Inner Healing

I wanted to put something together in the area of inner healing as I was asked about it.  If you want to read the conversation it can be found beginning with comment #2 under the topic Generational Curses  here – http://mkayla.wordpress.com/2009/06/06/generational-curses/#comments.  I’ve copied most of the teaching to this article, so it may not be necessary.

I don’t have a large amount of experience in this area, but I want to share what I do know with you. I was trained under a specialized form called SOZO which was written specifically for the ministry I was involved with. I participated on teams approximately 6 or 8 times and personally underwent the process.

Many years ago I learned and used the same methods while in secular therapy referred to then as “inner child healing”.  When someone comes and makes a connection like this we should pay attention. It should be a huge cause for alarm.

This is the process.  The person is asked by a counselor to go back in time and remember the first time she felt a certain negative way about herself or the first time she remembers suffering abuse or trauma, whatever the presenting problem. Once the memory is there she is asked to “connect with” the feelings of the memory. When that is achieved she then is told to “speak into” that moment to the child affirming she is loved, worthy, important, safe etc. Then, the “child” is assured she is safe now because the “adult” can and will protect her in the future.

The idea here is to speak to the negative influence thereby breaking negative thought patterns or behaviors believed to have been brought on from some trauma in the person’s life.  This is known as visualization or guided imagery.

So imagine this same scenario in a “Christian” setting,  but instead of the “adult” speaking,  the “counselor” or “prayer partner”  asks Jesus to speak His truth into the memory.  Same process just a different “savior”.

Hmm…so where is this in the bible?

We already know as Christians we are not to look back and that we are in a process of discipleship, having our minds renewed and looking to God who is our hope.

Consider these scriptures:

Luke 9:62 – But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Ephesians 4:20-24 – 20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

Romans 12:2 – And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Acts 20:32 –  “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

Psalm 43:5 – Why are you cast down, O my soul?And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.

Romans 15:13 – Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Philippians 1:6 – being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ

The story of Nicodemus came to my mind as I was considering healing.  This is just kinda paraphrased from John 3. When Nicodemus didn’t understand the words of Jesus in being “born again” he questioned how could it be possible to enter the womb a second time. And Jesus clarified so that Nicodemus understood it is not a matter of the flesh, but a matter of the spirit. It struck me because our growth is not a matter of going back into the past, its a matter of being born again and going forward from there.

John 3:1-6 1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

The best argument is the truth of scripture against the lie. There isn’t a single instance of this or any “inner healing” process, visualization or guided imagery techniques being taught or practiced by Jesus or the disciples.  We do not borrow techniques from the world or other religions. Christianity has its own methods for healing and we don’t need the ideas of man in the form of psychology or New Age practices to get us there. God does not “show up” just because we expect him to or just because we stamp the name of Jesus onto some method or program.

This inner healing for the Christan is a very wicked, very evil practice. God is very much aware of our sufferings and our focus is on Him, not the past. God does not violate what He has already designed and as born again believers and followers of Jesus we already have what we need to be overcomers. I believe the “jesus” speaking to these people is not Jesus Christ, the Messiah, but a demon disguising himself. I say this out of my own personal SOZO experiences and those I helped lead.

Stay far away from any prayer ministry involving the healing of past memories no matter how good it sounds or how much sense it seems to make. It is a dangerous road to go on and you may find yourself with more trouble than when you started.

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42 thoughts on “Inner Healing

  1. Hi Mkayla
    A bit of basic doctrine 101 to shed a bit more light on this topic is that when we confess our sin and believe that we are forgiven that as far as the east is from the west , so have our sins been removed from Gods sight, they are no more.Therefore we have absolutely no business revisting our or any one else’s past.This is nothing less than grieving the Spirit, or worse.We can also be assured that whatever ” spirit ” is guiding the counsellor into some ones past , that it will not be the Holy Spirit.
    A verse i read in Ezekiel 8:6 sent a shiver down my spine as i read it.

    And He said to me, Son of man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the House of Isreal are committing here, to drive me far from my sanctuary?. But you will see still greater abominations.

    Inner healing is but one of many abominations found in varying degrees in churches today.I do believe that after studying the topic of ” abomination of desolation” , i have come to the conclusion that this is man placing himself as the object of worship, self worship, rather than God being the centre of our worship.One only needs to look at the music that has invaded our christian culture to see evidence of this, endless humanism disguised as worship. And of course inner healing and its stablemate pop psychology are all about self, there is no Gloryfing of God in any of this.
    I have rambled on a bit here , but just a few thoughts i had to share , particuarly after reading the passage in Ezekiel.

    • Another spirit indeed!! Unfortunately many can no longer discern between what is holy and what is not. The argument continues with them – if it works it is okay; if there is a little truth, what is the harm? – The proof is NOT in our testimony or in our experiences, but in the word of God. If we could stick by that, we would be so much better off.

      1 Corinthians 6:11 says But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

      I made a similar connection in regards to the abomination of desolation, mentioned under the topic Holy Spirit Manifestaions. Here it is:


      Matthew 24:15 “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads let him understand)…
      Consider this is an unholy person occupying a place reserved for God here on earth. How closely related is this to a person who has been overtaken by another spirit in the place that should have been reserved and kept only for the presence of the Holy Spirit. This person is given to fleshy manifestations and doctrines of demons who believe his experiences are from God!

      I used to wonder why so many Christians seem to need healing or why there seemed to be a big push for it. And I do see the connection with that way of thinking and the obsession of “self”.

      Did you have your meeting? I’d like to hear abou it if you are open to that. If not, that’s ok too.

      Blessings!

  2. “It struck me because our growth is not a matter of going back into the past, its a matter of being born again and going forward from there.”

    YES! YES! YES! Going forward! THAT is speaking something to me right now. I just love when the annointing comes and breaks off a yoke! Now if i can just remember that!

    When all that inner healing started years ago, I had a friend wrapped up in it. She bought all the books on it and was trying to teach me about it. I told her it did not set right with me AT ALL. It appeared self-centerd and self-focused and God knew I was too much that way to begin with so why o why would He want me focused on myself? It had already been proven, by focusing on myself, I was a mess. I sure didn’t want to stay THERE.

    God does not need the ways of man to “fix” us. When He sets free He sets free!

  3. I agree completely about all that has been said here except this one thing: Sozo prayer has helped me on three occasions when I was “stuck”. By that I mean that I knew theologically that I was forgiven, and that I had forgiven, but I could not stop obsessing about unkind conversations and untrue accusations made against me in a spiritual abuse situation. No matter how I prayed, how I believed, I could not get free. One session with trained Sozo people got me unstuck (this was in a church not my own in order to be free to share what was happening without naming my abuser, or without someone “guessing” who I was talking about, in order to protect my abusers from ungodly exposure – i.e., exposure that would come of my own woundedness rather than the kind that the Holy Spirit might do in His time and way, if needed at all!)

    Inner healing can be abused, just like any other facet of ministry. Believers are forgiven once and for all, but believers who get wounded by other beleivers, or who are having a hard time getting “past the past” need to be set free so they can move into their potential in the Kingdom. Just telling people Scripture and implying “get over it” does not come from a heart of love and kindness. But neither is it right or healthy to stay in inner healing for weeks, months, years as a victim of your past sins or abuses done to you. EVERYTHING good that God gives to the church can (and will) be abused by those who are looking for attention more than they are looking for victory and to serve the living God with their lives. We don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater, but we do need to remind people who keep coming back for healing of the same things, that Jesus died once for all, and that they are in danger of losing what gain God has given them if they, in doubt and unbelief of the promises He has already given them, continue to wallow in the mud or return to their vomit like a dog does. That’s kinda gross, but I think it’s how God looks at it. Thank God for sozo prayer and other prayer ministry models that have helped the Church become more efficient in getting people moving and unstuck than just throwing Scripture in their faces and saying get over it, this is what the Bible says. I am a changed person for the love of strangers who guided me through a process that unstuck me miraculously!! I think when Jesus said that we would not only do the miraculous works He did, but even greater works, that some of these ways of ministering are part of the greater works…or perhaps the beginning of them – kindergarten, perhaps. The church is so far from what she is promised and created to be, that we are still learning the baby steps to helping one another live out the promises of full stature, full redemption given to us through Jesus Christ.

    If people truly “got” all these things you all are saying about forgiveness and forgiving – then they would not get stuck on the more severe events of their pasts. Sozo often delivers people of demons that came with those events, and hearing the truth of Jesus in the face of the memory, which is the Word of God, sends those demons away, just as the spoken Word sent the devil away when Jesus Himself was is His own wilderness. We experience personal victories in our own wildernesses often in the same way, and that is something Sozo is suppossed to do for people who don’t want to remain victims of their own wrong thinking, or of the lies the enemy has convinced them are true. So I thank God for this ministry, while at the same time recognizing the abuse of it when victims fall prey to repeating the same thing – in many cases they really don’t want to be healed, they just want the attention OR they are demonized and no one where they are going knows how to set them free. This is an area that the church is sorely lacking…but where victory is sure to come to us before Jesus returns!

    • I don’t agree with you on any of your points. Sozo is a very serious error in prayer. We have been taught in the word how to pray. We have been told by its very words that when we come to Christ we are created new, that the old is gone. Expecting God to show up and perform simply because we have experienced bad things in our lives in not found in the bible. Not at all. I’ve already written on the why’s of all of that.

  4. I agree completely with the point that there isn’t any instance in the Bible that has to do with “inner healing”, visualization, or guided imagery. However, I completely disagree with the point (made by Ray) that we should never revisit our past or anyone else’s past (mKayla also made a similar point saying “our growth is not a matter of going back into the past, its a matter of being born again and going forward from there.”). There are plenty of verses in the Bible that God tells us to remember the past. Not to dwell on it, but to remember them to deal with it appropriately.

    There are three Biblical reasons for why we should occasionally revisit our past and/or help others revisit their past:
    1) To remember from where we have come (how God has saved us and brought us to where we are now):
    Deuteronomy 9:7 [ The Golden Calf ] Remember this and never forget how you provoked the LORD your God to anger in the desert. From the day you left Egypt until you arrived here, you have been rebellious against the LORD.

    Ephesians 2:11-13 11Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that done in the body by the hands of men)— 12remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

    And here’s a few more verses along these lines: Deuteronomy 16:12; Jeremiah 14:10; Hosea 9:9; Revelation 18:5

    2) So that we may have truly forgiven people. It is a dangerous thing to live as Christians without truly forgiving others.

    Part of the Lord’s prayer is about asking for forgiveness (if we truly are going to forgive, we need to remember the past). Also, right after the Jesus finished teaching about prayer, he continued to talk about forgiveness. It is very important that we have forgiven others so that God forgives us:
    Matthew 5:
    12Forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
    13And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.[a]‘ 14For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

    And although God promises that he remembers our sins no more (we are forgiven!), there is a continual act of repenting and turning to God and forgiving others. For example, the book of I John is written to believers. I John 1:8-9 says, “8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

    Also, Jesus said in Matthew 5: 23″Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.

    3) We remember the past if we are going to confess our sins to others:

    James 5:16 – Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

    Matthew 3:6 – Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

    So, those are three biblical reasons why we need to remember the past. There are many problems that will arise if we continually bring up the past, but we do need to address it for the three reasons described above. In regards to Sozo, I think there are definitely dangers using a secular “inner child healing” psychology. However, helping someone walk through areas that they haven’t forgiven another person is important and biblical. Also, having someone confess their sins can be biblical. Also, helping people see how God has brought them from where they were to their current state is biblical.

    • It’s a matter of proper context. Our comments were made specifically toward inner healing, not in the areas you pointed out. I’m glad you can see the difference in the two.

      • I was addressing inner healing from my comment. I personally don’t like the term “inner healing” and think “restoration and forgiveness” is a more appropriate term. But, basically, I think that the past can and should be revisited (for the reasons described in my post) with people in order to address issues that are hindering their walk with God.

        • Pete, just to say that we have to be careful how that is addressed. Many times we find healing just learning about the Lord and in our walk, learning to be like Him, forgiving. Usually, those who have been mistreated find great healing in the simple knowledge that people can treat us badly, but it is not God’s way, etc. Oftentimes we can make healing or emotional healing more than what it should be.

  5. Mkayla we were encouraged to go on a course at the church we left 3yrs ago now,the course came from the US called cleansing stream,(Im in uk)I was told the course was nesasery as the devil has hooks attached to us and he pulls them from time to time,and not only that I would have to go on the course a few times as we have layers and God can only deal with so many layers! (Layers)sounds like a clip from shrek (onion boy)jokeing aside.I felt pressured to do the course as myself and husband would not be set free.I only know differently now as the Lord open my blind eyes 3yrs ago,its only then you realise how deceived you have been. I had a spirit of fear at that time and was told by the trained person praying for me that I had ademon on my back,that freaked me out,I had manefestations like fire and shakeing.As I look at it now there was a lot of physcology in it,as one of the women pastors played out the roll of our abusive mother,there was much crying,and screaming.and of course there is a charge for these courses £75 and you would get a key ring at the end saying freedom.Im so glad its all behind me.thank you for your site and the way the Lord is using you to reach people like myself.

    • Yes, I’ve heard of Cleansing Streams here. Its really such garbage because no one in the bible had to revist thier pasts to be healed of their sin or the sin of others. It’s all about Jesus, repentance and turning away from what used to be. He is the great healer, whether it be physical or emotional, but most importantly certainly spiritual! We will stand before Him one day and that will be all that matters. I thank Him for all of you who come here and share your stories. I have cried with many, prayed, loved and there is certainly a bond found in the truth of who Christ is, and in His true people.

  6. I have not personally experienced this type of “ministry” but here are my thoughts. It is not prayer methods that people need. It is a clear and BIBLICAL understanding of who God is, who they are, and what has been done to rectify that problem. In other words, we need to understand the Gospel.

    When we “can’t get past” hurts or problems, it is because we have made idols of them or our feelings and refuse to repent, TURN AWAY FROM OUR SIN, and turn TO CHRIST. When we gain a deeper understanding of our own filthy attempts at righteousness and the vileness of OUR OWN personal sin (idols), our understanding of Christ’s amazing work on the cross enables us to grow in faith and mature in Him through the convicting work of the Holy Spirit. That is sanctification 101: God’s plan for “inner healing”.

    Prayer “ministries” like SOZO convolute the true message of the Gospel by using terminology, steps, doors, and processes that simply don’t help people – not in a true way.

    • No, they don’t help people at all. When I was involved in all this craziness it struck me one day at the amount of training required to “minister” – to learn to pray, to pray for, to pray about, inner healing, the prophetic…on and on. It amounted to one person after another coming up with a new method or a new spin on an old one to gain a following and sell books, cd’s, dvd’s, etc. It took days, nights and weekends over and again to learn the latest “craze”. I remember a woman who commented that it was just another “tool”. Tool? Why do we need tools???? No, there is no help found in these methods. They accomplish exactly what they were designed to do: separate people from God.

      • I found this on Ian’s site and felt it fit right in here. :)
        Thanks Ian.

        What’s it like to be truly free?

        By ian vincent

        Only the person who is becoming conformed to Jesus Christ, and not conformed to this world, will know. No one else will know. They will not even understand the question.

        When Pilate was questioning Jesus, he was looking into the eyes of a free Man. Beaten, bloodied, even condemned to death, but free. And likewise, when the executioner came to chop off Paul’s head, he looked into the eyes of a free man.

        We are not to be imprisoned by our mind, or held to ransom by our soul and emotions ; Nor by our past, and the wounds we may carry, or by wrong things we have believed in the past. There should be no chains of sin, nor of bitterness or unforgiveness. We’re not to be held back by what we were.

        Because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Romans 8:21

  7. It’s wonderful to be free! eh sis.

    On inner-healing: The Christian life is supposed to be a relationship to Jesus, not a relationship with your therapist, eh. So it’s not surprising that when people barely know Jesus that they run to therapists. Inner-healers are just Christian therapists.

    So, is Jesus a therapist? He is certainly THE HEALER, and the only healer, and that’s a million times better than a therapist.

    I think the issue is FREEDOM, not trying to “get healed”. If you are FREE, then you ARE healed. He who the Son sets free is free indeed.

    And, if you continue in my word then you are my disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.

    Progressive.

    This shows the THOROUGH dealings of the LORD in His disciples.

    There’s a big difference between His dealings with us as we walk with Him, and going to a Christian therapist for help, who will have his own ideas about what we need to deal with, and also his own schedule for dealing with them. The therapist takes the place of the Holy Spirit. (and this is true with many facets of christendom, where man takes the place of God in peoples lives)

    Its important to note that just bcos someone claims therapy “helped them” it doesn’t make it right.

    ——————————————

    Some observations about “inner-healing”:

    – It is often the route people take when they have refused to obey God. It gives them the second “option” of being healed without personally obeying the Word of God.

    – It often keeps peoples pride intact. A way to get healing without the humiliation of dealing with one’s rebellion against God.

    – People with this mind-set tend to think that when we give people the Scriptures we are being cruel and insensitive to their wounded condition. This actually REVEALS the REAL problem: they have a problem with God. The therapist “helps” them to get past this “blockage”.

    Here’s just a little bit of logic:

    How does one KNOW that there is something in their life they need to deal with?

    Does this knowing come from others?

    The LORD may use someone else, but the KNOWING can only come from the indwelling Holy Spirit.

    Now, if the Holy Spirit has alerted you that there is something in your life you need to deal with, why would He awaken you to the matter AND NOT GIVE YOU THE WAY OUT? – instruction as to what you should do, now that you are aware of the sin? He doesn’t do that.

    And, it is ONLY sin we need to deal with, not feelings, per se. If my feelings are sin, then the Holy Spirit, by the Truth of God’s Word, shows me what i should do.

    http://ianvincent.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/whats-it-like-to-be-truly-free/#comment-4213

  8. Amen – that’s beautiful – thank you Ian and M’kayla. I love how Paul’s teaching in Romans helps us understand that it’s not a matter of pushing bad thoughts or memories out of our heads or taking a stoic stance on those difficult matters. It’s faith alone, true belief, complete trust in the finished work of Christ which gives us freedom.

  9. Do you believe that people who go through this sozo and inner healing are opening themselves up to deceiving spirits that lie to them about things in their past? Then they get something in their mind and believe it to be so? After all..deception is deception plain and simple isn’t it?
    I know nothing about this “deliverance type healing.” I do know some who practice it..and o’h yes, there is a suggessted fee for the ministry of course. Your thoughts on this. Thank you so much for taking a stand.

    • Hi Tez.
      I believe anytime we practice things that are not outlined for us in the bible we can open ourselves up to the demonic. We are warned against following after other gods, of other “gospels” and worldy teachings and beliefs. Inner healing is a wordly teaching and is found in secular therapy. I find it odd that in the late 80’s and early 90’s so many were going off to therapy (myself included), and there were often reports of false memory syndrome. Remember that?

      If inner healing is necessary why isn’t there an example in the word? The Christian life is about forgiveness and discipleship. We cannot go through life, be it childhood or adulthood and not be hurt by others. It isn’t realistic. We aren’t taught to heal memories, but to forgive. And true forgiveness can only come through Christ. We are taught to be transformed by the renewing of the mind! And renewing the mind comes from studying the word, leaving behind the ways of the world and clinging to the Messiah.

      The only deliverance I am aware of in the bible is for those who are possessed of demons. But in the practice of SOZO, deliverance is necessary for any little hang up – problem – struggle, etc., forgetting that our lives as Christians IS a struggle and discipline!

      A fee? Keep the money, go have your nails done, your hair, or give it to the poor or your church. But don’t give it to these nuts.
      :)

  10. Believe me I wouldn’t go near this at all. I do believe that my loved one has been involved in this, and I do know people that practice this in their church, with a suggested fee for their time of course.
    These people can’t be transformed, or renew their mind if they never study the word of God for themselves, so I guess it is easier to pay someone who doesn’t have time to study either , because they are “ministering” to all of those that are less “spiritual”…….
    My heart is broken for her and I hold on to hope that she will be delivered from this lie she is living.

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  12. Thankyou!
    Found ya through Closingstages and am so grateful for what you do! I’m two months out of a WoF church, and before I left was gearing up to get invoved as a leader in some healing/deliverence thing like this. So grateful God removed me before that could happen, but there are so many who are decieved! Thanks again, keep standing firm and looking to that which is ahead! :)
    Blessings

  13. Hey guys….I’ve been going through my books today — and I’m looking at a book that I bought a while ago called “Abusing Memory: The Healing Theology of Agnes Sanford,” by Jane Gumprecht.

    It seems to be a pretty good resource on exposing the occult nature of inner healing. I bought a damaged copy really cheaply (for like $5.00) from Christianbook.

    I didn’t know if you knew about the book, but if not, it is another resource :)

    The author was in the Unity Church, which is very similar to the New Age. She got out of it.

    • I’m currently working on doing just that very thing, the exact same thing~ :) wow! Sanford is one of the names that came up in a search of the inner healing of the 70’s. Thanks for the tip.

  14. You’re welcome. :)

    The author does an excellent job of showing where Agnes Sanford got her information (from some Fox guy who was highly respected in the Unity Church.) It’s all occult stuff. The author states that Sanford got her teachings from Fox, and that Sanford praised Fox’s writing. Since the author grew up in a Unity church, she had the exact book that Sanford praised. The author quotes from it, showing just how heretical Fox was. It’s quite mind blowing.

    Sanford, I guess, is responsible for bringing the inner healing movement into the church.

  15. Hey…according to page 50, Agnes Sanford was spewing a kind of Manifest Sons of God theology — is it possible that William Branham and John Lake and other Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God teachers were influenced by her?

    Or….maybe it was just that the same demon revealed the same heretical doctrine to all of them.

    • It’s possible they got influence from her writings just as Ken Hagin Sr got his from Kenyon. I do believe in familiar spirits so to speak and believe they play a role. But at the very bottom of all these people and teachings is the one who is to some, the one world order, etc.

  16. A question: I have participated some in sozo but am very new to it. I have had questions even through the training and an unsettled feeling. And still do. And these writings only amplify that. A reader commented on opening yourself up to the demonic through activities like this which is what I fear the most now. Did you feel you had to do some “cleaning house” so to speak after leaving sozo? I am so confused, were I totally honest. I see fruit of freedoms. But hearing roots in new age only alarm me. Thoughts?

    • Tia, SOZO isn’t anything to mess around with. The more I pray about exposing it for what it really is, the more I see the danger.

      I will say straight up, get out of it now. Ask for forgiveness and leave all groups associated with SOZO, no matter the cost of relationships, friendships or emotional, personal attachment that you may have. this is extreme, but necessary. SOZO sounds good, but it is not what it seems. At the simplest level, it is not taught in the bible in any form, so what about this practice makes it Christian? NOTHING! SOZO is indeed taken from the new age, inner healing as has been talked about here.

      My experience led me to a very dark spiritual place, even tho in the beginning it seemed powerful and freeing. the peace I had in Christ was slowly replaced by something strange, battle-like, nothing like the peace I had known beforehand. It is demonic. It takes believers
      or would -be -believers from Christ into a practice that He is not a part of.

      True freedom comes in knowing Christ, through the teaching of the word, and through putting it into practice in our daily lives. It is laying down what we want in exchange for living a Spirit filled life, given over to holy ways. It is through to the renewing of our minds that we find true freedom in Christ, and in not using that freedom to again engage in sinful ways of the world. this is not an easy life. It is one with much sacrifice and pain. We see this evidenced in the life of Christ and his disciples, who gave all they had for the gospel to be preached. They did not live lives of wordly blessing or gain, there were no quick fixes or healing methods of SOZO for them. these points being the truth found written in scripture, again, how is it needed or necessary for a Christian today? It is not, because nothing has changed. SOZO is a powerful deceptive process grounded in new age, but also has part in the one world religion already forming. SOZO states loud and clear that what Christ did for us on the cross is not enough, more is needed for freedom. Heretical.

  17. I just found your reply today. In the days that have passed since I posted my comment I have fully removed myself from this ministry. Through the information presented by you and also others I was able to reflect and to see full well that this is not, in fact, of the Lord. I feel a deep sense of relief in my spirit; relief and gratefulness that the light has been shined and that I am not at all a part of this. I see clearly now that the apprehension I felt as I walked through the early stages of learning about sozo was the warning of the Holy Spirit. I feel like a weight is off my shoulders as I walk away from this mess.

  18. Pingback: The Shrewshape E-Mails/ SWOT Analysis:TOP SECRET! Copy to Our Father Below, Dracovox, Shamanazerr, Ishhopmaner and Other Trusted Tempters « Now…Through A Glass Darkly

  19. Just found your site, very insightful. I do have a question, I deal with a lot of children and young adults who were sexually abused as children, some as young as 4 years old. I believe in order for them to be released from a lot of spiritual and emotional “garbage” time has to be taken to speak of what happened and then help them focus on Jesus for full healing and helping them forgive and let go.I did not grow up in the charismatic world therefore I dont know much about “inner healing” but are you also saying such people should brush aside their traumatic past and not seek counseling? To be clear, I dont believe in dwelling in the past.

    Until reading your blog, I was unaware of all these “techniques” I simply pray, share Jesus and the scripture.

    • Hi Shula. No, I am not saying we should not have counsel. The bible says to seek it when needed. However, the type of counsel is where it can be problematic. I believe a child must be taught that what he/she endured was not their fault. They need to understand that people make bad choices, especially when they do not heed the counsel and direction of the Holy Spirit. It is also very important they know that God would not have wanted this for them and that it is not ok with Him. I also believe from experience in much pain and loss that God will allow these things to happen so that we can know Him better if we choose to follow Him. Much can be said here, but I am sure you see where I am coming from. The counsel given must adhere strictly to bible teaching and not step off into other ways, this includes visualization techniques which are used in inner healing counseling and in SOZO and like sessions.

      True healing comes only from the Lord and without that relationship with Him, healing and forgiveness is impossible. So, again, the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ applies here. I would love to chat with you about this some more.

  20. Thank you for this blog. Unfortunately, I have family involved with IHOP and Bethel. The changes in the their behavior has been disturbing and heartbreaking. For 2 years I’ve prayed to God for his timing to speak up. I finally did when my family member insisted that they needed sozo healing. All I said is that I’m very worried because these are occultic and new age practices. I told them that I love them and I’m worried about them and to please research this. If it’s not in scripture it’s not from God. Sadly, it didn’t go over very well. I’m the only one that was willing to speak the truth. I was told I am legalistic and judgemental. I only said something one time. Now they are completely avoiding me.I know it’s not my job to convict but it’s the Holy Spirit’s. I will keep praying for deliverance for my family. This is so hard and it’s scary.

    M’kayla, thanks again for this blog. It’s encouraging to read that God has delivered you. How long were you involved with sozo and how did the Holy Spirit lead you out?

    • Chris,
      I wonder what it is that makes that family member believe he needs healing at all. Aren’t our lives changed thru following Christ? The church has gradually gone the way of psychology over the last couple of decades taking information and advice from non Christian, non biblical sources and calling it right, good and needed. Christ is no longer sufficient for all our needs. Once we part from Him and turn to the ways of the world we will never be healed or free. One program is not enough, one healing session requires another, one problem presents another, there are reasons – doors that have been opened, roots that must be dug up and destroyed. Where has the belief in our freedom in Christ gone?

      His reaction that you are legalistic and judgmental is typical. When we confront with the truth it is us who have the problem – we are the Pharisees of our time, we need healing. This happened to me too. It happens to us all.

      I wasn’t involved with SOZO for that long. I had been a part of the healing rooms, the lead intercessor and associate director. I was put into the position of lead intercessor because one was needed and the person that felt that way did not step up to the job, but put it off on me. That was the beginning of a continued battle because according to him I wasn’t doing it right. ugh. Ungodly mess it was. We underwent a 6 week training course for the SOZO program that was specifically designed for our healing room. It was only after I left that I realized the process was based on teachings from Agnes Sanford and some others. The connection I made a little over a year ago while doing research was astounding. And the truth of what SOZO is – that easy for anyone to find.

      As lead intercessor my team asked me to teach them to pray. Let me make something quite clear. I am not an out front, outspoken in groups kind of a person. God did not wire me that way. I am a leader, yes, but a different kind of leader than what is needed for an intercessor. I was never comfortable, and was told it was what God wanted me to do and that He was bringing this gift out in me that I did not know existed. Blah. Such lies. But you see how this was an attempt at accomplish a need they felt the group had at that time. Oh, and intercessors, lead intercessors are considered to have a special connection to God that others don’t have. We have a way of hearing Him and swaying Him to do for us what is needed. Blah again. The battle that was going on was intense and I felt like I was being beat into the ground every day. I had stepped into something quite powerful, but although we used the name of God and all basic biblical truth, we were not of God. The demonic power over us was quite strong – it lead and we followed. It is a miracle that I came out because had I stayed I would have lost my sanity. I do believe that.

      So, how did God bring me out? I was on my living room floor with my bible and my notebook asking God to teach me to teach this intercessors to pray. That is where He began to speak to me through scripture – right there on my living room floor. At first I laughed Him off…”I know Lord, that is a good scripture, but that is not what I mean…” and then another scripture came, similar to the first – the fruit of the spirit is SELF CONTROL.

      The little bit of doubt that I had had all along began to grow. Then, Lakeland and Todd Bentley came about. I watched that man and his craziness, trying to understand why—-the way that man treated people made me angry. We do not treat people that way. I mentioned this to the healing rooms team. The man who felt I should be intercessor was angered at my questioning the man of God. The director said I probably was in need of my own healing. See how this works? See how God was trying to show the truth? Here I was, this intercessor, leader, prophetic seer hearing, seeing a bit of truth and they were fighting against it.

      After that, Todd fell, and I was so bothered by the entire thing. I began to research determined to find out what happened. I did not accept that God would bring someone to do this massive revival and then allow him to be run out by burnout. That very word burnout did not sit with me. So I went to the computer and the more I read the more I needed to know. The entire thing of what I was involved with exploded. Three months later I resigned from the healing rooms, and the prophetic team at the church. The things that went on, the supernatural hold on me was horrendous. To this day I know they only way I survived was by the power of God.

      Not all experiences of coming out will be like mine. We had some specific demonic manifestations going on. I had visited a couple of fire tunnels, accepted many “impartations”. I still wonder about demonic oppression/possession in myself and in the people I worked with. The one remaining thing that rings true is that I know that I know…God will bring us out if we are truly searching for Him. If we are searching for the power or the gift to heal, to have dreams and visions, fame, to be known by men we will find what we long for. And it will not be God. This is why I always encourage people to pray for the lost and the deceived. While I don’t believe in an end time revival, and do believe we are seeing the end time apostasy, God is still bringing people out of charismania, as He is still saving souls thru Christ. WE ARE NOT DONE YET!

      I hope my words bring you hope in Christ for your family Chris.

      Be well.

  21. Wow Mkayla! Thank you for sharing your story! God is faithful. You turned to the Word of God and He showed you the truth. Again, hearing stories like yours gives me hope for my family.

    My sister in law has had a really tough life. She keeps talking about all this trauma she has had in her life. She is constantly depressed and crying. Just doing daily normal tasks she cannot cope with. I’ve listened to her and tried to help all I could by pointing to scripture’s.

    She has chronic health problems. She seeks healing prayer. In fact, she’s been told she’s been healed but then it comes back. All of these people telling her a joyful, robust health is right around the corner for her. But, everyday she is getting worse. Her mental state is deteriating. These last 2 years, I’ve had health struggles of my own. I was mad at God. I wanted God to meet me on my terms instead of me meeting Him on His terms. I was struggling so bad. It wasn’t until I said, “Lord, I give up. I can’t live like this anymore. Forgive me. May your will be done. I ask for your strength since I have none anymore”. Not too long after it was like this darkness lifted from me. Am I completely healed? No, but God has shown his grace and mercy to me and my attitude in how I deal with it is different. I had to let go of what I wanted and how I wanted it and give it to God and say I trust you. If I never feel better again, I still want to say Blessed is the name of the Lord. My sister in law knows my struggles and she’s seen the difference in me. I’ve shared much of my journey with her but she doesn’t want to accept it. She’s told that Jesus died on the cross to offer physical healing. That God wants to do all these things for her. I’ve told her look at what He’s already done! For we our reconciled with God because of our Savior shed blood.

    For the last 2 years, I’ve seen just an empty shell of the woman that I’ve known for years. I love her dearly but she is a bit self absorbed. They moved to be near IHOP and lived there for over a year. They’d go there daily to the prayer room. She’s been back home for over a year now. Last week she mentioned that last time she felt God’s joy and presence was back at IHOP. Then she told me she desparately needs sozo healing since she has had a traumatic life. Right then I knew I had to speak the truth.

    The tricky part is that not only is my sister in law and her husband involved in this, my mother in law introduced her to this cult. My mother in laws best friend is a sozo healer. My husband is so hurt that they are involved but didn’t want to say anything because he doesn’t want them to cut us out of their lives. It’s a valid concern. Family functions (if they still have anything to do with me) have just gotten more interesting.

    I’ve been in agony for 2 years not speaking the truth. While I’m sad and worried for them, I do feel God’s peace. I gave them the seeds of truth. Now I put my trust in the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to them. I’ve been researching and gathering scripture’s and doing my homework. Most importantly, I’m praying.

    The whole Todd Bentley thing is so disturbing to me. In fact, isn’t Bill Johnson trying to propel Todd back to being a minister. If they were in the word, they would know that a minister who has an affair is banned from the pulpit. He shouldn’t be an elder. And while we should forgive, he has no business preaching to anyone. This is a huge red flag that so many ignore.

    Thanks again M’kayla for this blog and sharing your story. We need people like you to talk about the dangers. I know one day the truth will come out in God’s timing. I pray that those who are deceived will repent and put their trust in the Savior.

  22. Chris, your story is amazing. Praise God for His faithfulness to you, and thank YOU for sharing. I pray that God deliver your sister-in-law and any other relatives you have out of that falsehood, and that He bring healing to you and sustain you. Your willingness to walk as He wills is an amazing testimony of faith in Him.

    I had been thinking/praying about your first post, when the LORD reminded me of the prodigal son (Luke 15:15-32). Your second post, especially in relation to your sister-in-law, is such an illustration of this parable.

    The “peace” she is experiencing at IHOP is of the flesh only. It is a type of fleeting emotion that Hindus/Buddhists/charismatic Chatholics and others are able to reproduce easily. If it were an internal peace, such as you have, brought about through faith in Jesus Christ; it would not come and go or depend on any external environment. As you have testified, true inner peace has little to do with our external environment. She has choosen to starve in the field while she watches the pigs eat. There is a spiritual starvation that occurs in churches that are passing off a false “jesus”.

    But God is faithful. I was in that place of spiritual starvation for a time. It all looked so right to my eyes, but my heart was aching and inside it was all wrong and uneasy.

    As with the prodigal son, our Heavenly Father waits for us to “come to our senses” and realize the state that we are in spiritually. He doesn’t chase us out into the field of swine and feed us. Better to allow us to experience the starvation in hopes that it will drive us back into His loving arms. Don’t give up hope! God is faithful (and incredibly patient), even when men are not.

    My favorite part of the prodigal son is this:

    “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20b)

    Such a beautiful picture of the way God welcomes us home!

  23. just1ofthis,, thank you for you post and your prayers for my family. I really appreciate it. It’s been really hard especially since I was silent for so long. I heard a sermon recently about the prodigal son and it really helped me. God is faithful. The fact that my sister in law is struggling so much right now, I can’t help but think that God is trying to pull her out.

    The more research I do about Bethel and IHOP, the more it makes me sick to my stomach. I listened to Bill Johnson “preach”. He’d quote a bible verse, dance around the context of the verse, talk about his visions and prophecies and he we can perform signs and wonders. Basically that is what he thinks the bible is about. Nothing about Jesus, nothing about the recognizing that we are sinners. I’m so sad that he’s leading so many people on the wrong path.

  24. My name is Daniel and i am 38 years old. I want the entire christian world to know the magnitude of the damage that these deceiving techniques did to me. I was severely traumatised and ended up in a psychiatric hospital because of my time in this deceiving ministry that is destroying lives. I could write an entire book on all the things that i went through at Elijah House Ministries. The teachings are very deceiving and sound true. I walked into Elijah House Ministries in 2006 and did the course for three years. The Daniel that walked in there in 2006 is not the same Daniel that walked out of there in 2009. I walked in there completely Holy Spirit filled. I had Joy and Peace and the love and fire of the Holy Spirit. I was a very positive person to be around and a very good encourager. I walked out of there traumatised, brainwashed, and not remembering who i was. I was diagnosed with Psychotic depression and schizophrenia and put in a psychiatric hospital. I was put on medication because i believed i was the antichrist and that the whole world was going to hell because of me. I was tormented with blasphemous thoughts against the precious Holy Spirit. And this is just a drop in the bucket of what i went through. I would have to write an entire book to describe in greater detail all of the horrors of what i experienced there. I am recording a Youtube video on all the things that i went through there. I am warning the christian world that these inner healing techniques are not from our God. I have not uploaded the video yet but will do so within the next 2 weeks. You can find it under “Daniel Ercilla” on Youtube, or under “Elijah House is a cult”. Today is Monday 7/4/14. Within the next 2 weeks my video should be up.

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