINTS and this all takes place IN HEAVEN just BEFORE Jesus and his army of saints leave heaven to come back to the earth at the second coming of Jesus.
4. And the four and twenty ELDERS (who some Bible teaches believe are the twelve apostles and twelve representatives one from each tribe of Israel, because they are called ELDERS in the same way that mature spiritual leaders in the church are called ELDERS) and the four beasts fell down and worshiped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
6. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters (or many people), and as the voice of mighty thundering, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigns. (Among these voices PRAISING God up IN HEAVEN before his THRONE are God's SERVANTS the righteous SAINTS.)
7. Let US be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. (in other words, the time has arrived that we along with our fellow brothers and sisters who have remained alive for our blood to be avenged and that we should reign with our Lord on the earth.)
10. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See you do it not: I am your FELLOW SERVANT, and of your BRETHREN that have the TESTIMONY of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (here we see John who is IN HEAVEN talking with a FELLOW SERVENT and BROTHER in the Lord who has the TESTIMONY of Jesus)
15. And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Now here in this passage of scripture we have more than just one verse that clearly teaches us that the saints who have died are indeed IN HEAVEN. So then, we should in all fairness view each verse in this passage of scripture as a separate supporting argument on this side of the saints being IN HEAVEN. In other words, in Revelation chapter 19 in verse 1 we see MUCH PEOPLE up IN HEAVEN before the THRONE of Almighty God, so we will call this verse number five in our list of verses that clearly and plainly teach us that the souls of the saints who have died are without a doubt IN HEAVEN present with the Lord.
VERSE # 5.
“And after these things I heard a great voice of MUCH PEOPLE IN HEAVEN, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God:”
Please notice that these PEOPLE are PRAISING God so therefore they are NOT in a state of UNCONSCIOUSNESS as some FALSELY teach. Now I myself find NO WHERE in Gods word where Jesus comes for the dead in Christ at his second coming resurrects the dead in Christ, and then goes BACK to heaven with the dead in Jesus Christ who have just been resurrected from the dead along with us who are ALIVE and remain unto the coming of Jesus who will be changed also at the second coming of Jesus before he RETURNS BACK to heaven so we all can be IN HEAVEN to PRAISE God and then RETURN WITH Jesus, which by the way would be his THIRD coming, when the CLEAR word of God speaks only about his SECOND coming to the earth to execute the WRATH of Almighty God. So then, since the whole word of God does NOT teach us about a THIRD coming of Jesus, then WHO are these PEOPLE of great number UP IN HEAVEN PRAISING GOD if they are NOT the souls of the righteous who have died having a testimony of Jesus and for the word of God? Clearly this scene of MUCH PEOPLE being IN HEAVEN who are PRAISING Almighty God is not taking place AFTER the second coming of Jesus as you will clearly see as we continue this study in God's word.
Then in verse in verse 4 we see 24 ELDERS up IN HEAVEN before the THRONE which again some teach that number 24 represents the priesthood where the priests mediate between the people and God. And some believe that 12 of these ELDERS are the 12 Apostles of Jesus plus another 12 representatives of the 12 tribes of Israel and these are before the very throne of God as a council so to speak for the multitude of people that are redeemed. This brings us to argument number 6 or verse #6 for the support of the teaching that the souls of the righteous are indeed in heaven present with the Lord.
VERSE # 6.
“4. And the four and twenty ELDERS (who some Bible teaches believe are the twelve apostles and twelve representatives one from each tribe of Israel, because they are called ELDERS in the same way that mature spiritual leaders in the church are called ELDERS) and the four beasts fell down and worshiped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.”
Again we see that the ELDERS are PRAISING God which teaches us that they are NOT in a state of UNCONSCIOUSNESS as some falsely teach. But even if you argue that these 24 ELDER are not SAINTS up in heaven there is still yet much sound Biblical evidence not only from this passage of scripture, but other passages of scripture that clearly teach us that the saints are indeed IN HEAVEN awaiting their robes of righteousness, which I believe is speaking of our new IMMORTAL bodies of flesh and bone like Jesus has now that the RIGHTEOUS will one day be CLOTHED upon.
Moving on to verses 5-7 we see that a voice coming OUT of the THRONE of Almighty God that is IN HEAVEN is calling out to these SAINTS who again are IN HEAVEN PRAISING the Almighty for REIGNING or for being ALMIGHTY. Please notice that these SAINTS or this MUCH PEOPLE are called his SERVANTS in verse 5.
“5. And a voice came OUT of the THRONE, saying, Praise our God, all you his SERVANTS, and you that fear him, both small and great.
6. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters (or many people), and as the voice of mighty thundering, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigns. (Among these voices PRAISING God up IN HEAVEN before his THRONE are God's SERVANTS the righteous SAINTS.)
7. Let US be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is COME, and his wife has made herself ready. (in other words, the time has arrived that we along with our fellow brothers and sisters who have remained alive for our blood to be avenged and that we should reign with our Lord on the earth.)”
You see the phase “...and his WIFE has made herself ready.” is speaking of the saints still alive on the earth. Remember in Revelation 6:9-11 when the saints or the SOULS of the saints in heaven asked HOW LONG Lord do you NOT judge and AVENGE our shed blood? And God told them basically to be patient and WAIT till their brothers and sisters in the Lord who were still on the earth be killed as they were killed for there testimony of Jesus and the word of God. THEN they these SOULS of the righteous who have died were given white ROBES, which we learn in this passage of scripture is the righteousness of the saints. But when you understand that at this time of the second coming of Jesus that the SAINTS are going to be CLOTHED with new IMMORTAL bodies, then it appears to me that these white robes are representative of the IMMORTAL bodies that we shall receive at the second coming of Jesus.
But the main point for this particular argument is that clear these SOULS of the righteous who have died are INDEED IN HEAVEN and PRESENT with the Lord WITHOUT any BODIES waiting to be CLOTHED upon with their new IMMORTAL bodies. So then when Jesus comes again at his second coming these SOULS of the dead in Jesus Christ will COME WITH Jesus FROM HEAVEN back to the earth to be re united with their resurrected physical bodies that with be raised from the their graves here on the earth, and THEN we ALL shall be changed in a moment in a twinkling of and eye and be given new IMMORTAL bodies of flesh and bone like Jesus has now. So a thousand times NO, Jesus is not coming again at his SECOND coming to raise the dead in Christ and take them BACK to heaven to PRAISE God in order to satisfy your OWN PERSONAL INTERPRETATION of scripture where you dogmatically demand that NO ONE goes to heaven when the died. Can you not see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, that IF this were true, then this would mean that Jesus would have to come a THIRD time back to the earth and the Bible says absolutely NOTHING about a THIRD coming of Jesus. Just go back and re think what has been TAUGHT to you about the OLD Testament verses that they keep drilling into you over and over nearly every Sunday demanding that they cannot possible mean anything other than what they dogmatically demand them to mean. Always interpret the OLD Testament in the LIGHT of the NEW Testament. Moving onto the next verse or argument that clearly supports the truth that the souls of the righteous who have died are indeed in heaven present with the Lord.
Then in revelation 19:8,9 along with verse 7 we see these same white ROBES that we see be given to the SOUL under the altar of God are being GRANTED to the SAINTS to wear, which tells me that the saints in heaven do not actually receive their new immortal bodies until they are first resurrected. I will explain this a little further in a moment, but for now I want you to see that these SAINTS are indeed up IN HEAVEN present with our Lord and that they are PRAISING God for the time has arrived to be married to our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. This brings us to argument number eight or verse # 8.
VERSE # 8
“7. Let US be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is COME, and his wife has made herself ready. (in other words, the time has arrived that we along with our fellow brothers and sisters who have remained alive for our blood to be avenged and that we should reign with our Lord on the earth.)
8. And to her (the church is always referred to in the feminine gender as the BRIDE of Christ at this present time, then at the second coming of Jesus the church will be known as the Lambs WIFE, because this is when the MARRIAGE of the Lamb will take place. Anyway to the church or to HER) was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of SAINTS.
9. And he said unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are CALLED unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he said unto me, These are the true sayings of God.
You see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, these SAINTS who are IN HEAVEN and who are PRESENT with the Lord being without a body to be CLOTHED upon are being CALLED to the marriage supper of the Lamb. In other words. God is saying to the SOULS of these saints, the INNER man, it is TIME now to avenge your blood so go with my Son back to the earth to be re united with your physical bodies and I will CHANGE them to new IMMORTAL bodies of RIGHTEOUSNESS that I now grant unto you to wear. It is TIME to judge the wicked for the wickedness has come to full and there is NONE, no not ONE wicked person who seeks after me. So then,Let the wicked remain wicked for that brief moment that I will CHANGE the righteous who are living righteously before me when I send my Son to execute my WRATH upon the wicked. And then after my Son has received all the righteous who are changed I will during my wrath show mercy and all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved alive to be taught of me being during the thousand year that I grant my Son to reign over my kingdom. please read the studies that I have written on the subject of "THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS" for a deeper understanding of what I just said, but for now let us continue with this study in God's word.
Then in verse 10 we see that the Apostle John, who we know was caught up into heaven to be given these revelations from Jesus, is talking with a FELLOW SERVANT and a BROTHER in the Lord who has the TESTIMONY of Jesus. Now the only way anyone can refute this verse in order to explain it away so you can say that no one has ascended to heaven except Jesus is to say that this FELLOW SERVANT who is CLEARLY up IN HEAVEN and who is talking to John is Jesus Christ himself. You can argue and say the John himself is not actually in heaven and that this is a vision, but the TRUTH of the matter is that John is talking to a MAN while is indeed IN HEAVEN and this MAN is called a FELLOW SERVANT and a BROTHER in the Lord who has the TESTIMONY of Jesus.
“10. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See you do it not: I am your FELLOW SERVANT, and of your BRETHREN that have the TESTIMONY of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. (here we see John, whose spirit has left his body and has been caught UP INTO HEAVEN, talking with a FELLOW SERVANT and BROTHER in the Lord who has the TESTIMONY of Jesus)”
But even if this BROTHER here in verse 10 who is without a doubt up in heaven and who has the testimony of Jesus turns out to be proven to be Jesus without a doubt there is still yet more clear evidence yet remaining to see. What I mean by this is that I myself can see that there is a possibility that this verse may be speaking of Jesus as an angel of God, AS IN, a messenger of God, and NOT as an angelic being. Please read the study called, IS JESUS MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL". Also I can see that this messenger of God talking with John up in heaven is a fellow servant of God and our fellow brother in the faith where we know from other verse that Jesus is called our fellow servant and our brother. Now the next part of this verse that most of us interpret as being that this person in heaven who HAS the TESTIMONY OF Jesus is concluded to mean that this man PREACHES Jesus just like John and every other Christian who preaches Jesus. But then I have to ask myself why go on to explain that the TESTIMONY of JESUS is the spirit of PROPHECY. This makes me personally think that this verse may be saying that these scriptures that this man up in heaven is speaking to John are PROPHECIES of JESUS, which means that the scripture are PROPHECIES of the coming MESSIAH and therefore this man IN HEAVEN may be saying that HE is that man whom this spirit of PROPHECY is speaking. In other words, this man in heaven MAY be saying in the first person I HAVE the TESTIMONY or I am the ONE of whom the scriptures PROPHESY. I am JESUS. Please keep in mind that in the Bible when people hear the NAME of a person they actually HEAR what that name MEANS and the name JESUS means the salvation of YHWH. That is to say the salvation of Almighty God. This is one of those verses that I myself can see either way, but to some it can only mean ONE way because of what they have been taught concerning Jesus being the one true and only Almighty God as opposed to being the Son of Almighty God. Again I am not dogmatic about muck of what I teach and say that if you do not believe every jot an tittle of what I teach then you are not my brother or sister in the Lord as some of these groups who teach this doctrine of soul sleep do with those of us who do not believe their teachings. Again this is the only mark of a "CULT" in my definition of a cult. I myself do not say that you are not my brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ just because you may disagree with the conclusions that I have drawn by studying closely all the evidence form both side of a controversy.
Any way there are more verses that clearly teach us that the souls or the spirits of the dead saints are indeed IN HEAVEN. In the verse that follows we can see that the word "ARMIES" is in the plural form and that these ARMIES will one day very soon FOLLOW Jesus FROM HEAVEN. Now while these verses do not actually come right out and plainly say the words SAINT or the SOULS of the saints to identify who these armies are we know from other verses that Jesus is coming WITH an army or a great number of his SAINTS. And we know from other verses that Jesus is coming WITH his mighty ANGELS. In other words, Jesus will be coming with BOTH the SOULS of the SAINTS, which is one army or one group with great number in that group as well as Jesus will be coming with yet another mighty army or great number of angels. We also see that these who are following Jesus FROM heaven are now CLOTHED with white robes. Please read again Revelation 19:11-16 which is describing the second coming of Jesus as we take a look at argument number ten of verse #10 as the tenth passage of scripture that supports the sound Biblical teaching that the souls of the righteous go to heaven when a righteous person dies.
VERSE # 10
“11. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war.
12. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
14. And the ARMIES which WERE IN HEAVEN followed him upon white horses, CLOTHED in fine linen, white and clean. (these ARMIES which are again plural and in more than just one army singular that WERE up IN HEAVEN who FOLLOWED or who will be following Jesus to the earth at the second coming of Jesus agrees with what we are assured is the word of the Lord in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18” “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord” that clearly teaches us that the DEAD in Jesus will God BRING WITH him. And in verse 9 of this passage of scripture in 1 Thessalonians just as we are assure that they are THUS SAYS the Lord type verses we are also assured that these verses here in Revelation chapter 19 are the TRUE sayings of Almighty God. “These are the true sayings of God.”that the armies of saints WERE IN HEAVEN and will come WITH Jesus FROM HEAVEN when he comes again.)
15. And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16. And he has on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Now some may try and argue that the “ARMIES” here refers to ANGELS and NOT to the SAINTS that WERE IN HEAVEN who Jesus will BRING WITH him. To this feeble argument I ask where in scripture are the angels granted by God to be CLOTHED in fine linen white and clean, which in the CONTEXT of this passage of scripture is called the righteousness of the SAINTS. Remember the CONTEXT and read verse 8 once again.
“ And to HER (referring to the CHURCH, the BRIDE of Jesus Christ who is being CALLED to the MARRIAGE supper of the Lamb. To HER, to the CHURCH, to the SAINTS, and NOT to the angles) was granted that SHE should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen IS the righteousness of SAINTS.”
This verse does NOT say that this FINE LINEN that is clean and white is the righteousness of the ANGELS, but rather the FINE LINEN in this entire CONTEXT is called the righteousness of the SAINTS which is ONLY for the SAINTS to be CLOTHED UPON. Verse 14 clearly and plainly states that these SAINTS WERE IN HEAVEN and FOLLOWED Jesus FROM HEAVEN to judge and make war. As I said before I myself believe that since the word “ARMIES” is plural then this most logically in the light of other verses means that part of this army coming FROM heaven will be BOTH the SOULS of the SAINTS who have died in Jesus Christ AND the mighty ANGELS. And this AGREES with other verses in the Bible in which I myself find absolutely NO contradiction anywhere in the WHOLE word of God. Please read Jude 1:14,15 where we see that when Jesus comes again he will bring WITH HIM ten thousand SAINTS.
“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord comes WITH ten thousands of his SAINTS, (these SAINTS that are coming WITH Jesus when he return are the SOULS of the dead in Jesus Christ who are now at this time IN HEAVEN PRESENT with the Lord.)
15. To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”
Again this agrees with all the other verses in the Bible. Please keep in mined that we must always INTERPRET the OLD Testament in the LIGHT of the NEW Testament and NOT the other way around. Then in Zechariah 14 we are told the same thing that the SAINTS will come WITH the Lord when he returns from HEAVEN to make WAR with the ungodly and execute the WRATH of Almighty God.
4. And his feet shall stand in that day (the second coming of Jesus) upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
5. And you shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, you shall flee, like as you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the SAINTS WITH thee.”
Now this OLD Testament scripture may at first sound a little confusing when we read the words with THEE or with YOU in today's modern English. In other words, WHO is the thee or the you here speaking of? Well the prophet is speaking TO Israel the Jewish people who believe in God, but who have not yet heard of JESUS. However, in the NEW Testament that REVEALS to us what the OLD Testament is TRULY saying we can see more CLEARLY that this verse in the OLD Testament is saying that these Old Testament Jewish believers who have not yet heard of Jesus will also be IN HEAVEN and will be AMONG the number of the SAINTS speaking of the dead in Jesus Christ will all come to TOGETHER with Jesus at his coming.
Can you not see my dear brothers and sister in our Lord Jesus Christ that this agrees with the verses in the NEW Testament that teaches us that Jesus descend first into the lower parts of the earth to PREACH to these Jewish believers in the Old Testament who died without ever hearing abut Jesus and how Jesus lead these captive out of their graves and took then to heaven where they are at this present time? Can you not see and understand this vast amount of sound Biblical NEW Testament evidence that the SOULS of the SAINTS are IN HEAVEN and that they will come WITH Jesus when he returns. We have also clearly seen that these saints IN HEAVEN are NOT is a states of complete UNCONSCIOUSNESS as some FALSELY teach, because we see them PRAISING Almighty God. Nor were the Old Testament saints in a state of unconsciousness in the Old Testament times when they WERE being kept in the LOWER PARTS of the earth BEFORE Jesus lead them out of their graves and they ascended into heaven with Jesus were they are today along with all the NEW Testament SAINTS. Please keep in mind the parable of the Rich man and Lazarus who died and the rich man went down into the pit into silence or the DOOM of DEATH. The rich man knew his fate that was awaiting him on the day of judgment and was in torment of this flame that was to destroy him to be no more. But Lazarus went down into the lower part of the earth that was on the side of Abraham's bosom so to speak referring to the side where the souls of the righteous who died went to be kept until God could execute the next step of his PLAN of salvation. This side of the place of the dead in the OLD Testament times was called PARADISE. Please read the study called "WHAT AND WHERE IS PARADISE" for an in depth understanding of where the Old Testament saints WERE being TEMPORARILY kept until Jesus could die for their sins and how Jesus PREACHED the gospel of salvation to the SPIRIT be kept in this holding place for the dead. I also show in this study that Jesus took these spirit of these souls of the Old Testament saints with him to heaven where they are presently awaiting to be glorified with their new IMMORTAL bodies like Jesus has now. But for now let us get back to the study at hand.
Please keep in mind that the OLD Testament scriptures or verses that SEEM to be saying that the DEAD do NOT praise God are in the form of QUESTIONS. They are NOT statements of fact as in thus says the Lord type statements. Many of these OLD Testament verses are PRAYERS from man to God and NOT God speaking to man. In other words, most of the verses that are used by those who teach this doctrine of soul sleep are from the OLD Testament.And they are from books of the Bible like the Psalms that are written in a POETIC style of writing from MAN'S perspective of the things of God. These kind of verse cannot be used to build doctrine upon unless they AGREE with the more clear, plain and simple verses of the NEW Testament.
Also please keep in mind that in some OLD Testament verses the word “DEAD” refer to ONLY the WICKED and NOT to the righteous dead. And you must also understand that under the OLD covenant or during the OLD Testament times ALL the dead went into the heart of the earth that was called the place of the dead which was divided into parts separating the wicked dead from the righteous dead. The side of the righteous dead was called PARADISE, which means a place of comfort. Jesus tells us in one of his parables that the righteous were being COMFORTED in the bosom of Abraham. Again please read the study “WHAT AND WHERE IS PARADISE?” in which I explain how the Old Testament SAINTS were taken to heaven when Jesus ascended into heaven the first time shortly after he arose from the grave.
Now those who teach the doctrine of soul sleep dogmatically argue and demand that NO man has ever ascended to heaven EXCEPT Jesus, because Jesus himself told us so.
In other words, those who teach this doctrine of soul sleep have INTERPRETED John 3:13 to mean without a doubt that from the creation of man to this present day NO man has ASCENDED into heaven EXCEPT Jesus. This brings us to error number five where again those who teach the doctrine of soul sleep have falsely concluded that this verse in John 3:13 dogmatically means without fail that absolutely no one has ascended or will ascend into heaven except Jesus alone until the resurrection of the dead in Jesus Christ that does not take place UNTIL the second coming of Jesus. Now in the LIGHT of what you have already read thus far in this study of Gods word I want you to CLOSELY consider that IF this were TRUE, then this would mean that right after Jesus comes again at his SECOND coming that Jesus will need to ASCEND BACK INTO HEAVEN WITH his SAINTS so that your own personal interpretation of John 3:13 can be satisfied or be made to harmonize and agree with the SAINTS being in HEAVEN before God's THRONE PRAISING Almighty God. Can you not see my dear brothers in our Lord Jesus Christ that this INTERPRETATION of John 3:13 simply cannot be true, because I find nowhere in the Bible that Jesus ASCENDS BACK into heaven WITH his SAINTS AFTER they are resurrected and given their new IMMORTAL bodies and then Jesus comes yet a THIRD time FROM HEAVEN WITH HIS SAINTS. Let us move on to error # 5 to expose this error of INTERPRETATION that no man has ever or will ever ascend into heaven except Jesus UNTIL the resurrection of the dead at the SECOND coming of Jesus.
In this section under error #5 we will take a CLOSER look at John 3:13 which those that teach the doctrine of soul sleep dogmatically demand that there is NO other way to interpret or understand this verse than to demand that Jesus was saying that NO man has or ever ascended into heaven or will ascend into heaven UNTIL the resurrection. Please read John 3:13 first and then we will take a look at how this verse can and should be interpreted and understood in the LIGHT of the WHOLE word of God.
Now when we have been taught over and over that a particular verse MEANS this or means that, then whenever we read that verse I will be the first to admit that it is sometimes hard to see that it can mean anything other that what has been drilled into our minds over and over. In other words, I am sure that those of you who have been TAUGHT over and over the doctrine of soul sleep that you will have a little trouble, at least at first, to be OPEN to any other interpretation of this verse that does not agree with what you yourself have been taught over and over and therefore have come to believe.
But I assure you that there are indeed OTHER interpretations of this verse of scripture. In truth no one can be absolutely sure without a doubt what Jesus EXACTLY meant by these words, in John 3:13, but we know with absolute certainty that whatever INTERPRETATION that one concludes that interpretation must without fail AGREE with the REST of God's word. And right now the INTERPRETATION of this verse in John 3:13 by those who teach the doctrine of soul sleep does NOT AGREE with the WHOLE word of God which clearly teaches us that the SOULS of those SAINTS who have died are indeed IN HEAVEN and are PRESENT with the Lord.
So then, since we KNOW without a doubt that the SOULS of the dead in Jesus Christs are IN HEAVEN and are PRESENT with the Lord, then we have to conclude that John 3:13 does NOT mean the NO man has ascended into heaven or will ever ascend into heaven UNTIL the resurrection. In other words, these words of Jesus could very well actually mean that no man has ascended to heaven up to that TIME in history when Jesus spoke these words to Nicodemus where Jesus was speaking of himself in the FUTURE of being crucified and ascending into heaven. Please understand that at the time Jesus was speaking these words to Nicodemus that he had not yet been crucified nor had he himself ASCENDED into heaven. I will explain more on what I mean by this in a moment, but for now I want you to clearly see and understand that there is MORE than just ONE way to understand what Jesus meant by these words he spoke to Nicodemus in John 3:13.
Also please keep in mind that by the word MAN in which Jesus used in this verse Jesus may have been referring to man as being in a PHYSICAL BODY and NOT to the SOULS of men.
Or Jesus may have meant by these words in John 3:13 that no man who has received an IMMORTAL body has ascended into heaven EXCEPT the Son of man who descended from heaven. Please keep in mind that right after Jesus arose from the grave he told Mary Magdalene NOT to TOUCH him BECAUSE he had NOT YET ASCENDED to his God and Father. But then AFTER Jesus DESECNED back to the earth to be seen of his disciples for forty days he told them to TOUCH him and proved to themselves that he was NOT a SPIRIT, but rather that he had a BODY of FLESH and BONE. Then After these forty days Jesus ASCENDED back into heaven were he will remain until his second coming.
Or Jesus may have meant by these words, in John 3:13 that no man has ascended into the Holy of Holies to see Almighty God face to face except the Son of man speaking of himself, because without an IMMORTAL body a man would DIE if he were to see God face to face. What the Bible means when it says no MAN has seen God at any time is that no man in their PHYSICAL BODY has seen God at any time. In other words, the SOUL of the righteous who are in heaven do not have PHYSICAL bodies.
No one KNOWS with absolute certainty what Jesus truly meant by these words in John 3:13. However, one thing for sure with absolute certainty is that this verse does NOT teach us that no man will EVER ascend into heaven until the second coming of Jesus. Please keep in mind the verses that clearly show us that the SAINTS are IN HEAVEN PRAISING God. But if you try and reason away these verses by demanding these saints are praising Almighty God UP IN HEAVEN before his THRONE only AFTER the SECOND coming of Jesus AFTER he has raised these saints from the dead, then you must produce sound Biblical evidence from the Bible that clearly teaches us of yet a THIRD coming of Jesus where Jesus and his saints come BACK to the earth to rule and reign for 1000 years ON THE EARTH after Jesus has ascended into heaven in order to reconcile these saints being IN HEAVEN PRAISING God with your own private interpretation that the souls of the righteous saints remaining in the grave until the second coming of Jesus because you so dogmatically demand that John 3:13 means without fail that NO man has ever or will ever ascend into heaven except Jesus UNTIL the second coming of Jesus.
Now to me in the light of all these other possible interpretations it is pretty clear that Jesus means by these words in John 3:13 that no man had ever ascend up into heaven UNTIL the Son of man will one day very soon ASCEND into heaven to his God and Father. Again please keep in mind that Jesus was speaking of his FUTURE death, resurrection and ascending into heaven at the time that he spoke these words to Nicodemus.
You see, we know from other verses with absolute certainly that John was called up or ASCENDED up into heaven in the SPIRIT before the throne of Almighty God. We are told that immediately after John heard Almighty God himself calling out to him to come UP hither or to come up here where I am, then John was in the spirit and beheld the throne of God. This means that the spirit of John left or departed out of John's body and ascended up to heaven. Now this could not possibll mean that the Spirit as is the BREATH fife departed from Johns physical body, because John would have died and wold have needed to be resurrected back to life in order for him to write down what he was seeing or hearing. You see, your SPIRIT can go and be somewhere else and your body still be alive to communicate to your physical mind. Paul tells of us his out of body experience, which we will look at in a moment. But first please read Revelation 4:1,2, which teaches us about John's out of the body experience of ascending into heaven.
“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was OPENED IN HEAVEN: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come UP hither, and I will show you things which must be hereafter.
Now John was a MAN and yet the Bible teaches us that he ascended into heaven as a SPIRIT of a man to receive a vision from Jesus and Almighty God the Father.
Also Paul was a MAN who tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:1-4 that although he himself could not perceive at the time whether he was still in his physical body or whether he was OUT of his physical body he knew that he had ASCENDED UP into PARADISE the third heaven where the throne of Almighty God resides.
2. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knows;) such an one CAUGHT UP (or ascended up) to the third heaven.(which is the highest heaven where the throne of Almighty God resides. The first heaven if the sky, the second heaven is space outside the earth's atmosphere, and the third heaven is were the SOULS of the SAINTS who have died are PRESENT with the Lord)
4. How that he was CAUGHT UP (or ascended up) into PARADISE (which was moved when Jesus ascended into heaven with the SOULS of the Old Testament SAINTS. But again ONLY Jesus had an IMMORTAL body. The SAINTS will not receive their reward of eternal life and their new immortal bodies until the second coming of Jesus. So then, in the LIGHT of the WHOLE word of God it was the SPIRIT of Paul, his INNER man that was OUT of Paul's physical body that ASCENDED up into the THIRD HEAVEN.) and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”
John as well was instructed NOT to write down some things that he saw and heard while his spirit or inner man was in heaven. So then, in the LIGHT of the WHOLE word of God the whole man is made up of SPIRIT, SOUL, and BODY. The soul and spirit that make up the INNER man are connected and only God can separate them. The Bible teaches us in Matthew 10:28 that the SOUL of man can indeed be destroyed and that we are to FEAR Almighty God who not only can but will DESTROY the SOUL and the BODY of the wicked sinner on the last day.
Can you not see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, that just because the SOULS of the dead LIVE and remain CONSCIOUS after the physical body dies doe NOT mean that the SOUL is IMMORTAL. You see, the SOUL of those who die in Jesus Christ shall remain alive and conscious when they go to be PRESENT with the Lord IN HEAVEN where they are waiting under the altar of God until the day of judgment. Please keep in mind that the day of the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day. In other words, the day of the Lord's judgment BEGINS at the second coming of Jesus and the the WRATH of God will be suspended or God will remember mercy and lift his wrath for a 1000 years our time. Satan will be bound for this 1000 year and Jesus and the SAINTS who have died in Jesus Christ and who have remained alive to the coming of Jesus shall be judged RIGHTEOUS and then given new IMMORTAL BODIES. Then we will reign with Jesus for 1000 years our time, but only a day in God's time if there is such a thing as time to God. At the END of the 1000 years or the end of the DAY of the Lord, which is as a thousand years Satan will be loosed once again to deceive the nations proving for once and all that God did not create Lucifer to be evil. Another study in and of itself. Please read the study called “UNDERSTANDING WHY? Which explains a lot of things such as why bad things happen to good people. After Satan deceives the nations once again the God with lift his suspension of his wrath to bring an end to evil once and for all. It is at this time that the REST of the dead will be raised, and ONLY those who are JUDGED to be WICKED shall be cast into the lake of fire where the SOUL of ONLY the wicked will be cut asunder from God's Spirit of BREATH of LIFE and BOTH the SOUL and BODY of the WICKED ONLY will be DESTROYED never to rise again.
Now some will argue and say what about Acts 2:22-36?
“You men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as you yourselves also know:
23. Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
24. Whom God has raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
25. For David speaks concerning him (or David spoke these word PROPHESYING about Jesus whose SOUL would not be left in Hell), I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
26. Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
27. Because you will not leave my soul in hell, neither will you suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. (in other words, David is PROPHESYING of the resurrection of Jesus, where both his SOUL and his BODY would be resurrected to life evermore)
28. You have made known to me the ways of life; you shall make me full of joy with your countenance.
29. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher (or his tomb where his decayed body still yet remains a dust) is with us unto this day.
30. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
31. He (David) seeing this before spoke (or PROPHESIED) of the RESURRECTION of Christ, that his SOUL (or that the SOUL of Jesus) was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.(or would the BODY of Jesus be in the grave long enough to decay)
32. This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he has shed forth this, which you now see and hear.
34. For David is NOT ASENDED into the heavens: but he (David) says himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit you on my right hand, (In other words, these Old testament verses are NOT speaking of DAVID being raised from the dead and given a new IMMORTAL BODY, but rather they are speaking of JESUS whom you crucified)
35. Until I make your foes your footstool.
36. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God has made that same Jesus, whom you have crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
Now for most of you who are reading this study and truly desiring to come to the knowledge of the TRUTH, then you should by now have your eyes of understanding open to the truth and know without a doubt that the doctrine of soul sleep is indeed a FALSE doctrine that needs to be rejected. But I know from experience that there are some who still want to argue and say what about the verses which say that the dead go DOWN into the PIT? This brings us to error #6 or section number six.
Here is section six we will expose the sixth error made by those who teach the false doctrine of soul sleep, which is that they have not properly discerned or come to understand that it was ONLY in the OLD Testament times that ALL the dead went DOWN into the lowers parts of the earth. In other words, those who still yet teach the doctrine of soul sleep have not come to understand that Jesus went into this prison or this place of the DEAD where the PIT is located and PREACHED the gospel to the SPIRIT of men who have died. You see the SPIRITS of these dead men were being kept in this holding place in the LOWER PARTS of the earth UNTIL the coming of the Messiah to PREACH the gospel to them so that they could be saved in the same way in which men MUST be saved form this point on. The Bible clearly teaches us that the name of Jesus is the ONLY name under heaven whereby mankind MUST be saved and that NO man is saved by the law. Therefore it was needed to PREACH the gospel of Jesus Christ in order for the OLD Testament saints to be saved. God chose that by the foolishness of PREACHING to save them who believe.
Please keep in mind that in New Testament times ONLY the souls of the WICKED an d the SINNERS go DOWN into the PIT into SILENCE or to face only the DOOM of the SECOND DEATH. With that being said let us take a look at Job 17:11-16 which those who teach the doctrine of soul sleep proves without a doubt that the dead go down into the pit.
15. And where is now my hope? As for my hope, who shall see it?(Job's HOPE for LIVING is fading away. Please keep in mind that Job is in a lot of pain and truly believes that he is DYING. Job did not have the book of Job to read and know that he does not die at this point in time of his life. he does not know the end of the book so to speak. He truly believes that he is dying at this point in his life, but WE know that God restores him because we have the book of Job to read and know that Job does not die at this point in his life.)
16. They (speaking of Jobs body which shall see corruption and Job's hope of living) shall go DOWN to the bars of the PIT, when our rest together is in the dust.”
Again there is no doubt that the Bible does indeed teach that those who DIED in the OLD Testament times went DOWN into the lower PARTS of the earth. Some Old Testament saints like Job did in fact call this place of the dead the PIT, but please keep in mind that Job also believed that it was Almighty God who was oppressing him with boils, when in TRUTH it was SATAN who went forth and smote Job with boils. So again these OLD Testament verses must be interpreted in the LIGHT of the NEW Testament verses to understand their TRUE meaning.
We can see this rule of interpretation that we must always interpret the OLD Testament verses in the light of the revelation knowledge of the NEW Testament verses being taught or illustrated to us as an EXAMPLE in Job 14:10-21, which is by the way another verse that is used by those who teach the doctrine of soul sleep.
“But man dies (meaning only the physical body of a man), and waste away: yea, man gives up the ghost (meaning that the SPIRIT of man or the INNER man departs from the physical body and then the physical body dies), and where is he? (This question of WHERE is he could be referring to the INNER man or it could be referring the the OUTER man, or it could be referring to the WHOLE man meaning where is the body AND where is the SOUL of man after he draws his last breath?)
21. His sons come to honor, and he knows it not; and they are brought low, but he perceives it not of them.”
Now those who teach the false doctrine of soul sleep use this passage of scripture to try and prove that the SOUL of man REMAINS in the GRAVE, the SOUL of man is in a state of complete UNCONSCIOUSNESS in the grave, and the SOUL along with the body that decays are NOT resurrected or do NOT rise again UNTIL the WRATH of God is poured out at the second coming of Jesus.
But is their UNDERSTANDING and what they teach a SOUND BIBLICAL teaching in that their teaching agrees with the rest of God's word? Absolutely NOT! Please bear with me and let me explain why the doctrine of soul sleep is NOT a sound Biblical teaching.
First of all why do those who teach soul sleep not include the very next verse?
Please notice that man is being described here as having his BODY of FLESH UPON him while the man has his SOUL WITHIN him and that his flesh shall have PAIN and his SOUL shall MOURN. But this is NOT what those who teach teach the doctrine of soul sleep say, but rather they false conclude that the whole man IS a SOUL. And when the physical body of a man dies the his SOUL goes into a state of complete UNCONSCIOUSNESS. But HOW can a SOUL MOURN if it is true that there is absolutely NO CONSCIOUSNESS in the grave? Remember their formula? The BODY+the BREATH of life = a living SOUL. And when a man draws his last breath and the breath of life is SUBTRACTED from the physical body, then their formula becomes the BODY – the BREATH of life = a DEAD SOUL or a soul that CEASES to EXIST. Ora soul that goes into a state of completely UNCONSCIOUSNESS until that soul is resurrected.
In other words, these conclusions that they have draw do NOT agree with the rest of God's word. Even in verses that they themselves use to try and prove another point of their doctrine ends up DISPROVING a different point that they made earlier. Can you not see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, that you who believe in the doctrine of soul sleep have NOT been taught the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of God.
Now as for the rest of this passage of scripture in Job most of you already know that Job does NOT accurately describe the RESURRECTION of the dead the way in which we see from other scripture that the dead will be raised or resurrected form the dead in the LIGHT of the NEW Testament scriptures. So always interpret the OLD testament verses in the LIGHT of the NEW Testament and NT the other way around. The OLD Testament must agree with the NEW Testament
Let me explain what I mean by this. First of all Job has not discerned that there with be THREE future resurrections of the dead when the writer of the book of Job was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write down this account of Job. The very first resurrection was the resurrection of Jesus. Please keep in mind that it was AFTER the resurrection of Jesus that John received REVELATION that there would be TWO more resurrections. Now Paul was obviously also given at least part of the REVELATION as well, because he also teaches us more PLAINLY than the book of Job teaches us. But in reading just the OLD Testament it is not made CLEAR that there would be THREE separate resurrections. This is why the OLD testament needs to be INTERPRETED in the LIGHT of the NEW Testament.
So then, the FIRST resurrection AFTER the resurrection of Jesus where ONLY the dead in Jesus Christ will be raised has not yet taken place or WILL yet in the FUTURE take place at the second coming of Jesus. Then AFTER or at the END of the 1000 year reign of Jesus the LAST of FINAL resurrection shall take place which will be AFTER all the WRATH of God has PAST and is completely over. Please read 1 Corinthians 15:12-28, which teaches of the THREE resurrections,where the resurrection of Jesus has already taken place leaving two and only two resurrections remaining to occur. Also Revelation 20: gives us even more detail of the two resurrection that are yet to take place.
15. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; (any false teaching is a false witness of God) because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
20. But NOW is Christ risen from the dead, and become the FIRST FRUITS of them that slept (past tense, which is referring not only to the Old Testament saints that rose with Jesus and ascend into heaven with him but also the sinners of the Old Testament, which will be raised in the last and final resurrection at the END of the 1000 years.).
23. But every man in his own order: Christ the FIRST FRUITS (which is resurrection #1 that has already taken place); afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. (or the next resurrection that will take place and is called the FIRST resurrection will take place AT the second coming of Jesus where ONLY the righteous dead IN Jesus Christ will be raised from the dead and then given IMMORTAL bodies of flesh and bone like Jesus already has being the FIRST fruits)
24. Then comes the END (speaking of the END of the 1000 year reign of Jesus, which is when the REST of the dead shall be raised), when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
27. For he has put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest (or clearly shown) that he (speaking of Almighty Gd the Father) is excepted, (which means that every one and every thing has bee put under Jesus the Son of God EXCEPT his God and Father, the one true and ONLY ALMIGHTY God) which did put all things under him.
28. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son ALSO HIMSELF be SUBJECT unto him that put all things under him, that (or so that) God (referring to Almighty God the Father) may be all in all.”
Can you not see that these OLD Testament verses are NOT clear and plain and therefore must be INTERPRETED in the LIGHT of the revelation knowledge of the NEW Testament scriptures. For a deeper understanding of the resurrections please read the studies that I have written on the subject of the second coming of Jesus and the rapture of the church. But for now let us continue to closely examine the remaining verses used by those who teach soul sleep to expose the errors that they made in the INTERPRETATION of these verses. Please read Hebrews 9:27, which is used to prove that man is MORTAL and that every man is APPOINTED to DIE and be judged.
In other words,Almighty God has NOT APPOINTED ANY man to die a SECOND time as in referring to the SECOND DEATH of being cast into the lake of fire to be destroyed for all eternity never to rise again. As I said before at the beginning of this study that the whole word of God does NOT teach that man IS an IMMORTAL SOUL, nor does the Bible teach that man POSSESSES an IMMORTAL SOUL. We have already discussed that BOTH the physical body of man AND the SOUL of man can be DESTROYED and that on the last day Almighty God will indeed DESTROY both the body and the SOUL of the wicked and the wicked shall be NO more for all eternity. But I know that some of the main stream churches do falsely teach that man possesses an IMMORTAL SOUL, therefore we will at least look at all the verses used by those who teach the false doctrine of soul sleep to prove that man is MORTAL both SOUL and BODY.
Please read 1 Timothy 6:16 which clearly and plainly teaches us that Almighty God alone has IMMORTALITY.
15 Which in his times (plural meaning the first and second coming of Jesus. The Bible teaches us that Jesus came to SHOW us the one true and only Almighty God who alone is the FATHER) he (Jesus) shall show, who is the blessed and ONLY Potentate (the ONLY SOVEREIGN or the ONLY ALMIGHTY), the King of kings, and Lord of lords; (the KING of all kings including be King over his Son Jesus)
16. Who (speaking of Almighty God the FATHER) ONLY HAS IMMORTALITY, dwelling in the light which NO man can approach unto; whom NO man has seen, NOR CAN SEE (every eye shall SEE Jesus when he comes again): to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.”
The Bible teaches us that ONLY Almighty God has always had and always will have IMMORTALITY. God is SPIRIT and INVISIBLE. However Jesus is not invisible and man has seen Jesus. Therefore this passage of scripture is NOT referring to Jesus as Jesus ONLY has IMMORTALITY. But rather the WHO here is speaking of Almighty God the FATHER as being the ONLY one who has IMMORTALITY. However his does not mean that Almighty God himself cannot GIVE immortality to whomsoever he pleases. You see, the Bible also teaches us that Jesus is the FIRST FRUITS and that his God and Father the one true and ONLY ALMIGHTY God has GIVEN his Son Jesus the same kind of IMMORTAL life as the Father himself has always had from all eternity past. Please read John 5:17-27.
18. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God (Jesus never once said our made himself EQUAL with his God and Father, the one true and ONLY ALMIGHTY God. It was the JEWS who ACCUSED Jesus of making himself EQUAL with God. Some of the same Jews ALSO ACCUSED Jesus of having a DEVIL so why hear you him. And I know there is not one Christian who will say that verse means that Jesus has a DEVIL. So why then do some Christians dogmatically demand that this verse means without fail that Jesus himself was making himself EQUAL with Almighty God? We know without a doubt that this verse cannot possible mean that Jesus was saying that he was EQUAL with God his Father, because in other verses Jesus plainly states that the Father is GREATER than the Son and that ONLY the Father is good).
19. Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, (or Truly, truly) I say unto you, The Son can do NOTHING OF HIMSELF, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he does, these also does the Son likewise.
25. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead (speaking of the spiritually dead and not the physical dead) shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that HEAR (speaking of ONLY they that shall hear and obey the words of Jesus) shall live.
26. For AS the Father HAS life IN HIMSELF (or in the same way or with the same kind of IMMORTAL life whom ONLY Almighty God has always had); so has he GIVEN to the Son to have life IN HIMSELF (In other words, Jesus was NOT always an IMMORTAL being.);
27. And has GIVEN him authority to execute judgment also, BECAUSE he is the Son of MAN (NOT the Jesus is the Son of God or the Jesus was supposed fully Almighty God in the flesh, but BEACAUSE Jesus was the Son of MAN. Jesus was highly exalted by his God and Father and granted to sit on his Father's throne only after Jesus OVERCAME and became obedient unto death on the cross.).”
So then, ONLY Almighty God has IMMORTALITY from eternity past and then he GAVE immortality to his Son Jesus who the Bible says is the FIRST FRUITS or the FIRST man to be granted IMMORTALITY. Then the Bible goes on to say the WE who are found to be that good and faithful servant in Jesus Christ shall also be granted the right to eat of the tree of life if so be that we OVERCOME and are found to be that good and faithful servant unto death or until the second coming of Jesus. In other words, man, as in, BOTH the outer man and the inner man or the soul are MORTAL and can be destroyed. Remember we are taught in the word of God not to fear man who is only able to kill the BODY, but rather we are to fear Almighty God who is able to DESTROY both the body AND the SOUL. The whole word of God teaches us that God will ONLY destroy the WICKED on the last day at the END of the 1000 year reign of Jesus.
Here are a couple of verses that clearly show us that man is a MORTAL being. Job 4:17 can be interpreted and meaning the whole man as a MORTAL being, but Romans 6:12 speaks of only the BODY being MORTAL. If you just THINK about it WHY would man need to be GIVEN ETERNAL LIFE or an IMMORTAL body if he was ALREADY and immortal being? For a deeper understand of why man is NOT an IMMORTAL being neither body nor soul is immortal, then please read the study “IS THE SOUL OF MAN IMMORTAL?”.
As a brief review before we take a look at the last few verses used by those who teach this false doctrine of soul sleep just because the souls of the righteous go to be PRESENT with the Lord IN heaven being ALIVE and conscious does not mean that these SOULS are IMMORTAL nor does it mean that they have already obtained the promise of eternal life. Hebrews 11:13,39,40 plainly teaches us that no reward or promise of eternal life has as yet been given to the souls of the saints who are present with the Lord in heaven and that they will not be made perfect WITHOUT this of us who are yet alive physically and remain alive to the second coming of Jesus.
“These all died in faith (speaking of all the OLD Testament saints), NOT having RECEIVED the promises (meaning that the saints in heaven have NOT yet received the new IMMORTAL bodies), but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth....And these all (again speaking of the Old testament saints, but also includes all those who have died in Jesus Christ from the time of Jesus until he comes again), having obtained a good report through faith, received NOT the promise:
40. God having provided some better thing for us, that they WITHOUT US us should NOT be made perfect (or should NOT be given the promise of eternal life or clothed with their new IMMORTAL body of flesh and bone like Jesus has now).”
In closing please read John 8:51-53 along with Mark 12:26,27.
52. Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that you have a devil. Abraham is DEAD, and the prophets; and you say, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.
Now these verses can support either side and they do not prove either side to be wrong. I only added them because both sides use these same verses to try and prove their teaching to be the truth. In other words, some controversial doctrines are somewhat like those pictures that trick our eyes. They are optical illusions. For example have you ever seen the picture that when you look at it one way this pictures looks like a duck, and when you look at it after being told that it is a rabbit, then some can see that the picture is BOTH a duck and a rabbit depending on what picture in your mind that you are FOCUSING upon. Well is some ways certain highly controversial doctrines are this way.
The truth of the matter is that there is a little truth in what both sides say, but the whole truth of what the whole word of God teaches us in somewhere down the MIDDLE. In other words, if you are truly seeking the truth of the whole word of God, then you need to lay aside what you have been TAUGHT by your denomination and consider closely the evidence from both sides. Again I am just giving you all the evidence that has come to my attention while doing an in depth study on this or any other subject and then I let you my readers decide for yourself. I do give my opinions of why I myself have concluded to be the truth of the whole word of God, but again you are still my brothers and sisters in the Lord even if you still disagree with my conclusion. I am not here to argue or debate with anyone. I am always open to your comments and questions. Please write me an email with any questions or comments. It may be that I have missed a very crucial verse, but I assure you that I have searched this matter quite deeply so it is highly unlikely.
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,
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