I have seen two sides of this verse. My step-mother says it means that when we pass our bodies die and our soul sleeps. Others teach that when we pass the moment we breathe our last breath we are in Heaven.
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Our physical bodies will not be resurrected until Jesus returns at the close of the age. I believe, however, that the instant we die, we will be freed from the constraints of time (just as God Himself is outside of time), and we will immediately be in our glorified, resurrected bodies in Jesus' presence at His return, along with all the rest of the redeemed from eternity past to eternity future. To those we leave behind, our physical bodies will appear to be lifeless, and earthly events will continue, but that is because those on earth are still "trapped in time". I invite anyone interested in this question to access the free e-book Journey Out of Time by Dr. Arthur C. Custance, which examines the interval between death and the return of Christ from a Biblical standpoint, and also addresses Bible verses that may seem at first reading to present difficulties with the concept that the book presents. The book is fully available on-line at http://www.custance.org/Library/Journey.
Daniel is describing the final resurrection of our bodies (Rev 20:4-6), wherever they may be. It's only our bodies that "sleep," i.e., return to the earth. Our souls are in heaven as soon as we die--Philip 1:21 (Paul stating that to "die is gain" since we will immediately be with the Lord) Philip 3:20-21 - our BODIES will be transformed in the resurrection--our souls are already there.
We find here the teaching on the resurrection. Many - Why many and not "all"? Simply stated, not all mankind will sleep in the dust (die). Specifically, the generation that experiences the Rapture will never experience death. Sleep in the dust - Those who have died, whether believers or unbelievers. This is not a reference to the false teaching of "soul sleep" but only signifies physical death. Sleep is frequently used as a metaphor for death (see Jn 11:11, 12, 13,14; Acts 7:60; 1Co 15:51; 1Th 4:14; 1Th 4:15, 16). S.R. Miller comments that "Although the spirit of the believer does not sleep, the body is placed in a grave (“the dust of the earth”; cf. Ge 3:19) and becomes inactive (sleeps) until the Lord raises it, glorifies it, and reunites it with the spirit (cf. 1Co 15:51, 52, 53, 54, 55). Deceased unbelievers also will be resurrected and spend eternity in bodily form according to this verse (cf. Mt 10:28).
My opinion is that we are citizens of heaven but that is a mindset a renewing of the mind - being Christlike. My belief is that our bodies are asleep there is no more life in us when we die. We just wait for judgment day and the believers will wake up to everlasting life for those who trusted and believed by faith. And the believers will dwell in the new heaven and new earth that will be created for us as told in Revelation.
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