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August 5, 2013

Dear Friends,

The year 1983 was a tumultuous transition period because I had resigned as pastor of Christian Life Ministries and the next two years saw me working as an evangelist, Bible teacher and radio speaker. A person in our ministry sent my wife and I to a pastors conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We were greatly blessed by it and the Holy Spirit spoke to me as we were flying back to Sacramento. Here is how the conversation went:

The Holy Spirit: “I want you to start a new church in Sacramento.”

My reply: “I do not want to, my last assignment as a pastor hurt too much. I do not want to be a pastor anymore.”

The Holy Spirit: “I am telling you that I want you to start a new church in Sacramento.”

My reply: “If I am going to start a new church in Sacramento, you have to tell me the name of the church.”

The Holy Spirit: “The name shall be Resurrection Life of Jesus Church.”

My reply: “Yes, Lord, I will.”

I did not know that 28 years later the Holy Spirit would add one more word to the name of the church “WORLDWIDE.”

MOSES AND THE EXODUS OUT OF EGYPT

Human beings are creatures of habit and a nation that has been in a strange land for 430 years has no desire to uproot itself and move to another location. It’s not feasible in the flesh; it has to be supernatural. God had initially sent Jacob’s family to Egypt, where they were to multiply into a nation. When their numbers had reached some 3 million people, the time had come to move them back to the land of Canaan. The problem was that they did not want to go back to the Promised Land.

Pain is a great motivator and God changed the living conditions of the children of Israel. They went from having been a privileged wealthy minority occupying the best farm land in Egypt to losing the land and becoming slaves overnight. Instead of living a life of ease and luxury, they were afflicted by taskmasters with extremely hard labor.

Their prayer life suddenly changed from one of “Lord bless us more,as they began to cry out, “Lord save us from this bondage.”

God prepared the minds of the people to be willing to leave Egypt and activated the leadership for this great undertaking. The man chosen to lead this operation was Moses; God had been grooming him for 80 years leading up to this event. He had a miraculous childhood rescue and was educated to become king of Egypt but all that came to a halt when he murdered an Egyptian slave supervisor. As a result, he had to flee to the desert where he spent 40 years as a shepherd for Jethro, the high priest of Midian, a servant of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

In this second training phase of his life, God educated Moses to believe in miracles whereas he had previously been educated in the skills of writing, reading, mathematics, law and the skill of ruling a nation. From here he was further educated in humility, patience, trusting the Lord and how to die to all personal ambitions. In other words, God had molded him into the man He wanted and needed for the coming exodus.

A general cannot work alone and God prepared Moses’ brother to be his spokesman and in charge of the new priesthood for the nation of Israel. God also activated their sister, Miriam, to be a prophetess and the worship leader for this new nation. God added Joshua and Caleb, two men of faith that would mold the army of this new nation. The success of Moses and his leadership to complete this mission is recorded in the Old Testament.

I AM NOT A NEW MOSES

After God spoke to me in 1985 and I had started Resurrection Life of Jesus Church in the Sacramento area, I thought that I was set for the rest of my life. All I wanted was a place to preach, people to whom I could minister and to write some books that would help people in their Christian growth. But instead of traveling on a smooth road, I found myself on a road that was full of bumps and lots of pain.

The church grew in number and we crossed over the 100 member threshold until a discontented person split the church in 1988. We had just enlarged our church facilities and so we rolled up our sleeves and prayed hard and in two years God built up the congregation again and we were on a great growth streak until another person decided that he wanted to take over the church. The resulting church split was worse than the first one as more than half of the congregation went with the rebel leader.

At that time I told the Lord, “I have endured enough, I am out of the church business,” but he would not let me go and the next few years were a constant struggle until we could no longer afford to stay at our location.

We were forced to move to a smaller place and slowly started to grow in numbers again. I thought we had finally reached the Promised Land when we were hit with attacks from two different sources and in the year 2000 we had to move out of the building because we could no longer afford to stay at our location.

I cried and fussed with the Lord as I found myself retreating to the same home where the church had started 15 years earlier in 1985. We were back to square one. God sustained us and I slowly died more and more to myself until I thought that I had received the humility that God wanted me to have.

WHEN YOU THINK THAT YOU CANNOT TAKE IT ANYMORE

I thought I was done learning but God had some more things for me to learn like dealing with betrayal, bickering, backbiting, jealousy and hate.

A businessman in the church opened a portion of his facility for the church to use and so we shared the building with this man and his company. We didn’t know it initially, but it was a former drug house and the place had a rodent problem. We moved in and the situation seemed bleak because we were literally on the wrong side of the railroad tracks.  Yet despite this opposition we began to slowly grow due to my weekly radio programs and I began to refer to this location as “a hole in the wall.”

One day my wife found a suitable place for the church and we had enough people that we could move into a much nicer building and occupy the entire second floor. My thought was that my ship had finally come in and it would be easy cruising from here on. Oh how wrong I was!

By this time I had been preaching on the radio for 30 years and the pricing of radio time had been raised to the point where we could no longer afford to stay on the air. I died a thousand deaths when the last program aired; I cried out to the Lord and asked if He really knew what He was doing because I could not understand why this was happening when we had reached so many people for Christ via the radio.

It was not until some three years later when the Lord led us into webcasting that He showed me His plan for a better outreach. I was limited to reaching only a few million people on the radio but now but now we have the potential to reach the entire world for Christ!

I thought that I was finally back on easy street in 2008 the time had come to coast and just watch the ministry grow but God had different plans that would invariably make me uncomfortable. In February of 2013, He told me to resign as pastor of Resurrection Life of Jesus Church to devote my time to ministering on the Internet, traveling, teaching and doing more writing.

I knew from experience that if I did not obey, He would use pain as a motivator to get me moving and I had experienced enough pain in my life. My hope was that the church would continue and I tried to have a minister friend take over as the pastor. That did not work as he only lasted three weeks when he suddenly resigned and left. I was left holding the bag so to speak and realized that we had to move out all of our equipment and close down the facility.

GOING THROUGH THE VALLEY OF SORROWS

Most of the people in the church took off and we were down to a core group, and had it not been for these people, I would not be in the ministry today. I talked to God and asked Him what He was doing but I received no answer. I didn’t know that He was busy burning every bridge in Sacramento and wanted me out with no possibility of return as a pastor. I can see that now but at that time I was grieving over the destruction of the local church. My faith in God and 47 years of walking with Him kicked in and we had an orderly retreat. I recorded a number of sermons before we dismantled the video recording equipment used for webcasting so that we would still be able to put a new sermon on our website every week while we reorganized. The only option open for us was to move everything to the production center.

In looking back, I can see that God had prepared me for what He was going to do. He told me to sell my home in Sacramento in 1988 and then I was directed to buy property further north. A wealthy widow in our church had given us some money and we used it as down payment on a home in 1990.

In 1996 a friend from Michigan came out for deliverance and stayed for a week. One morning he told us that God had shown him that we were to build and move all our ministry production to our property. I wasn’t that enthusiastic about the idea and rejected it but in 1999 the Lord woke me up one morning and gave me the same instructions. He showed me in a vision what the building would look like and gave me the layout on the inside. I drew a sketch and took it to an architect, who then prepared the blueprint for the project. The building was completed in December 1999, and five years later some more buildings were added.

OUT OF THE ASHES

On May 19, 2013, we had our first webcast from the new studio at the production center. The core group in the ministry had done an outstanding job and worked hard to convert a large room into a studio and set up all the equipment, lighting and computers needed for the webcast. By this time I was asking God what He wanted me to do now. What were His plans for me and the faithful people left in the ministry?

I didn’t get an answer right away; instead, the Holy Spirit told me that He was releasing my wife and I for a period of rest to spend two weeks on the North coast of California.

NEW MARCHING ORDERS

Once God had convinced Moses that he was the man to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, he was told to go and line up the leadership among the people. Exodus 4:27-31.

The Lord woke me up early on July 25, 2013 and told me about setting forth a plan for the future to inform all Christians who are currently affiliated with us. Resurrection Life of Jesus Church is not dead; rather, it has been expanded to encompass the whole world. I thought it was ironic that I started the first webcast at our new location with the words, “Welcome to Resurrection Life of Jesus Church Worldwide.” All of us in the studio were surprised as the Holy Spirit spoke through my mouth.

God supernaturally made it possible for Moses and the people to escape Egypt, but Moses had to lead the people and the people had to participate and do the walking.

As we get closer to the coming of the Antichrist régime, there is going to be great confusion and deception among Christians. There are thousands of pastors and television evangelists taking to the radio and television airwaves daily. Some of them are doing a great job while others are deeply into false doctrine and there are many who are just fleecing the saints and living a life of luxury. There really isn’t any ministry that is focused on preparing Christians for the stormy times coming our way.

God has told me that I am going to be a minister who is to systematically prepare Christians for the end times.

WHAT ARE MY QUALIFICATIONS?

God has placed a call upon my life and given me clear orders as to what He has planned for me. Moses was 80 years old when God activated him for the task of bringing Israel out of Egypt; I am 73 years old when God is activating me for this assignment.

When I was 40 years old the Lord told me to start taking care of my body, watching what I eat and keeping my body in shape by working out at the gym.

I have a rich Christian heritage in my family. My great-grandfather on my father’s side was born again at a D.L. Moody meeting in America in the 1870’s, lived a godly life and raised a strong Christian family. My great-grandfather on my mother’s side was a lay preacher during the great revivals in Sweden in the latter part of the 19th century. I believe that the prayers spoken by these men have been answered by God and He has called me into the ministry out of their bloodline

We come from a family that did not have any divorces and my brother and I are still married to the same wives of our youth. I believe that our marriages give stability and hope to the people who are part of this ministry.

Just like Moses had a secular education, I have a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and worked for almost ten years in the field of civil engineering, supervising an engineering department.

My Christian education consists of attending seminary and graduating with a Master’s Degree of Divinity. I was part of the Southern Baptist denomination from 1966 until 1973 when I was kicked out because I had embraced the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. I have been educated in the school of hard knocks and by the Holy Spirit during my 47 years as a Christian. There isn’t a heartache I have not experienced; I have been exposed to every false doctrine imaginable and I have studied many of the movements in Christian circles since 1969.

Through all of these trials and tribulations, I have learned to keep my eyes upon Jesus and learn to forgive and forget what people have done to me. I am not successful by worldly standards in that I don’t have a lot of monetary value but I have treasures in heaven because I have invested everything into the work of God.

God has always met the needs of me and my wife as we have never gone hungry, never had to sleep on the street, God has always supplied us with fuel for our cars and He has always paid our bills. God is faithful and we can testify to that! We have no ambitions to get a bigger home or more cars; we are content with what we have. I only desire to have more of God’s anointing in my life and crave that on a daily basis.

MOSES AND HIS LEADERSHIP

Moses had Aaron and Miriam, plus Joshua and Caleb when he started out. I have my brother and his wife. Peter was called by God to work with me when I was around 13 years old and he was 8. At the time we lived in Sweden and spoke of moving to the United States and building manufactured houses. That goal never left us, the only thing that became different was that instead of physical houses, we are working on the spiritual houses of people.

In 1972, Aina and I met with Peter and Monica and three other Christians to form European-American Evangelistic Crusades, a mission organization to reach people for Christ.

Like Miriam, Aina has been a prophetic voice to me over the years. God has blessed Peter and Monica with two boys, Charles and Joshua, who help out greatly. Charles has been serving as a pastor in our ministry for 10 years and Joshua is the person that makes the webcasts possible.

Moses had Joshua and Caleb, God has given me Sotiris and Thomas, two men who are elders in the ministry. Sotiris has been with us for 20 years and Thomas for 15 years. Both of these men have proved themselves in the Word of God and are not afraid to speak out if they see something that is not right.

Sister Lois has been with me for 25 years and is the chief editor for everything I write. Together with Charles, she makes sure that our printed material is presented and written in such a way that people can easily understand what I am trying to convey.

Brother Ken has created an accounting department that is second to none and he makes sure that we have excellent financial records.

There are other people who are faithful to help and pray for us on a daily basis. Then there is another group that live in different countries, who support us on a regular basis. Without this financial support, the ministry would have folded a long time ago.

THE FUTURE OF THIS MINISTRY

1.   The workforce at our production center must be increased. We have a lot of material but much of it has to be processed first. All my sermons from around 1976 and on were recorded on audio cassettes, and in order to have them available to people, they must be processed and converted to CDs. We need at least one person that could devote time to this project.

All my written material in The Dove magazines needs to be imported into the computer so that they can be reprinted. We need to do the same thing for the Christian Dynamics series of books so that they can be reprinted. It will take another person to handle this job.

I have preached many sermon series but we have not been able to make them available for people. This will take another person to get the job done.

We need people for our different language websites and it will take at least two people with the ability to read and write in German and Spanish to do this job.

We need a graphic designer and people who have the necessary skill to edit videos. This is a bottleneck in the ministry; we have so much material that we could make available, but we don’t have the people to do it.

We also have a great need for people to help us with our Internet bookstore; orders come in and the workload just keeps growing.

2.   The next department that needs to be enlarged is our counseling department. People contact us and ask for prayer and we need people who can minister to those calling for help. Some of this work is done over the telephone and some is done in person.

We have the skills to train people and the material to help get you trained, we just need Christians who are willing to be used in this kind of ministry.

3.   God has shown me that the government of the Antichrist will shut down all churches that are based upon the Bible. The Church will have to go back to the practice of the Apostolic Church and meet in homes and other secret places. To do that, we need to train leaders to be able to function where they live in the different nations.

4.   God wants me to be able to travel and set up training seminars in different parts of the world. To do this, I will need to have a small staff that can travel with me.

5.   Our finances must be stabilized. Currently we do not have enough people to support us financially that we can establish a budget. Right now we are living day to day. There are only two people who are paid employees of the ministry at this time. In order to stabilize the economy of this ministry, we need at the very least an additional 200 persons who are willing to commit to give on a regular monthly basis. Why so many? Most people give small amounts and thus it takes a large pool of people to bring the income up for the ministry.

6.   The goal is to increase our outreach on the Internet to where more than a million people per day visit one of our websites, so that we can have penetration power to reach out into the whole world and set up groups of people who will lead people to Christ and minister to them during the time of the Antichrist régime. This is all possible if enough Christians have faith to join our ministry.

SUMMARY:

Aside from the monetary concerns, how can you help?

  • Please pray that God will move upon Christians in the United States to relocate to the Sacramento area and build up the staff needed for our expansion.

  • Ask God if you are the person He is calling to move to Sacramento.

  • Ask God if you are to give on a regular basis to this ministry.

  • Ask God if you are to work with us where you live and be trained to be a minister in your hometown.

HOLDING UP A LIGHT IN TIMES OF DECEPTION

Jesus told us that there will be such great deception during the end times on earth that even the elect will be tempted to believe the deception.

“For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matthew 24:24)

I have laid out the calling God has on my life and what He has done through me during the last 47 years. Those of you who have been part of this ministry for some time know that integrity is the core structure of this ministry and our allegiance to the King James Bible is unwavering. Many of my prophetic writings from the 1970’s and on have been fulfilled or are in the process of being fulfilled.

I am asking that you do something that you might never have done before in your life. Are you willing to fully surrender to the Lord and join this ministry? Some of you are already part of this ministry, but there are thousands who have been following our ministry and never contacted us. It is to you that I am presenting this plan, and for those who already are part of the ministry, this writing simply affirms the calling God has for us.

Most ministries try to lure in more people by offering different gifts or trinkets. C. T. Studd, the famed British missionary leader offered Christians a chance to sacrifice themselves for the Gospel. Jesus did not offer any trinkets; instead, He told people to lose their lives for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

“And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 10:38-39)

One day you are going to die and stand before Jesus to be judged. On that day you will be praising God for your salvation but what are you going to tell Jesus when He asks what you did for Him while you lived on earth? Are you going to tell him what a nice life you had, how good your retirement investment worked out, the many nice vacations you took and all the earthly possessions you had. Will you be able to tell Jesus that you served Him to the best of your ability and used all the things He had given you to further the Gospel and save as many people as possible?

  • Is God calling you to move to Sacramento and be part of our staff?

  • Is God calling you to become a minister where you live? We can help train you.

  • Is God calling you to be a financial supporter who makes sure that we have the means to expand the ministry?

  • Is God calling you to become a prayer partner to uphold this ministry on a daily basis?

Only you have the answers to these questions. I am looking forward to hearing from you. In 1972 we put out a call for young people to come and join us as singers and musicians for a ten week period of revival meetings in Germany and Sweden. Some 30 young people responded and 10 finished the training course.

When my wife and I flew out with the team to Europe we were blessed beyond what we had expected and as we reached more than 30,000 persons who came to our tent meetings and had their lives changed. The team members were the ones who had their lives changed the most. We are not calling for a ten week period of revival this time but a lifelong commitment until Jesus takes you home.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor John S. Torell

 

“And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:57-62)

 

 

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