Soul Sleep Doctrine of Death

Posted on August 26, 2011


Soul sleep believers try to use scripture from Ecclesiastes to support their false beliefs that our spirits do not live on after the death of our bodies, but the part of Ecclesiastes they use is about a message of if there were no God.  Ecclesiastes also says the dead have no more reward (Ecclesiastes 9:5).  Do you believe that the dead have no more reward?  The Old Testament believers believed in a resurrection (Job 19:25-27; Isaiah 26:19; Daniel 12:2; and others), so why would Solomon say the dead have no more reward if not to imagine a life without God.
Soul sleepers also use a few scriptures in Psalms to try to say the spirits of humans die with the body.  There is no scripture in Psalms that says that.  One must remember too that the Old Testament people did not yet have the entire gospel.  Ecclesiastes is about earthly man.  Read what Solomon says in Ecclesiastes in 3:18-21 I also thought, “As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals.  19 Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other.  All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal.  Everything is meaningless.  20 All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.  21 Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”

Did you read how Solomon says, “Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?”  Solomon says, “Who knows…”  Surely, the New Testament teaches us about what is spiritual and about what happens to us spiritually.

Soul sleep believers also teach that Abraham saw Jesus’ day as a prophecy only.  See John 8:56 where Jesus tells us Abraham waited to see Jesus’ day, Abraham saw it and was glad.  Abraham died, yet was alive in the spirit.  To believe Abraham was no longer alive and only saw Jesus’ day as a prophecy goes against the message of the passage how Jesus is explaining that all are alive to God.   Moreover, if Abraham only saw Jesus’ day in a prophecy hundreds of years earlier, then what did Jesus mean by saying Abraham rejoiced at the “thought” of seeing his day; he “saw it” and was glad.  Having the “thought” of seeing his day signifies he had to wait to see it, if it were only a vision in a prophecy that he saw, what would there be to wait to see?  It is not as if he would wait to see a vision in a prophecy.

In addition, soul sleep believers falsely teach that the spirits in prison that Jesus preached the gospel to are not spirits of men, that they are fallen angels.  1 Peter 4:6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.
However, the scriptures say Jesus preached to those who are now dead.  Angels do not die.  Furthermore, why would those angels live according to God concerning the spirit?  Do the angels who left their post have another chance at salvation?
The soul sleep denominations also teach that all ghosts spoken of in the Bible are really demons.  However, even the Pharisees believed that there were angels and spirits.  When Paul was before the Sanhedrin, there was a great uproar, and some of the teachers of the law who were Pharisees stood up and argued vigorously.  “We find nothing wrong with this man,” they said, “What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?”  The Pharisees were speaking of Paul and Paul’s story about Jesus speaking to him on the road to Damascus.  Do they really think that the Pharisees were thinking a demon spirit spoke to Paul?
Soul sleep believers also insist that if our spirits lived on, then the promise of resurrection would be unnecessary.  Jesus is going to redeem our bodies.  We should have our bodies redeemed.  The devil has the power over death; sin is the power over death, and Jesus took that power away at His resurrection from the dead.  We will all get back what the devil took away, our bodies.

They also quote Genesis 3:19 and claim if we do not believe like them it means we do not believe God when he says we will die.  However, we do die physically, and there is a spiritual death, a separation from God.  Through Jesus, we are reconciled to God physically and spiritually.  When we are saved, God Himself lives inside our body.

Denominations that believe in soul sleep, they teach that Peter, James, and John saw merely a “vision” when Elijah and Moses were speaking to Jesus, and that it was not really Elijah and Moses.   They treat the word vision as if it means illusion, or mirage.  Some Bible translations do not even use the word “vision”, even if all translations used the word “vision,” that would not change the scriptures to say what soul sleep believers are trying to have us believe.  The scripture plainly says that Jesus transformed BEFORE THEM.  See Matthew 17:2And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. 3And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.

I call the soul sleep belief “the doctrine of death.”  They do not believe in the life of the spirit that Jesus gives to those he saves.  Jesus says his words are full of Spirit and life (John 6:63).  When we obey Jesus, our spirits become more alive within us as we become more conscious of our spirits, as we grow more spiritual, in the true life in which God wants us to live.

Read what Hezekiah says in Isaiah:
Isaiah 38:18
For the grave cannot praise you, death cannot sing your praise; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for your faithfulness.

Was not Hezekiah remembering scripture?
Psalm 6:5 Among the dead no one proclaims your name. Who praises you from the grave?
Psalm 30:9
“What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?

Psalm 88:10
Do you show your wonders to the dead? Do their spirits rise up and praise you?
Psalm 88:11
Is your love declared in the grave, your faithfulness in Destruction?

Psalm 115:17
It is not the dead who praise the LORD, those who go down to the place of silence;

Psalm 118:17
I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.

Ecclesiastes 9:10
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

Psalm 28:1
Of David. To you, LORD, I call; you are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit.
These are scriptures of men speaking on their own in times of turmoil. God gives them life and healing in this world, but does it mean there really is no spirit that lives on after the death of our bodies? The scriptures in the New Testament show us our spirits live on after the death of our bodies.

The Old Testament was about earthy man, and earthly things.  See Romans 7:4-6.

The New Testament is about the spiritual.  See John 6:63.

 The Old Testament was prophecies about what was coming.  See Romans 16:26.

 The New Testament is prophecies fulfilled, and revelations revealed about the spiritual.  See Ephesians 6:19.

Jesus shows us that after being tortured and dying that we continue to live in the spirit.