Biblical Foundations of Theophostic – Sanctified by the Truth

December 5, 2007

In John 17:15-17 we read:

15My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

This portion of John’s Gospel is called “The High Priestly Prayer” of Jesus. As the God/Man he is representing humans to God as He intercedes for us in prayer. These three verses are the the pinnacle of that prayer. This is what He really wants for us. But what does it all mean?

If we were immediately taken up to heaven the moment we became believers in Jesus Christ it would be so much easier to know what is right and true. And the blessings of God would be all we would experience. But we are left here, not just to share with others about our faith in Christ (so that they might also believe), but also so that we can be made complete the same way Jesus was: By facing difficulties, challenges and hardships. With the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we can throw off the effects that sin has had on us. I believe that 2 Corinthians 5:17 (“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!“) is how God sees us and how He intends to make us on this earth as well.

That is why Jesus says he does not pray we will be taken out of the world, but that we be protected from the Evil One. And what does that protection consist of? Verse 17 says “Sanctify them in the Truth.” The greatest protection we have is to become more like Jesus, which is the goal of Sanctification. This is the aim of Theophostic Prayer Ministry as well. As people come to realize the lies that they have been believing, and especially as Holy Spirit speaks Truth to their hearts, some of the effects of the curse of sin are broken. The more lies that are annihilated the more the Truth finds a home.

Jessica had always believed that she would be rejected by other people. This is not something she consciously thought of however. For the most part, she told people how much God loved her and how much it was wonderful to be in the Body of Christ where she was loved. But any time that she would do something that embarrassed her, she was overwhelmed with the idea that she was useless and unlovable. Though her head told her that she was loved, her heart did not believe it. During those dark days she endured this, she couldn’t even read the Bible when it mentioned God’s love. It seemed to mock her.

During a TPM session, God took her back to a memory when a neighbor molested her. During the memory, the idea came to her that it was her fault that the molestation happened. “I could have yelled for help” was the conclusion. As she tracked the memory, she felt shame and a sense that she did not deserve to be loved. Then we asked God to speak into the memory. God told her that she bore no guilt for what happened and that He didn’t blame her. She released the lie and believed what Holy Spirit said to her.

Since that day, her husband reports that he doesn’t have to do the “I love you” pep talks like he used to. She isn’t constantly saying how much other people would be “better off without me”.

Also, she has reported an increase in intimacy with Father God. This increase in intimacy has given her courage to begin working in a ministry she had always wanted to be part of but was sure she would not be qualified for. God’s plan for her life is now being more freely released. She is being set apart for God’s plan more and more. Though there may be more lies to be rid of, at least she is seeing more of sanctification’s work.

As I said in a comment earlier in this series, TPM is not really about healing. Memories don’t get healed in TPM. In fact, there is really nothing about the memory itself that needs to be healed. Memories are only storage containers where we place those events that meant something to us at the time. The problem with memories is that they can never be 100% accurate. We don’t possess 360 degrees of perspective in any memory. We store the memory as we saw it. And no one sees the hearts and intents of all the people involved. So, like the scientists in Jurassic Park who filled in the missing DNA sequences of the dinosaur genomes, we too tend to fill in our memories with our own beliefs about their meaning. This is the doorway through which lies tend to be transfered into our lives.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:23 it says,

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Our soul, with its storage container of memories and beliefs needs to be sanctified. Yes, it is true that not everything will be healed in this life. We will die some day. But that doesn’t mean we can’t strive for completeness in what we know and believe. That is available to us from the Spirit of Truth. That is what TPM strives to offer an opportunity to find: Truth.



  1. Is it possible then to get rid of all the lies in our life? I guess I’m really asking if we can truly be sanctified completely. I come from a church who taught that you could. Although no one I ever knew fit that category. If TPM is about Sanctification, then shouldn’t we theoretically be able to get rid of all the lies of the enemy?

  2. Aaaaagh! You did it again—another Jessica story. Please stop idolizing people who received instant freedom. That is not how it is for the rest of us. I am all for a happy ending now and then, but it is not reality.

  3. Well, I tried to tone it down for you, but apparently that didn’t work. I said she doesn’t “constantly” say that no one loves her any more.

    I think what you want is for me to say that going back to “tolerable recovery” is all we can expect in this life. That is not what I have experienced and not what others have experienced. Can’t you be happy for those who really have happy middles to their lives?

    I would like to hear your story personally, and not on this blog. Please come and tell it to me.

  4. Thank you for your latest posting. I think it brings balance and a healthy dose of reality to the series. As for coming to you, I don’t think that will be necessary since I am sure I fall into category 5, and maybe 7. I have to fight to be obedient. Also, I do not think it is a matter of confusing obedience with TPM. For instance, a lie can lead to a faulty belief system that includes sinful behavior. When the lie and the faulty belief system are uncovered, a person can find himself struggling with obedience. What seemed natural before is no longer acceptable. And let me tell you, the struggle to be obedient can get intense and it can go on for a long time. That might not sound hopeful, but it is real. I think readers should know what they might be in for should they decide to use this tool. It takes tremendous love and commitment to fight, struggle, fail, and get back in the fight again? It is a valid cliché: that which cost you little is worth little, but that which cost you much is worth much.

  5. in my experience, receiving this type of prayer involves more ‘intimacy’ with knowing the Lord, than all the years I tries to make sense of life, all the hardships, injustices etc… in the ‘intimacy’ moments- He shares info with you that all the obedience and rules you tried your whole life to please HIm- gets tossed out, and his truth kind of cleans a huge chunk of the mess you used to be responsible for managing. it’s like he lets you be a kid again, and know for sure He loves you deeply. finally! i am starting to feel young and loved. for me it’s like a whole new life i have always wanted. so it’s interesting to say the least.

    • Bonnie: What you are describing fits my experience with TPM as well. Thank you for sharing a little part of your story.

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