In the past few years, beginning just before we left for Rwanda, the Lord began to speak to me about what He called the ‘Citadel’. In the context of the Fox Valley prophecies, the turmoil coming to the churches and the plumb line that He would move through the area stirring up conflict, the Lord began to speak about what the ‘Citadel’ is. He showed me that His intention was to pour out His Spirit in the Valley and recalibrate the church to His headship.
The “Citadel” was the church structure that was developed by men who were more concerned with their own agenda of “success” than what God actually wants to do through them. This structure has grown into a Citadel and is impeding the move of the Spirit by controlling Him and using His work to gain money and influence for themselves. The Lord specifically spoke about three local churches and how He was allowing them to flourish in size and influence. Then when the time is right He will take them down quickly. The churches He named that comprised the ‘Citadel’ were Christ the Rock Community Church, Appleton Alliance, and Pathways. For each of these specific churches a number of prophecies were given explaining how the leadership was in control and not Christ. I have written a number of articles in my newsletters and blog about the specifics regarding Christ the Rock. I have sent Appleton Alliance one word about not building the expansion they are about to complete. The words about Pathways and Mike stepping down were spoken about but the ones about Brad were not except for a few people close to me. Then we moved to Rwanda. It wasn’t until two months ago when the Lord started to speak again about dealing with the ‘Citadel’.
He showed me that the three churches mentioned have bought into the way our Western church has absorbed a humanistic, post-modern worldview. They are moving the Word of God out of a place of real authority and depending on methods developed by what they see as successful seeker sensitive churches.
Appleton Alliance is a bit different being that I have been told only that the Pastor there is moving farther and farther away from the works of the Holy Spirit in the Body and that Alliance would swell because of the sickness in the churches in the Valley. He told me that people would run there to hide as they attempted to heal from the abuse of the churches they were attending. And to warn the leadership to not build the expansion because when the outpouring of His Spirit finally comes they will leave in mass number and the building will no longer fit but the financial burden will remain. I was not told that Alliance would allow the heresies of the Seeker Sensitive methodologies to sweep through the flock as the other two would and since have. CTR and Pathways I was told were buying into the spirit of age and his design to neuter the church through the post-modern Seeker Sensitive methods of ministry.
As the Lord began to speak about the ‘Citadel’ and it being the church structure built up around the move of the Holy Spirit in the Valley He began to speak to me and others in our church about the idea of prolepsis. Prolepis means: the representation or assumption of a future act or development as if presently existing or accomplished. In the Greek: prolēpsis, from prolambanein to take beforehand, from pro- before + lambanein to take
Think, ‘speak to the mountain to be removed’. Prolepsis tells us that the mountain is already taken care of and removed spiritually and that we are called to speak to it as if it were already removed. The Lord was asking me to speak to the mountain of the ‘Citadel’. He is wanting to remove the modern way of making the church into a corporation and reform it by bringing it back under His headship.
One aspect (and there have been many since all of this began) of what God is wanting to do is to rebuild a biblical foundation for how we do things in the context of the church. Biblical methodologies of ministry need to be reinstated. Take a moment and think about the churches you have been in. How many have a simple prayer meeting where a large portion of the church gathers to pray about the church, direction, missions, and so on? Even the way in which conflict or leadership structure is handle has become more like a CEO in a corporation than following the clearly mandated biblical processes. Let me explain what I mean. On April 6, 2013 I attended the Saturday evening service at Pathways in order to hear for myself that Pastor Brad Liebe was being removed from the senior pastor position because of what they called, “an inappropriate relationship with another woman”.
The Chairman of the Board, JJ Eaton informed the congregation in just a few short sentences that their Pastor had been caught in this repeated inappropriate behavior before he went on to explain that the Liebe’s were already in counseling. He never mentioned sin. He never mentioned repentance. He never mentioned the Biblical process of rebuking a leader in the presence of the church so that others will be afraid to sin in the same way as we are instructed to do in 1 Timothy 5.
19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. 20 Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning. 21 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.~NAS
As I sat there listening to Mr. Eaton I thought, wait a minute, why are you not saying that Brad has repented and turned back to Christ but are saying instead that the Liebe’s have turned to counseling? Why are you telling us that Brad was in a repeated affair to squelch gossip and confusion and not because Paul instructs us to in 1 Timothy so that we don’t sin in the same way? And in that line of thought why are you, and the guest speaker, equating us with Brad instead of warning us from the destruction of sin and addressing the more serious consequences biblically for leaders who cause a little one to stumble or lead his sheep astray? Can you see the subtle shift from a Biblical view to a humanistic view? This shift is exactly what the Lord is telling me He is finished with and about to destroy and remove by calling the Body back to His headship, His word, His Spirit.
As I heard more information come out about the situation at Pathways I noticed some other very disturbing things in the leadership at Pathways and in the Assemblies of God, again all directly related to this shift away from the headship of Christ. Let me explain.
Brad Liebe was initially an ordained minister in the Assemblies of God. He was a minister at Dan Betzer’s AG church in Fort Myers, Florida and became Sr. Pastor after Betzer retired. In 2008 (I believe), Brad left that church in scandal. It is said that he embezzled nearly $700,000.00 from the church and the Board covered up the enormity of the act. No legal action was taken. He did have his AG ministry credentials revoked and was asked to apologize to the body of believers in FL. He began a restoration process for fallen AG ministers but quit before it was finished, re-ordained by Grace International and took the job as Pathways SR. Pastor.
ASSEMBLIES OF GOD
Upon Brad’s taking the position at Pathways Larry Liebe and Steve Tripp (District Youth Director in the AG), both district leaders, started attending Pathways~ a non-AG church. Steve Tripp is reported to have served on the board at Pathways at one time, and was featured in promotional videos for the church.
Larry Liebe and Steve Tripp are in violation of the AG bylaws but have also, in effect condoned Brad’s previous affair and money embezzlement in FL by following him to Pathways. It is hard for me to fathom that those who oversee Brad and Steve could possibly agree that while they represent and shepherd the AG denomination in our area, a blind eye should be turned to attending a non-AG church whose pastor was disciplined and removed from the Assemblies of God. The message this speaks to the body at Pathways is that everything is ok and gives Brad a level of credibility that he simply does not have.
AG bylaws Article IX, Section 9-10:
Section 9. Ministry in a Non-Assemblies of God Church
Ministers shall not be limited or restrained from entering open doors to preach this Pentecostal message, so long as they retain Assemblies of God doctrine, standards of holiness, proper attitudes, and proper ministerial conduct without compromise. Inasmuch as unity is a vital principle for growth and spiritual development of the Assemblies of God Fellowship, it is essential that we recognize our relationship to each other and that we practice Christian cooperation in all our pastoral, evangelistic, missionary, and local church work.
We recommend therefore that our ministers confer with district council officials before engaging in ministry in any church group or organization not affiliated with the Assemblies of God so as to ascertain whether such ministry might result in confusion or misunderstandings. If the minister does not have district approval, he or she shall be expected to refrain from conducting services for the church. Ministers who violate this principle shall be subject to discipline.
Section 10. An Improper Attitude Toward Those Removed From the Fellowship
In order to render effective decisions made in the interest of proper discipline and for the protection of our assemblies, all who hold credentials, and local churches holding certificates of affiliation, shall refrain from taking an attitude toward offenders that would tend to nullify or set at naught the solemn verdict of those entrusted with this responsibility. Those who fail to support said verdict shall be subject to reprimand or, if persisted in, appropriate discipline.
Now as we see in Section 10, due to the revocation of Brad Liebe’s credentials by the Assemblies of God, it is improper for the district officials to give approval to his ministry, seriously undermining the verdict given by the general council when Brad was removed from the Assemblies of God. The bylaws maintain a level of accountability to the scriptures and to the leadership in place over these Pastors, however, Brad and his father and those closely associated with him are following another course that contradicts even that which they signed to uphold. I point this out because again we see even church leadership following their own course outside of the headship of Christ.
I wondered about Grace International as well and why in the world they would miss the leading of the Holy Spirit and a clear mandate in scripture that a leader should be:
2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6 and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. ~1 Timothy 3:2-7 NAS
And yet Grace International ordain Brad with such a serious scandal still in process of investigation. I went to their web site and found that under the state of Wisconsin where they listed their churches Pathways was not listed. However, on a page of events Pathways was listed to have hosted the Wisconsin Leadership Gathering April 26th. This makes me wonder if this overseeing organization is also not willing to own their ordaining Liebe and sending him out to an unsuspecting flock.
Something that also strikes me is the similar nepotism that we see in Christ the Rock and also the working inside of the ministry to hide sin instead of simply exposing it, getting it into the light and repenting. A prevailing problem with the church today is the humanistic way of not wanting to biblically address sin inside the church. You find an extreme aggressive response when exposing sin in a biblical pattern, far greater than the response to the sin itself. This I believe is a work of the enemy and an underlying reason how so many have gone so far astray.
HEADSHIP OF CHRIST
When pastor’s fall they leave a congregation full of deeply wounded members. The Fox Valley has thousands hurt in the wake of pastors not allowing Christ to be the head. God is asking us to call them back to the church but as members of a body working in the gifts of the Holy Spirit under a five-fold leadership found in Ephesians 4 and submitted to the headship of Jesus Christ rather than one man’s personal agenda and charisma. God is going to allow some serious chaos in the churches here in the Valley as we finish the dark night and the outpouring begins. I am feeling an urgent need to continue to share with the people what He has been speaking about all of this because the church needs to be aware that God sees every bit and He is allowing it for His purpose. Be encouraged because He has a plan for His people and is calling every one of us back to His headship.
Ephesians 4: 11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.~ NAS