Friday, March 28, 2014

GENERATIONAL CURSES



This is a post I wrote back in 2010. I would probably say a few things differently today, and I would probably add a whole lot more to it, but it's still 100% true. I believed in generational curses for years but in 2009 I was challenged on my belief regarding them and studied it out finding that it really is just an "excuse theology". The finished work of Jesus has to be bigger than all of that junk. Since then I have seen much greater fruit in my life and in the lives of those who I minister to, without having to dig into "was your granny a witch?" Or "your grandfather a Freemason?" I encourage you to be humble enough to reconsider what you believe. Jesus said, "you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32) It is knowledge of truth (revelation not intellectualism) that makes us free, not your repentance for what your great-great-granddaddy did. Thank You, Jesus! 


GENERATIONAL CURSES
Are they just a religious myth?

FORGIVEN
Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.”   
Psalms 103:1-5 KJV

We can take many awesome truths from this passage, but I would like to focus on just one point here today. “Bless the Lord…” David is worshipping God and praising Him simply because He is God, and He is holy. After this he says not to forget the benefits of God. Relationship with God has benefits! It’s not just a one way ticket to heaven when you die and a “get-out-of-hell-free” card; there is more to Christianity than forgiveness of sins.  If that’s all we got, that would be awesome and far more than we deserved. However, through Jesus’ sacrifice we can enjoy friendship with the Living God (John 17:3); we die to and are freed from sin, and are made completely righteous in Christ independent of our performance (Romans 5:17, 6:1-7, 6:18, 1 Corinthians 1:30, 2 Corinthians 5:21); and we have access to physical and emotional healing (Isaiah 53:4-5; Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18; 1 Peter 2:24); and there are many more benefits! This Psalm encourages us to remember that God forgives ALL our sins and heals ALL our diseases. It’s quite profound that in the Hebrew the word “all” means “all”; it leaves no room for “God doesn’t always heal, or forgive”. Through Jesus, God has forgiven every sin; past, present and future. Sin no longer separates us from God!

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”
John 1:29 KJV

If something is taken away it’s pretty much gone. Through the cross Jesus forever removed the sin barrier that was separating us from God!

“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins ofthe whole world.”
1 John 2:2 KJV

The word “propitiation” is basically speaking of payment and is speaking about how Jesus’ sacrifice satisfied the payment, or punishment that was due because of our sin.  This scripture is saying that Jesus paid not only for our sins, but the every sin of the whole world!

What sends people to hell isn’t their sin but the fact that they haven’t received payment for their sin; they haven’t received Jesus and been born-again. Hitler had his sin paid for as much as any born-again believer. What determined Hitler's eternity wasn't that he murdered millions of people, but rather whether he received Jesus or not.

God’s love for us is amazing and far greater than any of us realize! Praise God for Jesus!

GENERATIONAL CURSES
So, God loves us and isn’t holding our sin against us; why then would he hold your father’s sin against you? Or your grandfather’s sin? Or your great-grandfather’s sin? I’m speaking about “generational curses.”

I grew up in church circles which taught that every believer has to break “generational curses” over them which they may have as a result of the sin of their father, or grandparents. They tell you that it is the cause of many sicknesses and bondages and the reason why so many things go wrong in your life. I believed this for many years. I was prayed over (probably more than 5 times) to break generational curses. Seems like you never know if it’s really broken, so you do it every opportunity you get. I am also ashamed to say that I taught on “generational curses” and wasted time counseling people through them - thankfully it was out of ignorance! I believe that the whole “generational curses” teaching is a deception of the enemy to distract believes from focusing on what Jesus has accomplished for us through the cross.

One of the things “generational curses” does is find reasons for the way we are and the problems we have, and puts blame on someone else; “I am an alcoholic… or I have this sickness because my grandfather was a freemason…” All it is, is blame shifting. There might be reasons you are struggling with what you’re struggling with but there are no excuses! You are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 2:17) and have the fruit of the Spirit in you (Galatians 5:22). You also have the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead living in you (Romans 8:11). There is no excuse for defeat! You are more than a conqueror through Christ (Romans 8:37).

Generally the “generational curses” teaching magnifies sin and the devil and gets people to focus on the problems. Now I am sure some of you are upset with me round about now, especially if you are into “deliverance ministry”. While we’re on that topic; in all of Scripture I never see anything like a “deliverance ministry.” Jesus said to go preach the Gospel (the GOOD NEWS of what Jesus has done) and that driving out demons and other signs would follow the believer. The believer doesn’t follow the signs, but the signs follow the believer. I hope you caught that, but the point is that there are no scriptural grounds for a deliverance specific ministry. ALL believers are called to preach the Gospel with signs (including deliverance) following.

In my first week of being at Charis Bible College in Colorado Springs, U.S.A. as I was getting a deeper revelation of grace, I was confronted with this truth about “generational curses.” I didn’t just accept it at first, but after studying it a bit I got angry that I had believed a lie for so long. If you are struggling to receive what I am saying don’t just go ask pastor-so-and-so what he thinks, go to the Word and study it out for yourself.

SOUR GRAPES AND TEETH ON EDGE
“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. “
Exodus 34:6-7 KJV

This is where people mostly get their backing to teach “generational curses.” This is an awesome scripture, showing us the character and nature of God. God is passing by Moses in the cleft of the rock and revealing His glory to him (Exodus 33:21-23), and God says of Himself “I am merciful (not giving you what you do deserve) and gracious (giving you what you don’t deserve), longsuffering (patient), and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgressions and sin – this is who I am!” and then the Scripture continues, “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.”

I am going to deal with this from a couple different angles.

“What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying: The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?”
Ezekiel 18:2 NKJV

You’re probably thinking, “huh?!” Let me explain; God is saying that this is a proverb, and He’s asking what they mean by using it. The title of the Chapter (which the translators of the King James Version gave) is “A False Proverb Refuted”. What this proverb is saying is that, “the fathers ate sour grapes – which would naturally cause a negative physical reaction, but it also caused their children to have a negative physical reaction.” Basically its blame shifting; saying that it’s the father’s fault that the children’s “teeth are set on edge”. God says something profound in the next verse,

As I live, saith the Lord GOD, you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel.”
Ezekiel 18:3 NKJV

That’s pretty plain. God is saying you cannot say that the children will pay for their father’s sin, and goes onto explain how everyone is accountable for their own actions. This also raises the issue of widespread “repentance for the sins of the land.” I won’t go into detail here, but let me just ask; how many times do we as South African’s need to repent for apartheid? (a rigid system of segregation which discriminated against non-Whites between 1948 and 1994, with reforms starting in 1990) I started school in 1991 and had a very mixed class from grade 1. As I grew up the majority of my friends were Black and Indian (I grew up in Durban). I had nothing to do with apartheid.

If we did have to repent for apartheid, how many times would we need to until God forgave us? It seems like every year people organize large prayer meetings in which they can repent for the same thing, again! It’s ridiculous! That time, effort and money could have helped to fund taking the Gospel around the world and seeing people saved; which is actually what Jesus commanded us to do. The church (in general) has really deviated from its true calling and focus! Back to “generational curses…”

Jeremiah gave this same prophecy in Ezekiel 18:2 in Jeremiah 31:29-30;

“In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge. But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.”
Jeremiah 31:29-30 KJV

This isn’t rocket science! Every person is accountable for their own actions. If you eat sour grapes your own teeth will be set on edge.

GOD DOESN’T CHANGE!
If that is not enough to convince you, let’s go back to Exodus 34:6-7;

“…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…”

God is saying “I am merciful (not giving you what you do deserve) and gracious (giving you what you don’t deserve), longsuffering (patient), and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgressions and sin – this is who I am!” and then the Scripture continues, “and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children...” When I read this I get confused and think wonder if God is schizophrenic? Is God saying, “I am good, loving, gracious and merciful; I forgive your sins, but I will punish you for your father’s sin!” Obviously God isn’t schizophrenic! And that doesn’t sound like the character and nature of God, so we must be missing it somewhere here?

If you have a good Bible you’ll notice that certain words are italicized. I am using the King James and New King James Version, which have certain words in italics. If you read the “preface” to your Bible you’ll see that these words in italics are not in the original manuscripts. The Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek, which are both complex languages and as such, in translation there was a need for additional English words for further clarification. I believe that in some instances translators interpreted scripture instead of translating it; they tried to communicate their doctrine and beliefs, and not simply translate God’s Word to us. In cases where scripture is conflicting within itself (like Exodus 34:7) we need to go back to the original text and see what is being communicated. Since the italicized words were added, let’s remove them;

 “…Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children…”

God is saying, “This is who I am: I am good, loving, gracious and merciful, and I forgive your sin, and that will by no means clear or void for me to punish you for your father’s sin” or, “…If I wasn’t like this I would visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and the children’s children…” The character and goodness of God will “by no means clear”! God doesn’t change! Praise God! He is so good!

NEW CREATION
If that is not enough for you;

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

When you got born-again old things “passed away”, or died, and you became a new creation; or as one translation put it “a new species of being.” God’s grace is far bigger than what we realize! The devil has nothing on us! In Christ we are new creations; righteous, holy, and blameless!

You may be asking, “So why then is their so much fruit in breaking generational curses?”  Well that’s simple; let’s look at an example. You have some issues in your life – your businesses constantly fail or you struggle with homosexual tendencies, or you’re barren and can’t have children. You find out that your father, grandfather or great-great grandfather (or whatever) was a freemason, a druid, a Satanist or something like that, so you go for counseling to “break any” “generational curses”.

“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
Mark 11:24 KJV

Simply, you have what you believe for. You can believe that renouncing everything your ancestors did wrong, and going through some sort of deliverance will set you free, and it might, but you can also not accept your negative situation, take responsibility for your own actions, use your authority and believe for change without going through all the junk of dealing with “generational curses.”

I know I have been pretty hard on this topic but I believe this truth will set many people free if they embrace it!

Jesus plus anything equals nothing! Jesus plus nothing equals everything!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Look at the Birds


"Look at the birds in the sky. They never sow nor reap nor store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Aren't you much more valuable to him than they are?" - Words of Jesus (Matthew 6:26, JB PHILLIPS)

I am really encouraged by these words of Jesus. Too often we don't think about what He's actually saying, because what He's saying really goes against a lot of what is taught in churches today. 

In verse 25 Jesus says "don't worry about your life!" That's a tall order for most. Most people, Christians too, are consumed with worry. Jesus specifically says not to worry about your basic needs: food, drink or clothing. Sadly, this is what drives (motivates) most people: a worry about provision. But Jesus says don't worry about these things and in verse 32 he states, "For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all." (ESV) Another translation says heathen instead of Gentiles. The unbeliever seeks for his needs to be met, but not you. Why? 

Well, "look at the birds of the sky. They don't sow nor reap (God's blessing of provision in your life isn't based on your sowing and reaping, however spiritual you make it) nor store away in barns (your provision and wealth security isn't based on your savings or investments: your carnal efforts to be financially secure) and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them." Now there's a powerful truth! Almighty God, the Creator of the universe, is the birds Creator, yet He is your Father. He's your Daddy. "Aren't you much more valuable to God Almighty than birds?" The answer is a resounding YES! 

One individual person is more important to God than all the birds on the planet together. Jesus didn't die for birds, He died for you. "For God so loved the world" meaning people, not birds. God is your Daddy. He looks after and cares for the birds, and yet hey don't strive for it. Yes they go out and find the food and put the food in their mouths and have to swallow it, and likewise you have a part to play. But if He cares for the birds, how much more will He care for you! Your part is simply to receive God's provision, not work for it or try deserve it. Jesus qualifies you for God's provision, blessing and favour. Your holiness, tithing and giving does not. 

Giving is important and generosity is a fruit of the Christian life. But we don't give because we have to and we certainly don't give to try and get our needs met from God. He is our Dad and looks after us because He is good and loves us - not because we are good.

Be encouraged that your Heavenly Father is good and loves you!


Monday, March 17, 2014

PEACE... VREDE...

PEACE (Afrikaans hieronder)
I once heard peace defined as “being secure in the midst of turmoil.” But is it possible not to worry when everything around you is fueling your fear?

A couple years back I was confronted by the words of Jesus (John 14:1) which say, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” Think about it for a minute; Jesus was preparing his disciples for the greatest “tragedy” they would go through. These men had given up everything they had to follow Jesus and were holding onto Him as their hope. They were about to see their hope crucified.

In preparation for this Jesus says to them “let not your heart be troubled”. In another situation Jesus was teaching, and said, “Do not worry about your life.” (Luke 12:22) No matter what you’re facing, you choose to allow your heart to be troubled, or not. Most people don’t realize that they have control over their own emotions.

Emotions are a direct result of what you believe and focus on. If you focus on the increase of crime and believe that it’s only a matter of time before someone breaks into your home and murders you, then you will be bound in fear.

As a believer I choose to think about the promises God has given us. Psalm 91 speaks of how God protects us and sends His angels to guard us. By trusting in God and focusing on His promises I find myself secure in the midst of turmoil; not ignorant of what’s happening, but at peace in spite of what’s happening.

Isaiah 26:3 says of God, “You keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because He trusts in You.” With faith in God and keeping our minds on His promises, we can remain secure through troubled times. 



VREDE
Ek het eenmaal gehoor dat vrede gedefinieer kan word as “om gerus te wees te midde van onrustige omstandighede”. Maar is dit moontlik om jou nie te bekommer as alles rondom jou besig is om vrees te veroorsaak nie?

‘n Paar jaar terug is ek gekonfronteer met die woorde van Jesus (Joh. 14.1) wat sê: “Laat julle hart nie ontsteld word nie; glo in God, glo ook in My”. Dink ‘n bietjie hieroor: Jesus was besig om sy dissipels voor te berei vir die grootste tragedie wat hulle ooit sou tref. Hierdie groepie het alles opgegee wat hulle gehad het om Jesus te volg, en al hulle hoop was op hom gevestig. Hulle sou binnekort hul Hoop aan die kruis sien sterf.

Ter voorbereiding hiervoor sê Jesus vir hulle: “Laat julle hart nie ontsteld word nie”. In ‘n ander situasie het Jesus ook vir die mense rondom hom geleer: “Moenie julle kwel oor jul lewe … nie” (Luk. 12:22). Dit maak nie saak wat jou in die gesig staar nie – jy kan kiés of jou hart ontsteld gaan raak of nie. Meeste van ons besef nie dat ons beheer oor ons eie emosies het nie!

Jou emosies is ‘n direkte uitvloeisel van wat jy glo, en waarop jy fokus. As jy gaan fokus op die toename in misdaad in jou area en glo dat dit net ‘n kwessie van tyd is voor iemand by jou huis inbreek en jou oor die kop slaan, gáán jy in vrees vasgevang wees.  
As ‘n gelowige kies ek om te dink aan die beloftes wat God ons gegee het. Psalm 91 praat oor hoe die Here ons beskerm en Sy engele stuur om rondom ons wag te staan. Deur op die Here te vertrou en op Sy beloftes te fokus, vind ek dat ek gerus is te midde van onrustige omstandighede; ek’s nie onbewus van wat aangaan nie, maar ek het vrede ten spyte van wat rondom my aangaan.

Jesaja 26:3 sê oor die Here: “U sal ‘n standvastige gesindheid in volle vrede bewaar, want hulle vertrou op U”. Met ‘n vertroue in die Here en deur jou fokus standvastig op Sy beloftes te hou, kan jy vrede ervaar – maak nie saak wat jou omstandighede is nie.

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Fail-proof Marriage

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The Bible says that love never fails but sadly what God calls love and what we call love are often worlds apart. God's kind of love will fail-proof any marriage! 

Whether you've been married for years or you're still single this teaching will be a blessing to you! Click here!