I’ve ran across some Christians, on Christian message forums, who believe in soul sleep. They believe when a person dies, their souls stay in the grave until Christ returns. This simply isn’t true. Our Father’s Word proves it out. His Word cuts through the lies which are taught.
Our Father’s word tells us what happens to us after our flesh bodies die.
1. Ecc 12:6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
Ecc 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
When our flesh bodies (clay, dirt) die, it returns to dust (ground) from which it was made, and the spirit returns to God.
We read in Luke:
2. Luk 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
Luk 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
I’ve heard some say that this “Lazarus” was the same Lazarus Jesus raised from the dead (John 11). But I have to disagree. This Lazarus (in the parable) was a beggar who was full of sores and sat at the gate to beg food from the rich man. This is not the same Lazarus who sat with Christ, the disciples and Martha, and ate with them.
Christ was showing a truth in that parable. 2 people died. Both were taken to heaven, the spiritual dimension. But, not both overcame. The rich man could see Lazarus, but there was a gulf separating the two:
Luk 16:26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
Christ is not teaching a fairy tale within those verses, but a truth. Both died and both were in heaven. They were not out in some hole in the ground. Christ’s teachings are inline with the rest of our Father’s teaching..and as a side study, read 2 Esdras (Esdras is Ezra in the Geek) from the Goodspeed Apocrypha Chapter 7 starting at about verse 75. It reads as the same of there being 2 sides…the overcomer goes to one place, those that did not overcome to another place.
Esdras is ‘Ezra’ in the Greek..The teachings within these following verses lines up with the Rich man and Lazarus… also lines up with those who overcome receive eternal life, and those who don’t.. on judgment day..they don’t receive eternal life..which means death to the soul, which is supported by scripture
2Esdras Ch 7:
Ch 7:75 “if I have found favor in your sight, Sovereign, show this also to your slave, whether after death as soon as each one of us gives up the soul, we shall be faithfully kept at rest until those times come when you begin to renew the creation, or shall be tortured at once.”
:76 And he answered me and said,
“I will show you that also, but you must not associate with those who have shown scorn, or count yourself among those who are tortured
:77 for you have a treasure of works laid up with the Most High, but it will not be shown to you
:78 until the last times. For about death, the teaching is: When the final sentence goes forth from the Most High that a man is to die, when the soul departs from the body to return again to him who gave it, first of all it prays to the glory of the Most
:79 High, if it was one of those that scorned and did not observe the way of the Most High, and of those who have despise his law, and of those who hate those who fear God.
:80 such spirits shall not enter dwellings but wander about thenceforth in torment, always grieving and sad in seven
:81 ways” The first way is that they have scorned the Law of
:82 the Most High. The second way is that they can no longer make a good repentance, so that they may live.
:83 The third way is that they will see the reward destined for those
:84 who have believed the agreements of the Most High. The fourth
:85 way is that they will consider the torment destined for them in the last days, The fifth way is that they will see that the dwelling-places of the others are guarded by angels in pro-
:86 found silence. The sixth way is that they will see that some of them will pass over to be tormented henceforth. The
:87 seventh way, which is worse than all the ways that have been mentioned, is that they will waste away in shame and be consumed in disgrace, and wither with fear, at seeing the glory of the Most High before whom they sinned while they lived, and before whom they are destined to be judged in the last times
:88 “But those who have observed the ways of the Most High, this is the order, when they shall be separated
:89 from this fragile jar. In the time when they lived in it, they carefully served the Most High, though they were in danger every hour, so as to keep the Law of the Law-
:90 giver perfectly. There fore this is the teaching about them:
:91 First of all, they see with great rapture the glory of him who
:92 takes them up, for they will rest in seven orders. The first order is that they have striven with much toil to conquer the wicked thought that was formed with them, so that it should
:93 not lead them away from life to death. The second order is that they see the labyrinth in which the souls of the un-
:94 godly wander, and the punishment that awaits them. The third order is that they see the testimony that he who formed them has borne to them, because when they were alive they faithfully observed the Law which was given
:95 them. The fourth order is that they understand the rest which they now enjoy, gathered in their chambers, in great quietness, watched over by angels, and the glory that awaits
:96 them in the last days. The fifth order is that they exult that they have now escaped what is corruptible and will possess the future as their inheritance, and besides perceive the narrowness and toilsomeness from which they have been freed and the spaciousness they are destined to receive and enjoy in immortality.
:97 The sixth order is that it is shown to them how their face is destined to shine like the sun and how they are made like the light of the stars, and be incorruptible thenceforth.
:98 The seventh order, which is greater than all those that have been mentioned, is that they will exult boldly, and that they will trust confidently, and rejoice fearlessly. for they hasten to see the face of him whom they served in life, and from whom they are to receive their reward when they are glorified. These are the order of the
:99 upright, as henceforth proclaimed, and the above ways of torture are those which those who would not give heed will henceforth suffer”
Revelation also shows souls in heaven before Christ’s return:
Rev 6:9 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:
Rev 6:10 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?
Rev 6:11 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 fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
We see in those verses:
- They are in heaven
- They were slain (killed) for the word of God.
- Fellowservants (Christians) are still on earth
The word “Altar” in the Greek is:
From a derivative of G2378; a place of sacrifice, that is, an altar (specifically or generally, literally or figuratively): – altar.
It comes from a derivative of G2378
From G2380; sacrifice (the act or the victim, literally or figuratively): –
Who was God’s sacrifice for our sins? It was His son.. Jesus the Christ. Those souls are under the saving blood of the lamb. And if they are under the blood of the lamb, that means what? That they lived here on earth. They believed on The Son and repented.
They are with the Father and not in some hole in the ground.
What did Jesus tell the malefactor that hung on a cross near him?:
4. Luk 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
Christ said “To day“, not “at my return’.
In 1Peter we read where Christ went and preached to the spirits, after his death:
5. 1Pe 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
1Pe 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
Christ went to the “spirits” and preached to them. He didn’t go to their dead flesh bodies, to their graves and preach unto them. He also didn’t preach to wisps of air.
All those souls, which passed on before Christ’s time, were afforded the same chance at salvation as all who lived after he paid the price for us. Our Father is fair and we should expect no less. Why should we have a chance, while others didn’t, because they were born too soon? God is fair. All have a chance at salvation.
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
That would include all who lived prior to Christ’s time. Again….our Father is fair!
We have 2 bodies:
1Co 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
1Co 15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
1Co 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
1Co 15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
1Co 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
1Co 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished
1Co 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
Jesus Christ paid the price and defeated death when He came out of that tomb on the third day. Those that were in the prison, which is that part of paradise for those that did not overcome, then had the opportunity to receive salvation.
1Co 15:35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
1Co 15:36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
Once our flesh body dies, we are done with it. We have a much better body. A spiritual body.
Many use these verses to say we remain in the grave until Christ returns. First, if they were interpreting it correctly, they would have to discount all the other verses which state differently, that we are in heaven after our flesh bodies die. God’s Word does not contradict itself. If it seems so, the error is with the teacher/and or reader:
1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 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.
“Prevent” In the Greek-
Apparently a primary verb; to be beforehand, that is, anticipate or precede; by extension to have arrived at: – (already) attain, come, prevent.
We can’t precede those who have already passed on, for they are already with Christ
1Th 4:16 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:
First, notice the “colon” used after the word “God”. It’s not a coma, but a colon. It introduces a different thought.
And, of course the dead in Christ rise first. Why? They are already with him. All those alive, in the flesh, at Christ’s return (7th trump), their bodies are changed in a twinkling of an eye. When Christ returns, he is bring the saints with him:
Jud 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
In order to “come with” Christ at his return, they have to already be with him.
The saints, that would include all the patriarchs such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the prophets of God, the disciples, Apostles and all those who passed on believing on Christ, those that overcame
And these verses:
2Co 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
2Co 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
Once we are done with these bodies, that it. Those verse speak of the same thing as written in Ecc… When the silver cord parts, the spirit goes back to the Father from whence it came.
Mat 17:1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
Mat 17:2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
Mat 17:3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
Mat 17:4 Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
Moses and Elijah appeared with Christ on the Mount where Christ was transfigured… They were there, with Christ, in their spiritual body..they weren’t ‘air’, they weren’t out in a hole in the ground…They were with our Father.
I’ve also heard others say ‘well Christ’s body was transfigured, so will our be’……………… First, we are not Christ. Second, Christ’s body didn’t see decay, to fulfill prophecy and to show He defeated death, (the devil)
Psa 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
*Bullinger’s scholarly note-
hell = the grave. Hebrew Sheol. App-35.
suffer = give, or allow.
Holy One, or Thy beloved: i.e. Christ the Messiah (Act_2:27). See note on Psa_52:9.
see = experience, or know.
corruption. [decay] Showing that it is the body that is referred to.***
Christ’s death defeated death..meaning the devil:
Heb_2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
Christ defeated death, that is the devil… Satan brought in death to a soul. Satan never was flesh and his sentence is to die (Eze 28) … Death of the soul is the second death.
Christ’s death and resurrection was to show he defeated death and is very much alive in a spiritual body… His body was transfigured. To defeat death is death of the soul… It’s our soul that is our true being. We are spiritual beings living inside these flesh bodies and when we die, we, in our spiritual body, steps out (1 Cor 15) .. If you are in Christ, you have overcome the second death..the death of your soul:
Mat_10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Rev_2:11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
Rev_21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
We are not Christ. Our Father has no reason for our dead, flesh bodies to resurrect. It was a one time thing, done through Christ for the sole purpose of proving he was The Messiah. We are not the Messiah….
The belief that our souls lie within our dead bodies, within the grave, is not true. We have far better body waiting for us as Paul spoke (1Cor 15:44) . Who would want their dead body back after it’s full of decay? Or what about those who died and don’t have any flesh remains, either through fire, eaten by a wild animal or sea creature, or had their body cremated, what body would they claim? The answer is you don’t claim your flesh body after you die. We have 2 bodies, a flesh body and a celestial body. Even those who are alive in the flesh when Christ returns do not keep their flesh body, but are changed (into spiritual bodies) in the twinkling of an eye (1Cor 15:52).
When you take all of God’s word into account, it doesn’t support soul sleep or our dead bodies raising up