I was always taught that the dead sleeps in the grave until THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST!!
The Bible says that God created the same life force, called “soul,” for both animals and man, but it is hard to see that in most English Bibles, because the translators say “soul” when the verse refers to humans, but use other English words such as “creature,” “thing,” “life,” etc., when the verse refers to animals. The soul, the life, in animals and in mankind does not “go” anywhere when the animal or person dies, it just ceases to be. Interestingly, most Christians recognize that about animals, and realize that animals do not go to heaven or “hell” when they die. Their body decays, and their soul is gone. What we need to understand is that the Bible says people and animals are alike in that when they die, their body decays and returns to dust, and their soul dies too. That is one reason why there are verses, some of which we will see in this article, that say that when a person dies, his soul is in “Sheol,” the grave or the state of being dead.
Just as the soul gives us physical life, the gift of holy spirit from God gives us spiritual life. The holy spirit inside a Christian is not like a ghost with thinking capacity on its own. The holy spirit gives spirit life to the “person,” the body animated by the soul. Our holy spirit was not alive with God before we became a Christian, thinking and rejoicing in His presence, and then somehow came into us, like a ghost possessing our body, when we got saved. Rather, the holy spirit we now have was a part of God’s great reservoir of spiritual life, of which He gave us a part when we got born again. The holy spirit is the spiritual life from God that infuses every cell of our body and, as our new spiritual nature, is part of who we are.
If we die, the holy spirit “returns” to God (Eccles. 12:7). Since God is everywhere, that most likely means that He remembers us and will re-energize our bodies with spirit at the Rapture. Another possibility is that God simply reclaims the spiritual life force He put in us. In any case, the holy spirit God gave us did not have a mind or memory before it was given to us, and it does not have one after we die. It is spiritual life, spiritual power, that we have from God. My “spirit” is not rejoicing with God after “I” die. A person is alive only as an integrated whole before he dies, and only as an integrated whole will he live again, when God raises him from the dead.
The Bible has a significant number of verses that let us know that when a person dies he is dead and awaiting the Rapture or resurrection. Many are self-explanatory, while some need some explanation to get the most from them. It is not the purpose of this short article to replace much larger books on the state of the dead, nor can we mention every verse or argument that supports the teaching that the dead are dead, or give an answer to the more difficult verses on the subject. In fact, we have tried to print only the relevant part of each Scripture section, saving space by leaving out parts of verses so it will be helpful if you read these verses in your own Bible for a more complete understanding of them in their contexts. In this article we will give some of the important verses and pieces of evidence that the dead are not alive in any form, but are awaiting being raised from the grave.
The dead are in the grave, not in heaven or “hell.”
The verse below allows us to focus our attention on the fact that the dead are dead, “sleeping” in the ground and turned back to dust. They are not alive in heaven, hell, or Paradise.
Deuteronomy 31:16 (KJV) 
And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers…