Can a Christian be Affected by a Curse?
by Mark Greenwood
here is much controversy and contention about many teachings in the Christian Church.The subject of curses is one of them.Can a Christian be affected by a curse or not? Is our belief concerning this subject essential as regards our salvation and fellowship with other Christians or is it a non essential topic where Christians who cannot see eye to eye on this subject should agree to disagree and live in peace?
This article is to help the believer form his/her own view and is not intended to dictate the issue.There is an article included by Jessie Penn-Lewis, which, although everything might not be agreed with, it gives some understanding of this subject.
The Bible says, “a curse undeserved shall not come” Proverbs 26 v 2 and also in Numbers 23 v 7 Balaam says “How shall I curse whom God have not cursed”
We remember the story of Balaam, where he tried to curse the Children of Israel yet God would only let him bless them.
You cannot curse what God has blessed.However the story doesn’t end there, it is not long afterward that the curse that Balak asked Balaam to pronounce against the Israelites actually came to pass resulting in much slaughter throughout Israel. (See Chapter 25 of Numbers).Later still after God had mightily blessed them at the battle of Jericho, when it came to the small city of Ai, the people who were blessed came under a curse, or as God put it “they have made themselves accursed” Joshua 7 v 12.God’s people, who God had blessed had made themselves accursed.They had an accursed thing in their midst and therefore needed to repent and destroy it.So the people that God had blessed were now affected by a curse.
It is possible to curse a people who were under the blessing of God? The emphasis of course is that they ‘were’ under the blessing of God and therefore couldn’t be cursed but now they have made themselves accursed.
What about Christians?
In Revelation chapter 2 v 12 we have the letter sent to the angel of the assembly in Pergamos.Pergamos is a place we don’t hear much about, but it was the place where Satan had set his throne up.It is quite obvious that Satan is against the people that God is blessing, so right here in Pergamos he infiltrates the church with the same idea or spirit that was behind Balaam’s mischief.There were people in the Church at Pergamos who were doing the same thing as Balaam did, causing the people to lose the blessing of God and to ‘make themselves accursed’.
All the blessings of God are in Christ and received by faith.A curse cannot possible come to anyone who believes and puts their trust in Christ and walks by faith.Anything that is not of faith is sin.
If we walk not in faith but bring ourselves under the law or trust in the arm of flesh, then we are under a curse (see Galatians chapter 3 v 10).If we are deceived by Satan and become licentious in our living we ‘make ourselves accursed’.
This next portion is taken from “The Conquest of Canaan” by Jessie Penn-Lewis
WE have already seen why the destruction of the Canaanites was to be so merciless. Brief reference has been made to the fact that Jericho was the accursed city, and that any of the Israelites touching anything in that city came under the curse that belonged to it. Now I wish to enlarge upon that thought, and from it proceed to show you what is meant by our Lord Jesus Christ bearing the curse on Calvary. Christ has indeed borne the curse for us, but in order to get a clear understanding of that far-reaching truth, one needs to compare Scripture with Scripture. With this in view we will turn first of all tothe curse of Eden, as given in Genesis 3:14, "The Lord God said to the serpent, because thou hast done this, cursed art thou above all cattle".
The order of God's dealing with Adam and Eve and the serpent, is worthy of notice. First, He spoke to Adam, "The Lord God called to the man, and said to him, Where art thou?" Second, He called to the woman, "The Lord saidto the woman. What hast thou done?" Third, He turned to the serpent as the first cause of sin, and said, "Cursed shalt thou be". This order is reversed when God pronounced judgment upon them. First the judgment was upon theserpent, who was cursed as the first cause, and the first in order; then He turned to the woman, and although she had been deceived, she was told she could not escape the consequent suffering; and lastly the man was told, "With the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread".
The order in which God addresses the three, first the man, then the woman, then the serpent; and the reversal of it in the pronouncement of judgment, first the serpent, then the woman, then the man, is very remarkable and suggestive.
It is equally remarkable to notice that, because the woman was deceived by Satan, and was not a willful transgressor, she was chosen as the means of his defeat. Paul points out in his letter to Timothy that Adam's transgression was willful, that is, fully knowing he was doing wrong, and that there would be resulting consequences; he was not therefore chosen for the undoing of the serpent's work, but was given the part of toiling at the cursed ground for material sustenance. The woman who had been deceived innocently was chosen to produce the promised Seed, which should bring about the absolute defeat of Satan.
In this we may learn the lesson that God will turn the very devices of the enemy against His children into weapons for his defeat. Willful transgression brings the judgment of God upon it, even though the transgressor is forgiven, but every single thing in which Satan may have deceived you, as an innocent victim of his wiles, can become the very cause of his defeat. May God give you that comfort, through this glimpse into the fall in Eden, especially those of God's children who have been deceived by "supernatural manifestations" which they afterwards found were not of God; and who have fallen into depression, darkness and despair.
Eve was innocently deceived by the serpent, and then in His grace God promised that through her should come the very defeat of the one who had deceived her. Yes, God can turn the very devices of the enemy into a weapon of victory over him.
Again, in your past life, you may have taken some step which you afterwards discovered was the result of deception in guidance. You thought you were doing the will of God, but later you found that you had been misled by the enemy.
Be of good comfort, God can lead you
back into His safe pathways, and He can
use that very misleading for greater personal safety, and effective service.
I have in mind a true servant of God who is now in bitterness and darkness, because some years ago he believed that God planned to use him in a special way for some great blessing in a Mission Hall in which he was a worker. Alas! The enemy side-tracked him, and to-day he is in darkness, grieving that he missed the will and purpose of God in his life at that time. Children of God, do not grieve over any step which you now think to have been out of the will of God in past years; because, if you acted honestly, truly, sincerely believing that you were really following the Lord, and it was not until afterwards you found out that it was not the Spirit of God at all, but a deceiving spirit of Satan; instead of giving way to despair and depression, just take comfort that God will use you on that particular point to defeat the devil in his attempt to mislead others. When I learn from a soul of any such deception, and of the doubt and conflict which Satan brings to them as a result of it, how thankfully I tell that soul that the very point of deception will become a weapon for use against the deceiver in helping other souls out of danger.
Here you have it in the Scripture—Eve deceived, and then chosen to be the mother of the Seed that should bruise the serpent's head.
Yes, every single thing in the past, where you have been honest and true and sincere, and yet misled by the enemy, can be turned to his defeat. (See, for example, Luke 22: 31, 32.)
Now let us look at the curse which God pronounced in Eden.
"The Lord said to Adam, cursed shall be the ground for thy sake." The curse was pronounced upon the serpent, and upon the ground. If we turn to Genesis 8: 21, we shall find a precious word in regard to the latter, where we see that, when Noah came to the new world, carried to it in an ark upon the waters of judgment, the Lord took away the curse from the ground. When Noah came out of the ark he built an altar, and it is written that "the Lord smelled a sweet savour, and the Lord said in His heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake, for that the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I againsmite any more everything living as I have done". So apparently, in the new world, clothed with beautiful fresh verdure and brightness, the curse on the earth itself was removed.
Then there comes a painful story in Genesis 9: 25, of what happened in the new world to the very one who had led his family out of the old into the ark. Noah was drunk, and when he came out of his drunkenness, he said, "Cursed be Canaan". Into the ark with Noah had gone his three sons, Shem, Ham, Japheth, and Canaan was the son of Ham, and the grandson of Noah. In one of the Minor Prophets thereis a reference to Canaan (Hosea 12: 7, A.V.m.) as one who "loveth to deceive"—his very name "Canaan" meaning this, which seems to show that Canaan had something to do with the disgraceful condition of Noah, and that Ham "abetted".
In Habakkuk 2: 15, we read again, "Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that putteth thy bottle to him and maketh him drunken also", the whole verse seeming to refer to the episode connected with Noah, and his son, and grandson. Both passages taken together, with the action of the sobered Noah toward his grandson Canaan, seems clearly to show that in some way Noah was deceived into the condition he fell into. Eve was deceived in Eden by the serpent; and now once more the arch-enemy of God and man gained a fresh advantage on the newly cleansed earth, by deceiving the man who was the head of the new government, through the agency of some in his family.
The curse came upon Canaan—the one loving to deceive—and through him upon the Canaanites, who afterwards were to be driven out of Canaan by the Israelites: "Canaan begat Zidon his first-born, and Heth, and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite, and the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, and the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite; and afterwards were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad" (Genesis 10: 15-18).
Here we see the history of the enemies of Israel—the Canaanites, who came under the curse declared due to Canaan, by his grandfather Noah. Noah the patriarch was the head of God's new government for the new world, cleansed by the flood. Canaan, his grandson, apparently led him to drink, and when he came to himself, by the Spirit of God he pronounced the curse, declared to be on the serpent, as now coming upon Canaan; and from and through Canaan's descendants came the entry of the satanic forces in rampant power throughout the world. Or, we may say, that in the new world after the flood, Ham and his son Canaan, became the channel for the working out through men of the curse pronounced on the serpent, and all who identify themselves with him, by yielding to him to carry out his will.
The curse upon Satan has never been taken away. The curse that came upon the Canaanites was the result of their being given up to satanic powers, right from the time that Canaan had the curse pronounced upon him by Noah. Hence the condition of the Canaanitish races in the days of Joshua, who was commanded to drive them out from Canaan. The satanic powers wrought in them, and through them, from the days of their forefather Canaan.
Turning from the history of Ham and Canaan with their descendants occupying Canaan, we may trace the line of the godly seed of Shem, and find them gathered together at Sinai, where God gives them the law as a nation. Afterwards we find Moses commanded to recite to them the curse that would come upon them, if they broke that law; and THAT CURSE HAS NEVER BEEN LIFTED. It runs in a continuous line with the curses that precede it—first the curse pronounced upon Satan,then that curse running into that of the Canaanitish races, and manifested through their sorceries and spiritualism; and finally the curse of the law to be realized in Israel's disobedience, pronounced when God took the godly line ofShem, and gathering them at Sinai where the law of the Lord was given, rehearsed through Moses those awful curses upon all who broke His law (Deuteronomy 28, 29).
We find, therefore, three sets of "curses" in operation in the world; (1) the curse on Satan pronounced in Eden, and never annulled; (2) the curse on the Canaanites through their forefather Canaan, bringing upon them the judgment through Israel; and (3) the curse on all who broke the law of God, given at Sinai, which abides, as we shall see further on, until this day.
To the curse on the devil we say, "Amen, so be it"—may it be carried out to its end. To the curse of God upon all the works of Satan, manifested through all who identify themselves with Satan by dealings with familiar spirits, again we say,"Amen"; but there is the curse of God upon all who break His law—what shall we say to that? As you read these curses as set forth in Deuteronomy, you will do well to study them in the light of his message. Moses, representing God, hadto stand before Israel, and pronounce God's curse upon all who broke the law given through him at Sinai. During that period of 1,500 years of Old Testament history which follows the events of Sinai, neither in any other period since—apart from the finished work of Calvary—has that curse ever been lifted. That "curse" stands to-day, as it stood in the days of the Apostle Paul, who wrote to the Galatians (ch. 3: 10):
"For AS MANY as are of the works of the law are under a curse, for it is written. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the Book of the Law to do them".
In this passage we come further down the centuries and nearer to ourselves than Sinai. Note that the Apostle writes, "As MANY as are of the works of the Law," i.e., as many as rely upon their keeping of the law of God, "are UNDER A CURSE, for cursed is every one that continueth not in all things that are written in the Book of the Law to do them". Is there a soul that will rise and say that he keeps absolutely, without one jot or tittle being broken, all God's law given at Sinai? If not, you are under the curse of that broken law, as stated in Deuteronomy 27. This was the way Paul brought souls to see their need of Jesus Christ, through conviction of the curse of the broken law.
In relation to these words, Paul says that God "shut up all. . . under sin" (Galatians 3: 22, R.V.), so that no one can find a way of escape which will enable him to say that he is not a sinner. James says if we offend in one point we are guilty of all, so that one single point of the broken law brings us under the curse of the law. What hope is there for Jew or Gentile? For Paul's readers, or for us? Here Calvary comes in— God's remedy. The apostle wrote, "CHRIST 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".
All who do not accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their substitute are under the curse of the law? Christ was made a curse for us on Calvary's tree, but the curse on Satan remains, and the curse of the broken law on all who stand on their obedience to it; but the CURSE is REMOVED AT CALVARY FOR ALL WHO WILL ACCEPT THE SUBSTITUTE PROVIDED BY GOD.
Calvary is the one and only spot
where we get away from the curse of God. There is no curse there.
You escape the curse of Satan, and the curse on sin—you escape in Jesus Christ.
You escape the curse of the broken law upon you by believing into Jesus Christ—into Jesus Christ, buried with Him, planted into Him, put into Him. Outside of Him you are under the curse of the law, in Him you are free from the curse; for the curse was on Him. Deeper still than this the words carry us, "Cursed is he that hangeth on a tree," for it shows us how the curse came upon the old creation. Will you say "Amen" to that curse upon the old creation which Christ carried to the Cross? He bore the curse for us, even God's curse of the broken law was upon Him, and in Him alone you are free from it. Christ was made a curse for us, and all are under the curse except those who are in Jesus Christ—planted in Him! The way of experimental freedom from the curse upon sin, is, of course, by our identification with Him who bore the curse of sin, as we reckon His death ours; and we obtain a victory over Satan, and his power, just as the Israelites did at Jericho, by not touching the "accursed thing".
Take a Stand
Have you ever taken the position that is yours in Christ towards Satan, and his accursed doings, in which you may ask God to fulfil His curse upon them? When Satan attacks you, you may remind him that God's curse is upon him, and he will flee away. Do not forget that which is written about the serpent, "The Lord God said, Cursed art thou".
Let us turn to instances in the Bible where we may see clearly how God's servants, as His representatives, pronounced or declared the curse of God upon all actions that bore upon them the marks of the work of the enemy. First of all, there was Noah. When Noah awakened, and found what was done unto him, he said, "Cursed be Canaan," thus voicing the curse of God upon Canaan's deception of him, because its source was Satan. If you are "joined to the Lord", andtruly standing with Him, and in Him, against the powers of darkness, if you deeply realize that God's curse is upon sin and Satan, you can, as united to Jesus Christ, voice His attitude to both.
Then we find Moses, the man of God, declaring God's curse on all who broke the Law of God, because he stood as God's representative against sin.
Then there is Deborah! What did she mean when she said, "Cursed be Meroz, said the angel of the Lord, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof, because they came not to the help of the Lord against the mighty" (Judges 5: 23).
We read that Deborah "judged Israel" at that time (Judges 4: 4), and the men of Israel went up to her for judgment, because they saw that she had spiritual insight and discernment given to her of God. Why did she speak such words about Meroz?Because she saw that those in Meroz were taking the side of Satan—as the god of this world at the back of all sin and wrong—and she was only the voice to declare that "the angel of the Lord" had said that the curse would come on them;because by their apathy and inactivity in a time of crisis for Israel, they had practically taken sides with Satan, and not with God. It did not mean that Deborah "cursed" Meroz, but her utterance was the result of her spiritual insight, for she saw, what is really true also to-day, that in a time of crisis for country or Church, neutrality is not possible; and holding back "from taking sides" when enemies are at hand, is a selfish apathy which can only be instigated by Satan; and hence it must bring upon the souls who do it the curse belonging to Satan.
Because these "leaders" stood with God in righteousness, they had the view of God upon the real causes of things, and, of course, saw and spoke from God's standpoint. Noah foretold the curse coming on Canaan—carried out in truth byIsrael; Moses had been shown in the Mount by God Himself, that all who broke the Law would come under the curse on the serpent, and so he had to declare it faithfully; and Deborah saw that the curse would come upon the people who shrankback from suffering for righteousness sake, when God needed them to stand with Him against the foes of His people.
Blessing & Cursing
Again, when Moses said that he was putting before Israel "blessing" and "cursing"—blessing if they would obey the Law and cursing if they broke it—it was not merely Moses pronouncing it. He was acting as God's representative,declaring what it would be, and the people, knowing this, said, "Amen"—so be it, or "so let it be". These very words have come to pass to the Jews as a nation, and they have been scattered, driven, hunted, and sent from place to place, andfor the sole of their feet they have had no rest. Israel also as a nation confirmed the curse upon them at Calvary, when they said, "His blood be on us, and on our children," when they might have been set free from it, had they accepted Him who was bearing the curse as the One given of God, to bearthe sin and the curse of the whole world.
These solemn facts are not clearly seen by many of us, and so we put the emphasis on love and forgiveness, and do not realize that these things are written in the Book by which we shall be judged; and that the only place for love and forgiveness is at Calvary. Judgment, cursing, wrath and terrible retribution upon sin and Satan must be faced, away from the place called Calvary.
Do you remember Elisha, and the bears and the children, when he "cursed them in the name of the Lord" (a Kings2: 24)? That was a strange thing! Was it not a lesson of rebuke to those who mocked the men representing God, that brought about this terrible dealing; a lesson not to trifle with the God who is at the back of those who speak in His Name?
Then we may think of Jeremiah, who said, "Cursed is the man that trusteth inman" (Jeremiah 17:5), and "Blessed is the man . . . whose hope the Lord is" (Jeremiah 17:7). Why not have said, "Poor man, that trusteth in man"? Why say"Cursed" be the man? Because in the light of God the working of the law was inevitable—the "curse must come on those who trusted in man instead of God, and God's blessing with His richness of life on those who made the Lord their trust". Upon whom, then, do you place your trust?
Was Jeremiah pronouncing a curse? No, he was only declaring what his spiritual vision showed him, that if man trusted in man, then the curse of God which rested on Satan would come on him, because of identification with Satan's own attitude of turning away from God, the very sin into which he beguiled the first Adam.
Again, Jeremiah said, "Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord negligently" (Jeremiah 48: 10); that is to say, badly, slovenly, carelessly. It simply means that no work that you can do "for the Lord" will He prosper to make up for laziness!The "curse" must work in connection with it, and a blight come upon it. God's will is done in heaven with alacrity and care.
He will not send the Holy Spirit to co-operate and bless what you do carelessly, and without your whole heart. You say that your work is only a trifle, so poor that it is not worth noticing; but there is no "trifle" in God's sight. Ifyou are careless in small things you will be careless in great. There are many who are asking God's blessing who are too lazy to do His work thoroughly, and in a manner that will bring God's blessing. God works no miracle to spare uslabour and toil (i Thessalonians 4: io-i2).
It has been said that "holiness and hard work" must succeed, and it is true. Holiness is necessary, and must be counted first in importance; but it needs hard work with it. If you want God's blessing, be absolutely faithful in that which is least, and do "the small things" as thoroughly as the great ones, for the small things may turn out to be the great ones in the end.
Turning to the Book of Malachi, we read, "Ye are cursed with the curse; for ye rob Me . . . in tithes and offerings" (Malachi 3: 8-9). Here we find the curse mentioned again (with the emphasized "the" of the Revised Version), this time inconnection with the question, "Will a man rob God?" And the lesson again seems to be that there is a law of God operative since the time of the fall in Eden, that brings in sore judgment the working of the curse upon any wrong attitude to God. Was it Malachi pronouncing it? No, just as with all the other "prophets" or "representatives" of God, he declared what God revealed to him. Religious Israel was "cursed with a curse", because they robbed God by with-holding what was due to Him.
Turning to the New Testament for light for the Gospel dispensation, we have the remarkable passage in the eleventh of Mark where the Lord Jesus cursed the fig tree, and the disciples said to Him, "Rabbi, behold the fig tree which thoucursedst is withered away" (Mark 11:21). And the Lord replied, 'Ye shall not only do what is done to the fig tree . . . but ye shall say to this mountain, Be thou taken up ... it shall be done" (Matthew 21:21). The withering of the fig tree was the effect of the curse.
"YE SHALL NOT ONLY DO WHAT IS DONE TO THE FIG TREE!"
It is remarkable that this incident is mentioned in connection with some teaching on prayer: "Verily I say unto you . . . SHALL BELIEVE THAT WHAT HE SAITH Cometh to pass . . .therefore I say unto you all things, whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye HAVE RECEIVED them, and ye shall have them" (Mark n: 23-24). And "ye shall not only DO what is done to the fig tree!" The praying was described as "doing" when it accomplished mighty things, and the "speaking" was "doing" too. The Lord "cursed" the fig tree—it withered.
Was it that He co-operated with, or set in motion, so to speak, the law of the curse working in the world? At least the truth is clear: the believer is authorised by these words of the Master to say, in prayer, concerning everything that Satan instigates and works through, "May the curse of God come upon allthings that have their source and inspiration from the god of this world", whether secular or apparently religious.
When you look out with clear spiritual vision, how much you see of work that will not stand, for it is only built upon the sand. Why not go to God, and say, "Oh, Lord, it is just like the fig tree, let it wither away!" Have you seen anyreligious "fig trees" with only leaves and no fruit? What have you done when you have seen them? Turned away, and said, "How sad!" Why have you not gone to the Lord, and said, "Lord, wither the 'tree', so that the workers are not deceived"? That is the thing to do. Not going to others, and talking about it, but going to your knees, and asking the Lord to wither what is there that needs to be withered, and to strengthen what is of God.
Pray as you go about, "Lord, strengthen what is of God, blight and wither whatever Thou seest can be withered!" The Lord said, "Ye shall not only do what is done to the fig tree"—for that is really a small thing—later on you will see a "mountain!" If your faith has reached to the point which withers a fruitless fig tree, you will be able then to deal with the "mountain", and SAY, "BE THOU REMOVED . . . and it shall be done!" "If ye have faith and doubt not" (Matthew 21: 21)—if you know that God is at the back of the word, there will be no doubt in your heart.
Christ did not wither the fig tree out of vindictiveness, nor out of resentment, nor out of revenge; but He did it probably to show His disciples the working of a law. Neither are you to pray for the withering power of the curse to come upon "empty leaves", because they are a trial to you; but your prayer must arise from that spiritual purity which comes from union with the reigning Christ, so that you may do the works of Christ.
Let Him Be Accursed
Further, we have just a glimpse of the same deep insight into the working of the curse, as declared by Paul, when he said, "If any man preacheth unto you any other gospel than that which ye received, LET HIM BE ACCURSED!" (Galatians1:9). The Apostle had clear vision what would come to the man who turned aside from the Gospel of Substitution—the Christ bearing our curse for us. If they will not believe that Christ bore the curse for them, then they are bound to remain under the curse and be accursed; for they are under the curse of sin, and identified with the curse on Satan, because they are blinded by him, and taken captive by him.
What solemn words to speak, "If any man preacheth unto you any gospel other than that which ye received, LET HIM BE ACCURSED!" It is the revelation again of the law of the curse, and the only hope of escape at Calvary. If he will not have Christ as the curse for him, then he comes under the curse for himself. Intruth the curse is already upon him, and it is only awaiting the outworking of its blighting results. Think of the man who preaches other than the gospel of the Cross of Calvary! It is a blight in itself to blight other people's lives with falsehood, which ends them in a hopeless eternity. It is a blight to havethe Christians in other lands turning aside from the atoning work of Jesus Christ, because men in England preach "another gospel" than the gospel of Calvary. It is an awful thing for preachers and ministers to deepen the curse on men by failure to preach the one Divine gospel of the Cross of Christ. "Let him be accursed'." Let the curse he will not see is upon the Lamb, come to its fruition in himself! God's Word has declared it, and shows us that these things are working to-day, whether we see them or not.
Now we can understand why the Lord said, "Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire" (Matthew 25:41). In the description given in Matthew 25 of the judgment of the nations which shall take place when the Son of Man is come, now we can see beneath the surface of what is written, that their indifference to "the least of these My brethren", was not merely a turning away from the suffering and needy ones, but a turning away from their Lord, and a turning to and identification with the accursed one—the deceiver of the whole inhabited earth.
No More Curse
There will come an hour when "There shall be no more curse" (Revelation 22: 3). Satan will then be in the lake of fire. There will always be the curse amongst men as long as Satan is amongst them. Mankind cannot get rid of it until they get rid of him. There is nothing said in this Book that warrants the idea that he will be redeemed. Do not delude yourselves with that lie of Satan's. There is no hope given that the curse upon him will end in anything else than the lake of fire, with the false prophet and the beast he has energised. If any of you believe that Satan will be redeemed, you are believing a lie that has come to you from deceiving spirits—a lie from the pit. The many doctrines that are abroad to-day must be brought to the standard of the Word of God.
When your eyes have been opened to see what the devil has done from Eden downwards, and is doing in the world to-day, there will rise from the depths of your spirit—where God dwells—nothing less, nothing else—than an "AMEN" TO THAT CURSE pronounced in Eden upon Satan, and all his hosts of darkness. Those of you who know what the attacks of the powers of darkness mean, if you would use a mighty weapon against them, say—as you stand on the ground of Calvary—"one thing is certain, and it is that you are under the curse of God". Thus you would seize an effective weapon to wield against them. Say, "IT is WRITTEN . . . CURSED SHALT THOU BE!" Part of the fulfillment of that curse is on the horizon, for the hour is drawing nigh when the prince of darkness, "the old serpent," "he that is called the devil and Satan," "the deceiver of the whole inhabited earth,"* shall be cast into the pit.
What we need at this time is an infallible weapon for victory. That available weapon, blessed be God, is first to be found in the Gospel, that you escape from the curse in Calvary's Cross, and as you avail yourself of it you can say to the powers of darkness, who are under the feet of the ascended Lord, "In the name of Jesus, I say 'Amen' to God's curse on you. 'Get you hence'."
Servants of God, go back to your place of battle, and clothed in the whole armour of God, strengthened with might by the Spirit of God, use the truth. Lay hold of the weapons of war prepared for use, and stored in the armoury of the Written Word; that "by them thou mayest war the good warfare" (1 Timothy 1: 18); and through the Scriptures inspired of God, be "furnished completely unto every good work".
Praise God for Calvary! Christ hath redeemed us! Yes, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us" (Galatians 3: 13). f "Thanks be unto God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!"
"And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony; and they loved not their life even unto death" [Revelation 12: 11).
(From, Conquest of Canaan by Jessie Penn-Lewis)
(From, Conquest of Canaan by Jessie Penn-Lewis)
This next portion is from Andrew Murray
"The Cross and the Curse are inseparable (Deuteronomy 21: 23; Galatians 3: 13). To say our old man has been 'crucified with Him', 'I have been crucified with Christ' . . . means this: I have seen that my old nature, myself, deserves the curse; that there is no way of getting rid of it but by death: I voluntarily give it to the death ... I give my old man, my flesh, self, with its will and work, as a sinful accursed thing, to the Cross. .
"The way in which this faith in the power of the Cross, as at once the revelation and the removal of the curse and the power of the flesh works, is very simple. ... I begin to understand that the one thing I need is: to look upon the 'flesh' as God does: to accept of the death warrant the Cross brings . . . to look upon it, and all that comes from it, as an accursed thing. . . ." (The Spirit of Christ. Rev. Dr. Andrew Murray.)
In conclusion I would say that sickness and disease are all part of the curse.To say a Christian cannot be affected by the curse is to say that a Christian cannot get sick.That is living in an ideal world, Christians can and do get sick for many reasons.What triggers the curse in a persons life can also be many reasons.Paul warns Christians to have put on, once for all, the whole armour of God, therefore we must never, ever neglect it.Peter warns them that their adversary the devil walks about seeing whom he may devour.
Is it right then to ask God to remove or break the curse over a persons life who is sick?
If I feel sickness attacking my body I will often say, “sickness you have no right to me, I plead the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ which was shed on Calvary’s tree.I am redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, redeemed from the curse of the law, you can have no part of me. I rebuke you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ”.This is similar to asking God to break the curse on someone’s life.Many people use different methods based on the same truth.
Jesus Christ dealt with the symptoms directly and in dealing with the symptoms He automatically dealt with the cause.
Paul had a problem (thorn in the flesh) that he asked God to remove.However there was a reason that God allowed it to stay, but He said “My grace is sufficient for you for My strength is made perfect in your weakness”.
I believe people do go to extremes with every subject in the Bible, however there is also a correct balance that we need to find otherwise we will be guilty of also going to extremes, the opposite extreme.
Generational curses is one aspect of this subject that I was going to leave alone, for everyone to make their own decision.However as it is one of the most contentious aspects of the subject I have decided to add a few thoughts.
My first instinct is that generational curses can have no effect on Christians.When we are born again and ‘in Christ’, we become a brand new creation, old things are passed away, all things are become new and all things are of God (2 Corinthians 5 v 17-18).Diseases that run in the family have no right to touch a child of God.Just because a parent or grand-parent suffered from a certain condition does not mean that it automatically has the right to inflict the child.If a child is born again then the affliction has no right to touch the child.
We must however take into account certain scriptures.Jesus said in Matthew 12 v 43-45, that when an evil spirit goes out of a man, it eventually returns to see if it is possible to re-inhabit its old home.If it finds it swept clean but empty it finds seven spirits worst than itself and repossess its home.
I imagine that curses can be similar. Proverbs 26 v 2 says, “As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come”.This gives the impression that curses are like birds that flutter and fly around hoping for a place to land, if there is no place to land they wander round.When a child of God has swept the place clean, the ‘birds’ scatter, but soon they return to see if there is anywhere to settle.
Temptation also comes round at certain times to see if it can get the Christian to fall and become discouraged, allowing the enemy to oppress him and eventuallyopen the door for the curse. When a Christian sees the improvements in his life and feels at last he is growing strong and has now got beyond that old sin that easily beset him, that no longer is he affected by it, then sure enough the old temptation makes a comeback. If we resist then it will eventually go away for a season.I do say eventually and not immediately and for a time only.Until Jesus Christ returns and our bodies are redeemed then temptation will keepcoming back to try again.God has given us a safety net for these times, 1John 1 v 9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.Also 1 John 1 v 7 tells us that the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanses us from all sin.Revelation 12 v 11 says that they overcame him (the accuser of the brethren), by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony.
Why is temptation allowed to come back to try us again?Well, for whatever the reason, one thing we must know is that when sin aboundeth, grace overabounds or, does much more abound.At times like this we need to lean on and trust in God, asking for the power of His Holy Spirit to strengthen and support us.Then we trust in His grace, that His grace IS sufficient and that He will see us through.
I think when we are tempted we realize how weak we are and how much we need God to keep us.
I hope this article helps the believer to come to their own understanding, but above everything else that they put on the whole armour of God and put their trust and faith in God who is able to keep them from falling.
By Mark Greenwood
© 1995-2013 Tricia Tillin of Banner Ministries. All rights reserved. Cross+Word Website: http://www.banner.org.uk/ This document is the property of its author and is not to be displayed on other websites, redistributed, sold, reprinted, or reproduced in printed in any other format without permission. Websites may link to this article, if they provide proper title and author information. One copy may be downloaded, stored and/or printed for personal research. All spelling and phraseology is UK English.