Thursday, June 14, 2018

Sozo Prayer: Biblical or Mystical? A Practice from Bill Johnson's Bethel Church...

This is my most viewed article about sozo.  Simple and to the point.  Thousands of people are curious about sozo and are looking for answers.  

Sozo prayer is a new fad in the church world.  It started in Bill Johnson's Bethel Church in Redding, California by two ladies.  Yes, this is the same church that feathers, gemstones and clouds appear inside the church building.

Some people say these are lying signs and wonders prophesied in the Bible:
The Great Apostasy (2 Thessalonians 2)
"Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ[a]had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin[b] is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God[c] in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He[d] who now restrains will do so until He[e] is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
Is it Biblical and safe, or mystical and dangerous?  Does your pastor follow Bill Johnson?  Paul Goulet of International Church of Las Vegas is one pastor who is on Bill Johnson's ministry friend list.  If you have friends or family involved in this group or practice, would you lovingly admonish/warn them? 

Related Articles:

http://blogs.christianpost.com/grace-under-fire/birds-of-a-feather-flock-together-10395/

http://www.gotquestions.org/Sozo-prayer.html

http://mkayla.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/a-note-re-sozo/

http://mkayla.wordpress.com/tag/sozo/

http://godlee4life.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/discernment-column-article-3/

http://godlee4life.wordpress.com/?s=sozo

http://closingstages.net/2011/01/30/sozo-ministry-of-bethel-church-ii/

http://closingstages.net/2011/01/30/sozo-ministry-of-bethel-church-ii/#comment-1607


http://blogs.christianpost.com/grace-under-fire/birds-of-a-feather-flock-together-10395/

Surprise! Is the tithe for today? In a nutshell, 3 eye-opening reasons why the tithe is unbiblical for today's Christian and is correlated with clergy abuse



Is the "tithe law" for today's Christian?

Like many concepts in the Bible, not every single one is necessarily for today. While generosity to the poor is a Biblical, New Testament ideal, tithing - giving a consistent ten percent of one's income to church leaders - is not for today. Here is another example: Leviticus 19:27 tells men to not shave their beards.

It would be nutty to tell others today that they must not shave their beards lest they incur a curse from God Himself.

The tithe is also found in Leviticus 27, for instance, and it is equally nutty to tell Christians to "test the tithe".

Journalist David Cary Hart recently penned an article about a controversial church called Bethel Church in Redding, California. Hart explained,
"Suffice it to say that church leadership rakes in untold millions of tax-deducted dollars. Apparently, leader Bill Johnson's wife, his two sons and their wives are all on the payroll. Bethel Church is the perfect example of why churches should be required to file the same annual reports as every other nonprofit organization. It won't happen because Congress is scared to death of Christianity, Inc."
It is beyond me why the government does not hold (professing) Christian churches more accountable, even the ones who buy $65 million gulfstream jets tax-free. It's corruption. It makes no sense, and many of these churches, despite their claims, do not exist for the "public good" but exist to rip off the public. The government lets them get away with it.

As it is, millions of sincere people are duped into giving their hard-earned dollars under manipulative means. The Washington Post and The New York Times are not the only news agencies that have taken notice, and it is rare that billions of dollars churches collect across the nation reach the poor, those who could truly use it. The fact that the tithe is not for today may come as a surprise because modern tele-evangelists and pastors are experts in brainwashing tithing into the minds of multitudes of Americans, often going so far as to threaten with God's divine retribution or "curse".

This leads to the first reason why the tithe is unbiblical: the tithe is a command found in the Old Testament, not the new. The only references to the tithe in the New Testament are: Matthew 23:23, Luke 18:12, and Hebrews 7. In all three references, the tithe is being spoken of in retrospect. The verse they twist and take out of its historical context in order to manipulate those in their care is from the Book of Malachi:
"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." Malachi 3:8-10; KJV (Emphasis mine)
Notice who God was talking to: a nation, not the body of Christ. It's truly funny and extremely ironic that the ones who are truly robbing others and "displeasing" God are the very ones who are manipulating his people:
"Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?" Acts 15:10; KJV
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1KJV
The second reason the tithe is unbiblical is because it involves coercion.  Coercion is the opposite of liberty in Christ. God loves a cheerful giver, someone who gives under His guidance to those in need, not from the coercion of man. The latter involves bondage, not freedom. If there is any coercion involved, giving is not Spirit-filled. Important to note is that coercion usually comes by covert, veiled means - sly and subtle - often with a big smile and sincere-looking intentions. That's how error masquarades. For obvious reasons, many pastors love the following verse and love to use it in a threatening way to coerce others into "tithing". Upon further observation, where in the New Testament is there a command to tithe? Answer: there is no command to tithe in the New Testament.
Ironically, there is a command for pastors to not coerce others into giving:
"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7; KJV (Emphasis mine)
The word "necessity" here is from the Greek word anank─ôs which means to force or show a need for something. It refers to an outward pressure or influence from someone upon another, or a "compelling need requiring immediate action, i.e., in a pressing situation" (source). This makes me recall a time at a Baptist church in Henderson, Nevada when the preacher told the congregants that not tithing (to him) is the same as stealing a cart full of groceries from a grocery store. Erroneous pastors love to throw legality in on the tithe to add more guilt to others. It works, for the most part. Some congregants do pay attention to that "red flag" feeling, though, especially those with the spiritual gift of discernment.

A third, and most comical reason the tithe is simply unbiblical, is that the Old Testament tithe was not exactly cash! Rather, it was fruit of the land, oil, corn, new wine, herbs, herds, etc. If someone brought a true tithe to a church, it could very well be a bucket of turnips or basil, along with a goat, yet somehow modern pastors have managed to persuade others that the tithe is what's in one's pockets. The Malachi verse says the tithe was "meat".
"And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD." Leviticus 27:30: KJV
"Thou mayest not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thy oil, or the firstlings of thy herds or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vowest, nor thy freewill offerings, or heave offering of thine hand: But thou must eat them before the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God in all that thou puttest thine hands unto." Deuteronomy 12:17,18; KJV
"Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new wine and the oil unto the treasuries." Nehemiah 13:12; KJV
These are only three of the reasons the tithe is not for today; there are many more reasons. Be assured that if your pastor is preaching the "tithe", it is rotten, twisted, heretical fruit. As the old saying goes, "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree". Corrupt teaching comes from currupt intentions, no doubt. It's clergy abuse, also known as spiritual abuse. The "test the tithe" teaching, giving ten percent of one's income to the church, often including an "or else" threat, is a sign of an unhealthy church.

Be free today to be guided by the generous, loving hand of God to meet the needs of others according to His plan for your life, not man's. Jesus did speak about giving to the poor. "My pastor teaches the tithe, and he is a very nice man looking out for the needs of the church", some may say. Please don't be tricked. The American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) has addressed this issue about pastors who do not have the best intentions for others, and the con-artist pastor knows precisely what he is doing. He (or she) may very well be an artist using the Bible against others (who are too trusting) in a twisted manner.

I hope you enjoyed the video on the tithe.
  Source: Strong's Concordance 318

Tags: The Tithe Lie; Anthem Community Church Henderson, Nevada; Green Valley Baptist Church Henderson, Nevada

Saturday, June 2, 2018

The fascist and dominionist roots and history of sozo and its ties to Latter Rain, NAR and Dominionism

Sozo is tied to Bethel Church in Redding, California, which has strong affiliation with the Latter Rain Movement and Dominionism.  Dominionism is also known as the New Apostolic Reformation or the Seven Mountains Mandate.  All these movements can be likened to separate, polluted "rivers" which come from the same muddy waste dump.  In America, sozo originated at Bill Johnson's Bethel church in Redding, California.  The following is some rather informative information on the "sketchy" history of sozo and its related movements: 
"The origins of the movement are sketchy, but trace back to at least two influences, the Latter Rain movement and Dominionism.
The Latter Rain movement gained traction in the 1950s as a movement holding Pentecostal beliefs but largely outside the existing Pentecostal denominations, teaching the imminent rise of a victorious church that transcended denominational organizations and endowed with supernatural power through miraculous working of the Holy Spirit. The early Latter Rain movement is sometimes linked to William Branham, although most reject Branham's Jesus-only baptism beliefs, and may have also had some influence on parts of the Jesus Movement and on the Discipling and Shepherding movement. Among the Latter Rain movement's teachings were that the rise of a victorious church of "overcomers" endowed with supernatural power to wage spiritual warfare and perform miracles would usher in the second coming of Christ. The terms "Manifest Sons of God" and "Joel's Army" referred to these "overcomers".
Dominionism is a movement that began in the 1970s with Calvinist roots, teaching that the Biblical admonition for Christians to "take dominion" over all the earth includes taking dominion over civil government and law, and that civil law should be based on Biblical teachings."
The problem with dominionism of course is that it is fascist and militant all the while hiding behind the cloak of being "good" and "Christian".  Even more disturbing is that most dominionists are not even aware that they are dominionists.  The dominionist leaders have an agenda to wipe out other Christian denominations and to take over civil society.  They believe that they, as God's elite group, are mandated by Jesus himself to do this by force.

Unless we want a fascist system to gain foothold in our nation, we need to be aware of the dominionists' influence on politics and America.  There are many conservative politicians who are dominionists (I will talk about that more in the coming weeks).    

The interview below is quite eye-opening.