Having been trained as a SOZO minister I know the dangers it presents first hand. The following is a well written article which relates to SOZO (Christianized inner healing with no basis in scripture.)
I know there are many of you out there with questions and concerns. I hope this helps shed some light on its origins and why we need to stay away. Christ is sufficient for all our needs. Every one of them.
Inner Healing/Healing of Memories
Christian or Occult?*
– Healing of the memories, or inner healing, or healing of the emotions has its roots in the teachings of anti-Christian and occultist, Agnes Sanford. It was carried on after her death by those she influenced, such as lay therapists Ruth Carter Stapleton (deceased sister of Jimmy Carter), Rosalind Rinker, John and Paula Sandford (currently of Elijah House, a demon-deliverance and memory healing center in Port Falls, Idaho), William Vaswig (of Renovaré fame), Rita Bennett, and others. John Wimber, David Yonggi Cho, Robert Schuller, and Norman Vincent Peale are some of the well-known pop psychological practitioners of inner healing, but it has spread widely in so- called evangelical circles in a more sophisticated form through such “Christian” psychologists as David Seamands, H. Norman Wright, and James G. Friesen, as well as a number of lay therapists like Fred and Florence Littauer. (Two of David Seamand’s books, Healing for Damaged Emotions and Healing of Memories, are considered the “inner-healer’s bibles” in today’s psychologically-oriented pulpits.)
Inner healing therapies are offshoots of Freudian and Jungian theories rooted in the occult. They have destructively impacted secular society for decades and are now taking their devastating toll within the professing Church. A variety of “memory-healing” psychotherapies are masquerading under Christian terminology and turning Christians from God to self. Among the most deadly are “regressive” therapies designed to probe the “unconscious” for buried memories which are allegedly causing everything from depression to fits of anger and sexual misconduct, and must, therefore, be uncovered and “healed.”
– The basic teaching of inner healing is the theory that salvation or healing comes through the uprooting of negative memories or “hurts” caused by others in early childhood that are supposedly buried in the “subconscious” from where they tend to dictate our behavior without us even knowing it. Thus, the blame for one’s bad behavior (a.k.a. “emotional problems”) in the present is placed upon others (who are perceived to have sinned against us in the past) rather than upon ourselves where it belongs (cf. Ezekiel 18). In order to “heal” these “diseased memories,” the occultic technique of visualization (which is in reality a type of sorcery or divination which has been used by shamans, witchdoctors, and sorcerers for thousands of years, and is specifically forbid by the Bible) is frequently used to recreate the distressful childhood scene, “image” Jesus (if one is a professing Christian), bringing Him into the past situation as a “spirit guide”/”healing agent,” and then causing Him to sanctify the event, forgive the person who supposedly caused the hurt, and in most cases, even alter the reality of the situation in the subject’s mind, all so that the subject might be “delivered” from the “crippling emotional pain” associated with the past negative experience that supposedly “diseased memory” in the first place. (Charismatic Roman Catholic memory-healers employ the same techniques, but generally substitute Mary for Jesus as the “healing agent” whom the subject meets in the fantasy.)
– One of the seemingly attractive forms of inner healing is to have Jesus enter a painful scene from the past. The inner-healer helps the person recreate the memory by having Jesus do or say things that will make the person feel better about the situation. For instance, if a man’s dad had neglected him when he was a boy, an inner-healer may help that man create a new memory of Jesus having played baseball with him when he was a boy. Through verbal encouragement, he would regress him back to his childhood and encourage him to visualize Jesus pitching the ball and praising him for hitting a home run. Some inner-healers regress people back to the womb and lead them through “rebirthing” by guided imagery and imagination. Thus, through these psychoanalytic/occult techniques, inner-healers should not be surprised at the possibility of actually altering or enhancing the memory in their zeal to replace bad memories with good memories. Inner-healers are always in danger of unwittingly enhancing or engrafting memories through words or actions that mean one thing to the inner-healer, but may communicate something else entirely to the highly vulnerable subject.
– Inner healing is based upon the implication that we clearly need something more than God’s love and forgiveness in order to love and forgive others who are perceived to have wronged us in the past. Since the Bible distinctly teaches that Jesus can never be called-up and forced to “perform” at our command, any “Jesus” actually visualized would have to be a demon spirit and not of God. Of course, that is precisely the danger of the occult technique of visualization — subjects are being taught to experiment with things that God has repeatedly condemned in both the Old and New Testaments alike, not because the phenomena visualized (i.e. “spirit guides”) are not real, but rather because they are produced by demons determined to lead one into the worship of other gods and ultimate destruction (Deut. 13 ff.). The Bible repeatedly warns against becoming involved with the occult on any level, because of what the Bible identifies as “spirits of demons working signs” for the purpose of deceiving the whole world (Rev. 16:14; cf. 13:14). This exposure to the occult, however unintentional and innocent, could easily lead the undiscerning into far more serious spiritual or “emotional” problems than they ever dreamed possible. Unfortunately, the research is replete with such cases of demonic/occultic influence experienced by first-time dabblers.
– Inner healing practices of regressing into the past, fossicking about in the unconscious for hidden memories, conjuring up images, acting out fantasies and nightmares, and believing lies, all resemble the world of the occult, not the work of the Holy Spirit. An imaginary memory created under a highly suggestible, hypnotic-like state will only bring imaginary healing. It may also plunge people into a living nightmare.
What is being taught as inner healing/healing of memories is nothing but basic sorcery, which is an attempt to manipulate reality in the past, present, or future, and denies God’s omnipotence by implying that He needs our “creative visualization” in order to apply effectively His forgiveness and healing, while simultaneously, sets us up as gods who can, through prescribed rituals, use Him and His power as our tools. In fact, inner healing/healing of memories is nothing but “Christianized psychoanalysis” that uses the power of suggestion to solve so-called problems, which the technique itself has many times created.
– The Bible has much to say concerning the healing of memories (besides condemning its methodologies). The Bible clearly teaches that moral choices rather than past traumas determine our current condition and actions, and thereby, our responsibility; the Bible has always taught that it is not the act in the past but how one reacts to the act that determines “which soul has sinned” (Ezekiel 18 again). Since there is no Biblical evidence that any prophet, priest, or apostle ever dealt with anything remotely related to buried or repressed emotions or memories, then shouldn’t one question why this is so if inner healing is the big truth that its practitioners say it is?
– If prayer and Bible study and the power of the Holy Spirit are not enough for saints today to deal with life and problems, then the saints of old, including the apostle Paul, must have been greatly lacking. Despite his many hardships described in Scripture, Paul was able to function and rejoice in the Lord without the help of psychoanalysis. Paul forgot the past and pressed on toward the prize (Phil. 3:13-14) promised to all those who love Christ’s appearing (2 Tim 4:7-8).
Likewise, throughout Church history Christians have managed the same when they should have been at a great disadvantage without the “insights” of modern psychology. It is a dangerous heresy to insist that we must accept this new “revelation” by psychologists or live deficient lives. The past is of little consequence if Christians truly are new creations for whom “old things are passed away [and] all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). Searching the past in order to find an “explanation” for one’s present behavior conflicts with the entire teaching of Scripture. Though it may seem to help for a time, it actually robs one of the Biblical solution through Christ. What matters is not the past, but one’s personal relationship to Christ now.
– The people who are most vulnerable to inner-healers are those who are at a low point in their spiritual walk or who are experiencing difficult circumstances. The inner-healers entice through all kinds of direct and implied promises for healing damaged emotions, healing roots in the past that prevent personal growth, and enabling a person to have a closer walk with God. They circle about congregations like vultures, waiting for the opportunity to swoop down on those who are near to dropping from “spiritual exhaustion.” They assure their prospective victims of their sincere desire to help and they communicate a Biblical facade by using butchered Bible verses and Christian-sounding conversation. However, once their talons pierce the person, a penetrating parasitic process begins. And the host/parasite relationship continues as long as the host continues to look to the inner-healer to make him emotionally well and spiritually whole.
– Instead of being healed, there is a very strong possibility that the recipients of inner healing are now living on the basis of a lie from the pit of hell. Inner healing is not based upon truth. It is based upon faulty memory, guided imagery, fantasy, visualization, and hypnotic-like suggestibility. And, while the inner-healers may conjure up a “Jesus” and recite Bible verses, such inner healing is not Biblical. Jesus said, “If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn. 8:31-32).
Moreover, inner healing is insulting to God when the “healers” attempt to take away His power to bless “emotionally-distressed” people simply in response to their repentance and prayers. It is extra-Biblical, blasphemous, and carnal in its visualization and manipulation of the Son of God. It is dangerous in the way it forces people into childish self-interest, subjectivism, and emotionalism. And it is wickedly presumptuous in its priestly bestowing of forgiveness and assurance.
* Major portions of this report were adapted from: (a) the Fall 1989 issue of PsychoHeresy Update (now the PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter), (b) the 2/93 issue of The Berean Call, (c) two articles in the September 1990, Media Spotlight Special Report entitled “Latter- Day Prophets: The Restoration of Apostles and Prophets and the Kansas City-Vineyard Connection” and “Testing the Fruit of the Vineyard,” and (d) the books The Seduction of Christianity, Beyond Seduction, and The Healing Epidemic.
We need to ask ourselves the question, “Does God state in any form that we must go into our pasts, dig up old hurtful memories and wallow around in our angers, griefs and unforgiveness?” No. Is that what Jesus did? No.
Our task is so simply and clearly laid out. We are to forgive as we are forgiven. We are to love even our enemies. We are to pick up our cross and follow Him.
True “inner-healing” comes through the work of The Holy Spirit. He’s the healer and counselor. The paradox is that in my choosing to participate in obedience and submission to The Lord, I am made new every day.
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shep, you are exactly right on! 🙂
For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Matt 7:2
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor 12:3
Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouth except for what is helpful in building others up. Eph 4:29
Your blog is based on hearsay (gossip). If you want to speak truthfully about Sozo, spend TIME with people who developed the ministry. Your blog is full of lies.
Pam, my blog is based on PERSONAL experience. As it states, I was trained in SOZO. Put things into proper perspective by first learning the meaning of these scriptures. Then test words and prophecies by searching scriptures to see if they line up!
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Religious fears are way out in today’s evangelical and charismatic churches. You never feel “saved” enough. People are made so neurotic that they say sinners prayers all their lives…Fearing the Devil, Demons, Hell, Demonic Oppression and Possession. They constantly go through exorcisms too. It’s a nut house, really. You have fake tongues, fake prophecies, fake anointings, greedy preachers, and always some guy you have to pay to tell you what the Bible says….That has led to what…3500 denominations and counting? I’m saved entirely by the finished work of Christ. By Grace through faith…Not by anything I could do….I was in the NAR. Yes, the gold dust is plastic glitter. Yes the feathers come from birds, not angels, and the jewels are zircons from China. I look at Christians today and all I see are a bunch of terrified people who don’t have a clue who they are in Christ, and will blindly follow Donald Trump or Israel even if he or they nuke the entire world. Ever since the Apostles split the so=called church has killed countless millions and persecuted many more. Jesus is about Love, forgiveness, non-violence, peace, compassion, joy, caring. And you preachers have made it about hate, war, greed, and destruction since day one. There…I said my piece. And of course, some vicious and scared Christian will attack me….Because I threaten their HORSESHIT-
Heck, you’re safer in a bar than a church these days. I won’t darken any church’s door anymore. I was kicked in the teeth so many times since 1979 by PREACHERS that I cannot take their lies and fear mongering, power tripping, spiritual abuse ever again. They almost completely destroyed my life. There are more people ending up on the psychiatrists couch from the Church because the “GOSPEL” they preach is toxic. They have through Church synods and councils persecuted and exiled and brutally killed anyone who dared to interpret scripture contrary to their pedophile priests. The Inquisition, not to mention the Protestant atrocities make me sick. If they preach another gospel other than “How that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and he was buried, and he rose again on the third day according to the scriptures,” then they have an agenda….as usual. That’s it, folks. Add onto it at your own peril.
Hi M’Kayla, I just recently found your blog. I was a victim of “inner healing”. Thank you so much for this article. I agree with you completely and totally 100%. Do you have a Facebook page where I can follow you? Thank you so much. ~Jen
I was curious I noticed in sozo that the mediator has the sizes invite the Holyspirit and asks Jesus to bring up the memory and asks Jesus to heal. Isn’t that spirit lead? What has been said I’d the whole thing is spirit lead by asking the Holyspirit to do the work, correct? I’ve been in a session and worked on one too. But have been really concerned too. I’m just confused.
Sozee not sizes I meant in my statement.
Hi, Yes, you have good reason to be concerned. A good rule of thumb is to return to the bible and find where these practices of SOZO are modeled. They are not. Nor are any teachings that we return to the past for healing or invoke the practice of visualization techniques.
SOZO is based upon new age ideology and was brought into the church as far back as the 1970’s. We find the same kind of practices for inner healing and the popular inner child healing back in the 1990’s. We will never find them taught in scripture and God will not bow to the wishes, dreams, imaginations of man. He has His own method of healing and to part from His ways is to invite the demonic.
Sorry but no I was spiritually abused along with other with these methods. How dare you Mock others pain. It puts too much power in one single persons hands….and if that minester turns out to be a sociopath. Then what? Leave peoples minds to God ,no where are we told to stick our fingers in it.
Would Theophostic Prayer Ministry fall under this category?
Yes, Theophostics, tho the process is a bit different, comes down to the same result. Not biblical.
Further comment on Theophostics:
Some years ago this was tried on me.
Note and beware of anything that says something like “Don’t test it now, but do that later (and that later never comes)”.
When they did that with me, “bring back an old memory and look for Jesus in it, and listen to what He?? says”. I instinctively ALWAYS test any spirit NOW.
Sure enough, something claiming to be Jesus always appeared, and upon I John 4 testing ALWAYS showed itself to be a demon. So much for Theophostics.
The Theophostic people only get away with it when the demon “jesus” is not tested.
yes. it is vitally important to test any spirit now by using I John 4:1-3. this is especially important if that spirit cl;aims to be Jesus, and also especially important if the group, such as Theophostic or any other which says to wait, that it can be tested later, but in fact, that “later” never comes. I remember a preacher (last name starts with V.) who claimed to help people to hear from God, but who said that if you tested it too soon, it would hurt the spiritual atmosphere, and it was best to test later. Conveniently, that “later” never comes. Christian, be Very careful. These “ministries” are out to rape your spirit.
Reblogged this on THE WORD on The Word of Faith (a GroupBlog) and commented:
I know many of the subscribers and friends to this blog are also subscribers and friends to Mkayla and her awesome blog, but even though this great article is not directly related the WoF, I wanted to give those who are not subbed to sister MK and her blog a chance to read this. I been studying cults and psychology for a long time and I learned quite a bit reading it. And the writing made me so happy and thankful that while the Lord has not given me complete victory of my own emotional problems and life struggles yet,, he has blessed me with the good sense and discernment to know that when i get really down, desperate and needy I am left very vulnerable and need to be careful of what I intake into my soul. While reading this I thought, man it is real nice to get such a reminder to be careful of all the dangerous stuff out there when I am not my usual self. PLEASE READ THIS ARTICLE AND BE CAREFUL OUT THERE YA’LL, the enemy is roaming seeking whom he may devour and we must be wise as serpents.
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I experienced “inner healing” in a course while attending Christ For The Nations in Dallas, TX. Needless to say I was always confused and rebuking the devil for past actions that I should have taken responsibility for. Also I’d like to add a lot of our reference material was taken from Watchman Nee. Watchman Nee was a Chinese Christian during World War 2 who was tortured for his faith. However his teaching was repudiated as not being solid. Thank God for delivering those of us from lies and deception.
I have been unable to find any teaching by Watchman Nee on inner healing. Could you be more specific?
Lise, a helpful comment about Watchman Nee. There was a man named Witness Lee who wrote a number of books, falsely calling them as written by the author Watchman Nee. This has made for much confusion. Look at the publisher. They are by different publishers. That is your clue.
I do have a question I am left with, however: What about sincere Christians who have forgiven everyone who harmed them, who love their enemies, who have no known sin in their life, whose only dresire in life is to love Father and Jesus with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love their neighbour as themself. And yet they have problems that nothing seems to help. People who spend all available time in prayer, quiet worship, and the Word. People who are diligent to get rid of any sin as soon as it is revealed. And yet some of these people have serious problems for which there seem to be no answers. These people are ones who may have tried several types of “inner healing” methods, but without any positive results. In the article here, there seems to be an assumption that these kind of people will not have unsolved mental/emotional problems, or that there is always some unresolved sin in the person’s life. But there are some Christians who do not fit into this “box”, and who have not found the answers anyplace. What about them?? Where do they go? What do they do? It is easy to say that certain things will not work. I also was trained in SOZO and Theophostics, and know that the real answers are not there. But where are the real answers? It is easy to give blanket statements that one should look to God for the answers, meditate on the Word, pray, worship (true worship): but what then after years of this and the answers are not forthcoming, and the illnesses are slowly killing the person? Thank you if you have something “concrete” to offer!
Anastasya, we aren’t promised perfect lives with great circumstances. Jesus told us there would be tribulation. He suffered at the hands of many, as did His disciples. All throughout the bible are examples of God’s people facing horrendous situations – see Job. We are fallen people and until Christ restores His kingdom the battle of life will continue for all of us.
Matthew 5:45 That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
The idea that we should be without illness or poor circumstances is just not true and is from word of faith (aka law of attraction) thinking. Some situations can be the result of our own sin, the choices that we make. However, as believers we are and will continue to be put in situations so that we can know the Lord better because of them. I know this to be true in my own life. Had my daughter not died I would know know God the way I do now. Oh, how I wish it could be different, but wishing does not change a thing. This is God’s will. One day while crying out to Him I told Him that He knew this would happen to her..all my praying for her and still she died. He did know. That was the moment the peace and understanding of God began to unfold.
I want to say here I too follow the Lord. I spend time helping others as best as I can. In return I am helped. However, I still have horrible situations in my life that only seem to worsen. No matter what I pray or how much, no matter the study, the hope…you get where I am headed. This is God’s will for me. I cannot say why. I will not say I like it and that is no surprise to God. lol. But for whatever reason in His wisdom and in His time, in His ways, which are much higher than mine…there it is. Still I trust Him. My friend that is as concrete as it gets and I hope you are encouraged to help your friends understand these truths. Blessings on you all. You have my hugs and support. 🙂
English Revised Version
1 Ho, 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.
2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
3 Incline 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.
4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander to the peoples.
5 Behold, thou shalt call a nation that thou knowest not, and a nation that knew not thee shall run unto thee, because of the LORD thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he hath glorified thee.
6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 For 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;
11 so 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.
12 For 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 field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead 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 the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
English Revised Version
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are of the Dispersion, greeting.
2 Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into manifold temptations; 3 Knowing that the proof of your faith worketh patience. 4 And let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing.
5 But if any of you lacketh wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all liberally and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing doubting: for he that doubteth is like the surge of the sea driven by the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord; 8 a doubleminded man, unstable in all his ways.
9 But let the brother of low degree glory in his high estate: 10 and the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. 11 For the sun ariseth with the scorching wind, and withereth the grass; and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his goings.
12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he hath been approved, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to them that love him. 13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempteth no man: 14 but each man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then the lust, when it hath conceived, beareth sin: and the sin, when it is fullgrown, bringeth forth death. 16 Be not deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect boon is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
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Very true Shep.
Thank you for great material M’Kayla!
So helpful in understanding some people and situations in my life.
It is hard when others blame you for what happened in their past. Whatever happened doesn’t have, actually, nothing to do with you but with them…..them not realizing that the past should stay where it is and them not concentrating on God’s grace who can help us forgive and forget.
God bless! 🙂
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This is such a pile of paycho babble crap. ….oh yes….if I think about it long enough….I’ll be able to determine WHY my life still isn’t “right”….And who hurt me and what happened to my, eh hmm, my inner person…….Aghhhh!!!! Gag gag gag.
This is right up there with the teaching on the dreaded generational curses. Helloooo!!! Since WHEN was the Cross just not good enough?
Anyone who’s into this needs to repent, ask God to show you His truth in His word and get on with life in Him.
“I am left very vulnerable and need to be careful of what I intake into my soul.”
That is a very good warning. We are all so scattered, and in our desire to have fellowship with other brothers and sisters in the LORD; we can open ourselves up to some really bad teachings. It is soooooo easy to go there. Sheep don’t like to graze alone, after all. But we aren’t alone! He, who is Faithful and True, is with us to the very end.
Tread lightly and carry a big Sword!
Starving in the Wilderness? Not at all.
Reblogged this on the untangling and commented:
This topic recently came up in a discussion here, and this is a very clear and concise explanation about SOZO or Inner Healing originally from John Beardsley and blogged at M’Kayla’s Korner.
“Since there is no Biblical evidence that any prophet, priest, or apostle ever dealt with anything remotely related to buried or repressed emotions or memories, then shouldn’t one question why this is so if inner healing is the big truth that its practitioners say it is?”
The truth really IS that simple once we get down to it. 🙂
Are we following man or Jesus Christ? Because if we answer Jesus, then we must follow His word.
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“who have no known sin in their life”
Anastasya, There is no person who has ever walked the face of the earth, save for Jesus Christ, who has known no sin in their life. We are born into it. The only thing that we deserve, by our own rights, is death. God loved us so much that He was not willing to allow it to be that way, so He provided atonement for our sins through Jesus Christ. By His blood, we are forgiven, and can spend eternity in paradise with Him. We are also given His Holy Spirit to lead us to the truth of all things and help us to live Godly lives that please Him. I know you know that, but it is good to hear it again and often.
Jesus came to set us free from sin and death; but in this world we do have troubles. The Bible tells us that we share in His suffering; and that, if we stay faithful and patiently endure the trials of this life, we will share in His glory when He appears. Jesus knew what it was like to be hungry, tired, persecuted, rejected, and misunderstood. He wept along side those He loved, and wept over those who hated Him. He didn’t deserve anything that He received. He prayed for the forgiveness of those who killed Him, because He understood they were acting in ignorance and disbelief.
Here is the concrete:
For God so loved us that He gave His only son that ANYONE who believes in Him shall not perish but will have eternal life.
Those who do good, out of love and obedience to the commands of our LORD Jesus and by the power of His Holy Spirit will be raise to eternal life (by His gift through Grace, not by their works); and those who do evil, who may know His name or not, but despise His Holy Word, will be raised to eternal damnation (regardless of their “works”).
God, who knows every hair on our head, is not blind to our sufferings. He delivers us out of our trials, although not always in the manner or timing we desire. He uses difficulties to bring about the qualities that He desires us to have. When we are hurting, we press in more deeply to His Word and rely on His Grace to carry us through. There sits the secret to contentment in all things. This world is dying. To a heart set on Jesus, that is no big deal. The daily struggle is passing, and every minute brings us closer to the home prepared for us by Him.
i would like to respond to just1ofhis, for my sister Anastasya. you mistook what she said. she said that she had no known sin. you misquoted her as saying that she had “known no sin”. there is a vast difference between those two. Anastasya was intending to convey that although she had had in the past plenty of sins, yet at that present moment, having confessed and repented of every sin she was aware of, at the moment she was not aware of any unconfessed sin: that she had no known sin. for some reason, you did not read it properly, and thought she meant differently.
Larry, the comment you are responding to is a few years old.
I’d like to share an incident that happened with me, many years ago. I was about 19 or 20 years old, but have never forgotten it.
A new Vineyard church was starting in our area, and though I was not going to be attending, I went to their ‘inauguration’ get together held at another church in town. This group had left what was then the largest church in the tri-county area for a variety of reasons. I was prayed for by people there after experiencing some rather severe anxiety (believing that, among other things, God was going to ‘expose’ or embarrass me publicly) and speaking with the gentle,man leading the meeting about it. Nothing happened, I think in part because I was so anxious and unwilling to be open. On the way home however, I had a very interesting experience. I felt as if there were hands placed on my head during the prayer time, and the feeling had not left me. Passing by a local landmark, all of a sudden it was as if my memories were being looked through as one would look through files in a cabinet. One came to the foreground, of me as a child trying to engage a similarly named cousin in conversation while he was working on his motorcycle. He was very cold and dismissive. It switched to me lying on his bed in the afternoon, looking at the Kiss poster on the back of his door. Let me state that these memories are not are were not ‘repressed.’ I have not forgotten these incidents, though at the time I had not thought of them in years, What I distinctly got from this, all alone, with no one else around, was the Lord showing me that I was a very lonely child and was looking for something to bond with. My father was a violent, somewhat absentee alcoholic; though capable of affection he was unpredictable. All sorts of emotions came flooding back that I had experienced at the time when I was a child but had not thought of in years. The Lord was simply showing me places where I had, in essence, been hurt, rejected and confused and not really let go of it. Keep in mind that i had not asked for any of this to happen. I was quite amazed and shocked and turned the car around, driving back to the meeting. This was on a Saturday night.
The next morning I woke and was more functionally ambidextrous than I had ever been. I noticed it when i was brushing my teeth. I unconsciously switched hands to do something else in getting ready for church. Let em say that up ot that time I had never in my recall ever used my left hand to brush my teeth with any success, as the movements were clumsy and jerky and the few times I had tried it I was unable to do so and stopped. But here it was going on autopilot. I tried shaving and that worked as well. I was quite surprised. I shared this during Sunday School, which I later found caused another person to have a similar personal encounter with the Lord about an issue in her life, which details were not shared with me; the group leader let me know of the circumstance later that day.
Filling in for a missing young man in the senior high choir, I had what could only be described as a vision later that morning. This was during communion, and we were seated in the choir loft, quietly singing while the elements were being passed out to the congregation (this was at the large church I still attended; this second morning service had about 750-800 attendees.) As we were singing, my eyes were closed I think, and my perception of the world simply, for want of a better explanation, faded away. I was looking down onto an incident that i recalled at that moment with a vividness that matched its original occurrence. I saw myself, as a child, in first grade, in tears, being berated in front of the entire class by my teacher. Again, this is not a ‘repressed memory.’ This woman had verbally told me several times that i should not be in her class, as she considered me too young to be in school (I had tested at a sixth-grade reading level at age four and enrolled into a private school.) I saw, in the front of the classroom, a figure from the waist down, clothed in a robe. I knew, somehow, that this was Jesus. He spoke these words ‘i died for this, little one’ signifying twofold that He died for me, personally, as a child, and his death was there even to take the pain of this experience away from me.
The vision faded, the world returned, my eyes were open. I had and still have no idea how long this lasted. I was quite shaken, but not fearful. After communion I got hold of an elder in the church who led a small group I was in and we went to the chapel where I related this incident to him, and he prayed for me, being himself stunned at the occurrence. I don’t recall what we prayed about, but I’m sure it had something to do with forgiveness toward the woman who’d treated me badly.
All this is to say, I am pretty sure this is what is meant by ‘the healing of memories.’ But I do want to emphasize some things that differ from how it is practiced today.
First, the occurrences began by myself, though I had been prayed for by others beforehand. I was alone and it was just myself and God in the car the first time. The second time I was sitting with a group in the choir loft, but we were spaced apart and no one was interacting with me.
Second, there was no agenda. No one was trying to get me to visualize anything or pray through any list of any past sins I or my ancestors had supposedly been involved with. These things came unbidden.
Third, as I’ve said, these were not repressed or forgotten incidents. Though they affected me greatly at the time, I had not thought of them in about 14-15 years.
Fourth, I was not trying on either occasion to empty my mind. The first time I was driving a car, a poor time to have an empty mind in any case. The second time I was singing a song of worship with the congregation as we were participating in communion.
In concluding, I would say that the error these Sozo/Theophostic/healing people make in this day and time is an attempt to in effect systematize the Holy Spirit, to find a one size fits all method for fixing people so their messy problems do not get in the way of the great church machine.
I see it as a mis-application, though perhaps well meaning, of three principles Leanne Payne articulated: the failure to forgive others, the failure to forgive oneself, and the failure to love oneself (and others) aright. Unforgiveness breeds anger and bitterness, whether one is holding the sins of others against them or one’s own failures over their own head. Failing to receive the love of the Father and to give it away is also vexing.
i do want to explore this a bit. It is true, and I can testify from my own experience, that it’s possible to hear the Word over and over again yet, in the heart, while being able to quote it, not really be convinced that it’s true. I could say at that time that God is loving, but due to my experiences in life, my real belief was that yes, Jesus liked me, and the only reason I might be going to heaven is because the Father was putting up with me for Jesus’ sake because he liked Jesus and Jesus liked me, not because the Father Himself really did. In fact I still recall that my belief was that, at the pearly gates, there would a sort of reluctant ‘yes, you’re included, go in’ kind of attitude.
To those who think this far fetched, i would say that these things do line up with Scriptures. That these are my personal applications of ‘Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us that we should be called the sons of God’ and ‘See that no root of bitterness springs up.’ and “he that comes to God must believe that He is and He rewards those who seek Him.’ These Scriptures, and my personal failure and/or inability to be able to really connect with the truths they communicate, are perhaps why those particular things happened to me, in the grace of God.
In closing, as this is long, Ms. Payne herself says that we are not to probe for issues, which is another place I see the modern healing movement making great mistakes, but rather let things, as she puts it ‘sleep on the bosom of Jesus’, trusting that if there’s something to deal with, He will certainly deal with it in His time and His way.
If anyone finds this encouraging or helpful, feel free to share it. I would ask that you communicate with me beforehand, as I would like to know where it’s going and not be sidelined by misquotes or misunderstandings, as much as possible
Dave, I do believe we are seeing the after effects of the mystical days of the Jesus Movement of the late 60’s early 70’s. I was saved, but very young when I saw this thing come into my baptist church. It was quite wild and fun, everything changed, including what I later understood to be a very painful split in the church that altered and ruined many relationships including some with Christ that have yet to be repaired, or maybe never will be. Of course that time gave birth to the Kansas City Prophets, The Toronto Blessing, the false revivals, etc., that still continue today.
The time you are speaking of sounds like the John Wimber break from Chuck Smith, but I could be wrong. Having come out of the false teachings of the Vineyard AND Calvary Chapel (yes, there are false teachings there too), the healing rooms, the “prophetic” (not), specific John Paul Jackson dreams and vision interpretation training…blah, blah – God is good tho – I can tell you that what you experienced in the laying on of hands all those years ago was more than likely the same as we see going on today – FALSE – and that you were probably introduced unknowingly to some demonic activity. I say this because it resulted in experiences and not strengthening in the foundation of the word of God that is all truth. There is a dividing line there, tho the experiences can be strong and convincing, this is the power of Satan to deceive.
The bible is clear on who is to lay on hands and how it is to be done. This scripture hit me between the eyes one day – 1 Timothy 5:22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. I think it is quite possible that when someone lays hands on us in the wrong way, their sin becomes ours. The sin to believe there is a specific gifting to do so, that we receive from others aka “impartation” which results in our following the ideas and teachings of that person or organization rather than following Christ, which is sin.
We do not have perfect lives with perfect circumstances. We can suffer many things because we are still in a fallen state. The idea to overcome these things is of the enemy, Christ is sufficient for all our needs as His strength is made perfect in our weakness. Remember Paul’s thorn in his side that he prayed be taken, yet was not. Through Christ we are to strive to overcome sin, the sin that can lead us astray.
Sozo and theophostics only use the name of the Lord, but its foundation is not based on Christian principles or teaching. It is taken out of the occult, new age, focusing on visualization which is a type of witchcraft – to see things with the mind and make it so – and the act of demanding that God perform in ways that He will not. We forget, we live out of His design, not our own. Sozo can be quite powerful and the sessions I attended there and even in the healing room sessions the “prophetic” words were spot on, yet the power nothing different from a psychic reading. Familiar spirits know many things about us and it is these spirits who speak during these sessions, and not the Holy Spirit.
I hope that you understand I am trying to steer you in the right direction. Of course God loves us – He sent Christ to die for our sins. So, when we need proof of the Father’s love we have the bible to remind us. That should be sufficient.
If you are willing, we can kick this around some.
I only wish to discuss your interpretation of 1Tim 5:22. The writer of this letter is telling his charge–who is in a leadership position–not to be quick to lay hands (to appoint and sanction). The word for hands can mean literal hands or it can stand in metaphorically for authority as it does in Mt 17:22 where Jesus was given over to the authority of men. So, don’t be too quick to commission someone that you don’t know that well into ministry because why share in their (possibly forthcoming) sins–i.e. the bad things that ill-equipped leaders do to their flocks.
As far as laying hands on people, we do see this practiced in James, but it’s the church elders who are doing it. We see it again in Acts 6:5 where the Holy Spirit is being imparted to believers. Mostly though, it’s an act that conveys the bestowing of authority and this is what 1 Timothy is referring to.
Excellent article by John Beardsley. Thanks for the repost. It’s sad to think that since this article was first written (May of 1994, nearly 18 years ago) how the landscape of biblical truth has eroded and now completley modified by the post modern church using all forms and techniques of psychoheresy in their teachings amd worship which is nothing more than demonic wisdom ascending from below (James 3:15). There is definitely power and wisdom in this stuff, without a doubt, but it is not from God above. The devil is the master seducer, luring people into his web of deceit by working in the minds so called “christian authors”. The list has grown substantially over the years of demonically inspired psychoheretics. One trip to the Christian book store and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Paul says in 2 Tim 3 that in the last days perilous times will come. I believe the Church is and has been in peril and great spiritual danger and its getting worse and worse. The Holy Sprity prophetically inspired Paul to write these words down which is a clear warning of what is to come of which we have arrived. The Greek word for perilous is “chalepos”which in this context means overwhelming spiritually harsh, troublesome, and dangerous times. The only other place this word is used is in Matt 8:28 28….”there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce (chalepos), so that no man might pass by that way.” Today we see the fierceness of our adversary, the Devil, who has overwhelmed the churches with spiritual chaos and deception so strong it takes the power of the Holy Spirit and prayer to open the eyes of those who’s “light has turned to darkness” who have become unaware and completely ignorant of the devils devices. If the demons spoke through these two possessed men to Jesus then it should be no surprise why we see this happening today where the devil has transformed himself as an angel of light speaking through many today. What appears to be light is truly darkness. Unfortunately for those who don’t have the spirit of God and don’t know their bibles they cannot see the great spiritual peril they are in.
“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Tim. 3:2-5
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This so called inner healing is more to self Hypnosis is only as a cover & not to a full cure which in the crucial time fail a person. Outward works bring inner healings, which works are being obedient to the word of God, which is called Love. Love of God through keeping His word is the healer. So the inner healing taught about is false, ’cause it is only a cover & never to removing it, which is but defining Occult through the Sorcery, the Sorcery with which the Bible says “he will deceive the whole world”. This again goes back to the Ancient beliefs of Egypt which brought & brings the Spiritual slavery to the Prophecy Spiritual Sodom & Egypt.
Romans 5 v 1-5 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, 4 endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. 5 This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
biblically, we see from this passage “afflictions” which could be sufferings or at least things we would not choose for our lives are Necessary.. because of what this produces in us…
the theophostic/sozo/ route provides a one step wonder shop to get some things that bug us in life out – when really we need to take responsibility, to walk in forgiveness & repentance, become mature, understand that despite everything God really loves us… Responsibility in choosing to live life in a different way, being disciplined may be in certain areas … this is a process that cannot be attained to in a 3 hour session.. If we are his then we should be in it for the long haul – & not necessarily expect a quick fix… all that happens in this environment is that the people ministering get puffed up sometimes because God seems to be using them to facilitate “healing” & if it doesnt “work” the sozoee is now on a treadmill of more time more money & more disillusionment, getting further bogged down in oppression that they they might not have had before they started… very easy in this vulnerable state to have a crisis of confidence & disbelief in themself as a person..
its the working through of a thing as we can see produces character- this has to be very precious & valuable… maybe sozo take this God given process away? Not of Him then!
Please, Zazzy: what you said here is generally correct, but please: unless you have yourself gone through very deep suffering, it is best to be very very careful, because words that otherwise are correct can be very hurting and sometimes fatal to those in very very deep distress. Others have suffered much more than I have, but maybe I can say this much about my own. I have learned to bring my own pain medications with me when I need to go to the emergency room. Because what I take every day for pain is stronger than the strongest pain medications the ER is permitted to give, by law. I cry in pain every day. But as I read what you wrote, it was painful to me because whether it was or not, it felt like it was said by someone who has not been through it, and therefore spoken as if from an “ivory tower”. Have you watched a close friend be tortured and killed? Have you been raped, and left for dead? I have, and it is not pleasant. Possibly you have felt deep pain, but if you have not, please be very careful with your words. Thank you, and God bless you. I forgive you, even when I know you had no intention of hurting anyone here. I have not had opportunity to respond to others, but this one hurt too much to let it pass for now. God bless you!
Great article!! I have a friend who has gone through YEARS of therapy and she is still dealing with “triggers,” nightmares, and the like. She has been in therapy and attends class after class about how to handle what has happened to her. Without a doubt, bad things DID happen to her, but as other’s have mentioned, the Holy Spirit is our Comforter. We need to surround ourselves with godly mentors to assist, but not enable, with healing, be a shoulder to cry on and such. God IS enough to heal a broken and damaged heart. All the inner healing and the like does is stir up things that don’t need to be stirred up, leaving people in a heap of heightened emotions and years of therapy with no results. God, however, can change the situation instantly (not the “health gospel way 😉 ) through submission and humility, coming to the point that we admit we CANNOT heal on our own or by man made efforts. It’s in the submission that miracles occur.
Ashley, I think it is quite possible when we hold onto our past circumstances, regardless of what they were or who was at fault, we stay entangled in that pain. I don’t see scriptures where the disciples being called out of their sinful lives had need for healing or therapy. We are told anyone who looks back is not fit for the kingdom – see Luke 9:62. I completely understand and have lived thought much horror in my own life, some at the hands of others. There has to be a point where we stop looking at what happened, where we stop thinking about how bad it made us feel and how it still effects us. Enough is enough. I don’t think we bring glory to God in hanging on to the past. There must be an end and often times it is a choice of the will.
Let me also add that nothing dramatic like this has happened to me since. In reading the Bible, we often forget that the experiences recounted in the books of the New Testament, though they seem to occur quickly and can be read through in a single sitting, occurred over a period of many years- not, apparently, every afternoon after tea.
A comment to Ashley:
I understand the broken heart of your friend. Truly, I empathize with your friend. (It so happens that I am on disability because of that exact diagnosis.) Only Jesus can heal that kind of extreme brokenness. I take it for granted that at least one of these terms is familiar to your friend: MK-Ultra, Monarch, SRA. Sometimes the healing is instantly, and sometimes more slowly. But when the healing is from Him, it is thorough. I would guess that by the time the brokenness is that severe, the person, if a Christian, is already through submission and humility, but probably needs better personal boundaries. Most people with severely broken hearts are kicked out of church and find they must worship at home. If they seek help from non-Christian sources, it will not work, because non-Christians have dead spirits. It is only in Christ that the spirit is made alive (KJV quickened). There are precious few Christian people prepared to help your friend, or myself. Please share these few verses with your friend:
Psalm 34:18: The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Psalm 147:3: He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; …
Jesus quoted Isaiah 61:1 in Luke 4:18, adding the phrase: And recovery of sight to the blind, and to set at liberty those who are oppressed.
This is one of the major reasons He said He came: to bind up (heal) the broken-hearted. (That is, a heart smashed to smithereens.)
These verses have kept me alive with hope when it seemed otherwise hopeless.
Please, be gentle with your friend, just as Jesus is. May God’s Holy Spirit (the Comforter!) comfort her, and thoroughly heal her.
Anastasya, I appreciate your reply. The sad part for me is that she knows those verses and she is surrounded by some very godly people. I think part of the problem is that we both left a health/wealth, Word of Faith church that I know really set her back. She goes to a Christian therapist but this therapist has crossed multiple boundaries and could actually be repremanded by the state board if she was found out. Also, my friend has mentioned to me that she is scared of getting better. I think part of the problem is that there is a lot of enabling going on, boundary issues (as you had mentioned), and an unwillingness to forgive. It’s really sad to see. I’ve had to step back from taking an active role in our friendship to being there if she needs me. Otherwise, it’s a one way street and she seems to be not really trying to get better while all of her friends are dedicating lots of time and energy.
Ashley, someone needs to contact the state board regarding this therapist. Just because a person is credentialed and claims to be a Christian does not make it so. He/she should not be allowed to hurt people who are there to recover! The therapist may be the very reason she is struggling. The whole thing makes me sick. We need each other, in wise biblical counsel through the leading of the Lord. I am just so sad for your friend!
Thank you Ashley! I remember how hard forgiveness was for me: One who had raped, and left me for dead…it took a whole year before I was able to forgive them. But Jesus said if we do not forgive, God will not forgive us. So forgiveness is vital, even though sometimes exceedingly hard. If your friend is looking for a new counselor who specializes in DID (Which it sounds like your friend is dealing with) she may try ( joytrain at gmail dot com). Counseling can be by Skype, and fees are very reasonable. PhD, licensed in Colorado. This is who I have, and am very satisfied. This Christian does not do ordinary counseling, but only the DID cases that are exceedingly hard. I only mention this because it looks like your friend is looking for someone, and Christians specializing in DID who really understand this are exceedingly rare, and your friend may not be able to find anyone. The issue of really wanting to get better can be hard. When one has been unable to hold a job for 30+ years, it gets scary. I understand. Most have no conception of what it is like to forget where you work, or what you do there, and if you do arrive there, to not remember your own name, etc. And the ridicule that goes with it. I remember for example hearing bad news one afternoon, and coming to the next evening 1000 miles away. Scary! So even thinking of holding a job is something that for your friend, and myself, need to wait until Jesus does more healing work. Your friend has a very special privilege of being trained by God in a difficult way. When things get rough she can learn first-hand the sacrifice of praise and the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Not all have this privilege. She can learn to count it joy when she encounters these horrendous trials. Please….with me this is NOT “armchair strategy”. Jesus loves her! If she would like to communicate with me directly, that would be fine, at (edited by admin). May God bless you as you try to help her!
Anastasya, I edited out your e-mail address, but I will be happy to give it privately to Ashley.
You don’t know me, but thank you for posting contact information for your counselor. Will she mind if we try to get in touch with her? Our isolation was maddening before we found out our true nature, and it has only worsened since. We know Christ alone can restore each of us to the joy and peace and likeness of God, but the system’s defenses are so sophisticated that we often can’t find each other, let alone the alters who still need to hear the Good News–and soliciting outside people for help provokes confusion at best. If we’ve finally found someone who is different, this is true Providence and you have already been used by God. 🙂
And I understand what you mean about the privilege of being trained in a difficult way. I’ve seen it among my inside-siblings many times.
I need to clarify: the one of whom I mentioned an email address is no longer my counselor. She only counsels directly, not via skype to people living far away. When she realized the difficulties in trying to do that, she stopped. So if this one desires DID and especially DID/SRA counseling, she is available only to those who can see her in person there in Colorado.
Once a person-to-person relationship with her is established, she may then possibly continue via skype.
So at present I have no counselor, and to my knowledge there is no one who is truly qualified within 100 miles from where I live, and I cannot drive, due in part to the effects of DID/SRA..
I apologize if I accidently misled you about a potential counselor. At that time I had an active counseling relationship but had never met face to face..
God bless you and your friend.
Thanks Anastasia, your comment just helped me trust in the Lord’s love for me again. I’m on of the broken wounded people who cannot go church. Not because I don’t with all my heart wish I could. I had to leave church over three years ago and it was one of the saddest most heartbreaking things I have had to go through. I still cry about it. I learnt more of the Lord’s love in the broken months after leaving. He didn’t forsake me even though I was terrified He would when I had to leave. I don’t have any Christian contact exact one girl who lives in a different country. I don’t really hear from her, but we Skype recently and since then it’s been harder to pray. It was clear she has judged me for not going to church. It is hard for me not to confuse other Christians’ judgement of me with that of the Lord. But I just wanted to let you know your post encouraged me because you have known great pain too and know what it’s like. Much love in Christ.
Joy, I have started a new project with a friend of mine connecting Christians together. Please let me know if you are interested. That person had no right to judge you. God is calling his people out of the false church. So be glad he has shown that to you and shake off the effects of her false judgement! Rejoice and come join us!
Connecting Outside the Camp
Thank you much for the various ones who have taken the time to try to answer this problem.
It is much larger than just what I or certain others here have endured.
The basic problem is that healing is needed, some for physical things like deafness, and others need healing for things not seen on the surface as well, such as wounds to the soul and/or spirit.
When Jesus was on earth, He in healing, made people whole. This I understand to mean totally healed of everything ailing them, no matter body, soul, and/or spirit. He generally told them to go and sin no more, if sin was involved.
Today, many people are searching for healing without finding it. Many die in their search. When they search in the church, what they find is things like Sozo and Theophostics, and on the other hand they find those who say God rarely if ever heals today, so just bear it. What is rarely found is Christians who do heal. In the early 1900’s there were two who did much in this area, Wigglesworth and Lake. But then many claimed to be doing what they did, but without the results those two attained. So the copiers have mostly been untrue to those they alleged to be copying.
Without the availability (apparently) of direct healing, those with deep pain must look for help. The pain will not go away by itself, by will-power or by trying to forget that it happened. That would be like saying to Joni Eareckson Tada, just forget your accident, and use more will-power to walk again. No, the injuries need to be addressed. The verse speaking of not looking back is speaking of not looking back longingly at the old sinful way of life, and its benefits, as Lot’s Wife did. But for some today with horrendous pasts, it is not a choice to forget it; it jumps out without bidding, such as the problems with PTSD.
I think it is important to differentiate pain and troubles that come because of persecution, from those that come from other sources. John 16:33 I think is referring to persecution tribulations.
One verse that has given me comfort is Deut. 8:2-3. Humans cannot live by physical means alone, but only by carefully listening to and obeying the personal revealing of God to that individual. He will put us through trials to teach us that. And He will try us also so that He would prove what is in our heart, whether (under duress) we would keep His commandments or not.
I very much appreciate your encouragement in Isaiah 55, James 1, Romans 5, and I Peter 1:7+. He sometimes tries us very, very severely. The counting of the trials as joy is exceedingly difficult. It is related to what for the wounded can be a sacrifice of thanksgiving.
When we have been put through soul wounding, often it will take another Christian gently working with us over a period of time to unravel the horrors and bring healing. Call it mentoring or counseling or whatever, but the principle is the same, and may be related to one “coming alongside to help” another who is in deep trouble. The Holy Spirit does this sometimes directly and sometimes through His family members, bringing help and comfort.
One clarification to something I wrote previously. The phrase “who have no known sin in their life” is referring to those Christians who have already confessed and forsaken all sin they are aware of. And as any more sin becomes known, they instantly confess and forsake that also, with restitution where needed.
I appreciated the reference to Romans 8:17-18: “…if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
M’Kayla and just1ofhis, thank you so much for your encouragement! I very much appreciate it!
I am so so sorry, I apologise that I have caused you offence… that was never my intention… your correction is valuable to me. As usual, as pertaining to my enthusiasm I have offered a generalised overview & completely forgotten the impact my words could have on a personal level… thank you for your insight..I accept that as a fair point….
just for clarification tho; when I stated that sufferings were “necessary” for the growth they can produce in the general sense… I was i no way saying that I believe people “should have” or “deserve” pain & difficult situations, on the contrary, my heart is against the injustice & oppression that these things bring…& in no way would I want to add to yours or anyone else’s pain by being insensitive or by making generalised statements that seem uncaring & unthoughtful… Im sorry I have done that to you, thank you for your forgiveness xx
Also, let me say that one of the things that disgusts me the most about SOZO is that it must be paid for. I don’t recall anywhere where Jesus charged people beforehand for healing them. Their reasoning is completely flawed and contrary to the Scriptures, but in this movement who really reads their Bible with understanding anyway?
True, but remember SOZO is not of Christ. Anyone who asks for money for what they do in His name, including the requests for tithe or monetary “gifts” is outside the truth and wants for himself. Most of these are rich beyond our understanding because they prey on the needs of the desperate.
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Well, i don’t think that ‘their sin’ can ‘become ours,’ that would be a contradiction of Scripture. The context of that passage in 1 Tim. is talking about placing elders in the church. The section starts with verse 17. (In fact, I don’t think that night either person who prayed with me touched me. The three of us just sat in chairs off to the side.)
If I follow wrong teachings, it’s because I haven’t studied enough to see their falsity. If I follow any person rather than Jesus, that is idolatry. I remember telling one friend that ‘my spiritual life does not consist in following ‘Pastor X’ from church to church around town.’
I would hesitate to say what God will not do. The one thing He won’t do is go against His written Word. He will go against our understanding of it, which is why we are to search it, meditate on it and understand it diligently. The problem with SOZO et al is that they come at the Word through their filter of someone else’s understanding and interpretation, and (I suppose here) think that it’s so big and there’s results so it must be of God, and we should expect these results every time. It boxes God, in effect, into some sort of magical formula, sort of like the Word-Faith teaching, that He must perform every time.
How sad I was when I tried to talk to a friend who has since been ordained into this movement. All his understanding comes from books by and about people who are involved in what is going on. There is no balance. It’s as if the Reformation never happened and books by Randy Clark dropped out of the sky. The same error, but in a different direction, as those who treat the Bible as something that dropped out of the sky when Jesus ascended into heaven.
And you know, if the Bible is really all we need, we can chuck everything else, including our relationships and just read it? That is the end logic of the final sentence ‘That should be sufficient.’ I posit that the written Word, as simply written, is NOT sufficient and must have the Holy Spirit to quicken it to us and in us, bringing it to our specific situations as needed. After all, what did the Church do in the centuries before the canon was closed? I believe the Scripture supports this, because ‘the natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit.’ (BTW, I am not a cessationist.) And I think there are enough testimonies of people on the web to show that what goes in places such as Bethel, MorningStar and IHOP are far from what Scripture allows as far as prophecy and conduct. (For example, MorningStar church set up groups of three to prophesy to people at the end of their services, much like people would come up for prayer at the end of a traditional church service. I always felt uncomfortable about it because it smacked of divination, but their teaching seemed logical and Scriptural and I believed it. Whenever I would be on one of those teams, I would always look for a Scripture and ask the Lord for a Scripture for someone rather than some sort of impression or picture. Eventually I felt uncomfortable enough to stop doing it and attending altogether, Steve Thompson’s books to the contrary. They treat the Holy Spirit, in effect, as if He is on tap, but curiously not in a flippant or irreverent way, at least the group I was involved in years ago did not, but quite serious and in the manner of ‘God wants to meet this person where he/she is at and speak into the present situation.’
There’s really a whole lot I could say about what I have seen, but these events I am sharing now stray far from my original post in both time and circumstance. The original post took place around 1991/92 and I had never heard of Kansas City or MorningStar anything at that time.)
Dave, To say that Christ is sufficient is correct according to the word. He will supply all of our needs. I didn’t say anything to cut out the work of the Holy Spirit or how He operates in our lives. We do get a good picture of that in Jesus’ teachings in John 14, 15, 16. And that bible should be sufficient for our teaching, our understanding. Jesus is the Word – John 1. The bible is the only way we have to determine whether or not the experiences we have are actually of God or not. I firmly believe that any experience that does not glorify God is not of Him. We have to be very careful here. And we should also consider that Paul also had experiences which he chose to not speak of.
And yes, 1 Timothy is speaking of elders, that was the point. Most churches, if we can still call them that will send anyone up to pray for people. Elders should only be those who are grounded in scripture, not just warm and willing bodies. I apologize that I made the mistake that they laid hands on you. Still, deception is possible for even being around people with false teaching. Listen, I am only offering help. I held your comment for a few days not knowing what to do with it. It is up to you to decide one way or the other what has happened. I will always resort to the bible when I am am trying to decipher these things. Still, it is odd that your experiences started to happen as you were in a certain area. Sorry, I just don’t see God in this. I am not trying to rain on your parade here. Just to be fair, I had quite a few of these kinds of things too – dreams and visions alike. They were very powerful and many of them I still remember. There came the time when I had to sort thru them. Many that I thought were of God proved to not be and they were hard to let go of. So I know where you are coming from in that process. It can be hard, painful and emotional.
I must point out in your original post that you did not state ‘Christ was sufficient.’ He is sufficient, isn’t that one of his names, the all-sufficient one? Of course Paul had experiences he chose not to speak of- in fact he implies that they shouldn’t be. Perhaps a lot of these charismaniacs would subside if people would ‘study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you’ instead of running about looking for the latest happening.
I guess we will have to agree to disagree about this event that happened to me. It brought resolution to not a little personal dilemma. Again, I would say that it was God meeting me at a point of personal need, one which has not happened before or since. I agree that the bible is our standard to determine whether or not our experiences are genuine,and about qualifications for eldership.
You may be misreading something I’ve written, or perhaps I was unclear, when you say “it is odd that your experiences started to happen as you were in a certain area.” I’m not sure what you mean by that. If you mean ‘driving by a landmark,’ for the sake of making a long story shorter I was referring to the largest (in overall square feet) church in my hometown, There isn’t any significance to me about the place, and I didn’t want to imply that there was. It’s just a large edifice that local people use when describing how to get somewhere on that particular road.
Dave, there seems to be a lot of misunderstanding. When you post things like that no one knows how to take them or what to say and the person posting usually ends up offended when others don’t understand. I shared truth with you as much as I was able. I am ready to let this go conversation go because we are getting no where.
This is excellent, thanks MK. Scott
Cost breakdown for Completing the Healing Certification Program
Physical Healing Track $1,700
Soul Care Track$1,700*
Total for Whole Program$5,100
GlobalAwakening.com – CHCP – Christian Healing Certification Program
Kingdom Invasion 2013 March 13 – 15, 2013 Singapore (with Bill Johnson, Randy Clark, Heidi Baker, Tom Jones)
“Whoa Kemosabe, remember ‘em good ol’ days–we made no merchandize to “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”? (Matthew 10:8). Remember him who said ‘These things I have written to you concerning those who [try to] deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you…(1 John 2:26, 27)? Kemosabe?
Times are a-changin Tonto. Even as we speak, many yearn for a gospel that is relevant, palatable, professional. Charlatans like these sure know how to milk ‘em good than ‘em snake oil salesmen we had back in the Wild West, eh Tonto?”
“You become too satirical, Kemosabe.”
But the saga continues: Many moons later in his twilight years, it dawned on the Lone Ranger to search the meaning of kemosabe which his beloved sidekick Tonto often called him. Sitting on his armchair by the porch with a Thesaurus in his lap, the toothless legacy lets his shriveled finger scroll down the alphabetical list to find the word kemosabe meaning horse’s rear. (a cursory satire by L.J
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Curious indeed, and so true!
A while ago here, someone here wrote that at Bethel, at least one of the men on staff have a spouse, and another woman on the side. I cry with this. Because only having that much information, it is rumour. And I am commanded not to be involved with rumours. My gentle suggestion: if someone would give me exact information, I will go to Bethel and seek out the truth. I live only two miles from their main campus. We can stop this from being rumour and get the truth known. Is not rumour mongering sinful just as having another woman on the side is sinful? We are commanded to be holy…..”Be ye holy, for I am holy!” (I Peter 1:16). I’m not condemning here….I am hungry for truth, as contrasted with rumour. (In the end, only those who love the truth will be saved (II Thess 2:10-12)). Thank you very much!
Who is it on their staff sinning in this manner, and if anyone, why are they permitted to remain on staff? Truth is precious! With truth comes the Spirit of Truth. Without truth, He will stay away.
TenderHearted, you make good points. Even if it proves to be true it will be excused, the way Bill Johnson excused Todd Bentley.
Cost breakdown for Completing the Healing Certification Program
Physical Healing Track $1,700
Soul Care Track$1,700*
Total for Whole Program$5,100
GlobalAwakening.com – CHCP – Christian Healing Certification Program
Kingdom Invasion 2013 March 13 – 15, 2013 Singapore (with Bill Johnson, Randy Clark, Heidi Baker, Tom Jones)
Call me cynical, but I get the distinct impression that all the’re interested in is laying hands on yer wallet.
Life is hard for me in illness. Yesterday I woke at noon, and went to bed yesterday evening at 6 pm. This morning, Sunday, I was awakened at 10 am. I do not mean to complain, but I do have a question:
Jesus healed (it appears) everyone who came to Him needing healing. People say the exception was at the pool (John 5). Don’t use that because if you examine it carefully, it would be against His character to have left everyone else there crying in pain, and for Him to walk away and leave them to hurt and die! After the one was healed, I can almost hear their screams, like blind Bartimaus: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!!!” (Mark 10:46)
I moved to Bethel to get healed, and it did not happen.
Now, the few times I am able to go to any church, I cannot find any. And I am too sick to move away from Redding, where Bethel is.
Churches either deny the power of God, or pretend to have it. I have not yet found an exception to this. And I have been to many many, in USA and Canada. Many denominations and non-denominations.
“He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.” (Matt. 10:1). Who today???
Bethel advertises to have that power, but I did not see it there. And other places deny it exists today, either printed in their doctrinal statement, or simply in fact that healing never happens there. “That was Jesus” they say, in their impotence.
Honestly, in my case, the long pain of my extended illnesses makes suicide seem an option, although it is not. Because what the Bible teaches is not practiced today, at least not in North America, to my knowledge.
I cry with Bartimaus: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!!!”
And if any of you need fellowship and live near Redding, Cal., we are starved for fellowship. Please contact us somehow. I give M’Kayla permission to give out my email address to you, if she knows you are not spam or evil.
Amen, I have been in a journey out of Pentecost and I concur with all you say. My greatest revelation was that I was in mystical religion and did not realise it. Pentecost is tantamount to salvation by works like Catholics, in that you are constantly striving for next experience, to worship harder, longer more ecstatically to be worthy of him. It’s all found at Calvary nothing more or less Jesus did it all, nothing in my hands I bring, simply to the cross I cling. Amen
I can’t find out of the fire, dangerous journey testimony, can you help?
Hi Janet. The Out of the Fire link appears to be broken. I have contacted the author for help.
James Ch 2:26: For as the body without the Spirit is dead, so Faith without Works is dead also”.
Abey are you saying that SOZO is a true work of the Lord? I’m confused. Please explain.
M’kala: Does James 2:26 sound occultic to you. For to one man it did -Martin Luther & so introduced the words “Faith only” in the Protestant Bible, thus contradicting St. James to the Apostolic Faith, by so doing he actually reversed the truth & thus made it occultic, something like making the faith of Abraham to be from sitting crossed legged & chanting ‘Love & Fresh air” to the ” Sozo” instead of his faith proved by obeying the word of God, which is to the work, wherein was involved great pain, until God held his hand to bringing in His own Son.. There is a difference to believing God to confessing Him in the mind, & the same done in the Spirit, for it is the spirit that declares our belief in Christ Jesus, unto the Father & the spirit does not lie, which spirit is the Holy Spirit mentioned by James. For in the works of the faith is the Spirit. In the words “Pick up your crosses & follow me”, therein is involved pain & sacrifices. To heal a Physical ailment some amount of pain is involved so is the case with Spiritual ailment by sin which is to death.
I don’t see a connection between your comment and the topic.
On the other hand it is very much to the core of the topic where Sozo to the occult is just one of the corruptions to misinterpreting the Gospels opening it to the deviations, like to the convenience of Prosperity & Social preachings gathered unto itching years, coming off a root cause previously mentioned, in christian names. In simple words a problem can only be understood by getting at its root looking through the deceptions, especially so when it comes to Apostating the faith. if it is sozo today recognizable it would turn itself to another sozo unrecognizable cause its root has not been spiritually discerned, for sin is highly deceiving. Indeed to the Prophecy, only few will find the narrow & winding way.
The root problem is is the end result of SIN, our own and others. We need to be trained – discipled – in pursing a life that pleases God, given over to prayer and study. Christians, sadly, and to their own demise, are looking for a quick fix and it just does not work that way. There is no freedom to be found in the operations of SOZO.
How long has it & how long more will man through pain & time take to learn obedience from the disobedience at Eden resulting the sin, again only by His Mercy, to the Mercy seat on the Arc of the Covenant, the Covenant manifested as the Grace, but for a time Appointed when that which restrains the sin be taken away, sin exposed before God, bringing Judgement, when men will cry out to the caves, cleaves & the rocks to hid them from the face of the Omnipotent one. A heavy price indeed.
A little clew to add to what has been said of “the narrow & winding way”: in the NT it speaks of “strait is the gate and narrow is the way”, but in the OT (Is 35) it is spoken of as the High Way of Holiness. i.e.: I see a major clew to walking in that way to be holiness. Without holiness, no matter the hype, they have slipped, or wandered, off of that High Way of Holiness. And “The unclean shall not pass over it.”
Also interesting is that the very next verse (Matt 7:13-15) speaks of “Beware of false prophets …”
Another point: Jesus referred to Is. 35 (that same chapter) when telling John B how to recognize the Messiah (Luke 7:22-23). It had much to do with needed healing (Not pretend healing for show!). I am one of those desperately in that need, and disappointed in today’s church that either denies healing or pretends to it, leaving people like myself to die. How to recognize the real thing today should also include the presence of true healing, of which I know not in any church today.
Shane, The “loon” as you say was John Paul Jackson. He also mentored Doug Addison and Barbie Breathitt who have gone on to spread their occult practices throughout charismania. Wake up church!
I want to thank you for the bold and Biblically-founded manner with which you tackle these pseudo-Christian practices going on in the church today. I was heavily involved in a lot of the “charismania” for a few years, traveling and being mentored by (à la Paul/Timothy) a man who was rubbing shoulders with and very respected by people such as C. Peter Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, Mike Bickle, etc. So to say I was inundated with NAR theology would be an understatement….Is there a way that I could ask you some questions regarding what to do with some of the things that I believe the Lord has been showing me of late? In short, I’ve come to believe there is a profound level of deception being abided, if not propagated, within some of these circles. And while I’m certain I am now walking the Lord’s path, I am not at all sure how to navigate this rather unfamiliar terrain as it relates to my charismatic-heavy past. So is there a venue more conducive for asking said questions? (The reason I commented here is because I also went through “sozo” sessions, and I am now convinced that it was not of God, in keeping with what you’ve written above.)…If my expressed endeavor is not feasible from your vantage point, I of course completely understand–in which case, I thank you again for your ministry and pray the peace and grace of our Lord be with you. 🙂
Seth, you can ask me your questions here. 🙂 I see all posts before they I approve them.
I know I am a little late getting into the game here, but wanted to thank Dave for being open and honest and sharing his experience. Without his comments I am not sure I would want to put myself on the chopping block once again.
This has been my experience. I was trained as a massage therapist and practiced with a firm foundation in the neurological aspects of massage and the holding patterns formed in the muscles. I avoided getting involved in therapies like Reiki and such. Before every session I said and prayer and invited the Holy Spirit into the sessions. I will also say at this point in my life I was involved in a Conservative Baptist church that did not believe that the gifts of healing were for this time, but only for the time of Jesus. I attracted a lot of clients who had chronic pain muscular issues. My focus was always just on relaxing and releasing the muscles to relieve the pain. What I found was that there were times when as I began working on a chronic area that the client often would remember a traumatic event from their past that was related to that pain. As they remembered and spoke about it the pain issues cleared and healing was received. When they tried to give me the credit, I always turned credit for the healing over to the presences of the Holy Spirit. There were occasions while I was working on the chronic pain issue and seemly getting nowhere, when I would be given a vision. This was nothing I invoked or invited, outside of the initial prayer and invitation for the Holy Spirit to lead the healing. As I would describe what I was seeing, the clients would connect almost immediately to a past traumatic event that they had totally forgotten about and go into further detail of the event. As they did, the chronic pain would release and healing would be received. Again, all credit was given to the Holy Spirit.
Like I said, I was involved in a Baptist church at the time, and had no experience what so ever with any of the charismatic groups, and really didn’t know anything about them, what they believed or do I even know most of the name people fling around today concerning them. What I do know is that the only place I could go to understand this was the Lord himself. What I do know that He told me at that time was this:
1. Chronic ailments are not always linked to sin. When Jesus healed the blind man and his disciples asked upon whose sin was the cause of this blindness, his or his parents, the Lord told them it was not caused by sin, but so that the glory of the Lord would be seen.
2. When the woman with the issue of blood was healed, it wasn’t just a physical healing. The Bible may not specify that the issue began from a prior trauma, but the fact that she had gone 12 years considered unclean and untouchable and spent her every last dime seeking healing from the physicians to no avail, would have left deep emotional wounding, as some of your blog sharers can attest to. He told her “thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” She was healed of the plague, that was physical, “go in peace” speaks to the healing of her mind and emotional state, and “thy faith has made you whole” speaks the healing of her soul and the crisis of faith she had suffered all those years. Does it say she remembered the past, it doesn’t, but how could she not have remembered all those 12 years of the pain and stigma attached to that pain.
Today, I have a lot more understanding of the new/old charismatic movements and I do believe that there is another spirit behind much of that. I completely understand and agree with the writing on the Kundalini spirit. I do not know anything about Sozo, and have never been directed to pursue any of those kind of things, but I do know that God is the God of healing not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and He restores my soul.
Many years after these healing experiences with clients the Lord directed me to walk out my own healing from childhood sexual abuse that had been repressed all my life. I could not move forward into significant intimate relationships, but always ran whenever someone got too close, not able to understand my reactions. As I prayed into this, one day the Lord told me it was time to pursue my own healing and that it was going to require me to retrieve my childhood memories, for the truth was going to set me free. Believe me at first I was very resistant to the idea, but He continued to encourage me and give me confirmation. As I did this, He was by my side the entire time as He promised, I never sought out healing from methods that could put imagination or images into my mind I had a Christian counselor and sought massage therapy to deal with the intense numbing produced in my body to block memories. When memories surfaced, everything I remembered was confirmed through my sister who was 4 years older than me and would related the actual experience I was remembering.
I was still attending the Baptist Church at the time and heard many of the same comments that have been stated on this blog. You need to put the past behind you and press toward the prize, if you have the joy of Christ in you, you should rejoice always and not look at the pain of the past or acknowledge the pain you are going through right now. I was doing as the Lord directed and to this day I am thankful to Him for all the healing He has brought me through.
To me, that’s exactly it, and how you handled things is how they should be done. You pray, and let God be God, and that’s it. There’s no formula, no painstaking searching, no rummaging around looking for issues, no conjuring up a mental image. If we really have to work all this stuff up on our end, raise the ‘faith level in the room,’ as I’ve heard Randy Clark say, where’s the grace and power of God? And in His time, He brought up your personal stuff, not because you were paying fifty bucks to some so-called self-proclaimed specialist to ‘sow into your healing…’ God forgive me, but I really want to meet the person who thought that phrase up and express my extreme anger at their manipulation (Yes, that phrase is on SOZO’s website, an explanation for them justifying charging for their ‘ministry’ as if we have to make some effort of our own when it’s really supposed to be the Lord working His will and good pleasure.) What happened to ‘freely you have received, freely give’ and ‘silver and gold have I none but such as I have give I thee?’ Or ‘blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled?’ Not hungering and thirsting after an experience. Experience leaks, as one friend used to say in his seminars. To chase it is to try to drain a sink with a sieve.
M’kayla hits the problem square on the head when she addresses the issue of who is allowed to pray for people. In the Presbyterian church I used to attend, it was elders (including the pastors, who are considered ‘teaching elders’ in Presbyterianism), and only elders (and their wives, sometimes) who were allowed to pray with those seeking prayer at a service, not just anybody who’d gone through a class or a seminar or ‘training’ or who ‘felt led.’ If you thought that God was moving you to be an elder, you would go through those seminars, classes and trainings, but if you weren’t an elder, nope, nope, nope. They would’ve politely and quietly asked you to sit down, or possibly had you taken outside if you wouldn’t!
Here’s another thought. Jesus did miracles and sat and taught people, traveling around Judea, staying in places for days at a time. Now, we don’t have a recording of every single thing he said and did. But He did it a lot. So what do you suppose He taught them? If I had thousands of people following me for days through the mountains and the desert, and a core team with me for roughly three and a half years, I’d better be offering more than some nifty feel-good sleight-of-hand, right? We have the essentials of all He said during that time in the Gospels, just not every detail. Consider that of all He did, said and taught, these are the things which were most remembered, things which, in an age before printing, were preserved and transmitted by mouth and by hand for us. It behooves us to deeply meditate on them.
I would like to share with you my experience i had with going through Sozo. Please, if I’m on the wrong page, please direct me to the right one.
In Oct 2012 i went through a session. I truly didn’t know what i was getting myself into, but i trusted in the pastor and also, being a new christian, i got into anything with boots and all because i was so hungry for God, just wanted more of him, and i truly thought this was it.
Anyway, i experienced something i thought was right and felt afterwards rejuvenated and refreshed, so i thought. 2 weeks or so later i had a dream, a warning i thought, about the Sozo ministry, which i saw in big bold letters, BE CAREFUL OF SOZO. So i started investigating the ministry alot more, which led me to you M’kayla. Then i wanted to know more, i prayed to the lord about the dream if it was of him, that day onwards i had no peace about Sozo, and renounced the ministry straight away, but that didn’t stop there, God gave me no peace so i started writing things down which i found about the ministry and nothing good came out of it.
Since then i have recently written to someone of importance about the ministry, and actually wanted to know his thoughts on it… Maybe, i should’ve prayed harder before sending, but he was on my heart very strongly and instead i didn’t get a nice reply back. At the time i felt down and really had to ask the Lord did i actually hear him right, i started questioning my walk with God, to discerning right, was i really being led by the Holy Spirit, i first started looking at myself, then asked God to forgive me if i was wrong.. I questioned everything and still i remember my dream as if it were this morning..
Now, I’ve been a christian for 2 yrs and my faith is still strong for God, i wouldn’t give him up for anything.. As for the letter i wrote to the person, i have left it in Gods hands because he does a better job..
As for The Sozo ministry, I don’t believe it’s of God, and i don’t believe it’s Holy Spirit led..
1 Timothy 4:1
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
Thank you M’kayla for posting about the ministry, people truly need to know they are being mislead and being deceived in these last days.. God bless you..
I have read this article with interest and a lot of it sounds very familiar. A few years ago my spouse got into prayer healing. I vehemently objected to it, but to no avail.
While my spouse hasn’t really shared too much about it, some things that were described here sound very familiar. The more extreme example is that my spouse now knows that some terrible things happened in the past–although this has never been proven and noone has been confronted.
It happens to also be that, as I saw in the comments that my spouse fervently defends the idea of generational curses, which I also have disproven and shown to my spouse, but my spouse disregards my explanation.
Now the state of our marriage is deplorable. When I took a minute to trace back when things really went back, I realized that pretty much simultaneously with when my spouse “enrolled” in prayer healing counselling, my spouse also became very antagnostic towards my views of the Bible/Christinianity. I wonder, does anyone know anything about the following ministry: http://www.shammahsfield.com http://shammahsfield.com/about/ ? They may be legitimate, but maybe also not.
The following connections this ministy boasts raise some red flags with me:
–Elijah House (Idaho & Washington)
The others, I cannot tell:
–Cornerstone Counseling Centre in Ontario, Canada;
–Restoration in Christ Ministries in Grottoes, Virginia; and
–A.C.A.C.I.A. in Spokane Valley, Washington
Does anyone have any suggestions on Shammahsfield ministry or those ministries associated with it? Again, maybe these are all very valid ministires, in which case, please do let us know as well.
Seth, I don’t know anything about shammah’s field other than what I see at the link. I have to say that I do believe there is a need for healing, counseling, etc. in the body, but these particular organizations have gone past everything written in the bible and have brought in teachings from the occult. I can see from first glance that it is very similar to what I was involved in with the prophetic and International Assoc of Healing Rooms based in Spokane. I am familiar with Elijah House and the Sandfors and know they are held in high esteem in these similar groups and teachings.
I am so sorry to hear this has had such a negative affect on your marriage. It does not surprise me knowing the work of Satan is to destroy us. It doesn’t seem to matter how he does that, just as long as it is accomplished. I fear for the state of your wife’s spirit and what will happen if she doesn’t allow the Lord to open her eyes and pull her out. I so hope this happens for her soon. Don’t stop praying. Please stay in touch if you are so inclined. 🙂
Thanks MKayla for the feedback. We live in a strange world indeed. Marriages in the ol’ days broke up because of sexual unfaithfulness. Then liberations of all kinds created all kinds of new categories; independence, emotionalism, over-psychocalization of society. But never would I have thought that prayer healing rooms/counselling (yes I hardly knew this existed) would be another factor.
I’m not sure where all of you people are getting your information. I took Elijah House 1 last year and currently taking Elijah House 2 and you couldn’t be further from the truth.
I was healed of many things and so were others I know. The focus is on Jesus and not on any if the other stuff you people are talking about.
Are you concerned at all for judging? Thats what you are doing here.
Wow. And you people call yourselves Christians? I pray for your deliverance.
Jim, where am I getting my information? Previous experience. There is not one place in the bible we are taught to seek healing or deliverance from sources outside the Lord. That is exactly what Elijah House and other organizations do. You are the one who need to research where these ideas and practices come from!
I just found your Blog and I praise God for it!!
I have been on the “fringes” of this movement for almost all of my adult Christian life and I have had my eyes opened wide by the Lord, to STAY AWAY AND WARN OTHERS!!
I am inquiring about a healing ministry.
It is a Theophostic healing ministry that uses the Healing Prayer Technique. The background of the ministry came from the teachings of (name removed by request) Please don’t print name yet.)
There was heavy emphasis on renouncing past sins, focusing prayer on past traumas and being freed from generational curses. There was a big emphasis on renouncing Freemasonry from the family line too.The Holy Spirit was always invited to work in the sessions.and the focus was on The Lord. I have seen where it has helped some of the people, but I believe it is because it was the first time most of them repented of unforgiveness and hidden sins. (my opinion) but they still struggle with showing the fruits of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
There is a fee being charged for sessions (not cheap) and the client is encouraged to practice spiritual disciplines of reading the Word, praying and worship and to practice Godliness.That is good counsel (of course) but if the Leader is leading them by using Occult practices, there is a HUGE problem!!
Any info or advice is much appreciated so that I can tell others to steer clear. Thank you! God bless you for speaking The TRUTH!!
Kris: you ask about Theophostic. A very simple answer. I learned this many years ago: When it is used, they ask you to go into a memory and look for Jesus there. They instruct you not to challenge any Jesus that appears, and that you can test later. However, in practice, that “later” time never happens. If you are there in your old memory, and you see someone claiming to be Jesus, CHALLENGE it according to I John 4:1-3. And I like the old KJV here, with its verb tenses: “Is Jesus Christ come in the flesh?” Challenge it as soon as you see it. Insist on a clear answer. Do not settle for any evasion at all. When I was at that point, EVERY TIME, without exception, in a Theophostic session, it ALWAYS answered negative, and then (within the visualized memory) shrank down to the appearance of a blob of tar on the floor. Because of this, I was convinced that Theophostic was evil, and the supposed beings claiming to be Jesus were actually demons. AND, it became clear to me that Theophostic is a primary way in which unsuspecting Christians start to deal with demons instead of the Jesus Christ of the Bible. The deception is horrendous! I will tell anyone/everyone: stay away from Theophostic and things similar to that. It may cost you your eternity!!! Always when in a vision or dream or resurfaced old memory, and a spiritual being is encountered, always challenge it. Make that your habit. It may save your life!!
I have to say i don’t agree.. I have shed allot of issues off my two times of sozo..i would say the word does speak that poor sons n daughters with prophecie &dream dreamsm n Also visions .. U said above that its sorcery . the word of God don’t contradict itself. He is not human .. He dint need to lie or repent. So why would the new testament speak of this day n age if this was the case.. I have been a addict for years.im free now. I felt so light coming out the healing room.. Also i felt peaceful. Sometimes i think people can use things that God blesses us with for bad.like taking this n using it then selling things like this out n glorifying men thinking they healed them.when it was God given visions learned thru Holy spirit n the healing work cones from Jesus. They’re needs to be Jesus as the focus in everything! Like eating is good for u but if u don’t eat u won’t be nourished n health issues can occur. As if u over eat that’s too much n can’t hurt u..i did enjoy the read n hope u see what i was saying. Im not tent to disrespect in Any manner God bless you Always
Sarah, Sozo is not a biblical practice. It is taken from sources outside of Christianity and brought in. The practice or need for Sozo is no where mentioned in the bible. This being the case, how can it be of God? It cannot. Just because something feels right or seems right does not mean that it is. I hope that you see the truth and come out from under the lies of Sozo. All we need is Jesus.
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I was into all of this garbage when I was very young 18 .would have been nice to stay in the Lutheran church and not get involved in any of this crazy charismatic crap . That’s what it is . Pure crap.I went to an A of G church that was populated by Youth with a mission people. YWAM is THE worst “ministry “out there.I am waiting on Ssi a direct result of years of abuse.
Guys, it has been a few years ago, since I posted, but just a quick update. I had asked awhile back if anyone knew if Wayne Bentz’s Shammahs Field (or ShammahsField) ministry counselling was false or not. Back then I noted the connections, which were then, and maybe still are, posted on the website. Connections to Elijah house et al. Now I cannot judge what was said in the counselling sessions and whether it was sound or not. But I can say what the outcome eventually has become.
-1-My marriage partner started to get counselling through this ministry.
-1a-theological polarization between us increased for a year or two
-1b-she then claimed God told her to move to another country, taking the kids; I did not realize it was a cunning well prepared trip to separate/divorce
-2-Then over the course of a year wavered between divorce or not divorce, changing her mind 5 times.
-3-The fifth time, she filed for divorce; got engaged within a month, obtained a final decree after 2 months; refused my offer for reconciliation (2 months after the final divorce), and got married 4 to 5 months after the final decree.
Meanwhile, I have also sought counselling and realized that:
-1-I had been a jerk, selfish and unloving
-2-Am diagnosed being on the spectrum
-3-Our issue was mainly a typical marriage crisis, majorly caused by communication failures
From a secular pov I can understand her divorce, but having carefully thought things through, her wavering et al; it shows among others that it was a marriage crisis, not divorce material. Biblically I do not see the divorce as justified. Yes, even if I were to be considered an unbeliever, that in and of itself is not a reason for a Christian to diivorce (1 Cor 7)–only the unbeliever can decide to opt out!
The divorce is now all water down the bridge. Once she remarried, reconciliation of the marriage had become impossible, so I needed to move on.
All in all, however, theological differences seem to have been the reason d’etre of the divorce. Even today, were I to see the kids, I have been told that I am not trusted because of their “spiritual wellbeing.”
There is a lot of pain and hurt. But back to the topic at hand, I can only warn people to be forewarned. I do not think i have the evidence to absolutely condemn the ministry, but surely I can ask you to keep your eyes open. I am not in a position to say, do not go to Shammah field ministries for counselling. But what I do want to urge, is that if you do, please be sure to test the waters VERY CAREFULLY. Make sure they are in line with your beliefs; your cup of tea. I do not say this without cause. The religious incompatibility cited, God’s will being cited for the separation and then the divorce, are some indicators, that suggest to me that my ex was influenced in certain ways, contrary to her nature. Really, in my experience, there are usually fine, well experienced, accredited, licensed, Christian counsellors out there, who can meet you face to face. If you need counselling, why not find one of those out. (Counselling over the internet does not leave the benefit of interpreting body language and other physiological signs, among others.)
PS: They apparently do practice, finding the false Jesus: http://shammahsfield.com/news/newsletter-january-2017/
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Hi I stumbled on this after fully accepting I have been abused in a prior church and confronted the pastor. The leader I was abused by used this method but called it something else I only remembered it also started with a S. Anyways it was terrible mind rape. She ended up using all the info against me she gathered it went on for years. God would not give anyone that kind of power of suggestion right? Who cares what they called it it was not my Jesus. The more healing I received the more my giftings changed suddenly I was over come with the thoughts and desires of others I became unbalanced emotionally as well… If I complained well I needed more healing. It did not end well for me there I eventually blew up after being basically bullied by this same leader after a parent died. Come to find out she has a long history of this and although the pastor was not surprised stands beside her still. But then I learned he too has a past. Leaving them my gifts returned to normal my mind became quite again but now after confronting I’m wondering….will I ever not be triggered by this? Seems like I have ptsd where church is concerned and I struggle finding a new place. I’m also confused this was my first church experience… When I pray at night I truly feel the lord I have dreams and visions. I guess that’s why I went there for years I thought they were like me. If they were like me they would have heard the same words of the lord that I did that this is evil that I was subjecting myself to abuse though right?. Am I still tapping into God wrong if I feel him and dream etc. Or was I just in a super evil environment that others seem ok with but I couldn’t stay in? It kinda makes you doubt you’re prayer life you know? I just don’t want to find out I’m doing this wrong I guess.I’ve prayed on it and felt the lord say that I should not TRY that the trying is the flesh…you know envisioning or pressing into the lord like they teach. I feel like I’m relearning everything and the fear of the lord is in my life I really don’t want to enter any false realms but I still pick up on things( like passing a girl and knowing she doesn’t feel pretty today so I try and compliment her… Or dreams of judgement against the Jeezabel church coming) at times without trying. Is that a gifting of the holy spirit or is something wrong with me? I don’t want to attract the same people again… Did I do something wrong in the spirit that led me down that path or do they just prey on people like me? If its wrong how do I make it stop?
Wonderful article. My church has brought in an inner healing ministry and it has really changed the church for the worse. The ministry seems the same as sozo but under a different name. My church leaders read alot of books from bethal they attend their conferences and now the music is being played. Can i please talk with you with email if possible. I need more information so i can share the truth with them. Thanks so much.
In 2012 -14 i was involed as part of our church in sozo. It was a very confusing time. Old memories we “dug up” and many times i was asked to imagine Jesus in that place. I went along with it but deep down something felt of so i researched it a little. Now our church has more or less evaporate and everyone gone somwhere else. I dont know where to go to church now .
I find your warnings about Soso incorrect. When mature believers practice prayer for those believers suffering from past wounded ness, we apply scripture, forgiveness, and prayer for healing.
In our experience, no one has ever called Jesus a “spirit guide“ or imagined Jesus doing things to create a new memory. We simply invite the person to ask the lord if he was present during these events (the answer is obviously yes) and what is his perspective on the event. There is no “occultism“ involved.
You are obviously against all forms of spirit filled or Pentecostal churches who believe that the Holy Spirit still gives us gifts as mentioned in the first Corinthians chapter 12 . I don’t believe that argument can be won with scripture because there are proofs in both directions that are used. However, for all believers the Holy Spirit is very real and present to us, is our comforter and guide in daily life.
I hope you are not guilty of blaspheming the Holy Spirit in your zeal to prove your point, you may be confusing Christians instead of purging them to be filled with the holy spirit
Frank, you obviously do not understand what SOZO is truly about, what it is based upon and that it’s practice is NOT found in the bible.
Thank you!!!! This is absolutely confirming, accurate and given to you by God to help those who have been tormented by SOZO or those who need questions answered. I was someone who was trained in this as well, I was also trained by Charles Kraft, and many other ministries. I was a conservative Christian that had heavenly encounters. I could not explain my encounters to fellow conservative Christians so it was a slightly difficult and confusing journey, which led me to the charasmatic Christian circle. I was introduced to the Holy Spirit through SOZO prayer. I was niave. I receieved prayer and instantly knew a dark cloud came over me of depression and tormebt. I was completely tormented. But instead of going straight to God and repenting for opening myself up to this, I then became obsessed with inner healing, basically trying to deliver myself from the first inner healing prayer. I went to bethel school of supernatural, had sozo prayer, was trained in sozo prayer, I was also trained by Numerous other ministries in this inner healing prayer of repressed memories, where I prophesied about people past to them. Well I never saw one healing in all my prayers and instead I was looked at like a medium and people were coming to me, even companies were dining me for lunch and dinner to receive prophetic healing and insight etc. I felt the lord tell me I have become a psychic. I then took a break from the church to restore my relationship with God. In this break he revealed to me how I was basically hypnotized in that first inner healing prayer and received demons. All I had to do was repent, one repentence prayer for all my sins. He set me free. And his holy love came with it. I have misled many through SOZO type prayer, and Thank the lord for his grace and mercy and I thank him for setting me free from the lies of SOZO. Thank you Mkayla for your article. Sozo prayer is very hypnotic and addicting, only those who are grounded in the word of God will be able to see its Lies and seduction. I cannot convince my church friends of the sozo false and vain imaginations that 100% come against the knowledge of Jesus and his word.
Reblogged this on The Word Like Fire and commented:
It has been reported that a Christian recovery center will be implementing Sozo. Bethel Redding’s tentacles are everywhere, it seems.
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This is actually nothing new. Many, many years ago I had some church ministers try to help me through inner healing BUT than God I was never able to go back to past events , no matter what they tried to do to “conjour” up past memories.
However I do know that people do need deliverance. We all have many ungodly things passed down the generational lines from both sides (maternal and paternal), aquired our own bondages through disobedience to God and need to be set free. A big part of Jesus’s ministry involved casting out demons along with healing. Unfortunately this does hardly ever get taught in today’s churches because it is a very uncomfortable subject. People much rather have their ears tickled than hear sound doctrine. Many churches today are nothing more than social clubs being slowy but surely seduced into the New Age deception.
Correction: thank God
The word “deliverance” is problematic. We should trust the Lord for emotional healing, as we place ourselves under His care. Believers are not held accountable for the sins of others and that includes “generational sins”. Believers can come under oppression and the results can be extreme, but Jesus never cast demons out of believers. We cannot be possessed by demons.
Why do you suppose a lot believers struggle with the same kind of problems that their family line was suffering? Why do we still have believers that cannot stop drinking, smoking, fornicating, adultering, or have all sorts of issues? Demons get passed down the generational lines, whether you believe it or not. Are you telling me that all those that found true freedom from generational curses, sins, self aquired curses, sins, are deceived? Do not let your experience with sozo cloud your judgement. We have defeated believers because they get taught in their churches that you cannot have demons under any circumstances because they are saved. The devil is doing a marvelous jobThen please tell me why the body of believers is in such bad shape? Why do we have believers that are afflicted with the same diseases as their parents, grand parents, etc? Why does the Bible talk about cuses and how thay get passed down? The iniquities of the fathers are passed down to the third and fourth generation. Read about the curses and their workings in your Bible. Read about Jericho and the curse pronounced over the rebuilding of the city. Or how Jacob cursed his wife who had taken her fathers idol. She died after giving birth.
Read about the strongman’s binding, the clean house, the seven more spirits and the being worse off than before. This talks about the deliverance of the believer and what happens if he does go back to his old ways after being delivered. Yes, believers CAN have demons and I am quite sure that nowadays most believers deal with some kind of demonic infestation. And there are reputable deliverance ministries that do deliverance by the leading of the Holy Spirit of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I am sorry that you had to experience what you went through with sozo and thank you for your warning. I pray that the Holy Spirit will lead you and guide you into all truth. Kevin L. A. Ewing is an excellent teacher on the subject, teaching straight from the Bible. Very eye opening.
There is not a scripture in the bible that states believers in Christ are subject to, or held accountable for generational sins of ancestors. We war against the flesh and are called to lay down our desires and our lives to follow Christ. It is not an easy life to live, but one that is full of spiritual battle, constant prayer and tribulation! The life of a Christian goes against our sinful nature which will always be with us until we are redeemed from the earth. To believe otherwise, or to state we are subject to the sins of others comes from a misunderstanding of the bible! In addition, we can certainly be troubled by demons but they are overcome by the power of the Lord. The demons return to a person who has been freed but has not been filled by the Spirit. It is a picture of a person who has been set free but has not found Christ. Christians will not be possessed, as the two opposing spirits cannot exist together.
As for Sozo, it is an inner healing method taken from teaching outside of scripture and has nothing to do with the biblical sense of healing.
I suggest you do further study on these topics because you are not rightly dividing the word of God.
I am sorry that your experience has clouded your perception of the Scriptures. The person has been set free, yes, however if this person does not keep up the deliverance (as in reading, studying and memorizing scriptures, letting the scriptures saturate them and therefore getting stronger in Messiah, which in turn will lead to greater victory over the devil) then yes, the spirits are legally allowed back into the person’s life to wreak havoc.. Renew the mind and the demons will not come back stronger. Deliverance is a process. And just because someone is not able to keep their deliverance after the first or however manieth time does NOT mean they are not saved –> or without Christ!!!I do not know who is teaching you the beliefs you share here but I dare to disagree with that kind of doctrine.
It seems to me that you are afraid of the supernatural reality we all are subject to. I cannot imagine how you do victorious warfare against the enemy of you soul. You cannot defeat the enemy of you soul if you are closing your eyes to his evil agenda. And one of his agendas is to make sure to blind people to the reality of demonization. Perhaps your experience with sozo was one of his ways to throw you off course so to speak. Why don’t you get in touch with credible deliverance ministries and share your concerns with them. Allow them to tell you their ecperiences with the supernatural enemy we face. I am sure you will not be turned away.
By the way, the flesh is influenced either by obedience to God – or disobedience to God, which is obedience to the devil. There is NO grey zone. Please read the “old’ Testament again and pay attention to the curses all throughout. There are demons attached to these curses, that is the way it works. When we speak the Word Of God we are “releasing” His angels to do His Word – you can find this I think in one of the Psalms. When we do not speak the Word of God but speak contrary to it, we are speaking curses which in turn releases the agents or angels of the devil to do his bidding activated by us, whether you believe it or not, it does not make a difference to them!!!
I never said that sozo was a biblical way of delivering a person from strongholds, aka demons, you must have misunderstood something I wrote.
I pray and hope that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will open your eyes to the truth. Believe it or not I am just trying to help you. God said: “My people perish for lack of knowledge” and you do not want this to happen to you. Prayer and fasting can bring tremendous insight into a situation. Kevin Ewing is an expert on this.
Please prayerfully consider my words to you.
Blessings to you as well!
Myla, I wrote at he beginning of my comment to you “clouded” your … This is not the correct term. “Influenced” is a much better word. I apologize!
MKayla – not Myla 🙂
“At that time Joshua invoked this solemn oath: “Cursed before the LORD is the man who rises up and rebuilds this city, Jericho; at the cost of his firstborn he will lay its foundations; at the cost of his youngest he will set up its gates.” joshua 6:26. Joshua’s curse was literally fulfilled years later during the reign of King Ahab.1 Kings 16:34 reads, “In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho. He laid its foundation at the cost of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun.” Both sons died as a result of a curse spoken hundreds of years earlier. Someone paid the cost.
We may not be responsible for the sins our ancestors committed against the Most High, hoewever we are the ones who have to suffer the “consequences” of their sins – whether we are saved or not. Generations of addiction, diseases, infirmities, premature death, insanity, ailments, poverty, barrenness and much more are nothing but (sin) curses passed down the bloodline via demons to us.
Please consider contacting reputable deliverance ministries and let them tell you about their experiences with the unseen realm. Share your concerns with them and see what will come of it. Please do not let your sozo experience stand in the way of true deliverance and rightly dividing the Word of Truth.
This is my final response to you and I hope you will find the truth, embrace it and walk in it! Where I am in error may the Most High reveal it to me speedily!
Blessings to you!
My goodness! Does it do any good whatsoever to consider that Sozo has been taken from inner healing methods outside of the teaching of scripture and that it’s roots are more occult than they will ever be Christian? Or is is simply enough for you to stamp the name of the Lord onto any old teaching that comes along, throw in a few scriptures and call it divine healing, deliverance…???
I was a trained Sozo and healing rooms minister, seer prophet until the Lord called me out of it in 2008. I have since been studying and warning people regarding the false doctrines behind the healing and prophetic movements. I have just published a book regarding my experiences, comparing these teachings with scripture. Please pay attention because you are not correct in your assumptions of me or Sozo.
What is your book called?
A Shared Deception: The Lies We Believed
Actually it should read ” demons passed down the generational bloodline via (sin) curses to us.”
You really are twisting the concept if sozo and while I don’t agree with everything they do you are misrepresenting and giving information on something you know anything about.
Taylor, I was trained in Sozo and still have the manual. Is there something specific you would like to clarify?
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I linked to your article in one I wrote concerning Charismatic Witchcraft. Thank you for sharing this article, and I pray it helps people come out from this demonic nonsense.
Hello and thank you so very much! I hope it will too! I wrote an e-book that was published last November and you may want to have a look because it is all about my experiences and the journey out.
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