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Curses from the Past

 

“In spite of inflation, the wages of sin remain the same.”  Just as the rules have not changed concerning the conduct of men, neither has God’s system of enforcement.  Quite simply, when we do not obey the Lord, we incur the penalty called curses.

Blessings are desirable or beneficial things which God may grant.  Curses are the opposite and bring punishment and painful conditions, experiences and feelings.  Before each of us God has set blessing or cursing which must be chosen. (Deuteronomy 11:26-28).  We must obey if we and our families are to enjoy the benefits.

There are the same patterns of justice in God’s first family which can be found in homes today.  There were the same rules, the same judge and the same kinds of problems in existence then as there are now.  Deceived by the serpent into disobedience, Eve ate the fruit of a tree God had reserved unto Himself and this set in motion a course of judgement.

In Genesis 3 God dealt first with Satan’s instrument, the serpent.  Because he had exalted himself above God, refuting His Word, he was abased beneath all other creatures.  Because he seduced Eve to eat, he was forced to eat dust.  He had talked her into rebellion, therefore, he was allowed no further communication with human beings.

Eve brought sorrow to God concerning His children and therefore she was made sorry concerning her children to come.  Her sin led to the natural death of man, thus she was forced to produce life (conception multiplied) to replace those who must die.  She had made her decision to rebel alone; henceforth all of her decisions and her desires became subject to her husband’s approval.

Because Adam disobeyed God’s command not to eat, he was told that in sorrow he would now eat.  God’s garden was troubled by his sin and Adam’s garden became troubled with thorns and thistles.  Adam took the forbidden and the herbs of the field were to be eaten.

What had come easily through theft would now come hard by the sweat of his face.  Because he did not value God as the source of life, he was cursed with a life apart from God which was as worthless as dust in death.

Most of the curses pronounced were appropriately related to food and its gathering.  The precision of God’s judgement was designed to teach them exactly what they had done.  In each case they were given “a dose of their own medicine.”

God was grieved and disappointed by the rebellion of his son and friend.  Adam’s rejection brought God sorrow.  Because of this, Adam and Eve were cursed in a like manner so they would come to know and understand the Father’s sorrow.

In the lives of the descendants of Adam another principle of judgment emerges which is found throughout the Word of God.  The children suffer for the sins of the parents.  In God’s own description of Himself, He mentions this principle of judgment.

. . .Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God <am> a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth <generation> of them that hate me; . . .And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.  (Exodus 20:5,6)

The lives of Adam’s sons show them bearing the burden of their parents’ sins.  Both Cain and Abel had to make a living by the sweat of their brow.  Cain inherited the rebellion and disrespect of his father.  Not only did he fail to honor God in his offerings, he had a temper which led to the murder of his younger brother.

Cain’s descendants also display all the works of the flesh, including polygamy and murder in the arrogant Lamech.  The bloodline of Cain demonstrates clearly what David called a “perpetual reproach”  as the sins of the parents were passed down in unbroken succession.

It is this principle of inherited judgment that has made all men sinners after Adam.  While all have been affected, notice that the oldest son, Cain, bore the greatest weight of Adam’s disobedience.  This is no accident, but the righteous judgment of God and follows, true to form, throughout the ages.

As God’s eldest son in the earth, the Lord had His best hopes and desires for the future in the life of Adam.  These were thwarted by Adam’s rebellion.  This injury was visited upon Adam and, as he had caused his Heavenly Father grief, so now he would experience the same.  Adam’s oldest son was visited with his father’s sin in order that Adam could know the Father’s heart.  By this, perfect justice was done and the law was satisfied through judgment on Cain.

In order for God to do goodness on the Earth, a new bloodline must be raised that would be free of the Law’s judgment on Cain.  Thus, God blessed Adam and Eve with another son, Seth.  After his birth, men once again began to call upon the Lord.  Through the line of Seth came Noah, a righteous man whom God favored with the salvation of men.

The curse of Adam’s rebellion affected his sons in several ways.  They received the curse of rebellion and were cursed with a rebellious nature.  They were also cursed for rebellion and suffered the penalty of the law for it.

The Law then brought into the lives of the descendants what the parents had done, with the appropriate penalty attached.  It was as if the Lord was saying, “You like it so much, how do you like it in the lives of your children?”  God, in His love for men and hatred for the sin that destroys them, has given men the ultimate warning – “What you sow, your children will reap.”

We may be willing to personally suffer for our seasons of sin; however, when faced with the sure knowledge of the suffering of our children, can we continue in sin?  Surely this must be the ultimate deterrent. Genesis 9:18-28 record the story of Noah’s family.

. . .And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham {is} the father of Canaan.

. . .These {are} the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.

. . .And Noah began {to be} an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:

. . .And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.

. . .And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.

. . .And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid {it} upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces {were} backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.

. . .And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.

. . .And he said, Cursed {be} Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

. . .And he said, Blessed {be} the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

. . .God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

. . .And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years.

Noah’s nakedness was not to be seen by his sons.  The fact that they knew this is demonstrated by the extreme caution used by Shem and Japeth in covering their father.  Ham should observed this caution as he went into the tent and when he rushed to tell his brothers of his father’s condition.  By discovering his father’s nakedness, he broke the then unwritten Law of God.  This probably involved more than a mere glimpsing of the father’s genitals judging from the severity of Ham’s punishment.

Specific curses were pronounced on a person who saw their father nude when the Law of Moses was given.  Noah immediately cursed Ham when he realized what had happened.  Note that, although Ham was the culprit, his son, Canaan, received the curse.

The sin of Ham was evidently related to sexual confusion and perversion for this was the curse handed down to his son, Canaan.  The curse for this discovery of Noah’s nakedness (suffered by the son of the guilty one and his descendants) is that he must serve his brothers (verses 25,26 above).

The accompanying curse of sexual perversion becomes very pronounced a little further down in the bloodline of Canaan.  His descendants became famous for their lewdness and perversion.  In the land they settled, things became so bad that it resulted in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, principal cities of Canaan.  Canaan’s descendants were so sexually foul and idolatrous that God finally had them destroyed when the Israelites took possession of the land many years later.

From the other sons, Japheth and Shem, came great nations which prospered.  Their present day descendants populate Europe and the area stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean.  This poses some interesting questions.  Was the success or failure of the children determined by their upbringing?  Or was it the environment around them?  Was it simply by chance they became what they did?  No to all of these questions; it was because of the righteous fulfillment of an unwritten law which Jesus Himself said would never pass away even in eternity.

Perhaps the greatest and clearest family record in the Bible is the story of Abraham and his descendants.  God promised him an heir who would become a great nation.  Abraham agreed to his wife’s plan that he father a child by her slave, Hagar.  Abraham’s oldest son, Ishmael, was the result of this bungling attempt to implement God’s promise by human ingenuity.

God, however, had planned a miracle son and Ishmael’s birth changed neither God’s plan nor promises.  However, Abraham’s undisciplined act of presumption created a variety of consequences which the heirs had to experience.

Because Abraham fathered his first son “in the flesh”,  the following generations fathered first sons “of the flesh”  (Esau, Reuben).  Abraham robbed his oldest son, Ishmael, of the birthright honors and the oldest sons in succeeding generations were also robbed of their birthrights (Esau, Reuben, Manasseh).

By his conduct, Abraham forced God’s favor on the youngest son and in the generations which followed, the youngest son was favored over the elder (Isaac, Jacob, Benjamin, Ephraim).

Abraham and Sarah’s abuse of Hagar and Ishmael was not overlooked by the law either.  Hagar was treated like a prostitute.  For her hire she must love Abraham, only to be rejected later.  Sarah brought trouble to her own home by encouraging a second wife.  Because Abraham treated Hagar like a whore, both Jacob and Judah were involved in prostitution, and Leah and Dinah were treated as harlots.

Sarah troubled her home with multiple marriage and the generations which followed were also cursed with multiple marriages.  What Abraham had (two wives) was forced on Jacob.  A mother (Sarah) forced out a son (Ishmael) therefore a grandson (Jacob) was forced out by his mother (through Rebeckah’s plan).

Sarah, the favored wife, favored the younger son, Isaac, over the elder.  In succeeding generations, favored wives favored the younger son also until the youngest son (Benjamin) brought death to the favored wife (Rachel) in childbirth.

Joseph’s life shows the effects of the previous generations for good and evil.  The conspiracy of his brothers and the blessings of God highlight this story.  Because Jacob, in hatred and jealousy for his twin brother, Esau, lied to his father for profit (the birthright); his own sons, in hatred and jealousy for Joseph, lied to their father for profit (slave sale).

Jacob’s plot forced him to leave home, resulting in his father’s own loss of him as a son and the plot of Jacob’s own sons brought the loss of his son, Joseph.  Jacob’s son, Judah, brought the loss of a son (Joseph) to his father, causing the father to worry over an heir.  Therefore, Judah suffered the loss of his sons and worried in suspense over his own heir.

Abraham and Lot shared a common heritage for both were from an idolatrous environment which brought certain consequences we can now clearly see.  In their backgrounds were probable causes for the problems that plagued them.  For example, sexual uncleanness was the likely cause for barrenness in the wives of Abraham and Isaac.  It is possible that past idolatry was responsible for famine in the land which was experienced by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph.

Perversion in the past probably forced Lot to dwell in perverse Sodom, where he was vexed daily by the uncleanness of the city.  Incest in the ancestral line could have spawned Lot’s incest.  This produced sons who became cruel and perverse haters of God and His people.  Jacob was forced to endure a multiple marriage; Lot was forced into incest.  Once again, what the parents enjoyed, the children endured.

There are many unique similarities and common experiences in Abraham and Isaac’s life.  They both experienced trouble with herdsmen in well disputes.  We might speculate that this may have been the result of someone in Abraham’s past seizing a well they did not own.

Even more striking is the reoccurring encounters which endangered the wives.  Afraid their wives would be taken from them by force, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob each lied to protect themselves.  Abraham did this twice and Isaac did the same thing to the same king!  Three generations all experiencing the same fear under similar circumstances could scarcely be a coincidence.

Only God knows exactly what happened to set in motion this series of events.  While Abraham might have been the originator of this, it is probably the result of still earlier events.  Note that the cycle ends inside the minimum penalty of the three generations recorded.

Also the first incident brought Abraham great reward, in spite of the deceit.  Could it be that Abraham was being repaid for a wife’s ransom in his ancestral past?  Was it such a kidnap he feared?  The possibilities are interesting to consider, since God’s laws of sowing and reaping have never been repealed.

We have been considering the negative aspects but these principles work both ways.  Abraham’s family also benefitted greatly from the many good things he did.  These principles remain just as certain when God has promised good to our descendants.

Because Abraham rescued Lot, Abraham’s seed was later rescued from famine in Egypt.  Abraham tithed and gave generously and his posterity flourished in a time of famine.  Because of Abraham’s faithful love for God, he had a believing family to follow him.  Because Abraham offered to sacrifice his only son Isaac to God, God sacrificed His only Son for the benefit of Abraham’s seed.

There is a return found in the lives of those who suffer without cause, exemplified by Joseph.  He suffered patiently through calamity which he did not personally generate.  This is commendable with God and his abasement brought him ultimate exaltation.

Lot’s life is an example of one forced to reap what his forefathers had sown.  However, he maintained himself carefully before God in the midst of his evil surroundings and received the commendation of God.  There can be no higher reward than God’s approval.

Suffering for others, suffering for the cause of Christ and patiently bearing the load guiltless, are all works which demonstrate the life of Christ within and bring the highest rewards.

In the Mosaic Law, the mind of God concerning man’s behavior is outlined clearer than ever before.  Here the exacting consequences of good and evil are described.  In the books of the Law it is explained exactly how to love God, and your fellow man, and the spirit of the Law is still alive today.

Certain offenses carried certain penalties or curses which were labeled clearly as such.  Some examples are given in Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 18 – 21.  Other portions of the Old Testament clearly point out the price of sin and disobedience, even though the consequences are not always specifically labeled as what they indeed are, curses.  The Proverbs are particularly rich in information concerning the penalties for specific types of sin.

Great men of the Bible found that the Law had to be fulfilled.  Because he failed to sanctify the Lord before the congregation, Moses was told he could not enter the promised land.  David was told the sword would not depart from his home for the murder of Uriah the Hittite. (2 Samuel 12:10)

These penalties, or curses, came to pass.  At that time, there was no way possible to avoid the consequences of the Law, although forgiveness of God and restoration to His fellowship was possible.  David testified:

. . .Thou has forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. . .   (Psalm 85:2)

The forgiveness of God did not free Moses from the penalty for his presumption nor David from the curse for murder and adultery.

. . .The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. (Numbers 14:18)

Consider a father who has warned his son: “If you do this or fail to do that, I will spank you.”   When the son disobeys, the father calls him over and the boy repents.  When he asks for forgiveness, he receives it.  However, the father explains that although forgiven, the father must keep his word and spank him as promised.

If the father breaks his promise to punish, the credibility of the father and the son’s respect for him would be damaged.  The father must punish him in spite of the fact the son repented and was truly forgiven.

No amount of good behavior, godly sorrow or good intentions can bring release from curses of the Law.  It requires eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, etc. (Leviticus 24:20)

So it shall always be.  Not even the forgiveness of God will make the Law of no account.  The Law must be satisfied and it’s penalties fully carried out.  God has always dealt with the behavior of men in this way.

From the first curse upon Adam and Eve to the ultimate destruction of earth as we know it, God has and will punish disobedience and reward righteousness and faith.  The New Testament promises of judgment do not differ from those in the Old Testament.  Below are a few examples:

. . .Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:  For there is no respect of persons with God.  (Romans 2:9-11)

. . .Be not deceived, for God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Galatians 6:7)

. . .Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.  (Ephesians 6:8)

Jesus said we would be delivered to tormentors if we failed to forgive, that the merciful would receive mercy, the wrongdoers would be judged and to givers would be given.  This is spelled out clearly in Matthew 18.

Without a doubt, any breach of God’s will can bring a direct and equal response from the Law that could affect us and our posterity as well.  The Golden Rule may be stated as:  Do unto others as you would have theM do unto you – because sooner or later it will be done to you or your children- as you have done.

This Law does not affect only individuals, but groups, businesses, states, and nations.  Any group acting as an entity receives the seeds it has sown, in like kind.  Aggression leads to aggression from others.  National idolatry results in curses of famine, pestilence, poverty and despair.  Violence leads to violence, theft and bondage leads always to its own return, etc.

. . .He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity, he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.  (Revelation 13:10)

Here is the patience and faith of the saints.  All around us we can see the world compounding curse upon curse as unrepentant nations bring the planet closer to its ultimate doom and destruction.

. . .The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the law, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.  Therefore, hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate:  Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and a few men left.  (Isaiah 24:25)

Observing the effects of the curse of the Law upon individuals and nations alike, we must consider the devil.  The enemy of God and man is doomed to eternal destruction, a defeated foe.  Perhaps now we can see his role in a clearer light.

It would appear that Satan has gained only the territory all men have conceded to him.  Through their disobedience to the Word and wanton disregard for each other, men have opened doors for Satan to work in their lives.  Satan has been enforcing the Law, duplicating the violence and sin of men.  (In a sense, he is God’s monkey wrench, to tighten up loose nuts.)  Satan is limited by the space we give over to him.

The curse causeless shall not come.  (Proverbs 26:2)

Unfortunately in the national and personal histories of all there are many causes for curses.  Although we may have been careful, our ancestors may not have been.  Today in America, there is virtually no curse which is not gaining momentum rapidly.  The sins of slavery in America’s past became the carnage of the wars to follow.  The sins of the prohibition era have become the marijuana society today.  The rebel hippie of yesterday has become the violent punker of today as the curses continue to be handed down the line.

Satan and his henchmen are at God’s ultimate disposal and control.  They have the right to move into doors opened by sin, but in His mercy God dictates when and how far.  He regulates today, just as He did the many times He chastened Israel.  It was God who permitted heathen nations to conquer His chosen people.  He saw to their captivity in Egypt and Babylon and supervised the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersement of the nation.

In each case when God’s judgment came upon them, and the executioner did his evil duty, it was because of the wilful sins of the people themselves.  So it is in our lives today.  When we sin we may expect a visit from the executioner soon.  Like a dog laying in wait at the door or a lion seeking whom he may devour, Satan and his demons wait to enforce the Law.

The angels of the Lord seek to bless.  They effect the other side of law enforcement, blessings and rewards.  They create moments of pleasure, opportunity and revelation and see to the care and security of God’s children, as the seeds sown allow (Hebrews 1:7,14).

Every word, deed, action and thought has a sure consequence that will affect our lives in some way.  God oversees the intricate complexities of the administration of this awesome plan, all founded on the just principles of His Law.

The Law is still in effect for lawbreakers, saved or unsaved.  The penalties still fall on the posterity of the rebellious.  There is a difference, however, for now we can gain release from the sure penalties of the Law, through the provisions made in Christ.

The shedding of Christ’s blood gained our forgiveness; His stripes bought our healing; His poverty our provision.  Perhaps one of the greatest benefits has been the least appreciated.  As He hung on the tree He was accursed for you and me.  He willingly accepted the punishment for our sin, receiving in Himself every possible curse for every possible wrong action.  His death completely satisfied the holy Law of a righteous God. The curse on Eve said that in sorrow she would bring forth children, and Jesus was a man of sorrows and in travail He brought forth His children.   She must be subject to her husband and Jesus was obedient unto death.  Men must return to dust in death and Jesus was obedient unto death.  There was to be multiplied conception that through her there would be life to pay for death; through Jesus’ life many were brought from death to life through his sacrifice.

Self exaltation causing rebellion was paid for by Christ in humiliation.  Thorns and thistles sprang up in judgment and Jesus wore a crown of thorns upon His head.  Adam was sentenced to toil by the sweat of his face and on Jesus’ face were sweat drops of blood as He prayed in agony in the garden.

Under the Law, Christ was born of a woman.  As such he was heir to every possible curse.  He bore these cycles of judgment by living a sinless life.  Through His perfect obedience in suffering for laws He did not break, God was satisfied and the law perfectly fulfilled.

. . .Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; … He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied. (Isaiah 53:11)

Jesus said He would be lifted up just as the serpent was lifted in the wilderness.  By the just penalty of the Law, fornicators in the wilderness were being slain by serpents loosed among them.  To escape the penalty one need only look upon the brass serpent and, by faith, the curse was canceled.  So it is today, we may, by faith, receive the same blessing of freedom from the sure penalty of the Law.

Christ did not come to free us from the Law for it is good and holy.  He did come to redeem us from the curse of the Law that we might enjoy the blessings of Abraham:

. . .Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us:  for it is written, cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles through Jesus Christ  (Galatians 3:13)

Salvation opens our eyes to the great need for perfected obedience as disciples.  Paul reminds us that those who are walking in the Spirit are above the Law (Galatians 5:8).  As we perfectly obey God and walk in absolute love we will harm no one and will not come under the judgment of the Law with its penalties.  Obviously we and our forefathers have missed this mark of perfection.

While many have received forgiveness, most remain undelivered from the consequences of sin.  Forgiveness does not necessarily mean deliverance from the penalty, but is a separate benefit which must be claimed by faith.

All the benefits of the cross – forgiveness, gifts, healing, deliverance, provision – whatever we desire must be specifically appropriated by faith.  If we do not ask, we may not receive.  Christ has paid the full price.  It is up to us to apply the benefit to our needs.  If we do not, then we must endure the cycles of judgment due which fit the transgression.

Consider some examples of how these principles might actually work out in the lives of modern believers:

A young couple in ministry find themselves moving constantly.  Homes they rent are sold, rents raised, landlords unreasonable.  Tithing, careful money management and prayer do not seem to change things.  The man’s father was a realtor with underworld connections.  The son received what his father deserved.

A good Christian man cannot quite click with the crowd around him.  Although he is open, intelligent and friendly, he never manages to blend with others in the church.  His sense of alienation causes him to go from church to church never feeling “at home.”  Born illegitimate and adopted at birth, he was raised with special care.  Here we plainly see the working of the curse on bastard children.

. . .A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation.  (Deuteronomy 23:29)

This may dispose the family line to produce other such off-spring who will have difficulty entering the congregation, and those so cursed will have difficulty fitting in wherever they go.

A young man ponders a financial situation that keeps reoccurring. Time after time he is compelled by extreme need to borrow and therefore cannot escape the pressure of monthly payments.  His father is a loan officer in a local finance company which imposes harsh and injurious charges upon its clients.  Note, what the dad imposed on others is forced on his son.

The tithing Christian daughter of a `self-made’ man cannot make ends meet.  She is forced to live on welfare and food stamps.  She remembered her father’s open scorn and ridicule of the poor “on the other side of the tracks.”  The young lady with financial problems reminds us of God’s special love for the poor.  According to Galatians 6:1 we are to minister meekly to those in need or we could suffer the same problem.

A diligent young man experienced continuous problems with his automobiles.  Even the best of new cars left him stranded and stalled.  Car repairs were a constant expense.  In his unsaved younger days, he was a dishonest mechanic at a large dealership.  He sowed these seeds himself.

A young Christian father was injured on the job, putting him off work for months, maybe years.  Years before, his father operated a cheap and dirty foundry where the lack of safety equipment caused injury to several of the workers.  What the father sowed, the son reaped.

An attractive Christian woman has strange dreams at night linking her with the husbands of friends.  Her husband had left her for a younger woman.  She remembers when her father “ran off”  with a woman from work.  The woman is  being forced to endure what her father enjoyed – divorce and adultery.  The dreams indicate the presence of a spirit of Adultery, enforcing the curse.

The parents of two children are confounded by the difference in them.  One is well adjusted and successful.  The other is rebellious and his mind and time are consumed by drugs and alcohol.  Both children were raised together in a loving atmosphere with every advantage.  The father is a moderate man whose business is doing well.  He owns a liquor store; therefore son is receiving what he is giving to the sons of others (Habakkuk 2:15).  The fact that only one son is so affected is a strong evidence of the presence of a curse.

A Christian woman became alarmed at the weight she was gaining in her hips and thighs.  Diets, exercise, doctors and even some deliverance had all been tried to no avail.  She has a beautiful daughter who was born out of wedlock before her salvation.  This is suggestive of the consequences of a sin against the body, in this case, fornication.  The use of the body in sin brings curses to the body.

. . .If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy.   (I Corinthians 3:17)

. . .For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption.    (Galatians 6:8)

Specific demons enforcing the penalty lodge themselves in the area determined by the sin itself.  Female troubles, sexual dysfunctions, weight gains, etc., are often the consequences experienced in the flesh.

A proud father on the verge of retirement tells of his young sons.  All three are independently wealthy, tops in their fields at less than 30 years of age.  While they are not yet Christians, their grandfather gave large amounts of land and money to the church.  The wealthy grandsons of the giving grandfather reminds us of the hope God has given us.

. . .Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:8)

Of course, we cannot be the judge of the lives of others on the basis of circumstances since only God knows exactly what is happening and why.  Just as the breaking of curses is not a cure all for testing, neither is it the easy way out of a spanking (Hebrews 12:6-11).

Paul stated that he obtained mercy because what he did was done in ignorance and unbelief (I Timothy 1:13).  However, we are told that no sacrifice remains for those who sin willfully after receiving a knowledge of the truth (Hebrews 10:26).  Sins of open rebellion and backsliding have painful consequences which may not be charged to the cross.  That benefit may not be available to those who are seeking a quick escape from the penalty of wilful sin.  In these cases, the Law shall be satisfied through chastening here on earth (I Corinthians 11:32).

God is the judge who decides the nature of the penalty.  This may be brief or it may be a lesson never to be forgotten.  Either way, no chastening is for the present enjoyable (Hebrews 12:11).  We must not presume upon the cross for what we can control ourselves.

By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.  (Hebrews 11:31)

What a comfort to have a holy and just Judge who knows the needs of a weakened, backslidden heart.

The circumstances in a believer’s life are beyond the natural man to decipher.  We need the Lord to reveal to us those areas of our lives inhabited and dominated by curses.  He will reveal to us what may be dealt with as we seek Him.

The understanding of these principles may reveal the obvious payback processes at work in our lives.  Often times these things are so obvious we cannot see them.  Still others may be rooted in ancestral sins which are so far back and have effects so deep we cannot possibly see or know about them ourselves.

Many tell of miraculous revelations after praying for the Lord to show them the curses which are working in their lives.  Dreamlike scenes depicting the actions of others long gone have been reported while others just `realized’ or `remembered’ incidents of facts.  However the truth comes out, praise God for it, for without Him we are helpless, especially in this area of deliverance.

Step one  in the breaking of curses is to discern the problem through the gifts of the Spirit.

Step two  in our foundation for deliverance is forgiveness.  This is primary to any effective use of the name of Jesus.  When an inherited curses is suspected, it is necessary to ask God to forgive the forefathers and ancestors involved, whether dead or alive.  If we are personally at fault – and there is usually supporting personal involvement – then ask personally for forgiveness.  (Leviticus 26:40-42)

There are many examples of this in the Old Testament.  Over and over Israel found themselves in bondage or suffering, somehow as a result of the sins of their fathers.  Deliverance and real change was always based upon prayer, acknowledged the sins of the fathers and seeking forgiveness.  Almost always there was supporting sin in the current generation to be forgiven as well.

When asking forgiveness, be specific.  It does not seem to be effective to ask God to forgive all your ancestors for everything all at once.  It may be a start, but what really does the job is an attitude which recognizes the seriousness of each offence or wrong action.  This honors God by acknowledging His view of things.

For example:  “Heavenly Father, forgive my forefathers and ancestors and forgive me as well for our use and abuse of alcohol.  Lord, forgive our {includes wife’s ancestors} forefathers for not honoring you with the first fruits of our increase {tithing}, etc.”

Just as deliverance is accomplished through identifying and casting out specific demons by name, so curses are broken through specific forgiveness and negation on the basis of I John 1:9.  The blood of Jesus Christ has paid off sin’s debt in full!

The third step  is actually breaking the curses.  It would be accurate to state we are appropriating the penalty to the cross, or make the curse of the law of no effect.  Having secured forgiveness, we may confidently speak the word and claim our freedom, such as:

“I break every curse operating in me and my family line in the area of alcoholism, in Jesus’ name”  or  “I now break every inherited curse of vandalism and the defacement of public property, in Jesus’ name.”

Be as specific and direct in your statements as possible as the words describe the character and limits of your freedom.  Think as a lawyer would; this is what Satan does and he takes advantage of any loophole we leave open.  Do not hesitate to cover yourself well with statements which break every legal hold or grounds the enemy may possibly have.

Declarations of repentance, renunciation, forgiveness and freedom pave the way for quick and lasting deliverance.  Success has also been secured breaking curses for loved ones to open the way for their healing and prosperity.  Of course, they must then follow up and pursue freedom for themselves.  We can help and bind up and move obstacles but in the final analysis they must decide to go on with the Lord.

The last step  should actually be involved all along the way – to thank the Lord and believe for miracles.  This opens the way for the unrestricted blessings of Abraham to flow into  our lives and the lives of our families.  The handwriting of ordinances against you has been blotted out and the curse of the Law has been laid on the cross.

After recapturing the devil’s ground you are more than a conqueror.  Then you can expect exceedingly and abundantly above all you could ever ask or think.  The fact of the new nature within you will begin to work itself out as never before.  Life will be a dearer, sweeter experience as you walk in the expectancy of things once denied to you by the curse of the Law.

The following is an excerpt from “Sins of the Fathers, Booklet #24″ by Pastor Win Worley. Copyright © 1983 by Win Worley, Revised 1990. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including storage and retrieval system, without securing permission in writing from the publisher, WRW Publications, PO Box 852626, Mesquite, TX 75185.

If you’d like to obtain your own copy of not only this, but other materials authored by Win Worley, please contact WRW Publications at www.wrwpublications.com

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