Soul Sleep and Seventh Day Adventists

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by ChristianSoldier, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. ChristianSoldier

    ChristianSoldier
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    Until a few weeks ago I had only in passing heard some people believe in Soul Sleep and I dismissed it as flippantly as hearing a grown adult still believes in Santa Clause or something. Then I attended a friend of mine's sermon, who is an SDA pastor, the title of his sermon was "Are there such a thing as ghosts" To which I was intrigued because I do study and practice deliverance, and was anxious to hear how he was going to answer that one! (Yes there are spirits all around us but they are not dead relatives, etc)
    He went on a 2 hour study of how (my doctrine, being Baptist and believing in immediate Heaven or Hell ) is WRONG and referenced about every wordage of 'sleep' in the old and new testament. Then said Immortality is a new doctrine and only used as comfort when loved ones die.
    He was using NIV which I don't - but here was one of his defenses.
    Luke 23:43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise."

    Now, I read that and use it to my defense that, that day they met in Heaven.

    This pastor said, remove the punctuation as original Greek has none, and now look at it, Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you today you will be with me in paradise"
    Meaning, 'today' was the day he told the man, 'he will be with him in paradise' BUT Jesus did not say WHEN.
    (moving the comma back one word changes everything)
    Furthermore, he added, almost every instance of "I tell you this today" in scripture Jesus was just speaking in present tense, not saying all those events would happen before the sunset.

    Long story short: I need some help here, as I didn't take notes, so can anyone tell me WHY we believe we go to Heaven when we die? I have looked up the original text and found the word for sleep can also mean 'dead' or 'death' so why are some people so set in the doctrine of soul sleep, and what can I have prepared in my "What I believe and Why" note cards, when I am confronted with this again.

    Thank you
     
    #1 ChristianSoldier, Feb 12, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2013
  2. Yeshua1

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    There are souls in heaven right now praising the Lord, John saw the Elders around throne of God...

    So that theory is "no good!"
     
  3. salzer mtn

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    There are Baptist that call themselves The Baptist, pronounced Thee Baptist in Tn. Georgia and Alabama which some of their members believe in soul sleep. At one time most all the members believed in soul sleep fifty years ago but as the older members died, this doctrine died with them. One of the scripture they use is Acts 2:34 For David is not ascended into the heavens, Acts 2:24-27 For David speaketh concerning him, (Christ) I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that i should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad, ; moreover my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (grave), neither will thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. These older ones also believed and some still do, The Baptist churches is the church of Christ, his only church, which the whole name is, The Baptist church of Christ.
     
  4. steaver

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    Yes, beware of anyone who follows false prophets! The SDA base their doctrines on the writings of the proven false prophet Ellen G White. They teach her writings as equal to God's Holy Word. HUGE red flag!!

    And there are hundreds of translations of the Greek into English by hundreds of Greek scholars who have agreed that the comma is exactly where it should be as we find in all of the most widely used versions.

    The SDA also believes one must worship on Saturday or you are sinning against God. They also believe if you eat pork you are sinning against God. These teachings are also the product of Ellen White who claimed to be speaking on behalf of God.

    Mormons and Jehovah Witnesess do the same thing. They follow false prophets who declared that they heard from God on these sorts of issues, and of course there will always be those who become deceived by their self-centered motives to be somebody important and follow along.

    Anyone of us if we desired to be evil could make up a doctrine from the scriptures, say that God told me so, preach it, and we would have followers lining up out the door. Jesus and Paul warned us about these false prophets, but nevertheless, even Christians get dooped and fall prey and follow along. Very sad........
     
  5. ChristianSoldier

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    But what is my scriptural defense?

    Yes I know it's a false doctrine, but what is my scripture to defend we go to Heaven (or Hell) when we die? With original text translation key words to back up my scripture? Thank you.
    I know it's wrong, I just need to know now exactly what to say next time someone tells me they're going to sleep when they die.
    They deny the triune nature of man I know that much.... Spirit/Soul/Body
    But how do I use the Bible to back it up?
    Thank you
     
  6. church mouse guy

    church mouse guy
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    Philippians 1:21 (KJV) For to me to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain.
    22 But if I live in the flesh, this [is] the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
    23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:


    2 Corinthians 5:6 (KJV) Therefore [we are] always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
    7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
    8 We are confident, [I say], and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.


    Luke 16:19-31 (The rich man and Lazarus.)
     
  7. DHK

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    The triune nature of man:
    1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
    --God's Word can divide the soul from the spirit. There must be both. That is evident just from this verse alone.
    IMO, the mind refers to the emotions, the decision making part of mind.
    The spirit is that part of man which is able to communicate with God.

    Paul said:
    2 Corinthians 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
    7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
    8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
    --Read the entire passage beginning with verse one. We are spirit beings clothed with a temporary "tabernacle," which at death we will shed. When Jesus comes he will give us a glorified body. In Romans 8:23, he says "we wait for the redemption of our bodies."
    --But here Paul says that he is confident that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. If Paul is not with the Corinthians in life, they can be assured that he will be with the Lord even if the resurrection has not yet taken place.

    Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
    22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
    23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:
    --If soul sleep were true, then verse 21 would make no sense. What gain would there be in soul sleep? The "gain" is to be with Christ.
    He is in a "strait betwixt two" (has a difficult choice) :
    1. To depart (and be with the Lord). or
    2. To remain (and be with them).

    Sleep often means death, physical death as it is used in 1Cor.11:30.
    "Many of you sleep".
    Many of you are dead--physically. God had killed them in judgment. Therefore they "slept," were dead.
     
  8. ChristianSoldier

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    Good one!

    Thank you for that!
    I know Elijah met the Lord immediately after this life, however the SDA's had a defense to that too I need to refute. Elijah and Moses were the 'exceptions' they said, and they found scripture to defend this somewhere in the Gospels (I forget where and the concordance is not helping me!! ARArrgh!)
    I'm afraid however when I get all my Scripture together the SDA's will just say- "those people were the exceptions like Elijah, WE still go to sleep" further denying the triune nature of man, body, spirit and soul.
    It is a bit hard even for me to grasp- our body goes in the ground, our 'spirit or soul' goes to heaven, or both go to heaven....
    I know my 'conscious self' meets with the Lord immediately, but if that is my spirit and/or soul I am still not sure.
    Thanks
     
  9. ChristianSoldier

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    Thank you so much for these!

    I will add this to my 'What I believe and why' document: thank you! I knew what I believed all along, I was just never challenged so I could not defend myself in this battle. Thank you again!
     
  10. TrevorL

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    Greetings ChristianSoldier,
    I am not a SDA but fellowship with a smaller group who believe that the soul is mortal. I could respond to some of the verses that others have suggested, but will only briefly respond to your first post. Despite your surprise that some could believe in a sleep in death, I have been brought up and live in an environment where man’s mortality has always been taught and accepted. I do not like the term soul sleep as it gives the impression that the soul is a separate identity to the body, but please compare the definition of a living soul in Genesis 2:7. I cannot understand how anyone can believe in heaven going AND the Bible teaching of resurrection of the body and the future kingdom of God on the earth.

    The thief asked to be remembered when Jesus came into his kingdom:
    Luke 23:39-43 (KJV): 39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
    There are a number of things to be noticed. The most impressive is the thief’s faith in the face of his own death and the death of Jesus. He recognised that Jesus was Lord, and yet dying. He recognised that in the future Jesus would come into his kingdom, and at that time Jesus could remember the thief. My simple understanding then is line with the SDAs in that Jesus was responding directly to the question and saying that his request was granted, and he could know the certainty of the result now as he was dying, he will be remembered when Jesus returns to establish his kingdom. Jesus will then raise the dead. They will then be in paradise, that is the Garden of Eden restored.

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
  11. steaver

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    Understand this fundamental truth about the SDA and all other organizations which follow after false prophets; It matters not how much Scripture you have to offer them, they follow a false prophet, when one has been convinced or brainwashed into accepting a person as speaking on behalf of God, that person does not care one bit what Scripture you show them or what it actually says, they believe the false prophet's teaching on the subject for their prophet cannot be wrong as they see it.

    I would not waste too much time on tyhe SDA with soul sleep. The root of their problem is EGW. Learn about her and her writings and you will have tons of material to use to show them their error in following a false prophet. Then maybe by the grace of God you might help some see the truth and repent of her.

    Godspeed!
     
  12. TrevorL

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    Greetings again ChristianSoldier,
    I would be interested in how you or other respondents to this thread explain the following Scripture:
    Daniel 12:2 (KJV): 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.
    Not only does it use the figure of sleep for death, it describes the nature of that death: they sleep in the dust of the earth. There is no other conscious existence.

    This is an allusion to the pronouncement upon Adam after his transgression in the garden:
    Genesis 3:17-19 (KJV): 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 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.
    Note that the above does not say: Dust is thy body and immortal is thy soul or spirit, and unto dust shalt thy body return, but thy immortal soul or spirit (the real you, not the temporary body) shall ascend to paradise in heaven, or descend to hell to suffer flames for eternity. Rather the Scripture says dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return. It was the serpent who told the lie that thou shalt not surely die, and the immortal soul theory is a variant of the serpent teaching.

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
  13. steaver

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    Be very careful Trevor, Jesus spoke of the soul, spirit and eternal consequences beyond the body going into the grave many times. Your statement here is very close to blasphemy if not the very sin of.
     
  14. steaver

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    "And they stoned Stephen, calling upon [God], and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep." (Acts 7:59-60)

    Stephen entered heaven, his body went to the dust.
     
  15. TrevorL

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    Greetings steaver,

    I appreciate your response and your concern. I am trying to be cautious not to offend you on this subject, but I am willing to discuss the various relevant Scriptures.

    I am interested in how you understand the Bible definition of the word “soul” as it appears in Genesis 2:7. Please also note that Paul also quotes this verse when speaking of the resurrection, so it is relevant. If your theology seeks to avoid this usage then I suggest that you need to reconsider this usage.
    Genesis 2:7 (KJV): 7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
    1 Corinthians 15:42-46 (KJV): 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

    Genesis 2:7 does not say that God imparted to man an immortal soul, but man became a living soul. Please also note the three occurrences of the word “natural” (S#5591) are cognate with the word soul (S#5590), and all of this shows that Paul is not here teaching the immortality of the soul.

    I am also interested in how you understand the phrase “sleep in the dust of the earth” in relation to Daniel 12:2 and Genesis 3:19.
    Daniel 12:2 (KJV): 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.
    Genesis 3:17-19 (KJV): 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 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.

    But it says that he fell asleep and this shows that he is one of those waiting for the resurrection from the dust of the earth at the time of the end when Jesus returns. Stephen saw a vision of Jesus standing up as if he was about to return. Stephen's next conscious moment will be in the presence of Jesus at his return. Like the thief he will be with Jesus in paradise. To the thief it was a word picture, to Stephen it was a vision. Does Stephen have two conscious existences when he is alive, and when he dies does one go to sleep, and the other go to heaven?

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
  16. steaver

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    There are issues among Christians which have great importance towards holy living and eternal consequences. After spending the past 15 years in study and debates I have come to choose my limited time on mainly those things of importance. So I'm not sure I have the time to get into this subject too deep with you in a back and forth. But I am curious, do you find this subject as having any great importance for the follower of Jesus Christ?
     
  17. DHK

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    Yes, that is he died physically.
    We all, who die in Christ, await the coming of the Lord.
    Stephen did not see a vision. Read the account:
    Acts 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
    56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
    --He saw the glory of God.
    --Then he saw Christ, standing instead of sitting, to welcome Christianity's first martyr to heaven. This was no vision.
    Stephen went immediately to be with the Lord, as the Lord stretched out his hands to welcome him home. Christ stood symbolically welcoming home. Normally he sits on the right hand of the throne of God. There is great significance of Christ standing.
    There is no paradise.
    You are confused. The body goes to the grave and awaits the resurrection; the spirit goes to heaven.
     
  18. TrevorL

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    Greetings again steaver,

    I appreciate the comments. I am also fairly selective in the subjects that I discuss. I am not sure that I want to get too deeply involved in this subject, but will continue to respond for the moment. The title of this thread and the OP caught my attention as my belief on this aspect runs to some extent in parallel with the SDAs, though I differ with many of their other teachings.

    Concerning the OP, the Companion Bible suggests the reading “I say unto thee to day” is the preferred reading. This is mentioned in the notes and there is an extensive treatment on this in Appendix 173.

    I am not willing to pronounce upon whether this subject may “have great importance towards holy living and eternal consequences” and hence may have “great importance for the follower of Jesus Christ”. But I do think the subject is important. Possibly a wrong view of this subject if coupled with a number of other wrong ideas could undermine the power and effectiveness of the gospel of Christ.

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
  19. TrevorL

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    Greetings DHK,

    I appreciate your involvement in this thread. Concerning the death of Stephen:
    I believe you are limiting the meaning of the word sleep here. The meaning is clarified by the usage of the word in Daniel 12:2 and the connection with Genesis 3:19.

    If when we die we are already in heaven with the Lord, how are we awaiting the coming of the Lord?

    I am prepared to differ here. I could compare Isaiah 6 and many other visions. I gave my explanation of Christ standing.

    Where was the thief going to go then?

    Yes the idea of a man’s conscious spirit being separated from the body at death and being in heaven does confuse me. Why is there a need for the resurrection of the body? Paul when he was facing death reveals his hope:
    2 Timothy 4:6-8 (KJV): 6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
    He does not say, I am about to die and I will soon be in heaven with the Lord, but his hope was in the resurrection at the return of Jesus.

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
  20. steaver

    steaver
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    Jesus did teach of what a believer experiences upon physical death;

    "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;" (Luke 16)

    A man who attended our church had a heart attack. After open heart surgery and a couple weeks in the hospital he was released to his home with orders to stay inside until he gets better, for it was winter time here in the north east. After a week or so he was feeling better and decided he wanted to take a walk outside. A few days later he was back in the hospital with pneumonia, from there his condition deteriorated over the next week to the point that he could no longer speak. His son, whom I worked with, sought me out the morning after his father passed away in the night eagar to show me something. He said his dad couldn't speak, but he motioned that he wanted to write something, so Scott gave him a tablet and a penicil and he scratched out on the paper..."Angels all around". A few hours later he died. Scott wanted to show me the paper. I immediately thought of Jesus's teaching how the angels came for the beggar who must have been a believer for he was carried to Abraham's bossom (Paradise, not heaven then, but a good place to be until Jesus' ressurection led captivity captive into heaven).
     

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