THE WAR IN UKRAINE
The ongoing war in Ukraine is a conflict between two
nations with a total population of 180 million. The fighting taking place should
serve as a warning to all Christians of what is coming in the future when the
Antichrist establishes the World Federation and starts persecuting born again
President Vladimir Putin temporarily holds absolute power
over the Russian people. He wants to bring Ukraine back into the fold but did
not consult his people or the Ukrainians before arbitrarily making the decision.
It was a subjective move to invade his western neighbor and the cost in life
continues to mount. The Russian military is known for its brutality, even
against its own people. Many pre-tribulation Christians think they won’t have to
face Satan’s wrath and this is why few pastors will discuss the subject since it
is negative and tends to drive people away.
HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF
Peter II of Yugoslavia signed a military pact with Nazi
Germany. Adolf Hitler felt great because he had lined up Yugoslavia without a
fight. Later when there was a coup and Peter II was ousted, the pact with
Germany was cancelled, and Hitler mercilessly promised to crush Yugoslavia. On
April 6, 1941, the Luftwaffe attacked the capital of Belgrade. The air attack
lasted for 90 minutes as wave after wave of German bombers pulverized the city.
Some 17,000 civilians died in the attack and fighter planes strafed those
fleeing the city. When it was over, the city was totally destroyed. After the
war was over in 1945, General Alexander Loehr, the man responsible for planning
the attack against Belgrade was arrested and turned over to the Yugoslavian
government. He was tried and hung on February 26, 1947 as a war criminal.
Hitler had no more legal right to attack Yugoslavia than
Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. What overconfidence and conceit to think that he
was going to “de-Nazify” the Ukraine of its ultra-nationalistic men who are MAGA
in their mentality about the country.
On February 24, 2022, the Russian army invaded Ukraine and headed for its
capital of Kiev.
Being a truth bearer is not a fun job. The Old Testament
records the life of men called to be prophets and most of them did not win any
popularity contests with the rulers and the common people. In fact, most of them
were hated and some were killed for declaring the truth. I am going to bring out
truth in this article that will undoubtably anger some people, but I would ask
you to think critically before the personal invective rises up. Am I a liar or a
truth teller? I am not popular in American churches because of my stance on sin.
No one wants their dirty laundry exposed. But I would point out that if
wrongdoing is suppressed, then I am just as guilty as the people committing the
Jesus did not perform damage control when it came to the
people of Israel. He hung them out to dry as His prophets and preachers recorded
events – especially the bad – in the Old Testament. Jesus really liked King
David because the Bible says that he was a man after God’s own heart. But David
was also a sinner who used his office to commit adultery and murder. The Godhead
did not shield the king; he was exposed to the whole world and for generations
to come. It is three thousand years later and David is still being exposed for
wrongfully taking Bathsheba and having Uriah killed in battle. People still read
the account and pastors preach on the subject as a warning not to repeat this
mistake. I am sure that David is embarrassed in heaven over his sins. While he
was forgiven, his reputation has forever been tarnished.
God is a truth teller. He doesn’t care if offender is
embarrassed or that someone is upset; He simply believes in letting the facts
speak for themselves.
THE SITUATION IN THE WORLD
The American people are insulated from the turmoil that
occurs in other nations. We enjoy many freedoms afforded by the Constitution,
namely freedom of speech. The Declaration of Independence spells out our right
to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In contrast, the Russian people
have no concept of what it means to have freedom to speak since their lives are
governed by their political rulers. The State controls the newspapers,
television, radio, and even the internet. Travel was allowed, but domestic
passports were needed to take a trip before the war with Ukraine, but now it is
even more restricted.
I have previously chronicled how Russia began as a nation
created by Swedish Vikings who settled along the Dnieper River north of Kiev in
The Vikings were led by Rurik who wielded absolute power over the men he
commanded and the conquered people.
Descendants of Rurik expanded their territory to the
point that it eventually compassed a large portion of what is Russia. The
Vikings ruled Russia until 1547 when the first czar (king) became the absolute
monarch of Russia. It goes with saying that none of the czars were elected by
There were no free elections in Russia during the time of
the Vikings as each ruler obtained control by force and exercised total power.
Laws and regulations were created by the dictator and his advisors and there was
no legal system wherein a person could file a grievance. This autocratic type of
government would continue until Nicholas II was removed from power and executed
by the communists in 1917.
When Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky
became co-rulers of Russia, they changed the country’s name to the Soviet Union
and turned it into a harsh totalitarian state where human rights were
drastically reduced. Freedom of speech was suppressed and dissent was punished.
No independent political activities were allowed. The state restricted citizens’
rights to own personal property and private corporations were banned in
accordance with the Communist Manifesto. It is estimated that some 20 million
Russians were arrested and murdered during the first ten years by the Communist
leaders. This brutal form of governing would continue until the Soviet Union
dissolved in 1991.
The West waged an economic war against the Soviet Union
since the presidency of Ronald Reagan, who increased the defense budget and the
Soviets went broke trying to match it. Both nations employed extensive spy
networks, and by 1988, it became clear to both governments that the Soviet Union
was destitute and would break up into smaller national states that had been
conquered by the communist overthrow beginning in 1917. Many of the Soviet
leaders realized that they had to show willingness to abandon the Communist
doctrine and embrace western values in order to survive and continue to live the
Communist leaders contacted the CIA to line up with a
post-Soviet Union under the leadership of the World Government. The Trilateral
Commission (TLC) and the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) were tasked with
selecting and grooming new leaders for the former Soviet Union. Both of these
organizations were located in the US, but run by the World Government. They
formed a working group and Boris Yeltsin was selected to be the first president
of the new Russian Federation. He was born in 1931 and worked himself up in the
Communist party as a shrewd political operator. In 1976 he held the post as
First Secretary of the Communist party’s Sverdlovsk Oblast.
Yeltsin realized that the days of the Soviet Union were
numbered, and in 1987, he was the first communist leader to resign from the
In 1990 Yeltsin was elected chairman of the Russian Supreme Soviet legislature.
What people in the West did not realize was that a number of communist bosses
and factory managers were waiting like vultures for the Soviet Union to
dissolve. Every factory, mine, oilfield, etc. was owned by the Soviet state.
There was no private ownership. Yeltsin was in contact with thousands of former
managers and promised them lucrative positions if he became the leader of the
future Russian federation. This is how the oligarchs came into being; they were
communist bosses who robbed the people and became billionaires.
YELTSIN VISITED AMERICA
Yeltsin was invited to come to the United States in 1989
as a “private citizen” two years before the Soviet Union’s collapse. The world
government concealed his visit by having the obscure Esalen Institute issue the
During his eight days visit to America, Yeltsin met with officials from the TLC
and the CFR. He also had private meetings with David Rockefeller in New York and
met with two senators in Washington D.C. He was scheduled to speak in eight
cities at the rate of $25k per speech. The lapdog of the world government
masquerading as the mainstream media greatly publicized the event when Yeltsin
visited a supermarket in Texas; he was completely awestruck that stores could
have so much merchandise and that common people could afford to shop. Yeltsin
was instructed to return home and dismantle the teetering 69-year-old Soviet
experiment that had ruined the lives of so many.
END OF THE SOVIET ERA
Yeltsin oversaw the dissolvement of the Soviet Union and
the removal of its General Secretary, Mikhail Gorbachev, in 1991. Elections were
held for the first time in the history of Russia and surprise, surprise, Boris
Yeltsin was elected president of the newly formed Russian Federation. He was
re-elected to a second term in 1996 and served as president until his
resignation in 1999. The corruption of his government forced his removal and
Vladimir Putin became the next acting president. No one was astounded when Putin
won the presidential election some four months later.
Ukraine voted for independence early in December of 1991, and a week later Boris
Yeltsin met with Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk and Belarus President
Stanislav Shushkevich in Belarus where they collectively declared that the
Soviet Union no longer existed.
Vladimir Putin was a low-level KGB officer who rose to
the rank of Lt. Colonel. from 1985-1990. He was stationed in Dresden, East
Germany under the cover that he was a translator for the embassy in East Berlin.
When East Germany was reunited with West Germany in 1990, Putin’s position was
terminated and he returned to St. Petersburg.
Putin was not involved in the plunder of the wealth from
the Soviet Union. Putin resigned from the KGB in 1991, and for the next six
years, he worked for the city government of Saint Petersburg. He was charged
with misconduct and bribery, but never was brought to trial.
He moved to Moscow in 1996 and was appointed deputy chief
of the Presidential Property Management Department. In 1997 Yeltsin appointed
Putin deputy chief of the Presidential Staff. In 1997 Putin was promoted to
First Class Active State Councilor of the Russian Federation. In 1998 Putin was
appointed director of the Federal Security Service (FSB). It is ironic that
Putin resigned from the KGB only to become the head of the FSB seven years
later. A new name, but the players were still the same.
On August 9, 1999 Putin was appointed as one of three
first deputy prime ministers and later the same day he was appointed acting
prime minister of the Russian Federation. Yeltsin announced that he intended for
Putin to succeed him as president of the Russian Federation.
Yeltsin at this time was being accused of corruption and
there were calls for his indictment. He was 68 years old and not in good health
due to heavy drinking. Yeltsin copied what President Richard Nixon did in 1974
when Gerald Ford succeeded him become the next president. Yeltsin knew that when
Putin became acting president in late 1999, his first act was pardoning his
drunken predecessor, who would quietly live until 2007.
THE REIGN OF PUTIN
Vladimir Putin started to campaign for the presidency
while serving as acting president. The election was held in May of 2000, and to
the surprise of no one, Putin was elected president of the Russian Federation.
He was re-elected in 2004 and served until 2008. The Russian constitution
imposed term limits and Dimitry Medvedev served as president from 2008 to 2012
during which Putin was the prime minister. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination
to know who was really in charge of the government during this time.
While there were term limits, it didn’t outright ban
Putin from assuming the presidency again in 2012 after the hiatus. The election
was marred with fraud and there were large protests by the Russian people. He
ran again in 2018 and that term ended in 2022. During the fourth term, he
manipulated the Duma (congress) into changing the constitution, allowing him to
seek two more terms, effectively extending his power until 2026.
The 1993 constitution makes it clear that Russia is a
federative, law-based state with a republican form of government, but Putin is
governing the country like it is his personal fiefdom. During his years in
power, he has eliminated a number of people that opposed him with no regard for
life, having changed the nation into a gangster state.
Putin has returned Russia to the way it was during the
time of the Soviet Union. He controls television, radio and print media. The
prisons overflow with men and women who dare to protest the “special operation”
of clearing out the Nazis in Ukraine; it is now a crime to say there is a war
going on in Ukraine. It does not bother Putin in the slightest that President
Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine is Jewish and that the Nazis were driven out in
1945. Putin equates the ultra-nationalistic men of Ukraine with Nazism, but they
are not national socialists, but capitalists that want a free market.
THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE
Russia is a unique country due to its invasion of other
nations and subsequent annexations. It contains 190 different ethnic groups,
each with their own language and culture. The population was 147.1 million in
2021, with 81% being ethnic Russians. The largest groups are Tatars, Chechens,
Bashkirs, Chuvash, Armenians, Ukrainians, Dargins and Kazakhs.
As of 2020, life expectancy for males was 66.49 years and
76.43 years for females. Compare that with the American life expectancy of men
at 73.2 years and women at 79.1 years in 2021.
A 2012 religious survey saw the Russian Orthodox Church
lead with 41.1%; Baptists, Pentecostals and other evangelicals making up 6.3%,
Muslims consisting of 6.5%, Atheists at 13%, and religious people not affiliated
with any organized religion at 25.6%. In examining these numbers, we can see
that the number of born-again believers is meager and that the vast majority of
the population are citizens in the kingdom of Satan and therefore possessed by
The ungodly communist indoctrination was grilled into
children. Many accepted the Marxist belief that there is no God. Charles
Darwin’s ludicrous theory of evolution also snared the masses. There was little
thought of life after death. Children were not introduced to the Bible and they
certainly did not hear any teaching from Jesus. Communism was the only true
religion and the State was supreme. People were born to serve the State. The
Russian public schools today are just as secular as their counterparts in the
Boris Yeltsin was raised as a communist and that is what
he knew. He became a ruthless communist politician, lied for gain, and only
cared for himself. His life was centered on corruption, sexual immorality, and
the consumption of alcohol. Is Vladimir Putin any different? He was raised and
trained by the State to be immoral and have no regard for human life. Both men
were the servants of the Devil; he is their spiritual father, and they exhibit
the same character as the Devil.
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your
father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the
truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of
his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)
LYING COMES NATURALLY
Lying is part of the sin nature and it comes naturally to
everyone. This is can be seen in children. They don’t have to be taught how to
lie. Parents have to catch their children in a lie, make the correction, and
continually reinforce it until the child realizes this is not acceptable
behavior because God hates it. So what happens when adults embrace lying?
Our church was contacted by a Christian refugee
coordinator from Capital Christian Church in Sacramento in 1989. We were told
that thousands of Russian/Ukrainian Christians had been given permission to
leave the Soviet Union to come to the United States. We decided to participate
and some 50 Russian/Ukrainians came to our church. We helped them with
furniture, bedding, kitchen items, etc. As refugees, they were given apartments
and churches in the area provided the furnishings.
We received families with small children, teenagers, and
grandparents. They were all Pentecostals and that suited us. There were no
English classes for the adults in the early days and I started teaching English
at our church facility using the Bible and having them follow me in their
The Sacramento area absorbed some 300,000
Russian/Ukrainians. Included in that number were pastors and they started to
organize their own churches and rent church facilities. One such location was a
Christian Chinese church in downtown Sacramento. I was asked to teach on the
coming Antichrist and the Book of Revelation through an interpreter. The
building was overfilled and close to a thousand people attended the meetings.
About five or six Ukrainian families opted to worship
with our church and one day I was informed through normal conversation that the
Russian/Ukrainian pastors were receiving welfare while holding jobs. Evidently,
it was common for refugees to file for welfare while gainfully employed. I was
advised that all the refugees did the same thing. Every welfare precipitant has
to fill out a form stating they have no income, and when I told them that they
were lying, they excused it by saying that this is how it was done in the Soviet
After being enlightened on the matter, I spoke in the
Chinese church and told them that they cannot lie as Christians and they needed
to repent. The main Russian pastor came to me afterwards and told me he did not
want me to return. He was unrepentant and his name was Adam Bondaruk. During the
next 30 years, he built a Pentecostal mega church called Bethany Slavic
Missionary Church. Their campus was located on about 20 acres. He also had
purchased a large tract of land and made it into the cemetery and started
satellite churches in Oregon.
One of his sons, Pytor, went to prison for real estate
fraud in 2015. The heart of this scandal was the acceptance of lying as a way of
life by the Bondaruk family members.
I would imagine the pressure became too great and this is would explain why Adam
Bondaruk decided to hang himself in the backyard while the family was in the
house having supper on August 14, 2022. If only he had listened to my rebuke and
taken correction decades earlier; how might his life have ended differently?
“But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned
against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23)
A CULTURE OF LYING
As I interacted with the refugees, I became personal
friends with some of them and they told me what their friends were doing. During
the 1990s, many of them got into the business of fixing salvage cars and selling
them. California law states that when a car has been in an accident and is
totaled out by an insurance company, the vehicle can be purchased from the
insurance company and repaired, but the title of the car must reflect its
salvage status. Many of the refugees set up shops all over the city and
fraudulently sold the cars without a salvage title.
I became acquainted with a Ukrainian businessman named
Viktor that ran a successful plastering company. He employed some 40 people and
an American church member partnered with him. They needed a bookkeeper and a
retired engineer in our church took the job. He discovered that Viktor was
running two sets of books; an official one for government audits and the real
one which featured work under the table and other nefarious things.
Viktor worked on many government projects and his workers
were paid prevailing wage that such projects mandate. The hourly rate on federal
and state projects is $20-30 higher than normal wages. This meant that his crew
was making $40 to $50 per hour. Viktor paid his workers, but instructed them to
cash their checks, and pay him the difference from their normal rate of $25 per
hour. The refugees working for him were scared of losing their jobs and did as
he commanded. I was also told that Viktor cheated on the material used to coat
Viktor enjoyed a nice home and several automobiles, and
while there is nothing inherently wrong with this, God does not look favorably
on ill-gotten gains. I confronted him one day when he came to our church.
“Business is business and God is not in it. I live one business life and then I
live my Christian life when I am in church” is what he told me. Viktor had a
great singing voice and he sang regularly in the choir at Bondaruk’s church. He
was never convicted of lying since many of the church members lived the same
LYING TO THE SOVIET GOVERNMENT
The Jewish lobby in Washington D.C. put a lot of pressure
on President Reagan and Congress from 1986-87. They demanded that the Soviet
Union allow Russian Jews to leave and move to Israel. Mikhail Gorbachev agreed
to let them go and they were flown to Vienna, Austria. Refugee camps were set up
and they were eventually flown to Israel.
Senator Jesse Helms, a strong Christian from North
Carolina, was the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Christians
were being severely persecuted in the Soviet Union, which included Ukraine.
Helms stated that for every Jew leaving the Soviet Union, he wanted a Christian
to come out as well. Pressure was brought to bear on Gorbachev and he agreed to
the plan. This is how the great Christian exodus started in 1988.
There was just one caveat. Gorbachev demanded that when
Christians came to Moscow to apply for an exit visa, they had to declare they
were Jews and wanted to go to Israel. All the refugees in our church told us
this same narrative. They were forced to lie in order to get an exit visa. Once
they arrived in Vienna, they informed the staff at the evacuee centers that they
were not Jews and wanted to go to America. The United States set up a special
refugee camp in Italy where the “Jewish” Christians were flown and processed
before their arrival to America.
Gorbachev lied to the Russian people that only Jews were
being let out. This deceitful behavior continued until the Soviet Union was
dissolved and he was removed from office. The sad thing is that the account I
just related has been removed from the history books in much the same way the
1989 Tiananmen Square massacre has been whitewashed in China. I’m not saying
that Russian and Ukrainian people are bad, but 74 years of communism morally
corrupted these people to the point that lying and deceit became a normal way of
I had a lot of contact with Russian and Ukrainian
families in the Sacramento area from 1989-1995. I was greatly disturbed when a
number of friends told me that some of the refugee pastors had worked with the
KGB. These men sold their souls to the communists and informed to the KGB who
was attending church and which Christians spoke negatively about the Soviet
régime. I was told that Pastor Bondaruk was one of them. Again, we see the
spirit of lying, working in secrecy and hiding the evil work that was done
against the Christians in the Soviet Union.
COMMUNISM IS A SCOURGE
Communism has been a scourge since it was invented by
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in 1848 and their insidious manifesto was
published in England. The people who have suffered more than all others are the
Russians and Ukrainians.
The Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin in 1945 gobbled up
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary,
Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, and Albania. These nations suffered under the
brutal rule of communist bosses and Christianity was eradicated from public
schools. The people in these countries would suffer the oppression of communism
until the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
China was captured by the communists in 1949, North
Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia around 1955. Cuba came under communist control in
1961. One of the trademarks of communism is lying and this moral scourge
destroys people. Most people from communist nations have been infected with
dishonesty that comes from deceit and outright lies. Only through Christ can
people be set free.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
The Russian and Ukrainian people who stayed in our church
realized through my preaching that lying is a sin. These families became very
dear to me and my wife and we have many wonderful memories of them.
My nephew, Charles, married a Russian gal from Moscow.
Yekaterina came to the United States in 1993. She is a wonderful mother to their
six children and her knowledge of truth has positively shaped her children. Her
brother, Aleksey, is a pastor in our ministry and he has been trained in
deliverance. His honesty is impeccable. Their mother is a strong prayer warrior.
I have worked with other people from former communist
nations, and once they are free of its clutches and given solid teaching from
the Bible, they become strong believers in Christ. But as pointed with the
Bondaruk family, some Christians in the Slavic churches still tend to have
problems with lying and deceit because the pastors do not preach against it, and
why would they since they are caught in the web themselves.
BRUTALITY IN THE WAR IN UKRAINE
Since the war in Ukraine began in 2022, I have been
following it by reading Swedish newspapers, watching the daily news coming out
of Israel, and scanning American news outlets. I am well aware there is
relentless propaganda in any war by the combatants. Listing heavy casualties for
the enemy and lying about their own casualties. As of July, 2023 it is estimated
that some 200,000 Russian soldiers have died on battlefields and the Ukrainians
have suffered some 100,000 casualties.
Russia has a much larger population of 144.5 million
people compared to Ukraine’s 41.4 million. Thus, the losses are more severe for
Ukraine since its population is 3.5 times smaller.
As of April 2023, a United Nations report states that
some 8,490 civilians were killed and 14,244 were injured in Ukraine.
Most civilians were killed or injured in the parts of Ukraine due to the
indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets by the Russians.
Most people saw the television footage from Bucha after
the Russian troops retreated. They found 458 bodies of civilians who had been
shot, most of them with their hands tied behind their backs. Nine children under
the age of 18 were slaughtered. Many of them were tortured and girls as young as
14 years old had been raped before they were shot.
A UN report from 2022 reveals that the Russian military
command encouraged their troops to torture captured Ukrainian soldiers, raping
women, and gathering up children to be flown to Russia to be raised in foster
homes. The UN commission has documented cases where children were raped,
tortured and held against their will.
Ukrainian soldiers took out their rage on captured
Russian soldiers and they were as brutal as their counterparts.
The majority of the people in Russia and Ukraine are not
born again. Thus, we can see that the masses have no scruples when it comes to
waging war and brutalizing the enemy, including civilians. In the future, the
world will see the Antichrist rise to power and rule a World Federation. Jesus
warned us in the Book of Revelation that Christians will be persecuted during
this time. Looking at what the soldiers are doing to one another in Ukraine, it
takes little imagination what a future generation will do to Christians who
refuse the Mark of the Beast. You are mistaken if you think you will be raptured
out before the coming of the Antichrist. For those of you who don’t believe me,
we can have this discussion in the future when your faith is shaken and I have
been proven right. In the meantime, every Christian pastor should prepare his
flock for the bad times that are coming.
“And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These
things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy
works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the
blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of
Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil
shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have
tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown
of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the
churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” Revelation
From the Desk
of John S. Torell