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The Sleep Of Death

The Holy Scriptures routinely refer to death as sleep, not just because death and sleep both involve unconsciousness, but because both are a state of being from which people awaken (see What Happens When You Die? and Where Is Your Soul?). According to God's plan, some will be resurrected as spirit at The Return Of Jesus Christ (e.g. 1 Corinthians 15:50-54), while others will be resurrected physical (i.e. Revelation 20:5, Ezekiel 37:6). For the reason why some will be to spirit and others back to physical life, see the Fact Finder question below.

The photograph below, that of a 3,000 year-old mummified Egyptian child, was taken at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto by the author in October 2009. Ironically, it is "sleeping" in a fetal position (i.e. like an unborn child), awaiting its certain birth (see Born Again, How and When?) at some time in the future:

"26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead." (Isaiah 26:19 KJV)

"Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust"

The "dry bones" prophecy is one of the most plain descriptions of a future physical resurrection, not only of the ancient Israelites, but of all who did not have their calling to understanding before Christ's return (again, see the Fact Finder question below).

Asleep In Death

"37:1 The hand of the LORD [i.e. Christ; see 'The God Of The Old Testament'; also YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD] was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 37:2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 37:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live?

And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.

37:4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 37:5 Thus saith the Lord GOD [see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM'] unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath [see The Spirit Of God] to enter into you, and ye shall live: 37:6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

37:7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 37:8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

37:9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 37:10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

37:11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 37:12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves [see Sheol and Hades], and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 37:13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 37:14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD." (Ezekiel 37:1-14 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why will some be resurrected to spirit, while others will be resurrected physical?
See When Will You Be Judged?

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