Gospel of Luke
(21:16-19) You will be betrayed even by parents, brother, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. But not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.
Gospel of John
(3:1-12) Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?
(4:23,24) God is Spirit and his worshippers must worship in spirit and truth.
(6:63) The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.
Gospel of Thomas
(13) Jesus said to his disciples, “Compare me to something and tell me what I am like.” Simon Peter said to him, “You are like a just messenger.” Matthew said to him, “You are like a wise philosopher.” Thomas said to him, “Teacher, my mouth is utterly unable to say what you are like.” Jesus said, “I am not your teacher. Because you have drunk, you have become intoxicated from the bubbling spring that I have tended.” And he took him, and withdrew, and spoke three sayings to him. When Thomas came back to his friends they asked him, “What did Jesus say to you?”
Thomas said to them, “If I tell you one of the sayings he spoke to me, you will pick up rocks and stone me, and fire will come from the rocks and devour you.”
(14) Jesus said to them, “If you fast, you will bring sin upon yourselves, and if you pray, you will be condemned, and if you give to charity, you will harm your spirits.
When you go into any region and walk about in the countryside, when people take you in, eat what they serve you and heal the sick among them. After all, what goes into your mouth will not defile you; rather, it’s what comes out of your mouth that will defile you.”
(51) His disciples said to him, “When will the rest for the dead take place, and when will the new world come?”
He said to them, “What you are looking forward to has come, but you don’t know it.”
(113) His disciples said to him, “When will the kingdom come?”
“It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, ‘Look, here!’ or ‘Look, there!’ Rather, the Father’s kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people don’t see it.”
(15:35-55) But someone may ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall webear the likeness of the man from heaven.
I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
(3) He was not referring to man’s natural birth from his mother, as they thought, but to the re-birth and recreation of the soul in the Image of God.
(7) You must know, moreover, that the corruption which had set in was not external to the body but established within it.
(8) Christ alone, using common speech and through the agency of men not clever with their tongues, has convinced whole assemblies of people all over the world over to despise death, and to take heed to the things that do not die, to look past the things of time and gaze on things eternal, to think nothing of earthly glory and to aspire only to immortality.
Thascius Caecilius Cyprianus
(6) Also according to John (3:5, 6): “Except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. For that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
(12) Moreover, He says in the same place (in the Gospel of John 6:53): Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye shall have no life in you.”
(1) Notice that the disciples did not ask about the dissolution of the physical heaven and earth or the judgment of the “world” (kosmos).
(12) And, therefore, our Lord and Saviour rightly says to those who suppose that God ought only to be worshipped in Jerusalem, or in certain mountains, or some definite places:
“The hour cometh and now is when the true worshippers shall neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem worship the Father. For God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (Jn 4:21-23)
(14) As He (Jesus) said. . . “Worship not with incense and sacrifices, but in spirit and in truth.”
(1) There were no hopes in physical realities, only a certain hope that every aspect of God’s promises of a spiritual everlasting kingdom was about to be fulfilled
T. Francis Glasson
(1) The conclusion reached is that while Jesus foresaw the fall of Jerusalem and the ultimate triumph of His cause, He did not Himself expect a literal descent from the sky in glory, either in the near future or later.
(1) The great spiritual realities which have been preserved through the centuries by these conceptions are still valid today and they include the final victory and the vindication of Christ, the certainty of judgment and the assurance of reunion.
(2) It was on the strength of this that Rabbi Moses had argued that the world was by no means made for man’s use and that therefore any renewal of the world spoken of in Scripture must be metaphorical, in the sense that the sun shines brighter to one in joy.
(14) The earthly Canaan, the earthly Jerusalem, the earthly temple, gave place to the heavenly. The throne of David was more than restored in the establishment of the heavenly Kingdom of David’s greater Son.
(24) The changed circumstances in which we live justify a departure from apostolic forms, but never from the apostolic spirit.
J. Marcellus Kik
(1) In the Psalms there is no thought of a personal, visible coming of the Lord, but rather references to his judgment and power.
Bishop Thomas Newton
(1) Their pretensions were accommodated to the carnal expectation of the Jews, and withal were backed by force and violence, and yet could not succeed and prosper: on the contrary, the religion of Jesus was spiritual, disclaimed all force, and took the way (humanly speaking) not to prevail, and yet prevailed against all the power and opposition of the world.
– For as God’s reign over the Jews, entirely ended with the abolition of the temple, so the reign of Christ, in spirit and in truth, had then its first beginning.
(1) For all material and corporeal things. whatever they be, have no more value than a feeble and fleeting shadow.
(2) He that has understood what is meant by the beauty of the bride whom the Bridegroom, the Word of God, loves, that is to say, of the soul blooming with beauty supercelestial and spuramundane, will be ashamed to honour with the same term “beauty” the bodily beauty of woman or child or man. The flesh is incapable of real beauty, since it is all ugliness.
(2) How can the spirit that has considered the immovable kingdom of Christ, do otherwise than contemn as utterly worthless every earthly kingdom?
(8) Flesh which profiteth nothing, and blood which is akin to flesh, cannot possess the kingdom of God.
Hannah M.G. Sharepa
– In the Gathas Spenta Mainyu, the “Holy Creative Spirit,” is opposed to Angra Mainyu, the Hostile Spirit. This conflict takes place in the human heart and mind, not in the material Universe. It is the constant struggle between good and evil in human beings. (Zoroastrianism)
Milton S. Terry
(1) A strictly literal interpretation of such pictorial modes of thought leads only to absurdity.
(5) For it is not by earthly sacrifices but by spiritual that offering is to be made to God, we thus read as it is written “An heart contribulate and humbled is a victim for God” (Ps. 51:17).
(6) Therefore, since it is manifest that a Sabbath temporal was shown, and a Sabbath eternal foretold; a circumcision carnal foretold, and a circumcision spiritual pre-indicated; a law temporal and a law eternal formally declared; sacrifices carnal and sacrifices spiritual foreshown; it follows that, after all these precepts had been given carnally, in time preceding, to the people Israel, there was to supervene a time whereat the precepts of the ancient Law and of the old ceremonies would cease, and the promise of the new law, and the recognition of spiritual sacrifices, and the promise of the New Testament, supervene while the light from on high would beam upon us who were sitting in darkness and were being detained in the shadow of death.