For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also, James 2:26. As for physical death, the Bible clearly defines it as the moment the spirit is separated from the body. What then is spiritual death? Spiritual death is when a person becomes separate from God. 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 2:17. Adam did not physically die in the day he ate the forbidden fruit. He became separated from God, he died spiritually.
In each instance, whether the Word of God is speaking of spiritual death or physical death, the definition of death is separation. Physical death is to be separated from the body, spiritual death is to be separated from God. When the rich man was in hell, he still had his senses. He could think and remember. He still felt family bonds. Death is not unconsciousness or oblivion. The rich man had made the mistake of living out his life separate from God. He had been spiritually dead all along. When he became separated from his body, his fate was sealed.
Did God die? When Jesus Christ died on the cross, was it the death of God, or the death of just the man Jesus? Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren, I John 3:16. We saw in the previous posts on the Revelation of the Godhead and its continuation on the Father, that the body Jesus inhabited was the fullness of the Godhead bodily. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, Colossians 2:9. And we saw that that was the Father's choice, For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell, Colossians 1:19.
That was God hanging on the cross. The death of the Godhead, and them becoming separate one from another was depicted in the law. And if the burnt sacrifice for his offering to the LORD be of fowls, then he shall bring his offering of turtledoves, or of young pigeons. And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring off his head, and burn it on the altar; and the blood thereof shall be wrung out at the side of the altar, Leviticus 1:14,15. The priest would hold the bird in his hand and wring off the head. This is a picture of the Godhead being torn asunder at the cross, and the blood of God being shed to purchase the church.
The spirit of Jesus Christ went to the Father. His soul was made an offering for sin and his flesh went to the tomb. When his body was in the tomb Peter identified it as the Holy One, Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption, Acts 2:27. In the next four verses he makes clear that the Holy One is the flesh of Jesus Christ. The Godhead became separated one from another, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Psalm 22:1.
The Jehovah Witnesses and the Mormons believe that God manifest his love to man by making someone else go down to this earth and get beat into hamburger meat and die. The Word of God says, Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends, John 15:13. Making someone else go down and die is not the greatest love. God himself carrying a cross up Calvary's mountain and dying for mankind is the greatest love.
Death is separation. Adam died two deaths. Jesus Christ, who is the fullness of the Godhead died two deaths for us, physical and spiritual. As the great hymn writer Charles Wesley wrote, That thou my God shouldst die for me!