Saturday, July 15, 2006


The false teaching that death is a sleep and not a journey

(This false teaching can be found in the following cults: - Seventh-day Adventists - Jehovah's witnesses - Christadelphian)

What does the bible say?

The Old Testament plainly says that death is a journey (Genesis. 25:8 - 35:18; Numbers. 27:13; 2 Samuel. 12:23; 1 Kings. 17:21-22).

The New Testament plainly says that death is a journey:
(1) Jesus said death is a journey (Luke. 16:19-23 - 23:42-43). That Luke 16:19-31 is not a parable is evident by the fact that Jesus named the names of Abraham and Lazarus. He never named names when He was giving parables. Further, even if it were a parable, it would still teach literal truth.
(2) Paul said death is a journey (2 Corinthians. 5;6-7; Philippians. 1:23; 2 Timothy. 4:6).
(3) Peter said death is a journey (2 Peter. 1:13-15).
(4) The fact that the dead saints return with Christ from heaven at the time of the rapture shows that dead saints go to Heaven at death (1 Thessalonians. 4:14).
(5) John's heavenly visions show that dead saints are conscience in heaven prior to the resurrection and during the Great Tribulation on earth (Revelation. 6:9-11).
(6) Moses' and Elijah's appearance on the Mount of Transfiguration proves that the dead have conscious existence between death and resurrection. Moses and Elijah, though dead, were allowed by God to appear in time on that mountain and to converse about events which were soon to take place in Jerusalem (Matthew. 17:1-3 - Luke. 9:30-31).

The Bible sometimes speaks of death as a "sleep," but it is the body that sleeps not the spirit (James. 2:26).

Ecclesiastes sometimes speaks of death as nothingness (i.e., Ecc. 9:5), but this is because Ecclesiastes is written from the perspective of the man "under the sun" (Ecc. 1:3, 9, 14, etc), the perspective of man looking at life the way it appears apart from divine revelation. To the natural man who does not have the revelation of the Scriptures, death appears to be the end of things. But other portions of the Bible tell us that this is not the case. Even the book of Ecclesiastes itself, in its conclusion, says that death is a journey (Ecc. 12:7).

The Old Testament speaks of the "spirit" as the breath once or twice, but usually the "spirit" of man is that non-material part which is separate from the body and which lives on after death (1 Thessalonians. 5:23). False teachers make the mistake of refusing to allow the context to define Bible words and instead they put their own preferred definition on the word and force that definition into every context.

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