“Jehovah’s Witness encounter”

by Paul Franco on December 23, 2009

Today 12/22/09 (My son Pauly’s B-Day) I was approached by a young proclaimed (JW) and found him to be very bold in his technique. He demanded that I roll down my window as he proceeded to discuss his Watchtower Tract Society magazines. I stopped him immediately by stating that I was a born again Christian and that we differ in our interpretations of the Holy Scriptures. I asked him why he believed in the doctrine of “Soul Sleep”, and if he would be kind enough to prove it by Scripture. We both turned to our Bibles (mine being the NKJV and his of course the NWT) to Ecclesiates 9:5.

Ecc 9:5 For the living know that they will die; But the dead know nothing, And they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten.
This verse is what he used as his argument for soul sleep. At first read, I admitted that it appeared to be a valid argument and that I would definitely pick it apart later that evening by way of the original Hebrew text. I then asked him to turn to Luke 16:19-31, and mentioned 2 Cor 5:8, Phil 1:21-26 and asked him to explain the texts and how they apply to the soul sleep theory. He could not, and went on the defensive by saying “I don’t want to argue”. I was as gentle as a dove and immediately came to the conclusion that this false doctrine had taken him captive by the deceit of the traditions of men, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. I remembered the Charles Taze Russell “Miracle Wheat” scandal case recorded in 1913. You can research it from the originals (now microfilmed in New York) of The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, dated January 1, 1913 through January 19th. Plenty of filthy lucre was made by Russell on that scam. Unfortunately for this young man, he had to leave in a huge hurry. Before departing, my goal was to challenge the young lad to investigate thoroughly the doctrine of “Hell” and eternal punishment taught by the True Bible. I pray that god would open his mind and heart to His truth. Let us now dissect this ancient text!

For the living—speaking of those in the flesh here on earth.
Know that they shall die—that is to comprehend and understand that their days are numbered and that they will die in the flesh.

But the dead (physically dead) know nothing—-That is so far as the bodily senses and affairs of this world are concerned. Being cut off from earthly life, they know nothing of what passes under the sun, their time of probation on earth is ended. Furthermore, it is to say that the dead do not know who is the current President or any other earthly matter. It can be read “But the dead do not know anything that is taking place on the earth”.

And they have no more reward—-The Hebrew word for reward is (SAKAR) which can be interpreted “Benefit”, and is better to be understood as “no longer do they (the dead) benefit from anything worldly”. As Solomon himself explains in V6.

For the memory of them is forgotten—-Which is interpreted “For the dead are forgotten and will be remembered no more”. See also Ecc 2:16, 8:10; Psa 109:15; Isa 16:14. It cannot mean the loss of memory for the dead as we see that in fact they do have memory according to Luke 16 and Math 17 1:4 (the tranfiguration).

This man made argument cannot stand in the light of proper Scriptural interpretation as we can see through proper exegesis this verse says nothing remotely close to soul sleep.

Previous post:

Next post: