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The Current Teaching Of The Watchtower Society:

When a person dies, their body and soul return to the dust. The life force, spirit-breath, does not return to God, but God keeps the person in His memory and restores him if He should desire to do so.

What the Bible Says about DEATH:

1. Man's True Nature Is Described In The Bible:
He consists of a physical body, a soul, and a spirit 1Th 5:23; Hbr 4:12
2. What Happens To Man At Death Is Also Described:
The BODY returns to the dust from which it came Gen 3:19
The SOUL goes to heaven or hell Rev 6:9-11
The SPIRIT leaves body Jam 2:26; Ecc 12:7
The BODY and SOUL are separate and distinct Mat 10:28
The BODY and SPIRIT are separate and distinct Jam 2:26
3. The Nature & Characteristics Of Man's Spirit:
It is man's immortal nature 1Cr 2:11
It is the believer's immortal nature 1Cr 5:3, 5
It is an inward, genuine reality Rom 2:29
Man does experience a disembodied state Hbr 12:23; 1Pe 3:19
It is the seat of his consciousness Jdg 15:19
It is the center of his emotions 1Ki 21:5
It is subject to divine influence Deu 2:30; Isa 19:14
It leaves the body at death Ecc 12:7; Jam 2:26
The spirit of a person Luk 8:49-55
Spirit understands Job 32:8
Spirit in man, not breath Zec 12:1
Spirit belongs to God 1Cr 6:20
NOTE: It is a mistake to assume - as the Society often does - that the word SPIRIT and the word BREATH mean the same thing. To demonstrate this fact, note what happens when an attempt is made to substitute the word BREATH for SPIRIT in the following verses: Acts 23:8, 9; I Corinthians 5:5; II Corinthians 7:1; Galatians 6:18.
4. The Nature & Characteristics Of Man's Soul:
The soul of man was created by God and is significantly different from the soul of the animals. Not only is it unique in nature, it is also unique in the value the Lord places on it.
Lives in Hebrew Gen 2:7
Belong to God Eze 18:3, 4
Possess immortality Mat 10:28
Most vital asset Mat 16:26
5. The Soul Leaves The Body At The Time Of Death & Continues To Exist In A Very Real, Conscious Way:
Her soul departed Gen 35:18
His soul came into him again 1Ki 17:20-22
Absent from body, present with the Lord 2Cr 5:6-9
To die is gain Phl 1:21
The sinning soul dies, but the repentant one will live (vs.21); spiritual death is demonstrated Eze 18:4
Wages of sin is death - spiritual death Rom 6:23
The believer that sins will survive death Hbr 10:39; Mic 6:7; Mat 10:28
Slain souls cry out to God Rev 6:9, 10
6. Man's Soul Has Certain Responsibilities:
The soul is to seek and serve the Lord Deu 4:9; 10:12
It stores God's Word Deu 11:18
It is to keep God's Law, and personally obey Him Deu 26:16; 30:2, 6, 10
7. Man's Soul Has Enemies:
Ignorance, Hell Pro 8:36; 23:13
Fleshly lust, evil environment 1Pe 2:11; 2Pe 2:8
8. Souls Of Righteous Men Receive Benefits:
Kept by God Psa 121:7
Not allowed to famish Pro 10:3
Restored Psa 23:1, 3
Satisfied Pro 13:25
With God Forever Rev 20:4
9. Souls Of Wicked Men Receive Penalties:
They have the distressing desire to continue in evil Pro 21:10
They will be cut short and shall die Luk 12:19, 20; Eze 18:20
They will be punished Rom 2:9
10. The Nature Of Man's Body As Described In The Bible:
Body and soul separate Mat 10:28
Flesh upon, soul within Job 14:22
11. The Nature Of Man's Body As Created By God:
Made by God, in His image Gen 2:7; 9:6
Subject to death Rom 5:12
Instrument of evil Rom 1:24-32
12. The Nature Of Man's Body As A Result Of Salvation:
Temple of Holy Spirit 1Cr 6:19
Christ the center of Rom 6:8-11
Dead to sin and law Rom 8:10; 7:4
13. The Nature Of Man's Body As Promised In The Resurrection:
Redeemed, raised Rom 8:23
Changed, glorified Rom 8:29
14. Man's Death As Described In The Bible:
Returns to dust Gen 3:19
The soul actually departs from the body Phl 1:23; 2Ti 4:6
Man dies and then he faces judgment Hbr 9:27
As Paul explains it, to be absent from the physical body is to be present with Lord 2Cr 5:6-8
It means separation of soul from God Eph 2:1
It means everlasting punishment Mat 25:46
It means a resurrection to damnation Jhn 5:29
ETERNAL DEATH (Banishment from God):
Second death 2Th 1:9; Rev 20:15; 21:8


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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