Disc. - Response
See Below

    I first met Rich Smith in late June, 2001 at the local Barnes & Noble bookstore, shortly after returning from three consecutive weekends in Ohio.
    Rich was managing one of the bookstore's departments one day and had noticed Keith and I praying together. This was our routine each time we would come to the store, before starting work and study. Rich came up to me a few minutes after we prayed and said, "You know, it's good to see someone praying in public." I smiled from the encouragement that GOD was using us as a witness.
    When we talked again later that week I had been fasting for a few days, and the Lord's direction was clearer than normal. The Lord directed me to walk around the bookstore for what seemed to be no apparent reason, then had me stop and wait. Very shortly Rich walked by and saw the book I was holding, and asked, "So what's ColdFusion anyway?" I explained that it's a technology similar to ASP by which web pages can be created dynamically.
    We began talking more, and the Lord had me mostly just listen. I was very blessed and encouraged by the things Rich shared with me. I learned how the Lord had taken him out of several churches because he had refused to compromise with the watered-down Christianity that was being served up there. He spoke much about the lack of "obedience preaching" going on in many churches he had visited, and also of things from his past that the Lord had rescued him from--mostly through the prayers of his wife. I asked if his wife was anointed also, and he responded exuberantly, "Yes!" I was excited to hear this.
    When Rich and I finished talking, I was very uplifted, and went to sit down with Keith. Keith was waiting for me, and began to share with me some of the magazine articles the Lord had pointed out to him--though he wasn't real sure why. One of the articles was about "Veggie Tales," (a Christian, computer-animated children's VHS program). The moment I looked at the article, the Lord said, "That's for Rich; that's his life's work..." (referring to Christian computer animation). I was very surprised that the Lord would be giving us information like this, especially so soon after meeting Rich, but was also encouraged. I went to talk to Rich and pointed the article out to him. He was glad to receive it, and we began talking again.
    Rich related to me how he has a great interest in computers as well as art. He told me how he had endeavored to start a web-site in the past but said that it had been too technical of an undertaking for him. As he shared, I began to see a future occupational connection between he and Jorge Vargas (who is an artistic CCCInc. participant), and mentioned Jorge to him. I then asked Rich for his e-mail address and whether he would mind if I shared it with Jorge. He gave it to me, and we continued talking.

    Near the end of our conversation, the Lord told me to tell Rich that He wanted Rich to begin fasting. I hemmed and hawed on this for a while before sharing it, feeling uncomfortable with sharing something so personal with an acquaintance so new. Finally, the Lord said, "Don't be embarrassed--just tell him." I obeyed, and Rich said the Lord had recently been impressing him with the same notion. After only a few weeks, Rich began eating only once a day, according to the Spirit's leading, and began growing daily by leaps and bounds.
    Rich was working a few days later when Keith and I showed up again at Barnes & Noble's. Keith began talking with Rich, and I soon approached to listen and participate in the conversation as well. I don't remember everything we talked about, but I do know it was edifying for all of us, and that the Spirit of GOD was strengthening the bond between us. To my amazement, the Lord even gave me a few more things to share with Rich. One item was about GOD's calling him to work in the field of advertising. Rich responded by saying that advertising is something he had always wanted to do.
    Keith and I encountered Rich in the bookstore often after first meeting him. I specifically remember how excited he was to have met us because he told us on more than one occasion how other workers at the bookstore would question him about who Keith and I were, having observed Rich talking to us on many different occasions while going about his managerial duties. He would respond to them by describing us as "two of the most awesome Christians" he had ever known. This impacted me significantly, seeing as how I had been previously unaware that the Lord was using us to present such a strong witness for Him at Barnes & Noble. Rich also shared with us how GOD had told him that Keith and I were examples for him to follow. We took this as further confirmation that GOD was really using us to draw Rich into a closer walk with Him.
    Also after Rich first met us, the Lord began to take him on morning prayer walks. On these walks, the Lord would direct him to each church in Momence and have him pray that GOD would bring revival to each one. One day He also had Rich curse all the bars in town in the name of Jesus. This inspired Keith and I to do the same:
    One night, while on a prayer walk together, Keith and I both at the same time, by the Spirit, looked over at the bar across the street as we walked, and exclaimed simultaneously, "I curse you in the name of Jesus." At that very instant a police car speeding by blared its sirens so loudly it made us both jump. The timing of all of this made a strong impression on me, and barely five minutes later I was pondering it in prayer up in my apartment. Again, I purposefully prayed that GOD would destroy the spirit of alcoholism in Momence and curse all of the bars in the name of Jesus. Immediately a siren blared a second time, again seemingly in direct response to my prayer. (This was very near the time of the breakthrough we had had in our revival prayers for Momence (See brief report).
    During the next couple months, the Lord continued to strengthen the bond between Rich and Keith and I. Most of the times we spent together were very edifying, with the Lord's working in and through each of us being very evident. There were many such occasions, often with interesting details, which, for the sake of accurately remembering the details, I am constrained to leave out. However, I will note some of the highlights, though not in any particular chronological order:

    While at Barnes & Noble one day, Keith saw a vision while talking to Rich. He told Rich that in the vision he reached out and touched Rich's lips, and Rich began speaking in tongues. Rich told Keith that he had already received the gift of tongues. Even so, many months later Keith saw this same vision again, and informed Rich in an e-mail. Rich responded about how his prayer language had recently been flowing like crazy--ever since he had recommitted to fasting, along with some other sacrificial acts of obedience. (GOD made it plain through his e-mail that oftentimes gifts will go into stagnation when obedience is not being fully accomplished, and that Rich too is called to a higher degree of fasting than many other Christians.)
    It was through Rich that we first met Pastor Greg Eilders--anointed pastor of the local People's Church congregation--during the same summer. We later found out that Greg is from the same area of Ohio that we had just returned from.
    Some especially interesting events took place one night after Keith and I finished work, and the Lord led us to visit Rich at his house. Here we learned to a much greater extent Rich's involvement in music, art, computers, and past ministry. At first we spent a lot of time discussing GOD's business opportunities amongst ourselves. I later returned to my apartment, and Keith remained at the Smith's to eat supper. I returned a few hours afterwards.
    When I did return, Keith, Rich, and Roseann were sharing at the kitchen table. I excitedly told them some of the things the Lord had made known to me in the previous few hours. Afterwards, we all grabbed hands and all prayed together.
    After prayer, Rich told us how he had seen in spirit an eery shadow float through the kitchen above him as we prayed. A few minutes later, while the others continued to discuss, I felt prompted to quietly slip away into the dining room where I crumpled to the floor under the onset of a prayer-burden. I was soon relieved of the burden, and shared the experience with the others.
    I told of how through this prayer, the Lord had shown me His desires to re-establish Rich as the head of the Smith household, and how the Lord was wanting them to begin seeking this from Him by praying together over each room of their house each day, consecrating the rooms one at a time to Him. Rich and Roseann did this right away, and afterwards, Rich told me how when they had prayed over their teenage son Randall's room, one of Randall's "X-MEN" posters hanging on the wall strangely moved, as if by a wind.
    Roseann shared a vision she had seen while praying one night in which Rich was laying face down praying while the wind was blowing very hard over a large field. The crop in the field was laid to the ground because of the strong wind.
    I experienced a very difficult trial one evening, during which I could not sleep. Rich came and told me the next day how he had borne some type of burden the night before, during which time he had had a very difficult time sleeping, and mostly rolled around in his bed the whole night.
    Rich told me in September of how the Lord had told him that a storm was coming very soon, and sooner than he might imagine. In hindsight, this very well may have been in reference to the terrorism acts of Sept. 11th.

    One night, Keith had a dream in which he, Rich and I were part of a three-man wrestling team. He thought the dream was funny because of the wrestling apparel we had worn in the dream. Later, I realized that this was the Lord showing that the dream had special significance, in that it was analogous to Paul's Eph6 reference to "wrestling not against flesh and blood..."
    Rich told me about Barnes & Noble's general manager, Duane, and how the Lord had used Rich to speak to him very effectively one evening. I met Duane shortly thereafter. He is roughly thirty years old, and worked as a pastor for about five years. He had decided however that pastoring was not what the Lord desired from him at that time, and so had moved into retail management, a position he felt the Lord wanted him in instead.
    One morning, on the way to Barnes & Noble, I received some insight into GOD's work with Duane, and His reasons for having Rich share certain things about him with me. The Lord pointed me the verses in John chapter one related to Philip and Nathaniel, showing me parallels in the lives of Rich and Duane. I knew that through this the Lord was saying that He was preparing Duane (who represented Nathaniel) to receive the anointing through Rich (who represented Philip--see also Acts 8). This was also one of GOD's first confirmations to me of His calling Rich to evangelism.
    These and many other occurrences were typical examples of the quality times we would spend with Rich.
    I remember how the Lord for some time was giving me tidbits to confirm to me His gift of discernment to Rich. One day, He confirmed it unequivocally when Rich stopped by our apartment, saying that the Lord had told him to come and visit. And indeed, his visit had been very timely. During his visit, he mentioned that the Lord had been showing him threes in abundance recently, so much so that he couldn't go anywhere without seeing them all over the place. I realized this was the answer to a prayer of mine for Rich--that the Lord would open his eyes to the deeper truths of His word as explained on the CCCInc. web-site (such as His 3-part church).
    The Lord made it plain to me right away that He was using the threes to point Rich to His 3-part church (see Ps1:5 Zech13:9 Mk4:28 Jn14:6 1Pet4:18 Rev16:19, etc.). I briefly explained this to him, saying that just as there is a second level of growth in the Christian walk known as "the anointing"--which many Christians are unfortunately either ignorant of or just plain deny--so also there is a third level of the Christian walk known as perfection (1Cor2:6; soul-salvation (1Pet1:7 into 9), sanctification, justification (1Cor1:30), etc.). I suggested that the Lord was wanting Rich to study 1Jn, and that He would point these things out to him, since no man could do so.
    I had made reference to CCCInc. in conversation and correspondence with Rich numerous times, but apparently Rich had not yet looked up or seriously studied any CCCInc. material. Near the end of the summer, satan was allowed to hinder my and Keith's effectiveness in ministry because of some negligent financial recordkeeping. We were also hindered because we had neglected to complete a detailed ministry report of our time in Ohio. It took some months to see, but we finally came to understand that the Lord had been purposefully slowing us down in an attempt to turn our attention to taking care of these things. In the mean time, any unity GOD had established between ourselves and Rich was being eroded to nothing.

    This separating between ourselves and Rich pinnacled one day at Barnes & Noble. When Rich came into the bookstore I discerned very clearly a dark shadow clinging to his back. As Rich passed us, he greeted us jokingly, and for the first time in my life I heard the unmistakable laugh of a demon in someone's voice. In fact, it gave me chills. By this I knew for sure that I had not just been imagining the shadow on Rich's back.
    As I prayed over this, the pieces began to fit together in my mind. I realized that Rich had come to reject the CCCInc. doctrine we had shared with him so recently, and the notion of a 3-part church GOD had been trying to help him see. The Lord then had me go and ask Rich if I could pray for him, which He acquiesced to in the flesh, though not in spirit. After I prayed a seemingly ineffectual prayer, I questioned him cautiously. We both recognized the separation taking place, but felt powerless to prevent it.
    Keith and I kept in contact with Rich after this, although there was no longer the unity of spirit and brotherly love the Lord had previously blessed us all with. The final break came one evening when Keith was able to discuss Rich's particular problems with CCCInc.-specific teachings with him. He told Keith he was convinced that he and I were being deceived; that we are indeed soul-saved; that satan has not ruled the church for 1900 years, etc. Keith shared what he could in the way of truth, but the door to Rich's spirit had already been closed to Keith's words.
    As we continued to grow further apart, Rich shared with us how he felt the Lord leading him into ministry. He told us how the Lord had indicated to him that He was to complete a VHS theology course into a pastorship which he had undertaken many months before but had become extremely bored with. At the time, this "leading into ministry" seemed to me to be either 1) a delusionary tactic of satan or 2) the Lord's way of increasing humility in Rich (seeing as how his past attitude toward churches and church leaders was at times less than humble). Eventually, Rich ended up securing a minister's license through a different avenue.
    Recently, the Lord has re-established communication over e-mail between Rich, Keith and I. One such significant communication from Rich told of a vision GOD had given him of the revival that would come to Momence, beginning here at 118 E. River St. He said that in the vision, my family and I were in the apartment when a mighty, rushing water flooded into the apartment. It filled me, then overflowed to the members of my family, then out the windows to the people on the streets below.
    In past months such correspondences between Rich, Keith and I have become more commonplace, to the point that when Rich did not receive a response for a few days from an e-mail he had sent to Keith he began to wonder if something was wrong. The Lord told him, "No... he's here [in Momence] this weekend" (having moved to MI back in November). Sure enough, when Rich drove by the apartment the next day Keith's car was parked outside. He had just arrived, and Rich saw us unloading the car. He and his wife stopped to greet us and share with us. We had a good, edifying time exchanging spiritual encouragements, and then prayed.
    As Rich prayed, he mentioned something about honouring the true Sabbath, which happened to be the day on which this was taking place. After the prayer, he said the Lord had shown him not long before that Saturday is indeed the true Sabbath.

He also spoke of how he had recently been fasting daily, doing prayer walks, etc. Keith and I were very encouraged.
    Rich came over the next day and for a few minutes we had another very edifying, Spirit-led sharing time. In the midst of our sharing, satan threw us a curve that none of us recognized until afterwards, and disrupted the whole spirit of our conversation, leaving it largely dead and lifeless. We attempted to continue, but were blind to the problem at hand which had been used to disrupt us.
    Just before the disruption, Rich had been sharing about how GOD had purposefully directed him to watch a Rod Parsley broadcast during which Rod was discussing Gen38, and the word "Perez," which means "breakthrough." This was especially significant to me in that only a few weeks prior the Lord had brought me to the same chapter, and had likened Keith and I to Perez and Zerah.
    One final noteworthy thing is that Rich mentioned once (and a second time a few weeks later), that GOD had told him He has a new job for him, but that presently He is just putting people into position until the appropriate time. I know for certain the Lord intends for Rich to work with Keith and I, though I cannot be sure whether it is in computer work, Maxilube distribution (which is my hunch), or both.
5/18/2002 update
    I saw Rich today after taking a walk. He called to me from the back of a building, the back side of which is across the alleyway from the back of my apartment.
    I went to talk to him, and he told me he and his wife had been working on cleaning the building out all day. He said GOD had provided it for them because He had told them in February He was going to provide a building for them to start a Momence Youth Center.
    He and his wife waited and prayed, and pursued the purchase of two downtown buildings in faith, though neither deal came to fruition. The second deal was particularly interesting, in that Rich told a local, well-known real-estate broker, who has been hired to close the sale of more than one empty downtown Momence building, that GOD was going to provide him with a building. The deal almost went through, but the owner, who is a very elderly lady, was too greedy for money. Rich said he would not deal with greedy people, and refused to meet the price. (Incidentally, this same theme of greed losing the sale of a key downtown building also played a part in the Momence downtown theatre not being sold.)
    Rich saw the agent some time later, and he asked her if the building owner was ready to make a deal. She replied that the price would still be the same. Rich told her in response that he couldn't understand why the lady was so greedy, and that she could have just given it to him. After all, he said, "this one" was given to him. He pointed her to the building next door, which a fellow church-goer decided to give to Rich for a year without cost of rent. The lady was stunned and walked away.
    Rich said GOD has given him ideas for seven different colors He wants in the place, as well as some other ideas.


Update, excerpted from CLS daily summaries Aug 20, '02:
    Many months ago I postulated that Rich Smith was under delusion for denying GOD's truth through CCCInc. This suspicion was strengthened when I later learned that he planned on attending ONU for a youth pastor's degree. Still, I did not want to believe it. Maybe, just maybe, I figured, GOD was going to work with him, without things going so far as to involve delusion.
    Well, not wanting to believe this, I finally asked the Lord a few days or weeks (I can't remember exactly, but it was recent) to show me if indeed he was/is under delusion. Today, as I rode my bike into the alley on my way home, I noticed a sign in the window of the CYC (CornerStone Youth Center). It said, "For Rent." I peered inside the window. All the improvements that he had spent many hours doing still remained (major cleanup and renovations, painting, building railings, etc.). However, all of the signs were gone, and the place was bare. Only weeks ago I had noticed a sign in the window, in both Spanish and English, that said, "CYC... coming in August..." Well, I know that this is GOD's answer to my prayer that He would show me whether Rich was under delusion, even though I didn't really want to accept it. But at the same time, I am pleased that GOD is not allowing him to get away with trampling His truth (he told Keith many months ago, for example,"Robert is a deceiver, why do you still listen to him?") It seems like this pleasure has some sort of malicious aspect to it. I'm really not sure. I don't want to see him hurt, and have to go through anything similar to what I did with Alex, but at the same time, I was very angry that he could be allowed to openly reject GOD's truth and guidance. I care very deeply about him and his family, and indeed, it does pain me to know that he has to go through this. I hope this makes sense.


Robert's response, Aug '02
Rich Smith
    Long ago when you said Rich was going to ONU I felt a red flag, but as always we wait + see the other signs or hear news to discern the truth. Either way, GOD will use all to His advantage.

emotions over Rich
Having seen hundreds openly reject clear truth I had to learn that He is in control!! Jn6:66; 8:47,51
Having seen disobedience I had to learn GOD will discipline if He chooses.  OR NOT if He chooses.
Killing our flesh emotion takes a looong time, so just keep praying + love 'em and allow GOD to purge our flesh emotion.
Hoping this makes sense.
Consider Moses standing apart + sending some to death for sin.  Tough love!!
GOD continues Acts5:11 for the sake of all; His hard work, His sword work.
Type: sub, corp, cell gr, stu gr, pastor; Level: confess, Jn14 Disc: Brief details of meeting; scriptures, if believed, Spirit cfm, proof of growth, recent victories, proof of Rom6.