There has been a disturbing increase in the fascination with “the un-dead”. TV shows, movies, video games, comics and books are filled with stories of vampires, ghosts and zombies. Vampires are being depicted as sexy and cool! I doubt that zombies with various rotting body parts are considered “sexy” but they sure are considered to be “cool”. I have family members who have taken great delight in being made up as zombies and who go to zombie parties.
Personally, I don’t get the fascination with death. As a former nurse, I have been exposed to death enough to know that it isn’t sexy or cool! Diseased and rotting body parts are not sexy or cool!
Besides being bewildered at the fascination with the bizarre and grotesque, I am greatly concerned about the spiritual ramifications of this fascination.
I believe that the erroneous teaching about the state of the dead has left the door wide open for spiritual deception in this area.
Jesus said that he came to testify to the truth and that knowing the truth will set us free.
Joh 18:37 Pilate then said to Him, Are you a king then? Jesus answered, You say it that I am a king. To this end I was born, and for this cause I came into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.
Joh 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
The standard that we are to use for the truth is the Word of God – the Bible.
First, let’s look at the definitions for “death” and “dead”.
What is death? Webster defines it as this:
1. That state of a being, animal or vegetable, but more particularly of an animal, in which there is a total and permanent cessation of all the vital functions, when the organs have not only ceased to act, but have lost the susceptibility of renewed action.
Webster also defines being dead as:
1. Deprived or destitute of life; that state of a being, animal or vegetable, in which the organs of motion and life have ceased to perform their functions, and have become incapable of performing them, or of being restored to a state of activity.
Just looking at Webster’s dictionary alone shows us that, in the physical realm (outside of divine intervention) there is no possible way for a dead person, especially one in a state of decay, to be “restored to a state of activity”.
Now let us look at what God’s word, the standard of truth, has to say about death and the state of the dead.
Psa 6:5 For in death there is no memory of You; in the grave who shall give You thanks?
Psa 146:4 His breath goes forth; he returns to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
Ecc 9:5 For the living know that they shall die; but the dead do not know anything, nor do they have any more a reward; for their memory is forgotten.
Ecc 9:6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; nor do they any longer have a part forever in all that is done under the sun.
Ecc 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no work, nor plan, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave where you go.
All of the above scriptures tell us that the dead have no memory, no thoughts, no knowledge, no feelings or emotions and no participation with the living world.
God’s Word also uses Hebrew and Greek words that are translated as “sleep” and “asleep” to describe the state of the dead. Those words mean death.
Deu 31:16 And Jehovah said to Moses, Behold, you shall sleep with your fathers.
2Sa 7:12 And when your days are fulfilled, and you shall sleep with your fathers,…
Job 14:10 But man dies and is cut off; and man expires, and where is he?
Job 14:11 As the waters fail from the sea, and a river falls away and dries up,
Job 14:12 so man lies down and does not rise. Till the heavens are no more, they shall not awake, nor be awakened out of their sleep.
Psa 13:3 Look! Answer me, O Jehovah my God; enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
Isa 65:4 a people who remain among the graves, and sleep in the tombs
Dan 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt
Act 13:36 For after he had served his own generation by the will of God, David fell asleep and was added to his fathers and saw corruption. (decay)
1Co 15:6 Afterward He was seen by over five hundred brothers at once, of whom the greater part remain until this present day, but also some fell asleep.
1Co 15:18 Then also those that fell asleep in Christ were lost.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will also bring with Him all those who have fallen asleep through Jesus.
1Th 4:15 For we say this to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall not go before those who are asleep.
2Pe 3:4 and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.
The context of the above scriptures is not about the kind of sleeping we do at night, it is about dying, death and the state of the dead.
So where did the idea that the dead, are not, in fact, dead, come from?
Gen 3:4 And the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die,…
The serpent is the devil who is also know as “the father of lies”. He lied when he told Eve that they would not die. This was in direct contrast to what God had told Adam and Eve.
Gen 2:17 but you shall not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
Now obviously Adam and Eve didn’t die on the spot the moment they swallowed the forbidden fruit, but their disobedience to God’s command made them “mooth” a Hebrew word meaning both “worthy of death” and “dead”. They gave up the opportunity to enjoy everlasting life with God and thus began the process of the dying of their bodies.
Because of Adam and Eve’s sin, all humans die.
1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die,
However, when Jesus comes again, we will all be made alive again.
1Co 15:22 even so in Christ all will be made alive.
Joh 5:28,29 Do not marvel at this, for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth,
So until Jesus comes again, the dead are not walking, rather, they are all “asleep” with no thoughts, feelings or actions.