In our natural understanding it seems extremely unfair that God would punish children for their previous generations’ iniquities, so the best way to understand generational sins, curses and spirits is to realize that your heart, mind and soul have been forged through your upbringing. From generation to generation, parents to children, naturally passing down the consequences of sin through family practices that usually have a massive influence over heart-sets and mind-sets. Your view of right, wrong and “normal” is literally “your view!” We often justify ourselves by what we believe is “normal” and familiar behaviour, but even dysfunctional families can’t recognize their learned behaviour and also justify themselves by their familiarity. So unconsciously our learned behaviour grants access to familiar spirits to move through our generations.
The Bible refers to familiar spirits as unclean spirits which have had an intimate association with a family line, using this family line as hosts (see, Lev 19:31; Deut 18:11; 2 Kings 21:6; Isa 8:19, etc.). Sometimes these are misunderstood as actual spirits of the dead, but according to Scripture, they are clearly not, as the human spirits of the dead do not remain on earth after the host has died, so these familiar spirits are actually demonic spirits which have attached themselves to people and are then left homeless after the death of the host.
Eccl 9:5 But the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun.
Familiar spirits can get so attached to families that they can assume that even the family property is their own, and sometimes when the generational line ends these “ghosts” have been known to linger there. I’ve been to many houses to pray over them and it’s amazing how the atmosphere can change when you bring the presence of God into a place. Once the governing authority over the area I live granted permission for a paranormal conference to be held in our town centre market place, including a public séance and table tilting! I was so enraged that my home group and I went there to pray against it and they couldn’t do anything. The whole thing was a disaster for them because absolutely nothing happened. So there is nothing to be afraid of; you who are in Christ have been given all authority, and all spirits can only use what you allow them.
About six months into my walk with God, He showed me that I had a generational spirit of anger that had gained access through a familiar learned behaviour (that at the time I thought was acceptable and “normal”). He showed me that it had actually come into my great grandfather through the effects of the Second World War and had travelled down the generations and, yes, it could easily be prayed out, but it was my responsibility to change my “normal” behaviour and mind-set to keep it out. By the strength of the Holy Spirit and my consciousness of going where He wants to take me, my behaviour changed with my renewed mind-set. Behaviour and old habits don’t change by trying and striving through the consciousness of sin but by yielding to the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes, spirits and curses are actually inherited through no fault of our own; for example, once I was asked to pray for a lady with an issue of fear. As we prayed for her, I was shown that there was an issue with sexual abuse from her childhood. The Holy Spirit guided me in sharing different testimonies of a similar nature. After about an hour of sharing, all of a sudden she started to cry. The ministry time was so important, because the stories led by the Spirit had opened up her heart and mind to receive the Spirit’s conviction. And as she opened up, I heard the most disturbing story of how her parents had in fact dedicated her to Satan as a baby and had involved her in satanic rituals. The knock-on effect of sexual abuse and fear of the opposite sex had destroyed her relationships and life. Now, lots of people had prayed for this fear problem to go, but I was shown by the Spirit that, in order for her to be delivered, we must first break off the generational curse placed upon her through her parents. And as we asked her to acknowledge and repent of the sins of her parents, then forgive her parents, this tore out the root that was enabling the spirit of fear a foothold. So eventually we cast it out and she was completely healed of her fear of men.
The Bible mentions that “generational curses” are brought on by the sins of our ancestors and they can actually go back to the 3rd, the 4th even to the 10th generation and possibly beyond (Ex20:5, Ex34:7, Num14:18, Deut23:2, 1Sam2:30-33, 1Sam3:12-14, Jer2:9, Mt27:24-25) Now, Jesus paid the price for the sin of the world, so our sin was paid for in full, but in order to come into the new covenant you must acknowledge the purchase price (Jesus) and repent of your sin. But as previously mentioned, when the Holy Spirit revealed my behaviour that allowed a spirit of anger to have legal access to my life, as I acknowledged and repented of my sin (that I didn’t know I had until the conviction by the Spirit), God forgave me and the spirit then had no legal access and was cast out. It could only return if I returned to that same behaviour; then it would have a legal right. So, in the same sense, the Holy Spirit can also reveal a generational sin (that you also may be unaware of until that moment), that also needs to be repented of and acknowledged to receive the fullness of walking in the new man.
Another example of the effects of generational curses was when someone asked me to come and pray for him for asthma. I felt the Holy Spirit tell me that something terrible had happened to him as a child which had allowed a spirit of grief to enter him. When questioned, he confirmed it by explaining how his father had passed away when he was eight years old and his grief was so bad that his mind had actually blanked out all his previous memories before this incident, to the point that he had no memories of his father at all, and it wasn’t long after that he developed asthma. So his wife and myself started to pray against this spirit of grief and then all of a sudden he said that something was manifesting in his stomach area and rising up inside him!
Well, as we kept praying, this unclean spirit moved up his body to about the heart, but then stopped moving. At this moment, his wife mentioned that the Holy Spirit was revealing to her that there was some kind of ancestral oath to do with a Scottish clan that needed breaking. So as he repented and we started praying and declaring against generational “clan oaths”, the unclean spirit then moved into his neck. At this point the Holy Spirit told me that he needed to repent of ill feeling towards his brothers who’d attended his father’s funeral (because, being younger, he’d not been allowed to go) and then straight after his confession the unclean spirit moved from his throat and he coughed it out! Amen.
Then as he stood there bewildered, thinking it was all over, I placed my hands upon his head and started praying for a renewing of his mind and memories. Then suddenly, the man burst into uncontrollable crying as he shouted out, “I can see my father! I can see my father!!!! My memories are coming back!!!!” I looked over at his wife, who had a smile ear to ear and her eyes now watering too – such a powerful and emotional encounter of God’s restoration and a great testimony of how these things work together to form strongholds and the importance of being led by the Holy Spirit.
Well, just the following week, I had a guest come round to my house and all of a sudden the Holy Spirit told me that he had Scottish roots, which he confirmed. So, pondering why the Holy Spirit would want me to know about his ancestry, I remembered the generational “clan covenant” thing in the previous guy’s story. So I told him the testimony and mentioned, as this seemed too much a coincidence, why don’t I pray for him for it anyway? So he repented from any generational sins from “clan oaths” and as I prayed, would you believe it, he convulsed and started coughing.
So I decided to do some research, and it turned out that both of their Scottish family lineages traced back from the ancient kingdom of Strathclyde (the lowlands of Scotland). And when the Scottish highland kingdom invaded the Scottish lowland kingdom, the defeated clan members who’d lost all their titles and lands ended up offering their services in aiding the Duke of Normandy to invade England in the battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. This was in exchange for a piece of the newly acquired land and titles. But in doing so, William the Conqueror demanded that everyone he permitted land must commit to his ceremonial ritual where they had to place their hand upon a religious sacrament, which happened to be a “bound firm knot” and, while presenting themselves submissively, swore an oath declaring William as their sovereign lord and all their children henceforth!!! How amazing that my friend’s wife mentioned that the Holy Spirit had revealed to her that there was some kind of ancestral oath to do with a Scottish clan that needed breaking – and even more incredible that I managed to stumble across it.
Some time ago, while speaking at a gospel outreach in India, I witnessed God do some amazing miracles, and at the end of one of the evenings a lady came and asked me if I would go back to her house and pray for her son. So I went to her house and as she opened the door to this darkly lit room. There was a mattress lying in the middle of the room and, lying there, was a man, probably in his thirties. He was mute, and probably the most double-jointed, deformed person I’d ever seen in my life. The woman said with a smile on her face, "This is my son. Please can you help him” and even though I’d witnessed lots of healings that night, this situation was just heart breaking. So as I kneeled down beside him and prayed against any generational curses on his family line and against any dumb spirits, amongst many other things, and although I’d witnessed many miracles earlier that evening, I never witnessed anything happen to this man, in any way whatsoever. I was so overwhelmed with emotions that I was praying and praying without listening, then as I realized I stayed quiet trying to focus, but I didn’t seem to receive anything, I did feel the presence of the Holy Spirit over him, and so I just believed that God was doing something!
As I stopped, I looked over at his mum, who I knew had also witnessed all the healings that night, I almost felt lost for words. I can't tell you how emotional it was, my faith was really being stretched this time, so I just said exactly what I felt, that the Holy Spirit was all over him and that he’s in God’s hands now. But I could just imagine her thinking “Why not my son?” But then, to my surprise she wasn’t fazed by it and she also asked for prayer, for her back and then at that moment I felt the Spirit tell me that she also had knee pains and slight deafness, which she acknowledged. And When I prayed over her, God healed all of her sicknesses (knees, back and even the slight deafness in one ear). Hallelujah! So while we were rejoicing over the healing, the son was still just lying on the mattress, and seemed to be in exactly the same state as when we arrived. The lady was in tears, hugging me, but my mind was trying to analyse it all. It didn’t make any sense; I just couldn’t help but wonder “why?”
The next night during the outreach, the lady came rushing up to me, flung her arms around me with tears running down her face, and said that her son used to have fits every half an hour, but since that morning all of his fits had stopped and he’d started to speak for the first time in his whole life. She said that he was talking like a baby. Wow! Amen. I went back to see him the following week and, yes, he was still doubled over on the mattress but in a completely calm state with cognition, and as I knelt at his side he wanted to shake my hand and was smiling at me. I can't tell you how moving it was. So even though you don’t fully understand the “whys” or see the manifested evidence of what you are praying for, never stop believing by faith. But I will say that when I felt it on my heart to put something together to try and help people understand the importance of dealing with generational behaviour, sins and curses, while in my quiet time with God, I asked Him which testimonies I should use and to my surprise, that’s when He showed me that the man on the mattress in India had a generational curse that ran from his father’s side, and although the man couldn’t speak to do any kind of repentance, the fact I recognized and named it, enabled the healing process, which was why I didn’t receive anything else at the time, and why his mum was so receptive. So there must be many more generational illnesses out there to be aware of as we pray for the sick.
So when you look at it, Adam and Eve’s sin introduced sickness, death and murder into their family, then one son murders the other and we still live in a world and witness the effects of the results of that curse. Noah’s drunkenness led to his son dishonouring him, which resulted in an entire lineage of people who were and are still under a curse in the land of Canaan. Abraham went against God’s will for him and fathered a son in the flesh and thus robbed the birthright from the firstborn son, which then went on for the next three generations. Also, when Abraham lied, Jacob lied to Abraham then Jacob’s children lied to Jacob. When David fell into sexual sin and murder, you can see the results of murder, incest, rape, rebellion and womanising in his children, and there are many more.
So by one man’s sin (which leads to death) the curse that entered the world through disobedience made everyone sinners, and in many different areas, some sins worse than others (1Jn 5:16, Mk3:28-30, Jn 19:11), But the good news is that Jesus has hung this curse of sin in His own body upon a tree that we might receive His Spirit and crucify our old nature, transforming us into the “new man”, a unique opportunity to become the righteousness in Him and join the battle against the Devil and the ripple effects of sin upon mankind.
1 Jn3:8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
Kevin Dexter, Derby UK
Years ago I was in a meeting at church and I was a feeling a bit frustrated that things weren’t going the way I thought they should. My mind was miles away -focusing on my trials – when a man asked me to pray for someone. Well in my mind I was thinking, "Well You can't possibly use me today!" But I laid my hand on their shoulder and by the time I’d finished saying “In the name of Jesus”, the person was on the floor rolling around in the Holy Spirit!
There was no doubt in my mind that regardless of how I felt in my emotions, God had moved through me. This caused me to shift my focus from my emotions to listening to the witness of the Holy Spirit inside me - To learn to discern what it is I’m actually praying for and believe the revelation by faith, rather than just praying with natural assumption led by my emotions.
Another time there was a young man from my parent’s church, who had just come back from an African missionary trip. While out there, he’d picked up some kind of stomach illness and had been ill for about three months. Many people from his church had prayed for him and the doctors were baffled by it. They’d actually mentioned the possibility of fitting him with a colostomy bag. He was only 21 years old!
I had just started to do some building work at his parent’s house and as the young man came downstairs clutching his stomach. I said to him, “Are you still ill? After all this time?” And at that moment I just had a revelation that he had the spirit of witchcraft upon him. I’d never had anything like that before, but as I heard it by the Spirit, I believed it by faith.
I said to him, “You have the spirit of witchcraft on you, let’s go in the kitchen and get it off!” When I placed my hand on his shoulder and told it to go, his body convulsed, he described it like the pain had moved from his stomach up into his throat and had left out of his mouth! Amen, he’d been completely healed in an instant. See, if our words carry so much power, then we must target the enemy by listening and receiving from the Spirit by faith, instead of just operating in the carnal realm and hoping for the best.
My next revelation of faith was when I was asked to pray for an old lady who had been unable to walk for some time. I felt in my Spirit the Lord tell me that He wanted a relationship with her and that I was to testify of Him and the things I’d seen Him do to increase her belief, which I believed by faith and did.
Well I laid my hand on her shoulder and started praying. I found myself giving the world’s longest prayer, kind of stalling until He told me that she was healed. Then I heard the Lord say to me, “You have just given her all that spiel about faith. When are “you” going to believe that she’s healed? “ Jesus said, "When you pray, believe." Not "when you pray, wait and see." We are to believe when we pray.
I smiled and stopped praying immediately and told her that she was healed, and she must get up and walk! She rose up out of the chair (that she had been sitting in for three months), and walked pain free. Amen! The healing was released by believing, by faith.
God showed it me like this: He showed me a situation in a dream where a man lay in front of me, dead on the ground. I knelt beside him and placed my hand on his chest. Now at that time in my life, yes I was listening and receiving by faith what to pray for, but I was still praying as though I was powerless and I was asking God to do something. But in the dream I prayed completely differently. I placed my hand on his chest, and knew in my whole being that I was an heir to salvation, brought into the son ship of God. I knew the Holy Spirit lived in me, and I believed that I had every right and authority to command death to get off the man on the floor. I was so mad at the devil, I was shouting at death to get it off him! I actually woke myself up shouting!
Now Jesus said that He could do nothing but what the Father does through Him, yet with authority and power, He commanded unclean spirits and sickness to come out of people, and whoever believes in Jesus will do the works that He did, and they will do even greater things than these!
He is in you, and you are in Him and you have been given authority and that authority is received and operated in by faith.
If you don’t really “know“ who you are in Christ, and your only relationship with Him is coincidences that you align with your "natural" desires, your faith will be fuelled just by natural emotion. The flesh profits nothing; there will be little evidence of the spiritual fruit. Our faith isn’t just reading and believing the word of God, we are called into a supernatural relationship with the author and to BE the word, Jesus style, by faith.
Here are a few things to remember:
Push through natural emotions by faith!
Receive revelation from the Holy Spirit by faith!
Believe the accomplishment of what you’ve been praying for by faith!
Know your identity and authority in Christ by faith! Jesus made You a joint heir with Him. You are no longer a sinner saved by grace but you are a Son and daughter of almighty God. He has given YOU authority over sickness and demons and catastrophes of every kind. All the promised of God in Him are yes, amen to the glory of God!
“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”- Matt 17:20
Kevin Dexter, Derby UK
When I first surrendered my life to God and received the Holy Spirit, it wasn’t long before I felt powerless against my thoughts. I couldn’t walk down a single street without receiving terrible unclean thoughts and yet while at church in worship and praise not one unclean thought would enter my mind. I noticed that every time I spoke out the word Jesus, the unclean thought would leave my mind. It came to my realization that these thoughts weren’t actually my thoughts at all! The Devil’s biggest deception is making you think that his thoughts are your own, as he tries to draw out the former conduct of your “old man”. In many instances, he may repeat scenes in your mind from your past that actually makes people feel guilty or ashamed of themselves, but the truth is, in a true belief by faith, that your “old man” has been crucified with Christ and you have been born again in the Spirit; everything you did before you surrendered your life to Jesus has been paid for in full, and you have been given all authority by the Spirit to take back that which has been robbed, including your mind! It doesn’t say take your thoughts captive for nothing! (2 Cor 10:5)
As every unclean thought entered my mind, I started to command Satan to “get away from me by the power of Jesus” And every time I said this, my mind would clear. I would say this sometimes all day to start with and the more I began to realize that the thoughts weren’t mine, the easier, over time, I recognized his deceit and the more my mind became clean. Eventually I came to a point where I may only have to rebuke him in my thoughts, maybe ten times a year because the unclean thought test easily stood out and as I’ve learned to yield to the Holy Spirit, who renews the heart. As long as we put off our former conduct and keep the “old man” from being resurrected, we will be renewed in the spirit of our minds, so that we put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness (Eph 4:22).
I find that because of the “battle for the mind”, most Christians never really enter into the fullness of their inheritance; they receive the Holy Spirit but struggle to be led by the Holy Spirit, as in the parable of the sower. Some receive the seed but choke its growth through chasing the pleasures of life to satisfy the desires of their own will. Some allow their hearts to allow the Devil to take the seed away, and others receive the seed for a while but fall away in the time of temptation.
Now everyone who receives the Holy Spirit is a new creation, born again spiritually, with access to the supernatural realm of the Holy Spirit. So as you believed that Jesus paid the price and redeemed you by faith, and that you have been born again in the spirit by faith, so you must hear His voice by faith, too. That new spiritual “gut” instinct is the spiritual consciousness of God and you must act on it by faith.
Abraham (who wasn’t perfect) moved by faith by that which he had received and believed by faith and it was accounted to him for righteousness. He was called a friend of God because he was justified by his moving in obedience by faith through his relationship with God, and not just by believing that God is real by faith only. So you (who aren’t perfect either) have been enabled to become the righteousness in Him if you yield to Him through your faith based relationship too.
When I gave my life to the Lord and received the Holy Spirit, He convicted me of sleeping with my girlfriend, getting drunk, smoking and swearing. Within a week, my life had completely changed, but my life only changed because I yielded to the God consciousness within me. I believed the prompting by faith, then acted in faith, and the desires of the “old man” fell away. But as my journey continued, while watching television I found myself being convicted by the Holy Spirit. Every time a violent scene came on in the movie, I found myself turning away from it or closing my eyes. I just couldn’t understand it. I’d seen movies like this for years. Now with the previous stuff, I could understand why He would convict me, but surely this was a part of ordinary normal life that everyone else did? I remember thinking “God, is that You? Why are you doing this? They are only actors; it’s not real!” But every time a violent scene came on, I couldn’t help but look away.
Now the next time I was watching television, one of my old favourite movies came on, and when the violent action scene came on (which I was looking forward to), I felt the conviction, I closed my eyes, but I knew the scene – I’d seen it loads of times; I could even imagine it! A couple of movies later, I’m peeking and, before you know it, I could watch an entire action movie without feeling any conviction in any way whatsoever. Then I would think, “Well God, if you really didn’t want me to watch that, You could have just stopped me!” See, the Holy Spirit won’t override your free will. And as soon as I started ignoring the prompting from the Spirit I’d gone from doing His will to doing my will! And justifying it too! I’d stopped myself from being transformed. Well you might say, “It’s just a movie, no big deal”, but about a year later someone prayed for me and I received a revelation about the conviction.
Psalm 11:5 – The Lord tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.
Yes, they were actors and they were just movies, but the love of violence was in my heart, and He was testing it (Psalm 7: 9) This was the conviction the Holy Spirit was bringing and everyone’s heart is fashioned individually, by His will not yours, and sometimes reading the instruction manual does help, but it’s no good knowing the manual inside-out if you don’t apply it to your life. Thankfully, our God is merciful and full of grace, so that in my acknowledgement of the uncleanness in my heart, with deep regret I repented and received a fresh conviction by the Spirit and it all started happening again, but this time I yielded and this enabled Him to continue His work. See, when the Holy Spirit prompts, you have a responsibility to follow and respond. This is the only way that you can build upon Him (Luke 6: 46), and live a fulfilled life of abundance.
See, religion and religious people create sin consciousness, which promotes striving and trying to qualify by your own efforts, but it is only by yielding to the Spirit that you have the power and authority to overcome and be transformed by allowing Him to heal your mind-sets, heart-sets, soul-ties and generational curses that may give the Devil any legal access to your life.
This was shown to me through a powerful dream where I was the defendant in a dock in God’s courtroom. Jesus was my defence, and Satan was my accuser. Satan pointed at me and in an aggressive tone shouted out, “He is damaging my ministry!” Jesus spoke very calmly and pointed out that actually I had every right to do so because He had paid the price for it. But then Satan pointed to a closet that was behind me. It was “my closet” and the door was wide open! Satan shouted, “Yes, but what about that!” He was pointing to a temper issue that my defence had previously warned me to deal with! These are legal access points that the Devil has a right to test and tempt you with (James 1: 13&14).
Over the years I have ministered with lots of Christians who have struggled with being drawn away by their own desires, such as sexual lust or pornography and I explain it like this. If a person sees an image of a sexual nature, whether in real life or on television, the consciousness of God tells them that it’s not good for the heart and that they should act accordingly by averted their eyes or turning over to another channel.
But ignoring the prompting of the Holy Spirit actually gives the Devil a legal right to tempt (James 1: 13&14). And because of their lack of self-control, (1 Cor7: 5) the Devil will usually play the images back in their minds or dreams to tempt them, but if they let the unclean desire conceive, even in their hearts and fantasies, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. This is part of James’ letter to Holy Spirit filled Christians, just as in one of Paul’s letters to the Holy Spirit filled Ephesians he gave warning not to give place to the Devil (Eph 4: 27).
See, when King David sinned, he acknowledged it and repented with sorrowful regret (Psalm 51) and then God forgave him, but there were consequences for his actions. Just like if we fail the temptation and allow our unclean desires to conceive, it will create legal access points which give a place to the Devil, allowing unclean spirits into our lives which can interfere with our discernment and relationship with God. In this instance, you can give a place to a spirit of lust, which eventually will bring about a spirit of shame, which sooner or later will attract a qualifying spirit (a spirit that makes you feel disqualified). And sooner or later these spirits can and will form strongholds over people’s lives. This is just an example, but there are many different types of legal access points in many different areas and many different types of unclean spirits! Just like a computer, when the software receives bugs, they very subtly get slower and slower, and you don’t notice to start with until one day you realize it’s become dysfunctional or in some cases people may not have even noticed! If you feel that you are wandering through dry places in circles, that’s a good indication that you have not come into the land of promises yet, the wilderness is the place of dying to yourself, or dying spiritually in some cases. In the past, people may have given you amazing prophecies that you are waiting on, but in order to come into the promised land you must allow the renewal of mind-sets and heart-sets, get soul-ties broken and generational baggage removed – get a virus scan and become who you were called to be, justified by your moving by faith and walking boldly in your accredited righteousness and friendship with God.
So the truth is that there is nobody, with a real truthful acknowledgement of where his or her relationship is with God, with a meaningful repentance, who can’t get delivered, learn to yield to Him and put on the “new man” and step into their destiny, so you can stop trying to work for Him and , instead, allow Him to work through you, becoming the living proof of His good and perfect will (Rom 12: 2) by His glory to “be” His glory!
Kevin Dexter, Derby UK