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Ecclesiastes 9:5-10, NO Soul Sleep
Eccles. 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. [KJV]
Know that they shall die . . . we should "number their days, that they may apply their hearts to wisdom" (Ecc.7:1-4); Ps.90:12).
Dead know not anything . . . as far as their bodily senses and worldly affairs are concerned (Job 14:21; Isa.63:16), and there is NO more doors of repentance open to them, as there is to all who are alive on Earth.
This speaks of death, NOT soul sleep. This is where cults get the idea of “soul sleep” (also v. 10). All of this is the recognizing of the man under the sun. This is the way it looks IF death is the end and there is nothing after death. That is why Solomon says it would be better to be a living dog than a dead lion (vs.4).
When Solomon says the dead know nothing and that there is no work, planning, knowledge, or wisdom in death, he is NOT contrasting this life with the afterlife, but life with death. In other words, after you die, you CANNOT change what you have done.
God has told plainly us what happens after death. The body is put into the grave, and it is the BODY that sleeps in the grave. God in His Word makes it very clear that the soul of the child of God goes to be with the Lord.
2 Cor. 5:6–8 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:  (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. [KJV]
The bodies you and I are living in are only temporary, earthly tabernacles or tents, and one of these days we will move out of them. Soul sleep is NOT a Biblical doctrine.
Soul sleep is a belief that the SOUL sleeps unconsciously between the death of the body and its resurrection on Judgment Day. Soul sleep is NOT a Biblical doctrine. When the Bible says a person is “sleeping” in relation to death (Luke 8:52; 1 Cor.15:6), it does not mean physical sleep. Sleeping is just a way to describe death because a dead body appears to be sleeping. The Bible tells us that the instant we die, we are taken to either to Heaven or Hades (Hell) based on whether we have placed our faith in Christ for salvation. For believers, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Cor.5:6-8; Phil.1:23). For unbelievers, death means everlasting punishment in Hell (Luke 16:22-23). The moment we die, we face the judgment of God (Heb.9:27). Until the resurrection, there is currently a temporary heaven, “Paradise” (Luke 23:43; 2 Cor.12:4), AND a temporary Hell "Hades" (Rev.1:18; 20:13-15). http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_judgment_where_are_souls.1.htm
In a sense, a person’s BODY is “sleeping” while his SOUL is in the temporary Paradise OR Hades and very much aware of what is going on around them. NOT everyone goes to Heaven! See: http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_false_doctrines_universalism.1.htm
The BODY is then “awakened” and transformed into the eternal body a person will possess for eternity, whether in Heaven OR Hell. Those believers in Paradise will be sent to the new heaven and new earth (Rev.21:1). Those unbelievers in Hades will be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev.20:11-15). These are the final, eternal destinations of ALL people . . . based ENTIRELY on whether or not they have trusted Jesus Christ alone for salvation from their sins (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 John 5:10-13; John 5:24; 8:24).
Cults who believe in soul sleep include the Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christadelphians and others.
Eccles. 9:6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. [KJV]
Love, and . . . hatred . . . (9:1). What a person is at death he/she remains for ever. There is NO purgatory!!! Envy is a mark of the wicked, since that is why they assail the righteous.
Whatever we did in our lifetime: love, hate, envy, anything good, anything bad . . . it is all gone now. When we die physically, we will no longer take part in anything here on Earth. It looks as if life is fruitless, purposeless and without meaning . . . for IF death is the end of everything, then man is the same as an animal. Evolutionists say that man once was an animal, but it seems that man today is LIKE an animal. How different it is for us who know that we have come from the creative Hand of God and that we are going to go back to God.
Eccles. 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. [KJV]
Eccles. 9:7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. [KJV] Those who think that death is the end of it all finds their joy in the “happy hour.” “Drink thy wine with a merry heart.” This must be a very monotonous life.
Eccles. 9:8 Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment. [KJV]
They wear fine clothes, with a dash of cologne. They dress up to keep up a good front.
Eccles. 9:9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun. [KJV]
Enjoy your marriage, Solomon advises. People have their problems and their dark days, but their attitude is, “Let’s make the best of it.”
Now here is another verse on which the theory of soul sleep is based.
Eccles. 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. [KJV]
It is true that the dead body in the grave can no longer hold a anything in its hand, and the brain no longer functions. But, Solomon is speaking ONLY of the body. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.” He is talking about the physical hand, NOT the soul. It is the hand that will be put into the grave. If you are a child of God, your SOUL will go directly into the Presence of the Lord. If you are not a child of God, your spirit (soul) will return to Him (Ecc.12:7, above) . . . but He will send you to the place of the dead (Hades), where your soul will wait until you are raised to be judged at the Great White Throne (Dan.12:2; Rev.20:11-15). This life does NOT end it all as so many falsely teach. The SOUL is eternal and will live forever in one of two places: Heaven OR Hell. This Passage does NOT teach soul sleep.
More comments on Soul Sleep
Does the believer wake up in the resurrection? Is he put back in an immortal physical body? Yes, he is, yet, we never see an example of a spirit resurrected because it does NOT die like the body. The term resurrection ONLY applies to the body.
The Bible is very clear that the spirit can live outside the body. Angels can and do function outside a body and yet, they can also function within a body. We see they can possess people and actually there can be more than one spirit or fallen angel inside a body. This does not make a strong case for a continuation of an afterlife,but it does show that a spirit can operate and function outside the body.
There are many Passages that teach that humans are conscious after their death. Mat. 17:1-8 and Luke 9:28-36 tell us of the transfiguration where Moses and Elijah appeared on the Mount with Jesus and His disciples, Pete, James and John. Elijah was taken to Heaven alive (2 Kings 2:11-18), while Moses died a physical death (Deut.34:5-8), but Moses is consciously alive just like Elijah. Moses could NOT have been resurrected because Christ was to be the firstfruits of the resurrection (1 Cor.15:20).
Matthew 17:1-8 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,  And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.  And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.  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.  While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.  And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.  And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.  And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. (KJV) Also see: Luke 9:28-36
There were others raised to life on Earth by Jesus, only to die again later. But, here is someone who has been dead for MANY years. It is NOT Moses' decomposed body brought back out of the ground as a resurrection, this was a spiritual appearance.
Jesus said that He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of the living, not of the dead (Ex.3:6; Mark 12:26). These patriarchs' souls were very much alive!
2 Cor.12:1-4 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.  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 knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.  And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)  How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. (KJV)
Most New Testament scholars believe Paul was talking about himself. The third heaven is where God lives. Paul calls this place Paradise and he was awed by the experience and the things that he heard, but he was not sure if this occurred in his body or an out of body experience. Obviously, his corruptible body could NOT enter Heaven (Rev.21:8,27), since ALL must be transformed to be able to enter there. Mortal physical bodies CANNOT enter Heaven (1 Cor.15:50).
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What happens to believers, according to the Bible, at death? That is what we must consider when thinking about soul sleep. Does our SOUL sleep in the ground like our BODY, with our body? What happens to our body, what happens to our soul? The Bible speaks about a material and immaterial part of man. We find in Gen. 3:19 our bodies are made of the dust of the Earth and they return to the earth. In Phil. 1:23-24, Paul states that he desired to depart to be with Christ, which is far better. Christ is in Heaven (Rom.8:34; Col.3:1; Heb.1:3; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; 1 Pet.3:22). He is NOT dead in the ground! So, IF in 2 Cor.12:1-4 . . . IF there were such a thing as soul sleep, Paul, could NOT have been with Christ . . . Christ would have to be in the ground, He is NOT. The Bible does NOT teach soul sleep!
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (KJV)
The BODY and the SOUL separate when we die! The BODY sleeps. The spirit, SOUL does NOT sleep! It is NOT dead!
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. (KJV)
This is speaking of Rachel, telling us, her soul was departing . . . she died. Her body and soul separated! Her BODY slept! But her SOUL was/is very much alive! When the BODY dies, the SOUL continues on with a life of its own somewhere.
Eccl. 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (KJV)
The dust, BODY (Gen.2:7; 3:19) returns to Earth, and the spirit, SOUL returns to God who gave it. IF our SOUL sleeps in the grave, as people claim, then that means we STAY in that grave, the ground, forever! A believer's eternal home is NOT in the ground! We shall be raised! (John 39-40,44;54). Our BODY and SOUL shall be reunited!!!
One of the Scriptures people use is Eccl.9:5 (above), the dead know nothing. This is true, since it is the body that dies, that part of the man which dies and goes into the ground, knows nothing. But the SOUL, is that part of us that flies away at death and returns to God who gave it. Those who believe God and trust Jesus and His Work on the cross, go to rest in Christ. Ecc.12:7 could NOT mean only our breath since that would not go to God but into the atmosphere.
Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (KJV)
Here we see that after death, the judgment! This harmonizes with Ecc.12:7. In other words, a person either goes to Heaven OR Hell. AND this judgment by God is determined at death, not afterwards. There is NO purgatory! So . . . our SOUL, at death, goes immediately to the Presence of the Lord, to rewards, to rest, OR to the temporary holding place Hades to await punishment and eternal separation from God (2 Thes.1:8-9). Death is not the END of our existence, it is only a separation. But, we all have choices to make NOW that will effect our eternal destiny. Jesus knew this and He warned of it constantly.
1 Timothy 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. (KJV) This Scripture applies mortal and immortality to one's BODY. Our BODY is mortal, but NEVER our soul, or spirit. Paul writes in 1 Cor. 15:53-54 this mortal will put on immortality, speaking of the resurrection of our BODY, not our SOUL or spirit. Jesus alone has immortality as His nature and being the first fruit raised in the resurrection
Paul speaks of Jesus as the immortal God/man. Spirit, by nature, is deathless. God is Spirit (John 4:24), and so are angels. God is spirit and made man in His image. While God has always existed, no beginning or end, he mankind in a similar way. We shall live on after death. The BODY is described as mortal, but the SOUL is NEVER described in those terms. This mortal must put on immortality (1 Cor.15:53). He is speaking of a resurrected body just as it was said in 2 Peter 1:13 to put off this tent as a temporary dwelling.
Romans 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. (KJV)
Our spirit NEVER feels old, no matter how old or tired our body gets, our spirit, SOUL inside does not feel those years. If our BODY becomes an invalid, it does NOT affect our spirit! Our SOUL will NEVER become an invalid. It is unaffected by our outer person, our body!
The New Testament clearly teaches spirit existence after death. James says the body without the spirit is dead . . . not the spirit itself. In Rev. 6:9-10, we see souls who have been slain, under the alter of God, asking the Lord to avenge them. They are conscious, they speak! The soul and personality of each one of us lives on.
Matthew 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. (KJV)
The Greek word for destruction has several meanings. We have to look at the context that it is put in. It can mean perish, lost, destroy, to render useless, or to give over to eternal misery. I believe the last one is the correct rendition when we look at where Jesus is saying. The SOUL shall be in Hell in the afterlife for those who disobey the Gospel.
Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (KJV)
Unbelievers shall receive eternal punishment, believers shall receive eternal life! HOW can a dead sleeping SOUL be judged? Jesus clearly tells us here of LIVING conditions in the afterlife . . . either eternal torment OR eternal peace.
2 Cor.4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. . . . . .  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (KJV)
Paul applies to the outer man, BODY, temporal things . . . the temporary, mortal tabernacle we live in, and to the inner man, SOUL, eternal things. When our earthly tent, BODY, is dissolved, we can be assured that we will be in the Presence of the One we serve and love here on Earth. This Scripture is consistently neglected by those who promote soul sleep. In Phil.1:23 Paul states to be with Christ is far better. That would be impossible if our soul went to sleep in the ground with the body.
1 Thes.4:13-17 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.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  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.  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:  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. (KJV)
We are told that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him. Those who are alive will not go ahead of those who have fallen asleep (died). The Lord from Heaven will come down with a trumpet call and the dead in Christ will rise first. And then those who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the air with the Lord forever.
Since the resurrection did NOT occur before this event, WHO is Jesus bringing with Him? They don't have bodies, the resurrection has not occurred. These are SOULS that shall be united with their bodies at this resurrection event. They will exist fellow-shipping with the Lord in Heaven. Jude says the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints Jude 1:14).
1 Cor.15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (KJV) When? At the last trump. The dead are raised incorruptible, that mortal will put on immortality. This speaks of our bodies. Death is swallowed up in victory (1 Cor.15:54). Our souls are not dead because we were made alive in Christ. Amen!
Since we all KNOW we will one day die physically, we should therefore be led "so to number their days, that they may apply their hearts to wisdom" (Eccles. 7:1-4; Psalm 90:12). The dead know not anything. This means so far as our bodily senses and worldly affairs are concerned (Job 14:21; Isaiah 63:16). Also they know (or will know) that NO door of repentance will be open to them after physical death, such as there is to all on Earth today.
Memory. The righteous go to eternal life (Psalm 112:6; Malachi 3:16), but the wicked, who with all the pains to eternalize their names (Psalm 49:11) are soon "forgotten" (Eccles. 8:10).
Some Passages mentioned above.
Ecc. 7:1-4 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.  It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.  Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.  The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth. (KJV)
Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. (KJV)
Job 14:21 His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them. (KJV)
Isaiah 63:16 Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting. (KJV)
Luke 8:52 And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. (KJV)
1 Cor.15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. (KJV)
2 Cor. 5:6-8 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:  (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (KJV)
Phil.1:23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: (KJV)
Luke 16:22-23 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;  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. (KJV)
Rev.1:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. (KJV)
Rev. 20:11-15 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (KJV)
Rev. 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. (KJV)
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV)
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (KJV)
1 John 5:10-13 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.  And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (KJV)
John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (KJV)
John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. (KJV)
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. (KJV) There shall be TWO resurrections!
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. (KJV) NONE of these people will go to Heaven!
Rev.21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. (KJV) Heaven has restrictions!
1 Cor. 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. (KJV)
Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (KJV) Thank You Jesus!
Col. 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (KJV)
Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; (KJV)
Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; (KJV)
Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; (KJV)
1 Peter 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him. (KJV)
Difficult or Confusing Bible Verses
1 Cor.3:13-15, What Motivates Us?
1 Cor.chapter 5, Should the Church Judge?
1 John 3:9, God's Child Cannot Sin . . . ???
1 John 5:4-5, Overcoming By Faith
1 John 5:16 . . . A Sin Unto Death???
1 John 5:18-20, Those Born of God Sinneth Not
1 Thes.5:23, Man's Trinity
2 Cor.2:14-17, Savour of Death, Savour of Life?
2 Thes.2:10-12, Those Left Behind
Col.3:12-17, How Believers Are To Live
Daniel 7:13-14, Christ in His Glory
Daniel 9:24-27, Daniel's 70 Weeks
Ecclesiastes 9:5-10, NO Soul Sleep
Genesis 3:15, Seed of the Woman
Genesis 6:1-2, Sons of God
Hebrews 6:4-9, Can a TRUE Christian Fall from Grace?
Hebrews 10:26, Do NOT Reject Christ!
Isaiah 53:4-5, By His Stripes We Are Healed!
John 6:47-58, Eating the Flesh and Blood of Jesus
John 15:1-6, Unfruitful Branches Burned?
Mark 3:28-29, The Unpardonable Sin?
Matthew Chapter 13, Mystery Parables of Jesus
Matthew 16:19, Keys to Kingdom of Heaven
Matthew 5:48, Being Perfect?
Matthew 7:21-23, Not Every One Goes to Heaven
Matthew 7:6, Cast Not Your Pearls before Swine!
* * * * Matthew 22:36-40, Believers' TWO Commandments * * * *
Matthew 23:13-30, Woes of Hypocrites
Some other web sites about Soul Sleep: