Generational Curses and Freemasonry
In the last few decades, a new ministry has entered the Church that claims many of us need to be delivered from curses that are affecting our lives. These ministries keep very busy as there seems to be an ongoing need of breaking generational curses due to freemasonry and other sources. The main reason for this document is to help people know who they are in Christ and the freedom they have in Christ, and to remove all fear of curses by understanding the truth of what God tells us in his Word. John 8:32 GNB says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The current teaching of many Pentecostal churches and those in various other realms of Ministry concerning generational curses has its roots in the Old Testament Law of Moses, for it was in the giving of the law that these Principles were first set forth. An unclear passage of scripture is often used to support false teachings, because when many Christians are unsure of the meaning of a passage, they are less able to discern erroneous teaching based on the verses in question. This is surely the case for the contemporary teaching on generational curses. Many popular books published in the last few decades claim that Christians are subjected to unknown curses that have detrimental effects on their lives. The writers of these books offer their special knowledge, rather than Biblical that can break these supposed curses.
In this document, we will examine the Old Testament passages and look at the Biblical facts behind generational curses, their origin, some of the false teachings, what is a curse and what is not a curse, and whether curses are still happening today and what part freemasonry plays. By careful exegesis centering around the whole counsel of God, we will see that these passages do not support the idea that Christians are cursed because of the sins of their parents, grandparents, and great grandparents. Using scripture, we will also clearly show that these verses do not teach that demons have the right or ability to inhabit Christians because of generational curses or that Satan has the right to inflict curses upon Christians as a result of ancestral sins. On the contrary, Christians have the blessing of Abraham because of their relationship to Christ. It is hoped through reading this study Christians who have believed this contemporary teaching will be challenged into rethinking their views on this issue.
There is no doubt whatsoever that it is possible for there to be a negative effect on our lives from past generations. However, the form this effect takes, the extent that we are being told it happens, and the almost total assumption that everyone must have a curse that needs to be broken, are problems that will be addressed in this study. There is nothing worse than mistreating or even abusing Christians by telling them they are cursed when they are not. We are then simply doing the Devil’s work for him and creating a situation that for some has been unbearable.
I heard about a person who God led through cancer and brought her out the other side with a great testimony of Him. At a meeting, she was told categorically that the reason she had cancer was because her late husband was a freemason and the disease was the result of a generational curse. Absolutely devastated she phoned for advice. No account was taken of the fact that the Lord had healed her or that He had used her in this situation. The husband was a freemason and therefore there must be a curse as a result of the freemasonry. Cancer was it. Such advice is more like divination than Christian counselling. What spirit is behind this? I would go as far as to say that this kind of advice gives the enemy glory.
Martin Yarde who has been involved in this type of ministry regarding generational curses commented the following:
“This teaching can easily put people into bondage to those who claim to have the gifting or ‘anointing’ in this area. Like many similar teachings, it does in effect deny the sufficiency of the cross and can undermine a believer’s personal relationship with Jesus by making him more dependent on ‘professional’ deliverance ministers. In all this, there is a distinct lack of emphasis on the sovereignty of God. The implication is that unless the problem of generational curses is dealt with, you may miss out on God’s blessing in your life. This can lead to paranoia and endless seeking after ministry. Furthermore you can find no mention of it in the history of great revivals, when far higher numbers of people were saved and Christians seemed to end up living much more victorious lives than we do today. Those who minister… are involved in an activity of which the New Testament knows nothing.”
We must be very clear God is in charge. One of the dangers of this false teaching is that Christians are given the idea that life is a dualistic battle between them and the devil with God sitting on the sidelines, waiting to see if we get the right revelations, and make the right utterances to scare off the devil. If not, God simply lets the devil put curses on us because hundreds of years ago, unknown to us, pagan idolaters had done their thing on the property we own and faithfulness to God does not help in such a case. Likewise, if a great grandfather was a notorious sinner, we may be under an unknown generational curse, and the devil has every right to attack us, whether or not we are Christians. It is interesting that those who teach deliverance from curses quite often also push speaking with tongues as if it is the only spiritual gift and yet a real danger does exist here today.
This very sad view clearly gets us away from the central theme of the Old and New Testaments, which is our relationship with God. I for one am deeply grateful for the grace of God that brings salvation from the negative principles involved in this topic of spoken curses and generational curses. My Bible says everything we need for this life can be found in God’s Word, 2Timothy 3:16. If it cannot be found in the Word of God, then it is nothing we need to be concerned about.
What is the Meaning of the Word Curse?
The word curse evokes a variety of responses in different individuals. To many people, curses are the use of foul language or profanity. Others think of curses as nothing more than the stuff of fairy tales, with witches casting spells and turning handsome princes into ugly toads. Then there are some who see a demon behind every bush. They blame curses for every negative incident or problem they have ever encountered. At the other end of the spectrum are those who are so afraid of becoming curse conscious (putting overemphasis on them) that they become curse unconscious. And finally, there are those who will not even consider the possibility of curses. You can almost hear this person say, “curses are from the dark ages; we’re so much smarter today.” Because of the word curse being so often misused and misunderstood, I thought it would be good to start by looking at the dictionary and biblical meaning of the word curse.
There are two Dictionary definitions for the word “Curse” which are:
- A profane or obscene expression of anger.
- An appeal to a supernatural power for harm to come to a specific person or group, etc.
It is my understanding based on intensive research and looking for every occurrence of the word curse used in the Bible (nearly 200 KJV) that the first dictionary definition came about as a result of the second definition. People in early Old Testament times had a real fear of God’s curse coming upon them as God dealt harsh punishment to those who deserved it. This resulted in people using the words “I curse you” to people they were angry or hurt by to get retribution by putting fear into them, as people feared God’s wrath. People however cannot directly curse a Christian, as they do not have the supernatural power to do so. The curse can only come from God or Satan, and only Satan if God allows it. Consider the situation with Job in that Satan had to get permission from God before he could bring harm to Job’s family or belongings, Job 1:6-12.
Besides Job, the only other occurrence found involving curses by demonic means in the Bible was when Balak called on Balaam to curse the Israelites. Balaam, once a prophet of the true God, appears to have been one of the Moshelim (See Numbers 21:27) who had added to his poetic gift that of sorcery or divination. It was supposed that sorcerers had a power to curse persons by filling them with fear, terror, and dismay. Numbers 22:12 says, “And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed.” And again, without God’s authority it was not possible for the demonic realm to curse God’s children. 1John 5:18 ISV says, “We know that the person who has been born from God does not go on sinning. Rather, the Son of God protects them, and the evil one cannot harm them.” Is this scripture clear enough? Jesus will protect us from the evil one and we can and should trust this promise.
This is what John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible says in regards to Numbers 22:12: For they are blessed by the Lord himself, with an irrevocable blessing, and therefore it would be vain and fruitless, as well as dangerous for him to attempt to curse them. Genesis 12:3. The Son of God, who is so far from cursing his people, that he has delivered them from the curses of the law, being made a curse for them, that the blessings of the everlasting covenant of grace might come upon them; and they are blessed of God in him, and for his sake, with all spiritual blessings. The sense is, that it was impossible for him to curse those that God did not curse.
What did God promise Abraham, Blessings or curses? Abraham was blessed to the point that anybody who came against him was cursed by God. In Genesis 12:2-3 God promised Abraham, “I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Galatians 3:29 tells us that “if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Praise God that if we love and obey Him, those same blessings of Abraham’s are also ours today. Anyone who attempts to pronounce a curse upon you will fail and will have to deal with God’s judgement.
The best Biblical definition I could find on the word curse was from the International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (ISBE). The definition for curse is long and will take some perseverance to absorb, but it gives a necessary introduction on understanding the word curse. In the Old Testament, the (ISBE) gives three words translated as curse and in the New Testament just one for curse. As the words Imprecate and Imprecation are used a lot in the following section, here are their definitions.
IM’PRECATE, To invoke, as an evil on any one; to pray that a curse or calamity may fall on one’s self or on another person. From (Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of American English)
Curse (taken from the International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, ISBE) kurs (‘alah (Numbers 5:21, Numbers 5:23, Numbers 5:17, etc.), me’erah (Proverbs 3:33; Malachi 2:2, etc.), klalah (Genesis 27:12-13); katara (Galatians 3:10, Galatians 3:13): This word as noun and verb renders different Hebrew words, some of them being more or less synonymous, differing only in degree of strength. It is often used in contrast with “bless” or “blessing” (Deuteronomy 11:29). When a curse is pronounced against any person, we are not to understand this as a mere wish, however violent, that disaster should overtake the person in question, any more than we are to understand that a corresponding “blessing” conveys simply a wish that prosperity should be the lot of the person on whom the blessing is invoked. A curse was considered to possess an inherent power of carrying itself into effect. Prayer has been defined as a wish referred to God. Curses (or blessings) were imprecations referred to supernatural beings in whose existence and power to do good or inflict harm primitive man believed. The use of magic and spells of all kinds is based on the belief that it is possible to enlist the support of the superhuman beings with whom the universe abounds, and to persuade them to carry out the suppliant’s wishes. It has been suggested that spells were written on pieces of parchment and cast to the winds in the belief that they would find their way to their proper destination – that some demonic being would act as postman and deliver them at the proper address. In Zec (Zechariah 5:1-3) the “flying roll,” with curses inscribed on it “goeth forth over the face of the whole land.” It would find its way into the house of every thief and perjurer. But it was not always possible to commit curses to writing, it was enough to utter them aloud. Generally the name of some deity would be coupled with such imprecations, as Goliath cursed David by his gods (1 Samuel 17:43). Such curses once uttered possessed the power of self-realization. It was customary for heads of families in their declining years to bless their children, such a blessing being, not simply a paternal wish that their children should prosper in life, but a potent factor in determining their welfare (Genesis 9:25). In this case Jacob seeks his father’s blessing, which was more than his father’s good wishes for his future career. Such blessings and curses were independent of moral considerations. Before moral distinctions played any part in moulding theological conceptions it was not necessary, before a spell could be effectual, that the individual against whom the spell was pronounced should be deserving, on moral grounds, of the fate which was invoked on him.
It was sufficient that he should be the foe of the author of the curse. We may assume that such curses signalised the commencement of a battle. But in process of time such indiscriminate imprecations would not satisfy enlightened moral judgment. In the dramatic situation depicted in Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 11:29; Deuteronomy 27:12 f) the curse was placed on Mt.Ebal and the blessing on Mt Gerizim. But the curse was the penalty for disobedience, as the blessing was the reward for obedience. The Book of Prov (Proverbs 26:2) summarily dismisses the traditional belief – “the curse that is causeless alighteth not.” “In the discourses of Jesus we find blessings and curses. They are however simply authoritative declarations of the eternal connection between right doing and happiness, wrong doing and misery” (Cheyne).
The term – and the thing signified – plays an important part in Paul’s interpretation of the cross. In the light of the law all men are guilty. There is no acquittal through appeal to a law that commands and never forgives – prohibits and never relents. The violator of the law is under a curse. His doom has been pronounced. Escape is impossible. But on the cross Jesus Christ endured the curse – for “cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Galatians 3:10, Galatians 3:13) – and a curse that has overtaken its victim is a spent force…
The ISBE definition of curse just described says, “Prayer has been defined as a wish referred to God. Curses or (blessings) were imprecations referred to supernatural beings in whose existence and power to do good or inflict harm primitive man believed.”In other words, the pronouncing of curses by man was originally primitive superstition. This is not to say that a curse from God was primitive superstition, it was very real and in the form of punishment.
The ISBE also mentions the one instance in the Bible, 1 Samuel 17:43 where someone called on false gods to curse someone, which says, “And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.” Did the curse come to pass? Not only did the curse not happen but also Goliath himself was killed. Shimei also cursed David without effect and was killed. 2 Samuel 16:5 and 1 King 2:44-46. It is not advisable or sensible or wise to try and curse God’s children. The result can be catastrophic as seen in Genesis 12:3 which says, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
Of the near 200 verses in the Bible making reference to the word curse, almost all regarding spoken curses by man were of one calling a curse on themselves by God if they broke an oath or were relying on God to curse the person they were cursing. James 5:12 GNB says in regards to making oaths “Above all, my friends, do not use an oath when you make a promise. Do not swear by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Say only “Yes” when you mean yes, and “No” when you mean no, and then you will not come under God’s judgment.” Job says in Job 31:30 that he had not sinned by wishing a curse upon his enemies or people intending him mischief. New Testament teaching makes it abundantly clear that the Lord does not want anyone, especially Christians, cursing themselves on oath or cursing anyone anymore. Paul said in Romans 12:14, “Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.”
John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible comments the following on Romans 12:14. And curse not: to have a mouth full of cursing and bitterness, Romans 3:14, is the character of an unregenerate man, and what by no means suits one who names the name of Christ; for blessing and cursing to proceed out of the same mouth, is as absurd and unnatural, as if it should be supposed that a fountain should send forth sweet water and bitter, or salt and fresh, James 3:10. The imprecations (spoken curses) upon wicked men, used by David and other good men, are not contradictions to this rule; since they were made under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, and were predictions of God’s vengeance, which in righteous judgment should fall on them, and are not to be drawn into an example by us.
The difference is that man cursing someone i.e., wishing harm to come upon them, is different from the curse of God which was punishment, or as stated above was God’s vengeance. The first intending ill wishes out of unjustifiable anger or bitterness through primitive man’s belief or perhaps even expecting God to carry through with their curse and the latter was a real curse from God. Imprecations upon evil people made by Godly men were spoken under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and of course were carried out by God as mentioned above.
Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible on Romans 12:14 elaborates further on this: Bless, and curse not – Bless only; or continue to bless, however long or aggravated may be the injury. Do not be provoked to anger, or to cursing, by any injury, persecution, or reviling. This is one of the most severe and difficult duties of the Christian religion; and it is a duty which nothing else but religion will enable people to perform. To curse denotes properly to devote to destruction. Where there is power to do it, it implies the destruction of the object. Thus, the fig-tree that was cursed by the Saviour soon withered away: Mark 11:21. Thus, those whom God curses will be certainly destroyed; Matthew 25:41. Where there is not power to do it, to curse implies the invoking of the aid of God to devote to destruction. Hence, it means to imprecate; to implore a curse from God to rest on others; to pray that God would destroy them. In a larger sense still, it means to abuse by reproachful words; to calumniate; or to express oneself in a violent, profane, and outrageous manner. In this passage it seems to have special reference to this.
Biblically a curse from another person needs to be pronounced but the receiver has the chance to reject it and return a blessing on the person, obviously without effect, Romans 12:14. As stated in the ISBE above, primitive man believed that a curse would be passed on regardless to whether it was morally deserved. The Bible puts this belief to rest in Proverbs 26:2 WEB which says, “Like a fluttering sparrow, like a darting swallow, so the undeserved curse does not come to rest.” Psalms 109:17 also says, “As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him.” The following scripture says that God will not allow people to use Satan to bring a curse upon his children. Numbers 23:8 reads, “How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? Or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied?” And Psalms 109:28 reads, “They may curse me, but you will bless me. May my persecutors be defeated, and may I, your servant, be glad.” In Old Testament times, just as a curse could be brought on yourself by disobedience, you had the chance to bring a blessing on yourself with obedience.
Some people quote scripture out of context when they say, “There is power in words, the power of life and death.” Proverbs 18:21 reads, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” Some would imply therefore, that our words have supernatural power in that they can bring about calamity to someone just by speaking negative words or cursing someone. If there is power in words in this context, then couldn’t we also use words to bring good things? i.e., couldn’t we say to someone who is sick, “healing be upon you” and it would happen without divine power? What do you think? Would it work? I don’t think so, or prayer becomes obsolete. Words are powerful, but their power is natural and a result of how the hearer responds and is willing to believe them.
I think you’ll find what John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible says is more likely to be correct: Proverbs 18:21 – Death and life are in the power of the tongue, Of witnesses, according to the testimony they bear; of judges, according to the sentence they pass; of teachers, according to the doctrine they preach; of all men, who, by their well or ill speaking, bring death or life to themselves and others. Some, by their tongues, by the too free use of them, or falsehood they utter, are the cause of death to themselves and others; and some, by their silence, or by their prudent speech and prevalent intercession, secure or obtain life for themselves and others; yea, judgment at the last day will proceed according to a man’s words, “By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned”, Matthew 12:37; the tongue is the instrument either of a great deal of good, or of a great deal of evil;
People have indeed misinterpreted the word curse throughout the Bible. Matthew 26:74 says that Peter began to curse and swear when he was denying Jesus. Peter was not trying to curse anyone, but in fact was swearing an oath that he did not know Jesus, and was wishing a curse upon himself if he was lying, so he would be believed. Many times throughout the Bible, people cursed others, but unless it was under the authority of God, I can find no evidence that the curse ever came to rest. We must be very careful on how we interpret scriptures.
It seems to me, that the way many use the word curse does not apply and maybe curse is the wrong word to use. We will use the word curse in the rest of the study, as that is the way it is often described but we will see other instances that show using the word curse is not the correct terminology.
Where did the Teaching about Generational Curses come from?
The vast majority of the teaching concerning generational curses stems from the Old Testament, more specifically first mention is from Exodus 20:5-6 and is quoted again by Moses in the second reading of the law in Deuteronomy 5:9-10. This passage in the Bible is God’s warning about the consequences of idolatry affecting the third and fourth generation and is found in the Decalogue (the Ten Commandments). It says “Thou shalt not bow down to idols, 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.” This is a warning about the grave consequences of worshiping other gods. The Old Testament has many such warnings as well as narrative passages that describe the horrible consequences of idolatry in the life of Israel.
Even this warning is tempered with a greater promise of God’s mercy: “But showing loving kindness to thousands, to those who love me and keep my commandments.” Consider the fact that the Assyrians, whose capital city was Nineveh, were well known in the ancient world for their viciousness and brutality. They were Israel’s greatest enemies for a good part of her history from the divided kingdom to just before the Babylonian captivity. They were polytheistic idolaters. Yet Jonah, when called by God to preach the imminence of God’s wrath, ran from his call. The reason, as shown in Jonah 4:1-2, was that Jonah knew that the only reason God was sending him to preach to the pagan enemies was because God was intending to show them mercy. Jonah did not want that. The Ninevites who repented clearly had evil ancestors. Their parents and grandparents had hated God and made the Jews their enemies. Yet God forgave them when they repented and His wrath was forestalled. That this special theology lesson from the mouth of Jonah came from Exodus 34:6 should tell us a lot about the meaning of the passage. God could have justly destroyed Nineveh or placed generational curses (God’s punishment) on the people in the true Old Testament Biblical sense. He chose to show His mercy.
It is said by many Bible scholars that God punishing down to the third and fourth generation, was also intended to discourage the Jews from sinning, as most lived long enough to see their children down to the third or fourth generation. Other Bible scholars have also pointed out that if the children turn to God they shall avert this punishment.
For example, John Calvin commented about Exodus 20:5 that, “When God declares that He will cast back the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of the children, He does not mean that He will take vengeance on poor wretches who have never deserved anything of the sort; but that He is at liberty to punish the crimes of the fathers upon their children and descendants, with the proviso that they too may be justly punished, as being imitators of their fathers.”
Here are two questions to ponder, “Do you think you can break a curse God placed? If yes, are you more powerful than God?” If we were still under law, no professional ministry or any of the false teachers with their ritualistic prayers have the power to break a curse placed by God. Only God himself can. He delights in breaking generational curses (His punishment) as soon as people turn to Him in repentance. A prime example is Nineveh, Jonah 3:10.
To summarize all of the above, those who rebelled against or hated God came under the curses of the covenant. See Deuteronomy 28:15-68. Those who try earnestly to keep his Commandments and love and humbly trust God, by faith, shall be blessed no matter what their ancestors did. This generational curse deliverance ministry is just nonsense.
Some may say that no one could ever keep all God’s Commandments so therefore the punishment would come upon all descendants. Did God know that his children would sometimes sin? Of course He did. Do we think that God is in the habit of making meaningless statements? I would hope not. What God was saying here is that he would NOT bring punishment or curses upon the descendants of those that loved him and did not live in willful sin. That is, they did the best they could to keep his Commandments and repent when they failed.
Proof of this can be seen with King David who committed adultery and then sent the husband of the woman he committed adultery with into battle and got him killed, 2 Samuel Chapters 11-12. David also carried out a census on the people capable of fighting, 2 Samuel 24. This was a sin as it was not the count of people that was winning the battles, but God. David took his faith from God and put it in men. So we can see that David indeed sinned badly.
So did this bring punishment onto all David’s children? Let’s look at his son Solomon. When Solomon became king, God asked Solomon in a dream, 1 Kings 3:5-14, “What would you have me give you?” Solomon asked for wisdom to rule God’s people. God said, “Because you have asked for the wisdom, instead of long life for yourself or riches or the death of your enemies, I will give you more wisdom and understanding than anyone has ever had before or will ever have again.” God also said, “I will give you what you have not asked for, which is wealth and honour, more than that of any other king, and if you obey me and keep my commands, as your father David did, I will give you a long life as well.” So is this God’s curse coming upon Solomon? No! Wisdom, wealth, long life, sounds like a Blessing to me! Note: God said David kept His Commands. We know David didn’t do that. So what did God mean? Same situation as Exodus 20:6, God meant do your best to keep my Commandments and genuinely repent when you fail.
Does God still Curse People for their Sin?
It can be seen from Exodus 20:5-6 that God did curse down to the third or fourth generation to those who rejected him that one could refer to as a generational curse, but is this the case with the New Covenant? Following are many scriptures that show God indeed does not curse his children anymore and that such generational curses are of the Old Covenant.
In Jeremiah 31:29 and Ezekiel 18:2 it reads, “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge, and as surely as I am the living God, says the Sovereign Lord, you will not repeat this proverb in Israel any more. The life of every person belongs to me, the life of the parent as well as that of the child. The person who sins is the one who will die.”
The proverb “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge” is best described by the Living Bible translation, i.e.; “The children are punished for their father’s sins. As I live, says the lord God, you will not use this proverb anymore.” In other words, what this passage is saying is that the parents ate the sour grapes and it was the children that got the sour grape taste, which means that the parents sinned and the children got the consequences. More importantly, what these Bible passages are saying is that the time will come when God will no longer punish down to the third and fourth generation (generational curse teaching origin) to those who hate Him and that everyone will be accountable for his or her own sins. It is well worthwhile reading all of Ezekiel Chapter 18 at this point, which clearly shows that everyone is to be accountable for their own sins, the parents for their own sins and the children for theirs.
When will this Proverb no longer be quoted?
In Old Covenant times, the Jews were under the curse of the law and the consequences of breaking God’s law were quite severe. The consequences are detailed in Deuteronomy 28:15-68.
However Galatians 3:13 says “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:”
To redeem means to purchase, to buy back, to set free. And here it means just that. Christ has purchased or set us free from the curse of the law, by His being made a curse for us.
The curse of the law means that he has rescued us from the consequences of transgressions in a world of woe. He has saved us from the punishment, which our sins have deserved. The word “us” here must refer to all who are redeemed; that is to the Gentiles as well as the Jews. The curse of the law is a curse, which is due to sin, and cannot be regarded as applied particularly to any one class of people. All who violate God’s law however are exposed to its penalty. The word law here relates to the Law of Moses, that is to all the laws written down in a book by Moses but not the Ten Commandments. The law of God threatened punishment in the world forever that would certainly have been inflicted but for the coming and death of Christ.
Being made a curse for us is an exceedingly important expression. There is scarcely any passage in the New Testament on which it is more important to have correct views than this, and scarcely any one on which more erroneous opinions have been entertained. In regards to it, we may observe that it does not mean:
- That by being made a curse, the Lord Jesus’ character or work was in any sense displeasing to God.
- Jesus was not ill deserving. He was not blameworthy. He had done no wrong. He was holy, harmless, undefiled. No crime charged upon him was proved and there is no clearer doctrine in the Bible than that, in all his character and work, the Lord Jesus was perfectly holy and pure.
- It cannot mean that the Lord Jesus deservingly bore the penalty of the law. His sufferings were in the place of the penalty, not the penalty itself.
“Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” A passage is found on this in Deuteronomy 21:23. It occurs in a law respecting one who was hanged for a “sin worthy of death” Deuteronomy 21:22. The law was that he should be buried the same day, and that the body should not remain suspended over night and the reason for this that “he that is hanged is accursed of God.”
Put more plainly, Jesus’ death on the cross freed us from the consequences of sin and the Mosaic Law and all the sacrifices it entailed. When Christ died for us he said, “it is finished” John 19:30. This does not mean that we are still under the curse of the law or that we will still die for our sins. We are TOTALLY set free from both! The cause of the curse was sin, and I’m sure nobody is disputing Jesus died for sins. The prophecy of Jeremiah 31:29 and Ezekiel 18:2 was also fulfilled which says, “In those days they shall say no more, the children are punished for their father’s sins.”
Paul’s comments in Romans 3:19-24 GNB also elaborate and clarify further on God’s law which reads, “Now we know that everything in the Law applies to those who live under the Law, in order to stop all human excuses and bring the whole world under God’s judgment. 20 For no one is put right in God’s sight by doing what the Law requires; what the Law does is to make us know that we have sinned. 21 But now God’s way of putting people right with himself has been revealed. It has nothing to do with law, even though the Law of Moses and the prophets gave their witness to it. 22 God puts people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. God does this to all who believe in Christ, because there is no difference at all: 23 everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence. 24 But by the free gift of God’s grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free.”
In Galatians 3:8 Paul quoted Genesis 12:3 to prove that God justifies Gentiles by faith. He then says, “Therefore, those who believe are blessed together with Abraham, the one who believed. Certainly all who depend on the works of the law are under a curse. For it is written, “A curse on everyone who does not obey everything that is written in the book of the law!” Galatians 3:9-10 ISV. Paul was warning the Galatians that to try to find blessing by going back to the stipulations of the Mosaic Law (circumcision in particular) was to put one’s self under a curse. The true blessing is obtained by faith, which was also true in the Old Testament as shown in the faith of Abraham.
We cannot ignore the Old Testament, and especially the Ten Commandment law on which so much of the teaching is based. Matthew 5:17 clearly tells us that Jesus did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but rather to fulfil them. Notice verse twenty especially, where he tells them that to enter the Kingdom of Heaven their righteousness must surpass that of the Scribes and Pharisees. Jesus was not telling them to fulfil the law themselves. He was saying that it was impossible to do perfectly. Isaiah 42:21 says “The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.” We see how Jesus in the following verses shows that he has made the task even harder if we are trying to do it ourselves as He did magnify the law. We are not to reject the law but to see that the only way to obey it fully is through Christ Jesus. So does this mean we can continue to sin wilfully? Absolutely not! Hebrews 10:26-29 says, “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, … 28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose you, shall he be thought worthy, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and has done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” This is a very serious warning we should not ignore. No Christian should want to trample the Son of God underfoot.
As for Christians under the New Covenant, our blessings are because of the love and obedient relationship we have with God through Jesus Christ. As Paul said, Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law of Moses so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. If you have been regenerated as are all who have true faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, then you are inheriting the blessings of God and are delivered from the curse of the law. The cause of the curse is sin. God Himself pronounced the curse. God’s wrath must be appeased. Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross has appeased God’s wrath against sin for all believers and has removed the curse. We are now blessed sons of Abraham. Even if our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents were atheists, occultists, or blasphemers, God will pour out the full blessings of the New Covenant upon us if we truly come to Him through the cross, John 14:6. Since we are under God’s Grace, does this mean we no longer have to obey the Ten Commandments? There can be no misunderstanding Paul’s response. Romans 6:14-15 “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.”
On the other hand, those who put their trust in man are cursed. Jeremiah 17:5 says, “Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.” That is the essence of the Galatian heresy. By putting people back under Law of Moses, the false teachers put them under the curse of this law. The Biblical teaching on this is very clear and it holds from Genesis through Revelation. Those who trust God are blessed and need never fear curses or supposed generational curses or need deal with the false teaching on breaking generational curses. Jeremiah 17:7 says, “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.”
Are there Generational Curses in the New Testament?
Worth noting in the New Testament, there is no individual trying to curse another as in the Old Testament. There is more emphasis on not cursing others and to bless them that curse you. Jesus more than anyone else dealt with demonic cases and yet in all the records there is not one hint of “generational curses.” Indeed the one time that Jesus could have easily taught about the matter in John 9:1-3, Jesus made it clear that the “curse” had nothing to do with the past. This leads me to ask the question as to whether the emphasis that has developed on generational curses in the last few decades is real or imagined. Is it the latest fad, of which we have had so many in the past years, or is there clear Biblical teaching that shows that we are experiencing today an unprecedented revival in these areas? Twenty years ago you hardly heard about them, today just about everyone has a generational curse according to some Bible teachers.
What was Paul talking about in Galatians 3 in regards to curses? Was he talking about any curse, a generational curse or what? Interestingly these verses are very specific and what verse 10 tells us has to do with those who are seeking to live by the works of the Mosaic Law. We can even go further than this because Paul was using it to show the Galatians that having begun their life in the liberty of the Spirit, they were no longer living that way. By going back to the Old Testament Law of Moses and trying to keep it, they were calling down a curse on their lives.
In other words because of what the individual was doing, not because of what their ancestors had done they were calling down a curse. No one can be justified by the Ten Commandment Law or the Mosaic Law, for it is impossible for anyone but Christ to render perfect obedience to either law and so all would be under a curse, but Christ redeemed them from that curse in that He became the curse and fulfilled the sacrificial law, thus they could walk in the Spirit and be free to know the blessing of Abraham. However, if they chose not to live that way they would be calling a curse on themselves, very different from a generational curse.
Am I saying then that there are absolutely no instances in the New Testament where someone from a previous generation caused a curse to come on a living person? Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. As there are not too many Scriptures in the New Testament where the word curse or cursing appears, I have categorised them below.
Give blessing when cursed by another person – Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:28, Romans 12:14
Curses concerning Simon Peter – Matthew 26:74, Mark 14:71
Curse upon you, living being or an object by the Lord – Matthew 15:4, Mark 7:10, Mark 11:21, Acts 23:12, 14, James 3:9, 10
Curse of works of law – John 7:49, Galatians 3:10
Christ redeems us from curse of works of law – Galatians 3:13, Revelation 22:3
Judgement for deeds or lack of – Matthew 25:41, Romans 3:14, Hebrews 6:8, 2 Peter 2:14
Curses from disbelief or preaching wrong Gospel – 1Corinthians 12:3, 1Corinthians 16:22, Galatians 1:8-9
Curses, separated from Christ – Romans 9:3
Every one of these Scriptures is to do with a living person either affected by their own actions as they live or another living person. Not one is cursed from a former member of their family as in this false generational curse ministry.
Are there Consequences for having Ancestors in Freemasonry?
As discussed previously, Exodus 20:3-6, which is re-quoted by Moses in Deuteronomy 5:7-10 are the key verses quoted regarding false teachings on generational curses and breaking them, so we will clarify further on these verses and make a few more important comments about them.
The context here is that people worship and serve other gods. The result very importantly is not an automatic curse – in fact, the word curse does not appear in these verses at all – but that the Lord is “visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the third and the fourth generations of those that hate Me.” (NASB) Note: The key point being “those that hate God.”
Does this say that there is an automatic curse on future generations because one member of the family took part in Freemasonry or was a Freemason? No! What does it say then? Here are several very important points for us to notice.
- There are two qualifications in order for a person to come under this punishment. First, to worship or serve other gods but also to be a person that hates or rejects God. Unless you qualify on both counts this so called generational curse teaching or breaking generational curses does not apply to you.
- Indeed the next verse underlines this where the Lord will show loving kindness to thousands who love Him and keep His Commandments.
- It is the Lord who does the visiting; it is not an AUTOMATIC punishment. It is what He does, not what membership or organization you belong to, or even what the Devil does, but it is what God does.
- He is not saying how or what He will do but simply that He will visit or punish them for their sins. You can therefore never claim that a particular act is always the way God punishes because it does not tell us that and God is sovereign to punish, but also to forgive.
Exodus 34:6-7 or Numbers 14:18 are nearly always quoted in the same breath as the one above but again there is nothing here to say that there is an automatic curse or judgement because someone has joined a particular group or committed a particular sin. Indeed this is the Lord speaking about Himself and before He comes to the judgmental side, He talks of forgiveness and loving kindness and only then visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the third and fourth generations and as said earlier this is the origin of this false and unnecessary generational curse ministry. Again in the context of the love of God it means that it is neither certain or automatic. It will happen because God is a righteous and a jealous God, but even in judgement, He remembers mercy and His judgements are just, not automatic retribution.
Children of the Righteous are sanctified
Some teachings say that you can bring your whole family into bondage or those so called generational curses by your own mistake. The following scriptures show us that the children of the righteous are sanctified.
- 1 Corinthians 7:14 “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they Holy.”
- Acts 16:30-31 “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
- Luke 17:26-29 “And as it was in the days of Noah, (A Covenant man and His family were saved) so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; (A Covenant man and His family were saved) they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.”
- Psalms 103:17 “But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.”
False Teachings on Curses
With what we have learned already from this study of the Scriptures, it will not be difficult to see the error of contemporary teachings on generational curses and breaking them. They uniformly claim that putting one’s faith in Christ alone does not break these curses. Something more is necessary. It is this “something more” that refutes everything that the Bible says about the matter and makes these teachings insidious. Both the Galatian and Colossian heresies were similar in that they claimed something more had to be added to the finished work of Christ for Christians to have fullness or to be pleasing to God.
Modern false teachers promote the same errors. For example, Neil Anderson teaches, based on the Exodus 20:4-5, that demons are passed from generation to generation and that these demons have ground in the lives of Christians because of generational sins and hence all the teaching on breaking generational curses.
To get the curse of these demonic strongholds out of their lives, Christians supposedly need to find out what they are, use utterances (called prayers in the book) to break them, and need counsellors with special knowledge of these things if they are severe cases. The words that are to be repeated are provided, including, “I cancel out all demonic working that may have been passed on to me from my ancestors… I cancel every curse that Satan and his workers have put on me… I reject all other blood sacrifices whereby Satan may claim ownership of me.”
These utterances (I would call them incantations) sound very pious and references to Christ and the cross are even given. However, there are obvious problems. One is that Exodus 20:4-5 says nothing about Satan or demons. It was God who punished covenant breakers. Another problem is that according to Colossians 2:10 we are already complete in Christ and that the principalities and powers that dominated us before we met Christ were disarmed through the cross. The reason was that the true power they had over us, our sinfulness in respect to God’s law, was taken away. Neil Anderson teaches that the demons have strongholds in our lives as Christians until we gain knowledge and command the evil spirits to go. These spirits supposedly have their places in us because of ancestral sins. Let me point out a problem with this: if the cross is the basis of victory, which Anderson admits, then why would God leave us in demonic bondage after we come to know Jesus through the cross? That is, unless we gain revelation knowledge and say the right prayers and utterances. We supposedly need Christ plus knowledge and some religious process to gain victory over the forces that are deemed to stand between us and completeness in Christ.
A fellow traveller of Anderson’s, Mark Bubeck has gone to even wilder extremes and now has a prayer to get demons off all parts of the body: “I ask You to look all through the sexual organs and function of my body for any evil spirit activity… I ask that the Holy Spirit would search out all my bones, blood circulation, nerve circuitry, muscles, tissues, glands, hair, skin and every cell for any wicked spirit activity against my physical body. Evict any afflicting, evil powers totally away from my body.” I am sure most teenagers would agree there is a demon under every pimple. Anyone who maintains that Anderson’s and Bubeck’s teachings are biblically sound needs to be able to define what the Bible does teach about demons and the believer. Gil Rugh summarizes: “Believers cannot be possessed by demons. Scripture teaches that the Holy Spirit indwells us and is greater than the devil who is in the world… The Scripture is clear on this matter. Christ’s work was sufficient. There is no further deliverance that must take place. If there were, salvation in Christ would be incomplete. If the church would stop and think through its theology of Scripture we would realize that something is drastically wrong with what is being promoted by those who teach that believers can be demonised.”
Another teacher who has written a popular book on spiritual curses is Derek Prince. He also quotes Exodus 20 to show that generational curses are operating in the lives of Christians. He writes: “A person who comes from such a background is heir to a curse that may be compared to a weed planted in his life, linking him to satanic forces outside himself. This weed has two kinds of roots: one long taproot going straight downward, and other less powerful lateral roots. The taproot represents the influence of ancestors who worshiped false gods.” It is true that the Bible calls occult activity a serious sin and that God judges idolaters and occult practitioners. The problem arises when we are told that coming to Christ under the terms of the New Covenant still leaves these curses operating in our lives unless something more is done. His error here is, he writes, “Before he can enjoy true liberty and the fullness of the new creation in Christ, this weed must be completely pulled out, with all its roots.” He then quotes Matthew 15:13 about the pulling out of weeds that the Father has not planted. This passage is in the context of the disciple’s discussion of the Pharisee’s being offended by Jesus’ teaching. The disciples were told “let them alone.” God would root those plants (the Pharisees) out Himself. This has nothing to do with removing of curses that are supposedly still operating in Christian’s lives. At issue is whether coming to Christ in faith and fully trusting His finished work removes us from being under the curse of sin or whether it does not. If it does, then God is not going to allow demons to work in our lives because of unknown sins of ancestors. We were all cursed by ancestral sin, that of Adam, 1 Corinthians 15:22. But if we are in Christ, the curse of sin is removed and so this teaching on breaking generational curses becomes a distraction from real issues.
Another book by Ron G. Campbell in his book “Free from Freemasonry” wrote the following: “The authority structure we want to focus on here as it relates to curses is the family, particularly the role of the father. Take the example of a father trying to be the priest of the home. He is the “spiritual covering” and provides an umbrella of spiritual protection over his family and loved ones. When the father is disobedient and sins, the umbrella of protection is ripped. Through that rip, the adversary is then able to saturate with oppressive storms in the form of demonic curses those under this father’s authority and protection. According to Ephesians 4:27, when we sin, we open the door, or provide an entry point, for Satan. Essentially, we give him permission to oppress our loved ones. Through the unrighteousness of one in spiritual authority over others, curses can now visit to the third and fourth generation.” Is this really true? Every time the father sins Satan can do what he likes to the family or does God abdicate? Where is this taught? When he confesses that sin, does that mean the protection is put back? Does Ephesians 4:27 teach this? In a word, No, because it is not dealing with the family but rather the individual and it certainly does not say that Satan can do whatever he likes but rather that he has an opportunity, but it is no more specific than that. See 1 John 5:18.
Campbell calls this authority-engendered curse: “Exodus 34 tells us that curses pass to the third and fourth generations. Suppose a man commits the sin of idolatry. Further suppose that he and each of his descendants for four generations have three children each. This adds up to 40 descendants who will come under the curse of that one man’s iniquity. Each person, by going backward on this generational chart, again has 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents and 16 great-great grandparents. This provides a total of 30 ancestors from whom curses could possibly have filtered down upon us. These are the curses that I call generational curses, and it’s not unlikely that many of us are experiencing them rather than blessings because one or more of these ancestors have unwisely opened the door to our adversary.”
What happened to the millions of people who would have had such a supposed curse in the previous two thousand years before this un-Biblical generational curse teaching was introduced by someone who listened to the wrong spirit? If the above was true, can you imagine your chance of not being cursed! And yet again it is ignored that we still read the clear statement that Christ redeemed us from these curses which were from God and not Satan. More positively, as God’s blessing goes a thousand generations, do the maths for your chances of being blessed by God!
Finally, in this contradiction of terms he also wrote: “The Hammonds remind us of a very important concept about deliverance from curses. They suggest that salvation does not automatically free us from curses, for many of God’s children remain under curses even after they are born again. Why? They have not appropriated Christ’s redemption from the curses. Jesus died for all, but all are not saved. To come to salvation, a person must repent of his or her sin and appropriate-or claim-the blood of Jesus. Although Christ is the remedy for generational curses, we must personally repent for the sin that brought the curses and then renounce the curses and appropriate His blood over these curses.” Once again one must ask why the contradiction? If the root of the curse is sin as is clearly shown above then once sin has been dealt with then the curse, the consequence must also be dealt with. If Christ became the curse, then when we accept that and believe it, the curse must be broken. Why do we make things more complicated than the Scriptures ever did? Why do we want to make doctrines fit our thinking instead of allowing our thinking to be moulded by His doctrine? Ezekiel chapter 18 says now that we are not under the Mosaic Law; we are accountable for our own sins. Didn’t we repent of all our previous sin when we accepted Christ?
One more example of this insidious teaching should show how wide spread it is. Rebecca Brown and Daniel Yoder write, “Sadly, we have found that very few Christians have any knowledge of those things that the Lord proclaims to be unclean. Thus their lives and homes are cluttered with unclean things which enable curses and cursing into their lives.” They claim we need revelations and special knowledge to get free from these curses and that Satan has legal rights to curse Christians and send demons our way if we do certain things wrong. Among them are such things as “living on cursed ground, living in cursed housing, having cursed objects,” and many others. Even circumstances beyond our control may leave Christians cursed. The subtitle for this book is “Hidden source of trouble in the Christian’s life.” Any problems we may have could be caused by unknown curses, and it is our lack of revelation knowledge that is supposedly destroying us. As with all of these types of false teachings, the Christian is left with no hope or assurance. We may be victim of unseen forces and curses no matter what our relationship with Christ is. They define the problem so that everyone is included, deny that accepting Christ effectively removes the curse, and then propose their knowledge and their therapeutic processes is the answer. Remember that 1 John 5:18 says that God protects the person who has been born of Him and the evil one cannot touch them.
Generational Curse or not Generational Curse?
Some believe that if their parents have some kind of illness and that they get the same illness that this is a generational curse. Since generational curses came from God, and we are no longer living under law but are under grace, then this can’t be so, and God does not allow Satan to inflict such harm on his children. So, if the illness is not a curse then what is it? I think that most people would agree that there is plenty of very strong evidence to say that it is just what it is, i.e.; a hereditary illness as a result of defective or bad genetic code. As defective or missing genes are physical, one should ask for healing and for the DNA to be corrected as God intended it to be. It does not really matter which of these ways you choose to handle it, as God always knows exactly what you need before you even ask him. Prayers should not be ritualistic but from the heart. Matthew 6:7-8 says, “When you pray, do not use a lot of meaningless words, as the pagans do, who think that their gods will hear them because their prayers are long. Do not be like them. Your Father already knows what you need before you ask him.”
The other hereditary aspect is that it can be clearly seen that one’s children have certain character traits of the parents e.g.; your child has your eyes, or has your bad temper or your gift of teaching. The behaviour of your children can certainly be hereditary and or the result of exposure to negative influences and good or bad teaching. Proverbs 22:6 reads, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” If one’s parents had a tendency to be interested in spiritual things and got involved in witchcraft there would be a chance one or more of their children could have the same interest as a hereditary result. If the parents eventually saw the light and turned to God, likewise the children would most likely do the same with the proper upbringing. Of course, with the right Christian upbringing, they would surely go straight to God. Such hereditary things do not fit the definition of the word curse.
I sometimes wonder if hereditary illness is a result of not looking after our bodies properly with good nutrition and avoiding chemical additives in foods, or the results of nuclear accidents which can certainly cause deformities. God did not intend us to leak radiation into the atmosphere by atomic testing or nuclear power plant disasters or to feed our bodies with chemical cocktails. God expects us to look after the bodies he has given us, 1 Corinthians 6:19. This however cannot be the whole story since the Bible mentions people being born with problems such as being blind or crippled, and there were obviously no chemicals or nuclear radiation in biblical days. Note: John 9:1-3 also tells us that a man born blind had nothing to do with his sins or his parents.
Consider that if your father had high cholesterol and heart problems and you also grow up to have the same problems, that this is not necessarily hereditary in the true sense of the word. It could be referred to as generational in the perspective that your parents had a diet high in animal fats, and so developed high cholesterol and heart problems. Since you grew up on the same diet and became accustomed to this style of eating, that you also ended up with the same health problems. Here is a so-called generational situation that could be fixed just by correcting one’s nutrition. Such health problems are not a curse, but the consequences of bad lifestyle.
An earnest young woman approached her pastor prior to the Sunday morning service: “Pastor, would you pray for me?” He asked if there was something of particular concern. “Yes,” she replied, “I need deliverance from an ancestral curse.” “No,” the pastor assured her, “you do not have an ancestral curse.” “But, Pastor, you don’t understand,” she continued, “my dad had a violent temper, and I am also bothered by a bad temper.” The pastor explained that although she was reacting as her father had, it was learned behaviour and the teaching concerning ancestral curses is not scriptural. He reminded her that outbursts of wrath are one of the works of the flesh, and the Holy Spirit gives power to overcome it. Galatians 5:16-20. The young woman was relieved and happy as the truth had set her free.
I suppose one could say that the previous dietary example is an example of a bad habit in the sense that the children took on the bad eating habits of the parents and suffered the consequences. However, what we are going discuss here is more along the lines of parents that have bad habits like bad language or negative transference, such as constantly telling their child that he or she is stupid or hopeless. After many years of hearing such things, children could choose to eventually believe them. They may now need prayer and counselling to be delivered from what they have now accepted as being truth. If this were a curse, prayer would be the only solution for deliverance. As this is not the case then good counselling on its own could suffice. However, combined with prayer would obviously be the ultimate choice.
When we ponder parental influence, we understand why some believe people can be victims of ancestral curses or so called generational curses. One cannot overestimate the power of parental example. The chance to shape the character of a new human being is an inestimable privilege and an awesome responsibility. Parents can make a home a place of peace and happiness or a living hell. We should also note that bad habits are not always learned from our parents. They can also be learned from friends we spend a lot of time with. Could these be curses? No, they are just simply bad habits. God does not allow Satan to bring harm to us because of what our parents or friends have done. The good news is exposure to and practising good behaviour can also create good habits!
A Negative Perspective
People have also said that generational curses such as Freemasonry could exist because, since we are still suffering the results of Adam’s sin, therefore why can’t curses come upon us from our ancestors also? If this theory is true, then it is most likely that we would suffer the consequences of sin of not only Adam, but also every single person in between. I hope this is not so, or we will be spending the rest of our earthly life in prayer and deliverance for them all!
God said to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:16-19 “I will increase your trouble in pregnancy and your pain in giving birth” and he said to Adam “Because of what you have done, the ground will be under a curse. You will have to work hard all your life to make it produce enough food for you.” However in Genesis 8:21 God says “And the LORD smelled a sweet savor; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.” God clearly tells us what the curses were as a result of Adam and Eve’s sin, and there is no mention of it including suffering the consequences of the sins of our ancestors.
Romans 5:17-19 GNB says, “It is true that through the sin of one man (Adam) death began to rule because of that one man. But how much greater is the result of what was done by the one man, Jesus Christ! All who receive God’s abundant grace and are freely put right with him will rule in life through Christ. 18 So then, as the one sin condemned all people, in the same way the one righteous act sets all people free and gives them life. 19 And just as all people were made sinners as the result of the disobedience of one man, in the same way they will all be put right with God as the result of the obedience of the one man.”
People have told me that they have had prayer just in case there was something to this breaking generational curse business. There is certainly nothing in the Bible to support the need for it, or any incident of Jesus dealing with anything like this. No Christian should have to suffer the effects of any curse, generational or otherwise. If you believe they will affect you, they will. When someone says you need to be delivered from a generational curse and they pray over you, you might “feel” delivered (even though there was no curse anyway). But over time you might not be sure anymore, especially if you start seeing evidence of the so-called curse again. Next thing you know, you will be going for another “deliverance prayer.” Such a pattern only leads to bondage. The devil will have successfully robbed you of your righteousness consciousness and now you won’t be able to pray with confidence. Our prayers are answered because of Jesus’ righteousness, not because of our family or because we are good people or do good things. Many of these so called deliverance ministries feed on such people and Satan gets all the victory as this person is robbed of their peace and joy they found in Christ. These generational curse ministries are one of the many tools of the enemy.
Other people that had trouble in their life, which was similar or the same as their parents or grandparents had been for prayer and deliverance and have found that their problems had gone, and so believed that it was a generational curse, even though there is no real scriptural backing to support this. The most likely reason for this is again simply Matthew 6:7-8 i.e.; God knew exactly what they needed even if they were praying for deliverance from something that was not the problem, does not exist, or no longer happens. Christ has set us free! Generational curses are gone and forgotten.
Let’s just say for a moment that curses or these so called generational curses as a result of Freemasonry or otherwise do happen, then we must accept that it is demonic in origin, as Christ has redeemed us from God’s curse. As a person lived to 75-100 on average, they would see the results of their sin on their descendants down to the third or fourth generation before they died of old age. So we can see the reason to why God punished to the third and fourth generation. But what about Satan? He wants nothing but harm to befall us and would delight in cursing us.
So if we are saying that we do not come under the covering of the blood of Jesus, and the Devil can bring the consequences of our ancestor’s involvement in Freemasonry onto us, then how many generations will Satan go back? As he intends only harm, if God allowed Satan to do this he would go back as far as he wants! Ultimately that would be Adam, or does God put a limit on how far back he can go? Wouldn’t that mean every single person would be cursed and need generational curse deliverance? As this is all nonsense and not scriptural, your guess is as good as mine!
Let’s try another nonsense scenario for a moment. Let’s ignore that Christ has redeemed us, and say that generational curses are from God. As it only applied to those that hated or rejected God and He blesses and lavishes his love to a thousand generations that love him, then does that mean the curse stops as soon as it hits a generation that love him? Does that mean we do not even have to accept Christ into our lives to not be cursed? What do you think? These last two examples have been included just to give one something to ponder.
What we must not do
We cannot state that generational curses (Freemasonry or otherwise) exist just because we think we have seen the result, or deliverance from one. We must continue to measure the truth we believe by the unchangeable standard of the written word of God. Experience based knowledge that does not line up with the Bible always puts down the goodness of God who has indeed provided us with “everything we need for life and godliness through the full knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and excellence.” 2 Peter 1:3. Let us rely on what He has provided and not on any experiences that mislead us. If deliverance is needed, why didn’t Jesus have to deal with it? This ministry has been left un-dealt with for centuries and has only recently been taught. Our loving Father would not have left us at the mercy of Satan without any Biblical teaching to combat something that supposedly exists, to what appears to now be end times?
2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” All means ALL, not what we want to include or exclude. The moment we start to ignore this we are bound to end up in real trouble. Since Proverbs 26:2 says that an “undeserved curse does not come to rest,” so then consider the following. Is suffering the consequences of what our ancestors have done deserved? Should we just ignore this scripture because we think we see generational curses? Ignoring all relevant scriptures and other factors for the moment, doesn’t this one verse say we do not suffer an undeserved curse from our ancestors? The answer to these questions seems clear. There is no support for breaking generational curses in the Bible whatsoever.
If we decide that things are happening that are not in God’s word because of prayers that have been prayed, and results we believe we have seen, then I guess we’re free to create just about anything we want. Let’s face it, even if it’s not in God’s word, if we think we have seen the results of it, then let’s conclude it must be true. Therefore, we can write books on it, make a name for ourselves and progressively introduce some new un-Biblical ministry into the Church.
Galatians 1:9 reads, “As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that you have received, let him be accursed.” So what does this scripture say about people who say Christ has not redeemed us from generational curses? See Galatians 3:13.
As much as scripture clearly shows we do not have curses on us due to the consequences of our ancestors or curses that are spoken against us, I do believe that what people call self-curses are possible, although again this is not proper terminology. God may not protect us if we are foolish enough to keep speaking negative things on ourselves. We must be very careful of what we say about ourselves as I do believe scripture shows us that by speaking negative things about yourself that you could open a doorway for Satan to have some control in your life you would not want him to have. Proverbs 21:23 reads, “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.” See also Proverbs 13:3, 16:23 and 18:7.
Ephesians 4:27 reads, “Give no opportunity to the devil.” So guard your tongue and give Satan no opportunity to have any control in your life in this manner. If you have been speaking negative things about yourself, I suggest repenting and asking God to forgive you. This does not include idle negative words not really meant. That thinking becomes more of the occult than Biblical.
We serve a mighty God who knows all our needs. If we pray incorrectly, God is not going to take the attitude that because we are asking incorrectly, and we have not heard what He is telling us, that our suffering can continue. He will meet our needs and answer our prayer regardless. Ultimately we must believe that God’s Word is true and complete. See 2Timothy 3:16 and Galatians 1:8.
Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible for Galatians 1:8 reads, “If your false teachers pretend, as many in early times did, that they received their accounts by the ministry of an angel, let them be accursed; separate them from your company, and have no religious communion with them. Leave them to that God who will show his displeasure against all who corrupt, all who add to, and all who take from the word of his revelation.” No matter what we believe we have seen there are probably a hundred different explanations for it, most of which has already been well covered. Another good reason I have not mentioned is what I would call the placebo effect, i.e. the power of ones own belief in something. If you believe strongly enough that you have a generational curse then you probably will need some deliverance, but not from any curse, generational or otherwise, freemasonry or no freemasonry, sinful parents or not.
It is not important to discover whether the causes of problems in our lives have their origin in previous generations. Such a quest can all too easily become a cop out from dealing with the real reasons for these problems or a way of trying to manipulate God into blessing us in certain ways. Or we might be unwilling to face the fact that God is sovereign and may have a reason for allowing some types of suffering in our lives. See 2 Corinthians 12:6-10. Instead we can rest peacefully and secure in the knowledge that God’s plans for our lives and the blessings he has for us are dependent on Him, not ourselves and cannot be thwarted by anyone or anything. Job 42:2.
Some believe that the position of the stars in the sky determines exactly what happens in their life each day and others believe that the position of the tea leaves at the bottom of their tea cup determine their future and yet others the random man made card that comes up will govern their life. Clearly these are all lies from the enemy to keep us from the truth and freedom we have in Christ. As for breaking generational curses and the fear of spoken curses, this comes from the same demonic source. To accept that your life is governed by someone else’s sin in a past life is from the occult world and is not Biblical. Ezekiel 18:19-20 says, “Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not bear the guilt of the father?’ Because the son has done what is lawful and right, and has kept all My statutes and observed them, he shall surely live. 20 The one who sins is the one who dies. The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins. Righteous people will be rewarded for their own goodness, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness.”
We need to reject as unbiblical any teaching that says that those who put their hope and trust in Christ are likely to be cursed. God has pronounced us blessed. Balaam could not curse God’s blessed people, neither can anyone else. Jeremiah 17:7 reads, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord And whose trust is the Lord.” That is the simple version. The false teachers are hopelessly confused and give no hope or assurance. They put us back in bondage, and thus the teachings themselves and their perpetrators are accursed according to God’s Word, Galatians 1:8.
The conclusion has to be that man is making far more of this doctrine than Scripture does and as such it could be dangerous. Unless you want to do the enemy’s work, please be cautious over what you believe and say to other Christians. And please be clear that whatever you believe and teach is built on the firm foundation of Scripture, and not individual Scriptures taken out of context, or word meanings that they did not originally have in Greek or Hebrew. We need not and cannot add to the finished work of Calvary. There is no curse on those who are in Christ. When you encounter people talking about generational curses, tell them how to receive generational blessings. Deuteronomy 7:9 reads, “Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.” The Blessings are far mightier than the Curse!
Deuteronomy 30:19 reads, “I am now giving you the choice between life and death, between God’s blessing and God’s curse, and I call heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Choose life.” The truth is, that everyone is either living under a Blessing or a Curse, either Saved or Unsaved, under Grace or under Law. We hope you have chosen the first in each case. Cast all this nonsense of breaking generational curses from you mind. Satan would love to have you in bondage forever contemplating and tormenting you with it. The Bible tells us Jesus has set you free… So believe it!
John Calvin, Harmony of the Law, Vol. 2, “Exposition of the 2nd Commandment”
Gil Rugh, Demonization of the Believer–An Unbiblical Teaching Exposed. Lincoln, Neb.: Indian Hills Community Church, 1994.
Neil T. Anderson, The Bondage Breaker, (Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Ore, 1990)
Mark I. Bubeck, Spiritual Warfare Basics. Sioux City, Iowa: self-published conference booklet, no date
Derek Prince, Blessing or Curse You can Choose, (Grand Rapids: Chosen Books, 1990)
Ron G. Campbell, Free from Freemasonry, (Gospel Light Publications, 1999)
Rebecca Brown and Daniel Yoder, Unbroken Curses, (Whitaker House: New Kensington, PA, 1995)
The Consequences of this False Teaching
Peggy-Sue loved God. Her favourite verse from the Bible was “If God is for me, who can be against me?” She thanked the Lord Jesus daily for his sacrifice that enabled her to come before the Father totally cleansed and pure, through his blood. Life had always had its ups and downs. When things were going well she praised God for his blessings. When she was having problems, she still thanked God for getting her through them, and for helping her to grow and develop as a person and as a Christian. She knew peace and joy in her life, and was comfortable because she felt close to God. She felt like he always had her in the palm of his hand, taking care of her.
Then one day, someone in Church told her that all of the problems that she had had in her life were due to a curse, because her great granddad had been a freemason. She was told that she had a generational curse on her life, and she needed to have deliverance from it. She would be doomed to live under this curse, unless she had prayer and had it broken off.
Suddenly Peggy-Sue felt devastated. She had thought that God was helping her through times of trouble – but now she began to wonder if he had actually been punishing her. She had thought she had a close walk with him, but maybe he hadn’t really been there for her at all. How could a loving Father, let her suffer for something that one of her ancestors had done, that she didn’t even know about? Did that mean that her mum and grandmother had been cursed as well? Maybe that was why her mum had died in a car accident. God was punishing her because there was a curse on her life.
Peggy-Sue struggled for weeks with the ‘revelation’ that she was living under a curse. She was too confused to go for prayer for deliverance. She now doubted that anything she did would work anyway. After all for years she had been under the misconception that she had a good walk with the Lord, and now she had found out that going by what she was told, this wasn’t the case.
Peggy-Sue eventually left the church, totally disillusioned.
The above story is based on a real life situation. The name has been changed.
This story demonstrates just how devastating this wrong teaching on generational curses can be. The Word of God is abundantly clear but if you’re still not convinced after reading this entire document that by God’s grace we are free from generational curses, I hope this story if nothing else will at least encourage you to open your mind enough to seriously consider if the teachings on generational curses should be presented to anyone. If it does not give God glory, but causes people to turn from their faith, and it does not get any more serious than that, we should be questioning it very seriously.