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European-American Evangelistic Crusades, Inc.

April 2003 Newsletter


John S. Torell

This newsletter is being written on the second day of April, 2003. As I predicted in my February newsletter, the American media is treating the war in Iraq as a "sports event," and will stage special interviews with parents, siblings or friends of killed American service men, prisoners of war, and the biggest catch of it all, interviewing an escaped American P.O.W. All the TV networks are looking to get "the biggest scoop," in order to up the ratings for the network.

Both the Iraqi regime and the American government are playing hard ball when it comes to public relations. Since the Iraqis knew before the war started, that they would lose it, there only hope is to inflict as many casualties as possible, hoping that American demonstrators will turn out in great numbers during the protest rallies. It worked for the "commies" during the Korean war, and it worked real well during the Vietnam war. In order to play up to the Muslim population in the world, Saddam Hussein and his handlers are utilizing every civilian casualty, particularly if there are dead or maimed women and children.

Since it is impossible to bomb in a city and not hit civilians, particular if military targets have been hidden in civilian neighborhoods, the Iraqis have plenty to show on television. That some of these civilians were killed or maimed by falling Iraqi anti-aircraft munitions or missiles will make no difference. Dead civilians are declared to be the work of American bombers.

The American government needs to find as much dirt as possible on the regime of Saddam Hussein, so when the war is over, there will be overwhelming evidence of the evil of Saddam and his henchmen. This public relations war is fought on TV, radio and in the newspapers.

You must now keep in mind, that "the players of this chess game," are done with this war. While the people are watching current events, they are studying future moves in all parts of the world. To help you understand what I am trying to tell you, look at this scenario: Every year automobile makers come out with new models. Currently they are selling 2003 models. As for the designers, tool makers and the researcher, they could care less what is happening to the sales of 2003 cars. To them it is a "done deal." The 2004 models are already designed and the factories are working on the re-tooling of their assembly lines. Designers and engineers are now working on the models which will be released during the next ten years.

However, the sales people are trying to keep the "hype" up so that people will buy the 2003 models, then there will be a sell out, followed by new hype and the "fantastic 2004 models."

Smart consumers know that a brand new automobile is going to lose a huge portion of its value during the first two years, thus they buy vehicles at least two years old. But people with lots of money do not care, and people who are insecure and feel inferior will buy new cars every year even if it causes financial ruin.


The current population in Iraq before the war started was around 24 million. Of these less than 3% are classified as Christians. There are two main groups of Christians in Iraq, first there is the
Assyrian Church of the East, secondly there is the Chaldean Church. Most likely there are also small pockets of evangelical churches in Iraq.

Here is a brief overview of the church of the East: When King Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonian kingdom invaded Judah in 604-603 B.C., a number of prominent Jews, including young men like Daniel, were taken captive to Babylon (Babylon was the capitol, but the entire country was also called Babylon. It was also known as Mesopotamia, and today it is known as Iraq.) A few years later Jerusalem rebelled against the Babylonian rule, and this time the Babylonian army leveled Jerusalem, destroyed the temple and took the majority of the Jews captive, and marched them to Babylon.

For the next 70 years the Jewish exiles flourished under the leadership of Daniel and the prophet Ezekiel. When the Persians conquered Babylon in 539 B.C., it was the Persian King Cyrus who became a friend of Daniel and a protector of the Jewish community. It was King Cyrus who offered the Jews to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild it and the temple, as recorded in the Book of Ezra and Nehemiah in the Bible. What most Christians have not learned is, that of the million or so Jews in Babylon, only 42,360 returned to Jerusalem (Ezra 2:64).

Some 530 years later when Jesus was born in the flesh to Mary, Mesopotamia or Babylon was the strongest center of Judaism.

In 482 B.C. the local leadership in the city of Babylon revolted against the Persians, and King Xerxes I ordered an attack on the city, which he took. All fortifications and temples were destroyed at this time. In 323 B.C., Alexander the Great crushed the Persian Empire and conquered the city of Babylon. He wanted to make it the capitol of his Greek Empire and started to have it rebuilt. But in 323 he died, as he lived at that time in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar. Alexander’s empire was carved up in four parts and a new capitol was being built for the Babylonian region on the banks of the Tigris River, and the new city was called Seleucia. In 275 B.C. a portion of the population of the city of Babylon was transferred to the new capitol. The city of Babylon fell on hard times, and for the last 2000 years to this very day, it has been a field of ruins, just as foretold by the prophet Jeremiah:

Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will plead thy cause, and take vengeance for thee; and I will dry up her sea, and make her springs dry. And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant. Jeremiah 51:36-37

But the large Jewish population in the land of Babylon prospered, and it did not matter to them who ruled them; they thrived under the Persians and they thrived under the Greeks and their successors, the Parthians.

Since Mesopotamia was such a great Jewish center, three of the apostles moved east to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ among the Jews in Babylon: Peter, Thaddeus and Thomas. The apostle Peter stayed for a while in the land of Babylon and his first letter was written from there. (I Peter 5:13).

The custom of the Apostles and the "born again Jews" following the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as recorded in Acts, Chapter 2, was not to preach to the Gentiles, but take the Gospel to Jews living in the different nations. This is well documented in the book of Acts, and the apostle Paul was no exception. As soon as he came to a new city, they began preaching in the local synagogue.

And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister. Acts 13:5

But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. Acts 13:14

Despite the fact that Jesus had told them specifically to go out into the whole world and preach the Gospel to all nations (Matthew 28:18-20), the Jewish believers in Christ were very slow to respond to this command. It took a supernatural move of God to convince the Apostle Peter what he was to do. (Acts 10:1-48; 11:1-26)

There are not many people during the history of mankind who have had the gift, not only of knowing history
but also of being able to analyze it and fully understand its impact.

At the time of Christ there were two "superpowers" in the world. Most people know one of them well, THE ROMAN EMPIRE. But few know about the other one, which was known as THE PARTHIAN EMPIRE, lasting from 247 B.C to A.D. 224 These two empires fought each other for some 300 years. The Parthians invaded Persia and then were able to take control of the entire Persian empire. Eventually the Romans ground down the Parthian empire and occupied large portions of it. Old Babylon or Mesopotamia was part of the Parthian empire. When the Parthians took over Babylon, the large Jewish community controlled trade, banking and business. Since the Parthian Empire had expanded far into the East, so did the Jewish community. Jewish commercial enterprises stretched all the way from Babylon to India, reaching as far as the southern tip of India, Ceylon (now called Sri Lanka), Malaya (now known as Malaysia) which is below Burma and Thailand. The Jews had also established commercial centers in China. Most people living in the West believe that Marco Polo and his family discovered some trade routes to China in 1271 A.D., but the truth is that trade, banking and business was at a high peak before the birth of Christ and controlled by Babylonian Jews.

What we must also understand is that the banking, trade and business ventures in the Roman Empire were controlled by Jews living in the different parts of the Roman Empire. The different governments depended upon the Jewish commercial network to move goods and money from one nation to the other. Thus, a businessman in Rome could do business with a Chinese business enterprise, even if they could not speak each others language, by using a Jewish brokerage firm. Jews, world wide spoke local languages, and then they spoke to each other in Hebrew. Look at these verses in the book of Acts:

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. Acts 2:1-11

What we have here is a description of the wealthy Jewish bankers, business men and power brokers from all corners of the two superpowers, who would travel to Jerusalem to attend temple ceremonies.

[Today the situation is the same, Jewish bankers, business men and power brokers live in all nations and control the flow of finances and trade in the world. No wonder that the apostle John refers to the power in the end times as "Babylon the great," Revelation 18:1-24. Babylon is not a geographical place, IT IS A SYSTEM IN THE WORLD controlled by Jewish people]

The apostles, Peter, Thomas and Thaddeus moved into the Parthian Empire and established a strong church in the province of Babylon, consisting of Jews having converted to faith in Jesus Christ. Once the church was strongly built up in Babylon, Peter traveled west and eventually ended up in Rome, where he was executed. Thomas moved eastward and traveled as far as to the Southern tip of India in A.D. 52, where a strong church was established. But the Gospel spread eastward through the synagogue system, and then converted Jews began to preach to the Gentiles. Just like in the West, after some time, since the Jewish leadership rejected Jesus as the Messiah, the Christian church in the East became predominantly a "Gentile" church. The church that the apostle Thomas planted in Southern India is now known as
the Mar Thomar Syrian Church of South India.

By the end of the first century A.D. Christianity had not been divided up, but was one church. Church affairs were managed by Bishops who were overseers of a city or a region. There were also chief Bishops, known as Patriarchs. The following cities at the turn of the First Century had Patriarchs: Alexandria, Antioch, Rome, Byzantium and Babylon.

In 325 A.D. this system was broken up when Christianity became a State religion in the Roman Empire and the Emperor Constantine became the head of this State Religion, known today as the Roman Catholic Church. The Eastern church ruled by the Babylonian Patriarch never joined the Roman church, but remained independent from Rome. Neither did the Coptic church in Ethiopia join Rome, nor the church east of Mesopotamia.

By the third century A.D. Christianity was the dominant faith of the nations we know today as Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Egypt, all the nations on the South shore of the Mediterranean from Libya to Morocco, Spain, Portugal, part of England, Southern France, Italy, Greece and all of what is today called Turkey. In less than 300 years the message of Jesus had been taken to a large portion of the world, all the way to China and deep into Africa.

But as time went on, the central message of Christ, that a person must be born again, became lost and instead Christianity was equated with church membership, water baptism through sprinkling and taking of the sacraments. Thus the people were "Name" Christians, but not born again. Such Christians do not have the power of the Holy Spirit in them, and in time the churches fell into further apostasy.

The Nestorian church, or, as it is also known, "The Assyrian Church of the East," came into existence due to a political/theological fight between two Patriarchs,
Nestorius, a presbyter and monk of Antioch who was elected Patriarch of Constantinople in 428 A.D. and the Patriarch Cyril of Alexandria (412-444 A.D.). The original theological debate was over the two natures of Christ, his divinity and his humanity. Cyril was the most skilled politician of the two Patriarchs, and he was able to line up the Emperor on his side, plus a number of prominent clergy leaders. In two council meetings, AD 431 in Ephesus and in Chalcedon AD 451, Nestorius was condemned as a heretic. Since he was well liked in the churches in the East, it caused the Persian church to declare its independence in AD 424 and it became known as "the Nestorian church." For the next 300 years the Nestorian church prospered greatly, and expanded deep into Russia up to Lake Baikal, Mongolia, Central Asia where entire Tatar tribes were converted, including India and China.

But because the people exposed to this Christian faith were never led to a personal relationship with Christ, they became "Christians, in name only" but were never born again. And just as all the other main churches adopted idolatry into their worship ceremonies, with special faith in Mary, the mother of Jesus and in "saints," the churches became powerless in the spiritual realm but strong in the political arena.

In AD 1551, a number of Nestorian churches reunited with the Roman Catholic Church and became known as the Chaldean Church. The remaining Nestorians became known as "the Assyrians." The Nestorian church of India, part of the group known as "the Christians of St. Thomas" aligned themselves with Rome in 1599. Later this group split and in 1653, the splinter group aligned themselves with the Syrian Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch. In 1898 a group of Nestorians in Iran, led by a bishop, joined the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Nestorian church east of Iran, except in India, was completely wiped out and destroyed by the Mongol leader, Timur, during the 14th century.

As of 2002 the Nestorian Church had around 170,000 members, spread out over Iraq, Syria and Iran. The Current Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East is Mar Dinkha IV. Bawai Soro , a current bishop in the United States was born in Kirkuk, Iraq, and ordained to the diaconate in the Assyrian Church of the East in Baghdad in 1973. In 1976 he came to the United States and in 1982 was ordained a priest in Chicago and consecrated a bishop in 1984. According to Bishop Soro there are around 250,000 Iraqi Nestorian Christians living in the United States, with 100,000 living in Chicago, 100,000 in Michigan and some 50,000 living in California.

Currently the Roman Catholic Church has a Patriarchal diocese of Baghdad, and then there are four archdioceses located in Basra, Kirkuk, Sehna, and in Tehran, which is the capitol of Iran. The Chaldean Church has preserved the ancient East Syrian liturgy of Addai and Mari, which they celebrate in the Syriac language. The current leader in Baghdad is Archbishop Emmanuel-Karim Delly. Italian born Archbishop Fernando Filoni has been the Popes personal representative in Baghdad for two years, and despite the war at this time, he refused to leave Baghdad but vowed to stay on to be with the flock.

With the emergence of the preaching by Muhammad in A.D. 622 in Medina, Islam was birthed and it would squash the existence of Christianity in most of the Christian world. A hundred years after the birth of Muhammad, the entire Middle East had been taken over by militant Muslims, and all of North Africa included Spain was taken by this violent religion. However, some of Christianity survived and few people in the West have understood this, including myself until recently. As the Muslims took control of the different nations, Muhammad created a special status for Christians and Jews. They were called "People of the Book." They were allowed to keep their faith, but could not do mission work outside of their own people. Thus, evangelism became restricted to teaching their children about Christianity or Judaism. Muslims could not be converted. All other people or "pagans" were faced with the choice to become a Muslim or die. But the Muslim clergy imposed a special tax on the Christians and the Jews, and many Christians (not being born again) opted to become Muslims in order to get way from the extra taxation.

By the year 1054 A.D. there were two centers of Christianity in the Roman Empire. The Patriarch of Constantinople was in reality more powerful than the leader in Rome, called "The Pope." The church leadership in the East sent missionaries north and east from Constantinople, and spread Christianity into the Balkan nations and into Russia. Local church leadership was set up and the "mass" was conducted by the priests in the language of the people, and the Bible was translated into each native language. The Latin church in Rome spread Christianity north into the northern part of Europe, demanding that "mass" should be spoken in Latin only, and that the Bible should be translated into native languages. A meeting between the Latin church and the Eastern church took place in 1054 A. D. in the city of Constantinople. When the two delegations could not reach an agreement, the discussions were broken off and each delegation leader pronounced curses upon the other and excommunicated one another from the Church. From that day, the division has remained between the Roman Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church. The Greek Orthodox Church did not have the political, military and financial muscle to expand its power base, since the Muslims controlled most of the land in the East. Rome became the dominant power due to its military superiority which was strengthened by Germany and France.

In 1448 A.D. the Russian bishops elected their own Patriarch and became independent of Constantinople.

For years I preached out of ignorance (fortified by a Master of Divinity degree from a seminary) how blest we are in the West that the Gospel of Jesus Christ went west instead of east. I have stated many times that if the apostle Paul would have gone eastward, Christianity would not exist in the World today. As I have written this mini study on the subject of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is crystal clear that the Holy Spirit led the apostles north, south, east and west. For the first 100 years there was a dynamic church in all directions. But the Devil penetrated the church and changed its doctrine, as warned by the apostles Peter, Paul and John.
As long as Christ was preached, His death on the cross, His resurrection AND THE NEED TO REPENT AND BE BORN AGAIN, the church was strong. But the church of the East, the North, the South and the West contracted the same spiritual cancer, which substituted THE NEW BIRTH for CHURCH MEMBERSHIP.

It was a sovereign move of God, when in AD 1517, God opened the mind of the Roman Catholic priest, Martin Luther, and he posted his Ninety Five Theses on the door to the church of which he was the pastor. The re-birth of the church of Jesus Christ took place in Germany, and the original power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has slowly but surely been restored during the last 500 years.

In the Book of Revelation we find that the Saints who were murdered and gone to heaven are crying out for justice.

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. Revelation 6:9-11

The Jewish and Gentile believers in Christ who were saved during the first century AD and gave all they had to give people the good news about Jesus, must be crying out in anguish over the injustice that the Gospel was restored in the West, but not in the cradle where it was born, THE MIDDLE EAST. From heaven they are seeing their offspring worshiping Allah and his prophet Muhammad, or some other strange doctrine, including the Jewish people who are holding to the Talmud and the Cabala.

There was a time when Jesus was worshiped in Persia (Iran), in Babylon (Iraq), in Syria, Lebanon, Jerusalem, Egypt etc. Yes, there are "Name" Christians there, but they are not born again, neither do they want to be born again.

That God allowed Saddam Hussein to gain power so that God could destroy him and open up Iraq for the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

That God allowed George W. Bush to be elected president of the United States with just a few hundred votes to spare, to show him and the nation that God is the one who sets up rulers and takes them out, so that Bush as president could lead the fight to take out Saddam Hussein?

That God hardened the heart of Saddam, just like he did with Pharaoh (Exodus 7:13-14) so that people in the world would be so upset over the atrocities, that they were willing to go to war to destroy this regime?

That the defense of the Saddam Hussein regime crumbled and never could stop the American and the British forces, because God gave them over for destruction?

IF SO, NOW IS THE TIME TO PREPARE TO EVANGELIZE THE IRAQI PEOPLE, beginning with the Iraqi "Name" Christians here in the United States and then moving on to reach and love the Iraqi people and tell them to come back to their first love, who their ancestors had during the first century after Christ. Look at these Bible verses, I believe that they mean what they say!

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:28-31

In closing this newsletter I want to again emphasize the importance of the New Birth. The Bible tells us that there is no other name under heaven, whereby we must be saved!

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:10-12

Jesus told us plainly, that unless you have been born again, you cannot enter into the kingdom of God and live in heaven forever when you die on this earth.

There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. John 3:1-7

Before you start to pray for the Iraqi people, make sure that you yourself have been born again and that your name is written in the Book of Life. What a tragedy it would be, if you would work to lead other people to Christ, and you end up in hell, because YOU NEVER REPENTED OF YOUR SINS AND RECEIVED CHRIST AS YOUR PERSONAL LORD AND SAVIOR!


And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:11-15

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Any scripture references used are from the King James Bible.
Copyright © 2003 – European American Evangelistic Crusades (EAEC), Inc.
P.O. Box 41001, Sacramento, California 95841 USA

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