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We’ve been taught, and have learned by personal experienced, that wherever the Lord is working, the devil is not too far behind trying to undo that very work.  There is an ongoing spiritual battle for the hearts and souls of men and women, that is often found demonstrated through the words and actions of people. Gossip. Slander. Lies. These are all the same tools used over and over in overt attempts to destroy a man, a ministry, and ultimately the witness of Jesus Christ on the earth. While teaching through 2 Corinthians, Pastor Chuck shares a personal experience of his own, and then an exhortation to us as the Body of Christ.  It’s a little bit longer but worth the whole read:

Several years ago, there was fellow who was going around the country, claiming to be an ex-witch of one of the highest orders.  He said he was one of the thirteen of the Druids and so forth.  He was lecturing mainly in Baptist churches across the country.  He had chosen us as one of his targets.  Now at that time we had begun radio ministry across the United States.  Of course, the tapes of the teachings were going out.  People were having Bible studies all over the United States, using the taped studies of our Sunday night studies here as we go through the Bible. And there were hundreds of these home Bible studies that were weekly getting the tapes from Calvary.  People were gathering and of course, many of these home Bible studies are now Calvary Chapel churches all over the United States.  But I started getting letters and I started getting tapes that people had made of this guy’s lectures, in which he was declaring that I was actually a part of the Illuminati, I was an undercover agent for them.  He said that actually when he was with the Druids and these witch coven and so forth, that Rockefeller gave him seven million dollars, that he gave to me to start Maranatha music.  He said this in order to corrupt the young people with Christian rock music and so to sort of destroy the Jesus movement. 

The problem was is that people really didn’t know me.  Across the United States, many of them were listening to my tapes.  Then they heard the tape from this guy.  They thought, wow, that’s terrible, you know, that Chuck has been paid off by Rockefeller and the Illuminati to corrupt Christian young people.  People were going and listening to this guy and his tapes were spreading all over.  Some of the Bible studies actually ceased.  People thought, my, we have been deceived.  It was tragic, though the guy was just a terrible liar.  Yet, there are always a certain percentage of people that believe without checking the story to see if it is true or not.

This fellow was speaking in Pasadena.  So, my wife, decided on a Sunday evening that she would go up to hear him.  Harold Fisher went along and my brother and some others.  When he got to the place where he said, and I personally handed Pastor Smith, you know, seven million dollars.  My wife couldn’t take it any more.  She stood up and she said, “John Todd, that is an outright lie and you know that it is a lie!  You never gave Chuck Smith seven million dollars at any time.  I am his wife and I know that that is a lie!”  Of course, the guy got all flustered and said, well, I gave it to his assistant pastor.  I’ve been suspicious of Romaine ever since because it didn’t get to me.  But I haven’t seen any evidence of his spending the money yet. 

But the thing is that the lies can destroy the influence that you can have in some people and with some people because they are not careful to check it out.  So with Paul, the stories that they were spreading, did have a detrimental effect.  They were hurtful. 

Now there are fellows today that are on the Internet.  They have their pages in which they are seeking to damage Calvary Chapel and the influence that Calvary Chapel is having in the hearts and lives of thousands of people.  It is their purpose to damage the work that God is doing through the ministry here.  There is a certain percentage that will listen.  It hurts!  You can’t say it doesn’t hurt.  It does hurt!  Paul was hurt by these lies that were being told concerning him.  It hurt Paul. 

So as he writing this second letter, he is writing out of a heart that is aching.  A heart that is hurting because of the attitude that a group of people in Corinth had taken against him because of what these people were saying.  So Paul lost his influence in being able to really instruct them in the Word of God because of the back-stabbing that was going on in the church in Corinth.  It is tragic that it seems like throughout the history of the church, going clear back to this time, that there is a certain amount of back-stabbing that goes on within the body of Christ. 

The Lord tells us to mark those which cause division.  God said that He hated those who sow discord among brethren.  I would surely not want to be engaged in any kind of a process that was branded by God as something He hated!  But there are those who try to sort of elevate their own causes by undermining others.  Such was the case with Paul.  It caused Paul heartache that this was going on.  So this second letter sort of is born out of heartache.  As we look at different portions how that they were seeking to undermine Paul. 

So it’s appropriate that he opens us the epistle by saying,  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,  You see they were challenging his apostleship.  The church in Jerusalem didn’t ordain him.  They didn’t lay hands on him.  They said, he self appointed himself.  He said, no, I am an apostle by the will of God. 

— Pastor Chuck Smith


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