The Sabbath Sentinel
interviews Paul Wong
This interview and the preceding article are the first of several articles that will be printed in The Sabbath Sentinel.
We at the Bible Sabbath Association appreciate the work that Pastor Wong has done through
We are interested in the "Sabbath Roots" of the Chinese people. Can you tell us something about them?
The Sabbath roots of the Chinese people go back to the time of Noah and the Great Flood. Many Chinese Christians believe - and their ministers teach - that the Chinese race descended from Shem. In the Genesis account the children of Shem went eastwards after the flood (Gen. 10:30-32).
There are descriptions of the Great Flood in Chinese legends. In the Chinese language the word for "ship" ("Juan") is composed of three characters. The main character, "Jou," means a floating vessel or boat. (In the Chinese Bible, Noah's ark is translated as "Fang-Jou," meaning "rectangular boat.") The other two characters that make up the word for ship are "eight" and "mouths". Chinese use "mouths" to signify people.
This word "Juan" indicates that the Chinese knew there were eight people in a floating vessel that survived the Great Flood (1 Peter 3:20). They must have heard about it from the descendents of Shem, their ancestor.
When we read the Genesis account of Noah and the Great Flood we can see the recurrence of the seven-day cycle. Noah must have kept a calendar with the seven-day weekly cycle. God told Noah, "For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth." (Gen. 7:4, 10). "And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark." (Gen. 8:10, 12).
Although the Bible did not mention it, is likely that Noah observed the Seventh Day Sabbath that was passed on to him by his ancestors, who had learned it from Adam (Gen. 2:1-3). If keeping the seventh day Sabbath is one of God's commandments then Noah would surely have observed it. Why? Because "Noah did according to all that the LORD commanded him." (Gen. 7:5). When the children of Shem journeyed eastward and settled in
How far back in history does your research show the Sabbath to be in
My research indicates that the Jews had reintroduced the Seventh Day Sabbath to
Is there anything in Chinese history that reveals anything about the Chinese having a seven day week? (Traditionally the Chinese have used a 10 day week until modern times.)
The ancient Chinese calendar is based on the sexagesimal (60) cycle. It is a combination of the 10 "heavenly stems" and 12 "earthly branches." This cycle was used for keeping track of days. The seven-day weekly cycle together with the Seventh-Day Sabbath was introduced to
Later, the Roman Catholics came and continued the use of the seven-day weekly cycle, but they worshipped on Sunday instead of the Sabbath. Missionaries from the Anglican and other Protestant churches came to
Do you have any information on the "Jesus people" who supposedly reside in one of the provinces and reportedly are over one million strong?
You are probably referring to the "Jesus Family" (Yesu Jiading); it is one of the three strongest indigenous Christian groups that have gone underground in
Do you know whether or not these are the results of gentile conversion to the Sabbath or whether they are the descendants of Jews who came to
In my article, "The Seventh Day Sabbath Movement in
Jewish merchants, probably from
"The religious outlooks and practices of the
Are there any records, traditions or other indications of missionaries coming to
According to the historical records of the Roman Catholic Church, Francis Xavier never set a foot in
Please make a statement to our readership concerning your Sabbath convictions and the importance of the Chinese witness to the Sabbath truth.
There are 1.3 billion Chinese in the whole world. Assuming there are 50 million Chinese Christians and 5 million of them are Sabbath keepers; it means only 1 out of every 260 Chinese knows the Lord Jesus Christ and keeps the Sabbath. That is a tiny fraction of one percent and a overwhelming 99.6 percent of Chinese that do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and the Sabbath truth. With five generations of family members in the True Jesus Church, a Seventh-Day Sabbath keeping denomination, I do have a mission and conviction to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to share the Sabbath truth to the Chinese, as well as to all the nations in the world.
In the mid Seventies our family lived in
As more and more American Christian friends came to our Sabbath Services, we had a House of Prayer in our home. The Lord Jesus Christ brought Christians from various denominations to worship with us on the Sabbath day. There were Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Disciples of Christ, and even Messianic Jews.
Our family enjoyed the fellowship of all these Christians and the Lord really blessed our Sabbath Services. During one Sabbath service a pair of twin sisters who were Catholics requested prayer for their brother in
The doctors could not diagnose his illness and they had placed him in the Intensive Care Unit. We prayed in one accord for this man who was thousands of miles away, not even knowing him. That Sabbath afternoon, at about 5:00 p.m., one of the twin sisters called me. She was really excited and told me that her brother had just called her from his home. He could not understand how suddenly at about 11:30 a.m. in the morning he was able to move his arms, legs and whole body. It was the exact time that we prayed for him during our Sabbath Services.
He got out of bed and went to the nurses' station and asked to be discharged from the hospital. The nurses were shocked and called the doctor to examine him. The doctor was perplexed and found nothing wrong with him. The hospital discharged him at 1:00 p.m. He returned home and mowed the lawn in his front yard at 3:00 p.m. This healing miracle changed my attitude towards Christians of other denominations. Our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that, regardless of denomination, when Christians love one another, worship, and pray in one accord on the Sabbath day, He will honor their prayers. This healing miracle is a fulfillment of Scriptures. "Also the sons of foreigner who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him and to love the Name of the LORD, to be His servants - everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant - even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My House of Prayer, Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My House shall be called a House of Prayer for all nations. The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of
While our family still lived in
My American Christian friends looked at my business card and said, "That's a good name for a Christian ministry." It is now both my Christian ministry and also my architectural service company. ARK International is now a
Sabbath-keepers working in the secular world constantly face obstacles in the market place but they can overcome their problems with faith and endurance. I have two testimonies that are connected with my profession, and also the Seventh-Day Sabbath.
After receiving my academic and professional degrees in architecture in
I had made up my mind not to work on the Sabbath, therefore I could not find a job for many months. After much prayer God opened a door for me. I met an ex-classmate who was also an architect; he was getting married and planned to move to another city.
He introduced me to his boss, a Danish architect who had the most successful practice in the city. During the interview I told him that I could not work on Saturday because I kept the Sabbath. I gave him a proposal to make up the 4 hours on Saturday by working an extra hour Monday through Thursday. Praise God! He agreed.
After three months he called me into his office. He said to me, "I have reviewed your work and I am very pleased with it. Your productivity is much more than your friend's. I am going to promote you and raise your salary. Not only that, I am going to close my office on Saturday because you have shown me that it is a much better way for productivity." I was very glad that my faithful Sabbath-keeping had not only given me much blessings but had also been a good testimony to others as well.
After working with the Danish architect for two years I opened my own architectural firm that was the only company in the city that closed on Saturdays. The business flourished tremendously. I had several close friends who were my engineering associates.
One Friday afternoon my good friend and engineering associate called me. He said a potential client who was a multimillionaire real estate magnate was coming from out of state. We were going to have lunch with him the following day and discuss the development of a 2,000 acre multimillion dollar project. It was an architect's dream project.
I told him that I could not join him for lunch because I had to keep the Sabbath. My friend was really mad at me. He called me all kinds of names.
I apologized to him but it didn't help. I thought our friendship and business relationship had been smashed to bits. I felt very sad and I went to church to worship and pray.
That Saturday evening my friend called me at about 9:00 p.m. He said the real estate multimillionaire could not come because there was a change of plans due to unforeseen circumstances. He would arrive on Monday. I told my friend, "I'll be there!"
We got the project signed, sealed and delivered. The whole project is now completed. Praise and thank the Lord Jesus Christ who is in control. He blesses those who are faithful to Him. Praise God! He has given me a "tent-making ministry" that has helped and encouraged many Christians to remain faithful to the Lord of the Sabbath and also to keep it holy.
"If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the LORD honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in the LORD; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, The mouth of the LORD has spoken." (Isa. 58:13-14).