The Bible does not say anything about such a state. It does not even hint of it. It speaks of two states, living and dead. The dead are said to be at “rest from their labors” (Rev. 14:13), or simply “asleep” (John 11:11-14). God is said to be a God not of the dead but of the living: “For all live to him” (speaking of all who are His children–Luke 20:34-38)–but nothing is said of any other state of being.
What did Job say about the state of death? “If I wait for the grave as my house” Job 17:13). The dead “sleep” until the return of Christ, when they will be raised to the level of the living, and be judged and rewarded for what they have done (1 Thess. 4:14-16; 1 Cor. 15:51-53; 2 Cor. 5:10).
What will the resurrection be like?
We have little information, but we do know that those resurrected will be mortal until given immortality. Paul explains this carefully in 1 Corinthians 15: “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” How could they “put on immortality” if they had been resurrected to an immortal state? Not until the Judgment is the separation revealed between those who have won and those who have lost. Only after the Judgment can the faithful be awarded immortality, else all who come forth from the graves, whether good or bad would have to survive in some state. This error has led to the teaching of hell in its varied forms, often understood as a state of separation from God, a perpetual existence in a condition of punishment. No such idea is taught in the Bible. (For further information on this subject, see our booklet, “The Hell and Devil of the Bible.”)
Once the Judgment is past and immortality has been bestowed upon the faithful, then “when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor. 15:54).
If believers came forth from the grave with bodies other than mortal, Paul’s statement would not be correct. But Christ set the pattern. He was raised to the state of a mortal being, then forty days later was changed to the glorified state. Such is the pattern, which we can logically expect to be repeated for every believer.
Will our bodies be of flesh in the resurrection?
Yes, indeed, the resurrected dead will be as real after their resurrection as they were before they died. There can be no life without an organized being, and no thought without the brain, the organ of thought.
The proposition is sometimes presented that a resurrection of the body would be out of the question on the grounds that the material from which that body was formed no longer exists. But such is not the case. Matter can not be destroyed. The arrangement of the atoms forming that matter may be altered, but the matter itself still remains, and by knowledge of laws not now known to human beings it could be rebuilt into a human structure again.
A hypothetical case could be built of a fine watch being dropped into a bath of acid so potent as to completely dissolve the various metals entering into the make-up of the watch. A competent metallurgist then could reclaim all the metals from the acid, an expert watch maker could reconvert those metals into parts for a watch, and reassemble them into a timepiece. Hence at the close of the cycle of destruction and reconstruction the watch could exist in its original form. Applying this same logic to the reconstruction of a human body no incongruity exists.
It is a known scientific fact that the matter forming our bodies is replaced about every seven years, yet we are the same individual.
Objection to the theory of the resurrection of the dead is sometimes raised on the grounds that the only way a body could exist is through the process of birth, growth and maturity. True, that is the only way we ever have seen a human body produced, but that is no proof that other procedures are not known to God Almighty. We obtain our food, whether from the vegetable or animal kingdom, through the slow process of inception and growth. A life germ implanted in a congenial medium starts the cycle of growth terminating in ripened grain or fully developed animal organism. Jesus, however, was able to employ a greater law whereby this process could be side-stepped and bread and fish to feed five thousand hungry people be produced instantly.
Even to re-create a brain with the impressions of the original brain upon it would be no stretch of the Almighty’s power. We are told in Mal. 3:16 that the records are all safely kept: “So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord, and who meditate on His name.”
And the dead are to be raised in the mortal state, the same as they fell asleep