When someone dies are they aware of anything or asleep?.Ecclesiastes9 says the dead know nothing?
“For I am convinced that neither life, nor death…] can separate us from the love of God.” We do not believe that people who die in Christ are ‘dead’. They are in Heaven with him. Ecclesiastes is a book written by a man who is searching through the things of life. It’s philosophy. It’s a recording of thought of the time. Jesus is the revelation of the fullness of truth. He shows us that there is life after death, which is not what all believed. (The Sadducees didn’t believe in life after death… that is why they are sad you see?)
I don’t really know what to make of Ecclesiastes, except that its conclusions seem to be mostly based on human wisdom and the lack of divine revelation concerning the afterlife prior to that time.
The Bible only talks about the afterlife in a few places. The dead prophet Samuel appeared and told Saul about Saul’s present situation and prophesied Saul’s approaching doom. (1 Samuel 28:13-18) Concerning Samuel, Sirach said:
Even after he had fallen asleep * he prophesied
and revealed to the king his death,
and lifted up his voice out of the earth in prophecy,
to blot out the wickedness of the people. (Sirach 46:20)
A dead man was revived when his corpse came in contact with the bones of the dead prophet Elisha. (2 Kings 13:21) Concerning Elisha, Sirach said:
Nothing was too hard for him,
and when he was dead his body prophesied.
As in his life he did wonders,
so in death his deeds were marvelous. (Sirach 48:13-14)
Judas Maccabeus related a credible dream in which he saw dead high priest Onias praying for all the Jews and dead prophet Jeremiah praying for the Jewish people and for their Holy City. Jeremiah also prophesied that Judas would strike down his adversaries. (2 Maccabees 15:12-14)
Jesus Christ told the story about a rich man and poor Lazarus who both died. After he died Lazarus’s soul was carried to Abraham’s bosom, a place of comfort; after the rich man died his soul went to a place of fiery torment. Even in his torment, the rich man spoke to dead Abraham and expressed his concern for his living brothers. (Luke 16:19-31)
The Book of Revelation also speaks about the activities of the souls of the dead prior to the end of the world in many places.
From the above passages, it seems that the dead are conscious and experiencing comfort or fiery torment as the case may be. It also seems that they remember their former lives and are concerned for the living, especially their former loved ones, and aid the living by their prayers and, as God permits, even work miracles for the living. However, if the author of Ecclesiastes had no personal experience communicating with the dead and God had not yet chosen to reveal much about the afterlife, the author of Ecclesiastes could only conclude based on what he knew at the time that the dead do not know anything.*
Read 1 Peter 3:18-20 and 1 Peter 4:6. When He died, Jesus descended to the abode of the dead, and preached the Gospel to them. Why would He do that if they were asleep? In His parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31), our Lord clearly describes Abraham, the rich man and Lazarus as being awake, coherent and aware of both consolation and suffering.
Soul sleep is a Mormon and SDA fallacy, based apparently on using a dictionary to determine the meaning of “sleep” - which was an ancient Jewish euphemism for death.
There is physical death and spiritual death, and we need to always infer which one is being referred to.