The dead are the asleep in the grave awaiting one special occasion their resurrection. R.I.P. on tombstones means rest in peace, this fits. Check out old gravestone and you'll find inscriptions speaking of sleep. Death is called "sleep" at least 50 times in the Bible. We are to regard it as a sound, dreamless, painless, unaware sleep. A person may have been in the tomb 1,000 years, but when raised in the resurrection it will seem to him that he only dozed off for a moment. Jesus told us where the dead are -- read John 5:28-29. They all wait in their graves for the resurrection. Death is not life in heaven, hell, limbo, or purgatory. It is not life of any kind. IN death the soul does not live, the spirit does not live, the body does not live. The words "soul" and "spirit" are used over 1,600 timesin the Bible, but not one time are either given any life or personality or wisdom or knowledge when separted from the body. Body plus Breath equals "soul" -- Breath is not referring to one's common breathing, but breath as the "divine spark of life," and when someone dies, the spirit (or breath) returns to God, not the disembodied soul. When a man dies, "his breath goeth forth, he returneth to earth; in that very day his thoughts perish." [ PSA 146:4 ] And Ecclesiastes 9:5-6,10 tells it very clearly: "the living know that they shall die, but the dead know not anything." Zilch. Zero. Nada. Nothing. So, if a man's thoughts perish at the moment he dies, how could he be "alive and well in heaven?" And if it's true that "the dead know not any thing," how is it that the dead can be in heaven in the presence of God? No, death is a sleep, and there are many proof texts in the Bible that support this view.
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