Finding the True Way
To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, January 1.
any events were staged around town to celebrate a big religious holiday in Timor-Leste, and I decided to go to the horse races.
To reach the horse-racing track, I had to walk past a Seventh-day Adventist church. As I passed, a Bible worker, Mariano, saw me and chased after me.
“If you have time, would you like to study the Bible together?” he asked.
I had studied with Adventists in their homes a few times, but I had stopped meeting with them because they seemed to teach the same things as my own church. Still, when the Bible worker ran after me, I felt a deep desire to know more about the Bible.
“I would like to study the Bible,” I said.
“You don’t need to come to my house,” Mariano said. “I’ll go to your house. After the horse races end, we can go there.”
We went to my house right after the races and started studying the Bible. We studied together for four months, and I agreed to go to the Adventist church with the Bible worker every Sabbath. I still went to my church on Sundays. I didn’t see anything wrong with worshiping on Saturdays and Sundays.
After some time, an Adventist evangelist arrived, I studied Daniel and Revelation with him. In Daniel 7:25, we read, “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law” (NKJV).
At home, I opened my Bible and read the verse again and again. “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law.”
I said to myself, “It turns out that what I have believed for years is not true.”
I closed my Bible and tried to sleep. I wondered whether the Adventists were trying to deceive me. Maybe they had intentionally showed me the verse to convince me to join their church.
Getting up, I turned on the light and read, “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law.” As I read, I felt impressed that my church had changed the time of the Sabbath and the law that declares the seventh day is the Sabbath. Later, I realized that the Holy Spirit was convicting my heart.
Immediately, I decided to fast, and I prayed, “Is Saturday or Sunday the true Sabbath? Is my church or the Adventist Church the true church?”
After fasting and praying for a week, a thought spoke to me, “You had better follow what is written in the Bible.”
I determined to follow God’s will as expressed in Scripture.
Although I attended church every Sabbath, the pastor never invited me to be baptized. After worship services, he and I usually ate together and discussed the Bible.
One Sabbath, between Sabbath School and church, I asked the pastor, “When will there be a baptism for the new people who want to be baptized?”
“It depends on the person who wants to be baptized,” he said. “We can arrange a baptism for him or her whenever they are ready.”
At that moment I made up my mind.
“If there is baptism, I want to be baptized,” I said.
Immediately, the pastor hugged me. Adults and children saw our joy and came over to shake my hand and embrace me.
“You have been called by God,” they told me.
When I heard those words, I wept. I had found God’s true way.
Today, Mario is a Bible worker and has led many people to God’s true way through Bible studies and the power of the Holy Spirit. We will read about several of those people over the next few weeks.
Your Thirteenth Sabbath Offering six years ago helped open the first and only Seventh-day Adventist school in Timor-Leste. This quarter’s offering will help construct a dormitory at the school so that children from faraway villages, such as those where Mario serves as a Bible worker, can study at the school. Thank you for planning a generous offering.