The State of the Dead

The State of the Dead

1 Corinthians 15:20–29, 51–52 [EHSV4]

20 But now the Anointed has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in the Anointed all will be made alive.

23 But each in his own order: the Anointed, the first fruits, after that those who are the Anointed’s at his coming, 24 then comes the end, when he can deliver the kingdom for the Almighty and Father, when he can abolish all contrary rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign this way until he can put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death. 27 For he puts all things in subjection under his feet, [Psalms 8:6(7)] But when he says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that he is excepted who puts all things in subjection to him. 28 And when all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will remain subject to him who subjected all things to him, wherein the Almighty can be all things—in all things.

29 Otherwise, what will those do who are immersed? Is it for the dead—if the dead are not raised at all? Why then are they immersed for them?

51 Behold, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar; for the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

The dead in Messiah are raised together at the last shofar call, at the coming of Messiah. Until then, the dead are in a state of unconsciousness called, “sleep”.

John 5:25–29 [EHSV4]

25 “Amen, amen, I say to you, a time is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Almighty Son, and those who listen will live. 26 For even as the Father has charge of life in connection to himself, so also to the Son he has given over life, to have charge of in connection to himself, 27 and he gave him power to execute judgement, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not wonder about this, because a time is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice, 29 and will come forth. Those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgement.”

Note: In verse 25, the time now is when the dead will hear the voice of the Almighty Son. “The dead” in this verse are those who are under the sentence of death; i.e., they are still living and not literally dead. If they listen to his voice, they will live.

1 Thessalonians 4:13–17 [EHSV4]

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are falling asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we affirm faithfulnes, because Yeshua died and rose again, even so the Almighty will bring with him those who are fallen asleep in Yeshua. 15 Because this we say to you by the word of Yahweh, that we who are alive, and who remain until the presence of Yahweh, will not overtake those who are fallen asleep. 16 Because Yahweh himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Chief Messenger, and with the shofar of the Almighty, and the dead in the Anointed will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be carried away in the clouds together with them to meet Yahweh by air, and thus we will always be with Yahweh.

Daniel 12:2 YLT

And the multitude of those sleeping in the dust of the ground do awake, some to life age-during, and some to reproaches—to abhorrence age-during.

The Bible is clear: the dead are in a state of unconsciousness called, “sleep.” On the day of the resurrection, they will awake, regaining their consciousness, and they will be judged: some to everlasting life, and the others to everlasting damnation.

There is nothing in Scripture which teaches that one goes to “heaven” when one dies; instead, it says that the dead are in a state of “sleep” until the day of the general resurrection and judgement.



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Author: David K. Trudgett

Updated: 2019-03-24 Sun 19:57 UTC+1100