Throughout all human history men have fought and died for freedom, political freedom, economic freedom, and spiritual freedom. We as Christians are especially interested in spiritual freedom. Most of us have belonged to an authoritative religion that permits little in the way of Christian freedom. It is something some of us are starting to experience or at least realize what true Christian freedom is. It is not license or the right to do anything we want without any restraint. It is freedom to follow our bible-trained conscience. It is freedom from tradition and unbiblical man-made rules. It is freedom to not be inflexible legalists. Notice some pertinent bible texts:

Gal. 5:1 -“For such freedom Christ set us free. Therefore stand fast, and do not let yourselves be confined again in a yoke of slavery.”

Gal. 5:13 – “YOU were, of course, called for freedom, brothers; only do not use this freedom as an inducement for the flesh, but through love slave for one another.”

James 1:25 – ” But he who peers into the perfect law that belongs to freedom and who persists in [it], this [man], because he has become, not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, will be happy in his doing [it].”

James 2:12 – “Keep on speaking in such a way and keep on doing in such a way as those do who are going to be judged by the law of a free people.”

John 8:32 – “and YOU will know the truth, and the truth will set YOU free.”

2 Cor. 3:17 – “Now Jehovah is the Spirit; and where the spirit of Jehovah is, there is freedom.”

Romans chap 14 in its entirety

The Watchtower organization has reams of rules and so-called “counsel” which must be obeyed or you will be looked down on as an unspiritual person. This past Service Meeting we had the extremely repetitive reminders or rules on how to act at the District Convention. There are rules on what to do when you check in, how to use the pool, how to use the ice machine, how much tip to leave the maid and waitress, how to dress after the sessions, what size cooler to bring, where to eat during intermission, what type of shoes to wear etc. etc. etc.  The outward appearance that the JWs give to the host city is very important to the organization.

This is just a small taste of the rules and “counsel” that all JWs live with. If you want to show someone that the Society is a legalistic org. ask them to show you in the bible what blood components or fractions are acceptable for a JW and which are not. Or where does the bible indicate how many meetings we must attend? Beards? Birthdays? Tattoos? Reporting field service? The organization book is full of organizational rules. The elders book has many more that publishers are unaware of. Those who have responsibilities at district conventions receive a thick booklet of additional rules.

*** w63 5/15 p. 300 par. 25 Do You Belittle Discipline? ***
“So it is that by the New World society’s application of the stated Scriptural commands, examples, rules and principles to the issues and problems of life, a great body of theocratic law is being built up”

That “great body of theocratic law” certainly has been built up over the decades. It has made the publishers victims of legalism. What are some of the effects of legalism?


Legalism fosters an attitude of self-righteousness, intolerance, being judgmental and critical, placing lots of emphasis on how one looks to others. Legalism is oppressive, demanding, insensitive and lacks compassion. What do we see in those who suffer from legalism?

It causes guilt and frustration. Some JWs perhaps think ” What’s the use? I’m not good enough. I’m not doing enough. Since I can’t please God, I might as well do anything I want.” Adding unnecessary burdens on the brothers causes guilt, depression, self-loathing etc. Because of these extra rules some may leave God thinking that the’re just not good enough. One JW confessed to me when he had had a life threatening experience that the thought he wasn’t good enough to be resurrected flashed in his mind. Perhaps one begins to think of God as a taskmaster that is never satisfied.

Legalism promotes hypocrisy or putting on a show of compliance. Many JWs feel obligated to do things they really would rather not (for example auxiliary pioneering, shunning DFed family members etc.) This creates the habit of putting on a performance on the outside but not doing it with the whole heart. This habit can make Jesus words in Matt 15:8,9 applicable to us – “‘This people honors me with their lips, yet their heart is far removed from me. 9 It is in vain that they keep worshiping me, because they teach commands of men as doctrines.”

Legalism also promotes the habit of getting by with the least possible effort, or obeying the letter of the law and ignoring the spirit. For instance, I had a young, single friend that would work full-time at a job all night. Since the pressure to pioneer is great for young JWs, he also regular pioneered. What was the result? He would spend a good portion of his service time asleep in the back seat of the car. He could say he put a certain amount of hours in, he was a pioneer, but he in reality was just playacting. By not allowing the brothers to use their conscience it never gets a chance to mature. Many JWs feel that if the Society doesn’t say something is wrong then it is alright. This is spiritual immaturity. It is a direct cause of having rules instead of conscience govern the lives of the brothers.

Legalism also promotes a shallow relationship with God, and spiritual complacency. One may feel if he is obeying all the rules of the organization, he has a good relationship with God. This obscures the fact that God looks at the heart. Mechanical actions to obey rules have no value in His eyes.

The multiplying of rules or legalism is on one end of the spectrum. We could say license or the belief that a Christian has the right to do anything because of God’s undeserved kindness is on the other end of the spectrum. These are both extreme viewpoints and unchristian. In the middle we find Christian freedom. We have all heard that with freedom comes responsibility. That is what Christian freedom is all about.

Romans 14:10 – “But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you also look down on your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God
Romans 14:12 – “So, then, each of us will render an account for himself to God.”

We will all have the responsibility to stand before YHWH’s appointed judge, Jesus, and give an accounting for our actions and thoughts. While exercising our Christian freedom we always want to have this in mind.



Rating 4.89 out of 5

Tags: ,

34 Comments on Legalism or Christian Freedom

  1. Dinah says:

    “One may feel if he is obeying all the rules of the organization, he has a good relationship with God.”

    That’s it in a nutshell. However, my personal reflection on this subject leads me to believe that this may be a characteristic of all religions. Of course, our outlook is muddied because of terminology: This being the “one true religion” and all.

    But whenever people are feeling bad about themselves for one reason or another, that’s when they say “well I’ll go out in service for 8 hours tomorrow and God will be pleased” or “I just completely ignored that disfellowshipped brother I saw at Walmart. God is pleased” or “I will make passive comments about that sister’s slutty dress on Facebook and God will be pleased.”

    This behavior may satisfy the judgmental legalism of the organization and make your outward appearance to men seem shiny, but I highly doubt that this is what God or his son had in mind at all.


  2. JWB says:

    From pages 157 and 158 of “Organized to Do Jehovah’s Will”:


    “What of unbaptized publishers who become involved in serious wrongdoing? Since they are not baptized members of the congregation, they cannot be formally disfellowshipped. However, they may not fully understand the Bible’s standards, and kind counsel may help them to make straight paths for their feet.”

    “If an unbaptized wrongdoer is unrepentant after two elders have met with him and have tried to help him, then it is necessary to inform the congregation. A brief announcement is made, stating: ‘[NAME OF PERSON] IS NO LONGER RECOGNIZED AS AN UNBAPTIZED PUBLISHER.’ The congregation will then view the wrongdoer as a person of the world. Although the offender is not disfellowshipped, Christians exercise caution with regard to any association with him. (1 Cor. 15:33) NO FIELD SERVICE REPORTS WOULD BE ACCEPTED FROM HIM.”

    “In time, AN UNBAPTIZED PERSON (ADULT OR MINOR) WHO WAS REMOVED AS A PUBLISHER MAY WISH TO RENEW HIS ASSOCIATION WITH THE CONGREGATION AND BECOME A PUBLISHER AGAIN. In that situation, two elders would meet with him and ascertain his spiritual progress. If he has a good attitude, a Bible study may be held with him. If he progresses spiritually and eventually qualifies, a brief announcement can be made, stating: ‘[NAME OF PERSON] IS AGAIN RECOGNIZED AS AN UNBAPTIZED PUBLISHER.'”

    So then, your ability to serve is dependent upon how elders ascertain your ‘spiritual progress’, and if you have ‘a good attitude’ they will allow you to be able to ‘report’ your service to God (based on of course, the number of hours, literature placements, WT publication studies, etc). Now then I’m just goinf off to look in my Bible to see where all these free Christians reported their ‘field service’ to the elders, who in turn sent all the papyrus slips up to the governing body at the HQ in Jerusalem…


  3. FutureMan says:

    I concur.

    A good article Andrew.

    A very good article indeed.


  4. andrew says:

    Thanks everyone for your comments.
    One of the biggest misused bible principles that gets turned into a myriad of rules is the one on being no part of the world. The Society can take that principle and make it do handstands.


  5. greybeard says:

    Yes very good article Andrew! Keep up the good work brother!


  6. DanielB says:

    On the counsel given for how to conduct oneself at conventions, is there a rule about how far up the forearm to wash in the restroom?


  7. Mark M says:

    Excellent article Andrew! All of these are very good points that I myself thought about many times when in the org. I remember, I think it was in the 1980’s, when Jesus lost his beard in the Watchtower illustrations for a period of time. The only point you mentioned where I can find what I feel is legitimate Scriptural backing is regarding tattoos. Leviticus 19:28, “And YOU must not make cuts in YOUR flesh for a deceased soul, and YOU must not put tattoo marking upon yourselves. I am Jehovah.” (NWT)

    Mark M. :)


    • andrew says:

      Thanks for your comment Mark. That text in Lev. of course is part of the Mosaic Law. As you know Christians aren’t under the Mosaic Law, therefore I feel it should be a conscience matter. Of course all Christians should take into consideration the consciences of others as well so as not to stumble anybody.

      It is interesting that the Society uses this law from the Mosaic Law to prohibit tattoos when the very verse before says Lev 19:27 “YOU must not cut YOUR sidelocks short around, and you must not destroy the extremity of your beard.”

      To be consistent if one wants to enforce the Mosaic Law on tattoos then you must prohibit the cutting of beards.


      • greybeard says:

        WOW, Andrew… What a GREAT POINT!!! You should write them on that one! They won’t listen.. anyway… I think that is a point I could share with my family as when I grew my beard they all fainted.


      • Dinah says:

        That’s it – I’m getting a tattoo and growing a beard. Those inconsistent b*$t*rds!


        • DanielB says:

          I was certainly looked over once while visiting Bethel in the mid 80s! It seems my sideburns were below the ear lobe, and my pants were sport suit type. I was getting stearn visual counsel!

          But that’s OK. Once when I applied for Bethel service, I had to send a photo, and the picture was in a home where there was a smoker, in 1971. I was told that the reason I was not considered was because there was a cigarette but in the ash tray in the picture. Just as well. Dinah, if you grow a beard, try a veil too, OK?


  8. Mark M says:

    Andrew, I’m with you as far as the conscience matter is concerned as well as the Mosaic law. However, I believe, and I’m sure you do too, that there are many principles in the Mosaic law that we do well to heed within the same context of the verses we are quoting in Leviticus 19. As far as verse 27 which you quoted, “YOU must not cut YOUR sidelocks short around, and you must not destroy the extremity of your beard.” I’m glad my mother-in-law doesn’t follow this! (LOL) But I guess she can’t, she’s still a jdub. :)


    • greybeard says:

      Hi Mark M,

      When Jesus was accused of breaking the Sabbath he said this at John 5:16-17, “16 So on this account the Jews went persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things during Sabbath. 17 But he answered them: “My Father has kept working until now, and I keep working.”

      What was Jesus point here in your opinion?


      lol, just kidding 😉


    • andrew says:

      Yes I agree Mark that the Mosaic Law has many good principles, but I believe it is for the individual to use his conscience to decide how to apply those principles.

      A church or a religious org. should not apply these laws to a Christian and enforce them. Personally I would never get a tattoo but I believe that is for each Christian to decide.


  9. Mark M says:

    Hi greybeard,

    No problem, I can take it! :)

    In the text of John chapter 5 it appears to me that the Jews did not punish the man for carrying his bed on the Sabbath, beyond censuring him publicly. But they wanted to kill Jesus for performing the miracle, perhaps both because He had healed the man and because He had commanded him to carry his bed on the Sabbath (see John 7:22–24; 9:6, 14). While the Pharisees would allow one to treat a man who was acutely sick on the Sabbath, they forbid the treating of a chronic case such as this. This however, is not according to Jehovah’s Law. An ancient Jewish commentary, declares: “Is a person allowed to heal on the Sabbath? Our masters have taught: Mortal danger overrides the Sabbath; but if it is doubtful whether he [a sick man] will regain health or not, one should not override the Sabbath [on his account]” (Tanchuma B, cited in Strack and Billerbeck, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament vol. 1, p. 624).

    Jesus’ choice to heal a man who had this infirmity for 38 years seems to have been made purposely to demonstrate the fallacy of such Jewish legal restrictions. When Jesus said, “My Father has been working until now, and I keep working.” I believe Jesus was assuring these people that God, who had created the world in six days and rested on the seventh day, was willing to do a “good work” even on the Sabbath day. (See Mark 3:1-6) This was said by Jesus to show how the Jewish religious leaders had burdened the people down with unnecessary man-made Sabbath restrictions. Does God cease His work for lost, fallen or sick people on the Sabbath day? I don’t think He does. This is what Jesus was proving by healing on the Sabbath and by His statement in John 5.

    In Mark 2:27-28 Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28 Therefore the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” (NKJV) I personally believe that the Sabbath is a wonderful day to visit the sick, pray for their healing, go out in public ministry, have social gatherings, study, worship etc. If I keep the Sabbath as our exemplar Jesus did, I believe it pleases Him. There are MANY more things that could be said, but I hope this answers your question.

    Your Brother, Mark. M


    • DanielB says:

      I have noticed this too Mark. That it must be pleasing to Jesus by keeping the Sabbath. It always proves to be a good spiritual day, when I get to draw closer to my Big Brother and Father. The blessings would not be there if I should be directed otherwise. And since there had always in the past a bit of uncertainty with my conscience, in not keeping the Sabbath, I have a clearer better conscience on Saturdays, (PM Fri-PM Sat).


    • greybeard says:

      I really shouldn’t joke like that… after thinking about it more. I apologize. I think you explained things well. Thank you for clearing that up for me. I believe I have a better understanding now of how SDA view the Sabbath.

      Your brother,

      Just a note…

      I added a Bible plug-in to this site. Notice what happens if you post a scripture like this:
      Mark 2:27-28 (NKJV)
      or Mark 2:27-28 (NIV)
      or Mark 2:27-28 (HCSB)

      If you don’t add the version the default Bible will pop up: Mark 2: 27-28
      There are many Bible versions on this, I don’t have the list now but can get it latter.

      Not sure if we are going to keep this plug-in but I like it 😉


  10. Picardo371 says:

    Hi GB,

    I also love this Bible plug in. Is there a way I can make the HCSB my default Bible popup?



    • greybeard says:

      Not at this time. HCSB is not a choice on the plug-in for default. I can change the default to another translation. I wish they had HCSB in the plug-in. However the system that powers this does have HCSB and if you click in the window you can find it fast. In your own posts just put Mark 2:27-28 (HCSB) and then it will pop up. I might be able change the plugin code but I don’t know… That will take some time…

      Glad you like it… I’m not 100% sure JJ will want to keep it. It could cause problems but I haven’t heard of any yet.He has been very busy lately and hasn’t contacted me yet.


      • Amos says:

        Just catching back up, after my abscence.

        I too think that we may need to keep a form of the 7th day sabbath. I’ve been looking into this myself the last few months, but do agree that this is not a salvation issue, & should be left up to each ones conscience.

        I like to see what comments are forthcoming regarding the following verses from Romans CH 3.
        Romans 3:28-31; “We reckon therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yea, of Gentiles also: 30 if so be that God is one, and he shall justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith.
        31 Do we then make the law of none effect through faith? God forbid: nay, we establish the law.” ASV

        Any thoughts particularly V 31?


        • Mark M says:

          Hi Amos,

          I believe that the basic theme of Romans is “justification by faith.” The phrase is a figure based on law. Please let me explain. The transgressor of the law comes before a judge and is condemned to death for his transgressions. But a substitute appears and takes the transgressor’s crimes upon himself, thus clearing the criminal, who, by accepting the substitute, stands before the judge, not only cleared of his guilt but regarded as never having committed the crimes for which he was first brought into court. And that’s because the substitute, who has a perfect record, offers the pardoned criminal his own perfect law-keeping. Thus, the guilty one stands before the judge as having never transgressed. Naturally, our substitute is Jesus.

          If you look at Romans 3:28 in it’s historical context, Paul was speaking of law in its broad sense of the system of Judaism. No matter how conscientiously a Jew tried to live under this system, if he or she failed to accept Jesus as the Messiah, that person could not be justified. Romans 3:28 is Paul’s conclusion from his claim that the law of faith excludes boasting. If a man were justified by his own actions, he could boast about it. But when he is justified because Jesus is the object of his faith, then the credit clearly belongs to God and Jesus, who has justified the sinner.

          I’m a firm believer that works of law cannot atone for past sins, nor can justification be earned. It can be received only by faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus. So in this sense, works of law have nothing to do with justification. To be justified without works means to be justified without there being anything in ourselves to merit justification.

          I have met many Christians who have misunderstood and misapplied this text. They say that all one has to do is to believe, while downplaying works or obedience, even obedience to the moral law or 10 Commandments. In doing so I believe that they completely misread what Paul is saying. In the book of Romans, and elsewhere, Paul attaches great importance to the keeping of the moral law. Jesus certainly did, as well, as did James and John. (See Matthew 19:17, Romans 2:13, James 2:10,11 and Revelation 14:12) I believe the point that Paul is making is this, although obedience to the law is not the means of justification, the person who is justified by faith still keeps the law of God and, in fact, is the only one who can keep the law. An unregenerate person who has not been justified can never fulfill the requirements of the law.

          As far as Romans 3:31 is concerned, it seems to me the Apostle Paul is stating emphatically that faith does not make void God’s moral law. I believe the moral law consists of the 10 Commandments that were written in stone by the finger of God, which makes them permanent, and the Mosaic law was written by Moses which was called the “handwritten document” and was said to be in opposition to us. (See Exodus 31:18 and Colossians 2:14)

          One last thing, The 10 Commandments existed in the Garden of Eden before sin, but they were not in writing until Sinai. I can expound on this if you like. I believe that Jehovah is eventually going to restore things to their original perfect condition, the way things were before sin. Why would He get rid of the 10 Commandments which is called the perfect law and the Kingly law? (See Psalm 19:7 and James 2:8) I hope this helps.

          Mark M.


          • DanielB says:

            Mark, you make a good point here on this, “If you look at Romans 3:28 in it’s historical context, Paul was speaking of law in its broad sense of the system of Judaism.” And the keeping of the Sabbath cannot be a work of the law, since it is simply abstaining from work, in order to give attention to spiritual things with God. I’m looking forward to my next sabbath, because I have the best excuse for a vacation day. And I seem to pray more then than during the other days of the week. I don’t think Paul was talking about the Sabbath here either Amos.


  11. andrew says:

    One more point I haven’t mentioned on the sabbath observance is that Paul never chastised the congregations for not observing the sabbath. Many of the congregations that Paul visited were gentile dominated congregations who before becoming Christians never observed the sabbath. If this were a requirement surely they would have needed counsel, reminders, and continual encouragement not to forget this day. They needed counsel on just about every other facet of Christian living.
    The very fact that Paul is silent on counsel to continue to observe the sabbath or to not forget the sabbath IMO tends to agree with the conclusion that the first century congregations were never under the obligation to observe the sabbath.

    This all however doesn’t mean one shouldn’t observe the sabbath. As a few bros. have mentioned that they feel the need to observe it they should by all means do so.


    • Mark M says:

      Hi Andrew,

      I understand your thinking here. However, I need Scriptural proof of your statement about Gentiles not observing the Sabbath. What I follow with I say in love, so please don’t be offended. Can you provide a verse that says they were not observing the Sabbath. I’ve never read that before. I believe that is conjecture. Also, consider this. In Acts chapter 13 Paul had just preached a powerful sermon about Jesus in the synagogue. When he is through notice what happened in Acts 13:42, “So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.” (NKJV)

      First, notice that the Gentiles asked him to preach on the “next Sabbath.” If the Gentiles weren’t keeping the Sabbath then why are they there on the Sabbath and why did they ask him to come back on the following Sabbath instead of another day? If the Sabbath were not important for all then Paul sure missed an excellent opportunity to tell them so. Perhaps he could have said, “why not come back tomorrow on Sunday, as this is the new Sabbath.” I’m sure you know that many churches teach that Sunday is the Sabbath since Jesus rose on the first day. I’m pretty sure you don’t believe that Sunday is the “new” Sabbath.

      Secondly, notice verse 44, “On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.” (NKJV) I believe that this included both Jews and Gentiles because of verses 46-48. Notice also in Acts chapter 14 you will see that in Iconium again both Jews and Gentiles were there on the Sabbath and the Jews were “poisoning” the Gentiles minds against the brothers. Why didn’t Paul address the Sabbath issue?

      Thirdly, Acts 18:4 says of Paul, “And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.” Please notice that it was not just Jews there on the Sabbath. Also keep in mind Jesus’ Words in Mark 2:27, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Notice this does not say the Sabbath was made for the Jews but for man. The Greek word here for man is anthrōpos, which literally means mankind.
      once again, I hope I didn’t offend you in this post.

      Your Brother in Christ,
      Mark M.


      • andrew says:

        Mark, you don’t need to worry about offending me. You’re right it is conjecture to say the Christian gentiles weren’t observing the sabbath. But, it is also conjecture to say that they did.

        I guess as you said before we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this point.

        Christian love


  12. greybeard says:

    Col. 2:16-17 | Romans 14:5 | Matt. 11:28 | Matt. 12:8 | 1 Cor. 9:20
    Gal. 3:10 | Gal. 3:13 | Gal. 3:25 | Gal. 5:4 | Gal. 5:18 | Rom. 3:19
    Gal. 2:21 | Rom. 2:14 | Rom. 3:20 | Rom. 6:14 | Rom. 7:6
    Rom. 10:4 | Titus 3:9

    With Christian love,


    • Mark M says:

      Hi greybeard,

      As far as your checkmate comment, I loved it! You didn’t have to apologize for that, though I appreciate your thoughtfulness in doing so. I’m quite the jokester myself. BTW, I Love the Bible plug in!

      Regarding the verses you sent, as with any text, one must consider the context. For example, Colossians 2:16-17, what in the 10 Commandments were a “shadow of things to come?” I believe this is talking about the Mosaic law including annual sabbaths which had their fulfillment in Jesus’ sacrifice. As I commented in an earlier post, verse 14 points out that Jesus, “Wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us.” (NKJV) My question for you is, which one of the 10 Commandments is against us? The Mosaic law with it’s sacrifices pointed directly to Jesus and what He would do for us. Jesus does not abolish the Commandments but He did abolish the Mosaic system including it’s sacrifices and sabbaths which did not include the seventh-day Sabbath. Please read it carefully.

      This next paragraph I copied and pasted from my earlier post. “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.”

      Matthew 11:28 speaks for itself. Jesus wants to give us rest. This is what the Sabbath is all about. In Matthew 11:29-30, Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (NKJV) Immediately following this, Jesus demonstrates in chapter 12 how to properly keep the Sabbath and how the religious leaders had made it a burden for the people. Then He says in Matthew 12:8 “For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Jesus kept the Sabbath, as I’ve said before, even in His death. Jesus is truly Lord of the Sabbath in that He and the Father created it in the beginning, (Genesis 2:2-3, Colossians 1:15-16) and Jesus demonstrated how to properly keep it.

      In 1 Corinthians 9:20 Paul is in no way inferring that keeping the 10 Commandments is not important. I think you would agree that becoming all things to all people has its limits. I wouldn’t purposefully break any of the 10 Commandments to witness to someone nor do I think Paul would have.

      Galatians 3:10 says, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” (NKJV) Are the Commandments a curse? How could this be when Psalm 19:7 says, “The Law of Jehovah is perfect, converting the soul. The Testimony of Jehovah is sure, making the simple wise.” (LITV) I really can’t see how keeping the Commandments puts me under a curse.

      Galatians 3:13… The same applies here as to verse 10. In Galatians 3:25, The Commandments were not a tutor leading to Christ but the Mosaic law was. The sacrifices made under the Mosaic law pointed directly to Jesus a the sacrificial Lamb of God. (Please look at the Old Testament Sanctuary service) The Commandments actually show us the character of God which is love. When Jesus was asked which is the greatest Commandment in the Law, He said “You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 The second, like it, is this, ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40 NWT) When Jesus gave these Commandments He was summing up the 10 Commandments in just 2. The first 4 are toward God and the last 6 are toward mankind. He said that the whole Law, (talking about the 10 Commandments) hangs on these 2 Commandments.

      Galatians 5:4, 18. Again context is important. Please read this starting in Galatians 5:1. I ask you, which one of the 10 Commandments put me under bondage?

      As far as the above verses and the rest of the Scriptures you cited, these are great for showing that the Mosaic law was done away with, however, none of these Scriptures abolish the 10 Commandments. I really have a difficult time understanding why most Christians believe we should keep 9 of the 10 Commandments. Jehovah is the same, yesterday, today and forever. (Malachi 3:6) The same is true of Jesus. (Hebrews 13:8)

      Your Brother,
      Mark M.


      • Mark M says:

        Brothers and Sisters,

        One last comment on this subject. Please understand that I don’t believe the Sabbath Commandment is of any more importance than the other 9 Commandments. I believe that all of the 10 Commandments are of equal importance. Yet it seems that most Christians believe that only 9 are important today. In fact, IMO JW’s keep 9 of the Commandments better than most Christians. I find it interesting that if JW’s were to unrepentantly break any one of 9 of the 10 Commandments they would be disfellowshipped, and rightfully so. (The key is unrepentantly) Yet, the organization, and most Christians for that matter, discard the Sabbath which is the longest and most descriptive of the Commandments. It’s also the only one that begins with the word remember.

        There are two Holy institutions that God created in the Garden before sin,

        1) Marriage (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4-6)
        2) The Sabbath (Genesis 2:2-3)

        Please notice in the creation account, Genesis 2:2-3 says of the seventh-day that God,

        1) Rested
        2) Blessed it
        3) Sanctified it

        Notice too that in Exodus 20:11 it points back to creation and says that on the Sabbath God,

        1) rested,
        2) blessed the Sabbath day
        3) and Hallowed it.

        Also, as I’ve pointed out before, Exodus 20:8 says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it Holy”

        Take a look at the world today. Divorce is at an all time high. Satan loves this. Why? Because, from the beginning, Jehovah has put tremendous importance on the sanctity of Marriage. What Jehovah loves, Satan hates and vice versa. Look at the majority of the world today including Christians. They do not keep the Sabbath, which God made Holy at creation. Did you realize that with the exception of black Friday, the Sabbath is the largest retail day of the week for almost all retailers? Think about it, from Friday after 5:00 PM thru Saturday night, this is when the majority of people do their shopping whether leisurely or for the week. Just look at mall parking lots or Walmart, Lowes, and even restaurants on Friday nights and Saturdays. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I believe that this is by Satan’s design.

        Something of significance about the Sabbath is the fact that when Jesus died on Nisan 14, it was a Friday and He died before sundown, which was before the Sabbath would begin. (Luke 23:54) We know from the Bible that Jesus was resurrected on the first day of the week which we now call Sunday. (Luke 24:7) So we learn from this passage that Jesus was asleep in death resting in the grave on the Sabbath day. This means that the Sabbath day was the only 24-hour day in which Jesus was in the tomb. Add to that the fact that this was called a “Great Sabbath”. (John 19:31) Why is this significant? Nisan 14 was a Passover day. Any day that follows the Passover is a sabbath day, no matter which day of the week it may fall on. (Which would be one of the ceremonial sabbaths) However, when the Passover occurs on a Friday as it did when Jesus was killed, the next day becomes what the Apostle John called a Great Sabbath or some may call it a dual Sabbath, or a high Sabbath. This is because not only is it the Passover sabbath, but it is also the seventh-day Sabbath that Jehovah set aside for rest and made Holy in the beginning. Thus it is called The Great Sabbath.

        I ask you to consider, was this by accident or by design? Does Jehovah do anything by accident or without reason? Absolutely not! Jehovah is not a God of disorder. (1Corinthians 14:33)

        In closing, according to Genesis, the Sabbath was part of Jehovah’s perfect plan. Because it existed before sin. As a Jehovah’s Witness I have always been taught that Jehovah’s plan is to restore this world to it’s original perfect state, and I believe this. Would this not include the Holy Sabbath that Jehovah created? (See Isaiah 66:22-23) One last thought, Just as Jehovah rested on the Sabbath day from His work of creating the world, Jesus rested in the grave on the Sabbath day from His work of saving the world!

        As Andrew and I have mentioned, we can agree to disagree on this subject, I love you all just the same. This is my conviction. If I’m wrong, I don’t think Jehovah and Jesus will destroy me for keeping the Sabbath day Holy. If I’m right, then I have the comfort of knowing this pleases them.

        Your Brother,
        Mark M.


  13. JWB says:

    From pages 88 and 89 of “Organized to Do Jehovah’s Will”:

    “Some have asked: ‘Since Jehovah knows what I am doing in his service, why do I need to put in a report to the congregation?’ True, Jehovah knows what we are doing, and he is able to judge whether our service is whole-souled or just a token of what we are really able to do. Remember, however, that Jehovah recorded the number of days that Noah spent in the ark and the number of years that the Israelites journeyed in the wilderness. God kept account of the number of those who were faithful as well as those who disobeyed. He recorded the progressive conquest of the land of Canaan and the accomplishments of the faithful judges of Israel. Yes, he recorded many details regarding the deeds and accomplishments of his servants. He inspired this written record of what took place, making clear to us his view of keeping accurate records.”

    My comments:

    So does the accurate recording of significant events in the Bible somehow justify the recording of a Christian’s sacred service? Notice the extract says “Jehovah knows what we are doing” and that “Jehovah recorded”, “God kept account”, “He [God] recorded”. The focus should be on what God commands for Christians. So did is there mention in the Bible that in order to please God, Christians have to fill out a monthly (or even a daily/weekly/yearly) report giving all sorts of details? I just like to know if I missed something! Of course this is all to do with “organization” and follows the corporate/legalistic model, driven by the spirit of man rather than the spirit of God.


Leave a Reply to greybeard Cancel reply

Website Apps