Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
A Saint: One Appointed to Rule in the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God
A saint is an Israelite selected by YEHOVAH God to rule. A saint is one invited to kingship. True Christianity is the call of certain Israelites to kingship in the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God. The Israelite saints are to be YEHOVAH's choice people. The Israelite saints are to possess the Kingdom "under the whole heaven" and to rule in it forever along with YEHOVAH God and the Messiah. All nations are to be subject to them as immortal kings.
by HOIM Staff
There are a great many opinions in answer to the question, "What is a saint?" Different church organizations and denominations -- as well as individual Christian-professing people -- have a wide variety of interpretations. Are saints just certain holy people from the distant past of Bible History, or are there also saints alive today? How do people become saints? Does any human religious leader have the right to decide who YEHOVAH God's saints are -- or does YEHOVAH alone decide and make it possible?
The original Bible words that have been translated to the English word "saint/s" are found throughout the entire Old and New Testaments. Saints did not originate at the time of the earthly life of Yeshua the Messiah.
The Hebrew Words in the Old Testament:
1). qodesh (koe-desh) meant sacred, holy, or dedicated
Here is an example of where qodesh (koe-desh) was translated as saints:
Deuteronomy 33:2: "And he said: 'The LORD came from Sinai, and dawned on them from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran, and He [YEHOVAH God] came with ten thousands of saints; From His right hand came a fiery law for them.'"
2). qadosh (kaw-dosh) meant sacred or holy
Here are some examples of where qadosh (kaw-dosh) was translated as saint/s:
Psalm 16:3: "But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight."
Psalm 89:5: "And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints."
Psalm 106:16: "They envied Moses also in the camp, and Aaron the saint of the LORD."
3). chasiyd (khaw-seed) meant good or holy
Here are some examples of where chasiyd (khaw-seed) was translated as saint/s:
I Samuel 2:9: "He [YEHOVAH God] will guard the feet of His saints, but the wicked shall be silent in darkness. For by strength no man shall prevail"
2 Chronicles 6:41: "Now therefore, arise, O LORD God, to your resting place, You and the ark of Your strength. Let Your priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, and let Your saints rejoice in goodness."
Proverbs 2:8: "He [YEHOVAH God] guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints."
The Greek Word In the New Testament:
1). hagios (hag-ee-oes) meant consecrated to YEHOVAH God, sacred, holy, or pious
Here are some examples of where hagios (hag-ee-oes) was used in the New Testament:
1 Corinthians 6:2: "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?"
Romans 1:7: "To all who are in Rome, beloved of [YEHOVAH] God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from [YEHOVAH] God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."
Jude 14: "Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, 'Behold, the LORD [YEHOVAH God] comes with ten thousands of His saints.'"
All of the original words above (listed in their transliterated form -- written according to how they sound in English) all carry the same definition of a saint -- someone of Israelite descent who is sacred, holy, pure, blameless, dedicated. They became saints by means of the holy spirit, which can only come from YEHOVAH God. YEHOVAH therefore chooses His saints, and gives them of His holy spirit to make it possible.
The people described as saints in the Bible were, however, still very much human. They were called, they were holy, and they were extremely dedicated (both in terms of attitude, and in the sense of being set apart), but they were still real people, far from perfect. Saints never stopped being normal people -- fishermen, farmers, tent makers, doctors, teachers, carpenters. The "little people" of the congregations of Israel were as much saints as the most famous and prominent ones such as Peter and Paul (Romans 15:26).
John the Baptist, the Messiah said, is the most celebrated human being in history up to his time. Yet he is who is least in the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God is greater than John (Luke 7:28).
The Israelite saints were not infallible (Galatians 2:11), and sometimes they disagreed with one another (Acts 15:39). They were most certainly called, converted, good Israelite people, but they did not become somehow perfect. As far as the Bible is concerned, YEHOVAH's Word was and is perfect, but YEHOVAH's Israelite people -- while yet physical -- were and are not perfect in knowledge, or behavior.
As we have seen, the word “saint” in the New Testament comes from the Greek word hagios -- which means “consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious." It is almost always used in the plural, “saints.” "…Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to your saints at Jerusalem" (Acts 9:13). "Now as Peter was traveling through all those regions, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda" (Acts 9:32). "And this is just what I did in Jerusalem; not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons…“ (Acts 26:10). There is only one instance of the singular use, and that is "Greet every saint in Christ Jesus…" (Philippians 4:21). In Scripture there are 67 uses of the plural “saints” -- compared to only one use of the singular word “saint.” Even in that one instance, a plurality of saints is in view: “…every saint…” (Philippians 4:21).
The idea of the word “saints” is a group of Israelite people set apart by YEHOVAH God for His kingdom. There are three references referring to the godly character of saints: "that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints…" (Romans 16:2). "For the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ" (Ephesians 4:12). "But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints" (Ephesians 5:3).
Therefore, scripturally speaking, the “saints” are the body of the Messiah, Christian Israelites, the ecclesia. All true Christian Israelites are considered saints. All true Christian Israelites are saints -- and at the same time are called to be saints. First Corinthians 1:2 states it clearly: “To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy…” The words “sanctified” and “holy” come from the same Greek root as the word that is commonly translated “saints.” True Christians of Israelite descent are saints by virtue of their connection with YEHOVAH God through the Messiah. Christians Israelites are called by YEHOVAH God to be saints, to increasingly allow their daily life to more closely match their position in the body of the Messiah. This is the biblical description and calling of the saints of Israel.
Christians sometimes spend so much time bewailing their inadequacy and lack of spirituality that they forget why they are Christians in the first place. Israelite followers of Yeshua the Messiah are called "saints." The title "saint" in the New Testament applies to every true Israelite believer. True believers are those who OBEY the Messiah as he obeys YEHOVAH God (Hebrews 5:9; John 3:36; 12:44ff, etc; Luke 8:12; Acts 8:12). It is not reserved for a special class of Christian Israelites who demonstrate a holiness superior to the run-of-the-mill disciple.
In fact, there cannot really be any run-of-the-mill believers, because a saint is one appointed to the royal family of Israel. A saint is one selected by YEHOVAH God to rule. A saint is one invited to kingship. Christianity is the call to kingship in the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God. The saints are to be YEHOVAH's choice people -- chosen from those descended from Jacob or Israel.
Most of the great truths of the Christian faith are rooted in the Hebrew Scriptures. The notion of the saint and his role in YEHOVAH's plan is found there too -- and in a chapter of Daniel which all Christians should practically have memorized. This critically important section of the Old Testament contains a veritable blueprint for the Abrahamic/Davidic faith revealed in the Messiah (cp. Genesis 12, 13, 15, 17; 2 Samuel 7; Galatians 3:29).
Daniel 7:13-14 describes an investiture with royal office. The recipient of this authority to rule is the "Son of Man," a figure who, in the interpretation given by the angel (7:18, 22, 27), signifies the saints of the Most High. "Son of Man" is the favorite self-designation of the Messiah. Naturally so, for he reckoned himself, as Messiah the King, to be the chief of the body of saints and to rule over Israel. The saints are the ones appointed out of Israel to rule in the Kingdom. This is made clear throughout the seventh chapter of Daniel. The Messiah is the new Adam reversing the failure of the first Adam to rule for and with YEHOVAH God.
The point to be noted is this: The saints of Israel receive the Kingdom, possess the Kingdom, and all the non-Israelite nations serve and obey them. Some translations are shy of the shocking (as they think) notion that human beings, Christians and Israelites, should be destined to rule as kings. To some that sounds regrettably "political" and even racial, and so the whole promise to the saints that they are to rule the world with YEHOVAH God and the Messiah is often toned down, sentimentalized and obscured. It is much more palatable to think that "souls go to heaven" where they cannot make much of an impact here on the earth!
Daniel knew of no such evasions of plain truth. The saints of Israel are to possess the Kingdom "under the whole heaven" -- here on this earth -- and to rule in it forever. All the non-Israelite nations are to be subject to them as immortal kings -- notice Daniel 7:14, 18, 22 & 27:
"Dominion, glory, and kingship [Israel] was given to him [the Messiah]; all peoples and nations of every language must serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship, one that will not be destroyed...then holy ones [saints] of the Most High will receive the kingdom, and will possess the kingdom forever -- forever and ever...until the Ancient of Days [YEHOVAH God] came and judgment was rendered in favor of the holy ones [saints] of the Most High, for the time had come, and the holy ones took possession of the kingdom....The kingship and dominion and grandeur belonging to all the kingdoms under Heaven will be given to the people of the holy ones [saints] of the Most High. Their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them" (Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures).
See also Revelation 1:6; 2:26; 3:21; 5:10; 20:1-6 and Isaiah 32:1.
What a wonderful world it will be!
So how does the Roman Catholic understanding of “saints” compare with the biblical teaching? Not very well. In Roman Catholic theology, the saints are in heaven. In the Bible, the saints are here on earth. In Roman Catholic teaching, a person does not become a saint unless he/she is “beatified” or “canonized” by the Pope or some prominent bishop and can be of any race. In the Bible, however, everyone of Israel ONLY who has been called by YEHOVAH God and receives the Messiah by faith is a saint. In Roman Catholic practice, the saints are revered, prayed to, and in some instances, worshipped. In the Bible, saints are called to revere, worship, and pray to YEHOVAH God ALONE.
So how did its meaning change? According to the New Bible Dictionary, the apostles called all true Christian Israelites saints, and "it continued to be used as a general designation at least up to the days of Irenaeus and Tertullian, though after that it degenerated in ecclesiastical usage into an honorific title" (second edition, pp. 487-488).
What was the origin of the "honorific title" employed by Catholicism? Notice what Ralph Woodrow has to say:
"Looking back again to the 'mother' of false religion -- Babylon -- we find that the people prayed to and honored a plurality of gods. In fact, the Babylonian system developed until it had some 5,000 gods and goddesses. In much the same way as Catholics believe concerning their 'saints', the Babylonians believed that their 'gods' had at one time been living heroes on earth, but were now on a higher plane. 'Every month and every day of the month was under the protection of a particular divinity.' There was a god for this problem, a god for each of the different occupations, a god for this and a god for that" (Babylonian Mystery Religion: Ancient and Modern, 1981, p. 31).
Catholics are taught that to obtain help that YEHOVAH God might not give, they should pray to the various "saints." According to The Catholic Encyclopedia (vol. 4, p. 173, art. "Communion of Saints") they are told to worship YEHOVAH God and then to "pray, first to Saint Mary, and the holy apostles, and the holy martyrs, and all God's saints....to consider them as friends and protectors, and to implore their aid in the hour of distress, with the hope that God would grant to the patron what he might otherwise refuse to the supplicant."
Clearly, the Roman Catholic system of patron "saints" developed out of the earlier Babylonian belief in gods devoted to days, occupations and the various needs of human life. And what does YEHOVAH God think of this practice?
When the ancient Israelites conquered a heathen city or country, they were told by YEHOVAH God NOT to adopt the idols and religious practices of these people and incorporate them into YEHOVAH's true religion. Such idols were commanded to be destroyed -- even though they were sometimes coated with silver or gold! Notice!
Deuteronomy 7:25: "You shall burn the carved images of their gods with fire; you shall not covet the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it; for it is an abomination to the LORD your God."
Numbers 33:52: "...then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, destroy all their engraved stones, destroy all their molded images, and demolish all their high places..."
As the apostate church developed into the Catholic religion as we know it today, these commands of YEHOVAH God were deliberately ignored in order to placate converts from paganism who were reluctant to part with their "gods" unless they could find some satisfactory counterpart in "Christianity". The gods and goddesses of the ancient Babylonian system were simply renamed and called "saints."
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Courage for the Sake of Truth is Better Than Silence for the Sake of Unity.
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