Christ versus Religion, by Witness Lee

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Then the Lord Jesus said something more. He said, "Have ye not read...?" (12:5). Do not think you understand the Bible more than the Lord Jesus. Again the Lord Jesus checked with them, "Have ye not read in the law, that on the sabbath day the priests in the temple profaned the sabbath and are guiltless?" It is even legal for the priests to break the sabbath. As long as they are in the temple there is no bondage, they are free from the law. If they are outside the temple, they must keep the sabbath, but if they are in the temple, they are liberated. The temple is their emancipation. The Lord Jesus said, "I say unto you, that one greater than the temple is here" (v. 6). The Lord Jesus was saying in effect to the Pharisees, "My disciples were eating in the Temple. They were breaking the sabbath in Me, in today’s greater Temple. As long as they are in Me, whatever they do is right. What have you got to say? Do you really think you know the Bible? I tell you, Pharisees and scribes, you know just a little. You really do not know the Bible so well. Have you not read? The priests were allowed to profane the sabbath in the temple. Now I am the greater Temple, and all my disciples are the priests in Me. Whatever they do, even if it is against the law, it is not actually against the law because they are in the Temple. So they are free."

If you are outside the Temple, you are bound, but if you are in the Temple, you are free. If you are outside Christ, you are under bondage, but if you are in Christ, you are free. It is marvelous! Christ is not only the Temple today, but the greater Temple. Isn’t this good? You can never beat the Lord Jesus. Do not come to Him to try to win your case. Strictly speaking, you do not have a case. Don’t say you have lost your case—you never had a case to begin with. Jesus has all the cases. "Have you not read about David?" "Have you not read about the priests in the temple?" "Have you not read?" So shut up.


The Pharisees said that it was not lawful to eat the corn because it was the sabbath. Eventually the Lord Jesus told them, "The Son of man is Lord of the sabbath" (v. 8). The Lord Jesus said in effect, "I had the right in the ancient time to establish the sabbath, and today I have the right to do away with the sabbath. What is wrong with that?" On my left wrist I have a watch. It is my watch. In the morning I put it on. Now suppose I feel like taking it off. What can you say? It is my watch; I do what I want with it. I am the lord of the watch. If I want to put it on, I put it on; if I want to take it off, I take it off. Even so, the Lord Jesus said, "I am the Lord of the sabbath." He said by implication, "I am Lord not only of the sabbath, but of you too." Hallelujah!

If I have Christ, I have the real David. If I have Christ, I have the greater Temple. Hallelujah! If I have Christ, I have the Lord of the sabbath. It is really good. His name is "I am." What can we say, but, "O Lord, Amen, Hallelujah!"

(Christ versus Religion, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)