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Soul Sleep?

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics Forum' started by Hidden In Him, Dec 7, 2018.

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  1. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Greetings all, and blessings in the Lord Jesus Christ. I was recently in a discussion and this subject came up. I'm certain this has been debated at this forum already, but since I was not a part of those discussions let me just highlight some passages I believe contradict this teaching. We can take it from there.

    17 And it came to pass afterward, that the son of the woman the mistress of the house was sick; and his sickness was very severe, until there was no breath left in him. 18 And she said to Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O man of God? hast thou come in to me to bring my sins to remembrance, and to slay my son? 19 And Elijah said to the woman, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and took him up to the chamber in which he himself lodged, and laid him on the bed. 20 And Elijah cried aloud, and said, Alas, O Lord, the witness of the widow with whom I sojourn, thou hast wrought evil for her in slaying her son. 21 And he breathed on the child thrice, and called on the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, let, I pray thee, the soul of this child return to him. 22 And it was so, and the child cried out, 23 and he brought him down from the upper chamber into the house, and gave him to his mother; and Elijah said, See, thy son lives. 24 And the woman said to Elijah, Behold, I know that thou art a man of God, and the word of the Lord in thy mouth is true. (1 Kings 17:17-24)

    The question here would be: Why would Elijah pray to God that the soul of this boy return to him? If that soul was asleep, where would it be returning from?

    For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring you to God, having been put to death in the flesh but made alive through the Spirit, in which He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who were once disobedient in the days of Noah when the long-suffering of God waited as an ark was being prepared, into which a few, that is, eight souls were saved through water, an antitype of the baptism that now also saves you, not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, He having ascended into Heaven with angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him. (1 Peter 3:18-22)

    The question here is this: If the souls of these Old Testament saints were asleep, how could Jesus have preached to them after His resurrection? Peter was talking here about Christ descending to Sheol after the crucifixion to share the message that He was the lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world with Noah and his descendants. Through His sacrifice they could now ascend (from Paradise, located in Sheol at the time) to rise with Him into Heaven.

    9. And [Jesus] said to them... "Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, being festive during the day in splendor. And a certain poor man named Lazarus was laid at his porch, being full of sores, and desiring to be filled with whatever fell from the rich man's table. But coming, even the dogs licked his sores. And it came to pass that the poor man died, and was carried away by the angels into the bosom of Abraham. And the rich man also died, and was buried. And having lifted up his eyes in Hades, being in torment, he saw Abraham from afar, and Lazarus in his bosom. And crying out, he said, "Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool mu tongue, for I am in pain in these flames. But Abraham said, "Son, remember that you received your good things during your lifetime, and Lazarus likewise received evil things. But here he is comforted, and you are in pain. And amongst those here, between all of you and all of us, a great chasm has been firmly established, so that those who wish to pass from here to all of you are unable, nor can anyone pass from there to us." (Luke 16:15, 19-26)

    The question here is this: I know those who believe in soul sleep say this is merely a "parable." But if that's the case (and the text says nowhere that it is), why would Jesus be using a parable that suggests the soul continues to exist after death if it does not?

    Btw, regarding the expression "soul sleep," I view it as merely a means the Lord and the New Testament writers used to deflect from the grief believers might feel of thinking their loved ones were gone forever. "Sleeping" is how we present the dead in their coffins during a wake for this same reason. It softens the blow, especially for the faithful, who can view their beloved as merely in repose, with their body awaiting the resurrection.

    As always, special thanks to anyone who replies in advance.
    Blessings in Christ,
    Hidden In Him.
     
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  2. gadar perets

    gadar perets Well-Known Member

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    Eliyah was praying that his entire life would return to him. He was totally dead, not merely sleeping.

    IMO, that passage does not refer to "Old Testament saints", but to fallen angels who are bound alive in Tartaroo to this day (2 Peter 2:4). Anyone who died in OT times is totally dead and knows nothing (Eccl.9:5).

    It is a parable based on things spoken that cannot happen such as dead men talking and seeing while in the grave, no flames in the grave, no torment in the grave, no pain in the grave, no knowledge of anything while in the grave, and Abraham and the rich man being able to converse from so great a distance apart. Yeshua used this parable to teach us to do good while we are still alive so that we will be rewarded with good after our resurrection.

    I agree. He also used "sleeping" to express that death is temporary and that the resurrection is certain.
     
  3. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Greetings, gadar perets. About this, if Jesus went and preached to the fallen angels, what message did he preach and why did He preach it to them?
    Not sure I follow. Are you saying He was teaching facetiously here?
     
  4. gadar perets

    gadar perets Well-Known Member

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    We are not told what he said, but it may not have been "preaching" as opposed to "proclaiming/heralding". He may have told them he has risen from the dead after paying the price of sin for all mankind or may have proclaimed to them that judgment day is not far for them or who knows what? Whatever Yeshua said, he said it to beings that were alive, not dust in a grave.

    In the sense of not being taken literally, yes, but in the sense of not being taken seriously, no. His message was serious, but not literal. The end of the parable shows Yeshua was addressing the Jews and how they not only refused to hear Moses, but Yeshua as well. As a result, they will face a harsh judgment.
     
  5. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Yes, He preached to spirits. But I'm not sure what the purpose would be in telling the fallen angels any of that, which is why I was asking. The Christian tradition, however, gives very good reason why He would go and preach to the Old Testament saints. He went to preach to them He was the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world, and that through His sacrifice the door had now been opened for them to ascend out of Paradise (in Sheol) and into Heaven with Him to be with the Father; i.e. that the gates of Hades would no longer prevail against them.

    Explain how you interpret the rest of the passage for me. It has relevance. How does he relate Noah and his descendants to what He was preaching to the spirits in prison?

    For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring you to God, having been put to death in the flesh but made alive through the Spirit, in which He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who were once disobedient in the days of Noah when the long-suffering of God waited as an ark was being prepared, into which a few, that is, eight souls were saved through water, an antitype of the baptism that now also saves you, not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, He having ascended into Heaven with angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him. (1 Peter 3:18-22)
    So why do you think He would be using things that cannot happen to teach others a spiritual lesson? In parables, He always used examples from real life that actually could. That's what made them "parables."
     
  6. gadar perets

    gadar perets Well-Known Member

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    The problem with your view is that all Old Testament saints were dead in their graves. They were not "spirits". When a person dies, the spirit (breath of life) returns to YHWH. The body remains in the grave and turns to dust. There was no OT saints alive for Yeshua to preach to.


    The spirits in prison are in Tartaroo in chains of darkness (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 1:6). Their disobedience took place in Noah's day when they played a part in the corruption of men. The Book of Enoch has much to say about that. I know it is extra-Biblical, but it can be an historical document.
    The section I put in blue was simply additional facts that Peter added as a parenthesis.

    I don't know. Why do you think he used things that cannot happen to teach a lesson? Or do you think those things can happen?
     
  7. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Well see, your first paragraph is starting from supposition as if it were fact. The Christian tradition makes more sense of why He would preach anything to anyone during the time His body was in the grave... which reminds me now of a question I asked Brakelite: Do you regard Jesus' soul as having slept in the grave as well?

    About Enoch, I'm fully aware of the Jewish traditions contained in that book, and personally think it should be regarded as canonical. But it is again why I am asking you. The Book of Enoch has Noah informing them of their fate way back before they were cast into Tartarus. What more needed to be explained to them?
     
  8. gadar perets

    gadar perets Well-Known Member

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    I believe everything in the paragraph is a Scriptural fact.

    I do not believe we HAVE souls. I believe we ARE souls. The body + the breath of life (spirit) = a living soul. Yeshua was literally dead in the grave, but figuratively sleeping. Why do you believe he preached to anyone "during the time His body was in the grave"? Verse please.

    I can't answer that since I have no idea what Yeshua said to them.
     
  9. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    What I meant was that it would need to be established as fact before assuming it, LoL.
    Ok... then you believe the soul that He is was no longer conscious during that time?
    Well that's the setting for the passage we're discussing, according to Christian tradition at least anyway. But you again make it sound as if you believe He was no longer a conscious being during the time His body was in the grave. Is that what you believe?
    Well neither can anyone else, LoL. I suspect the reason why is because it didn't happen. Nothing is recorded of such a conversation within the Christian tradition, and you would think that if scripture talks about such an event happening that someone somewhere would have shone a little more light on it. I'm just saying that if it's a true doctrine, I believe the Spirit of God will reveal things concerning it so we don't spend two millennium completely in the dark about what was being referred to.
     
  10. gadar perets

    gadar perets Well-Known Member

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    There is no doubt about it. If he was conscious, then he wasn't dead for the dead know nothing (Eccl.9:5)

    Are you saying Yeshua never preached to the spirits in prison and that that verse does not belong in our Bibles?
     
  11. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    You're the second person to take this position; that the Son of God ceased to be a conscious being. It's paramount to saying God ceased to exist, and I have to tell you I find that a really strange teaching. But about Ecclesiastes 9:5, as I've stated elsewhere, I have a problem with the KJV translation of verse 10. It is not strict enough to the original languages.

    In the Greek, ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ποίημα καὶ λογισμὸς καὶ γνῶσις καὶ σοφία ἐν ᾅδῃ, ὅπου σὺ πορεύῃ ἐκεῖ. = "for there is no work, nor planning, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in Hades where you are going." Hades was at once both the Underworld, and at other times more specifically the punishment side of the Underworld, what we today call Hell.

    The Hebrew uses the word שְׁאוֹל, literally Sheol, which was a blanket term they used indiscriminately to refer to both sides of the Underworld (Paradise and Hades combined, and the "gulf" fixed between them, which the rich man could not cross over to get to Abraham and Lazarus. Incidentally it uses the word Hades there as well). Thus, if you regard both the LXX and Masoretic to be authoritative translations of the Old Testament, then the reference has to be to the Underworld.

    Now, when it says "the dead know nothing," what he means is that they know nothing about whether they will encounter good or bad in this life, because they have now passed on. This is why it says, "The living [at least] know they will die, but the dead know nothing." He uses the word "know" in this same sense in v.12, when he says, "For surely man also knows not his time," or in other words, he knows not the time of his death. By like manner, no one on earth knows whether they will encounter love or hate in this life (v.1), or win in battle, or become wealthy in this life, or attain the favor of men, because "time and chance will happen to all" (v.11).

    The overriding theme is that none of us really know much one way or the other, but at least the living know their is a time coming when they will die. The dead know absolutely nothing about what will go on under the sun anymore (v.6), because they have passed on to the Underworld (Hades).
    No, no. I'm saying there is no corroborating evidence to support your position that the spirits He preached to were fallen angels. I have great faith in the verse, only I interpret it the same way the early church did for several centuries; not about fallen angels but about the Old Testament saints, of whom it was said "He ascended on high and led captivity captive."

    8 Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.” 9 (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? (Ephesians 4:8-9)
     
  12. gadar perets

    gadar perets Well-Known Member

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    I am saying the Son of God ceased to exist. God, Yeshua's Father, was alive and well and ready to resurrect His Son from the dead at the appointed time.

    The word "hell" appears 31 times in the O.T. Each time it is the translation of the Hebrew "sheol." "Sheol" appears 65 times. It is also rendered "grave" 31 times, and "pit" 3 times. "Sheol" only has one meaning, "the grave".

    The word "hell" appears 33 times in the N.T. and is the translation of three different Greek words; hades, gehenna, and tartarus. Hades is used 11 times in the N.T. and is translated "hell" in all but one verse. It should have been rendered "grave" in all 11 occurrences. The Septuagint uses "hades" 60 times to translate "sheol."

    "Underworld" does not mean a world under ground where dead people are still alive. It simply refers to a world of dead men that are in the grave.

    I disagree. See Job 14:21; Psalms 6:5, Psalms 88:10-11; Isaiah 63:16; Eccl.9:10 (where sheol means the grave); and Eccl.9:5-6.



     
  13. gadar perets

    gadar perets Well-Known Member

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    I have given you several strong points of evidence. I'll recap by posting an excerpt from an article I wrote.

    1 Pe.3:18-20 is often quoted to show how Yeshua went down to hell, during the time he was in the sepluchre, to preach to the disembodied spirits being tortured there. The passage reads, " For Messiah also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to [Yahweh], being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the long suffering of Elohim waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water." This view raises several questions. If Yeshua did that, then he really wasn't dead for three days, was he? Why preach to them if they were already condemned to hell fire? Why is that small group who lived in Noah's day singled out from the great mass who are in the same situation? Additionally, Eccl.12:7 says, " Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto Elohim who gave it." The spirit does not go into hell or the grave, it returns to Elohim.
    ...

    The word "preached" is the Greek "kerusso," not "euaggelizo" which was normally used to refer to preaching the good news. "Kerusso" simply means "to herald or proclaim." Next is the word "spirits." Men are not spirits, men have spirits. Men also have flesh and blood bodies. Therefore, this cannot refer to living people in Noah's day, nor can it refer to disembodied spirits of people burning in hell since no one is burning yet as we saw earlier. Angels, however, are called "spirits" in Ps.104:4 and Heb.1:7,14. It is to angels that verse 19 is referring. But what angels are in prison? 2 Pe.2:4 says, " For if [Yahweh] spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell (Gr. tartarus), and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;" These angels, or "spirits" (1 Pe.3:19), are chained in a prison known as "tartarus" where they are being held until their judgment. Their sin is noted in Jude 6,7; " And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."

    These imprisoned angels left their first estate (margin - principality) in which they dwelt and left their own "habitation." "Habitation" is from the Greek "oiketerion." This word was used in only one other verse, 2 Cor.5:2, where it refers to a heavenly spiritual body. When did angels leave their heavenly principality and possibly their heavenly spiritual bodies? Gen.6:1,2 reads, " And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of Elohim saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose." The "sons of Elohim" have been understood to mean human kings, descendants of the righteous line of Seth, and angels. In all other O.T. passages where this phrase is used it refers to angels (Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Ps.29:1; 89:6; Dan.3:25). Therefore, we have no right to give this phrase "sons of Elohim" any other meaning except angels. Additionally, the Septuagint translates it "angels" as well. It seems very doubtful that the "sons of Elohim", if they were men, suddenly decided to marry these women after about 2,000 years.

    These angels left heaven to marry the "daughters of men." As Jude 7 says, they were "going after strange flesh" just as those in Sodom and Gomorrha did. Yahweh had set the boundaries of their habitation and they chose to disobey. As a result, they are imprisoned until the time of their judgment arrives.

    Another verse used to show Messiah went to hell to preach to the burning wicked is Eph.4:8,9; " Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?" Does "lower parts of the earth" refer to the earth itself at Messiah's birth; a subterrainian place of fire and torment; or simply, the grave? Paul was trying to show that Yeshua had to descend to the grave before he could ascend out of it unto Yahweh. Paul knew Messiah had to be in the grave and ascend out of it in order to fulfill Ps.16:10; " For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." "Hell" in this verse of the KJV is from the Hebrew "sheol" meaning the grave in which all men see corruption, but not Messiah. He was destined to resurrect out of it prior to experiencing corruption. If "hell" meant a place of burning, how can those burning experience the corruption that Messiah wouldn't? The common false teaching is that the wicked burn forever as they are preserved alive.​
     
  14. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for this conversation, btw. After I read this last night I started digging, and though you may not agree with it I came across some things I hadn't noticed before.

    In response to your argument, if both Sheol and Hades should be rendered "the grave," how do you translate the passage in Luke 16 then (the supposed "parable" of the rich man and Lazarus in Hades): "And the rich man also died, and was buried. And having lifted up his eyes in Hades, being in torment, he cried out..." You would have this read as, "And having lifted up his eyes in the grave, being in torment..." How does one lift up his eyes in the grave?

    But the interesting stuff I found is as follows. When Jacob thought his beloved son Joseph was dead, the Genesis account says this:

    34 And all his sons and his daughters gathered themselves together, and came to comfort him; but he would not be comforted, saying, “I will go down unto Hades to my son mourning.” And his father wept for him. (Genesis 37:34-35 LXX)

    The wording here strongly suggests Jacob was expecting to be reunited with Joseph in Hades. Likewise, in Ezekiel, the Lord tells him to lament over the fate of the multitudes of Egypt, for when they go down to Hades, the giants of old (referred to in Genesis 6:1-4) will speak to them, and mock them for not being superior to anyone:

    18 Son of man, lament over the strength of Egypt, for the nations shall bring down her daughters dead to the depth of the earth, to them that go down to the pit. 19/20 They shall fall with him in the midst of them that are slain with the sword, and all his strength shall perish: the giants also shall say to you, 21 “Art thou in the depth of the pit: to whom art thou superior?” Yea, go down, and lie with the uncircumcised, in the midst of them that are slain with the sword. 22 There are Assur and all his company:.. 24 There is Ælam and all his host round about his tomb… and the uncircumcised that go down to the deep of the earth, who caused their fear to be upon the land of the living: and they have received their punishment with them that go down to the pit… 27 And they are laid with the giants that fell of old, who went down to Hades with their weapons of war. (Ezekiel 32:18-27 LXX)

    The Masoretic is even more clear, stating in verse 21: "The strong and the mighty shall speak to him (them) from the midst of Sheol."
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
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  15. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    I know you are decided on this issue so I will just reply here that no one (with any sense anyway) argues that the souls He went and preached to in Sheol were the wicked. That doesn't fit the context of either passage at all. He didn't give gifts to the wicked in Ephesians 4:8-9, and Noah and his sons were most certainly not wicked in 1 Peter 3:18-20.
     
  16. gadar perets

    gadar perets Well-Known Member

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    You can't have it both ways. Either hades is a place of burning and torment as in Luke 16 or it is a place where the good go as with Joseph in Genesis 37. In reality, hades is a neutral place where both the righteous and the wicked go temporarily, that is, the grave. It is not until their judgment is finalized that the wicked go to a place of burning and torment in Gehenna. Yet, even that is temporary until they are consumed.
     
  17. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    I should maybe apologize for not mentioning this, gadar perets, but this is actually a duplicate thread. I posted here in Apologetics first, but then realized it would be better in debate. Anyway, I responded to this somewhat in the other thread, in Posts #29 and again in Post #98:
    Soul Sleep?

    I will copy and paste to here (speaking of Ecclesiates 9:5, 10):

    In the Greek, we have this:
    10 ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ποίημα καὶ λογισμὸς καὶ γνῶσις καὶ σοφία ἐν ᾅδῃ, ὅπου σὺ πορεύῃ ἐκεῖ. = "for there is no work, nor planning, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in Hades where you are going." Hades was at once both the Underworld, and at other times more specifically the punishment side of the Underworld, what we today call Hell.

    The Hebrew uses the word שְׁאוֹל, literally Sheol, which was a blanket term they used indiscriminately to refer to both sides of the Underworld (Paradise and Hades combined, and the "gulf" fixed between them, which the rich man could not cross over to get to Abraham and Lazarus. Incidentally the LXX uses the word Hades there as well). Thus, if you regard both the LXX and Masoretic to be authoritative translations of the Old Testament, then the reference has to be to the Underworld.
     
  18. gadar perets

    gadar perets Well-Known Member

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    You already posted this here in post#11.
     
  19. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Bahaha!! I'm getting lost. :)

    That's the problem with posting two threads on the same subject.

    So then why can't I have it both ways? The use of the terms Hades and Sheol suggests what I was saying; that they referred to the Underworld in general, and on occasion the Hell side of Sheol in particular, given the context.
     
  20. gadar perets

    gadar perets Well-Known Member

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    I agree they refer to the "Underworld in general". That means the world of dead people that lay in graves under the ground or in tombs/caves above ground. It does NOT refer to conscious beings. If they are conscious, then they are NOT dead. Sheol does not have various rooms with differing degrees of temperature unless you count a grave in the desert vs. a grave in the arctic.
     
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