12.) The true church teaches that believers are immediately and eternally in the presence of the Lord upon death, while the lost are immediately and eternally separated from God in conscious torment. As soon as believers are “absent from the body” they are “present with the Lord” (2 Cor 5:8); for them death is to “depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better” (Phil 1:23). The godly are currently conscious as a “great cloud of witnesses” (Heb 12:2; 11:1-40), even before their future bodily resurrection (1 Th 4:13-18), because from the moment they trusted in Christ they possess eternal life (Jn 6:47), and “life eternal” is to “know . . . the only true God, and Jesus Christ” (Jn 17:3). Just as spiritual life is being in fellowship with God, not simply existing, spiritual death is not non-existence, but being separated from and out of fellowship with God (Eph 2:1-10). Physical death is also not non-existence, but the separation of the soul and spirit from the body (Gen 35:18; Ac 7:59), and the second death is not non-existence but being eternally separated from God in the lake of fire. The unsaved are not annihilated, but “dwell with the devouring fire . . . with everlasting burnings” (Is 33:14), “where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mr 9:44, 46, 48), in “outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mt 8:12). They “shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and . . . shall be tormented with fire and brimstone . . . and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night” (Rev 14:9-11). The human political and spiritual leaders (the “beast” and the “false prophet”) of the one-world religion and one-world government will be “cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone” when Christ returns, will stay there while Christ rules the earth for “a thousand years,” and “when the thousand years are expired . . . the beast and the false prophet are” not annihilated, but are still in conscious misery in “the lake of fire and brimstone, where . . . [they] shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” This same “lake of fire” is where the unsaved “dead” are cast: “whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire . . . which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev 19:20-21:8). The Bible is crystal-clear about the sobering reality that people who are in the lake of fire for a thousand years are still experiencing conscious punishment at the end of that period, and that they will be continually tormented “for ever and ever,” the just punishment for their infinite crimes against an infinitely holy God.
Seventh-Day Adventism denies that believers are immediately with the Lord upon their death and denies that the lost experience eternal conscious torment. Although the Bible uses the “sleep” metaphor only for the saved dead, because they only have entered into everlasting rest with Christ, while the unsaved dead are not in rest but in torment, Adventism teaches “that [every] soul sleeps in the grave until the resurrection . . . the Christian, when he dies, does not go immediately to heaven, nor the sinner to hell . . . the sleep of the dead . . . [and] no . . . eternally burning hell . . . [is] the truth.” Mrs. White blasphemed God by stating that if He, in His holy justice, makes the lost suffer “eternal torment,” then He is “a revengeful tyrant.” Rather than blaspheming God because of dislike for the plain teaching of Scripture, SDAs ought to consider the question: “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God?” (Rom 9:20).
 A variety of passages of Scripture are twisted by those who deny immediate, conscious, and eternal bliss for the saved and immediate, conscious, and eternal torment for the lost. For more on this subject, and an examination of the passages that allegedly support “soul-sleep” or annihilationism, visit: http://faithsaves.net/do-the-lost-suffer-forever-in-hell/.
 Mt 27:52; Jn 11:11; Ac 7:60; 13:36; 1 Cor 15:6, 20; 1 Th 4:13-15, etc.
 Pgs. 39-41, Christian Experience and Teachings of Ellen G. White. See also An Examination of the Scripture Testimony, “The State of the Dead,” pgs. 45ff.
 Chapter 33, Great Controversy, Ellen White.