The Spiritually Dead Person
Not only the body needs to be raised, but also the soul needs to be raised from death. St. Augustine says: “The death of the body is the separation of the soul from the body and the death of the soul is the separation of the soul from God”.
So if the soul gets separated from God, it will be
considered spiritually dead.
And so says the apostle: You “were dead in
trespasses and sins” (Eph 2:1). And he says also
“when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive
together with Christ” (Eph 2:5).
And the Lord says in the Revelation book to the
pastor of Sardis Church: “you have a name that you
are alive, but you are dead” (Rev 3:1). Meaning the
body is alive and the soul is dead.
The bible also says about the widow who lives in
pleasure that she “is dead while she lives” (1 Ti 5:6).
And the father said in the return of the lost son “my
son was dead and is alive again” (Lk 15:24). And the
apostle says in calling the sinner to repent “Awake,
you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will
give you light” (Eph 5:14). And so he has considered
the sinner among the dead and in need for rising from
A dead of that kind needs rising. The poet says
about such a person:
He is not dead who died and rested
The dead is the living dead\It shows that he is
alive but dead. Another poet said about those who
are not affected by words of wisdom and good
You would have been heard if you called a living
But there is no life for who you are calling
So, there is that kind of people who appear to be
alive in accordance to his body but from God’s point
of view, he is dead.
This does not only apply to the sinner with a clear
sin… But it might be possible that a person is a
servant and at the same time too far from God! As
one of the spiritual writers says: “You have lost your
life in serving the Lord’s House. So, when will you
care about the Lord of the House?!”
He describes a person who is too busy with
many matters in service and his lost spiritual
life is lost!
He is like a machine that works but has no soul!
Such a person might be spiritually dead. But
unfortunately he does not feel that he is dead, nor
does he realize that he is need for cure!
“Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead” that
what the apostle says to him. But he does not feel
that he is asleep nor does he realize that he is dead…
The dead loses his body heat. And so is the
spiritually dead, he loses his spiritual heat… He
loses what he had of zeal, enthusiasm and
He no more at all has a desire or internal
eagerness for spiritualities… He might pray, but he
does not feel that in his prayer he has a connection
between him and God. He is as the Lord Christ says:
“use vain repetitions as the heathen do” (Mt 6:7).
About such a person Mar Isaac the Syrian says: “If
you are in such a state, say: I have not stood in front
of God to prepare words!!”. Such a person may pray
one or two psalms or more without feels that he had
He is like some Jews about whom the Lord
Christ said: “This people honors Me with their
lips, But their heart is far from Me.” (Mk 7:6).
And so are the sermons for such a person, they
come into his ears but never through his heart nor to
his will… He cars about their meanings, and does not
care about its soul or implementation! Where does he
stand from the Lord Christ’s saying: “The words that I
speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (Jn 6:63).
Meaning that you should realize its soul and convert it
to a lifestyle…
As for the Holy Sacraments: Such a person
practices them; he attends liturgies, takes
communion, and maybe does that persistently. Yet all
this becomes a routine in his life, he does not take a
neither a soul nor a life from that! And so are the
Hymns: He cares for memorizing them and singing
them properly, knowing the proper rhythm and beat,
but does not take from a hymn any spiritual effect…
And so are the spiritual readings for him: he
takes them as a teacher does. As a person who writes
a strong lecture about prayer, its types and levels,
while he does not pray and does not practice the
prayer spiritualities!... Spiritualities in general,
become for him one of the sciences that he can set its
elements and bases without being a spiritual life for
him! Spiritual meetings may have also lost its effect
on him. They are activities, or it may include
meanings that he became acquainted with, and in no
need for more of knowledge in them!
Yet he is active and interested in the church. Such a
person reminds me of the Lord’s saying to Martha:
“you are worried and troubled about many
things. But one thing is needed” (Lk 10:41, 42)…
And so happens to anyone who goes into the churchly
work cycle… (I am sorry for the expression)… I mean
those who go into that cycle with no spirit… Meaning
that his spirit is not working, but his feet are running
from one place to another and his tongue does not
stop talking, but the sole is missing! And the person
thinks he is working!
This spiritually dead person needs who raises him
and needs a therapy or spiritual doctor. The strange
thing is that he is similar to psychologically ill people
who think that they are not ill. And if someone
suggests to any of them that he should see a
psychiatrist, he objects and gets angry saying: “who
is he who think I am psychologically ill?!”…
There is a spiritually dead person from the
point that his conscience died or his internal
spiritual feeling or motive has died!!
There is no movement inside him pushing him to
spiritualities. No movement from the mind side, from
the conscience side, nor from the soul side… He has
no desire to pray. And if he prayed it is only out of
duty, so that his conscience does not repute him if he
does not pray… Or as a shame from the father of
confession when he goes to confess! He prays without
eagerness, passion, concentration or interest! And his
prayer does not go up, and has no effect in heaven,
and is not counted for him as a prayer…
This state resembles the state of the people
in the wilderness after crossing the Red Sea.
They are neither under the Pharaoh slavery, and
the slavery pains make them call for God, nor are
they in Canaan enjoying God’s pleasures in a Land
flowing with milk and honey… But they are in state of
spiritual freezing or a spiritual lukewarmness…
Therefore, God said that none of them will enter the
Therefore, the sinner finds in the humiliation of
sin what pushes him to tears and prayer heat so that
God forgives him and leads him to repentance. Also
he who reached the Godly Love and the pleasure of
God’s companionship, finds feelings that make him
help in his companionship with God in the life of the
But he who is in between, lives in lukewarmness,
he has no heat to aim for repentance and no spiritual
pleasure heat in getting attached to the Lord.
How can a person then get the spiritual heat
after quenching his inside spirit flame?
That is what the apostle warned us from
saying: “Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Th 5:19).
Meaning, do not quench the spiritual heat that is
So, a person must go back to his eagerness to
God and to the spirit life… As a person who loves God
from all his heart, and his heart is burning with his
love to God longing to monastical life to live always
with God… Then after he is dressed with monastical
clothes, the love flame inside him starts going off…
The monastery life then does not affect him anymore,
as it was when he was living in the world…
This situation happened sometimes with
reverend fathers in their relation to God’s
altar… They feeling in the past, before ordination,
was deep solemnity towards God’s altar, so that one
worships in strong dignity before entering the altar.
And when he is inside, he stands in dignity and
reverence. Then after one becomes a priest, he
stands in the altar as he stands in any normal place.
Solemnity has gone and he talks to this and that.
What has happened? Has the first flame started to
quench?! Has the first solemnity changed and no
more became as it was before!
That’s why many people do not take communion
much, and do not go much to the altar, so that they
keep inside them the solemnity and the reverence of
the place and it does not become for them a usual
place! They do so to also keep the reverence of the
Holy Sacraments and the must of getting deeply
prepared for them. As St Rowais (Abba Tiji) said “A
person who is taking communion must have his inside
like the inside of Virgin Mary who carried the Lord
inside of her…”
The important thing for a person is to keep his
spiritual heat and the burning of the spirit inside him.
Keep his relationship with God from getting
lukewarm, and his spirit from dying.
The topic of (Sprit’s Death) was not said by
the Lord to normal or secular people only, but
was also said to great pastors who were called
by Him as church angels.
So he said to the angel of the church of Sardis
“you have a name that you are alive, but you are
dead” (Rev 3:1). And said to the angel of the church
of Ephesus “Remember therefore from where you
have fallen; repent” although he was a great saint
who labored a lot for God and never got weary (Rev
2:3-5)… The Lord also said to the angel of the
Laodiceans “because you are lukewarm… I will vomit
you out of My mouth” (Rev 3:14)… So he pointed out
the lukewarmness even with great church servants…
Look how when the bible talked about the
Lord’s raising of the dead, it pointed out three
specific miracles of which each has a special
Jairus’ daughter: The Lord raised her from death
while she was still at her father’s house and not
yet out of it. She symbolizes those who die
spiritually while they are still in the church and
not separated from it. That’s why he said "she is
not dead, but sleeping." (Lk 8:52). And after He
raised her, He commanded that she be given
something to eat because this type needs spiritual
The second type is the son of the widow of Nain:
The Lord raised him while he was dead in a coffin
on the way while his mother was weeping over
him. He symbolizes those people who went out of
the church and the church is weeping over them.
Even this type was raised from death by the Lord.
The bible says after that that the Lord “presented
him to his mother” (Lk 7:15). Meaning that He
returned him to the membership of the church
once again. Returned him to the believers’ body…
The third type, and it is the most serious one, is
raising Lazarus after being buried for four days
(Jn 11). Days have passed by while he was in the
grave, until people lost hope that he will be
raised. Even to the extent that his sister, one of
his most loved ones, said about him that there
will be stench. He symbolizes the person who is
spiritually dead, has separated from the church
and people lost hope in him being saved after it
has been so long since the time he was lost. This
too was raised by the Lord Christ. And the Lord
said “Loose him”, as a symbol to those who need
loosing from the ties that tie them to total loss.
This spiritually dead person, who is out of
his hyperactivity feels that he is not dead, and
does not need cure… He needs a push from
God may allow him a tough trial, that takes him
away from his activities to stay alone with himself for
a while and think of how much he is in need for God
and needs a treatment…
As a patient he gets into the recovery room so
that he gets an X-ray to know what is inside of him.
They might find into him some external body that
needs removal by a surgery so that he gets healed.
They might find that it is better for him to get blood
transfusion with a new pure blood, or maybe more
glucose, iron, oxygen, or maybe vitamins… This is
how it is with those in need for treatment.
We notice that most people fight with all their
strength to have a role in the church service.
And when they start serving, we see that they
start caring for the service more than they care
for their spiritual life! And this is how they get
lukewarmness and they might even get lost!
Therefore, every servant has to care for his
spiritual childhood and preserve it as the Lord says:
“unless you are converted and become as little
children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of
heaven” (Mt 18:3). And so, in spite of his service, one
should continue inside the church like a student:
learning and training himself, feeling that he is in
need for repentance, humility and self control, and
caring for himself following the apostle’s words “let
him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Co
Beautiful and deep is this statement by St Paul
the apostle to his disciple Bishop Timothy, that says:
“Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine.
Continue in them, for in doing this you will save
both yourself and those who hear you.” (1 Ti
See how he told him “take heed to yourself”
before he brings his attention to his responsibility in
teaching the doctrine and taking heed of it… He also
says to him “continue in them”, meaning left that be
a spiritual system that he always lives by…
Not because you have become a bishop and a
pastor for others, you consider yourself that you have
become responsible for others and not for yourself!
Take heed of yourself first… And why do so? “for in
doing this you will save yourself…”. Maybe our
brothers, the Protestants, say: Has not St Timothy be
saved yet?!... No doubt he needed to take care of his
salvation and keep on doing that, no matter how
higher ranks he gets to…
And in doing so he saves those who hear him too.
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