Before I get to Kim Olsen’s blog post, those who are unfamiliar with Sozo prayer need to know more about it. First of all, Sozo prayer is the brain child of husband and wife team Bill (self-proclaimed modern-day apostle) and Beni (New Age guru) Johnson, both of whom are pastors of the infamous Bethel Church in Redding CA. The word comes from the Greek “save” or “deliver.” Allegedly Sozo is “a unique inner healing and deliverance ministry in which the main aim is to get to the root of those things hindering your personal connection with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”
The Berean Call describes Sozo thusly:
Although claiming to be biblical, Sozo is a problem-solving approach based upon discovering root issues that are blocking spiritual growth. The issues supposedly reside in the subconscious memories of the individual and are identified as a person is regressed by the use of guided imagery and suggestion by the Sozo therapist. Of course, the Sozo therapist is trained to believe that the guided visualization is superintended by the Holy Spirit. This again is spiritualized psychotherapy, using techniques drawn from occult methodologies. (Source)
Sozo is decidedly unbiblical. And it is dangerous!
Now to Kim’s piece over at DiscernIt.
Sozo – The Seeking of the False Jesus
Learning about SOZO occurred when I was working with a woman who was dealing with oppression and darkness. Many are deceived when they enter into a spiritual realm that they have no business delving into.
Today we easily find mysticism, false teaching, divination, abuse of spiritual gifts, and love of experience trumping the Word of God. When you fall into this area the problem is that the spirit world will deliver. Those seeking to be in the “presence of Jesus” will indeed find themselves in the company of a entity but it will not be Jesus of the Bible. Remember that “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14.
Satan is the prince of darkness and well-meaning Christians will fall into the trap and deceitful workmen will also masquerade as “apostles of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:13
There are so many who love the Lord and want to serve Him with all their hearts but the way we do this is laid out in the Epistles to the church in the New Testament. We also find many warnings of false teachers in the scriptures.
When we read about Jesus as our shepherd and recognize ourselves as the flock, it must be remembered that sheep are not very smart. They need to be led. They often cannot discern the enemy among who are clothed in sheepskin but inwardly are wolves. These wolves will be found IN the church, they are among God’s people.
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
The false self-claimed apostles, Bill Johnson, Mike Bickle, Todd Bentley, John Arnott, Todd White, just to name a few, are promising that people can walk among the streets and in the power of the Holy Spirit, heal people of their diseases. Of course this speaks of the pride of man, to be just like the apostles in the book of Acts. These early men were hand selected by Jesus and therefore Apostles. Paul was the last Apostle. God does still does heal today but not like what we are seeing in these false ministries. Continue reading
- Victims of Johnson’s Sozo Ministry Speak Out
- Are inner healing “SOZO,” and “Theophostic” ministries biblical?W
HT John Lanagan
This girl does a good job of explaining Sozo and her experiance with it.
That is just the old David Seamand’s healing of memories. Jesus was your Spirit guide. david was raised in India where he bought into that. It was big in the 70’s practiced by many. David was a little God at Asbury Seminary even after he got caught in adultery.
Different time same devil
Thank-you for sharing your opinion.
Where do people go for help then? I am stumbling with depression and anxiety and imo a lot has to do with false, biblical teaching and I don’t need nor want any more.
Tired of being overlooked or just thrown out into thecworld c of the wolves looking for more prey with apathy by the “christian” community and leaders.
Is there ANY where I can turn b efore it’s too late then?
why dont you check out adonai ministries in bangalore . pastor victor dmonte.
they have inner healing and deliverance,
Go to a church where the people believe in healings deliverance go to a church where They believe in the oneness of the God head . get the elders of the church to annoint u and pray the prayer of faith for your deliverance / Healing . even if you don’t see it , or feel it tell God Thank you for my deliverance say it everyday as long as it takes. stay in a church where they speak truth. Don’t listen to the devil rebuke him . I wouldn’t tell u if I hadn’t already been in your shoes .
NO! Don’t rebuke the devil! Simply “stand firm” in the LORD & “resist” the devil. Only God can rebuke the devil. (see Jude 9 & Eph 6:10-18)
God Bless you. ~Brenda
The BEST place to go is the Bible.
It has ALL the answers you need for your troubles.
Matt 6:31, 33
Phil 4:6, 7
Psalm 46:1 (The whole Psalm)
Put your faith in Him and not on man. He WILL get you through the “rough spots”.
Stay in prayer.
Remember, you have value. God created you for a reason. Seek that reason.
When I did, the answer was almost immediate. I have been given a servant’s heart.
When I put all my effort to serve where ever and when ever I attained a peace that is, as Jesus promised, indescribable (passes understanding).
God bless you. Stay in prayer and trust in Him.
I pray Christians would read their Bible daily, pray and ask God to help us to be obedient to his word. Preferably the KJB. You will not be confused as to what sin is, the reality of hell, or the suffering in this life. Listen to teachers like Justin Peters, Bill Randles, Chris Pinto, if you really want truth, God will lead you.
Being selective about the church you attend is important. I use Sonlife Broadcasting Network to keep myself grounded in the truth. Check your channel line up. they are also on line.
I am sorry to know the bashing taking place about SOZO. It is a simple matter of lack of understanding what and how SOZO functions. The terminology is what throws people. It is a serious thing to draw people away from a church when the person is wrong. But that is God’s business and i pray mercy for those like Martha West who is convinced based on poor information. As for those who testify their bad experience, I am sad but as the same as the main line denominational church settings, just because some have had a misunderstood event or had a poor representation of something good, is not a good reason to declare all as irrelevant or evil. If you watch and listen closely to many of the teachings of Bill Johnson of Bethel you will realize his doctrine of salvation the cross and all the fundamental beliefs are right on. Please! lets stop looking at methods of ministering life and healing with such scrutiny that we bring shame on the body of Christ. Please! lets be careful who we influence ( millions who read this) that will disrupt what God is desiring to do in hearts and lives of millions who have some deep pain from inicidents in past. I have trained for basic and advanced sozo and have served as part of a team ministering and have had SOZO session myself. I have been raised as a Southern Baptist from salvation age 8 and active in a BAptist Church until age 40. now 71 years old having been with Assembly of God, Church of God and Vineyard Movement. I say this not to boast but to implore you to consider the possibility those who demonize movements or organizations or churches or ministries without fully understanding them brings great damage to the precious people who rely on another person’s opinion and if that person is uninformed and has not come up close to see the value of how things are done even though different than the “norm ” in their groups, then oh my! Best Regards, Claudia
Amen, Claudia! When I read the different sites that demonize Sozo, I can tell in just few sentences they have NO clue what they speak of. smh Sozo has been one of the most amazing healing deliverance ministries I’ve seen in along time. And not everyone charges for it, they ask if you are willing to make a donation and if you can’t that is fine also. That has been my only issue with the Bethel church regarding this ministry. It’s an amazing ministry that everyone should check out in it’s fullness before down playing it, lie and demonize it. It’s amazing the disgusting behavior that happens from Christians towards other Christians who have no clue of what they speak. smh
when a mother (and father) lose their daughter to sozo therapy, they have EVERY RIGHT to speak AGAINST this heretical if not demonic trend in spiritual destruction. may you come to know the truth…
AMEN Claudia!! Thank you!
Camille is absolutely right.I had an amazing experience with Sozo. It is based on biblical truths and I experienced deep healing. it is sad that the people who produced this sight are so ignorant of what it is. It is not heretical nor demonic.
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear
O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full
8 The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.
12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up
27 And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand:
28 This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light
2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land
2 Chronicles 33:12
And when he was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers
2 Chronicles 34:27
Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the Lord
I went to a church that brought in Sozo and I saw people loose their faith, oppressed, and led astray. Anything from Bethel is tainted with false teaching. They serve a different Jesus. Praise God I now attend a church that teaches the Bible and only the Bible, book by book. I have been a believer for many years, I attended Bible school, and I worked in a Christian school, but never have I learned as much as I have studying the Word in this systematic, contextual way!
Yes, my experience exactly. The Holy Spirit still moves today through the lives of every believer who is open to him! In Acts 2, the apostle say that this outpouring of the Holy Spirit is for their children and to all who are far off! That means us! Those trained in healing ministries can affect healing as the Holy Spirit leads them. Of course, you can cry out to God directly for healing, but sometimes it helps to have others who understand and come alongside in prayer. The Holy Spirit miracle gifting‘s did not die out with the apostles! This in itself is a false teaching.
Sorry, I meant to say how are you agreed with those who defend SOZO. Some of you fear false teaching so much you won’t get any teaching. Do you need the baptism in the Holy Spirit like the apostles had, and like many in the book of Acts!
hello kate – watch Christian Pastor counselor Patrick Doyle on you tube (the dove) and he has great biblical counsel on almost every relationship problem. he teaches how you can discern who are safe people, hoe to determine if you can trust someone. many professing Christians (even some pastors), today are false teachers, wolves in sheeps clothing. Watch Patricks free you tube videos such as topics titled, unsafe relationships, or setting boundaries, reconciliation, several on abuse and addictions and on depression and forgivness. Also men’s roles and womens roles are also just awesome for helping with our walk with Christ! They are all great and very practical and biblically based. Without resolving conflict/problems Gods way, we may get temporary relief from pain, but we won’t truly resolve anything fully and problems will expand and multiply! it is never too late to turn to Christ and rely on Him fully. Only He can truly heal us! Also, what state and city are you located in and I may know of a bible believing church in your area!
Sozo is not a good thing to participate in. It has ruined my marriage, my finances are screwed up, my so called friends have disappeared. Life was not a fairy tale but I wish I could go back to the one I had before Sozo. This is hypnosis. I know this now because I am a student of psychology now. PLEASE STAY AWAY FROM SOZO. If you need help speak to a professional counselor or pastor and don’t let anyone talk you into needing Do so.
The devil cannot masquerade himself as Jesus.
“13For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their actions.”
2 Corinthians 11:13-15
Satan doesn’t need to masquerade as Jesus, he masquerades as an angel of light. Why go through the trouble specially when ignorant sheeple follow his servants.
You are right anonymous…. the devil cannot masquerade as Jesus and preform healing in the church in the name of Jesus. The people who produced this site are sadly misinformed.
I don’t practice this sozo stuff, but I see nothing unbiblical about it. It is just another form of prayer. Are you saying prayer is unbiblical? I see a lot of stuff being made up about this and stuff taken out of context which is pretty bad for a site that claims to be like the bereans. Can any of you say that the Holy Spirit isn’t working in this manner? No you can’t. If you think you can, you are a fool. If you say that the work of the Holy Spirit is of the devil, then you are worse than a fool because you are opposing God. Remember the Pharisees who said Jesus was of the devil. Well that may as well be you.
Even if I thought this were unbiblical, I wouldn’t warn people against it, i’d just say to be wise about it.
“Even if I thought this were unbiblical, I wouldn’t warn people against it, i’d just say to be wise about ”
Why wouldn’t you warn people about it? Please don’t say because it’s judging!
I wish our daughter had been warned away from it. After “counseling” she falsely accused her brothers of gross misconduct toward her, bordering on the criminal. She and her husband live and work 15 minutes away from us, but she refuses to have any contact from us and they have broken off contact with his parents, too.
Now, we are trying to learn as much as we can about this so we can, hopefully, find a way to get our daughter and son-in-law back. We’re heart-broken.
Christians are commanded to judge what the church teaches.
Amy, at some point you can say a teaching isnt scriptual, but we do have a lot of leeway in interpretation of scripture in some respect. Sure, there is no verse in the bible that says “Everyone practice sozo”. So from that point of view you can say it is not biblical. But there are so many practices in the christian church that isnt biblical, like worshipping on sunday and not the sabbath, communion in its common form, tithing as it is generally used, celebrating easter/christmas. None of that is biblical, but I dont think it is a problem when taken in the right context and understanding the purpose behind the practice.
We all have a broken connection with God. Jesus died to bring us into connection with the Father. Our life experiences bring hurt, pain and affect us in ways we don’t always consciously realise that create obstacles to us being in better connection with God. Now i don’t practice sozo, but I know people who do. At the simplest level, sozo is having an experienced christian helping us to ask the Holy Spirit in prayer to reveal lies that we believe about ourselves that hold us back from enjoying a full relationship with God. There is nothing unbiblical about that. The facilitator is just a helper, but it is the Holy Spirit that does it all. I have seen some people radically changed through this so I know it can be a great tool to help people. I can’t speak against that. Sure you do get the occasional nut who goes off on a tangent and takes things too far, but at the simplest level, I don’t see the problem with sozo and other similar things. Don’t you want to use prayer to remove obstacles in your relationship with God? Or do you want to just struggle for the rest of your life? Of course in all things I tell people to exercise caution and always look to scripture for guidance.
Manny I guess it is semantics. I always caution people to understand the scriptures themselves and decide for themselves and not believe stuff because some eloquent speaker says so. I don’t attend a Bethel affliated church and I am very cautious about the pentacostal/charismatic movement swinging too far towards the signs and wonders and away from being based upon scripture. But having said that, when taken in the right context, I havent heard anything wrong come out of Bethel. Yet.
So I’m not going to call them not of God and a bunch of heretics and anyone who follows them will burn in hell. The fact is I don’t know, but I’m not willing to speak against something that could be a move of God and the work of the Holy Spirit. A lot of what I see on websites speaking against churches like them is stuff taken out of context, stuff that is totally misunderstood, hearsay and gossip which in itself a sin.
But I do like hearing the stories of the people who come out of those churches as it gives me insight into how they operate. So I read these websites to be informed and help inform others, but I am also very cautious speaking against those things.
I just want to say it’s good to see someone dealing with this with love being your guiding principle with your points.
I am encouraged to read the post
glad to have found this article..
we lost our daughter to this kind of “counseling.” in fact, many have lost their daughters at the hands of mercy ministries (now known as mercy multiplied..referred to as ‘mm’ by me), a residential counseling program. our daughter was there for 8 months to help with her depression. we learned too late that a form of memory regression therapy was in process. she accused us of sex abuse and sex trafficking then rejected us, blocking us from her life. we haven’t seen her since march 17, 2012. mm claims to not conduct theophostic/RMT/sozo .. but the proof is in the pudding – additionally backed up by young women who realized years later what really happened. as long as i have breath i’ll speak out against this heresy, no matter who panders it to the unsuspected and vulnerable. we lost our only child… if not on earth then at the throne of God will they pay for their wicked deeds.
The Holy Spirit leads people to repent, to obey Jesus and to live a pure, holy, obefuent life.
To read the bible.
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever
King James Version
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged
The Holy Spirit will always testify of Jesus, not self, not money or tithes, nor self help and boundaries, your next breakthrough, not your so called power to do deceiving signs and wonders,
prosperity, laughing, success or other spiritual sounding things. The Holy Spirit testifies of Jesus and the gospel of salvation. There is lasting fruit.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
here’s the slate article on the subject of mm (& sozo/theophostic/rmt):
I haven’t had tons of experiences with sozo, but I am involved in a ministry called Wellspring that works very similarly. I have been doing this ministry weekly for over a year with a woman who went through the process herself 10 years ago and now ministers to other younger women.
It took me some time to work through bitterness with my family and I was distant for a while. Whenever I have mentioned the prayer ministry I’m doing my family acts weird and it seems to make them feel uncomfortable. I have only brought it up so they are aware there is a process I am going through and deep down I would love it if other family members could get the revelation of truth and healing that I am receiving for themselves. But I have come to a place of resolve that if that kind of healing is not for them I need to be ok with that too. So it sets me apart from them in a way, which is hard. I am experiencing a deepening in my relationship with the Lord and understanding truth and hearing His voice and I want the same for others. But it is a process. And the hurts that are uncovered are deep wounds sometimes. Not everyone knows how to handle this and it is hard. You need a healthy strong support system, and sometimes family cannot be the ones to understand the journey (as I have experienced). But my heart desires to fully heal, experience the truth more clearly and use the freedom from the past to love other people (including and especially my family more). It changes your thinking for sure. But I think an important aspect of this kind of healing is pairing all of it with scripture. The hunger for the Holy Spirit and the supernatural should not be completely overshadow digging into the word for yourself. It’s about an intimate and personal relationship with your Father and creator through Jesus. I am not opposed to sozo and I plan to attend Bethel school of supernatural ministry in the fall. But I appreciate your article and the concerns posted here. I am sorry for those who have experienced a deep disconnect from their loved ones. Let them work out their process.. careful not to be antagonistic to it, which could push them away. Ask the Lord what He wants to show you about yourself through what you’re experiencing from that. I don’t think sozo ministry has any intention to pull people away from their loved ones. But to heal and understand the love of Christ fully. And the process can be quite hard and painful like cleaning out infected wounds. Be patient. Seek the Lord. And love them through their pain and their process. God is so faithful and His love always prevails. Romans 12:9-21 is a good one to pray over yourself and family members. I keep going back to that one the last few years.
It’s interesting that the name is Sozo and it’s a deceptive practice because there is a phenomenon among many Ouija board users ( i’m not one by the way) but there are many many reports of interactions with an evil spirit who calls himself ZoZo. Theres videos on youtube and articles about ZoZo.
That is correct Maurice.
“The original symbol was used by Cardano in 1557, which he used as the magickal sigil for saturn, the planet that rules capricorn, Jimmy Page’s Sign. Jimmy took this sybol and changed parts of it. The true meaning is one only known to him. In short it is an adapted occult symbol”
If you don’t know who Jimmy Page is, he is one of the icons of rock music, he owned Alistair Crowley’s manse at one time, he’s an ardent fan of Crowley, a man so wicked his mother referred to him as The Beast and an antichrist.
I’m a new believer and almost got sucked into 7th Day adventism, and I came across this article because I have listened to Todd White since I was saved and now I’m not so sure what he teaches is scripturally sound, how can I have better discernment and make sure I don’t follow false teachings/teachers?
The most important thing for a new Christian to do is pray, pray, pray. Then read your Bible consistently, given today’s climate, I would say strive for daily bible reading, we tend to give more time to the world (tv, entertainment, laziness) than to our Creator and Savior, ironic isn’t it. I would recommend a concordance to follow along with your bible studies, Strong’s concordance is popular.
Lyn, Rascott, Darril, Berlorac, Maggie……can you guys please weigh in?
Maurice, stay away from anything “Christian” with these words: seeker, emergent, Apostolic, New Apostolic Reformation, Roman Catholic, Rick Warren, Word of Faith, Positive Thinking, Bethel Church, TV channel TBN, any female teachers or “speakers” Joyce Meyer, any TV preacher, health and wealth, name it and claim it, Latter Day Saints, Jehovas Witness, Adventists, Hebrew Roots, any pastor setting dates for prophecies, any pastor stating prophecies that don’t come to happen, such as “blood moons” stay away from anything “supernatural” such as shows, podcasts, they’re false and propagating a sublime false gospel. Anyone claiming direct Revelation from God that goes against scripture, stay away! Those that say you must keep The Law, dates and seasons, certain days, these are legalists. Anyone propagating Social Justice mixed with Christianity, politics with Christianity, anyone telling you we must win this country or culture for Christ, that is false, Christ cares for individuals, not masses not cultures.
And I can’t stress this enough: ask God to be a light unto your feet:
Psalm 119:105King James Version (KJV)
105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
God protects His own Maurice, it is very easy to fall into a trap as the enemy of our souls walks around like a roaring lion. But don’t be afraid, here is the best advice yet:
Ephesians 6:10-18King James Version (KJV)
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
I would ask all here to pray for Maurice and for all of us. We all know how things are rapidly deteriorating. God bless you Maurice, God bless all my brothers and sisters here. Maranatha, He’s coming back sooner than we think!
Hi Maurice. Yes read the bible. And if nothing else read the bible asking God the Holy Spirit to teach you.
Any book or commentary will come from the author’s own particular doctrinal stand and it takes time to figure all that out.
Jesus and the apostles taught starting with Moses and the prophets. Luke 24:27. There is much to learn from the old testament that will give good foundations for the new testament.
We teach people from ‘Creation to Christ’ using a book like The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus from GoodSeed. Or Building on Firm Foundations by NTM. Then follow through with their Secure in Christ, Acts, Romans, Ephesians. That will give you a good start.
Hope that helps and may you continue to grow in the Lord.
Maurice, it’s wonderful to hear that you are seeking to learn sound doctrine. As already said, read your Bible. Study of the Bible continues to get more exciting and meaningful as you grow in understanding. I recently heard someone say that all the instruction you need in life is contained in the Bible because it addresses all of life’s circumstances.
Simple study aids I would recommend are the website Biblehub.com and a study Bible. I have an NIV (New International Version) study Bible, but I would prefer an ESV (English Standard Version) study Bible. Both are generally accepted as very good translations.
I agree with SusanJ: “Any book or commentary will come from the author’s own particular doctrinal stand and it takes time to figure all that out.”
Listening to Chris Rosebrough on piratechristian.com/fightingforthefaith/ really sharpened my discernment and made me more critical (in a good way) when listening to teaching.
I also hope you are able to find like-minded Christians for fellowship.
Thank you guys I really appreciate all the thoughtful responses and advice, I thought I stumbled upon a random webpage but it seems like a very tight knit community. I’ve been reading and praying almost every day since my conversion in the end of February and started attending church about a month later, my pastor has given me some good books about the Christian Life that have been helpful as well as a friend of mine giving me a ESV study Bible. The frustrating part is that same friend also gave me a book by John Bevere that I was studying ( about the Holy Spirit) and through finding out about the false teachings of Bethel Church I found out he was a false teacher, I had a Rick Warren book ( luckily I never read it) so I threw that out, my other friend is a 7th Day adventist and when I barely converted I went to Bible studies with his uncle until I researched the adventists. I feel like i’m walking through a spiritual minefield. My goal is to strengthen my relationship with our Lord and have a rock solid foundation of faith, I see so many different avenues where Satan is working and advancing his plans while I feel many of our brothers and sisters are unaware of his schemes and tactics. I got sucked into New age Occult beliefs, psychedelic drugs, and because of it had negative encounters with demons so I know the consequences of opening those doors in ones life, now I see the New Age creeping into some churches so I have a desire to educate about those things so that Christians might be more able to identify and fight against those influences. Again though if i’m going to be any good I myself have to be well grounded in sound doctrine. Sorry If this was a bit too long but thank you guys for the feedback.
If I may, I suggest that you don’t neglect the Old Testament. Too many Christians read the Bible from back to front if they read the front at all. The NT does not change the promises of the OT. The Church (Body of Christ) is not Israel or the kingdom. Christ is not sitting on David’s throne—in short, the Church does not fulfill the OT but is a new creation seated with the risen ascended God/man Jesus Christ at the Father’s right hand.
God is superintending a purpose in history to bring about the ultimate separation of good and evil, the eternal separation of good and evil. The entire word of God (whole counsel) is revelation in regards to His plan and purposes and is beneficial to us.
I also encourage you to stick around, read and participate in conversations here. Even when there is disagreement you will sharpen iron and practice thinking through why you believe what you believe—according to scripture of course.
Unfortunately, your assessment that church can be a spiritual minefield is correct, mainly for the reasons, in my opinion, that many pastors are not teaching rightly but chasing trends and the people are neglecting studying the Bible so they don’t know better.
You will find yourself in situations with other Christians where you question false and even dangerous teachings, and they may not appreciate it at all. Don’t take it personally. A lot of people just don’t want to know, so don’t lose heart when you sometimes feel like the odd man out.
Maurice, if you’ll allow me to throw in my two cents…
I’ve learned more from reading commentaries and other theological books from the 1800s and early- to mid-1900s than I ever did in any church. Get a copy of William R. Newell’s commentary Romans Verse by Verse. You’ll have to ignore the couple of times he praises Finney. Other than that, it is the most spiritually grounding book I’ve ever read. It is a must for all believers and if you can learn this foundation of Christianity before you get side-tracked by false teaching, so much the better.
As rascott said, learn the big picture first; that is, God’s plan for the ages. Couple that with Paul’s doctrine in Romans and you’ll have a solid foundation. I would recommend not moving on to Ephesians and Colossians until you’ve thoroughly understood Romans — I mean, backwards and forwards. Not that you can’t read those other epistles. I’m just saying, too many Christians want to do one of two things:
1. They camp out in Yeshua’s earthly ministry, which is, primarily, NOT directed to the Church. If you get stuck here, you’ll undoubtedly be confused, mixing one dispensation with another, and may have a sense of duty or law put upon your conscience. You may even have confidence in the flesh to be able to be a “Christ follower.”
2. They move straight on to the mystery of the Body and the grace wherein we live and walk. If this happens, it is almost inevitable that they lose sight of the righteousness of God being vindicated at the Cross through the wrath poured out on His Son and, thus, they tend to have a dim view of the seriousness of sin.
In response to Berlorac’s comment, I just want to point out that B is coming from a dispensational view of theology, which I don’t agree with. Having said that, I respect B as a brother in Christ and value his comments.
We have the same understanding that the work of salvation is entirely by grace, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and not by any works of the believer = the true gospel.
Maurice, I can’t stress enough how utterly important it is to pray! From your testimony, God has opened your eyes to see how false teachings/teachers are a dime a dozen, be weary, put on the armor of God, He will guide you and protect you. Read scripture daily, give your time to God, we live in dark days, scripture is under attack, specially by those that call themselves followers of Christ, but are not! Don’t let anyone rob your joy in Christ! God bless you, keep on the narrow path!
Hi. I left a comment about my Sozo experience last night. Did it not get accepted?
All you with stones should be very careful. Spend time loving. Don’t waste resources with fruitless fights. Souls are not saved at your intellectual opinion(even if you may be correct). Jesus: not religion made of correct doctrine, He is a Him. He can and does use wrong stuff all day long,… or how could he ever use you? Drop the stones. Don’t be so quick to condemn what someone else is doing for Jesus. The world kills the babies, spreads hate and makes war. They cant afford us being so useless. Life is short and we just don’t have time for this. The devil laughs all the way to the bank. Love. It changes the world. No pie in the sky; it really does. If you are so against something, you will not win with such a fight. You will only make more harm. You are already wrong. We win by what we are for(who is for us) not by what we are against. Read your Bible. Do your best. Trust God with the rest. If He is really there, then we will win. NOT because we figure it all out, or figure Him out here and now. But simply because He loves. We don’t now know, so humility is appropriate. Because of our smallness and ignorance humility and grace for one-another is appropriate. You who are so certain are already wrong. How do you know little person? The oldest dropped the stones first. You immature don’t know the scale of your own ignorance yet. If you continue with Him perhaps He will show you; mean time walk this path with fear, humility and grace. Look to your elders who also once though they knew everything…but now have dropped their stones. If you will not drop your stones, then I will join the ones you are despising, and you can kill me as well (I am sure my wrong is greater and worthy of your hate). And you can kill (please don’t think your words don’t kill) all of us wrong ones. Christianity is not the teachings of Christ. He is a Him. He is love. Get the teachings but miss Him, you miss everything. Walk without love, is missing Him. You can be A)right but wrong, and B)wrong but right. As small as we are our only real chance and hope here is B. He makes us B. Don’t beat up your fellows while you yourself are guilty. Drop the stones. Use all these wonderful gifts and talents you have to love people and teach them to love the King. And love those who are trying to do the same. Even as we fail.
I have actually been sozoed multiple times in counseling and found redemption and freedom over things that I didn’t even know were causing issues in my life. My friend who also suffered from a multiple personality disorder was also delivered and completely integrated today because of SOZO ministry. It has been life changing.
And just some food for thought, if the people in the New Testament were inspired by Holy Spirit, then people today can be inspired by Holy Spirit. To say the Bible is the only source of truth just isn’t true. Jesus said, ” I AM the way, THE TRUTH, and the life. NO one comes to the Father except through me”. Thus people, like my counselor can be inspired by Holy Spirit to help people find freedom in the only one who offers it; Jesus.
It disturbs me that so many are having negative experiences with Sozo. My church is run mostly by women. These women are the most pure at heart people I have ever met. Though i tried and tried to have a close relationship with God, i felt totally unacceped by God all together. Spent a lot of time wondering if God was even real. My life was hopeless. No good was happening at all. I went to Church every Sunday. I paryes every day for guidance. Nothing changed. I decided the whole God thing was a waste of time for me. Then I was asked if I wanted to try a Sozo. It 100% changed my life for the good. My eyes were opened to things that were happening around me. Now I have communication with my lord and savior! It isn’t painless, but all changes have been good
this is not berean research. this is a heretic hunter site lol.
Thank you soooo much. I was so confused after reading that. The Lord put in my heart to keep reading. God bless.
You are welcome!