European-American Evangelistic Crusades, Inc.
June 2001 Newsletter
John S. Torell
There are two kinds of people in this world, those who shape the destiny of mankind, (leaders and trend setters), and the masses of people who are swayed in one direction or the other, never able to understand where they came from, where they are going, and why they are moving in a particular direction.
There are two kingdoms fighting on planet earth, and the battle has been fierce, is fierce now, and will become more intense in the final showdown. It is the Kingdom of God versus the kingdom of Satan. As soon as a human being repents of his sins and asks God for forgiveness, acknowledging that Jesus died on the cross, rose on the third day and that through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ a man can be saved (born again), that person is moved from the kingdom of Satan into the Kingdom of God. (Colossians 1:12-15)
MY DILEMMA AS A PASTOR AND
EACH BELIEVER IN CHRIST WILL
HAVE HIS OWN PECULIAR CALLING
EACH CHRISTIAN MUST STAY IN
HIS GOD-GIVEN CALLING!
The calling of William Booth and his wife was to reach out to the down and out, the lowest class in society. They were mocked, spit upon, imprisoned, laughed at, their meetings were broken up, but the power of God sliced through all of it and the fire caught on. The "FIRE AND BLOOD" banner in each Salvation Army meeting place burned in the eyes of the beholders. Soup kitchens, orphanages, homes for young men and women, and a place to sleep for the homeless, were the results of this work. Young men and women in Europe and North America heard the call, received Christ as their Saviour, donned a salvation army uniform and served in the great slums of London, New York, Antwerpen, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Hamburg, etc.
The callings of John Wesley (1703-1791, founder of the Methodist Church), Charles Finney (1792-1875, attorney, evangelist and college president), D. L. Moody (1837-1899, shoe salesman, world evangelist and founder of Moody Bible Institute and Biola), and Billy Sunday (1862-1935, professional baseball player and evangelist) were different than those of William Booth. These four well known evangelists spoke and wrote material which brought millions of people, from the upper class to the down and out, into the Kingdom of God. Converts from these four men became involved in church work, education, politics, business, science etc., and became trend setters, changing entire national policies. They founded hospitals, mission work to nations all over the world, and they made a foundation for the generation that followed them.
These four men were honest, strong in their Bible preaching, without any scandals and they were able to raise the moral standard in England as well as in Canada and the United States. The only well known world evangelist and pastor alive today who can measure up to these giants in Godís kingdom is pastor David Wilkerson, founder of Teen Challenge.
THE CALLING THAT GOD HAS
FOR ME (JOHN S. TORELL)
My parents were so poor in the early years of their marriage that they could only afford to purchase a ladyís bicycle for my mom, and when they went out my dad would run on the side with mom on the bike and me on the back.
Our house was next to a Pentecostal church, and the pastor took some personal interest in me. I remember when, at the age of three, I stood in his study office, looking at the painting on the wall. It was a well known replica of the "Marriage Feast of the Lamb." I did not understand the picture, so I asked Pastor Johansson to explain it to me. Instead of brushing off a three year old boy, he took time and told me the whole story of how to get a seat at that wedding feast. Once he was finished, I made a strong statement: "I am going to be there." I believe that this was my first step toward Christ, and a year later my Sunday School teacher in the Mission Covenant Church led me to Christ.
Around 1944, when I was between five and six years old, my parents took me to a funeral in the town of JŲnkŲping. Badly damaged B-17 bombers came in to land after being shot up in bombing runs over Germany, so were unable to fly back to England. Since there were many dead crew members when the bombers landed, the Swedish military organized funerals for the dead aviators, and that was the funeral procession my parents took me to watch. First came a military brass band playing, followed by American air men marching, followed by flat bed trucks loaded with coffins draped in American flags. As the procession passed me, a deep voice within my soul spoke to me: "These are your people; you do not belong to Sweden, you belong to the country these fliers came from." I did not fully understand this, could not tell my parents what I heard, but from that day I began to tell my parents and people around me, "When I grow up, I am going to move to America."
About a year later, before I started school (at that time children began school at the age of seven), my parents took me for a walk on a Sunday afternoon. Suddenly something happened to me! It was like a curtain had been pulled away and I had the ability to read and write, and a vision of future things came to me as clear as a sunny day. I became so excited that I told my parents we had to turn back home so I could write down what I had seen. They looked on their six year old boy and could not understand. When we finally came home, I quickly took my overcoat off, ran over to my little play desk, picked up paper and a pen, and just as I was going to start to write, the vision vanished and I lost it all. I remember sitting there a long time crying and telling my mom and dad that I really had known how to write. I believe now that God gave that vision to me to let me know that someday I would be a writer.
At that time, Pastor Johansson moved to another town and I lost contact with him. But in 1971, the first time I came back to Sweden to preach the Gospel, his son Sam Johansson told me, with tears in his eyes, that his father had seen a vision of my life and how God was going to use me in the future. The pastor never dared to tell it to my parents, afraid that it would spoil my calling. Sam did not dare, in 1971, to tell me the vision, but promised me that he would tell me in a few years. That never took place, because some 10 years later he died and went to be with the Lord. To this day I still do not know the vision.
At the age of 14, I drifted away from the Lord and ended up in a terribly backslidden condition. I became involved in gangs, almost killed a man in a knife fight, started to drink alcohol, smoked and chased women. One day I ran my moped into the side of a car, and with no helmet, flew through the air. I remember hitting the car with my body and sliding down on the side. Instead of being thankful that I had not been killed, I remember tightening my fist and shaking it at God and screaming, "Why are you protecting me?" Deep inside I knew I was on the wrong road and in rebellion against God.
Shortly after this incident, I was riding my bike past a tent, where a revival meeting was held. An unknown force made me stop, get off my bike and go into the tent where I stood in the back. When I heard the gospel music, I began to weep, the preacher started and I felt he was talking just to me. When the invitation was given, I wanted to go forward and give my life to Christ, then I looked down at how I was dressed Ė leather jacket with dirty pants. Ashamed and crying my eyeballs out, I ran from the tent and away from God.
But God was holding his hand over me. He led me to the woman who I married when I was only 20Ĺ years old and somehow I was able to finish college and graduate with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. All during these years the vision of America never left me, and three days after graduating from college, my wife and I were on an airplane to New York as immigrants. I clearly remember sitting in that airplane, and that deep voice again spoke to me and said: "Youíd better not mess up when you arrive in America." I did not tell that to my wife, but it was with great fear that I stepped off that plane. I felt that something bigger than me was taking me to my destiny.
We settled in Salt Lake City, Utah with my uncle and his wife who sponsored us. We stayed there for a short time, but since they were Mormons they wanted us to join the Mormon church. We did not do that and it caused some friction, so we moved out from their home. (After our salvation, we met with my uncle and his wife, thanking them for helping us to come to America, and we also witnessed to them about our faith in Christ) Two years later, tired of watching TV and drinking beer, I was toying with the radio on a Sunday night, when a clear voice boomed out preaching the Gospel. I was glued to my chair and heard the program out. My soul was crying out for more. The next Sunday I tuned in the station at the beginning of the program and listened intently. Hope began to rise within me and six month later the evangelist who was preaching on the radio had a special telecast. We watched the first program, and when the invitation was given, both my wife and I prayed silently in our home to be forgiven of our sins and to receive Christ as our Saviour. The year was 1965.
Later that year my wife flew back to Sweden on the recommendation of her doctor, since she had become ill with a virus infection in her lungs, and the doctor recommended a change in climate. I began to backslide, and started to drink again. After a few months my wife was scheduled to come back, but a week before, she changed her plans and extended her stay in Sweden for one more week. I never forget the Monday night she originally was to come back. At around 7.30 p.m. I was standing in the checkout line of a Safeway, when the news broke that an airplane had crashed at Salt Lake City airport. It was the plane she was supposed to be on. Of the 80 plus passengers on board, 50 died and the rest were burned badly. I was shaken. (Later we secured clippings from the newspaper on the crash)
At the beginning of 1966, we read in the paper that a Billy Graham movie was going to be shown in Salt Lake City. Since we had given our hearts to Christ through the preaching of Billy Graham, we decided to go in order to find some church through the event. As soon as the invitation was given, we went forward and were met by a pastor, Robert McCullar, from Central Baptist Church (Southern Baptist). We all felt that this was a divine appointment and the next Sunday we were in church. Pastor McCullar was a very staunch conservative pastor, preaching from the King James Version of the Bible and mincing no words when he preached. In a month we were baptized in water, by immersion, joined the church and started to grow.
Early in 1967, my wifeís uncle, Hjalmar Strom, sent an audio recording of a recent converted opera singer (Jan Sparring) in Sweden, who was speaking at a restaurant. We played the tape during my lunch hour, and a few minutes into the tape, I heard that deep voice again speak to me, "I am calling you into the Gospel ministry." I could not hold back my tears, ran to the bathroom, closed the door and cried there alone with deep sobs. God loved me so much that he called me, a nobody, just a piece of dirt.
On April 16, 1967 I could not hold it back any longer, I ran forward at the invitation and informed my pastor that God had called me into the ministry. Not long after this the church licensed me into the Gospel ministry. With no church background and having worked as an engineer, it was made clear to me that I needed more education. My pastor informed me that there were six Southern Baptist seminaries at that time. God impressed upon me that I was going to stay in the denomination, but since I could not get a clear leading which seminary to attend, I put in an application to all six. My wife and I prayed that God would close all doors but one. Every seminary turned me down, except Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, California. The issue was settled and in September 1969 we moved to Mill Valley.
After being at the seminary for only a month, it was announced that Billy Graham was having a crusade in Anaheim, California, and that students were encouraged to take a week off and work in the crusade. We had no money and I was not going to go, when the Lord impressed upon me, intensely, that I was to go. God had set up a divine appointment for me. He wanted me to meet Mrs. Kitty Yarking, a Southern Baptist woman who had been filled with the Holy Spirit. There were four students in our group plus my wife and we lived in the Yarking home which was located in the city of Torrance. Every morning she would be up at five in the morning and cook us a great "southern" breakfast and when we came home around 11 p.m., another wonderful meal was waiting for us. For a week she told us about the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and we could see it in her. We had never encountered such an agape love as in this grandmother. The seed was sown in my spirit, and early the next year she sent a check for $20 to us, telling us it could only be used to attend the Full Gospel Business Menís Fellowship dinner in Berkeley. These meetings were to change my life again, for the first time I witnessed a man being healed from M.S., which he had for 20 years, and I understood what the Holy Ghost baptism was.
Up to this point I had been walking with Christ for five years, but inside I was battling terrible thoughts which tormented me greatly. Iíll never forget the evening when I drove over to Berkeley from Mill Valley, and had another student with me. I complained to him that I could not understand why I was not baptized in the Holy Spirit when I asked for it the night before. Without mercy he spoke out "It did not happen because you are full of demons." I went into a rage and the evening was ruined for me.
The next morning, after my wife had gone to work and I was alone in our studio apartment, I closed all the drapes, locked the door and kneeled before our couch and cried out to the Lord: "If I have any demons, I command them to get out of my body." I was not ready for what happened next, never having experienced casting out demons, much less doing it on myself. I felt like my back was frozen in ice and the most evil feelings began to manifest in me, and then God in his mercy, knowing that I did not know what to do, chased out the demons and instantly I was set free. Then the power of God fell on me and I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. Unless you have experienced the power of God, you will not be able to understand what I am telling you.
Working as a youth evangelist for the seminary, my sermons were the same, but the power was different. People flocked to the altars and my wife and I were very happy. The Lord led a staff member at the seminary who was ready to commit suicide to me and I learned to cast out his demons, after I had read all of the books on the subject I could find. In the summer of 1971, I returned to Sweden for the first time as a believer in Christ, walking with the Lord, and through the Swedish Baptist Union we had meetings for about four months all over Sweden. The Holy Spirit showed me how to pray for the sick, how to cast out demons and my wife and I were living the same life as described in the Book of Acts; it was a wonderful time.
Coming back to the seminary brought us down deep into a pit. I was called on the carpet, fired as a youth evangelist and told that either I would renounce the baptism of the Holy Spirit, or I would be "black-balled" for the rest of my life by the seminary. I told the professor, who was in charge of this department, "Are you God? I will never renounce the Holy Spirit." That was the end of my career in the Southern Baptist Convention. Despite efforts to boot me out, I worked hard and graduated in the spring of 1973 with a Master of Divinity degree.
During our time in Sweden in 1971, that deep voice of God spoke to me and said this: "You are to start writing and you are to build your own print shop, never to be dependent upon others to print for you. The time will come when your material cannot be printed in regular print shops."
I began to work on this project in 1973. Our first piece of equipment was a small stencil duplicator. Some ten years later our printing facilities were in operation and have been since that time. From 1973 to 1975, I traveled as an evangelist in Sweden, Germany, Holland and California. In 1975, I was called to become a pastor in Lodi, California at Lodi Christian Life Center.
One early Sunday morning in 1975 the deep voice of God spoke to me and said: "I want you to start preaching on the radio." Struggling just to keep the church afloat, I could not rejoice, but I had learned that when I heard that deep voice of God, it was time to move. During the morning service I announced to the congregation what God had told me, a figure of $10,000.00 came into my mind, and I told the church that this was needed to launch the radio ministry. To my utter surprise, at the end of the service as I gave an invitation, one of the men in the ministry took my hand and told me, "Iíll give you the money tomorrow." Not knowing anything about it, I looked in the Yellow Pages Monday morning and found to my surprise that there was a Christian radio station in Lodi Ė KCVR. In a short time, a contract was signed, equipment purchased and I have been preaching on the radio since that time, moving to different stations and currently speaking on two stations, one in California and one in Georgia. God is faithful!
In 1976 the deep voice of God spoke to me again: "Go north to Sacramento." At this time my wife and I were used to being led by the Holy Spirit so I resigned from the church in Lodi, and moved to Sacramento. The Lord had me start a church in Carmichael, Christian Life Ministries, where I was the pastor from 1976 to 1983.
While I was pastoring this church, my wife and I went out almost every year on evangelistic crusades, in the U.S. and in Sweden and Finland. The Lord had led me to write several Bible study books, which were translated into Swedish, Dutch, and Urdu for Pakistan. But as I was teaching on the end times, I was stumped. I could not figure out why national governments did what they did. I could not understand why the United States was fighting the communists in Vietnam, while the British and the French were aiding North Vietnam? During a preaching tour to Idaho, we stayed in the home of a family that played for me audio recordings, called "The Illuminati." I knew nothing of this, but when I heard the recording, I realized that the Lord was giving me an answer to my prayers. Now I knew what I was looking for.
Then God set up another divine appointment for me, and I met Pastor Gordon Ginn who, I found out, lived just a few blocks from me. Despite Gordon being a conservative Baptist and I a Pentecostal, we became good friends and this man shared with me what he had learned for the last 25 years. He opened the doors for me to understand Freemasonry, secret societies, who was behind the communists, etc. Together we wrote a book "The Rise of Antichrist," that since has been sold out for a long time.
It did not take long for the Devil to strike back. Our church was infiltrated by three witches who secretly did a lot of damage, and then one of the leading menís wife in the church turned out to be homosexual, and she swept with her a number of women who attended her slumber parties for grown up ladies. The whole church was in an uproar, and I had lost all support from my deacons and had only one elder left who stood by my side. My wife and I took a week off, went up into the mountains to seek the Lord through prayer and fasting. God spoke very clearly to us, the church is too corrupt to be saved, resign and move on. The Lord sustained us in the next two years, which were lean and hard.
In 1985 a woman told us that God had spoken to her to pay for my wife and I to fly to the Midwest and attend a Bible conference. On our way back from the conference, the deep voice of God spoke to me, "You are to start a new church in Sacramento." I was in agony, I never again wanted to be a pastor and I told that to the Lord. Then I said, "If I am going to start a church, you have to tell me what the name is going to be." Instantly the deep voice of God said, "Resurrection Life of Jesus." Again I wept, basking in the love of God and thanking him for speaking to me again. My wife and I told the small band of believers in Sacramento what we were to do, and they all signed up and the church was born. I am still the pastor of this church.
THE PRINTED WORD
My sermons and Bible studies have been recorded on audio cassettes since 1975 and in our archives we have more than 25 years of preaching and teaching. During my last trip to Finland, the Lord led me to have a divine appointment with Swedish Pastor Kjell Sjoberg who traveled much to Israel. It was Kjell Sjoberg who opened up the Jewish Cabala to me, and how it is the centerpiece in the theology of the Antichrist.
UNDERSTANDING MY CALLING
Since 1967 I have been preaching the salvation message of Jesus Christ, since 1971 God added the preaching of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, healing and casting out of demons. Thousands of people are today walking in victory because of this. I will continue to preach this until Jesus comes back or he takes me home, whichever comes first. Every article I have written in The Dove has been born out of deep prayer and the direct leading of the Holy Spirit. And the guidance is getting more and more intense as time is short. God is telling me (He has many more writers in the world who he is using also) that I am to write down to the best of my ability the historical facts that have led us to where we are today, but from a Bible-based old fashioned walking in faith and trusting in God perspective, using the King James version only for all writings in English, bathing this project in prayer and fasting.
Looking back in history, the men and women who God has used in time past to change history and bring revival to a dying world, were not the people who were slaves to alcohol and other drugs, to those who were emotionally destroyed, but to men and women who had guarded their minds, rejected the evil of the world and embraced the Lord Jesus Christ. Once this group is one bright burning fire ball, it will jump over to the ones that are down and out and raise them up.
In the spring of 2000 God came to me during the early morning hours and spoke to me in the deep voice of God: "I want you to write down the history of the 20th century and show the world that despite all that the Devil tried to do, I won that century and how mighty are my works." The whole thing is laid out in my mind, now I understand the vision I had as a six year old boy. But I was not able to start on the project at once, many obstacles came up, including financial difficulties. But the first installment is now done and published in The Dove 2001 and the rest is coming.
A LOST GENERATION
Our ministry is gearing up to strengthen those who are walking with Christ and equip them to reach the young generations coming behind us, so that God will have some mighty men and women for Himself. There are a number of young people in our ministry from their 30's and down, who are on fire, willing to learn and to live their lives for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Do you want to join them?
About three years ago, the Pacific Gospel Mission in Chicago dramatized the story of my wife, Aina, and partly of me, and this was broadcast over many radio stations. The program is known as "Unshackled." We cannot sell this story, we are making it available to listen and download.
1. Editor's Note:
Many times, in the Old Testament, prophets and servants of God were accused of giving an unpleasant message to the children (people) of Israel. They wanted to hear something that made them feel good in spite of the sins they were committing. God thundered out that if they continued in their sins, unrepentant, that judgment would come. Godís laws are set and cannot be altered. He warns us for our good and to bring us back to safety with Him. Safety for our souls, not necessarily for our bodies.
Iíve been working with Pastor Torell and Resurrection Life of Jesus Church under European-American Evangelistic Crusades, Inc. for thirteen years. In all of that time, Pastor John has never used a prefabricated sermon, but always seeks the Lordís message that God wants him to give to us. It isnít easy to preach week after week, year in and year out, and never take a shortcut, but Pastor Torell never does. He told us one Sunday that he was concerned because it was Saturday evening and the Lord hadnít given him a sermon yet, so he went to bed. In the morning, he went to the computer with his Bible and the Lord began to give him the sermon He wanted Pastor John to preach.
I know that many denominations send their pastors a series of sermons for the entire year. They know the subject and the date it is to be given. It is already outlined for them. You can buy sermons. There are organizations that produce them for various styles of messages. I thank God that our pastor gets his sermons from the Lord. I want to hear what God is trying to tell me.
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from the King James Bible.
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