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The Persecuted Church







p.3 Agnes Sanford’s doctrine, God being an energy and her healing methods

Summarizing and concluding what she taught as revelation from God we look at her specific statements that are not only unbiblical but are in the category of metaphysics.

Preexistent souls

Sanford openly taught Eastern mysticism and occultism inserting it in her Christianity. She taught that humans existed in heaven prior to coming to earth, trailing " a cloud of glory . . . [with] an unconscious memory "of that pre-earth existence." (Spiritual Gifts, p. 45)

Sanford taught in her visualization method that you can ask Jesus to go back to birth to heal painful memories and prior before birth.

Follow the soul of this Your child all the way back to the hour of birth and heal the soul even of pain and the fear of being born into this darksome world. ... And if even before birth the soul was shadowed by this human life and was darkened by the fears or sorrows of the human parents, then I pray that even those memories or impressions may be healed, so that this one may be restored to Your original pattern, the soul as free and as clean as though nothing had ever dimmed its shining ” (The Healing Gifts, pp. 122, 123).

Did we preexist and were afraid to be born? This would mean consciousness. It should be noted that this is what William Branham taught, and is still being taught today through others. None of this is mentioned in Scripture because it is not part of the Christian message.

Some of her teaching was just bizarre, combining astral travel a function of her spirit to others. “Now in speaking in tongues . . . the unconscious may make rapport with the unconscious mind of someone else living... or of someone who has lived before or of someone who will live in the future or even of someone from heaven ....

“I cannot tell what my spirit does and whither it goes. But that it does travel and that God does work through my spiritual body even when my mind is quite unaware of it, becomes more and more apparent.

Therefore, simply call in your mind to me, or to someone else as a human channel for the love of Christ.” (Spiritual Gifts p.30)

There is no way to find this kind of explanation for tongues being used in the Bible. This is identified in the occult as astral travel when your spirit leaves your body to go elsewhere. Again there is no such teaching in the New Testament

She taught of Jn.3:16 that God so loved the world, meant the earth the planet and all its creatures, it did not mean humanity. So there is redemption of animals.

This is something Kenneth Copeland taught “ I know one dog that got saved, oh yea now don’t argue with me about this. He speaks of a pastor friend of his, “I don’t if his church knows his dog got saved, his son came in their and said daddy I want you to lay hands on, I don’t remember the dogs name ” he said why? “I want you to lay hands on him. I got him saved but I need to get him baptized in the Holy Ghost, (crowd reacts), now you laugh if you want to, but that means something to God.” (audio on file)

This is just a mockery of Scripture and the Holy Spirit.

Her book “The Healing Light” was originally published in 1947 She describes: “‘ The kingdom of God is within you,’ said Jesus. And it is the indwelling light, the secret place of the consciousness of the Most High that is the kingdom of Heaven in its present manifestation on this earth.”

The problem is that it does not say this, she ignored the context and the word used (enthos) means the kingdom is within your midst, with Jesus physically being there as was said elsewhere in Scripture.

Jesus was speaking this to the Pharisees and they rejected the kingdom he was offering.

Sanford on Jesus

She taught that the “ God's love was blacked out from man by the negative thought-vibration of this sinful and suffering world .” (p.134 Healing Light). [Jesus] “lowered his thought vibrations to the thought vibrations of humanity" to accomplish "the at-one-ment " (ibid.) a "reconciliation of man's mind with divine Mind through the superconsciousness of Christ Mind."

“He did not leave His body on this earth. He transmuted it into a spiritual body, renewing it cell by cell and transforming it from a physical body into a spiritual body. But He did leave upon this earth His blood, that mysterious life essence of the body that contains in a most marvelous way the very being and personality of the soul .” (p.135 Healing Light)

Jesus was resurrected in a physical body, not a spiritual body, it was the same body he lived in on earth, only transformed, glorified. He did not dispose of his physical body, or turn it into a “spirit”- ual body, this is a denial of a physical resurrection which is the gospel.

Nor did he leave the blood on earth. I challenge anyone to find such a teaching in Scripture.

Sanford believed that the blood of Christ was "the essence of His being" and possessed a "life-energy" that was dried up after his death on the cross and "was disseminated by the wind and mingled with all life," remaining as an " invisible current of a heavenly energy, an ACTUAL energy, a PERCEPTIBLE energy, and EFFECTIVE energy " (Behold Your God, 104; caps are Sanford's, underline mine).

" We breathe in this energy today, and it is this energy that "accomplishes for us the forgiveness of sins " (p.105).

Does energy we breath accomplish forgiveness?

She also said “Having borne our sins He turned them into holiness, and sent them forth into the air again cleansed and purified.”

According to Sanford we breathe in this air that contains cleansed sin, that is holiness. An energy that "accomplishes for us the forgiveness of sins.”

She also taught that one could forgive another's sins through visualization. These statements are a denial of the truth of forgiveness of sins through repentance, faith in his sacrificial death. She turned the sacrifice of Christ into an energy that disseminates forgiveness by breathing it in.

She gives a metaphysical explanation of how his blood works; it is not a biblical one. “His blood, that mysterious life-essence...remains upon this earth, in plasma form, blown by the winds of heaven to every land beneath the sun, exploding in a chain reaction of spiritual power …. (ibid.)

Is his blood in plasma form blown about by winds of earth? What an absurd statement to make especially with having absolutely no basis from Scripture. Furthermore, think of the implications of what she is saying.

Sanford saw anything was acceptable that would enabled one to tap into what she called "this flow of energy," as acceptable. As the " high voltage of God's creativity.” (p.158 Healing Light) Sanford called God the "primal energy, “ the original force that we call God” (p.23 ibid) She claimed that our “ Knowing then that we are part of God, that His life within us is an active energy and that He works through the laws of our bodies.” (p.26 ibid.)

“The vibration of God's light is so very real that even a child can feel it, and it was my experiments with children that showed me the action of an invisible but powerful light-vibration shining from the Father of Lights .” (p.23 Healing Light)

The death of Christ allows man's "light-vibrations of the spirit" to increase "to a higher current of spiritual energy by the infusion of the Holy Spirit," and that the Holy Spirit is "the highest vibration of the life of God " (ibid. p.138).

She said “If we focus on the source of healing, God's all-powerful love, we can grow in our ability to envision and expect healing .”

Giving an experience as her proof, “ Sally and I both understood quite simply that God's life was a kind of light. We could not see this light. But she felt it as heat. And I perceived through my hands and arms the flow of the invisible force that caused the heat. We did not have the scientific background to explain these things. But the guiding Intelligence who leads us on toward truth directed me toward a man who could explain it.” (p.24 Healing Light)

This is none other than Reiki, the same energy is described by the occult practitioners. Her explanation sounds like the Reiki way of healing " Spirits of those [dead] for whom we have prayed on earth are working through us... One conveys that healing force to the inner being [of the sick] through the law of suggestion. He [the one that is doing the healing] has made a thought-track between his spirit, subconscious mind and body; the body, the subconscious mind and the spirit of the patient .” (The Healing Light. pp. 98-113,142-43.)

Bringing her mixture of other spiritual systems with Christianity into the church, Sanford taught that everything is a matter of thought vibrations, the "negative" vibrations make us ill, the "positive" heal us. "Positive thought vibrations" projected upon sinners can even turn them into Christians. Sanford wrote, " So I thought, 'I will repent of them in her name' I will say to Jesus Christ, … for I will take the responsibility for her sins of fear and hate. Since she cannot see them herself to repent of them herself, I will repent of them in her name and so open the door for the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.'" (Healing Light p. 120.)

She said, what Jesus called faith is in reality, " positive thinking" (Agnes Sanford, Behold Your God, St. Paul, MN:Macalester Park Publishing Company, Fourth ed. 1964, 34).

“our minds are too confused by illness to follow our usual four steps of prayer, let us

compose one sentence of thanksgiving and repeat it over and over until the subconscious mind is full of it. This chosen affirmation should radiate the thought of health in as positive a statement as our questioning minds will accept.” (p.91 The Healing Light)

This affirmation of repeating is just like the word faith teachers use today, which is a self convincing that is not taught from Scripture but is found in the Mind Sciences.

We must re-educate the subconscious mind, replacing every thought of fear with a thought of faith, every thought of illness with a thought of health, every thought of death with a thought of life. ... If “we find ourselves thinking, ‘One of my headaches is coming on,’ we correct that thought. ‘Whose headaches?’ we say, ‘God’s light shines within me and God doesn’t have headaches ” (Healing Light pp. 33, 34).

Yes, but humans do.

The gospel according to Agnes Sanford

It is here where the most offensive and unbiblical interpretation is found. “Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane undertook the great work that we call the Atonement—the at-one-ment which reunited man with God. He literally lowered His thought-vibrations to the thought-vibrations of humanity and received into Himself man's thoughts of sin and sickness, pain and death. And as He was the Son of God and therefore able to transcend time, He took into Himself all of the sinful thought-vibrations of all humanity, past, present and future.”(ibid p.134)

Is this how the Bible explains the atonement (where she says took place in Gethsemane)

Sanford’s word faith teaching (Religious Science) taught how we control everything by our thinking, even our own body. " I'm afraid I'm catching a cold," sends a contrary order to the inner control center, which immediately telegraphs to the white corpuscles, "Slacken speed—slacken speed. The captain says, 'Catch a cold.'"… Hence arises the destructive inner voice that says, "Oh yeah? You think this will work, do you? You're trying to kid yourself, that's all. Now don't be a fool!" and such remarks. The Bible calls this inner tempter "Satan," and suggests that powers of evil beyond the tangible forces of this world battle against us.” (p.38 Healing Light)

She goes on to say “ The love-vibrations and the faith-vibrations of God and His saints enter through our thoughts of life and love. In the same way, the destructive thought-vibrations of mankind, and of 'Satan' (whoever or whatever "Satan" may be) enter through our thoughts of illness, hate and death" (p. 43-44 Healing Light).

Here Sanford questions the personhood of the Devil something which the Bible explains throughout, from beginning to end.

Does God send love, faith vibrations to us? Of course not! And what about the saints involved? This is dangerous teaching that one must believe to accept Sanford’s premise of an energy that is God.

“Jesus did not resist Satan. He merely turned His back on him. In doing so, he lived so far above evil that He was able to say, "The Prince of this world . . . hath nothing in me."

Indeed the power of evil has nothing on us if we turn our backs on it .”(p.39 Ibid.)

Jesus did not resist the Devil? Does she teach us differently than Jesus did? Yes. Jms. 4:7 says different, as does 1Peter 5:9. Jesus did resist the Devil in his personal temptation in the desert where he quoted the Word of truth to him. At the end Then Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! (Matt 4:10) that involves resisting.

Inner Healing

"Inner Healing was carried on after Agnes Sanford’s death by those she influenced, such as lay therapists Ruth Carter Stapleton, Rosalind Rinker, John and Paula Sandford, William Vaswig, Rita Bennett and others. Prevalent among charismatics and liberal churches, inner healing has spread in evangelical circles.

“We direct this great flow of life into a closed mind . . . by doing penance for the sins of the world, or for [a] particular [person] .... And by taking that one to the cross of Christ and there receiving for him forgiveness, healing and life ....” [by visualization].

Foster likewise writes about visualizing to heal, presenting it as prayer, using the imagination to effect changes in reality (p. 25 of Celebration of Discipline, 1998).

Many followers of Sanford will say Inner Healing is part of Christ's redemptive work in our spirit and soul.

Sandfords who were disciples of her teaching “In the healing of the memories one must firmly hold in the imagination the picture . . . of this person . . . [though evil, as] a saint of God, and turn in the imagination the dark and awful shadows of his nature into shining virtues and sources of power. Indeed, they can be thus turned. This is redemption!”

For more on the John and Paul Sandford and inner healing http://www.letusreason.org/Nam57.htm

One of the offshoots of Inner Healing is Theophostic prayer which involves bathing the person in prayer. The Bible teaches prayer is always toward God and his answers are rarely instantaneous, we are to wait having faith and patience.

This same language and immediate reaction from God was applied in the new revivals popularized at Toronto airport Vineyard.

Sanford’s occultism and those influenced by her was first exposed in the book “The Seduction of Christianity” by Dave Hunt and Tom McMahon. The response was immediate as she was vigorously defended by the charismatic leaders who were involved in her inner healing techniques.

This book Creation waits, is important because of what we see today in the new age movement.

Agnes Sanford believed in the concept of pantheism, her new age slant was seen in teachings of creation in her book “creation Waits.”

Her Latter Rain teachings

Scripture read out of context, she saw the church become manifested Sons of God individually just as the Latter Rain taught. She misappropriated the scripture for now. We do not become Sons of God by realization, it is by a united transformation of the church at the resurrection.

She states that Jesus " came on earth "to create a new order -- to change the species" (p.91 Behold Your God). That man " had become too densely veiled in flesh" (ibid.).

This New Thought teaching as metaphysical cults teach which coincides with her book Sealed Orders: The Autobiography of a Christian Mystic

Agnes Sanford was led to pray for the Earth through her experience with healing prayer. She actually moved to California in her later years to pray for the San Andreas fault, that there would be no devastating earthquake, but only a dispersal of shifts through many land movements.

In her book Creation Waits she explains her call to pray for the Earth. “ In the late 70’s Agnes Sanford began to be moved to pray for the Earth. Agnes actually moved to California as she felt called to pray for the San Andreas fault.’ (Agnes Sanford, Creation Waits (Logos: Plainfield, N.J., 1978)

Sanford said, “ It was this prayer for ancestors in the power of Jesus' Resurrection, finally, that brought me to praying for our Earth and to seeing the power of the Resurrection to bring healing.”

She writes in Creation Waits (logos international Plainfeild New Jersey1976): “When I moved to California in order to be nearer to my children and also to be handy to the San Andreas Fault in order to pray for it, I looked for a house….When I pray for the San Andreas Fault, that is settle its differences, or make its adjustments to the earth that is even now being gradually pushed up from the ocean, I see with the eyes of faith God’s healing and constructive power, God’s life-force of light, shining into the mountains beneath which the fault lurks, and causing these areas of new land to develop so gently, so gradually, that there shall be no destructive earthquakes . Many people, encouraged by the newspapers, seem to gloat in the prospect of a destructive earthquake, and to delight in foretelling it. However, God is more powerful than all newspapers and gloomy prophets who foresee calamity.”

Yet the Bible is filled with God predicting calamity, the flood is one in the past and the tribulation is another in the future. Our Lord said (Mt.24) there would be pervasive earthquakes, a literal tribulation is coming that will devastate the earth (Rev. 6:2,8:5,11:13,19, 16;8)

She gave story after story of how her praying changed conditions on earth and the people. God is not going to change his prophecy.

The Berean Call points out the 1972 edition of The Healing Light is different from the 1947 edition, the new publisher in 1972 made numerous cosmetic changes to give the book a wider appeal. Yet Agnes herself had not changed. She was also one of the early popularizers of the Manifest Sons heresy. She taught that the Great Tribulation is in the past; we are now in the Millennium and Christians must, through Science of Mind techniques, take dominion over this earth, even removing the effects of the Fall—without the return of Christ. (See Creation Waits, Logos, 1978, etc.)

God is not waiting for individuals to realize their sonship and use their authority on this world. That is the teaching that comes from the Latter Rain and is also found in the new age movement.’

In fact she states " A new age is being born. when love-power [projected] at the command of ministers [and others] is sufficient to change hearts.. we [have] an inner source of power that can be tapped at will. " (Agnes Sanford, The Healing Light (1947 ed.), 21-22, 60, 75)

She said “A new age is being born. The day has come when love-power, at the command of ministers and surveyors and children and everyone, is sufficient to change hearts here and there in the world about them. This is the beginning of a new order. It is the dawning of a new day!” (p.58 current ed. Inner Healing)

Her admirer, Richard Foster used the same terminology In his original edition of Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline on p. 170 said this, “We of the New Age can risk going against the tide. ”… The imagination can release a flood of creative ideas, and exercising our imagination can be lots of fun. Only those who are insecure about their own maturity will fear such a delightful form of celebration."

This new order was that of the Latter Rain which opened many other spiritual concepts and practices outside the Scripture.

I do not understand why her books are so popular and sold in Christian churches and her teachings are defended by so many pastors and teachers, even theologians. Do they not understand what she was presenting? All one needs is a rudimentary understanding of the Bible to know that this not Christian teaching from Christ or the apostles, but a new age mystical counterfeit.

This dangerous teaching has clearly found a home in the undiscerning church and needs to be removed.


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