Comparing Tenet 18 of Watchtower to the Holy Bible…What happens to people when they die?


Tenet 18 – Human beings cease to exist when they die physically, and so in the future will be re-created by Jehovah God who in the meantime remembers them perfectly. To be “re-created” after ceasing to exist is what is meant by resurrection.

Tenet 18 is conjecture. Rather than accept this as doctrine, we do well to look at what the Bible has to say about life after death and the resurrection.


Jesus said:

I am the resurrection and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? John 11:25-26

Jesus’s words to the thief on the cross: 

And Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Luke  23:24

Jesus referred to death as sleep as did Daniel and many writers through-out the Bible.

John 11:11 These things said he: and after that he said to them, Our friend Lazarus sleeps; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. 12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. 14 Then said Jesus to them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

Paul’s words:

So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 2 Corinthians 5:6-9

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.

In Revelations 20, we learn more about the resurrections. John said:

4Then I saw the thrones, and those seated on them had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image, and had not received its mark on their foreheads or hands. And they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

5The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years were complete. This is the first resurrection. 6Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection! The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

11Then I saw a great white throne and the One who sat on it. The earth and the heavens fled from His presence, and no place was found for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne.

And there were open books, and one of them was the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their deeds, as recorded in the books. 13The sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead, and each one was judged according to his deeds.

14Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death—the lake of fire. 15And if anyone was found whose name was not written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.


Tenet 18 is not supported by scripture. Death is referred to as sleep, not as ceasing to exist. The term re-created is not biblical. Also, scripture teaches that if we live and believe in Christ we will never die. While our earthly bodies will return to dust, we do not cease to exist and there will be a resurrection day.


About jlue

I am a grandmother of seven and I like to garden, read, study the Bible, and spend time with family. I am not very politically active, but very interested in who is elected to lead our country.
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