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What Is A Saint?
by Wayne Blank
The original Bible words that have been translated to the English word saint are found through the entire Old and New Testaments. Saints did not originate at the time of the earthly life of Jesus Christ.
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 who is sacred, holy, pure, blameless, dedicated. They became saints by means of the Holy Spirit, which can only come from God. God therefore chooses His saints, and gives them of His Holy Spirit to make it possible (see The Elect).
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 were as much saints as the most famous and prominent ones such as Peter and Paul (e.g. Romans 15:26).
Saints were not infallible (e.g. Galatians 2:11), and sometimes they disagreed with one another (e.g. Acts 15:39). They were most certainly called, converted, good people, but they did not become somehow perfect. As far as The Bible is concerned, God's Word was and is perfect, but God's people, while yet physical, were and are not perfect in knowledge, or behavior (see Paul's Mirror).
Were there more saints after those recorded in the Bible? Yes. Have there been true saints during the past 2,000 years? Yes, secular history records their persecution, along with the persecution of millions of others who were "saints" of various man-made church organizations. Are there true saints alive on the earth today? Yes, they and/or their descendants are described in end-time prophecy.
Bible Prophecy has much to say about God's true saints living on the earth during the end-times. Circumstances will be extremely difficult, but they will eventually triumph. A few examples from your Bible:
"Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and tongue and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, every one whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain." (Revelation 13:7-8 RSV) (see The Great False Prophet and The Antichrist)