SOZO~ Seven years later

The first articles, on this blog, written about the error and heresy of “SOZO” ministry coming out of Bethel Church (Pastor Bill Johnson) have continued to be the number one top views on this site. After seven years we have had many comments from supporters of this so called “ministry”. These comments range from accusations of not loving, of accusing the brethren, to describing their personal experiences with SOZO as wonderful (key word here is their “experiences) and how we are in error. We have not yet had anyone bring scripture that, is not taken out of context, to correct us and show us our misuse or error of scriptures in describing the fallacy of SOZO nor has anyone in support of SOZO brought any scriptural proof that it is a valid, true doctrine in scripture. Simply because it is not. They have taken one word from scripture and built a false ministry and big business on it. Sadly, many have been crushed and ruined by it. Many more continue to  believe the lie.

A brief recap of the Greek word sozo in scripture means saved.

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Taken from the Bethel SOZO site:
SOZO is the Greek word translated “saved, healed, delivered.” Sozo ministry is a unique inner healing and deliverance ministry aimed to get to the root of things hindering your personal connection with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. With a healed connection, you can walk in the destiny to which you have been called.


“That if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you shall be saved (sozo).” Romans 10:9


“But Jesus turning and seeing her said ‘Daughter take courage your faith has made you well (sozo) and at once the woman was made well (sozo).” Matthew 9:22


“And those who had seen it reported to them how the man who was demon-possessed had been made well (sozo).” Luke 8:36

There are six tools that the SOZO team uses:

  • Father Ladder
  • Four Doors
  • Presenting Jesus
  • The Wall
  • Trigger Mechanisms (Advanced Tool)
  • Divine Editing (Advanced Tool)

Note the quote: {Sozo ministry is a unique inner healing and deliverance ministry aimed to get to the root of things hindering your personal connection with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. With a healed connection, you can walk in the destiny to which you have been called.}

Notice that now sozo ( made possible only by and through Christ Jesus) has been turned into something else entirely that they lay claim that it’s unique; by definition: being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else:” They always hold secret or special knowledge that God has given them, it becomes power over those that follow them. They add to the scripture, diminished Christ, the Father and the Holy Spirit, elevating themselves to equal status. They’ve continued to add onto their “one of a kind” ministry over the last seven years because it didn’t deliver all they claimed, one SOZO wasn’t enough it didn’t fix a lot of people. It has become the norm today that in many churches that embrace Bethel and SOZO, those in leadership, or wanting to be, are required to go through a SOZO session. Yet another add on.

Doing another article on SOZO, after seven years, we weren’t really sure as to what needed be said since there are several other very good sites now that deal with this false teaching . A couple of comments that we received recently, back to back, was one of the things that had prompted revisiting SOZO and the writing of this article. Below are these comments we have received from a couple of people that obviously know and have been exposed to, not only SOZO but can see the enormous spreading of the lies and deception within the body of Christ. One from Sue Word and the other from M. King they say:

  • Sue:   Thank you for your enlightenment. I have gone through a 24-week course, sozo based, for emotional healing. My spirit was vexed from beginning to end. I though something was wrong with me because I hated going there, seemingly rebellious against the whole process. Others in the group were “making Progress”. I felt dumb, like what’s wrong with me. Just give me training in Jesus’ Words. Still telling me “You shall know the truth & the truth will set you free.”.
  • M. King:   I see hundreds, maybe thousands of people in these churches that love the Lord and desire His presence. They strive to live pure and Holy before Him The enemy has a hard time trapping them in sin, so he traps them in religion. Makes his job much easier.
    “An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their own authority; and my people love it so! But what will you do at the end?
    Jer. 5:30-31

These two comments above helped bring into focus two things. One, we were somewhat surprised at Sue’s comment that the SOZO training was a 24-week course. Seven years ago, they sent people to churches to “train” SOZO in a weekend. Now they it takes 6 months? We reach out to Sue and asked for more information on her training classes but have not heard back from her yet. Very interested in what the cost would be for this and what materials, books, DVD’s, training manuals etc. one is required to purchase to complete the course? How much more has SOZO morphed? More than anything else though, we rejoice that Sue has listened to the leading of the Holy Spirit and searched out the truth, please keep her in your prayers.

2 Peter 2:3 “And through covetousness shall they, with feigned words, make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”

Second, M. King’s comment confirmed the magnitude of the spread of false teachings such as SOZO within the Charismatic denominations and others. Many within the walls of these churches have no solid foundational teaching of the scriptures, this is one of the very reasons that we have yet had anyone who supports SOZO to bring a scriptural rebuttal. They have no love of the Word nor love the truth of the Word. We know full well from our own exposure and having been involved locally with charismania (Harvest Life Fellowship), Bethel and others that the Word of God is greatly diminished and there is no foundational truth of God’s Word taught or practiced within the walls of these churches. The Bible is simply a source to use to create and support whatever the “latest” word of prophesy coming out of someone mouth or the latest “new” thing is. Nothing is held in light of the scriptures to see if it’s true.

Galatians 5:9 “A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”

1 Corinthians 5:6-7 “Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.”

The Bethel SOZO pages on their website have grown significantly (seven years ago it was one page with SOZO training and training manual, pretty simple). Now there are several pages, countless books, DVD’s, training material and when we last blogged about SOZO it had an off-shoot called SHABAR/Advanced SOZO (that was supposed to be dealing with multiple personalities (Parts) and other “shattered” parts that a regular/basic SOZO session just couldn’t heal, fix, or deliver one from. Soon there became a need for more that one SOZO session so it became necessary to create another advanced form to cover their tracks. Fast forward to today and we see that the leaven has produced a series of SOZO’s that cover just about everything one can think of all with a price tag attached to it. So, the “BASIC SOZO” doesn’t really do it all as they originally claimed. Never once taking into account that it takes away from Christ’s finished work on the cross and end’s up preaching and teaching another Jesus, one who isn’t able to deliver the saints; so, one must be Sozo’ed over and over again in the “Advanced” sessions.

Jude 1:3-4 “Beloved when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Looking at Bethel’s SOZO pages, here’s the list of available SOZO’s seven years later:

    • SOZO Basic saved, healed & delivered
    • SOZO Basic Training Manual
    • SOZO Children
    • Financial SOZO
    • Financial SOZO Manual
    • SOZO saved, healed delivered (the book)
    • SOZO Advanced saved, healed and delivered
    • SOZO Advanced, training manual
    • Art SOZO: Connecting to the heart of God through art
    • Healing Trauma: Using simplified Bethel SOZO ministry (book)
    • Educational SOZO
    • Educational SOZO Manual
    • Shabar
    • SOZO for Professional counselors
    • Creativity SOZO
    • Manual de SOZO (SOZO manual- Spanish
    • SOZO for couples’ manual
    • SOZO Basic Training Chinese
    • SOZO Basic Training manual Russian
    • Freedom Series Flash Drive (Note: this is listed also under SOZO as it promotes getting and staying free. “The Freedom Series is a collection of some of Dawna De Silva’s best teachings on walking in freedom. These practical yet powerful teachings will equip you to both get and stay free.”  Walking in connection (flash drive)
    • Hope Collection (flash drive)And springing off of the false teachings are many books that continue the lie.
    • Stepping through The Jesus Door
    • Shifting Atmospheres Curriculum
    • Atmospheres for Healing
    • Body, Soul and Spirit Healing
    • Burying the Past
    • Atmospheres 101
    • Praying for the Brain

At this point we stopped looking at the Bethel store selling SOZO, the point has been made crystal clear, that the leaven has grown into a large business and is certainly a money maker with the hope of more SOZO’s being developed for our continued healing and deliverance, since Jesus couldn’t get it done on the cross.

Jude 1:20-25 “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost
Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference:
 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

It is always grieving to call out error in the body of Christ. Sadly, SOZO is just a drop in the ocean of deception that run throughout Bethel and those who follow them and there are many. Our hope and prayer remain and continues to be that God by His grace and mercy and through His Holy Spirit continue to work in the lives and hearts of those ensnared and awaken them to the deception that they are in. He did it for us and snatched us out of the fire and continues to work in our lives. For this we are thankful and hopeful that others awake.





6 thoughts on “SOZO~ Seven years later

  1. We are more than willing to help in what ever way that we can and we are so sorry for the abuse that you have gone through. Not only from your childhood but the spiritual abuse and trauma you have endured at the hands of false ministers of Christ. Many have become shipwrecked in their faith because of these false teachers. Our email address is please know that we are praying for you, looking forward to hearing from you. God bless

  2. I need your help. I went through a “Sozo” that I was pushed into by my last pastor. Stephanie Butler. She wouldn’t let up saying that I needed this to get past the demons and live right with Jesus. After this meeting I tried to commit suicide multiple times. It has been 3 yrs and I’m still suffering. I had to relieve literally every act of trauma endured from 25 pedophiles as a child. I recently found out she is still preforming theses”healing sessions at a cost of 50 a meeting. Please help me stop this lunacy before someone actually dies. I have written the AG in Michigan.

  3. Bh

    Thank you for your comment. I am a Pentecostal and agree with much of their teaching also, but sozo is dangerous, and for the very reasons you mentioned. Lay people with days of training are probing about in the memories of their clients under the guise of:

    “The Holy Spirit gave us this program.”

    Clients comply with the nonsense or are branded as having a religious spirit.

    My story is on this site:

    I had an email conversation with Dawna De Silva in which she displayed an appalling ignorance of false recovered memories, has no historical understanding of the repressed memory movement, and believes she is called to “edit” memories. I have been studying sozo for over a decade now and can tell you it is both a mental health and theological disaster. My family, my daughter, and I are paying the price for hyper-charismatic acceptance of non-biblically based revelation.

    I would be interested in corresponding with you. You can reach me on my website, and I don’t think Mike Rogers will mind me listing it here:

    I have hoped and prayed for a mental health professional to get involved with helping to expose the dangers of this practice.

    Memory Victim

  4. I recently heard that Bethel Church, which I agree with much of their teachings – not all, is charging money for SOZO sessions. I am a licensed psychotherapist and I question the boundaries that SOZO is crossing. It makes me uneasy that untrained lay individuals are offering any type of counseling that deals with psychological problems (even under the guise of spirituality or clergy/Biblical counseling). This is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

  5. I just read this page “Entitled 7 years after” & see that you did reach out to me. Unfortunately I must have missed seeing email. The course I took cost $100.00 which included 2 text books & a workbook.

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