SOZO: A SPIRITUAL EMERGENCY

frenchsozotrainingMemories can be physical, emotional, visual and they can be stored through any of our senses. The basic premise that I use for recovery is trusting God to get me through. One has to relearn who they are in Christ and develop character and strength through Him to get to the other side. It is a lifelong process for many of us. Any probing that people do with hypnosis should be aware that they are not able to always put that person back together again. I believe that the hardest thing to deal with is how people closest to us do not honor the truth of what happened to us as a result of their own motivations and as such we are left isolated and even more shamed. One of my favorite scriptures is I can do all things through Christ…… By the time one finds a good therapist who has the ability to make it real to us….it is only then that the work begins. We have to reteach ourselves how to love and care for ourselves and then we have to learn how to trust our instincts that allow for us to avoid being re-traumatized. It is allot of work and takes allot of patience with yourself. You have to make a commitment to yourself to get better often times in the face of no one really caring! But there is always One Who will never leave us or forsake us. This is why the truth is so very important to me!!!

~ Anne Marie Dowell

There many church leaders who say we have to re-invent Christianity. The Word of Faith (WoF), the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), and the Emergent Church movements are creating alternatives to Biblical Christianity. It is their viewpoint to re-create Christianity to reach out to the post-modern generation. In these movements, truth is subjective therefore it is relative. Subjectivism is the denial of absolute truth therefore everyone possess their own truth and we can all come together in unity. They have exchanged a rational Christianity for an irrational Christianity based on human subjective experiences and human subjective emotional experiences. Instead of excepting God’s Word objectively the post-modern generation want’s a more profound encounter with God. As a result, yoga, contemplative prayer, soaking prayer, and many Mystical Occult practices are Christianized. Many are seeking out experiences to participate in Christianity and are not interested in the Word of God, instead they seek to taste, feel, and touch God. They see Jesus as someone who came to show us our divinity, but this is God in the occultic sense, not the Judeo-Christian God, it is a god that resonated with the Hindu and Buddhist concepts of god, a god who you could have mystical experiences with, a god that you can embrace through meditative practices and new age spirituality.

What makes the “Sozo sessions” of Bethel Church, Redding CA. so dangerous is the mix of what is mentioned above with Physiology and a smattering of Scripture labeling it God. The Kundalini/soaking/contemplative prayer experience opens one up to the psycho-spiritual nirvana in an attempt to connect with the higher power/god. Because of problems within the sozo sessions a new Shabar sessions have been introduced dealing with individuals with multiple personality/disorders. Just like contemplative prayer, the practitioners of these “sessions” use formulas of prayer such as “soaking prayer” in preparation for the session. I link these sessions to the Hindu Kundalini experience as it is the model for Sozo, only Christianized. So let’s look the Kundalini practice and the long term jeopardy it’s effects have on people.

NOTE: most of the references and quotes used here on the “Kundalini syndrome” are in support of it. I have put them in to enforce the fact that this is occultism and not of God. Even those in the occult that practice “Kundalini” and other forms of mediation have strong warnings for those who are NOT properly trained in its “releasing” and the physical, mental and emotional damage that occurs. Imagine how worse off the typical Christian is when thinking it’s of God and wanting more.

· “Kundalini-syndrome. This psycho-spiritual and transformative process is believed to occur in connection with a near-death experience, or with prolonged, intensive spiritual or contemplative practice,as practiced within a few sub-disciplines of meditation or yoga.”

· The process is not always sudden and dramatic, it can also start slowly and increase gradually in activity over time.

· If the accompanying symptoms unfold in an intense manner that destabilizes the person, the process is usually interpreted as a spiritual emergency.

· Studies have suggested some common criteria that describe this condition, of which the most prominent feature is a feeling of energy or heat rushing up the spine

Other symptoms: Category Symptoms Sensory and motor symptoms

· The feeling of cranial pressures

· The perception of inner sounds

· Experiences of inner lights

· Vibrating or tickling sensations in the lower back

· Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)

· Changes in breathing

· Spontaneous bodily movements

· Sensations of heat or cold moving through the body

· Localized bodily pain that starts and stops abruptly

· Vibrations and itching under the skin

· Unusual, or intense, sexual sensations

· Mental and affective symptoms fear, anxiety,depersonalization

· Intense positive or negative emotions

· Spontaneous slowing or speeding of thoughts

· Spontaneous trance states

· Experiencing oneself as larger than the physical body

· Experiences of paranormal consciousness

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kundalini_Syndrome

Many individuals whose Kundalini has been unexpectedly unleashed DO NOT KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING, and the prevailing social ignorance about this multidimensional transformative process makes it hard to find medical or alternative health practitioners or spiritual advisors who recognize the symptoms, particularly when they are strongly physical. Many people know that the risen Kundalini flings open gates to all sorts of mystical, paranormal and magical vistas but few realize it can also dramatically impact the body. Reported long bouts of strange illness as well as radical mental, emotional, interpersonal, psychic, spiritual and lifestyle changes exist. Over and again we hear stories of frustrating, sometimes desperate visits to doctors, healers, counselors, etc. who neither understood nor were able to help with the myriad pains and problems catalyzed by raging Kundalini.

The following are common manifestations of the risen Kundalini:

  • Muscle twitches, cramps or spasms.
  • Energy rushes or immense electricity circulating the body
  • Itching, vibrating, prickling, tingling, stinging or crawling sensations
  • Intense heat or cold
  • Involuntary bodily movements (occur more often during meditation, rest or sleep): jerking, tremors, shaking; feeling an inner force pushing one into postures or moving one’s body in unusual ways.  (May be misdiagnosed as epilepsy, restless legs syndrome (RLS), or PLMD.)
  • Alterations in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Episodes of extreme hyperactivity or, conversely, overwhelming fatigue (some CFS victims are experiencing Kundalini awakening)
  • Intensified or diminished sexual desires
  • Headaches, pressures within the skull
  • Racing heartbeat, pains in the chest
  • Digestive system problems
  • Numbness or pain in the limbs (particularly the left foot and leg)
  • Pains and blockages anywhere; often in the back and neck (Many cases of FMS are Kundalini-related.)
  • Emotional outbursts; rapid mood shifts; seemingly unprovoked or excessive episodes of grief, fear, rage, depression
  • Spontaneous vocalizations (including laughing and weeping) — are as unintentional and uncontrollable as hiccoughs
  • Hearing an inner sound or sounds, classically described as a flute, drum, waterfall, birds singing, bees buzzing but which may also sound like roaring, whooshing, or thunderous noises or like ringing in the ears.
  • Mental confusion; difficulty concentrating
  • Altered states of consciousness: heightened awareness; spontaneous trance states; mystical experiences (if the individual’s prior belief system is too threatened by these, they can lead to bouts of psychosis or self-grandiosity)
  • Heat, strange activity, and/or blissful sensations in the head, particularly in the crown area.
  • Ecstasy, bliss and intervals of tremendous joy, love, peace and compassion
  • Psychic experiences: extrasensory perception; out-of-body experiences; pastlife memories; astral travel; direct awareness of auras and chakras; contact with spirit guides through inner voices, dreams or visions; healing powers
  • Increased creativity: new interests in self-expression and spiritual communication through music, art, poetry, etc.
  • Intensified understanding and sensitivity: insight into one’s own essence; deeper understanding of spiritual truths; exquisite awareness of one’s environment (including “vibes” from others)
  • Enlightenment experiences: direct Knowing of a more expansive reality; transcendent awareness

Outside of the short-term physical effects of Kundalini, nothing produces more wonder and curiosity than the reported mental effects. Along the path of raising Kundalini, yogis like Swami Saraswati reveal that some participants may experience mental clarity to the extent of supernatural ability.

Likewise, without the guidance of trained Kundalini instructors, a person can experience confusion, depression, hallucinations and other unpleasant mental disturbances. http://www.livestrong.com/article/82169-impact-kundalini-yoga/”

I have spoken to several who were involved in the inner healing and deliverance ministry as well as the Sozo ministry of Bethel Church. All of them have illustrated just how dangerous the “Sozo sessions” are and the effects it had on them, how long it took to overcome the effects, etc. Some individuals who have been involved as “lead” Sozoer’s are now on medications to prevent psychotic episodes/manic attacks etc. Now if people who practice Yoga, Transcendental Meditation, Kundalini, contemplative prayer etc. experience these types of symptoms and they last for years and possibly the rest of their lives……..how are “Christians” who are practicing the same thing going to fair? In a few years many will be institutionalized, hospitalized and on medication and still have lingering symptoms. It’s absolutely frightening to think about how long this has been going on in the church and we are starting to see it all crumble and take many we love and care for with it. Those who engage in this behavior in the churches are almost obsessed with the “high” it gives them so they are continually looking for the next “carpet time” or altar area experience, which is increasing and bringing about quickly a “spiritual emergency.”

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43 thoughts on “SOZO: A SPIRITUAL EMERGENCY

  1. Appreciate your input. I am focusing on being a Berean myself right now.
    Many blessings to you.

  2. Anne is you truly think Bill Johnson’s church lines up with scripture then you’ve not studied scripture. I am sorry to say, but their teachings and methods are not in scripture. I am came out of this movement, and it was by being IN scripture is where I learned the truth.

  3. SINCERE PEOPLE CAN BE SINCERELY WRONG.
    I have seen several great ministries perverted and eventually scattered and taken down due to the Shepherd not guarding his flock. And, over the last decade we’ve seen an increasing number of our Spiritual leaders end up in divorce for not guarding their homes. I Tim 3:5 …for it a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?
    As you know, there have been in the course of history, great revivals in which there were many signs and wonders performed. True revivals from God typically are marked by large numbers of people repenting and coming to the alter to give their lives to God. During the beginning of many of the revivals there were reports of instant physical, mental and emotional healings of all kinds, but during the latter days of the movements, and most likely why they came to an end, some of the great revivals were plagued with weird manifestations causing the entire movement to be ridiculed and eventually the flock scattered. Basically, the focus shifted from salvation to signs and wonders.
    Sincere and hungry people “seeking miraculous signs” open themselves up for seducing spirits, whose sole mission is to pervert a true move of God and scatter the flock. Jesus said it is an evil and adulterous generation that seeks after a sign..Mt 12:39
    These spirits imitate the Holy Spirit to deceive babes in Christ, astonish the simple minded and seemingly fill the needs of “emotionally starved and shipwrecked people”. The desire to “feel” something during services can be “addictive” for many emotionally starved Christians. This is why people need prayer and love every time we come together…love is the greatest gift because it is the greatest NEED.
    Seducing spirits pervert the gifts of the Holy Spirit by making the emotion and dramatics of the gift more important than the reason it was manifested in the first place. Instead of teaching the Word and sound doctrine the focus shifts to a miracle crusade where people begin to worship the ‘gifts’ or the signs and wonders, rather than the creator, or the savior.
    These seducing spirits mesmerize and entice people that are drawn to superstition and emotional seductions. They twist the truth, entangling it with lies, causing other believers to mock them, thereby enforcing the belief, of most main stream Christian denominations, that the gifts and miracles ceased with the Apostles.
    They (the seducing spirits) seduce and sway many people with their cunning craftiness and tricks with the ultimate goal of discrediting God’s children in the eyes of the unbeliever, making them a mockery. Eventually they (the seducing spirits) desire to destroy the baby Christians and cause divisions among the leaders seducing them into many false beliefs.
    I’ve had dear friends and ministers that I once admired that have been taken-in by this sort of ministry with it’s strange manifestations. Here are a few of the manifestations that I know of during this last movement:
    •angel feathers falling
    •during praise and worship people begin roaring like a lion
    •flailing around on the floor
    •running around flapping their arms like birds
    •painting under the anointing
    •oil begins dripping out of their hands, or feet or forehead
    •blood is dripping from their foreheads or hands or feet
    •gold dust, diamonds & gem stones appearing on the floor or falling on top of people from mid-air
    • beads and other things appearing in great numbers under rugs and in other unexplainable places
    •un-verified healings of all kinds
    •trances, unconsciousness
    •moaning uncontrollably
    •laughing uncontrollably
    •screaming uncontrollably
    •jerking and shaking
    •grunting and jerking
    •crying uncontrollably
    •emotionally prophesying or speaking in tongues without interpretation or direction
    •seeing visions and giving these visions as prophesies
    •chanting the same songs over and over for very long periods of time
    The Bethel Church and those that are influenced by it have decided that the gifts can be taught and practiced at will. This is contrary to the Bible, with the exception of “praying” in tongues which is us speaking to God, not to be confused with the gift of tongues whereby we speak to men BY the Spirit and should be followed by an interpretation.
    The Holy Spirit is the giver of the gifts 1 Cor 12:7-11, and we move in them as He distributes them and when He wills it (1 Cor 12:11) and for the profit of ALL. It is God that works all in all. 1st Cor 12; NOT us doing the work whenever we will to do it.
    Praying and believing for a miracle (by faith) based on the promises of God and His Word is not one of the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit. Praying and believing for a miracle based on the Word of God, His promises and the redemptive, restoring, and repairing power of the cross and resurrection of Jesus is different than what I’ve seen the Bethel group do. They grunt, shake and jerk, as if to somehow FORCE it to happen. They seem to be moved more by the gifts, powers, signs and wonders more than they are moved by the Word of God.
    I have not found in the Bible that we are ever to command the Holy Spirit or His gifts or God to “perform” in us, through us or for us.
    Based on my experience of being around the Bethel Church believers, they are taught to prophesy on command, and to anyone and everyone. They are taught that they can “teach” people to raise the dead and even have a school for it.
    Yes the Bible says the gifts are given to each one of us for the profit of all, (1 Cor 12:7) but one and the same “Spirit works” all these things, NOT we work these things. 1 Cor 12:8 says “for one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophesy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kids of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues, BUT one and the same “Spirit works all these things”, distributing to each one individually as “He wills”.
    Yes, we are to desire the gifts, 1 Cor 14:1. Why would Paul tell us to “desire” something that we can manifest at will and on command whenever we want? Most likely, because we can’t manifest the gifts at will or on command whenever we want. They come from the Holy Spirit as He wills and it is He who does the work.
    Now concerning, gold dust, angel feathers, paintings of prophesies, moanings, grunting, uncontrollable laughter, flailing around on the floor, tongues without interpretation, on demand made up off the top of your head prophesies, how do these profit all that hear it or see it? Can the uninformed say Amen? 1 Cor 14:16 If an unlearned person came in to church seeking God and saw these things happening would they not leave sayng “you all are mad”? I Cor 14:23
    People that prophesy on demand, like squeezing a toothpaste tube, cannot know the secrets within a person’s heart? 1st Cor 14:25 The gift of tongues and interpretation (prophesy) are to reveal the secrets of a persons heart so that he is convinced that God is truly among the congregation of believers and the end result should be his worshiping God. This gift cannot be “taught” because the Holy Spirit is the only one that knows a mans heart, He must be present and willing to give you this information.
    People that act outside the true gift of prophesy are being taught to perceive things about people and “perform” as if they were given mysteries from the Holy Spirit; is this not teaching people to practice mind reading and deception?
    Also, these prophesies are to be judged if they are true or not. Most people do not judge the prophecies being given even though it seems to be an easy thing to do. Again, not protecting the sheep from the cunning craftiness of wolves that come to devour the weak and unlearned, this ought not to be.
    By the way, the reason I decided to do a littel research on the Bethel group is because our Youth Pastor had some of the Bethel grads come to our youth group. They had our youth, all of them, do the picture prophesies on each other. My granddaughter brought a young friend she met at school that practices Tarot Card reading. The young friend desperately needed to be saved that night, and she needed to hear the “goodness of God” that leads to repentance; she needed to hear the Good News! Unfortunately, the girl didn’t hear the Word that would lead her to salvation, instead she was instructed to give a prophetic drawing to another member of our youth group. Here’s a Tarot Card fortuneteller giving a prophecy to someone in our Church! My granddaughter came home with a drawing that was given to her and spent 2-hours trying to make sense of it until I told her to ignore it and go to bed. Granted, people are people and will make mistakes, but this sort of ministry seems reckless.
    Speaking or rather praying in a tongue and singing in a tongue are different than the “gift of tongues”. Praying and singing to God can be done at will since it is our spirit speaking “to God”, (not to men); in the spirit we speak mysteries and no one understands us and by this we edify ourselves. 1 Cor 14:2 – 4, 14, …yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue. 1 Cor 14:19
    The gift of speaking in tongues comes from the Holy Spirit and should be interpreted, it is “by the Holy Spirit” to men, for the edification of the church (not ourselves).
    This gift of tongues should be interpreted or the person should keep “silent” if there is no interpreter present.
    Now, back to the Bethel influence:
    I believe most of folks that are drawn to weird manifestations are influenced out of a great need to “grasp” for something tangible, something bigger than their problems, something that can be seen and felt, a supernatural sign that God is real and will “show” Himself to us. Unfortunately, most churches are afraid of the gifts and do not teach on them let alone allow them to move within the congregation, this deficit leads these folks to seek out other avenues, like IHOP and Bethel, to meet their deep need for a more “real” and tangible God.
    Others are influenced by pride and a lust to stand out. They desire to be a spiritually gifted person and they seek to be seen by others as someone with a “special” anointing, even if they have to work themselves up to it or fake it. Keep in mind that people have imaginations and can be lead to believe in many weird things; just ask anyone under the age of 35 if they believe in abortion. Abortion is weird and it is wrong, but today most people, and even most of our Christian youth will tell you they believe it should be legal. People are like sheep that will follow the strongest or most charismatic leader.
    Other people that get involved with these types of movements just plain like the freedom to express emotion. Many loved the “drunk in the Holy Ghost” movement which in many ways was like being drunk with alcohol.
    Yes, there is a scripture that says “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” which was quoted all the time by those that liked to get together and just “feel” good (in the Spirit) and fall all over each other, laugh loudly, and act like they were really drunk, the same as if they were really drunk on alcohol. Many of these self-indulgent persons are bent on having an outward show of emotions. They (maybe unknowingly) move under the influence of religious spirits (demons) to pervert the true gifts and moves of God. These spirits are on a mission to destroy the faith by seducing believers into displays of supernatural manifestations and signs that will make the simple minded or the new believer think these things are the true workings of the Holy Spirit while running others off for good! It’s much like LUST…which is a natural desire gone WILD.
    Now, I know the Holy Spirit produces a great joy in our hearts and when we feel that joy we often laugh or cry because it’s so wonderful, but these people are more disrespectful and don’t seek for the edification of all in the congregation. They seek after their own edification which should be done at home alone with God. It actually does look a lot like real drunkenness and draws attention to the persons involved and away from the Holy Spirit, stopping Him from performing true ministry.
    This is the purpose of the seducing spirit that these people are influenced by, to keep people from getting ministered to, to keep them bound by fear, by depression, by lies, and sin. I have not been in a service yet where the Holy Spirit moved during a time of confusion, self-exaltation, self-gratification and where excessive emotional outbursts were present.
    We have a natural desire for the things of God like the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but a seducing spirit desires to have an outward show of emotion or to “do” something to draw attention away and keep any true ministry from happening.
    This “show” always becomes the focus that quenches true ministry.
    If you are drawn in by signs and wonders, maybe they will keep you occupied for a while and maybe some are of God, but biblically, you should always follow the fruits of the Spirit, Gal 5:22, not the signs and wonders, Mt 12:39, You will know them by their fruits Mt 7:16, not by their signs and wonders.
    If you follow fruits, true ministry of the Holy Spirit will follow you.
    The only signs, works, miracles, prophesies, healings, etc.. that we should allow in our churches are those born out of LOVE and those that will edify ALL and are done in an ORDERLY fashion. And yes, we should have all the gifts that are outlined in I Cor 12 in the church because they are needed.
    Someone that moves in the true gifts of God, doesn’t seek self-gratification, but saves that for one-on-one time with God at home.
    The person that moves under the leading of the Holy Spirit seeks only to edify others in the pure Word of God. That person would never attempt to prophesy over another person without “knowing” that the word they were giving was indeed from God, not out of emotion or free will, or even mental logic or carnal perception.
    During the 80′s and 90′s there were many false prophets that came through Oklahoma with some of these signs and wonders manifesting in their services, they even fooled many top ministers in the area. They were later found to be tricksters and just out for fame and financial gain. The spirits they carried with them were able to accomplish their task which was to cause the Pastor’s in the area to shut down all the gifts and movements of the Holy Spirit for fear of more of this craziness coming in and not knowing how to deal with it without hurting their flock.
    To this day, many churches that previously moved freely in the gifts are now just social gatherings where you can get a cup of coffee, donut and a good motivational speech; but people come in and go out the same way they came in for years, without deliverance and without healing…even the alters for prayers have been taken away.
    In closing, I think that most of these groups like IHOP and Bethel just want to bring the supernatural into the natural so much so that some of them get led astray into things that do cause harm to the weak and the young. Others in the movement seem to be grounded in the Word and truly believe they are having an incredible time in the Holy Ghost, however they appear to be self-indulgent spiritual gluttons only there for their own enjoyment….but to that statement they would say with pride, “Yes, that’s me, I’m going to get all that I can!”

  4. It’s not just the Sozo program that doesn’t line up with Scriptures in Bethel and this isn’t aimed at just Bill Johnson, so it’s not about just “his ministry”. It’s about what he and others in this camp are doing to the Word of God. Taking scripture out of context, twisting it to say something entirely. Take “Sozo” for example, this one Greek word has been taken out of scripture and turned into a complete and separate “program/ministry” from what it actually means in the Word of God. Just like your assumption that Jesus “soaked” when He went away to pray. And I quote:

    “Why is it that you think because the ministers spend time “soaking” – which honestly don’t you think Jesus did that when He would go off by Himself –”
    Where are you getting that from? Chapter and verse?

    If that’s the case, when did the disciples “soak” with Him, as soaking prayer is performed in mass today by the majority of church groups? They do “carpet time” …….Some ministries even sell “soaking kits” with a little pillow, dvd music, and candle.

    I quote you again:

    “There are many explanations for why certain things manifest. We need to be careful not to jump to conclusions and propose to know what something means. People can do strange things when they are filled by the Holy Spirit for a number of reasons – they are immature and their flesh is involved; they are releasing toxic stuff that has come in at past times through a number of different means, they already have some demonic influence in their life and God is expelling it, etc. For me the thing that divides is Truth. And Truth is found in the Word of God”

    Following this out to its logical conclusion, what was Christ’s example to us in the Word when it came to demonic influences and activities? He took charge over them and commanded them to be silent. No where do you see this today. It’s a free for all where people are crawling, rolling, making animal noises etc. And if it is the Holy Spirit and these people are just “immature” Christians and “their flesh is involved” ……the question needs to be asked as to why the Holy Spirit when He “manifests” through these people, no matter how immature or fleshly they are, isn’t able to clearly do the Work He was sent to do? Nowhere in scripture do you see this and there were many examples of immature and fleshly people; but when they were truly filled with the Holy Spirit it was clearly distinct and edifying for ALL present to learn and grow and it ALWAYS lined up with the WRITTEN WORD. I understand the appeal these types of ministries have for you since you came out of new age. I was involved somewhat in it also and when God pulled me back to Him I too entered a church/ministry that taught the same things as Bethel (and later was affiliated with Bethel, I heard Kris Vallotton speak at a pastor’s conference where he said it’s ok to talk to the dead). I believed all they said and was thrilled that the “church” finally “gets it”…..I’m so grateful that God in His wisdom and mercy took me through several years of this deception to show me clearly that it is not Him, not in His Word and has brought me out. I pray the same for you, search the Scriptures it has everything in it that we need to know and understand. I pray you take another look at and compare them to what the Scriptures says, in context, using good hermeneutics. It concerns me when you say you don’t know the Word of God very well. That makes you vulnerable to deception. Without the foundation of God’s Word to stand on a person has nothing but humanistic reasoning to rely on and that is sinking sand. How can you know Bill Johnson is speaking truth if you don’t know the truth of God’s Word? You should read Hebrews 5: 12-14, it may help you understand the importance of knowing God’s Word for yourself rather than depending on a preacher to spoon feed you.

  5. Okay Mike – we will agree to disagree. Thank God when it is all made clear on the other side of the veil we will all see clearly and there will be no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus so wherever any of us “got it wrong” it will be redeemed.
    As far as answering claims publicly I would recommend listening to “The Art of Living Clean” Aug. 12th by Bill Johnson, Stewarding God’s Intellectual Properties August 12th – Kris Vallotton and School of the Prophets Session One by Dan McCollam. They can all be found on iBethelTV. I believe all of these speak to a number of the concerns you and others have about them.
    If you felt I was trying to “guilt” you I do apologize. It was not my intention to guilt you but to ask you to strongly consider what you are doing. I do realize you see things differently than I do and what appears to me to be slander appears to you as helping expose lies. Often only God can reveal Truth in situations where people disagree so sharply. I do not have a strong command of the Word so I will not attempt to quote Scripture to you, although when God took me through some deliverance recently I was amazed at the incredible amount of Scripture that came to me – so I guess it is in there but i just am not good at always pulling it out on command,
    If you have come out of the Word of Faith movement it is possible that you are triggered by things that might look to be similar but really are not. Phil Mason is a pastor in Australia and he has written a very well researched book about false teachings called Quantum Glory. In it he talks about the Word of Faith movement and he does say that it is misguided and in the realm of the occult. In addition he knows Bill Johnson and the folks at Bethel personally and in fact Bill wrote the introduction to his book so I hardly think Phil considers him to be Word of Faith. Just some things to consider.
    In the end God is the One who has to sort it out. I wish you peace.
    Anne

  6. Anne,

    1. No I don’t give people’s e-mails out. And I did post your comment, don’t know why you can’t see it.
    2. I know the Word of God therefore I don’t need to talk to Bill Johnson.
    3. I cannot be guilted by someones opinion.
    4. It’s not a personal issue that I bring out the false teachings and practices of Bill Johnson therefore it is not slander but truth.
    5. I came out of the Word of Faith Movement, I personally know what they teach and believe.
    6. Posting on the internet is fair as anyone of them can come here to this public site and give a rebuttal if they so choose to. I’ve been down this road before. Truth is they refuse to be accountable, Bill Johnson has been contacted by many bloggers like myself, he refuses to respond publicly or privately.
    7. I’m amazed at how people can give their opinion yet never provide Scripture to back up their claims, or when they do site Scripture they twist it to conform to their delusional beliefs.

  7. Okay Mike. It appears you didn’t post my comment so I am not sure how other people will respond. I do hope you are not giving my email address out to other people as that is certainly not something i intend for you to do.

    If there are people who have been traumatized in the process of doing SOZO I truly am sorry. Deliverance ministry can be traumatizing for sure and there may be some issues that have caused problems. But all this stuff on your blog about Bethel being anti-Christian is just not true. Have you talked with Bill Johnson? Have you asked him what he believes regarding scripture? Because really you are assaulting brothers and sisters in Christ. I know you think you are exposing lies and deception but I really do not see the fairness of your accusations and conclusions.

    There are definitely false teachings in the world. But Bill Johnson and Bethel Church do not teach universalism. They do not teach that there is no hell. They do not teach reincarnation or any of the “postmodern” beliefs that are out there. Bethel Church teaches the Word of God. I realize you are seeing something else but be fair and talk to them. Ask them questions and let them respond. I’m not saying the people who have had bad experiences need to do the asking. But you – and others – who are not dealing with your own emotional issues – talk to them before you slander them on the web. That is really unjust in my opinion. The Scripture says if you have aught against someone go to them first. Have you done that? Really if you are going to post this kind of stuff you owe it to them to make a trip out to California and meet with them personally.

    Someone on your site was slandering Heidi Baker. Do you know how many people she has led to Christ? I dare say thousands. Why are you assaulting God’s servants? Honestly – I know you really believe you are helping people but please – be fair and talk to the people you are assaulting before you slander and accuse them. Ask them to explain how the things they do and teach line up with Scripture and then be willing to listen. And then pray and ask God to give you Truth. Because honestly – what you are doing in my opinion is not of God and I believe it grieves Him.

    With blessing in Christ Jesus.

    ________________________________

  8. Anne, I will respond when I have more time. I’m on another project right now. I’m sure you will hear from others. A quick note though, aren’t you “assuming” when you say Jesus did “Soaking prayer” when he went off by himself, chapter and verse please! In fact show me anywhere in the New Testament where either Jesus or the Apostles practiced “Soaking Prayer.” It doesn’t exist in the New Testament!!!

  9. Bethel Church in Redding CA is totally based in Scripture. They do not contradict Scripture. We are supposed to get new revelation from God – but new revelation will always line up with Scripture. Bill Johnson and the pastors at Bethel are extremely faithful to the Word of God. I have not done SOZO but I HAVE been involved in new age and occult therapies to try to overcome DID and abuse and I KNOW what those spirits are like. When I left the new Age therapy the place I turned TO was Bethel Church in Redding CA. They are teaching Truth. There are many explanations for why certain things manifest. We need to be careful not to jump to conclusions and propose to know what something means. People can do strange things when they are filled by the Holy Spirit for a number of reasons – they are immature and their flesh is involved; they are releasing toxic stuff that has come in at past times through a number of different means, they already have some demonic influence in their life and God is expelling it, etc. For me the thing that divides is Truth. And Truth is found in the Word of God. If you can tell me where Bethel Church contradicts the Word of God – and you are willing to ask them if they in fact believe whatever it is that you say contradicts Scripture – then that is one thing. But otherwise I think you need to pull back and pray about whether what you are saying is truly from God. Again I have not done SOZO. But I know enough about Bethel and Bill Johnson to know that they would not support the occult. Why is it that you think because the ministers spend time “soaking” – which honestly don’t you think Jesus did that when He would go off by Himself – that they are connecting with their kundalini energy and accessing the occult? Where are you getting that??? Have you talked to Dawn or Theresa and asked them if they are accessing kundalini energy? We all need to be fair and honest in our assessments, especially when we are making accusations and posting them on the web for many people to see and read. Again, I have much experience with the teachings at Bethel and they are as committed to the foundational truth of Scripture as anyone i know. Ask them for their statement of beliefs and see if it contradicts scripture. Please, pray about what you are saying. If you are going to post on the web you have a responsibility to be fair. Have you even talked with the people at Bethel to express your beliefs and give them a chance to explain?

  10. Pingback: Victim’s of Johnson’s Sozo Ministry Speak Out | Closingstages

  11. Wanda, I can relate to the abuse and suffering of both yourself and your brother. I grew up in very abusive home, drugs, alcohol, molestation. I know the pain and scars it leaves. I also know the deliverance that Jesus gives in Salvation, the healing, and the ability to overcome past hurts. Jesus is enough, His Word provides all we need. I am truly story for the loss of your brother! May God have mercy on these ministries who cause such calamity, confusion, and pain on unsuspecting people. Scripture clearly tells us we are complete in Jesus, noting wanting, complete! I am grateful you have continued in the faith of Jesus Christ and like myself just cling to the cross. Your testimony should be broadcast to as many as possible, to those in these ministries who are being deceived and lead down the broad path. May God bless you my sister, and may He use you to help prevent others from slipping into deception!

    Mike

  12. Wanda, I’m so sorry for your loss. In just your brief comment you show clearly the ultimate destruction of these so called ministries. Thank God this has not derailed your faith in Christ and Him alone. I would like to share this with our facebook group, if I have your permission. This is a powerful testimony and clearly shows the damage and destruction of false teachings such as this.

    God bless you

  13. In the Bible God does say to His people to not worship Him the way the pagans worship their gods. As someone who has been through much abuse; from being beaten bloody as a child to beaten unconscious as a teen, given away by my mother and raped three times and then married to a man who abused me for many years, I understand the desire for freedom. When I first got saved I couldn’t speak of the things I had suffered. My own husband didn’t even know! But after following Jesus I have received so much healing, but it was all in His way and His timing. And it came about by doing “whatever He tells you to do.” john 2:5 I beleive that is the only way to see real HOLY SPIRIT miracles. Other spirits are doing counterfeit things. There are many false spirits at work in the church and it is heartbreaking to see people so desperate for an experience they will follow anyone and anything. I had an older brother who got saved only a few months before me. He was so happy. All the time! He is the one who talked me into going to church. It was only two weeks later that my brother called to tell me that he had gone to a class at his church that led him back through his past. Everything came out. He had been sexually used by 5 males when he was a little boy. He had suffered horrific beatings on a regular basis.The only problem was that once it all came out, they weren’t able to deal with his level of hurt. So apparently they told him that he was cursed because of what his ancestors had done and had him repenting for the sins of his ancestors. He went from being happy to being weighed down by the guilt and shame of what had been done to him, and carrying the weight of the sins of those who preceded him. Before he hung up he asked me if I believed God cursed people. I was so new in Christ I didn’t know what to say about the Old Testament so I told him just to focus on how much Jesus loves him so he could go back to being happy again. Not long after I received the call that he had walked into his den and bent down over his rifle and pulled the trigger.
    There are three things about Jesus that I know for sure. 1. He loves us so much that He stepped down into this sin sick world and was nailed to a cross, breaking the curse of sin off of ALL of us, including my ancestors and yours! 2. He don’t do mixture.(example-a little bit of jesus and a little bit of numerology) 3. Error is destructive to faith and that leads to death; error kills. (It killed my brother.)
    I pray that people read the Word and seek only to do the will of Jesus as He leads them to do it because that is where freedom is. He is our ladder between heaven and earth and everything we need has already been planned and laid out on a rung up ahead of us so we just have to continue on in the way and climb higher. Jesus is enough.

  14. I’m so thankful you are free now. You are right that SOZO does nothing but complicate our problems and make them worse than ever. People go to these SOZO “mediators” for help w/ specific issues and all the mediator does is dodge the real concerns and go straight into talking about their past. The mediator ends up sending them into a total childhood “regression session.” They go thru all the “doors”, “ladders”, etc. closing them supposedly. Then when they realize (sometimes after years) that they are right back to square one, they end up resenting their past “victimizers” even more. Eventually, they end up feeling hopeless and possibly suicidal.
    The mediators create an overdependence in their victims, which gives them the upper hand over them. What a sickening scenario where these poor people are victimized over and over and over again—-forcing to relive their past, brainwashing them into thinking this is the answer to all their problems—-rather than Gods revealed Word opened to those with eyes to see and ears to hear, those who aren’t blinded by the blind leaders of humanistic, legalistic, psycho-mystical promoters of a false gospel. How sad.
    I pray for their eyes to be opened before it is eternally too late.

  15. Lee Anne
    I don’t know if you have heard this yet but it’s very good and needs to be shared with so many. M’Kayla posted it on our group. It’s so important to understand that Satan does indeed come as an angle of light; but in the end is death and destruction. Just as with any sin, we are enticed and lured by the attractive and appeal of the flesh, so are these “spiritual experiences.” Lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and the pride of life……why do Christians think that just because they are “safe and sound” within the walls of their particular church building that Satan won’t be there too????? After all, didn’t he introduce “another gospel” to Eve???? From the very beginning he has came on the scene teaching another message, another gospel, another religion,

    http://solasisters.blogspot.com/2011/10/interview-with-brannon-howse-worldview.html

  16. You know Lee Anne, in my life time I have suffered things that have caused many who have suffered the same to curse God and give up, some have gone insane, others have committed suicide. I have been asked by many how I survived, my answer is always the same, Jesus Christ! Don’t get me wrong, I have experienced depression, suicidal thoughts and many other emotions when going through those things I suffered but God delivered me from them all. At 40 is suffered post traumatic stress syndrome, I had a break down as a result of the things I endured, but quickly rose up and over come. Today, I and truly free! In some cases it took many years to overcome, in others, not long at all, but one thing I know, Jesus Christ was right their the entire time helping me, enabling me to exercise faith and build a dependance upon Him to sustain me. There are no quick fixes, God is not a magic wand you can wave for instant healing. Emotional and psychological trauma, from my experience, takes time and through it, for the believer, God uses it to show us the love and healing He does do in us as we turn our eyes upon Him and trust Him to get through it. I have been to mental health professionals and some of them were a little perplexed at just how healthy I was emotionally and psychologically. And my answer to them were the same, God, God, God. He is ever present with us, never leaves us, and is always working in us to form Christ in us. So, I have learned to identify with Christ in my sufferings, trust Him to get me through. The sozo ministries cannot get the job done, in fact they add to the already existing problems people have. Nor can subjective experiences be reconciled with Scripture. We have to exhibit faith in the Lordship of Jesus Christ over our lives and just submit ourselves to His purposes, His will, and sometimes that means we must suffer some things for His sake. But out of the all, He keeps us, teaches us, and delivers us!

  17. The damaging effects are definitely real. Any “help” that may occur is temporary at best. Ed Smith, the supposed the founder of TheoPhostics ( who ironically claimed it was a revelation from God, although it has always existed within the occult) even recanted on some of the unbiblical practices. Once he was shown how incompatible the process was w/ Scripture, he seemed to make major adjustments in his more recent manuals (whether the adjustments are superficial or not is up for speculation). Some of the things he supposedly recanted on was the unbiblical guided imagery, visualization and presuming Jesus would cooperate w/ such an unbiblical processs.
    However, the promoters of SOZO (theoPhostics basically) make none of these adjustments and seem to show no signs of shame that they are blaspheming Gods Word and physically, mentally and spiritually damaging and deceiving so many people.
    Gods Word says that the only way we are made near to God (intimacy, reconciliation, etc.), is by the blood of Jesus, not by subjective experiences. Eph. 2:13.

  18. Tom,

    You seem to be intimate with the Lord. I don’t think anyone can deny that. :) But, even those of us who have an intimate relationship with Him, can get manipulated into thinking that these “experiences” are from Him. So, my challenge to you is to continue in steadfast prayer and ask our precious, amazingly gracious Father to shed any false teachings or heresies from your life. You must be sincere in this, Tom. If you truly want that relationship with Him, it has to be on His terms. You must take every thought and experience captive and share it with Him, ask Him if it was truly of Him and for you. This is serious, man. Very very serious. Blessings to you, precious one.

  19. Tom, thanks for your post, however, I personally know many who have been damaged by the “sozo” experience. Some are even on medication to prevent manic attacks. The fact of the matter is, God’s Word never tells us to seek him in such a manner as these sozo sessions do. No where in Scripture is it described nor encouraged. We are to walk by faith and obedience in what is revealed in Scripture, not seeking experiences, but rather, walking by faith. Thomas only believe because he “saw” and “felt” the nail prints in Jesus’ hands, but Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” The Sozo ministry closely resembles the Hindu Kundalini experience which is a dangerous practice in itself. It only fosters a “felt faith” experience rather than a tangible faith in Christ leading to a life surrendered to His Word and Will. It is an extra biblical experience, therefore I am compelled to openly denounce it as ungodly and unhealthy, and dangerous.

  20. I have received sozo ministry and God used it to correct my thinking about Him and myself. He is an amazingly kind and gracious God, and if we ask Him for a fish He will not give us a serpent.Jesus said if you being evil know how to give good gifts to your children how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! It all boils down to your heart. If you are seeking for “experiences” you will after a while get into some wierd stuff. If you are seeking intimacy with Him, you will get that as well as “experiences” and revelation in Him.
    The Holy Spirit often seems offensive to religious people.That sure was the case on the day of pentecost. Yet to those who loved Him, a great joy and peace was their portion. Most of the great revivalists were opposed by the local churches-Finney, Whitfield, Wesley, Wigglesworth- the list could be much longer. My challenge is to allow God to renew my understanding of how amazing He is and how much He loves me. He is incomprehensible and wonderful. He is unpredictable, and yet faithful. He has an incredible sense of humor-He is joyful! Life is very serious, yet as C.S. Lewis wrote it is a dance. My God is not railing angry accusations against me, but He restores my soul. I fear no evil because He is with me. Our life is hidden with Christ in God-I cannot get nearer to God than that! I can only ask Him to help me experience what it is to know Him. I cannot speak for every sozo minister or every sozo ministry. I repectfully suggest that you should not either. God bless you. Tom

  21. Amen Chelle, I rejoice in your victory and recovery from the Charismatic deception. Many today need and seek for a felt faith experience rather than developing a tangible faith on Christ leading to a life of obedience to the Word and Will of God. Jesus told the 70 who returned rejoicing over demons being subject to them to rather rejoice that their names were written in heaven. Thomas only believed because he saw and felt the nail prints in Jesus’ hands and placed his hand on His wounded side yet Jesus said to him, “Thomas you believe because you have seen and felt the nail prints in my hands, blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. Real faith leads to a surrendered life of servitude to the Lord Jesus Christ and requires no such experience to believe. All of us want to fit in, but we cannot afford to fit in if we have to compromise God’s Word. As you said, He alone is all we need. Having Christian fellowship is wonderful but nothing compares to knowing the Savor!

  22. This was really a great article and I have to commend the writer on a job well done. After months of searching, I’ve finally found out what the heck happened to me back in May. I can’t believe I allowed it, but as Mike says, some just want to fit in and feel they have the “Spirit” just like everyone else. I wanted to laugh and be blown down by the Holy Spirit, I wanted to speak in tongues and have a special impartation given to me by a powerful and charismatic pastor. I wanted God’s healing in my heart because it was broken and worried for so many reasons. I wanted purpose and to be elevated. I wanted to serve and be needed and important. All this “desire and pride” led to sinful behaviour. I believe I experienced a number of the “symptoms” from the Kundalini Syndrome as noted above. The most disturbing was the “unusual, or intense, sexual sensations” while praying in tongues in my prayer closet. That happened once and surprised me. I remember thinking, “Was that really of God? Would God want me to feel that?” When I started my research and came across another article some time back that mentioned that same symptom, I wanted to vomit. Without even knowing it, I somehow allowed this strange spirit to invade my body and mind and cause me to do things I had never done before in prayer. I remember seeing visions of future things or having an idea of what others were doing without even being there with them. These were confirmed later. Also the pogo jumping during worship was bizarre to say the least. I didn’t tie it all together until I started researching it. All this happened from attending a Charismatic church and wanting very much to fit in and experience God in a fresh new way (this is how the church staff Pastor would put it). There were other manifestations that took place, but thankfully the Lord has shown me, I’ve repented, and He has forgiven me. Now I just hope to be of some help to anyone else caught up in this very weird but real movement from the WOF/Charismatic movement. Blessings to you all for supplying reliable information to help pinpoint exactly what I allowed to separate me from our wonderful and Almighty God for a time. Praise Him totally for His complete renewal and forgiveness. I no longer need that “experience”, I just need Him.

  23. Yes, that book really helped me too. I loaned it to the preg. cnt. office manager who said it was good, but then started acting more strange than ever, not wanting to elaborate on it, or even talk about it. I was hoping it would help her know how to confront the director, which she acted like she would. She just went right back to kissing up to her. Unbelievable!!
    I literally watched in agony and torment as the director constantly deceived and charmed to get her way with everyone (except me). It was truly sickening and painful to watch as they practically drooled as she spoke!! It had to be the presence of some kind of controlling spirit—I discerned a Jezebel type spirit around her, which she actually insinuated to others that I had. She would also insinuate I had a religious spirit, as would that other lady I used to be around.
    God seemed to show me after I left that one prayer group, that because I didn’t confront the Jezebel there—-that I would have to deal with it again somewhere else. Sure enough, it happened at the preg. cnt. But this time, I did confront—-thanks to God. For one, I never wanted to be spiritually controlled like that ever again. It was a horrible bondage and constant condemnation with crazy, sublte accusations, vindictiveness and outright spiritual abuse. In fact, they were so good at what they did that when I’d meekly try to reason with people, they would think that I was just being paranoid. At times, I’d almost wonder if it was just me, if perhaps I was going crazy. But Gods Word kept me in His love, with a sound mind and the power to overcome. I’m ever so grateful to Him!!

  24. We will keep your SOZO article in much prayer, God knows how to get it out and He knows who needs to read it. Wow, I’m so thankful that you got away from that woman. Thank God for His mercy and grace, for none of us can be restored without it being freely given by Him. Amen.
    It’s always the same story with people like this they want the control, they deny any wrong doing and are shocked when you even suggest they may be in error or have done something wrong….no accountability. Her being involved in SOZO now, fits right in with her continuing to operate in the occult as she has in the past.
    As you say the churches today slap a Christian label on it and NOW it’s ok to do and practice these things. Evil can only mast itself as good for so long, eventually it shows it’s, and not all at once; it’s at those moments the choice has to be made to either continue to deny and follow what we thought for so long was right and truth; or to stop and allow the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God. to reveal it for what it is……evil.
    I know we went through this too. We were deceived and didn’t even realize it until we had been out of the structured church and it’s “covering/fellowship” for over a year. We were broken, thinking that we had failed God; when all along it was God that had brought us out. God arranged, in a very strange way, for a book to be placed in our hands called “The Other Side of The River.” It’s about a couple who came out of the River movement. How awesome is our God !
    Take comfort in knowing that those you have warned will know where to turn to for understanding , comfort and encouragement, when the light of the truth does go on with them. We had no one warn us of the deception taking place in the churches we were involved with, at least now those we know that are still in it know that there is someone to come to, if and when, they decide to look further into the things going on that just don’t seem to add up or line up with the scriptures. I can look back now and see every time the Holy Spirit was rising up and giving us warnings about what was going on……did we ignore them…..yes….BUT, ignoring them didn’t make them disappear. It just piled up one undeniable, uneasy thing after another…..eventually we had no peace. God takes whatever measures possible to get our attention. So it takes time and with some it takes longer to wake up. Having patience is frustrating ,lol but we must pray and watch and continue to warn. God is faithful.

  25. I’m thankful you’re doing all this research. Please keep praying about the SOZO article I wrote. The newspaper still hasn’t put it in yet, and I’m beginning to get concerned. It’s been a month I think. I’ve e-mailed the publisher twice w/ no response. Wondering what’s up w/ that? Maybe it just has to be in Gods timing.
    I have found out that theres 3 “River” (Bill Johnson) type churches around my area now—-3 counties. It truly does spread like cancer.
    You know, I truly believe I was poisoned when I was involved w/ that one ex-friend that was into iridology, so it makes sense that “a poisoner” is involved in witchcraft, and those who take the poison!! I confess, I was not putting God first in my life then. Although I had always tried to avoid psychics, etc. I got reeled in by this particular person when I was so sick. She said that the Amish doctor had told her that she had a gift from the Holy Spirit. And I wanted to believe it because I wanted so badly to be healed and able to raise my four sons. It turned into her telling me things that happened in my past (lies) and things that my husband was doing behind my back (more lies). You wouldn’t BELIEVE the depth of darkness I entered. It almost destroyed me and my whole family!!!
    Anyway she found out that I was keeping a journal of all that she was telling me. As a result, she set up a scheme to get the journals from me—for one, by telling me that the “energy” had revealed to her that my husband was reading them when I would leave the house, and that it was going to cause him to leave me, etc. Just craziness, yet I listened. She wanted me to load them all up and put them in her attack. Stupidly, I did. I called her about a year later about the journals and she informed me that she had burned them. I said, “without even asking me???” She just said that God had showed her that she needed to because they were too negative, etc. I’m so ashamed of all that now. It’s a miracle that God has restored me and granted me repentance!!!
    Now she’s into all the SOZO stuff, digging up more peoples past, giving “personal prophecies,” etc. I remember one of the churches I was involved in kept exalting her as if she was a god. I began having extreme doubts, because although she told me she got out of the “energy” thing, I still noticed it was all the same stuff, just under a different label “Christianity.” She became extrememly vindictive against me when I really began to question her about things. There’s so much, —-all I can say now is that I forgive her. I even went to her 2 yrs. ago and told her I forgave her for all she put me and my family thru. She acted shocked as if she had nothing to apologize for. Nevertheless, I forgave and I pray God delivers her from all that. I was a horrible example to her too and was definitely not innocent myself!! Theres no way I can stay mad, knowing the grace and mercy God has had on me. I’m just heartbroken that others are being destroyed—and their families. I wish people would just listen! It’s like talking to brick walls. There have been many times I’ve seriously thought of shouting from the rooftops what Jesus has shown me in private (as His Word says in the gospels). Only God can possibly grant me the platform to do so. I wait upon Him w/ such a brokeness.

  26. I just looked at it in Revelation 22:15, it is also mentioned in Rev. 21:8 and uses the same root word pharmakos. In Galatians 5:20, Rev. 9:21, Rev. 18:23 the word (Strong’s #5331) pharmakeia is used also
    which is from the root word pharmakos….the definition goes into a little be more detail i.e. “Translates as “sorcer” and “witchcraft”, the use or the administering of drugs. Poisoning, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it.”
    I have been looking at ” familiar spirits” recently as to get a better understanding of the “sozo” and “healing rooms” ministries. It’s a very frustrating study as there is no translation for “familiar spirit” …….so I have had to rely on what the verses say in and around the text that they are mentioned in. I have found so far (I have a long way to go in this study) that when familiar spirits are mentioned; mediums, sorcery, witchcraft, wizards, necromancer, enchanter divination etc. are almost always mentioned in the verses with it. So whatever “familiar spirits” are they appear to encompass the whole of the supernatural world of the devil and every pagan religion and practice associated with them. I am convinced that this is what we are seeing take place in these ministries today. The Biblical foundation for what they are practicing, the behaviors and side effects of what they are saying is God, the hyperbole mentality of getting into an alter-state of consciousness is just a breeding ground and open doors for these types of things to come in….and that is exactly what we are seeing.

  27. You are right. The pharmeceutical drugs are horrendous. I truly believe they are introducing mind altering substances into even the antiobiotics, etc. The last time I took them (2 yrs. ago)—-I started to feel just the way I used to when I was on antidepressants—-CRAZY!! The antibiotics didn’t even work—I even had a shot and 2-3 rounds of them and just kept getting worse until I finally went to get the Bioenergetic Assessment. The herbalist put me on natural antibiotics, such as the spices you mentioned—-oregano oil, olive leaf, etc. I also took “Sovereign Silver”—-not in colloidal form (they say it can turn you blue if overdone). I also took megadoses of Beta Carotene, another natural antibiotic. I haven’t had any more infections since. Not that I wouldn’t take the antibiotics if it was totally a life threatening last resort, but I try to steer clear of them.
    Have you looked into the word for sorcery meaning pharmecia yet– (in Revelations)?—Rev. 22:15, the word for sorcery comes from a Greek word? which is the transliteration, pharmakos,from which we get our word “Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical” today. This word actually means, “A druggist, a poisoner, or a magician.” It is also interesting that the English word sorcerer appears in many places in the Bible (Ex.7:11, Jer. 27:9, Dan. 2:2, Acts 8: 9, 11, 13:6) but only in the book of Revelation is it used in this way. For example, in the book of Acts (13:7) the word sorcerer is a Greek word—-, which is the transliteration for magos or where we get our word magic.

  28. The “water witching” or “witching wells” ….well we always lived in the country and when ever anyone would be moving onto a piece of property they would have to drill a well to hit an underground water vein. They would always come and get my dad to find the water veins. It works. I have done it to find underground water lines and electrical lines, I have also found field drain tiles too LOL. I have known of guys using metal coat hangers and straightening them out and holding them to find buried electrical lines. I know it doesn’t work on every one but I guess since it worked on my dad and me, it must run in the family. I always thought that maybe just our chemical makeup made us good grounding rods, I don’t know but I know it’s not based on any belief system or pagan/occult junk. But when it comes to the dowsing of aura’s and stuff like that I have some real issues, especially when they are asking questions to your inner self/body. M’Kalya made a good point on the herbalists, she said that “Whose to say western medicine is the only accepted practice?” I have to agree on many levels, the side effects of some of the drugs that are given out are horrific. Just so you know this article appears on MikePat Rogers facebook posts and M’Kalya has commented on it and this is what I commented back to M’Kayla

    “M’Kayla many old home remedies of natural products, is where many of these medicines come from they’re just altered with more added chemicals and put into pill form. Even now if you just do a web search on some of our everyday cooking spices and herbs the health benefits are unreal…..check out Cinnamon and what a teaspoon or less, a day, will do for you it’s astounding. I wish Lee Ann had fb, she will not see these posts….as a matter of fact Mike can’t remember what he did or how he did it….or how to undo it, but all the articles and comments from his blog site show on this fb wall…..lol :) ” It is hard to determine and sort through these things at times, we have all been taught such garbage. It has taken Mike and I three years to sort through the majority of all the false teachings, fables and lies. Now we are confident in who we are in Christ more so than we ever had been under these deceptions. But still there is so much more to sort out, such as a topic like this. We are learning more and more every day to test and try everything and sometimes that takes a lot of digging in the Word and sometimes not even knowing what to look for in it; but God is always faithful and many times we will have discussed something in passing…..as…..someday we will get to that…not on our short list; and then we will be looking at the Word and that subject will just pop right out at us…..I so love how God works. Blessings to you :)

  29. Yes, I went to an amish doctor also, starting about the same time I got into TBN. He was into iridology. I also became friends w/ a lady that trained under him. He died a couple of years ago mysteriously at age 50. She said he had gotten into a form of witchcraft that someone else had gotten him into—it was supposed to help people. Still don’t know what it was, but she got scared and asked me to pray for her in case she was doing something wrong. I am still praying for her—–from a distance. She is still heavily into all that (computerized iridology, herbs, foot baths, etc.) but worst of all she got heavily into Bill Johnson and helped start the “River” church in our area to top it all off. She had been into withchcraft(quija board, etc.) basically her whole life, so no real foundation in Christianity. I had to part company w/ her 2 years ago, as I kept getting sicker and sicker the longer I was around her and others that were into the “River” stuff.
    There seems to be science behind the iridology, but it never helped me. The “water witching” is another thing I’ve wondered about. What is your experience w/ that?

  30. Lee Anne,

    I have heard of similar practices, i.e. pulling the fingers apart. Only it was with the Amish, I had taken my uncle to the Amish herbalist years ago. He had cancer of the stomach and esophagus. After major surgery and a bleak outcome of only a few months to live. They would have you hold your arms out from your sides, like an airplane and then have you hold certain herbs and then try and pull you arm down, again as you say to test the strength of resistance, to determine what was right or good for you. They also did Iridology….here’s a link…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iridology

    and they had a chart on the wall with the eye and all the things on it to look for.
    That’s been many years ago, but there were a lot of my family members that went to the Amish, rather than the doctors. Even then the medicine/prescriptions were worse than the cure, just as today. However the difference between the places you have gone, been to them myself, and the Amish is they didn’t ask your body anything. As a matter of fact they were extremely quite. Maybe because we were considered outsiders, even though they took our money….still cheaper that doctors.

    I think that (pressing the copper rod into your meridians and asking questions, etc.) may be a kind of “dowsing” i.e. sometimes they will hold a pendulum on a chain and move it around the outside of your body i.e. your aura. Although I’m conflicted on the dowsing part, not as it’s used here but as in finding water….(that’s a long story, I would have to share later). I have to agree with you that it’s pretty much a no-brainer to stay away from them, they do promote inner healing and usually from a “higher power”, I’ve never heard of any that give the glory to God and Jesus, it is as you say “seems demonic”; and I also agree that our body’s are fearfully and wonderfully made and that it does let us know when something is off balance.

    You make a very interesting point about confusing what our body is telling us, with what God is revealing. I do believe that our body’s react to both the physical and the spiritual; but all needs to be confirmed by the Word of God and it seems that the years I spent back-slidden from God and reading and messing with the occult, healings etc. has been more of a help to me now, especially since we left the false teachings; than all the years I spent in with the Charismatic crazies which really is just a shadow of all the things I had read and messed with in the occult and they lay God’s name to it, have no idea the harm and danger and quite frankly will not see or hear any warnings about these things. Well I hope you too understand my comment also, it’s been a lot of years since I’ve resisted some of my very fallen past; but I’m thankful that God is getting some use out of my wasted years …..I thought your comment was great….lol, I know where you’ve been …God bless and keep us both and give us much wisdom and understanding. hugs :)

  31. Hey Pat,
    I’ve reallly been praying about this thing and there’s something I remember that I haven’t mentioned. While the herbalist was testing to see what “resonated” w/ my body, she added a little touch of her own by “asking” “does this check for Lee Anne,” etc. and then press the copper rod into my “meridians”, etc. It’s hard to explain. She would ask the “energy”—-I think—–actually I’m not sure who she was asking!!!! She claimed that the Holy Spirit would reveal to us what the root causes of my illness where.
    I remember when I went thru the detox program, I began to crave the smell of mothballs. As a child I would always go to my mothers old trunk and sniff the mothballs because I thought they smelled so great. Strange I know. Anyway, one of the names of the chemicals that “checked” as a toxin in my body—-kept coming up in my mind. It was called Naphthalamine. I decided to look up that particular chemical and found out that mothballs are 90% Naphthalamine. I was shocked.
    Could it have been the Holy Spirit revealing that to me? Or something else?? I truly don’t know. All I know is that many things like that happened during the detox—memories resurfacing, smells, feelings, etc.
    I realize the Holistic Health Movement focuses on all the answers being within ourselves. Our bodies do have a memory and others such things we do not understand—– “fearfullly and wonderfully made.” However, could it be that many times we confuse what our body is telling us, w/ what God is revealing? Just another aspect to look at I guess. Still trying to put all the pieces together, if that’s even possible. But the whole thing about asking our body’s “energy”—-or possibly a “universal energy”—”force” etc. Seems very demonic.
    Apart from the machine, I would go in for maintenance check ups where they would just simply do “muscle testing” they call it (kineseology, I think). Where you hold an herb up to your “solar plexis” or something—–your bellys core. Then they ask you to put your ring finger and thumb together to see if they can pull them apart when you resist. If they pull apart too easy, it’s not the herb for you. There’s other methods also. But w/ each method, I’ve noticed they ask, things like, how many doses a day—is it 2, is it 3, etc. until my fingers could fully resist their tug.
    My husband has witnessed them doing this and even he doesn’t know what to think, but has said that I may need to hold off on going back for that until God reveals more to us. I’ve prayed about this, but God must be letting me go thru some gradual process to assimulate all this. There’s so much, I hope I’ve explained well enough that you all can know more about what to research. Thank you for all you do. God Bless you.

  32. Don’t get me wrong, I know SOZO is dangerous, but I can just hear the defenders of it bring this stuff up. So we really need to be prepared and “know how to answer those who contradict.”
    Let’s take Christmas for instance, it has pagan roots, but most still celebrate it. Oh well, that’s a different subject, but you see where they will take it, if we go by the origins criterion.

  33. This is it!! That’s the kind of machine, except the one in this picture looks computerized. So like me are you still kinda confused about whether one should have a bioenergetic assessment or acupuncture? It’s a difficult question to answer. I’ve read before that we shouldn’t always go by the origins of something, but the fruits that come of it. Actually, I read that in “Quenching the Spirit” by William deArteaga. His book goes over some metaphysics and the science behind it. Also about how God used to reveal things even to the heathen. I may have to go back and reread some stuff now that I have a different mindset. He is charismatic and has a different take on things than I do as far as the Word/Faith movement, so I have to take it w/ a grain of salt.
    I’ve talked to my husband about this. He’s really not sure either, but he said to remember the people on the ship w/ Jonah that drew straws (cast lots) whatever, and although God didn’t ordain it, it was allowed to reveal Jonahs predicament. But where does this lead us concerning SOZO?? I’ll read up some more too. This looks like it’s going to take a lot of study and prayer. Thanks for helping so much. I truly appreciate it. God bless you all.

  34. Had to go and look up this one. Basically it is holistic healing based in the Chinese practice of acupuncture. The meridian’s are a path through which the life-energy known as “Qi” flows. The meridians are divided into Yin and Yang groups. That’s probably all you need to know lol. I was kind of familiar with what you were talking about here. I spent several years dabbling in holistic and occult things when I was a lot younger and not serving God, so Mike asked me to comment on this one. Below is a link on meridians
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meridian_%28Chinese_medicine%29
    and Bio-Energetic Assessment which tells you it has roots in acupuncture
    http://www.nourishingwellness.net/services/bioenergetic-assessment/

    Keep me posted if you investigate any further, it seems we all have so many irons in the fire, we don’t know which one to tackle next and more keeps coming!

    I still struggle with some things such as acupuncture, I don’t see anything wrong with it. But…. the meridians and the yin and yang I know that’s not a road one should go down. Also I would prefer to take herbs for something rather than drugs. I totally agree with you concerning the medical field and especially the Pharmaceutical’s…usually the side effects are worse that whatever is wrong with you. I didn’t know the word sorcery in Revelations is the root word for pharmaceutical. Thanks I’m going to have to check that out. I have found that many of the old time remedies that parents or grandparents use, actually have real benefits. I agree also that I would much rather error on the side of God and His Word rather than take a chance I will get fooled again. As I told someone earlier today…..I’ve already been to crazy and back….I have no desire to go again. I hope this has helped you and if you need anything else please don’t hesitate to ask. You have been such a blessing and an example (I’m referring to the comment section of M’Kalya’s blog)

  35. You know I’m really beginning to question alot of things I got into a few years ago. One was a “Bioenergetic Assessment” that I had done at a Nutrition Cnt. a couple of yrs. ago. It involved holding a copper bar w/ a wire attached to a machine that read my “meridians” or something like that. The herbalist held another copper bar w/ a wire attached to the machine where she pressed it into my “meridians” in my other hand or one of my feet to see where the roots of my health problems were. The machine would make different noises, kinda like a metal detector. There was also a copper plate that she would lay herbs on to see if they “tested” right for me.
    One reason I began looking for alternatives is because of horrendous medical trauma from the medical establishment. Besides, the word sorcery in Revelations really means Pharmica, short for Pharmeceutical. At the time, I reasoned that I was choosing the lesser of two evils. However, I’m really curious now and would like to try to find out more about these things too. Theres just so much going on these days, I’ve been trying to focus on just one thing at a time.
    I do have to say that the Bioassessment seemed to help somewhat, but nothing, and I do mean nothing compares to the physical and emotional healing God is doing in my life since I left the charismania scene! Perhaps this is one reason I feel brave enough now to truly look into the assessment thing. If it’s of the devil, I don’t want it. If I have to suffer to be right w/ God then so be it.
    I haven’t mentioned the assessment to Mkayla yet, do you think she would know?

  36. We are already starting to see the impact of this spirit in peoples lives who participate in these sozo/healing ministries and it’s heart breaking. They claim quick easy restoration and it’s not happening. Not only that but usually the leadership teams of sozo will do “soaking prayer/carpet time” prior to the sozo sessions. So they go into these meetings after they have become open to a power (kundalini) they know nothing about, have not tested and tried that spirit, in their minds it has to be from God. They have no knowledge of the impact, danger and damage that it is causing in their own lives, not to mention what they may be passing on to those they are “ministering” to. Gives one serious pause and concern to the meaning of the statement about being careful who you let lay hands on you and pray over you. Will keep you in much prayer and am excited about your blogsite :) Blessings

  37. Hey mike,
    I’m so thankful for the research you all have done. It really helps me put things into perspective. I wish I could figure out everything on my blog site. I’m so new to this. Please keep praying for me.

    Thanks,
    Lee Anne at godlee4life.wordpress

  38. Joy, I think that these manifestations are both supernatural and a sleight of hand in different cases. As you point out, much of it is due to peer pressure, some just want to fit in and feel they have the “Spirit” just like everyone else. Others I believe are operating in the supernatural, but the “spirit” behind it is the question. Their are principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and spiritual host of wickedness that work to deceive and disarm the body of Christ (Eph. 6:12). And their are men who pose as “ministers of righteousness” but are in truth sent from the “angel of light”, these transform themselves into apostles of Christ (2 Cor. 11:12-15.) Peter said in 2 Peter 2:19 “…for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.” Many are giving themselves over and are overcome by “doctrines of devils,” and experiences such as I describe in the above article. As I said, some of it is simply manipulation/deception, but much of it is very real. Scripture does attribute to Satan the ability posses power, signs, and lying wonders (2 Thess. 2:9), as well as unrighteous deception (among those who perish), because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved vs. 10. I believe people such as yourself are called out of these movements for one reason, you are a child of God and you love truth. This is evident by your departure from this movement, I’ve seen it now with allot of other people. God is just waking them up to it. Be thankful God counted you worthy, (As I do also), to be called by His Name in Jesus Christ. Hang in there my sister and keep searching God’s Word, He will give you all you need to recover and grow!
    God bless,
    Mike

  39. Wow, thanks for pulling together all this information. I can relate to some of the items on your list, though I’ve done more watching of other people experiencing this stuff. I’m sure a great deal of it is fleshy stuff that comes out of “spiritual peer pressure”. In fact, after my first visit to TACF, I confronted the pastors of my WoF church and went on about all the terrible chaotic physical stuff happening in the name of the Holy Spirit (as if they had no idea, haha. At this time I was new-ish to the church and knew little about WoF, and the church seemed fairly normal then), and how the person infront of me stopped shaking when I rebuked the devil. They said that most of it was flesh and that most people simply acted that way because they wanted to, but thankyou for rebuking the devil anyway, hah. Interestingly, when this behavior occured in certain people during our prayer meetings, it was encouraged and these people were commended infront of the whole church.

    On the other hand, I had a close friend in the church who was formerly heavily into drug use and New Age. I can pretty much check off everything on here that he expereienced and attributed to being filled with the Holy Spirit. Obviously now I can see him still into New Age, but tacking on Bible verses to attempt justifying his experiences/flashbacks – like he’s still addicted, but to a different drug.

    I watched an eye-opening (though slightly dated) documentary called “The Signs and Wonders Movement Exposed” from The Berean Call. They show meditation centers where people have reached a “level” and are acting in the same manner as what you’ve described above, and I’m sure we’ve all seen some form of it in our churches. People acting out with the jerks and outbursts, tongues, what we would have called “singing in the Spirit”, leaders “slaying in the Spirit”, people lying around drunk and continuing to have these manifestations long after the fact.

    Do you think that among those who are in it with knowledge and intentions of “raising kundalini” really can aquire a supernatural ability? Is it just the power of another spirit in them, or sleight of hand, manipulations, visions..? I’ve see someone literally fly ten feet backwards into a wall after being pointed at by someone who claimed to come in Jesus’ name. I have difficulty thinking of all the potentially “sinister” things happening in churches without people realizing it, especially since the New Agers are so comfortable with spirits and such, if it’s not coming from God and agreeing with His Word, there’s only one alternative, right..? Seems crazy here, but in countries where witchcraft is everywhere, I suppose it’s common for a witch doctor to invoke spirits to perform a sign or a curse or what have ya.

  40. Ouch, good verse Brother Don, I’m just sick inside at what I’m witnessing with this movement. I’m now starting to see the effects it is having on people. Thanks for the encouragement and keep fight for the faith as I know you are! God bless!

  41. Hey Mike,
    Thanks for an excellent article on the dangers that have entered “Christianity” as each successive generation becomes more and more addicted to experiences that “help” them to cope.
    Isaiah 50:10 “Who among you fears the Lord?
    Who obeys the voice of His Servant?
    Who walks in darkness
    And has no light?
    Let him trust in the name of the Lord
    And rely upon his God.
    11 Look, all you who kindle a fire,
    Who encircle yourselves with sparks:
    Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled—
    This you shall have from My hand:
    You shall lie down in torment.
    Shalom,
    Don B

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