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Note: this post is essentially a “follow-up” to my last post – which dealt with the question of “Is any knowledge required for salvation?”. That post can be found here.



From my experience, most mainstream Christians have a rather limited understanding about the topic of death. Essentially, most Christians believe that death is a one-time, permanent event. In other words, most Christians hold that when a person dies, his physical body disintegrates – and that his body will never be re-created, ever again.

It appears to me that Scripture gives us much different information about death – and the possibility of life after death – than the belief listed above. So, let’s take a look in Scripture, to see what is listed there about that subject.


Two different descriptions of death

First of all, Scripture contains two very different “descriptions” of what death is. In some cases, Scripture refers to death as “sleep”; while in other cases, Scripture calls death “destruction”. Here are some examples of this:


Places where death is called “sleep”

Psalm 13:3 (ESV):

Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death

1 Kings 1:20-21 (ESV):

20 And now, my lord the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, to tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. 21 Otherwise it will come to pass, when my lord the king sleeps with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon will be counted offenders.”

John 11:11-13 (ESV):

11 After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.” 12 The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep.

Acts 7:59-60 (ESV):

59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.


Places where death is called “destruction”

Psalm 92:6-7 (ESV):

6 The stupid man cannot know;
the fool cannot understand this:
7 that though the wicked sprout like grass
and all evildoers flourish,
they are doomed to destruction forever

Matthew 7:13-14 (ESV):

13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Philippians 3:18-19 (ESV):

18 For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.

2 Thessalonians 1:9 (ESV):

They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might


Ramifications of the two “death types”

From all of the above information, it appears that are two completely different “types” of death. For lack of better terms, I call those two types “sleep-death”, and “destruction-death”.

Certainly, there are some similarities between the two “types” of death. In particular, both types of death cause a person to become completely unconscious; and both of them cause our physical bodies to disintegrate.

However, there are also many differences between sleep-death and destruction-death. The sections below contain three of the most prominent differences.


1. Sleep-death happens to everyone – but destruction-death only happens to enemies of God

Scripture indicates that everyone will eventually undergo sleep-death – that is, followers of God, and enemies of God, will both encounter it. The only exception to this is that followers who are still alive, when Jesus returns, will never encounter sleep-death. Consider these passages:

Ecclesiastes 9:2-3 (ESV):

2 It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As the good one is, so is the sinner, and he who swears is as he who shuns an oath. 3 This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

Hebrews 9:27 (ESV):

…it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (ESV):

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

However, destruction-death only happens to people who refuse to follow God; i.e., faithful followers of God will never undergo that  type of death. Consider the passages below. In those passages, the word “gehenna” apparently symbolizes destruction-death. This is because gehenna was a garbage dump outside of Jerusalem, where trash was completely burned up. So, if something is “cast into gehenna”, it symbolizes complete destruction of the object in question.

Matthew 5:21-22 (Young’s Literal Translation):

21`Ye heard that it was said to the ancients: Thou shalt not kill, and whoever may kill shall be in danger of the judgment;  22but I — I say to you, that every one who is angry at his brother without cause, shall be in danger of the judgment, and whoever may say to his brother, Empty fellow! shall be in danger of the sanhedrim, and whoever may say, Rebel! shall be in danger of the gehenna of the fire.

Mark 9:47 (YLT):

47And if thine eye may cause thee to stumble, cast it out; it is better for thee one-eyed to enter into the reign of God, than having two eyes, to be cast to the gehenna of the fire

Luke 12:4-5 (YLT):

4`And I say to you, my friends, be not afraid of those killing the body, and after these things are not having anything over to do;

5but I will show to you, whom ye may fear; Fear him who, after the killing, is having authority to cast to the gehenna; yes, I say to you, Fear ye Him.


2. Destruction-death only occurs in the next age – not in this age

Another item to note is that destruction-death only occurs in the next age (the “Kingdom” age) – not in this current age. Consider the passages below, which discuss destruction-death. All of those passages describe events that will occur after Jesus returns – which means that they will occur in the Kingdom age.

Matthew 13:40-42 (ESV):

40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 25:41,46 (ESV):

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Revelation 20:14 (ESV):

Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.

Note that Revelation 20:14, above, refers to destruction-death as the “second” death. This implies that the other type of death – sleep-death – is the “first” death, so to speak.


3. Sleep-death is temporary – but destruction-death is permanent

From what I can see, the most important difference between sleep-death and destruction-death is the fact that sleep-death is temporary – while destruction-death is permanent. In other words, if a person undergoes sleep-death, he will eventually come back to life again, at some point in the future. However, if a person undergoes destruction-death, then he will never come back to life again – i.e., destruction-death is a permanent end of life.

The fact that destruction-death is permanent can be seen in many of the Scriptural passages that are listed above. For example:

– Psalm 92:7 states that evildoers “are doomed to destruction forever“.

– Matthew 25:46 states that enemies of God will “go away into eternal punishment” (referring to permanent destruction).

– 2 Thessalonians 1:9 states that evildoers will “suffer the punishment of eternal destruction”.


However, many Scriptural passages tell us that sleep-death is temporary – i.e., that people who have undergone sleep-death will eventually come back to life! Consider these passages:

Daniel 12:2 (YLT):

2`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.

Isaiah 26:19 (ESV):

19 Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise.
You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy!
For your dew is a dew of light,
and the earth will give birth to the dead.

John 5:28-29 (ESV):

28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

Acts 24:14-15 (ESV):

14 But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, 15 having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust.


As it turns out, the fact that sleep-death is temporary appears to be exactly why Jesus told people not to be sad or afraid, if one of their loved ones had undergone sleep-death! For example, take a look at this passage:

Mark 5:35-36,39-42 (ESV):

35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”

39 And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement.

So, if the “sleep-death” and “destruction-death” information listed in this post is correct, then it appears that Jesus was saying something similar to the following, in Mark chapter 5:

“Don’t be sad about your daughter, because she has not undergone destruction-death. Instead, she has only undergone sleep-death – and as a result, I can raise her from the dead.”



Here is a summary of the two “types” of death, listed above:

Sleep-death: This type of death happens to everyone (no matter how closely we follow God); and it is only temporary. In other words, people who undergo sleep-death will eventually come back to life. This type of death is evidently the “first” death.

Destruction-death: This type of death only happens to people who explicitly refuse to follow God. In addition, this death only occurs in the next age (the Kingdom age) – not in this age. Finally, this type of death is permanent – i.e., people who undergo this death will never come back to life. This type of death is referred to as the “second” death.

One item to take away from this post is as follows: As noted above, destruction-death evidently only occurs during the next age – not in this age. Therefore, all of the deaths that have occurred so far are apparently sleep-deaths.

As a result, every person who has already died will presumably come back to life, in the next age! Not only that, but if any of those people did not have the opportunity to follow God and Jesus during this age, then they will have that very opportunity, during the next age! In other words, people who were “ignorant” of God and Jesus during this age, will have the opportunity to repent and be saved in the next age.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, everyone!

8 Responses to “The Two Different “Types” of Death”

  1. on 25 Dec 2011 at 10:23 pmwhatnow

    Why is the so called OT, ‘old testament’, the Bible not called by its true name, the Book of Remembrance, in short, the book of life, that was given to us by the Almighty Creator YHWH in Malachi 3v16 for us to Remember Him? Why? And most of all why was the Almighty YHWHs name removed from this book of life over 6800 times?, and why won’t they put it back into the book of life? Where is the Father YHWHs honor, where is His praise? Are we hiding something maybe the truth? Malachi 1v6-14. Selah!

    In Daniel 12v2 many who are sleep shall ‘AWAKE’ from being asdead men means that the light of the truth of the Creator YHWH will begin or has began with many and they will not be in gross darkness anymore forever more, and their seeds and seeds seeds will prosper forever. As in Isaiah 59, preferably vs.9,10 and 20,21. YHWH Bless.

  2. on 26 Dec 2011 at 11:25 amDoubting Thomas

    Thanks for another great article Brian, and Merry Christmas to you and your family… 🙂

  3. on 26 Dec 2011 at 11:57 amtimothy

    brian…thank you for a wonderful teaching.

  4. on 26 Dec 2011 at 12:08 pmtimothy

    what know…why not …this web site is loaded with treasure for learning the word of YHWH. With complete classes and books you can read online. to start i would suggest this one about GODs name being

  5. on 26 Dec 2011 at 3:52 pmtimothy

    whatknow….the teaching begins at 00:34:45……..

  6. on 27 Dec 2011 at 3:45 pmwhatnow

    timothy, yes the Father YHWHs name is very holy as He prophesied in Ezekiel 36v22,23 and here He states that He will sanctify His holy name when He will be sanctified within us before all the nations,(future). Also, if what you are implying is how I use the name YHWH, I am fully aware that many use Yahweh but sorry this is not His name and this is why He says He will sanctify it with those of you that have been taught wrong by the priest, popes, elders, pastors rabbis profaning His name by taking it out 6800 times in the book of life so called OT thinking they were doing right but it was wrong of them to do this, for YHWH did not tell them to, but He will let us know it soon, wait for it , though it tarry, it will not tarry, because it surely will come, this is the Day of YHWH of course but it will all be as one. Most of you have been told that these scriptures relate to the days of old from those who know that the book of life, so called Bible is juxtaposed, meaning it is in comparison of the past and the future and prophesied both what is to come in furture days and what comes to pass and we all know that what the priest and churches,rabbis,pastors, elders are doing today is similar to the days of old and has not been resolved so this still refers to now days. Besides, I do know that His name has been spelled yehwweh for pronunciation purposes for the Gentiles have a difficult time in saying YHWH and so it is sometimes spelled as YHVH to help them with that. Look it up it will tell you that it is His Hebrew true name our Heavenly Creator YHWH. Furthermore, I have the only book that is necessary to have according to the Father YHWH, and that is His book He calls it the Book of Remembrance in Malachi 3v16 that He left for us to remember everything we need to know about Him and what He wants us to do(The Law), for He says He does not change in Malachi 3v6, and many tend to snuff at this but one will realize it in the day that they will need and have to discern who they will serve Him, or serve Him not in Malachi 3v18. What YHWH has taught me is many of these pastors are misleading the flocks as said in Jeremiah 23v1-8, along with the new covenant, and in Malachi 2, and as His ‘New Covenant’ will come also in Jeremiah 31v31-40 so will it come in Jeremiah 3v15 (new pastors from YHWH). Just as He had to do then, show them in the past people have now today in Jeremiah 3v13 gone astray from YHWH again, and His Spirituality, and start doing these religions (IDOLATRY) for which He does not condone, and this day of the Father YHWH is coming again for us soon for we are in the 4th kingdom of mankind as prophesied in Daniel 2v40 and of His vision in Daniel 2v1-49, so, many be ready for HIM YHWH. YHWH Bless people.

  7. on 27 Dec 2011 at 4:07 pmwhatnow

    timothy, personally I do not think but I know for the Father YHWH told me so, that there were some who took out YHWHs name from His book of life who ‘knew’ that this was wrong; but as they were also among them when YHWHs name was removed 6800 times, they who were also the ones that were among them who help to take the Hebrews into captivity in the book of Obadiah in vs.7-11, they were there then, and they are here now the descendants of Edom in Psalms 83 and in Exodus 17vs.13-16, YHWHs enemy the truth. YHWH Bless.,

  8. on 27 Dec 2011 at 4:26 pmwhatnow

    NOTE CORRECTION…. the scripture words of “it will tarry, but it will not tarry” are from the book of Habakkuk 2vs. 1-3, sorry about that sometimes I assume we all know these scriptures by heart, and I forgot to quote them for you, again sorry for that. YHWH Bless.


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