"O, WHEN THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN"
by Bob Vermaat
"Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints" (Jude
Throughout the Bible we find references as regarding
"saints". Starting in Deut.33:2 and ending in Rev.20:9 we find
saint and saints mentioned some ninety-six times, thirty-five
times in the Old Testament and sixty-one times in the New
Testament. So who or what are saints?
According to Webster's, College Edition, New World
Dictionary, saint means, "Holy, Sacred, Consecrated, Blessed, a
holy person, a person that is exceptionally meek, charitable,
In these definitions Webster is right on the money for
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance gives exactly the same
explanation for the four different words used in the Old
Testament Hebrew and the one Greek word used for saint in the New
Testament. So let's see where this will lead us.
If we look at Deut.33:2 we read where Moses addresses the
twelve tribes of Israel. By this time they had become a nation,
just before his (Moses) death, he said to them, "The Lord came
from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from
Mount Paran, and came with ten thoundsands of saints."
Let's compare this with the verse that I quoted at the very
beginning as found in the Book of Jude, verse 14, "And Enoch
also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold
the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints."
Although almost the same wording is used at the end of each
verse, but did you notice the difference? The verse in Deut. is
past tense, while Jude's verse is future tense. So who and what
were those saints that Moses mentioned came with God in the
wilderness and at Mt.Sinai?
They were the unseen angels that God provided as a cordon
around the Israelites for their protection, even though they were
not even aware of them.
Likewise, who and what are the saints that Jude was talking
about? "Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints."
The Lord in this verse claims the saints as His own. We read in
John 6 verses 37 and 39, "All that the father giveth me shall
come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast
out.... And this is the fathers will who has sent me, that of all
that he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it
up again at the last day." So you can see that the saints that
Jude is referring to are the resurrected souls of those that went
Now I know that a lot of people that have passed on have
been sainted through an Act or Edict of the Head of the Church of
Rome, but I do not think that organization, depicted in Rev.17 as
a woman arrayed in purple and scarlet and called "mystery,
Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the
earth", has any authority to saint anyone. That privilege belongs
only to God. I am not saying that some of those people will not
be among the saints, for only God knows.
So, are all saints either angels or deceased as we have seen
so far? Far be it from that. In Acts 9:13 Ananias is talking to
the Lord about all the evil Saul (Paul) had done to the saints at
Jerusalem, and later, after his conversion, Paul in many of his
Epistles, addresses the saints in all the various churches and
cities that he is writing to. Thus we can see by this that all
who truly believe the Gospel of Jesus and His atonement for our
sins and accept Him as Lord and King, all those are called
saints, not in some future time, but now.
In closing I'll go back to the title of this little article
with a few lines from that hymn that starts with those words.
"Oh, when the saints go marching in!
Oh, when the saints go marching in
Yes, I want to be in that number
When the saints come marching in!
Yes dear friends, I want to be in that number and I hope that you
From "Thy Kingdom Come" - September 2009, a publication of The
Association of the Covenant People, Burnaby, B.C. Canada.
In a nut-shell the true "saints" of the Lord are those who have
come to know what sin IS and have true REPENTANCE! They know they
can only be saved by grace through Christ Jesus as their personal
Savior. They have determined to obey the Word of the Lord, they
are willing to do as Jesus said, and live by every word of God
(Mat.4:4). They will continue to "grow in grace and knowledge"
all the days of their earthly life; they will be willing to be
taught and corrected by the leading of the Spirit of God; and
they will endure as true Christians to the end.
The holy ones that come with the Lord that Jude spoke about will
be BOTH the holy angels and all the true saints of God from Adam,
who will be resurrected back to immortal life at the last trumpet
sound, and will (with the living saints who have been changed
from moral to immortality) meet the Lord Jesus in the air, in the
clouds, and after the wedding supper on the sea of glass, will
continue with Christ to the mount of Olives to establish the
Kingdom of God on earth for the first 1,000 years (1 Cor.15; 1
Thes.4; Mat.24; Rev.19 and 20). All the details of this event are
expounded in many studies on this Website.