Deliverance continues to be one of the most controversial subjects in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles. It’s saddening when you think of the infinite numbers of people who will never walk in the freedom that Christ paid for. Why, because of a religious spirit in operation in so many churches and denominations.
The latest assault against the deliverance ministry brought to my attention is on the subject of generational curses. I felt a need to address this for our members who may be confronted by those influenced by the most recent attack.
All families have traits or characteristics that are passed down from generation to generation. There are physical traits, such as blonde hair and blue eyes. You’ll see a mom and a daughter who look almost exactly alike; you’ll see a father and his son who is the spitting image of him. There are also soulish traits that are passed on, such things as attitudes, mannerisms, likes and dislikes that run in families, including learned things like racism and bigotry. There are also spiritual traits that are passed down from generation to generation, including blessings and curses. It can be things like depression, divorce, alcoholism, drug addiction, infirmity, anger or perversion to name a few.
I want you to know there are also family spirits, or familial spirits that pass down from generation to generation. For example a spirit of perversion can manifest things like lust, adultery, fornication and molestation. Incest is certainly a generational and/or a family curse!
Generational curses are curses brought on by the sins of our forefathers and foremothers back to the 3rd the 4th even to the 10th generation and possibly beyond.
In Exodus 20:5-6 the Bible says, “You shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
This, by the way, is part of the 10 Commandments. We see here that sin and its consequences can and will pass down from generation to generation. This promise, “yes this is a promise of God,” is repeated a few chapters later in Exodus 34:6-7 which states, “And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving inquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the inquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”
Later Moses tells the next generation in Deuteronomy 23:2, “One of illegitimate birth shall not enter the assembly of the Lord; even to the tenth generation none of his descendants shall enter the assembly of the Lord.” A child born out of wedlock is cursed to the 10th generation, unless that curse is broken, and it can be broken!
How many of us know our grandparents on both sides of our family? How about our great grandparents or our great great grandparents? We don’t know them, and we have no idea whether or not they loved God or if they hated Him.
I never knew my father or my grandfather. I do know from my families accounts of my father he was a drug addict and alcoholic. I too was a drug addict and alcoholic for 28 years, and my son followed in my footsteps and he too was a drug addict and alcoholic.
A few years ago I discovered family members from my father’s family that I never knew. When we were reunited after almost 50 years one of my first questions was to my aunt Lucy who is almost 80 years old was, “Did you know your father, my grandfather?” She did remember him she said he died in 1968 at 100 years of age. She told me I was named after him. I asked her, “What was he like?” She said, “He was a wonderful Man, except when he was drinking!” needless to say, I believe in generational curses. I lived one for 40 years!
Following are some Biblical examples of generational curses.
In 1 Samuel 3:12-14 it gives the curse on Eli saying,
“In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them. And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice and offering forever.”
I’d sure hate to be in that family line, wouldn’t you? Let’s look at the specifics of the curse in 1 Sam 2:27-33,
27 Now a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Did I not clearly reveal myself to your father’s house when they were in Egypt under Pharaoh? 28 I chose your father out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in my presence. I also gave your father’s house all the offerings made with fire by the Israelites. 29 Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?’
30 “Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and your father’s house would minister before me forever.’ But now the LORD declares: ‘Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained. 31 The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your family line 32 and you will see distress in my dwelling. Although good will be done to Israel, in your family line there will never be an old man. 33 Every one of you that I do not cut off from my altar will be spared only to blind your eyes with tears and to grieve your heart, and all your descendants will die in the prime of life NIV
Wow! What a curse! Jeremiah 2:9 gives another curse, “Therefore I will bring the charge against you,’ says the Lord, ‘against your children’s children I will bring charges.”
Now, most folks who want to argue this point will say something like, “Well, that’s Old Testament! Show me one in the New Testament.” So, I refer them to Matthew 27:22-25, which gives the curse spoken by the nation of Israel concerning Jesus’ death.
“Pilate said to them, ‘What then shall I do with Jesus who is called the Christ?’ They all said to him, ‘Let Him be crucified!’ Then the governor said, ‘Why what evil has He done?’ But they cried out all the more saying ‘Let Him be crucified!’ When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, ‘I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.’ And all the people answered and said, ‘His blood be on us and on our children.’
Some other Biblical examples of generational curses are:
Adam and Eve sinned and introduced sickness, death and murder into his family, then Cain murdered his brother Abel. We all still deal with Adam’s sin and the resulting curses.
Noah’s drunkenness led to his son Ham dishonoring him. As the result an entire linage of people were and are still under a curse in the land of Canaan.
Abraham went against God’s will for him and fathered a son in the flesh; this robbed the birthright from the firstborn son, which went on for the next three generations, and in the next five generations the youngest prospered instead of the oldest. We also see Abraham lying to Abimeleck and a spirit of lying and deception manifesting in his children. Jacob lied to his father concerning his birthright. His sons in turn lied to him about the disappearance of Joseph.
David, the man after God’s own heart, fell into sexual sin with Bathsheba. He committed adultery and then had her husband Uriah murdered to cover up his sexual sin. As a result we see a history of incest, rape, rebellion and womanizing in his children. You always reap what you sow, it’s a spiritual law!
There is good news to go along with this. That good news is found in Gal 3:13, one hung on a tree to take our curses upon Him. Jesus paid a full price on Calvary!
In Acts 2:21 says, “And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” The Greek and Hebrew words for saved are sozo and malat. These are used interchangeably to mean escape, deliverance, healing, and salvation. The definition for deliverance according to Webster’s Dictionary is to rescue, redeem, reclaim, and save.
The precious blood of Jesus not only paid for our sins, but it also paid for our healing and our deliverance. This includes the breaking of generational curses. But, the blood must be applied to break the curse. Let me explain. This past Saturday was the Jewish feast of Passover. Passover is a foretelling of Christ paying the price, and how we can receive what He paid for.
In the original Passover the head of the household went out to the flock and selected a spotless unblemished male lamb. The lamb was taken into their home for 4 days. On the evening of the 4th day the family was gathered together and this innocent little lamb was slain. The blood was poured out into a basin. Then the blood had to be applied to the door posts and lintel, or the curse would strike the first born of the household. Applying the blood broke the curse of death. It’s interesting to note, we often see the first born bear the brunt of the family curses. After the blood was applied, the lamb was roasted and eaten with the unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
Jesus is the spotless Lamb of God, who was slain and hung on a tree to take our curses upon Him. His blood was shed for us! But, just like with salvation, we have to do our part. We have to accept the free gift of salvation, that’s how we apply the blood to be saved.
So, let’s look at how we apply the blood to break these generational curses. First, we must confess our sins and the sins of our ancestors. Leviticus 26:38-45 clearly demonstrates this principle, 38 you will perish among the nations; the land of your enemies will devour you. 39 Those of you who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins; also because of their fathers’ sins they will waste away. 40 “‘But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers–their treachery against me and their hostility toward me, 41 which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies–then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, 42 I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land. 43 For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees. 44 Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the LORD their God. 45 But for their sake I will remember the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am the LORD.'”
Daniel 9:16 states,
“O Lord, according to all Your righteousness I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers.”
And in Nehemiah 9:2 it says,
“Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from all foreigners; and they stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers.”
Are you getting the picture? After we confess our sins and the sins of our forefathers and foremothers we then renounce the curses and break them. I prefer to break them by name if possible. An example of this would be:
I repent of my sins and the sins of my fore fathers and fore mothers in the area of addiction back to the 3rd, 4th, even the 10th generation and beyond. I renounce and break every generational curse of addiction in my family on my mother’s side and my father’s side. I break it past, present and future from this moment on, in Jesus Name! Amen!
I pray this will help each of you in explaining the reality of generational curses and the Good News that they can be broken.
I thank God daily, that the generational curses in my family line have been broken. My life was totally transformed, and just four years ago my son Billy gave his heart to the Lord. Billy went through deliverance, including the breaking of generational curses and it was like a night and day difference in him. Janet and I are flying to Maine next week for his graduation from Faith School of Theology. Billy is the Valedictorian of his class, not bad for an ex-drug addict! Breaking the generational junk, I believe made all the difference!
Dr. Bill Sudduth