There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
In pamphlet #7023 and pamphlet #7024 we are going to read some of the most quoted verses in all the Bible. And you know what? Most people who read them believe they say something which they don't. Ironically, what they believe one of them says is actually a true statement, though that verse doesn't actually speak of it. The second one is in direct conflict with one of the traditional beliefs of mainstream Christianity, but in full accord with the rest of the scriptures.
So before we begin, let's think about the magnitude of what was just said, and in doing so consider an excerpt from one of the great Christian scholars of all time, E.W. Bullinger, from his book titled, "How to Enjoy the Bible", American Christian Press, Knoxville, OH.
"If any think they know all, or that they have exhausted the Divine Word; or that what they set out to learn is only to be in addition to what they already know, instead of sometimes substitution for it, then we shall be of little service to them: and they need not follow us any further.
When we come to ask ourselves, and say, "Where did I learn this?" it is astonishing to find how much we have imbibed from man, and from tradition; and not directly and for ourselves, from the Word of God.
All that we have learned from our youth up must be tested and proved by the Word of God. Where we find it is true we must learn it over again, from God. And where it will not stand the test of His Word we must be not only content, but thankful to give it up; and receive Divine revelation in the place of man's imagination. ("How to Enjoy the Bible", E. W. Bullinger, pg.6)
The word "Pharisees" means a separatist, i.e. exclusively religious.John 3:1
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
And the name "Nicodemus" means "victorious among his people". He was a wealthy ruler in the Sanhedrin and a friend of the shipping magnate, Joseph of Arimathaea, Jesus' Uncle. It would be this Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea who would be Jesus' legal defense team at the illegally held trial of the council preceding the crucifixion, and they would be victorious in obtaining His acquittal.
Nicodemus had no doubts whatsoever that Jesus was a teacher sent from God. You see, the witnessing of divine miracles by a person with common sense is conclusive evidence itself of the presence of God. The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
For the benefit of those who haven't studied with us long let's do a little recapping:
In order to fully understand the next few verses one must be familiar with the 3 World Ages (II Pet. 3) and the overall plan of salvation. We read at beginning of this Gospel of John about the Light that came into the world of darkness, a world that had been destroyed and made tohu va bohu (Gen 1:2) because of the rebellion of Satan and his drawing away from God one third of His sons (Rev. 12:4), during the first earth age. God held judgment for Satan at that time and sentenced him to "perish", but suspended the judgment of the rest of His sons until the plan to "salvage" [save] them and bring them back to Him is completed. The actual perishing of all that are wicked, including Satan, will occur at the lake of fire following the Final Judgment of the rest of the sons of God. And so it is written they will be either sentenced to "perish", i.e. to be no more (eternal death), or receive eternal life.
There is, however, one exception. There were 7,000 sons of God who came to earth in the days of Noah and took to wife the daughters of Adam. You can read about them in the 6th chapter of Genesis. The union between these "fallen angels", who Jude records as having left their first estate, i.e. their abode in heaven, and the daughters of Adam produced giants, who roamed the earth, the evidence of which can easily be found. So pervasive were these supernatural beings, angels, that all of Adams descendents except Noah and his family had corrupted their bloodline. You see, the Messiah would be born through the seed of Adam and Eve, of the eighth day creation, and it came down to only 8 people who were left in the land through which God's Word could be fulfilled. So God brought about the flood of Noah to destroy these giants.
Understand, then that these fallen angels were not born of woman. They did not enter into the womb of woman, the bag of water, and become born of water, which is to say born in the flesh. They came directly to earth, bypassing the decree that all the sons of God, i.e. our angelic brothers, should dwell in the flesh, for as it is written, it is given unto all the sons of God to die once [the first death, i.e. the shadow of death], which is the death of the flesh and then the judgment will occur which will determine whether or not they will die the "second death", the one in which their souls will "perish". Hebrews 9:27 "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"
And once we die, or are changed instantly into our spiritual bodies if we happen to be alive in the flesh at the second advent (I Cor. 50:51), we return to the Father from whence we came.
These are Hebrew expressions which have somewhat lost their "punch" in English, but they mean to die, just like we would say "Kick the Bucket".Eccles. 12:6
Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
Cremated, buried, blown apart or vaporized by a nuclear bomb, it doesn't matter. When you are through with the flesh body, you are through with it forever. For as Paul documents in I Cor. 15 there are two bodies, one is of flesh and one is of spirit. So when you die in the flesh you are raised, shall we even say born, into your spiritual body. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
He goes on to say that unless you are in your spiritual body, you cannot enter into the kingdom of God.1 Cor. 15:44
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.1 Corinthians 15:53 (1st.part) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and (2nd.part) this mortal must put on immortality.
Read the first part of 1 Cor. 15:53 very carefully because what it says is that when you die in the flesh (when your corruptible body dies) you are then changed into your spiritual incorruptible body. This must happen before you can enter Christ's kingdom; Yes, the body like He had, after He was resurrected, when He appeared to His apostles. (The body He had when He entered the room without first opening the door!) see verse 50 below
1 Corinthians 15:53 (1st.part) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and (2nd.part) this mortal must put on immortality.
Then the second part of the verse has to do with whether you are saved or not, your mortality, (die the second death, i.e. the death of your soul), or immortality, (be granted eternal life).
This same Paul would also make it crystal clear in 1 Thes. 4:13-17 that the dead are not sleeping in graves but rather they are with Jesus NOW! So when He returns they will come with Him. You can read those verses for yourself.1 Cor. 15:50
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Now, remember the excerpt from "How to Enjoy the the Bible" that we just read? Most of Christianity believes that in this next verse Jesus is merely telling Nicodemus that a person must be "begotten" by the Holy Spirit, else he cannot be saved. But is that really what He is saying?
Let's return to John and see what Jesus has to say to Nicodemus.
Of course, flesh and blood cannot see/enter the kingdom of God.John 3:3
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Look up the Greek word for "again". It is anothen, Strong's #509, and it means from above which is how it is most often translated. Dr. Moffat's translation of the Bible has it so:
You must first come down from heaven and be born of woman, in the sack of water.John 3:3 Jesus replied, Truly, truly I tell you, no one can see God's Realm unless he is born from above. (Moffat)
However, either way you look at it, the next verse shows that Nicodemus is thinking about another birth.
Nicodemus was a smart man and he understood what "born" means, but he couldn't get his mind off the flesh and it is obvious by his reply that he didn't understand about the spiritual body (which Paul so simply explained to us). Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
Unless you come down and be born of woman, and then go into, be born, into your spiritual body, you cannot enter into the kingdom of God. Got it? First of water, i.e. of flesh, and then of spirit. The fallen angels did not do this and so as it is written in Rev. 11, they shall perish at Christ's return at the 7th Trump. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
And again, we've already documented that flesh and blood cannot enter into the kingdom. You must be born of woman first and then be born in the spirit.
Note: This is not talking about being begotten by the Holy Spirit. Of course you must be begotten by the Holy Spirit to be saved. Some like to call that begettal being "born again".
As Paul said "There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body."
Let's continue with Christ's explanation to Nicodemus:
If you've followed along to this point then this verse is really quite simple, though tradition struggles with it and the next few verses.John 3:6
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
 Do not wonder at me telling you, "You must all be born from above."
This verse is a "no-brainer". Those who are in their spiritual bodies are not visible to those of us who are in the flesh, in this dimension. They are just like the wind, you cannot see them. So you can tell me you are "born again", and I will certainly understand that you are begotten of God and have received the Holy Spirit, but if I can see you, then you have not gotten to this point yet! And you haven't literally entered into the kingdom of God because you are still flesh and blood!John 3:8
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
Uh oh, Nicodemus was a teacher of Israel and he didn't know about these things? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
You know what? We can say the same of many Christian ministers today, they do not know these things? I'm not bashing them. Many of them mean well, but the traditions of men have overridden the Word of God, for many of us, and have made it of non effect.
Now before Jesus puts the finishing touch on this precious knowledge He's giving to Nicodemus, and so to you and me, here's one more excerpt from "How to Enjoy the Bible":
Come out of the desert and drink some of the new wine of truth."The cloud that now rests over its [God's Word] intelligent study arises from the fact that it is with us to-day as with the Jews of old - "The Word of God has been made of none effect by the traditions of men" (Mat. 15:1-9).
Hence it is that on some of the most important questions... we are, still, in what the great Lord Bacon calls "a desert". He alludes to those "deserts" in history, where discovery or research comes to a stand-still, and we get schoolmen instead of philosophers; and clerics instead of discoverers.The Reformation came as an oasis after one of these deserts. Men were sent from the stagnant pools of tradition to the fountain-head of truth. But within two or three generations the Church entered the desert again;Creeds, Confessions, and Catechisms took the place of the open Bible; the inductive method of study was abandoned, and to day it is scarcely understood."
("How to Enjoy the Bible", E.W. Bullinger, pg. xv.)
 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
If you can't believe the literal things, how can you believe that which is spiritual? If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
Now get this next verse.
So no man [son of God] has ascended [or entered into] heaven [the kingdom] except he that came down from heaven [and was born of water]. Even Jesus Christ Himself, the Son of the Living God came down from heaven and was born of water!!John 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
In our next study, Jesus will tell us "WHY" He came down, even as required of all the sons of God, to dwell in the flesh, to tabernacle among men.
It's the most precious and important thing you'll ever read! Pamphlet #7024
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