Right now, the idea of inner healing is very popular. It is selling a lot of products so ministries are jumping on the bandwagon to get the donations flowing. However, I have a fundamental question: Is Inner healing biblical? Is it rooted in history? Is it dangerous?
I have spend a large part of my adult life in the “prophetic movement” as a classic Pentecostal. Within the circles that value the prophetic work of the Spirit, there is also a tendency to hear a lot about inner healing and “soul care.” This became very popular in the wake of the Toronto Blessing under the leadership of John and Carol Arnott.I was personally blessed in Toronto but theologically, there is challenges
I have seen different “models” come and go. Some of them a bit more biblical than others. All types of bad theology came from these frameworks such as “demons of free masonry” and “generational curses.” Some of them walk you right into witchcraft and the worship of demonic spirits.
I have personally experience with Restoring the Foundations that is the closest to biblical truth. Others such as Sozo from Bethel Redding not as much. Then, you have the “Theophostic prayer” that is just asking for demon spirit to get on you.
The simple answer is no. Nowhere do you find in scripture a biblical basis for it whatsoever. The use of Isaiah 61 is out of context. The lightest of hermeneutics exposes the idea that it about “healing the soul.”
Jesus Christ declared “It is finished.”John 19:30 In the Greek, this points to the act of consummation. In other words, the veil has been ripped and there is free access to the Lord. Everything you need for godliness has perfected because of the work of the Cross.
Paul would continue this message when he told the believers in Corinth that they are new creation. That the old things have died and the new man has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 When he said that old things have died, that means old ways of living as well.
Peter would also teach the same true of the power of the Cross that finished everything we need for victorious living. He would clearly tell the believers they have been called out of darkness and in the glorious light. They were not partly in the light but fully called out of the darkness of sin.1 Peter 2:9
The truth is that every book of the New Testament and many Old Testament prophets point to the same reality: Jesus did it all on the Cross and everything you need for salvation, healing and deliverance is found in the blood of Jesus.
To believe that He did not do it all at Golgotha is to question the Omnipotence of Jesus to complete the work He started in the synoptic gospels. Believing that we need “soul healing” is to believe that Jesus needs help in the work of salvation.
It is finished. Done. Complete.
Most people trace it back to Agnes Sandford in the 1950’sTed and Agnes Sandford led “The School of Pastoral Care”, a Presbyterian that did not to admit to demons so came up with this inner healing teaching. However, it goes back way past that and even pre-date the ministry of Christ on the earth.
Its roots go back to Gautama Buddha where he would have tantras to release spirits for healing of the soul.See Tantric Healing: The Power of Physical, Psychological and Spiritual Healing It was called “the art of healing.” He would give emanations that seemed to bring peace to the tormented.
Through the centuries, the ideal of soul healing was deeply rooted in the teachings of both Buddhism and Hinduism. Make no mistake about it, the foundation of inner healing is eastern religion in nature. This practice of spiritual healing is still very common in India and Southeast Asia today.
Until the 1930s, there is no mention of the idea within Christian thought. It is likely it was introduced by missionaries to India that came back defeated and confused by what they saw on the mission field. There was whispers of these teaching as early as the late 1920’s but it was a few years later that literature started to make its rounds in Baptists circles.
It was not until the 1950’s that the Sandford family started to teach it and later John Sandford (not related) pushed it within the Vineyard movement. At the point, the introduction to the deception was widespread and become a central teaching of the “Toronto Blessing.”
Make no mistake: its roots is eastern religion!
Now, we are to the ultimate question: how dangerous is it for a believer? To be clear, when a person opens their soul (mind, will and emotions) to demons, they are asking for tormenting spirits to come on them. It is foolishness and a complete lack of discernment for a believer to consider the practice of inner healing or spiritual healing.
There is NO biblical basis for the practice in the New Testament. There is no example of someone renouncing a spirit of rejection and inviting the spirit of acceptance. This is modern new age craziness that is popular among people who never repented of their own nature.
There is this weird fixation among Charismatics to “redeem” new age practices. Nowhere were we called to redeem demons; we are told to cast them out. We do not “redeem” eastern religions, we confront them and drive me away from the faithful. Jesus made it clear how he felt about the mixture of spirits.Revelation 2-3
Believers need to be reminded that they have received positional sanctification at the Cross of their conversion. There can be a persistent element of it that leads to the perfected sanctification.William Menzies, Bible Doctrines: A Pentecostal Perspective However, this is under no condition an excuse to accepting the demons of Buddhism and Hinduism into their lives.
It is common to see people spiritually oppressed. The oppression is on the outside; it never ceases, and its’ only purpose is to break down our resistance. It manifests itself through temptations. It is the devil’s way of getting people to go back to their sinful ways. (Carlos Annacondia)Carlos Annacondia, Listen to ME, Satan, p. 50
|↑1||I was personally blessed in Toronto but theologically, there is challenges|
|↑3||2 Corinthians 5:17|
|↑4||1 Peter 2:9|
|↑5||Ted and Agnes Sandford led “The School of Pastoral Care”|
|↑6||See Tantric Healing: The Power of Physical, Psychological and Spiritual Healing|
|↑8||William Menzies, Bible Doctrines: A Pentecostal Perspective|
|↑9||Carlos Annacondia, Listen to ME, Satan, p. 50|
Peter Vandever is a Pentecostal Evangelist to the nations and a prophetic voice to the American Pentecostal movement. He is currently based in Kansas City, Missouri.