Genesis, the book of beginnings, introduces us to God’s revealed truth concerning this timely subject. The book opens with the divine record of the living man, Adam, in “the garden of Eden,” and it closes with a dead man, Joseph, in “a coffin in Egypt.”

Adam was placed in “the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:15-17).

“He did eat” (Genesis 3:6). But death did not claim fallen Adam immediately. He “lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth: and the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: and all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died” (Genesis 5:3-5).

This same short clause, “and he died,” can be written after the names of all the sons of Adam who have made their departure from this life, except two. Enoch, “the seventh from Adam” (Jude 14), “walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:24). And “Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven” (2 Kings 2:11).

Across the ages, death has claimed it’s toll from all peoples. Regardless of race, color, or nationality, whether they are men of high estate or of low estate; learned or unlearned, rich or poor, all are subject to the call of death at any moment. The reason for this is, that by one man, Adam, “sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). This explains why the book of beginnings closes with a man in a coffin. However, we must remember that Joseph, the man in the coffin did not go down into death without hope of living again in his resurrection body.

When death overtook Joseph in the land of Egypt, his thoughts and his hopes were set upon another land. It was the land which God had sworn to his fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This is why his parting words unto his brethren are so significant. He said unto them: “I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which He sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you and ye shall carry up my bones from hence” (Genesis 50:24-25). He did not say ye shall carry up me, that is, the person that I am, from hence. Joseph, himself, had been gathered with his people at death, the same as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had been gathered unto their people (Genesis 25:8; 35:29; and 49:33). Therefore his request pertained only to his “bones,” the remains of the earthly house in which he had lived, and which was to be resurrected and live again in “the land which He sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” We also have positive truth that all of God’s children who have preceded us in death shall be raised to life again.

It was the psalmist who said, “I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness” (Psalms 17:15).

The prophet said, “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise” (Isaiah 26:19).

Daniel was used of the Holy Spirit to enlighten us concerning the time, as well as the fact, of the resurrection of the righteous. He said: “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standest for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:1-3).

Jesus, in His conversation with Mary concerning the death of her brother Lazarus, said, “Thy brother shall rise again … he that believeth on Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:23, 25).

The apostle Paul stood before the Roman authorities and testified concerning his belief in resurrection life. He said, “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: and have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men” (Acts 24:14-16).

Later the apostle was moved upon to write again, as an able minister of the New Testament, saying, “Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection Of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: Whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (1 Corinthians 15:12-19).
Even these few scriptures, quoted above, are sufficient to prove the reality of death; and that we are, indeed, in the land of the dying. These references also confirm our hope in the resurrection of dead bodies of the saints of all ages.