Do you notice coldness in Christian circles or the warmth of Christ’s love?
“And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.” (Matt. 24:12)
How we choose to love is a tell-tale sign of whether or not we are a real Christian. I have noticed that many of the cults teach on love and promote love as they hide behind Christianity. One such cult is the Sozo cult.
Once someone crosses their path whom they do not like, they withdraw love. They choose hate instead. This makes them hypocritical like the ancient Pharisees.
As Christians, we must remember that we are to fulfill the “law of love”. In fact, loving God and others is the highest command.
I came across this in my Bible this morning:
“God is love. Since we are His children we must walk in love. In fact, John says that if we do not love, we do not know God. Love is more than just words; it is actions. Love is giving, not getting. Biblical love is unconditional in its nature. Christ’s love fulfilled those qualities and when that brand of love characterizes us, we will be free of self-condemnation and experience confidence before God.” (See source; Emphasis mine)
Are you a Christian? If so, do you fulfill Christ’s “law of love”?
I was also reading the book of Philemon the other day. This book contains a picture of the tender-hearted love that Christ wants us to possess.
The following passage is from Philemon:
“So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say.” (Phil. 1:17-21)
Do you find that Christian love is hard to find these days?
I have known loving, genuine Christians and I have known professing Christians who are unloving. What about you?
Source: The Holy Bible, NKJV. (1982). Thomas Nelson, Inc. p. 1398
Listen below for a two-part interview on the Sozo Cult as Jan Markell interviews Joan and Dirk Miller. The Millers are parents of a girl who was brainwashed by the Sozo Cult at Bethel Church. Probably the most disturbing part of this interview is when the parents explain how Bethel Church threatened the girl that bad things would happen to her family if she does not go with the Bethel leaders. The cults use fear tactics to isolate their victims from their loved ones. Then, their loved ones become the “enemies” (see the “Warning Signs” list by Rick Ross on the right side of this website).
DP does not endorse all the views of Olive Tree Ministries nor all the views of Jan Markell/Understanding The Time Radio.
#churchtoo #spiritualabuse #bethelredding
Is Sozo healing safe and biblical? The real roots and history of Sozo: Randy Clark of Toronto Blessing, jungle and barnyard animal behaviors, Bethel Church, Argentina and more…
HISTORY OF SOZO
“In 1997, Randy Clark, a healing evangelist, held meetings at Bethel Church. At that time, Pastor Clark would send a team to train a congregation how to be prayer servants. A small portion of that training was a model of ‘deliverance’ from Argentina. This model became our first tool ‘The Four Doors’.”
The above is a direct quote that http://www.bethelsozo.com provides in their history section. Elsewhere in this section, it states that the “Lord introduced” these tools for this healing ministry. Interestingly, the Word of God (the Bible) does not support this at all.
Why didn’t the Lord introduce these tools a long time ago so that others could have been using these tools for the past twenty centuries or more? Why did “the Lord” wait so long to introduce these methods if this is what “sozoes” (saves, heals and delivers) a person and “makes them obtain a connection to the Father”? What did the early Christians of the previous centuries do to get “saved, healed and delivered”? Did they rely on these Sozo tools, or did they rely on the shed blood of Jesus? Why would the Lord wait 2000 years to introduce these tools to save, heal and deliver?
Here are the seven tools introduced by “the Lord”.
- Father Ladder
- Four Doors
- Presenting Jesus
- The Wall
- Trigger Mechanisms (Advanced Tool)
- Divine Editing (Advanced Tool)
- Shabar (that is, if the above tools fail to work)
According to this official source of Sozo, Randy Clark of the Toronto Blessing is part of the roots of this movement (as well as an Argentinian healing ministry). According to my research, it is public information that Sozoers collect a “suggested donation” sometimes as much as $150.00 (or more). Interestingly, the cross (the message of “Christ crucified”) is found nowhere on the official Bethel Sozo website. I spent a good amount of time going over every page, and no cross! Therefore, this is yet another good reason to believe that Sozo is a false gospel. Also, I contacted several official Sozoers and Sozo leaders and asked them how I could know I am saved. Most of them told me that Sozo [rather than Christ] is “the way to obtain a connection to the Father”! One of them told me that if I do Sozo, it’s like a “three in one deal” and that I would surely get connected to God via Sozo. Another Sozo leader told me that if I can hear an actual voice (i.e., of God), it is a sure sign of being saved. Most of them (all but one) could not explain to me the real Gospel message of Christ crucified, but instead told me to just do Sozo to get connected to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!
“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim. 2:5)
Who is Randy Clark and what is the Toronto Blessing?
Randy Clark is a friend of Bill Johnson according to Bill’s public “friend list” online. Many people say, “you can’t believe everything you see on the internet,” but direct quotes from official sources are true and undeniable. Also, the official sources do tell others that “the Lord” sends barnyard and jungle animal manifestations and even drunkenness and uncontrollable laughter (see the photo provided). These are the types of notions Randy Clark teaches, and it doesn’t seem like Bill Johnson has a problem with it! The following photo is from http://www.catchthefire.com:
The answer is Jesus, not Sozo. He alone can sozo (i.e., save, heal and deliver) a person. Furthermore, He has been doing it (free of a suggested donation) for centuries. Sozo is not the mediator between God and men.
“Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” (Proverbs 30:6)
Sozo suggests that you need to keep doing Sozo sessions in order to be set free, but what does the Bible say?
“And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor. 6:11)
Answer: The Toronto Blessing refers to the supposed outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the people attending the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship Church, which at the time was the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church. On January 20, 1994, a Pentecostal pastor named Randy Clark spoke at the church and gave his testimony of how he would get drunk in the Spirit and laugh uncontrollably. In response to this testimony, the congregation erupted in pandemonium with people laughing, growling, dancing, shaking, barking like dogs, and even some even being stuck in positions of paralysis. These experiences were attributed to the Holy Spirit entering people’s bodies. The pastor of the church, John Arnott, referred to it as a big Holy Spirit party. The moniker “Toronto Blessing” was given, and the church was soon in the international spotlight. When this “blessing” is held to the light of Scripture, however, it can scarcely be called a blessing; abomination, maybe, but not blessing. Absolutely nowhere in Scripture can one find any precedent for what was happening at the Toronto Airport church, except, perhaps, the physical conditions demon-possessed people suffered. In fact, the Toronto Airport church became so embroiled in emotional outbursts and psychological displays that Pastor Arnott ceased preaching salvation, and instead preached about the party of the Holy Spirit. Experiences were being held in higher authority than Scripture. This was even too much for the already extremely charismatic Vineyard movement, which severed ties with the Toronto Airport church in 1995, prompting the name change to Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. A believer’s focus needs to be Jesus Christ, the “author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2), not on oneself, one’s experiences, or even the Holy Spirit. The Toronto Blessing focuses on the last, to the detriment of biblical faith. Believers can have fun, dance, sing, even shout to the Lord. However, when a worship service resembles the dream of a demented schizophrenic and attributed to the work of the Holy Spirit, only one word comes to mind: heresy.
This article was originally published on April 26, 2013 and has been updated.
#churchtoo #spiritualabuse #bethelredding
The following was written by David Backus
Copyright The Free Believers Network 2011
I can usually spot them. It’s my job as I contribute my portion of the work to the Body of Christ. They are sometimes outcasts. Sometimes they are quiet and introverted. Other times they are more outspoken and abrasive. Either way, they are misunderstood. Usually, if they don’t want to be removed from their local church group, they conform, grudgingly and brood quietly. Many aren’t aware of why.
Often they get accused of being unteachable or unsubmissive to authority and being headstrong. The problem is, many times even they don’t recognize why or what they have. Usually these people’s hearts get crushed early on in the institutional church system.
I am speaking, of course, of those with the spiritual gift of discernment. This specific gift doesn’t get a lot of limelight and exploitation like the more powerful gifts. It is usually a threat to most pastors and it is more difficult to manipulate and control.
This is one of the biggest population of people in churches that get their share of spiritual and religious abuse. Either they conform to the all-knowing constraints of their pastors, or they get swept under the carpet, or booted out. Their warnings about error taking hold in the church often go ignored and usually such people aren’t given a position of leadership or to even speak in the average church setting.
I like to call the gift of discernment the twin gift of prophecy. People who are prophets or who work closely with prophets possess this gift as well. It complements and tempers the prophetic gift nicely.
The discerner is the watchman in the late hours of the night. They constantly scan the horizon for possible danger. They watch closely and carefully with a highly critical mind, for anything that might damage or lead the church away from the truth of the things of God.
If I were to liken the discerner to a part of the body of Christ it would be the immune system. They are the body’s defense system against viral lies that would infiltrate His people.
Unfortunately, due to religious pride, financial corruption and desire for power and control, religious abuse, or even the more passive aggressive church communities have rejected this crucial part of the body, rendering it vulnerable to the lies of the enemy.
Usually discerners don’t get along well with the pastor who doesn’t understand the gift and insists on running the show. They also don’t get along well with the “be nice and don’t judge” mentality of the average church attender. Often, discerners get accused of being judgmental, overly critical, or even arrogant.
I would offer comfort here though, there is an entire book of the Bible dedicated to the discerner. It is most often overlooked and poorly understood. It is one of my favorites, the book of 1 John. I take deep comfort in this book and other passages in the Bible which reaffirm this gift in me.
To the pastor or the observant church member, I say this. Look for the ones who usually are considered and labeled rebels. They don’t fit in, they don’t play nice with the status quo. They sometimes have a chip on their shoulder, they usually complain about the way things are and can tend to be overly critical. Look for the loner who is in the group, but never at complete harmony with it. Also look for the one who drives you crazy with their being “unteachable” and “unsubmissive.” Chances are, they have the gift of discernment, even if it is undeveloped and not brought under the control of the Holy Spirit and His Love.
To the Discerner: If this blog describes you, make sure you are submerged in love for people. Use your gift based on love. My gift of discernment became the most effective when I learned that God is love, and I asked God for the gift of seeing the world, especially the Church through His eyes.
As with all spiritual gifts, it needs to spring out of God’s flame of love for others deep inside of you. Fall deeply in love with people before operating in this gift. When you love people, you will never go wrong. And things can go awry when love is withheld and selfish motives are the root.
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.
The above helpful article was found on the American Association of Christian Counselors’ website. Enjoy!
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)
Calvary Chapel pastors should be very careful when they make the claim that they are “God’s anointed”.