The Nature of Man and State of the Dead

The Nature of Man and State of the Dead

In this study, we’re going to simply list certain facts related to the “Nature of Man,” “Death,” and the “State of the Dead” and supply the Scripture references. These three topics are very closely related, and if we don’t understand them from a scriptural perspective, then we’re not going to understand them at all. 

There’s a lot of confusion about this topic. I know from personal experience. About two years ago, I was challenged to really study these issues more in-depth than I had before, and my conclusions were the opposite of what I’d believed for many years prior. The truth is simple, not confusing, because God isn’t the author of confusion. I pray the Father can use this study to open your eyes.

Nature of man and beast

  • Men are souls - Gen 2:7; Acts 27:37
  • Animals are souls - Num 31:28; Rev 16:3
  • “Life” is “Soul” - Mar 8:35,36
  • Man (Soul) dies - Eze 18:4; Isa 53:12; Job 11:20
  • “Breath” is “Spirit” - Gen 2:7; Psa 104:29; Psa 146:4; Job 27:3; Ecc 12:7

Death and the dead

Causes of Death

  • Disobedience/ Sin[1] - Gen 3:17-19; Rom 3:23; 6:23; 5:12-14
  • Gave up the Ghost” - Ecc 12:7; Luk 23:46; Acts 5:5; Jas 2:26

Condition of the Dead

  • Unconscious/ “Know nothing” - Ecc 9:5,10; Psa 146:3,4
  • Asleep/ Await resurrection - Joh 11:11-14, 23-26; Acts 2:29,34; Acts 7:59,60
  • “Spirit” or “Breath” of man returns to God - Ecc 3:19-21
Place of the dead[2]
  • Common state/ grave - Gen 37:35; Psa 9:7; Psa 16:10; Jon 5:28; Acts 2:27,31; Rev 20:13,14


[1] “Sin” is the “transgression” or “breaking of” the law: 1 John 3:4

[2] The words used in these references have relatively the same definitions and are as follows: sheol - “the world of the dead (as if a subterranean retreat)…- grave, hell, pit”; hades - “properly unseen, that is, ‘Hades’ or the place (state) of departed souls: - grave, hell.”; mnay-mi’-on -a remembrance, that is, cenotaph (place of interment): - grave, sepulcher, tomb.”