SCRIPTURES USED TO SUPPORT SOUL SLEEP!



SCRIPTURES THAT SUPPORT

THE DOCTRINE OF SOUL SLEEP!


There are basically three types of soul sleep.

#1. Annihilation of the soul.

Teaches that when the physical body dies the spirit goes back to God and the soul ceases to exist.

This is called extreme soul sleep and it is taught by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who say that God creates a new soul and a new immortal body for the righteous in Jesus Christ only at the resurrection. The wicked are raised in the old mortal bodies and given their new soul and then both body and soul of the wicked are destroyed in the lake of fire.


#2. Unconscious soul sleep.

Teaches that when the physical body dies the spirit goes back to God “temporarily” and the soul sleeps stay with the decaying body in the grave in an unconscious state until the resurrection when God’s spirit “reenters” the old resurrected body and the old resurrected body of the righteous in Jesus Christ only puts on a new immortal spiritual body. The wicked remain in their resurrected mortal body and are cast into the lake of fire alive where both the soul and body of the wicked only are destroyed and then the spirit returns to God for the final time.


#3.  General soul sleep.

Teaches that when the physical body dies the soul and spirit of the righteous IN Jesus Christ goes to heaven to be present with the Lord where they are given white robes of righteous to wear lest they be found naked. These souls are under the altar of God awaiting till their brethren be killed as they were and all be fulfilled so that God can avenge their blood at the coming of Jesus at which time only the righteous in Jesus will be changed from mortal to immortal.

When the wicked die their soul and spirit goes to Sheol, the holding place for the dead in the heart of the earth.

This general type of soul sleep is taught by the vast majority of Christian who prefer to NOT call this teaching soul sleep so as to not be confused with the other doctrines of soul sleep.


All three groups LIKEN physical death as sleep because that is what the Bible itself teaches. But the meaning of sleep is DIFFERENT between all three groups.


I will list all the Scripture verses that I have been made aware that are used to support the doctrine of soul sleep and then I will list all the scriptures used to refute the doctrine of soul sleep.

I will then give a brief interpretation of how both sides interpret these verses, if so be, they have an interpretation.

And then I will give a link to the in depth study I have written where most of the verses are explained in depth. And as always I will give my own opinion as to WHY I myself believe what I believe and then leave it to you to decide what you choose to believe between you and God.


VERSES USED TO SUPPORT UNCONSCIOUS SOUL SLEEP.


Ecclesiastes 3:21.

Ecclesiastes 9:5.

Ecclesiastes 12:7.

Job 14:12.

Psalm 6:5.

Psalm 17:15

Psalm 49:15.

Psalm 115:17.

Psalm 146:4.

Daniel 12:2.

Acts 2:34.

John 3:13.

John 5:28,29.


Now will not list all the verses that liken physical death as SLEEP because ALL Christians believe that physical death is liken to sleep.

So then, it is not a matter if the dead are likened with sleeping but rather what does sleeping MEAN to each of the two groups of Christians since only the Jehovah’s Witness believe that the soul is annihilated when a person dies?

So then between to two remaining groups one side says that the soul of the dead remain with the decaying body in the grave and the souls of the dead are SLEEPING in an UNCONSCIOUS state until the resurrection. Thus, to them, SOUL sleep equals NO CONSCIOUSNESS of the soul in the grave.

While the other side says that the soul leaves the body upon death and it is indeed conscious. They say that the soul is connected to the spirit until the day of judgment. And they teach that it will only be the souls of the wicked that will be destroyed in the lake of fire on the final day of judgment. Thus to them the soul of the wicked will not be separated from the spirit until the final day of judgment and then God will destroy both the resurrected body and the soul of the wicked in the lake of fire and at that time the spirit will return to God.

Therefore to them the soul of the righteous in Jesus Christ that is connected to the spirit leaves the body upon death and go to be present with the Lord in heaven to await the resurrection.

And the souls of the wicked go down into Sheol, the holding place of the wicked dead to await the final judgment. And both the souls of the righteous dead and the wicked dead are fully conscious and aware of their reward.


And here is the list of verses that refute the doctrine of soul sleep.


Genesis 35:18.

Matthew 17:1-8.

Luke 16:19-31.

Luke 20:38.

Luke 23:43.

John 5:24.

John 8:52.

John 11:25,26.

Acts 7:55-60.

Ephesians 1:9,10.

Ephesians 3:14,15.

Hebrews 12:1,23.

2 Corinthians 5:5-8.

Philippians 1:23,24.


The following verses clearly teach us that the soul and spirit are conscious in the heart of the earth called Paradise in the Old Testament. Jesus descended first into the belly or the heart of the earth and preached the gospel to the Old Testament saints in the bosom of Abraham to be saved by the only name given among men whereby they must be saved because Scripture cannot be broken.


Ephesians 4:9,10.

Acts 4:12.

John 10:35.

1 Peter 3:18,19.

1 Peter 4:6.

Matthew 27:52,53.


When Jesus was resurrected many saints arose with or after him being led out of hades to their new temporary Paradise is heaven under the altar of God. The following verse teach us that Paradise was moved from the heart of the earth up to the third heaven, which is where the throne of God resides. And now, under the New Testament, the souls of the righteous dead in Jesus Christ are in heaven under the altar awaiting their change or their new immortal bodies at the first resurrection.


Psalm 68:18.

Ephesians 4:8

2 Corinthians 12:1-4.

Revelation 6:9-11.


The follow verses teach us that the souls in heaven, which are the saints, will God bring with him from heaven to be reunited with their newly resurrected body.


Revelations 7:9-14.

Revelation 19:5-15.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

Deuteronomy 33:2.

Jude 1:14,15.

Zechariah 14:5

Job 19:25-27.

Hebrews 4:12.


The following verses teach us that after Jesus preach to the souls or spirit in prison, the holding place of the dead on the Paradise side, he then descended further to the lowest part of hell where the souls of the dead chanted at him and tormented him.

Then Jesus cried out to God to deliver him and bring him out of the pit, the lowest part of hell and God heard his cry and did not leave his soul in hell.


Psalm 30:3.

Psalm 16:10.

Psalm 42:11.

Psalm 63:9.

Psalm 86:13.

Psalm 142:7.

Psalm 143:3

Psalm 18:5,6.

Psalm 40:1,2.

Psalm 69:13-18.

Psalm 116:3,4.

Psalm 130:1,2.

Lametations 3:18-20,52-66.

Jonah 2:1-7.


Now with every controversial subject or church doctrine it is NOT that the Scriptures themselves contradict one another, but rather it is the way some verses are INTERPRETED that cause the contradiction and controversy among Christians as to which teaching is Biblical and to which teaching is not Biblical.

So then, in every controversial subject we have a choice to make and that choice is WHICH verses do we go back and RETHINK of another way to interpret those verses so that there is NO contradiction in what we conclude and teach as Bible doctrine?

Well in this study I will choose the shorter list of verses to closely consider to see if there are other ways to interpret those verses to agree with the rest of God’s word having NO contradictions.

So then, on the side used to try and support the doctrine of soul sleep I have found 13 verses and on the other side that refutes soul sleep I have found 46 verses. So since 13 verses are far less than 46 verses I chose to use the shorter list of verse to re-think and find alternate interpretations that agree with the rest of God’s word.

Now this is not my only criteria as to which verses to rethink. You see the rules of “interpretation” teach us that we should always use the clear, plain, and simple verses that do not need any interpretation to understand what they mean.

Then when both the Old Testament and the New Testament verses seem to be equal in their simplicity the rules of “interpretation” teach us that we are to interpret the Old testament verses in the light of the New Testament verses.

With that being said let us begin with a closer examination of New Testament verses used to try and support that the soul remains with the decaying body in the grave and sleeps in an unconscious state until the resurrection.


#1. Acts 2:34


“For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he said himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,”


According to those who teach that the soul REMAINS with the decaying body this verse proves beyond any doubt that no man has ascended into heaven.

But in truth this verse is taken out of its CONTEXT and when we read the context of this verse it is clearly seen that Peter is teaching the Jews that it was NOT David who ascended into heaven, but rather it was our Messiah Jesus whom you Jews killed that God raised from the dead and who has now ascended into heaven.

Peter makes it clear that the decayed body of David is still yet in the grave. So all this verse proves in that the dead BODIES are in the graves and NOT the SOUL and SPIRIT of those who tabernacled in those physical mortal bodies.


#2. John 3:13.


“And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.”


Again this verse does NOT prove that the SOUL and the SPIRIT of those who have died in Jesus have not ascended into heaven. Jesus is teaching that no man EXCEPT for himself has not ascended up into heaven having a new glorified IMMORTAL BODY of flesh and bone. This verse has nothing whatsoever to do with the soul and spirit remaining in the grave with the decaying body.


#3. John 5:28,29.


“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are IN the GRAVES shall HEAR his voice,

29.  And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”


Those who teach that the soul remain WITH the decaying boy IN the GRAVE claim that these two verse prove that the soul must be IN the GRAVE in order to HEAR the voice of Jesus calling out to them.

We who are alive hear God’s voice and he hears our voice no matter where we are, so the souls and spirits of the dead do NOT have to be IN the grave in order to hear the voice of Jesus on the day of judgment.

Let us read Genesis 35:18.


“And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.”


When Jesus raised the young maiden the Bible says that her spirit came again which means that her soul and spirit RETURNED to her dead body.

Please read Luke 8:52-55.


“And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleeps.

53.  And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.

54.  And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.

55.  And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.”


When Stephen was being stone to death he was given a vision of heaven seeing Jesu standing on the right hand of God and cried out to Jesus to RECEIVE his spirit. Now I personally choose to believe that Jesus answered Stephen’s pray and receive the soul and spirit of Stephen the moment he died. See Acts 7:59.


#4. Job 14:12.


“So man lies down, and rises not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.”


This verse is used to try and prove that the soul sleeps in an UNCONSCIOUS state until the resurrection.

But when we read the CONTEXT it becomes clear to us that Job did NOT have a FULL understanding of what happens when a person dies. Even in verse 12 we see that Jod only sees ONE resurrection of the dead that will not take place until the heavens be NO MORE, which is speaking of the final resurrection after the 1000 year reign of Jesus.

Let us read the context of verse 12 and read Job 14:10-14.


“But man dies, and wastes away: yea, man gives UP the GHOST, and WHERE IS HE?

11.  As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decays and dries up:  (so the body of man decays and dries up but WHERE does the ghost, the soul and spirit of man go when man dies and GIVE UP his inner man? This was not revealed to Job but it is revealed to us in the NEW Testament in 2 Corinthians 5:1-8 and in Revelation 6:9-11.)

12.  So man lies down, and rises not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.  (all this verse teaches is that the RESURRECTION of the BODY and not where the soul and spirit of man goes when a person dies.)

13.  O that you would hide me in the grave, that you would keep me secret (or you keep me concealed, covered), until your wrath be past, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me! (the Hebrew word translated as grave is the Hebrew word of sheol, which was the holding place for ALL the dead in the OLD Testament, but is now the holding place of the souls of the wicked only.)

14.  If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.”



And this AGREES with Revelation 6:9-11 and 2 Corinthians 5:1-8 where the soul of the righteous in Jesus Christ go to be PRESENT with our Lord in Heaven to WAIT until their CHANGE comes at the first resurrection that takes place at the second coming of Jesus right BEFORE the WRATH of God is poured out upon the wicked.

So being CONCEALED means being clothed in IMMORTALITY. Also Isaiah 26:20 teaches us that when we are caught up to meet Jesus in the air we will be caught up into chambers or tabernacles, which I believe are the chariots of God.

Isaiah 26:20.


“Come, my people, enter you into your chambers, and shut your doors about you: hide yourself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.”


#5. Daniel 12:2.


“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”


Again this verse must be INTERPRETED as the SOUL and the SPIRIT of many that sleep in the dust of the earth with their decayed body shall awake, but this verse says nothing about the soul and spirit of man sleeping in the grave with their decayed body until the resurrection.

So we must interpret these unclear Old testament verse in the light of the clear NEW Testament verses.

And 1 Thessalonians 4:13 clearly teaches us that God will BRING WITH him those who sleep in Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 4:13,14.


“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God BRING WITH HIM.”


There are no CLEAR verses in the OLD Testament that teach us of TWO resurrection separated by no less than 1000 years. That truth had to be REVEALED to us by the Holy Spirit in the NEW Testament. So again ALWAYS interpret the OLD Testament verses in the LIGHT of the NEW Testament.


#6. Psalm 115:7.


“The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.”


Again this is yet another case of taking a verse OUT of it CONTEXT.

When we read the next verse we can clearly see that the dead who do not praise the Lord are the dead of the WICKED and not the dead of the righteous.

Please read Psalm 115:17,18.


“The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence.

18.  But WE WILL the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the LORD.”


In other words, we who believe in Yahweh and his Son Jesus will bless the Lord now while we are alive, after we die and our soul is awaiting our new immortal body of flesh and bone and in all eternity future.

The dead who go down into silence are the wicked who are silenced once and for all time in the lake of fire which is the second death where the wicked shall never rise again. Also those who are dear “spiritually” do not praise the Lord.

My point is that we do indeed see the souls of the dead SAINTS who are in heaven praising God in Revelation 19:5-14.


“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 thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigns.

7.  Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

8.  And 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.

10.  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou 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.

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 doth 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.

13.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

14.  And the armies which were IN heaven FOLLOWED him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.”


There are TWO armies who will follow Jesus when he comes again. One army is the army of SAINTS which God will BRING WITH him at the coming of Jesus. And the other army is the army of angels.


#7. Psalm 49:15.


“But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.”


Again the Hebrew word translated as “grave” is the hebrew word of SHEOL, which is the holding place of the dead in the OLD Testament and now is the holding place of the soul of ONLY the WICKED who die.

So being redeemed from the POWER of sheol means that death has NO power of us who believe in Jesus and obey his teachings for HE, Almighty God and his Son Jesus shall RECEIVE me. Or receive my soul and spirit to await our CHANGE, if so be, a Christians should die physically before the coming of Jesus.


#8. Psalm 17:15.


“As for me, I will behold your face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with your likeness.”


Just asked yourself the question, are the souls under the altar in heaven “satisfied”. No they are not satisfied. They are asking God HOW LONG of how much longer will it be before you AVENGE our blood?

Please read Revelation 6:9-11.


“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

10.  And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, do you not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

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.”


So Psalms 17:15 agrees with Revelation 6:9-11 that the souls of the righteous will not be satisfied until their shed blood is avenged at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Also the Bible teaches us that even now we GROAN to be clothed upon with out NEW glorified IMMORTAL body of flesh and blood that will never die, get sick, feel pain, thirst or hunger ever again.

Please read Romans 8:22,23.


“For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.

23.  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our BODY.”


No one truly wants to die, but we, as Christians do desire to be absent from this mortal body to be present with the Lord knowing that in the first resurrection we will receive a NEW IMMORTAL body of flesh and bones like Jesu has now.




#9. Psalm 146:4.

 

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

 

Now those who teach the 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 is TRUSTING in God rather than putting trust is MAN who will DIE.

Psalm 146:3-6.

 

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

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

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

 

      So what 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 will he or she is still living.

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.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Can you not see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, that this verse in Psalm 146:4 does NOT mean that there is absolutely NO CONSCIOUSNESS in the grave when man dies, but rather the true sound 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.

Luke 12:16-21.

 

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

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

18. And he said, This will I do: (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.”

 

 

      #10. Psalm 6:5.

 

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

 

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

 

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

But is this INTERPRETATION a sound BIBLICAL interpretation that agrees with the WHOLE word of God? Let us first read the CONTEXT from the New Living Translation, 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.

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

First of all in order to understand the true meaning of this passage of scripture you must realize that while it is true that all scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit of God this does NOT mean that each and every verse can be used to build DOCTRINE without making absolutely sure that whatever one concludes or INTERPRETS that single verse 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 ACCUSING 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 perspective of God and NOT written as thus says the Lord type language from Almighty God TO man. There are also PARABLES that teach us life lessons and the kingdom of God, but at the same time each and every single word 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 the NEW Testament. In other words, if an INTERPRETATION of what one THINKS or has been TAUGHT that an OLD Testament scripture MEANS seems to disagree 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.

 

Revelation 6:9,10

 

“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the SOULS of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

10. And THEY cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, do you not judge and avenge OUR blood on them that dwell on the earth?

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 REMEMBRANCE 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.

 

Now the following three verses from Ecclesiastes are written from MAN’S perspective and thus they should never be used to build church doctrine upon unless the AGREE completely with the rest of God’s word.

And in this case they do NOT agree with what the NEW Testament teaches us. Therefore we must interpret them as the OPINION of Solomon the preacher.



#11. Ecclesiastes 3:21.


“For that which befalls the sons of men befalls beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dies, so dies the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man has NO preeminence above a beast: for all is VANITY.

20.  All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

21.  Who knows the spirit of man that goes UPWARD, and the spirit of the beast that goes downward to the earth?”


Obviously the “preacher” of Ecclesiastes does not teach thus says the Lord verses, but rather makes “PHILOSOPHICAL” opinions.

All one need to do is read the opening of the book of Ecclesiastes to know and understand that we should not use this book to build church doctrine upon because ALL is VANITY with this preacher.

Please read Ecclesiastes 1:1,2.


“The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. (and not the words of Almighty God, as in, thus says the Lord.)

2.  Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities; ALL is VANITY.”


Even in the context of Ecclesiastes 3:21 we see that Solomon the preacher CONTRADICTS other parts of God’s word by saying that man has NO preeminence ABOVE the animals.


Ecclesiastes 3:19.


“For that which befalls the sons of men befalls beasts; even one thing befalls them: as the one dies, so dies the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man has NO preeminence above a beast: for all is VANITY.”


God gave us dominion over all the animals. And all is NOT vanity. I mean the book of Ecclesiastes is a real depressing book if you ask me. Nonetheless let us continue with the next verse in question.


#12. Ecclesiastes 9:5.


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


Again this is yet another case where a verse is taken OUT of its CONTEXT.

Let us read the context to see that the dead here are the WICKED who have no reward and all memory of them will be forgotten.

Please read Ecclesiastes 9:2-6.


“All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; (meaning that all die physically) to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrifices, and to him that sacrifices not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

3.  This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil (NOT the NEW heart given to believers in Jesus, but rather the heart of the WICKED), and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that THEY go to the dead.

4.  For to him that is joined to all the living there is HOPE (hope they they may change by turning to God and believing on his Son Jesus to be saved and made a NEW creature in Jesus Christ): for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

5.  For the living know that they shall die (and also know that once they die there is NO MORE HOPE): but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

6.  Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in anything that is done under the sun.”


Basically in short this passage of scripture is teaching us that once a person dies physically then they will be judged BY what they did while they were ALIVE.

So it is ONLY the dead of the wicked who have NO HOPE, NO REWARD and thus they will be forgotten and never missed by the righteous who do indeed have a reward awaiting us.

#13. Ecclesiastes 12:7.


“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”


Obviously we all agree that the spirit of the WICKED will indeed return back to God. But the question is WHEN will Almighty God divide asunder his spirit from the soul of man to destroy BOTH the SOUL and the body of the wicked in the lake of fire?

Is it at the very moment a sinner dies physically” Or is it at the final judgment after the 1000 year yearn of Jesus?

Let us read the CONTEXT of this verse 7 to see the conclusion of the WHOLE matter.

Please read Ecclesiastes 12:13,14.


“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

14.  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”


So then, NONE of the verses used by those who teach soul sleep prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that the soul remain with the decaying body in the grave and sleeps in a state of unconsciousness until the resurrection.

But yet SOME Christians who have been dogmatically taught this doctrine of soul sleep will TRY and explain away some 46 verses, many of which are in the New Testament rather than go back and RETHINK these 13 verses they use to try and prove their man-made doctrine of soul sleep.

I say man-made because in truth this doctrine came to be when Christians were exposing the error of the teaching that the soul is IMMORTAL.

It is like some Christians who set out to prove that the pre tribulation rapture theory is a false teaching but they go about it the wrong way by trying to prove that there are NO SAINTS up in heaven.

Now the REASON WHY they feel the need to do this is because the pre trib rapture theory teaches that Jesus will return secretly before the great tribulation and take the SAINTS up to heaven with him and thus the pre trib Christians CLAIM that is the ONLY WAY for Jesus to return at his second coming WITH his saints.

So the whole argument was not to prove that no one goes to heaven but rather to disprove to pre tribulation rapture theory by trying to show that there are NO SAINTS in heaven.

Well the only way to do that is to EXPLAIN AWAY the book of revelation and ALL the other verses that clearly and plainly teach us the Jesus is coming WITH his saints who will will be FOLLOWING him FROM HEAVEN.

So I implore all my reader and seekers of the TRUTH to alway interpret the OLD Testament in the LIGHT of the NEW Testament when there seems to be a controversy in church doctrine. After all Yahweh di command us to believe his Son Jesus for he is doing NEW THINGS in the earth.


Thanks for reading and may God bless you richly as you continue to seek the truth of the WHOLE word of Almighty God.

Your brother in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Mark.


RETURN TO HOMEPAGE

AT

AMatterOfTruth.com