(Reposted from: )

Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. (Luke 11:35)

Holy Trinity Church in Leicester are offering their members a very dangerous “prayer ministry”, SOZO, which comes from the infamous Bethel Church in Redding, California.

I have recently written three posts about “grave sucker” Bill Johnson, the so called “pastor” of Bethel Church and his wife “Beni” who seem to think that necromancy and witchcraft is acceptable to God and that it is perfectly fine to “suck” the anointing from the graves of dead believers!

Assemblies of God “pastor”  David Hind of Trinity Life Church in Leicester (TLC) recently recommended Jesus Culture, a ministry of Bethel Church! I notice that David Hind is now limiting his Twitters to inane drivel which at least has to be an improvement on promoting rank heresy!

My concern about Sozo is that vulnerable people attending Holy Trinity and other churches will be dragged further and further away from the Lord and into bondage through the influence of the various false teachings being foisted upon them by the hirelings promoting Bill Johnson (John 10:13). Leicester has previously been subjected to wolves in sheep’s clothing Mark Stibbe and Benny Hinn, as well as the dark teachings of Mike Breen, New Wine (and who knows what else). John McGinley has now gone one step further and introduced the poison of arch deceiver Bill Johnson, arguably one of the most dangerous false teachers of our time!

Sozo from the Greek means  save, rescue, heal or deliver. Sozoclaims to be: “…..a unique inner healing and deliverance ministry in which the main aim is to get to the root of those things hindering your personal connection with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

Sozo was first introduced to Bethel Church, Redding by false teacher Randy Clark in 1997 who brought an unbiblical model of “deliverance” from Argentina known as The Four Doors. This so called “deliverance” involves repressed memory therapy (RMT). RMT has been widely condemned by several professional organisations worldwide, including The British Royal College of Psychiatrists who have officially banned its members from using this kind of therapy.  A large number of RMT therapists use hypnosis and visualisation techniques to uncover repressed memories. We should bear in mind however that uncorroborated findings have split up families and have led to painful litigations from accusations resulting from false memory syndrome. False memories can be implanted or suggested whilst a person in a state of altered consciousness during hypnotherapy . RMT is a dangerous and potentially demonic practice that no Christian should subject themselves to!

From Bethel’s website the Sozo sessions are described in terms of “…..finding the wounds and lies – finding the reasons why people do not have a good relationship with each member of the Godhead. : Helping you make a connection with the Godhead….. It is also a deliverance ministry.”

Bethel are assuming that if you need this “ministry” there is something wrong with your relationship with“each member of the Godhead”. This is a very odd expression. The Bible does not teach that we need to have a separate relationship with each member of the Godhead. Our relationship with God depends entirely on our relationship with Jesus Christ (John 14:7). Once we have repented of our sins and become a Christian we are justified by faith and we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). Sozo undermines the fact that true Christians already have a wonderful relationship with God. Why ever would we need to “make a connection with the Godhead” when we are accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6), loved by the Father (John 14:21) have received the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16)? Experiential Christianity demands that we need to be on a spiritual high and “feel the love”…….. but without the Word of God this is a fool’s paradise (Matthew 7:26). Occult practices may give the “experience” we are seeking temporarily, but ultimately they lead us away from God, they cannot bring us closer to Him (2 Corinthians 11:14). 

“Opening Client Visualization

Many people believe that they do not have a visual compliment to engaging God. They have been taught, or the enemy has led them to believe, that their primary, if not only, interaction with God is through His written word, the Bible. This is typical of most folks with mainline evangelical denominational roots. In order to make the ministry time fruitful for a client, we often have to help them to “open their spirit eyes”.

Many people believe that God is accessible only through their minds and hence, all experience that is not absolutely logical (from their perspective) is not only not probable, but more to the point, not possible. Consequently, they have never tried any other method of interacting with Him. That doesn’t mean that is not another method, only that they have never entertained the idea that there is another one.

What the Sozo session leader must do is to help open their minds, hearts and spirits to another method of connecting with God. We can do this by a number of methods, principally by leading the Sozoee through a series of simple exercises to expand their repertoire of sensing, hearing, feeling and connecting with God.

Jim Banks, House of Healing Ministries”

The above statement is a direct attack on God’s Word. The way we connect with God must always be through the scriptures in conjunction with worship, prayer, and also, at times, fasting; apart from these things, there is not “another method” to connect with God!!!

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. (John 15:3)

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. (John 17:17)

…..that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, (Ephesians 5:26)

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16)

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, …..make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. (2 Peter 1:3, 5-8)

Constructing man made tools and techniques around biblical truth is extremely foolish, but more than that it introduces occult techniques to solve perceived issues, such as visualisation, hypnotherapy, regression etc. which will bring bondage and demonic oppression rather than the healing and freedom it claims to bring. Did Jesus or the apostles heal anyone for money? The Sozo sessions cost $50 in the USA. … vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. (Mark 7:7)

….“you see most Christians get saved, but they don’t go through deliverance, or really go back and deal with inner healing issues, thus, after about 3 weeks, or 3 months, they are back to the way they used to be. Because they never cleaned out the house fully.”

“There is always a source and a point in time when something happened that set into motion a course that ends up with an individual in torment, pain, and sin. It may be difficult to uncover, but it is always there. God knows the point in time of the wound, lie, or sin. He knows the reason or cause. God is willing to help us find it”.

This false teaching is a denial of the cross of Christ.The reasons that people backslide are given in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23). Many Christians suffer terribly at the hands of those who teach Sozo and similar deliverance techniques. Once doubt is implanted about whether Jesus Christ has cleansed you completely, then faith takes a nosedive. These teachings are inward looking and not Christ centred – you are always looking for the next demon to manifest, or the next bit of your past to deal with. Inevitably those who genuinely seek Jesus Christ suffer intensely under such teachings. Usually those who have implanted the lies see you as their spiritual inferior and they label you as “a problem” when you fail to realise the promised “freedom”. This is precisely what happened at the first church I attended as a new Christian many years ago! The leaders of that failed cult now attend TLC – people definitely get the leaders they deserve (Isaiah 3:1-26; Galatians 6:7).

If healing/deliverance from past wounds is so important, why didn’t the apostles teach it? Raking up old hurts is a trap of the enemy, it paralyses and is entirely negative. Christians are instructed to think about good things, NOTabout dead negative things from the past (Philippians 4:8). The renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2), forgiveness (Matthew 6:12) and submission to God (James 4:7) are critical for a fruitful walk with the Lord. The apostle Paul makes it very clear that dwelling on the past, even in a positive way, is unhelpful: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead….. (Philippians 3:13) Whatever happened to us before we became a Christian is wiped out when we become a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24; Isaiah 43:18-19).

Bethel Church engage in various wicked occult practices such as grave sucking, opening portals, visualisation practices, spirit travel, fire tunnels, sozo and conjuring angel orbs. None of these practices can be found in the Bible, but all of these practices are found in the occult. Beware of Bill Johnson, Bethel Church, Jesus Culture and anyone promoting them! (Romans 16:17)

Unsurprisingingly, All Nations Church, Frog Island in Leicester also promote Jesus Culture on their links page.

I also must also warn my readers that the Leicester Workshop: Movement in Worship (MIW) on May the 9th at St Denys Church in Evington is somehow connected with Bethel Church.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)

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