Does the Bible Teach Soul Sleep?

Seventh-day Adventists and Jehohah’s Witnesses believe in soul sleep. In other words, after you die your soul does go immediately to heaven or hell. What happens is that you stay in the grave. It’s like in a sleep, remain dead or asleep. The soul is sleeping, then God’s going to wake you up at the Last Judgment. At the Last Judgment, where the souls are gonna wake up, get judged by God and then go to paradise. For the Jehovah Witnesses, paradise on earth and for the Seventh-day Adventists, in heaven.  Here are their verses to prove it.

Job 14:10 “The man dieth and wasteth away, yea man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?”  Notice right after he dies, where does he go? Job 14:11-12 says he doesn’t go to heaven or hell, his body is in the earth “as the waters fail from the sea and the flood decayeth and drieth up, so man lieth down and riseth not till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake nor be raised out of their sleep.” 

JW: This proves that they are sleeping or soul sleep. 

Christians: It says “sleeping” but it never says “soul”. You won’t see “soul” anywhere. When we die, our body is gonna stay in the earth no matter what, it stays sleeping here. How do you know that? Verse 10 says “man dieth and wasteth away.” It’s getting corrupted. That’s your body, not your eternal soul. Look at verse 11 “the waters fail from the sea and the flood decayeth and drieth up.” That’s the body, it decays and dries up. We see right here that this is definitely talking about the body. We believe that when the body dies, it’s what we call “sleep”. But not the soul. The soul gets out of there. Ecclesiastes 9:5 “For the living know that they shall die but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward, for the memory of them is forgotten.” Notice that there is no consciousness when you die. If you insist that this is referring to the soul, then you’re gonna have a problem right here. Let’s say that’s the soul, the soul knows not anything, neither have the soul any more a reward, that means every soul, including Seventh-day Adventists and Jehovah Witnesses, is not gonna have their reward for eternity when they wake up. They’re not gonna have their paradise on earth or their paradise in heaven. This verse says you don’t have a reward unless you apply it to your body, not your soul. That would make more sense, it applies to the body, the body when it dies, you can’t get any more rewards. That’s why Jesus said “For what shall it profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul” because the body can enjoy the whole world but in the end the body’s not gonna get all the world and his soul ends up in a burning hell.

Ezekiel 18:20 “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” 

JW: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die”, so the soul is not living forever. 

Christians: We believe that there is a death for a body but a death for a soul. The first death we all know is the physical body but there’s a second death. Revelation 20:14 “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” Revelation 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.” 

Genesis 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.” 

JW: You’re not going to go to heaven or hell, you’re going to return to the earth, you’re not gonna be conscious.” 

Christians: We believe that but it doesn’t say “soul”. What is that referring to? The body. The Bible says “in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread”, that’s physical body. You’re going to return to the ground  for out of it wast thou taken, for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Your body turns into dust. That’s true. If you look at dead bodies, they all decay and turn into dust. Do you see souls going to dust? 

When the Bible says “sleep”, it’s not talking about “soul sleep”. When the Bible says “sleep”, it’s a metaphorical word meaning “your body dies”. John 11:11-14 “These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.”  

Genesis 35:18 “And it came to pass as her soul was departing (for she died)…”  When her body’s about to die, her soul is about to leave (not stay on the ground of the earth and then fall asleep till the judgment). Genesis 35:19 “And Rachel died and was buried in Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.” The body is in the grave on the earth but the soul was departing.”

1 Kings 17:17-18, 22 “And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.” The soul was out of the body.

Philippians 1:23-24 “For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.” Paul says when I’m alive in my body, I’m here with you but if I’m not in my body, if I’m dead, I depart and I’m with Christ.