The adventists teach that the dead are sleeping, as the souls awaiting the resurrection on the last day of judgment. That is not what Jesus told us.

Jesus did not put Lazarus to sleep, but rather called him out of Sheol. The power of ressurection explained.
Jesus did not put Lazarus to sleep, but rather called him out of Sheol. The power of ressurection explained.

When Daniel wrote about people “sleeping in the dust of the Earth”, he had the Jewish perspective in mind.

Daniel 12:2
Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

According to Jewish oral traditions, a soul is separated from the body on the third day. Some taught between three and seven days. The separation of body and soul takes place in Sheol, the tomb of silence.

The resurrection of Jesus also took place after he has spend three nights in Sheol.

Lazarus was in the tomb of silence, as his family and friends expected Jesus to come and participate in their sorrows.  They had already seen or head about Jesus rising people from death, and expected Jesus to do something similar. They were upset since Jesus did not appear within three days of Lazarus death. Jesus seems to purposely waiting till the forth day, so all would become aware of the power of the great “I AM”.

Jesus commanded in a laud voice: “Lazarus. Come out”.  

The onlookers must have been astonished and speechless. Than the Messiah explained: ” I AM the resurrection and life”. The power and authority of Jesus to rise anyone at anytime, was displayed in all its beauty.  Remember that this was before His own resurrection.

John 11: 14- 25

So then he told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.’ Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’

On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem,  and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.  When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

Lord,’ Martha said to Jesus, ‘if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.’
Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’
Martha answered, ‘I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’
Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’

The Messiah did not save people, to put them to sleep for the next 2.000 years. He rose on the third day. We will all be collected by Him from Sheol in a similar day.

John 5:24
‘Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.

John 6:40
For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.’

In ancient oral Judaism the third day is the “last day”, as Jewish Martha correctly explained the Messiah. It could also be the day the Messiah arrives, the end of the age. Some Christians listen to claimed Christian preacher’s who have paganized the gospel, completely ignoring the Jewish context.  That is a mistake that will lead the hearer into all kinds of errors. One of them is the adventist doctrine of “soul sleep”.

When and from where will the dead rise?

Those who will rise “from the dust of the Earth” will rise from  Sheol, the tomb of silence. Just like Lazarus.  Both the righteous and the wicked will have to spend some few days there, till they face their King of judgment.  If the righteous man has not been raptured like Elijah.

What is the last day of judgment?

When Jesus returns, all who have accepted Him as Lord and God will not face judgment. Their name is already written in the book of life.  The last day of judgment is for those who have rejected Him. They might walk on the face on the Earth, or they might like Lazarus be called out form Sheol.

Be wise. Surender your life to the Messiah. Eternal life is at hand for you today.

Written by Ivar