Grace and peace, Saints.
I recently received an email from one of our readers who had read our article on generational curses. I responded to her email, and she wrote me back later that day asking me a very interesting question. I want to share our correspondence with you drawing particular attention to the question she asked in her second email.
I must make it perfectly clear that we do not share anyone’s personal information with you. Though the situations are real, we use pseudonyms to protect the person’s identity. Because we are all looking for answers, we share this information in the hope that it will minister to others out there who may be going through the same thing.
Hi, its interesting to read your explanation as I notice there are generational curses resulting from my ancestors’ sins. I am [a] born again Christian and, lately, I have been lazy reading my Bible and praying. I also read some signs of generational curses one of which is chronic unemployment and broken relationships. I release this pattern in my life.
Also as a Chinese descent, my parents didn’t accept me as their daughter and I was almost aborted as a baby. Adoption was my mom’s option, but I was raised in this dysfunctional family. My mom suffered chronic illnesses before she died as she consulted paranormal fortune tellers and prayed to dead ancestors. Money was her idol as in my late father’s life. I don’t want to suffer the consequences of generational curses.
I think God directed me to your site as I asked Him how I can be delivered from curses. I’ve been unemployed for a long time, and when I would apply for jobs, my late dad would pronounce a curse on me so that I wouldn’t get the job. Is this spoken curse by God’s authority or by the spirit of limbo? It affects every relationship that I have had, and all contacts I have with other Christians. My mom used to say I would be divorced if I ever married and that even if I did manage to marry, I would not receive blessings from above. This is the word that she received from a fortune teller.
I need to know how to break these curses or generational curses. My siblings robbed me of my inheritance when my parents died. Thats another abuse. People in asia think women should carry burdens of aged parents and it’s normal to abuse daughters. I have God’s calling but I realise I can’t be effective as a Christian or receive God’s plans for me if I have to serve others.
This was my response:
You are correct when you say you cannot fulfill God’s calling on your life when you are in bondage to sin, as a generational curse is bondage. God can and will still use you, but for you to have the testimony God wants you to have, then you will have to break free of the generational curse that is holding you back.
Fortune telling is a form of witchcraft called divination, and praying to dead ancestors is another form of witchcraft called necromancy. It is also idolatry. Since your mom was guilty of these things, then you are bearing the burden of this activity. If you want to enjoy true freedom in Christ Jesus, then you will have to confess these sins to the Lord Jesus so that He may forgive them and set you free.
These curses that your mother and father spoke against you regarding marriage and employment were not spoken with God’s authority. God doesn’t curse people out of spite or hatred. God only curses us when we commit those sins that He hates because when we commit those sins against His prohibition, we are saying, in essence, that we hate Him (Exodus 20:5).
If the curses they pronounced are having an effect on you, it is only because you are under a curse already because of the sins of your parents. When we are in a right relationship with Jesus Christ, no curse, spell, hex, or incantation can have any effect upon us, because Jesus protects us.
What you need to do therefore, is to confess those sins that brought the curse upon you in the first place. You must understand that although you may not have practiced witchcraft, because your mother did, God is punishing you for her sin. That is how a curse works. However, God tells us in Exodus 20:5 that He will curse a descendant with the same sin that the parent committed. In other words, if a parent is guilty of witchcraft, God will punish the children of that parent with that sin. So the child will practice witchcraft just like the parent. Now it does not necessarily mean that the child will cast spells like the parent did, but she may smoke cigarettes, which is also witchcraft, according to the Bible. She may also merely be rebellious, and the Bible teaches that “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft” (1 Samuel 15:23).
I said all that to say this: to break free of this curse, you will have to confess your parent’s sins that you of AND your own sins, since you will also be guilty of committing the same TYPE of sin, if not the same sin per se. I hope you understand what I’m trying to say here. For you to do this, you will have to have a knowledge of what sins God hates, which can be difficult, because we are such a sinful society. You, however, should have no problem doing this, as I perceive in you a knowledge of spiritual things above the norm, and you have the requisite honesty that you will need to confess your sins to The Lord Jesus Christ. Just ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you those things that are sin, and He will reveal them to you.
Regarding your culture’s views on women, I understand how difficult that must be for you. But I am confident that with the Lord’s help you will overcome even this. You are not alone in this, Nancy. I perceive the hand of God on your life. The Lord Jesus has plans for you, sister, and nothing anyone says can alter His decree.
I will be praying for you, Nancy. Please keep me informed of your progress and do let me know if there is anything else that you need. I will help in any way The Lord directs me.
Your servant in Christ Jesus,
Lilly wrote me back within the hour, saying that she will do what I suggested. But she expressed confusion as to why she should confess her parents’ sins and
Here is what she wrote:
Dear Still Man,
Thank you for [your] reply. I’m going to pray for God’s forgiveness on the part of my ancestors’ sins. However, I just want to know why if I’m born again I have to break off from the sins of my parents or ancestors? After all Jesus died for my past sins and future. Anyway, what I am trying to understand is why if we belong to Jesus when we accept Christ, some people still bear the ancestral curses. I’m sure my previous ancestors up to 10 generations had done evil in God’s eyes. None of them I knew.
Lilly’s question revealed a fundamental misconception regarding salvation. She asked how it is possible that some Christians are living under a generational curse if they have accepted Jesus as their Savior, as Jesus died for our past AND future sins. When I read this, I realized that many who have disagreed with my belief that Christians can be under a generational curse have believed the same thing, only they did not come right out and say so as Lilly did.
It is not true that Jesus died for our past and future sins. Jesus’ death remitted 1. Original Sin: that is the sin of Adam and Eve and 2. those sins that we committed before we got saved. For proof, let us go to the Holy Word of God. Let us first establish that because adam sinned, we all have sinned (Original Sin). The Bible says:
“Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all mean, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).
Next, let us see that Jesus’ death cleansed us from Original Sin:
“For if by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Romans 5:19).
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
Now let us see that Jesus’ death also cleansed us from the sins that we committed before we got saved:
“God hath set forth [Jesus] to be a propitiation (substitute) through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” (Romans 3:25).
As you can plainly see, Jesus death and the shedding of His blood redeemed us from our past sins: that is, the sins that we committed before we received Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
It is important to understand that though Jesus paid for all our sins with His blood, when it comes to our future sins and generational sins, that payment does not take effect automatically. In other words, in order for Jesus’ blood to be applied to our future sins and generational sins, we must confess those sins to God.
So, though Jesus died and shed His blood for all our sins—past, present, and future, all sins committed after our conversion, as well as generational sins, must be confessed in order for the blood of Jesus to be applied to them.
Let me prove this. The Bible teaches that in order for us to be saved, we have to 1. Believe on Jesus Christ: that is, that He died and shed His blood for our sins:
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 4:38).
“If thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9).
And we see the manifestation of this with the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8. The Holy Spirit told Philip to go up to an Ethiopian man who was returning to his land from worshipping at Jerusalem. A brief exchange led to Philip giving the man the gospel of Jesus Christ, whereafter the Ethiopian received Jesus Christ as his Savior. The Bible tells it thus:
“And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water; and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?”
“And Philip said, If thou believest [on the Lord Jesus] with all thine heart, thou mayest [be baptized]. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
“And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him” (Acts 8:36-38).
The entire event is recorded in the Book of the Acts 8:26-39. So the Bible makes it clear that in order to be saved one must only believe on the Lord Jesus and confess Him as Savior.
Now, in my experience, those who believe that all our sins are forgiven at conversion, including generational sins, do so because of a faulty interpretation of 1 John 1:9:
“If we confess our sins, He [Jesus] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 1:9 is an if/then statement, where the first action must be completed in order for the second action to take place. Therefore, if we confess our sins, then Jesus will forgive them. Conversely, if we do not confess our sins, then Jesus will not forgive them. Because 1 John 1:9 says that we must confess our sins in order for Jesus to forgive them—and we do not need to confess sins in order to be saved—then this verse cannot be talking about salvation, as one need only believe on the Lord Jesus to be saved.
If 1 John 1:9 is not talking about salvation, then what could it be talking about? I submit that the sins that need to be confessed in order to be forgiven are generational sins and the sins we commit after we are saved (future sins). We have already proven that, according to Romans 3:25, Jesus’ death on the cross obtained forgiveness for our past sins. So, because we will continue to sin until we receive our glorified bodies in the resurrection, we need some way to get forgiveness for those sins we commit after we get saved. This is what 1 John 1:9 is talking about. If we confess those sins we commit after our conversion, Jesus will forgive those sins. He has already paid the penalty for them on the cross at Calvary; all that is needed is for us to acknowledge and confess those sins to the Lord Jesus for His blood to be applied to them.
1 John 1:9 also covers generational sins. Generational sins are a special category of sin which God calls an abomination. Webster’s Dictionary defines an abomination as “something hateful and detestable.” An abominable sin, therefore, is a sin that God hates and detests. The Bible teaches that all disobedience is sin, but an abomination is something that God hates and detests so much that he will curse the descendants of anyone who is guilty of this type of sin. Examples of abominable sins can be found in chapters 8 and 9 of the book of Leviticus and include idolatry, murder, fornication, witchcraft, adultery, and homosexuality.
I believe that before Jesus paid the blood at Calvary, when God cursed a person’s descendants, that family line stayed cursed until someone came along who would repent of his family’s sins and ask forgiveness of God. Because God says in Exodus 34:7 that he would “by no means clear the guilty,” I believe that God would allow a curse to skip a generation because of that repentant individual. But even so, the curse would return upon the next generation. One reason I believe this is because of the aforementioned verse, Exodus 34:7:
“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.”
Notice that unlike Exodus 20:5, where God says that He would punish a person’s descendants unto the third generation, this verse adds “unto..the fourth generation.” I believe the reason God says this is because he is willing to allow a curse to skip a generation because of the faithfulness of one person. I could give two examples of this, but I discuss this in greater detail in our podcast on generational curses.
If you truly want to be free, then you won’t have a problem confessing any sins, that’s for sure. I have known people to be so resistant to this teaching, that they refuse to confess any sins. Consequently, they continue to suffer the effects of their curses and become bitter and cynical, and constantly ask God why they continue to suffer when they are saved. Some, I would not be surprised if some have even left the faith for this reason. What a pity!
Confession of sin is important because we will continue to sin as long as we are in this sinful body. Sin is an obstacle in our way, blocking us from enjoying all the benefits of a right relationship with Jesus. Thankfully, God has provided us a way out by allowing us to confess our sins to Him and remove the obstacle blocking our path.
Do you now see that Jesus’ blood washed away our past sins, but for us to be forgiven our future sins, that is, those sins we commit after our conversion, we must confess them.
This is one of the reasons Christians are suffering even though they are saved. They believe Jesus died for their future sins and don’t understand that 1 John 1:9 is telling them to confess their sins so that they can be forgiven. So, even if they are not under a generational curse, they are not confessing any sins and are, therefore, living in sin, which is just as bad as being under a curse.
Can you now understand why the Christian Church is not as powerful as we ought to be? We are almost in as bad a shape as the unsaved. This ought not to be.
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Be encouraged and look up, for your redemption draweth nigh,
The Still Man