- Physical death – the body separate from Spirit (Jam. 2:26). For the believer who dies, scripture says they are “fallen asleep through Jesus” or “put to sleep by Jesus” (1 Thess. 4:14). Physical death is a temporary state of the body without the soul and spirit. Hades (the intermediate state) is the same state looked at from the other side; the soul and spirit without the body.
- National death – the nation of Israel is in a state of death from which they need to be awakened (Ezek. 37; Hosea 6:2). Lazarus in John 11 is picture of Israel’s national death and resurrection.
- Spiritual death – man in the world separated from God, and completely unresponsive to Him; “dead in sins and offenses” (Eph. 2:1). Apart from the sovereign action of God in new birth, man will remain in a state of spiritual death.
- Sin death – separation from the sphere of sin; “we have died to sin” (Rom 6:2; 6:10). We have been freed from the old sphere where sin was our master. This is key to understanding deliverance.
- Judicial death – our old identity in Adam forever removed from God’s sight; we are “dead with Christ” (Col. 2:20; 3:3).
- Conscience death – a life of misery lived in complete opposition to the voice of conscience; “sin revived, and I died” (Rom. 7:9).
- Moral death – a breech in communion between the soul and God due to a low state; “if ye live according to flesh, ye are about to die” (Rom. 8:13; 1 Tim. 5:6).
- Apostate death – when a person gives up the light they have professed, called “twice dead” (Jude 12). This is connected with apostasy.
- Eternal death – eternal separation from God in the Lake of Fire, called “the second death” (Rev. 20).
Sleep is often used to describe the death of a believer, although it is never used to describe the death of an unbeliever. The original word is ekoimethesan; "a sleep that is induced by another". In 1 Thess. 4 we learn who it is that has induced the sleep... the Lord Jesus. What a precious thought! Death is not an accident. Jesus puts His saints to sleep, and He will wake them up with His own voice (John 5:28-29)! Scripture does not teach "soul-sleep", that a person is unconscious in the intermediate state. Both the rich man and Lazarus were conscious in the intermediate state (Luke 16:19-31). Those who teach "soul-sleep" leverage scriptures like Ecc. 9:5 ("for the dead know nothing") which speaks of the ignorance of the dead. That really speaks of ignorance as to things on earth; that which is "under the sun". No! Unbelievers who have died are conscious in their suffering, and believers who have died are "present with the Lord".