For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.
On the mount.of transfiguration Jesus met with and spoke to Moses and Elijah witnessed by Peter, James and John.
Clearly, those two patriarchs were not 'soul sleeping'.
In Samuel we read:
Samuel was dead and buried (1 Samuel 28:3)
1 Samuel 28:
16 Samuel said, “Why do you consult me, now that the Lord has departed from you and become your enemy?
17 The Lord has done what he predicted through me. The Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors—to David.
18 Because you did not obey the Lord or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the Lord has done this to you today.
19 The Lord will deliver both Israel and you into the hands of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me.
I think this settles it too... As they think the dead know not......LOL Samuel not only knew but said what was going to happen
In scripture there are TWO deaths. The first death, we all know about, which is when one is old and dies (Jesus refers to this as being ASLEEP). This first death is a time of sleep until Jesus returns. Then there is the SECOND DEATH, spoken of in Revelations, which is a permanent death of the unbeliever that one can never be awakened from. They are destroyed, die and perish forever. This second death is what we must fear. Everyone dies in the first death, but only unbelievers die in the second death.
Jesus brought Lazarus, Mary and Martha's brother, back from his sleep of death four days after he had died. (John 11:11-14) He said “Our friend Lazarus has fallen ASLEEP; but I am going there to WAKE HIM UP.”
His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” Jesus had been speaking of his DEATH, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is DEAD". When WE, talk about death, we are usually referring to the death that happens when we are old or die from an accident. Whenever Jesus talks about that same kind of death he always says the person is not dead, but is SLEEPING.
Notice in Matthew 9:24, Jesus raises a DEAD girl. He enters the home and says "Go away. The girl is not DEAD, but ASLEEP."
Jesus also awakened Moses and Elijah from their sleep of death on the mount of transfiguration in the same way that he awakened Lazarus and the others he raised from death.
I believe that the soul & the spirit cannot sleep! I believe that those that sleep in Christ, that means our fleshy body. Because when the trumpet blows the dead in Christ shall rise first, which are the fleshy bodies. Then we which are alive & remain shall be caught up together...