Breaking the Power of Generational Iniquity
And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
One of the most important laws of
Through the sins of our “family line,” we reap negatively (and positively, in generational blessings) what has been sown by previous generations. Most of our sins, demonic oppressions, lust, addictions, weaknesses, bad attitudes and failures in life have their root in this negative inheritance from our family line, which is called in the Bible, generational iniquity. While it does seem unfair that we suffer the effects of sins committed by ancestors whom we may not even know about, it is true nevertheless. The sins of our family line, going all the way back to the third and fourth generation, bring harmful occurrences and even curses into our lives.
In turn, we parents, through our sins, can bring curses upon our children and grandchildren, and these can have an evil effect unto the third and fourth generation as well. As an example, when a mother has depression, her daughter will usually have depression. If a father or a mother has a strong spirit of lust, in most cases their children will have the same problem. Dishonest parents breed dishonest children. In most cases these negative qualities go far back into the family line. For example, when dealing with a grossly immoral person, a dishonest person, a liar or an alcoholic, you will normally find parents, grandparents and great-grandparents with similar sins or weaknesses.
Victory Through the Blood of Jesus
Many of us have been incorrectly taught that once we are saved, such generational sin can no longer negatively affect our lives, that it is “under the blood.” It is true that Jesus has purchased, through His precious blood, a total plan of salvation for us, a plan that includes forgiveness of our sins, inner sanctification, and healing of our bodies, emotions, minds and finances. It also includes deliverance from the harmful effects of generational iniquity. Christ has defeated Satan for us. Victory in every area of our lives has been provided for us through His blood poured out on the cross at Calvary. Paul wrote to the Galatians:
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. Galatians 3:13
However, these blessings, although they are available to us, do not come automatically. We must learn, through the Word of God, how to receive (or appropriate) them. We must learn how to enforce the victory won at Calvary for us by Jesus through His shed blood. While we will never be free completely from our Adamic nature, God has a plan for setting us free from the negative results of generational iniquity — the root cause of many problems in our lives.
Generational Curses Resulting
From Exposure to the Occult
When a family member has been involved in the occult realm, every generational sin becomes stronger, and every weakness becomes an open door for demonic oppressions. For this reason, this chapter will give great emphasis to the generational curse resulting from occultism.
The occult includes such things as astrology, ouïja boards, tarot cards, seances and Masonry. Typical of strong curses that result from dabbling in these evils are lust, abuse of children, depression, alcoholism, dishonesty, continual illness, repeated miscarriages or barrenness, being accident-prone, a family history of marriage problems, incest, fears and rebelliousness. Most of us have been far more harmed by such involvement than we realize.
The word occult means “hidden, mysterious or concealed.” In the spiritual realm, this word encompasses all non-Christian or ungodly methods of seeking to know that which is hidden — whether dealing with the past, the present or the future. Through Satan’s counterfeits, such as astrology, fortune-telling and palm reading, individuals seek to bypass God to discover hidden things. In doing so, they contact the defiling kingdom of darkness, Satan’s realm, and open themselves to great tragedy.
It is often in this way that demonic spirits and curses come into people’s lives and into the lives of their family members. It happened to me, and it has happened to the majority of believers, but God has total victory for all of us if we are willing to seek Him.
Occultism embraces all secret orders. Because my father was a member of the Masons, a curse came into my life, and it brought great harm to me and my family. I had to engage in spiritual warfare many times before I felt my victory was complete.
The Word of God declares:
The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29
God Himself desires to reveal to us everything we need to know about the past, the present and the future, and He strictly forbids our seeking such information by Satan’s methods. The Lord sternly warns us:
And I will cut off witchcrafts out of thine hand; and thou shalt have no more soothsayers. Micah 5:12
There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord.
God has given to the Church the indwelling Holy Spirit to reveal such dangers to us. The Lord tells us:
The Spirit of truth ... will guide you into all truth ... and he will shew you things to come. John 16:13
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27
The occult also includes using evil spirits, consciously or unconsciously, to supernaturally change events. This would include putting curses or blessings on people — a practice commonly known as witchcraft, or sorcery. The word witchcraft is often used to mean the same as “occult.”
We must avoid all forms of the occult, including exposing ourselves to television programs that contain it. We must be particularly careful to screen what our children look at, including programs having to do with witches, demons, ghosts, vampires or violence. We must also be aware that rock music also carries occultic spirits.
For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
It is easy to get so caught up in the importance of generational curses that we overlook generational blessings. We inherit a vast number of blessings from our family members, including intelligence, musical talent, business ability, athletic talent, a strong healthy body, mental and emotional stability, and excellent moral and spiritual qualities. The call of God often runs in family lines. We must be grateful for the family line God has placed us into, grateful for our heritage. He placed us in our particular family line for one of two reasons, and often for both reasons:
1. To be blessed by the good inheritance from it. (Most of us have been saved through the prayers of one or more “family members.”)
2. For the healing of our family line. We are stewards of it and need to be faithful in bringing healing to the family line.
How do we do this? We do it by breaking the power of generational curses in our line and by living a life that is sanctified and separated unto God. Thus, generational blessings will flow to our family line through our consecrated life.
My Own Generational Blessings
There were preachers on both sides of my family in generations past. My grandmother from mother’s side was a Christian, and I believe her prayers and the prayers of those preachers in my family line are the reason I am a Christian today. I believe it is because of their prayers that in 1962 God laid it upon the heart of a powerful intercessor, whom we had never met, to intercede for my family. After five years of intercession by this lady, we met her daughter supernaturally and were saved and filled with the Holy Spirit through her.
We should be continually grateful for the multitude of generational blessings from the Lord, including being made in His image. Also, we should pray for those in our family line who will come after us, including our children and grandchildren.
Martha: Delivered From Inherited Spirits
Martha was desperate for ministry. She was suffering from an ulcer, arthritis and neck pains. She also was strongly oppressed by spirits of witchcraft, suicide, murder, fear of death, lust and insanity. All of these spirits were inherited from her family line. They were generational curses.
In her childhood, Martha’s parents had rejected her. She had never been told she was loved, and this wounded her spirit deeply. This rejection provided an open door for evil spirits to have a strong influence in her life.
When we met Martha and saw her need, we felt a deep compassion for her. We wanted to see her set free. Through much spiritual warfare, we broke the power of the generational curse of witchcraft on her life. Then we did the same for each of the spirits that troubled her. As one by one the spirits left her, Martha laughed and sobbed in deep self-travail. God did a deep work of inner healing in her life that day, and her emotions became stable. All her fears and lust were gone.
We had not prayed specifically for her physical healing, but she was healed of ulcers, arthritis and her neck problem through the inner healing. What a great God we have! He does all things well!
Teenage Experimentation in the Occult
During the difficult, often reckless, teenage period, many get involved with various forms of the supernatural. Individuals from every age-group, INCLUDING A LARGE NUMBER OF TEENAGERS, have become involved in the occult through what is called the New Age movement. This movement involves transcendental meditation, psychic powers of various types (including ESP), astrology, seances, the use of crystals or crystal balls, Yoga, hypnosis, psychic healing (a counterfeit of divine healing), Science of the Mind, and a belief in reincarnation. Quite a few teenagers even get involved in the horrors of Satanism, and this can result in extensive spiritual, emotional and even physical abuse.
The teen years are also a time of sexual experimentation, which leads to strong negative soul ties, and transference of evil spirits, including occult spirits, from one sexual partner to the other.
There is such a great need in the Body of Christ today for a deeper understanding of how to get Christians freed from such witchcraft involvement. God may be calling you to be part of the answer to this need.
Philip: Spiritism and Asian Religions
The parents of Philip had a generational history that included much spiritism and Asian religions. Satan had a legal right to release strong demonic powers against Philip and to draw him into the occult.
Philip was a young Filipino pastor. As he sat in front of us, muscular, dignified and well-dressed, we could not help but notice the dead look on his face. He described to us his wild, rebellious teenage years. He had learned how to be violent, even to kill if need be, through kung fu, a form of karate involving strong occultic spirits. He had shut down his emotions for fear of losing control and killing someone. Because of his blocked emotions, he was unable to express the love he felt for his wife and for his congregation.
Philip had also experienced many hurts through rejection from both his mother and his father. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we ministered inner healing to him for this rejection. A great deal of self-travail and holy laughter came upon him as the Lord began setting him free from the hurts of the past.
Because of his parents’ family history of Asian religions and spiritism, there were strong curses in the family line. We had to do mighty spiritual warfare in the powerful name of Jesus to break these generational curses over his life.
In the name of the Lord Jesus, Philip also broke an inner vow he had made to never show his emotions. We have all made such vows that need to be broken. We will teach more on this important point in the following chapter.
Philip repented for judging his parents and for his involvement in kung fu. Through the name of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, the Lord delivered him from several terrible spirits, including spirits of violence, of murder, of rage, and of lust.
Through inner healing, the Holy Spirit released Philip’s true personality, and his whole facial expression changed. His lips no longer curved downward, but upward. His face was now alive. His eyes showed tenderness, peace, joy and love. He was free for the first time to be himself, and to love his wife both deeply and unselfishly. His wife’s radiant joy for her “new” husband showed forth as she gazed at him with great love and tenderness. They were now more in love than ever, and his church had a “new” pastor. A year later, when we saw them again, Philip’s church and his marriage were both prospering.
We have such a great, powerful and loving God. Only through ignorance can an already defeated foe keep us in bondage. Jesus said:
If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:31-32
God has wholeness for each of us. I want all that our Lord Jesus has for me. How about you?
Phyliss: Freed From Occultic Bondage
Phyliss, age twenty-seven, stood tall and regal at . She was afraid of men, though, so she had never married. She also had great difficulty in expressing her emotions.
Phyliss had experimented with transcendental meditation, and her grandmother and other family members had been involved in occultic practices. There was also sexual lust in the family line. These witchcraft spirits from her exposure to transcendental meditation made her fear and dislike of men greater, and were the primary cause of her lustful dreams. She needed deliverance from these spirits and much inner healing.
I broke the generational curse of occultism and lust with powerful spiritual warfare in the mighty name of Jesus. I also had her picture herself standing behind the cross, and her parents in front of the cross. I had her see the generational curses of her family line stopping at the cross, to see them on Jesus — who, as we have seen, became a curse for us. You can do this same thing.
As a child, Phyliss’ father had ignored her for the most part, giving her little affection. She got along poorly with her mother. This caused a deep wounding in her spirit and required much inner healing.
Phyliss described later to me how this ministry to her had changed her life. “I can now cry before the Lord,” she said, “and feel His presence deeply. The Lord has become my Friend. I am able to make friends with others more easily, I am free of lustful dreams, and my fear of men is totally gone.”
Because of her inability to speak
freely in tongues, Virginia’s prayer life had been limited, as well as her
ability to open up to the gifts of “prophecy,”
“divers kinds of tongues,” and the accompanying gift of “interpretation of tongues” (1 Corinthians 12:8-10). She
and her family had been involved in the New Age movement, causing her to be
bound by a number of evil spirits. We prayed a strong prayer of deliverance
over her, breaking the generational curse of this involvement. We then
commanded those spirits, in Jesus’ name, to release her so she could speak
freely in tongues. Something broke inside of her, and a flow of tongues began
to come forth. Tongues flowed, joy flowed and even laughter came as the Holy
Many Christians cannot pray freely in tongues because of an evil spirit blocking them. You too can be set free. Let the Lord do it for you. Fight the good fight of faith. Come boldly to the throne of grace.
The happy ending to these stories doesn’t mean that these people never again had a need for more inner healing or deliverance. Because of the great victory God had given me through deliverance from occultic spirits, I thought I was totally free. I was incredibly changed and blessed. I was to learn, however, that I was only partially delivered and needed further releases from the occultic exposure and other generational curses. As I received more and more from the Lord, I gained more freedom, more peace and a greater closeness to Jesus and to my loved ones.
Several years ago, as I was meditating on generational iniquity, the Lord revealed a surprising and immensely important truth to me. He showed me that even when we have had much deliverance from generational curses, the deliverance is rarely more than ten to twenty-five percent complete. Later, the Lord expounded on this revelation and showed me that this ten to twenty-five percent principle applies in many other areas, including inner healing and deliverance from negative soul ties, from inner vows, and from financial curses.
Whenever God reveals truth, it is to bless us and to set us free, never to condemn us. If we will cooperate with the Holy Spirit, what sounds like bad news can become good news. The truth is that all of us have the need of much more inner healing and deliverance — much of it involving generational curses. Such curses are often the root cause of one or more big problems in our lives. God has a mighty provision for setting us free through the shed blood of Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We all walk in much denial, and facing these truths can be painful. If we are willing, however, it can lead to beautiful changes in our lives. May each of us be willing to face the truth about our need for inner healing and much more inner sanctification. Those bad attitudes, the occasional curse word, the lustful thoughts, the unclean dreams — let us look at them as the tip of the iceberg of much inner darkness. And keep in mind, again, that an important root of every weakness, every sin and every bad attitude is in our generational inheritance.
Wonderful new releases and victories are coming your way, but these victories are not automatic. You must know the truth, so that you can be set free. You can be liberated to face the future in a whole new dimension of fulfillment.
Focused and Fervent Prayers
When you are praying to break free from generational curses, your prayers must be pinpointed, or focused, in specific areas of exposure. Focused prayers get answers. This applies to each area of the occult you may have been in or been influenced by. For example, recently the Lord was having me do spiritual warfare in specific areas of the occult to which I had been exposed — my use of the ouïja board and of the pendulum, water dowsing or witching, going once to a fortune-teller, and dabbling in hypnotism. I had to pray hard in each area separately, with much groaning in the Spirit (self-travail). In fact, you will usually need to pray several times in each area to get the complete release, the complete victory.
As I lay on my face before the Lord, He showed me much occultism from my mother’s side of the family, and some from my father’s side. I have prayed for long periods, with much spiritual warfare and self-travail, and have had tremendous breakthroughs. Prayer is hard work, and we need to pray until we get the assurance in our spirit that we have the victory. This is known as “praying through.”
Be sure you are specific in your prayers. If you know that your grandmother, your uncle and your great-grandfather were into the occult, then forgive each of them separately for this negative inheritance. Pray much in tongues and, preferably, in self-travail until you know the forgiveness is real, not just mental. It is also important to repent for all your relatives involved in the occult, unto the third and fourth generation. This type of prayer is known as “identification repentance,” a frequent Old Testament prayer method.
Next, in Jesus’ name, you must break the power of the spirits affecting you from each of these family members. When possible, take family members one at a time, not as a group. Do this also for the generational curses in other areas, such as lust, alcoholism, depression and fear.
You must not ask God to make the devil leave. In Jesus’ name, you must take authority over him and break his power. You must command him to leave. Jesus proclaimed:
And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
Jesus has given you the authority to bind Satan, to break his power — so do it! Weak, little, religious or complaining prayers will not accomplish anything. Your prayers must be passionate and they must be intense. As the Scriptures declared:
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 5:16
Satanic Appointments vs Divine Appointments
When your parents have been involved in seances, astrology, tarot card reading or other forms of witchcraft, it opens you up to destructive satanic appointments. It brings the wrong people and negative circumstances into your life. The very person who will be a curse in your life will be drawn to you. Strange accidents will happen to you.
This is about to change completely. The Father has a plan of total victory for you. He has many divine appointments of His own with which to bless you, and others through you.
It may take many sessions of deep prayer with much warfare, and probably much self-travail, but the time will come when you will know that you have prayed through completely. The Lord will give you an assurance within, a peace that you have obtained complete victory in a particular area.
The Open Doors to Your Soul
You may not think that your exposure to the occult has been sufficient to merit such drastic action in prayer. After all, you only played with the ouïja board once or twice. You were only in one seance. Your interest in astrology and ESP was only passing. And you can’t understand how you could have been affected by listening to rock music. When a door has been opened into your soul, however, evil spirits can enter until the door is shut. No wonder such involvement causes serious problems in the areas of sexual lust, money and power!
Probably seventy-five percent or more of us have been directly exposed to the occult, and have a great need for these doors to be closed. How can you close those doors? First, break the power of witchcraft in your family line through much spiritual warfare. Then command, in Jesus’ name, that those doors be closed, and do much praying in tongues in spiritual warfare.
Pray with authority. The Lord will give you an assurance when the doors are completely closed. With your eyes closed, if you ask Him, the Holy Spirit will often show you by vision whether or not the doors are closed. Pray until you get that assurance.
As we have observed, the generational curse from occultism is only one of many areas of generational iniquity that need to be broken. We must also focus our spiritual warfare on other areas of generational iniquity, such as depression, alcoholism, lust, nervousness, abusiveness, dishonesty, divorce and poverty. We inherit numerous curses from our family line. All such inherited curses should be dealt with individually, not as a group. For example, if your mother suffered much depression, you probably will be attacked in this area also. See the cross of Jesus between you and your mother stopping that spirit of depression. Boldly claim it as done in the name of Jesus, and do much spiritual warfare about it, letting the Holy Spirit intercede for you, by praying in tongues.
Also, with tears, deeply forgive your mother for childhood rejection and other hurts. Deep forgiveness of parents through inner healing is the most important key to being released completely from generational curses.
God’s will, and His great desire, is to set us totally free from every negative effect of generational iniquity. Learning just a few of the Holy Spirit methods in this chapter will benefit you immensely and enable you to be free and to help free others. Use these powerful Holy Spirit methods of being set free — Laugh and Cry Your Way to Freedom.