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Featured Who are the Saints?

Discussion in 'Eschatology & Prophecy Forum' started by David H., Sep 12, 2020.

  1. David H.

    David H. Member

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    Someone else here had a post that asked, "Who are the elect?" This is a partly a response to that post and a post unto itself.

    Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: (Eph. 1:1)

    Could it be that what most of Protestantism has been taught an error, that all believers are saints? Let me explain a little. As a reaction to the false veneration of the saints by the Roman Catholic church, Martin Luther and other reformers wanted no part in this and did away with this distinction. With the exception of some anglican churches most of Protestantism still holds to the teaching that all believers are saints. But is this what the Bible states. The verse quoted above seems to indicate there are 2 groups within the church, those who are faithful in Christ Jesus, and those who are Saints. If this is true, then what are the implications of this as seen in the book of revelation, where at a certain point the church ceases to be mentioned, yet the saints continue to be mentioned?

    Some have come to create a whole new class of People, a phrase not mentioned in scripture called the "tribulation saints", But what if this is wrong?

    A Little study on the concept of saints.... first used to describe the priests and sons of Aaron, the word saint in Hebrew refers to those who have been separated and called out of the whole to service to the LORD. They are consecrated and Holy unto Him. Not all of Israel was the saints, only those who were Levites did this title apply. Even Moses was not called a saint, but Aaron was. This distinction can be seen in Hosea 11:12 as well where it says: " but Judah yet ruleth with God, and is faithful with the saints." As well as Psalm 106:16 "They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint of the LORD." Notice the singular is applied in the last verse, which means only Aaron is called the saint. Notice in the first verse the faithful in Judah are allied with the saints but are not the saints themselves.

    So what then Makes one a Saint? I will leave this open ended for now to see what people think, But if this is true, how does this distinction affect things like eschatology, and even predestination and the sovereignty of God?
     
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  2. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Greetings, David H.

    I saw this hadn't been responded to, so I will give you a response and see if it draws attention.

    For me, you may be making too much of separating the phrases "saints which are at Ephesus" and "the faithful in Christ Jesus" as distinguishing two different groups. For one, it would seem to stand on its own in the letter, since nowhere else in Ephesians does such a distinction appear to be elaborated on.

    But I will say this: I do think there is a distinction between those Paul was writing to in Ephesus and many Christians today. They were "holy ones" (the essential meaning of ἁγίοις) because the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon them, and was manifesting itself in signs and wonders and supernatural gifts, including prophecy, tongues and interpretation of tongues. And they were continually abiding in the Spirit and manifesting the fruit and gifts of His Holy Spirit, hence the term was accurate of them.

    Is it accurate of most Christians today? My opinion would be no. Certainly they are believers and certainly they belong to the Lord, but the only thing that makes a person holy is the Presence of the One True God, through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

    As for the implications for eschatology, there is indeed a reference in revelation that uses the term. My thinking there is that the church of the Lord Jesus Christ is eventually going to return to the same holiness that the early church walked in and greater, because the Spirit will again be poured out in abundant measure, and even more so.

    God bless, and welcome again to Christianity Board.
    HiH
     
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  3. David H.

    David H. Member

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    HiH,
    Thanks for the comment, In response to this I would ask you to do a search of the word saints, especially how Paul Uses the term, You Will find that Ephesians has quite a few of these verses, which make the saints to be apart from the whole of the Body. Paul makes this same distinction at the beginning of Colossians (1:2) Let the Holy Ghost teach you as you do, Especially notice Ephesians 4:11-12, and 1 Corinthians 1:2.

    I Agree with much of your comment on the end times, I see the church being formed into the saints and is why the church is not mentioned in revelation after a certain point but the saints continue to be until Revelation 14. To me this indicates that a transformation has taken place of the church... a falling away of some, But a growth to sainthood of others, who will receive the outpouring of the Spirit in ways not seen since the early church.

    It is my belief that The Ephesian church is the key to understanding this. This also being the first church mentioned in Revelation, and the John the Apostle was associated with later in His life after the fall of Jerusalem.

    If you choose to do this study, pray the prayer found in Ephesians 1:17ff by Paul for that church for the Wisdom of God. This and the other Prayers of Paul in Ephesians are some of the most powerful prayers we as a church are given and when you find them and pray them they will produce fruit.

    That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: (Eph. 1:17-21)
     
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  4. Taken

    Taken Well-Known Member

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    Sanctification.

    Glory to God,
    Taken
     
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  5. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    Agreed and of course. A saint is one who has had his "head removed" so that Christ is now His Head.

    Psalm 140

    140 Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man (ADAM): preserve me from the violent man;

    2 Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war.

    3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah.

    4 Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings.


    Now most people will read that as being someone else as opposed to themselves. But the scriptures say...who will save me from Adam....the Adam that WE are until we are crucified with Christ.

    Paul says the same thing in Romans 7

    24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?


    So then the one who is liberated from the power and influence of the Adamic man...the old man...the outer man...crucified with Christ in order to enter into the resurrection life of Jesus.

    The saint begins there.

    Peace.
     
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  6. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    I did do some searching as you requested, and while I considered it for a moment, it presents too many difficulties for me. One would be that it seems to set up a type of elitism where the saints (as apposed to the brethren at large) are given special treatment.

    For instance, collections are made for them in distinction to ordinary believers (1 Corinthians 16:1, 2 Corinthians 8:4, 2 Corinthians 9:1). Prayers are directed more towards them specifically (Ephesians 6:18). Their feet are washed (1 Timothy 5:10). They are singled out to be saluted by the apostle (Philippians 4:21), and they alone are acknowledged as giving salutes (Philippians 4:22), and they appear to be the only ones who return with Christ at His coming (Jude 1:14).

    The latter examples could possibly be explained, but the former seem too awkward in keeping with the principles Jesus laid down in Matthew 23:10-12 to be truly consistent with His teachings.
     
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  7. David H.

    David H. Member

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    That is a great argument against it, and one I had as well when being shown this. The Key that overcomes this is that being a saint is not of our choosing but by the divine Lot of God. All the faithful are called to be saints, but few are chosen. This is where Arminianism and Calvinism can come to fellowship with one another. One says salvation is open to all and have their verses to prove this, and one says only those who are predestined can come to salvation. What this is saying is that Salvation is for all (whomsoever will), But sainthood is for those chosen by God.

    The Verse and the Epistle that show this most clearly is 2 Peter 1:1, the Word Legchano is to obtain by divine Lot. So what this means is that sainthood has nothing to with merit and everything to do with the sovereign choice of God, A saint does not elevate themselves, but keeps them Humble, and no true saint would dare steal the glory of God and place it upon themselves.

    Your misgivings are well founded, and this indeed is what happened to the RCC which began to venerate the saints, and there were Nicolaitans all too willing to place themselves on that pedestal of pride and be venerated such as the pontificate and cardinals, who committed Balaam's error and gainsaying for their own glory.... such is human nature. But because there are false prophets this does not mean there are not true prophets... because there are false saints, does not mean there are no true saints out there. The true saints would never dare to steal the glory from God for they did not earn their calling but it was granted by divine lot, by the choosing of God. The true saint would never stand and say they are one, but when their time comes they will stand up for the Truth of the Word of God and face the persecutions that are ordained for them that through their sacrifice and sharing in the suffering of Christ they may overcome the adversary by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony. (Rev. 12:11) Christ Jesus words echo in this, in that all the faithful are called to be saints, but only few are chosen, and indeed, they will be part of the LORD's Army come judgment. (Jude 1:14)
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2020
  8. David H.

    David H. Member

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    Amen and greetings Episkopos. You were on the other Forum as well if I remember correctly? The fifth seal is when that number will be reached. The way I look at it is every believer who loses his head is one step closer to the Day of Christ.
    DH
     
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  9. David H.

    David H. Member

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    Sanctification is part of the election, But a saint is no Holier than any other believer, they are not chosen by merit, But by divine choice. When chosen they will be sanctified and taught by the Holy Ghost more so than the faithful in Christ Jesus, in that they will know the heart of God Himself and are more than willing to make that choice to serve him in the face of persecution, Just as Stephen who was full of the Holy Ghost, so too are these called ones unafraid to speak the truth despite their persecutions and even death as a testimony (Martyria).

    God Bless.
     
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  10. Taken

    Taken Well-Known Member

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    Thank you...and Gods Blessing to you and yours.

    Just giving the most direct answer.
    Agree many things play into the Big picture...
    But bottom line...if one is Not Sanctified...
    (AKA...set apart UNTO Him)
    There shall be utter Separation From The Lord God Forever.

    PRAY For our Nation,
    Taken
     
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  11. Timtofly

    Timtofly Well-Known Member

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    So a saint is chosen by God, but chooses to take the next step and chooses to accept God fully?

    These people should never be recognized by fellow humans. It would defeat the point.

    So, no. Saints should not be recognized, nor pointed out, nor venerated.

    They are not a separate group, because they are not separated from the group, else they would stop being saints.

    After the opening of the 6th seal in Revelation 6, the church is whole and completed. There will never be any more additions, unless it is knowledge after the new heavens and earth we have not been told. It seems pretty definite, at the GWT, no one there will be part of the church.

    The only other group are the sheep and wheat, and those beheaded by Satan during the Trumpets, Thunders, and Satan’s 3.5 years. These are not part of the church but "Saints". God seperated them from the goats and tares, and some chose God and had their heads cut off, instead of following Satan. That is a definite choice with physical consequences.

    They all physically die, because in Revelation 20, they are physically resurrected, judged, and given new incorruptible physical bodies that cannot die, and they cannot die the second death in the lake of fire. This is who gives birth to many generations for 1000 years. There are billions of humans born in a sin free, Satan free environment. But after dozens of generations and spreading to the farthest corners of the earth away from the originals living in Jerusalem, these "saint offspring" are going to be thinking other thoughts than bowing down to a central government led by Jesus Christ Himself.

    So a saint, after the church is taken away, is not trying to create a new dispensation of faith or group of humans. It is the physical restoration of biological life pre sin. Now Adam was taken out of the world and separated from the sons of God in the Garden of Eden. Adam’s family was a chosen people. The church is Adam's descendants who did choose God by faith. They will forever live in Adam's Paradise. Now God in the few years prior to the last Millennium, chooses some of Adam's descendants to replace both the church and those dead in their sin as continuing humanity on earth for the last 1000 years before the NHNE.

    This is not popular to hear today. Many deny the earth will even be used by God for another 1000 years, but will be desolate or destroyed. Others think that the church rules on earth, but John does not give us any details about Paradise during the 1000 years. Revelation 7 points out the church will never leave the presence of God nor this Paradise. All we know is that it comes down as the New Jerusalem at the end of this reality. According to Revelation, after the 7th seal is opened, the saints on earth will die physically, be resurrected from physical death, and forever live on physical earth in incorruptible physical bodies. The church is only mentioned up to the seals. These saints are covered from chapter 8 to chapter 20. Then the church comes down in the New Jerusalem and those saints on earth will then be united in some way we are not told.
     
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  12. quietthinker

    quietthinker Well-Known Member

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    With respect but I see this a smoke screen. The term 'saints' is unequivocally God's people. Straining at gnats and swallowing camels is a practice to guard against if one desires clarity.
     
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  13. David H.

    David H. Member

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    How Long now has the church been bouncing between two opinions on the whole predestination and freewill debate? Here I offer you clarity if you will but hear it. It is the very solution to the error on both sides....

    Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:13-16)

    I Appreciate real interaction, Not mockery without content.... How is it that you solve the issue of freewill vs. the sovereignty of God?

    Calvinism is right on the sovereignty of God and his predestination, As well as Arminius on "Whosoever will may come".... The error in both is not distinguishing between the faithful in Christ Jesus, and the Saints. This error stems directly from the reforms of Luther and the other reformers as a form of reactionary religion, they threw the baby out with the dirty bath water. 90-95% of the other denominations make this same error in Protestantism and evangelicalism.... And are being tossed to and fro between two opinions because of this. Pray about this before you mock it and be a Berrean and search the scripture. There is a unity here that will edify the church if they seek the Truth and a great blessing.
     
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  14. quietthinker

    quietthinker Well-Known Member

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    Where is the mocking?...... Where is the taking of any side you mentioned?..... Has imagination projected onto another?
     
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  15. Taken

    Taken Well-Known Member

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    Chosen?
    Somewhat could have a misconstrued meaning.

    God is foreknowing - of all things-
    * IOW- God already Knows- what individual WILL be the most excellent to Serve Him and His Will in the most Beneficial way.

    From every Character Named in Scripture, we find Examples of men (approached/
    "called ON" by the The Lord God) -and the individuals...Response.
    The Responses- range- From;
    *Absolute- Agreement to Serve the Lord God-
    *Doubt- They are up to task-
    *Fear- of the Retribution of other people-
    *Rejection- obsticals while doing the task-
    *Trust- to have the Lord with them to prevail-

    We have the Advantage, of written History-
    OT-NT - Of Examples of People WHO - had particular Tasks-
    (people- from lowly status IN the world, to people of high status IN the world- God chose/"called on", and their Response, and the Out-come, of those People, ELECTING, to Choose God, to Trust Him, and Accomplish the task...or Not).

    The Task of specific people - always has an Impact ON the People "AT Large"...(lowly and high status also).

    It (establishing WHO "becomes" a "SAINT") all Hinges on- WHO -
    accepts Gods OFFERING...
    For God Himself, to Designate, an individual,
    "a SAINT".


    We can KNOW, from historical writing...WHO, named in Scripture, were called on by Name, Accepted Gods Offer, personally themselves, ELECTED GOD, to Be "their" God, Trusted HIM, accomplish their task, and Thus ARE, "SAINTS", (set aside/ aka Sanctified), unto God Forever.

    Considering- no one's Name has been entered into Scriptural Writings for over 2,000 years,
    WHO, is not Name In Scripture, is simply, "guesswork" BY men on Earth, Hearing an individual man's Testimony, Seeing an individual's Works...that we, can "MAYBE", have an "idea", that individual, "IS" bound for "SAINT-HOOD"...or appears...to have accomplished, "becoming" "a SAINT".

    An OT "SAINT", Is one who answered Gods calling, and individually Chose, God to be their God.

    A NT (and forward to this day), "SAINT" Is one who has answered Gods calling, and individually Chose, Christ the Lord Jesus, to Be their Lord and God to Be their God.

    Those are each Individual's Choices (from the individual's OWN Heartful Elections.

    And WHO knows an individual's Hearts Thoughts...but the Individual himself AND God? No one.

    We simply "get" an indication ... by the person's own word and works (fruits)...and Treat them accordingly.
    (Accept them as a "Saint", "treat" them as "a fellow Saint"...not worry about, if "they" have fooled us. Because if they are found to have "fooled us"...we did as Taught... and the fact is...they Did not Fool God!)

    Agree and Disagree-

    Yes we should, "recognize" our own "standing", on having Chosen The Christ the Lord Jesus, To Be Our Lord, and God to Be our God.

    Yes we should, "recognize" a fellow man as a Fellow "saint", whose word and works, we hear and observe.

    I believe...Scripture is Plain, in that, the "recognition"...is simply "KNOWING", and treating them accordingly, BY the extent of ones "kNOWLEDGE".
    (You shall "know" Them by their fruits).

    And AGREE- knowing an other "is a saint," AND men handing out TITLES of "SAINT-HOOD"...are TWO completely Different things.

    Giving them Titles-
    Calling them by Titles-
    Speaking About them with Titles-
    Making Statues unto them-
    Making Medallians unto them-
    Making them "saints over" Works/crafts/etc.

    IS MEN ESTABLISHING "REWARDS" FOR them...<--- that I disagree with...(and agree with your point).

    The Fact IS- Scripture teaches NO such thing.
    Men Who Become saints, do so, unto Faithful Service UNTO God.
    God simply Recognizes them...BY an entry of their NAME, in His books.
    ( men can do the same ).
    Their REWARD...IS WITH the Lord God...
    For The Lord God Himself to bestow Upon Them.
    IOW-
    God's Offering-
    Man's Acceptance-
    Gods Reward-
    Gods (place) To deliver His Reward!!!

    Pretty ASSUMING, on the part of man, to Dole Out, "Gods Rewards" "for Him"!!!!

    Matt 6:
    [20] But lay up "for yourselves" treasures in heaven... (and)

    Rev 22
    [12] And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.


    Glory to God,
    Taken
     
  16. CadyandZoe

    CadyandZoe Active Member

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    I did a quick survey of the Bible looking for terms like "holy ones" and "saints" and I discovered that the meaning of such terms depends on the context. The term "saint" comes from the Latin "sanctus" which is also translated "holy", and essentially refers to anyone whom God has consecrated or sanctified, although God refers to himself as "the Holy One of Israel."

    A saint is typically consecrated for a special purpose. The sanctified person may have been consecrated to the ministry, consecrated to live as a devout person, or consecrated to receive a blessing. The saint may fit any one or all of these categories.

    The elder of a church is considered a "saint" with respect to the laity, because of his special role as overseer. The true believers are also saints with respect to the rest of humanity. In other words, the term "saint" is a multipurpose word which serves to indicate anyone whom God has consecrated.
     
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  17. farouk

    farouk Well-Known Member

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    @CadyandZoe Paul sometimes addresses the believers in the Lord Jesus to whom he writes as 'saints'.
     
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  18. CadyandZoe

    CadyandZoe Active Member

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    Yes, that's right. I think so also. At the same time, though, I often wondered, as the original post suggests, whether Paul came up with another word other than "believer" to describe those who follow Jesus.

    Many of us wish we had another word to use because we have all witnessed "believers in name only." The term "saint" or "holy one" seems to connote a higher calling, someone who truly and actually believes what Jesus said and attempts with heart, soul, mind, and spirit to obey God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

    I don't know. It's as if Paul assumes that "believers in name only" wouldn't be interested in what he has to say. So he writes to the "saints" instead.
    But I am speculating here. I don't know this to be a fact.
     
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  19. marks

    marks Well-Known Member

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    How does one belong to the Lord outside of His presence in them?

    Much love!
     
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  20. marks

    marks Well-Known Member

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    Hi David,

    I've heard this idea before, and when I've explored the concept, I've found that whatever is offered to designate between a "saint" and a "faithful", I have so far found that the Bible applies it to both.

    I've come to see this issued contained in the matter of what are reconciliation and justification are. When we see these being in Christ alone, there is no distinction between saints and faithful. When you come to faith, God sets you apart.

    Much love!
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
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