SOUL SLEEP---ERROR #4.


EDITED


SOUL SLEEP---ERROR #4.



I have several other studies on the doctrine of soul sleep but they can become extremely long. So I decided to break those studies down to cover the specific individual verses that are used to try and prove that the soul sleeps in the grave in an unconscious state until the first resurrection that takes place at the coming of Jesus.

I thought about calling this study “What does Job 14:12 truly mean?” But in some cases, those who teach the doctrine of soul sleep use two or three verses to make a single argument. Their MAIN argument is that Christians do NOT go DIRECTLY STRAIGHT to Heaven when they die. But rather they teach that the SOULS of Christians SLEEP in the GRAVE in an UNCONSCIOUS state until the first resurrection at the return of Jesus.

However, they have several smaller SINGLE arguments that they build upon or connect together to try and prove their main argument. So then, their fourth argument is to try and prove that the SOUL REMAINS WITH the body IN the GRAVE until the resurrection. And thus they again conclude that NO ONE goes to Heaven the very moment that a person dies. If you have read the study “SOUL SLEEP---ERROR #1”, “SOUL SLEEP---ERROR #2, and “SOUL SLEEP---ERROR #3” then you can see how they CHANGE what they teach from their first argument that the living soul is made up of just two parts. And if either part is taken away then the soul is NO MORE. In other words, they CHANGE from saying that the living soul is NO MORE to now saying that the living soul is DEAD. Please read “SOUL SLEEP---ERROR #1.” In that study, I show how they have incorrectly interpreted Genesis 2:7 and Ecclesiastes 12:27 to try and prove that we are made up of just TWO parts, the body, and the spirit. And in study number three we covered John 3:13 and Acts 2:34 that they use to try and prove that there are NO SOULS up in Heaven under the altar as Revelation 6:9-11 plainly teaches. But for now, let us continue with this study number 4 to expose the error of interpretation of Job 14:12-14, Psalm 17:15, Psalm 49:15, Daniel 12:2, and John 5:28,29.


I will be quoting from my much longer study called:


DO CHRISTIANS GO TO HEAVEN WHEN THEY DIE?


SECTION FOUR


In this section, we will cover all the verse used by those who teach the doctrine of soul sleep that refers to the DEAD being IN the GRAVE until the RESURRECTION. Now only one of the five verses has the word “soul” in it so we will cover that verse first.


Please read Psalm 49:15.


But God will redeem my SOUL from the power of the GRAVE: for he shall receive me. Selah.”

Now, on the surface, it may appear that this verse is saying that the SOULS of the righteous are in the GRAVE. Especially when the words, SOUL, and GRAVE are emphasized and you are taught over and over by your church denomination that the soul sleeps in the GRAVE until the resurrection.

But when we keep this verse in its CONTEXT we can see that the emphasis should be placed upon the words, REDEEM MY soul FROM the POWER OF the grave. For God shall RECEIVE me.


Let us read Psalm 49:14,15.


“Like sheep, THEY are laid in the grave; death shall feed on THEM; and the UPRIGHT shall have dominion over THEM in the morning; and THEIR beauty shall consume in the grave from THEIR dwelling.

15. BUT God will REDEEM MY soul FROM the POWER OF the grave: for he shall RECEIVE me. Selah.”


Now, this verse could be INTERPRETED as the soul remaining in the grave until the resurrection, but it does NOT PROVE that the soul remains IN the GRAVE until the resurrection. For you see, 2 Corinthians 5:8 teaches us that when a Christian dies then their soul goes immediately to be present with the Lord.

Please read 2 Corinthians 5:1-10.



“For we know that if our EARTHLY HOUSE of this tabernacle were dissolved, (Or if our earthly physical mortal body were to die and decay in the grave) we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (Or more specifically we have a PROMISE of a new glorified immortal body of flesh and bone like Jesus has now that God has promised to give to us at the coming of Jesus. Please notice that we live IN an earthly or MORTAL body. In other words, the real you or the INNER man lives IN a BODY. To say this another way, our spirit and SOUL lives IN our body)

2. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: (Or this is our heart’s desire to be like Jesus. And we know that when Jesus returns we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is right now. Please notice that the BODY is something we WEAR as our HOUSE. In other words, we still exist and continue to LIVE even WITHOUT a BODY)

3. If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. (Meaning that IF SO BE we are found to be those good and faithful servants to be accounted worthy to receive a new glorified immortal body to rule and reign with Jesus in the world to come for one thousand years. For you see, to be found naked means to be found living in sin. And to be found living in sin when a person dies means that he or she is found to be unworthy to receive eternal life. And, therefore, the SOUL of the sinner will NOT receive an IMMORTAL body on the Day of Judgment.)

4. For WE that are IN this tabernacle (Speaking of DWELLING IN or WEARING this MORTAL body) do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. (In other words, we do not desire to die physically, but rather we long for the day when we actually receive the manifestation of the promise of eternal life in the world to come. Again, please notice that we are IN this tabernacle or IN this dwelling place which means that there is something that is ALIVE that is living IN this mortal BODY. And that something is our spirit and soul. We will cover the scripture proving this shortly)

5. Now he that has wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also has given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. (Or God has given us an earnest or a small taste of his Holy Spirit so that we can KNOW that his PROMISE of eternal life is SURE)

6. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, while WE are at HOME IN the BODY, we are absent from the Lord: (Or while we are living IN our mortal BODY we are absent from the Lord, Here again, it is made blatantly clear that the real us are LIVING IN a HOME which is called our BODY. And when this MORTAL BODY dies, we, as Christians, are absolutely sure that God will give us a NEW BODY. And not just a new body, but an IMMORTAL body that will never feel pain and never be oppressed with sickness)

7. (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

8. 8. We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be ABSENT FROM the BODY, and to be PRESENT WITH the Lord. (But we have CONFIDENT faith to know that whether we live or die we shall be with the Lord. And for this reason, we are WILLING to lay down our lives for the sake of the gospel to be present with the Lord)

9. Wherefore (And for that reason) we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. (Or we also know that sin separates us from God. And if we should die while living in sin then we would not be accounted worthy to be present with the Lord. So for that reason, we labor to be found that good and faithful servant of HIS righteousness and NOT our OWN righteousness)

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.”


Now to be ABSENT FROM the BODY means that the soul is no longer PRESENT WITH the BODY. So when the body DIES the spirit and soul LEAVE the BODY to go somewhere else. And the judgment seat of Christ is the FIRST judgment. And this first judgment takes place AT the coming or at the RETURN of Jesus right before the 1000 year reign of Jesus. And at this judgment seat of Christ, ONLY those of us who are found to be those good and faithful servants of God who are IN Jesus Christ will receive the manifestation of the promise of eternal life. And all those who are NOT IN Jesus Christ AT his coming will NOT receive eternal life. In other words, to be found IN Jesus Christ means that a Christian must be found FAITHFUL when they die physically. And those Christians are described as those who SLEEP in Jesus which God will BRING WITH him at the second coming of Jesus.


Please read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.

 

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep (Speaking of those who have died physically IN Jesus Christ), that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (Meaning that those who die while being UNSAVED have NO HOPE of ever receiving eternal life)

14. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, them also which SLEEP IN Jesus will God BRING WITH HIM. (Well, God and his Son Jesus are both up in Heaven. And AT the second coming of Jesus they will both be coming down FROM Heaven. So that means that the SOULS of the saints are IN Heaven right now. Please read Revelation 6:9-11 which proves that the SOULS of the saints are under the altar up in Heaven right now. And that they have been there from the time that Jesus rose from the grave with above five hundred saints who rose from the dead with him. 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, dost thou 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 that not only are the SOULS of the saints up IN Heaven right now, they are also CONSCIOUS and AWAKE. They are talking to God asking him how much longer it will be for their shed blood to be avenged. So the sleeping analogy is just another way of saying that they are resting and that they are not dead)

15. For this, we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (This means that we who are alive unto the coming of Jesus will NOT receive our glorified immortal bodies BEFORE those saints who have died IN Jesus Christ; Remember Hebrews 11:39,40 where God has a better plan. And God’s plan is that all the saints IN Jesus be glorified TOGETHER all at the same moment in time AT the LAST trumpet right before the WRATH of God is executed by Jesus.)

16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (Speaking of the FIRST resurrection spoken of in Revelation chapter 20)

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. (There is nothing in this verse that speaks of us being taken to Heaven. But when we compare this verse with Revelation 16:15,16 then we can see that the angels of Jesus will GATHER us all together to MEET Jesus in the AIR over the place called Armageddon where we will help Jesus execute to WRATH of God upon the wicked)

18. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

 

So then, from 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, 1 Thessalonians 4:13,14, and Revelation 6:9-11 we can clearly see that there are indeed SOULS up IN Heaven under the altar who are awaiting their new glorified immortal bodies. Therefore, I personally believe that the soul sleep believing Christians have INCORRECTLY interpreted 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 to argue that Paul just DESIRED to be present will the Lord. For you see, they need to EXPLAIN away this verse because it completely destroys the false teaching of soul sleeping in the GRAVE until the resurrection.

Even the souls of the WICKED are NOT IN the GRAVE with the body. The souls of the wicked leave the body upon death and go DOWN into the holding place of the wicked dead in the heart of the earth. Please read the study “WHAT AND WHERE IS PARADISE?”

Now in the King James Version of the Bible, the English word “resurrection” is not found anywhere in the Old Testament. The word AWAKE is used instead of the word resurrection.

 

Please read Psalm 17:15.


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


In other words, this verse could just as easily read as follows.

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


The SOULS of the saints under the altar up in Heaven will not be SATISFIED in RIGHTEOUSNESS until they receive the reward of their new glorified immortal body like Jesus has now. The souls of the saints up in Heaven will not be SATISFIED until their shed blood is avenged.

The Bible LIKENS death with SLEEPING. For you see, the simple people can understand the RESURRECTION when it is likened to being AWAKEN from a SLEEP. And the prophets in the Old Testament understood that everyone would be resurrected to face the Day of Judgment. They understood that the wicked would be punished and that the righteous would be rewarded with eternal life when they were resurrected. But they did NOT see that there would be TWO SEPARATE resurrections.

So when we read the verses in the Old Testament like Daniel 12:2 and Job 14:10-12 then we need to INTERPRET them in the LIGHT of the New Testament. That is why I personally believe that Jesus RECEIVES our soul and spirit IMMEDIATELY when a Christian dies.

When Stephen was being stoned to death he was given a vision of heaven seeing Jesus 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 prayed and, therefore, he received the soul and spirit of Stephen the moment he died.


See Acts 7:59,60.


“And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, RECEIVE my spirit.

60. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep (Or he gave up the ghost. Or he died. Or his spirit and soul LEFT his body and went to Heaven to be PRESENT with the Lord).”


Now let us read Job 14:12.


“So man lies down, and RISES not (Or a man is not RESURRECTED): till the heavens are no more, they shall not awake, nor be RAISED out of their sleep.”


In other words, they shall not be RESURRECTED out of DEATH. For you see the word “SLEEP” is used as an ANALOGY for DEATH. And the word AWAKE is used in the same way to explain that the soul is NOT actually DEAD but rather the soul is RESTING until the resurrection.

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 Job only sees ONE resurrection of the dead that will not take place until the heavens are 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, a man gives UP the GHOST, and WHERE IS HE? (In other words, the soul and spirit LEAVE the body and go somewhere else. The soul does NOT REMAIN in the GRAVE. But WHERE does the INNER MAN go when a person dies? That is what this verse means)

11.  As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decays and dries up:  (So does the body of man decays and dries up but WHERE does the ghost, the soul and spirit of a man go to when a man dies and GIVES 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 (Or is not RESURRECTED): till the heavens are no more, they shall not awake, nor be RAISED (Or RESURRECTED) out of their sleep.  (All this verse is teaching us is about the RESURRECTION of the BODY and not where the soul and spirit of man go to 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 in DEATH), until your wrath be past, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me! (The Hebrew word translated as the 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. Please read the study “WHAT AND WHERE IS PARADISE?”)

14.  If a man dies, 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 souls 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.


Now let us read Daniel 12:2.


“And many of them that sleep IN the DUST of the earth shall awake (Or shall be RESURRECTED from the DEAD), some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”


Those who teach the doctrine of soul sleep INTERPRET this verse to mean that the SOUL and the SPIRIT of many are sleeping IN the dust of the earth WITH their decayed body shall awake. But this verse says nothing about the soul and spirit of men sleeping in the grave WITH their decayed body until the resurrection.

So we must interpret these unclear Old Testament verses 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 (Or which are DEAD IN Jesus Christ), 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.”


Think this through for yourself. It makes no sense to say that Jesus is returning to retrieve the souls OUT of the GRAVE then go back to Heaven and then turn around and come back down so that God can BRING WITH him the souls of the saints. The phrase Will God BRING WITH him” can only mean that the souls of the saints are up IN Heaven right NOW.

Again, there are no CLEAR verses in the Old Testament that teach us of TWO resurrections separated by one thousand years. That truth had to be REVEALED to the disciples of Jesus by the Holy Spirit who wrote the New Testament. So again, ALWAYS interpret the Old Testament verses in the LIGHT of the New Testament.

This brings us to the last verse that the soul sleep Christians use to try and prove that the SOUL of every person REMAINS IN the GRAVE along WITH the body until the resurrection.


Here is 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, (To me, this simply means that all who are DEAD 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 the doctrine of soul sleep dogmatically demand that the soul REMAINS WITH the decaying body IN the GRAVE. And they claim that these two verses 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. Their INTERPRETATION of these verses that the soul REMAINS IN the GRAVE with the decaying body CONTRADICTS what the WHOLE word of God teaches on this subject of the SOUL.


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.”


This verse teaches us that the SOUL DEPARTS the BODY when a person dies. Also, 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. (Jesus was simply saying that God is the God of the LIVING and that NO SOUL dies when the body dies)

53.  And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. (They did NOT understand what happens at death)

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

55.  And her spirit CAME AGAIN, (Or he soul and spirit RETURNED to the BODY) and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.”


Please notice that it was HER spirit. Hebrews 4:12 teaches us that the SOUL is CONNECTED to God’s spirit. So it is OUR OWN spirit UNTIL the Day of Judgment. And if we are found to be those good and faithful servants then God does NOT separate their spirit from their soul. God will only separate his spirit from the soul of the WICKED while they are burning ALIVE in the lake of fire on the final Day of Judgment.

Now even after all this sound Biblical evidence, there may be some Christians that teach the doctrine of soul sleep who may still yet argue and say what about all the verses that teach us that the souls are sleeping in an UNCONSCIOUS STATE until the resurrection?

We will cover those verses in the next study called “SOUL SLEEP---ERROR #5.” We will take a closer look at Ecclesiastes 3:21, Ecclesiastes 9:5, Psalm 6:5, Psalm 115:17 and Psalm 149:4. And if you would like to read all six types of errors made by those who teach the doctrine of soul sleep all together in one study then please read the study DO CHRISTIANS GO TO HEAVEN WHEN THEY DIE?


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,

Brother Mark.


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For further study on this subject errors of interpretation made by Christians who teach the doctrine of soul sleep please read all the studies under the heading >>>THE FALSE DOCTRINE OF SOUL SLEEP<<<