Biblical Definition of Death as separation


Death is never defined by lexicographers as extinction, annihilation, non-existence or unconsciousness
Death in the Bible is always pictured as a separation between two things.

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False teachers wrongly define death as extinction, annihilation, non-existence or unconsciousness.
Click to ViewMan has no conscious existence apart from the body after he dies

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Death as "non-existence" is a member of "Domino Theology"
(Refute one element & refute the whole system!)

The question of death being an extinction was considered and rejected by virtually all early church fathers, as this quote from 177 AD proves:

"Hereafter, that the Judgment Passed Upon Him May Be Just. For either death is the entire extinction of life, the soul being dissolved and corrupted along with the body, or the soul remains by itself, incapable of dissolution, of dispersion, of corruption, whilst the body is corrupted and dissolved, retaining no longer any remembrance of past actions, nor sense of what it experienced in connection with the soul.  (Athenagoras, Chapter 20: Man Must Be Possessed Both of a Body and Soul)
READ: More early Christians define death as a separation!

Death means separation between two things:

Introductory Summary:

Physical death

Eccl 12:7




spiritual death

Isa 59:1-2



second death

Rev 21:8; 22:14-15



dead to sin

Rom 6:2,11; Heb 7:26



dead to law

Rom 7:4



marriage dissolved by death

1 Cor 7:39



Physical Death
The separation of the body and soul
Early Christians define death as a separation!


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Eccl 12;7

"the dust will return to the earth as it was,"

"and the spirit will return to God who gave it."

Gen 25:17

"and he breathed his last and died,"

"and was gathered to his people."

Jas 2:26

"the body is dead"

"separated (Gr: choris) from the spirit"
(note: here we have the precise equation for the definition of physical death spelled right out clearly in the Greek: "the body DIES when separated from the soul"

Spiritual Death
The separation of the man from God
Early Christians define death as a separation!


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Isa 59:2a

your sins have made a separation between you

and your God

Isa 59:2b

And your sins have

hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear


Physical and spiritual death in the Bible:

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Death Always denotes a separation between two things
Early Christians define death as a separation!




Gen 2:17

but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die (spiritually).

Adam and eve died spiritually the same day they ate the fruit, being literally separated from the presence of God in the garden by being banished from the garden. Adam died spiritually the very day he disobeyed God.

1 Kings 2:42

"Did I not make you swear by the Lord and solemnly warn you, saying, 'You will know for certain that on the day you depart and go anywhere, you shall surely die' (physically)?

It is falsely argued that the word die in Gen 2:17 means, "dying you shall die" indicating that Adam would merely "begin to die" the day he disobeyed God. Problem is that this is not what the word means, for the identical phrase is used here in 1 Kings 2:42. Shimei died physically the very day he disobeyed Solomon.




Lk 15:24,32

"for this son of mine was (spiritually) dead, and has come to (spiritual) life again; he was (spiritually) lost, and has been (spiritually) found.' And they began to be merry." ... "for this brother of yours was (spiritually) dead and has begun to live (spiritually), and was lost (spiritually) and has been found. (spiritually)"

Arians simply cannot make sense of this verse. They cannot explain, with their definition of death, how the prodigal son could "be dead" and "come to life" or "begin to live". Further in the parable is the graphic fact that the son was literally physically separated from his father.

Matthew 8:2

But Jesus said to him, "Follow Me; and allow the (spiritually) dead to bury their own (physically) dead."

Those who are spiritually separated from God are to bury those who are physically separated from their bodies.

Jn 6:58

"This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate (physical bread), and died (physically), he who eats this (spiritual) bread shall live (spiritually) forever."

The only way Christians live forever is spiritually, by not being separated from God ever!

Jn 5:24

he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal (spiritual) life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of (spiritual) death into (spiritual) life.

Notice the present possession of eternal life.




Jn 10:28

and I give eternal (spiritual) life to them, and they shall never perish (spiritually)

Again, present possession of eternal life coupled with the statement that Christians will never perish! Arians simply cannot make any sense of this verse.

Jn 11:25

"I am the resurrection and the (spiritual) life; he who believes in Me shall live (spiritually) even if he dies (physically), and everyone who lives (physically) and believes in Me shall never die (spiritually). Do you believe this?"

Notice the plain statement that if we die physically, Christians continue to live spiritually forever in the presence of God. Sounds very similar to what Paul said in Phil 1:19




Rom 6:2,11

"How shall we who (spiritually) died to sin still live in it?" ... "Even so consider yourselves to be (separated) dead to sin, but alive (united) to God in Christ Jesus."

Christians are dead or separated from sin. Sin still exists! Sin is not annihilated! While we live physically in the flesh, we are to be separated from sin and united with God!

Rom 6:23

For the wages of sin is (spiritual) death, but the free gift of God is eternal (union) life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

One of the most basic concepts in the Bible. Sin brings about a separation between God and man, just as the O.T. parallel to this verse states in Isa 59:1-2

Rom 7:4

Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die (separated) to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might be joined (spiritually alive) to another [Christ]

This verse shows uses "die" and the corresponding word "joined" further proving the fact that death is a separation from the law and life is being joined to God!

Rom 7:8

But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for separated (Gr: choris) from the Law sin is dead.

The exact equation we are looking for: sin is dead = separation from the law. It is directly in the Greek text! Nothing to infer!

Rom 7:9-11

And I was once (spiritually) alive separated (Gr: choris) from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive, and I died (spiritually); 10 and this commandment, which was to result in (spiritual) life, proved to result in (spiritual) death for me; 11 for sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me (spiritually).

When Paul was a baby, he was pure and innocent and spiritually alive to God, having no sin in his live. But when he grew to an age of accountability, he sinned, violated God's law and was separated from God. All the while Paul was physically alive!

Rom 8:35

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?"

Here spiritual life is explained in terms of being united and unseparated from Christ!

Gal 2:19

For through the Law I died (separated) to the Law, that I might live (united) to God.

The Law still existed! It was not annihilated! Christians are no longer required to keep the Law of Moses.




2 Cor 6:17

"Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate," says the Lord. "And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you."

Notice that Christians are to be "dead to sin" or as this verse says, separate from sinners.

Eph 2:1,5

"And you were (spiritually) dead in your trespasses and sins" ... "even when we were (spiritually) dead in our transgressions, made us (spiritually) alive together with Christ"

Notice that "alive together with Christ" in v5 is contrasted with "separated from Christ" in v12. This proves the definitions of spiritual death and spiritual life as being a separation vs. union with God

Eph 2:12-13

remember that you [Gentiles] were at that time [before Christ came] separate ("choris") from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

This fantastic verse graphically illustrates that spiritual death is a separation and that spiritual life is a removal of that separation. The word separate is the Greek word "choris". The exact concept of spiritual death = separation from Christ is in the Greek.

Phil 1:21-23

For to me, to live (physically) is Christ, and to die (physically) is gain. But if I am to live (physically) on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart (physically) and be with Christ, for that is very much better

How ridiculous that Paul would be choosing between living physically for 40 more years or annihilation for 2000 years and counting! Paul's choice was between 40 more years on earth, or dying and immediately being in the literal presence of Christ! Notice the word Greek word for "depart" means "loose, untie". Paul was saying his soul would be untied from the body and go into the presence of Christ!




Col 2:13

And when you were (spiritually) dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you (spiritually) alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions

Powerful verse! Notice that spiritually alive = "together with" God ... separation caused by sin is removed!

Heb 7:26

For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens

Spiritual life is separated from sinners!

Heb 9:28

so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without (Greek lit: separated "choris") sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

The word "without" is the Greek word for "separated" (Gr: choris). Christians are separated from sin, or spiritually alive!

1 Ti 5:6

But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is (spiritually) dead even while she (physically) lives.

A woman who engages in pre-marital sex, for example, is alive physically, but separated from God spiritually

2 Peter 1:13-14

And I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.

The whole terminology of "laying aside" as being equivalent to when Peter dies, is a powerful refutation that death is a cessation of all existence. This laying aside, proves the dichotomous (2 part) nature of man.

Ezek 18:4,20

"Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die." ... "The person [soul] who sins will die (spiritually). The son will not bear the punishment for the father's iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son's iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself."

This verse is speaking about spiritual dead, not physical death. Just like Rom 6:23. The wages of sin is spiritual death, or separation from God.

Hell as the second spiritual separation from God
Early Christians define death as a separation!




Rev 20:4-6

And I saw the souls of those who had been (1. spiritually Gal 2:20) beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, ... and they came to (2. spiritual) life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the (3. spiritually) dead did not come to (4. spiritual) life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second (5. spiritual) death [hell] has no power

A simple verse to understand unless you are a premillennialist. The 1000 years began at the resurrection of Christ and will continue to about the time of his second coming. Here is a key understand this verse:

  1. "beheaded" Gal 2:20 says that Christians must die to self
  2. "came to life" when Christians die to self they come to spiritual life and reign with Christ. This is exactly what Eph 2:5 says: "He made us alive together with Christ ... and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places" see also Rom 6:3-4.
  3. "rest of the dead" The wicked who reject the gospel call remain separated from God (spiritually dead) until judgement day.
  4. On judgement day these sinners will be in the presence of God or "spiritually alive"
  5. Those who had part of the first spiritual resurrection (the act of becoming a Christian) will never be spiritually separated from God (die) even though they may die physically. They will not be cast into hell. The wicked, who are brought into the spiritual presence of God, will suffer the second death. (second time spiritually separated from God, this time for eternity)

for more detailed info on Rev 20 click here

Rev 20:14-15

This is the second (spiritual) death, the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Many confuse the "second death" with physical death and this is totally contrary to the context. Hell is likened unto a second spiritual death. It is the second time the wicked are spiritually separated from God. The corresponding first death was when they first sinned and became "lost" or separated from God.

Rev 21:8; 22:14-15

"But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." ... "Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying."

Notice the graphic illustration. Heaven is inside the city where the presence of God it. Hell, the lake of fire, is "outside the city", or a banishment from God's presence. This exactly fits the definition of second death being the second spiritual separation from God.

2 Thess 1:9

And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power

When we couple with this the concept of "second death" we have a perfect illustration. Hell is not annihilation, but an existence "away from God's presence". Again, death is always a separation.

Death brings about a separation of husband and wife

"Till death do us part"
Early Christians define death as a separation!




Mt 19:5-6

For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh'? "Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."

The very word used to describe a dissolution of a marriage is separate. This is brought about, in God's law, by death.

1 Cor 7:39

A wife is bound as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.

"Till death do us part/separate!"

 Early Christians define death as a separation!

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