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Bible Q

Can you be conscious and dead?

No. According to the Bible, death is a state of unconciousness as a person turns to dust.

This is stated repeatedly. Here are some examples.

For in death there is no remembrance of you [God];
in Sheol who will give you praise? (Psalm 6:5)

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

For Sheol does not thank you;
death does not praise you;
those who go down to the pit do not hope
for your faithfulness. (Isaiah 38:18)

For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing . . . (Ecclesiastes 9:5)

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. (Ecclesiastes 9:10 NIV)

The Bible describes death as a sleep from which we awake at the resurrection (e.g., Daniel 12:2; John 11:11). This will occur when Jesus returns to earth.

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. (1 Thessalonians 4:16).

In speaking of this time, Jesus said

“Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. (John 5:28-29)

The whole idea of an ongoing disembodied consciousness after death is a myth which has its origins in Greek mythology, not Bible teaching.

See After death what? for more information.

2 Replies to “Can you be conscious and dead?”

  1. Your explanation of the soul and state of death explains that there are three kinds of people, honorable people who did not know Christ, people who knew but did not recieve Christ, and those that both knew and did recieve Christ.

    In the case of the first you have said the scriptures teach that they will not be reconstituted. In the case of the second you have said the scriptures teach they will be reconstituted and punished. In the case of the third this is the group that you say will be reconstituted and have a job to do instructing in the ways of God the Father.

    But who will they instruct if the only people who were reconstituted are the ones that already know the truth?

    Also, I am curious what you feel the scriptures teach on those that will be reconstituted and then punished – -presumably by being unconstituted again — that seems a pointless waste of time on God’s part. If they have already recieved the ultimate horror of annihilation ad infinitum why reconstitute them?

    Finally, I am curious to hear your position on the nature of angels. Do they experience death in the same way you have argued man and beast experience death — for they are part of the same creation?

    Why do they seem to linger on the earth, possesing or inhabiting souls (man and beast) or being cast into the ‘Pit’ until the great reckoning? For remember that when Christ cast ‘demons’ out of the crazy lake man they begged him not to send them to the pit but into the heard of pigs instead.



  2. I’m not entirely convinced about the 3 classes of people. For a start, what of the dishonourable people who did not know Christ? There’s
    certainly been oodles of those.

    I can’t speak to what God might or might not consider a pointless waste of time. He shown an interest in me, and I would rather have
    thought that’s a pointless waste of time. So what would I know? Or anyone else? All we know is what he says.

    As for angels, they do not die. (Luke 20:36.)

    The wider subject of devils is dealt with elsewhere. See “demons” or “devil” in the topic index.