As most or all readers know the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses makes a long list of beliefs that are mandatory. They say that if someone rejects one or more of these so-called mandatory beliefs his or her eternal life is in jeopardy since they are all salvation issues. For instance, in the last meeting that I had with the local body of elders they told me they were worried about my eternal life since I had stated that I believed we were wrong by not partaking of the emblems at Memorial and that the organization was wrong by establishing so many rules that aren’t biblical. These were the only issues that I had brought up with the body of elders.

When I was an elder, our Circuit Overseer commenting on a brother that only attended Sunday meetings said “Well, I guess he won’t survive Armageddon”. Obviously his opinion was that attending all meetings was a salvation issue. From stage this same CO said that families that don’t have a family worship evening will not survive Armageddon. Again, he was making that newly established arrangement a salvation issue. Also many who have begun to see that the Watchtower Society has misled us also hold onto many so-called salvation issues. Some think if that if someone believes in the trinity they cannot have eternal life. Many in other christians denominations and some ex-Jws as well believe that JWs aren’t Christians and will be condemned as unworthy of God’s approval. I have read where one ex-JW now claims that if anyone doesn’t accept the trinity and the teaching that Jesus was resurrected in the flesh and not as a spirit creature they cannot gain eternal life.

Of course we need to realize that these are all man’s opinions. What is important is how God will judge each of us. What I am going to give is also just an imperfect human’s perspective on salvation issues, each of us will have to make up his own mind.

Many will point to John 4:24 – “God is a Spirit, and those worshiping him must worship with spirit and truth.” Many will say “see it says with “truth” therefore any who believe in false doctrines cannot have God’s approval”. Or perhaps they will be lenient on some doubtful doctrines but insist that their favorite doctrines are essential. Jesus said in John 14:6 -“Jesus said to him: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Worshipping God in truth revolves around Jesus. In fact right after saying what he said in John 4:24, Jesus identifies himself as the Messiah, perhaps indicating that he is the principal way to worship God in truth.

Jesus, however, said in John 17:17 – “…your word is truth”. So my wish is not to minimize the importance of studying God’s word so as to find as much truth as is possible. But we must understand that being “in the truth” is not a doctrinal system. The center of Christianity is also not a doctrinal system, it is Christ. 1 Cor 3:11 – “For no man can lay any other foundation than what is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”    Acts 16:31 – “They said: “Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will get saved, you and your household.”

1) So as Christians we can afford to be dogmatic and unyielding about the need to believe that Jesus is our Lord, Savior, and King. For salvation we must believe he died for our sins and was resurrected.

2) Belief in Jesus implies belief in his Father as well, who is our Creator. He is the “rewarder of those earnestly seeking him” (Heb. 11:6). We could also affirm this is a salvation issue.

3) I would think we must believe the bible is God’s word. The very first Christians of course did not have the Greek Scriptures, only the Hebrew Scriptures. But they also had eyewitnesses among them who actually had heard or seen Jesus and listened to his message. We need the bible to build our faith. There may be however various opinions on what exactly “inspired” means.

It could be that these are the only doctrinal beliefs that we could say for sure are required for salvation. This in no way means if someone believes these 3 things he will receive salvation. The bible makes it pretty clear that head knowledge will not get us God’s approval. It is heart condition, who we truly are as a person that God will take note of. It is unbiblical and foolish to ignore all the texts to the contrary and insist that all one needs to do is believe in Christ Jesus.

It is interesting that almost all christian groups that I am aware of believe in these 3 things. There are many other things that I think all christian groups would agree on. For example: Love should identify a Christian, God has promised a resurrection and eternal life to those who love Him, a Christian should lead a morally clean life etc.

What about the following doctrinal topics?:

  1. The exact nature of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in relation to the Father.
  2. What happens at death.
  3. Where the righteous will be rewarded.
  4. What happens to the earth.
  5. What happens to non-Christians.
  6. Interpretation of all prophecy.
  7. Does natural Israel have a place in God’s purpose?
  8. Who is Satan exactly?
  9. Was Jesus resurrected as a spirit or as a human?
  10. etc.


These are all interesting topics and knowing the biblical truth on these matters can fortify our faith. However, are they salvation issues? For instance, if you were to change your belief on the teaching of the Trinity tomorrow, how would it change you? Would you love God less? Probably not. Would you be less loving to your fellowman? Probably not. Would you have less faith in Jesus and His sacrifice? Very doubtful. Would it change you in any meaningful way? Probably not. Is it then a likely salvation issue? Probably not.

Many JWs who have seen the problems of the organization may still insist that a person who believes in the Trinity cannot be a true Christian since they do not even know who they are worshipping. On the other side of the fence I have heard a famous preacher on Christian radio say that Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Unitarians are not Christians and cannot be saved since they only worship 1 of the 3 members of the Godhead. Who is right? It reminds me of 2 pre-schoolers fighting over the nuances of 19th century American politics. They have no idea what they are talking about! And neither do we. I can tell you I am not a trinitarian, but I also doubt certain aspects of the JW version of Jesus. I admit I really don’t know. We are talking about something that is way beyond our present comprehension. God and Jesus are beings that reside beyond our space-time continuum. Would God destroy someone simply because they don’t fully understand His full relationship with his Son? Something that the bible doesn’t fully reveal?

Notice what Paul said of those Christians in the first century who were insisting that circumcision was a salvation issue in Galatians 2:4,5 – “But because of the false brothers brought in quietly, who sneaked in to spy upon our freedom which we have in union with Christ Jesus, that they might completely enslave us— 5 to these we did not yield by way of submission, no, not for an hour, in order that the truth of the good news might continue with YOU.”

Paul deemed as false those brothers who insisted on secondary or tertiary issues as salvation issues. We certainly don’t want to try to enslave others to our doctrinal viewpoints insisting that they’re salvation issues if the bible isn’t clear that they are. Does this mean that it doesn’t matter what we teach as far as doctrine as long as Christ is the foundation? Let’s read 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 – “For no man can lay any other foundation than what is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood materials, hay, stubble, 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the day will show it up, because it will be revealed by means of fire; and the fire itself will prove what sort of work each one’s is. 14 If anyone’s work that he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward; 15 if anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved; yet, if so, [it will be] as through fire.”

Part of what a teacher would build on the foundation would be doctrine. If that doctrine is biblical and encourages love for God and neighbor, that would be building with gold, silver, and precious stones. Any other type of teaching would be wood, hay, and stubble which will be proven worthless. However even the person who teaches the best he can according  to his knowledge and ability but builds others up using combustible materials, perhaps doctrines that are not correct, will appear to be saved but “through fire”.

However, error of belief can lead to error of behavior, which is sin. Take for example the JW mistaken belief that only Christians within the confines of the organization can receive God’s approval. This mistaken doctrine often leads to behavioral error, in that an attitude of self-righteousness can creep in.

As I have mentioned in other posts my imperfect, human opinion is that doctrinal beliefs will not be near as important in the judgement as many Christians think it will be. Most of us are teachers in one form or another, perhaps we contribute to a blog, help our neighbor or friend understand a bible passage or we instruct our children in God’s  ways. God knows we can only do the best we can do. It would be unjust on God’s part to demand perfect doctrinal purity for salvation. The bible could have been written in such a way that all doctrinal matters would be crystal clear. For whatever reason it was not written that way. That should probably tell all of us to be tolerant to those who hold different doctrinal beliefs than we do. It should tell us not to make salvation issues out of most of what we believe. It would be unloving to refer to those who have different doctrinal beliefs than us as “poor misled fools” (Matt. 5:22). Let us trust our God, YHWH and our Savior, Jesus that they will do what is right, just, and loving. They will be the ones to decide what is a salvation issue, not us.





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38 Comments on Salvation Issue or Not

  1. belongingtojah says:


    Enjoyed your post today. Truly Jesus is our only mediator to the Father Jehovah. We only get to know the Father through the Son and this only as he reveals the Father to us by means of his sayings which are spirit and are truth. I liked that you show we should not be judgemantal of others who exercise faith in Jesus evon though they are not part of a certain organization. Am remided of those who were expelling demons in Jesus name even though the weren’t part of Jesus intimate group of deciples. They apostles wanted to call down fire from heaven on them – but our Lord said to leave them alone – he who is not against us is for us. What a wonderful non judgemental thing to say.

    “He that does not speak the truth when he knows the truth becomes an accomplice of liars and forgers of lies”

    I don’t know who this quote is from but it has a ring of truth to it.

    Your brother in Christ


  2. DanielB says:

    Good subject Andrew.

    “As I have mentioned in other posts my imperfect, human opinion is that doctrinal beliefs will not be near as important in the judgement as many Christians think it will be.”

    And knowledge puffs up, while love builds up. Knowledge is very good, but always tempering it with love is absolutly necessary for the balanced christian.


  3. greybeard says:

    Thank you so much Andrew!

    I love this article! You made a great point with 1 Corinthians 3:11-15. At Matthew 19:25-26 we read, “…When the disciples heard that, they expressed very great surprise, saying: “Who really can be saved?” Looking them in the face, Jesus said to them: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” For anyone to condemn or say this or that is a salvation issue they are playing God in my opinion. The JW/org does this as well as many other.

    Matthew 25:37-40, “Then the righteous ones will answer him with the words, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty, and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and receive you hospitably, or naked, and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to you?’ And in reply the king will say to them, ‘Truly I say to YOU, To the extent that YOU did it to one of the least of these my brothers, YOU did it to me.” My opinion in this is these righteous ones were shocked that Jesus saved them. I honestly believe there are very good righteous people that don’t even know Jesus Christ or might not believe the Bible because they think in is mans word. Yet they do good righteous things. For hundreds of years the Bible was not available to the majority of mankind. How will they be judged? Always remember, “with God all things are possible”.

    Your brother,


  4. DanielB says:

    Brother Greybeard, Let’s meet up on this too:

    “For anyone to condemn or say this or that is a salvation issue they are playing God in my opinion. The JW/org does this as well as many other.”

    If you remember back the society’s opinion was that if someone gets disfellowshipped, they make it through Armageddon “on the outside”. I’m not sure that it is absolutely a salvation issue for that circumstance. I am sure though, that some witnesses have this set in their hearts. That is sad.

    And, : “How will they be judged?” :

    1st Cor. 6 reasons well on this, and We were told, “The conclusion of the matter, everything having been heard (and inspired to Solomon ) is: Fear The God and keep His commandments. For this is the whole obligation of man. For The God himself will bring every sort of work into the judgment in relation to every hidden thing, as to whether it is good or bad.” -Eccl. 12:13,14. And, his Son is appointed to that.

    Be reassured, to the depth of heart and kidneys in regard to yourself, and leave others to God.


    I’ll get back to our unanswered questions of each other, on the other post, brother, soon. It’s a busy day for me here.

    Your thoughts are of interest.



  5. DanielB says:

    Oops! I meant to say, “…they May make it through A…” -(didn’t edit well here)


  6. LonelySheep says:

    Andrew, what can I say but well done.

    This is a marvellous well balanced article. I really appreciated your time in constructing it. So much so, I will be using this to study with my wife this Friday.

    Wow. Well done.


  7. andrew says:

    Thank you all for your appreciative comments. This is a subject that is so difficult for us as humans. There are JWs that in other respects I admire as well as other Christian teachers that can be so intolerant on many issues. They feel that they have the truth on a certain issue and to even admit the possibility of error would be to deny the truth of God’s word. However all of us must realize we don’t doubt the truth of God’s word, just our understanding of it. If we have this humble attitude, it will be so much easier to accept other Christians and their different understandings.


  8. Jayme says:

    I loved this article! Thanks Andrew, VERY encouraging!

    I really agree with what you said about John 4:24 and how “truth” is Jesus, he is the principal way to worship God in truth. This truely is the solid foundation which we can assuredly keep coming back to! I love how you tied in 1 Cor 3: 11-15, it is so comforting and truely reflects the love and justice of the God I know!


  9. Papabear says:

    Andrew, great article.
    When I first started my struggle I talked to my wife and asked her, “If our next door neighbor never became a JW but did everything he thought he could to serve Jehovah and put full faith in christ’s ransom, would Jehovah look down at him and say ‘too bad?'” She couldn’t help but say no. There are so many more important things for us as Jah’s servants focus on then which doctrin to go by.
    We cannot forget that our Father is a loving God that understands our limitations. What a great article, thank you.


  10. DanielB says:

    Andrew, my brother, if any more of this auvation continues, you will need to stand up somehow, and take a bow.

    I think the subject just confirms to us that it’s all true. We have all, (who were under law with those people you still draw close to), “Salvation Issue or Not?”, is good thinking medicine for all of us here.

    And there was some good followthrough comments from our brothers.

    If I could post messages here as a topic, I wouldn’t have to drop your quote like this, but here goes…

    “What about the following doctrinal topics?:

    1.The exact nature of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in relation to the Father.
    2.What happens at death.
    3.Where the righteous will be rewarded.
    4.What happens to the earth.
    5.What happens to non-Christians.
    6.Interpretation of all prophecy.
    7.Does natural Israel have a place in God’s purpose?
    8.Who is Satan exactly?
    9.Was Jesus resurrected as a spirit or as a human?

    These are all interesting topics and knowing the biblical truth on these matters can fortify our faith. However, are they salvation issues? For instance, if you were to change your belief on the teaching of the Trinity tomorrow, how would it change you? Would you love God less? Probably not. Would you be less loving to your fellowman? Probably not. Would you have less faith in Jesus and His sacrifice? Very doubtful. Would it change you in any meaningful way? Probably not. Is it then a likely salvation issue? Probably not.”

    (I would change it’s color or something).

    (I write, and copyright, and am an author).

    (And, if you haven’t guessed, I am editor too).

    “For instance, if you were to change your belief on the teaching of the Trinity tomorrow, how would it change you? Would you love God less? Probably not.”

    Well I wouldn’t be too sure about the “Probably not.”

    When we have a free flow of God’s spirit, it is better when we have no false thinking attached to us; particularly if the wrong thinking is in our relative standing with God Almighty. And if you worship Jesus equally as God Almighty, are you staying on the way? No, Andrew, I don’t see it that way in the churches of various types within the World Counsil of Churches, who regulate trinity religion! I have been to their site, and examined which churches are members, who must comply by their Babylonish bias.

    This seems to squelch flow of God’s spirit for them, along with the other bad doctrinal thoughts, though there are no many others.

    A ministerial servant was having a home church in his home, while exiting the shackles of the JW FAITH. I attended some. And then he began converting to the Binaty. (refer to “binate”, Websters: “produced or borne in pairs”.) -Like “trinity”, but two of a pair. I think he eventually settled on a trinitarian god.

    Such things just hurt us in our friendship and our engagement to Jesus, our Lord.

    He is the one who, though allowing humans to be at his feet worshiping him, with no reprisal, had said that he not considered himself equal to God, (through Paul, to the Phillipians, [2.6]). Also, Jesus is the Word of God, through whome all scripture comes. And so from this we see that he is the lesser God, though the closest, enscribed at Isaiah 9:6, “The mighty God”, (kj), and also the “Prince”, (and not King), of peace. This is one good observation that bible students have made, who speak this comparison of Almighty God, and the Son of God. And again, I say, if the 2 of them are one person, (John 1:1), then you and I are the same person, comparing John 17:20-21. Verse 21 says: …”that they also may be IN UNION WITH us”, and equates this with being “one”. Anyway, eventually, we will be nearly as close to our “Abba”, Papa, Dad” in the Kingdom of Jesus, our Brother. I will capitalize on these words!

    (Divine in nature, though not necessarily Almighty God.)

    I appreciate how that the publishers and churches often use caps for many references pertaining to Jesus our Master. Our King deserves as much, and more!

    He, himself, told us he wasn’t The Almighty.

    I’ll with that.

    And, point is, we will do better without groping for Babylonish, and other worldly, philosophies about the True Gods we know.

    You gave us a very good discussion. Thanx bro…



  11. David Paul says:

    Great spot-on and balanced article Andrew. Just love it!

    One marvels at the generosity and flexibility of Jesus when he shows the same thing to each of us but allows us to express it in our own words.

    Ethnocentrism – the collective supremacy of a group of fallen sinners based on blind, mindless, and lock-step adherence to a particular fickle and contrived doctrinal position at a given point in time… How ludicrous… How unscriptural… How Pharisaic…

    Whatever happened to sinners being saved, forgiven, justified, and sanctified, by genuine faith in Christ alone? Who deleted all Paul’s letters from the ruling religious clergy class’ Bible’s?

    May the wheat embrace the priceless “good news of unmerited favour” (Acts 20:24) and escape the spiritual seductions and clutches of the religionist weeds (Isaiah 61:1).

    May the weeds be consumed in their own fire… (Ps 9:16)

    Greetings and blessings



  12. DanielB says:

    Is This A Salvation Issue?

    Today is Saturday, and I amobserving it as Sabbath.

    Opposing thought will site Galatians 4: 10 and it’s context. My question is, is it a salvation issue to keep the Sabbath until time indefinite, (until we are told not to)?

    It reads (NIV): “You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!”

    I need educated opinions and the thinking of our Lord on this to look at, to be sure.


    • andrew says:

      Daniel I would say IMO not. Col. 2:16,17 “Therefore don’t let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of what was to come; the substance is the Messiah.

      Romans 14:5 “One person considers one day to be above another day. Someone else considers every day to be the same. Each one must be fully convinced in his own mind.”

      Paul probably would not have written this if observing the Sabbath was a salvation issue. There is no evidence that the early Christians formally observed the Sabbath either. The word for Sabbath is not mentioned very often in the letters of Paul, Peter, James, or John in the New Testament.

      As all other laws the principle of the Sabbath would be written on the heart of Christians namely to rest from our selfish works.

      Of course if a Christian feels he should observe the Sabbath he is free to do so but I feel we are not under the obligation to do so.


  13. Mark M says:

    Hi Daniel B,

    I too observe Jehovah’s 7th day Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. While I love and respect Andrew and enjoy his articles, I have to respectfully disagree with him on this point regarding the Sabbath. (Sorry Andrew) It was this very subject that made me start questioning the “truth”. I actually wrote a letter to the GB about this. JJ has kindly posted a link to a blog which includes the letter I wrote to the GB about the Sabbath, under the new and useful links section. (Reasoning with JW’s) It’s not an exhaustive letter but one can get the point by reading it. Anyway, here are just a few of a plethora of points to consider regarding the Sabbath.

    1) It is the only Commandment that begins with the word “Remember”. (Exodus 20:8)

    2) It is the longest and most descriptive of all of the Commandments. (Exodus 20:8-11)

    3) Jehovah Himself kept the Sabbath BEFORE sin. (Genesis 2:2-3) Does He need Rest?

    4) It’s the only one of the Commandments that actually points back to creation as it’s beginning which was before sin. (Exodus 20:11)

    5) It’s the only Commandment that identifies Jehovah as the Creator of all things. (Ex. 20:11)

    6) It’s the only Commandment which Jehovah made sacred (Holy) and blessed. (Ex. 20:11)

    As far as Colossians 2:16-17, a little study can easily prove that this is not talking about the 7th day Sabbath. Please keep in mind that there were many Sabbaths. For example the Passover Sabbath, the jubilee Sabbath etc. The problem I have with the org and the Commandments is that they say the 10 Commandments and the Mosaic law were all one set of laws nailed to the torture stake. However, this is simply not true! The 10 Commandments and the Mosaic law were separate. Here’s why I say this:

    (A) Exodus 40:20,21; “After that he took the Testimony and put it into the Ark and placed the poles on the Ark and put the cover above upon the Ark. 21 Then he brought the Ark into the tabernacle and put the curtain of the screen in place and shut off approach to the ark of the testimony, just as Jehovah had commanded Moses.” The Testimony, of course, is the 10 Commandments which were put into the Ark of the Covenant and kept in the Most Holy of the Tabernacle. (NWT)

    (B) 1 Kings 8:9 “There was nothing in the Ark but the two stone tablets which Moses had deposited there in Ho´reb.” (NWT)

    (C) Deuteronomy 31:24-26; “And it came about that as soon as Moses had finished writing the words of this law in a book until their completion, 25 Moses began to command the Levites, the carriers of the ark of Jehovah’s covenant, saying: 26 “Taking this book of the law, YOU must place it at the side of the ark of the covenant of Jehovah YOUR God, and it must serve as a witness there against you.” (NWT)

    So it’s very clear that there is a division between the Mosaic law or the handwritten document, which he would “Place at the side of the Ark” and the 10 Commandments that Jehovah wrote in stone and were placed IN the Ark. God separates them but the org does not.

    It appears that most Christians don’t have a problem keeping 9 of the 10 Commandments and would have a hard time telling you that the 9 are not valid, but they want to abandon the 4th Commandment about Jehovah’s Holy Sabbath day. I believe that faith in Jesus and keeping the 10 Commandments goes hand in hand and is a matter of salvation. (See Rev 12:17 & Rev 14:12)

    There’s much, much more to say about this and also about Galatians 4:9-11 but I’ll stop here for now. Your Bro, Mark.


    • greybeard says:

      Hi Mark M,

      This is meant in the spirit of love,

      I honestly don’t think God is as nit picky as man is and I do not think the Sabbath is a salvation issue. If it were Christ would have reinforced it and not made statements such as this: Luke 14:5, “5 And he said to them: “Who of YOU, if his son or bull falls into a well, will not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?” 6 And they were not able to answer back on these things.” What is the point here? Ever tried to pull a bull out of a well? THAT is HARD work my brothers!

      Mark 2: “23 Now it happened that he was proceeding through the grainfields on the sabbath, and his disciples started to make their way plucking the heads of grain. 24 So the Pharisees went saying to him: “Look here! Why are they doing on the sabbath what is not lawful?” 25 But he said to them: “Have YOU never once read what David did when he fell in need and got hungry, he and the men with him? 26 How he entered into the house of God, in the account about A·bi´a·thar the chief priest, and ate the loaves of presentation, which it is not lawful for anybody to eat except the priests, and he gave some also to the men who were with him?” 27 So he went on to say to them: “The sabbath came into existence for the sake of man, and not man for the sake of the sabbath; 28 hence the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath.”

      What is Jesus point here? David broke the law right? Consider this question, does God, all powerful and full of abundant energy actually need rest? Jesus said, ““The sabbath came into existence for the sake of man, and not man for the sake of the sabbath” What does that mean? He is simply saying that man needs rest. If it wasn’t for this law back then we probably wouldn’t have weekends off in this world today because of mans greed. This law was a tutor leading to the laws of Christ, love.

      Consider 2 Corinthians 2: “16 Therefore let no man judge YOU in eating and drinking or in respect of a festival or of an observance of the new moon or of a sabbath; 17 for those things are a shadow of the things to come, but the reality belongs to the Christ.”

      A shadow of things to come? Again Galatians 3:24, “Consequently the Law has become our tutor leading to Christ.” So do we still need this tutor now? Maybe some do…

      So what really is the lesson of the sabbath? It is a loving tutor to teach us not to over work ourselves or our fellow man and take time to reflect on God. With freedom in Christ you can do that any day now.

      Colossians 2: 13-14 “…He kindly forgave us all our trespasses 14 and blotted out the handwritten document against us, which consisted of decrees and which was in opposition to us; and He has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the torture stake.” (NWT)

      Does Romans 14:5 make it sound like a salvation issue? “One person considers one day to be above another day. Someone else considers every day to be the same. Each one must be fully convinced in his own mind.” Obviously NOT.

      Galatians:3, “10 For all those who depend upon works of law are under a curse; for it is written: “Cursed is every one that does not continue in all the things written in the scroll of the Law in order to do them.” 11 Moreover, that by law no one is declared righteous with God is evident, because “the righteous one will live by reason of faith.” 12 Now the Law does not adhere to faith, but “he that does them shall live by means of them.” 13 Christ by purchase released us from the curse of the Law by becoming a curse instead of us, because it is written: “Accursed is every man hanged upon a stake.” 14 The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham might come to be by means of Jesus Christ for the nations, that we might receive the promised spirit through our faith.”

      Your brother in Christ,


  14. DanielB says:

    Thank you Mark and Andrew. Mark, do you see Ecclesiastes 12:13,14 as carrying the same direction on keeping the 10 Commandments as Rev 12.17 & 14.12?


  15. Mark M says:

    Hi greybeard & DanielB,

    I also write this in Christian love. Hopefully I can respond to both of you in this one post. DanielB, Yes, I do see a clear parallel in Eccl. 12:13-14 & Rev. 12:17 & 14:12. I’m a firm believer in the fact that God does not change, as Malachi 3:6 says of Jehovah, “For I am the LORD, I do not Change,”(NKJV) and Hebrews 13:8 says of Jesus, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (NKJV) Would Jehovah kill someone in the past for unnecessarily picking up wood on the Sabbath and now say that it is okay? (Exodus 15:30-35) I don’t think He would. I do however believe that Jehovah is the same always and His 10 Commandments are unchangeable and eternal, that‘s why He carved them in stone.

    Greybeard, thanks for your input. I really appreciate your point about the bull in a well. I agree that this would be hard work! However, this is where we see that the Pharisees of Jesus’ day made the Sabbath a burden instead of the joyous time that God created it to be. The Pharisees, (Much like the GB today with some of their doctrines) made up their own interpretation or “doctrine” if you will, regarding the Sabbath Commandment. Jesus was emphasizing that there are extenuating circumstances that allow for certain things to be done on the Sabbath. You show a good example in the verses you quoted in Luke 14. This proves that the Pharisees agreed that they themselves would get the bull out of the well on the Sabbath, thus showing it was lawful under God’s arrangement for them to do so. How do we know this? Because Jehovah had provision for this in the Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament as well as the New. Exodus 23: 4-5 says: “Should you come upon your enemy’s bull or his ass going astray, you are to return it without fail to him. 5 Should you see the ass of someone who hates you lying down under its load, then you must refrain from leaving him. With him you are without fail to get it loose.” (NWT) Naturally, this principle applies to our own bull as well.

    An example of a modern day “bull in well” could be the recent tornados. If a tornado strikes on Sabbath and destroys my house or my neighbors house, am I supposed to just wait for Sabbath to end before I can do anything? No. I think this is a case of my bull or my neighbor’s bull being in the well. Keep in mind that Jesus purposefully refuted the unlawful restrictions put on the Sabbath by the Pharisees which included the man made travel restrictions of about .6 miles. However, Jesus Never broke the Sabbath according to Jehovah’s standard. Jesus also demonstrated that it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath. (See Mark 3:1-6, Mark 6:2-6 and Luke 13:10-17)

    The same principles apply to the verses you quoted in Mark. Jesus was showing them that in this circumstance it was lawful to pluck the grain and this was not considered harvesting from Jehovah’s point of view. Again, Jesus never broke Jehovah’s Sabbath. Also, (You meant Colossians not 2 Corinthians) in Colossians 2 which you quoted, please note that Jesus blotted out the “handwritten document” which Moses wrote on parchment or papyrus. This does not include the 10 Commandments which Jehovah wrote in stone with His finger. (Exodus 31:18) The 10 Commandments are actually a transcript of the very character of Jehovah, the Law of Love. If we love God, we will keep his Commandments. Jesus said in John 14:15 ““If YOU love me, YOU will observe my commandments.” Remember that the 2 greatest Commandments were a summarization of the 10 Commandments. The first 4 show love for Jehovah, the last 6 show love for your neighbor or fellowman.

    Regarding Romans 14:5, please read the context of this passage beginning in verse 1 and continuing thru verse 12. The Sabbath is not even alluded to in these verses! The context of these verses is not to be judgmental of one another in our opinions. Notice that Paul is chastising 2 groups of people in these verses, both of which are spiritually weak. This is about matters of opinion NOT the Commandments. Both groups of these people were exhibiting spiritual pride and this is what Paul is addressing. These people had maters of opinion which were not Scriptural that they were forcing on each other. The crux of the matter comes in Romans 14 verses 1 & 10. Verse 1 sets the premise and verse 10 is the conclusion. Again, this is not a Sabbath issue as God’s Commandments are not a matter of opinion.

    Please keep in mind Brothers’ Andrew and greybeard that I used to believe as you believe and I do understand how you feel about this. So please, prayerfully and carefully examine the things I’m writing. As DanielB quoted from Ecclesiastes 12:13, “The conclusion of the matter, everything having been heard, is: Fear the true God and keep his Commandments. For this is the whole obligation of man” (NWT)

    Your Brother in Christ, Mark M.


    • greybeard says:

      Thank you Mark M,

      Would you mind explaining what you believe this means: Colossians 2:16, “Therefore let no man judge YOU in eating and drinking or in respect of a festival or of an observance of the new moon or of a sabbath; 17 for those things are a shadow of the things to come, but the reality belongs to the Christ.”

      Why was that written?


  16. andrew says:

    Hi Mark
    I can understand your point of view on this subject. I do feel however that Col. 2 does include the weekly Sabbath observance and I do feel that Rom. 14 can be used to show that some Christians may view one day as more important (like the Sabbath) and others may not, and both views are legitimate.
    To observe the Sabbath the Israelites were not even to light a fire on the Sabbath. (Ex.35:3) This would be impossible to obey in many places on earth in the winter.

    Jehovah also gave the commandment to Adam and Eve before they sinned to become fruitful and become many. But we cannot say the single Christians or married Christians who have no children are disobeying God. Christian’s laws are written on the heart. The 10 commandments are all written on our heart. The law of the Sabbath is as well. It has to do with resting from selfish works.

    The word for Sabbath only appears 3 times in the writings of Paul, James, Peter, and John put together.

    Once in 1 Cor. 16:2 where it means week.
    Once in Col. 2:16 where it says no one should judge another regarding the observance of a sabbath.
    Once in Heb. 4:9 where I believe it is not talking about the literal weekly Sabbath observance.

    The first Christians were Jews and often preached in the synagogues and likely that was the day when most Jews would be able to listen to the gospel so that would explain why the first Christians often preached on the sabbath. But there is no evidence that the first-century Christians observed the Sabbath.

    As I mentioned earlier any Christian certainly is free to observe the Sabbath if he feels he should or wants to.


  17. Mark M says:

    Hi Andrew,

    I agree with your statement about Adam and Eve and single Christians. However, procreation is not one of the 10 Commandments whereas the Sabbath is. Also, history shows that Christians did keep the Sabbath on the seventh day until 321 AD when Roman Emperor Constantine wanted to meld together Christians who worshipped on Sabbath and pagans who worshipped on Sunday. He made it a law that Sunday was to be the “new Sabbath”. Even the Catholic Catechism admits this. The prophet Daniel foretold this would happen in Daniel 7:25a when he said about the Roman Empire, “And he will speak even words against the Most High, and he will harass continually the holy ones themselves of the Supreme One. And he will intend to change times and Law…” This is true, as the Sabbath is the only Commandment which is both a time and Law. It’s a time of 24 hours and is centrally located in the Law of God, namely the 10 Commandments.

    As far as the occurrence of the word Sabbath, you may disagree but I feel that the silence of the New Testament writers on this subject after the Gospels shows that the Sabbath is still to be kept by Christians. Please let me explain why I feel this way. Circumcision, while not one of the 10 Commandments was part of the Abrahamic covenant. This was a serious issue to the Jews. So serious that the Jerusalem counsel addressed this. (See Acts chapter 15) I’m sure you and I will agree that today it is circumcision of the heart that is important and not literal circumcision. If the Sabbath, being one of the 10 Commandments was to be dissolved, it seems to me that this would have been addressed as well, but it was not. In fact Paul said,
    “Circumcision does not mean a thing, and uncircumcision means not a thing, but observance of God’s Commandments does.” (1Corinthians 7:19)

    I believe that if any of the 10 Commandments were abolished this would have been a serious matter and would have been addressed in Scripture even more so than the circumcision issue. Also, I agree with you that the 10 Commandments are written on our hearts. Jeremiah 31:33 says, “For this is the covenant that I shall conclude with the house of Israel after those days,” is the utterance of Jehovah. “I will put my Law within them, and in their heart I shall write it. And I will become their God, and they themselves will become my people.” (NWT)

    This actually makes us more accountable. Jesus said in Matthew 5:27-28, “YOU heard that it was said, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to YOU that everyone that keeps on looking at a woman so as to have a passion for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (NWT) Jesus is making us more accountable by saying that the very thought of committing adultery is as bad as the act itself.

    As far as resting from selfish works, keep in mind it’s the day Jehovah blessed and made Holy, not the rest. The “rest” is a result or product of keeping His Sabbath Holy according to the Commandment. The seventh day was made Holy by Jehovah. When Jehovah made the Sabbath in the garden, at that time there were no selfish works, neither did Jehovah need to rest but He demonstrated that this was what He wanted for us. “The Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27) I have not yet found a verse that says it is no longer a Holy day.

    I’m sure there is much more we could both say about this. Perhaps the next time we talk we can discuss it. Either way I respect your opinion even though we may agree to disagree on this matter. Things like this are wonderful to discuss and makes us closer as brothers and better Bible students. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I believe we as Christian brothers can have unity through diversity.

    Love you Bro.
    Mark M.


  18. Mark M says:


    Somehow I missed your posted question about Colosians 2:16-17 until just now, so I’ll reply tomorrow. It’s late here on the east coast. I need to be at work early in the morning. I may have time to reply during the day. If not, I’ll reply tomorrow evening.

    Mark M.


  19. Mark M says:

    Hi greybeard,

    Since my evening news was delayed I thought I would go ahead and address your question this evening about Colossians 2:16-17. Please notice that Colossians 2:14-17 refers to sabbaths which were “a shadow of things to come” and not to the seventh-day Sabbath. There were 7 yearly holy days, or festivals, in ancient Israel which were also called sabbaths. These were in addition to, or “besides the Sabbaths of the LORD” (Leviticus 23:38 NKJV) or seventh-day Sabbath. These all foreshadowed, or pointed to, the torture stake and ended at the torture stake. Jehovah’s seventh-day Sabbath was made before sin entered, and therefore could foreshadow nothing about deliverance from sin. That’s why Colossians 2 differentiates and specifically mentions the sabbaths that were a “shadow.” These 7 yearly sabbaths which were abolished are listed in Leviticus chapter 23.

    I hope this helps.

    Mark M.


  20. greybeard says:


    In a short time you could persuade me to be a Seventh Day Adventist! Good job! However I really do not believe this is a salvation issue. Colossians 2:16-17 says SABBATH not SABBATHS. So I am going to loose my life because I couldn’t interpret these scriptures right? I honestly don’t think so. However it sounds like you do believe this is a salvation issue. That means if your right, we die. I don’t believe our salvation is based on works. You said Jesus tells us if we even look at a woman with a desire we commit adultery. Do you think there is a man on this earth that hasn’t committed adultery based on those words? If there is than he must be a Unic. I see this scripture a little different, I think Jesus is saying you all have committed adultery in your heart. Maybe i’m wrong however adulterers are in good company with King David himself. Don’t get me wrong, I am not condoning it at all. I know it is wrong however it was Jesus who said, “I want mercy not sacrifice” So go ahead and sacrifice your Saturday if you feel it is required. Actually because you feel that way, it definitely is required of you because you must be convinced in your heart. I love to take the weekends off so i’m ok with it however I don’t think it is important and I will not let anyone judge me in regard to a day or the sabbath. Are you a Seventh Day Adventist? I think they are good people like most Christians.

    With Christian love,
    Your brother in Christ,


  21. Mark M says:

    Hi greybeard,

    First, Colossians 2:16 depending on the translation says, “a” sabbath, “the sabbath days,“ or “sabbaths“, not “The Sabbath”. Secondly, as far as your comment, “so I’m going to lose my life because I couldn’t interpret these scriptures right?” Brother, I don’t believe that for even one second! Fortunately I believe that you and I worship a God that does not hold us accountable for what we do not know or cannot understand. (Acts 17:30) However, I do believe that if we understand something to be interpreted a certain way and we deny it or we decide we just don’t want to comply, we will be held accountable. With knowledge comes responsibility and accountability. I also agree that our salvation is not based on works. By the way, I’m not saying you should work, I’m saying you should rest! (LOL)

    I believe that there are many that will be in the Kingdom that are not keeping the Sabbath, as long as they are living up to the light they have. As far as your comment on Jesus’ words about looking at a woman, I agree with you , this makes me an adulterer, I’m a man and I’m not blind. This is where the Grace of Jesus saves us! We should do everything in our power to dismiss the thought (including praying) and move on, but sometimes this imperfect flesh wants to dwell on the thought for more than a moment. Since I cannot save myself I must ask for forgiveness and then the blood of Jesus covers me. Also, I agree with you when you say, “So go ahead and sacrifice your Saturday if you feel it is required. Actually because you feel that way, it definitely is required of you because you must be convinced in your heart.” You are correct, I am convinced in my heart, so for me to do otherwise at this point in my Spiritual journey would be wrong for me. James 4:17 says, “Therefore, if one knows how to do what is right and yet does not do it, it is a sin for him.” (NWT)

    As to your question, yes I am a Seventh-Day Adventist. (good call) I was raised a JW, my dad was PO. I left and came back in my late 20’s, and in short time I became an elder serving as service overseer, book study overseer and Theocratic ministry school overseer simultaneously. I gave talks at circuit assemblies and district conventions. I loved this and consider it a privilege to have done so. When I studied the Sabbath message I began to examine different Sabbath keeping Churches. (Covertly of course) My wife knew my questionings and so did the elder body. Long story short, when I saw the SDA church had other Bible truths like the state of the dead, no eternal burning hell, paradise earth etc. I started really examining them. The SDA understanding of Daniel and Revelation is phenomenal! I do not agree with every doctrine the SDA church teaches, neither did I believe every doctrine the JW’s teach. However, at this time, this is the closest thing to Bible truth I have found. They condone freedom of expression and strongly encourage higher education. My wife and I will be married for 24 years next week. She is still a devout JW yet our relationship is stronger than ever. Praise God for that! I left the org officially in October 2009 by disassociation but have a heavy heart for my JW brothers and sisters that are still in the struggle. I can share more of my story about leaving and the mistakes I made in the transition at another time if you like.

    One other thing, I do not believe that Jesus is coming back for a particular denomination, but for His collective Christian Church (individual people) which can be found in every Christian denomination, so long as they are living up to the light that they have.

    Hopefully I’m still welcomed here on Jwstruggle.

    Your Brother,
    Mark M.


    • greybeard says:

      Of course you are still welcome brother! As a matter of fact, I would love for you to state your belief about the Sabbath on another forum myself and some others have started. Post it under the sabbath topic if you will. It is more for general Christianity and not focused on JW’s. I am at both sites. I will respond of course. I don’t judge you and i never will. I love you as a brother as long as you believe in Christ and try to keep his command on love. (John 15:17) I am not for a corporation of any kind myself, no governing body. If I was going to though, I would look at SDA. I respect them. I don’t agree with the trinity but I know they really are good people. A lot like JW’s. That might be why you became one.

      Take care,
      Your brother in Christ,

      Check out
      and Just developed


    • DanielB says:

      Dear Brother Mark,

      There are many 7th Day Adventists in my community, and I enjoy most things about them. I have attended a few times, though also have reservation over regularly doing so. I doubt that I ever will be an official member. One elder nearby and I have good discussions. He is an elder, though he does not believe in the trinity. I think this is probably how you are too, Mark.

      Your site is insightful, and your energies are much appreciated. I haven’t yet explored all of it, though I’ll go back soon, if YHWH wills.

      Yet one more indication today in the news, over Bin Laden. As a former witness, looking at the land of Isreal on prophetic Bible fulfillments had been against the grain. But others who were elders, and who are better brothers to me now, than if they were still witnesses, also are examining this subject and leaning the same way. I must study this more, and there is plenty springing from this blog to do so. I always appreciate when others have researched Bible subjects well, and I know that I won’t have to re-invent the wheel, so to speak. Your labors are good in my book.

      bro dan


      • DanielB says:

        Actually, Mark. I need to add, that somewhere between Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists and Catholics and Baptists, and all of the other branches of the tree, there obviously exists people like you and I and two witnesses who are in various stages of standing up. Do you see this too now brother?


  22. Mark M says:

    Thanks brothers greybeard and DanielB for your kind words and for accepting me as I am. greybeard, I will gladly check out the links you posted. I do not accept the trinity doctrine either. When I decided to join the SDA church the pastor and I sat down at my request and I explained to him how I felt about the trinity doctrine. He said that he did not think accepting or rejecting the trinity was a matter of salvation as long as I accept Jesus as my savior. I happen to agree with this. DanielB, there are quite a few SDA’s that reject the trinity doctrine although most here in Virginia believe it. I must admit, it was strange coming into a belief structure that allows for differing opinions. I love it! It’s amazing how there is still unity though there is not uniformity. This also allows for an open honesty and closeness among the brotherhood that cannot be achieved in the JW org. I hope that makes sense.

    DanielB, as far as the two witnesses standing up, yes, I see what I believe to be an end time awakening of many people in many denominations!

    Anyway, thank you my brothers. I look forward to getting to know you better and to having many more conversations with all of you.

    Mark M.


    • greybeard says:

      Thank you Mark,

      When I get a chance I will go visit a SDA church. They sound like good people.


    • DanielB says:

      Mark, a brother had a thought that I find interesting. He says that the New Jerusalem having come down one day to it’s location for the millenium, may be in translucent state, where the temple used to be. Of course that rock there with a dome over it will simply HAVE TO GO first. Intresting speculations, right? . . As we keep looking forward with anticipation.


      • Mark M says:

        Hi DanielB,

        Yes, that is interesting speculation. I think you would probably agree with me that on issues of unfulfilled prophecy we should be careful not to be overly confident though we should try to study and understand. My understanding, (At least for now) is that the New Jerusalem will come down out of heaven after the 1000 years. (Revelation 21:2-3) Revelation does mention “clear glass” and “transparent glass.” (Revelation 21:18 and Revelation 21:21) I can’t find where Scripture uses the term “translucent glass.” But it’s enjoyable to discuss and study.

        Mark M.


  23. greybeard says:

    Dear brothers,

    This has been a very long blog and it is very interesting. However it gets lost in the shuffle. With the new forum just launched, active posts will stay at the top. It works much better. Please, if posting a new subject, lets post on the new forum. Feel free to start as many topics as you want. When people comment they are very easy to find. This is one of the best forum platforms out there. Lets give it a go. YOU here are some of our most active posters and I see many of you have already signed in.

    Thank you,
    Your brother,


  24. AGAPE says:

    Excellent post, it brought tears to my eyes and expressed perfectly how I have fealt for a long time thank-you.
    By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”


  25. Disappointed says:

    Andrew, I think you are so right! After reading the things Mother Theresa said and did I was deeply moved. Here was someone whose love for others transcended everything. It made me think that isn’t this what Jesus taught? Maybe that precious pearl, that treasure we search so hard for isn’t the depths of knowledge but is simply love. Which is why it is revealed to ‘babes’ and not to intellectual ones. Jesus wants us to open our hearts and let love in. This is the whole meaning of his Kingdom, all of his teachings. This is why religious leaders of many denominations are just like the Pharisees, they haven’t opened their hearts, so they can’t see what is right in front of them.


  26. Ruth says:


    Yes you are right! It is all about the love of God and his righteousness. When Jesus said we should be like little children
    and the father is looking for these kind, he also so said they will inherit the Kingdom.
    What about knowledge then? Should we consider love only important?

    Both 2 Peter 3:18 and Colossians 1:9-10 clearly show the importance of growing in knowledge. On the one hand, we are called to a knowledge of the Truth – the unalterable revealed Truth that contains no error – and we are told to hold fast to that Truth. On the other hand, we are admonished to grow in love @ grace ( undeserved kindness) and knowledge.

    Some people consider themselves real Christians when they can rattle off 50 scriptures or perhaps meanings to a lot of old truths after finding new truths. Some think by works and doing this doing that alone they are walking with the true God.

    I think Paul in Corinthians 13:1-8 really sums it up
    when he said beautifully “Love never fails”
    Sister Ruth.


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