Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Is Sozo a cult? What is Sozo? A look at the new Scientology, Bethel Church, Bill Johnson and the new age...

A while back, I wrote about Sozo being more dangerous than Scientology.  In a nutshell, Sozo is more cleverly disguised than Scientology. TruNews provides an audio discussion at the link below.

Below, Rick Wiles of TruNews describes Sozo:

https://www.trunews.com/article/is-sozo-prayer-warmed-up-scientology
New Age churches such as Bethel in Redding California are teaching people to vibrate and get into harmony with God and the universe.  They are also anticipating audibly hearing a new sound from Heaven.  And a popular craze currently circulating in many Charismanic churches – especially Bethel - is something called Sozo Prayer. 
We're going to discuss the Sozo Prayer movement today and some other weird things happening in the New Age charismanic churches.

Without a doubt, the premier name in New Age churches is Bethel in Redding California.  Over 8,000 people attend religious services each week at Bethel.   The senior pastor is Rev. Bill Johnson. They emphasize the super-natural. 
- TruNews with Rick Wiles

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

NEWS: CA mega-church has a fit over proposed conversion therapy legislation

http://www.slowlyboiledfrog.com/2018/03/ca-mega-church-has-fit-over-proposed.html

The following is an excerpt about Bethel Church from The Slowly Boiled Frog by David Cary Hart:
What the folks at Bethel don't seem to get is that they are embracing a form of conversion therapy that is at odds with every mainstream medical and counseling peer organization. “Professionally-guided” conversion therapy is an oxymoron.

While I was at it, an exploration of Bethel Church was in order. The operation, run like a commercial enterprise, consumes a staggering amount of tax-deducted dollars. Receipts and expenditures are a secret known only to highly compensated church leadership.

Bethel Church's website screams “cult” — very similar in tone to Scientology or the Unification Church (Moonies). It is a massive operation, structurally and financially. They claim to have missionaries around the globe. The church operates out of a $100 million campus in Redding, CA. They have a television network and world-class video conferencing facilities. Several church members are on the Redding city council. Last year, the church donated $500,000 to the city and shortly thereafter received approval for a new campus in spite of dozens of formally submitted citizen concerns... READ MORE.

Stay Away from Sozo Prayer! What is sozo? Is sozo a cult or cultic sect? Who is Bill Johnson?

What is sozo?  Is sozo safe?  Is sozo a cult?  Is Bethel Church safe?  Does God still heal and do miracles (I believe he does).  Let's define sozo and take a deeper look below (click link)...



Stay Away from Sozo Prayer!


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A quick question: Is sozo more dangerous than scientology? A look at blatantly obvious vs. disguised falsehood...

Do you think sozo is more or less dangerous than Scientology?

Here is why I ask: Scientology has nothing to do with Jesus; as far as I understand, Scientologists do not really use the word Jesus or talk about Jesus at all.  They also do not claim to be Christians. 

On the other hand, sozo teachers and "sozoists" claim that what they are doing is of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  They claim that sozo is Christian, yet the followers of Bill Johnson deny Christ's divinity and hypostatic union before He was age thirty.  This disguise may prove to be particularly more enticing to others, you think? 

Which one is more dangerous, then?  The blatantly obvious cult or the disguised "Christian" cult?  "Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won't be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth" (Eph. 4:14; nlv).
 
What do you say?

"Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly—and indeed you do bear with me. For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!" (2 Corinthians 11:1-4)

12 But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works." (vs. 12-15)


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year!!!

Hope you all have a wonderful new year in 2017!  That's all.  Thank you for reading!!! 

Blessings,
Sozo Research

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sozoed from sozo? A closer look at the Greek definition and how Jude's letter says to 'sozo'...

Hello!  Please note that I have finally added a "follow" button to the right side of this page (that is, if you find these articles educational and would like to subscribe).  

The inventors of sozo have named it this, claiming they know the Greek meaning.  Whenever an individual says they know the "Greek" origin of a word, they (can) sound like they know just what they are talking about!  Perhaps this makes them look more competent and that they have done their research.  Many manipulative teachers carry out this tactic these days (claim to know the Greek language and origin of words) in order to trick their followers into thinking that they are intelligent and trustworthy.

The irony in all this is that the word sozo from the Greek origin (Strong's Concordance number 4982) literally does mean to "save, heal, preserve or rescue; to deliver out of danger and into safety" - but this is referring to saving from danger, and that includes the false, deceptive, dangerous practices like sozo and their teachers.  This is one of the dangers the Bible is warning about (see also 2 John 1:11, etc)!

Here is what Jude explains in his letter...  
"And others save [sozo 4982] with fear, pulling them out of the fire..." (Jude 1:23)
What was the purpose of the letter Jude wrote?   He was trying to warn and hopefully sozo the people from the false teachers' tactics (vs. 4).  

He urged people to "contend for the faith" (vs. 3) and warns of these "certain men" (vs. 4). 

They were men who were greedy for profit (vs. 11).  He even calls them "brute beasts" (irrational animals).  They "flattered people to gain advantage" (vs. 16).  I know that doesn't sound very nice or "loving", but he was looking out for the innocent people and their well being.  That was loving.

Jude then tells his hearers to "save (sozo) with fear, pulling them out of the fire". 
"We must watch over one another; faithfully..." (Matthew Henry's Commentary on Jude 1:23) 
Why do you think Jude, the brother of James, saw so much danger with false teachers and their practices?  Was he overreacting?  Do you think it was brave of him to speak up despite it being "negative"?  Do you see the irony in the name sozo?  Do you think this was done on purpose to confuse people into thinking that they need sozo?  Do you think certain institutions can be very tricky and deceptive?

It is ironic that the sozo teachers promise people liberty and freedom, when truly people need to be set free from this practice.
"While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage." 2 Peter 2:19
"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works." 2 Cor. 11:13-15
 
In His Love,
BSR    


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Is the practice of sozo linked to scientology and kabbalah?

Is there a link between sozo, Scientology and Kabbalah? What do you think?  Scientologists do "auditing" while sozo people do "editing".  Are these similar practices?  Please check out the following video! 
"There are major parallels that go beyond incidental...it all comes from the same spirit...all this stuff is strongly connected." 


Interview from M'Kayla

Check out this interview!  
"This is an interview I did nearly three years ago. Many people have said it was helpful, so I wanted to reblog it. Blessings, and peace in the name of Jesus as you continue to search for His truth!" (M'Kayla)

https://mkayla.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/looky-what-just-escaped-from-the-internet-2/

Monday, July 11, 2016

NEW: A new booklet by Bill Randles called 'Beware of Bethel' examines some of Bill Johnson's unbiblical teachings

Hi there, friends!  Just wanted to let you all know there is a new booklet out by author and pastor Bill Randles.  I hope that this blesses you and may all who you share it with have a changed heart and changed mind, in Jesus's name.  Have a great week! 

Beware of Bethel: A Brief Summary of Bill Johnson's Unbiblical Teachings by Bill Randles


"And many shall follow their shameful ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of." 2 Peter 2:2

Friday, September 4, 2015

How important is 'doctrine'?


How important is doctrine to Jesus? Very! So important is right teaching to Jesus that He says anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in it does not have God. "Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work" (2 John 1:9-11).

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Are you a 'vessel of honor'? Cleanse yourself from the false teachers and become one!

Been looking at a few verses in the Bible.  2 Timothy 2:21 speaks of "vessels of honor".  Here is what it says... 
"If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and fit for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work" (emphasis mine).
If we as Christians want to be used by God, we must purge, or cleanse, ourselves from "these".  If we don't, we will be a "vessel for dishonor".  What is "these" referring to?

Many people want to be used by God, set apart for Him, and useful to Him.  Some people pay a lot of money to go to supernatural schools of ministry to learn how to be "used by God".  Ironically, many of these schools of ministry are run by false teachers who are teaching unbiblical ideas that may look good, and "these" are exactly what God wants us to purge or cleanse ourselves of in order to be useful to Him!!!  


Let's go back to what "these" means.  God tells us in scripture that in order to be useful to Him, we must do something: we must "purge ourselves from these".  


In order to find out what it is we as Christians are to cleanse ourselves from, let's look at the chapter in context.  Earlier in the chapter, in verse 17, the Holy Spirit referred to Hymenaeus and Philetus.  These guys were heretics.  They were teaching false things.  They were not "rightly dividing the word of truth".  That's what many teachers do today. These two false teachers were ruining the Christians they were teaching their "babblings" to.  The Apostle Paul called these "babblings" or false teachings cancerous.  They spread like crazy and hurt many Christians.  Their teaching was a twist on the resurrection.  They were not teaching the right thing about it.  The false teachings they taught tended to prevail at Corinth.  Many teachers today teach the wrong thing about Jesus and who he is (his deity, etc).  Paul called them out by name. 


I started to wonder more about what it means to be a vessel of honor.  I see that many people want to do great things or miracles for the Lord, seeking to be a useful vessel for Him.  All the while, they are falling into a trap and are living with the pollution of false teachings instead of purging themselves from such teachers/teachings.  We are commanded in scripture to "mark and avoid" false teachers (Romans 16:17), yet how often do we see Christians flocking to them or being casual about fellowship with them and reading their books?  


I own a Bible commentary from 1935.  Here is what it says...

"In the visible Church there would be some hearts of gold incapable of being seduced, but there would also be some of less precious material liable to be led away by the heterodox teachers; if the latter purged themselves from their false teachers by rejecting their doctrine and ministry, they too would become vessels unto honor."

What about you?  Are you a vessel unto honor or dishonor?  An approved or disapproved worker?  God has always approved rejection of heresy and its teachers.  





Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Tactic from the enemy to get sozo and Bethel members to not listen to the truth their loved ones present

Hi friends.

There is a tactic that the enemy is using to get Bethel members to shun family members or friends who are lovingly trying to warn them of this cultic group.  The tactic is a lie.  The tactic is to slander (the legal and Biblical definition of slander means to lie or speak falsehood; it does not mean to speak the truth) the family member and call he or she a "pharisee", "legalist", "religious spirit" and/or a "persecutor" if they lovingly warn of danger, and to not listen to them because they are just trying to keep you from entering God's blessing or a relationship with the "holy spirit".  This tactic is a lie, not the truth, and actually unnecessarily divides families.  It's not good or holy, and it's not of Christ or the real Holy Spirit.  It causes the Bethel member to falsely accuse or falsely believe that the loving family member is attacking them.  As a result, the Bethel member falls deeper into the cultic group, and further away from the Jesus of the Bible, the path of truth, and those who truly love them and are simply speaking the truth with love.  If only these Bethel members would see the truth of the people that love them so much and are trying to warn them of danger.  The leader or person (whoever that may be) teaching this evil tactic is a "conceited" false teacher who "understands nothing" and is placing divisions, "evil suspicions" and "strife" between Christians and those in the Body of Christ.  These are not the "sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Timothy 6:3).  Whoever is teaching this and dividing families will fall into the hands of the living God and will be eternally punished for their wickedness should they not repent.  Hebrews 10:31 says, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God".

I will write more about this tactic the enemy uses in the coming days.  Hopefully this helps.

With the love and grace of Christ,
BSRG

Related:

Cult Warning Signs


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Have you lost a loved one to sozo or Bethel Church? A forum for support

I want this post to serve as a forum where people can share their stories and support each other.  Have you lost a loved one to Bethel or sozo?  If you have, you know exactly what I mean by stating that this can feel like a death.  Are you grieving?  Please share.

Indeed, losing people to cultic groups is not easy.  Often, these people don't know anything is wrong.  Often, these people change completely or are no longer the person they once were.

And, the more you try to tell them, the more defensive they become.  This can divide entire families.  After all, that's what Jude spoke of in Jude 1:19.

Let's hear some stories to support each other.

Blessings

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Gnostic teaching that Jesus was not divine before baptism and an interesting find about 'fear' being taught at Bethel


Several months ago, I was flipping through a Bible.  It wasn't my Bible.  It was someone who has been very involved with Bethel Church, Bill Johnson, sozo, etc.  I heard the Holy Spirit tell me to flip open to 1 John 4:1.  Here is what that verse says: 

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world".

I thought that was interesting, and I wondered why God wanted me to turn to that verse. I started reading the side notes. The person (who will remain unnamed, of course) had written in their Bible some notes. These notes said that false prophets are always motivated and characterized by fear. Over and over again, it said, "false prophets are known by their fear".

This really didn't make sense to me. In scripture, false prophets are motivated by their greed (see 2 Peter 2:3), lies/deceiving (Matthew 24:11; 2 Peter 2), and sorcery (Acts 13:6). Even in the Old Testament, the false prophets were known for their false words (Jer. 29:9 and 5:31). 2 John 1:7 says that those who don't acknowledge Jesus coming in the flesh are antichrist deceivers. That would be a sign of a false prophet. When you think about it, if Jesus was really only divine in the flesh just at and after his water baptism, like Johnson claims, wouldn't that be teaching that Jesus did not come in the flesh? I mean, if Jesus really came in the flesh, which He did, He would always be divine, even as a child.

Anyway, so where did this idea about false prophets/fear come from? The idea that false prophets are motivated by "fear"? This really doesn't make sense to me. The Apostle Paul had "fear" - he feared for the church that they would be deceived (2 Cor. 11:3). The "fear" of the Lord brings wisdom... Proverbs 9:10. I guess there are healthy fears and not so healthy fears. Does this mean that someone suffering from a fear of spiders is a false prophet? What about someone who doesn't like elevators??? Really doesn't make sense, Biblically.

Anyway, I got to thinking...are the teachers at Bethel teaching this? Why would this be in this person's notes? I Googled it, and actually Kris Valloton DOES preach a sermon about this online. Here is what he says:

"1 John 4 reveals a test for a false prophet.  They don't acknowledge the redemptive power of God; they don't listen; nor do they love.  False prophets use fear and fear of punishment as a main motivation in their ministry to get people to do what they predict."
But, where is the teaching that false prophets are motivated by greed, lies, deceit, sorcery, false teaching, etc., etc.? John the Baptist warned the pharisees to flee from the coming wrath of God (Matthew 3:7). That sounds like using "fear and fear of punishment". Does that make John the Baptist a false prophet? Certainly not! The Bible says that John the Baptist was the greatest prophet in history. Besides Jesus, of course.

It is the false prophets who speak "peace, peace" all the time that God warned about (see Jeremiah 8:11). They speak of peace and prosperity when there is none. Therefore, God calls them false prophets. THOSE are the ones God warns about in His Word over and over again.

False prophets will be very popular with many people (Luke 6:26). True prophets won't (Matthew 5:12).

Here is the sermon that Kris preached, if anyone would like to listen to it to test it to the Word: https://shop.ibethel.org/products/false-prophets-11-00am-august-01-2010

The reason why this concerns me is that I have been accused before, when lovingly confronting (in a gentle manner) a Bethel Church follower, that I have "fear". The conversation went something like this...

(me) "Do you know that Bill Johnson preaches that Jesus laid aside his divinity? Those were his direct quotes from his books/articles."

(person) "What are you afraid of? Why do you have so much fear? You should not be afraid of deception. The elect cannot be deceived anyway. Bill Johnson is not false. False prophets and false people are known by their fear."

---

This concerns me because...I wonder if Bethel Church is teaching their followers to disregard what other Christians lovingly say to them because they must be "fearful", and "fear" is evil. I wonder. Not saying for sure! Just a thought. Isn't this what certain other groups do? They caution their followers to not listen to advice from others who might be cautious of the group or point out error? Isn't this a fear tactic? I believe this is what the cults do (try to shun or quiet outside voices who are trying to warn with love).

In the middle of the night last night, I do believe God woke me up and reminded me of a page I read in my study Bible. It's from 2 John. I believe He wanted me to include this in my post today. Gnostics taught that the divine Christ joined the man Jesus when he was baptized. Isn't this what Bill Johnson's books say? Yes! I have checked this out. For a list of direct quotes, view this article: http://blogs.christianpost.com/grace-under-fire/birds-of-a-feather-flock-together-10395/

Please check out the following photo from my Zondervan family reading Bible. Be alert and watchful!!