Keeping the Sabbath of Jesus
“But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.” 1 Peter 4:7.
“Our Redeemer perfectly understood the wants of humanity. He who condescended to take upon himself man’s nature was acquainted with man’s weakness. Christ lived as our example. He was tempted in all points as we are, that he might know how to succor all who should be tempted. He has trodden the path of life before us, and endured the severest tests in our behalf. He was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. Christ took upon himself our infirmities, and in the weakness of humanity he needed to seek strength from his Father. He was often to be found in earnest prayer, in the grove, by the lakeside, and in the mountains. He has enjoined upon us to watch and pray. It is the neglect of watchfulness and close searching of heart that leads to self-sufficiency and spiritual pride. Without a deep sense of our need of help from God, there will be but little earnest, heartfelt prayer for divine aid. Our hearts are deceitful; our foes, many and vigilant. If we neglect to fortify a single weak point in our character, Satan will assail us at that point with his temptations. He is constantly plotting the ruin of the soul, and he will take every advantage of our careless security.
“Those who in their self-confidence feel no need of watchfulness and unceasing prayer, are near some humiliating fall. All who do not feel the importance of resolutely guarding their affections, will knowledge of divine things, and an ability to fill an important place in the work of God; yet, unless they cherish a simple faith in their Redeemer, they will be ensnared and overcome by the enemy.
“It is because the duties of watchfulness and prayer have been so sadly neglected that there is so great a lack of moral power. This is why so many who have a form of godliness bring forth no corresponding works. A careless indifference, a carnal security concerning religious duties and eternal things, prevails to an alarming extent. The word of God exhorts us to be found ‘praying always, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance;’ and again, ‘Be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.’ Here is the Christian’s safeguard, his protection amid the perils that surround his pathway.” Review and Herald, October 11, 1881.
My name is Felix Bontuyan, Jr. I live in the Southern Philippines with my wife Silveria. My parents are devout Catholics. At age seven my mother started teaching me to recite the “Our Father” and “Hail Mary,” along with many other long prayers. I participated in these rituals until I was fifteen years of age. These prayers were always said twice a day, at early dawn and early evening, to make sure no evil thing would befall us that day.
We never missed attending mass during the feast of our local patron, “Mesa de Gallo.” There were many other holidays that we kept that we were told to keep by the higher powers in Rome. We understood that this was the only way to get to heaven.
When I reached sixteen years of age my relatives encouraged me to confess my sins to the priest—all my sins great or small. I was told this was the last step to attaining salvation. I was on my way to the parish priest to do this when I met a Pentecostal missionary. He handed me literature about salvation. He read to me from the Bible, “If we confess out sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9. I was terribly shocked by the words I heard from the Bible. I asked dozens of questions of my new-found friend, and he gave me answers based on verses found in the Scriptures. He proved to me from the Bible that it was a foolish thing to confess my sins to a man or a priest. Instead of going to the church to confess my sins, I invited my new friend to my home so we could eat lunch together and study God’s Word.
The following day, I started opening the Bible and reading it. Each day I studied these precious words and discovered for myself that the Catholic doctrine is a combination of paganism and traditions of men. In short and plain language, it was a religion of false legends.
Sensing that I had been taking the wrong way, I joined the Pentecostal church. I later married and had children. My family and I fervently prayed to the Lord and directly confessed out sins to Him every Sunday. We attended mid-week prayer meetings and truly felt our supplications were heard by our Heavenly Father.
In 2004, a friend of mine who is a Sabbath keeper was visiting in our home. He explained to me by using God’s Word that the true day of worship, since the creation of the world, is the Sabbath, Saturday. I was anxious to learn more. He explained that Jesus and Adam were both Sabbath keepers, not Sunday keepers. Two texts he used were “God blessed the Sabbath day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Genesis 2:3. “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up; and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.” Luke 4:16. I was dumbfounded. I thought that Sunday was really the true day of worship, but I was dead wrong.
In May of 2006, I was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church along with my wife and three children. I thank God for His never-ending love and for how He led me to His wonderful truth. I am asking God to forgive me for worshiping on Sunday before I learned the wonderful truth of the Sabbath.
“The days in which we live are times that call for constant vigilance, times in which God’s people should be awake to do a great work in presenting the light on the Sabbath question. . . . This last warning to the inhabitants of the earth is to make men see the importance God attaches to His holy law. So plainly is the truth to be presented that no transgressor, hearing it, shall fail to discern the importance of obedience to the Sabbath commandment. . . .” Evangelism, 232.
I pray that God will bless you with an abundant life as you prepare for heaven.
By Edmar Vertudez. Support for the work in the Philippines can be sent to Mission Projects International, PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058.