A Note re: SOZO

The following is a comment I placed on Craig’s blog regarding sozo. I wanted to share it here just to reiterate the truth –

I was trained as a sozo minister under a local prayer and healing room that I had been a part of for several years. I administered this process to a number of people and I also went through my own sessions. I can attest these sessions can be quite powerful. I also underwent another type of prayer taught at Bethel, but the name escapes me, which was every bit as powerful as sozo.

I was amazed at the amount of visions which occurred during these sessions, and the presence of that spirit that even invaded my dreams and thoughts during the days surrounding these sessions – the messages that came so quickly that I could barely write them out, often resorting to sketching – a new thing for me – in that effort to capture all that truth being revealed. This was often the occurrence whether it be my own sessions or that of another person I got these messages and visions! We were in awe of the power!

Stand back and look! Look to the word. Because in all its power, in all those visitations and visions we will never find this process defined for us in the bible. We will never find an example or story or teaching that requires us to visit our past or find a root for our troubles.

We are told to repent, to forgive and not to look back.

This is how we can tell if this procedure or any is from God – is it in the bible??? Pretty simple isn’t it?

Sozo is a practice from what we can term as New Age, it is found in pagan circles, it is found in those who practice visualization techniques that were so popular in pop psychology of the 90′s.
However, it is never taught nor practiced by Jesus or His disciples in the word of God. Once we shake off that sugar-coating and stop making excuses we see the truth. Sozo is a dangerous practice that should never be attempted by any Christian and that goes for any and all of these healing methods.

Sozo is a great example for Colossians 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

Sozo participants – you have indeed been cheated from the truth and freedom found only in Christ Jesus through His death and resurrection in which he claimed – “It is finished!”

Repent and be restored!

180 thoughts on “A Note re: SOZO

  1. Never had heard of Sozo prior to this. Kind of glad about that too…
    Is Sozo any kin to contemplative-type prayers?… It somewhat sounds like it might have the same kind of dangerous ending…


    • Sozo is many different things, basically it is guided imagery and visualization techniques the same as used in secular therapy. Simply, it is to revisit the moment of pain-abuse-suffering and ask “jesus” to speak into that moment. It plays on the truth that the Father is good and a good father would not have His children suffer. The word tells us through Jesus’ words that we will have pain and suffering and that He has overcome it. And we know, because we have read the bible, that many do suffer. So, instead of repentance, forgiveness, and the practice of a disciplined life, we have a “magical moment” in which the pain is “wiped away”.

      Keep in mind, those who are caught up in the hyper charismatic often find themselves in situations in which they feel “stuck spiritually”. Sozo is also used to break them free so to speak. You’ve probably heard someone claim they need a “breakthrough”. In a nutshell it is one deception playing upon the other.


      • Hi Mkayla, interesting Blog, and thanks for sharing. In the church I am attending, there are Sozo “practitioners”. I’ve known of many who have been through Sozo sessions. It bothers me very much that a church who claims to be a Bible teaching church would allow this practice to operate in the church. The first time I heard of sozo, I could see “new age” written all over it.


  2. Mkayla
    I was previously unaware that programs like Sozo were accompanied by such a tangible presence as you have described.Is it that this is the secret behind their popularity.Its not difficult to understand why people endorse these things, they mistakenly assume that because there is a spirit present that it must be the Holy Spirit , and in reality this probably represents the level of discernment in any given church. The churches that are so dead that any sign of life is seized upon as being proof of the Spirit. Iam reminded again that the coming of the lawless one is with all lying signs and wonders, and as you have already stated, if its not in the bible, its not on.


    • Ray,
      I can’t say this is the case in all sozo programs, but it only stands to reason since this tangible presence is felt in meetings already it would again appear in sozo. This is the way we could explain those who claim to have been “touched”, as they claim a feeling of a presence, the sensation of warmth or immediate peace, etc. This is who they claim the Holy Spirit to be. But notice, true healing does not take place.

      I had been convinced I needed sozo because the Lord wanted to give me a higher level of healing in the death of my daughter. I questioned this higher level of healing thing because it didn’t sound like something of God. After the sozo sessions every thing the Lord had done for me in the past seem to fade away. I was losing the real peace and having it replaced with this false one. It created in me a need to repeat the process or get the next message, etc., much like the need for the next prophetic word. It’s like it will not stand on it’s own, it needs another dose to live.

      Yes, it is a lying sign, it is a false peace brought on by the one who seems to be an angel of light, but is the deceiver.


  3. I had once also opened myself up to a false spirit. I asked for “words”. They came. I had pages of them. When I learned the truth that I was listening to the enemy….I burned them and repented.

    Dreams and visions also subsided, but I was oppressed for awhile. Complicating and contributing to the matter was prescribed anti-depressants. They are dangerous and i weaned myself off of them.

    Research revealed that AD’s can stimulate the pineal gland just as eastern meditation does.


  4. As one who has lost a daughter to this non-sense, I believe she has listened to lying spirits that have lied to her about her family. A family that she once loved, but has now been devastated by the hurt of her rejection, even causing some who once professed Christ to turn from their faith.
    They believe they are the enlightened ones, on a spiritual plateau, with all of the answers, which are nothing but lies.


    • In thinking back so many years ago, during the Jesus Movement, there were some people who believed they had received messages from the Lord about me which were nothing but lies. I was only a young teenager at the time and no one would believe me, they believed the “words”. It was extremely damaging to me on different levels. I even went as far as to believe that other people knew things about me that I did not. It stuck with me for a good number of years. I was innocent of the things I was accused of, punished for things I did not do, and so branded, and further punished for lying.

      So, yes Tez, I now see the connection between these “words” and the lies. If these spirits can lie about the truth, they can lie about anything. Don’t give up on your daughter. God is much more powerful and His truth goes much more deeper than the lies of these demons.


  5. Mkayla, it sounds like you were experinceing what is referred to in occult circles, automatic writing. Which I would do when in the occult — thinking I was writing the oracles of the universe. These things are witchcraft indeed. And as you say, if it is not in the Bible then it is wrong. Period.

    Some years ago, we were in a church who was using Karen Maines book which was the latest new thing back then. In it she told about having “visions” of seeing “jesus” as a slobbering little bald head imbecile. I kid you not! When my husband and I went to the preacher to warn him of this apostacy — along with others creeping into the church, we were told it was best to leave. We left.


    • The connection between the (false) church and the new age/occult becomes more and more amazing to me all the time. It is out of control and I wonder what it will look like when the end finally comes. I am glad you came to know the real Savior Jesus Christ! 🙂 AND I am glad to know you.

      hugs 🙂


  6. Is Sozo affiliated with John & Paula Sanford? Before I learned of who Jesus of the bible was, Calvery, shed blood, the Cross I was told by a “minister” I needed healing and wanted me to spend a week with these people in Washington state or Oregon, because God told them I was a bad person and needed to be set free from something in my past. That percription could have been dangerous


  7. Yes, Mkayla, God spoke to me 1John:4:4 recently one night as I was praying. The enemy is a foe to contend with, but God is greater! I have to remind myself of this, when it all seems so hopeless after almost seven years of no contact and given no reason for the rejection and not knowing where she is or how she is. I must remind myself to put all of my faith, hope and trust in my Lord, who is able to do what seems impossible.
    Thank you for taking a stand for the truth.


  8. M’Kayla, Have you written more about this in another post? I’m just curious to learn a bit more about it because I know someone who is having his church go through this training. When you mention “tangible presence” what exactly do you mean?


    • Hi.
      https://mkayla.wordpress.com/2009/06/19/inner-healing/ This is the only other article I put up a long time back. It isn’t real specific on what to expect in a session. I’ve written about it in the comments on various articles when a question was raised but I’ve never written about it in depth. I never got around to it, but Closing Stages has done a three part series on sozo. I can recommend the information! I do know it is the same thing as secular, and inner child healing techniques, for example.

      Tangible presence refers to the presence of the spirit that is felt in charsmania meetings and prayer sessions. It is wrongly is attributed to the presence of God or the Holy Spirit. It can be felt and heard, and usually manifests before the warmth, buzz, shaking and falling down – kundalini – begins.


  9. Thank all of you so much for putting information out on this dangerous practice. There’s always something new, it seems, when it comes to fleecing the flock. More ominous, however, is that some Christians I’ve know for thirty plus years are caught up in this. I don’t go to their church, but am wondering what they have/have NOT been hearing from the pulpit that would have allowed them to so easily follow after this latest in the “inner healing/New Age/extreme prophecy, etc., etc., movement? I believe the “watering down” of the church via the “seeker friendly” movement, for one, has contributed to the lack of the “meat of the Word” that would help people stay away from this nonsense.


    • Christine, I could write on this all day long! But in a nutshell, this has happened because people no longer read the bible for themselves and neither do their pastors. If the word is our meat to feed our spirits, and yet we neglect it, we begin to starve. And instead of going back to the source of spiritual nutrition we seek it out in other more satisfying areas – the flesh. We can no longer weigh what is true to God because we haven’t read His words! No amount of false teaching, false prophecy/supernatural encounters can satisfy, and so we continue to go back for more and more and more, each time falling farther away from the truth. The church is indoctrinated to accept any thing that comes along for the gospel because it has strayed from its source for so long a time. We have been told by the big and important “Christian” leaders to accept others even though they do not hold to orthodoxy. So, we have a little Catholicism, a little New Age, a little eastern religion, the occult, etc., where the root of all is Satan. As America was once termed as a “boiling pot”, so is the church. This may be ok for America but it is never for the church. The leaders say to unite, God said to separate. New Age teaches a new way to God but Christ has said He is the only way to Him. How I wish true believers would do a mass exodus from the churches! Maybe then the pastors would return to shepherding.


  10. I would add that part of the problem is the passive listener environment of the basic ‘church service.’ There is no true discussion, no place to ask for clarification, so the ‘church goer’ gets in the habit of passively listening….although I totally agree not learning how to study the Bible for ourselves is part and parcel of the same…

    I am not anti-Sunday morning service (I attend a local gathering), but I am very frustrated that there is almost no open discussion where people are really free to hash it out in a genuine way- that’s been my experience anyway.

    If other people are experiencing different, it would be an encouragement to me just to know it exists. Sorry if I sound cranky.


    • I don’t know of anyone who has the ability to speak out during a “normal” Sunday morning service. Of course we can’t count Ian in that! 🙂 I too, would love to hear differently, participate differently! 🙂 No crankiness, just honest……righteous indignation….?? 🙂


    • I am involved in a wonderful group of believers that share and speak openly. It’s very akin to how the Bible describes the early church in Acts. Is a matter of fact, the early Acts church is the model for our group. And really, if you are seeking such an awesome situation, you can really just start it in your own home. The point is that you have strong believers in the true Word of God who are the backbone of the group. People who are like minded and who know when something is getting off or when someone who comes is not of the right spirit. Of course, the solution is not to run them off necessarily, but to love them, to disciple them, for there are many who are new baby Christians who “think” they know what they are doing, but don’t realize they are running around in the street into traffic, just like any child might do if unattended. Our purpose is to love, instruct, guide, love some more, not judge, answer questions, believe in, disciple and love. 🙂 I too go to Sunday morning conventional service, but man, I so love that in our small group we ALL share. We ALL contribute what God is speaking into our lives, we ALL learn from one another. Not just one man regurgitating His time in the word, in prayer and in preparation, but each of us spending time in the secret place, abiding in Him, and then coming together and sharing together. It’s a beautiful thing!! And what results from that is that when we go out into our “world”, the workplace, or where ever, we are ALL capable ministers. Not just lazy christians who get fet once or twice a week because it’s the thing we’re supposed to do. The spoon feeding season really needs to end. The model of our Sunday church is ALSO not found anywhere in scripture, fyi.


      • jesusnetwork, I agree the model we see in our churches is not what is described in the new testament, but set up after the Catholic church. We have been breeding famous men and women, many who are nothing more than gurus, hirelings. The bottom line in any meeting place is the proper application of scripture because we are living in times when we see the secular, the occult, and other religions have permeated the church with great applause and encouragement, regardless of the setting.


  11. Well I don’t know if it’s righteous indignation, probably more like- as my son used to say when he was little- frusseration.

    It’s the way I learn, too. I like to have a REAL discussion with people who aren’t afraid of tough questions or differences of opinion- or at least listen to such an open discussion. Convince me, but convince me with scripture please! Silence me, but silence me with a selah moment, not an angry look of irritation that says ‘how dare you question me.’

    Ok, I’m a little bit cranky, but a lot of bit HUNGRY!


  12. Hi..I went through a sozo session myself. I was reading the testimony of what happened at the top of the page. Did something bad happen to you because of the sozo? There’s a gap in the explanation of why people shouldn’t be involved in this. I’d like to know how you came to the conclusions you came to. Did someone convince you with proof that sozo is extremely dangerous? I sincerely want to know since I did go through a session. You mentioned that people need to repent, but I’m confused as to what they need to repent of. When you said a spirit invaded your dreams at night, what exactly happened? I’d truly like to know more details as to why people shouldn’t do this. Thank you


    • Jill,
      The key is the bible. Where in the word are we told to undertake practices such as sozo? I went through a six week course to become a “sozo” minister. Many years ago I went through inner child healing techniques through a therapist. The process is strikingly similar and I have come to the conclusion that the practice used in sozo (and other inner healing techniques) are taken from these “new age” I-can-heal-myself practices.

      The bottom line is a scream out that Jesus Christ is not sufficient to bring us healing and we need something else, something more to accomplish that task. God does not show up and perform on the whim of a man, but Satan will be happy to step in. These practices are demonic because Christ is not in them. Often times we are called to live under dire circumstances. Things happen in the lives of Christians so that they can become Christ-like in surrendering the will, the humanistic “I want, I get” attitude that separates us from God in the first place. Consider the life of Christ, how He lived, how He suffered, the things He went without on a day to day basis. Consider also the lives of the disciples. They did not have warm and fuzzy lives. Christ told us we would have tribulation, but that He has overcome the world. So then why are believers so determined to escape the fiery process God would will for us to become molded for His purposes? The bottom line is a need for sozo and inner healing to escape these tribulations.

      Why repent? Because these things are not taught in the bible. They are taught through other religions. We are warned in the bible to have nothing to do with the things taught by man or doctrines of demons. These are the teachings that are brought in under the name of the Lord, but are not found in scripture.

      Colossians 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

      Yes, I had many experiences as a result of my involvement, not just in sozo, but the healing rooms, the teachings, the prophetic, dreams and visions – I developed fears I did not have previous, I lost the peace the Lord gave me – freely – in the loss of my daughter and began to experience a new depth of grief that was not previously there. I had many visions and dreams and some “visitations”. This is the same stuff all these “ministers” brag about! At first it was all quite fun and very powerful. But they became more violent and dark and I began to question all of it. Only the power of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit can bring people out of this deception. Since you are involved I will urge you to do some serious research and prayer in these matters. Truly, they are nothing to play around with.


  13. I am so glad that I came upon this discussion of sozo. I have researched it–as much as is possible because there isn’t very much out there on it yet–and I continue to do so because some dear friends of over thirty years have become heavily involved in it. They refuse to listen to any biblical refutations of the practice, claiming that it’s “straight from God.” And recently a young friend has rented out his house, quit his job and taken his wife and three little children to Bethel church in Redding to receive more training in this practice (at quite a cost). I e-mailed and talked to him personally before he left in the hopes that I could in some way talk him out of this, but to no avail. I told him I will continue to pray for him.

    I used to work for a minister who counselled people out of the cults (in those days, 25 years ago, the cults were outside of the church; now they are inside), so I understand a little bit more than the average person, perhaps, about what constitutes a cult or the occult. It was my job to keep the files and write the newsletter. Sozo meets many of the classic elements of a cult: Charismatic leaders, “special information for today,” the paramount importance of emotions and experiences, lots of extra-biblical revelations and beliefs, and a distancing from the basic tenants of Christianity. In addition, the pastor at Bethel church in Redding, CA, Bill Johnson, who is one of the key figures promoting sozo, is aligned with many of the extreme prophecy VIPs and other emergent church/post modern/contemplative notables.

    I agree with M’Kala: search the scriptures for evidence of ANY of the practices in sozo, and you won’t find it, and least not in a positive sense. In addition, takes notes on what scriptures the leadership does use (and misuse). Look them up for yourself to see the CONTEXT. That is all important. In addition, you will be greatly blessed as the Lord will enable you to not only see where the errors in sozo are, He will also fulfill His promises with regard to His Word, that it will give you understanding and wisdom and guide your way. God bless you as you emerge from this damnable heresy.


  14. Thank you to M’Kayla and all who shared their insights and experiences. My church plans to have the leadership go through the Freedom Tools book by Reese this summer and I will present this information to them. Pray with me that this can be stopped.


  15. Kathy, I will be praying for you. God knows if your exposure of the errors of Sozo to your church leadership will bear any fruit. But they might not have the discernment, yet, to accept the information. Once again, this stuff is very powerful emotionally and physically. The young friend I referenced in a previous post just wrote all of his friends up here (in Oregon) that he’s quit his job completely, now (he had just taken a leave of absence before). He is keeping his wife and three small children down there another year for more “Sozo training. And here is an important piece: he had been the area director of Young Life which, as I just learned, has been dabbling in Emergent/New Age/Contemplative authors and their practices for about twelve years, now. My young friend has been set up for some time, then, to be sucked into this. As my former boss (who used to minister to people coming out of cults) said, the more a person gets involved in a cult, the harder it is to leave. Sometimes, it’s as simple as that, even though he or she might be beginning to have doubts.


  16. Hi M’Kayla,
    I’m really curious about any negative experiences you may have heard concerning Sozo. Could you email me? I’d love to chat about it.


  17. M’Kayla, I am SO glad that I got out of that little Bill Johnson church that I told you about recently. This was something they were really emphasizing that I go through with them. He (the pastor) kept telling me that I “looked very familiar” to him. I had never met the man in my life. He kept asking me where he might know me from. I told him I can promise that I had never met him. Eventually, he told me it must be his “spirit” that recognizes me. The Holy Spirit in him I am guessing is what he meant. He prayed over me one time. There were many things said that fit situations in my life. Heck, a white feather even starting floating around above my head. He screamed that it was an angel feather JUST FOR ME. Wow. I can’t believe how close I came to getting invloved in the SOZO.



  18. Just wanted to let everyone know that this sozo is the same as theophostic healing. They just changed the name, and thats a way that the enemy does to further his foot hold in the church. Another thing or two about these so called healing techniques that send alarms off in my soul is they charge lots of money to learn how to minister to others. This is forbidden in the Bible. You don’t charge for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Also its dangerous to try to heal someone who isn’t ready to forgive or someone who isn’t born again and also if they are born again haven’t turned their will over to God ( crucified the flesh) which takes growing and maturity in the grace of God. The Bible warns that seven more (demons) will come back and worst will be that persons condition than at first. No where in the word does the Lord Jesus practice memory regression to heal. What happen to fasting and prayer, Jesus said these don’t come out but by prayer and fasting. I personally haven’t gone through these healing tech. but I know lots of people who think that this is awesome way to get set free. And I know of two women who have gone thru this and one said she got healed from a female problem, but she still has lots of other heath problems. The other I warned about this stuff and I was present when she allowed another take her thru and she had serious repercussions, lots of darkness and oppression for quite a while afterwards.
    My question to all those who believe that sozo and theophostic healing is, ” How did all those get set free in the past ?” and ” What happen to the will of the Holy Spirit” To me it seems they want instantaneous Holy Spirit and order him around. It isn’t severally as the Holy Spirit wills anymore.
    I could write more on my experiences in the church concerning but I don’t have time.
    Love in Christ


    • Two very good questions, Beth! Sometimes it’s simple logic that sets one free of a false notion. And your testimony of the “healings” that went awry are even more powerful.

      The last time I talked with my friend who is heavily involved in Sozo, she was adamant about how these days we can have “instant healing,” that we no longer have to “wait.” (Presumably, she meant “wait on the Lord.” Rather presumptuous.) Yet ironically, a mutual friend who was prayed for last year for breast cancer and declared healed through Sozo, has had a recurrence of the cancer…with a vengeance. So sad…


      • Phyllis,
        Thanks for your sharing/reply its good to know that your not the only one getting alarms. Also, I just talked tonight with a real baby christian that I was working with this past summer and she was looking around for a new church and I asked her where she had visited at and she told me of two places . One she liked the worship, but a girl there was trying to talk her into learning Sozo. This church had become the local area Sozo healing center according to my roommate, who thinks its from God. I said, to my roommate Jesus didn’t use Sozo and how did people get delivered before Sozo? You know that the baby christian had more discernment than my roommate that has 30 yrs in the Lord. When I asked her what was the Holy Spirit saying to her about getting involved , she said that it seemed too instant and that she wasn’t getting an ok with it. I said GOOD! I told her that I would share my other concerns about later when we could talk in depth.
        By the way, they charge lots of money to train for Sozo, that is from the ladies at Bethel in Redding, Ca. The one that trains for Theophostic down in Minneapolis, charges hundreds. What happen to not selling the anointing. The gift of healing is a gift. If God wants you healed or delivered from a demon, you are to call for the Elders to anoint you and pray, then wait. Maybe you need to repent from some sinful behavior, etc. Maybe Gods wisdom that you wrestle/suffer with it for while. One example, being my addiction to smoking/nicotine. I did not get instant deliverance even though I went for prayer. It took doing it the hard way, like chewing nicorette for 3 yrs and suffering. I was so mad and hurt because I thought I was going to get set free like Bam! And I felt really rejected by God because others seemed to get healed and set free, but I didn’t. But God spoke to me later and said if I hadn’t let you suffer, you would have went back to smoking because it had been too easy to quit. And also I needed to be held accountable for all those years of ruining my health. I sinned and the consequences are hard to live with, but God was just and righteous in how he dealt with me. He is awesome in all His ways!!! I learnt so much more in the suffering than would have otherwise.
        Love in Christ Jesus


  19. So… is: “inner healing” biblical?


    But healing the brokenhearted (Lk 4:18) is; confessing sins to another and prayer for them is (Jam 5:16); casting out demons is (Mk 16:17); setting up godly defenses is (Eph 6:10); speaking prophetic encouragement is (1 Th 5:20); taking thoughts captive is (2 Cor 10:5); releasing the captives is (Lk 4:18); forgiving is (Eph 4:32); seeing a vision from God is (Acts 10:17); renouncing past sinful practices is (2 Cor 4:2); being led by the Spirit is (Rom 8:14); asking God for miraculous input is (Jer 33:3); bearing one another’s burdens is (Gal 6:2); wanting freedom is (Gal 5:1); speaking truth to someone is (Eph 4:15); setting free the oppressed is (Lk 4:18); hearing directly from the Holy Spirit is (Acts 16:7); knowing and saying God is near to the brokenhearted is (Ps 34:18); comforting the afflicted with what God has shown us is (2 Cor 1:4); and… well…you get it.

    Honestly, If another name would help some who fear the whole thing I would be happy to call it Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!


    • Andy, if you were to take all of those points of scripture and study their true meanings, still they would not add up to SOZO. It is not a matter of fear. It is a matter of me – who was a trained SOZO minister coming to the truth of it through the word of God. SOZO is not taken from the bible. It is taken from healing methods and thought based on other religions and their ways – aka – new age. It was brought in by people claiming to be from God where were not, accepted by people who should have done serious study of the word of God and did not. The blind lead the blind into a ditch and both are lost.


  20. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. he has sent me to proclaim FREEDOM FOR THE PRISONERS and recovery of sight for the blind, TO RELEASE THE OPPRESSED, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:18-21)

    I have a friend who went through a SOZO session led by a good friend of hers who is deep in the teaching. It has done nothing for her except lead her deeper down a path of spiritual bondage. Why? Because the focus is not on the gospel and the Word of God, but rather on seeking out a “vision” of “jesus” to help her shut any doors that are open to the enemy in her life. That is a fruitless journey with no end that puts no faith in the power of God and the truth of His Word. So now, this friend looks to the past in EVERYTHING. If she is ill, it is because she didn’t forgive someone 20 years ago for calling her names. If she is hurt, it is because she has a relative who was chronically mean to her and hasn’t dealt with the emotional scars. And so on and so on. She recently suffered an illness that she quickly attributed to her past and spent a great deal of time going on about all the wounds her heart has suffered, obsessing over them and what she needed to do to get past them. It is spiritual bondage. So now she must go and “spend some time with the Lord” to help her understand it all; which “translated”, means she is going to go someplace and “empty her mind” and “let God in”, forget picking up the Word of God and simply reading it.

    Jesus has already set the captives free. If we simply believe in His Word and trust in Him, then we believe that; we take every thought captive to Him, and look ahead to His coming. Our pasts are forgotten, both how we have hurt others (we’ve been forgiven!) and how they have hurt us (it no longer matters…we gladly forgive!). None of that garbage is coming into His Kingdom; if we are rolling around in it, then we are not truly set free in Him, and we will not be able to share the gospel in truth with anyone else.

    SOZO is a trap of self-indulgent spirituality. It’s fruits are evident enough.


  21. The Bible says in John 4:24 that “God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth.” We are also told in 2 Peter 1:20-21 that “For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 1 Cor 14:1-5 says this: Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.

    Is it not possible that Sozo is simply an operation in the giftings of the Holy Spirit…including the prophetic which are all so clearly stated in the Bible? We must test everything…but we must also trust that God CAN and WILL work through the spiritual realm. Spirit. Truth. They can work hand in hand and, as 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 says: “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.”

    I pray Ephesians 1:18-19a for anyone reading this discussion thread today…which says “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”


    • Terri, none of the true gifts of the Spirit are at work in SOZO. The reason why we know this is because SOZO was not mentioned or taught in the bible by Jesus or his disciples. We come to repentance, created anew thru Christ. This is a process of turning away from our past in all of its forms. We are not to go back and “heal hurts”. This is the work of the work, secular and new age type teaching that was brought into the churches. There is a great difference here. God does not operate thru man made ways. Please be careful.


  22. God also doesn’t charge a fee. Bill Johnson, on the other hand, is making A LOT of $$$ pushing his psuedo-new age programming on to unwary people. That is BAD FRUIT.

    True deliverance is free, complete, and based in simply putting faith in the Word of God through Jesus Christ. It comes through a loving a devoted heart spending time with the LORD in His Word. How simple is that?

    A quick trip to ibethel store answers the question for me of whether SOZO could be a move of God or not. If this is what God had in mind, then the book of Acts would tell the story of Peter and John and Paul and how they set up an awesome store with all the books they wrote on miracles, their trips to heaven, running a deliverance ministry, healing, and getting “drunk” in the spirit. It would tell of how they sold those books all over the world, made a ton of money, built a lavish church for God, and put on great stage shows.

    Just compare what these people are doing to the account that we have of the early church in Acts. That will clear it up in a hurry.


    • just1
      I continue to be amazed at the people who will flock to these false teachers rather than to simply accept what is freely given to them by the Lord, for the asking in accordance with His will. This is how Jesus prayed and taught His disciples the same! We have a direct connection to God thru Christ, we do not need a go between, other than the Holy Spirit. Yes, there are instances in the bible where elders and leaders laid hands on others, but for the sake of carrying on what was entrusted to them.

      Sozo is a false method of healing, which will never bring true freedom, only bondage to deceiving, familiar spirits who control the SOZO sessions. People, there is no difference here than in going to a psychic or medium or seeking words from the dead. Christ is not in this! And we better stop to consider the scriptures in the old testament and in the new warn us of these practices. They do apply here!

      God does not operate under man made programs, agendas or man made healing prayers. God is the designer – He is the Creator, the author and finisher of our faith! We cannot develop our own way, nor can we pull ways from other religions and expect God to move. In addition, these sessions can be quite powerful, misleading people to think it is God. There is a supernatural realm that Satan and other spirits work though that are in direct opposition to God. Satan does not care how he deceives, as long as he can be successful in pulling us from God, he is satisfied. We have so many well known and sought after, trusted “ministers” convincing believers they need to be healed. Why? Is this taught in scripture? No. It is not. We have become a society who think they should get what they want when they want it. That is not the design God created. We wait on Him. We suffer because Christ suffered and warned us we would have tribulation. When we seek to overcome our troubles without seeking the Lord who has overcome the world, we lose out on the process of growing in Christ and are out of step with God’s will. Listen, too much of this and we will not see God. One cannot follow after a false teacher, hear them at the podium, download their podcasts, listen to the music, etc. and not get caught up. We must ask if we are willing to lose our salvation for a short lived feel good session. And, yes, I do believe a person who willingly seeks false teachers and all that goes along, can lose their salvation because they have traded it for the way of another god.


  23. I am a member of an Assembly of God Church in south Jersey. They are starting to introduce sozo to the parishioners, and encouraging them to get “sozoed”. I have been recently “sozoed” and must say that it was disturbing. I have been through secular counseling for childhood trama and this, sozo, is counseling. Dangerous counseling. I would compare it to a fox dressed in a sheep’s coat. All I can say is buyer beware.
    Now my problem is do I approach my Pastor and his wife about my concerns. They are both fanatics of sozo. I like the Church and it’s members, but I am not going to be a part of these unspiritual rituals. Am I over-reacting? Can anyone give me some guidance please. I am praying and discerning fior God’s guidance also. God bless to all!!


    • David, NO you are not overreacting. I was a trained SOZO “minister” and went thru my own sessions. Yes, they are very dangerous. What is it that you would like help with? A good place to start is questioning WHERE this method is taught or practiced in the bible. It is not. It is taken from new age type therapy, inner child work (if you go back a couple decades). But the major question to pose for anyone in defense of SOZO is the one I put out just put out there. So, let me know what it is you are thinking and I will be happy to help you.


      • All those who want to hear a great apologetic warning on Sozo / theophostic healig. Check out
        Bob Dewaay at Critical Issues Commentary http://www.cicministry.org / go to radio/ go to bottom of page and click show all programs/ scroll down to theophostic healing PT. 1&2. Also Bob does several teachings on false doctrines that have surfaced in the spirit filled church. If you listen to him you will get set free from a lot of fears . Also Bob use to be a deliverance minister back in the 70’s and saw all the false teaching / philosophy along with other moves that has brought deception. Trust the God !! He will set you free in his time.


  24. Pingback: Sozo Prayer: Biblical or Mystical? A Practice from Bill Johnson’s Bethel Church… « Heritage Christian Ministries – Las Vegas

  25. Thank you so much to all the people who posted here on Sozo. My husband and I recently started looking for a new church. I thought I found one and then they approached me about this sozo ministry. At first I thought sounds good. Then I came home and researched it and thought maybe not. Then we never went back to that church. So we went to another church and loved it. About a week or two later if that long they had the word sozo in their bulletin and talked about how great it was. I was skeptical so I decided to try to ask more about it. I talked to the girl who would perform the sozo. She almost had me talked into it. But something inside me just felt like it wasn’t right. So I changed my mind and looked it up in the Bible and guess what it doesn’t exist. I was told by a dear friend of mine years ago that if it isn’t in the Bible then it isn’t truth and isn’t from God. So I approached the girl again and told her I didn’t think it was Biblical so I didn’t want to do it. She said she understood but then gave me a paper with Bible verses on it. I looked through each and every one of them. Yes they were real Bible verses but nowhere did I see anything that mentioned Sozo or anything of the sort. I am so thankful for posts like these that confirmed my relunctance to participate in such a false healing. Thank you all. Cheryl


    • Cheryl, it is always good to know what is said here is helpful to others. Thanks for the comment – and I am happy that you escaped SOZO. I have to wonder what the SOZO’d “church” will look like in 5 years. We keep praying for deceived believers and every so often I hear a story of someone coming out. Only God! Praise Him!!!


  26. Hi, today is the first time I heard of Sozo. A dear old lady who goes to my small young church (held in a school hall) got invited by her daughter to a Sozo meeting in another town. Apparently the trainees need people to practise their healing/deliverance techniques on. Because she can’t go, my dear old lady rang me up to ask if I wanted to go. It sounded interesting, so I talked to her daughter, who enthusiastically told me that Sozo is all over the world, originating from Bethel CA. ( I live in New Zealand). So I googled it. I came up with lots of different web sites for the practise, and then this site of M’Kayla’s. I’ve read all the comments, and am pleased some of them are current! It does sound kind of cultish. I was involved in Siddha Yoga a few years ago. This was after the leader Gurumai disappeared from public, yet even to this day the fervor of devotion carries on and the organization continues to fleece people of their money.. Siddha Yoga is Buddhist, not Christian, but I was reminded of it in reading these comments about Sozo. I admit I’d like to go to the Sozo meeting tomorrow, from an investigative standpoint. Just curious, you know, to see what happens. But I can’t, because I don’t have a babysitter for my wee puppies!


    • Christie, SOZO isn’t cultish, it is demonic and very dangerous. I would not have anything to do with it, even for “investigative” purposes for reasons already discussed here. Please don’t take chances.


  27. HI there,
    I recently (two weeks ago) decided to leave Bethel church in Redding, CA. I moved here two years ago, specifically to become a part of Bethel. Also, I was seeking emotional healing (I never had a Sozo during all that time) for the loss of a family member.

    I think that my involvement with Sozo cost me my livelihood, and my involvement with the Bethel church leaders nearly cost me my life – they used so much witchcraft against me (lies, manipulation, intimidation) that I had had a very recent run-in with two of the leaders – this was on a Sunday. One leader was being very nasty (she was using manipulation) she was a female pastor at Bethel. While her husband had been rudely starring at my breasts *while I was talking to him* – like I was some woman in a porn magazine – he is a pastor at Bethel as well – he leads the marriage ministry, to make matters 10x worse.

    Anyway, I was very distraught that this man who leads the marriage ministry *would stare at my breasts* **while I am talking to him** for like 12 seconds – it was not just a glace. It was total, like, inappropriate. To make matters 10x worse – I done a seminar – for single people (I am a single gal) that he & his wife lead. *During that seminar* they have people who have gone through sexual abuse STAND UP and they pray for them. Now, I have gone though minor, minor, minor things. However, wanting to be 100% clean, I stood up.

    So, it just really disturbed me that this guy/pastor from Bethel (enter “wolves in sheep’s clothing” logo here) would have access to this inside information (I told this lady this story and she said – “He was just just scanning the crowd for next victims” I have no doubts that he was. He wanted to know. And he’s a perve) and then purposely be inappropriate.

    Anyway, I so that had happened that day. And then I was also thinking about something Beni Johnson had told me – totally fear-based (witchcraft)

    Then I was in a car accident!!! Okay, accidents happen, yes, but I am a good driver/never been in a car accident!! I think it is strange that I was thinking of all of these things (witchcraft things) and then was in a car accident…while I am, like, distraught over these things.

    Hope you all are well.

    Oh, here is my question. I still live in Redding , CA. I am thinking of moving to Canada, but for now I am still here. I began attending another church in REdding, CA. I had an appt with the women’s pastor this week – but I think she is “pro – SOZO” (Plus, her daughter did BSSM) Do you think I should try to find another church???


    • jupeter24,
      Wow. That is quite a story. I am so sorry, saddened for you and ANGRY that this goes on in the name of our Lord! These people are being steered by demons and there is no doubt that sex is a part of it – maybe subtle – but it is there.

      I hope you will only take these things to the Lord in prayer for a time. Let Him guide you through His word and let Him help you make the right decision. Going from one church to another is hard and finding out the new one is it cahoots with the old one can be devastating. I would say give it some time before you take the plunge and see if there are people you can meet with who feel the same as you. If not, don’t despair, God is still with you. I learned more outside the church after I left than I did when in it. God will not leave you to starve my dear.

      Stay in touch, huh?


  28. Hi M’Kayla, thanks, however I didn’t get ‘demonic’ from any of the comments including your own. I did get ‘cultish’. Cults are certainly dangerous for people who are open to being influenced by charismatic powerful leaders, mostly because of low self esteem and problems that they want someone else to fix. However, ‘demonic’ is a rather strong word. I guess you mean ‘from satan’ as opposed to ‘from Christ’. I hear what you are saying. My pastor in the tiny church I attend always tells me to read the word of God, the Bible, and make that the basis of my faith. No other exploration or practise, just read the word of God, and discuss it with fellow parishioners.

    But I am always looking for new ways to ‘awaken my inner being, my connection with God’. I am a new age child, and have always been interested in the new age techniques of visualization, affirmation, & immigination. They have not worked very well for me, but I still have a stronger feeling of belief in them than in confessing that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savoir and so I shall be saved from my sins. Please forgive me for spouting off this to you, but I am really seeking to come to an understanding, to feel the ‘peace that passes understanding’. I am searching for it through my tiny rural church and my humble pastor. I think I am a thorn in his side, because I still keep questioning that backbone of Christianity, that we must confess that Jesus died for our sins, and then we are saved. This is a Christian site so I am sure you won’t mind my rambling. Can you with your excellent writing skills please explain to me the simple straightforward guiding line for Christians living a life of faith, excluding practices such as Sozo that lead people astray from the truth. I thank you.
    And by the way, I will not be going to the Sozo meeting tomorrow, because my wee dogs take precedence. I’ll be staying home to take care of them. But I am still curious.

    Thankyou for your kindness. That’s what Japanese people always graciously say. Origato.


    • Oh – Christieeee – this puts us in a different place for conversation, huh? I don’t know about my writing skills, which are far from excellent, thanks anyway. LOL The simple straightforward guiding line is the bible, the word of God. It is our go to so to speak.

      You struggle with the fact that you are a sinner, separated from the mighty Creator and Father God who gave you life, who spoke the worlds into existence – and all that we see…because why? Pride. And that pride is in all of us. But it is true, we are in need of Jesus, we are in need of forgiveness and when that faith comes, even tho we do not understand it, our lives are changed. We become like the one who died for us through the leading of His spirit who he left here to lead, counsel, direct us, and who also convicts us of our sin. We have the promise and the hope that we will one day live with Him, in a place that is perfect, without sin, without pain or fear or dying, a place of no more tears. Unfortunately, for those who choose to deny Christ waits an eternal hell, full of horrendous things, torture, completely separated from God and from each other forever. Many laugh this off these days because we think we have become so self sufficient. But all we need to do is to look around and see the destruction we are causing here, how things are getting darker, people are becoming more self involved, unloving. It is all written in the bible to understand. Christie, you will never have that peace that passes all understanding until you repent and come to the Lord. So I say these things to you but also to urge you to understand that God loves us all. Christ died because of that love. Surely you have already heard John 3:16? The old testament speaks of the one who was to come, the Jewish Messiah, and yet when He did come many rejected him. He was not what they had expected because they were not giving heed to the teachings. They had their own idea of what they and the world needed. Not so far removed is the new age which teaches we are our own kind of gods completely capable of change, love and goodness. It is not possible. We are not. If so, the world would not look the way it does. God did not create man and women to be independent of Him. He created us to be with Him in relationship. This is only possible thru Christ. I hope you get this.

      John 14:7 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

      As far as the other thing, maybe you do not see it as “demonic” because you don’t have the understanding in this that I, and some of my readers do. Yes, there is cultish underpinnings. The bible doesn’t speak of cults. It does however have much to say about manipulation which is witchcraft in the eyes of God. And it does warn about being deceived by others, of doctrines of demons, etc.

      Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

      2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables.

      There is much more that can be said.


  29. Hi M’Kala,
    Thank you for your thoughtful response and the time it took you to write it. You are so right, it is an endless subject! I am interested in your viewpoint because it really seems to reflect my pastor’s viewpoint. He keeps telling me that God is a loving God and just wants to be in a realtionship of trust with us – trust similar to what our own children feel for us as parents. And that reading the Word of God is the simple way to truth and life. And that Jesus Christ died to save us from our sins…and as you say sin can be defined as pride, that is the belief that we ourselves know better. Which is what caused Satan, who used to be one of the angels of God, to fall. And I am intrigued by what you say about the new age teachings that tell us we are ‘our own kind of gods’ – that we have God within us and if we can only tune in and tap the power of God within us, we can be, do and have anything we set our minds and hearts on. You say this is only possible through Christ. That’s what my pastor says. Let me admit I don’t get it yet, but I do see a glimmer, or to put it another way, I am like a baby who wants the teat but has trouble latching onto it.

    I am also confused about repentance. Is that what the ‘confession’ is when you confess that Jesus Chirst is your Lord and Savior? Because what i gather is that all you have to do to be saved is to believe that Jestus died for our sins, and then all will be forgiven. Which is what I balk at because it just doesn’t seem logical. So maybe I’m not getting the repentance part. But in saying we have to repent, I hope that doesn’t doesn’t bring on a whole lot of pyschological guilt and regret syndromes!

    Sorry, I’m getting in over my head here. And sorry if I am on the wrong thread of your blog. I only found you two days ago, and today I was checking out your other threads. I don’t see how you find the time to answer everybody’s posts! But I tell you what, it is good to ‘blog talk’ to someone like you who has been a Christian and a seeker for a while. It frustrates me that during fellowship at my little church, no one talks about the broad, fascinating, conflcting subject of the Christian faith, but instead just chit chats about hum-drum weekly trivia. Though I do guess that it is easier to write than to talk about deeper subjects, since more thought can be put into it.

    Anyway, thanks again! Origato.

    PS When you say (paragraph 2) “We become like the one who died for us through the leading of his spirit who he left here to lead, council and direct us, and who also convicts us of our sins”
    You mean , and who also ‘forgives’ us of our sins – right?


    • Christie,
      To repent is to realize that we are sinners standing before a righteous and holy God. It is to recognize that simple truth, and that no matter how we try, what we try we cannot escape the fallen nature Genesis 2-3 which was the original sin separating mankind from God. And even after having been given 10 commands on how to live – Exodus 20, still not able to live that way! Try as we might, no matter what we think of ourselves we fail miserably. Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. So, it is to come into that agreement with God and turn from those ways, realizing the only way to God is thru believe in His Son Jesus Christ. Once we turn we continue in this walk with Him, continuing to cast off things of the flesh, empowered only by His Spirit.

      Perhaps you are struggling because you are trying to understand too many things. We cannot without the power of God. Consider these scriptures:

      1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not in wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made void.
      18For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God.

      We cannot have the beginnings of a full understanding until we do repent and then God will give us a mind to begin to understand Him and His ways. And I agree, to our fleshy minds it is not logical. Again consider:

      Isaiah 55: 1Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.

      2Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.

      3Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live: and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.

      4Behold, I have given him for a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander to the peoples.

      5Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not; and a nation that knew not thee shall run unto thee, because of Jehovah thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.

      6Seek ye Jehovah while he may be found; call ye upon him while he is near:

      7let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto Jehovah, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

      8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah.

      9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

      10For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, and giveth seed to the sower and bread to the eater;

      11so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

      12For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing; and all the trees of the fields shall clap their hands.

      13Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir-tree; and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle-tree: and it shall be to Jehovah for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

      God has His ways that are His and we do not always understand them, but we can be assured His ways and thoughts come from a much higher place than from that of our own. God sees everything from beginning to end and nothing is hidden from Him.

      You said:

      And I am intrigued by what you say about the new age teachings that tell us we are ‘our own kind of gods’ – that we have God within us and if we can only tune in and tap the power of God within us, we can be, do and have anything we set our minds and hearts on. You say this is only possible through Christ

      I must clarify that I did not. Please re-read that section in my previous comment. I did speak of new age thinking, being our own “gods” with the power to do things, make things happen. But I didn’t say that we could have anything we set our hearts and minds on. This is not true. However, there are preachers out there, many of them, who are false teachers, liars and wolves that teach that very thing. But it is not God’s design that we get whatever we want. It is not His way to make us all rich. It is His desire and His will that everyone come to know Him. What I did say is that you will not know the peace that you mentioned until you know Christ. Peace, not worldly desires. It is not in our constitution to save ourselves, but the new age teaches the day is coming when that will happen. It is a lie. I am not an expert on new age. I did some research on it because my investigation took me in that area. I can see things in the church that have been taken from new age thought and they are dangerous and not of God. We find these teaching in what is known as Word of Faith, taken from the Law of Attraction. I don’t want to confuse you, but there are people out there who are out to destroy the gospel and the people of God. They come in His name and are quite successful. This is why Jesus warned to not be deceived by them. The NT is full of warnings. But this is not our true topic!

      So, Christie, repent and the time of cleansing will come. You will be reborn, a new creation through the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit will begin to teach you the ways of the Lord. Repentance is the first step and these things will be open unto you. It is through His power, His will, His might and not our own. 🙂


    • Sorry, left this out – You said:

      PS When you say (paragraph 2) “We become like the one who died for us through the leading of his spirit who he left here to lead, council and direct us, and who also convicts us of our sins”
      You mean , and who also ‘forgives’ us of our sins – right?

      Yes, through the leading of the Holy Spirit. Jesus left this earth, but His Spirit remains here with His followers to guide and teach them and also to convict the world of sin. I always like to point people to these chapters to get an understanding of who the Holy Spirit is and how He operates, in the words of Jesus, as He was teaching His disciples – John 14, 15, 16.

      So when we repent, we turn away from our old lives and ways, we turn to God who teaches us how to live. It is not enough that we “confess” we must also follow. And if we love the Lord, then we will follow Him and do as He says.



  30. Christie again, M’Kayla

    First, thanks for all the bible references. You are obviously well-versed. And the bible is the be-all and end-all reference for the truth.

    Second, I can tell you that I repent regularly throughout any given year, and all of us westerners do at the beginning of a new year. Ha! From Websters New World dictionary: Repent: to feel sorry or self-reproachful for what one has done or failed to do; be conscience-stricken or contrite. To feel such regret or dissatisfaction over some past action, intention, etc. as to change one’s mind about. To feel so contrite over one’s sins as to change, or decide to change, one’s ways; be penitent.

    You say that no matter how hard we try, we fail miserably in living the way God wants us to. So is that what the confession is – to confess or admit that we can’t change on our own, and therefore to hand over our repentance (desire to change) to Jesus Christ, and in an act of faith believe that Chirst will help us to do the impossible, that is live a life free of sin???? You say that “when we repent, we turn away from our lives and ways, we turn to God who teaches us how to live. If we love the Lord we will follow Him and do as He says”. This means that we can then make the right choices (freedom of choice) when faced with decisions in our lives – something that is impssible for us to do on our own? I suppose it’s a gradual process, and we are never free of sin, but because we hand the process over to God, we get to go to heaven in the end. (Heaven and hell is something else I would love to talk to you about!….But I know you are busy and have heaps of people you reply to, so I will just say this, thanks for your input so far, I’m pretty impressed, and God bless you!)

    You are right, that I try to understand too much, that is grasp it with my mind, But this approach is necessary, to avoid getting caught up in all the ‘false teachings’ such as new age thinking. On the subject of new age, if I may I will run by you some titles of books I have read to get your feedback: Eckhart Tolle – The Power of Now; Depak Chopra – The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success; Rhonda Byrne – The Secret; Louise Hay – The Power is Within You; Lyn Grabhorn – Escuse me, your life is waiting.

    If you haven’t read any of those books, never mind.
    Thanks for your input to my posts, I value it greatly. Keep up the good work!


    • Christie, I did read The Secret, but I no longer have a copy. this, and the rest have nothing to do with The Lord. In fact, they will lead us from Him. I know The Secret pegged James Ray as an expert in Native American ways. Yet, at his trial in the death of one of his followers in the sweat lodge his attorney argued that he was no expert. this gives us an idea of what these people are made of.

      I’m happy to talk with you about anything. If I am slow to respond its because I am working 12 hour night shifts and am trying to let my brain adjust. 🙂


  31. Pingback: International Church of Las Vegas (Paul Goulet) and Bill Johnson Connection « Las Vegas Apologetics and Apostasy Watch

  32. M’Kayla

    I’m guessing when you are referring to ‘Sozo’ here, you are referring specifically to the healing ministries program and practices associated with particular churches? Because sozo as a greek word is specifically associated on many occasions with Jesus’ ministry, in every aspect of sozo… salvation, healing and deliverance. As such, I think “sozo” ie that we can be saved, healed and delivered is not at all cultish… rather, is precisely what Christ came to do.

    I wouldn’t want people to think that there *isn’t* salvation AND healing AND deliverance in Christ’s name… that’s not what you are saying, is it?


    Liked by 1 person

    • Cate,
      SOZO is only one method that is used in these healing rooms and “ministries”. As pointed out, SOZO is taken from new age type beliefs and practices and not from the bible. Yes, Christ came to bring salvation and some were healed, as some still are. But not everyone will be. Nothing in my writing would lead a person to think I believe there isn’t salvation and healing and deliverance in Christ. SOZO is a very dangerous practice that has been brought into the church. We need to do the research to be aware of the truth that lies at the bottom of these ideas and not just fall in and accept it as truth simply because someone says it is. Simply, if it isn’t in the bible it has no place in our lives.

      Besides, where do we read in the bible that Jesus or His disciples took someone back into their past memories and had them visualize healing? Visualization is a strong part of SOZO and is taken from the occult, not the bible.


      • Stating a practice as biblical when it most definitely isn’t is quite serious. I will agree there is help in different types of therapy and they can be of benefit. SOZO is based on scripture which has been taken out of context. If you don’t think it is new age therapy, please do some research. Visualization is one of it’s methods and it is taken from healing methods of the 1970’s. The bible does not teach visualization! SOZO is a mix of psychology, new age thought and practice, scientific beliefs regarding the brain, and the bible. Christians should not have anything to do with it.

        After reading through your 17 additional comments I have deleted them. You believe that I am not to be trusted. Fine. That is your opinion, but I won’t have you endorsing SOZO all over my blog. Please do your research!


        • Hi Cate
          I really do think sozo is dangerous. This is from personal experience. I had a very abusive childhood and I was bitter towards my mother. When I was saved I prayed a lot about it and I noticed after a few months I no longer had the bitter feelings. The verse that springs to mind is John 8:36 So if the son sets you free you will be free indeed. Jesus wanted me to forgive I believe to heal me.

          Fast forward I started suffering anxiety was offered sozo, I didn’t know what it was and I ended up sitting dragging my childhood up and crying for 5 hours. It didn’t help me and I now feeling truly lucky nothing demonic stuck to me. You go in to an alpha mind set/altered state of consciousness, nowhere in the bible does it tell us to do this. In fact to the contrary Deuteronomy 18:10 and other verses.

          Please research and keep yourself safe.


  33. Thank you! Your post was timely and Christ centred.
    I have been considering having a Sozo session, but it never sat quite right with me.
    Some of my best friends have had sessions and they were full of good testimonies, but something always left me feeling concerned and unconvinced about the lasting effects… Peace… that wears out? That isn’t true ‘sozo’ healing! Jesus’ sozo healing peace lasts! The only thing that gets in the way of that peace again is my sin.
    I want true relationship with Jesus. Intimacy with the Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit. Not a one-stop-shop fix. Even if it takes longer, feels less ’emotionally charged’ and doesn’t come with the same signs and wonders.
    My relationship with Jesus will be the signs and wonders. As I repent, he will heal. And then we can move on into intimacy.
    Bless you sister!
    I am at rest with this decision, and just need to get serious about RESTING in the Lord in my quiet times, for the sake of intimacy and his glory, not my own self-help.


    • Bielle
      The only thing that gets in the way of that peace again is my sin.
      This is a very good point. One we should strongly consider as we seem to be entering a time like never before.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  34. I am at the end of my rope. Suicide is always on my mind. I have tried to turn to God with no relief in sight. I came across Sozo and thought it could possibly help me. I was contemplating trying it. Now after reading this I just want to kill myself more. It’s like every miracle/healing you hear about online people are always claiming it’s a false spirit. If that’s the case, what’s the point of living for a God that doesn’t heal and help us. I am 31 and I have had some tramatic things happen to me in my past. Maybe these demons maifested from that, I don’t know. I can’t live like this anymore.


    • A,
      Dear one. Demons? Are you sure?

      The Beatitudes
      (Psalm 1:1-6; Luke 6:20-23)

      3Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

      4Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

      5Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

      6Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

      7Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

      8Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

      9Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called sons of God.

      10Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness’sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

      11Blessed are ye when men’shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you.

      Luke 6:43… for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.

      John 16:33 These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye may have peace. In the world ye have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

      I can assure you my friend, there is healing in the Lord. It may not be physical, we may still suffer in various ailments. The healing comes when we lay our expectations down, and admit “Not my will, but yours be done”, the same words as Christ uttered before going to the cross to bear the sin of the world; to bear suffering and torment, tho He Himself was perfect without sin. It is through Christ that we can be forgiven and know God.

      I have had traumatic things in my life too. Many of us have. It is a chance to know God in a way that we would not had the tragedy not occurred. He never leaves us alone. Our problem is that we think we are deserving of better. It is a place of pride and we must lay that down for Him.

      How else can I help you?


  35. Hi, my church has gotten into Sozo prayer and any time it is discussed I get an anxious feeling. I have begun researching it, talking with people. I have found many people agree with my feelings. I feel that is confirmation of the feelings. My only problem is I do not have a set reason for not wanting to be involved in it. My only answer is it doesn’t sit right with my spirit.

    I also have issues in that it seems like there are a lot of secrets. I hear a lot of “tools” but no one will tell me what they are. Secrets to me are red flags that something is not right. Can you help me in this area?


    • Hi Nichole!
      You most certainly do have a set reason—SOZO is not taught or mentioned in the bible! It is not Christian, but taken from new age type practices of inner healing techniques including visualization which is used in the occult. These ideas have been brought into churches and para church organizations, widely used and accepted because of the lie and belief by Cal Pierce and Bill Johnson that the church needs to receive healing before it can effect the world the way God intended. This idea is in opposition to everything Christ became for us it’s claim is that He alone is not enough.

      I am not sure what you refer to in “tools” but in my thinking and experience a tool was a method to help accomplish the healing or breakthrough. In respect, SOZO is a tool, theophostics is another, etc. Also, SOZO uses what are also referred to as tools in its design. They are designed to find a root cause or belief to help rid the person of the ailment. In a worldly or psychological perspective they would make sense, but from a biblical one they do not. SOZO is nothing to play around with and to do so is to part from the truth of who Christ is in complete disobedience to the word of God.

      Ephesians 5:8For ye were once darkness, but are now light in the Lord: walk as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10proving what is well-pleasing unto the Lord; 11and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather even reprove them; 12for the things which are done by them in secret it is a shame even to speak of. 13But all things when they are reproved are made manifest by the light: for everything that is made manifest is light.


      • I had a sozo session yesterday. There was nothing weird or anything that would cause red flags. Basically 3 people asked why I was there and then they prayed for me for certain issues.


        • A, you have opened yourself up to some serious spiritual consequences. The red flag you have chosen to ignore is the simple fact that SOZO is not taught in the word of God. So what “god” do you think these people are praying to on your behalf?


      • You say you were a trained Sozo minister and yet you do not know the term “tools”? How can that be when that is quite a foundational part of their method?
        I am not saying Sozo is right or wrong – I have no yet decided. For as much as I read against it, I can find as much for it. I will continue to measure what I know about it against what God has to say. There are many many things going on in churches are that simply are not of godly origins.


  36. Hi, M’Kayla—I wrote you once, but I didn’t listen to your advice, and had an “Advanced Freedom” session at the local branch of Bethel in our city. It was a pretty weird experience. I won’t go into it (it would take too long), but nothing changed for me at all. Even the left leg (it is about 3/4″ shorter than the right due to a leg break that didn’t heal properly) that the facilitators supposedly “grew” was back to its original size by the time I went to bed. I have some kind of neurological issues that impact my speech (my neurologist still can’t give a diagnosis—that’s why I asked for the Advanced Freedom experience) and they’re the same as they ever were. I was left with a headache that I was told was “my brain realigning itself”—it sure did, in that I want nothing whatever to do with this church ever again. In the end, I think I got off pretty lightly. But I was so desperate for healing I was willing to do anything to get well.


    • Oh Holly, I am sorry to hear this. At first I was angry. But then I realized, who was I to be angry? I too, had a warning in my spirit for a very long time that I ignored. I appreciate that you told me and once I got over that little bout with pride I really felt for you. That’s my confession! 🙂

      There are just certain things some of us have to go thru that are hard. Yeah, we want out, but at what cost? Christ said there would be tribulation…but…??? HE has overcome the world!!!! We don’t like suffering, whether it is physical or emotional. But the truth is, if we allow it, our suffering will lead us to a deeper relationship with God. He is waiting.

      Let me know if you want to chat a bit about your experience. Are you sure you are OK????


      • Hi M’Kayla
        I get all your comments on sozo emailed to me. I would like to find out more specifically about sozo and I think they have a method called shazbar also. Could you find out in detail how the deliverance is done. The reasons is, I don’t want to pay them one dime to find out. I think they (Bethel, Redding) charge around $250.00 for the kit. Could you find some one who could find info. The last time I asked you, you sent me something generic and I know they do weird things. I really want to send it to some one who is a good apologist.


          • That’s what I’m trying to do by asking you. Details in the sozo methods are important in the critique.
            Sorry if I offended you. Just thought you could help, sister. I’ll try to find someone else.


            • EAB, if you read your previous message, it does not sound as tho you were looking for my help to answer your questions. If you have them, I will be happy to help you. The truth is, you don’t need a person, just the Lord. Inner healing, which is what SOZO is, has been taken from new age inner healing techniques. Simply, if one was to research the bible would it be found? NO. We make finding the answers harder than what it has to be.


              • I absolutly do not condone sozo or theophostics inner healing methods. So , I’m not looking for answers so that I can use the methods, I’m looking for answers so that I can defend the Word apologetcally against sozo. I think you have misunderstood my reasons for asking. I was warned about this theophostic and sozo healing long ago, I was just looking for someone that has been involved as you say you have to answer more detailed questions about the methods.


                • This link is everything I have on SOZO at this time. I haven’t put together a formal research taking it apart step by step. Every time I made an attempt something prevented me. If you read the information and the comments you will find much info. I also know of someone who is getting ready to publish, which will be made available too. I have read the work and it is quite informative.

                  I never said you condone SOZO. I pointed out the very bottom line – if it is not any the bible, why is it practiced? And, that it came from new age inner healing methods and teachers – Agnes Sanford, from the 1970’s is one of them, and the research I did named her as a primary source for bringing inner healing into the church. I have also made the connection to one I am familiar with – John Bradshaw and inner child healing, which was popular in the 90’s.

                  The basis of SOZO is to find the root of the problem – sin, memory, “wounding” and remove it. This is done through various techniques, the most bizarre and occultic is visualization. SOZO does not recognize that Christ is enough. It does not recognize the fact that we are transformed by the renewing of the mind, which is to be washed in the word of God, repentance, discipleship, which is to do as Christ taught. It does not recognize that Christ said we would have tribulation, but He has overcome the world. In SOZO, the source problem must be found and dealt with. So, it could be a memory, something from childhood, etc. There are many avenues. SOZO has many “tools” to remedy the problem, again nothing biblical.

                  There is so much to address, I cannot possibly to it in a comment. But in thinking about it, I am again presented with the thinking I should be working on it to get it out there. I know many people need the information and it makes me a bit sad that I have not done my duty, for whatever reasons I may have had.

                  If you have specific questions please ask them and I will do my best to help you. But also please go to the links because as I said there has been a bit of conversation on it. The link to the blog Closing Stages will give the best info so far.


                  • Thanks M’Kayla. I’m sorry if I came across defensively, but I’ve faced alot with other christain brothers and sisters trying to get them to see the deception. It’s has been heart breaking. I’ve lost a lot of relationships over this. Any help is greatly appreiciated. Bob Dewaay ( Critical Issue Commentay website ) has a great teaching on Theophostic healing ( article and audio), which is a technique most like Sozo / Shazbar, but I have not found anything on the latter. If I find anything I’ll pass it on to you. This stuff has infiltrated the Assembly of God in my area and the AGLOW ministry.


                    • EAB many of us have been through that too. It is so very hard. I love Bob Dewaay’s teaching! I know that Shabar is geared to working with “shattered” personalities, MPD/DID and for those who did not benefit or who were harmed by SOZO. Imagine. I’ve had questions on it but I don’t have experience in that particular mess. lol! I would think the process is similar with the same spiritually disastrous results.

                      I finally pulled this from my pea-brain – Godlee4Life


                    • I read Godlee4life, that was great. My comment is ” very pietistic.” I would love to see if Bob Dewaay would do a paper on this. I think I’ll email him and ask. God Bless you M’Kayla


      • Except for feeling a little confused and headachey for a couple days, I’m none the worse for wear from the experience. My neurologist, after my last Clear EMG test, says what I have is not ALS, at least. He thinks it may be Primary Lateral Sclerosis or Tardive Dyskinesia from a drug I took for many years and went off of at the end of November 2012 (when the symptoms stalled and have not worsened since). However, both he and my new psychiatrist (I fired the old one who had prescribed the drug) said thAt because of my age and the length of time I was on the drug, I may never get better. Except for my slurred, nasal speech, I’m fine—there’s nothing else wrong with me. Thank heaven I can still be understood 99% of the time. So of course it could be a lot worse!


  37. Pingback: “Mrs. P.” and the Gold Rosary Beads: The Danger of One Degree Off | pnissila

  38. My friend and almost mentor of several years has been digging deeper into the Word and wanting more, wanting to hear God’s voice, be healed of an ailment, and to grow. She loves the Lord so much, and hosted a class (she is much older than me but I’m under 30) on hearing God’s voice and a couple of the people who at the end of the class offered prophetic words to the students mentioned SOZO. The class had people from various churches in our region, and she has been going to two other churches besides the one we attend together. Those two she told me to try out and both have SOZO on their website and a sermon mentioned it. SOZO seemed strange from the little I could get of it so I decided to dig and research and compare to the truth of God’s word.

    I’m wary of these things from too much experience in church deceptions/ spiritual fights and even incidents with a local satanic cult at one point, in my childhood and teen years I witnessed. I also have some experience with secular counseling, psychotherapy and so on. Some other red flags popped up during my visits to these churches, such as a name of a prophet that’s fruit has been nothing but destruction. I read through this and looked at other views and criticism and I agree M’Kayla that nothing scriptural supports this, and I believe there’s nothing new under the sun as Ecclesiastes states. Gimmicks and ‘new’ methods, especially ones that charge money, to get closer to God should make one wary, aware, and want to go back to the truth which is God’s Word. Jesus, the Lord has the power to heal and as mentioned perhaps one is meant to not be healed until resurrection/Jesus returns – Paul wasn’t healed of the thorn in his side. I step on toes probably for this but also just because someone is learned in ministry(ies) and has upteenth certificates or has been a christian for 30 years or what have you does not mean they are spiritually mature, or walking with God, or that it’s God’s will that that person cure whatever it is. Nothing is simple and anything of worth takes effort. That person’s life, their fruit, and your own spiritual discernment God gives you as you seek it will show His truth and if that person is someone you should be seeking advice or whatever from. Our enemy excels in twisting scripture, mimicking the light (God) and deceiving. Too many churches and people today are so eager to try out the latest this or that without stopping to first examine it and try it against the Word of our God.

    I kind of got off topic, I’m sorry ^^; Anyway, this friend of mine, I’m going to start praying for her and God to give her discernment and show me what if anything I can do. I would appreciate your prayer and if you have any advice I am eager to gain wisdom. Thank you M’Kayla for being open and seeking to offer your lessons to others.


    • The best thing to do for your friend, aside from your prayer, is to ask her to show you where SOZO is taught, practiced or talked about in the bible. It only stands to reason, if Christ didn’t teach His disciples SOZO as He did the prayer we call The Lord’s Prayer, if Paul, who compiled so large a portion of the NT didn’t, then WHERE DID SOZO ORIGINATE?


  39. I have been a Christian for not quite 47 years and have seen lots of gimmicks and programs come and go, so when my church announced that they were starting something called “Sozo” I was curious but not all that impressed, or led to get involved. Last night, instead of having our usual praise service, we had a video describing Sozo techniques and a long discussion afterward. Their description of “visualization” techniques seemed to be pretty bizarre. Nobody has asked me to sign up for Sozo training yet, but if they do, I am prepared to answer, “No, I am not interested, and for two reasons: one, it is unnecessary. Two, it is unscriptural. The Bible says nothing about using carnal counseling techniques; instead it says our sufficiency is in Christ. So, no.”
    Now all the leaders seem to be pushing this thing, and in place of the usual Sunday night service, there was a video about Sozo and then a long discussion afterward.


    • On the point of carnal counselling techniques…. I couldn’t agree more. Suddenly our small church has a myriad of ‘trained’ counsellors. They have been to ‘christian’ counselling schools to study and then they totally oppose something like Sozo (which I am more inclined to believe is new age), all the while they are using carnal, secular methods. I for one an tired of being ‘counselled’ each time I speak with these people in my church….


  40. Reblogged this on My Word Like Fire and commented:
    Someone I love is at a new church. They have Sozo there…and I heard a sermon where the speaker (not the head pastor) does his best to cast doubt on the penal substitutionary atonement.


  41. I’ve never been involved with SOZO, but I have had encounters with “spirits.” Years before being saved by the Sovereign Grace of God, I was involved in Buddhism and the New Age movements. One time, while meditating (stoned) before a candle, I was taken into the presence of a god. I was in his throne room before him. He was huge, with glowing red eyes. He told me his name was Baal (a name which, at the time I was not readily familiar, though I should have been. But that’s another story). He told me that he had chosen me as one of his messengers, to spread his knowledge. (At that time, I and two friends were discussing opening a New Age Bookstore, we even had the name picked out, “Morning Star Books.”
    On hearing his dreadful voice telling me how he had chosen me, I (in the spirit) fell on my face before him pledging even my life in his service. To make a long story short, from that moment on, what had been a fairly normal if sin filled life, became a roller-coaster ride to hell.
    It was 3 years later, on the verge of suicide that the Lord came into my life and caused me to be reborn, a new Creation. For the first time in my life I knew unconditional love and after arguing with Him for sometime, I finally relented and surrendered my then pitiful life to God. Life has not been the same since.
    Life with Christ is not always easy, certainly not without “sin,” but it is most definitely different. Whereas before I served myself and the devil in all things, now I live for God (even if imperfectly). I am not the man I once was.
    Don’t believe just any “spirit” but do as His Word says and “test the spirits to see if they are of God.” If the “spirit” does not speak according to the Word, no matter how benevolent it may seem, how wise, how beautiful, or tremendous, it is Not of God and is to be rejected.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Thanks for posting this and to everyone who has contributed. Our church is using Bill Johnston material and itʻs causing my alarms to go off! Pray that our church and leaders will be open to hearing all this info!


  43. I’ve been reading online about sozo because several of my friends have been recommending I have one. Geographically. I will mention that i live across the country from California and have not been influenced by Bethel…didn’t even know who/what it was until I started researching sozo.

    I have grown up in the church, but have been feeling really disconnected from God lately. Now in my thirties, I am honestly questioning the basis of my faith, and feeling like I have more of a foundation in fear of hell or consequence than I do in relationship to God. I have attended evangelical churches from mostly mainstream denominations, so until recently I had never heard of sozo, and what I have heard is from women I met in a mom’s group, with whom I have now been friends for a couple of years.

    Here’s the thing: these women seem to be the most biblically sound women I’ve ever known. Someone said something in the comments about today’s Christians just listening and not really delving in to the scripture themselves, but that is not the case here. We have studied Scripture together, and immediately turn to the Bible when seeking to deal with life’s issues. Part of the reason I was drawn to these women as friends was because I could clearly see the fruit of the spirit in their lives; they seem to be so genuinely connected to God and that personal closeness to God is something I have craved, but have not experienced, even with regular prayer, bible reading (and memorization) and regular church participation throughout my whole life. This disconnect between “living a Christian life” and “experiencing” Christ is what prompted my friends to suggest sozo….to help me get to the bottom of “whatever is stopping me from hearing from God.” (I quote because that is what they said…but that’s also what I said…I DO feel like I don’t hear from God. Like, if I pray, I don’t hear answers.) And I will say that it’s been suggested, but no one is in any way pushing me. It doesn’t feel like much of the accounts of getting sucked in that I have read.

    So that’s where I an so confused. If a random person had mentioned sozo and I had looked it up online and come across everything I’ve read, I’d have easily dismissed it. But it’s coming from people I trust. People whose relationship with God I clearly see evidenced. I just don’t see how those two can co-exist?


    • Eileen, my heart goes out to you. The “hearing from God” or “hearing God’s voice” is a place of great struggle and error. We have the bible, which is the word of God, what is Christ, John 1, complete for all instruction – 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

      Matthew 10:1“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. 2“But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. 3“To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4“When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5“A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.

      7So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8“All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

      As for the two coexisting..God is allowing these things to take place. Matthew 13:24Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25“But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. 26“But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. 27“The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28“And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ 29“But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

      Surely, these women are deceived and God has brought you to the place to gain right knowledge according to His word to save yourself from the deception and speak the truth to these women you love. I would say to you to also put aside your “feelings”. You know you have gained salvation from the Lord. Most all Christians right now are going through the fire as the enemy is attempting to wear us down. Stand strong in your faith, and take your concerns to the Lord, resting in Him. We have all we need in Him, we are complete.

      Stay in touch! xoxox I will pray for you my sister. Do not have anything to do with SOZO! 🙂


      • I’ll second that! I didn’t listen and went through the Sozo experience—and it was the creepiest experience I’ve ever had—and I’ve had plenty, lol! Among other things, I was told I was demon-possessed and that “the Spirit of Jezebel” had entered me via my early sexual abuse. i was also told I’d need multiple Sozos to be healed. However, when I began to express doubts, they couldn’t wait to get me out the door. i was told I’d be contacted later, but never was, thankfully. By all means, stay away—use me as an example, if you have to!


  44. I posted earlier that our church was using material from Bethel. Actually it was a book written by Danny Silk, Pastor of Family Ministries there. After doing further reading, I called our pastor and told him of my concerns. I said that I could direct him to material like the articles here. He did not want to hear about them.

    I was particularily shocked when i looked through Danny Silkʻs book on parenting. At first, he has some guidelines that seem not too bad. Then i found a story he tells of his 8 year old son disobeying his teenage sister. Danny says that he tells his son that he has an authority in his life and itʻs name is Rebellion.He says he is going to help him with it. He then spanks his son (in another place, he tells people at a conference that he spanked him “hard”) then he asks his son, who can barely talk as a result of the spanking, “Is It gone?” His son says yes.

    I was stunned. Spanking becomes abuse if it is done beyond reasonable force(depending on the laws of the place you live). Then he adds spiritual abuse by telling his child that he is listening to a demon named Rebellion. Then he thinks he can beat it out of him???????

    OK, so what 8 year old boy doesnʻt listen to his sister??? He puts his son in a double bind where the boy must say yes in order to avoid another harsh spanking…..And he writes this in his book as an example of how to discipline kids???? I was horrified!!!! I am shocked that so many people write raving reviews about that book, can they not see how messed up the author is?

    A week or so after my conversation with the pastor about the book, I spoke to a friend from church and told her my concerns. I got a call from the pastorʻs wife a week or so later and was told that I was causing the devil to destroy the unity of our church. I was issued a gag order not to speak to anyone about the book, which I refused to comply. Needless to say, as a result of the spiritual abuse I have now experienced, we have left the church. It has been a very hard time for us. We had no idea that they were going to respond the way they did.
    Oh and I was also told that they are using Bethel worship music as well. God have mercy.


    • Kona, that is quite distressing. I hadn’t heard any thing like that until you popped in to let me know. Things are way out of hand spiritually, but to put this kind of thing in print…. How many children are going to be abused in this way in the name of Christ? Pay attention people. Danny Silk is not speaking from proper Christian practice in this book of his. Get away.


  45. I have a close friend who has has a sozo prayer session and is at a conference right now to learn how to do it. HOW can I get her to see how dangerous and not biblical this is?? She is convinced that it is of God. please advise!


    • A friend. You can’t. Only the Holy Spirit can!!! As her where she is reading this as experienced, taught or even talked about in the bible? And since it is not, what makes her think this is His way??? There is a lot I could say, but honestly, that is the bottom line, as simple as it is. And it really is that simple!! Aside from that, SOZO is a form of inner healing brought into the church in the 70’s by people who claimed to have been Christians. It wasn’t questioned and now here we are. Personally, I know it as being very similar to inner child healing if the 90’s. But, where in the word are we told to go back into the past??? PRAY!!! And feel free to chat with us here. Keep me posted!!


      • I researched and prayed and prayed about it, and I ended up confronting her on it, asking her questions she couldn’t answer, and telling her about my fears for her and my concerns that it wasn’t biblical……well, I broke up our little group of 5 friends. We were meeting every week to do a bible study and discuss, and because of me standing up for what I believe, our group broke up. I am saddened, but so glad I listened to the Holy Spirit’s promptings and said something to her. She and I do still speak to each other, but it’s not the same level of intimacy, because I do not trust her. She keeps inviting me to do bible studies by false teachers. I’m just keeping on praying for her!!!


  46. M’Kayla, Do you have any thoughts on prayer walking? The Lord recently opened my eyes to something I did with a “former” witch turned “Christian” that seemed straight out of the occult. We decided to “prayer walk” around a local church. This consisted of making a counter clockwise circle around the building and sprinkling water at the four corners. Between our prayers for the congregation and pastor she would put her hands on parts of the building and sense things that had happened there. I seriously get chills writing this. I was devastated when I realized what I had done and begged God’s forgiveness. I was deceived! I know some Christians do prayer walking and it isn’t that obviously occult but now I think I’ll just go into my prayer closet like Yeshua said. I don’t plan on participating in any prayer walking in the future. Shalom!


  47. Just want to thank you all for the comments on Sozo prayer ministry. I was in a six month healing program which I really disliked from week one. The honest, but not always confident, part of my spirit was steering me away from getting involved, but I didn’t listen, thinking I might learn something. For me it was a waste of time and I kept closing up and not responding to small group leaders . I guess they thought I was really messed up. The longer I went there the angrier I became. Others seem to have received help and “healing”.. The whole thing just gave me the creeps. I wanted to be discipled more on the Good News and applying it to our current lives as New Creatures in Christ.


  48. my mother in law was here and just recently joined a new charismatic church and attended a “conference” where she learned to guide people through a prayer and revelation including visualizing a river before the throne of God. She did this with 3 in my family. I opted out. I felt uneasy. She would ask them to write down what they were seeing and then show them the possible meanings of colors, animals, trees, etc that they saw. She didnt really mention anything about healings or sin much but I thought I heard her talk about Sozo at some point. IS this a Sozo method or a branch of it? It seemed a little odd to me but she was very impressed by what she has seen and the “visions” people are having that help them understand what God is trying to say to them about their destiny


    • Jackandcolleen, no, it isn’t sozo as I understand it, but a part of the false prophetic in which everything has a meaning or purpose. I studied these things under John Paul Jackson who sold “dream cards” with meanings of different animals, colors…just about anything you can think of. Yes, it all seems very real and powerful, but so does visiting a psychic. What’s the difference? Only the Lord knows the intent of the heart, he alone knows the future and we find not one word of this kind of “personal” prophecy in the book he left us to read and study.


  49. I was a part of a church here in Australia that practices this false teaching ….I had undergone a Sozo session which they had come to the conclusion that I needed to deal with abandonment issues to do with my father ….Personally I had felt that God had dealt with it years ago….A few years later my 15 year old son (part of their youth group) died suddenly…Knowing within myself that God was around the whole situation had put people outside my church around me….My pastor had performed my sons funeral then never came near us again only one family from the church stood by us….After about a year with some encouragement I approached our Pastor as they had started a LOVE IS OUR WEAPON campaign ….Our pastor would preach on being there for others…I was confused as to why our Pastor wasn’t setting the example he was preaching so I approached him about it ….He told me he didn’t have time to visit people each week(which I didn’t ask him to do) and that I had abandonment issues and saw him as my father figure thats why I felt this way….Even more confused as to how that had anything to do with the fact that he didn’t care enough to come near us after our son had died…I felt this Sozo experience was used against us to excuse his lack of love….He also told me that it wasn’t his Love language and he doesn’t express his love this way….Hmmm I came to the realisation that this love he was teaching was a false love not the Agape Love that God expresses to His children….We left this church I wouldn’t recommend anyone go throw Sozo….


    • Hi can I ask please which church that may have been?? As we belong to a similar one which I have recently pulled away from because of all this nonsense – ours is in Melbourne, what a heartless bunch of people especially that pastor!!!!


  50. Hi,

    Me 30 yrs in HIS majesties service, and HIS word and there is NOT a word of Confusion word, as HE said he will come to JUDGE the Church first. and what a job GOD has ! 🙂

    The person who leads ing this now in NZ form the UK “was a practicing Doctor unsure if they still practice or have their Certificate of practice up to date as all good doctors must.

    In saying this, once you allow yourself to be open to others, you need to realise they won’t feel they are ever wrong, SO BUYER BEWARE> They have used a Disclaimer form they use and make the clients sign before they pray over them, not sure if they use this for their victims here in NZ this keeping the SOZO un qualified giver safe, but the reception is not given any Legal stand or ground to IF things are spoken about them thats NOT true and believe me where you have well meaning Humans you will have error.

    it all depends we guess other than the high price christ paid for, on what other smaller price you feel willing your mind and soul to be upend up in front of others are really worth….. advice no matter who good it may “sound or feel” be of Christ stay away”…. as GOD is PERFECTLY able to HEAL you with out interference of those who just want $100 from you, then call it a donation is ben more twisted.

    SOZO jus simply a repacking of the warn out Toronto mixed Blessing.

    JEREMIAH SAYS ” Cursed is the man who places his trust I’m mortal men, and who heart departs form the LORD.

    so simply leaner to trust and turn to God…. If you need counselling Go to Professional Qualified\ who allow themselves to be accountable.

    GOD laughs at t hose make a mockery out of GODS words and brings it down to their own level to try and use at their deceptive human will.

    Rather Christ words gives clear SOBER instruction and WISDOM first… CHRIST makes HIMSELF true to all that call upon HIS name. ( not Sozo concocted hung over ways from the 90s Toronto mix blessing disaster)

    KEEP NZ Clean KEEP the deception out!
    Just another Money making back patting burping Venture…. time for Christens to grow UP in GOD and not expect others to clean up any mess they are in, simply Turn and Repent this saves $ then one can really spend on more worthy causes like good works like feeding the poor, or as the Bible explains what TRUE religion really looks like, that is to care for Orphans and Widows.

    Oh and I do not apologise or should others feel scared about the word “Religion” as is another word trap charismania’s try to pull….. they will hold a gun of words to your head and tell you must not use words like Judgement and Religion…. well if its in the Bible to explain what is true and what is not and one cannot share with tother Christians them selves whats GIOD says there is a problem with in the body it self… ( people to often out of context)

    I have had Sheep and Goats, and they DO eat differently…. Goats like to browse here not overly fussy what they eat or may pick up… while SHEEP like only to eat whats Best and drink from clean clean water. Thus 2 type of people.

    the Bible does not give you immunity from trouble , it shows you the WAY and the TRUTH through it and not the quick unpainful way all the time, no one RSISTS the devil any more there for there FUIATH MUSCLE HAS GONE FLABBY. Thus SOZO like a TV cleaning product can clean you up in 2 yrs! or better still if you di into get the Mesage aright with out them the first tiem you became a Christian , you can come back for just another $100 session….

    because if we all could learn the first time, then the people would not have gone all the way through the yr sin the desert, so there can be a pattern of dumb in all of us if we are honest, we like nice shiny things like Gold dust in their hair Barking like dogs and fame….compared the seemly do to plain and dull word of GOD, so SOZO has simply worked on the deficit in the human pushy as a means to cash in and control to make themselves look of some deluded false sense of Influence… I guess when others can speak their own minds, they are then called bitter and its all turn back on to you, when in fact you can see though all this sham.

    Ears have grown DULL people want excitement in GOD…. Christians doth want to lose people also any whom they may feel to hard to deal with, well SOZO will sort that out, um… also SOZO has a Disclaimer go do your Research peoples and read the fine lines.

    and shows any one who come to CHRIST HIMSELF how to stay away from Deception, as to often it comes form within from UNREPENTED SOULS.

    , as of rme and my House, I will use GODS word with out FEAR….. as the Bible says Fear only has torment.. and that we can say does not come form GOD as well…. ONLY PRiovebrs Says FEAR OF GOD>

    Mature Christens should not be arguing about all this, who ever a good Read of Cortihains makes a clear view on whats not New. and warns about.

    but hey thats not as cool as getting a high form JESUS. just more junkie sin the churches that when there FIRST heard the Gospel did NOT PREPARE THE GOUND to ALOWO THE SEED TO STICK…..

    Its as simply as this if you don’t breech you teeth every day then guess you will have risk of tooth decay….. Where has the PLAIN AND SIMPLY Preaching GOING, no were AT ALL in these Shalow Charlatans.

    Its time to speak UP and OUT it is as much of a sin to open it when not needed, it is extremely Crucial and spiritually life threatening not to be allowed to speak up “with out Fear of been shut down”.

    I was reading Bible and all the time the right Prophets who where true to GODs words and ways who had something from GOD ( not necessary damming either) where seen the Bibles says as idiots the Bible says ….. and heck well after all who wants to be a ” Uncool person” or called a idiot, yet thats what will happen in these days IF you SPEAK OUT against DECEPTION such as SOZO and DID happen in Biblically times, it did happen when so called Toronto rubbish came in the churches form USA as there was many who GODS said will come in HIS name but are WOLFS IN SHEEPS CLOTHING.

    way and told that they are to be AWAKE, WATCHFUL and DISCERNING THE TIMES because the times ar emote and more Evil…… One has to talk good one cannot critisise that snot christian, well if a truck of deception was coming your way or your child’s, you would MOVE out the way and tell others to as well once you feel others really sadly up to them to get out of simply stay apathictic.

    There seem to be so called words those who like to control others will they and say back to you.

    As the Bible says be READY with HIS word…. so much of the church has gone to sleep, they have either lost all sense elf Discernment, or simply have non in the first place….

    A) you will be told you cannot judge? I say who said this? that word judge is to often taken OUT OF CONEXT( point the finger is different from testing and making your own judgments about what IS TRUE and what is NOT by GODS view and words thats using Discernment to draw a line is to make judgement of good and evil. What foolish person simply sits there are swallows all thats given with out QS?

    B) You are to Love everyone because GOD does…. well yes, however GOD often tells his people what HE hates and what Grieves HIS heart and Spirit should be ours also be lead by.

    OLD and NEW testament…. brings Balance centring on Christ alone Crucified then risen not all this new age madness…
    IF we have the HOLY spirit in us , and what GOD HATE we are to keep away from those who are Profession to be one thing but act another way. ( we are in this world but not of it) GOD judgments are for those with in and the Hypocrisies HE sees.The Bible DOES NOT make people HATE, its the hardness of their HEARTS, and NON – REPENTED WAYS/

    I could not and did not want to believe after the so Called Toronto Blessing, which became a lot more mixed Blessings for many only brought out the Sin of many leaders and even then they carried on in their adulterous ways sleeping around with woman form with in Churches as well as trying to counsel others!! was well known in the 90s after Toronto came. So lest it EXPOSED from the so called top, those who feel they are on top, um well literally as well, men on top of others wives using their misplaced idea of been leaders while all along abusing womans bodes for their own pleasers in the Pentecostal Churches after all this UNHOLY laughter came from Toronto in to NZ.

    DONT go to SOZ as not they do things BEHIND closed doors…. and they DONT WANT TO BE ACCOUNTABLE if any thing goes a miss.

    I mean what all this is a train wreck waiting to happen allover again, what do they expect hand caught in cookie Jar and still wanted Cookies and the admiration of others?

    Oh wonderful who amazing, not, only losers who take advantage of the weak. Wolfs in sheeps clothing.

    REPENT CHURCH and stop taking form those who are already poor and needy,


  51. Suppose to read read SOZO suppose to have it all clean up in 2 hr seasons….
    The quick easy fix is NOT what the Bible Teaches, all this appeals to their whims.

    God gives GUT in stink for a reason. LISTENING IS TO OBEY> Opposite we all know is simple disobedience. And if you open yourself cup after been warned, you will simply be hooked on line and sinker to their ways, which are NOT GODS ways.

    Come on readers stay away.
    It even fail tio surprise a lot that some so called Intelligent Leaders flocked to the Toronto Blessing when I asked why, some said they could Test the spirits, nice answer however simply why travel for so long and pay all that in petrol when so many wont even bother about their neighbours or get along with others around them.

    so guess many simply wont learn lessons of old, busman curiosity never fail to amuse some, naive immure Christians always get sucked in to all of this.


  52. Keep the Truth Plain and Simple away from all this New Age Mind altering Satanic Rubbish….

    This NEW AGE teaching with nice sounds words is deception full stop.
    The Bible says in DEUT SAYS: “Cursed is the man or woman who places their trust in mortal man” and their hearts depart from the LORD.

    What has people learn’t form the 90s? and the Deception that came from the USA in to NZ scores via silly Toronto so called bLessing…and the geeps I for one but not only myself, really thought Leaders would make a stand against all this, ho ever seems they are to scared to for fear of rejection and all the hassle that could happen.

    Leader ship in many places in the West is to weak to draw a line in the sand, but then can be far to controlling on the other. However really each individual much be strong in the faith and REIST such Deception through word of GOD in their hearts and keep firm and cleve to GODs word.

    GOD nerve says we are to trust man, we are to TRUST GOD, and it JESUS that sets us free not the ever so many contrived Methods that seem to be creeping back in to the church.

    When you first asked Christ in t your heart, thats it, weather you got a “Feeling or not is not relevant” as Faith does not rely on or need to be confirmed by “any feelings”, what is important is that people are reading daily their word of GOD that they are feeding themselves, Encouraging each other as often as they meet, and not staying babies.

    You see knowing something with out ACTING on what you know is Disobedience…..

    There has to be soundness and Balance, not so much over one side and then so much over the other side it then just is plain to see its deception to the mature Christians eye.

    What about the coldness of people hearts want about the greediness and the hatred in Christ body….. does a small part of the body simply make up another New Method of Healing with Christ’s name tagged on? it also seems to be targeting those who may of been abused in their past… this is NOT for the Church to play GOD about.

    I mean one cannot even be angry as the Bible NEVER condemn the emotion, rather it says not to stay that way… if you are STUCK then READ AND BELVIE , the Bible teaches you ONLY NEED FAITH AS SMALL AS A MUSTARD SEED> where doe sin say if all what GOD has said and done IF that does not work then use the FOUR DOROS met hind? ! It does NOT, thesis Deception.
    Even Leaders are steeping pout pf the boundaries that GODS has placed…. that when deception has come in…. the Leaders ALLOW it to come in….

    READ Exodus : When the people realised that MOSES was taking forever….. ( the first sin in this line was IMPATIENCE) they rallied around Aron…. the rest as they say is History, however people still act the same way, when they cannot wait things go terribly wrong, or they simply sen dup mowing and complaints… then they start to do all kinds of stupid things, like making a GOLDEN calf… They tried to MAKE A NEW METHOD to satisfy their inner most beings….. but the price was a high one that GOD had to make them learn by as they simply would not WAIT, and they looked dot another to make up a idol.

    READ READ your Bible the heart of man is full of rebellion.. its human nature all though the BIBLE to want their own way , however its takes more than Honestly , it takes guts to REPENT and turn away and allow the HOLY spirit to work HIS good work in your life.

    Some things so close to people nose then SATAN allows so many believes feel they need another Method? WHO SAID THAT WHO WHO SAID THAT WHO WHISPERED IN THEIR EAR? and is that JESUS COMMAND?

    When you get married its to LEAVE and CLEVE to one another and GOD, no one else but one another…

    2 is Company as they say but 3 is a crowd. and SOZO MUST LEAVE! people MUSt speak out even if it cause people to judge you or to tell you to shut up…. if you have spoken up once to some ones error , then simply dust your feet and walk away as the Bible says. Don’t try and reason with them as they walk in their own made up Method….. not be so impressed just because they maybe a Doctor or some one who is learned in the Worlds ways and you may not “feel” qualified to say anything, JESUS does not use qualifications to simply speak up or need them to say HEY USE YOU GOD GIVEN BRAIN THAT GOD HAS BLESSED YOU WITH THINK ABOUT THIS RIGHT OR WRONG, as once you ask Christ in your hearts, all are equal in GODs eyes.

    God often showed who angry HE was and is of plain stupid, as we are called to mature and walk as WISE and if you have not seen the damage it can and has done to people then you won’t understand whats all the fuss is about here, yes people have a certain amount of responsibility if they place their trust on these peoples New Age Method under the guise of a Christian Ministry, however is plain ARROGANT to think they know GOD better and that they are doing HIS bidding.

    They advertise and charge here in NZ New Zealand) $100, $85 and ($75 for so called Private SOZO sessions.

    I mean where wis the transparency in that? taking people behind closed doors, can only mean they have far more serious needs that will take a 2 yt session, rather on going Mental Professional help , which seems more needed in the Church nowadays as people sway to the other side s o much as they did in Toronto days that MANY marriages broke up, and where people where left with serious ” altered state of Mental issues…. they WAS NO SOBERNESS taught, “just catch and run with the fire type preaching”…. no stop think and waiting….

    There where Leaders caught out in Multiple Adulteress that did not want to let go of their so called position int he church, it was a serious MESS!


  53. My obvious spelling mistakes because I am in between places when I get the chance to sit down, so sorry 🙂 But can see that I to know a lot who flock after this Deception like Lambs to the slaughter but not leading to Christ rather making people dependants on Man.

    Focus on GODS word and Stay away from the Cult called SOZO. Well meaning as all cults star off tone, but plain deception.


  54. My therapist is encouraging me to do a SOZO session for $75.00. She is really into Bethel church and Patricia King. She has even encouraged me to buy the book “The Healing Codes”, and so on. I told her before i’m not comfortable with SOZO. My last therapist had me do something similar to this and I hated it! It was so weird. Now, I need to make the decision if I should find another therapist or tell her I’m not interested and keep seeing her. She is a good lady and I believe she is a Christian, but I’m just not sure what to do at this point. I would love your opinion and/or advice concerning this! Thank you:)


    • Jenn, many people claim to be Christian and are not. My first question is what you expect to gain from a therapist. You don’t have to answer me, I am only putting that before you. Secondly, if this person is referring you to SOZO or any inner healing technique, her beliefs are not based completely on the bible. She is dangerous. SOZO is dangerous and to allow that into your life could mean the end of your faith, your sanity and even your life. You will have to decide how to continue and I am urging you to put this before the Lord and do some study. We are encouraged to seek counsel when it is needed, but not counsel based on worldly, new age or occult beliefs. Psychology in and of itself is based on worldly thought, the ideas and explanation of man. We are to focus on what God has to say about us thru His word.

      If it were me, I’d run and not look back. Seek God, His wisdom and healing. If you need someone to bounce things off of, please feel free to do that here. I encourage you also to find someone you are close to who can give you face to face support, biblical guidance and prayer. If there isn’t anyone available to you let me know.


      • Thank you so very much for taking the time to respond. I will certainly consider your advice. I need to find courage to end the relationship. I will pray about this. I appreciate your website as well!! Thank you and God bless you.


      • I just wanted to let you all know that I called my therapist the other day left her a message that I wanted to take break from counseling. She never called me back. I was Kind of expecting her to call to touch base with me. Kind of interesting. Thank you all again for your advice. Really helped so much!


    • Jenn, I tried Sozo once, against advice. Listen up to M’Kayla! These people will mess with your head bigtime, and will always say you need more sessions to really be healed. I was told I had a “Jezebel Spirit” from sexual abuse I’d suffered in childhood. I knew that was a crock, so I walked out and never looked back. Ditch the therapist, save your money and read Ephesians 1 & 2 until you know them backwards. If more Christians really knew their identity in Christ and trusted in His promises, a lot of therapists would be forced to close shop.


    • Hi Jenn, I am so glad you are doing your research! I was so thankful when I found M’Kayla’s blog a while back. I have done therapy for many years and am always so shocked to hear of therapists recommending this unhealthy method! I would also like to add to the other thoughts here. Please contact Christian Research Institute via the email they provide and ask for their two page statement about Bethel Church. It is well written and clearly states that they do NOT recommend Bethel Church and also state that their teachings are aberrant. You can give her a copy of it and ask her why she would suggest something that can emotionally and spiritually put you at risk? If you choose to do so……I would be very concerned about her professionalism. I am so thankful that my therapist would never recommend them!
      I wish you well in your recovery work 🙂


        • I am so glad that you are paying attention to your gut about this Jenn! I hope that you will be able to find a professional and competent therapist! You deserve so much better! I am aware of other counsellors who are doing the same thing, shame on them!
          Here in Canada I know of two local churches using the Sozo method. Sadly,I have known one of the pastors who is running the program. To be honest, he is a nice man but has very, very poor discernment. It grieves me that more people will be abused and misled by them.

          We just lost our church due to me bringing concerns about other Bethel material and it Was very upsetting.
          Keeping you in my prayers!


    • Hi Jenn, Run, Run, Run. Find a good balanced Christian counselor that doesn’t use quickie techniques to heal. A good counselor will pray for you to receive forgiveness for them. I had to pray for God to give it to me, because I had none. It takes time and God loves you. Sometimes healing comes slower because God wants to mature you in Him. Just trust He will heal you in His time. Remember He made your emotions and they are apart of you, and don’t let anyone tell you that the emotional pain you experience is a lie. I was abandon and neglected as a child by both parents and the emotional pain was valid and real, but these Sozo people want to tell you that something is wrong with you because you are hurting. And then shaming you by say you are a jezebel, when you just are broken hearted. Isa 61:1 KJV – The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
      Isa 61:2 KJV – To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
      Isa 61:3 KJV – To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.


  55. Pingback: Sozo Prayer: Biblical or Mystical? A Practice from Bill Johnson’s Bethel Church… | Las Vegas Apologetics & Evangelism (LVAE)

  56. m’kayla, when a person’s whole life “foundation” is built on a lie that the enemy has planted usually when that person is young and some negative event happens and that person swallows that lie, no amount of teaching, preaching and reading God’s Word is going to “WORK” until that lie is rooted out… A person can spend a lifetime of seeking and believing in God, under all kinds of religious teaching and doctrines, and have all kinds of head knowledge about who God is and how much He loves us and how he forgives us of our sins and so on….. and still not have success as a believer… until the day comes when the lie is exposed, the breach in the foundation is healed and then and only then can the believer build his house on the rock (Jesus)… all other houses (lives) built on a faulty foundation will one day come to ruin… just like building on sinking sand…… Sozo, from what I know, (and there’s always counterfeit out there in everything), goes back to that point of impact and uproots what ever lie the devil planted there and allows that person to rebuild his life on truth…. that is when you really begin to understand, accept, believe and trust God… and then you have a real relationship… a bond. a trust that cannot be broken… then you know Jesus, Daddy God and the Holy Spirit… then you’re able to accept God’s love for you… then you get rid of whatever deep seeded root of self condemnation thats been lurking there in the dark….(cus that is usually what the enemy does…he tells you a lie and u self condemn)….Getting saved is awesome and precious (I got saved at age 8) but it’s getting the relationship, a real relationship with the Lord that makes us successful and happy as a believer with good fruit in our lives. I got that at age 53… And it was a mix of Sozo and a new revelation of GRACE and Truth and it did not come from a church. Well, I just wanted to share. I hope this helps someone out there.


    • Jane, you are right when you say there is a counterfeit. SOZO is THE counterfeit healing and restoration in place of what only God can do if we are willing to allow Him. SOZO is taken from what we can call new age inner healing techniques from other religions and belief systems. Did you know this??? Did you look? There is nothing there found of Christ. You are very wrong in your thinking and you have been quite deceived yourself – and it does not make me feel good to tell you these things. But the truth, I will always speak. I don’t know how much you have read on my blog but this is one of the things God brought me out of. I was a trained SOZO minister and had my own SOZO sessions. Once long ago I went thru secular therapy for inner child healing -that and SOZO and theophostics are very much the same.

      The bottom line being said is that Christ is not enough, and my dear, you did say exactly that. I hope you will consider the gravity of your comment in light of scripture which tells us otherwise – – and repent. I will be happy to help you better understand but please heed my words – please.


  57. Why do so many Christians become so interested in this? I am training to be a counselor and am looking for an internship. One site I contacted, does all this stuff – Sozo/inner healing/healing rooms. We are both praying to see if I would be a good match for them. Part of me wants to as I so want to get this internship going but I am also wary of the techniques they use. A friend of mine did her internship with them. She herself really likes Sozo and wants to use it when she opens her own practice. For myself, I am leaning towards the research I have been doing that it is not necessarily a good thing. I’ve heard “slain in the Spirit” is similarly dangerous. That happened to me once. I read an old journal from that time and had forgotten that I had wanted “it” to stop. Interesting I said that. If it was truly God, would I have wanted it to stop?? I did a lot of “listening prayer” in my journalling time and because of my research I stopped that practice. I realize it was potentially lessening my desire for the Word and seeking God in a more pure way. Another example of Christian “practices” gone awry, potentially is the teaching of vows/renouncing vows and breaking soul ties. Would you say those fall in the same general category? I saw a Christian counsellor who I feel pushed me to forgive so she could break the soul ties. She couldn’t do it if I didn’t forgive. I feel that I needed more time to process everything. Also, her teaching on vows actually made me afraid of making future vows!! That aside, she was a good counselor who helped me through a difficult time. But when I saw her again several years later, she did most of the talking and was heavily involved in Bethel’s teaching. I also felt that some of her behavior was unethical. I stopped going after 2 or 3 sessions. Thanks or listening


    • JH, all of these things that you mentioned here, SOZO, soul ties, etc. are taken from beliefs outside Christianity. They are very dangerous and the end result is more damage than help. Christ is all that we need. After all, if he was good enough for the original disciples, what’s changed that we would need something extra? The truth is we do not and to follow other teachings outside the word of God is to follow other gods.


  58. Wow…sorry you have had such bad experiences with SOZO, and the prophetic in general. The SOZO session I had was an amazing prayer session, all about Jesus. It included some forgiveness and repentance that I found I needed to do, and I was set free from a fear of public speaking and of saying yes to ministry opportunities. There was nothing new age or mystical about it…yes, GOD’s presence was there, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”(ESV) It is sad that wrong spirits seem to have moved into some SOZO sessions, but not entirely unexpected since we know satan likes to steal, kill and destroy… I am sure he likes to mess with this ministry that has brought many closer to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!! (I know many people who have had very positive Jesus-led SOZO sessions.)


    • Ellen, what you experienced may have been positive it did not come from the Lord God. Sozo is an inner healing technique taken from sources outside the church. It’s based on visualization and guided imagery. I know what it is because I was trained in it. I went thru my own sessions, and yes, there is a great power there that can seem quite positive. But, I also have researched its roots and it is not of God. It’s practice cannot be found anywhere in the word of God.


      • I dont understand your point here M’Kayla, if it is done in the name of Jesus-Christ where is the problem ? i don’t understand.


        • Naomi, we can’t just slap the name of the Lord on to something that sounds good and think that he will honor it. Besides, why does the Lord God need help from created beings, and more importantly from those who don’t follow his word?


    • I would start by asking them where they find this in the bible. If the friend is convinced about new revelation and that it trumps the actual bible then you are going to have a hard time. But keep in mind it is our place to show the truth, and the work of the Holy Spirit to convict them of sin, reveal truth, etc. SOZO is modeled from “new age” practice of inner healing and visualization techniques. It is far from Christianity in any scope.


      • As I read this post my heart becomes heavier and heavier. My church family is being deceived. I have been in my church for 23 years. Sozo ministry was brought into our house about 2 years ago. God has told me not to participate. At first it was kept pretty quiet. But has since been preached from the pulpit. Everything within me knew this was not God and was contrary to what God does say. I have a few emails from Bethel stating that I won’t find this in the Bible yet they say it is Biblical, how does that work?Please pray for me. I am going to the pastor and the elders of the church. I love this church and have been faithful for many years. Pray they hear God through me, I am the one they have taught, who they know, and who loves them. I would hate to leave but I will not and can not stay in a church that practice witchcraft under the name of God, sadly they too are being deceived.


          • I was told to leave. I then asked to bring it the members at the business meeting, next Sunday. Then I was emailed an “official” letter stating I was banned from the property. I even asked the pastor if I was wrong to please correct me. No response. I have been there so long I was told there was a police officer posted at the door. I called the police dept. and yes the church had asked and paid for a police just incase I showed up. I would be arrested for trespassing. This stuff is wicked.


          • I did it all by email to have a record. I did ask that after the leaders meet for us all to meet. Instead I got the “if you don’t like it leave” email. I then asked to bring it forward to the members. Not only have I been excommunicated they had a armed police officer stationed at the front door on Sunday. Why is the pastor so afraid of me? I am a 50+ grandma who cleans house for a living. I don’t even have a parking ticket and he calls the cops on me. He never did answer my questions? I even said if I am wrong here correct me, no response. I go from extreme sadness to being angry. What a rollercoaster ride this has been. Not sure if I should send a letter to the church. Just seeking Gods direction in all of this evil. Thank you so much for your page, you have given me much needed information. It is good to know that I am not the crazy one.


            • Christine, I have to say that I have yet to hear about a church hiring an armed policeman to keep someone out. Surely this screams loud and clear who and what they have become. Shake the dust of your feet and move on my dear. Who knows the horrors you have been saved from. Thank the Lord indeed! ❤


              • Amen!

                Never confuse “church” with “God” — I did for many years, but thank the Lord: He pulled the rug out from under me and I eventually discovered the “church” had been an idol to me.
                The pain was intense, but well worth it. (It only took me 9 years to get back into the Word and eventually to forgive and be free to love the people who were a part of the drama.) His grace is sufficient.
                Thank the Lord indeed! ❤︎


  59. Hello. I found your blog through Google search and though it is a few years old I was hoping you could answer some questions I have. my church has been introduced to sozo and I have been totally against it from the mention of it last year. do you have an email?


  60. Hi all! I recently was instrifuced to sozo prayer and I am person who researches and found that sozo is linked to the spirit zozo. You can find more about it through Google. There are blogs about it also. This practice needs to stop. It is causing so many issues within churches. Please friends- think, research and most of all, seek God before engaging in sozo.


    • Jennifer, I will agree with you that sozo is very dangerous and has no foundation in Christianity. I have done quite a bit of research on it’s roots and yet find nothing to substantiate the claim of the spirit zozo. I have heard of this but I just don’t connect it. Sozo is taken from inner healing techniques of visualization and other modes of so called healing.


  61. Hey I have a question for you, how would you answer someone who uses the “the devil imitates God!” argument to justify some of the manifestations (and everything else) that goes on in the NAR movement? I always run into a block wall with this one. I try quoting scripture but sometimes it seems to still not help, their justification is that good things like healing are coming out of these places. Its really difficult living with people who are super into NAR (even if you point out parts of it are weird), and have relatives who basically try to shove it down your throat and look at you weird if you refuse prayer from them since they want to “impart” something (barf) on you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jaeson – this is a great question and the answer is much more simple than it would seem. In Exodus 7 Pharaoh’s magicians imitated the works of God, but God proved his power over them. The whole story of the Exodus, the battle between God thru Moses and Pharaoh is amazing when you read thru it. However, there is nothing – NOTHING – in the bible that could justify the NAR/demonic manifestations that take place in these organizations. God simply does not operate in such a way. This article should be of more help to you. 🙂 Holy Spirit Manifestations


  62. If I followed this logic, I wouldn’t be able to use any medicine, doctors, physiotherapy, counselling etc, because Jesus and his disciples didn’t!
    I think there are many counselling techniques which invite God to reveal stronghold beliefs and to heal us of past hurts as well as showing us who we need to forgive. Totally nothing ungodly and if anything, they can bring us closer to the Father.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We aren’t following logic. We are following the word of God. There’s a big difference and to go along with practiced outside of the teaching of scripture is to follow the ways of the enemy. It is his design to convince you these things are ok. They are not!


      • Hi- I have gone through multiple sozo sessions in the past but now I know they aren’t Biblical at all.! What are the spiritual and emotional dangers of having gone through inner healing? Thanks


        • Scott, repentance for following false teachings and practices is utmost. I can’t say specifically what the dangers will be but I know enough and have experienced enough to know that you have agreed to, and allowed demonic activity to come into your life, mind and possibly your spirit. So, I would begin with repenting for all of it. Then, begin to read the word, praying for the Lord to open your eyes to the truth. Let me know if I can help you because I will.


  63. I just went through a Sozo.. I had mixed feelings.. I was in the room with 2 women.. One of which I highly trust and have known for years.. Truly a woman of God.. She never did anything weird or said anything weird.. In fact some of the verses she quoted to me were verses the Lord spoke to me before.. So it was confirmation of what God was already telling me.. The other woman, I believe meant well and I believe she meant no harm.. But my spirit did not bare witness to what she was saying.. The danger in this particular method, in my opinion is this; What is immature Christians walk in and don’t have good discernment? What if the person doing the Sozo is not hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit and hearing another voice? I believe people can be sincere..and at the same time be sincerely wrong.. And that could possibly do great damage to a person if the wrong words were said.. I didn’t fret much over the other lady and just didn’t receive what she was saying. I’m very uncomfortable with this type of therapy, only because I think it takes Godly spiritual discernment to know when something isn’t right and not all believers have that.. So I can see this being a disaster if the wrong people were facilitating this. I am one who doesn’t even like for my kids to watch the Harry Potter movies.. This seems new age to me. I’ve always taught my kids “If someone has a “word” for you, it should only be confirmation of what God Himself has already revealed to you through the word and through prayer. If at any point you feel uncomfortable with it, do not receive it.” I truly believe my friend who actually does them is safe because she doesn’t get weird with things.. It never got “mystical”… But I can definitely see to where this could be a dangerous situation.. Especially sensing that the other woman (even though very sweet) seemed like she was trying so hard to see something and ended up just speaking nonsense. Man I hope they don’t read this.. I grew up Church of God so I am no stranger to the charismatics but when I was growing up these kinds of mystical things were attributed to occult worship.. I don’t think these people mean harm and I believe they are Christians.. But I also believe some lack maturity and discernment.. Not all of them but some. Anyway.. I love the church and the worship.. I’m just not comfortable with that kind of meditation.


    • Sozo has nothing to do with Jesus because the idea of inner healing does not come from biblical teaching, nor was it the practice of the first century church. Sozo was crafted from practices taken from ideas formed by people who did not know Jesus. Anyone practicing inner healing techniques is not following the leading of the Holy Spirit. “Confirmation” of a word or scripture is not proof to believe the person speaking is doing so by the leading of the Lord. Their involvement in these things is proof otherwise. It does not matter how it feels, or what we may sense to be ok. The bottom line is whether or not we find these practices in scripture, which to answer, is a resounding “NO”! That being the case, these things should be avoided – period. Sozo can be a very dangerous practice and it’s first deception is to make others think it is ok.


    • Hi M’Kayla,As I read this post I am trying to figure out if it is just me or is something wrong whenwe Christians make excuses for false teachings?? I have had a few people (since leaving the church)say to me they agree it is not from God yet they stay. Is a little false teachings ok? I don’t think this is right.Even reading the below post it is almost like she is defending the people, but not the practice? Yet is is the people who are going beyond the word of God in the name of healing. Is this one of those thing you shake your head at?? Thank you so much for sharing your life and your struggles in continuing to speak the truth.You are such an encouragement to me!!! It is not always easy to speak up and speak out against thefalse teachers and teachings running rampant in the church today. I am sure your reward in heaven will be GREAT!! I pray for you!! Many Blessings,Christine


      • Hi Christine,

        A little bit of leaven….and yes, we are told to not have anything to do with teachings outside of scripture, to get away, and warn others. ANY participation in false teaching, the laying on of hands in a wrong manner, and the practice of inner healing and practices of other religions open the doorway to the work of Satan, and a certain separation from the Lord. People don’t realize the seriousness and tend to excuse because of the “little bit of good”.

        Thanks for your comment. As for the reward, if so, I hope to hand it over to Jesus when we meet face to face. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to reveal truth. Blessings to you too! 🙂


  64. I’m sorry I even left a comment. I certainly did not leave one to be judged. I know who I am in Christ. I also know that these are genuine people, and when I talk to them, with scripture, and speak to them in love and truth, it may just save them. Does Jonah even ring any kind of bell to you guys?? I won’t leave without at least speaking truth to them. Rather they receive it or not is entirely up to them. I have prayed and sought scripture and even had a long talk with several trusted Godly friends who have the same opinion as I do. They too, believe I should share the truth of what I found in the word. If that makes me “bad” or “unholy” in the eyes of the religious, then I’m ok with that. I in no way believe the Holy Spirit needs a mediator nor do I believe he is our personal fortune teller. I kept my spirit man very guarded during this Sozo and again, I’d never heard of it nor did I know one thing about it before going in. After researching it, and comparing it against scripture I do not feel this is a safe practice for SEVERAL reasons.. My concern are many. However, I now have an obligation to share this with those in leadership and hope they are open to receiving it. I am so glad the Lord didn’t cast me off all the times I had things wrong. I’m glad he sent people to love me enough to share the truth with me instead of leaving me in my own disillusioned mind. Peace and Blessings.


    • Roz, I don’t believe you have been judged here and if I sounded that way then I apologize. But please note, your first comment somewhat excused your friend as you described her as “a woman of God”…and so on… In addition, you said nothing about warning anyone and you yourself still seemed to be undecided regarding SOZO, and regard the practitioners as “Christians who mean no harm”. Again, I do not believe that God takes the practice as lightly!


  65. While viewing several posts on youtube of sessions where people were using an Ouija board, I’ noc that sozo was the most prevalent spirit (demon?) to respond to it. If anyone does not believe me, they can easily find it on YouTube for themselves.


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