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 (Manna 76: Commission)
The Workers in Acts
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Steven Shek—Edinburgh, U.K.

As we read the Book of Acts, we notice the remarkable spirit of God’s servants. The ministry of these workers is defined by their courage, conviction and power in the Spirit, and also by their humility and willingness to learn. The spirit in which the early church served the Lord stands as a guide for our own ministry today. In this article, we will look at the attitude of three early workers, Peter, Paul and Apollos, whom we should seek to emulate.


After Jesus’ death, Peter was among the disciples who hid behind closed doors for fear of the Jews. However, after he saw the resurrected Christ, witnessed His ascension, and received the promised Holy Spirit (Lk 24:50–53; Jn 20:19; Acts 2:1–4), his heart was changed. He received a heart of boldness, which enabled him to go out and tell the whole world about the truth.

After he received the gift of the Holy Spirit, Peter immediately began to preach Jesus in Jerusalem. He boldly stood up with the eleven and preached to the devout Jews who were gathered from every nation under heaven (Acts 2:14). In that sermon, Peter confidently told them that Jesus, whom they had killed with “lawless hands,” was the Christ they had all been waiting for (Acts 2:22–23).

With all good conscience, Peter unreservedly proclaimed what he and others had seen: that the same Jesus who had died had truly resurrected. He told them, "This Jesus God raised up, of which we are all witnesses" (Acts 2:32). You can feel the truth running through Peter as he recounts Jesus' ascension, not withholding any details (Acts 2:33).

Then Peter, filled with wisdom and conviction through the Holy Spirit, testified that this exalted Jesus was the One who had poured out the Holy Spirit upon them, proving that Jesus is Lord and Christ. It was the fulfillment of what God had said through Joel: "I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh" (Acts 2:17). The Jews could not deny the truth, as they believed that there is only one Lord and the Lord is one (Deut 6:4); they were cut to the heart. This happened because God’s Spirit had inspired Peter to boldly preach the gospel (Mt 10:20; Lk 12:12).

In the end time, the True Jesus Church needs members, especially youths, who are more than just acquainted with a few verses of Scripture that outline the basic beliefs. We need more people who are strongly grounded in their faith, with full conviction and courage to share the truth. For only when the truth is boldly proclaimed can people have the opportunity to hear and choose to follow it to salvation. So, if you do not know, ask. If you know a bit, increase it, and share. The more you know, the wider the scope of people to whom you can convey the truth. Let us therefore learn from Peter’s spirit of conviction and equip ourselves with a deeper knowledge of the truth so that we, too, may be able to boldly preach the gospel.


Unlike Peter, Paul had always been a courageous person. So, as a new convert, he took up his newfound faith with great zeal:

"Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God." (Acts 9:20)

He was not ashamed to tell everyone that he had been wrong and that Jesus is the Christ (Acts 9:22). Even when faced with possible death, Paul carried on speaking boldly and disputed with those who held on to the erroneous beliefs that he himself had previously shared (Acts 9:29). In his ministry, Paul met with many more hardships: he was expelled from a city (Acts 13:50–51), stoned and left for dead (Acts 14:19), and even faced disputes within the church (Acts 15:1–5). Yet he never once gave up; he continued boldly to go where Jesus sent Him. He was armed with the mission Jesus had given him, for Jesus had said: "[H]e is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake" (Acts 9:15–16). In addition, Jesus personally told Paul, "Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles" (Acts 22:21). So, despite having to brave the tempestuous sea and being bitten by a poisonous viper, Paul continued preaching, even to Rome (Acts 28:14–16).

Paul’s life illustrates what kind of spirit we need to have if we are to complete our mission in the end time: we need to have Paul's unrelenting drive to fulfill the will of the Lord!

Today, there are many brothers and sisters in our church who have made sacrifices to join in the mission to spread the gospel. Partnering with preachers and other volunteers, they encounter challenges that they could have avoided if they had stayed in the comfort of their homes. Yet they continue to go to distant countries, braving hardships and giving what they have to those deprived of the true gospel. Their testimonies serve as an example for us to follow, but also as our encouragement.

All of us need to have the vision that the True Jesus Church is not limited to the boundary of our own local church. Our home church is like a member of the whole body of Christ. The body of Christ is made up of members and congregations throughout the world. Some areas have plenty of workers to look after the churches there. Churches in other areas require many more workers to go the extra mile in order to minister to them, so that they can one day stand up, be self-sufficient, know the truth and pass it on. Why not pray for the heart to go forward? Why not let the love of God compel us to move beyond what we are used to, week-in week-out? Why not rely on God and let Him show us His grace working in those to whom we minister the truth?


Another notable worker recorded in Acts is Apollos; he was no ordinary Jewish convert. He possessed qualities that many would be glad to have. He was eloquent. He was well-versed in the Scriptures, which meant that he had a substantial understanding of the Bible. He was instructed in the way of the Lord, which also indicated that he must have spent time to learn the truth. He must have gained awareness of what the Scriptures said about Christ and how it had been fulfilled. No one would doubt Apollos' credentials as a speaker of God's word. He did not speak off-the-cuff but made sure what he said was accurate; as far as he could, Apollos did his homework (Acts 18:25). Although he had just started out, "he began to speak boldly in the synagogue" (Acts 18:26a). When a person speaks boldly, he must be confident that his knowledge is true and complete.

Imagine you were Apollos. You are fervent in spirit (Acts 18:25), but then Aquila and Priscilla, a couple who are merely tentmakers by occupation (Acts 18:3), hear you preaching and take you aside to correct you (Acts 18:26b). How would you feel? Apollos could have felt so ashamed that he dared not speak again for fear of getting it wrong. Or he could have become angry because of pride, ignored the couple’s good intentions, and continued to spread incomplete teachings of salvation. But rather than having a defeatist attitude, Apollos stood corrected and stood stronger: "And when he desired to cross to Achaia...he greatly helped those who had believed through grace; for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Christ" (Acts 18:27–28).

In the end time, the future pillars of the church must progress to face the challenges that lie ahead. Having the heart and fervency is a great start. Studying the Bible and equipping ourselves with God's word and spiritual understanding is crucial to say the least. But, incorporated with that sense of urgency should be a humble spirit and the willingness to receive correction. To receive correction is part and parcel of our service to the Lord. Peter was corrected. Paul was corrected. Jeremiah was corrected. Moses was corrected. Being corrected is not easy to take. However, if our heart is sincere for God, we will cut away and cut through how the correction makes us feel, and grasp its immense value for our continual service for God and the next generation.

So, let us become noble vessels for the Lord, ready to be filled with God's truth as we gain more experience. As we grow and mature in our ministry, we will gradually learn to serve according to the spirit of Jesus' teachings, for the glory of His name. Eventually we may share our knowledge and experiences with future generations of workers.


Let us learn from these three workers in Acts: Peter, Paul and Apollos. May we follow their footsteps to have the conviction to share the truth, to continuously carry the truth to regions beyond in the face of challenges, and to come clean when corrected so that God may use us. Amen.

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Author: Steven Shek