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Strangers And Pilgrims

The English word "strange" originated from the Latin word extraneus (from which the English word "extra" also originated) which meant on the outside i.e. "strangers" were "outsiders," socially, religiously or politically, within one's own nation - they could be one's own countrymen just as easily as they could be "foreigners."

On the other hand, the English word "pilgrim" originated from the Latin word peregrinus which meant someone who has traveled a long distance from his place of birth. Although that makes them "foreigners" in the present day definition of that word, the English word "foreigner" itself originated from another Latin word, foraneus, which only means outside the door, or more literally, in the forest (the English word "forest" originated from the very same Latin word as "foreign").

"Stranger" and "pilgrim" are used by the King James Version to translate a number of original words of the Holy Scriptures that mean the same thing as the English words. The Hebrew word, pronounced gawr, means stranger, exactly as the English word that is used to translate it. The Greek word, pronounced par-ep-id-ay-mos, means someone who has traveled a long distance from his place of birth, exactly as the English word that is used to translate it.

"I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims"

If you are a true Christian (that is, someone who reads and lives by the actual Word of God in the Light of the Holy Spirit), you probably well-understand the meanings of "stranger" and "pilgrim" - because being a true Christian in this present world makes you a "stranger" and a "pilgrim." It has always been that way for God's faithful people. That's what the "faith chapter" of the Bible, Hebrews 11, is all about.

The Holy Scriptures

"11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 11:2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.

11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God [see The Logos], so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain [see What Did Abel Have That Cain Didn't?], by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead [see What Happens When You Die?] yet speaketh.

11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death [see What Happened To Enoch?]; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house [see The Flood]; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went [see On His Own Two Feet and Israel's Iraqi Roots]. 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God [see The City To Come].

11:11 Through faith also Sara [see Abram and Sarai] herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. 11:12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.

11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 11:14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 11:15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 11:16 But now they desire a better country [see The Gospel of The Kingdom of God], that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac [see Isaac's Faith And Obedience]: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son. 11:18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 11:19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

11:20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

11:21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph [see The Israelite Patriarchs - Joseph and Ephraim and Manasseh]; and worshiped, leaning upon the top of his staff.

11:22 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones [see Joseph's Bones].

11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment [see notes for Exodus 1-3].

11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years [see The Education Of Moses], refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. 11:28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.

11:29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned [see notes for Exodus 13-16].

11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days [see What Actually Made The Walls of Jericho Fall?].

11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon [see notes for Judges 5-7 and Judges 8-12], and of Barak, and of Samson [see notes for Judges 13-15 and Judges 16-18], and of Jephthae; of David also [see King David, Israelite Monarchy - The Origin, Israelite Monarchy - The Civil War and Israelite Monarchy - The United Kingdom], and Samuel, and of the Prophets: 11:33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 11:34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 11:35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better Resurrection: 11:36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 11:38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect [see To Meet The Lord In The Air" (Hebrews 11:1-40 KJV)

The apostle Peter also made it plain with his "I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims."

"2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby [see Growing In The Grace And Knowledge]: 2:3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious."

"2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion [see Who, What or Where Is Zion?] a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner [see Israelite Monarchy - The Messiah], 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light [see Awaken To The Light]: 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation." (1 Peter 2:1-12 KJV)

Fact Finder: What is the "Light" that God's true people are guided by in their journey toward eternal life?
See Darkness Before Light and The Cure For The Carnal Mind


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