Indisputable Bible Truth
What the Bible says about...
the dead

The Facts

The Data

The testimony of Jesus Christ regarding the state of the dead.
The testimony of Jesus is that those who have died are "sleeping."

Then he said, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up." The disciples said, "Lord, if he is sleeping, that means he is getting better!" They thought Jesus meant Lazarus was having a good night's rest, but Jesus meant Lazarus had died. Then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead." (John 11:11-14, NLT).

Lazarus was, indeed, dead. In verses 17 and 39, we're told that Lazarus had been in the grave four days already when Jesus and His followers arrived at his gravesite. In verse 21, Martha says that Lazarus has died, and in verse 24, Martha speaks her confidence in the resurrection of the dead "at the last day." She knows Lazarus will live again someday in the future, "at the last day." That means he is no longer alive at that moment in time.

"Lazarus has fallen asleep" and "Lazarus is dead" are synonymous to Jesus. That's because to Jesus, every person who has died can be said to be sleeping since they will awaken at the resurrection.

"And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day" (John 6:39).

Jesus will raise up His dead followers on that last day (the return of Jesus Christ to planet earth).

"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:28-29).

"These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep" (John 11:11).

Jesus says, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies."

Is it not obvious what Jesus thinks about death? He says that even though you die ("fall asleep"), you will live again (be resurrected)! To Jesus, and according to the whole of scripture, the dead are "sleeping" until the resurrection.
Daniel says the dead sleep until the Second Coming of Jesus.
One of the most plain statements about the dead being asleep until the resurrection is found in Daniel:

"Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt" (Daniel 12:2).

Those are the words of the angel Gabriel, as he describes scenes of the end of time. The righteous dead will be "awakened" from their sleep- resurrected- given life, again. This is reaffirmed many places in scripture, including 1 Thessalonians 4:16, which says "the dead in Christ shall rise first."
Paul confirms that the dead are asleep, awaiting the resurrection.
"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed" (1 Cor. 15:51).

Paul says that not all Christians will "sleep." He means, not all Christians will "die." There will be some Christians alive when Jesus Christ returns to the earth. There will be many Christians who are dead, and they will be resurrected first, given new bodies, after which the living saints will be given their new, perfect bodies.

Look at what he says about the resurrection of Christ: "If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised" (1 Cor. 15:13). Some were arguing that there is no resurrection, but Paul says if that's the case, then Christ is still dead!

"For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished" (1 Cor. 15:16-18).

Paul says that if the "dead do not rise" (if there is no resurrection), then those who have "fallen asleep in Christ" (that is, they have died claiming the salvation offered by Jesus), then they have "perished." That is, they are dead forever.

"For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first" (1 Thess. 4:15-16).

Revelation makes it plain that the dead are not alive.
"The rest of the dead did not come to life..." (Rev. 20:5). Here, the Bible plainly teaches that the dead are "not alive." They are not alive anywhere. They are not living souls. They are not disembodied spirits living somewhere else. They are simply not alive. They are dead. God's Word cannot be more plain. God cannot be any simpler. Satan says the dead are alive. Are you going to believe God or Satan?
No need for resurrection if dearly departed are already in heaven (or hell, or purgatory).
What point is there for a resurrection- a restoration of life- if the person isn't truly dead?
Job testifies that those who have died no longer exist.
Job 7:21 states that the dead do not exist anymore. Job further says:

"So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not" (Job 14:12,21).

If you are dead, you don't know what's happening on earth (or anywhere else, for that matter).

"For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God" (Job 19:25-26).

Job knew that he would die and his body would rot. But he had faith that God would raise him up at the resurrection and that he would see God again with new eyes and a new body.
Luke explains that Stephen "fell asleep" when he was stoned.
"Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin." And when he had said this, he fell asleep" (Acts 7:60).

Stephen fell asleep and will be awakened- resurrected, brought back to life- when Jesus returns to planet earth.
Martha, faithful servant of Jesus, knew the facts about the dead.
Martha said that she was comforted by the fact that Lazarus would live again "at the last day." She looked forward in hope to Christ's return to earth and the resurrection of the righteous.
John 3:16's contrast of the fate of the righteous and the wicked shows that the dead are not alive.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

Please notice the clear contrast here between the fate of the righteous and the fate of the wicked. The righteous obtain "eternal life." The wicked do not. The wicked "perish." These two results are absolute opposites of each other. Only the righteous have eternal life. If the wicked were to be tortured in hell forever, they would have eternal life. But the Bible is clear: only the righteous have eternal life. This is also shown in Romans:

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23).

The contrast is clear and indisputable. The righteous live forever, the wicked are dead forever.
King David is not alive today.
"Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. For David did not ascend into the heavens" (Acts 2:29,34).

A human is composed of two parts: dust of the earth and breath of life.
Mankind is composed of two parts: "dust" and "breath of life."
"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Gen. 2:7).

God created man from the dust (gave him his flesh), then injected a life power (the "breath of life") into that body. Notice that Adam was NOT ALIVE prior to his creation in Eden.

"As long as my breath is in me, and the breath of God in my nostrils" (Job 27:3).

The reverse of this process of creation of life is found in Psalms:

"...thou taketh away their breath, they die, and return to their dust" (Psalm 104:29).

When God withdraws the breath of life from a man, only the "dust" from which he was originally formed remains.

By the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground, because from it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return" (Gen 3:19).

"His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish" (Psalm 146:4).

A good analogy is a lightbulb. The lightbulb is the body. Electricity is the breath of life. Take away the electricity and where does the light go? Nowhere. It simply ceases to exist. In similar manner, take away the "breath of life" and the soul ceases to exist. Genesis says God breathed into Adam and he became a living soul. Notice it doesn't say that Adam "obtained" a soul, or that the soul is some separate component of a human being. A "soul" in the Bible is simply a living being. Revelation calls the creatures of the sea "souls."
The "breath" that returns to God is not alive.
Some ask, "What is the breath that returns to God," referencing Eccl. 12:7:

"then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it."

Well, what was the breath that God gave to Adam?

" And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Gen. 2:7)

Here, the "breath" comes from God. Was it alive before it entered Adam? No. Was Adam alive before God created him in the Garden of Eden? No. The breath of life is simply the power of life given from God. It is not conscious. It has no thoughts, no activity, no life.
The dead have no use of the powers of mind or body.
"For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." (Eccl. 9:5,6,10).

"For in death there is no remembrance of You; In the grave who will give You thanks?" (Psalm 6:5)

"The dead do not praise the LORD, nor any who go down into silence" (Psalm 115:17).

"His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish" (Psalm 146:4).

The parable of Lazarus is just that: a parable.
You can't take this parable literally, or you'd have to conclude that heaven is in Abraham's bosom, that the righteous in heaven will be able to communicate with the tortured in hell, that a drop of water would bring some relief to someone burning in fire... etc.
God, only, is immortal.
God cannot be killed or destroyed. 1 Timothy 6:16. Jesus says that a man can be killed and/or destroyed (Matt. 10:28).
This is an important issue for the end-times.
The only sure place for your allegience and faith is the Word of God. If you believe that the dead are still alive, like Satan wants you to believe, then you might fall for a demonic deception. You might believe that your dead grandmother is visiting you and telling you that abortion is okay, or that your pastor is evil, or whatever else Satan would puppet through his demonic servant to turn you from your loving Father and His kingdom.
Some people still dispute the plain teaching of the Bible regarding the state of the dead.
"My priest/minister/pastor says the dead are really alive in heaven/purgatory/hell."

Really? Who cares what he says when it plainly and clearly conflicts with the Word of God? Your priest/minister/pastor is simply parroting what Satan has said from the beginning, that "ye shall not surely die" (Gen. 3:4). This was a direct contradiction of what God had told Eve. And she did die, proving Satan the liar and God the truthful one.

The important thing is what your Bible says, isn't it? Are you a follower of Christ or do you follow something or someone else?

Given the evidence above, isn't it time you found a church that preaches the Word of God and not the word of Satan?

"Most Christians believe those who have died are alive somewhere else."

Most people believed Noah was crazy. They all died in the flood. Running with the crowd can get you drowned. (This appeal to numbers is a logical fallacy, anyway. The number of people who believe something doesn't make it true.)

"My dead relative visited me..."

I know that it can be very comforting to believe that your dead loved one is able to see you or visit you or somehow communicate with you. But that's impossible. The dead really are dead, just as God says in His Word. The Bible says that the dead have no thoughts. The Bible says they cannot make contact with the living. The Bible says the dead know not what is happening on the earth (or anywhere else).

In the end, Christians will have to believe the Word and not their eyes. The Bible says Satan can appear as an angel of light. He will deceive many people out of their eternity in paradise.

Yes, all those "dead-relative appearances" have been the deceptions of Satan and his minions (or the delusions of a mourning mind). They pretend to be dead relatives in order to convince humans that the dead are really alive, despite what God plainly says in His Word. If Satan can convince you that the dead are living and able to communicate with you, he can then begin to use that belief to deceive you out of your eternal inheritance, just like he deceived Adam and Eve out of their garden paradise.

Some of you won't receive the truth of the Word, despite the indisputable nature of the evidence just presented to you. If you feel you have a point of dispute, or if you think I missed something that could strengthen the truth presented here, please send it to me and I will review it thoroughly and respond.