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  • ?'s on Soul Sleep

    Hi,

    I know there are at least 2 very well studied, , believers on the forum that believe in soul sleep. With all due respect, I don't. I don't want to debate. I want to "hear out" what your position states.

    I have been pondering on the body/soul of sin and the spirit/soul of salvation. I believe the 2 souls/spirits of a person in sin and salvation are 100% separate and different. This means, to me, that a potential (the way I look at things) does exist for "soul sleep" to those souls who are directly connected to the flesh of Adam in sin (the unsaved).

    To me, bless you, there is no potential of "soul sleep" to those who are alive in Christ who have a soul directly connected to born-again spirits in Christ.

    (I can see why it "could" be possible that a person who has only a soul (of the sinful nature) directly connected to earthly flesh only (you know the scripture that says of this earth, sensual, devilish... etc.)... may possibly have a soul that stops "being conscious"... when the body is completely dead. But I can't see enough to completely rule it out or believe it scripturally. I'm "on the fence"... and won't "rule out" or "believe" something until I see the "big picture".)

    Some points: Whether or not I believe the stories of those who died, went to hell and came back alive and became Christians.. an experiential testimony is not biblically "scientific" as a point of reference. I "throw out" personal experiential testimonies as a baseline for biblical truth (They're not sola scripture). I trust the Word alone as the formation of doctrinal positions.

    I really have a few questions regarding soul sleep to ask of those who hold the position (recognizing that others will want to share their opposite views that no soul sleep exists).

    Here's my first question:

    Satan and the evil angels, like Adam, fell from grace. It's not an "exact parallel" with humans... but how do you answer that they are fully conscious... and never experience "soul sleep"?? Don't they die physically?

    I'm trying to create "baselines"... so I can biblically logically see the "big picture". I would like to compare/contrast to "look for" biblically illogical pre-suppositions/false conclusions on my part... or yours.

    Appreciate your assistance.

    Love in Christ,

    js

  • #2
    Hi Laura
    It's not technically "soul sleep" because in Hebrew the "soul dies",

    Numbers 6:6 “All the days that he separates himself to the Lord he shall not go near a dead person [Hebrew "dead soul"].

    Ezekiel 13:19 You have profaned me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, putting to death souls who should not die and keeping alive souls who should not live, by your lying to my people, who listen to lies.

    I'd prefer "soul interruption" which fits Matt10:28, but okay, I guess "soul sleep" is near enough

    Genesis 37:35 All his sons and daughters came to Jacob to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. "No," he said, "in mourning will I go down to Sheol [Hades] to my son [Joseph]." So his father wept for him.

    Deuteronomy 31:16 And the LORD said to Moses: "You are going to rest with your fathers, and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them.

    Job 7:21 Why do you not pardon my offenses
    and forgive my sins?
    For I will soon lie down in the dust;
    you will search for me, but I will be no more."


    Job 14:12 so man lies down and does not rise;
    till the heavens are no more, men will not awake
    or be roused from their sleep.


    Jeremiah 51:39 But while they are aroused,
    I will set out a feast for them
    and make them drunk,
    so that they shout with laughter—
    then sleep forever and not awake,"
    declares the LORD.


    1 Corinthians 15:6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.

    1 Corinthians 15:17-18 If no resurrection of the dead.... Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

    1 Corinthians 15:20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

    1 Corinthians 15:51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

    etc etc etc.


    Originally posted by justsurfing View Post
    Here's my first question:

    Satan and the evil angels, like Adam, fell from grace. It's not an "exact parallel" with humans... but how do you answer that they are fully conscious... and never experience "soul sleep"?? Don't they die physically?
    If we assume that the "devil and his angels" in Matt25:41 are literal fallen heavenly beings then we might assume that the eternal fire was literal too. But in any case God never said to an angel (Gen 3:3) ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” so all we have on the subject is this:

    Luke 20:36 for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

    God bless
    S.

    Comment


    • #3
      [QUOTE]
      Originally posted by Steven3 View Post
      Hi Laura
      It's not technically "soul sleep" because in Hebrew the "soul dies",
      Thank you for the clarification. But now we have to "tie in" soul death and soul sleep. Will your position state that because the bodies dies... the soul in death is merely sleeping... because that dead body will be resurrected... thus the "sleeping soul" will be awakened via resurrection?

      Is that how to tie in the 2 different phrases? I need to first clarify my thinking in clearly defining terms and sequential activity... to see truth, imo.

      So I need to see first if you agree with that... or please point counterpoint me... then I'll review the rest of the scriptures you gave.

      Appreciate the help! I want to see what you are seeing... and scripture advises very strongly not to judge a matter before hearing it. The greatest errors I see serious students of the bible make is "judging" a matter from their own paradigm... without first truly hearing it out completely from the position of the paradigm of another.

      That's why people debate instead of grow... as a primary cause... based on my observations of how we receive revelation from God.

      Again, really appreciate you helping me to see from your paradigm. Only then will I know if it fits, or what "fits"... in mine. (If mine is "left standing"... lol)

      God bless,

      js

      Comment


      • #4
        If we assume that the "devil and his angels" in Matt25:41 are literal fallen heavenly beings then we might assume that the eternal fire was literal too. But in any case God never said to an angel (Gen 3:3) ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” so all we have on the subject is this:

        Luke 20:36 for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.
        OK, I gotta ask. What do you mean?

        You hinted at this on another thread... that you don't believe Satan is literally a fallen angel. Metaphysically, neither do I. What was an angel is now a demon. What was an archangel is now Satan. Complete separation of former states of being... dark separated from life... I could go on but I won't.

        Do you see what I am saying, too? They can never die. Those fallen angels who have died are not the holy angels in Christ who have not died and can never die. Does that mean that they can "live forever" in a fallen state? Only if someone scratches the surface, imo. Go deeper... and they still exist in their perfect state... in a form of "soul sleep"... hee hee.

        They are not in practical existence in a body... but their spirits returned to God who gave them and they are sons of God in Christ.

        There's revelation to be had here... and I want it.

        It's going to hit like power like I've never seen, imo... and I want it!!!!

        I want to attain full maturity in Christ...

        There is a level of revelation that must be "hit" to "nail"... "entire sanctification"... complete separation of dark and light... and there's a key right in front of me... I can't quite see!!! lol

        What do you see?

        Love in Christ,

        js

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Laura
          Originally posted by justsurfing
          Thank you for the clarification. But now we have to "tie in" soul death and soul sleep. Will your position state that because the bodies dies... the soul in death is merely sleeping... because that dead body will be resurrected... thus the "sleeping soul" will be awakened via resurrection?
          Well again, using Biblical terminology the Bible never says "the body dies", in the Bible the "soul dies". God said to Moses, "you will sleep", so Moses himself would sleep, not "your soul will sleep". Can I suggest clicking on this , this is the Blueletterbible concordance entry for nefesh, the Hebrew word for soul. That will show that in the OT a soul is always a living being with a body, dust + breath = soul

          Of course I'm English and in England the idea of "soul sleep" (as most people call it, though as I said "soul interruption" would be more correct technically) has a long and healthy tradition in the Baptist and Non-Conformist churches, and today in the Episcopalian/Anglican churches. Some of this is simple liberalism/scepticism masquerading as rational belief, but isn't all. I for one believe in full plenary inspiration, miracles, etc. It isn't scepticism, just what the Bible appears to say.

          For example A.T. Wright, Bishop of Durham, is no sceptic, he bases his arguments on the Bible text : Bishop abolishes heaven and the Soul (London Times article). In his book For All the Saints, Tom Wright demonstrates that traditional Christianity has misread New Testament teaching about death. The book shows that man is not born with an "immortal soul" and that the hope is resurrection when Christ comes from heaven, quote: ‘Immortality is a gift of God in Christ, not an innate human capacity.’ What Christians look forward to instead is bodily resurrection within God’s new creation after a period of ‘rest with Christ’. And this isn't a 16th Century invention since the Apostles Creed and 1 Clement also teach resurrection of the body, not the immortal soul.
          God bless
          S


          PS. As regards the other question, re. Satan, if you don't mind I'd rather leave that for the time being. Like many Jews also so (I'm not Jewish, I mean I share their view on this) I read Satan in Job1 and Zech3 as a symbol, so naturally therefore when Satan appears in the NT I also read it as a symbol. But I understand that most Christians don't and that's fine with me, as long as the whole fallen angel, Lucifer, thing doesn't overshadow the rest of the Bible. But this question you're asking about life and death (ontology, study of existence, what is life?) is a much more basic and central subject.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by justsurfing View Post
            Hi,

            I know there are at least 2 very well studied, , believers on the forum that believe in soul sleep. With all due respect, I don't. I don't want to debate. I want to "hear out" what your position states.

            I have been pondering on the body/soul of sin and the spirit/soul of salvation. I believe the 2 souls/spirits of a person in sin and salvation are 100% separate and different. This means, to me, that a potential (the way I look at things) does exist for "soul sleep" to those souls who are directly connected to the flesh of Adam in sin (the unsaved).

            To me, bless you, there is no potential of "soul sleep" to those who are alive in Christ who have a soul directly connected to born-again spirits in Christ.

            (I can see why it "could" be possible that a person who has only a soul (of the sinful nature) directly connected to earthly flesh only (you know the scripture that says of this earth, sensual, devilish... etc.)... may possibly have a soul that stops "being conscious"... when the body is completely dead. But I can't see enough to completely rule it out or believe it scripturally. I'm "on the fence"... and won't "rule out" or "believe" something until I see the "big picture".)

            Some points: Whether or not I believe the stories of those who died, went to hell and came back alive and became Christians.. an experiential testimony is not biblically "scientific" as a point of reference. I "throw out" personal experiential testimonies as a baseline for biblical truth (They're not sola scripture). I trust the Word alone as the formation of doctrinal positions.

            I really have a few questions regarding soul sleep to ask of those who hold the position (recognizing that others will want to share their opposite views that no soul sleep exists).

            Here's my first question:

            Satan and the evil angels, like Adam, fell from grace. It's not an "exact parallel" with humans... but how do you answer that they are fully conscious... and never experience "soul sleep"?? Don't they die physically?

            I'm trying to create "baselines"... so I can biblically logically see the "big picture". I would like to compare/contrast to "look for" biblically illogical pre-suppositions/false conclusions on my part... or yours.

            Appreciate your assistance.

            Love in Christ,

            js
            Greetings Laura,

            Let me first say that I do not believe in soul sleep. Before going to deeply into this discussion let me ask you...what is the difference between the one who physically dies in unbelief and the one who physically dies in Christ?

            Blessings,
            RW

            Comment


            • #7
              Of course I'm English and in England the idea of "soul sleep" (as most people call it, though as I said "soul interruption" would be more correct technically) has a long and healthy tradition in the Baptist and Non-Conformist churches, and today in the Episcopalian/Anglican churches. Some of this is simple liberalism/scepticism masquerading as rational belief, but isn't all. I for one believe in full plenary inspiration, miracles, etc. It isn't scepticism, just what the Bible appears to say.

              For example A.T. Wright, Bishop of Durham, is no sceptic, he bases his arguments on the Bible text : Bishop abolishes heaven and the Soul (London Times article). In his book For All the Saints, Tom Wright demonstrates that traditional Christianity has misread New Testament teaching about death. The book shows that man is not born with an "immortal soul" and that the hope is resurrection when Christ comes from heaven, quote: ‘Immortality is a gift of God in Christ, not an innate human capacity.’ What Christians look forward to instead is bodily resurrection within God’s new creation after a period of ‘rest with Christ’. And this isn't a 16th Century invention since the Apostles Creed and 1 Clement also teach resurrection of the body, not the immortal soul.
              I recently visited an Episcopal church. I've attended numerous denominations. I am broadly exposed enough that I don't have a "bunker mentality" that "won't listen" to other points of view... and labels them on the basis of difference.

              I'll study out what you've given me thus far, try to form understanding... then come back and check with you what I see.

              PS. As regards the other question, re. Satan, if you don't mind I'd rather leave that for the time being. Like many Jews also so (I'm not Jewish, I mean I share their view on this) I read Satan in Job1 and Zech3 as a symbol, so naturally therefore when Satan appears in the NT I also read it as a symbol. But I understand that most Christians don't and that's fine with me, as long as the whole fallen angel, Lucifer, thing doesn't overshadow the rest of the Bible. But this question you're asking about life and death (ontology, study of existence, what is life?) is a much more basic and central subject.
              OK, we can leave it for now. I do believe Satan is a literal person and being whose primary "being" is spiritual in nature. But I would agree with you that by no means should Lucifer or Satan overshadow the Bible in any way. The Bible is the revelation of Jesus Christ we are given so that we can be saved.

              Now, understanding all that "salvation" comprises and represents... the Bible is given for us to reveal Jesus Christ and salvation in Him and Him alone... and I'm wanting to see the whole of salvation.

              That's why I compare/contrast with Satan and spiritual law. Opposition to truth is a negative mirror image of the light as darkness opposes and negatively mirrors light. I find the study of Satan and darkness helpful only as I seek to separate dark from light to gain full revelation of Jesus Christ and salvation in Him alone.

              I'll agree to pass on that and focus on soul sleep... though I will be looking at the whole "big picture" to "test" soul sleep in the larger framework of my understanding.

              I'm prayerfully believing my understanding will sharpen, heighten, and expand... even if I don't fully agree with you on all points in the final summation.

              I still very much appreciate your insights and sharing of your view and paradigm as a reference/study point. And if my paradigm holds to scripture and shifts... terrific!!! That's called... revelation.



              Love in Christ,

              js

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by RogerW View Post
                Greetings Laura,

                Let me first say that I do not believe in soul sleep. Before going to deeply into this discussion let me ask you...what is the difference between the one who physically dies in unbelief and the one who physically dies in Christ?

                Blessings,
                RW
                Hi RW,

                These are things I've never "conceptualized" on the basis of scripture. I'm going to be pondering the 1st Adam and the 2nd Adam. A person who dies in an unregenerate state was born of the flesh... never of the Spirit of God on earth (obviously). They have completely different spirits. Therefore, for me to "lump them together" in my understanding seems to be wholly inaccurate.

                Now, the complete and total spiritual division between them may result in the same conclusion of going where their spirits "belong" in a conscious state: Hades or Heaven as I see it... or, there could be something different to the unregenerate. Like, for example, since they are basically of the earth... when their bodies "die"... in the first Adam... are they conscious? I assume "yes"... but that's "assuming". Some scriptures do state "sleep". Now, is that referring to the body "only" sleeping? (Not yet bodily resurrected?) Could be.

                Though both those in belief in Christ die physically... only the unregenerate person is "of the flesh". The believer in Christ is born of the Spirit. I can see the potential of different "states of being" between the 2 because they are completely different "creations". (one of flesh in Adam (unbelief); one of spirit in Christ (believers) ). I must completely separate light and dark in my understanding spiritually in revelation of God's Word to attain my personal spiritual goal.

                What happens when light and darkness "split" in our understanding? The greatest move of the Spirit of the age in revelation, illumination, vivification, and sanctification in truth. If people thought "splitting the atom" released power... wait til they see "splitting the Adam" spiritually... (first and second Adams).



                Love in Christ,

                js
                (seeking to become "Einstein" of full apostolic power... )

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by justsurfing View Post
                  Hi RW,

                  These are things I've never "conceptualized" on the basis of scripture. I'm going to be pondering the 1st Adam and the 2nd Adam. A person who dies in an unregenerate state was born of the flesh... never of the Spirit of God on earth (obviously). They have completely different spirits. Therefore, for me to "lump them together" in my understanding seems to be wholly inaccurate.

                  Now, the complete and total spiritual division between them may result in the same conclusion of going where their spirits "belong" in a conscious state: Hades or Heaven as I see it... or, there could be something different to the unregenerate. Like, for example, since they are basically of the earth... when their bodies "die"... in the first Adam... are they conscious? I assume "yes"... but that's "assuming". Some scriptures do state "sleep". Now, is that referring to the body "only" sleeping? (Not yet bodily resurrected?) Could be.

                  Though both those in belief in Christ die physically... only the unregenerate person is "of the flesh". The believer in Christ is born of the Spirit. I can see the potential of different "states of being" between the 2 because they are completely different "creations". (one of flesh in Adam (unbelief); one of spirit in Christ (believers) ). I must completely separate light and dark in my understanding spiritually in revelation of God's Word to attain my personal spiritual goal.

                  What happens when light and darkness "split" in our understanding? The greatest move of the Spirit of the age in revelation, illumination, vivification, and sanctification in truth. If people thought "splitting the atom" released power... wait til they see "splitting the Adam" spiritually... (first and second Adams).



                  Love in Christ,

                  js
                  (seeking to become "Einstein" of full apostolic power... )
                  Ge 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

                  Ec 3:19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.
                  Ec 3:20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.
                  Ec 3:21 Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?

                  According to the above passages man dies and his flesh returns to dust, but what does Solomon mean when he asks, "who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth"? When Solomon says the same fate that befalls beasts befalls the 'sons of men', is he speaking of all mankind including those who are called 'sons of God', or is there a difference between sons of men and sons of God?

                  Blessings,
                  RW

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi Roger
                    Originally posted by RogerW View Post
                    According to the above passages man dies and his flesh returns to dust, but what does Solomon mean when he asks, "who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth"?
                    Okay, can I make a couple of points

                    1. "breath" and "spirit" are the same word, ruakh. This only means "wind", or breath as in "the spirit in God's nostrils". The ruakh cannot carry the personality, and the ruakh is not a conscious independent entity. Neither the ruakh entering the womb (Ecc 11:5, Ps104:29), nor the ruakh out of man on death (Ecc 8:8, 12:7, Ps104:30)

                    2. In 3:21 the ESV and most modern versions say "who knows whether..." not "who knoweth that..." KJV, but either way the point is no one knows. If no one knows then it isn't exactly great proof of immortal man-ruakh or non-immortal animal ruakh.

                    3. Even if some people say the ruakh of man does go up and the animal down, Ecc9:5-10 contradicts that. A living dog (ie poor man) is better off than a dead lion (ie rich man). According to Ecclesiastes the "dead lion" is not in heaven.

                    4. Ecclesiastes doesn't mention "sons of God" in the book. The phrase "sons of men" (children of men) just means human beings, homo-sapiens. There's no contrast with another category of men called "sons of God". In any case Ecc 9:5,10 "the dead know nothing" doesn't distinguish two groups. If it did that would mean Christ had already judged the people of Ecclesiastes time and rewarded them with heaven before having died for their sins on the cross.


                    Therefore:

                    Ecc 3:18 I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts. 19 For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same ruakh, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. 20 All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows whether the ruakh of man goes upward and the ruakh of the beast goes down into the earth? 22 So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?

                    Ecc11:5 As you do not know the way the ruakh comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.

                    Ecc 8:8 No man has power to retain the ruakh, or power over the day of death. There is no discharge from war, nor will wickedness deliver those who are given to it.

                    What this means is when the ruakh goes back to God in Ecc12:7, the man cannot hang on to the ruakh's coat tails, so to speak.

                    Ecc 12:7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the ruakh returns to God who gave it.

                    As Abraham said "I am but dust and ashes". Abraham did not catch on to the ruakh, he went back to dust. The ruakh also is not idle. God recycles it:

                    Psalm 104:29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
                    when you take away their ruakh, they die
                    and return to their dust.
                    30 When you send forth your ruakh, they are created,
                    and you renew the face of the ground.

                    I know this will come as a surpise to some people, but it shouldn't as the OT doesn't make a secret of this. God promised sleep to Moses, why should we demand something more? It's not as if sleep is so terrible. I intend to go and "know nothing" for 7 hours right now
                    God bless and good night.
                    Steven

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      For example A.T. Wright, Bishop of Durham, is no sceptic, he bases his arguments on the Bible text : Bishop abolishes heaven and the Soul (London Times article). In his book For All the Saints, Tom Wright demonstrates that traditional Christianity has misread New Testament teaching about death. The book shows that man is not born with an "immortal soul" and that the hope is resurrection when Christ comes from heaven, quote: ‘Immortality is a gift of God in Christ, not an innate human capacity.’
                      I'd like to add, despite how great of a scholar he is, N.T. Wright still believes in an intermediate state for believers. He doesn't believe we should argue that the "spirit" or "soul" goes there and especially discourages the view that the soul is "immortal" (he basically says such arguments are the result of Plato sneaking his way into Christianity), but that God's love is so strong that death has no hold over the believer. He has described this intermediate state as "restful peace." But he's stressed time and time again the New Testament authors were far more concerned with bodies and our ultimate hope is not floating around up in the clouds somewhere but bodily resurrection to Earth.

                      And I agree (as an American), Americans have adopted a sort of escapist theology, largely the result of the popularity of the Left Behind series (which N.T. Wright criticizes as well), where the world sucks and man's immortal soul will flutter off to a "better place."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        what is the difference between the one who physically dies in unbelief and the one who physically dies in Christ?
                        No difference. They both have the same fate.

                        "For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity" (Ecc 3:19).

                        "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 [sheol], whither thou goest" (Ecc 9:10).

                        "All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again" (Ecc 3:20).

                        Even if Christians go to some sort of intermediate state after death, this does not change the fact that the rest still go to sheol, which is not a place of torment (or even consciousness).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          2. In 3:21 the ESV and most modern versions say "who knows whether..." not "who knoweth that..." KJV, but either way the point is no one knows. If no one knows then it isn't exactly great proof of immortal man-ruakh or non-immortal animal ruakh.
                          It's a rhetorical question. Solomon expects the reader to answer the question for himself based on what he said before about a beast and a man having the same breath, fate, and going unto the same place at death.

                          I know this will come as a surpise to some people, but it shouldn't as the OT doesn't make a secret of this. God promised sleep to Moses, why should we demand something more? It's not as if sleep is so terrible. I intend to go and "know nothing" for 7 hours right now
                          God bless and good night.
                          Steven
                          I think what it comes down to is: if the ruach is conscious and contains the thoughts and identity of man, then we preexist our births. The ruach, while it may be used figuratively, is just the spark of life that animates the dust that is our bodies. In Genesis, God breathed the breath of life into Adam, which obviously was not consciously dancing around in Heaven before being placed in the dust; so why argue it will consciously dance around in Heaven after leaving the dust?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I would like to add, by the way, that “soul sleep” really is a poor title for what Steven and I advocate.

                            When man dies, his breath returns to God who gave it (Ecc 12:7), “meaning not that an immortal part of the person goes to live with God, but that God who breathed life’s breath into human nostrils in the first place will simply withdraw it into his own possession” (Wright 88—9), his body returns to the dust (Gen 3:19; Ecc 3:20, 12:7; Psa 146:4), and since the two components that make up the human, the living soul, have been disconnected (i.e. Gen 2:7), the soul dies (e.g. Eze 18:4, 20). Since a living creature (man and beast alike) is called a nephesh (and sometimes in Greek, psyche) he can be said to sleep in the dust with his dead, unanimated body (Dan 12:2), but really “sleep” is just a sugar-coated idiom for death itself (cf. Joh 11:11, Joh 11:14). The state of being in the dust (sleeping in the dust as Daniel says), or the grave, I would argue should be called sheol (and in Greek hades); this is why when Jesus died, he was thought of as being in hades (i.e. Act 2:31). However, from a Jewish perspective, not much at all is thought of as happening beyond the dust or grave, so why should we think differently?

                            Since “sleep” is merely an idiom, I think the best way to describe this doctrine is plain old “death.” Obviously, if man dies, he is not living (in Heaven or Hell or whatever you want to call it), but rotting in his grave. The reason “sleep” is such a fitting metaphor for “death” is because death is not permanent, for “many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake.”

                            If you are convinced you will enter some sort of conscious intermediate state after death, please do not try to theorize that it is your “soul” or your “spirit” that is what remains conscious after death, because this really is not Scriptural; and also realize that if an intermediate state does exist, it is in no way our ultimate hope or eternal destiny. Lastly, if a conscious intermediate state for the believer exists (I'm reluctant to call it “heaven”), I see no reason whatsoever why the unbeliever would enter any other state than sheol, which is clearly a place of unconsciousness; in other words, there is no “hell” as conceived of in the middle ages and understood today.

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                            • #15
                              According to the above passages man dies and his flesh returns to dust, but what does Solomon mean when he asks, "who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth"? When Solomon says the same fate that befalls beasts befalls the 'sons of men', is he speaking of all mankind including those who are called 'sons of God', or is there a difference between sons of men and sons of God?
                              Hi RW

                              I am not going to say I hold a position... because I am studying at this time.

                              Here's a spiritual thought: what is the anti-christ called? Ans. "a beast". I believe the number of a man is 666... unregenerate that is... and he is a "beast". And there is a total and complete difference between the regenerate spirits of children of God and the unregenerate spirits of or children of the flesh. The unregenerate are beastly, at one level.... like brute beasts even Jude says....

                              2 Peter 2:12
                              But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish.

                              I need revelation of God's Word. I see "signs" of something. Personally, I need to do a systematic study to understand what God is saying in the Bible on this subject. I have not studied it out in part, let alone systematically.

                              The difference between the regenerate spirits of children of God and the brutish beast spirits of the unregenerate is so stark, so great... that I need to "break it down" and systematically study the scripture. They are of the earth, as brute beast, and animist in spiritual nature... at a certain level... nothing like born-again Christians in spirit and in truth. They may go into "soul sleep"... like brute beasts... when their bodies perish.

                              But that doesn't carry over, imo at this point, to children of God in Christ. Our spirits are alive... in the image of God in Christ... nothing of the earth of our spirits... nothing animist about our spirits in Christ. Our natures, unlike the unregenerate spirits of unbelievers, are a divine nature of God in Christ as children of God.

                              I don't know, Roger... but I'd like to study to build a framework of comprehension systematically based on scripture... calling on the Lord for revelation of His Word. Per James, as I ask without wavering believing He will give me revelation... wisdom... He will... as I go to the Word and study. That's my faith... and I personally believe I'm going to gain revelation - whether I agree with Steve, enarchay, or others as the result. I don't have biblical revelation on these points at this time.

                              These gentlemen point out to me by example... that they have studied these matters... I have not.



                              God bless,

                              js

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