Literary Ministry at Work
K.C. Tsai—Toronto, Canada
LITERARY MINISTRY AND EVANGELISM
Before His ascension, the Lord
Jesus commissioned His disciples to go and make disciples of all nations (Mt
28:19) and to observe all things that He had commanded (Mt 28:20).
Our Lord’s commands are
everlasting and transcend time and space. For this reason, the above
commissions can be considered as commissions for us today.
As we take on these two
commissions, a sincere heart and joyful attitude is key.
WONDERFUL WORD OF THE LORD
The commandment of the LORD is
pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired
are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the
The psalmist reminds us that the
Lord’s commandment is not to burden, but to enlighten. In fact, we can taste
the sweetness in God’s word by sharing His word and His grace with others. When
we share through our writing, we provide a pathway for God’s will to reach out
to readers across different national boundaries.
Throughout the Bible, we see a
whole range of writing styles, historical events and spiritual values. The
various authors of the Scriptures were faithful in their descriptions of God’s
acts. Although these authors lived during different times and at different
places, they were inspired by God to collectively demonstrate similar divine
attributes: justice, righteousness, faithfulness, grace, and a willingness to
Through the authors’ experiences
with God and from their written words, His overall plan of salvation is
revealed to us today. In actuality, God is the true author and chief editor of
the Bible—the greatest piece of work in literary ministry.
LITERARY MINISTRY IN ACTION
Yet God’s literary work does not
stop there—He continues to work through the literary ministry of the True Jesus
Church. Following are some examples of how the church’s literary ministry, like
the angel flying in the midst of heaven (Rev 14:6), has helped to spread the
gospel throughout the world.
In 1926, Deacon John Voon of the
True Jesus Church in Singapore mailed a copy of the Holy Spirit Times to his friend, Mr. En-Fook Tsen, a leader in the
local Chinese community in Sabah, Malaysia. Mr. Tsen was too busy to read
through the publication thoroughly. So, he forwarded it to one of his friends,
Mr. Siak-Lin Lee, in Sandakan. On the publication, Mr. Tsen wrote: “A true
church has arisen”.
Deeply touched by what he read,
Mr. Lee sailed to Singapore during the lunar new year 1927 to learn more about
the truth. After locating the True Jesus Church, he spent much time and effort
to study the truth. Eventually, he was baptized on the 11th day of the first
lunar month 1927, and received the Holy Spirit three days later.
At Bro. Siak-Lin Lee’s request,
Elder Chien-Sing Tan and Deacon John Voon accompanied him to Sandakan, Sabah,
to preach the gospel. Within days, the Sandakan church was established. Before
Elder Tan and Deacon Voon left for Singapore, they ordained three people to be
responsible for the church’s religious affairs—Deacon Mark Chin, Deacon
Philemon Ho and Deaconess Phoebe Kong. Bro Siak-Lin Lee was appointed as
As of today, there are more than
one hundred churches in Sabah with a membership of over fifteen thousand.
A young minister named Ernesto
Torres from Bacolod City in Mansilingan was attending the Bible Seminary of the
United Pentecostal Church in Manila when he accidentally stumbled upon two
dusty parcels in a corner of the library. Curious, he opened these parcels and
found the first and second issues of the Words of Life, a booklet published by the True Jesus Church. After
reading through the booklets, he realized that the hidden truth of salvation
lay right before his eyes! He therefore distributed these booklets to his
relatives and fellow believers of the United Pentecostal Church.
Martin Balaston, an Elder of the
United Pentecostal Church, studied the core beliefs of the True Jesus Church
through the publications Words of Life
and Christian Basic Faith. In
addition, Deacon John Chin from Singapore conducted correspondence lessons for
him by mail. On June 11, 1983, Elder Balaston wrote a letter to Deacon Chin
expressing his willingness to be baptized into our church, and asking for
missionaries to visit him.
Less than two weeks later, Deacon
John Chin and Preacher Simon Chin were on a plane bound for Bacolod city. Elder
Balaston and Pastor Torres met them at the airport. For the next four days
(June 22–25, 1983), one of which was a Sabbath day, more than twenty
truth-seekers gathered in Elder Balaston’s house to study the doctrines and to
pray for the Holy Spirit. Some received the Holy Spirit during these prayers.
After the Sabbath services, they acknowledged the truth and asked for water
baptism in Jesus’ name.
The next morning, a vehicle was
rented and a total of thirty people went to a river about twenty kilometers
away. Twenty-six people were baptized. After the Footwashing and Holy Communion
sacraments had been performed, they decided to establish a local church at
Elder Balaston’s house.
By the wonderful will and grace of
God, the seed of the gospel sprouted in the Philippines by means of a couple of
Words of Life booklets. Indeed, His
sheep heard His voice and followed Him, and He brought them back into His fold.
Today, there are more than two
thousand members in the Philippines.
In 1994, while Reverend
Charleston, a bishop of a religious group called the Bibleway Church of Christ,
was walking along a street in London, UK, he saw a booklet on the ground. He
picked it up and looked at its title, Words of Life. He read it and was touched by the truth of
salvation revealed in it.
After he returned to Kenya,
Reverend Charleston wrote a letter to the International Assembly of the True
Jesus Church (IA) to ask if a minister could be sent to help his group
understand the truth. In response, the IA sent a preacher to hold a five-day
seminar in Kenya in 1995.
More than forty people attended
the seminar that was held in Busia, a town near Kenya’s northwestern border.
Besides members of the Bibleway Church of Christ, a group called the
Evangelistic Fellowship, led by Bishop Coronel, also attended. At the end of the
seminar, on March 4, 1995, the participants declared that they had decided to
change their Sunday worship to the Sabbath day.
The following year, during the
IA’s second missionary trip to Kenya, the first baptism was performed.
Today, there are about three
thousand members in Kenya.
In 1981, four preachers from the
True Jesus Church were on a missionary trip in Nigeria when the local police
came to harass and rob them. So their trip ended abruptly, and they had to
return home. Their return flight required an overnight stop in Monrovia,
Since they had brought a box of
gospel flyers and booklets with them, they decided to distribute these
materials in the surrounding area. A few of these pamphlets were later
delivered to a local church minister. After he read the contents, he was
convinced of the truth of salvation. He forwarded these pamphlets to one of his
relatives, a leader of four local churches. When his relative read the
pamphlets, he was deeply touched and immediately accepted what was written in
One night, he dreamed of a great
mountain with glorious light covering the mountaintop. In the dream, he saw
himself leading an entire congregation up that mountain. When he awoke, he
understood that the True Jesus Church was the true church established by God.
He contacted the IA and renamed his church the True Jesus Church.
In 1985, the IA sent workers to
preach to and baptize the Liberians. During one of the trips, our missionaries
met a businessman who laid aside his business and followed them. After studying
the truth for three days, he decided to get baptized. He then preached to other
Liberians, leading them to the truth. He also brought the gospel to Ghana.
For the past twenty years, Liberia
has been troubled by civil wars. Political instability has caused chaos and
poverty in the country. Our missionary work there has been hindered because of
domestic troubles, and many church members have fled to nearby countries.
Today, there are slightly over one hundred members in Liberia.
THERE’S WORK FOR YOU AND ME
In addition to the above examples,
there are numerous cases in which people have come to believe in Christ through
simple gospel pamphlets that they were given. This shows the importance of
literary ministry in the work of evangelism.
When a sermon is delivered in the
chapel, it can edify hundreds or even thousands. But when it is written down
and published, the message is no longer limited by time or space. The Bible’s
message can reach anyone who has the heart to read it, regardless of where they
are or when they read it.
Paul, for example, preached the
gospel of salvation through his epistles even when he was in prison. In the
same way, we do not always need to leave our homes or travel long distances to
impart a message. Living in the Internet age, the written word of God can be
spread far and wide with a tap on a computer keyboard.
Literary ministry is holy work
that we can all take part in. We do not need to be excellent writers—any
testimony or biblical reflection that we write down and share has the potential
to touch someone and bring them closer to Christ.
The International Assembly’s
Department of Literary Ministry is looking for testimonies, devotionals, and
Bible study articles for Manna magazine and for its website. We also need
multilingual brothers and sisters to help translate published Chinese and
English books into various languages. If you would like to help or receive more
information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.