The Dead Are Not Alive!
AUTHOR: Branch, Rick
PUBLISHED ON: April 24, 2003

                    The Dead Are Not Alive!
                          Rick Branch
                      Watchman Fellowship
                          Arlington, TX

In the 1929 book “Life”, the statement “The dead are not alive in
any sense; they are dead, and know not anything,” is set forth as
the view of the people lost in the movement known as Jehovah’s
Witnesses.  Since its inception, their view of death and of those
who have died has been, “… that the dead are actually dead,
unconscious, in the tomb, and know not anything until God’s due
time to awaken them,” (Creation, p.271).

That is, all who have died throughout history are still in their
graves awaiting the resurrection.  No one who has died over the
centuries of time is conscious.  This view leads the Witnesses to
the inevitable conclusion that the soul of man is not immortal.

“Now these scriptures show that man is a soul; that he is subject
to death; that he is, therefore, not immortal; and these things
being true, it must follow that a man when he dies could not
immediately go to heaven… or eternal torment,” (Ibid, p.268).

The Witnesses continue in the heretical theology with the
statement, “The result of such a thorough search will be that you
cannot fined a single text in which either of those original
words for ‘soul’ is connected or associated with such words as
‘immortal, everlasting, eternal, or deathless.’  There is not one
Bible text that states the human soul is immortal.” (Let God Be
True, p.69; 1953 ed.).

While it is true, the Bible no where states, “the soul is
immortal,” with such a forceful, clearly defined statement, it is
erroneous to assert the heretical teachings which the Watchtower
has set forth.  Paul’s desire was “…to be absent from the body,
and to be present with the Lord,” (2 Corinthians 5:8).  If Paul
did not expect to be with the Lord he would have not been so
eager to “be absent from the body.”

Further, Paul expressed, “For I am in a strait betwixt two,
having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far
better,” (Phil. 1:23).  It would be of no advantage to “depart”
if one simply expected to become unconscious!

In fact, Ralph Martin states, “this future ‘being with Christ’ is
far better, lit. ‘much rather better,’ a triple comparative
meaning ‘by far the best.”

“Any idea of an unconscious state following death or of a
purgatorial disciple in the next world is denied by the sheer
simplicity of Paul’s expectation,” (Tyndale New Testament
Commentaries, Philippians, p.79).

In speaking of those who have died, John the Revelator proclaims,
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the
souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the
testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice,
saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and
avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth” (Rev. 6:9-10).

It is obvious that those who were crying to the Lord, had once
lived on earth and are now conscious and at the same time in the
presence of the Lord.

Again the commentaries denounce the Jehovah’s Witnesses false
theology. “Attention has previously been directed to the
important promise made to the martyr-designate that he will go
directly to heaven when he is slain…” (The Interpreter’s Bible,
Vol. 12, p.414).

Regardless of the fact that the Bible does not use the words,
“The soul is immortal,” or that one is “Unconscious immediately
after death,” the Bible plainly teaches this to be true.

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