What Happens Between Death and Resurrection?

Bible teach Ch 7

Click image to access this “Bible Teach” chapter on the Watchtower’s website

Chapter 7, “Real Hope for Your Loved Ones Who Have Died,” and two related appendices explain what the Watchtower believes will happen to people after they die.

Christians don’t all agree on the sequence of end times events, so it’s only fair that I give you my views before critiquing the Watchtower’s. If your opinions are different than mine, you can make the necessary adjustments in your conversations with Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Unlike the Watchtower, I believe the Bible teaches that people have separate souls and spirits that surviving physical death. At death, the souls and spirits of the saved go to heaven to be with Christ (Philippians 1:23). The souls and spirits of the unsaved go to Hades to await the final judgment (Luke 16:19-31).

Resurrection is a reuniting of body, soul, and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Resurrection bodies won’t be identical to the bodies that died, but there will be continuity, as there is between a seed and the plant it produces (1 Corinthians 15:35-43). Continue reading

Dealing with Watchtower Afterlife Proof Texts

Bible teach Ch 6

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For the living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all, neither do they anymore have wages, because the remembrance of them has been forgotten.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5, Watchtower’s New World Translation, 1984 edition)

This verse is probably the Witnesses’ favorite proof text referring to the afterlife. They frequently quote only a few words from it—“the dead… are conscious of nothing at all” or “the dead know nothing at all” (from the 2013 edition).

For them, this definitively excludes the possibility of human beings having a soul or conscious spirit that survives the death of the body.

Continue reading

What Are the Soul and Spirit?

Bible teach Ch 6

Click image to access this “Bible Teach” chapter on the Watchtower’s website

The “Soul” and “Spirit” Appendix

This portion of “Bible Teach” shows the importance of defining terms biblically.

Chapter 6, paragraph 5 (p. 58) refers you to an appendix entitled, “’Soul’ and ‘Spirit’—What Do These Terms Really Mean?”

That appendix states, “Many believe that these words mean something invisible and immortal that exists inside us. They think that at death this invisible part of a human leaves the body and lives on. Since this belief is so widespread, many are surprised to learn that it is not at all what the Bible teaches.” (p. 208, the appendices don’t have numbered paragraphs) Continue reading

Is There Conscious Existence After Death?

Bible teach Ch 6

Click image to access this “Bible Teach” chapter on the Watchtower’s website

Chapter 6, “Where Are the Dead?”, begins (heading, p. 57) with several questions, one of which is, “Would it be comforting to know the truth about death?”

My answer would be, “Maybe, or it could be terrifying!” Continue reading

Overcoming the Power of Sin

Bible teach Ch 5

Click image to access this “Bible Teach” chapter on the Watchtower’s website

The Watchtower greatly underestimates the power of sin that dwells within us and greatly overestimates the power of natural man to overcome it. Continue reading

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