The State of the Dead
What Happens at Death?

From God's word we will discover the real truth about what happens at death. All texts are from the King James Version unless stated otherwise.


Where are the dead of all the ages, today?
Are the dead really dead, or are the dead somewheres alive?
Every person should be interested in what happens to them at death, because every person must face the mystery of death when the last breath leaves the body. Since the first death, Satan has worked long and hard to confuse the mind of man in understanding the plan of salvation and its relationship to death. God is not silent, but makes it very clear in His Word as to what happens at death and beyond.

1. How did we get here in the first place? Genesis 2:7 "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."

Note- God made man from dust. He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. He did not put a soul into man, it was the breath of life put into the body that produced the living soul.

2. What happens when a person dies? Ecclesiastes 12:7 "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."

Note- The body turns into dust again and the spirit or breath of life returns to God.

Genesis 3:19 "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."

What is the spirit that returns to God?
3. What is the spirit that returns to God at death? James 2:26 "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."; Job 27:3 "All the while my breath [is] in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;"

Note- breath used here is from the Hebrew word "ruwach" meaning air, breath while spirit used here is the Hebrew word "Neshamah" meaning wind, breath. Both words mean the same thing, "breath." At death, it is the breath of life which returns to God, not some disembodied spirit.

4.What is the soul? Genesis 2:7 "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. "

Note- The soul is a living being made from a combination of two things, body plus breath.

Do Souls Die?
5. Do souls die? Ezekiel 18:20 "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."; Revelation 16:3 "And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead [man]; and every living soul died in the sea."

Note- By God's authoritative word, souls do die. Man is mortal See Job 4:17 "Shall mortal man be more just than God?" Only God is immortal. 1 Timothy 6:15,16 "Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality,"

Note- If the soul were undying, it would make man immortal and the Bible states otherwise.

6. Do good people go to heaven when they die? John 5:28,29 "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."

Note- The Bible says that all are in the grave and shall come forth in one of two resurrections.

What do we know after death?
7. David was special to God, did he go to heaven? Acts 2:29,34 "Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day."; "For David is not ascended into the heavens:"

8. How much does one know or comprehend after death? Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10, "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."; Psalm 115:17 "The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence."

Note- As nice as it sounds, the dearly departed is not singing in the angelic choir. God's word says the dead do not praise the Lord. They are in unconscious sleep in their graves awaiting the resurrection.

What does the Bible and what did Jesus call death?
9. But can't the dead communicate with the living, and aren't they aware of what the living are doing? Job 14:12 "So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep."
Ecclesiastes 9:6 "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.
Psalms 146:4 says,"His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish."

10. What did Jesus call the unconscious state of the dead? John 11:11-14 "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. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead."

Note- Jesus called death sleep. How long will the dead sleep? Job 14:12 "So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep."

Note - When will the heavens be no more? 2 Peter 3:10 "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."

What happens to the righteous dead at the second coming of Christ?
11. What happens to the righteous dead at the second coming of Christ? Revelation 22:12 " And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be."

Note- Man gets his reward at the second coming, not at death.

1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 "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."
1 Corinthians 15:51-54 "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality, So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."

Note- There would be no purpose in a resurrection if people had received a reward at death. Immortality begins when the saints are raised from their graves at Christ's second coming, not before. Jesus always confronted Satan with an "It is written" and when someone presents pleasing fables about a departed one, reject it, it's not from God's word.

What was the devil's first lie to the human race?
12. What was the devil's first lie? Genesis 3:3, 4 "But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:"

Note - This was the lie of Satan which created the myth of the immortality of the soul. We just read that immortality comes at the second coming and is given to the just.

Revelation 12:9 "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."

Today almost the whole world has swallowed this deception. _______________________________________________

Note- He said you would not die, and the lie that dead are not really dead is believed today. Satan uses religious leaders to perpetuate his dangerous doctrine.

Who is behind the seemingly religious miracles taking place?
13. Does Satan and his angels (devils) really work miracles?
Revelation 16:14 "For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty."
Matthew 24:24 "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."

Note- Yes and Satan and his angels will masquerade as "an angel of light" and the "apostles." This is doubly dangerous because it means that the elect can be deceived, since demons can appear as ministers of righteousness performing convincing miracles.

How to avoid Satan's convincing spiritual deceptions
14. Why will God's people not be deceived? Acts 17:11 "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
Isaiah 8:20 "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."

Note- God's people will know from earnest study of scripture, that the dead are dead and not alive. God's people will reject anyone who claims to work miracles in contacting the dead. God's people will reject as dangerous and false, any teaching that claims the dead are alive in any form anywhere.

15. What did God command Moses to do to people who taught the dead were alive? Leviticus 20:27 "A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them."

Note- This shows how repulsive the teaching that the "dead are alive" is to God.

Will death ultimately be conquered?
16. Will the righteous people raised in the resurrection ever die again? Luke 20:36 "Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection."
Revelation 21:4 "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."

Note-In the 11th chapter of John, the sisters of Lazarus, reported to Jesus that Lazarus was sick. Jesus did not go right away and in verse 11, he told His disciples that Lazarus was sleeping. Then in verse 14 he made it plain, Lazarus was dead. When Jesus got there Lazarus had been in the grave 4 days. In verses 23 Jesus told Martha that her brother will rise again. In verse 24 she said she knows he will rise in the resurrection, at the last day. Read Jesus' answer in verse 25 & 26. "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" Verse 39 Jesus commanded the stone to be rolled away from the grave and Martha said he stinks being dead four days. And Jesus called Lazarus from the dead, verse 43, and Lazarus arose from the dead, verse 44. The raising of Lazarus from the dead was a demonstration of what would happen when Jesus returns for the second time. In the case of Lazarus, he was restored to his mortal life. He had no knowledge of anything those four days that he was dead. He died years later and lies in his grave waiting for the resurrection where he will put on immortality.

That is the plain truth from God's word. No one need be confused. When a person dies, the breath of life leaves their body. They cease to exist on a conscious level. They return to the ground. They will rise in either the first or second resurrection.