There is a long held belief that man has an immortal soul or perhaps better understood as a “ghost being” or a metaphysical form that goes on into perpetual life after the body dies or loses its animation.
To properly understand the state of the dead, be it a conscious or unconscious state, we must first develop an understanding on what man is made of. That is, we have to fairly examine the components that make up man and woman, which will lend itself to further exploration on what the Bible has to say about life after death. Thus this topic “The state of the dead – conscious or asleep” has been divided into three sub-headings, 1\. The creation of man, 2\. Are the dead conscious or asleep?, and 3\. Hades/Sheol, is there consciousness?
1\. The creation of man
Genesis 2:7 – Dust + breath (spirit) = Soul
Animals also called souls – Genesis 1:20,21,24,30; Genesis 9:4-5,12,15; Revelation 8:9; Revelation 16:3
Leviticus 17:11 – Soul = Blood
Death is the cessation of life and return to dust– Genesis 2:16-17; 3:19; Job 34:14-15
Hope of continuous existence in the resurrection and not in an immortal soul – Psalm 17:15; Job 14:11-14
2\. Are the dead conscious or asleep?
Lazarus asleep – John 11:11-14
David’s desire to be awoken from sleep in death – Psalm 13:3
The messenger spoke to Daniel about the dead awakening from sleep – Daniel 12:2
Paul’s speech about those asleep in death – Acts 13:36; 1 Corinthians 15:20
Peter’s teaching on death and sleep – 2 Peter 3:3-4
Man and animals alike in every way, difference in where their breath goes after death – Ecclesiastes 3:18-21; Luke 23:45-46; Acts 7:59;
Death loses its victory in the resurrection – 1 Corinthians 15:50-54
3\. Hades/Sheol, is there consciousness?
A silent place of sleep – Psalm 115:17-18; Psalm 6:3-5; Psalm 146:1-4; Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 and verse 10
Tartoros, a confinement for disobedient angles – 2 Peter 2:4
Gehenna, a physical place in southwest Jerusalem – Jeremiah 7:30-33; 19:1-15; 31:31-41;
Gehenna, where the body of sinners will be burnt – Matthew 5:29-30; Isaiah 66:24; Mark 9:42-48
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