Speaker: Mike Connell
When we have understanding of this whole area, then we can more easily administer to more people. So we want to understand what Generational Iniquity and Curses are. We want to learn how to recognise them - what we look for, and then we want to learn how to minister to people to set them free. So we’re going to focus around those things today.
So first of all, we’ll start in Mark 9. I believe that all of you, when you’re ministering to people, will need to become aware of this root problem of generational curses. I’ll just explain what we mean by these terms shortly. So first we want to take a look at a story in the gospel. We’re going to read from Mark 9:20 – “Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.”
So here is a young man, who has got a demonic spirit, and the spirit is manifesting. Many times you find, that when Jesus went to different places, spirits actually manifested. They did this as a reaction to the high level of anointing and presence of God He carried. As the level of anointing in our life rises, we often experience more of these things happening. Particularly you’ll find when you go to third world cultures, you’ll see very often spirits manifesting quite quickly. So the disciples had tried to cast the demon out, but were unable to.
I want you to notice here in verse 21 – Jesus asked the child’s father: how long has this been happening? And he said, “From childhood” - and the word literally means from being a little infant. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out, and said with tears: “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” 26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but by prayer and fasting.”
So we’re going to go through the story, and gain some insights. The first thing we see is: a child is being tormented by an evil spirit. This means demonic spirits can be in people from childhood. There’s more than one example, of demonic spirits being in children, in the Bible. We need to distinguish between what is just bad behaviour, and lack of discipline, and a demonic spirit. Some children behave badly because they’ve never been disciplined. This example is not just bad behaviour and lack of discipline - the demon is actually throwing him into the fire - its destructive behaviour. So we see in this child, destructive behaviour, caused by the demonic spirit.
It’s interesting the question Jesus asks: How long has this been in him? Or how long has this been happening. That’s an important question to ask, when you are working with people. One of the things to look for, when you are tracking the presence of generational curses; ask this kind of question: when did this problem begin? Or as Jesus said: how long has this been happening? Now when you ask the question: how long has this been happening; if the person responds: well, since I was very young; then it’s either a trauma that happened when they were young that caused it; or it’s a generational curse of some kind.
So when you are working with people, you would ask: what is the problem you have; how does it affect you; and this question – how long have you had it”. When you ask the question “how long have you had this problem”, you get pointed to: possibly, this has been a generational thing. If you’re in some of the meetings, you’ll know I asked more than one person: how long has this spirit been tormenting you? Oh, since I was very, very young. In one or two cases, I said: this has been since very young, hasn’t it?
So, there’re two questions that will give clues to the presence of a generational curse. The first one is how long has this been happening? Or in other words, when did this start? The second one is: has anyone in your family had a problem like this? Those are the two questions to remember: 1) when did this first start; and 2) did anyone else in your family have this problem?
So, in trying to locate the root of this problem, you have to ask questions. Notice how Jesus started, by asking the father questions. The word “child” is literally the word “infant”, one that’s just born, or very young; and the father describes the way the child behaves. So it’s almost certain that the child was suffering from some generational spirit.
Evil spirits need some legal ground to enter a person’s life. They need some door to get in. So unless the child had a trauma of some kind, its most likely this was a generational spirit. One thing we need to understand is that generational curses can be the cause of many problems that people have. A little later, we’ll ask: how we’ll recognise a generational curse - we’ll talk about how you would identify it.
Notice that Jesus said that faith is required for deliverance. If you can believe, all things are possible. So, faith is essential. I must believe that God will move - that I have power to cast these demons out. Notice that Jesus, later on the disciples asked Him: why could we not cast this demon out? They had done a lot of deliverance, they had seen results; but this time, it failed - and they were quite puzzled why they failed.
Jesus did not blame the father or the child. Jesus said to the disciples: it requires faith. Then he said an interesting statement – this kind comes out by nothing but by prayer and by fasting. In other words, Jesus is saying two things: 1) there are different levels of authority or power that evil spirits have; 2) we require faith that we’ll move them; 3) that prayer and fasting helps establish faith in our life.
You noticed Jesus did not stop and pray and fast - He just immediately delivered the demon out of the child; but when we read of His life, we find that He prayed, and He fasted. So moving in deliverance, we need to recognise the place prayer and fasting has, and we’ll talk a little bit about some aspects of prayer later on. I’ll just perhaps get a chance to share with you some things I pray around my life; but there has to be faith in the heart - so without faith, nothing happens.
So we see then, an example of a child who needed deliverance; and the single requirement: that there be faith - we have to believe God for the breakthrough; and that sometimes, there can be resistance. Notice that when the demon came out, Jesus identified what it was – a deaf and dumb spirit. It’s very helpful if you can name the spirit you’re commanding out. Naming it weakens its power in the person’s life. You notice also, that Jesus spoke directly, he commanded: “I command you come out”.
The last thing I noticed there is quite different - it’s the only place I’ve seen it. He commanded the spirit not to enter the child again. That’s the only time that’s actually mentioned, as far as I’m aware: “Don’t go back into this child”. So, when we do deliverance, the only example we have for forbidding the demon to return, is this particular one. I think that Jesus said this, because it’s a child. In the other cases, Jesus taught (Matthew 12) that if the demons do try and re-enter, the person has to be responsible, to build a good life with God. So, here is an example then, of what appears to be a generational, demonic spirit in the family.
Let me share with you a couple of stories of people we’ve prayed for, where there was clearly a generational spirit. The first one concerns a young child. Two people came to me, and they said: "we’re having a major problem with our child”. I said: “What is the problem?” They said “when the child wakes up, he immediately starts to destroy things in his room - he’s extremely destructive, and we have no idea why”. The child was around about the age of two and three. When it woke up, it would just go in a rage, and begin to be destructive. The parents had no understanding of why the behaviour would be like that.
So, I began to enquire about both of their backgrounds, and I looked for a spiritual root for what was a really unusual behaviour. It turns out that the husband had been involved equally in drug addiction, and had major anger problems; and the mother’s family had been involved deeply in the occult. So it would appear to me that the spirits that were there, came as a result of what the family, or the parents, had opened their lives to.
So in this particular case, praying for such a young child - we prayed when the child was asleep. It just was an easier way of doing it. You can pray when they’re awake, but you’ll find that often the demon will manifest, and the child will scream and shout and fight, and it becomes a very difficult process - can be quite unnerving. So, we prayed - I had the parents there with me, I didn’t want the child to wake and find a strange person in their room. So even if the child would maybe have recognised me, I didn’t want them to be awake and be frightened, so I had the parents with me, and the parents agreed that we would pray for this child. So I didn’t put my hand on him, I just put my hand just slightly above his head, so as not to wake him.
Then I spoke and prayed, and we broke the curses operating down through the father’s side of the family, and the mother’s side of the family – commanded the spirits to go. When we commanded the spirits to go, the child just began to yawn and sigh. He was asleep all the time, and several times as I prayed, he kind of gave a big sigh - it was quite evident that something was happening. We then just prayed that the spirit would not enter the child anymore; we released peace over the child; and he never woke up through the process.
The next day, the parents called me, and they said: “The child woke up today with absolutely no destructive behaviour - the problem has just completely gone! It’s just not there anymore.” So that was a great learning experience for me, of the reality of these generational spirits. This is what we’re going to look at – to identify these things, and discover how they occur, and primarily, what to do about it.
So that’s an example of a young person. I’ll give you an example of an older person. I had a woman come to me, and she must have been in her 50s I suppose. She said “I’m a Christian worker, I’ve been working for the Lord for many years of my life”. She said “I have a problem that greatly disturbs me, can you help me with it?” So, you notice the thread of questions: what is the problem; how does it affect you; how long have you had this problem?
She said: “Here’s the problem. I have these tormenting, unclean, sexual images coming into my mind - it disturbs me during times of worship.” So I said: “How long have you had this”. She said: “Since I was very young”. So then I asked the next couple of questions: “Did you have any traumatic experience, or were you exposed to any sexual abuse of any kind?” She said: “No”. So that left the only possibility open – that it was a generational spirit of some kind. The fruit was torment by an unclean spirit. She was experiencing these horrendous, unclean images in her mind - often as she worshipped.
So I asked her and enquired about her family background, and she began to tell her story to me. Her grandparents were missionaries in China, and they had two children – a daughter (which was her mother), and a son. They served the Lord in one province, and sent their children to another province. They sent them to a boarding school, but that province was overrun by the Japanese, and the school was taken over - and these were white, Western children. The girl was sexually abused by Japanese soldiers, over quite a long period of time. Eventually, the children were restored to their parents, and eventually they left China, and came and re-settled. The child grew up, got married, had a child, and the marriage broke up. So, we asked: “Are you willing to act on behalf of your family, and forgive these Japanese soldiers?” She said: “Yes, she would”.
So I led her in a very simple prayer, acknowledging her faith in Christ, and renouncing all of the sexual abuse that has come into the family life, and releasing forgiveness to the soldiers. When I commanded, unclean spirits just came out, with strong manifestation. Because we were aware of the nature of what had been done, I knew what to pray against. From that point on, her mind became clear, and she did not have the torment in her mind. She did not have these unclean sexual images - they were the product of a spirit of perversion, which had entered years before, into the family line.
So we’ve seen many other people, over the years, set free of spirits that were generational in nature. So, that’s why we want to have a look at this area and understand it. The first thing we see is a Bible example of a demonised child, and then we’ve seen a couple of personal stories. Now we want to have a look at this whole area.
First, I’m going to look at Galatians 3 - I want us to see what Christ has done. Galatians 3:13-14 says: “13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
So we notice very clearly in the scripture, that one work that Christ did on the cross, was to redeem us from cursing. The purpose of redeeming us from cursing is to bring us in to blessing. So God wants to move us from being in a place of cursing, into a place of blessing. Specifically, he wants to remove all curses from our breaking of the law of God. Notice in verse 14, God’s purpose is that blessing would come upon us, that we might receive the promise of the spirit.
So the Holy Spirit working in our life is the source of blessing. Blessing means favour. Blessing means fruitfulness. Blessing means the flow of the life of God. So God’s plan is to bring us, or position us, so we live a blessed life. So we need to understand - there’s absolutely no doubt here - God’s desire is for a blessed life, and our cooperating with the Holy Spirit is the cause of that blessed life. It is the life of faith in the spirit, that is a blessed life. Notice as the blessing of Abraham come upon the Gentiles in Christ; so God’s blessing on Abraham is fulfilled in Jesus. So when we identify with Jesus, and live with Him and identify with Him - that is the way blessing is released.
So blessing comes out of identifying with Jesus Christ, and aligning with his life. It comes out of living as a new-creation person in Christ. God’s blessing came upon His son Jesus Christ, and when I identify with Him, I am blessed. So when you become a Christian, you identify with Jesus Christ and His death, burial and resurrection - you are already positioned for blessing. You are blessed because of your relationship with Christ; and not because of all the things you do.
One danger is that, having come to Christ, we go back under the law. I am blessed because I identify with Christ; it’s not because of what I do. Otherwise, you come back under the law: if you do this you’re blessed; if you don’t’ do it, you’re cursed. Jesus has redeemed us from the curse of the law. In other words, He has paid the full price. His work on Calvary was enough to break the power of all cursing.
When Jesus died on the cross, He fully satisfied the demands of God. When Jesus died on the cross, we died with Him - and a dead man can’t be affected by curses. So notice He says: He redeemed us from the curse of the law; having become a curse for us. So on the cross, Jesus represented us. The nature of His death, hanging on a tree - in the Bible God said a person hanging on a tree is cursed.
So hundreds of years before the Romans invented crucifixion, God planned how we would be set free from cursing. He set a law in motion: if the person is hung on a tree, that person is cursed. So when Jesus was hung on a tree - He became a curse for us; and redeemed us from the curse of the law.
The power behind curses is demonic spirits. The power behind the curse is a demonic spirit. A curse is a spiritual force that works against us. A curse is an unseen spiritual force, that’s powered by an evil spirit; and it continues until the curse is broken. A curse is an unseen, or invisible, destructive force; that is empowered by evil spirits; and it continues until the curse is broken. Hence, we find many people struggling with the consequences of curses, in spite of the fact that Jesus has already redeemed them. It’s like the devil is making an illegal claim against them, so we have to enforce on the evil spirits what Jesus has done.
So we see here a couple of things then. Firstly, that the power behind a blessing is the Holy Spirit. And your life is blessed when you identify with Christ. Ephesians 1:6 says “We are blessed with every blessing in heavenly places in Christ”. I don’t have to work for blessing, I just need to receive blessing.
The power behind a curse is a demonic spirit. Curses are the result of the law of God being broken in some way. Jesus has redeemed us from all curses that come about as a result of breaking God’s law. To redeem means to pay the full ransom price - to pay the full price to set someone free. So if Jesus paid the full price, how much price do I have to pay? None! If Jesus has provided for me to be blessed, how much do I have to do to earn His blessing? Nothing - I need to just believe. So we’ll see as we get to how a person remains free, that the key for our victory is faith - not trying harder. The harder I try, the more I come under the curse of the law. I’m called to live differently. I’m called to live as a blessed person. So I am a blessed person, regardless of what is going on around me - I am blessed. I am blessed through faith in Christ. It’s not an external thing, it’s an internal thing. You are blessed. You are blessed in every way. You are blessed by God in every dimension of your life. You don’t have to earn the blessings; they’re something that comes when we identify with Christ. They are released through faith. We’ll talk a little bit about that later on. So we know what a blessing is and what a cursing is.
I’m going to go a little bit further now and look at Generational curses and Iniquity. I want to show you a couple of scriptures. We’ll look at the first few verses of Exodus 20, these are what we call the 10 commandments. We’ll read from verse 2 to verse 6:
2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 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, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
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