I received the following letter about SOZO Prayer, a technique based on psychology and used by so-called “inner healing ministries” sweeping churches today. I share because it’s important for you to know what SOZO is, and what it does and does not do:
“I was recently bought some SOZO CDs, which I haven’t listened to yet. I threw them away, after learning that the CDs are from Bethel Church in Redding, California. So far I have gone to two SOZO appointments, but I have not experienced any issues. Even though I do feel healed, Scripture tells me my feelings can’t be trusted. I am concerned, and wondering if I inadvertently picked up evil spirits during those sessions? What should I do?”
Throwing those teachings in the trash was the right thing to do. “SOZO” is a psycho-spiritual deliverance and inner healing methodology designed to exorcise demons from Christians. Not that a Christian can be possessed by demons, but that is one of many apostate teachings from the New Apostolic Reformation, or NAR. (See, What your church needs to know about NAR.)
This technique came out of Bethel Church, invented by NAR apostle Bill Johnson himself. The Bethel SOZO website says SOZO will heal your broken connection with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, so that you can walk in the destiny to which you have been called and reach your potential.
During SOZO sessions, counselees receive help opening their minds to be filled with the Holy Spirit. They may be told that they have a spirit of Jezebel, or a Squid spirit, or some other creature or demon living inside of them. Once the demons are excorcised, their spirit-filled minds are now healed, and their broken connection to God is restored.
Furthermore, SOZO counselors are taught to guide their clients (called “Sozoees”), through the “Five Doors” and “Father Ladder” concepts. The Five Doors through which demonic lies enter our brains are: Hatred, Sexual Sin, Occult (which SOZO actually is), Thievery and Fear.
With these doors closed, participants engage in a hand-clapping moment:
Why do we clap during a Sozo?In taking down a Wall (self-defense mechanism) or closing a Door, the ministry team and Sozoee may join in one solid clap of the hands.Japanese Christian brain scientist Aiko Horman discovered that the sound of a clap breaks the arch of brain wave connection between spirit and mind, thus disengaging a lie.When the lie is gone, we take time to listen for what God has in exchange for the Sozoee. The Truths the Lord gives in exchange for old patterns are always glorious and freeing. (Source)
You won’t find brain-wave arches, Father Ladders, or listening for God’s voice outside of Scripture anywhere in Scripture. In fact, the Bible warns against this kind of nonsense. Jesus teaches us to confess our sins to one another, and repent when we have sinned. We are also told to avoid sorcery and witchcraft, so opening your mind up to be filled by the spirits is not something we should do as Christians. We already have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, and do not need mystical “fillings.” We do not leak.
Of course we all yearn to feel close to God. Unfortunately our feelings tell us that we do leak, and that surely must be why we can’t “feel” a mystical presence. Again, utter nonsense.
How should we stay close to God? Jesus commands that we abide in Him. We do this by reading Scripture and obeying all that He commanded (which is both easy, as His yoke is light, and hard, as our flesh doesn’t want to!).
The truth is that SOZO is a different gospel with a different Jesus. It’s not the Holy Spirit, but the spirit of the age.
For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. 2 Corinthians 11:4
Finally, be assured that you are not filled with evil spirits. Did you dabble in something you shouldn’t have? Yes! And you’ve been given discernment to realize this. The good news is that Jesus forgives all sin when we repent, and it sounds from your letter that you have.
For more information on SOZO, check out these articles:
Sozo – a dangerous “inner healing and deliverance ministry”
How Deliverance Ministries Lead People to Bondage
SOZO -The seeking of the false Jesus
SOZO – Climbing Up Another Way – Is There A Spiritual Ladder to the Lap of “Father God”?