First let me say, I’m sorry that you are going through this. I understand many of the setbacks and delusions, for I’ve been there. In fact, Sozo has taken many victims captive and unfortunately many families have been destroyed by it. Personally, the only reason I have been set free is by God’s grace and Him revealing the true gospel to me, which is why I am constantly trying to get the true gospel out. For many have been led astray by a man-centered gospel that leads to such things as Sozo.
As a result, Sozo and other such practices promote a false man- centered gospel, because that is their foundational starting point. In fact, the main reason people end up in the sinking sand of inner healing circles is because they have no solid foundation built upon the Rock of Jesus Christ. So unfortunately, the disillusionment leads to putting subjective spiritual experiences above the objective word of God, in order to try to fill the void.
True biblical help for victims and those trying to help others recover from Sozo would be to inspire them to focus solely on Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross, for He is the only mediator between God and man. Sozo counselors (some unknowingly) try to usurp that position, which belongs only to the Savior of our souls. And only by Jesus’ blood being applied to our account by the Holy Spirit can we be saved, delivered and healed. Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient.
Please realize that God’s people do not need extra-biblical experiences to verify their standing with God, for the Holy Spirit witnesses to God’s people that they are His. “The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit (thru His word) that we are the children of God” (Rom.8:16). If this hasn’t happened, it’s back to square one….the gospel.
I pray God will heal the devastating effects of Sozo that has been inflicted upon these poor souls. And I know He will answer that prayer according to His promises.
Sis Lee Anne—-victims are also free to vent and share with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
38 thoughts on “To the victims of Sozo”
Any clues what to do to help get family members out ? They seem to be harming them ..what is best way to handle it ?
That’s a great question. I don’t have all the answers but I know God does, so it seems that the best way to help lead them out is to first of all lead them to the Lord for His cleansing power.
2 Pet. 2:18 says that those who are clean (by Jesus’ atonement) escaped from those who live in error. He is their only hope in escaping the heresies found in these cultic practices.
We must be gentle, meek and able to teach them the true gospel, which exalts what Jesus did for His people to assure their salvation. It must be made clear that His blood atonement was not hypothetical or potential, based on our “choice” or our works.
According to God’s word, His atonement is absolute, definite and actual—for those it was intended for—thus making their salvation certain.
Any other view of the gospel causes people to think they have to add something to Jesus’ finished work on the cross, which always leads to heresies such as Sozo.
We must remember that although God sends out the “universal call” of the gospel, there is not a “universal redemption” for not all are saved.
But when Jesus’ atonement is presented as a done deal for every single person in the world, no one can fully put their trust in it, because the Bible makes it clear that many go to hell, which makes people think His blood wasn’t sufficient to cover all their sins (even the sin of unbelief).
This, in turn, leads many to think that His atonement must be supplemented by our “response” (faith, repentance, etc.)—-rather than the truth, which proclaims the effeciency of His blood to cover the sins of those it’s intended for, eternally securing their salvation and all spiritual blessings (including faith, repentance and the ability to obey God’s word).
In other words, we must acknowledge our moral inability and cry out to God for mercy. We can’t conjure up our own faith,etc. These are spiritual gifts that must be applied to our hearts by the Holy Spirit applying the merits of Jesus’ sacrifice to our account.
This is the true gospel, which is just the opposite of Sozo and everything it stands for.
You may also want to read my articles on freewill vs. God’s sovereignty to better understand how the gospel is being severely twisted and perverted by these man-centered doctrines.
May God be with you friend
I don’t know if there is a “best way” to handle this kind of thing, but letting your family know that you love them and are concerned for their wellbeing is a good place to start. And pray, lots, because without God waking them up to what is going on, they are very unlikely to see what they have gotten involved in.
Here are some key talking points that might help you start a conversation with your family:
1. Sozo Prayer Ministry is not Biblical: Jesus did not mention it. The disciples never taught it and the early church fathers didn’t provide instruction on it either. It was first created in 1997. Why did God wait so long if Sozo was something He intended we do?
2. “Sozo Prayer Ministry” is the name first used by Dawna DeSilva to describe her collection of prayer related tools that she pulled together when setting up an inner healing program at Bethel Church.
3. DeSilva obtained her collection of tools from a variety of sources including Agnes Sanford (“Inner Healing”), Dr. Aiko Hormann (altering memories), Dr. Ed Smith (presenting Jesus Christ in our memories), and Randy Clark (who presented “demonic deliverance” teaching at Bethel Church in CA which was, in turn, based on Carlos Annacondia’s practice when witnessing to non-believers in Argentina).
4. Sanford is known as the mother if “Inner Healing.” She was greatly influenced by popular psychology including Carl Jung (who was a devout occultist and communicated with spirits) and Sigmund Freud (who was a devout atheist and first developed the idea of early childhood wounding predicating our actions as adults – which he later recanted).
5. Sanford had some very “unique” beliefs about God and was widely viewed as a heretic by the wider church. When her “Prayer of Faith” ministry for miraculous healings failed to be effective, Sanford retooled her program and began to focus on emotional healing (Sanford was fraught with depression during much of her life).
6. Nearly every single inner healing/emotional healing program in the wider church today is based upon the principles of Sanford’s teachings and theology. Sanford was wildly popular with those in the protestant (non-Catholic) movement and instructed many pastors and other church leaders.
7. Sozo Prayer Ministry is a corruption of God’s plan for our “emotional healing.” His plan calls for the repentance of our own sin and the forgiveness of those who have harmed us. The Christian unable to fully do either will never experience true “inner healing” or, as I prefer to call it, the peace of God (Philippians 4).
You might consider asking to speak to your family members involved in Sozo to ask them for their Biblical basis for the practice and then to, slowly over a few weeks, introduce each point as you give them time to consider a response. Those involved in Sozo who have received positive results are unlikely to so quickly turn from their admiration of it, but you can at least plant the seed and pray that God will reveal to them the truth of what they are involved in according to His timing.
Fighting or arguing with them is likely to cause them to go on the defensive. That’s why it’s important that you let them know that you love them and that you are speaking to them because you are concerned. Ask them to simply keep an open mind and to discuss it with you by providing answers to your questions/points.
All the best and don’t give up.
I have read with great interest all your posts on SOZO. My daughter and her husband live in another state have gotten tangled in this SOZO web. It was offered as a ministry within the church they started attending. I had never heard of the ministry and was aware of their emotional struggles. We had always been very close despite the miles. At first all seemed ok but then they became more and more secretive keeping us at armed length and discussing briefly how they are being set free by digging into their past. This ‘freedom” I didn’t witness and became increasingly concerned about what they had gotten into. When I asked if this church had told them to limited contact with their family they became offended that I would ask. About a year ago we received a note from them asking us not to contact them by email, phone or text that they loved us but need a time of no contact for them. Their exact words were they needed a time of “silence”???? We are broken hearted over this and don’t know what to do. We are praying for the Lord guidance on how to deal with what we believe to be a cult-like involvement. We so appreciate your blog and the confirmation that what we felt was true. This is not something we wanted to believe because our daughter and her husband were strong bible believing believers—they were ones you never thought would have fallen for such error. I guess my question is what do we do now? Do we confront them with the information we have discovered by researching SOZO or do we write the pastor of the Mega Church they attend and discover if the leadership is fully aware of the heresy they are promoting in their midst and the harm to the very flock they have been given to nurture?? Is there a book out that documents the dangers of the SOZO movement? I am very alarmed at the pervasiveness of the lie. It has been my experience that the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead is not manipulated or conjured up to perform at human will. If spirits are performing it is not the Holy Spirit but a familiar spirit which is specifically forbidden in the scripture. Thanks you for the opportunity to vent my concerns. Any insight you have would be appreciated.
First of all I truly sympathize with you and your family and will be praying God leads your loved ones out of this deception. Because truthfully only He can.
I used to be into what was called “Spiritual Warfare,” where I stayed constantly drained over trying to cast out demons, bind this, loose that—–until I realized how completely Sovereign God is. For there are times that He ordains what He hates in order to accomplish what He loves. There is a reason God is allowing your family to go thru this trial. And although the devil and his workers mean it for evil, God means it for good.
The answer to your dilemma is found in 2 Tim. 2 24-26…..that reveals that all you have to do is be gentle and able to teach the truth, which means you can’t allow them to provoke you to anger, because I’m just going to warn you ahead of time….that’s what false doctrine does.
Just remember, you are not called to argue with them, but to meekly show them what you’ve learned and to “speak the truth in love” because God may perhaps grant them repentance so that they can acknowledge the truth and escape this snare the devil has led them into.
After prayerfully and meekly doing all you can do to stand for God’s truth in order to reach them…..you can be free from guilt knowing your did your part, even if they reject the truth.
Either way, from start to finish you must remember it’s all already in God’s hands. His will is perfect and all will turn out perfect one way or another, even if we can’t see it this side of glory. Have faith in God and speak His word to them every chance you get—-for it moves mountains!! Please keep me updated and may God bless you Carol for your godly concern.
Thank you for your encouraging words and prayers. It is my prayer that this deception will be unmasked and believers will learn to test the spirits. Keep up what you are doing!
Oops, I meant Freud recanted his “seduction theory,” which led to the postulation of repressed memories of incidents of sexual abuse in his patients, in 1906. It was a precursor to regression therapy (going back through memories) to see early childhood events. Sorry about that!
Hi Shawn, great research!! Glad it’s all coming together. I pray God opens the eyes of many thru this outreach to Sozo victims. God bless and keep up the great work!
Thanks Lee Anne,
I’m almost finished – it’s been a long road but I’m starting to feel like the research is all coming together. Talk yo you soon!
Like all these types of prayer for healing be it physical emotion or the most important of healing spiritual healing that is our salvation. We can easily throw out what we don’t understand and have little direct experience with. I have not received any prayer based directly through the Sozo way but Sozo is a word from the Hebrew text meaning in part ‘healing’ so nothing wrong with that. David often expressed his emotional state in the psalms and saw God as the answer to his distress and low state of being.Looking more closely at the info I could find the main purpose of Praying how the Sozo praying is taught is to bring people into a closer relationship with the father son and holy spirit. That doesn’t give me any concern either.
Sometimes I feel that we are afraid of allowing people to get to close to us and that some levels of personal exposure cause us to with draw from anything which may bring into the light the hidden coping mechanisms that we use to handle pain, which aregenerally ungodly and we don’t want to let go of.
I know that in my life God has brought me to look at broken areas of my life that through the loving prayer of others has shown me the wounds received by others, either as a child or growing up into adulthood. Forgiving them and allowing God to bring emotional healing and letting go of the ungodly coping mechanisms This type of prayer has been transforming my life and if this is called inner healing then Amen. I wont get hung up that fact the bible does’t use the words Inner Healing.
I can’t find any new age references in the info on Sozo. God is never taught as with in you and you are healing yourself. Like anything that is out there some people will always be looking for the next thing to be into rather than building a relationship with Jesus. That doesn’t make something wrong.
My experience as a Christian is that the people who I struggle to build close relationships with are the people who are less likely to talk about the reason why they won’t allow you to get to close. We are being changed from one degree of Glory to another .I’m inclined to think that some of the changing will include God healing me from the brokenness of the past present and future, that is the divine exchange of the cross. Binding the broken hearted,, setting captives free.
Sozo /Inner healing who cares what people call it lets not allow the enemy to keep us from being set free from the chains that bind us God wants to bring us to an ever increasing likeness of his Glorious self. Please bring your healing to our lives where ever we are broken Lord Jesus. Amen
PS sorry for any terrible grammar or spelling Dyslexia rules KO:-)
Good to see that you’ve put some thought into Sozo and what you believe about it based on your understanding of the Bible – how much better off the body of Christ would be if we all did the same thing!
If I may, I wanted to respond to a couple of the points you raised and see what you think about them.
You said that “we can easily throw out what we don’t understand and have little direct experience with.” Sadly, the problem with deception is that we are not always immediately aware when we believe something that is not true, i.e. taught by the Bible. The problem is often exacerbated in today’s churches where congregants are often taught that to speak out against something that is not true (according to God’s Word), or to ask questions about something they don’t understand, is akin to speaking against “God’s anointed” (and thereby risk His wrath) or evidence of being possessed by a “Jezebel or controlling spirit” (implies the person is demon possessed). Ahhhhh, spiritual abuse and manipulation, what might our Christian leadership look like without it?
It’s for this reason that I applaud blogs, such as this one, that raise potential issues and ask believers to apply critical thought to what they are listening to and opening themselves up to (as is the case when someone undertakes a Sozo Prayer Ministry session).
Sozo is the Greek, not Hebrew, word for healing – of that you are quite correct. It doesn’t mean partial healing; it means whole and complete healing. The name was taken by Dawna DeSilva to describe the intent of the prayer ministry that she and a friend co-founded. By it, she meant that her prayer method would bring healing to the whole person (Sozo), including our emotions – which, I’m confident – she believed had/have been largely overlooked by the Church.
You also mentioned that through prayer you have personally experienced revelation about areas of your life in which you had held unforgiveness toward others. You noted that if this is what is meant by “inner healing,” then you were okay with that. Well, you’re part right. When God reveals an area of our life in which we are failing to live up to His expectations (missing the mark/sin), then yes, it’s Scriptual and we do experience “emotional healing,” or as the Bible might call it “peace,” when we choose to change what we have been doing wrong and act according to His’ will and instructions (as revealed to us through the Bible).
Sadly, the term, “Inner Healing,” aka emotional healing, as used within today’s Church and Para Church organizations, means much more than what I just described above. Inner healing is about intentionally delving into our past to find a past hurt/habit/hang-up that, until it is dealt with will, allegedly, hinder how we live out our lives today and any “move/work of God” that He might want to do in our lives. And it’s the “how this is done” portion of Inner Healing that takes us rapidly away from orthodox Biblical teaching and into very shaky and ungodly territory.
If we were to develop a chain of custody for Inner Healing teaching, it might go something like this: Freud to Jung to Agnes Sanford to John Sandford and then to many others (including Dawna DeSilva who created Sozo Prayer Ministry). If you were to start looking at each of the individuals in this chain of custody, you would start to see influences from other religions that they used as source material – such as New Age teachings, New Thought, and Occultism etc. just to name a few.
Agnes Sanford, who introduced Inner Healing to the Church, also believed that healing came from within us – i.e. that God is a power source that flows through us and by activating our faith, we might tap into His internal power to bring healing. She also taught that the blood of Jesus Christ fell from the cross and mixed with the dust – as it dried it was picked up by the wind and spread throughout the earth – and today, if we are lucky, we can breathe in to our very bodies the blood of Jesus.
These ideas from Sanford are not found in the Bible.
So does Sozo Prayer Ministry come out and say, “hey, we based our teaching on New Age” for example? Well of course not. They wouldn’t deliberately choose to include clearly identified and sourced New Age teachings (I hope). But the people that DeSilva got these ideas on Inner Healing from most certainly did. And if DeSilva did not choose to look into the background and the accuracy of the doctrinal teaching of the people from whom she got her teaching (by using the Bible as God’s only instructional manual for godly living and sound and godly thinking), then what might we say about deception… the very first point I mentioned in my post?
And that’s why Sozo is not representative of the God of the Bible, orthodox Biblical teaching, or any historical instructions given to us by the early Church fathers. The people from whom Sozo Prayer Ministry obtained their ideas about God and His plan for emotional wellbeing are, when all is said and done, ungodly sources (and most of them weren’t even Christians!).
I sincerely hope this helps you understand a little bit more about Sozo Prayer Ministry and why followers of Christ, such as Lee Anne, are so vehemently opposed to its practice.
People who don’t do their research will fall into error. Many counselors into this type of thing were nothing more than dabbling Warlocks and Witches…. like Carl Jung, Bill Johnson,etc. We’re NOT to follow a mish mash of Religions and cults then add JESUS somewhere in between. We’re to use both our Brains and Hearts.
If one is intending to SEEK THE TRUTH THEN TAKE GODS WORD into your DAILY LIFE instead of wanting an easy quick fix from pain. JESUS said there’s ONLY ONE WAY( not the four doors of Sozo). Also JESUS DID NOT like to bring attention to HIMSELF. HE NEVER ASKED FOR A FAST WAY OUT! HE DIES A HORRID DEATH, no one not even yourself can know or control how you die.
Sozo counselors are acting like Mediums. THE ONLY WAY IS THROUGH BELIFE IN CHRIST. Thus we’re not to walk as FOOLS being tossed to and fro BUT AS WISE AND SOBER MINDED, using Discernment thats God-given to avoid such heresies.
SOZO counselors get people to sign a Disclaimer! Because they have had trouble in the past after playing with peoples hearts and minds…..dishing out flakey New age, mumbo jumbo.
Sozo—- IS THE OCCULT DRESSED UP WITH NICE SOUNDING WORDS WITH JESUS TAGGED ON THE END…. people advertising quick fixes for a price—$100!
Many times in the BIBLE GOD allowed a drunken stupor to fall over the people so they’d understand their real spiritual state, which was REBELLION against GOD. He was allowing people to be given over to their own fleshly desires.
Sozo is nothing but Hypnotherapy.
Andrew, with all due respect, your grammar is the least of my concerns for you.
You’re right that it’s easier to throw out what we don’t understand or have direct experience with, but you are forgetting—-I have had direct experience with Sozo prayer.
And it’s not to bring us into a “closer relationship” with God. In fact, it’s overall silent, subtely wicked purpose is to lure us away from the God of the Bible into a relationship with a guru “Jesus” who happens to show up at the request of the sozo “mediators.”
In Catholic circles this “Jesus” actually presents itself as “Mother Mary.” In Hindu circles this “Jesus” presents itself as some kind of “Enlightened One,” etc. etc.
Because any religion can go thru the “Sozo” process, you don’t even have to be a born-again Christian. It employs the same techniques, the same “spirit guides,” the same undergirding principles, the same humanistic philosophy, etc. as other false religions who are into this kind of thing.
As for “coping mechanisms”—-I’m very familiar with this terminology, as well as the “brokenness.” For more info. on these terms and how they are used in Sozo prayer, I suggest you read my other posts on Shabar/Sozo.
And in the future, please try to gather all the facts before defending something so ungodly, for only God and His truth is to be exalted.
Thank you again for more info on Sozo and great comments!
I would like to say that I have someone in the family caught up in the whole Bethel thing, Sozo, etc.
It’s been so hard for me& my family to deal with all those new things. I want to, first of all, thank God for showing us what’s going on, showing us the truth and also I would like to say thank you to all the people who opened blogs like this one, with so much info to help us and to people who posted comments.
I know I am saved by grace; I know I have been forgiven and I must forgive too; I know that I have to run forward without looking back; I know I have to finnish the race and I am doing it with Jesus, taking my cross daily.
I do not understand the need of those people (like my relative) of searching the past, in order to find ‘things’ that will explain their actual state. Because this is happening with them.
They keep blaming others for their sins, for their mistakes and for their wrong decisions. They turn it all around and blame you for even trying to help them, trying to open their eyes; they say you are running away from God’s will……they keep coming back to you with ‘things’ from the past, ‘past hurts’, and they blame you.
It is hard but thank God we understand what is happening now.
We were so puzzled at first, asking ourselves: where are all those things comming from??!!
I hope you understand what I mean. English is not my first language.
Please forgive me if I offended anyone, it was not my intention at all.
Pray for us and our relative, please.
God bless you 🙂
Yes, we as true followers of Jesus Christ need to constantly be in prayer for each other. Sheep are so vulnerable and we need each other.
I’m thankful the Lord has shown you some of the devastating effects of Sozo so that perhaps you can better know how to help your relative to let go of the past and move forward in Jesus Christ. Just try to be patient and loving with them, showing them the opposite spirit as to what they are showing. Keep me up on how it goes. God bless.
My husband and I both went through traing to be lay counselors in our church, and I saw in a bulletion for lay counselors that a class on Sozo would be mandatory. I instantly became sick to my stomach and could not eat that day. I began researching Sozo and saw the reason for this stomach upset. We humbly approached our pastor and he also humbly said he did not know anything about it. He said it was recommended by another associate pastor there. I told him I would follow up with an email about what I had learned, which we did. In thier response they said they would get back to us the following month. About 3 weeks later we were asked to meet after our regular Church service. Our pastor was in the sanctuary, yet he did not address us and two other pastors both who had experience with Sozo talked with us. The first pastor had been personally sozoed, the second pastor’s wife had been sozoed. We immediately felt disheartened and discouraged, as this felt like a demonic set-up. Interestingly, while we were talking with these two pastors, our senior pastor was dealing with a man who was agressively yelling like they were performing a deliverance or something? The pastor who had been personally sozoed began to challenge us, asking…”Have you been sozoed?”, “Have you attended a sozo session here?”, “How can you speak against something you have not witnessed?”. I just kept quoting scripture….holding my sword up and in disbelief they said “We see fruit in this ministry”. So, the following week my husband and I went away to Canada to talk. We clearly heard from the Lord to leave the church. That following week my husband went to church alone and told our pastor we were leaving. The sermon was on that very subject of deception and leaving a church unecassarily (certainly a demonic set-up) My son was giving me a play by play in texts of what the pastor was preaching and I was in shock and disbelief that my husband would have to walk up to the pastor after his telling the congregation that we would be in error if we left…he said if someone is in error we should over-look it. I texted my son back quoting scripture and asking him to pray that my husband would go up even if he felt intimidated. Well he went up and our pastor told him he was being selfish and that it would cost our son dearly for us to leave. (Our son had just begun bible college at the church). He also said he was sure we would go and spread that our church was teaching occultism. This has been very difficult, we gave up our church, our life groups, our ministries. I am sorry if this seems a bit rambling, it is late and it has only been a few days since all of this has taken place. Be aware, and BEWARE of Sozo…I am not sure why God is allowing me to see this error, yet I am thankful..and I pray everyone involved in this will eventually have eyes to see the deception. Please that God will pour His spirit out on you each morning, pray His armor over you each morning as well. AND warn in love, using Gods Word!!! Speak His TRUTH!
I know how devastating it is to leave all you’ve ever known, but God does call us to do this at times. I’ve been thru it and continue to warn others of the horrible deception that’s in churches throughout the world now. God has a purpose in allowing this to happen and we must trust Him that He will work it all for good toward those of us who truly belong to Him.
Jesus said He sends us out as sheep among wolves, “therefore be as innocent as doves and as wise as serpents”——–what makes us innocent? His blood covers our sins. What makes us as wise as a serpent? the knowledge of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. This is how we stand against error, by proclaiming the true gospel and comparing it to the false man-centered one. It’s that simple.
This is why I’ve been led to do so many comparison/contrast articles. The truth shines brightest against the backdrop of error, remember this. You as true followers of Christ are light and salt to these people.
Please try to read the other articles I have posted also —-especially on “How God Saves.” These will help you to come against the heresies you are facing and will continue to face in other churches as well. Because the leaven of the Pharisees is out and is attempting to leaven the whole lump. Remember the prayer of the Pharisee compared to the prayer of the publican—-Jesus gave us this and many more comparison/contrast examples of the true and false gospel.
I pray God strengthens you and your husband to be well grounded in truth so that you can stand fast against these doctrines of devils. Just be prepared to suffer severe persecution. Be willing to suffer for the sake of Christ as He suffered for us 1 Pet.4:1.
May God bless you both.
Thanks you for your truth about Sozo which verifies the anger I feel in my gut about the methods. I participated but the whole thing just angered and frustrated me. I cannot agree that I can “summon” Father or Jesus and say immediately what They are telling me. It’s just weird! Maybe some are helped with the methods. I happen to think we need to be more thoroughly discipled in the victory Yeshua has bought for us. ” Forgetting what is behind” Love you all and look forward to seeing you in heaven.
Glad God has given you a glimpse of just how “weird” Sozo really is. In fact, it’s so far removed from truth that the only “help” some may get from the methods would be just a superficial placebo effect.
Sadly, that’s exactly what’s happening to many.
It’s true that the gospel is the ONLY way to be truly saved and delivered. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He’s not some “spirit guide” that can be summoned on demand.
Man-initiated “Jesus encounters” are nothing more than divination, which God absolutely abhors.
Keep yourself in the love of God by obeying Him and avoiding divination like the plague! I can say from experience that it always comes with a curse.
I pray God will have as much mercy on you as He has me and cleanse you from any defilement from your past involvement. May God be with you friend.
This is my story, my experience and my view on SOZO. First thank you for giving light on this darkness called SOZO.
Almost 2 years ago the church we were attending invited a group of people who ministered to people using sozo. At the time I was enjoying a wonderful relationship with the Lord like I have never experienced in my life. When these people came and spoke of sozo and the supernatural things and telling their testimonies I became intrigued with it all.
My family sat in on a sozo and they began asking us different questions. They would tell us the things the were seeing as we were sitting there like (Jesus was walking behind us). They would say they see lots of people coming to us to minister too. They prayed for me first and I started laughing uncontrollably and fell to the ground and I continued to laugh I couldn’t stop. They prayed for my daughter telling her to visualize seeing Jesus and they saw a angel bringing down a platter of fruits for her.
They would continue to ask her if she sees Jesus and if she responded with any answer then they would tell her what that means and where she is located. She also began to laugh and fell to the floor and her and I couldn’t stop laughing. Then they prayed for my husband and he spoke on issues of his past concerning his father and the person would tell him what to say over and over and over again. Then my husband repeated whatever they said to him over and over and my husband began to cry out and all of a sudden he broke out in this loud laughter.
The thing is I was recording the entire sozo session and when I listened to it later and I heard my husbands laughter it sounded nothing like my husband it was eerie. At the end of the session everyone was laughing uncontrollably. These people were here for 3 days doing sozo sessions to whoever wanted one. One of the people in the sozo ministry told us that in one of the sozo sessions he was thrown from across the room and pinned in a elderly man up against the wall but he wasn’t hurt. And he thinks this was an angel that did this. I’m sorry but I don’t believe the Holy Spirit or angels throw people across the room.
Fast forward now about a month….In our family all hell broke loose. That wonderful relationship I was experiencing with the Lord seem to vanish and depression hit me hard along with horrible dreams my whole world caved in and I couldn’t understand why all this was happening. My mind and emotions were so out of whack it was horrible. I began having extreme panic attacks to the point I couldn’t leave my house. I had such fear everything was so magnified it was a nightmare. Not knowing that sozo was not a good thing to be involed in I continued to reach out to them for prayer for what I was going through.
They all came to our home to do a sozo session with me concerning this depression, panic attacks. All they did was tell me what they saw in their minds and ask questions. There was no release from this torment I was experiencing. I was asked to close my eyes and picture something from my past and he said “now are you in the picture or out of the picture?” He would say if I say this way then I am fragmented. Not one time did he pray for me I had to ask him to pray for me. I cried so much this pass almost 2 years my tears would continually flow I couldn’t stop them for over a year.
I am now beginning to mend after two years of hell…Thank You God. I started way back reading and learning about sozo and your site and many other things I have read has helped me to understand what sozo is really about. Well that’s my story and I’m thankful I’m here to be able to share my story and hopefully help someone else by them reading my story. Thank you again for your openness on this subject and I pray many peoples eyes will be open and saved from this man made travesty. Blessings!
I know it’s only by God’s grace and mercy that you’ve been able to survive Sozo and make contact. First of all, —-my spirit along with yours—I praise God in heaven!!
You’re story is a perfect example of Sozo and confirms the common practices that occur with all of it’s victims. Yet, not everyone escapes it’s demonic snare. Only by God granting repentance can one even be able to read my articles on Sozo and gain the spiritual nourishment and discernment they need to escape.
I just can’t stop praising God enough for what He is doing.
Gina, I will remember to keep you in my prayers. I understand the demonic oppression and depression you’ve been thru—-I’ve been there. And even now I still go thru what the scientific world would call “post traumatic stress syndrome” because of all I’ve been thru.
But I know the truth and it continues to set me free. I just continue to pray daily that God will continue to have mercy and keep me out of the devils snare.
By the Holy Spirit I pray the Lords Prayer everyday before I even start the day—-to remind myself He’s in control and only He can deliver and keep us from evil.
Those demonic spirits behind Sozo don’t like losing their recruits. Therefore, they wage war on God’s true sheep—-because they hear His voice and refuse to follow another.
So keep forgetting the things that are behind and keep pressing toward the Savior of our souls. Fight the good fight of faith—following Christ Jesus to the very end.
God bless you Gina and please stay in touch concerning your spiritual progress. Many will be blessed and inspired to know there is hope after Sozo.
godlee4life thank you for your reply and for your prayers. I have thought of more things that had transpired during knowing these people that go around having sozo sessions. First thing I want to talk about is that one of the men from the sozo team said he has taken many so called out of body experiences where he claims that he was taken out of his body and was put in another place. The only thing I can recall in the bible is that Philip was taken and put in another place which means the Lord didn’t take him out of his body he literally took Philip to where he wanted him to be. So to me this out of body stuff scares me. The sozo team would speak of many times some of them would be in another place or up in the 3rd heaven. The team leader would talk about how he and Jesus would have a sword fight together because Jesus was teaching him how to fight. The talk about their dreams and the interpret other people’s dreams. When I reached out to the Sozo team when I was having a hard time the leader said “Maybe, your grace period time is up” Seriously, who says that to someone! I had shared a very personal thing to him and he then responded with you where probably molested when you were little. I was shocked but once he said it to me it stuck in my head. Words are powerful and we all need to be careful what we say to others. The first time I had uncontrollable laughter and couldn’t stop was the first time the sozo team was at the church. I thought that the laughter was from God but I do not think that anymore. The pastor of that chuch we went to was called a prophet and when we first began to go there I could feel the love but as months went by we could see little things going that were not right. The pastor use to be a Satanist and he lived for satan and went around trying to hurt anyone that was a Christian. In church when he would pray for people he would bend down and blow into your belly and see things in your belly. Come to find out that kind of thing he was doing was satantic. I just couldn’t understand why I was feeling God’s love in the midst of this devilish crap that was going on. I did start to question myself when I fell apart that if I even had a relationship with Christ or was it like it says in the Bible…Satan comes as a angel of light!! It was very confussing for me. But even more on top of that the pastor wasn’t there for us when I began to go through this terrible time it got to the point that he shunned us. I was shocked and stunned and I told my husband I will never darken another church door after that. And at this point I haven’t. This pastor spoke many things to me when he prayed for me and I believed them all. And when I look back on that it saddens me that I was so gullible. I also told my husband I will never ever let anyone lay their hands on me or prophecy over me. This pass 2 years have been the worse 2 years in my life. Depressed, confused, major panic attacks, fear, can’t leave my house due to fear, everything was so magnified it was crazy! I would stay in bed for days cuz I couldn’t cope. I would have to say that through it all I have learned a lot and for that I am thankful. What I do know is JESUS LOVES ME 🙂
Thank you so much for your transparency as you share your battle with the enemy. Your story has really helped me gain understanding as to what we are dealing with in our family with our daughters & son-in-law. It also gives me hope that the snare of the enemy can be broken and truth can prevail. Please know that The Lord never allows any heartbreak to be for naught but His purposes will be accomplished. You have help shed much needed light on a creeping apostasy that is gripping the modern church. I certainly understand why you wouldn’t want to be involved in another church but be encouraged to seek out a safe place of fellowship with believers that are grounded in strong doctrine and understand the true meaning of grace. We will remember you in our prayers as you continue to struggle but you are really on the right path– Our Father is always good and He will always love us. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. One thing that has kept me going is a statement by Corrie Ten Boone after losing her family and having been imprisoned by the nazis. ” she said– no pit is so deep that Jesus is not deeper still.” In all things give thanks
Thank you so much for telling your story. We lost both of our daughters and son-in-law over 2 years ago to SOZO. They have failed to respond to any attempts to contact them and have completely cut us out of their lives. They said they needed “a time of silence”. One daughter has moved and not given us a forwarding address and the other has changed their phones and not given us a new number. We have attempted to email them info on SOZO– but we are only met with silence. We pray continually and have fasted but we have seen no visible results. They live 2000 miles away. We are without recourse– Needless to say our hearts are broken with sorrow. Your story gives us hope that there is a way out and they can be set free. Did you know immediately this was not from God? How were you set free? Any counsel you can offer— For we know we wrestle not against flesh and blood.. Thank you for in Him alone is our victory.
woebegone sorry to hear about your children. To answer your questions….No, I did not know that sozo was not from God. Infact I thought it was the coolest thing because these people were so friendly and seemed so in love with Jesus and I was fascinated with their testimonies and all the supernatural things they would talk about. It wasn’t til I fell apart after spending time with them and going back for more sozo and prayer is when I began to realize that this was not from God. And also from reading articles on this site about sozo and other sites and realizing that I too have gone through what some of these people have gone through. I have done a lot of study on sozo. Your next question is “How were you set free” one word LOVE. My husband and children and their prayers have gotten me through this. I really feel that sozo is another BRAINWASHING cult. I pray that God will intervene on your behalf and save your children from this and that you will hear from them soon. God Bless You and Yours 🙂
Weebegone—-don’t get discouraged. I realize you probably are because of thinking your daughters husband (unlike Gina’s) isn’t going to be praying for her to come out of it—-but that she’ll get deeper into it.
Your daughters probably in a unique situation, where she’s caught between a rock and a hard place—-trying to submit to her cultic husband and the “church” authority she’s in bondage under. And to be honest, if she ever does get set free (in Christ alone and the Truth that’s found only in Him)—and her husband doesn’t —-they’ll encourage him to divorce her and find someone more on his “high spiritual level.” Or it could happen the other way around.
What I’m saying is, your daughter may realize this much at least and may be trying hard to save her marriage. Does that make sense?
Whatever be the case, try not to take it personal. I know that’s hard and this is a cross to bear, but remember above all things that God is sovereign and knows exactly where they are and what they need—-and only He can grant the repentance she needs to escape the devils snare (read Acts 11:18, 2Tim.2:25-26).
It will also help tremendously to read the other articles on this site about God’s sovereignty in all things.
God bless and stay in touch
Thank you for your encouraging words and scriptures. Less than 3 years ago I could never have imagined we would find ourselves in this battle. I have been standing upon the scripture “where sin abounds– grace abounds even more”. Learning to lean into the storm and be held in my Lords arms is the place of peace & comfort. I have finally learned to quit asking why & have given up the what if– self accusations.. I have confidence in time they will come to their senses & repent & be restored. We have an army of prayer warriors interceding and better yet the Holy Spirit is interceding on our behalf. They are saved eternally by his grace but in bondage. It is surely a warning to us all to beware & be on guard. Thank you for your website that is giving voice to the truth & uncovering the lies of the enemy.
Hi again Gina,
I’ve been praying about this and have a very important question. Wondered if you could tell us if you actually had a vision of Jesus? If so, what did it involve?
Good Morning, The answer to your question is no, I never had a vision of Jesus. But I can say as they prayed for my daughter they would tell her to vision Jesus and then ask her if she sees him. Later I had asked her if she saw Jesus and she said no. I don’t believe people can make Jesus appear on demand it makes no sense to me. Even though I was ensnared by all this sozo stuff and thought it was real the reality of it all was it wasn’t real it was not from God at all. I shouldn’t say it wasn’t real because it was very real, very real from the dark side. I have approached the leader of the sozo team and sent him articles on the subject of sozo and that it is not of God and he pretty much told me that I was bashing the ministry of Christ. He told me what the word SOZO in the bible meant ( saved, healed, delivered). I responded with just because sozo is in the bible and you know what it means in the greek doesn’t mean you make a man-made ministry out of it. Never once did he send any scripture to prove that sozo ministry is in the bible and that it is of God. Again thank you for your site and the light that it brings into the darkness. If you have any more questions I would be more than happy to answer them if I can. Blessings!
Praise God that He protected you and your daughter from “spirit guides” who pose as Jesus to many of the people caught up in Sozo. I realize God protected me from that too and that in itself seemed to make it easier to escape.
God knows those who are His.
As for that preacher you were telling about—the one who blows on peoples stomachs and sees things……
Reminds me so much of the preacher that goes around to all the local Pentecostal churches (or any that will allow the devil in). He blows in the face and people fall backward into a trance. I was one of them. It’s only by the grace of God I escaped that craziness.
Wow, just reading all you’ve wrote has brought back so many flashbacks —–but God has obviously healed me enough to handle it better than I used to. Now I’m just full of joy and humble gratefulness for God bringing me out of such darkness into His marvelous light. Keep walking in the light of His love sister—-for “in Him is no darkness at all (1Jn.1:5).
Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me (Micah 7:8).
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not (Jn.1:5).
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life(Jn.8:12).
Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth (Jn.12:35).
I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness(Jn.12:46).
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light (Eph.5:8).
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph.6:12).
If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth (1Jn.1:6)
Hi Lee ann,
My daughter 13 is a victum.
Any inside of what exactly happen to you during sozo prayer will help me to understand the situation more. Why do they want to spend time apart from people? Do they learn people to do a sort of sozo prayer on they own in their sessions? Do they promote meditation? What do they tell you to do?
Thank you for this wise councel. Dawna da Silva has been invited to speak at Rafaël Amersfoort in the Netherlands during Easter.
My wife and I have become growingly aware of a new trend by our church leaders. The invitation of the founder of Sozo is only one aspect of our worry, as more and more things happen that we feel are not pure biblical.
In a nutshell: sometimes, new people/things are introduced subtly and in a way that you cannot put your finger on what exactly is happening.
To read your comments was a confirmation of our worries.
Love in Christ,
Rinus vd Sluis
This helps me regarding recent developments in my church! Thank you so much!
Thanks so much
Thank you for this wise councel.
Thank you for the work you have put in exposing pseudo-memory prone therapies, especially those masquerading as ministry.
My name is Patrick Rhodes, and my life has been near devastated stemming from false memories. Currently, I am in the initial stages of producing a documentary exposing the deliverance ministries that promote memory therapy. These include Theophostic, Restoring The Foundations (RTF), Sozo, Mercy Ministries, etc.
I am seeking individuals and families willing to take part by telling their story. This is a formidable task. Obviously, anyone accused of abuse stemming from false memories is in no hurry to publicize these and, depending on their circumstances, many should not. Recanters realize they have made horrible mistakes and feel ashamed. However, many can and want to help expose these programs publicly.
Each false recovered memory of abuse creates, at a minimum, two victims. The person who experiences these memories is the first victim. The second are those accused. These are life altering and seldom is there complete healing of the devastation that follows.
Anyone interested in learning more can contact me at email@example.com. Anonymity will be respected for those individuals wishing to participate with a cloak of protection.
We can do something about this. I am committed to doing what I can to prevent the manufacturing of new victims.
Many victims may feel uncomfortable taking part directly, even anonymously. I understand. My appeal is that you would please consider contacting me. You may possess insights and information valuable to the documentary. Your story is important.
Hello Patrick, thanks for reaching out. This kind of spiritual abuse is covered more in-depth in my book, but I am currently working on a second book to cover these issues more extensively, because the severe spiritual abuse that’s going on in many so-called “deliverance ministries” has grown to epic proportions. I hope to also be able to finally come out with what I actually experienced, but it has taken years of spiritual recovery just to get to this point. So I feel for those who struggle in this area. That’s why I am so passionate about leading others to the one thing needful; Jesus Christ, the only One who can truly rescue us from such darkness and confusion.